Finally, I am getting the instruction I have wanted ever since Alec discovered my nature. The Prince assigned me to Lady Siansa. Lady Siansa is very formal; in fact, when I first saw her, I thought she must be on her way out to some formal party or something, not coming to have a chat with me about faeness.
Honestly, I felt patronised. Which I guess is to be expected: they probably think I’m some kind of ignorant savage for having been raised among humans, and they can’t know — or they couldn’t have done, until I told them — that my academic credentials are not so bad. Then again, human academic credentials probably mean nothing in this world. She told me I should think of her as my aunt, which I found funny. She said I was not to call the Prince ‘Uncle’, which I found even funnier.
I didn’t get to where I am academically without being a self-teacher, so I am setting myself a task every day to try to improve my skills, and I’ll be asking her to assess me. I think — or I hope — that she’ll be pleased to find that I’m a good student despite my casual nature and my informal communication style. I hope. Yesterday, I decided that I would spend the whole day either flying or hovering, for example, but more on that later.
I am instructed to spend time with the archives, find out more about the history of the sithen, which is a task I can definitely sink my teeth into, so to speak.
When I asked her about the formal clothes, she reacted as if I were a child. But then, she reacted as if I were a child for most of our discussion. In fact, she told me that if I had grown up among the fae, I’d still be living at home with my parents. It was a fair point: I said maybe that’s why my friends all referred to me as such a young twenty-two; maybe I was somehow seeking the influence of a parent or two. Don’t get me wrong: I loved my caretakers. But now I know that’s all they were, I don’t think about them so much any more. Even their faces are fading from my memory, although I can remember Fen and Richard as if I just saw them yesterday.
Lady Siansa is an expert at magicking things out of thin air. She made an apple appear in her hand that looked, smelled, and tasted perfect. She said it would even fill me up if I ate it. I was very impressed, though I guess from her point of view that’s probably a child’s trick. She asked me what I would like to accomplish. I told her:
“Everything, really. Having lived the way I have, I’m not up on fae society, which is something I need to learn. I’ve learned a little already, but the finer points, yeah; I could use some help on that. I’d like to figure out what sort of magic I can do. I mean, I know how to make my hair all shiny, but as you said, that’s no big deal. I can shapeshift into one particular animal, but it’s very tiring and I can’t do it on demand: the first time I did it, i was dreaming, and after that it was really hard. I haven’t done it in weeks, I don’t think. I don’t know what sort of magic is my hands; I only know they itch like crazy when something weird is about to happen, like I said. And, you know. I would really like to find out where I came from. Who my mother was. If that’s even possible.”
She told me I was doing very well if I was only twenty-two. She said I was caught between two worlds and they could help me. That’s when she told me to consider her my aunt. She made me curtsy and try to walk backwards when I left her. That felt so awkward. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff.
I will have to spend some time, on my own, working and practicing. I don’t know if I like Lady Siansa, but maybe I will grow to like her. My first task is to understand what she can teach me, how I can teach myself better with her guidance. That’s a challenge.
Fae beauty seems to come in so many different varieties. As much as I hate to quote the oath breaker Braeden, he did say we are all beautiful, no matter how we appear on the outside. Even if we are hideous, he said, we are still beautiful. I guess that’s what a guy like him has to say to get to sleep tonight. But it holds true here, too. Lady Siansa has the perfect face of a porcelain doll, sculpted and unmoving. Everything about her is precise and ordered, or it seems that way to me. I don’t know if she’s capable of being surprised; or it’s possible she is thinking so far ahead of me she’s had her surprise before I see her reaction. Maybe there’s some fae equivalent of botox and her face is simply going to stay regal and ordered forever. In any case, she is like a doll, perfect and ageless. I don’t aspire to that kind of fae beauty, but I can certainly appreciate it.