* * * * *
It was a long, dreadful flight. No one sat with me, so I had no one to talk to. By the time we reached Toronto, I was pretty much the only one on the plane, except for what seemed to be a newly wed couple. Once we landed, I picked up my backpack and walked as swiftly as I could to get off the plane. I got the rest of my luggage and piled them on a cart, then went outside to wait for my ride. A small, golden Honda Civic pulled up beside me. There was a man – no, a teenager – driving. He looked at me and rolled down the window.
“Are you Opal Cross?” He had a very nice voice, strong, powerful, but gentle. I glared at him and nodded. He got out and took my bags from me and put them in the trunk and backseat, then told me he was here to pick me up and take me to Cobourg. I sauntered over to the passenger door and got in, not wanting to talk to this stranger.
He started up the car while I was checking the texts from all my old friends back in London. There was one from Jade. “Hey hun! How was the move? Txt me as soon as u get this. Luv ya <3”
I grimaced but sent a quick reply to her. Then, I turned to the man. “Who are you?”
He chuckled. “How rude of me. I’m Ash… Your brother.”
My world suddenly stopped. I gaped at him, trying to figure out how he could be my brother. He couldn’t be much more than a year older than me… and Niko and Auzril would have told me about a brother. He didn’t even LOOK like me! He had hazel eyes, with a tinge of gold to them. His hair was black, and he was tall… “How… How could you be my brother???”
He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. I could tell he was trying to hold back a smile. “We’re actually twins… Mom and Dad thought two kids was going to be a lot, and they really wanted a girl, so they sent me away to live with some distant relative.”
“Twins you say?” He nodded. I looked him over again, then realized that we did have a lot in common. We had the same face, the same eye shape, same slant of the nose. “Huh…”
“You’re gonna like Aunt Gwen. She may seem like an old crone, but she lets us do anything we want. There’s already a room set up for you. It’s all white, she wasn’t sure what colours you wanted. But she set aside time next week to paint it.”
“Okay…” I really wasn’t sure what to say.
“By the way, Gwen’s getting you a car – any car you want – as a welcome present.”
I snorted. “I’m assuming she rich?” Ash smiled.
“I really do think you’re going to like Cobourg… Oh, about school, she’s already got one picked out for you. C.D.C.I. West, home of the Vikings. I myself go to the East, but I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine.” I gave him a weak smile. I wasn’t ready for school.
The rest of the ride blew by. Ash seemed really talkative, but it was nice. I really liked him, and we seemed to get along great. Once we got into Cobourg two hours later, he took me for a tour. Showed me the mall, the schools, the library. Then it was finally time to meet to crone.
The house was nothing like I expected. There we Herbs and Stones everywhere. Even Gwen seemed younger than I expected. She said it was an anti-aging cream. Ash took my bags up to my new room while Aunt Gwenneth took me for a tour. The house was magnificent, with a large kitchen and many bedrooms. The last room she showed me was my own.
“Opal, this is your room. I know it’s a little shabby, but next week-“
“We’ll paint it however I want it. I know that. Ash told me… He told me a lot actually.”
“Oh… well, in that case, I guess you can settle in. You have your own bathroom and a walk in closet. I’ve booked a table at the Red Rice restraunt in Port Hope for dinner.” With that, she left.
I looked around my new room. It was much larger than my old one, and my closet was at least three times the size of the one back home. I moved over to my bathroom, complete with a bath and shower. I smiled. Ash, you were right. I think I am going to like it here.
I decided it was better to leave all my stuff in my bags, rather than having to pack it all up again when it was time to paint my room. I went and looked at myself in the full length mirror hanging off the back of my door. Hmm… I look alright… but, I think its time to change.
I knew exactly what bag I wanted to get in. I searched through it until I found my black, jean mini skirt and red tank top. I quickly changed and went to fix up my make up. I decided to pull my hair up into a loose bun, leaving my bangs out, hanging off to the side. I then went to explore the house a little more.
I was walking down the hallway when an open door caught my attention. No one was in it so I decided to check it out. The room itself was breathtaking, painted a soft beige colour, but that wasn’t what caught my eye. What caught my eye was all the colours reflecting off the wall, in a way that they created a rainbow. The room was covered in shelves, each shelf had crystals, stones and jewels of many colours placed on them. There were Amethysts, and Blue Topaz, Onyx and Moonstone. I quickly realized that I shouldn’t have been in there.
Just as I was about to leave, an amazing smell caught my attention. It was rosemary and lavender. I looked back at the wall on my right. There were shelves covered in sticks of incense. I also noted that there were candles all over the room. I started for the door, scared out of my wits. A small part of me was saying, “Don’t be silly Opal… there’s no such thing as magic. Aunt Gwenneth couldn’t be a witch.” But my instinct took me over and I fled the room – right into Ash’s arms! I looked up at him, startled.
“Hey!” Ash held me tightly. “Hey, you all right? You look as though you’ve seen a ghost.” I shook my head, then turned and walked down the stairs, composing myself with each step. Ash caught up to me and grabbed my wrist, with a grip of steel.
“Opal, are you sure you’re all right? If you aren’t up to going out-“
“Ash! I’m fine!” I was lying through my teeth, and he seemed to know it.
“Sis, don’t lie to me, alright? I know something’s up.”
“No, alright? Just let me go!” I tore myself out of his grip and ran downstairs, straight out the front door. Gwen was waiting for me.
“Don’t you look nice Opal. After dinner, I figured we could go get you a car. You DO have your license… right?” I nodded my head, still bewildered.
Ash sauntered out of the house and gave me a tight smile. We all got in the car – the Honda Civic – and drove to the restraunt. It was a Chinese restraunt, and the food was delicious. After, Aunt Gwen drove over to the nearest car sales place. I started looking around, but I didn’t look for too long before I found the perfect car. I pointed to a shiny, silver Volvo.
“I want this one!” I was acting like a child, but I didn’t care. There was something about Aunt Gwen that made me know I could get away with it.
After we purchased it, Aunt Gwen suggested that I get used to the feel of it. I grinned, the first real smile in a long time. I jumped in the passenger side, then remembered I was no longer in England, so I went around to the left. I started my new car and drove, leaving Ash and Gwen behind me.