The Wish: Part Five
We hurried through the door, quickly closing it behind us, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I was safe. We were safe.
One of the maids, a white Lupe wearing a uniform, walked through the front hall, addressing us. “Hello, who are you? Are you here to see Queen Fyora?”
We walked up to her quickly, grateful for her help. I didn’t want to waste a second. “Yes,” I panted, my breath still gone from our running experience.
Her face turned into a mask of professionalism, with sadness peeking around the edges. “Well, I am sorry, but Fyora is away visiting Taelia at the moment. I’m sure she will be back in a few weeks—”
“A few weeks?” I interrupted, my voice shrill. “But I need her now. I can’t bear to think of how we would fare if we just kept running. I can’t bear to think of those Skeiths—” I shuddered, “—getting their hands on Mai Belle and Fyora’s Jewel—”
“Fyora’s Jewel?!” she gasped, a hundred expressions flying across her face. “Did she leave it with the little Zafara?” She sneaked a look at the Zafara, her eyes incredulous.
I shrugged. I didn’t know. Perhaps she did. “Well, that doesn’t matter,” she continued. “Fyora’s been looking for that jewel for ages, and it turns out a little Neopet has it! But you two need to get this to Fyora right away.”
She hurried us down a corridor that was similar to that of the Faerie Academy, except without the paintings. The floor also had a certain luminosity to it that I couldn’t put my finger on, like after a Neopet had brushed their teeth to sparkling pearls. I wonder what made it that way...
“I will take you to a transporting door so you can get to Taelia’s Igloo more effectively,” she carried on, interrupting my thoughts. Her walk was brisk, fast. I could barely keep up with it, especially with Mai Belle in my arms. My arms started to ache, but I dismissed the pain. I wasn’t going to put the baby Zafara down for anything.
“I can’t believe the Zafara has had it all these years! Can you imagine the worry we had all this time? I mean, she had me looking for it everywhere! And I mean everywhere...”
I ignored her prattling on and looked at Arian. The faerie seemed pensive, staring at the floor, deep in thought. Her eyebrows were furrowed as if something was wrong, and I ached for her pain. Once again, I reveled at how my life had completely changed in the matter of a few days!
Just as I was about to ask her what was wrong, we got to the door. “Here we are!” the Lupe stated proudly, waving her arm in a show of grandeur.
And it was grand. There were gold leaves, more delicate than a feather, twining across the border, their curly vines hanging in rivulets around them. A pink star was the only thing on the door, but how it shone! Its points were so perfectly sharp, so that it could probably make a puncture in Terror Mountain’s coldest ice! The color was vivid and bright, its light shining brighter than a thousand stars.
“You know how to work this, right?” she asked. I nodded, still staring in awe at the door. “Then go!” the Lupe said, her voice snippy.
I snapped out of my reverie and murmured, “We want to go to Terror Mountain.” Arian, Mai Belle, and I walked through the now-open door, leaving Faerieland and the impatient white Lupe behind us.
“Ugh!” I groaned as we tumbled into a snowdrift, causing us to be freezing cold. I thought when I said Terror Mountain, it would take us straight to Taelia’s Igloo. I guess I was wrong. Again.
“Oh, for Fyora’s sake!” Arian moaned as she looked down at herself. She began to brush the snow off her wings, frowning in disgust as each snowflake fell to the ground. “Great! Destiny, couldn’t you have asked for us to be in Taelia’s Igloo instead of something as vague as Terror Mountain?”
“Well, I’m sorry that I thought it would understand my pretenses!” I snapped, angry. Who did she think she was, questioning my mistakes? I had already acknowledged it myself, so why make me feel guiltier than I already was?
We sat fuming, our rage almost visible. Instead of focusing on how angry I was at Arian, I looked down Mai Belle. She was shivering, embracing herself for warmth. I hugged her tighter.
“I’m sorry,” we blurted out at the same time, our voices both filled with regret. We both burst into fits of giggles at the sheer coincidence of the moment.
“I’m sorry,” I gasped once I was convinced my giggle fit was over. “I know I should have said ‘Taelia’s Igloo’ instead.”
“No,” she contradicted, wiping tears from her eyes, “you wouldn’t have known. You just misunderstood.” She smiled warmly. I could tell our rift was over as I smiled back, my grin just as warm.
“Well,” I said, looking at the height of the mountain, “we better start flying.” With that, I began fluttering my wings in a rhythmic motion, noting that Arian began flapping her wings also.
I took to the sky, Mai Belle in my arms. Arian flew beside me as we listened to the wind that howled around the mountain. I looked around as the scenery hurried by us, despite the heavy fog that enshrouded the tall mount. The glistening caves of ice were nestled into the mountain, their depths dark and foreboding. Scores of Neopets were climbing the mountain, their foreheads drenched with sweat as they climbed the icy peaks. But one stood out, a green Draik. He looked slightly familiar...
I looked closer. I gasped. It was Leo! The reminder of my former life brought dizzying questions: How was Daribell? Was she missing me? Would she fare with the bullies? Did Leo still disappear at lunch, yet still show up for every class? Was my sister still cruel?
But the worst question that now haunted my thoughts was: Did my family miss me?
I shook my head, dissolving the fears that it brought. I looked at Arian. She looked pensive, thinking. Always thinking.
Eager for a distraction, I blurted out the first question that came to mind. “Why were you so scared of me when I told you my name?”
She looked at me, her eyes torn. I bit my lip. Maybe I should have thought of the question before I blurted it out.
“Well,” she sighed, her voice frustrated, “I knew you would ask someday. Do you remember when I told you about how the Soup Faerie taught me magic?” I nodded, confused. What did that have to do with anything?
“She also taught me how to see the future,” she continued. “I did pretty well for a first try. Everything was clear. But not clear enough.
“On my first try, I saw you, Destiny, holding Mai Belle in your arms, asking me something. I knew it was important, adventurous and possibly dangerous.
“After my intuition told me what you were going to ask me was adventurous or possibly dangerous, I shuddered away from the image, leaving questions unsolved. You see, I hate adventures and danger, except when I’m reading about them. And a real life adventure would be too much for me.
“I had suspicions that you were the faerie I saw. After all, you looked exactly like her. But when you told me your name, that was the clincher. I knew you were that faerie.
“But one thing seeing into the future doesn’t tell you is time. I knew you were going to ask me something, Mai Belle in your arms, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon.” She shook her head, looking at me sadly, almost pitifully.
A long silence passed between us, the howling wind the only sound. If she knew, why was she here? Why was she braving it out with me? And worst of all, did she regret it?
Breaking the silence, I whispered my unspoken question. “Do you regret ever meeting me?”
“Of course not, Destiny!” she vehemently refused, looking at me like I was crazy. “You showed me that it was good to take risks, to step into adventure. You showed me that I couldn’t be some scaredy Meowclops hiding in the library for the rest if my life. You showed me the light.”
I held out my pinky. “Best friends forever?”
She curled her pinky around mine, grinning. “Best friends forever.”
Suddenly the fog disappeared, showing the light of the sun which illuminated the top of Terror Mountain. Amongst the trees, covered in fresh snow, I saw Taelia’s Igloo nestled in the heavy canopy. We were here.
“Hello?” I asked, my knuckles rapping on the icy door. “Hello?”
“Maybe she’s not here,” Arian said nonchalantly, holding Mai Belle, who was playing with a piece of her hair, in her purple-gloved arms.
Determinedly, I said, “Well, I’m not taking no for an answer. HELLO?” I pounded harder on the frosty entrance. “HELLO? HEL—”
The door suddenly opened, Taelia behind it, an annoyed look on her face. “Look, you don’t have to knock so many times, okay? But right now I’m having tea with Fyora, so if you would just shoo—”
“But we need to see Fyora!” I demanded, my voice just as angry as hers. “We have Mai Belle and Fyora’s Jewel, so—”
“Fyora’s Jewel!” she exclaimed, her eyebrows shooting up in astonishment, sky blue eyes filled with wonder as she sneaked a peek at Mai Belle. “Well, come in, come in!” She gestured for them to follow her into the house, her long sky blue coat trailing behind her. Arian and I shivered as we entered the cold house. It was even colder than outside!
As she led us down the hallway, I looked around. On her frozen walls, pictures of the chilly landscape outside hung, beautiful painting of falling snow and dark green trees. The floor was covered in a fresh layer of snow, its white snowflakes even softer than the down of a White Weewoo.
We finally made it to the end of the hallway, which opened into a small room. The walls and floor looked the same as the hallway, except they seemed more firm, solid. The ceiling danced with multicolored lights and hues, forming various patterns in the dark, velvet sky that formed the ceiling above. The room was sparsely decorated, with only an ice sculpture of a Neopet, a painting of the scenery in Terror Mountain, and an ice table swathed in baby blue cloth, which Fyora and Taelia were now sitting at.
“Ah, hello, Destiny,” Fyora welcomed calmly, addressing me. “Tell me, why are you here on such short notice? Couldn’t you have at least sent a neomail for Taelia’s sake? Now she has to make three more seating arrangements.” She shook her head disapprovingly.
“Well,” I stated, my voice kind, “we aren’t going to be staying here long. We just need to see you.”
“Really?” Fyora inquired, her voice piqued with curiosity. “Why?”
“For this.” I took Mai Belle from Arian gently, noticing that the baby Zafara almost leaped into my arms. Apparently, Mai Belle didn’t like dark faeries in appearance, which I could agree with. Taking the necklace from her neck, I handed it to Fyora.
“Oh, my!” Fyora exclaimed, her eyebrows flying up with surprise. “Why, this is my Jewel! I’ve been looking for it for ages!” She looked at Mai Belle, frowning. “Hmph. I thought I left my Jewel with a strong Halloween Zafara. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Boochi’s always on some rampage... well, anyway, how could I ever repay you two? You brought back my most precious item, so you both must deserve a reward!”
She leaned closer to Mai Belle, snuggled tightly in my arms, and murmured, so only Mai Belle and I could hear, “Thank you for keeping my heart safe. My pride and joy. My mother’s jewel, a family heirloom given to you. I knew you’d keep it safe, my darling.” She smiled sweetly at Mai Belle.
After puzzling over why Fyora had given her Jewel to Mai Belle, I caught something. A reward? I could get anything I wanted! To be the richest Neopian in all the land, or to be more powerful than even Fyora herself! What could I ask for? Suddenly, it hit me. I knew what I was going to ask for, and pushed the Three’s influence out of my head. I looked at Arian, nodding to show that she could go first.
She stepped up to Fyora, calm and confident. “I want to know why I am so nice all the time, despite my being a dark faerie.”
“What is your name?” Fyora asked.
“Arian...?” Arian’s brow was furrowed, her face confused.
Fyora smiled. “I remember you. You were brought to Faerie Court, just like any new faerie. But you were different. Not because of who you were, but the curse that was laid upon you.”
“A curse that stated, that until your three hundred and fifteenth birthday, you would always look like a dark faerie. You were quite lucky, actually. The faerie that put the curse on you, Kylyst, has done some pretty horrible things, much worse than what you have gotten. Anyway, you’re truly a fire faerie, though you don’t look it.”
Arian turned to me excitedly. “Did you hear that, Destiny? I’m going to finally be my true self in ten years!” She squealed happily, exuding radiant joy.
“That’s great, Arian,” I congratulated, patting her on the back. Hopefully my reward would be just as great. I stepped up to Fyora, my wings shivering nervously.
“Fyora,” I whispered quietly, “I want to know what faerie I am.”
She grimaced. Oh, no, did that mean I was something horrible? Like the Foot Faerie? Or the Itch Faerie? Or worse—the Earwax Faerie?
“I’m not sure,” she started, “if I’m supposed to tell you this or let you figure it out on your own. But you have done a great deed to me and you deserve the right to know. So I will tell you.” I beamed, positively sure that my grin was practically stretched from ear to ear.
“You are the Tooth Faerie,” she told me, ending all the questions, giving the answers, in one sentence.
I smiled. I liked the sound of that.
“Okay, darling,” I snapped the book closed. “How’d you like the story of my beginning?”
The small yellow Poogle was smiling, but his brow was furrowed. “C’mon, tell me what you’re going to say.”
“I liked it,” he told me in his small-boy lilt, “but you didn’t tell me about some things. Like the Skeiths. Why did they want the Jewel?”
“They’re good deep down,” I explained. “They needed the money to heal their sister. Apparently it was unknown to them that they could go get her healed by the Water Faerie.” I smiled.
“What about the saying? ‘Keep my heart safe’?”
“The Jewel was her mother’s. It’s the only she has to remember her by. You see, her mother’s... gone, and Fyora put all of her heart in the Jewel. It’s her own way of remembering.” I swallowed the lump that came up in my throat. When Fyora had told me that, I had felt so sad, with the feeling that you wanted to help, but couldn’t.
“What about Arian? Did she turn into the light faerie?”
“When those ten years passed, her birthday, no one, not even Fyora, had predicted that Kylyst would let her choose. Light faerie or dark faerie on the other end of the spectrum. And definitely no one could predict what she chose. Dark faerie. The curse turned out to be a blessing. When I asked her about it, she said, ‘I like being the odd one out.’” I laughed. “Arian’s definitely an odd one at that.” I smiled. But I liked her anyway. I still remembered that promise we'd made on Terror Mountain--best friends forever. We still kept it.
“And what about you and Illusen? Did she teach you magic?”
“You sure have a lot of questions, darling.”
“Last one, I promise.”
I pretended to think about it, and then decided. “Okay, I’ll answer it since you promised. She’s taught me everything I know, and I’ve put a little of my own spin on it. And Illusen and I are the best of friends. Even if we get into our little tiffs sometimes." I winked at him. He had surely heard of the great war about whether green or white was better. I still thought that white was much better, but I never mentioned that to Illusen.
“And now, it’s time for you to go to sleep.” I tugged him up off the bed and started herding him toward the bathroom. “Let’s go brush our teeth.”