Part 1

Prologue – Rose’s Reflection

A few years ago, I met a Garden fairy named Raven. Crazy, boisterous, and deadly smart. She’s helped out of some tight corners. About four months ago, I asked her if she’d like a place in the Pixie Elite Force, the secret organisation I run, as a member of the Disguise team. Luckily for me, she accepted. Raven’s probably one of the best friends I have. There’s no secrets between us. I’m really glad to know that she’s one of those friends I can always rely on. She’ll alway have my back, and I’ll always have hers.

~~

Diary Dilemma

By Rose MorningMist, Dalila Pineforest and Raven Mistycloud

Dalila’s Whisper Message to the Pixie Elite Force

July 1, Late Morning

This is Dalila. I don’t know when this message will reach the PEF, but there’s something you must know. I’m currently in-

-and I don’t know when I’ll be back. It’s really dangerous. The-

-is everywhere. Don’t trust them. I hope to return soon but – they’ve found us. Jingles.

Don’t trust them, don’t trust the-

~~

Dal’s Diary

June 18, Breakfast

Hello, diary.

I’m signing my Summons right now, while I’m in the Tearoom. I’m hoping to drop it off at the Pixie Postings stand soon, so it can be accepted and approved before noon today. If I do get it sent in in time, I can be ready and on my way to the Mainland tomorrow!

I’m hoping to be all packed and ready before bed tonight. If I don’t turn it in today, or it doesn’t get accepted, I’ll be shipped out on one of the late pixie dust carriers.

Anyway, I’m going to see Ginger and Buttercup later to say goodbye. Since they’re art and tinker-talents, they can’t come to the Mainland with me. I wish they could, but the Never Council sa-

~~

Dalila’s POV

June 18, Early Morning

I stop writing abruptly because a short, brunette fairy has just spilled her bowl of soup on me.

“W-what was that?” I splutter angrily, staring at the orange stain that’s spreading on my favorite sweater.

“Oh, oh, my! I’m so sorry!” The other pixie says, trying in vain to wipe the stain off the tablecloth with her napkin. Quickly, I pull my bag away, trying to prevent what I think is pumpkin soup from dripping on it. Thankfully, my diary is no worse for wear.

“It’s fine,” I say, calming down a bit. “I can wash it off.”

I grab my bag with one hand, and begin pulling my sweater off with the other, all while walking towards the Tearoom’s public bathrooms.

~~

Raven’s POV

June 18, Early Morning

I sit on my own blue stone and watch as the pixies on stones violet, orange, and red all take turns to duel.

Truth be told, I’m nervous. Rose and I have fought before, but not with magic, and one of us is usually not expecting it.

And, to increase my anxiety, most of the pixies here are good. Like, really good. I don’t have any practice!

I wipe my palms on my jeans and try to reassure myself. You’re good. You’re great. You’re a garden-talent, for Neverland’s sake. You can do this. Now stop whimpering, you insipid little…

Hey! Who gave my internal monologue permission to insult?

Shaking my head, I try to focus on the duel playing out in front of me. One of the fairies just summoned a giant branch, and started chasing her duelling partner around the arena with it. Is that even allowed?

~~

Rose’s POV

June 18, Early Morning

“Next up – Blue stones!”

I stand up on the blue stone I was just sitting on and face my opponent.

Today’s duelling practice for all Pixie Elite Force members. We do it once a month, to keep our skills sharp. All the PEF members sit in a circle on coloured stones. For every coloured stone, there’s another of the exact same colour. Rachel, who’s the acting Head of Spells and Magic, calls out colours from a list. The two fairies that are sitting on that colour stand on the stone, take the oath and then duel.

My opponent today is Raven. It’s her first duel, and I can tell she’s slightly nervous. She narrows her eyes at me from across the lawn.

Bring it, she mouths. I suppress a laugh. I suppose her competitiveness rules out any fear.

Rachel lands in the middle of the duelling circle. “Because this is your first time Raven, I’ll explain the oath to you. This oath you are about to take means you are willing to abide by our rules for duelling. We don’t want anyone to get unnecessarily hurt. Are you ready?”

Raven nods.

“The rules are simple – you may use any kind of magic you wish to duel, so long as it’s not illegal, of course. There is to be no deliberate injuring, maiming or mangling in this duel. The duel is won when one fairy is on the ground for longer than five seconds or one surrenders. If the fight exceeds five minutes, then it is considered a draw. Do you understand and swear to abide by these rules?”

Rachel told me she based the rules on a Clumsy sport called boxing. I don’t see how boxes could be used in a sport. As far as I can see, they’d only get in the way.

“Yeah, yeah.” Raven flips her ponytail and places her hands on her hips.

Rachel nods. “Rose?”

“Yes, I swear,” I tell her.

Rachel smiles. “Very well. You can enter the arena.”

The other members chatter excitedly as Raven and I join Rachel in the arena. Rachel clicks her fingers, and a shield falls over the circle, like a dome, blocking out the noise.

“Scared, Potter?” Says Raven, quoting an old Clumsy movie we once watched after we found the first book in the series washed up on shore.

“You wish!” I shoot back, completing the reference.

Rachel rolls her eyes and steps back to the edge of the circle. “Ready?”

Both of us nod, eyes locked on each other.

“You may begin.”

~~

Dalila’s POV

June 18, Early Morning

After a few minutes of scrubbing, I decide that my sweater is a lost cause.

I stare at myself in the mirror for a few seconds.

“Well, I suppose the first thing I should do is get a new sweater.” I say, talking to myself. “And then I’ll turn in my Summons, and then I can go to the Mainland, and forget all about this.”

I push a few stray curls back behind my headband and stride out of the bathroom, confident and determined.

Twenty minutes later, I walk out of Summit Style, my brand new sweater in my hand.

Sitting on a branch, I pull it over my head and then search through my bag. I want to finish up my diary entry and make absolutely sure no soup got onto it.

However, I only feel my pen, my Summons, and some miscellaneous junk. My fingers don’t make contact with the rough cover of my diary.

Frantically, I begin pulling things out of my bag. I find a box of cottonpuffs, a bottle of shampoo, and an empty envelope, but no diary.

“Oh, no!” I say, jumping up. “I must have lost it! But where?”

~~

Rose’s POV

June 18, Early Morning

I haven’t duelled against a garden fairy in a long time, so I try to recollect the best strategy. Water and Garden Talents haven’t got many weaknesses when tested against each other, so neither of us really have the upperwing in this fight. I also haven’t seen Raven use her talent that much, other than to tend to her garden or fix up her petal skirts when they start to dry out.

Raven cracks her knuckles, then clicks her fingers. The ground shakes, long vines growing at my feet, attempting to spiral around them. I take flight, moving out of harm’s way, but the vines rise upwards, trying to grab at my ankles.

Thinking quick, I circle the inside of the duelling circle darting to avoid getting tangled in the vines. Suddenly, they jerk to a stop. All my crazy flying has tied them into a knot. I blink.

“Well, that went better than I expected,” I mutter.

Raven sighs, clicking her fingers again. The vines retreat back into the ground.

Fine,” She says. “Your turn.”

I grin, waving my hand. Rain begins to fall within the circle, soaking Raven’s wings.

“Hey, that’s not… Well, I guess it is.” She throws a pinch of dust over herself, and a transparent shield appears, blocking out the storm.

I twirl my hand in a spiral, creating a hurricane effect. Raven’s shield flickers and dims.

The ground rumbles again. More vines – I must ask Raven later why she likes these plants so much. I ready myself to dodge them again, when I notice something different.

These vines have thorns. Big, sharp looking ones.

Since when do vines have thorns?

I disperse the storm so I can concentrate on the vines. Unfortunately, that means Raven can focus on them too. I try to tangle the vines like before, but these ones don’t follow me. They just sit there, coiling.

Waiting.

“Raven,” I say cautiously. When she doesn’t respond, I turn to look at her.

Her hair is windswept from the storm, her brand new outfit soaked and torn. There’s a wild look in her eyes.

A wild look I could have sworn I’d seen before…

Suddenly, something sharp grabs my angle. I turn to see the vines twisting around my leg, and I wince in pain.

The vines throw me to the ground, and I land with a thud.

“One,” Begins Rachel. “Two, three…”

I attempt to get to my feet, but a small tug from the vines causes me to fall flat on my face again.

“Four, five.”

The shield around the circle disperses. All the members are silent. Then there’s an outburst of applause. Rachel points to Raven.

“And we have our winner!” She cries.

Raven blinks, and straightens. The vines holding my feet loosen, then retreat back into the ground.

I get to my feet.

“Not too shabby!” I tell her, grinning.

“Are you kidding?” Says Rachel, looking incredulous. “You’re the first person to ever beat Rose, well, apart from Ruby.”

“Well, I’ve been told I’m outstanding before, but you really do flatter me.”

Rachel laughs. “Come on, I’ve been told that there’s a morning tea being held in the planning room.”

“Yeah, Izzy helped me cook the food,” I say, brushing dirt off my pants. “Though first I should probably change my clothes and get that,” I indicate the small puncture marks on my leg, “Looked at.”

“Yeah, me too. You really did a number on my outfit.”

I roll my eyes. “It’ll dry,” I say. “Come on, let’s go eat!”

~~

Raven’s POV

June 18, Late Morning

Sighing, I pull a dry dress over my head. It’ll dry. Pah!

I turn and examine myself in the HQ’s bathroom mirror.

My ponytail’s soggy, and my makeup is running. I grab a hand towel and dry my face with it, then tie my hair up into a bun.

Opening the door and walking downstairs, I notice Rose and Ruby speaking in hushed voices by the refreshments table. Rose is sporting a leaf bandage around her ankle. Lily must have patched her up.

“What’s up?”

Rose and Ruby immediately shut up, and Rose has a very suspicious look on her face.

Narrowing my eyes slightly, I decide I want to know what they were discussing.

“Soo… Whatcha talking about?”

Rose hesitates. “There’s an upcoming mission that we’re yet to assign pixies to. Ruby and I were contemplating who.”

I smile. “That’s all?”

Rose nods. “That’s all. Now, who’s for a smoothie?”

“Me!” I shout. It’s been too long since I’ve exploited Rose for free drinks.

Ruby nods. “Can it have extra cream?”

Rose rolls her eyes. “I suppose so.”

Ruby does a backflip in mid-air, then follows Rose out the door.

Shaking my head, I follow them both (but I don’t backflip. I’m too refined for backflips).

There’s something Rose and Ruby aren’t telling me, but I’ll leave it for later. The Tearoom is a place for happiness, not domestic disputes!

~~

Dal’s POV

June 18, Late Morning

Inside Summit Style, I begin searching for my diary.

I dig through t-shirts, rummage through racks, and crawl along the floor. Finally, the shop owner, Diva Wings, interrupts me.

“I don’t know what you’re looking for, honey, but it’s not here.”

“You don’t say.” I mutter, standing up amidst the piles of clothing I’ve created.

Ashamed, but only slightly, I grab a random purse and push it towards her.

“I’ll take this.” I say, handing her my pouch.

“Yeah, I think you will.” Diva says, holding my pouch between two fingers.

Outside, I decide to search for my diary where I last saw it, the Tearoom.

Stuffing my new purse into my bigger (and more useful) bag, I flit outside, hoping that my diary is there.

~~

Rose’s POV

June 18, Late Morning

As the three of us fly to the Tearoom, Raven and Ruby ramble on about the latest fashions, which gives me time to think. I cast my mind back to my conversation with Ruby earlier.

“You really think it’s possible? That she’s somehow related to…” Ruby had trailed off in mid-sentence.

“Anything’s possible,” Was my response. “It may be nothing, but either way, keep an eye on her.”

Raven had interrupted seconds later. What I had told her was the truth, technically. It just doesn’t make sense, and until it does, I’m going to stick to my number one rule:

Trust no one.

Raven has always been someone I could trust. She’s one of the few people who know about my past. There’s literally no secrets between us.

Is there?

A saying I read in a Clumsy book jumps to mind. Red Queen, I think it was called. Four words, four, very true words.

Anyone can betray anyone.

“Rose? Are you okay?”

I blink, and look at Raven. Her eyes are full of concern.

“I’m fine,” I tell her, as we near Havendish Square. “So, what kind of smoothie would you like?”

~~

Raven’s POV

June 18, Late Morning

I sit at the table in uncomfortable silence with Rose and Ruby. Rose is staring intensely at the tablecloth, and Ruby is leaning back in her chair, apparently enjoying her smoothie.

I stir my strawberry smoothie and sigh for what must be the umpteenth time in the past five minutes.

“So, Raven,” Says Ruby, slurping on her smoothie, finally breaking the silence. “How are you settling into the PEF?”

I smile.

“Pretty well, I’d say. You’re all so professional, I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up to you!”

Ruby giggles. “You should’ve seen us when we first started out. There was only, what, four of us?” She nudges Rose, who blinks.

“What? Oh yeah, just you, me, Victoria and Autumn,” She says distractedly.

“Victoria and Autumn? Who’re they?” I ask.

Ruby finishes her smoothie and sets it down on the table. “Victoria founded the PEF with Rose. She still pops in from time to time. But Autumn…” She shrugs sadly.

“What?” I ask. “Where’d she go?”

“She disappeared without a trace, about two years ago.” Says Rose flatly. “No one’s seen her since.”

“Really? Any idea what happened to her?” I gulp nervously.

Ruby shakes her head. “No. And it’s not like she was acting strangely before she left either. She wasn’t unhappy or angry, she was fine.”

Our whole table returns to silence as I run Ruby’s words over and over again in my mind.

~~

Rose’s POV

June 18, Late Morning

After sitting in another awkward silence for about five minutes, I excuse myself to go pay for our smoothies. I wonder why Ruby brought up such a touchy subject. Autumn was a really close friend – a best friend, even, and I miss her a lot. Sometimes I still do a double take if I see a pixie with long blonde hair, or hear a laugh that sounds the same as hers.

By the Second Star Rose, you act like she’s dead.

But she’s not. She just can’t be.

I push those thoughts out of my mind.

I place a handful of oak leaves on the counter and thank the waitress for her service.

I’m making my way back to our table, when something catches my eye. A book, half hidden under a table.

I bend down and pick it up. There’s no title. It’s dark blue, and the cover is rough underneath my fingers.

Intrigued, I shove the book into my pouch and walk back to where Ruby and Raven are standing.

“Where to next?” Asks Raven.

“Back to HQ. We have a training session tomorrow morning and I have to finish off some paperwork.” I fiddle with my ring. Technically, not a lie.

Ruby gasps dramatically. “Not the dreaded paperwork!”

“Unfortunately,” I say, laughing. “Anyway, I’ll see you both later.”

Then I fly out the door as fast as I can. My moves may not have been very subtle, but I’m dying to have my question answered:

What is in that book?

~~

Dal’s POV

June 19, Early Morning

I lug my suitcase up the few steps to my assigned pixie dust carrier. I still haven’t found my diary, but I’m afraid that wherever it is, it’ll have to stay there until I get sent back home.

I scan the crowd for Ginger and Buttercup. They promised they’d come and see me off!

Shrugging, I sit on top of my bag and wait for the rest of the pixies to join me.

I got up extra early today to keep searching for my diary, so I’m a tad bit grumpy.

A sudden voice makes me look up. Standing in front of the pixie dust carrier is a short blonde fairy.

“You must be Dalila!”

I nod, helping her move her large backpack onto the carrier.

“Well, Dalila, it looks like we’re going to be travelling buddies!”

I smile at her. Maybe this trip won’t be so bad after all!

~~

Raven’s POV

June 19, Early Afternoon

I sip my iced tea and sigh.

“Is there anything better than summer sun?” I say, talking to myself.

“Friends?” A familiar voice says.

I sit up sharply, sliding my sunglasses down my nose.

“Ginger?” I say, pleasantly surprised. “Wow, I almost didn’t recognize you without Buttercup and Dalila.”

“And I almost didn’t recognize you without a ponytail. What’re you doing out here anyway?” Ginger asks, waving her hand at the grassy bank I’m lying on.

“Trying to get a tan, duh. Where are Butters and Dal anyway?” I ask, using my nicknames for both of them.

“Buttercup’s in the Tearoom somewhere. She went in for a shake, but she’s been in there a while…” Ginger trails off, and then shakes her head. “Dal headed to the Mainland earlier today, didn’t she tell you?”

I slide my sunglasses back up my nose. “Really? No, she didn’t!”

“She probably just forgot. She was really distracted when she left.”

“Maybe she realized she forgot to pack her hairbrush!”

We both laugh, remembering the time she actually did forget her hairbrush, and had to go without it for a whole week. By the time we’ve finished laughing at Dalila’s expense, Buttercup is rushing over to us, Plum fluttering along behind her.

“Sorry about that! The take-out lines in there are crazy!” Buttercup hands Ginger a bright green shake and sits down next to me.

“So, Dal went to the Mainland today?” I ask her.

“Yeah, but she’s kind of upset. I can understand. I’d feel the same way if my diary got lost. Can you imagine someone finding it and rifling through all your private thoughts?”

I blink.

“Whaddya mean, if your diary got lost? She lost it?”

“Yeah, yesterday! And she was trying so hard to write in it regularly, too.”

“How come she told you about it and not us?” Ginger interrupts.

“Maybe it’s because I can keep a secret,” Buttercup says, staring pointedly at Ginger.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

I don’t quite catch Buttercup’s retort, too caught up in my own thoughts. Lost her diary? Gone to the Mainland? Why doesn’t anyfairy ever tell me anything! How am I supposed to keep in touch with her if she doesn’t…

Standing up quickly, I gather my towel and bag.

“That only happened be- Hey, where are you off to?” Ginger says as I flutter just above the ground.

“Gotta go see a friend!” I reply, shooting off towards the PEF Headquarters.

Maybe, just maybe, I can get Rose to tell me where Dal’s stationed and sneak letters to her!

~~

Dalila’s POV

June 19, Early Afternoon

I wake up to someone shoving my shoulder and shouting in my ear.

“Dalila! Dalila, wake up! We’re here!”

Shaking my head to wake myself up, I stand up and look out.

All I can see is early morning fog as our pixie dust carrier skims over clear blue water.

“Water?” I ask, confused. I was assigned to change the season in a small forest, not a lake!

“Yeah, water!” My travelling companion replies. “I was reassigned at the last moment too! I guess they need us garden-talents more down here!”

I frown slightly, considering what she said. Reassigned? Why would a garden-talent be more helpful by a lake than a forest?

I’m jolted out of my thoughts by a large thud.

“They’re here!” A sparrow man shouts from the ground.

I’m helped out of the carrier by a tall fairy.

“I’m Jeanie, and I’ll be showing you both to your tent,” she says, turning around to help the other pixie in our carrier.

I wait for her to turn back to me before I introduce myself.

“I’m Dalila, a garden-talent.”

My small blonde friend, whose name I just realized I don’t know, introduces herself as well.

“I’m Tiny!”

“I can see that,” Jeanie laughs.

Tiny rolls her eyes.

“That’s my name.” She says, irritation clear in her voice.

“Well, Tiny and Dalila, let’s go see where you’ll be staying!”

~~

Rose’s POV

June 19, Early Afternoon

I sit in my office, ignoring stacks of paperwork balanced behind me, examining the small blue book I found in the Tearoom yesterday. It’s taken me this long to finally get to take a look at it properly; one of the members of the Potions Sector accidentally set the Potions area on fire and it took the whole afternoon to get it under control. This morning was taken up replacing everything was damaged.

Now, intrigued by the small book, curiousity gets the better of me and I open up a page at random.

June 13, Dinnertime

Hello, diary.

All my friends were busy today, so I had a day to myself. I started it off by eating breakfast with Plum and then going out for a fly together. I was enjoying myself up until lunch, when I realized I had to eat alone. I cooked and ate a simple soup, and washed the dishes right after.

Then, I went and read a book to keep myself busy. I was getting to the most exciting part when I turned to talk to one of my friends about it, but they weren’t there. By this time, I was feeling terribly lonely, so I just went upstairs and cocooned myself in blankets for a midday nap.

I always hate it when I have a day completely alone. Playing with Plum is fun, but she gets bored and leaves to play with her other butterfly friends after a while. Days like this remind me why I have friends in the first place!

Now I’m eating dinner. I have to say, my nap didn’t make me feel any better. It just made my hair frizzy and my tummy hungry!

I think I’m gonna drop by the Fairytale Theatre and see if there are any plays tonight.

Lonely yours,

dalalalalalila

Realising what it is, I slam the book shut again, feeling bad. I didn’t know it was a diary! At least now I know who it belongs to.

“Dalila Pineforest,” I mutter, thinking hard.

If I had lost my diary I wouldn’t want it to be read by some stranger… I instantly feel bad. I think fast, fiddling with my ring. I haven’t really got any personal missions in the coming days. The least I can do is return the diary to this Dalila Pineforest, whoever she is.

I’m thinking about this when Raven bursts into my room, looking slightly flustered.

“Hey Rose, I-” Raven stops dead and stares at the book still in my hands. “What are you doing with that?”

“I found it in the Tearoom,” I explain quickly. “Turns out, it’s a diary. Belongs to someone called-”

“Dalila Pineforest, I know. I know her, and I know you shouldn’t be reading her diary, of all things!”

“I didn’t know it was a diary!” I say hotly. “Anyway, I’m glad you know her. I was going to have to go to the Council and ask to see the Arrival records to track her down.” I roll my eyes. “Reading the records is worse than paperwork.” I glance at the stack of paper behind me sheepishly. “I really need to address those pa-”

The door bursts open, and Ruby rushes in. “Rose! By the Second Star, you won’t believe it!

I laugh. “Woah, calm down Ruby. What’s up?”

Ruby looks like she’s about to explode. “Rose, you got a Summons! To the Mainland!”

~~

Raven’s POV

June 19, Early Afternoon

I look between Ruby’s excited face and Rose’s shocked one.

“Um… Is there something special about this Summons?” I ask, confused. Pixies get Summons all the time!

“Raven,” Rose says, “I’m not in the Never Council’s records. I’m a Forbidden Child, remember? Technically, I don’t exist. I don’t just get a Summons out of the blue.”

“Oh…” My eyes widen, realizing what this means. “OH!”

“Exactly!” Ruby exclaims. “This is so exciting! Well, don’t just stand there Rose, open it!”

Tentatively, Rose opens the letter and reads it out loud.

Dear Miss MorningMist, we are glad to announce that you have been chosen to help bring the season of Summer to the Mainland!

Your group is number 34, and will be travelling to Ordinem Forest in America.

Please report to Sunflower Gully tomorrow at 10AM for departure. Sincerely, the Never Council.”

I look at Rose, whose mouth is hanging open slightly, and Ruby, who’s bouncing around the room with excitement.

“Don’t Summons usually give you a choice?” I say incredulously.

Rose frowns. “Yeah, they usually do…”

~~

Rose’s POV

June 19, Early Evening

I pace the length of the planning room, very aware that all eyes are on me.

All the Heads as well as Raven sit in their chairs, taking in what I’ve just said.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” Says Lily. “Why send you to the Mainland now? We were given a mission a few days ago, asking you to personally lead it!”

She’s right – exactly four days ago we were asked by the Council to check out some unusual activity on the Outlands Fringe – the area on the other side of the Mountains surrounding the Hollow.

“Well, I don’t seem to have a choice,” I say slowly. “Rachel, you could lead the mission, couldn’t you?”

Rachel nods. As Second in Command, it’s only logical she leads the mission in my absence.

“Okay,” I say, thinking for a minute. “Take all the Heads and five people from each sector. The Outlands are dangerous, and it’s a lot safer in larger numbers.”

“Got it. We’ll go and start preparing.” Rachel gets to her feet, making her way up the stairs, the others following behind her.

“What about me?” Asks Raven. I pull Dalila’s Diary out of my pouch.

“I need you to return this to your friend. Can you drop it off on your way home or something?”

Raven fidgets with her bright red flame lily skirt. “Ah, that… Dal’s not actually here. As in, not in the Hollow. At all.”

“What?”

“According to the grapevine, she got a Summons. That’s why I’m here, actually. I wanted to know if you could help me sneak letters to her or something like that.”

I’m about to tell her that even I can’t help with something like that, when a sudden idea pops into my head.

It’s crazy, insane and completely dangerous, not to mention would break at least a dozen rules… But the Council is up to something, and I need to know what. No one gets a Summons without an option to go or not. It just doesn’t make sense.

“I have an idea,” I say.

~~

Raven’s POV

June 20, Early Morning

Sitting at my kitchen table, I jot down a note to Ginger and Buttercup.

Dearest Gingie and Butters,

I was recently Summoned to the Mainland to help change the seasons. While I am gone, I humbly request that you take care of my garden. Please make sure my rhododendrons get enough sunlight, and that my ferns get watered regularly. Also, please take care not to bother the red vine plant in the corner. It’s very touchy.

Sincerely,

Raven

P.S. If one of you even thinks of throwing a party at my house without me, I will personally dye your hair green.

Technically, I was summoned by an official, Level Two Clearance member of an elite organisation. So, really, it’s not a lie!

Shaking my head, I grab my bright red suitcase, smooth my flower-patterned dress, and fly towards the place Rose and I planned to meet.

The pixie dust carrier that’s going to take Rose and myself to the Mainland is docked near the border crossing from the Autumn Woods to Summer Glade, in Sunflower Gully, just as Rose’s Summons said. When I see the bright red fade to green, I begin my descent.

Once I’m in the meadow, I kick aside a few wilted sunflower petals and plop down on the river bank. Rose should be here soon. The carrier’s scheduled to leave at 10 AM, so hopefully Ruby can get her out of bed before noon.

While I’m leaning over the water, I see a small purple figure walking towards me.

Not even having to look up, I greet her.

“Hello, Rose! Trying to sneak up on me?” I say cheerfully.

“I don’t know if that’s physically possible,” She says.

“Where’s the rest of your luggage?” I say, noticing that she only has one small leaf satchel.

“This is it,” She shrugs.

“But what about your clothes?” I say, panicking slightly.

Rose pulls something out of her pouch. “I didn’t need to pack any, I’ve got this.” She holds the object up for me to see.

“Is that a wand?” I ask. Rose nods.

“Izzy’s been working on a prototype for ages. She reckons it’ll help when Disguise members need to make quick outfit changes. This one’s been set to my wardrobe – she wants to test how far the distance can be between the item and the wand before it’ll stop working.”

“How come I don’t get one?”

“So far, this is the only prototype she has that doesn’t catch on fire every time you use it.”

“Ah, that makes sense. After all, fire is extremely difficult to accessorize.”

“Anyway,” She says, stuffing the wand back into her pouch, “I got a chance to look at the list of locations for Summoned fairies over the past week off the Council.” Rose pulls out a small scrap of paper with her handwriting scribbled on it. “Turns out, Dalila was Summoned to the same place as I was, the Ordinem Forest in America.”

“Oh?”

“Ruby gave me a locator potion to use on her Diary when we get there.” The area is getting crowded now; more Summoned fairies are boarding their carriers, their friends surrounding them to say goodbye. Rose lowers her voice. “Once we get it to her, we need to ask her about her Summons. There’s something going on here, something not right, and I want to find out what.”

~~

 

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