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[The space between Faerie and the Iron World]

With Fiona and Adonis gone the sithen seemed very empty.  I waited for days for them to come back, but they didn't... and without them here the house began to seem oppressive to me no matter what glamour I used to make it feel more open and welcoming,  and so eventually I broke the charms and let the house return to the Iron World.

Two knights of Faerie were waiting for me on the porch. One knight of Spring and one of Autumn. They greeted me formally and said that they came from the Lady of Spring and that they were glad to see that I was well. I did not want them in my house but I could not leave them standing there either. They might be seen. And also I wished to know if they had seen my goddaughter. I both hoped they had and hoped they had not.

After we had exchanged all the usual news and pleasantries I asked what had brought them to my door and they said that my Lady had sent them to find me and that they were not the only ones looking. I felt both relieved and concerned. Who else was looking for me? And since they were looking there was a chance that they might find Fiona as well or instead.

I had always known that my people would come looking for me, my Lady especially. I had hoped that Feidelma might. But no the news the knights had brought had mentioned her in passing and it was not good. Perhaps it was just as well that Fiona was not here to listen to it. The knights had not mentioned her but it seemed that  they had been waiting on that porch a while and so they might have seen her and Adonis leave.

Very nearly did I ask if they had seen a girl with red hair, but I did not. Instead I asked who else was looking for me. They answered that knights of both Summer and of Winter, and furthermore, my Lady had instructed that my guests should do their utmost to find me before those others did. They believed that while their orders were to ask me to accompany them back to Faerie; it was quite probable that those others would not ask but instead demand and back it up with force should I refuse.

They did not know why my Lady so wished to bring me back to Faerie. We all could guess why the Summer Court might look for me. I had always known that when the time for the tithe came I would be missed. Feidelma could not cover for me for all time. But I could not have expected them to know aught beyond their own orders. My Lady is not so careless with her secrets, especially not with someone who is sworn to the service of her opposite. If I wished to learn why she was making  an alliance with the Lady of Autumn  such that said Lady would  lend one of her knights to  a search for me, then I must return with them.

I am glad that my god daughter is well clear of this. Her mother sent her away to protect her from these sort of games. So I smile and sip my tea and tell them that yes of course I will go with them. As soon as we finish the tea and I pack a few things to take with me. Keepsakes of my time here. I will miss Fiona and her father. And my little mage. And perhaps the rest of this odd little town, just a little. It has been interesting living here.

But I missed my home as well, and now at last I am going home.

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