Author's Random Rant: WINDING CIRCLE ROCKS!!!!!!! Omygodomygodomygodomygodomygod!!! squeal I have time to download it now!!!!! Sorry!! I'm always grounded off the net on weekdays!! Plus, I was grounded off the net on weekends too, because I got caught trying to upload Reunions and Remembrances. GOMEN NASAI!!! DWEI BU CHI!!! I'M SO SORRY!!!!!! I totally lost track of time! I know it's my duty and all, but between my kleptomaniac, sadistic, evil clone and schoolwork, I have been able to do nothing besides eat, study, sleep, breathe, and work so far!! (however, sometimes I wonder about the eating, sleeping, and breathing part) Oh, and did I forget to mention that I also had to keep my "other self" in check? ;; SORRY!! Anyways... on to the story!!!

Disclaimer: I do not own Circle of Magic or any other one of Tamora Peirce's series. However, I do own Briar Moss. Or do I? cackles

(Ilei) You know, maybe I overdid my evil protocol. I think she's finally cracked!! #; Oh boy. My probation officer's just going to LOVE this one. wink j/k.

Back At Discipline

Chapter One-Briar's Back

Lark was at her loom, weaving as usual when a knock came on the front door. She went to open it and guess who was standing there? "Rosie!!! I wasn't expecting you for at least another day or two!! However did you get here so fast?"

Rosethorn, or 'Rosie', just grinned and plopped down on a chair. "Even I don't know for sure! Anyway, Lark, there's someone I want you to meet. Wait a minute, where is she?"

Rosethorn glanced around. Just then, a smiling and panting girl of about ten ran in with a fourteen-year-old boy right behind her. (I'm not sure of his real age. Do you know? Hint, hint.) She skidded to a halt right in front of Lark and narrowly avoided crashing into the dedicate. The girl, Evumeimei Dingzai of Yanjing, had mid-length black hair, almond-shaped brown eyes, and was still rather skinny, even though she ate a whole lot. Briar Moss was the boy's name. He was a former thief, street rat, and convict. Now, a few years in Discipline cottage had turned him into a "respectable (snort)" mage, or practitioner of magic. His golden brown skin pointed to an eastern ancestor, though his gray-green eyes stated that someone in his family was of western descent. He was also, now, Evumeimei's teacher of magic, although she had magic with stones and his was with plants. Now Briar was smirking. "Evvy, I told you not to go rushing off. Now look what you've done!! This is Lark. She'll probably hang you in the well or something because you nearly crashed into her!! She's a whole lot more short tempered than Rosethorn and me!"

Missing the mischievous expression on her teachers face, Evvy squeaked and ran behind Briar. Rosethorn and Briar had mile-wide grins on their faces, but Lark had a (playful) frown on hers. "Now see here," she said mock-scolding, "Why are you telling such awful lies about me to this lovely girl Briar? Mila knows that I'm certainly much more patient than you or Rosie."

Lark smiled at Evvy, who came cautiously creeping out from behind her teacher. She shyly dipped a curtsy. "Hello Lark. I'm Evumeimei of Yanjing. The pahans Briar and Rosethorn told me not to go running because I might run into someone and they might not even be as nice as they were. I guess they were wrong."

Lark chuckled. "Rosethorn, is this who you wanted me to meet? Why is she here?" Rosethorn answered, "She has stone magic and she couldn't, or rather, wouldn't, find a teacher. So, as the discoverer of Evvy's magic, Briar gets to teach her."

Lark smiled knowingly. "Ah. I know how it went. Sandry discovered a new mage too. His name's Pasco Ascalon. He has dance magic, can you believe it? Comes from a harrier family. Believe it or not, he also helped catch some murderers. Hard to catch ones they were, led them on a chase and nearly exhausted the living daylights out of poor Sandry. They had a mage who specialized in unmagic. He was dependent on dragonsalt too. Sandry and Pasco should be here any time now. She sent a runner saying that she'd be over for afternoon tea."

At that moment, a light knock sounded at the door and a young boy and older girl walked in and started. Briar pretended to be insulted. "What, you sniffer skirt, don't you remember me?"

At this, Lady Sandrilene fa Toren turned to her student, Pasco Ascalon, and wryly smiled. "Pasco, meet one of the other, not so illustrious members of the four 'miracle mages'. This is my foster-brother: Briar Moss. He came from Sotat and was a normal person like you, except he was a thief and a street rat. You two ought to get along quite well, no? A thief and a harrier."

Pasco's eyes grew wide. "YOU were a thief?" he sputtered incredulously. Briar grinned widely and nodded. "I even have the double Xs. Used to be right there," he said, indicating the web of skin between his forefinger and thumb. Pasco blinked. He was too numb to do anything else. All over the older boy's hands was a riot of green, leafy vines, which were twisting on the backs of his hands all the way up to under his fingernails. Briar smirked. He had known, to some extent, that his hands would induce such a reaction. They always did. It wasn't every day that you saw someone with gaily-decorated hands walk by. In fact, now that he thought of it, people with hands like him probably didn't just walk by at all. They probably pocketed a few things from the people they passed too. Mila knows that he did. When he felt like it. Hey, he was on the straight and narrow now...or was he? evil cackle and suspicious pocketing of goods

About ten minutes later...

Lark, Evvy, Rosethorn, Sandry, Briar, and their pupils were sitting inside the cottage, sipping tea and politely chatting. They were also sparingly munching on some goodies from the cold box. At least, Lark, Rosethorn and Sandry were sparingly munching on some goodies and making small talk. Evvy, Briar, and Pasco were glaring at each other, stuffing their mouths, hoarding their food, and shooting covetous glances at the remaining food in turns. Talk about multi-tasking. Well, in all fairness to Briar, it was more the two younger ones doing the aforementioned activities. The more "mature" females tried their best to ignore them, but their quest was in vain. It was impossible to be no fewer than twelve feet away and not hear, see, or 'feel' the squabbles of the three young mages.

After the teatime had passed, all of the mages, pupils included, retired into the garden (Briar and Rosethorn), the loom houses (Lark and Sandrilene), or just to wander around the Hub, as in the case of the two young apprentice mages, Evumeimei and Pasco. For all, it was a while of content and rest before they had to do their respective duties.

Disclaimer: No own Winding Circle. YOU NO SPEAKA ENGLISH??? NO SUE!!!

Author's Note: Rere here. If you think I own Winding Circle, you are suicidal or crazy. Mostly suicidal. Completely suicidal, in fact.