"I still haven't seen any sign of Grey," said Bergen.
"He should rejoin us shortly. I feel him approaching."
Indeed, they were just leaving the training court when they saw the huge tomcat sauntering towards them on an intercept course.
"He looks particularly pleased with himself," said Bergen, giving Grey an accusing glare. The big, feline familiar - as usual - seemed completely unconcerned with the mere humans and elves around him.
There were many ideas on exactly what happened to turn ordinary animals into familiars, few of which had any real evidence to support them. They were still animals, but cleverer, and they and their master possessed a link which transcended distance. From what Bergen had learned, though, they were rarely in any sort of intimate contact. Therefore, she was not surprised that Llewellyn was uninformed as to where the forest cat had been and what he had been doing.
As the trio entered the Palace proper, though, a small florid woman advanced on them.
"You!" she shouted pointing at Bergen. "Do you know what your cat did?!"
"His cat," said Bergen, nodding at Llewellyn.
"That cat or yours assaulted my Felice!" said the short, plump woman, face flushed with anger, as she smoothly switched targets. "He was climbing all over her, and they were making the most hideous noise! She was lucky to escape with her life!"
"I believe you are misinterpreting the situation," said Llewellyn, calmly, as he deduced what had happened. "That is how felines mate."
"Mate..." she said, blankly. Slowly came the dawn. "You mean that... thing dared to..."
"I can assure you Grey's lineage is impeccable," said Llewellyn, stiffly, in defense of his familiar. "Though perhaps containing qualities not sought after by most fanciers of fashionable living decorations."
"Now just a moment!" huffed the woman. "Who do you think you are, to insult my tastes?!"
"Visconte Llewellyn de Chevalier."
That took a bit of the wind out of her sails, but only a bit. She turned, looked around for a moment, then found what she sought.
"Adolphe! Come here at once!"
"Yes, dear, what's the problem?" said a slightly older man, hurrying to his wife's side.
"This man let his cat out and it mated with Felice!"
"I didn't let him mate with your queen," said Llewellyn. "I didn't know anything about this situation until you brought it to my attention. Despite being a familiar he is still a tomcat, and sometimes acts on his own. If I had known he was after your female, I would have stopped him. As it is, the deed is done. No punishment of Grey will undo it."
"Familiar," said Adolphe, startled.
Llewellyn introduced himself again.
"You're that healer!"
"I am an instructor at the Medical College of the Academy of Magical Studies."
"I beg your pardon," said the man, with a nervous smile, as he began physically directing his wife away. "We won't trouble you any more."
She was obviously puzzled by this sudden change in the situation, but kept any protests and questions to herself until they were out of earshot.
"Those are going to be some large, wild, intelligent kittens," said Bergen, dryly, as she looked after the exiting pair.
"Good for the breed, to occasionally inject some outside blood," said Llewellyn, straight-faced.
Bergen barely stifled a laugh.
"Uh, it might be offensive."
"What?!" said Llewellyn, giving the elf a stern look.
"Uhm, I was wondering if anyone had said something similar about your marriage to Magda," said Bergen, quietly.
To her relief, the crafter laughed.