Emma looked up from the pot of stew at the knock at her door.
“If you’re the baker’s boys playing tricks on me again I will not hesitate to tell your mother.” She called out.
There was no reply and she went back to stirring her stew. The knock sounded again and she sighed. It didn’t seem like the boys weren’t going to leave her alone this time.
She walked to the door stubbornly ignoring her sore knee and threw open the door. A bewildered young man stood outside cringing in the old lady’s annoyance.
“Can I help you?” Emma asked forcing her voice into a croak. The young man’s eyes grew as he stared at the old woman. Emma knew she was used to scare small children into behaving, you didn’t look like Emma and not be thought of as a witch.
After a minute of stuttering he met her eyes and gulped.
“I’m here to see Emilia Hartor. It’s a family matter.”
“Speak boy” She answered.
He nodded slowly. “Your son-“ He began but she cut him off.
“My son has been dead for years” She said nastily not letting him hear the pain she still felt at the memory. “He never truly lived now did he, dying during a difficult birth. Why are you stirring up old ghosts?”
He took a deep breath. “I’ll start at the beginning, but it’s a long story and you might prefer to sit.”
“I’ll sit when I want to now stop stuttering and speak.”
“Nearly fifteen years ago you gave birth to boy in an army’s medical facility. It was a difficult birth but despite what you have been told he lived.”
“You are lying, I was there, he didn’t even cry. They took him away before I could even see him.”
Pain stirred in her chest and she was tempted to tell the young man to leave but some part of her refused instead letting herself hope again.
“He was sick and because of the battle that night mistakes were made. You where told your son had died and he went to an orphanage.” He looked at her probably thinking that this was the time for her to sit down but Emma held on to the door frame and kept standing forcing him to keep talking.
“He was adopted before his third birthday. My parents adopted him.”
“You’re not trying to fool me into thinking you are my dead son do you?” She said coldly.
“Not at all, he was raised as my brother.”
“If this is all true why did you decide to come tell me now?”
“He turns fifteen in a few weeks and signs of magic in his blood have been obvious since he was ten. Recently he has fallen sick with something called magic overdone and needs someone to tell him how to fight it. Someone who shares his blood.”
Emma simply stared for a moment and decided to believe it, the young man genuinely seemed to care for someone that only Emma can help. “I think I need to sit now.” She whispered right before her knee buckled. The young man caught her.
“We can leave after dinner.” Emma said as he helped her inside.

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