"E . . . Ebony?" Joy stuttered.
"Yes, it is indeed Ebony." Ebony's face slowly sank into a small frown. "What is wrong with that particular name?"
"It's . . . it is nothing," Joy muttered.
Ebony slowly nodded and tilted her head. "Do you wish to meet my mother?"
"Why not?" Joy agreed and followed the mysterious girl. 'Ebony,' she thought, 'That . . . that was the girl I was in the prediction; this is getting to be so strange.'
Ebony led her down a neat hall with what looked like bearskin carpet. Then she skipped the stairs two by two, while Joy just pattered down nervously, gripping the wooden railing as if it were her life.
Once they were at the bottom of the stairs, Joy began to pay more attention to her surroundings. To her left was a mahogany wall, while the ground was white maple. Further down to the left was an entrance to another hall.
To her right was what looked like a living room, with two couches and another animal skin carpet. There was also a small table and on that table was a candle. Beyond the living room was a large entrance to a small pocket-like room, which Joy was guessing was the kitchen.
Other than that, the house seemed pretty small compared to other homes Joy had seen in her days, though it was still a beautiful home. It wasn't very dirty; it seemed to be shimmering with happiness.
"My mother is further down, Joy." Ebony pointed across the living room and below the stairs. There was a very small, dark room that she hadn't noticed. "That is our humble room . . ." Ebony whispered wistfully.
"The . . . humble room?" Joy asked.
Ebony looked at her questioningly. "Yes, the humble room. Every home in this village has one, but I suppose you are not from this village, hmm?"
Joy shook her head. "No, I believe not."
"Very well, then. I do not think I am allowed to bring you to the humble room." Ebony nodded. "We shall wait."
Meanwhile, while the two girls were gazing at each other in silence, Jeremy was staring at the ground with his head on his knees. He could not believe that he had lost his little sister he was supposed to watch over and take care of.
A tear drizzled down his cheek by itself in a silent mourn.
"You lost her, didn't you?" a voice croaked behind him. Jeremy whipped around to see Selvester. He felt rage burning inside of him, and he desired to yell at the fox that it was all of his fault and for him to just go away and not to ever come back!
But he didn't. Jeremy just didn't feel like talking. He felt weak and alone. For all he knew, Joy was gone forever.
"Yes, yes. I should have warned you about this river . . ." Selvester whispered.
"Why didn't you?!" Jeremy growled, his voice not strong enough to shout.
"I . . . I wasn't thinking. I greatly apologize. However, I believe that she may still live."
Jeremy looked up. "What?"
"Yes, yes! It is very possible!" Selvester began to bark with excitement. So, he hadn't exactly changed, had he? At least he wasn't hiding everything from them, or at least him. Jeremy sighed, but inside, his heart smiled.
Selvester was right; Joy actually might still be alive!