Seymour watched the reunion from a distance. He knew that this would not be the right time to introduce himself to the people there that he did not yet know, and he was far too tired to cope with the enthusiasm projected by Alasdair MacQuarrie, or with the cold suspicion that Mialina still clearly had for him. Furthermore, he did not want to accidentally meet Henry’s eyes.
And so he stood back and quietly observed. His wistful gaze floated about the group, from Henry, who was hugging Simon as if he would never let go, tears streaming down both of their faces, to Seoc, who was in the process of leaving the arms of a stout, grey haired woman who could have only been his mother, and moving to the embrace of a much younger, redheaded one, who clearly was his sister. The top of his head came up to the same level as her chin.
Seymour wanted his own family back.
With a sigh, he retreated to the shadows and sat down upon a low stone protrusion of the castle wall. He felt very alone, very cold, and very drained.
He had been sitting there for a while, pitying himself, when something cold and wet touched his hand. Instinctively, he drew it back in alarm before realizing that it was only a dog that had nosed him. But an awfully strange dog it was.
“Hey there,” he greeted it.
“Eyghour,” the creature whined, nuzzling his hand again.
Seymour scratched its ears, and it thumped its tail on the ground, pleased.
“Eyghour,” it repeated. “Eh ghi! Raif!”
Suddenly, Seymour had the peculiar impression that it was trying to talk to him. Before he could advance that idea any further, however, his contemplations were interrupted by a familiar baritone voice.
“There you are, merman! I was beginning to think I’d never find you.”
He looked up into the Alt-Mage’s face, now seeing the familial resemblance between MacQuarrie and his nephew, and let his breath hiss out between his teeth. “I was beginning to hope you wouldn’t,” he muttered, careful to keep his words inaudible.
“Nothing,” Seymour replied. “What were you wanting me for?”
“Just to offer you my deepest thanks, and to tell you that you are welcome to stay here at the Castle Carviliet for as long as you like.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Will you be joining us for the feast tonight?”
“I don’t know, sir,” responded Seymour. “I am extremely tired. I think I’d prefer just to sleep.”
MacQuarrie nodded. “In that case, you can find a servant by the doorway on the left. He’ll show you to your chambers.”
“Thank you again, sir.”
With great effort, he got to his feet and dragged himself across the lawns to the doorway that Alasdair had indicated. The dog trotted along, uncalled, behind him.