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Your vision always started black.

 

“Please, hold on…” A frantic, desperate voice echoed out, laced with uncertainty, pain, agony; anger, even. The gentle tremble of the words this person spoke sent shivers up your spine, trapping you in an embrace you couldn’t recognise – it wasn’t like you were going to run anyway, your fate had been sealed. The torturous agony you felt all around your body said such things, and forbade you from moving the slightest muscle without being struck down in pain.

 

The feeling of eight imprints formed beneath your jaw, keeping your head held high and stable, giving you easy breathing space. “I can’t lose you…I…” The pain in the voice became much more intense at the fact that you weren’t moving. “I need you….” The voice became closer, strands of hair tickled your chest as your cheeks became damp with little droplets of water coming above from you, stirring you from your partially unconscious state. You opened your eyes and let your vision take hold.

 

You were greeted with a world alight in crimson flames. Shrilling screams, echoed throughout the area, whether close or far away. The smell of burning wood filled your nostrils, driving you to the feeling of being sick to your stomach; but it was easy to ignore this as soon as your sight was able to focus on the beautiful sight that you were met with.

 

Once again, it was the glistening elf from your dreams, with twinkling skin that radiated just like all of the stars in the sky. However, this time didn’t feel right. He was cradling your body like his life depended on it, holding you up and keeping you in his arms. It was like he never wanted to let go. His flowing silvery locks that were normally kept in good condition were frizzled and heavily matted – the only times you would see it like this would be a time when you woke up in that bedroom. But one thing that broke your heart right then and there was the trepidation right in those yellow irises that would’ve shone like sunlight if you both weren’t in this situation.

 

His presence made you smile, and feel at peace. Using as much strength as you could muster, while in extreme agony, you cupped his face with your right hand while smiling, running your fingers along the shimmered freckles and diamonds that surrounded his cheeks. He removed one of his hands from your jaw to hold your right hand, keeping it locked on his face. “Not you…don’t go…I need you…I love you…”

 

“Aaravos.” Your voice called out to him, although it wasn’t your own. “Wait for me.”

 

You could feel that deep inside of you, you felt the exact same sliver of fear that he felt. You knew what was happening and what would happen, the problem you had was the consequences of being gone.

 

“Even if I die here today, I will find you.” You were able to muster, your voice becoming nothing but a whimper while your hand trembled to stay on his face, trying to get his face embedded into your memory until the end of time.

 

“Wherever you are…” You smiled. “However long it takes…”

 

“You have to find me, El.”

 

He took a lock of your hair, that was white in your dreams, in his other hand, stroking it, freeing you. His gaze softened, but it was obvious he was still torn with grief.

 

“I will.” Your other hand held his as you analysed his body, taking it in one last time, and how it glimmered even in the dark room lit by crimson.

 

Because you are my darling midnight star.”

 

Your vision turned black again, but this time, it would never return.

At least, not in this state.

 

Elarion, a heavy body,

Cried as the stars of the sky turned to black,

They turned their backs

They concealed their light,

They left Elarion to die.

 

Elarion, with her pure whiteness,

Embraced the great black night flame.

When she bent down,

She declared her faith,

She whispered, "Aaravos," his name.

 

Elarion, the black-eyed child,

Spreading her twisted roots deep and far,

And with human might

Which caught

Of Aaravos, her midnight star.”

 

 

* * *

 

 

You shot up upright in a cold sweat. One hand clutched your abdomen, the other gripping the sheets as you heaved. It was a dream.

 

Someone was standing at your bedside. You proceeded to scream, which made him scream.

 

“Gosh, Isaac. You gave me a heart attack. What the heck were you doing?”

 

The scruffy, buffed man went to stretch his arms (a tic that had formed shortly after Lucien, both of your adopted father’s disappearance), only to realise he was wearing a super tight fully sleeved shirt and ripped the seams at the armpits. “You was talkin’ in your sleep, guv.”

 

You narrowed your eyes, a frown settling on your features. “That doesn’t explain why you’re in my room.”

 

He glanced away, hands linked behind his back like a child caught stealing biscuits out of the biscuit tin. He looked tired, but more than that, he looked anxious, which was extremely rare in his case.

 

Oh, so that’s it.

 

You had no idea why he had chosen to wander into your room. He had many friends sleeping in the same shelter and you certain they had bigger beds and comfier areas. You didn’t question it, however. If anything, you were flattered he had chosen to come to you.

 

“Come here.” You moved over to make room, patting the spot beside you on the bed.

 

Isaac’s face lit up with relief, and he crawled under the sheets, ducking so you couldn’t see his flushed face. He was embarrassed, though you couldn’t help but find it cute. Isaac might’ve been a fearsome bandit in the past, but sometimes you forgot he was only eighteen, barely even an adult.

 

“Guv?” he whispered, peeking out just enough to peer over at you.

 

“What’s up?”

 

“I miss ‘em.” That could have meant a lot of things. His old gang, his old town, his home, his birth parents…Lucien…It made your heart ache, being able to list off so many things to miss. You began to think of him, how lost he must be, how scared he must be…you wished you could let him know you both were okay – but that led to the question. Were you really okay?

“Me too.” You settled for. There was no use trying to comfort him with the overused ‘we’ll find them’. He had heard it enough already from allies, friends, even from you, and it felt like the sort of thing Lucien would say.

 

“Night, guv.”

“Sweet dreams, midget.”

 

Isaac rolled his eyes, and went onto his side, letting his face nuzzle your chest and sighing contently. You waited until he had fallen asleep before letting your own eyes drift shut, the dream quickly forgotten.

 

For just a moment, you felt like you were being embraced by the one elf that haunted your dreams.

 

You missed that so much.

 

The gentle glimmer coming from the inside of your pyjama top, in your wrist, showed that your body said the same.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Mornings in the shelter were at lot different than mornings back at dad’s.

 

When you didn’t wake up from being shoved off the bed by the young children that snuck into your bed, you were woken up by the smell of dad’s cooking, making your stomach growl just like a beast. It’s ridiculously magnificent that the smell alone was enough to rise you from your quarters at the earliest of hours. The table was always full, the kitchen always bustling as he normally would let orphans or those who lived on the streets a bed to return to each night until they got themselves back on their feet. Everyone present stuffed their faces for the day before marching off on their quest for their own adventure, whether it be just a regular lazy day, or on your way to prepare for a battle to the death.

But nowadays, you awoke to the stifling, deadly silence of the shelter, and sometimes the occasional arguments coming from the other rooms. Definitely, when you were able to get a good nights sleep, waking up to angered screams was not your idea of a good time. It normally left you in a state of severe panic that left you unable to leave your bed, which wasn’t good physically or mentally on your health.

 

The spot beside you where Isaac had once slept was cold. This didn’t surprise you. He was notorious and well known for going to bed late and rising early, despite how much he claimed he regretted it afterwards and despite your protests. You withdrew a yawn, slowly dragging yourself out of bed. You slid on your slippers, then made your way down the hall towards the rest of the group who you were travelling with. Dad always said to never walk around barefoot, to avoid sharp or wet objects on the ground. As you heard multiple voices, you realised that upon entering the entire team had already risen before you.

They were all fully decked out in their battle gear, weapons and all. Even Isaac was clad in his armour, sitting criss-cross as he continuously began to stretch his arms. Luckily, he wasn’t wearing a tight sleeved shirt this time. He hadn’t tamed his lions mane of a bed head, which might have made you laugh, if not for everyone’s ominous expressions.

“Guess who’s late to the party?” You observed with a small chuckle, hands on your hips.

“It’s not something to celebrate, miss.” The crude comment came from the team commander himself, Crawford.

You didn’t know where to begin with this one. Your rivalry had dated back since his first day in Evenere. He had effortlessly won the hearts of everyone (mostly every girl) during their first day without even trying, leaving you to wonder what he had that you didn’t. It had been a one-sided rivalry back then. He hadn’t even known who you were until a few weeks ago when you were assigned to his team.


And that stung. Quite hard, in fact.

 

For some reason, you had a false sense of security that moments were getting better between you both. You used to make sweet rivals, but you made an even sweeter team as you were fighting side by side. Admittedly, it was fun to work side by side with him, and it did made you feel kind of invincible.

Yet…so small.

You hardly bickered like you used to anymore. He hardly talked to you, and when he did it was to point out how immature Isaac behaved, and how you needed to shape up and contribute to the group. You knew Crawford was just trying to fill Lucien’s massive shoes as the leader and you wanted to respect that, but you couldn’t look up to Crawford that way. You had been trying so hard all this time just to be seen as an equal. But you were now forced to watch as he was thrown onto an even higher pedestal than you.

It wasn’t fair.

You felt the star on your wrist twinkle when you made that thought. Seems it agreed with you.

 

“So. What should we be celebrating then? Your nomination as ‘best dickhead for a leader’ award?” It certainly wasn’t your best insult, but definitely not your worst. You saw the flicker of indignation in Crawford’s eyes. It left you with a bitter satisfaction, but it burned as you swallowed it down.

“Do you REALLY want to start something right now?” The raven-haired man warned, taking a step forward.

“Enough!” Isaac interjected, trying to keep everything peaceful. “We’re not goin’ to be able to solve anythin’ like this, eh?”

You crossed your arms, shooting Crawford one last glance before you returned your attention to the rest of the group and Isaac. “Why is everyone down here?”



And why didn’t anyone bother to get me?

 

“Her majesty Fareeda requires our group to serve in Katolis temporarily, to help out Ezran’s army after the deaths of the predecessor monarchs there.”

You and Isaac perked up, feeling a sense of dread and confusion intermix in your stomach. You weren’t sure why, but your abdomen began to throb, and you went to hold it. The room felt agonisingly cold all of a sudden; you couldn’t help but shiver. “Oh, crap…”

Crawford gave you an annoyed look. “Do you really expect their army to be ruled by a mere child?

You saw Isaac’s fist clench at his side.


“Right, right…so, we’re going on a ship?” You asked.

“…Yes.” Crawford sighed, rolling his eyes.

You thought of the stars, and how they looked so beautiful sprayed in your own blood.

You couldn’t even remember hitting the ground.

 

* * *

 

 

You were back in the field of forget me nots, surrounded by a starry night sky.

You squatted down to inspect one, letting its petals graze your hand. It was a brilliant shade of purple, that seemed to glitter like a beautiful amethyst in the moonlight. The peaceful serenity of the petals gave you a little smile, helping distract you.

When you looked up, the starry elf stood in front of you, with a smile that rivalled the beauty of the night sky itself.

He looked somewhat younger than he was in last night’s dream. His hair and horns weren’t as long, but he still wore the same attire as usual.

“You’re late.” It was you that spoke, with the unfamiliar voice.

“My leader caught me sneaking out.” The elf admitted cheekily, scratching the back of his head. The dots on his cheeks seemed to glow even brighter as he looked down, not wanting to meet your gaze. You felt yourself grin at that. “Did you wait long?” He asked.

You leaned forward, and in one swift motion you had taken your partner’s hands and tugged him downwards into the flower field. The elf laughed, which caused you to laugh, and the both of you were rolling in the forget me nots, before eventually stopping with him atop of you.

You looked breathlessly up at him, admiring the twinkling sight you were adorned with. “I would wait a thousand years for you.”

“So would I.” He replied, in a soft tone. Your cheeks hurt from smiling, but as the elf dipped a hand down to cup your cheek, you felt yourself grow to slowly be distracted from the pain. His golden eyes that rivalled a thousand suns hooded, and he leaned down, lips brushing gently against yours. Your own eyes fluttered shut.

Even though his lips tasted sweeter than honey, they were as cold as ice.

 

 

* * *

 

As much as you hated to admit it, you used to keep a journal back home.

People would tell you that journals were lame, and you joked alongside them, yet at the same time you kept a well-organised and heavily detailed journal hidden away in your nightstand drawer so no one could find it.

It accounted every good and bad memory, every important thought worth jotting down and even a few messy song lyrics here and there. They weren’t that good. One that comes up at the top of your head as you think of it right now is about the starry sky. How ironic. Sometimes you thought about it, and how you regretted not bringing it with you when you left Lucien’s and started on your journey to the new land.

You hoped, if you never made it back, the rest of those still living there would never find it. But you knew they would. You imagined your adoptive mother sitting on the floor of your bedroom, now collecting a heavy amount of dust, tears in her eyes as she read your daily entries.

 

It hadn’t been as bad, before you and Isaac left to train. It was rarely ever more than the occasional negative thoughts – sometimes an anxiety attack when life felt overbearing. Isaac was very supportive. As he knew you for a long time, he was usually very perceptive of your emotional state, but didn’t really exactly know how to deal with your situations, unfortunately.

You loved the rest of them, you had grown close with them over the months, close enough to consider you family. But they weren’t like father Lucien. They couldn’t tell when you were hurting, and they didn’t know the difference between cracking jokes for your own benefit, and the benefit of hiding pain. You liked to think you cracked jokes when your mind wandered to darker places so that others wouldn’t worry about you. But being in a dark place that was so different than home with your dad not around who easily picked up on your state regardless of your efforts made you realise something – you wished they would notice anyways.

You had broken down a few times alone, but never in front of them.

Until now.

Your cheek was damp when you awoke. You went to wipe the tear away before it could travel down to your chin, blinking the sleep from your eyes as you studied the ceiling.

You felt sad, yet warm inside at the same time.

Strange.

 

Multiple sighs of relief ensued as soon as you woke up.

“Awright, guv?” That was Isaac. His voice sounded distresed, and you felt an instant stab of guilt for making him worry, even if you weren’t entirely sure how you managed to do that.

“Fine…I guess…?” You managed, slowly itting upright. “Why’s everyone staring at me? Do I have food on my face?” It was only then you realised Crawford’s arms were wrapped around your waist, steadying you. He quickly withdrew his arms, clearing his throat awkwardly. Everyone glanced at one another, and it suddenly occurred to you that they didn’t seem to know what had happened either.

“You started to get all panicky, like.” Isaac finally spoke, his words much, much gentler than he had ever spoke to you before.

“You had a panic attack. You fainted.” Crawford concluded, causing the others to go very still. Something about that particular indifference of his voice pissed you off.

“A…panic attack.” You said slowly, then laughed. It was a forced sound, one that grated your own ears. “I don’t think so.” Crawford looked irritated at your reply, but it was a different expression than the one he usually wore when you questioned his authority or made a jab at his prissy appearance. You knew exactly what expression he held, and it made your whole body turn freezing cold.

It was the same expression he made when you told him you didn’t remember the time when he carried you out of the bandit’s lair because your legs were so badly injured back there, and he gave you a look that rivalled even an angels face. It was the second time you lied to him.

Your star-marked wrist felt irritated.

 

“Well, you did. We would like to know why.”

What the hell was wrong with him? “Well, let me just go ahead and write you an entire book explaining to you why I had an emotional breakdown.” You paused, then quickly added. “Which I didn’t even have in the first place.”

He didn’t reply, and gave you one last look before he stopped, then turned. His eyes told you a story his mouth refused to. If he wanted to speak in that moment, he must have thought against it. He turned heel and headed after the door, closing it behind him.

“Can you stand, guv?” Isaac asked, trying to brush off the lingering awkwardness as he offered you a hand. You nodded, taking his hand into your own, relying on his strength to get up. You felt a small wave of dizziness as soon as you stood, but you were able to steady yourself.

“Thanks, midget.”

“Just a smidge smaller.” Isaac reminded you with a smirk, rolling his eyes.

As you looked towards the notes for the meeting, you felt the room temperature drop drastically again and you wrapped your arms around yourself for comfort.

 

Katolis.

 

Why did you feel so uneasy about staying in Katolis?

 

 

* * *

 

You were lying in bed again, arms behind your head as you studied the ceiling. The others (not including Crawford, as usual) had suggested you take it easy and try to get some rest before the mission, and you heeded their concern, only because you wanted an excuse to be alone, of course.

But for some reason, you couldn’t relax. On top of everything that had happened, Crawford went on to announce he would be going down to Katolis alone. But after a very long, tiring argument between Crawford and Queen Fareeda herself, he eventually agreed to bring the rest of you along. This was surprising; changing Crawford’s mind was like trying to force a grumpy cat to take a bath. Try to dunk them, and you end up with a face full of injuries, with pain you can’t even imagine feeling.

It was the kind of brave thing a suicidal leader did. You let out an irritated sigh, rolling over on his side. He’s such an idiot. You hated him so much. Didn’t he realise how worthy he was to the team, to the army?

 

Not like you.

 

The star mark glimmered underneath your pyjama sleeve and you slowly pulled it down, revealing it. Ever since you were born – you had a black diamond on your left wrist, surrounded by what you could call an entire constellation. Sometimes when you felt a negative emotion, or on random occurrences, the diamond shined white. Today on this occasion, it was a beautiful, iridescent colour. It could have been silver, white or gray due to the reflection of the moonlight on your window, but you knew exactly what it meant.

You sighed, the loneliness weighing deep upon your shoulders, stroking the marking on your wrist.

“Why must I be so alone, midnight star?” You asked the marking, but got no reply.

Your eyelids began to feel like lead, which you thought irritable, considering you didn’t want to sleep. You fell asleep anyways.

 

* * *

 

The two of you first met during a meeting in Xadia, back when it was only one continent. It was your first, and you couldn’t help but fidget as it droned on. You were just eighteen – on the cusp of maturity. Your face still held a youthful frame to it, your hair a lot more shaggier than your father liked, and stature not yet at it’s full potential. You weren’t particularly interested in whatever it was the council was arguing about. You wanted to just get onto doing magic. You were extremely desperate to learn, after all.

The humans and the elves claimed they were on good terms, but it never seemed that way when they spoke of politics and foreign agency in the same room together. You might’ve not been able to understand what was being said, but the tension that hung over the elongated table was clear as day, much to your dismay.

 

And that’s when you saw him. It was the first time you had laid eyes on that particular elf.

Your best friend had described him a few times before. Aaravos – he was apart of a particular subrace, the startouch elves. He often accompanied the leader more recently when they visited the castle for foreign affairs. She spoke of him as if he was a prize to be sought.

You scoffed at the idea of an elf, and a male one at that, could be described as being ‘pretty’. But from what you’d seen, maybe it was possible.

His entrance was dramatic in every sense of the world. The corridor doors swung open with a groan, and silence quickly fell over the table. You could’ve heard a pin drop in that painfully silent room. Whatever they had been ‘peacefully’ disagreeing about was forgotten in that moment. All eyes were on them as they entered, flanked by two much larger startouch elves. You could practically feel your best friend hold her breath beside you. Her description of him didn’t do him justice in the slightest.

“Excuse my intrusion.” His voice was controlled, dark, mysterious, and it had the effect of just wanting to listen to him. It didn’t have a squeak, like yours.

“Take a seat, Aaravos.” Their leader’s coarse voice came from the opposite head of the table. He didn’t even look at him as he said it. You found this quite odd, yet Aaravos obeyed. He sat a few seats down from their leader, then tucked his shimmering silver hair behind his pointed ears, hands folding neatly in his lap afterwards. You stole a glance at your father, who sat beside you. He was looking at Aaravos with an approving gaze in his eyes. That, they seemed to say, is how someone should behave in this room. You found yourself disliking Aaravos and his stupidly pretty hair and his even prettier skin already.

 

At some point you must have fallen asleep during the meeting, because your best friend had to nudge you back to consciousness. “Xadia to Elarion.”

You wiped away a string of drool from your chin, straightening in your seat. The meeting had concluded, and any remaining humans and elves alike began to take their leave out of the doors. You began subconsciously searching for a particular face among the dwindling crowd.
“He’s gone, Ela.” Your best friend said beside you, rolling her eyes as she stood up and pushed her seat in.
“Who?” You asked innocently, hands clasped behind your back.

“You know exactly who I’m talking about. And so has your father, so I pray you have some other means of getting home.”

“No, I really d- wait, what? He left me?” It came out as a yelp.

“That’s what you get for falling asleep. It was your very first meeting, Elarion. You were supposed to prove to the rest of them you were capable, including your father. You snored through well over half. He has higher expectations of you. You know this.”

It was hard to believe she was the same age as you. She spoke so eloquently for being only eighteen. She might as well be your second mother. “I don’t want to work in the council.” You muttered, blowing out an exasperated sigh. “It’s not my fault he won’t listen.” I want to use magic. I want to fight bad guys. I want to make a difference out there, not in some stuffy room full of old people who pretend to get along.

You bit back on that last part, knowing all to well it would only result in another scolding. She smoothed out the folds in her dress, picking her way past you. “My mother and the leader of the startouch elves are discussing personal matters, but then we’ll be returning home.” She said, turning back to look at you. “You can leave with us. Don’t cause any trouble until then, ok?”

You knew you should thank her, but a groan came out instead. “What should I do then to pass the time?”

“I’m sure you’ll think of something.” she said, waving you off. “It’s a lovely day. Go visit the flower fields or something.”

 

So you did just that, though a little begrudgingly. It started to rain on the journey there, much to your displeasure. You suspected it was her doing somehow, even if that was an impractical accusation. You didn’t mind the rain, really; rather, you minded when it rained on you without your consent. As you trekked up the slope, you came to the conclusion your cloak was better suit as a means of staying dry than an unwanted accessory dragging behind you.

When you reached the top, you noticed a figure standing amongst the forget me nots, and with a small curse you felt your legs carry you further up the slope.

“What the heck are you doing out in the rain?” You demanded. In hindsight, one could ask the same of you, but that was beyond the point. It wasn’t until you got a better look that you realised it wasn’t a stranger at all. The particular startouch elf was soaked to the bone. He didn’t acknowledge your presence right away, instead staring at the fields and its vastness. When a few heartbeats passed, he finally turned his head to analyse him. His hair was plastered to the frame of his face, and rivulets travelled down his cheeks that shone so bright, it rivalled a supernova.

“Aren’t you cold?” You asked, flabbergasted by Aaravos’ lack of sentiment. And why aren’t you with your leader back in the castle? “Here, get under!” You said when he didn’t respond, gesturing to the cloak you were currently canopying over your head. “We can go back together.”

Aaravos took a step forward, then another. You looked to him expectantly, but a look of confusion was written across his face when the startouch elf continued to walk past you, avoiding the makeshift canopy. He stopped just close enough within earshot for you to hear:

“What a nuisance.”

You continued to stand there even after he had gone, trying to register what had just happened.

 

 

Chapter Text

Once you saw that, you remembered everything.

Everything that happened, and everything that was present those years.

You would go on to convince yourself you were the only mortal alive who knew how truly terrible the startouch elf was.

Even your best friend, the girl you had been with since in nappies, didn’t whole-heartedly believe your encounter with Aaravos. “Perhaps you heard him wrong”.

You knew better, though.

Your next meeting was held during the time when the forget me nots were in bloom.


You had just barely turned nineteen, your best friend a stroke behind you. You had grown a few inches in a short span of time, and your shaggy locks slept with the fishes, now shorter and trimmed. You had matured some physically speaking, but your recalcitrant tendencies and lack of interest in council meetings still pursued.

You dared shoot Aaravos a few dirty looks from across the table.

You hadn’t seen him since the rain incident, which was anything but forgiven.

When the meeting was concluded, your father was whisked away by another chairman, leaving just enough time to wander the building.

It was an interesting fusion of mortal and elven architecture, despite not looking as advanced as either civilizations’. It was outdated, and had been used for peaceful meetings and gatherings for decades on end.

You heard voices coming from one of the empty halls and went to investigate.

Once again, you found himself face-to-face with Aaravos in a bizarre predicament.

Your back was pressed against the wall. In the room adjacent, two young startouch elves were chatting.

It wasn’t concerning the afternoon meeting.

“- has nothing in common with his father, or the rest of his flock.”

“Have you seen that power? It’s so...revolting!”


You heard laughter.

“I pity their leader, producing such a disappointment. It’s no wonder he only drags him to meetings and not much else.”

Aaravos was looking down at the ground. His hair curtained whatever expression he was making, but you noticed the tips of his ears were darkened. Grey fists grappled the sides of his robe.

Your hands imitated his, if only out of anger. You were going to be the only one to insult him. No one else.

You marched into the room, gaze narrowed as you glared up at the startled soldiers. They were huge compared to you, but you didn’t waver before them.

“It would be a shame, if the leader of the startouch elves were to hear that you pity him,” you mused, one hand on your hip.

Both soldiers stiffened. The broader of the two took a step forward, lips peeled back into a snarl and eyes glittering with vexation. “Why, you -”

“What’s that? You want me to tell him personally?”

Your heart felt like it was going to burst out of your chest. Why the heck were you standing up for that jerk, anyways? What’s up with you? Control yourself!

The elf stopped, nervousness clouding his gaze.

“Get lost kid,” his companion finally growled in warning, clasping a hand on the other’s shoulder and pulling him back and away from you.

That was when you felt lips curving into a proud smile. You only hoped the terror you felt on the inside wasn’t showing in that moment as you turned your heels sharply in the direction you came.

You paused at the entrance of the door, glancing back. “I think your judgment is a little lacking, good sirs. Would you not think that a star is beautiful? It guides us home, it helps us see, and it helps accompany the lonely moon in its troublesome times.”

You took Aaravos’ hand, hissing “run” as you made a break for the nearest escape route.

As you led him down the hall, you saw something on his face you had never seen before on an elf: Astonishment.

You became inseparable friends after that.

You never imagined he would spend your afternoons stolen away with a startouch elf in a flower field, but fate had a funny way of intertwining even the most unlikely of duos.

 

* * * 

 

You remember the first time you held hands.

Aaravos had surprised you a picnic out on the flower field on your twentieth birthday. You shared favourite foods from your cultures and talked about your dreams and aspirations (and irritable, unfair families and subrace groups). At some point you found your hand inching towards the elf’s, and Aaravos eventually complied when your courage fizzled, slowly and nervously lacing your fingers together.

You both sat in flustered silence, stiff as boards but content in knowing the feeling was mutual.

You felt so at peace.

 


You remember your first kiss under the stars.

It was a crisp and breezy evening, and the forget me nots kissed your resting sides as they gazed up at the infinite universe.

“I heard the Queen and your father are searching for ways to help mortals learn primal magic.” you broke the silence, looking over at Aaravos. “Wouldn’t it be amazing, if I could learn it? We could defend the continent together, side by side! It’d be fantastic! Not only are we helping the world for the better, but we’d get to see each other more. What do you think?”


Aaravos smiled back at you, but it was subdued. After a moment, he twisted his body, moving over you.

“I quite like the way things are now,” he murmured, and then he kissed you.

If you had seen yourself that day, you guarantee you would’ve turned a multitude of fifty shades of reds and pinks.

-tw, implied abuse-

Not all the memories were ones you could think fondly of, of course.

The first time Aaravos took off his clothes in front of you, you were unable to look away from the array of sparkled bruises and marks that littered his body.

“That man wants me to learn humility, and discipline,” Aaravos had told you. He didn’t meet your gaze as he said it. You remembered telling Aaravos you were going to kill his father, and his group for not being kind to the man you loved the most, and Aaravos begged you with tears in his eyes to promise you wouldn’t say anything.

For him.

You promised, but the guilt never did cease. You kissed every bruise and every scar until morning light.

 

-tw end-

 

That same year, Aaravos taught you dark magic.

With your power, you became a saviour just like you always dreamt as a child. You were doing something that you loved. You may have had an element bond, but you had an even stronger bond towards a startouch elf with gorgeous skin that scattered like constellations in the midnight sky.

Your father was curious as to how you’d learnt such fantastic magic, and asked maybe if you could teach him. Lucky you brushed it off, telling him a real magician never tells her secrets.

How dismal, that in creating something you thought as a peacemaker, war was the greatest product of your magic.

You never got to see the war in its prime, however, nor did you witness the fall of Thunder, for you were the first royal to fall.

 

***

 

 

The air was brisk, and tasted dry.

The forget me nots looked duller than normal that day, as though they had been drained of their traditionally vibrant color.

Or perhaps you were only seeing what you felt.

They never looked so bright or beautiful to you until you started visiting them with Aaravos, now that you thought about it.

“Please, wait.”

You were packed tightly into your mother’s wedding dress, making you rival a goddess, perhaps. You couldn’t fathom how a bride tolerated wearing it; it was heavy, and restricting in more ways than one. Just sitting through the meeting had been unbearable, but chasing after a distraught startouch elf through the flowers took a certain degree of skill.

A white veil billowed behind you, brushing against the whispering forget me nots.

You reached out and touched his shoulder, but the elf jerked it away roughly, causing you to flinch.

“Please,” you said softly, withdrawing your hand, “Show me your face, midnight star.”

You - No, Elarion - immediately regretted wishing this of him, because your heart began to ache when the elf turned to look at you.


Aaravos was infamous for hiding his emotions; it was one of his many talents, fooling people into thinking he didn’t care. But you knew better. Seeing it written on his face so clearly, though, you felt like someone had plunged a blade into your stomach and twisted it for pleasure.

You never imagined you would be the cause of Aaravos’ pain. From the very beginning, all you wanted was to make him smile when his family could not.

His eyes glistened with unshed tears. He was biting his lip, but it trembled anyways.

You thought of your stolen kisses in the flower field, your many promises and spilt secrets. The flowers had become confidants of your forbidden love.

The morning dew that clung to their petals made it look as though they were weeping. You realised now that they wept for Aaravos, and for the promise you had broken.

“What is it, your highness?” It was said with mockery, but you detected the underlying hurt behind those words.

“Don’t,” You took a breath, “Don’t call me that. Nothing is absolute yet.”

“You’re going to be married tomorrow.”

You opened your mouth, but nothing came out. You didn’t have a right to defend yourself, not when Aaravos was making such a crestfallen expression. Your gaze became downcast, and you studied the ground.

You had both known for some time, of the agreement of your father and the other kingdoms’ son. You both knew your love with Aaravos was taboo, and would end disastrously if the flowers could talk. But neither of you expected to have to face the consequences so soon, or so young.

You didn’t even love that man. He was attractive, yes, but you felt no maternal, loving, or romantic connection towards him in the slightest. Just imagining kissing him on the altar tomorrow makes you sick to your stomach. 

In less than twenty four hours, you will be sold away from your father, and married to a prince. A human prince.

A human prince that you had only met once beforehand.

A human prince that you had only met once beforehand; you knew hardly anything about him. 

A human prince that you had only met once beforehand; you knew hardly anything about him, and did not love him.

There was someone else who already had your heart, and you had no intent on asking for it back to give to that said prince, as your heart belonged to one elf and one elf alone. 

Your darling midnight star.

 


“It’s okay.” When you lifted your eyes, Aaravos was smiling through his tears.

You knew what this was - whenever he was angry or upset, he tried to convince those around him he was fine, so that they might leave him alone.

It was his way of telling you to go.

“You’ve always spoken of making a difference. And you can do that, as the princess. The prince is fond of you. Your father was practically beaming. …It’s everything you’ve always wanted.”

That’s before I met you , you wanted to blurt out, but a sickly stickiness formed in your throat that forbid you from speaking out.

“You’re going to make a great princess. I’m proud.” It came out soft, dripping with bittersweet honesty.

Aaravos moved his hands over his face, rubbing furiously at the tears that threatened to spill over his cheeks. He laughed, but it cracked in his throat. “I always imagined I would call you princesss Elarion one day. I just thought I would be your prince.”

“You still can.” You muttered.

He let his hands fall to his sides, walking past you with his head held high. “No. That is nothing but a mere fantasy now.” It was how he carried himself in front of those who looked down on him for not meeting the expectations his race had set him.

“I don’t care if I disappoint my father,” You told him. “None of that matters if I can’t be with you.”

You ran up and took his hand. “We can go. Leave this place. Have a little house somewhere, far away….” You ran your fingertips over his. “Be a family.”

He looked up at you with a smile, tears coming from his cheeks. You nodded, returning that smile.

”I love you, and I don’t want to leave you behind.”

“Once the clock strikes twelve, meet me here.” He whispered, clenching onto your hand. “Don’t be late, please.”

The last time you met in the flower field, you had asked for a sign.


Aaravos had been that sign. At least, that is what you thought.

You had so much to tell him, so much to apologise for. Of course you had at first wanted to ascend the throne as it meant you’d be powerful and respected - it was everything you had dreamt of as a child. But you already had your magic, and Aaravos. That’s all you needed. 

That’s all you needed.

You should have detected the pain behind those eyes, the strain in his voice.

But all you could feel was relief as you were enveloped in his arms, drunk on forgiveness that wasn’t really there, and the hopeless dream of the future you both shared.


Your last memory was of Aaravos; your greatest love, and your greatest fault.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Even as the ice pierced in your abdomen, soaking your mother’s silk wedding dress in red, shivering in the dead of the night, you had only one thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You didn’t regret loving Aaravos for a second.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You only regret not loving him enough to see his warning signs that something was wrong.

Chapter Text

You really missed the rain.

You missed its crisp smell that came before and after the clouds had grieved, and the way the world felt a little cleaner each time a storm rolled through. But most of all, you missed your family, and the familiar sight of the swamp’s sparkling shoreline dotted with leisurely dreamers, swimming in the bask ocean.

Other areas had always fascinated you, but you never fathomed you would soon be trapped in castle walls and rocky footpaths. Of course, you didn't expect to learn the dreary, ginormous prison was as binding to you as the little country across that you once called your home, either.

 

 

 

 

You never really liked to sail that often. It was as some would describe, tedious, and an inconvenience rather than a life changing experience of travel to some. First of all, you would be travelling at an abnormally slow rate - second, what if there is no wind? What will you be then - stranded in the middle of the ocean, with no escape, prey to the insidious creatures that lurk in the murky depths of the water. Third, it’s extremely cold. Clearly if you had the option to catch a flu or not you would have picked the latter. Finally, there was a certain someone who suffered from seasickness and was puking over the head at a constant rate.

In fact, you could hear him now, puking his guts out on the bridge. You let out an exhausted sigh, grabbing a cup of water and walking up to him. As expected, Crawford was there.

It could seem he couldn’t sleep that night, so he wandered off in search of something to gaze at. He settled for stars, but when he reached the top he discovered he wasn’t the only one with the same intentions.

You gave him the cup when he was done. “It will help.” You said to him, holding your gaze. He snatched it from you like a predator, gulping down the contents of the cup before handing it back to you in five seconds flat. He exhaled loudly, sitting down.

Crawford soon hugged his legs. A blanket was draped over his shoulders as he studied the open galaxy through thick lashes. He looked up at you. “Why are you awake?” His voice was soft, like honeydew. You much preferred it to the tone he used when you both argued.

“I could ask you the same thing,” You hummed, taking a seat beside him. The night sky was a beautiful, lonesome thing, you concluded as he studied the constellations.

They used to remind you of a painting, where the artist had dashed on paint without a care in the world.

It would have made you feel better, to imagine it was artwork to admire, rather than a place to explore.

 

But now with your newfound exploration you had experienced, this scenery caused you to bite your lip in order to help yourself from hiding the tears threatening to spill from your eyes.

“Couldn’t sleep,” Crawford admitted.

“Me neither,” You replied.

It was better to lie than to tell the truth in this case.

You sat in mutual silence for a little while.

Then he asked you, “Why did he choose me?”

You leaned back. “Because he believed you could do it.”

The raven-haired man let his head drop into his knees. “I’m not cut out to be a leader. I just…” A break. “I miss him so much.”

Your heart ached. It was a selfish ache; one out of jealousy, not accord.

You really hated that sometimes.

 

 

“You’re the strongest person I know.” You stated, looking out to the sky. “Of course you do rely on instinct a lot more, which isn’t the best, especially if you’re trying to combine facts to get rid of a manipulative enemy.”

He rolled his eyes.

“But I think that’s what Lucien enjoyed about you. You’re unique. One of a kind.” You looked at him. “Personally, I think you’re crap. You’re an angry hermit who attacks before thinking and you suffer from a severe case of motion sickness. You also shut out everything and everyone when you feel upset. Which isn’t really a good therapeutic way to handle your emotions in the long run. You should open up more. It’d benefit us both.”

You sighed. “But I’m not Lucien.” You rose from your sitting place, feeling the slight cool breeze run through your hair as you leaned on the head. “And I never will be, despite how much I’d loathe to admit that fact.”

“Do you remember what he said when he first met you? He told me, when you first walked in…” You cleared your throat. “That man is destined for greatness! Look at the shine, the sparkle in his eyes!” As you put on your best imitation of the past captain, his silly comedic accent and heavy use of inflection as good as possible to make him laugh, it was a success. He was clutching his stomach as if his life depended on it.

“Look at his rippling, strong muscles! That stallion could heave boulders!” Through characterising Lucien, you accentuated the pose of flexing your own muscles, which brought Crawford to tears.

“And the speed! The dexterity! If it weren’t for his appearance, I would be certain he would be... he would be….an….”

You knew what the last word in that sentence was. You pictured it precisely.

But you couldn’t bring yourself to speak the last word or you would have brought yourself to be reminded of him - Aaravos, once more.

You didn’t even feel Crawford supportively putting a hand on your shoulder, his eyes filled with concern. “Is everything alright?” He asked you. “You’re not sick, are you?”

 

He had followed your advice.

Perhaps it was time to do the same.

“Ah, I…” You began. “How do I explain….er….”

 

You took a deep breath. “Do you ever find yourself...missing something?”

“All the time.” Crawford responded.

“No, not that...I don’t mean like, your school, or your favourite food, or anything like that..” You shook his hand from your shoulder.

“Do you ever find yourself missing something you’ve never seen with your own two eyes?”

You turned back to him, and his eyes were filled with concern. “Are you sure you’re alright?” He asked.


“Do you believe in reincarnation?”

“I can get some herbs for you that can help you get to sleep. You’re acting really, really weird.” Crawford suggested.

You hesitated, but found yourself to meet his gaze, with a kind facade sprinkling your features. “Perhaps that will help.” You smiled.

He let out a small smile back. “I’ll get them right away.” He turned, walking below deck.


Finally, all alone, you had the moment to break down.

 

Aaravos.

 

You remembered everything - how they had met, how they became friends, their first kiss, her first spell...

And her final goodbye to him.

What frustrated you is where it ended.

 

Where was Aaravos now?

Was he still in Xadia, or elsewhere?

Would he even remember you?

You looked a lot different than the princess Elarion he was with, so would he even regard you as being worthy?

What of his state?

Would he be angry?

Sad?

Or has he moved on with his life, with someone else that makes him as happy as can be?

 

 

 



Was he even still alive?

 

 

 

“My precious midnight star…” You simpered. “You must be so alone…”

You held yourself while heaving heavy sobs, you and your star feeling even lonelier than ever before.

“Help me, please!” You shouted. “Give me a sign! Anything!”

You fell to your own knees.

 

“I beg of you...give me something, so I know you’re alive and well…”

 

You were a princess, yes, betrothed to a man you did not desire. You had planned to elope with your lover the day before your wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

But you never would have expected what to happen next.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 


You were standing in the field of forget me nots, wearing the same silk wedding dress.

You tasted rain on the dark horizon.

A small child tumbled past you, causing your thoughts to quickly gravitate as you watched a second chase after them, their giggles lighting up the cool air. They didn’t seem to notice you; this, or they felt at ease in your presence. Their heads bobbed in and out of the flowers, before they eventually disappeared over the slope.

How strange.

 

“I figured I might find you here.”

 

You turned. Your breath was momentarily stolen from you as you studied the visitor. He had short white hair, golden eyes, star speckled cheeks, gray skin, and was clad in royal attire, with a crimson sash and a few glittering jewels decorating his neck. This man was familiar, but a lot more older and wiser. The children were quickly forgotten from your mind.

 

“This is where I go to think, sir. I needed time to think.”

The words left your lips before you could really think about it. They felt so natural on your tongue, as though you had spoken them a long time ago. You was certain you knew this man, though from where, you had no clue. Based on his stern stance and cold gaze, he wasn’t happy to see you.

The startouch elf smirked. It was a small, simper, but you saw a flicker of pain behind his cat-like eyes. “As did I.”

There was a short pause, and then he took a step closer, cupping your cheek with his hand in an embrace. “Tell me…Is there anything you would not do for your people?”

You swallowed, looking into those golden orbs. “I am loyal to those I care for, sir.”

 

He couldn’t know.

He didn’t deserve to know.

 

“Then you understand why I must do this to you, your highness.”

There was no time to investigate the sorrow behind his words, for you were abruptly silenced by the multiple shards of strengthened ice that plunged into your lower abdomen by the lift of a finger.

You had been punched in the face on multiple occasions when standing up for your younger siblings. You had nearly been blown to bits by the impostor that invaded, and thrown around like a ragdoll by enemy soldiers. Hell, you had been zapped with magic during a battle with a moonshadow elf, a feeling that was anything but pleasant despite its contradicting definition.

However, nothing could have prepared you for the pain you felt in that moment.

It wasn’t the blades of pure frost themselves that hurt. It was the agony of realising you could never fulfil the future you had wanted, the wedding you had wanted, the life you had wanted, the partner you had wanted, even the children you had wanted, and the manic face that watched you as you crumpled to the ground, crushing the flowers beneath you.

 

The sky was a dark blue, with scattered stars that surrounded the sky like an enormous arc above you.  A soft breeze tousled your white locks, and just on the horizon, you tasted a hint of rain.

At some point you noted the flowers were speckled with blood. It wasn’t until you looked down that your realised your side was drenched in crimson.

The blood on the flowers was your own.

I have to warn him.

A jolt, and you forced yourself to sit upright.

I have to stop them.

“Nng..” you grit your teeth, hand pressed against your abdomen, the point of agony. It took you a few tries, but you finally managed to stand.

Your first step resulted in a stumble, and ever so softly you apologised in short breaths to each and every forget me not you trampled in your path as you made your way down the slope.

I have to find him. I have to find him. I have to -


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mirror engraved with fancy runes, runes that you had mostly never seen before, at least in your time, appeared in your line of vision, nothing but darkness surrounding it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find. Me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A hand that seemed ever so oddly familiar appeared inside the mirror and reached out to touch-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

“What’s this?” The young boy asked, his eyes wide with curiosity.

Inside, a leather-bound journal was neatly tucked away underneath his bedframe.

Ezran blinked several times, then carefully lifted up the journal to inspect it.  Despite looking ancient, it was in decent condition.

Just how long had the journal been tucked away in my bedroom?

He opened the cover, but as he flipped through the pages he realised it was written in a script that looked oddly familiar. His heart skipped a beat.

He closed it, then walked out of his room, journal in hand to meet his new guards.

 

***

 

Your team had finally arrived in Katolis, expecting to meet King Ezran for the first time.

 

“I need you to translate this.”  

Crawford looked from the journal to Ezran. You were sitting criss-cross on your chair. Isaac was sprawled out on his back beside you, doodling in his sketchbook.

“Can you do it?”

Crawford turned a few of the pages, then looked back up at him.  “Can’t you ask someone else to do it?” he whined. “I’m rusty. And where did you even find this? It looks so old! Hey, you didn’t steal it or-

“I didn’t! I promise I didn’t steal it. It was in my room! Everyone else is busy!”  That was partially a lie. They weren’t busy, per-say, unless you would consider taste-testing an important task.  

“Please, sir?”  He clasped his hands together over his head, kneeling at Crawford.  “Just a few of the shorter entries, I folded the corners and everything for you.”

Crawford closed the journal, sighing.  “Ok. Anything for the king..” He shot him a suspicious glance from the corner of his eye.  “But I’m a little curious as to why it was in your room.”

“You’re the best!”  He jumped up gave him a hug, smiling.

“You don’t mind if I see the finished work too?” You asked them both, with a pleasant smile towards the young king. He beamed back at you.

 

Something about that book seemed familiar.

 


“Why?” Crawford asked, arching an eyebrow. “Why do you care?”

You shrugged. “Just curious.”

“I don’t see why not.” Ezran replied. He stretched his arms and sighed.

“I think it would be best if the guards and I give you a tour of the castle, so you know where you’re going when you’re alone.” He walked away, gesturing for your squad to follow. “It’ll help us all.”

 

Through the entire tour, you refused to look upwards, and only looked down.

 

 

There was something lurking underneath Katolis castle, that shook you to your very core.

Chapter Text

 

“Aaravos…” you whispered, the faint mark of the star forming on your wrist. It twinkled just like the night sky, and looked extremely similar to the one he wore on his chest.

You raised your arm, gingerly flexing in awe to look at the new development.

“What is it?” You asked, your curiosity peaking, eyes wide in waiting for your answer to be revealed.

He took your hand and held it in his while using his other hand to trace the corners of your mark. “I have bestowed upon you a physical visible bond between you and I.” He explained, golden eyes looking deep into yours.

“It can detect when we feel negative emotions, and comes as a comforter,” He gripped your hand even tighter. “And can glimmer when the one bestowed with the other half of this mark is present.”

It had been shining a bright white this entire time.

 

Wait. You turned to him. “Does that mean...you’ll stay by my side forever?”

He gave you a gentle smile, before closing the space between you both.


***

 

“Isaac.”

You shook the tiny warrior frantically.

“Isaac.” You frantically whispered. “ISAAC!”

“Eh? Wot?” As soon as he uttered these words he jumped out of his bed like a dragon jumping to fly. “Cor blimey! Guv, it’s dead late!”

You sighed, taking a deep breath and resting on a nearby chair. “I know, I know, and you’ll hate me for this in the morning, I swear.” You crossed your legs, studying your star. Here in this room, when you pointed your hand downwards just by a little, you were able to get a faint glow from it. You needed to know more.

 

“I need your help, Isaac.” You uttered, brushing hair out of your face. “You’re basically my brother, and I can’t do this on my own.”

“Wot ya need?” He asked, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, yawning and then stretching. You violently shushed him for yawning too loud, fearful guards would come and find you plotting a plan to sneak around after hours.

“There’s something underneath Katolis castle, and I must know more about it.” You answered him, an otherworldly determination laced deep inside of your gaze.

 

“You WOT?!” He exclaimed loudly, falling off of his bed in shock. This was clearly unexpected. King Ezran specifically stated at dusk to be in your respected bedrooms and stay there until dawn broke out once more, signifying the start of a new day. If he knew you were sneaking out, or if someone caught you both outside, there was quite a high chance you both would be harshly punished. You were even risking your status here, sneaking out of your own room to get to Isaac’s.

For some reason, much to Isaac’s dismay, that didn’t faze you. It was thoroughly clear what you needed to see underneath Katolis Castle was much more important than obeying the rules of the King.

“You do know, Guv, we’ll be right killed if we leave, like?” He explained to you, eyes filled with fear. “You’re really sure, Guv?”

You nodded in reply. He groaned in disbelief before sliding on his slippers and grabbing a candle. He rubbed a match against its box, before seeing it light up, the beautiful crimson flame engulfing the wood, mirroring how your will was engulfing your morals.

Mirroring how your curiosity to know more about Aaravos distanced you from the normal world.

“If we die, it’s your fault, like.”


***


You took a mental note - never, EVER, sneak around Katolis Castle at night.

For some reason, at night, everything just seems so much more off putting and just riles tension up in your body. Suits of armour felt like they would come to life at any moment, to launch and attack you. Furniture felt like it could fall on top of any of you, and if it ended up severely injuring and of you, your breaking of the rules would expose you to King Ezran and you would be punished. Portraits felt like they were watching you with their eyes, and maybe, just maybe, if they had the courage, they could pop out of their frame and pull you in with them, trapping you in a labyrinth of colours for all eternity.

What would you do then if you lost your life creeping around here? Would you even be remembered by society? Would you be just a nameless soldier, a forgotten face, just a merely obscure footnote in history? Shivers crawled up your back, shaking hands led you to clutch onto your nightgown in case Isaac sensed your fear and made you come clean about your emotions.

If you died now, you would never know of what happened to Aaravos. The white haired wonder with a sky of stars for skin, and the glimmering golden suns in his eyes that felt as warm as the real thing, who haunted your dreams day and night. The unexplored knowledge that was never discovered, that would kill you, yes. To never see those eyes with your own, and not just in your mere fantasies. That would be, arguably, a huge disappointment for you.

Life and death are like two sides of the same coin. Yet even knowing that, your death would be untimely and tragic. You imagined a future for yourself; there were still days of joy and days of sorrow lying before you. Your death could reinforce the fear of being unable to fulfil your ambitions and dreams, keep your promises and to never be able to live a better life, while dying young and never being able to have a family or special someone in their life and to experience the joys and frustrations of everyday adult life. Your family would still remember who you used to be, who you were related to, what you were like, what your life was like beforehand  and what your life could have been like if you never had been spotted by death that day; not knowing that fate had you locked in place, and your life was going to be snuffed out. For days on end, they would not help but feel that someone had stolen those precious moments from you. Death is part of life, but yours would feel wrong.

What about the others? How would they react if they discovered this truth? How would Lucien and your adoptive mother react if they realised that the girl they took in at a mere child was unable to come home ever again? Would they cry, thinking of your face, that was now just a cold, mere cadaver? How would the others react if they realised they had to just move on, and go on with their lives?

You couldn’t leave your family behind.

 

“There.” You whispered, pointing towards the dungeons. “There’s where I feel it.”

Isaac looked at you like you had just soiled yourself then smeared your excrement on King Harrow’s headstone. “The dungeon ? Sorry Guv, but I think you’re off yer rocker.”

“I am not, Isaac. I want to simply find out the truth.”

You slowly went down to the pits of Katolis, where the estranged ex-Lord Viren was said to be rotting away there for treason against his fellow allies in the human Kingdoms. As you had experienced it first hand yourself, you knew what you were up against. With a flick of his finger, with a simple word, he could expose you, or kill you. But you had a nagging feeling he could lead you to the truth.

 

So you took that risk.

You knew what he was capable of. He had brought Evenere to chaos in just mere hours. You knew that sometimes your comrades found it hard to sleep nowadays because of the horrors they had witnessed at Lord Viren’s hand. At least you were thankful he was behind bars, and had been punished for what he had done. They still didn’t know how long they were going to keep him there, though. You hoped they’d keep him in there for as long as possible until he learned his lesson about harassing other people just because their rules disagreed with your plans and morals.

 

“Who’s there?!” A loud, harsh, paranoid voice shouted out in confusion as you both walked closer to the cell.

“SHUSH!” You violently hushed towards who you would assume was the ex-Lord Viren. “Keep your voice down!”

“Who are you?! State your name and business!” He shouted out again, your patience dwindling by the second.

"Keep ‘yer bleedin’ voice down, or else we’re in for it!” Isaac turned to the direction of the voice in a terrified tone, inflection all over the place, rushing in to shut the door.

 

As you approached the cell, you saw nothing that you had expected. The fearsome, manipulative ex-Lord Viren was nothing but a shrunken, elderly husk of the man you had seen before.

His hair was white, and his eyes were black.

Just like Elarion's.

That shook you to your core.

 

“Have they sent more insignificant underlings to question me?” He sighed, resting his head on the back of the concrete wall, sighing in disbelief. “How many times must I tell you..” His voice grew angrier and more impatient. “I don’t remember what happened! All I remember is fetching a butterfly, and then hearing the knock on the door. Next thing I know I’ve blacked out and there’s an arrow in my leg, tons of corpses around me, and I’m forced onto my knees.”

This made you curious. “You don’t actually remember?” You asked, leaning your arm against the prison bars. What happened next was something completely unexpected. The star on your hand began to twinkle, for some odd reason - perhaps due to the extreme befuddlement you found yourself in. It had happened countless times before, but no one had never had a reaction such as this.

 

When your glowing star crossed Viren’s sight of vision, he jumped out of his skin, his eyes opened wide in fear. “Oh...oh no...oh no…” He trembled. He was shaking like a leaf. If he had any colour on his face beforehand, it was gone now. “So... it was... “

His eyes soon flashed in anger. “You’re working with him! You’re both working with him!” He yelled out, grasping at the bars in a steam of rage. “That’s the only understandable reason! I’ve never seen you in the castle before, so you have to be working with him!”

“Wot?” Isaac asked, at an extreme loss for words.

“Working with who?” You asked as well, also in confusion. This was a strange sight. You’d expected ex-Lord Viren to be confident, charismatic, manipulative, goal-driven, just how everyone else had told you. But you only saw a mere shell of that man, and any other emotion had been overtaken by paranoia and rage.

 

“Are you here to finish me off?!” He screamed. “That blasted, treacherous Aaravos thought getting me locked up wasn’t enough, hm?!”





 

 

 

 

 

“w      h      a     t ?”





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words fell from your lips.


A name. A name you had never expected to fall out of the ex-Lord Viren’s, out of anyone’s, lips.

 

 

 

 

“I’m home.” You whispered, the tears willfully falling from your eyes, as you wrapped your arms around yourself, to comfort you.

 

It was done. Your search was over. Viren, the pesky high mage of Katolis, a man so filled with rage, knew where Aaravos, the darling midnight star that had haunted your dreams ever since you were a newborn, was. You couldn’t believe it. Two long decades of believing you were delusional, two long decades of believing it was a mere fantasy you yourself conjured up in your head, two long decades of thinking it was just a simple dream and you’d forget about them sooner or later, finally paid off.

You knew then and there, you were not delusional, and Aaravos was not a dream. He was real. A real, live being. And he was still alive after all this time.

 

“G..guv…?” Isaac asked, putting his hand on your shoulder for support. “Wot’s up?” When you lifted your head to look down at Isaac, his green eyes filled with immense concern due to your sudden emotional outburst.

You wiped your tears, giggling, smiling, laughing in pure glee. “I’m okay.” You grinned. You took his hand with joy embedded in your heart. “I’m finally okay. I’m finally whole , Isaac. I’m home.”

“Right, you’re actin’ just as cuckoo as ‘e is.” Isaac rolled his eyes, pointing towards Viren.

 

You cleared your throat, turning to Viren with a stone cold glare. “I want you to take me to Aaravos.” You uttered, a tone colder than death laced your voice.

This took Viren aback. “A-are you insane?!” He exclaimed loudly. “You, a mere magic lacking mortal have no idea what that thing is capable of! I was barely lucky just being imprisoned due to his acts!”
“Uh, Guv… who’s-”

“I will free you from your prison, temporarily, that is, so you can lead me to him.” You interrupted Isaac due to the desperation to find him once more.

“Guv…”

“Why would I help you?” Viren asked, tilting his head. “You could be leading me down the wrong p-.”

 

“If you take me to him I will... I will give Opeli a good reason to... lessen your sentence.”

“ARE YOU NUTS?!” Isaac shouted in disbelief, pushing you away. “He betrayed ‘is people! He killed ‘em! He deserves to rot!”

 

You admitted it yourself, if you were in Isaac’s shoes you would’ve said something that would’ve been along the same lines. Viren caused terror in the human kingdoms. Viren killed Katolis guards. Viren was a traitor. You sighed, and ignored Isaac, but only for the time being.

“I’m unsure if she’d agree to it, but...she may take my opinion into consideration.”

You hated Viren with all your heart and soul. Lucien would have told you that hate was a strong word, and you should never say it to someone, however, this abomination of a man was an exception. He used dark magic for his own perversion, and even though his spells had saved human kingdoms in the past, it would only bring bad in the future. What also angered you is how he got his hands on Aaravos’ magic. Did Aaravos teach him? Is that how he knows about him? And why did he talk of Aaravos in such a bad light?


What was there that you still didn’t know?


But you would admit, there was something you admired about Viren. That he was goal-driven. Determined. In fact, you two were quite similar in some aspects due to this. He wished to achieve the future he desired, and you wished to achieve knowledge about Princess Elarion and her Midnight Star. Perhaps that’s what made you pity him, to a minor extent.

 

You turned to Isaac. “Isaac, I know this sounds like a whole load of nonsense right now. Believe me, if I was in your shoes, I’d be acting the same. But please.” You gripped his hands tighter. “You mustn’t question it, and you mustn’t talk to anyone else. Please. This is a secret between us.”

Isaac sighed. “I won’t.”

You reached for the keys and unlocked Viren’s cell, then using nearby handcuffs to restrain him in case he planned to make a run for it. Even though you believed you were both quite similar, you still didn’t trust him. Not yet, anyway.

“Follow me.” Viren exclaimed, and the three of you followed suit to uncharted regions.


***


You three were met with the darkness, and the mirror you had experienced in your vision.

The mirror that had the hand inside it.

A shiver crawled up your spine.

 

“Is he in there?” You asked on impulse, without even thinking. You couldn’t help it. You were so desperate and hungry just for a single slither of evidence that Aaravos existed, and was still alive. There was no information of him anywhere, and those that claimed had information on him always ended up having pages filled with black ink, which filled you up with inexplicable rage.

Viren turned around in surprise when you asked him. “How did you know?” He asked. When you got closer to the mirror, you soon understood that something was definitely not right about it. For as long as you could remember, mirrors could only show reflections of an object, meaning it was flipped.

 

You were not flipped.

 

You were normal.



Even though you could only see your reflection, you knew someone, or something, was watching you from behind. You could feel it.



What you didn’t see was a weirdly coloured worm that came from the inside of Viren’s ear to rest on his lobe. “Do you recognise the girl I’m with?” Viren looked into the mirror, asking it.

A few seconds passed.

Viren turned to you, giving you such a look of confusion, that you knew what words were exchanged then and there between him and Aaravos.

 

You remembered his eyes, they way they used to shine for you.

You imagined a fog that had been there before the rain cleared it away all those years ago on a hill of forget me nots.

As darkness washed over you, you came to a devastating realisation.

Aaravos had forgotten you.


 

***

 



The next day, Crawford was looking at you strangely. He was holding the journal against his chest like it was something precious. This made you sit up in surprise, and move over to him. “Did you translate it already?” you asked.

“Once I started, I...I couldn’t stop,” he said, his voice as quiet as a mouse. The rims of his eyes were puffy, and when you realised that, you found that he had been crying.

“Crawford..” You started, putting a hand on his shoulder for reassurance, trying to swallow the fear in your voice. “What’s in there?”

He flinched at your touch, slowly removing the journal from his chest. He opened his mouth, but then abruptly closed it, beginning to search your face. “Here.” He said, finally handing it to you. “I think…I think it’s better…if you just read it instead of me explaining.” Once he spoke those words, he went out the door. You didn’t try to stop him when he disappeared. Instead, you ran your fingers over the leather binding, swallowing hard with anticipation.

 

You opened the first page.

 

The majority of its contents were weekly and daily entries. You recognised many of the recorded moments from your dreams. Some made you fall head over heels in laughter, and others made you choke up with emotion. Each one was recorded with a date, and after each entry it was signed with Elarion’s name. The entries ended after a montage of mostly fond memories, which you found rather puzzling, until you found that the next page was titled ‘thoughts’. It seemed as if Elarion split her journal into two sections then ran out of room to continue her journal entries. Maybe it was better that way. You weren’t sure you could bring yourself to read the entries that led up to her cruel demise.

The format then changed quite abruptly after that. It reminded you of the song lyrics you used to scribble in your own journal back home. Unlike those, they made you choke up with emotion.

 

They were poems.

Every single poem was dated, just like the entries. Each one was in order also – however, some were months apart. But every single one, without fail, was titled at the end in place of Elarion’s name. You couldn’t help but read the first poem in curiosity.

 

Our First Meeting

“He’s a rain storm

he pours and pours

i loathe him for the events that would conform

but he lingers

just like a storm would do

and then i find myself

praying to any deity

begging for it to rain

just so I can taste him again”

 

You felt the tears well up in your eyes.

 

You had to read the second.

 

I Hate Him, Yet I Don’t

“that man

he’s just like a single star

bright and lonely

and he waits

for the time when our destinies bar”

 

He Is A Supernova

“if he were

a canvas

his flaws

would make

a piece of art”

 

My First Love

“i killed a flower

then buried its petals

and sang an apology

then smiled as it occurred

as

he still loves me

the flower told me so”

 

They were dripping down your face now, but you didn’t wipe them away.

You couldn’t.

You refused.

 

Sacrifices

“i love him so much

but we have to let go of the things we love the most

as it’s easier to see them fly away

than watch them clearly suffering inside a prison

trapped by the red string

that intertwines us”

 

My Midnight Star

“i love him

though I should let him fly

but the forget me nots tell me

i’m selfish and

I can’t let go

I love him”

 

Your sobs racked your shoulders.

You couldn’t keep standing.

 

I’m Sorry

“i’m sorry father

for being a fool

i’m sorry father

for disobeying your rules

i’m sorry father

but you’re too cruel

i’m sorry father

i’m no longer your tool

 

we’re running away

and getting married

don’t lead me astray

i will be carried

 

into a new life”


You weren’t exactly sure how long you sat there, cradling the journal in your arms while you wept like a newborn. However at some point in your drastic breakdown, you were able to calm yourself enough to reach for a nearby pen. You didn’t need to think, you didn’t have to. You just began writing what your heart felt in that particular moment.

 

Genføde

“once upon a time

in a world where we could stay,

if i could have mended

these wounds

I cut into us

before the rain

washed our

promises away

then maybe

just maybe

our lives could have been in a world well afar

and you still could’ve been

my midnight star

 

 

why don’t you remember me anymore?”






Chapter Text

“Okay, I get the whole  ‘it’s comfy, you clean it’ thing, but why the heck are you making me do it?  Isaac was responsible, too.” Your lower lip stuck out as he cleaned the insides of the Ezran’s throne with a rag. “Besides, last time you made me do this, I almost died."

Isaac had snitched that you two had snuck out last night and you were stuck on cleaning duty.

“Isaac showed honesty by confessing.” Gren pointed out, twisting his hair. “How nice!”  He paused, glancing over his shoulder. “That, and, you’ve holed yourself in your room since yesterday.  The others are worried about you.”

You lowered your eyes, and the hand that had been working away at the throne with a rag slowed to a stop.  “I know that,” you mumbled, more to yourself than Gren.

 

But I’m tired of pretending I’m okay.  

 

Even Crawford had yet to approach you since he translated the journal and you retreated into your own personal distraught.  You kept expecting him to come around, but it was now pretty clear if he had questions, he was waiting for you to tell him yourself.  

The ginger-haired man raised a brow, stepping away to begin helping you.  “I get the feeling you have something on your mind.”

You shrugged your shoulders.  “A lot of things, actually, but you’re not wrong.”

Gren hummed thoughtfully, but he turned to look at you this time.  “I won’t ask if you don’t want to talk about it,” he concluded, weighing the rag in his hand.  “But if you do want to talk, you should know that you have a confidant in me.”

 

You felt a small smile tug at your lips.  You had only been in Katolis for a few days but you loved your teammates dearly — Gren, especially. He was so precious a kind, and his presence caused the room to light up like a sunrise  Sure, you might joke that Gren was a bit too silly, but he was so much more than that. He was always there to lend an ear when people needed to vent or when you wanted to pour out your homesick heart without worrying others around you.  He laughed at all of your puns, too, no matter how terrible they were.

You were pretty certain the guy was a saint.  

 

But could you really trust Gren’s judgement when it came to Aaravos and Elarion?  

 

A pause, then, “Do you know anything about Elarion? You know, Princess Elarion?
You looked expectantly at Gren, waiting for some kind of reaction.  But the older man just sighed, fixing his eyes on you. “Viren said something, didn’t he?”  He shook his head. “He doesn’t mean any harm by it. I think he still needs some sleep.”

“You resemble her very closely, I think.  Viren has convinced himself that it means something — and perhaps it does.  But, hey.…” He closed the distance between you both, planting his hands on your shoulders.  “Even if that is the case, it changes nothing. You are your own person. Elarion was a fine young woman, but don’t let that diminish your worth.”  

You felt tears well up in the corners of your eyes.  Your smile didn’t falter, however, and you went to wipe them away before they could fall.  “Viren said you always knew what to say to make someone feel better..”

“Your flattery won’t get you out of cleaning duty,” he said with a wink, and you groaned loudly.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

The smell of acetate was sort of calming.

Out of context, that probably sounded like a questionable statement.  But sprawled out on your stomach with a nail polish brush in one hand, it was slightly less alarming to admit to yourself.

There was a soft knock on the door.  

“Come in.”

You didn’t look up from your work.  You didn’t have to; you already knew it was Crawford standing at the door frame.

 

The raven-haired boy didn’t move from his spot.  “What are you doing?”

You flicked the brush, coating your thumb in a dark skied hue and then admiring it.  “Painting my nails,” you answered simply.

You knew he wouldn’t make fun of you - the others were already well aware of their teammate’s embrace of femininity.  Even Crawford didn’t cross that line, despite your constant bickering.

“I used to paint nails for the orphans.” you explained, if only to clear the awkwardness in the room that Crawford had lovingly bestowed upon you.  “And I’d let them paint mine, for practice. It grew on me.”

Painting your nails had become a way of relieving stress, especially after leaving behind your younger siblings for your mission at Katolis. Seeing your nails painted reminded you that you had a home, and a family that loved you.

You would always be their _______, even if your mind called you by a different name.

 

“Oh,” was all Crawford said.  When you finally looked up, the captain was sifting his fingers through the ends of his dark hair, his gaze resting on the wall.  

You inwardly sighed.

In truth, you didn’t want to see Crawford, let alone have it just be the two of you.  But pushing him away wasn’t doing anything to help you piece together the glass shards of Elarion’s past.  You would have to face Aaravos eventually - and you couldn’t do that, until you faced Crawford.

“Want me to paint yours?”  

Crawford’s head turned to look at you with a surprised expression.  “Uh…what?”

You dipped your brush in the polish, extending your fingers out once more to apply a clear coat.  “Don’t ‘uh, what?’ me, we both know you used to paint your nails black in school.”

The flush that spread across Crawford’s face was satisfying, to say the least.

You couldn’t help but grin.  “You’re way too easy to read, Crawford”  Once you had finished applying a clear coat to your nails, you sat upright, patting the spot beside you.  “Come on, I don’t have all day.”

Crawford studied you a few seconds longer before he made his way over to the bed, sitting down with his legs folded beneath him.  

“So, what colour?”  You asked, twisting around to retrieve the other nail polishes. “I have blue, purple, red - or black, if you want to relive your emo phase.”  

“Where did you even get nail polish?” Crawford questioned, baffled by the sight.  

“I have my sources.”

After a moment of inner debate, Crawford pointed at the bottle of red nail polish.  “That one,” he decided.

You blinked, mildly surprised by his choice.  You really thought Crawford would go for the black - it seemed more like his colour. Even so, he didn’t question it.

“Red it is,” you hummed, giving the bottle a good pat or two before untwisting the top.  “Give me your hand.”

 

Painting nails had always been considered a bonding activity between the girls you considered siblings but there was something about doing Crawford’s nails that felt so much more intimate.

Only after you began working on Crawford’s other hand did the raven-haired boy finally speak up, breaking the silence.  “Were you close?” He cleared his throat a little awkwardly. “With your family, I mean.”

“Don’t move,” You grumbled, lifting the brush as Crawford fidgeted.

“I grew up in a big family,” you began once you started painting again, keeping your eyes trained on the small canvases in front of your face.  “Me and Isaac were the only kids my parents adopted, but they always treated us like their own. So…yeah. I love my family a lot.”

“You guys are my family, too.”

“Family,” Crawford repeated.  The word sounded foreign on his tongue.  “Then…do you see me as a brother?”

You had somehow migrated closer together, and despite having finished painting his nails, Crawford didn’t try to pull his hand away.

“Yeah.” You said. “Yeah. Like that.”

Crawford looked away, fiddling with his hands.

“You’re going to mess up your nails,” You protested, blatantly flustered, but Crawford wasn’t listening.

 

“There’s…a white streak in your hair,” Crawford said, holding the strand between two of his fingers to inspect it.

You, unable to see it, simply stared at him.  “White?” you echoed.  No, that’s impossible , you thought.  You didn’t dare consider what they were both no doubt thinking - instead, you racked your brain for any other logical explanation.  “It must have something to do with y’know, stress...”

“That’s just a myth,” Crawford pointed out. But he then slowly leaned in, and-

 

“Stop.”  You let your head hang in order to escape Crawford’s hurt and confused gaze..  “I - we can’t.”

A short silence.

“The girl that Isaac spoke about, the girl in the journal, Elarion..”  There was a painful crack in the air. “She had feelings for Aaravos, didn’t she?”

You had told Isaac everything about your memories.  Everything but the romance that blossomed between the two.

You couldn’t bring yourself to answer.     

You kept waiting for Crawford to ask the question that had been dancing on his tongue all this time, as he had read the journal, but he never did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have feelings for him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You heard shuffling, and then the door opening and closing.  You were left alone in your room once more, your lips still tingling with Crawford’s jealousy.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

There was something about his eyes that told a story.

Ever since you gained the white streak in your hair, you had been able to communicate through the mirror, with the help of Viren’s worm, of course. He didn’t want anything to do with Aaravos, and was more than happy to give it to you.

It was a sad story, because when he looked at you, it was with a raw, yet withdrawn gaze. You could get lost in those sunny eyes of his, and this was exactly what happened.

Even when the startouch elf gave you a look that glared daggers, you couldn’t help but search those stoic yellow orbs as your breath grew jagged.

 

“Have you any idea who I am?” Aaravos sneered. “I’ve already ruined a mortal’s life. Ruining a second would be a privilege.”

He sounded nothing like he did in your dreams. This was a darker, more malevolent tone, laced with venom and distrust.

 

 

 

 

It was so sad.

 

 

 

 

 

He didn’t so much as blink when he said it. There was no pain behind those words, no notion of remorse.

Where was the beautifully distraught face that had watched you during your final hour?

The breath caught in your throat. Suddenly, the world was spinning. You might have thrown up, if not for the fact there was nothing in your stomach to reject.

You saw Aaravos’ quizzical face looking back at you before you fell forward and--

 

 

 

***





“Did I faint?” You asked, softly, since you were now fully able to communicate.

“Yes. You’re quite good at doing that,” the startouch elf reported.

“I’ll take it as a compliment.”

You fell silent for a moment, lips pursed.

“Thanks. For, uh…”  

“Don’t thank me yet,” Aaravos cut in, glancing at you from the corner of his eye before he returned his attention. “A fainting is the least of your problems, mortal.”

You swallowed. “It’s El-“ You stopped yourself, and Aaravos made a sound of question. “_____. My name is ______,” you finished, a bit hollowly.

“I don’t recall asking.” Aaravos stopped to look at a book on his shelf. He successfully managed to get it without falling, despite it being very high up. A skill that if you attempted, you would probably fail.

 

“So. I’m the only one who can see you? I’m starting to get the feeling you just wanted me for yourself,” You mused, but it came out nervous.
You kept forgetting that this guy was responsible for Viren’s imprisonment. But in your defence, it was easy to forget when every time you looked at him it was like getting hit by a bad case of nostalgia.

“If I desired you, I would at least have the decency to make sure you were properly bathed and groomed first,” Aaravos hummed, and you weren’t sure whether you were relieved or offended by the statement.

 

Aaravos was close. Very, very close.

How could someone be so pretty, yet so handsome at the same time? It was baffling how he could share both feminine and masculine features, with his sharp jawline and broadened shoulders yet soft features and graceful white locks.

Aaravos was, simply put, the epitome of beauty.

 

What then distracted you was Aaravos using some sort of magic using calligraphy of some sorts, to summon up some sort of quiche with a purple hue.

“This is an elven dish.” Aaravos announced proudly, but before you could continue, you cut him off.

“Aes. I know. It’s one of your favourites.”
When you looked up, Aaravos was staring at you with curiosity, his ears perked. “How did you…?”

You stiffened a little, realising what you had just blurted.

And then your eyes hooded, betraying your jaded demeanour on the matter. “Would you believe me, if I told you I don’t know?”

The startouch elf was studying you now, as though trying to solve a riddle. “Back there, in the prison, when the other human told you of me,” he said slowly, “You were emotional, and called out to me. But there was no possibility you could have heard of me beforehand.”

 

Because I knew you would come for me . The words caught in your throat.

 

Aaravos withdrew a tepid sigh. He cut out a piece of the aes with his fork and brought it to his lips.

It looked like a picnic in the flower field, felt like a tender kiss from your midnight star.

You remembered how charming he looked in his black trousers and neatly tucked white blouse, and his shorter blunt hair that Elarion had cut herself when Aaravos announced he wanted a change.

Tears ran down your cheeks in hot rivulets . “How could you,” came your broken voice.

“How could I what?” Aaravos asked, quietly.

“How could you forget about me?”

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

Aaravos remembered the angered gaze on Thunder’s face.

He remembered he turned his back on those they had once held an alliance with.

He remembered feeling guilty, but swallowing that guilt deep inside him until he couldn’t bare it, as there was a tremendous flare of grief deep inside his heart that wouldn’t go away for some reason..

He remembered taking a critical hit during the final hour, and being confined to the suffocating contents of something cold.

Then, nothing.

 

When he woke up, he was in a completely different plane, in a whole other area of existence.

He held the assumption that he did, of course, remember what life was like beforehand. However, now that it had been so long since he had seen another face, he couldn’t remember a life outside of the study he was imprisoned in.

No matter how much he mulled it over in his head, there was one thing he was certain of: the people of Xadia had not wanted him around, to leave him in a void for what seemed so many millennium.

There was an ache in his chest when he heard the voice that asked for him in the prison. It reminded him of her.

 

He wanted to see her.

But who was her?

 

When his eyes fell upon the human before him, a rise of anger tumbled over his head like a frothing current. That, he thought, was not her.

Aaravos desperately wanted to feel something other than confusion or rage when he finally met the human face-to-face. He wanted to understand this ache in his chest, the underlying guilt that was choking him.

He remembered white silk that was splattered with crimson red.

But he didn’t remember wanting that life to diminish all those years ago.

 

When Aaravos laid eyes on the latter for the first time, he wasn’t sure what to think.

 

You were human.

You reminded him of a forget me not. It was a strange thought, but standing on a cemetery of the once beautiful flowers, it was the only thing that came to mind in that moment.

When your eyes locked, he expected to feel something.

He thought that if he were to see the human for himself, perhaps he might remember a missing piece from his past.

Part of him hoped the memories might slowly trickle back, if he just caught a glimpse -

- and yet, nothing.

The disappointment that cut into him left the startouch elf raw.

 

When he finally did feel something, it was watching this mortal cry like a newborn. It was a baffling sight, but it didn’t strike a chord with him quite like the words that left those trembling lips.

“How could you forget about me?”

Then, louder, with a hiccuped sob, “How could you forget about us?”

 

Us.

 

It was a foreign word to Aaravos.

His father never addressed them as “us”.

Even so, he failed to see a correlation between you and his past.

For someone so beautiful, you were quite the ugly crier.

Aaravos stood up, then pointed to a handkerchief near you, glimpsing you in exasperation.  If your tears had been tears of fear, he might have been proud to make so many leave the your eyes, but they were not.

It was brief, but for a heartbeat, he saw something.

 

A head of hair with short white tendrils in the place of (h/c), rounded ears dusted with mocha, and eyes darker than the midnight sky.

He blinked, and the image dissolved.

“Elarion.”

It rolled off his tongue like honey.

Your eyes widened like moons, allowing any lingering tears to spill over. You nodded, hopeful.

Aaravos placed his hands on the glass, swallowing hard as he leaned closer. “Elarion.” he repeated, and the human nodded again, desperately this time.

He wanted to kiss you. You seemed to want that, too, because you were leaning towards the mirror, breathless.

“No.”

Aaravos removed his hands from the mirror, forcing distance between you both. They’re only trying to deceive you. They’ll do to you what you deserve.

 

“Aaravos,” You said desperately, reaching out towards him. “Aaravos, please, I -”

You watched, helplessly, as he walked off, towards the door in the mirror.

“Aaravos, you have to listen to me,” you shouted, banging on the glass with what little energy you could muster. “You know me! You know Elarion!” you were practically screaming now, and every word felt like a dagger to his heart.

 

He only wished he could remember more than a name.

 

He might have believed you.

 

“We met in a field filled with forget me nots!”

Aaravos slowly lifted his gaze, fixing it on you. He stared back at you, stolen of breath.

“It was raining, and you were drenched.” Your voice lowered into something much more melancholy. You stopped fighting completely, having exhausted yourself. “You kissed me under the stars. We had secret picnics and told each other about our dreams. You were…”

 

 

You smiled tearfully as he walked out the door. “My midnight star.”

 

Chapter Text

He was beautiful, even with a venomous glower and unkept tendrils of hair framing his face.  

You released the breath you had been holding onto, letting your lungs deflate.  There was something about the sight of Aaravos trapped that made your chest ache.  

“Why are you back?”  Aaravos asked, his voice lacking the warmth it once held for you.  

You watched him through the glowing glass, lips pressed together.

“Interrogation?” he guessed.  “You must be delighted.”

“I’m not here to interrogate you,”  You said, holding the journal at your side.  “I just want to talk.”

“Then by all means,” Aaravos’ eyes narrowed, “Speak your mind.”

 

You knew it was a bad idea.

But you also knew if you wanted to get through to Aaravos it wasn’t going to happen on an unfriendly approach.

You found yourself sitting criss-cross from Aaravos.  The journal rested in your lap.

“You seem a bit tense,” Aaravos noted, and there was a smugness to his tone. He didn’t display the demeanor of a prisoner. He never did.

“Yeah, well, you’re not exactly the easiest person to talk to.”  

You weren’t sure what kind of expression he was making, but Aaravos hardened gaze seemed to soften a bit, if only so it could be replaced with lassitude.  “You expect me to heed your words,” he began lowly, “yet you keep me locked up and only come find me when it suits you best. How should I take that?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t know how to make it more comfortable.”

Aaravos rubbed his wrists afterwards, one brow cocked.  “Fair enough.”

 

“There has to be something you remember,” You went on when the he turned back around, falling back into the same state of desperation as before.  You racked your brain for every memory and every dream of Elarion and Aaravos that had ever infested your mind.

“What about the time your father almost caught us together but I hid myself in the cloak I made for you?”

“Can’t say I recall.”  

“Not even our first picnic in the flower field?”

“Nothing comes to mind.”

“Well, what about -" your face grew hot and you lowered your voice, “the time I wore that lace thing you liked so much?”

Aaravos raised a brow.  “Now this, I wish I remembered.”

You opened your mouth, but before you could spitball another fond memory the elf’s eyes flashed with something.  

 

Recognition?

 

“I think just now…I may have remembered something,” Aaravos said, gingerly, but a little hurriedly.

Your breath hitched as he leaned closer into the mirror.  “Yes,” he continued, eyelids fluttering, “Yes…I remember doing this.”

You leaned in all the same, and even though the glass separated you both, you swore you could still taste the honey from all those years ago.




What you didn’t see was that Crawford was standing in the doorway, hurt in his eyes, as he walked away.




“I want you to have this.” You stated after pulling away, as you held up the journal. “It contains information I think you would like to know.” You stumbled a bit awkwardly. “I’m not exactly sure how I can give it to you, but…

“It’s simple, really.” Aaravos stood up, he grabbed a stylistic ritual knife from his desk, and put his knife on the palm, threatening to cut it. “Do as I say, and you will be fine.”

 

 

Should you trust him?

 

You grabbed a knife from Viren’s old study.

 

 

 

 

Should you trust him?

Blood fell from his palm into the bowl, as did yours.

 

 

 

 

 

Should you trust him?

 

The bowl immersed a sickly-like steam.

 

 

 

 

 


Should you trust him?

 

You threw in the book, running away,  and he grasped it just in time, but not before it flew right onto his face, slapping his right cheek.

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

Aaravos touched his cheek.  The stinging had been replaced by a dull throb, but he found himself guiding his hand onto his chest.  It was there that he felt a genuine pain.

He gave it a small squeeze.

My heart, he thought.   Why does my heart hurt so much?

He didn’t realise how truly alone he felt when left to his thoughts until you stranded him.

 

Now, Aaravos was not an intrusive being.  He respected others’ boundaries - to an extent, anyways.  But as he let his eyes graze the journal’s leather cover, he found himself curious.

Hesitantly, he picked it up.  

Why else would you have brought it with him, unless you wanted to share its contents with him?

He opened the cover, letting his finger sift over the thick pages.  

As he presumed, it consisted of journal entries.  Below each entry, there was an english translation in a messier handwriting.  Aaravos knew both tongues quite well, but he had always been fond of Danish, so he chose to read it in its original print (this, and, the English looked like it had been written by a human child).  

There were not as many entries are he initially expected.  Some were months apart. Some were long, others brief.

He began with the first entry, and the rest was - well - history.  

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 001 / (XX-XX)

 


Father gave me this journal to log the meeting today.  It’s my first.

As expected, meetings are the worst, and the only interesting thing that has happened in the past hour was the arrival of Mr fancy-hair.  I figured pretending to take notes will keep me awake without angering father, but I fear I won’t be able to hold out much longer.

 

 

I fell asleep.

In my defense, I had absolutely no idea what the Queen was talking about.  I’ve only gotten so far in my foreign affairs studies, and what’s the point of paying attention if I don’t even know what they’re talking about?  Father must be pretty mad, because he’s left me stranded. I’m going to the flower field until she can take me home - perhaps I’ll write a few poems.  

Father says my poetry is flawed and a waste of time.  But I don’t think so.

 

 

 

It started raining.  

You’re a little damp.  Sorry.

But guess who I ran into in the flower field?  Aaravos! The guy is a total jerk! And you know what?  I’m not all that surprised. She doesn’t believe me. Figures.

There’s this thing that’s been bothering me, though.  He didn’t seem to mind the rain. He was drenched, probably freezing, but he hardly bat an eye.  What must someone endure, to prefer a rainstorm so bitter and cold to his father’s presence?

 

 

 

 

I can’t stop thinking about him.  

 

Why is that?

 

Signed, Elarion

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 026 / (XX-XX)

 

We’ve been seeing each other for several months now.

I never knew I could keep a secret this long.  

He’s so beautiful.  And I know father would kill me if he found out, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t stay away from him.  He’s an enigma, that boy. And his eyes - goodness, those eyes! I used to think elf eyes were creepy. But Aaravos’ are the prettiest shade of yellow I’ve ever seen.  They are the epitome of sunshine.

He doesn’t smile much.  But when he does, it takes my breath away.

 

 

I think I might love him.

 

Signed, Elarion

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 034 / (XX-XX)

 

We had our first fight.  We’ve bickered before, but there was a lot of yelling this time.  I said some things I’m not proud of. Whenever I close my eyes, I see the hurt in his eyes, like two crushed forget me nots.  

 

He called me selfish.  

 

Perhaps he’s right.

 

Signed, Elarion

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 069 / (XX-XX)

 

We made love.

 

And before you say anything, I did not intend for this log’s number to favour my experience.  It simply happened to turn out that way.

 

I’m not going to go into details, but…  Holy moly.

 

Also, don’t tell my best friend I stole that lace thing from her room, she would kill me.

 

Signed, Elarion

 

PS: (But, if you’re wondering, Aaravos fancied it ♡ )

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 084 / (XX-XX)

 

The human son of the other kingdom caught us together.  Thankfully, our clothes were still intact. Our lips were laced together though.

I thought of all people, he would understand.  But I have never seen such despair on his face until that very moment.

It was only when the tears began to pour that I realized it was not disgust, but heartbreak.

 

 

He was in love with me, and wanted me to be his bride.

 

How could I have not known?  

 

I feel awful.

 

Signed, Elarion

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 098 / (XX-XX)

 

Some part of me thought Aaravos would be happier for me.  And yet, his smile is plastic whenever I bring up my ascension to the throne.

 

I fear there is a storm coming.  I only hope Aaravos is by my side when it strikes.

 

Signed, Elarion

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Entry 99 / (XX-XX)

 

We had another picnic in the flower field.  The weather was perfect, and so is he.

I can tell Aaravos is troubled, but his smile seemed genuine for the first time in a long time today.  We had aes, and I told him about my first time in the kingdom (which was a disaster, in case you were wondering).  I never tire of hearing him laugh.

 

I’ve reached the end of this journal, as I have discovered the next page consists of my early poetry.  I fail to understand why I thought it was a swell idea to begin my poetry in the middle of you, but no point in questioning my younger self now.  

As much as I would like to begin a new journal, work with the wedding has consumed much of my time these days.  For that reason, I’m not sure when I will find the time to continue recording my life.

Thank you for bringing me this far, and for listening to my love-struck rambles.  

 

Signed, a human girl who fell in love with a startouch with pretty hair, prettier eyes, and the prettiest skin in the entire universe.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Unlike you, Aaravos’ memories did not come back to him in a slow trickle.

 

In fact, it impacted him so harshly that the breath was stolen from his lungs and he found himself doubled over, wrenching.  

 

 

 

He was a liar.

 

A traitor.

 

And most of all, a murderer.

 

Surely, he thought, father must be proud of me now.

 

 

 

It was raining blood.

Aaravos’  face was smeared with blood was not his own, cradling the dead body of the woman he was madly in love with.  His breaths came in jarred pants.

His father was bent over him, the same blood smeared all over him.

In only two days, the war on had already taken thousands of lives - both elf and human.

“Father,” he said.  His voice was monotone.

“Now you can finally be free of that distraction.” His father uttered to him. “Now you can concentrate on your work.”

The rest of the startouch elves looked at him, like he was a disease.

 

You promised.  

 

You promised if I befriended a human, you would treat me better.

 

Falling in love was never the plan.  

 

You promised we would be like a real family.  

 

He understood now, that none of it was true.  

Elarion had been the only family he needed, and he betrayed her, by being only a few minutes late.

He drew a thunder rune in anger while their backs were turned.

If they destroyed his family, only reason for happiness, they didn’t deserve to see the light of tomorrow.

 

CRASH!


What would Elarion do?

 

 

“-And then I would take out the enemy so it’s rendered powerless - slash, slash slash!”

Aaravos couldn’t contain his laughter.  “What was that sound?”

Elarion smirked, an eyebrow cocked.  “Swords.”

Aaravos chuckled, looking up at the sky above them.  He paused, then, swallowing what was left of his amusement.  “But then you would perish with the enemy. Are you saying you would sacrifice yourself?”  

Elarion nodded without skipping beat, her cheeky expression fading into something more serious.  “Naturally. I would never waste time trying to come up with an alternative for the sake of preserving their own life.  I would rather die protecting the ones I love, than live with the guilt of failing them.”

Aaravos hummed thoughtfully, then leaned forward to plant a kiss on her nose.  Elarion giggled.

“My hero.”    

 

 

Aaravos aimed for the rest of them who survived -

 

Slash, slash-

 

He was knocked off his feet before he could blast them a third and final time.

 

Most of them were dead.

 

His father hit him often, but it had never carried such force or excruciating pain as it did in that moment.  It was terrifying, to know that he was holding back all those times.

 

Aaravos ran up to finally secure the blow, and when he had done it, his head hit the ground with a sickening crack.  His vision blurred, and he slipped into darkness.

 

Aaravos found it equitable, that the man who killed his lover should be slain by his son.  

 

 

 

The startouch did not believe in an afterlife. They were only meant to be guardians of the stars.  This put Aaravos at ease.

 

How devastating it would be, if he should have to face Elarion again.

 

“I forgive you,” she would say.  

 

And Aaravos would break.