Chapter 5 – A Penchant For Potions
Part 3: The Book

Though she was only 13, Ienarath was becoming a beautiful young woman, and as she matured, the boys began to notice her. Ienarath, however, had no interest. She had her books and her ingredients, and wanted nothing more. As the boys tried harder and harder to gain her attention, they became more and more bold and, as she consistently ignored them, more cruel. 

Bursting into their home, one day, Ienarath growled angrily, “I hate them! All of them! The Nord boys are the worst! They’re stupid and mean. And I hate them all!”

“What’s going on?” Asked her aunt, concerned.

“Garn. That’s what. Him and his friends. They think they’re so great because they’re Nords and bigger than everyone else. 

“He kept trying to put his arm around me when I was in the market place. Telling me how pretty I was, ‘even for a gray-skin’; said he could *protect* me. 

"All I wanted was to look at some of the different flowers and maybe buy a couple, but he wouldn’t leave me alone! He is so thick! As if I would *ever* want to be his girlfriend! And then when I tried to get away from him his friends blocked me. 

“I slapped one so that I could get away, but I couldn't and he pushed me down. That’s when Garn tried to get noble and *protect* me. He shoved the boy that pushed me, and then grabbed my arm and yanked me up and then when I pulled away, my sleeve ripped.

“And then he got mad at me, saying that it my fault for pulling my arm away when all he wanted to do was help!

“Ha! None of it would’ve happened at all if they would have just left me alone in the first place! They’re always like this, Aunt Azurine - ALWAYS!

“I hate them.

“I should poison them. All of them. See how much they like me then!”

“Ienarath!” Scolded her aunt. “I know you’re upset, and you have every right to be, but I NEVER want to hear you talk like that again! Is that understood?”

“Yes aunt Azurine,” replied Ienarath, darkly.

“You can fix your sleeve while I’m out. There’s thread in the basket over there,” Azurine continued.

***

Later that day while her aunt was out running errands, and before her uncle came home, Ienarath began looking for something new to read. She ventured into her aunt and uncle’s room where she noticed a small chest that she hadn’t seen before. Curious, she opened it.

It was full of all sorts of papers, and a small book. It had a tattered leather cover that was a deep wine color, and a flap that kept it shut. The fastener on the flap was gold in color and had become fragile over time. On the cover there was a letter stamped into it; a decorative ‘N’, and golden like the fastener. She opened it and on the inside cover was written a name, ‘Nehrine’. She sat down and began to read; it was a diary, her mother’s diary.

In it she read about their home in Morrowind and their journey to Windhelm. And, when she began to read her mother’s chronicles of Windhelm, she became so disgusted, that she threw the book across the room. After a moment, feeling somewhat guilty for mistreating the diary, she got up and retrieved the book. The fragile clasp on the buckle had broken.

“Ienarath?” Came a voice from the doorway.

Ienarath turned around, a fierce scowl on her face. “This was my mother’s! Why didn’t you give it to me! It was my mothers, and it belongs to me!” She said in a raised voice, seething with anger.

“Ienarath, please..” began Azurine, a deep look of concern on her face. “Let me explain.”

“NO!” Shouted Ienarath. “You kept this from me! Have you read it? Were my parents really treated like this? This horribly? Were you? 

“Of course you were!” She said in a flat, matter-of-fact tone. “I can see it now. How the boys treat me, even how the other girls act; now I know why. We’re not wanted here.”

Ienarath, in a sudden calm and deadly tone, continued, “you kept this from me,” she said, and then, looking at her aunt with unbridled hatred she asked, “what else are you keeping from me?” Time seemed to stand still until Ienarath turned and stormed off to her room, not waiting for an answer. “I can’t wait to leave this place,” she said as she slammed the door.

Azurine just stood there, stunned, and then she covered her face and began to cry.

***

The next day, Ienarath was walking to the White Phial with an armful of books, but as she walked down the alleyway, Garn stopped her.

“Whatcha got?” He said in sarcastic tone. “Books?” He then slapped them hard and they flew from Ienarath’s arms. Laughing, Garn ran down the street and out of sight. Most of the books landed harmlessly onto the frozen stone street, one however, landed in mud puddle created by the warm sun overhead. It was a small book. It had a tattered leather cover that was a deep wine color, and a flap that supposed to keep it shut. On the cover there was a letter stamped into it; a decorative ‘N’, golden like the fastener, which was now missing. And it was ruined.

In tears, Ienarath picked up the ruined book and clutched it tight, and leaving the rest, she ran back home.

“Ienarath!” Yelled Azurine once she entered the home. “Ienarath!” She yelled again.

“Yes, auntie?” Came a reply, dripping with indifference.

“Why didn’t you come to the store? I had to bargain for the time to come home and check on you when you didn’t show. And imagine my surprise when, on my way home, I found these books scattered on the ground. Ienarath, what is going on.”

Ienarath remained quiet, staring into the distance.

“What are you cooking?” Ask Azurine, suddenly noticing the pungent smell in the air.

“Nothing.” Was all she said. 

“Girl, if I had the time, I’d tan your backside right now. But as it is, I have to get back before I am fired. This is not over, young lady! And this had all better be cleaned up when I return!” She added. And with that, Azurine stormed back outside and back to the White Phial.

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