Okay, so this is my first fanfiction. Please tell me what you think, and constructive criticism is welcome :-) . It is Sophie's Foxfire Entrance Test from Councillor Kenric's PoV.
SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers from Book 8.5 Unlocked.
The Council had just returned from their trip to Point of Purity when they received a hail from Alden, who informed them that he had found the girl whose existence Prentice Endal was hiding. Of course, most believed that the information extracted from the memory break was a hoax, but not Kenric. In fact, he knew a lot more than he was supposed to.
As Alden explained the ‘proof of existence’, Kenric’s mind wandered to the conversation he had with Oralie. The conversation which revealed that Back Swan existed and had a ‘Project Moonlark’. He still remembered the moment Oralie confirmed she had a child. Before he could stop himself, Kenric had asked whether she was single. A simple ‘yes’ had never been so relieving. Oralie seemed to know what he was thinking, because she had said, “No, Kenric. No matter what, I’d never do that to you.”
Oralie’s daughter – or the Moonlark – answered a lot of questions Kenric had been pondering over for a long time. Like why she was so determined to stay on the Council. The reason was now clear – the girl would need all the support from the council she could get. A disgusted Kenric realized that he had been making things difficult for Oralie, when he should have been helping her. She had put so much at stake, hoping that the world would be a better place to live. And here he was, being selfish and overlooking his duty as a councillor. It was then that Kenric had promised himself that he would always stand by Oralie’s side – not that he didn’t do that before – and support her, come what may. If she could sacrifice so much, so could he.
The first thing Kenric noticed when Sophie entered the room – along with Alden and Fitz – was that she had brown eyes. Very unusual. She was staring at Bronte, when she suddenly gasped.
“What?” Bronte demanded.
Sophie looked at the floor, embarrassed. “Sorry. I was surprised by your ears.”
“My ears?” asked Bronte, confused.
Kenric’s body shook with laughter as the meaning of her words sunk in. Bronte seemed to be the only one who didn’t catch the joke.
“I think she is surprised that your ears are...pointy,” Alden explained. “Elves’ ears change shape as they age. Eventually everyone will have pointed ears.”
Sophie seemed horrified by the idea of having pointed ears. Her hands flew to her ears, as if afraid they were already transforming. Kenric couldn’t blame her, he wasn’t a huge fan of having pointed ears either. But he had hundreds of years ahead...maybe he’d get used to the idea by that time.
As Alden explained the elves’ immortal lives and vegetarianism, Kenric stared – no, watched Oralie. She hadn’t said anything yet, but was quietly examining her daughter. The mother-daughter resemblance really was striking. Especially the blond hair. They were so beautiful – Shut up! Kenric chided himself.
“So, Sophie,” said Bronte, “Alden tells us you’re a telepath.”
“Yes, and a very good one too. Says she’s been hearing human thoughts since she was five,” said Alden, when Sophie didn’t reply.
Kenric’s jaw fell as Sophie nodded. If it was true – and Kenric was sure it was – then Sophie had broken the youngest telepath-manifesting record by, like, eight years.
“This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard,” Bronte remarked. “Tell me what I’m thinking.”
Wonderful, Kenric thought. Ask a little girl to penetrate and ancient’s mind as a part of Foxfire’s Entrance Test. Did he come here with the sole objective of ensuring Sophie ended up in Exillium?
There was a moment of silence as Sophie concentrated. “You’re thinking that you are the only one at this table with any common sense,” she said. “And that you are tired of watching Kenric stare at Oralie.”
Bronte’s jaw dropped as Kenric’s face went up in flames. Why, oh why was he so bad at hiding these kind of things? Now a girl who hadn’t known him hours ago was already suspecting...
“But an ancient mind is supposed to be almost impenetrable!" exclaimed Bronte.
“I believe the key word in that sentence is ‘almost,’” Alden replied. “Fitz also tells me he saw Sophie lift ten times her weight using telekinesis.”
“At this age?” asked Kenric. “Now that I have to see.”
“I-I don’t know how I did that,” said Sophie nervously. “It just...sort of happened.”
“Don’t worry. Try starting with something small,” said Alden, pointing to a goblet.
Sophie picked it up using telekinesis, then a few more. The girl really had an amazing control, especially since this was the second time she was using this power. But Bronte being Bronte, did not find it good enough.
“It’s just a couple of glasses! I thought she was supposed to lift ten times her body weight.” He said.
Kenric wondered what else Sophie would have to do to have Bronte’s vote.
Sophie scrunched her face in concentration as she lifted three more chairs, including the one Bronte sat on. Incredible –
Sophie gave a scream as she lost concentration and all the chairs and goblets – and Bronte – fell with a thunderous collision. Kenric stared. Did Sophie just drop Bronte from a chair using telekinesis? He fought to control his laughter, failing miserably when Bronte hollered for someone to help him get up.
Bronte did not look pleased to be laughed at by everybody – except Sophie, who looked scared. And with good reason. After all, dropping a councillor was not something you did every day.
“Sophie, your telepathy and telekinesis skills are amazing,” said Kenric, suppressing a smile. “And your accent of the enlightened language is almost perfect too.”
“Enlightened language?” asked Sophie. “Have I been speaking a different language all this time?”
Alden laughed. “Yes. Our language is instinctive. We speak it from birth. It sounds like a bunch of gibberish to humans, though,” he said.
“Do you anything that sounds like the English word ‘soyabean’?” asked Sophie. “I used to say it as a child and my parents interpreted as an unsuccessful attempt to pronounce my name.”
Kenric shook his head, as did everyone else, but Alden said, “I might be exaggerating, but it is possible you were trying to say ‘suldreen’ which means ‘Moonlark’. Of course, I’m sure it means nothing.”
“It does not mean nothing,” said Bronte. “I vote against her entrance to Foxfire. And you will not convince me otherwise.”
Great, Kenric thought. Bronte was now officially against Sophie.
“I vote for. And you will not convince me otherwise,” said Kenric.
All pairs of eyes focused on Oralie as she felt Sophie’s emotions. “You have my vote,” she said.
The relief on Sophie’s was obvious. But it was short-lived as Bronte invoked his right as a senior councillor and demanded a probe and assured her that the Foxfire decision will be revisited.
Kenric couldn’t remember the last time Bronte was so wholeheartedly against someone. Oralie had been right, Sophie would need all the support she could get. And Kenric would be there for her. For Oralie. He would help them in every way he possibly could.