Dustfinger kicked open the door, and it swung out slowly, creaking as it did. He stood up and pulled Meggie up beside him, holding her close and shoving her head into his side, not sure what to expect and not wanting to hurt the girl anymore.
And then he stopped, as he stared in complete wonder.
"What...did you do?"
"Hello Dustfinger." Meggie's head shot up so suddenly that it cracked and Dustfinger winced, but Meggie didn't seem to notice.
"Mum?" she hardly dared to believe it, legs becoming wobbly. Dustfinger noticed the change and shifted his arm around the girl, holding her more than she was holding herself.
"Yes." Resa said, eyes shining with happiness.
"You better not be controlling her." Mo laughed, tears rolling down his face as he held onto Resa. Meggie went flying out of Dustfinger's arm, and she tackled her parents so hard they stumbled backwards, falling to the ground.
Dustfinger watched, the smile glued to his lip and his heart singing in happiness.
"Ah what..." Dustfinger looked down as he saw a confused Farid on the ground. Laughing, he pulled the younger man to his feet, and Farid looked in aware at the scene in front of him.
"Wow." He said.
Wow indeed. To be a part of something like this...Dustfinger could only imagine it happening throughout all of Inkheart, and he had never felt as happy as he did now, it seemed to sweep out of him, exploding onto anyone who was ten miles near him.
Until he heard his daughter's devastated cry. Such a cry like that did belong in this scene, and everyone froze as Brianna came almost tumbling down. Farid raced up, catching the sobbing girl.
"Mum is gone!" Dustfinger blinked, and his mouth fell slightly open as he looked away, his gaze being drawn to Meggie's who was staring back at him to see his reaction.
"She's in a better place. We will get through, as a family." Dustfinger was still looking at Meggie, and she nodded, smiling again before he turned to his daughter and Farid.
"We will get through." He said it again, firmer. Brianna held her father's arm, and Dustfinger did better than that-he wrapped his arms around her, Farid still holding onto her hand. Meggie's heart swelled at the sight before Mo started tickling her, and she was soon screeching with laughter.
A week had passed, and everyone had continued to pick up their lives, not questioning what had happened because of the strange world they lived in, just satisfied to get what was taken back.
Mo and Meggie were spending some time together, as Dustfinger was with his daughter.
"What I don't get is how you managed to read the end without actually having written an end."
"I think I can explain that." The familiar voice of Fenoglio said. Meggie rose and jumped at the old man, wrapping her arms around him.
"Yes I am, and excellent job to the both of you." He sat down beside them, while they waited expectantly for his theory.
"You see Mo you've always been like me. It's in your blood. Meggie, it's in your blood too but only half there because of your age, but you're maturing. You can only do it when it's been finalized by paper." Meggie nodded, accepting the answer, as it made sense.
"I don't think I want Meggie to mature in it." Meggie looked at up at the seriousness of her father's tone.
"It's inevitable Mo." Meggie looked down, not sure how she should feel about it.
"Well since we know I'm sure we can control it." Fenoglio looked surprised-he had obviously never thought about it.
He responded with an answer that barely satisfied them.
"We'll just have to wait and see."
That night at dinner, in the midst of joy, Mo stood up. Each eye was pulled to him, and he cleared his throat, while everyone else held their breath.
"I want to return back to my world." He looked at Resa who stared back at him. Meggie's eyes crossed to Dustfinger who was looking between her and her his daughter, while she looked at Farid who in return looked at Mo thoughtfully.
"Well?" Mo inquired after a minute of silence and eye talking.
"If you want to stay here I will, but I want us all to be together."
"That can be agreed on." Meggie said. It didn't matter where they were, as long as they were together-because that was where home was, not the place but the people. Hell to her was being apart from them, and the thought made her grip her mother's arm.
"I think that would be a good idea." Resa said softly, and Meggie nodded, agreeing to it for she too had missed the normality.
"I'm staying here." Fenoglio said, and Mo and Meggie rolled their eyes in unison. Make a creation, die in creation.
Their eyes were focused on the three others who hadn't spoken.
"I don't belong in your world." Farid said gently and then looked at Brianna who nodded.
"I want to stay here." She looked at her father, who slammed his fists on the table. Meggie jumped, eyes filling with tears.
"I'm going with Meggie. Please come with us."
Brianna smiled through thick tears.
"I'm not doing this to hurt you but here is my home and now it's restored again I can finally raise my child. Please understand."
"I do but it doesn't mean I have to like it." Dustfinger hissed.
"When are we leaving?" Meggie turned to her father, who looked guilty to be the bearer of sad news.
"I was hoping tomorrow."
They looked at Dustfinger.
"I think that's long enough to say goodbye to Inkheart and my daughter." He whispered very softly, and Mo nodded, sitting down slowly.
The joy was gone now, replaced by a heavy fog of emotions.
Meggie wearily placed her head on Dustfinger's head, as she watched the sun rise slowly, as if it too were tired. Dustfinger kissed the top of her head lovingly, and Meggie closed her eyes at the gentle touch.
"We can finally not fear the night. For look what it brings after." Dustfinger whispered.
"Are you finished saying goodbye to Brianna?"
"Yes. Farid too. Thank you for helping me with them."
Meggie just smiled in response and Dustfinger continued,
"Besides I want to spend this moment with my fiancé." Meggie blushed and snuggled her head in Dustfinger's chest, which rumbled with rich laughter.
"Fiancé," he beamed proudly, and Meggie laughed out loud.
"I knew Orpheus's story wouldn't end the way he planned."
"How?" Dustfinger was curious.
"Because most stories like that always have a happy ending. They would have to, to satisfy the reader."
"Very true my wise fiancé."
Meggie sighed but could not argue, she loved hearing it just as much as Dustfinger loved boasting about it.
Mo and Resa, followed by a Farid and Brianna, who was then trailed by a yawning and grumbling Fenoglio, came piling out, seating around them.
Together they watched the sun rise, the promise of a new day, a better day.
And all too soon it was time for them to go.
"We'll pop in and out." Mo joked after they had all said their goodbyes.
"You better." Farid had joked back. Meggie had her back pressed against her parents, more out of comfort, and had Dustfinger's hand gripped.
Dustfinger had given her an odd look, which Meggie had replied,
"It helps." He nodded in understanding and they both closed their eyes as Mo's beautiful voice brought the words to take them home, again.
And as they were pulled away in a flashing white light, Meggie opened her eyes to see Dustfinger grinning back at her. The grin melted the barriers around her heart, lifting it up with the realisation that everything was going to be okay.
That they were now home.
Dustfinger: I am so glad that is over...
Me: Aw no end party?
Dustfinger: We already had it. You weren't invited.
Dustfinger: I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Here's a party hat, Bells.
Me: Thanks Lusty
Dustfinger: I'm in such a good mood I'm going to ignore that.
Dustfinger: That's very party like language.
Me: ...party like language?
Dustfinger: I never said that.
Me: I don't know if I like how this ends. . .
Dustfinger: It's a happy ending, what's not to like?
Me: Is it too mushy?
Dustfinger: Do you really want me to answer that.
Me: No, not really. I want the readers to answer that one, and tell me.
Dustfinger: Wow, very subtle there. Very shabby. I'm sure no one saw that hint at all.
Me: You know, I could do one more chapter where-
Dustfinger: I have no idea what you're going to say but I do know it won't be good so I'm going to be quiet. Enjoy your party.
Me: Aren't you going to stay?
Dustfinger: This is over. So, no.
Me: I'll just see you in my other stories, I guess.
Dustfinger: I forgot about that...
Me: So it's not really goodbye after all.
Dustfinger: I think I need to have a party, this depresses me.
Me: Go get Meggie to kiss it better.
Dustfinger: Maybe I will, jealous?
Dustfinger: Is there going to be a sequel?
Me: Nah probably not.
Dustfinger: I'm feeling great. Bye now.
Me: Yes see you later..
Dustfinger: I don't like the sound of that.
Me: You know me too well.