Author's Note: Those of you who are familiar with my work know I absolutely hate Eriol's dub name, but have mellowed somewhat, though I still refer to him as Eriol Eli Moon. So how will that fit in the context of this story? Read on and find out! ^_^


Summary: After getting his foot in the door, Eriol and the guardians walk into their living quarters. After looking at the condition of Yelan Li for the first time, Eriol begins to reminisce with Meilin and begins to look back at the first time he looked at Sakura.


Origins Of A Sorcerer

Episode 2- Recalling the Card Mistress


Meilin never expected the sorcerer to arrive so soon. The sudden development had caught her completely off-guard, which was why she had jumped to the conclusion that someone broke into the grounds of the Li clan. She felt awfully embarrassed about it afterwards.

With Eriol Eli Moon already being led to Yelan Li's bedside, that left Meilin with the task of leading the two guardians that accompanied him to their living quarters. To make up for her presumptuousness, she found herself carrying all the luggage, which was no problem for a girl like Meilin. She had spent so many years training that she had developed great strength for a girl her age. When Meilin reached the bedroom, she slid the door open and placed their bags down.

"This is where you'll be sleeping. Eriol will sleep next door."

Ruby looked around. "Cozy." She hung her jacket on the coat rack and spied the painting on the wall. "Hey, who's this?"

Ruby had her eye on a painting of a middle-aged woman decked in a traditional kimono holding a fan in front of her lips. All that left was the spectacle that was her eyes. Her demeanor gave off a fierce, yet elegant, vibe. She was certainly beautiful.

Meilin frowned. "That's a picture of Yelan Li, Li Showron's mother and soon-to-be matriarch of the Li clan…back in better days. Ever since she fell ill, she hasn't been the same."

"What exactly is ailing her?" Spinner asked.

"That seems to be the big mystery," Meilin answered. "Nobody knows. We've had everybody come look at her, but nobody can determine what she's fallen ill to. That's why we've called Eriol. As half the reincarnation of Clow Reed, we feel he is our last hope." She sighed deeply. "I just hope he's the answer like everybody says he is."


Eriol stood over Yelan Li's bedside. But the woman was fast asleep and he figured it was best not to wake her up. If it was as bad as he was told it was, then she would need all the rest she could get. Eriol figured it would be best to just walk out for the time being.

After taking a brief look at Yelan Li, Eriol decided it was time to retire for the evening. He walked back to the living quarters he was given, remembering the directions Meilin had given him. He walked through the front door and heard a running faucet from the kitchen.

"Ruby, isn't it a little late to be doing chores?"

"Ruby's in her room. Are you back already?"

Eriol walked into the kitchen to see Meilin Rae, in an apron, doing dishes. He couldn't help but smirk. "I never pictured you as the type to be doing dishes."

"How's Yelan?" Meilin asked, not even cracking a smile.

"Oh…she's resting comfortably. Taking the time to wake her at this hour wouldn't be the best course of action. The best thing to do would be to wait until morning. Shouldn't you be getting some sleep?"

"I don't sleep much these days," Meilin answered. She put the last dish down and turned off the faucet. "Besides…I've wanted to talk to you."

"About what?"

Meilin took Eriol's hand and led him into the living room and sat him in the middle. There were no couches or chairs. It was like a dojo. There was only the floor and decorative furniture.

"I've heard a lot about you," Meilin began.

"Who told you?" Eriol asked curiously.

"Your girlfriend. Madison and I keep in touch. After all, she does have Li living in her guesthouse. Last I checked, you two had a fight."

"That feels like ancient history.* I can't believe she hasn't gotten over that yet."

"She has told me a lot about you, but only as Eriol Eli Moon the person. I haven't heard much about…well…Eriol Eli Moon the sorcerer. It would be nice to know just why everybody seems to have so much faith in you, even though you ARE half the reincarnation of Clow Reed. I'd like to know more."

Eriol nodded. "No harm in that. What exactly would you like to know?"

Meilin put her words carefully. "The past. When you first arrived in Reedington. And the time you tested Sakura Avalon. I'd like to know all about it."

Eriol thought about that. It had been a long time since that popped into his head. "Granted. I guess you'd like me to start from the beginning?"

"Better than starting from the end," Meilin scoffed.

"I guess you make a good point. Well…I had just arrived in Reedington. Ruby and Spinner wanted to see our new home, but I knew there was something we had to do first…"


Flashback: Outside Sakura Avalon's House

P.O.V.: Eriol Eli Moon

The darkness of night set the mood perfectly. It was the atmosphere that morbid and gothic individuals loved more than anything. And it set the tone for Eriol's arrival. From the distance, he could see the house of the chosen candidate. This was the one he had traveled thousands of miles to see.

Eriol had taken a position outside the house where he couldn't be seen. His guardians had reverted to their true forms. And they had a perfect view of the candidate's window.

"Which one is it?" Spinner Sun asked.

"I think they all have some unique power," Ruby Moon replied.

"That's very true," Eriol pointed out. "The brother can see the dead. And you all know the father's secret. And then there's the candidate, herself."

The three of them looked through the window and noticed a young eleven-year-old girl lying on her stomach and conversing with a little stuffed animal.

"That's her," Eriol said. "Sakura Avalon. She's the one who's holding all the cards. She managed to overcome all odds to become Mistress of the Clow Cards. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary destiny."

"Doesn't look like much," Ruby Moon scoffed. "Though she does look adorable."

"She may not be much," Eriol smirked. "But that's why we're here. We're here to put her to the test…and ensure that she truly makes the cards her own."

"When do we start?" Spinner Sun asked.

"We start tomorrow. It's…my first day of school. I will be in Sakura's class. Ruby, you'll start at the high school and keep an eye on Sakura's brother and Yue's false form."

"What about me?" Spinner Sun wondered. "What should I do?"

Eriol scratched his chin. "Uh…you can clean the house."

"Oh wonderful," Spinner Sun grumbled. "An all-powerful guardian reduced to housework."

"What was that?"

"Nothing, Master."

"Good. Tomorrow should be very interesting…especially if the time has come."

Eriol looked through the window one more time and saw Sakura Avalon with a bright smile on her face.

"Time to meet the Card Mistress personally."

~----------~

[Eriol: Now I may be an all-powerful sorcerer, but there's still something to said about first-day jitters. You know what I mean?]

[Meilin: Absolutely! I've been there before.]

[Eriol: Then you must know how the first day of school must have gone…]


Flashback: Reedington Elementary

P.O.V.: Eriol Eli Moon

Eriol was feeling nervous. Although he was a very powerful sorcerer, he was still a young boy and the first day of school would always bring butterflies.

~* Ok, ok, I know I'm on a mission. I'm a capable sorcerer. I should be just fine. And I should have no problem blending in. Hmm…but I do look like a tool with this uniform. How do guys wear this? I look like a sailor boy. *~

Eriol put his ear by the door and heard the teacher speaking to the class. He was seconds away from being introduced. Sure enough, he was signaled in by the teacher, Mr. Terada.

"Why don't you go sit behind Li?"

Eriol recognized Li Showron. He was the other Clow Card candidate who came on behalf of the Li family from Hong Kong. He was the one who helped Sakura through everything and helped her with some crucial captures. As soon as he was directed, Eriol walked to his new seat.

That's when Eriol laid eyes on Sakura Avalon. She looked much better in her uniform. They always seemed to work better for girls than for guys. As soon as Sakura looked his way, he smiled.

"Hi, Sakura!"

Sakura gave him a strange look. At first, Eriol thought it was because of the English accent. He was used to speaking with his normal, deep, intimidating voice, which he had to forego while he was maintaining this charade.

~* Why is she looking at me like that? It's like she's never met me be…uh oh. *~

It hit Eriol like a ton of bricks. He had blurted out her name and yet she had never even introduced herself to him. It must have sounded suspicious.

~----------~

[Meilin: So what else happened?]

[Eriol: Well, things got more interesting at lunchtime…]


Flashback: Reedington Elementary (Lunchtime)

P.O.V.: Eriol Eli Moon

Lunch couldn't come soon enough for Eriol. He was ready to finally approach Sakura face-to-face for the first time. She was sitting under a tree on a blanket with some of her friends, including Li. Eriol sighed deeply and walked over towards her. Everyone stopped their conversation and looked over at Eriol.

"You're the new transfer student," one of the other girls said. "What was your name again?"

Eriol cleared his throat and was about to introduce himself, prepping his phony voice.

"I remember!" Sakura smiled. "His name's Eli."

Eriol furrowed his brow. "Uh…no…"

The dark-haired girl next to Sakura giggled. "Have a seat, Eli."

~* ELI?! Oh, I hate that name! I don't want everybody calling me that for the whole year. *~

Eriol took his seat. "Uh…can I just say…"

"So where did you transfer from, Eli?" Sakura asked.

Eriol sighed. It was obvious he wouldn't get through the name issue today. "I transferred from England. This is my first time here in Japan."

"Oh, he's British!" another girl squealed. "My name's Chelsea and you're the first British boy I've ever met!"

The boy next to her then started rambling. "Did you know the first British person to ever set foot on Japanese soil arrived here 500 years ago? He almost went mad five days into his trip because he didn't have any tea, but he ran into some friendly natives who prepared a humongous feast with Japanese turkeys…OW!"

Chelsea grabbed the boy by the ear. "That's enough, Zachary. No need to scare the new kid off on his first day."

Sakura got to her feet and pulled Eriol up by the hand. "Eli…I need to talk to you for second."

Li was taken aback. "Sakura…"

"Li, I'll be right back."

Sakura started leading Eriol to an isolated area. Eriol looked back and noticed that Li wasn't taking his eyes off of them. In fact, it was almost like a vein was popping out of his forehead.

Finally, Sakura had Eriol alone. "Uh…out of curiosity…how did you know my name earlier? I don't think I introduced myself to you."

Eriol knew he had to think fast and come up with a good cover story. He couldn't blow his cover from day one.

"Oh…it's because…uh…I talked to one of your friends. She told me I definitely needed to meet the blond-haired beauty named Sakura Avalon."

Sakura blushed. "Oh…" She giggled. "Really? Which friend?"

Eriol had to think of another quick fib. "The…one…with…the glasses…"

"Nikki?"

"That's her!"

Eriol breathed a sigh of relief as he dodged a bullet. Then he looked over and saw Li Showron again, who was glaring a hole right into him. Eriol couldn't help but smirk.

~* Somebody looks jealous. Hey…this could be fun. *~


Meilin couldn't help but laugh. "You mean Li was jealous from day one?"

"If turned any redder, he'd be a tomato," Eriol grinned.

Meilin giggled. "That sounds like me. You should have heard what I did when *I* first met Sakura."

Eriol looked up at the clock. "It's almost two in the morning."

Meilin gasped. "You're right!" She stood up and pulled Eriol up by the hand. "Let me show you to your room. You think we'll have time for another story sometime?"

Eriol knew the answer to that. The effort to heal Yelan Li of her illness would be a long one.

"Trust me. We'll have time."


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