Deston was born in Boston, but grew up in a small town in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with his mother, Joliet. He never met his father (until he went to Tir na-nÓg) and knew nothing about him except his name and that his parents had met in France. Joliet never spoke of Oseron, and as far as Deston knew, the only family he had was his mother. He was okay with that for the most part, because Joliet was a great mom, although at times he did feel a bit smothered by her over protective tendencies.
Deston excelled in school. At the age of fourteen he was already a junior in high school, having skipped two grades. Adults considered that an impressive feat, but the other kids considered him a freak. He was pushed around and bullied on a regular basis until Joliet enrolled him in Kung Fu classes. To everyone’s amazement (including his), Deston had a natural ability when it came to Kung Fu and he quickly rose through the ranks, which gave him the confidence to stand up and put a stop to the bullies’ harassment. He still never felt comfortable around the other kids in his school and never fit in no matter how hard he tried. So instead, he spent most of his time alone, exploring the woods that were close to his house. That was the only place he felt totally comfortable.
His one and only friend, Mark, moved in down the road from him when he was a sophomore. They had very little in common, but for some strange reason they hit it off. When Joliet suddenly vanished, Deston had nowhere else to go and stayed with Mark and his family until the Welfare Department came in and placed him into the foster system—‘for his own good.’ Seven months later he was sent to France to live with Joliet’s cousin, NiNi, and the rest is, as you say, history.
Margaux grew up in the small town of Lieu de Merveille, which bordered the Forest of Brocéliande. For as long as she could remember, the legends of the forest, the magic, and the faeries whom supposedly lived there fascinated her, to the extent that when she was five, she took clothespins and pinched her ears together at the top so she would look like a faerie. Madame Labonté was horrified to discover this, and even more so when Margaux’s ears actually started looking more pedal-shaped as she grew older. That was when Margaux noticed a definite change in her parents’ attitude toward her, though she never admitted that to anyone. They weren’t cruel to her, but they were distant, and more than once she caught a strange, almost fearful look in their eye when they looked her way. At that same time her parents destroyed all her books on the high realm and forbade her to read or talk about the faeries to anyone ever again. Margaux was confused by their aversion to the subject and couldn’t for the life of her understand why it scared them so. To her it was magical and sounded like paradise, and no matter what her parents said she didn’t want to give it up. So she started sneaking home the books she came across on the high realm and faeries and only read them late at night after everyone else was asleep to avoid the drama. She also frequently visited an old gypsy woman who claimed to have been to Tir na-nÓg several times. She loved listening to the old woman’s stories and would sit for hours, hanging on every word.
Margaux’s only other interest was in America. She fell in love with everything about it while watching reruns of the Brady Bunch. She did her best to mimic Marcia and Jan Brady’s clothes and speech, and was determined to go to California to study one day. With that goal in mind, she started speaking only English so she would be prepared, but not many people in Merveille enjoyed the Americans as much as Margaux and it wasn’t easy for her. She was fifteen when Deston moved to France. Upon meeting him, she was sure he would be the one to help her fulfill her dream. She soon discovered, however, her destiny wasn’t in America after all. It was there, right where her heart had always been.
Nicolette Jolicoeur (NiNi)
It’s a little known fact that NiNi was actually four years younger than her cousin, Joliet, before Joliet went off to Tir na-nÓg. As a young girl, NiNi adored her older cousin and followed her everywhere. At a younger age Joliet didn’t mind, for she was just as fond of NiNi, but once Joliet became a teen, she didn’t like NiNi following her into the forest and would use tricks to slip away.
NiNi grew up with the folklore of the Forest of Brocéliande and never gave it much credence until the day Joliet went missing. Many whispered rumors circulated after Joliet’s disappearance, but the only one that made sense to NiNi, and the only one she believed to be true, was that Joliet had been taken to the high realm by the faeries. Convinced that is what happened, NiNi spent as much time as she could in the forest, searching for the gateway to rescue Joliet. It was on one of those trips that Grossard happened upon her. He immediately recognized her as one of Joliet’s kin (NiNi and Joliet bore a striking resemblance when they were young), and on a whim he kidnapped her in hopes of using her as leverage to thwart off the Fae army. It didn’t work out quite the way Grossard had planned, though, and instead, he was captured as he crossed through the gateway with NiNi in tow.
After being rescued, NiNi stayed on in Tir na-nÓg for several weeks, learning many of the fae secrets on herbal potions and remedies. She loved the high realm, but she was terribly homesick and decided to return home. She never stopped to think about the time difference between the realms, or how people would react when she returned eighteen years later (in lower realm time) still the fifteen year old girl she was when she left. But much to her dismay, the people of Merveille responded pretty much as most humans would—half deciding she was a changeling, the other half sure she was a witch. And all were scared of her.
Being shunned like that was hard on NiNi and she soon regretted her decision to leave Tir na-nÓg. Unfortunately, she didn’t know how to return, for most humans can’t enter the high realm without a faerie escort or a faerie invite, and she had neither. Her following years were very lonely ones until the day her soon to be husband, Jean Pierre, happened upon her cottage. Jean Pierre was a French professor doing research in the forest after having spent a ten year tenure in America. NiNi invited him in for a cup of tea and they were married six months later and lived happily for twenty-two years before he passed away.
Joliet, Deston’s mother, was a unique woman, not only a rare beauty, but also kind, caring, and a very real psychic. From the time she was a toddler she had a special connection to the Forest of Brocéliande, and felt more at home within its borders than anywhere else. One of the reasons for this was she had met a special friend inside the forest. Her friend, Lilika, never disclosed she was a fae, but it wouldn’t have made any difference to Joliet, for they had much in common and Joliet thoroughly enjoyed the little time they were able to spend together.
One day, out of the blue, Lilika surprised Joliet by bringing along a handsome young man. That day changed Joliet’s life forever, for she instantly felt the earth shattering, mind blowing love at first sight that so many legends are made of. Joliet didn’t find out who Oseron really was until their third meeting, but by then it didn’t matter, for he had already completely captured her heart and she didn’t think she could go on living without him.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Joliet to leave her family. They were so very close and she loved them dearly, but in the end she loved Oseron more. It hurt her to think she would cause her parents pain, but at the same time she knew they wouldn’t approve and would most likely try to prevent her from going to Tir na-nÓg. That’s why she told them nothing and just walked into the forest shortly after she turned seventeen. She didn’t return for sixty-two years.
Joliet loved Tir na-nÓg as much as Oseron did and had no trouble fitting right in. She got along with everyone except for one faerie by the name of Grossard, who gave her the creeps every time he came near. Being a human, and also intuitive, Joliet recognized the evil within Grossard and knew it was no coincidence that bad things just seemed to happen around him. But what scared her most was the hatred she saw in his eyes every now and then when he looked at Oseron.
Even though she saw Grossard’s character, she was as shocked as everyone else when Grossard killed Jael and Jessenia; and when he came back with NiNi as a hostage she was terrified—for more reasons than just NiNi’s safety. She’d been having terrible dreams of Grossard hurting her family for some time and because of them she pleaded with Oseron to do more than just banish him. But that wasn’t the fae way and he ensured her it would be alright. Joliet’s anxiety grew worse once she she discovered she was pregnant. Grossard had threatened to get his revenge against Oseron and her greatest fear was that he’d use her child to do just that. Seeing no other way to keep her child safe, she returned to the lower realm, sure that Grossard would never find them there. Leaving Oseron was the hardest thing she ever had to do. She didn’t tell him about the baby, for she knew he’d search heaven and earth to find her, but she felt someone needed to know. She chose Lilika, but made Lilika pledge an oath to tell no one else.
Upon returning to the lower realm, Joliet immediately left for America, feeling it would be safer there since the gateways only opened once a year—on the autumnal equinox. She never felt completely safe though, and as the autumnal equinox rolled around each year, she would pack up Deston and go to a lighthouse off the coast of Maine for the week as an extra precaution. She was a devoted mother and sacrificed a lot to keep Deston safe for fourteen years, but no matter how hard she tried, she wasn’t able to change his destiny.