Leading the way, Grandma B listens as I tell her everyone’s names. When I introduce Layla she stops to look the woman up and down. Layla gives her a hesitant smile.
“You’ve got a very special granddaughter, Mrs. B.”
Her praise makes me blush though Grandma B smiles and nods her head before leading us on. Apparently Layla has passed her test. I feel Dad’s mental sigh of relief rather than hear it and I giggle at him. I see he’s holding Layla’s hand openly now. Emotions really are best let out into the open, rather than bottled up inside.
At the castle, Grandma B leads us into a larger room than I expected. This place is filled with dining rooms of all sizes. I wonder how long she had been here for there are at least five dozen cookies laid out upon the table; all of them gingerbread men, though Christmas seems far away despite the fact it is November.
She doesn’t say anything but gesture us to sit. We don’t have to wait long, before we are joined by others. When Hazel arrives, she drag over an older Elf, whom I don’t know; not that I know any beyond Thalion.
“This is her.” Hazel is grinning. “This is Morgan of Ollerond who saved my life during the testing. Morgan, remember how I told you my Uncle was an elf, well he’s actually my grandfather. This is him, he’s here to help Prince Thalion with Faerie to Elf relations and...”
“Whoa,” Theo speaks up from across the table through a cookie. “You mean you’re faerie, human and elf?” His is bug eyed.
“Ahem,” Uncle Ben’s voice brings order to the table as Dad and Layla scoot over to let Gloria and Thalion sit next to me.
Our meeting commences with Uncle Ben affirming that the Faeries have pledged their support. Dad gives a short report saying that we have Queen Helena’s support, but they may be delayed due to some opposition from within the Council. I had no idea Dad could be diplomatic. I’m know for a fact he blames Cecil and it saddens me to realize that his blame is not unfounded. Then I watch in horror as Theo declares that we don’t need the Faerie army since I’m all powerful. I wish the floor would swallow me whole. Why do people insist on making me into the something I’m not?
“Morgan La Fae,” Devil’s Flat uses that name again, “though a direct descendant of Morgan Le Fay, iss not powerful enough to replace a Faerie Army.”
“Wait,” Katha nearly jumps from her seat, “Morgan’s descended from Morgan Le Fay?”
Uncle Ben bangs on the table a couple time to bring order to the chaos. My confused expression meets the eyes Dad only to see that he too had no idea. Grandma B stands and our attention draws to her. She tells us an abbreviated history of Devil’s Flat and how the last of the line of its controller met with the last of the line of Morgan Le Fay.
I guess that explains why Grandma B had all those books. What gets me though is that Petey seems to know all this; at least the Devil’s Flat part of this. It’s not long before Grandma B explains how Pete’s father was her first son, born out of wedlock and given up for adoption. She explains that Petey is the Flat’s new keeper and that they have both sworn to protect me at all costs. Before I can wonder why Uncle Ben takes over the meeting again.
He learns where our strengths lie, but it is Hazel’s grandfather who assigns us our tasks. I am to stay at the back, at all costs, behind protective lines, helping others with my abilities as I can. My main job is to heal. Peace Island’s spirit will lend me her strength. Theo, with his air, is to help the archer’s arrows fly straight and true into the fray. Katha and Layla, with her fire, will provide the arrows with flame. Dad, Petey and Devil’s Flat will be our protectors, ensuring that none of the Van Helsing force touches us.
A grim silence settles on us as the last words fade from the room. I want to cry, but I hold back my tears. I do not want to fight. I do not want to die. Yet I fear that is what shall happen. But I must remember that it is not just to reunite me with Ash, but for all of the magical world, that they may be free to love as Ash and I love.
“Well,” Grandma B breaks the morbid silence. “Best get sleep while we can.”
Even Theo is quite, without Katha’s glare reminding him to be, as we are led to our rooms for the night. I stare out my magically barricaded window. I feel lost and guilty, though I know, none of this really isn’t all my fault. It would have happened sooner or later. And perhaps in bringing the forces of the Elves and Faeries together, I have given us the hope of victory.
Sleep, a voice whispers, for the battle begins at dawn.