Written as a response to a kink-meme prompt. Unbetaed, though I do hope I managed to avoid making too many mistakes in such a tiny piece of text xD Anyway, criticism and comments of any kind are very much welcome, because this is the very first thing I have written in English (apart from school essays, obviously).

Elsa is concerned.

Kirkwall's circle of Magi hasn't been functioning right for quite some time now. It's main purpose – protecting mages from the outer world and vice versa – has been warped and neglected in favor of oppressing said mages, which only served to push them to forbidden magic and thus endangered both other mages and civilians. This string of causes and consequences is perfectly clear for Elsa, but, for some reason, seems to escape the knight-commander Meredith Stannard.

Elsa, of course, tried to point it out – politely and reasonably, as her position suggests – but was, rather harshly, told to mind her own business. Trying to explain that helping knight-commander with her duty is, indeed, her business, led to no better results. Elsa holds no personal offence – it's not like she ever does – but situation still needs rectifying.

Elsa spends some time contemplating her options. The most logical decision would be to bring this situation to attention of authorities, but Meredith, being the knight-commander, is the most authoritative figure in the Gallows. Her crimes are to be reported directly to the Grand Cleric or to the Divine, but Elsa has witnessed the First Enchanter Orsino attempting such reports often enough to understand futility of this idea.

And that inevitably leaves Elsa with only one real option, which is to eliminate the knight-commander.

Elsa spends a lot of time contemplating this idea. She hesitates – not because of the danger, of course. No, killing Meredith will be easy, considering how much she trusts her assistant. (In fact, it isn't that much. Meredith stopped trusting anyone quite some time ago. But she believes she is in full control of Elsa because of her Tranquility, which isn't true.) Most likely, Elsa will be executed afterwards, but her life means nothing compared to well-being of the Circle, so this is not why she hesitates either. No, she is unsure whether her decision is truly the only option, and if the results wouldn't be even more harmful to the Circle then the knight-commander herself is. She hesitates right until the moment she first sees the blade.

Elsa doesn't need magic to see what this thing truly is. Concentrated lyrium, enough to make the Veil tear around it. Enough to drive even the most stable mind insane. A person who willingly keeps such a thing with herself all the time isn't worthy of bearing a title of knight-commander.

"Bring those papers to Orsino," Meredith commands curtly, not looking at her. "And hurry, there is much to do!"

"Of course, knight-commander." Elsa bows, just as her position suggests. She hides a dagger in her sleeve, just as her logic dictates.