Note: Hee, this is great, a semi-silly, semi-WAFFy fic. Who else is dying for the new Earthsea novel? *raises her hand* Yeah, I thought so. Someone wanna write another fic, maybe?
Disclaimer: Laa, Earthseaaaaa doesn't beloong to meeee! *trills and gets bricked*
Tenar had recovered from the, er, rather interesting circumstances that had taken place over the few months that she had found Ged unconscious on the side of Gont Mountain; this was easily observable by her undue enthusiasm in weeding Ogion's little garden-patch. The "little girl" Tehanu played with a clod of dirt beside her adoptive mother. "Stop that, Therru," said Tenar when she saw that the dirt was on a journey across Tehau's scarred face and into her tangled hair. Ged chuckled from his end of the patch and waved a handful of spinach-like plants at both of them. "Tenar, you keep forgetting that Tehanu probably played more than a little with dirt as a dragon."
Tenar glared. She was uncomfortable with thinking of the girl as one of the great wise winged beasts, and Ged, having discovered this early on, consistently teased her and reminded her of Tehanu's dual shapes. "Therru, little one, don't do that." She patted the little dark head and smiled. "Go wash your hands, there are apples on the table."
After she had gone, Ged came next to Tenar and crouched. "I don't get an apple?"
"No." She could not help a wide and most un-widowlike grin. "You were not good."
The weeding halted there for a while. When she noticed that the sun was considerably lower in the sky than it had been, Tenar mumbled, "Let me up." Ged, reluctant, loosened her, and watched as she, a little red in the face, went about picking up the weeds strewn about in the dirt and placing them in the sack she'd brought out for the purpose.
Lying in the narrow bed, Tenar suddenly stiffened. "What is the matter," said Ged softly, putting a warm hand around her arm and squeezing reassuringly.
"I heardthere it is." She sat up and fumbled for her shoes, while Ged yawned noiselessly, with a keeness in his eyes that belied the indolence of the gesture. The two of them stepped across the room to where the girl was asleep in her alcove, Ged with his walking-stick in his hand, and when Tenar gave a shout and uncupped her hand from around the candle, what they saw nearly made Tenar drop her light and Ged his stick. "I'm sorry," said the girl Therru and the dragon Tehanu,in the Old Tongue; she sat with what looked like two small winged lizards twined around her shoulders.
"Ther--Tehanu," Tenar said, staring at the ceiling to avoid the eyes of the tiny dragons. "Where did you find them?"
I've already told you,the dragon-girl replied, half in her true shape and half the figure of the skinny girl. "In the house. On the table with the apples." Ged interpreted this, and Tenar snorted. "Well and fine. How did they get there? Of all places"
Tehanu the dragon diminished entirely into the girl Therru, who now spoke in Hardic. "I'm sorry, I don't know. I meanthe other me, the one of the West Wind, she does not know." She shrugged her thin shoulders. "But, please, may I keep them?"
Ged started to laugh, and Tenar sighed. "I don't know where else they could possibly go. If they camekeep them then. Justtheir eyes"
"I know," the child said brightly, and she put her lips to the dragons' heads and whispered. Presently they shed their skins and grew larger, thicker, and there sat two small boys, one little younger than Therru, the other a shade older. They both stared at Ged and Tenar from very human eyes--although both pairs were unnaturally gold.
"They're really not young dragons?" Tenar had a wooden bowl in her hands, from breakfast; Ged stood next to her with a rag to dry. He nodded in answer. "But then"
"I think that Tehanu called them."
"Why should she do that?" Tenar felt unreasonably defensive.
"Well, as they say, 'strange are the ways of dragons.'" Ged received a mock-slap for this, and the conversation abruptly ended.
Look,said Tehanu in the dragons' tongue, pointing at the far sea that glimmered through the greenery surrounding the three children-dragons. It is the Great Water. Did you come hence?
Yes.The older boy pointed to the west. His younger companion laughed, an eerie inhuman laugh. Let us play. Let us dance.
In Gont Port, a fishmonger had the misfortune to look up as he ate his lunch of bread and salted mackerel. Three blazing streaks flashed in the sky, brighter than the sun. They moved in and out, in rhythm, and his foot began to tap of its own accord under the table. A glint of gold as he saw one turn its fell head, and he dropped his food and ran for dear life.
"Aye, twenty of them! I heard from Iye, the keeper of the Fish Barrel."
"I see. And who did he hear from?"
Merk, a young fisherman newly elevated to the status of owning his very own boat, scowled at the slight mocking in the tone of the other man. "Dunno."
"Thank you then." The man, middle-aged, dressed in unexceptional wool that was thin and pale-colored for the budding heat of spring, turned and stood to walk away from Merk's table; in the movement Merk saw the old scars that ran down one side of his face and drew a breath of relief that the stranger was leaving the bar.
When the three children came home, Tenar was standing at the doorway of Ogion's house, waiting for them. "Therru," she called. "Come take a walk with me."
"I'm sorry," Therru said immediately after the house had gone from sight.
Tenar smiled, then collected herself. If she was to reprimand Therru she could not be so easily beguiled. "For what, Therru?"
The girl looked up and for a moment Tenar was speechless at the feeling of the rush of wind under wings and of wildly joyous flight. Then she turned her face to the path they followed.
"Ah" Tenar reached out, tentative, and put her arm around the shoulders that were almost strong, and said, gently, "let's go back, Ged is waiting."
-Author-: Well, how is it? What did you think of it? Is there potential for a multi-part? Put it all in the review box! *huge grin*