//Alright, some people may find that chapter pitiful, but I don't care. I almost cried when I wrote this chapter. You may think: What kind of fucktard would cry in front of a computer while writing a fic? Well, I did. Call it weakness, call it stupidity, call it whatever you want, I don't give a shit.//
Chapter VII – Mommy
As time passed, Aeris got used to her new life. In fact, she truly enjoyed it. Every morning her knowledge was expended with the magic lessons. Learning new spells, training with friendly competition… The afternoon, she turned into a florist, composing new bunches of flowers, performing her daily job in the sweet sent of charming plants. And then, she would dine with Rukia, chatting mainly about wizardry. Eventually, she would go to the library were she could enlarge her wisdom and once again find new spells that Harpell did not have time to teach. She came to know Solen pretty well. The peaceful librarian had however warned her about the evilness of the dark elves, and that he was but an exception. "Never trust the words of a drow", that was the litany he kept telling her. He also carefully chose the books that could interest the young girl, since he had not much to do.
Life was easy and enjoyable.
But an event had occurred. Some would say it was a curse inflicted upon her, since it would deeply change her life. A burden she would have to carry to her grave. Aeris saw it as a blessing.
It was her last day at the temple. Two weeks had gone since her awakening, and she now had to leave the place. Through her window, she watched the sun fade into the darkness of the coming night, and wondered how lucky she had been. No longer her heart was aching for her past. The constant chattering of the town that she heard meant: "Welcome home". She truly felt as if she belonged here. Only two weeks had passed, and still it was with a hint of nostalgia that Aeris would leave the huge temple. Not that she wanted to stay there; she knew that some people would need her room for more urgent matters. The young girl didn't feel like going out, she enjoyed being in this peaceful place, a place where she surely wouldn't come often anymore after this day. She was wrong to think that. Feeling compelled to at least thank her nurse, the old Soye, the young girl jumped off her bed and headed for the corridors. Surely he would pass by, she knew. Not ten minutes had slipped, and already she sighted the old elf, seeming running in all directions, sorely pressed by his work. As she approached him, he gladly turned to her and asked.
Oh, I'm sorry, but could you watch over these young girls? He said, pointing the door he had just crossed.
I have the feeling that they will awaken soon.
Sure, I will do that.
Many thanks. I must depart now.
Watching the old man walk away, she then quietly entered the room. Similar to hers, but bigger, it contained three beds, where three little children were sleeping calmly. They weren't old, no. About five to eight years old, she guessed. And so cute… The first one, with blond hair, seemed more agitated than the others. Watching the three little girls sleeping, Aeris found a level of inner-peace she could have never hoped to achieve. She was glad the old nurse had told her to look after them. It seemed that she could be staying like that starring at the sleepy children for hours and hours, her smile not fading away from the least. But it did.
The youngest one of the three, the little blond girl whose dream seemed agitated, started sobbing. Was she awakened? The sound of her tears deeply pained Aeris, even more than when she had been inadvertently struck by a minor lightning bolt while training in the magic school. She slowly moved towards the bed, and froze when she heard the desperate voice of the young child.
Mommy? She heard.
The young girl still had her eyes closed, curled in her bed, silently crying. This revelation broke everything Aeris held to before. This amnesia was not a blessing. It was a curse. Although she truly enjoyed her new life, she couldn't help but think about those children, whose parents will never know, and ultimately lost.
Mommy? She heard once again, the pleading voice seeming almost as begging.
Aeris felt her heart break at the desperate call. Without thinking more, without wanting to hear more suffering, she quickly strode towards the bed and warmly hugged the young blond child. The word 'Mommy' rang in her mind, she felt the sadness bursting from her own heart. The child needed her. She needed a mother.
Don't worry honey. Mommy is here. Mommy is here, she gently soothed in the girl's ear, hiding the best as she could her own grief.
Mommy I thought I was alone! Answered the child, bursting into desperate tears.
Mommy, mommy, mommy, she repeated, her voice fading away as she roughly grabbed Aeris, burying her head in the young woman's embrace.
Truly Aeris was amazed by the child desperation. The endless tears soaked her shirt, and the child's strong grasp was strong and painful. But the young woman did not let go. She kept hugging the child – her child, now – and tried hard to fight back her own tears – in vain. The noisy cries of the youngest had awakened her sisters, who now were looking confusedly at the room. Driving her tears away, the new mother's gaze found the children's eyes. The first one was quite a strange one – orange hair and pink eyes – and looked at Aeris with confusion. The second, however, the one with black hair and green eyes, seemed more distant and more careful. Seconds went by before any words could be spoken by anyone, but ultimately the call remained the same.
Mommy? Asked shyly the orange-haired girl.
She tried rising up, but found – to late – that her legs weren't able to support her weight yet. She almost fell on the ground, but Aeris caught her in time, without releasing the first child – not that the blond girl wanted to be separated from her mommy. As an answer to that protective act, Aeris felt that the orange-haired was also tightly embracing her, seeking for some warmth. The last child still didn't move, eying the group with confusion – if not suspicion. The dark haired girl seemed lost, not knowing what to think. Aeris broke her contemplation by gently soothing some words in a motherly voice.
Yea…. Answered the young girl after hesitating a bit.
She also went to her new mother, and even her couldn't deny that she felt comfortable around her mommy. Was it Aeris' charisma that led the children take her as a mother? Was it because of the fact that the children only needed someone? Or was this caused by a outer force, something surreal that no one could even start guessing about? To Aeris, it didn't matter. She felt like she had always been their mother. No more a girl. But a woman. Despite her young age, despite every thought that had ever crossed her mind about children, family and all, she felt as a mother. Now, her life was truly complete. Now, the distant call of "Welcome home" was fully echoing in her mind. Slowly releasing her embrace, she remarked that the blond girl had once again dozed off. Carefully lifting her from the ground, where she had been kneeling for about five minutes now (since she had prevented the second child from falling), she replaced the girl on the bed, pulling her cover on her so she doesn't get cold. To her relief, the tears were already drying, and now a faint smile could be discerned on the child's innocent face. She gently stroked the young girl's cheek, and then turned back to the other two.
Why don't you two also get back to bed? She gently asked.
It is getting late. You better rest a bit, alright?
The two girls looked at each other, and nodded in agreement. Then, they also went to their bed, and quickly fainted into the dreamlands. They were still tired. Aeris found a chair to sit on, and she continued watching over the girls, her smile more warm than ever.