Everyone, in life real or fictional, wants to have a place to call their own. It’s one of the concepts I keep returning to in the novel, because it’s truly a focus for my kids. They have their childhood homes; they have their rooms at the school; they have their space where they share dreams. It’s something I feel right–had for a few years now–because I sometimes feel like I have no real place to live, that I have no real home at the moment.
But that’s me: my kids, they’re finally back home to, as Kerry called it, “Salem Home.” Like it or not, since about a week after they arrived at school back in their A Levels, they’ve called good old Cernunnos Tower home, or at least Annie started that and Kerry picked up on it quickly. Everything after that was, “Let’s go home, Sweetie,” and given how they were developing as a couple it was easy to believe they were really sort of setting up a little mini home of their own.
And that’s where they’re at now, Back Home in Cape Ann, kinda beating the rush back to school . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
The Jaunt from Vienna brought Annie and Kerry back to Salem around twelve-twenty, a far different time than their return the year before. They considered getting a quick bite before heading off to their rooms to do their adjustment, but they were informed at the station that the kitchen was in operation until twenty hours to accommodate all but those students returning late that night. Knowing this they headed off to the tower to spent the next three hours in adjustment.
Cernunnos Tower was still nearly empty. The only students who’d returned were those from east and central Asia, Australia, and other parts of Oceania. Though a few students from Europe and the Americas were already back, the majority of the current traffic for the next hour or two was returning from Africa and Europe, and kids from North, Central, and South America would soon follow.
Adjustment was, as always quick and easy. They were given their coded mixtures as soon as they arrived, and upon returning to their rooms they changed into their pajamas—their bags were teleported directly from the station—drank them down, and crawled into bed. As they’d done on the flight over at the start of the school year, both kids slept soundly and dreamless, and when they awoke around sixteen-thirty, they were back on local Salem time.
Neither student changed back into street clothes upon awaking: since there weren’t classes or school events today, the feeling around the school was much like that of an all-day Midnight Madness. Nearly everyone wore some kind of sleeping garment, or at the least, something they were comfortable in which to relax. Annie and Kerry both wore their heaviest sleep ware and robes and kept to the tunnels when moving about The Pentagram. About the only difference in their apparel was Annie wore he Ugg boots to keep her feet warm while Kerry wore a heavy pair of socks with his slippers—again, much like they did during the Midnight Madness when the weather turned cold.
They had taken a table in the Dining Hall and had just placed their orders when Penny and Jairo entered the room with Alex and Kahoku close behind. The covenmates—and Alex’s boyfriend—ask if they could join them for dinner, and the six of them sat around the magically enlarged table chatting away while they enjoyed their light dinners, deserts, and plenty of hot chocolate and apple cider. Outside it was dark and the temperatures were dropping, but in the Dining Hall the lights were low, the environment was cozy, and the conversation between friends great.
Outside the sky was clear and the temperatures were near minus five Celsius, but the Ground Floor Commons of Cernunnos Tower was bright and warm now that the large fireplace was once more operational. It was the perfect place to hang out with returning friends—as they’d were all doing since they’d returned from dinner. Since there wasn’t much in the way of security at the moment—Sabrina was allowing all students access to the commons of all towers so they could mingle—Kahoku sat with the Cernunnos B and C Levels to enjoy their company, but mostly to be with Alex, whom he hadn’t seen since they’d left on Yule Holiday.
At no time did Annie mention that he’d dreamwalked Kerry on Boxing Day: given the way the other two couples commiserated about being unable to see each other for the two weeks they were away, she felt any mention of their dream time together would come across as bragging. She almost asked if they’d written to each other during their time away, but after Penny remarked about being able to make one call right after Christmas, Annie had her answer.
That penultimate paragraph was actually the first I wrote before writing all the other stuff before it. That was how I envisioned the scene starting before jumping into a mini flashback showing the kids arriving back at school, but I kept moving it down until I got to where it is now, then I put the last paragraph in, called it a night, and sat down to watch Fargo.
But here they are, relaxing at school with two other couple that are closely becoming friends–yeah, even brought in Alex’s boyfriend from Laos–sitting in front of the big fireplace in the coven tower, talking and waiting for the night to come to and end. After which . . .
But you won’t know that until tomorrow.