Wing: I like Mogget, and I like getting inside his mind. Unfortunately, Mogget is borderline insane, and therefore does not always make a great deal of sense. Enjoy his musings and mutterings, but don't expect them to make logical sense all the time.

INTENT TO HARM

It never started out as intent to harm.

Well. Perhaps that statement isn't entirely correct. I give one white paw a cursory lick, brow furrowed thoughtfully – as furrowed as a cat's face can become in any case. This form, while satisfactory in many ways, has a considerable number of downsides. It is one of the things I miss most about being free; the ability to change, the sheer fluidity of being unconstrained.

I have to admit that there is always that simmering rage below the surface, dulled by the magic that flows through the little scrap of red leather wrapped around my neck. Dulled so much that there are times when I come very close to forgetting it exists. But that is no viable excuse either, I know that well. All I can say is that at the moment of asking that impossible favour, it is not harm that I initially intend. The fury lurks at the back of my mind – it has existed for so long I do not think I'll ever be free of it – but it is not foremost. When I howled at Sabriel to take off the collar, I did not have immediate hostile designs on her life.

I do not believe I'll be able to convince her of such so easily, though.

A glance sideways shows her sleeping soundly, a fact which baffles me for several reasons. Firstly, that she feels safe enough in my presence to allow herself to relax so thoroughly. After all, I certainly displayed a determined 'intent to harm' merely hours before now. She is far too trusting. Secondly, that she would suffer to follow orders given to her by her supposed servant, who is in a feline form no less. Many of the other Abhorsens would have taken strong offence at the insinuation that I knew better. Then again, none of the other Abhorsens would have released my collar so freely, nor deigned to sleep in my presence now.

I am nothing if not capable of learning quickly, and I am beginning to understand that Sabriel is not like many of the other Abhorsens. Well, it was an obvious fact from the beginning – why he chose to raise her in that magic-stripped wasteland is beyond my comprehension. No doubt it has kept her safe until now, but it has softened her as well, and has left her almost entirely ignorant to the workings of this land. Naïve and foolish. By all rights, she should not still be alive. But that lifestyle has resulted in smaller traits in her personality – a willingness to forgive, a view that what I say has meaning and purpose, an implicit trust – and they intrigue me.

It would appear that when forced to assume one form for a long period of time, they begin to impact upon your very personality. Normally such curiosity would not take a hold of me. And normally I would not have such a craving for fish, but that is another matter.

If I were still capable of feeling regret, no doubt that is what would be uppermost in whatever part of my form stores my emotions. Humans tend to refer to them as being situated in their heart, but Free Magic beings have somewhat different anatomy. If I were to be truly honest with myself (a harder task than it sounds) I would admit that Sabriel did not deserve to have the brunt of my rage, of my intent to harm, thrust upon her. She cannot help what blood flows through her veins, no more than she can deny her birthright. That knowledge lingered in my mind even after the freedom, and is quite likely the reason I allowed her time to awaken. I cannot say for sure.

It seems strange to not be able to predict my own motives, I understand. But, upon the release of the collar…ah. I close my eyes, shutting out the bleak world around to savour for a short moment the recollection of my brief freedom. It is not something that can be easily put into words, for words need to be placed in chronological order, and require form and structure. Freedom defies all that. The rush as I become what I once was again – or, at the very least, some form of what I was. The fluidity sliding back, the knowledge and the strength and the power…and the rage. It is enough to blot rationality out completely. There is usually a moment in which I retain a little of myself…no, not myself. For I am myself when I have lost what I called myself, am I not? Bah. It is best to refer to it as I did to Sabriel – I retain some sentimentality, some vague form of attachment that allows me to at least complete my task.

For, as I have mentioned many times previously, when I demand freedom for a purpose, that purpose is rarely to cause immediate harm to the person in question. It is only afterwards, when I have sated whatever nagging force compels me to keep my word, that a far larger urge comes into play and I cannot resist it. And yet…and yet the girl lies there now, trusting me. How unusual.

However, I am aware that I can probably place most of those aforementioned intriguing traits under the guise of naivety and ignorance, which means that they will no doubt fade in time. It is almost a pity. Perhaps she will perish before time and the cynicism that comes with experience washes those innocent feelings away. I am not sure whether that would be favourable or not.

I sigh, padding away from her to examine one of the darker corners of the cavern. Whether it would ultimately be better for Sabriel or not, I know my – what would you call it? My purpose? My responsibility? My duty? In any case, I know what I am supposed to achieve, what the faintly flickering Charter marks imbedded in my collar demand.

There can be no intent to harm.