The Friday night of their return to school following the month long Easter holidays was warm enough for the residents of dorm 42 to sleep out on the baclony, still wrapped in their blankets of course. It was from here that Rebeka saw her first
Changer. It was a flying horse, a Pegasus, dappled grey with it’s white mane and tail streaked with black. In the pale moonlight it streaked through the starlit sky, coming to land on the silver grass. On it’s becoming an elf once more, Rebeka released a shriek of surprise, “That! What’s that! It was a horse – flying – and… and now it’s an elf!”
“Duh Beks, its a Changer,” Findel explained.
“Changer, you know, changes its form?”
“Well, um, they can become flying horses, like the one you saw, or unicorns, or centaurs, and sometimes maybe even swans.” Findel paused, “Yeah, thats, uh, pretty much it.”
“Except that only pure Elves can change.” Gwen added, “You forgot to mention that.”
“Counts me out then.” Hanah sighed.
Jess looked up from her book, “Ditto.”
“I don’t even know who my parents were – are – and, I mean, I don’t even look like an elf, except for the hair….”
“And the ears.”
Rebeka looked up at Hanah. “Ears?”
“Yeah, you know, the pointy things on the sides of your head?”
Rebeka’s hands went up to her ears and felt the delicate points. “I have pointed ears! Where did they come from? I mean, before they were normal and…”
“…mortals cannot see them, nor elves who do not know.”
Jess blew out the candle by which she read and the girls snuggled closer into their blankets. Below a pair of unicorns walked together in the fringes of the forest and another flying horse flew overhead. Not long later, Rebeka heard the breathing of the four who slept and rose. On silent feet she crept back into their room and climbed down into the hall. There had been a nagging voice in her head for the past month she’d spent back at the orphanage. It was Elladan’s actually, and said: “This here is a tapestry of the King and Queen, Celefin and Ariendel, who were captured and haven’t been seen for near 1000 years.” To her surprise, upon reaching the tapestry, she found someone already there. One of the twins.
“Thought I’d find you here.” He said, then turned back to the tapestry, “I was in detention – Professor Daor caught me changing when I wasn’t supposed to – so, I had to clean all the first year swords… and I saw yours.” He turned to her and she saw it was Elladan “Who are you?”
“I… I don’t know.” Rebeka answerd hesitantly.
Elladan stepped back, allowing her to look at the tapestry properly. She did and saw Celefin, his straight silver hair, unbraided, reaching down his back. He had blue eyes – like the deep sea on a sunny day – and his elven features were crinkled ever so slightly as he smiled. Rebeka turned to Ariendel. She had dark wavy hair and green eyes and reached only to her husband’s sholder. He had his arm round her and she smiled too. In front of them stood not two but four children; two boys and two girls. It was obvious which of the two boys was Elnumen for he was almost as tall as his father and, dark hair and green eyes shining, he clasped in his hand a golden sword. The other boy, shorter, fair-haired and equipped with a bow and four arrows. Of the two girls, one stood by her mother’s side, the other by her father. That was no difference between them… except for their eyes. The girl who stood beside her mother had soft brown eyes but she was frowning. It was hardly noticeable yet Rebeka saw it. The other, herself, had her father’s blue eyes.
Rebeka had completely forgotten about Elladan behind her so when he touched her sholder she jumped. “You okay?” Rebeka nodded, now also aware of the tears in her eyes. Through the blurred vision she saw some wrighting in elvish at the bottom. “That,” she said pointing to it, “What does it
Elladan read softly:
“When king and queen were taken,
Only two remained,
His sister she was burnt away,
Until her time is gained.
Her daughter, healer, friend,
Together with the heirs,
Shall free from pits the rightful ones,
Accompanied by two pairs”
Silence. Then Rebeka spoke, so softly Elladan barely heard, “What does it mean?”
“Think about it and you’ll find that you already know.”
With a slight nod of her head Rebeka turned and left, refusing to let herself think about anything other than sleep. And sleep she did, as soon as she’d lay down in bed. When morning came there were questions as to how she was in bed when they’d slept outside. Rebeka dismissed them all by saying she got cold. She didnt have a chance to get on her own until tea time. While everyone else was inside eating
Rebeka ate her sandwich under the willows beside the stream. Earlier she’d looked back at the tapestry; the elvish writing wasn’t there. Also, Elladan acting as if nothing had happened caused Rebeka to wonder if it really had. She decided to think about it anyway.
” ‘When king and queen were taken.’ ” Rebeka read off the bit of parchment in her hand. Nothing there. ” ‘Only two remained’….. Me and Elnumen… maybe? ‘His sister she was burned away.’ Findel’s Mother! She was the….. king’s sister?” She stopped, twiddling a willow branch and gazing into the distance. ” ‘Her daughter, healer, friend’ Oh help! Who’s daughter? Ariendel’s? Or Findel’s?” She jumped as the willow branch in her fingers snapped loudly off the tree. ” ‘Together with the heirs.’ It MUST be Findel’s daughter, with me and Elnumen, and….. ‘Shall free from pits the rightful ones’ Rightful ones…. urm…” Rebeka found another branch to fiddle with. “The king and queen! But pits!? Sounds charming! ‘Accompanied by two pairs’ Me, Elnumen, Findel and….. four others. Four… two pairs… Ellanan and Elrohir! They’re a pair! And… Oh forget it!” She stood up, pulling the branch off with her and tossing it into the river. “It doesn’t mean anything!” She told it as it floated into the forest.