"I didn't know you were Chasind," Sebastian said as we parted from the Duke. I winced. Trust him to know exactly the wrong thing to say.
"I'm not," Julian said, his voice flat.
"My great-grandmother was Chasind, or so my father told me."
"Ah." For a moment, I thought the conversation was over, but Sebastian kept digging. "You did say, though, that you're part Rivaini."
Julian stopped. "If you must know," he said without turning around, "my grandmother was Rivaini. No one has ever confirmed the rumor that there's Antivan blood in the Amell line, but given my mother and uncle's coloring, it's likely. Is there some reason for this sudden interest in my pedigree?"
Sirius gave a bark that sounded suspiciously like a laugh to me. My markings itched, and I glanced at Julian, noting the very faint glow around his hands and arms. For some time, Julian had been leaking magic more frequently. He was wound tighter than Sebastian's bowstring, and for the first time in his life, I wished there were something I could do to help a mage relax.
If Julian's sharp tone penetrated Sebastian's normal obtuseness, it didn't show. "I was just curious, that's all. You don't talk about your family very often, and I was wondering how you see yourself."
I stared at Sebastian, not sure he'd heard correctly. Which part do you want him to talk about, you great bloody idiot: his murdered mother, drunken wastrel uncle, dead apostate sister and father, or the brother who became a Templar to spite him?
To my surprise, Julian actually laughed, reaching down to scratch behind the dog's ears. "Sirius here has purer bloodlines than I do," he said. "I'm a mongrel, when you get right down to it."
He turned his head to look at Sebastian. "In other words, I'm thoroughly Ferelden. Now, unless anyone has more stupid questions, we've got a wyvern to kill, don't we?"
I didn't even try to hide my smirk. Sometimes, being around Hawke was just plain fun.