AN: Hey, hey! Not much to say except thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! It's just a little something I whipped up because I was absolutely charmed by a connection I was struck with the other day; Tallennar means thief, and what if our little Tallennar stole 'Conn' so that the older Magic's couldn't have him? And by 'have him' I mean, basically, his life force. Crowe and Sootle and Nimble all disappeared after the Magics took them, Conn showed up in the Twilight. Why's that I wonder? *cough* thief *cough*
In case anyone was curious, 'Parvum' is 'small or little' in Latin, so 'Little Thief' is the title... More or less.
I hope I did the plot justice, and thanks again for reading!
Disclaimer: Because of the POV, most of the terms used are not found in the book, don't worry if you don't remember hearing them!
Tallennar's wings flapped furiously, groping for purchase in the wind as gales buffeted from all sides, reaching with frantic tendrils of air that grasped and ripped at anything and everything.
The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues was held at the center of the whirlwind, a bright sparkle shouting fractured sentences and moving its hands around as the world seemed to shatter and piece itself together over and over again. At one string of mispronounced syllables, the liquid scales rose from their bed beneath the water strip and coiled into a great arch that beamed through the sky. It shouted some more, almost flailed with the wave of its arms but Tallennar paid it no mind, Tallennar couldn't afford to pay it mind; the Elders were fighting.
At hoard, the Elders never fought; Smaller Elder went hunting for food and Eldest would sleep and coddle the focus stones, and sometimes Small Elder would play fight with Tallennar.
These Elders fought truly, not for play, and they did it with more than claws. They fought with the Inner Flame.
It was scary, to watch the Elder's fight, to listen to their roars and angry screams. Tallennar darted around through winds and darkness, searching for a place where the anger and screams could not reach, but Tallennar was too lonely to fly away in search of such a place. Tallennar wanted the Elders near, as they would be a comfort, but when they fought the whole world turned darker and colder as the Warmths below were blotted out. Tallennar did not want them to fight.
The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues shouted a final sounding word and the liquid scales shattered into their right size but not their right shape; round instead of flat. The Warmth said something quiet in its favored tongue and Tallennar felt the shift in the air and in the focus stone which rested in Tallennar's stomach. The focus stone began to vibrate and the Elder's shifted their attention to Tallennar and The Warmth.
The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues was Cooling.
Tallennar circled The Warmth carefully, distressed as first it cooled and then even the Cold began to shrink. The Elder's both reached for the Cold but as both were about to curl around it, they shifted against each other once again, each pining for possession of it. In this moment, Tallennar felt the push which the Cold emitted, an offering. Tallennar was surprised, all Warmths would one day grow too weak to hold itself in a physical form, and thus it was drawn inexorably to the nearest Inner Flame. Inner Flames were fed by Warmths. For a Warmth to be offered? How strange, almost wrong.
The Warmth was being offered, but no Warmth can be divided, and both Elders wanted it.
The Elders thrummed against one another for a minute in a near silent stand off before their voices rumbled out in vibrating waves of sound and feeling and fire.
It's been under my care for seven stretches, and now look how it goes cold! The Eldest said in concern, reaching to warm the Cold by taking it in.
Yes, look how it goes cold as your weakness leaves it defenseless! The Elder snapped and snaked out a coiled tendril of presence. I shall take it!
It is not yours to take! The Eldest cried in anger and the Elder bolstered, gathered the Inner Flame to flare at The Eldest.
It is sealing its request, it is ours to take. One of ours.
Tallennar shrieked and spat sparks in a frantic attempt to sway the Elders' attention from each other, from their dispute, but the argument continued to escalate. Desperately, Tallennar keened against the volume building up within the storm cloud, escalating, escalating - how to make them stop - how to make the Elders stop!
The Warmth pulsed again, a spark and then cold again and the Elders ceased for a moment to tentatively curl around it before the same disagreement pursued.
Understanding flared bright before Tallennar's eyes, the Warmth! The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues could calm them! It would calm them! But as for now the Elders fought over it...
...it is ours to take. One of ours.
Tallennar may have been a Younger, but even Youngers had an Inner Flame, and thus Tallennar was part of ours.
Tallennar swooped inwards, circling The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues and spreading as much Inner Flame beyond the boundaries as possible, Tallennar was not good at this, Smaller Elder often told Tallennar that it depended on many things which Tallennar did not have.
Still, Tallennar tried to expand the Inner Flame which burned infinitely in every dragon's belly, tried to push it outward to reach the thing it hungered for; Warmths.
Tallennar just had to take what the Elders wanted from The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues, had to take what they were fighting over.
In sweeping close, Tallennar felt the warmth of The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues, it had been pushed to its edges, making it hard to sense, but easy to steal.
The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues would be truly cold for a while but Tallennar would give the warmth back eventually, that way the Warmth could make the Elders stop arguing if they ever did again, the Warmth was good at that. Tallennar would simply hold it close and the Warmth of the Cold would stay with Tallennar until Tallennar decided to return it, and that would be when it was safe. Soon The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues would once more be The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues, Tallennar would ensure the Elder's would both have it and it would play peacemaker, just as it just had. It was a good plan, Tallennar decided.
Spitting another round of sparks Tallennar gathered up the Warmth inside the focus stone, it would be safe there. The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues went completely cold and the Elders noticed, both bolstering as they felt their prize being stolen.
Younger! The Elder roared, That is not for your Flame!
My Warmth! The Eldest wailed gathering up what remained of The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues in coiled whirlwinds and warm flames, trying and failing to return its heat.
Tallennar turned and darted away, diving down into the place of many Warmths. The Elders both called out Younger! But Tallennar did not stop, bolstered, for the first time, with a powerful heat flaring close to the hearth of the Inner Flame.
With the heat of The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues burning merrily within the focus stone, Tallennar forgot that its warmth belonged somewhere else, though for a while there was nowhere to put it.
I still want it. The Elder had decided and the Eldest had agreed.
You can keep it first, and when you're done I'll take it back.
The deal had been struck and The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues had disappeared within the Elder who had grumbled and then settled over the cleaner part of the city while the Eldest returned to its familiar darkness. Tallennar slunk around both parts of the city, enjoying the easy pickings and the thrumming of The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues as it pulsed within the focus stone like a second heart.
After a while, the Elder had given The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues to the Eldest and almost immediately the Eldest set to rekindling The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues.
Neither the Elder nor Tallennar tried to remind the Eldest that a Warmth could not be rekindled if not even a spark remained.
Tallennar saw it sometimes, wandering and scrounging through the dark side of the city, its cold sensation leaking into its immediate surroundings and leaving a heavy spot of dim that made Tallennar flinch whenever they crossed paths. Tallennar tried to ignore it.
But then The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues moved from the dark side of the city to the dots on the water strip, where Tallennar most often stayed because there was a flickering Warmth there which occasionally spoke two tongues and a rock solid Warmth which fed Tallennar warm pieces of breading. When The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues came to live at the dot on the water strip Tallennar remembered why The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues resided in the focus stone. It was waiting, but Tallennar did not want to give it back.
But watching The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues made Tallennar long for the comfort The Warmth That Spoke Two Tongues had given. The other Warmths only spoke one language when offering food or shouting or just talking in Tallennar's presence, The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues had sometimes spoken to Tallennar with its fractured way of speech, spoke to Tallennar, not just asked for things as other Warmths with even more fractured speech would. Tallennar missed that, but still, the Warmth pulsed inside the focus stone inside Tallennar's stomach and the idea of vacating it once more made the Inner Flame flicker with distaste.
So Tallennar stayed close after that, deciding that if the Warmth would be staying within the focus stone then the Cold to which The Warmth belonged deserved to be at least near its warmth.
But one day Tallennar stopped wanting the Warmth within the focus stone, rather, Tallennar wanted the Warmth back in its spot. Tallennar sat on the edge of the high up doorway with clear wood, peering in at the Cold, it was reading, again. Tallennar knew that this was the other Warmths trying just as hard as the Eldest to rekindle the warmth. Without Tallennar relinquishing the original heat none of it would do any good.
Tallennar hadn't made any noise but The Cold looked up from its book and regarded Tallennar, perched on the high-up doorway, perhaps its attention had been drawn by the call of its Warmth. As it had many times before, the Cold got up and walked over, opening the high up doorway so Tallennar could hop inside.
Most times Tallennar flew away, but today something itched beneath the scales and Tallennar skittered forward on wobbly wings and tractionless talons.
As The Cold's fingers ran over Tallennar's golden scales they traced chills straight through the scales and Tallennar shivered at the frigidity, the lack of the warmth and the deep hole that had been left in the hearth of The Warmth Which Spoke Two Tongues, not even glowing ashes remaining.
"Tallennar," It said fondly and wonderingly, as though despite the loss of its Warmth the memory of Tallennar remained.
Tallennar decided that The Cold Which Spoke Two Tongues needed a little warming up.