Lydia stayed curled up on Carrie’s lap as they discussed how Andrew’s friends were going to regularly sneak in and out for their lessons. Her father seemed fairly certain he could stop anyone noticing and given how well he had concealed their family for fourteen years, Lydia was inclined to believe him.
Andrew’s friends seemed less certain â€“ perhaps unsurprisingly, since they didn’t know Matthias as well as his family did.
â€œDad can do it,â€ Andrew said. â€œEspecially since he’ll have help from Lyrrekka and both of them seem to be really good at hiding things. Dad hid mum and us from our enemies for years and Lyr stopped anyone realising who she was for just as long. Since we have the paranormal group as cover, I think it will be fine.â€
â€œI believe you,â€ George’s father said. â€œBut it’s still a risk since it’s a lot of movement as well. We need a back up plan.â€
â€œBack up plans are always good,â€ Matthias agreed. â€œBut since the kids are all friends of Drew’s, as long as we respect curfew it should be fine.â€
â€œI’m more worried about space,â€ Carrie said. â€œThere doesn’t seem to be enough room here for the type of lessons you’re describing.â€
â€œVery true,â€ Sonia said. â€œBut we have a solution. Follow me.â€ She led the group into the garden.
Carrie was the last to rise, moving carefully and obviously trying not to disturb Lydia. She giggled as Lydia flew up and perched on her shoulder.
â€œAre you sure you won’t come home with me?â€ Her tone made it clear she was joking. â€œI bake mean cookies.â€
Tempting, but no, Lydia said. And you’d better follow mum.
â€œOh yeah.â€ Carrie headed into the garden.
â€œNobody scream,â€ Sonia said. â€œThis is perfectly safe I promise.â€ She turned and disappeared through the invisible gate into the pocket.
â€œBloody hell!â€ George said. â€œWhere did she go? This isn’t like last time. We could see that gate.â€
â€œThis is different,â€ Karen said. â€œBut like mum says, it’s safe.â€ She disappeard into the gate and reappeared a moment later. â€œSee?â€
â€œI’ll do it!â€ Carrie rolled her eyes when the other’s continued to hesitate. She charged through the gate without hesitation, grinding to a halt when she saw the size of the space. â€œWoah! I feel like I should make a Doctor Who joke. What is this?â€
â€œIt’s a bubble,â€ Sonia said. â€œAt least that’s what we call it. And yes, it is bigger on the inside, but sadly it can’t travel in time or space since it’s anchored here. Disappointing, I know.â€ She smiled as their other guests slowly emerged into the bubble. â€œThis is where we’ll be training you, just as soon as we secure some soil for landscaping and construct the school.â€
â€œI can probably source you some soil if you can get it here secretly,â€ George’s father said. â€œI have contacts in the construction industry and they often have waste soil.â€
â€œIf you can source it without raising suspicion, we can get it here,â€ Sonia said. â€œAnd it would be useful. We’ve been worrying about it.â€
â€œCan I have a couple of days?â€ he asked.
â€œYeah, that’s fine,â€ Sonia said. â€œThanks for your help.â€