Chapter 1: We Meet Again
- We Meet Again
Breaking into Cloud Tower, like most concepts, was easier said than done. It required tact and manipulation… And it required to suffer a bit of humiliation to be ‘saved’ by a few unsuspecting witches…
He ran through the forest, knowing that even if the ‘wolves’ caught him he would be unharmed. He just had to be convincing enough for one of the teenagers to let him inside. “Come on little fawn, it’s okay!” One of them, a girl with spiky hair and a green jacket welcomed him inside.
Valtor trotted inside, allowing the witch to ‘soothe’ him. “See, there’s no need to be afraid. You’re safe here.” The green jacketed witch and her long haired friend cooed. He chuckled, his spell breaking.
“I’m not afraid, ladies, but I do believe you should be.” He waved his hand over them, his mark taking over their minds. “And for the record, a protection spell can only harm uninvited guests… Once I was welcomed inside, the barrier became useless.” He turned to the wolves, watching as they changed into Icy, Darcy, and Stormy. “Come on in ladies… And stay hidden.” He warned.
“Why? What are you going to do?” Icy asked, walking inside. He gave a smile.
“I just have an… Old flame to check in on.” He looked between the three of them. “And I’d rather no alarms be set off… We want to try and have a peaceful take over if we can. I don’t want to alert the other schools.”
The three of them shrugged. “Fine. We’ll wait for your signal then.” Darcy cast a spell over her and her sisters, taking the place of the witches Valtor had just spelled.
“See you soon.” He winked, teleporting away.
There was a reason he was often used in distraction plans during the War, he was good at magical redirect. He made a sound out in the hall, using the moment to make himself comfortable at Griffin’s desk when she went to investigate.
Oh how she’d changed… A spiral bun, headmistress of Cloud Tower, and no glasses. Or at least, she didn’t wear them. (He’d noticed the case at her desk though, along with a picture of their daughter and her niece.)
“What the hell are you doing here?!” She growled out, sending a blast of energy his way. He chuckled, stopping the blast and redirecting it.
“I wouldn’t try to use magic against me, Griffin… I’m far more powerful than you, and I’ve just gotten started.” He sent her flying into the wall, her hair coming undone and falling loosely. It was still long, but not nearly as long as it had been.
She glowered, teleporting out of his grasp. He listened carefully, waiting for her to rematerialize. Though it didn’t go quite as planned as he found himself blasted back into the bookcase, textbooks and trinkets falling on top of him. “Why must you defy me?” He asked, looking up at her.
She had energy orbs in her hands, a scowl on her face. (She always did have pouty lips). “I want you to get the hell out of my school.” She repeated. “Or I’ll make you leave.” Now that had Valtor laughing.
“Oh please, you couldn’t stop me then, what makes you think you can stop me now?” He got to his feet, dodging the blasts she threw his way.
He reached forward and grabbed her wrists, unable to keep from smirking as she struggled against him as he let his hands heat up, burning around her wrists. “If you would just relax, this wouldn’t be so difficult.” He murmured, shaking his head as the spell took effect. She fell against him, unconscious.
Another spell had her sent to one of the cells of Cloud Tower’s dungeon, a place to hold her until she either came to her senses or perished with the rest of them. He looked around the office, waving a hand to clean the place up.
Books back on their shelves, graded papers and school functions set aside, and the crystal ball back in its place. He walked over the desk, placing a hand on the crystal ball. “I want to see Valkyrie.” He had to know if she was here, if she’d get to bear witness to the takeover of her school.
An image flashed: a hallway was the backdrop, three witches walking with their backpacks on and books in their hands. One with long green hair, one with wavy brown hair, and in the center, a familiar face… Valkyrie.
“I’m telling you Val… You may want to invest in a sleeping spell. Those nightmares are getting intense enough they’re keeping me awake.” The brunette spoke. Valkyrie groaned, pushing her glasses up.
“If I use a spell or potion, I may not wake up for days… No thank you. Besides… The nightmares are getting… Better… Ish…”
“Doesn’t Cheshire help? I mean… He is your familiar.” The green haired witch asked. “Isn’t that what familiars do?”
“It’s complicated to explain…” Valkyrie sighed. “Look… I’m sure they’ll pass soon… They did with Darkar.”
“Yeah… After you drained his immortality and his body became ash and dust.” The brunette argued. “And then we had to deal with you feeling guilty about his death.”
Valtor waved his hand, having seen enough. Valkyrie was strong enough to have not only taken on Lord Darkar, but she killed him as well… Now that was new information… He smirked, thinking it was time to make his grand entrance to Cloud Tower… He just needed to grab one thing… The glasses case on the desk…
He tried not to scowl as he sent the last of the teachers to the dungeons. All in cells far from the one he’d pictured Griffin sent to. “Why didn’t you tell me they were all in a coven?” Valtor asked the witches.
Darcy shrugged, nursing the bug bites on her arm from their fight with Valkyrie. “We didn’t think it was relevant… Griffin having the teachers in a coven with her was… Common knowledge.”
“And last we checked, your daughter was coven adverse… So we had no idea she’d made one with Lucy the loser and Crystal the Medusa.” Stormy growled, using her lightning powers to undo the stone that had encased her leg.
Icy shot a look to Valtor. “Need some ice for your burns? Valkyrie got in a few lucky shots before Ediltrude sent her away…” The elder triplet offered, having finished nursing the claw marks on her body. Familiars… Who needed them?
Valtor shook his head, giving a half-smile. “It’s sort of a pride thing… when your child can land a hit on you.” He looked to his wrists and shook his head, seeing steam still coming off. “Besides… It’ll make for a good reminder… Never to underestimate her.”
“So what now? The archives? I bet Discorda’s flown the coop by now.” Darcy chuckled. Valtor frowned.
“A pixie who guarded the codex and is the resident librarian of Cloud Tower. She kept all the best books hidden.” Icy smirked. “Interested?”
“Lead the way.” Valtor bowed and gestured for them to show him, following their lead…
They walked into Griffin’s cell, unsurprised that she was awake and blasting at them as soon as they stepped foot inside. “I can’t believe you’d bring him here! I know you hate the school, but to let him in here!” She snarled.
Valtor shook his head as Stormy stepped up. “Well we tried ShadowHaunt first, but apparently Valkyrie’d already gotten there. The monsters wouldn’t even speak to us.”
“She turned my baby gator hounds against me.” Darcy half-pouted. Griffin kept her distance from them, realizing fighting wouldn’t work. But Valtor could see the wheels turning in her head, calculating.
“Seems they have better judgement than you do.” Griffin snarked, crossing her arms. Valtor chuckled.
“There’s that bite I remember. Even your compliments could feel like a smack to the face. No nonsense.” He looked to Icy, Darcy, and Stormy. “I bet she never told you, ladies, but she used to be one of us. Griffin was a brilliant tactician for the Coven, her battle strategies were legendary…”
“We were so close to beating back the Company of Light and taking over… Until she had a change of heart, leaving in the middle of the night with her brother, straight to our enemies.” Valtor tsked. “I still wonder what it was that made you leave.”
Griffin scowled. “I was willing to start a revolution. I was willing to usurp power from the monarchies of the magical dimension, and I was willing to overthrow the council… But I never signed up for genocide, Valtor. I never signed up to murder.”
Valtor snapped, stepping forward and grabbing her wrist, pulling her glove off to show the small scar on her upper arm, where he’d cut her and bound her to him all those years ago, pressing down until she yelped. “When you made your pledge to me and the Coven, Griffin, you signed up for everything. You were complicit. You were fine with it.” He waved his hand over the scar, showing the mark that had been there once before, his mark.
“You and I were bound in blood, in magic, in mind, and soul. You were mine.” He snarled, gripping her tight even as she fought to make him let her go. He did finally loosen his grip, fixing his tie and jacket as he walked away. “You signed up for me, for the Coven… You just got scared.” He ignored the looks of confusion and awkwardness on the younger witches’ faces.
“Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to pay Alfea a visit.” He ushered the other three out, creating bars of magic to encase Griffin. “Don’t get any idea of escape… I remember you being an escape artist.” He warned, walking away.
“Want to tell us what that was about?” Icy asked, her arms crossed.
“That was me reminding her that I knew her. And that I still know her. Nothing more. Nothing less.” He walked on, Alfea set as his next destination.
He leaned against the doorway, smirking as he watched Griffin’s face contort into worry, like she was sensing out for someone. “Faragonda’s been put in her place, Griffin. But I guess you know that… Can you feel her pain? You are counterparts, after all.” He was smug about it as he walked into the cell.
Griffin glowered at him, but he could see unfocus in her eyes, the contacts spell having worn off. “What did you do to her?”
“What was needed, of course. Though… I must admit, I wasn’t expecting our daughter to be at the fairy school… Well, her and her coven. Guess your friends knew where to send her. She has incredible aim, by the way. You’ve trained her well, this far anyway.” He complimented, pulling the glasses case out of his pocket and setting it aside.
“I felt you’d need those soon. Don’t worry, they’re undamaged. Unlike Faragonda…” He taunted. She glared, but said nothing, making no movements toward her glasses.
“What did Faragonda ever do to you?” She finally asked. He tilted his head.
“She helped stop me. Just as you did.” He paused. “Though I’m hoping a little time in here will make you realize that you made a mistake…” He turned to leave. “I still have hope for you Griffin… You, me, Valkyrie… We could still be a family.” He didn’t stay to hear her reply, deciding to leave her to stew on it. To think it over.
(He hoped she’d just admit all her mistakes, retake his mark… With her at his side, Valkyrie would follow suite… And the three of them… They’d be unstoppable.)
Chapter 2: Valkyrie
He walked down to the dungeons, bypassing the cells of the teachers until he made it where he wanted to be.
Griffin’s cell. She was on the bed, a book in hand (oh the déjà vu), and her glasses on. “Glad to see some things never change.” He teased, walking into the cell.
She glared at him over the book, setting it down. “Can’t you see I’m trying to reread Genie’s Tales for the fifth time?” She snarked. Ah… Back to being passive-aggressive. Just like the old days.
“My apologies, Dear Heart.” He leaned against the cell wall. “But I have a few questions for you.” She snorted, crossing her arms.
“And I’d answer them because? Oh that’s right… I owe you nothing.” She snipped. “Now... I believe you said it yourself yesterday, you were stuck all alone in the ice covered Omega dimension to go crazy…. Please… Give me the same damn courtesy.” She gestured to the door. “Out.”
He gave a laugh. “Cute. You think you’re still in charge here. But I’ll come and go as I please.” He paused. “Now… tell me about Valkyrie.” Griffin rolled her eyes.
“Want me to admit it? Fine. Yes. She’s yours. Congratulations, you’ve won father of the year for nearly ruining her relationship with her girlfriend, abducting her mother and teachers, mind controlling her classmates, and stalking her.” Griffin’s trademark sarcasm… Wonderful.
“I wasn’t trying to ruin her relationship with Flora… per say… I was trying to open her up to a relationship with Chimera of Solaria.” Griffin shook her head, fighting a laugh. “What? If she’s going to insist on dating a fairy, I’d like it to be a fairy I can control.”
“But that’s the thing, she can’t stand you.” Griffin remarked. “The more you push something on her, the more she’s going to push back. Daughters 101.” Griffin quipped. Valtor frowned.
“Gee… I’m pretty sure that’s something I’d have learned, if someone hadn’t kept me in the dark about having a child in the first place.” He snapped back. Griffin stood up, glowering.
“I didn’t find out I was pregnant until after I had left the Coven. And after I found out, I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell you. You were working with them and you were planning mass genocide. I didn’t want her involved in that. And I sure as hell didn’t want her to grow up like you did.” Griffin argued. Valtor paused.
“What do you mean by that? Sure, I didn’t have a conventional childhood, but-”
“But nothing! I was not going to stand around and let those hags attack our daughter with the Whisperian crystals to ‘keep her in line’. I wanted her to grow up not having to look over her damn shoulder, wondering if she was going to be jumped in the name of ‘training’.” Oh… Damn she was actually showing emotion about this. Valtor couldn’t help but swallow, seeing where she was coming from.
“We didn’t have to let her be around them.” Valtor told her. “I could have kept her away from my mothers. At least until she was old enough to make her decision about the Coven. But you took that from me.”
“You took it from yourself when you picked power over family.” Griffin reminded him. “I begged you to run with me. Begged. And we both know how often I do something like that.” She shook her head, pulling a strand of her hair back. “But what use is it now?”
“The use is, I want to know her. I want to know Valkyrie. I want that chance I was denied.” He growled.
“Good luck with that.” Griffin turned her back to him, going back to the bed. “She wants nothing to do with you.”
“Because of what you’ve told her! I can only imagine the lies. Did you tell her I hit you? Or that I coerced you? When we both know damn well you and I were…” He paused. “When we were both in love. Or at least, I was. I guess I never really knew about you, did I?” He snapped.
She turned her head to face him, shaking her head. “I never told her a damn thing about you. All I’ve ever told her was that you were in Omega because you joined the Ancestral Witches. Because you never quit them. That she had your power. That was all I’ve ever told her.” He wanted to believe her. He did. But the animosity his daughter had for him.
“Then why does she hate me so?”
“Your own actions condemned you in her eyes.” Griffin stated, her voice calm. Matter-of-factly. “The dragon speaks to her and has told her all she needs to know about you. He told her how you joined the Ancestral Witches, how you picked power over and over again. How you enjoyed tormenting others. And how you betrayed him for joining with the witches who murdered him when he was alive.” Griffin tsked. “She made her own opinions of you, Valtor, all based on your actions. Live with it.”
He sent a blast of power right beside where Griffin sat, angry at her words, and pissed when she didn’t flinch. “Temper, temper.” She taunted, that smirk forming. “If you think she hates you now, imagine how much she’d despise you if you hurt her mother.”
Valtor growled, storming out of the cell and creating a new barrier. He’d figure out how to bond to Valkyrie… He just had to set things right with the dragon… That’s all… He’d figure it out…
Chapter 3: She'll Join Me (Over Her Dead Body)
- She’ll Join Me (Over Her Dead Body)
Griffin paced her cell, looking for weak points. (Sure, she’d been at this for over a week now, but something had to give…)
Her only relief in this situation was that her fellow teachers were safely locked away in cells too, untouched by his mark… And that Valkyrie and her friends had managed to make it to Alfea…
Worry, worry did overtake her… There’d been no news on Faragonda and all she could do was feel the fear her counterpart was experiencing…
She paused, hearing footsteps approaching. That was never good. It usually meant Valtor was looking to ‘talk’. (Dammit she wasn’t his therapist and she wasn’t his partner anymore. Why did he keep trying so hard?)
“Glad you’re up.” His voice taunted. She turned to face him, crossing her arms and keeping her distance from the bars.
“What is it this time? Icy, Darcy, and Stormy more than you bargained for?” She snipped. He chuckled a bit, shaking his head.
“I’ve just come to let you know they’re trying to save Faragonda… The fairies, I mean… And Valkyrie. I don’t understand where she gets her need to help people though…” He looked to Griffin. “Of course, you were always a mother-hen sort. Maybe she takes after you.”
“Or she’s trying to earn brownie points with her girlfriend.” Griffin quipped, taking a seat on the bed. (After a while, it wasn’t an uncomfortable bed anymore, just stiff.)
“You know… With the way her power works… And with your plans…”
“Don’t even finish that thought.” Griffin shook her head. “Been there, done that, I’m not going to put myself in a treason position again.” She snarled. “Besides, Valkyrie will never join you.”
“But she might. If you did. You can’t honestly say you don’t miss the power. The rush. The feel of invincibility. We don’t have to work for the Coven’s goals… Lysslis, Tharma, and Belladonna…? They’re dead. Gone. We can use what they’ve taught us and recreate the magical dimension in our image.” There it was… The smooth talking, melodic voice. Once upon a time, she may have said yes, but now?
“No. I was never in it for the power. Or have you forgotten? I wanted revolution. I wanted dark magic users to be free to be themselves, just as the light magic users were. I never wanted to rule over anything, I just wanted to start something.” Griffin shook her head. “I wanted a family, I wanted to settle down away from everything after the revolution, to know that any child of mine would be safe to be a witch or wizard with dark magic. But to rule? That was never a dream of mine.”
“Not all witches want power. Not all witches can be bribed with power. Or fame. Or fortune. Only those with weak wills can be bribed. And we both know how stubborn I am. And I’m sure you’re learning just how stubborn your daughter is.” Griffin remarked. “Besides, do you honestly think Valkyrie would live in a universe without Flora?”
“Look, if Valkyrie wants to keep her pet fairy, she can keep her pet fairy.” Valtor retorted. “I don’t care about that, as long as-”
“She does what you want?” Griffin laughed. “Yeah… Good luck with that. Valkyrie has made it perfectly clear that there isn’t a man alive who can tell her what to do. The last one who tried ended up dead.”
“I heard about Darkar. I thought of sending a letter of condolences to Mandragora… But I think she was sentenced to a different part of Omega.” Valtor pinched the bridge of his nose. “And I don’t necessarily want to tell her what to do… I just want to show her what she’s capable of.”
“She knows what she’s capable of. She’s heard Lysslis’ delusional prophecy, she’s controlled the Army of Darkness, and she’s retaken ShadowHaunt. She doesn’t need you to teach her a damn thing. Her dragon has it covered.” Griffin smirked. “And you can’t stand it, can you? You never could handle rejection well.”
He growled. Oh it was still a nerve. Good. “She’s not rejected me. She’s-”
“Right… Because trying to maim you on-sight isn’t a form of rejection… My bad.” Griffin taunted, giving a chuckle. “Not rejection at all.”
“You’ll see… She’ll join me, just like she’s destined to do. And then you’ll come back… And we’ll give universe the shock of its life.” He growled. “Mark my words.”
“I wouldn’t bet on it. Valkyrie and her friends are pretty good at getting what they want… And right now, they want you gone.” Griffin warned, laying back on the bed. “It’s just a matter of time…”
Chapter 4: Escape Plans
- Escape Plans
She’d decided to redouble her efforts for escape now that the fairies and Crystal had visited. She had a plan in mind, she just needed to have a way to put it into motion… And judging by the footsteps heading her way, she’d have a chance.
“They did it. They managed to free Faragonda using the same method you used to break our bond.”
Griffin raised her head to look at him. “And you’ve come to tell me because?” She asked, crossing her arms. Valtor leaned against the wall near her cell.
“Why are you so combative Griffin? You’re acting like you did when we were first partnered.” Valtor started. “Remember how you tried to drown me on Andros? Our daughter actually nearly recreated that moment on her birthday.”
“You mean when you tried to manipulate her into thinking she’d scared her girlfriend? Which of your little witches did you use to play Flora anyway? Darcy?” Griffin snipped.
He snorted. “Stormy actually. All she had to do was stay quiet and cry. Simple enough.” Valtor sighed. “And yet, Valkyrie still wants the fairy…”
“Flora is stubborn. She’s not going to let Valkyrie leave her thorn bushes just like that. It’s something I admire about the fairy. She knows what she has and wants to keep it.” Griffin stood. “Unlike some people.”
“Funny. I recall you being the one that left, Griffin, not me.” He snarled a bit. She snorted.
“If you’d actually given a damn about me, about my feelings on things, you wouldn’t have pushed them off as being ‘you haven’t had enough sleep’. You’d have listened to me and left when I did.” Griffin pointed out.
He gave a breathless laugh. “I gave you a chance to come home.”
“Freyos was never my home. The Ancestral Witches were never my family!” Griffin growled. He stepped past the bars, gripping her arm and twisting it so she had to face the scar.
“It was once. You pledged yourself to us, to me, Griffin. You were mine. You belonged to me. We were the best, the power couple that rivaled Oritel and Marion.” He squeezed her arm. “And you threw it away. And not only did you throw it away, you took our child with you.”
Griffin glowered at him. “Let. Me. Go.” This was it. This was her moment. He pushed her back against the wall, reaching for her other arm.
“I remember the last time we were in a position like this.” He teased. Griffin gave a smirk, letting herself relax just a moment.
“So do I. Unfortunately, this isn’t then.” She fired a blast, one that forced him back. She made a break for it, heading for the other cells.
Ediltrude and Zarathustra’s was the first found. Both of them were giving her looks, holding to their bars. “Griffin?”
“No time to explain.” Griffin cast her unlocking spell, grinning as the doors swung open. “Go free the others and get the hell out of here.”
“What about you?” Ediltrude asked. “You can’t expect us to leave you here with him.” Griffin sighed.
“You’re going to have to. I’ll hold him off while you escape. Head to Alfea or your home realms. And don’t worry about me.” She gestured from them to rush off.
Zarathustra paused. “Just be careful.”
“Always.” Griffin watched as they made it down the dungeon halls, listening as her covenmates were freed.
She turned her attention to the surge of anger and negativity coming down the halls, the shriek of her name echoing. “I’m mostly blind, not deaf.” She taunted, sending blasts of power his way.
The dungeon halls began to warp, reality falling together as he got closer. “You’re going to regret this, Griffin.” He growled out, finally showing himself. Arms shot out of the walls after her.
She brought up a shield, sending a razor blast to cut them down. “You say that like I’ve not been regretting you my whole life!” She shot back, sending one of her energy blasts to knock him back.
He glowered at her, digging in his heels and firing a powerful blast of dark magic, forcing her into the door of a cell. “You’ve been regretting me? Oh don’t lie to me, Griffin. You were more than willing, and you know it.”
“I was young and stupid and I should’ve listened more to my mother.” She managed to growl out, getting to her feet. “I was 18, I just left Cloud Tower. And I put my faith in something I should’ve have left alone.” She sent a powerful blast of her own, using one of the spells she’d swore to never use again.
One of Lysslis’ psychic blasts that affect the minded as well as the body, creating confusion in the opponent. Valtor hit the wall, the bricks beginning to crumble around him. “I shouldn’t have let you anywhere near me. You were just as manipulative as they were. The way they had us training, the way they scarred us over and over again? I should’ve known better.”
Valtor glared, getting to his feet. “You signed up for all of it. You were willing. Hell, you were Inner Circle.” He glared at her, blasting her back. The arms of the walls grabbed her, holding in her place. “Do you know how easy it would be to turn you back into who you were? All I’d have to do is cast an inhibition spell, blend your ‘superior morals’.”
“Then do it. Spell me. Attempt to force another bond on me. See how far you get.” She snarled. “But you won’t do it, will you? Because your ego needs someone to come to you willingly. You’re wasting your time with me though. I’ve got nothing left for you.”
Valtor shook his head, hand reaching out and holding her jaw, forcing her to look him in the eyes. “You’re wearing the ankh necklace I gave you our first Yule together. I can feel your heart still skipping beats when I’m around. You’ve not married, not dated at all from what I’ve read of Valkyrie’s journals.” Griffin moved her head, biting down on his hand so he pulled away.
“Reading her journals? Total Father of the Year move.” She snarked, ignoring his other remarks. So she never married, she never really cared for the thought. And dating? Who could date running after a child and trying to get their life back in order after leaving a cult? And the necklace? It was a protection symbol. Everyone needed extra protection in their lives.
Valtor hit his hand against a wall. “How the hell am I supposed to learn about her otherwise? She won’t talk to me, and you never give a straight answer.” He growled. Griffin did her best to gesture to her current situation, bound to the wall by rock arms.
“Can you blame me for not wanting to discuss my child with you?” She asked. He glared.
“How about this, I’ll return you unharmed to your cell if you answer a simple question about our daughter?” He bargained. Griffin tilted her head.
“Not a chance in hell.” She glowered after a moment. He gave a smirk.
“You know… I’ve been meaning to stop by Red Fountain… I’ve heard Salvador and Saladin are teachers now… Wouldn’t that make for a great reunion?” Valtor taunted. Griffin kept herself from reacting. That’s all he wanted. A reaction.
“Fine… But don’t blame me when Morgan ends up with only one father.” Valtor started to leave her, the rock arms holding her in place.
She knew he’d do it… Salvador and Valtor may have been friends once, but when Salvador left with her.
“Leave him out of it.” She finally spoke, keeping her breathing even. She did not need to feel like she was breaking. And she sure as hell didn’t him to pick up on it. “What do you want to know? And keep in mind I won’t help you hurt her.”
Valtor chuckled, the arms loosening around her. “I’d never hurt Valkyrie. You should know better.” He walked over to Griffin, thinking his question carefully. “When did her powers start coming in?”
“She was seven and fighting with a boy at school. She burned him.” Griffin answered, drawing a little power from Cloud Tower.
Valtor grabbed her tight, arms behind her back as the rock arms let her go. “Don’t even think about it. Not while you still have a cell.”
Griffin glowered, but relented, letting him lead her back to a cell. “You realize you’ll never get away with it, right? You’ve always talked a good game, but your follow-through was always shit.” She winced a bit when he squeezed hard, particularly on her left arm.
“Snark all you want, it just reminds me of what I’ve always known.” He chuckled. “That you’re scared.” Griffin laughed a bit.
“Of you? No. Of the fact that you’re messing with things you shouldn’t and the consequences of your actions are going to catch up with the rest of us in some cosmic way…? Yes.”
“When did you start believing in karma?” Valtor taunted. Griffin shook her head.
“It’s not karma. It’s the balance of things, Valtor. Something you never understood.”
Chapter 5: Death of Tecna
- Death of Tecna
He couldn’t help but feel smug as he made his way down to the dungeons, even whistling a bit as he walked up to Griffin’s cell. “Want to stop with that incessant racket so I can meditate properly? Or should I cast a silence spell?” Griffin snarked, leaned with her back to the bars. (Dangerous for her, but it seemed she didn’t care for her safety anymore.)
“I seem to recall we made a fine duet, once upon a time. When we were undercover on Venal?” Valtor recalled. She snorted, making no move to face him.
“Even a deaf bird sings.” She snipped. Valtor crossed his arms. “You’re not going to leave are you? I thought the whole point of me being in a cell was to be left alone with my thoughts for all eternity or whatever other shit you were spewing.” Griffin got to her feet, turning to face him.
Valtor snorted, giving her a once over. “The more we talk, the more I realize you’ve not changed at all. Granted, you are a bit softer than you were, but I suppose we could blame that on your friendship with the fairies.”
“Friendship is a nine-letter word… I’m impressed.” She pushed her glasses back up, her fingers fidgeting a bit. (The same nervous tick from years ago.) He walked over to the cell, letting himself in. (And keeping a close lock on it. He wasn’t going to fall for that trick again.)
“You always did underestimate me.”
“More like, I refused to coddle your ego. Don’t get me wrong, you were a great fighter… But just as I proved a week ago, you’re still able to be outsmarted. You’re too cocky in a fight.” Griffin reminded him. “Which is also a problem you’re little minions face. Stormy and Icy in particular.”
Valtor tilted his head, intrigued. “So you’ve been making observations of them? What for?” Griffin shrugged.
“Most of my observations were made when they were students here. I wanted to be aware of who I was dealing with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to see their ancestors in them, but they’re… They’re nowhere near as frightening.” Griffin gave a low chuckle. “It’s amusing how much they try though…”
Valtor groaned. “Tell me about it… I had to find an age-fixing spell because they ended up in the tears of the Black Willow on Linphea. Darcy was so sure she’d destroyed its power… But low and behold, Flora fixed everything.” Griffin smirked.
“I thought you wanted to try your hand at fatherhood? Or were three children too much?” She taunted. Valtor gave her a look.
“Considering how much worse their sibling squabbles got while they were children, I figured I had to do something.”
“Ah… You realize if you had siblings you’d have known to let them fight it out.” Griffin teased. “Salvador and I did…”
“I’m sure Valkyrie would have too… Oh wait… She’s an only child.” Valtor paused. “She’s an only child, right? Or is there something else you wish to tell me?” Griffin snorted.
“Pretty sure that’s a question to ask you.” She snarked. “And Valkyrie had Morgan. Cousins can become even closer than siblings when brought together.”
There was a bit of a silence as Griffin crossed her arms. “So what had you in such a good mood? Did your witches finally do something right?” She sneered. Valtor smirked, head high and proud.
“I felt I should tell you, Tecna is dead. Granted, I’d hoped to have better news… The entire destruction of Andros and the surrounding planets being that news, but at least I have one less fairy to worry about.” Valtor taunted. “And there’s nothing the Winx can do about it.”
Griffin seemed to pause before laughing. (Laughing? What sort of reaction…? He’d hoped for despair. Anger. Her to offer her life for a chance to save Tecna’s…)
“What the hell is so funny?” He asked, quickly becoming unamused. Griffin’s laughter died down as she shook her head.
“You have no idea what you’ve done, do you? You’ve just broken the last bit of restraint the fairies will have against Valkyrie doing whatever comes to her head.” Griffin leaned against the back of the cell. “The fairies are going to be pissed and angry and they’re going to give Valkyrie the permission needed to do whatever twisted thing she wants to do to you and the Trix coven. You’ve read her journals… You know how twisted she can be.”
Griffin smirked. “I just hope I get to see it all unfold.”
Valtor glowered, shaking his head. “You’re wrong. She wouldn’t-”
“Wouldn’t what? Kill you? Darkar thought the same thing, and he became ash and dust.” Griffin snickered. “Hell, if it hadn’t been for the authorities already arriving to collect Icy, Darcy, and Stormy, she’d have killed them her freshman year. And then where would you be? Still locked away in Omega.”
He sent a blast of power her way, quickly having to dodge as the orb flung back. “Bounce back spell? Remember? You put it on the bars to prevent me from hurting you any further.” Griffin chuckled. “Seems you still have temper problems.”
Valtor growled, turning to leave. “You’ve not seen my temper yet, and you’ll do good not to push it.” He snarled, heading back upstairs.
Griffin couldn’t seem to help herself though. “What’s the matter? I thought we were having a wonderful conversation?” He glowered at her but kept walking. He was not going to give in, he was not going to react…
Chapter 6: Back in Action
- Back in Action
Griffin kept on high alert as she heard fighting and groaning coming through her halls. A siege had started and she couldn’t tell who was winning or losing…
And the footsteps she heard coming toward her and the smell of rot and decay… It did nothing to ease her nerves until she saw who had come to see her.
Morgan had earned her Enchantix, and Mirta had wings… And both were accompanied by five different rot monsters. “I take that my daughter is behind this?” Griffin asked, trying to fight the sense of pride inside of her.
Her niece gave a slight chuckle. “Something like that… And as much as I’d love to catch up, Aunt Griffin, I’ve got to bust you out.” She turned to the monsters, giving them a stern look. “Keep us covered, you don’t want to anger your mistress.”
The monsters garbled something, but did as they were told. Mirta sighed. “You shouldn’t antagonize them, Morgan… Val gave them to us in good faith.”
“I was just keeping the out of the way while I did this…” Griffin watched as Morgan tapped her necklace, her fairy dust vial coming out and the dust itself destroying the bars. “Any wounds I should know about?” Morgan asked, giving the witch a once over.
Griffin sighed. “Just my pride.” She admitted, taking a breath. “Now what exactly does my daughter have in mind?”
“We’re to escort you to the Heart of Cloud Tower so you can regain control from Valtor. This isn’t just a rescue mission, it’s-” Griffin stopped Mirta’s explanation.
“It’s a full on invasion?” She chuckled. “She always was imaginative.” She looked to the monsters. “Are they coming with us…?”
“Oh yeah.” Morgan winked, turning to the squad of monsters. “Come on. We’re headed for the Heart.” Morgan ordered them.
A chill began to freeze the air and Griffin let her power into her palms, prepared for an attack. “No one’s going anywhere!” Icy snarled.
Mirta glared, her wings fluttering in frustration. “That’s where you’re wrong Icy!” The former witch put her hands up, blasts of psionic power throwing the ice witch back.
Darcy sneered, her own psychic energy flowing. “Let’s see how you like this!” She forced Mirta back, the fairy groaning as she hit the floor. Morgan flew up high, looking to her group of monsters.
“Army of Darkness, protect us.” She called, the monsters going full force after the Trix coven. The other witches tried to fight back, but the monsters had begun to multiply. Griffin chuckled darkly, shaking her head.
“And you used to control them… Oh how the tides have turned.” Griffin smirked, looking to Morgan. “Nice command skills.” Morgan gave a smile.
“I learned from the best.” She flew down and helped Mirta up. “Now let’s head for the heart while they’re distracted.”
The walk down to Cloud Tower’s heart was interesting, soldiers from the Army of Darkness were patrolling all of the areas, and Griffin noticed some of her students were now walking free from Valtor’s spell.
“How deep did this plan of Valkyrie’s run?” Griffin asked. Mirta hummed.
“Well… I think she’s been planning it since Valtor took over, so it’s pretty deep…” Mirta answered. Morgan let out a sigh.
“I just hope my Cousin’s not in over her head… She and Bloom were both so full of rage earlier… Like…. It’s normal for Val but for Bloom…?” The half-elf shook her head. “It’s… It’s weird.”
Griffin placed a hand on her niece’s shoulder. “I’m sure they’re both fine… And I wouldn’t worry about their anger… Valtor just… Has one of those personalities… Everyone around him quickly becomes infuriated with him.”
“And you’re speaking from experience.” A familiar voice spoke as a bright light washed into the room. Faragonda, Salvador, and Saladin. Morgan and Mirta swallowed.
“Oh we’re so busted.”
“I’m going to kill Valkyrie when I see her…” Morgan gave a nervous smile to Faragonda. “So… How mad are you?”
“We’ll discuss that later. First things first, Griffin is getting her school back.” Faragonda smiled.
“And then we’ll see what needs to be done about Valtor… Or if the others managed to finish him…” Saladin spoke.
“So… What’s the plan ladies?” Salvador asked, looking the three of them over.
“Getting to the Heart of Cloud Tower and retaking control.” Griffin told him, taking a breath as she walked into the hidden room. She walked toward it’s chamber, letting her dark aura flow and taking control.
There was resistance, but it wasn’t as strong as she’d have thought… That made her smile a bit, realizing Valtor was weakening…
The castle creaked and seemed to groan, but Griffin was back in control. An explosion caught her attention and she turned to the others. “Do I want to know?”
Morgan and Mirta shared a look. “Probably not…”
They’d made it up to the main lobby when they ran into the remaining Winx members and Griffin’s students. Lucy and Crystal gave a wave and smile, both looking exhausted. “Ms. G…. Glad to see you back in charge.”
“We were worried Morgan got lost…” Lucy teased, pausing when she saw Faragonda, Salvador, and Saladin. “Oh we’re screwed…”
“I told Valkyrie this was a bad idea. But she never listens.” Crystal shook her head. Stella and Layla crossed their arms.
“Valtor had it coming.” Layla reminded them.
“He should’ve left us alone.” Stella growled.
Bloom seemed the angriest out of them all, her anger just radiating. “I had him… I almost had him…” She growled out. Musa and Flora were holding to each other, both looking worn out.
“Yeah but he still got the drop on us.” Musa commented.
“I just hope-” Flora had started to speak up when the lights flickered and a surge of negative energy could be felt. “Valkyrie… She’s close. I think he took them to the field.” Flora spoke.
Griffin looked to her students and to her fellow teachers. “If that’s where the fight is, that’s where we’re headed. Let’s go.” Griffin commanded, a little twinge of pride welling up as everyone got to their feet, grins on their faces as cheers of ‘let’s get him’ and ‘he’s going to pay’ coming from her students.
(And the fairies… And she swore she’d even heard Faragonda and Saladin excited for battle.)
She took a deep breath as she waved her hands, cleaning her office. The smell of smoke and complete disarray of it all nearly too much to handle all at once.
Everything was back in place, her students were safe… And two of her covenmates had returned… (The others were coming the next day, thrilled to have Cloud Tower back under control.)
“Mrew?” A familiar voice came. Griffin turned to face it, shaking her head at Cheshire in the doorway.
“Shouldn’t you be in your own room?” She asked, half-teasing. The cat strolled in, nose to the ground and sniffing. Strange behavior, even for him.
The cat bounded up on her desk, a cloth piece in his mouth. “Mrew?” She took it carefully, feeling a bit smug.
Bloom or Valkyrie one had managed to singe off a part of his coat. (Now that was a fun thought.) “I suppose you think this find deserves a reward?” She teased, the cat laying down and purring. She sighed, scratching under his chin. “Guess I missed you too… But I’ll deny it.”
He meowed, moving to hop of her desk and back out of her office. She shook her head, taking a moment to sit in her chair. Damn what a mess she’d gotten herself into…
But it was over… Partially. He’d been weakened anyway… And that… That meant everything…