Nevery shuffled into Heartsease, the weight on his chest growing as he entered his old home. Benet's home. Connwaer's home.

Used to be Connwaer's home.

He shrugged his heavy bag off his shoulder, and reflected on the meeting he had just attended. They had all been very interested in Connwaer's magical abilities, prowess, stealth and memory. Or lack of it.

No, not Blackbird anymore.

Nevery had stayed silent through the whole thing, despite the prodding of the others to join in and share information about his apprentice, who had just about revolutionized magic without knowing how.

He'll never ever know now. He would've asked about the looks on their faces.

Their faces had been rather priceless, though Nevery hadn't clocked the fact at the time. He had spent the whole time thinking about Connwaer. At least, the old Connwaer.

Blowing up Heartsease, grinning at some stupid thing he couldn't remember, the scrawled notes attached to the Blackbird's feet, turning into a cat with a kink in its tail.

Nevery turned a corner, and saw Conn (no, not Conn. The boy who looks like Conn) sitting down, Pip curled around his neck. That was a first. Pip and the not-Conn hadn't come in contact as far as Nevery knew.

'A dragon? Only you…'

Not-Conn turned his head and smiled at Nevery.

How well he knew that damned smile.

"Missed you old man." And the Real-Conn smiled, and Nevery noticed absently that there was a kink in the smile that he had forgotten after so long.