Disclaimer: As all of you smart people may have realized, I do not own or have any right to the Study series. That privilege belongs to Maria V. Snyder.

AN: I found nothing wrong with the original series, this idea just came to me and I decided to give it a go.

Summary: Based after the Commander overthrew the King. After settling in at the castle, Valek decides to track down hidden rooms etc. that might compromise the Commanders rule. After he hears a rumour about a room that nobody can open, tucked away in the corner of the castle, he decides to find it and do the impossible open it. But can he handle what's inside? Alternate reality situation.

Yelena was never kidnapped and grew up in Sitia, discovering her Soulfinder abilities at age 16. After clashing with Rose on a number of occasions, she is sent to Ixia at age 18 under the pretense of a friendly delegation. In reality, Rose paid the King to use his magicians to lock her in a room under a sleeping spell, so that she would be a prisoner in her own body for years on end, until death.

Chapter 1

Valek hurried to the Commander's room, hoping he wouldn't be too angry at his lateness. He had been hanging around the kitchen and servant's rooms again catching useful tidbits of information. While there he'd heard a mother telling her son about a hidden room in the castle. This had obviously intrigued him and he'd lost track of time. Now he was late for tasting the Commander's lunch. He came to the doors and pushed them open, striding through.

"Valek, I hope you have a good reason for being late. My lunch is cold." The Commander said from his desk, not looking up.

"Sorry sir," Valek replied quickly making his way over, he quickly took small bites and sipped the drink.

"Thank you Valek. Anything to report?"

"Nothing serious sir. I'm thinking of investigating a rumour though." Valek replied.

"A rumour?" the Commander finally looked up, eyebrow raised.

"Among the servants." Valek clarified.

"Servants?"

"I've told you before sir, they're better than my spy network."

"Well, as long as it doesn't distract you from your work." The Commander returned his gaze to the papers on his desk.

Valek left the room in a calmer state than he arrived in. He strode silently through the halls and back to his office/room. It had almost been 7 months since the overthrowing of the King and the Commanders take over. So far everything was going smoothly, apart from a few attempted rebellions by supporters of the King. There was still a lot to do, and although the castle had been generally searched, there were still rooms that had yet to be found and searched. It was entirely possible that the rumour about this so called 'impossible-to-open' room was true. He sat down at the desk and leant back in his chair for a second before turning his attention to his own paperwork. Looking at the stacks of folders on his desk he sighed. Work first, secret magic-room later. This was going to be a long night.

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It had been a month. A month of work, spying, listening to servants and searching the castle for the hidden room. He'd found hidden rooms alright, passages too, but all had been easy to break into. A few lock picks and everything was revealed. Not like 'everything' was particularly special. A lot of the rooms had weapons, precious gems and various other items. Anything from Sitia was regarded with caution and most often destroyed. He was at his desk again, staring unseeingly at the papers in front of him. He had managed to gain little information on the place or the contents of the room he was searching for. There were various versions of the story, ranging from a room filled with magical items, expensive items and gold, and one even told about a dangerous criminal locked in the room.

"This is so frustrating!" He picked up one of the rocks at his desk and through it at the wall.

Valek got up and strode out onto the balcony. It was dark outside, either late at night or early in the morning. The cold wind cleared his head of every thought except one. Find that room. Listening to his instincts often paid off, so he did what he always did. He followed them. He moved swiftly and silently through the halls towards a corner of the castle. Valek started at the top and worked at doors methodically searching each one for any clues. He was just finishing the bottom level when he passed a branch of hallway he hadn't gone down before. In fact, he'd never really noticed it at all. As he moved further down the dark corridor he recognized the feeling he was getting. Magic. His resistance pushed against it and he was able to slowly continue. After what seemed like hours, Valek finally made it to the end, sweaty and tired but triumphant. There was a door and after trying the handle and finding it was locked, he bent down and pulled out his lock picks that he always kept on hand. It took a while to open the complex and magically enhanced lock, but he finally heard the click he was listening for. Valek put the picks away and stood up.

"Here goes nothing." He muttered under his breath.

He pushed against the wall of magic that seemed to embody the room inside and opened the door.

AN: First chapter done! R&R please!