Summary: If she really wasn't the magician's niece, why was it she missed him so much? One-shot, not romantic.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, the book, the movie, anything like that, and I make no money from writing this.
Warnings: Based solely on the animated version, mild fluff and angst, etc.
I wrote this, because writer's block on my other fics is an absolute bastard and I can't think, I can't! This came, because I needed something to unwind this weekend. Just, don't judge too harshly.
"…You can't really be that ridiculous magician's niece…"
Blinking open her eyes at the touch of the rising sun on her back, the unicorn sighed out a weary, quiet breath that, in sleep, she hadn't known she'd been holding.
She got off of her position on the forest floor—her forest, her home that she had come back to after such a long time away that she had taken longer than she thought she would have to get used to it again—and shook herself twice; the few small ladybugs that had clung to her or the leaves of overhanging trees that had fallen in the night gliding off of her silk smooth body.
Her days lately often started the same way. Waking up to the last memory or the dream of something from her last days at Haggard's castle and Lir. And then she would think about it all the time until she met or saw or did something later that would keep her from suffocating in her own skin.
Looking about her—like the arrow on a compass searching for a destination—the unicorn observed in the way her kind did, everything that she could see and smell and hear.
After a little thought, she chose to start at a slow cant towards where she knew some fresh clover was growing and nobody else knew of yet, much to her gratitude.
In the months leading away from the ocean and finding all of the others, while the unicorn had tried so hard to get used to her forest again, she was a little torn on how to feel about what had followed—slowly and at leisure—after her.
In small groups of twos and threes, for some reason thinking that they ought to give their thanks to the one that had rescued them from Haggard and the Bull and the sea—and how could they think otherwise, this lot was so young, probably only foals when they had entered the water—about a dozen others of her kind had taken up residence in her forest. They had all thanked her, of course, as soon as they had found her, in their own ways. They called her things, too, when they spoke. Things like, big sister, elder, savior, the last, the onlyand other things.
And they had stayed in her forest to continue their lives. She didn't mind the company at first, it had been such a long time since she had ever spoken to others like her—her mother centuries ago was the last one, she thinks—but after a while…she just started to get annoyed by them. They were a little too vain, a little too clumsy, half of them only wanted to ask her annoying questions about what it was like to feel, to be human, to fall in love. She actually thought that the cat with the pegged leg at Haggard's that had helped them was better company. At least he knew when he was being annoying and was honest about it.
She respected them for coming and thanking her; really, in a way it was a comfort away from thinking about Lir and her travelling companions and…everything. But, there is a feeling that now starts to bubble up inside her chest when they ask too much. Not hatred—she had only ever, really, felt that around Haggard when he had actually made her cry, and for the Red Bull when he had killed Lir for trying to defend her—but something similar. Perhaps, she should have consulted Schmendrick more on what she felt in that human body than Molly, who did her best, but was a bit too vague, constantly saying that she should figure it out for herself.
So, she found herself either staying in the parts of her wood that the rest didn't know about, or just on the very edge, only accompanied by fast talking, nonsensical butterflies or quiet, observant dear.
If she were more honest with herself, she might say that she didn't just miss Lir—and she did, all the time—but Molly and Schmendrick as well.
Molly, who wasn't quite pretty—perhaps she never was—but who made up for it in brashness, caring, honesty. Something none of the females of the unicorn's kind had ever been. One was rather the same as all the rest, even the unicorn herself; before, at least.
But, she missed Schemdrick more—sometimes more than Lir. While it is true that the unicorn had indeed freed the others by driving the Bull into the sea, she could never have completed the journey without her magician. He had given her humanity, feelings to learn from, a chance at love—finding it—with Lir, coaxing into the Red Bull's lair, harsh words to get her moving again when she had said she would stay with Lir and die mortal, changed her back into an immortal. He had even given her a name and called her his niece…
Moving into a trot further away from her forest, almost crying out in frustration and frightening the deer behind her, the unicorn made her way down to the road she had used to leave the green home, save her kind, and come back to stay.
Her eyes followed the line of the human road that had been deepened and widened by hunters that had never once caught anything in her forest, but had tried well enough, leaving with smiles despite themselves.
…She missed having a name. The name Schmendrick had given her.
Looking back over her shoulder at her forest, her eyes searched the line of the trees to be sure that she was alone—a thing she did not feel really comfortable with anymore—and she took in a deep, solemn breathe before a word reached out of her like soothing fingers and became real.
Her name. None of the other unicorns knew it—what use did they have for names when they so easily recognized each other?—and she somehow felt it was her one little secret in the world. Only she and her…friends…knew it, and she wanted to keep it that way.
But then, what was the use of a name, if nobody ever used it?
Snapping twigs sounded behind her and she started until she found the source. Glancing up into the sky, she could make out a lone flock of birds—just three songbirds—ascending into the air out of an old tree. The boughs they had been sitting on snapped back and forth from the motion, but the birds paid no heed as they took off in the same direction of the sun, across the expanse of the road. Away from the woods.
The unicorn watched them until they became small dots and then she felt something in her flutter like the wings of a fledgling.
Her eyes glanced back at her forest, knowing that the other unicorns were in there, probably eating and wandering around with each other, content in this place they had come to think of as theirs as well as hers. Even if it wasn't really hers anymore.
She rounded her head back towards the way the birds had flown, her horn tracing the outline of the some clouds overhead while she took just a moment to think.
Something like a laugh echoed out of her, a high and beautiful noise that she hadn't made since she left the sea, and she raced outward towards the road.
Let the others have her forest for now. It was about time Amalthea visited her 'uncle' and 'aunt' again.