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Bloom had decided to stay confined in her room for the few days she had to spend in Alfea. It didn’t surprise anyone, because most of the students had been exhausted due to the way Lord Darkar had decided to run the school. The Winx, for their part, were still active as they helped their professors, but even they had to take a break during the day to sleep the exhaustion from the few previous weeks.

None of them really spoke about what had happened. Bloom and Flora kept to themselves in their bedroom, and talked a bit about what had happened. The flower Fairy was obviously distressed, scared that the same thing could happen to her. The ginger tried to reassure her by explaining that Darkar had voluntarily put dark energy in her system, while Flora had simply happened to be hit by it. This seemed to mildly reassure the latter, so Bloom left it at that.

The both of them decided to attend the Beta Academy on the next week, once they’d recovered from everything that had happened in the past days. Bloom, especially, knew she couldn’t keep going like this. All she ever wanted to do was sleep. Not because she was depressed, but because as soon as she did something, her whole body sent signals to her brain, telling it she was overdoing it. That was the reason she stayed in her bedroom, her eyes staring at the wall, waiting to get better. Fortunately, Flora was rather good at making regenerating tea.

The week-end came suddenly. The girls stared at each other for a moment, outside the school, watching everyone leave the premise by bus, by car, or by teleporting. They weren’t really talking, as they sat against the wall, but something else stopped them from going back to the family they’d been missing for months now.

Flora had one arm wrapped around Layla’s, letting her head rest on her shoulder. As for the Princess, she mechanically let her hand go up and down the arm of her friend, in a reassuring manner. Musa and Stella, surprisingly, were stuck to one another, shoulder against shoulder. There wasn’t anything else to note, really, but the sight of those two girls that usually couldn’t stop bickering was a bit disarming. Tecna was standing up at the end of the line, her arms crossed as she let her eyes analyse everything around her. It seemed her new magic had offered her a whole new world to experiment, and she had to constantly adapt.

Bloom had her elbows on her knees, as her head rested on the wall behind her. She blinked slowly as every student started disappearing, before a pair of boots obstructed her view, and Stella’s happy screams woke them up from their daze.

“Hello there, Princess,” greeted Sky, as he helped Bloom and Layla up.

From the corner of her eyes, the red head noticed that Helia was helping a blushing Flora on her feet, before they fell into silence.

“Hey there, how did it with Saladin ?” Asked Layla, a little smile tugging at her lips.

“Well”, scoffed the Prince as his hand came to the back of his neck, while his eyes seemed to avoid theirs, “we had Helia with us, so the Headmaster didn’t say… too much.”

“Let’s just say that we were lucky we had a Prince and his nephew with us,” explained Timmy as he too walked up to them, while the blonde rolled his eyes at being mentioned.

“How about you ? Alfea is looking good,” observed Sky.

The girls nodded.

“Yep, we’ve been busy,” confirmed Layla.

“The guys were thinking of hanging out in Magix for the day, you in ?” Asked Brandon, turning to the four of them with an ecstatic Stella in his arms. At least they all knew her answer. A single look between them and the two girls accepted the invitation.

They all ended up going, except Tecna. Her family seemed to be expecting her, but the Winx weren’t blind to the tension between her and Timmy. Sadly, as soon as she got in the bus going to the airport, the boy regained his usual composure. A bright smile appeared on his lips, while the Winx were left to wondering just what had happened between the two.

It didn’t stop them from taking the bus going to the city, overcrowded by students.

Bloom, Layla and Flora were holding onto each other, laughing every time there was a turn and they almost fell, under the amused eyes of the boys. It didn’t go so well for them, as Brandon fell, bringing Sky and Timmy down with him. The latter did hold onto Helia, and managed to stay on his feet. His friends weren’t so lucky. Stella laughed at them from her seat, which she had ran upon entering the bus.

Riven had, for his part, put his arms around Musa’s waist, keeping her up as he leaned against a window. Her friends looked at her with knowing eyes, as the music Fairy’s cheeks slowly turned to a violent shade of crimson. Fortunately, the boy behind her couldn’t see it, otherwise she would’ve been mortified.

In less than ten minutes, they reached the restaurant they wanted. Riven made sure to sit by Musa’s side, who suddenly seemed lonely without her best friend around. Layla and Flora sat in front of them, as the Princess made sure her friend would sit next to Helia. This time, it was the flower Fairy’s turn to blush madly, while the troublesome boy luckily looked at the menu. Timmy and Bloom sat on the same side, as the rest settled on the other side.

Overall, they’d spend two hours in the restaurant, until the owner kicked them out. Then, of course, Stella took them shopping for a while, before Riven refused to step in another boutique, and Musa led them to a popular place in the capital. It was, without any surprise, the Symphonian side of the town, where music could be heard in any street. They went from Opera to Pop in less than five seconds, all sharing odd looks while Musa didn’t even seem to acknowledge it.

They eventually made it to a park, full of people dancing, while a DJ was playing for all of them.

“What is that ?” Gaped Sky.

“Magix has a strong policy,” grumbled their friend. “On Symphony, you can go into every single night club you want, but here… well, let’s just say we found a way around the problem.”

They found themselves dancing through the rest of the day, or simply lying down on the grass, away from the crowd. As the night fell down, it was Flora’s turn to propose to go see the Linphean neighbour.

They were amazed.

A few blocks away from the music, was the quietest side of town, with wooden structures and plants everywhere. The sun seemed to shine brighter, as the cars were next to nonexistant. Flora led them to the famous fast food that had taken over her planet.

Bloom had been expecting a lot of junk food, and experienced a bit of a shock when she only saw salad and generally speaking, vegetalian meals. Later, her friend would explain that the connection Linphean felt to nature was too important to kill anything. They were, however, able to eat vegetables and fruits, as their magic made them able to keep the plants alive.

The ginger had nodded, impressed, before moving onto her own command.

One by one, everyone left. First Musa and Riven, earlier in the night, because they still wished to enjoy the little party. Layla followed them. As for Flora, she made sure her and Bloom would come at the same time to the Beta Academy, before running to catch the last bus going to the airport. Timmy retired a little bit after that, catching a bus to go home, as he lived in a little mansion in Magix.

The rest waited for Sky’s guards to show up, ready to escort him back to Eraklyon. The blonde didn’t seem so excited at the prospect, but still bid them goodbye when they arrived and went away. Stella stood up then, then made her sceptre appear before looking expectantly at her friend.

Bloom yawned, suddenly exhausted now that everybody had left, and gladly accepted Stella’s help to teleport back to Gardenia. She then smiled at her and Brandon disappeared for Eraklyon, as the Princess had planned to spend some time with her boyfriend’s family.

“Well, if it isn’t Bloom,” drawled a voice from behind her.

In a second, the ginger girl had turned around and fell into a fighting stance, narrowing her eyes at the dark silhouette in the street. Her brows furrowed when she didn’t seem to recognize any of the Trix, nor any Witches from Cloud Tower.

“Who are you ?”

The girl in front of her laughed, before she started walking closer.

“Don’t you remember me ?”

Bloom felt her whole body freeze, as her brain tried to process what was happening.

“Selina ?”

Chapter Text

Bloom couldn’t believe her eyes.

Selina had disappeared some years ago, after ignoring her dutifully for months at school. Now, here she stood, in front of her house, past midnight. There was also the dark aura around her, that seemed a lot stronger than she ever remembered. The green haired girl had always been her polar opposite, but it had been fun to hang around her for all those years, as it brought her out of her comfort zone.

It also made everyone walk away from her, as Selina wasn’t the most well-liked person of Gardenia, but Bloom had decided to prioritize her best friend over everyone else at school. Obviously, she’d been wrong, because her “bff” had quickly turned her back on her, in the middle of the week, without any real reason or explanation, leaving the ginger alone while Selina only appeared in class.

It didn’t take a genius to realize her former friend had found new people to hang out with, and Bloom simply wasn’t enough anymore. It hurt, but Andy and his crew quickly came to her rescue as Mitzy picked on her for the hundredth time. Bloom had worked hard after that to forget about the girl that she couldn’t picture out of her life.

Then Selina reappears out of the blue, during the worst time of her life, as if nothing ever happened.

No smile graced her lips, nor did her eyes start to twinkle at the sight of her former friend. She simply stared, her arms crossed over her chest.

“What do you want ?”

“I have a problem, Bloom, and I think you might be able to h-“

“Go see someone who actually cares Selina.”

She tried to walk past the girl, but the sudden burst of dark energy from her friend, that only missed Bloom by a hair, made her stop dead in her tracks.

She closed her eyes as she tried to regain control of herself. This was not the time to make her angry. She simply wished to finally be away from civilization for a few days, not fight like she’d been doing for so long now.

It’s going to be harder than anticipated, thought Selina.

“I think you’ll find-“

“I don’t fucking care Selina !” Bloom fumed. “You left me !”

This seemed to quiet the girl down, as her shoulders sagged visibly.

I didn’t have much of a choice.

“Did you honestly think that I would help you after what you did ?”

“Listen, Bloom,” started Selina. “I know this looks bad, but I didn’t really have a choice.”

“Oh really ? What could’ve been so important you wouldn’t even try to explain every time I cornered you in the hallways ? Why did your parents ignore mine ? Where were you going every day ?”

“I’m ready to explain everything, I just need-“

“I don’t care,” sighed the ginger. “I told you. Go see someone who cares, because I’m done.”

Bloom quickly made her way past Selina, and walked up the few stairs leading to her house shaking her head.

I really spent the entire day waiting for her for that ?

“Very well,” eventually said her former friend. “Don’t come back crying when you regret that decision.”

In a puff of dark smoke, the Witch had disappeared. Bloom only blinked at the sight of magic, before shrugging and entering her home. Nothing could surprise her anymore, and she knew what could be expected of Witches. She should’ve guessed Selina was one when she abandoned her so readily.

Quickly, she made her way to her bedroom, as quietly as she could because her parents were sleeping for the moment, and stopped thinking for the day.

The next morning, however, fear creeped up.

She’d been irrational in her response to Selina, and the threat only made everything worse. She’d simply been so fed up with dealing with all those problems that she simply didn’t even think about the consequences of her actions.

The alcohol might have helped a bit too.

There was also the fact that, somehow, she heard the girl’s thoughts. She wasn’t exactly certain, but she was almost sure Selina’s lips hadn’t moved when she clearly heard her speaking. This theory was quickly put to the test, as she suddenly saw shadows rose from her parents’ back, expressing their inner thoughts. Bloom didn’t know how to react to it, but eventually decided she would ask the professors of the Beta Academy. This wasn’t Fairy magic, she knew for a fact. It was a dark energy, something coiling around every person. Except, now, she was able to see it clearly.

But the most frightening part about all of this was the fact Selina perfectly knew where her parents lived. Worse, her parents knew and still trusted Selina to this day. They got caught by the Trix, third year students, easily. Now, this was to be expected. But Selina seemed to be as powerful as one of them, which only made Bloom feel worse.

She told her parents, eventually, that she ran into Selina, and they should be wary of her. They both laughed it off, but the glimmer of doubt in their eyes assured Bloom they would indeed be cautious around her. Or maybe it was the ghosts hovering over their bodies expressing clearly how worried they were of being attacked by another Witch.

Fortunately in the week she spent with them, nothing happened. She still worked on protective wards around the house, plus an alarm to warn her if Selina or any other magical being were to enter the premises of her home. The only time she got worried was when a student knocked on the door to sell some cookies for her school, but Bloom quickly saw her ghost being completely frightened at being yelled at for nothing.

Bloom quickly apologized, before buying as much cookies as she could.

Saturday came quickly, however, and Bloom had to teleport to Magix, her spell working a little bit better now. She appeared in the airport, in white smokes so anyone there would know someone was going to appear in mere seconds, and quickly made her way towards the cosmobus station.

There, she quickly embraced Flora as the both of them waited for their flight.

“It’s a first for you, isn’t it ?” Asked the flower Fairy with a small smirk.

Bloom could only nod in agreement as she stared at all those buses taking off in the sky, pushed by some invisible forces, and into the blue sky. Eventually, they faded away,

In less than an hour, they were taking off of Magix, towards Beta Academy, in the bus owned by the school. It was a dark shade of purple, almost black in the shadows, with the crest of the school on both sides. Bloom frowned when she saw three wands and two staff crossing each other, wondering what they could mean. She brushed it off soon, too busy gawking at the incredible view.

She was oddly nostalgic, thinking about her childhood, how she used to go to school every day in that kind of bus full of students. Except she didn’t live at said school. Nor did she have the opportunity to see space while doing it.

Indeed, her eyes were set on the planets of the Magical Dimension growing increasingly smaller or, on the contrary, bigger, as stars slowly passed around them, and the light of the sun began to wither. It was extremely weird to pass in front of all of this so fast. On Earth, simply going to the moon was an exploit. Now what would they say about a civilization capable of going through half of a solar system in a bus, in a matter of three hours ?

Flora scoffed at her wide eyes, before focusing back onto her book. Bloom didn’t really care for being openly impressed by everything, or by the fact that all the other students in the bus frowned at her behaviour.

It wasn’t a school week, as Beta Academy had the same ‘three weeks holidays’ policy as Alfea, but there were still some students. They were all wearing the same purple uniform. Although, Stella would’ve probably noticed the few differences amongst all the students’ clothes at once, but Bloom didn’t think it was important, or meant anything.

Eventually, the bus started to slow. Every student started taking their bags into their hands, as if ready to come off. Flora and Bloom decided to imitate them, before the bus slowly started to land.

The school came into view, and this time, Bloom wasn’t the only one to stare with an open mouth : the school was floating into space, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. There was nothing under it, no star or planet. It simply floated.

Bloom had always thought Cloud Tower, Red Fountain and Alfea to be impressive in their own way, but she’d be lying if she said any of those three schools beat what was in front of her : a castle, protected by high, black walls. Around those were gardens of flowers, of every type that seemed to be existing. There were some Pixies flying around, seemingly caring for it.

Other than that, nothing could be seen. There were some high towers, but it was too dark to make out. However, she could clearly see the two wooden gates, as big as two storeys.

Final stop ; Beta Academy. Have a good stay.

The doors opened, as everyone started walking out. The two girls made sure to be behind everyone, to follow them to the gates.

They received some stares from the mass, but thankfully, Bloom was under the impression they were mostly checking them out rather than judging them. None approached them. The students quickly put themselves by pair, in a queue, and started waiting in front of the gates. The girls followed their example quickly.

As soon as they were in line, the doors opened. A sweet melody reached their ears, before everyone started walking in. It wasn’t military, like one could expect. The students were walking at their own pace, uneven, not caring one bit about the rhythm.

If Musa had been here, she’d have probably thrown a tantrum, thought Flora.

Bloom both laughed and winced. Laughed, because this was true. Winced, because she was uneasy at the idea of hearing her friend’s thoughts, without even looking at her. Although, she noticed that the people around her didn’t seem to have that dark aura around them. It was both a relief and scary.

The light blinded them for a second as soon as they passed the doors. Suddenly, the whole atmosphere had changed, and whereas the outside was more of a reminder of Cloud Tower, the inside was totally true to Alfea and Red Fountain : it was a big garden, with flowers and butterflies flying everywhere. There were also Pixies and their pets, whose houses seemed to be next to a small river crossing the entire courtyard.

There were a lot of paths, made of wood, going over the water with little bridges. The castle was surrounding the courtyard, and there seemed to be a hundred of paths leading to every door possible.

The building in itself was darker. It was purple, but the ivy growing on every façade of it, with little flowers of every colour made it a lot less scary. There was also the fact that some birds were flying above the courtyard, of every shade, as if a rainbow was constantly above their heads.

Way less scary than I imagined, thought Flora.

The ginger took a deep inspiration, unsure if this was a good time to reveal her gift. But she couldn’t let Flora in the dark for too long.

“I agree,” nodded Bloom.

There was a moment of silence, before her friend suddenly turned to look at her, a hand on her arm.

“What ?”

“I suppose I should tell you, Flo… I-“

“You can read my thoughts ?”

The girl didn’t seem angry, simply surprised. Bloom nodded slowly, her face betraying none of her emotions.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t my two new students !” Said a loud voice.

Both girls turned around to look at the man walking up to them. Bloom immediately noticed the staff in his right hand, looking like dark, polished wood with the head of some bird at the top, where his hand laid. It didn’t seem to be helping him walk.

“Hello,” they politely answered.

He laughed. The sound was guttural.

Now that he was up close, she could study his features : he was black, his eyes too. From afar, he didn’t seem too old, although now she would give him at least 40 years old. He looked pretty fit, but the shaved head failed to make him look younger.

 

 

“Oh it’s always so funny to see Sorceresses as shy as you.”

The girls exchanged a look before setting their eyes back on him, their brains completely fried.

“Follow me, there’s a lot I have to show you.”

They followed him suit.

The doors opened by themselves as they entered the castle.

“You’ll notice that every part of the castle has a different colour,” commented the man as they walked through a pastel blue corridor. “Blue is where you’ll find the cafeteria and the professors’ offices. This one is mine.”

The two stared intently at the tag on the wall, reading “Headmaster Gallium” on it. They exchanged a confused look at they passed the door, but Gallium didn’t seem to even think about it twice.

“The storeys are also important. The first one is reserved to Fairies and Wizards, the second welcomes the Sorceresses, and I’m sure you’ll be able to guess who owns the third.”

“Witches ?”

The man chuckled.

“Yes, and Warlocks… dark Wizards, if you’d prefer.”

“They study the same things as we do ?” Asked Bloom.

“Of course, magic is magic,” scoffed the professor. “Differences only come from the temperaments.”

The ginger girl nodded.

“But there is no male counterpart for Sorceresses ?” Asked Bloom.

The man in front of them took a second to answer.

“I’m sure the person in charge will be able to give you a better explanation… but let’s just say it’s already hard to find girls, or women, ready to follow the path of Hægtesses. Men and boys prefer to study one area of magic, or both, because we actually have knowledge about how to do that.

“I haven’t seen a lot of Wizards,” she admitted.

“Yes, we’re quite rare. The profession is still seen as feminine, after all.”

Bloom’s eyebrows shot up.

“Really ?”

The professor Gallium quickly looked behind himself, checking her out from head to toes.

“Where do you come from already ?”

“Earth,” she mumbled.

This time he stopped walking to fully turn around and face her.

“Really ? An Earth Hægtesse ?” He asked, his eyes gleaming with excitement.

“Not really,” said Bloom with a shake of her head. “It’s… very complicated.”

The professor nodded.

“I’m sure. Being a Hægtesse is already hard in itself,” he said as he started walking again. Some students passed by them, Fairies if Bloom could judge based herself on the fact they smiled brightly at their professor, who answered with a single nod of his head. “You were lucky enough to find Griffin. Most people have never heard of them.”

He finally came to a stop, in front of a bigger door, before turning around to face them once again.

“Before you pass those doors, I’ll explain you a few more things,” he said, looking a bit more serious. “We do not have a Head of direction, everything here is decided by the Council,” he said as he jerked his head towards the plate on the door, where ‘Council’ could be read. “I am the Headmaster for the Wizards students. There are four other Head of profession here. Madam Kly, for Fairies. Madam Frügsjkta, for Hægtesses. Mister Saladin, for Warlocks, and Madam Llamard for Witches.”

The girls nodded, before the professor opened the door.

“Hello dear colleagues, you’ll never guess who’s already here,” he exclaimed.

Flora looked at Bloom, all tense, and the ginger girl decided to go in first. Her friend followed suit, of course.

The room was an odd combination of Griffin’s and Faragonda’s office, Bloom noticed. It was filled with books, as a big window at the end of the room let the light in, forcing the girls to squint their eyes. The furniture, however, was more reminiscent of Griffin, with dark wood for desks and chairs.

The room in itself was pretty empty. Except for the five desks, each decorated with their owner’s possessions, there was nothing to note.

Three professors were standing in front of the window. The first one Bloom saw had a skin as pale as snow, almost blueish. Her hair was white, but most importantly her eyes were completely black. She also wore some black lipstick, and wore a blue suit. For some reason, the ginger couldn’t help but let the image of Icy appear in her mind. She had almost no doubt that this was the Head of Witches.

To her right, a black woman was standing with her back against the window, a cup of coffee in her hands. Bloom was surprised to see she had pink eyes, although the blue hair didn’t faze her at all. Whereas the Witch seemed to be as old as Miss Griffin, this one didn’t seem older than some students. She also wore a dress that oddly resembled the Academy’s uniform.

A man was standing with them. He wasn’t particularly tall, or maybe the other teachers wore really high heels, but there was something about him that made Bloom recognize a certain wisdom in him. He was a bit tanned, like Flora, and had dark long hair, clashing with his green eyes. Bloom could easily guess he’d been a sight to behold years ago. Even now, in what must’ve been his fifties, he looked like a snack. Or maybe it was the vintage suit he wore that made her think that way. The black coat hanging off his shoulders made her suddenly narrow her eyes, as the image of another Warlock entered her mind.

The Headmaster Gallium moved around the room, and only when he gestured for the fifth professor in the room did Bloom notice her presence.

She looked a bit younger than Faragonda, but not by much. She was tanned, with brown eyes and freckles all over her face. Her hair was naturally white now, hanging loosely on her shoulders. She wore a long dress, like the ones Alfea’s headmistress seemed to like, but it only came in black and white.

One by one, they approached the two frozen students, appraising them before turning to their oldest.

“I presume you are Bloom and Flora ?” Asked the white haired woman. “It’s a pleasure. My name is Klara Frügsjkta, Head of Hægtesses. I will be testing your abilities in a bit, but for now, a quick presentation is in order.”

The girls nodded shyly, before turning to the Witch who stepped up.

“Welcome to Beta Academy, young Sorceresses. I am Mahaut Llarmad, Head of Witches. I will teach you the differences between your emotions, how to channel them, and under me you’ll learn what your affinities are,” she said, before she pursed her lips. “Griffin also told me a lot of good of you too, so I shall expect the best out of you.”

With a final nod, she turned her head to look at the black woman.

“Hello girls,” she greeted with a warm smile. “I’m Isis Kly, the Head of Fairies. I mainly teach flying lessons.”

Bloom wondered how that could be any difficulty, but didn’t dare to ask.

“Hello,” gruffly said the man next to them. “I’m Tom Saladin, Head of Warlocks. I teach potions, plants’ proprieties, that kind of thing. You’ll also learn to listen to nature, even if it is not your kind of magic.”

Both girls nodded, feeling suddenly a bit more on edge. He reminded Bloom of Professor Snape, without the nastiness of the book character. She just felt little, standing in front of him. Almost insignificant. Although that had more to do with the magic swirling around him than his speech.

“I am Hobe Gallium, Head of Wizards, as I told you a few minutes ago,” said the other man with a smile. “I do hope you like Transfiguration, on objects and yourself, of course.”

He laughed as he took in their disbelieving stares.

“Don’t worry,” interrupted the Head of Hægtesses. “Only Professor Kly’s course is dangerous. You won’t be forced to do anything here, although we expect nothing but excellence.”

She waited for the girls to nod, before conjuring chairs for everyone in the room. The five teachers were standing in a half circle, while the two girls faced them.

“Now, please, tell us a bit about yourself. I fear Miss Llarmad has been very secretive about you.”

Bloom quickly looked at Flora, but as expected, the flower Fairy wasn’t eager to tell them anything about herself.

“My name is Bloom, and I was adopted on Earth. I only discovered that I had magic at sixteen, thanks to a friend, and was welcomed to Alfea to become a Fairy.”

“How did you know you were a Fairy ? Why not a Witch ?” Immediately asked Frügsjkta.

The ginger stopped herself from shrugging.

“It seemed to be the obvious choice.”

“But Earth isn’t familiar with magic, why choose that course ?” Insisted the professor.

“Oh they do have an imagination about all this !” Interrupted Gallium, his eyes gleaming. “There’s a lot of stories of Fairies and Witches… and every magical creature they could invent ! I’m sure Bloom was fed with all those stories, they are fairly accurate concerning Fairies, for what I’ve been able to see.”

The girl nodded.

“Yes, I was reading a lot about them. It was a dream for me, so I didn’t hesitate.”

Frügsjkta nodded.

“And how do you feel about having that part of darkness inside yourself, now ?”

Bloom let her eyes fall onto her hands.

“I don’t know. For now I just want to learn more about it, to control it.”

The professors in the room nodded in silence.

“Well then I’m glad you found us,” said the Head of Hægtesses. “What about you ?” She asked as she turned to Bloom’s friend.

“I’m Flora,” almost whispered the girl. “I’m from Linphea, and I met Bloom when she entered Alfea.”

“Yes, you two seem close,” noted Kly, the Head of Fairies. “You don’t need to worry here, everything isn’t as pink and glittery as in Alfea, but I assure you, that you’ll never have a Griselda screaming at you here.”

The two students looked at her with big eyes.

“Yes, I’ve encountered the woman,” sighed the professor, under the confused stares of her colleagues. “So don’t worry. Some of us might seem… icy, at first, but don’t take it personally, alright ?”

The speech seemed to ease Flora, whose smile returned on her lips.

“Alright,” she nodded as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Well I’m a Fairy of Nature, and I try to invest myself in every area possible. I have never tried to use Witch magic, but I’ve read a lot about it recently.”

“Well, well,” smirked the Witch. “You have a gift to make students talk my dear Isis.”

“That’s called talking, you should try it Mahaut,” answered the Head of Fairies with a bright smile.

The other professors smiled at the exchange. No real animosity seemed to transpire from the exchange. All except the Hægtesse.

“How did you come to understand you had dark energy inside you ?”

Flora bit her lower lip.

“Well I… there was an accident at school. I touched a dark artefact and ever since I… can feel it grow stronger every day.”

The professor nodded, before standing up.

“Very well. I will ask you two to follow me into my private office, to run some tests with you two.”

Without another word or glance, she walked to the door and out of the room. The two Alfea student almost ran to catch up with her, nodding one final time to the other professors. They all smiled or smirked at them, except for the potion professor who seemed to stare intently at Flora. They didn’t give him that much thought though, trying to keep up with the woman.

They only passed a few doors before, with a wave of her hand, the professor opened a door and entered. The girls ushered inside before it closed on its own.

The room was as big as the one for the Council. Yet again, the walls were full of books. There was only one white wall, where the door was. The floor was as dark as coal, a big contrast to the light wooden shelves, and the transparent window. The desk was also white, while the chairs around it were as black as the floor.

Timidly, the girls approached the desk. The teacher was standing in front of it, as papers flew out one by one. Bloom was completely speechless, watching the demonstration of magic. Even the teachers at Alfea needed to move their hands or to pronounce a little incantation to do that kind of magic. Miss Frügsjkta however, only had to move her head to inspect the papers.

“Alright,” she eventually said as two papers flew towards the girls. “Those are your schedules for the next two weeks. We only have the five professors you’ve seen for the holidays, so your Wednesdays and week-ends are free. You can, however, go and seek us out. This is what those two weeks are for.”

The girls nodded, making the schedule disappear into thin air, storing it in their luggage.

“Now, I need to test both of your affinities. Please, take place.”

She conjured two beds, which suddenly reminded Bloom of her time with the Clone.

“I’m sorry I can’t,” she hiccuped, taking two steps back.

Flora bit her lower lip.

“Girl, you are here for a reason. Nothing bad will happen, I simply need to evaluate-“

“We’ve had a big accident,” interrupted Flora, red as a tomato. “We’re in this situation because of someone and…”

She trailed off, but the Professor’s eyes widened. Suddenly, the two beds disappeared, and she faced the ginger once again.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think this through. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, then by all means, I’ll find another way. Please, sit down.”

Still wary, Bloom sat down on a chair, then let the magic from the professor wash over her.

“Is it ok if this energy goes through you ? I need to make sure your core is stabilized.”

The ginger nodded, biting her lower lip in anticipation.

As the professor said, it was long. Extremely so. She ended up counting the minutes as they went by, and when she reached ten, started to sing in her head. Eventually, she felt the withdrawal. Turning to the older lady, she was surprised to see she hadn’t seemed to break a sweat.

“Very well, I will have a talk with you after I am finished with your friend.”

Flora looked at her worriedly, before letting the professor do her magic. It seemed to be quicker this time. The flower Fairy had also anticipated the teacher to tell her something was amiss, but as strange as it was, the older lady seemed to be satisfied with what she felt.

Professor Frügsjkta then went around her desk and sat in front of the girls, crossing her legs.

“Flora, you have a beautiful potential. A lot of emotions are coursing through your veins, but mostly I feel like you are ready to expend those powers, to explore them. You could make a very powerful Sorceress, if you wished to. I have no doubts the teachings in this school will help you realize how strong you really are, deep down.”

Red, Flora could only nod, barely believing what she was hearing.

“As for you Bloom, not only is your core unbalanced, but the dark energy swirling inside you seems to be wrong.”

At that the ginger frowned, while the teacher simply nodded.

“Yes, I think we need to talk about what happened, to some degree. So if Miss Flora could leave us for a moment I-“

“She can stay,” nodded Bloom. “She knows everything already.”

Both eyebrows of Professor Frügsjkta went up.

“Very well then. Do you know why your powers ended up… this way ?”

“Well… I was targeted, by someone. They placed a curse on me, so they could activate it to control me… The control I have on this dark energy is very small.”

“So you wish to make it your own ?”

“Or to get rid of it.”

The teacher nodded.

“It has to do with Valtor ?”

Bloom blinked, before furiously denying.

“No, it’s about another… evil. Lord Darkar, maybe…”

“Of course,” cut the teacher, her eyes going to the ceiling. “This bastard has been hiding for a long time… But that means it will be harder for you to use that magic. We have to know whether some part of it is yours, or if it’s a poison coursing through your veins, growing inside while we do nothing.

This made Bloom freeze, but the teacher seemed unfazed.

“I’m going to make some research about all this, and call the both of you back on Wednesday, is that alright ?

They nodded, their agreement, before the professor finally let a smile appear on her lips, as she motioned with her hands towards the door.

“Well, there should be a student waiting for you outside. Follow them, they’ll help you settle down.

Bloom and Flora got up, thanking the professor, before waving and stepping out.

“Hi, I’m Chimera. The one with purple hair is Cariddi and this is Scilla.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you !” Said both Beta studentsd before bowing.

“Please follow us to your rooms.”

Chapter Text

Bloom woke up around eleven on Sunday, alone in her bedroom. She eyed the second bed across from hers, a replica of her own, except this one was untouched. She quickly got out of her bed, used some magic to make her bed while clothes flew in the air behind her.

She got out into a living room, a lot bigger than the one she had in Alfea, where she found Flora tending to her plants. The girl had obviously been awake for a few hours.

“Oh hi Bloom, I was just about to wake you up.”

“Hi Flora,” mumbled the ginger as she made her way towards their personal bathroom.

The bonus point of living in a real castle was that they had their personal bathroom, for about six girls, whereas at Alfea, everyone had to share the same equipment. Flora and her had been very happy about the accommodations.

The second thing that made them speechless, was the size of every room in the castle : just like in Alfea, every girl shared a bedroom with someone else. Except here, the sizes of one bedroom equalled two or three bedrooms in Alfea. The living room they had for themselves was also gigantic, twice the size of what they were used to.

At twelve, they heard someone knocking on their door. Flora patted her flower, while Bloom put her phone back into the pocket of her jean. They were out a second later, facing the three girls from the day before. Fortunately, they were acting friendly for now. Scilla especially, because she smiled all the time. On the contrary, Cariddi was a lot more reserved. Bloom couldn’t help but notice she always crossed her arms, while the tip of her lips went downwards as she looked at them.

Chimera, however, was a true mystery. There was a smile on her lips, but her eyes were as cold as ice. It felt like being in front of a friendly Trix, which her brain couldn’t process correctly.

“Hi,” greeted Scilla.

Flora and her hugged naturally, while the others just watched the exchange. Bloom automatically took hold of her left arm with her right hand, her shoulders sagging a bit. She always had a bit of a problem to make friends, and seeing Flora being so natural with Scilla, a girl they met just the day before, was somewhat making her question herself.

Although, turning to Cariddi and Chimera, she quickly understood there would be no intimate gesture they’d accept. Or if they did, it would most likely turn out to be cringy for all of them.

Bloom and Chimera locked gazes for a moment, as if analysing another opponent, before the black haired girl tentatively offered a smile. The ginger felt the corners of her mouth slightly go up, but then Chimera had already turned away.

“Are you done Scilla ?” Huffed Cariddi, looking almost ready to throw up at what she was watching.

“Yes, yes…” she said as she slowly detangled herself from Flora. The both of them passed in front of Bloom. “I swear you Witches…”

With a raised eyebrow, Bloom turned back towards Cariddi and Chimera, looking at their uniform before turning back to Cariddi.

She knew for a fact that uniforms showed which school of thought you believed in. There were no boys in right now, so she couldn’t compare. She could, however, notice that only Chimera’s outfit was different. Whereas Scilla and Cariddi wore a dress in different shades of blue, with only a pink cravate and rubbans, Chimera had a different shade of purple, with a pink choker of metal. The two girls also had purple tights and blue boots, while Chimera had a dark tight with opened purple shoes.

They all walked passed her though, so Bloom was forced to interrupt her analyzation to tag along, trying to map the whole school inside her head. It wasn’t that she was afraid to ask another student to ask where she was if she ever lost herself in all those corridors, it was more of a matter of if she found another student to ask. With only 40 of them inside the big castle, she was afraid she might have to wait until the year began again.

“So, Bloom,” suddenly said Chimera, maybe a bit put-out by the silence between the three of them while Flora and Scilla seemed to be sharing personal details. “Where are you from again ?”

“Earth, I’m adopted.”

“You’re an Earth Fairy ?” Asked the purple haired girl.

“Not exactly, it’s complicated.”

“You don’t have to feel pressured,” jumped in Scilla, interrupting her two friends. “They’re just really noisy.”

“Shut up,” growled Cariddi, oddly reminiscent of Stormy.

“I was adopted too,” said Chimera, slowing down to come to Bloom’s level. “Although my family’s from Solaria’s noblety, so I had the best taught to me. You, however, it must’ve been quite a shock when you discovered all of this.”

Bloom nodded. It was strange, because one part of her was angry at the thought of what had happened in Stella’s room. Another part was relating to the girl.

“Yes, it was… a lot, but thanks to my friends, I quickly adapted. Although sometimes I might seem a bit dumb,” she laughed.

The others joined. Suddenly, she felt like she was part of the group.

“So… did you meet here ?”

“Yes,” nodded Cariddi, her pigtails bouncing. “We were paired together for the first year assignment.”

With only a look at Flora and Bloom’s faces, the girl understood they had no idea what she was talking about.

“It’s something given to everyone to better the relationships between different schools of magic.”

“You aren’t all Witches ?”Asked Flora, eyeing the different uniforms in front of her.

“Oh not at all !” Answered Scilla with a vigorous shake of her head. “I’m a Fairy, and Cariddi is a Witch. Our school wants us to feel like we’re the same, so we have the same uniform.”

“Except for those stupid pendants we have to keep on ourselves,” explained Cariddi as she took hold of the little feline bouncing on her hip every time she walked. “Witches can choose between different types of felines.”

“She took a lioness because it reminds her of home,” said Scilla with a small smile while Cariddi glared at her. “Although, don’t be fooled, she’s a Witch of Wat-”

“Yes, yes, don’t tell them everything just now,” interrupted the purple haired girl. “As for this Fairies, you recognize them because they have insects. Scilla chose a bee, because she’s a Fairy of Nature.”

“Really ?” Interrupted Flora, looking at the ginger with wide eyes. “Where are you from ?”

“I am from Isis, what about you ?”

“I’m from Linphea !”

It was then that the two girls really started talking. There was no stopping their exchange of knowledge about plants, and how to listen or care for them. The three girls watched with raised eyebrows the Fairies of Nature, jumping around, their voices getting louder and louder as their excitement grew.

“And… where are you two from ?”

“I’m from Oppositus, which is at the far end of the Magical Dimension.”

“Oppositus ?” Repeated Bloom, the name sounding extremely foreign.

“A planet of opposites,” chimed in Chimera. “You should see it someday, it really is a sight to behold. And people there are quite a sight.”

Cariddi only nodded.

“Yes, as the name might suggest it, everything is made of its polar opposite. From people to the weather.”

“And you Chimera ?”

There was a moment of silence, in which Bloom understood that the girl might not wish to answer.

“If you’re from Earth, then I’m from Solaria,” she eventually said as the corridors turned to a pastel green.

They entered the big cantina ; it was as big and full of light as Alfea, but instead of two big tables, it was more like Cloud Tower, and its tables made for four or five people at most. A number which, luckily, they did not exceed.

“That’s our table,” said Chimera as she sat down as far from the doors as possible, and in front of the one reserved for the teachers. “Even though there’s no one right now, you should know there are a lot of Witches ready to pick up a fight for almost anything.”

The two Alfea students nodded, casting a look at Cariddi’s face. The girl had simply nodded.

“So, you didn’t tell us how you girls met,” reminded Flora.

Bloom wanted to add they also hadn’t told which school Chimera belonged to, but if she had to judge based on the uniform, then there was only one option left.

“Well, the assignment for us was to spend two weeks on Andros, in a lonely house, and to survive without killing each other,” explained Cariddi, as she glared at Scilla.

“Yes, and if the first few days were hard because we couldn’t talk to anybody else… it got better with time. And now, look at us !”

Chimera slightly shook her head, before turning her head to the doors. Bloom and Cariddi had their backs to it, but the others were somewhat staring.

“The teachers seem ready to announce something,” mumbled Cariddi.

Bloom looked at Chimera. The girl was oddly on edge, which Bloom thought was strange.

“What’s the matter ?” She asked in a hush.

The dark haired girl looked at her with a threat burning in her eyes. It froze Bloom on her spot.

“Quiet,” answered Chimera between her teeth.

Bloom then saw, from the corner of her eyes, the teachers going past them, to their table. She decided to wait, like the rest of the students. Suddenly she realized there wasn’t a single sound in the big room, all eyes seemed to be riveted on the five professors taking place in front of them.

Only the Head of Sorceresses stood still.

“Hello dear students. Tomorrow will begin the two hard working weeks for your future year. This is a chance we’re giving you, to prove yourself to us. Maybe some of you will graduate to become accomplished in your domain. Others,” and she looked towards Bloom’s table as she said that. “Might only come out with a diploma.”

With a nod of her head, the food appeared. ‘Thank yous’ resonated throughout the room, before everyone started tasting what their plate offered them. Bloom exchanged a weird glance with Flora, wishing to be sure of what they both had just heard.

From the faces of their new friends, or rather acquaintances, this speech had particularly touched them.

“Chimera, you never told us why your uniform was different ?” Pointed out Bloom, as she hoped to break the weird silence.

The girl stopped her movements, her fork halfway through the air, before she put it back down.

“I am a Sorceress. Because we’re so rare, the uniforms have never been changed, so we’re stuck with what was given to the school fifty years ago.”

Bloom raised her eyebrows, before the silence settled again. Cariddi seemed even tenser than before, while Chimera simply kept her eyes down on the table. Scilla had a sad smile on her lips.

Her heart squeezed at the sight in front of her. While she and Flora were living their best life, hoping to finally discover or control their new abilities, these girls had their future on the line. Those two weeks weren’t simply for outsiders to discover the school, or for students to better their power. It was about their entire scholarship that they were failing.

Chapter Text

The first lessons went well. Flora and Bloom weren’t particularly out of their comfort zone as they went through Transfiguration with the Wizard, and then Potions with the Warlock. The first reminded the Alfea Fairies of Wizgiz, as Gallium was extremely extroverted. There were only seventeen students in his class, whom he assisted during two hours as they learned to store magic into metal boxes. Flora and Scilla had it easily, as metal was part of nature. Bloom, for her part, turned the metal to liquid.

The professor had laughed, patting her on her shoulder as he explained that this was a common occurrence for people with an affinity to fire. Bloom had nodded tersely, before trying again. Looking around herself, she noticed most were having a hard time anyway. The Witch of Water she met the same morning was slowly losing her patience with her own work, while Chimera hadn’t moved.

Frowning, Bloom watched as the professor approached the Sorceress, only for Chimera to execute the spell with a lazy wave of her hand. Gallium didn’t seem surprised in the slightest, nodding his contentment to her before screaming at Cariddi for quite literally filling her own box with poisoned water.

“Need help ?” Asked Chimera.

Bloom blinked at the girl, surprised she didn’t see her coming.

“Yes,” she nodded.

The brown haired girl slipped into the seat next to the red head, and stared at the box.

“Show me how you do it.”

Taking a deep breath in, Bloom put both her hands on the sides of the box, before focusing on her magic. She tried to picture it as it travelled from her stomach to her shoulders, arms, and finally hands. The metal started burning under her hands, slowly turning to liquid again, forcing the red head to stop her actions.

“You don’t anticipate,” pointed out Chimera.

“Anticipate ?”

“The point of this exercise is to control your magic once it’s outside your body. We usually don’t care about that, because casting a spell doesn’t require it. But here, you have to think about what happens when your magic leaves your hands,” she explained. “Whereas you only let it out, expecting it to do the job on its own. Try again.”

Nodding, Bloom positioned herself again.

Again, her magic travelled from her stomach to her hands. Staring at the box, she tried to picture the magic in her coming out in its purest form, before filling the metal. Slowly, it did just that.

“You got it,” smiled Chimera.

Bloom noticed the sadness in her eyes.

 


 

Potions was rather easy for the two Alfea students. It seemed Palladium had taught them the basics well.

“Today, we’ll be making the Repumping potion. What can you tell me about it ?”

Scilla had her hand raised immediately. In between the two lessons, she confided that it was the course she liked best, and she would like to be able to ask the Warlock Saladin about an apprenticeship with him once she graduated, just as Flora had her eyes set on some Potion Engineer on her home planet.

“Cariddi ?” Asked the Warlock.

The girl next to Scilla sighed.

“The Repumping potion is used to give more energy to the person drinking it.”

“Exactly, and you might wish to take some after this lesson’s over,” said the teacher, his eyes unblinking.

Although that had been a tense beginning, the two Fairies had quickly been done with their own potion, and were able to present it to the professor in time.

“Very well done, both of you,” he nodded, before turning on his heels to survey the rest of the classroom.

Scilla and Chimera had been done a lot earlier, Cariddi finished right after the two Fairies.

“Wanna go outside ?” She proposed once her potion had been reviewed.

“The lesson’s not over,” answered Flora, her eyes automatically going to the professor roaming the alleys.

“Don’t worry,” said Scilla with a reassuring smile. “He doesn’t care. If you finished your potion, than he has nothing more to teach you this lesson.”

Bloom shrugged as she caught the panicked look in Flora’s eyes.

“C’mon,” she intimated.

Flora followed them, and soon they all found themselves in the open garden, gazing at Space.

“How do you like Beta Academy so far ?” Asked Scilla, her eyes sparkling.

“It’s a lot like Alfea,” said Flora. “We don’t have Witches though, but it’s an interesting experience to work with different people.”

“Your school must be boring as hell,” commented Cariddi.

Bloom smiled.

“Oh no. Cloud Tower is still too close to us.”

“Cloud Tower…” repeated Cariddi. “Yeah, I’ve visited. The Witches there are crazy.”

Flora and Bloom blinked as the words sunk in.

“What do you mean ?” Eventually asked the Nature Fairy.

“That they’re crazy,” answered the Witch with a roll of her eyes. “I remember visiting the place for three days, but all I remember from the lessons are teachers screaming at you and students doing everything except what was instructed. Talk about a school…”

“So… you went to Beta Academy instead ?” Asked Flora.

“Yup,” nodded the Witch, before she closed her eyes.

“Anyway,” interrupted Scilla. “I hope you girls are ready for tomorrow ! We’re having Llamard !”

The Alfea Fairies tilted their heads when they realized they would only have her course for four hours straight, but didn’t ask too many questions. They did, however, regret that fact as they were suddenly face to face with the Head of Witches. If Griselda had been scary before, she was nothing against that Witch.

The class was quickly divided in three, as there were only girls.

Flora took the place next to Scilla in the Fairy part, while Cariddi went to seat on the other side of the room, alone. As were the other Witches. Bloom followed Chimera quietly, before seating down next to the Sorceress. Only when the latter sent Bloom a surprised look did she realize she never quite told her new friends about why she was here.

“Flora, on the Sorceress side please. I do not like to waste my time.”

The girl all but ran to the middle of the classroom, hiding behind her friends.

“Now, I know Professor Gallium taught you to channel your magic into objects. Today, you will learn to use your magic with another fuel. Witches, I will want you to channel your kindness. Fairies, use your hatred. Those two emotions are the easiest. Remind yourself that this practice may save you one day. Begin.”

Taking confident strides, the Witch had quickly reached the three girls in the middle.

“As for you, the process will be harder. Chimera, you need to use your happiest emotions, but to picture something you hate. You are far too witchy for a Sorceress.”

The girl nodded, while the teacher took a gentle hold of Bloom’s wrist and led her to the desk behind.

“As Fairy students, I suppose you have an easier time using Fairy Arts. Now, I want the both of you to channel your anger, just like the other Fairies, but do not forget your compassion, and love. If you truly are Sorceresses, you will need to be able to master the two combined. Only then will your true powers shine.”

“But why not use compassion as main fuel, before picturing something we hate ?” Asked Bloom.

The Witch’s eyes seemed to twinkle, before she grew serious again.

“This is an exercise so you two can learn to recognize, and eventually manipulate both Witchcraft and Fairy Arts. I do not know the both of you well enough to guide you today, so please, focus on your darker thoughts before adding your own, natural magic to the mix.”

Both girls nodded in understatement, before focusing on the metal box in front of them.

It wasn’t extremely hard to get their magic inside and out of the box. Focusing on what she knew of Witchcraft, and felt every time she turned into her Sorceress form, Bloom was able to put her ‘Witch magic’ inside the box without any big trouble. Looking around her, she noticed Flora was already sweating from the effort, even though she seemed successful for the moment.  

The other students, however, seemed to be having a lot of difficulties : while the Fairies simply could not get their darker thoughts to produce any magic, Witches were getting angry, thus strudding even further from their lighter magic. Scilla was somewhat advancing, under the careful gaze of their teacher, while Cariddi was trying breathing exercises.

As for Chimera, it seemed the lesson was too easy. She was simply staring down at the box in front of her, oozing of raw power. She had her arms crossed on her chest, while her eyes were set on the wall before her. Bloom furrowed her brows at the sight, wondering why someone so talented would need to stay behind during the holidays.

“Eyes on your box everyone,” suddenly reminded their professor, the latter’s eyes on the red head.

Bloom nodded quickly before dropping her gaze onto her box. With both her hands positioned on its sides, she breathed in deeply, before focusing on her natural hatred of Lord Darkar, letting her magic flow through her veins like she’d been taught. She could clearly feel the seed of darkness that he planted in her, and it disgusted her. With a big frown on her face, she attempted to add her usual magic, but something held her back.

Narrowing her eyes, she tried to let the purest form of energy she could muster flow through her veins. She only ever used that kind of power when she needed to call onto her Dragon Flame, but it had never failed her. Until this lesson.

Somehow, while she used the darkness Darkar had put in her, she could not call onto her powers. It seemed that the energy she was using didn’t come from her.

It dawned on her.

“I’m sorry, I need to go to the bathroom !”

As nausea hit her hard in the stomach, Bloom quickly called off her magic before running out of the classrooms. She didn’t check to see if anyone was behind her, rather she just kept on going until she found an appropriate place to pull her hair up, and throw up.

For two full minutes, she felt disgust fill her up in waves. Hot tears were streaming down her cheeks, while her eyes glazed over nothingness.

“Bloom !”

Of course Flora would follow her.

Trying her best to sit a bit back up, she opened the stall to help her friend find her.

“Oh my- What happened ?”

The red head simply clenched her eyes shut, letting her head hit the wall next to her.

“It’s Darkar’s magic that I’m using. Not mine. He’s- there’s something of him inside my body.”

Chapter Text

Bloom stayed hidden in the bathroom until the lesson was over, while Flora went back to class as the red head told her to. She wasn’t feeling bad, she just needed time to process this information. A part of her had always known that this was the case, that Darkar couldn’t possibly cast a spell on her from his underground castle, yet she had tried to convince herself otherwise. She had believed, up until a few minutes ago, that he was indeed some Dark Wizard, with mighty powers.

She didn’t cry, or scream. After Flora calmed her down, she just sat down on the floor and stared in front of her, lost in thoughts. Her mind was racing with possibilities, with questions she wanted to ask the Head of Witches, or the simple thought that some part of her didn’t want to be a Fairy anymore. Or whatever she was now.

Clenching her eyes shut, she embraced her knees with both of her arms before putting her chin on top of them.

The lesson had enabled her to feel exactly where her magic started. She could feel it swirling inside the pit of her stomach, with a few splashes on her collarbone. It felt extremely good, like tinkles. Focusing on them made her relax. But there was also this big rock, in the midst of her magic, that had nothing to do there. She knew it because she could feel where her darker magic was, and where this rock was. The energy wasn’t the same at all.

One was still moving inside her, living, breathing, because it was a part of her body. It had always been there, even if she never called onto it. She’d probably never learn how to use it properly, because in her heart she knew she was no Witch, but even then it didn’t feel wrong. It was another of her organs, one that allowed her to breath. One she depended on.

The rock, however, made her shudder with disgust. She had thrown up all of her breakfast in the toilets, yet she couldn’t help but wish she could do it again, hoping to get rid of it. She tried to grip her stomach with her hands, but she couldn’t feel it either. It was just a sensation, probably the way her brain processed that there was something that didn’t belong. It felt dead, quite literally. It also screamed bad news. Yet she couldn’t get rid of it.

She could obviously call onto its power. She had done it before, and she could do it again. But that meant she was calling onto Lord Darkar’s powers, something he most likely felt. That made her question how much he was able to do to her, even from so far away.

The truth was, she would never be truly safe until she had that thing removed.

“Bloom ?”

Sighing, the red head slowly stood back up, before exiting the stall. She let her eyes roam over the four girls in front of her. Flora immediately went over to her, before taking her arm in hers.

“We’re taking you to the infirmary,” she explained.

Scilla had her big blue eyes opened wide at the sight of the other red head, while the other Beta students kept a blank face. Bloom didn’t really think about it, instead settling on sending Scilla a big smile she hoped was reassuring, while she ignored the others.

Cariddi’s eyes narrowed before her hand went to her friend’s waist, while Chimera led them to the infirmary.

The walk was silent. They all seemed pretty exhausted. This didn’t strike Bloom immediately, but soon she caught the Witch yawning, followed by her friend then by Flora. Chimera had her back to them so she couldn’t be sure, but she’d bet her shoulders were a bit lower than usual.

“Has something happened ?” She asked Flora, frowning at the strange attitude they were all displaying.

“The lesson was a bit more… tiring than we were expecting,” answered her friend with a simple nod.

Bloom hummed, before they finally arrived in front of the infirmary.

Chimera knocked on the door before letting herself in, letting her magic hold the door for the other girls.

“The healer should be here any moment,” she said as she motioned for Bloom to sit on one of the beds. “Now care to explain what this was all about ?”

Bloom could not feel any animosity from the girl, but the distrust was evident.

“It’s complicated,” she said, before biting her lip.

“You already said that.”

“I know but… it is. I’m not comfortable sharing that piece of information with just… anyone.”

Chimera nodded, before starting to slowly pace in front of the two Alfea students.

“You’ve been cursed ?”

Bloom’s quick glance at Flora made the dark haired girl grow even colder.

“The two of you have been cursed ?”

Flora started playing with her hands, while Bloom looked down.

“I’m not here to interrogate you, I’m here to understand alright ? You two are the first Sorceresses of my I’ve seen. You kept that for yourself, and when our teacher suddenly outs you, you bail. Why ?”

“We’re not even sure we’re Sorceresses,” slowly spoke Flora. “We came here because… we’re likely to be.”

“Everyone can be a Sorceress if they really want to,” huffed Chimera.

She opened her mouth to say something else, but the door suddenly opened, startling the occupants of the room.

“Who needs help ?”

“Helia ?”

It was Flora who spoke, and the boy’s gaze quickly softened when he saw her.

“Flora ? Bloom ? What are the two of you doing here ?”

They both blinked in astonishment.

“To take a few more lessons, what about you ?”

“I work here because my father asked me to.”

“Your fat- you mean Professor Saladin ?”

“Yes,” nodded the boy before he finally moved from the door to the red head’s side. “What are your symptoms ?”

“Uh I… I think I’ve been kind of… poisoned ? By dark magic ? I can feel it.”

Helia took  one step away from her.

“Then I’m afraid I can’t do anything about it… But I’ll ask my dad or one of the Heads. Do you feel good enough to go on with your day or would you like to rest here ?”

“I’m good, thanks.”

He nodded, before sighing.

“Alright, I’ll see what can be done.”

With that he was gone, while the other three Beta students stared at them with wide eyes.

 

“So you know him ?”

“He’s cute. You like him ?”

“How did you meet him ?!”

Flora was as red as a tomato, and Bloom couldn’t stop herself from laughing at her face.

“He’s at Red Fountain.”

“Really ? So you can see him… everyday ?”

“Well no, but there are events and sometimes we hang out.”

While Bloom explained the whole situation to Helia’s obvious fan girls, the other Alfea Fairy suddenly found herself fascinated with her hands.

As for the groupies, the red head could feel nothing but curiousness from Scilla and Cariddi, but Chimera had her eyes wide opened, suddenly extremely interested in the relationship between the schools on Magix. It didn’t strike Bloom as a surprise that she’d wish to learn more about a school full of pretty boys, but she was a bit taken aback at Chimera showing any kind of emotion. The girl had acted like a rock thus far, her face always set in a small sneer. It was weird.

They went out for lunch immediately, their conversation slowly drifting from Helia to their past relationships, before someone went to their table. Bloom easily recognized the Head of Sorceresses, and as such stood up.

“I heard you had a bit of a problem in class,” she said with unblinking eyes.

Bloom had the strange impression the professor was already analyzing her.

“Yes, I-“

“Follow me.”

Bloom glanced at her table quickly, seeing the worried looks on Flora and Scilla’s faces, before turning around to follow the Sorceress. They only walked a bit before they entered her office, which Bloom was grateful for, seeing as the silent walk made her even more worried.

“Only two days in, yet I feel your magical signature has evolved a lot. It is strange, however. As if you were battling with yourself. Can you explain it ?”

Biting her lip, the girl nodded as she slipped into a chair.

“Yes professor, I… This morning, I felt it. I felt… the source of my powers. Why I can turn so… dark, and all.”

“And all.”

She nodded once again.

“What does it feel like ?”

“Like a rock, I’d say. It feels… dead.”

Frügsjkta’s eyes narrowed.

“Dead ? Yet you are talking about magic ? A magical source ?”

“Yes, I know it sounds crazy but compared to my own magic… It’s dead. It doesn’t move… It doesn’t belong in me.”

The Head nodded slowly, before slowly moving towards the student.

“Can I examine you again ?”

A big part of the girl wanted to tell her no, that having this rock inside her was already too much to handle. Yet she also knew it wouldn’t be good to let it left unchecked. At least, she would know what it was. So she wordlessly nodded, keeping her eyes on the teacher’s face.

“I’ll begin.”

A flow of warmth graced Bloom this time. It calmed her nerves, and slowly started working on relaxing her muscles. It was one of the purest form of energy the red head had ever felt. This went on for a few seconds of pure bliss, before the magic reached her stomach.

At first, her own magic met the Sorceress’ one. The two seemed to be dancing for a moment, as a greeting of some sort.

“I’ll need you to let me in, I can’t reach this rock you told me about. Your magic’s blocking me.”

Putting her whole attention onto her magic, Bloom did succeed in telling her magic to let in her professor’s. It felt weird, but the sensation was extremely pleasant. Until it reached the dead weight.

Bloom’s body suddenly turned cold. She felt everything tighten, and began to suffocate. Her muscles couldn’t seem to work anymore. The hardest thing was to be able to see the teacher’s face, fully focused on her task, but being unable to tell her to get out.

Tears started falling on cheeks, as the end suddenly seemed inevitable. There was no pain, but the lack of oxygen started to make her dizzy. Her own eyes lost their focus.

“Oh me- Are you alright ? Bloom ! Can you hear me ?”

She tried to nod, but nothing came out of her mouth. Maybe a little croak, but nothing else.

“I’ll call Saladin and his son… this is…”

Try as she might, Bloom couldn’t stop herself from blacking out.

 


 

“That was some magic you showed this morning,” commented Chimera.

“Oh, I honestly didn’t know I had it in me. I think it’s because I saw my friend being so… sad. It made me angry. I couldn’t do anything about it.”

“Whatever it was girl, you succeeded in one lesson. Like, no one ever did that. Except Chimera maybe ?” Said Cariddi, her eyes drifting to the girl in question.

“No, it took me three. I was very bad at Fairy Arts.”

“Oh oh ! So you beat the great Chimera !”

Flora laughed awkwardly.

“I meant to ask… Why are you here ? You seem so good at… everything.”

Chimera paused, her eyes casted down on her plate before she glared at the Fairy. Flora felt shivers run up and down her spine, suddenly worried she’d made a mistake.

“You’ll see tomorrow, I guess.”

The other two girls had their lips pursed, as if the subject was a touchy one. The Alfea student decided it was best if she did not push it.

“Anyway, are you interested in Helia ?” Asked Cariddi.

Flora felt her cheeks grow hotter. Before she could stop herself, she had already tried to hide herself from them by putting her hair in front of her face, while playing with her hands. She was shy, and talking about her feelings with people she hardly knew wasn’t her cup of tea.

“You should know Chimera’s too,” snickered the same girl as she threw a mocking glance at her friend.

“Shut up Cariddi,” said the two Beta students at the same time.

“I don’t have a real interest in him, though,” said Chimera. “He’s cute, but he isn’t the one for me. I could help you, if you wish.”

Flora’s eyes went up to meet the brunette’s icy glare.

“You… would do that ?”

“She hides it well, but Chimera’s a real sweetheart once you get to know her,” laughed Scilla. “She has her eyes set on someone else anyway.”

“Really ?”

Flora couldn’t help it.

“Yes, but I’m not telling you.”

“She speaks to all of us,” whispered Cariddi, even though Chimera could perfectly hear everything. “She hasn’t told us either, but we know he exists.”

“Shut up !”

The three girls laughed at Chimera’s expense, before Helia made a big entrance in the room, running up to Flora.

“Bloom’s in the infirmary again. She’s sleeping for now, but I think you’ll want to hear what the professors have to tell too.”

Chapter Text

At first she heard voices. They seemed to be arguing, thus making their words messy. One person, a girl it seemed, was screeching, making Bloom’s headache slowly get worst. Another one seemed pretty calm, using a low voice, almost soothing compared to the third one full of venom. Bloom didn’t focus too much, at first too tired to even realize something was wrong.

When a booming voice seemed to get out of her own throat, however, her eyes flew wide opened. It gave an order, and was immediately obeyed. The silence was almost terrifying as the echo resonated in the room.

“You will do as I say. Right now, there is no reason for us to take any action against those fools. Focus on the task at hand.”

Bloom would never mistake those icy blue eyes anywhere. They were printed in her brain, seemingly staring at her soul. Seeing that woman on her knees was almost weird.

“Go !”

It triggered her mind to get back at once.

“Bloom !” Exclaimed someone as the red head took a deep breath in.

“How do you feel ?” Asked the Wizard Gallium.

Nodding wordlessly, Bloom tried to regain her breath slowly. Her eyes met Frügsjkta’s, who in return silently nodded.

She was back at the infirmary, the white walls being a dead giveaway. Flora was on one side of her bed, holding her hand. On the other side, the Wizard was working his magic on her, making sure she was alright. Further away, Helia and the Head of Sorceresses were talking in whispers, around a fuming potion.

“How long was I out for ?”

“Around two hours. Fortunately, you didn’t have any classes,” said the man jovially.

Bloom didn’t feel like sharing his enthusiasm. Instead, she let herself sigh before staring at the ceiling, her hold on Flora’s hand tightening. She felt bad, disgusted, but even worse she couldn’t speak freely. She wanted to tell Flora everything, while she remembered it clearly. It felt like a dream, and just like the usual dreams, this one was fading away quickly.

“Alright, Klara ?” Called the man as he left her side.

They talked a bit, before he and Helia walked out. The boy threw them a last glance, before the door closed.

The Sorceress approached quickly, taking Gallium’s place. Without even moving, she conjured a chair, and sat upon it.

“I have three things to tell you. Let’s begin with you Flora.”

Bloom felt the girl tighten her grip.

“You have impressed Madam Llamard this morning. It seems it was a good move for you to come here. The magic you showed was extremely powerful. In all likeness, you are a Hægtesse. We would welcome you as soon as the holidays are over.”

Flora was speechless in front of the other woman, her eyes wide opened. There was fear, Bloom noted, but also a touch of excitement.

“As for you Bloom, I did some research on you, and your powers. In the past days, I went over your lineage, looked into every person that was ever gifted the power of the Dragon Flame, analysed the characteristics of Heirs magics… and never once was I able to tell someone such as you could become a Sorceress.”

It felt like a blow to the stomach, if the red head was honest. It had probably something to do with the emotionless expression the teacher wore on her face, or maybe she felt that what would follow would not please her in the least. A quick glance at Flora’s face confirmed her suspicions. Even the Nature Fairy, or Sorceress, felt something was about to go wrong.

“Hence why, in those two hours of you being out, I started running tests on your magical imprint. There is indeed a certain darkness to you right now, which cannot be denied. I could not understand why though, because every information I had read said it was impossible.”

“So what am I ?” Croaked out the girl, tears building up.

The teacher sighed.

“I decided to look into old curses, old rituals, which helped Fairies or Witches achieve a Hægtesse transformation. Those two past hours helped me figure it out.”

There was silence, where Bloom clenched her jaw, unwilling to show her weakness.

“You have been cursed by some very old magic. It is called Vermis. And-“ The professor’s voice broke, before she shook her head. “Let’s say, that somehow, a magical worm is inside you right now. It is eating at your magic… but allows you to tap into the powers of the person who casted that curse. That person, in return, can take full control of your mind. That is what you feel, this rock you told me about.”

The tears fell, but the red head didn’t care anymore. Crying in front of her those people was the least of her worries. The comparison was as disgusting as the feeling she got every time she felt that rock inside her. Knowing it was indeed what caused to harm the people she liked was even worse.

“How do I get rid of it ?” She asked in a whisper.

“I haven’t found a cure yet. This was a dark ritual, used in dark times. I will work my hardest, however, to provide you with one.”

“So I’m not a Hægtesse ? I’m just cursed ?”

“Yes.”

She broke down.

She heard the teacher leave the room, before Flora’s arms gently surrounded her. Her warmth was reassuring, compared to the cold numbness that had started filling her. She didn’t like any of what was happening. She didn’t understand why it had to happen to her. She just wanted some powers, to be able to fly. She would’ve liked to attend Alfea like every other student did, without worrying about who would be coming for her the next year.

Darkar had cursed her, but Bloom hated her powers even more. It had sounded cool to hear she possessed one of the strongest magic in the world, but she hadn’t thought about the consequences. There were too many people running after it.

“Well, this would’ve been my third news,” mumbled the teacher, quite distraught at the sight of the young girl. “I will see what can be done, in the meantime I would like you to report to us should you feel anything suspicious. And… well, do you know if Lord Darkar targets our school ?”

Bloom shook her head vigorously.

“He’s after something, but it’s not here.”

The professor nodded, before slowly walking away. She only turned around once.

“I will keep my promise, Bloom.”

The girl looked down.

 


 

“So you saw Lord- you saw through his eyes ?” Asked the hologram version of Stella.

Bloom had decided she needed to tell her friends what was happening. Stella had insisted they called each other, so here they were, all in front of their phones. The Solarian Princess sat on her bed, next to a dumbstruck Brandon. Musa and Tecna were apparently in the same room, whereas Layla was alone, somewhere deep underwater to escape the hawk eyes of her parents.

“Yes,” sighed the red head. “It was like I was him, except I couldn’t control anything.”

“And the Trix were there ?” Asked Brandon, his eyes narrowed.

Bloom nodded.

“I didn’t get any information, but they’re preparing something.”

“Do you think they’ll attack you while you’re in that school ?”

Bloom turned to Layla.

“No, as far as we know there’s no part of the Codex here.”

“But there’s you,” reminded Musa.

“I don’t think they need me. I gave them that part of the Codex, but putting me under their control would achieve nothing. I can’t just fly off the school. And even if I did, the staff here would immediately warn the authorities or something.”

The girls nodded.

“Well, you two being safe is good news then,” sighed Tecna. “I will also look into Zenith’s library to see if I can find something on the subject. I never heard of that curse.”

“You being able to pull at Darkar’s magic is both amazing and terrifying,” nodded Layla.

Bloom felt a sad smile form on her lips.

“It’s so strange… I haven’t yet digested this information.”

“What I don’t understand is how you can transform into a Sorceress form if you cannot make both magic fusion ? Am I the only one ?” Wondered Stella aloud.

“I have a theory,” chimed in Tecna. “From all you told us, maybe this curse allows you to fusion both when you pull onto his magic, because if that spell was created to put you under control, it means someone could make an army out of that curse. But, if they did, but those mind-controlled people were pulling onto the caster’s magic, then that person would be drained of all energy in a second. So they made you capable to use your own magic, while the caster’s dark control ensured you were mindlessly following the instructions.”

By the end of the explanation, only Musa and Layla were nodding in understanding. Bloom exchanged a quick glance with Stella and Flora, before looking back at Tecna.

“I… must admit I didn’t understand everything.”

Musa snorted.

“What she means is : you can use your magic, because if you pulled on Lord Darkar’s magic it would make him exhausted.”

“Which would be a good thing for us when we go get him,” mumbled Layla.

Her comment was ignored as the three girls finally understood what had been said.

“So, what do we do ?” Asked Stella.

“We prepare ourselves for Red Fountain’s event,” announced Brandon, rising his eyebrows suggestively at Musa.

The Melodian girl’s face immediately turned red, but she tried to hide it with a cough.

“It’s going to be amazing !” Clapped Stella, hugging her boyfriend.

“I can’t wait to see you in action,” said Flora.

“By the way, Layla, do you think you could come over on Eraklyon ? We need to repeat !”

“Of course !” Smiled the girl in question. “When do you want me there ?”

For a single moment, Bloom almost felt normal.

She eyed the exchange between her friends, seeing them excited over a little event where they would be able to see most of their friends. The party sounded promising, just as the concert Musa had planned, with the help of Layla and Stella.

For a single moment, she let herself enjoy herself. No more power hungry people going after her. Just her friends, and her student life.

Chapter Text

Bloom and Flora spent their Wednesday quietly, with the other Beta students. There was nothing to do, the day being free from any lesson, so they were left to their own devices. Scilla was having a great time showing Flora her plants and own creations, before their conversation turned into something Bloom couldn’t understand. Cariddi was on her phone, sometimes laughing at something she saw, before resuming to her bored look.

Bloom wasn’t exactly hurt that she was forgotten so easily, as she eyed Chimera in a corner. The brunette was doing some homework, which she seemed to be the only one who needed to do it. Her two friends hadn’t said anything about it, so the red head found herself to be curious.

“What are you doing ?”

In retrospect, Bloom knew that she wasn’t exactly close with any of them. Cariddi had snapped her head up, as if remembering someone was in the room, but quickly realized she wasn’t the person spoken to. Chimera had also looked up, her look in her eyes even deadlier than it usually was. The two stared at each other for some time, the red head mostly wondering how she could get out of that particularly cringey situation, before the Sorceress sighed.

“Homework.”

Bloom only nodded, before looking down at her own phone.

She texted Brandon then, and received confirmation that all the Specialists had been told the story. She wasn’t certain she trusted Riven yet, the boy gave her awful vibes, but she was glad to have the others by her side. She couldn’t see herself go after anyone without her whole team.

Flora came, and the two made their way to their room.

 


 

“Hello students, I prepared a new course for today !”

Out of the corner of her eyes, Bloom clearly saw Chimera’s shoulders tense. Even though her face didn’t give anything away, the red head had been close enough to her to know that something was up. Especially with the sneaky glances Scilla and Cariddi threw Chimera’s way.

She turned her head back to Flora, who had obviously noticed the pattern too. They exchanged a confused look, before focusing on the lesson again.

This morning, they had a class with the Head of Fairies, Isis Kly. The woman had a big smile on her face as she explained how to go through the whole course, making sure everyone had understood her instructions, and that they didn’t need any help. With a snap of her fingers, she transformed in front of them in a pastel blue costume, a big contrast with her dark skin but going perfectly well with her blue hair and eyes.

“You’ll be going by teams of two, please get in line.”

Bloom ended up being one of the first on the list, along Scilla. The two transformed into their Fairy outfits, before taking off the ground. It felt like seconds, but the feeling of flying was something she didn’t realize she missed. She flew through the course with ease and glee, avoiding the fire and water thrown her way, going through every dark tunnel there was, before landing in front of the professor.

“Very well !” Applauded the teacher, as Scilla landed next to her, a bit shaken off.

“You’re so fast !” She whispered as they went back into the line.

“I missed it,” she admitted.

It was then Cariddi and Flora’s turn. The Witch didn’t spare a glance at the Sorceress, dashing through every obstacle before landing hard on the ground. Flora came out a minute later, a big smile on her face. The two were congratulated, before leaving to make way for the others.

“Cariddi is extremely good too,” said Bloom.

“Oh yeah, well she’s a Witch, it’s easier for them.”

“Really ?”

Blinking in confusion, Scilla eyed her curiously.

“Well yeah, they control their whole body rather than counting on their wings. This exercise is simple for her, but if she had any wind resistance, she’d be having a lot of trouble. They have less stability.”

Bloom nodded in full surprise.

“Well thanks, I didn’t know that.”

“Of course.”

“Go on Chimera, please.”

Putting her attention back onto the exercise, Bloom noticed Chimera had yet to transform. The girl had her head hanging low, her shoulders sagging forward as she did so. The professor had walked over to her, and try as she might, she couldn’t hide the sadness from showing over her face. Over what, Bloom couldn’t tell.

“This is going to be bad,” said someone in the line.

Chimera eventually transformed.

Seeing her out of her usual outfit was already a shock, but it being full of sparkles was another : it was made of one piece, sleeveless, of a deep black blue. It wasn’t a dress, rather a combi short. She had dark blue combat boots with high knee socks ending above her knees. Her arms were bare, if you decided to ignore the many runes that seemed tattooed on her skin, from where a dark hue seemed to be emanating. Her hair was held in a high ponytail, making her seem taller.

What was even more incredible were her wings. Bloom had only ever seen a few Fairies owning wings where some part went down, like Musa. In Chimera’s case, it seemed the wings didn’t go up. If she could compare, she’d say they resembled Layla’s, but turned upside down : the tips reached the level of her low back.

“Yeah she’s something our Chimera,” nodded Scilla when she noticed the look on her friend’s face.

Bloom could only nod. This was unprecedent. She had never seen such a transformation.

But then nothing happened. Chimera just stared at the course, her fists tight, but that was all.

“Chimera’s afraid of flying,” explained Scilla.

“That’s why she’s here ?”

“Yes.”

Chimera slowly took off the ground gracefully. Everything seemed to be going well, but before she even reached the beginning of the course, the brunette immediately flew down on the ground. Bloom frowned, noticing that Chimera had done so by herself.

“She’s scared of hights,” informed Scilla.

Gasping, Bloom finally understood why it was so hard for the Sorceress.

She had never seen any Fairy with such a fear. She’d never been afraid herself, and had simply thought it had something to do with her being a Fairy. She simply concluded that it simply wasn’t possible. Birds weren’t afraid of hights, so neither should a Fairy. Then again, she didn’t give it much thought. She had been way too happy of learning how to control herself in the air to care about how high she actually was.

Turning back around, she caught Flora biting her lip anxiously as she stared at their friend. Cariddi stared back, forcing the red hair to turn her attention back to the lesson. Just in time, in fact, to see Chimera in her uniform again, walking away from the pitch with her head high.

The professor simply watched her walk away, face neutral, before a smile came back on her face and she moved the course around, giving it a new aspect. The lesson went on as if nothing happened, yet Bloom couldn’t completely forget about Chimera’s problem.

 


 

“I had no idea that could happen,” she told Flora later, as they took their things to go shower.

“Oh it’s very rare, I think,” nodded Flora. “On Linphea, we all learn to fly pretty young. I think every magical being tries it out when they discover they can. She may have had a bad experience ? I know my sister’s afraid because she saw one of her friends fall down.”

Bloom could only shrug.

“So we say… nothing ?”

“What do you want to say ?” Asked Flora, genuinely confused. “It’s bad enough that everyone witnessed it, I’m not sure she’d wish we comment on it.”

“Yeah but… maybe we could help her or-“

Flora sighed heavily. This simple sound made Bloom widen her eyes at her friends, surprised at her behaviour.

“Listen, Bloom. I know you mean well, and under any other circumstance, I would’ve said yes, let’s help her. But we can’t. You can’t. We’re currently the front line against Darkar. You are cursed. I just discovered I actually am not a Fairy. Our time here ends next week. Not to mention we barely knows them.”

There was a dark aura around her friend, that Bloom usually associated with her new powers. She opened her mouth to reply something, but decided against it. Crossing her arms, clutching her things to her chest, she nodded soundlessly. Flora’s gaze softened at the sight, but there was still tension in her shoulders. Bloom couldn’t overlook it.

“I’m sorry Bloom. I know it’s our thing to help everyone but… we can’t cure a phobia in a week.”

The red hair forced a smile on her lips, nodding enthusiastically in a way she hoped would reassure her friend, before turning on her heels to access the shower. She didn’t hear anything from Flora until they went down to the Cafeteria to eat.

The three friends were already there, talking normally, and didn’t say anything when the Alfea students took their seats next to them. Chimera seemed to be alright, but Bloom could tell that she held her fork a bit too tightly. Cariddi had her eyes on her, however, so she stopped her inspection. Scilla seemed oblivious, for the most part, but the quick glances she threw here and there told a different story.

“Chimera, follow me please ?” Asked Professor Kly.

The girl didn’t protest, and got up without a word.

Chapter Text

Bloom woke up early on Friday. For some reason, she couldn’t wait for the day they would spend with the Head of Sorceresses. She had only briefly talked with the other students, but it seemed exciting. All of them had been impatient, muttering about ideas for what they thought would happen. Her new friends had been vague however, explaining that they would basically put into use everything they did that week.

The red head was surprised to see a note on their dorm’s door. With narrowed eyes, she stepped closer.

 

Weekly Evaluation

Your first task is to find the clue in your room.

Headmistress Frügsjkta

 

Looking around herself, Bloom didn’t spot anything out of the ordinary. Still, she made sure she had checked everything in the living room before going back to her own bedroom. She couldn’t feel any magical presence, which led her to believe that she only ought to look for something simple.

Once back in her own bedroom, she started turning the whole room upside down. It didn’t help that she wasn’t the cleanest person to exist. A little spell there and she was able to see clearer, alas it wasn’t useful. She found absolutely nothing. It led her to inspect the other bedrooms, but the result wasn’t brighter.

Looking outside her window, Bloom noticed there were students outside, meeting each other. She frowned when she recognized Scilla there, talking with two Witches. Shrugging the odd feeling away, she simply walked up to Flora’s room, knocking lightly on the door. The Fairy inside grumbled, which Bloom decided to take as an invitation.

“What’s the matter ?”

“We’ve got some kind of treasure hunting thing going on, we need to find a clue. I checked the other rooms but there was nothing.”

Flora sighed, but slowly got up. Meanwhile, Bloom inspected every corner of the foreign room, before her roommate cleared her throat.

“There,” she pointed at her collection of plants. “There’s a piece of paper.”

She turned around to quickly dress up, while Bloom followed her indications. Sure enough, the clue was in her hands.

 

1st Clue

Flora, Bloom, please discreetly go to the highest point of the school.

 

Eyeing each other quickly, they set themselves in motion. Flora casted a quick spell to get them to walk soundlessly, while Bloom used her powers to sense if anyone was coming their way. Fortunately the school was almost empty, as usual. They encountered no one in the corridors. From the windows though, they could see some people were getting out and back inside the castle.

On the contrary of the two friends, the Beta students seemed at ease with what was happening. A single look at their relaxed demeanour could tell as much : sometimes one would lay down in the grass to lazily glance up at their partners, while another was combing her hair or eating her breakfast, as some were laughing the situation off.

The sight made Bloom relax. She wasn’t the one whose education depended on it. Those students were taking what seemed to be an important test, yet they didn’t seem particularly stressed out. Either it was rather easy, or they didn’t care. The red head liked to think it was the first option.

After about twenty minutes of running around the place, searching for some stairs while avoiding anyone, they finally reached the highest tower of the Beta Academy. It looked a little bit like the ones at Alfea, except bigger, darker, and cozier. Bloom was surprised to see couches along the borders, tables, or even sets of tea.

“Finally !”

The red head’s eyes landed on Cariddi first, who seemed to have been in the middle of pacing, while Chimera had a cup at her lips. She ignored them at first while the Witch crossed her arms at the both of them, obviously angry at their tardiness.

“Your clue,” she ordered.

Flora took it out of her pockets, intending to give it to the other girl, but instead the paper went flying in the air. Before any of them could say anything, another one joined it. They merged in a little halo of light, before it started falling down slowly. Cariddi caught it quickly.

“Hidden in plain sight, you’ll have to look into the many… Oh My- They’re doing riddles now !” She sneered before putting the paper in her pocket.

“What are we supposed to look for ?” Asked Flora, her eyes already darting to the sides of the room.

“Not here,” said Chimera.

The brunette stood up before making her way to the stairs the Alfea students had just climbed. Instead of taking them, she looked up and brought her fist down. Bloom watched in awe as a trap indeed opened, while a ladder fell from it. They wasted no time in climbing it.

They found themselves in a dimly lit room, full of exotic plants. Chimera started investigating, looking in every corner. Bloom imitated her, while Flora went to the flowers instead.

“Hidden in plain sight, you’ll have to look into the many… what could that mean ?” Asked Cariddi, her eyes roaming the room. “There’s nothing but plants. A lot of them. Are the ‘many’ the plants ?”

“I would think so, yes,” answered Chimera.

“Hidden in plain sight…”

The Witch kept on turning around, trying to look into the most obvious places. They were all silent for a moment, trying to decipher what the riddle was about, may it be the flowers or pots. Bloom even tried to look through the windows, or from as high as she could, but nothing seemed to do the trick.

“Let’s think,” sighed Chimera. “We’re in a room full of plants. We need to look for something rather obvious. What could it be ?”

“Maybe a leaf that would actually be a piece of paper with the next clue ?” Proposed the Witch.

The both of them snickered before the Sorceress cleared her throat, setting her features back into a blank mask.

“Is the room always like that ?” Suddenly asked Flora.

“I think so, why ?” Answered Cariddi.

“Well… Have you noticed it’s a lot of the same plants ? Or that they can all be used to make one potion ?”

They all frowned in confusion, then understanding dawned on them.

“Yes, of course !” Said Chimera before turning around.

They all started analysing what they had in front of them. There were plants whose flowers were useless but the wood had interesting properties, leaves with induced magic, as well as rare exotic plants that could never live in the little room. Flora immediately started collecting everything she needed before taking the ladder downstairs.

“Alright this should be quick.”

When Bloom went back to the cosy place, Flora had already taken hold of some tea sets. Chimera was back at her cup of tea, while Cariddi looked intently at every motion Flora made. Bloom decided to sit somewhere near Chimera, used to watching her friend work her wonders.

It didn’t take long for their friend to finish the little potion, and without consulting anyone Cariddi threw the paper into the potion. Flora gaped at her.

“What ? It’s a revealing potion.”

With a flick of her wrist, the paper was back in front of her.

“You look at me, yet you do not see… what does that even mean ? Where are we suppo- oh, there’s a cup.”

Flora frowned at the picture before shaking her head. The dripping paper then flew to Chimera’s face, who only nodded before standing up and leading them all downstairs, almost back to their dormitories. Bloom was confused until she saw the brunette turn to go into the Cafeteria.

There were many other groups in the room, making everything rather loud.

“Alright, ignore everyone, let’s focus on our own task. I know the cup because it belongs to Professor Saladin.”

“How did you notice that ?” Asked Cariddi, her eyebrows going up rather suggestively.

“Because I broke it,” answered the brunette before looking around herself.

They tried to look past everyone, but it was harder said than done, because people kept passing by them. Even Chimera seemed to be having a hard time investigate when everyone disregarded them.

“Alright I think I got that one,” said the Witch.

Her eyes suddenly turned full black, and she walked over to the teachers’ table almost immediately. People started making way for her, which allowed Bloom to understand.

“Alright let’s follow her,” whispered Chimera, almost to herself.

Knowing the people around them were nothing but an illusion, Bloom stopped caring about them. They walked closely to her, but if she reached out her hand touched nothing.

“Alright, there’s the cup, right on the middle of the table. I think it’s cursed.”

Bloom then stepped up, letting her magic tentatively reach out for anything magical. The darkness almost immediately tried to push her away, making her job far easier than it should’ve been. With both of her palms facing where she thought the cup was, she used her healing magic. She didn’t even have to think about it.

It took what seemed to be an eternity, but before long she had broken the curse on the object. Without any magic left in it, the people in the room vanished, along with the noise. They all let out a little sigh of contentment, before focusing on what their next clue was saying.

“Fly in the air, try to get there,” read aloud Chimera, her voice cracking at the end.

“I guess it’s pretty clear this time,” said Cariddi before taking her leave.

Bloom couldn’t help herself from glancing at Chimera, a gesture the brunette didn’t miss, but decided not to comment on it. They all followed the Witch, walking outside, in the warm light of mid-day.

“I hope it’s almost over, I’m hungry,” complained Cariddi.

At once, they transformed. Chimera too, even though she didn’t seem ready to take off anytime soon. Bloom ignored it, flying over to the walls, trying to see something out of place. Flora followed her, before taking care of another part of the castle, while Cariddi disappeared.

The problem was, Bloom had no idea what to look for, once again. It started to get on her nerves, even if she tried to banish the thought. She started inspecting the walls too, looking for something out of place, but really everything seemed new to her. She could make it seem like she knew what she was doing to others, but when she glanced at Flora, she saw the same look on her face : resignation. It was useless to ask them, new students, to figure out what exactly they should be looking for.

Luckily, Cariddi emerged from the other side of the school, a big smile on her face. She motioned for the two Alfea students to follow her. They reached a door on the outside walls, one you could only access by flying.

“It was hidden, but I felt it,” explained the Witch, quite breathless. “I can’t open it though.”

Bloom nodded, before channelling her most destructive powers onto the door. The explosion made them fly away a little, as they let the smoke disappear.

“Wow ! That was awesome !”

It took a few seconds for the red head to register the words coming out of Cariddi’s mouth, usually used to few comments, and mostly snarky ones. She gave her a bright smile before setting her eyes back onto the door. But frowned when she noticed a big, red cross on it.

“Aw man ! It’s not what we’re looking for !”

The Witch grumbled away, looking on other parts of the castle.

“What are we supposed to look for then ?” Asked Flora. “Another hidden door ?”

“I don’t know, it doesn’t make much sense.”

They slowly came back to their original position, although staying close enough so they’d hear each other.

“I wish we had Tecna or Musa right now… they would solve this in a matter of minutes !”

Bloom laughed.

“Yeah, we should tell them about it when we get back.”

“Fly in the air… That’s pretty clear, we’re supposed to fly. I don’t see any other meaning.”

“Me neither,” nodded Bloom.

“But then we have : ‘try to get there’… which means we’re looking for something… hard to fly to ?”

“But look around,” she gestured. “There’s nothing hard to go towards.”

“I know, I know…” mumbled the Fairy.

Turning her back from the walls for a bit, Bloom’s eyes landed on Chimera. The girl was slowly trying to take off the ground, her wings moving rapidly. Her fists were tight, and she had a frown on her face. It made Bloom feel a bit bad for her, but she also knew Flora was right. She couldn’t help everyone. She didn’t have time. Chimera would be fine, she had a school, friends, and teachers to learn.

The brunette stomped her foot eventually, obviously frustrated at herself. She almost crushed down one of the few blue flowers there were, which would’ve made Flora wince if she’d seen the movement.

“Wait a minute… Flora, look !”

Flying away from the walls and above Chimera, the red head started following the line of blue flowers.

“What ? What are- oh my !”

They came at a stop in front of the well. It was gigantic, even Knut could go through it if needed.

“’Try to get there’ ! That’s it !”

“I don’t see anything else,” mumbled Cariddi, alerted by the noises.

She dived right in, closely followed by the red head. Flora extended her hand for Chimera, before slowly accompanying her down. Bloom made sure to cast some light around them, so nothing could take them by surprise. It took what seemed to be a few minutes, but eventually they reached the end.

Igniting the torches in the room, the girls were slowly taking in their surroundings : it seemed very old, everything was made of stones, yet it didn’t seem extremely steady. There was nothing either, the room was just empty, with torches along some walls. There was no sign of vegetation, water, or animals.

Yet there seemed to be a presence. It was heavy around the room, crawling onto their skin before jumping back into the air. It didn’t seem offensive, but it was too much in itself.

“Alright,” groaned Cariddi.

A dark, blue aura surrounded her body as she brought her hands in front of her. Her hands were clutching at something invisible, reminding Bloom of sharp claws. In-between them, something dark appeared. It kept growing, while the heavy feeling they got when they entered the room disappeared.

“Bloom,” called out Chimera. “The room is full of negative energy, that’s why it feels so weird. We’ll need you to give some of your own positive magic, while Cariddi has the other, so then me and Flora can balance everything out.”

She didn’t ask any question.

Instead, she focused on her Dragon Flame, the essence of her magic. She ignored the dark, murky stone to let her own, pure magic grace her veins, before it gently came out around her.

“Alright keep going !”

She did. The feeling was good, making her muscles relax as her negative thoughts left her head. It felt like a massage from the inside, ridding her of anything bad.

“You can stop ! Both of you !”

Bloom called off her magic, just as Cariddi did, in time to see the two Sorceresses join hands.

“I’ll lead, just imitate me.”

Flora nodded.

Bloom felt bad, the positive and negative energies were fighting, clutching at each other, trying to get rid of one another. Instinctively, she put her arms around herself, as if to protect herself from something invisible. Cariddi had crossed her arms, while hanging her head low. She had the same level of discomfort.

It slowly lifted, as the two other girls did… whatever they could.

Bloom analysed Flora for the very first time, at that moment. The black, green dress on her felt weird, making her look paler than usual. The darker hair didn’t help. Her sharp wings were also interesting to analyse, as Bloom had never seen any like that, except maybe on Layla.

It was both weird and fitting for her friend to be a Sorceress. Not that Bloom had seen it coming in the slightest, she would even admit that she believed she herself was more fitted for the role. But at the same time, when she watched her friend perform her magic, it seemed so natural that Bloom couldn’t imagine things being another way. Her friend was special, she was more powerful than she ever believed, and the red head sincerely hoped it would give her the confidence she had always been lacking.

Maybe, just maybe, Flora had always felt different. And perhaps, this discovery would help her become who she truly should be. Bloom was certain there was someone who could kick ass under that shy smile and few glances at a raven haired boy. She had proven herself in quite a lot of areas.

Bloom could be proud to call her a friend.

“Look !” Exclaimed Cariddi.

Coming out of her thought, Bloom turned around to see another inscription on the wall. It was shining bright, in golden letter.

 

Almost There, Yet Now You Alone Cannot Succeed

 

“What does that even mean ? Where are we supposed to go ?”

As if on cue, other inscriptions slowly appeared.

 

I See From The Bottom Of My Heart

I Hear From The Deepest Of My Soul

I Learn From The Essence Of My Powers

In The Darkest Days Or Sunniest Nights, I Will Shine, I Won’t Bow

I Was Made To Protect, My Vow I’ll Respect.

 

“What the- does anyone knows what that is ?” Spurted out Cariddi. “I’m getting tired of running around.”

Bloom couldn’t have agreed more.

“It’s a spell, it seems,” whispered Flora.

“An incantation, more precisely,” said Chimera. “Well, let’s try it.”

She recited the words, letting the words smoothly roll on her tongue, but only a golden hue surrounded her for a moment, before it completely vanished.

“Maybe a Fairy should try it ?”

Bloom tried to, but the result was almost identical.

Cariddi then made an attempt, but nothing happened either.

“Alright so… should we try to decipher this outside ?” Proposed Flora.

“Yeah I’m getting claustrophobic,” agreed the Witch.

“Wait. The clue said we cannot succeed alone. Let’s try it together,” said Bloom.

“A convergence ?” Asked Chimera, as they all stepped closer.

“Yes, it’s worth trying,” shrugged the Fairy.

They joined hands, even if Cariddi seemed a bit reluctant.

“I’ve never tried a convergence with… Fairies,” she admitted.

“I didn’t even know Witches used convergences,” chuckled Bloom.

“It’s extremely rare,” she nodded.

“We’ve only been taught the theory,” chimed in Chimera. “Has any of you done it before ?”

“Once or twice,” nodded the Winx.

“Well then, let’s do it,” sighed the Sorceress.

Slowly, trying their best to stay in synch, they started their weird chant. This time, the golden hue appeared quickly around them, connecting their bodies. Electricity ran through them, painlessly, before their magic started spinning around them. It was a weird feeling, to feel Witch magic going through her veins, when Bloom couldn’t pretend to be a Sorceress.

The light entered their bodies as the last words left their mouths. Their hands were still intertwined, as if they were all holding onto each other. Which was probably the case, Bloom realized when her knees threatened to give out.

“Look !” Exclaimed Chimera.

There were runes all over their bodies. That golden hue was there too.

“I hope this is normal,” commented Cariddi as she tried to check herself out.

“Yes it is,” said the voice of a familiar man.

They all turned to watch the Professor Gallium walk up to them, a proud smile on his face.

“You have all been exemplar. Chimera, Cariddi, you’ll get the top marks, I believe.”

The both of them shared a big smile.

“Bloom, Flora, you have done a great job too. I’ll have to send words to your professors about all of this.”

They nodded, just as happy as their friends.

“Well, let’s get out of here, shall we ?”

They had no time to answer, before they found themselves back in the cafeteria.

“You are the first group to finish,” explained the teacher. “But I bet you’re already famished, so eat at your hearts’ content ! You deserve it ! We’ll send you your appreciations tomorrow.”

At the mention of food, their brains stopped processing anything. All they could think about was the delicious smell greeting their noses.

As soon as he was out of sight, they made a bee-line for it.


The second week passed just as fast.

Bloom had started controlling her abilities in Witchcraft, mostly focusing on her hatred for Lord Darkar. She tried to ignore the weight in her stomach, instead focusing on letting her own magic grace her veins. She learned to call onto darker powers, and the theory of flying without wings. Cariddi had laughed at her when she simply jumped and fell right back on her bottom.

Bloom had discovered that Witchcraft worked differently than her usual Fairy magic. She needed to feel it surround her, submerge her while keeping it under control.

“That’s why some Witches or Wizards turn a bit… crazy, sometimes,” explained the Head of Witches in her class. “Eventually though, they run out of fuel, so they come back to their right mind. Be careful, magic can be like a drug for some. Don’t let power cloud your judgement.”

Bloom’s mind went back to the day Valtor put his mark on her. She had tried hard to forget about it, but sometimes she couldn’t help herself. The feeling had been surreal. All of her worries had been taken away in a matter of seconds. For the first time in months, she’d felt good. As soon as he had taken it back, she felt the loss.

If that was what Witches went through, she could understand them. Valtor had been right in denying her, because she would’ve lost herself otherwise.

“Yes ?”

“Is that what happened to the Trix ?” Asked a student.

The teacher stayed silent for a moment.

“It is what has been supposed. Those three girls are extremely powerful, so much so that I wouldn’t doubt their magic has complete control over their minds. But, don’t forget that there are evil persons, who, at their very core, feel nothing but hatred. When you face an adversary, you don’t ask yourself whether it is their magic affecting them. Protect yourself at all costs.”

Bloom had stopped herself from snorting. Icy, a nice person simply drugged on her powers, trying to do something for someone else ? It seemed an awfully big lie.

Flora, on the other hand, had slowly mastered both areas of her magic. She still preferred to use positive energies, but had no problems working with Chimera, the two of them creating wonders in class. Slowly, the Nature Sorceress was becoming more confident.

“Are you gonna stay at the Beta Academy ?” Asked Bloom the day they were moving out.

The silence of her friend was answer enough.

“I talked with Frügsjkta. I’ll probably finish my second year at Alfea, I want to confirm it. And then I’ll just do my final year here.”

Bloom tried to fake her happiness, but her friend didn’t seem any more giddy than her.

“I don’t want to leave you girls but…”

“I know.”

They finished packing quickly before going down to the cafeteria. There, they met their three new friends, as they were silently enjoying a peaceful meal.

“So, you’re leaving ?” Asked Scilla.

“Yes, we’re going home for the weekend and then we’ll be back in Alfea.”

Chimera nodded.

“Will we see any of you here next year ?”

“I’m still thinking about it,” admitted Flora.

“You in our uniform will be a sight to behold,” snickered the Witch.

It took a moment for Bloom to imagine her friend in dark, gothic clothes before she ended up in a pile of laughter, just as the other people around the table.

“I hope we’ll see each other again then, Bloom,” said Chimera, a small, honest smile on her lips.

“I do too,” nodded the red head.

Chapter Text

Andros was beautiful in Spring, Musa acknowledge as she slowly started dancing. She was the first one up in the morning, thus she had all of the room to her, while the sky was still different shades of green and blue. Her dad had agreed for her to go to Layla’s for the last week. Unbeknownst to him, she wasn’t there for fun, but to actually train for her first big representation.

Layla would open the show, flaunting off her skills in dance, before Stella and herself took over the stage, to both dance and sing on a pop tune made by the music Fairy. Then, the latter would be left alone to sing a song she had been working on for months now, one she wished to dedicate to her mother.

Their part would end with the three of them going harder than before, using their magic to make it all surreal.

“I don’t understand how you can be so early,” yawned Layla as she sat on the floor, no shoes on yet.

“I’m just excited,” smiled Musa.

“I am too,” nodded her friend. “And your father will realize just how much talent you have. Honestly, I’m sure you’re the next big thing.”

“I don’t want to be the next big thing but… I want to live off my passion,” nodded the Fairy. “I want to try, at least.”

Her friend nodded, before laughing at the dishevelled Stella who entered the room in a rather bad mood.

“Don’t laugh !” She cried out while her own Pixie was puffing behind her.

Musa decided to join in.

 


 

It was getting colder on Zenith, noticed Tecna as she shoved her hands into her pockets. A shuddering breath escaped her, as she forced herself to move faster. She noticed a few people gave her weird looks, especially at the scarred parts of her body. She decided to not pay them a second thought, keeping her eyes set on the pavement. They could look all they wanted after all, she was proud of them.

Finally, two big doors came into sight. A sigh of relief escaped her while her body was scanned, checking for her identity, noting what she was carrying, before granting her entrance. Years ago, she’d been mesmerized as the doors dissolved into thin air, allowing everyone a sneak peek into one of the greatest libraries the world had ever known. She had entered slowly, her eyes trying to drink everything in. Someone had come up to her to show her around, as was custom because it was a giant labyrinth if you couldn’t read the indications.

Now, however, like the many people roaming the alleys full of books and parchments, she knew exactly where she wanted to go. With a quick nod towards one librarian, she made her way towards the darkest part of the place, where everything about Witchcraft was stored. It had never been her cup of tea, and as she eyed the many Witches, she was once again reminded why she never stepped foot there : they all slowly raised their heads, their eyes staying fixated on her, watching her every moves.

Witches from Zenith were particular. The people were less emotional, as a whole. It was the norm, to think before experiencing your own emotions. School taught you how dangerous emotions were, how they could change your perception on everything.

Fairies were allowed to show their emotions, simply because of their sparkly nature. Wizards too, were especially asked to explore their emotions, because the jobs they usually took on required to be able to reassure their clients. Even if Zenithians weren’t particularly emotional, they always appreciated to be treated kindly, with a warm smile.

Witches and Warlocks, however, had a harder time with society. There weren’t many of them. On Zenith, the ratio was extremely unfair : there was 1 Witch, or Warlock, for every 7 Fairies or Wizard. Nobody had been able to explain it, but there were theories. Tecna particularly liked the one stating that their education had taught them from an early age to not give in to the most intense emotions, thus preventing a lot of magically gifted people to turn to Witchcraft.

Keeping a cool face, the pink haired girl walked straight to the alley about old curses. It was well-kept, but there was nobody in sight. All the better for the Fairy, who slowly inspected every book. Her brain registered every name of book and their summaries as she looked them over, in case they might come in handy.

Her eyes landed on a particular book, and a smile tugged at the corner of her lips.

“Wiccas curses,” she whispered before taking the book.

She made her way to the tables, and started reading, a paper in front of her to note anything important.

 


 

“You think you could withstand the weather ?”

Lockette nodded enthusiastically.

“I’ll come with you.”

Bloom smiled fondly, before taking her Pixie in her arms.

“Once we’ve defeated Darkar, we’ll go then.”

The both of them stayed still, hugging each other for they knew those were hopeful words.

“Bloom…  I also wanted to know…”

With wide opened eyes, the red head stared down at the fidgeting Pixie. Her eyebrows furrowed slightly at the sight, surprised by the sudden shyness Lockette was exhibiting.

“What is it ?” Her voice was a little higher than she anticipated, the worry showing right through.

Lockette didn’t seem to register it, instead her eyes travelled to the far off of the bedroom before she sighed and looked at her Fairy dead in the eyes.

“What are you going to do about Valtor ?”

Bloom felt her chest constrict. She had expected this question, but hadn’t found an answer for herself yet.

“I… have absolutely no idea,” she admitted. “He’s helping me, he’s not doing anything wrong…”

“But he destroyed your entire planet,” interrupted Lockette with narrowed eyes. It didn’t seem mean, but at the same time it was obvious the little Pixie didn’t understand her behaviour. “I know her helped us, but he’s highly volatile. One wrong move and he could turn against us.”

“I don’t know…” mused the Fairy. “For now we’ve got a deal. I help him, he helps me.”

“And when he doesn’t need you anymore ?”

Bloom stayed quiet for a second.

“Then I’ll see. For now, I’m more focused on getting rid of Darkar, and then of the Ancestral Witches. Those four have never been defeated, not entirely, but Valtor was sent to Omega and had been incapable of getting out on his own… He’s the lesser evil, somewhat.”

The Pixie nodded, before a mischievous smile graced her lips.

“Don’t go falling in love with him.”

Bloom sputtered, her face going bright red, while her Pixie laughed.

“You- Little- Urgh ! I’m going to get you !” She said as she lunged at Lockette.

 


 

Flora was minding her own business, helping her father with some plants in the garden when she felt something go awry. Watching the sky go from blue to grey in a matter of seconds, she knew something was clearly wrong. She glanced at her Pixie, who answered with a nod of her own before disappearing.

“They didn’t announce any rain,” muttered her father, as some rain started falling down. “Just our luck.”

Both of them used their magic to quickly pack everything, before quickly making their way back to the house. Flora stayed behind a little, watching her father enter the house, before turning back around. This was not natural, and with the events of the year, she couldn’t stop her mind from assuming the worst.

Reaching for her phone, she quickly sent a message to Layla, when a cackle surprised her. She hit send before slowly turning around. Sure enough, three Witches were flying in the air, dripping wet but seemingly gleeful. Flora immediately transformed, her darker transformation now clear for the Witches to see.

“Oooh, did the little Fairy grow some claws ?” Laughed Icy, before raising her hand to attack her.

Flora swiftly evaded all the stalactites, a smirk gracing her lips as she answered with her own version of the spell without missing a beat, injuring a dumbstruck Witch.

“The right word would be ‘thorns’. I thought you knew me better now Icy.”

A glance to her right and she quickly forced herself out of the way, just as Stormy created a small typhoon meant for her to get lost into. The sight brought up unpleasant memories of last year, when they fought, but she quickly shook it off to tell the plants around them to grab her by her ankles. They answered immediately as Flora turned around to face the other two Witches, and her connection to nature allowed her to know Stormy wasn’t an immediate danger.

“I wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t in front of me,” stared Darcy, floating in the air with her eyes wide opened. “You’re a Sorceress ?”

“What’s so surprising ?”

“I thought the music Fairy, or maybe the Solarian Princess would’ve made the cut. The Princess of Andros might have too. But you ? You’ve always seemed so… innocent ?”

Flora nodded slowly before invoking a shield of leaves to stop another one of Icy’s attack. Those leaves then flew around in the air, before attacking the Witch from all angles. Icy could only freeze so much of them at the same time, so some left cuts on the exposed parts of her body.

“I’m innocent ?”

“All Fairies are innocent,” scoffed the Witch.

Stormy finally freed herself from her bounds, and wasted no time before throwing herself at the Fairy, but Flora saw it coming and simply commanded the trees to take hold of her once again, relishing in the Witch’s angry screams.

“Why did you come here today ?” Decided to ask Flora, taking advantage of her courteous discussion with her enemy.

“Darcy I swear-“ Started Icy, lifting both of her hands before sending a wave of ice in Flora’s direction.

The Fairy let herself fall down, effectively avoiding being lifted up in the air by a wind that would’ve frozen her wings, before facing the purple Witch again, while her sister seemed to be at her breaking point.

“She’s going down anyway, might as well tell her,” shrugged Darcy. “We’re gonna kill you all one by one, Darkar wants Bloom alone.”

With that she made six clones of herself appear, effectively confusing the Fairy.

“Ha ! Look at her face ! You’re nothing compared to us !” Screamed Stormy.

“You’ve got me outnumbered. None of you would stand a chance on equal ground.”

“You should learn to shut your mouth,” said the seven clones of Darcy at the same time, before they lunged at her.

Flora made it seem like she would fly up into the air, but instead called for the trees to grab her at her ankles to get her down fast enough. Next to Stormy, on the ground, she then called for the wind to lift up. It didn’t affect neither Witch whatsoever, but Flora was able to determine which Darcy was real, because her hair had some leaves tangled in it.

The Illusion Witch didn’t notice it immediately, but Icy did. With a sneer, she froze the entire area before Flora had a chance to fly back up. Stormy laughed at her side, while Icy broke her restraints.

“Now, let’s-“

“Flora !”

Her eyes widened.

She could deal with the Witches. She absolutely could handle them on her own. Rescue was already warned, and coming.

However, she could not protect another person at the same time.

“Oooh, is that a little version of our pitiful Fairy ?” Drawled out Stormy, her whole body electrified.

Her sister had transformed, and a fire burned in her eyes. Closing her own, Flora immediately called onto her Charmix, before reviving the frozen nature. It broke free of the ice, and she was once again master of it all.

“Miel- Who are you ?”

Her father and mother were standing at the far end of the field, both in combat position. Her mother transformed at the mere sight of the Witches, as her father made a spear appear out of thin air.

It would’ve been reassuring, except those weren’t any Witches. Her parents wouldn’t overcome them. They lacked the training, they hadn’t fought in years. Flora had, and her reflexes were quite on point. She knew she only had to taunt them long enough before someone came to help her. Then, just as always, the Witches would flee and everyone would be alright.

“Miele, get out !” She ordered.

The little girl seemed to hesitate. It was one second too much, as Darcy appeared behind her. She put her hands on the girl’s shoulders, and Miele’s eyes went dead. Flora greeted her teeth, as the other two Witches went by their sister’s side.

“Should we take out the whole family ?” Cackled Stormy, looking at her sisters for approval, while speaking loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Let our daughter go !” Screamed the mother before giant roots rose from the ground, trapping the weather Witch once again, while Icy got out by freezing the whole thing. However it kept growing back and targeting her, forcing her to fly away. As for Darcy, she was left alone. She was too close to Miele for their mother to try anything.

Icy didn’t let this go. She immediately targeted her mother. Flora didn’t think twice before rushing over the Witch, putting both of her arms around her. The woman let out a groan of annoyance at the binding presence, before the both of them froze when they watched her father throw his spear at Darcy’s head.

The Witch immediately teleported away, as the spear reached her head. Miele didn’t move, still under her spell.

“I swear you’re all going down !” Screamed Stormy, still trapped, no matter how much electricity she brought on the roots. Her eyes settled on Flora, and narrowed. “After you, I’ll get that stupid music Fairy ! I’ll make her beg for her life, in front of all her family-”

“You would never defeat Musa,” spat Flora, her hold on the ice Witch tightening. “You’re nothing compared to her.”

Icy seemed to have enough, as suddenly her body temperature dropped. Flora had to quickly release her to avoid getting burnt. She flew down to pick up Miele, but Darcy reappeared just in time to snatch her away. Flora landed hard on the ground, next to a very angry Stormy.

Her eyes slowly drifted to the Witch, before she made some little roots grow from her mother’s. They tightened around her neck, and Stormy was suddenly trying to grasp any air she could feel.

“Alright, I’ve had enough,” sneered Icy before she lunged at Flora, aiming at her.

Her mother intervened at that moment, using the roots that were already there to block the Witch. Flora then had the time to regain her senses, and flew back up. The Witch cursing made her laugh, before everything around them froze, and flew into little pieces of ice.

The sight made Flora stop. All at once, everything had died. She had angered them a bit too much, it seemed.

“Now, you’re going to listen to us very carefully,” said Darcy, holding Miele above a vortex, while her sisters joined her side.

Flora felt her parents walk up to her, and the six of them stared at each other.

“We came here for Flora. If you don’t want both of your daughters to die, you’ll go away. We promise nothing will happen to the little one.”

A simple look at Stormy’s face was enough to know the Witch didn’t agree with that plan, but she was smart enough not to say a word. As for Icy, she had her arms crossed, and sweat was visible on her forehead. Obviously, her last spell had asked a lot of her. As for Darcy, she had a little smile on her lips. She was taunting them. She enjoyed it.

“We’re not abandoning any of our daughters,” stated her mother.

Flora’s heart felt flooded with warmth. Her head jerked to look at her mother, as tears showed up suddenly, threatening to spill. Her mother didn’t look at her, but her hand reached her daughter’s, and she squeezed it, before letting go.

“Oh well.”

Darcy eyed Flora with a cruel smile, as Stormy extended both of her arms to make the vortex grow bigger.

The nature Fairy didn’t think about anything. She lunged.

From afar, she heard Chatta call her name. That meant Lockette wasn’t far, nor was the rescue party.

Both of her hands caught her little sister, before she threw the girl aside, as something took hold of her waist, and soon, her whole body. Flora could only watch her mother take hold of Miele, as darkness surrounded her. She hit the ground then, only half aware that it was rougher than she expected frozen land to be.

Her eyes were squeezed shut for a moment as pain registered on all of her right side, before she slowly pulled herself up. Her hands met rocks, and with a frown, she opened her eyes.

She saw darkness all around her, except for a little source of light. She could still make out her parents’ forms, as well as Miele. She saw Bloom appear out of nowhere to stand over the little girl, screaming something. Tecna’s face was the second one she saw, before Chatta showed up.

The both of them shared one last look before what seemed to be a portal retracted.

Her home had been but a flicker of light in a world of pain, before it went out.

Flora’s mind shut down before she could stop it.

Chapter Text

It was a true debacle.

Bloom had felt the presence of the Trix before she even saw them, as if they’d grown stronger since the last time she saw them. Which, considering the situation they were all in, wouldn’t be surprising. Either Darkar had given them new jewels, or they had trained on their own, she couldn’t tell. She didn’t particularly care either.

The rest of the Winx appeared after her. Bloom had already jumped into the fight, hurrying to reach Flora when she saw the vortex behind her friend. With wide eyes, she watched as Flora threw Miele out of the way before gravity pulled her inside the dark portal. Chatta appeared in her line of sight, and the both of them screamed at their friend. Bloom felt tempted to go after her, but it was already too late. The portal was closing, and she was risking losing a limb.

The Pixie had the same train of thought, it seemed, because she simply landed on the ground to cry the loss of her bonded Fairy.

Behind herself, the red head could hear the battle. The cackling of the Witches, the angry screams of her friends, the spells destroying everything around them… Her anger was feeding on it all. She turned around slowly to appraise the scenery, before her eyes set on three clones of Darcy.

However, she could see which was the real one. There was no explanation she would be able to give, but Bloom quite literally saw the essence of Darcy’s powers in her. The clones, next to her, looked like empty shells. Without uttering a single word, she lifted her hand to cast some spell, pushing the Witch against a tree. The latter did not immediately understand, as she eyed her surroundings suspiciously.

Bloom materialized in front of her, hands on her shoulders, with so much heat surrounding her that Darcy winced in pain.

“Where ?”

Her voice was low, as her eyes stared down at the Witch. Her magic was buzzing around them, acting as a shield so that none of her dear sisters could interrupt their talk.

“I don’t kn-“

Where did you send my friend ?”

“Now let me just-“

Bloom sneered before setting fire to the tree behind them. It started slowly on the ground, by the roots, before making its way up. Some flames were starting to reach Darcy’s ankles, which the latter immediately noticed. She started squirming, but the heat of Bloom’s hold hurt too much.

“You know, on Earth, we had this little moment in history where we’d tie Witches up, and watch them burn,” she explained, letting one of her hand take hold of a strand of Darcy’s hair, before putting it back behind her ear. She schooled her features into an innocent smile, bringing her face closer to the one of her enemy. “Give me one good reason not to bring that trend back.”

“I don’t know ! I swear I don’t know !” She screamed.

Bloom simply lifted an eyebrow, before making the flames rise higher. Some part of her brain registered the fear in Darcy’s eyes, the utter helplessness, but she didn’t give it a thought. Instead, the hand that had been on her face was brought to her neck. It was slow, almost tender at first. The red head felt lost in the feeling of Darcy’s smooth skin.

She wanted to burn it.

The dark thought made her snap back to reality, as Darcy started screaming as the fire reached her. Immediately, Bloom took a step back, conjuring out the fire. The Witch fell to her knees, muttering “I don’t know” over and over again, before both her sisters appeared by her side. They both looked at each other before they disappeared, not without expressing their profound hatred for each other.

“What was that ?”

Bloom turned to Layla, blinking tiredly at her friend.

“They don’t know where they sent her.”

“You tortured her.”

For a second, the red head thought about denying it.

“I tried to scare her.”

“You burnt her.”

Again, Bloom felt quickly angered by the words directed at her.

“Yes, I burnt her,” she answered, her voice rising a little. “Have you forgotten that they sent our friend somewhere and we have no idea how to save her ? Maybe she’s already dead ! It might only be a matter of time and we could be too late !” She stated as she made her way into the personal space of the other Princess. “And you’re more concerned with how I treat my enemy ? Get your priorities straight, Layla. This is war, no some Fairy Tale.”

“That does not mean we should allow ourselves to sink so low,” answered the Andros Fairy. “Torture is what the bad guys do, we are-“

“Do you hear yourself right now ?” Scoffed Bloom. “The ‘bad guys’ ? There is no good side or bad side, none of us will be perfectly clean when we come out of all this ! So cut the crap.”

“Maybe you don’t have limits, but I do. Torture is only used by monsters.”

A second of silence ticked by before a smirk made a way on Bloom’s lips.

“So you’re calling me a monster ?”

“If you feel included in my last statement,” trailed off Layla.

“Girls.”

It was Musa. The both of them turned to face her, before their eyes fell onto the little form on the ground.

Bloom sighed before walking up to Miele. She quickly assessed the state of the little girl. She noticed that the girl must’ve been under Darcy’s influence because her magical signature was all over her. No time was wasted to heal her. It didn’t take long, Flora’s sister was only drained of any energy. She would’ve been better with a day or two of rest.

Flora’s parents took their last daughter into their arms, crying profusely in relief. Then they looked at the Winx. The mother seemed hesitant.

“Is... Is our daughter…”

“We don’t know,” said Bloom with a smile she hoped was reassuring. “But we will do anything we can to bring her back.”

“I told her this was dangerous ! Why couldn’t she just listen…”

The red head tried not to roll her eyes. She knew that Flora would’ve been capable of keeping up with the Trix, but the fact that the entire family was present could only mean that the nature Fairy had been forced to look over them all at once. A dark feeling seized her stomach, as she tried to keep her face expression as open as possible.

“We will call for people to help us find your daughter,” she announced before making her way back to her friends.

Lockette and Chatta were the only Pixies there. The blonde one seemed devastated, and Bloom felt it had been a good thing she brought her bonded Pixie along with her. She didn’t talk to them much, rather she stared at Tecna, trying to analyse what the girl had in her hands.

“She’s going to try and decipher where Flora could be,” explained Musa.

Bloom nodded.

“It was rough today, don’t take Layla’s words personally. She just lost a dear friend.”

“As did I,” reminded Bloom bitterly. “But I don’t go off on my friends.”

“You know she didn’t mean what she said.”

“She did. She meant it.”

Musa stayed silent for a second, knowing Bloom wouldn’t change her mind so easily.

“I’ll talk to her.”

“No need,” she replied immediately. “We don’t see eye to eye on the subject. I don’t intend to change her mind, or apologize. I did what felt right in the moment. She didn’t deem it right. End of the story.”

Musa nodded soundlessly before making her way to the pink haired girl. Bloom’s eyes went to Layla, who was talking with Stella and the Pixies, obviously trying to get something out of Chatta. The red head sighed, before letting her body slowly relax against one tree, surveying the area.

She was fine with scaring Darcy. She had been fine with putting fire around them to make her worried. But she lost control. It wasn’t supposed to touch the Witch, nor had she any idea why she suddenly lunged for her neck. Every fibre in her body had screamed for her to strangle her until she gave an appropriate response, which the red head felt very opposed to.

Layla was right, only monsters used torture.

Somehow, Bloom was starting to become one. And she didn’t like that.

 


 

Linphea’s castle was on a mountain, surrounded by nature. A great part of it was made of woods and plants, but there were also many waterfalls with birds flying around. The rest was golden. Bloom couldn’t help but marvel at the strange architecture, that looked like nothing she’d ever seen before yet seemed so familiar. Her friends too were impressed, judging by the way their eyes drank in the sight.

“Alright, here we are,” announced Helia. “My friend shouldn’t take too long…”

A girl with long, pink hair stepped out of the shadows of one of the many corridors to throw herself in the boy’s arms. Bloom frowned at the sight, surprised to see Helia so close and comfortable with a girl, before brushing off the thought. Right now, she had more important things to think about than her friend’s love life.

“Everyone, this is Krystal, the Princess of Linphea.”

They all bowed before the girl, who simply scoffed the gesture off.

“Follow me,” she intimated them.

They did, without asking any question. They passed corridors, from where they could see the city below.

“We have a team of experts already working on the spot where your friend disappeared. The magical trace is still strong enough that we can collect data, although we are not certain if it will be enough,” explained the Princess. “Another team is researching the curse that was used. We will have to interview all one by one to make sure we know what we’re looking for.”

“We’ll help,” immediately said Flora’s mother.

The Princess didn’t turn around.

“Of course. We’ll put you on the second team.”

They entered a laboratory, where five scientists were reading books.

The second team then, thought Bloom.

Her eyes landed on two familiar faces, before acknowledging that those were Tecna’s parents. They smiled when they noticed the Winx enter the room, but quickly resumed their reading. Flora’s parents went to their own table to start their own side of the research.

“As you can see, we are mobilized. Me and my father are onto it too. I promise we will find your friend,” she said confidently.

Bloom couldn’t help the bad feeling from growing inside her belly.

In a blur, she watched the exchange between her friends and the Linphea Royalty. It felt like an eternity before they were permitted to leave. By then, she didn’t know what to do, so she followed her instinct.

Materializing into Valtor’s apartment wasn’t something she thought possible, but her eyes told her otherwise. She let herself fall onto the couch, a heavy sigh leaving her lips, before the Wizard showed up. He came out of the corridor with narrowed eyes, and didn’t utter a word.

She just closed her eyes then, glad to have some peace.

It did not last, but at least Valtor brought a cup of tea with him.

“What brings you here ?”

She sipped her cup, her eyes lost. She honestly had no idea. So she shrugged.

“Is it about your family ?”

She placed the cup back on the table before facing him.

“We lost Flora today.”

The Wizard blinked once, and Bloom had to wonder if he heard her.

“I’m sorry,” he offered.

She almost laughed at how empty those words sounded.

“I know you’re not,” she scoffed.

He just stared at her, his elbows on his knees, waiting for what she had to tell him next.

“It’s just… they used a dark spell. It created some kind of portal, or vortex, or dark hole… I don’t really know, but our friend went through it, and she’s still alive. Her bonded Pixie can still feel her.”

He hummed.

“There’s a lot of spells who could create such a thing.”

“I know,” Bloom sighed. “But I’m pretty sure it was a portal. I saw her go through it, and there was no distortion…”

“Which means the gravity is the same as our own.”

She nodded.

“But I’m not here to bother you with that, there are people searching for the answers right now.”

“Then why, pray tell, are you here ?”

She sighed.

“I don’t know.”

The Wizard was silent again. She didn’t like the feel she was getting from him today, as if he could read her thoughts.

“I felt something through our bond earlier.”

She lifted one of her eyebrows.

“What happened to you ?”

She blinked, trying to remember what could’ve alerted him.

“I… well, I was trying to get answers out of one of the Trix… and it got out of hand.”

“You radiated power,” he told her, to which she simply shrugged.

“I don’t remember, it’s a bit fuzzy.”

He frowned slightly.

“Don’t let the Dragon Flame control you, Bloom. The magic we possess can be a drug, it can get you high, and sometimes you cannot go back.”

She nodded.

“I know… I’ll be more careful. I didn’t particularly like the aftermath.”

He straightened up.

“How is the mission against Darkar going ?”

She smiled bitterly.

“Well, as I told you, we lost Flora, so… I don’t know, you tell me.”

“Are you planning on attacking him soon ?”

“We just lost Flora !” She repeated, her eyes widening at the lack of response from the Warlock. “Surely you can understand our minds aren’t on the battle right now !”

“So what, you’re all forgetting that one of the most powerful creatures this world has ever seen is actively trying to find a way into Realix, and plans on using this power to make the entire world submit to him ?”

She tightened her fists, the pain of her nails breaking her skin keeping her grounded.

“And why should we be dealing with this anyway ? Why is it always us, the Winx, and our friends who aren’t much older than us, to deal with all that crap ? What is the Council of Magix doing ?”

“They’re nothing but pitiful bureaucrats, you should know that.”

I know, “she seethed. “I’ve seen how they dealt with danger last year. I know they’re all incapable of acting but… we’re seventeen. It’s not our duty to-“

“But that is what Fairies do,” interrupted the Warlock. “You’re a Fairy, and one day you’ll have the duty to protect your Realm. Once you graduate from Alfea, you’ll either show some talent for something, or you’ll be positioned somewhere to look after your Realm. That’s how it is for you.”

“No,” she scoffed.

“No ? Then, pray tell, what do you plan on becoming ?”

Her mouth stayed shut as she stared back at him. His eyes had narrowed, but the little smirk he wore made it painfully aware he knew she had no answers for him. She eventually did look down, her eyes settling on her cup of tea.

“I don’t know,” she almost whispered.

If she had to be honest with herself, she had never thought of what she would become after Alfea. She had only supposed that she would find answers in her third year. The only solution for now was to go back on Earth to start university. She would live a normal life, far away from all the problems of the Magical Dimension, unless her friends called for help.

That’s what she wanted, as of right now.

But she also wished to see more of Magix. She wanted to explore every planet in the Magical Dimension. She wanted to study everything she never thought could exist. She wished to learn about the creation of the Universe, learn how magic could run in the veins of some and others not, to teach other students who are just as lost as she was when she started her studies… There were so many ideas, so many aspirations, yet she could not find one to settle on.

More importantly, she didn’t want to live in constant fear of everything. It was great to learn that she was a Fairy, and even better to meet the Winx. Each of them taught her something, in their own way. For the first time in what seemed to be forever, she could rely on other people. She also had the goal of finding what truly happened to her biological parents.

But once this mission was accomplished, she didn’t see the point in staying in Magix. This world had brought her more pain than she thought possible. It was one thing to fight against rogue students who thought they were better than everyone else, and come out victorious with no casualties. It was another to find herself being preyed on every year by some evil force because she possessed some special powers.

“I’m just tired,” she settled on.

He nodded thoughtfully.

“Yes, well, that doesn’t answer my question. Do you have anything planned against Darkar ? Time’s ticking. He has spies everywhere. I’m pretty certain he knows where the other parts of the Codex are.”

She buried her face in her hands.

“I know,” she groaned. “But we have nothing. We simply thought we’d look for clues, but live our normal life.”

“Live your normal life ?” He repeated. “That seems awfully stupid.”

Her shoulders sagged.

Of course she knew it was stupid. Or rather, hopeful. A bit deluded. But she honestly felt too tired to make up a plan, when she didn’t even know where to look for.

“We have to do research,” she answered. “We can’t go after him if we don’t even know where the Codex pieces are, and how to protect them.”

“Then what, pray tell, are you doing here ? Instead of searching for information ?”

“I just wanted a quick pause. A bit of silent and peace.”

He stayed silent. It compelled her to look at him curiously. His gaze was just as surprised, before he schooled his features back into his usual cocky attitude. Nonetheless, she had seen that he did not expect such words to come out of her mouth. Some part of her was almost laughing at his expression.

“Well then, I will leave you to your pondering. I trust you know how to show yourself out.”

She watched him gracefully stand up before making his way to his door. He locked it just like any non-magical being would, before she felt his presence grow weaker. She finished her cup of tea, before deciding against teleporting herself again. She felt too tired for that.

Snatching one of the pillows around her, she settled for a quick nap.

 


 

She woke up with a groan, as her eyes tried to settle on something familiar.

All of her muscles were sore. She winced as she sat up, looking towards the dark sky for any indication of the place she found herself in. Her eyebrows furrowed when she realized there were no stars, nor any sun or moon. It was complete darkness. Yet, there must have been a source of light, because she could clearly see around herself.

Rocks. Endless piles, or rather mountains, of dark rocks. She had already cut her hands on some that lied on the ground. Her knees weren’t in better shape, and her whole right side was burning. Still, she managed to stand up. It took a few minutes, but then she was walking.

The place was cold, but not in the normal sense of the word. It was as if there was a lack of happiness, of hope, so much that it took a direct toll on the physical aspect of the place. She casted a light warming spell, in the hopes that she would feel better.

She did not.

It was also then that she realized her Fairy powers were most useless. The heating charm was only working because she forced some negativity in it, something the place reeked of. It made her darker emotions grow stronger, yet she could still discern her own emotions.

Hopelessness was slowly crashing upon her, as was her hatred for her parents. Maybe for the Winx too. Especially for Chatta who left her alone.

With a shake of her head, she tried to brush off those thoughts.

This wasn’t like her.

She came to a stop, and shrieked.

There, before her, stood someone, his hand trying to reach out for her. Or, for something anyway. The man was trapped in stone, with a fearful expression engraved on his face.

She winced at the sight, before turning her head around and noticing others.

The sight made her shudder, before she crouched down and hugged her knees, wishing it all away.

Chapter Text

It was finally happening.

The D-Day.

All those months, spent multi-tasking between lessons, fighting Darkar, and working on this project.

Weeks of training.

She endured everything.

For this.

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.

“Aouch !”

“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.

“I-“

“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.”

He scoffed.

“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.”

“What ?”

“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 ?”

He smirked.

“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 ?”

He nodded.

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.”

He nodded.

“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.

“Is that-“

“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.

“Well-“

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.

“Musa ?”

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.

“How ?”

“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.”