Lucy pressed her face against the banister rails, clutching two of them with her tiny hands in a parody of the archetypal prisoner, and stared down into the Great hall. Couples were waltzing to the music of an old-time band, raised especially for the purpose by Uncle Jasfoup. He knew all the best people. Her mother looked fantastic as the 2nd edition Disney Snow White (Lucy’s favourite film of 2011) and her father was dressed as the dashing hero, Darth Vader.*
She stood to see the entrance of her Gran and Grandad, leaning on the rail and stretching to see their fabulous angel costumes. As they passed under her the banister cracked, pitching her forward to fall the twenty feet to the parquet flooring…
…and landing safely in the arms of the Pirate King.**
“Ah, me’ hearties,” he said. “I has me the catch o’ the day an’ I claims a dance wi’ her.”
Lucy gathered her nightdress in one hand and stood on his boots as her glided across the floor, and not a mention was made of how late to bed she was.
*Aunt Julie and Aunt Felicia had come as Thelma and Scooby-Doo, though why Aunt Julie was carrying a big axe and a wooden stake was beyond Lucy’s ken.
** who bore a suspicious resemblance to her uncle.