chapter 14

home at last

When Mathylda finally landed with Kate at her house, there was a throng of people there, including journalists and the overly curious.

Luckily none of them had the nerve to stand their ground against an enormous grumpy dragon, and they fled at Mathylda's glowering eyes and smoking nostrils.

The dragon deposited Kate at her front door while blocking her from the eyes of the throng.

"Quickly, inside!" Mathylda said. “This will blow over my scrumptious strudel, but first you've got some things to tell your parents. Snowmaine said for you to give this to them. I think he's trying to help.”

Kate took a deep breath, then timidly entered her home. Of all the things she’d been through in the last day, this was possibly the worst. She’d never really understood her mother’s anxiety, and so she didn’t know how much trouble she’d landed her family in.

She walked through the door and was nearly crushed in the arms of her mother and father. It took a long time, but then her dad put his hands gently on her mother's shoulders and said, "Let her tell us."

They led Kate into the den, where Kate handed them the note and her father read it out aloud.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Stien,

For anyone with a career as long as mine, most days seem much like the day before: not bad or boring, just familiar, comfortable, unsurprising. That all changed dramatically for us at Jasper's. In the last two days I've come to know your daughter by a series of shocks and surprises that have truly taken my breath away.

Kate is a good student. Of course she could do better (sorry, can't help myself), but now I find she's half Fae, a gifted strategist, friend to the Baron Avicenna, and a girl with a keen wit who is truly loved by most in her class.

If the aim of a school is to produce students of character, then we have little left do, for she has more quality at 9 than many have a 90.

I'm sure Kate will tell you all that has transpired. However, I wish you to know that we at Jasper's are delighted she is a part of our school and hope she'll remain here for the future.

As a sign of our gratitude, and to right the wrong she had to endure while under suspicion, we're offering her a full scholarship and rooms in the Galileo Wing for her use, as and when she needs them.

Kate will always have a home at Jasper's.

With gratitude,



They sat quietly in the lounge room on the sofa in front of the warm fire, reading the letter a second time while the lights from their christmas tree slowly changed colour.

Kate looked up at their lovely tree. She couldn’t wait for Christmas!


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