“I had been playing for almost and hour when i heard a rustling movement in the overgrown courtyard below. Then Auri appeared, scurrying up the overgrown apple tree and onto the roof.
She ran toward me, he bare feet skipping lightly across the tar, her hair blowing out behind her. “I heard you!” she said as she came close. ” I heard you all the way down in vaults!”
“I seem to remember” i said slowly, “that i was going to play music for someone.”
“Me!” She held both her hands close to her chest, grinning. She moved from foot to foot, almost dancing with her eagerness. “Play for me! I have been as patient as two stones together,” she said. “You are just in time. I could not be as patient as three stones.”
“Well,” I said hesitantly. “I suppose it all depends on what you’ve brought me”
She laughed, rising up onto the balls of her feet, her hands still together close to her chest. “What did you bring me?”
I knelt and began to untie my bundle. “I’ve brought you three things,” I said.
“How traditional,” she said, grinning. “you are quite the proper young gentleman tonight”
“I am.” I held up a heavy dark bottle.
She took it with both hands. “Who made it?”
“Bees,” I said. “And brewers in Bredon.”
Auri smiled. “That’s three bees,” she said, and set the bottle down by her feet. I brought out a round loaf of fresh barley bread. She reached out and touched it with a finger, then nodded approvingly.
Last i brought out a whole smoked salmon. It had cost four drabs by itself, but i worried Auri didn’t get enough meat in whatever she managed to scrounge up when i wasn’t around. It would be good for her.
Auri looked down at it curiously, tilting her head to look into it’s single staring eye. “Hello fish,” she said. The she looked back up at me. “Does it have a secret?”
I nodded. “It has a harp instead of a heart.”
She looked back down at it. “No wonder it looks so surprised.”
Auri took the fish out of my hands and laid it carefully on the roof. “Now stand up. I have three things for you, as is only fair.”
I came to my feet and she help out something wrapped in a piece of cloth. It was a thick candle that smelled of lavender. “What’s inside of it?” I asked.
“Happy dreams,” she said. “I put them there for you”
I turned the candle over in my hands, a suspicion forming. “Did you make this yourself?”
She nodded and gave a delighted grin. “I did. I am terribly clever.”
I tucked it carefully into one of the pockets of my cloak. “Thank you, Auri.”
Auri grew serious. “Now close your eyes and bend down so i can give you your second present.”
Puzzled, i closed my eyes and bent at the waist, wondering if she had made me a hat as well.
I felt her hands on either side of my face, then she gave me a tiny delicate kiss in the middle of my forehead.
Surprised, i opened my eyes. But she was already standing several steps away, her hands clasped nervously behind her back. I couldn’t think of anything to say.
Auri took a step forward. “You are special to me,” she said seriously, her face grave. “I want you to know i will always take care of you.” She reached out tentatively and wiped my cheeks. “No. None of that tonight. This is your third present. If things are bad, you can come and live with me in the Underthing. It is nice there, and you will be safe.”
“Thank you, Auri,” I said as soon as i was able. “You are special to me, too.”
“Of course i am,” she said matter-of-factly. “I am as lovely as the moon.””
Kvothe and Auri (The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss)