In the throneroom of their palace, King Marcus and Queen Lucretia of the Surface Minerva kingdom sat on their thrones. King Magnus and King Odin of the Mountains, and Queen Crystal and Queen Magma of the Deep were visiting the surface to discuss royal matters.
“Not that I don’t trust your judgment, brother,” Magnus said. “But I have to admit that opening Minerva again seems risky. Haven’t the triplets been attacked several times while they’ve been in Magix?”
Crystal agreed, “Psyche learned so much while she studied in the Deep with us; it might be better just to bring the three of them back.”
Marcus and Lucretia looked at each other, before Marcus addressed his siblings. “I understand your concerns, but while at the schools, they’ve fought Doom, and the Trix and have beaten them. If we can reestablish connections with the other worlds, then I’m sure they’d help protect us.”
Lucretia stood up, and put her hand on her chest. “As you know, I came from a different world, and even when you learned the truth about me, you welcomed me.” She took a deep breath and smiled warmly. “I still want Volt, Mira, and Psyche to experience the magic dimension, but I also want to share the Minervan warmth you all gave me.”
Magnus, Crystal, and Marcus all looked at Lucretia--specifically at her blue and purple hair. They all knew what had happened that had caused her hair to become those colors. With a blush, she admitted, “I invited an old friend from Eraklyon to visit.”
At that moment, the doors opened and Diamond walked in. “Kings and Queens of Minerva. A pleasure to be here, as always,” she said, bowing low. “Lucretia let it slip to me that you might be opening Minerva again? I’m sure we could discuss the crystal trade from Eraklyon.”
Magnus and Crystal shared a look, before looking at Marcus. “Marcus, Lucretia, we’ll leave this to you. We can discuss later.” The four other kings and queens left the room, until it was just Marcus, Lucretia, and Diamond.
Lucretia smiled at Diamond, commenting, “You said you wanted to talk about something when you arrived?”
“Yes,” Diamond said. She held out her right hand, which was adorned with a black, bejeweled bracelet. “It’s about Voltatious’ betrothal to Safira…”
The gems on the bracelet began glowing purple, as did the jewels on Marcus’ and Lucretia’s crowns. Before long, the King’s and Queen’s eyes were glowing the same purple color.
After the concert, Doom's and the Trix' attacks slowed down greatly. This gave the Illuminates and their friends more time to focus on their studies. Without the looming threats above their heads, they all flourished. The triplets in particular; Mira began taking on more technical electives, Psyche poured herself into potions, and Volt took each of the Winx' individual classes.
After a little while, everyone was gathered in the greenhouse again, planting the new deliveries of Minervan plant life. Volt and Flora were currently planting the Karrkarstraven together.
It was difficult, considering how much the plant moved. Luckily, Flora was able to use her Fantasmix magic to calm it down while Volt got its roots into the dirt.
After the Karrkarstraven was planted, Flora and Volt stood back and admired their work. Flora put her arm around Volt's shoulder, and said, "You seem to be doing better; you're a lot happier than usual."
Volt smiled. "Well, classes have been fun! And Roxy has been working with me with Zing. I still miss Orbo, but I feel less lonely."
"Good to hear," Flora said, giving Volt a hug. "I think I can get the rest of these planted. Why don't you go get a shower and some rest?"
"Okay," Volt agreed. "Thanks, Flora." He walked through the greenhouse, noticing his sisters and their friends having a picnic. Mira was brewing tea with the Klivoghejn petals.
"Ooh, yummy," Volt said, sitting with the others. Roxy was holding Zing; the little rabbit jumped into Volt's lap at lightning speed. Volt chuckled and rubbed Zing’s head.
“Awww, that’s enough to melt my heart!” Roxy gushed. She pulled out a purple carrot and held it out to Volt. Volt held the carrot so that Zing could nibble it.
Zing surged with excitement, which tickled Volt and made him giggle. Watching the two of them, Mira and Psyche giggled. Out of all of them, the sisters had seen the best and worst of Volt’s fear of animals. “I’m glad the mini Weezeldorf doesn’t terrify you anymore,” Mira commented, before reaching over and stroking Zing’s head. In Volt’s arms, Zing was much calmer than usual.
The students sat and munched on the picnic foods, when a man in a bizarre fancy outfit ran down the path through the greenhouse before stopping and looking at them all. “Oh good! All three of you are here!” The man sighed in relief. Clearing his throat, he continued, “Prince Voltatious, Princesses Miranda and Psycharmi, your parents have requested that you return to Minerva for an important announcement.” He handed each of the triplets an envelope.
“What’s the announcement?” Mira asked, before opening the envelope.
“My apologies, your highness, but your parents are keeping it secret for now. I do know that royals from different worlds have been invited, along with the Winx and their boyfriends.” He bowed before walking back out of the greenhouse.
After the messenger was gone, Mira said, “So...royals. That means Ella and Roxy.” She looked at the twins and asked, “You two aren’t royalty, are you?”
“I mean, we’re descended from royalty,” Diablo commented, “But we’re more of the nobility class.”
Angelo asked, “Didn’t I ever tell you? Bloom is our second cousin.”
“I don’t remember you ever telling me that,” Mira flatly responded, before continuing to read the invite.
“Eh, I bet you just weren’t listening,” Diablo commented.
Mira looked up and asked, “Huh?”
“Case in point,” Diablo slyly added. Looking at Volt, he asked, “would we still be invited?”
“I think our parents would be fine with us bringing friends,” Volt answered. “In fact, I think our mother would cry literal tears of joy if we brought friends.” He and Psyche laughed.
“If you’re asking if you can tag along, Diablo,” Psyche told him, “just promise not to be a jerk.” She sipped her tea.
“I don’t know,” Christa said. “Psyche, it’s not smart to ask the impossible.” Everyone except Diablo and Mira began laughing.’
“Why is everyone ganging up on me? When have I ever been a jerk?” Diablo pouted.
“The entire time that we’ve known you,” Mira replied, not looking up from the letter. “And I do listen.” She finally looked up and said, “Whatever this announcement is, Mom and Dad are making a big deal out of it. They’re not just inviting a few kingdoms, they’re inviting all of the major kingdoms.”
Psyche and Volt gasped and looked at each other. In unison, they gasped, “Maybe they’re going to open Minerva again!” The two of them squealed excitedly and grabbed hands.
“Let’s not get our hopes up,” Mira said. “It would be nice, but it’s never good to make assumptions.” She folded up the letter and stood. “It’s going to be a few days before we return to school, so we need to talk to our respective headmasters. You coming, Angie, Diablo?”
“Right behind you,” Angelo said. “Thanks for the picnic!”
“Thanks,” Diablo also said, before following Angelo and Mira.
After the specialists had left, Psyche stood up and stretched. “Trixie and I should head back to Cloudtower, too.” She kissed Volt gently on his head, and then the two witches vanished.
“I’ll go grab Flora, then we’ll all meet in Farragonda’s office. If you can, try to gather the other Winx,” Volt instructed, standing up. He waved his hand and the picnic cleaned itself up. The girls nodded, and they split in different directions.
“An invitation to Minerva?” Faragonda asked. Volt handed her the letter.
“Mira, Psyche, and I have to go on request of our parents, but they explicitly invited the Winx, and I was hoping I could bring my friends?” Volt asked hopefully. “After all, a trip to Minerva could be educational.”
Faragonda read over the letter carefully. “A three day visit for the proper ceremonies?” She asked. “Is this a wedding”
“We don’t know quite yet,” Volt explained. “Mom and Dad didn’t tell the messenger, and it’s not in the details. My sisters and I are hoping that they’re going to announce that they’ll open Minerva again.”
Faragonda smiled. “That’s a very lovely thought, and I’m sure you’re eager to see your family again. Very well, I grant you and your friends to go to Minerva for this three day trip, escorted by your teachers, the Winx.”
Volt and his friends laughed and jumped around excitedly, before heading to their dorm to get ready.
Before long, everyone was on the ship, flying to Minerva. All three of the Illuminates were excitedly talking about everything they loved about their home, and the excitement was spreading to all of the others. “The food is amazing, I haven’t had Weezeldorf Stew in months!” Mira said, her mouth watering.
Volt and Psyche laughed, and then Psyche began playfully poking at Volt. "And I'm sure you're happy to be seeing a certain Mr. Someone!" She teased, brushing Blue’s hair.
Immediately, Volt's face flushed bright red. "I've missed Orbo! You'd have missed Trixie if you two were separated!" He shook a bit, and Rhea had to hold onto him.
"Wait, Orbo is real!?" Liz exclaimed. "I honestly thought you'd made him up so you wouldn't seem single!"
Volt narrowed his eyes. "Glad you have so much faith in me." They both laughed, and then Sky's voice came over the intercom.
"We are now entering the stratosphere of the beautiful planet Minerva. Feel free to look out the windows to see the birthplace of the Illuminates!" He said.
Everyone looked outside, and everyone--save the triplets--collectively gasped. The seas were a crystal clear blue, with the sun reflecting on their surface, washing up against a bustling shore village. To the west there was a large red desert, with tall mesas that looked like one could reach out and touch them, with herds of animals running through the dust. Up north, tall, towering mountains which had peaks that hid behind the clouds, but sloped into green foothills with small cottages. In the center of it all was a huge, lush green forest that looked like a mix of a rainforest and a common wood. The trees grew close together, save for a few spots for a town or a village. They were flying to a city in the center of the forest, which was made of white stone. It had a large wall surrounding its border, and a tall elegant palace. It was placed next to a river that flowed from a waterfall in the mountains, straight to the ocean.
"Whitestone," Volt muttered softly.
"Home…" Psyche sighed.
"We're home…" Mira happily agreed.
The Specialists flew to land the ship in an open area next to the river, right outside the city wall. There was a small group of people waiting for them, and some of them helped guide the ship's landing. One boy in particular stuck out; he resembled an Androsian with dark skin, but with curly purple hair. He was dressed in a fancy shirt, and strange, shiny tights. As soon as the ship landed, Volt hopped off and ran straight at the boy, bellowing, "Orbo!!" as he leapt into the other boy's arms. Orbo laughed and lifted Volt up, spinning him around before they kissed each other. When they were done, Orbo put Volt down, and Volt introduced, "Everyone, this is my boyfriend, Orbo de Aquos. He's the Merfolk Ambassador of Minerva."
Orbo was a handsome young man, and much taller than Volt. On closer inspection, his features weren't fully Androsian. He had large green eyes and freckles. Seeing him, something felt familiar to Aisha.
After a second, something clicked. Suddenly she grinned and said, “Orbo! You’re my cousin!” When Orbo looked at her with confusion, she explained, “It’s me, Aisha!”
Orbo’s face lit up when he realized. “Aisha! Sorry, it’s been such a long time,” he said, giving her a hug. When everyone looked at the two of them in surprise, Orbo explained, “We’re pretty distant relatives, so we don’t see each other often. Also, because I’m part Minervan, I generally stay on Minerva. There’s a sea gate that lets us merfolk visit Andros, but since I became ambassador, I don’t have many chances to visit.” He and Aisha smiled at each other, and when they separated, Volt walked up and held Orbo in a hug.
“Merfolk?” Tecna asked. “Forgive my confusion, but if you’re a merperson, how do you have legs? I wasn’t aware of any merfolk who’ve had them before.”
Luckily, Orbo didn’t take offense. “You’re aware of Minervans’ abilities to adapt, right?”
“Yes,” Tecna said. “Minervans will physically adapt to any environment over the course of a month.” Hearing this, Bloom looked at the triplets. They didn’t seem much different from when they’d first arrived, but the climate seemed similar to Magix.
Orbo winked. “When a person is half Minervan, they’ll adapt to the other half of their genetics in an instant. So, I’m half Minervan and half Androsian, so when I jump into the water…” he ran over to the river and dived inside. After a second, he jumped out of the water with a long triton tail, before landing on a rock and splashing his tail around. “I transform into a triton!” He flapped his tail back onto the grass, and his tail turned back into legs. “It helps that I can switch between land and sea so easily.” He walked back up to the group and grabbed Volt’s hand. “Let’s get to the palace; your parents are waiting.”
“Right,” Mira agreed. She grabbed Angelo’s hand.
“I can’t wait for you all to meet them!” Psyche giggled, holding Trixie’s hand. Orbo and Volt walked ahead; Orbo nodded to the guards at the kingdom gate, and they opened the gate for the group. When the large wooden gate swung open, everyone but Orbo and the Illuminates gasped.
The city was large and elegant, with a mix of old architecture and modern technology. What was most surprising were the people; while no two people looked exactly alike on any planet, the people walking around Whitestone didn’t even look like the same species. There was a man with dark brown skin and black hair, walking with a woman with pale skin and a full beard. There was a man in black clothes with paper-white skin and large, bat-like ears, with strangely luminescent eyes. Most surprising were the groups of people that looked like they were made of crystal, and ones with stone-gray skin and yellow eyes. However, they all bowed respectfully to Orbo and the triplets; the Illuminates led their respective significant others around, talking to the residents like old friends.
It was no surprise, considering that they’d grown up on Minerva, but the Illuminates were completely unfazed by the different people. When he noticed how stiff the Winx, specialists, and their friends were, Volt let go of Orbo’s hand and joined the group again. “Don’t worry, everyone is very friendly. They’re probably a bit surprised, we don’t get many off-world visitors.”
A little girl with tan skin and freckles whispered something to her mother, who shrugged. The girl let go of her mother’s hand and walked right up to Bloom, stopping the whole group. “Um…” she shyly asked, “Are your Princess Bloom and the Winx Club?” She was looking down at her feet, not meeting Bloom’s eyes.
With a smile, Bloom knelt down and said, “Yeah, I am. What’s your name, sweetie?”
“Amanda…” the young girl mumbled.
Bloom grinned and held out her hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Amanda.”
Amanda shook Bloom’s hand, then laughed happily and ran back to her mom. They all continued through the city, with the Illuminates pointing out their favorite spots, as well as introduced people to their friends. Before too long, however, they came up to Whitestone Palace.
Volt, Mira, and Psyche stood in the front of the group, with Orbo standing just behind them. The guards opened the palace door and bowed for the royal siblings as they walked past. In the foyer of the palace stood a few adults, who looked up when the group entered.
“Uncle Magnus! Uncle Odin! Aunt Crystal! Aunt Magma!” Volt gasped. The Illuminates ran up to their aunts and uncles, giving them a large hug. Magnus and Odin were both fairly pale with long beards, while Crystal and Magma had the luminous eyes and large ears.
After hugging them, Mira turned around and introduced, “Everyone, this is King Magnus and King Odin of Mountain Minerva, and Queen Crystal and Queen Magma of Deep Minerva.”
The four royals respectfully bowed, and Psyche asked, “So, are we going to open Minerva again?”
Magnus’ face became serious as he said, “If that’s what Marcus and Lucretia are announcing, then your parents are going to have to answer a few things. We discussed it, but we didn’t come to an agreement.”
Psyche’s face fell. “Oh…”
“But wait,” Mira said. “If we aren’t opening Minerva, then what announcement would warrant this big of a crowd? Did you see the invitations?” She pulled out the letter that had been delivered to the Illuminates.
“Oh my,” Crystal gasped as she read it. “Well, it’s an invitation to the Surface, but this many kingdoms…” she looked at Magnus.
“You don’t think…” Magnus replied.
“Think what?” Volt asked.
Before either of them could answer, the door to a hallway opened and a man in an even fancier suit than the messenger. “You’ve arrived, your highnesses? Wonderful, your parents are waiting for you.”
“Thanks, Clemence,” the Illuminates said in unison. They walked into the throne room, followed by all of their friends. While the others looked around and admired the palace, the triplets kept their eyes forward.
The throne room opened and the group walked in. There were five thrones in total, with two in the center, one on the left, and two on the right. Sitting in the center thrones were an elegant king and queen. The family resemblance was clear; Volt looked like his father, except his father had short black hair and brown. He wore a blue jacket and fur cape with white pants and black boots. His crown had a square blue jewel adorned with wings. Psyche and Mira looked like their mother, but their mother was much paler, and she had blue hair with purple bangs, and magenta eyes. Her dress had a pink shaw with poofy shoulders, a woven gold bodice with threads of gold that hung down her sides over a long blue skirt. Around her neck was a frilly white ascot, and her crown had a pink, tear-shaped jewel adorned in the shape of a lotus.
Immediately, everyone bowed. “Their royal majesties, King Marcus and Queen Lucretia,” Clemence introduced.
“Welcome home, Volt, Psyche, Mira,” Marcus said in a kind voice. Everyone stood up straight. Despite the king’s friendly demeanor, something felt off for the triplets. Especially with his kids, he was rarely this formal.
However, in spite of this, they smiled and said, “Hi Mom, hi Dad!”
Lucretia’s smile was smaller, but her voice was warm as she commented, “So, Volt, you’ve earned your Enchantix, correct?”
For a second, Volt panicked as he tried to remember if he’d even told his parents that or not; specifically because he’d earned it from Psyche turning evil because of the Wraithix Doom had given her. “Y-yes I have,” he answered, not wanting to lie.
“May we see it?” Lucretia pressed.
Volt nodded and transformed into his Enchantix. Both of his parents gasped in delight at the look of the black tuxedo with his lightning-shaped wings. “How wonderful!” Lucretia gasped, clapping her hands together. “It’s perfect for you to wear at your wedding!”
“Wedding!?” The Illuminates, and everyone else, exclaimed. From his surprise, Volt’s Enchantix disappeared.
“Yes, a wedding to your betrothed, of course!” Marcus said. A door to the side of the room opened and a girl walked in. She had curly black hair in pigtails, and was wearing a blue outfit with transparent sleeves and poofy pants. Despite the black hair and pigtails, she looked like…
“Diaspro!?” Bloom exclaimed in shock.
From behind the girl in blue stepped another girl, who looked similar, but with blond hair. The actual Diaspro asked, “What are you doing, Bloom? This is my little sister.”
Sky walked up behind Bloom and explained, “I know you haven’t met her yet, but that’s Diaspro’s sister, Safira.”
Despite wearing pants, Safira made an attempt at a curtsy; though from her it felt like she was mocking them. After curtsying, she skipped over to Volt and threw herself onto him, locking her arms around his shoulders. Volt was intensely uncomfortable, and gently pried Safira off of himself. He commented, “I thought that you weren’t going to enforce that law anymore.”
“We made a promise to Safira and her mother, remember?” Marcus asked. As he mentioned Safira and Diaspro’s mother, both of their parents came inside the room. Diamond looked like both of her daughters, and while Obsidian’s resemblance was more subtle, it was definitely there.
Safira giggled, “Volty-Bolty-Boo! You haven’t forgotten your fiance, have you?” She put her arm around his shoulder and poked his cheek.
Volt wiggled out of her arms again and said, “I remember you making me play pretend wedding, but nothing else.” His eyes went wide. “Wait. Don’t tell me…”
“Yep! We were practicing for our real wedding!” Safira laughed. At least on the surface level, she seemed a lot sweeter than Diaspro, even if she couldn’t keep her hands off of Volt.
“Wait,” Mira said. “Mom, Dad, the law clearly states that the heir to the throne must be married after they finish school. Volt is still attending Alfea!” She walked up and forcibly interjected herself between Volt and Safira--the two girls had never particularly got along.
“Volt has his Enchantix, doesn’t he?” Marcus asked. “I thought that was the graduating achievement of Alfea.” He looked at the Winx, and the intensity of his look was enough to send shivers down Bloom’s spine.
Bloom looked at the other Winx and then back at Marcus. “I mean...it is a requirement, yes, but earning Enchantix doesn’t mean that Volt is automatically graduated. He’s only halfway through his first year, after all…”
Marcus put up his hand. “Volt can continue his studies on Minerva if need be. If Enchantix is the requirement for graduation, then Volt has essentially graduated early.” Bloom didn’t know Marcus very well, but the triplets seemed put off by his rude behavior.
However, Mira had enough gall to continue, “Okay, well, the second part of the law is that the heir doesn’t have a suitable suitor. Volt’s been dating Orbo for more than a few years now.” She stepped back to block Safira from stepping around and hugging Volt again.
“It’s up to the parents’ discretion who is suitable or not,” Lucretia stated, her voice growing more cold as time went on. “We’ve already chosen on Safira.”
Psyche walked up on Volt’s other side. “You promised us that these betrothals were a formality, and that we wouldn’t have to go through with it! You also sent us to Alfea to protect us, right? How is this supposed to protect Volt if he just comes right back?”
“He has his Enchantix, he’s powerful enough to take care of himself if need be,” Marcus said, his voice growing colder and more irate.
All three of the Illuminates shared looks, and then they all began protesting at once. Both Lucretia and Marcus closed their eyes and clenched their teeth. “VOLTATIOUS! MIRANDA! PSYCHARMI!” Marcus bellowed at the top of his voice. “This wedding is going to take place!” All three of the Illuminates stopped at once, then Volt’s eyes teared up. With quiet sobs, he ran out of the room.
“Volt!” Psyche and Mira shouted, running after him. Safira looked like she was going to follow, but Orbo stopped her and shook his head.
In a serious voice, he turned to Marcus and Lucretia and said, “With your majesties’ permission, I will show our guests to their rooms.” He bowed, though it was quite obvious that he was as upset as Volt, Mira, and Psyche.
Marcus nodded, and Orbo waved his hands for the Winx, Specialists, and the Illuminates’ friends to follow him. As soon as they left the throne room, Orbo growled deeply before punching a wall. “Sorry about that…” he apologized. “The king and queen aren’t usually like that. Something’s going on...but Volt’s the one suffering because of it.”
Bloom put her hand on Orbo’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, we understand. Maybe we can convince Marcus and Lucretia not to go through with the wedding, especially if they see how much Volt is suffering,” she assured.
“Thank you, Princess Bloom, but I think there is something more,” Orbo said. “I don’t want to leave Volt, but I need to look at the Archives. I’ll go see if Magnus can arrange a ride for me to the Mountains.” He turned to Bloom and grabbed her hands, looking her earnestly in the eyes. “Please keep Volt safe for me. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if anything happened to him.”
“Of course,” Bloom promised.
Stella interjected, “Before you run off, Orbo, please show us our rooms.” She smiled at him, and he blinked in surprise.
“Right, of course Princess Stella. Follow me, please.” Orbo said. He led them through the halls of the palace, till they came to one of the wings. Through one of the doors, they heard Volt’s loud sobs. It was heartbreaking, but they could also hear Mira’s and Psyche’s reassuring voices. Orbo paused at Volt’s room, and he looked like he was going to open the door, but he pulled his hand back. With a sad, worried smile, Orbo said, “Please enjoy your time on Minerva.”
He bowed quickly before running off. “Thank you!” Flora called after him, but he didn’t seem to notice, not looking back at them as he ran. When Orbo was out of sight, the Winx walked into the different rooms and set their bags down.
Orbo ran through the halls, fighting back his own tears. Volt, wait for me, he thought. I’ll get you out of this, and we can be happy together… he rounded a corner, running into a trio of three girls. Immediately, he gasped, “Wait, who invited…” his words were cut off as he was hit with a blast of lightning which knocked him unconscious.
Rhea, Nike, and Lockette all gasped as the Trix pulled Orbo’s unconscious body out of sight.
The Winx didn’t see Volt until dinner. He’d been cleaned up by his servants, but he looked like the life had been drained from his body. He wasn’t eating any of his food, and it didn’t seem like it was because of how weird the food looked. WHile it all smelled good, the food was some of the most bizarre-looking that the Winx had ever seen.
Mira’s favorite dish--the Weezeldorf Stew--looked like pitch-black tar. The two sisters were eating well enough, but both of them were watching Volt worriedly. The Winx were a bit more reluctant, until they tasted how good the food was.
Safira, sitting next to Volt, was trying to get him to eat. She’d grab a bit of food off his plate and put it up to his mouth; he only seemed to actually be eating in an attempt to make her stop. “Volty…” Safira ended up sighing, “if you don’t eat, you’re just going to make yourself sick.” She sounded genuinely concerned for his wellbeing.
“Safi, you really shouldn’t force him,” Diaspro said, before cutting off a piece of her bright green steak. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still in shock, after all.” She bit her food.
“Right, because arranged marriages aren’t cool, especially when one is in love with someone else,” Bloom commented.
Without even looking in her direction, Diaspro said, “No one asked you, Bloom.”
Things were tense for a minute, and everyone went quiet. Volt then spoke up, “Please don’t fight...I can’t handle the stress right now.” He looked up and began eating on his own, surprising everyone.
The tension evaporated nearly instantly, and everyone began eating again. Volt, Mira, and Psyche began telling their parents about their school and the trials they’d overcome. This seemed to distract Volt enough that he perked back up almost to his usual self. He even talked to Safira normally, showing that he did care for her, even if a little.
Everyone jumped when the door slammed open. “So sorry we’re late!” A voice boomed. Everyone turned and saw the three Trix in the doorway. They were all in formal wear, but made no attempt to disguise the fact it was them.
“The Trix!” Bloom gasped. She and the Winx stood up, preparing to transform.
All three of Trix laughed, and Icy said, “Cool your jets, princess. We were invited!”
“Who in their right mind would invite you?” Musa asked.
“I did,” Lucretia stated. “And I would prefer you be polite to my niece and her friends.” Her voice was stern and cold, but it was her words that caused Bloom the most surprise.
“Niece!?” The Winx exclaimed, causing Icy to laugh again.
“Oh, didn’t the Illuminates tell you?? I’m their cousin,” Icy explained, with a wicked grin.
The Illuminates were deeply apologetic. “Sorry we didn’t tell you before; we didn’t want to make you nervous or suspicious,” Mira said.
Volt added, “We were going to try to tell you together, but it just got harder and harder to bring it up.” They were all sitting in Volt’s room on the bed, while the triplets stood around them.
“Are you related to Stormy and Darcy as well?” Tecna asked.
“Maybe distantly,” Psyche explained, “but we’re only directly related to Icy. Her mother and ours are sisters. Icy and her mother used to visit us when we were all little.” She sighed. “Icy wasn’t the nicest, but she hadn’t been this mean before.”
Aisha let out a whistle and said, “There’s a...lot to unpack here, but that can wait. How are you all doing? Your parents’ behavior is putting you on edge, and you all looked like you’d die of shock when the Trix announced themselves.”
“We’ll be fine,” Mira said. “We’ll find a way to talk our parents out of the wedding.” Her voice was stern, but her eyes were doubtful. Standing up, she added, “I promised the boys I’d take them out Weezeldorf hunting.You want to tag along, Volt?”
Volt shook his head. “I was thinking about visiting Orbo on the shore; I haven’t seen him all day.” He stood up and transformed into his Enchantix. “Also, I promised my friends I’d take them on a Minervan beach day.” The whole group left Volt’s room and Mira and Volt split off, leaving Psyche with the Winxx.
It was the first time they’d been left with Psyche without Volt or Mira and they kind of realized they didn’t know what to do with her. Nervously, Stella asked, “So...um...anything going on?”
“Trixie and I are having a seance,” Psyche said. “You can join if you want.”
When the Winx didn’t respond for a second, she shrugged and skipped off, humming to herself. “She’s such a strange girl…” Flora muttered quietly.
“...Can’t she...can’t she see the dead already?” Aisha asked. “Why are they holding a seance?”
Conspiratorially, Stella whispered, “I think it’s just an excuse for them to hold hands and kiss.” They all giggled at the thought of this, before walking through the halls of the palace.
“It’s kind of strange,” Musa commented. “I’ve grown used to protecting the Illuminates, but now it kind of seems like they don’t need us.” She looked outside at the winding forest, with the vibrant greens lit up by the sun. “Minerva is definitely a beautiful planet, though.”
As they kept walking, Flora said, “Volt told me about some of the plants in the forest; I was thinking of going on a walk through the forest and checking them myself. Would any of you like to come with me?”
“Could be fun!” Aisha said.
Musa commented, “I was hoping to see more of the city. Volt let me listen to some Minervan music, and I’d love to hear some live if I can.”
Stella commented, “I’ll tag along with you, Musa. I’ve been curious about Minervan fashion, and the city seems a good place to start.”
“I’m going to visit the Library. I’ve heard that it’s filled with long-forgotten magical knowledge,” Tecna said. “And the best part is that palace visitors have free access!” She grinned. Turning to Bloom, she asked, “What about you?”
“I’m not sure…” Bloom said. “I think I’ll walk around a bit. It’ll be pretty late when we all get back, so why don’t we check on Volt tomorrow, when we can?”
“Sure,” Stella said. “While Musa and I are in town, we can stop at that bakery Volt likes and get his favorite treat.” she smiled and said, “I’m sure that he’ll appreciate it!” She gave Bloom a hug, then the Winx walked off in different directions. Bloom hesitated in front of Volt’s room, even though he wasn’t in there anymore.
After a moment, a swoosh of blonde hair caught the corner of Bloom’s eye. She looked to see Diaspro walking through the halls. She was moving quite fast, like she was in a rush. With a wave of suspicion, Bloom snuck behind her. Before too long, Diaspro came up to a room and knocked. “Safira? Are you in there? Can I come in?” She asked.
The door opened and Safira stepped out. Once again, Bloom was taken aback by the sisters’ resemblance, but they had a clear big sister/little sister dynamic. Especially when Safira crossed her arms and asked, “Yeah?”
With a small sigh, Diaspro put her hand on Safira’s shoulder, gently pushing her back into the room and shutting the door. The door wasn’t shut all the way, and when Bloom tiptoed close to it, she could hear the two of them talking. “Safi, you know Mother isn’t doing this for you. She just wants you to marry a prince.”
“Well, I’m not doing this for Mother,” Safira replied. “I’ve been in love with Volt since we were kids; he can learn to love me too.” Her voice was indignant, but a little sad as well.
Diaspro sighed. “Safira...not just for his sake, but for yours. I don’t want you to end up in a loveless marriage from the two of you being forced together.” Her voice was softer than Bloom had ever heard it. “You need to talk to the king and queen about calling off the wedding.”
“I don’t need to call off anything!” Safira snapped. “You need to stop telling me what to do! Get out of my room!”
As quickly as she could, Bloom made a quiet dash down the hall, before hiding behind a corner. She watched as Diaspro came out of Safira’s room, sighed, and then walked off. Luckily, she didn’t come the way Bloom was standing, and didn’t didn’t notice Bloom where she was standing.
Bloom sighed with relief and continued down the hall she was standing in. The palace was bustling with servants preparing for the wedding. It would have been a nice sight, if not for the circumstances. “Princess Bloom?” a voice asked, making Bloom jump. She turned to see Lucretia watching her curiously.
“A-ah, Queen Lucretia! Sorry, you startled me,” Bloom said with a laugh.
“My apologies,” Lucretia said. “I saw your friends wander off; are you all taking a tour of our kingdom?”
“Yes,” Bloom admitted. “The triplets told us so much about it, we’ve been wanting to see it for ourselves for a while. I hope you don’t mind, of course,” she added bashfully.
For a moment, Lucretia snickered, before letting out a sweet, clear, loud laugh. “My dear, there’s nothing to worry about. While you’re guests of the palace, you’re free to explore to your heart’s content. In fact, why don’t we go on a walk together?”
It was nerve-wracking walking with the mother of the students she’d promised to protect, but Bloom found Lucretia’s presence strangely calming. She walked with serenity and dignity. Whenever a servant bowed to her, she’d bow directly back. “I have the feeling you guessed I’m not Minervan by birth.”
“Kind of,” Bloom said. “Doesn’t this make the triplets only half Minervan, though?”
“Yes, but when the one half is a bunch of mixed genes, they kind of get absorbed into being Minervan,” Lucretia explained. “For all intents and purposes, they’re fully Minervan.” She smiled and said, “Volt speaks very highly of you and your friends. He says you’re the best teachers he’s ever had.”
Bloom felt herself blush and she replied, “He’s a good student. Very diligent, and he always pays attention in class."
Lucretia smiled a bit more and said, "That is very good to hear. I sincerely hope he can keep it up at your school." This sounded like she was being genuine; however it completely contradicted what she and Marcus had said before.
"Are you sure? Earlier you were talking about Volt staying on Minerva after he marries Safira," Bloom told Lucretia, confusedly.
For a moment, Lucretia was silent, and a confused and distressed look was on her face. "Did I say that?" She asked herself.
"Your majesty?" Bloom asked worriedly.
Lucretia was silent for a moment, before giving a small, weak, and unconvincing grin. "I'll be fine, my dear. I just need to lie down for a while." Rubbing her forehead, Lucretia walked off, leaving Bloom concerned and disturbed.
Without any motivation to pursue her curiosity, Bloom decided to visit Tecna in the library, and tell her about her conversation with Lucretia.
The next day didn’t get any better. Volt’s eyes were red and puffy from crying, and he had dark circles under his eyes. Ella had explained earlier that he’d searched around Shore Minerva, and had talked to Orbo’s parents, but Orbo was nowhere to be found. Orbo was missing, and Volt was worried sick about him. Despite the conversation she’d had with Diaspro, Safira was much more reserved that day than the previous.
Lucretia must have slept off her feelings, because she and Marcus were back to how they’d been the day before. Bloom noticed that Diamond was looking at her suspiciously, like she’d done something wrong. The Trix were as they usually were, but there was some tension in the air.
Mira and Psyche were both yawning, and Bloom guessed they’d stayed up to console Volt about Orbo’s disappearance. After some silence, Marcus said, “The visiting royals will be here today. Volt, Mira, Psyche, I want the three of you on your best behavior. We haven’t had the rulers of other kingdoms on Minerva in years, I want to make a good impression.”
Under her breath, Aisha mumbled, “What kind of good impression is an arranged marriage?” Luckily, neither Lucretia or Marcus heard her, but Stella shot her a warning glance and shook her head.
Without a word, Volt stood up, leaving his food before walking out. “Volt? Volt!” Safira shouted, standing up and running after him.
“I wonder how long it’ll take before he’s sick of being nice to her,” Diablo said with his trademark thoughtlessness.
Even Angelo was taken aback, and he asked, “What are you talking about, Diablo?” Before nervously laughing and smiling at Diamond, Diaspro, Lucretia, and Marcus and adding, “Sorry...my brother is kind of rude and thoughtless.”
Before the adults responded, Diablo continued, “He obviously doesn’t have feelings for her. If she follows him around, he’s going to get tired of her and eventually snap. I’m just curious how long he’ll last.”
Coldly, Diamond said, “I see. Well, Diablo, if you have something against my daughter, then I don’t see any reason for you to attend the wedding tomorrow.” It was subtle, but a bracelet on Diamond’s wrist suddenly seemed to gleam.
“Such poor manners will not be tolerated at the wedding,” Marcus agreed. “Please escort yourself from the palace, or the planet if you can.” There was a strange purple light in his eyes as he said this.
“Your majesty,” Angelo said quickly. “I’ll make sure Diablo stays on his best behavior, but we don’t have any easy ways to move to or from Minerva.” It wasn’t hard to guess that Angelo had to get Diablo out of trouble often.
Diablo rolled his eyes. “When Marion and Oritel get here I’ll ask for a ride back to Domino,” he said, standing up.
“Diablo…” Angelo groaned. He followed behind his brother, before quickly apologizing again.
Nobody noticed Darcy wave her hand and send a small shadow after the two of them.
“Are you concerned about Volt?” Angelo asked. “You usually don’t...talk like this unless you’re worried. I remember when we were kids and you’d pick fights with the other boys for me.”
Diablo sighed. “Believe it or not, the Illuminates are my friends too. I want to keep my friends safe and happy, just like you do. I just have different ways of going about it. Speaking of, I’m going to talk to Volt. See how he really feels about Safira.”
“Is that a good idea? Safira might be there,” Angelo commented.
“Volt suffers in silence, just like you do,” Diablo said. “Mira and Psyche are doing their best, but I don’t think they’re helping much. I want to at least try.” He insisted, before rounding the corner.
The two boys stopped when they encountered Darcy in her Wraithix form. Immediately they both took defensive stances and Diablo asked, “What do you want?” A red flame sparked in his palm.
Darcy just grinned wickedly and held up her hand. “I just need you two to stay out of our way, ‘kay? Blackout.” Dark purple rings of magic pulsated from her palm, hitting the two boys and knocking them completely unconscious.
With the two large boys lying on the ground, Darcy mused to herself, “I wonder if they’ll fit in the cell with that merman…”
Much later, Mira ran into Bloom and Flora in the garden. “Have you seen Angelo and Diablo anywhere? I can’t find them.”
“I haven’t seen them since breakfast,” Bloom admitted. “Is something wrong?”
“I know Diablo said that they’d be leaving, but even he wouldn’t straight up vanish,” Mira explained. “I’m just worried that something happened to the two of them.” She sat down next to Bloom. “This wedding is bad enough, but things are getting out of hand.”
“Speaking of the wedding, I talked to your mother last night,” Bloom said. “We talked about Volt being a student at Alfea, and she commented that she hoped that he could continue studying there. She seemed confused when I told her that she’d said Volt would stay on Minerva.”
Mira’s expression quickly morphed from concern to full dread. “That’s not good...Orbo said he was going to find out what was going on, and he vanished. Diablo talks about Volt not liking Safira, then he and Angelo vanish. And I can’t even investigate…” she fretted.
Flora gasped. “Right...you have to stay and greet the guests.”
Mira nodded, and air ships began flying in above the palace. “Speaking of, I have to change and go join my family.” She waved and ran off. When she was gone, the pixies poked their heads out.
Noticing them, Flora smiled and said, “We’d been wondering where you’d wandered off to.”
Blue and Rhea shared a look as Polaris explained, “Girder has been running around the palace, looking for things to fix. It’s starting to become a hindrance…"
Girder shrugged and said, "I see something that needs fixed, I fix it! It's what I do."
Blue and Rhea both sighed, before Rhea said, “I saw something terrible yesterday. Orbo got shocked and fell unconscious, but when I looked I couldn’t see him or who shocked him. They were gone before I could check.”
Both Bloom and Flora looked at her in surprise. “Did you see what happened to Diablo and Angelo?”
Rhea shook her head no. “Sorry, Bloom. But I’ll keep an eye and find out what I can.” She fluttered her wings and began flying up towards the palace, with the other pixies following behind her.
“Let us know if you find anything!” Bloom called.
“We will!” Lockette replied.
It was rare for Rhea to take the lead, but when she did, she was determined. She flew up to one of the towers, coming to a room with a large window. “Where are we?” Chatta asked.
“Diamond’s room,” Rhea answered. She flew up to the window, where she saw Diamond sitting at a vanity. There was a dark figure in the mirror, but Rhea couldn’t quite make out what it was. She pulled the mirror off of her belt, and it grew into a large hand mirror. The light reflected off of its surface and hit the glass, which rippled like water. Taking in a deep breath, Rhea stepped through.
The other pixies tried to follow, but the glass hardened again and they were unable to pass through. In the room, Rhea hid under the bed and listened to Diamond. “The Trix are taking care of anyone who stands in our way.”
“Good. Have the Winx tried anything?” A voice like Bloom’s, but much, much colder, rang through the room. It was familiar, and Rhea remembered hearing it on Zenith. She peeked out from under the bed, just for a second, and saw the image of Doom. Behind the glass was dark and swirly, like Doom was talking through her magic.
“Nothing major...Voltatious’ boyfriend as well two of his friends tried making a fuss, but the Trix handled them,” Diamond said. “I have to keep tabs on Marcus and Lucretia. When they’re out of range, my spell starts slipping.”
Rhea wanted to gasp, but managed to keep quiet. She took a step backwards, with Diamond and Doom out of sight. She could still hear them, however, as they talked about Volt’s marriage to Safira.
Eventually the stopped, and Rhea heard the door open and shut. She stepped out from under the bed, but froze when she heard a voice say, “It looks like someone heard something they shouldn’t have.” She looked up to see Icy, and gasped, trying to fly out of the room. Before she could, she was hit with a blast of cold magic and frozen in place.
“Well, it looks like this pixie is as much of a pest as the others,” Icy said, picking up the small ice block. “I’ll go take care of the pixie. You keep tabs on our royals.” She walked out of the room, and Diamond followed, not noticing the other pixies fly off.
Bloom, Aisha, Stella, Ella, and Sky all reunited with their parents while Volt, Psyche, Mira, and Safira all stood in the foyer in their formal wear. Safira had her arm linked with Volt’s; Volt was stiff and obviously not happy, but he didn’t protest. He and Safira bowed to each of the royals that came up to congratulate them. When Oritel and Marion came up, along with Daphne, Oritel said, “Daphne says you’re a very good student.”
Volt looked up at him and Daphne and replied, “Daphne and Bloom are good teachers.” He tried to smile, but it came off weak and fragile.
Oritel, Marion, and Daphne seemed to pick up on this, but didn’t mention it. “Congratulations to the two of you,” he said, kissing Safira’s hand.
“Thank you!” Safira said. She curtsied as the two of them walked off, before turning to Volt. “Isn’t this nice?” She asked. “So many people came to see us.”
“Safira...I hate large crowds,” Volt mumbled. “I don’t like large spectacles, and I don’t like being the center of attention.” He looked at her with defeated, exhausted eyes. “But if it makes you happy, that’s fine.”
Safira’s smile faded. “It would make me happier if you were happy,” she told him. Volt’s expression didn’t soften or lighten, and she continued, “You’re not happy, are you?”
Volt looked forward. “It’s the best for our kingdoms, and it’s not like I have anyone waiting for me.” His voice was cold and flat, like something inside had died.
“Did Orbo break up with you?” Safira asked. She continued to say, “I wasn’t necessarily thinking of you two breaking up, I’m down for a poly relationship.”
“Orbo’s gone. He disappeared,” Volt said. “Even if I wanted to do a poly relationship…” He turned to Safira, and she saw a strange mix of anger and disappointment in his eyes. Without warning, he grabbed her chin and pulled her into a kiss, before pulling away. “We’ll be married tomorrow, so let’s pretend we’re a happy couple.”
He turned back to greeting royals, as Safira gently touched her lips. The kiss...it hadn’t felt like anything at all.
That night, Safira walked to Diaspro’s room. Knocking on the door, she asked, “Dia?” She asked. “Can I come in?”
Diaspro opened the door. “Yeah, of course Safi.” She stepped to the side and let Safira walk in. Both girls were in their nightgowns, and sat on Diaspro’s bed together. “What’s wrong?” Diaspro asked. “You seem worried.”
“Volt kissed me today,” Safira said.
Diaspro grinned. “I saw! It seems he’s coming around to marrying you,” she said.
“Dia...it had no feeling. When Volt kissed me, there was no feeling to it. He wasn’t harsh, and was quite gentle, but…” she curled up with her knees to her chest. “I’ve liked Volt since we were kids...at least, that’s what I thought.”
Diaspro laid Safira’s head onto her lap and gently began stroking her hair. “You truly like Volt, don’t you?”
“Of course! I wouldn’t want to marry him otherwise,” Safira replied.
With a grin, Diaspro thought back to when they were kids. Back when they’d first met, Safira and Volt had immediately hit it off. While Volt had always been willing to play with Safira, he’d never shown any romantic interest in her. Safira’s crush was obvious, and even after Minerva had closed off, she wouldn’t give any other guys the time of day. Sweetly, she asked, “Are you feeling guilty, then?”
“A bit...I didn’t think Volt would be this miserable,” she said. “I wasn’t going to stop him from seeing Orbo, but now Orbo’s gone, the twins are gone, and I’m getting scared of what these disappearances mean.”
For a second, Diaspro stopped. “Between mother’s new jewelry and the Trix’ presence, I can only guess. And my guess isn’t a good one, either. I have an idea, but for the time being, I need you to keep playing along with the wedding…” Safira sat up curiously, and Diaspro began whispering into her ear.
When the day finally arrived, all three Illuminates were distressed. “I haven’t seen any of the pixies since yesterday!” Psyche gasped. “Orbo and the twins are still missing, and the wedding is today!” She was pacing around nervously, while Trixie, Mira, and the fairies were watching her.
Ella sighed and said, “I was expecting Volt to be beside himself with worry and sadness, but he was...a lot different. Not even fazed. In fact, I would almost argue he’s starting to look forward to it…”
“Something’s definitely gotten into him, I asked him if he wanted to take a walk and he nearly completely ignored me, brushing it off by saying ‘I can’t, I have a morning picnic to go to,’” Christa confirmed. “His voice was so empty, too.”
Mira and Psyche shared a look, and both of them sighed. “Volt is like this when he gives up. Ever since we were kids, he would get upset, but if things didn’t get better, he’d shut down and just follow along, no matter how unhappy he was. He’s been missing Orbo for how long now, and now Orbo’s missing marrying Safira of all people,” Mira explained, shaking her head with a sigh. “He’s gone numb.”
“He’s been having so much at Alfea, we were worried when after the fiasco at Pixie Village made him so upset,” Psyche said. “He didn’t shut down then, but this is definitely the breaking point. Usually Mira and I can pull him out of it, but with a wedding, we can’t even do that.”
“Let’s just hope we can bring him back before it’s too late,” Mira added.
When the others looked confused, Psyche explained, “If Volt is like this for too long, he’ll explode. And we don’t mean metaphorically. He once released a hurricane that almost wiped out the shore.”
All of the girls stared at the sisters in total shock, and Mira said, “Yeah, before our training, he had some severe anger issues. A lot of anxiety that he was never able to fully express, and a lot of pent up emotions. He’s been doing a lot better, but it’s starting to become too many things at once.”
“Oh my…” Trixie gasped. “I knew Volt’s powers could become volatile, but that is much worse than I could ever imagine.”
Mira nodded. “He doesn’t want to worry anyone, so he keeps it locked up until his magic literally can’t handle it anymore. I just hope we can stop something disastrous from happening.”
“You’re not going to stop it?” Bloom asked. “Not going to protest at all?” She and Volt were in his room. Volt was in his Enchantix, while tailors measured his suit.
“There’s no point,” Volt said. “My parents’ word is law. If I protest it could be considered treason. The only person I’ve ever loved is missing, having disappeared without a trace. If this marriage can help my kingdom, then it’s my duty as prince.” His voice was calm, but flat and broken.
Bloom replied, “The point is that I don’t want you to be in pain. None of us do!” She put a hand on Volt’s shoulder, and an electric shock ran up her arm. For a second, she could feel the anger, sadness, and fear that Volt was holding back. The electric power that was crawling just beneath his skin.
“Volt…” Bloom muttered sadly. She held her fist to her chest and assured him, “I’ll get to the bottom of this, and get you out of this wedding, no matter what.” Volt didn’t reply, silently standing there and staring at the mirror.
Determinedly, Bloom walked out of Volt’s room and down the hall, running into the other Winx. “How’s he doing?” Musa asked.
“Bad. Very bad,” Bloom said. “He’s holding back some dangerous emotions and they’re going to explode out of him at any second. We need to figure out what’s going on and put a stop to this wedding.”
The other Winx nodded, and Bloom continued to say, “Stella, Musa, keep an eye on the wedding and make sure nothing suspicious happens. Aisha, Flora, keep Volt company. He really shouldn’t be left alone at a time like this. Tenca, you and I will look for everyone.” The Winx all nodded, and split up.
Bloom and Tecna ran down the empty hallway, and Bloom asked, “Tecna, do you think you can locate the pixies?”
As Tecna was about to respond, they heard crying, and all of the pixis flew out. “Bloom!!” Lockette shouted, giving her fairy a hug. Through tears, Lockette explained, “Rhea got frozen, and Diamond is working with the Trix, and we’ve been hiding so we don’t get frozen too!”
Bloom patted Lockette’s head. “It’s okay, it’s okay. Do you know where they took Rhea?”
Lockette nodded, and she used her magic to direct the group through the halls and down into the basement, before they came to the dungeons. When they were down there, they saw Angelo, Diablo, and Orbo in a cell with an unconscious Rhea. “Bloom!” Angelo and Diablo gasped.
“Oh my gosh, what happened to you two?” she asked. Summoning a bolt of flame, she blasted the lock and let the boys out, giving the twins a big hug.
“We talked to Rhea before she fell asleep. Doom is using the Trix to make sure no one gets in the way of the wedding,” Angelo said. He gently picked her up and handed her to Bloom. “She’s still cold, but your fire is a lot hotter than mine.”
Rhea’s small body was still ice-cold and she was shivering.
There was a laugh from the end of the hall, and Bloom and Tecna looked up to see Icy at the end of the hallway. “Guess we’ve been found out. Can’t be helped, then.” She snapped her fingers and transformed into her Wraithix form. “Can’t have you ruining Doom’s plans, after all.”
In Volt’s room, he quietly sat at his desk, tending to a small Klivoghejn in a pot. Flora and Aisha watched him carefully. His expression was calm but forced; it looked like he was close to completely losing it. As if confirming, a spark of electricity completely fried his Klivoghejn.
“Volt…” Flora sighed. Quietly, she muttered, “Beauty of Nature,” and sent a small flurry of petals at the Klivoghejn. In a small flash of pink, the Klivoghejn was back to normal...with pink-tinted petals.
“The flower was fine,” Volt said. “It was still wick by the roots it would have grown back eventually.” It didn’t take any more for Flora to realize that this wasn’t the Volt the Winx had grown to care for the past several months.
Aisha immediately jumped up and snapped, “We care! Volt, a marriage is not worth the pain you’re putting yourself through! If you were happy to be getting married, then we’d be happy for you! But Volt! You’re in so much pain, it’s unbearable!” She walked up to him and slammed her hand on his desk.
Volt looked at her with the dead look he’d been wearing, and the wave of static electricity was enough to push her back. In this flat, deep voice, emotionless and cold, his words stung as he said, “That’s what makes me different from you. You run from your pain, I endure mine.”
It felt like an ice-cold shard had been shot into Flora’s and Aisha’s chests. Flora’s eyes began watering, and she stood up and backed to the door. In a quiet, hurt voice, Aisha said, “We’ll...give you some space…”
“Finally…” Volt muttered under his breath.
Outside of Volt’s room, Flora quietly cried while Aisha hugged her. “Flora! Aisha!” The two fairies looked up to see Mira and Psyche running towards them, with Ella in tow. Noticing Flora’s tears, Psyche asped. “Oh no! Are you okay? What did he say?”
“You brother said that he’s different from us because we run from our pain while he endures his…” Aisha said. “Never realized he was such a cheeky little brat…” Her voice was low and hurt.
“I’m so sorry, you had to see him like this,” Mira apologized. “He doesn’t mean it, I promise! Volt has been like this since we were kids. His activities at Alfea have been helping him manage his stress, but everything that’s happened on Minerva has been building and building and not going away.”
Psyche added, “He’s growing closer and closer to blowing. Right now he’s just letting off angry puffs of steam like little storm clouds. But if this builds up anymore, he could release a hurricane powerful enough to blow the kingdom off the face of the planet.”
“Awww, you say that like it’s such a bad thing!” A voice made them jump, and they turned to see Stormy just down the hall, in her Wraithix form. “I think a little hurricane might be fun! I’ve been wondering what that little thunderhead was capable of.”
Liz, Christa, and Roxy met Stella and Musa as they ran towards the ceremony. None of them slowed down, and Roxy asked, “Did Psyche and Mira tell you what’s going to happen with Volt?”
“Bloom told us that things were bad with him, but she didn’t give us specific details,” Musa replied. “Why, is there something else we should know?”
Christa explained, “Mira and Psyche told us that if Volt gets anymore upset, his power will explode out of him in a gigantic hurricane! Apparently his anger management issues are resurfacing.”
“WHAT!?” Stella and Musa exclaimed.
“He could destroy the kingdom!” Stella gasped. “We have to get his parents to stop the wedding!”
They rounded a corner to see Darcy’s Wraithix form blocking the door. She taunted, “My, my, my. I knew you Winx were persistent, but your little fairy students seem to be just as stubborn.”
Musa and Stella stood protectively in front of the three fairy students and transformed into their Fantasmix. As the younger girls were about to transform, Stella held out her hand to stop them. “Your powers can’t withstand Wraithix. We’ll keep Darcy busy, you get outside!” She instructed.
With a laugh, Darcy flew forward, blasting waves of dark magic at the fairies. In response, Musa shouted, “Resonant Echo!” She sang a note, releasing sound waves that crashed with Darcy’s magic, disrupting it.
“Milky Way Stardust!” Stella shouted, shooting small waves of sparkles. As the two older fairies clashed with Darcy, Roxy, Christa, and Liz snuck out the door.
“Orchid Strike!” Flora bellowed. An orchid made of magical energy shot from her palm, flying straight forward at Stormy. Stormy dodged, summoning lightning into her hand and hitting the flower away.
“You Winx think that you can protect everyone all the time, but you couldn’t even protect Volt from his engagement.” She blasted lightning at them, and Aisha used her Morphix to make a shield to block. “You’re so blinded by your need to be the heroes you miss the obvious details right in front of you!”
As Psyche began summoning her magic, Aisha said, “Get Volt out of here! Stella and Musa are going to try to get through to your parents!”
“Okay!” Mira agreed. She ran into Volt’s room and pulled him out by his arm. Waves of static electricity were emanating from him, making everyone’s hair stand on edge (except Stormy’s, whose was already on end).
All Volt did was let out an annoyed groan, his unaffected demeanor slowly crumbling. Psyche and Mira let out nervous laughs and said, “Let’s go, Volt! You can’t hide in your room all day!”
“Why is Stormy attacking…?” Volt grunted before his sisters managed to drag him away.
Icy cackled as she barraged the two fairies and the specialists with ice crystals. “Why are you doing this?” Bloom asked. “Aren’t they your cousins? Shouldn’t you try to protect them?”
When Icy stopped, her face was grim. “You wouldn’t understand, Bloom. I am protecting them.” She summoned an icy gale and blew it towards the group. Bloom and Tecna combined their shields to protect the boys from her magic, before pushing forward.
They were just able to get past her and get up the stairs before she followed them.
Mira, Psyche, and Ella got Volt to the foyer as quickly as they could. By now though, he was thoroughly done, and he was growling like low, rumbling thunder. They were quiet, knowing that being either gentle or harsh with him would cause adverse effects.
Volt’s wings were beginning to spark, with little bolts of lightning shooting up their surface. Volt’s hair was beginning to have a distinct glow, as were his eyes. Just looking at him was almost enough to shock a person out of their skin. “Volt, stop it,” Mira whispered.
He looked at her and didn’t say anything, his eyes sparking like two insect zappers, trying to electrocute her. Mira had seen this look before, while he’d been the center of a hurricane raging across the shore. He’s close…Mira thought. How long will he be able to last?
“Volt! Mira! Psyche! There you are!” Marcus said, coming into the foyer. “It’s almost time!” He walked behind his three kids and pushed them towards the door. Volt’s electricity was sparking more, but Marcus hardly noticed.
They all took their places in the ceremony; the officiator stood as far away from the sparking, infuriated Volt as he could. In the air, distant storm clouds were gathering, and everyone could feel their hair standing slightly on end. Before long, the band began playing the traditional Minervan marriage song as Safira walked out in her wedding dress. She was beautiful, and Volt had no negative feelings directed towards her, but seeing her did nothing to alleviate these negative feelings.
When she was standing next to him at the altar, Safira smiled and said, “I didn’t get to tell you this yet, but you look very handsome in your Enchantix.”
“Thank you,” Volt said, his voice still low and grumbly.
“When I earn my Enchantix, I hope it looks as nice as yours,” she added, with a slightly sad smile that threw Volt off for a moment. After a sigh, she added, “Volt, I want you to know that I truly do love you, and I want you to be happy more than anything.”
Before Volt could give a flustered response, there were sounds of crashing windows, and several figures flew out into the air. The distant silhouettes of the Winx and the Trix tumbled through the air, clashing with each other. One of the figures cloaked itself in fire and flew at the ceremony. Bloom’s booming voice shouted, “STOP THE WEDDING!!” She was soon joined by the other five Winx girls, each in her respective Fantasmix. The younger fairies, as well as Angelo, Diablo, Orbo, and Trixie all joined in.
“What is the meaning of this!?” Radius exclaimed. “Stella, what are you doing!?”
Bloom pointed at Marcus and Lucretia, declaring, “The king and queen are under a mind control spell by Diamond! She has a Wraithix and has been using the jewels on their crowns to control them!”
“That’s ridiculous!” Diamond started to say, before Bloom shot two flame blasts and knocked the crowns off of their heads. Immediately, Marcus and Lucretia slouched, like puppets cut from their string.
“Wh-what?” Marcus asked, rubbing his temple.
“Where are we? I feel like I’ve been dreaming…” Lucretia mumbled.
With a roar, dark energy spread over Diamond’s body, and she flew into the air with a shadowy Wraithix aura. She began summoning dark jewels to attack the Winx with, when a lightning bolt shot right in front of her.
Without flapping his wings, Volt was floating in the air, glowing with a sparking, blue-white aura. His eyes shined like neon lights, and his hand was extended towards Diamond. Without a word, he flexed his fingers, flattening his palm. A stream of lightning more powerful than Bloom had seen him make before shot from his hand. He was releasing all of his fear, anger, and sadness; all of the negative emotions he’d been storing for the past three days. They didn’t hit Bloom, and were entirely focused on Diamond’s Wraithix.
The Trix flew out and tried to attack the stream of power to disrupt it, but the Winx used their Fantasmix powers to fight back. Volt began growling, before letting out a deafening yowl that shook the entire ceremony like thunder. His lighting blast multiplied, and with that burst of power, Diamond’s Wraithix shattered, and she dropped out of the sky, with Diaspro catching her.
Volt also dropped, his Enchantix vanishing as his body began shaking, and he began crying. Louder, and harder than he ever had before, Volt wailed as his tears spilled onto the stone bricks. When he finally regained his composure, he stood up. Immediately, Diamond shouted, “This wedding still needs to take place! It’s the law!”
“No, mother,” Safira said. “There is no law that Volt has to be forced to marry me. You were controlling his parents, and it makes it void.”
“What!? You brat! I thought you want to get married!” Diamond snapped.
“Not like this. I don’t want to be the source of my husband’s misery. I might have developed feelings for Volt, but he and I are friends, first and foremost,” Safira said. “I’m calling off the wedding!”
“No! No!” Diamond shouted. With a yowl, she fired a crystal shard towards Bloom. Right before it hit, Safira deflected it in her Winx form.
Without a word, Safira snapped her fingers, and crystal handcuffs formed around Diamond’s wrists. “Please escort Miss Diamond to the dungeons. We’ll deal with her punishment later,” Marcus said.
Diamond kept shouting and screaming as the guards pulled her away, and Diaspro stood next to Safira, with her hands on Safira’s shoulders. The sisters smiled at each other, and Diaspro said, “I’ll always take care of you, Safira.”
The Trix, seeing they were vastly outnumbered, vanished in swirls of darkness.
The first thing that Volt and Orbo did was lovingly embrace each other with a passionate kiss. Mira happily hugged Angelo, while Psyche excitedly snuggled the pixies. “I am so sorry about all of this,” Marcus told the Winx, as well as the royal parents.
“I’m glad you’re back to normal,” Bloom said.
Aisha interjected, “Did you really set up an arranged marriage for Volt, though?”
“Oh no, of course not!” Lucretia gasped. “When they were little, Safira had the cutest crush on Volt. Diamond commented that they should be married one day, and I said ‘maybe’.” She looked over at Volt and Orbo, who were both crying again and pressing their foreheads together. “We would never do that to our beloved kids.”
“It’s still a shock that you’re Icy’s aunt,” Brandon said.
Lucretia laughed. “Yeah...I’ll be able to explain later. I’d always hoped that my niece and our distant relatives could be redeemed like myself, but I’m starting to guess that’s not fully possible.”
Stella asked, “Well, will Volt be able to Alfea, then? We’d miss him if he couldn’t return to class.”
Marcus and Lucretia smiled happily. “Of course,” they said. “We wouldn’t want to keep him from his favorite teachers.”
The Winx all smiled and laughed, and Bloom walked over towards Volt and Orbo. Noticing her, Volt said something to Orbo and walked over to Bloom. “Thank you, Bloom. I don’t think I could ever repay you. But...why would work so thoroughly for me like this?”
Bloom smiled again. “I care about you, Volt. I wanted to protect your love and your happiness. We’re more than just teacher and student, you know. You’re as important to me as any of the Winx.”
As Volt smiled back, a bright cyan light grew from Bloom’s chest, before forming into a small, cyan jewel. Bloom held up her hand and the jewel floated above it. “Could this be…” she gasped.
“It’s the last Luminous Jewel!” Volt happily exclaimed. He summoned the Luminous Charm, and the final jewel floated into place. With all seven jewels united, they all released a bright, multicolored light, before fading again. Only now, all of the jewels were glowing with strong light. It was clear as to why they were called the Luminous Jewels.
As Volt and Bloom smiled happily at the beautiful charm, Marcus announced, “The wedding may be cancelled, but please feel free to stay on Minerva as long as you’d like! And feel free to help me talk my siblings into opening Minerva again!” He bellowed out the second part with his hands cupped around his mouth.
“Marcus!” Lucretia laughed, playfully hitting Marcus’ shoulder.
Watching their parents, tears welled in all three Illuminates’ eyes, and they ran at their parents, shouting, “Mom! Dad!” and tackling them in a hug.
The Trix appeared in the cave, half expecting Doom to scold them, or use her inky magic to make something else terrible happen. Instead, she was sitting at the table, drinking a pitch-black liquid that was decidedly not coffee.
“Um...h-hey, Doom,” Icy said nervously.
Doom looked up at them calmly and said, “Good job, you three.”
All of the Trix blinked in surprise. “But...the wedding didn’t go through…it didn’t go according to plan,” Icy replied.
With another sip of her drink, Doom smiled. Then she began laughing. It was slow at first, but her laughter built, growing louder and manic until she was holding her sides from the power of it. When she finally calmed down, she had a wide, disconcerting smile and said, “Oh, you silly, silly witches, everything has been going to plan.” She stood up and snapped her fingers creating one of her inky, spinning screens.
In the center was the image of the Luminous Charm, with all seven jewels, shining with rainbow-colored light. Doom commented, “Now it’s time for Phase 2: we steal the Luminous Charm.”