A week had passed and Phee had yet to find anyone to help her sort out the confusion she was feeling. She had found no one to answer the millions of questions running rampant in her mind. She let out a long sigh as she sat at the kitchen table and pushed her spoon around the edge of her cereal bowl. She hadn't touched it since she poured it out of the box.

"What's got you so down?" Nadia asked as she leaned over the table and stared sideways at Phee with a curious, but concerned expression plastered to her face. Phee shrugged and pushed her spoon some more, glancing only briefly at the tanned, brown-eyed girl before turning her own eyes back to the table. "Hey, come on! Tell Nadia all your troubles, you know you want to!" Nadia sat down across from her and folded her hands on the table.

"You wouldn't believe me. You'd ask me what I was on." Phee murmured darkly. Nadia just chuckled.

"I've always know you had psychological issues, honey. So shoot."

Phee groaned and rolled her eyes. "I'm hearing voices essentially… or rather… it's like there are two people - two sets of memories, everything – lodged inside my brain. One is a girl who believes in magic and gods and believes that the love of her life died. The other one doesn't believe in magic or anything fantastical and doesn't have a love of her life. And I am not trying to say that I'm struggling with faith and shit, Nad. I'm completely serious and mean exactly what I said."

Nadia raised a perfectly arched, dark eyebrow at her friend. "Mhmm. That… is a little hard for me to get my mind around, hun."

"I know. It's hard for me even."

"Want to go see a psychiatrist?"

"No! Ugh, Nadia! I… jesus. Maybe I am crazy. I even thought I saw him the other day."

"Him? Him who?" Nadia's interest was piqued and she leaned forward a bit.

"The love of my life. Er, the guy my magic-believing self was head over heels for."

"Oo. Really? Was he hot?" Nadia snickered as Phee shot her a very icy glare. "Anyway, what did this new side of your mind think? How did she respond? And does she have a name?"

"To start, the name is the same. Pheonix – even spelled improperly like mine. As to what I thought… I was stunned. I mean… I saw him die. I saw the swords shoved through his chest. I felt his hand fall from mine, but then there he was! He was standing there looking as handsome as ever and perfectly healthy." Phee groaned and put her head in her hands a moment.

Nadia was silent at first, her expression that of confusion and desperation to understand. After a moment she started, "So… what this sounds like to me is that you're remembering a past life. Same name, same guy… Swords make it sound like something from the medieval ages though. You also said she believes in magic and all that, a trait of the medieval era. Or around that time anyway."

"But it… it feels like so much more. Nadia, I remember like it just happened and I remember being there, covered in ash from the fire devouring my home, wearing that dress you saw me in the other day. I remember trying to kill myself and then suddenly I opened my eyes and here I was!" Phee exclaimed, her voice cracking a bit as she saw flashes of the whole incident come to her eyes.

Nadia was quiet again. Pheonix didn't expect her to understand. Half of her knew she didn't believe in magic or fantasy. Half of her knew she'd send her away with the men in white coats. So when Nadia finally spoke Pheonix was stunned by her reply, "I think we need to go see my mother."


"I… well you know I come from a very traditional family, right? Very old fashioned?" Phee nodded and Nadia continued. "My mom is so old fashioned she… she took up the family business. She's a fortune teller. Well, she prefers to call herself an oracle, but basically it's the same thing."

"Actually an oracle gives answer to most anything where as fortune tellers usually deal specifically in the future aspects of a subject's personal life."

"Right…" Nadia narrowed her eyes a moment and then smiled a bit and shook her head. "Either way, I find it hard to believe you, but she might be able to help you out. If nothing else she'll eagerly listen to your delusions."

"Gee, thanks, Nad. I love you too." Pheonix laughed lightly and rolled her eyes.

"You know you do." Nadia responded with a smirk. "I'll call her and ask what she's doing Saturday."

Pheonix nodded as Nadia got up and left the room, leaving her to sigh and stare down at her cereal again. Finally, deciding she wasn't going to eat it, she stood and grabbed the bowl, dumping the contents in the garbage before putting the bowl and spoon in the sink and heading to lay down in her room.

Saturday came soon enough. Before she knew it she was seated across from Nadia on a train headed for Nadia's hometown. She observed the Romanian girl in silence until Nadia looked up at her with a cocked brow. "What?"

"I think you take after your mother more than you'd like to admit."

"What?" Nadia repeated, her lips twisting into a slight grimace.

"I think, even though you deny it, you believe just a bit in magic and 'fortune telling'."

"That's ridiculous, Phee." Nadia rolled her eyes and crossed her left leg over her right, looking a bit uncomfortable and blushing.

Phee laughed openly and shook her head. "Ok, don't admit it, though your discomfort almost proves it." She looked out the window when she saw Nadia wrinkle her nose. The rest of the ride was quiet, a few comments about the scenery, but nothing else. After a few hours the train pulled into a small station in

the country and halted. Phee and Nadia descended to the platform, two of perhaps five people who did so.

As they entered into the station with their bags slung over their shoulders a loud voice called out, "Nadia!" Both girls stopped in their tracks and turned to see a burly, tanned, dark haired man come jogging over to them. He enveloped Nadia in a tight bear hug as Nadia's face broke out into a grin.

"Emilian!" Nadia called out, though it was more of a strangled gasp. Phee chuckled and looked up at the very tall man who looked like he could crush the girl in his arms. He put Nadia down and she grinned lazily up at him before turning to Pheonix. "Phee, this is my older brother Emilian. Emilian, Pheonix."

"Oh, this is the one you're always talking about!" Emilian said before quickly holding out a hand to Pheonix. She took it and he kissed the top of it. "A pleasure to meet you, Pheonix."

Phee blushed a little and laughed. "It's nice to meet you too, Emilian."

"Please, call me Emi. May I call you Phee?"

Pheonix nodded briefly before turning to look at Nadia who was surveying the two. She seemed to notice how both had turned their attention to her and then grinned.

"Ok, let's go see the family then!" She grabbed Phee by linking arms with her and pulled her off, following Emilian to his car.

The ride to the house was anything but silent. Nadia jabbered nonstop about her hometown and her family. Emilian chuckled occasionally at how she phrased things like her father's 'overly enthusiastic love of baseball'. "Overly enthusiastic makes it sound mild. He tried to decorate our whole house in a baseball theme. In the end our mother gave him the basement to do with as he wished. It's like a shrine down there. He made it into his sanctuary where he spends his time watching games and screaming at the tv."

Phee smirked and let slip a short laugh. "And Nadia said her family was traditional."

"Oh, we are. We have our modern quirks, but when it comes down to it – we still believe in the old ways. Our community is actually a community of semi-ex-gypsies. We stopped travelling around like lost puppies, but retained the feeling of a family. Many still dress in the style associated with gypsies and, like our mother, offer their gypsy services to the public. Music, fortune telling, etcetera." Emilian's eyes were crinkled up by his grin as Pheonix observed him in the rearview mirror.

She nodded absently and wondered what it was like to live like a gypsy. It seemed interesting and fun. They seemed like they had a strong bond. Soon enough they pulled into a driveway of a normal looking house and she was able to see the life for herself.

She climbed out of the car with Nadia and Emilian and looked up and down the street. There was nothing particularly special about the neighborhood. Kids ran about playing basketball or soccer, or simply chasing each other around like maniacs. Parents hung laundry in the yard while watching and

laughing. Indeed, most of the adults had on clothing which reminded Pheonix greatly of the gypsies she had heard of - long skirts, peasant tops, shawls tied at their hips, and gold bangles on the wrists. Also, almost all of them shared tanned skin and dark hair. Here and there there was a head of light brown, even one of red, but most were black or dark brown, thick, luscious, wavy heads of hair.

"Come on, let's introduce you to mom." Nadia said, grabbing Phee up and dragging her inside while Emilian laughed and trailed after. "Mama!"

"Nadi! Is that you?" A loud, but attractive, female voice called from the back of the house. Nadia pulled Phee in the direction of it until they came out into a kitchen where a pretty woman, who looked much like Nadia, stood at the stove with a grin on her face. She turned and spotted her daughter and dropped her spoon in the pot on the stove and ran to envelope Nadia in a hug. "Nadi!"

"Mama!" Nadia hugged her mother back and then stepped away. "Mama, this is Phee." She motioned to Pheonix who smiled politely.

Nadia's mother looked Pheonix over, her smile never left her, but her eyes held several other emotions, including confusion. "My dear, you… ah well. You're here for my help are you?"

Phee nodded, her smiled faltering. "Yes, ma'am."

The woman chuckled and hugged her suddenly. "Call me Alina, please." She turned to her son and motioned to the two girls. "Well, go help them with their stuff, boy." Emilian laughed and took the bags from Nadia and Phee's shoulders and headed upstairs with the girls in tow, but Alina stopped Pheonix before she left. "We'll need to speak tonight after dinner. The sooner the better, but I'll let you rest for the afternoon. You've had a long journey."

Pheonix felt her stomach drop as the woman spoke. Was there something wrong? She nodded and was about to ask, but Nadia called for her to hurry up and Alina smiled and jerked her head to signal that she should go. She turned and headed upstairs, but she was suddenly not looking forward to her chat with Alina later.

When it finally came around it was after dark. Dinner had been served and cleared away. Dishes had been done, Nadia's father had retreated to the basement, and the rest of the people in the house had wandered aimlessly into other rooms to do who knew what. Only Alina, Nadia, and Pheonix were left in the kitchen. The lights were turned off except for the one over the stove with the vent. The three sat at the small square kitchen table quietly, the only sounds being nervous shifting on Phee's part and the sound of Alina's golden bangles scraping over the table top as she clasped her hands together.

"Nadia told me that you needed guidance from someone who believed in magic, is that correct?" Alina's voice which had earlier sounded fairly young and carefree had turned deeper, perhaps rougher even. It was mysterious and focused. Phee nodded briefly. Alina nodded back and her lips drew into a thin line. "I can tell you a few things I noticed the moment I met you. I don't think you'll like what I have to say."

Pheonix braced herself and bit her lip a little unconsciously. "And those things would be… what exactly?"

It seemed like the woman had paled a bit as she paused and looked directly at Pheonix. Her dark brown eyes were a color close to that of molasses – almost black – but that could have just been from the lack of light. Pheonix could have sworn they were lighter in color earlier though. "You have angered the gods. You have defied them and broken their laws."

For a moment Phee was stunned into silence and then she suddenly burst out laughing. "I'm sorry… did you just say that I broke their laws? For one thing, there's only one God…" Her voice seemed to waver though as she spoke the last sentence. The newest half of her mind disagreed it seemed. Of course it would though; the girl from medieval times was a pagan. Pheonix rolled her eyes at herself and at Alina.

"Don't laugh!" Alina barked out angrily. "You have already done enough to anger them. Do not shun them as well or I fear for what they will do."

"Right." Pheonix didn't sound like she fully believed the woman though. "So how exactly did I break their laws?"

"Humans are not supposed to be able to remember past lives, but somehow you've managed to connect and bring forth your whole self from another life. Or your past self was able to somehow bring itself here to you now." Her words didn't make sense to Pheonix in the least – that was apparent by the very sour look and furrowed brow painted on her face. "Suffice to say you have two minds in that pretty little head of yours is an enormous faux pas."

"Well I didn't do it on purpose."

Alina seemed to be stunned into silence at that. She regarded Phee closely, but there was no sign in the young girl's feature to indicate that she was lying. She wasn't. She really hadn't done it on purpose. "I see…"

"I'm glad someone does." Nadia's voice broke through the tension and forced Pheonix to look over at her. "I don't understand this at all. If this is true – which I'm finding hard to swallow – then how could it have happened if Pheonix didn't do it on purpose?"

And that was the question, wasn't it? Pheonix sighed and looked to Alina expectantly for an answer. "Yes, do tell."

The look on the woman's face seemed to be a bit like 'don't give me that look and tone'. Her pursed lips relaxed after a moment and she looked Pheonix over appraisingly. "How indeed. Well, if you didn't do it yourself, dear, then someone did it for you. Someone decided to step it and toy with fate. Only the Gods and three other witches in history ever had the power to do something like this. I thought for a moment you were one of them… but no. You are a strong soul – you have to be to have survived the sudden alteration of time and space, but you don't have the power one senses in a witch. Magic certainly runs in your veins, but it's a magic of a different kind. You'll come to learn in time that magic is not just magic. It

can be divided into many different types. Not just black or white either. You have a natural magic to you, dear. You possess a very special gift…"

As Alina trailed off Pheonix stared at her in disbelief. "A gift? What kind of gift?"

"One granted by the Gods." Alina smirked a little secretively.

"But I thought you said I angered them… why would I have a gift from them if I angered them?"

"That… is the mystery, darling, and what a mystery it is!" She chuckled lightly and caused Pheonix's stomach to plummet to her feet – or so it felt. What on Earth and in the Heavens was going on?

A/N: So here's chapter two... It may seem a little confusing, but I'll clarify things in future chapters as long as people want me to continue this story. Also, don't take everything as foreshadowing because it may not be. Anyway... reviewing is nice if you want to give constructive criticism, throw something at me, or anything... nods yup...