Chapter 1: part 3

He'd told her as much as he could in the past hour. Maya had managed to get over the shock of the fact that she wasn't dreaming and freely asked questions to him. "So, you're immortal right? That means you don't die, so why is Houdini dead?" 

Leonardo's expression darkened slightly, "I said we didn't die, not that we couldn't be killed." His voice was flat, and she got the feeling that more questions in that direction would not be welcome. She moved on quickly.

"So you said that, when you wanted to come in, that you were going to... um..."

"Die?" Leonardo finished for her, she nodded. "I am. You see Maya, there are parts of my world, just like in your world, that are bad, Dark Magic wielders. Darklighters, as they are known amongst my kind. Some of them, actually some sent by one of the most powerful Darklighters ever known, have been sent to kill me." She opened her mouth, but he held up a hand. "They were sent some years ago now, but I have fought them off, run from them and hidden from them for all that time. Now they have found me again, and I know there is only one option." He stopped, his eyes glazed over, and Maya waited for him to go on. After what seemed like the longest pause ever, and Maya began to wonder if he would go on, he looked back up to her and said "We all have our times, mine has been done on this earth, I wouldn't give myself over to them for the information that I hold is far to valuable to let them even get near to. So I will use a spell, to remove my immortality, and all the years of my life will catch up to me at once. I will die instantly, and peacefully." He recited all this carefully, without expression as if he were reading it from a textbook. She reached out towards him, then moved her hand back, unsure of how to comfort him. "Maya, this is my choice, but now I need to give you a choice. When I die, my Whightlight will leave me unless I pass it on. But, I can only pass it on to a certain person, one who can bear the power of Whightlight, especially one as powerful as mine, without being combusted instantly. That is where you come in, if you desire to."

He waited, letting it sink in. The clock by the tap ticked loudly in the silence, and the raven fluttered up to the bookshelf in the corner and cawed softly. Maya watched it, taking in what Leonardo had just said to her. "You want me, to take your powers before you die?" She asked, to her surprise, her voice didn't give away how much she was freaking out. 

"If you are willing, I can only pass them onto you if you have agreed to take them from me, of course you can have a while to think about this, but I must press the matter to no more than three days. That is when I must leave." He didn't need to say any more for Maya to know what he was talking about. 

"I... I'm not sure what to think." She replied with a shaky laugh, "Give me a day to think about it, then I'll contact you, do you have a phone number?" 

Leonardo laughed, and the raven cawed with him. "I'm afraid I'm not up with the times so much, being the age I am, I prefer to use my more, conventional methods of communication." Maya stared blankly at him, he chuckled again, and said "Here, take this" he reached up into the air, as if there was an imaginary tree he was going to pluck fruit from, only, when he did pluck, a small, bone coloured whistle appeared in his hand. He held it out to her, and she took it, admiring the delicacy of its structure. "When you need to contact me, blow sharply on it, you can only use it once."

"I, uh... thank you" Maya said, slotting the whistle into the front pocket on her shirt. 

"I apologise again for pushing this all on you at once, perhaps if your parents were here they could-" He stopped, as though he'd said too much.

"My parents?" Maya's stomach tightened, her father had been dead for years, and her mother she had never known, her father had always told her that she ran away with her lover, and frankly, Maya didn't want to know a mother like that. When her father had passed away, (due to a cancerous infection in the brain), her aunt had raised her. Eliza was kind, and Maya felt she fitted in as a parent figure just as her mother should have. When she turned eighteen, Maya used some of the money her father had left her to buy the flat. It was small, pokey and the light in the bathroom tended to have mood swings as to weather it wanted to work or not, but Maya liked it. She never felt it as homely as home should feel, but she'd gotten used to that feeling after her father had gone. "What does this have to do with them?"

"Nothing, I just... forget that you weren't bought up by those who knew of the magical world" He smiled at her reassuringly, but she felt as if he'd meant something else by what he'd said before. She let it go. 

Leonardo stood and walked to the hallway, pulling his coat more tightly around him. "I must leave you now, but it was a pleasure meeting you, Maya Roberts." He smiled at her and for a moment blue sparks flashed in his eyes, "May I ask one more thing of you?" 

"Anything." It felt strange answering him like that, she had no idea what this man could ask her.

"The raven, could you take care of it until I return? He won't be any trouble, just make sure he gets a dish of water, and he won't bother you." She was startled for a moment, she'd only ever had a goldfish or two, and knew nothing about birds. Although she got the feeling the raven wasn't the most normal of its kind.

"Of course" She replied, what else could she say? Leonardo turned to go, and as he did, she noticed the long cane in his hand, where he had held an umbrella not moments before. "Uh, Leonardo?" he turned back, his eyes bright. "Your cane, I could have sworn... I mean, I thought it was... Never mind." She trailed off, and he winked at her before stepping outside, and closing the door behind him.

Maya glanced round at the raven, now perched on the coffee table. It seemed to wink at her.

The End

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