Chapter 1 : The Stars Have Ears
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She felt a presence lying down beside her but didn’t look. She knew who it was.
He watched her pensively, his hazel eyes twinkling with merriment. A faint smile played on his thin lips as he observed the girl beside him. The soft light of the moon falling on her pale skin and blonde hair almost made it seem as if she was glowing. He bit his lower lip as he debated with himself whether or not to hold the small hand beside him.
A smile suddenly lit her face. His heart leapt whenever he saw her smile. Ever since he first saw her, his heart did cartwheels whenever she smiled at him.
“I get it now,” she informed him, fixing her wide eyes on his.
“What?” he asked.
“Crumple-Horned Snorkacks,” she replied, pointing to the sky with delight in her voice.
He grinned at her enthusiasm. She never gives up on those. Others might’ve found it strange but it was what drew him towards her when they first met. “Really…but how come you know their shape, if you haven’t seen them?”
“So what if I haven’t yet? Other people have,” she said calmly. “See that star over there? Trace that star to that bright star over there, and you’ll find that it makes a crumply horn…” she started explaining in her distant and dreamy voice, pointing to the bright stars above them.
But he wasn’t listening. He only focused on her small, pink lips, wondering if they were as soft as they looked. He’d been thinking about kissing them all day but he couldn’t find the perfect moment to do so.
He lightly touched her hand, and the action made her look at him. He gazed into her eyes, wondering what emotion they relayed. He could never read her eyes, or the expression on her calm, beautiful face, but he was willing to take a chance. Slowly, he leaned towards her.
“Not in public, Rolf,” she whispered, making him stop inches away from her.
He frowned in confusion, looking around them. “There’s no one here but us,” he said.
“Of course there is,” she whispered, as if she was afraid of being overheard, “they always watch at night.”
“Them,” she replied, indicating skywards with her eyes.
Rolf looked up at the twinkling night sky above them. “The stars?” he asked, smiling at her.
“Yes. They come out at night to watch us. Daddy says they know the secrets of the world…”
But Rolf didn’t care if the stars watched or not. He wanted to know what it would feel like to kiss her, and he leaned forwards again, silencing her with his lips.
Rolf was shaken awake by a small, blonde-haired boy. He rubbed his eyes and stretched in his armchair. Rubbing his neck and mentally making a note to not fall asleep on chairs again, he turned towards his son. “Lysander? What’re you doing up at this hour?” he asked groggily. “Where’s Lorcan?” he added when he saw that Lysander’s twin brother wasn’t beside him.
“I can’t sleep... Lorcan’s still sleeping,” said the five-year-old boy. He nervously shifted from one foot to the other.
“Why can’t you sleep?” asked Rolf.
“I’m...I’m scared,” answered his son in a shaking voice.
Rolf took his son’s small hand and led him to the bedroom he shared with his brother. He looked towards Lorcan’s bed and saw that he was breathing deeply, peacefully asleep. “Now, why is a big boy like you scared?” Rolf asked Lysander.
“The window closed by itself,” he answered, glaring at the mentioned object as he jumped into bed.
Rolf shook his head in amusement. “It was just the wind,” he stated, tucking his son into the bedcovers.
“Can you please keep it open, daddy?” asked Lysander, peering up at his father from under his blue and white bed sheets.
“Of course,” replied Rolf. He opened the window and muttered a spell so that it wouldn’t close. He then sat by his son’s bed and they stared out the window together, looking up at the clear night sky illuminated by numerous stars.
“She’s watching, isn’t she?” whispered Lysander.
Rolf smiled at him. “Of course she is. You know she always watches over you, right?”
“I know,” Lysander replied softly. “That’s why I keep the window open.” With that, he closed his eyes and fell asleep instantly.
Rolf kissed his son’s forehead before standing in front of the window, his face turned towards the sky.
“How can they hear us? Do they have ears?” he asked her, chuckling.
“Of course they do,” she replied confidently. “Don’t you know that when a person dies, they become a star?”
“I didn’t know that,” Rolf replied, smiling at her lovingly.
“My mother’s one of them,” she said, looking up at the sky. “I always say goodnight to her before I go to sleep.”
“I love you, Luna,” whispered Rolf, staring at the brightest star in the night sky. After all, if the stars have ears, then she’d hear him, right?