Meira Ferguson is a fiery young woman who has recently moved back to Scotland, the place of her birth.When she had been in Edinburgh for not even a week, she was kidnapped and brought to a strange place that defies the rules of nature. She discovers that it had been fae that had taken her, the creatures from myth and folktales. Meira learns that the queen of the Seelie Court, Aileas, had requested she be brought to the court of spring and summer but the queen has yet to tell Meira why she asked for the girl specifically. Now, thanks to the queen, Meira is stuck living within the Seelie Court, apparently the more benevolent of the two fae courts. This scene takes place in December, after Meira has been living with the court for a few months learning about the culture of the court and the complexities of it’s citizens, during the beginning of the Yule celebrations.
Meira descended the steps of the grand hall, taking in all the figures in fine, otherworldly clothing. Silk and chiffon were abundant on the dance floor, the swirls of color flowing and mixing like a painter’s palette had spilled across the marble floor of the hall. Bright forest greens like Meira’s own dress swirled around soft pinks and bright yellows, lavenders, lilacs and ocean blues. While the dancing and chatting seemed festive enough there was a tension in the air, so thick Meira could practically feel it on her skin. Kyla had told her the Unseelie Court would be present for most of the Yule celebrations. It was most likely the company of their slightly darker cousins that caused the spring and summer courts to be on edge. Meira stood in a secluded corner, watching the dancing and drinking, wondering how she was supposed to tell the Unseelie apart from the Seelie when the door at the top of the grand staircase opened. Everyone’s eyes were drawn to the stairs as a group of fae descended. They were dressed all in dark, somber colors. Reds, browns, oranges and blacks with dark blue, white and grey sprinkled throughout. Appropriate considering their court embodied autumn and winter. The woman at the head of the procession wore an ornate silver and black dress with gems sewn into the bodice and raven feathers decorating her shoulders. Her startling white hair was up in an intricate bun, a few locks loose to curl along the side of her face. She looked young but as she drew further into the room Meira could feel the punch of power and she immediately knew that she was looking upon the queen of the Unseelie court. Slowly her attention was drawn to a man walking just behind the queen but then she felt a tap on her shoulder and she turned to find one of the servants, offering her a glass of sweet wine. She took it gratefully, offering her thanks to the dryad before moving further into the crowd, hoping to find a familiar face. Most of the fae had gone back to their previous activities, ignoring the presence of the other court but Meira was surprised to see that a few Seelie fae were approaching the Unseelie, greeting them as if they were old friends. “Does that surprise you?” She jumped at the soft voice from behind her, turning to see one of the wind sprites standing to her left. “Excuse me?”
“Does it surprise you?” He nodded at two fae embracing each other, the female’s bright yellow dress clashing with the male’s deep crimson and brown outfit. “The fact that there are those that welcome the dark court with open arms.” Meira hesitated before nodding slowly. “It does…. After the way Cailean and Kyla spoke of Winter and Autumn, I just assumed they were universally disliked by other courts.” The wind sprite chuckled at that. “Seeing as those two have a habit of telling you things, have they told you what courts they each belong to?” Meira nodded “Yes. Kyla is Spring court and Cailean is Summer.”
“And yet they are siblings, twins even some speculate.” The wind sprite raised his eyebrows at her, almost as if coaxing her to connect the dots. Meira furrowed her brow in concentration before her eyes lit up. “Fae choose what court they belong in, they’re not born into it!” Her attention turned back to the two fae who had been embracing earlier, now noticing the similarities between them; they had the same eyes and nose. The wind sprite nodded, obviously pleased he didn’t have to spell it out for her. “Ah. We managed to find an intelligent human it seems. Yes. Each fae will choose their court once they reach maturity. Many seelie fae have kin or even lovers in the unseelie courts, though many are still biased towards them, sometimes disowning family members who leave.” Meira nodded, from what she had seen of the nobles within the seelie court it wasn’t surprising at all. “Thank you” Meira told him softly, turning to look but finding nothing but air.
A while later Meira found herself standing outside on one of the many balconies that bordered the ball room, breathing in the silky night air. She closed her eyes, feeling the soothing stillness of the night, desperately needing the quiet after the noise of the courts. Suddenly she heard the rustling of clothes from next to her and she slowly opened her eyes, turning her head slightly to look at the person standing next to her. It was the man she had seen following the queen earlier. He was looking off into the distance, leaning casually against the railing, raven black hair falling into his face, hiding the pointed ears she knew he would have. His eyes were an interesting copper color that shimmered in the moonlight. Most likely feeling her gaze on him, the sidhe turned to face her. His eyes scanned over her face before frowning slightly. “So, you’re the human the seelies brought in, hmm?” Meira attempted to smile but it probably came out more like to a grimace. “So I am. You can call me Meira. And who are you?” The man paused for a moment, almost as if trying to decide whether or not he should tell her. Finally he sighed, turning away from her. “I am the prince of the Unseelie court. You can address me as Brandéan.” Meira wrinkled her nose at the name, studying the man again. “That name doesn’t fit you at all….” She hummed in thought, leaning on the railing next to him. “I’m going to call you Bran instead.” She nodded to herself, pleased with the nickname. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Bran’s eyes widen slightly before going back to normal. “If you wish” he replied softly before straightening, “It is not likely you will see me after Yule, Meira.” He turned abruptly, starting to go back into the ballroom before pausing. “I would tread carefully around the queens, sorchan. Neither are fond of your presence. One just hides it better.” He said before disappearing into the crowd, leaving Meira on the balcony to mull over his words.