Jenny: What Can't Be Seen

"I am not hungry," the Guttersnipe replied noncommittally, and she meant it.

Hills, said Champion suddenly, craning his head back to look at the ceiling. Seven of them - a lot of hills. It must have been such trouble for you little ones to walk up and down those hills all day. But it is a good defense, being in the hills. Seven is a good number.

The Guttersnipe regarded the Bird for a few moments. "I am not hungry," she enunciated carefully. Then, in Iceni, "Why didn't you go? You know it isn't safe!"

The Bird frowned terribly at her. Fear makes you rude. I think you should try fearlessness.

"It is easy, when it is myself," she said, chastened enough to cut the edge off her sting. "I am only the guttersnipe - I am nothing. You know that. Everyone knows that. But Ambrosius is everything - everything, Champion!" She clenched her fists until her nails made her palms raw.

There was a long silence between the three of them. The Guttersnipe felt Domitia's awkwardness and hated that the girl was right, hated that she was shivering and angry, knowing she was wrong. Champion looked at her with the most softness his harsh aquiline face could muster.

You poor little child, playing at being grown up and being so very small. You are very like your father that way. It took him a long time to understand.

"Understand what?" she asked, subdued.

Frail little human eyes...! That you are never alone, and that it is not for you to know a very great deal about what you do in life. Be bold, braveheart. I've seen you be very bold in the foolish sort of way. Be bold like your father: know the danger, and do what you must all the same. It should not be hard for you, little sleeping dreamer - little human child. These are not foreign things to you.

"...and anything," came Master Lucius' voice from the corridor, "about the beginning, when Hengist first came to Britain. I'll be needing all of that."

The Guttersnipe asked plaintively, "You couldn't have gone?"

Champion shook his head. Not this time.

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