A few weeks later, Idira woke in the dead of the night realising she had forgotten her promise to find out who the man in the colouring book was. She got up, lit a candle and opened the book so she wouldn't forget in the morning. Something about the way his grey eyes caught the light of the candle made him look more alive. She stared at it, recognising him, but without knowing when or where. She searched her mind. Nothing. She had seen him before, although not in a drawing, as a real person. Her breath caught. The dream she had had of the floating city. He was the man on the balcony. She left the book open on her desk. Tomorrow she would ask Nin if she knew who he was. She hoped so, because now she really wanted to know who he was, too.
Nin didn't know. But VanCleef did. After her lessons, Idira found him in his study working on a design for a big ship.
He glanced at Idira's picture. 'Of course I know him,' he said. 'I had to construct a statue to commemorate him. His name is Khadgar. He saved Azeroth.' He handed the book back and looked at her over his glasses. 'They really should put names to these pictures.'
Her heart thumping, Idira took the book and excused herself. She had dreamed of the hero Khadgar! Maybe the floating city was on the other planet and one day she would be able to get there, too. If the violet light was telling the truth and had shown her the future, one day she would get to meet him. The thought thrilled her. She took the stairs back up two at a time.
Back in Unambi's room, she held up the picture and told him Khadgar's name. She wondered if Unambi knew about Khadgar, and what he had done, but Unambi said he didn't. He made Idira some tea and said he was glad to finally know the name of the man who had kept him alive, so when he died he could protect Khadgar from the spirit world. Idira thought that sounded very nice. She asked Unambi if he could protect Khadgar if he lived on another planet. Unambi thought about it for a long time and decided he could because the spirit world didn't have boundaries like planets do. He patted her head and said she asked good questions, things that made him think. He liked that. They drank tea together, companionable, content.
A quiet knock came to the door. Idira opened it. Myra stood outside, alone, wearing a plain dress, her hands clenched tight together, pressed against her waist.
'May I come in?' she asked, timid. Idira looked her sister over, uncertain. She didn't want Myra to hurt Unambi again. Dark circles shadowed Myra's eyes. She had lost weight. Idira hadn't gone to her sister since the big fight more than three weeks ago. Her sister had stayed in her room, crying and alone, with only her maids to attend her.
Unambi came to his feet and moved to the door. He made a little sound in his throat. Idira knew that sound. He felt sorry for Myra. He pushed the door open wider.
'Ya can. Ya want ta sit?' he asked as he gestured to one of the empty stools. He moved back to his own stool and sank down onto it, graceful.
Myra nodded, shy, and sat, her hands tucked between her legs.
Unambi started to brew a fresh pot of tea over the little brazier, his movements rhythmic and relaxing to watch. No one said anything the whole time he made it. He poured out a fresh cup for her. He nodded at her to take it from the table. She did.
She drank and sighed. She peeked up at him. 'It's . . . very good.'
'For a troll?' Unambi chuckled, the sound warm like sunshine. 'Dat Lady Nin be a good teacha'.'
He waited, his wrists resting on his thighs. Idira drank her tea and waited too. Myra set her cup aside and looked at Unambi.
'I'm sorry,' she said, 'I was wrong. I shouldn't have said the things I said.'
Unambi didn't say anything for a while. He just looked at Myra, waiting. Idira wondered what he was doing. A tear slipped down Myra's face.
'I'm pregnant,' she whispered. 'But I don't love him.' More tears slid down her face. She wiped them away with the back of her hand.
'Ya be wantin' Unambi ta help ya rid yaself o' it?' Unambi asked, his eyes hard on her.
Myra shook her head. 'No,' she hiccupped, 'it's an innocent babe, that would be a terrible crime.' She fell silent, her fingers working along the folds of her dress, smoothing them down. She shuddered and continued in a voice so low, Idira had to strain to hear her. 'I want you to help me be able to survive.'
Unambi leaned forward. 'An' how be Unambi doin' such a ting?'
She looked up, desperation lining her face. 'Help me to love him. I heard Arinna tell VanCleef trolls can make powerful potions, things that can change people's feelings.'
Unambi grunted. 'Ya be wantin' sometin' ta change ya heart?'
'Yes.' Another tear slipped free. 'I can't go on like this, always at war with myself.'
Unambi nodded, slow. 'I can help ya wit dat. Come back ta me in a week.'
Myra nodded and got up, stumbling a little. He caught her arm, steadying her. She didn't pull away.
'Ya be eatin' up all da food ya can until den,' he said. 'Ya mus' be strong for da potion ta work.'
She murmured she would and went to the door. She stopped and looked back, vulnerable. 'Thank you.'
Unambi tilted his head to her. 'Jus' ya be takin' good care o' yaself and da babe.'
She left, her footsteps soft and slow on the stairs. Idira looked at Unambi as she closed the door.
'What are you going to give to Myra?'
The troll scoffed as he picked up Myra's empty cup and set it with the others. 'Unambi be no witch docta', but if ya sista' be believin' a cup o' stinkin' herbal tea be makin' her fall in love wit' da boss mon, she will.' He pressed one of his thick fingers to his temple. 'One ting I be learnin' from da docta's, most o' da time, da best magic be in da head.'