Elly’s exposure as a half-fey was a shock to all around her. Her attempts to hide her ears and the change in her reality were foiled by class bullies. The next thing she knew she was being whisked away to a private school that catered exclusively to the half-breeds left behind by fey who travelled in the human world. On her first day at the school, she learns what she is and what kind of magic runs in her family. It will take a while before she actually meets her family.
Years later, she has completed her training, and she has not only learned what she is capable of, but she has learned what she can withstand and her personal strengths. She will need them all as she goes from being a master musician to the court’s main entertainment. After five more years, she is sent out on loan to the Crossroads, but leaving the court is dangerous. Five years’ worth of cursed nightmares are following Elly, and she will be lucky to make it out alive.
Eric is in charge of the nightmares and their discharge of their duties. A clerical anomaly points him in the direction of the Crossroads, and it is a point of honour that he will keep Elenora alive. He will hold her hand through the terror and help her to the other side. Perhaps then, they can grab a burger.
Elenora sat in the office and waited for an eternity. Her knit hat was pulled tight around her head and nearly down to her chin.
Mrs. Kleg, the receptionist, appeared in front of her and knelt with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand. “Here you go, Elly. I am sure everything will be fine.”
Elly looked at her with defeat in every bone of her body. “I really don’t think it will, Mrs. Kleg.”
The older woman was one of the best parts of being at the St. Agnes School for Girls. While the principal was stalwart, it was Mrs. Kleg that had the gentle hand and treats that made a miserable day tolerable.
Elly had waited in the office for three hours already. The girl who had assaulted her had been given her punishment in the form of essays on community and respect for others.
Just as she was nearing the bottom of the hot chocolate, Principal Eddings returned, and he wasn’t alone.
Mrs. Kleg remained behind her desk and didn’t make eye contact with anyone.
The elf next to Principal Eddings had long dark hair and a calculating look in his eyes. “This one?”
Principal Eddings nodded. “Elenora Yarrow. She came to us when it became apparent that all of her family was deceased. Well, all that the authorities were aware of.”
The elf walked up to her, his precisely tailored suit was probably worth more than the principal’s annual income, but he still crouched gracefully in front of her and stared into her eyes.
She looked back and tried to keep herself calm. Yesterday—last night in fact—she had gone through puberty. Not only had her period started, but her ears had also shot upward into points, her hair had been threaded with golden strands, and her hazel eyes had a metallic gold centre that hadn’t been there before.
She was a half-elf.
“Please, remove your cap, miss.”
She sighed and pulled the knit cap off. Trying to wear it in class had only caused Judith to pull it off her scalp, and that had caused the fight that ended in the principal’s office.
The elf smiled slightly. “Harper family then. You have a marked resemblance to them with your hat off.”
She blinked. “You know who my father is?”
“I know which clan he belongs to. Your transfer is going through, and Jiadoro Academy will have the privilege of tutoring you into adulthood.”
She stared. “Can’t I stay here? I am sure I can wear a headband or something.”
He smiled and shook his head. “No, you can’t. The pain would be incredible. Don’t you even have a headache now?”
She scowled. “I did, but now... oh.”
“Exactly. I will complete the transfer with the principal; please, go and pack your bags. We are leaving within the hour.”
Mrs. Kleg got to her feet. “I will help Elly pack.”
Principal Eddings nodded.
Soon, Elly was in her room, packing up everything she had and putting it into two small duffel bags. She wouldn’t need her school uniforms. Jiadoro Academy would have its own uniforms, and her trust account would pay for them.
The packing only took five minutes. Elly didn’t have much. She picked up the bags and carried them down to the office where a strange man was with the elf and her principal.
The man glanced at her, and his eyes widened. “Right. You were not kidding. Damn. All right. Custody and guardianship to Jiadoro Academy with the understanding that all effort will be made to find and unite her with the elf portion of her family.”
“We will make every effort to locate her clan.” The elf smiled slightly, and the other man looked dazzled.
He had to be a judge. No one else could hand children around like that.
A signature, a flourish, and a seal later, and Elly was being escorted out of St. Agnes’ and into a long black limo.
She stared around her and kept her hands on her knees after buckling up.
“So, what do you enjoy doing at school?”
The car slowly pulled out and away from her home.
“Um, I like English and math. I am not a fan of gym class, and social studies seem counter-intuitive. History is interesting, but I like to plan things.”
He nodded. “You are young. History gains popularity as you age. What about music?”
“St. Agnes’s doesn’t have a music program. They can’t afford the extra teacher.”
He lifted a slim object from his armrest, and he spoke quietly in a liquid language.
When he finished speaking, he settled back again. “It is a long drive. Feel free to nod off.”
For the next thirty minutes, she sat still, perfectly still.