I was just calmly minding my own business when a voice hissed in my ear. “You tattled on me,” said my dearest sister Vega, as she plonked herself down next to me. So annoying. Why do I have to be the middle child?
“I hate to say this, but the whole family knows you’re always running off with ‘the Goth boy’.” That’s what our parents called Sterling Goth, always, with no variation. “Why do you like him so much, anyway? He always makes you wait for him.”
“That’s none of your business, Altair.” Her face flamed red. “I don’t tell on you when you pick fights with Taurus.”
“Well it’s not fair anyway that I get told off for that when it’s Taurus that always wins. Shouldn’t that make me the victim?”
“That just makes you the loser.”
I scowled. They could say all they wanted but I didn’t just hate Taurus because he’s a little annoying brat. There was also the thing about how strange things got around the time he was born. “I think he’s a changeling child,” I said instead, not because I actually thought he was a changeling, but because I hoped he was.
Instead of telling me I’m stupid, like she always did, she said, “I think I might be a changeling.”
“I look nothing like mother and father,” she said miserably, before squealing as a hand began to mess up her hair. “Father,” she protested, trying to shake the hand off. Father just laughed.
“I didn’t pick any fights,” I said before anyone could say anything.
“I know you didn’t,” said father. “Not today.” He turned to Vega. “And you are definitely not a changeling. Do you know how children grow?”
I shook my head along with Vega, though the question wasn’t directed at me.
“A child grows by absorbing their parent’s love. You wouldn’t have grown up like this if you had been a changeling.”
Vega wrinkled her nose. “Um, I’m not sure it works like that, father.”
Father laughed. “Trust me, I know for sure you’re not a changeling. Neither is your brother,” he added sternly. I grinned sheepishly.
“Thank you,” said Vega. She was smiling now.
A light tap issued from the kitchen window, stealing our attention. Sterling Goth.
“Be back before dinner,” called father as Vega raced outside and I rolled my eyes. Finally, back to minding my own business.
When a part of the attic floor collapsed, bringing down the boxes full of notebooks, I took it as a sign. After haphazardly nailing boards across the resulting hole in the ceiling, I decided to put the books to good use.
Page after page was filled with notes on alchemy. I pored over each and every one, sorting the information logically and combining them into one. “Do you believe in alchemy?” Grim asked me once, sometime during the first few days of my endeavors.
“My mother told me they were real alchemists, but they’ve all died out now.” Evading the question. How much did he know? How much did he know that I know? For the first time, I wish we were one to talk about the obvious things.
I put down the pen at a flicker of movement from the corner of my eye. Vega, running off again. Shaking my head in both amusement and concern, I picked up the pen again. I wanted to finish copying this page before taking a break. The pen made delightful scratching noises as it made its way across the page: In 1537, Paracelsus writes in De natura rerum….
5 thoughts on “3.2 Changeling Child”
Interesting… hehe.. of course Grimm would know these things… I wonder if there are any changelings around?
Taurus is the youngest kid right? He’s behaving strangely because he has those gifts? Hmm… it must be pretty hard on the older siblings because they would have originally been developing those gifts but then they would lose them… it must be quite a confusing process, I suppose. I wonder what would happen if you were the youngest child until late teenagehood and then suddenly your parents are pregnant again? That would be really unfortunate in my opinion. XD
Hmm… so Libra’s the one that is into Alchemy. Awesome… I wonder if she’s going to be the first in the family to stay immortal? Maybe that’s just me wishfully thinking… XD
LikeLiked by 2 people
Yeah because Grim had nice parents or something xD Taurus is indeed the youngest. Who knows why he’s so weird? He might just be a weird kid lol. We’ll see. (And I see the ulterior motives behind your wishful thinking!)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Nice chapter! It’s cool to get a peek at how the sibling dynamic works between those three. 🙂 I can’t wait to be formally introduced to Taurus!
LikeLiked by 2 people
James is a middle kid like me. o: and ooh Taurus is the one with the cute face. I still remember that ;D
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh very nice! I’m an only child, like Libra. Wish I had siblings, I’m so lonely 😢