An Incomplete Education (closed)

[[OOC 20 Haring, mid afternoon, The Hawke Estate with ]]

It was nice to be able to pay people to clean up after you, Saoirse mused as she browsed her bookshelves a few days after Cladan. Food and drink and empty bottles and streamers and flowers from certain party-goer’s wreaths (she still caught herself smiling at how Fenris had looked, and how angry had been with Varric) had been strewn across every surface the next morning, and Saoirse had groaned, not just from the hangover, but from the knowledge that she would have to clean it all up.

And then a team had arrived, from the alienage, Saoirse guessed as they were all elves, and within an hour the house had been returned to normal. She’d gaped at her mother who had looked at her as though she was an idiot. Still not used to getting other people to clean up the messes she made, she’d felt guilty the whole time they’d worked, and slipped them extra coin on the way out that had been squirreled away with a surprised and calculating look. She was marked as a soft touch, or a generous idiot, she guessed now, but she didn’t mind so much. They had the coin to spare, after all.

In any case, she was in the spotlessly clean library when the knock came at the door, browsing a book she couldn’t remember buying. Another annotated version of the Chant of Light. With some interesting cat pictures. Since her glasses had arrived from Serrault she was diving into reading a little more, although she was sure her library had been made up of more Antivan romances than these stupid religious texts. The Chantry did like to drone on and on about stuff and if she was going to make the effort of reading the least the book could do was deliver some smut.

Andraste probably felt the same, poor chook.

She was happy enough to put the book down, though, when she heard Bodhan open the door. Also happy to hear Anders’ voice answer his question. She’d been wanting to talk to him for a while now about a certain… magical problem.
He’d waited several days, not wanting his query to appear connected to Fenris’ taunting, even though it was exactly connected to Fenris’ taunting. He couldn’t act like it was, and give the elf the satisfaction of knowing. Everything had been fine, even with Fenris taunting him at Hawke’s party, since he’d not wanted to attend the actual party, anyhow. Then, in an attempt to upset him, he’d revealed one of Saoirse’s guests to be a blood mage.

Being a mage herself, it was no surprise that Saoirse had befriended others. What did surprise him was the keeping of a secret blood mage in their group of acquaintances. She had to know his feelings on blood magic, but even that wasn’t the point. Who was it?

Bodhan greeted him without hesitation. If he knew of Anders’ special circumstances, he kept it to himself. He was not certain he could say the same of Bodhan’s son, who always looked at him a little off. Or, maybe that was his imagination. Showing him right in, Anders was led up to the library, where Hawke lounged back, reading one of her newly acquired copies of the Chant of Light. That specific one with the red cover had been particularly inspired, though the inspiring details would remain between he and Lucien alone.

Provided he was not the mage in question, in which case, they would be having a very different conversation.

“Hawke,” he announced himself before Bodhan could and before the door was closed behind them. “I need to talk to you.” She likely could have figured that out, seeing as he was here in her library, talking to her. He gestured towards one of her windows, indicating the whole of Kirkwall. “I’d like to think I’d have noticed something like this,” though he and Lucien had yet to take their relationship quite that far, so much of his body remained but a tempting myster, “so I don’t think I’ve welcomed a blood mage to my bed.” His voice dropped with the scandal of the topic. “But I could be wrong. It absolutely is not Alcine,” the idea was utterly absurd. “So, who is it? Lucien or Merrill?” Her attitude on demons was quite odd, even for a Dalish.
Anders came into the library like a literal storm, she could almost feel magic crackling around him. The fade always seemed closer to the surface in his presence, but right now it was bubbling under his skin as though about to burst. Alarmed, she closed the book and stood up, nodding to Bodahn to leave them alone.

“Hawke, I need to talk to you.”

“That’s good because I need to…”

He wasn’t listening. Something was probably up with the mage underground or the templars or something. Experience told her she just needed to let him get the words out and sort out exactly what the meaning behind them was afterwards with careful discussion. Emphasis on careful. “I’d like to think I’d have noticed something like this, so I don’t think I’ve welcomed a blood mage to my bed.” She opened her mouth to let him know she had zero interests in his kinks, but then remembered exactly what it was she’d been hoping to talk to him about and shut it again. Then her brain caught up with what he was saying. “But I could be wrong. It absolutely is not Alcine, So, who is it? Lucien or Merrill?” He was glaring at her as though she’d personally offended him somehow, which was a pretty common expression on his face when it came to her, she had to admit that.

He continued to glare while her brain scrambled frantically to catch up with what he’d just said.

“Hang on… just um…” she said. Blood mage. Lucien. Alcine… Merrill. “Sorry are you asking me which of my mage friends uses blood magic?” Pretty personal of him, also not very sporting to come to her and ask her to rat them out rather than just… do what? What was he planning to do with that information? “Are you… what… why do you want to know? Is the Knight Captain after… are we… shit do we need to run? Is everyone safe?”
Saoirse stared at him with that vacant expression she often saved just for him when he was trying to get her to discuss something serious. He couldn’t tell if she’d ignored him, only half paid attention, or really didn’t follow what he was saying.

“Hang on… just um…” Ah, it was definitely the latter. He crossed his arms and tilted his head to the side, waiting for her to piece her thoughts together. If he tapped his foot in his boot, he was unaware of it. “Sorry are you asking me which of my mage friends uses blood magic?” Was that not what he’d said? He held his hands out at his sides and gave her a look that said obviously. “Are you… what… why do you want to know?” Why did he want to know? Is the Knight Captain after… are we… shit do we need to run? Is everyone safe?”

“Not unless it’s you.” And honestly she did not seem the type, which he conveyed with a roll of his eyes. Of course Anders wasn’t in the habit of wantonly accusing mages of blood magic. “And like I said, I think I have it narrowed down.” Oh, and there was one more thing. “I don’t care what the fuck Cullen thinks about anything,” said without malice, simply a dismissive tone and a wave of his hand. Cullen was the least of his worries right now.

“I want to know because it’s dangerous, Hawke. They could get themselves killed. Or worse.” He threw his hands up. “Possessed by a demon.” He was only harboring a spirit; imagine what a demon would do! He swept closer, lowering to his knees in front of her so he could look up into her eyes, resting his hands on the arms of the chair. “If it’s Lucien… I… I don’t know what but… I have to at least talk to him about it, don’t I? Whoever it is needs our help!”
“Not unless it’s you,” unless… she was a blood mage? Andraste’s shitty biscuits, she had a hard enough time learning the magic she did know as if she’d bother with an entire different school, and one that involved stabbing herself to boot. Not her cup of tea. “And like I said, I think I have it narrowed down.”

“Narrowed down?” she said, raising her eyebrows. “I mean… you can… literally.... ask....”

He really wasn’t listening. She could have said HE was the blood mage at this point and he probably would have walked out the door and attempted to… she didn’t know, arrest himself? What did Justice spirits do to blood mages? “I don’t care what the fuck Cullen thinks about anything,” he was saying, with some familiarity. Anders was Ferelden, she’d never worked out where Cullen had been before he was brought to Kirkwall, perhaps they had known each other. Maker that would have been a fun ride.

“I want to know because it’s dangerous, Hawke. They could get themselves killed. Or worse.” He threw his hands up. “Possessed by a demon.” Her mouth moved to shape the words he was saying and her brain again frantically scrambled to catch up to him. She nearly scrambled backwards fast enough to tip her chair over and fumbled, trying to keep hold of her book as he lowered to his knees in front of her and gazed up into her eyes, resting his hands on the arms of the chair. “If it’s Lucien… I… I don’t know what but… I have to at least talk to him about it, don’t I? Whoever it is needs our help!”

She sucked in a breath, set her book down on the table next to her and awkwardly patted his shoulder. “It’s not me,” she said, attempting reassurance, then waggled her palms at him. “No weird scars, and terrible healing skills, you’d know, trust me.” She sucked at her teeth. The problem was she had no idea how he’d come to these suspicions. If he’d seen someone do blood magic in front of him then he’d know who it was, and she couldn’t imagine Merrill being that stupid, not after Fenris’ reaction to…

Fenris…

Maker’s tits.

Usually it was damned easy to keep the two of them separated, they would both rather eat glass than spend more than a few seconds in each other’s company, but she knew he’d gone down to the cellar to get wine at least once during Cladan, and Anders had been spending more time down there lately. Come to think of it she seemed to remember Lucien reappearing at one point during the night with a mussed scarf and bright spots of colour on his cheeks that were usually only present when he’d spent time with Anders.

She trusted Fenris not to betray Merrill, they’d been through enough together, despite Fenris’ contempt, but Anders barely knew her. Anders didn’t understand.

“Who told you we knew a blood mage?” she said, eyes narrowing.
Saoirse put her book down, finally giving him her full attention. “It’s not me.” Oh, of course, tell him what he already knew. She held her hands out palms up. “No weird scars, and terrible healing skills, you’d know, trust me.”

He rolled his eyes. “We both know the palm is not a good place for that. Or we should.” There were places to let blood that were far more efficient. “But I already know it’s not you.”

Considering what happened just a few days ago, he didn’t think it was Lucien, either.

Saoirse narrowed her eyes before he could muse aloud about that. “Who told you we knew a blood mage?”

Anders tilt his head, giving her a look. “Who do you think?” No, if they played a guessing game they would be here all night, and Anders didn’t have the patience for that. “Fenris, needling as always.” The man existed in a constant state of trying to get a rise out of Anders. Who, of course, had done nothing to deserve it, short of speaking the unpleasant truth which, obviously, Fenris was too delicate to hear.

He moved, leaning his back against the mantle, his arms crossed. “Look, Hawke, it’s not like I’m going to haul them out to the Gallows.” He lifted his hands on either side of himself as if to say obviously.

It seemed prudent to try a different tactic. “Obviously they’re not hurting any of us, but there’s a mole in the Underground. I’m not going to act against them if you’re vouching, but that doesn’t mean someone else might not.”
“We both know the palm is not a good place for that. Or we should.” It depended on how much blood you needed and whether you had a handy free bit of skin, really, from what she’d seen of Merrill using it, but she wasn’t going to reveal exactly how much blood magic she’d seen since she’d first met the elf. “But I already know it’s not you.”

Of course it had been Fenris who let it slip, although she could forgive him for it. Getting under Anders’ skin was a hobby they both shared.

He was leaning against the mantle arms crossed over his chest. “Look, Hawke, it’s not like I’m going to haul them out to the Gallows.”

“Well I didn’t figure you’d do that. But I’m not sure exactly Justice’s opinion of blood magic. Or yours for that matter considering…” she shrugged and waved a hand at the copy of the chant she’d just set down. “Sometimes I think you know more chantry doctrine than Sebastian.”

“Obviously they’re not hurting any of us, but there’s a mole in the Underground,” she opened her mouth, then closed it. She had nothing to do with the underground and didn’t want to be pulled into it, but a mole there would have ramifications for many of her friends. Including Nicolette. “I’m not going to act against them if you’re vouching, but that doesn’t mean someone else might not.”

She blew air out her cheeks. “Well you’ve narrowed it down to Merrill, and to be honest with you I’m surprised you hadn’t found out earlier. It took us a good year to stop her from telling the templars she was a mage by accident.” She sucked at her teeth. “It’s Dalish magic and quite frankly has so little to do with me or you or anything in Kirkwall that I suggest you keep your long and unreasonably attractive nose out of it. She has a job to do and she’s trying to do it. The only person she’ll hurt if it goes bad is herself.” She shrugged, and pointedly didn’t mention that all of her clan were doing their best to interfere already. The last thing Merrill needed was someone else telling her what she was doing was wrong.

“I’m… sorry you and Fenris can’t seem to get along,” she said, by way of an apology, and in the hope to deflect attention away from Merrill. “But you know, he did spend his entire life enslaved to a magister. The fact that he even talks to either of us without killing us is… healthy forward momentum. Really.”
“Well you’ve narrowed it down to Merrill,” yeah no shit, “and to be honest with you I’m surprised you hadn’t found out earlier. It took us a good year to stop her from telling the templars she was a mage by accident. It’s Dalish magic and quite frankly has so little to do with me or you or anything in Kirkwall that I suggest you keep your long and unreasonably attractive nose out of it. She has a job to do and she’s trying to do it. The only person she’ll hurt if it goes bad is herself.”

He touched his nose without thinking. “Flattery will get you everywhere,” he said drolly.

She had an excuse for everything, including their neighborhood brooding squatter. “I’m… sorry you and Fenris can’t seem to get along.” Oh, she was sorry they couldn’t get along, hm? He rolled his eyes at her non-apology. “But you know, he did spend his entire life enslaved to a magister. The fact that he even talks to either of us without killing us is… healthy forward momentum. Really.”

“You don’t think Merrill’s blood magic has anything to do with us?” She might have been ready to switch topics, but he was not. “With her fighting alongside you? Do you think for a moment that if a templar catches her that they won’t kill everyone with her just to be safe? They shall be named Maleficar, accursed ones./They shall find no rest in this world,/Or beyond. That more or less means ‘kill first, ask never’, you know.”

He started pacing, his thoughts spinning and insisting he move. “I’ll be sure to send Fenris a gift basket and a note for being so magnanimous.” The bar was certainly low these days. “Fine. I’ll leave it be.” He let out a huff. “But I reserve the right to say I told you so if Merrill gets us all run through. I can back that up, since I'll probably survive it.” He gave her a pointed look, but his lips twitched upward.

He stopped in front of her chair and leaned over, his voice lowering. “I care about you, Hawke. You have a chance to do a lot of good. Don’t throw it away. For me, or anyone.” He chucked her under the chin and righted himself. “I’m not sure I’m worth the trouble.”
“You don’t think Merrill’s blood magic has anything to do with us? With her fighting alongside you? Do you think for a moment that if a templar catches her that they won’t kill everyone with her just to be safe? They shall be named Maleficar, accursed ones./They shall find no rest in this world,/Or beyond. That more or less means ‘kill first, ask never’, you know.”

“Just read that bit, thanks, don’t need a refresher.” She rubbed her hand over her face as he, predictably, began to pace.

“I’ll be sure to send Fenris a gift basket and a note for being so magnanimous.”

“He’d think it was poisoned, but it’s the thought that counts.”

His eyes were piercing and he looked more tired than normal. She wondered, having just seen Lucien, if they were having difficulties. “Fine. I’ll leave it be.” He let out a huff, back to Merrill again. “But I reserve the right to say I told you so if Merrill gets us all run through. I can back that up, since I'll probably survive it.”

“We’ll all survive it if you’re there to patch us up after,” she said, trying for flattery again. It did work. Most of the time.

He’d stopped in front of her chair, and that handsome face was full of concern for her. She wouldn’t deny that it made her feel special. She also wondered if he would worry so much if she weren’t a mage. “I care about you, Hawke. You have a chance to do a lot of good. Don’t throw it away. For me, or anyone.” He chucked her under the chin and she felt herself blush even as he righted himself. “I’m not sure I’m worth the trouble.”

She waved a hand. “Oh you’re no actual trouble,” she said. “See how fast I’d drop you if you were.” She grinned to take the sting out of the words. She wouldn’t give him up, or any of her friends, but telling him that never seemed to sink in, so why bother?

“Merrill doesn’t want my help with this,” she said, any more, any way there was absolutely no reason to let Anders know about a certain magical elven hammer, for example. “But honestly, Anders, you know that if the templars catch me they won’t hesitate to kill me, even without a friend using blood magic. Upstart Ferelden refugee? I do work for them, have done for years. If I hadn’t taken that job helping the Starkhaven mages we wouldn’t have had the money for Bartrand’s expedition.” She swallowed. “The Templars pretty much paid for this house. While I enjoy the irony as much as I’m sure you do I’m pretty sure Meredith won’t be looking for many excuses to chop my head off or…” or worse.

It was all getting a bit to bleak and gloomy, really, so she got up and went to the wine cabinet, poured herself a drink and offered one to Anders.

“To be honest I haven’t fought with Merrill very often lately, she’s very busy, and I have so many mage friends to choose from these days.” She winked at him. “Speaking of, Lucien helped me out the other night with a matter for the guard. He’s almost as good at fire as I am. Lightning though… I don’t see him use very much. That’s your specialty.” She took a sip of her wine. “Among other things, I hear.”
Hawke waved a hand with her usual insouciance. “Oh you’re no actual trouble. See how fast I’d drop you if you were.” She grinned, as if it had been a great joke.

What was there to do but shake his head and laugh. “At least one of us has sense.” Strange, how his loyalties ran, since he knew he’d follow Hawke into the Void if she asked, and yet every Warden he’d called family now thought him dead.

“Merrill doesn’t want my help with this,” she veered back. “But honestly, Anders, you know that if the templars catch me they won’t hesitate to kill me,” he did not believe that, but he chose not to argue just now, “even without a friend using blood magic. Upstart Ferelden refugee? I do work for them, have done for years. If I hadn’t taken that job helping the Starkhaven mages we wouldn’t have had the money for Bartrand’s expedition. The Templars pretty much paid for this house. While I enjoy the irony as much as I’m sure you do,” she had him there, “I’m pretty sure Meredith won’t be looking for many excuses to chop my head off or…”

He waited for her to finish that thought, but in true Hawke fashion, she did not. Instead she got up, pouring a glass of wine and offering one to Anders. He held a hand up, declining. “Justice.” Either that made sense to her or it didn’t.

“To be honest I haven’t fought with Merrill very often lately, she’s very busy, and I have so many mage friends to choose from these days.” She gave him a wink, somehow finding a way to turn him out of his foul mood. “Speaking of, Lucien helped me out the other night with a matter for the guard.” Oh. “He’s almost as good at fire as I am. Lightning though… I don’t see him use very much. That’s your specialty.” Well, now, that seemed pointed. “Among other things, I hear.”

She practically handed him an out to avoid discussion of Lucien. Did she know what happened?

Taking the offer to dodge the topic, Anders crossed one arm over the other and lifted an eyebrow, the corner of his mouth twitching upward as he tilted his head in thought. “I know a few tricks.” He turned a palm upward, snapping his fingers and letting a series of sparks skip from the tip of one finger to the next, and the next. “Are you looking for lessons? Making use of my special specialty?”

He grinned now. “This wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with a certain someone, would it?” He turned his hand over, letting the lightning hop across his knuckles. “Now, what could you possibly want from me that could be of interest to her?” He circled around behind the chair, leaning over so his chin rested on her shoulder. He brushed his fingers, fleetingly, to her cheek, letting the charge of electricity barely skim along her skin.
Anders wasn’t by any stretch of anyone’s imagination slow on the uptake. Then again, she’d never won any prizes for subtlety, either, but still it was interesting how quickly he was willing to hop from discussions of dangerous blood magic to… uh… well.

Given her chat with Lucien she was truly beginning to wonder if the two of them were okay. Well. Not okay. Anders was, by his own admission, never okay for a given value of okay, but she’d really thought that they’d gotten somewhere, out at the bone pit, and a small part of her knotted up in worry, wondering what could have gone wrong.

Still, Anders was also very good at distracting her from her thoughts and right now...

“I know a few tricks.” He turned a palm upward, snapping his fingers and letting a series of sparks skip from the tip of one finger to the next, and the next. “Are you looking for lessons? Making use of my special specialty?” She watched the lightning with not a little envy, that sort of fine control was something she could only manage with fire, and only if she was… very relaxed. Also lightning just wasn’t her thing.

“Isabela mentioned a few things,” she said, one eyebrow raised. “Actually a lot of things. In probably more detail than you would be entirely comfortable with. But I do know that she’s not an expert in magic and a few things she said would definitely have ended in corpses. She might have been… uh… too distracted to be entirely accurate or objective?”

He grinned now. “This wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with a certain someone, would it?” He turned his hand over, letting the lightning hop across his knuckles. “Now, what could you possibly want from me that could be of interest to her?”

“We maaaaay have had a little bit of a discussion of how magic could be… uh… utilised. In certain situations,” she said as he moved behind her and she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of following his movements with her gaze. When he hooked his chin over her shoulder and sent a jolt of electricity through her though, she did jump and yelp.

“Maker’s hairy arse crack,” she swore. “Did they teach that in the tower? Were you all that fucking bored?”
Anders tilted his head, lifting a brow at Saoirse as she explained how she’d come by this information. He refrained from pointing out that only about half of what Isabela ever said could be classified as the truth (which admittedly was a better rate than his own, but there was a finesse to exaggeration of that extent).

Saoirse put up a titanic effort to not watch him as he moved behind her chair and leaned over her shoulder. That only set up the perfect delivery of his so-called lightning trick. She yelped, jumping. Startled? It was just a little tiny baby spark.

“Maker’s hairy arse crack,” she yelled out. “Did they teach that in the tower? Were you all that fucking bored?”

“It’s less outright instruction and more a matter of passing on wisdom to ensure it continues.” Which was a fairly diplomatic way to explain just how slutty they were in the Fereldan Circle. He dropped his voice into a honeyed whisper, glad for the distraction. “I was often sought for such wisdom, you know. You were wise to come to me with this.”

He right himself and stood in front of her once more. “And, yes, we were that bored. Literally. There are only so many books and not all of them were interesting.” Less teasingly, as he figured there would be plenty of opportunity to do so soon enough, he asked, “what is it you’d like to know?” Oops, he leaned far forward again. “Are you seeking a tutor? I believe in a thorough and hands-on education, Hawke.”
“It’s less outright instruction and more a matter of passing on wisdom to ensure it continues.”

“Da always said that all knowledge has value.” She made a face. “Although now I have really yucked myself out.”

“I was often sought for such wisdom, you know. You were wise to come to me with this.” She wasn’t sure if she liked this new helpful teacher Anders more or less than the usual patronising superiority he turned on when he was trying to explain how to heal properly.

”And, yes, we were that bored. Literally. There are only so many books and not all of them were interesting.”

”The fact that some of them apparently were I find difficult to believe but I don’t begrudge you finding new ways to entertain yourselves, believe me.”

”What is it you’d like to know?” He was closer to her again and she clamped down on a lot of confusing and possibly friend-hurting feelings, knowing full well he was doing it deliberately. ”Are you seeking a tutor? I believe in a thorough and hands-on education, Hawke.”

”Of course you do,” she said, putting one hand firmly on his chest and pushing him backwards as she stood.

“Basically I want to learn better control. I’m a bit of a blunt instrument right now, especially with magic. Da taught me to turn it on and off but I never worked hard enough to learn how to control the levels enough to… uh… do what Isabela said you can do.”

She shrugged, then held up her hands. ”But before we get ahead of ourselves let me make one thing clear. I love a good threesome as much as the next person but I honestly prefer it if all three parties are human, or at least tangible in the physical realm.” She smirked at him. ”Call me fussy.”
Oh, Anders knew he was pressing his luck. Pressing his luck was more interesting than being pissed off, so he grinned ear to ear for Saoirse, tempting her with an offer he knew she’d no interest in whatsoever. Which she made abundantly clear with a hand to his chest, pushing him away. ”Of course you do.”

She followed the motion, standing. He gave enough resistance to keep the game amusing, but not enough that she thought he’d actually buck against her wishes. “Basically I want to learn better control. I’m a bit of a blunt instrument right now, especially with magic.” He snorted a laugh which he suppressed, tucking and biting his lips to do so. “Da taught me to turn it on and off but I never worked hard enough to learn how to control the levels enough to… uh… do what Isabela said you can do.”

“Oh?” he asked. “And what is it Isabela says I can do?” Isabela did not know what he could do, but he wasn’t going to deprive her of a perfectly fun story that was very generous to him and his skills. He’d just have to return the favor sometime. That didn’t matter right now, and apparently neither did his question, because Hawke had more to say.

”But before we get ahead of ourselves let me make one thing clear.” She held up her hands in placation. “I love a good threesome as much as the next person but I honestly prefer it if all three parties are human, or at least tangible in the physical realm.” She gave him a smirk that made him feel slimy. ”Call me fussy.”

His nose wrinkled, a curl to his lip magnifying the displeasure in his eyes. “Please don’t call it that.” Well, there went that good mood. He rubbed at one eyelid lightly with just the tip of a finger. “It’s not…” He waved a hand, unwilling to engage in this particular discussion right now.

“I’m not sure I can teach you the fine control you’re looking for. Not with fire.” He didn’t have a good grasp on fire, himself. “Maybe with lightning, but I doubt you want to practice on your rugs and chandeliers.” No, they’d need a better space than that to fuss with lightning.

He turned his palm up and drew upon the Fade, letting the soft green healing magic form at his fingers before giving her a smirk of his own and stroking her round cheek. He let the cool tingle sink into her skin as he drew a single finger along her jaw. “As I’m sure you can imagine, right now, the cheek is not the only place this feels nice”
“Please don’t call it that.” That seemed to drain a lot of the playfulness out of him. Reminding him of Justice did tend to do that, she knew, but perhaps if she did it enough he’d relax a little bit and actually explain how it all worked. She was still morbidly fascinated by it. “It’s not…” He waved a hand and she knew it wasn’t the discussion he wanted to have right now.

“I’m not sure I can teach you the fine control you’re looking for. Not with fire. Maybe with lightning, but I doubt you want to practice on your rugs and chandeliers.”

“Da didn’t let me study lightning,” she said. “I’ll admit I’ve never really tried to use it. Fire and ice can usually be explained even if the explanation is less than satisfactory but unexplained lightning bolts in the middle of a clear day is harder.”

She could feel him call on the fade and a shiver ran up her spine as he stroked her cheek, healing magic, but not very much, playing across her skin. “As I’m sure you can imagine, right now, the cheek is not the only place this feels nice”

She shut her eyes and let herself enjoy it for a moment. Control over her healing magic was something that she did have, even if Anders didn’t think she did, and applying said magic when it wasn’t needed wasn’t something she’d thought of doing.

“I guess with healing I wouldn’t have to worry about accidentally burning her… burning the house down,” she said, smirking. “But can you over-heal someone? I mean… is it dangerous in other ways?” She wasn’t sure what she was trying to ask, but the knitting of flesh and purging of fever wasn’t always gentle, she’d seen her father heal, not as often as she would have liked, but sometimes the process had not been pleasurable for either party.