Chapter 1 - Ethereal Waters
The candle flickered into life and began growing steadily, as Harry sat there silently, eyes closed, concentrating on the candle. Damian sat opposite the other boy, smiling broadly, even though his eyes were closed too, he knew Harry had succeeded, he felt something shift in the air around them, and Harry felt it too.
Damian and Harry were 10 and 9 years old respectively, however, they shared a special bond that stretched across many levels. They knew from a young age that their fates were somehow inexplicably entwined with one another. They were elementals. They knew it, somehow, in their bones, in the air, in the land beneath their feet, they knew all about the elementals of olden times as it was taught in every history lesson and affected every part of their lives.
The world was once full of stronger elementals and even everyday folk could use the forces of nature to a greater degree, but over time the power to control the elements waned, until now, when there are only a few rare true elemental masters born and the everyday folk can do extremely minimal magic. Damian was lucky in that he came from a long line of powerful water and ice elemental masters. Harry didn't come from a strong like of magic wielders, however, no one knows how or why a person is chosen to bear such power.
Damian’s element was water and by extension, ice, he found out from a young age, when one day he tripped in the communal paddling pool and ended up face down in the water; if he was a normal child he would have drowned soon after, but instead, the water moved and spun him around so he was facing upwards. Needless to say, he and everyone else was shocked and intrigued, but all was soon forgotten, by the masses at least.
Secretly every day, Damian would go into the bathroom and fill the sink with water and concentrate to see if he could talk to, and manipulate the water; and one day, manipulate the water, he did.
Harry was different; Damian had told him of his abilities with water and showed his best friend frequently, to Harry’s continual awe.
Harry one day went to touch Damian and the water ball he had formed with his hands but he couldn’t, it was as of the water and Damian’s skin had become like icicle cuts against Harry’s hot skin, causing steam to rise immediately from the pair, ‘Aahh!’ they screamed in unison and jumped back at the sharp stinging that lingered a little too long.
Looking at each other slowly and deliberately, the pair realised that Harry was not a friend of the element of water.
“Harry! That big candle! Grab it! I got an idea!” Damian instructed Harry, who nodded obediently.
The pair sat down on the floor in Damian’s room and lit the candle with a cooking matchstick to not burn his fingers. Harry always had a good ability with hot things and now it all made sense, to Damian at least, he just needed confirmation.
“Touch the flame! Go on, I wonder if,” Damian trailed off with a bright smile.
Harry let out a small sigh, squeezed his eyes shut, poked the flame with his index finger, and waited for the burning pain to start.
But nothing came, just coolness with underlying warmth.
He opened his eyes wide in astonishment as the flame was dancing along and swirling around his finger happily.
“I KNEW ITTTTTT! HAHAHA HAHAHA, Harry, YOUR ELEMENT IS FIRE!!!!” Damian screamed out while laughing uncontrollably.
“Ahh, wow! I'm, I’m a FIRE ELEMENTAL!!!!! ” Harry shouted back in excitement and the pair embraced each other tightly.
“Hmmm, do, you smell that? Something burning?” Damian said after a few moments into their hug.
Suddenly Damian became very hot and Harry became very cold, as steam and smoke began rising from their bodies, their clothes were reacting to each other’s elements; Harry’s fire had evaporated Damian’s water, turning it into steam and Damian’s water had put out Harry’s fire which had turned into smoke.
The pair fell back, panting heavily, they both felt, weird, like they had both been drained a little.
“WOAH!?, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!” they both exclaimed.
The pair shared a sad but hopeful, knowing look, as the pair held out a hand; tentatively they took each other’s hands and waited.
Suddenly their hands were sizzling as they had to pull apart immediately; their powers were hindering them from even touching now.
The pair sat there for who knows how long, just pondering what to do, how were they ever to touch each other again?
“Look, it, it's okay Harry, don’t be sad at least we can still be around each other and we can practice our abilities together! Eh?” Damian cheerfully stated after a while of thinking, his face said he was fine, but deep in his eyes, his watery soul twisted and turned at the pain.
Harry could only nod and smile a small smile, his fiery soul was burning brighter than ever and wasn’t going to be put out any time soon, but as long as Damian was in his life, he would be able to grow and be happy.
So the pair got stuck in, and day after day Damian would work on conjuring water from thin air and move it about his room; he put out a multitude of candles around the room as Harry went around re-lighting them with his mind and making the fire dance everywhere he could, without it even scorching a thing.
Soon they found that they could create little creatures from their elements and instead they made them dance with each other, where the young men couldn’t.
Four years had passed and by that time they had become adept at their abilities. Their friendship, too, had progressed much, in that time, the pair had realised that they had grown feelings for the other, but neither could say it, they could only keep their true feelings hidden to keep their precious friendship alive. Life was great otherwise, they were happy.
One afternoon, however, while walking through a park near their school, Harry stopped abruptly and turned to Damian; “Damian,..I, I have something to tell you, I, we, my parents, we are moving to a different city, far away,..we are leaving in a few days, I'm, I’m sorry,” Harry said solemnly as he hung his head in shame or embarrassment.
Damian could only stand and wait for where this was going, shocked to his core.
“My, my dad got a new blacksmithing job, in the city of Onyx, I begged him, but, it was to work on Mistress Nuria’s new project, she asked for him specifically, it needs metal and skill with fire, that’s, that’s all I know, Damian, I, I,” Harry’s voice faltered, as he averted his gaze from the floor to the sparkling waterfalls and rivers, which were everywhere in the city of Mul.
Damian was stunned into silence, which was hard to do for someone like him, who only knew how to talk and be open, outgoing, and happy. Harry was the opposite, cool, calm, and collected, even though he was a little younger than Damian, he always protected Damian from anybody at school, should the need arise, as Damian was the sensitive one, but Harry, he had the fire in his belly, the fire to protect the ones he loves, it also helped that he was very sporty.
“I, I, um, what do you want me to say, Harry?.”
“Tell me,.that you’ll never forget me, and that you care for me, the way I care for you, too,,..”
“Harry, I, I will always care for you, no matter what, I'm always yours, and always will be here for you, I love you don’t I! How could I ever forget you!? Look, just don’t forget about me, okay!?” Damian said while looking deeply into Harry’s eyes, which were filled with nothing but love and admiration.
Harry blushed a little and smiled, “I can’t ever forget you, Damian,.and, I, I care for you too, I do love you a lot,..” he decided it was time they risked another hug, which burnt the hell out of both of the boys, but it was worth it, they felt so alive and invigorated whenever they touched.
“,.” Harry seemed to want to say something.
“Go on, what is it?” Damian started.
Then suddenly Harry grabbed Damian and pulled him into a deep but quick loving kiss before their elements collided too much.
The pair smiled shyly at each other and turned to admire the water, as it rushed by them, purifying their souls.
“I’m gonna miss you, Damian,..and I’m gonna miss all this beautiful water everywhere,..we both need to keep our abilities a secret, I can’t see any good coming of it,” Harry said wistfully as he stared up at the sky, his eyes were closed, so he didn’t notice Damian, who was staring at Harry intensely, trying his best to memorise every inch of his face; tears falling freely now.
“, I, I’ll mi..miss you too Harry,.it’s so hard though,.being in love and yet, we can’t even touch each other! nor hug, for the love of the gods! Arghh! I hate it! I hate it so much and I hate that you are leaving!.” Damian suddenly burst, his emotions and feelings had been welling up inside him, and finding out Harry was leaving, was the final straw. Damian was always like water, his emotions and feelings flowed out easily. Harry usually remained calm and collected and saw the facts before the emotions, mostly, unless he was with Damian and that is when his fire, his passion came out.
His tears were now rivers, his emotions were affecting the water too, and they grew a deeper shade of blue and began to rise a little.
“I, I feel the same way, but, please, stop crying! Oh, by the gods! The water, loo..look!” Harry said in a state of alarm.
Damian was lost in his tears, in his sorrow, sorrow that he had kept pent up inside for such a long time, he was releasing them all now.
As his cries intensified, the skies turned darker as the rain began to fall lightly.
Harry, panicking, grabbed Damian’s shoulders risking the pain, and shook the boy out of his state.
“Damian! STOP! THE RAIN, THE WATER! THE RAIN IS BURING ME!, ahh! shit!! Ow! seeing you so upset, breaks my heart!” Harry yelled at Damian, who had opened his eyes and seen the sky and the water, and more importantly, Harry, his Harry,.the steam rose from the younger’s body as it hit and sizzled into nothing.
“Oh my god! I'm so so sorry Harry! I, I never meant any of this! I, I don’t know how to stop this!” Damian began to get panicked, to which Harry simply said,
“It’s okay, just take a deep breath and concentrate and make it stop and go back to normal,..quick as you can please though, the rain’s increasing.”
Damian closed his eyes and took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and shouted in general, “DESIST!!!!” immediately everything calmed, stopped, and returned to normal, even the rain on the floor had evaporated back into the air; everything was as if nothing had ever happened.
They both let out a sigh of relief as they made their way back to their respective homes.
“I, I feel the same way about everything, but, my mum always says that things happen for a reason, and well, this, this must be our fates,.and don’t worry, we can write each other letters or something we will figure something out,” Harry said softly as he risked a peck on Damian’s tear-stained cheek. Damian smiled and returned the peck, he knew what Harry had said was right, he nodded and the pair waved to each other as they went into their respective houses.
Elsewhere in the world, the grand sorceress Melia opened her eyes suddenly from her meditation, as the gently flowing waterfall behind her within the gardens of peace began to gush harder than before, and the skies turned grey and threatened rain.
Standing up, she ran over to the water and stared in horror. “Curiouser and curiouser! Oh! By the gods! The water! The water element! It has, this can only mean one thing, calm dear waters, heed my words water! Calm yourself, you are gentle and calm! Calm!” as she prayed to the water, it began to calm itself as little; she began to glow a faint blue colour, as the blessings of the water god come to her aid.
She opened her eyes, which were glowing blue, and screamed an ethereal.
“WATERS!... CALM THYSELF!”
With that, everything was back to normal, the sky brightened, and the water flowed gently once more. But she knew that this meant that there had been a shift in the balance of the world. It was foretold in the old scrolls and on the old murals. It was coming to pass which means that what she feared the most will also come to pass.
And just like that, somewhere, far away, deep underground, hidden within in the darkest recesses of the Noir forest, something awoke, something ancient and terrible; the thing could not move, nor do anything, but it could see, but it was conscious again, after millennia of slumbering.
A few days went by and the boys tried their best to remain positive about the future, but the day came and went with some tears, but nothing as crazy as the other day. Their families hugged goodbye and, risking it, so did Damian and Harry.
Hours turned into days, the days rolled into weeks and the weeks flowed into months and the months flew into years and soon enough, 10 years had passed and yet not a word from Harry. Damian was heartbroken and always felt as if he had lost a small part of himself with Harry. Each day was a struggle until eventually the pain and sadness subsided and he threw himself into his royal duties, keeping busy every day. always hoping, always wishing, always waiting, patiently and silently.
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