Chapter XIX: Into the Mind of Fire (17/18)Mature

*One Year Later*

Will's eyes opened, he found himself lying on the floor of the attic, gazing up at the iron chandelier from which the heavy drapery centred at. There was a thumping in his head, the pulse of his own blood, and as it subsided, he slowly sat up. He saw that Tayna was led beside him, it was strange to see her different, her hair short, no longer burnt and charred, but he noticed that her eyes were open and she was sobbing.

'Tayna...' Will asked, she slowly sat up too, wiping the tears from her eyes.

'Now you know,' she said weakly. 'I remember everything, I can't believe I ever forget.'

'You suppressed the memory, Tayna,' said Hellshaw, he'd been sitting cross-legged in a meditative state, now he gently opened his eyes. 'But now, if you come to terms with it, it cannot harm you.'

'I don't know if I'll ever recover completely,' she said quietly, 'I still think about how I blame myself for what happened -,'

'None of that was your fault,' Will snapped, 'do you understand? It was - it was their fault.'

She didn't answer, instead she turned to Professor Hellshaw. 'Thank you, Professor. I'm feeling a lot better now.' Hellshaw bid them goodbye, but as they were leaving the attic, Tayna reached for his hand, squeezing it tightly and not letting go until they returned to the commonroom.

At Tayna's bedside was a sandwich and a slice of fudge cake, alongside a note with an unhappy face signed from Andrel. He'd taken a bite out of the cake and added 'ha ha' on the end.

'Andrel found you,' Will mused, folding the letter alongside Paradam and Arlamus. He knew you from the beginning.'

'I don't think he liked me to start,' she said, sitting cross-legged on her bed, 'he and Arlamus had been met by Paradam personally, it was a favour to their mother. I know they were excited to be welcomed like the others, but when I arrived too, I think I got all the attention instead. Everybody almost forgot about them, I kept telling Andrel I felt bad, but he didn't listen...I think he still believes that being an Elemental is always a blessing.' She patted the spot on the bed next to her and Will sat down, 'so...you saw everything?'

The End

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