“My son” Aura smiled as she sat down beside the bed, “how are you?”
“A little worse for wear, mother.” Gabriel said “and yourself?”
“Much the same I'm afraid” Aura sighed “I have postponed all of the trial dates, Lord Aim can wait.”
“When is the new trial mother?” Gabriel asked.
“Sunsday next week” Aura sighed.
“Not meaning to be rude on purpose, mother.” Gabriel said “but you look exhausted”
“I feel it, Gabriel” Aura said taking his hand.
“Can matron not help?”
“No, she has drained herself to the point of exhaustion trying to help all of the patients in the infirmary” Gabriel nodded “anyway, this isn’t what I wished to discuss with you.” Gabriel shifted slightly and winced. “I wish to talk about the ceremony when everyone is better.”
“Ceremony, mother?” Gabriel asked.
“Certainly,” Aura smiled “from what I have heard from Sylver and Tairas a few new marks are due” Gabriel frowned. “I believe you saved the kingdom and stopped a treason plot from unfolding.”
“I suppose so mother” Aura nodded
“Sylver is getting his first two war marks and if I am correct your new friend Dawn is entitled to four”
“Four?” Gabriel gasped.
“Indeed” Aura said smiling “it has never happened before but he gets two for the same reasons as Sylver and yourself, another for rescuing the heir to the throne, on more than one occasion. The last if for protecting myself.” Gabriel couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. “You seem pleased my son” Aura said.
“I am mother, he hasn’t had many good things in his life.”
“I'm glad you are happy” Aura smiled. “I have not seen you smile much of late.”
“I think the trip we went on helped mother.” Gabriel said.
“In what way?” Aura asked.
“A break from routine and regulation.” Gabriel said “a chance to use my mind for something other than punishment rotas.” Aura laughed,
“I can understand the need to break the monotony for a time.” She said.
“How was your trip, mother?” Gabriel asked “I never asked.” Aura smiled.
“Dull and uneventful” she said “just the way I like them, that is until I returned” she stood up slowly, “you boys certainly keep me on my toes.”
“We try mother.” Aura stoked his hair.
“I know you do” she said “try and get some rest, I am aware that you sent young Raoul away yesterday.” Gabriel nodded.
“I didn’t know how well trained he was mother.” Aura nodded a thoughtful look on her face.
“Very well” she said “as far as I am aware he has passed his exams but still I shall send matron up here when she wakes.”
“Thank you, mother.” Gabriel said.
“I will ask her to help you bathe,” Aura added “you are filthy.”
“I know” Gabriel said “I hate it but perhaps Sylver and Dawn could take me down to the baths.” Aura raised her eyebrows.
“I'm not sure that is proper.” She said.
“They must be better than a sick, middle aged angel, mother, they can help me walk down there.”
“they are also ill my son.”
“I know.” Gabriel nodded, “is there any news on why?”
“I am afraid not, I cannot work out the collars with such diminished powers.” An odd thought came to Gabriel's mind.
“Is your magick okay, mother?” he asked
“I am monitoring it” she said “I removed the collars and Dawn helped refill my powers so it’s possible that mine has become contaminated.”
“May I be kept up to date on any developments?” Gabriel flinched again as he tried to move.
“Of course.” Aura smiled “I shall allow Sylver and young Dawn back in now and we shall ask them about escorting you tomorrow.”