This is a dream. It's all just a really bad dream. She opened her eyes and saw the piles of bird seed and the water bowl. She sighed, which came out a kind of musical note. Even that made her inwardly groan. She stretched her wings. Something caught the corner of her eye. It was movement. Wriggly spastic movement. A worm. A stupid wriggly earthworm. Something deep within her stirred and craved. Quicker than she could think, her body moved and snatched up the worm still wriggling all the way into her stomach. She wretched, it was still moving. She wretched again and gagged and made all kinds of inhuman horrible noises.

"Oh, god! Make it stop moving!" she tried to scream, only chirps and strangled notes came out. She wretched again. She somehow maneuvered herself over the edge of the box. She put out her arms and saw only wings and then she was on the floor flapping and squawking.

Soon she was crying in her own way when a crow landed beside her.

"You!" She shouted but still only twitters came out of her throat.

The crow laughed. She cocked her head at him. She lunged finding feather and muscle with her beak. A fog came up from nowhere and encircled her and the crow. Then she was looking at her own hands. Then she promptly puked.

"My apologies," Saido smiled.

Hin tried to curse him but her throat made a hoarse-sounding cry, not words.

"This was necessary at the time," Saido said as he brushed dried blood off of his clothing, she could no longer see a corresponding wound.

"No it wasn't! Everything about you is a lie," She moved to get a towel and clean up her mess, "A real bathroom! This beats shitting in a box!"

Saido heard water, lots of it.

"Are you ok? Are you... bathing?" he asked incredulously.

"Fuck off," came her reply from behind the now locked door.

"What is going on in here?" Lyros said as he opened his door to come in.

Saido turned and directed fog around him and Lyros fell asleep in a pile on the floor.

"Great." Saido muttered as he shook his head, then became a crow again and flew away.  

Hin came out and found Lyros. There was no way that she could move him. So she shrugged and went back into the bathroom. She was wearing a robe she had found on the hook. Having a shower felt like a luxury to her. She used a wet wash clothe to clean up her vomit. Then she opened the door to the hall. She took a cursory look then went into the bathroom and gathered her dirty clothes and shoved them into her backpack. She tried not to think about where these things were while she was a bird. She slung her backpack onto her back picked up her shoes and opened the door and ventured out into the hallway.

She caught the first person she came across.

"Excuse me, do you know where I can find Xander or Kenna?" Hin asked.

"They are at their estate getting ready for the Banquet," a young man carrying what looked like linen napkins told her.

"Huh, and Faris?" She asked before he could walk off.

"My Lord is with Prince Ban in the study." He said, "I would not disturb him. Maybe you would like to see Lord Dragonis in the Library?"

"Lord Dragonis?" The name sounded familiar.

"Yes, I can show you there, then I really must get to the dining hall," He sounded a bit flustered.

"Of course, please lead on," Hin gestured him in front of her and walked behind him hurriedly.

The young man led her to a door and gently knocked on it.

"Come," A voice from inside said.

"My Lord Dragonis, this woman requires and audience," He said and bowed himself back out the door and quickly closed it.

"How can I help you? I'm sorry I didn't catch your name," Dragonis said in a jovial tone.

"Hin, my name is Hin," She said a bit flustered because she was unprepared for how fierce Dragonis appeared to be with skin as black as an inkstone and lizard-like features mixed with elven ones.

"Hin? Wait, I know that name. I was trying to find a way to track you, to find you. This is marvelous!" Dragonis exclaimed, "But how did you get here?"

"I was always here, I was a bird. The crow turned me into a bird. Oh, things are getting fuzzy, but it was the crow," Hin shook her head, "Oh, I am so fucking tired of all this magic."

"Excuse me?" Dragonis looked a bit shocked, "My Lady?"

"Don't call me that," Hin snapped.

"Call you what?" Dragonis was confused.

"My Lady" Hin gave a disgusted look as it left her lips.

"Ah, well yes, merely a courtesy I assure you," Dragonis shook his head.

"I can take care of this Dragonis, I will see you at the banquet? Please don't forget," she heard a familiar voice say. She turned to see a very pained look on the face of Faris standing in the open doorway.

"I didn't miss you either," Hin said looking at him and rolling her eyes.

"Well, now that that's out of the way, Xander will be glad to know you are safe," Faris sighed, "Would you like a room and some clothes?"

"Yes, please," Hin said as Faris ushered her out into the hallway and past rushing people. 

"We were worried about you. Kenna made several trips out to the crater to find you," Faris mentioned lightly.

"She is a remarkable woman," Hin smiled.

"You know, speaking of remarkable, I never thanked you for saving my life," Faris said almost happily.

"You don't have to," Hin said, "But I am still flattered."

"What did you do exactly?" Faris asked

"CPR. You have indoor plumbing but you don't know how to resuscitate a person?" Hin returned with a question of her own.

"I... are these things mutual?" Faris stumbled.

"No." Hin said simply as she continued walking. Faris fell quiet trying to puzzle the conversation over.

They came to an unassuming door much like the rest of them. Faris opened it and led Hin inside. The bedroom was far more spacious than the one Lyros had. The color red was everywhere deep and rich. Gold accents were embroidered on bedclothes and accenting the drapes.

"Oh, this is beautiful, thank you." Hin was genuinely impressed with the room.

"I will send our seamstress down, She should have extras to tide you over," He made a slight bow and exited the room.

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