The first of our female counterparts don’t arrive until 19.20. In that time, thirty-five minutes, I learn a great deal about Erim Yazar. Enough to revise my opinion on him./Oh stop being so dramatic. A monologue? Truly, Rune?/ Eeeh, don’t piss on my parade. So what was I thinking? Yeah, Erim Yazar isn’t an asshole. He is annoying. He likes to hear himself talk./ Pot, meet kettle?/ He has a disproportionately large opinion of himself. But, he isn’t an asshole.
That’s the revision going through my head as I hear the pling of the door. I propell myself towards it, interrupting a discussion between Pontus and Erim about the best hockey-team in Sweden, a discussion where me and Kai have been relegated to the sidelines, because 1) none of us like hockey,2) none of us know enough on the subject to comment.
The duo of Signe Revsand and Linnea Hexer stand outside. “Come on in”, I say, not even having to fake the heartiness. They stroll in and greet the others. Signe is wearing one of those shimmery shirts that seems to be the female fashion currently, but which I have always thought of as something an alien would wear. Her nose-piercing glints in the light and her brown eyes have a certain tint to them… has she drunk something before the party perhaps? She tosses her blond hair and I look at Linnea Hexer.
Linnea who has styled her long brown hair in waves and whose voice is lovely even without magic. Elena once mused whether they where together; I think she was on to something. Linnea’s not-quite-purple eyes exist only it for Signe. I wonder… I wonder how Linnea has handled our secrets. Hannah must have felt that it was too much, and thus she broke up with Pontus.
An impatient number of plings break our conversation. Kai opens the door and hugs the first person who enters. Chiyo smiles at him, only to be pushed aside when Amanda Skog forces her way through. She kicks off her shoes and I wince internally at the mud she tracks in my tiny hallway.
Amanda surveys us with eyes like winter, blue and cold.She pulls out a deck of cards from the same kind of ratty jeans she is always wearing. “Let’s play-” My phone vibrates and I excuse myself from the group and retreat to the kitchen, where I can talk in silence.
Hermann is calling. Shit. I put the phone against my ear and cup the other hand around to muffle sounds. “Good evening”, he opens with. “Hi there yourself”, I respond with. Do I sound nervous? Fuck, I do sound nervous. “What are you doing?” Quick, come up with something believeable Rune!
“I am making pancakes”, I state. “I hope you won’t trigger the detectors”, Hermann says with a certain pause before continuing,” again.” I shake my head before I realize that he can’t see me. “Now was there anything urgent you wanted to tell me? I am a bit busy”, I say, opting for that hurried tone.
There is second lull in our conversation, deeper. “I….”, Hermann clears his throat. I frown. That noise.. did he seem hurt? Verde?/ Hard to say. But yes, I think that we should pay him a visit soon. He must be lonely in the villa./
“I found out something. Now, we talked about this, and I don’t want you to panick. And please, don’t tell everyone of your classmates but… Tam Linn is being sent by the Council to Fallowfell.”
I drop the phone, and only through supernatural reflexes do I manage to catch it. “Tam Linn” I squawk. “The one member of the Seven you said was insane? That the Council couldn’t kill?” “You’re panicking”, Hermann asserts. “Oh, I am not panicking. I am hyperventilating, which is not the same” I say, not quite sarcastically. “So what do we do now?”
“We”, Hermann says, stressing the ‘we’,” do nothing. You sit tight, and when he does show up, you will be as polite to him as ever, and then we hope he goes away.”
“And if he doesn’t?”
“If he doesn’t, then we fight.” Our conversation flows on, but that is the sentence that keeps repeating inside my head. Fight a Swordsman, one such as Tam Linn. Fighting the barrowman and Helena Gravsten was one thing. But a Swordsman is an enemy in a whole other division. Eventually me and Hermann wind out of things to talk about and I end the call.
“He’s right you know”, Hannah says from behind my back. Crap. I never heard her make a sound. How did I not hear her make a sound?/A lesser glamour combined with fleet feet I’d say./
I turn around and smile my most charming smile at Hannah. I can understand why Pontus likes her. Creamy skin, true red hair and aquamarine eyes– but Hannah’s greatest forte isn’t her looks, it’s her brain. And right now I hope she’s thinking the same thoughts as I do.
“Hermann is right in what way?” I ask, carefully.
“That we shouldn’t be telling anyone. That’d cause panic. Tam Linn isn’t Helena Gravsten. Helena Gravsten had limits. Things she wouldn’t do. A finite source of magic. But Tam Linn?” Hannah shakes her head.
“He has none of these things. He is madness unrestrained. There is nothing he wouldn’t do. And his magic never seems to run out, no matter what he does”, she says with great infliction.
I nod, feeling a certain curiosity. I clear my throat. Hannah gives me a morose smile, filled with things I don’t understand, a smile of hidden tones.
“You see, Rune, in a way me and Tam Linn are connected. We were both loved by the same person. And”, she forges ahead,” we were both discarded by the same person. I can understand some what he is feeling.”
Hannah makes to leave the kitchen.
“Who did this to you and Tam Linn?” The question is out of my mouth before I have had time to properly censor it.
“My mother“, Hannah says in a dull, broken voice.