DISCLAIMER: I don't own COAD, but I did meet Michelle Paver today. She was lovely, by the way, and she spent ages talking to everybody and answering their questions. She was so sweet!

I hadn't really thought about posting this, but, after today's events, I felt the urge =]
It's set after Outcast, and is just a little ditty because I think Renn's really, well, cool.

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Renn didn't know why the Willow boy had picked on them. Maybe he was angry with somebody else, or had just had a fight. Or maybe he really had taken a disliking to them.

It was a few weeks after the flood and Torak and Renn were showing Bale hunting in the forest. The Willow boy was leaning against a tree looking surly.

"You're the Raven girl aren't you, the one that warned the Clan's about the flood?" he asked idly.

She looked at the boy warily and nodded. The boys lip curled and Torak took a step forward. Bale gave Renn a warning look.

"I've heard things about you," the boy said bateingly.

Renn raised her eyebrows. "Like what?"

"Like you put the death marks on the Soul Eater." The boy ran his tongue over his teeth, enjoying the attention of his audience.

Bale gripped the hilt of his knife and rolled his shoulders back to reveal his complete height which was a good 3 inches over the Willow boy. "What of it? She knows mage craft."

"I've heard that too." He turned to Renn, who was stood with the air of casual scorn, not one inch of her body betraying the panic in her heart. Her face was a mask of stone, and Torak couldn't help thinking that her Uncle had taught her well.

"They say you can do things, that you have private lessons with your mage."

"What's your point, because if you're just trying to tell me things I already know about myself, I've got more interesting things to do." Renn said icily.

The Willow boy leered. "Like hunting with your Outcast friend right?"

For the first time a flicker of emotion betrayed Renn, and two spots of colour appeared on her pale cheeks. "Torak's not an Outcast and he never should have been one in the first place." Her dark eyes flashed as she took a step towards the cocky willow boy.

"That's not what everyone thinks."

"Are these the same people who are talking about Renn, because so far nothing you've told us has been exactly earth-shaking has it?" Torak said hotly, his fists clenched by his sides.

"Well the more people who know she's a freak the better, she's strange." He eyed Renn, "Like a changeling."

Torak snapped. He lunged at the boy and Bale had to hold him back while Renn called "Leave it Torak, he's not worth bothering with."

Torak gave the boy a look of purest loathing. "He can't talk to you like that!" He spat.

Renn touched Torak's arm lightly and shook her head. Torak gave a terse nod to show he'd understood.

"Come on," Bale said. "I thought you were going to show me the ways of the forest."

The three of them turned to leave the Willow boy to his sourness, but as they were going out of earshot he called:

"Once an Outcast always an Outcast. He's feral."

Quick as lightening Renn knocked an arrow to her bow and let it loose, making sure it landed a mere thumbnails width from the boys neck. He let out a funny little yelp and stood frozen to the tree, his mouth slightly open.

A look of power on her face, Renn stalked over to retrieve her arrow.

"Next time," she said icily, looking at him contemptuously. "I won't shoot to miss." She turned around and strode back to her two friends, Bale his mouth hanging open with incredulity and Torak glowing with pride.

"That was.... that was..." Bale gaped as they continued through the forest.

"She's amazing isn't she?" Torak said, grinning widely.

Renn felt the blush growing warm on her cheeks.

"But," Torak caught up with her so they were walking side-by-side. "Why was it okay for you to practically attack him and not for me?"

"Because I didn't care about what he was saying about me, but I swear it on my souls I'm not going to stand around while someone insults you Torak, I won't."

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What did you think? It's not my best work, more of a little filler peice.
But, if you loved it or loathed it, PLEASE REVEIW!!! It helps me improve and makes me all excited when I open my emails. And, thankyou to everyone that reveiwed The Dream Story - all your comments meant so much to me!

(by the way - how GOOD was Ghosthunter???)