Short side story to „Children of the Moon" (German "Mondkinder")
Timeframe: roughly 3 years after the events of "Chikyuu Shôujo Arjuna"
Chris has returned home to recuperate after Juna finally took over his duties in Japan. Now he lives once again with his family until he is able to move to Galway and start a life of his own. Usually, he has an eye on his very lively and often quite naughty younger siblings and teaches Cindy (who has been adopted into the family) and Niamh (his 2nd youngest sister) the ways of the telepaths together with Seán, his former teacher and highest-ranking telepath of western Ireland.
"…gán eran yosseré nad spió. Ar teibhionn scéil truar..truaram?" –'No, it's trueréimm, Cindy.' The red-haired girl made a face, "Why must I learn this crap, Chris? It's too difficult! I've got plenty of trouble with Irish as it is! I don't see why I have to study a language not spoken in public since…oh since at least 3000 years?"
The pale-haired young man reclining in a heap of cushions on the well-used sofa sighed wearily, 'I've told you countless times that this is an important part of your training as a chela. Your behaviour isn't exactly a role model for your sister Niamh. You do lack enthusiasm and dedication. Don't you realise that it is a privilege to be accepted among the chelas at your late age? Usually, you'd be considered way too old to be trained for the higher ranks of our society. And for this, mastery of the Ancient Language or Istar, as it is colloquially called, is necessary. You must be able to read the scrolls and chronicles as a Monitor.' Their other companion, a young girl of about 11 years smirked: "Yeah. Lia preaches this all the time and an muinteoir isn't much better. I'm just glad that he's blind and has lots to do anyway."
Chris Hawken shifted restlessly. Sometimes working with two lively and intelligent girls could be really exhausting, especially when Cindy decided to have one of her truly unpredictable mood swings which – while not uncommon at her age of almost 16 years – made teaching her all the more difficult and strenuous. Although his health had much improved over the last few years, it still remained frail and tended to fail easily and the ordeal he'd undergone in Japan had left visible traces on his unnaturally slender frame and fine face.
But it couldn't be helped since he had promised his old teacher Séan to teach them in this part of their curriculum as the old Keeper was blind as a consequence of an accident at work in his youth and therefore unable to do so.
'Well, enough reading for today, girls. Did you practise declination as I told you to?' Both girls had the grace to look sheepish: " Uhm, well…..no.", Cindy admitted. "No time, Chris, had to go out with Marc from Spiddeal." He started, 'I beg your pardon! What did you do instead of studying? You went out to Galway? Didn't I forbid you to do so?'
Cindy grew even more sheepish, "Well, yeah. But I promised him at school and well…" Her sentence died in an embarrassed mumble as her mentor fixed her with a glare. She knew perfectly well she had disobeyed him and would surely be punished in a way or another for this since Chris had it made his policy from the very beginning that every disobedience on her part would be swiftly met with due consequences. "What is my punishment to be, Chris?"
His reply was brief: 'Decline: suar"
Cindy swallowed. That was embarrassing – to have to admit defeat in front of the much younger Niamh – but she'd have to bear it gracefully. "suar, suairím, suarann, suair, suair. And the plural goes…the plural goes…" The young man in front of her sighed audibly and motioned to Niamh who rattled the whole declension down without error.
Cindy pondered her younger sister. Niamh was a quirky young girl with a sharp intelligence, but very shy towards strangers. She remembered well how the child had reacted towards Chris at first, but now she trusted him implicitly and was in a way proud to be taught by the former Avatar of Time, always eager to please her older brother. In fact, Niamh had been the reason of Chris' first attempt to walk unaided when the girl had been scared by a surprise visit of Teresa Wong roughly 2 years ago. Although the attempt had ended with a most ungracious fall after a few steps, it had spurred everyone involved, so that by now he was able to walk a few halting steps unaided.
Her musings were interrupted by their mother, Áine, who called them for supper. Niamh dropped her book as if it were a hot potato and shot of into the kitchen. Chris merely smiled and shook his head while he thankfully accepted his crutch from Cindy and rose from the couch with effort. Yes, he could walk short distances but he still preferred his wheelchair for fear of falling and injuring himself. Leaning heavily on his faithful little aide of so many years, he limped off to dinner.