Hi there, I'm sorry it took so long to update, but I was very busy with school. I'm 4 days away from summer vacation, and I should be studying, but I had to upload this. I tried to keep everyone's personalitites, but it's been a long time since I read the books, and I read them in Danish. Also, they have aged a bit, so hopefully they are more mature. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: If I owned Children of the Lamp, Nimrod would have caught a monkey in Eye of the Forest.
"You see, I was in the neighborhood and decided to pay you a little visit." Nimrod said blowing small figures with the smoke from his cigar. "Surprise!" he added jokingly. He glanced at his sister, who was looking nothing less than stunning, and saw to his relief that she was smiling. After her decision to no longer use her powers, Nimrod wasn't exactly welcome at the Gaunt residence, but Layla had welcomed him anyway, which was rather weird. But then again, she might have missed him, so Nimrod didn't dwell over it for very long.
The four of them sat there for a while makingsmall talk. Nimrod was looking great, his 1000 watt smile lighting up the atmosphere, his loud laugh echoing through the room, his red suit demanding attention and the good vibe coming from him completed the feeling of "being home".
"Kids, I'm going out for a while, I have an errand to run. How about you and your Uncle Nimrod do some catching up?" Layla stood up and got ready to leave. "There's food in the refrigerator or you can order some take out, but only this once!" She continued being the good mother she was for a few more minutes.
Once they said their goodbyes and heard the front door slam, they relaxed and chit-chatted some more. After twenty minutes of exchanging memories from the summer, the twins looked at each other. John took a deep breath and looked at his uncle.
"What's the real reason you are here, Nimrod?" he asked uncertain. Nimrod looked a little taken back.
"Do I need a reason to visit my sister and her family?" he asked smiling. Philippa shook her head.
"That's great and all, but seriously Nimrod, did you really think we would buy that?" she quirked a brow and crossed her arms in front of her chest, "let's state the facts shall we? After returning from our last adventure, you practically abandoned us. We didn't hear from you for a whole year. You never called us nor did you send mail etc. What are the odds that you came by because "you were in the neighborhood?" Philippa emphasized the last words and shot him a very skeptical look. John just nodded, agreeing silently.
Nimrod chuckled. He went from chuckling to guffawing in a matter of seconds. The twins almost dropped their jaws in sheer disbelief. Nimrod eventually calmed down and took on the role of an adult.
"You are right kids, I'm sorry I didn't call you. I have been… busy. It just didn't seem like the right time to call you." Nimrod sighed and smiled apologetically.
"It's all right." The twins said in unison.
"So, what's up?" John asked, sitting back in the couch. Phil pulled her legs up beneath her and started feeling a little excited.
"I'm afraid something is going on in the world of djinn. I have sensed it for a long time now, but… Anyhow, I want the two of you to help me. We have to go see Faustina first" John blushed slightly at the mention of The Blue Djinn, "I'll explain later, but for now, I just want to do some catching up, how about you?" Nimrod smiled in a devilish manner. He looked Philippa in the eye and smirked. She caught on to what he was signaling. She squealed with delight and ran to get their game of djinn verso ready.
Meanwhile John took a seat beside Nimrod. "Where's Groanin?" he asked. Nimrod thought about it for a second. "He's out running an errand for me. I expect him to be back later this evening." That sounded a bit fishy in John's ears, but he let it go. Once Philippa was back, the three of them played for a long time. John had also taken an interest in djinn verso some time ago and Phil had taught him, but he was nowhere near her level yet.
One thing Nimrod noticed was that the twins knew each other way better than expected. It seemed like they had some sort of mental connection. When he played against them one-on-one, he won easily, but when they teamed up, they were a lot harder to deal with. They almost read each other's minds and their teamwork was flawless. They didn't seem to notice it themselves, though.
"Say kids, what have you been doing for the past year?" he asked, carefully watching their next move.
"Well, even though Mom no longer is involved with the djinn, she made sure we kept maintenance of our powers, so you could say, we have been training." Philippa said, looking at her uncle while John took care of rolling the dice.
"What kind of training exactly?"
"Physical as well as mental." John answered absentmindedly, concentrating fully on the game in before him.
"I see… Did you do it alone or together?" he asked. "Both" they answered together. Nimrod went silent. His mind drifted off, reflecting on the newly gathered information.
If they have been training for a year, and are that close, they might actually pull it off. But then again, it's risky. I'll have to watch them carefully before jumping to conclusions. I'll have to consult Faustina as well, but maybe I can test them on my own. Hmm… What if…? No, that won't do. But then again, they are not ordinary twins… Nimrod's train of thought came to an end, when his nephew poked his arm slightly.
"-imrod… Nimrod! You lost!"
"Huh, what was that?" The redhead looked at the twins.
"You lost!" They shouted, high-fiving each other.
Nimrod looked at their game. His jaw almost hit the floor, when he realized how badly the teens had beaten him. He chuckled lightly after recovering the shock. They had won fair and square. He had only been taken by surprise, he concluded.
"Look John, he's spacing out again," Phil whispered, "he looked like that when we were playing as well." John thought about it. It wasn't like Nimrod to space out like that.
"What is it Nimrod?" Philippa asked, voicing John's thoughts.
"Huh, oh it's nothing…" He shrugged.
"Obviously it is something, since you keep spacing out." John replied.
Nimrod didn't know what to do. The twins were sharp, they would know if he lied. On the other hand, it was too soon to tell them. Too caught up in his dilemma, he didn't notice the doorbell, before John rose to his feet to open. Philippa still waited patiently for his answer, her eyes never leaving his own. Just as he was about to make a half-assed excuse, John interrupted him.
"Hey Phil, look who's here!" John called from the entrance. Philippa got up from her seat and went to the door of the living room. She peeked out curiously and her eyes widened when she recognized the man beside her brother.
"Groanin!" she yelled and hugged the butler.
"Good evening missy!" he laughed as he hugged her back.
The arrival of his butler had saved Nimrod, and he realized how grateful he was for having him. He made a mental note to reward him later and went to greet him. The twins were smart, he had to be careful from now on.
"There you are Groanin. Everything went well?" he asked quietly.
"Hello Sir, things went smoothly. Everything is being taken care of." Groanin answered in the same tone. The two adults followed the excited twins back to the living room.
"Look at that! The two of you sure have grown! I say, you sure have grown! John, my boy, you are almost as tall as I am, and miss Philippa, what a lovely young lady you have become." Groanin said grinning. The twins blushed and looked away at the same time.
Just as Groanin pointed out, they had grown. John was a lot taller and more handsome than before. He made the girls swoon with his boyish charm and his smile. Philippa had also grown – in other ways – she was also a bit taller. She had gained some curves over the past few months and now had an admirable figure. Her hair was longer and wavier now, and she had replaced her glasses with contact lenses. A lot of girls from their school envied her, not only because she was John's twin, but because she was smart, kind and pretty as well. Countless guys had asked her out before, but she had never shown any interest in them. John too, didn't have any interest in the many girls who swarmed around him.
"You look great as well, mr. Groanin!" Phil chirped. The respectful titles were a joke between Groanin and the young djinn. "Have you lost weight?" she asked, happiness radiating from her.
"Well, miss, not to brag, but I've lost 24 lb!" Groanin puffed out his chest looking very macho and earned a giggle from Phil. John looked at him in amazement. Groanin didn't only look slim and young, he looked awesome! His charisma was overwhelming. Confidence, happiness, contentment and all the beautiful things in life radiated from the butler. The twins, who were very fond of the butler, didn't waste a second before telling him about the past year. They unconsciously ended each other's sentences to the great amusement of the adults.
"All right kids, before you keep us up the rest of the night. We have some important things to discuss with you." Nimrod said. The small group moved to the kitchen. Once he sat down, Nimrod folded his hands in a very business-like way. Groanin sighed and muttered something inaudible under his breath. John and Phil shared a look that clearly said "adventure". They sat down around the table.
"You remember I told you, we had to go see Faustina, right?" the twins nodded, "the reason behind our sudden visit is, well, how do I tell you…? Iblis has been freed and he is now planning something grand. We don't know his whereabouts or his plans, but we do know who freed him." Nimrod took a deep breath and looked at the twins. A not-so-pleasant thought came to Philippa followed closely by a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"It was Dybbuk." Nimrod announced. John peeked at his sister. He knew that she – still – had feelings for their old friend. She seemed a little sad, but was playing the cool card. John smiled to himself. This was one of the things he admired about his sister the most. She always stayed strong and kept her cool.
"For the past year, I have been studying a new kind of bindings, and I think I might have found one, strong enough to take care of Iblis. This is why we have to go see Faustina. So here's the plan. We divide into two teams with two persons each. Team A will be John and Groanin, you two have an appointment with an old acquaintance of mine here in New York and then you are to meet up with us. Philippa, you and I are headed to Germany as team B."
"Jawohl!" Philippa said happily. Then it hit her that John maybe wanted to go see Faustina. She looked over at her twin only to realize how much he longed for adventure. He seemed to be perfectly fine with the teams.
They then ate dinner, chatted for a while and went to bed. Nimrod and Groanin would take care of persuading their parents. John was busy packing in his room when Phil knocked on the door frame.
"Can I come in?" She asked, already knowing the answer.
"Sure!" John was in high spirits.
"You cleaned your room." Phil stated.
"Yeah." He replied. They were quiet for a while, John packing and Phil watching him from her seat on his bed.
"Is something wrong, Phil?" John asked concerned. He stopped packing and sat down next to her on the bed.
"Huh? No… yes… I don't know. That's what I wanted to ask you. Are you okay with not going to Germany? I mean, it's been a long time since you last saw her…We can switch teams. I don't mind going with Groanin." She didn't mention Faustina's name, since they both knew who she was referring to. Philippa went quiet as John started laughing.
"That's what you are worried about?" he asked. He continued when she nodded, "Sure, seeing her would be nice, but we haven't been on an adventure for so long! I've missed doing things out of the ordinary, and I'm going to see her eventually. Don't worry about it." He assured his sister with a smile. Philippa couldn't help, but smile herself.
"Wow, John. That's very mature of you." She smiled, patted his shoulder, and stood up. Right before she left, John called out to her.
"Phil?" He aslmost whispered. A part of him hoped she wouldn't hear him, but at the same time, he had so much he wanted to ask her.
"Yeah?" she turned around. He knew how hard it was for her to speak about Dybbuk, but he wanted to make sure she was okay. She was putting up a strong act, but John knew how vulnerable she was. He didn't want to break her defenses, but sooner or later, he would have to. Should he ask or leave it alone? He chose the latter.
"Thanks for asking and being so considerate of me. It means a lot to me. You know, you can always tell me, if you have something on your mind." That was the best he could do, without asking directly or making her feel alone.
"I know. Thanks," she went back and gave him a hug, "goodnight." She whispered before leaving.
When Philippa was back in her room and had packed her bags. She brushed her teeth, changed and laid down on her bed. A single tear escaped her eye followed by quiet sobs.
"What have you done, Dybbuk?" she whispered in the dark. She fell asleep and dreamt of jungles, Indians, and a certain someone splitting in two and crushing one half.
Edited 15.06.2012: Changed djinns to djinn.
Phew! That took a while! Hehehe, Nimrod is plotting something... And don't worry, he's not turning evil and selling the twins to a goat breeder. Oh, and jawohl is German for yes. I would be very happy if you reviewed. Reviews equals cookies! Have a nice day! ^ ^