A/N fergot t' disclaimify. M'bad.

Disclaimer: sadly, Halt refuses to let Me buy him from John Flannagan:

Halt: "I won't be owned by a phsyco-maniac! I have two too many in my life!"

*Gilan grins crazedly*

Will: *giggle* "You said 'tu-tu'!" *giggle*

Me: So, I don't own Ranger's apprentice. John Flannagan does.*grump grump* for now...Disclaimer for entire story.

The Knight

He was at it again.

Horace was always making fun of Will; his size, his name (or lack thereof), his, well, different ways. Will could've taken it okay, he was used to it; though it still stung, he'd learned how to deal with it. His ability to come up with witty comebacks, often leaving Horace red-faced and unable to retort, gave Will satisfaction; and having feet as nimble as his wit certainly helped when escaping Horace after such a verbal sally. Besides, Jenny or Alyss always came to find him and make him feel better. Being only ten years old as he was didn't mean that he felt the hash comments of his wardmate any less, and Will often gave into the stinging tears that were sure to come after he'd gotten away from him. It was then that he most needed, and appreciated, the consolation that the two little girls could offer. They were his loyal comforters; Alyss soothed him with gentle words (she hated discomfort or strife of any kind), and Jenny cheered him with her bright exuberance. He would never admit it, but Will thought he liked girls better than boys.

"That's right! Go run off to cry baby!"

Yep. He definitely liked girls better.

He's so mean! I hate it when he talks about my father that way! My father was a knight, a mighty hero! Who does he think he is anyway? Will fumed to himself.

Running outside, he jumped onto a rain barrel, carefully balancing on the thin rim, and pulled himself onto the low roof of the ward building; walking along the edge of the leaf-gutter, Will eventually crawled up to the weathervane, and on the other side of it, next to the little smoky chimney, was an old wooden trap-door which he'd discovered a while back. Hefting it open with a grunt, Will slipped into the small attic room on the other side. Will often came here after arguing, or fighting, with him. Crawling because of the low roof, Will made his way across the dusty floor to a certain corner. Pushing aside some dirty rags, he extracted a little wooden box. He opened it, and lifted the top of numerous things inside: a sketch of a knight in shining armor, atop a ferocious steed. His lofty plume billowed in the wind, his face was kind and fierce and courageous and recklessly-handsome all at once. The Baron had given it to Will one day, when Will was five. He remembered it as if it was yesterday...