Craig hunched over a volume of lore in the archives of Witch’s Hat Tower, his finger trailing the flakey ink on the hand written pages. There had to be something here about the seven wards, and the cage of Fenrir. He caught a glimpse of other wizards hurrying by, sending icy looks his way. He willed himself to stay focused on his research. The White Council shouldn’t have sent someone with a conscience if they wanted to bargain someone into bondage. The supposed death of Alison Harper didn’t add up, nobody except Blackthorn and those he had sworn to secrecy witnessed the event, nobody took credit for it, and the parents had also disappeared without a trace. Craig was reasonably sure that Alison was alive, just not what her current fate was.
He had more pressing matters to attend to. The ward under the cave was in tatters and would fully fade within a matter of weeks. Mythology spoke of a binding, Gleipnir, which would hold the wolf of worlds end, and was forged from six impossible things. Could this tale have a factual root in this array of wards? Was the mythical Gleipnir really a complex series of spells that harnessed the power of paradox to contain an ancient beast? The list of impossible things the binding was made from seemed altogether too ridiculous. The breath of a fish certainly seemed impossible, but then, the sinew of a bear would be trivial to come by.
Bethany heaved another pile of books onto the table. “I found some more books about Asgardians!” she exclaimed. “Thanks Beth” he muttered, still focused on the books. She blurted: “You know, I don’t think you’re an embarrassment to the council at all”, her voice flattening from cheery encouragement to awkwardly completing the sentence as Craig raised a gloomy I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it gaze to her.
Bethany pouted, then decided not to be deterred, took a deep breath and continued on: “You defeated a magician hundreds of years your senior, and you found a loophole in a deal made by Mab herself, and you defied the Council’s orders to help a little girl be with her family!” Craig let out a resigned sigh: “And what does that make me?” Bethany looked him unflinchingly in the eyes and declared: “It makes you… magnificent!” Her wide smile faded as Craig’s eyebrows became dangerously cocked. “Well, I thought it was pretty magnificent anyways…” she mumbled, hiding her hands behind her back. Her eyes darted across the room, looking for an escape, then Craig began to chuckle. “I guess I am rather magnificent.”