Though the hassling intention of the children had mostly subsided, Will and his siblings had been given the use of a room in the East tower to stay in to escape the bother. Carmen and Karn'el were attending a party held in the grand courtyard, to celebrate the return of the missing students, but Will remained behind, splayed out across the sofa as the evening fire lit his face. The only ones who knew of the Mastery's true intentions were the highest members of the faculty, Paradam, Bosrold and Conway, and after deliberation, the other Elementals were informed. It hadn't seemed right to Will that they be left ignorant, especially when the motive of the Mastery was to bring the royal family back to the thrones; by whatever means necessary.
They also knew that the Mastery had murdered the Avaric family, a secret that they swore not to disclose.
Now, Will led with his eyes to the dark ceiling, the flickering of the fire on the walls reminding him too much of Sapphire's quarters, the laughing and shouting from the party below morphing into the wails of the halflings through his ears. He pulled his hair back from his face and took deep, soothing breaths to dispel the memories. He had spent so long trying to remember elements of his past, now he felt like he remembered too much.
Coming in answer to his desperation, Maga appeared beside him, hovering and bathing his wet cheeks in a warm glow. 'I've tried to tell myself that we're safe,' he murmured, 'but no matter what, I still feel like something's coming for us.' Taksony had escaped, and every moment that Will imagined him free made him feel sick. He knew, he knew that Will was the Host, did that mean they would continue to pursue him?
'This was a victory, Willow,' she said softly, 'your friends are celebrating that you are all safe. You should be glad -,'
'But I'm not. I didn't want any of this, I -,' he sighed despairingly, 'I didn't ask for any of this to happen to me. I wish I could just forget what happened, I wish I could forget who Sapphire was, and what she did, and Taksony, and everything.'
'I understand...sometimes, forgetting is better than remembering.'
He turned towards her. 'Does that mean - does that mean you remember more?' She gave him no answer, instead, the light she emitted grew brighter until he had to shield his eyes in shadow, and when he pulled his arm away, he sat cross-legged in the marbled hall where he had remained in during his possession. He faced the rose window, it was rebuilt and shining just as beautifully, and in the middle of the room where he sat, there was a thick, antique rug. He felt somebody behind him, a back pressed against his, hair against his, the warmth of another body.