Questions

I know what you are thinking, Reader. "No! You can't go back now! We don't know what happened with your adoptive father--how did he know Sinead, and what was their 'relationship'? And why didn't you want William to know the truth about you? You can't go now!" That is what you are saying, and to an extent I agree with you. But I had no hand in my return. To this day I do not know how it happened: I can only assume that it was the reverse of what had happened to me originally.

I did, however, discover how Alexander had known Sinead, because my laptop was not the only thing on my desk that day. There was a sheet of paper with a web address. Don't ask me how it got there, but I booted up my laptop and typed it in--with difficulty, for my fingers weren't used to the technology-- only to discover that it was a site dedicated to 'mysteries of the Victorian era'. One of them was, amusingly, me. 

I was known as the girl who had appeared from nowhere, and it told a story of how, during my great illness, I had suddenly vanished from my bed. No one ever found me, but the story went around that I was a fairy spirit and I had been taken home to my own people. (This was probably an embellished version of Maria and Grace's pleased comments that now I was 'at home'.) But most interestingly, it told me of the family's background.

Most of it was stuff I knew already, but Alexander's past in particular was very interesting. He had been a promising young ballet dancer before he was married, and Madame Lejeune had been his partner in several of the great ballets. He had played the prince in the Nutcracker; she had been Clara, and so on, and this relationship had blossomed into something approaching romance. But one day when they were on tour he caught sight of a young lady who had come to watch, and had fallen in love. That was Grace, and they were married six months later. He never danced again.

This, of course, explained plenty. It went on to say that he had insisted on his daughter--I noted the singular, and guessed that the writers of the site didn't include me--learning to dance because he felt he owed it to Sinead Lejeune, to whom he believe he was indebted since he had left her so suddenly.

I was just beginning to read about all the theories and stories in the newspaper as to why I had disappeared when my bedroom door opened and my mother--my real mother, whom I had not seen for a year--was standing there. "Lizzie, what are you wearing? And what are you doing on your laptop at this time in the morning? I've told you not to do that. You should have breakfast first."

"Mum!" I spun round on the swivel chair and hugged her tight, holding her close. I didn't care that I was taller and thinner and stronger, or that I was wearing a nightdress and I had long hair, because I had missed her so much. "Mum! You'll never believe me when I tell you..."

"What on Earth are you on about? And goodness me, but you look ... different. Where were you last night? What time did you stay up until?" I had forgotten our rocky relationship, but now I didn't care.

"I have such a story to tell you. And you'll never believe me, but please just listen. For my sake. I have so much proof." Wistfully, I remembered my dance shoes and outfits that were still in the old Victorian house. "Here, sit down, and I'll tell you everything. I'm just so happy to be home! Oh, you'll never believe where I've been..."

The End

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