It was finally happening.
All those months, spent multi-tasking between lessons, fighting Darkar, and working on this project.
Weeks of training.
She endured everything.
The lights were bright in front of her, forcing her to squint her eyes as she tried to evaluate the number of people waiting.
A gentle hand fell on top of her shoulder. She didn’t jump, but took a quick step back.
“Ready ?” Smiled Layla
“I should be the one asking,” scoffed Musa before pulling her friend into a hug. “You’re beautiful,” she added.
She really was. Stella had outdone herself. Layla looked stylish, wearing a simple crop-top with a little dentelle on the end of the sleeves, only ornated by a green A on the front so everyone knows it is haute couture, assorted with a white cargo pant reflecting the lights lightly, and combat boots, all of them white. She had a green belt that seemed to only be present because of the colour. She had something akin to diamonds on the inside of her eyes, with natural eyeshadows to make her eyes look bigger. As for her hair, it was trapped in two little buns on the front of her face, while the rest floated gracefully behind her.
She looked like a goddess.
“I’m quite shocked,” laughed the Princess, gesturing at her own body. “I would’ve never tried such a look but…”
Musa nodded enthusiastically.
“Stella knows what she’s doing.”
“I can’t wait to see what she’s got in store for you,” winked Layla. The girl then moved away, with a big smile on her lips, to check for the last details of her performance before she went on stage.
As for Musa, she quickly made her way to the costume room, to find a grumpy Stella.
“Come on ! We’re going on stage in literally ten minutes !”
The brunette still had to stop at the sight of her friend.
She had opted for a strapless combi-short. It was also white, but there were two yellow lines on the right side. She had almost the same combat boots as Layla, but these almost reached her knees. She wore a golden choker, probably made of gold, and had a light makeup with a few golden touches here and there. Her hair was set in a high ponytail, with a few strands of hair set free on the sides of her face.
She didn’t have the time to comment, however, as the blonde quickly grabbed by the wrist and made her stand still in front of her. Musa had no idea what was happening to her, but she trusted her friend, so she let her change everything. She felt her clothes change at once, then her face, and finally her hair.
“It wouldn’t have hurt if you’d been on time !”
Stella took a step back, a hand on her chin while the other arm supported the first. She inspected every bit of the outfit before nodding once, seemingly satisfied.
“Alright, you can look at yourself.”
She almost gasped.
The first thing she noticed were her eyes. The eyeliner was very subtle, but gave her beautiful cat-like eyes. There was nothing else to note, except the bright red lipstick on her lips. Her hair was tied into two braids, falling behind her back. Then noticed the white little earrings she had, two little dots on her ears.
Then her eyes took in her clothes : a strapless shirt with red three red buttons, strapless sleeves that barely reached her shoulders to allow her to move freely, encasing her hands. She had a simple short, to go with it, and the same combat boots as Layla, but high-knee socks.
“No time !”*
Stella took her by the hand before forcing her to follow through the maze of corridors. They made it out on time to watch Layla perform from the back, their anxiety spiking up. Or, at least that was the case for Musa, because Stella seemed impatient to go on stage.
Layla was there for five minutes, jumping and dancing, showing off her skills, before using her magic to make the performance unforgettable. The Melody Fairy realized she had to compose herself when she noticed everyone had their mouths opened agape, with their eyes wide opened.
“You killed it,” praised Stella quickly before it was their turn.
The both of them took their place before the lights went up again, and they started dancing together for a short while, singing at the same time It seemed to end all too soon, as they stroke their last pause breathless under the complete ovation of the crowd.
The lights went dark again. Musa stood up, taking the mic that was offered to her, as she accepted the quiet encouragements of her friends.
She took a deep breath in, before the lights went on.
“Shouldn’t you be with your friends ?” Drawled out the Warlock, eyeing her outfit in curiosity.
She was dressed up. Which wasn’t a common occurrence when going to see him, but she’d felt like she needed answers.
A few days had passed since the day she fell asleep on his couch, before she quickly fled from the apartment in panic. Truth was, she was a bit ashamed of her behaviour. The second thing bothering her about that event was the fact her guard was lowered enough around him to do that : falling asleep in his home, hugging a pillow that smelled like him, shouldn’t have been that easy. Yet it had been one of her most peaceful naps in a long time.
She had avoided him a bit after that. Not that he seemed to mind, she didn’t exactly warn him when she popped in, or when she decided to spend months without talking to him or informing him about what she was up to. He didn’t seem to particularly care anyway.
“In a few hours yes,” she nodded eventually.
She felt like she had done a good work with her outfit : a blue crop-top, a skinny jean, with black vans. She had two golden necklaces, assorted earrings, and a few rings on her fingers. She had put little effort in the makeup, only doing the basic mascara. The result was quite stylish, although it was simple.
“A party ?”
“At Red Fountain.”
He nodded, before letting his back rest against the counter of his kitchen.
“No tea ?” She pondered a bit sarcastically.
He stared at her, his golden eyes trying to decipher what she wanted already. A sigh escaped her lips.
“Alright, I wanted to know if you’d ever heard of the Vermis curse ?”
He nodded without any hesitation.
“Yes, although it is quite a hard spell to master.”
“Well, Darkar has, and it’s the curse he placed on me.”
Valtor visibly gritted his teeth, as his eyes narrowed dangerously.
“Are you certain ?”
She nodded, before stopping herself.
“Well,” she hesitated. “It’s the only thing my teachers found that could explain what’s happening to me.”
He crossed his arms, his eyes almost unlinking.
“Well,” he drawled out. “Have they found a cure ?”
“Nope,” she answered. “Nothing.”
He made a little noise, that sounded suspiciously like he was mocking her. Or rather, her professors.
“Well, it is a hard curse to cure… he made a fine choice.”
Her eyebrows shot up. His praise toward the dark Phoenix went unnoticed.
“You know the cure ?”
“Cures”, he rectified. “And yes. There are three ways I’m aware of.”
Her eyes had widened as she waited for him.
“The first consists of the caster removing the curse. The second, is to kill the one who put that curse on you. His magic will evaporate and you shall be free.”
She winced as he started listing her options.
“The third is to get rid of all your magic.”
She frowned immediately.
“Is that possible ?”
“Yes. It is a hard process but it can be achieved.”
“I just have to use my magic until it runs out.”
“That would be too simple. No, you have to go to a planet where magic is drained out of you, despite your wishes. And more often than not, it takes a few days or weeks for you to get to that point. But you shall get stronger at the same time, because as the Vermis curse diminishes, your own powers will grow.”
“The Vermis curse is a receptacle of Darkar’s magic. If you do not use it, the planet will first drain it out before attacking your powers.”
“And where can I find such planet ?”
“There is one called Pyros. A place where a few tribes live, but is mostly inhabited by dragons.”
She inhaled slowly.
“So I have to live on a planet, full of dragons, to get rid of this curse ?”
She sighed in defeat, before thanking him.
“Have you got news about your friend ?” He asked out of the blue, as she slowly prepared herself to teleport away.
“No,” she shook her head. “We only know she’s alive because of her bonded Pixie, but they haven’t been able to find her on any planet close to Linphea.”
“Surely those Witches are not strong enough to send her to the opposite side of the Magical Dimension.”
Bloom shrugged, a bit defeated.
“I don’t know. We have no way of reaching her. She could be on her own in Omega for all we know, and we wouldn’t have the slightest idea.”
“I wish you luck.”
She smiled bitterly, before vanishing away.
The sight of Red Fountain, high up in the sky, made her smile. How things had changed since she had first stepped foot in Magix. A floating school wasn’t something she ever imagined seeing.
There a lot of things she’d never imagined seeing. Magix had some good sides.
With a sigh, she made her way to the top of the school amidst the many visitors. Some Specialists waved at her, probably recognizing the girl that had ended the battle last year. She sent them a smile she hoped to be genuine before hurrying up a bit, finding all of her friends sitting on the grass.
She noticed the doors to the arena had been opened.
“Hey guys,” she greeted.
They all turned around with big smiles on their faces. Lockette immediately flew to her side, as the others got up.
“What took you so long ?” Asked Tecna.
“I wanted to deal with something else first,” smiled the red hair. “Shouldn’t we go inside ?”
Everyone agreed and they walked in.
That is, until Bloom felt a pull. She groaned, alerting her friends closest to her.
“What’s happening ?” Asked Sky, his arm coming around her waist to support her.
She shook her head.
“I have a very bad feeling.”
The sensation disappeared just as fast as it had appeared. She saw the boys eyeing her carefully, while Tecna tried to scan her. She laughed it off when nothing was found, reassuring her friends. They made their way to the stage, excited to see their friends.
The lights went out.
Musa gripped her mic as the first notes of her song resonated. It was strange to be there, alone on that stage, sharing her song for the first time. She didn’t dare to look at anyone in the eyes, in fear of what she would see. Instead, she focused on her emotions, on the message she wished to send. Most of all, she wanted this experience to be unforgettable.
Her father had to see she was good. These last few months had been a revelation to her : she didn’t want to simply make some music, while getting the job her father hoped she would. Instead, she realized she wanted to create her journey. She wouldn’t follow in her mother’s footsteps, and sing in Operas, although this was a world that would always have a place in her heart.
But she didn’t picture herself on a stage, to simply sing : she wanted to sing, dance, and enjoy all of that with her friends.
She wanted to have fun with her passion. She would work hard to convince producers, just like she was trying to persuade her father that this was the right way for her. She would show the whole world what she could pull off. Maybe she would do it with her friends, because she was lucky enough to have talented people around her. She could learn a lot from Layla’s dancing skills, and Stella was an important asset when it came to the stage organisation or looks. This performance would’ve never been so good if they hadn’t been there.
She felt tears threaten to fall from the corner of her eyes, as a big smile forced its way onto her lips. She was certain of what she wanted.
The last note left her throat, amplified by the speakers, and resonating into the deep end of the arena. The lights focused solely on her then, marking the end of the performance. It took a few seconds before the basses completely disappeared, and the applauses reached her.
She spotted her friends jumping in the midst of the crowd, scanding her name. Even Riven was clapping enthusiastically.
Her eyes moved to spot some professors, before they fell on her father. She had to hold back a sob as she watched him applause, a big smile on his lips. The sight was so rare that she almost fell to her knees right there on the stage, before something exploded, and she witnessed her dad being sent to the ground, electricity surrounding him.
“How pitiful,” laughed a Witch as she ascended in the air.
Musa tightened her fists.
“Stormy,” she growled out.
“Oh, you recognized me ?” Laughed the latter, before letting her spell fall.
There were a few gasps in the crowd, before the people started to quietly exit the arena. Stormy didn’t seem to mind, as she simply stayed in the air, staring at the music Fairy with an ugly smirk on her face.
“You know what Flora said before she died ? That I was nothing compared to you,” she scoffed. “I beg to differ.”
She aimed at Musa directly, before letting her hand fall and striking her father again. Musa screamed then, before transforming, but Stormy shook her head, clacking her tongue.
“Now, now, be nice little Fairy. You wouldn’t want this whole crowd to be hurt because of you ?”
Tightening her fists, Musa had to watch as her father was hit again. His cries echoed in the whole arena.
“This is going to be so much fun,” rasped Stormy, as the sky started to fill with clouds.
Glancing one last time at her father, Musa decided to close her eyes.
“Musa, I forbid y-“
Her father couldn’t finish his sentence before he was hit again. If Musa had hesitated then, she was not anymore.
A first note came out of her throat, as tears started to spill on her face. Then another, higher. Again and again, all higher then the last one. She quickly eyed the smirking Witch, before resuming her spell.
“What are you-“
Something snapped then. Musa saw nothing, but focused all of her energy on the Witch.
“Don’t move, if she sees us she’s going to kill him,” said Riven, his eyes set on the Witch.
Bloom felt her blood boil, and something told her it wasn’t just an impression. The boys had slowly reached for their weapons, but Riven’s advice stopped them.
“Are we supposed to just stand there then ?” Asked Timmy.
“Why is that bothering you ? It’s what you do best,” sneered Tecna.
“Hey,” interrupted Brandon, sending the Fairy a dark glare. “Riven’s right, we have to wait for an opening.”
“We have to split,” advised Sky. “One team goes behind Stormy, the other goes to protect Musa’s dad.”
“Stella and Layla are still backstage,” nodded Tecna. “Alright, I’ll go for her father. My magic isn’t the most effective one against Stormy, but I can parry her attacks.”
Riven and Sky quietly nodded before following the pink haired girl, while Bloom, Timmy and Brandon made their way through the crowd, trying to go behind Stormy’s back. Just as they were set, however, Musa started singing again.
“This young girl…”
“Oh my !”
Bloom turned around to look at some people in the crowd, who had their eyes widened. She narrowed her own, before looking back at Musa on the stage : her eyes were closed, and she seemed fully focused on what she had in mind. The red head then turned back around and reached the people that had spoken up.
“What is it ?”
At first, they ignored her, before one blonde turned to look at her. There was a mixture of amazement and fright on her face, which only spiked up Bloom’s anxiety.
“The mermaid voice. She’s trying to achieve it.”
“The what now ?”
“The mermaid voice,” said the other woman, with short red hair.
It took another second for Bloom to realize their pointy ears. She had never seen elves before, and suddenly wondered if they really existed. But it wasn’t the moment for such questions. Instead, she reported her attention to the conversation.
“What is it supposed to do ?”
The two women bit their lip, eyeing the situation around them a bit fearfully, before judging that nothing they would say could really harm them.
“It is one of the greatest spells from Melody ever created, but it is very hard to master,” nodded the red haired woman.
“Only two people alive can achieve it,” nodded the other.
“And what happens if she can’t ?” Asked Brandon, suddenly appearing at her side.
Gasps were heard. Bloom turned around just in time to watch her friend fall to the ground, inanimate. Tecna was by her side a second later. Turning to the Witch, the red head was prepared to do what she had to, when she saw that the Witch wasn’t fairing better.
“She dies,” finished the blonde woman, her voice cracking.
But Bloom wasn’t listening anymore. She quickly made her way to the Witch to realize she wasn’t moving. Her breath was short, as if she had troubles with the air around her. Then she went to Musa’s dad, to use her healing powers. She didn’t get any thanks.
Instead, the dad pushed through everyone to reach for his daughter, tears running along his cheeks as he took her body from Tecna’s arms, screaming her name.
“We’re going to take care of her,” said Timmy as he gestured towards the Witch.
Bloom then noticed other Specialists had started making their way towards them. Reassured that the situation was now under control, she pushed everyone out of her way to get closer to Musa. Ungracefully, she jumped onto the stage, pushing herself up to run over to her friend.
Stella was in a corner, her hands over her mouth, as Layla crossed her arms.
“She’s going to earn her Enchantix,” the Princess muttered. “She has to.”
“She saved everyone ! Of course she will ! Come on Musa !” Cried out Tecna.
Just then, a light fell from the sky, before surrounding Musa’s body.
Their friend took a deep breath in, before her transformation kicked in and pushed everyone away.
As the light faded, they saw their friend up and relatively well, smiling at them.
“You knew !” Accused Tecna with a relieved smile. “You scared me so much !”
The both of them hugged, before her dad pushed the Fairy away.
“I thought I was going to lose you,” he muttered as his daughter bent down to his level. “I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself… I couldn’t lose you the same way I lost your mother.”
The girls’ eyes widened as they realized what his words meant, before watching Musa open her mouth to quickly retort something.
Only for her to gape, and try again.
Her eyes went wide, before she took a step back.
The brunette was already crying when her father took her in his arms.
“It’s going to be alright,” he assured her, as her friends moved closer to hug her too.
They would find a way around this. They always did.
After the first hard moments had passed, Flora had somehow found out how she could grow plants in the strange place she found herself in. These weren’t the juiciest fruits she ever had, but at least they kept her fed and energized. She had also made herself at home in what looked like a cave.
She hadn’t spotted a single form of life yet. Everything around her was dead. Not to mention the creepy statues surrounding her place. Every time she fell asleep, she feared that some of them would wake up and strangle her in her sleep. Yet, another part of her repeated that they wouldn’t. They didn’t look like frightening guards.
She had seen little kids, babies even, next to what looked like their families. All of them seemed to have been running from something. They had their backs turned to one single place, which was the only hint Flora had to know that, maybe, something existed. She set forth then, every day going further and further, trying to find what had them so frightened.
She could feel some kind of life inside the statues, yet it seemed suppressed. It was a strange notion, one that creeped her out.
It made her think of Omega. Except, here, no one had been able to escape their prison.
Biting her lower lip, she started flying forward, up to the point she had been to the last day. Or the time before she had fell asleep. She wasn’t sure when was night and when was day anymore. She simply ate, slept, and researched.
It already seemed like an eternity had passed.
“Where is the third one ?”
The brunette winced at the tone, but tried to hide any other hint of unease. Her sister wanted to speak for all of them, and more often than not Darcy found herself annoyed by that behaviour, but in that exact moment, she was grateful.
“Our sister has been captured,” explained Icy.
“Our Lord won’t like that,” said the Fake Avalon.
Darcy almost snorted.
He may have looked human right now, but they all knew he nothing but ashes. This replica had only been created to mess with Bloom’s head if she were to ever be captured. Darcy had liked the idea, as her sisters had, but quickly found out that he was actually unbearable.
The first few days, she had been glad to see another face. The three sisters had, in fact, and sought him out to play tricks on him, or to talk. However, the clone didn’t experience pain, nor was he capable of performing magic to defend himself. He was completely useless, but Lord Darkar kept him around, letting him play the perfect butler.
She set her eyes on the door, which he had just passed to announce their presence. Icy quietly snickered, and Darcy forced a little laugh out of her throat. The both of them knew there wasn’t anyone visiting Lord Darkar, because he was acting on his own. Yet, he had started making people treat him like a King, of some sort.
The doors opened to reveal Avalon, who bowed to them, before gesturing at the room. Icy immediately started walking, sparing him not even the slightest of glances, while Darcy quietly followed, her shoulders tensing automatically. Who knew what his reaction would be this time.
“I trust you are bearing good news,” he said, a smile in his voice.
Both women put a knee onto the ground, showing their respect.
“Yes, My Lord,” said Icy.
“Rise,” he ordered.
Darcy let her sister move first, before executing herself. Her eyes naturally fell onto the Dark Phoenix, and a pang of jealousy spread in her chest when she saw him lazily lounging in his throne, while the both of them had to do all the dirty work.
“Where is your sister ?”
“She has been captured during the raid,” explained Icy once again.
“She was causing a distraction, but it got out of hand.”
“Did you get what I wanted ?”
Icy nodded, before making the second part of the Codex appear. The Lord set his greedy eyes upon it, almost feasting on the sight, as it gently glided towards him. He let his eyes inspect it, before he put his attention back onto the two Witches.
“Very well. Has there been any casualties ?”
“None, sir. We believe Stormy had got one of the Winx, but the Fairy earned her Enchantix.”
Darcy immediately knew this wasn’t the right thing to say. The eyes of the Dark Phoenix glinted red, before he slowly stood up from his throne. Icy’s body immediately locked, preparing to whatever was coming her way.
“A second one ?” He whispered, before a wave of his magic made the ground shake. Darcy barely caught herself, as her sister simply flew into the air. “Is your sister so dumb that she can’t follow a single rule ? I warned you not to let them earn it ! But instead you’re giving them opportunities ! What am I supposed to do with you ?”
A second wave of his magic made Darcy fall on her bottom, while Icy proudly stood her ground.
“It will not happen again.”
“You’re right ! It won’t ! Because if I hear you helped them again, I will personally put you back in Roccaluce’s Monastery !”
A shudder went through Darcy’s body at the mere mention of the place.
“Don’t think, even for one second, that getting rid of one of them will be enough. That flower Fairy was the most useless out of all of them ! Focus on the Princesses !”
A last wave of his magic forced Icy on her knees, before ordered them to leave the room.
“Oh, and one last thing. I don’t care if your sister is freed or not. You will execute my orders before doing anything else, understood ?”
The both of them shared a dark glare.
“Yes, My Lord.”