From my WIP, working title: Interwoven. This is part of the very beginning . . . –  \Melanie

   May 1798

“Why is it the fifth moon of the year, Papa?” Elizabeth asked.

Her father had murmured a spell and was now manipulating a tiny whirlwind of    dust. It spread and formed itself into a model of the Egyptian pyramids. Elizabeth       climbed onto the chair next to his desk so she could stand and watch.

“Because the month of the fifth moon is when the most powerful magic of the old year and the most powerful magic of the new combine.”

“Why is it not the sixth?” she inquired, waving a hand at the dust. It fell into a heap beneath her father’s hands, and he frowned at her. “That would be exactly halfway.”

He rearranged the dust into the form of a bear, then a giraffe, and finally a hound. Elizabeth clapped her hands in delight.

“There is more power in the push to the top of the mountain,” he said, “than there is in having achieved the peak.”

She nodded as though she understood.

He smiled. “Only when magic is forcing itself to its height is there enough power to open the portal; only then are we able to pass over the bridge from our world into the circle of the One Between.”

“Can I see it?”

“No, my dear. Only the mages who are called have the sort of magic that allows them to see the portals open and close.”

Elizabeth pondered that. “What is in the One Between?” she asked curiously. Papa would know. He knew everything.

He smiled at her. “The most powerful of mages: warriors, healers, artisans of every kind.”

“Artisans?” she asked, forming her mouth around the unfamiliar word. She used her hands to form the dust into an intricate castle with a boy trapped in a spiral tower. A tiny spark from her finger had the figure calling for help. Another spurred a tiny horse with a female rider galloping to his rescue.

Mr. Bennet smiled and lifted the lid of a small, bejewelled box. The dust flowed into it, and he closed the lid.

“Those who have magecraft like us,” he told her. “But they are mostly from the oldest of families, those who have a direct bloodline to the time when faeries lived among us. Some of them still command great magic. You and I are not powerful enough to live in the One Between.” He removed a book he was illuminating for one of Uncle Gardiner’s business partners from its shelf and opened it on his desk. Indigo blue began to seep into the form of an ‘S’, the first letter on the page.

Elizabeth pressed her lips together, waiting for the letter to be complete. She knew her father would be angry if her interruption spoilt his work. When it was finished, she spoke again.

“But I am powerful, Papa!” she protested, drawing his attention back to her. “I can make it so much bigger! Look!” She positioned his hand and her own before sending an electrical current between them. She concentrated on weaving the threads of light together so tightly that there was no air between the strands. Then she hopped down from her chair and stepped back, lengthening the stream, focusing on making it grow. The windows shimmered and began to bend outwards.

Her father closed his hand into a fist and severed the link so suddenly that she blinked with surprise. The windows returned to their proper place.

Papa was breathing hard, as though he had been running, but his eyes never left her face. “Do not ever do that again, Elizabeth,” he told her sternly. “Do you understand?”

She did not understand. But she nodded anyway.