She had blonde hair that was straight and ordered until it went stray and curled at the edges, waving just above her shoulders, as did her fringe just above her eyes.
‘No concussion, is there?’ she asked, and as she spoke Will’s skin prickled as if he’d entered a warm room from the cold. And as the sensation passed, he was left with a strange heat in his chest as if, for the first time, he was somewhere familiar.
‘Uh – err, no, I’m fine. Just…surprised,’
‘I don’t think we’ve met…have we?’ Her head cocked to the side, her eyes searching him, and he returned the strange gaze with equal curiosity.
‘No, I – I doubt it.’ He was torn away from her when Anala grabbed hold of his shirt, tugging him down to pull herself up. She had gained good balance with one foot, but then crashed down on her knee as she tried to stand. She let go and examined her boot to see the wooden heel hanging on by splinters. Her mouth formed a shocked ‘O’, and then, furious, her jaw clenched and her eyes shot up to the boy who had cast the spell that had sent them flying.
‘Andrel!’ she shouted shrilly, ‘do you have any idea how much these cost?’
‘A couple of peasant’s souls, probably. Not a problem for you, right?’ answered Andrel with a cheeky, crooked smile.
Taking hold of Will again, Anala pulled herself up, standing oddly in front of them. Her hair looked as if it was stood on end, a few shades brighter red.
‘You are such a hypocrite,’ she spat, hobbling towards them as if she planned to tackle him to the ground before falling forward into his arms. As he helped her through the doorway into the commonroom, she mumbled several untoward adjectives about him under her breath, the others following shortly behind.