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The Princess and the Pea

(( This week’s prompt is a retelling of a fairy tale. I picked The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen. ))

“Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a prince named Lor’themar Theron.”

“Ann’da! That’s not right! Lor’themar Theron is a regent lord, not a prince!”

Terellion smiled at Malwen, “I thought you wanted a princess story? And if it’s a princess story, it has to be a prince, not a regent lord.”

“But he’s not! I learned it in class with Miss Lali!”

“Well, who do you think should be the prince then?”

Malwen thought about it for a moment, then pulled her blanket back up as she lied down. “You can be the prince.”

“Me?”

Malwen nodded.

“Oh, okay, but that means the princess will have to be Arcann’da.”

Malwen nodded again.

“Okay then. Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a prince named Ann’da.”

“No. You should use your real name because it sounds funny to say Prince Ann’da.”

“Oh yes, you’re right. Let me start again. Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a prince named Terellion. Prince Terellion and his mother, the Queen, were looking for a princess for him to marry. They met many candidates, but there was always something wrong with them. One of them had big feet. Princesses don’t have big feet. Another had hair that was dull and drab. A princess’s hair must be shiny and beautiful. Still another was invited to a feast at the castle, but that princess burped loudly before the meal had even started! Princesses shouldn’t do that! Prince Terellion was sure all the princesses that he met weren’t really princesses, and he needed a real princess to marry, not a fake one.

“One night, there was a terrible storm. Lightning flashed, and the rain poured down. Thunder rumbled and the wind howled! Prince Terellion and the Queen barely heard the knock at the door. The Queen had thought it was just the wind, but Prince Terellion decided to double check, just to make sure that no one was stuck outside in the storm. It was a good thing he did because there was someone there! There was a beautiful man there, but what a sight he was in the rain! His fancy clothes were soaked through, and his wet hair clung to his face. He claimed to be a princess who had gotten lost in the storm, and said his name was Hethurin. Terellion couldn’t believe it, but he had to make sure that Princess Hethurin was a real princess and not just a fake like the others, so he went to his mother to ask what to do.”

Malwen giggled, “Of course he’s a real princess! Marry him!”

“Oh, but Prince Terellion doesn’t know that yet. He has to make sure.”

“How can he do that?”

“He has to go to the Queen and ask her.”

Malwen nodded.

“Okay, so he goes to see the Queen, and she says to put a pea under twenty mattresses and ask Princess Hethurin to sleep there for the night. So Prince Terellion goes and sets up a bed with 20 mattresses and slips a pea under the bottom one, and then they all go to sleep.

“In the morning they all meet for breakfast and the Queen asks Princess Hethurin how he slept. Princess Hethurin told no lies and stated that there was a horrible lump in the bed and he was certain that he was bruised from it. The Queen then knew that he was a real princess for only a real princess could be that delicate!

“Prince Terellion then married Princess Hethurin because he knew he had found a real princess at last! The pea was taken to the royal museum, and unless someone has stolen it, it is there still.”

“What about them?”

“What do you mean?”

“They lived happily ever after, right?”

Terellion smiled, “Of course they did, and they adopted two little princesses to tell the story to.” He leaned over and kissed Malwen’s forehead. “Goodnight, Princess Malwen.”

“Goodnight, Ann’da.”

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Alinash’s Notes

We’ve finally returned to Stormwind. Harrier seemed worried that I would want to go back to Silvermoon or something because he said it was different going back home. I don’t think it was that different. People in the city are still two-faced liars and all the guards want take me in to make me pay for my crimes or some shit. Nothing’s changed. The only thing that has changed is that I’ve decided not to attempt to write to Syrina anymore. She’s not even my real mother. She’s just a whore who took pity on me at first, then took advantage of me when I was older. I hate her. Harrier thought it was because I didn’t want to get her in trouble. I suppose it’s fine if he thinks that. I’d rather not have to talk about the real reasons. For a long time, I forgave her, and I accepted it as the way things were. I don’t forgive her now.

It was the time I spent at the school in the Ghostlands that made me make that decision. The headmaster there never asked me for anything. I explained, with a lie, that I couldn’t pay the tuition, and he let me stay anyway. I figured there would be some strings attached, but all I needed to do was pass my tests. I was never asked for more than that. I didn’t have to do work, or sleep with him, or anything. Just study, and pass the tests. It was odd, but nice. I felt bad about lying to him in the end. I never really felt bad about lying before either. There’s no need to when everyone else does it, but he had never lied to me. He’d never done anything to hurt me.

I guess I learned a lot at the school, and not all of it was for my studies there. I learned that not everyone is out for themselves. Even that whore, Firewind, was looking out for the others, and I can’t blame him. They are good people, and I’m not, and he knows that. He knows what I used to do.

It was also during the time that we were gone that Harrier and I started sharing a bed. He had a room at the school because he got a job there making clocks, but he always snuck into mine at night. Things weren’t supposed to be complicated. I knew going into this that things had happened between him and the boss, and that things could happen between him and the boss again. And really, it’s not complicated. It’s just sex, but then last night, after getting back, we were talking to Josie, and she mentioned that the boss had missed him. He questioned her on it, and Josie said that the boss said she loved him. At that point, I was thinking to myself that it was done. There would be no way he wanted to see me anymore, but then Josie went to the kitchen to make cookies for us. Then we started talking about sleeping arrangements. At first he said I’d have to sleep on a cot, but then he said I could sleep in his bed. I don’t think he’d offer to let me sleep there if the boss and him are going to be sharing a bed, so I nodded, but now I’m confused. It’s not supposed to be complicated. She loves him, but I think he still wants me, which is odd. No one’s ever really wanted me before, not like that. So it might be more complicated than I thought it would be, but it feels kind of nice to be wanted. We did share his bed last night, and today he’s going out to find some clothes for me. I hope he can find things that fit right. In human sizes, I’m about average height, but I’m still kind of scrawny, even after eating amazing food at the school for the past months. I think I did gain a little, but it doesn’t show much. Humans tend to be a bit thicker than elves. I suppose I can make adjustments on anything that doesn’t fit quite right.

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Julan’s Letter

Kuul,

Hi! I hope everything is going well for you. Have you found anything else out about the murders? Is the investigation still going? It’s nice of them to pay for your apartment for you. I’m glad to hear the murders have stopped, and I hope there won’t be any more. Maybe the guy got in trouble for something else, and that’s why they stopped. Or maybe he died or something. I wouldn’t let my guard down too much though. Not until more time has passed.

I’m doing well with the rangers. I still think you should come out and join them too! I mean, I know why you don’t, and that’s okay, but they do take care of their own here. I’ve been going on patrols and learning how to shoot a crossbow. It’s not bad work. One of the rangers is also a baker, so we have cookies and fresh bread and muffins and everything all the time. There’s also a mage school nearby with an actual real cook who makes amazing spinach rolls. I don’t even like spinach, but I think they’re good. If you ever change your mind, you know I’ll put in a good word with you with the Captain!

Part of my training is going to be working with and training an animal. Lots of rangers get animals to work with. One of the trainers here has a giant lizard, and the woman training me has a moth. The Captain and his wife have cats, and one of the other rangers just got a dragonhawk. I’ve been thinking about what I want for a long time, but I keep changing my mind. But then I guess one might have picked me.

I was walking along the beach here below the mage school. They always have big parties there, so I like going for the spinach rolls. They had so much food! There was a lot of wine too. I had a couple of glasses and decided to take a walk, so I went to the beach. It’s cold here so I didn’t think there would be anyone else there, and there wasn’t. It was quiet and the stars were bright and clear, and the sound of the waves on the shore was relaxing, but then I heard a bird. It was just there on the ground. I had almost stepped on it! I didn’t think it was normal for a seagull to just sit on the beach and let itself be almost stepped on. So I bent down and inspected it. It was holding one of its wings out, and there was a bit of blood, so I picked it up and carried it back to the mage school. I fed it while I fed myself and at the end of the night, I took it back to the ranger building. Now I’m taking care of it. I took it to the priestess in town for its wing. She said she wasn’t a specialist with animals, but then she helped anyway. She said it was broken, but it should heal just fine. She thinks one of the bats tried to get it. I think that sounds about right. She also said it was a young seagull, that it’ll get a little bit bigger, but not huge. I’m not going to make it stay with me, but if it wants to, then I guess it’ll be my animal.

Anyway, I have to go practice my crossbow yet today before patrol, and I want to send this letter when we pass by the town on patrol, so I have to stop here. Again, I hope everything is going well, and that the murder investigation catches that guy!

Your friend,

Julan

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The Winter Ball

Aeramin glanced up as his father sat down at his table. He had chosen this table as it was out of the way and quiet. It wasn’t near the food tables nor was it near where other people had chosen to sit. Most importantly, it was far from Imralion. He flicked an ear as he resumed bouncing the baby on his knee, causing her to squeal in delight. She loved watching all the people dance. Aeramin watched as well, not moving his eyes back to his father.

“Not even going to say hello?”

Aeramin twitched an ear, remembering this time to continue bouncing the baby on his knee. “I’m a little angry with you right now.”

His father frowned, “Do you want to talk about it? I’m not even sure what you’re angry about this time. I can’t fix it if I don’t know what it is.”

Aeramin chose not to respond as he watched Imralion approach the table.

“Hi Aeramin, Arancon.”

Aeramin refrained from flicking an ear. He was doing his best to not remind Imralion that he was spending time with his daughter. He couldn’t do that if he was walking up on him like that. He scanned the room for Kavia. Shouldn’t he be with her?

Arancon turned around to face Imralion, “Oh, hi.”

“Enjoying the party?” Imralion asked.

Aeramin brought Lyorri back onto the bench beside him. It wouldn’t be best to flaunt how much she means to him in front of Im. Luckily, Lyorri was really good at sitting now, and only needed one hand on her to make sure she didn’t fall.

“Yes. Are you?” Arancon answered Imralion as Aeramin steadied Lyorri next to himself.

“Yeah. Just getting drinks.”

Aeramin glanced at his wine glass.

“They have juice too.” Arancon said.

“That’s good.”

Aeramin grabbed his glass with his free hand, and took a big sip. He was already on edge just having Lyorri in the same room as Imralion, but she really seemed to enjoy watching people dance. She loved the music too. Aeramin could tell by the way she was trying to sway to it on the bench next to him.

They both looked at him as he put his glass back down.

“There’s a lot of other babies.” Imralion said.

Aeramin looked at him. He wasn’t fooled for a moment. The next thing Imralion said proved it.

“If you want her to play or whatever.”

Of course. He wanted her off in the playroom set up for the babies so that he wouldn’t have to see her.

“Yeah, sorry. I’ll just take her to the other room.” Aeramin muttered.

“I just mean if she gets bored.”

Aeramin got up, balancing the baby in one arm, the bag with her diaper change and milk over his shoulder, and his wine glass in his free hand. He knew what he really meant. Thankfully, he didn’t say it in front of his father. “It’s fine.”

“I should– oh. Okay.”

Aeramin walked briskly to the door and down the hall to the room where the babies were supposed to be. There weren’t any in there. At least, not currently. It was just him and Lyorri for now, and Lyorri was not happy about leaving the ballroom. He placed his wine glass on the table and dropped the bag on the floor. He walked back and forth, bouncing the girl in his arms. “Don’t cry. Look, there’s toys here.” He stooped to pick up a stuffed animal. This one was a hawkstrider. He tried to distract Lyorri with it, putting it in front of her, but she only batted it away and cried louder.

He picked up his wine glass and took another big sip just as his father walked in. He saw the older elf twitch an ear as he passed through the doorway. “Do you have to keep following me?” Aeramin asked over the baby’s cries.

“I was hoping you would want to talk. Maybe it’ll be easier here away from the crowd.” Arancon frowned as he looked at Lyorri, “Why don’t you let me hold her for a bit? I think she knows you’re upset.”

“That’s not why she’s crying. She liked the music.”

“Then take her back to the ballroom.”

Aeramin turned to glare at his father, “No.” He turned back around to continue bouncing Lyorri in his arms as he walked around the room.

Arancon waited silently for a few minutes as Aeramin tried to calm Lyorri. She hadn’t stopped crying when he said, “Your glass is empty. Why don’t you go refill it. I’ll watch her while you’re gone.”

Aeramin hesitated. His father was telling him to go get a drink. This was the same guy who was drunk off his ass for almost 100 years. True he was sober now, but Aeramin didn’t think he had any business telling anyone when to drink. Still, another glass sounded relaxing. He handed over Lyorri and picked up his glass. He noted Lyorri stopped crying almost as soon as she left his arms. He frowned and stormed into the hall.

He almost dropped his glass as he bumped into Imralion and Kavia.

“Hi.” Imralion said.

“Hi.” Aeramin replied.

“Hi.” Kavia greeted him as well.

There was an awkward pause before Imralion said, “We’re going to the garden.”

Aeramin held up his glass. “I’m just getting a refill.”

Imralion nodded.

“Have fun!” Aeramin tried to put on a smile, but he was certain the corners of his mouth twitched. He was far from being in a smiling mood.

“Okay.” Imralion replied.

Aeramin quickly moved past them and back into the ballroom where he made his way to the table with the wine. He refilled his glass, and returned to the other room where his father and daughter were. He sat on the floor next to them. While he was gone, his father had gotten out the blocks, and was building towers of three to four blocks tall. Lyorri’s part was to knock them over. Aeramin joined in on helping with the tower construction.

“Are you ready to talk now?”

“About what?”

“Anything. You could start with why you’re angry with me, if you want.”

“Why shouldn’t I be angry with you?” Aeramin looked up with an eyebrow raised for a moment before restacking the blocks that Lyorri knocked over.

“I’m trying my best now. I’m sorry I wasn’t a good father to you in the past.”

“That’s not what I mean.” Aeramin twitched an ear.

Arancon stacked up another three blocks, “Did I do something more recent?”

Aeramin twitched an ear. Did he really not know? “You can stop talking about my ex’s around Imralion for starters.”

“I figured he knew you’ve been with other people.”

Aeramin looked at his father. He looked at his daughter, then back at his father, raising a brow.

“See, he does know.”

“And I’d rather not remind him.”

“Okay.” Arancon nodded. “I see.”

Aeramin stacked the blocks again with one hand while picking up his wine in the other. He took a long sip from the glass before putting it back down on the floor behind himself.

“Is that why you try to keep her away from him?” Arancon asked.

“What?”

“Lyorri.”

“He doesn’t want to be around her. She reminds him.” Aeramin twitched an ear.

Arancon waited a few minutes before speaking again, “That bothers you.”

“Of course it does. I feel like I have to hide her from him like some shameful secret, but she’s not– I’m not ashamed of her. I’m proud of her, but with him, I feel like I can’t be. She hurts him.”

“Have you talked to him about it?” Arancon asked.

“Yes, multiple times. I just really don’t want to bring it up anymore. She’s a reminder, and talking about her is a reminder she exists. I feel like I have to live some crazy double life because I love her, and I love him, but the two can’t be together. I thought I was okay with it, but there’s just so many things I want to share, but I can’t. Not with him.”

“I’d advise trying to talk to him again.” Arancon said as he put up a few more blocks. Lyorri laughed as she knocked them over.

Aeramin shook his head. “This is my problem. I just need to get better at dealing with it.”

“Does this have anything to do with Kavia?”

“No. Not really. I mean, I’m upset and I’d like to be with him now, but that couldn’t happen tonight anyways. I have to watch Lyorri. I can’t be with both. I’m afraid I’ll have to choose for real some day.”

Arancon placed another block on a new tower. “Who would you choose?”

Aeramin glared at his father again. “I won’t tell you.” He reached back for his wine and took another big sip.

“Fair enough. Do you want me to watch her for a bit for you?”

“No, they went to the garden.”

“I mean just so you can have a little room to breathe and relax. Maybe you could go out front. I’ll take her back to the ballroom so she can enjoy the music a little longer.”

Aeramin hesitated a moment before nodding, “Yeah, sure. Thanks.”

Arancon smiled, “She’ll be fine with me. Go get some air.”

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Winter Ball Notes

The winter ball was great! I was a little worried… Actually no, I was a LOT worried. I was worried the ring wouldn’t fit, or that she wouldn’t like it, or that she’d say no for some reason, even if we did kind of talk about it beforehand. I don’t think I needed to worry as much as I did because she said yes! I think she’s really excited too. I hope she can still concentrate on her studies!

She’s going to go for her testing a couple of weeks after the holidays are over. I’m so excited for her! I’ll be going with her, so I really hope we can go to eat after to celebrate!  Magister Fairsong has already offered her work after she graduates, and this spring, as soon as it’s warm enough, he’s having more of the houses on his estate rebuilt. One of them will be for her! We’re already discussing what we want. She’ll need a nice work room and office. We want a nice bedroom too! I’m sure I want a small stable built onto the side for my dragonhawk. I want it enclosed so that it doesn’t get cold, and I can get to it from a door in the house.

Oh, that’s the other thing! I went to pick up my egg from the breeder just before the winter ball. I was told it would hatch in a couple of days, but it hatched the next day! I’m so glad I was there because I got to be the first person the hatchling saw. Now there’s a lot of work feeding it. Luckily, it eats like a bird, literally. That means for twelve hours a day, I need to feed it every fifteen minutes, but the other 12 hours, it sleeps. It’s only for a couple of weeks before it’s older and can eat different food that’ll take longer to digest. It’ll grow a lot during that time too. Its eyes barely open, and it’s only about the size of my hand right now. I carry it around a lot inside my shirt. That way I know it stays warm, and I can still go on patrol and see Des. I take its food with me and feed it every few minutes.

I still don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl because when they’re this young, it’s hard to tell. It’s a beautiful blue shade which is good cause that’s what I paid for! I was lucky to have enough left over after the ring, but I had been saving for months so I guess that worked out in my favor. I got her a really nice ring with gems woven in vines. They aren’t large gems, but I think it looks really nice the way it is. I guess there was another proposal at the winter ball and the other girl had a huge diamond ring. It must have cost a fortune! I really hope Des likes hers. I picked it, not because it was cheaper, but because I thought it was the best one for her. I guess if she doesn’t like it, we could always go back and get a different one.

 

***

 

She said yes! I couldn’t wait to tell my father, which worked out well since I invited my family to the Winter Ball at the school. Now he can contact her parents, and get everything arranged! I’m so happy! I’m hoping it’ll be fine for her to move in with me in the house I’ll have in the spring. I asked Magister Fairsong, and he said if we’re engaged it’s okay as long as her parents approve of it. I think if they approve of the engagement, they’ll be fine with it. I hope they are anyway! I guess they could be jerks, and say they won’t allow it until we’re married, which will be after her studies are done. I really love her so I hope they’ll understand that!

I’ve been trying to spend as much time with her as possible, but I also have to dedicate a lot of time to review right now. I’ll be taking my test in just a couple of weeks now. I’m really nervous about it! Everyone keeps telling me that I’ll be fine, but what if they ask something I don’t know? Or what if I just forget? I can’t count the number of times I’ve forgotten something temporarily, but then it comes back to me later and I feel dumb because I forgot! I guess it’ll probably happen, but hopefully it won’t happen too much!

 

***

 

I’ve done it. I’ve finished copying and translating the book. It took a long time because I’m not really good at writing, and I’m sure the translation is riddled with spelling errors. I’m also sure the mage paying us will be able to figure out what I mean. I’m much better with speaking common than I am with writing it.

Harrier is finished with the clocks, but we decided to stay for the winter ball for the free food. There’s bound to be a ton of leftovers that we’ll be able to take when we leave.

This morning, I spoke to the headmaster and told him how much I appreciated everything. I was being mostly honest, though he doesn’t know about the book. He allowed me to stay here free of charge as a student. I think a poor student, but he said that I might have some slight magic ability. I never knew it. I just kept insisting that I wanted to learn theory even if I wound up never able to cast, and he let me stay. I thought I’d be able to find the book, and leave quickly, but it didn’t work out that way. Then the whore had to be a little bitch about it. He found the book. Somehow, he became a fire mage and is the instructor here for that. I guess he’s not a whore anymore, but he recognized me. Being a teacher, he has greater access to rooms that students can’t get into. He managed to find the book, steal it, and let me copy it. He never left me alone with it, which I suppose he knew I’d take it and run if he had. At last, I’m finally done.

Anyways, after I told the headmaster that I appreciated everything, I went back to my lie about my mother. My real mother is long dead. I don’t even remember what she looked like, but my fake rich mother wants me to go back to Silvermoon and go to a very prestigious school there. I told him I’d try to get her to send money here for my tuition expenses for the time that he allowed me to study for free. I don’t know why, but I felt a little guilty saying that. It’s never bothered me to lie before. It shouldn’t now.

Anyway, he knows I’ll be leaving soon. I think he also knows that Harrier is done, so hopefully it doesn’t seem suspicious when we leave on the same day.

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Hethurin’s Notes

I’m so glad to be back home. I thought I was going to be stuck with that crazy high elf woman forever! Renner finally showed up and took me back home, but everyone thinks I shouldn’t cast anything just yet. I haven’t tried, not even to start the fire in the fireplace. Terellion does a good job of making sure I don’t freeze, so I haven’t had to worry about that.

I still don’t remember some things, and my father says I might not ever remember some parts because I hit my head pretty hard. I do know that I decided to jump, but I don’t remember why. I remember falling, so I didn’t hit my head before jumping. The worst part was landing in the crystallized bushes, which I don’t remember, but I remember waking up in them once or twice. I don’t remember much of what happened when I woke up except that I was looking for Ter. I don’t think I realized he wasn’t there. I have a lot of small scratches and cuts on my back, down the back of my legs and arms, and on my butt. They’re healing fast, but then there’s the wounds on my right leg that my father had to take care of. The long one on my thigh is healing faster than the one on my lower leg. That one was deep and sliced almost to the bone. My father was going to stitch it and put a cast on it, but he came back to me the next day with a splint instead. He said I needed something I could remove so that I could exercise the muscle in my leg. He said it was important because I could have more problems if I don’t. He cancelled his appointments for another week, and he’s been here every day. The first day after he put the splint on, he showed Terellion and me the exercises I have to do. It’s boring stuff like writing the alphabet with my toe in the air. It hurts too. He said I could make tinier letters in the air, but I should try to make them bigger everyday. Then there’s another where I have to move the end of my foot up and down but keep my heel in place, and another where he put the bottom of my foot on his shoulder and told me to try to push him off the edge of the bed with my foot. He was instructing Terellion at the same time to show him how to help, so he’s supposed to give enough resistance that he doesn’t get pushed off the bed. I can’t do much anyway. It hurts too much. That’s the other part about the exercises. I need to move the muscle around and make it work a little, but not too much or I’ll hurt it more. I wish it was just one thing or the other. That would be so much clearer!

I was lucky that he was already in the area. Nessna had her baby while I was gone. It’s another boy. I bet he’s super cute and I can’t wait to see him. I have to wait to see him because I spend most of my day in the bedroom now. I need time to recover, both physically and magically so I’m stuck here. The rope for the bell that goes to the kitchen is next to the bed, but most of my days are spent in the pillow fort that Terellion built for Narise and me. She’s learning to sit up, but she’s not very steady yet. Sometimes she falls over, but we’re on the big pillow and there’s pillows all around. Terellion even draped a blanket over one end of the pillow fort, so Narise and I go for naps in that end because it’s a little darker. Luckily, since we’re far from the rope, Terellion and Tik check on us often. Malwen likes to come visit as soon as her classes are done, and I make sure she does her homework.

Desdeyliri is also by often for her lessons. I try to stay on topic, but without the sling, Narise is very distracting. We do get some review in, but some days it’s more than others. Maybe I should ask Terellion to take Narise during that hour so that we can focus more on what she’ll need for the test.

Aeramin has stopped by a few times too. The first time was because I asked for him so I could find out if he would be willing to teach the arcane class for a bit. He laughed at me, then I told him I was serious, and he stopped laughing. I told him where my lesson notes were in my office and gave him the key to the office door. I’m pretty sure he got them okay because he’s been teaching the arcane class for the past week now, and from what Des has told me, he seems mostly on track with what I was teaching. He has also stopped by and asked questions. This is easy stuff! He should know it! No wonder his portals suck! I’ll be glad when Des can call herself a magistrix, and fill in for me when I have to miss teaching a class.

Xyliah also came by and she had a lot of questions, mostly about her dragonhawk and what he was doing in my work room. I told her I cast a spell and pulled him out of the time just before he died, and teleported him to our present. She didn’t believe me. I can’t help that. I told the truth. She did seem grateful though, and thanked me for finding him no matter how it happened.

I haven’t seen Zayel since Renner brought me back, though she did tell Renner that she wanted to come and check on me. I’m scared that she will. Now everyone thinks she wasn’t a high elf after all, but a dragon! I guess Renner would know these things. He invited her to the winter ball. I hope she doesn’t show up. It’s not that I don’t like dragons, but I don’t like crazy women who put arcane shackles on me and won’t let me leave. Maybe she’ll forget about it because it’ll be a couple years in her time. I guess if she does come, it’s okay.

Most of the students will be going on break after this week, except Keyalenn and Des, who both have their testing scheduled a couple weeks after break ends. They’ll both want to stay so they can concentrate on studying for their tests! I’m sure they’re ready and they will both do well.

We did go to Silvermoon a few days ago. Des made our portal. I had to do some shopping for the holiday before the winter ball, and Terellion pushed me around the market in the chair because I can’t walk yet. I got a bunch of things for Malwen and Narise. I think they’ll like them. Narise might be a little young yet to know what’s going on, but I know Malwen is going to love it!

The winter ball starts in just a few hours, and I’m sad I can’t help out this year. I’m hoping Ter will be okay with carrying me downstairs, and pushing me around in the chair for a bit so I can see it all!

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Crystalsong Forest

It had been a week since Hethurin had first woke up in the strange room at a high elven outpost in Crystalsong Forest. The only person he had seen during that time was Zayel. She spent much of her day with him in the room, though usually she was at her desk when she wasn’t tending his wounds. She tried speaking to him each time she washed him with the herb-infused water, but he usually declined to answer her questions. When he did respond, it was usually short, one-word answers. He spent most of his time staring out the window at the crystallized tree tops while thinking about home.

Zayel was much more talkative than he was. She shared stories of her training as a priestess, of her trips to Dalaran, and about the guard who had helped her bring him to the outpost. He’d heard enough to figure out the guard liked her, but Zayel didn’t seem to notice. Hethurin didn’t point it out.

He’d also learned that his leg injury was severe. His lower right leg had a gash in it that cut almost down to the bone, and his thigh on the same leg also had a deep gash. The wound on his thigh was lengthwise, and while not as deep as the one on his calf, it was long, and just as painful. Both had swelled up around the edges and looked awful during the first couple of days at the outpost, but now the swelling had gone down. Zayel said he was on the mend, but still wouldn’t let him leave. His wrists were still firmly held by the arcane shackles.

He was more awake now than he had been the first few days. She had told him he had a nasty bump on his head, but she wouldn’t fetch him a mirror. She did seem concerned about his head injury. To be honest, he was too, but just in the past day his headache had lessened. He took that as a good sign even if he couldn’t walk yet. He hoped to convince Zayel that he would be fine if he teleported home.

He waited until Zayel sat next to the bed with bowl of water. She started dabbing the damp cloth on his forehead. It stung a bit, but it wasn’t too bad. “How are you feeling this afternoon?”

Hethurin decided to get straight to the point, “Better. May I leave now?”

Zayel smiled, “I’m glad you’re feeling better, but I can tell you’re still weak. I would be responsible if I let you leave and you didn’t make it to your destination.”

Hethurin frowned as she dipped the cloth in the bowl of water , “I’ll make it.”

She pressed the cloth against his forehead again, causing him to wince. “You don’t know that. You’ll need at least a few weeks to recover your full magic ability.” She glanced at his leg, “And at least a few months to recovery physically. I may let you go once I have a better idea of your magic capabilities. If I know you can make it to somewhere you can continue to heal physically, I won’t have a problem seeing you off, but for now you are quite weak, both physically and magically.”

“I’m weak because you keep these arcane shackles on me constantly. I can’t cast anything with them on.”

“Those are there to make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”

“I’m not going to!”

“You’ll try to attempt to teleport home the moment I remove them.”

Hethurin glared at her. Of course he would, and it wasn’t a stupid idea.

She regarded him curiously, “I’d offer to help get you home, but you obviously won’t be able to walk from where my portal would be, and since I’ve never seen your home, I can’t open one directly there.” She picked up the bowl and stood, taking her time as she walked around to the other side of the bed. He felt her sit down on the bed behind him, and heard her wring the water out of the cloth. He felt the cloth against the wounds on his back. They still stung a bit, but not as much. She spoke again, “Besides, there’s something off about you, and I’d like to figure out what it is before I let you go.”

He almost let that go without a response, but curiosity got the best of him, “Off?”

“Off. It’s almost as if you don’t belong here.” She continued dabbing the cloth at the wounds on his back.

“No, a sin’dorei doesn’t have much business being at a quel’dorei outpost. I just want to go home.”

“It’s not that, nor does it have anything to do with the purge in Dalaran.”

“I don’t know what it is then.” Hethurin twitched an ear.

“I find it curious. That’s all.”

He refused to answer anymore of her questions, choosing instead to stare intently at the crystal tree tops out the window until she was done tending his wounds and had returned to her desk. Then he drifted off to sleep again.

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