I carefully arrived two-thirds of an hour before tea, in case ... Levande were to come with an army, say, or Esory were to come with some terrible thaumaturgical automaton.
A sparrow spoke to me, saying, "Good afteroon, Sythyry! I trust nothing dreadful has happened yet."
This is unusual, as sparrows cannot talk, and, if it could, it could probably speak common rather than fairly formal Ketherian. I peered at it with all available senses, and it seemed in all ways an ordinary and usual sparrow. It didn't look unusual, and it had no magic about it.
The sparrow laughed, a high chirpy squeaky laugh. "Didn't recognize me? I'm Esory."
Esory:"Oh, yes. I brought a few of my family's assistances and devices."
Me:"You don't have any magic about you."
Esory:"If one were making a device to become an elusive and swift little animal for purposes of evasion and escaption, why would one allow one's enchantment to be visible to the simple magic sense? Fitted effects, y'know!"
Me:"So, I should come to Darraden's with a sparrow on my head as some kind of ornament?"
Esory:"Well, the word 'ornament' does come from 'bird', doesn't it?"[The actual pun was on 'head', and stretching it even more. -bb]
Me:"A horrible pun, but I do not ordinarily wear birds."
Esory:"You'll see! Or, rather, you won't!" She vanished.
Me:"Now, Esory, was that invisibility, or teleporting, or hiding in a pocket universe, or turning into a gnat, or turning into a breeze, or what? Assuming you can hear me and answer."
Esory:"Veiling. Good invisibility, proof against even a Cani waiter's terrible nose. But I will need you to hold the door open for me to go in and out."
Me:"A customer at Darraden's need never open zir own door! Which is good, because I'm not strong enough."
Esory:"No customer I! Though I do plan to steal some breadcrumbs. I forgot to get lunch."
And with that, she perched on my head. After some negotiation I evicted her to my tailbase, and spent some while rearranging my feathers. And saw Levande's coach clatter up the boardwalk -- the informal one, which Thery had used a few times. And it was time for tea.