Submitted on 11/25/2020

Categories: Fantasy Holiday Fiction

Geniveve Stoter the 6th child of Mary and David Stoter is how she was known as back home. She was the quiet one, the good daughter. Out of a family of 5 older brothers she was the baby of the family and the only one not to have gotten into trouble with the law by the time she was eighteen. It's not that her brothers were bad people...they just got bored. Growing up in a sleepy country town that suffered serious small town syndrome meant that to add even the slightest bit of excitement in their life normally meant breaking petty laws, such as being tipsy in public or getting the bass boosted in your car only to wake up your elderly neighbours at 1 in the morning.

Geniveve had never gone through this rebellious phase...perhaps she didn't have it in her or perhaps she had left...well really been taken from home before the typical teenage phase could really kick in. 

Aestas Tempus is how she was known in the wider community, in the magical community. After accidently commanding the weather to ensure a plentiful harvest for her family's farm when she was 14 years old, the magical society of Australasia had arrived and had swiftly taken her back to their prestegious training academy where she now sat on the International Board of Magical Directors as not only the youngest Guardian of the Summer Season in recorded history, but also as the youngest guardian full stop. 

Whilst most 22 year olds were worrying about part time jobs, studying and figuring out romantic attachments Geniveve, or Aestas...depending on who you asked was a little preoccupied with ensuring that the Summer season was balanced with the others...and it was a lot harder than it sounded. It wasn't simply waving her hand and getting the sun out and shining and ensuring that the weather was warm for all the beach enthusiasts.

It was thousands of meetings with the other Season guardians, meetings that could last for days if one of them started nattering. It was hundreds of hours of studying the Earth's geography and weather patterns to ensure that she would help balance out not only the Summer season but to also ensure that she help contribute to the environmental sustainability of the Earth as well.

Despite the almost 24/7 availability she needed to have and only being able to visit her family every so often, she loved her job...it was as much a part of her as she was a part of it, a mutual dependence. It was one of the many reasons why she was nervous about returning home, apart from the occasional fortnightly visit she hadn't spent quality time with her family for 8 years...ever since her magical ability had been discovered. 

In honour of her eldest brother's upcoming nupitals, she had been granted extended time off from her duties and was heading home for the Christmas season...which was why at half past 6am on a drizzly Tuesday morning she was waiting with her security detail for her baggage to arrive on the carousel so she could start the half hour drive from the tiny airport to the small country city that was her hometown.

Smiling politely at the gaggle of people being held back by her security detail Geniveve simply acknowledged them with a polite nod as she kept up her emotionless facade up. It wasn't that the Guardians were cold or impersonable people. It was more that they were normally so incredibly busy with their roles and weighted down with the importance of their duties that they couldn't really waste any energy on developing their social skills or making friends or small talk. 

Roughly an hour later, the young Guardian was sitting awkwardly in her childhood living room as her parents sat on the couch across from her chattering about the upcoming celebrations. It wasn't that she disliked her family, she loved them more than life itself.However, the tension in the air clearly stemmed from the fact that she had spent so little time with them over the last 8 years, in their eyes she probably seemed like a stranger...like the quiet, introverted 14 year old that had left them all those years ago rather than the young 22 year old woman that sat before them today...surrounded by her security detail.

" Geni...Geniveve I do not wish to be rude huny. But...but are the suits really necessary. I mean, you are an adult now visiting your family at their house...it is hardly a dangerous situation."

Her mother coughed out an awkward laugh as she attempted to politely gesture towards the five suited men who were standing at various points throughout the family space, their faces impassive, hands behind their backs. 

Looking around at her bodyguards, Geniveve simply nodded at them before looking back at her mother.

" Mother, while there is no foreseeable danger unfortunately it is necessary for them to be here due to the nature of my role. I apologise if their presence makes you uncomfortable but I can promise you that they are excellent people and are really interesting people when you get to know them."

" Aah yes, your work. The famous child prodigy, keeper of the Summer. Tell me, for someone who is in charge of the season of beach parties and holidays how do you manage to be this stuck up?"

Keeping her features neutral, Geniveve looked to the right as her second eldest brother walked through the front door...his brilliant blue eyes twinkling in amusement. 

"It's good to see you sis, although I do have a bone to pick with you. Last holidays I had plans with one of the hottest chicks I've ever met to vacation at her lakeside villa. The first day was beautiful, clear skies with high 30's and a cool breeze...I had high hopes for the rest of the week. Hopes that were destroyed almost instantly that night when that breeze turned into a gale and brought in clouds that hung around for almost a fortnight...I lost my hard earned tan and the near constant drizzle curled my hair."

Fighting to keep a grin from forming, she watched as her brother...the famous womaniser smoothed back his naturally honey coloured hair he had been straightening every morning since primary school.

" It was either a fortnight of cool and wet weather, or one of the diastrous bushfire seasons this country would have ever seen. Although to be fair, I did consult with my colleagues and fought for you. I said, ' My brother is trying to pick up a girl he's never going to get and needs the hot weather to ensure maximum embarrassment on his behalf.'.."

The silence that followed her statement was potent enough that you could hear the amused chuckling of distant Kookaburras. She could feel the instant surprise of her security detail at her attempt at humour, they had probably never experienced her witty side before...a personality trait she kept hidden deep within her whilst she was around her colleagues.The Guardians weren't unfriendly...they were just more serious than most, probably because of the highly stressful nature of their work. 

Her brother was the first one to break the silence, his toothy grin practically splitting his face in half as he reached the armchair where she sat in one stride. His long arms envoloping her in a warm hug as they both ignored the instant attention of her secruity.

" Welcome home sis, we've been waiting for you."

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