Japanese: 第七メヌエットの家 – Dai nana menuetto no ie
“Actually,” Brom said, looking up from the scroll, “I think this would be a good time to play the song that Ashleen wrote for us.”
“That would be fantastic,” I agreed. It finally felt like we were getting somewhere — with both the ballad and the music written by… Well, it was written by my ancestors, wasn’t it? I was curious, in that moment, about the children Ashleen might have had, but I knew better than to derail the conversation by asking about such things.
It didn’t take too long for us to relocate to the music room. Stefan made sure to sit close to me again; he seemed less irritated with the situation when I was nearby, so I didn’t complain.
“Ashleen taught me a good many songs for harpsichord,” Brom said as he took a seat at his. “I remember that she rather liked the work of a certain William Byrd.”
“I guess she would hae,” Killian said. “He was English, so he was from was just across the channel from Ireland.”
Brom nodded. “Those of us who’ve lived and worked closely with Terrans have maps of Earth. It may be that not all of them are accurate, but they have been enough for our needs at the time.”
“Wow, those are real pieces of history!” I noted.
“Well, not all of us can send debris into the sky and have it report back down what it sees.” Aubré got a cold look from Jean-Marc for the tone he’d used. He huffed. “Just wait till her descendants show up here and act as though paper is a relic.”
“I’m sure anyone as interested in fantasy as I am will still appreciate a good hand-made tome,” I said. “Even decades from now.”
Aubré gave me a doubtful look. “Even Your magical friend here seems to understand that your world is changing. He’s right to wonder how the future of your world’s science will affect music.”
He noticed that I was a little confused and tilted his head in Larsa’s direction. “Larsa?” I asked. “You think he’s magical?”
“Haven’t you noticed?” Tobias asked. “He’s delighted to be here. We got to talk a little earlier, you see, and I’d say the people and traditions he grew up with make him very special.”
I gave them both a wide-eyed look. Larsa just grinned at me.
“Well… He’s certainly been wonderful to know so far,” Tobias went on. “Now, how about that music, Brom?”
The song he played for us– well, how can I describe it? I may be a writer, but I’m used to telling stories about elves and dragons, not describing music. That’s supposed to speak for itself, isn’t it? Killian could have described it better; he uses musical terminology all the time. I’m too rusty to do it proper justice, but I’ll try.
It was a minuet, I can confirm that. But Ashleen had given it her own flair. I could hear the Irish influence in it; don’t ask me how. It was… not haunting, but there was a mysterious air to it, like trying to understand the Aos Sí in music form.
The song pranced and played like most other minuets, and would have been well-received in ballrooms across Europe, but there was something impish about it that made me smile. I wondered for a moment whether I’d ever heard its time before; had Ashleen played it for her own family?
“Well-played,” Jean-Marc said when Brom finished and the harpsichord fell silent.
Brom gave him a warm smile. “I’ve had a long time to practice,” he reminded him.
“Ye didnae e’en need sheet music tae play it,” Killian noted.
He nodded slowly. “The song is a part of me, as it is part of our world.”
“You know a bunch of other songs too, right?” Larsa asked.
“I’ve memorized most of the minuets written for our world by Leila’s ancestors. Morrigan’s is still new to us, and it’s been hard to practice without Brielle and Maël. Besides that, I know a good many other songs.”
“Wow,” Larsa replied. “I tried out a couple stringed instruments in school, but they said I was too rough with them. And the piano. And it was too much work to blow all that air into the other ones, so they gave me a drum. Killian says I have good rhythm.” He looked to his boyfriend. “Right, Killian?”
I noticed him wiggling his eyebrows, and Killian staring back at him in disbelief.
“He’s precious,” Tobias said with a laugh. “Listen, Killian, none of us are so young or reserved that we would be unhappy with your beloved showing you some affection.”
“Be careful calling that affection,” Stefan chuckled. “He’ll play around all day if you encourage him.”
“Not all day!” Larsa insisted.
“True,” Tobias said, hardly able to speak through his laughter.” A man has to eat, after all.”
“I’m going to stop you before you get too far,” Stefan said. He’d noticed the wily look on Larsa’s face. “Unless his insatiability has anything to do with the music, perhaps we should focus on the ballad and the other songs. “
“Killian and I make–” Larsa stopped and pouted when Stefan gave him a cold look.
Tobias laughed and patted his back. “It’s all right, lad. I know it’s all out of love.”
“Now then,” Brom said, “I will tell you the next part of the ballad.”