Title: The Hidden Cities
"She should be more careful," Tatiana said, from her place at the opposite end of the long table. "What if she had set one of the tapestries on fire?"
"But she might have. You must be more careful, Helena."
Helena's face fell. The six-year old nibbled her bottom lip. "That's what Kazimir always says," she mumbled.
"Kazimir is right. You should listen to your tutor. Both of you." She included the silent Kristof, seated across from his sister, in her injunction. "Magic is not a toy."
"I don't have any magic," Kristof said, shifting in his seat.
"No, but one day, you will have to make decisions about its use. It should not be used lightly, for the amusement of little girls."
"But mama, there's so much inside, it hurts if I don't use it."
Alexei paused in his meal. He hadn't realised his daughter's abilities were advancing so quickly.
"Then you should store it," Tatiana said, continuing her lecture. Alexei didn't know why she chose to spend every meal with their children sermonising. It must be all the time she spent with their clerics.
"Like I do in Kazimir?"
"Yes." Tatiana nodded. "Just like."
"And what when there's no more space?"
"Then we will find you others to store it in."
"And what when there's no more space in them?"
Tatiana slammed down her cutlery on the table. "Enough questions. Eat your food."