Hethurin Fairsong sat alone in his practice room eating one of the doughnuts he had brought home from the faire. He broke off a piece and dropped it into the cage on the table next to him. The large, brown rat scurried out of the box he had been sleeping in. Hethurin smiled, just a little. He had asked Tik to make a bed for the rat. The man had the wooden box ready the next day. Hethurin had asked the man if he wanted a raise in pay, more than once, but each time Tik would smile and decline. He lived here for free. He wouldn’t have anything to spend it on. Hethurin figured it must be true and eventually gave up on pressing the matter.
He hadn’t thought of a name for the rat yet. He wasn’t quite sure if rats were supposed to be named or not. He figured he could if he wanted to, but so far, no suitable name had come to him. No one here could tell him what to do. He had found this rat in the wine cellar, which needed stocking yet. He didn’t think it was the only rat down there, but this one had held still long enough while Hethurin cast the spell to encase it in ice without harming it. That allowed him to move it to the cage in the practice room to be his control subject.
He himself was the test subject.
Hethurin felt it was a really good deal for the rat. It didn’t need to look for food, and now it had a cozy place to sleep as well. He smiled a little again as the rat held the piece of doughnut in its front paws and began to nibble it.
He had gone again to the Darkmoon Faire to get more of the doughnuts. He was more careful about disguising himself this time. He had used a spell to make himself look a little older last time, it had worked but he was still recognizable. This time he used the same spell, but threw a cloak with a deep cowl over his head. He also relied on invisibility when he wasn’t at the sweets stand.
He had went to look at the animals, and that was where he saw them. Kestrae and Aeramin were walking around the animal pens, along with that stranger who had been sleeping on Aeramin’s couch the other night. Hethurin had followed them, keeping some distance away as they looked at each of the animals. After, they went to sit on the boardwalk. Aeramin had sat fairly close to the stranger, and when the fireworks came, Aeramin’s attention was on the stranger’s ears, not the display of lights in the sky.
He frowned as he dropped another piece of doughnut into the rat’s cage. He wiped one of his eyes quickly and took a book from another table. He didn’t want to think about any of that right now.