And then the glass outer door opened.
I looked down.
"I am Serafina Pekkala, Queen of the Witches of Lake Enara. I am here to protect the child Lyra. Is she here?"
"Uh... yeah. She's... upstairs. Is that... is that a cloud-pine?"
"Cloud-juniper," she said calmly. "Cloud-pine is not in season."
And she came right in and went right up the stairs and I just kind of stared after her and finally closed the door in the cat's face before he could sneak out.
Galadriel was very pleased to meet her as well. I guess that's what the alethiometer was trying to tell us, that Serafina was coming? She was certainly more of a mother to Lyra than Mrs. Coulter ever was--I still can't quite suss out all the nuances of the message, but I think the alethiometer was trying to say that someone was coming to protect Lyra. (You know, exactly like Serafina said. I are smrt.) Not that Lyra needs protecting--number one, she's pretty fearsome to behold with that bookmark, and number two, the Problem of Edward has already been resolved and squared away. But if anyone on The Shelf was concerned for her safety--Lyra being the only minor, and the only Shelfian not trained in the use of any weapons or magic
Speaking of The Littlest Edward--he was a bit agog when Serafina arrived because he had never before seen a woman so... indifferently clothed, let's put it that way. That's a whole hell of a lot of fabric she's got goin' on there, yes, but it's basically an entire dress made out of silk scarves arranged in a vaguely skirt-like fashion. Maybe they cover the goods, maybe they don't, and Serafina doesn't really care either way. She does wear leggings (no, really, she does), but even those are transparent and not really all that effective, judging by the look on Edward's face when she turned her back to him. And when she leaped from the file cabinet to the shelf over my desk, I'm pretty sure I heard him whimper, "I'm going to hell now."
(The other guys seemed to take it more in stride, although I heard Helm's Deep Aragorn ask Purple Arwen if she still has that blue negligee of hers.)
(Faramir Two was just fascinated by the whole thing. "How can she have so much dress and yet be so naked? It's a marvel of construction.")
But for the moment, she settled in without any trouble; I found her a nice place on one of the bookshelves where she could store her cloud-juniper. From her new perch, Serafina surveyed the room before her. "So," she mused idly, "which man on The Shelf is going to be my lover?"
(More from the Secret Life of Dolls; fan community)