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Chantry Blues

By @valleyvhenan

Before the Fall

events leading to chantry demolition

“If you believe in freedom for mages, you will help me do this.”

Anders’ eyes glowed as he spoke, his dark and serious tone much different than the playful timbre Hawke had come to expect from the apostate. He stared so intently that she briefly wondered if he was attempting the use of magic to sway her mind.

“Anders, I told you…” Hawke began, biting the inside of her cheek, “I don’t know if I can help if you won’t tell me what you’re planning.” She watched as his gaze lowered from hers, becoming affixed to the ground. “I’m sorry.” She slowly reached out to take his hand in comfort, but he snatched it away violently, causing Hawke to flinch in response. “Anders, please. Just tell me.”

He looked back up, his eyes meeting hers again with that same fiery intensity. “What if I told you I would kill every Templar just to set one mage free? What would you say then?”

These words shook Hawke to her core, and she found herself speechless. This was not the Anders she knew- not the man that set out milk for wandering cats, not the man that ran a free health clinic, not the man that held her for hours when her mother was murdered. This man had changed. Drastically.

“I asked you a question.” His words drew her out from her thoughts and she began to feel her cheeks redden in anger, growing hot to the touch.

“Carver is a Templar. You would see my brother killed too, even after Bethany and Mother?” Hawke knew what would happen next. She took a step closer to the mage, her face inches from his, his breath hot in her face as she heard him let out a soft, confused sound. His form towered over her, besting her in height and build so she had to look up at him to meet his eyes. “You would see me go through that loss again? At your own hands this time? What is wrong with you? How dare you, Anders!” The rage finally boiled over, and without thinking Hawke raised her hands to Anders’ shoulders and shoved him with all her might, sending him toppling backwards onto the floor of his clinic. The look on his face was something Hawke would not have expected. It was most like…betrayal?

She strode back towards him as he looked at her with that same unidentifiable expression, holding his elbow in his palm where the flesh had been scraped clean off. As he attempted to rise, Hawke was upon him again, throwing a clenched fist at his jaw. He quickly rolled out of the way as Hawke’s balled hand met the hard concrete floor. She cried out in pain and glared at the mage, her eyebrows furrowed in both agony and anger.

“Oh god, I’m so sorry Hawke. What have I done?” Anders knelt down atop her, expecting another jab from the peeved warrior. It didn’t come. Instead, she watched him expressionlessly as he took her hand in his to examine the damage.

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