As the days went by, Mithana became more and more relaxed around Lithine, Ariella and Nova. She was now used to having them pop up out of no where and ask her how her day had been going. Though she found them quite annoying at times, she had to admit it was nice to have someone to talk to. All memory of her cousin's threat was erased from her mind.

As for the others, they tried to get Mithana to talk to them at every turn. Lithine and Ariella studied with her during their spell casting class while Nova would try to start conversations with the reserved dark faerie during their free period. But something kept the little faerie from ever speaking too much. Lithine began to get the feeling that she was hiding something.

Sirine and her evil friends continued to torment the little dark faerie whenever they could. Though they never approached her when she was with the others, it was near impossible for Mithana to be with one of her new friends all the time.

As for Mithana, the dark faerie took the beatings without complaint. She never tried to defend herself or fight back. It shocked her friends and they often tried to help her with her spell casting lessons so she would be able to protect herself the next time her cousin came to call. The dark faerie however, couldn't, or wouldn't, cast the spells. It wasn't until after yet another one of these failed lessons when Lithine finally decided to ask Mithana about it.

"Enough!" said Mithana wearily. "I can't do it and that's that."

Her friends gave defeated sighs. Lithine gave Mithana an annoyed look.

"Are you even trying to complete this homework?" she demanded as she waved their spell casting assignment in front of her friend. The girl shrugged.

"Not really."

"But why not?" asked Ariella in her quiet voice.

"You already know why." snapped Mithana.

"You can't keep hating your magic like this," said Nova sternly. "Why do you hate it anyway?" The dark faerie glared at them.

"It doesn't matter," she said. She turned away from them and strode down the hall toward the dining hall. The bell for dinner had rung several minutes before.

The girls looked at each other and sighed. They then proceeded to follow their friend. They had just turned the corner when they stopped short. The little dark faerie was cowering away from Sirine. Her cousin's friends were no where to be seen. Ariella and Nova instantly began to move forward to help their friend but Lithine grabbed them and pressed her finger to her lips, telling them to be quiet.

"But we need to help her," hissed Nova. The light faerie shook her head.

"I want to find out what's going on between those two." she whispered back. "Listen." Ariella and Nova looked at each other and shrugged before turning to listen. Though Mithana's voice was to quiet for them to understand, Sirine's words were easy enough to hear.

"I told you to stop hanging around with them!" she snarled. Mithana replied with something that sounded like an insult and 'your kind'.

"My kind?" questioned Sirine. "My kind is supposed to be your kind! Your mother would be…" She was cut off by an unexpected shout from Mithana.

"I don't care about what she would think!" she snapped at her stunned cousin. "It was her fault I ended up like this. If she and that witch she had for a sister hadn't…" It was at that moment that Sirine slapped a hand over her younger cousin's mouth. Her eyes were wide with what almost seemed like fear. When she spoke, it was barely more than a whisper and the three hidden faeries had to strain to hear it.

"Do you just realize what you almost just said?" she asked, her voice deadly. "Don't ever do that again. If someone heard you, my mom would kill you for saying it and me for allowing you to say it." She paused, her eyes glaring into Mithana's face. She gave the girl a disgusted look.

"At one time I thought you might turn out like her but now I realize you're just a weakling who is not fit to bear her mother's name." Without another word, Sirine stormed away in the opposite direction. Mithana watched her go. Her violet eyes were bright with tears but the little girl quickly dashed them away.

She was about to continue on toward the dining hall when a flash of gold caught her eye. She froze as humiliation welled up within her. She knew of only one person who would have followed her and be of the light element. She also knew that that particular girl was most likely accompanied by two more.

"Did you three enjoy listening in on that little chat?" she snarled. She couldn't keep her anger under control. She glared at her friends as they walked out of their hiding place.

"Are you happy now?" she demanded. "Now that you know why everyone hates me." The others gave her odd looks. It was Ariella who spoke.

"You do realize that that whole conversation made absolutely no sense to us." she said simply.

"I… what?" Mithana looked at them confused.

"The only thing we managed to decipher was that you didn't like your mom and her sister and that your mom was the reason you are the way you are." said Nova. "I don't know why you're complaining." Mithana just stared, apparently not grasping what the fire faerie was trying to say.

"What she means," explained Lithine. "Is that we don't know why you're angry at your mother because she raised you the way she did. You are by far the nicest dark faerie we know."

Mithana stared at her friends. "They don't understand." she thought. "They don't realize that I meant my mother was the reason I hate my magic. They think I want to be like other dark faeries!"

Ariella must have realized that they had gotten it wrong. She looked at the little dark faerie and asked

"What did you mean by that then?"

Mithana turned away. She had been hoping she would never have to tell anyone this. She still didn't have to. But didn't they deserve to know, after being so nice to her? She looked at her friends and something inside her cracked. She couldn't stop herself and before she knew it, she was telling them everything.

"When I was really little, my mom left me in an alleyway near the marketplace in Faerieland. She told me I needed to stay there and that she would be back later to get me. I believed her. I believed everything she said. But, the thing was, she never came back. I was scared, so I went looking for her." She paused, afraid to go on.

"Did you find her?" asked Nova. The other threw her looks which clearly told her to be quiet. Mithana gave a strained sort of smile.

"Oh, I found her alright. But she wasn't alone. She was with another faerie, an earth faerie to be exact. And…" She stopped again. Tears forced their way through her eyes. "She was hurting her! My mother, who I always thought was so kind, was torturing an innocent faerie!" Tears streamed down the little faerie's face and her friends could see that she had been keeping this bottled in for a very long time.

"I tried to get her to stop but," Mithana shrugged. "We made enough noise arguing though. Apparently, my mother was on the run from the queen. Some of the royal guards heard us and arrested my mother. I was returned to my aunt's house to live with her and my older cousin, Sirine." She made a face. "I certainly did not get a warm welcome. My aunt was in a rage. She told me how I had ruined everything. I was supposed to be something like a decoy. My mother told me to stay in a place she knew the queen's guards would come looking for her" She stopped, as if remembering. "The only thing was was that I didn't stay there."

"Your mother wanted you to get captured?" gasped Nova. Mithana shrugged.

"I was so little then that the only thing that would happen would be that the guards would take me to my aunt's house who was supposedly still loyal to the queen." The look on the faerie's face told them that her aunt certainly was anything but loyal.

"What did you ruin?" asked Ariella. "You were just a little faerie then. How could you ruin something so important?"

"Don't you see?" asked Mithana. "The dark faeries were planning a rebellion and my mother and aunt were the leaders. It was because of me she was arrested. The dark faeries didn't dare continue with their plans because it was certain that the queen and her council had figured them out using the information they got from my mother. That is why dark faeries hate me. It was made well known by my family how I shamed them."

"But not all dark faeries were part of the rebellion were they?" asked Lithine. "I mean, some of them had to be on the queen's side. Why would they hate you?" Mithana looked at her as if she had just overlooked the obvious.

"Because of my mother." she stated simply.


"I was expected to be like her. To hate other elements and to be evil." said the little faerie. "Why wouldn't they? I was named after my mother and I was being raised by her sister, who, though not as clever, was just as evil and cruel as she was."

"But why would they blame you for crimes you didn't commit?" demanded the light faerie.

"For the same reason faeries of the lighter elements think all dark faeries are evil, I guess."

"But what reason is that?"

Mithana looked at them as if about to answer, then shrugged.

"How am I supposed to know?" asked Mithana. "I'm at the wrong end of both deals. I'm a dark faerie, so other elements hate me. I'm descended from an evil faerie, so half of my element hates me for that. I caused the rebellion of my element to fail so the other half hates me also. You tell me why the world is so unfair."

"But we don't know the answer to that," said Ariella.

"Well, neither do I. I suppose that that's just the way it is."

"But that's so unfair!"

"No kidding."