Aiolos chuckled when he found me in the library with my nose in a book, two days after Harry’s archery training session. I was curled up on the same chair Jaron found me on the first day of my training, next to the window with a mug of tea sat on the table next to me beside a book of Elandrean fairy tales and legends, the different coloured sequins of its hand-stitched cover glittering in the sunlight pouring in through the tall windows.
‘Is this the only place you ever come to after meals, and during the day when you’re not training or teaching Harry archery? Wouldn’t you like to take a trip to the private beach, or visit the capital with Jaron, Kenton or myself?’
I smiled and marked my page in the book I was currently reading, Magical Creatures of Elandrea: Land and Sea, and held it in my lap as I raised my eyes to look at him.
‘There are so many books here about Elandrea’s history and that of its kingdoms, as well as their respective fairy tales, that I have yet to read.’
‘You have all the time in the world to read all these books. Leave reading to a rainy day and go outside, explore the palace; I’m sure there still a few parts of it you haven’t seen’ he replied and reached down, picking the book up of off my lap and tucking it under his arm.
He jerked his head towards the library doors. ‘There are still a few hours until dinner, go and explore the palace a bit more.’
I sighed ‘all right, all right I’m going.’
Heading towards the entrance, I turned to see Aiolos waving at me with a wide grin on his face, before heading off to find the parts of my home I had yet to discover.
Just over half an hour later, having almost gotten lost in several corridors and discovered a few new rooms, I came across a door on the way to my room to change for dinner, that I hadn’t noticed before.
At first glance, the wooden door appeared old and plain with bits of paint and wood peeling off – but on closer inspection it in fact had fairies; pixies; angels; elves, and various other magical beings etched into the wood and, looking down at the handle noticed it was unlocked, so I opened it to see what was hidden on the other side.
The room concealed behind the beautiful, yet ageing, door was almost as large as my room, and filled with various items both large and small. Out of everything in this new room I had discovered the Grand Piano, placed at the very centre of the room partially covered by a large white sheet that was gathering dust, was by far the largest. Weaving my way through several boxes labelled “old crockery”, “antiques” etc., I took the sheet in both hands and tugged it off; a blanket of dust falling over me and making me splutter and sneeze, and threw it to the floor.
Returning my attention to the piano, I ran the tips of my fingers along its sleek surface and then the shining lid. Having learnt piano for seven years when I lived in the human world, I decided to see if I could still play and, in doing so, find out whether the piano itself was still in tune. Sitting myself down on the cushioned piano stool, I opened the lid and raised my hands above the ivory keys. Playing a random melody straight from my head for a time, relieved and surprised at the fact it was still in tune and, I opened my mouth and began to sing.
‘When I was young
My parents sent me away
To keep me safe
Who would hurt me
My whole life, I’ve lived
In a world I don’t belong
Until I came home
I didn’t know
Who I really was.’
I played a little more, tapping the ivory keys I knew would fit – but, as I opened my mouth to resume singing, I sensed someone behind me, and twisted round to see who it was.
My father was stood behind me, leaning against an old chest of drawers up against the wall to the right of the piano with his arms crossed over his chest, a wide smile spread across his handsome features.
‘You sing beautifully my dear, and where did you learn to play like that?’ he asked, coming over.
I smiled, moving along the seat so he could sit beside me. ‘I learnt piano from the age of seven until I was fourteen, by which time I had achieved my Grade Six.’
‘Why did you stop?’ he enquired, tapping out a short tune as he spoke.
‘It was around the time I began my GCSEs. I wanted to get good grades, so I could get into Sixth Form and do the A-Levels I wanted to and to get there, I had to concentrate on getting all of my homework done and studying hard for my exams. With all that, I only ever had time to watch a bit of TV, because I’d do homework or study almost the moment I got home, until dinner. I didn’t really have time for my piano lessons anymore.’
‘That’s a shame – at least you can still play despite not taking lessons for the past few years.’
I nodded, ‘that’s true.’
There was a moment of silence following my answer, and then my father spoke. ‘You should teach your friend Harry how to play…you’re already teaching him archery, after all.’
‘I tried to when we were ten and eleven just after I achieved Grade Two,’ I chuckled ‘ but he couldn’t play for toffee.’
‘Well, you were both younger back then. Now that you’re older and more experienced, maybe he’ll be able to learn now if you’re persuasive’ he replied, chortling.
I shook my head sadly and looked down at my lap, ‘it’s been a long time since I tried teaching him piano – I don’t think he’d still have an interest in learning anymore.’
My father lifted my chin with his finger.
‘You’ll never know, unless you ask him’ he murmured, eyes twinkling.
‘Now come on, dinner will be ready soon. Get changed into a nice dress and I’ll meet you at the foot of the stairs’ he added, getting up and throwing me a fatherly smile and a wink before leaving the room.
I sat at the piano for a time following his departure, staring at its sleek top as the words he said to me ran through my mind over, and over: “you’ll never know unless you ask him”, with the feeling deep in my heart that there was some hidden meaning behind them, and then left the room myself to change into something for dinner.
Hey my lovelies, I hope you’re all doing well and enjoyed the chapters this week. You may notice that only three chapters went up this week, the reason for which will be explained in a post coming next week.
Which chapter would you say has been your favourite so far, and what do you think will happen next? Let us all know in the comments below :).
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.