As Charles lead the march into New Orleans, his Child by his side, he could not help but wonder if his fear of Eric Northman was worth the possibility of meeting his final death. He was scared out of his mind, but the thought of what Northman could and would do to him if he failed to show up with his supporters was even more terrifying.
Dana’s small hand slipped into his and gave it a reassuring squeeze. What kind of Maker was he that he needed his own Child to grip his hand and placate his fears like a toddler? Yanking his hand from hers, Charles steeled his nerves and marched on.
When they arrived at the estate, waiting for a sign of Northman, other allies pulled up along the road, hundreds spilling out of collective vehicles or appearing from the various alleys and shadows. They stood, gathered at the gate, which was ominously slung open. Tentatively the militia made its way through the iron threshold. No guards came at them. No vampires confronted them.
The entire, slow, nerve wracking journey from the gate to the front door had the vampires already forming an attack pattern. More experienced warriors among them were turning away from the front, taking in the entire layout of the grounds, awaiting an ambush. When the mass arrived through the entrance of the main building, they stood in a collective, disbelieving silence.
There stood the Gahl bloodline. All three of them, covered in crimson stains, holding an assortment of swords. A young girl stood with them, her arms crossed over her chest, a blood coated stake dangling almost forgotten in her hand as she spoke with Northman’s Child. Northman and his Maker were smirking at one another as they talked in hushed tones.
Suddenly, Eric turned his head to the stupefied cluster of vampires as if he had only just realized their arrival, and he walked over to greet them, “We have already taken the kingdom. Thank you for offering to lend your support. All of those who wish to behold their new King, take a knee and show your fealty to Godric of Gahl!” He roared the end, causing the other vampires to snap their eyes to Northman’s Maker and immediately fall to their knees.
“Rise,” Godric said shortly after heads had been bowed. When the collective had gone once more to their feet, he continued, “It saddened me to have to take your Queen from you. I know that she was most beloved in her Queendom. I had no ambition for this power I now wield, but she threatened my bloodline. My bloodline that conquered her without any loss of existence among ourselves, and no assistance from anyone outside our line,” he made a point by saying this, “Spread the news far and wide that the Gahl line has destroyed the le Clerq line in a mere hour!”
Victorious cries rose amongst the gathered vampires before they zipped out of the estate to spread the word as they were told. Only one was stopped before they could leave.
“Luis,” Eric called and a dark skinned vampire turned at the sounding of his name before going back to the Sheriff, “You are Sheriff of Area 3 currently.” He smirked down at him, “As my Maker gets his house in order, his bloodline will remain in Area 1 to combat any potential protests or mutinies. Are you willing and able to oversee Area 5 until a time befitting our return?”
“Yes, Sir,” Luis inclined his head respectfully, “You will not remain in court?” he was confused.
“I do not wish to, though if my Maker suggests it, I will oblige him happily. Arrangements for a new Sheriff for Area 5 will be made after his decision,” Eric nodded.
“I will oversee your area until your hopeful return then, Sir,” Luis bowed his head once again before departing.
“I will try not to keep you here long, Eric,” Godric smiled, “Hopefully it will only be a few months.”
“I think we should get a witch in here to put up new protection as soon as possible,” Sookie suggested, “We don’t know what barriers were laid down, and we can’t risk opposition poppin’ in at their leisure.”
“A fine suggestion,” Eric nodded, happy with her quick thinking. Though it was unneeded, he would not disregard that her inexperienced mind was trained enough to acknowledge such a necessity, “Pam, start disposing of the bodies. We no longer need them for their shock value.”
“Yes, Master,” Pam nodded and went about her newest task.
“Eric, do you know of a witch we could contact in this area?” Godric asked as Eric came back to himself and Sookie.
“I do, but I am not sure they could handle a property this large,” he admitted.
“Who?” Eric asked.
“The Witch we met last night?” Godric frowned.
“Yes! She said that she would teach me magic when she came to ward your new property!” Sookie was laughing a bit, “She was talking about this estate bein’ Godric’s. Not about the property Eric bought for us up state,” she realized.
“I see… But she did not give us a contact,” he reminded.
“She’s been in contact with Ludwig. If we called Ludwig, she could give us the number… Oh, we have to call her anyway! She is suppose to give me an exam tonight,” Sookie remembered.
“I will make the call,” Eric reached for his cell phone, turning away from the group.
“Vampire,” Ludwig greeted when she answered the call.
“Doctor, I wished to ask you for the phone number of a witch named Octavia? We require her assistance at the former Queen’s estate,” Eric told her nonchalantly.
“Former Queen?” Ludwig sounded more amused than surprised, “Should I be offering my congratulations to yourself or your Maker?”
“Godric will be taking the throne,” Eric clarified.
“Then I will send Octavia to you this evening,” the doctor assured, “Am I still permitted to examen your Bonded this evening?”
“Yes,” Eric assured, “She is still open to allowing the examination.”
“Shall I appear now?”
“If you wish,” Eric replied before turning to Sookie, “Ludwig will be teleporting in. Do not blow her up,” The girl gave him a bemused grin in response.
“Good evening, Little Girl,” Ludwig nodded to the fairy hybrid, “Well, come here and let me get a look at you.” Sookie closed the distance between herself and the strange creature that was the world renowned Supe doctor.
Ludwig pulled a measuring tape out of her big carpet bag and began measuring her, “Since I last saw you the other week, I can tell that you’ve put on a little weight. That’s good. You are quite thin for this frame. Make sure your vampire is feeding you properly,” She took the tape measure to her bust, waist, and hips before measuring the diameter of her upper thigh, “I’d say you’re about fifteen or twenty pounds underweight still. I wouldn’t mind seeing you put a little more than twenty pounds on.”
“Eric’s hirin’ a cook for me so that I stop skimpin’ on meals,” Sookie assured her.
“That is good,” The doctor nodded, “And are there any changes in your abilities?”
“Nothin’ new since the telekinesis. Since we all made a big deal about me blowin’ stuff up, I guess you know I can do that with it,” She smirked, “I can hear vampires under certain conditions, but it’s not discrete like when I hear humans, or even Weres and shifters.”
“Don’t expect too many more gifts from your Witch side. I would be surprised if that expands any further. The ones you have will probably only get stronger. Your Fae gifts shouldn’t start showing up for quite a while still. Your Bonded will recognize Fae traits, so, Viking, when you see them occurring, let me know. I want to know exactly what age they begin to manifest.”
Eric nodded at the doctor’s request.
“Now, you are from the Sky clan, yes?” Sookie inclined slowly, “Teleportation is usually the first Fae gift to manifest. Being a Sky Fae means you could get the Feather Fall ability. That is just being able to slow your body down as you fall a great distance, and cause you to land softly. Some Sky Fae can fly, but not most. Most fae can also do light manipulations. Concentrating light energy and projecting it. There is also an after image technique they do with that ability which casts their image in another, nearby, location. That is much harder to learn. You would probably need to be taught to do that. Projecting light, though, can be a handy ability against vampires. It will usually burn them severely, though it would probably not work on the bloodline you are connected to, seeing as they are immune to sunlight.”
“Yes,” Sookie nodded, “Eric got hit with that a few days ago and was no worse for wear.”
“Really? Who did that?” Ludwig was surprised.
“Fintan Brigant,” Sookie grimaced.
Ludwig spun to look at Eric, “He…?” Eric shook his head, and Sookie felt alarm in the Bond.
“We will discuss it later, Sookie,” Eric assured her, but she could feel his regret and a bit of nervousness.
Sookie was also not ignorant of Ludwig’s somber expression as she turned back to her, “What’s wrong?”
“It is something you and your Bonded will need to work through together…” the doctor said quietly, “But, Little Girl…” She shook her head, thinking better of what she was about to say, “We will test your abilities and possible weaknesses another time. May I take some blood before I go?”
Sookie was agreeable, and the doctor took a small vial of her blood before popping back out of the palace, “How come she can teleport in here? Aren’t there wards?”
Godric cleared his throat, “It is because she was gifted a special talisman by the Council and Pantheon. It allows her to appear wherever she wishes, so long as she is wanted.”
“That’s cool…” She looked to Eric now, “What aren’t you tellin’ me?”
“Sookie,” Eric approached her with a gentle demeanor, “let us go to a more private room. There is something I think you should be made aware of… I only just pieced this together recently,” He took her hand and lead her down the hallway to the den. He sat her on a plush sofa before seating himself next to her. He was still holding her hands firmly, which made Sookie’s heart race with unease.
“Eric?” she asked worriedly.
“I have deduced… Based on the actions and results of all of those involved in this situation… That Fintan had no intention of harming you,” Eric told her carefully, “I believe his intent when he tried to take you, was to protect you from Niall.”
“What? No!” Sookie shook her head, “I saw…”
“Did you see him plotting, or did you see him discovering Niall’s intentions?” Eric asked. “Was Fintan the one trying to make Fae hybrids, or was that Niall? Did you just lump him in with Niall because it was his mind that you saw all of this from? How much of Fintan’s involvement did you actually see? And how much of it did you assume?”
Sookie was trembling, and he could feel the wheels in her head whirring around, trying to recall all of the details. It was true that the time she had to see into Fintan’s head had been short. She could have easily misinterpreted. She shook her head vehemently, at the notion.
“I… I killed someone who was tryin’ to help me?” she asked with a note of distress.
Eric nodded, aching at her consuming sadness, “It made no sense that Fintan tried to take you when he did if he were in on the original scheme. I believe that he was hiding you from Niall. Severing all contact with your family so that your genealogy could not be traced back to him. I think he discovered Niall’s knowledge of you and tried to find you. That is why he did not use your brother’s blood to teleport onto my residence. Because he never had it,” Sookie’s eyes were filling with tears as he explained, and Eric wanted nothing more than to brush them away.
Still shaking her head in denial, Sookie swiped at accusatory tears. She had killed someone who had never done anything evil to her… But how could he not have known!? How could Fintan have been so ignorant of his granddaughter’s situation?
“E-Eric?” she whispered miserably, “I-is there a reason Fintan didn’t help me back then?”
“I cannot answer that for certain,” he admitted, “But, I think he avoided your family all together. He probably believed the safest thing he could do for you was pretend you did not exist. I would not be surprised if he only became aware of the situation shortly before trying to recover you.”
“But you’re speculatin’, right?” she asked hopefully, “You don’t have any evidence to support your suspicions, right?”
“Sookie,” Eric took her stiff shoulders in his hands, “whether I am right or not… No matter how much would not make sense if Fintan actually were involved… It is still a point that Niall can use to try and manipulate you.”
Sookie began biting her nails, Pam’s wrath be damned, “I actually killed an innocent man,” Her fingers left her mouth to comb anxiously through her hair, “I killed my own blood.”
“Sookie,” Eric said her name firmly, “you had reason to suspect him, and you did not kill him voluntarily. It was an accident. It is no different than someone sneaking up on you while you are holding a loaded weapon.”
“Does it matter?” she asked weakly.
“To me? No,” Eric shook his head, “I have accidentally killed people. I have intentionally killed. On more than a few occasions, I have killed those who did not deserve death due to incomplete information,” He was stroking her hair back into a smooth sheen once her fingertips stopped twisting and raking through it, “It is something you will need to come to terms with, but I will help you do that to the best of my abilities.”
“What do you mean?” Sookie asked quietly.
Eric shrugged, “I see no fault of your own, and consider it a justified kill. I cannot understand your depression, which makes it difficult for me to know how to console you.”
“I’m not used to bein’ consoled,” Sookie admitted, “Ever since I met you, I’ve rarely needed it… The few times I have, I always felt better when we had sex,” Eric’s eyebrows rose at that. “But,” and now he was frowning, “my stomach’s in all kinds of knots, and sex just doesn’t feel like what I need.” She remembered when Angie’s former coven had rejected her, and asked carefully, “Can you just hold me for a bit?”
Eric smiled gently and pulled Sookie into his lap, wrapping his long, muscular arms around her. The girl rested her head against his chest, her twitchy little fingers worrying the material of his shirt as she was held.
“Sookie, I want you to think about something,” Eric began slowly, “Think about if you could not read minds, or if you had not been able to read Fintan’s. Based on the events that transpired in that brief encounter. A man, a stranger, suddenly appearing and attacking me. Your uncertainty about if I were injured. That stranger’s attempt to take you away from me when he grabbed you. What do you think you would have done if you had not seen into his head?”
The girl was quiet for a long time. Genuinely, she had been worried about Eric in the first instant, and scared when Fintan had grabbed her. Sure, his thoughts had sent her fear skyrocketing, but she had already been intent on pushing him away. Had her interpretation of his thoughts given her the power needed to blow him up? She would never know for certain if she could have torn him apart like that without the fuel his mind’s images had provided. Still, she would have used all of the energy available to her to push him away. Perhaps, she would have only sent him flying, had her thoughts not been in such disarray from fear and anxiety. Maybe they would have even gotten a chance to speak. That did not matter, though. It was in the past, and there was nothing she could do to change the outcome.
“I probably would have done the same thing,” she said. “I don’t know if it would have killed him like it did if I hadn’t seen his thoughts. I don’t know that I would have had the amount of anger or fear without them. I don’t know how much that affected the end result,” Sookie broke her staring contest with Eric’s shirt to look up into his eyes, “Why does that even matter?”
Eric smiled and petted her hair again soothingly, “Because, even if you were misinformed, your instincts were the same. We would probably be in no different a position. We may or may not have gained an ally out of Fintan, but we would still be fighting the same battle,” He was looking at her with a blend of worry and pride, “Despite it, you are right. It does not matter. It is, is what it is. We can only move forward and remove the last player from this most recent chess match.”
“Time to get ready for checkmate?” Sookie raised her eyebrows.
“Yes. We will see if Niall tries to open a truce with Godric. If he does not… Well… We will need to find an opening to destroy him,” Eric explained.
“You mean, you want to work with Niall now?” Sookie asked.
“I want to end this,” he replied firmly, “And if we open a line of communication with Niall, we might be able to get him into the open.”
“And if he doesn’t?” Sookie pressed.
“We will think of something.”
Their discussion was interrupted as Godric entered the room, “We will need a new security staff,” he stated, “Can you begin appointing one?”
“Of course. Sookie, stay with Godric while I begin sorting out our house,” He rose and kissed her forehead before leaving the room.
“Are you well, Little Sookie?” Godric took Eric’s spot on the couch, and the girl scooted down to give him room.
“Yes… Eric told me that Fintan probably had no intention of hurtin’ me. That he was more than likely tryin’ to save me from Niall,” she told him softly.
“Yes… I would have to agree with his assessment,” Godric nodded.
“Why didn’t any of you say somethin’?” she asked sadly.
“Sookie,” Godric sighed, “I know that you believe that Eric and I are something akin to omniscient, but we are not. Sometimes it takes us a bit to work the pieces together. Other times, it is not in the best interest of our plans to make you aware of our knowledge.”
“So, tellin’ me I killed an innocent man was just inconvenient until now?” she spat, anger flaring inside of her.
“Yes,” She looked at him, surprised that he would admit it, and her anger was snuffed by that shock, “We did not even share this information with each other. We only arrived to the same conclusion. Whether it was simultaneously or not, I am not sure. There was no benefit in you knowing the possibility before we handled the direct threat that was the Queen’s retaliation.”
“When did you start to suspect?” Sookie asked.
“I think you suspected as well,” Godric patted her hand, “Your dream that you succumbed to during your separation sickness did not have Fintan in it at all. Niall was present, although distantly. Even your disgusting uncle made an appearance. I do not know if your subconscious omitted Fintan from his lack of influence on you, or because, deep down, you never really saw him as the threat. Regardless, neither Eric, nor I, felt that telling you this was appropriate before we took the kingdom.”
“Because you didn’t want me distracted or second guessin’ myself before we took the palace,” Sookie finally understood.
Cupping her chin in her hands, Sookie stared off at the wall before speaking once again, “I don’t really know how I feel about what I’ve done,” She was talking now, not necessarily to Godric, though. Part of her hoped that he would have something to say, but she was unsure what she was hoping to hear, “Eric said that even if Fintan meant to help me, killin’ him was a justifiable defense. He said it was like sneakin’ up on someone holdin’ a loaded gun… Still, I can’t tell what this feelin’ in my chest is. Am I upset that he was innocent, or am I upset that I don’t feel bad about it, or not bad enough… Is there a “bad enough” to feel?
“In a few months,” she continued, “I’ve gone from bein’ pretty much helpless, hopeless… To whatever the hell it is I am now. If anythin’, I think what I did to Fintan scares me. I’ve become this whole new person, and I’m not sure if the person I am is strong enough to have the power I have,” She turned her hazy stare on to Godric, “Eric would tell me he loves me, and that I can do anythin’… But you’ve always been straight with me, Godric. Do you think I’m too damaged to have this kind of strength? Do you think I’ll become somethin’ bad, somethin’ like Niall? Could I become someone so impartial to everyone else that I couldn’t care less about them livin’ or dyin’ so long as I get what I want?”
Godric stared at her contemplatively for a moment, “You are so very young, Sookie. Eric is right, you could do anything. I do not believe that you could become Niall, though. Perhaps you are still growing into the control of you gifts, but that does not mean you are not a strong enough person to wield them. Your damage, as you put it, might be what helps you maintain your humanity. It gives you the ability to be a bit callous, but it is a side of you that I have never personally seen. Honestly, with all of the manipulations of your past, and the current threats against you, I am not surprised that you have adopted a darker persona to deal with it. Perhaps you will shed that identity once Niall is finally out of your life.”
“When we first met… You told me not to lose my inner light,” Sookie’s voice was a whisper.
“I remember,” He nodded.
“Can you… Can you remind me of that now and again?” she asked shyly.
“As often as you need,” Godric smiled, and watched as Sookie stood up and walked about the den. There was a piano angled off center of the room, and the girl sat on the bench before it. Her hands pressed a few keys down experimentally, “Do you play?”
“No,” Sookie shook her head, “I always liked the piano, though. I have this really old memory, sometimes I wonder if it’s real or not. Back when I lived with my mother, father, and Jason; there was a piano in the study. Daddy pretended he hated it there because mamma would always play while he was tryin’ to work. I knew that he liked it, though. Me and Jason would sit in the middle of the floor, daddy would be at his desk workin’ and mamma would play… And as often as all the furniture in that room got shuffled and rearranged, the piano never moved. Not once. I guess mamma and daddy thought it was too heavy and too much of a hassle to move. I don’t know why. But the piano has always been like a weird, immoveable object. Somethin’ that is always the same, always where it should be.”
“You know, Eric can play the piano,” Godric came and sat beside her on the bench, “I can as well. Pamela never took to it. She never liked to play music, though she appreciates listening to it. Perhaps you should have Eric teach you to play.”
“Why?” Sookie asked.
“It might make you feel closer to your family,” Godric answered.
“Why would I want that?” She stood up and walked away from the bench.
“Sookie,” Godric shook his head, “if you continue to push this hard, how can you hope to move on? Your past is… So dark,” he insisted, “If you do not accept that, and try and find some light within it, you could risk letting your darkness consume you.”
Her hands flew up in the air, trying to be dismissive, but only managing to come across as overwhelmed, “I exist alongside vampires. Shouldn’t I be dark?”
“Eric is in love with your light. He has had more than enough shadow to sate him for the rest of his existence. We all have.”
Letting out a dissatisfied growl, Sookie turned to look at the oldest of the Gahl line, “It means nothin’ to me now,” she insisted, “Jason’s the only one left, and the only one that matters to me.”
“After everything you have learned over the last couple of days, are you still so insistent about that?” Godric asked, not believing it one bit, “You have discovered that your entire family had been glamoured into shunning you. Are you trying to tell me that a part of your heart is not aching to know what could have been?”
Leaning against the wall now, Sookie bowed her head as she spoke, “Of course, part of me wants to fantasize about what my life would have been like if Niall and his pawns hadn’t intervened, but if I had spent my entire life goin’ over all the “what ifs”, I really would have gone crazy. It’s just easier not to wonder.”
“Sookie,” Godric came to meet her at the wall, “please, stop moving away from me.”
The girl looked up and met his gaze, “My whole life… I thought about how wonderful it would be to find someone like me. Or hope that there would be an explanation for what I am. I have that story, and I know my origin, but it doesn’t make me feel better. Actually, I think it makes me feel worse. Because, what I am wasn’t even good enough for my kind. I’m a half-breed, not even! I’m like a quarter breed, or whatever fraction of fae and witch I am. I’m a mutt,” She swiped at a type of tear she had not shed in years. A tear formed from dismay over her otherness, “What am I? What am I even good for?”
“You are good for Eric,” Godric answered, “You are his Bonded, and the love of his existence.”
“I want a purpose,” she said quietly, “I want my existence to mean somethin’ other than that. I love Eric, I want to be with him forever. That will never change, but…”
“You want to have meaning. You want to exist for more than that now,” Godric was smiling, “I am glad.”
“What? You’re not mad that… I’m sayin’ that Eric alone isn’t enough?” She looked at him in surprise.
“Yes,” Godric nodded, “You have never existed for anyone or anything but Eric. Everyone needs something to move them. They cannot live for another. Eric has motivations outside of you. He has his Child, his responsibilities as Sheriff, his strange fascination with business and economics,” He smirked at that last part. Indeed, Eric had been the one to blow up Godric’s own financial power, “He is also a warrior. He exists for battle and conflicts. They are his life sized chess matches.”
“What is your motivation?” Sookie asked.
“I did not have one for a long time. For a while I contemplated ending my own existence. However, when the Council announced that vampires would come out into the public eye, I viewed it as an opportunity to help bridge the gap between mortals and immortals. I ache for the opportunity to unite the worlds of light and darkness. That is my motivation now,” Godric told her, “Do not despair over this, Sookie. Be patient. Grow. Learn. You will find your life, or your life will find you,” He was smiling wholeheartedly now, “We will help you meet it when you do.”
“Thanks, Godric. I’m glad you talked with me about it… As far as feelin’ close to my old life… I think I just want to be a sister to Jason. I’d rather live in the present, and not try and yearn for the possibilities of the past,” she told him.
“I respect that,” Godric nodded, “I know that you feel conflicted about talking to Eric over such things, that you do not wish to hurt him by telling him that you need more. Though I can truthfully assure you that you would in no way upset him if you were to talk to him about it; if it makes you more comfortable, you may always speak to me.”
“Thank you,” Sookie smiled back up at him, “I’ll remember that, and I’ll try to talk with my Bonded, too,” Turning thoughtful, the girl asked, “How many vampires live in Louisiana?”
Godric was surprised by the sudden question, “I am not certain. I could check the census..? Eric would know more than I.”
“Roughly 800, but I have not checked the over all populace in a while,” Eric returned to the den, “About two hundred made an appearance tonight. Due to the spontaneity of our overtaking, it is understandable that the word did not get spread quickly enough for all of my supporters to make it. There is also a chance that some disbelieved the authenticity of the summoning, seeing as it came from Charles.”
“But a formal announcement is being made shortly, and the remaining supporters will pledge their loyalty afterwards,” Godric told her, “I should only need a couple hundred more supporters to assure that the Council accepts my newest role in the hierarchy.”
“Yes, Eric explained some of that to me last night,” Sookie nodded. “How long are we goin’ to be down here?”
“A few months,” Eric answered, “We want to be certain that Godric is settled in and secure before departing.”
“What about your sleep patterns?” Sookie pressed.
“I will only remain king for a century or so,” Godric shrugged, “I can remain in my cache during the day and make sure that it is large enough that I do not get bored. Perhaps I will get a cat.”
Sookie snorted on a laugh, “A cat?”
“Yes,” Godric did not find the humor. Instead, he turned to Eric, “Have you engaged a security team?”
“I have. There is a group of Weres that have agreed to oversee the ground’s security until we can make more appropriate arrangements. I know of a private military group comprised of Weres, but contracting them is time consuming, and will need to be done through the private channels. I will have them engaged for you well before we depart.” Crossing his arms over his chest, Eric continued, “I would like to suggest that you take Dana into your court. She is well learned in the state’s situation, and I am sure she will be invaluable to your needs as a new monarch.”
“She will not be resistant towards me, seeing as she was fond of Sophie-Anne?” Godric was surprised.
“She is beholden to me over the former Queen. She loved Sophie-Anne, but she cared more about me, which was why she willingly spied on André. And seeing as the former Queen would have murdered her without a second thought last night, I am certain she will be quite loyal to you,” Eric assured.
“Perhaps she can direct me in other appropriate vampires to appoint to my court,” Godric was thoughtful.
“I am certain that she can,” his Child agreed.
Sookie was listening to the pair setting up their logistics when she felt a recently familiar mind approaching the gate. The same golden mind she had met the night before, “Octavia is here. Shall I go greet her? She is at the gate,” she announced.
“I will go with you,” Eric smiled at her, taking Sookie’s arm and entwining it with his own as they strolled out of the room.
Octavia was still standing at the open gate when Sookie and Eric arrived outside. She smiled warmly at the telepath, and the blond nodded in greeting with her own smile.
“It’s good to see you again so soon,” Sookie smirked.
“Yes, well, I warned you that you would be seeing me again,” Octavia chuckled. “I take it that you had Ludwig contact me to ward the estate?”
“Yes,” Eric let the woman take stride with them as they turned back towards the building.
“I brought my items with me. I did not expect to be needed for this so soon, but I came prepared,” Octavia patted the bulging bag at her hip.
“Can I watch?” Sookie asked.
“Of course. I told you I would start teaching you magic when I came to ward the new property,” Octavia laughed.
“Can I ask you somethin’ about the wards you can do?”
“Well, is there magic that can be done to bypass the wards… Specifically where fairies are concerned?” There was a tentativeness to Sookie’s inquiry.
“Yes. There is a blood magic done… I believe the Fae call it, “lema ‘ed templa en agar”; which means teleport to blood. It is common for Fae to carry vials of blood of their dear ones so that if a loved one is taken, they can reach them no matter the wards. If the practitioner is strong enough, sometimes they can use a close relative’s blood of the other’s intended target.”
“Like a fairy could use my brother’s blood?” Sookie already knew this.
“Ah, you are part Fae,” Octavia realized, “Well, your brother’s blood would be sufficient for a strong enough magician. Does your brother have fairy traits?”
“He has physical fae qualities. He is quite beautiful,” Eric answered, “But his scent is nothing resembling that of a fairy. Sookie’s is much more noticeable, though not immediately recognizable as fae.”
“That’s a bit more tricky. The odds go down a lot if he has no fairy magic of his own. I suppose if one were desperate enough, they would try it, but without the magic, the link might not be strong enough to get through even a standard teleportation ward. Definitely not a reinforced one.”
“Reinforced?” Sookie liked the sounds of that.
“Yes. With a bit more time and energy, a ward can be reinforced against more specific uninvited entrances. Teleportation could be negated entirely, unless you’re like Ludwig and have that talisman of hers. There’s only two of those in existence!”
“Who has the other one?” Sookie tilted her head curiously.
Octavia shrugged, “The Council or Pantheon, probably.”
“Oh… Could you do a reinforced ward for us, please? A powerful fairy has my brother’s blood, and I’d rather not risk it. That fairy’s not very happy with me, you see,” Sookie explained.
“I can do that. I will need your assistance for it, though. I’m getting old and don’t think I have enough energy to do it alone,” Octavia looked at Eric carefully, “I will need to lay hands on her to use her energy. Is that acceptable?” she asked.
“For the sake of the ward, then yes,” Eric nodded in agreement.
“I will teach you how to perform the ward as well, so that you may apply it to other locations if need be,” Octavia told the telepath, “With your Bonded’s permission, and your cooperation, I believe I should begin training you on your other gifts… Are you interested in being a practicing witch?”
Sookie was hesitant a moment, “Honestly… I don’t know. I mean, I want to control my abilities with more ease and use them with better judgement rather than so impulsively. Bein’ able to do wards is also a cool idea, too… I don’t know what all I want to learn, and I’m not sure if I’d be a good student for it.”
“Because your lack of faith in a Higher Power?” Octavia guessed. Casting her eyes to the floor, Sookie gave a silent nod that the woman was correct. The witch smiled gently, a hint of sadness in her upturned lips, “I understand your hesitation. We will see what you are capable of first, and progress accordingly.”
“Let’s begin with the ward, since it is the most persistent problem at hand.”