Part 1 of this little story was published some months ago. This is the “ending” of Annalira’s story, making way for Anaelle and all the other stories I have rattling around in my head. It’s perhaps a little unpolished, but I’d like to get it down and done with, so that I (and the rest of the Annas) can move on.
Annalira sat cross-legged on the edge of a crate in Valgarde port.
She’d been sitting there awhile, wrapped snugly in a fur-lined cloak, holding a letter in her hand, and thinking.
Thinking about home, mostly. Both of her older sisters had children now, and the family farm was – from the accounts she’d been given – booming. Her younger sisters were off learning trades – she’d been right about their magical abilities, apparently. Her mother, however, wasn’t doing so well. Age and arthritis were getting the better of Amara Delshannon, and she’d had to slow down quite a bit. She didn’t say so, of course, but Annalira could read it in the letters from her sisters.
Here in Northrend she’d found plenty of healing work to do – but also plenty of other folks to help. She’d felt a little out of place, especially with all of the priestly orders sending contingents up to deal with the wounded.
A loud *MEW* brought her from her thoughts, and she patted her lap, inviting the enormous, fuzzy orange cat to snuggle in. He’d certainly found his home, even if she hadn’t found one yet. Living in Inns got old after awhile – especially when you had to find one that’d let you bring a cat as… distinctive as Brady – but she’d not found any apartments that she could rent long-term in Northrend. The invasion of the Alliance Armies had the place full to bursting.
Cradling the cat in her arms, Annalira got up and walked back to the Valgarde Inn – but was only inside long enough to make sure her bill was paid and pick up the things she had in her room. She made her way around back to the stables to see Dorothea.
At least, that’s what she told herself. She continued to tell herself that as she paid off the stable fee, saddled up the huge chestnut mare, and set her few belongings into saddle packs.
Brady launched himself onto the horse, settling into his spot on the hindmost pack, ready for whatever she was up to.
Patting Dorothea’s nose and sighing softly, she looked back at the cat – “You up for one more trip, Brady? I think it’s time to go home.”
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