- Party Crasher
“Now girls, I want to make something clear.” Ms. Griffin had them all at assembly, about to load the magi-buses to Red Fountain. “This will be one event we do not mess with. Saladin and his students are unveiling their new campus and giving a sneak preview of some of their lessons in their arena.”
“Considering the events of the siege last year, we will be on our best behavior today. If you choose to go to the dance afterward, you may create minimal chaos. Nothing lethal or long-lasting. Understood?” She asked. The students chorused together ‘yes headmistress’ keeping their heads down.
Griffin and the teachers had been harder on the witches the past week, searching for whoever tried to kill Valkyrie. Word had spread around campus about her attack, and while most were impressed Valkyrie survived, others were growing suspicious of each other.
Valkyrie had healed well, though her legs were still bruised and her arm had scarred up. Claw marks could still be seen digging into her skin. “At least we’ll get a little reprieve today.” Valkyrie took her seat by Crystal.
“And we get to see Kota and Helia…” She smirked. “I bet Morgan is thrilled.” Valkyrie chuckled.
“If she’s not too enthralled by her new pixie friend, Jolly.” Valkyrie teased. Rubis and Lucy took the seat in front of them.
“So are we all sitting together or what?” Lucy asked.
“And are we going to stay for the dance? What’s our plan ladies?” Rubis turned to face them. Valkyrie shrugged.
“The plan is… Whatever it needs to be… All I know is I’ll probably be sitting near my girlfriend and my cousin… So if you want to be in fairy-free spaces, I’m not who you want to be by.” Valkyrie admitted.
“And I’ll probably be by Valkyrie unless Kota has a place he wants me to be.” Crystal smiled.
“I’ll be hanging with Mirta.” Lucy sighed. “I promised I’d give her new fairy friends a chance…” Rubis gave a slight smile.
“Guess I’ll be flirting with Bishop from the sidelines.” She sighed. Valkyrie rolled her eyes.
“You do you, Rubi… You do you.”
The new campus was fantastic. A shocking fire red overlay, a new state-of-the-art stadium, garden beds, new stables, and just far more spacious… (And that overlook was incredible.)
When the buses pulled over and the witches began to split into groups, Valkyrie went to wait at the benches near the entrance. Crystal followed, shaking her head. “This is where they said they’d meet us?”
“Something like that.” Valkyrie took a seat, her knees still throbbing. “You can go on ahead if you want… I know you want to see Kota before his event.” Crystal sat by her friend, leaning back a bit.
“No way. We don’t leave each other.” She gave a nudge to Valkyrie. “Besides, someone needs to stay close to you and make sure you don’t do something stupid.” Valkyrie smirked.
“Ha. Ha.” She fake laughed. “You’re soooo funny.” She teased. Crystal crossed her arms.
“I’m just saying… Between the two of us, trouble seems to find you the most. Kind of like you have a big target on your back.” Crystal told her. Valkyrie rolled her eyes.
“Dark Dragon Fire keeper… Hello. I probably do have a target on my back.” Valkyrie reminded her. “Wonder if-”
Soon enough, familiar faces were walking over. Valkyrie couldn’t help but smile, getting to her feet.
They had changed their looks, but it suited them. Bloom was wearing a blue t-shirt with a heart on it and a ruffle skirt. Stella wore a sleeveless green dress with lavender stripes. Musa was wearing a blue tube top with red stripes and jeans.
Tecna had a purple shirt and skirt, both button ups. Layla wore a purple tank top with a blue water symbol and a khaki skort. And Flora… Flora wore a pink ruffle mid-riff top with dots and a pink skirt with one side longer than the other.
The pixies were flying about them, making comments about Red Fountain’s redesign. “I’m glad to see you’re feeling better.” Flora greeted, rushing over to take Valkyrie’s hands in hers. Valkyrie smiled.
“Yeah well… I heal pretty fast…” Valkyrie shrugged. Crystal shook her head.
“Don’t let her fool you, Flora… She may look better, but she’s still a bit sore and slow on her feet.” Crystal blurted out. Valkyrie glared. “I’m just saying, Valkyrie… You’re still feeling that fight.”
Flora kissed the top of her head. “Don’t worry… You’ll be back to normal in no time.” She grinned.
“Did they ever find out who spelled the shapeshifter?” Bloom asked. Valkyrie shook her head.
“No they haven’t. But the investigation is ongoing…” Valkyrie sighed. “I just wish it’d die down though… I hate feeling like I have to look over my shoulder. I mean… I’m paranoid enough as it is…”
Stella shrugged. “I’m sure it’ll all work itself out.”
“They’ll get sloppy.” Layla offered. “And once they get sloppy, it gets easier to find them.” Musa wrapped an arm around Layla.
“You know, we’re doing the half-time show?” She grinned, changing the subject. “It’s gonna be off the hook.”
“I’m sure it will.” Valkyrie smiled, glad for the change. “Hey… Where’s Morgan anyway? Did she come with you?”
“No she didn’t. But I’m sure she’s here somewhere.” Tecna offered.
“She is… She’s currently working on some painting with Helia.” Kota’s voice called out. The girls all turned, smiling as Kota and the other boys walked over.
Crystal went over to him, pulling him close for a kiss. “Glad to see you, Hero.” She teased. Kota grinned.
“Glad to see you too.” He looked to the others. “I hope you guys get to see my match with Harlan. I’m going to kick his ass.”
Timmy chuckled. “And I’m doing the piloting parade with the new starships and hovercrafts.”
“Riven and I are going to be dueling.” Sky winked toward the magenta haired guy. “Don’t worry, I’ll take it easy on you.” Riven scoffed, giving a playful smile.
“Go all out, Sky. I’ll show you what it’s like to be a real soldier.” Riven taunted. Brandon went over to Stella, taking her hand.
“I’ll be fighting a senior, Princess… Isn’t that exciting?” He asked. Stella kissed his cheek.
“Of course it is, Shnookems.” Stella grinned. Valkyrie shook her head, leaning up to whisper to Flora.
“I hope we don’t get that bad.” She whispered. Flora giggled.
“Oh be nice, Valkyrie… They’re in love.” Flora giggle/whispered. Tecna went into the center of the group.
“I hate to be a bother, but shouldn’t we be finding our seats? I don’t want have to stare in through a window.” Tecna reminded the group.
“This way ladies.” Kota grinned. “And Valkyrie.” He added, sending a teasing smile to the witch.
“You’re lucky I’m not at full power right now, Lover Boy.” Valkyrie sent a little spark to his feet. He winced, jumping a bit.
“Whoops.” Valkyrie smirked. “It slipped.”
Valkyrie and Flora sat a row above the other Winx girls, right beside Crystal and Morgan and Helia. “Helia, are you not competing?” Flora asked. Helia shook his head.
“I’m more of a restrain them and contain them sort… All out fighting isn’t my thing…” He flushed a bit. “I mean… I have before… But that was a different time.”
Valkyrie, Crystal, and Morgan flushed. “Yeah… That was our bad…” Morgan admitted. She had her hair tied back in a bun and wore a flowing white sundress. “We should have known better than to mess with the basilsk…”
Valkyrie shuddered a bit, shaking her head. “I still can’t stand snakes.”
“And I can’t stand the thought of becoming a statue.” Crystal shook her head, leaning back in her seat.
“That sounds like it was an adventure.” Stella commented. “Why would you mess with one of those things anyway?”
“We were twelve and Morgan just got her wings… We wanted to test them out and… It didn’t go well.” Valkyrie gave the short version.
“That’s an understatement. If Ms. Griffin and Professor Saladin hadn’t shown up… We’d have been statues.” Crystal sighed. “But that’s what happens when you don’t listen.”
“And we were all guilty of being rebellious…” Helia admitted. “I think it’s because we grew up with the war stories.”
“War stories? Right… Most of us had family in the Great War.” Layla remembered. “My parents were anyway…”
“I think all our parents’ were involved.” Tecna admitted.
“Oh guys! It’s starting up now!” Stella interrupted, bringing attention to the stadium. A levibike race was breaking out, though it was hard to tell who the racers were by the helmets…
“Helia… Question… Is that part of the ceremony?” Valkyrie asked, gesturing to the monster that had just landed on the field. A LeoDragerous.
Helia paled, grabbing his string gloves. “Nope… Not part of the plan at all.” He stood. “But maybe we can squeeze it into the schedule.”
The fairies wasted no time shifting and flying off, firing their blasts of power at the creature. Valkyrie got to her feet, but stopped when Crystal grabbed her wrist. “Let them handle this. You’re still too weak.” Crystal reminded.
Valkyrie glared. “I need to help!”
“Then we’ll do crowd control.” Crystal told her, raising her arms and forming a barrier around the stadium. “Get the other witches to help me hold this shield up. It’ll prevent the thing from escaping and from hurting anyone not fighting it.”
Valkyrie sighed. “Fine.” She started going up the rows of bleachers, telling each Cloud Tower witch the plan.
Soon there were dozens of witches with their arms outstretched and a large barrier between the civilians and the beast. Valkyrie gave her power to the barrier, needing to feel like she was doing something.
Seeing the beast nearly eat Morgan made her anger surge, but she calmed herself when Helia managed to save her cousin. ‘You should be out there fighting too.’
‘We’re weak right now. Remember?’ Valkyrie argued, feeding more of her power into Crystal’s barrier.
It poofed. Just poofed. Gone. The witches gave a groan, letting the barrier drop. The fairies and heroes who had been on the field collapsed themselves, worn out from trying to stop the beast.
“You know… I always thought those things were extinct…?” Digit spoke, her little voice carrying worry. “My database says they’re extinct anyway…”
“Maybe someone did a summoning spell?” Bloom asked.
“But who? Who would want to summon something like that?” Musa asked.
“And why would they want to? I mean, those things have no manners.” Tune huffed.
“I predict there will be more chaos in the future…” Jolly spoke in a hushed tone. “I saw it in my cards… I don’t know what the chaos is… But it’s grand.” She flew over to where Valkyrie had sat down. “Almost as grand as what I can see in your future…”
Valkyrie waved the pixie off. “Not really interested in having my future told… Thanks though.”
“She’s a spoil-sport.” Morgan told her pixie, powering down and collapsing by her cousin. “So… Was that it? Or do you think there’s more monsters lurking around?”
“I think we’re good.” Tecna looked her pda over. “I’m not detecting any more dangerous entities.”
“Perfect! Hopefully the dance will be on still!” Stella squealed. She paused, noting everyone looking at her. “What? I like parties.” She pouted.
“It’s okay, Princess. No one’s complaining.” Brandon laughed, coming over to hold her.
Valkyrie didn’t feel like dancing and her legs were still throbbing a bit. She went outside the ballroom and into the night air, letting her skin cool off.
She ached, but it wasn’t she did anything… All she did was just a simple shielding spell. “Must be hard being so powerful and so useless.” A voice taunted.
The purple-haired witch glowered at the voice’s owner, Delores. The redhead was pulling her jacket on, giving a smirk. “I mean really, what good were you today? A shield? That’s a laugh. But I guess that’s what one gets reduced to when they’ve been weakened.” She continued. “I mean, your own cousin was nearly eaten and you didn’t do anything to stop it. Couldn’t though, could you?”
Valkyrie stood up straight, needing all of her height despite her knees aching. “Either get lost, or get burned.” She threatened, heat already pooling into her hands. Delores grabbed her wrist and Valkyrie could feel ice slipping into her skin, as if her blood was literally chilling.
“I think you’re full of hot air, Valkyrie.” She pulled away, brushing her red locks back. “Don’t worry, if you don’t feel like dancing with your fairy tonight, I’ll keep her company.” She gave one last taunt before slipping back inside and into the crowd.
Valkyrie sank to the ground, leaning against the wall. She could feel tears forming, but she kept them wiped away, refusing to breakdown here.
Delores was a bitch… And getting upset over something she said…? That was stupid…
‘But what if she’s right? I should have been out there… I should have fought.’ Valkyrie told herself.
‘You’ll fight again. Give yourself time to recover.’ Her dragon urged. ‘You need your strength back.’
She sighed. It was easy to say, but regenerating magic energy wasn’t an easy or quick task. It built itself back up slowly, to fill every part of her being. And with a power like hers, it took longer…
“I’ve been looking for you…” A calm voice approached. Valkyrie heard clothes rustling and felt a presence sitting beside her. Flora. She forced a smile, willing any evidence of tears away as she laid her head on Flora’s shoulder.
“It was too hot in there… Even for me.” She lied, keeping her head down. Flora wasn’t going to let her off that easy, though.
She felt a gentle hand under her chin, lifting her face to Flora’s. Green eyes searching her cold blue ones.
“Tell me what’s going on, Valkyrie… You’ve been so quiet ever since the monster attack…” Flora kept her voice even. “And you look like you’re going to cry… What happened?” Concern. For her.
“I just feel… Useless… I should have been able to help you guys catch the LeoDragerous… But I couldn’t.” Valkyrie looked down. “I know I helped keep the shield up, but… My cousin could have died today…” She felt herself shake. “And there was nothing I could do.”
Flora wrapped her arms around Valkyrie, bringing the witch into her lap, letting her head rest on her shoulder. “Valkyrie… It’s okay. We all have our off days… Musa, Tecna, and I didn’t get to go to ShadowHaunt… And we felt pretty useless since we had to stay back… But we knew someone needed to be on the home front…”
“And Morgan is a strong fairy, Valkyrie… She did well fighting the monster. And Helia got to play her hero.” She kissed Valkyrie’s cheek. “And no one got hurt.” Valkyrie took a breath.
“You’re right. You’re right… I’m just…. Suffering some wounded pride.” Valkyrie gave a weak smile. “Thank you… For that.”
“We are supposed to be each other’s confidants.” Flora giggled. “Besides, you’d do the same for me.” Valkyrie felt her spirits lift.
“I would. In a heartbeat.”