Eleven year old Thalia twirls through the house, humming softly to herself as she cleans. She casts a surreptitious glance at her mother, who's smiling faintly as she talks to Widow Judith. Thalia feels anger well up in her at the sight of the woman, who oh-so rudely barged into their lives, when Thalia had been perfectly able to take care of her mother by her self, damn it. But her father and Caramon had decided it was a good idea.
Kit wouldn't like her. Thalia thinks angrily. And neither will Raist.
But of course the grey-eyed girl hides her anger and continues her whirling dance. "Thalia watch out! You might hurt yourself." Her mother calls across the room. Thalia grins.
"I won't mother! I can even go faster!" And she does so, pirrouetting agilely... until the door opens and she spins directly into Caramon.
He laughs. "Hey!" Thalia blushes furiously.
"I swear, you had to have planned that." She grumbles, shooting him a mock-glare. And then she turns to regard Raistlin. "What, I don't get a hug?" She asks, pouting. He rolls his eyes and hugs her gently.
"There, happy?" He teases.
She grins. "Very. And you better be too, because I cleaned everything." She wrinkles her nose. She's rewarded with a rare chuckle.
Raistlin's break from school that year was hardly enjoyable. Especially not for Thalia, who wanted to spend time with her mother, as she had always been closest to Rosamun, but did not want to be near Widow Judith, or away from Raistlin, who kept managing to flee when the family was all together.
One day Thalia confronted him.
"You don't like Judith, do you?" She asks grimly. Raistlin shakes his head. "At least I'm not the only one." Thalia says firmly. "I know Kit wouldn't like her either." She adds, almost as an afterthought.
And that mistrust would turn out to be well placed.
A fourteen year old Thalia sits on the porch, tracing patterns on the wood with her finger.
It all goes downhill from there.
"Thalia!" Comes a cry to her right. She turns to see a little boy. "Thalia, get your mother and come quick. Your father's injured, badly."
Thalia didn't hesitate. She shot up and ran inside.
Thalia desperately tried not to start screaming. Her mother and Judith wouldn't stop talking about faith -What in the name of the abyss is faith going to do, mother?- and Thalia just sat in the wagon next to her father. The wagon shifted some as Caramon clambered in, and Thalia immediately shifted as close to him as she could, seeking comfort from her big brother. But he couldn't comfort her, because he was just as distraught as she was. Raistlin showed up, which shouldn't have given Thalia hope, but it did.
At the same time, however, she knew that neither of her brothers could do anything. She heard Caramon cry out, but it was a distant sound. What was very close and real was her father's head shifting, and his whisper. "Take care... your mother." She thought she heard Caramon sob. She thought she heard Raistlin promise. She thought a lot of things, but what she knew was that suddenly, all at once, her father was dead.
She found that she could not cry. She had no idea how this could be. She wanted to cry, but no tears came. She looked to Raistlin, and found his eyes as dry as her own. "We have to see to mother." He says firmly. "We must take her home."
Whereas, in sharp contrast to the two of them, Caramon had collapsed, sobbing. Thalia winced and cringed back against the side of the wagon, seeing Raistlin trying to comfort Caramon, seeing her mother in shock, seeing her father's dead body... it was too much. It hurt. She couldn't look anywhere, so she shut her eyes tightly, and then curled into a ball, clutching her legs close to her chest and moaning softly into her knees.
But she was shocked out of this pitiful state when she heard Judith's voice ring out. "He has not been healed! Gilon Majere has not been healed, nor will he be healed. Why not, do you ask? Because of the sinfulness of this woman!" She pointed at Rosamun. "Her daughter is a whore! Her son is a witch! It is her fault and the fault of her children that Gilon Majere died!"
Rosamun screamed and sank to her knees, griefstruck and anguished.
"How dare you?" Thalia heard Raistlin's voice, soft and menacing. He vaulted out of the wagon and came face to face with the widow. "Get out of here! Leave us alone!" He shouted.
And then Judith was pointing at Raistlin. "You see? He is evil! He does the bidding of evil gods!" And Thalia saw red. She was sure Raistlin did too, because he looked as if he would kill Judith then and there.
Caramon stops Raistlin, but nobody bothers to try and stop Thalia.
She jumps out of the wagon. "Damn you!" She shouts. "Damn you to the abyss! You've ruined everything!" She takes a step closer to the widow. "I swear if you don't leave now I will strangle you with my bare hands!" When Judith doesn't move, Thalia tries to step forward farther.
But a strong grip on her arms makes her stop.
She turns to see none other than Sturm Brightblade. She stares into eyes that are almost as familiar as those of either of her brothers.
And then she manages to cry, sobbing into Sturm's chest.
The inhabitants of Solace form a protective circle, though Thalia can't see it. Everything goes silent apart from Thalia's muffled sobs and some mumbling from Rosamun.
A man shoved his way through from the back of the crowd. He walked up to the widow. "I think you are the one who had better leave Solace," he said. His voice was quiet, he wasn't threatening her, merely stating a fact.
The widow scowled at him and flashed a glance around at the people in the crowd behind him. "Are you going to let this half-breed talk to me like this?" she demanded.
"Tanis is right," said Otik, waddling forward to lend his support. He waved a pudgy hand, in which he still held his brandy jug. "You just go along back to Haven, my good woman. And take Belzor with you. He's not needed around here. We care for our own."
And then Flint said something that Thalia could never remember, because she was being handed off to Caramon, still crying softly. And she saw Raistlin helping their mother to her feet.
So she just kept crying as they all went home.