to catch a thief
Morning was upon them and now there was very little time left.
Kate felt her stomach twisting into knots, and coupled with her exhaustion -- well, she was an utter mess.
Long hair lay like a limp rag, bags under her eyes, and her mouth tasted like something died in it. "I actually have confin breath” she thought to herself with a wry smile.
Fluttersquawk had suggested she give up all pretense at being all human since everybody knew and there was no point in hiding, so now her skin was it’s natural light blue colour.
She felt naked, and looked like a shipwreck survivor, like some poor soul who had been fished out of the Arctic Ocean, blue with cold.
Now she had one shot to clear her name. There was no time left for second chances.
Earlier that day, she...
the leader arrives
After three hours sleep and a bath, Kate plucked up the courage and knocked at the door of the Baron's apartment. The guards let her through, and for the first time she properly met with Avicenna as they sat down for tea in the balcony.
"Kate," he said, “is there something you need?”
"I'll be leaving for home soon," she replied, “but I wonder, what will happen now? I mean to me, Gilda, and Nathan?”
"You will go back home and talk to your parents. Things will change, Kate. We can't keep this news quiet. You'll be a celebrity of sorts, and you need to prepare. I’m aware of your mother." He paused.
"Things will be difficult" he almost sighed.
Collecting his thoughts he continued.
"As for the thieves, what would you have me do? We've both been wronged, but...
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...
The traveler was weary. It was a very long, difficult trip to the nether shores. Only the foolish or those strong in magic could make such a voyage. The traveler, while strong indeed in the arts, was no fool, much as many would argue otherwise.
No, she thought. The task needed doing, and finally she was here. She knocked slowly, so tired it barely made a sound.
The door opened and framed in the light was a strikingly beautiful child with flame red hair, oddly enough wearing oven mitts.
"Georgia," said the traveler, too tired for greetings. “Your cousin has been revealed.” With that she collapsed unconscious at Georgia's feet.
"Oh great," Georgia said acidly, looking at the crumpled magician at her feet. “I was just baking cookies.”
"Hey Fluffy, how do you like your new home?" Kate scratched the giant black feline head behind the ears.
"Shall we head out? I've got to get to school, and you know you like to play with Mathylda."
The enormous black panther, about the size of a horse, rose, stretched, then padded gracefully from the shed that Burnard had converted into a cat house.
Over the door was a sign which read:
Beware the cat!
F.L.U.F.E (Fully Loaded, Ultrasonic, Feline Eviscerator)
Kate leapt lightly onto the giant cat's back. With a short trot, the panther leapt into the air, his enormous black wings spreading wide.
"Yippy!" Kate yelled, as she sped towards her new term at Jasper's.