Harold led them to the west staircase, where dim light filtered from the upstairs gallery but he didn't bother turning on the lights. There was enough to see by and he didn't want to blind himself or his companions by the sudden rush of artificial, though since Julie had insisted they convert to the low energy bulbs a 'rush' was hardly the best word. While he appreciated the need to save the planet, Harold despaired of the ten minutes it took for them to warm up to a murky glow. He missed the old hundred-watt bulbs of his youth.
“Wait.” Gillian paused at the landing to the first level cellars. “You'll have to go on without me.”
Harold raised an eyebrow. “That's a bit melodramatic, isn't it? You're not even injured and I'm fairly sure we're going to get a good reception from Legion.”
“It's not drama, Harold. It's daylight. It's only four in the afternoon. She's going into torpor.”
“Oh.” Harold pursed his lips. Despite his assurance that Legion would be the welcoming aunt, Gillian was their best fighter. Even better than him, and he'd been reading all about fighting for years. “Right, then. Get to your crypt if you must. We'll see you later. I could do with a little sleepy myself, to be honest.”
Gillian managed a terse nod. “It's not sleep, Harold, but death that awaits me in my tomb. Would that I could sleep. I miss the caress of Morpheus.”
“All right. No need for the hammy acting.” Harold went down the three steps between them to kiss her on the cheek. “We'll let you know how we get on with the aged aunt.”
“I think she'll know, Harold.” Jasfoup grinned. “You'll either be alive or dead, and a vampire can tell the difference.”