'Why are you telling me this?' Will asked. His chest tightened when he tried to imagine that night, the carriers of the Evil Eye searching and killing for somebody they didn't know existed. 'What do I have to do with it?'
'There is another reason why the Avaric children are of such value to us. The spirit of the ancient girl evaded us, but no spirit can wander in the plains without becoming a Wanderer, a Geist. She had to lock onto the nearest available host...'
'You, Willow.' Maga's voice rang clear and true, 'it's you. That's who I am, I remember now.'
Maga? You're...you're the spirit? And suddenly everything made sense. How Maga had come to him in the first place, how she had always been within him but he'd never known it, how he knew spells without ever learning them, it was all her doing.
I think I am. I still - I can't remember much - your father - he was forced to use me, but he was kind. He set me free, he told me to protect you.
'Imagine that knowledge,' Sapphire continued to speak whilst Will gripped the bed frame for support as he fathomed the truth. 'Imagine that power in human hands. The Book didn't just speak of ways to give Gifts, it spoke of how to take them away. It would have been over for us if they'd had it, and they were close, it was just a matter of who got to you all first. We tried to explain, but your family were devoted to protecting it, their stubbornness had them killed, not us.
'We searched to no avail, but now we are stronger. The children kidnapped from the Sanctuary were merely tools to get your attention, and if we could learn from them, even better. Others have disappeared from the land, they are our true goal. Each of them were nearby on the day of the raid, alongside you and your siblings, they are the possible hosts of the ancient sorceress.'
She knows, does she know it's me?
'I don't think so, she wouldn't hesitate if so. It is much to ask, I know, but they cannot find me. I do not know how I came into creation or if those thousand years of existence are mine, but if all of this is true, I fear they will use me as a weapon against the humans. Neither you nor I want that.'
I'll protect you. Don't worry. Will knew he couldn't raise any suspicion, so he scoffed, 'you think one of us is a host?'
'Maybe you're all unaware, maybe you are, but that spirit is the source of magickal power, and her power should be used on behalf of magi,'
'And you'll do that?'
'Better than anybody else,' she nodded adamantly.
'So what do they know you as? You use the Evil Eye as a symbol, you wear a lot of black. What do they call you?'
'You're asking our name?' Sapphire rose a thick, curious eyebrow,
'Names are powerful, like symbols,' he said, approaching her. 'You know so much about me, you want us to negotiate, I need to know about you.'
Sapphire smiled at him and said, 'the Mastery.'
Will felt like his nerves had been plucked like strings, and with a jolt through his bones, his eyes slid upwards into his head as he felt the rush of recovered memories...