“Careful,” she said, her voice low. In that moment, Anala was gone and there was something terrifying and primal left in her place. Wilmina stumbled back, reaching out for support and grabbing the rim of the cauldron. She screeched, clutching her hand to her chest, tears burning in her eyes.
Percival seized Anala by the shoulders, turning her to him, examining her expression as her irises dimmed and she pressed her hands to her temples. “Don’t lose control,” he said softly. “Anger is your trigger, and thereby your strongest weakness. Always remember that,”
“Yes, Uncle,” she nodded sadly, embarrassed by her lack of restraint. She turned to Wilmina, reaching out for her hand, “would you like me to –,”
“Dla!” the troll spat in her own tongue, twisting away. She traced her finger over the hard, bright line across her palm. Silence stretched over them until, glancing between them and the burn, Wilmina said, “E’s my son –,”
“No,” Percival snapped, void of all remorse. “Not a drop of your Jotunn blood runs in his veins. He is yours by agreement and nothing else. He is our hope to bring about the Eighth Age, and you will likely die in obscurity before you ever see it. That is fact and you know it well, yet all this time you hid him away –,”
“E needed me –,”
“He needed those of his own kind,” said Anala bitterly. “Not a – a beast raising him in the foulest place in the world!”
“Yu call me a beast, then what’s yu? Freak a nature yu is!”
Without hesitation, Anala drew her wand, her pendant suddenly emitting heat that seared in the notch of her throat, humming to the pace of her quickening pulse. She aimed straight at Wilmina’s oily forehead; Percival did not restrain her.