AN: Well, this is new for me! ;)

Spoilers: Vague for Awakenings (takes place pre-series)

Disclaimer: The Restoration Series does not belong to me.

Rating: Kid Friendly

Summary: Fluttermouse had decided a good long while ago that her lessons would be so much more interesting if they only made sense

Long Lost From Fairy Lore

Fluttermouse had decided a good long while ago that her lessons would be so much more interesting if they only made sense. Everything was so vague, and every time she didn't succeed, her teachers would look despairingly at her, cluck their tongues and fail to provide any kind of meaningful instruction. Being a fairy, she decided, was very, very frustrating sometimes.

It wasn't all bad, though. The Master had seen fit to give fairies wings, and Flute took to flying with all the inborn ability her teachers claimed she should have with her magic, if only she would pay attention. She loved dodging stumps and low branches near the ground in Fairlight Forest. This was something all the sprouts did, but Flute was the best at it. She could dodge and weave on the faintest breath of air, and she wasn't afraid of running into the tips of the grass or grazing a tree branch by accident.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before she tired of the lower parts of the Forest, and began to fly higher up into the trees. Eventually, she worked up the courage to break free of the canopy altogether, much to the dismay of Jesper and the other sprouts who came along to watch her adventure. There were crows out there, after all, and worse.

But Flute saw none, and flew unhampered in the free air above the trees. It would have been an entirely unremarkable adventure, except for the fact that one of the Elders saw her, and took her to task for her recklessness.

"Sprouts don't fly out of the trees," Elder Hawthorne said. "They stay close to the village where they can be kept safe."

"But the Master gave me wings!" Flute protested. "How am I supposed to learn what it's like to fly outside of the Forest if I never try?"

"You will not be leaving the Forest for a good long while," said the Elder. And then Flute had to accept her punishment.

That evening, when no one was watching her, Flute crept up to the top of the tallest tree in Westfern. The wind on her face was different up off the ground. Below the canopy, the air smelled of loam and flowers and wood, but above the leaves, the air seemed to beckon to her. She wished with all her heart that she was permitted to follow that call.

"Master," she prayed. "Master, I can hear you on the wind. At least, I think I can. If it's not you, could you tell me? And then I'll go back down and do my best to find my heartfire like the Elders say."

There was silence. The air suddenly stilled around her.

"It's just that there's so much the Elders don't know!" Flute said. "They can't answer my questions, and it makes listening to them very hard. They say we shouldn't leave the forest, shouldn't even interfere for the Speakers. I think we've forgotten too much to be any use in the world, but I still want to try, if you can help me."

Again, there was silence. And then a whisper, even more quiet than the wind. Flute listened hard, words teasing at the edge of her hearing but still too soft for her to decipher. But she couldn't deny that she had heard something, even though she didn't know what it meant.

Flute looked up at the stars and smiled. She bowed her head, and a strange flickering feeling welled up in her, gone before she even noticed it, but burned into her memory all the same. "Thank you, Master!", she whispered, and then she went back down, back to the safety and monotony of Westfern, and waited for the Master to call on her again.

The otter's gift is friendship
Childlike wonder and trust.
Leviathan gives strength to those
To do what'er they must.
The Eagle's eye sees what's to come
And what has gone before.
The Master knows the other gifts
Long lost from fairy lore.


Gravity_Not_Included, October 30, 2010