“Secret spy, eh?” Sage smirked, leaning against a pillar in front of me.
“Get out of the way, Sage.” I growled, pushing past him and walking up the stairs. He rolled his eyes, turning and walking away to discuss politics with Queen Mab. “Brothers.” I muttered, shutting the icy door of my room. Time for a makeover, I thought. Great. As a small Winter sprite emerged from my wall, I plopped ungracefully into my chair. The sprite looked at me with a faint look of disgust, before combing out my long hair. I sighed. What am I doing? Living with the Summer fey? A spy for Mab?
The Winter sprite stepped back to admire her handiwork. Nodding satisfaction at me, she melted back into the ice. I stared at myself in the mirror. I could barely recognise myself! My once long, silver hair was now strawberry blonde and jagged at the tips, tied into a neat ponytail. Already annoyed, I noticed my slightly tanned skin, green eyes, silky wings and my Summer-like face and clothes. I headed out of my room for what might be the last time for a long time and flew down the stairs to Mab, my mother. Giving a slight nod to Rowan and Ash, and a tiny smile to Sage, I dropped into a bow before the Queen of the Unseelie.
“My queen, shall I enter the Summer Court’s territory?” I asked politely, my head down. Mab turned her head to face me.
“Rise, Aspen. Your appearance already displeases me. Enter the Summer Court, and remember our plan.” She clicked her fingers. “Ash. Come, and escort this...Summer scum.... back to her domain.” A tiny smile came to the corner of her lips. Ash instantly swept from his queen’s side to grip my arm. Very tightly.
“Ash, you don’t need to hold me that tightly.” I murmured, glaring at my younger brother as he marched me out of the huge ice palace. He ignored me.
The Summer fey shot me strange looks and comments as I strode gracefully through the palace towards Oberon, King of the Summer Court. I bowed stiffly.
“Rise, faerie of the Summer.” Oberon boomed, eyeing me carefully. “What is your name?”
“My name is Autumn, King Oberon.” I replied slightly coldly. Wincing, I remembered what Mab told me: try to act like the idiot Summer fey. Oberon didn’t seem terribly amused.
“Autumn. Welcome to the Summer Court. You will be escorted to your living quarters. Do you have any questions?” He asked, looking down upon me, seemingly bored with me. I took the hint.
“No, King Oberon. Thank you.”
He dismissed me with a wave of his hand, and satyr with wavy black hair came by my side. Right before I left the palace, I looked out one of the huge stained glass windows. I gave a tiny nod to Ash, who was in the dark wyldwood outside. He nodded in reply, and disappeared.
The satyr introduced herself as Juniper. She was incredibly shy, but that didn’t bother me. She murmured something that sounded like ‘his uhh moon’, which I guessed meant, ‘here’s your room’, and flicked her ears at a rosewood door patterned with vines and flowers. Juniper opened the door to reveal an incredibly small room to what I was used to. Looking around, I saw the walls were made of vines, the floor was dirt and there was little furniture. She gave me a small smile. “Nice to meet you, A-Autumn.” She stuttered. “If you need any help, find me. Hopefully I’m still a satyr.”
I looked at her, expressionless.
“I don’t think I’ll need to.” I replied. Her smile faded, nodding at me. She shut the door, clopping away to do whatever she would be doing. I sat on my new bed and shot ice shards at the soft wood of the door. Watching them pierce deep holes, I sighed. I’m Autumn, the new Summer fey. I’m going to have to live with the Summer. I wonder how Sage is feeling. He’s really the only one who actually pays attention to me, while Ash and Rowan are busy trying to kill each other. I mentally slapped myself. Don’t think like that! Sage or Rowan or Ash or Mab wouldn’t care about you! For the boys it’s just one more sibling gone, two more to go. Look at you, your brain’s starting to melt!
Lying down on my bed, I put my arms over my head. No matter what, I’ll be back soon, brothers. Don’t kill each other before I’m home. Bad competition. My eyes fluttered shut, and I finally fell asleep.