Trailing hopefully behind the learned pair, Ioreth heard only obscure bits of herb lore. Someone needed to ask the practical questions before all the Elves went home and it was too late. When the Warden left first, Ioreth planted herself boldly in the door, blocking the way.
“Tis a marvel to hear you and the Warden speak, lord, though most still here only need time to heal, as you said. I was here during the siege, of course. 'The hands of the king are the hands of a healer' I said, and that was how it was known. But I don't just take care of bandages and so on, no, no. That's not what I normally do. Quite the opposite and always called for the difficult cases. Not that I anticipate any problems. But I’m sure you understand it has us all in a puzzle. Her grandmother would know, of course, but what with one thing and another I’ve been far too busy to seek her out. It’s not a thing I would normally expect to ask a girl’s father, but you are a healer too.”
She paused for his answer. His eyes were kind but bewildered.
, she thought.
“It’s the differences. I quite understand that. And babies come whether the embroidery on the presentation gown is finished or no. But it wouldn’t do to expect the happy day too soon, or too late. It will be hard on the queen, but perhaps she mightn’t think it so, it being normal for her, of course. Still, a year in the womb is longer than we’re accustomed to, and if I need to make allowances, I’d like to know now.”
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