It was then, he recalled, that he had figured out that she was different.
The memories of her that he now possessed had been like a stream after a long winter frost - at first they had come in a trickle, and finally a torrent of hues and textures that gave way to emotions long unfelt.
He felt like they all led back to that one revelation. Now, he couldn't help but smile as the images of her danced through his head with a slow, tragic grace.
The night he had first seen her - had first understood her – was much like this.
The sky had been clear and velvety, with the stars strewn across it. He lay on his back, looking up at them, tracing a lazy line from one cold glint to the next and finally to Windam's glowing mountain. His finger, making its meandering way along its accustomed path, also cut an arch through his memories.
Each star had a halo that reminded him of the glow of distant candles. This was the substance of the ethereal aura that had seemed to cling to his sister.
And until a night like this one, Ferio had never noticed Emeraude's glow.
Indeed, the naivety of childhood had prevented him from questioning why the Master Mage of Cephiro was so well acquainted with his family or even wondering at the hushed conversations between Guru Clef and his mother.
With the hindsight and sagacity that accompanies age, Ferio could see the importance of such events as the old Pillar was fading away. At that point, it had merely been a sign that he should escape adult tedium and flee to the woods, wooden sword in hand.
His mother was always wary of him entering the woods, which were filled with steadily increasing populations of monsters. But he was brave enough. But it wasn't bravery he kept returning to the forests to find. He was always hoping that he would catch a glimpse of his sister, who always walked into the woods and disappeared until she would come back, later in the night, holding a single candle in front of her.
Ferio had only managed to find her once. Candle in hand, singing her light airy hymn, he had rushed to her and seized her in a childish embrace. In return, she merely mussed his hair and sent him back to the small cottage at the edge of the woods and the safe arms of the mother that, she assured him, was even now pacing worriedly looking for him.
After that, all his brief adventures into the soft shadows of the ancient trees were in vain. Emeraude seemed to be able to pass out of space and time away from him.
In fact, she always seemed to be slightly out of reach, even when Ferio could still reach out and grab her hand as the rumors of the monsters made their way to the small village where they lived.
He had never understood it until the night when he had finally found her amidst the trees again.
The starlight lit his way to a clearing that emitted a soft glow.
A song drifted to him on the brisk breeze.
Ferio ran forward, stopping abruptly at the edge of the wide expanse of green. Because, even then, something in him contained his childhood energy.
There was an undeniably sacred area about the place. He didn't feel as if he was allowed.
The forest glen was rimmed in the light of a hundred candles, the smaller creatures of the forest gazing up at a sight in the middle of the clearing.
In the middle danced Emeraude, who smiled and sang a song that seemed to bind the world about her together. Everything seemed to have reached a serene peace within the little clearing. Even the remaining light seemed to cling to her until she, in his own childish mind, seemed more like a star that had come down to grace the earth with her presence rather than his sister.
Ferio knew, at that point, that Emeraude was different from anyone else in Cephiro.
Gazing up at the starlight, he sighed, and, drifting into a deep sleep underneath the sheltering sky, he dreamed of his sister singing roses into existence and dancing in the soft glow of the candlelight in the world she loved.
A/N: This was written due to a request of "Ferio, candles, and furry woodland creatures" from Suzanami on the Cephiro forums. She also loves Emeraude and Ferio sibling fic, which is pretty much nonexistent. Again, it's quite a different tone and I haven't really written Ferio into anything before…so it was a bit of experimentation on my part. Again, I do take requests. You can either post on my LJ (the link is included in my profile, just please let me know where you came from), you can leave it in a review, or you can PM me.
Thank you again for reading!