Chapter 5 (Wifwolf)

The breeze rustled the leaves near where Darius and Esti were studying. Darius turned his head carefully, checking the sound. “That’s just the wind. Remember, a sentence always starts with a slight whistle, before the rustle.”

“Right, sorry. Just trying to make sure I can identify the different sounds correctly.”

“You are doing well, and I thought you wanted to come out here to study. Classwork, I mean. Not…”

“I did. I…”

“Darius Kimball?”

Darius turned from the table, and Esti, to the new voice. “Yes?”

The newcomer managed to get more tense. “I… heard that you had some abilities with trapping and containment spells. That you managed to hold an elf, for a few minutes.”

Darius couldn’t help but glance at the black cat napping on the edge of the table. “Where did you hear that?”

“Just… Through the grapevine.” Upon seeing Darius’ immediately distressed look: “Not the normal gossip lines. There are a few of us with — special needs. I was hoping you could help me with a problem. If we could talk in private?”

Darius looked around. Siofra was still at least pretending to be asleep. The only other person in hearing range was Esti. “Not that I’m admitting anything, but if there is anything in that line that you need from me, Esti here should probably be involved.”

At least Satu hadn’t spilled everything.

The other student decided to take a seat. “I need someone to create a holding cell for a wifwolf.”

Darius got confused. “I thought the University had faculties for werewolves? Why can’t you use them? I assume you are talking about yourself.”

“I am. And they do… Mostly. I wouldn’t have enrolled if they hadn’t assured me they did. Of course, I could just go home…” She took a breath. “You’ll need to know the specifics. My…” She calculated. “Great-great-great grandmother married a man a strong sorceress wanted. The sorceress got creative with her version of the werewolf curse: We turn twice a year, around the time of the equinoxes. For a full week, with no control over our beast forms. Unless we get pregnant as a wolf that is: They we stay in that form at least until the cubs are born.”

Darius looked at Esti, then back. “Odd, but doesn’t sound so bad. Why can’t they house you in the normal facilities?”

The girl blushed. “Members of my family are… extremely fertile during our period as a wolf. And the Universities’ facilities are neither set up to house wolves for long periods, nor do they separate males and females.”

“Ah. So you want to make sure you don’t have any unwanted children.”

“It’s actually a little bit worse than that… If the father is not human, there is a significant chance I would never return to my normal form myself.”

“Oh.”

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