Circles Within Circles Chapter 2

By Of Quirky Excellence aka LyriumGhost18

A/N: This chapter is set a few weeks after the first.

Caroline eagerly skipped ahead of her Templar escorts. It had been weeks since they'd come to take her away for training, and she had begun to warm up to them, as they had been very kind to her. Her shoulder-length dark brown hair swayed in the cool breeze as she skipped.

"Miss Amell, please hold up. We don't all have your energy!" said the head Templar.

Caroline groaned. "Well hurry up, I wanna see the magic tower!"

"The Tower's not magic, dear child, the people in it are magic just like you, and you will be trained to use your talent properly, and not shoot lightning bolts at people." As he said this, another Templar elbowed him in the side and whispered, "She cannot know."

"Right." Said the head Templar, nodding solemnly.

"You're sending me away?! I thought you loved me!"

"I do, Caroline, now listen-" her mother cried out in pain as a bolt of electrifying shock erupted from the young child's fingers. The Templars had been quick to step in, two swooped on Caroline, put enchanted leather bindings on her wrists to prevent further damage, and took her down the road so she wouldn't see anything.

But despite what Caroline was told later, her mother indeed died that day, and nobody had done anything to stop it, not even the Templars, because an angry mage may as well be apostate. And so Caroline was whisked off with the Templars, never to see her home village again.

Once across a long bridge Caroline looked up in awe at the Tower's beauty. When she had taken it all in, she willingly followed the Templars in, with no idea what would be in store in the years to come.

"Hello there, young lady." Said a robed man as they entered the door. "I am First Enchanter Irving, and allow me to be the first one to welcome you to the Ferelden Circle of Magi."

"Can you teach me to be a mage?" Caroline said so enthusiastically that even the Knight Commander had to chuckle.

"You already are, child. Now, if you'll follow Knight Commander Greagoir, he will take you to the girls' dormitories, where you will be living. There's another new apprentice about your age who came in a few weeks ago who I am sure would love to have a friend." Irving said.

"Right. Follow me, dear child." said the Knight Commander as he motioned towards another door. Caroline eagerly followed.

As they made their way down the corridor, a young boy around her age with black hair and blue eyes peeked out from behind an older boy, with blond hair and amber eyes, and a mischievous grin about his face. Caroline smiled at the solemn looking younger boy, and he grinned back timidly before she and Greagoir opened the door to the girls' quarters.

"Here we are. Now, why don't you choose a bunk, and get settled? Helena is one of the older junior apprentices. You should get along well with her, she's delightful. Ask her to show you around, alright?" Greagoir said with a smile as he left.

"So you're the new girl?" said a voice. Caroline whirled around. Standing there was a blonde girl of around twelve years, with a loose ponytail. "The name's Helena. Welcome to the Circle. I'm so excited to meet you! Now maybe you can be my bunk-mate! Ooooh this is so great, you can be like my little sis!"

"I don't wanna be anyone's little sis." Caroline said plainly. The older girl frowned and shrugged her shoulders.

"Well, that's too bad. Look, there's another new kid around here somewhere. He just came in a few weeks back, named Jowan." Said Helena.

"A boy?" Caroline asked simply.

"Of course he's a boy! I did say 'he,' didn't I?" Helena was laughing now and Caroline blushed. "Come on, let's go meet him!" Helena grabbed Caroline's arm and dragged her off to the boys' quarters.

"Jowan!" Helena called as she opened the door and pushed Caroline in. Jowan looked up from the picture book he was looking at of a mage casting fire spells, and his eyes lit up when he saw somewhat familiar faces.

"Yeah?" he said nervously.

"This here's Caroline. She's the one I told you was coming in soon. Make nice with her, okay? She's new like you were a couple weeks ago." Then Helena was gone.

"Hi, Jowan." Caroline offered after a moment of awkward silence between the two children. She extended her hand but he looked at it, a funny expression on his face. "You shake it, silly."

Jowan laughed and his hand met hers and they awkwardly shook for a moment until she let go. "Wanna play tag?" he asked.

She blushed. "Sure."

He reached out quickly and tapped her shoulder, and shouted, "You're it!"

And so, for the first and perhaps last time at the Circle, Caroline and Jowan were happy and untroubled, too absorbed in their childish innocence and love of life to notice how truly wrong their situation actually was, were it not for an event that happened a week later.