Will looked up and down at himself and shook his head, ‘no.’
‘You’ll be fine,’ she assured him, ‘just…keep your wits up.’
They walked towards the doorway, now able to hear voices from the other side.
‘There’s no way you’ll beat this sort of raw, male power,’ a boy was saying loftily,
‘We’ll see,’ answered a girl, equally superior.
Anala was about to push through the drapes when the boy shouted in a voice unlike before, ‘arairthe!’
Like somebody had ploughed into him head-first, Will was thrown backwards, Anala carried with him, the blast of air so strong that they hit the floor and skidded back to hit the opposite wall with a thud. His head ringing, and tangled up in Anala’s cloak, who led half-across him, he could only just make out the voices,
‘What was that?’ the boy asked,
‘I think someone was out there,’ answered a third, unrecognisable voice,
‘What have you done now?’ the girl chided,
‘Nothing, if anybody asks, you did it, alright?’
‘Andrel, I’m sure they can hear us.’
The drape was swept aside, and with his vision blurred by dark spots, Will turned away from the light that streamed through, lessened only by three silhouettes whose eyes Will soon felt upon him.
Adjusting to the new light, he eased his eyes open and saw the three Draíochta standing around them.
‘Lucky you didn’t kill them, numbskull,’ said the girl, standing in the middle. Looking at her, Will saw the light flood in behind her like a golden aureola, her eyes bright like candle flame. ‘Anala, is that you?’
Almost led across his chest, pinning him down, Anala groaned and exhaled loudly, blowing her tightly wound curls away from her face, looking up at them with irritation.
‘Prostrate banged-up on the floor? Yes, that’s me,’ she snapped, sitting up with her cloak twisted oddly around her body.
‘Don’t look at me, it was his fault,’ said the girl, holding up her hands placatingly whilst gesticulating to the boy beside her, as indistinguishable as he was. Then, she reached out to Will, offering her hand, and as she came closer he saw that her eyes were brown, yet somehow flecked with gold like precious opals. It took him a couple moments longer, as he took her hand and stood up in the light, to realise how pretty she was.