Ryan's appearance in the Willow at the end of Spook's street was a lot less dramatic than Spook had thought it might be. She had never seen Willow travel before, and was ever so slightly disappointed at the apparent lack of flash-and-bang. Then again, the neighbours already thought she was completely loony. Seeing small boys materialising from under willows would only have confirmed their suspicions.
"Hey Ryan!" said Alara, giving the boy a small hug. Ryan seemed grateful to see a familiar face, and the grin on Spook's face must have confirmed his suspicions of her name.
"You're Spook?" he asked. Spook grinned and nodded,
"The one and only. You know Alara, and the scruffbag over there is Ash."
Ash fidgeted uneasily, looking a little perplexed and fingering the hilt of the massive katana sword he had slung around his waist - a present from Mike, Spook remembered. Alara too was armed, a large bow slung across her back, together with a quiver full of arrows at her hip. Spook was grateful she'd come through armed - she didn't like the thought of trying to fight both hers and Elo's nasties without a weapon. Particularly when she didn't know if anything else was on the loose at the same time.
Spook herself had brought her own makeshift weapon, which both Alara and Ash had seemed very nonplussed about. Having no sword, gun or other conventional weapon of her own, Spook had borrowed the biggest, nastiest kitchen knife she could find and used some spare twine to strap it to the end of a headless mop as a sort of makeshift spear. She's also come into possession of Ash's silver knife, but to their dismay it refused to shift into the form of the enormous sabre Spook had written about in the book. Still, Spook felt reasonably well protected now. She just hoped she wouldn't have to actually use the weapons too soon.
"Come on!" squeaked Ryan, bouncing up and down on the spot, "The others will be waiting for us! Prince Hermanos came with me, and everyone's hiding in the living room because the General and the assassin tried to get in and..."
Ryan continued to chatter as he lead the trio under the Willow. Then he closed his eyes and, to Spook's alarm, everything around them started to fade. She would have yelped, but she kept her mouth shut as the travel occured, only opening it to gape when they reached the other end. She looked up the slope, there to find the General, the Van Helsings and what appeared to be some sort of assassin, advancing up the sloping garden on a small group of figures. Spook recognised Elorie and - acting on instinct - sprang into action.
"Let's kick some villainous butt," she said, clutching her spear and trying to sound more confident than she felt. Ash unsheathed his sword and Alara readied her bow for action. Spook looked back at her characters, feeling a lot braver with them behind her. At least someone here knew how to fight, and hopefully they'd be able to scare them off before any blood was drawn. On their side at least.
Then, in true British style, she loosed her battle cry and ran up the slope towards the villains' seemingly unprotected backs, Ash and Alara on her heels: