|The Second Perfect Summer
Author: J. K. Meowling PM
Five years later, the 'updated' Penderwicks family goes to visit Arundel again. What will await them in the garden hedge this summer?Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Romance - Skye P. & Jeffery T. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,246 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 08-25-12 - Published: 05-25-12 - id: 8150512
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: SUMMER!...the biggest excuse for why I should be posting MORE updates and yet end up posting LESS…*sigh* Also, I finally read Point Mouette! :D
…Yeah, that was written in June, after my LAST update! Aagh! School has started, so I'm not even going to get started on that. Thanks for all the encouragement to continue updating! I'm trying my best, guys!
The next morning the Penderwicks sat eating fresh blueberry pancakes cooked up by Rosalind.
"I must say, Rosy, these pancakes are excellent," her father remarked.
"Pancakes fit for princes!"Jane mumbled through a mouthful of syrup.
"So, what are your plans for today, girls?" Iantha asked.
"Hound and I are going to go see Cagney, right Rosalind?" Batty asked. Hound barked in agreement.
"Sure, honey, we can go see Cagney and the rabbits," Rosalind agreed.
"I'm going to see if I can spend the day in Jeffrey's mother's gardens as research for my new book," Jane continued.
"Where is Jeffrey? He said he's be here by now," Skye muttered, getting up and peering out the front window. She pulled open the blue curtains and saw a familiar sandy brown head bobbing in between the trees.
"Jane! Jeffrey's here!" she shrieked. "Let's—"
"At least invite him in for pancakes before you go barging off," Rosalind said, standing up and going over to the stove.
Jeffrey didn't even get a chance to knock on the door. Skye had already yanked it open with vigor. "Jeffrey! Hello!"
"Hi, Skye!" Jeffery said. He paused. "What's that smell?"
"Fresh blueberry pancakes," Rosalind intoned. "You want some?"
"I already had breakfast…but…sure, a few can't hurt, "Jeffery replied.
"Nope! No time for that!" shouted Jane, who lost her hospitality at the thought of writing her book, "WAIT FOR ME!" she shrieked to Skye as she raced upstairs to get her notebook and pencil. By the time she returned, though, Jeffery was sitting with the rest of the family eating pancakes and having a discussion with Skye about quarks.
"There you are, Jane! Come on!" Skye stood up and raced to the door, quickly followed by Jeffery who called a thank you to Rosalind as Jane tailed behind him.
Mr. Penderwick stood up to close the door behind the shrieking teenagers. "Well, I'm sure they'll be having fun today," he sighed, smiling.
Once they were outside, they had an impromptu race to the statue of the man holding the thunderbolt. No one won, because when they got the hedge tunnel all three of the children tried to cram into it at once, which ended with all of them tangled together, laughing. If he wanted to have fun, these were the best people to do it with, Jeffery thought.
"That was awesome," Skye remarked, giggling. "It's been a while since I've had a good race with anyone other than Pearson! He runs like…like a gnome!"
Gnomes! "Jeffery, what do you think is the most magical place in your mother's garden? I'm working on a new edition of Sabrina Starr and it involves ancient faerie magic. I was hoping I could spend a few hours in your mother's garden to get some inspiration?" Jane said, scarcely taking a breath.
"I'm not sure. The fountain would be my first thought, but maybe by some of the more interesting plants, like the tiger lilies and Japanese knotweed?" Jeffery suggested. "Here, I'll show you."
They climbed through the hedge, around the fountain and off through a side gate. There was a tall hedge around it, and inside there were squares of tiger lilies and Japanese knotweed. It all looked very magical indeed. There was even a wooden bench with black brass side fixtures.
"If you want to come over in the evening, I can turn on these little lights," Jeffery gestured to a string of fairy lights strung across the top corners of the hedge.
"Oh, Jeffery, it's perfect!" Jane cried, hugging him. "Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get some writing done…" Jane drifted over to the bench.
"We need to leave her alone now," Skye hissed to Jeffery, pulling his shirtsleeve and heading towards the gate. "See you at lunch, Jane."
Jane didn't reply.
Skye and Jeffery went back to the hedge. They sat facing each other, knees tucked in. The tunnel had gotten bigger and smaller at the same time, Skye noted.
"I have an idea. How about we take a minute and reflect upon how each of us has changed?" Jeffery suggested. Skye shrugged, and began to look over Jeffery.
Jeffery had already started to notice Skye, but he wanted to buy himself some time to rearrange his thoughts and give an excuse, to both Skye and himself, for staring.
Jeffery had definitely gotten taller, Skye noted. His hair had gotten lighter—or was it darker? There were still freckles on his slightly-less-rounded face. I'll have to ask him what training he's done, Skye added, noting his more muscular arms and legs.
Skye's hair had gotten a lot longer since he had last seen her. It was silkier and a little bit darker. Her blue eyes were as piercing as ever, and speaking of piercing, so were her ears. She still wore dark colours. She was still as agile and limber as ever. But something else changed in Skye, Jeffery pondered. Maybe she had gotten more mature in the past five years.
"Time's up, perv. You've stared long enough," Skye cracked, smiling. Jeffery missed that smile.
"Have you been doing any kind of training?" Skye asked.
"I run, and I've lifted a few weights," Jeffery replied modestly. "What have you been up to?"
"Well, I've been taking AP Classes in school—you know, for college credits—and I made it onto the high school soccer team. With Jane, of course. How about you, how are your Conservatory classes going?"
"They're fantastic. I've been taking more every year, and I've learned the viola as well. I've been to a bunch of shows with school and…oh yeah! I got a new iguana! His name is Jeremy! Want to come meet him?" Jeffery replied, his eyes bright.
"Um…sure," Skye said, but before she could think she was whisked up and out of the tunnel, sprinting towards Jeffery's house. Instead of walking through the house, they climbed up the rope ladder.
Jeffery's room had changed as well. Skye noticed the viola case and music stand next to the upright, as well as lots of posters from shows and of famous soccer players. She was comforted by the fact that she had some of the same ones. Immediately, she also noticed the large iguana tank that dominated the corner of the room.
"Here we are," Jeffery said, lifting the lid and picking up the large lizard. "Want to hold him?"
"I guess so," Skye said. Jeffery carefully laid the iguana into her arms. It was heavy for a lizard—iguana—Skye thought, and warm. "Neat." She stroked the side of its head with her thumb, and it closed its eyes contently.
Eventually she returned Jeremy to his cage. Skye stood with Jeffery in his room, feeling awkward. Here was one of her best friends in the world, she hadn't seen him for five years, and she had nothing to say! Skye casually checked her watch and remarked, "We'd better go get Jane. It's almost time for lunch."
Jeffery nodded, and on their way out the window and across the garden, he reveled in the fact that standing alone with Skye was the best moment he'd had all day.