For wyld_dandelyon‘ prompt. This is set in the Addergoole ‘verse, whose landing page is here on DW & here on LJ, in year 9. Sylvia the Otter-girl is the character in the icon, by @Inventrix, shown here:
Third week of year 9 of the Addergoole school.
“You’re going to need this.”
Gar had no idea where the girl had come from; he’d been walking down a back hallway when she’d stepped out of nowhere in front of him.
He knew her from a couple of his classes, a slender, quiet girl with whiskers and paws that reminded him of an otter. Sylvia. She was pretty, but in a room full of aggressive beauties, she’d always faded into the background.
Garfunkel knew the feeling. He was, to quote his ex-girlfriend, “just a guy.” Just a guy, now, who seemed to shoot off crags of red stone when he got upset, like a particularly rocky porcupine version of the Hulk. Just a guy who, he was told, was very good at some odd magical words that made his tongue tingle.
And who, at the moment, was being faced with an otter-girl with some sort of necklace, no, collar, some sort of collar in her paw.
He shook his head, backing up slowly, holding up his own why-did-he-have-paws. “No, no thank you,” he said hurriedly. “I’ve seen all the collars around since, whatdy’acallit, Hell Night. I’ve seen everyone all hangdog and upset. I don’t need to join their ranks.”
“This is different,” she insisted. “It’s still a collar, but it’s different.”
“And why should I believe you?”
“Because I don’t lie, and I promise you I’m not lying to you. You are going to need what this collar gives you. I have a very strong feeling about that.”
“I have a very strong feeling about not becoming a brain-washed zombie,” he answered dryly.
“You won’t.” Sounding hurried and a bit irate, she added, “just put it on. It doesn’t mean anything without the words.”
“The words?” Her stare was rather unnerving; despite himself, Gar found himself taking the collar-thing from her and putting it around his neck.
“’With this ring…’ that sort of thing, the words your hang-dog friends said,” she hedged, and then, in his mind…
I Belong to You. The Fourth Law of Keeps states that one Ellehemaei –
Ellehemaei, the people of Ellehem, of the land that is not Earth. The fae, the Fair Folk, the Departed Gods. You.
The answers flooded into his mind as the questions appeared, images and explanations, a tone in the mental voice that sounded like the otter-girl. When he opened his eyes, finally, there was one phrase on his lips. His mind full of what it meant, he still couldn’t help but say it.
“I Belong to you, Sylvia.”
“Yes,” she smiled, looking pleased. “You do.”
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