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A Supper to Remember

Little Miss

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Lyra made her way through the throng of white clad girls and glanced around the Supper Hall for the first time. There were many wooden tables aligned in long rows with small benches along side of them. Most of the girls appeared to be sitting in groups of some sort, with a few loners on the out lying tables. Once again, there where many ages, and many nations, but over all the total number of girls wasn't overly huge. For some reason Lyra expected more of them; they sure sounded like there was more girls around than there was. Shaking her her had the improper nature of all the obnoxious chit chatting, she couldn't help but want to know what they were talking about. Some groups appeared to be talking excitedly, while others heatedly, and even a few groups that kept glancing around nervously to see if any one was watching.


Passing near one table, Lyra caught the words, "warder", "practice", and "healing" followed by a lot of giggling and she eyed them askance, wanting to ask, but not to get overly involved lest she miss out of food. She had heard of warders in legends and stories told around the camp fire of her father's merchant trains, but neither of the woman who had taken her to the Tower had had one much to Lyra's disappointment. She had been hoping to watch one fight or hunt or something.


So much of what she had seen of how the novices were treated here, she expected them to have to scrounge over food and make sure you got their quickly, much like she had seen the servants at home have to do. Since she had been the Merchant "Princess", she had always gotten the first pick of meals and never went hungry unless she was out hunting for food. Approaching the food area, Lyra found herself surprised, her impression had been wrong. There wasn't an overage in the amount of food, but there wasn't pickings left over either.


After filling her plate and tray, Lyra turned around to view to room once again. She figured the best way to get a hold on how this place worked, she should observe first, and went to take an empty seat that gave her the best view of the comings and goings. Settling into the hard bench none to happily, and with all thoughts of the young book worm who had asked her to join her gone, Lyra let her curiousness loose and dug into her food.



Lyra de la Courcel

Novice of the White Tower

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Leala watched Lyra depart the room and had to sigh. She had tried, she could at least claim that. It seemed her new roommate simply did not wish to relate to her. She took an extra strip of parchment that she had acquired from her own supply for notes and marked her place in her book. She had torn the parchment thick enough to be noticed as it rested in the bindings of the book, but thin enough not to be missed when she needed to write. She slipped from her bed and smoothed her skirts. Even though she was at the bottom tier of the Tower, she still felt the need to look presentable. She inspected her dress for wrinkles or perhaps small pieces of lint. Even though she had acquired this dress today, It had still been someone else's before. She spotted a few barely visible stains. One noticeable one on the left arm looked like black smudges. She wondered if the Novice who had had this dress before had wiped her forehead of soot or if she had wiped her eyes of tears from homesickness. Leala's own home would have soon lost use for her. The White tower was her home now. That's right. This is my home, and Lyra is part of it. I must try again until we are at least on comfortable speaking terms, she thought to herself.


With renewed resolve, she held herself properly and strode the small distance to the door and left her small, shared quarters. The crowds of other white clad girls and young women were still filtering through the halls to the Dining Hall. As they entered the Dining Hall, she kept an eye out for the smaller but older girl. The poof of brown hair would have made it easier to find her, had it not been for the throngs of others. The suppers had already been served. The daily chaos had become custom to her. But she still waited for the day that she could eat in private, as an Aes Sedai. Finally, she found the young merchant, observing the goings on of the Dining Hall. She sensed a curiosity in her eyes. She wanted to see what was going on and assess it. Now walking with purpose, Leala strode through the crowds, weaving between people, she found her roommate and quickly and gracefully sat next to her right before someone else took the seat. She flashed the other Novice an apologetic smile. The other girl seemed hardly to notice as she continued to chat with her friend. Leala hoped to learn a bit about chatting without a political agenda in mind.


Once settled in her seat, she turned to Lyra and in a pleasant tone, began to speak. "I know that you were hoping not to see me. But, the fact is we will be sharing quarters for perhaps the next ten years," she said matter-of-factly. "I think we should at least make an effort to become friends. Perhaps we should start over." Adjusting her position, she offered her hand in greeting. "My name is Leala Gymorraine. I'm from Andor. It's nice to meet you." She waited again for her roommate's reaction. She knew that her approach seemed logical in its essence rather than heartfelt, but she was better with logic than with emotion.

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