Part one is here is you missed the post.
“Everything has repercussions.” John said quietly, “What’s your worse case scenario?”
“Worst case scenario is that I get tossed into a cell by the High Court or my Clan.”
“Seriously?” Meg asked, plopping on to a stool next to the woman.
“Well, it’s the worst case. I doubt it will go that far but it depends on what the High Court’s decision is.” Gryphon said with a sigh, sipping at her whiskey.
“When will they decide?” Sparrow asked, grabbing several glasses and starting to pour dark beer for the others. Sometimes the High Court’s debates could run for months until the final ruling had no bearing on the actual problem.
“At the end of the month.”
“So you only have to stay out-of-the-way for three weeks? That’s not too bad.” Meg said with a grin.
“They could defer the decision to my Clan.” Gryphon pointed out, “That’s what I’m mostly worried about. If they do I will be remanded to their care and forced back to the nest.”
“Are you safe where you’re staying now?”
“Yes, I have a flat in the city. Only Grandmere Tatha and a few human friends know its location. I should be fine.”
“And if we get pressured and need to contact you?”
“There’s a number in the folder for a burner phone I keep at the flat.”
“I have two questions and then we can decide if you will be allowed a door here or not.” Sparrow said, taking in the deep shadows on the woman’s face and the tight lines of tension twisting her frame.
“Ask away.” She said with a small sigh, draining her glass. She waved him away when he went to pour her another.
“Why are you leaving your clan?”
“I told you, we don’t see eye to eye.”
“Yes, but that doesn’t tell me why you are abandoning part of your family. Gryphon’s are very territorial of their possessions and family. They’ve been known to destroy entire towns because someone living there harmed one of their nest. Why would you abandon them?”
“Because they abandoned me years ago.” She said bluntly, “My father died not long after he bonded with my mother, the rest of my nest mates are from a previous marriage. Growing up I was the smaller, weaker one compared to my older brothers. All my failings were blamed on my Sphinx blood. I was not aggressive enough,” she said with a bitter laugh, “I enjoyed working with human technology and learning uncommon magics. Eventually I was sent to my Grandmere in hopes that she could train me.”
“I take it she did not train you the way they wished?”
“Grandmere runs much of her business in the human world. The Clan did not appreciate her expanding on my already perverse interests. I was returned to the Nest and confined to the compound until I renounced my un-gryphon ways. I escaped about a month later and have been living in the city ever since.”
“May I be blunt and ask a rude question? I simply want to make sure we’re not going to be bringing undue trouble to my home and place of business. This is respected neutral ground and I do not wish to bring the innocents that may be coming here into danger.”
“I can understand your concern. I will try to not be offended.”
“Is this information part of your hoard?” The non-humans around the bar went stiff while Meg glanced around in confusion.
“Okay, token human here. What’s the big deal?”
“You don’t just ask a Gryphon or Dragon about their horde.” Gryphon said with a small grin, “It’s considered extremely personal and rude. Especially since most Gryphons tend to hoard gold or valuable objects. They are extremely possessive of their hordes and will go to any length to get an item back if it is taken.”
“Oh. So it is?”
“Megan O’Leary! You’ve been here long enough to understand the rules.”
“No, it’s fine.” She said with a laugh, “That file is not part of my hoard. My hoard is rather unconventional and part of the reason my Clan considered me unfit and no, I cannot tell you what I do hoard.”
“Alright then. I do not mind you having a door in the bar. Where did you want it?”
“Can I set the entrance in the back corner? There’s enough shadows there for it to be stable without me falling over someone when I step through.”
“That should work. John will you help move the tables out a bit farther to give it some space?”
It only took a few moments for her to set the anchor for the doorway. There was a faint ripple and feeling of cold from the corner before it went back to normal. The group watched but stayed by the bar drinking while the woman worked, it was rather rude to interrupt someone while they were casting.
“Was there more business or is everyone ready to close? Consider this last call.” Sparrow asked as he finished wiping down the bar and started restocking. Everyone murmured denials and finished off their drinks, handing over the glasses to be washed.
“It was wonderful to meet everyone but I must be on my way as well. Have a good night.” Gryphon said giving them a quick smile as she gathered her coat and messenger bag.
“Come back some time, Gryphon. We’re always available for a drink.” Lysander said with a slight leer, while John smacked him in the arm.
“More like this lush, some of us work for a living. Safe travels, Gryphon.”
“You as well, John. Good night, everyone.” She said, turning and heading out the door.
Meg and Lysander soon said their own farewells and headed out. John started stacking up the chairs and grabbed a few stray glasses the regular staff had missed in a dark corner. He took them behind the bar and joined Sparrow at the sink.
“Do you think we’re inviting trouble with this?”
“Tatha would not have offered that information unless this was a matter of life or death. Gryphons might be deadly with their hoards but Sphinx live for secrets.”
“So we just invited a fight into the Lantern? We’re not letting them use your home as a battleground.”
“No, they might come and threaten her but even a Gryphon would not openly attack someone in neutral territory. For now we keep an eye out and continue as normal. I’ll call in a few favors and see if I can get the wards bolstered a bit.”
“The local pack owes me a few favors, we could have them set up a watch at night.”
“No, let’s hold onto that as a trump card in case things get ugly. For now we go about as usual.”
“Things are rarely usual for the fae, Sparrow. Our very nature is to twist a truth into a lie.”
“Then we must be as prepared as we can be while keeping to the laws.”
“Same as always then.” John said with a sigh, handing the dwarf his rag and shelving the final glass.
“Go home, Mr. Fox. It’s time we both sought our beds. I have a feeling we’ll be out of them enough as it is.”