The Fae Worlds

An Unexpected Visitor

A Mistake

Of course it was going to be the Wests. Was their magic the reason she’d been sent back in time? Eleanor raked a hand through her hair, walking through corridors in the hope she might be able to find a way out somewhere, although she wasn’t even sure she was going to be able to leave the building. Then she found a door. Breathing deeply, hoping she’d be able to go out, she opened it, and stepped out into a windy day. Looking up at the sky she saw that the grey clouds matched her mood.
Feeling a little less out of sorts she made her way towards a bench. Just knowing she wasn’t entirely trapped help, but there was no way she could walk away from the lab. She’d been sent there to do a job – a job she was certain involved saving Megan. Sighing, Eleanor stared at nothing. Teaching them who the Wests really were, and that some of them had travelled to Earth, was going to change things for both Megan and Scott. From the sounds of things Willow hadn’t told them everything they needed to know. It didn’t seem like her not to, but maybe she’d done it for a reason.
Considering what the lab was trying to do it almost made sense. They needed to learn the truth for themselves, so it didn’t seem like they were being pushed into not making certain choices, and that… yeah, it was the only real way of doing things. She nibbled her bottom lip. Willow was the reason she was at the lab in the first place. Finding out the ghost of Megan was still haunting the building led to her calling an exorcist. Having a decade of experience made Eleanor one of the the most likely to be called on, along with her father being one of Willow’s advisers. If Willow stepped into the lab avoiding her would be the priority. Her other self would be just coming up on her eighteenth birthday, and the day she made the decision to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Being told it was a mistake by her father didn’t change anything. She was one of five fae exorcists, and made a lot of money doing the kind of job no one else wanted to. Had she not made the choice she never would have been thrown back in time, to deal with something she didn’t understand. Saving Megan, it seemed, was her task, only she didn’t know exactly how Megan died. How it happened didn’t matter all that much when all Eleanor was doing was helping Megan to find her way to the afterlife.
Sometimes you learnt about the spirit in advance, and sometimes you didn’t. There were some who had lost who they once were, so nothing she learnt about them even helped, because then it was just a case of brute force. With others the background helped, to urge them to go to someone specific, but Willow didn’t know too much about Megan’s background. Going back in time changed everything. Eleanor had to learn more about the lab, about Scott and Megan, about what they were really doing, and normally she’d have turned to Willow. If things got too complicated then it was the only option, but as there were two Eleanors it didn’t make Willow an easy resource to use.
“Hey.” Scott’s voice made her jump for the second time in less than an hour. “I’m sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry for.” She looked at him. “How long have I been out here?”
“About half an hour. I wanted to make sure you were okay?”
“That really depends on your definition of okay.” She smiled. “If I’m going to explain this I’m going to explain it to both of you at the same time. I’m not telling the story twice.”
“I don’t have a problem with that.” He held his hand out to her, and she took it. “We want to know more about the Wests. Jenna left her notes behind, but she tore out the last few pages.”
“Yeah, that’s not a surprise.” They started making their way back towards the lab, but Scott took a different route to the one Eleanor had, and she tried to mentally map it, in the hope she’d be able to get around without needing to ask for help too many times. “The Wests… they’re interesting, to say the least, and playing around with their magic… probably not a good idea.”
“We know they were one of the few families who knew the whole history of the fae.”
“Most of the history of the fae. There’s only one family who knew the whole history of the fae, Scott, and that’s the family I belong to.” She bit her lip. The likelihood was she’d end up giving away too much information if she told him too much about her father, not that she really thought he would know much about Willow’s advisers. “Again a story better told to both of you.”
Scott glanced at her. “You’re more than you seem, Lea.”
“I’m fae.” She raked a hand through her hair. “Being young doesn’t change the fact I learnt all of this a very long time ago, because of who I was. Father… he’s not best pleased with me right now.” She almost laughed. He definitely wouldn’t be pleased if he knew her job had led to her being sent through time to work in a lab playing around with fae magic. “He and I have had trouble seeing eye to eye about pretty much everything. He wants me to walk a specific path. I don’t want to walk it. If it hadn’t been for my mother I wouldn’t be where I am now. She’s the one who convinced me I could be whoever I wanted to be.”
“Her words led to you choosing to come to work here?”
“In a round about way.” She smiled. “Let’s just be grateful you have someone here who can stop you from making some really terrible mistakes.”
“Like looking into the magic of the West family.”
“Yes, and no.” They walked back into the lab itself, where Megan, it seemed, was doing some work at one of the other stations. “Some of the magics the Wests had weren’t dangerous. It was more…” Eleanor nibbled her bottom lip, trying to work out how to word what it was she needed to say. “One of the things the Wests were very good at was marrying the right people in order to have children with certain dangerous magics, and one of the Wests… well, that’s a long story.”
“We’d like to hear it.” Megan stepped out from the station, and started to make her way across the room. “You know so much more about this than we do. Willow did give us some books, but you must have heard some of this from your family, and that’s different to books. It’s more real, in some ways.”
“Do you want to sit down? This is going to be a long story.”
Nodding, Megan gestured at a table, and the three of them stepped over to it. Eleanor didn’t sit. Instead she stayed standing as Megan and Scott sat, knowing she was going to need to move as she spoke. “Starting the Wests’ story honestly means starting at the beginning, and when I say the beginning I mean the true beginning of the fae. There are those who don’t believe that what I’m going to tell you is actually what happened, but my father was one of the few people to meet Meriel.
“At the time Kalinia was dying. She made the decision she was going to stay on the world that had been her home for so many millennia, because her time, to her, had come. I think she was hoping she’d be able to meet with her sisters once more.” She raked a hand through her hair. “Meriel’s sister, Roza, liked to create races of people. She’s one of the reasons there are those within the fae who can do the same thing. It took them a very long time to realise they had that skill, but they did, and, eventually, they did experiment with it.”
“The Dragons.” Megan made a face. “That went well.”
“Unfortunately they didn’t know what they could create when they experimented, and the Dragons weren’t all bad. Draven… he did the best he could. After Jaromir’s fae wife died everything changed. I know how much he loved her, and losing her broke him.” Eleanor’s eyes met with Megan’s for a minute. “One important thing you need to know is fae souls do reincarnate. Sometimes they remember the lives they lived before. That doesn’t mean they make it public knowledge, because most of the time it’s much easier not to, but it does happen.” She shook her head. “Some of the fae who are here were very close to the Dragons, or had been when the Dragons were truly being led by Jaromir.
“Poor Draven always found it complicated to make the older Dragons follow him, but they made the choice to do just that when Willow created a door for them, and sent them through to Arkal. Of course the Dragons did believe they were coming to Earth at the time. It’s fortunate for everyone involved it never happened.”
“How do you know that?” Scott studied Eleanor. “Willow said there were very few people who truly knew what happened to the Dragons.”
“Lea’s one of them.” Eleanor jumped at the sound of a voice she truly hadn’t been expecting to hear. “I believe we need to be having a conversation.”
“Willow.” Megan stood. “Neither of us were expecting to see you today.”
“You mentioned a new arrival, and I was interested to meet her.” Willow’s eyes met with Eleanor’s. “I’m very glad I did. Lea?”
Raking a hand through her hair Eleanor did her best to smile at Willow. “Okay.” She glanced at Scott and Megan. “I promise I will finish the story I started.”

The Unexpected