"You don't have to come," Buri said, "or stay long, but we'd be glad to see you."
He bowed, and went back to the door home.
"I heard nobody likes me," Winter said. He weighed the crown in his hands.
"I do," Buri said. "That's what I came to say."
"The days are so short, my snow won't make a difference," Winter said.
"They grow longer," said Buri.
Winter looked at him.
The hall felt less gloomy as Buri walked to the throne. "I miss you."
"Why?" Winter said.
"Snow makes the world brighter."
Paws ran towards the door. Buri pulled it open, waited for the dog to chase Paws through, and slammed it shut behind them.
The shadow seemed to pull darkness in. It grew, took the shape of a huge dog, then leapt at Paws.
"Go away!" it roared.
Paws pounced. The shard shot away. He ran after, slipping on the icy floor. Winter watched his antics and began to smile.
Paws ignored Winter's words, but crouched down, tail wagging, and stared intently at an ice shard in front of the throne.
Buri hurried to the side and looked back. A sinuous shadow crept over Winter's neck and ear as Paws approached.
"What?" Buri said.
"An ill shadow lurks here. I'll try to lead it away, so you can talk."
Paws nodded to a side door. "Go."
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