[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

The builders finished making the little chicken house and pen. I hope this means the end of the stupid chicken jokes, but I kind of doubt it. I just worry he’s going to forget and talk about cocks in front of Malwen or something. He also thinks it’s hilarious to talk about picking up chicks, like baby chickens. But I do hope the chickens like their house and start living in it and laying a lot of eggs, we use a lot for baking and for breakfast, so it would be a big help to have them right here. Maybe I could talk Hethurin into getting a cow, too? But I think parents might not be too excited about seeing a cow on the lawn of their childrens’ school.

Hethurin wants to make more practice rooms, with more students they’re getting a bit crowded now and sometimes students have to wait to use them. He doesn’t want to cut down too many trees, nor does he want to ruin the view, which I agree with. We could make new buildings further back, but they’d be a pretty far distance from the main school which wouldn’t be very good for practice rooms. It’s okay for housing, or storage or something. I suppose we could add another floor on, but then we’d have to redo the whole tower including Malwen’s room. I thought maybe we could expand the basement into practice rooms. It’s not used right now, and I think it would be easy to expand — easier than moving the whole tower, anyway. Of course Tik and I will need to go through and figure out what’s down there, and make sure it’s warm enough and not leaking. I don’t think it’s been used for a very long time so there might be rats and things down there too. Oh, Hethurin also wants Narise to get her own room. I agree with that, but I’m not sure where it’s going to go. And eventually Galandil will need one. I don’t know if he intends to have a separate room for every child, if he does we’re going to run out of rooms really fast.

The other thing he wanted to talk about was really weird. His father has been staying here, I thought it would be just until he recovered but it’s been longer than that, too. And now Hethurin says he’s talking about retiring. Which wouldn’t be too weird, he’s old and we have enough healers in the town. But Hethurin thinks he’s trying to impress someone here because he’s wearing his shirts unbuttoned. Personally, I think it’s just because he’s trying to get cool because it’s summer and sometimes the rooms in the school get hot. Especially if people are working on fire magic nearby. But then he said he’s trying to impress my mother and I don’t like that idea at all. She’s too busy helping with the school and watching after babies to be looking at people’s clavicles… right? I was going to ask her but then I got too embarrassed, because either way it’s going to be really awkward. If she isn’t I’ll just look like some kind of weirdo, and if she is… well, I don’t even want to imagine that. My father hasn’t even been gone very long, it wouldn’t seem right to be thinking about that with someone else. I’m sure that if something happened to Hethurin I wouldn’t be interested in anyone else.

It could be the dragon, too. There’s a girl dragon here, and she likes to learn stuff about the Light. So maybe he’s just trying to impress her, and not my mother. That would still be weird, but a lot less weird.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Classes are out for the summer, which means Hethurin has more time to spend with the kids. Malwen has still been helping me outside, the garden is in full bloom and it smells wonderful when the afternoon sun warms all of the flowers. She’s taken quite an interest in them; she knows all of their names and can tell you the parts of the plant and some of its uses. She’s really very smart, maybe that’s a side effect of living at a school. I made her own little section in the greenhouse that she can use to plant things, I think next spring we’ll do a vegetable garden too. I think she’d really like that, because then we could use them at dinner time.

Speaking of vegetables, my mother has been onto me about Hethurin eating his again. I’m pretty sure it’s because Hethurin’s father has been staying here, and he’s always telling Hethurin that he needs to eat something other than cake. So I think that’s my mother’s way of gently reminding me to try to talk him into it. Believe me, I’ve tried. And it’s not that I disagree with her, I do wish he’d eat a little better, and it is setting a bad example for the children if he doesn’t. But he does try, although I think sometimes he hides it in his sleeve, he at least pretends to eat them. Malwen is smart though, I think she’ll figure it out if she hasn’t already. Maybe he’d eat vegetables if she was the one who grew them? That might work. I already do my best to sneak them in where he won’t notice, like mixing them into other things or using vegetables where you wouldn’t expect them to be. Luckily the kids eat them all right so far. I’ve been helping Tik make soft food for Galandil and Tik’s baby, since they are pretty much the same age it’s easier to just make one big batch. Though I expect they’ll like different things and we’ll figure that out eventually. So far he’ll eat pretty much everything, I hope he stays like that because that makes things a lot easier.

Since classes are out, my mother doesn’t have much to do now that we don’t need her help as often. She used to do paperwork at the Spire, but there isn’t a lot of that in the summer either. She’s asked if she can help Lali with the younger class once school starts up again, I think she just wants to be able to hold all the babies, but she’d be good at it. We still haven’t found a proper teacher, but if they’re just little babies she could probably teach them. I mean, all you have to teach babies is the letters and colors and things like that. I’m not sure if Hethurin’s father is staying either. He was staying until he got better, but I don’t think that will be too much longer. We already have the clinic in town, but maybe he could help if students got small injuries or things like that? I don’t know. The builders are already booked up through the whole summer. I don’t dare ask them if we can add any more houses onto their list.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Orledin is still bringing bread every day or so. I hate to say it, but I think it might almost be too much bread. Some days, we can hardly finish it all. There’s a big basket in the kitchen of bread that’s stale. Normally we’d use it for crumbs, but it’s overflowing and there’s no way we can eat that many crumbs unless we put it on everything. And then maybe not even then. Orledin suggested we could feed it to the birds. That might be a good idea, but we don’t really have that many birds here, most of the ones that come to the garden eat bugs and seeds, I think. I’ve tried putting some crumbs out on a plate and they pick at it a little, but not that much. I think maybe he should feed it to Julan’s seagull. I don’t want to tell him not to make it anymore, because everyone does like it. But maybe just slightly less.

I think part of the reason he likes to bake so much is because of the other ranger there who helps him. The more time he bakes, the more time he gets to spend with the other ranger. Orledin was asking me for advice about that. I don’t know why, because I’m probably the worst person to ask about anything like that. Hethurin would be a lot better. For the longest time, I thought he hated me, and it was all just really awkward all around. I don’t suggest it at all. Things are good now, but I sure wish I could have done things differently way back then. So I just tried to tell him things that I thought would work, like talking to him about things he likes and doing things together besides baking. That way he could show that he wants to get to know him better, because I think that’s the most important thing. The problem is that the other ranger is alive. No matter how nice Orledin is, there’s a pretty big chance that will stop anything from happening. I didn’t want to say that of course, because I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but it is true. Then again, if Hethurin was a death knight I don’t think I would mind. As long as he was still the same person as he is now, not trying to kill anyone or anything. So maybe it would be possible. I just think it would be kind of weird to get used to, especially being cold all the time.

Tik and I are finishing the preparations for the spring ball. Malwen helped me decorate, there are ribbons and little bouquets of flowers everywhere, she helped me put those up. Tik spends some time out of the kitchen to visit his baby, but it still seems like he’s able to make the same amount of food. I don’t know how he does it. We did have some help from Ara and Menissa, too, so we should have plenty of food for this party. My spring cake has a tree covered with icing flowers and sugar birds perched on it. Then I also made little cakes with nests and candy eggs inside. They look pretty good if I may say so.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

It’s the goblin holiday, but neither of us are feeling very festive. I’m still really worried about Galandil. I took him in to see Lani, because she’s telling Hethurin she’s too busy to see him every day (sometimes more than once a day) so I brought him instead. Hethurin said she’s more likely to listen to me. She asked him all the same questions: is he eating, is he sleeping, is he going okay. He does, but it seems like most of the time he’s too busy crying. She did have an idea, though — she said he might not like the goat milk we’ve been giving him. If he’s not able to digest it then it would make him feel upset all the time. She suggested that I ask Lin or Lilithel if they have any extra milk, because they just had babies too. While she’s right, that’s a really weird and personal question to ask them. I barely even know either of them! But I have to do it for Galandil, so I will. I did ask Lani to bring it up with them first so I won’t look like some sort of weirdo when I ask. I really hope it helps. If not, Lani said he might have problems from his mother not taking good care of him before he was born. I am scared that he’ll be sad his whole life. Why would his mother bother taking him to the orphanage if she wasn’t going to take care of him right? But then maybe she didn’t even know she was having a baby, or have money to afford good food. That’s true for a lot of people on the Row, too. Lani said Galandil might be addicted to some herbs that his mother was taking, too. If that’s the case, he should eventually get better, but he’ll have to suffer until then. I really hope Lin and Lilithel agree to help, and it works.
I did make little miniature cakes for all of the students, and Tik and Lilithel and my mother and sisters. They’re all different colors with flowers made of icing. Hethurin got his own special one, and I am not sure what else to do. I thought we could go fishing or somewhere we could go swimming together, even though he doesn’t really like swimming he could sit on the beach while I do or something. But we’d have to find someone to watch Galandil and the girls for a little bit. If it’s a time portal, it could be a really short amount of time, but I think we’d both worry the whole time about them anyway. I bet my mother would do it though. It’s really hard to get gifts for Hethurin, because he already has pretty much everything he could want. But he does still like cake. I got some nice oils and salts for the bath, too, and some flowers to decorate our room. Hopefully he likes that. But mostly I wish Galandil would be better.

Last night Orledin was asking me for advice. I’m just about the worst person in the world to ask for advice in that area. I was sure that Hethurin hated me. Plus, I don’t know anything about being undead or what that’s like, or what it would be like for the other person. Would I still be with Hethurin if he was undead? Yes, but I don’t know about if he was undead first. It would be a lot to think about. Orledin wanted to get a card and cupcake, but I told him he shouldn’t be too obvious if he’s not sure about the other person’s feelings yet. You don’t want to scare them off. I think you should get to be friends first and then that other stuff should come naturally. At least, I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Like I said, I’m not the right person to give advice there.

[Story] A Story a Week 12

[[ Prompt: A story about a contest or competition. ]]

“What’re you doing, ann’da?” Malwen asked, peeking over the counter. “Making a cake?”

It was a bit of a silly question, Terellion always baked at this time of day. But it’s true he was usually finished by now, and one was already safely in the oven. Now he was mixing the ingredients for a second. “Yep,” he said. “Do you want to help?”

Malwen nodded eagerly and set her doll up in one of the chairs so she could watch. She raced over to the sink to wash her hands without even being asked to. Terellion set the bowl of manaberries in front of her. “Can you squish those up for me? Get them nice and smashed.” He probably should have given her an apron, too, but he figured her dress was dark enough that any stains wouldn’t show too much.

Terellion read the flyer again. Tik had brought it back from one of his supply trips to the city; it advertised a baking competition to be held this afternoon. He hadn’t thought very much of it at first, but Hethurin urged him to enter — with the manaberry cake. It’s true that everyone at the school liked it, but Terellion wasn’t sure it was good enough to compete with the bakers in Silvermoon. He suspected that Hethurin might just want him to make manaberry cake so he could eat it, which wasn’t a bad idea in itself. There weren’t many rules. The recipe had to be original, it must be three layers high, and baked in a standard round pan. No dragon-shaped cakes this time around, not that he had time for one of those today anyway.

He sprinkled a dash of sugar into Malwen’s bowl, and she stirred it into the mashed berries. They looked just about ready to add to the mix. “Is your schoolwork all done for today?” He asked, sifting together the flour and other dry ingredients.

“Yes, ann’da,” replied Malwen. “I’m learning about plants.”

“Oh? What about them?”

“The parts and things,” Malwen explained. “Like the stem and roots and leaves. I had to draw a picture.”

As she watched, Terellion added the dry ingredients to the eggs and milk, stirring often. If they were added too quickly, there was a chance it wouldn’t mix properly. Everything had to be perfect. “Do you want to go to the city with me this afternoon?” He asked.

Of course she did, even if there hadn’t been cake involved, Malwen loved looking at all the shops. Maybe they’d even have time to visit her friends at the orphanage.

Malwen held open the oven door as he carefully slid the three round pans inside to bake.

~*~

“Ooh, look at them all!” Malwen exclaimed, pointing to the table full of cakes. Terellion saw them. They were all different colors, and they all looked perfect. Some were dusted with sugar crystals to make them shimmer, others sported delicate flowers made of sugar that looked exactly like the real thing. Terellion had added manaberries to the icing, too, so his cake was a subtle pastel purple, and he’d decorated it with purple swirls and flourishes. There was a layer of manaberry jam between each layer, accented with the fresh cream of the icing. He knew it would taste good, but now he wasn’t so sure that entering the contest was such a good idea. Carefully, Terellion set the plate down beside the other cakes and filled out the little card with his name and what type of cake he’d made. He was sure to add “Fairsong Academy” so everyone knew about the school.

They walked around the tables, admiring every one, and pointing out which ones they’d like to taste. There would be a chance later, after the judges had their slices. Right now his stomach felt too tied in knots to eat much of anything, but maybe he’d feel differently later.

The judges wore little ribbons to identify themselves, and carried plates and little silver cake knives. Terellion wondered how one got to be a cake judge. Hethurin would surely like that position, but would he ever be able to choose one winner? Terellion wasn’t so sure. He held his breath when the judges got to his cake and cut a thin sliver out to taste it. He couldn’t tell from their expressions whether they liked it or not, but he thought he saw one of their eyebrows go up. Was that good or bad? Malwen held his hand so it wouldn’t get too sweaty.

While the judges met to discuss, the guests were free to sample the cakes. A lot of people tried Terellion’s, but a lot of people tried other cakes, too. “Don’t worry, ann’da,” Malwen whispered. “Our cake is going to win.”

Terellion wasn’t so sure. Every cake that he tried was delicious in its own way. There were cakes with chocolate and coffee, cakes with lemon, cakes with swirls, and everything in between. He did get a lot of ideas for new flavors to try — he especially liked the one made with oranges. The judges finally emerged, holding ribbons in their hands. He held his breath as they stalked among the tables, placing ribbons beside the cakes. The first prize went to a chocolate and coffee cake, the second to a fluffy peach cake, and the third to a bright minty chocolate cake. The judges paused near Terellion’s cake, and he held his breath. They placed a yellow fourth place ribbon beside it and Malwen squeaked excitedly.

“You won!” She jumped up and down.

Sure, it wasn’t first — or second, or third — but Terellion was thrilled all the same. All of those fancy Silvermoon bakers, and he’d got a ribbon. He couldn’t wait to tell Hethurin, and let everyone try some of his prize-winning manaberry cake.

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

It’s still cold at night, but it’ll be spring soon. Tik and I have been working hard to get the gardens ready. We trimmed all of the old dead branches, and planted some new things and the little buds are starting to poke out of the dirt, as well as bloom on the tree branches. It’s pretty. I hope we’ll have an outside party soon, usually the afternoons are warm enough unless it rains that day, which you can’t really know ahead of time. Hethurin said we’re coming up on one year since Malwen visited. I can’t believe I didn’t remember the day of that! I’m not really good with days though, I should write it down though so I don’t forget last year. I’m writing it in here, but a calendar would be better. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a year already, it seems like they just arrived. Narise has grown a lot though. We were trying to think of ideas for presents. It’s hard because Malwen already has so many dolls that another one wouldn’t be that special. I thought about getting her a doll house for them to live in. She could put it into her secret room — though I’m not sure how we’d get it in there.

Narise isn’t easy either because she’s still a baby and can’t tell us what she likes or doesn’t like. I mean, she might be the kind of girl who doesn’t like playing with dolls at all, so she wouldn’t really like that gift. At this point, I don’t know if she really knows either, we could probably just get her a paper box to play in and she’d like that. Of course we wouldn’t, but you know. Then I thought about a riding hawkstrider, like the ones that rock back and forth. Hethurin liked that idea but he thought it should be a dragon. I guess that would be fine as long as it isn’t too spiky, it still needs to be safe. We were thinking maybe Rylad’s grandfather could make them for us, if he’s not too busy. If not there are other shops in the city, but it would be nice to hire someone we know.

Hethurin wants to help the kids on Murder Row, too. During the summer we’re going to set up some tents and take them fishing and teach them how to do things like make a fire. While it all sounds fun, and I agree they’d like it, I just worry about what’s going to happen when they have to leave and go back to their old life on the Row. I think it’ll make everything seem much worse once they’ve had a taste of something else, but Hethurin thinks they already know it’s bad. I don’t know. I have a feeling he might just try to adopt some of them too. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea, but a lot of those kids probably have problems. I guess Aeramin wants us to get a room at the inn for someone he knows from there, so he can work for Im trying to solve the murders. That’s kind of a strange job, but I’m sure it’s better than what he was doing before. I don’t know why I have to do it, and Hethurin is worried that the guy might be trying to “work” out of his room. I kind of think that won’t be a problem considering almost everyone in the town is undead. Also I don’t really think it’s my business, and it’s not like I would be able to stop him if he really wanted to anyway, unless I was going to sit outside the door the whole time (which I’m not). Hopefully he’s friendly, but not THAT kind of friendly, and I’ll be done soon.

[Story] Valentine Shorts

[[ Four little short Valentine stories… three happy and one not. ]]

“Don’t peek,” Terellion said, stopping to check Hethurin’s blindfold.

“I’m not,” Hethurin protested. “Do I smell cake?”

Malwen covered her mouth to suppress a giggle. “Maybe,” said Terellion. “It’s just a little further.” He led Hethurin carefully, mindful that he wouldn’t trip and re-injure his leg. He’d checked the garden path carefully for any rocks or roots that might get in the way. The girls were already waiting there, Malwen in her frilly pink dress and holding her new doll, and Narise in her buggy. Terellion had given Malwen a lollipop to bribe her into not spoiling the surprise, and Narise kept trying to grab for it.

“Okay,” Terellion said at last. “You can look now!”

The garden was a riot of pink, red and white — though it was still too cold for real blooms, Terellion had tied paper roses to the ends of the branches. Ribbons were draped between the branches, and wrapped around the lamp posts. Paper hearts fluttered in the breeze, and on a table in the center rested a large heart-shaped cake.

“I helped!” Malwen exclaimed. She took Hethurin’s hand. “Come see!”

Raleth inspected the robe carefully, walking around the dressmaker’s mannequin to ensure that every detail was right. The tailor seemed anxious, waiting for his customer’s approval. If he thought it odd that the robe was such a large size, he hadn’t said anything to Raleth.

She hadn’t had a new robe in a very long time, and he wanted it to be a special one. Though the tailor had plenty of pink and red cloth in preparation for the holiday, Raleth didn’t think they would go well with Lali’s features. Instead, he chose a shade of cool blue and lilac for the main fabrics, and elaborate embroidery on the sleeves and hems. It would be fancy enough to wear for parties, but still safe enough that she could hold the babies and not worry about them swallowing a bead.

He wanted to do more though. Lali never once complained about missing her family or old friends, though she surely must. Here she was in this strange place, surrounded by strange people who didn’t even speak the same language most of the time. Raleth knew that she sometimes got letters from the Tauren back in Kalimdor, but she hadn’t gone to visit. He’d bring it up soon; he could take care of Naraleth for a few days. Or maybe she could bring him with, and he could finally meet his grandfather. It troubled him that the old man hadn’t even bothered to see Nareleth.

Raleth nodded to the tailor. “It’s perfect.” The tailor smiled, relieved, and began to fold the robe up to be wrapped.

Flower shops seemed to spring up like mushrooms around Stormwind close to the holiday. Normally, there were only two, with a couple of stands. Now, it seemed like they were on every corner, barrels bursting with blooms in every color imaginable. The Harrier took his time to visit them all, trying to decide which stand had the freshest and most lovely flowers. They all had roses, of course, but he wanted something unusual. One stand caught his eye, near the Cathedral. They had roses of every color, striped and white and yellow and pink, but the most outstanding were a deep purple in color, nearly black. The gnome claimed they were grown in Un’goro, in volcanic soil and watered with red wine. The Harrier didn’t really believe that was true, but he bought them anyway because they were stunning, and he thought that Rose might like them. He still had the ring he’d found in the ruins of Gilneas, it was still safely hidden away in his locked trunk, but it still didn’t seem like the right time. Perhaps it never would be, but he wasn’t willing to give up just yet.

He walked home along the streets, rather than take the roofs. It was slower, but he didn’t want to risk dropping or bruising the flowers. It also meant that he passed more stands selling things for the holiday — little candies, cheap perfumes, those flimsy night dresses. His ears perked when he saw the chocolates, though, packed neatly into bright red boxes. Josie would like some of those, so would Nash and Pup. He bought one for each, and carefully wrote their names with the quill provided at the stand. Maybe he ought to get him something else. He still felt guilty for the way things had gone, though Nash seemed to be less upset, maybe he was just better at hiding it. The Harrier certainly knew what that was like. He glanced around the marketplace. Most of what they were selling wasn’t really appropriate. But then he remembered the wine shop, it was even on the way home. Maybe they’d carry something from Silvermoon there.

Imralion woke in the chair, and it took him a moment to remember where he was. He was at the healer’s building in Tranquillien. Aeramin was still fast asleep, as he had been last night, but Imralion could see the slow rise and fall of his chest. He was breathing. It had not been an easy few days, but somehow things had got even worse. Lani, the healer, said that Aeramin had mixed a number of potions and was lucky to still be alive. Imralion felt responsible; if he hadn’t brought up wanting to live in the city, Aeramin would never have been so upset. He still didn’t know what was best — for him, for Aeramin, and for Lyorri — but he knew he couldn’t abandon Aeramin right now.

His father had been no help at all. He’d told Imralion that he should leave while Aeramin was with the healers, but that felt cowardly and cruel in his mind. Maybe Aeramin was right, maybe he should have tried harder. But he’d been trying for months now and it didn’t seem that things were getting any better between them. If anything, Aeramin had been spending more time in the basement and less time with him. He’d nearly begged Imralion to stay, which was not the reaction he’d expected. He thought Aeramin would agree, he could visit Lyorri more often and she could even stay over at the house, and he could come to visit Imralion at his leisure. But he didn’t see it that way. Part of it was that he wasn’t sure what sort of future they could have; Aeramin wanted to be involved in his daughter’s life, but Imralion didn’t. He resented his own father for leaving without a word, he didn’t want the same thing to happen to Lyorri. Her circumstances weren’t her fault, she was just a baby. But that didn’t make it any easier for Imralion to accept.

The door opened quietly, and Lani came in to check on Aeramin. She listened to his breathing and felt his forehead, and washed it with a damp cloth. She gave Imralion a look but didn’t say anything. Maybe she blamed him too, it was impossible to tell. The sun was already up, he would need to report to his post in the city soon. But he wanted to be there when Aeramin woke, Lani had said it would probably be later that day. He took a scrap of paper and wrote a short note on it.

I’ll be back after my shift. Your father will come today too. He paused. Should he write more? He wasn’t sure if Lani — or Arancon — would read it before Aeramin did. And he wasn’t really sure how things were between them. I’m glad you’re okay. ~Im

He folded the note and tucked it under Aeramin’s hand, on top of the blanket. Hopefully he would wake soon.