Disclaimer: I don't own Lunar 2 or its characters.

As the summer wore on, they couldn't help noticing that the weather turned colder and the days grew shorter. Then something curious happened to the trees. Their leaves, normally a bright, shiny green, slowly changed from yellow to orange and red. Before long, the garden was one blazing mass of color. The fairies were delighted. What kind of magic was this? They'd never seen anything like it.

Then their joy turned to horror. One by one, the beautiful leaves fell off their branches, where they shriveled and died. Soon, the ground was covered in a carpet of crunchy brown husks. The trees still stood, their branches bare and empty. They looked so sad.

The fairies couldn't stand to see anybody unhappy. Together, they tried to figure out what could be done. Were the trees sick? Were they contagious? Would they feel better if someone told them stories? Maybe they were hungry. What did trees eat?

It was also awfully cold at night. When the fairies breathed, their breath formed small clouds. They wrapped their wings around themselves for warmth. The sun only showed itself for a portion of its old time. When it did, they rejoiced, but its rays seemed watery and tired. Most days, the sky was a dull shade of grey, covered by a single thick cloud. White dust fell from above, coating the branches and piles of leaves, melting on their skin. When the sun reflected off it, it looked lovely, but now, it was simply too cold to stay in the garden. The fairies retreated into the ruins, which were dark and musty, and spent their time trying desperately to understand what they did wrong.

"I'm back," someone from behind them declared. The fairies whirled around, ecstatic. Each one would recognize that voice anywhere.

"Ghaleon!" they cried, bumping into him in their rush to perch on his head and shoulders. Some of the dust from outside stuck to his cloak and hair. They tenderly brushed it off while they all spoke at once, wanting to be the first to greet him. The fairies adored the magician, the only creature outside their species, besides the animals, that they knew. In their eyes, he was simply the most powerful, magnificent person ever. He rescued them after their enchanted forest burnt to the ground, bringing them to these ruins and setting up the garden.

The garden...! They realized they'd better tell him what happened to it before he stepped through the stone entranceway and saw for himself. They hoped he wouldn't be too upset, because that would be bad for his health.

"The garden, it - "

"The leaves, they - "

"It's horrible! Everything - "

"Everything died! The animals all left..."

"We're so sorry! We didn't do it on purpose!"

Ghaleon was silent for a minute, watching the solemn and tearful expressions on their tiny faces. Then, unexpectedly, he laughed. They drew back in alarm. What could possibly be funny about that?

"Forgive me," he said, still smiling a private smile. Of course the fairies wouldn't understand. In their enchanted forest, it was springtime all year long. Before the fire, a magic barrier kept others out, and prevented them from leaving. When they entered the outside world, no wonder they were completely lost. He felt a sudden pang when he realized that he forgot to provide for them when winter came. He hadn't expected to be away that long, but he still had no right to be so irresponsible with such fragile creatures. After what he saw outside, their innocence refreshed him. He never tired of it. "The garden isn't dead," he explained. "It's... sleeping." He grinned at their puzzled looks. "Wait a few months. You'll see."

The fairies looked at one another. If Ghaleon said it, it must be so. But weren't the trees uncomfortable, sleeping in the cold? When one of them asked this, he laughed again. The fairies remained confused, but felt pleased that they made him happy. The magician didn't smile or laugh much, but he often frowned.

They spent three very agreeable months deep inside the ruins. The vast stone ruins actually became cheerful when brightly lit with magic candles that never went out. At first, the fairies missed the sunlight, but even that couldn't keep their naturally buoyant spirits down for long. Every morning, they greeted Ghaleon with the same question.

"Did the garden wake up yet?" they'd demand eagerly. Every morning, he'd give the same reply.

"No, not yet."

Finally, they began to doubt that he might say something different, but they asked anyway, just in case. One day, he smiled.

"Yes," the magician told them. "Come. See for yourselves."

He led them out of the dark ruins, a long path with so many forks and turns that they all lost tracks in minutes, but he forged ahead confidently. Soon they reached the entrance to the garden. The sunbeams that found their way inside were much stronger than what the fairies remembered. They hung back for a moment before flying outside, and then they froze, amazed at what they saw.

The trees stood stall and proud as ever, their branches covered in fresh green leaves just beginning to uncurl. On the ground, shoots forced their way up from the damp earth, many just starting to show the first signs of flowers. A flock of migrating birds flew overhead, chirping and screeching among themselves.

"What did you do?" one of the fairies asked Ghaleon. They hovered around him in an excited cloud.

"He cast a spell, of course!" another fairy cried, and they instantly began chattering at once. Ghaleon shrugged modestly, but didn't speak. Not even the combined strength of the most powerful sorcerers of Vane's peak could permanently change the weather.

"The cycle of life," he told them. "No matter how deep and dark the winter, it will always be followed by spring. So it has been for ages, and will continue on, long after I'm gone."

"Gone?" the fairies echoed. "Are you planning to go away on another trip?" He left them often, for weeks at a time. They had no idea where he traveled, but were sure he had grand adventures. Ghaleon just grinned and held out one gloved finger for a fairy to perch upon. He wouldn't have them any other way.