It had been a very long time since Tansy had made close contact with any sort of wizard. A very, very long time, and an even longer time since she had become attached to one. The last time she allowed herself to do such a thing it was with Merlin, and in the end, she only found herself hurt. She figured that every other wizard type had to be the fickle kind. It wasn't as if the fairies weren't fickle themselves, but Pookas were different, especially when they found that one person that they trusted enough to want to be around them for longer than just a couple of fleeting days. Although, her kind weren't very welcomed everywhere - unless they were being used for their special powers to tell the future.
Tansy had been traveling for very long - visiting different places on earth. Meeting new people. That's how she ended up here, although she really didn't know where here was until she met that very kind tall bearded man in the forest that she had been taking refuge in for the past few days.
"The Forbidden Forest." He said it was called.
What made it so forbidden? Tansy wondered. It didn't look very forbidden to her. It didn't feel forbidden either. Was it because it was so large and ominous? Dark and mysterious? But, it was full of so many wonderful creatures. Dangerous, but fascinating. People always feared what they couldn't fully understand. It was human nature.
"It's full o' alot o' dangerous things." The man explained when she had asked. "The students are forbidden to come in here, unless o' course they've got me to look after 'em."
Tansy thought this man was very brave. He didn't seem to fear the forest or the creatures living within its embrace. In fact, he was kind to them, engrossed by them even. Tansy admired it. She had decided then and there that she would befriend him then - following him out of the forest and straight into the tiny little hut that he lived in at the very edge of the treeline. She could tell that he wasn't a normal man. Far too big and tall for that. And he smelled much too different from a normal mortal. There was giant blood in his veins - he wasn't fully one, but Tansy could tell that it was there. He shushed her when she dared to speak the words out loud.
"Ya never know who's listenin'" He'd say.
Apparently, it was supposed to be a secret, and then he would change the subject on her and start talking about how he taught students from the school and helped them learn about magical creatures. Tansy found it offensive that he'd want to keep such a wondrous thing about him a secret - she found it offensive that he shushed her about it, but she figured everyone had their reasons to keep secrets. She had a few of her own. Nonetheless, she asked further questions about him, but he didn't seem to want to answer them - she was just curious to know about his life. Tansy wanted to hear his story, but he didn't seem inclined to share - perhaps he just simply didn't trust her yet, and so, she had decided to ask him about the children that he spoke about and the school instead.
"Hogwarts? What a delightfully silly name that is for a school! I don't even think hogs could get warts." She giggled, "Witches and wizards you say? I had a lover who was a wizard! I've yet to meet a witch, however. I'd like to meet them! I'd like to go! I've never been in school before!" Tansy exclaimed, jumping out of his bed and looking out of the hut's window at the towering castle that stood off in the distance. But, Hagrid - that was his name, had told her that she wasn't allowed to do any of that. Magical creatures were not allowed into Hogwarts, especially not any mysterious ones from the Forbidden Forest. They would get into a lot of trouble if she was discovered inside of Hogwarts, and it was uncovered that he had been allowing her to stay at his hut. It was reckless behaviour, but it wouldn't be the first time Hagrid had concealed a magical creature. However, he was beginning to wonder if he had told her too much information, honestly, but this was always the sort of trouble that he found himself with whenever he'd be a little too friendly with strange little creatures from the forest. He couldn't be blamed with this one. There was something about her that swayed him to take a quick liking to her, and something that caused him to want to divulge all of this extra information to her. She was captivating, with her Cheshire grin and wild gaze. What could she do, really? She seemed small and harmless, she was human looking enough for him to make up a lie if she was caught living in his hut. It wouldn't be a problem keeping her around, for as long as she'd want to stay. Besides, he was curious about her and wanted to learn about the type of creature that she was. It was in his nature to want to learn about magical creatures, Hagrid couldn't resist.
This was how Tansy had come across Harry Potter. The messy-haired boy with the glasses that Hagrid constantly spoke about. He had caught her attention two weeks ago on the afternoon that she had seen him leaving Hagrid's hut. She had been out and about with Hagrid's dog, Fang, collecting special plants for Hagrid, she had promised to make him a very special Pooka tea in return for his kindness.
She had approached Harry then, she introduced herself immediately to him for what she was - The Pooka. There was no reason for her to hide it, but she kept her friendship to Hagrid to herself. She wasn't doing any one any harm, so there was really no need for Harry to know. He'd only tell Hagrid about her and Hagrid would get upset. There was no need for that. No need for that at all.
Tansy expected Harry to be fascinated by her - enthralled, but instead he seemed nervous, unsure of her. Tansy wasn't entirely sure what had pulled her towards him, besides her own curiosity, but there was just something behind his green eyes that entrapped her. Something tragic, troubling, and that oddly shaped scar against his forehead, from the moment she had touched it, she knew that it held something sinister behind it. It explained why he probably felt uncertain about her at first glance. Too many bad things happened to him. Too many bad people in his life. Tansy wanted to protect him, to take away the pain that the scar brought him. She could do that for him. She could do anything he wanted her to, as long as he offered her benevolence.
He had left her that day they had met, but it wasn't the very last time she appeared to him.
Behind Hagrid's back, Tansy began to follow Harry everywhere. Even into the school. She was there during his flying broom games, she was there as he ate, and she was there in between his classes. She was always there, but only to him for now. Tansy left him little gifts to wake up to, and played pranks on those who bothered him - even played a few pranks during his classes to make them a little less boring.
It wasn't her goal to make him scared of her, it was her goal to make him see that she meant him no harm. She wanted him to see that his good will towards her would result in good things from her towards him. She wanted him to see the nice and amazing things she could do. Tansy wanted Harry to trust her. To ask her for things. She wanted to be near him, and in turn, she wished that he wanted her to be near him as well.
On this particular occasion, she had awoken next to his sleeping form. It was morning, she could tell from the sound of chirping birds outside of his window, and the sound of shuffling and muffled voices from the little wizards and witches that were waking up from their slumber. Tansy felt cold and lonely last night, and Hagrid was far too big to cuddle next to - she could've cuddled with Fang, but she didn't feel in the mood to get drooled on, Harry seemed like the right person to go to at the moment. His body was so warm and inviting. She enjoyed sleeping next to him.Tansy was sure that he wouldn't mind. She was in the nude, but Tansy really didn't give it too much thought. This was natural and normal to her kind. Harry hadn't even noticed her there until her fingers were caressing his back, connecting the scattered freckles upon it, and the wild curls of her hair tickled his skin.
Once he had awoken, Tansy met him with one of her trademark impish grins - wide and bright. However, she didn't really have much time to greet him with a good morning, before another boy came into the picture. The curtain that surrounded Harry's bed was pulled aside and there he stood, Neville, there to wake him up.
Tansy knew who he was. One of Harry's friends. One of the boys that shared the room with him. He really loved plants. He also had a toad, Trevor - which by the way, was quite the prankster, he was always running off and disappearing on Neville, just to get a laugh. Tansy liked Neville, Tansy liked Neville's toad. But, this didn't mean she'd allow herself to appear to him. Thus far, none of Harry's friends knew of her existence. Tansy didn't full trust any of them yet. There was a big possibility that they'd run and tell and they'd ruin all the fun for Harry and herself. That wouldn't be very fair.
Nevertheless, she didn't think that Harry knew that she was invisible until she chose not to be. He was frozen to his spot on the bed, eyes as wide as saucers. He looked like a deer in headlights. Tansy could tell that his mind was running through so many thoughts, she could feel it and she giggled when he turned around to look at her - wiggling her fingers in a silent hello. Yes, she was still there, but he was safe. Tansy was a smart little Pooka.
Harry turned back to face Neville and finally give him a hurried answer. Neville nodded and dropped the curtains, leaving Harry alone again, with Tansy of course.
"Bloody hell." Harry uttered and Tansy brought her hand to press itself against his chest. His heart was beating loudly, good thing it wasn't a possibility that it would jump straight out of his chest. That would've been rather unfortunate. He needed it to live.
Again, Tansy giggled and bit at her bottom lip. Her brows raised. "That would've been messy if I couldn't hide as well as I seeked." She exclaimed, "I can only be found when I want to be found. I can only make a sound if I wish to be loud, otherwise, I don't really exist." She continued, leaning forward to place a soft kiss upon Harry's cheek. Her hand slid from his chest to his abdomen then, before swiftly ripping the sheets from his body and wrapping them around her own like a makeshift dress. Tansy stood on the mattress and starred down at him with a mad look in her eyes and a wide smile on her face. "What are we doing today, Harry?! Classes with serious snake, or monocle? Ooh! Or that one woman, Trelawney. I fancy her. A topsy turvy oracle, but still on the path..." She mused to herself. Trelawney was really the only one Tansy had bothered to actually remember the correct name to. Maybe because she also fancied the name? Maybe because it started with a T like hers did? There was really never an explanation as to why Tansy chose to like some more than others.
Tansy jumped on Harry's bed once, before dropping down to straddle his hips and lean forward, closing the space between their faces - she didn't really understand the concept of personal space and why people always stressed so much about it. "Let's do that first, Harry! I want to see what she has to say today!" She didn't understand how class schedules worked either.
"A very important thing!" Tansy answered the little glowing fairy. "My hair tends to tangle a lot, venturing through the forests does that." She nodded her head and rose her brows.
Perhaps the stranger didn't believe that she would keep her word, but the thing with Pookas was that keeping their part of the deal was always held with honor. If he got her the comb, she would surely find a way to get him to this temple. No matter if she didn't have a clear idea of how she would do such a thing just yet, or where the temple was exactly located at. She'd have to ask him, or at least ask the surrounding nature and creatures. They would surely know where this temple of his was at. Her eyes shifted towards the traveler. "I give you my word, and my word is my word, dear traveler. I wouldn't break it, and I do hope you hold your word to grand importance as well..." She added, tilting her head slightly and flashing him that Cheshire grin of hers. Tansy then watched him closely as he bent down to gather some of the horse grass that surrounded his feet, and brought it to his lips, his gaze never faltering from keeping focused upon her. Tansy giggled to herself, she knew he didn't fully trust her yet. People always seemed so weary about her, even though she never truly understood why. Did she not seem approachable? Did she not come off as someone rather nice and not dangerous at all? Perhaps not. Maybe that's how she mainly perceived herself to be. I mean, if she had wanted to do harm, she would've long ago. There was many an opportunity to do so. Even now, she could've if she wanted to, but she didn't. He had absolutely nothing to worry about, not yet, at least.
Not long after he brought the horse grass to his lips, he began to blow into them, causing a sound to vibrate in different pitches throughout the forest, carried by the wind and beyond. Soon after, the sound of galloping and neighing could be heard coming their way, and eventually the most beautiful brown horse had appeared and stood besides the traveler. He fed it a carrot, and it crunched on it happily. Tansy's grin got even wider (as if it were possible) and she stared in awe at the beautiful creature, she could tell that it was a mare from here. The shape of her face and the way the body and legs looked. No one would understand how that would give away that the horse was female, but it made perfect sense to Tansy. She wanted to touch her so badly, give her all the apples that she could ever ask for, but she kept her ground. She knew that the traveler was in a hurry, she could feel that he was. "She's so beautiful..." Tansy uttered, watching him pat the horse lovingly, before mounting her. Tansy knew he'd be back with her comb, and then she'd have all the time to pet the creature and gift her as well. It was only fair. The mare was taking the traveler to wherever he needed to go to retrieve the comb she had asked for. The mare also deserved some sort of reward for that.
Tansy watched as he prepared himself to take his leave, prompting the mare to move and guiding her in the direction in which he wanted to go. Her small sister had floated away and hid right back beneath his hood, and with a slap to the backside of the horse, they were gone without any word.
"Good luck, traveler. I'll be watching..." She uttered to herself with a mischievous giggle, before shifting into a tiny little white bird. Tansy took flight and fluttered up into the sky and followed him to wherever he was going. It was going to be fun to watch him find what she had asked him for.
She followed him straight into a nearby town that she immediately recognized. Tansy had ventured here before, twice now. She was craving milk and honey, and it was the only place she knew would have such things. Tansy didn't venture inside of it for too long, however, just long enough to pull a few pranks, trick a few people, and steal herself some milk and honey. Once the traveler dismounted the mare and tied her up to a post, she watched him lovingly pet her silky white mane and step away from her. Tansy flew low enough to playfully flutter about the mare's face and then fly off quickly behind the traveler. She flew above the cuccos, the shoppers and the merchants that were loudly shouting at each other in attempts to hassle a good deal. She flew between the props that the twin jugglers were tossing back and forth betwixt each other and finally settled upon the ledge of a nearby roof, not too far from where the traveler had gone to. She could see a sign that read, 'Honey and Darling's Game Shop' and she mentally rose a brow, because birds didn't have brows to raise, of course. How would he find a comb in a game shop of all places? It seemed rather unlikely. She'd think he'd go elsewhere, like a place that sold hair accessories or something of the sort.
However, he didn't really get into the shop. It seemed to have been closed. Well, at least he could go elsewhere now, somewhere else that would make a lot more sense to find a comb at. Yet, as soon as he turned around to continue his trek, he was met with two little boys and one of them seemed in great distress; tears falling down his face as he sobbed about something. The older looked distressed as well, but mainly because it seemed as if whatever was bothering his little brother, was bothering him as well.
"Link!" The eldest called out.
"Link..." repeated Tansy in her little bird voice. That must be his name. It would only make sense if it was. Otherwise, he'd pay no attention to them.
A bird had taken the youngest's doll. So that's what was bothering him. Now they wanted Link to find it for him. Tansy ruffled her little feathers in frustration. There was no time to be sidetracked into finding some doll. It was time to find her comb. However, the children were rather cute and it was rather sad that the boy had seemed so devastated over this doll of his. Strange... she had remembered seeing a doll somewhere, but she had no interest in keeping it and so she had left it behind wherever it was that she had seen it at.
Hmm. Groose. That also seemed familiar to her as well. She was pretty sure he was one of the people she had managed to play a prank on when she had visited, as well as tricking him into giving her a button from the shirt that he was wearing. It was really pretty and she wanted it so that she could sew it onto her dress. This Groose boy seemed like a total oaf, from what she observed, he had a very c*cky and selfish vibe to himself. Even attempted to flirt with her a few times, but Tansy only used his attempts against him for the button. She wasn't surprised that he had laughed at them and walked away instead of helping. Not at all.
Link, of course, would help them. He seemed like the type that would.
He ran towards a nearby oak tree and pulled at the hawk grass that was growing from its roots, doing as he had done with the horse grass earlier in the forest; bringing it to his lips and blowing upon it. This time, it summoned a large hawk that immediately caused Tansy to feel uncomfortable to be around in her bird form. She shifted once again, but this time into a pitch black butterfly with golden swirls along its wings. She fluttered lower from her place on the ledge of the roof and landed upon a patch of red and blue flowers that stood closer behind Link now. She watched the giant hawk overshadow them, flapping its wings and sending their hair to whip around in the wind that it created, as well as making it hard for her frail new form to stay put upon the petals of the flowers. Link stuck his elbow out for it and it landed gracefully upon it, pressing his forehead against Link's. It was interesting, this connection he had with these animals. He must be gifted, Tansy assumed. He must be a child of the fae. The pointed ears, the connection to nature, the fact that one of her sisters seemed to be very good friends with him. She just wasn't sure what kind. Tansy was knowledgeable, yes, but there were many different types of fae inhabiting the world, and there was no way Tansy knew of all of them. She was always learning and meeting new types throughout her travels.
Link had seemed to go into a trance after touching heads with the hawk, and the bird flew off, only to return a few minutes later with the doll in its beak. Again, it landed upon Link's arm and Link's trance like state disappeared; grabbing the doll from the bird's beak and handing to the little sobbing boy who seemed more than happy to have it back. The bird flew away once again, once his job was done. Tansy wondered what that whole thing was about, and reminded herself that she'd pry later on and ask him, out of curiosity, of course. She couldn't just witness such a thing and let it pass just like that. It was natural that she'd want to ask these questions. Although, it would give away the fact that she was watching him, but it wouldn't matter, really. It's not like he would be able to turn back time and keep her from doing such a thing. He'd never notice. And it's not like she's getting in his way and bothering him. She's simply observing. That is all. No harm in doing such a thing.
Once the boys said their thank you's, Link stepped away from them, only to stop midway and turn to ask them about her comb. A very good question to ask two little boys! Children always knew where to find certain things; especially combs. Sometimes she'd receive gifts from children, things that they've stolen from their mothers and have given them to her instead.
The oldest seemed to ponder on it for a few seconds, but the youngest boy immediately chimed up with an answer.
"Honey! She's got the prettiest hair in town," he said, a blush taking over his chubby cheeks.
Prettiest hair in town? Hm. Tansy would be the judge of that. But, from the name of the woman, and the name of the shop, Tansy had put two and two together before Link could even say that it was exactly what he was thinking. However, the boys informed Link that she wasn't at the shop, at all, and when her fairy sister floated towards the youngest boy, and asked for her location, she was told that this Honey woman was at the inn instead. Not very happy though, he added. Her sister wasted no time waiting around once she got this information, and flew quickly past Link and towards the direction that Tansy assumed the inn was in; calling out for Link to follow her. It took him a while however, to follow behind. Again, once Tansy thought he was ready to say his goodbyes to the boys, they had stalled him once more asking for something to drink. Goodness, they sure needed a lot.
They were thirsty, and their well had gone dry; and the heat from a nearby mountain didn't help, and their lake was being weird as well. Tansy hadn't noticed any of that, but she did feel rather strange in the forest. The earth didn't feel as it usually did. And the plants and trees were unusually silent. She just couldn't quite place what was happening. She was assuming that it might've been some sort of dark magic effecting the place. That was usually the case with these sort of situations. She wondered if somehow they had managed to anger a child of the wood, or if someone evil just didn't like them and cursed them for fun. She wondered if that was one of the reasons why Link had to travel to this temple. But what was he going to find there to help these people? How did he plan to break this curse? Tansy figured she'd find out eventually. She was planning on going on this venture with him. He couldn't say no to her. Not after she would prove herself to be helpful.
Link dug into his satchel and pulled out a jar of milk, handing it to the boys and making sure to instruct them that it was half for one and half for the other. Tansy wished she could have a taste of the milk. It looked delicious and refreshing. Perhaps she should've asked for that instead of a comb? But she had time for those sort of things later on. Finally, the boys were done and handed the empty jar back to Link, who put it back in his satchel. And finally, the boys said their official goodbyes and ran off to happily play with each other.
Link turned and followed to where his tiny companion had disappeared to earlier, and Tansy shifted yet again into something much faster than a butterfly. This time, a small brown mouse; following after him.
Once at the inn, they were faced with another dilemma. This Honey woman was also sobbing her eyes out. Tansy concurred with her sister, what was it with the people in this town today? And of all the days to continue bumping into sad people. Who knew acquiring a comb would be this difficult? Tansy assumed he should've been done by now and on his way to give her the comb she had asked for, but no, instead, he was still in the town, attempting to get his hand upon one.
"My husband has left!" She cried out from where little mouse Tansy could hear. Her sister asked if they had separated and the woman didn't seem to be to fond of such an answer, shooting the little fairy a glare. She surely wasn't as sweet as her name suggested. She explained that her husband had gone on a trip to a nearby village named Kakariko in order to purchase some supplies, being that their lake was poisoned and so they couldn't get any fish or water. She had stayed behind because apparently her husband's mother didn't take too kindly to her. Then when asked for how long the husband had been gone for, the woman cried out, "A day!" Through choked sobbing.
A whole day and she was acting like this? It was rather ridiculous.
"That's not long at all!" The tiny fairy exclaimed.
Tansy agreed. She had thought that the man had been gone for much longer than that.
This woman's sob fest was rather annoying and Tansy rolled her little mouse eyes. She had a feeling this was going to somehow involve Link doing something else that would get in the way of retrieving her comb, and just as she predicted, she was right. This Honey woman had asked if he was busy, as to which Tansy whispered to herself that he very much was, but of course she couldn’t be heard. Link, however, shook his head ‘no’ to her question, although his face read very much otherwise. There it was, another task for Link to do.
This woman had written a letter to her husband, but she needed to add a missing piece. A picture, to go along with the tear stained letter. She asked for a... picto box?
What on earth was that? Tansy had surely never heard of such a thing.
Link nodded and showed her the contraption that hung from his belt. Tansy tilted her head and blinked. She had never seen one of those before. She wanted to use it too! And take all the pretty pictures that she’d keep to herself and gift to others! She was going to ask him to do that later for her too. She had to.
The woman squealed in excitement, then paused for a moment to fix herself for the picture. From her satchel, she pulled out a beautiful handheld ornate mirror, followed by the most beautiful comb. Not the most beautiful Tansy had ever seen, however, she had combs that were much more intricate than that in her satchel, but this one was beautiful nonetheless. This was the comb she wanted. She had to have it. Link had to get it for her, she wouldn’t settle for anything other!
Link and the fairy seemed to have had the same idea that she was having, from the looks they have given each other. They had to convince her to part with that comb.
In a matter of seconds, Honey was spruced up; completely normal, as if she hadn’t been crying her eyes out and a complete mess not so long ago. She combed through her hair (in which the Pooka agreed that it was very beautiful, but also agreed that it wasn't the most beautiful. She had seen much better. Her own was a good example) until it was perfectly brushed, and then she announced that she was ready for her picture.
Honey posed for the picture and flashed a bright smile, and Link brought the picto box to his face and took the photo. Once the picture was ready, Link showed it to her and she smiled even wider now. She was clearly happy with the photo. Perhaps now, she could give them her comb and they would be able to go on their way. But no, things weren’t going to be that easy. Of course not. There was something else she needed him to do. She needed to get the letter and the photo to her beloved husband, but the mailman had already done his round for the day and so she asked Link if he was headed to the village, but Link shook his head 'no'.
Honestly, Tansy had half a mind to just steal the comb away from the woman without her noticing, but then she wouldn't be giving Link a chance to get it for her, now would she? She had to be patient, as frustrating as it was. She was sure he was smart enough to figure out a way around it.
Honey had a solution. A person named Anju would be leaving to the village soon, they would be able to deliver her letter, if they accepted. Tansy hoped that they would.
Again, they were off to meet with yet another person. Tansy didn't bother to shape-shift into anything else this time, simply keeping herself as a swift little mouse, following him until they reached the person they were looking for. It was a woman, sitting on the edge of a rather dry looking fountain (what a strange thing to have in a town). She was clearly going through some troubles herself, and before Link could ask, she was grabbing him by the wrist and telling him exactly what her problem was. She was supposed to have been gone to the village hours ago, but her cuccos had all escaped somehow; fifteen in total. She couldn't go anywhere without them, and so she asked Link to find them for her, and in turn she would be able to be on her way to the village, with Honey's letter in hand.
Tansy sighed a very small sigh from her little mouse lungs. Another thing to do. It seemed as Link was plagued with doing favors for people. They were lucky that he seemed to be so selfless and was willing to help them all with their troubles.
So now Link had to go about gathering cuccos. They must be the ones they had seen wandering around the town earlier. This time, Tansy didn't follow, however. She had decided that she would catch a break. There was no need to follow him around the town gathering the cuccos. It wasn't as if she could exactly help without raising some sort of suspicion. And so, little mouse Tansy shifted yet again, into a small garden snake; curling up between a nearby bed of grass and closing her eyes for a little bit. He'd be back soon, she hoped, with all the cuccos, and hopefully this would finally be the end of it all.
It had actually taken him longer than Tansy assumed it would, but he did come through, as he had for everyone else before this Anju woman. He had managed to capture every single runaway cucco and put them all back within the wagon where they belonged. Anju hugged him happily, and he blushed, which Tansy thought to herself was rather cute. After the small exchange, she had remembered what she had to do with Honey and her letter, and exclaimed that she would be stopping by the shop to retrieve the letter, in which her fairy sister impatiently corrected her. At least Tansy didn't feel alone with the impatience. It was taking so long to get her comb. If she had known, she would've asked for something much easier to acquire.
Link followed Anju to the inn and watched the exchange between the two women from afar, Tansy watched nearby as well, this time as a black cat. She licked at her paw and swished her tail about. Whatever they were talking about, ended well because the Honey woman seemed happy enough to gift the other woman with a tight hug. And seconds later, Anju was out of the inn with the letter in hand and on her way to the village.
Finally, it was time for Link to speak with Honey and hopefully get that comb once and for all. Honey exclaimed that she had no idea on how she'd repay the young man, and Tansy's cat ears twitched about, finally being brave enough to approach closer and rub herself up against his leg, purring. Her fairy sister went ahead and spoke before Link could actually get a word in, asking the woman for her comb. Honey seemed confused at the request for a second.
"My comb?" She asked.
"Seems like a strange request but who am I to judge?" She said with a giggle, and finally she had searched for the comb within her satchel and it was finally leaving her grip as she slid it down against the bar until it was in the hands of the traveler. Cat Tansy mewed happily and pranced out of the inn, content that he had the comb within his grasp at last. Now, she had to get back to his lovely mare before he did. Cat Tansy ran down the streets of the town as quickly as possible, shifting into a tiny little cricket and jumping onto the mare's body, hiding away in it's lovely white mane and holding on tight for the ride back to the forest.
It had taken him a while to find the clearing where he had first made contact with her, but he ultimately found it. Cricket Tansy jumped from her hidden spot within the mare's mane and into the bushes nearby; jumping her way back to the tree where she had been by when he had left her earlier and finally shifting back to her human form. She stayed laying upon the forest floor, however. Pretending that she had been there all along and had just fallen asleep waiting for him to return. Soon, the sound of a flying arrow had caught her ear and not long after that, there was one piercing itself above her, into the bark of the tree she laid under; it had a small woven satchel attached to it, which she only assumed held the wonderful comb. Yet, Tansy jumped up with a gasp, quickly pulling the arrow out of tree's bark and pressing her hand to where the arrow had pierced through it.
"You hurt it! They can feel pain, you know? Like you and I..." She explained, healing the tree with her magic. "It was just a knick, however. I’ve fixed it. Be more careful next time, traveler." Tansy said, finally letting out a fake yawn and stretching herself. "It took you rather long to get back here with a comb. What did you have to do? A bunch of favors for a bunch of people?" She giggled, acting as if she was saying such a thing as pure coincidence. Tansy looked into the woven satchel and pulled out the magnificent comb. Her eyes widened and within them a glimmer of awe shone within. "Wow..." She exclaimed dreamily, before shifting her attention to Link and his mare. This time, she approached fearlessly, extending her hand out to pet softly at the horse's snout.
"She's so beautiful." She said, moving her hand to run through the mare's beautiful mane. “Epona?” She asked, tilting her head towards the horse's snout as if the horse was talking to her -- but she was! Tansy could hear her as clear as day. "That's such a lovely name!" Tansy grinned wide and shifted her eyes towards Link, "She says you're very lovely. You take good care of her, and she loves you dearly. You must be so proud to have such a beautiful friend." Tansy continued to pet the horse, before digging into her satchel and pulling out a fresh green apple, bringing it to Epona's mouth and feeding her. She giggled, watching the horse happily crunch into the apple. "You can have all the apples you want! I have plenty!" She said to Epona, before shifting her gaze to Link once more.
"I would like to present your wonderful friend with a gift. She was of much help today, besides what you had to do, which I thank you for. I would like to thank her for helping you on your travels to find me this lovely comb, by gifting her with the very same comb that I had asked for." With that said, she parted ways with the comb and handed it back to Link. "I don't really need it, honestly. I've got so much more in my bag! I love to collect them!" Tansy exclaimed with a wide grin upon her face.
"As for you! You have kept your end of the bargain, and so I shall help you as I promised!"
Tansy stepped back and began to shift now into a very large and very strange creature. A mixture between a bird and a dragon it seemed. The wings of a dragon and feathers that resembled shiny black and green scales against the lizard-like body. Medium-sized horns adorned the top of her head, and a golden beak stood at the end of where a dragon's jaws would be. Her feet were bird talons and she wagged about a long feathery tail. She made sure to keep her distance from Epona, trying her best to not spook the poor horse.
Large golden eyes blinked and focused upon Link; large wings resting at her side. "Climb upon my back, traveler. I will take you safely to wherever you wish to be." She spoke, standing on her fours; waiting for him patiently.
"Us pooka could predict the future very well for others, but we could never predict what's in store for ourselves. Life is a surprise to us, every little thing that pops into our existence is new and exciting. But, there is always an end. Everything has an end, doesn't it then? Animals and humans grow old, stars explode, flowers wither away and die....
Sometimes things happen slowly and at the right time, and sometimes things happen much too fast and much too early, but everything ends. Even stories. Whether it's a good ending or a bad ending, well, that's really up to fate, now isn't it?
And here is where it gets hard. The times they change, the people come and go, but here I am, just the same as the very day that I bloomed out of my flower. Untouched by the hands of time, physically at least. Mentally, I've been through many things. Just a glimpse into my eyes and you would see so many, many things. Look deeper and you might even find the cold dark recesses of my mind, the ones full of the loneliness and sorrow that was brought upon by loves and friendships lost, broken hearts and faces that I feel like I could never forget.
It's a wonderful thought, being able to live forever, it is. And it's wonderful to do so, yes! I'd be lying if I said otherwise, but it does get rather lonely after a while. And loneliness sometimes gets you thinking. Makes you feel tired and empty. Makes you wish for an end.
How would it feel like? How would it feel like to finally close my eyes and drift away into an everlasting dream? To just run out of energy. To just simply fade out...
If only I knew when my end would come. When my watch would stop ticking. Where I would finally meet the edge of the world and jump.
It's why I live everyday as if it were my very last, because honestly, it might as well could be for all I know! When I'm gone, I will regret nothing. When my time comes, I will smile, for in my heart I know that on the other side there will be new adventures awaiting me.
Do not mourn me, but be merry knowing that I have truly been set free. And I will never be truly gone. I will exist all around you. In your memories. I will live forever."
Tansy stirred and furrowed her brows, before her eyes slowly fluttered open. She was laying on the ground, it seemed. The ground. The ground. There was a burning bright light attacking her vision at the moment, it was blurring and made it hard to focus on her surroundings. Had she been asleep? She must've. Strange, she hadn't noticed herself falling asleep. The last thing she remembered was laying in a field full of flowers, there was a river nearby... yes... a river, she remembers the sound of rushing water and the warm summer breeze that kissed her skin. Was it daylight now? It was night time, the last time she checked. No, but she wasn't in the field of flowers now, not anymore. And the light above her was artificial. A light bulb. There were several, now that she noticed a little better. They lined along a very long corridor that wind and twisted in odd ways. The floor was hard beneath her, uncomfortable to be laying on really. Was she here all this time? Was she dreaming about being in the flowers? Or was she in the flowers, dreaming about being here? Tansy pushed herself to her feet finally and dusted her soft pink dress, there was dirt on it. Wet earth. Her feet were bare and also had dirt on them. She dug into her dress pocket and pulled out her pocket watch, but oddly enough it had stopped ticking. Tansy tapped it with her finger and gave it a shake, but it refused to start up. This was rather strange, even for Tansy's standards. Did she teleport here by accident?
Well, it wouldn't be helping her if she stood around and asked herself all these questions. The only way to find out was to venture. Putting away her watch, she stepped forward. She was cautious, yet very curious, and well, curiosity did always get the best of her. She wouldn't be having so many adventures if she didn't allow that to happen! Tansy slowly made her way down the long and dimly lit corridor. It was adorned with doors and windows at every side, yet every door she reached for seemed to be locked. The windows, however, were a different story. She pulled the shades up from one of them and sent it rolling upwards, but her eyes were immediately focused on the rotting skeletal face that wailed and moaned before her eyes. Tansy's eyes widened and she squeaked, taking a step backwards and bumping into another window behind her, sending that one's shades to flicker open as well. She panicked then. She had seen many a strange creature in her life, but nothing as ghastly as whatever those things were floating around in the empty dark space. The look on their faces...the feeling they gave her. Pure and raw sorrow. Melancholy. A wailing that made her sick to her stomach and caused a shiver to course up her spine (and that's saying something because she has met herself some banshees in her life time!)
This was a nightmare! That's it. A horrible, horrible nightmare, and all she needed to do was stay calm and find a way out of it. She knew she should've stayed away from eating those blackberries before laying down. They always gave her nightmares. But, if one could come into a nightmare, then one could definitely find an exit. That exit had to be somewhere. Tansy would find it. Yes, she would. And then this would all be over. She would wake up, safe and sound surrounded by flowers and dirt.
From where she stood now, she noticed that there was another connection to the dimly lit hallway. However, this was was dark and the only light that shone inside of it was the light from the side of the hallway that she was standing in at the moment. Tansy bravely walked towards the darker hallway, and in the dim lighting, she could make out hands jutting out from either sides of the wall. Hands. Multiple hands that seemed to reach out and grab at nothing. Tansy moved forward, walking inside and slipping through the hands that reached out to grab at her dress and her person. She was afraid, yet her bravery overpowered. And her need to know overpowered even more. Usually, in a nightmare, the scariest and darkest places, were the places that held the escape route. If you avoided them because they were too scary, you'd be entrapped forever. Or for a very long time, at least.
"Hey!" A voice called from behind her when she was just halfway through the dark corridor, and Tansy turned to face in the direction of the voice. It was a man, he was much shorter than her, dressed sharply in a suit. Was he a fae creature of some kind that her mind had created within this nightmare? Was he here to show her the way out?
"Hello!" Tansy waved at him, running out of the corridor and waiting for him just outside of it. The hands seemed to have gripped at her tighter as she made her way out. As if they didn't want her to go. As if they wanted her to stay there with them. As if they craved her touch. Needed it. Perhaps they were trying to tell her something? If only they had mouths. She smiled wide at the tiny man, yet he didn't seem to be very amused by her. Very serious. Serious, serious. Tansy's smile faded away when he finally reached her and stared up at her with a furrowed brow.
"What are you doing here?! You should be at the office filing papers! You can't just up and have breaks whenever you feel like, Ingrith." The little man scolded Tansy.
"Ingrith?" Tansy's face screwed-up into a look of confusion. Ingrith. Why did this name seem so foreign to her, yet it felt as something she knew all her life at the same time?
"Yes, your name, Ingrith! Did you fall and bump your head, girl? And when did you have time to change? There's something different about you... and what happened to your..." He asked halfway, but didn't really finish his sentence.
Tansy opened her mouth to speak again, but was immediately cut off by the tiny man.
"Nevermind! Come with me!" He grabbed her by the hand then and dragged her back up the twisting corridor.
Tansy was so, very, very confused then. "Ingrith..." She whispered again. Such a very familiar name. The pooka was too lost in her own perplexing thoughts that she didn't bother to really correct him on calling her the wrong name. It didn't seem wrong, however. It seemed right, but Tansy couldn't really figure out why.
"Excuse me? What were you going to ask me before? What happened to my... what...?" She asked the tiny man still holding her hand.
They stood in a room stacked with papers a mile high now - it was behind one of the doors she surely couldn't open earlier. How come it had opened for him? If this was her nightmare, how come things were working for others and not for her? Yet, that's how nightmares worked, really. If everything worked in her favor, then it wouldn't be a nightmare at all. It would be a dream. Tansy watched as some of the sheets of paper fluttered about in the wind, and people scurried about balancing stacks of them back and forth. The room had metal cabinets as far as the eye could see, and it seemed that they were categorized numerically, at least, it was what Tansy assumed, from just observing the cabinet that she was standing by at the moment.
1,2, 3 - from top to bottom.
The tiny man released her hand now and looked up at her, ready to open his mouth and speak, before someone approached him with a stack of paper up to their faces. From what Tansy could see, she had a bloodstain in the front of her dress. The stain was coming from her stomach. From what Tansy could hear, she was a girl. A young one. Her dress was very pretty. Olive green and light brown. Like a medieval village girl.
Why did the dress seem so familiar to her? Why did the presence that lingered behind the stack of paper make her suddenly take a step back and hold her breath?
"Excuse me, sir. I can't really reach the cabinet for these files. Can you help me grab a ladder? My hands are sort of full." She softly giggled and Tansy frowned. The voice wasn't familiar to her at all. None of that. But, it made her feel suddenly uneasy.
The tiny man spoke again, "Yes, Ingrith give me one second, can't you see I'm b-" And then he paused, his brows furrowed and his eyes widened. "But how...?"
That's when the mysterious girl behind the stack of papers peeked out from the side. There she was. She was Tansy. Or, better worded, Tansy was her.
"Are you okay, sir?" She asked, as he turned around to look for the other Ingrith, but she was no longer there.
"I... you were... huh? Am I going mad?" He asked himself.
Oh, but he wasn't. But, how could this make sense? This girl was dead. Tansy watched her die! Tansy watched her plunge the dagger into her very own belly and tumble down into the watery depths of the river below. How could she be here? Ingrith. That was her name. It was the first time Tansy had ever heard it. The girl who's face she stole. No, but this face didn't belong to an Ingrith anymore. She no longer existed.
It was a nightmare! Her ghost was back to torment her! But how could she know? And after so many years! Why now? Did she want her face back? Was that it? Because Tansy refused to give it back. It was hers! This girl didn't want it. She didn't want it at all. She gave it all up the day she took her life. She didn't appreciate its beauty when she had it. Not like Tansy has. It belonged to Tansy now, and she couldn't have it back! Not ever.
Confusion, anger, fear. It was all hitting the small pooka all at once. She needed answers! She needed to get out of this place! Her eyes closed tightly, her back pressed against one of the metal cabinets. She wished, she wished, she wished, so hard to be elsewhere.
"Wake up, wake up, wake up...." She whispered to herself over and over and over again.
And then a deep male voice caught her ear. "Well, what do we have here? New meat? Seems like it. I can tell a newbie when I sees one."
Tansy opened her eyes. She wasn't back between the flowers. But, she wasn't in the lonely corridor, or the cabinet room with all those papers, or the corridor of hands. In fact, she had no idea where she was now. She only knew that there was a brick wall against her back, and a towering figure standing much too close to her. A man. A brute.
Tansy's eyes traveled up his body until she reached his face; dark circles around his eyes, pallid skin, nearly sickly looking. If Tansy didn't know any better, she would've guessed that he was ill. However, he wasn't acting very ill. She pressed herself to the wall even more, only making the man move closer into her.
"So how'd you get here, little lady?" He asked.
"I, uh... got a little lost." Tansy responded.
"Lost, eh? I can help you with that." He added, lifting a hand to caress her shoulder.
Swiftly, Tansy made a move and slipped out from under his arm. "That would be lovely, if you did." She responded, forcing a grin onto her face in order to not seem so shaken by the entire situation. She had noticed now, that blood was dripping from the tips of his fingers and they had left a trail of it against the shoulder he had touched. "Or, wow! On second thought, I think I can help myself then..." She spoke again, but just when she was about ready to turn on her heels, the man had reached for her arm, tightly grabbing it and yanking her roughly towards him.
"I didn't say I was done with you yet." He spoke.
Tansy rose her brows at him, flashing him a defiant look. "I would let go of me if I wear you." She warned, but he simply chuckled and rose a brow, gripping her even tighter, causing her to hiss.
"Or what?" He asked.
Tansy glared, then flashed him a mischievous little smirk. "Well, if you really must know..." and with those words, her teeth were clamping down on the side of his arm so hard that she felt them break the skin. He yelled loudly and shook her off, not without her taking a chunk of his flesh along with her. Gross, he tasted funny. She spat it out and stared at him with a bloodied grin; puffing her chest out triumphantly, until, of course, he angrily called her a bitch and lunged at her. Then Tansy took that as a sign that she should be running and leaving the bragging for some other time.
She ran away then, as quickly as her feet could take her. But, where was she running to? Did it really matter? He was behind her, she was faster. She could lose him. She knew she could. Where was she? A street. A road. Cobblestones were beneath her feet. They were cold and hard. There were street lamps, but they were dim. The sky. The sky was.... green? Yes. The sky was green with swirls of purple smoke mixed together. Very odd. Very pretty, actually. Oh, but now her mind was getting distracted! She had to find safety. She could admire the sky later, possibly.
A place to hide! There it was. An alleyway to her left. Dark. She would hide in there and he'd never find her.
Tansy ran into the alleyway and pressed her back to the wall. Her eyes peered through the darkness and listened closely to the incoming footsteps. He was getting closer, and closer, and closer.... and then.... he was passed her. Fading away, and away, and away... until she could no longer hear him. She lost him! Yes! But then... he seemed like he knew something about this place that she didn't exactly know herself. Disappointing. He would've been lovely help, but he turned out to be the opposite. Now, all he did was get her even more lost and give her even more questions to ask herself. He also managed to stain her pretty little dress with blood and leave bruises and blood on her right arm. She wouldn't count the blood in her mouth, because, well, that was her own fault and he was asking for it. Tansy huffed and thinned her lips. Her brows knitted.
"New meat? Whatever did he mean by that?" She mused out loud to herself. "I certainly am not meat. How rude. Nightmares have no manners."
"Wow..." Tansy's eyes sparkled as she admired her surroundings. So lush, so beautiful and full of life. Every single tree happily whispered to each other as all kinds of animals scurried about upon their branches. The sounds of a thousand different tropical birds filled her ears. It was magnificent. It was wonderful, yet Tansy hadn't the slightest idea where she was at. Funny thing teleporting was sometimes. She'd just close her eyes and think of a place and that's where she'd be. Sometimes it was a place she particularly had in mind, and sometimes it was a random place her thoughts took her to. Her heart must've been set on something breathtakingly beautiful this time for her to end up here. She could live here forever, this was different from the forests she was used to, and a lot of seemed to be very untouched by human hands, oh what she would give to be somewhere untouched and untainted. Humans were fascinating, but they were creatures of destruction. Not all, but many only craved to destroy that which was beautiful. "Where am I?" She asked, placing her hand against a tree trunk, awaiting for her answer.
"The rain forest.... Brazil..." The tree uttered to her.
"It's beautiful..." She whispered back.
The rain forests of Brazil. Oh! Now she knew where she was at. Tansy had heard stories of this place before from other fae creatures she had crossed paths with. It was as magnificent as they said it was. Why she hadn't come here sooner, she had no clue.
"Curupira... oh! Now I get to meet one in person! How exciting!" She exclaimed, clapping her hands once and doing a little jump. She grinned from ear to ear then. The guardian giants of the Brazilian forests. Backwards feet, made of bark and sporting green teeth. Protectors of the forests, the animals, ancient magic and lots and lots of hidden treasures. Now, Tansy wasn't a thief. Never that! She just wanted a peek. A simple, teeny, tiny peek. And maybe, just maybe, she could take something for herself; fair and square, of course! She'd play a game with a guardian, and she'd propose that if she won, she'd get to keep said treasure for herself. Yes, a game. A fair game. Now all she had to do was find a guardian to play with. That was the simple part, all she'd have to do is ask the animals, the plants and the trees; they'd guide her way. Yes, they would. They always did.
"Oh come now! I won this fair and square! Don't be a sore loser!" Tansy exclaimed, holding the mythical item close to her chest as she backed away from the very angry curupira.
"You've tricked me!" It said in its native language, violently slamming his fist against the ground beneath them and growling, flashing her those green teeth that threatened to bite her tiny little head right off if it could catch her. Tansy shook her head quickly.
"Poppycock! It's not my fault you don't understand the concept of rock, paper, scissors! I explained it well and you lost!"
This time, the guardian threw his fist at the ground again, but it was very close to her. Too close. Close enough that if she hadn't had moved her spot, she would've been smashed beneath it. Tansy's eyes widened. "Oi! You said if I won three times, I'd get to have the toad key around your neck. That was the deal, I didn't break it!" And she didn't.... technically... sorta. I mean, she did know that the curupira had a disadvantage in this game; they only had two fingers, so really, they could only ever pick scissors, or rock, she only had to play around those two choices to win. It wasn't entirely cheating. It wasn't! She outsmarted it and now he was upset that a reckless little pooka was in possession of the toad key. A key made from a stone that came from a toad's stomach. A key that could open any door in the world. Maybe in the entire universe. Tansy had all eternity to figure that out. So many doors, so many hidden places that she could explore now.
"Come here, you little trickster!"
"No, I won't be doing none of that. Actually, I think I'll be leaving now. Toodles!"
The curupira made one last attempt at grabbing at the tiny pooka as she tapped her foot against the ground and disappeared, taking the toad key with her.
Here she was, safe with the toad key in hand. Tansy smiled wide and gave the key a kiss, before placing it around her neck. "I'll take very good care of you, little one..." She uttered, before turning on her heels to look behind her. Tansy stopped then, furrowing her brows in complete confusion. She was here... but where exactly was here at? She seemed to be surrounded by machinery; things that lit up and beeped, wires that ran from the walls to the ceiling above. Where did she go to now? A museum of some sort? She's heard of those, been to quite a few in her time, but she had never seen one that looked like this before.
"Where have I gone this time...?" She whispered to herself, wild eyes carefully inspecting her surroundings.
Then, she found the door, and Tansy knew that where there was a door, there was a way out and an explanation of course! Quickly, she made her way towards the door and grabbed for the handle, pulling it open and stepping a single foot outside, before she was frozen to her spot again. Her eyes widened, so much more wider than they usually were. Outside the door was no ground to step on. No human faces or animals or trees. Outside the doors were sparkling stars, like fire illuminating the dark sky for thousands and thousands of miles. There were rocks, but they floated, suspended in air as if by magic... and gigantic, enormous orbs that swirled with different colors, so giant they could swallow her whole if they'd like to. Everything, everything was floating in this void of darkness and sparkling stars. Everything including herself, inside of this place that she had appeared in. This place. A blue box, from what she could tell now. A blue police box.
Tansy squeaked and pulled her foot right back into the box and shut the door behind her, finally letting go of a breath of air that she hadn't notice she had been holding onto all this time. She blinked hard and her mouth hung ajar; her chest raising and falling. Tansy's eyes had seen many things in her lifetime, but nothing, nothing like this. Was she dreaming? Having gone mad was definitely not an option. She was a pooka, and madness already ran through her veins, as nature intended it to be. A strange and magical dream must be the answer to this all. Or she had actually been killed by the curupira and this was the afterlife? Was this how those sort of things worked? Tansy gulped and figured it would be smart for her to escape this place while she could.
Her feet tapped upon the ground three times... then three more... and three again, but no portal opened for her. Her hand waved several times, but again, nothing appeared before her eyes. Her magic didn't seem to work here. She was trapped, wherever she was. There was no way out. And there was nothing to guide her way this time. No animals. No humans. No plants or trees. No answers behind that door. What was she going to do now?