Aurelius Covent, Knight of the Autumn Arc (Written by Hestia with help from Fairy)
Aurel searched for Lorelle, wondering where she was and to apologize for maybe getting her in trouble yesterday and getting overly mad at her. Something inside of him had flared up, something that he hadn't felt in a while. He rubbed at his eyes tiredly as he wandered up to her room, knocking on the door and receiving no sound in response. Was she ignoring him, or was she gone? He heard someone approach behind him and he turned around, his hand flying to his hip.
"She's at the kitchens." A small maid said softly, looking up at him. Aurel gave her a warm smile, thanking her quickly before taking off for the kitchens.
The moment he opened the doors, a sweet scent filled his nose. There, by a strange tea set, stood Lorelle. She tucked a curl of dark brown hair behind her ear as she placed a lid on a porcelain container.
Aurel's heartbeat sped up, wondering if she was mad at him. He calmed himself, running a hand coolly over his crisp orange shirt before sitting down beside her. "Hey."
The girl jumped at his voice and turned towards him, her blue eyes cloudy with an emotion he couldn't place.
"Hello," she said, averting her eyes. Her hands gripped the skirt of her dress as she sniffled.
Aurel tried to stifle the large lump that began to form in his neck. He'd made her sad. He started to desperately search for a way to make her happy again.
He softly put his hand on hers. "Lorelle?"
She looked up at him as she backed away and picked up her tray. "What are you here for, Sir Aurelius? I'm afraid I have to leave soon."
"I wanted to apologize for yesterday...I was caught off guard." He told her softly.
Lorelle's eyes widened. "That's..."
"I'm so sorry..." He murmured, putting his head in his hands, his shoulders hunching in an effort to get away.
"Wait," she said, her voice sounding as if she was about to tear up. "It's ok. I was the one who got lost then was overly familiar. And then I basically insulted you when you tried to help. I'm sorry."
"No," He sighed softly. "Lorelle, it was me. I was too fragile, I'm sorry." He looked at her, his blue eyes watching her.
"But I'm..." Lorelle started to say, but quickly bit her lip before making her way towards the door. "Never mind. Thank you for the apology, Sir Knight. It was nice to meet you."
"Hey." He said stopping her with his hand. "You don't have to call me Sir Knight. Aurelius is fine."
"Aurelius is a hard name," she sighed, readjusting the tray as her blue eyes met his. "But thanks."
Aurel gave her a little smile. "I'm sorry...but Naura, she calls me Aurel, and it's become too associated with her for me to be called Aurel by someone else quite yet." Aurel felt shy about admitting it, his cheeks flushing a deep crimson. It's stupid, he told himself, just because Naura calls him it doesn't mean anyone else may not.
Lorelle smiled gently. "It's a fine nickname, if I do say so myself. I bet the princess enjoys saying it as much as you like hearing it."
Aurel gave her a genuine smile. "Thank you, Lorelle." He almost let out a sigh of relief, they'd cleared the air, and everything was back to normal, he told himself confidently.
"Well, as acquaintances, I must go before the tea gets cold. His Majesty might laugh it off, but Madam might not be so humorous."
"I'll see you at the Gathering." Aurel inclined his head to her before opening the door for her.
"Hopefully," she added, as she carefully exited the kitchen. Lorelle walked as if she was carrying a dangerous object, her pace slow and hesitant.
Aurel smiled fondly after her, watching as she left with the tea for the King of Spring. The knight got a warm bun and buttered it for Naura, which was a favorite gift of hers from him, and left the knife in the kitchen. Naura didn't even know that it was actually him that got the buns ready; she thought that it was a cook or something.
Aurel went up to Naura's room, opening it without knocking, she'd specifically told him not to knock anymore, that she knew that it was him. He peered around, it was completely dark. "Naura?" He asked, approaching the bed. Aurel sat down, putting his hand on it, looking around for her. "Naura!" He was starting to worry, more and more with each moment.
Then, Aurel heard something from the bathroom, opened the door, and there she was, laying on the floor, a towel draped around her. "Naura!" He said, going instantly to the ground, looking around for a clue to what happened to her. She let out a groan, clutching at her head, her dark brown hair still wet from the shower.
He gathered her up in his arms, looking down at her. "What happened, Naur?" He asked softly.
"Slipped." She let out a little giggle, probably delirious or something from lack of sleep. The knight laid her down on the bed in her room, going to her dresser to grab her some clothes to change into. Aurel turned away while he let her change into the sundress that he'd picked out from her dresser.
"Ready." She giggled, twirling towards Aurel and climbing onto his back, Aurel letting out an oomph of surprise. Naura grinned happily, wrapping her arms around his neck tightly.
Aurel let out a joyful laugh, going over to the bed and sitting down, as Naura clambering up onto his shoulders. "My loyal knight," she murmured softly, patting his chest. Aurel's blue eyes brightened as Naura ran her hands over his shoulders, giving them gentle rubbings.
He smiled in content, Naura sliding off of his back to sit behind him, wrapping her slim legs around his waist as she gave his back a rub. "You don't have to; if anything, I should be giving you a back rub," he complained softly, thinking that if someone came in they would punish him for not helping her; instead she was helping him.
Naura looked at his back, not stopping, rubbing his back. "No, you're stressed, it is my pleasure to relax you, you've done so much for me over the years." Aurel gave a little smile, and Naura continuing after talking.
Aurel sighed a bit as he laid down on the bed, his head falling into Naura's lap. Naura smiled. "We have to write speeches." Naura complained. "I don't get it! We're already friends with Spring, why don't we just have nice dinners with them instead of long boring speeches!" She ran her hands into his silky hair.
Aurel let out a little laugh. "I'll be there for you, Naur. Don't be afraid, it'll be just fine." He encouraged her, looking up into her dark eyes. So many times, he'd watched those chocolate brown eyes close before falling asleep in his warm embrace.
Naura looked back into his bright blue eyes, gently placing a delicate hand in his. "Will you help me with my speech?"
"Of course." Aurel answered, getting up, and sitting so that he faced her. "What is it supposed to be about?"
"New relations between Spring and Autumn and how they will benefit everyone." Naura groaned, sinking into him. They changed positions in the matter of minutes, so that Aurel was smiling down at her.
"Well, you could talk about how relations between Autumn and Spring in the past have been involved with friction, but today is the marking of a new beginning between past enemies?" Aurel had thought of it earlier and wanted to tell her; but then had found her on the ground in the bathroom, which had distracted him just a bit.
Naura's eyes lit up. "That's great! Thanks Aurel!" She threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. "I wish you could say it instead of me, I'm going to mess it up!" She groaned, sinking into him once again.
"No; you're going to be amazing, okay Naura?" He asked, making sure she was watching him.
Naura gave a little nod, putting her head in his chest, a little sob coming out of her, starting to shake. "Hey, hey, hey…" Aurel said, putting a hand on her back and starting to rub gentle circles. "What's wrong, Naura?"
Naura looked up at him, tears glistening in mysteriously dark. "I'm never going to be a good princess. All my siblings are better than me at it. I know all the kingdoms ridicule me; they don't even remember I'm alive most of the time."
"Well, I'm not a very good knight, so we make a pair, right?" He murmured to her softly, holding her to his chest.
Naura let out a shaky laugh, glad that he was able to console her. "You're not a bad knight, you're just the opposite. I bet none of the other Arc knights have the capacity to calm their prince or princess when they're worried and distraught."
Aurel gave her a little smile. "None of the other princes or princesses would let them."
Naura looked up at him. "I haven't found anyone that wants to go to the Gathering with me. I was wondering…" She bit her lip a little, making her look more nervous and shy than usual, "if you wanted to come with me."
The knight nearly started sputtering out random words, but he managed to pull his speech together. "As…a date?" He asked uncertainly, looking down into her eyes.
Naura nodded at him, her dark eyes looking hesitant. Aurel gave her a smile. "But I'm your knight, surely you can find anyone else?"
"No one." She clarified, her eyes starting to shine, thinking that he didn't want to.
"I will." He told her softly, wrapping her comfortably into his chest. She smiled against his shirt, curling up against him. Aurel smiled, looking at the door; knowing that they'd have to go soon, but enjoying the kindness and the calmness of the moment.
Iclyn Raskos, Apprentice Knight of the Winter Court (Written by Celtic)
Why do they shine so brightly tonight, of all nights? Iclyn's blue-brown eyes were fixed on the sky, where high above the Aurora Borealis stretched across the Winter sky-scape in dazzling pinks and greens. Commonly, they would not have been so far south; it was almost as though they shone just for the elves. It was not snowing, now, and they skies were mostly clear of clouds, other than a single gray mass on the eastern horizon.
"I know that expression." The shape-shifter turned to face Aspen, joining her on the balcony.
Her friend shrugged. "It's somewhere between your "the lights are brilliant" and "ah, I hate Summer" looks. Kind of just a scowl and your eyebrows are furrowed."
Iclyn rolled her eyes. "You got me. It's just-well, look at that!" She gestured towards the sky, where a lone northern star winked and shone in an empty expanse of midnight blue sky, several shades darker than the dress she had been forced into rather unwillingly. "Supposedly, the lights only come so far from the north when something important will happen."
"I thought you didn't believe in omens." She shot the taller boy an annoyed look, as he joined her in leaning over the railing.
"I don't. But I do believe in evidence, and the fact is that the last time the auroras were so bright was the night Lady Crystal went to the heavens."
Aspen shook his head. "Believe in this, then. Some of the apprentice knights from both Summer and Winter are having a bit of an...Issue. Let's go show them exactly who they're messing with."
"Courtyard, where else." Iclyn smirked, racing down the steps as quickly as she could to where the snow-covered trees stifled the glow of the irritating lights in gloom.
When it came to it, however, she elected not to join Aspen in embarrassing the elves-after all, she was plenty capable of doing that whenever she wished, even if she was wearing a dress. Instead, after a moment, her blue eyes returned to the single current fixed point: that same lone star in the northern sky. Others had appeared, some brighter, some not.
And yet that one. It remained alone, its silver light piercing through the dark sky like a slim silver needle, or a knife. Aspen was right. Iclyn didn't believe in omens, or bad luck for that matter. She couldn't really be afraid of crossing the path of a black cat. They were the ones afraid of crossing her path.
So no, Iclyn didn't believe in omens. Except…
What if they weren't just gibberish? First the lights, and then that star. Something was about to happen, and she would have bet her position as the lead apprentice knight that it was something bad.
"You know I told you not to do that!" She snapped sharply, as Aspen snapped his fingers within an inch of her face. "What do you want?"
He shook his head. "You zoned out again. I'm starting to think you're meant to be a faerie, if you're really going to keep thinking about omens and prophecies. And I know when you ask "what do you want", right now, you mean, "Did you win, or what?""
The shape-shifter rolled her eyes. "Well, did you?"
"You're the faerie, you tell me."
Iclyn grinned. "Then no, you lost because I wasn't there to help you."
"If you say so. If you are part faerie, I'm not sure the term "Spriggian" suits you. Isn't it meant for faerie hybrids that are ugly?"
She arched an eyebrow. "Oh my," Iclyn began in a monotone voice. "Did the great Aspen Whitlock just give me, Iclyn Raskos, a back-handed compliment? Oh my goodness. I think I will die of joy."
Aspen shot her an annoyed look, and she smirked sweetly in return. "Alright, alright. No wonder everyone calls you Icy."
"The only ones who call me that are you and Jack."
He looked her in the eye, subconsciously narrowing them to slits to stare at her. "Yeah. Me, and Jack, and everyone else."
Iclyn shook her head. "Let's just face it, I'm really quite frosty." She snapped, and he gave her a look. "Anyway, if you've already humiliated Summer enough-which I know you did, or else-back to the party?" Aspen nodded, and together, he and Iclyn began to climb back the stairs. Subconsciously, her back straightened and her steps became perfectly even and exact, barely bending her knees.
It all came in the training, which she had several years of. Most apprentices began at around fourteen, but she had only been thirteen, putting her at around a year younger than her entire class, including Aspen. This marching had been drilled sharply into her mind, and she tended to default to it at times when she was on edge. Such as now.
It sounded ridiculous, not exactly a word Iclyn liked to be described as, but she knew something was going to happen. It was obvious, if one knew how to read the signs. The unnatural vibrancy of the auroras, the lone star; even the complete lack of precipitation. Those things were rumored to be trouble, even to those who weren't faeries. Aspen had never been one for stargazing, and he rarely joined her scaling the turrets to watch the Winterscape at night. Of course he wouldn't recognize it. But who would…
Contrary to popular belief, Winterians did in fact use fire for things such as lighting and cooking. They just weren't the same sort the Summerians would have used, with their sharp, unnatural orange. The flames used by Winter were cold and sharp, volatile, and their light was harsh and chilling. It was perfect. Torches that flickered with ice-blue flames had been added to brackets high on the stone walls, casting an ethereal, elegant light over the entire gathering. It flickered over the carved ice-statues, and glowed on the polished white stone floor.
More importantly, the constant outpouring of the radiant blue light blocked out the auroras completely, allowing Iclyn to finally put them out of her mind.
She and Aspen joined a few other Winter apprentices-the ones who hadn't taken part in the competition. While the other girls-of which there were three-loudly chatted and compared dresses, Iclyn's blue eyes continued to gaze over the hall.
While for once it was completely empty of snow or ice, garlands of holly had been strung between the columns, and vases of snowdrops adorned every table. As she watched, Aspen reached out and took two, placing one in his buttonhole and tucking the other behind her ear. Unlike she normally would have, she let him. Instead, she sent him a piercing look. "What am I, a doll?"
Aspen smirked. "A doll for me, no thanks. I have enough trouble handling the full-sized version; a miniature would probably kill me."
She quirked a brow. "Probably? I think you're underestimating my skills just a bit, Aspen. I was a scary five year-old."
Both were momentarily distracted from their discussion, by Jack, who came bounding up. Literally. His cutesy, white hare form leapt onto the table, scrambling to hide behind the snowdrops. After all, rabbits weren't exactly the smartest animals.
Behind him, a small snow leopard attempted to copy his jump, but succeeded only in tearing the white tablecloth and spraying drinks all over the other three girls. That would give them something to talk about, at any rate.
Iclyn mentally groaned, opening her mind to both younger shifters.
"Get back down here and fight like a man!" snarled the snow leopard in a feminine voice, which Iclyn recognized as that of Holly, Lord Aquileon's granddaughter.
But I'm a hare! Jack whined back, stepping out from behind the flowers to look over the edge of the table, twitching his black nose. "Can't get me now, can you?"
"Jack." Even to herself, Iclyn's mental voice was completely cool and relaxed, which was really quite misleading. "What are you doing?"
"Uh, nothing?" Her brother tried, and she rolled her eyes. "Can you help me, please?"
"Why would you expect me to? You told me you wanted to fight your own battles, remember?"
"Well sure, if you want to be all…steadfast about it."
"'Steadfast'?" Iclyn snorted. "You wanted to play a game of cat and dog, didn't you? Well, guess what, Slippers, that's not really going to work for you. So get off the table and come sit here, the speeches are about to begin."
Jack gave a groan, but then inclined his head, floppy ears dipping into a stray glass of ice water. Iclyn moved aside slightly, and a moment later, Jack the annoying twelve year-old boy sat next to her, his long blond hair a bit of a mess but his clothing still neat enough. Holly elected to remain as a snow leopard, though she took a seat on the other side of the table.
The speeches from Lady Olwin, Lord Aquileon, and the other council members passed fairly quickly-thankfully. But then, Iclyn and Jack exchanged a look, dismay evident in both their pairs of blue eyes, as their father was called on stage, as "General Raskos".
Their father was a mountain of a man, and at forty, he was as strong as he had ever been. Spending half your life as a polar bear did that. However, he was no speaker, not when it wasn't right before a battle. "On this day, we gather to strengthen ties between Winter and Summer as in accordance with the Seasons Truce..."
She sighed softly, resting both elbows on the table and propping her chin on her hands. "Why did we have to draw straws, again?"
Aspen gave her a wolfish grin-it was odd to see that anywhere other than a mirror. "Because apparently, being able to make decisions is a huge part of leadership. Not that I would know. But because the apprentices couldn't make a decision without their alpha," here Iclyn just shook her head, "we ended up drawing straws. And here we are."
Shrugging, Iclyn leaned back. With training, she hadn't actually touched the back of a chair in quite some time. "Alright, alright. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm attempting not to die of embarrassment."
And so they went on. Actually, Icy was genuinely doing fairly well at drowning out her father's voice. As a result, however, she had gone back to sky gazing, back to pondering and studying. So of course, she was caught completely off-guard.
Now, the ears of a shape-shifter, like all other senses, were finely tuned. Many had developed a distaste for loud, sharp sounds. They were painful, and if they happened too often, were damaging to their sensitive ears.
Therefore, when the heavy pine double doors hit the ground with an echoing crash and cracking the smooth stone beneath, the hall descended into almost immediate chaos. The sound rang in Iclyn's ears, piercing and sharp. It hurt. When she finally regained her bearings, her fingers slipped instinctively to her right hip, searching in vain for the polished silver steel of her knife.
Except she didn't have it.
The rest of the hall seemed to have recovered, for the most part, but it seemed that very few of the others had kept their weapons on them for the event. Her eyes, darting over the crowd as quickly as possible, were caught suddenly by a flash of red cloth. A banner, the color of blood, emblazoned a crescent moon outlined in black. Is that…it can't be.
But it was. She knew it as soon as a jagged pointed arrow embedded itself in the table, directly between two of her fingers. It was the sort Winterians always avoided using; they were tools that brought only unnecessary pain. She felt it as a sharp, slightly harsh female laugh echoed from the vaulted ceilings, and snow had just begun to fall.
She had been right.
The Bone Court was here.
So yeah, that was a thing. Hey guys, been a few days, hasn't it? I'm kind of wondering at my part at the very end of Iclyn's section. But Fairy's kind of more in charge when it comes to the Bone Court (after all, she created their queen), and we haven't actually seen her for several days, so you're stuck with us (Hestia and me) for the moment. Sorry 'bout that.
Yeah, it's not like we've been sitting here for a few days waiting for her or anything...
Yeah. Totally not.
So anyway...Hestia, having some fun with Aurelius and Naura, are we? They're very cutesy.
Yeah, but it's weird writing as both. XD
See, that I believe. (But imagine trying to write that with like someone else. Awk-ward.)
Fortunately, I'm extremely unlikely to ever run into that issue, of shipping two of my own characters like that I mean. If any of you have been shipping Iclyn and Aspen (which I doubt), that's officially sunk. I vetoed the idea in about four seconds.
Instead though, whatever way we go as far as ships, this should be an adventure. Haha, this ought to be real fun.
Yeah, she sunk it so fast I thought we were doomed.
Aww, don't worry. I only kill fictional characters. Mostly. At least, I assume I've been talking to an actual person this whole time...
*cheers* Way to go Celtic!
Yeah, that kind of takes some serious skill, actually. Don't underestimate that. What can I say, Slytherin to the core. That one conversation we had once...75 percent chance of being evil, something like that? I am evil, I grant you, it just has nothing to do with my house. That's all me ;)
Seven minutes later without a reply...
Fairy please come back soon.
FAIRY! That reminds me of Timmy Turner. FAIRIES!?
Uh...I do believe in fairies?
Haha, alright, I think we've done enough noodling around now. Hope you liked it, so please review. Please! I'm Celtic, and...I'm going to go watch Iron Man. Bye!
And I'm alone. What she said :)