The portal opened close to where her father held court in the demon realm. The air was hot and thick with the screams of those unfortunate enough to cross the demons at the top of the food chain. The screams and cries of the humans whose souls suffered eternal torment in the lower pits added to the cacophony. It hadn't always been like this; human interference continually constructing the world and the afterlife in their own image had led to changes in this realm as it had in the angel realm. Humans blamed their gods for suffering, many of those considered gods and devils, blamed humans for devastating their realities and looked to exact revenge. While Louisa understood those that harboured such thoughts, she found it hard to blame an entire race for the actions of a minority in each generation.
The explanation came in the form of a knock at the door late the following morning. The knocking woke Margaret and the twins from their uncomfortable slumber. Raven moved to answer the door, but Margaret motioned for him to stay with his mother. It was better that they remain close to her and that she dealt with any unwanted attention.
Louisa checked around the house, the storm raged outside, and the wind rattled the windows of their home. It was on nights like these that she wished they had brought one of the demon hounds back with them. Even one of the cat-like creatures that Malphas so adored would be preferable to the deafening silence and loneliness that surrounded her in the late hours.
Malphas grinned, despite his recently deceased master's attempts to draw out the contract, he had completed his end of the bargain and had finally feasted. It had not been the best quality soul, but it had sated his hunger. More importantly, the end of the contract meant he could finally return home to his mate and children. Children, he considered the word; they were hardly children now. The twins had turned seventeen while he had been away and were coming fully into their powers. He was proud of the young demons they were becoming, of the control they were showing, and of the strength Louisa had shown in directing their education.
It was a few days later when the expected knock at the door came. Louisa answered it to find Peter standing there twiddling an envelope between his fingers. She greeted him with a smile.
The weeks and months passed almost in a haze. The children practised their skills and developed their ever-growing powers. Lilith had developed abilities similar to her mother; she had control of fire and ice and could burn and freeze at will. She found controlling the air more challenging and had created more than one localised storm as she struggled for control. The powers over the earth evaded her, regardless of how hard she tried, she could not grow even the smallest seed or share her senses with the natural world around her. Much to Raven's annoyance, she could, however, transmute matter, albeit only slightly and with great concentration.