We fell onto our faces in the middle of a country road with the scream of the Inversion cut off by the portal snapping shut behind us. I turned my head to see only blue sky above and no darkness on the horizon.
I pushed up to sitting, thankful that I had not landed on my sword and folded it. I wiped my hands against the shredded cloth of my apron and felt a lump in my pocket. I pulled out a teaspoon and laughed. Its back was dented where it had taken a blow from one of the goblins that tried, and failed, to sever my leg at the hip. The universe truly did have a sense of humor.
Then I turned to Sami who groaned, then went as still as a cornered mouse when her eyes met mine.
“That was lesson three,” I said saving her the trouble.
“I…I don’t understand.”
“Lesson three,” I said, standing and reaching out my hand for hers. “Blood is not thicker than the Sisterhood.”
She blinked her eyes and looked away. “Am I still in the Sisterhood?”
Her shoulders sagged.
“You are still my apprentice and it is time for lesson four.”
She looked up at me, “Really?”
“Yes. Now come, we have work to do.”
And she took my hand and looked around, a new line of worry creasing her forehead. “Um, we’re not near the farm, are we?”
“Close enough. It is over there.” I pointed to a speck far across the valley, almost a half-day’s walk.
Sami sighed. “Of course.” Then she surprised me by not complaining further and beginning the walk home.
“Silas is probably already there, isn’t he?”
I made a noncommittal noise. I didn’t want to make her feel worse, but it was almost certain that Silas was already in the house, curled up in a sunspot, waiting to chide me for being late in getting him cream.
“Of course, that damn cat.” She said it without malice and I had to hide a smile. “Is there really another lesson?”
I nodded. “There is always at least one more.”
Sami sighed before beginning to laugh. She was Found, the Sisterhood was whole, and I joined my apprentice in laughing because somethings cannot be said. They must only be shared in the relief of laughter or the sharing of tears, but they bind us thicker than blood and always will.