We were then lead into a smaller room, with a large burning fire and books lining all the walls. There were three people sat in this room, one was an elderly man, the other a woman who looked in her thirties, and the third an elderly woman, who looked haggard and tired, and whom I swore I’d seen before many times in my dreams. I shook this thought out of my head and smiled as I introduced myself.
“My dear, we already know who you are,” Smiled the old lady, she looked kind despite her haggard appearance. “My name’s Gwendolyn.” She then turned to greet the rest of my family. The man was Aldous, he explained that he was the treasurer of the history of the people of the castle “And, yes that is what we actually call ourselves” Florence added, flashing her beautiful smile, he also looked after all the books in the castle and taught the children who grew up here all about there history, which, he said, I would soon also be learning. The woman was called Samantha, and she was a doctor, who took care of all of the inhabitants of the castle. Eventually, we were all acquainted and were sat on the various chairs in the room, all perfectly at ease, except of course my mother, who was sat stiff and upright, and appeared ready to attack anyone or anything that came near her.
“I have known your family for so long, it is nice to see you back under this roof, we have longed to have you back here.” Gwendolyn smiled
“Gwendolyn was the one responsible for saving your family. She saved Jonah on the night that his family were killed, and brought him to the orphanage.” Florence explained
“Pardon?” My Grandmamma said “But that must have been over 100 years ago.”
Gwendolyn looked towards her King, who nodded slightly.
“Yes, it was. I am very old, Mrs. Miller, as old as this very castle in fact. I was born on the day that the last stone was put in place and this castle was finally constructed, I was bound to it, destined to protect it for as long as it stands, to suffer as it suffers, and to rejoice when it rejoices. Recently, our home has suffered, after your family was killed, we had no-one to tell us of future events, an advantage that we had always treasured. Our enemy has destroyed us, beaten us and broken us. We are lost, and that is why we need you, Annie.” She looked at me pointedly.
“I don’t understand,” I started
“Yes, you do. You understand perfectly,” Gwendolyn said “You belong here, you and Connor.”
I looked at Connor, and he looked at me. We both knew what she was saying was true. We did belong here, we were safe here.
“What enemy?” Asked my mother, it was the first time she had spoken since we left our home this morning.
“That is a long story, and not one that we will talk about today.” Said the King sharply
The room suddenly started to go blurry, I started to feel weak as my vision went in and out of focused, I tried to fight the familiar and hated feeling, but it was no use:
There was a woman running through the halls of the castle, it was late at night, and there was no one around, she was terrified, and there was someone chasing her. They were getting closer, and closer, she ran faster, but it was no use, the man chasing her was far too fast. He grabbed her hair and pulled her backwards, she tried to scream but her mouth was quickly covered by the man’s hand, he twisted her head and broke her neck in one fluid motion.
Fire! There was fire, they were burning in the fire, I saw another woman, as I got a better look at her I recognised her as Gwendolyn, only she looked much younger, she had a baby in her arms and was walking towards an old looking house, with tears in her eyes…
“Are you ok, Annie?” Florence asked, looking concerned
“Yeah, I’m fine” I answered “I’m just tired.”
”Annie, you had a vision,” Gwendolyn said “You don’t have to hide it, not anymore, You can tell us.” She smiled kindly at me, and made me feel at ease instantly
“Did you?” asked Connor, “What did you see?”
“Erm, it was this woman, and she was running, in this castle, and there was a man chasing her, then he broke her neck. There was a fire, then I saw you, Gwendolyn, with a baby.”
Gwendolyn looked at the King
“You were having a vision of the night that all of the Devantach family, your ancestors, were murdered.” Gwendolyn explained “It was the middle of winter, and I woke to the sound of screaming and the smell of smoke. I made my way down to the chambers where the Devantach family sleep, on the way I found the body of Belle, she was like Annie, and had visions, we presume that she had a vision of the fire, but before she could tell anyone about it she was killed. I made my way quickly to the Devantach chambers, I grabbed baby Jonah out of his cot, and got him out of there as soon as possible, I was instructed by the Queen, Queen Isabella, to take the baby far away, and that we should tell everyone that the whole family died in the fire. Until Annie was born it was only ever she and I who knew of this secret. The man who perpetrated this crime was a close advisor to the Queen, George Haran, he had the power of deflection, meaning that he could deflect others powers, which is why Belle never knew his true nature. Somehow, and we still don’t know how, the enemy got to him, and turned him against us.”
There was a long silence after Gwendolyn’s story, I could sense a feeling of mourning and great sadness from the people of the castle at this story, they were clearly not used to the idea of being betrayed by their own, and it still caused great pain.
“Morning all” Was what eventually broke the silence, a man who I presumed was the son of the King swaned into the room, he had the same striking blue eyes as his father and his sister, he was also very tall, even taller than his father, and was very handsome. I could feel myself blushing slightly. I was not good around men, especially the handsome ones.
“Your late” Said the King curtly
“I know” Said the man, smirking, he then turned to me, “You must be Annie, I’m Tristan, and Eric over there,” he gestured to the King, “is my dad. I’ve heard a lot about you, Annie; we’re all so excited to have you here.” He winked at me, and Connor practically growled.
Florence laughed “Don’t worry about my brother, he’s pretty harmless, although he is a pain”
“That is an understatement” Said the King “My son never does as he is told, and believes that he should spend the rest of his life between a woman’s legs”
”That’s not exactly true, Eric, I also enjoy getting drunk” He winked at me again, and I could feel myself blushing.
I groaned inwardly, I hated men like Tristan, men who slept with whoever and were rude and drunk, no amount of handsomeness could ever make up for that, but I still couldn’t help blushing every time he looked at me. God help me.