Me: In sympathy for the delay Sven has to deal with, as well as honouring the bet we made (I bet they'd be in time), here comes Aquila meeting Maggs for the first time.
Aquila: But we already met!
Maggs: Doesn't count though, nobody wrote it down.
Me: Shhh you two. I'm meant to write here...
Maggs: Don't shh me. I know she has to listen to you, but I don't.
Me: *holds out plate of cookies*
Maggs: Ooooooh. Cookies. Can I have them?
Me: Sure, just cooperate.
Aquila: I want cookies, too.
Maggs: I won't share mine!
Me: *holds out second plate of cookies*
Me: So, will you behave?
They: *nod and keep looking at the cookies*
Aquila wondered. The little girl that was sitting on a bench near the market place had been there when she went out to go grocery shopping already. Which was at least an hour ago. And no one seemed to be with her, either. The girl was probably no older than six, she guessed, wore a black dress, her red hair was all over the place and wore, for some strange reason, a gauntlet. The gauntlet was indeed rather suspicious, but what really bothered her was that the girl was alone. Not that kids of about six couldn't go out without adults, but... there were no friends her age, either. And children shouldn't be outside all alone, nor sitting on a bench for more than an hour.
Maggs: Hey, don't just keep describing me, I want something to do, too!
Aquila: But we need a reason to start talking! No one just talks to strangers.
Maggs: Let me deal with that...
Aquila was still thinking when the girl spoke up. "Don't stare at me like that, don't you know that's rude?", she said, and only then Aquila realised that the girl had looked back at her all the time. "I'm sorry, but.. are you all alone? Where are your parents?" The girl spoke English, so Aquila spoke it, too. It only gave her more reason to worry. The girl wasn't only small but also foreign. "It's none of your business whether I'm alone. And if you try anything I'll scream." "I can't leave you sitting here all alone, though. You're just a child! If you've lost your pare-" "Don't call me child." "What's your name, then?" "I won't tell you my name." Aquila sighed.
Maggs: See, I outsmarted you. I AM a prodigy, so don't worry about it too much.
Aquila: Oh, so you did?
She put her hand in her bag and proceeded to take out, open, and slowly eat a bit of chocolate. The girl that wouldn't name herself watched. And seemed hungry. She managed not to smile and continued to eat a bit more, slowly again. "If you're really that worried about me, you surely want to make sure I don't starve, right?" The girl looked at her. She nodded. "Yup, it would be a shame if you starved. That early in life, too." "Are you calling me young? Um, I mean. Yes, a shame, really." Aquila smiled and held the chocolate higher. "Would you like some, too?" "It's not the most healthy food, but sure... " Aquila grinned and sat down next to the girl. "So you'd prefer something healthy? I can help you, then." The frown she got as a reaction nearly made her laugh out loud, but she managed to keep a straight face while pulling out an apple. "Here you go, little one." "Don't call me little", she grumbled. Then she took the apple and bit into it, not too happy. "After that I'll give you the rest of the chocolate, how about that?" The apple began to vanish a lot faster.
Aquila: I know your one and only weakness! Sweets. *grins at Maggs*
Maggs: *mumbles* Another apple? Really? Meeeh...
In less than a minute, the apple had gone. What was left went straight to the bin near the bench, then the girl looked at her and said: "Now give me the chocolate, woman." "Woman?" "Well, you are a woman after all, aren't you?" "You don't like being called child or little one, do you?" "No... ?" "Then don't call me woman, either. My name's Aquila." The girl gave her a sceptical look. "But you do call me child or little one." "Give me a name to call you and I won't.", Aquila said, and handed the chocolate over. The girl ate half of it, before she said: "Alright then, you can call me Maggs." "Hi Maggs, nice to meet you." "Kind of nice to meet you, too... mainly because of the chocolate." "I figured." Aquila watched her eat a bit more, before she remembered to ask again. "Now, where are your parents?" "Dead." "Oh. ... and where is whoever looks after you?" "He had some business to deal with. It won't be long until he's back." Maggs didn't seem too talkative. Then again, she was eating and talking at the same time could have proven difficult. "I could wait here with you until he arrives, if you want." "No thanks." Maggs finished the chocolate and handed the wrapper back to her. "What kind of magic do you have?" Aquila blinked. "Pardon?" "I asked what kind of magic you have." "Magic doesn't exist." "German girls named Aquila don't exist. It's your taken name, right?" "I think I should leave now. Is it really fine if I leave you all alone?" "It is." "Alright then." Aquila got up and left. The gauntlet had been a hint, but she still didn't want to talk about magic with a total stranger. Especially not if that stranger was magic, too. She was too hurried to look back, otherwise she'd have seen a smile on Maggs face.
Maggs: I got you to leave! I won.
Aquila: It's not fair.. I tell strange people my taken name without thinking about it!
Maggs: And that's why I won.
Me: You both won. A plate of cookies each.
*silence, only interrupted by the sounds of cookies being eaten*