The Track

Hethurin Fairsong looked around the room as Renner covered the windows.  Desdeyliri stood next to him at the table in the center of the room.  It was the first time that he would be demonstrating the visions of alternate realities to one of his students, but he wasn’t nervous.  Desdeyliri was, or seemed to be.  Perhaps she was just excited.  He conjured a globe of light as Renner covered the last window.

They would be using the dust again that they had gathered from the strange portal that had appeared in the kitchen one night a few weeks ago.  It had lasted a few hours, and they knew now that it had led to the past as well as an alternate reality, one where Tik hadn’t lived through the Scourge attack.  The school in that reality, wasn’t a school at all, and never would be.  It sat unattended, and in ill-repair.

“Let’s begin.” Renner said as he joined the elves standing at the table.  Hethurin let the globe of light fade as he turned the hourglass and cast the spell.  The room changed around them.

“This is the kitchen, isn’t it?  It looks different.” Desdeyliri said as she looked around.

“No one lives here.” Hethurin answered.  “Remember, it’s just a vision, so you can’t touch anything.  We can walk around and look at things though.”

Renner nodded towards the dining room, “I’d like to pick up where we were last time.”

Hethurin whispered the spell that took them directly to the other room.  The dining table had been broken.  The chandelier had fallen in the middle of the table, and there among the remains of the table and the chandelier was a single bronze scale.  Hethurin bent to look at it closer.  “Did you find out if this is yours or not?” he asked, looking at Renner.

Renner opened his mouth to answer as Desdeyliri knelt by Hethurin.  He didn’t get a chance to answer right away, as Desdeyliri spoke first.  “Is that…” she looked at Renner, her eyes wide.

“It appears to be.  Whether or not it’s mine, I don’t know.  If you saw a flake of skin on the ground, would you be able to identify it as yours?”

Hethurin frowned.  “Then how are we supposed to find out?”

Renner shrugged, “We should look around more.  Even if it is mine, I doubt I made the portal in the kitchen.  We should figure out who did that first.”

Hethurin nodded in agreement and stood.  As he did, Desdeyliri jumped up, and walked towards the windows.  They had been broken here, most of the panes were shattered on the ground.  Hethurin knew there was no danger of getting cut, so he didn’t stop her.  He followed instead.  “Did you see something?”

Desdeyliri nodded as she looked out into the over-grown garden.  “I don’t see anything now, but I was sure I saw something move out here”

No sooner had she finished her sentence, when a shadow fell over the garden.  The beating of large wings came from above.  Desdeyliri stuck her head out and looked up with a gasp, “Look!”

Hethurin looked as well.  A bronze dragon, not too large, but large enough slowly came to a landing behind the house.  It was the same color as the scale, and about the same size as the broken window.  “Renner?  Is that you?”  He looked back as Renner approached the window as well.

Again, Desdeyliri spoke before he could answer, “Is it?  Can I ride him?”

Renner raised a brow.  “It is me, and no.”

Hethurin added, “We’re really in Renner’s practice room.  This is just a vision of another time and reality.  It would be a tight fit if our Renner turned into a dragon in his practice room.”

“That’s a very good point.” Renner nodded.

“But this alternate Renner is what you really look like?”

Renner paused in thought as he watched his dragon form in the garden.  “Yes, but that’s really me, not an alternate me.”

“How can you tell?”  Hethurin asked.

“I just can.”

At that moment the other Renner seemed to realize that he was being watched.  He looked directly at the dining room window where three stood.

“You’re sure he can’t see us, right?  He’s just a vision?”  Desdeyliri asked as she took a step back.

Renner nodded as his other self turned and spread his wings.  “I appear to have recalled that we’re watching.”  His dragon self lifted from the ground and circled the house once before disappearing over the trees to the north.

Hethurin stepped over the broken glass and into the garden.  Renner followed him.  Desdeyliri went last, but was the first to gaze on the fresh dragon tracks.  She knelt and held her hand to one of them.

It wasn’t the dragon tracks that got Hethurin’s attention, but rather the smaller shoe tracks.  “Renner?  How big are your elf feet?”

Renner walked over to where Hethurin stood and looked at the prints with him.  He put the heel of his boot on the heel of the track.  “These aren’t mine.”

“Your feet are smaller.”  Hethurin put his own foot on the track.  It was a match.

“These are older tracks though.”

Hethurin nodded, “They go towards the trail that leads to the stable.”

“Let’s check that out.”

Hethurin cast a spell to change the location to the bottom of the hill where the stable and one of the small houses were.  His sisters lived here in his time and his reality, but in this one, the building looked just as abandoned as the school.

Until they went inside.  Someone had been living there, and fairly recently.  The first room had some old, but usable furniture.

“Do you think whoever was staying here is gone?”  Hethurin asked.

“I don’t see anyone.”  Renner answered.

Hethurin walked around the room, looking for any further clues.  The only art on the wall was some poorly done drawings on some old paper.  He couldn’t find anything that was written and out in the open.  Of course, searching through drawers was difficult in a vision.  He heard Desdeyliri call from the kitchen.

“There’s food here, but it doesn’t look good anymore.”

Renner nodded as she returned to the first room.  “Whoever was here is gone then.  Try not to yell.  Remember we’re in my practice room.  Hethurin, have you found anything?”

“I don’t think…”  Hethurin trailed off as he did find something.  A name in the corner of one of the drawings.  Vaildor.  “Yes.”

“What is it?”  Renner walked over to see.  Upon viewing the name, he said, “Try going to your parents’ house in Silvermoon.”

Hethurin nodded and cast the spell.  The vision started to change, but snapped back to the small house at the bottom of the hill.  “What am I doing wrong?”

“It’s nothing you did.  It’s warded.  Let’s take a break for today.  I think I smell supper.”

Hethurin cast the spell to end the vision.

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