I was sat cross legged on the wooden floor, mentally testing my powers, seeing how far I could go. This was something I had never attempted before and I was unsure if it would work or not, but I had to try.
I was going to try and contact Reuben.
I drained my mind of all thoughts, and focussed on my brother. I pictured him in my mind, dressed in his normal jeans and shirt, his brown hair slightly ruffled, his dark eyes blank and staring. I imagined his voice as he spoke in my mind, as he first told me we were moving to London. I listened to his laugh, saw his change of expression, watched him walk: anything and everything that I could think of.
Reuben, I tried. Can you hear me?
Suddenly, I wasn't in the room anymore. I was flying somewhere. Over buildings, rivers, trees and people. Flying through the night. Across a large stretch of water that I knew was the Channel and then back onto land. It was like an extraordinarily realistic out of body experience, as though I were a ghost. I began to recognize my surroundings. The large hill just before The Pig's Head, the dark alleyway where Adder had tried to kill me, the dank and dismal block of flats that I lived in, that I used to live in.
Then I saw him.
He was asleep, just a figure under the duvet. His brown hair poked out slightly, ruffling in the breeze coming from the open window. I hovered above him, still in my ghostly form.
He stirred slightly.
Can you hear me? If so, please wake up. Wake up. WAKE UP.
He sat up suddenly, blinking into the darkness.
'Ana?' he called out. He was completely oblivious to the fact that I was inches away from him, floating in thin air. He stood up and crossed the landing, pausing just outside my door. I knew what he was going to see though.
Sure enough, as he pushed open the door, he blinked in confusion. He saw a figure that was his sister, asleep. She was breathing heavily, her dark hair covered her face. He shut the door again and headed back to bed.
Demrin had cast a spell, so Reuben was under the illusion that I was still in the flat. It had been one of his favours to me before he died. Apparently, it was still going strong.
'Ana?' someone called my voice again, but this time it was much more distant and it wasn't Reuben.
And then I was being pulled backwards. Away from the flat, away from London, back across the sea, over buildings once more and into the mansion. I landed back in my body with a jerk. My eyes fluttered open to find Jester crouching inches away from where I was sat. I flinched back, startled.
'Sorry, I didn't mean to make you jump. Are you okay? You looked miles away.'
'Yeah,' I replied, rubbing my head. 'I just saw my brother. Demrin's spell is still working. I just wanted to see if he was okay.'
'Have you ever done that before?'
'Nope. I wasn't sure if it was going to work.'
'You want to see him,' he said simply.
'Of course I do. It's been over a month now, and whilst he thinks he can see me, I can't see him. I miss him.'
'Who do you miss?' Calla asked, appearing in the doorway.
'I know this hard on you. It's hard on all of us,' she sighed. 'But this is for our own safety.'
'Is it?' I frowned. 'They know we're here. I don't see the difference in us staying here, or back in London?'
'It's safer here because...' she faltered.
'Because you think Demrin's gonna come back,' I finished for her. She widened her eyes, hurt. 'Calla he's not coming back. He's gone.'
'I know that,' she snapped.
'Then what the Hell are we still doing here?!' I was beginning to raise my voice, beginning to get angry. Jester tried calming me down but I shoved him off. 'Seems to me like we're wasting our time! We're sat here in this mansion doing fuck all with our lives while the Evil is still out there. Why can't we just move back? Just prepare, anything.'
'We're staying here,' Adder appeared out of nowhere. His voice was cold, flat and unwavering. 'It's non-negotiable.'
I sighed in frustration, deciding to leave the room. A part of me knew I was being irrational, but my life had changed so much in such a short space of time, it was as though I couldn't keep up with it. Adder, however, held out his arm to stop me.
'Don't you think this is hard on all of us?' he said. 'Stop acting like you're the only one who's being affected by it. Calla's just lost her lifelong friend and it doesn't help that you're being selfish.'
My anger sparked at his words. 'Selfish?!'
Who the hell did he think he was? Calling me selfish? Adder and I had never seen eye to eye but right now he was pushing it. I was tired, I was grumpy and on edge.
'Yes I know. You're not used to all of this, you're life used to be relatively normal. I know all of that. But we're all in this together. Right now we can't afford to fling accusations around and take our anger out on each other.'
'Fancy stepping up to the leader role now Demrin's gone?' I arched my eyebrow at him, not listening to anything he was saying. 'That's funny. You weren't interested in getting along with us all when he was alive.'
'Ana!' Calla shouted. 'What's gotten into you?'
'I need to get out of here. I don't think I can spend another second in this place.' I tried to get past Adder, but he glared at me, keeping his arm held out, completely unrelenting.
'We can't afford to go gallivanting off out and about. We should stick together.'
'Get out of my way, Adder.'
'Adder, let her go,' Calla sighed.
'Ana, chill, please,' Jester murmured.
'I said, get out of my way.' I stared him straight in the eyes, but he refused to move.
I watched him suddenly double over, cursing, clutching his head. Calla rushed over to him, staring at me with horror. I stormed past all of them, down the stairs and into the cold night.
'Ana!' Jester cried after me. 'Get back here!'
I ignored him, thankful to be out of that goddamn house.