Rose stood at the head of the stairs and peered down them. After Ms. McGonagall brought in her parents for a meeting to explain her theories, they made the decision to send her to the Elemental outpost.
The Elementals were very secretive, they had been told, but Rose found they took it to new levels. They did not send an owl, but instead sent a flying empty envelope. When opened, a breeze rushed out, and cloud writing appeared from nowhere. It instructed them to bring Rose to this place in the middle of the woods. She would not bring anything with her, not even a coat. They would drop her off and then “the way would appear.” Rose’s father was against it, but eventually caved, saying only because it might solve his Rosie’s issue.
At first the cold was like knives, but Rose took a few steps forward and found herself a bubble from the winter. The ground was green and matted with vines, and there was this huge rock in the middle. As she moved even closer she saw this long flight of stairs descending into darkness which brought her to the present, where she debated going down.
There could be vicious creatures, or maybe even shady people. That said, the Elementals had proven to be pretty shady to begin with. Really, she was a Gryffindor! The funny boy in Slytherin, the one her daddy told her to stay away from, Scorpius Malfoy, he called her the Lioness. He said she was one of those natural-born leaders, and really? She was.
She took a tentative first step. Then another, then another. When she got to the bottom, it was pitch-black and Rose couldn’t see her hand in front of her face.
All of a sudden, a bright white light flashed, blinding her. When she opened her eyes again, she was on level ground again. She was on a cliff, near the sea if the sound of crashing waves was any indication, and she was facing a pair of huge black doors. No building, just doors. She stepped forward and they opened, revealing blackness.
Rose walked into the doors and they slowly closed behind her. Soon enough, she heard footsteps and what appeared to be a candle. As it came closer, it became obvious that it was much larger.
A tubby man walked closer. One hand was being used to rub the sleep out of his eyes, and the other palm was flat in front of his chest. A flame was leaping from it, threatening to set his beard on fire.
Though it scared her just a little, she stuck her hand out. “I’m Rose. They told me to come here?” The man removed his hand from his face to squint at her. He blinked a couple times, and then smiled. If it weren’t for the fire in his hand, he could have been the Fat Friar’s twin. ”Welcome, Rose Nymphadora,” he said. “I am Borvo. We’ve been expecting you.”
Ω Ω Ω Ω Ω
Borvo was an Acolyte, something like a monk. He was Incin, he said, or a fire Elemental. It was his job to maintain the Council building as well as pray and meditate to his element. He said he trusted her with this information because he had no doubt that she was an Elemental. She smelled of it, one of unusual strength.
As they walked, he explained that the official name for the nation of Elementals was the Council of Inverness, but that everyone called it the Elemental Council. Everyone lived in the Council during the schooling year, but everyone was out for the Christmas break. There were six elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Stone, and Ice. There were six leaders, called Harbingers. They made up the Grey Council. “They were supposed to be out, too. They’re convening tomorrow just for you,” Borvo said, and winked.
He led her up a flight of old stone stairs. “There are some other Acolytes in the building, but I doubt you’ll want to room with us. Rather simple living, you know. Would you mind sharing a room?”
“No, no- Of course not.” Rose thought it would be rude to impose on these people, and didn’t want to make any demands. Something occurred to her. “Excuse me, sir, but if I may inquire… If everyone is gone, there isn’t any room?”
“Well,” he began. “I go to bed before the sun goes down, and you’ve only been around while I have my fire to warm you and light the way, but it gets down below freezing here. We like to room Discipuli with their groupmates, but you won’t be Decided until tomorrow, so you’ll room with our ward for the night.”
“Something you should know- she’s a special case. Not crazy, but she’s harder to relate to, and she’s lonely. She doesn’t act like the average girl. But something tells me you aren’t average, either.” Borvo’s smile reassured Rose, and she mentally prepared herself for what she would say to this girl. Maybe they would be friends! That was something Rose was good at, making friends.
They passed into a corridor, and all of a sudden the temperature dropped significantly. “She’s here,” Borvo muttered to himself. The passed a bunch of doors with names on them, presumably the names of Discipuli rooming there. Borvo dropped her off at their foot, wished her luck, and told her he hoped she got to be an Incin before departing.
Rose climbed the stairs and read the door. There was a single word on that door. “Divina,” she read aloud. That must be the girl’s name. It was odd, but no odder than some of the other names she had seen.
She entered the room, and it was even colder. There were two beds, a vanity, and a closet. It had all kinds of black dresses. The weirdest thing was the collection of hoop skirts in the corner.
A snuffling noise drew Rose’s attention to the bed nearest the closet. She peered under it, and something lept out at her face. It was a huge black puppy, the size of a wolf. It began licking Rose’s face furiously. Rose laughed, rolling on the floor with it. “Oh!” she gasped. “You belong to Divina, don’t you?”
Rose leapt up the sound of the new voice. She vaguely realized how the room’s temperature had dropped to an all-time low as she faced the figure in the doorway.
It was a girl, of medium height, wearing a black nightgown. She was gorgeous, one of the “dark beauties” Rose had read about in the books she sneaked from her mother’s secret collection of romance novels. It was hard to gauge how old she was: her face was smooth and lovely, though her expression was currently unreadable. However, her body had the shapeliness of a girl three or four years Rose’s senior.
“I’m Rose. You must be Divina,” she said, and held out a hand for the girl to shake. The girl ignored it entirely. “Divina,” she repeated. “Dih-vih-nuh. That’s how it’s pronounced. Divina.” She said it fast, smooth, in one fluid motion.
Rose repeated it back, and Divina nodded. “You will be Decided tomorrow, correct?” she asked, and Rose nodded. “Yes. I’m sort of nervous. I don’t really know about the different Elements and all of that stuff, and it’s not like school where you know all about the Houses and which one you think you’ll get into. I guess you’re an Ice?” Rose asked tentatively. It seemed like she must be, with the way things always got colder the closer Divina came. To her utmost surprise, Divina shook her head no. “I’m not Garth, but I study with them. I’m not recognized as any of the six.” Rose waited for her to elaborate, but Divina just walked over to one of the beds and sat.
“Griselda,” she called, and the beast-puppy galloped over to the bed and jumped up to lay next to her owner. Divina murmured under her breath to the dog as she rubbed Griselda’s belly. Griselda’s eyes were half-closed with pleasure, and Rose noticed they were bright yellow. Just like the Grim’s.
“You know,” Rose began, and Divina’s head snapped up. “Your dog really looks a lot like the Grim.” Divina let a small smile take over her face. “She’s my accomplice,” she said, and scratched Griselda’s head. “Her job is to warn others of my impending presence. She is known throughout your lore as the Grim, but her official name is the Shae. So yes, to answer your question-“ here she gave Rose a pointed look and Rose blushed “- she technically is the Grim. You need not worry, so long as you live here. She only warns people about me if my presence is fairly random to them. She’s actually a sweetheart. She has to be, for her job.”
Rose was left gaping at the pair. Sharing a room with the Grim- or the Shae, if that was what she was called- was the last thing to ever occur to her when she was thinking about what shady things would be going on inside the Council. She didn’t know who Divina was, but she had some theories. She wasn’t sure how she felt about sharing a room with her.
Divina cleared her throat, throwing Rose out of the world inside her mind. “I suppose the Acolytes told you not to bring anything with you?” She nodded. Divina’s eyebrow twitched. “There are few things that annoy me. You would do well to remember that I am the most patient person in this building at full capacity, but that Griselda does have to warn people in this building on occasion. Acolytes annoy me. They believe that just because they lead very simple lives, others should too. That rule is unnecessary.”
Rose frowned. “I met one, and he was okay. He said he would room me up here because he didn’t think I’d like being with the Acolytes,” she said. She felt like she had to defend Borvo. He was kind, though a bit odd, and she felt she owed him. “Which one?” Divina asked.
“An... Incin, I think he said. Borvo was his name?”
Divina merely raised her eyebrows. “You’re right. He is Incin.” There was an awkward silence.
“Anyway,” Divina said. “I can lend you a nightgown for the night, and I’ll take care of the clothes you’ll need for tomorrow until we can get you your clothes. I’ll talk to them about it tomorrow. Okay?” Rose nodded. She wasn’t sure how she felt about Divina. She didn’t feel mean-spirited, but the way she talked about herself as the most patient person made Rose think she might be sort of arrogant. Not as bad as her cousin James, but still cocky. Even still, Divina had an aura of deadly calm around her. Rose wasn’t sure what to make of that.
Rose changed into the nightgown she was handed, feeling strange in. Rose was a spindly girl, tall and thin. Divina crawled into bed, Griselda nestling in beside her, and Rose took the other. As soon as her head the pillow, whatever lights were on in the room went out.
That’s when it got even colder.
Rose tossed and turned, trying to stay warm. It took long for her to lose feeling in her ears and nose, but soon enough it was creeping up her arms and legs at an alarming rate. Her teeth were chattering so harshly, she couldn’t control them at all.
“I don’t mean to intrude, seeing as we’ve barely met,” Rose called across the room. “But can I share a bed with you? For whatever reason, I’m really cold and I’m losing feeling in my body.” Any other time, Rose would have toughed it out for the sake of her own pride, but she felt like she might actually freeze to death. And if Divina was asleep and couldn’t hear her, she was royally screwed.
There was a silence, then Divina said, “Come here.” Thankful, Rose scrambled out of her own bed and practically dove into Divina’s. She found that Divina’s bed was warm, intoxicatingly so. She regained feeling in her body immediately. “I think we are going to be great friends, you and I,” Divina said. “You know,” Rose murmurmed drowsily, “that’s a really creepy thing to say to the stranger sharing a bed with you.”
The last thing Rose heard before dropping off entirely was the sound of Divina’s dark chuckle.
A/N: Well. This is my first attempt to write serious (because OTDSOTM so doesn’t count as serious). I have to say, I’m using a lot more adjectives than I thought I would. Griselda means "dark battle" and Shae means "warner." Just thought you should know... Any thoughts on Rose's Element?
Review, please. I have no idea what I’m doing!