Finally one of the creatures spread his wings wide. The others, as close as they were, did so too, and their wings interpenetrated with no resistance, sweeping through one another like light through light, until there was a circle of radiance around the sleepers on the grass.
There was a stir at Lyra's neck. Pantalaimon, a snow-white ermine, opened his black eyes sleepily and gazed around unafraid. Later, Lyra would remember it as a dream. Pantalaimon seemed to accept the attention as Lyra's due, and presently he curled up again and closed his eyes.
"In spirit world. Maybe he in spirit world. Already I say too much. Say no more now."
Lyra wasn't sure what he meant, but she didn't want to press him. His cheeks were red and his eyes were hot.
But, what are you?
"I want to see the Cave," said Lyra.
He cried out with shock and twisted away at once, but the grip was tenacious. And Will was savage now. He felt he was at the very end of everything; and if it was the end of his life, too, he was going to fight and fight till he fell.