Chapter 1

"No! Humans are filthy!"

"Aw, come on, Sora! Some of them are pretty cute!"

"You two are both stupid..."

Sora and Riku both shot glares at their friend Kaz.

"I'm not stupid!" Sora protested. "Riku's the one who thinks humans are... cute."

Sora shivered at the thought of a cute human being. It just wasn't possible. Angels were almost perfect beings, and there would never be a human that could surpass their beauty.

"Sora, you're just too... obsessed to recognize beauty in any person other than Namìne," Riku spat. He turned and stomped away from the table they had been sitting at.

Kaz bit his lip. Riku had always been touchy about Namìne. For some reason, he thought she was going to steal Sora away, that they wouldn't be friends anymore. Kaz knew he was wrong. But, then... Sora was hanging out with Namìne a lot... Not that Kaz really minded. Namìne was his sister, so he saw Sora enough anyways.

"Sora," Kaz sighed, "Just because Riku... Enjoys looking at humans doesn't mean he plans to... Go to the human world or anything. You know that, right? We'll always be here for each other..."

Sora groaned.

"Yeah, I don't know, Kaz. Not with Riku always acting this way..." Kaz nodded, thinking Sora was referring to the way Riku had stomped off like that; it wasn't the first time in the last week. His agreement instantly disappeared as Sora continued speaking. "Seriously, if he keeps talking about humans that way, I'm never going near him again."

Kaz stared, dumbfounded, as Sora pushed his chair away and moved to the door of the Grand Library. He shoved the doors opened and left. Kaz sighed and picked up a nearby book. There were many, seeing as the library was absolutely gigantic.

He opened to a random page, ascertaining quickly that the book was one of legendary magic. He pursed his lips- if he flipped to the dangerous section, he would probably find himself and his two best friends in here. He shrugged it off, checking the index quickly.

Light prophecies and legends at the beginnings... darker ones at the back. He stuck loyally to the first half of the book, turning the pages boredly, pausing when something caught his eye.

Light Shields. "Supposedly the most powerful magic spell ever to be casted..." the text read. "Requires immense power, focus and raw talent, but also enough emotion to stabilize..." He already knew all this. A light shield hadn't been casted in over thousands of years- if they really existed. They warded off true, unchanged darkness, and only a massively powerful person could cast one. There were hundreds of angels who'd tried- one within the last fifty years who might have succeeded. Everyone thought he was the strongest angel to be born in over a millenia.

But he'd ended up failing, as did everyone else. Kaz flipped another page, raising his eyebrow when he sensed Riku had returned. His friend didn't say anything, only sat quietly next to him, probably wondering where Sora had wandered off to.

"Coercing Charms," Kaz read aloud. "The ability to move a person's mindset within your favour. Noted particularly for the ease with which dark..." He stopped reading. "But you've already heard that one."

Riku scoffed. "Dude I can do that. I should try that. You think I could make Sora...?"

"Don't even try using magic on him, Riku." Kaz cringed. "You know what usually happens."

He turned another page. "The Gateway of Hearts... and the Gateway of... Hey I've never heard of this one."

Riku looked over curiously. "Hmm?"

Kaz began to scan the page but just as he did, a hand slammed the book shut. He looked up to see his older brother standing there, flashing one of his beautiful smiles. Kaz glanced around- sure enough, all girls and women in the library (and scarily, many men) were staring with open mouths. Why did he have to be the one with a brother who was possibly the most beautiful angel born in a thousand years?

"Uh uh!" Kaythe told him grinning, wagging his fingers. He leaned in and said, "I believe this is one of those forbidden texts. You know, you two... and Sora.. aren't supposed to read it." Then he moved even closer and whispered, "I've got a copy at home you can look at."

"It's Sora's problem; not mine! Humans look exactly like us, aside from the absence of wings!"

"I know, Riku, I know," Kaz sighed. "But come on, just don't talk about humans around him– It makes him uncomfortable..."

"It doesn't matter to me," Riku spat.

"It does if you still want Sora to be your friend!" Kaz insisted.

Riku turned.

"No, it doesn't! It's just some stupid thing that Sora needs to get over sooner or later! It is not, in any way, actually going to harm our friendship!"

"Sora seems to think it will."

Riku sighed, rolling his eyes and insisted that Sora would get over it.

"Besides... He's never met a human or anything, so I don-"

"Exactly. He's scared of the unknown."

Kaz meant it in all seriousness. He was trying to convince Riku to quit mentioning humans around Sora, and had been for the past half hour.

Riku didn't take it in the serious manner he was supposed to, however.

"Probably. Sora's scared of almost everything."

Riku burst into laughter and quickly brought up a favourite childhood story of his, involving what Sora called a 'mean broom' which had pretended to be a giant scythe about to fall on him. He really had been quite frightened. And, despite how dark Sora claimed it was, how obscured his vision had been, it was only a broom.

"Riku... Could you please be a little serious about this?"

Riku stopped laughing and looked skeptically at Kaz.


Riku burst once again into laughter, leaving Kaz completely unable to get a word in edgewise.

"Humans aren't really so bad you know, Sora."

Sora stared dumbfounded at his father, who was trying to convince him that Riku was right. He looked over at his little sister, Yuna, who simply shrugged. Sora, Yuna, and their father Gabriel (it's an angel name, at least...) Were the only members of their family, as far as Sora knew. He'd never met his mother, and there were no pictures of her, nor did their father ever speak of her.

"What do you mean 'not so bad'? Humans are horrid! They litter, and they dress provocatively, and they're always off getting drunk, an-"

"Not all humans."

"Not all, but most... Besides, how would you know? Have you ever even met a human?"


Yuna let out a tiny squeak.

"Really?" she asked. "Who?"

Gabriel went rigid and gave both Yuna and Sora odd looks. Sora could tell he was trying to make up his mind about something. After a short while, he spoke. What he said would change their lives drastically.

"Your mother was a human."