I slowly open my eyes, greeted by a panorama of darkness. I instinctively try to get up and move, but find myself tied to where I'm seated.
Suddenly, a bright light begins to shine, and I hear footsteps coming towards me, and a familiar voice talking. At this point, my pet crow, Countess Crowena, should be swooping in to save me, biting and diving and ducking, just like the faithful avian she is.
But she's not there. I can't even hear her cawing.
"Wondering where your little birdie is, m'lady?" the man asks mockingly, putting his hand on my shoulder.
I say nothing, and just nod.
He laughs, and, with another man who I don't recognise, goes over to something that is covered with a silken cloth, and whips it off. It's a bird cage, and inside, with wings and feet bound, is Crowena. She begins crying out the moment I look at her.
I gasp, continuing to writhe in my seat. "How... why?" I ask breathlessly.
Then I realise that someone else is missing. Someone who, if this was reality, would be bursting through a door to save me, whatever the cost.
"Where. Is. My. Brother?" I order to know, trying to keep my voice as strong and unwavering as possible.
"Oh, you mean Lord Raven? Dear old Lord Raven?" the man asks, as if he was remembering an old friend or family member. "Well, I'm afraid he has run out of time."
I knew immediately what he meant. "NO!" I scream, thrashing around. "RAVEN! I KNOW YOU'RE HERE SOMEWHERE! SPEAK TO ME!"
The group of men laugh, the ringleader pacing around me like a hawk would to its prey, pressing a long finger to my lips. "I wouldn't waste your breath." he suggested coldly, a bright orange light forming in his hand. "You're going to need it for all the screaming in a few seconds." He draws his hand backwards, and I cry out my brother's name into the darkness, preparing for the worst.
That was when I woke up. The bright morning light flooded through the large windows of the room. I always hated the sunlight.
All of a sudden, the door was kicked open, and my brother rushed in, black cape flowing behind him, short dark hair covering half his face, shouting my name. Crowena, unbound and uncaged, was soaring overhead.
He then stood still, a perplexed expression on his face.
"I had a bad dream." I explained.
He sighed, walking over and sitting down on the edge of my bed. "Mind telling me about it?" he asked gently in his thick yet adorable Scottish accent, putting a hand around my shoulder (though in a less menacing way than what happened in my dream).
I took a deep breath. "It was them, Big Brother." I said, putting emphasis on the most important word.
Now, by this point most of you will have questions. "Them? Who are they? Why are they so important?"
Well, it all started two years ago. Me, Big Brother, and our parents were all part of an elite magician group, a sort of branch of the famous Magic Council. I had lots of fun there- I always got top marks in my classes, even though I was the youngest one there- the same couldn't be said for my brother, though! Whilst we were enrolled in the group, Raven was best friends with another man, known only to me as The Storyteller, for reasons you can probably work out. What interested me the most about him was the way he used to read out his tales- never did I see him use any emotion in his voice, neither did I see the cold steely gaze shift from his eyes. Aside from this, I loved him almost like he was a blood relative, Big Brother even more so.
Anyway, life went on for the Avion family, we were all the happiest we could be- until one fateful day, I noticed Lord Raven wasn't acting as usual; he was spending more and more time with The Storyteller, so much so that I began to worry. I tried to tell Mother and Father, but they just told me to drop my worries- I was only 10 years old, after all. Plus, as I said, those two were very good friends- why should a paranoid young girl stop them from doing what they wanted to do?
It was about a week before the biggest, most life-changing event happened. My brother hadn't spoken to me all day- we'd usually converse at least once- and he seemed to be completely ignoring me, Mother and Father, opting to hang around with The Storyteller instead. He hadn't turned up for any of the classes, and so Crowena and I went looking for him, eventually finding him standing on the outskirts of a large forest bordering the building in which the group was based. He was just standing there, and whenever I tried to speak to him, he never replied, instead chanting some strange other language, that, as far as I knew, had never been taught to us. At first, nothing seemed to be happening, but soon enough, I saw the first flames of a fire which was destined to change my life forever. "What are you doing?" I shouted in disbelief as the flames jumped higher.
There was no reply. The flames had reached the second floor when I realised the most painful truth of all- whist the fire was raging onwards, our parents were trapped inside.
"WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?" I screamed, almost bursting into tears. "MOTHER AND FATHER ARE IN THERE!"
It was then that he snapped out of whatever state he'd been in. His previously vacant expression had been replaced with one of shock and horror at what he clearly didn't remember doing.
"Ravana, we're leaving." he told me firmly, taking my hand. "And we're never coming back."
Before I knew what was happening, Big Brother had began pulling me into the forest with him, as I was still crying at the loss of our parents, and, up until now, our home.
For a few moments, looking back upon the blaze, I thought that everyone except me and Raven had perished in that fire- but, as I left the scene with the last of my family, I swore I could see The Storyteller standing inches away from the burning building with a twisted smile on his face.
From that day, I've never trusted that man. He became more than an emotionless but kindly acquaintance- he became a sworn enemy.
As for me and Lord Raven, well, our lives changed dramatically. For the first time in life, my brother took full custody of me, and I made a promise that I'd spend as long as was needed running from the long arm of the law with him, which, as of now, is approximately 2 years, 6 months and 28 days. We did up an abandoned cottage, which became our crash-landing space in between the times when we weren't running from our enemies. And, on the psychological side of things, I've kept having recurring nightmares in which I'm captured by our enemies, with no means of escape. It's terrible, but I have to keep on going. As Big Brother always tells me, "Sometimes that's the only way to survive."
Back in the present day, Lord Raven was still comforting me, though his eyes were clearly still pained from re-watching the pain he put me and himself through. "You can't change the past, Ravana." he told me. "But you can shape the future. And that's exactly what we're gonna do, right?"
"Right." I replied, smiling with a determined mindset. "Speaking of which- when are you going to get a real pet?"
He gasped. "How dare you! Count Crow is real, aren't you?" He turned to a fake stuffed crow on his shoulder, pushing it and making a fake squawking sound.
I giggled. I still wasn't quite sure if my brother was trying to make me feel better, or if he actually thought the bird was real.
His face slowly creased into a smile. "Alright, I'll leave you to get changed." he said. See you in a few minutes, yeah?"
I nodded, as he bent over and kissed me on the head before leaving. Once that had happened, I walked over to my large oak wardrobe, opening it to reveal an abyss of black. The dress code for the old Council group had nothing but that colour, and I and Big Brother carried that tradition over even after the fire, perhaps in memory of those who perished, or perhaps it was just because I was flattered by him saying how cute it made me look.
As I changed into one of many corsets, long skirts and blazer tops, I pondered over what I was going to do during the day. Usually we started running at night, as that was when the heads of the Magic Council would come looking for us, but during the day I usually stayed inside reading (a certain Edgar Allen Poe is my favourite- can any of you guess why?) Well, at least that was my preferred way to spend the sunlight hours- instead I'm spending all of that time teaching my brother all the tricks he didn't manage to master during his time in the group, of which there were many. Prior to enrolment, he'd put up most of his tricks on the Internet- all of which had failed miserably. So, I was the one left to show him the ropes- it's strange, actually- out of all our family, he was the only one not with the so-called "magic gene" that made him differ so much from the rest of us.
Just as I was about to put on my cape (which, as usual, was that little bit too big for me) Countess Crowena started cawing loudly, and flapping her wings. I walked over to her, reluctantly looking out of the window to see a hooded figure posting something through our door. I then opened the hatch, letting her out to fetch it from the person's hand. I'm sure I was doing both of us a favour...
She flew back into the room, dropping a letter into my hand. It was held together by one of those fancy wax seals- this one was emblazoned with a familiar crest. I didn't dare to open it myself.
"Big Brother!" I called. "Someone brought us a letter!"
He immediately re-entered the room. "Why haven't you-"
I cut him off before he could finish. "Take a look at the crest." I said gravely.
He took the letter from my hand, gazing at the seal with horrified eyes. "But, this is the crest of-"
"The Magic Council." we said in unison.
A/N: Long time no see! Hi again, Blaze here with my first big FP project! As the summary says, this was something I originally wrote for an English assessment, in which we had to make a story with the brief of "mistaken identity" (the title of this is actually those exact words in French), but it couldn't have any copyrighted characters, so along came this! Lord Raven is actually a character from a sketch from the TV show Magick, by magicians Barry and Stuart, but he wasn't given much characterisation (apart from being a bad magician as is mentioned here) and I don't think he's copyrighted, I don't think any of their characters are. Anyway, I'm going to give him so much of my own spin that he probably won't be recognisable as their character any more. xP
I hope you enjoy what's coming in this!
Wishing you a happy life,