The sugar runes scatter.
The lights flicker.
And the witch is holding -
"Few blocks west from the house you're in, I believe you said."
"Mm-hm. I'm gonna be a ways across town doing magic stuff with Metis at sunset, if you take long enough for that to matter, but I'll leave the door unlocked and won't let the curse on trespassers bite ya."
He grins. "Curse on trespassers, nice. Thanks for that. Luca might want to race you back, though."
"But Luca, tree forty."
"What does that mean?"
"Means I'll win. Tree forty is cloud-pine."
"Then I'll try harder."
Sadde gets up.
Isabella goes out and waits for Luca to be ready before taking off down the street.
He flies as fast as he's ever flown.
It was worth a try.
"That is a very fast transportation method," he says, a little bit jealous.
"It's slower than an airliner but faster than a train."
"I cannot hope to outfly that," he admits forlornly.
"Sorry," she says, not sounding it.
You are not sorry at all, he doesn't say. He just hmpfs, instead. "I will wait for Sadde to return, then."
"You can come in if you want, it's not sunset yet." She opens the door.
In he flap-hops.
She packs a little bag full of various herbs and such and is ready to go when Metis is. They're back at about eight.
Sadde has returned by then, and is fiddling with the alethiometer and a dictionary, sitting cross-legged on the floor.
And on the kitchen table there's a bottle of wine.
And since Sadde is too engrossed with the magic truth-telling device to... notice... the witches' arrival, it falls to his daemon to hop over to them and say, "Welcome back. Metis, we hope you like wine; it felt right to get you something for allowing us to stay here, and it seemed traditional."
The sound of Luca's voice wakes Sadde up from his reverie. "Oh, hi."
"Sometimes I like wine," allows Metis. "Isabella, make something that'll go with this -"
"I don't know wine pairing."
"Just don't make macaroni and cheese, all right?"
"Venison and roast potatoes and mustard greens?"
Isabella sets about that.