AN: Yes, I am procrastinating the packing I still need to do. But this scene got stuck in my head.
It’s a simple thing, when she thinks it.
Fenris is sitting at one end of the sofa with a book tilted towards the light of the fire, his hair in his face and gleaming with strands of gold. Hawke is stretched out with her feet in his lap, and she’s half asleep watching his eyes move back and forth across the page. Every so often, he looks up and meets her eyes with a smile. His hand is warm on the bare skin of her leg.
It’s been years since they were first together and months since he came back. The Kirkwall night is peaceful, if only for the moment.
And she loves him.
She loves him so much that it would hurt if it wasn’t the brightest thing in her life.
She loves every inch of his broody, dry-humored, surprisingly affectionate self. She loves the side of his mouth that tugs higher than the other when he smiles, loves the rumble in his voice when he whispers in her ear, loves the way he giggles and tries to hide it with a cough.
She’s loved him for some time now, she realizes. Somewhere between fighting together and teaching him to read, maybe. Or when he came to her when her mother died. Or any of the dozen times she turned to find him watching her a half smile and those “puppy dog eyes.”
Whenever it was, it’s only now that she puts a name to the feeling.
She loves him.
She doesn’t say it out loud. She doesn’t feel like she needs to, really; there are many things that she thinks and feels, but doesn’t say just to him yet. She knows that she loves him, and whatever they are to each other it’s something solid and lasting. There will be time later.
So she just smiles when he glances at her again.
“What are you reading?” she asks.
She thinks that she is lucky beyond measure to have met him, and luckier still that he stayed.
“Is it any good?”
She feels lighter around him, even in the chaos of their lives.
“I don’t mind tellin’ you this, Walter,” she said, “because you won’t understand and you won’t remember. There was a wicked ole witch once called Black Aliss. She was an unholy terror. There’s never been one worse or more powerful. Until now. Because I could spit in her eye and steal her teeth, see. Because she didn’t know Right from Wrong, so she got all twisted up and that was the end of her. “The trouble is, you see, that if you do know Right from Wrong, you can’t choose Wrong. You just can’t do it and live. So… if I was a bad witch I could make Mister Salzella’s muscles turn against his bones and break them where he stood… if I was bad. I could do things inside his head, change the shape he thinks he is, and he’d be down on what’d been his knees and begging to be turned into a frog… if I was bad. I could leave him with a mind like a scrambled egg, listening to colours and hearing smells… if I was bad. Oh, yes.” There was another sigh, deeper and more heartfelt. “But I can’t do none of that stuff. That wouldn’t be Right.” She gave a deprecating little chuckle. And if Nanny Ogg had been listening, she would have resolved as follows: that no maddened cackle from Black Aliss of infamous memory, no evil little giggle from some crazed vampyre whose morals were worse than his spelling, no side-splitting guffaw from the most inventive torturer, was quite so unnerving as a happy little chuckle from a Granny Weatherwax about to do what’s best.
‘Really?’ said Tiffany. Now she was angry. 'What’s it a metaphor FOR, Mrs. Earwig? I’m on the sharp end of witchcraft, which means doing what should be done as best you can. It’s all about the people, Mrs. Earwig, not about the books. have you ever gone round the houses, Mrs. Earwig? Helped a kid with his arse halfway out of his trousers? Do you even SEE the little children with no shoes? The cupboards with no food in them? The wives with a baby every year and a man down the pub? You have been kind enough to offer some advice. If I may offer you some advice in return, you will impress me if you too go round the houses–and not before. I am the acknowledged successor of Granny Weatherwax, who was brought up as a witch by Nanny Gripes, who learned it from witches going all the way back to Black Aliss, and that doesn’t change, whatever you might think.' She stood up and opened the front door. 'Thank you for taking the time to come and see me. Now, as you have pointed out, I have lots to do. In my own way. And clearly you HAVEN’T.’
Terry Pratchett, “The Shepherd’s Crown” (I swear, when Tiffany had that row with Granny and yelled right back at her as a child, years ago, that was part of what impressed Granny about her. She speaks up and stands her ground–not looking for fights but willing to finish them. Granny surely saw a kindred spirit there.)
“Everyone was very impressed, I reckon, when you caught that sword in your hand…” Granny sighed. “Hah! Yes, I expect they were. They didn’t think clearly, did they? People’re just lazy. They never think: maybe she had something in her hand, a bit of metal or something. They don’t think for a minute it was just a trick. They don’t think there’s always a perfectly good explanation if you look for it. They probably think it was some kind of magic.” “Yeah, but… you didn’t have anything in your hand, did you?” “That’s not the point. I might have done.” Granny looked up and down the square. “Besides, you can’t magic iron.” “That’s very true. Not iron. Now, someone like ole Black Aliss, they could make their skin tougher than steel… but that’s just an ole legend, I expect…” “She could do it all right,” said Granny. “But you can’t go round messin’ with cause and effect. That’s what sent her mad, come the finish. She thought she could put herself outside of things like cause and effect. Well, you can’t. You grab a sharp sword by the blade, you get hurt. World’d be a terrible place if people forgot that.” “You weren’t hurt.” “Not my fault. I didn’t have time.”