“Well that wasn't a call I want to repeat any time soon.” Dad opined when he returned to the lounge.
“I'll make it.” I do after all have some experience on that front.
“Here you go.” I plonked his mug down on the side table by his chair.
“So what did Mr Rose say?”
“It's all very complicated and sometimes the law seems to be unfair.”
“Dad, me and Bern, we looked on the net so we kinda knew this was a possibility, but like its still a shock.” I was over my initial distress and lets face it, it could have been a lot worse.
“Apparently the judge was as lenient as he could be, arson carries a mandatory custodial sentence, quite often in somewhere like Rampton. They managed to negotiate a placement near Scunthorpe for her, she's low risk so they can be seen to follow the rules and keep her away from the adult system.”
“But she still has to be locked up for six months?”
“That's the sentence but she should be home in about three.”
I was trying my best to keep my emotions in check and not doing a great job.
“Drew, what's done is done, we can't turn back the clock so we have to live with the consequences. It doesn't make it any more palatable but after she's served her sentence Bernie can turn the page, start anew.”
I could see from Dads face that he was pretty upset too.
“Can we go see her?”
“I don't honestly know kiddo, we'll look into eh? Her dad said he'll give us the contact information as soon as he has it so you can write at least.”
“I need to ring your mother and let her know, you gonna be okay?”
“I guess, I need to let the girls know as well.”
The rest of the evening I spent telling our friends the news, I felt a little better after each call as I found myself doing the support bit. By the time I put the phone down on Anna I was pretty much reconciled to the situation, after all I couldn't change anything and apparently her time here had counted in her favour.
I re-read the note,
‘Here's the details for the wedding.
Wednesday afternoon drive to Munich
Thursday wedding in afternoon at the Dom, reception in evening
Friday drive home.
We'll be staying at my aunts; she's got loads of space.'
Each time I read the words the more appealing it sounded, three days off school and I've only been to Munich once, and that was for that Vampira concert last year with Goth Gurl (see book 5, Munich). Not only that but its at someone else's expense including food and bed, hmmm.
“You know next week?”
“What about it?”
“Well I've been invited to a wedding.”
“Oh? Bit short notice, anyone I know?”
“It's Max's cousin, he kinda asked me to go for company.”
“That's nice of him, where and when?”
“That's the thing, the weddings on Thursday.”
“So you want a day off school?”
“Well three actually, its in Munich.”
“Beer festival, capital of Bavaria?”
“I know where it is, what's it gonna cost me?”
“Nothing, we'll stay at his aunts and I think his dad is driving us down.”
“You've got a race on the Sunday at Bremen.”
“I can train Wednesday before we go and it's a turbo session Friday anyway so I can do that when we get back.”
“Let me talk to von Strechau today.”
“Thanks Dad.” I enthused.
“Shouldn't you be somewhere else?”
I grabbed my school bag and headed out to meet the girls.
Dave watched his youngest hare off down the street on the lumbering Schauff and shook his head. The last few weeks have been quite an emotional roller coaster for the lad – the stuff with Bernie of course but there's been his own medical issues too. The cycling acts as something of a safety valve but he continues to excel at it, guess it's in the genes! I suppose I'd best ring von Strechau; see what all this wedding lark is about.
It was lunch before Max caught Gaby on her own.
“My Dad's ringing yours today.”
“So you'll come?” he enthused.
“I'm only coming to make up the numbers remember.” I chided.
“Yeah, of course.”
“Laters, Anna's coming.”
He fairly skipped off as Anna reached me.
“What's up with him?”
“No idea.” I fibbed.
“I reckon he's got the hots for you.”
“Don't be so daft.” I felt my cheeks start to redden.
“Methinks it might be mutual.” She mused.
Of course Bernie had been high on the agenda of discussion for our coven but whilst everyone was concerned for her that was tempered by a need to move on. Not forget, no that would be callous and that wasn't the feeling, rather it was looking forward, we even discussed everyone doing a trip to blighty later in the year.
“Drew?” Dad called from his den.
“Hello?” I poked my head around the door.
“I spoke to Max's dad.”
“Uh huh.” I replied nonchalantly.
“I've agreed for you to go to Munich.”
“Kewl! Cheers Dad.”
“He mentioned what you need to wear.”
“I'll talk to your mother later.”
“Look kiddo, I know things, feelings can be difficult at your age.”
“Its nothing like that really.”
“You say that but, well its only natural to form attachments, your sister.”
I interrupted, “my sister has had more boyfriends than I've had hot dinners.”
“Yes well, I know its difficult and I know it might be especially confusing for you, so if you like someone, well you don't have to hide it from us.”
This was kinda embarrassing.
“Dad, I don't fancy anyone, well maybe Sarah Geller, but certainly not Max, I'm going as a kind of favour.
I think Dad was as embarrassed nearly as much as me.
The conversation had sort of run its course.
“Erm so like what do I need to take to wear?” I enquired.
“Something formal for the wedding – it's a pretty posh do, and something nice for the reception.”
“Sounds a bit over the top.”
“You don't know do you?”
“This wedding it's a pretty big thing.”
“I guess getting hitched at the cathedral is pretty big.”
“Its not so much the location.”
“Come on Dad, spill.”
“Well the groom is a Habsburg and the bride is a Coburg.”
“Like in the history books?”
“Very like, this is the German equivalent of a royal wedding you're going to.”
“Er maybe I shouldn't go.”
“I've already told von Strechau you can go.”
“I think it's an experience you should make the most of, you wont get many chances like this.”
“But I only wanted to go to get off school.”
“The truth will out, its come back to bite you this time kiddo.”
No kidding, there's me thinking I could get off school for a few days and I step into some Disney fairytale. So not only do I have to dress up in some no doubt uncomfortable togs but everyone's going to think I'm ‘attached' to von Strechau junior – not good. Where's Maddy when you need her? She'd love this stuff.
I took my leave and headed to my eyrie, I've a lot to think about, bum, I've got to go training too. Well at least I can have a good thunk while I'm out.
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 25.04.11 © 2011