A look of surprise washed over Harry’s face as he absorbed what I had just told him, but it soon disappeared and was replaced by a smile.
‘I love you too.’
He chuckled, ‘we’ve been best friends since we were children; I grew very fond, and protective of you. You’ve become someone I love like a sibling.’
‘I could say the same about you, though I’d guess you already knew that’ I responded, smiling knowingly.
He grinned back, ‘that I did.’
‘So…there’s just five days until we leave.’ I turned in a slow circle, gazing out of the window.
‘You sound nervous.’
I turned back to him. ‘I’m not nervous. Just…a little apprehensive; you know I’m not great with planes.’
Returning to my bed, I picked up one of my cushions as I sat beside him, and hugged it to my chest for comfort.
‘It’ll be okay’ he replied, wrapping his arm around my shoulder and pulling me into him.
‘You really think so?’
‘I know so. You’ll find the next portal piece in no time, and we’ll be back home before you know it’ he assured me, and I relaxed into him leaning my head against his shoulder under his chin feeling considerably less anxious about travelling to Dublin.
Standing on the balcony of our room at the hotel Harry and I were staying at, I looked out across the city and its lights as the day ended, sighing contentedly as Harry joined me outside.
‘Enjoying the view?’ he asked, handing me one of the cans of Sprite that had been left for us in the mini-fridge between our beds.
‘Thank you. Yes, it’s beautiful isn’t it?’
He nodded his agreement, ‘yes, and it is more so – I have to say – at night than it is during the day.’
Now he turned towards me and held up his can, ‘to you and Elandrea.’
I smiled and held up my own, knocking it against his before turning back to the darkening city as the lights of various stores lit up wondering which of the remaining five pieces awaited me in the area surrounding the Four Courts.
The next day the two of us followed the map we had bought at the airport carefully from the hotel until we found the Four Courts, which sat snugly above the banks of the River Liffey.
It was as we neared the Courts that the soft melodic notes soon reached my ears, becoming louder until they faded out as I neared the third of several trees that lined the wall overlooking the river, until I spotted something within a small hole set into the tree’s long trunk.
‘It’s Hope’ I announced, pulling the anklet from its hidey-hole, handing it over to Harry as I took the notepad out of my little shoulder bag; crossing it off the list of Pieces we still had to find.
‘That leaves Friendship, Kindness, Strength, and Happiness’ he replied, handing me back the anklet so I could slip it into my bag behind the notebook.
‘So, how do you propose we spend the rest of our time here?’ Harry asked as I zipped up my bag.
‘Well, I’ve never been here before and you have; why not take me to all of your favourite places tomorrow, and then we’ll spend our final day relaxing in our hotel room?’
He grinned ‘you took the words right out of my mouth. Let’s go, there are many things I’m dying to show you.’
By the end of our second day in Dublin, Harry had taken me to several of his favourite places both on foot and by taxi, from our hotel, and by the time we returned to our room, I was completely exhausted.
‘I’m so relieved we’re staying here tomorrow’ I sighed, falling backwards onto my bed.
‘Why is that?’ he asked, grinning as he sat on the edge of his own.
I glowered at him from under my eyelashes, ‘it means I won’t get exhausted thanks to my best friend a second time.’
He chuckled, ‘you’re the one who asked me to take you to all my favourite places.’
I pulled myself up and slid off my bed as I muttered, ‘shut up. I’m having a shower and then going to bed.’
‘All right’ he answered, and that was the last conversation of the evening.
Hey lovelies, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Tomorrow there will only be one chapter, at 12pm – but, there is also a review of Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell (Illustrator) going up in the morning.