And I was feeling frisky:
Halley wished she had studied flowers a little more. She could tell only some. No sunflowers or other towering ones, but they had to use magic to keep these going. Foxgloves, of course -- and daisies? She scowled. Weren't daisies protection against fairies?
Her breath gushed out. So much to learn. They had chocolate, so they used some things from the modern world, or perhaps they had picked up the ingredient from fae who could circle the world in forty minutes, long before mortals had learned of foods from other continents. She leaned on the porch railing. They still used fire, but perhaps they used matches, or magic, rather than banking with care and having to kindle it whenever it went out.
She turned back to the kitchen. Rosie was lowering the cake onto a tray polished to a mirror finish. A box stood ready to take it.
"Like the garden?" said the brownie.
"Oh yes," said Halley. "The daisies are doing well."
Rosie nodded. "We keep good care of them. No more mischief from small boys!"
Halley opened her mouth and shut it again. Of course fairies might wish for protection from other fairies.
Smoke billowed on. And on. But gawking would not tell her what kindled it. And the billows, however enormous, did not change much. She headed down the road. She could walk into town, but she hoped news came more quickly.
Down at the corner, where Mrs. Collins had planted a hedge of sunflowers, they hid the Greys' car until she came around it and saw them gawking. They had been shopping, she saw a collection of oddments from a box of chocolates, to a teddy bear with the tag still on, a tray painted with roses, three books, and a mirror, but now they didn't move.
"What's that?" said the boy, sputtering when he noticed her. "Did you know?"
Hope shook her head. "I hoped you might."
The pool showed it as clearly as a reflection in a mirror: during radiant, golden day, Augusta's room in the castle, the sunflowers just visible from the window, a box of those candies that wizards magically fetched from far distant lands -- chocolates, if she remembered rightly. A golden tray on which someone had heaped herbs to kindle a fire in, though only some were charred. Perhaps Carrigiana's wizardry had quenched fire as surely as it had stilled the castle's people.
The sharp bluish sun, a pin prick in the sky, burned down as if it were trying to kindle a fire using him. Edmund threw up his arm to shield the face, and looked at the scene before him. Earth chocolate brown and flat as a tray. A pool not a stride away, equally flat and mirroring back the flowers looking down. One might almost think they were sunflowers, if it weren't for the random array of colors in their petals and center, and the blue leaves. If he looked past them, he saw cliffs, going straight up -- all about him, as if he had been put in a box.
He felt like it. He staggered to his feet.