Okay, so I didn't get a whole lot of reviews for the last chapter. I got one, and thank you to the kind soul that did. So I'm giving this one as a gift. Because I was feeling charitable. Hope you like it.
Emma didn't leave her room until everyone went home. She didn't want to speak to anyone. She needed time to think.
She tried to identify the gaps of her memory. It didn't feel like anything was missing, and yet there were many parts of her memory that were extremely fuzzy. Things she couldn't pinpoint. She couldn't even recall her thirteenth birthday. Or hardly any of her birthdays for that matter. So she tried to think of big holidays. Christmas was a vague nothing. Easter was the same. She even thought of Boxing Day, but it didn't matter.
She remembered many things that had to do with the Moon's but nothing really specific. Just her monotonous days cleaning, working, and the times she spent with the prissy tutor.
And yet, there were times of familiarity. Some things gave her this strange feeling. But it didn't come often. And not with many people.
It was frustrating and so confusing. She hated the feeling of not knowing who she was. Or at least who they told her she was.
That in itself was annoying. What if she wasn't the same person that they told her she was? What if she had changed? What if?
Emma shook her head. She HAD to stop thinking like this. It just made her head hurt.
After Tancred there were several others that came to see her in her room. They tried to get her to smile, to come back downstairs with them, or do whatever else they wanted. They introduced themselves as if it would mean something to her. Then they would give the same disappointed expression and walk away with a fake smile and a weak goodbye. It was infuriating. There were so many times that she just wanted to scream, I get it! I'm sorry! I don't remember so don't ask!
But deep down she knew she couldn't. She wanted to make them happy. At least a little. After all, she did hate the Moons. Every waking moment she spent with them had been a nightmare in itself. And these people had saved her. To them, Emma was their long lost pal, an old friend who had been kidnapped. She wanted to make them happy.
There was a knock at the door.
"WHAT?" Emma moaned. The door opened slowly.
"Emma?" asked Miss Ingledew rather tentatively. She opened the door fully and entered the room, shutting the door behind her.
"I thought you might be hungry, and maybe wanted to talk for a bit," Miss Ingledew tried for a smile. Then Emma noticed that she had a platter of chocolate chip cookies and a two tall glasses of milk. She couldn't help but sit up. They smelled delicious.
"Chocolate chip cookies?" Emma asked. Her aunt smiled.
"I figured a little bit of chocolate can solve just about anything. And that you might like some."
Emma gazed at her a bit skeptically.
"What, another one of my favorites?" she asked sardonically. She didn't want to be mean to this nice lady, but she had been told all day what she liked and didn't like among other things. She was done hearing about herself.
But Miss Ingledew just cocked her head to the side as if confused.
"Not imparticular. I just figured that everyone loved chocolate chip cookies. Even amnesiac nieces of mine. And besides, I hear that I make very fine cookies." She smiled warmly. Emma couldn't help but smile back.
"Fair enough," she said grabbing a cookie. The cookie was moist and delicious, with just enough crunch. The chocolate chips were mostly melted and gooey. It tasted like heaven. Miss Ingledew watched in amusement.
"But for the record, chocolate chip cookies were your favorite," she said, sitting on the bed, next to her niece. Emma looked at her.
Miss Ingledew set the platter down and folded her hands in her lap.
"So, how are you feeling dear?" she asked with true concern. Emma considered just shrugging off the question and just leaving it at, 'I'm fine,' but something stopped her.
"Honestly… I'm a little overwhelmed."
Miss Ingledew laughed. "I'd be surprised if you weren't. I told Olivia that it might be a bit much, but she was just so excited and really just wanted to see you again and have everything back to normal that she was, well… a little past reasoning with. Your disappearance has been hard on all of us." She smiled at her kindly. Emma's aunt pulled a piece of hair out of Emma's face and tucked it behind her ear.
Emma didn't know what to say. But she tried anyway.
"I just… I don't know any of these people. And I really… want to make them happy. It's just… I keep getting the same look of disappointment when I tell them I don't know them. I have NO idea about any of them and it's… frustrating and annoying. And I just…" Emma broke off and a few tears escaped. Her aunt shushed her.
"Shh, it's alright. I understand. I know it must hard. Really, it's not much different from the first time," she said, a bit wistfully. Emma looked at her, confused.
"The first time? What do you mean?"
"When you were younger, you were taken away from your father and mother by the Bloors. Nasty family. You lived with the Moons then too. That is until Charlie Bone came around. He found you attending Bloor's Academy, broke the enchantment that had been placed upon you and found me. After that, you had lived here with me, going to Bloors, and having some of the craziest adventures with your friends." Miss Ingledew smiled. "Hard to believe, isn't it?"
Emma sighed. "That's just the thing. I don't remember any of it. How is it that this has happened? How did this happen? The only memories that I have are with the Moons. If what you say is true, then how did I lose my memories!" she asked, exasperated.
"I- I don't know," said her aunt in the quietest voice. Emma slumped and lay down on her bed and closed her eyes trying to calm herself.
"Emma," Miss Ingledew said quietly. "Would you like to come downstairs and help me with dinner. I promise you won't have to think too much or talk to anyone," she asked with a slight smile. Emma looked up at her in silence. Then, without a word, she nodded her head and got up stretching. Miss Ingledew smiled.
"Excellent." She picked up the platter of cookies and Emma picked up the cups of milk and they made their way downstairs.
"What do you want for dinner?" asked Emma's aunt as she placed the cups in the refrigerator and put the left-over cookies into the cookies jar.
"I don't know. What's my favorite?" asked Emma rather sarcastically. Miss Ingledew raised an eyebrow.
"You tell me," she challenged. Emma laughed, a little embarrassed at her rude behavior.
"Um… how about spaghetti and meatballs?"
"Alright then, get me a pot from the cupboard and the noodles from the pantry."
Once dinner was made, they sat down to eat.
"I need to know something," said Emma rather urgently.
"The Moons would often talk of endowments and my… well, friends did some pretty amazing things when they got me out of the Moons home…"
"Ah, I see. They didn't tell about endowments?"
Miss Ingledew explained everything there was to know. About the Red King, and his children, the good children versus bad children at Bloor's Academy, endowments and the ever-important balance, and the endowments of everyone attending Bloor's. She also told Emma about how Charlie and his uncle Paton had done many amazing things. Emma suspected a relationship between Charlie's uncle and her aunt. It wasn't hard to guess.
"So then, why are the Bloors so interested in me?" asked Emma though she already suspected the reason.
"Your father was a descendent of the Red King's father-in-law. Through him, you have an endowment of your own," said her aunt Julia plainly.
Emma processed that for a moment.
"But that doesn't sense," she said. "All the others. They have endowments too. Why would the Bloors need me imparticular?"
"Well, the balance-"
"Yes, the balance," Emma interrupted. "But even if they tipped it, it still wouldn't have helped the bad ones anyway. It would just make everything chaotic." Emma's brain was going a million miles an hour. There something there. Something she was missing.
"Perhaps they wanted you for your endowment. Flight is quite an amazing thing. And that was the reason they wanted you in the first place," her aunt pointed out.
"No, there was another reason. I know this for sure," she said getting frustrated.
"We… for a while we thought that maybe there WAS another reason," said Miss Ingledew tentatively. "But we couldn't figure it out, so we left that notion alone."
"But there WAS another reason," said Emma urgently. She was getting scared. "There was something else. Something they wanted… or needed… it was… something special," Whatever she was going to say left her.
"Emma," said Miss Ingledew, worried. "What is it?"
"I-"she broke. "I don't know. I thought I remembered something… silly me," she said regretfully. They were silent for a moment. Then Miss Ingledew stood up from her chair and started to gather the dishes.
"It's late. I'm going to have a cup of tea then go bed. You should too. Would you like a cup?" Emma shook her head no.
"Alright then. Good night," her aunt bid.
"'Night," said Emma unenthusiastically.
Miss Ingledew put a kettle on the stove while Emma crawled up the stairs to her bed room. Shutting the door firmly, she put on her pajamas and crawled into bed without even brushing her teeth.
She had touched on something. Something huge. The Bloors needed something that only she knew about. But she couldn't remember what.
That's okay, she told herself. You're getting there. It will come, just be patient. And besides, you've already started fixing things with your aunt. And she really is a wonderful lady. Things will get better. Emma couldn't help but smile. Only the
first day and she was already making progress. Yay. Emma closed her eyes, and tried to sleep.
There was a huge bang downstairs. Emma's eyes flew open. She heart was pounding a million miles an hours. What was going on?
BANG! CLANK! Scrrrape. Someone was trying to get in.
"Aunt Julia!" Emma screamed. In a moment her aunt was in Emma's room, locking the door behind her.
"Emma, listen to me. You need to run! People are here for you, you have to leave! Oh I should've foreseen this" her aunt muttered urgently, squeezing Emma's arms and trying to keep the panic out of her voice. Emma threw the covers off and headed for the door.
"The window! You HAVE to go out the window!" Her aunt yelled.
"Are you CRAZY!" Emma yelled back. "It's two stories up! I'll die! If they don't catch me first."
"You'll have to FLY."
"I can't FLY!"
"You can. Just imagine a bird. Any bird. Focus on it, then LEAVE!"
Emma did as her aunt told her. Feathers started spouting from her finger tips. Then there was a huge BANG on the door. Emma cried out, jumping from the sudden noise.
"Focus! You HAVE to do this." Her aunt cried.
"Where will I go?"
"What about you?" Emma cried.
Her aunt smiled as best she could. "I'll be fine. Now GO!"
She tried to focus on the bird in her mind. Feathers continued to spring up and she shrunk to the ground. When the transformation was complete, Emma was a raven with black feathers and a bright beak. Her aunt raced to the window. Just as she opened the window, the door broke down and three men clad in black raced through. With a sharp caw, Emma broke through the wired screen and flew away.
"NO!" One of the men cried. They quickly overcame her aunt and tried to make a leap for Emma but it was too late. She was already out of reach, soaring through the cold night air on midnight black feathered wings. Some tried to throw random objects at her from where they were but it was useless.
She was able to avoid all objects being thrown at her from her window using her amazing three-hundred and sixty degree eyesight. She swooped through the air with a feeling so thrilling that she could not help but let out a shrill caw.
"WHERE IS SHE!" Emma heard from her window. She was able to look back and see one of the men in black give a sharp slap to her aunt in the face. Emma cried out. She had to get help. There was no way she was leaving her aunt along. But she couldn't do it herself.
You'll know where to go, her aunt had said. And she did. Without thinking, Emma started to fly to a little neighborhood where there was a man who could help. A man who lived on Filbert Street.
"Mr. Yewbeam!" Emma cried as her feathers melted away. "Mr. Yewbeam, help!" She hit the ground running already mostly human again.
"MR. YEWBEAM!" She screamed, banging on the door loudly. She didn't even know if this was the right address. But no, something inside of her told her that this was right. That this was the place where there was a man who could help aunt.
"PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR!" she yelled. Suddenly, the door swung open. A tall, dark figure loomed above her.
"Emma?" he said in surprise. "What's wrong? What's happened?"
"My aunt," she sobbed. "There are people. They came for me, but I got away. She's still there!"
His face set into a determined line. "Stay here," As he was, in a dark bathrobe and moth-eaten slippers, he walked past Emma, and started to get into the car that sat, parked in the driveway.
"Wait!" She cried. "But what about-"
"Don't worry," he called back. "I have everything under control." Soon he was out of sight, driving at illegal speeds towards Cathedral Close. Emma stood there helplessly and worried sick.
Behind her inside of the house, there was a crash and a distinct, "Ow," followed by a, "Charlie, be careful."
Emma looked behind her to see a boy about her age picking himself up off the floor from where he had fallen. Behind him was his grandmother, a kind-looking old lady in a pink bathrobe and curlers.
"Emma?" said Charlie in surprise. "Wha's going on?"
"My aunt," she said helplessly.
"Goodness, I'll call the police. Come over here and sit down," said Charlie's Aunt Maisie. She motioned for a chair at the dinner table.
"What about Grandma Bone?" asked Charlie, quietly. Maisie waved the question off.
"Sound asleep. Not to worry."
He just looked at her confused but then decided to let it go. Charlie then turned his attention to Emma. "You alright Em?" he asked. She shook her head.
"There were men. They broke into the bookshop. Auntie said that they were there for me. I don't know why," Emma started to cry. Maisie frowned as she dialed the emergency number.
"Must've been the Bloor's," said Charlie, darkly. Emma just shrugged her shoulders, helplessly.
"Couldn't tell who it was. It was all so fast."
"They know you're here. Without a doubt. You can't stay here. They'll come looking and they'll find you. You're going to have to go somewhere where they can't get to you. Somewhere where you'll be protected," Charlie stated. Emma looked up rather startled.
"Where will I go?" she asked tentatively. Charlie looked at his kinder grandmother. "Where do you think she should go grandma?" Maisie spoke for a moment longer then hung up the phone. She sat down at the dinner table and spoke.
"Well, there are a couple of options. What about your friend Naren Charlie?" He shook his head.
"No, we promised Bartholomew that we wouldn't bring them into this."
Again, Charlie shook his head. "Too obvious." Then Charlie had an idea.
"What about Thunder House? They could easily keep her safe. The Bloor's wouldn't DARE go up against them!" Charlie said excitedly. Maisie rolled her eyes.
"Is that your ONLY reasoning Charlie?" she asked.
"Yes," he replied blankly. Then realization dawned on him. "Oh. Right. Well there's that too."
Emma was completely lost. "Um, hi. Still here. Remember?" As if suddenly remembering her, Charlie brought back his attention to the problem at hand.
"Don't worry, Em. We know where you'll be safe." Emma just rolled her eyes.
"I'll be fine anywhere."
"That's good. Then you'll REALLY like it where you're going."
"Where am I going?"
"When Uncle Paton gets back, you'll find out."
They remained in silence. Maisie had made her a cup of tea, but Emma couldn't bring herself to drink it. About an hour had passed by the time Uncle Paton had returned.
"Is my aunt okay?" Emma asked.
"She's fine. I scared the majority of burglars off by the time the police had gotten there. Didn't mean to make them run. But she's safe. The police insisted that they take her to the hospital just to give her a check-up. The men were not kind with their blows," he said with a darkness in his voice.
"I want to see her," she said, stubbornly.
"You will. But in the mean time, we need to get you to safety."
"We already came up with a place. Maisie called Thunder House. They're expecting Emma," Charlie piped in.
"Thunder House it is. Emma, I'll take you back to your home so that you can pack the things you will need," said Paton.
"I'll come too," said Charlie. Maisie started to busy herself.
"I need to call Lyell and Amy. They'll want to know what has happened," Maisie muttered to herself.
"Come along. It's almost four o'clock. We needn't keep the Torosson's up longer than needed."
The three of them walked out the door and into the Paton's car. Charlie took shotgun and Emma got into the back. The Torosson's? Emma thought to herself. I'm going to be staying at Tancred's house? And though she expected to feel uncomfortable about that, she could help but smile a little to herself at the thought.
Okay. There. I'm done with this one. I've been writing this for about three hours. My brain is fried.
So, tell me what you think. I hate to do this but I'm putting a review minimum. Give me five reviews, then I will post the next chapter. TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT. We have Tancred and Emma moments coming up. Tell me what you need. :) Night guys.