Author's note: I haven't updated any of my stories for a long time, but I want to now. This story will sort of elaborate on a story I had before, called Goddess. Please review this story, but if you don't, thank you for reading it anyway.

It was a dark night; the moon was not out, and the stars were not visible. Out of the shadows around a large warehouse, slipped a cat, the exact colour of the night. She was beautiful, with fur in shade of purple and blue and black, like bruises, and the colors seemed to be shifting.

She wasn't an ordinary cat; she was a daemon.

She slipped through the slightly left-open door and looked around, her cat eyes adjusting rapidly to the darkness inside the place. She didn't see what she was looking for, so she ventured carefully deeper into the warehouse. A large rat scuttled past, but the cat paid no attention to it.

This warehouse obviously hadn't been used in a very long time. The machines in it were old and rusted and dangerous. It was in the slums of the town, although no squatters lived in it. There were many legends surrounding this place.

Finally, the cat stopped in front of a large doorway. It slipped open, and she slid through.

"Kirjava," a voice called. It wasn't a human voice, however. It was the heavenly voice of an angel.


The angel stood in the middle of a large room, lightning every corner of the room with her radiance. As usual, it was impossible to tell whether or not she was wearing clothing, but the light clothed her well enough.

"You came," the angel remarked in her soft voice.

"Yes, I did."

The angel Xaphania lifted her wings once and set them back down. "Did you decide?"

Kirjava nodded. "Yes. I will do it."

"Yes, but what about William?"

Kirjava looked uncomfortable. "We are one and the same. I know what he would want!"

The angel looked down at the cat. "I have also decided. For the last two years I have hated myself for what I forced you to do."

"You never forced us to do anything," the cat said, sitting down on the cold sticky floor. "We decided on our own."

"Be that as it may, I feel as if I forced you into deciding the way that I did. And I have come to the conclusion that sometimes one must do what is better for oneself, rather than what is better for others."

The cat nodded. This was what she had come to speak with the angel about. The angel had contacted her through her mind and posed the question.

"We'll do it!" she said with conviction. "We have to be with them again!"

"Are you certain?"

"Yes! Our heart is breaking every moment we're away from them!"

The angel said, "Then you know what you must do. You must tell William."

Kirjava nodded.

Xaphania nodded and began to walk away.

"Wait!" said Kirjava, running a few steps after the angel. "Wouldn't t be better if you told him?"

The wise angel smiled gently. "This is something you must do for yourself. That is why you made the decision, is it not?"

Lyra Belacqua stood outside of her dorm building at Saint Sofia's school for Juvenile Women, looking around carefully, and trying to hide the fact that her daemon wasn't there. She glared at the ground, and moved behind a bush as a group of girls walked past. She was late for class again, and her teacher had told her that if she were late again, she would be required to have an audience with the headmistress.

Pantalaimon had not been there next to her when she had woken up, which was unusual, because Lyra's daemon always slept at the same time as she did. They couldn't help it. And he hadn't come back in the hour that she had been awake. She could feel the fact that he was still in Oxford, and that made it worse. Her daemon was nearby, but she didn't know where.

"I'm cutting class," Lyra decided to herself. "I'm in trouble anyway." She walked out of the school grounds, and down the dirt road towards the main part of Oxford. She knew her daemon was near her somewhere, and she would have to have a talk with him once she found him. They were too old to play hide and seek any longer.