And / or
Susan got up and felt her way in the tiny room, it was not absolutely dark. As her eyes got used to the dark, she could see just a bit. It was a small room, with a floor space of maybe two by two metres and at least twice as tall. the light came from somewhere high above, behind an outcropping in the massive stone from which the room was hewn. She tried conjuring up her witch-light, but it did not work. She was neither cold, nor hot. And the stone was not cold to the touch either. It was a strange place. She sat down, stood again, even tried lying down. It was unpleasant either way. In the end she squatted in a corner beneath the source of light, figuring that the door had to be opposite the "window" or whatever was up there. During the wait only the presence of the light source above let her keep a hold on her sanity. No sounds reached her, the light did not change, there was only herself and the hard stone room. She was afraid of making loud noises, and small noises were swallowed by the stone walls. She recited the multiplication table, murmuring away, then the Lord's Prayer, then a lot of poetry, Icelandic vocabulary and more poetry. Until finally, after what felt like hours the wall next to her glided open and a big figure stood etched in black against the glaring light of the room outside.
"What mischief have you been up to now?" a voice asked. Susan almost began crying. It was a voice she would have recognized everywhere. It was Thora.
"Mischief." she answered. "I was only trying to help. But everything went awry. We should have come here in the first place. And apropos. Where is here?"
"You came," Thora said, "and that is good. Helge is together with Gilvi. We'll see what will happen when have heard your story too. Now, Susan, you tell me the truth," Thora said. "Spill it!"
"I was in Sweden," Susan began. And quickly, but unhurriedly she told the story of tickets for cigarettes, pear flavoured soft-ice, shopping, bananas, Helge's appearance, their escape from the Swedish police, the freight train, more police in Denmark, dinner at home, and their mishap at the Unicorn Farm. "Has Torben gone mad or something?" she ended her story. "We just did not want to talk with him."
"Come with me, Gilvi and Helge are waiting for us now," Thora said, not answering even one of Susan's many questions. They walked through a long corridor of the same stone, lit with a soft light from lamps hidden above. Doors at regular intervals were all closed, but Susan imagined, that they all led to cubicles resembling the one she had sat in. Gilvi and Helge sat at a table in a bigger room, still lighted by that same, soft light, tea and cakes stood on the table, and Helge was talking and eating and drinking all at the same time. Susan could see that he had been crying.
"Good evening, Susan," Gilvi said as he stood up from the table. Do have a seat and some cake, and some tea. It's still hot. And you as well, my dear sister," he said, bowing in Thora's direction.
He sent a jabber of in ultra-fast words to Thora. It was, as far as Susan had been able to discern, some kind of twin language, or maybe a magically enhanced one. Thora sat, and Susan did the same. The cake was good, and so was the tea.
Gilvi looked at Thora, who spoke: "You two have been more wronged against than doing wrong. You even paid that poor fruit seller more than the bananas were worth. And no harm came to him, as far as we have been able to discern. All that police was not there for you, that's true. I think this is a story with a happy ending." She smiled and arose. "And I think I've got to take hand of our third visitor. I'll be back soon."
"My father is alive and well," Helge said with a happy smile. "Thora have been visiting him in the hospital. He'll be home soon, and so will I. But I've chosen to stay with Thora in Iceland until he returns home. She has also promised to sing me a new wand - and help me with my homework."
"Oh, I'm so happy for you," Susan said with a mighty yawn. "You must come and visit me and my family in Elsinore when you're settled. I will gladly spend all day showing you Hamlet's castle and the gruesome cellars - even worse than the ones we were incarcerated in. What is this place?" she asked, turning to Gilvi.
"It's a secret," Gilvi answered. "But our portals all are trap portals and lead to here - single cells only - and with an alarm going off so that the guardian of the day can go and have a look. It's a precaution we have had to take recently due to some unforeseen developments. I won't say any more, and guessing and asking will only make me shut up." Gilvi looked glum, even angry.
A short while later, Thora returned. "Out third guest is sent back home again, no problems," she said. "And now it's time for us to leave here as well. Helge, you come with me, and Gilvi can you take Susan home?"
"Of course, Gilvi said. "I'd be honoured to."
Helge and Susan hugged one another, "See you in the autumn holidays," Susan said. "and remember to learn how to change your clothing back before you go home," she added in a teasing tone. Helge smiled and said: "You've better study that spell yourself. I might not be around to help you next time." They laughed, and Thora and Helge walked out through the door, showing a field of greens and lava blocks and a blue, blue sky.
"Is it tomorrow already? My Mum will be worried sick," Susan said.
"No, she won't," Gilvi said with a wink. "She 'remembers' you arriving home late, but not terribly so. It's bad enough we had to test you in the cubicles. We won't put you in bad standing with your parents as well."
"Man am I grateful. 'Only' testing me in the cubicles. It was awful, you know dark, lonely and so quiet. The quiet was the worst. I felt like my ears were falling off."
"Yes I know. I've spent some time there too. But we'll not use any more portals for now, I'll teleport you home."
"Oh!" Susan exclaimed. "No, not home. My bike ... I left it by the portal. I've got to have it back for tomorrow ... today, I mean."
"I'll get it," Gilvi said. " It's still very early morning, and you'll need some sleep."
He took Susan's hands and when the darkness from the spell dissipated, it was replaced by a softer darkness. The sun had not risen yet in Elsinore. She thanked Gilvi, and showed him where she normally placed her bike. Then she tiptoed upstairs to her room and slipped under the duvet. She was asleep even before Gilvi had left the garden.