I thought I was right. I knew I couldn't stand for it.

I chose my morals, my ethics over my son. It was the wrong choice.

I thought that maybe.. If I stopped Crowe, kept my brother from continuing with his schemes as Underlord, I could keep him back. Hold him from becoming the greedy, hateful, dark monster all Underlords grow to be.

I chose so wrongly. So, so, so wrongly.

I interfered, knowing all the while Conn would need me. He would be too young to face the world on his own. I couldn't let him slip into the Twilight's greasey under belly, or worse... I couldn't let Crowe have him.

I chose wrongly.

And I would lay here and die for it.

My waist down was one giant knot of pain. A mass of bruises and broken bones where my brother's minions had been quite attentative and thorough. Even.. even if the infection hadn't set in, I knew I wouldn't walk again... so so stupid...

And now.. Now finally, the pain was fading. The knot was untangling, going slack with the rest of me.

I had little time left.. And I knew it.

Where was he? Where was Connwaer?

Before he left.. I had to talk to him. I had to tell him. So many things... So many things needed to be said. A moment ago, he had been here.. Now.. He was gone.

"Conn... Connwaer..." My voice surprised even me. It was little more than a withered croak, the life in it drying up with my own.

And then.. Then finally, it didn't matter. A strange voice, deep and warm, pressed against my ear drums like an approaching storm, whispering words of an alien language I didn't understand, twisting and silvery. I tried to talk, tried to say something.. But there was no more time alloted to me.

I realized I was dead when I could see my own body, bruised, broken, and pale on the bed.

No... no, no, no, no, no!

I had to get back. Conn wouldn't make it without me, just by himself.. I was such a fool. I knew that now.. But Connwaer couldn't be left to pay for it.

And then.. Then it dawned on me that that alien language was making sense now. All at once, I could feel a presence, as deep and as warm as the voice, in me, around me, supporting me. There was no need for sound wherever we were now.. No sight, no hearing, no smell, no taste, nothing.. Nothing but the feel of that being and I.

"Conn.. I have to get back to Conn!"

"You cannot. Your time is done."

"But-!"

"He is going to play an important role in what is to come. A very important one.. He must be ready for it."

"He's too young! Whatever it is.. He'll be hurt!" My mother's instincts screamed at me. I only wish they had earlier, helped me avoid the whole situation.

"As long as he is within my power, he will be fine. But an important part he must play, and so he shall. You must not worry. He will be fine. No sickness shall touch him, little harm shall befall him. This, I promise."

I didn't know what to say after that... So I just said what came first.

"But.. I want to be with him."

"You are with me. And so, you are with him. But for now, rest, child. He will grow, he will learn, he will be safe, and he will have family. Do not worry. It is seen to. Now rest."

And with that.. A sense of ease filled me, happiness rolling up through me like a spring.

I rested.


I do have another Magic Thief fanfiction in mind.. My take on what might happen after Nevery gives Conn the lockpicks in book two. Would seem to make sense to me that they would just.... yeah..

The above story just kinda..hit me like a train during Study Hall.. For those of you who may be confused, the voice, the presence, is the city's magic. It leads insight into why Conn was taken care of all those years, I think.. And I just wanted to write his mother's death scene, since it's mentioned so little in the books.. The family mentioned by the magic isn't Crowe.. I just see Benet and Nevery, maybe Rowan as the closest thing Conn has developed to being family.

Spell check would not work in the edit.. So.. I apologize for any mistakes.

So... yeah... See you all soon.