A/N: Sorry for the long wait everyone! School held me hostage for a while. Apparently, I no longer have a life outside studying. But thank you all for the reviews and support! I really appreciate it! :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail.
Chapter 3: Zinnia Elegans (Yellow)
Zinnia Elegans (Yellow) | Yellow Zinnia:
"With every sun rise and sun set,
I became accustomed to my new routine,
My new life,
My new family.
The feelings of warmth tugs
And the lost smiles have found
Their way home.
To be blessed with the present,
The past will continue to haunt
As a daily reminder of
"I told him to be careful! But no! He just had to use his magic in a room full of valuables!"
"Hey! He would have escaped if I hadn't! At least we completed the mission thanks to yours truly!"
"You destroyed an entire museum room that was filled with priceless artifacts!"
"Umm, Eir, Gray…" Cana coughed, trying to get our attention. "Shut up," she hissed.
We both instantly shut up as we looked cautiously at the third guild master of Fairy Tail. It had been almost two years since Gray had joined Fairy Tail. After the night of the Fantasia Parade those years ago, we swore never to bring that up ever again to save both of us from utter embarrassment. We called it truce that night, and surprisingly, it actually held for this long. That was not to say that we didn't have our occasional argument every now and then. Gray still liked to make fun of me, and I still continued to scold him for stripping, but nowadays, it was more light and playful as we laughed at each other's expenses. Of course, if it does start to get out of hand, we had Cana as our mediator.
During these two years, we had all grown as mages, even I, who once held distaste for the thought of doing something so fantasy-like. Sure, I still found emotion magic to be extremely useless, especially on missions, but believe it or not, I was actually starting to enjoy learning how to manipulate emotions. Master was right: all it took was a little creativity. I found using my magic to be easier and easier—but of course, I secretly trained more than the average mage. I didn't want my magic to feel inferior to Cana's, Gray's or anyone else's magic—even though it kind of was.
We formed a team—Cana, Gray and I. It was strange at first; everyone thought so, too. We were just kids after all—nine and ten years old, but eventually, I stopped caring what other people thought of us. It was fun being in a team, and I was glad I met these people. I was glad I joined Fairy Tail.
It wasn't long after I started going on missions that I learned what it truly meant to be a member of Fairy Tail.
Chaos, recklessness, and property damage: the three perfect words to describe Fairy Tail.
"You know I'm going to hear from the Magic Council again," Makarov sighed, rubbing his temples. "I didn't expect a simple burglar catching to cause this much money worth of destruction…"
"We are very sorry, Master!" I bowed my head in shame. "Aren't we, Gray?"
"But we caught him!"
"That's not the point!"
"But that was the point of the mission! They didn't say 'Don't destroy the museum while you're at it', so it's not our fault."
"That's because it was obvious!"
"Eirlys! Gray!" We shut up once again. Master Makarov looked at each one of us without words. I felt that I couldn't look him in the eye—that I disappointed him. I felt his gaze linger on me, and I flickered my eyes slightly to find his eyes on mine. "Eirlys, there's no need to be so worried. Don't worry about the council. I'll deal with them. Now go on, Children, it's getting late."
I blinked, tilting my head. "That's it? We're not going to get scolded or punished in any way?"
"Shh! Don't remind him, Stupid!" Gray hissed.
However, Master laughed and patted my head—which still annoyed me, by the way.
"Why would I punish you? You're still young, and you still have a lot to learn. If I punish you all for breaking a few items, then next time, you would probably be too intimidated to go all out. If that happens, how will you all grow? Magic needs space and freedom to expand into infinite possibilities. If I force you all to conform to the rules set by the Magic Council, you will never get stronger, so don't worry about what those old geezers will say or do. Just continue to do what you do, especially you, Eirlys. Don't be afraid to use your magic in ways that may seem risky. Magic can only grow if the user allows it to."
I panted as I pushed myself to run up the steep hill that I had been running up every day for the past year. It was the early hours of daybreak, and I was currently finishing up my daily morning workout with a lap around my usual route outside Magnolia. I never thought of myself as much of an athlete before, especially on Earth, but now in Earth Land, there was suddenly this desire to be fitter. If I knew how to defend myself physically, maybe, just maybe, it will make up for my lack of magic usefulness.
'Magic can only grow if the user allows it to.' That's what Master said, but that's what I've been doing, but I still find it quite useless in a real fight. I sighed, not understanding how I can get my magic to do some physical damage. With what Master hinted, I was positive that if I allow it to, my magic had a way to do more than just direct other's emotions.
I slowed my pace and took in a mouthful of water, allowing for a couple of minutes of cooling period before I continued my endurance training by increasing my speed. I watched as blurs of green and brown passed me as I ran through the forest. Broken fragments of light shone through the cracks created by the trees that blinded me from time to time as I ran by. I frowned slightly, couldn't help but glance upwards towards the morning sun.
My mind floated in and out of reality before a sudden burst of darkness overcame me as I descended deeper into the woods. I suppressed a shudder as alarms seemed to cry out from within.
"Go away," I whispered, panting slightly before lowering my eyes. "It's over. It's over, so go away."
But it will never go away… A voice laughed, haunting me.
Growling under my breath, I closed my eyes and abruptly accelerated. Nonetheless, the moment I did that, something suddenly stumbled in my path, and I crashed right into it. The thing and I both cried out as we both rolled around on the ground and into the bushes where broken sticks clawed at our exposed skins.
"Oww…" I hissed as I saw that my arms were covered in splinters and blood. Slowly, I pushed myself up into a sitting position as I started to pull some of the larger splinters out. "What just hit me?"
A soft groan was heard to my left, and I yelped in surprise, crawling back a few paces. There in front of me was a girl a couple of years older than me with stunning scarlet coloured hair. She was dirty and about as hurt as I was. However, something about her was definitely abnormal. Her clothes were torn and ragged—honestly, it looked like a sack with holes for arms. She was disturbingly skinny and wore no shoes, but the most distinguish feature about her—other than her hair—was the eye patch worn around her right eye.
She noticed that I was staring and stared back at me for a few seconds before getting up to leave as if I was of no interest to her. She stumbled a bit, and I took notice of her bloodied and blistered feet. An alarm went off in my head.
"Your feet!" I called, standing. "They'll get infected if you keep walking with them!"
"…" She paused and glanced slightly over her shoulders. Seeming to conclude that what I said had no value, she ignored me and walked away.
"H-Hey!" I ran up to her and blocked her path, but she just glared at me.
"You're in my way," she stated evidently.
"At least, let me carry you to a hospital!" I offered, but her answer was obvious from her frown. "Or, at least to town. The path here is rough and dirty."
Seriously! This girl is so stubborn! I fumed mentally but ensuring my emotions stayed caged inside. "Look. Just get on my back, and I'll bring you to town," I ordered, peeved. Before I knew what was happening, I accidentally let my colder personality out. "Master will have my head if he found out I abandoned a girl those feet were bleeding out here in the forest. And if you kneeled over before reaching civilization, it'll make me look like the villain. So, get on."
She stared at me, and I stared back. We were in a deadlock for a good ten minutes before the girl finally spoke. "You said 'Master', did you not? As in a master of a guild?"
"Huh?" That caught me off guard. "Yeah… I'm a member of the guild here in Magnolia, Fairy Tail."
"Fairy Tail…" the girl murmured to herself as if it was the only thing she heard. "That's the name of the guild Grandpa Rob told me about…" Abruptly, she gave me a sharp look, and I flinched. "Take me there."
"But—" I cut myself off, knowing it was hopeless to argue with this strange girl. I turned my back to her and nudged her to get on. "I'm not taking you anywhere until you get on." At least we have a first aid kit there. I thought with a sigh.
Unexpectedly, the girl was a lot lighter than I anticipated. This worried me as she was older and taller than me. I winced marginally, feeling a pain in my arms and legs from the tumble we took, but I didn't dare complain as I made my way into town. The girl remained quiet and was so deep in thought that I didn't want to disturb her, yet the curiosity of a dirty, young girl in ragged clothing had gotten to me.
"I'm Eirlys Hertz, by the way," I introduced myself. "What's your name?"
"…Erza," she whispered. "Erza… Scarlet." The way she said her surname gave me a minor chill like there was a deeper meaning to it than just a name.
"Scarlet? Just like your hair. Funny coincidence, huh?" I tried to break the uneasy tension, but Erza suddenly tightened her hold on me. A strong wave of mixed emotions emitted from the bony girl: hate, rage, betrayal, and… guilt. It was so overwhelming that my stomach started to get queasy. Thankfully, I hadn't had breakfast yet.
Deciding it was best to shut up now, the rest of our way to Fairy Tail was in utter silence. When Fairy Tail came into view, I felt the girl shift excitedly, and before I knew it, she was off my back and running to the guild. I gave a long sigh and ran after her just as she threw the doors open.
"… crappy fortune telling!" Gray's voice boomed from inside.
"Oh, shut up," Cana's voice was heard next.
I finally caught up to her and entered the guild. Every member turned to stare at the red-head, and I don't blame them.
"What's with her…?"
"Man, those clothes are messed up…"
"Geez, another weirdo."
"Hey, Erza, let's get you treated, okay?" I ran up to her as she stared in fascination.
"This is… the place Grandpa Rob told me about…"
I frowned. It seemed as if she was in her own world. With another sigh, I grabbed her arm and pulled her deeper into the guild. "Let's go! We have to get you treated. I'll go get Master for you, alright?"
A rally of protests, quarrels, and headaches ensued before Erza finally settled into the infirmary quietly. After placing a couple dozen bandages over my body, I left to get the master to deal with her. Whatever she wanted, I rather not deal with. A few minutes later, I went to the dining hall and placed myself between Gray and Cana but not before stealing a bite of Gray's breakfast.
"Payback," I said, munching on the pancake. 
"So who was that girl you brought here?" Gray asked sourly. "She looks like a pain in the ass."
"What's his deal?" I whispered, raising an eyebrow to the moody ice-wizard.
"Apparently, he's been having bad luck all day. It's funny, because I read his fortune, and it said he's really lucky today," my roommate replied. "Hey! It could be because of that girl you brought here. Maybe she's here to join Fairy Tail, and that means Gray will have another person to pick a fight with!"
"Oh! Good observation!" I noted.
"Hey! I can hear you."
We laughed, not realizing just how accurate Cana's statement was going to be. When Master came back with Erza and announced the addition of a new member, I couldn't help but feel a sense of uneasiness overcome me.
A feeling that I didn't like.
I gripped the fabric of my shirt over my heart tightly before attempting to shake it away. I watched as some of the member joined the master in welcoming Erza. Her face showed impassiveness, but her eyes held this gleam of accomplishment.
I tilted my head slight confusion, frowning as the emotions inside of me recoiled.
"What's wrong?" Cana's voice reached my ears.
"…Nothing," I murmured, still watching the red-head.
But it wasn't nothing.
The feeling didn't go away.
I groaned slightly as my eyes slowly opened to a dim room with a strange scent. Pushing myself up, I glanced around the room. The lights were turned off, but light from the outside slipped through the cracks created by the dusty, old blinds, allowing me to catch a glimpse of the place I had awoken up to. The floors were a carpet that seemed to have been once white if not for the sea of dust and dirt that had washed over top of it. The soft pink walls stretched from all four corners of the room with cartoon-like cats decorated as trims on the top part of the walls. A small, child sized bed sat in the corner, looking untouched for years as did all of the other furniture in the room. Various stuff animals of all sizes spread out all over the room, enclosing me in the confined space—watching me. Their creepy eyes seemed to have a frightening glee to them as their smiles created an illusion of sadism. I shivered, goosebumps scampering down my back as I suddenly felt violated…
Imprisoned, in fact.
"Where am I?" I frowned, rubbing my hands against my arms to rid of the tightened skin. "Last I remember, I went to bed…"
I stood, wobbling slightly as I glanced around. From the looks of it, I'm in a girl's room… I concluded but frowned. "I really don't like it here. It feels oddly familiar…" I whispered to myself but knowing that the word 'familiar' used was not a pleasurable term.
Without being able to shake the feeling, I adopted to leave, taking one step towards the door before pausing as my eyes caught sight of something odd laying in a corner. Curiosity got the better of me as I squinted my eyes and walked over to the item. A prickling feeling from within gave out a cry of alarm, but against my better judgement, I picked it up. I froze suddenly, feeling something odd. I abruptly yelped and threw the item across the room where it hit the wall on the other side and fell onto the floor.
It was wet.
Reactively, I looked at my hands, somehow overcame with paranoia as I feared the worst, but to my surprise, my hands were clear. I felt the tenseness ease, and I released the breath that I didn't know I was holding.
"It wasn't—It wasn't…" I couldn't bring myself to say it. I shook my head. "Of course it wasn't. Stop being paranoid. It's just water. Just water… Water…"
I looked back at the item that now laid under the streams of broken lights by the window, and I could finally make out the shape of it.
It was a doll.
The doll had dark blue eyes and red hair tied in two braids. The colour of its skin was pale with bits of freckles that dotted its nose. It wore a simple, long white dress that was wet and dirty. Its small body was twisted oddly as it laid solemnly on the dusty surface, looking worn.
And oddly familiar.
I took a few steps back, not liking the vibe the doll was sending until something else caught my eyes. I turned to my left as I spotted a mirror. A young girl with braided red hair and blue eyes stared back at me, and I recoiled sharply.
I turned back to the doll and then back to the mirror as I shook my head.
"No, no, no, no!" I backed away. However, in the moment, my two feet twisted around each other, and I was no longer on stable ground. The scenery suddenly changed, and I found myself almost floating but with a heavy pressure on top of me.
Bubbles came out of my mouth, and I immediately knew what was happening.
I was drowning.
I wasn't sure exactly how long I was screaming for, but tiny hands gripped my shoulders and shook me. Someone was saying something—a name. Whose name was it—Eirlys?
Who was Eirlys?
A sharp pain stung my face as someone slapped me, and my eyes flashed open. Before me was the face of a young brunette with teary eyes. I blinked, confused, but I didn't get a second to think before she tackled me into a hug.
"Eirlys! Thank goodness!" she cried as the door to our bedroom slammed open.
"What happened?!" The lights turned on and girls of all ages filed in. "Eirlys, Cana, are you okay?"
I blinked a few times before I finally relaxed: it was a dream.
I gently pushed my roommate off of me before getting up into a sitting position. I turned towards Hilda and the faces of the other female members of the guild before I faced Cana. She hurriedly wiped the tears from her face as she looked at me with worry.
"Eirlys," she sobbed.
I silenced all emotions within me. "Why are you crying?" I asked blandly.
Momentarily, she seemed stunned before her face twisted into a scowl. "Why am I crying? It's because I was worried! You were having a nightmare, and you wouldn't stop screaming no matter how hard I shook you!"
"Eirlys, is that true?" Hilda asked softly, resting a hand on my shoulders.
"No," I replied without hesitation. "I don't know what you're talking about," I lied, looking away. "Why are you getting worked up over nothing? Stop crying and go back to sleep."
Without waiting, I grabbed the blanket and threw it over my head. Unfortunately, Cana grabbed the blanket from me and pulled it away. She glared at me intensely with a frown, and I gladly returned it.
"Eirlys, this is serious! This isn't the first time you had nightmares!" Her frown was quickly replaced with worry. "Don't hold it in; talk to us," she whispered. "We're family…"
I felt all eyes on me as I sunk into the bed. "I told you, it's nothing," I repeated. "It wasn't a nightmare.
"Stop worrying," I said firmly, looking at Cana in the eyes before turning to the other members. "All of you. It's nothing. I'm fine. Stop worrying," I whispered the last part gently. "Let's go back to sleep; it's late."
I observed the people in the room, and I tried to ignore the feelings of worry, disappointment, and annoyance that emitted from the members of the guild. With an exaggerated sigh, some of the older members left, clearly frustrated. The younger members looked on with perplexity before being dragged away by the older members. One woman stopped at the door before turning back with a frown.
"Eirlys, you may bear the symbol of Fairy Tail on your back, but you'll never truly be a part of this guild if you keep shutting people out," she scowled.
I refused to look at her as I slightly pouted. I knew that she was right, and I really didn't want to shut people out, but this clearly wasn't their business. There was no point in worrying about the past—especially a past from another world.
By the time I looked up, only Cana and Hilda were in the room. The elderly woman patted my head, but I brushed her off with a scowl. She gave a sad smile and told me she'll get me a glass of water. The moment she left the room, Cana grabbed both of my hands, causing me to look at her. I only sighed and attempted to pull away, but she held on tight, shaking her head.
"You said you'll tell me when you're having nightmares," she whispered. "Don't you remember? It was around the time Gray joined the guild."
I averted eye contact. "Yeah… but this wasn't a nightmare."
"You were screaming."
"Just because I was screaming doesn't make it a nightmare," I pointed out.
"But it was a nightmare; don't lie to me!" Her grip tightened. "Look at me, Eirlys."
"I said it wasn't a nightmare!" I said forcefully, ripping my arms out of her grasp. I looked at her into the eyes and spoke with a stern voice. "It was a—" I paused, trying to find the right word. Memory… "…weird dream."
"…What was it about?"
"I was in a disgustingly girly room where I found this stupid doll," that was broken beyond repair. "It was kind of creepy looking," because it looked exactly like me. "So I threw it away… That's it," I shrugged nonchalantly, but my roommate didn't seem too pleased with that answer.
"Then why were you screaming?"
"Because I was," dying, "in the midst of an irritating situation," I paused somewhat before finishing, "Besides, dreams don't really make all that much sense anyways, so why bother asking about it?"
I firmly brushed off Cana's hand and faced away from the girl. My eyes accidentally caught sight of the clock beside us. Two fifty-eight a.m. it read; it was still a few hours before sunrise, but I no longer felt like I could sleep. Rubbing my hands against my arms, it seemed like I was attempting to suppress the summer chills, but the emotions inside still cried out in fright from that dream that I recently had. I let the air into my body as I inhaled and exhaled slowly, although, the latter ended up sounding choppy. I tried again, and this time, it sounded worse.
Calm down! I told myself. Just a stupid dream; a stupid dream!
But I was anything but calm.
Arms reached out and embraced me from behind. I sunk a little as I felt the body lean into me. She whispered comforting words to me as if she knew how I felt. A part of me wanted to sarcastically reply that she did thanks to my magic, but another part wanted to believe in a another reason for her actions. A reason no one else in my former life had for me.
I wanted to believe that she understood me.
"You're too kind," Cana whispered gently. "Be a little more selfish. Don't be afraid to lean on us more; let us spoil you. You're like a little sister to me. So please, depend on me a little more."
I sunk a little further as her arms grew tighter. I opened my mouth and replied, "I—"
"Oh, you're still up, Erza?" The surprised voice of Hilda sounded from outside our door.
Cana released me, and we both looked in the direction of the entrance. Hilda stood outside, and I could see a bit of scarlet red by the door, hiding. I threw off the covers and proceed to the door. Spotting the older girl in her pajamas, I raised a questioning brow. She only glanced back at me with her usually indifferent look before turning around and walking away.
I stumbled back away as I felt it flow into me: a mixture of sadness, fear, guilt, anger, and many other series of emotions. It was similar to what I felt yesterday in the guild.
It was similar to how I felt not too long ago.
"Erza…" I whispered.
"She looked troubled," Hilda answered while giving me a glass of water. I muttered my thanks as she ushered me back in the room. "She had this far-off look in her eyes, as if she was thinking about something that happened in the past."
I glanced back, but she had already disappeared from the corridors. The emotions that lingered around her bothered me, never giving me a second to think—to breathe.
Because those emotions reminded me of me.
Day after day, I'd sense it.
Some days were faint, and other days were stronger, but it was always there: those complicated mix of emotions.
I sat in the guild hall today with Cana as we watch Gray get beat up by Erza… again. I sighed; this had been a common routine since Gray decided it'd be wise to pick a fight with her and lost. I winced as Gray got thrown into a set of chairs and tables. Some of the guild members laughed and cheers, but I groaned instead, feeling bad for whoever had to clean up afterwards.
With a small scoff, Erza walked out as Cana helped Gray up.
"Got your ass kicked by Erza again, huh, Gray?" Macao laughed.
"You sure are persistent… got a crush on her or something?" Wakaba added.
"Shut up!" Gray snapped.
Rolling my eyes, I muttered as I flipped the page of the book I was reading, "This is stupid. Just let the idiot get beat up if he's that desperate."
"What did you say, Nerd?" He grabbed the book and glared at me.
I glared back and held out my hand. "Book."
"I will beat her!" he retorted.
"Uh-huh," I spoke sarcastically. "And Macao's going to be Guild Master someday. Book."
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean?" I heard the older man whined but consequently ignored him.
Gray slammed the book on the table, causing all of us to jump slightly. "I will! I can't accept a brat like that as one of my comrades!" he shouted before storming off after Erza.
I sighed, frowning at the splattered food spills all over my book. I heard Cana pull up a chair beside me as I wiped the mess. There was this odd moment of silence in which I could feel the silent communication between Cana and the two older men. Chairs scraped over the wooden floors as the men left us, and now, I had the pleasure of having Cana's stare all to myself.
I resisted the urge to groan as I turned to face her with a stoic face. "Cana, I really don't want to talk about it any—" I abruptly stopped as she hugged me. "Cana?"
"I know," she muttered into my shoulder. Lifting her head, she faced me. "I know, but I still worry about you. Yet, we all have secrets that we don't want to share. I do, too, so I'll stop bothering you. However," she paused, tightening her grip on me. "Anything that makes you scared and act withdrawn from the rest of us is forbidden to be kept a secret! As Master would put it, Fairy Tail is a place to grow and live your days to your fullest. You can't do that if whatever secret you have is holding you back! Like I said before, depend on us. We're family."
I broke eye contact. "… Family? Again, you all use that word so freely. A family is any group of persons closely related by blood," I recited from memory the definition of a family.
Cana frowned, got up, and walked away. I stared, somehow thinking she would supposed to be angry with me, but I couldn't sense it. Cana wasn't angry, but rather, she felt determined. A few minutes later, she returned with a rather large book and placed it in front of me. Dictionary, it read. I glanced up and stared.
"Look up 'family'," she ordered. Unsure of what she was planning, I complied with her request. I flipped the pages and founded the word. "What does it say?" she asked.
I gave a questioning look. "But I already told you what the definition is."
"Just read it."
"…" I sighed and look back. "Family," I began reading, but suddenly, paused. The definition was crossed out and overtop of it, written in a red marker, was something else. I blinked a few times before staring at Cana.
"Read it," she grinned happily.
Quickly looking back down, I fought hard to control a sudden blush. "…Family… is… 'Fairy Tail'," I read quietly. My chest felt warm. I was happy—but I could never admit that. "… That's so cheesy—Ah!" I cried as Cana whacked the back of my head.
She scoffed, "Geez, be a little more honest, will you? Besides, it's true. Being a family doesn't mean we have to be related by blood. As long as we all love, care, and protect one another, that's what it truly means to be a family. Don't forget that."
Emotions rippled about in my head, and this time, I didn't stop that. I wanted to let Cana know I was grateful, but there was no way I could tell her face to face. It was too embarrassing, after all. When her face changed into a sincere look, I knew she got the message. Embracing me once more, I leaned into her. She was soft and warm.
"The idea is still kind of strange… I don't know if I'll never get used to it," I spoke into her shoulder.
"It's okay. As long as you understand that we're here for you. If you ever want to talk, I'm here."
"…You just want to know what all of my dreams were about, don't you?" I accused, pulling away.
She smiled sheepishly. "But I really did mean what I said!"
"All of my dreams had something to do with my death… in my former life," I admitted quietly. "But it's not like it will go away if I talk to people. That's why I never shared. I just need… time, I guess."
"Oh, right… you… died from another world," Cana said, sounding confused. "And ended up here… alive."
"You don't believe me." It wasn't a question.
"No! I… believe you. I really do!" she exclaimed; panic emotions radiated off of her. "It's just going to take some time to get used to."
"…Fine," I accepted it, although, a little reluctant. I stood, collecting my book, and turning towards the doors. "I'm going to go now."
"Someone has to go make sure Gray hasn't died yet."
"…Okay." Turning away, I heard Cana called out once more—a little more hesitant this time. "Hey, Eir?"
"Hmm? What is it?"
Cana bit her lips, seeming to struggle to find the right words. "How… did you die?"
I can't say I didn't expect this question sooner or later. I just didn't expect it from Cana of all people—at least, not so soon.
I flashed her a smile before turning to leave. The smile probably looked a little sad, a little pained, a little twisted—maybe a combination of all three. After all, that was how I felt when I died.
"That's for me to know and for you to never find out."
The sun was slowly setting as I made my way around town, trying to find Gray, Erza, or both. The town was still lively at this hour as people seemed to be getting off work. People waved at me, and I nodded my head slightly in acknowledgement. People in this town all knew one another; it was strange for me, a girl who once lived in a large city. Yet, it was nice.
It had already been almost two and a half years since I'd died and ended up in Earth Land, and I had slowly opened up and accepted this place as my new home. The people, the place, and the atmosphere were all so different than back on Earth. It was frightening—downright terrifying even, but it had the warmth I had sought for for so long. I almost didn't hesitate to accept it completely.
Yet, the logical side of me continued to show resistance. Conditioned to be suspicious and never to set the bar on life too high, I felt as if I could never genuinely belong in such a happy, perfect world.
Go away! I internally screamed at the grey blobs' annoying cries. I halted and leaned my forehead against the cool brick walls of a nearby house. My tone softened. Please… just leave me alone.
"Ignore them just like you always had," I told myself. The blobs were still a mystery to me, but I knew I didn't like them. They reminded me of unwanted memories—memories that continued to haunt.
Counting down from three, I lifted my head and continued searching. Forget and focus. I thought.
Finally, I came to a stop as I spotted Gray and Erza sitting by the river. Upon getting closer, I noticed that Erza was… crying? I paused, narrowing my eyes dangerously at the boy.
"Gray Fullbuster! What did you do to her?!" I shouted, startling the two. "You big bully!"
"I-I didn't do anything!" he cried as I charged at him. "W-Wait!" he said, getting up.
"Emotion magic: steal!" I chanted the new spell I'd been working on: the ability to steal other's emotions. I concentrated all of his emotions together, quickly being pulled out of him and forming into a ball. Closing my fist and tugging my arm back, I imagined the emotions being forcefully ripped out of him. He staggered from the effects, but his eyes held no light inside of them, telling me that my spell was successful. Right now, Gray was, in a sense, a lifeless body. Before the spell wore off, and he returned to normal, I rushed towards him and thrust my arms out, pushing him into the water.
Turning to Erza, I grabbed her wrist.
"Wha—?" Erza gasped, surprised.
I tugged at her arm, and she followed me. However, she held a mixture of shock and perplexity for some reason. After a few minutes of running, she stopped me, looking a little embarrassed.
"You… misunderstood," she said; her face was bright red.
I blinked. "Huh?"
With a sigh, she explained, "He didn't make me cry. It was all a misunderstanding. In fact, he was actually comforting me…"
I blinked again, a little stunned. Gray didn't hurt Erza? I blinked again, and realization, at last, dawned onto me.
"Oops," I said bluntly. "Well, someone's going to be mad when he gets his emotions back."
"… But thanks," she said quietly. "For doing that for me…"
I tilted my head in puzzlement. "…You are Erza, right? The girl who has been ignoring me since she joined Fairy Tail?"
Her face reddened, but she gave me an unamused look. "I know I was a little cold, but I want to get along with everyone better. I don't want to be alone anymore," she whispered the last part so faintly that I didn't even hear but could guess thanks to my magic.
I shyly took her hand. "You don't have to be," I whispered back. "You have Fairy Tail, and we're… family."
She cocked an eyebrow. "I thought you didn't believe in the idea of a family full of strangers."
I blushed. "I don't, but I, too, no longer want to be alone. It hurts…"
"We're a lot alike, huh?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I thought so, too, the first time we met. We both have something we can't share easily. Something from the past that's holding us back, no?"
Erza gazed towards the setting sun. "No, you're right. But I don't want to remain like that forever. I will eventually have to face my past, but I guess I finally realized that I want to enjoy the present as well. Thanks to Gray," she smiled. It was a small but sincere smile. She turned to me; her scarlet hair shimmering in the backdrop of the sun. She seemed calmer; I smiled. "But for you, I guess your past is a lot more complicated than mine. I heard you were found on a mountain top claiming to have died?"
"But I did die…" I grumbled under my breath. "You don't believe me either, huh?" I asked the elder girl.
The red-haired girl didn't answer right away but gave a thoughtful look. "I think… life is full of mysteries that we can never fully solve or explain. If what you say is true, then whether or not someone believes you shouldn't matter. I think this is life's way of giving you a second chance. Maybe you had some regret or something at the time of your death that prevented you from truly dying. However, now that you're alive again, maybe you should take this chance and try living your life to the fullest. After all, not everyone gets a second chance."
"Another chance to live, huh?" I hummed, thinking. That day, when I died, I was ready—fully prepared myself mentally and accepted it, but now, I was being told to live again, I wasn't sure what the best course of action would be to do. A second chance at life. A second chance…"To live in a way I never could before…" I whispered almost disgustingly to myself.
"…Why did you die the first time?"
I raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean why? I died because I died. Don't you mean 'how'? You made it sound like I had a choice," I chuckled; a humourless chuckle.
Erza looked at me, a little worried. "…Did you?"
I stopped laughing and stared for a moment before my lips slowly curved up into a dry, cold smile.
"Hmm, who knows?"
Erza never did question me on my response that day. About a year had passed since Erza joined us, and she had slowly opened up to us.
And I as well.
Maybe not as much as Erza, but I was trying. Trying in my own way.
Today was a hot and humid evening. Master and I were coming back from Era, where Master recently had a meeting with the Magic Council. He had brought me along at my request to know more about this world and magic. It had been an exciting day; although, many of the councillors were weary when they saw us.
I mean, who wouldn't? The members of Fairy Tail may as well stick a sign on their forehead that said "Will destroy your property! Free of charge!" It was safe to assume the councillors wanted to talk to Master about the recent damages done by our members.
I made sure to sneak out as the argument started to heat up.
Era was full of knowledge and history, and I was so engrossed by it. Before I knew it, it was time to head back. As much as I enjoyed the learning experience today, I was excited to come back home to Fairy Tail.
"I was thinking, maybe archery?" I suggested, flipping through the book I bought along with me. We were currently taking a small break by the river. "I'm not that great with a sword, and I really don't want to fight so close to an enemy."
"Hmm… it may just work," Master agreed.
Master and I were talking about a choice of weapon for me. Due to my pressuring—err, sincere wish to learn how to use a physical weapon in order to protect myself since my magic was obviously incapable of performing that task, I'd been asking around for help from Master and everyone around the guild. So far, I tried various weapons, but they were all a lot harder to use than they look—not counting the fact that I couldn't even lift half of them.
"I think I might have to start training my arms…" I frowned, looking at my bony arms. I really hate being weak. If only I was capable of using an attack magic, I wouldn't have to worry about this sort of stuff.
"You know, I told you before, but I'll reiterate again. Magic can only grow if the user allows it to. Don't be bound by facts and logic. Magic is creative freedom," Master spoke with a steady gaze as I let the words sink in.
"I don't understand!" I puffed my cheeks out in frustration. "So I can attack with my magic? These stupid emotions aren't even tangible! The worst I could probably do is make someone depress enough to commit suicide, but even then, it'll probably take a lot of magic."
He just chuckled, patting me, to which I brushed off with an annoyed look. "You're still young. Hopefully, you'll learn with time."
"Stupid, useless emotion magic," I grumbled, frustrated. I felt the little blobs start to loosen from their cages. Get back in! I mentally growled at them. Suddenly, I stood. "I'm going for a walk!" I announced, still a little upset.
"Be careful, my dear." I heard as I stormed off down the stream.
In a few minutes, I found myself plopped down on the ground, leaning next to a pomegranate tree. My body shrunk into a tiny ball as I moped. The sky was slowly turning darker as evening approached. Even though it was summer, it was kind of cold today. I rubbed my hands against my bare arms.
It wasn't so much the temperature but the atmosphere itself. It caused my emotions to be jittery all day, and it took everything I had to calm them down. I was weary and tired and ready to snap. Something was off about today, but I wasn't really sure what or why.
I paused, thinking. "It's July… 7th today?"
Unexpectedly, something fell on top of my head. I yelped and winced as I rubbed the sore spot while glaring at the fruit that fell from the tree. Stupid pomegranate: never did like them anyways. Just then, I noticed something strange about the fruit, and my anger increased.
It was half eaten, and I seriously doubt there was a giant bug that ate part of it.
I quickly looked up and spotted the suspect in the tree: a boy around my age. Our eyes met, and he quickly hid from sight, fear radiating from his body.
"Get down from there, you jerk!" I raged, shaking the tree. The blobs finally broke loose from its cages, and they seeped through like rain over a broken roof.
"S-Sorry! I didn't know you were down there!" he cried, hanging onto the tree for his life.
"That's no excuse! Get down!" With one final shake, I kicked the tree as hard as I could, and the boy promptly fell… on top of me.
"Ow!" I groaned, feeling squished. "Get off of me! You're heavy!"
He tensed and hurriedly removed himself. He paled as he could probably read my emotions—which I didn't bother to conceal. It probably didn't help that the backdrop of the sunset caused my crazy, curly red hair to look even wilder. I slowly stalked towards him, and he backed away in turn.
I felt my face heat up from being overwhelmed with so much emotions, and I knew instantly that I had completely lost all control of my magic—for the first time in the past three years. My mind shut down, but before I completely lost all sense, my body reacted and dodged a fire ball coming straight at me.
"Who do you think you are? Bring it on!" the boy roared, spewing fire out of his mouth. Fear was utterly erased and replaced with rage.
I released a long groan. "Well, it's certainly been a while since my emotions took over someone," I sighed, taking a deep breath to control my magic.
It was then that I finally took notice of the boy. In all honesty, it was a day that I'll probably never forget. He was kind of short with narrow eyes, but the strangest thing about him was his hair.
It was pink.
He came charging at me blindly, and I sighed once more, stepping aside and kicking out my foot. He instantly tripped over it and fell face first into the dirt. I had learned from my first year of training my magic what to do when I accidentally took over someone's emotional state with each of the different type of emotions.
Anger was the easiest to deal with.
"Oww…" the kid lifted his head, coming to his senses. Realizing what was going on, he snapped his head to face me. "What the hell?! You want to fight?! Bring it!"
I tilted my head, confused. "Didn't that work? Strange, it should have worked…"
"Get ready!" he called, running towards me with a fist full of fire. My eyes widened, and my human nature reacted accordingly. My knees fell to the ground, and I brought my arms up to shield myself as I closed my eyes. Before anything could happen, a rather loud rumbling sound abruptly came from my stomach. My eyes snapped up, and my face reddened. The boy also stopped suddenly, stared at me for a moment before he erupted into fits of laughter.
"It-It's not funny!" I stammered, extremely embarrassed. "Stop laughing!"
I would soon learn that he was a rather strange kid, but he was unexpectedly nice and energetic—maybe a little too energetic. He was blunt and talked a lot and always seemed to want to pick a fight. He was like all the others in the guild.
He would definitely fit in with Fairy Tail.
"Here," he said, picking a pomegranate from the tree and handing it over to me, smiling. "It's good."
"…I hate pomegranates," I muttered but took it anyways. He grinned at me, which caused the embarrassment emotions to further invade my mind. "And I'm not taking it just because you offered! Th-They have nutritious value despite tasting nasty!" Nevertheless, he continued to grin. I stared at the tiny fruit in my hands and then at the vast tree behind the boy, the tree that bore this fruit. "By the way, who are you?"
Little did I know, that day, I ended up pulling a trigger.
His grin widened. "Me? Oh, my name's Natsu Dragneel. Nice to meet you!" He offered me his hand.
That was the day I met Natsu, and the day he ended up joining the guild.
Little did I know, at that moment, Fairy Tail's legend would soon arise. It was July 7, x777, and little did I know just how special that day truly was.
It was a day I'll never forget.
I fumbled with the pomegranate in my hand, before taking Natsu's hand as he lifted me off of the ground. I stumbled a bit but caught myself. In that moment, I could see the outline of the pomegranate tree from behind, standing tall, steady, and proud.
Kind of like a symbolic representation of Natsu.
I shook away the thoughts and snorted, rolling my eyes. Clique, much?
Pomegranate trees symbolizes friendship.
A/N: Cheesy ending, I know. Next chapter will focus a little more between Eirlys and Natsu, and don't worry, it's be a lot more fun and less about depressing topics.
So some things to point out. One, for any of you that didn't quite get what happened last chapter in the end. Basically, as revenge, Eirlys used her emotion magic to change a police's emotions into something that would cause him to arrest Gray for walking around in his boxers (hence, why no one could find him). Gray broke out of jail, confronted Eirlys, tried to attack her, Eirlys slipped on his ice and fell, and like any normal person would do when she's falling is reach out and grab a hold of the closest thing to them to stop the fall—which happened to be Gray's boxers. So it was an accident on Eirlys' part, which is why she was embarrassed.
Second, you may have noticed a bunch of flower and plant references (mainly the chapter title). Since Fairy Tail is kind of doing that anyways with their town names, I may as well continue with it since I'm a bit of a flower nerd. The meaning behind the chapter title is (supposed be) the main theme of the chapter, but there's only so much I can use since the majority of flowers means love, purity, beauty, and stuff like that which is essentially useless for this story so I might be stretching the title's meaning a bit for time to time—just a fair warning. Also, any named flower I use does have some kind of meaning to the story, whether I explicitly state the meaning or not.
Third, I made a huge reference to Eirlys' past in this chapter. I'll drop hints from time to time but feel free to guess what happened to her. You probably can't get it right just from this chapter—it actually isn't as obvious as you might think it is. However, I won't tell you if you're right or wrong. ;) And feel free to guess what the grey blobs represent, too.
Fourth, I will update when I get the chance (when I'm not completely robbed of my freedom thanks to school). Thanks for being patient with me!
 Refer to last chapter
And here's a snippet of next chapter. Enjoy, and please leave a review!
Next chapter preview: Viola Canadensis
"Before anyone say anything—I didn't do it!"
"…" I felt the long and heavy stares of the members of Fairy Tail.
"What?! I didn't!"
"Eir, you broke Natsu."