Passing the Time

In which there are cartwheels, jokes, and a variation on the game “Who Am I?”

Northern Wall Walk

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You stand on Anvard’s Northern Wall Walk. From here you have a view of travellers approaching from the north and northeast. A cool wind ruffles your clothes. A glance down into the Outer Ward reveals the bustle of people going to and from the market stalls, or off to various duties throughout the castle.

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You can go: Gate Tower <E>, Outer Wall Walk <S>, Watchtower <W>

Haft and Megren are on duty together on the Northern Wall Walk.  Haft stands upright, arms folded across his chest and looking out to the northeast.

Megren sits between stoneworks, her legs crossed under her, her eyes to the northwest.

Haft looks up at the stars.  “Beautiful night.”

Megren slips her legs over the ledge so that she can balance, leaning back. “Mhm. A little cold, though.”

Haft nods, chin dipping into his muffler.  “Well, that’s what you get on a clear night in winter.  Ain’t you a little cold on that stone?”

Megren says, “Better than standing.”

Haft smirks.  “Well, if you’re really cold you could get up and do a couple jaunts back and forth across the wall.”

Megren spins around and hops down onto the wall to try a couple of cartwheels.

Haft raises his brows slightly.  “Or that.  Impressive.  Any warmer?”

Megren rubs her hands on her livery. “Made my hands cold.”

Haft looks as if this is a shocking revelation, then he puts on a mock scowl.  “Probably makes it a bit harder to keep an eye out, too…being upside down and all.”

Megren squints an eye at him. “Because running back and forth was going to be real conducive to keeping watch.”

Haft says, “Well, at least your eyes would’ve been above the level of the crenellations.”

Megren says, “Always something to criticize, isn’t there.”

Haft glances down.  “Your boots are scuffed too.”  Never mind that it’s too dim on the ramparts for him to make out the state of her boots.

Megren exclaims, “They aren’t!”

Haft asks, “They might be.  How can you be sure?”

Megren lifts one and leans down to examine it.

Haft tchs.  “And there’s an army at the gates and you’ve missed it.  You really don’t understand the job at all, do you?”

Megren licks her thumb and rubs at a spot on her boot. “Oh no. The castle’s overrun with werewolves, and all because I was cleaning my boots.”

Haft makes a face.  “Now there’s an awful thought.  Make Rabadash and his friends seem downright chummy, if not for the fact that they wanted to kill us.”

Megren leans up against the stonework again. “That does make them seem less chummy.”

Haft says, “Well, yes, it would.  Still, I’d rather face a man than a werewolf.”

Megren hmms quietly, tilting her head.

Haft says, “Oh, just…they sound like vicious things.  Don’t think I ever met one–hard to tell.  They could look like a wolf or a man if they wanted–but I used to hear nasty stories about their sort, back when I was first in Narnia.”

Megren says, “Yeah.”

Haft changes the subject.  “Well, you warm enough?  We might try a game to pass the time.”

Megren glances at him. “You’re proposing games?” She leans to the side, then the other side, then circles around him. “Haft? You in there?”

Haft narrows his eyes.  “I was a human being once upon a time, you know.  I joined the guard younger than you.  What do you think we did to pass the time, stood around comparing the bruises we got in the Practice Room?”  He frowns, inclining his head.  “Admittedly, we did that, too.”

Megren looks like she’s having a private joke again.

Haft throws up a hand.  “What now?”

Megren’s brows peak. “Mm?”

Haft asks, “What’s so funny?”

Megren exclaims, “Oh! Uh, just, things haven’t changed much.”

Haft asks, “Oh?  You been comparing bruises with Owin?”

Megren says, “Not me. People do seem strangely fond of it though.”

Haft shrugs.  “It passes the time.  I was thinking of something else, though.”

Megren perches back on the wall. “What’s that?”

Haft says, “Question game.  It’s called “Give My Name.”  I think of someone we both know, or someone well-known, and you get a dozen questions to help you figure out who I might be.  I will only answer your questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  So you might ask me “Are you blue-eyed?” At the end of the dozen questions, you get one chance to give my name.  You can try to guess it early, to narrow things down, but it’ll cost you a question if you do.”

Megren leans back against the stonework. “Hmm. Are you male?”

Haft exclaims, “Give me a chance to think!  I haven’t chosen anyone.”  He considers for a moment, then makes his selection.  “Aye, I’m male.””

Megren asks, “Are you common?”

“I am not,” Haft says in a rather haughty voice.

Megren asks, “Are you in Anvard now?”

Haft says, “I am.”

Megren taps her lips. “Are you an oldest child?”

Haft nods.  “I am.”

Megren asks, “Older than Lord Tyre?”

Haft says, “No.”

Megren asks, “Are you the heir to the throne?”

Haft smiles, “I am not.”

Megren mms. “Lord Dar, it must be.”

Haft says, “Very good.  Seven questions.”

Haft says, “Your turn.”

Megren says, “Ready.”

Haft asks, “Are you female?”

Megren says, “No.”

Haft asks, “Are you older than Captain Garian?”

Megren says, “Not unless my family has very good hair.”

Haft exclaims, “Oh honestly.  He’s not that old.  I’m years older and I still have all my hair!”

Megren lifts her hands to relieve herself of blame.

Haft lets out a breath.  “Are you fair-haired?”

Megren mhms.

Haft asks, “Are you Sir Tyren?”

Megren laughs. “No.”

Haft says, “Pity.  Would have been nice to win in four.”

Megren singsongs, “And yet–”

Haft asks, “And yet?”

Megren says, “You didn’t.”

Haft asks, “Heh  Indeed.  Well, are you common-born?”

Megren says, “That’s right.”

Haft asks, “Do you live in Anvard?”

Megren says, “I sure do.”

Haft asks, “Are you a member of the guard?”

Megren says, “I am.”

Haft asks, “Hmm.  Are you a quiet sort?”

Megren says, “Pretty quiet.”

Haft asks, “Are you Perth?”

Megren grins, “Eight questions, I win.”

Haft says, “You may win, but you can’t count.  Nine questions.”

Megren asks, “Oh, are you counting the last?”

Haft says, “I was.”

Megren nods. “Nine, then. Even better!”

Haft’s lips twist.  “Well, at least you didn’t jar your counter loose with all those cartwheels.”

Megren says, “Please.”

Haft lifts a shoulder, then lifts his folded arms to lean atop the battlement.

Megren hangs her legs over the edge and giggles to herself, “Am I Sir Tyren.”

Haft glances at her.  “You don’t think you’d make a convincing Sir Tyren?”

Megren gathers herself up as tall as she can and starts to make a serious face, but curls over with laughter before she succeeds. “I can’t, I can’t.”

Haft says, “You just contain your mirth.  I’ll never be able to explain it to the Captain if you roll off the wall while laughing.”  He pauses to reconsider.  “On the other hand, he’s met you.  No explanation necessary.  It’s almost a forgone end.”

Megren says, “If I die by falling, I hope everyone knows to look to you first for blame.”

Haft let out a chortle of surprised laughter.

Megren grins, pleased by this response.

Haft says, “Well, if that’s what it takes to make sure you die happy, you can leave a note to that effect under your mattress.  Next to the doll.”

Megren shhhes. “Gearn doesn’t know.”

Haft leans his chin on his palm.  “I’ll have to remember that, next time I need to switch shifts with you.  If you hedge, I can just tell Gearn.”  He winks.

Megren says, “Yes, because between the two of us, I’m the most easily ruffled.”

Haft nods amiably.  “Just so.”  He peruses the road, then turns his attention back to the stars.

Megren looks him over, and then smiles and returns her attention to the roads.

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