Chapter 23: A Heart's Lament

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"Well, Salvatore, it seems that we're overdue for a long chat," said the witch Rhiassa Greer as she sat upon his desk. "Now tell me, what has become of the girl who stole my name?"

Salvatore frowned as he said, "I didn't expect to see you so soon..."

"And neither did I," said Rhiassa as she stood up and approached him. "However, there were certain circumstances that forced me to react before I could prepare myself and I certainly did NOT wish to do anything without consulting my favorite elf."

"That's rich, coming from you," said Salvatore. "For a moment there, I thought you were going to bewitch me into doing whatever you most desire."

"Not to say you don't deserve it," said Rhiassa. "But before I do, I have a problem here: you didn't inform me that the new girl obtained the name Rhiassa on the night of the naming ceremony, and the girls have only damaged things by not informing me of the name change. But that's not the only reason why I'm here."

"Then why have you come?" said Salvatore.

"Danid Skefan was busy dealing with some incident in the tunnels, of which I assure you, my clan had nothing to do with," said Rhiassa, "and because he's not in his office, it seemed only natural to find the one in charge of the guardians and present to him my case."

"And the one in charge of the guardians is...me?" he said.

"Indeed," said Rhiassa as she called forward three young children. She said, "This is Talcedo Silverheart and Geogorpo and Gregrien Heinesse. They are the children of Evidizan Silverheart, as you may have guessed."

"I see," said Salvatore, "and since the father did not accompany you to this meeting, I cannot prove his claim, or can I?"

"Look at them and tell me what you see," said Rhiassa.

Salvatore stared at the children for a while. Talcedo looked almost like Evidizan, but he had blue eyes, light brown hair, and a pale complexion. Both Geogorpo and Gregrien had green eyes and pale skin, but Geogorpo had red hair and Gregrien had black hair. None of them had inherited Evidizan's silvery gray eyes and silvery blond hair. Salvatore looked them over and said, "I don't see much of Evidizan in them at all. All I can see are their mothers. This doesn't prove to me that they are the children of Evidizan Silverheart, as it were."

"Yet, I do know that Geogorpo and Gregrien are the children of Talia Heinesse," said Rhiassa, "but the mother of young Talcedo is clearly unknown. Evidizan never revealed her name to anyone, and he certainly refuses to answer any questions regarding a second child that he fathered with that Earth woman."

"I have had the misfortune of encountering the woman," said Salvatore, "and she imparted upon me the need to find and protect her daughter from those who could harm her. When I was casting a spell to determine who the next guardian was going to be, I was floored when I saw the name "Elva Shepherd" appear. I was sure this was a trick, so I consulted Danid about this. He too performed the spell, and Elva's name appeared before him as well. At that point, we knew Elva needed to be brought to Greywyn Academy.

"At the first sight of her, I could hardly believe my eyes; it was as if Evidizan himself stood where she was standing. She had indeed inherited his silvery blond hair, though at the moment, the silver has yet to show up, but her eyes were of the sharpest green. I wondered if anyone in her mother's family had green or blue eyes, which I think could be the case."

"Well, that may be fine and dandy for you, but I would like to see her for myself before I make any judgments," said Rhiassa.

"And you shall, during your stay here," said Skefan as he walked into the room. "You have arrived earlier than we expected, my dear. Judging by the nature of this meeting, you wish to meet with your students?"

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