For three and a half years now I've wanted to write a Pellinor fic. Now I feel that I can properly do the story justice.

Hopefully you'll feel the same way.

Told from the point of view of Cadvan

Disclaimer: I do not own Pellinor, nor the characters. The situation is taken from the book. However the banter between Cadvan and Malgorn and Cadvan's thoughts on the situation and Maerad are completely my speculation on what was happening.
I was hungry. No, wait, I was starving. The dark table was piled high with an array of vegetables and meats. The candles that flickered in between the platters threw out a yellow light, causing each to be surrounded and highlighted in the golden glow. They looked delicious. I was actually salivating just by looking at them.

How long had it been since I had eaten things like this? Months certainly. I had survived on travelling rations before I had been captured by the Landrost and I had survived on them after I had escaped, albeit with one extra mouth to share them with. In between…well, I didn't have to think about that right now, not when I was surrounded by the comfort and safety of Innail.

Unfortunately a memory of my time captured rose unbidden in my mind. I shuddered slightly, suppressing the memory quickly before it could fully form in my mind. Fortunately, my friend Malgorn chose that moment to walk in through the door carrying a decanter.

Malgorn started when he saw me, feigning shock.

"Cadvan? Is that you my friend? Why, I hardly recognised you without the layers of dirt and the smell!"

I snorted at him. "Very amusing Malgorn. I'd like to see what you'd look like under the same circumstances."

Malgorn shivered. "No thank you. I'll leave the easy stuff to you. I'm busy here doing the dangerous work."

I raised my eyebrow. "You mean like distilling the wine?"

"Hey! Hey! Wine distilling is a tricky business! You never know when a barrel may explode. Nearly lost an arm once."

I grinned. Trust Malgorn to exaggerate. "Uh-huh. And I bet that testing is hard too, eh?"

"Oh yes." He replied gravely. "In fact, I believe this is in need of testing. Would you care to expose yourself a little to the dangers of it?"

"Well," I said, rubbing my chin, pretending to think about the question "I can't leave all the dangerous stuff to you now can I? It wouldn't be fair."

Malgorn chuckled and poured out a generous glassful of the pale wine and sat down opposite. As I sipped the wine Malgorn looked over at me with a serious expression on his face.

"You look tired Cadvan."

I murmured a non-committal response, looking away. I didn't want to be reminded of what had made me like this. Malgorn seemed to sense this as he shifted topic to remark on Maerad.

"Strange little thing you brought with you though. And of Pellinor? It seems to be a miracle that you even found another bard on your travels, never mind a survivor of Pellinor."

I looked back towards him. "Those thoughts mirror my own Malgorn. It seemed so strange that I even though she was a spirit of the Dark!"

Malgorn chuckled again. "Though I could see how you could think that." He conceded "She looked dreadful when she walked in with you." He paused then added under his breath "Poor child."


He looked back at me. "Now Cadvan." He started in a jokingly strict tone "You must not keep the poor child up with your crazy tales of your many adventures. I'm sure she is very tired having to put up with you for so long."

"Yes Mother." I answered cheekily.

"And she couldn't have had much to eat so you must make sure that she doesn't make herself sick."

"It doesn't have anything to do with me if she makes herself sick on food or not!"

Malgorn glared at me sternly. I sighed "Ok. I'll make sure."

"Good." He replied, breaking out into a grin. "Now I know that you've been eyeing those mushrooms but you can't have any until the ladies arrive."

I sighed in mock exasperation and leant back into my chair. I wouldn't have started without the ladies, though those mushrooms were awfully tempting.

The echo of footsteps outside and the click of the door opening made me glance upwards towards the entrance. Silvia walked in first, quickly but hesitantly followed by Maerad.

I started and just managed to keep my mouth from falling open. Maerad looked stunning in a blue dress with silver embroidery. The candle light flickered over her pale skin, tanning it a light gold and giving it a pale sheen like silk. Her eyes glittered a dark blue as she looked in wonderment at the room, turning almost black as the shadows hit them. Clean hair fell in a dark sheet down her back, highlighting the pale contours of her slender neck. I looked at her face, the gentle curve of her jaw, the straight nose and the fullness of her lips. I processed all of this information in a second but seemed to me to be a few long minutes.

She glanced at me and I watched as she seemed to falter slightly under my stare. Struck dumb I couldn't remember what to do. Luckily Malgorn stood and my body immediately followed suit. We both bowed to the ladies in politeness. They bowed their heads in response and when Maerad straightened up I could see a faint blush on her cheeks. I didn't know if she realised this or not.

As we all sat down, Maerad next to me, I came back to my senses. This was wrong. What I had just thought was wrong. Maerad was only sixteen summers old! And I…I was older than that. Older than I physically appeared to the eye.

Over the course of the meal as I talked, joked and teased with Maerad and my friends I realised that I couldn't let that train of thought continue. I travelled often and was no stranger to hardship and danger. That was not the kind of life that I could offer to someone. No. It was better off to be alone. No one to hurt then if I never came back. I would take Maerad to Norloch and find a school that would take her and train her up properly to be a Bard. I would leave her there, continuing on my own broken path and that would be that.

I would keep these thoughts locked up and never reveal them to anyone.

It would be better that way.

I wrote this in an hour so it's probably not the best thing I ever wrote. Ah well…it's just for fun.

Please review and tell me what you think!