[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

Last night the pool boy showed up on our doorstep. He’s just about the last person I ever wanted to see again. I thought he might be here to spy on Hethurin, so I had him wait in the sitting room until we talked about it. The pool boy said that he had come to get a note saying that Hethurin forgave him, and he wasn’t to return until he had one. He claims that he was the one who put something in Hethurin’s tea and left him in the dirty inn with a healer who didn’t know what he was doing. While that might be true, I think it’s more likely that Verisna did something, and now that she’s caught, she is making someone else take the blame for it. Since when has she ever worried about her relationship with Hethurin? Especially if she thinks our kids aren’t even real grandchildren. I just feel like she’s up to something. I told Hethurin that maybe he’s here to spy on us, but he didn’t seem worried. He said we don’t have anything to hide. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean I want someone reporting back everything I say or do, either. Hethurin pointed out that we could keep him as long as we wanted, although I don’t actually want him to stay here. I had the idea of having him help Lilithel in the stable, that way he’d have to shovel hawkstrider poop, and she’d have more time to spend with her baby. Maybe she and Tik could even work something out.

Hethurin said he could stay in the builders’ house with Ithorel and Ethirdir. There’s a spare room there, though there are plenty in the students’ building. This way I suppose he could help with building too, in the spring. Provided he knows how to use a hammer, that is, but I guess it can’t be that difficult. Nothing we said seemed to upset the pool boy at all, and he insisted he wanted to do this to go back to Verisna. I don’t understand how he doesn’t see how evil she is, and how she’s using him. It’s not impossible that he really loves her, I guess, but it just seems unlikely to me. He’s younger than I am! I also don’t really know if I like the idea of keeping him here and making him do terrible things. We’re not like that. I guess it’s true that he could leave whenever he wanted — we aren’t the one making him do this, she is. And he could always refuse. I still have a bad feeling about all of it. I let him have some cake and told him about the ball. At first Hethurin didn’t want to allow him, but I thought maybe he’d see how much better our parties are and he could report back to Verisna. And we always have plenty of food.

Tomorrow I’m going to bake some test versions of the party cake for Hethurin to try. It’s going to have white layers with chocolate and manaberry jam for filling. I’ve also been practicing making sugar swans to put on the top. I was worried for a minute because Hethurin said he didn’t like swans, but I think he was actually confusing them with geese. It would have been bad to change the theme just a few days before the ball! I’m also going to bake some of those little candies inside with messages in them, so everyone should get one in their piece. I think that will be fun. I have to make sure Hethurin gets a good one.

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[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

I knew going to see his mother was a bad idea. I told him it was! And he still insisted on going. Thankfully at least he agreed that I could go with, otherwise who knows what could have happened to him. Hethurin could have been stuck in that inn for days, or worse. His mother claims she doesn’t know very much magic, but I don’t believe her. She knew enough to silence him before, who’s to say she can’t do something else? I waited outside on the walkway while he went inside. When I didn’t hear anything for a while, I tried to look inside, but it was too dark to see anything. That’s when I went to find a guard. I am not sure if he believed me, but I told him I was worried that his mother might have done something to him. He definitely didn’t believe me when we arrived, and Hethurin was nowhere in sight. She managed to talk the guard into leaving, but I saw Hethurin go in there. I knew he was inside somewhere. He’d warned me not to go into her house, but what else was I supposed to do? I thought about going home to get Tik, but I thought it might take too long, and I wasn’t going to leave him there with her.

His mother acted like nothing was wrong. She calmly sat down and tried to give me tea. I didn’t drink it, who knows what was in it, but I pretended to. She told me that Hethurin had fainted, and they’d taken him to a healer. I know that’s nonsense, if he was feeling ill I would have noticed it earlier. Hethurin was perfectly fine this morning, and until he went into his mother’s house. I wanted to go see the healer, but she said she didn’t know which one it was. Convenient. So I tried to be patient and wait for him even though I was imagining a hundred horrible things happening to him. I checked under the tables and chairs when she went out of the room to see if she’d turned him into a frog. I just don’t trust that woman, I think she says things just to hurt people. Like she said our children aren’t really her grandkids because they’re not related. What a witch. I said there’s more to being a good parent than just giving birth. That’s fine, I don’t think I want her around them anyway. She also said a lot of things about Isturon, about how he always lies and tricks people, she also said he was seeing that other woman while they were still married. I don’t know if it’s true. She might just be saying it to try and cause trouble — but if she is telling the truth then I think my mother ought to know. I know she’s going to say I’m just gossiping but I don’t want her being with someone who is going to hurt her. I didn’t tell Hethurin’s mother who the woman was, I thought that would be a bad idea. She’d probably say mean things about my mother and then who knows what would have happened.

Finally her pool boy returned and she yelled at him for being an idiot. She said she doesn’t actually love him, but she married him anyway. I don’t understand that. She said it’s because he doesn’t lie. Hethurin doesn’t lie either, and I love him, I don’t think it’s that difficult to find both. He took me to the inn where Hethurin was, it was awkward. He’s younger than me, Hethurin said. As soon as I went into the room, the pool boy took off. He was acting nervous. Hethurin was still sleeping, and still confused. I don’t think he just fainted, I’m sure she did something, but he couldn’t remember what. For a while I was afraid he wouldn’t wake up and I thought I would cry, but then I held his hand and he woke up a little. Since he was too weak to make a portal home, I went and found a mage who sent us to Tranquillien. From there I went back to the school and convinced Renner to come and carry Hethurin back. I had to promise him his own cake, but that’s easy enough. Everyone was really worried because we were late, especially Malwen. She was sure that we were never coming back. I think seeing Renner distracted her a little, and now she wants to look for dragons whenever we are outside. I’m just glad Hethurin is safe at home, I’m keeping a close eye on him to make sure nothing else is wrong. Next time he wants to go somewhere alone, I’m not letting him.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

We’ve barely taken down the decorations from the winter ball, and we have to begin planning for the goblin one. Personally, I don’t really know if it’s a good idea to have a ball just for a made-up goblin holiday, but Hethurin insists. I guess I don’t mind too much, because the colors are nice, but it’s just so close after the winter one that we hardly have time to get everything done. I told Hethurin that I wasn’t going to make miniature goblins for the cake, so he suggested swans. Apparently swans are supposed to be a symbol for love, I haven’t ever heard that, but at least they’re not goblins. It’ll give me a chance to practice making icing roses, too. Manaberry is a bit too purple, so we’ll have a lot of strawberry I think. Tik will have to go get some from the city, because ours haven’t grown big enough yet, it’s the first year so I think maybe they need more time. I’m also a little worried about having a love holiday ball, given what’s going on with my mother. I don’t think she needs any more encouragement, it’s bad enough that my sisters are interfering. Hethurin is worried that his sisters might too, I admit it’s a possibility. Hopefully he can warn Lani and she can cure him or whatever.

He said that Hethurin was acting like his mother. That’s an awful thing to say, and not true at all. Hethurin was planning to go talk to her, to see what she thinks about all of this. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea. The last time he went to see her about something serious, he wound up silenced on a hawkstrider farm. Hethurin insists that won’t happen again, but I still think I should go with him. She can’t silence me, and I could bring my sword to make sure he’s safe. Maybe I could follow him and hide outside? But I don’t know how I’d tell if there was trouble. I’m worried she might do something to my mother, too. Even though she insists it’s nothing, dancing isn’t nothing, and Hethurin’s mother might think it’s something too. She is married to someone else, but no one ever said she was rational.

I guess I wouldn’t mind so much if it was just some regular guy that I didn’t already know. It’s just weird being someone who’s already in my family, kind of. Of all the people around here, she had to pick him? She says I’m over-reacting and I shouldn’t be so dramatic. Well, she’s the one doing crazy stuff. I’m also worried about what Hethurin said, that Isturon might get Vaildor to paint a picture of her. I mean, a normal painting would be fine, but Hethurin said he’s done some that have boobs. That’s totally inappropriate! I don’t think a kid should be painting that stuff.

Hethurin wants to go on another trip soon, just us and not the kids. It would have to be a time portal, otherwise we’d be gone too long and worry about them the whole time. Though I do think they’d really enjoy going on a time portal trip to another timeline, I guess it could cause problems. Maybe in the summer we can go on an ordinary trip with them. Just the two of us could be nice though, especially if we go somewhere warm. I could use some warm now, it’s frosty every morning!

[Story] Winter Veil Postcards 2017

[[ I know it’s Thursday but I’m still doing Winter Veil stories instead! ]]

Terellion carried the brightly wrapped packages as they made their way through the Silvermoon market. Ordinarily he would have held Malwen’s hand, but his were both full — and hers were both sticky from the candy cane she was happily eating. He was sure to keep an extra close eye on her as they made their way among the stalls and crowds. They’d already bought some gifts for the students — lavish hawkstrider feather quills and inkwells — and some blankets and clothes for Galandil as well as Tik’s baby. Malwen had insisted that Narise get a doll of her own, and they’d settled on a soft cloth one with button eyes, in addition to a cuddly toy lynx. Terellion was sure that Narise already had one at home, but Malwen said that this one could be a big sister to the other, and watch after her. It was impossible to argue with that.

He set the packages down on one of the chairs and helped Malwen into hers. A morning of shopping and looking around built up quite an appetite. “We still need a gift for Arcan’da,” said Terellion, looking over the menu. “What do you think we should get for him?”

She was old enough now that Terellion thought she might be able to keep a gift a surprise, but even if not, Hethurin would like anything she picked out, even if it was strange. “Snails?” she suggested, over her sandwich.

The last thing that Terellion wanted were more snails in the house. Shelley and her enormous brood grew larger by the day, and they’d be indoors until the weather warmed in the spring. Even then, he wasn’t sure Malwen would be so willing to let them all go. “Um, well he already has Mittens,” he pointed out. “He might be jealous of another pet.”

“Oh,” Malwen said. “What about a dragon then?”

“A real dragon?”

Malwen giggled. “No, don’t be silly! Like a — statue dragon.”

Hethurin already had the enormous bronze dragon that stood at the entrance of the school grounds, but Terellion knew of a shop that sold small statues suitable for a shelf or desk. After he’d ensured that Malwen’s fingers were clean, they went in to look around.

“I like this one,” Malwen gasped, going immediately to a dragon cast in metal. Its pose was rearing up, a translucent orb of either glass or carved stone was set between its front paws. The orb had been enchanted to glow with a faint light, giving the statue a more lively appearance. “He could put it on his desk, because he’s a teacher.”

Terellion wasn’t sure if he’d really like it, but neither did he have any ideas for a present. He paid and added the very heavy package to the stack that he was carrying.

“What do you want for Winter Veil?” Terellion asked, once they’d left the store and stood in the square again.

He expected that Malwen would say dolls, or something for the snails, but she hesitated. “Well…”

Terellion looked at her curiously.

“It might cost a lot.”

“You can still tell me,” Terellion said. “It might not be that much.” Besides, they’d not even spent all the gold that Hethurin had sent them with, and if there was one thing he didn’t mind, it was buying gifts — especially for the children.

“The kids in the orphanage, I don’t think they’re going to get any presents,” said Malwen. “Could we take some to them? I know they’d really, really like some presents.”

Terellion set his boxes down and gave Malwen a hug. “Of course we can. That’s a wonderful idea. I need your help picking things out though.”

“Okay!”

He knew Hethurin would want to go along as well, not to mention he’d need the help moving that many gifts at once. They could go when Hethurin came to make their return portal, and he could already imagine how excited he would be — maybe even more so than the orphans.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Terellion’s Journal

It’s getting a little colder around the school, Malwen is helping me to get the shrubs covered before it freezes. Of course, she also wanted to cut some branches for Shelly and her children to climb on. There are so many of them, that I guess they do need some extra room to climb around. Do snails even climb? I guess they must, it’ll make the tank look more interesting at any rate. We also had to take down all the decorations from the fall ball, before long we’ll need to start making them for the winter ball. I think that one’s my favorite, I love the evergreen branches and sugar snowflakes and everything. We piled all of the gourds and leaves into the wheelbarrow and took them out to the forest. There we left them for the animals to eat, I let Malwen keep one of the tiny gourds to put into Shelly’s tank too. I know for a fact that they like squash because she gave them some from her dinner not too long ago. Hethurin said I should have made her eat it, but I know that he didn’t eat his, so I can look the other way once in a while. Squash was never my favorite either.

The workers are trying to get Isturon’s house done before the winter. I hope they do, so he’ll have his own place to go and won’t be in the school so much. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like him. He’s okay, at least he doesn’t think I’m trying to steal Hethurin’s money anymore. But I don’t like that he’s showing his clavicle so much. I think it’s not proper for someone of his age. The other night he was wearing pants and a shirt that was unlaced way too far. He said it’s the newest fashion, maybe it is, I don’t keep up with things like that. I know Hethurin wears pants sometimes, but usually it’s just when he wants me to notice his butt. Isturon better not be wanting people to notice his butt. Especially certain people, like my mother. Hethurin was convinced that something was going on, so I had a little talk with Isturon. I told him that he should look in the city for someone, like maybe when he was there getting lunch or shopping or something. I still think he’s too old, but he said he was seeing someone before he left for the islands. He was convinced she wouldn’t take him back, but I think he’s just not trying hard enough. I haven’t asked my mother about it, first of all because it would be too weird, and second because she’d just say I’m letting my imagination get away from me. It wasn’t my idea, it’s terrible and I don’t want to think about it. Besides, my father hasn’t been gone long enough for her to be looking for someone else. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like it if she went around kissing other guys.

I guess Isturon also wanted to talk to Hethurin about what happened before I came here, when he was silenced at the ranch. I guess that’s why he made him come move branches off his lot instead of me and Tik, because that’s something we should be doing. Hethurin was really upset about it, I wish I could make him feel better, but there’s really nothing you can say to make up for your family betraying you. I guess it’s good that he’s still talking to his father, but he should never have gone along with it in the first place. Hopefully he’s trying to make amends. I wish I would have known so I could have helped him, or at least tried. None of his friends or family even did, well I think Xyliah’s husband did but not for a while. I would have gone there right away and figured out a plan to rescue him, just like in the books. Hethurin mentioned making one of the time portals, but I know it would make Renner upset, and he says it wouldn’t work anyway because I still wouldn’t know him. But I would if I traveled to a different time, right? I guess it’s better not to mess around with time portals. They made a big mess last time.

[Story] Story a Week – Snail

Terellion and Malwen gathered burlap bags of fallen leaves and dead twigs, bundling and tying them up to be burned later. The grounds and gardens needed to be cleared of debris before the masked ball, and it also made for less work next spring — otherwise all of that old vegetation would rot beneath the winter snows. Terellion clipped the errand branches of the hedge maze with his clippers, and Malwen followed behind gathering up the sticks. She’d finished her schoolwork for the day and eagerly ran outside to help with “outside stuff”. She had a pair of overalls and her own little work boots so she wouldn’t get any of her dresses muddy. He thought before long, she might be able to help in the greenhouse with some of the older students, she would probably learn a lot about plants.

They finished trimming the hedge maze, removing the dead flowers from around the fountain, and put all of the fallen leaves into bags. No doubt there would be more soon, but it looked tidy for the time being. Terellion checked the greenhouse for leaks or breaks in the glass, and then it was time to clean out the garden. This late in the season, there were no edible vegetables or herbs left, they had all either flowered to seed or withered in the late summer heat. The only thing still growing was the row of plump orange pumpkins, which would soon be carved and cut up for pies. He started at one end and set Malwen at the other, pulling up the droopy greens and half-eaten roots. It was a little sad to see the garden end, but they would re-plant it again in the spring, and the vegetables would grow anew. They might even need to expand, given how many staff and students were living here now — not to mention those that brought food home. He knew some of them did that, Aeramin for one, sometimes others as well. Tik encouraged the growing of fresh produce here at the school, not only did it cost less, but they were fresher as well. Terellion left the little wooden markers in place, though he had a chart drawn inside showing where to put everything. They might need something different, or more space for one crop.

“Ann’da!” Malwen cried, crouched over a leaf. “What is this? Is it a snail?”

Terellion put down his rake and went over to look.

“That’s a snail, all right. He’s eating the leaves, see the little holes where he’s already been?” Malwen nodded. “We should probably move him off, since there won’t be any food here soon.”

She stared at him. “So he’s just going to starve to death?”

“Well, he’s a wild animal. He has to find his own food.”

Malwen frowned thoughtfully. “What does he eat in the winter then?”

Terellion shook his head. “I don’t know.”

The little girl dropped her little shovel and ran out to the greenhouse, emerging a short time later with a glass jar and lid. She plucked a few of the leaves from the plant and put them into the jar. Then, carefully, she picked the snail up by its shell and set it inside as well.

Hethurin wouldn’t like a snail inside at all, but he knew better than to try to argue with Malwen when her mind was made up. “He’ll need some holes in the lid, so he can breathe. Let’s go do that, we need a hammer and nail.”

At dinner, Malwen set the jar with the snail on the table, until Terellion encouraged her to set it beneath her chair. If Hethurin didn’t have a fit about it, Tik surely would. From time to time, Malwen would pick up the jar and drop a piece of vegetable into it. He wasn’t sure that snails would eat cooked vegetables, but admittedly he didn’t know much about snails. Later that evening, she marched into Hethurin’s library and demanded a book. About snails. He didn’t have one specifically, but he lent her a book on the native wildlife of the region, and that seemed to satisfy her request.

The next afternoon, they were tying up the bushes to prepare them for wintering. They would be covered with a layer of burlap to help insulate them from the cold and snow. “How is your snail?” Terellion asked.

“Good.”

“Does he have a name yet?” Malwen named every single one of her dolls, her soft animals, and sometimes even furniture. Surely the snail would have earned one.

“She,” Malwen corrected him. “Her name is Shelley.”

“Oh? It’s a lady snail?”

Malwen nodded. “She has eggs, that’s how I know.” She held up the jar for him to see, and sure enough, there were dozens of perfectly round, translucent eggs hidden beneath one of the leaves. How was he going to explain a baby snail invasion?

 

[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.