Aiolos’s Past. A New Bond.
The following morning, having gone to bed earlier than I usually would the night before, I was sat on a blanket from the top shelf of my wardrobe in a casual short-sleeved summer dress and cardigan, in the middle of the lawn at the back of the palace; a mug of strawberry flavoured tea nestled in between my legs as I watched the sun rise over the horizon. The four guards my parents had assigned to protect me at all times were spread out around me, eyes and ears alert for any signs of danger as they paced.
Just as I picked up my mug to take another sip of tea, I heard a male voice that didn’t belong to Harry behind me.
‘Are you always up this early?’
I cast my eyes over my shoulder and up, to see my older brother Aiolos behind me, nodding to my protectors as they bowed to him in respect.
‘Not always, no. Please, join me’ I replied with a chuckle and a grin of my own, and patted the blanket beside me.
He thanked me gratefully, sitting down next to me.
‘Aiolos, I hope you don’t mind my asking, but what life did you lead before my parents saved you?’ I asked, my voice almost a whisper.
‘I was born into a wealthy family who owned a company that shipped various goods between a number of islands, some the company had pre-existing bonds with, through friendships and such like. One day, about a week or so before my tenth birthday, my parents took me out on a ship carrying coffee; tea; herbs, and other products to an island several kilometres north of the mainland. The journey there was fine; the sun was shining, the waves calm and gentle against the ship’s hull but on the way back, we – ’ he broke off abruptly, with a sigh filled with pain and grief.
‘We ran into a thunder-storm, the now wild waves sloshing over the sides of the ship; shaking it around as the heavy rain soaked everyone to the bone, and then there were several lightning strikes that set three of the sails alight despite the torrential rain. Even though I was the youngest on board at only nine years of age, I still had the good sense to abandon-ship and swim to safety – the only problem was that our ship was now miles from any island, so all I could do was swim in the hope that I would come across one amongst the rain and thunder.
It was then, as I was losing my strength that a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins found me and swam me to safety. The last thing I remember prior to waking up in one of the palace’s many guest rooms, was falling against soft, cool sand – though I never found out what became of the crew or my parents, but I always hope that they got to safety and are living happily back home.’
‘I’m sorry Aiolos, that must have been confusing for you. Waking up in a place you don’t know and being told you’re not in the human world anymore, not to mention learning you’ve been adopted by royalty’ I replied, laying my hand on his arm.
‘You are from the human world, aren’t you?’
He chuckled. ‘So inquisitive, and no I’m not from the human world. The world I do come from is very similar though, I shall have to point out some books on it from the Geography and History sections of the palace library later. Now, you’ve just learnt my life before I came here, what about you?’
‘I was born here in Síosa but because of a prophecy, and the fact that an Uaea Ki named Ascevos wanted to kill me before I reached childhood to stop this prophecy from coming true, I was sent to the human world for my own protection until I was old enough to protect myself, and return home. It was my home for eighteen years, as was the house of the couple who adopted me and raised me as their own, all those years up until I discovered the journal which would eventually lead back home, and they explained everything to me when I confronted them with the journal having found it hidden at the back of a shelf of old books’ I answered, lowering my mug and placing it on the blanket beside me before pulling my knees up to my chest.
‘Do you think you’ll ever see them again?’
I shrugged, letting my chin fall onto my knees, and watched a pair of butterflies chase each other around an orchid.
‘Hey, where did you get that scar?’ he asked after a short pause, nodding at my right arm; where a long, jagged white line ran from half way down my upper arm to the crease at the crook of my elbow.
‘Oh, I…um took a tumble down a rather steep hill when I was five years old: a bit of rock jutting out of the hill stopped my fall but left me with a rather deep gash, and believe, it or not, it was a lot bigger when I was being patched up. The doctor told me the wound would shrink with time, but I know that the scar will always be there as a reminder of how careless I was.’
He smiled sadly. ‘What about the little one on the inside of you hand?’
‘I burnt myself with hot water the first time I tried to make my adoptive parents coffee, when I was around eight.’
Aiolos chuckled softly at this and I smiled despite my embarrassment.
Moving a little closer to him, I leant against Aiolos and lay my head on his shoulder, and felt his arm wrap around me. Aiolos, in a brotherly way, pulled me closer so that my head slipped from his shoulder and nuzzled his neck as he lowered his chin, so it rested just above my forehead.
In that moment, as the sun rose in the sky and its brilliant rays shone upon everything in sight, I knew that barely a day after we met, Aiolos and I had developed a bond that could never be broken.