"I - I don't know." There was a large mirror on the opposite wall, all bordered by Celtic knotwork and decoration, and I walked over it to look at myself. I looked the same as I always had, didn't I? My hair was a little tangled, true, for I hadn't had a hairbrush near me. My little bag was goodness knows where, so I couldn't even freshen up. My clothes, creased from the bonds, looked terrible ... but I was still me. I was still human.

"It's up to you, of course," said Mathew, looking very nervous. I didn't know what he was so worried about, since it was my problem if this made me look like some freak out of a fantasy film. But I didn't want him to tell me to make a decision, because I knew I could possibly do so. "I won't do anything against your permission."

I poked my reflection. "I don't know whether I want to see it," I confessed. "You said I was a sprite, right? So that means green. I don't really want to see myself with green skin and - oh, all sort of things. Wings?"

"Not necessarily. I'm not sure what type you are." For somebody that was one of the most important Fae in the land, he didn't seem to know very much about me. I found it irritating. "But you might. And yes, it might be quite a shock ... I don't know. You'll have to take a risk or leave it until you're older. I just thought - you're growing up now: you deserve to know who you are."

I walked away from the mirror and slumped down on the sofa, but I couldn't stay there for long. Within thirty seconds I was on my feet - back to the mirror, back to the sofa, pacing up and down until I felt that I would go crazy unless someone came in and told me what the hell I was supposed to do about this, because nothing I'd ever been taught or told would ever help me here, and I hated the feeling that I was on my own. I didn't even have the beginning of an idea: I knew nothing. Nothing at all. And I didn't like that.

"But why do you need to see me? Surely, if you know I'm a changeling, any time is as good as now..." I trailed off, staring at my feet. They were human feet, weren't they? Suddenly I was doubting everything. Everything you've been told is a lie. And it seemed like it too. Too much like it.

"Some of our people doubt what you are. Because you're not like the others. You're too human."

"Maybe that's because I've spent seventeen years being human?" I said to him, my voice dripping with sarcasm. "Oh, so I'm expected to change my behaviour in the course of five minutes to convince you that I'm a fairy."

"No, it's not like that. But many of those, the others ... when they're told, they say it makes sense. Like they've always felt different. But you fitted in to your old life, didn't you? You were just like everybody else, and you were happy with it. I can't understand what it is, but it's strange."

Mathew stared at me, his eyes puzzled. "Why are you looking at me?" I asked.

"I'm trying to work out what you are."

"I thought you knew that." Silence. Eventually I shrugged. "All right. Remove this glamour thing, if it's so important to you. But I want it put back when I'm done. I'm not spending my whole life as some green-skinned freak." 

The End

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