Tahlmus looked over the applicants, Solas, Firki, and Tahlavin one more time. “Lillianna was right,” he thought, “these three should benefit the most from our school.” He went about finding the paperwork to get them registered, and the form letter to inform them of their acceptance, when a noise distracted him.
The noise sounded like a chain being drug across the floor. “No,” he whispered as he thought of the niflers. “They are with Fleur.” Then there was another noise, a tapping sound. Shaking his head, he thought he had to be hearing things. He went back to filling out the form letter, when the noises started again. This time they were closer to him.
He turned in time to see both niflers duck under one of the couch cushions. “Oh no you don’t,” he said using his magic to bring the niflers over to him. After emptying their pouches, he magicked up a cage for them. “I guess Fleur forgot to put you in your cage,” he said with a sigh.
The tapping started again, as he set the cage near his desk. Looking towards the sound he saw both dancing milk cartons. “How did you get here? Laguna was supposed to be watching you.” He magicked up a space for the milk cartons, then determined he should go find Fleur and Laguna.
“What do we do?” Laguna asked after having watched Lillianna run away.
“Do we go check Tahlmus’ office?” Fleur asked nervously.
“I don’t think we have a choice,” Coral replied while still looking down the hallway Lillianna had taken.
The three women started walking towards Tahlmus’s office, when his door opened, and he stepped out. When he noticed them, he motioned for them to enter his office. He didn’t look overly pleased. They stood there nervously. It was easy to tell he wasn’t happy.
“Can you explain to me Fleur how these guys made it all the way to my office?” he asked holding out the cage that held the niflers. Fleur shook her head. She had wanted to explain everything, but something made her stay silent. “And Laguna, can you explain these two?” He asked. Laguna also shook her head no.
“I mean, I don’t mind having them around, but…” his voice trailed off as he looked at their sad faces. He sighed. “Please just keep a closer eye on them,” he finished.
The girls promised to take better care of the niflers and milk cartons before leaving the office. “Let’s get these guys put safely in your rooms. Then we need to pay a visit to Lillianna,” Coral stated. The other two nodded. After agreeing to meet in the main hall in five minutes time, they split going their separate directions.
Less than ten minutes later Coral, Fleur, and Laguna were standing in front of Lillianna’s door. Coral had raised her hand to knock when Celestial showed up. She froze until she saw Celestial give her a nod to continue, so Coral knocked.
It took a couple minutes but Lillianna opened the door. A strong smell of incense drifted out to greet them. “Can I help you?” Lillianna asked as she stood in the doorway.
“We need to have a discussion with you,” Celestial said.
“A private one,” Coral stated pushing on the door to keep Lillianna from coming out and shutting it.
Lillianna hesitated before moving aside and letting them in. They walked into a candlelit room. The curtains were down and no sun came through. Coral and Laguna stayed near the door. They were going to make sure Lillianna didn’t try to run again. Fleur was more interested in the new surroundings so she was walking around checking everything out. Celestial stood in front of Lillianna, arms crossed. “We need to discuss Tahlmus,” she said crossly.
“What about him?” Lillianna asked as nonchalantly as she could.
“He’s ours,” Celestial stated very matter of factly, “and we don’t appreciate how quickly you’ve tried to gain his intimate attention.”
“I can’t say I know what you mean,” Lillianna replied as calmly as she could.
“The seductive voice. The carefully placed shoulder,” Coral stated icily. “You trying to turn him against us.”
Lillianna cringed slightly, but remained calm. She opened her mouth to speak but Fleur had, unbeknownst to her, made it to the vanity. She had seen the picture. “It’s Tahlmus,” she exclaimed. “She has a picture of Tahlmus.”
Lillianna turned towards the vanity as the others rushed over to Fleur. “How’d you get this?” Celestial asked picking up the picture. Her eyes were ablaze with anger.
“It’s… it’s not how it looks,” Lillianna stated. She had been warned that Tahlmus had no idea about his true identity, had no idea what his real parents had gone through to keep him and his brother safe. “It’s not Tahlmus,” she said. All four women opened their mouths to speak. “It’s his twin brother Kanes,” Lillianna finished before they could say a word.
“No,” Laguna said. “That can’t be true. Tahlmus would have told us.”
“Yeah,” Fleur chimed in. “He has no secrets from us.”
Lillianna sighed. “That’s because Tahlmus never knew. For his safety and Kanes, their parents had given Tahlmus to a traveling family who had not been able to have kids of their own. They made the family promise never to tell Tahlmus of his origins. They kept Kanes and raised him, while they hid from a wizard that is more powerful than the former Dark Lord of Tevinter.”
The women all looked at her dumbfounded. None of them wanted to believe it, but what Lilianna had said was almost too crazy to be made up. Seeing the others struggling with comprehending what she had said, Lillianna went to her vanity and pulled open the middle drawer. There was a click, and when she turned around, Lillianna was holding an old tattered journal.
“Before Kanes left he gave me this with specific instructions that if something happened I had to find his brother before Mystic did. I told him I didn’t understand, he had never mentioned a brother before. He told me to read the journal, it would explain everything… so…” she held the journal out to Celestial.
Celestial stared at it, hesitant to take it. She wanted nothing to do with anymore dark wizards, especially if this one was stronger than the Dark Lord. But her curiosity about the picture on Lillianna’s vanity and a possible secret past Tahlmus knew nothing about finally had her reaching for the journal.
Once in hand, she flipped through the pages. There was a lot to read. “You might want to have a seat and read it together,” Lillianna stated. “It’s going to take a little bit of time.” Celestial sat down where she was at and the others gathered around her. Lilliana sat on her bed and observed.
Each page of the journal brought a new light to Tahlmus. HIs father had been a powerful mage, his magic coming from a dragon. Not just any dragon, but the most powerful dragon in the region. The power had been received as a thank you, for his father having saved the dragon from a wizard named Mystic. The wizard swore revenge as the dragon had carried him away to safety. A couple months after having received the draconic magic, he found his wife was pregnant with twins. It was then, that the dragon returned. He’d had a vision and had to warn them. “Your sons will be very powerful,” the dragon had started. “Having been conceived under a full moon their magic will be the strongest that this world has seen, but only when they are together. Mystic will figure this out once he’s heard you’ve had kids. He will hunt for them relentlessly as he will want to drain their power, for himself.”
With the dragon’s warning in mind a plan was formed. They would keep one of the twins, and give the other away. Celestial, Fleur and Laguna all felt the sting of tears in their eyes as the journal went into great detail of the pain and depression the parents went through as they made the decision to give Tahlmus, the oldest by almost three minutes, to the traveling family that had yearned for kids of their own, but had, had no luck in conceiving. Coral hadn’t been able to hold the tears back and silently let them fall as they learned that the dragon, who had witnessed the births, had been able to sense Tahlmus’ power. He would be the more powerful of the two, and the dragon warned the family that as he grew older he would be able to sense that he had very powerful magic in him, but wouldn’t be sure on how to use it, so they would have to be careful. They would have to make sure there was a good teacher, who could hone his talents.
The final warning the family was given as the woman had taken Tahlmus in her arms, was that they could not tell him of his true origins. He could never know about his birth family. He had to grow up believing that the couple taking him was his real parents and that he was an only child blessed with the gift of magic. He could not know of its draconic origin.
That had been the last entry until a couple months ago. The writing was different too, and it was addressed to Lillianna. They all leaned in closer.
My Dearest Lillianna, I am writing so you understand, my parents swore me to secrecy about what was in this journal. They made me swear to them as they were on their deathbeds. I never knew about my brother Tahlmus until then, but it explains so much. I have been having a dream as of late. I believe it is a bad omen. I think Mystic is starting to close in on me, and I will not be able to avoid him much longer. Should I not return from this trip, you must find him. You must find Tahlmus. He is more powerful than I, and much more powerful than he will understand. He will not know that it’s draconic magic that flows through his veins. When you find him, you must convince him of his past and of his true power. You must also give him my amulet which I have left in your possession. It will allow him not only to find me, but to combine my power with his as we were meant to do. Our full power that can only be reached when we are together will be needed to defeat Mystic. You must do this my love, for if Mysitc gets both of us and drains our power for his own use, the world will surely be doomed.”
The four women all looked over at Lillianna. “Wait,” Celestial said as a realization hit her. “If you’re here then…”
“Kanes never came home. The trip should have only taken two weeks. When the third week ended with no word, I started looking for Tahlmus,” Lillianna said. “When I found that he was living here with you and starting a school, applying for the teaching position seemed the most logical thing to do. I needed to get close to Tahlmus,” Lillianna paused taking a few deep breaths. “I never expected them to look exactly alike. When I see Tahlmus, I feel like I am seeing Kanes and I cannot resist my desire to be near him, or my need to have him desire me.” She looked at the others with tears in her eyes. “I honestly can’t control it,” she said. “I don’t understand it. I’ve never had this problem before. It’s like I’m not the one controlling my body.”
Celestial looked from Coral to Laguna, to Fleur, then back to Lillianna. “We need to tell Tahlmus,” she said. “Tell him all of it, including your feelings.”
Lillianna started to pale. The thought of explaining her feelings scared her. “I… I…” she stuttered.
“He will know what to do,” Coral responded. “He always knows what to do.” Fleur and Laguna held their hands out. Hesitantly Lillianna accepted them and they left the room to go find Tahlmus.
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