A World Beside Our Own

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Boxing Day

I message my girlfriend in the morning, and she wants me there for lunch and supper. Apparently, her parents have big plans for us today. I smile and readily agree; I haven’t seen my darling Fae since the last day of school, and I really miss her. I let mother know what we’re up to. She’s still hesitant in letting me leave the house, but I tell her I’ll text her if I feel anything outside of normal.

Before I leave, I also sit down with her and let her know about my talk with Kevin last night. I’d like to leave around lunch on the 28th, stay two nights and come back on the 30th. Luna is less keen on me being gone for two nights that my mother is, but I assure her I trust my best friend. I’ve known his family for years now, while the online me has to pretend not to know them, the real me does. If anything feels wrong, I’ll let her know right away. Luna still rather come with me, and I told her that would make things more awkward. Far as his parents know, his online girlfriend is coming to San Marino to meet him in real life to see if there’s a chance for an actual relationship. It’s not the real reason I’m going, but it makes a suitable cover story.

“Does it bother you to have to lie to your best friend and his family like this?” Emmya asks me.

“A little.” I say with a frown. “But to tell him the truth of what’s been going on with my life in the past three months would probably require more than a two-day visit.” I smile. “Besides, Aini’emenya will be with me, so I’m not going alone.” I say tapping my emerald pendant.

I will watch over our daughter, she will be safe in my care.” Lairelindë speaks from the amulet. That’s a new trick that she’s figured out this week with Lyric.

“Very well, but I want you to call me when you get there, and call me every night.” She says in a motherly voice.

“I will,” I smile and put my hand on hers. “Thank you for trusting me with this.”

“Take your staff with you.” Laïreacarca says in an authoritative tone. “A Druid should always travel with their staff.”

“I will.” I smile, I’m not about to counter my personal guard.

I discovered this week that, as my godfather’s descendant, she has a duty to protect me like she does him. Society wise, she is officially an apprentice, learning the Druid path under his guidance. She will stay by his side as his student till she can reach her full potential. After that, she will take her place within the Druid order, filling whatever role is required. A Druid on the council will keep one to two apprentices, and the Druid path can take centuries to complete - depending on the student’s aptitude. Laïre, as I’ve come to call her, has served under my godfather for a century and a half, and looks up to him. He’s not just her mentor, he’s become like a father figure to her, and they share an almost familial bond. I like her. Though she seems gruff, perhaps even rude, it’s because she gets straight to the point. She doesn’t bother with pleasantries or small talk. She sees them as inefficient flattery that wastes time.

So, upon her suggestion, I take my staff and head to the oak tree outside to travel to my girlfriend’s place. I look down as I’m about to release my godmother and notice I leave no footprints in the snow. Sensing my question, Lairelindë answers me.

A druid of your calibre can walk without trace. You were worried that your new leather boots would get wet. They won’t. Concentrate if you rather leave footprints behind you, otherwise never worry about it.” My godmother answers as she manifests from the pendant. I’m still not as strong as she is to cast the Tree Stride spell myself.

Vanta Taulë” She commands, and an archway opens in the tree.

I step through the oak, appearing in the park by Sala’s place. My girlfriend is standing by the tree waiting for me. I still surprise her as we step out of the oak in front of her.

“I don’t think I’ll get used to how you move around!” Sala says, her hand on her chest and catching her breath. She looks at me and gasps. “You look so beautiful, weren’t you taller?”

“Long story, and this is just the human illusion of me, wait till we get to your place, and I’ll drop the veil.” I give her a coy smile.

“You mean, you’re even prettier as an Elf?” Sala’s eyes grow wide with excitement.

“I look like Lairelindë’s daughter now.” I reply.

Sala gasps as she looks at my godmother. “Oh, wow! She’s so pretty!” Sala looks around to make sure we’re alone. My godmother takes hold of my staff, as I let it go, my girlfriend pulls me into a hug. I’m appreciating that my girlfriend is now only chin height to me now. We share a long, loving kiss. “I missed you this week.” She pouts as she hangs off my shoulders.

“I missed you too.” I say lovingly, “Emmya almost didn’t let me leave the house today, she’s still worried it’s been too soon since the ritual.”

“You look perfectly healthy to me.” Sala says. “Come, Amma is eager to see you.”

I take my staff back as Lairelindë touches the pendant and disappears inside it. We head to Sala’s house and she looks behind her. “Simia, how are you not leaving any footprints in the fresh snow?”

“You’re not leaving any footprints either, my dear.” I turn her question back on her.

“I’m a Winter Fae, we don’t leave traces in the snow,” She answers matter of fact.

“To echo my godmother, a Druid of my calibre can pass without trace, I will never leave footprints unless I want to.” I reply with a smile.

“You are so amazing!” Sala says, leaning against me affectionately. Okay, I’ve not lost my girlfriend’s love, she’s as loving and affectionate as always.

We walk down the block to her house and her mother is there to give me a hug as we come in the door. It’s the same temperature inside the house as it is outside, and yet I don’t notice the cold like I usually do. Then I remember Lyric telling Dee that Elves are warmer than humans and require less clothing. I’m understanding Luna and my mother now when they never feel temperature differences. Hot or cold, I will tolerate several degrees more than a human does, because of my race.

“So, how did the ritual go?” Miahna asks excitedly.

“See for yourselves.” I smile, I place my staff by the door, touch the amulet, whispering the magic word. I turn the illusion off, as I take a step back, and hold out my hands to display my new body. I am just as shapely as my girlfriend, my breasts are now larger than hers.

My girlfriend and her mother gasp. I can see an unfamiliar look of devotion from her mother, and my darling girlfriend has that same look of infatuation that my sister gave as we completed the ritual.

“You are so beautiful!” They say together.

Sala’s wings spread out, and she flutters up to eye level. She slowly flies around me, rediscovering her girlfriend. She comes back around and gently caresses my face as she discovers the changes in my features.

“Your skin, it’s so soft!” she starts. “Your eyes are emerald green.” She follows the contour of my eyes. “Like Luna, your eyes are a sideways tear-drop.”

“The term is almond shape.” Her mother smiles. “I’d read that elves were attractive like a Fae, you look so lovely, child.”

“Look at your ears!” Sala says in amazement. “They’re longer than mine!”

My new Elven ears are like my godmothers. They stick nearly straight up, reaching almost 5 cm higher than my human helix did, forming a small triangle that sticks out further than my human ears used to. When I pull my hair forward, my shoulder-length wavy hair almost hides them completely. All you see are the very tips. If I curl my hair, I can hide them completely. Her finger grazes my ear and my breath hitches as I suppress a moan.

“That doesn’t hurt, does it?” Sala notices my reaction.

“Quite the opposite.” I say in a husky voice. “They’re very sensitive. My Elven mentor, Lyric, says it’s cause they’re still new and I’ll grow used to the feeling, eventually.”

Sala gives me a coy smile. In the time we’ve been together, she’s picked up on my queues when something turns me on. I have a feeling she’s going to enjoy playing with my ears if we get time alone. She can be such a horrible tease when she wants to be.

“Come, quite teasing your girlfriend and lets eat lunch.” Her mother says with a smile.

Sala giggles, flutters to the ground and puts her arm around my waist. I put my arm around her shoulder, and we follow her mother into the dining room where her father is reading a tablet. He looks up and gasps in surprise.

“Simiathlas, is that what you really look like now?” he says in amazement.

I blush and nod. “The ritual was a complete success. Our Elven delegates have put me through a series of medical tests, and I’m as much of an elf as they are.” I smile.

“It must be nice, having real elves staying with you to guide you through your discoveries.” Miahna smiles as she dishes out some soup for us. “What surprised you the most with your new form?”

“One, I only need to sleep half as much as a human.” I start. “My vision is so much more sensitive now! I can see in starlight as if it was the middle of the afternoon!” I say in amazement.

“Anything else?” her father asks, admiring my new feminine form, as one would admire a fashion model.

“I may have a slightly higher appetite than I used to.” I say embarrassed.

“You ate twice as much as our daughter to begin with, you mean your metabolism is even higher than it was before?”

I nod. “Lyric says that pubescent elves eat quite a lot, as the body is undergoing a lot of changes. But what you used to feed me will still work as a meal, I will just be hungry again sooner than supper… sorry.” I apologize.

Her father smiles. “Thanks fine, dear, we’ll get you a snack this afternoon. After we open our presents.”

“Your voice is now a musical soft alto like our daughter’s, will it stay that pitch for long?” Miahna asks.

I nod. “Lyric says I’m just at the start of my pubescent cycle, my younger face and higher pitch voice will stay like this for quite a few years. I’ve been told it can be a good 15 years or more till I grow back to my original height!” I shake my head, still baffled. “She has assured me that Elves can reach two meters tall, it’ll just take some time.”

“How long is that, dear?” Miahna is looking for something more specific.

“At a centimetre a year, almost a century? Give or take a few decades.” I say before taking a spoonful of soup.

Her father nearly spits out his mouthful, but recovers. Once he finally swallows, he looks at me surprised. “Just how long do Elves live Simiathlas?!”

I have to remind myself that the Fae haven’t seen an Elf in millennia. Outside of history books, we have nothing to go on here in the mortal realm.

I take some crackers from the plate in the middle of the table. “Lyric says that wood-elves live millennia, sometimes longer, based on their bloodline.”

“Why do I feel there is more to your statement?” Miahna narrows her eyes.

“Well, Lairelindë is a high elf: taller, more graceful, and more attractive. They also live longer. They rarely die of old age, only from injury.” I continue. “Her husband is the Arch Druid of the Forest Realm, he’s over four thousand years old, and doesn’t look any older than our teachers do.”

“And you are a high elf?” her father asks.

“Lyric confirmed the blood tests. I’m one of several thousand highborn elves still alive today. I’m effectively the reincarnation of my godparents’ daughter, Laireonermi. My ritual wasn’t simply to transform me into an elf. It was a rebirth of their child. I’ve seen pictures of her in our family records, we are identical. You could say that I’m Laireonermi’s twin or younger sister now.”

“Incredible.” He says amazed. “You didn’t know this?”

“I was suspecting it when we got closer to the winter solstice.” I say between spoonfuls. “Lairelindë became more and more motherly toward me and when I met my godfather, he treated me like his long-lost child.”

“Well, you look so much like your godmother.” He says as he eats.

“Except I have his chin and his nose.” I nod, finishing the family comparison. “You could almost say that I have two sets of parents now, excluding my birth family…” I take a spoonful of soup. “I have my adopted family with Ashanna and Luna. Then there are my Elven parents, the Laitaurë.”

“Will your godparents assume your care?” her father probes.

“Lairelindë says that she will still respect Ashanna as my legal mother, but to expect my Elven parents to treat me, as they would their own child.”

“Sounds almost too convenient, is there a catch?” Miahna asks. As the queen of the Winter Court, she understands birthrights.

“As the future Arch Druid of the mortal realm, it will be my roll to lead and care for the Elves that decide to come back here.” I reply.

Miahna nods. “Like Sala, you are now the future ruler of your people.” She looks between my girlfriend and I, then smiles. “You are not so different after all, you both have a duty to fulfil when you get older.”

I reach out for Sala’s hand, and she takes it without hesitation. “I’m understanding you and your family the more I discover mine.”

“We Frost Fae are mortal, though.” Miahna says sadly. “Unlike our Sylvan ancestors, we will eventually die of old age, though it will be centuries before the burden of leadership will be put on Sala’s shoulders.” She looks at me. “I do I envy your longer life.”

“Mother?” Sala’s brow furrows.

“Worry not child, the Fae live twice as long as the wood-elves. You have a long time before you need to worry about the grown-up concerns of the Fae Court.” Miahna smiles at her daughter.

My girlfriend and I both relax, though I’m suspecting that Sala’s parents are about as old as Ashanna, meaning they are already halfway through their lifespan. I wonder how long my girlfriend and I will have before the duty to her people takes her away from me?

Several centuries, stop thinking so short term my child.” Lairelindë speaks to me. “You’re still thinking like a human.”

We finish up lunch discussing the gifts we have received so far. Sala has an upgrade to her pendant, it’s a sky blue sapphire, and it so matches her eyes. I comment that it’s almost as lovely as her. I tell them about the gifts I’ve received from my family and the Elves. I still have another gift waiting for me next week, but I have to travel to go get it.

“Why would you have to travel to go get it?” Sala queries.

“My godfather is too busy to come here over the Holiday, there are several festivities he needs to attend to. So he’s asked that my godmother and I travel to Arborea to meet him.”

“How long will you be gone?” Miahna gets curious.

“Four days.” I smile.

“I won’t see you for almost a week?” Sala gives me a sad look.

“I was sort of hoping that you could come with me, then you won’t be missing me at all.” I smile lovingly. “My family is allowing me to bring one guest.” I look at her parents. “Can Sala join me on this trip?”

“You want to take our daughter, to another realm, for almost a week?” her father objects.

“I will have a sending stone for you so that you can keep in contact. She will be perfectly safe. There is no crime, no violence on Arborea.” I reinforce my request. “The Elves live in peaceful harmony with nature and one another.”

“Wouldn’t one of your family want to join you?” Miahna queries.

“The Elves returned to their Eladrin origins. It’s a plane of holy light which would serious hurt my adopted mother and sister, maybe even kill them. Lairelindë does not want to see them harmed, but it will be safe for my little Fae here.” I give Sala a loving glance. “There are Fae in the Forest Realm, but we will be mostly staying with the Elven Druids. The cast system the elves have, the Druids are treated much like nobility.”

“Oh, Amma, Appa, please let me go with my girlfriend…” Sala pleads.

“You guarantee my daughter’s safety?” her father asks sternly.

“I will protect your daughter with my life if I have to.” I say without hesitation. “We don’t leave till New Year’s Day, if you need time to think about it, I am patient.” I smile.

“I thank you, let my wife and I discuss this, we will give you an answer when you come to see us New Year’s Eve.” He says. “In the meantime, we have a gift for you.”

“Come.” Miahna smiles as she gets up and motions us to follow her into the living room.

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