The Duties of a Squire

In which Haft comforts Megren directly following the events in the council chamber

Southern Watchtower
You stand in a chamber at the top of the southern watchtower. Windows allow
you to scan the countryside southward into Archenland and northward toward
the high range of mountains that separates Archenland from Narnia. There is
a door to the west that leads into the knights’ equipment room. Two other
doors lead north and east to the wall walks, and stairs lead down into the
lower level of the tower and up onto the parapet.
You can go: Inner Wall Walk <N>, Outer Wall Walk <E>, Equipment Room <W>,
Parapet <U>, Stairwell <D>

Megren makes for one of the towers as soon as she out of the council chamber and into the ward.

Haft follows after, saying nothing as they walk.Megren has her arms crossed over her stomach, but her back is straight, as it is when guarding, and she looks straight ahead. She gains some distance on him, but not a lot, and she sinks down in the first out-of-the-way spot she can find.

Haft catches up and settles himself awkwardly next to her. “That looked painful.”

Megren opens her mouth to speak, but she closes it and shakes her head, running the heel of her hand once under each eye and looking at the ceiling.

Haft doesn’t press. “I’m sorry.”

Megren shakes her head again, taking a moment before she says, “I knew the risk of speaking out of turn.”

Haft says, “You took it anyway. I don’t understand all that’s passed between you and Sir Colin, but what you said about Lanisen seemed right. If he’s shown enough mettle to face Darius in his cell, he’s got enough to aid the knights.” He frowns. “This will sound harsh, but victim or no, a squire has a duty to protect the people too.”

Megren says, “Thank you.”

Haft shrugs his good shoulder. “I don’t know how he’s been since it happened, but I always thought my trying to avoid him made everything worse. Some things are better met head on. This may be the same, but he’s got a duty to help regardless.”

Megren exhales a long breath. “Well, it’s not in my power either way.”

Haft says, “No.” He sighs. “It was a strange meeting all round.”

Megren says, “Its been like this for weeks.”

Haft asks, “How so?”

Megren says, “Just — this is what Aaron does. He figures out the most powerful person her can nudge, and he pushes at them until the whole castle is arguing. I wish they’d stop talking to him at all.”

Haft makes a face. “They all want to fix things, and everyone thinks he’ll be the one to do it…it’s hard not to sympathize.”

Megren pushes her mouth to the side, giving him an appreciative look. She nods. “You’re right. I know.”

Haft says, “Doesn’t make it easier when everyone’s best intentions end up in a mess. Tonight’s meeting wasn’t a bad idea. A coordinated effort instead of one person trying one thing and another something else. I wonder what Darius would say if Lord Peridan and Colin confronted him together with his conflicting stories.”

Megren says, “I don’t know. I find if you are direct with him he only shuts up, or calls you names.”

Haft asks, “So what’s he called you then? Or haven’t you had the privilege?”

Megren squints an eye at him appraisingly, and then confides, “Witch, mostly.”

Haft scowls. “I’d like to call him a few choice things.

Megren wrinkles her nose at him. “If I’m honest, I took it as a compliment.”

Haft asks, “How’s that?”

Megren says, “It showed he was –” she pauses, thinking, then shrugs. “Done trying to manipulate me? It was the next time after that that he stopped talking altogether. He was on about ‘you’re all corrupt’ and ‘oh I see you like to hear yourself talk’ at Sir Darrin, trying to get him to defend himself, that’s the thing he likes to do, but he doesn’t do it with me anymore.”

You say, “Good.” He stands up with a little difficulty, offering his hand. “Come on. I’m famished, and I think I might have remembered where I tossed that present of yours.”

Megren gets up as well. “That’s all right. I think I’d better go off for a bit.” She hugs him, careful of his shoulder, and kisses his cheek. “Thank you, though.”

Haft smiles gently. “Take care.”Megren nods. “I will. You too.”

Haft turns and heads off toward the mess.


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