Meera was sure that it was the Queen from the book she had just read. But before the lady could come closer, another figure approached.
‘This is not the right time to disturb Meera,’ the other said. It sounded very much like Headmistress Elysian.
‘Rin,’ said the Queen. ‘The right time will never come.’
‘Not now. Let us leave.’
Meera’s heart began palpitating very fast as she hid under the blanket. She knew there was something she needed to know and it was somehow connected to the Queen. She didn’t want them to leave. No, she didn’t. All this mystery and hidden conversations were eating her up. She needed to know. Now!
‘We must let her recover from today’s injuries. It’s a good thing she didn’t break any bones,’ said the other again.
Meera could hear footsteps walking away. Headmistress Elysian had convinced the Queen to leave.
Don’t go, Meera pleaded in her mind. Don’t go now.
Suddenly the footsteps stopped. A dead silence prevailed in the room.
‘Rin, this cannot wait,’ the Queen said. ‘I will not hear any more.’
‘As you wish,’ said the other.
Meera was glad they had stopped, but as the footsteps approached her, she felt a fang of fear crawl up her body. Anything could be headed towards her. It could throw everything into chaos or it could bring everything into order. She knew she could trust Headmistress Elysian, she would do everything to protect Meera.
‘Meera, I know you’re awake,’ said Headmistress Elysian.
Meera slowly popped her head out of the blanket. She didn’t know what to say next. It could have been anything. The Queen was looking at her. She looked much older than the illustrations in the book, and much more terrifying. Her eyes were sunken and dark, like she hadn’t slept for ages.
‘Meera, I suppose you must have read the book,’ said Headmistress Elysian looking at the open book on the bed.
‘Meet Queen Reva, Meera. Your grandmother.’
Meera felt a heavy weight in her stomach.
My grandmother, she thought.
‘I’m sorry it had to be this way,’ said the Queen rather sternly. It seemed as though she had no feelings inside of her. Perhaps it was the effect of having to lock your daughter up in dungeons after she tried to kill your grandchild.
‘I know you have questions Meera,’ said Headmistress Elysian. ‘And perhaps it will now slowly be uncovered.’
Meera sat on the bed trying to figure out the mess that was going on. It was not easy having to know suddenly after 16 years that you have a grandmother and that too a Queen.
Meera tried to utter something.
‘Does that mean…,’ she stopped halfway through.
‘Speak my child,’ said the Queen. ‘I will answer all your questions tonight.’
‘Does that mean,’ said Meera and swallowed a lump in her throat. ‘The princess is my mother?’
By the time she uttered the word mother, her voice almost dried up.
‘I wish it was not so. But wishes don’t work,’ said the Queen and turned away towards the window. The moon had already risen in the dark sky.
‘She,’ she continued as she gazed at the sky. ‘Your mother, the Princess always had a thing for whispers in the air. She could hear voices that others couldn’t.’
I can too, Meera thought as she remembered the time the air told her to read the book.
‘You can too, Meera,’ the Queen added. ‘You must not listen to everything the wind says. Voices without faces do not mean anything. You might never have a clue who wants what from you. It was the devil my daughter followed and fell into.’
‘Do not talk in metaphors, Reva,’ said Headmistress Elysian.
‘You might want to explain the remaining.’
‘Meera,’ said Headmistress Elysian.
Headmistress Elysian continued.
‘After the Queen had the Princess locked up in the dungeons, the whispers in the air still continued. The Queen knew that she had to save the child. She left the child in care of one of her trusted people, Mayna. Mayna was told to raise her as her little sister and never utter a single word of what happened in the past. The child’s magic was sealed for sixteen years to keep the whispers of the air from reaching her.
The Princess had become hungry for power and her magic had grown as she freed herself from the shackles in the dungeons after days. Some of the most powerful witches and wizards in the mountain kingdom tried their best to neutralize the Princess’s spells, but they couldn’t. The King and the Queen’s magic had grown weaker because their own blood had betrayed them. In the royal family, magic was a family bonding. Their powers grew stronger through their bond and a very crucial bond had been broken at once. The Princess killing her brother and then her own daughter had reduced the power in them greatly.
The whispers commanded the Princess to kill all of her kins. She tried everything in her power to find her daughter, the child. But because her magic was sealed, she could not sense her presence.
Soon, she commanded a great army filled with evil witches and wizards against the King and the Queen. The supporters of the King and the Queen also united. A great battle was fought and many brave souls were sacrificed. The other side also suffered heavily. It was at the hands of the King that the Princess saw her end. But her magic also consumed him. And he lost his life.
After the Princess took her last breath, the whispers stopped. It did not find a new soul to consume for a long time. The survivors of both the sides hid and continued their lives. But as long as the child lived, the power of the Queen could not be completely destroyed. Who was behind the whispers, nobody knew. Some concluded that it was an old enemy of the King and the Queen. But there was no sign of the whispers after the Princess was gone. But the Queen was sure that it could find the child, because she carried the blood of the Princess.
When the child turned 16, her magic would be set free. But she could not be sent to the magic school anywhere near to where she grew up. And so she was sent to Hogwarts, far far away from home so that there would be very little chance of being found out.’
‘That is you Meera, that child is you,’ said the Queen. ‘Rin Elysian took a big gamble by agreeing to accept you at Hogwarts. She put many lives in jeopardy. But I knew that this was the only place you could have been safe, close to Elysian and her trusted ones, even though I myself was very skeptic at the beginning.’
Meera would next find out that Headmistress Elysian was once very good friends with the Queen and the King. She fought with them against the Princess. Many witches and wizards from Hogwarts had also joined their cause.
There was an air of uneasiness among the two great women standing in the room. Meera tried to conclude that perhaps the battle had taken its toll on them and their relationship. It seemed as though Meera was the only reason they stood there, with calm faces as their inner emotions boiled. But Meera was more worried about the sudden changes in her life. What she thought was hers till the moment before no longer belonged to her, in fact it was never her to begin with. It all felt like a dream, a long one where one remembered all the details.
‘What do you want me to do?’ Meera asked. She regretted instantly after the last word left her tongue. She did not know why she had that particular question. She felt like she had to do something. It was a quest drawn for her long before she had any say in it.
Headmistress Elysian looked at Meera and then the Queen. She was waiting for the Queen to answer Meera’s queries, it seemed.
‘You must not listen to the whispers in the air. Like the Princess did,’ the Queen said.
‘You mean my mother,’ said Meera, her voice shaking.
‘I am not sure if that is the right word to describe her.’
‘Reva, do not say so. Not in front of Meera. Whatever the Princess did does not change her relationship with you,’ Headmistress Elysian said sternly.
‘We do not get to choose what is given. All that we may do is do what is right with what is given,’ the Queen said. She turned to Meera and added, ‘Yes, you must do something Meera. You must not only not listen to the whispers but defeat it when the time comes.’
‘But I do not how to,’ Meera said, shocked.
‘You are a witch Meera,’ said the Queen. ‘We all have wonders we do not know about.’
Meera wondered what kind of wonder she had inside of her. There was only one way to figure it out.