Home > The Witch's Guardian

The Witch's Guardian
Author: Anna Edwards

Playlist

 

 

i hate u, i love u - Gnash featuring Olivia O’Brien

If the World was Ending - JP Saxe, Julia Michaels

All I ask - Bruno Mars

Carry You - Ruelle ft. Fleurie

Killing me Slowly - Bad Wolves

Won’t give up - Various

Your Guardian Angel - Red Jump Suit

Turning Tables - Adele

Cryin - Aerosmith

Here without you - 3 Doors Down

Almost is Never Enough - Ariana Grande Featuring Nathan Sykes

What can I say - Shealeigh

Behind Blue Eyes - Limp Bizkit

The Words - Christina Perri

Wicked Game - Gemma Hayes

Careless Whisper - Seether

Little Do you kNow - Alex & Sierra

Trying Sleeping with a Broken Heat - Alicia Keys

 

 

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There shouldn’t be diamond dust in the air, not when there’s no snow and it’s an early spring morning in the south west of England. Unfortunately, this only serves to communicate what’s coming.

“Juniper.” His voice hits my ears first, then he appears, completely regal, fully robed, and expecting one hundred percent of my attention.

“Father.” I bow.

“Rise, daughter,” he commands, his voice void of warmth.

I do as I’m told. I learnt early that disrespect comes at a price. Remaining silent, I await his orders. He only visits when he expects something from me. Nikolai Ruben Ambrose doesn’t stand before me now as my father, like every other occasion he has visited me, he stands here as my King.

“You’re nearly eighteen, Juniper, it’s time for you to re-enrol at Caspian Academy. I’ve advised them you’ll start there Monday. A car will be sent here to collect you tonight.” He glances behind him. Someone is obviously vying for his attention; they can have it. I’d rather not be in his company. “I’ve arranged for you to have accommodation on site,” he continues. What he actually means is, one of his two assistants has arranged it for me. Briefly, I pray it’s Mirabel. She seems to like me, unlike Velva who clearly wants more from my father than to serve him as her King. “So, you’ll leave tonight,” he orders. “You can then spend tomorrow setting your room up, getting your class schedule, etc, etc.” Waving his hand in the air, he seems exasperated with me, and yet, I’ve only said a single word. He remains silent, and a frown appears across his brow, so I quickly nod my reply, arguing would be pointless and no doubt painful.

With nothing more to say, Daddy dearest disappears.

“Bloody hell,” I groan, slumping into the wet grass and watching the diamond dust finally dissipate.

“Problems?” The timid lilt of my mother feels like a soft blanket wrapping around me. Turning, I hold my hand up to block out the sun, allowing me to see her tiny frame swamped by her clothes. Her fragility has become more apparent over the last six months, and now at my father’s command, I have to leave her.

“Dad finally ordered me to attend Caspian,” I sigh, watching the sadness flash in Mum’s eyes before she hides behind a smile. I’m unsure if she’s sad because I’m leaving or because Dad never visits her anymore. I know she still loves him.

“It’ll be good for you, mixing with other witches again. Especially ones your age, honey,” she soothes as she runs her hand over my head, her fingers threading through my long, silver hair.

I roll my eyes. Everyone knows who I am; they know I’m a fake. At this point, I’m pretty sure my dad is only pushing my attendance at the academy to keep up with tradition. It’s not like anyone will allow an adopted kid to inherit the throne after he dies. I’m not of his blood, and ever since Mum got sick, he’s had nothing to do with her either, almost as though he believes he’ll catch her illness.

“Doesn’t Emmie attend that school?” I don’t respond to Mum as apprehension flows through me. Emmie was my best friend, but I haven’t seen her for over a year. “Oh, and Taya.” I bite my tongue. My mother still believes my old school friends are angels. I know better, though. Being able to avoid Taya and her lackeys’ nasty, bitter bullying ways over the last year has been a massive plus. “Jacobi Ashdown attends the school too. You remember him, right?”

My mother witters on naming different people, but they’re all the same. It may be a year later, but I’m pretty sure none of them have grown up. Jacobi Ashdown is someone I’d rather forget. His perfection serves to impress the halls of Caspian Academy, but I’ll be trying to avoid him. Too much arrogance, and a lack of compassion. Plus, the last I remember, he was dating Taya. Yeah, this is going to be so much fun.

Heaving myself up, I shake off the bad feeling slithering through my veins.

“Why don’t we have tea in the sunshine, Mum?” I smile, threading my arm through hers.

I help her shuffle to the outdoor table, seating her in a soft chair with a little shade from a tree, and then with a flick of my wrist, I conjure a tea set adorned with everything we need. As I sit sipping my hot drink, I watch my mother wince in pain and retrospectively try to hide it. I know we don’t have long, and my father deciding it’s time for me to go back to school makes me hate him even more. At least, before Mum was ill, we all lived in London, so I could attend as a day student. Now I have to go back as a boarder, and there’s no way Mum is well enough to move to London with me. Besides, she has people here, people who will look after her when I can’t. Clearly none of these points affected my father’s decision, though.

King Ambrose is arrogant enough to believe everyone either worships him or fears him. I’m not sure which category he thinks I fall into, but I’ll surprise him one day when he realises it’s neither. Once my mum passes, he’ll learn how formidable I am, even without the magic of his blood.

Mum sighs heavily, and even though it’s barely mid-morning, I know she requires rest. “Mum, I’ll take you back to your room,” I tell her. Sadly, she only nods, barely having any strength left in her body.

She leans heavily on me as I half carry her to her room and help her into bed. The moment the covers are blanketing her in warmth, she offers me a small smile. I kiss her forehead and go to move away, but she grabs my wrist weakly and says, “Juni, you know I love you right. I chose you.”

“I know, Mum,” I reply, turning back towards her and listening to the words she’s repeated to me ever since I can remember, making sure to drum it home to me.

She’s always told me how most parents don’t get to choose their child, but she did with me, which makes her lucky…blessed, she says.

“I’ve had one big love of my life, Juni. Only one. You, baby,” she whispers, and I feel the emotion crawling up my throat.

“You’ll always have me, Mum.” My voice is soft and her face gentles on me.

“Even when I don’t.” The words are a vow. She knows her time is coming to an end, and she’ll be gone soon, but we both know dying doesn’t mean ending. The two things are sometimes very separate. If you’re lucky.

“Even when you don’t,” I turn her words around. Strangling the tears which are threatening.

“Go on, honey, you have packing to do.”

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