Sitting in Trabia's ruined basketball court, listening to Irvine telling them about the orphanage, Selphie was horrified at all she'd forgotten. How had it happened? Looking round at Squall, Quistis and Zell, she could tell they were thinking the same thing.
But I promised to remember everyone, she thought sadly.
And still I forgot them all.
Selphie stamped her feet impatiently as she stood by Trabia's gargoyle statue. 'Ugly as ever, aren't you?' she murmured to the monument.
'You talking about me?'
Dark haired, numb-skulled Artan grinned his usual amiable grin at her. 'Well, actually I was talking to this gargoyle here. Though,' she stalked around his wiry frame, comparing the two, 'You DO look a lot alike.'
Now they saw Ciria heading straight for them, brandishing an elegant shuriken and slipping in snow slush. 'Are you guys ready?' she cried, a brilliant smile lighting her face like a ray of sunshine. More than any of them, she liked exploring the area round Trabia, trying her strength against its vicious wildlife.
Artan rolled his eyes. 'Course we're not ready, we've only been waiting for about... five centuries for you to finally get down here. She swatted him with a stripy glove. 'You big liar, I saw you arrive. Okay, let's go!'
Laughing and messing around, the trio made their way out of Trabia Garden and towards a nearby forest. Mesmerises, Gaylas and Bite Bugs faced them, but fell quickly.
'We'll be SeeDs in no time,' shouted Ciria. 'Die, ugly little Bite Bug!' But the nimble giant insect evaded her attack and darted in to give her a nasty sting. Selphie flipped the fly out of the way with her shinobou, and Artan dealt the final blow which sent it to bug heaven.
'We can take the test when we're sixteen, can't we?' asked Selphie. 'Ugh, four more years to wait! How can I survive that long?'
'Umm, by hitting Bite Bugs a little better than our Ciria,' replied Artan, with a grin. 'But don't forget, we'll have to leave Trabia,' chimed in Ciria, ignoring him, 'That won't be so good.' Artan shrugged. 'It'll be warmer in Balamb - like a holiday. And if you want you could return to Trabia. Anyway, we'll get Guardian Forces. What could be better?'
They had all grown up listening with envy to tales of the bonds between GF and summoner and the sheer power of the beings. To junction a GF and have such immense elemental strength that you would even be able to use magic, like the Sorceresses. The only known side-effect was that the use of GFs weakened the memory, as the entities made room for themselves in the part of the brain that stored memories.
They continued walking and talking for miles on end, discussing SeeDs and the Gardens and GFs, before moving on to other topics.
'Who'll win the basketball cup this year, do you think? I bet Eldsbeak Wanderers will!' said Ciria, a staunch supporter of the team because her brother was a new player on it.
'Shumi Village thrashed them last month, and you know how bad they are,' scoffed Artan, 'It'll be the Mesmerisers for definite.'
Selphie wondered if any of her old friends from the orphanage were on sports teams in their own countries, Balamb and Galbadia. Maybe they'd become famous and she'd see them again.
'Sefie's miles away,' called Artan. 'Thinking of...' And the other two broke out into their ever so irritating chant: 'Quisty, Zell, Squall, Seifer, and... IRVY!' 'The wonderful, brilliant Irvy Kinneas, bestest friend to our dear Sefie!' She laughed along with them, then thought back to the day she'd left Matron Edea's orphanage. 'I won't forget you, any of you! We'll be friends for ever and ever and ever and ever...' and she had started crying then.
'I won't forget, I won't forget...' she repeated quietly. The words just didn't seem to feel right, though she didn't know why.
Ciria noticed Selphie's look and hugged her. 'You'll see them all when you become a SeeD and remember all the good times...'
A terrifying roar interrupted her, and a massive thing crashed into their path. The blood drained from Selphie's face... a Snow Lion! These things could even kill trained SeeDs, and here they were, with no magic or GFs, all their ages combined only reaching 36... They were in trouble.
The huge beast attacked, and despite Ciria healing constantly with potions and Artan and Selphie attacking it as hard as they could, it was way more than a match for them. Also, it was using curing magic on itself, repairing any damage done as fast as it happened. Selphie saw Artan flailing his scimitar viciously and doing a little damage, but from the wounds the creature had inflicted on him, it didn't look like he could keep it up for much longer. He unleashed his newest attack which he called 'Razorwind', raking the snow lion's chest with the sword and patterning the snow with its red blood. But it countered his attack, throwing him through the air so that he landed under a tree and lay still. Completely still. Ciria shrieked and rushed to him, with a single Phoenix Down at hand. But the Snow Lion lunged forward and smashed her to the ground beside Artan, and the Phoenix Down slipped onto the snow unused, and blew away.
Selphie now stood alone against the creature. Its cruel eyes turned to her, its last target. It hit her, once, twice, three times. She still stood, but only just - running on adrenaline and pure terror. But the sheer pain seemed to be drawing something from inside her, a power she hadn't known she possessed...
Through space, through stars, the Snow Lion appeared to be transported to a beautiful place full of flowers and blue skies... The End, she thought, and it died...
The beast expired before her, and she didn't understand what was going on. That was magic - but she had none, or so she'd thought. Nothing made sense. Unless... she half remembered Matron Edea saying that Selphie's mother had had great magical power - that she was a Sorceress. Maybe she'd inherited some of that power.
Suddenly something spoke to Selphie's mind.
Your friends are dying.
You need to get help for them.
'Okay, I don't know who you are or what you are, or even if you're me, and I'm just going mad, but I know I have to help them.'
She hurried over to them - they're breathing, please let them be breathing - and searched through Ciria's backpack for the healing potions. But there were only a few echo screens and antidotes, which were no use and no Phoenix Downs. She was miles away from Trabia and had no way of getting help for them, and she was injured herself.
Listen to me. I am Halo, a GF, freed by you from the snow beast. If you junction me, I will heal your friends.
Well, at least something was going right for her. A rush of power, like the feeling of using magic she finally knew what that was like!- flowed through her as the GF entered her mind. It settled for a moment, then began to tell her how to summon it.
She turned towards Artan and Ciria, concentrated, and let the GF take over
An angel, with wings of every colour, floated gracefully over them. From each feather a perfect light shone down at the wounded and healed them. All pain, all hurt, wiped away in a rainbow of light. And the angel ascends to the clouds, and vanishes
Selphie felt Halo return to her mind, which suddenly went blank. The GF was making its home in her memory. Who were those two people and why were they staring at her?, she wondered. The GF moved away from her most recent memories, feeding instead off some older ones.
'Quisty, Zell, Squall, Seifer '
'I won't forget you, any of you!'
'I won't forget.'
'I won't '
Selphie shook her head to clear the sudden mental fog. She hugged her two friends and excitedly told them what they'd missed, about her mysterious magic and about the GF. Ciria and Artan were mad with jealousy and as they walked back to Trabia together, begged to be allowed to junction the GF. Generously, she agreed: 'But not too often, and not till we're back in Trabia!'
One last fragment of memory came to the surface of her mind. Debris from the GF's new nest, a fragment from its meal.
'Irvy?' she wondered silently. 'Who or what is Irvy?'
Artan noticed her confusion. 'What's wrong?'
'I I've forgotten,' she replied. 'It doesn't matter.'
And she walked away.
Author's Notes: Okay, this is my first completed fanfic, so don't be too hard on me! And I guess it is very short. Anyway, comments and criticism to email@example.com