"What about you, Finbar? What did she give to you?" she asked me.

I turned and smiled at my little sister. "Faith in myself," I said simply. The words came, almost as if I were not the one to steer the language I uttered. "To do what's right, and not falter, no matter how hard it gets."

"It was hard enough today," Sorcha said, no doubt thinking of the day's own required display of fortitude. How I wished that this would be the hardest of my future trials.

It will be much harder in time. The sentence sent a chill up my spine. I could not tell if this thought came from my own mind, or somewhere beyond myself. Yet I knew that it was true.

There were the feelings, the half-seen visions of the mind, the fears of the starless nights. There was something coming in the future that would affect all of us. And whether it was fueled from my own fears or not, I believed that Sorcha would be the one among us affected by this event most of all.

"I want you to remember, Sorcha," I said out loud. It was suddenly very important for her to understand. "Remember that I will always be there for you, no matter what happens. It's important."

I turned towards the lake, wishing I could keep Sorcha safe from all the dangers of the world. My little sister, dancing through the dappled greens on a forest path…

That was the image that kept every cold vision at bay, every dark night contained.

To keep her safe and innocent, I would do anything.

I turned back towards Sorcha's green-eyed scrutiny. "Now come on, it's time we went back down."