For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul-Judy Garland
A now twenty-five year old Sarah glanced around her bedroom in her childhood home in smug satisfaction before placing the unneeded greenery in her hand onto her vanity to be disposed of at a later time. Holly hung from every conceivable place around her room; the berries glowing bright red against the dark green of the leaves while garland hung along her window sill.
The twin sized bed Sarah had had for years finally gave out a while back so now an oak queen sized one stood in the place it used to sit. Sarah had splurged on it a little by having it commissioned to reflect themes and characters from her time in the Labyrinth.
Barn owls stood on top of the bed's four posts, while said posts had been carved to show some of her favorite places within the Labyrinth. Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus, Ambrosius, the Wise-Man, and various others of the people she had met were hidden throughout the scenes. Her headboard was carved to show the Labyrinth as Sarah had seen it from atop the hill while the footboard showed the Escher Room.
A set of red silk sheets and green satin comforter adorned her bed in honor of the season. The carpet in her room had been replaced with wood flooring and it gleamed as it reflected the lights from the little tree in one corner of the room.
The tree in question was covered in what was obviously homemade ornaments; a lot of which she had done herself but others were given to her by her friends. Sarah smiled as she remembered the day a few weeks back when Hoggle, Sir Didymus, and Ludo had shown up to help her decorate the little tree. The friends had made this into a tradition over the years of their knowing each other. Hoggle had gifted her with the lights that wrapped around the tree while Didymus had carved little wooden ornaments of all the people she'd met when she ran the Labyrinth in exquisite detail; even the Goblin King.
Glamour disguised the lights to make them look like regular human made creations instead of the fairy lights they truly were. Hoggle had confided in her that the little fairy that bit her during her run had helped him to make them since she felt bad for acting so rudely towards the "Lady Sarah." Ludo proved that he had an affinity for metal as well as rock by presenting her with an elegantly detailed star constructed of silver wire that he'd made himself. A pile of presents sat under the tree on a skirt she'd made herself. Sarah had just finished wrapping them that morning. These were meant for her friends from the Labyrinth as the ones for her family and anyone else she'd bought for were downstairs under the tree in the living room.
Her parent's had been a little confused when Sarah had asked for a tree the Christmas after she'd run the Labyrinth but bought Sarah a small one that would fit in her room. She then invited her friends over that night, after everyone else had gone to bed, to decorate her tree. The group of friends had quickly gotten into the Christmas spirit and insisted that they do this every year. Over the years her friends had presented her with new ornaments and decorations for the tree. It got the point that they had to rotate which ornaments they used each year. Sarah smiled as she contemplated her little tree. This one had to be the best one they'd ever decorated. Of course, she thought that about all the ones they'd decorated together.
Sarah had changed for the better after her run and though her parents didn't know the cause, they were thankful for it; especially Karen, towards whom Sarah had changed the most. Sarah made more of an effort to get along with Karen and, while Karen realized she could never replace Linda Williams as Sarah's mother, she became a second mom and close friend to Sarah as the two got to know each other better. It was Karen who held Sarah after the news came of her mother's accident. Karen who'd comforted Sarah when she was feeling down and Karen was the one Sarah went to when she needed advice.
Sarah had also begun to dote on Toby and would often ask, much to Robert and Karen's shock, when they were going out again so she could be alone with her little brother. Needless to say, the two had the most dates of any married couple they knew.
Sarah's room acquired a more grown up touch to it over the years but it still retained a sense of childish innocence with all her most prized childhood possession still on display; even as she still retained her love for all things fantasy. Her desire to act had dwindled as she grew but Sarah discovered a love and talent for writing and painting after entering contests in both subjects. She was a published author of children's, teen's, and adult books and had many of her paintings in art galleries world wide. In both her stories and art, the denizens of the Labyrinth and the Labyrinth itself were present as they heavily influenced whatever she did.
Sarah moved to the window and stared absently out into the night as the snow began to fall again; adding another layer to what already lay on the ground. One person she had avoided writing, painting, or even talking about, even though he always managed to show up in one way or another (usually in the form of a white barn owl), was the Goblin King. Sarah had removed the statuette from her vanity and placed it in a box, along with the red leather bound volume of Labyrinth, even though most everything else was still out and about on display.
Sarah had had time to think on her run in the Labyrinth and all of the encounters she'd had with a certain monarch. It hadn't taken her long to realize exactly what he'd been offering her and that everything he'd said at the end was true. The Goblin King really had been generous in everything he did for her and she'd been a spoiled brat and thrown it all back in his face. After this revelation, she'd felt ashamed every time she looked at the little statue so she had removed it from her sight. A pain also always seemed to make itself known whenever something related to him showed up though she tried not to dwell on what that might mean.
Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave…
Turning from the window, Sarah moved back to the mirror that stood on her vanity to check her appearance one more time (Sarah should probably get a new one but it had been a gift from her mother when she was younger and she couldn't seem to get rid of it. It made it even harder to let go of by the fact that her mother had died in that car accident several years before). A red velvet dress clung to the curves she'd grown into a few years after her run; causing all the boys she went to school with to sit up and take notice; however, after the Labyrinth, her bar had gotten set rather high and none of them really interested her anymore. Not that she really noticed since she was too busy discovering her hidden talents.
The dress ended just below her knees and was trimmed in white fluff at the neck, wrist, and hems. A Santa hat sat on top of her head, the white trim framing a heart shaped face with a peaches and cream complexion. Black hair fell in curled waves down her back and full lips framed even white teeth as she smiled at herself in the mirror. Bright green eyes sparkled in amusement at the picture she made.
Sarah padded over to her bed and sat down, leaning her head against the bedpost. It was a few days before Christmas and tonight was her family's annual Christmas party. Sarah had managed to avoid going for several years now as she always seemed to have plans but this year her social calendar was sadly lacking and so she had no choice but to attend this time. Sarah sighed as she stalled a little longer, trying to avoid the inevitable noise and senseless chatter. A face suddenly appeared in her mirror, startling her before she realized who it was, and Sarah smiled in delight.
She greeted happily as she moved from the bed to the vanity to better converse with her friend. The dwarf looked at his friend in fatherly affection as he grinned at her enthusiasm at seeing him.
"Sarah," he replied in his gruff voice, "I jus' wanted t' check in on ye before Orca an' I have to begin hostin' our party"
Orca was Hoggle's wife. He'd met her a few years after Sarah's run when he was making his rounds in the gardens and the two had hit it off right away. When he had introduced her to Sarah the two had liked each other immensely and were soon fast friends. Orca was a dwarf like Hoggle and, also like Hoggle, didn't think much of the Goblin King.
"I'm glad you did," said Sarah, "I've managed to avoid my family's parties for the last few years but I didn't manage it this year. Karen's been dropping hints that she thinks I need to start dating again and I'm just positive she's got some eligible bachelor to keep me company all night. I love her dearly but I would rather she didn't try to play matchmaker."
Hoggle chuckled, "Oh aye. That bad is it? Why don't ye ask one of those friends of yours t' play your date?"
"Who? Keeve and Kyle?"
"They're gay and she knows that so it wouldn't work."
"Well how about that one illustrator? Ye said you liked him well enough"
"He got married last month," Sarah replied gloomily. If this had happened anytime before he'd met his fiancé then he would have been happy to help but she wasn't going to ask such a thing of him now.
"Err, what about someone ye went t' school with," he asked carefully.
Mentioning the men she went to school with usually caused a rant so he proceeded with caution and hoped he hadn't said something stupid.
"High school or college?"
Hoggle groaned as she began the familiar tirade he'd heard many times over.
"If you knew the boys I went to school with-"
"Alright! What about that clerk at the bookstore?"
"That one girl's brother," Hoggle said desperately.
Hoggle paused in surprise that she'd actually had a response for that last one but shook it off as he desperately tried to think of someone else.
"I'm sorry Sarah but I've got nothin' and I need t' go before Orca starts lookin' for me." He looked a little panicked at the thought of this subject continuing so Sarah decided to let him off the hook. She'd hoped to talk more but was realistic enough to know that wasn't going to happen.
"Alright," she sighed dejectedly, "I'll talk to you later."
Hoggle winced at the gloomy look on his friend's face before her image disappeared from his mirror. He sighed as he ran his hand through his hair and contemplated Sarah's predicament. There was actually one other person he knew that might have helped but it was an unspoken agreement between all of them that they would never mention him and Hoggle didn't think Sarah would have taken too kindly to the idea.
She herself had suggested that it probably wasn't a good idea to come back as they didn't know how the king would react and her friends had encouraged that thought. He still wished she could have come to all the special events they'd had; such as his wedding.
His eyes narrowed when his thoughts turned to the Goblin King as he moved about his bedroom getting ready for tonight. Sarah very rarely asked about him but when she did they lied; even Didymus (though it pained him to say anything untruthful), even Ludo. They always told her he was doing fine which seemed to satisfy her but the truth was the king wasn't fine. He wasn't even a little bit okay. For a long time after she had left, for a few years in fact, the king had seemed to move on auto pilot, going about his duties but not eating or sleeping or even really paying attention to what was going on around him. Hoggle had gotten so worried that he'd done something he'd never thought he would: he went and got the king's father.
The Goblin King's father had been alarmed at what Hoggle had to say and had immediately gone to his son. The two stayed locked up in the castle for several days and, when they emerged, the Goblin King was functioning but not as well as he once had and while he looked better, he was still a far cry from the arrogant and playful king he had been. Hoggle found out later what the Goblin King had done at the end of Sarah's run with alarm. Fae, in return for immortality and youth, could only love once but if the person they fell in love with rejected them they usually didn't survive. As such, they were very careful with their affections but it almost seemed to Hoggle as if the king hadn't had a choice in falling in love with Sarah.
'Damn.' He thought in sudden alarm, 'I hope the Fates ain't interferin'!'
Hoggle didn't know what the king's father had done to snap his son out of his depression and he didn't want to. He sighed. The king wasn't happy. Sarah wasn't happy. Hoggle could only hope this whole big mess sorted itself out soon. Grumbling, he moved to put on his shoes.
After the king had come out of his self imposed imprisonment, he sought out Hoggle, Didymus, and Ludo and asked about Sarah and what was going on in her life. They learned that with Sarah's declaration he was unable to look in on her with his crystals and could only go to the Aboveground to check on her in his owl form but he was too tired to attempt such a maneuver. Though, Hoggle didn't think he would if he could as seeing her move on with her life in person would be much harder and more painful than watching through a crystal. That being said, the king's only means available to check on Sarah was to ask for information from her friends.
His visits had dwindled in the intervening years but the king still came every once in a while. In fact, Hoggle expected him to come tonight after their party was over. The king always knew when they talked to Sarah, and as he hadn't come in a while, Hoggle could safely assume the king would most likely make an appearance. Hoggle sighed again as he moved to the front part of his home to begin greeting the arriving guests.
'Please let somethin' good come from all this!' He pleaded silently.
Little did he know that someone was listening.
When Hoggle's image disappeared from her mirror, Sarah let her head fall back onto the bedpost with a 'thunk' and sighed again. Sarah wished she could go to Hoggle's party, had wished that every year, and in doing so miss this one, but Sarah hadn't set foot in the Underground since she'd gotten back and she and her friends had decided she shouldn't push her luck to try to see them in person on their side of the mirror. They didn't know what the Goblin King would do if he were to find her back within his kingdom without permission.
Sarah realized she was just going to have to suck it up and deal with whatever happened at the party tonight. This was her life now. She'd chosen it when she'd said those words; intentional or not. Hoggle had explained it to her when Sarah had asked him about it a couple years after her run in the Labyrinth though he didn't tell her what affect those same words had had on the Goblin King. However, just because Sarah had to accept the consequences of her words and actions, didn't mean she had to be happy about it.
You have no power over me…
However, Sarah had at least gotten one good thing for having to leave all the magic behind. Sarah could See. Where before Sarah's experience in the Labyrinth she had been as blind as any other human, now she could See the creatures that inhabited her world. Pixies, sprites, fairies, nymphs and undines all became visible to her and she had immediately set out to make friends. They had been a little leery of her at first but the touch of magic that emanated from her had endeared Sarah to them. Her new friends had noticed her desperate search for anything magical but they'd also noticed that she was unaware of the magic that now resided within her. Thinking it better to allow Sarah to discover her magic on her own, they didn't say anything to her about it.
There were also the not so savory creatures, such as kelpies, that were about but Sarah firmly believed that if she avoided them they wouldn't bother her and they didn't, though, not for the reasons she thought. The Labyrinth was very possessive of what she considered hers and they had no desire to get on her bad side. Sarah was just happy that not all the magic had left the Aboveground.
Another group of people that always seemed to be about were the goblins. Sarah was glad for their presence the most as they would tell her things that she was too scared or embarrassed to ask her friends. They didn't like talking about the king and she didn't push them lest they drew his attention but they would tell her some things, for which she was grateful.
Sarah didn't know if they had his permission to come see her, she didn't think they did, and Sarah wanted them to be able to continue to visit her so if it seemed like the information she was asking for could get them in trouble (usually she was able to tell from their expressions as she asked), she'd drop the subject. They liked to cause mischief and she would often come home to find something knocked over or a small mess but they never broke anything and in return for their good behavior she left them out sweets or other goodies. The goblins also helped her out with things around the house when she asked them to.
"Sarah! Mom says you're supposed to be at the door and opening it and greeting everybody!" A hyper eleven year old boy's voice yelled through her door. Sarah, startled, bumped her head against the bedpost; hard. Cursing under her breath, she rubbed the spot and scowled at her bed.
"Alright Toby! I'm coming!"
She called back as she stood and moved to her closet to find the black flats she'd intended to wear tonight. Toby's footsteps sprinted away from her door and down the hall and Sarah chuckled as she listened to his antics. Sarah had felt so ashamed for wishing him away but she couldn't bring herself to regret it. After all, she'd met the most amazing people and had had the grand adventure she always wanted; something she thought would never happen. Sarah's thoughts shied away from the accusing voice that was telling her he was the one to give it to her and look how she treated him. Even now she felt too guilty to try to talk to him.
Grabbing her shoes, Sarah made her way out of her room and down the hall as she hopped from one foot to the other in the ordeal of putting them on. Sarah had made sure to shut her door firmly behind her in a secret signal that meant no one was allowed in her room before heading down the stairs. The goblins that were about in the house, groaned but they knew Sarah was serious so didn't try to disobey her. They'd learned that the consequences could be just as bad as what the king did to them if they crossed her.
The doorbell rang as Sarah reached the bottom step and she swiftly made her way to the door and opened it. On the other side she found her father's boss and his wife. The older couple both gave her a big smile as they saw her and she could see the honest delight in their eyes at her presence. Sarah felt a little guilty for wanting to avoid them. Maybe tonight wouldn't be too terrible.
"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw!" Sarah said brightly.
"Hello Sarah," Mrs. Bradshaw greeted warmly as they stepped inside out of the snow.
"It's good to see you again," Sarah gushed, "How are you?"
"I'm doing well. And you?"
"I can't complain," She answered cheerfully, "Here let me take your coats. Where are your children? Did they not come?" Sarah asked trying to hide her disappointment.
"Oh no dear! Their brother is driving all of them."
"Oh. Well I hope they get here soon! I can't wait to see Becka."
Becka had been born not long after her trip through the Labyrinth and Sarah had taken to babysitting the little girl along with Toby but she hadn't seen her in a while and was eager to see her again. Sarah would sometimes look after Katie as well but Katie apparently hadn't really liked Sarah though Sarah wasn't sure why. Katie's parents were just as bewildered by this as Sarah so they tended to let her stay with her grandparents who lived in the next town over.
Mr. Bradshaw handed her his coat, nodded, and then went in search of Sarah's father. It was a well known fact that Mr. Bradshaw hated being around large groups of people, especially people he didn't know, just as much as Sarah's father, Robert, did, but since he was the boss he was kind of obligated to go to at least a few gatherings. And since Sarah's stepmother, Karen, liked to host these parties and Mr. Bradshaw could find a sympathetic companion in her father he tended to come to a lot of their gatherings. The two men found it easiest to spend time in each other's company and wait for their own personal hells to end. Mrs. Bradshaw watched her husband walk away fondly before going in search of Karen.
Sarah had just finished hanging up the two coats when the doorbell rang again. She opened it to find the Johnston's son, Jake, and their two daughters, Katie and Becka. Jake was the oldest at twenty-one then came Katie at fifteen and Becka at ten.
"Hello," Sarah greeted happily.
"Sarah!" Becka cried.
The little girl ran in and hugged Sarah around the middle before dropping her coat on the floor and running in search of Toby. Sarah could hear Toby's voice raised in alarm before turning her attention back to the other two as she chuckled. Katie greeted her politely, picked up her sister's coat, and hung both hers and her sister's coats up in the closet. Jake just grunted, too cool to greet one of his father's employee's daughters, and moved past her into the house in search of food. Sarah just shook her head in amusement before shutting the door against the cold.
All told, once everyone was there and besides Sarah's own family, there was the Bradshaw's as well as two more families from her dad's work, one of Karen's friends and her family, and a couple of the neighbors with their families. And none of them were eligible bachelors meant simply to keep Sarah company for the evening.
At dinner that night, Sarah was seated next to her father, who sat at one end of the table, and Toby but across from Becka; much to Toby's displeasure as she kept taking his sister's attention away from him. It was a lively affair and everyone was quite thrilled with the food much to Karen's delight. Sarah was happy for her since her stepmother had insisted on making everything herself.
After dinner they retired to the living room to sing carols and exchange Secret Santa gifts. Sarah had gotten Becka and, after much deliberation, was able to present her with this year's Holiday Barbie as Becka wasn't really into the fantasy that Sarah loved. Becka was ecstatic with the gift and gave Sarah a big hug before running over and showing her mother what she had gotten. Becka had drawn Toby's name and she gave him a new copy of Grimm's Fairytales. He had been reading Sarah's old copy which was now really quite battered and looked as if it were about to fall apart.
"I knew you liked it because you always have it with you at school," Becka said sagely.
Becka had been able to skip a grade and so went to the same middle school as Toby. The two were in most of the same classes so it was no wonder that she knew he liked the stories contained within the book since he was always reading it. Toby decided the gift was quite acceptable and moved to a corner to begin reading it but only after he had grabbed Becka's hand and bowed over it while kissing her fingers in a gesture that all the princes in his books did. Becka just giggled as she moved back to where her mother was. Sarah just shook her head at his antics and tried to suppress the thought that it looked exactly like something he would do.
Katie had drawn Sarah's name and as Sarah removed the gold paper from the package she wondered what Katie could have possibly decided was appropriate for her. Finding a jewelry box under the paper, Sarah opened it to find a delicate silver chain from which hung an intricately carved crystal barn owl. Sarah blinked at the charm, delicately lifting the bracelet from where it lay and cradling it in her hands while smiling at it softly. Katie watched her worriedly as she didn't understand Sarah's reaction and she wondered if she had done something wrong. Sarah noticed the room had gotten quiet and looked up to find everyone watching her but seeing Katie's anxious look she grinned and gave her a big hug.
'Careful Sarah! You can cry about this later!'
"Thank you," she whispered into the girl's ear fervently.
Katie grinned back before returning the hug and saying equally soft, "You're welcome."
Karen watched as Katie helped Sarah to put on the bracelet as everyone else continued trading gifts. She didn't understand why Sarah had reacted so strongly to the bracelet. 'She looked almost heartbroken,' came the thought, but Karen just shook it off to mull over at a later time. Perking up, she beseeched Sarah to play the piano so they could sing more carols.
"Oh Karen! You know I'm not that good," Sarah said laughingly but, truth be told, she just wanted to be left alone to her thoughts so she could think and remember, "I'll just make everyone's ears bleed."
"Sarah you're an excellent player and you know it!" Karen said sternly. Her tone softened, "Please won't you play?"
"Please Sarah?" Toby had set his book down just to come and plead with his sister to play. He loved to listen to her and begged her to do so every chance he got.
Sarah took one look at Toby's puppy-dog eyes and couldn't say no. Moving to the piano, she lifted the lid on the seat. She was looking for a book of Christmas songs she'd gotten a few years before. Finding it, she set it on the stand, closed the lid on the seat and opened the one on the piano before sitting down.
Satisfied that Sarah was going to do as she wanted (Karen also loved to hear her stepdaughter play just as much as Toby) she brought in a tray full of eggnog, hot chocolate, and sugar cookies to pass out. Finished, she went to find a seat of her own and waited eagerly for Sarah to begin.
"Do you have any suggestions?" Sarah asked Toby but she knew what he was going to ask for before he said it.
"The Charlie Brown one!" he said excitedly; sitting down on the ottoman next to Becka. Sarah smiled and then began to play.
Christmas time is here Snowflakes in the air Sleigh bells in the air Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...
Snowflakes in the air
Sleigh bells in the air
Christmas time is here
After that Sarah took suggestions from everyone. Becka wanted "Jingle Bell Rock" while Katie asked for "It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas." Jake surprised her by asking for "Ave Maria" and Sarah found out that he had an excellent singing voice.
'Not as good as his but still superb.' She thought absently as she played.
Mrs. Bradshaw asked Sarah to play and sing "Mary Did You Know?" while Karen asked for "Silent Night." Sarah's father requested "Silver Bells" and she smiled sadly as she remembered this one had been her mother's favorite. Mr. Bradshaw asked for "Precious Memories" and showed that he was the one Jake got his voice from.
After that, Sarah played "Carol of the Bells," "Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy," "Dance of the Snowflakes," "The Nutcracker Suite," and many others. Sarah stayed at the instrument the rest of the night but switched to the flute for "O Holy Night". She also brought out Karen's old violin just to change it up a bit.
The first to leave were her father's coworkers since they had young children they needed to get back to. Next to go were the neighbors, then Karen's friend, and lastly the Bradshaw family. Sarah made sure to give Katie another big hug for the bracelet and charm before she left.
"Well I think that went rather well," Karen said cheerfully after everyone had departed.
"Indeed it did," Robert chuckled as he wrapped an arm around his wife's waste before giving her a lingering kiss on the cheek. She turned her head and gave him a kiss on the mouth which made Toby turn away in disgust.
"Mushy stuff," he groused.
Sarah laughed at her family's antics as she gathered dirty dishes from the living room to carry to the kitchen. She was giddy at the fact that Karen hadn't managed to find a guy to keep her company all night. Though, Sarah knew it wasn't from lack of trying, as Sarah had overheard Karen confiding in Mrs. Bradshaw that for some reason none of the guys she'd asked to come could make it.
Neither Karen nor Sarah had heard the disembodied giggles as Karen told her friend this. The goblins had had a hand in that and they were quite proud of themselves. In their heads Sarah was too good for everyone except "King" and so they had gotten rid of any guy that came too close. Sarah hadn't noticed any of this but if she had then the goblins would have found she was very unhappy with them and they would have been banned from her house with no treats for at least a month. Thankfully for them, Sarah was blissfully ignorant and the goblins were sure that it was only a matter of time until what they felt was the inevitable happened.
"Oh! Sarah!" called Karen, "Just leave those for now. We can get them in the morning. I'm too tired to deal with them right now."
Sarah set the plates she'd been picking up back on the table.
"Alright Karen. I'm tired too so I'm gonna go ahead to bed. I'll see you in the morning." Toby had already escaped to the warm comfort of his; still clutching his new book.
"Goodnight Sarah." They called after her as she made her way up the stairs towards her room. Sarah found that she'd thoroughly enjoyed herself tonight and wondered why she had dreaded it. Opening her door and stepping in, Sarah sighed in relief as she let herself relax. Grapping the Santa Hat from her head, she threw it onto her vanity before stepping out of her shoes. A small noise made her look at her mirror to find Hoggle watching her.
"How long have you been there?" Sarah asked as she blinked curiously; reaching around behind her for the zipper of her dress. She may have to get Karen to undo it, "It's really late."
Something in his tone made her stop trying to pull the zipper on her dress down and look at him as he'd sounded a little strangled and nervous. She could only remember a few times when her friend had sounded like that, mostly during her run, and none of them had been particularly good instances. Looking at him now, Sarah didn't think this was going to be a very pleasant conversation. Giving up on the zipper for the moment she sat in the seat in front of her vanity as it was very obvious he had something to tell her.
"Shoot," she said calmly.
"Well. Ah ha. How t' say this?"
"Hoggle," Sarah said gently, "What's wrong?"
"Well…someonewantst'talkt'yeandItriedt'tellhimitwasn'tagoodideabuthesaidhedidn'tcareandsohe'shereandhereallywantst'talkandwillyetalkt'him?" Hoggle almost shouted in a rush. Sarah blinked at her friend again.
Hoggle was about to repeat himself, slower this time, when they both froze at the voice that spoke up before he could. Sarah felt her world collapse around her as she recognized it and found that she could barely breathe.
"What Higgle is trying to say," Hoggle gave a strangled sound at the deliberate misuse of his name but didn't say anything, "is that I have a favor to ask of you and wonder if you would be willing to listen to me."
A figure moved into her line of vision on the other side of the mirror and Sarah found that no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seem to say anything; or look away. He smiled at her and she felt herself flush.
His saying her name broke the spell and she shook herself before looking at him a little harder then relaxing as she gave him a half smile.