Disclaimer: I don't own A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, or A Court of Frost and Starlight, or any of the characters in these books. They belong to Sarah J. Maas. I also don't own any mentioned books, songs etc. you recognise. My OCs, however, belong to me.

Warnings: The usual warnings of the series apply. Mild language, violence, past (child) abuse etc..

Summary: When I went on that hiking trip in Ireland, I didn't expect that I'd be spirited away to a land full of magic and aggressive, ridiculously attractive bat-men. But thanks to my bad luck, it did happen.

(This is a Modern Girl in Prythian story - I love those and wanted to write my own one for quite some time now. There aren't enough of them in my opinion. Starts at the beginning of ACOMAF and covers ACOWAR and ACOFAS, too. OC-Insert. Crossposted on AO3)

A/N: I should definitely not start another story, but this idea just wouldn't leave me alone¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I tend to jump between fandoms to avoid writer's block. I hope someone out there enjoys this story since that is the reason why I bother to upload it at all :) This story begins between the first and second book, shortly after Feyre broke the curse. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory.

Chapter 1

Leaves crunched under my tramping boots as I trekked through the small forested area to my destination. I was on my way to one of the lesser-known stone circles of Ireland.

This trip had originally been planned by my younger brother Fabrizio, who'd been a fan of stone circles, anything ancient, as well as Celtic history and mythology – he'd been studying it at an University – but due to unforeseen circumstances I was here alone.

It was the first trip on my long overdue two-week holiday, several others would lead me to different cities all across Europe. Afterwards, I'd return to my grandma's house in Naples – I moved there from Sydney last month.

After everything that had happened in the past few years, I'd decided that it was time for a change in scenery and social circles. I really needed it. Besides, Naples had always felt more like home to me than Sydney. My best friend, Hannah, had moved to London after she'd married. I was going to visit her and her husband David during the second week of my holiday.

After several more minutes of wandering through the forest, I finally reached the stone circle I'd been looking for. Because of the fog that lingered in the forest and kept out the light of the morning sun, I'd almost passed it, if it weren't for the mushrooms growing on the ground. Maybe I should've stayed at the hotel and should have waited until the fog lifted around midday, but I'd been too impatient to wait any longer.

Something had urged me to go out there now, so here I was.

With a small smile I eyed the circle of mushrooms that surrounded the rock formation before I inspected the stones with interest. Natural occurring circles of mushrooms were often called fairy rings and a subject of folklore worldwide, particularly here in Western Europe. This one was no exception, but it was special because it grew around a stone circle, making it a double circle, which was rare.

The largest of the stones, a monolith, was positioned in the middle of both circles – quite peculiar, my brother had told me. There was an intertwined pattern, an intricate quaternary Celtic knot, and runes carved into the stone. The runes belonged to an unknown runic language that no one had been able to decipher yet.

According to the legend Fabrizio had shared with me, several people who had stepped into this circle in the past hundreds years had been spirited away by it, were kidnapped by elves and fairies and brought into their realm to be never seen again.

Of course, that was just some local mumbo-jumbo, superstitious beliefs, to explain the absence of people who had either been eaten by wolfs or robbed and killed by bandits in the woods in the past, but it was intriguing nonetheless.

While I enjoyed pretty much anything of the fantasy or supernatural genre, be it books, movies or games, liking something and believing in something was a different matter. I've always had a penchant for creepy fantasy stories – a passion I shared with my younger brother. It might have started with the tales about Roman mythology our Grandma Clara had told us when we were kids.

"Would you have been able to decipher what is written on this stone, Fabrizio?" I asked quietly. "Wish you were here..."

Deciding that it was time for a break, I sat down my backpack in the middle of the circle and retrieved a sandwich and a bottle of water.

While I was eating my lunch, I relished the smells and sounds of nature, the birds that were singing unseen in the trees. Not all of them had travelled south yet in late October. I rarely went out into nature like this – I was a city girl – but thought that it was a nice change for a few hours.

Sooner or later, however, I would miss society and all the perks a city had, so I could probably never live anywhere else. I couldn't deny, though, that the air and sounds were much more pleasant here. This trip truly was a breather of fresh air in all aspects.

A cool breeze blew over the small clearing and made me shiver. I was glad I had put on a warmer jacket than the one I had originally intended to wear. Due to living in Australia or Italy my entire life, I wasn't used to cold weather. The temperature here in Ireland was already very low, especially in the mornings and nights.

Just when I had put my backpack on and was about to leave the clearing, an urge to touch the stone with the runes overcame me. Not thinking much of it, I approached the monolith and traced the knot and writing with a finger. I wondered who had carved them into the stones.

Then, I lowered my hand and turned around, ready to leave, but stopped in my tracks when I noticed a light growing behind me. Curious, I turned back to see what was going on.

To my shock the monolith was glowing from within in a bright, white light. Only the runes and the knot gave off an otherworldly blue glow that... stirred something in me. I couldn't help but stare at it as if I was hypnotized by it and was rooted to the spot.

The smell of metal was suddenly in the air and with every breath my blood seemed to flow faster through my veins. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, hear how the blood rushed through my body, that was becoming warmer and warmer with every passing second.

The world around me began to spin as a strange energy coursed through my body and I fell to my knees, feeling faint and not quite in control of my own body anymore. I couldn't think straight and was afraid of what was happening to me.

Was I hallucinating? Was I having something like a heart attack, or a stroke?

The world around me suddenly exploded into light and there was a ripping sound, as if fabric got torn. Then I wasn't kneeling in the grass anymore but was falling.

It was the last sensation I perceived before I lost consciousness.

Blinding white light met my eyes when I managed to wrench them open. On reflex, they welled up with tears, and I had to close them again until they had adjusted to the light. My whole body ached like after a workout, but at the same time I felt lighter somehow, stronger, and more aware.

Then I remembered the strange experience that had made me faint. What on earth had occurred back then with the stone? I'd been frightened to death! Did I really have a heart attack, or a stroke? The symptoms I'd had were not quite right for either of those medical conditions, though. Still, I definitely needed to get myself checked out at a hospital.

I curled my fingers in the grass, only to realise that I was gripping... snow? The feeling of the cool substance underneath my fingertips was strangely intense.

What the...? Had it snowed while I was unconscious? It was only October, though, so that couldn't be right.

Deeming that my eyes must have adjusted enough, I carefully opened them and blinked a few times against the light of day. For some reason, it seemed brighter than normal. From my uncomfortable lying position on my backpack, I could see the deep blue sky and the sun.

Which shouldn't be the case. The stone circle was in the middle of the forest and tree branches should be in my line of sight. Slowly, I sat up and looked at my surroundings. I couldn't believe my eyes and had to pinch myself to ensure that I wasn't dreaming.

Apart from patches of forest in the distance, there was nothing but snow and mountains in all directions. For a moment, I just stared in complete disbelief at the scenery and turned my head in all directions, as if in search for a hidden camera.

Because this couldn't be real.

People didn't just get knocked out by weird glowing stones and then woke up in the middle of a snowy tundra. But this place was too realistic to be a dream – I felt the cold, wet snow between my fingers, the cool wind on my cheeks and the low temperature of the area, smelt the fresh mountain air.

What made me frown even more was the fact that there weren't any footprints in the snow around my position, as if I had simply fallen from the sky or had been teleported to this place. Of course, that was impossible. Someone must have kidnapped me and had left me here for an unknown reason.

Without leaving any footprints...

Had I been dropped from a helicopter?

I needed a moment to stomach all of this and push down the fear and anxiety that welled up in me. I needed to stay calm – falling into a panic wouldn't help me here. Deep breaths, I needed to take deep breaths.

My breath came out in white puffs – it was icy cold here despite the sunlight that provided some warmth – and I wondered how I hadn't frozen to death while I was unconscious, or why I wasn't feeling as cold as I should. My jacket was made for autumn weather so it wasn't that warm, and while being water-repellent it only went over my butt.

Which was probably the reason why my butt wasn't wet from the snow like the rest of my legs. Skinny jeans were less than ideal in this situation. They were already frozen stiff.

Luckily, I could still feel and move all of my limbs, toes, and fingers, and counted it as a small blessing even though I had no logical explanation for it. I hoped that I wasn't already suffering from hypothermia because I didn't feel like I was freezing to death. In any case, I needed to get out of here as fast as possible.

I was also physically unharmed and all of my clothes were still in place, so no one had done anything to me while I was unconscious. After confirming that I was unhurt, I pulled my phone out of the backpack, once again startled by the strangely intense feeling of the fabric and plastic underneath my fingertips. I was relieved that it was still there, together with my wallet and keys.

Why hadn't my kidnapper taken it away from me while I was unconscious? I had no idea. My hope was quickly destroyed, however, when I saw that the phone didn't have any kind of reception here in the middle of nowhere, but at least it was still working and had 87 percent of battery left.

After writing most of my contacts as well as the local police and emergency services messages that would be sent once I had reception or internet again, I put my phone into energy-saving mode and stowed it away. Then I drank from my water bottle and ate a part of one of the two energy bars I had packed.

Another thing that struck me as odd was my eyesight. I could see every pore on my hand, details in the fabric of my clothes and phone as well as the individual snow flakes if I concentrated on it. The colours were more intense as well and my sight was clearer and sharper than it had ever been.

Had my kidnapper drugged me? The possible answer scared me so I didn't question how I was able to see like this.

I watched the sun in the sky to determine where east was, the direction where I had come from, but as the sun stood right at the zenith, I would have to wait until it sank to find out where east was. It seemed to be the most prudent to me to leave the mountains before it got dark and even colder, or before my abductor showed up, so I began my descent towards the treeline I could see further down the glittering, snowy plane.

This place was beautiful in a rugged way. Nature appeared more pristine here, the scenery more tranquil and vibrant, while at the same time more mysterious. Before I tried to figure out how the heck I had ended up here in the first place, I had to get back to civilisation as fast as possible – I had just one other energy bar left in my small backpack.

Water wasn't an issue, thankfully. I had another bottle of water in there, and even if I ran out of it, I could just fill it with snow and carry it close to my body, underneath my jacket, so it would melt.

Despite my resolve to remain calm, fear and anger waged inside of me. This was supposed to be a short, relaxing trip through the forest and not an exercise on how to survive in snow-covered mountains!

Whoever had brought me to this place had a shitty sense of humour. Or was just plain sadistic. For a moment a small part of me wondered if I might have been spirited away to the fairy realm, but I quickly discarded that ridiculous thought.

I let out a few Italian curses when I sunk almost down to my knees in the snow while taking the first few steps through it.

This trip was going to be a pain in the ass.

It took longer than expected to reach the treeline and it was absolutely exhausting to make my way through the deep snow. The first thing I did once I reached the forest was to check for reception. There still was none. I sighed in frustration but pushed down my growing fear. Surely, I would be able to phone someone sooner or later, I just had to be patient and walk a little further down the mountains.

After a pee break – luckily, I always had tissues and hand sanitizer in my bag – I continued my journey through the rows of spruce trees. Their scent was more intense than what I was used to. Or rather, my sense of smell was heightened somehow.

The mountain air was impossibly fresh as well, carrying no traces of exhaust gases of any kind, but I could detect hints of metal in it, like before I lost consciousness. There were also some strange scents in the air that reminded me of big cats from the zoo, which unsettled me.

What if there were wild cats like lynxes out here, or even wolves?

No, Ireland didn't have them... Or did it? Ireland wasn't supposed to have snowy tundras either, but here I was. If I ever met my kidnapper, I would sue their ass to doomsday after I'd asked how they had brought me here in under two hours.

While stomping angrily through the trees and snow and being astounded by my own stamina, I paid attention to my surroundings, but thankfully, or regrettably, there was nothing but spruce trees and snow here.

Once I reached the other end of the forested area, there still wasn't any civilisation, like I hoped there would be, but just another plane of snow ahead, that sparkled in the sun as if it was mocking me.

My uneasiness and frustration grew. At least I was going east judging from the position of the sun in the sky. And not freezing to death for some miraculous reason. This really wasn't normal.

I walked and walked, and checked my phone for reception once in a while, but never had any signal. There was nothing here. No people. No houses. I saw nothing apart from a few squirrels or birds once I reached another forested area.

When the sun was beginning to vanish behind the horizon and I was still in the mountains, I finally succumbed to panic. By this point I was scared, tired, grumpy, and hungry. My legs and feet hurt from the strenuous activity, and I could feel the sweat running down my temple, chest, and back.

In my entire life I had never slept outside, had never gone camping, had never been alone in the wilderness like this. All of my sparse knowledge about survival in the forest came from movies or books, that had shown or mentioned it briefly, and my own common sense.

The sky was taking on an orange-reddish colour when I came to the frightening conclusion that I would have to stay the night out here in this unknown forest. Together with the local wildlife.

When I entered this forested area, I'd finally seen trails of the animals I'd somehow smelt earlier. The paw prints I'd spotted were twice the size of my head, and the trails that had been left behind by the claws of the animals were huge, too.

The tracks had to belong to the largest bears in existence – it was the only fitting size. No wild cat was that large. I'd never thought I'd find out what a bear smelled like. Or encounter one in the wild. The mere thought sent shivers of fear down my spine.

After that realisation I needed a few moments to find my composure again. While I wasn't freezing to death as I should be, I guessed that I had to find a safe resting place nonetheless if I didn't want to be eaten. I kept looking for some kind of cave where I could take shelter, but it was in vain. There wasn't a place where I could hide myself from whatever animals were roaming around in these mountains.

It was pretty clear by now that I wasn't in Ireland anymore, and I was even considering the possibility that I might have been spirited away to a distant land by the stone circle, like in one of the legends my younger brother had told me about.

The only other explanation how I'd ended up here was that I'd been kidnapped by someone who owned a helicopter or private jet. Even then it didn't explain the Alpine scenery that couldn't be found anywhere in Ireland. According to my phone I had only been unconscious for about two hours, which wasn't enough time to smuggle me into another country, to this isolated mountain area.

And if somebody had abducted me, why would they leave me in the middle of nowhere with my phone intact and not even attempt to steal the money in my purse, or the jewellery I was wearing?

Nothing made any sense.

It had been a while since I'd climbed a tree, but I figured it was my best option to sleep on a tree branch instead of staying on the ground, where one of those bears could easily spot or reach me. While the forest was growing darker around me and with it my mood, I searched for a spruce tree with low-hanging branches.

After I had done my business some distance away, I carefully climbed up the suitable tree that I had found – with more ease than I'd expected from myself and my exhausted body – but received a few scratches from the needles in the process. At least the thick foliage hid me well from sight and protected me from the cold wind.

I was glad that I had never been particularly afraid of heights and settled down on a thick branch about four metres above the ground. While I was eating the last part of my first energy bar and drinking some more water, I watched the last rays of the sun vanish behind the horizon with growing dread.

The energy bar didn't really help against the hunger that I'd been suffering from since a few hours ago, but I didn't dare to eat my last energy bar just yet. I didn't know how much longer it would take until I was out of this territory, and I had neither reception nor had I seen any signs of human life on the way.

I pulled down my hood and adjusted my long, slightly curly hair to sit around my neck to keep warm during the night. I'd forgotten about the silver necklace with a small, star-shaped sapphire pendant, earrings in the same design as well as a pearl and an additional small diamond stud on each ear and my various silver rings of different designs I was wearing.

Since metal conducted the cold, I removed them to prevent frostbite in the night, although I felt perfectly fine with my jewellery on. My body temperature seemed to be higher than it should be after that incident with the stone. I prayed that it wasn't the beginning of a fever.

While I was sitting in the tree in the middle of nowhere and trying to remain calm, I gazed up at the night sky and watched how the stars appeared. They had been faintly visible during the day as well if you looked closely, but now... they were breathtakingly beautiful and bright.

I'd never seen the stars so clearly, not even in the Australian outback, or seen them shining with such intense colours and brightness for that matter. However, my awe quickly turned into confusion when I was unable to recognise any of the constellations, and then into pure horror as I looked at the moon.

That thing in the sky resembled the moon, but it was larger or closer, or both, and it didn't have the same dark maria between the impact craters and the brighter crustal highlands. It was a different, foreign moon that I had never seen before.

I was so absorbed in staring at that unknown celestial body, this fake moon, that I almost didn't notice the faint sounds of something creeping through the snow.

Towards me.

The wind quieted down and even the forest seemed to hold its breath because of whatever had entered it. My pulse accelerated as a different kind of fear crept up my spine.

A guttural howl suddenly echoed through the trees that made the blood in my veins freeze and hairs on my arms stand. My mouth became impossibly dry.

That... that was definitely no bear or wildcat. The footsteps grew louder as the thing approached my hiding place.

Then, I finally saw what kind of creature had made the horrific noise as it crept closer and closer. My heart seemed to stop for a moment before it sped up to an impossible speed, and I had to press a hand over my mouth, so the thing that looked like it had emerged from a nightmare wouldn't hear me whimper out of fear.

I didn't dare to move another muscle when I stared at the beast in deadly terror. In my entire life I'd never seen something as terrifying as the demonic creature on the ground that was scenting the air.

Jumping from a cliff, spotting a Huntsman spider on the wall of my room in the middle of the night, encountering a shark while swimming in the ocean, nothing had ever scared me more than that creature down there on the forest ground.

It was a grotesque abomination between a hairless mutated wolf, hedgehog and bear. Its eyes glowed in an ominous scarlet hue, menacing spikes grew out of its leathery black skin, and it had teeth as sharp and large as its claws. The thing was exuding malice in a way I'd never experienced before. That monster definitely wasn't from earth.

Maybe I had died in that stone circle and had woken up in hell. That would certainly explain how that creature down there existed outside a horror film. But it wasn't enough that there was one of the things, no, a second and third demon appeared, all sniffing the air in search for something.

In search for me. In this snowy tundra I was the only large prey around for kilometres.

I begged every god and goddess there was that the beasts wouldn't spot me, but I wasn't particularly lucky today.

As if one of the demonic creatures had heard my silent prayer, its head snapped right into my direction, where my hiding place was. Its eerie eyes fixated on me and blackish saliva ran down its jaws and dropped into the snow. I almost fell out of the tree when it let out another deep howl while staring at me with ravenous hunger reflected in its old, cruel eyes.

The other two large beasts imitated the horrific howl. Cold sweat ran down my back, and I shivered uncontrollably even though my insides seemed to become warmer in response to my fear for my life.

The branch I was sitting on shook violently when the creatures attacked my tree with vicious blows of their large claws. I let out a cry of distress and clung to the tree branches with all my strength. The impact shook me to my core.

Snow fell from the branches, but it didn't deter the hellish beasts. They continued with their assault. I knew then that sooner or later they would succeed in taking the tree down and get to me as a result.

And there was nothing I could do against it.

I had no weapon to defend myself – I just had my backpack and the clothes I was wearing, I didn't even own a pocket knife. But I doubted that I could have used a weapon anyway, because I was completely frozen in fear and unable to move.

Tears ran down my face while my eyes were glued to the monsters several meters underneath me.

It was clear how this was going to end for me. I would end up as their snack, get eaten alive.

This was not how I wanted to die – in an alien world, underneath unknown stars, and by being preyed upon by living nightmares above all – but I didn't have any choice in the matter.

The tree creaked dangerously and began to lean towards one direction. In turn, the beasts clawed at it with even more vigour. With a grip like iron steel, I held onto the tree branches, feeling as if I was about to faint from sheer fear and horror at the realisation that I'd die here.

All the problems and difficulties I had ever faced in my life seemed insignificant as the tree finally lost its balance.

I screamed like a banshee when I fell, the demons waiting for me on the ground with open jaws, showing me their black, black maws.

A/N: Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter and what you think is going to happen next :)