At the door of the mansion, Fenris stopped and listened intently. Hawke wondered if he could hear something she couldn't. After a moment, he only shook his head and proceeded through the front door. Upon entering, all was dead silent. That was, until Fenris spoke.

"Danarius! Can you hear me? I'm coming for you Danarius!" he shouted into the looming dark.

Hawke did a mental face palm. So much for stealth…

The entire mansion was dark and quiet. There air put Hawke on edge. Assuming Danarius was actually there as Fenris said, why weren't there any guards? Wouldn't he set traps? Why wasn't he attacking first? Mages usually preferred to take their opponents by surprise, especially if they were alone. Where was everyone?

"I don't have a good feeling about this," Hawke breathed to Varric. He only nodded in return, his eyes darting around, scanning every shadowy corner.

They proceeded slowly and with caution. Hawke could see how tense their new elf companion was. He twitched at every creak of the floorboards and every tiny movement of a paper rustling. They all kept their weapons at the ready, scanning each room they entered. Hawke became more and more antsy with every room they passed. Some of the doors that would've most likely led them to the main hall were locked, so they had to venture in and through side rooms to find their way.

Finally, they reached the main hall. Within two seconds of entering the large, arid room, the shadows turned into shades and demons surrounded Hawke and her party. Fenris growled and let out a snarl of rage that surprised Hawke. He seemed extremely calm and focused earlier. His face had remained a mask of plain attentiveness, but now it was twisted with rage and something else Hawke couldn't place. She had no more time to wonder as the first shade attacked. Varric and Bethany did well to make sure none of the monsters managed to get behind the other two warriors.

The demons and spirits came wave after wave. Out of the corner of her eye, Hawke noticed Fenris tense and turn wide eyed towards Bethany when she shot a small amount of healing towards him. She made a mental note to see what that was all about later.

Eventually, Hawke and her small party made their way up the stairs to the main balcony. Still fighting their way through the hordes of shades and demons, Hawke and her party pushed forward. Fenris and Hawke remained at the front while Varric and Bethany remained behind.

Finishing the last shade with a furious slash through its middle, Fenris immediately burst into each of the remaining rooms. Hawke followed him into what seemed to be the main study.

"Gone…" Fenris whispered in dismay. "I had hoped…" he trailed off with a disappointed sigh. All the previous rage had drained from him face. Sheathing his blade, he turned to Hawke. "Well, it doesn't matter any longer," he shook his head.

"I'll assume Danarius left valuables behind. Take them if you wish. I… need some air," he excused himself before striding briskly out of the room.

Hawke watched him go while Varric began rummaging through the few chests and compartments that lay scattered around the room.

Finding everything that was worth finding, Hawke and the rest of her party exited the mansion. Scanning the area as they walked outside, Hawke spotted Fenris leaning on a nearby wall. She also took note of the small crumbled pieces of cement that lay on the ground from a dent in the wall above it. She grimaced.

"It never ends," Fenris spoke as the approached, not looking at them. "I escaped a land of dark magic only to have it hunt me at every turn. It is a plague burned into my flesh and my soul. And now I find myself in the company of even more mages," he glanced warily at Bethany causing Hawke to stiffen slightly. "I saw you casting spells inside," he nearly growled.

So this is why he looked surprised

"I should've realized sooner what you really were," he nearly growled. "Tell me then, what manner of mage are you? What is it that you seek?" Letting Bethany speak for herself, she stood slightly aside, though not enough that Fenris would be able to get past her.

"I'm just trying to get by," Bethany said, raising her chin slightly.

"Yet I have seen many crimes done in the name of survival," he shook his head. Sighing, he said, "I imagine I appear ungrateful. If so, I apologize, for nothing could be further from the truth." His face softened a bit as he turned back to Hawke.

"I didn't find Danarius, but I still owe you a debt. Here is all the coin I have, as Anso promised. Should you find yourself in need of assistance, I would gladly render it." This surprised Hawke, as just two minutes ago he was tense and accusing of Bethany and mages in general. Now he was agreeing to work with them?

"You didn't seem all that thrilled to work with mages a moment ago…" Hawke told him bluntly. Fenris shrugged.

"Not all mages are Danarius. But I will remain watchful all the same."

"Well then, I'm planning an expidition I might need help with," Hawke said, holding out her hand. Fenris only hesitated a moment.

"Fair enough," he then said, shaking it. "Should you ever have need of me, I will be here. If Danarius ever wants his mansion back, he is free to return and take it." Hawke glimpsed another gleam of Fenris's deep-rooted hatred in his eyes as he spoke, but the next moment it was gone.

Telling him they'd be in touch, Hawke and her party turned to leave. She turned briefly to see Fenris slip into the mansion, closing the door silently behind him.

"Sis?" Bethany's voice broke her concentration.

"Coming," Hawke smiled at her sister, avoiding Varric's gaze. She could see the little smirk on his face but chose to ignore it.

Hawke and Bethany parted with Varric as they passed the Hanged Man, and proceeded directly Gamlen's. After disarming and stripping herself of her armor, Hawke fell immediate into her cot and fell asleep.

Everything was dark. She was in the cave again. The familiar glow remained beside her, but closer now. She could feel the slight warmth of another body near her own. She braced herself for the transition to the clearing in Lothering, but it never came. Instead, she found herself in a dark room. There was broken glass scattered on the floor. There were toppled chairs and a broken statue in one corner of the room. Standing directly in front of her was a white haired elf with his back turned to her. He turned towards her. His eyes were a vivid green. His face was sad. In his eyes was an overwhelming amount of pain and anger. She tried to reach out to him, but it felt as if her arms and legs were bound to her sides. A hurt looked crossed his face and he turned and walked into the darkness. She was frozen in place. An overbearing feeling of panic took her as she struggled to move. She was back in the darkness of the now familiar cave, the glow beside her. A burning started in her hands and legs. It spread up through her arms and torso. She tried to scream. If felt as though someone were tearing her apart, ripping her limb from limb. She couldn't utter a sound. She could see the glow beside her. She suddenly felt arms rap around her waist, and a person behind her. She sagged heavily into the person behind her. There was still the burning, but it was easier to bear. Looking down, she saw tattooed hands. She couldn't move. There was a soft breath on her neck and-

Ellendrya awoke with a start as she registered the new thrown pillow in her face. Sitting up groggily, she looked around, confused. She spotted Bethany standing with hands on her hips with a lopsided grin on her face. Ellendrya gave her a squinty, quizzical look.

"You can't sleep all day, sister," Bethany stuck out her tongue in a childish manner.

"What time is it?" Hawke mumbled.

"Nearly midday!" Bethany told her.

Hawke flopped down onto her cot again and put the pillow over her face. She heard Bethany grumble.

"Get up!" her sister whined, nearly dragging her out of bed.

"Ugh fine… stop pulling on my arm!"

Hawke stood from her half on half off position on her cot.

"Good dreams?" Bethany asked her sister, a slight mischievous look in her eyes.

"Umm…?" Ellendrya looked confused at her sister.

"You kept mumbling something beginning with 'F' but I couldn't hear the whole thing," she shrugged, grinning. Ellendrya blushed slightly.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she rolled her eyes and strode past her sister, shaking her head to clear it, and prepared herself for the days' adventures.


Sorryyyy! I know this took forever and its kinda short... ah! I'm really trying to write as much as I can! I promise to have another update before spring break next week! I probably won't be writing much while I'm in the tropics :p

Thanks as always for reading! You guys are awesome!

Disclaimer: Bioware owns all!