Summer, Between Years 9 & 10 of the Addergoole School
“You’d think this would be easy.” Shira Pelletier stared at the document in front of her.
“No.” Feu Drake shook his head. “No. Some might think this is easy, but I would not be one of them again.”
“You’re doing it again.” She glanced up at him, not yet irritated but willing to sound it.
“Of course I am ‘doing it again.’ I am not certain you would ever be reasonable to expect something else of me, j-“
“If the next sound out of your mouth is a jae, you’re doing this on your own, Drake.” Now, now she was becoming actually irate.
“You are rather younger than I am.” He managed to make the statement of fact sound like a reproach. Shira was un-reproached.
“And does that mean that I am your junior?”
She caught the faintest twitch that meant she’d either amused the man or caught him by surprise. “You posit a curious question… Shira.”
“See? I knew you could use my use-name if you tried hard enough.” She allowed herself to be mollified, because if she kept this up much longer, it would no longer be sparring and be something far more like flirtation. (Maybe. With Feu Drake, it was hard to tell even when he was naked. Clothed and poring over ancient papers, there was almost no option short of a Working to get a certain answer). “This part of this piece makes no sense.”
“Are you sure it’s not you?”
“I am certain it’s not me, Feu Drake.” She pushed the sheet over to him – a piece of gold pressed thin as paper and inlaid with the ancient script of Old Tongue, Idu a’Iduþin. “This part here, the prophecy. ‘The mother who cares not?'”
Drake frowned. “‘The mother who…’ yes, ‘who gives no caring for her children but simply births them as the mice do.’ An odd way to phrase that.”
As the mice do. Shira sighed. “Oh. Well, it can’t be one of ours, can it?”
“I don’t see why not. Addergoole was prophesied in at least three different texts.”
Shira looked back at the words. “‘Shall…’ but something is missing, isn’t it?”
“Lost.” Drake picked up a leather-bound book and passed it to Shira. “But here’s a Greek translation. You think it’s one of your Students?”
As the mice do. “Let’s just say, I’m hoping it’s a mistake of translation.”
“jae” is a diminutive honorific; the prefix for those who outrank you is sa’, and for equals you simply skip the honorific.
Shira Pelletier and Feu Drake are professors in the Addergoole School.
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