Author's note: WARNING! This is not a new chapter! This story is under construction and I felt that it would be easier to read if the two first chapters were broken up into three chapters instead. New chapters will be coming up soon! Thank you for your patience!
It was a beautiful day for a funeral, Anya thought as she looked out the window of her new apartment. It was summer in Portland, Oregon; the sun was out and there was a sweet summer breeze in the air. While she wasn't going to go to a "real" funeral, she thought it would be nice to pay her respects to Marie before she resumed her search for Nick. Anya closed her eyes just simply allowing herself to be in the moment, she pushed away thoughts of her doubt, her fears of the future. It wouldn't do anyone any good if she got overwhelmed now, she would have to take things as she always did: one step at a time. It was times like this when Anya would think about her mother, she wondered what Katirina would say to her. When Anya was a child, Katirina would always know just what to say to make her daughter feel at ease, maybe it was a part of her being a seer or maybe it was just that Katirina was a good mother. Still a darker part of Anya thought that if it weren't for her mother she probably wouldn't have been in this mess in the first place, being ageless and separated from her Grimm. Anya shook her head as if trying to shake the thoughts from her mind, it wouldn't do any good to dwell in the past. Anya quieted her mind and searched within herself for that bond, the red string of fate that bonded her and Nick together; she felt for it with a gentle warmth of her power. There! It was there and it was just a little stronger now than it was before. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they were both in the same city? Anya could even feel a small tingling sensation that she thought she had lost for certain all those years ago. Anya sighed in happiness, allowing for a soft smile to fall on her lips. She could do this, she could face today. Just one step at a time and right now the first step would be to get dressed and go to the cemetery.
Anya spared a glance at her silver alarm clock that sat on a little black dresser by her queen sized bed. It was about to be 7 o'clock, if she wanted to avoid Hannah and Emma along with their families she would have to get moving. Anya looked around her room for a moment trying to recall where she put everything; yesterday had been a blur. Anya's room was almost Spartan in nature; it was definitely not one of a girl in her late teen/early twenties. There were no pictures of family or friends, no posters of musicians, or paintings with inspirational quotes. Instead there was a lone mirror that hung on the wall above her bed it had been a gift from Aris when Anya first went off to college; it was a delicate piece with a silver frame in the shape of an eight-pointed star. Aris had told Anya that it was a symbol of old magic and that it would protect her; Anya recalled that her mother had a small tattoo of the star on her right ankle when she had asked her mother what it had meant all Katirina said that to her it was a symbol of love. It seemed subconsciously that Anya decorated her room around the object; silver, white, black, and an electric blue dominated the room from the bed covered in a white comforter with blue and black pillows to the silver lamp on her dresser.
Anya quickly got ready for the day; she threw on a deep green summer dress with silver flats, grabbed her crossover leather bag, and made for the door. With a sigh of relief Anya walked out of the apartment building, she had escaped without any awkward encounters. It was so quiet this morning, there were very few people out this early. Anya passed by a couple of lone joggers and an elderly woman, in the brightest pink track suit she had ever seen in her life, walking a little Chihuahua. Poor dog, it looked as if the woman was dragging him along rather than the other way around. Anya only had to walk a little further to her car. It was an old beat up blue Volkswagen Beetle, it had scratches and dings, and it wouldn't play the radio on mornings when it was cold; but it was her's.
It had been a gift from Marie on her 16th birthday, her mother had been furious with Marie. At the time Katirina felt that Anya was still a little irresponsible and that she was too young to have that much freedom. Marie had just waved Katirina's fears off, saying that Katirina should have more faith in her daughter and just like that the beetle was here to stay. It was one of the few possessions that Anya was allowed to keep; when her mother died the Coven took almost everything. It was only because of Aris that Anya got to keep anything; the Coven claimed that it was only fair that they take the things Anya wouldn't need since they would be providing for her. Anya guessed that the joke was on them since they had to provide for minors and since Anya didn't age and she was technically a minor so by Coven law they had no other choice but to provide for her. The beetle had been a place of comfort for her, a reminder of home. It still felt that way looking at it now, it did look a little out of place in the apartment parking lot when newer (and cleaner) vehicles next to it. The inside still smelled of the old brown leather and the slightest hint of cigarette smoke. To this day, Anya still didn't know where Marie got it from.
The drive to the cemetery was short, there was almost no traffic and Anya knew the cemetery when she saw it. It was a beautiful piece of land with trees and flowers everywhere. The cemetery was small and it wasn't hard to find Marie Kessler's grave. Anya felt awkward and sad, she wished that she had thought to bring flowers or something, but Marie was never the kind of woman who appreciated flowers, it would have been better to bring her a book or a David Bowie cassette tape. It didn't help that the last graves she saw belonged to Kelly and Reed. Katirina never had a grave, unbeknownst to Anya, Katirina had had made plans with Aris. Aris had told Anya that Katirina didn't see the point in graves, the person wasn't there it was just a shell. That Katirina was in the wind, in the trees, and most importantly lived through Anya. It seemed pointless to be at a grave when Anya felt that Marie wouldn't want to be tied to a stone in the ground, but it felt right to try and pay her respects here. Anya lowered herself and sat in front of the stone, the grass was wet and cool with dew and it tickled her legs. Before Anya was even conscious of it, she just began speaking "I loved you very much and I've forgiven you a long time ago. I don't know why you did the things you did, but I understand...He is the only person you had left and you did what you thought was best to protect him. The anger that I felt was more for my mother, but I realize that my mother would have forgiven you because she loved you very much and she was a better person that I could ever hope to be."
The grave remained silent and Anya felt heat rise to her face, she felt stupid and slightly embarrassed. She sighed and mumbled that she should have brought flowers. Nervously running a hand through her long hair, she stared at the grave. It was difficult looking at the letters and a small symbol Anya didn't recognize, Anya felt that it didn't do Marie justice. Anya reached out with a tentative hand to touch the cold smooth stone and she knew what she had to do. Anya concentrated, gathered power within herself and focused the heat into her hand on the stone; putting more and more heat until she felt the stone begin to give. She didn't know what she was engraving onto the stone, but it felt right, she closed her eyes and thought back to all of the good memories she had of Marie. Allowing those memories to fuel her power, putting all the words she couldn't say to Marie, and all the emotions she couldn't bring herself to feel. Until she felt empty; opening her eyes Anya was astonished to find an intricate beautiful vine pattern covering the stone highlighting Marie's name. Anya felt a breeze caress her face gently and knew that Marie understood and that she was finally at peace. Quietly Anya rose to her feet and began making her way back to the beetle.
It had been a long time since Anya felt so drained and yet her body was buzzing with energy, which was to be expected whenever Anya would use her power it was harder for her resist using it for everything, it felt like it was more than part of her that it was the best and easiest part of her. It was within her and it was something that no one could take from her. Not the Coven, not the Royals, and most certainly not any Wesen. It hadn't surprised her that Portland was home to many different types of Wesen; more and more Wesen were leaving Europe and were making a pilgrimage to the Americas were the presence of the Royals wasn't so strong. The Royals were a disgusting necessary evil that took advantage of their wealth, old world connections, and knowledge of the hidden world. It wasn't any secret that over the years, Grimms presence in the hidden world was diminishing which it turn meant that Guards were left with more power than normal members of the Coven and without a purpose for their powers; so some took to being mercenaries to the Royals. Which only gives the Royals more power both politically and in militancy; it was a horrible cycle. The Coven including the Knights were solely a neutral party, they didn't want to get into the affairs of normal humans (including the Royals) nor Wesen; they don't even particularly like Guards despite them belonging to the Coven.
It was part of why Katirina wasn't involved with the Coven after she found Marie, she just chalked it up to jealousy; normal members of the Coven were envious of Guard's elevated status and natural ability use their powers with ease. Anya thought that there were all ridiculous and petty; Royals claimed that they only wanted to protect humans from Wesen and protect Wesen from exposure and themselves however Anya knew that they were just bigots that took advantage of the Coven's indifference and the diminishing presence of Grimms. Anya knew that if the Coven didn't get involved soon, the Royals would simply gain more power over the Wesen and who would be next? The decedents of the Sidhe, the Fey-born, the Coven, them. However the Coven was old, arrogant, and comfortable in their power; so they wouldn't get involved until the Royals full out attacked them. Or maybe Aris's paranoid rambling were getting to Anya, there hadn't been a conflict between the Royals and the Coven since the Salem witch trials. Members of the Coven were branded as witches and were gathered up and burned at alive; these trials were tied to the orders and actions of "rogue" Royals. Of course once the Knights got their hands on them, which was the last time anyone made a move against the Coven. Neutrality was not weakness, it was kindness as far as many of the Coven were concerned.
It was stupid to underestimate the Royals, but all Anya cared about was finding Nick. Politics are better left to people with more patience than her. The remainder of Anya's day was spent at the library sifting through public records, searching any sign for Nicholas Burkhardt; she didn't find any property in his name nor any marriage license (part of which Anya was a little relieved). It looked like she would have to pound the pavement or attempt scrying… again (must to Anya's disappointment, it most certainly wasn't a talent of her's). At the end of the day her brain was tired, but her body was almost buzzing with excess energy; resolving to go on a run Anya headed back to her new home.
Anya had just walked in the door, when she was ambushed by Emma and Hannah. "There you are!" Emma exclaimed "if you had been any longer we might not make it in time!" "What are you talking about?" Anya asked confused, she didn't recall making any plans with her new roommates. "What Emma means to say." Hannah interjects in a calm voice before Emma says anything more, "is that there is a rave going on tonight and since it's our 'real' first night here in Portland, we should go out and celebrate." A rave? Really? Anya had been to a rave once, it was loud filled with intoxicated people dressed in hideous neon colors that were all but having sex on the dance floor. Needless to say Anya had attended this when she was still an angry child that only wanted to forget about her responsibilities and she had lost control of her powers there and had accidently short circuited all of the electrical equipment when a guy that that dancing meant heavy petting. So she basically electrocuted him (he survived, he just had a very interesting burn mark in a very sensitive place) in self defense and lost a little control of what happened after that.
Anya winced at the memory, slipping off her flats as she set her purse down on the kitchen counter. "I'm not sure, if the whole rave thing is for me." Anya said. "But Anya! It'll be so much fun! Plus it'll be like roommate bonding! Don't make Hannah and I go by ourselves!" Emma all but begged pulling on Anya's arm. Two young girls, in a new city, with a new sense of freedom, and the possibility of them getting heavily intoxicated was pretty high. It would be on Anya's conscience if something bad happened to them, and then were would that leave her? At best hung over roommates the following morning and at worst something really horrible happens to them and she would have to deal with new new roommates. That possibility was unacceptable.
"Fine! I'm in, when does it start?" Anya conceded. "Yes!" Emma squealed, hugging Anya, and then high-fiveing Hannah. "It starts at 10, so you have plenty of time to get ready. And you'll never guess who is DJ-ing!" Hannah said excitedly. "Retchid Kat!" Emma screamed in equal excitement. Well whoever the Retchid Kat is, he better be good and he better have alcohol.