Ian returned moments later looking just as fresh as he had when he left not winded in the slightest as he smiled at me. "Still hungry?" he asked kindly gesturing to my empty plate and glass. His wife's juice was left untouched, the glass covered in condensation.
"A bit but I can wait... so that was your wife?" I inquired as he removed my plate to wash it.
"Yes, sorry she wasn't very responsive. Rose is..." He paused thinking as if searching for the correct wording. "She's been very out of it the last few years. She's sympathetic to your cause I'm sure, she just needs some more rest."
"I see. She did mention a library, would I be able to see it?"
"Of course." Ian said smiling. "It's the perfect place for any witch in training." He said lifting a hand gesturing me to follow him. The house I noticed as we walked through was well decorated- but some rooms seemed almost faded- as if the color had been darkened and the room just kind of forgotten. It was strange enough to make me pause a moment the first time I saw one that seemed to be some sort of lounging room with a hot tub, then another with a giant swing and pillows.
As much as I kept looking though- unless there was a design on any walls for any room; all of them where bare of one thing that most people had in homes. Pictures. I don't know why this bothered me so much.
It's probably because the only memories I had of my parents had been the few pictures after I was born- and all the pictures of them happy together. I always wondered if they would have thought me a disappointment seeing how weak their daughter had been born with the gift.
That's the thing about pictures- they capture such good memories enough that people would stop and look. Try and think about what may make you happy again. Or when it occurred sparking a memory with someone. Even if it was something beautiful to look at.
They may have beauty outside but if their marriage was as great as Ian said- where did they capture the moments? This puzzled me. Even old people kept things on walls. There wasn't even a mirror in sight. Not above a fire place. Or a small ballroom.
Ian stopped before a red door that seemed out of place. All I could think of was Alice in Wonderland again. Then again I guess that made sense in a world that was created by people and magic. "Here we are. I'm not permitted to enter." He said stepping to the side and bowing a bit. "I do hope you find what you're looking for. I will return for you near dinner time, yes?"
I furrowed my brow- it had been morning where I had been, and he served me eggs- but I guess the sun had been straight above me here. Time zone difference where the painting had been made? I nodded smiling- also strange that he's not permitted to enter. How did that make sense? This was his house. Did they plan to kill me? I hesitated as Ian walked off, my face full of worry since I was left in front of this door and he went down another. I didn't want to get lost or intrude on a room I wasn't meant to be in considering this house was more of a maze like mansion.
My gift still hadn't warned me about them- which pretty much had been the only thing saving me these days. So I pushed open the door into a tiny room with a cozy little red chair in the corner- the light streaming into the room from a glass ceiling that seemed to make the whole room emanate with light. A small gasp left my lips as I looked around- it was amazing. The wood on the shelving looked like it was hand carved in an intricate pattern of leaves and flowers, the books well sewn together with a paper sticking out here or there. Everything about the room from the carpet to the sun streaming in looked like a slice of heaven.
As soon as I stepped into the room I felt the warmth hit my chest sending warm pulses down through my finger tips, a small gasp leaving my lips. This place was teaming with magic as if they had taken extra care creating it. The longer I thought about it though the more I realized...
Spells- at their base, was energy being directed and amplified by a witch. That energy typically came from the earth but if that was the case this painting would have to be outside and by now wherever it was the area would be a bare patch of death if it was as old as they seemed.
That meant the energy to keep this painting whole and this world had to come from two very powerful witches. But not being able to enter a powerful place you created? Something didn't add up.
I knew the spell the princess had cast as well as my gift lead me here. If they where the only two occupants I had to figure out their relationship even if it was being under the pretense of a student. I was pretty sure Ian wasn't my fated one- but that only left Rose. But Rose hardly said two words to me. I wasn't sure how the fated one thing worked other than you have sex and it reverses aging issues, makes you more powerful yada yada but you can't live as long without them after their dead.
Maybe it was Ian- but he was so in love with his wife. Was his wife in love with him? Was it all fake? Maybe she controlled him like a BDSM relationship?
I grinned at the last thought as I roamed around scanning the titles of books. I had to find answers, I was running out of time.