A year goes by, part 2…

And now that Ovistine's got her real body back… how's her mum doing?


It was cold at the Tournament grounds, moreso with almost everyone emptied out and gone. Nancie was still in the barracks, though, one of the last to leave, and while Ovistine had a thick fur cloak wrapped around her, it was no surprise that Nancie hadn't even noticed the cold.

Nancie flung her arms around Ovistine's shoulders, which only made her shiver more–Nancie's plate was freezing. "Ye're you again! Thank the shapers, lass, it's good t' see ye again!"

Ovistine smiled weakly and hugged back; Nancie gave one of Ovistine's braids a little tug. "Thanks, Mum."

"An' ye'll be goin' back t' Dalaran, I suppose? Or Stormwind?" Nancie stood back and set her hands on Ovistine's shoulders. "Dalaran's closer, cannae argue wi' tha', but Stormwind's jes' a wee portal away, so–"

"Mum, no–neither." Nancie stopped, frowning with confusion, and Ovistine took a step back and drew herself up to her full height–which seemed rather shorter than it used to. "I'm staying in Thelsamar."

"Oh. Ah." Nancie scratched at her forehead. "Well, yer gran-mum an' gran-da will be happy enough t' be nearer t' ye, then, I suppose…"

"Aye, I'm hoping so. Though I'd still like it if Grandpa Ironhammer would quit talking about dwelfs…"

"Hmph. As if any lass o' mine would get herself into tha' sort o'–"

She'd been expecting it, somehow; in spite of her mother's fondness for Valinar, in spite of the way Valinar had always gotten along so well with the family, there was one dwarf in the Ironhammer and Featherstoneshaw clans who'd never once asked when the wedding might be, when dwelfs might be coming along. Not even to tease.

"Mum," Ovistine said quietly, "I'm staying. With Valinar. An' I need you to be kind about it."

Nancie blinked several times and shook her head. "Ovistine–dear heart, ye've got no way t'–"

"To what, Mother?" Nancie flinched–such a human form of address, like so many little human traits Ovistine had picked up over the years. Ovistine was careful to keep herself from slipping into Dwarvish for this conversation; she didn't want that, didn't want to let her mother have even that small victory. "All right, so we're not married, and we're not the same damn race. But we did–well, frankly, it's none of your business, but I was an elf for three months, Mother, did you think I was going to waste that opportunity when it came?"

Nancie had gone stone-still and white as marble, and she had the same expression on her face Ovistine had seen when Nancie was going into a battle she didn't want to fight. "Ovi–he's a fair enough lad," Nancie said, and she was speaking Dwarvish; her voice was shaking with every word. "But he'll never give you children, and you'll never have a family with him, and he'll never be–"

Ovistine waited; she held Nancie's gaze until Nancie swallowed and finished her sentence.

"–your kind."

"He was there when I was trapped in shadow. Every second, he was there, guarding me and caring for me and helping me find my way back. He's been here for me through my memory loss, through my struggle to earn the Light back, through those three months where I wasn't me," Ovistine said quietly. "And he could have asked me not to go back through the rift, not to trade bodies back with the other Ovistine. But he didn't. What's all that, then, if it's not family and my kind and–"

Love, she thought, but stopped herself. The word hadn't been said between them yet, and Ovistine was damned if she'd give it to her mother first. She shook her head, braids flapping out behind her.

"You can accept us, accept him, or not," Ovistine said. "But this is the last word between us unless you find you can."


She was true to her word, at least; she turned on her heel and stepped away, and she dug into her pack for her hearthstone. It sent her back to Dalaran, and from there, she headed for the gryphon landing deck, flying off for Valiance Keep.

Dec 6th, 2010
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