After Sophia told me that we were leaving I numbly got up, not really knowing what I was doing. I was absorbed in my thoughts. Before I had been excited to go to my hometown. I had been homesick since I had been dropped off at the school almost a year earlier, then I realized how close it was to my birthday. If all went well we would be in Horse Haven Hills on my seventeenth birthday, exactly one year of that horrid thing that happened. I didn't want to relive that horrible attack. The evil vampire ladies (I have learned that they are called Empousi, but I prefer to call them that) and the giant many headed dragon (aka Hydra) appeared out of nowhere, and the reinforcements that somebody sent just kept cutting off the Hydra's heads, as did I. I learned quickly that that wouldn't work. "Astrid?" I whispered, "I need to tell you something." Astrid fell back so she could speak with me. I told her about my flashback, and my fears of reliving the attack. "It's not likely that Empousi will attack a group of girls, and I don't know about the Hydra...you shouldn't worry about actually reliving the attack. But keep your memory under control, we don't want you to get hurt in any way." she walked with me until we got to the car rental place.
Astrid rented the car, telling the rental guy that we would drop it off in their Pasco location. We would just take the bus from Pasco to Kennewick.
We had no trouble driving half way across the country. We arrived in Washington right on time, and it only took us a half hour to get to Kennewick from the border. We reached Horse Haven Hills an hour after that. I was immediately drawn towards the swings, where I had so many fond memories. When Melody walked up next to me she gasped. I asked her what was wrong. She pointed at a girl that was walking past us, "That girl looks exactly like Pheobe!" she cried. I looked at the girl. She had long, strait, dark brown hair, sea green eyes and a pale olive complexion. "Should we go talk to her?" I asked. Melody nodded silently.
"Hi," I said, walking up to the girl. "You look like somebody I know. Could I ask you your name?" She looked at me like I was the answer to her prayers, "I'm Alys." she said, "and you are?" "Grace Ember." I replied, "and this is my friend Melody Song." Astrid, Sophia and Flare had gone wandering. Alys looked at me gratefully, then led us towards her home, which ended up being right off the road of the park. We picked up the rest on our way out.
When we reached her home she led us into the dining room and motioned for us to sit. "I'm Alys Waters. I know exactly what you need to learn."