Isturon Lightmist had just seen his last patient of the morning and was looking forward to going out for lunch. He finished up the last notes for the patient file and stretched in his chair. It was the first day in weeks that he had actually finished on time for lunch, which meant he usually had to find something in his own kitchen in the back of the house to eat quickly before the afternoon patients started to arrive.
As he stood, there came a knock at the door. It was likely Keras, his receptionist who had been with him for years. Perhaps she would like to join him for lunch out. He opened the door.
“Sir, your son is here to see you.” Keras said before Isturon had a chance to mention lunch.
“Oh, he is?” Isturon said, caught off guard. While his son did have a tendency to drop in whenever, it was rare to see him in the middle of the day on a weekday without prior planning.
“Yes. He’s in the waiting room.”
“Thank you, Keras.” he said as he walked past her down the hall, the idea to eat lunch with her already put aside. The waiting room was only two doors down. He smiled he entered the room, “Hello, Hethurin.”
“Hi, do you have time to talk?”
“I was about to go to lunch. Did you want to eat, or do you need to be back to the school soon?”
“I have time. I just finished teaching the morning lessons. I don’t need to be back for another hour or so.”
“I was thinking about going to that one place with sandwiches at the exchange. Does that sound-” Isturon paused as his son started casting a spell. “Hethurin, that’s not really necessary. It’s not far by foot.”
Hethurin continued the cast just a few seconds longer until a portal opened up in front of them in the waiting room. “Well, it’s here and done, so we might as well use it.” He stepped through the portal.
Isturon sighed and followed him, immediately appearing next to the restaurant he had told his son about. They took a seat outside, and ordered their sandwiches. Isturon took note of his son’s small frowns, and slight ear twitches. “Something’s bothering you.” he said as they waited for their sandwiches.
“I suppose.” Hethurin frowned a bit longer this time while looking at his water. After a slight pause he looked up, “Do you ever worry about us, or miss us?”
Isturon raised a brow, “Us?”
“You know, me and my sisters, or I guess, Vaildor too.”
Isturon sat back in his chair, “I do miss all of you. At the same time, I know you’re adults now, and perfectly able to take care of yourselves. You more than proved that when you moved to the Ghostlands. You have no idea how much I worried then, but look at you now, running a school and engaged. I’m very proud of you, and while I do miss you, I know you’re okay.”
Hethurin didn’t speak immediately. He appeared to be pondering his father’s answer as the waiter brought the sandwiches to the table. After the waiter left, he spoke, “Do you know the orphanages look for sponsors for the orphans one week a year?”
“I wouldn’t have time to take care of an orphan.”
“Oh. No. I didn’t mean you. I meant I had one at the school last week, and now I miss her so much, and I’m worried because she isn’t staying with us anymore because I had to take her back to the orphanage. Her name is Malwen. She doesn’t even have a last name, but she wants one so badly. Her favorite color is blue. She’s seven and a half.”
Isturon’s brow raised as Hethurin continued.
“I bought her a dress, and Terellion made her cake with blue flowers and bought her a doll, and we took her to the faire, and she ate all the food there, and we won a gnoll doll prize for her, and she rode the carousel, and we had our fortunes done and we thought they meant something because they made sense.”
Hethurin nodded, “Mine said, ‘An unexpected relationship becomes permanent.’ Terellion’s said, ‘You may be only one person in the world, but to one person you may be the world’, and I guess it could have meant me, but I really think it meant Malwen. Oh, and her fortune was ‘Make a wish, it might come true.’ Why didn’t it come true? I think that fortune gnoll is a big fat liar.” He stopped to take a bite of his sandwich.
“So you mean to adopt her then? Did you talk to the matron?”
Hethurin nodded again, “We really want to keep her. We had to take her back after the faire, and the matron was mad because we were a bit late. I guess she wanted the kids back during the day, but she didn’t say that before, so I thought it was just supposed to be anytime monday, and we were having fun, so it wound up being late on monday. Anyway, she wasn’t happy about that, but we asked anyway, but then she said that one of the kids came back with a broken arm because of an accident earlier in the day, and she really had to do things by the rules because she thinks there might be an investigation about that. So she wouldn’t extend the sponsorship and we can only go there to visit on weekends. We can’t apply to adopt her yet because we’re not married.”
“Well, if you really want to adopt her, get married.” Isturon stated before taking another bite of his sandwich.
Hethurin looked at him with a puzzled look, “We’re going to. You’re going to officiate it. Remember?”
“Yes, and that’s fine if you want to wait another two and a half months, but you could still have the wedding then even if you got married in the Spire today.”
Hethurin blinked in stunned silence for only a few seconds before abruptly standing up, knocking over his chair, then stumbling as his robe was caught on the falling chair. “Okay. I’m all right.” He said, catching his balance. He bent to straighten the chair. He started casting a spell right there, but stopped. He reached into a pocket and left some coins on the table. “Pay for my sandwich. Oh, here’s some extra. Thank you.”
Before Isturon could say anything else, Hethurin started casting his spell again. A few seconds later he faded from view, no doubt he was off to bring up the subject to Terellion. Isturon continued sitting and finished his sandwich.