It’s magnificent. Stretching from one side of the cavern to the other, strong stone turrets guarded on three sides. The fourth now lay, a mass of crumbled red stone, along the left side of the fortress. “Why’s it like that?” asked Finny. He clapped his hand over his mouth.
It’s alright Sweetie, but we need to be even more careful now, said Mama Jack. There’s a great war going on again. We had it won once, but Swirl is revived and draws on the darkness to fight her battles. That’s just one sign of her anger and power.
But I can’t do anything about that. Finny was glad the mind talk didn’t shake like his spoken words would. Or?
Yes Sweetie, that’s why we had to find out if you could see unicorns. That’s just one sign of your magic.
A bigger question grew in his mind. Who’s Swirl?
She is your aunt and has powers of her own. Mama Jack’s sigh told Finny, that this aunt he didn’t’ know he had, was not very nice.
Now there’s someone you need to meet. Something you must learn before we draw any more attention to us. See, there he is now.
Where? Finny blinked.
There. Mama Jack pointed to the middle of the castle walls.
A man now stood by the rubble of the castle. Dwarfed by the mound, his pale skin and white beard stood out, stark against the backdrop of the crumbled turret. He wore a dark sweatshirt, but the hood rested on his back rather than covering his head.
It’s the man from school and… Where did he come from?
Mama Jack laughed. Yes Sweetie, your Grandfather has been watching over you. Harold Joidean is seen when Harold Joidean wants to be seen.
Harold? But that’s my middle name, said Finny.
You were named after both your grandfathers. Franklin and Harold. Mama Jack returned the man’s wave. It’s time the two of you meet.
Zeuflin took flight once more.
Mama Jack started to hum quietly. At least it was quiet in his head. At first it was a soft musical sound, but soon words grew with the tune. It was like a nursery rhyme Mama had sung to Finny at night when he was little, but Mama Jack’s words were different.
My love, my love where have gone?
I’ve missed you for too long.
My love, my love,
I see you again. We need never more part.
My love, my love,
Take my hand. Lead me away
My love, my love,
We’ll join together and live in the promise of happiness everlasting.
My love, my love.
Careful to circle beyond the molten drips of the fountain, Zeuflin flew toward the man and the ruins of a fourth tower. The others followed.
Why aren’t we going to the front? asked Finny.
That is what Swirl would expect us to do. We need to keep her guessing for a little longer. This time it was Misty who answered.
As they got closer, Finny could tell the man was very old. There was an air about him that he’d lived longer than anyone else. He was stooped, as if he carried a weight so heavy it bent his body. Despite this, his face relaxed and the wrinkles Finny had seen smoothed as they drew closer.
Zeuflin brought them down in front of Finny’s Grandfather.
Hal. Mama Jack slid from Zeuflin to his waiting embrace.
It’s been too long, my love. Grandfather paid no attention to anyone else.
Finny felt embarrassed, like he used to when Mom and Dad would greet each other the same way. It was as if no one else mattered.
Zeuflin stomped and snorted. Don’t you think we should take this inside? Cold circled down to wrap around them.
Meowww. Raskee scratched his way out of Mama Jack’s pack and jumped down. She’s here.