‘Look! We’ve arrived! I can see land, it must be Iceland! Granny… Wake up!’ Missy is excitedly shaking Granny’s shoulder. ‘Look! No ice at all. It’s all green and black and-’
Granny pulls out her earplugs and peeks through the window. A seven hour flight and Missy has been talking non-stop…
The Grey sisters take a taxi from the airport in Reykjavik to the outskirts of Stadarfell where they have rented a discreet cottage. After settling in, they discover the minimalist, but cozy, interior, and while Granny puts a kettle on the stove, Missy squeals excitedly from the living room.
‘Granny! Come and see! There’s a flat screen TV, and a tablet!’
‘Tablets?’ Granny puts down the tray with two steaming mugs. ‘Let me see.’ Awkwardly she takes one of the iPads, turning it in her hands. ‘How does it work?’ She puts it down again. ‘I’ll go check for a phone book.’
‘Wait!’ Missy picks up a little booklet from the coffee table. ‘Instructions. But I know how it works, it’s exactly the same as Taïga’s. Look. I’ll show you.’
‘No need for that. I prefer a good old phone book.’
‘But there’s a phonebook in here.’ Missy stabs at the screen. ‘With more addresses than you can ever find in a dumb phonebook.’
Granny sits down on the couch. ‘OK. Show me how it works.’
‘Here, read it.’ Missy hands her sister the instruction book. Painstakingly Granny starts reading all the pages.
‘I still think that you should have brought the palantír with you…’ Missy grumbles, reading over her sister’s shoulder. ‘This takes too much time.’
‘We agreed before leaving not to use magic, Missy! Let’s not draw attention to us.’ She turns on the device. ‘Let’s use this, err… technological magic to fulfill our task…’
‘Well, we’re inside, aren’t we? Nobody can see us… And I don’t know how we should be able to find Magnus on an iPad… Hey, watch this – there’s Angry Birds on it!’ She reaches out to take the tablet but Granny holds it out of reach.
‘Missy, you’re not here to play! Stay focused!’
Grumpily Missy sits down next to her. ‘But where shall we start?’
‘There is something called Safari…’
‘Oh, that’s so exciting! I love lions and-‘
Granny silences her sister with a look…
‘Are you even sure we’ll find him here, in Stadarfell? I’m not even sure it’s on the maps…’ Missy gets out of the taxi, checking out the ultra-modern spa complex.
‘Relatively.’ Granny pays the taxi. ‘I googled, binged and crystalled him!’
‘I know. But without results. You don’t even know how to turn on a computer without help.’
Granny pretends she didn’t hear her sister’s last comment, looking up at the imposing, modern facade. ‘We’re wasting our time, we should be out looking for him.’
‘Oh, dear – Sundhöll Spa is a treat for us! To get our minds and bodies in shape after the long flight – I think we’re worth it! And it was so easy to book, just a click! I even paid on-line, and-’
Granny rolls her eyes, secretly delighted over Missy’s initiative.
After getting pampered and massaged, the sisters put on their bathing suits and walk outside to the geothermal lake.
‘Come on little sister! The water is warm!’
‘I know, I’ve learned my lesson: “It’s a geothermal area, producing natural pollution-free heat energy” blablabla…’ Why couldn’t Magnus have chosen to settle in Bora Bora, or Sunlit Tides, where the air isn’t freezing cold! And where there are lots of dark handsome surfers… Missy sighs longingly. The only sight of life around here is possibly polar bears – and the troll massage therapist.
Her thoughts are interrupted by a beaming Granny, motioning for her to join her. ‘Are you coming or not?’
The warm water is a lovely contrast to the chill spring air and the sisters swim further into the hot springs…
‘Pffui… wait… wait…we cannot be overheard here!’
Granny struggles to catch up with Missy who stops and threads water. ‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, absolutely. Now, Missy, listen carefully: this is what we shall do tomorrow…’
The next morning the two sisters continue arguing over breakfast, they cannot agree on the best way to look for Magnus.
‘But Granny, you’re always going on about wasting time, and I think we should-’
‘I said: NO magic! At. All.’
They finish their breakfast in an uneasy silence. Granny knows how stubborn her younger sister can be, and she’s not prepared to spend the whole day like this, even though she often wishes Missy could be quiet more often.
‘Ahem…’ Missy’s not the only one who has succumbed to the easy ways of the Internet, and Granny decides to try to cheer her moping sister up a little. Pushing back her chair, she announces, ‘I have prepared a surprise for today, but if you’re sulking, I’ll just go on my own.’ There. She said it. Not waiting for an answer, she puts her empty plate in the dishwasher and sets off towards the bathroom.
Missy gets dressed in a hurry, and Granny hasn’t even finished brushing her teeth before the excited witch barges into the bathroom. ‘I love surprises! Please hurry up!’
So, it worked. Granny hides her relief. ‘There’s no hurry, we have an appointment in an hour. Have you brushed your teeth?’
Granny thinks the best way to try to find Magnus is by air. As they can’t ride around on their brooms, she has decided to rent a hot air balloon.
‘You’ll see, Missy. It’s as comfortable as it is silent.’
They both stare in awe at the brightly colored object.
‘It’s beautiful – is it made of silk?’
‘Eh… I don’t think so.’ Granny searches her mind. ‘Maybe before, but now the envelope is usually made of rip-stop nylon.’
‘Well. I think it’s silk. It’s much more romantic.’
Granny stares at her sister. OK. If she’s happy thinking it’s silk… She clears her throat. ‘Now… You’ll stay here while I go inside to tell them we’re here. Don’t touch anything.’
‘I won’t.’ Missy promises.
Granny is soon back, finding her sister in exactly the same spot. The two ladies take place in the wicker basket.
Missy cranes her neck, staring up through the gaping mouth of the hot air balloon. ‘Wow! It’s huge! And empty!’
Granny sighs. ‘It’s a hot air balloon, Missy. Of course it’s huge – each cubic foot of air contained in a hot air balloon can only lift about 7 grams…’ Granny is happy she’s googled the subject last night.
‘Oh… That explains the size. But how does it work?’
‘Well, warmer air rises in cooler air. So we’ll heat the air with a burner unit and the balloon will rise – with us.’
‘Look! These binoculars are amazing! I can see right into that apartment over there and…’
‘I’m sure they are great. Put them down before they call the police, and help me with the burner, please.’
‘Oh! He just took off his under-’
‘Missy! Put those dang binoculars away and give me a hand! Please!?!’
Missy blushes and reluctantly she puts her binoculars away. ‘Are we going on our own? Isn’t there a pilot?’
Granny straightens her back, proudly answering, ‘I have got a diploma.’
Missy looks at her, raising her eyebrows.
Granny blushes. ‘OK. There were lots of them on the Internet, and it was quite easy to use the printer, really.’
‘And you take the liberty to admonish me? I’ve never falsified a docu-’
‘Shht!’ Granny hisses, ‘We couldn’t really afford to have someone overhearing us, could we? And, as you probably have noticed, there’s not much space in here!’
Soon they take off, silently drifting with the wind until they get the hang on the way to navigate. The picnic is delicious, and the old ladies devour the cold chicken sandwiches, rinsing the cold lunch down with Egil’s Pilsner – Icelandic beer. They carefully scan the ground for a sign of Magnus with the powerful binoculars supplied by the hot air balloon company.
They approach the old cemetery and reluctantly Granny lets Missy navigate while she concentrates on scanning the ground.
‘Watch out, Missy! I think we’re flying way too low…’
‘But it’s getting dark and we have to see the ground, right?’ Missy grabs her binoculars. ‘Are you sure there aren’t any night goggles in the box with birdwatching stuff? We should have asked for those army things where everything turns green and-’
‘Yes, but- Watch out! We’ll touch the spire!’
‘Ay Ay Captain!’ Missy bends over the rim of the wicker basket and fiddles with something.
The hot air balloon stops abruptly just in time, but the fierce jerk makes Granny lose her binoculars… The old lady is so angry she can hardly speak. ‘Why did you do that!?!’
‘I didn’t do it on purpose… They shouldn’t have slipped over the rim if you hadn’t bent over the…’
‘No!’ Granny shakes her head. ‘The anchor! Why did you throw out the anchor? You should have cut off the ballast! Just look!’ Granny points an accusing finger at the ground.
Missy directs her binoculars downwards. The smooth green lawn is scarred, labored by the heavy anchor.
‘Uh-oh… I’m sorry… I think I missed the tombstones, though. That’s rather positive… Isn’t it?’
Without a word, Granny takes Missy’s binoculars and continues scrutinizing the surroundings.
‘What the-! … Look over there!’ Granny is so excited she lets go of her binoculars. Luckily they fall inside the wicker basket this time.
‘Where? What did you see?’
‘Just over there, in the hills – towards the setting sun!’ Granny fumbles on the floor after her binoculars. ‘A rider? On a black horse? Can you see him?’
‘You just took my binoculars!’ Missy grumbles.
‘They are my binoculars! … I could have sworn I recognized… Ah, here they are!’ But when Granny gets back on her feet, breathlessly fiddling with the binoculars, the rider has vanished.
‘Yours. The binoculars. They are mine – you lost yours.’
‘Whatever,’ Granny mumbles. ‘We have to try to find them anyway.’ She pulls her scarf a little tighter as dusk settles over the graveyard, bringing a chill in the air.
Missy is fed up… and hungry. ‘It’s a waste of time… let’s go get your dang binoculars and then go home!’
‘Wait a second… I think I saw something… there, just over there!’ She points towards the dark silhouette of the mausoleum.
‘Shhhh… There’s definitely something moving…’ She grips the binoculars tighter, struggling to see.
‘Yes,’ Missy whispers. ‘I can see it too… I think it’s… a… a zombie?’
Missy starts fiddling with the burner. ‘We must leave!’
‘No, we have to investigate further…’
‘Are you sure? What if there is more than one?’
Granny stares at Missy and raises an eyebrow. ‘Aren’t you the one who wanted to become a zombie master?’
Missy stares back. ‘I still do! But I’m not sure it’s a good idea to get down there without our wands!’
Granny hates to admit it, but Missy is right. ‘We have to find my binoculars anyway…’
So they land the hot air balloon not far from the graveyard, and carefully they sneak back – just to have a look…
‘Granny, I’m not sure about this. I’m scared…’
‘Of a zombie? Or of Magnus?’
Missy hesitates for a second. ‘Both…’
The sound of paces makes them scramble for shelter, ducking down behind a gravestone. The paces stop, and they can hear someone swearing. Then the sound of paces moves away again and Granny ventures a quick glance, just in time to see someone walk into the mausoleum.
With a sigh of relief they shuffle to their feet again. ‘… you see, Missy! Nothing…’
‘How could I have known it was the mausoleum keeper? He looked like a zombie…’
‘Humpf… a zombie… at least we now know that the mausoleum keeper is a living creature. Shht, here he comes…’
‘Good evening.’ The sisters smile charmingly.
‘Good evening.’ The mausoleum keeper tips his hat politely, turning a big key in the lock. ‘I’m sorry, but we’re closed, ladies. Maybe I can help you.’
Granny smiles charmingly. ‘We’re on holiday and we would like to know if-’
‘We’re architects,’ Missy interrupts.
Granny looks at her. ‘Architects?’
‘Yes, architects. We design houses. And we love old houses with a history to tell.’ She looks hopefully at the mausoleum keeper who lights up.
‘Oh, I see! I think you should make a detour to Eiríksstaðir… it’s definitely worth the visit. We have found some interesting artifacts and the site is closed to the public, but you can see the house from the hills. The hills on the other side of the bay… Ahem. But it is worth the trip. A very interesting Viking structure. You know, Leifr Eiríksson, the first known discoverer of America was born there, and there are many stories about his father, Erik the Red, and his friend the Jomsviking Yggve Darkling…’
The Grey sisters look at each other, avidly listening to the mausoleum keeper’s story…
The very next day, the Grey sisters set out early in the morning. They leave their rented car at Andrea Hallur’s home and continue on foot up in the mountain. After a strenuous walk they arrive in front of the ruins of a rather large Viking mansion. The sisters are disappointed.
‘Nobody can live here… Not even a vampire! What shall we do? My feet hurt,’ Missy whines.
Granny looks around the big room. ‘I wish I had brought my wand to see what happened here…’
Missy thinks hard. Should I tell her? Well, here goes nothing… ‘Eh… I brought mine…’
Granny lights up, for once she’s happy about her sister’s stubbornness. ‘Well… I told you to leave it at home, but as you’ve got it with you, better put it to good use.’ She peers around the half demolished wall. ‘There’s nobody in sight – go ahead.’
‘Err… I’d love to, but what do you want me to do exactly?’
‘Just conjure up an image of who lived here last. We’ll start with that.’
Missy starts mumbling, swirling her wand, but nothing happens. She shakes it, looking at it incredulously. ‘Oh. I guess this is yours. But I’ve got mine. Somewhere…’ She fumbles in the hidden pocket of her skirt.
‘Oh. Just give it to me.’ Missy grimaces as Granny swiftly pulls the wand out of her hand. Mumbling she waves it around them and in an eye blink a hazy image takes shape. Successively the floor, the walls and then furniture is brought forward until they find themselves standing in a small room, heated by an iron stove…
A tall, fair man is painting in the middle of the room. He’s shirtless, his body gleaming with sweat as his muscular arms nervously mix the colors. He dries his forehead with the back of his hand, leaving a streak of cyan. It is Magnus Darkling, intensely working on his “chef d’oeuvre” in the late 1700’s…
‘He looks almost real! How did you do that?’
‘Missy, he IS kind of real. This is a mirror image of what happened more than two hundred years ago, at this very moment!’
Missy frowns. Mirror image? He looks real to me. And just as hot as I remembered… Except for the beard. I don’t like beards… But the long hair suits him fine. And working shirtless is definitely a big YES… Tasty indeed. I wonder if I could touch him – just a little.
‘Missy! What do you think you are doing?’
‘Err…’ Missy hadn’t realized she had her arm outstretched, right through Magnus’s sleek abs. Troubled she pushes up her glasses. ‘Can’t we talk to him? Or touch him?’
‘No, we can’t.’
‘Then what’s the point?’
‘We now know he lived here.’
‘Yes, but obviously he doesn’t anymore.’
Granny doesn’t know what to answer. ‘We should try to find the rider. He was headed south-west, towards the lava fields.’
‘I don’t think the car we rented can take us there.’
‘No, you’re probably right… Let’s go back to Perspective Park and see if we can rent a hot air balloon again.’
Missy claps her hands. ‘Oh yes! It was such fun!’
The ride back to Perspective Park is silent, both sisters totally absorbed in thoughts about what they just saw. The hot air balloon seems ready for take-off, but the little park appears to be empty.
‘Maybe it’s closed for lunch? We should get some before leaving, don’t you think so?’ Missy slams the door to the little car behind her, hurrying to catch up with her older sister.
Granny just huffs, trying the handle.
‘So it’s not closed. OK. But what do you think about lunch? There was a small café that seemed nice downtown and-’ Missy is interrupted by a piercing scream, stopping both old ladies in their tracks.
‘STOP THE THIEF!’
A man comes running around the corner, pushing Granny violently to the side. Missy reacts without thinking. She pulls out her wand and yells, ‘FREEZE!’
‘Missy!’ Granny scrambles to her feet, looking in horror at the ice statue just a few feet away. ‘What did you do!!! I thought we agreed on NO magic!!!’
Sounds of paces are rapidly approaching.
‘Oh, you’re right…’ Fast as lightning Missy points her wand towards the frozen thief. ‘Heat!’ Her wand erupts in a red hot beam, causing the poor statue of a man to melt on the spot.
‘Missy! Put that away! NOW!’
Missy is fed up with her bossy sister. ‘What if I don’t want to? We’ll never find Magnus anyway…’
She quickly hides her wand behind her back as a policeman comes running around the corner, slips in the puddle and then with flailing arms regains his composure. Missy giggles but Granny just points her finger towards the door.
‘Thank you!’ The policeman rushes outside.
‘First you killed someone and now you made me lie to a policeman…’
‘You didn’t exactly lie, you just pointed. I’m sure it’s not considered lying…’
Granny stares sternly at her sister. ‘Put. That. Away.’
Grumpily Missy obeys. My big sister always decides. She‘s the only one who’s allowed to use magic. When she wants to. Gnangnangnan…
Granny watches the puddle on the floor. ‘Yuk… there’s just a puddle left of him! Was that really necessary?’
‘I just wanted to defrost him a little…’
‘Yes, of course…’ Granny shrugs but startles when she sees what her sister is doing. ‘Hey, what’s that?’
‘I can see it’s an apple! It’s the way you got it in your hand…’
‘You know how I got it in my hand.’ Missy rolls her eyes, taking a crunching bite. ‘It’s basic magic, you can do it too. At least you could when we were younger-’
‘But I’m starving!’
Granny takes a deep breath. Why did I ask her to come??? She’ll ruin everything even before it has started… Exhaling slowly, she counts to ten. ‘Let’s go find a restaurant, Missy.
‘Can I drive?’
‘You don’t have a driver’s license.’
‘So what? The town’s only policeman is chasing a thief.’
Sighing, Granny hands over the car-keys.
Missy lets Granny off outside Björn’s Café, insisting on parking the car on her own. ‘Just book a table and order something double for me.’ She rolls down the window, adding, ‘With extra cheese!’
Granny stops at the sound of a bump followed by the grinding sound of metal. She can hear Missy swearing, another bump, then silence. Fighting the urge to turn around, she pushes the glass door to the café open. Missy wanted to drive. She’ll just have to explain the scratches on the car to the retailer… Or I’ll just fix it later tonight… Absentmindedly she walks up to the counter, but stops dead in her tracks. Oh.My.God. Magnus! And he looks just the same… He hasn’t seen me. Quick, I must get out of here!
But it’s too late, Missy is coming inside, stopping like hit by lightning. ‘Oh My God! MAGNUS! We’ve been looking all over for you!’
Magnus finishes his drink, and then he turns his head slowly. He looks at Missy and Granny with a smirk. ‘The Grey sister’s? Long time no see… a very long time it seems. When was it? … In 1974?’
Granny gulps. ‘1973.’
Magnus stands up with a catlike grace Granny recognizes with a pang in her stomach. He moves just like Taïga. How come I didn’t make the connection earlier?
‘Can I buy you ladies a coffee?’
Granny tears her eyes away from the attractive vampire with difficulty. He’s just as handsome as I remember… ‘A big Latte, please.’
‘Me too! With lots of cream, please! And I’ll also have one of those delicious looking chocolate muffins… Or two… Or maybe a cookie? Do you have hamburgers?’
The young barista smiles. ‘No, I’m sorry, but I’ll bring you a selection of our best pastries!’
They take a seat at a table in a quiet corner, overlooking the street.
‘What brings you to Aurora Skies, Tara? Melissa said you’ve been looking for me?’
‘But Missy…’ Her sentence hang in the air. She glances quickly towards Missy who seems to have drowned in Magnus’s hypnotic eyes, staring at him with glazy eyes. Her sister hasn’t uttered a word since she asked for hamburgers… Is he reading her mind?
‘Nothing very important, really…’ Granny trails off and finally adventures to meet his gaze. She can feel a warm wave of drowsiness wash over her…
Like in a dream she can see herself back in 1973, modelling for Magnus in Paris…
… her fingers are flying over the grand piano’s keys. Magnus presence sending quivers of excitement down her spine, making her hands shake…
‘What are you doing in my dream, Missy?’
Her teenage sister looks sulkily at her through thick horn-rimmed glasses. ‘It’s my dream! Go away!’
‘No, it’s mine… mine… mine…’
Cool lips find hers, igniting a fire in her body she thought had vanished forever. With a sigh, she loses herself in Magnus’s embrace.
‘Aaaaaarghhh!’ The terrifying vision of Magnus’ ready to bite her wrist jerks Granny out of her glamoured state. ‘OMG! He fed on me! Missy!’
Frantically she looks around her. ‘Where are you? Missy?’ She stands up, hailing the waitress. ‘My sister? Do you know where she is?’
The waitress nods towards the large window. ‘They just left. Magnus paid, and told me to bring you our specialty, a Princess pastry that-’
Granny doesn’t listen, she has caught sight of her sister and Magnus on the sidewalk outside.
Granny half runs after them. ‘WAIT!’
Magnus stops, but doesn’t turn around at once.
Missy sighs. Darn it… Here she comes again, putting an end to the fun…
‘Where are you taking my sister?’
‘Nowhere. It’s actually she who’s taking me somewhere.’
‘Oh… Well. She isn’t going anywhere with you.’
Missy tugs on granny’s arm. ‘But Granny…’
‘Granny?’ Magnus looks her over, trying to keep a straight face.
‘It’s not funny!’ Granny mumbles, blushing.
‘So you’re a grandmother? Shasta… err… So she finally married?’
‘She did! To a count, no less!’ Missy announces proudly.
Granny is seething. How dare he? Just because he is a disgusting thousand year old vampire – an extremely good-looking thousand year old vampire, but disgusting nonetheless… ‘Magnus. We need to talk about Shasta.’
‘Boring, boring… I have an appointment for dinner, I’ll be in touch…’
In a blink he’s gone. Granny and Missy walk back to their rented house, quarrelling all the way…
Irritated with her sister and frustrated from seeing Magnus again, Granny goes straight up to bed…
Her sleep is deep but haunted by disturbing dreams…
Very disturbing dreams… Or memories…
The sunlight filtering in through the drawn curtains wakes her early in the morning. She stretches and yawns but does a double take at the sight of the smirking figure sitting in an armchair in the corner of her bedroom.
‘Slept well? Nice dreams?’ He wiggles his eyebrows suggestively.
‘MIIIISSSYYYY!’ Granny screams, pulling her blanket high under her chin.
Missy comes running. ‘Oh my God! What happ-‘ She stops and draws her robe shut around her voluptuous figure, ‘Magnus!’ She looks accusingly at Granny. ‘Have you two…?’ She lets the question hang in the air.
‘Don’t be silly. Of course not.’ Granny blushes. ‘Let’s have breakfast… And some explanations.’
Magnus listens silently to Granny talking about Shasta, about her marriage to Leonardo, their son… Threading carefully, she avoids mentioning Taïga. Luckily her sister keeps silent, she seems to be happy just sitting there, sipping her tea and devouring Magnus with her eyes.
‘… in Italy, most of the time.’ She takes a sip of her tepid tea, waiting for Magnus’ reaction.
He looks intently at her. ‘You didn’t come all the way here just to talk about what a perfect life Shasta leads, did you?’
‘No. I- We came to make sure you’ll leave her, and her children, alone – forever.’
He looks blankly at her. ‘Give me one good reason why I should?’
Granny hesitates, should she offer this last piece of information? ‘She’s not a witch anymore.’ She adds flatly.
Magnus rubs his chin thoughtfully, ‘I’ll have to think about that… A vampire doesn’t break an oath, and what ties our families is a blood oath… But maybe we can come to an agreement of sorts. If you could do something for me – a kind of return of favors…’ He pushes back his chair. ‘I’ll give you my answer tonight. Meet me at Fjara beach at sunset… Oh, and no wands.’
The day drags past until it’s time to see Magnus again. They drive to the meeting place, parking the car and walking down to the small beach.
‘Are you sure that this is the place?’
‘He said Fjara beach, didn’t he?’
‘Shhh… Look over there. I can see light. Is it…?’
‘Magnus.’ They stop, suddenly aware that it might be a trap.
‘Come and sit by the fire… it’s a cold night.’
Granny and Missy look at each other. It’s uncanny how he could hear them from so far away…
‘… and that’s why I’ll let her go… Unharmed. She’s of no value to me now, without her powers…’
‘So you promise to leave her alone?’ Granny asks hopefully.
‘That’s what I said.’
Granny lets out a sigh of relief.
‘But… I need a favor.’
Uh-oh… Of course, it just couldn’t be so easy… Granny nods, bracing herself.
‘It’s the Council. A ban has been published, and I have to lay low – extremely low, to keep them from tracking me.’
‘The Council? But what do you want me to do?’
‘I want you to do whatever is necessary to keep them away from me.’
‘I can’t do that!’
‘Then I’ll come after your daughter – witch or not. And your granddaughter.’ He looks deadpan at Granny who feels the blood drain from her face. She should have thought about Magnus’s knowledge about the Grey’s. He knew a Grey witch always has a first born daughter.
‘I’ll do what it takes…’ she whispers.
‘I thought so.’
‘Well… That’s it then.’ Granny stands up, dragging her sister to her feet with her. ‘Missy and I are leaving now.’
Missy has been unusually quiet, but now she speaks up. ‘But what about Taïga? He has the right to know she’s his-’
‘Missy! We. Are. Leaving… Now.’
‘Sit.’ The words are spoken softly, but there’s no mistake in the order.
Without a word they nervously sit down again. Seething, Granny throws a glance at her bigmouthed sister who apologetically shrugs.
Magnus pokes the fire, but it cannot warm up the chill that’s suddenly in the air.
‘Now, tell me… everything.’
Granny swallows, but she knows there’s no avoiding telling Magnus about Taïga.
‘… a daughter?’ The words come out in a barely audible whisper. Shell-shocked, Magnus stares blindly into the fire.
Granny catches Missy’s eye. Maybe we should leave now… Cautiously they stand up and back away. But as soon as they’re out of range of the light they break into a run. Missy whips out her wand, and out of breath she conjures up a broom. Soon they are safely astride, high up in the air. Granny holds on tightly to Missy.
‘For once I’m glad you didn’t listen to me and brought your wand! And I don’t care who sees us! Now, let’s get our things and go home…’
Missy takes a last look down. ‘He cried, you know.’
‘No. He didn’t. Vampires never cry…’ But even as she tries to sound convincing, her words sound hollow.
Missy could have sworn she had seen his eyes fill with tears. But her sister is probably right; vampires don’t cry. They never cry…
Magnus is shocked. A child… But I’m a vampire – I can’t breed…Could Shasta have been lying? No. I have to be sure…
The sound of distant voices draws him back to reality. He lifts his eyes towards the full moon just in time to see an unmistakable shadow fly past, faint voices echoing, ‘… never cry…’
His beautiful features are illuminated by a slow smile… A daughter…
‘MY daughter!’ he cries after the departing figures. ‘Mine!’
Part I – End of Chapter 56