Lydia was a bit puzzled to find Darya and Alban standing on the stairs to the attic together. Alban had his ear pressed to the door.
â€œWhat’s going on?â€ she asked.
â€œKeep your voice down,â€ Darya said quietly. â€œKaz just dragged Kyle in there and shut the door in our faces. We think they’re talking about their relationship and if they still have one.â€
â€œWell, good,â€ Lydia said. â€œThey do need to sort it out. And it’s really none of your business so stop trying to eavesdrop.â€
â€œWe just want to be ready to break up a shouting match if it starts,â€ Darya said sheepishly.
â€œIt sounds promising,â€ Alban said. â€œI can’t make out what they’re saying but they aren’t screaming and shouting.â€
â€œI never thought they would be,â€ Lydia said. â€œYou should trust your heart friends more. Anyway, go downstairs, there’s pop and sandwiches in the conservatory. I’ll drag these two out as they need to eat as well.â€ She rapped on the door hard.
A moment later Karen opened the door and stared at Lydia. Kyle was standing beside Karen with his arm around her waist in a way that made it clear what resolution had been reached. Lydia suppressed a pleased grin.
â€œMum says there’s a snack in the conservatory as dinner will be late this evening and we haven’t had chance for lunch,â€ she said. â€œSandwiches and pop.â€
â€œGreat!â€ Karen said. â€œI am a bit peckish.â€ She frowned at Lydia. â€œWhat about your other appetite?â€
â€œI’m fine,â€ Lydia said. â€œDad fed me earlier.â€
â€œThat’s good,â€ Karen said. â€œLet’s get down there and see what sandwiches there are.â€
Matthias was already sitting in the conservatory talking to Sonia when they came in.
â€œYes, we will need a lot of soil won’t we?â€ he was saying.
â€œYeah, I didn’t want to scoop it out of the garden when I made the pocket,â€ Sonia said. â€œWe’d have been left with a huge hole and it might not have been enough.â€
â€œMaybe we can import some from the other world along with the mabain,â€ he said. â€œThough that’s not ideal because it will start to fade without constant reinforcement we can’t spare the energy for.â€
â€œIt’s not,â€ Sonia agreed. â€œBut I fear it will have to do. We can gradually mix in compost and sand to replace it as it fades.â€
â€œStuff from the other world fades here?â€ Lydia gave Bennu a worried look but the phoenix seemed unconcerned. â€œNo one mentioned that.â€
â€œOnly non-living things do and even them slowly,â€ Sonia said. â€œSpeakers and things made directly from mabain are fine. We wouldn’t have brought them here if it wasn’t safe, Lyd.â€
â€œAh.â€ Lydia gave a relieved sigh. â€œSo we use soil from the other world at first and gradually bring in organic material to replace it.â€
â€œThat’s the plan,â€ Sonia said. â€œAt least it’s autumn so we can collect leaves to make leaf mold for a start. It’ll be a nice change of pace after the last few weeks.â€