[Story] Thorns

[[ I need a new header for the Marjolaine/Harrier/Josie/Alinash crew, this will do for now! ]]

Cold settles into the nooks and corners of the city, and I realize it’s been another year that we have lived here. It’s home in the sense that it feels familiar, that I know the streets and the smells and which parts to avoid at which times. But it’s never really been home, and it saddens me to realize that it probably never will be, not after all this time. Still, things aren’t bad right now. The watch shop continues to do well — this is the busiest time of the year and the elf is up all hours making custom orders and clocks for the shop window. He still makes his clockwork animals, though less often. The last one was a little hawk, for Pup.

For all my maternal feelings, wanting to watch over the others, I realize it is nothing like truly being a mother. They are grown, whereas Pup is an actual child — and a teenaged one, at that. I simply don’t know what to do with him, and he knows it. Most days he won’t rise until late in the morning, and that’s only after I’ve gone down to wake him several times. I suspect that he’s making trouble — the dangerous kind — but the elf assures me that’s not the case. I thought I’ve smelled blood more than once however, but I expect the guards would have come asking around if it was anything serious. I was never meant to be a mother, and I’m rather terrible at it. I guess it’s better I found out before I was stuck with one of my own. The elf on the other hand, in spite of his relatively young age, seems a natural. He’s actually coaxed Pup into reading books simply by reading them himself, and Pup gets curious and asks about it. I can’t say I approve of all of his lessons — Pup is already a very skilled lockpick, and can cross the rooftops just as quickly as the elf can. I’d hoped for something more for him than we are, a real education where he could make a real living. But perhaps this is what he’d rather be, or maybe it’s in his blood.

Since the soldiers have returned from Orgrimmar, our other business has been slow. For a time immediately afterward, people were buying like crazy — sort of a collective sigh of relief, I suppose. Even Nash feels a bit safer now — not safe enough to go without his hat, but less on edge. He told me that everyone in Silvermoon was conscripted to fight, even the shopkeepers. I can’t imagine sending shopkeepers up against war machines. I bet there are a lot fewer shops in Silvermoon now. The elf said there’s some talk among the mages about a portal to Outland. I don’t know what he was doing around there, I didn’t ask. But he said it could be a good opportunity. I told him no way was he leaving the shop during the holidays again, he did that before and it was a nightmare. So, he said I should go, and I realize that was probably his plan all along. Except it seems pretty dangerous, doesn’t it? I don’t even like using the regular portals, let alone one to Draenor. What if only half of me goes through, would I be stuck like that forever? There are probably mages to “fix” things like that, but it’d be awfully embarrassing. And uncomfortable. I told the elf I’d look into it. As much as I don’t like the idea, I don’t really see any other alternatives, and if there is money to be made, we can’t afford to wait.

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