“Trust me, it was,” Frederica said. “Though maybe someday we can show you some hospitality instead. Melody’s family owns the nicest hotel in Victory City. I’m sure we could arrange something.”
Illuyanka and Teth shared a look.
“We’d like that,” she said.
“What are you trying to drag my brother into now?” Orna asked, stepping away from a different conversation.
“Nothing,” Frederica said. “Just inviting him to visit my world. You’re welcome to come too.”
“No thanks,” Orna replied. “A world without magic sounds dreadful to me.”
“You could bring Lizbeth,” Frederica said. “I bet she’d love to see it.”
A thoughtful look passed over Orna’s face for a moment, then she cleared her throat.
“I have to get back to work,” she said.
She said her goodbyes to everybody and headed out of the courtyard. Lizbeth followed a couple minutes later, fooling no one.
“We should probably go too,” Teth said. “It’s been lovely seeing you again.”
Frederica hugged him and kissed Illuyanka on the cheeks and the two of them left. Magh rose from her seat as everyone gathered their bags. When she raised her wand to cast the spell that would take them home, her hand was shaking.
“Allow me,” Frederica said, touching Magh’s arm.
She pictured Victory City in her mind and made a series of gestures with her hand. She felt the rush of magical energy passing through her body and a swirling black portal appeared in the middle of the courtyard.
“Where’d you learn that?” Nila asked.
“From myself,” Frederica replied.
“I can’t believe I missed out on going to the future,” she said. “I would’ve liked to meet myself too.”
“That would’ve been hard to arrange,” Frederica said. “Apparently you were on Mars.”