When I woke next day, the sun was shining into my room through a gap in the sheer curtains, and the clock above my pastel blue dresser was just hitting quarter to seven.
Pulling myself into a sitting position, I leant over to grab the book from my bedside table but changed my mind, deciding instead to get in some archery practice before we left. Sliding out of bed, I went over to my dresser to use the mirror while I put my hair up in a style appropriate for training and cleansed my face ready for the day ahead. As I sat down I gave a start as I looked in the mirror.
I looked different. The acne that had plagued me since I was thirteen had completely cleared up. My skin was now completely unblemished, and smooth to the touch. The colour of my eyes had changed from hazel brown to violet-grey, although there were still a few flecks of the colour they once were in them. My cheek bones were also more defined, and my ears had somehow lengthened a few inches and came to a soft point just like my parents’, without my knowledge. Not only all that, but all the scars that I had entered Elandrea with…were gone.
I couldn’t quite grasp these sudden changes in my appearance, and without giving it a second thought I opened my door and tiptoed over to Harry’s, knocking only loud enough for him to hear if he was even slightly awake. A few seconds after I knocked, the door opened and Harry stood before me, his bed-hair making him look handsome despite its dishevelled appearance, his eyes bleary from sleep.
‘Ellie? What’s wrong?’
‘Harry, I…I’ve changed.’
‘What do you mean? You’re still in your night gown’ he mumbled, sleepily rubbing at his eyes.
‘I don’t mean my clothes Harry, I’m…talking about my facial features.’
He blinked at me a few times, and then invited me into his room.
‘Now, why don’t you tell me what you…’ he began say, but his voice trailed off as he met the expression in my eyes.
Now that I had his attention I turned away from him to the window behind me, walked into the path of sunlight shining in through the outside world, and slowly turned around to face him.
Harry’s eyes widened, though whether it was in surprise or shock I wasn’t sure, and came towards me almost as slowly as I had turned around.
‘Your – your eyes are different!’
‘I know, it – it’s kind of weird.’
‘Your skin is completely unblemished…and your ears – this all happened over just one night?’ he asked me.
‘How is this possible?’
I shrugged and then had an idea, ‘my parents will know, though I’d hate to wake them so early in the day’ I replied.
‘If their only daughter has woken up to changes in her appearance that seemed to have happened overnight, I think they’ll forgive you. Come on’ he replied, grabbing me gently by the hand and pulling me after him as he left the room.
As we headed down the hallway towards my parents’ room, I looked sideways at Harry – who was still holding my hand – and saw a worried look in his eyes that had appeared almost the moment he’d seen the change in my features.
I stopped and tugged him back.
‘Ellie, what is it?’ he asked nervously.
‘Something is troubling you. What is it?’
‘I – the fact that your appearance has changed days after our arrival in Ledoran…it only makes it more obvious to me how different we are. You are a princess, born into a world of magic and elves as we have both learned. Me…I’m only a human’ he answered, a hint of sadness in his voice.
‘Harry, I don’t believe –’ I began to contradict what he had said, but stopped half way through my sentence upon seeing my father appear at the end of the hall, heading in the direction of the stairs.
‘Father!’ I called, letting go of Harry’s hand and running to him.
‘Oraelia…and Harry too, I thought you weren’t leaving until ten thirty?’ he asked, mentioning Harry when he looked up from me and noticed him.
Harry respectfully bowed his head. ‘King Thäro Ell – I mean – Oraelia’s, features have changed overnight, and we were hoping you’d be able to explain it.’
My dad turned his soft-eyed gaze on me, and it was then that he noticed I looked different to the way I had yesterday.
‘You had better come into my study.’ He motioned for us to follow him back in the direction from which I’d seen him come.
We soon came to a green door painted with golden swirls which my father opened, and then turned to usher us into the room before closing the door behind himself.
The study was large and spacious with a wide desk in front of a pair of tall bay windows with a large blue chair behind it, two smaller green chairs in front of the desk. There were a few things placed upon it including a pot of swan-feather quills, an inkwell and a red pot of normal pens. Two wide bookshelves filled with books , along with a long red sofa covered in an assortment of patterned cushions stood against the far wall of the study.
Taking me and Harry over to the sofa, Father sat down and invited us to do the same.
‘Oraelia, do you remember reading about Queen Iona and King Gardohil, in one of Elandrea’s history books?’ he asked me.
‘Yes, they rule over Teralien, above the clouds’ I replied.
‘Did you happen to read anything on their descendants?’
I shook my head ‘no, I did look but I couldn’t find anything about them. Does it have something to do with my appearance changing?’
He nodded, ‘indeed it does, my dear. They had three sons; Erodis, Ildoren and Jerodil, all three growing up with their mother’s eyes, and their father’s sharp sight and hearing, pointed ears, and unblemished skin. When each of them turned sixteen, they grew wings inherited from their mother and, since they were different from their parents and those they grew up around, they were given the term Avadorae: a combination of the Elandrean and Teraliene words for elf and angel, Ava and Dorae.’
I opened my mouth to speak, but he held up his hand and carried on.
‘When we sent you to the human world, your mother and I asked Iona and Gardohil how long it would be after you arrived home, that you would adopt the features inherited from them including Iona’s wings, and they told us it would be two to seven days. I don’t know how long it will be until your wings come through, but my guess is that they will follow a day or two from now- maybe even later today.’
‘Are you saying that I’m a direct descendant of Iona and Gardohil?’
My father nodded, ‘you and I both; through their first-born son Erodis. You’ll also develop gifts, which may come before or after your wings – but we will save discussing those for after you get your wings; right now, you two should be getting ready to go into town, go on now’ he replied, getting up and going over to his desk; sitting down to start on some paperwork (presumably kingdom business).
A signal to me that our conversation was over for now, I followed Harry out of the study and headed over to my room to get ready for my first visit into Síosa.
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.