Her black locks framed her face perfectly—a flawless, pale complexion that resembled the material of porcelain. It was as if she were a doll, an unnatural thing of beauty that most girls strive to be but never reach. Cautiously, she made her way to the trial and execution of a human criminal, one who thought that it was socially acceptable to steal from his magical masters. She had no patience for those who blatantly disobeyed the rules that she had set in place.
As she approached him, who had a rope tied around his neck, he cowered at the sight of her. Reaching out, she traced a thin line down his cheek.
“So,” she began loud enough so that those who had gathered to watch the execution could hear her, “You thought that everything would turn out okay, that you would get away with theft.”
“My Mistress, my Queen,” said the criminal. “Please, I meant no harm by it. It was an accident. A misunderstanding. A—”
“Silence!” his Queen bellowed as she moved towards a lever. “Did I give you permission to speak? I don’t recall ever telling you that you could.”
“I meant no harm by it,” protested the criminal, changing his story. “All I took was one loaf of bread—what was needed for survival!”
“You stole from your masters,” the Queen said in a calm voice. “Such an act cannot go unpunished.” Then, she did what she originally intended to do. After charging him guilty of such a crime, she pulled the lever, which in turn opened the floor beneath the criminal. Thus, he was hung that very same day, and the crowd that watched his execution was dead silent.
And the Queen, the Mistress, Melissa Young, smiled the entire time.
At four in the morning on the eighth of February, Rebekah was pulled out of another nightmare that was centered on Melissa—the fifth one that she’s had in the two-week period. With the first one being on the plane ride home from the ICW, she didn’t think much of the nightmare before. But as the ones that preceded it involved some sort of variation from the first one, she began to deem that there was something more to them, some hidden meaning that she was unable to grasp fully.
Yet, she wasn’t a Foreseer—a human who can catch glimpses of the future in dreams. Therefore, her nightmares should mean nothing, but there was something about them that set her more on edge than the ones about Roseway. And the ones about Melissa have replaced the ones about Roseway.
Across from her were the bunk beds that her two older brothers slept in. In the dark, she squinted her eyes and saw that they were still asleep. Knowing that she would not be able to go back to sleep after having such a nightmare, Rebekah left her bed and snuck out of the bedroom that she shared with her two brothers so that she wouldn’t wake them.
The moon’s light was shining through the one window of the living room area of the apartment, illuminating all corners but the kitchen area. Rebekah stared at the crescent moon for a while as it sent shivers down her spine, but she couldn’t tell if such shivers were fear-based or due to the cold, early-morning air that often came with the month of February.
Going back into her bedroom, she peeled off her pajama attire in favor of dark denim jeans, a plain red shirt, and a black wool jacket. After slipping on a pair of leather boots, she exited her bedroom and proceeded to leave the apartment.
As she opened the front door a crack and peered outside, she hoped that she wouldn’t wake anyone up, especially her parents. After all, since she had returned from Munich, she had been kept under their constant surveillance. Even though their memories had been wiped of the attacks by the Bewitched and the magic use that had been caught on camera when Melissa and her rebel group infiltrated the ICW stadium and took Mandy, Rebekah knew that they still sensed that something was wrong. After all, Rebekah’s personality had kept changing the more she was exposed to the magic world.
In the long run, they had become overprotective of her for a reason that they don’t even know is good enough. “It’s just a hunch,” her mother had told her the day that she returned to them. Ever since then, the only two places that she was permitted to go were home and school.
Which meant that she only truly saw Mandy at school, a place that was so public that neither of them were able to discuss anything supernatural. This was especially true when Paige had officially moved to Marywood sometime last week and started to attend their school.
Constantly, she would hang around them.
Which was why Rebekah planned on heading over to Mandy’s early that morning and be back by the time her parents woke up. Since the school was hosting a mandatory Staff Development Day, she had the day off, which meant that her parents would be up later than usual.
Quietly, she slipped out of the apartment and made her way down the stairs before reaching the parking lot. Then, she broke out into a run as she turned left at the exit of the apartment complex and headed towards the wealthy part of Marywood.
Letting the streetlights illuminate her pathway, she continued to move towards that part of town, an area that was thought of as being the safest area of Marywood but made Rebekah shiver nonetheless. The wealthy part of Marywood was also where the members of Eternal Division lived, and since Rebekah had recently landed their leader, Jamie Simpson, in juvie, she was sure that they were all furious with her. At school, she became an even bigger target for them than Mandy or Holly ever were.
Yet, she also deemed that the fact that she had dated Jeffery Speirs a little at the ICW facility, someone whom Teri was attracted to, contributed to the constant harassment.
Within moments, she found herself standing just outside of the wealthy part of Marywood. With no further hesitation, she searched for Mandy’s house, hoping that Mandy would be awake enough to answer her door.
She knocked once and then twice before knocking a third time. At the third knock, she finally heard the door unlock before being pulled open. Standing in the doorway was Mandy, who was a disheveled mess.
“Rebekah,” Mandy breathed suddenly, which was mostly due to shock. “I thought that you were someone else.”
“Who would I have been?” questioned Rebekah as she pushed past Mandy and found herself in the foyer of Mandy’s mansion.
Mandy shrugged. “Someone immortal, I guess,” she said. “That’s why I didn’t answer it right away.”
“I thought that you were sleeping.”
Mandy shook her head. “My sisters have been keeping me up all night,” she explained.
“Sisters?” questioned Rebekah. Last time I checked, Mandy was an only child.
“Twins,” Mandy elaborated, but when Rebekah still wore her confused expression, she came to the realization that Rebekah knew nothing about these sisters of hers. “Didn’t I tell you?”
Rebekah shook her head. “Tell me what?”
“I thought that I told you and Holly in November, but I guess it had slipped my mind.” Mandy paused. “My mother was expecting twins in the beginning of December while we were at the ICW, and, well, she had them.”
“I see,” Rebekah commented. “And I suppose that they will be Foreseers, too?”
Mandy shrugged. “Possibly.”
“And where are your parents?”
“They packed up and left for a vacation the day after I had returned, telling me to look after the house,” Mandy explained.
To Rebekah, something about that seemed a little off, much like how her parents’ new overprotective practices were unusual as well. “Why would your parents leave like that? Why would they leave so abruptly?”
“It wasn’t abrupt!” Mandy argued. “I mean, I didn’t have knowledge about this vacation beforehand, but I’m sure that it had been thoroughly planned out ahead of time!”
“Mandy,” Rebekah said calmly, “why would they leave you here alone with your sisters, who are barely two months old?”
“I don’t know, okay?” Mandy turned her back on Rebekah. “Perhaps they just need some time alone.”
“Did they mention where they were going?”
Mandy shook her head. “It’s no big deal. It’s probably business. They’ve been known to make those kinds of trips every once in a while.”
To Rebekah, this situation still remained off, but she chose to let it slide. “What are their names?”
“I don’t know yet,” Mandy said. “My parents said that I can name them.”
Rebekah scoffed at that remark. They’re not coming back, she realized, but one look at Mandy told her that Mandy remained hopeful about their return. They know something, and they’re running away from it.
“I don’t know what to name them, though. Delilah sounds promising, but so does Hannah and Nicky and—”
“You seem to have no problem coming up with names for your characters,” Rebekah commented. “Name them after your characters.”
“Says the person who questioned heavily why my parents took a vacation,” Mandy noted as she led Rebekah through the house and into the nursery, where the two twins were in separate cribs that were next to each other. Then, she whispered, “And then, there’s the thought of middle names…”
Rebekah glanced at each infant, instantly noticing the appearance of curly, brown hair that rested at the tops of their heads. They look identical.
Mandy then pointed to the infant that was to the left of Rebekah. “This one will be Julia Fern Palmer, named after the main character of Bleeding Misery,” she declared before pointing to the one on the right, “and this one will be Serena Ross Palmer, named after the main character of my ICW short story.”
Rebekah still has yet to read all of Bleeding Misery, but she remembered the name Serena Ross from Mandy’s story that Jason had read aloud during the writing portion of the ICW. She remembered that that story had earned ten points overall.
“Shit,” Mandy suddenly swore, turning towards Rebekah. “Now, it’s a matter of getting them birth certificates, and I don’t know how to go about doing that!”
Rebekah raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Your parents never did that?”
“They told me before they left that they didn’t go to a hospital in order to give birth but rather had the twins in this house,” Mandy explained. “Considering the fact that the twins remained nameless until today, I doubt that they even bothered to get the proper documentation.”
“You know, I’ve never heard of an undocumented American with documented parents before,” said Rebekah as she fought the urge to laugh more out of pity than anything else. Shaking her head, she thought of Holly and Andre, who would be supposedly returning to Marywood today, and that was when it hit her. “I’m sure that Holly or Andre could manipulate the system and get their names documented easily.”
“Are you sure?” questioned Mandy with hope in her eyes.
Rebekah nodded. “I guarantee it.”
Soon afterwards, they left the nursery and crossed into the foyer and living room once again. Rebekah still found herself questioning Mandy’s situation and whether or not it would be a good idea to put her and her siblings into foster care once her siblings became documented. Instantly, she thought against such an idea, knowing that if that happened, there was a chance that she would never see Mandy again.
“So, why’d you really come here?” Mandy inquired after a while.
“Huh?” Rebekah was caught off-guard by that question. “What do you mean?”
“I know that you did not come here at four in the morning to talk about my situation with my parents and siblings,” Mandy elaborated. “Something else is on your mind.”
“Oh.” Suddenly, Rebekah remembered the real reason why she chose to venture to Mandy’s house at four in the morning. “I’ve been having variations of the same nightmare about Melissa Young ever since the plane ride from Munich.”
“Have you, now?” said Mandy. “Are they to the same extent as your Roseway-induced nightmares?”
Rebekah shook her head. “They’re more similar to each other than the ones about Roseway. I fear that they’re trying to tell me something.”
“Really? I haven’t experienced such dreams,” Mandy noted. “I don’t think they mean anything, Rebekah. Otherwise, I’d be having them, too.”
“But I can’t just ignore them,” Rebekah said. “Even if they aren’t foreseeing the future like yours, what if they are trying to tell me something?”
“I doubt it.” Mandy shook her head. “Your dreams haven’t shown you anything yet that was a part of reality, have they?”
Rebekah shook her head, instantly dropping the subject. Still, in her mind, she remained doubtful. She knew that her dreams could mean something more than just a way to pass the time by. After all, the dreams that she had while in Roseway had meant something deeper. Perhaps these dreams are being given to me somehow.
“Do your parents know that you’re here?” questioned Mandy.
Rebekah shook her head. “Why? What time is it?”
“It’s close to five.”
“I’ll get going, then,” said Rebekah as she made her way towards the front door.
Rebekah’s hand barely brushed against the doorknob before Mandy uttered that simple word. Spinning around, she said, “What?”
Mandy took a step forward, her hands by her side. “I’ve been experiencing dreams, too.”
Rebekah raised a skeptical eyebrow. “You told me that you weren’t experiencing any dreams.”
“I said that I wasn’t experiencing such dreams,” Mandy corrected. “They’re not about Melissa Young. I have a feeling that they’re not about the future. I’ve been having them since the time that I had been taken by Melissa’s rebel group.”
Mandy shrugged. “They’re about a witch named Hermione Rose and a Foreseer named Irina Sanchez. I mean, they obviously are about the past, but…why would I be having them?”
Both of those names were unfamiliar to Rebekah—but that didn’t mean that they would be unfamiliar to the two witches that they knew. “Holly and Andre are due to return today,” she noted. “Ask them.” Then, she left through the front door and headed towards the apartment complex.
The funeral was nothing special, and Holly found that she was incredibly bored. Nothing really excited her in Ivanestible, not even the opportunity to see the country and her cousin’s new apartment. For two weeks, she was either unpacking what Andre had brought over from Hermione’s old apartment at the castle—which Andre had suggested that they do manually for a reason that was unknown to Holly—or she was seeing the area that surrounded the castle. And that included the small village that was named Rhineshardt that rested about thirty miles from the castle’s entrance in the western half of the country.
Holly had no ties with that village. The village that Cleo resided in was also miles away—about a five-hour walk if magic was not used. Andre, however, did have a tie to that village, since she used to live there with her mother, and Holly remembered visiting the village as a child, the last time being when she was seven. But she still didn’t feel a huge connection with the village.
“Nothing’s changed,” Andre had noted when they had gone to the village for the first time a little less than two weeks ago. “I expected that it would have changed.”
Holly didn’t respond as she looked around the marketplace of the village. Afterwards, she remembered being taken to the same neighborhood that Andre had grown up on, staring at the house that she herself had not seen in years.
Upon seeing it, Andre said nothing at first.
“Why did you want to come here?” questioned Holly. “If I were you, I would do everything in my power to forget what had happened that night.”
“I can’t just forget, Holly. I find myself constantly thinking about that night when I’m alone and how it could have been prevented,” Andre told her cousin. “It was declared that the cause of my mother’s death was unfathomable, but over the years, I’ve come to realize that it might have been something that she drank that night.”
Suddenly, Holly’s curiosity had perked up. “What do you mean? What did she have?”
“I remember her vaguely buying a bottle of black tequila from an unknown merchant,” Andre replied. “Tequila isn’t black by nature, meaning that something had to have been put into it in order to make it black. When I had researched that night, other unfathomable deaths were caused as well in this same village.”
“Okay. So, your mother was probably poisoned somehow,” concluded Holly.
Andre nodded. “I think that she had been poisoned.”
Suddenly, a burning question made its way into Holly’s mind—one that she was hesitant to ask. “Umm…do you think it’s possible that…Cody could have poisoned her?” After she had asked that question, she waited for Andre to lash out. Surprisingly, Andre did no such thing.
She shook her head. “As much as it wouldn’t surprise me that he would do so, I don’t think that he poisoned her,” she explained. “To send a merchant to our village would hint at the fact that he would have had to make a temporarily alliance with a mortal magic user, something that he wouldn’t have done at the time. Not to mention the fact that he would have had to know exactly where my mother had taken me, and I doubt that she would have revealed that to him. Also, my mother wasn’t the only one in the village who had died like that. He only had a vendetta against my mother and I—meaning that she would have been the only one that had died. As much as…Cody…despises the magic users, he wouldn’t go through all that trouble to kill those that he had no attachments to.”
“Then, who would do so?”
Andre shrugged. “That merchant, obviously. Whatever faction she belonged to.”
At that moment, the conversation had died, and the two of them had left the village.
Back at the funeral, Holly found herself staring into the open casket of Olivia O’Connor as the memory faded around her. Even though she didn’t have a relationship with Olivia, she felt a little sad that someone from her old group had died in one of the most horrible ways possible. Since Holly had recently became a nomad and Andre left that group for the Royal Guard, the only three people who were alive and remained in the Solar Clan were Arizona and her two older brothers. Holly’s family was no longer a part of it, and neither was Olivia’s.
Andre went to stand by her. “She’s in a better place,” she commented.
“In a better place?” Holly reiterated. “Andre, she’s dead! She’s unable to be brought back! What place are you talking about?”
“Metaphorically speaking. I like to think that death is not an end but a beginning. It is a natural process, free from the insanity that comes with immortality,” Andre elaborated. “I envy those that have experienced it and passed through into the spirit dimension.”
“Like Ava?” Holly inquired. “But she’s still in our dimension.”
Andre gave a small smile. “That question proves that there’s still so much that I have to teach you.”
“What do you mean?”
Andre sighed. “There is, how you say, a parallel dimension where most spirits have the option of moving freely between this dimension and that one. Most choose to remain in that perfect dimension when they die, but there are others, like Ava, who don’t.”
“Why didn’t Ava move there?”
“Until last October, the spirits of Roseway were trapped in that suburb by Henri Anderson,” Andre explained, her smile fading. “Even still, I think that Ava and her mother feel like they have more ties here than in the other dimension.”
“Other spirits don’t feel that way?”
Andre shook her head. “Most want to move on.”
“It’s strange why they would want to leave everything behind them,” Holly said as she moved from Olivia’s open casket to the open caskets of the five human ICW participants.
“All human memory of the existence of these five humans has been wiped,” said Andre when she saw the dead clique participants. “That’s what Jason told us.”
Holly nodded. “I know. At least we can still honor them in a way, even though none of us really knew them,” she commented before stumbling upon the three mortal magic users who had died fighting in the Massacre. “And these ones as well will be honored.”
Andre steered Holly away from the open caskets and towards an empty table. Together, they sat there as the funeral festivities droned on.
“Jason also mentioned to me that he’s temporarily giving us your parent’s old trailer until I turn eighteen, and then, he’s going to sell it,” Andre said after a while. “I want to know how you would feel about that.”
Holly shrugged. “I wouldn’t care either way. I mean, I would still get to go to Marywood freely.”
“Yeah, but,” Andre paused briefly before continuing, “that means that you wouldn’t be attending that human school anymore. I would be pulling you out of it.”
Holly nearly choked. “Are you serious? What about Rebekah and Mandy?”
“They’ll survive just fine in that school by themselves,” Andre said. “It’s not like we’re going to completely abandon them, but you do realize that once we return to Marywood, I’m pulling you out of that school right away.”
Holly gasped slightly. “Why so soon?”
“You’ve missed about three months of school. Rather than having your mind focused on human studies as you make up all that missed work, I’d rather have you focused on your magical studies,” Andre explained. “In the long run, Holly, the work that you had put into the human schooling system will do nothing for you.”
Holly sighed, defeated. “Yeah, I understand your thinking. But Rebekah and Mandy—”
“Will still be able to see you,” Andre concluded. “It’s not like I’m telling you that we’re leaving Marywood permanently and never returning.”
“I know,” said Holly. “I understand.”
By the time the funeral was over, the sun was high in the sky, indicating that it was about three in the afternoon. Briefly, Andre and Holly returned to Andre’s apartment.
“I think that we should head back to Marywood now,” Andre commented. “I mean, since it’s still morning there, and that will give me a chance to take you out of that school today.”
“Right.” Holly took a deep breath. “Where to?”
“The trailer,” answered Andre. “Where else?”
Holly took another deep breath as she watched her cousin disappear through the familiar void that served as their gateway to other places. Then, she attempted to do the same, envisioning the living room area of her trailer as the sparks clouded her vision. Then, she found herself in absolute darkness for a few seconds that seemed like minutes before emerging into the place that she had envisioned.
Andre was already there, watching her with a curious expression.
“Okay.” Holly moved towards her cousin. “Now what?”
“We go to that school,” Andre replied.
“But don’t we need some sort of appointment?” Holly inquired. “I mean, you can’t expect us to just waltz in there and demand that—”
“We can with magic,” Andre said as she brushed past Holly. “Now, since you obviously know this town better than I do, please escort me to your school.”
Holly sighed in defeat. “Without teleportation?”
Andre nodded in agreement. “Without teleportation.”
“It’s kind of far,” commented Holly as she pushed open the door to the trailer and took a step outside with Andre trailing behind her. Not far from her location, she heard laughing that could only belong to the neighborhood kids. A sound that she hadn’t heard much of since before the issue of Roseway was resolved. As she turned towards her left, she noticed the group, who were all hunched over a fire. Just seeing that fire reminded Holly that it was rather chilly outside, even more so than what Marywood typically was during the wintertime.
Standing in the center of the group was Kyle, who met her gaze briefly before smiling.
“Holly!” he called as he moved towards her with the rest of the group watching his every move. “When did you return? I didn’t see you come back.”
“Just now,” Holly answered confidently as her body stiffened.
“Would you care to join us?” Kyle questioned.
Holly gave one nervous look at Andre before her eyes settled on Kyle again. “I’d love to, but—”
“But what?” questioned Kyle, but Holly didn’t need to answer him. In that instant, he noticed Andre—and his eyes began to narrow. “You have company.”
Holly nodded a little too quickly. “Yes. Yes, I do.”
“I see.” Kyle continued to scrutinize Andre distrustfully. “And why is she here?”
Holly glanced at Andre again, noticing that she was staring at Kyle as if she was going to put him under a spell. “Don’t,” she commanded, watching Andre’s concentration deteriorate. Then, she turned towards Kyle again and said, “She’s my new guardian.” Even though Holly knew that that wasn’t true yet, she knew that that was the only way to get Kyle to fully accept Andre.
“Your cousin is your new guardian?” Kyle asked skeptically.
“She’s old enough to be one!” Holly protested.
“Right,” said Kyle. “And what happened to your parents?”
Holly opened her mouth to speak but instantly closed it when she realized that the words that were being said were not hers. They were her cousin’s.
“Her parents have been terribly sick for the last couple of months, and it was only last week that they had finally passed away.” The lie sounded smooth as it rolled off Andre’s tongue to the point where Holly felt a little startled by it. “She’s now in my care, and I suggest that you stop your questioning.”
Holly watched Kyle’s distrustful countenance turn into one of pure rage—the opposite of what she expected would happen.
“You have no authority to tell me what I can and can’t do!” Kyle spat. “Especially whose name doesn’t fit the person’s gender!”
Silently, Holly gasped, expecting that Andre would lash out like she did when anyone brought up her name. However, she did no such thing and instead spoke in an icy voice that made Holly shiver.
“If you wish to see Holly again, you will drop the subject,” she said, which made Kyle’s red face turn white as his eyes went wide.
At first, Holly suspected that Andre was using some sort of obedience spell on Kyle, but after noticing that true fear was what made him silent, she instantly relaxed. As much as Kyle annoyed her at times, she didn’t want him to be put under a spell.
Kyle shifted his gaze from Andre to the ground. “Holly,” he whispered before speaking louder, “I’m sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing to me?” Holly wore a confused expression as Andre grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Kyle. When Kyle was no longer in hearing distance, Holly added, “Andre, he should be apologizing to you!”
“Forget about him,” was Andre’s response.
Once they were out of the trailer park, Andre stopped suddenly. “I don’t like the idea of you two seeing each other.”
“What?” Holly was flabbergasted. “Andre, we’re not dating!”
“But he likes you that way. It is evident to me that he likes you that way.”
“I know,” said Holly. “He kissed me before. That happened over a year ago.”
“Did he, now?” Andre sounded amused as they continued their journey towards the school. “And?”
“And nothing. I told him that I don’t like him that way,” Holly said.
“Good,” commented Andre, “because I forbid you to go out with someone like that.”
“You’re not even my legal guardian yet, and you’re already acting like you are,” said Holly, but even she couldn’t conceal the smile that crossed over her lips. “First, you decide to take me out of the human school system permanently, and then, you forbid me from seeing Kyle. What’s next?”
Andre did her best to suppress a smile. “Where are we heading?”
“Over here,” said Holly. For the rest of the walk, the two cousins were silent. Once the school came into view, Holly was glad that they had finally made it but felt confused when she saw that most of the lights were off.
“Is that the school?” Andre wondered.
Holly nodded. “I don’t know why some of the lights are off, though,” she said. “Give me your phone.”
Andre glanced confusingly at Holly before fishing her phone out of her pocket. “What are you doing?”
Holly didn’t answer Andre as she took the phone and searched for either Rebekah’s or Mandy’s contact information. Rebekah’s came up first, and she instantly sent a text: Why are some of the school lights off? Did something happen?
Surprisingly, the response came rather quickly: No. It’s Staff Development Day. No school. Holly felt herself relax as she showed Andre the text.
“Okay,” Andre said. “I guess I’m going to have to talk to your principal tomorrow, then.”
“I guess,” said Holly before another text rang.
Is this Holly or Andre?
Both, Holly replied.
There was a slight pause.
Does this mean that you guys are back?
Yes, texted Holly. I need to see you. Can you and Mandy meet us somewhere?
I can’t, came Rebekah’s response. I know that you guys and Jason did your best to wipe everyone’s memory of what happened at the ICW, but for some reason, my parents suspect that something happened. Therefore, they won’t let me go anywhere that isn’t home or school. I had to sneak out at four in the morning today just to briefly see Mandy.
“Shit,” Holly swore underneath her breath as she showed Andre the text.
Andre read the text briefly before saying, “Tell her that we’re heading over there.”
“Okay,” Holly said before typing out her response. Andre and I are coming over there. There is no way that your parents can say no to that.
Okay, but keep in mind that my brothers are here as well, and we…kind of…share a room now. Then, another message appeared: I’m in room 106.
They’ll just have to leave temporarily, Holly texted back before saying, “Okay, Rebekah now lives in an apartment complex that isn’t far from here.”
“Okay,” Andre said. “Take me to it.”
Do you even remember how stubborn my brothers can be? texted Rebekah.
Lol, Holly replied. On our way. Then, she handed the phone back to Andre.
In about fifteen minutes, Holly and Andre came across the apartment complex. After finding the correct room number, Holly knocked on the door with Andre standing behind her.
The door then was opened, and Holly caught sight of Rebekah’s mother. “Holly,” Katie greeted. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“Hello, Mrs. Jensen,” Holly said before motioning towards Andre. “This is my cousin, Andre. We’re here for Rebekah.”
“Of course; come in,” Katie said before giving a curt nod to Andre as she outstretched her right hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, too.” Andre eyed the hand for a second before shaking it. Then, she followed Holly into the apartment.
And there was Rebekah, who stood just outside what Holly presumed was her bedroom. “Hey,” she greeted before wrapping Holly into a hug, who hugged her back briefly before breaking the embrace. Then, Rebekah did the same to Andre, who surprisingly hugged her back. “Come,” she said as she beckoned for Holly and Andre to follow her into the bedroom.
The first thing that Holly noticed was that Rebekah’s two brothers were not there.
“I somehow managed to get them to leave for a little while,” Rebekah said as if she read Holly’s mind. “Is Mandy with you?”
“No,” Holly said as she shut the bedroom door closed. “I was planning on telling her to come here after we found our way.”
“I’ll do it,” Rebekah said as she whipped out her phone and sent a quick text. “After all, she’s currently home alone with her new twin sisters.”
“Twin sisters?” questioned Holly, who was intrigued.
Rebekah nodded. “Apparently, her mother had twins while we were at the ICW—and they’re undocumented. She didn’t have them at the hospital, nor did she name them. She said that Mandy could name them.”
This confused Holly, but she didn’t respond.
“I’m assuming that Mandy’s parents are currently not in town?” Andre guessed. “That they abandoned her?”
Rebekah looked questioningly at Andre. “How do you know that?”
“No parent would say or do that unless they were planning on leaving their children permanently,” Andre said. “In fact, I haven’t heard of any parent who would just leave their children alone in an empty house, but it doesn’t surprise me that they did so.”
“Well, don’t mention that to Mandy,” Rebekah commented. “She’ll deny it and get all defensive. Now, I was wondering if—”
As soon as she said that, the door to the bedroom opened, and Mandy entered the room. After closing the door, she went over to Holly and gave her a hug. “How are you?” she cooed.
“I’m fine,” Holly said before the hug was broken.
Mandy then quickly took a seat by Rebekah and asked, “What were you guys talking about?”
“I was just about to ask them if they would be willing to use magic so that your sisters can become documented,” Rebekah explained before directing her next statement at the two witches. “Will you do so?”
Before Holly could respond, Andre spoke—and she was shocked by Andre’s answer.
“No. It’s better if they remain undocumented,” said Andre, which earned her shocked expressions from the other three who were in the room. “If they become documented, there is a chance that the immortals would find out about them, and I don’t want them to know about a couple of infants who could turn out to be possible Foreseers.”
“But being undocumented is illegal,” protested Mandy.
“They’re infants. No one will know that they’re undocumented,” said Andre. “In the long run, this is better for them…and for you. You don’t want the immortals to start hunting you down.”
“But they already know about me, and they haven’t started to hunt me down yet,” said Mandy.
Andre sighed. “If they found out about your twin sisters, that would mean that they would know about two more possible Foreseers, making a total of three. Foreseers are already rare, and if they knew that there could be three living under the same roof, they would start to hunt you down.”
“Oh.” Mandy was instantly saddened by that fact. “I didn’t realize that. I won’t press the matter further, then.” She paused as she switched topics. “I also have another question.”
No one said anything as they waited for her to continue.
“What does it mean if a Foreseer is having a dream—or vision—about the past?” questioned Mandy.
She was met with more silence.
“What have you been seeing?” Andre inquired after a while.
“They’re all different, but they’re about this witch named Hermione Rose and this Foreseer named Irina Sanchez,” Mandy explained. “I don’t recognize those names.”
I do, thought Holly as she watched Andre become melancholy. Or at least one of them.
“That’s definitely from the past,” Andre said before she began to explain. “Hermione Rose was best friends with my mother and had gained custody of me after I had run away from my father’s farmhouse. She used to tell me stories about her Foreseer friend, Irina Sanchez, who had given birth to a child and years later was brutally murdered by a group of immortal nomads. To this day, no one knows what happened to that child.” She paused slightly. “Hermione Rose is also dead. I watched Henri kill her when he had attacked the Ivanestible castle. She had sacrificed herself for me.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know that,” said Mandy apologetically.
“It’s fine. You were just being curious,” said Andre. “And I can’t blame you for being curious.”
“Okay,” Mandy said before falling silent.
Holly and Andre didn’t stay there long after that, and once they had finished catching up with each other, Holly and Andre left for the trailer park.
By the time the two of them returned to the trailer, the sun had already begun to set.