Only Human: Part One
Fyora's wings fluttered quietly behind her as she ran around the castle. She had dallied too long at the Hidden Tower, and now her whole day was running late! She had a meeting with King Hagan and King Skarl to settle some childish feud, and then she had promised the librarian faerie she would contribute something special for the Fyora Day crossword puzzle. It was half past two by the time Fyora even had a moment to herself to catch her breath.
"Your Majesty?" Emilia, Fyora's young light faerie secretary, stood warily in the doorway. "Should I send in your two thirty meeting?" Fyora sat down in one of her silky pink chairs. She hated to push people away, but she needed a moment to compose herself. No one is perfect, no matter how close the queen came. If she didn't rest, she would not be a pleasant queen.
"Emilia, I just can't today. Please, cancel it and reschedule. Tell the poor dear I just can't see her today." Emilia's delicate lips sighed softly. The poor desperate girl in the lobby would be devastated. She couldn't allow Fyora to push her away again . Emilia rested her head against the door frame.
"Your Majesty?" she repeated. Fyora lifted her head and locked eyes with her secretary. Her secretary had quite a lot of courage today. "Please, please, please see this girl. You've been putting off this meeting with her for nearly four years." Fyora bolted up, her wings becoming stiff.
"Four years?" Fyora exclaimed, rising out of her chair. "How in Neopia could I have pushed off a meeting for four years?" Without thinking, Emilia began rattling off the reasons she remembered from years past.
"Well, the first time you had to fly away on business. And the second, you had come down with a case of the sneezles. And seeing as every time you cancel a meeting with an average Neopian it takes a year to reschedule it, the last time we were all frozen in stone. So, obviously, we had to find another time," Emilia finished, her voice trailing off as she began to realize her ramble. "So will you see her?"
Fyora smoothed out her dress. This 'average Neopian' clearly had terrible luck. She twitched the ends of her fingertips, and an identical silk pink armchair floated across the room. Emilia cleared her throat, and signaled the girl had brought another guest with her as well. Fyora swiftly fashioned a third identical chair, and sent Emilia away to fetch her guest. The light faerie left with a large smile on her face, glad to finally welcome the young girl in to the palace.
The young girl strode hesitantly into the royal suite while Fyora sat once again in her chair. Fyora beckoned the timid girl to sit with her. She looked to be hardly fourteen, though the lines on her face indicated that she was older than it appeared. Freckles dotted across the bridge of her nose, and even lighter ones decorated the rest of her body. Her jeans, sneakers, and dark T-shirt complemented her skin complexion. Her skin was just a shade darker than the snow that covered Terror Mountain.
Her Lupe strolled in confidently beside her, faerie wings cascading over her lilac shoulders through the holes cut in her Christmas coat. Her teeth were sharper than usual, a sign she had once been a Tyrannian. It appeared the Lupe had been no fewer than three colors, if not more.
"So, my darling..." Fyora trailed off. Why had Emilia not given her the girl's name?
"Rogue. And this is my faerie Lupe, Lolly." 'Ah, Rogue.' Fyora thought. ' What a strange name! 'She must have adopted it after something happened, though Fyora couldn't figure out why for the life of her.
"I took it on after my parents passed away in the fight against the wraiths. I just chose to be known as Rogue after that. No big deal." Fyora looked at the girl peculiarly. How could she possibly have known what she was thinking?
"I'm not a mind reader," Rogue said, beginning to gain confidence. "Most people just ask after I say my name." Fyora smiled, beginning to feel at ease. Perhaps she could even finish with whatever concern this girl had quickly, and go straight to lunch! Her stomach wasn't audible yet, but it soon would be if she didn't ingest a Faerieland Gourmet Burger soon!
"So, young Rogue, what is it that you desire?" Rogue reverted to her shy state again, her eyes suddenly becoming fascinated with her charcoal shoes.
"I don't think you'll agree."
"Nonsense! From what I've heard, you've had quite the wait to get here! I intend to grant you your heart's desire, whatever that may be." She paused. "Rogue, you seem like a perfectly lovely girl. I don't think you could possibly wish for something I'd refuse to give you." Rogue hesitated.
"I want to be a dark faerie."
Fyora's face showed warped denial. A dark faerie? This girl had waited patiently, year after year, to meet with the faerie queen. She had sat and conversed with Fyora, and was perfectly behaved. And clearly, she was perfectly kind enough to others, as she amassed enough of a fortune to have painted her Lupe all those times, including her current faerie coat.
"I don't understand." Rogue's face fell.
"No one ever does." She began to stand up, but Fyora rested her hand gently on top of hers like a mother would, signifying to her she wasn't finished. Rogue sat back down.
"Please, try and explain this to me. You seem to be perfectly lovely, and I spend my days attempting to keep the dark faeries in check. What is it about the dark side that interests you?" A small smile cracked the mask on the girl's face. It appeared not many people paused to hear the rest of the story.
"It began when I was small. My mother would always tell me stories about the faeries. All sorts, light, dark, earth, fire, air, water, and all the others. The dark faeries always fascinated me. There was no doubt in my mind that some of them were truly evil. But I couldn't help but wonder how many weren't?" Fyora looked at Rogue oddly. A dark faerie not being evil?
"I would dream of dozens of scenarios in the night. What if they were a light faerie, but received no love and became dark?" Fyora opened her mouth to stop and tell her that faeries couldn't change elements, and though no faerie was ever unloved, but Rogue continued on with her story. Fyora, now unbelievably curious at this point, allowed the girl to continue.
"I know now that that's silly. A faerie could never change like that, and that all faeries are loved, but the 'what if' remained in my mind. What if a dark faerie was born into what she was, but had no desire to be evil? Or what if she was raised by light faeries, but could do nothing more about changing her element than a Kougra could do about becoming a Gruslen?" Again, Fyora began to stop her to mark the ridiculousness of the statement, but stopped as she realized that it was the intent.
"The thought soon blossomed in to an idea, and the idea turned in to a goal. That maybe, just maybe, the faerie queen, with all her limitless power, could turn me in to a dark faerie. Yes, I know the temptation would be there, and maybe it would be stronger than before, but I could handle it! I wasn't raised like a dark faerie, on the backwards morals that create the most evil of them all. I know better."
"With my foundation being good, who's to say I couldn't fight off the evil? And think of your opportunities! You would have a faerie that was truly loyal to you on the dark side. Any mutiny, I could report to you immediately! Oh, please Fyora!" Rogue finished her monologue, leaving hundreds of thoughts swirling around in Fyora's head.
With her busy schedule, it had never occurred to Fyora to pause and consider that perhaps the dark faeries were no different than herself. After all, hadn't Jhudora been frozen in stone just as she had? And yet, the request was a staggering wish to grant. The girl held so much hope in her eyes that Fyora's next words would either realize of crush those hopes.
Fyora's head slowly swung back and forth. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't grant it. It's just too much, and too risky. Is there anything else you desire?" Tears filled Rogue's eyes as she shook her head.
"T-t-t-thank you for your time." Rogue said, her voice cracking. She turned, and walked swiftly out the door. She called for her Lupe to follow her, but Lolly stayed put in the chair.
"She really meant those reasons she said, but do you want to know the reason she was too scared to tell you?" Fyora's attention turned to the Lupe. She had stayed silent throughout her owner's monologue, and it seemed odd to hear her speak out loud, as if she had meant to be but a mute companion to her owner.
"She thinks she could do the most good as a dark faerie." Lolly leapt out of the chair and flew out of the royal suite, following her owner. Fyora sunk deep in to her seat. Lolly was right, of course. Those blessed with faerie's wings always seemed to have a gift for letting the truth shine through. If Rogue were to really speak on her behalf, it would do wonders.
If she could show that her 'worst enemies', the dark faeries, were truly on her side, no one would ever doubt her. But most of all, Fyora knew. She knew that if she didn't grant this girl's one wish, with her intentions as pure as they were, she would never forgive herself.
But one thing kept Fyora to her place. She could remember, all too well, all the times Jhudora had 'not' caused chaos, or the terrors brought down on Neopia by the Darkest Faerie. So with a heavy heart, Fyora allowed the pair to leave her office. She hoped it would not be the last time she saw them.
To be continued...