After a nod from her father, Nimueh had shown Nerdren what magic she knew. She was then once again sent to the back room, and even though she wanted very much to complain, she kissed her father on his cheek before doing as he had asked.
Once inside the room, she had immediately flung herself on the bed and let the tears pour down her face. She stayed that way for hours, just thinking and crying.
It wasn't fair that her mother should leave her, wasn't fair at all. How could she have been so selfish to leave behind her husband, her daughters? Nimueh began to shudder. Oh Ninniane! What would she think? She was right, their mother had died, and in that moment Nimueh hated her sister for saying such a thing.
After her tears had dried up, she walked slowly towards the door, careful not to make a sound, and placed her ear against the hard wood.
She wasn't able to hear much, only the quiet whisperings of voices. Every once and a while she would hear a word like, "magic" or "safer," but she didn't understand what it all meant and she hated she wasn't deemed worthy to talk with the adults.
The sun was starting to set and Nimueh was considering running out of the room when the door opened and her father came in.
She stood up from her spot on the bed, staring at her father and fighting the urge to run at him. Slowly the baker moved forward until he was standing in front of his daughter, and he took her hand as he crouched into a kneeling position.
Nimueh looked at her father curiously and he sighed, kissing her knuckles. "Nimueh, I know you have had quite the traumatic day, and I am very sorry for bringing you here, but I have some new you might find good."
He paused here, waiting for a response, but the little girl just stared at him. "Well, Nerdren was greatly impressed with your magic and would like you to be his magical apprentice."
Nimueh couldn't help the gasp that escaped her. The cold physician wanted to teach her magic? Her father apparently took his daughter's sigh for encouragement and smiled.
"You'd have to stay here in Camelot of course, but you'll learn all you can and be provided with food and board."
Leave her father and sister? She tried to hate the idea, tried to become incredibly sad and scream that she didn't want to be away from her family, but her attempts were useless; the idea of learning magic coursed through her veins, pulling her apart and igniting her bones. "Could I really stay?"
Deiniol's smile grew sad and Nimueh at once felt bad for hurting her father. "Of course can little Nimph, now let's go talk to your knew master." Then he kissed her forehead, stood up, and pulled her out of the room.
After her father had left the tiny chambers, Nerdred had been called to see a patient. Now Nimueh was sitting on the table, swinging her little legs around and watching as Gaius moved around, making stew.
Nimueh sighed. "Is it always this dull here?"
Gaius turned and looked at the girl in surprise. "Dull? No, usually not. Today is just a slow day."
The baker's daughter gave another sigh and plopped her head down on the table. She heard Gaius laugh and she stuck her tongue out at him. This only made him laugh harder and his shoulders started shaking so much, Nimueh was afraid he would spill her stew.
He plopped a bowl in front of her then sat at the table on the other side, digging into his meal.
"Gaius, do you have magic?"
He looked a little surprised at this question. "I've learned a thing or two, but I'm not well versed in it."
She nodded as if this answer was what she was expecting, but she couldn't help the disappointment she felt.
Gaius seemed to notice this for he stood up and began to speak. "Trowch tân i fywyd." Nimueh watched with bated breath as his eyes turned gold and the fire on the candle rose upwards, forming into a bird. It flew around her head before fizzing out and turning onto ash.
Nimueh giggled and clapped her hands. Gaius smiled and bowed. "Now it really is time for you to go to bed."
Nimeuh pouted. "What? But that was amazing! How can I sleep after that?"
Gaius laughed. "You're first magic lesson is tomorrow. If you go to bed now, it will come sooner."
The little girl gasped and ran to the back room, laughter following her.
She woke up fairly early the following morning, excitement coursing through her veins. Carefully she walked out of her room, a skip in her steps, and sat down at the table. To her dismay, Gaius was still asleep on his little pallet and Nerdren was nowhere to be found.
Nimueh sighed, drumming her fingers on the table. She stayed that way for a while, but soon she stood, placing her boots on her feet and striding out the door.
Cool air filled the silent hall, causing Nimueh to shiver. She moved down the steps and into the courtyard below.
There were people everywhere, even though it was what Nimueh considered early, and she watched as they went about their day. The sun was just beginning to rise, and it glistened against the castle stone.
A group of beautiful woman stood in the middle of the yard, dressed in deep scarlet robs. Men eyed them from a far, but none approached. Nimueh paid this group no mind, instead continuing down to the lower town where she had seen the magicians.
She passed by many, some breathing fire and others changing their ears to those of different animals, and she stopped to watch each one for a moment before she kept walking.
This was the way the morning was spent, skipping up and down the streets, pausing every so often to see something marvelous. However, her walk was cut short when she felt a hand grab her arm.
She looked up in surprise, a shout on her lips, but it died when her eyes met that of her offender's. He was an old man, with long white hair, reaching down to almost his knees and an equally long beard. His eyes were a deep blue, and all though they were the eyes of an old man who had seen too much, there was a sparkle of youth and humor that instantly made her trust him.
The man smiled at her and put a finger to his lips before he pulled her into a small cottage.
Inside there were shelves and shelves of herbs and vials, and it looked much like the apothecary. The only personal looking items were a worn table surrounded by chairs and in the far corner, a strange staff propped up against the wall.
The old man gestured for the little girl to sit at the table, and she did so, looking at him in confusion.
The man sighed. "I suppose you'll want to know why you're here." Nimueh nodded, too afraid to open her mouth.
She watched as he walked to the back of the room to a shelve she had not seen at first glanced filled with strange artifacts. He pulled out an oddly decorated bowl and placed it on the table, then sat across from her.
"You are Nimueh, correct?"
Her eyes widened in surprise. "How did you know my name?"
The old man chuckled, but a guilty look grew in his eyes. "Oh, I have met you before."
"You have? But I swear I have never laid eyes on you in my life."
Again he chuckled. "I said that I have met you, not that you have met me. For it is your future, and my past."
Although she thought she should have been confused, this sentence made sense to her and caused confidence to surge through her. "You must be fair. You know my name, but I don't know yours. We can't talk until we know each other."
The man nodded and began to caress his beard. "You are right, of course. I wish you were this well-mannered when we first met. My name is Emrys."
Yay, it's the weekend! This means more time for me to write. I hope this is as awesome of a cliff hanger as I think it is and makes all of you want to review...
Trowch tân i fywyd: Turn this fire into life
I just used Welsh for the spell, as I know no Ancient English and I just used google translate, so sorry for any inaccuracies.