He lived in London as a contemporary of Charles Dickens, and had enough (just) to eat, a couple sets of clothes, and one very strange skill: he could seemingly hear dead people speaking to him through his mother’s harp.
Ravena is always trying to create her accidental masterpiece of Jonathan, so she took a risk and turned him. However, Night-Children really don’t come from magic-using Kin with only a few exceptions, and Elijah was not one of them.
He was turned successfully, but lost whatever strange ability he had, and only after he’d been made did Ravena realize what had happened: Elijah’s mother had been magical, not her son, and she’d essentially used her son as a bullhorn.
Infuriated as if tricked (and honestly a little embarrassed), Ravena decided the best thing to do would be to trap this mother’s soul in a small golden harp, which she could then use to reward or punish Elijah however she saw fit.
It’s a complicated mess, but Elijah doesn’t know anything else. He’s a clever, bitter little boy, trapped forever in a young body, and unless something wild intervenes, he’ll live forever.
As an aside, Ravena has lied to him about this skill since day one. Here is what she said in the short story, “The Bread, The Harp, the Coil of Gold“:
“A rare gift, that,” she says, turning back to me. “Once upon a time, dead spirits spoke to him through that harp. I thought his skill would transfer after death, but alas, it did not. Only his mother speaks to him since he was made mine; no other spirits bother