A/N: Welcome, one and all, to a new adventure! Again, I own literally nothing. This story was written by my sister and Beta'd by me. Fairy Tail and all characters except Fae belong to Hiro Mashima. But on to the story! There will be tears! Laughter! Confusion! And great balls of fire, all courtesy of Natsu. Enjoy!
Natsu burst through the guild hall doors, carrying a limp bundle in his arms.
"MASTER!" The usual rambunctious entrance hadn't gotten any attention, but Natsu's panicked tone and the noticeable scent of blood had.
"Natsu?" The Dragonslayer raced towards Makarov, Happy flying at his shoulder, breathing heavily.
"We found her while we were doing our last job, master! She's hurt really bad! Natsu kicked those jerk's tails to the moon, but they already got to her, what do we do!?" Makarov flicked back the blanket Natsu had thought to wrap her in.
A young face was revealed, a girl with a noticeable touch of sun to her skin though she was looking pale and uncomfortable. Her eyes were closed and she was feverish. Aqua hued fuzz covered her roughly shaved scalp, interrupted by a clean white bandage around her head.
"She was fine while we were walking back from the station, then she just fell unconscious and we couldn't wake her up again!" The Dragon Slayer's arms were shaking as he held onto the injured child, a panicked look in his eyes. "We gotta help her, Gramps! I promised we'd help her!" Makarov held up his hand to forestall the worried wizard.
"And we will Natsu. Reedus!" He barked at Art mage who rarely left the guild hall. "We need transport to Porlyusica. Jet! Run ahead and inform her of the situation. We'll follow as soon as we are able. Hurry!"
That is what I am told was my introduction to the Fairy Tail guild members. I don't remember any of it. I don't remember much of anything before waking up in Porlyusica's house with a splitting headache and the buzz of something unfamiliar under my skin. It had itched incessantly, unbearably and nothing I did could make the damn sensation stop! Apparently I had repeatedly tried to scratch my arms open in my sleep trying to relieve myself from the irritating sensation. Then, when I did wake up, it was with a moment of panic when I didn't recognize my surroundings. I gazed at the pink haired woman with frightened eyes, my heart racing with confusion when I not only didn't recognize her, but that I didn't...feel right.
Was the world always this big?
"Oh, calm down." The healer grumbled at me. I then registered with a flare of panic that I was also tied down. "You were constantly attempting to hurt yourself, don't look at me like that." I paused, wondering how I had known she was a healer.
Porlyusica. The Edolas alternate version of Grandine the Sky Dragon. The information was just...there, floating in my head.
"Wh...Where am I?" I was shaking with the effort to not burst into tears, something told me that this woman, while not begrudging me that luxury, would certainly not appreciate it.
"In my home. We are about fifteen miles away from the city of Magnolia." I looked at her blankly, not recognizing any of it.
"Who brought me here?" I got the impression she didn't get out much. By her own choice. She seemed to take note of the question, turning towards me.
"You're not going to ask what happened to you?" I shook my head.
"You don't know that." I replied, somehow certain that she didn't. Her brows rose.
"You are correct. I do not. You were brought here by the Fairy Tail wizard guild. One of their members came across you being attacked and came to your defense. Unfortunately, you had already been injured. The locals patched you up as best as they could and he brought you back to his guild and then to me for further treatment." Fairy Tail. The words rang strangely in my head. Fond exasperation and bemusement welling up inside of me despite the fact that I had no memories to connect to the emotions. It was pretty much the biggest sense of deja vu I could ever remember having...
"One more question." I said slowly, trying not to shake. "I...I don't think you'll know the answer but..."
"Just ask, girl. And we'll see if I know the answer." The woman said patiently, comparatively speaking as she sat down by my sickbed. I looked at her earnestly, fully aware how young and lost I looked and sounded...and trying even more not to cry as the horrifying realization crept over me.
"Who am I?"
Porlyusica watched the sleeping, nameless child, exhaling softly. With the extent of the injuries on her, both physical and magical, she ought to have expected some sort of side effects. It had been an encouraging sign that she was lucid, capable of speaking and understanding what she heard. But this...
The poor girl didn't look more than six or seven years old. And she had no idea who she was or where she came from.
Her hands tightened briefly and her nostrils flared with a fierce protective rage that swept through her.
No child should ever have that look of hopeless despair.
The hermit-healer picked up the lacrima that she had accepted for the sole purpose of informing Makarov and his guild that their foundling had woken. The young Fire Dragon Slayer and his flying cat had come by every day in person to visit the unconscious girl and speak to her. They had often been accompanied by the Ice Make Wizard and Erza Scarlet. Those three might bicker like broody chimera, but there was no doubt in anyone's mind that they were among the best of friends in the guild. Their support of Natsu's attachment to the helpless child showed that. And they always brought greetings and word from the rest of the guild, telling the sleeping girl about people she had never met before and they way they lived and laughed together.
"And then the stripper over here-" The Dragon Slayer's story cut out as the Ice Wizard attempted to strangle him.
"Oi! What's the big idea with calling me a stripper in front of a kid, you flaming idiot!?"
"It's what you are. I don't want her to get confused, Ice-brain! Now shut up, you're ruining the story!"
"You've already done that, you're not telling it right! I wasn't even there, bastard!" There came a loud, piercing clang as Erza smacked both of them.
"Quiet down, Natsu! Gray, no cursing in front of a child!"
Porlyusica hid a small smile as the odd quartet bickered over the sleeping girls' bedside. They were a rowdy bunch. She hardly would tolerate that kind of behavior in a normal situation. She glanced down at the lacrima she had linked to the girl in order to keep track of her heart rate, circulation and brain activity.
All of them were growing steadily stronger the longer and louder the visiting wizards were. What's more...
"Hey guys, she's smiling!" Happy cried, flitting over her head delightedly. "I bet she can hear us!" The three humans paused and saw that Happy was right. The girl lay with a distant, warm smile on her face, all other signs indicating that she was still fast asleep.
Erza was the first to break the silence.
"Of course she can hear us...I hope we're not disturbing you." She addressed the sleeping girl gently, her usual manner softening somewhat. "All we want to do is see you wake up. Feel free to tell these idiots off then."
"Hey come on! We're making her smile! We've gotta be doing something right!" Happy's voice piped up again.
"I bet she's thinking that you're all a bunch of idiots!"
"Porlyusica?" Makarov's face appeared in the crystal, his voice coming through the magical link as well as a myriad of shouting and the usual hubbub that accompanied that guild. "What's the news- FOR GOODNESS SAKE WOULD YOU IDIOTS SHUT UP!?" He roared at someone she couldn't see, his eyes flashing with his Titan magic.
There was finally a semblance of quiet. Everyone in the guild hall was listening intently for the update.
"The child has woken up and has suffered no physical damage from her trauma." The cheers from the other end warmed some cold part deep inside her. It took so little for them to accept her. She thought of the girl in the bed behind her. They don't know anything about her, but they still welcome news of her recovery with such joy... But Makarov had caught onto her wording.
"Porlyusica...what is it?" He sounded grave and serious. Like a Ten Wizard Saint instead of the doddering, friendly old man he usually portrayed himself as. .
"While she is looking to make a full recovery, there is something that I cannot do for her... And that is heal her mind. The girl has no notion of who she is or where she came from. She recalls nothing before waking up in my house. I've examined her thoroughly, and there is no indication I can see of why she is like this. Whatever put her in the state she was in when you brought her to me was jarring and painful enough for her to suppress the memory of the event and all other events previously in her life. She cannot even remember her own name."
It was weird.
There was no other apt way of describing it. I could move, but only with much trembling and uncertainty. I kept on misjudging the length of my limbs, resulting in my tripping over air and jamming my fingers and toes against various pieces of furniture.
"Ergh!" I clutched my hand after banging it painfully on one of the railings I was using to learn how to walk again, glowering at the offending appendage.
"Getting frustrated will not help you." Porlyusica said sternly as she caught sight of my glare. "After four weeks of not eating solid foods and being as weak as you were before, it's a miracle you are capable of walking at all." I heard her chastisement to be careful and grateful with a nod of the head.
"Yes ma'am..." I then grasped the rails she had set up for, taking the struggling route from one side of the room to another.
It said something terrible about my stamina that I could only manage a few passes of this before shakily sitting down to try and recuperate. My legs felt like overcooked noodles and my arms weren't much better.
That...isn't right. I hadn't felt this shaky on my feet since...
When? A frustrating gap reared up in my memory again. A distinct feeling of swaying and pain behind my left ear, stabbing into my brain.
"A flash?" Porlyusica asked, her quick eyes seeing my hand automatically cupping my ear, still ringing with phantom pain. I lowered my hand, nodding.
"I think something happened to my ear once." She hummed thoughtfully, brow furrowing in what would have been a stern and somewhat intimidating manner if...If I didn't know that that was just her thinking face.
"I did find a thin scar just on the line of where your ear meets your head. It's completely healed though and precise enough that I can deduce it was a deliberate incision instead of an injury."
"About how old was it?" I asked, breathing deeply to ready myself for the next pass of the room on the rails.
"Several years, At least five. It's barely visible at all anymore." I ran my finger over the thin line thoughtfully, wishing as I often did nowadays that I wasn't an amnesiac.
So much of myself was gone, erased from my life as cleanly and fully as if someone had whitewashed it. No color, no connection, just a vague white landscape of emptiness and distant emotion. I felt blank. Like I didn't fit in this small body, or in this world at all. This very plainly wasn't the same as I had once thought it was. The speed of my recovery said that either my idea of what was normal needed redefining, or this world was in dire need of having it's reality checked.
My question to Porlyusica about this had actually gotten the stern woman to crack a smile.
"Are physics laws or suggestions?"
"A basic framework." Something that encircled the world, but could be pushed and prodded here and there to suit whim or need.
We think of them as more like...guidelines. The gruff voice floated up from the corner of my whitewashed mind and I eagerly followed it, rather starved for something to do as my body recovered.
And there I found a story.
A place in a hot southern sea with a daring blacksmith turned pirate, a wealthy noble's daughter and an utterly mad, perpetually drunk captain. I had a story in my head about the various (mis)adventures of pirates in 'the Caribbean'. Porlyusica had said that no such ocean existed, at least not by that name.
So I had either made the whole thing up, or someone else had and I had to find the rest of the story.
I was in the midst of trying to decided Sparrow, 'Captain' Jack Sparrow, was like this because of his constantly inebriated state, or if he was just yanking everyone's chain for the hell of it when I heard shouting from outside.
"I do believe your visitors are underway." The pink haired healer said dryly. "Prepare yourself, girl. Fairy Tail can be rather overwhelming."
Overwhelming was one way of putting it, that was certain.
Natsu was a loud fire breathing Dragon Slayer with a sidekick in the form of a flying blue cat, Happy, who was obsessed with fish. Grey was an Ice Wizard with no proper concept of temperature or body modesty and Erza was worse than both of them put together, a temperamental Requip Wizard capable of storing and copying any item of clothing or weaponry in her arsenal with her dense, powerful magic.
They argued a lot, got into fights, had poor manners, weren't all that bright and generally were total nuisances.
So why couldn't I stop laughing at their antics?
I was watching Gray and Natsu try to pummel each other, both my hands clasped over my mouth as their insults got steadily more and more creative until Erza intervened with brutal chops to their heads.
"Keep your language clean, idiots!" She snapped. "I will not have you sullying our guild reputation with your foul language!"
"Right, cause you're Miss Manners yourself..." Gray muttered.
"What was that!?" She roared at him, making the younger boy flinch away from her wrath. I started to laugh.
"Are they always like this?" I asked Happy, who had seated himself close by and was devouring a fish he had pulled out of his little satchel.
"Mmhm! Mmph! Phometimes' bhey're worse!" He said with his mouth full. Thankfully the fish was relatively fresh so I wasn't subjected to a faceful of old aquatic breath.
"Happy, don't speak with your mouth full!" Erza scolded. "You're a Fairy Tail wizard too, you have to think about what you're actions are doing to our guild reputation!" I raised my hand.
"Oh. Yes?" Erza looked surprised that I had silently asked to speak instead of just blurting something out.
"Which would be better? A good impression or an honest impression?" The question seemed to throw her for a loop. But Natsu laughed boisterously, slinging an arm around me and lifting me onto his shoulder effortlessly.
"An honest one! Who cares if people don't like you? Better that they know you and don't like you than like someone who doesn't exist!" I squeaked at the sudden change in height, grabbing for something to steady myself. I settled for bracing myself on his opposite shoulder and his hand.
"What are you doing?" I asked him curiously as he headed for the door.
"Didn't Porlyusica tell ya? We came to take you to our guild! Everyone wants to meet you!"
When Natsu entered the guild hall with a little aqua haired girl on his shoulder, several people were looking on with interest.
"Hey everyone! This is her! Meet our little friend!" Makarov watched as one by one, his guild-children came forward to meet the nameless child. She seemed rather taken aback at the attention, but she bloomed in the light of the family that was being offered her. Soon her smile and her laugh joined the usual sounds of the guild and Makarov smiled as he took a deep draft from his mug.
Another child for him to protect and love.
One of the first questions of the hour that was brought up was what to call her since she didn't have a name that she could remember. Thus the afternoon's events were decided in the process of proposing a wide variety of names for her consideration. She would then choose one and that would be her name. Makarov had decided to register her citizenship for Magnolia and keep an eye on her a she grew up. But seeing how effortlessly she merged with his guild, and how Porlyusica had notified him that she had an active magical core...he supposed a little new blood would be beneficial, even if she was too young to take a guild-mark by his rules.
They had been proposing names for several hours, the girl was seated firmly between Gray and Lisanna as others gathered around their group.
"That sounds like a butterfly."
"Natsu!" She blinked.
"Um...that name's already taken. Happy, why would you-?"
"No, Natsu stop eating my fish!" Everyone had a good laugh as they watched cat and Dragon Slayer have an impromptu tug of war with Happy's fish, that Natsu had quickly cooked and attempted to swallow whole. She blinked at the sight, clearly wondering how Happy was managing to put up a good fight for his lunch when he was barely a fourth the size of his friend...
"Won't he choke?"
"Natsu's mouth waaaay too big for that to be a risk." Macau assured their young guest.
"Yeah, I've seen him swallow a whole steak in one go!" She watched the pair tussle for a moment longer, then she reached over the table and tugged on his wrist, her eyes distant and curious.
"If you eat food raw, does it cook on the way down your throat?" Natsu had apparently not considered this as he let go of the fish he had stolen to consider it.
"I don't know...Let's try it!" Natsu had grabbed her and raced for the bar, calling for the barmaid. "Heeeey Sara! I need some food that hasn't been cooked yet!" The poor girl's feet smacked Gray in the face as Natsu hauled her along.
"Ow! Sorry Gray!" Erza rose to intercept the enthusiastic boy with her fist.
"Sit down Natsu! You can't be so rough with her! She hasn't been awake for more than a few days!"
In the end, it took several days for the girl to decide on a name that she liked. It took Makarov's telling of Mavis and her founding of the guild to inspire her.
"Fae..." She mused.
The guildmaster nodded, surprised.
"Yes, that is an ancient name for fairy. How do you know that?" Her eyes looked distant, a bright pale blue that seemed to glow slightly.
"I read it...Somewhere. I can't remember where..."
"You like reading then?" Some hint of her past would help. But the big bright smile that the question got him was surprising anyway.
"I love reading!" Natsu moaned upon hearing that.
"Come on! How am I supposed to teach you how to be cool if you like lame stuff like that?!"
"There's nothing lame about reading Natsu!" Levy flared up in defense of her preferred hobby, putting an arm around the other girl's shoulders. "I think it's great that someone else finally likes to read around her." She confided. "Everyone else has been too busy with jobs, drinking or eating." Jet and Droy, who always tended to follow Levy around like puppies, spoke up as well.
"It's great that Levy has a little sister now!"
"Who said anything about little sister?" Levy asked, surprised and a little suspicious. "And what is up with you two lately? You could never agree on anything before." Makarov chuckled behind his mustache.
Puberty had crept up slowly on some of his children, but on others, it had fallen like rain from the sky. Jet and Droy through a mutual agreement, had put aside their usual quarrels in effort to win Levy's heart. A fairly fruitless effort since the sensible girl had no real interest in anything that wasn't printed on a page at the moment.
"I want my name to be Fae." The aqua haired girl declared, a smile on her face as she looked at Makarov.
"Little short for a full on name." Gray remarked. He was promptly smacked by Cana.
"Oh hush, there's nothing wrong with having a short name. If it's what she wants then who cares if it's short?"
"Should it be longer?" Fae asked, looking at Wakaba for some advice. He shrugged.
"Fae does sound more like a nickname." She pondered this for a moment longer...then nodded.
"Ok, Faerun will be my full name, but everyone in the guild had better call me Fae!" This firm declaration brought on a round of chortles. Lisanna scooped the small girl up into a tight embrace.
"Sure thing, Fae-chan!"
"You still need a last name and possibly a middle one as well."
Fae stared into the distance for a moment..
"Celeste D. Faerun." She said finally.
There were several bemused smiles in regards to her choice, but the paperwork was filed and thus; Celeste D Faerun became an official ward of the Fairy Tail wizard guild.
Edited 3/9/2019 - Corrected some spelling mistakes