Clara got bored, so she said bye to Noirin and let go of the ball, then thought about talking to her parents. she grabbed the ball again and thought of her mother, finding her sitting on her bed holding a picture of Clara. Clara was hesitant to speak, but finally managed to say "mom..." looking up suddenly, her mother looked at her and let out a small squeak. dropping the picture, she tried to back up but only managed to fall back onto the bed. "mom, don't worry, it's me. i'm safe." her mother looked closer, trying to decide if she was dreaming or not. "Clara? Clara dear, where are you?" she asked, trying to piece together what was happening. "it's a long story mom, but for now i know i'm safe, and i'm at a place that can help me. i'm at a school for magic, and when i graduate i might be able to live normally. don't worry about me, i'll be fine. i actually made friends here too, and no one cares about my ears. there's actually a vampire here." at this point Thunder got curious about the talking ball, so he hopped up to get a closer look. "oh, and i got a pet now. this is Thunder, he's a griffin. anyway, can you tell dad how i'm doing? i bet he's at work now, so it might be hard to talk to him like this. i love you both and i'll be home as soon as i can." her mother smiled, "oh, dear. i'll tell your father, and we will wait for you. we love you, and can't wait for you to come home." and with that, Clara let go of the ball and thanked the Creator that her parents were so flexible. *oh? i guess i'm getting used to this place, thanking the Creator.* she laughed a bit and sat down with her dulcimer again, playing until she had to stop.