A Gift Called Hope
Sequel to "Gifts of a Different Kind"
It was a cool Friday evening when the small Blue Krawk's case was finally seen before the Faerie court. 5:00 on the dot, to be precise. The seven month old petition clutched in his beclawed grasp as he stood unnaturally still. Quietly he passed the paper to a guard standing beside him who, in turn, passed the paper onto the Queen Fey who sat upon the throne.
The court remained quiet as the Queen read through his request. Though the Krawk's eyes never wavered from the Queen's face, his right hand scratched his left in nervousness. After a moment Queen Fyora's gaze slid up to behold the Krawk's unflinching face.
"Have you seen the Water Fey about this condition?" the Queen inquired; her voice strong and sure as it bounced off of the court walls.
The Krawk nodded his head hastily, his eyes never breaking contact.
"And it couldn't be done," she stated, though the Krawk nodded in agreement as if she posed a question. She remained silent for a moment, studying the Neopian before her.
"Have you inquired of other sources? Potions? Asked after Kauvara herself?" the Queen questioned further. The Krawk nodded each time.
"All for nothing," she murmured, drawing a finger over her lips in thought. Her eyes held a faraway look. The tension in the tiny Krawk's shoulders slowly gave way as his gaze went from attentive to desperation.
"I fear I am unable to aid in your request as it is beyond me to do so. Your condition of muteness has not been cured by other methods. Perhaps it is something you must work out on your own." Fyora advised as the Krawk's head slowly drooped. He nodded softly, not meeting the Queen's eye.
The Queen handed the guard back the petition. "I wish you well in your quest, little one."
The blue Krawk moved at a lethargic pace, taking his petition back and sulking out the door. He made his way out of Faerie City.
The Krawk did not rest until he found a patch of trees.
He plopped down beneath a large tree with twisting branches and full of leaves. Believing himself to be alone, he pulled out his petition and looked through it once again. In a huff he tossed it from himself and gazed at the ground solemnly.
At that moment the wind bristled and a paper floated down to him, landing on his head.
The Krawk snatched it off of his head, ready to throw the offending paper away like the previous. But the wide looping letters on the scrunched paper stopped him for a moment. He smoothed out the crinkled page and began to read.
As he read his eyes gathered with tears and a small smile formed on his face. Glancing above him was a blue Grundo plushie. The Krawk studied the plushie who stared back at him with a ragdoll façade.
He hugged the paper tighter as he stared up at the plushie. Without warning the Krawk nodded seriously, rolling the paper up and perching it beneath his arm.
As the Krawk left he could have sworn he saw a smile on that weathered plushie's face – a plushie strangely named Dave.
With purpose in his eyes and a mission in his steps, the Krawk made his journey first to Neopia Central.
He didn't tarry as he quickly made his way into the Shop Wizard's tent.
A JubJub in a mystical hat bounced up to the Krawk with a bold confident smile on his face.
"Can I help you?" the Wizard asked, drawing himself up to his full height of two feet (excluding the hat, that is). The Krawk's brow furrowed in determination while he gaze remained focused.
He opened his mouth but no sound emerged. He paused for a beat and then tried once more but his attempt ended in a hacking cough. The Wizard shifted uneasily.
"Uh – here. Wait, hold on." The JubJub bounded from the room, returning swiftly with plates with words on them.
"Just, uh, pick out the ones you want and put 'em in order. Then we can get this show on the road," the Wizard explained. The Krawk's shoulders drooped as he nodded quietly. He quickly picked out the first word "Grey".
"That's gonna be pricey," the Wizard jovially commented.
When he picked out the next word, "Faerie", the Wizard looked at him worriedly.
"The trading post might be able to-" The JubJub paused suddenly as the Krawk picked out the last words "Snow" and "Globe".
The Shop wizard stared at the words for a moment. "Alright. Okay. I'll see what I can do."
The Krawk expectantly watched the Wizard and took a tentative step back.
The Shop wizard drew himself up to his full height of two feet as his hat drooped over his eyes in the most focused of manner. Determination and assured victory swirled in his eyes. Music sounded as the tent ruffled from an unknown breeze – lights swirled above. The Krawk gaped at the splendor before him. That was, until he caught sight of a fan behind the JubJub and the music began to skip. The Shop Wizard blushed in embarrassment.
"Be right back!" The JubJub ran from the room once more leaving the blue Krawk stunned. The music stopped suddenly and he heard a loud crash in the back.
The JubJub returned moments later with a list of shops.
"Here you go!" the Wizard exclaimed with his hat askew. The Krawk meekly snatched the list away, watching the Shop Wizard with uncertainty. He then quietly inched out of the tent away from the JubJub.
Within hours the determined Krawk clutched the snowglobe in his claws.
His first place to visit was WinterVale. He poked around a few places. Each time he encountered someone he pointed to the Snowglobe. Once it was understood what he was looking for, each reply was the same. No one had seen the Faerie in question. The Krawk had been making his way down Terror Mountain when his grip on the ice slipped and he slid right down the side of the mountain and into a dark hole.
The Krawk fell until landing in what seemed to be plushies. Looking around he saw the mounds of gold, jewelry, books, Neggs, keyrings and swords.
Horror laced his features as the small Blue Krawk looked around at his surroundings. He knew where he was.
A roar sounded, and the Krawk lost his balance, tumbling down the pile of plushies. When he gained his bearing, the mighty ice-snake was before him.
Eyes that promised violence stared him down. The creature took its time nearing, as if contemplating if the blue Krawk was worthy to be eaten whole. The Krawk held onto his snowglobe fiercely as he backed away from the Snowager.
The Krawk swallowed painfully, and opened his mouth to talk. Once more, not a sound was made. He coughed violently.
The Snowager paused in its pursuit which gave the Krawk enough time to come up with another plan.
He pulled out one hundred coins from his pocket and tossed them onto the ground as he took two more steps back. The Snowager regarded the smaller creature with curiosity, no longer making its eerie advance.
The Krawk the held up the snowglobe for the Snowager to see and tapped one claw on the glass where the Grey Faerie figurine lay inside.
The Snowager beheld the Krawk, his head tilting to the side as if to figure out the reptilian. With a flick of the Snowager's tail, the coins had vanished and something new was in its place.
The Blue Krawk lowered his snowglobe to get a better look at the object – a small model of Altador lay before his feet.
The Krawk looked up at the Snowager's intelligent eyes for a moment, studying its depths. Before the Krawk could even attempt to question the large ice snake, the Snowager snorted as if to remind him that not all was safe within the caverns of the ice serpent's home.
The Krawk left nearly as quickly as he came and slid out the entrance on a patch of ice.
When Altador came into the blue Krawk's sights he smiled and hugged the snowglobe tighter. The day came and went yet once again, no one had seen the Grey Faerie. With no leads the little Neopian settled himself on the bank before the vast Ocean.
He studied the snowglobe intensely as sadness marred his features. His gaze flicked up as he watched the ocean vacantly.
The soft crunch of grass behind him alerted him that someone approached, but the Krawk didn't move a muscle.
It was not until he saw out of the corner of his eye a cool grey figure settle down softly beside him.
His turned, staggered to see Baelia the Grey Faerie sitting beside him. She gave him a weak smile.
"I hope you do not mind me. You looked lonely, little one," Baelia told him. There was sadness deep within her eyes. The Krawk leapt to his feet, gawking at the Faerie.
"I could move if you wish-" The Faerie paused as she watched the Krawk vehemently shake his head.
He set the snowglobe down as he opened his mouth to speak once more. But, like all the other times, no words escaped. He scrubbed his face in frustration.
"Are you well?" the Grey Faerie asked, staring at him with concern.
The Krawk then went around patting down his pockets, until he found the paper that had caused his quest to begin with. He held it out to the Grey Faerie proudly, his chest puffing out as he did so.
She gave him a funny look and went about unfolding and straightening the paper.
The Krawk grinned as he watched the Grey Faerie look at the paper. But his grin faltered when he saw her confused features.
"I apologize – I am only able to read the olde Neopian language. The newer one is beyond me, little one," she informed him gently.
The Krawk smacked his hand onto his face, sliding it off painfully slow. He sat down beside her once more in frustration. His feet wiggled while he thought, his arms crossed stiffly across his chest.
Each time the Grey Faerie attempted to leave, he tugged her arm, and she sat back down. It remained this way for an hour until the blue Krawk's head snapped up. A light flickered in his eyes as he stood to his feet in not only determination, but assurance.
The Grey Faerie studied him quietly as he faced her.
He tried once more to speak, but nothing came. In all he tried five times until words came.
In a gravely uneven tone, the silent Krawk spoke for the first time in years. "That Grundo named you Hope for that is what you bring."
The Faerie's eyes snapped open as light enveloped her. The transformation had begun.