The glow of the bubbling cauldron in the dim lighting of the circular room struck Gilly as ominous. It wasn't that she feared magic, but the fact that she doubted Harris being dumped into the cauldron of the shady witch was the best idea. Especially since she didn't trust the witch, who had yet to show her any proof of her friend's welfare.
Gilly eyed Harris surreptitiously before she cautiously looked askance at Edna, then said, "I cannot hand you the box until I know that my friend is safe, you see."
The Zafara glared at her with suspicion for a long moment upon realizing that Gilly didn't appear to be very willing to make the exchange easy.
"Tell me, Gilly, have you been lied to your whole life? You have fulfilled my quest. When have I ever not followed through with a reward....or punishment?" The witch asked, her expression impatient.
"....Even so, I'd like to ascertain the safety of my friend before I hand Harris over." Gilly replied evenly, trying to avoid Edna's suspicious eyes.
A long pause ensued, until Harris himself broke the silence and said, "I think Gilly is being reasonable. I would like to see this friend that she has betrayed me for."
Edna looked them both over then cackled and folded her hands behind her back. She stared Gilly down as though she intended to pry open her mind and divulge the secrets of her plan with her eyes alone.
Gilly stared back.
Edna blinked first, then turned away from them and stalked toward the spiral staircase.
"Follow me, if you want to see."
Gilly held onto the box holding Harris more tightly, a cold shiver rolling down her spine at the sound of her voice. Harris exchanged a meaningful look with her and flapped his wings silently to urge her forward.
Against her sudden misgivings, she carried Harris' box and followed Edna up the tower stairs.
It was a long walk, as the tower was tall. Additionally, the interior was quite drafty, although the higher they climbed the brighter their surroundings began to grow.
Finally, at the top of the staircase, Edna cackled and unlocked the door before them. She stepped aside so that Gilly could walk before her.
Gilly stepped forward and peered into the room, squinting due to the sudden change in lighting. She called out her friend's name as her eyes began to adjust. "Laureline?"
Suddenly, Harris began to struggle more fiercely in his box and screamed out in warning "GILLY! RUN!"
But it was already too late to turn back.
Gilly's head whipped around to stare at Edna in shock, as the witch simultaneously shoved her through the doorway and stole the box containing Harris with a quick spell.
"You'll see you friend in time!" The witch cackled as she slammed the door in Gilly's face and left her to face the horror within.