A/N I tried to change this story so I can get it published but somehow it didn't work, so I'll put it back on. I don't have the beta'd chapters anymore, so if you'll find mistakes they are my own :)
Many thanks to my dear Beta, All About Eric for her patience and support while writing this.
Disclaimer: none of these characters belong to me, they belong to Charlaine Harris.
I was sitting near the edge of the graves holding my grandmother's hand and looking at the caskets being lowered in the dark holes.
"Gran, will they not be afraid down there?" I whispered "it looks so dark."
"No child, remember what I told you last night? They are in heaven now."
I'm not very sure if I should tell my Gran that I can hear in her mind that she's not confident about that, but I decided to keep my moth shot. My mother always punished me when I said that I can hear her mind. When she was very mad she called me freak. I don't really know what that means but from what she was thinking it seem that it's some kind of monster.
I don't think that I'm a monster… At least I don't look like the monsters I saw in the children's movies and cartoons.
What bothered my mom was my ability to read people's mind, to hear their every thought, every secret and most of all her thoughts, her secrets.
She got really mad one time when she had some ladies over and one of them was thinking that my mom was a bitch and I told that lady that it was not nice to think bad things about my mom. The ladies said I'm crazy and my mom told me to go to my room and don't ever get out of my room while other people are in the house. She wished she never had me.
I could hear her thinking that.
She was very happy about how Jason turned out, but me… I was a big 'failure'- I think that was the word she thought.
I knew I was different. I realized that when my parents were shocked when I answered them without them asking me anything.
My dad loved me but he wasn't much around. He worked at my great-grandfather's pharmaceutical company and he always got home after we kids were asleep. The weekends were for receiving gusts or go visit their friends, so I had to stay in my room.
Mom didn't let me go to my grandparents either and every time they come to visit us she made up something and sent me away; So I didn't get the chance to know my grandparents very well.
I spent a lot of time locked in my room playing with my imaginary friends. I didn't really mind staying far from other people their thoughts overwhelmed me sometimes. It is hard to have the thoughts of all the people around me in my head all the time.
I looked at the graves being filled out and I felt my grandmother's sorrow.
"It's ok Gran, I'm here for you."
She threw an arm over my shoulders and held me close while she gave way to loud sobs. My grandfather held her with one hand while she kept Jason close with the other. They were all grieving the loss of my parents. They seemed to be nice people, they thoughts were very nice even though right now they were very sad.
My grandfather's mind was somehow different from the other people's. I wanted to ask him about that but I didn't want them to hate me too so I didn't ask anything.
I was not sad. I didn't know my father well enough to miss him and my mom… well I use to hope secretly that she was an evil witch that took the place of my real mom, and one day my real mom will come back and send away this evil witch. Maybe it was my fault they died. Maybe I wished so much that they will go away that God listened to me…
No! This couldn't be! God wouldn't listen to a stupid girl like me… Would he?
I looked at the faces of the people surrounding the graves. They all looked at the graves with sad expressions. I looked from one to another, not really recognizing anyone until I reached the face of a beautiful man with long white hair that was looking intently at me. While I was studying him he smiled at me. I smiled back, happy that I wasn't the only one who wasn't crying there. His mind was different too, brighter, like it was filled with light. I liked his mind.
Finally the ceremony was over and Gran pushed me towards the big heavy gates towards the black car that was waiting for us there. The man with the white hair came to the car and touched my granddaddy's shoulder.
"I'm sorry for your loss my son. Those responsible for this will pay. I promise you this."
"What good is that going to be to me, father?" he snapped at the older man.
So the man with long white hair was my grandfather's father what does that makes him to me? My great-grandfather! So he is the one that owns that company that my dad used to work before he died?
His mind is even stranger than my grandfather's. I wonder why?...
"Excuse me, sir, but why is your mind so… bright?" I asked before I could stop myself.
Ups! I hope they won't get mad and slap me. I heated when my mom slapped me. It made me feel so little and powerless.
"Can you see my mind, child?" the man asked.
Strange thing, he was smiling again at me. He didn't look upset at all. So I decided to tell him the truth.
"Yes, your mind is different from other people. Granddaddy's mind is different too, but yours is even more so. And your thoughts are in a strange language."
"So you can hear the thoughts of every person?"
"And how can you deal with hearing the thoughts of everyone at school?" he asked again.
"I don't go to school sir; my mom says I'm too stupid to go to school."
I can hear the outrage in my grandfather and my grandmother's mind but they kept silent.
"How old are you child?"
"Do you want to go to school?"
"I don't know… Jason always says its fun at school. Do you think that I'll be able to find some friends there? It must be great to have friends…"
"Don't worry child, we'll get you to school and you'll have plenty of friends" he said and he turns towards my grandfather.
"Were you not aware of this child's treatment?"
"No" my grandfather was looking down as if he were ashamed. "They always send her away when we were there. I thought that the child was damaged and they were trying to protect her from the town gossip. I never… It is my fault. I should have insisted… I should have..."
"Now, darling, we are both to blame for this. We didn't want to intervene in their life, they were having some problems my daughter in law was very jealous and we didn't want to add to that with our interference."
"What is done is done. I will have my people take care of all the papers in order for the child…"
"Sookie" I say.
He turns his head and looks at me.
"You keep calling me child, so you probably don't know my name. My name is Sookie, Sookie Brigant."
"It is nice to meet you Sookie, my name is Niall Brigant and I am your great-grandfather."
"I know. My dad works… use to work for your company and my mom kept thinking that it's your fault that he's never home."
Finally it came the day that I was going to school! I couldn't wait to meet all the children there. I'm sure that by the time the day ends I would have at least one friend. A girl- friend. Sure, boys were ok. Jason was pretty nice to me, but he never wanted to play with my Barbie's or the tea set that I got from Granddaddy and Gran for my last birthday. So I wanted to have a girl-friend to play all those nice games that girls play on TV commercials.
I was dressed in my new uniform and my long blonde hair was tied in two ponytails. I looked as all the kids that go to school do. I was so happy!
Gran came into my room holding my lunch.
"Here you go hon, put this in your backpack and don't forget to eat it, ok?
"And don't forget to not tell anyone that you can hear thoughts, they might not understand it dear.
"I know Gran."
"If someone is bothering you, you'll go…"
"Straight to the teacher, I know Gran. Don't worry, it will be great!"
My granddad called us from downstairs and we all walked to the car. Granddaddy was driving, Jason stayed in the front seat and Gran stayed next to me on the backseat.
We arrived in front of a very nice-looking building with a lot of kids running around and parents yelling after them.
We got out of the car and we went straight to the principal's office. He was a nice mad looking about the same age as my gran. He and my grandparents talked a bit and then the principal took me to my new classroom.
My head was exploding! This was the only thing I could think right now. Hundreds of voices were shouting at me, making my head hurt while I was rolling on the floor holding my head, wishing all the thought would stop. I felt like I was about to throw up. Finally my granddaddy and Gran came and took me home. They were very concerned about me and how was I feeling and they didn't slapped me or yell at me for making a scene at the school. They didn't judge me.
But I did. I finally understood that my mom was right all the time.
Gran came to my room with a cup of hot cocoa.
"Are you feeling better hon?
I didn't respond to her. She was so nice, so good. She didn't deserve a monster for a grandchild.
"Sookie, my dear, is your head still hurting? Tell me what's wrong."
I looked up at her wishing I was normal for the first time in my life.
"I'm a freak."
"Oh, dear! No! You are not! Sookie! Listen to me…"
But I wasn't hearing her anymore. I was inside my head playing with all my imaginary friends that I made in school. The looked wired… They were all monsters. Just like me.
My Gran left and I was alone again. Maybe this is how I suppose to live - alone, far away from other people, normal people. I felt asleep wishing I was normal.
My great-grandfather came and shook me from my dream.
"Sookie! Look at me child."
I look at him wondering if he is disappointed in me.
"Did anything like this happen to you before?"
"Not really. Sometimes being around many people gets me sick. It's like they are all shouting at me. It makes my head hurt. But I never had been around so many."
"But can't you block people's thoughts if you don't want to hear them?"
"No. I hear them all the time."
"That must be very hard for you child."
I shrugged. I like this man. He is so nice to me and he doesn't think I'm crazy.
"I know I am not like the other kids"
"No Sookie, you are not. You see, I am not human my child. I am a fairy, a prince of the fairies as a matter of fact."
"A fairy? Like in the fairytales?"
"Not quite like that but yes. Fairies are very magical creatures: we can transport anywhere we want in a blink of an eye, we can make things appear and disappear, we can heal and many other things. But also every fairy has a special gift a gift just of his own. And it seems that your gift is telepathy or mind reading if you wish."
"But… I am fairy too?"
"Yes, my child you are."
"But how come Jason is normal then? Isn't he a fairy too?"
"He is human, not normal. You are normal too my child. A normal fairy. You see, I married a human and had two sons your grandfather Fintan and your uncle Dermont."
"I never met this uncle Dermont."
"No, but you will. Your grandfather fell in love with your grandmother- who is human too- and he give up all of his positions in fairy and came here to live with her."
"Why did he have to give up all?"
"Because your grandmother didn't want to be involved in fairies politic, my child. There anre many fairies in our realm…"
"Realm? What is that?"
"It's like another dimension, a land in a different time and space."
"Like in the science –fiction movies?"
"Yes, something like that. In Faery there are four nations of faries: the sky faeries- which is us- the water fairies, the fire fairies and the earth fairies. The sky fairies and the water fairies are the only two nations that have a royal prince…"
"You said you were a prince."
"Yes, I am one of the two royal princes. The other prince wants us to close all the portals from Faery to here because he thinks that this realm is tainting ours. But I believe that we should keep the portals open, so we can come here as we wish., so that's why we are at war with the water fairies."
"Do you like it here great-grandfather?"
"Yes, I like it here and I like the humans. They are very interesting race."
"But isn't Faery nice?"
"It is very beautiful, my child I will take you there sometimes. Now, as I was saying, your grandfather married your grandmother and had two children: your father and your aunt Linda. And, as you know, your father married your mother and had you and your brother. So the fairy blood is much diluted in your generation- that's why your brother didn't inherited any fairy traits. Your father didn't have the spark either…"
"What's the spark?"
"The spark is the magic that makes us fairies. If you have the spark you are fairy, if not you are not."
"But ain't I like..." I try to do the math but I was not very good at it "half of a quarter fairy?" I concluded.
"It doesn't matter if you are half, a quarter or half of a quarter, if you have the spark you are fairy."
"Wow. Can I meet other fairies?"
"Of course. That's what I wanted to talk to you about."
"I found someone to help you with your telepathy, Sookie.
"Do you know someone else like me?"
"No I don't. But I know someone that lived long enough to know many things."
"Almost two thousand years."
"Wow, that's a lot! So is he a freak like me?"
"You are not a freak, my child, you are special! Very special. And once you'll learn how to control your telepathy you will see how useful such a gift can be."
'The lady that I'm talking about is very special too. She can see the future!" "Really? So does she already know what you're going to ask her?"
He threw his head back and burst in to laughter.
"Maybe she does, my child."
We teleported to the Greek island where the old lady lived. I had a backpack in my hand and I was holding my great-grandfather's hand with the other. We were in front of a white marble palace with big white columns marking the entrance.
We walk though the palace having two guards following us. Everything around us looked like it emerged from a fairytale. Tall marble columns supported the ceiling. The tiles on the floor were made from white marble too, and golden pillars were placed on each side of the room having flowers arrangements on each of them.
We reached end of the hall and two women dressed all in white robes opened some big heavy doors and lead us in a room that had a big chair on the far end. On it was sited a very old lady. Her hair was white and it hung around her wrinkled face. Her eyes were white and she was holding a cane in one hand. She had a white robe too.
I realized in that moment that I couldn't hear any thoughts aside from my great-grandfather. The rest of the people there were like… blanks.
We stopped a few feet before her and Niall bowed deeply. I followed his example like he thought me.
"Good evening, my lady."
"Niall, who did you bought there?"
"This is my great-granddaughter Sookie Brigant."
'Sookie, such an unusual name… I don't like it! It sounds common and it is not fit for a princess. She will be Asukina. Yes. That sounds more like a fairy princess. Princess Asukina, come forward."
Was she serious? She changed my name just like that? It may mot have been noble enough for her but it was still my name...
I looked up at my great-grandfather and he nodded. So I walked until I was directly in front of the old lady. She raised her hand and grabbed my arm and her eyes lit up like some flashlights. After a while she let go of me and her eyes took their white lifeless color.
"Princess Asukina, we shall be great friends you and I. You can call me lady Pythia."
I looked back at Niall and he bowed again.
"Thank you milady, you are very generous. I will come visit her once a week."
Naill smiled at me and then turned and left the room.
"Asukina, tell me, can you hear my thoughts?"
"No lady Pythia."
"Do you know why that is?"
"No lady Pythia."
"It is so because I am a vampire, my child."