"What do you mean, brothers?" I ask, my whole body trembling. "I have brothers?" A shadow passes over Miss Wakefield's face and regret glimmers in her eyes. "You mean you never knew? Marlin, you should have informed me, can you remember any of your life before this school? My dear, I.. I," A single tear rolls down her cheek as I shift in my chair, made uncomfortable by her sudden show of emotion. Suddenly she jerks upright, smoothes down her hair and regains her usual stern look. "Then I suppose Marlin, it is my duty to enlighten you in the matter of our nation's history, and how your family history is so closely entwined with it."
I look up at her, barely able to contain my excitement. "Now Marlin," she says sternly, "This isn't the history of our nation that you were taught in the class rooms. If you want to know these things I have to warn you, there is no going back. Once this whole other world has been opened to you, nothing will ever be the same." Confused, I nod and say, "I'm sure Miss, please tell me about my family". She looks me sternly in the eye, sighs and begins.
"Many years ago when I was just a small child there was chaos throughout the land. There was no disturbance in the world of normals, which was our name for non-magical beings, as it was of upmost importance that we were kept away from curious eyes. We didn't want the prejudice or the jealousy that would arise from our secret being revealed to all. There were many who wanted to keep our beautiful world of mystery and wonder just for us and believed that normals weren't privileged enough to enjoy our magic and glory. There were also extremists who couldn't bear the thought of our bloodlines being contaminated by normal blood. We were a dying race but they brutally murdered anyone who even attempted to be intimate with a normal. They forced people to turn to cross breeding, which resulted in power mutations, like the ones you see in your fellow students in Ward 13. This meant the majority of an entire generation lost the ability to develop magic and study the ancient arts. Our culture and traditions were slashed to the core.
Chaos. All the magic was running through our veins with more power than it had for hundreds of years. People became fiercely territorial, their tempers flared, there were riots in our communities, rivalries sparked and flamed, petty quarrels over petty problems escalated into big wars over bigger problems. For so many years our powers had remained dormant. Lying like sleeping beasts. But for some reason they were suddenly regaining potency, and quickly.
It was all to do with an rare astronomical cycle that only happens every few hundred years. As the sun and the moon drew closer to aligning our powers grew stronger and stronger. When the sun and moon ultimately aligned our powers would be so potent we would rip each other apart. This was discovered by two brilliant scientists who were greatly skilled in the ancient magical arts. They were your parents. They knew they had to do something or our entire world and everything we had built would fall apart.
For months they slaved away, locking themselves away from the rest of the world. Many months later they gave birth to beautiful twins, Bartholomew and Nathaniel. Bartholomew with his angelic face, rosy cheeks and hair so blonde it looked white. Nathaniel with his pale serious feature and hair as black as a raven feather. Your brothers. Your parents had created them to save our people. When the alignment of the sun and moon finally came around everything was ready. They took part in a strange ritual that no one really knows about. It is a mystery what exactly happened but it stripped something away from your parents and brothers. But they succeeded. Your brothers brought order to the land. They created a split in the storm. They created the light and the dark. They were the leaders of two regions. They were less than a year old. And so everything was perfect. We had a new sense of community and there was leadership. People had the opportunity to build lives, to love and be free, they could form friendships, create routines and live orderly lives. Institutes like this one were built all over the country to help the children with gifts and to serve as orphanages or foster homes for children who lost their parents to the chaos.
Years later, your parents gave birth to you. It was a widely celebrated occasion as your parents and brothers had become quite the celebrities. Unfortunately your mother died soon after. For a while she had been suffering from a wasting disease of unknown origin and her body just couldn't take it. I'm sorry to say that your mother's death destroyed your father. He was consumed by madness and soon in his twisted mind he managed to blame you and your brothers for her death. Your brothers only just managed to get you out safely. They brought you here, so you could grow up as normally as possible.
These past few years there has been disaster after disaster. Your brothers now lead the light and dark but after years of built up resentment, repressed anger and guilt they argued and forced the gulf between the shades (which is what light and dark have come to be known as) deeper and wider than ever before. They are now two separate worlds and are almost rivals. If this is not bad enough, there is now a more sinister power rising up from the depths. Marlin, I know this is a lot to take in but we need you to reunite the power of your brothers and discover the true power inside yourself. You are the third and most powerful child in a family of the most powerful sorcerers that have ever lived. You must save our people just like your parents did before you. This task may seem daunting but you have the strength to do this. I believe in you, we all do."
"But... But," I gasp, my eyes suddenly filled with tears, "I can't... I could never... Oh Miss Wakefeild, I don't think I am capable, I am normal, I have no powers." I squeeze my eyes shut and try to comprehend the information that had just changed my entire world, challenged everything I have ever known. "So my dream, it's real." My head spins suddenly and I slump backwards in my chair. "Marlin?" Asks Miss Wakefield, "I'm so sorry to spring all this upon you so suddenly, but, you needed to know. You have lived a sheltered life here at the institute and you needed to be educated in the affairs of the outside, the history of our nation and your family. I also needed to brush away the cobwebs of misconceptions you seem to have formed about so many aspects of life." Her gaze softens as she sees the tears spilling down my cheeks. "Go get yourself ready dear, go back to your room and tidy yourself up, bring few possessions, say your good byes and report back here, go quickly now." She says, and I take a deep breathe as I stand and slowly make my way out of the office.
As I walk down the halls and corridors I had walked my entire life, I think about the secrets I now know. How gifts are't the norm, everything that is happening outside, how I had brothers. Brothers! How I was powerful, important even, how I was going to save the world.