“What celebration, I don’t understand.” Katie pinched the bridge of her nose, unsure if the buzzing in her ears was caused by Leanne and Angie’s incomprehensible blabbering or utter exhaustion setting in. Perhaps, she should’ve taken Oliver up on his offer and allowed him to take her home.
“Summer Solstice!” Angie squealed, so loud that it broke through their Muffling Charm and several heads turned their way.
As soon as Katie recast the charm and the noise around them reduced to a comfortable buzzing, Leanne began explaining, “We’re gonna celebrate it like they used to do in the olden days. With maidens, although I’m not sure where we gonna find those. Where was I? Oh, yeah, and with virile young blokes to satisfy Mother’s needs. The Rollright Stones is the perfect place for it. It’s imperative that it happens there, the old lady said so. S’all.”
“Wot? Whose mother?” Katie shook her head in disbelief. Everything about what she’d just heard sounded ridiculous. Where to begin? “The Rollright stones? You can’t pull that off; that place is infested with Muggles. Especially during the Midsummer celebrations -”
Katie forgot what she had wanted to say when the sound of drums drowned out her voice. Something outside caught her eye and she forgot how to breathe. It was a mere glimmer, a reflection even, but breath-taking nonetheless. As if hit by a Stinging Spell, she jumped up from her chair, ready to go after whatever it was. For the first time in a long while, the unquiet she’d felt for so long dissipated and left behind a sense of hopeful longing. The throbbing pain behind her eyes, which had become a part of her daily life since December, eased. She could see again, and then it was over. As fast and unexpected the moment of clarity had overcome her, it disappeared again, leaving her utterly bewildered and feeling more bereft than she’d felt before.