So Close, Yet So Far

By: Jaded Image

AN: Well now, the 9th chapter. Finally. Haha. It's been awhile since I wrote this, and I didn't bother to check it over (pure laziness on my part). Hopefully, all the words make sense and nothing weird happens..

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Literally.

Chapter 9

A few hours before I was to be sent to my death (as this disastrous situation would most likely lead to), Mandy hustled me back into the servant's quarters. I don't know how she found the time in between yelling at every poor idle body and making the next dozen courses, but she slipped out of the kitchen looking no worse for the wear.

"Lady, we have to get you out of here. Or else this is the last night we'll have at the castle." She had already started unfolding a knapsack from under my cot, but even though I knew I could be risking everything, I still didn't want to leave.

"I…Mandy…what if I just went out there? Like, in a disguise. I…I don't want to leave…" I was ashamed to hear a slight whine in my voice. What was I? Five?

Mandy grunted impatiently. "Disguise? And what do you suggest, Lady? Short of disfiguring your face, I doubt the prince has forgotten what you look like."

"Oh, it doesn't have to be that drastic, just slight changes. Please? Can't you work your magic? Maybe a new hair color. Some more freckles. Or even a dimple or two?" I had thought about this all afternoon. I could make sure that I didn't serve the royal table where Char and his parents would dine. I'll just stick to the tables where the lower royalty sat. A small voice in the back of my head commented on how I would also be able to see Char again, but I shoved that thought aside.

"Ella, sweet, you know that in situations like these, it would take very large magic."

My fists clenched as she told me what I already knew. Without bothering to argue with her, and without even thinking it through, I called out to the one person who I thought would be able to help. "Lucinda, Lucinda, come to my aid!"

Mandy let out a strangled noise that probably meant she completely disagreed with me. A second later, a gentle puff of lilac smoke uncovered the form of the fairy Lucinda. She wasn't the surreal beauty from the giant's wedding, but she looked a lot better than when I last saw her.

"Ah, my dear, what is it you need of me? Oh, do tell, how did the ball go? Did the prince like your carriage? Although I have to admit that orange is not the most pleasing color." She spoke with such levity that I felt my own spirits rise.

"Lucinda, I need you to help change me so that the prince won't recognize me." I stated as shortly as I could. The complexities of the situation could be discussed at a later time. Right now, I had to get ready for the dinner.

But Lucinda seemed to want to further explore the reasons behind my request. "Change? Why ever would you change? Don't tell me the prince doesn't like the way you are now?" Her features turned self-righteous as she continued. "Well, you know what I say, don't ever let a man change who you are. Even if is the prince of Kyrria."

Hearing this from the fairy who until recently disguised her own looks with unsurpassed beauty was a little strange, but I didn't comment on it. There's no need to insult her when I needed her help.

"Please," I begged, there wasn't much time left. I knew that I had to serve at that dinner. And even though it was for selfish reasons, I couldn't help it. "Just change me. Or…or give me something so that I won't be recognized."

Mandy had been surprisingly quiet up until now. She spoke up as Lucinda paused after her last lecture. "Lucinda, you know I hate to ask you for anything, but I would like for you to help Lady with this."

I knew the surprise was clear on my face, and I could see that Lucinda was not use to this side of my fairy godmother either. "I…what?" Clearly, she was baffled.

"Ella needs your help." Mandy said quietly.

Looking at me, Lucinda must've seen some of my inner struggles. "Oh, alright. I might have something that could help you. I'm not very certain that it works…a silly sprite gave it to me after all, but if it does, it should do the trick."

She dug around in a small purse that hung from a sash around her waist. By the way she was shifting through its contents, it looked as if it held much more than what the eye sees. A fairy trinket, I thought.

Still digging, Lucinda muttered as she searched. "I am getting very mixed messages from you, Mandy dear."

Mandy only hmphed in response.

Finally, Lucinda drew a necklace from the purse. It looked to be made of some sort of silvery metal, and on it hung a crystal teardrop pendant. I took it carefully from her hands and studied the jewelry. On closer inspection, there looked to be a bit of wispy, gray smoke in the center of the crystal. I blinked, unsure if my eyes were working properly. It looked as if the smoke was moving within its encasement. "This…"

"It's the remains of a boggart." Lucinda explained. "It's charmed to disguise a human by request. Handy stuff, if it works."

Mandy helped me secure the trinket around my neck, and I shivered as the jewel nestled in the hollow of my collar bone. "Where did you say you got this?" Mandy demanded.

"Just some sprite I met along the way." Lucinda said offhandedly, suggesting that it wasn't as simple as it sounded.

"Um, so how does this work?" I cut in. I was feeling excited and anxious all at the same time. I could feel adrenaline rush through my body and a tingling feeling spread from the crystal.

"Well, my dear," Lucinda began, "you should know that when it comes to magic spells such as the one you are holding, there are al—"

"Oh, get on with it, Lucinda." Mandy interrupted with a growl. She hadn't really agreed to using magic in the beginning, and now her patience was wearing thin. "Ella doesn't need a lecture, she needs a solution."

Lucinda frowned down at my fairy godmother and sniffed indignantly. "Knowing the basics is essential. As I was saying." She waved a hand distractedly through the air as if swatting annoying insects. "There are always trigger words to help you activate and deactivate your spell. To activate your spell, just say 'dissimulo'."

I nodded as I tried to engrain those two key words in my mind. It wouldn't do to forget either one. "So then, all I have to do is say those words and I would look different?"

"Well, in theory, you're suppose to say the trigger word, then who you want to be disguised from, and lastly, imagine what you would like your disguise to be. Try it out now, before you go do whatever it is you want to do and find that it doesn't work." Lucinda leaned in expectantly as I thought about what I was, in theory, suppose to do.

"Dissimulo. Disguise me from Lucinda and Mandy." I whispered and imagined Hans in my head.

A gasp sounded and I opened my eyes to see Mandy looking a little unsettled and Lucinda clapping in delight. "Wonderful, darling! You make such a cute little boy."

I grinned happily as I walked over to a mirror. My own green eyes looked back at me.

Mandy spoke from behind, and I looked at her reflection in the mirror. "Sweet, you might not want to disguise yourself as someone who already exists. It might cause some controversy."

"Oh, you're right of course. How do I take the disguise off, Lucinda?" I gazed at her expectantly.

She sighed as if it was a misfortune that I didn't want to continue looking like a boy. "Dimitto." I said the word and a second later, I heard Mandy's grunt of approval.

"Ooh, Ella dear, do you think you could change yourself into--"

"No time." Mandy cut in. "Ella, get yourself ready. We have to prepare for the dinner now." She seemed to be in a sulky mood since Lucinda was actually able to help me.

Lucinda huffed a little at having her fun ruined. A smile stretched across my face and a giddiness rose in my chest. I went over to her and gave her a gentle hug and felt her stiffen slightly. "Thank you, Lucinda. Thank you so much." I whispered.

Letting go, I was surprised to see that Lucinda was crying. Seeing my concern, she waved a hand and offered a watery smile. "Go ahead, dear. Run along now."

I laughed and grabbed Mandy's hand. Together, the two of us made our way back to the kitchen. As we left the room, I could hear the faint poof of a fairy disappearing.

Whoaa, I totally did a HP crossover right there. But, I needed a way for Ella to disguise herself, and this was what I thought of. So... :)

Just as a little FYI, 'dissimulo' is Latin for "to conceal, disguise, keep secret"; 'dimitto' is "to break up, dismiss, leave, abandon". I like Latin. I wish I knew Latin.

And for the anonymous reader who noticed, I have played Golden Sun before (I love the game...). However, naming two of my characters Ivan and Isaac was completely unintentional.

Anyway, R&R, if you please!