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Ghosts of Winters Past December 23, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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Happy Holidays everyone! It’s time for the annual Nox and Grimm holiday special!  This year I have a short story set about 3 years before the current timeline in the serial. I hope you enjoy it.  🙂

-Angie

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Nox sat on top of a gravestone, her feet swinging in time to the music coming down from the mansion. Every year her father, the Lord of Ice, held a Wintertide ball for all the nobles beholden to the House of Ice.  At any other time she would have been stuck inside, playing hostess until the wee hours of the morning. Not this year, however. She had put aside her fancy gown and jewelry for more practical traveling clothes.

Grimm was sprawled on the snow covered ground by her feet, eating cookies and licking colored sugar from his muzzle. His deep, rumbling voice echoed in the back of her mind. “You are out here early. What is the special occasion?”

Nox brushed a few cookie crumbs from her lap. “Oh, it’s nothing really. I just wanted to make sure you got your gift.”

The hound tilted his head a little to the side. “You did not need to miss the dancing for that. I know how much you enjoy it.”

“I wouldn’t have gotten to dance anyway. I turned eighteen this autumn,” she said, her heels still tapping against the cold stone.

“Oh, that. What an awful waste of time for you.”

“Oddly enough, mother said the same thing. Had a real row with father – Why are you endangering our only child for a pointless ritual?” Nox said, mimicking Serenna’s strident tones.

The massive hound sat up, which put his head on level with hers. “Much as it pains me to say it, I agree with her. I recognized you as Lucien’s heir years ago.”

Nox shrugged. “Unfortunately, you are not one of my ancestors. And what with me being half-human, everyone seems to feel I need to prove myself. Again. What a pain.”

Grimm let out a loud harrumph. “What makes people think your relatives have any more sense in death than they did in life? Besides, if we are using age as a measure, I am older than any of those blowhards racketing around in the mountains.”

Nox raised an eyebrow. “Wow, I knew you were old furball, but not that old!”

The hound gave an amused snort. “Back when I was young, dirt was still a new concept and all the trees had only grown knee high.”

Nox laughed and tossed him another cookie. “Well, age certainly hasn’t dulled your sense of humor.”

“When you have been around as long as I have, you learn to appreciate a good laugh,” Grimm said. He shook himself and looked up at the sky. “If you are going to get there and back while the moon is still high, you will need to get moving. I would recommend taking the river most of the way, it is frozen just past the ford.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” Nox said, and hopped down off the tombstone.  “Here, you can have the last cookie. Merry Wintertide, Grimm.”

“And to you, little one. Oh, you can tell your silly ancestors that if they do anything to cut off my supply of sweets, I shall come up there and box their ears.”

Nox whooped with laughter.  “I’ll do that!  See you in a little while, furball.”

“I will watch for your return,” the ancient guardian said, making the cookie disappear just before fading out himself.

Nox ran lightly through the graveyard, her feet barely making dents in the snow.  Half-human she might be, but she was still enough of a Winter-kin to move easily through the elements. Now if only she could convince everyone else of that…

She stopped at the river’s edge and ran a hand over the soles of her boots, forming skates out of ice. The river itself was eerily silent. She could sense the turbulent water surging below its frozen surface, but the ice was so thick it muffled the noise. The only sounds were the occasional creak of tree limbs shedding snow, and the whisper of her skates as she glided along.  The lights of the mansion soon disappeared behind her, leaving her with only the pale illumination of the moon.

Two miles passed beneath her feet before the frozen river curved around a sharp bend.  Nox whistled, and a chilly breeze curled around her, leaving ice crystals hanging in the air. The moonlight refracted through them, lighting the night more brightly. She only kept them aloft for a few moments, however, just long enough to find the path that led up to the mountain pass. There were creatures in the mountains that obeyed no laws, and would consider her a tasty dinner if she made herself too easy to track.

The path led steeply upwards, winding through tall marker stones that were covered in elemental casting marks. Some were so old that the lines were nearly worn away, and Nox paused a few times to take a closer look. A few were protective enchantments, and others kept the path clear. Most were unreadable, however, and she gave up and moved on.

Soon the path turned into stairs, and then it became little more than handholds in the rocks. Nox pulled a special set of gloves out of her pocket and tugged them on. More casting marks were embroidered on them, her own handiwork, and they gripped the slippery stone as if covered in glue. They could not add strength to her slender arms, however, and she was trembling from the effort by the time she got to the top.

A cave sat off to the side of the trail, and Nox rested by its entrance until she caught her breath.  “What were our ancestors thinking?” she grumbled. “Rock climbing is for Stone kindreds.” Eventually she got up, straightened her clothes and patted her hair into place. If she had to meet with the spirits of her ancestors, she at least wanted to make a good first impression.

The cave was filled with icicles, hanging in ranks like an inverted pipe organ. Nox reached up to flick one, and it rung like a bell. A grin split her face – how many times had her mother forbidden her to do just that, fearing that the decorative ice flows around the mansion would fall on her head?  “She’s not here now, and father said to follow my instincts.” Nox tapped a few more, filling the air with shimmering sound. “I wonder if they’re hollow? Only one way to find out.”  She took a deep breath, and sang out a pure, clear note.

A chorus of sound answered her. There were deep, resonant tones that she could feel through the soles of her feet, and flute-like harmonies swelled around her, along with high, piercing notes that filled her head.  She tried singing different notes, playing with the harmonies until she could almost get the chamber to sound like a choir in full voice.  She was just dipping down into the lower registers when a dissonant noise rattled the chamber.

Nox let the song die out, but the rumbling persisted. She cautiously poked her head out of the cave, and looked up the pass. A wall of white moved towards her, splitting around the enchanted trail. The cave, however, had no such protections, being slightly off the path.

Oh, crud,” she said, and ran full tilt into the depths of the cave. Her father could have simply frozen the avalanche in its tracks. Even a child of the winter kin could have made an ice wall to direct the snow away. Nox did not have that kind of power, however. She would be lucky if she could dig her way out afterwards. “I just had to play with the icicles, didn’t I?”

Snow poured into the cave, and she pressed herself as close to the back wall as she could get. After what seemed like an eternity, the noise stopped. Nox made her way back toward the entrance, but it was packed with a solid plug of snow.  “Brilliant. Now what?”

“You have passed the test of skill, but failed the trial of strength. So, weak little songbird, why should you be given the right to assume the throne?”

Nox spun around to find herself face to face with a ghost. She didn’t flinch, however. Grimm had snuck up on her too many times, and she was used to such tricks. “Why hello, great great great grandfather. Lughaid, isn’t it?”

Another ghost appeared. “Answer or die.”

Nox made a tutting sound. “Here now, traditions must be observed, great grandfather Lucan. My name is Nox, how do you do? Oh, hello, great grandmother Nereia. You look lovely in that shade of white.”

Nereia let out a whispery laugh. “She has courage, even if it does border on cheek. I think we should give her a chance.”

More ghosts were appearing, all of them with the black hair and blue eyes that were the hallmark of her family. They were all taller than her, however. Nox took after her mother in height, much to her endless annoyance.

One of them, who was dressed head to foot in chainmail, stepped forward and sneered. “I say she has tainted blood. Wipe her out as a lesson to Lucien. Let him stick to his own kind, and sire a proper heir.”

“Don’t you dare threaten my son, Lorcan. Or my granddaughter.  She is of the bloodline, the enchantments that bind our family hold true in her.”

“Kill her.”  “No!”  “Give her a trial.” “She has already failed!” “She is an abomination!” “What are we, barbarians?” “A half-breed should never have been born!”

Nox clenched her fists. She had heard the same sort of slurs her whole life, but hearing them from her own kin was too much. Something inside her snapped, and she yelled out, “Grimm was right! You are nothing but a pack of fools, and death has not improved you.  I ought to let him box your ears like he threatened to.”

Several of them turned toward her, surprise clear on their faces.  “You can summon Grimmalkyn?”

She glared at them. “Since the age of five.”

Lughaid returned her scowl. “You lie. No child could pay the blood price, and control the beast afterwards.”

“I didn’t use blood. The binding only requires an appropriate offering. Blood for blood to be shed, but I only wanted a bedtime story. So I brought him cookies.”

A tall, thin lady that Nox thought might be her great great great great aunt Noreen sputtered in disbelief. “Cookies?  Preposterous!”

Nox shrugged. “He has a sweet tooth. Don’t blame me if you weren’t smart enough to find the loophole in the binding spell.”

She regretted those words almost immediately, as Lughaid jumped on them. “A trick! I knew that one so weak as you could not hope to truly control the guardian. The truth comes from her own mouth. Let us end this charade, my kin!”

“End me? You and what army?” Nox said, crossing her arms.

Lughaid drew out a blade that looked like a needle of ice, long and bitterly sharp. “I need no army, weakling.”

Nox gave him a cold smile. “I think you are forgetting the fact that you are dead, and I know your names.”  She walked right up to him, and sketched a symbol on the blade that made it fall apart. “I don’t care if you don’t like me. If I were truly unfit to rule, I would step aside without a fight. But I will not let your small minded ignorance put the future of our people at risk.” She sketched another quick symbol in the air, and grabbed his now-solid tunic to yank his face down to her level. “I swear, if you ever threaten me or my father again, I will bind you so tightly you will have to beg me for enough wind to blow out a candle. Do you understand?”

Enough, children.”

Nox shoved Lughaid away from her, and turned to face the latest arrival. The ghost was so old he could barely materialize, and she could not make out enough of his features to recognize him. Which meant she could not bind him. Even so, she drew herself up to her full 4’ 10”, and tried to look as imposing as possible.

“Be at ease, my dear. I mean you know harm,” he said, as if reading her mind.

Who knew, maybe he could, Nox thought. The shade reached an arm out, but she could not see his hand. She felt it though, the cold, bony fingers tilting her chin up.

“How strange, that one so different turned out to be even more truly an heir to our line than most. Strange days, indeed.”

Nox caught a glimpse of the other ghosts out of the corner of her eye. They had all backed away, and bowed their heads in respect. Just who was this spirit?

“I wonder if Lucien knew what a hard path he set for you, when he married your mother. Still, there can be no denying it. You are one of our own. Welcome, my many-times-over great granddaughter.”

“Um…thank you?  I’m sorry, but I don’t know your name.”

She got the vague impression that he was smiling at her. “Call me great grandfather.”

“Okay. Thank you, great grandfather. And a merry Wintertide to you.”

“Have you brought a gift, as tradition demands?”

A smile tugged at the corner of Nox’s mouth. She wasn’t sure if he was mocking her earlier comments or simply sharing in the joke, but she already liked him better than the other spirits. She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. “I have. Here you go sir, and may it bring you memories of springtime in the mountains.”

She pulled a small pellet of ice out of her pocket. Tiny elemental casting marks were carved into it, and as she blew on it, it started to unfold. Petals flowed outwards, and feathery fronds uncurled from the center. Once it was done, she held a perfect replica of a frost flower in her hand, carved out of ice.

Behind her, one of the ghosts growled, “That is not a weapon!”

Nox looked down her nose at him. “I happen to like flowers, and tradition states that the gift should show my strengths. I fight with my wits and my knowledge instead of swinging a sword like a meat cleaver. It took skill and patience to carve the marks perfectly on so small a surface. I doubt you could do half so well.”

“She is correct. Our line does not always produce warriors, my son. Scholars and artisans have ruled as well as their more warlike kin,” the elder said, and despite the mildness of the rebuke the other ghosts flinched. “Your gift is accepted, great granddaughter.” 

He reached out to touch the flower, and lines of force flowed over it, etching new patterns. The petals changed, becoming pliant as if they were real, and took on all the colors of ice. They were black on the tips of the petals, and changed to shades of blue and white as the colors washed into the center. Veins of clear, glittering crystal spread over them in a web, and made up the fronds in the center as well.

“Go with my blessings, and may your reign be a peaceful one.” He motioned to the other ghosts. “Come. Let us announce the return of our granddaughter as the new Lady Ice.”

With a howl of wind straight from the heart of Winter, the ghosts ripped around the cave and smashed the snow out of the entrance. Nox ran after them, and found that an easy path had been carved into the snow.  All along its length her flowers bloomed, glimmering in the moonlight.

The trip back down the mountain went much more quickly, and the North Wind pushed her at breath-taking speeds along the frozen river. Nox had never moved so fast in her life, but she loved every minute of it. As she made her way off the river and up the road to the mansion, she could see more flowers festooning every door and window, and there were even some hanging from the gate to the graveyard.

Grimm was waiting just inside, and the hound gave her a deep, respectful bow. “Welcome back, Lady Ice.”

“I did it. I actually did it!” Nox said.

“I never doubted you for a moment. Go on now, hurry inside. There is a party waiting for you. Although,” he said, giving her plaintive, puppy dog eyes, “If you should happen to have any leftover sweets later…”

Nox plucked a flower and tucked it behind the hound’s furry ear. “Forget leftovers. I’m sending you out a whole feast!”

Grimm’s tail thumped the ground so hard it set up plumes of snow. “All hail the new Lady Ice!  Long may you reign!”


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Interview on WebFictionWorld! December 22, 2011

Posted by techtigger in writing.
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  H’ray!  The lovely folks at WebFiction World were kind enough to invite me to discuss the merits (and problems) that come with writing a webseries.  Also featured was the talented John Wiswell, author of many wonderful and strange flash fiction stories.  I also got to talk about Nox and Grimm, a paranormal espionage novel that’s in the works, and a bit about the #fridayflash community.

Check it out, lots of fun facts and info for aspiring webseries writers 🙂

http://www.webcastbeacon.com/webfiction-010/

oh the weather outside is frightful… December 19, 2011

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But sunny florida was delightful!  Sorry about the lack of a Nox and Grimm on friday, but in all fairness I was a little distracted at Hogwarts 😀

 

I could have taken or left the rest of Universal Studios, but the Harry Potter theme park was brilliant!  And yes, butterbeer is every bit as tasty as they make it out to be in the books.  Well, I must go off to finish writing my annual holiday one-shot for Nox and Grimm (post on friday), but I will leave you with a peek at one of the shop windows in Hogsmeade. 🙂

Flash Fiction – Only Human December 9, 2011

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Nox hated having dinner with her mother. Neither of them particularly enjoyed the others’ company, but Serenna always insisted on at least a half hour of “civilized conversation” before she would get to the point. So Nox pushed her food around her plate and made a pretense of eating, while listening to her mother’s inane small talk. At least she had convinced her to have dinner in the solarium, which was less stuffy than the other, more formal dining rooms.

The only thing that made the dinner bearable was Grimm. The hound was sprawled on the floor next to Nox, using Air castings to waft bits of meat up to his mouth. He made each piece do a loop-de-loop before gleefully snapping it up.

Serenna cast a baleful glare his way. “Is that necessary?”

Grimm tilted his head to the side. “You told Nox that you did not want me slobbering on your fine china. So I am not.”  He sent the t-bone from his steak spiraling upwards, and bit into it with a loud crunch.

Nox took a sip of wine to hide her smile behind the goblet. She cleared her throat to get her mother’s attention. “Ahem, so, Father said you wanted to talk to me about something?”

“In private,” Serenna said, still glaring at the hound.

“Grimm will hear what you have to tell me, whether he’s in the room or not. Might as well get it over with.”

That soured her mother’s expression even further.  “I intend for you to resume your studies of sorcery.”

Nox quit toying with her wine glass and put it on the table. “I thought you said I had reached my limits, and that further study was pointless.”

“You have grown since then. Your cure for the firethorn proved that you can reach beyond your current skill level, even if the methods you used were, unconventional,” Serenna said, her lips curling in distaste around that last word.

Grimm sent Nox a private thought. “She is still angry about you bastardizing her ‘pure’ sorcery with technomancy. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see her so annoyed.”

Nox worked hard to keep the smile from her face. “I’m guessing you’ve already picked out the subjects to be covered?”

Serenna inclined her head. “Of course, daughter. Who would know better than I what path your training should take?”  She pulled several small, leather bound books from the sewing basket by her chair. “You will concentrate on healing spells. You seem to have an affinity for them.”

“She is Air.  All of the Wind kindreds had the healing gift, so it is only natural,” Grimm rumbled.

Serenna gave him a scathing look. “Her healing gifts come solely from our human ancestry.”

Grimm let out a rumbling growl.  “Only because you have all but cut off her ability to channel Air. What progress have you made at removing your spell, as Lucien asked?”

“Yes, what have you been doing about that, Mother?” Nox said. Her voice was calm, but the temperature in the room dropped to match the icy chill of her gaze.

Serenna’s eyes narrowed. “When everything is prepared, you will be the first to know.”  She gathered up her sewing basket and stood up. “Your father will want to see you before you leave. I suspect he will join you here momentarily.”

They watched her go, and Grimm flattened his ears. “Why do I get the feeling she hasn’t lifted a finger to free you from that spell?”

Nox propped her elbows on the table, and rested her chin in her hands. “She was afraid of something. I could see it in her aura.”

“You don’t think we scared her off?”

“No, she was nervous before you started growling at her.” Nox thumbed through the pile of books. “Well, at least we got something useful out of this visit. I’ve seen most of these before, they shouldn’t be too hard to use. This one’s new though.” The book looked fragile, its binding cracked and the pages brittle. She ran a finger along a page, then jerked her hand back. “Ow!” she yelped, and let out a few choice words.

Grimm sat bolt upright. “Are you okay? What happened!”

“I’m fine, dangit.  I forgot she puts locking spells on the more advanced books,” Nox said, with a grimace. “Figuring out the lock gives you the key to understanding the spells inside. The fun part is, the ruddy thing is going to keep zapping me, and it’ll only get worse until I unlock it.”

Grimm let out a low, angry growl. “That woman is a menace. What if you are working on a project when you get zapped?  Technomancy is dangerous enough without a distraction like that!”

Nox looked bleak. “I guess I’ll just have to hurry up and figure it out. Damn her…”

Serenna hurried through the mansion to her workroom. She slammed the door shut behind her, and faced off across from the entity standing in her summoning circle. “What do you think you’re doing, Katya?  My husband is home, and Grimmalkyn sat right across from me.  They will notice the enchantment you placed on that book!”

Katya raised a delicate eyebrow. “You did not notice it until you touched the book. And even if they do sense it, they will not know the difference between that, and every other spell you place on your grimoires.”

“I use HUMAN spells!  The energies are not the same!”

“Be calm, poppet. I have not survived for millennia by being careless,” Katya said. She held out a hand and studied her nails. “It is all going as planned.”

“Not by my plans. You will end this now!” Serenna snarled and began a banishing spell.

A slow, poisonous smile crossed Katya’s face. “It is too late to stop now. The hook is set, and your daughter will have no choice but to read the book. End it now, and the backlash from the broken enchantment would be most unfortunate for her.”

Serenna stared at her in horror. “Grimmalkyn will absorb the blow.”

“Ah, yes. He would, if he felt it coming in time. But the mark I placed on him dulls the senses, remember?” Katya said. “Come now, we need not be enemies. You want to make your daughter fully human, and I want to remove the last traces of Galen’s bloodline. There is no reason we cannot both have what we want.”

Serenna’s mouth had turned dry, and her dinner sat like lead in her stomach. Somehow she must have made a mistake that allowed Katya to cast enchantments without seeking her permission. She was going to have to work with the creature, until she found a way to get it fully under her control again. She ran her tongue nervously over her lips. “All right. We will work together, but you must let me know everything you plan.”

Katya gave her a patronizing smile. “Of course, poppet.”


<–Previous   –BeginningNext->

This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated every week as a part of #fridayflash on twitter.  If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

Flash Fiction – Friendly Fire December 2, 2011

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Dust motes filled the air as Nox stepped through the portal.  She pinched her nose to try and cut off an impending sneeze.  “Ahh…eeeeh… choo!  Phew, where are we, Grimm?”

“Bless you,” the hound rumbled. He looked around curiously, keeping his tail still so as not to stir up any more dust. “I am not quite sure where this is. We should have come out at the west city wall.” He lifted his nose to sniff the air, and whuffed it back out again. “It’s been sealed up a long time. The air smells musty.  We should probably open the portal again, just to let fresh air in.”

“You’re probably right,” Nox said, and ran a finger along some of the markings that were carved into the stone frame of the portal. A light breeze flowed in, stirring the dust enough to make her sneeze again.

“Cover your face,” Grimm said. He let out a low woof, and a gust of wind scoured the room clean.

“One of these days you’ll have to teach me the non-canine equivalent of those Air castings you do,” Nox said. She lifted her lantern as high as she could get it, and took stock of the newly cleaned area. The golden glow chased the shadows back into the corners, and revealed a vast, empty room built along the same lines as the rest of Zephyra. The walls were made of expertly dressed stone, and the ceiling was lost somewhere in the darkness overhead. The only difference was the lack of windows. “The Wind kindreds never built anything small, did they?”

“We used to fly as often as we walked. High ceilings and broad corridors were a necessity.” He glared down at his paws. “You have no idea how annoying it is to be constantly earth-bound.”

Nox grimaced, thinking of the spell her mother placed on her to cut off her access to Air.  “I can sympathize.”

“Have you heard anything from Serenna lately?”

“No, and I think that worries me more than when she’s right in my face. Loki said he had a talk with her after the firethorn attack, but I somehow doubt even he could charm her into leaving me alone.” Nox moved further into the room, and the light spilled over a broad set of stairs.  She cautiously moved up them, but they ended abruptly at the ceiling.  “That’s odd. There are no markings anywhere that I can see, and no lever to open it. ”

“It was probably sealed from the other side.” Grimm padded around the edge of the room. “There were more portals here, but they must have been sealed shut at the same time. The markings look like someone took a chisel to them.  I think our survey of the portal network may end here,” he said, with a gusty sigh.  “Ah well, I knew that large sections were ruined, or closed up at the end of the war with the Shadowkin. Galen wanted to keep the city from falling into enemy hands.”

Nox sat down on the bottom step and placed the lamp by her knee. “Can you point out where the portals were? Maybe we can find some references in father’s library that will tell us where they went.”

“Certainly,” Grimm said.  “There is a frame for one right behind the stairs, and another in the middle of the left-hand wall.” He paused, his ears flicking back and forth. “Nox, get off the stairway.”

She snatched up the lantern and scooted to his side. “What did you hear,” she whispered.

Grimm stared fixedly at the top of the stairs, his hackles up and teeth bared. “Footsteps. Armor clinking. Get ready to run back through that portal.”

“Not till we find out who’s poking around up there. If someone is using part of the Wind territories as a base for troops, I want to know.” She pulled a bow out of her satchel and unfolded it. A touch to the enchantments carved in the wood caused a line of force to string itself along the pulleys at either end, and bent the risers back in a wicked curve.  A crystal hung suspended along the line, and an arrow made of ice formed as she took aim.

“Here they come,” Grimm growled.

Time always seemed to defy logic when Nox found herself on the edge of battle. Everything happened in an eyeblink, and yet she was acutely aware of every action, as if it was all moving in slow motion.

The stone covering the top of the stairs ground open with a roar of effort from the men above. A blinding white light and a wave of energy filled the room, only to be met by Nox’s electric blue aura.  A blast from the depths of Winter screamed toward them, only to be deflected by the cyclone winds of Grimm’s howling defensive shield. Arrows leapt from Nox’s bow towards the shadowy figures dropping through the opening, but were shattered against their crystalline skin.

Nox blinked in shock as she realized that they were Ice kin.   She yelled, “HOLD!” at the same time as their leader.

Nox had never seen her father look so furious.

“Daughter, there are days you try my patience!”  Lucien slammed his sword into its sheath and strode over to her. “What were you thinking? Three of our allies’ Houses have been devastated by attacks using portals, and you open one up on my doorstep?”

“What do you mean your doorstep?” Nox said, her own temper rising at being dressed down in front of the men. “What are you doing moving troops around Zephyra without telling me?”

Grimm quickly moved between them. “Wait, both of you. I think I know what happened.”  Two pairs of angry blue eyes met his own placid grey. “Remember, Galen had a wife and two small children hidden away here in the north when the war started. You don’t think he would go for years without seeing them, do you?”

Nox squinted up at the bright opening overhead. “Where in Hel’s name are we then?”

“This is the undercroft of Grimmalkyn’s old mausoleum,” Lucien said. “And it very nearly became your own tomb as well. Do try to be more cautious while exploring the ruins of that city.”

Nox let out a shaky laugh. “Sorry about that. There must have been a baffle on the portal to hide its true destination. I’m sure our ancestor didn’t want anyone following him to where he had his family hidden.”

 “As long we are here, we might as well stay for a while,” Grimm said. “We were planning a visit anyway, and this will save us the trouble of riding a week to meet with you.”

Lucien nodded, but did not look pleased. “Your mother had mentioned wanting to discuss a few things with you.”

Nox winced at that. “Yeah. Sure. We can talk over dinner.”

“Don’t worry,” Grimm said, sending his thoughts to her mind alone. “I’ll be right there with you.”

She sent warm thoughts to the hound to thank him.

“Father, if you’ll give me twenty minutes I can gather up all my notes to share with you.”

Lucien crossed his arms. “Twenty minutes. We will all be waiting right here.”

Nox sighed as several of the guards spread out around the room. He wasn’t going to let go of this little gaff so easily.  Then again, with the Morning Lord using portals to invade his neighbors the caution was not unwarranted. “I’ll be right back,” she said, and hurried off through Zephyra with Grimm at her heels.


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This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated every week as a part of #fridayflash on twitter.  If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

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