Hairy, Yet Eloquent

In which Avery has been having trouble sleeping

In the Center of the Courtyard
You can easily discern this as the center of the royal gardens – a great
fountain decorates the courtyard’s center point. It is a scuplture of a grand
lion, standing over the water’s edge. This lion is not insignifigant though –
it is an artist’s tribute to the ruler of all Narnia, and a portrait of a
noble character.

At all four points of the compass a paved path leads to the corners of the
courtyard, North, East, South and West. To the east lies the entrance to the
grand hall of Cair Paravel, and to the west, the gates of the castle. North
and South lead to flower gardens, where one might sit for a spell.

The sides of the paths here are lines with decorative posts and ribbons,
leading from east to west to form an aisle (going delicately around the
fountain). It appears that the garden to the east has been set up for some
kind of ceremony.
You can go: North End of the Courtyard <N>, South End of the Courtyard <S>,
Royal Gardens <E>, To the west courtyard <W>
Contents: Fountain.

Avery is just off the path, standing in front of a partially painted canvas. Her arms are crossed as she stares at the painting, clearly at a loss for inspiration. A tray of food has been brought to her: a cup of tea and a few cakes. The teacup is empty, but the cake looks untouched.

Haft hurries along the path, a piece of parchment in his hand. “Lady Avery!” he calls.

Avery turns away from the painting at the sound of her name. She catches sight of Haft and the parchment in his hand. “A letter from Anvard?” She strides forward to meet him, her face an odd mix of hope and worry. “From Squire Megren? Does she send good news? Oh, please say she does!”

Haft thrusts it into Avery’s hand with a grin, forgetting to bow. “Shortest letter I’ve ever had, I reckon. Just five words, and that’s counting our names.”

We got him.

Avery takes the parchment, her hands shaking as she reads. She lets out a sigh of relief, one hand covering her mouth. “Oh, thank the Lion!” She laughs. “They got him!”

Haft can’t stop smiling. “Excellent news. Hopefully they’ll be able to figure out what he did it all for. But he won’t be able to harm anyone else, regardless.”

Avery folds the letter and hands it back. “I’m so relieved!”

Haft places the letter in the pouch at his side. “Hopefully we’ll get more details soon. In the meantime I imagine that Lanisen and a lot of other people will be resting easier.

Avery nods. “I think you are right. Myself included.”

Haft searches her face. “Did you sleep poorly last night?”

Avery looks down. “Not very well, but please do not worry. It will pass.”

Haft frowns. “One of the healers could give you a tea perhaps.”

Avery shrugs one shoulder. “I could ask about it…”

Haft says, “Please do. I’m sure they can find you something. Narnian remedies are a wonder, though I’m all for Archenland in most things.”

Avery smiles lightly. “Thank you, Haft. I will speak to the healer before I retire to my rooms.” She sighs and motions toward her painting. “I have made no progress with this at all today…Perhaps, after your news, I can do more painting than staring…”

Haft ahs. “It’s mostly been worry, then?”

Avery nods. “And a bit of homesickness, too…I think.”

Haft smiles wanly. “That I understand only too well.”

Avery says, “I’m excited to be here, and happy, too.” She frowns. “But I also long for home…To see Tyren and my Mother…”

Haft nods. “That’s understandable. Family is important. At least it’s not a very great distance,” he adds as an afterthought.

Avery says, “No, it is not very great, you are right.” She takes a step away, gesturing for him to walk with her. “Lord Peridan has his heart set on taking us to Bergdale, but I think we should return to Anvard after that…Home would be a welcome sight for both of us.”

Haft nods. “Bergdale is a merry place. It will be good to go there now that we can rest easy that Aaron is not in Narnia. As for the time of our return, that is in your hands. I am content.”

Avery tugs on a loose curl of hair. “I feel that our departure will not be a happy thing in some ways…It will be hard to say goodbye to the friends we have made here.”

Haft asks, “Oh yes? And who shall you miss, my lady?”

Avery stops to look at a flowering bush. “Oh. Well, Lieutenant Bracken and the little messenger-Dog Petria. Crenna, the Wolf from Winterden. She truly is wonderful. Her friend, Kari, too.” She blushes, but she doesn’t look at him. “Quite a few others as well.”

“Don’t forget the baking Weasel,” Haft adds helpfully.

Avery chuckles. “Of course. How could I forget her?”

Haft says, “So if I understand it properly, the way to become your friend is to possess the gift of speech and as much hair as possible.” He runs his hand over his own, closely trimmed beard as though it might not pass muster.”

Avery laughs. “Well, even if they had less hair, I might consider befriending them…It would depend on how eloquent their speech is.”

Haft smiles in reply. “It’s good to know. But I think I’ll leave you now so you may finish your painting. Do try to take an early rest, my lady.

Avery nods, her cheerfulness returning. “I will try, Haft.” She bows her head to him. “Good day, then.”

Haft bows and strides away.


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