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You Heard Wrong

Writers: Francesca
Date Posted: 10th February 2022

Characters: Arrilon
Description: Arrilon hears a false rumor about himself.
Location: Harper Hall
Date: month 1, day 12 of Turn 11
Notes: Mentioned: Kamalia

Arrilon didn't have much time to eat, but after filling his plate and
grabbing something to drink, he saw Tyrak eating by himself at the end
of a table. Relieved Valinar wasn't there, he sat himself next to the
journeyman with a small smile. "How are the kids?"

"Norak was such a good sleeper, and now, for the past two sevendays,
he's up candlemarks too early. I've been helping out so Norilene can
get some sleep, which means I've been up for over eight candlemarks
already." He gave a yawn to punctuate his weariness.

"That sounds awful," Arrilon sympathized. However, he also felt a pang
of jealousy. He wanted the life Tyrak had - a wife and two young
children - even if it meant losing some sleep.

"The good thing about parenting is that change is constant. Tyrene
went through a similar phase a few Turns ago and we managed to
survive. We'll survive this as well." Tyrak took a bite of meat and
tubers. "How are you? Hopefully not falling asleep right after the
evening meal?"

Arrilon was excited to share his experience helping Marena, and his
desire to start doing some formal teaching. However, before he had a
chance to respond, a voice cut in.

"I'm sure you were having fun last night." Kelran, a junior
journeyman, took a seat across from him. He had a loud personality and
Arrilon found him a bit obnoxious.

Arrilon furrowed his brows, confused. "Not really. I practiced gitar
for a bit, then turned in."

"That's not what I heard." Kelran raised his eyebrows meaningfully.

"Then you heard wrong," Arrilon replied curtly.

"Oh, really?" Kelran asked, undeterred. "I heard you were in a
practice room with the beautiful apprentice Marena. She left before
you, but you should have waited longer before leaving. You were seen."

Arrilon had to struggle to keep his jaw from dropping open in shock.
"You think I was doing something with an apprentice in a practice
room? That's ridiculous! I was just helping her with a piece."

Kelran shrugged. "I'm just sharing what I heard. Besides, it doesn't
really matter what actually happened; just what people think could
have happened."

"But absolutely nothing happened. You can ask her. Or even ask her
teacher. He'll notice the improvement." Arrilon was livid, but trying
to keep his temper under control. He knew getting too angry wouldn't
help, and could even make things worse.

"That won't change anything. Shards, what do you think she'd say?
She'd never admit to anything. It would ruin her."

That gave Arrilon pause. It was one thing to have a false rumor spread
about him, but it was much worse for Marena. All he had wanted to do
was help. "How many people are talking about this?"

Kelran shrugged again. "A number of the apprentices, a few journeymen.
Not sure about any of the Masters." He shook his head. "I don't think
you'd actually be stupid enough to do anything in a practice room, but
why weren't you more careful?"

"Because I never needed to think about this at the Weyr. No one
worried about these kinds of things." He had heard of people being
found in various states of undress in practice rooms, but it was just
fun gossip. No one actually cared, and there were no consequences for
the parties involved.

"Well you're not at the Weyr anymore. Don't forget it. Anyway," Kelran
stood, "I just thought you should know." He gave a final nod and
headed to the exit.

Arrilon knew Kelran hadn't told him this rumor out of the goodness of
his heart, but was also glad to have learned it sooner rather than
later. 'How bad is this?" he asked Tyrak, who had remained silent
throughout the exchange.

"Well," Tyrak said, voice calm as always, "It's not good, especially
because you aren't Marena's teacher. But, it's also true that doing
anything in a practice room isn't very smart, so it's unlikely people
will believe anything too scandalous happened." He paused for a
moment, thinking. "I can speak to Marena's teachers, make sure they
know what's going on." He paused, serious. "You didn't do anything
with her, right?"

"No!" Arrilon said, perhaps too loudly. Voice softer, he tried to
explain. "I just wanted to help. After Valinar's comments, I've been
thinking about how to help female apprentices know that they belong
here just as much as male apprentices. When Marena said she was
working on a piece, I thought I could build her confidence; help her
see that she was doing a good job." He held Tyrak's gaze, willing the
other man to hear the sincerity in his tone. "And now," he grimaced,
"I've just made things worse for her."

"I believe you. You shouldn't have helped her, but I can see why you
did." He reached out, putting a hand on Arrilon's shoulder for a
moment. "I'm glad you want to help, but give it time. You just got
here. The Hall has accepted female crafters for a number of Turns now,
but it still makes some uncomfortable."

"I know. And, I should have been more aware of how what I was doing
might look. I promise I won't informally teach any other apprentices,
male or female." Given his time at the Weyr, who knows what rumors
others might come up with, even if he was with a male apprentice.

Tyrak finished his drink and stood, picking up his plate and mug. "And
don't go anywhere near Marena. Hopefully this will die down quickly,
and that will be easier if no one has any reason to believe the two of
you spend time together."

"Of course," Arrilon agreed quickly. He wanted to be able to explain
himself to Marena and apologize, but understood how that could look.

"You'll get through this." With a small smile, Tyrak left Arrilon at
the table, stunned by these recent developments.

Things had been going relatively smoothly for him since arriving at
the Hall, and now everything was a mess. He was glad he wouldn't meet
with his sister for a few sevendays. Kamalia would just be frustrated
by everyone's behavior and tell him he should return to a Weyr, which
wasn't helpful. He was committed to staying at the Hall for at least a
Turn, if not two or three. As Tyrak had said, he just needed to get
through the next sevenday or two, and things would calm down. Well, at
least he hoped so.

Last updated on the February 10th 2022

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