“Why, thank you!” replied Delorfinde, grinning. Suddenly serious, she turned and marched Spook up the stairs, and caught sight of a large case on top of a cupboard. Of course, that was where Elorithryn had always kept it. Reaching up carefully, Delorfinde attempted to pull the case down without losing her balance or breaking anything. After five minutes she gave up, using her Influencing powers to get it down.
“Will that be big enough?” said Spook, eyeing it doubtfully. “I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to take. I mean …” She trailed off, and something suddenly occurred to her.
“I don’t want to be a burden to Anna …” she said. How would she pay for her keep? She had some money, which had been left to her by Elorithryn and Moonwalker in their will, but it was in Protagonist currency. It probably would not be much good on Earth. Besides, she had no idea how much anything cost there. What about food? And how about clothes - were they expensive? Neither of them had a job, and they weren’t old enough for one either. They’d have no income.
“Stop worrying!” shouted Delorfinde suddenly, seeing the indecision on her friend’s face and knowing exactly what was going through her mind. “Have you forgotten that Anna can do magic? You will be fine! Besides, you can change your money over before you leave, if you’re so worried about it.” Spook nodded, feeling suddenly foolish. As a matter of fact, she had forgotten about Anna’s powers, too concerned about the mundane matter of surviving on a foreign planet.
But although she appeared supremely confident, Delorfinde was having her doubts about this venture, too. Earth was a long way away. She didn’t want to spend Spook there alone, but there was no other choice. Besides, Anna would be sure to take her in. Hadn’t they been pen friends, after all? Her conscience cleared, Delorfinde started to help Spook choose some clothes to take.
“Do you want this one?” she would say, holding up a t-shirt. “Or what about this one?” Sometimes it would be, “I’m sure you don’t need to take this one,” or “Urgh, you actually wear this?” Almost an hour later the case was filled, and a large pile of discarded clothes lay beside them.
“What about my other stuff?” said Spook, glancing at the suitcase and knowing there was no room for her books, or anything else. Delorfinde pursed her lips, and then her face relaxed. With a quick movement she pulled open a cupboard and grabbed a large blue holdall, which Spook had never seen before.
Seeing the slightly bewildered expression on Spook's face, Delorfinde explained, "Moonwalker used to use it when he went on business trips." Spook nodded. She had never really noticed what her parents took as luggage when they went away. After all, she had only lived with them for a few weeks.
But it felt good to be out of the dorms. She had spent so long in the company of other young people; it was nice to be with people older than her, that she could ask questions. The Dorms weren't bad. I mean, it sucked not having your own room, and the limits on computer time weren't great, but you did learn a lot, and you made some really good friends. Besides, when you moved out, you didn't have to change schools - schools were neutral, not different for Dormies and Homies, as Spook liked to refer to them as.
She grabbed the holdall and started to pull books of her shelf.
"Hey, you can't take all them!" exclaimed Delorfinde. Spook growled at her. "I'll send the others on later, but I'm sure Anna's got loads anyway. Just take your favourites." She paused. "And don't look at me like that!" Spook smiled sheepishly.
"Sorry, it's a habit," she said, and started to choose some books, though it was easier said than done. All her books were her favourites.