“Great Watcher, how can this be?” Edmund gasped.
“What?” Andria cried, rushing in from the hall. “Are you all right?”
Edmund sighed and closed the tome. “I’m fine,” he said. “It’s just that the answer isn’t here. The longer I look, the more questions and half truths I find.”
“So many mysteries of the supernatural realms,” Andria mused. “If only you had someone to ask, someone wise who devoted her life to the study of magic. A family member perhaps?”
“I don’t mean to question your expertise, Mother,” Edmund said. “It’s just that this is a subject too deep in the dark corners of the supernatural world for you to be able to help me.”
“Really?” Andria asked archly. “I’d be more inclined to believe you if you told me what you were trying to do.”
“I seek a spell to grant life to someone who is trapped as an undead.”
Andria let that sink in. “Oh.” She said. “You want to cure a vampire.”
“I suppose that’s another way of saying it,” Edmund agreed.
“Well, I can see why you are stymied,” Andria said. “You’re looking in the wrong place. You need to start working with potions. I have never attempted something that involved, but I can point you to the standard references.”
“The standard–” Edmund began. Then, “Thank you.”
So Edmund began working with potions.
At last, he was making progress.
With Sawyer and Emily woohooing at all hours in their small house, Gamora spent most her time at her Uncle Dylan’s home.
She set up bot design equipment in her father’s lab.
The rest of the Samples seldom saw her. She preferred to work at night. Sometimes she stayed up until dawn.
Daytime was more useful to her as a time to rest, and she had no real reason to return home to sleep. She had discovered a way to replenish herself that was unique to her bioengineered body.
Photosynthesis. Rain made it even more nourishing.
Her time away from her father’s house also meant she could be sure she wasn’t around when Sawyer discovered some surprises she’d left for him.
Connery was growing more sleepy in his old age. His favorite place was on the sofa, dreaming of playing games with his people.
One evening, Dylan found Andria standing the back yard at bedtime, sadly surveying her garden.
“It’s beautiful,” Dylan said. “I have never seen plants as beautiful as yours. I guess it is, quite literally, your magic.”
Andria sighed. “Even with the help of my magic, I can’t keep up with all of this anymore. I’m growing old, Dylan. It’s not a great feeling.”
Dylan took her into his arms. “We both are in our twilight, my lady. But it’s a golden twilight.”
She held him tight. “You make everything seem more elegant,” she said, “even something as lousy as old age. There’s no help for it. I need to downsize to a much smaller garden.”
They sat down with the family the next morning and discussed their options. In the end, they decided to look for a new home. Victoria longed to be closer to the ocean. She scoured real estate listings to find a home for the family by the sea.
At last, they said goodbye to the stately home that Dylan had lived in since he was a teenager.
And moved to a lovely home a the end of Isolde Way that backed up to a private beach.
Victoria, who desperately wanted her parents to approve the house, made arrangements for a greenhouse to be built before they moved in.
Andria loved it. She had wept the night she left her garden to its new owners, but in her heart, she was relived to leave it in the capable hands of the new owners. Here, she could make a fresh start with something smaller and less taxing.
Victoria was first to enter the house on moving day. She walked around the first floor, drinking in the soothing feel of the place.
She could hear the rolling waves gently in the background and watch the surf from her window.
This was truly her home.
Then the rest of the family thundered in and made themselves at home.
Dylan set up his canvas on the second floor deck.
And his photography equipment in their new bedroom.
Andria began feeding everyone.
Edmund surprised everyone by suggesting some exercise options for the back yard.
Edmund had never really shown interest in physical exertion before now, but he said the workout cleared his mind.
Beneath the greenhouse was Dylan’s nectar cellar, and to the back of the cellar was a portal that could only be Gamora’s.
Now she had a lab that was truly hers.
Connery was as delighted as the humans with his new digs. After a hard day of watching the humans move their stuff, followed by a big meal, he needed a long rest.
“Come dance with me, my lady love,” Dylan said, and he twirled her to the sound of the music box that his grandfather Charles Sample had once given to his grandmother Veronica as his first expression of love.
Then they retired to their new bedroom to sleep.
When everyone was asleep, Victoria set about putting a few more personal touches on the home. A few wards here, a few repairs there.
There were so many practical uses for her magic, and she was just beginning to discover them. Who knew you could use it to prevent a sink from breaking?
Or that you could enchant the home against unwanted visitors? So many possibilities.
This was just the beginning, and she knew it.
This was a bit longer than I planned because I discovered that I’d set the bit between Edmund and Andria aside for a future post, and this was the last one it could be used in before the move.
I like to have each generation move to a new home that suits their personality. It took me a bit longer to find a house that I thought suited Victoria.
On a personal note, I thought I’d mention that this is my 401st post! The 400th was that Simantics post, and I forgot to make note of it. Yes, I know I’m insane.
Also, I GOT A JOB. Not just a job, but THE job — a perfect match for my skills and interests. I start on August 1. I’m really excited. Since I’ve complained on this blog about my miserable job hunt, I thought it was important to mention that it worked out!