Standard disclaimers apply. I do not own the Labyrinth or any of its characters. I just use them for my own amusement! I do own the plot and original characters. © Sparkling Moon Phoenix 2010.
Authors Note: bold italics signify telepathic speech. Thanks for the reviews; they inspired me to write this latest chapter! If you are wondering where the types of Fae come from, most of them and their areas of influence are mentioned in the Tir Alainn Trilogy, written by the wonderful Anne Bishop. There are others that I have created for the purpose of this fanfiction.
Summary: It has been three years since Sarah Williams conquered the Labyrinth and its King. This ancient, mystical place is on the verge of ruination. Jareth must find the Key of Glenraven: the person capable of halting and reversing the degradation, by joining that individual with the Nexus. The core of sorcery that supports the Labyrinth and its denizens. In doing so, he will rectify a tragic mistake that was made centuries before.
Act 18: The Result of a Bet
The librarian, a young Fae maiden in the reckoning of their kind watched Sarah from behind a handily placed bookcase. She knew night hadn't really been that far off when she led the young Immortal Human to the vast library in the lower levels of the Clan Keep. Lady Auriga before her departure from her Clan's territory left strict instructions for her daughter Cassandra to follow. Her only child and the other members of the Crystal Light Clan were to try and goad Sarah into using her magic for the first time; under her own volition and will.
Cassandra had enlisted the assistance of the librarian. To that end the young archivist didn't turn the lights on as darkness fell. Instead she left the enchanted crystal lamps off deliberately, plunging the library into dark shadows. Also leaving that book on etiquette out was also her idea. Sarah had taken the bait and out of simple frustration called light into the Key suspended around her neck. She chuckled at the stupefied look of sheer amazement on the young Immortal Human's face. She ran on light feet towards the personal quarters of Cassandra, located near the library.
She rapped loudly on the stout oak door. She didn't have to wait long at all. The sound of shoes scuffing against stone flooring approached. The entrance was slowly, but partially opened. Cassandra poked her head through the small gap, smiling when she saw the scholar. There was only one reason for her book worm friend to visit her at such a late hour.
'Selencia, did she take the bait?' Cassandra asked eagerly. 'Just a moment; I need to get something.'
The oracle slipped back into her room, picking up a thick woollen wrap laid over the back of a chair. Wrapping the garment around her shoulders, Cassandra vacated her rooms. Closing the door firmly behind her she quickly cast a locking enchantment, sealing the door against unwanted intruders; both mundane and of a more supernatural variety.
'So?' Cassandra pulled the mantle tighter against her body. 'What caused her to cast her first spell?'
'Yes Lady Cassandra, it was that book on manners that caused her to channel light into that key she always has.' Selencia laughed softly. 'Seems I lost the bet I made with Aidan.'
'Bet?' Cassandra frowned. 'Why didn't you tell me? I would have wagered ten gold pieces sweeping the stairs to the Moon Tower would have set Sarah off! Come on! Out with it! Who else wagered money?'
Selencia gazed down at the floor. 'Well your mother thought it would be washing the dishes. Her wager was also ten gold pieces. Danan thought it would happen when Sarah went to the market with the head cook. The idiots selling their wares didn't cause her to channel her gift. His stake was also ten gold pieces.'
Selencia felt her face warm. She was inwardly cursing the suggestion she thought would cause Sarah to ignite her gift. Cassandra regarded her friend, wondering why she was blushing so much. The fae oracle was curious as to what Selencia thought would spark Sarah's magical talents to full wakefulness.
'Selencia what did you wager would trigger Sarah's powers?' A smile curved her lips.
Selencia groaned. 'Mucking out the stables was what I thought would shatter the barrier around her powers.'
Cassandra laughed, the merry sound carrying along the immense corridor. Placing a firm hold on Selencia's cloak she dragged the unwilling girl back down the passageway. 'You and I are going to pay Aidan and a certain cursed Fae a visit. All of you are then going to explain why I wasn't included in this bet of yours.'
Hastily removing the fiercely shining Key from around her neck, Sarah carefully laid the crystalline ornament upon the polished surface of the book strewn table. Radiance spilled from the diminutive carved gem, illuminating the area near her for quite a distance. The leather covers of books shone under the touch of the spell light. Precious gemstones inset in the older books and scroll cases were afire, further scattering the brilliance into the silent library, tinting the radiance with their colours. Gilded lettering sparkled.
The young woman sighed. Another unexpected happening, one she had somehow caused; the result the shining Key resting on the desk next to her chair. Her life so far while being kept safe turned into something rather bizarre. Some of the tasks she was asked to do, caused her confusion at the best of times, anger and annoyance at the worst of times.
Still earning her keep around the castle, she had expected that. A deep, yet undefined feeling that something rather important took place welled up inside her. The words of the worm she met during her first visit to the Labyrinth came back to her:
'Nothing is what it seems in this place.'
True words and an even truer rule pertaining to the Labyrinth. Now applied to her, that sentence also rang true for her as well. She wasn't what she seemed to be anymore. Human appearance, human fire and will, but an Immortal sheathed in a cloak of human blood, bone and flesh. Pulling her long legs underneath her, she rested her forehead against her knees.
She wished for someone to talk with, just anyone. She only knew a few people in the vast sprawling depths of the castle she now considered to be home. None of them were currently within her immediate reach. Aidan was off on an important errand within the distant reaches, somewhere in the lands held by the Crystal Light Clan. Lady Auriga was occupied elsewhere; involved with matters concerning her Clan. Cassandra had locked herself in her room for the past few days, also working on something. Danan was nowhere to be found.
She was quite alone. As was normal for her in her younger days, books seemed to be her only companions. Leaving the glowing key on a pile of scrolls, Sarah reached for the books titled:
A History of the Fae Clans by Aidan Crystal Light.
Immortal Humans: A New Race walks the Underground.
These two particular volumes roused her curiosity. Her mother Linda always told her any knowledge gained is precious and useful when used in the correct way.
A/N: Thanks for reading this short chapter! The next one will be much longer I promise.