Aunt Annag was one of the eldest of the selkie clan. From her stories, the young selkies would learn of the times when the selkie folk would go on land often, hiding their identities, but using the human world for their own gain. Aunt Annag, herself, had become human several times, bringing back tales and treasures from land. Seals in their area hadn’t much to fear, until their large population began to be hunted for their skins and fats. Aunt Annag warned the pups not to venture onto land as often anymore, for they might see their seal kin hanging from posts in the villages.
Knowing these things, Fenella knew she must keep her true mission a secret. She wanted terribly to see Oliver, but she had to grow stronger so that she could transform all by herself.
“Has the human world inspired your magic craft, child?” Aunt Annag said with her comforting smile.
“Aye, it has. I hoped you could teach me the ways of selkie magic so that I may use them as well as you or Mum.”
“To return to the human world?” She kept her cheerful smile as Fenella began to panic.
“No no, I’m forbidden from returning.” She paused for thought. “But I would like to one day keep our family safe when they need help, or to save our seal kin from being hunted.”
“That’s a very noble quest, to keep your family safe. Wouldn’t you also like to keep in touch with your friend on two legs?” Her irritatingly calm smile never faltered as she bore deep into Fenella’s soul.
“I, um… No! I don’t need a–a human. I want to save my people from them. Humans are so cruel and kill anything, even each other, without a second thought!”
“Alright, alright. We did this small exercise to find your true passion behind your magic. Your emotions will make any magic you use more powerful. Now, I’m aware that you’ve used your magic three times now. Do you remember?”
Fenella closed her eyes, trying to remember the third time she used her magic. “I used it to give Oliver the ears to understand my thoughts and when I asked Mum to help heal us while I stayed with his family, but I don’t remember another time.”
“How about when you were in the forest with a band of thieves surrounding you?”
“Oh–I screamed and they fell onto their backs.” Aunt Annag nodded in approval. “I understand now. I screamed because I felt the most scared I’d ever felt; I asked Mum for help because I was in so much pain, but also worried for Oliver’s life; and I gave him seal ears because–” Fenella cut off and looked down between her flippers. “I-I was sad not to…be with my friend anymore.” Aunt Annag’s smile never faded, and Fenella could tell she saw straight through her.
“Most impressive, child. Our magic is most effective when we can focus on exactly what we are feeling at the time, and concentrate it into one goal. If you had been previously trained in your magic before you grew legs, you would have been able to stand your ground amongst those men. You would have focused on that terror and anger and used it to take care of the lot of them, as well as regain your belongings. Unfortunately you were unable to have this lesson before.”
“I see,” Fenella said. She thought hard about the three times previous. “So I used my–erm–sadness to concentrate my magic on allowing Oliver to hear me?” Aunt Annag winked and wiggled her whiskers.