Woah, it's been a while! Sorry! Unlike my Hunger Games fic, I haven't got any pre-written chapters for this anymore. Which means that I can't update every single week like I can with Running.
Yeah, it sucks. Sorry!
The Month of Storing (November) at age 13
What a world we live in.
We had a visitor today. Or, rather, Jonas had a visitor. Which, of course, got Theresa involved, which got Sam involved, which got Dylan involved… And when she found out who the visitor was, Violet got involved, getting me involved. Of course.
We were at the courtyard between the main entrance and the main gate. It isn't exactly enormous, but it's big enough for what we were doing.
Sam was helping me with my sword-fighting. Without lessons with Mandy, I haven't been getting very much practice. The moment he found out about Jonas, about how he would've beat me had Harry not (strangely) come to my rescue, he promised he'd train me up.
"You'll be better than me." He assured me. "And, trust me, that's something!"
He was going easy on me; I'm not stupid. Still, however much it annoyed me at the time, I'm grateful for it now. If he was trying his hardest, I would ache far more than I currently do. Sword-fighting does make you achy the following evening, the next morning, if you're doing it right. But it's so thrilling, so exciting, that I honestly don't care.
When she heard Sam was giving me private lessons, Violet went and begged Theresa for archery lessons, just the two of them. Sophia, Dylan and the others sat in the shade of the willow in the corner of the courtyard. They were bundled up in coats and jumpers. I was working so hard, I barely felt the cold. From the looks on their faces, they felt it all too easily.
As it was your typical autumn morning, the visitor was bundled up to his nose. Sam smirked and lowered Thor, giving me a moment to catch my breath. He turned to face the visitor, who was looking around like a lost puppyblew.
"Can I help you?" He asked in a friendly tone. The figure studied him closely.
"Yes, actually." He held out a gloved hand, which Sam took and shook warmly. "I'm here to visit a 'Mr. Jonas Woods'."
Sam narrowed his eyes. "I'm not sure you want to be doing that, Buddy."
"Oh, I do."
Theresa stopped midway through pulling her bowstring back; apparently she was eavesdropping on the conversation. She pulled the string back all the way, released the arrow. It landed just above Dylan's head, embedded in the bark of the willow tree. He screamed, realised it was just Theresa, and glared at her. She smirked and hurried across the courtyard to stand by Sam, bow in her hand, quiver over her shoulder.
"Who are you and what do you want?" She said, cutting to the chase. The stranger was clearly a little shocked.
"I-I'm just hear to visit-"
He was cut off by a scream. Not a scream of terror, but rather a scream of excitement. Violet dropped her bow onto the floor with a clatter, causing Theresa to grimace, and bounced over.
"Pippin!" Violet gushed. "Ivy! Wow!"
The visitor shuffled his feet awkwardly. "Yeah, well, she's a pretty girl."
Violet scoffed. "I dare you to tell her that."
"I'll pass on that."
"Oi!" Theresa interrupted. "You tell me who you are and what you want. No-one visits Jonas without my okay, you hear? No-one."
"Theresa, calm down." I heard Sam whisper. "Don't rip his head off just yet."
"You're not my boss." She shot back in a voice just as quiet.
"Then who is?"
"Guys!" I pushed between them, studying the visitor, but addressing the two guards on either side of me. "Please don't flirt midway through a conversation!"
Sam turned an interesting shade of red and Theresa slapped me lightly, teasingly, round the back of the head.
"We weren't flirting." She lied. It was totally a lie.
"Well…" The stranger drew out. "I'm…"
"PIPPIN!" Violet shouted before he could finish introducing himself. "He's Pippin Manzana; the guy who's going to marry my cousin!"
"No offence, Vi," Sophia shouted across the courtyard. "But who'd want to marry your cousin?"
"Evidently Pippin." Violet rolled her eyes. "Duh."
"Look," Pippin coughed. "I just want to see the man who tried to attack my wife, give him a piece of my mind."
"Future wife." Violet corrected.
"No." Theresa addressed Pippin's original statement. "If you want to see Jonas, you'll have to get through me." She looks to the kyrii by her side casually. "And Sam."
"Excuse me?" He spluttered. "What? Don't I get a say in this?"
"You're my fighting partner." Theresa pointed out smugly. "It means you've got to stick with me."
"She has a point." Violet agreed. Personally, I think she was just going with Theresa because she admires her so much. "If my brother was in the… No, scrap that; if my sister was in the dungeons, Brynn would make sure Pippin didn't get anywhere near her. Wouldn't you, Brynn?"
"Why would Hazel be in prison?" Luke shouted from beneath the willow, across the courtyard.
"He has a point." Pippin said, in a tone I'm certain was supposed to annoy Violet, mimic her.
"Out of interest," She hissed. "Why Ivy? Why not… Cherry?"
"She gets on my nerves." Pippin explains. "Can you really imagine living with her?"
"Banana's managed all these years."
"Banana hasn't had a choice."
"You… You… Your hair is dumb!"
"You can't even see my hair through my hat!"
"GUYS!" I shouted at the top of my voice. Having captured their attention, I took a deep breath. "There's a time and a place for arguing about… Whatever you're arguing about. And it's neither the time, nor the place, here and now."
"That sounded very posh." Sam beamed, giving me a proud smile.
"Thank you." I smiled.
"Guys, guys, guys," Dylan jogged over to us, sending a brief wave in Pippin's direction before turning to Sam. "I have a proposal."
"I'm listening." Theresa hoisted her quiver a little further onto her shoulder, to keep it from slipping.
Dylan looked over at her. "Why don't you four take Pippin down to the dungeons? He won't be able to… Irritate Jonas, because Theresa will be there, but at the same time he's seeing the guy."
Theresa shoved Dylan out of the way and glared at Pippin. "If you try anything, you hear me? Anything. And I will not hesitate to… Thor."
"I'm sorry," Pippin apologised, confused. "You'll what? Thor is a noun, you see, and you can't do a noun. For example, I can't do a table."
Across the courtyard, I heard Luke choke back a bought of laughter whilst Sophia snickered loudly.
"She means the sword, stupid." Violet said with an eye roll. Sam reached over his shoulder and patted Thor's handle, as if showing Pippin exactly where it was.
"I'll keep that in mind."
Theresa led the way, with Sam taking the back. Violet stood between me and Pippin, sending the latter occasional glares, which he either didn't notice or chose to ignore.
Once we reached the dungeons, the guard on duty- the same techo that refused to let Theresa in last time- put out an arm to stop her.
"Miss Woods," He said firmly. "The rules stay the same; no entry."
"I'm here on business, this time." She insisted.
"Same rules apply." The techo stated. "No entry for- OW!" The 'ow' was because somebody punched him rather unexpectedly in the jaw.
"Damn, that didn't work." I looked over my shoulder to find Sam with one fist balled. "Uh…"
"Samuel!" The techo scolded, holding his jaw gently with one hand whilst reaching for his sword with the other. "What was that for?"
"Um…" Sam struggled. "Look! A pink elephante!"
"What?" The techo turned around and looked in the same direction as Sam. The kyrii didn't hesitate to grab Theresa's quiver from off of her shoulder and whack the poor red techo round the head with its base. He fell to the floor, unconscious.
"We don't have long now." Sam said, handing Theresa her quiver back. "Get this over with."
Theresa speed-walked down the dungeon corridor, and the rest of us struggled to keep up. When she skidded to a stop at one of the master cells and turned to face its inhabitant, it was obvious she'd found Jonas, if only from the smile on her face.
"Little sister," Jonas said, looking up as we caught up with Theresa. He was sitting in the back corner of the cell, casually. "A master cell, huh? Who'd have thought it?"
"We're not here for you to talk to Theresa," Sam said, pushing past me, Violet and Pippin, standing next to the guard in question. "We're here for you to talk to this lovely fellow."
"You," Pippin pushed Sam out of the way, much to his annoyance. "Terrorised my wife."
"Future wife." Violet corrected.
"The little one?" Jonas questioned. "That's sorta creepy…"
"Not Cerise!" Violet shouted, storming up to the bars and folding her arms. "Ivy!"
"Ah, yes," Jonas nodded, like it was coming to him now. "Little Miss Tinker-tots."
"I'll snap that out of her." Pippin assured him.
"You can try." Violet hissed.
Pippin shoved her to the side. Rather than attack him, she just stood there and glared at him, gave him a look that said 'you're so going to regret that later'. He swallowed and looked back at Jonas.
"I guess I'm just… Warning you? Yeah." He nodded uncertainly. "I'm warning you. If you go near her again, then I'll… I'll…"
Jonas rolled his eyes. "Look, Buddy, you're just not scaring me."
"Yeah, well," Pippin rolled his shoulders. "I will do if you go near Ivy again."
"Hey, you," Jonas piped up, looking away from Pippin. Violet glanced over her shoulder and back at him.
"Me?" She pointed at her chest, confused.
"Yeah, duh." Jonas whacked his head against the stone wall behind him.
Violet stomped her foot. "I have a name!"
"Yeah, yeah," Jonas stood up and walked over to the bars. "I have a question."
"Fire away." She grumbled.
"Who was the kid you lot showed up with?" Jonas questioned. "I know Harry. And you and her," He nodded in my direction. "Are clearly in the Guard too. And then there was some… Kid…"
"He's older than me." Violet pressed. "And I'm no kid."
"Hold on," Pippin looked at Violet suspiciously. "You guys went and rescued Ivy? Without me?"
"I found out about the whole 'betrothal' thing on the way there." Violet assured him. "Besides, you and Hawk don't exactly get on."
"You brought Hawk?!"
"It was Brynn's idea." What a loyal best friend I have.
"He insisted on coming!" I quickly told Pippin. "I didn't have the heart to leave him!"
Pippin turned back to Jonas, a newly formed expression of anger covering his face (or, at least what was visible of it). "Tell me they didn't talk."
"Oh, no, they talked." Jonas said casually. "A lot." He smirked smugly.
Pippin looked at Violet. "Why didn't you tell me this?"
"Because you're… You." Violet struggled to explain. "And he's… Hawk… And… You hate each-other!"
"For a damn good reason!" Pippin snapped.
"Grudges." Violet rolls her eyes. "Let it drop."
"You haven't let that grudge against your father drop yet."
"That was an ongoing thing; it's different! Ivy and Hawk… What they did was bad, I see that, but they did it once."
"Once too often."
"If you hate her so much, why are you marrying her? Reach your third girl and figure 'let's get this over with'?"
"Um, excuse me?" I interrupted- partly because I was growing bored of their arguing, partly because I didn't have the faintest idea what half of it was about. "Third girl… What?"
Violet looked at me grumpily, clearly frustrated with having her argument stopped mid-swing. "I'll explain another time."
Jonas smirked. Clearly he was enjoying the 'entertainment' from his side of the bars.
"Hey! You!" We turned to find the red techo running toward us, his hand on his sword's hilt. "Don't make me use this?"
"Oh, please." Theresa quipped. "We've got Sam."
"Get. Out." The techo pressed. "Honestly, it's for your own good."
"You'll pay." Pippin hissed at Jonas as we were escorted out.
"I'd love to see that." Theresa's brother replied cheerily.
I hope he's okay. It shouldn't come as a surprise, I mean, he's Hanso, but…
Right, right; beginning.
Violet and I were on our patrol, as usual. We had just reached the end of our route and were turning round to head back when Violet heard footsteps behind us. She grabbed my arm and I stopped. One short, barely noticeable nod backward and I cottoned on to her thinking immediately.
'Three… Two… One…' I mouthed.
She let go and we both spun round together in perfect unison. My hand went to my sword's hilt whilst hers found an arrow and knocked it in place.
"Woah, woah, woah." Said Jenny, or Jane, or whatever her name is. "I'm not here to steal from you!"
"Funny," I think aloud. "That's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect Hanso to say."
Her gaze drops to the floor. "Hanso's the reason I wanted to speak to you, actually."
I felt a pang of dread. Every little bit of body language, from the slight slump to the refusal to look me in the eyes anymore, promised me that something bad had happened to Hanso. Has happened. Is happening.
"What's he done?" I say immediately, before my brain even registers the thought. "Is he hurt? Is he okay?"
"I don't know." Jenny/Jane mumbled. "I was hoping you might."
"He's probably doing something excitingly reckless and… Stupid." Violet attempted to reassure us. "We all know Hanso, right?"
"I guess so." Jenny/Jane looked up from the ground and gave us the smallest of smiles. She really is very pretty. Which is slightly annoying. I'm not sure why. Of course Hanso's going to have friends who are girls- what do I think I am? And I have friends who are boys, like Sam and Dylan and Luke and- I'll just shut up now.
"Do you have a name?" Violet asked casually. I sensed her attempt to change the subject to something less depressing and smiled my thanks at her, which she must've caught because she returned it subtly. "Because it was Jane, and then it was Jenny."
Her smile brightened slightly. "Has Hanso been messing up on my aliases again?"
"It would seem so." Violet confirmed.
Jenny/Jane thought for a moment. "Call me Marian." She said eventually. "It's not my real name, but I like it anyway."
"If you hear anything," I say. "Let us know."
She nods, not bothering to address the problem of her being a thief and me working in the Guard. "Likewise."
We parted ways.
Luke waited until dinner and slipped into the seat next to me in the dining hall. Under the guise of reaching for the salad bowl, he whispered
"You look like you're sitting underneath your own personal little storm-cloud." He sat back down, having pulled the salad bowl closer, and began spooning lettuce and sweet-corn onto his plate. "What's up?"
"I don't know myself." I admitted in a whisper, so the others wouldn't hear. They continued to talk and joke amongst themselves down the length of our table. To the outsider, Luke and I would appear to be having our own conversation separately. Like friends do.
"You can tell me." He pushed the bowl away to the centre of the table. "We might not be best friends, but I'd count you as a friend anyway. You'd do the same for me, right?" He looked at me quizzically.
"Of course." I confirmed, taking a bite of meat and swallowing it. "But I can't explain something I don't understand myself."
He paused, his hand stopping midway between his plate and his mouth, and studied me carefully. "It's Hanso."
I almost choked on the mouthful of food I was chewing at the time. I just about managed to swallow it. "Excuse me?" I hissed.
"Hanso." Luke repeated, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Yes, that makes sense. I can't believe I didn't see it!"
"See what?" I pressed, exasperated.
Luke smiled smugly. "You only get into this sort of mood wherever Hanso's involved." He explained. "Or the Rebellion, but seen as we're all fine..."
"He's missing, okay?" I whispered, so that only he'd hear.
Luke put a reassuring hand on my arm. "He'll be fine."
"I hope so."
"I know so."
"Really." He took his hand away from me and looked back at his plate. "Well, I don't really, I was just trying to lighten the mood."
We both laughed at that.
Mandy decided to tell Sam that she 'greatly approved' of his training us at breakfast today.
"I don't have sufficient space or resources to teach everyone without the training base." She explained. "And I thank you immensely for making sure Brynneth, Violet, Sophia, Luke and Jip get the time and training they're missing out on."
"Thanks, Miss Mandy." Sam beamed proudly.
"Yeah, thanks." I caught Theresa mumble. "Like his head isn't big enough already."
Dylan elbowed her and she quickly shut up.
In light of that, Sam had us training in the courtyard again this morning. I found myself fighting against Luke.
"Don't go easy on me." He warned before we started. "Just because I'm younger than you doesn't mean I can't fight."
Still, I didn't try my hardest automatically; I didn't want to hurt him, I guess. But when he won the first fight, I decided I couldn't let him win the right to brag about defeating me for the rest of the year. At least.
I was midway through thrashing him back when Captain French came storming into the courtyard, Harry in to.
"You're supposed to report things, Harry." He was scolding the guard. "If Master Woods hadn't told me-"
"Jonas wasn't supposed to tell you!" Harry interrupted, keeping up with the Captain's quick strides. "He betrayed her, don't you see?"
The Captain stopped and pulled Harry to a halt beside him. By this time Luke and I had stopped our fighting, Sam had stopped his refereeing, and all three of us were watching Captain French and Harry's exchange.
The Captain put his hands on Harry's shoulders and looked him dead in the eye. Harry visibly tried to stand taller, make his shoulders wider and more intimidating.
"You knew all along and didn't say." He hissed to the guard. And even if Harry was taller than the man, French didn't let it scare him. "We could've brought her to justice long ago."
Harry narrowed his eyes. "I don't know about here," He said icily. "But in Uptown, we don't sell each-other out. Not for anything."
Violet relaxed her grip on her bow upon hearing her neighbourhood's name. Before Theresa could stop her, she was striding away from her archery lesson, up to Harry and Captain French.
"What the hell is going on?" She asked.
"It's got nothing to do with you, Miss Adonai." Captain French said in a measured tone, keeping his eyes fixed on Harry's. "Go back to your training." She made to go.
"No." Harry said loudly. She froze mid-step and turned back to face the pair. "This concerns her."
"I fail to see how-"
"She's her cousin!" Harry snapped, rolling his eyes.
He didn't seem surprised at all when Violet ran into Captain French, wrenched his grip from Harry's shoulders and scowled at him with full force.
"What in Fyora's name are you planning to do with my cousins?" She pressed. "Huh? Which one? Is it Ivy? Or Azure? It can't be little Cerise… Or can it? Would you be that cruel?"
Captain French looked at Harry. "What's she talking about?"
Harry tugged Violet off of the Captain and held her hands behind her back.
"Calm down, Fire-knickers." He laughed. "Don't get yourself in a tizzy."
"You're worse than your stupid cousin!" Violet seethed. "You ought to know that if someone messes with family, I-"
"You get them." He finishes in a monotone. "I know. Unless they're Ebony. Or your father."
"Ebony's perfectly capable of looking after himself." Violet snapped. "And Father's different."
"You know exactly 'how so'!" She mocked Harry's voice for the last two words. It was a rather crude, un-Harry-like sound.
"Sir Harry," Captain French dusted his sleeves off, as though removing any traces of Violet from his armour. "Can you keep Miss Adonai under control?"
"If I can," Harry joked. "I deserve a medal."
"Idiot." Violet grumbled at him.
Captain French started to walk toward the gate and immediately Violet began to struggle against Harry. He paused to whisper something in her ear that I didn't quite catch. And she stopped struggling. Just like that.
It was really weird.
Sam and Theresa made eye contact and immediately started dashing after Captain French. I grabbed Luke's wrist and pulled him after them.
"Fine!" Violet shouted. "Just leave me here with Harry, of all people!"
"Alright." Luke grinned, waving over his shoulder. "Bye-ee!"
Violet's groan of frustration, and Harry's following laughter, were audible from outside the gate and halfway down the road.
When we caught up with the others, Sam and Theresa appeared to be in a… Heated debate with Captain French.
"Don't question my authority!" He scolded.
"Don't treat us like we're kids!" Theresa snapped back.
"So Harry's a 'sir' and I'm still a 'miss'?" She hissed.
"Theresa, shh." Sam interrupted. "Let me handle this."
"Oh, 'cos that'll work." She acquiesced sarcastically.
Luke and I skidded to a slower pace beside Sam, who was to the right of their group of three beforehand.
"What's going on?" I asked. Sam glanced over his shoulder.
"You left Violet with Harry?" He asked, shocked. I nodded.
It surprised me immensely when he burst out laughing.
"She's either going to love that or hate it." He said through his giggles.
"Love it?" I repeated. "How's she going to love it?"
Sam and Theresa glanced at each-other.
"They've got a lot in common." Sam explained eventually. "They'll have a wonderful conversation."
"You can't insist French treat you like adults and then talk to us like we're six." Luke told them. "We're perfectly capable."
"I know." Sam agreed. "That's the problem."
"So where are we going?" I ask Captain French, eager to change the subject before Sam and Luke start arguing about age gaps.
"Mr. Woods told us who started the fire at your training base." The Captain explains grimly as we walk. "I think he was hoping that if he tattled, we'd let him go free. Of course, that's never the case."
I look to Theresa. Her face remains emotionless. "That doesn't sound much like Jonas." She says eventually. "He was usually quite selfless."
"We all have things we'd do anything to get back to," Captain French explains. "Often they're people. Mine's my son, Leonard. And my wife, Amelie." He looked pointedly at Theresa. "Is there anyone Jonas would sell a friend out for?"
She looked nervously at the floor, then at Sam (who didn't look like he had much more of an idea where this was heading than I did) and then, finally, at Captain French again. "Our little sister."
The Captain nods, prompting her to continue.
"Her name's Maggie." Theresa continues. "She's always been a little… Different. Mum always said it was just her personality, nothing more. But she… She started school, and her teacher asked to see Mum a few weeks in. She said Maggie was sick- mentally. But so long as we kept on top of it, we'd be fine."
"If you don't want to tell this story, you don't have to." Sam assured her, glaring at the Captain, who just rolled his eyes in response.
"No, it's important." Theresa brushed the kyrii away firmly. "Anyway, Maggie was fine for a while. Until Jonas went missing. I wasn't there, and I didn't know the full extent of the problem- Mum and Dad never said. It wasn't until I popped round to visit and found Maggie sitting in a corner, a shell of her former self." She swallowed again. "Dad said she doesn't go to school anymore. They educate her at home. And Jonas knows. Jonas has been watching over us, I think."
"And you think he wants to get home to her?" French asked gently.
Theresa nodded, keeping her gaze on her boots.
As we entered Uptown, my mind went back to what I'd overheard Harry, Violet and French arguing about in the courtyard. Violet's cousins… It seemed a little strange.
We walked down their enormous front garden. Luke knocked on the door and we stood patiently as the door opened. Harley looked us over and his eyes widened in poorly-hidden panic as he spotted Captain French.
"Where-" He paused, composed himself, and continued more coolly. "Where's Violet?"
"We left her in the courtyard with Harry." Luke explained, snickering.
"Oh." Harley looked at his feet, back up at French. "You're Captain French, I presume?"
"Yes," The Captain rose himself to his full height. "I am."
Harley shuffled his weight from one foot to the other. "What's she done this time?"
It was clear he didn't mean Violet. More like one of his sisters.
As Harley led us through the house and into the back garden, Captain French explained about how Jonas had tattled on Ivy 'in what we suspect were the hopes of getting out'.
"I always knew hanging around with him was a bad idea." Harley shook his head. "But, of course, she didn't listen to me."
"Who didn't?" Cerise skipped over to us, hugging her drawing notebook to her chest with both arms. She looked up at Captain French, who gave her a friendly smile. "Let me guess… You heard about Ivy?"
Harley looked at her, puzzled. "Hold on, you knew?"
"Of course I knew." Cerise said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You mean you didn't know?"
"No!" Her brother replied defensively. "How did you?"
"Well…" Something told me a lengthy explanation was heading our way. "Regan's friend Oswald is in the first age group of the Guard. And when it caught fire, Oswald was there. And so Oswald told Regan. And Regan told me, and I saw Ivy leaving the same day. So I asked her."
"You mean you just went up to her and said 'Hey, sis, did you set fire to the Guard base'?" Luke asked sarcastically.
Sam grinned. "I like you!"
"Thank you, Sam." Cerise smiled. "I like you too."
We stopped walking halfway up the garden and Harley looked at Cerise. She pointed at the shed with one finger automatically. Harley nodded. It was pretty cool; a whole silent conversation.
"Ivy!" Harley shouted. "Come here a minute!"
The door to the shed flew open and Ivy stormed out. She was wearing a pretty green dress, though you couldn't see much of it due to the apron tied round her front. Her hair was tied back in a loose ponytail, but that hadn't stopped flecks of sawdust and wood-shavings getting tangled up in it.
Her face paled when she saw Captain French.
"You heard?" She said casually.
He nodded. "I heard, alright." He straightened up again and put on his business face. "You, Ivy Adonai, have been found breaking the law. You set fire to a public building, potentially harming- or even killing- thousands of innocent civilians. If it wasn't so close to home, I might've just sent Samuel and Theresa here to deal with it. But you destroyed my Training Base, and I'm not all too happy about that."
Ivy began to untie her apron and slowly hang it on a hook on the inside of the open shed door, her eyes fixated on Captain French.
"Therefore, you're under arrest." He concluded.
She pulled her hair out of the ponytail and slipped the hairband onto her wrist, raking the sawdust out of her hair with her fingers as she approached us. "How long do I have in prison?" She asked.
"A while." French said dismissively. "It's not my job to decide; it's the judges who do that. A few years, I should think, at the very least."
Ivy's face twitched in the smallest of smiles whilst her brother broke into a frenzy.
"A few years?!" He repeated. "What are we going to tell the Manzanas? 'I'm sorry, but your son can't marry my sister for a few years; she's been found to be a psychopathic arsonist!' Yeah, I don't think so."
"Your traditions are of no concern to me." French said icily, pulling a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket. "The law is."
"Drop it, Harley." Ivy whispered. "It's okay."
We left Cerise and Harley in the garden. He paced up and down, hands in his pockets, whilst his littlest sister just sat cross-legged in the grass and started to sketch in her drawing pad.
As we led Ivy back through the house, her mother only gave us a curt nod. She followed us to the door, bit her lip as though to keep from crying. But she didn't say a single word. I think she knew it was coming.
Thankfully, Harry must've taken Violet inside, because neither of them were outside when we got back. We took Ivy down to the dungeons and locked her up.
And ignored Jonas' crazy smirk, no matter how hard it was.
Harry was sitting with Violet in Theresa's room when we got back upstairs, Captain French having broken off from the group at his office. They were chatting, like old friends. I almost felt bad walking in, telling them Ivy was in the dungeons a few floor beneath us.
"Thanks for letting me know." Violet attempted a smile. "I'll make sure to avoid going down there at all costs."
We still haven't heard back from the judges about what to do with Ivy, and she's still in prison.
And she got a visit today.
Dylan was supposed to be on duty down in the dungeons this afternoon, but he came down with a case of what the medical staff think is the flu early this morning. They told him he had to stay in bed. Meals would be brought up to him, but he wasn't to get up for anything other than toilet trips. He wasn't too happy.
Sam and Theresa were Fyora knows where along with Luke. Which meant Violet and I were the first pair of training partners Mandy found to replace Dylan.
Violet sat by the big wooden door of the dungeons, at the bottom of the steps, and did her nails, ignoring all of the prisoners completely. I leant against the wall next to her and scanned the corridor every so often with my eyes, to make sure no-one was escaping.
After about one boring hour, the door beside me opened and Mandy ushered a tall man I didn't recognise- but who seemed vaguely familiar- into the corridor. He was followed closely by Pippin Manzana and Cerise.
Mandy closed the door behind them and led them to Ivy's cell.
"Why couldn't you be more like your sister?" The man said immediately. No 'hello', no greeting of any sort. Ivy took a step away from the bars. "And I mean Willow, not Cerise."
The little wocky in question let out a miffed 'huff' noise, but didn't press the matter.
"My friend was in prison, Father." Ivy explained. "I needed to get her out."
"And lock yourself up in the process?" Pippin pressed, folding his arms. "Ivy, how am I supposed to marry you if you're in prison?"
I suspect she was trying to hide it, but a little smugness crept through in her voice. "I guess I can't. Shame."
The man's face grew even more angry. "This better not all be deliberate!" He seethed. "You will marry Pippin, my girl! Not Aves."
"The thought never crossed my mind." Ivy replied coolly. "It'd be an awful shame if the wedding was called off." I wasn't convinced she agreed with her words. She looked at Pippin. "Besides, there are plenty of other eligible girls; Cherry, Lettuce, Sunshine."
"Lettuce?" I whispered to Violet, wondering what sort of theme their family had.
She snickered. "Yeah. Lettuce Bagel; they name their kids after sandwich fillings. She has two brothers called Pickle and Ham."
I held back a giggle and we both looked back at the scene unfolding by Ivy's cell.
"You're going to get married, girl." The man stated. "Even if we have to conduct the ceremony down here."
Pippin didn't look too pleased with that, but he nodded his head in a wary agreement.
As the man stormed back, Cerise and Pippin trailing behind, he looked over at Violet and froze.
"Good afternoon, Uncle Ochre." She said, waving.
He looked like he wasn't really in the mood for her, but Cerise coughed politely and he remembered where he was- our territory. Not his. The three shuffled out.
Mandy rubbed an eye sleepily and looked over at Ivy.
"Are you alright, dear?" She asked. "He didn't seem like a very nice man."
"I'm fine." Ivy assured her. "He's my father; I'm used to it."
So... Ivy set the fire. I've been dropping hints for a while now, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
And we met Pippin- Yay! There's been a little confusion about his family's naming theme; would it help if I was to say that he has a sister named Honeycrisp and a grandmother called Smithy? No? Well, 'Manzana' is Spanish for apple. They're all named after different types of apples :D