BACK IN THE commonroom, Will was pleased to be able to relax and not worry about meeting anybody or seeing anything new. Already, the living area felt like an inner sanctum, and with Tayna and Andrel at his side, he was surprised at how easy it was for him to sit cross-legged on the sofa, sifting the gold coins through his fingers and listening to them fall back into the pouch with a heavy chime. The way the metal caught the firelight with the engravings so delicately defined was mesmerising, and he felt a strange sense of satisfaction with himself, and with everything.
‘We should get you some good-fitting clothes, Will,’ said Tayna. She was sat below him by the fireplace, extinguished and wafting lilac-coloured smoke, the room now toasty warm and free of Winter chill. Will’s mind drifted back to memories of Vincula, remembering that that very morning he would have stocked up the fireplace with the wood rations (and the scraps Wilmina had illegally chopped from trees on the outskirts) so that they might survive the cold weather when others would not. ‘As useful as Andrel’s old clothes are, I think you’ll need your own,’
‘And it’s not as if you’re hard-up,’ added Andrel. He was spread out on the sofa opposite Will, his feet hanging over one arm whilst his head was stacked up by a multitude of pillows.
‘Is there a place nearby?’ he asked, tightly drawing the cord on the pouch, holding onto it protectively.
Tayna nodded. ‘There’s a place called Holloway Village not far from here. Well…by that I mean it’s only a Blink away. Lucky for us that means the magickal trail is less detectable.’ Will made a mental note to start a dictionary of all the phrases she was turning out.