Chapter Three; the action begins, sorta. As with the first two, this chapter will be updated in small chunks unless otherwise. Srry for the slowness, anyone who reads this!

Disclaimer; I own nothing.

I walked slowly toward the footmen and flinched. As I expected, they were turned into white statues, lifeless and posed as they were before it happened. A sickening feeling welled up in my stomach and I knew that I was about to relive what I really hoped I would never relive again.

I reached for the spelled dagger that all courtiers were to carry at all time and grasped the wrought metal hilt firmly. I would have preferred a sword to defend myself against the person I was to meet, but that same person had tried to kill me with a dagger. I thought it best to give him a taste of his own medicine.

I edged along the marble walls slowly, making sure that I didn't make the slightest of noises. I was planning to throw the dagger, a trick that Vidanric had taught me after I prodded him to do so, and hope with the extent of my life that it would kill at the first and only shot. I held my breath and pressed myself into the niche just before the great doors of the Library and angled myself, poising the weapon between my first three fingers and my last two. Leaning back slightly on my left foot, I stooped down onto cold marble ground and pressed my face to the carved column surrounding the doors and looked in.

A sitting cushion with long, tan fringe obscured me from view, but through an opening, I could see everything. There was a clatter of books and broken glass near the large window seat that was the first thing one would see when they came into the library, and pieces of broken marble scattered throughout. Inching a little closer, I caught the sight of Nuvau's gown. She seemed to be standing to the left of the window, near the archive, and, thank heavens, she wasn't frozen. That didn't obscure my predictions of who the idiot was that did the damage, though. A heavy glow was settling around the room, waves of magic floating around within the currents. Lying flat on my stomach, I tucked my head behind the cushion so I could see her more clearly. Her hand seemed to be waving around and I could hear her saying something. My eyes narrowed and I crawled closer. Right across from her was a figure swathed in all black, his stance firm and unwavering. He seemed to sense my presence and turned slightly, but I was far to behind the cushion for him to confirm his suspicions.

Smirking, I inched even closer to them, my face now brushing against the fringe of the cushion, and I could now hear their conversation more clearly. What I heard was sickening.

"What in the name of life do you think you're doing?!" Nuvau hissed, her composure stiff as she glared at Flauvic with her piercing gaze. From my position behind the cushion, I could see that her hands were on her hips, the sign of female dominance. I had to suppress a laugh, for it still surprised me how much Nuvau could control herself in any situation, even in encountering a waste of space like Flauvic.

I heard something like a laugh from the other side of the cushion, and even though I couldn't see him, I could just picture a smirk of imperiousness. "What does it look like? I'm just enjoying some quality time gazing out of a gaping hole in the wall after escaping from being imprisoned as a tree for four month's."

I felt the hot waves of anger seethe from Nuvau and I wanted just as much as she probably did to lunge out and stab him with a dagger and then run him out of Athanarel with a sword. But before I could lose a grip on my anger, Nuvau lashed out,"Don't play games with me you spoiled idiot. You know very well what I mean. And, if you're time as a tree erased your ability to receive a simple question, then I'll be happy to clarify for you." I grinned when she said in a slow voice, like she was speaking to a child, "Now, what is with the gaping hole in the wall? First, why was the need for such a dramatic entrance? Are you mad, because if you are, I'll gladly turn you back into the tree you escaped from." The last sentence she said with a hint of authority, as if she really could turn him back into a tree. I wanted ever so badly to tell her that only Nosundrian sorcerers could perform spells done by Hill Folk, and only because they wielded black magic. . .

It was then and there that I realized something very, very painful. And, judging from the silence that stretched before Flauvic spoke, I realized that he had figured it out, too. But, as I expected, he'd make it work to his advantage.

"My dear Nuvausa," he said in his suavest voice, still of the perfect tenor like that of a singer. "You are prodding yet too far. I mean what I say. Unless, it is a crime for one to enjoy their freedom while it lasts?"

I saw Nuvau's form tense, indicating that she understood what game Flauvic wanted to play. After a short silence she crossed her arms and turned away just slightly, staring at the doors of the library and the cushion that I was hiding behind. I suppressed a gasp and slowly crawled backwards so she couldn't see me. Unfortunately, it was all too obvious with her quick eyes. Her eyes widened when they locked with mine. While we stared, I steadied my grip on the dagger, ready to use it if necessary. Sensing this, her face immediately grew stern, her eyes saying, Don't you dare.I flinched, nodding despite of myself. She turned her head slightly toward Flauvic. "Enough games. Explain your propositions."

Right then, I knew that there would be no chance of ending a life now, and I knew that I had to get out of here before anyone noticed that I was missing. Or if these two knew I was missing. I moved my eyes toward Nuvau and to my relief, I found her back turned toward me. Taking a deep breath, I inch-wormed my way out of the crack between the doors, trying hard to keep the bells and jewels adorning my gown from clinking against the marble floors. When half of my body was out of the door, I shoved myself backwards so I was upright and pinned myself against the wall, letting out the breath that I had been holding in.

Standing up, I tiptoed from the library until I was about twenty footsteps away. Holding my skirts the best I could to keep them rustling against the floors, I high-tailed it from the Library, the sense of danger following my every footstep like a ghost. I knew that I had to tell everyone of the plans, but I wasn't sure how I could do it without two dangerous wielders of magic finding out. "Better safe than sorry," I mumbled under my breath as I straightened my hair and gown before reentering the dining hall. "Better alive than sorry."

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My semblance of calm couture didn't work as well as I planned, although it was just enough to bypass most courtiers besides a particular someone who just loved to get on my nerves.

As I slid in through the doors, unseen by everyone besides the guards, I noticed that the dinner was over, and now it was time for dancing. Usually, I would have pounced at this opportunity like a cat eyeing a mouse, but this time, keeping my cover was key. I smiled as I walked along the rows and clusters of cushions, receiving compliments from the guests at the spectacular planning of the dinner. Just as I was nearing the high table where Vidanric and two other people were standing, all of which were the best informants I could tell, a cheerful, careless voice graced my ears. Out of all the cheery voices I'd ever heard, my brother's was the most unmistakable. I suppressed a small groan when I was swamped in a hug as warm and tight as five layers of cloaks on a summers day.

"Mel!" he exclaimed as he put me down, his face a fraction less careless than its always been.

I smiled wearily. Damn the fact that my brother could read me no matter how well I could slap on a court mask. "Bran."

He gave me a grin until his face suddenly changed to horror and then remorse. He whirled around and behind him came Nee, whose belly was unmistakably large. My brows raised in surprise and misery. Now, not only do I have my dear, loudmouthed brother here in Court while I'm being tracked down by two Mages, I have a pregnant sister-in-law to keep safe. Great. I thought miserably as I carefully gave Nee a hug.

When she let me go she smiled, studying my face. I grinned uneasily. "Good news, eh?"

She grinned back, although I could clearly see that she knew that I was troubled. "Very," she said with a smile, excitement filling her voice. "Isn't it great!"

"How could it not be!" I replied, trying as hard as I could to bask in this joyous moment. Think me!Taking a step back, an idea hit. "Why don't you come this way," I said, starting to head over toward the cluster. Better to let them all know at once. I thought sardonically. What could possibly go wrong?

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What d'you all say? Was it awesome, good, bad, or pathetic?? Please let me know, ALL OF YOU READERS, how you liked it. I RUN on motivation so please don't hesitate to review. Shyness is not the question here. :-D