A Sister's Love
The full moon was high and bright in the night sky when the young girl slipped out of her bed and left her room. She paused just outside the door before she crept past the stairs and along the corridor. Her parents, who were arguing downstairs, didn't notice her. They never did.
Carefully the girl slid her small, seven-year old frame through the slender opening to her sister Rebecca's room. While the door to her own room made no sound when it was opened or closed, the slightest budge caused her sister's door to screech like an angry monkey. She didn't dare touch it now.
As soon as she was inside the small girl went to the far side of the room and climbed onto the bed. "Becka, wake up! They're doing it again!" she whispered as she shook her older sibling awake. When that didn't work she brushed aside the older girl's long, glossy brown hair, which mirrored her own, and began poking her in the face. "Becka, help!"
"Ow! What it is? I'm awake now," Becka replied as she pushed herself up onto her elbows. Even though she had just turned eleven, she was as tall for her age as her younger sister was short for hers. "What's wrong, Lin?"
"Mommy and daddy are fighting again and they woke me up. I tried to hide under the pillows but I could still hear them. I don't want to hear them anymore."
"I already told you, they're not fighting. They're arguing," said Becka as she pulled away the covers on her bed, making room for Linda. "It's different."
"No, it's not. It's still loud and I don't like it." Linda crawled over to the empty spot on the bed and flopped down before pulling the blankets up to her neck. "It's the third time this week."
"Fourth." corrected Becka, wishing it weren't true. "It's the fourth time if you count last Wednesday."
"I wish they didn't do it so much. No wonder mommy's getting tired," said Linda.
"Tired? When did she say that?" asked Becka.
"Tonight, when I tried to cover my head with pillows. She said that she was tired and that she couldn't take this anymore." Linda sighed before turning on her side to face her sister. "Maybe if daddy gets tired, too, then they'll both stop arguing! Wouldn't that be great?"
Since the moonlight coming in from her window wasn't enough to let Linda see her expression, Becka didn't worry about trying to wipe the fear off of her face, but she did fight to keep it out of her voice.
"Maybe, Lin. Maybe."
The sound of a door slam caused both of the girls to jump.
"Becka, what was that?" asked Linda, wrapping her arms around Becka's neck.
"I don't know, but it happened downstairs. I'm going to go see what it was." Becka gently extricated herself from her sister's hold and slid her feet to the floor.
"I'm going, too!" Linda was already bouncing across the bed before Becka could protest.
"What? No! Stay here."
"But I'm not scared."
Becka simply stood staring at her baby sister, her Rainbow Brite nightdress only slightly detracting focus from the determined look in her eyes.
"I know you're not, Lin. But let me go first, and if I need help, I'll call you in as back-up."
Becka opened her door and the creak it made seemed to flood the entire house.
"Dad? Mom? Is everything ok?" she called out.
Linda sat patiently on the bed, ready to run to her sister's side the second that she called. It was a long, silent ten minutes before a teary-eyed Becka came back to the room.
"Oh, Lin..." cried Becka before she wrapped her arms around her little sister.
"Becka, what's wrong? What happened?" asked Linda, taking Becka's cue that whispering was no longer necessary.
"It's mom. She's... she's gone..."
"Gone? Gone where?" Linda pulled out of Becka's embrace only enough so that she could see her face. "When is she coming back?"
"I don't know," Becka wiped away the tears that were now making their way down her cheeks. "I don't know where she's going, but I don't think that she's coming back soon..."
"But she will, right? She'll come back?"
"Maybe, Lin. Maybe." Becka hugged her closer and gently stroked her hair.
If Becka said that their mother might come back, then Linda had to believe her. Becka wouldn't lie to her. Unless...
"Becka, you're not going to leave, too, are you?" asked Linda in a panicked voice.
"What? No!" Becka pulled Linda out of her embrace enough so that they could look each other in the eyes. "Linda, I'm not going anywhere. I'll always be here when you need me."
"Do you promise?" Linda threw her arms around Becka's waist and squeezed with all her might, simultaneously burrowing her face into her sister's shirt. "Promise!"
Becka laid her chin on top of Linda's head and hugged her back.
Years later, when Linda looked back at her relationship with her sister, she realized that Becka had never once broken her promise.
"Nick?" she asked, turning to her new, magical teacher. "Are you sure that an enchanter's powers manifest only once they reach adolescence? It's not possible for them to develop before then?"
They were sitting at the kitchen table in his small apartment, only a few blocks away from her middle school where he worked as janitor in order to keep an eye on her. The old wizard pulled the whistling tea kettle off of the stove and poured boiling water into two mugs.
"It would be highly unusual for them to do so. Why do you ask? You still doubt all that I'm teaching you?" he asked with a joking grin.
When Nick had approached Linda a few months earlier and explained to her that she was an Enchanter, a member of one of the five magical guilds that lived among normal, Anaweir people, she had thought him insane. Once he showed her her Weirbook and demonstrated his own powers, however, she had been left with no choice but to believe him.
"No, it's not that," replied Linda with a smile. "It's just that, well, I once asked someone to do something for me, and they did it. For years and years, to this day they continue to do it because it's what they promised me they'd do. But how can I know I didn't just persuade them to promise me in the first place?"
"How old were you when the promise was made?"
"I had just turned seven."
"Seven?" Nick let out a throaty chuckle as he placed her mug of tea on the table in front of her. "My dear, I thought that by "before adolescence" you meant some twelve years, eleven, or even ten if we're pushing it! But seven? That's unheard of for an enchanter!"
Nick continued to laugh as he absentmindedly stirred sugar into his tea. Finally he wiped away a laugh-induced tear from the corner of his eye and went on. "Tell me, was this thing they promised to do a particularly difficult thing?"
"Well, sometimes, yes. But they never failed me. Not once." Linda smiled at the thought.
"In that case, there's a very simple explanation." Nick paused as he watched Linda lean towards him attentively. "They did it because they loved you. There was no magic involved. And if they still do it to this day then it's because they still love you to this day."
Linda couldn't find the words to respond. Of course Becka loved her! There had never been a doubt in her mind about that. When she met Nick, however, and discovered that she had magical abilities that allowed her to persuade and attract others, she had worried just how many of her relationships had been forged due to it.
As Nick said, however, any relationships that she formed with people before her powers manifested, those she could be sure of.
If her sister had stood by her side every day of her life, starting with the day that she was born, then it was because Becka loved her. And Linda loved her back just as much. Nothing, not even magic, could ever change that.
A/N: I can't even begin to say what inspired me to write this. A combination of things, really, but I guess if I had to pick the real catalyst... It was that scene from the movie Hitch where he tells Sarah that she sounds very protective when she talks about her younger sister. :3 I'm not even kidding... Hey, it's a good movie!
Anyways, I wrote their parents (both Anaweir, btw) as arguing because I honestly can't remember Jack ever mentioning his grandparents, so I took that as meaning that maybe they seperated somewhere along the line? (Though I could be wrong, of course.) Oh! And just for the record, it's Becka and Linda's father, not their mother, who is the member of the Downey line. Just wanted to mention that.
And that's all for now. Hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are more than welcome!
P.S Anyone catch Becka already acting lawyer-y? :)