Dangerous Relatives – Glimmerlands 1

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Sorry this is late, it *was* of course supposed to appear before chapter 3. I’m getting the hang of WordPress now, I think.

“Someone has been tampering with it.” Arwyn’s brother frowned, turning the book over and over in his hands. “The glamour I put on it has been replaced by somebody else’s.”

“Whose?” Arwyn sat on her bed, watching him anxiously. Orren closed his eyes and concentrated for a moment.

“Mother’s,” he muttered darkly, handing it back to her.

Arwyn felt the blood drain from her face. “Mother knows?”

“She’s known for a few days now, at least,” he said. “If she hasn’t mentioned it yet, then she must be planning something. I’ll have to take it back, there’s no other way.”

“But-” Arwyn silenced her protest in the face of Orren’s worried gaze.

“I’m sorry, sisterling,” he said. “We cannot know what she’s planning, but I’d wager it’s not good.”

“But why would she hurt us?” Arwyn asked. “You’re her hero and heir, and she dotes on me.”

He arched an eyebrow at her. “Have I taught you nothing? Glamour gives those impressions, but they’re just that – impressions. We can’t know what really goes on in her sly little head.”

Arwyn slumped her shoulders.

“Enough of that,” her brother said sharply. “You, too, must practise glamour, even with me. What if somebody comes in disguised as me?”

“Even I would smell that much glamour,” she retorted.

“Not if the imposter used a spell instead.”

Arwyn’s eyes widened, her chagrin over the book almost forgotten. “I wish you’d teach me to name,” she said.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Why would you need to name?”

“Why wouldn’t I?” she retorted. “You’re always saying the worlds outside are dangerous, and my grasp of glamour is too shaky. Maybe we’re focusing on the wrong magic?”

Orren chuckled. “If you can’t master glamour, there is no way you can grasp naming. Glamour is just illusion magic, it changes what we perceive, but not what is. Spells transform what is into something else, which is dangerous. Besides, it’s banned. If anyone caught you naming, you’d be killed.”

“Smuggling books out of Cat’s Court is banned too, and you did it for my amusement,” she sulked, enjoying the nervous glance her brother threw at the door and windows. “I’ve glamoured the room, silly. They think we’re arguing about what I’m to wear tonight.”

Orren’s mouth twisted. “And what are you wearing tonight?”

Arwyn rolled her eyes. “I don’t know. A dress, I suppose.”

“You know esbats are supposed to be attended skyclad.”

Arwyn shuddered. Tonight’s moondance would only be the second in her lifetime, and she hadn’t particularly liked the first.

“You’ll attract more attention dressed than not,” he warned her. “And you really could use the extra strength. You spend more time sleeping than a hinterbear.”

“So? You never let me out. I’ve nothing else to do.”

“It leaves you vulnerable.” He bent and lifted her chin so she had to look at him. There was worry in his eyes. “I won’t always be there to protect you.”

She scowled and snapped sharp fairy teeth at his hand. “From what?”

He snatched it away, smiling mirthlessly. “From who, would be a better question.”

“From who then?”

“Everyone.”

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