Then came the birth of Marie’s son, on an evening when the stars seemed so clear and the moon’s face shone full.

I felt so proud of my Marie, yet an overwhelming relief dominated. She was alright. The baby, dubbed Andrew after his father, was also healthy.

It was a certain joy of which I had not felt in the longest while. It glowed brilliant and made me feel warm where I was cold, full where I was empty.

Smiling, I ran my fingers over Marie’s brow, brushing aside stray hair dampened to her forehead. After her struggle, she was at rest.

The child gurgled, shifting in the silence. Quietly, I moved from Marie’s bedside and peered into the cradle, his wide, dark eyes looking up into mine. He looked just like his parents, a perfect mixture of the two of them.

I gently took him into my arms, embracing his small, new form. Slowly, I rocked him, coming to the window to gaze out, as if to show him the outside world.

“Do you see the stars, Andrew?” I whispered. “Aren’t they spectacular?”

Looking from the child’s face, I glanced toward the sky myself. A certain feeling, nearly unidentifiable, struck me. “Spectacular,“ I murmured. A certain memory, as if was from a forever ago, came back so clearly. “The stars shine down from above, awe-inspiring lights in an awe-inspiring vastness. They are guides to the traveler, company and comfort for the lonely, friends of the Moon who quietly whispers to them while they dance in the sky.” I sighed, adjusting Andrew in my arms. “So many stars, Andrew. They reflect the multitude of destinies. And they each have a story to tell. Oh the things they must see! The wonders of friendship and living and…love. They watch us - we entertain them - and beckon us to join them in the admiration of this beautiful land."

“I see more than that, I see two people, destined to be together. Our Paths have converged. I shall forever travel beside you. Sometimes I'll lead, sometimes I'll follow. At this moment in time, we are sharing some incredible experiences. I am glad for the moon and the stars because they enhance our sense of romance, inspire our imagination. I shall always love you, Alyssa….."

I could not contain a stray tear, rolling down my cheek. It was only a broken promise. It was almost just a dream, and nothing more.

I could not shake Horatio’s tender words as I returned Andrew, sleeping perfectly sound, to his crib, yet I had to return to the window to look at the stars. In them, I found both comfort and heartache.


Jumping, I turned around. My heart flew into my throat, frightened for a moment.

“Lupin?” I hissed, flicking my eyes about anxiously in the darkness. Confusion was the only word to describe much of my feeling. “What are you doing here? How-how did you get here?”

He stepped forward, almost backing me to the window. The mischief had drained from his eyes, only leaving a solemn, sincere, deep expression, regarding me with such a look that made me swallow back a shiver. “I am not just a traveler, Lyssa. Something….more.”

“A…guardian spirit?” I breathed, gripping the windowsill behind me.

He half-grinned, though it did not contain the play, or the breezy lightness, which it usually had. “No. You may think of something close to it. I am a sorcerer.”

I stepped back further, though I was pressed against the wall, scared from my wits. What did he want with me, then? “Why-why would you tell me this?”

Lupin reached for my face, stroking my cheek as Horatio once had done. I stiffened, unmoving. “Because I believe you should know the truth…considering that I came to tell you that I loved you.”

Still, I refused to react, staring awestricken at his face. What was happening? I didn’t understand! Why was he in Marie’s bedroom with me to begin with?

Leaning in, he softly pressed his lips over mine, holding it there. I closed my eyes, halfways entranced.

Warmth poured over me, though not on my inside as an emotion, but upon the outside. My skin was heated pleasantly, as if I had been basking in the lovely summer sun for hours on end.

As the kiss ceased, Lupin pulling away, I opened my eyes. We stood in a garden of sorts, a circular clearing of stone around our feet which branched into pathways weaving into other gardens of lilacs and roses, tulips and violets, all smelling sweetly and creating such a perfume in the air. Their petals glistened like silk in a sun, so brilliant and smiling. Birds song their rapturous love-songs, happily trilling away, heard but not seen. With a degree of wonder, I realized I wore the garb of a princess, my hair combed smooth and woven with wildflowers, colored fabric like the flower petals leaving my arms and neck barren.

“You are very beautiful,” he murmured, but he almost seemed sad. With great care, he kissed me once more. But it was short lived, and once again he retracted, with a certain expression…like that he had tasted something bad.

Lupin sighed. “I feel like I am taking something which does not belong to me. Your kiss is bitter, as it is not meant to be mine. It is as I have stolen it, yet still it longs to be with its rightful owner.”

“What do you mean?” I whispered. Though I had a feeling I knew exactly what he meant.

“As much as I desire you, you desire him,” he ran his thumb along my chin. “Horatio. Your heart is torn, your head is confused.

“You have a choice to make, my love. You half-linger in the pain, the past, in him. Still, he holds his feelings for you, and such a great regret that even I cannot express in words.” Lupin took my hands, looking at them. “You can’t go on forever half-loving, for it will only lead to more pain and loneliness. I love you, Alyssa. I shall offer you all you wish, and protect you from harm. I hope to make you happy, though many times I fear I cannot while you remain as you are. I will marry you, just as the people in your village do, and live with you a life that would want. You must make a choice, once and for all, to either sever the ties of your heart with Horatio or…not. You cannot have it both ways; we cannot be together as you are.”

He placed a last kiss upon my cheek, turning and walking down the pathway, disappearing around the bend. I stood, rooted to my spot, for a moment. Uncertain, I put my hands to my temples, firmly closing my eyes. Thinking did not seem to come straight and I felt like screaming aloud.

Wait…where was I?

Silencing my confusion, I dashed down the path in which Lupin had headed. The glorious flowers thinned, the path turning from stone to dirt or thin grasses. Trees began to rise up all around me, observing me with their melancholy faces.

I only seemed to be going in circles, lost in this wood where trees all appeared the same. I threw myself up against the thick trunk of one, hiding my face in my arms in all my frustration, my fury of feeling.


I turned, slowly. “Horatio?”

I stared at his face, the face which had so haunted my dreams, yet I was not spell-bound. I was not so passionately sick as I was before, swooning each time I gazed at him. I was breathless, stunned, emotions arising in my chest that were various and deep, yet I was not lovestruck or ridiculously entranced. His eyes were still so amazing, his face so….beautiful in its way. I felt older. Blooming inside me, I felt to an extent of happiness, joy, warmth, but a calm and easy feeling as well. Like I was prepared. Like I was not to lose my sensibility, my strength.

We were two people, standing eye to eye, facing destiny.

Was it Love?

What more could describe the state of my heart?

The End

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