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Luck Be A Ladybug & Black Cat

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“Don’t be bemused, it’s simply the news. This is Nadja Chamack with a TVi special news report! This morning at approximately 7:42am there was a robbery attempt at BNP Paribas in the 9th arrondissement. When the cops arrived, a new group of Miraculous holding superheroes calling themselves The Quantic Kids arrived on the scene as well and together with the cops helped thwart the attempted robbery.”

A miniature screen pops up in the top right hand corner and the camera focuses in on someone in a blue-green outfit reminiscent of a squid, next the camera focuses on a lavender and white falcon, after that is a brown sparrow with a bow and arrow, and finally a yellow-green spider.

“Fortunately, our new very own weather girl, Mireille Caquet, was nearby to get an exclusive interview with The Quantic Kids’ leader Gavroche.”

The camera cuts to a bored looking Mireille holding the TVi news microphone in her hands standing next to the squid guy. “What can we count on your team to do?” She asks.

“Whatever we can. Not trying to pick a fight but unlike the Miraculders, we’re working with the police to ensure the safety of all citizens.”

“Uh-huh. But why show up now? And why help stop a bank robbery attempt of all things? You have Miraculouses. Hawkmoth and Fantôme have been continuously and relentlessly terrorizing the city for over a month now. If you were concerned about all citizens you’d be working on taking them down.”

“We know that all too well but Hawkmoth isn’t the only threat to the city.”

“Maybe but he and Fantôme sure seem like they’re the biggest.”

With a sigh, Kim mutes the television. Glancing at his phone, he sees the picture of yesterday’s ice cream he got from André’s cart. Elderberry, coffee cotton candy, and matcha!? What the fuck kind of combination was that? The others were right to be skeptical. What the hell was he thinking?

He should’ve known it was all bullshit but he never was the brightest bulb in the box. Even so... he really let some rhyming asshole rando drive a wedge in his relationship with Ondine, who was easily one of his favorite people to be around!

They were still friends, thankfully, but they’re not as close as they were a year ago or even before they started dating.

Kim clinches his eyes shut, not seeing the blue-purple feathered butterfly fly into his cellphone.

Dark Heart.” A voice whispers in his ear, “I am Hawkmoth and I feel your pain—

Kim’s eyes open and his head snaps up as he loosens his grip on his phone. “Hawkmoth? No. No, no, no no! You’re not getting in my head! I’m not gonna hurt anyone for you!”

He can feel the magic fading from his phone until a second voice pipes in his head, bringing the magic back full force, “such conviction...” The second voice breathes, “such strength. Don’t you wanna use that strength where it’s needed? After all, we aren’t the ones in the wrong. André is. He lied to you. Made a fool of you. Used your optimism about love against you. Think about how many other people have been in your shoes. Think of all the people he’s lying as we speak. You could be their champion. The voice of the voiceless.

By letting us help you we can spread the truth about André and his ice cream. You’ll be doing the city a favor, Dark Heart. And you won’t have to hurt anyone in the process.”

Kim’s grip on his phone tightens. A purplish-blue butterfly mask with peafowl feathers along the edges forms around his eyes.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Today, André’s Ice Cream Cart is parked in front of the Arc de Triomphe near all the makeshift farmer’s market booths.

Lila heard all about this “Ice Cream Matchmaker” and decided to see for herself if he was truly magic or just a crock of shit. Her money was on the latter but they said he didn’t charge for the ice cream and she was already in the mood for ice cream so why wouldn’t she try some?

Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one in the mood for ice cream on this particularly warm October afternoon because by the time she got to the cart there was a line.

(And it took her a half hour to decipher his bullshit riddles! She better get the biggest scoop of ice cream he supplies!)

The brunette was looking at her phone when a shadow flickered past her eyes. Looking up, she spots a winged, masked akumatization (because, seriously, what else could it be?) floating in the sky. “People of Paris, I’ve come to liberate your hearts!”

Lila grimaces. That... doesn’t sound good. Other than her own akumatization and Audrey Bourgeois’, she’s had a pretty good track record of steering clear of akuma attacks. Not like the morons who run into the fray in hopes of catching a blurry glimpse of the Miraculders.

“André is nothing but a liar! His ice cream won’t bring you love! It’ll only bring heartache! I speak from experience!”

People on line gasp and murmur among themselves.

(The akuma alert app belatedly informs citizens an akumatization is heading toward the direction of Arc de Triomphe.)

Flux touches down on the ice cream cart’s umbrella. “First one here, huh? That’s new.”

“My quarrel isn’t with you, Rabbit. My only interest is giving André his just desserts.”

Flux groans, “couldn’t resist, could you?” A mask that’s a butterfly peacock fusion appears over his eyes. “Huh. That is... also new.”

“M. Akumatization, surely you require an explanation.”

Flux hops down from the umbrella, “what the hell are you doing?” She hisses.

“I understand your apprehension, but I need clarification on something mentioned.” Flux massages her temples. “You say I have wronged you! What is it exactly you wish me to do?”

The akumatization floats down to the ground in front of André but Flux is right there pointing the tip of her umbrella at him preventing him from stepping closer. “That’s close enough, bud.”

Fine.” The akumatization tilts their head at André, “‘what I want you to do?’” He bites out, “I want you to stop spreading lies about your ice cream!”

“My ice cream is 100% accurate and to further prove my point, I will elaborate. You have not been looking at the whole picture. The flavors I have given you is your true love’s mixture.”

“How the hell do you even know who this is?!” Flux yells, “I’m sure you pissed off more than one person recently.”

“André has his ways.” Flux rolls her eyes.

“If you know who I am then you’ll know the flavors you gave me are a terrible combination! They make no sense together!”

“Each flavor represents a type of love you feel, but I can understand how you would believe that is not ideal.”

“Maybe you’d, oh I don’t know, wanna cool it with rhyme time?” Flux mutters.

“I would hate to burst your bubble, but I am attempting to avoid causing more trouble.”

“Enough!” The akumatization roars, “trying to distract me with your fucking riddles!” He lunges at André but Flux trips him with her umbrella and the akumatization dives head first into the ice cream cart.

“My cart!” André cries.

“It’ll get Miraculous Harmonybug’d.” She pushes André behind her as the akumatization gets up. He takes a step toward them then is wrapped by a familiar red cord.

Flux tilts her head to see Harmonybug and say something snarky when she blinks because that’s not Harmonybug on the other end of that yo-yo string. The first thing Flux notices is the bright red hair cascading down into a long side braid over the left shoulder and two black antennas coming from the newcomer’s head. The outfit and mask is red with black ink splatters and coins around it. The gloves and boots are the inverse of the rest of the outfit, black with red splatters and coin spots. Their lips are half black and half red. To top it off are the black majestic looking wings sprouted from their back. It’s definitely a ladybug. Just not the one she’s familiar with. “Down boy.”

The akumatization snarls as he tries to wriggle free from the cord but the ladybug tightens their grip. “You can’t keep André from Dark Heart! He will answer for his lies!”

The butterfly peafowl mask forms over his eyes as the scoopers in his heart-shaped gloved hands expand. The ladybug releases her grip on Dark Heart before the now people sized scoopers can break the yo-yo string.

“What the shit is this?”

There are only two people Flux knows of who’d lament that sort of reaction and that clearly wasn’t Queen Bee. “Wait a sec, Eradicat!?” Flux points at her. “Y-You and Harmonybug?”

“Call me Fortunebug and yes, we temporarily swapped Miraculouses.”

Oh.” As the scoopers turn to Flux and André, Flux picks the ice cream seller up. “Well, time to go. The others?”

“Queen Bee’s on her way and I haven’t been in contact with whatever Harmonybug’s gonna call himself with my Miraculous. But I suggest you get the target to safety. Doesn’t look like this akumatization is interested in causing collateral.”

“Yeah, I noticed, as weird as that is. Be back.”

“Be careful.”

“Copy that.”

As Flux hops away Dark Heart screams signaling for the scoopers to follow.

Lila grimaces watching the scene before her. Must Hawkmoth make every akumatization so damn dramatic? (Thinking about monologuing as Tela Vuota made her shudder.) Dark Heart and the Ladybug are having an old-fashion stand-off. Behind the tree where she’s hiding, Lila notices the yellow and black toned lycra lined legs of Queen Bee approaching. “What the shit is this? Giant spoons?”

“Actually...” She turns to Lila, presumably with narrowed eyes behind those kickass crisscrossing goggles. The brunette threw the Bee Miraculder off the goddamn Eiffel Tower a month ago. That’s bound to harbor less than friendly feelings. Lila’s hardly expecting them to become besties overnight, especially as this is the second time they’ve ever been in proximity to each other. However, if Lila’s assistance with this akumatization becomes invaluable that might just make up for that... mishap. It’s worth a shot anyway. “They’re scoopers. ‘Dark Heart’ created them. Well, he grew them. Oh! And get this. His mask isn’t just a butterfly; it’s like a butterfly and peacock fusion!” Queen Bee folds her arms over her ample chest. Lila’s certain if her eyebrows were visible behind the goggles they’d be raised in suspicion. “Also, he’s after the ice cream guy.”

“Appreciate the help.” Queen Bee says though it’s obvious she hardly means it.

“I wanted to make up for...” Lila clears her throat, “you know.” She winces, “tossing you off the Eiffel Tower when I was akumatized?”

Queen Bee leans toward her with a devious smile on her yellow lips. “I could return the favor and let you feel first hand how long that takes to forgive.” Lila gulps then the Miraculder stands up straight, unclipping her top from her waist. “But for now, stay hidden. If anyone’s kicking your ass, akumatized or not, it’s me. I... owe you, after all.”

“R-Right.”

“Gotta meet up with the others and tell them what you told me.”

“O-Of course.” Lila nods watching Queen Bee jog toward the Ladybug. After a few seconds, Lila facepalms. “Dammit! I should’ve taken a picture!”

🙈 🙊 🙉

It was a different feeling washing over him as the transformation began, and a black light engulfed his whole body. With Tikki it felt like the power was hugging him. Transforming with Plagg felt like getting splashed in the face with ice cold water. (He made a mental note to ask Kagami how transforming felt to her.) His knee-high green and black gingham boots were first to appear. (As Harmonybug his boots only came up to his thighs.) Next his suit formed: other than the green seams around his neck, shoulders, arms, and chest – the suit is all black. After that are the green and black gingham arm warmers matching the boots. His gloves, over the arm warmers, are all black – like the suit – but the insides have green padded paws. Unfortunately, his gloves leave his transformed green pawprint ring exposed; unlike Eradicat’s gloves. Following the gloves is his mask: same green and black gingham pattern as the arm warmers and boots. Lastly, his eyes turn green and his fuzzy black cat ears and fluffy tail appeared.

It’s a hell of a lot different than Eradicat’s outfit but if their Miraculouses can change based on the holder then why wouldn’t the outfit?

Now he’s gotta think of a name.

Nino was at the farmer’s market with Alix and Nathaniel so when he saw the winged shadow overhead he hid with Nathaniel knowing Alix was gonna disappear. Then when the akumatization got closer and people started panicking, Nino “accidentally” got separated from the redhead. Of course he doubled back to make sure Nathaniel was safe before heading off to transform.

The akumatization in question has a red crying cartoon-y heart-shaped mask covering their face, and they’re wearing heart-shaped gloves. All in all they’re pretty much dressed like an all-black cherub.

Reaching for the yo-yo he doesn’t have, Nino grabs one of his batons to get himself in the air. (Only the batons and bell remained the same as Eradicat’s suit [and that’s only because he wasn’t thinking of either of them.])

He’s hardly as graceful as Kagami but he manages to land on his feet behind the akumatization’s wall of... giant ice cream scoopers? What the shit is this? “Valentine’s Day’s a long way off, man.” He brings his batons together to form one giant baton.

Kagami scratches her head. “Huh. Didn’t know I could do that.”

“Why are you protecting André?”

“Dunno, man. Why’re you going after him?”

“Do you remember our first mission, Partner?”

Nino looks around at the scoopers surrounding the akumatization. “Oh hell yeah. And you’ve given me the perfect name too.” He puts the baton under his arm as his left hand starts sparking with energy. “Cataclysm!” He runs at the akumatization tagging each scooper as he runs around them. Once he’s finished, he slides to a halt in front of Queen Bee and Kagami.

Kagami smirks at him. “I’ll have to remember to use that one.”

The scoopers slowly start to dissolve into ice cream, strangely enough, around the akumatization and a brown blur surges past the three of them and a Monkey lands on top of the akumatization pulling their staff that’s pressed against his throat.

“We gotta deal with the Quantic Kids and now there’s this?” Queen Bee asks.

“I don’t think so. Master told us he’s in the process of distributing the remaining Miraculouses in his care.”

“And I do remember him mentioning a monkey among them.”

They continue to watch the akumatization try and fail to wrestle the Monkey off him. “By the way? You said you thought of a name. What are we calling you?”

“Hm? Oh. I was thinking of Caterize.”

Queen Bee laughs, “nice.”

“I’m going by Fortunebug and I don’t get it.”

“Well, I was thinking of going with Catastrophe but that would’ve been the obvious choice, right? Not to mention lame. I wanted something you had to think about.” Fortunebug frowns. “My name is a play on the word cauterize.”

“I’ve never heard of that word before but I’ll take your word for it.” Her frown deepens, “and I feel like we should be helping our new ally out.” The others shrug in agreement. “Let’s see what I get. Lucky Charm!” Fortunebug throws the yo-yo in the air and it transforms into a polkadotted pair of batons. Hm. Maybe she should’ve consulted Tikki on how the damn thing works.

The akumatization finally manages to flip the Monkey off and they manage to take the mask he’s wearing off with them, though he keeps their staff. Unlike every other akumatization Caterize found as Music/Harmonybug, this one doesn’t have a weapon. But they are clutching that stolen staff in his gloved right hand.

As Queen Bee catches them, Caterize sneaks a peek at the Monkey. They have a dark brown pompadour that seamlessly turns more and more reddish until it’s fully red at the tips. There’s something rose gold on their head. As for the suit, it’s dark brown mostly but the fur on the limbs also effortlessly blends to red for the gloves and boots. Lastly, there’s the long red curled tail. “Thanks for the catch.”

“No prob.”

Caterize gasps as he finds himself looking at the face of Kim Lê Chiến, except his eyes, sclera and all, are black and crying murky black tears. “No way.”

“No fucking way.” Flux exclaims, dropping down beside him holding André.

Kim tilts his head to the left, “this is all André’s fault. If you just hand him over we can end this.” His voice takes on a strange ethereal echo. “There’s no reason to fight.” The Monkey, Caterize, and Fortunebug drop their weapons and Flux drops André.

Queen Bee looks around at her immobile teammates then unclips her top from her hip. “What the hell?” She turns back to Kim who’s black eyes narrow. “What did you do to them?”

“Nothing. Like I said, no one has to get hurt. All I want is for André to admit his mistake.”

That damn echo makes Queen Bee grit her teeth. Pollen groans, “feel a headache coming on. Stay strong, My Queen, we are immune to hypnotism and things along that nature. Doesn’t mean this doesn’t hurt though.” Right. Pollen did tell her every kwami has an immunity. Why should the one with the power of subjection be able to go under someone else’s control? Huh. Though she has to wonder if this means she can get akumatized. It also makes her wonder what other abilities does she possess.

“Look man. If you don’t wanna hurt anyone but André let’s make a deal.”

“Uh, I’m not exactly in agreement with this arrangement.” André says as Queen Bee grabs him by the arm dragging him toward the akumatization.

“No killing. Obviously. Though if you wanna rough him up his injuries will likely be healed with the Miraculous Fortunebug.” André whimpers.

The akumatization laughs, “I don’t wanna hurt him. I just want him to admit he’s wrong.”

“Queen Bee!” Someone shouts and an arrow whizzes past her face cutting her left cheek. André screams then ducks.

Queen Bee looks around to see The Quantic Kids. Sparrow has an arrow nocked, the Leopard is holding onto Lila’s arm dangling her in the air, and the other two are standing there with their weapons at the ready.

“Bargaining with an akumatization? No wonder you don’t wanna work with the cops.”

“Says the assholes working with Hawkmoth?”

The Squid smirks then spreads his four arms. “You must be mistaken. We’re not working with Hawkmoth. We’re working for the city.”

“Spare me your bullshit Squidward. We’ll see how long it’ll take before you slip up.” She pushes André at the akumatization then spins her top. “But if you wanna fight, I’m more than happy to oblige.”

“Four against one isn’t good odds Mlle. Bee.”

“Yeah, for you clowns.”

Stop!” The Quantic Kids freeze. Queen Bee looks over her shoulder at the akumatization holding his gloved hand out. “No one has to get hurt.” He turns to André.

“I did not lie about the ice cream I provide.”

Kim’s eyes widen, “you can look me in the eye and continue to lie?”

“I know you are hurt, that was not my intention. I did not realize the effects of my intervention.”

Pollen groans again, “the rhyming is making my headache worse.

Ugh. I know how you feel.

“What was your intention?”

Ice Cream Guy takes a deep breath. “My only goal is for all forms of love to flow through the city as a whole. The love you have for your former lover... to lose it hurt, but it is not the love your true love will exert.”

“What does that mean?!”

“Listen dude—” Queen Bee grips André by the collar, “I’ve just about had it with this fucking Riddler bullshit and I’m not even akumatized. Give him a straight answer or you’re gonna get up close and personal with the stinging power of my weapon.”

“B-But I cannot reveal the identity of his true love. The mystery is half the—”

“Nope.” She shakes him, “do. Better.” The top pulses at her side and André’s eyes widen. “What did he tell you?”

“T-That my true love’s ‘mixer’ was elderberry, coffee cotton candy, and matcha mixed together.” Queen Bee makes a face, “and that each flavor represents a different type of love.”

“That’s fucking weak.”

“The saddest part is, despite all this, some part of me still believes him.”

Queen Bee releases André with a sigh. “Then what do you wanna do?”

Kim sighs, “there’s nothing to do.” He holds out his right arm, the mask outline over his eyes flickering, “this is where my akuma is. In my hand.” Continuous use must be making it hard for Hawkmoth to control his akumatizations. “You should sting me in case Hawkmoth tries to take control of my body.” Queen Bee grips Kim’s right hand and squeezes the glove until it cracks. A blue-purple feathered butterfly flies out of the glove and floats in front of Queen Bee’s face.

I will get your Miraculouses.

“Of course you will, Shitmoth.”

Caterize lunges to catch the butterfly with their sparking hand before it flies away. “Miraculous Fortunebug!” Fortunebug throws the batons in the air and the magical ladybugs fix up the cart and transform Kim back to normal.

The Leopard drops Lila then the Quantic Kids disappear.

Queen Bee walks over to the brunette who looks up at her wide-eyed. “You did good. Or tried to.” Lila’s eyes light up as Queen Bee helps her up. Being a superhero’s girlfriend could—no! She can still get Marinette to love her. She just needs to change tactics. Queen Bee smirks, “still gonna throw you off the Eiffel Tower one day.”

“I can live with that.”

“Time to ‘bug out.’” Fortunebug says.

Caterize and Flux help Kim up. “You okay, man?” The latter asks.

Kim sighs, “I’ve been better.”

“I do apologize about the situation. I—”

Kim holds up a hand, “don’t.” He sighs again. “I overreacted then let Fantôme and Hawkmoth get inside my head. I’m just glad no one got hurt because of me.”

“Let’s get you home.” Caterize offers.

“Yeah, okay. Thanks.”

🙈 🙊 🙉

Earlier today...

“Don’t be bemused, it’s simply the news. This is Nadja Chamack with a TVi special news report! This morning at approximately 7:42am there was a robbery attempt at BNP Paribas in the 9th arrondissement. When the cops arrived, a new group of Miraculous holding superheroes calling themselves The Quantic Kids arrived on the scene as well and together with the cops helped thwart the attempted robbery.”

“You sure this is a good idea?” Adrien asks.

“We’ll never get anywhere if we don’t mix things up.”

“How do we even know this’ll work?”

“We won’t, unless we try.” Gabriel takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, “I’m sensing an inner struggle.”

Amélie and Adrien exchange a glance. “Alright. Fine. Duusu—”

“If I may, Chosen.” The peafowl kwami flies up to Adrien’s face. “As the kwami of emotion I too can sense the emotions of others.”

“Why haven’t you said anything about this before?” Gabriel asks.

“It wasn’t relevant until this conversation.” Gabriel’s eyes narrow, “if you, perchance, are unable to convince your Champion I can take the reins.”

“So you can manipulate someone’s emotions?” Amélie asks and Duusu nods.

“I can do many things with the emotions of others.”

“How do we know you’re not manipulating us as we speak?”

Duusu smiles broadly at them, “you don’t and never will.”

🙈 🙊 🙉

“Don’t be bemused, it’s simply the news. This is Nadja Chamack with a TVi special news report! This morning at approximately 7:42am there was a robbery attempt at BNP Paribas in the 9th arrondissement. When the cops arrived, a new group of Miraculous holding superheroes calling themselves The Quantic Kids arrived on the scene as well and together with the cops helped thwart the attempted robbery.”

Marc brings their phone closer to their face. When they got home last night, Chloé’s butler reemerged then gave them all lifts home in a bigger towncar then the one he dropped them all off in, they were shocked to discover a hexagonal black box with the red character for weather in hanzi nestled in their backpack. (All those Chinese and Korean lessons with their grandparents paid off.)

While examining the box, it slipped out of their hand and opened revealing a rather fetching scaly black and gold choker with a bead that looked like a claw. Even more shocking than that was the dragon kwami bounded to the choker that swirled to existence before Marc in a blinding red and black light.

After the necessary and expected freakout, Longg – the dragon kwami who was just as non-binary as Marc – explained the Guardian sensed the warrior within Marc (or some crap) and decided to give them a Miraculous. Then Longg continued, saying the Guardian rarely makes mistakes when picking holders. Marc disagreed and wondered how to return the kwami to the Guardian because they were the farthest thing from a Miraculder.

After sleeping on it, Marc still believes a mistake was made but if Longg was adamant about the “no take-backs” policy, then Marc was pretty much shit outta luck in terms of returning the kwami to this so-called Guardian. Huh. And they had the nerve to call Marc stubborn.

They wouldn’t be butting heads so damn often if Longg would allow Marc to return them.

(Though... if they are gonna keep Longg “for a while,” the very least Marc could do is try on the choker.)

Marc’s phone starts blaring some loud upbeat song and they drop the phone, pressing a hand to their chest. Right. They forgot Alya set that as their ringtone. Taking a deep breath, they pick up. “H-Hello?” Marc’s eyebrows furrow. “Farmer’s market...?” Longg is floating around the room. “Uh, sure. Y-Yeah, I’ll go with you.” Longg bites down on a pencil and Marc winces at it cracks. “Okay. See you in a bit.”

“Why would they make that look like food?” Longg starts picking wood out of their tongue. “Unlike some other kwamis it has been many moons since my last venture into the world.” Marc nods slowly. “As I told you last night, I require sustenance so I can be at full strength in case you do decide you wish to transform.”

“Well, I mean... I’m not interested in transforming but I’m not gonna starve you.” Longg gives them a toothy grin. “Let’s see what won’t take long to make as I get ready to meet my friend.”

“A word of caution? The Guardian brought us up to speed before distributing us. Hawkmoth has allies in the shadows.”

“Like these Quantic Kids?” Longg blinks at them. “Them showing up out of nowhere is all too convenient.”

“That’s good. You’ll need those observation skills to use my powers—” Marc opens their mouth but Longg holds up both hands, “should you change your mind. Or should your hand get forced. And, speaking from experience, the latter is more likely than the former.”

Marc sighs, “I figured.”

🙈 🙊 🙉

“Don’t be bemused, it’s simply the news. This is Nadja Chamack with a TVi special news report! This morning at approximately 7:42am there was a robbery attempt at BNP Paribas in the 9th arrondissement. When the cops arrived, a new group of Miraculous holding superheroes calling themselves The Quantic Kids arrived on the scene as well and together with the cops helped thwart the attempted robbery.”

Maybe he was trying to overcompensate for having the Miraculders tire themselves out dealing with Hawkmoth and Fantôme. Or maybe he was losing his touch and being a little too lenient with his “tests.” Either way, handing out four Miraculouses in one day had to be a record.

Wayzz opened his eyes to stare into brown ones behind lenses and grey computerized ones.

Of all the reactions Wayzz has had over the millennia, this is easily the calmest. No screaming. No hysterics. Just... staring.

The computer thing scanned him and when it came away with no data, his Chosen simply hummed.

His Chosen examines the green bracelet in his hands. This time his bracelet has a dark green string and six light green triangle pendants.

“Let me try to wrap my head around this one more time: Your ‘Guardian’ who is out there in the city distributing Miraculous to the future Miraculders possibly as we speak, entrusted me to wield a Miraculous because of my involvement in Éloïse’s akumatization yesterday?” Wayzz nods. “But why? I didn’t do anything particularly noteworthy. All I did was simply analyze the situation. It was Harmonybug who came up with the solution.”

“True. However, he never would’ve realized the solution was even possible without you.”

“Analyzing. Your kwami is 100% correct.”

“Did you also factor in nepotism in your analysis, Markov?” For a robot or computer or whatever, Wayzz could swear the floating thing gives his creator a mechanized cheeky grin.

The Master doesn’t tell them who they’re gonna be partnered with. Wayzz is certain sometimes even the Guardian doesn’t know until it happens. Wayzz is also certain he’s gonna like his current Chosen. He watches fondly as his Chosen and their creation start arguing.

🙈 🙊 🙉

“Don’t be bemused, it’s simply the news. This is Nadja Chamack with a TVi special news report! This morning at approximately 7:42am there was a robbery attempt at BNP Paribas in the 9th arrondissement. When the cops arrived, a new group of Miraculous holding superheroes calling themselves The Quantic Kids arrived on the scene as well and together with the cops helped thwart the attempted robbery.”

Last night, after waving goodbye to her parents who were leaving as she was coming in, Marinette tripped on the last step to her room and the contents of her purse spilled out. Among them was something she didn’t recognize: a black hexagonal box with the character for ignition in hanzi. Not that she saw what was written on it until after she scooped the already opened box up with her belongings. A pair of silver and black goat horn hairclips fell out of the box along with the tiny big-headed grey goat plushie looking thing.

When the thing floated over to her face, Marinette screamed. Thankfully she was all alone so her parents didn’t have to hear her running around her room chasing Ziggy down while throwing things at them for almost ten minutes.

After “catching” the creature in an empty mason jar, they calmly explained what they were and why they were there. Thanks to some “Guardian,” Marinette had been selected to become a Miraculder to help kick Hawkmoth and Fantôme’s asses; as well as the asses of all their allies. Naturally, she accepted. Getting superpowers wasn’t exactly on her bucket list but if she’s on the same team as Queen Bee and Eradicat who is she to complain?

Ooh! Maybe those are her two loves and Ziggy is this “lifelong” new friend?

But how the fuck would André know that?

Being prophetic – supposedly – about love is one thing? But magic and kwamis? There’s no way. Or is there?

Ziggy explained to her they needed to be together all the time in case of an akuma attack. So long privacy. Not that she had tons of it before with her parents habit of popping up in her room whenever. And that Marinette needed to carry snacks with her because transformations make kwamis hungry. (Good thing she lives in a boulangerie and already carries around pâtisseries.) Then her kwami informed her she’d start developing goat-like tendencies the longer she was exposed to the Miraculous’ magic. That part she’s not looking forward to.

The news broadcast had Ziggy shaking her head. (Marinette came to find out Ziggy’s perferred pronouns were her/she but she also accepted they/them like most other kwamis.)

“So you...ow... think these Quantic Kids are bad news?” Marinette sucks her bleeding pointer finger in her mouth.

“What are you doing?”

“Wasn’t paying attention and I pricked myself.” Ziggy stares at the square in Marinette’s hands, “oh! This? This is gonna be your bed. I nearly squished you when we shared the pillow. Hopefully this’ll prevent that.” Ziggy floats over Marinette’s shoulder watching in awe as the blue-haired teen deftly stitches fabric together. (It’s remarkable! Ziggy had seen this same girl trip over her own two feet no less than ten times in the span of between their meeting and now!)

“Amazing! Such ingenuity makes you an ideal Chosen for my Miraculous. There’s so much more to my power than just bursting into flames.”

Marinette’s eyes light up as her hand with the needle and thread in it hovers over the makeshift bed in her other hand, “I can burst into flames?”

Ziggy sighs heavily, “millions of years, hundreds of wielders, and that is always the one thing they get excited about. Yes, you can set yourself and anything you come in contact with on fire.” Marinette’s eyes are practically sparkling at this point. “But as I said..., there’s more to it than that! Every Miraculous wielder needs a handful of things that make them the perfect match. For example. A power such as mine needs ingenuity, patience, determination, and insight. Can’t just throw fireballs all willy-nilly at any problem that comes up.”

“Fireballs.” Marinette whispers, “awesome.”

“The most important thing of all is passion. The burning – pardon the pun – desire. I feel it within you. You check all the boxes I have for my perfect partner. We’re gonna be so great together! I’ll have to send the Master a fruit basket or something as thanks.”

Marinette puts the finished bed down and Ziggy lays on top of it. “What do you think?”

“Perfection. Oh! By the way. You need to think of your outfit before you transform. You only get one shot at making it.” Nodding, Marinette picks up a notepad. “Wait. Wait! What are you doing? You can’t leave evidence of your costume!”

Duh! I’m just gonna sketch to get an idea and erase it when I’m done. I’ll even sketch softly so the outline won’t stay on the paper. You’re talking to a professional by proxy. My best friend knows all the comic superhero secrets. Don’t tell anyone but your family if it’s unavoidable. Come up with elaborate excuses why you’re disappearing all the time. All the know-hows.” Her eyebrows furrow. “Do you know who else has a kwami?”

“If you’re asking if I can sense other kwamis the answer is yes but I’m not like a built-in kwami tracker. I can only tell you the general vicinity not, like, who they’re partnered with or anything.”

“Okay, right. Make sense. But it’s been a while since Eradicat and Harmonybug have been in Paris. Surely you’d know their identity.”

“I do not. I have not met them. Only the Master knows everyone as he’s handing out the Miraculouses.”

“I must’ve met this Master if he decided to give me a kwami and Miraculous.” Ziggy nods, “he’s the common variable in every Miraculder’s life.”

“If you don’t remember him, he will make himself known to you when the time is right.”

“Sounds ominous but okay.” She puts the pencil to her mouth. “You know, I’ve never seen a goat before. Not even a cartoon one. Are they usually spotted like you?”

“Truthfully it’s been a while since I’ve seen a(nother) goat. I can always summon a herd to give you inspiration...?”

“Let’s... not do that here. They might eat all the pâtisseries.”

“That reminds me. I haven’t eaten since the last time I was out.”

“How long ago was that?”

“About fifty years?” Marinette whistles. “I was one of the lucky ones, so to speak, who avoided the big conflict a decade ago that inadvertently caused the chain of effects that led to Hawkmoth’s appearance. The time span in which we get partners varies. There are no set parameters. Either we get summoned to make sure the world is running smoothly or we have to track down a stolen Miraculous and right some wrongs along the way.”

“How often do Miraculouses get stolen?”

“There are thousands in existence so, unfortunately, it happens frequently. Most of the time they end up being used for personal gain. Villainous aesthetic hasn’t changed in a millennia.” Ziggy sighs. “Right. That also reminds me. Hawkmoth wants the Miraculouses to make his greatest wish happen.”

“Which is...?”

“I... can’t tell you. We’re still trying to find proof of who Hawkmoth is. Plagg, the black cat kwami’s, Chosen has an inkling but if she confronts him it’ll reveal her identity.”

“Then what about this wish? How does it happen?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know. They don’t tell kwamis because if we do get used against our comrades we don’t have the means of making the wish happen.”

“Makes sense.”

“All I do know is you need two compatible yin and yang Miraculouses together with ten other ones and a whole lot of magic needs to be poured into all twelve Miraculouses.”

“Yin and yang Miraculouses?”

“You know... the black cat and ladybug are bad luck and good luck, respectively. Yin and yang. Inverse of each other. Compliment each other. They aren’t the only two in the world but thankfully they’re the only two Hawkmoth knows of. As much as I hope it’ll stay that way he has someone far more versed in kwami magic than he is in his corner. Or so I’ve been told.”

🙈 🙊 🙉

“Don’t be bemused, it’s simply the news. This is Nadja Chamack with a TVi special news report! This morning at approximately 7:42am there was a robbery attempt at BNP Paribas in the 9th arrondissement. When the cops arrived, a new group of Miraculous holding superheroes calling themselves The Quantic Kids arrived on the scene as well and together with the cops helped thwart the attempted robbery.”

Juleka tosses something across the room and it inadvertently hits her phone, knocking it off the vanity cutting off the newsfeed.

She doesn’t know whether she should curse Rose or kiss her for introducing her to the wide variety of purses. Juleka Dinah Couffaine swore by messenger bags for almost a decade but purses—? They came in all sorts of sizes and shapes! Her favorite, by far, was her rose-shaped purse. Which she was currently destroying her room in an effort to find!

Anarka walks in the doorway narrowly dodging the heel that flies over her head. “Navigator, what in the seven levels of hell is going on!?”

“Looking for something.” Juleka grumbles tossing her skull-shaped purse across the room.

“Another date?”

“No. Rose has ballet all day on Wednesdays. I am meeting up with a friend at the bookstore later though.” Taking a deep breath, Juleka dives headfirst into a pile of clothes then surfaces with a bright pink rose shaped purse in her hands. “Got it!”

“Crisis averted then?”

“Aye Captain. I—” Juleka grimaces as she looks around her mess of a room. Well, she has about an hour; she’ll clean it up as much as she can. As Anarka leaves laughing, Juleka gathers everything off the floor and tosses it on her bed. Though she makes sure she puts the purse around her neck so she doesn’t lose it, again.

“Maybe you shoulda been paired with Daizzi, this place is the literal definition of a pigsty.” An unfamiliar voice calls out. Before Juleka could question where the voice came from her door shuts, the purple-haired teen whirls around to the door wide-eyed then picks up her guitar holding it upside down like a bat. “I’m sure you don’t wanna break that.”

“Care to test that theory?”

The voice laughs, “oh I like you! Such a chaotic energy I’m sensing. The Master has a real knack for finding me fitting partners!”

Something drops into her hands and Juleka drops the guitar on her left foot. “Son of a—fuck!”

“Told you to put that down.” Once she’s done hopping on one foot in pain, the purple-haired teen examines the gunmetal tiara in her hands. “That’s my Miraculous. Well, our Miraculous now.”

“Miraculous? Like the stuff Hawkmoth keeps bitching about?”

“Yup. The very same. Now you have your very own.”

“Why?”

“The Master is the one who does the deciding, we kwamis just go where he puts our Miracle Boxes. Evidently, there must be something within you that he feels is worth wielding a Miraculous.” Juleka puts the tiara in her purse.

“Why won’t you show your face?”

“I feel as though you’ll be prone to violence if startled.”

“You’re not wrong.”

“Then I’m warning you I’m gonna show my face. Try not to strike me?”

“No promises.” With a sigh, a monkey plushie thing emerges from her pile of clothes on the bed with an opened box in their hands. Upon closer inspection, Juleka recognizes the box she found in her purse yesterday. “You came out of that?”

The monkey nods, “call me Xuppu, as that is my name. Greetings, Chosen. I am the kwami of abstraction.”

“Abstraction?”

Xuppu nods, “they don’t like it when I call myself the kwami of disorder or chaos. So ‘abstraction’ is what I get saddled with. Anyway, what are are you called?”

“Juleka.”

“Pleasure making your acquaintance.” Xuppu grasps her pointer finger in its hand. “I hope we form a chaotic bond.”

“Ditto.”

The door opens. “Jules have you seen—what the fuck is that!?” Luka runs in the room and grabs Xuppu by the head.

“Take it easy!” She grabs her brother’s arms, “Luka, let go!”

“‘Let it go?!’ Are you serious?!”

“What are you two—” Anarka gasps and Xuppu sighs. The three of them start shouting at one another.

Great. They’ve had one person related to their Chosen in the past find out about their existence several times, but two? Oh boy. The Guardian won’t like this... but there’s no rule saying he has to find out.

“Stop talking over one another!” Luka releases his grip and Xuppu frees themselves from his hands. “Thank you. I am Xuppu, I am—” He points to Juleka black bubbles float out of his mouth, “kwami partner. The magic prevents me from speaking her name out loud.” Anarka fully comes in the room to get a closer look at them. Juleka pulls out the tiara, “this circlet will allow my Chosen to transform into a Miraculder.”

“No way!” Luka gasps, “my baby sister’s getting superpowers!”

“And publicly defying the police force?” Anarka sniffles, “I’m so proud!”

“Chosen, you have one shot to create your outfit before you transform with it.”

Juleka nods, “right.”

“What do we have to do?” Anarka asks.

“Well, you should be...” Xuppu lolls their head from side to side, “aware that there are side effects to Miraculous magic. My Chosen will begin to exhibit monkey like traits with extended usage. That’s the trade-off for the powers.” Anarka and Luka look at Juleka. “But beyond that, I suppose all you can do is support her.”

Anarka wraps an arm around her daughter, “I’ll always support my Navigator. And I mean... we would’ve found out eventually anyway. We’re not good at keeping secrets from one another.” Her kids nod in agreement.

“Then all is well.”

“Alright. I gotta get ready to meet my friend.” Juleka shoos them out of her room, “We’ll talk more when I get back.”

“Alright, alright. We’re going. Have fun~” They chorus.

After showering and getting dressed, Juleka puts the circlet on her head like a headband and inspects herself in the mirror. “I dig this, what did you call it? Circlet?” Xuppu nods flying into her purse. “Wait, what’re you doing?”

“We’re gonna need to be together in case we need to transform.”

“Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. Are you comfy in there?”

“Yes, actually. Thank you. Also, addendum: You’re gonna need snacks as post transformation aftercare.”

“Okay. I’ll get some while I’m outside.” She gets on her motorcycle and heads to the bookstore to meet Kagami.

Juleka is usually the last person to mesh with anyone else but she and Kagami really hit it off during Kagami’s first day of school.

By the time she parks her motorcycle, Kagami arrives on foot and walks up to her. The blue-haired teen nods with an impressed hum, “you weren’t kidding. It is very pirate-like. No. That doesn’t sound right. Pirate-ish?”

“Pirate-y, maybe?”

“Perhaps. That does sound better. And you said this was your mother’s?”

“Yup. It’s basically a Couffaine family heirloom. My older brother Luka and I split ownership of Hellrider.”

When Kagami taps a finger to her lip, Juleka notices the bright red glittery nail polish Rose would love. “It’s named?”

“The Captain names all her inanimate objects.” Juleka shrugs, “guess I’m used to it. Our houseboat is called Liberty.”

“Ah. I like your purse. Does it have a name?”

Juleka nudges the shorter teen with a laugh, “nah but speaking of Roses. My girlfriend was bummed she couldn’t come today.”

“Was there some reason preventing her from accompanying you? We’re on holiday.”

Juleka sighs, “from my understanding it sounds like she and her papas have this agreement where she does some dancing on Wednesdays and Saturdays because there’s no school.” Kagami’s eyebrows furrow, “what’s with that look?”

“Look...? Oh. Right. Forgive me. That just sounds eerily similar to what my mother used to put me through. I had to do fencing at her insistence. Every time I’d tell her how much I disliked fencing she’d bring up how much this one simple task doesn’t amount to a tenth of all she’s done for me.”

“Christ, that sounds fucked up.”

Kagami nods, “it took me months to realize it wasn’t an argument I was gonna win so eventually I stopped bringing it up. I still dislike fencing but stabbing things has become a coping mechanism for me.” Juleka’s right eye widens. “I won’t stab you!”

“That’s reassuring.” She blows the hair out of the left side of her face, “The Captain doesn’t look it but she’s a psychiatrist. And, to me, it sounds like you were gaslit into doing whatever your maman wanted.”

“Gaslit? What does that mean?”

“It means we need to save Rose from her parents.”

“Hm. I never did get to rebel.” She smirks, “I shall do so vicariously through your girlfriend. Lead the way. The bookstore can wait.”

“Damn right. And thanks for this.” Kagami smiles at her. “Just gotta find a pair of helmets first.”

“Can the three of us even fit on Hellrider?”

“Rose is tiny. I’m sure she can squeeze in between us without being noticed.”

Ah!” Kagami points at the bicycle store across the street. “They might have the helmets we seek.”

“Worth a shot. Let’s do this.”

“Hells yeah.” Unbeknownst to the two girls, when they high-five Juleka’s circlet and Kagami’s earrings shine briefly.

🙈 🙊 🙉

After Dark Heart’s purification, a cocoon formed around Nooroo and only removed itself this morning. Apparently, the butterfly kwami needed rejuvenation after nearly forty days of continuous twice a day use. Or was it forty? Félix wasn’t paying attention.

Either way, it was needless to say Oncle Gabriel was pissed at the four day break but he always was the type to push others to the brink of exhaustion without any care for their well-being.

Félix was dubious about getting his own Miraculous and kwami but he didn’t want to seem like the odd man out when it came to the family’s attempt to bring Tante Émilie back to life. He wanted to see her smiling face once more just as badly as the others but he felt like using the wish to resurrect a sick woman seemed pointless.

Magic or otherwise, what if the wish brought her back as sick as she was when she died? What if it made her sicker? What if she came back as a zombie or some disfigured creature? What if the wish took someone else’s life to pay for hers?

There were so many variables.

Plus, personally, Félix would rather keep the power than waste it on granting a wish that didn’t even have a one-hundred percent success rate anyhow.

Evidently, according to the shifty woman known as Majestia, other “duo” Miraculouses were capable of granting a wish when juiced up with the power of other Miraculouses, but she has yet to elaborate on any of these alleged duos. Nor as she elaborated further on the wish process.

Félix has spent far too much time around shifty people to trust Majestia at her word. (Or Oncle Gabriel at his, but that’s another story.)

In his oncle’s interest of enlisting new recruits to assist in taking down the Miraculders and three of the four Quantic Kids unable to attend Géroux Delacroix due to being nineteen, seventeen-year-olds Félix and Gavroche, civilian name Julius, enrolled in the school.

He attended public school once, over a decade ago, and didn’t like it. Félix has no idea why Adrien was so obsessed with the concept.

Speaking of his cousin, when they entered the school Adrien pointed out the girl who stole his heart and kicked his ass in one fell swoop. When he laid eyes on the girl he could absolutely see why Adrien was smitten. She was absolutely a step up from Bourgeois, who flipped him off with both hands the moment they made eye contact.

As expected, people were raving about the Miraculders and Quantic Kids once Félix made his way to the headmaster’s office, and they were still discussing the two factions when the headmaster dismissed him.

Making his way to his newly assigned locker, he sees the blonde weathergirl wannabe and the Adrien’s “girlfriend” in each other’s faces yelling.

“–ergic to gluten!”

The blonde rolls her eyes, “how was I supposed to know that?” The brunette throws her hands in the air screaming.

A hand slams his locker door shut and Félix turns to the seething bespectacled orange-haired girl to his left with her hand on his locker. “I don’t know what your angle is, Vanily, but stay the hell away from Chloé.”

Smirking, the blond tilts his head to the right. “Ever the faithful watchdog, aren’t you Raincomprix? Where was that ferocity when your precious Chloé was being carted off in a straitjacket?”

“You and that cousin of yours were lucky I wasn’t there.”

Please, you’re like a chihuahua. You’re twenty centimeters shorter than I am! What could you possibly do?”

This!” She kicks him in the shin then walks off in a huff.

The brunette to his right barks out a laugh, and the blonde shakes her head. “What is it with you Agrestes?” The blonde mutters.

Hissing, Félix rubs his sore shin. That actually hurt. “I’m a Graham de Vanily, not an Agreste.”

The girls exchange a glance. “Whatever.” The blonde says then they both walk off.

Félix groans. Fucking public school.

🙈 🙊 🙉

“Keep an eye on Kagami Tsurugi. There’s no doubt in my mind she’s Eradicat and Fortunebug.”

Keeping an eye on the blue-haired teen was the easy part. Kagami stood out in a crowd; holds herself proudly but nor arrogantly. Plus, she was nice to look at from any angle.

Getting close enough to see the camouflaged Miraculouses up close was the tricky part.

His brooch was still marred from when Eradicat swiped at it during their first encounter but thankfully it hadn’t damaged the Miraculous or its power. He keeps the brooch pinned inside his shirt so Duusu could freely roam around in his satchel. As it turns out, his Miraculous – camouflaged or active – is rather obvious, compared to a pair of earrings or a damn ring. (He’s especially curious about seeing the bee Miraculous camouflaged, though. That one might actually be more obvious than his.)

Their teacher stepped out so Adrien was glancing at Kagami, her left hand propping up her face. There’s a thick, plain rose gold ring on her middle finger. Eradicat’s Miraculous was on the same finger but looking around the room Adrien notices most of his classmates have rings on their middle fingers. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all. With all the fanpages dedicated to each Miraculder, Adrien isn’t surprised jewelry purchases increased in the past month. Especially during the last week when school was on break. Kagami doesn’t seem the type to follow fads and things along that nature so she must be the real deal. Unless it’s a terrible coincidence.)

Adrien goes in his satchel pretending to look for something, “Duusu how many kwamis do you sense in this room?”

The peafowl kwami lazily looks up at him, “in here? Three.”

His head snaps up and Adrien looks around the classroom.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Marc and Alya had seemingly become best friends overnight. Nathaniel saw them arm in arm at the farmer’s market the other day laughing. They walk into the art room together with Marc showing the bespectacled, wavy-haired teen around.

The redhead shifts in his seat (poorly) trying to keep his attention on his drawing.

The Miraculder-centric website he, Max, and Kim came up with was up and running in large part thanks to Max and Markov but then a fifth Miraculder made their appearance known; not to mention the introduction of those Quantic Kids. For some inexplicable reason, Nathaniel didn’t want them anywhere near the website. Not simply because it was Miraculder focused but he had a weird feeling about the group as a whole.

“Whoa!” Blushing, Nathaniel looks up at Alya’s beautiful smiling face and Marc’s equally beautiful confused one. “Can I see?” The redhead wordlessly nods, “this is incredible! The details on your Queen Bee are amazing. I didn’t even realize her wings had a pattern.”

“I wonder what her eyes look like under the goggles.”

“I-I have some ideas about that.” Nathaniel carefully shuffles through his papers and pulls out another Queen Bee drawing but without her signature crisscrossing goggles. In this drawing, she has black and gold compound eyes like a honey bee. “I-I had to look up what bee’s eyes look like because I’ve never seen one up close. I-I was gonna make ‘em bigger but that would’ve been weird.”

“I don’t know, it might’ve been cool to show her with giant bug eyes.”

“Yeah... but hey wait! Harmonybug and Fortunebug have regular eyes, right? Wouldn’t Queen Bee have regular human eyes too?”

Nathaniel shuffles through his drawings again and pulls out a picture of just Queen Bee’s face where she has human eyes but her sclera are black and the irises are blue. “You mean something like this?”

“Yeah. Do you only draw Queen Bee or do you draw the others too?”

“I draw them all, Queen Bee’s just my favorite.”

“Nath!” Alix glomps on his back, “ooh. That’s so bitching. Nath is one hell of an artist, as you can see. He made this website that’s like a Queen Bee shrine!”

Nathaniel blushes, “it’s not a shrine! A-And it’s not just Queen Bee.”

“You made a Miraculder website?” Marc asks and Nathaniel nods, “do you post your pictures on it? What’s the web address?”

“The-Queendom-dot-fr.” Alya and Marc exchange a glance before both staring at Nathaniel with an eyebrow raised at him. “I-I didn’t name it that solely because of Queen Bee! I thought, you know, of a kingdom... b-but run by women. Why not call it a queendom? B-But I’m not implying women can’t be king! Because they can! A-And not just women either!”

Marc and Alya exchange another glance then they both chuckle, “you’re adorable.” Alya giggles.

“Ain’t he, though?” Kim flops on Alix who’s still leaning on Nathaniel. “I figured, with Harmonybug slash Caterize being outnumbered by loads of hot ladies, Queendom is a fitting name for the website.”

“My spine!” Nathaniel cries out.

“But isn’t Harmonybug, like, the leader of the Queendom and we’re totally calling them that now.” Nicolette states coming over to the table. Nathaniel heard the tail end of the conversation between Nicolette and Marinette regarding what kind of material the Miraculders outfits were made of as Marinette welcomed the redhead into the art club.

Everyone makes a different noise of disagreement.

Kim leans off Alix pulling the pink-haired teen up with him. “If anything, Harmonybug and Eradicat are co-leaders. But I don’t think the team works that way. To me, it feels like they treat one another as equals.”

Everyone murmurs their agreement.

“Nath, show everyone the group pic you were working on!” Nathaniel glares at Alix before looking around at the four curious, excited faces. Dammit! Grumbling to himself, Nathaniel – making sure his papers were secure – reaches into his backpack and pulls out a yellow and black polkadotted folder. The others murmur in awe before he opens the damn thing. Then the murmurs grow louder when he opens the folder and the first paper inside is a drawing of the core four Miraculders with their arms around one another grinning.

“That’s amazing!” Marinette gushes and just where the hell did she come from!?

“Oh... but you gotta add that Monkey Miraculder now.” Kim points out.

“Not to mention you need to have some drawings of Fortunebug and Caterize.” Alya adds.

“But he can’t put Fortunebug and Caterize in a group photo with Harmonybug and Eradicat. They’re the same people.” Kim argues.

“Think of it as one of those alternate universe or what-if scenarios then you’ll be fine.” Marinette waves Kim off.

“If that were the case we’d have to have alternates of the other Miraculders too!”

Marinette huffs, “no, we wouldn’t because they don’t exist!”

“You just said what-if scenarios!”

“Then there’d have to be alternates of all of them as all five of them!”

“Did anyone even catch the Monkey’s name?” Nicolette asks tapping her chin. “I wasn’t at the farmer’s markets when they appeared.”

Marc crouches down beside Nathaniel, “are you okay?” Nathaniel blinks at them. They’re close. But not too close (which is kind of a shame... wait, what is he saying?!) At their proximity, Nathaniel can count every freckle on Marc’s face. Eye the (new) choker around their neck. Note that Marc’s eyes are two different greens. Green. The Ice Cream Guy that got Kim akumatized said something about green, didn’t he? Wait! Marc... couldn’t be his true love, could they? Because that would be too good to be true. He’s been quite fond of the blue-haired teen since they met at the end of last year and Marc is very nice to look at—hang around. The two greens for the eyes and the blue purplish color for the hair. Plus, André even said they. Nathaniel shakes himself out his daze as Marc gestures to all the people surrounding them talking to and over one another, “it can be a bit much, huh?”

Nathaniel nods slowly. He opens his mouth to speak as an explosion abruptly reverberates through the halls making everyone crash into one another.

Nathaniel feels his face on fire as Marc falls on top of him. (And he had no idea how much smaller they were than him.)

Alya is the first to get up and some hand Nathaniel can’t identify hands her her glasses. “What the hell was that?”

Marinette sighs, “at least we made it through the school day without an akuma attack.”

The others slowly start to get up when another two explosions sway the whole school.

One of the walls of the art room splits in half and an akumatization made of fire floats into the room. “I. Am. Ignace!” Their glowing white eyes survey the room then land on Marinette, “you!” He hisses. “You’re gonna get a first-hand experience of seeing your dreams go up in smoke!”

A ball of fire forms in his hands and he throws it at Marinette who dives behind a table to avoid it.

“Hey, asshole! Who do you think you are coming after Nette like this!”

“Kim, you dumbass, what are you doing!?” Alix hisses.

Ignace laughs floating down to Kim then presses their pointer finger to Kim’s head. An orange wisp appears on his head before he’s transformed into a fire being just like the akumatization.

“Everything you own belongs to me now, Little Girl!”

He screams forming a giant fireball with both hands, Marc gets up and grabs Marinette’s hand dragging her out the classroom before Ignace throws the fireball that hits the ground transforming everyone on the floor still in the art room into his subjects.

Nathaniel pants as he barely managed to get out unscathed. He didn’t even think, he just moved when he saw Marc and Marinette move.

When the trio run out of the partially destroyed building a limo pulls up and Jagged Stone pops his head out of a window. “Get in, quick!” Needing no further incentive, they rush into the limo that drives off as soon as they’re inside. “Mari, I’m so so sorry!” Jagged hugs the blue-haired teen.

“After we fired Roth he got akumatized.” Penny says rubbing the back of her neck. “He figured you were to blame and came after you before we could correct him.”

“But he isn’t wrong. You were the reason I figured we could do better than Roth. And this is probably not the best time for introductions but do you guys know Clara Nightingale?”

The teens gape at the brunette waving. “Once Jagged showed me his latest outfit I simply had to see the creative mind behind it!” She presses a hand to her chest, “I was so moved by the fabric choices and colors.” She grips Marinette’s hands, though Jagged is still hugging her. “Will you make me an outfit, Marinette Dupain-Cheng?”

Marinette blinks, “I-I... I’d love to!” She squeaks.

“Fantastic! We’re going to have a bright future together, Marinette. I can already feel it!” The limo jerks to a halt and Ignace rips the top off. “Oh.” Everyone looks up briefly before scattering out of the limousine.

“You see! This is why we fired you!” Penny facepalms as Ignace turns to Jagged.

“Stone.” He sneers. “You’re nothing without me! Hell, you’re not even worth serving me!” He turns to Penny, “but your little girlfriend here is more useful to me than you’d ever be.”

“Don’t you dare touch Pen!”

“How cute. You think you can protect her?”

Clara steps in front of the red-violet-haired woman holding her arms out. “Stop this at once! You are nothing but a no-good bully, Robert Roth! Coming after a child, you’re despicable!”

Silence!” He forms a fireball in his hands but a red yo-yo cord grabs his hands dispelling the fireball.

“Dude. What .The. Fuck?” Harmonybug groans.

The butterfly mask outline appears over his eyes. “Ah. The regular insect is back.”

Marinette made sure to split up from Marc and Nathaniel. She peers around a parked car watching Harmonybug release his grip on Ignace to dodge the barrage of fireballs coming from Ignace’s lackeys. “Time to fight fire with fire, Ziggy.”

The goat kwami flies out of her purse, “hells yeah! That’s what I’m talking about!”

“I’ve been thinking about my transformation phrase... is there a limit? I don’t want it to be too long but at the same time why have it so short, you know?”

“Please tell me you came up with something?”

“I did. Sort of. I mean, I came up with a bunch of things. I guess my main question is, will you... do whatever you do with any phrase?”

“I’m... honestly not certain. No other holder has ever put much thought into the phrase as you. Just stick with something simple you can remember because you’re gonna be saying it a lot.”

“Right.” Marinette nods then takes a deep breath, “I have the detransformation phrase in mind so let’s try its antonym to transform. Ziggy, conflagrate.”

“Ooh. That is a good one—” Then Ziggy flies into one of her hairclips and she gasps. Maybe she should’ve asked how the transformation process works!

There’s this bright grey light that engulfs her body (and damn that would’ve been a good one too). She’s thinking about the design she sketched before Ziggy balled the paper up and turned it into a charred pendant Marinette split and turned into goat horn shaped earrings. Marinette’s body turns to smoke which was not what she imagined, at all. Her hair unravels from her signature twintails and turns grey tying itself up into two chignon buns on the top of her head. Then two curled white goat horns sprout from her head outside of her buns. She can feel her suit forming, she imagined fireproof material because magic or no magic she’d hate to have a fire-related wardrobe malfunction. Or suffer burns. (Especially magic related burns.)

Her grey suit should have intricate flame patterns all over it but she can’t tell since... she’s still made of smoke. It’s also difficult to see her boots and gloves. She doesn’t have a mask since she technically doesn’t have a face. The only thing not made of smoke are her horns.

Ziggy, I did not imagine to be some kind of smoke monster.

I’m sure it’ll pass. Heh... no pun intended.” Marinette huffs then slithers behind another car. “Make a dramatic entrance!

She seamlessly moves her smoke body behind Harmonybug to absorb the fireballs Ignace’s minions shoot out at the Miraculder.

The butterfly outline reappears over Ignace’s eyes. “Another one!?” He growls.

Her body’s still smoke but at least it’s human-shaped smoke. “Whoa...” Harmonybug mutters. “You saved my ass.”

“Just doing my part.” The minions surround the duo who are standing back to back.

“Wait! Why am I wasting time with these insignificant children? I have a score to settle.” He floats to the ground and forms a wave of fire in the direction of Jagged, Penny, and Clara transforming the women but leaving Jagged as he is. Then he shoots out another wave to the left. He looks around then snarls, “she couldn’t’ve gotten far. Find! Her!” The minions spread out moving from around the duo.

Marinette gasps, “he’s going after Marinette Dupain-Cheng!”

Harmonybug stiffens, “he’s what?”

“She told me all about it as I was getting her to safety but she won’t be able to outrun an entire army of flame monsters if they find her.”

“Then we’d better make sure we take care of this clown before she gets caught. Lucky Charm!” Harmonybug throws the yo-yo in the air and it transforms into a polkadotted cellphone with the weather app opened. “Weird...”

She had only been close enough to see the Lucky Charm in person once, but it was already transformed. “Is there a weather-based Miraculder?”

Harmonybug’s head snaps up then he blinks, “there is... but I don’t know if they’re active.”

Eradicat arrives, landing next to Jagged Stone helping sit him up. “Oh shit. He turned Pen and Clara.” The two flame creatures turn to him.

“Ah, yes. Would you two be dears and bring me M. Stone? I want him to watch as I destroy his precious ‘Mari.’”

“H-Hey! I know you’re the destruction one but you can’t hurt Pen though I don’t know if she’ll be able to feel anything being made of fire. Also, I don’t know which is Penny.”

Eradicat picks Jagged up and carries him over her shoulder then unlatches one of her batons. “Would you rather she be mildly hurt and barely remember or you get maimed?”

“When you put it that way...” When the fire creatures charge, Eradicat trips them with her baton then runs toward. Huh. She thought she was seeing things but there is a person made of smoke next to Harmonybug.

🙈 🙊 🙉

“Son of a bitch!” Alya grouses glancing down at her body made of fire as she carefully trudges down the halls. With Pollen in her hair there was no doubt the kwami transformed along with her when she and the majority of the people in the art room got hit by the blast. Which means Queen Bee is officially out of this brawl. If only she did more than spare a passing glance at Marc, but dammit she moved too late. Being immune to mind-control, thankfully, meant she wasn’t zombie-ing it up with the other fire monsters who stomped out of the art room at Ignace’s command but it meant she was fucking stuck like this until the akuma got purified or destroyed. She just hopes the Civilian forms of Eradicat/Fortunebug and Harmonybug/Caterize weren’t caught up in this and transformed.

Hmmm. Since no one knows who she is, underneath all the fire, she might as well try to help the team like this.

An army of fire monsters start marching their way toward the school so she joins them when they walk through the burned off doors.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Nathaniel opens his eyes and sees the back of a person in red sheathing a red sword. They sigh, “dammit. And you said my hand would get forced too.”

When they turn to the side Nathaniel gapes. He could very well be mistaken but it looks like a Dragon is standing in front of him. From their angle, Nathaniel sees the suit and mask are red, black, and gold with a wavy scaly pattern. There are black horns on their head then going down their back past their gold-tipped wings to their black-tipped pointy tail. Their hair is black and wavy in a messy ponytail (reminiscent of their tail) with gold and red tips. Lastly, and most notably, is the weird circle protruding from their chest.

He must’ve made some kind of noise because one gold and one red eye turn to him. And damn, he thought Marc was gorgeous.

“Are you harmed?” Still gaping, Nathaniel shakes his head. “Good. Get up. You need to move to safety.”

“What happened?” The last thing he remembers was splitting up from everyone in the limo then finding something to hide behind. Then there was a blinding flash.

“You were nearly turned into one of Ignace’s minions. I stopped that from happening.”

“O-Oh! W-Well, thanks for saving me.”

“I don’t deserve thanks, I did it by accident.” They unsheathe their sword holding it toward Nathaniel, “hold onto that. It should protect you.”

Nathaniel fumbles with the sword as he grabs it, “don’t you need it?” The Dragon shakes their head.

“Find some place to hide, I’ll draw their attention.” Nathaniel only realizes after the Dragon leaves that he’s behind an overturned bus.

As soon as the Dragon darts out from behind the bus fire minions chase after them. Nathaniel grips the sword tight then runs in the opposite direction. Shit. He forgot to ask if they saved Marc and Marinette too.

He runs and a fire creature rounds the corner in front of him. Before he can backpeddle, it reaches an arm out to him and the sword turns to water yet retains its shape and the creature hisses when they touch the sword. “Wow.” Hissing again, the creature runs away from him. Nathaniel looks down at the sword still made of water.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Ignace runs a hand down his face. “You mean to tell me you worthless fools scoured the entire city and couldn’t find one seventeen-year-old girl!?”

Alya slipped away from the marching horde to the four animal themed individuals in front of Jagged Stone... although one of said individuals looks more like a ghost than any animal Alya’s ever seen. Ignace had conjured up more minions than Alya thought possible in such a small amount of time; unless the school was the last place he hit. From the yelling, no one – thankfully – found Marinette yet. “Psst!”

The Dragon, that is definitely a Dragon, is the first to turn then they gain the other’s attention. “You guys seeing this?”

“That’s gotta be Queen Bee. She can’t be mind-controlled.” Eradicat reasons.

“Really?” The Ghost questions, “just like that?”

“Not like we have much else to go on.” Harmonybug says with a shrug, “you’ll get used to the madness sooner or later.”

“Are you guys used to the madness?” Harmonybug and Eradicat exchange a glance that really says all there is about that.

Harmonybug clears his throat. “What do you have for us, Bee?” He asks. “He’s weak against water but every time we give chase or try to attack he swaps places with one of his minions.”

Alya’s white eyes widen, “ooh! I’ll have him switch places with me then you guys can hose ‘em down. What I was gonna say was I think his akuma is in his head...” They all stare at her, “or on his head? Maybe where the flame starts out?”

Harmonybug hums. “That’s as good a place as any to check.”

Eradicat cracks her knuckles, “alright gang, I have a plan.”

As Eradicat goes over the details, Jagged provides cover for Alya so Ignace can’t see her and swap places with her before they’re ready.

Just as they split up they hear Ignace groan. The butterfly mask is over his eyes. “Alright! I’ll grab their Miraculouses then get back to looking for that brat.” He looks down then groans when he sees the Miraculders are no longer in his sight. “Oh for the love of—Spread out and find them!” The minions dutifully obey, splitting off in every direction. “Come out, come out, wherever you are kiddies.”

Ignace aimlessly floats around seeing if he can spot anyone. The Miraculders are so damn strangely dressed they’d be impossible not to find.

He rolls his eyes at Jagged Stone (poorly) attempting to hide behind an overturned car.

The kiddies must’ve realized how annoying he was and left him to fend for himself.

“Really, Stone, you couldn’t even keep a group of kids protecting you? How ironically pathetic.” He snaps his fingers and a single minion arrives. Ignace points at Jagged, “keep an eye on that.”

The minion steps in front of Jagged blocking his path. “Can’t do your dirty work yourself, Roth?”

Ignace laughs then floats over to Jagged and the minion moves to his side, “I’m no longer Bob Roth. I am Ignace. Once I grab those Miraculouses, I find your little pet and incinerate her right before your very eyes.”

“Are you really so damn petty you’d kill Mari because I bruised your ego?”

“Don’t flatter yourself, Stone. This isn’t about you. Not really. Musicians like you are a euro a dozen. Have you heard of XY? He’s the next big thing! His first ever album drops tomorrow and in the upcoming weeks you’ll be nothing but a distant, pathetic memory.”

“If this XY or whatever is so damn special why come after me and Mari at all?”

“When your idiot client goes to a fucking kid for managerial advice it takes a toll on your ego.”

Oh! I should’ve known.” Jagged laughs, “you fucking twit, Mari isn’t my new manager. She’s my personal designer. I never once asked her for manager advice. Though I did commission her to make me a fancy new outfit to fire you in.”

“The kid’s... not your new manager?” Ignace’s eyes widen before he screams. Jagged grimaces as a fist made of water goes right through Ignace’s chest. Grunting, Ignace coughs out lava. Another water hand goes on Ignace’s head and he screams as his flames start dying down. His head melts revealing a glowing pair of sunglasses.

The water hands move from their previous spots grabbing the sunglasses and crushing them.

The purple butterfly flies out of the crushed sunglasses right into Eradicat’s glowing hand.

The purplish ooze surrounds Roth’s body returning him to normal, reforming half of his melted off head and erasing the gaping hole in his chest. Which was cooler than it had any right to be.

Harmonybug throws a cellphone? into the air and the magical ladybugs start transforming the fire creatures back to normal.

The four Miraculders put their hand in a pile then lift their hands in cheer.

Jagged runs over to the group and hugs them. “The next song I make is gonna be about how badass you little rockstars are!” Once Jagged releases them he runs over to Penny and Clara then hugs them.

“So... why’d you come up with this plan instead of having Bee help like she suggested?”

“We would’ve compromised her identity had we kept her isolated from the other creatures by the time the Miraculous Harmonybug activated.”

“By just having her with Jagged she could’ve easily escaped before the ladybugs started fixing anything.” Harmonybug nods, “makes sense. You kick ass Kitty.”

“Back at you Beetleboy. What should we do about the new additions? We haven’t even told Flux and Bee about... you know.”

Harmonybug gulps, “is it time for us to bug out?” Asks The horned ghost... okay Harmonybug has no idea what that is.

“Almost. We’re going to... debrief at the Eiffel Tower in an hour. I’ll pass word along to Flux and Bee and the Monkey if possible.” The two of them nod.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Tikki sits on Nino’s left shoulder happily munching on a sugar cookie. Since partnering up, Tikki has tried over fifteen varieties of cookies. Her favorite so far are the thumb-print ones.

Over the weekend with Hawkmoth and Fantôme surprisingly silent, Nino and Kagami visited Master Fù to swap back their Miraculouses. Non-magical ear piercings take at least six weeks to heal but the master expedited the process with healing potions since he doesn’t know any Guardians with the healing abilities in the country.

“Pupa, there’s something you should know before your meeting.”

Nino swallows his cookie with a grimace, “ominous. Alright. Lay it on me, T.”

“Miraculouses are not meant to function solitarily. We operate better in groups. It’s why we’re put in Miracle Boxes together when we’re not active rather than staying in our tiny travel size Miracle Boxes we get placed in when we go to our Chosen.”

Nino nods, “okay, makes sense.”

“As I told you, Master Fù has—” Tikki shakes her head, “had eleven Miraculouses in his care. Now he’s down to two as he searches for a new Guardian.”

“New Guardian? Why’s he looking for a new Guardian? He never mentioned anything like that before.”

“He’s been looking for a new Guardian ever since he distributed the ladybug Miraculous to you. And according to what he told me over the weekend, he has the perfect candidate. But I can’t tell you who that is and compromise h—their identity. Not that I know them personally.”

“Right. So... about the Miraculouses. Didn’t he say a Guardian needed mastery over all of them? What good is a Guardian with just two Miraculouses? Master even said they don’t train with less than five. He also said they don’t train new recruits with their own Miracle Box.”

“He might take some liberties given our situation. We are seriously outnumbered. Another Guardian, even with mastery over just two Miraculouses will help us a great deal.”

“Then he’s purposely waiting to hand out these last two Miraculouses so his trainee has something to work with.” Nino nods to himself, “just a quick question though... it’s not me, is it? His prospect?”

“While you would – under normal circumstances – be the ideal selection, as the ladybug wielder, Master Fù doesn’t have enough Miraculouses on standby for you or Kagami to train with. To train either of you would create a power imbalance.”

“And training both of us?”

“If he hadn’t circulated so many maybe. Though I honestly couldn’t say for certain.”

“Okay. Got it. Let me see if my math checks out regarding the Miraculouses. We have me, Kagami, Bee, we don’t count Alix because their Miraculous came from their papa, the Monkey, the new ghost thing, and the Dragon. That’s six. Eleven minus six equals five meaning we have three Miraculouses unaccounted for.”

“The turtle, ox, and—” Tikki frowns, “I don’t know if he sent out the pig or the horse.”

“Gotta keep the others informed all the same.” Nino takes a deep breath, “alright. Thanks for the update, T.” Tikki takes a little bow.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Akira watches in disgust as Plagg pours the cheese spray into his mouth. Kagami is just casually letting the kwami sit in her lap as she drinks from her mug.

Fù Wáng chose wrong. He absolutely chose wrong. And Akira would be damned if there was nothing he could do about it.

In front of them, Tomoe sips from her mug. “We’re having dinner at the Agreste manor tonight.”

He didn’t need his power to see Kagami choking on her drink.

Plagg flies out of her lap and to her back patting it.

Akira turns to his daughter. “Curious. You’ve been dating him for weeks now; almost a month by my count. You’ve certainly had no qualm about him sweeping you away every other day. Why stay stationary for an evening?”

“We can’t let magic keep us from living normal...ish lives, Tousan.”

“You dodged the question.”

Tomoe sighs. “Things are becoming more serious than I anticipated with Gabriel.” A quick glance at his granddaughter shows Kagami not bothering to hide her disdain. “He doesn’t quite make me feel the way Lee did—” Kagami all but tears the cap off her water bottle and chugs it in one go. “—But I imagine it’s the same for him and his late wife.” She turns her head in Kagami’s direction, “you said you had a meeting. How long do you think it’ll take?”

“It should be brief. Just checking in on the new wielders.” Tomoe nods then goes back to drinking. Kagami looks down – presumably at her phone – and her eyebrows furrow. Then Plagg floats back down to her lap to stare at the phone and hums.

🙈 🙊 🙉

Hey!” When Queen Bee lands on the railing, Chloé’s arms flail as she falls on her ass. “Okay, I deserved that.”

“I remember you. Égaliseur, right?”

The blonde scowls, “I’d rather not be reminded of that.” She springs to her feet then falls again when the rest of the Miraculders join Queen Bee. When Chloé sits up she’s looking at twice as many masked individuals than last time. “Ah!” She jumps to her feet again. “I had to get your attention when I saw Queen Bee swing by. I’m a huge fan by the way.” She shakes Queen Bee’s hands.

“We’ve met before.”

“I know! That’s the reason I called out to you. My memories are coming back! I don’t know how and I don’t know why but one thing I do know is Gabriel Agreste is Hawkmoth.”

“I knew it.” Eradicat mumbles.

“And you’re certain?” Harmonybug asks.

“Hawkmoth was in Gabriel Agreste’s personal study demanding me not to hurt Adrien. There are only a handful of people who’d stick their neck out for that asshole, I used to be one of them. And when I pretty much called him out he didn’t deny it. I warned my friend Kagami to be on her guard because my best friend Sabrina texted me saying her papa was going to watch over the Agreste manor tonight due to special guests arriving.”

“You think your friend is in danger?” Flux asks.

“I don’t think so and it’s not like I told her what I remembered. I just told her to be careful. She told me she doesn’t trust him and she’s right not to. Gabriel Agreste will stop at nothing to get what he wants and if he has to vilify a child to her own maman to do it he’ll do it with ease. I speak from experience.”

“Thanks for the info...”

“Chloé!”

“Chloé. You’re in more danger than we are.”

She waves Harmonybug off, “I’ll be fine. He can’t do anything to me without incriminating himself.”

“Unless he wipes your memory again.” Everyone turns to Flux. “What? You were all thinking it.”

“I don’t think he can do that unless she gets akumatized again. So...” Harmonybug puts a hand on the blonde’s shoulder, “no matter what happens, you need to control your emotions.”

Chloé frowns, “that part... is gonna be difficult. I mean you’ve all met my maman, right?” Everyone murmurs their agreement.

“There’s a place you can go to just gel out and relax.” Flux holds out her hand, “Gimme your phone and I’ll input the address.” Chloé hesitantly complies.

“What am I supposed to say when I get there?”

“Tell ‘em Alice sent you.”

“Alix?”

No!” Flux clears her throat. “I mean no. I said Alice, not Alix. A-L-I-C-E. Like Alice in Wonderland?”

Oh! Because you’re a rabbit. Yeah, I get it.” Flux hands back the phone.

“Alright, we gotta get out of your hair.” The others groan at Harmonybug. “I wasn’t trying to make a pun!”

“If you are looking for a place to lay low or whatever. You can use the balcony. I mean, you’re already here.” She shrugs.

“Thanks, Chloé. We might just take you up on that offer.”

“Wise decision. I’ll be inside if you need anything~” She walks in the suite internally screaming.

🙈 🙊 🙉

The bell chimes overhead as Nora enters the shop. The brunette didn’t know what to expect when she found this address on Alya’s laptop. Her little sister liked all this floral frou-frou fancy smelling shit. It’s why Alya seven days out of seven, at any given moment, smells like she just stepped out of a garden.

“Ah! Welcome.” An old man greets stepping out from a different room. “How may I help you this evening?”

“Just looking for something my kid sister would like.”

“Your younger sister is lucky to have you looking out for her.”

Nora huffs, “if only she realized that.”

The old man chuckles, “what is your sister like?”

“‘What’s she like?’ Nora repeats.

The old man nods, “I need to figure out what will appeal to your sister based on her personality and preference.”

“Ah. Well, I guess Als is reckless, stubborn, headstrong, sweet – sometimes, charismatic, way smarter than she lets on...” The old man strokes his beard, “she likes floral stuff but I wanted to step out of that zone and get her something else.”

“Ah. There is never a wrong time to try something new.” The old man beckons Nora closer, “follow me. I know exactly what will help your situation.” With a shrug, Nora follows. “I sense within you a strong desire to protect.”

“I have three little sisters. It’s only natural.”

The old man stops in front of a gramophone, “what if I told you I could give you the ability to protect your sisters? To help you continue nurturing?”

“I’d say sign me up.”

“No hesitation?”

“I don’t hesitate when I’m fighting and I damn sure don’t hesitate to protect my family.”

The old man opens the gramophone and a large black hexagonal lifts up from some secret compartment or something. He opens the hexagonal box and a tiny floating horse and a tiny floating dog fly out of it waving. “Then allow me to welcome you to the Guardian Order. The three of us will train you to harness magical abilities that will assist the Miraculders.”

“No fucking way! Are you serious?!”

The old man nods, “I am Fù Wáng. Guardian of the Miraculders’ Miraculouses. The team requires more magical essence on our side.”

“Aren’t I a little too old to be a Miraculder though?”

Fù chuckles, “I can see how you would believe that. This is actually the first time I have chosen a group of teenagers to wield Miraculouses.”

“Huh. No time like the present I suppose.”

“Indeed. You technically will not be a Miraculder anyhow. As a Guardian you will have a greater concentration of magic. We can’t have Hawkmoth running the team ragged for another month again.”

“But there are more of them now.”

“And yet the numbers are still in Hawkmoth’s favor. I need more Guardians for assistance. Other than you, I have one another candidate I’d like to examine.”

“So it’s just you?”

“Yes and no. I am solely responsible for the Miraculders existing today. However, I know of three other Guardians, two of which have their own struggles. And the third? He is quite... stubborn. He outright refused to help because I selected his...” Fù clears his throat, “family member for a Miraculous.” He squints up at Nora, “how would you feel if I gave a member of your family a Miraculous?”

“Given you’re only choosing teens, I only have one family member you’d pick and...” Nora lolls her head from side to side, “on the one hand giving her the power to kick Hawkmoth’s ass is a bonus, on the other hand it means she’s semi-constantly in danger.” Nora sighs, “but if I can protect her I guess that makes the pros outweigh the cons. Plus, you know, superpowers are pretty cool.”

Fù nods, “then let us begin with your training, Mlle—”

“Césaire. Nora Césaire. Now about the thing for my sister...?”

Ah yes. I have not forgotten.” Fù heads into the next room briefly then returns with a small red vial, “this should suit your sister perfectly.”