— The Girl Who Fakes Her Smiles —

Mkay. Well, Aurelia's gone now. She was too OOC. The main character is once again Ira cept with her different haircut and eyes. Thank you Queen of Air and Darkness~ (Can I call you Mab? xD)

If I had a publisher, they'd probably smack me with all the times I change up my story. In the first chapter. :)

Only Disclaimer For This Story: I don't own the Iron Fey Series... All rights belong to Julie Kagawa... (That was almost painful to say. Almost.)

=:- Love and Respect -:=

The girl's olive-toned forearm whipped up to in front of her face and was quickly followed by a thick wall of ice. The approaching dagger dug harmlessly into the shield, causing a thin spiderweb of cracks to crawl away from the impact point. The girl's arm slowly lowered back down to her side as she scanned her surroundings for any more projectiles. When she determined it was safe, she allowed herself a small, triumphant grin that made her yellow eyes turn a honey gold until another dagger suddenly came hurtling towards her. The girl reacted quickly, dropping down onto the snow-covered floor and rolling to the side, but the dagger was faster, slicing into the side of her flat stomach. Her eyes widened a fraction, and a small gasp of pain escaped from her frosty lips.

"Too slow," the instructor barked, a nasty sneer on the Winter faerie's sharp face.

She wanted to protest that the second dagger wasn't fair since it was fired after the attack, but she kept her mouth shut, nodded stiffly, and stared vacantly at the steadily growing amount of red snow with her hand pressed firmly against the cut on her side.

After all, in this world, nothing is fair.

Especially for fey like her.

All she can do, is keep her lips glued together, nod, and pretend she doesn't feel the pain.

The small girl sat on the gnarled tree branch with her thin arms wrapped around her pulled-up knees, dark hair falling delicately around her shoulders. Her eyes were closed, but her pointed ears were listening to the jovial cries of the faerie children that were playing at the foot of the large tree. The blank expression on her face made it look as if she were sleeping. Though if you looked closer, you'd see her arms tighten with longing, squeezing her legs together almost painfully.

After all, nobody wants to be friends with a fey like her.

She is alone in this world.

Her three brothers stood away from her, a gaping emptiness between them. They talked quietly among themselves— too quiet for her to hear. She stood where she was, awkwardly wringing her hands and shifting her weight from one foot to another every ten seconds while her eyes trailed indifferently around the room.

Then, the sound of clicking heels echoed into the room from the hallway.

The girl's brothers immediately ceased their hushed conversation, turning towards the entrance that was connected to the hallway. They clasped their hands behind their backs, straightened their spines, and lifted their chins, their personalities eons older than their real ages. The girl directed her body to the same direction though she merely dangled her arms by her sides, keeping her head low.

The clicking got louder until a woman with a figure most woman would die for, entered the room. Her lips curled into a smile as she stared at her sons with adoration.

"My boys," she purred, pride in her eyes.

She then motioned for them to follow her, and her white, kitten heels clacked themselves over to her throne. Her mother sat down elegantly, her white gown falling gently around her sitting form. The boys strode forward and set themselves in front of their mother to muse about tomorrow's event while the girl stood where she was, completely ignored.

Not even her family wants to be associated with a fey like her.

She is truly alone with no one to care for her.

She must care for herself.

The girl was being jostled by a group of humans whom intercepted her on her self-given task of finding mortal food. They slammed their shoulders into hers, causing her small frame to stumble. They jeered at her and made crude comments.

She let herself be pushed around. If you weren't watching closely, you'd just see an emotionless girl being viciously bounced from person to person. If you looked a bit further, you'd see the barely discernible hardening of her jaw, the minuscule tightening near the corners of her eyes, and her twitching fingers that ached to curl themselves into fists and fly into the faces of her tormentors.

She resisted the urge and kept her stoic facade up.

Not even the other race wants to be with her.

She is alone even in the other world.

You're worthless. You're a mistake. You shouldn't exist.

The words streamed through the girl's mind as she lay on her bed. Her expression stayed neutral even though her mind was screaming in agony— the only thing her mind did other than replay her worst thoughts and fears.

Though despite being alone, she wouldn't let emotions show.

But today, her lip quivered.

Because even she is not made of stone.

I watched as she looked lovingly over the three, erect-standing boys. Then her sight drifted past them, and her depthless black eyes latched onto my fidgeting figure. Immediately, they turned from being filled with adoration and pride, to a mixture of disgust and hate. I blinked blankly at her before averting my own gaze to avoid any conflict. Eventually, after enough dark glowering at my head, I took the hint and my feet took me over to a different area in the room.

Glancing around with empty eyes, I looked for a distraction, knowing all too well that I would not find a suitable oneone that would put the light back in me. I watched as the members of the Unseelie Court noisily poured into the throne room while Queen Mab sat elegantly on her ice-capped throne. Her black nails tapped her armrest impatiently, a dangerous sign. Sage, Rowan, and Ash, had removed themselves from their position of in front of Mab and were now situated across from me on the opposite wall.

Sage was sitting on the ground, deep in thought while absentmindedly petting his calm, grey wolf pup. Rowan was sneering at me and mouthing rude comments that are also aimed toward me, both of which I easily ignored. Ash was leaning against the wall with his eyes closed.

I dully noted their appearances, comparing them to my own for the umpteenth time.

They all had dark hair like Lady Mab. I had dark hair also, yet mine turned a wiry copper in the sunlight while their's merely shined. They had straight and strong noses that appealed to their masculine appearances while mine was small and pert that also added to my slight, feminine figure. They all had different colored eyes. Prince Sage had calculating, light green eyes. Prince Rowan had cruel, pale blue eyes. Prince Ash had steely, grey eyes. I had golden eyes that were usually more of a squash-yellow without any fire inside of me. That fire had long since disappeared without a hint of whether it would ever come back.

Why was I comparing myself to the perfect princes of the Unseelie Court? Why do I dare to even think of them?


I'm their half-sister. Not that they acknowledge the fact.

I'm a mistake, as I have been told a million times. My father was a human that had lured Lady Mab's attention because of his bright imagination and fearless bravado. Of course, he was attracted to her also. Then, I was born. He loved me very much. Though, my father had a weak heart that threatened to just stop beating in many different situations. When he realized that she was a faery queen, it gave out on him.

This story has been told to me by my mother herself. She had kept up an emotionless facade the whole while, even seeming a bit bored while I had been trembling with sorrow. My life from then on, was just dull. Everything seemed unimportant once I realized that the one person who truly cherished me, was dead without a chance for me to recognize the love. Now, I am just a shell.

The empty, mistake, half-breed princess of the Unseelie Court.

I ended the thoughts that have run through my mind most of my life since that moment, and slowly brought my attention back to the current occasion.

The fey had finished gathering in the throne room as Mab's nails have also finally ceased their rhythmic tapping. The whole room was silent with respect, and everyone had their eyes glued to Queen Mab. My brothers had all stood up straight, like earlier, and were also intently focused on her. I was the only one in the room that was not completely absorbed by her presence.

Mab stood up in one smooth motion, her white floor-length gown flowing around her. She smiled in a way I thought was obviously fake since it didn't reach her eyes. She reserved those smiles for her sons.

"Tomorrow is the day of the Exchange," she announced, her cool voice echoing around the large room. "It will be the day, once again, when Winter will receive the Scepter from Summer." Her smile turned into a smug grin in the small pause.

She then closed her dark eyes, dramatically lifting her arms to the ceiling and exclaiming, "So tonight, we shall feast!"

Upon her word, servants began to march into the room carrying tables laden with faery food that I will not touch. I scavenge for my own food in the mortal world by entering random trods.

Mab slowly let down her arms, opened her eyes, and glided towards her sons, most likely to discuss tomorrow's events. I took that chance to try and head for the exit.

I shuffled through the crowd, reciprocating all the dirty looks I was receiving with void stares of my own. My shoulders were being battered by the passing fey, yet I made no move to step away from their advances. What would be the point?

The exit was near, yet my feet didn't move any faster. My mind was no more eager. I simply did not care.

"And where do you think you are going?" my mother's voice asked from behind me.

"To my room," I answered politely, turning around and bending my body over into a formal bow. "May I go, my lady?"

"Why ask my permission? Do you care? You're just an automated shell. Leave. You make me sick," she spat down at me before whisking away, the only trace of her ever being there was the tightening coil in the pit of my stomach that was created in response and the slightest break in the air.

It turned out that her venomous reply was the thing to spark the fire back inside of me. Especially once I found the loophole that gave me the opportunity to break my loyalty to the Winter Court.

The girl strode towards the doors with a purpose— something she hadn't had in a long time— a small bag of necessities slung over her shoulder, and her new, self-cut bangs flopping into her eyes. Her hand was on the door, ready to push it open and finally be free when a voice stopped her for the second time that night and hopefully, the last.

"Where do you think you're going?" her mother asked smoothly.

The girl turned around to see a sardonic eyebrow raise at her new look. For once in response, she didn't lower her head and mumble some unintelligible answer. This time, she held her chin high and matched her mother's gaze through her attempted straight but uneven-cut bangs with her own blazing, now-golden eyes.

"I'm leaving just like you ordered me to," the girl answered in a calm, focused voice opposed to her usual, polite yet distant one.

Her mother's eyes flashed, caught off guard, but other than that, her expression was just as level. "And you will be back when?"

Something that surprised her even more, was that the girl's lips quirked into a viciously smug smile. Her lips hadn't spread into any type of facial expression for the longest time.

"Never," she whispered mockingly, gold eyes flaming wildly. With one last satisfied grin, she whirled around and placed her hand back on the door.

"You can leave, but everyone will remember you. Recognize you by your eyes. Those bangs don't make them disappear, doesn't make you any different," her mother's voice hissed.

Her sharp prod was ignored and the door was half-way open when the girl abruptly turned back around, stopping her mother in her tracks as she was making her own hasty leave.

"And Lady Mab?"

Her mother twisted her head, still no expression on her face, but her eyes were glimmering with what seemed like hope and regret.

The fact made her smile stretch from ear to ear.

"My name is no longer Ebony. It's Ira. Iron is strong and considered a threat to you, as am I."

Upon that last word, the girl finally opened the door completely and practically skipped out, not bothered by the sound of the door booming shut behind her. The snow flurries swirled around her as if they were also taking joy in the moment. Then the words slammed into her.

She was free.

She was no longer Ebonia Rosabelle Tallyn of the Unseelie Court.

She would from now on, be Ira of whatever the hell she feels like.

And it felt good.


... I don't know what that was.


Ira is sounded out as Eye-rah... RAH! RAH! lol

— The Girl Who Fakes Her Smiles —