Later that day, in the castle courtyard, Star's mother opened an interdimensional portal to earth for the Diaz's to come through. In attendance as the Warlock stepped through was Star, Marco, the King, and a representative from the peasants - the King had convince the Queen that they had to begin listening to the people more, and a high-ranking representative was a good way to begin doing that. Marco's parents showered him with affection, his father clapping him on the back, his mother embracing him and babbling about how glad she was to see him safe and sound.
As Marco reconnected with his parents, the Queen pulled Star aside for a goodbye. They hadn't spoken much since the battle. Star had been shocked when her mother had told her of how she had accidentally destroyed TickTock's world, and had avoided her for much of the time since then.
"Star, dear," said the Queen, still maintaining an air of cool superiority, "I'm letting you go with these warlocks because they saved my life. But I still want you to be careful. That wand is your responsibility-"
"I don't know if I can ever really take you seriously when you talk about responsibility ever again," muttered Star.
The Queen sighed, annoyed, and then slumped her shoulders. "Star," she said, "Why do you think I'm so insistent that you handle your responsibilities? Why do you think I've always been so strict?" When Star didn't answer, she continued. "It's because I don't want you making the same mistakes I made. That wand can hurt people-"
Star snorted. "No kidding."
"And I don't want you to have to live with that." The Queen looked at Star, hopeless, at a loss. "I don't want you to have to live with the same things I've lived with. It is hypocritical of me, in a way. But it's not just for your good. It's for the good of other people. Do you understand?"
Star was silent for a moment. "TickTock wasn't a bad person," she said, finally. "Why didn't you ever try to help him after you burned down his world's Tree of Life?"
"That was out of my hands," replied the Queen. "My mother and father knew the only way to really help would involve the destruction of the wand, and that was out of the question."
"So you just...left them there? Abandoned them?" Star crossed her arms. Inside, she was screaming. She had never defied her mother like this. But these were things she needed to say.
"It wasn't my decision at the time -"
"Maybe not. But it was your decision to forget them. To ignore them once you had become Queen."
"Don't worry, mom." Star turned her head away. She didn't even want to look at her mother right now. She had never felt more distant from her. "No matter what happens, I won't ever be like you."
If the Queen was hurt, she concealed it well. She drew herself in, formal, stiff. "Fair enough," she said, coolly.
Star walked away. She gave her father a much warmer goodbye, laughing along with him as he clapped Mr. Diaz on the back. "Now THAT was a good romp," the King was roaring. "Flaming undead, that's a new one. Smashing good time."
"You should see what I can summon when I really have time to prepare," Mr. Diaz answered.
"We'll have to try it one day! Give me some time to work on my wife. We could use a court warlock, I think. She'll warm up to the idea one day."
"Uh," said the peasant representative, a short, thin, severe-looking man, bald, with a sharp nose and gaunt features. "I don't think the peasants would like the guy who burnt half of them to death getting an official court position."
"Oh come on now, Robert, my daughter's going with them, it was all a misunderstanding-" the King began.
Robert turned red. "THAT MISUNDERSTANDING SAW HALF OF MY FRIENDS IN THE GRAVE," he roared.
Mr. Diaz raised his wand. "I could always bring them back. I mean, they'd be skeletons, but-"
The peasant representative shook with rage and sputtered incoherently. The King raised his hands. "Okay, okay. Give me some time to work on him too," he said in a whisper to Mr. Diaz.
Star surveyed the Castle one last time as Marco walked over to her. "So, Star, ready to go?"
She was about to answer, when something caught her attention. "One last thing," she replied. She approached the courtyard wall. There, in one sad corner, was the rose garden that TickTock had always tended, the one that she had dug and played in as a child, laughing and screaming as her adopted Uncle would throw dirt clods at her, or pick flowers for her.
With a wave of her wand and a flash of light, Star worked her magic on the rose garden. The plants stretched, branched, grew, until they covered an entire wall of the castle, and the roses bloomed in every color of the rainbow. "Goodbye, Uncle TickTock," she whispered.
Then she rejoined the Diaz's and stepped through the portal to earth.
Marco and Star restarted their normal lives back on Earth. Together, they planted the seed from the Tree of Life in Marco's backyard. Star diligently applied the spells Cessyl had given her to it, a ritual that she had to repeat every week. "I guess this does mean that we're going to have to send the royal children to earth once a week for the next five hundred years," she said, brushing dirt from her hands, after they had finished burying it.
"And I guess it does mean that my house, and eventually my entire neighborhood, is going to be crushed by a giant tree growing in our midst. Oh and also, magical fae creatures are going to colonize my planet."
Star gnawed on her wand and gave Marco a worried look. Marco kicked at the dirt.
"Ah who cares, it won't happen for another five hundred years," he said finally.
They rejoined school. Their absence, and Marco's scars, were explained to be the result of a car accident. "A car accident where Marco had to fight off A BIKER GANG," Star shouted, to a crowd of interested students, after they seemed to stop caring all that much about his scars.
Ferguson's absence wasn't explained at all, and barely anyone seemed to notice he was missing. He faded from people's memories conspicuously quickly. Marco wasn't sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, he thought maybe they should try to find his lost friend. On the other, he was scared as hell of Ferguson, and thought that there was a good chance he enjoyed being the nightmare creature more than he enjoyed being human.
Things were different between him and Star. They didn't immediately fall into a pattern of sleeping with each other - both considered that time in the castle to be an exception, a time of them being overjoyed with seeing each other again. But they were closer than ever. There were times when Star's hand would worm its way into his, just to be held. Some nights, before he went to sleep, she would grab his face and pull him in for a kiss. She spent more time than ever in his company, and Marco found it harder and harder to imagine his life without her.
It was one of those rare times when she wasn't with him, when, walking down the hallway in school, he was roughly pulled into a janitor's closet.
"Janna?!" he shouted, when he saw who his assailant was. He hadn't seen her at all since returning from Mewni. He had tried to talk to her, but it was as if she was avoiding him. Or Star.
"Finally got you when you were away from your Princess," Janna breathed. She locked the door behind her. "Nobody will bother us in here."
"What?" Marco asked, and then backed up, slamming into a shelf of cleaning projects, as Janna took off her shirt. "Janna, wait."
"Oh, you love it," she purred, beginning to unzip his hoodie. "I know you do." He tried to catch her hands, and Janna just pulled him in to kiss him.
"Stop," he said, once she broke off the kiss. He tried to ignore her naked flesh pressing into him, ignore her heavy breathing, ignore the hungry look in her eyes. Janna ignored him and just kissed him again, reaching for his belt. "STOP," he shouted.
Janna stopped. Marco tried to ignore the pain in her eyes. "You liked it before," she whispered, tears beginning to form in her eyes.
"Janna, I...I don't know. I want to thank you for your help and everything. But...all the stuff that happened between us...I don't know if I should have let you do that-"
Janna shoved him, slamming him back into the shelf of cleaning chemicals. "It wasn't just me 'doing' it to you," she sniffled, shaking again. "You were there too. It's something we did together."
"Okay," said Marco. "I just...I don't know if I should have done it. Okay? And I think that now it needs to stop."
Janna pulled her shirt back on and withdrew to one corner of the closet, drawing her knees to her chest, burying her face in them. Marco hugged her tight. "You'll always be a friend," he said. "I would have never been able to get my parents or Star back without you. I can never thank you enough for that. Will you be okay?"
Janna looked up at him, tears in her eyes, and nodded. "You deserve better," she murmured. Marco wasn't sure what she meant by that, but he took it as a positive sign, and, reluctantly, left her in the closet to go to class.
After Marco left, Janna broke down in tears again. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair for Star to just come along and pluck him away from her. She had had her eyes on Marco for years, she was just never able to express it beyond mildly aggressive flirting. It wasn't fair that just as she began to make progress with him that Star would come along and take him away. And it wasn't fair because he deserved someone BETTER than Star. All she did was get him hurt.
Janna remembered the glimpses of Marco she had gotten when he and Star had come hurtling back out of the portal in Mewni, back into the battlefield. The blood all over him. Janna had felt her heart freeze, and felt, with a dark, black certainty, that if Star had gotten Marco killed, that she would wring the life out the Princess herself. She had wanted to stay in Mewni, stay until she was sure that Marco was okay, but Mr. and Mrs. Diaz had insisted that she come back to earth, insisted that her parents must be worried about her. They had been, but not that much. It wouldn't have been the first time Janna disappeared from her family for days at a time.
And when Marco had come back to earth, she had seen it written all over his face. The stupid idiot was in love with Star. He barely ever left her side. He was in love with a girl that was just going to hurt him, over and over and over again. She couldn't watch it. He was going to kill himself for Star one day, she just knew it, with a terrible certainty. And when that happened, would Star even care?
Marco needed a real friend. He needed someone who would look out for him, when he himself could not. And Janna thought she might have a way to help him.
She reached into her jacket, pulling out her most treasured item. Everyone had just assumed it had been lost in the chaos of battle.
Mr. Diaz's spellbook.
Mrs. Diaz looked out the front window, smiling, as she watched Marco and Star in the front yard. They were sitting on the porch swing, watching the sunset together. As she watched, Star rested her head on Marco's shoulder.
Mr. Diaz came up from behind her, wrapping his arms around her. "My heart," he murmured into her ear. "Would you look at them."
Mrs. Diaz smiled and closed her eyes, leaning back into her husband. "They really seem to be closer than ever."
Mr. Diaz smiled darkly. "Yes...just according to plan."
He chuckled, evilly, until Mrs. Diaz shut him up with a kiss.
Yes I left some things open-ended, because at some point I will come back and write a sequel. Thanks for all the people who read this, I always like to hear about people who enjoy my stories. A special thanks to the people who have done fanart of my dumb fanfic, it's way more than I ever expected would happen ever expected would happen