I know it’s been a long time coming, and I really hope that you think it’s worth it. This is the third part of my little venture into Kirrin, where Julian tells the rest of the Five about his girlfriend, Sally Hope, who he met while studying at university.
Just in case you need a refresher of the story line, the original fan fiction that inspired this all can be found here . This is the part where Sally and Julian meet at an open day in St Andrews before they start university. The first part of the piece set in Kirrin, can be found here.
I hope you enjoy this next installment!
THE FIRST DAY
The next day was what Dick had once called the “getting into the feel of things” day. For the first time in months the Five were together again, free of school work and exam stress and able to enjoy themselves properly.
During breakfast they were asked to run some errands for Aunt Fanny.
“It would be really quite helpful if the four of you could help me and Joan around the house this morning.” Aunt Fanny said as they munched away on their toast and marmalade. “If two of you could go to the village and get me some supplies while the other two make the beds and help me move some things around to set up the Christmas tree it would be most appreciated.”
“Oh really, Mother? You want us to split up on our first morning together again?” George asked.
“It’s only for an hour or two George,” her mother said reproachfully. “And it would really be a help.”
“We would be pleased to help, Aunt Fanny,” said Julian, calming the troubled waters like he had so many times before.
“Come on now George. It’ll only be an hour or two. Do you and Anne want to stay and help tidy while Dick and I get the shopping?” Julian suggested.
“Why don’t you and George go to the shops,” Aunt Fanny suggested, looking visibly relieved that Julian had stepped in and taken control, “and Dick and Anne can help me around the house.”
Dick looked pained.
“But Aunty, you know I drop things! I’ll have Uncle bursting out of his study demanding to know what that noise is every five minutes!” he groaned.
“Surely you’re not so much of a butter fingers now are you, Dick?” his Aunt said with a wry smile. “I’m sure that you’ll be extra careful and not drop anything!”
Everyone laughed and Dick managed to look embarrassed.
“Now George, you and Julian go and get the list of things we need from Joan,” Aunt Fanny said, putting her cup down. “If you can take some of the crockery with you, then that speeds things up nicely!”
George grinned ruefully at her mother as Julian got up from his seat and started to collect the used dishes together.
After all the breakfast things had been taken out to Joan in the kitchen, Dick followed his brother upstairs as Julian fetched an extra jumper to wrap up against the cold winter wind.
“Are you going to tell George about Sally while you’re shopping? It might be the best time you know, while you’re out,” Dick said beginning to make his own bed. His style had not improved over the years, he still dragged the covers over his bed in a hap-hazard fashion.
“You mean so she can storm off without slamming a door,” Julian grinned at his brother.
“Well I just wanted to know if you were thinking about it. I would rather like to know if I need to fetch my tin hat out for when you two return!”
“Then fetch away, Dick,” Julian said, wrapping his scarf tightly around his neck and tucking the ends into the neck of his jumper.
“Good luck,” Dick said, as Julian headed downstairs to join George. Julian smiled at his brother as he took the stairs two at a time, and then at his aunt as she waited in the hallway with George. He reached for his coat as his aunt started talking.
“Here’s the list and the money,” Aunt Fanny said. “George has the basket. Be careful how you go won’t you, the paths may be icy!”
“We will Aunt Fanny. Shan’t be long,” Julian said with a smile as he and George headed out into the cold. George, with Timmy trotting along at her ankles, walked beside Julian as they headed off towards the village.
“Do you enjoy university, Ju?” George asked as they walked. “Is it very different to school?”
“Much different from school George,” Julian said, putting his hands in his pockets. “Not so strict with the rules, and being able to come and go as you’re please. It’s a lot of fun.”
“It sounds like it with the adventure you’ve had,” George said as Tim ran ahead in front of them. “I must say it sounded very thrilling, finding the papers, unmasking a spy, not to mention finding a secret tunnel and rescuing your friend! You had me thinking that you’d be quite boring at university with all that work to do!”
Julian laughed, although there was a little awkwardness to it. He was wondering how best to bring up the subject of Sally with George.
“Not boring at all,” Julian said. “In fact there was very little this term that was boring.”
“What about these friends of yours, we’ve hardly heard anything about them, apart from what you told us last night when you were telling us about your adventure. I must say that Sally girl sounded a bit silly, getting herself kidnapped like that. Pooh, I wouldn’t walk off with someone who might be up to dastardly deeds,” George continued.
Julian bristled a little at that remark. George hadn’t been there, she didn’t know how things had been going.
“Yes, well not everyone has our experience, George,” Julian said as they reached the shops. He pulled the list out of his pocket and scanned it.
“Shall we head to the greengrocers first?” He suggested.
They got back to Kirrin cottage a little over an hour later, laden with all the things Joan and Aunt Fanny had requested.
“There you are, we were wondering if you had got lost,” Dick said, appearing on the stairs as Julian struggled in the front door with Tim winding himself around his legs. George had already disappeared into the kitchen with a basket.
“Did you tell her?” Dick asked as he jumped down the last few steps and shut the front door behind his brother before taking half the bags from him.
“No, I didn’t,” Julian said, shaking life back into his hand. “George is not impressed with Sally however, I can tell you that much.”
“I’ll tell you later,” Julian said as they reached the kitchen door and pushed it open.
“Looks like you found everything then,” said Dick.
“Yes we did but the shops were very busy, everyone must have had the same idea as us,” Julian said leading the way into the kitchen. “Here you are, Aunt Fanny. I think we got everything on the list.”
“Thank you dears,” Aunt Fanny said. She turned back to helping Joan with the washing up for a moment before adding over her shoulder “I almost forgot there’s a letter for you Julian, on the hall table.”
“A letter for me?” Julian asked astonished.
“That’s what it says on the envelope, I checked. Twice,” Dick said, grinning. George laughed as Julian punched Dick on the shoulder.
“As long as you didn’t open it I suppose,” he said with a slight smile.
“Go and read your letter,” Dick said, rubbing his shoulder.
As Julian went to read his letter, Dick and George started to discuss what they were going to get up to that day.
Julian stood in the hallway and opened his letter eagerly; it was Sally’s handwriting on the envelope. It had only been two days ago since he sent her his last letter. As he read it, he didn’t hear Anne heading downstairs.
“That’s from her isn’t it?” Anne asked, appearing at her brother’s side.
“Who do you mean Anne?” Julian asked, carefully folding up the letter and putting it back into the envelope.
“Your girlfriend,” Anne said simply.
She looked up at Julian, a small smile on her face.
“It’s that girl Sally isn’t it?” She asked. “The smart one you rescued from the tower.”
Julian had the grace to look bashful.
“Yes Anne, it’s from Sally,” he said. “How did you guess?”
“Oh it wasn’t difficult,” Anne said airily. “You couldn’t help but mention her name a lot last night and I put two and two together. She sounds like a really great girl Ju. I can’t wait to meet her. Maybe you could invite her down here after Christmas.”
“Slow down Anne,” Julian said with a laugh, hugging his sister. “It’s a bit soon to be inviting her anywhere. I haven’t met her parents yet, and it wouldn’t be proper just to invite her to Kirrin. Not fair on Aunt Fanny either.”
He was silent for a moment.
“I still need to tell George,” he added quietly.
“Tell me what?” George’s voice asked from behind him