Chapter 41: Baby

Hello everyone! thDorkMagnet is back with a new chapter once again! Haha man it's been a crazy month for me, sorry for making you all wait so long for this one I got some writer's block and needed to take an inspiration break to get my creativity back! But it's here now and a lot has happened since I was gone which I want to share with you all!

First things first, don't know if you noticed but Light of the Sun and Stars now has an official cover! And oh my gosh does it look amazing! I have no words for this other than just... wow. My two good friends Kikithefox231 and Phantomnationdraws (two amazing people you should definitely go check out on Tumblr) had it made for me as a birthday present. Phantom also made a small drawing of Marco in Mewberty form on the side which was great! Also RJWritingInk was amazing enough to have not one... but two commissions made for this story! Like wow, what! The first is a beautiful piece of Jantom art by the amazing roussedraws on Tumblr and the second is Mewberty Marco and Star being adorable by the talented Andychipps on Instagram. If you want to view these you can check them out on my Tumblr (thDorkMagnet same as on here) and side note I also post previews for these chapters a few days early on my Tumblr.

Last but certainly not least is one of my nearest and dearest friends Jcabrera35 on Tumblr and Instagram, where he and his wife are currently at work making a short comic about this story! No joke, it's happening people haha! It's part of their new series Starco Moments where they will be making short comics about Starco scenes from their favorite fics and I had the honor of being their first. Page 1 is out now and I have been so excited to share this with you all! Please I can not urge you guys enough, support these amazing people! All of them, because each and every one of them deserve it! Thanks guys, have all made me so immensely happy!

Okay so now that that's out of the way, on to the chapter! Haha, so Baby was the winner but it was a close race for sure. Thanks to everyone for voting and for just supporting this story in general! All your love makes writing this story worth it to me and just knowing I have all of you guys is like the best thing in the world for me! Please enjoy the chapter and will see you all at the bottom.

Disclaimer: Star vs and all its characters belong to Daron Nefcy and Disney. All rights go to them.

"Okay concentrate, Star. You can do this," Marco said in an encouraging tone, making sure to keep a supportive smile on his face as he watched his girlfriend cross her arm into an 'x' symbol, the wand held tightly in her left palm, pulsing with pink magic just waiting to be set free.

Star closed her eyes, sucking in a deep breath, before muttering softly to herself, "I can do this." The girl then began an intricate series of steps, the wand waving around as her body gracefully danced through each technique with practiced ease, Marco completely awestruck by his girlfriend's movements no matter how many times he had seen it in the last few days. The way Star owned every flick of her wrist or turn of her hip left Marco speechless, her body moving with the grace and poise of a professional ballerina. Her feet were always in the correct position and her arms were always kept at just the right angle, the wand leaving trails of magic sprinkling to the ground with each new gesture.

Finally, Star held the wand aloft, shouting in a clear, calm voice, "Warnicorn Stampede!" There was a burst of pink magic in front of the blond royal, before a single, tiny unicorn appeared in front of them, looking completely harmless and adorable. "Aww," Marco cooed, unable to resist fawning over the cute creature his girlfriend had just created. The little unicorn let out an adorable neigh before trotting forward right into a head-on collision with Star's couch.

Star face-palmed, groaning in annoyance and disappointment, before loudly exclaiming, "Ugh, what am I doing wrong? Why can't I figure out this lousy spell?!"

"Well it is the hardest spell in the book," Marco pointed out, as he flipped through page after page of Star's spellbook, trying not to get lost in the intriguing and dense knowledge this book contained. "Glossaryk said most queens can take years to learn it."

"Yeah well if I don't get this down soon, I'm gonna fail the magic exam for sure," Star retorted, crossing her arms bitterly in front of her chest.

Marco thought over his reply for a moment, trying to come up with the best way to comfort his friend. He knew Star had been stressing ever since the Magic High Commission first announced Star have a magic performance review to see how far her abilities with the wand had come. They had given Star only a week to prepare for the upcoming exam and since then Marco had spent hours upon hours helping to get Star ready for the test. And now, on the day of said exam, he knew she was more than ready for anything her examiner could throw at her. But it was Star who needed the convincing, second-guessing herself as she failed the one spell in the book she had yet to master. Not that he blamed her, the pressure had to be unbearable for her, failing would mean proving to the world that she was unfit to wield the wand and Marco knew how terrified Star was of being seen that way.

Failure was simply not an option. Especially since both Star and Marco suspected the whole exam was just another scheme by the MHC to sabotage their commission. Star seemed to have no doubt that if she didn't pass the MHC would disband their commission so that Star could 'focus on her studies', which only added to the pressure the blond royal was feeling. Finally, the hooded teen spoke in the most reassuring tone he could, "You aren't going to fail, Star. We've been practicing all week, you've read the Book of Spells top to bottom, you know every spell including the ones that were removed from the book, you're more than ready."

"Except for the one spell I can't get right," Star reminded him, gesturing over to the little unicorn who was now chewing on Star's couch cushion. "If Baby asks me to cast Warnicorn Stampede I'm totally dead."

"Well remember what Glossaryk said, your emotions affect your magic, that's probably why you can't cast it," Marco pointed out, still flipping through pages of the spellbook. "I'm sure you'll get it down in time." He cringed as he came across a page covered in chains with a large skull on it, quickly flipping to a different page. When he had first come across that he had asked Star about it and all she had told him was that it was a forbidden chapter and that no one was allowed to look in it. Marco had steered clear of that section of the book ever since. Though he did wonder why Glossaryk hadn't removed it with the rest of the dangerous spells.

"Yeah, you're right," the blond replied, letting out a breath of relief, her hands fiddling with the handle of her wand. "I guess I'm just nervous, is all."

Marco closed the book before going over to his girlfriend and pulling her into a comforting hug. "Hey, I believe in you. I know you're gonna pass this test with flying colors," he whispered into her shoulder. He could feel Star's body relaxing in his grip as she let out a deep sigh, finally untensing for the first time in hours, maybe even days.

"Thanks, Marco," the girl said, before finally pulling out of the hug, a bright grin on her pretty face. "What would I do without you?"

Marco shrugged. "Don't know, though you'd probably get a lot fewer hugs," the boy said playfully.

Star laughed before giving him a friendly shove, chuckling, "I'm serious!" The two shared a laugh before the blond gave him a shy grin, the gentle look in her crystal blue eyes sending goosebumps down Marco's spine. "Thanks though, Marco. Really, I mean it. You have no idea how much you've helped out this week and I don't just mean helping me get ready for the test. If it weren't for you I'd probably be a jittery mess by now."

"Ah, I doubt that," Marco replied, his cheeks flushing some. "You're way braver than I am, Star."

"Hey, don't sell yourself short," Star retorted, cupping his face in her hand while giving her boyfriend a loving smile. "You're just as brave as I am, maybe even more. The only reason I'm so brave is because of you. When I see you facing whatever makes you afraid it makes me want to do the same." The girl then leaned forward giving her boyfriend a tender kiss on the lips. Marco closed his eyes letting the moment wash over him, the two besties sharing a blissful moment as one, their heartbeat once again beating in time together.

Finally, the two parted, giving each other goofy but incredibly happy looks, their cheeks painted pink as Marco finally said, "Well I'm glad I could help." The girl laughed before pressing her forehead to his. "You always are."

"So you think you're ready to try that spell again, Star?" Marco asked, giving her an encouraging smile. He felt Star's body tense up just slightly but the hooded teen could now see the resolve in her eyes as she nodded.

"Yeah, let's do it," the girl said with unwavering determination.

Marco stood back as Star crossed her arms again, taking a few smooth breaths before beginning the Incantation Dance once again. Her body moved as fluidly as before, every step perfect and on point as she went through the motions just like every time beforehand, but to Marco's surprise Star's wand was now glowing white instead of the typical pink and her hearts were glowing brighter than ever. Finally, the girl finished her spin before holding the wand overhead and shouting, "Warnicorn Stampede!"

Marco watched slack-jawed as at least a dozen warnicorns appeared behind her in a puff of smoke, neighing loudly as they galloped through Star's room in a wild herd, knocking over anything they came close to and impaling objects with their sharp horns. Star undid the spell quickly, leaving her room a tattered mess but she didn't seem to care as she began jumping up and down in joy shouting, "I did it! Marco, I did it! I just pulled off my very first Warnicorn Stampede!"

"Oh Star I'm so happy for you!" Marco shouted as Star pulled him into an excited hug. She lifted him off the ground spinning him around in a circle as the two laughed and cheered for the blond's success. Once Marco was on his feet again, the boy declared, "I knew you could do it!"

"Thank, Marco, guess you believing in me was all I needed," Star said, her bright grin incapable of vanishing, her eyes gleaming with self-pride and it made Marco's own heart leap at the sight. He couldn't think of the last time he saw Star this happy with herself and it made him swell with pride knowing he had been partially responsible for his girlfriend's positive change in attitude.

But a ringing from Star's phone drew their attention away from all the celebrating as Star ran over and picked up her mirror, flipping it open to read the new message. Her eyes widened before she turned to Marco and said, "Looks like I figured it out just in time, too. Baby's on her way now. Shawn just gave me the head's up."

"Wait, since when do you and Shawn talk to each other?" Marco asked in confusion.

"Since I bribed him with some of our super awesome nachos, no creature can resist those," Star replied, shooting her boyfriend a wink.

Marco smiled before focusing on the task at hand, asking, "Okay so how long do we have?"

Star shrugged. "Not long, she could be here any minute," the blond replied, biting her lip as her anxiety returned full force.

"Okay well I'll go check on the food, you stay here and... clean up," Marco said. The two cringed at they looked around at Star's destroyed room.

"Good idea," the blond replied, putting her mirror phone away before starting to work repairing her room back to its normal state.

"Back in a few," Marco said as he ran for the door, wanting to hurry and not leave his girlfriend alone for too long. He needed to be there when Baby arrived to help keep Star calm. Besides he was beyond curious who this Baby was after a week-long build-up.

"Okay," Star called after him, pushing out any troubling thoughts as she just focused on her task, thankful for something to do to keep her mind off everything. The last thing she needed now was to psych herself out.

A loud distasteful scoff filled the castle kitchen, followed by a very sarcastic voice. "Ugh, seriously you call this a grand kitchen, even their measuring cups are unorganized, talk about amateur hour," Kelly stated with a roll of her eyes, her eyes not even on the pot she was stirring as she just gazed around the fancy kitchen critically. A feast of already finished dishes lay spread out on the countertops around her, everything from cookies to cornbread to even a cooked turkey was present, all of them cooked to perfection and beyond appetizing. So appetizing in fact that Ferguson, Alfonso, and even Glossaryk were all drooling over them, staring at each steaming plate with hungry eyes. "And what's with all the cheap bowls and spoons? My grandmother has better kitchen utensils," Kelly continued in a mocking tone.

"Geez, Kelly. Why don't you tell us something you don't like about the place?" Janna said sarcastically, leaning against the counter with a bored expression.

"Oh, haha, very funny," Kelly said back, shooting the creepy girl a glare. "I'm just saying, it's no wonder Marco asked me to come help cook cause this is just disgraceful." In one fluid motion, the green-haired girl had poured the contents of the bowl into a pan and set that in the oven to bake, slamming it closed with her foot as she set the small timer.

"Well, that and the chefs all conveniently called in sick on the exact day that Baby arrived," Janna added in a knowing tone, rolling her eyes.

"Yes, what are the odds of that?" Kelly agreed sarcastically. "But luckily for you, I was free for the day. Besides this is a great opportunity for me, cooking for a guest of royalty." The girl picked up a spatula and smacked Ferguson's hand as he reached for a nearby cookie.

"Ow!" the chubby king whined as he massaged his sore hand. "That hurt!"

"Hands off the food! I didn't slave over this for six hours so you could snack!" Kelly shouted to the boy, who shrunk some in his seat from the intensity of her glare.

"Well, that's not a problem for me," Glossaryk said, before making a chanting noise, a cookie slowly rising off the plate, suspended by magic. But it dropped back to the plate as Kelly smacked the small blue man on the top of the head, breaking his concentration.

"And that includes with magic," Kelly added, her voice full of fire and brimstone as she cast warning glances to the magical being and then Ferguson and Alfonso, all of whom gave her guilty looks back. "Now anybody else wanna try?"

All three shook their heads.

"Good," Kelly said, a smile instantly appearing on her face as she set down the spatula. She hummed to herself as she went back to preparing the next item on the menu.

"I forgot how terrifying you Wooletts can be," Glossaryk commented, a sad frown on his normally blank face.

"And don't you forget it," Kelly said with a proud grin, giving the three a smug look as she flipped her hair.

On top of said hair, Tad let out an affectionate sigh. "I love it when you're terrifying, babe," he said flirtingly.

"You love it when I do anything, Tad," the girl replied, hiding a smile.

"Yes, but that's because everything you do is amazing!" Tad said and the girl flushed.

"Aw, Tad!" Kelly cooed. She quickly directed her attention back on her work though, as she started to dice vegetable, her hand moving at an almost inhuman speed, somehow managing to avoid her fingers with each rapid swing of the sharp blade. "So who's this Baby anyways?"

"Oh just someone the Magic High Commission decided to send to do Star's magic review," Janna explained.

"Well she must be pretty hungry if she's gonna eat all this," Kelly commented as she continued to chop away, casting a quick glance at their food supply.

"Oh trust me on this, Baby is a bottomless pit when it comes to food," Glossaryk spoke up. "And the more we feed her, the better chances of Star passing are."

"Isn't that bribery?" Kelly asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Hey, we're just making sure our guest is happy," Janna said while casually leaning back and putting her feet on the countertop leaning as far back in the chair as it would allow. "And if it helps us out in the end, what's wrong with that?"

Kelly just rolled her eyes, a small smile on her lips as she pushed Janna's boots off the countertop. "You're impossible," she muttered under her breath.

"You forgot to mention creepy and charming," Janna replied, sitting back up in her chair once again.

Suddenly, the door to the kitchen slammed open, a panting Marco quickly running inside. "Hey guys!" he called loudly, sliding across the smooth tile floor and coming to a stop in front of them. "Oh wow, the food looks great Kelly!"

"Thanks, Marco, you should have more than enough food for your guest," the girl replied, before smacking the grabbing hand of Ferguson. "That is if these three don't end up eating it all."

Marco laughed, before taking a big sniff of the food spread out before him. "Well, it all smells delicious! I'm sure Baby's gonna love it!" the hooded teen exclaimed, a wide smile on his face. "Thanks for coming to help out Kelly, I really appreciate it. I know you've been pretty busy getting ready for that big baking competition coming up."

"Eh, it's not a problem. I'm already more or less ready for that," the girl continued as she started tossing the salad in the bowl before her.

"You must be excited though," Marco continued. "I mean, being asked to represent Fang Tangs this year, that's a huge honor!"

Kelly smiled proudly to herself but kept her voice as humble as possible as she replied, "Yeah it is pretty nice." She paused before adding in a hinting tone, raising her eyebrows knowingly, "Though I am still in need of two other chefs to help me."

Marco nodded. "Me and Star'll be there. No problem, Kelly."

"Good, cause the recipe I have in mind is gonna need some help to pull off."

"Are you planning on using the..." Marco leaned in closer and cupped a hand around his mouth to prevent the others from hearing, before whispering, "... top-secret project."

"Marco, that's still in the testing phase and you know it," the girl hissed back, shooting him a nervous look.

The boy immediately slapped a hand over his mouth. "Oh sorry," the boy replied in a muffled tone.

"Uh, you know we don't care, right?" Janna commented.

The two quickly whipped their heads over to her before sharing another serious look, silently communicating the need to keep that project just between them, while Janna rolled her eyes. Ferguson, seeing Kelly distracted, once again tried to reach for the tray and grab a freshly baked pastry only to receive a smack over the head from Kelly's spatula, the girl not even turning as she knocked him back in one swift motion.

"Ouch!" the boy screamed loudly, before pouting in the Woolett's direction.

"Nice try," Kelly responded. "But I have eyes in the back of my head. Or in this case..." She pointed up to Tad who was facing toward backwards now, watching the three closely. "...on the back of my head."

Marco couldn't help but laugh at the joke, while Ferguson muttered something under his breath, complaining about the terrible treatment he was receiving despite being a king and made a mental note to raise the mirror tax on Kelly's phone when he got back.

"Well, I better get back to Star," Marco said, before racing out of the room as quickly as he had entered. "Just bring up the food whenever it's ready. Star said Baby should be here any minute."

"Okay!" Kelly called after the boy, her focus on the salad as she put the finishing touches on the appetizer grating shredded cheese onto it with all the care and precision of an artist painting a portrait. "There that should do it!" she exclaimed, wiping the sweat from her brow, before turning to the others. "Now who wants to help me bring all this up?"

No one said a word and Kelly just sighed before adding in a slightly annoyed tone, "I'll let you guys have a free meal at Fang Tang's on the house."

The four all jumped to attention quickly rushing around as they grabbed carts and trays to help carry the mountain of food before them, getting right to work and eager to help now that the prospect of free food was on the table. Kelly just watched the four with a deadpanned glare, muttering under her breath, "Figures."

Marco was running down the hallway, hoping he wasn't too late. He knew Star needed him to be there for whenever Baby arrived but he had accidentally stayed in the kitchen much longer than he had planned. Which meant he was in way too big a rush, trying to take every shortcut in the massive castle he could think of, barely paying any attention to his surroundings as he focused only on getting back to Star. Which meant he didn't spot the two little girls clearly hiding behind a nearby pillar (their bodies only half-hidden behind it) giggling amongst themselves. But as the boy approached the two suddenly jumped out, shouting as one, "Sneak attack!"

The boy tried to slide to a stop but he was powerless to stop the two girls from latching onto his chest, giggling incessantly the whole time as the boy crashed to the floor with a yelp. The two clung to his middle, still laughing as the boy groaned in surprise and pain from the short fall. "Ugh, girls?" he muttered groggily, his head spinning as he tried to process how and why he was laying on the floor with Daisy and Violet on top of him.

"We got you, Big Brother!" Violet shouted, now sitting on his stomach and grinning ear to ear. "You fell right into our trap!"

"Were you surprised, Big Brother?" Daisy asked with wide, innocent eyes.

Marco couldn't help but chuckle a little himself as he picked each girl up and set them aside so he could stand once again. "Yep, I sure was, you two definitely got me," he said with a bright grin, wiping the dust from his pants.

"Yes!" the two cheered as one before sharing a high-five.

Marco smiled, glad to see the two getting along... for now at least. "Well I'm glad you two are having fun, just please try and be careful, okay. Not everyone is alright with being 'sneak attacked'."

"We will!" the girls promised, hiding their crossed fingers behind their backs.

"Okay then, I better get back to Star," the hooded teen said, about to run off again when Daisy suddenly interrupted him with a panicked shout.

"Wait, Big Brother! We need to ask you something!" the cutesy girl screamed.

The boy paused, turning to her with curiosity. "What is it?"

"Have you seen Edith anywhere?" Daisy asked, worry shining in her bright eyes.

"We've looked everywhere and we can't find her!" Violet added, looking equally as distraught.

Marco stared sadly down at the girls for a second before shaking his head. "Nope, sorry girls, I haven't."

The two's faces fell even more and the boy instantly added, "Uh, but don't worry I'm sure you'll find her. She's probably just hiding somewhere, she'll turn up soon."

Daisy and Violet gave him hopeful looks, their eyes lighting up some in joy. "You really think so?" the creepy child asked.

Marco nodded confidently, shooting them a comforting smile. "I'm positive! And hey it's almost like playing a game of hide and seek, right?"

"Yeah, you're right!" Daisy cheered, back to her vibrant self as she hopped up and down. "In that case, we better get back to looking for her!"

"Yeah, let's do it!" Violet shouted, pumping her fist in the air in excitement. The two ran off down the hall and Marco smiled as he watched them go, calling quickly out to them, "Good luck!"

"Thanks, Big Brother!" the two shouted back, waving to him over their shoulders before disappearing around the corner.

Marco chuckled and shook his head, before suddenly remembering his own task and his eyes widened in panic. "Oh no, Star!" he gasped.

Star managed to get her room clean in record time, her wand helping the task along immensely as she summoned an army of cute little cat maids, their furry forms rushing around, fixing and cleaning everything in sight. The blond royal nodded her head in satisfaction as the kittens finished up, her room practically sparkling now. In fact, it probably looked even better than before. "Nice work guys!" she said pleasantly to the cats. She then used her wand to summon them a ball of yarn, saying, "Here. You guys earned it."

The kitten maids all meowed in pleasure as they played amongst themselves, Star walking around her room and double-checking their work just to be sure. But there was not a spot of dust or clutter anywhere and the girl finally let out a deep sigh, wiping her brow in satisfaction with her free hand. "Thank goodness. At least that's one less thing to worry about," she commented to herself, tapping her wand against her open palm, the nervousness starting to resurface some again.

Just then, the window to her room busted open as a harsh breeze blew into the room, catching Star off guard and causing the kittens to all rear back in concern. The girl put up a hand to shield her face from the viscous force of the wind, trying to crack an eye open and see what the source of the draft was, when an ominous cloud of black smoke flew into the room. The cats all yowled in fear as any stray papers or objects were sent flying around the room, the stream of magic smoke circling Star a few times before coming jumping up into the air and landing in front of her. The cloud parted revealing the small form of a cat. The cat had short white fur and translucent wings that fluttered behind her, keeping her always floating in the air. Her tail was at least the length of her full body, maybe even longer, which waved back and forth lazily in mid-air. Her eyes were inhumanely wide, with bright green pupils that seemed to glow with innocence and kindness as she observed the princess up and down. Her tiny paws held a large clipboard and glowing pink pen which almost sparkled with magic.

The wind died instantly the moment Baby appeared, sending the loose objects and papers falling to the ground, Star's room now as trashed as when she started. "Star Butterfly, I presume," Baby said, her voice as cute as her general appearance.

"Uh yes, that's me, Miss Baby," Star said quickly, doing a little curtsey and bowing her head politely. She was glad her voice didn't crack, her nerves still threatening to get the best of her, especially after her initial shock from Baby's entrance.

Baby gave a narrowed gaze around the room before saying in a critical tone, "Hmm, I expected the room to be much neater. Perhaps your busy schedule is taking up too much of your time for such simple things."

Star felt a twinge of anger as she thought bitterly, Only because you messed it up. But she kept the smile plastered on her face. Yep, just as she suspected, this was all a ploy by the MHC, which meant she had to keep her calm and play her part. The future of her Commission and Mewni hung in the balance. Which was why she managed to keep her voice polite and level as she said, "Actually, my maids were just about to get to work cleaning the room, right guys?" She gave them a pleading look and the cat's all reluctantly sighed and dropped the ball of yarn going back to their previous task from before, looking none too happy about it now.

Baby watched the cats silently for a moment, before jotting something down on her clipboard, Star feeling her heart begin to sink. She cleared her throat and said quickly, "Uh sooo, would you like a tour of my room or..."

"Yes that would be acceptable," Baby said, not looking up from her clipboard.

Star tried to keep her calm as she began giving a quick tour of her room, Baby barely paying any attention to anything, only looking up once or twice with a blank expression before going back to scribbling notes down furiously. Star was starting to lose her nerve and wished Marco was here to calm her.

Luckily, just as she finished up the tour, Marco came bursting into the room, panting wildly with sweat dripping down his face as he exclaimed, "Star, I'm back! Sorry, it took me so long I-" But he froze as he spotted the flying cat just over Star's shoulder, fixing him with a critical gaze and he looked over to his girlfriend for help. The blond royal kept her calm as she said in a smooth tone, "Marco, this is Baby." She gestured over to the flying cat who still had yet to blink as her narrowed eyes seemed to be tearing him apart and he continued to stand awkwardly in the doorway. She then gestured over to the hooded teen. "Baby this is my boyfriend and the Monster representative Marco Diaz."

"Uhh, h-hello Miss Baby," Marco said, trying to match his girlfriend's relaxed tone but unable to keep his voice from stuttering some. Star mouthed the word 'bow' to him and he quickly dropped into a late bow, keeping his head submissively down.

"Yes, I've heard a lot about you, Mr. Diaz, was it?" Baby said, her tone unreadable.

Marco stood up at once, nodding as he replied, "Uh yeah. My parents were Rafael and Angela Diaz." He felt a slight boost of pride at that, a bit of his anxiety subsiding.

"Yes, yes the Monster supporters," Baby said, her focus returning to her clipboard, her tiny paw furiously scribbling something down. "I've heard all about them." Something about her tone made Marco feel weary and he cast Star a confused look which she returned but they kept their comments to themselves.

"Now then, if there won't be any other interruptions," Baby continued, her eyes darting up for just a moment to fix the boy with a critical look. "We can officially begin your magic exam, princess."

"Oh, yes, of course," Star said, trying to will down her racing heartbeat. This was it.

"Now then, before we begin, we'll need to clear the room of any distractions," Baby began, looking around at the cat maids pointedly.

"Right," Star said, before unsummoning her spells, making sure to also send the ball of yarn with them for all their hard work and as a little extra thank you for cleaning her room up twice now. Once she was done, she turned to Baby waiting for her next direction.

But Baby's focus switched to Marco, who had finally moved away from the doorway, shutting the door but still standing awkwardly off to the side, looking unsure. "All the distractions," Baby said in a hinting tone and Marco felt his eyes widen. Wait was she asking him to leave? But he was supposed to stay and help Star. She needed him to help keep her calm. What if she failed without him? He couldn't leave but Baby had just given a direct order... well kinda. Baby continued staring at him, waiting for him to go and the boy shifted uncomfortably on his feet. "Uh, well I-I-" he stuttered, unsure how to politely word this.

"Actually Baby," Star spoke up on his behalf, seeing her bestie struggling to speak up for himself. "I was hoping Marco could stay. I need him for... moral support." She flashed him a loving smile, which he returned with a grateful one.

Baby sighed before saying, "Very well, but I'm making a note of this." She quickly wrote something down and Star swallowed back the biting comment hovering on the end of her tongue. Having Marco there wasn't a bad thing, how dare this stupid cat even think that.

"Okay then," she said instead, plastering on another false smile. "I'm ready when you are."

Baby nodded before saying, "First things first, I'll need to ask you a few questions."

Star had been expecting this, her mother warning her she might need to refresh her mind on basic Mewman history and she and Marco had taken extra time to get her ready for this portion of the exam. The blond royal nodded, ready to draw upon the knowledge she had kept tucked away in her brain. "Of course, I'm ready."

"Very well, can you tell me who was the first Mewman to ever wield the wand?" Baby asked, looking down at her notes.

Star replied in one steady breath, "Cosmos the Infinite. They say the wand was gifted to her by the beings of the magic realm because of her pure heart."

"Yes, and was she a member of the Butterfly clan?" Baby questioned while writing down Star's answer.

Star nodded. "Yes, she was."

"And how did the Butterfly clan rise to power?"

"Our Trait," Star replied, looking over to Marco to see him giving her an encouraging thumb's up.

"Which is?"

"The ability to wield the magic wand. Only certain members of the Butterfly clan can channel its power," Star said, feeling more and more confident with every answer. "In anyone else's hands, it's completely useless."

The fairy continued to ask question after question, Star answering every single one with zero hesitation, her study session's paying off well.

Marco, meanwhile, felt his heart swelling with pride for his girlfriend, unable to keep the bright smile off his face. That was until a slithering feeling jumped up his spine and he jumped some in surprise, managing to stifle his scream. Star and Baby didn't notice this, too invested in their quiz and the boy tried to calm his now racing heart. What the heck was that? Marco wondered.

Then there was more shifting only this time on his stomach, the movement on his ticklish belly causing him to laugh out loud. Star and Baby immediately whipped their heads over to him and Marco slapped a hand over his mouth to hold back his giggles as the feeling continued. Star looked concerned as her boyfriend burst out laughing over nothing, while Baby just raised an annoyed eyebrow. Finally, the feeling stopped and he was able to get in a breath of air, his lungs sore from the random tickle attack. "Uh, sorry about that," he said sheepishly, feeling Baby's intense stare on his skin. "I, uh, just thought of a funny joke." He smiled, hoping the cat would buy it.

Baby just rolled her eyes before saying, "Well maybe next time you should leave the room, instead of interrupting me in the middle of a sentence." She put her furry paws on her hips as she fixed him with a scolding glare and the boy looked down at his feet.

"Right, sorry, it won't happen again," he said softly.

"Good, see that it doesn't," Baby replied harshly, before going back to her question taking. Star answering each one but kept casting worried looks over to her boyfriend now.

Marco waited until they got back into a steady rhythm before turning around and pulling open his hoodie to see what was moving around in there, only to see a pair of beady eyes and a forked tongue looking up at him innocently. "Edith?!" he said in a loud whisper. "What are you doing in there?" He quickly reached down and pulled her out from his hoodie, holding her long form in both hands. "You need to get out of here," he continued.

"Marco?"

The boy turned on his feet hiding Edith behind his back, plastering on a smile. "Hmm, yes," he responded far-too-quickly, looking between Mewman and fairy.

"Are you okay?" the blond royal asked.

"Who me, oh I'm just fine, nothing to worry about here," the boy said in a very unconvincing tone, doing a quick thumbs up with his free hand.

"Okay then," Star said reluctantly, before returning her focus on the test.

The boy breathed a sigh of relief, before pulling his hands in front of him again, only to find Edith gone and he gasped in surprise. "What? Where did she go?"

A tiny head popped up on his left shoulder and he nearly jumped in surprise. "Edith," he whispered quietly. "You can't be in here, Star needs to focus. I'm taking you back to Daisy and Violet."

But Edith wasn't listening to any of this for she had just spotted something of interest, a small, furry cat... with a delicious, mouth-watering diamond implanted in its forehead. Edith's small mouth dropped open, drool dripping from her stone fangs as she stared mesmerized at the treat in front of her. She had never eaten a diamond before but they were supposed to be the greatest tasting gem of all time and there was one right in front of her!

Edith was about to slither over and grab it when she was snatched up by the one in red, the one with the very noisy yell, blabbering on about something under his breath as he turned and headed for the exit. But Edith wasn't going to miss this chance, no way. So she began squirming in his grip, easily slipping through his fingers before landing hard on the floor. She was dazed for half a second, before shaking her head and slithering over to her meal, hissing happily.

Just as Marco reached for the doorknob he heard a thump and looked down only to see a small, blue form disappear between his legs. He quickly ran over and snatched Edith off the ground, who hissed in protest.

Meanwhile, Star had just finished answering her last question, Baby nodding as she jotted down a few notes before tapping the pen against the clipboard thoughtfully. "Hmm, it would seem you know your history, Princess Star."

Star smiled and Marco couldn't help but grin as well, despite the urgency of the situation. But he began to quietly tip-toe away, slowly reaching out for the doorknob.

"Marco!" the boy flinched as his name was called and swerved on his feet, tucking Edith into his hoodie pocket and out of sight.

"Yeah, Star?" he asked, trying to keep his voice even despite his slight panic, knowing Edith could ruin the whole test.

"Where are you going?" the blond royal asked, arching an eyebrow while silently asking him what was going on.

"Oh, just to go check on the food," the boy said, keeping his gaze locked with Star, trying to convey to her that something was wrong and that he'd explain later while his hand reached backward for the knob.

Only for the door to slam open, nearly hitting Marco who stumbled forward in surprise as Kelly, Janna, Ferguson, and Alfonso entered into the room, pulling carts filled to the brim with the Woolett's dishes. The green-haired girl smiled brightly at the three in the room, her face and voice polite and professional as she said cheerfully, "Sorry for the intrusion but we figured you could use some sustenance after you're long trip, Miss Baby."

Baby's eyes widened to unbelievable proportions as she hovered slowly closer to the delicious array of food, clearly holding back her urges as she licked her lips hungrily. Kelly seeing this added, "We prepared all this for you, so help yourself." The Woolett then dropped into a bow, the others doing the same behind her.

"Food!" Baby screamed before disappearing into a cloud of smoke again, which flew past the carts at an inhuman speed, leaving behind only empty plates and crumbs as every bit of food was devoured in an instant. The others all watched flabbergasted at the display and Marco, seizing his opportunity at the distraction, lifted the silver lid off a plate and set Edith onto it, before covering the Gem Feeder completely. There, Marco thought to himself. Now they can take her out of here and no one will ever know.

The plume of darkness finished its meal before jumping next to Star again, Baby appearing a second later, licking her paw greedily. "More please," she said simply.

Kelly recovered from her shock as a look of anger flashed across her face, she had just spent the better part of the morning making all that and not only had Baby not had the decency to acknowledge her but she then demanded even more from her! Marco noticed this look and thinking quickly said, "Yes, I'm sure Kelly wouldn't mind making you something else to eat, Miss Baby. Right Kelly?" He turned to the girl with a pleading look, silently begging her to help them out.

Kelly stared at the boy for a moment before sighing and replying with forced cheer, "Of course not, I'll just go do that right now." She plastered on a fake smile which looked more like she was grimacing but Baby didn't seem to notice nor care as she looked through the notes written on her clipboard. The Woolett turned and exited the room, the others pushing the empty carts behind her, but not before shooting the hooded teen a look that said, You owe me for this. Marco smiled and gave her a thumbs-up, letting her know he would indeed pay her back for her help. With that, the door closed leaving the three of them alone once again.

"Well now that that's out of the way," Baby said, gaining the two teens' attention back. "It's time to see just how far you've come in your training, Princess Star." The fairy cat snapped her fingers and a second later a dummy appeared in the center of the room, a crudely drawn face scribbled onto it, its body made of a faded burlap sack which was leaking straw and two sticks jammed into the sides of it to represent arms.

Star nodded, a look of determination on her face, her hand squeezing the wand tightly in anticipation. This was it, she thought, trying to keep her calm.

"Please, show me you're best Narwhal Blast, princess," Baby said, starting off easy but watching the girl closely none the less.

Star smiled at the easy spell. That was one of her specialties. She waved the wand in a circle before holding it straight out shouting, "Mega Narwhal Blast!" The reaction was instant as a series of aquatic mammals were sent flying around her room, hitting the dummy and crushing it instantly.

"Hmm, very good," Baby said with a nod, jotting down a quick note, before looking back up at the royal teen. "Double rainboom."

There was a puff of smoke and the dummy was standing once more, waiting for the next attack. Star did a twirl, sparks of lightning forming around her wand before she held it out, and yelled the appropriate chant, "Double Rainboom Devastation!" Two streaks of rainbows shot out of the wand, twisting around each other before colliding with the dummy, exploding with a massive bang that caused Star's walls to rattle.

Marco covered his ears from the loud sound but quickly started clapping at the amazing display. There was nothing left of the scarecrow this time, only a singed pile of ash and broken tile from the harsh impact. Baby barely acknowledged this one, writing something down, before snapping her fingers and restoring the dummy to its former glory. "Honeybee Tornado Swarm."

That was a bit harder but Star, feeling more confident, nodded, and said, "No problem." She swiped her wand through the air while shouting, "Honeybee Tornado Swarm."

Marco watched mesmerized as Star's spells devastated the target, again and again, Star casting each spell with conviction and power, any sign of anxiety gone from her sweet face. Now that the whole Edith fiasco was over, Marco could just sit back, relax, and watch his girlfriend pass her test with flying colors. He sat down on the floor, a small grin on his face as he watched Star expertly cast each requested spell.

"Cupcake Blast!"

"Winterstorm Hyperblow!"

"Cotten Candy Devastation Blast!"

That was until he spotted a small blue form slithering across the floor slowly making its way over to the two and more importantly, into the line of fire from Star's spells. Marco jumped to his feet, managing to suppress his surprised squeak as he watched Edith getting closer and closer to Star's destruction. How did she even get back in here? Marco wondered to himself, before shaking his head free of the unimportant thought. It doesn't matter right now, I gotta focus on saving Edith.

Just as Edith slithered into the line of fire, Star sucking in a breath as she prepared another spell, Marco jumped in front of her shouting, "Wait!"

Star doubled back in surprise, nearly dropping the wand in her fright, while Baby just glared angrily down at the boy. "Mr. Diaz, what did I tell you before about interrupting us during-"

"Yeah, I know," the boy interrupted, trying to quickly think of an excuse. "I was just thinking, uhhh, that this is too easy. M-Maybe it would be better if Star attacked a... moving target."

Star gave the boy a confused look, while Baby thoughtfully rubbed her furry chin with her paws, thinking over the boy's idea. "What are you doing?" the blond royal whispered, quietly.

"I'll explain later," the boy replied softly. He couldn't risk distracting Star. She needed to focus on the test, he could handle the rest.

"Hmm, you have a point," Baby said thoughtfully, clearly liking the idea. "Would that be alright with you, Princess Star."

Star nodded, before replying, "Sure, I can handle that." Though she cast another quizzical look to her bestie.

"Very well," Baby said, before snapping her fingers, before the dummy came to life, bouncing around the room in a random pattern but moving slowly enough he was easy to aim at. "Please continue the spell as requested."

Star nodded, waiting for Marco to move out of the way before sucking in another breath, making sure to keep steady aim on the target now as it hopped around the room. "Bacon Kitty Hawaiian Nightmare!" she screamed, before destroying the moving scarecrow in an instant with the toughest spell yet.

Marco let out a sigh of relief, before looking quickly around for the slippery snake, wondering where she could have gotten off to now. When he spotted her he nearly screamed, she was slowly making her way up Star's lamp, doing loops around its thin frame, which was right next to Baby. The small cat seemed none the wiser to the snake, positioning itself behind her, even as it leaned over, opening his mouth wide as it got closer and closer to the blue diamond on the fairy's head. Marco rushed over as quietly but quickly as he could, trying to leave a wide berth so he wouldn't be noticed by the other two, before snatching up Edith at the last second, the snake mere seconds away from devouring Baby's crystal.

Baby turned, giving the boy a quizzical look but he just smiled and flicked on the lamp saying nervously, "Thought you could use some light."

"Yes, thank you," Baby muttered but the suspicion in her eyes was clear.

Marco felt panic seize his chest but somehow managed to keep a straight face as he said, "No problem." He then turned around to glare at the naughty snake, whispering harshly, "Edith, what are you doing? Do you want Star to fail her test?!" But Edith just flicked her tongue in response.

Baby looked over to Star who was starting to pant now from exertion, the numerous spells starting to wear on her. She wasn't used to casting this many in a row, even while training she had paced herself and she could feel her magical energy beginning to dwindle. Hopefully, they would be done soon.

"Your boyfriend is very strange," Baby commented.

Star, looked over to her boyfriend, who had his back to them, whispering something under his breath like he was talking to someone and the blond royal felt her worry increase. Something was clearly wrong and whatever it was Marco was keeping it to himself, which made Star even more unnerved. Marco told her everything, no secret ever kept between the two of them but if he was keeping whatever it was to himself on today of all days then it couldn't be good. Still, she would just have to trust her boyfriend to handle whatever it was and focus on her problems. She had a test to pass, after all.

So not knowing what else to say, Star simply shrugged and replied, "Thank you." Baby seemed surprised by the answer but Star just wanted to get this test over with so she could rest, not to mention figure out what was going on with her bestie, so she quickly added, "I'm ready for the next spell."

"Are you sure, princess," Baby said, her keen eyes focusing in on the bags under the blond's eyes and the heaviness to her limbs. "You can rest for a minute, don't want to overdo it."

Star could tell by the fairy's tone this was less about Baby's concern for her well-being and more of an insult. She was clearly testing Star to see how she'd react, see if she was as weak as everyone said she was and Star felt a fire in belly at the thought, wanting nothing more than to prove this stupid cat wrong.

"No, I'm fine, let's keep going," Star said, holding her head up high to show Baby she wasn't backing down.

"Very well," Baby said, her tone suddenly mischievous, the slightest hint of a smirk on her face and Star knew instantly what was coming next, thinking worriedly to herself, Oh no. "If you're so confident why don't we try a harder one, how about..." Baby paused pretending to think it over, before saying, "Warnicorn Stampede?"

Star felt her heart drop and Marco turned around with panic in his eyes, having heard the name of the absolute toughest spell in the spellbook. Edith was forgotten as he watched Star closely, her body tensing up some and her eyes showing the slightest hint of fear in them. Baby seemed to notice this as she added in a superior tone, "You have the learned that spell, correct?"

Star nodded quickly, trying to hide her nervousness behind an iron mask as she replied, "Of course."

"Then you should have no problem casting it for me," Baby said, her sharp gaze suddenly feeling like it was trying to dig into Star's soul and she resisted the urge to glare at the instructor.

"No, none at all, I'm happy to do it," Star said with a forced grin.

"Good, then show me," Baby said, snapping her fingers again as the dummy appeared in the center of the room, still and unmoving this time.

Star looked over to Marco for encouragement and he happily obliged, giving her a small nod and a thumbs up, the brightest, most positive smile he had in his arsenal stretched across his face as he mouthed the words, You got this. This alone seemed to relax Star down, just knowing her Marco was there supporting her giving her the confidence needed to perform the spell. She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes, pushing out all thoughts except that of Marco, focusing on the image of his smiling face to relax her as she crossed her arms in front of her chest.

She then began to perform the Incantation Dance, her movements swift, smooth, and precise as she turned and swayed through each step of the complicated spell. She knew this spell by heart, she had practiced it dozens of times before and had even successfully pulled it off not even an hour ago, Marco was right, she had this completely under control. And as Star continued with her graceful dance, a blissful smile formed on her face as she felt the magic gathering around her, relaxing her aching muscles and giving her much-needed energy.

While this was going on, Marco watched mesmerized for a second before feeling Edith squirming around in his hand and he looked down just in time to see her slide out of his grip, falling toward the floor. The hooded teen quickly snatched her up out of mid-air, but she continued to slither around in his hands, making it impossible for him to get a good grip as she slipped through his fingers. His hands fumbled to catch the slippery snake as Edith merely bounced around in his hands, unaware of the painful drop that waited below her, her only goal in sight being that of the delicious crystal.

Finally, after much trial and error, the boy managed to get a good grip on Edith, walking swiftly over to Star's closet and setting her carefully inside before closing the door as quietly as possible. But thankfully, the sound was muffled by Star's loud shout.

"Warnicorn Stampede!"

The boy leaned heavily against the door as he watched a dozen or so angry looking unicorns appear around Star, raging around the room as they galloped past the dummy, crushing it underneath their thick hoof prints. Star let out a small cheer of joy at her success, turning to Marco with a smile of victory and the boy gave her a tired thumbs up in response.

Baby, however, noticed the boy lingering by the door and asked accusingly, "What are you doing now, Marco Diaz?" The small cat put her paws on her hips for emphasis.

Marco froze up for a second as he struggled to think up some sort of answer, his mouth opening and closing a few times as he struggled for words, looking over to his girlfriend for help. But all Star could do was shrug, looking just as lost on him and he finally replied, "I was, uh, afraid there might be a... draft."

"From the closet?" Baby said, raising a suspicious eyebrow.

"Well, I mean, you never know," Marco said with a nervous grin.

Star, seeing that a distraction was needed, quickly spoke up, saying, "So, Miss Baby, how did I do?"

This seemed to work though, as Baby returned her focus back on her job, humming to herself as she flipped through the clipboard and her notes, trying to compile them together into a grade. Star cast Marco a quick glance, the two both looking equally relieved they hadn't been caught, even though Star was still lost on what exactly was going on. That could have been a disaster. Thankfully, they had avoided anything major going wrong.

"Well, for the most part, I would say you're doing quite well," Baby said finally and Star seemed to visibly relax at that. "There are still some areas that could use some improvement but overall I think your magic training is coming along nicely."

"Oh, that's great to hear," Star breathed out, placing a hand over her heart. She had done it. She had passed the test and now everything would be-

"However, there is still one more task I'd like you to complete for me," Baby said, interrupting Star's moment of victory as fear clenched the girl's chest.

"W-What?" the blond royal whispered, caught off guard by this change of events. There was more? But she had just performed one of the hardest spells in the book flawlessly, what else could Baby possibly have her do that was more difficult than that? She had studied every spell, had trained her mind, body, and spirit for this test, and yet nothing could prepare her for what happened next.

With a simple snap of Baby's fingers, a pedestal appeared in the center of the room, a large, red apple set on top of it. "I'd like you to please, bring me that apple."

"Wait, seriously?!" Star exclaimed, blurting it out without thinking, too shell-shocked to make sense of anything.

Baby's eyes narrowed just an inch as she said, "You do know the proper spell for that, don't you?"

"U-Uh, of course," Star said, recovering some from her bafflement as she responded to the question being asked, racking her brain for the answer. "That would be Levitato." Otherwise known as one of the easiest spells in the whole book. Why would Baby be testing her on something as simple as that?

Baby nodded, before saying, "Then please, whenever you're ready." The small cat held out a hand in wait, keeping her gaze focused on Star, watching her every move closely. The blond royal forced herself to focus as she directed her attention onto the apple, holding her wand out as she got ready to perform the spell, waiting patiently for the energy to gather.

Marco, still keeping himself pressed against the door, couldn't help but lean forward some, intrigued by the conversation between his girlfriend and her instructor, his mouth hanging slightly open as his head spun with questions. There was more to the test? Was this some sort of bonus round or something, like in one of those video games Tom had shown him? Or was this another test in itself? The task seemed simple enough, maybe there was something he was missing?

"Hey, Marco, what's up?" a voice suddenly said beside him and turned to see Janna in bat form fly over and perch on his shoulder. "How's the test going?"

"Okay, I guess," Marco said via whisper, not wanting to distract Star to any degree. "But what are you doing here?"

"Oh the others asked me to see how things were going, so here I am," Janna replied, spreading her wings wide.

"Well we have a slight problem, Janna," Marco muttered, trying not to grimace as he remembered the determined reptile just on the other side of this door.

"I'll say, that cat's got a serious eating problem," Bat-Jan remarked sarcastically.

"No, I mean another problem. Your pet snake is in here and keeps trying to attack Baby."

"What?" Janna said in disbelief. "Edith is completely harmless, what possible reason would she have to-" That's when the creepy teen spotted the gemstone on the cat's head. "Ooohh, okay, that explains it. She's after the diamond." Janna said, nodding her head.

"Wait, are you serious?" Marco said in a raised whisper.

"Yep, diamond's are basically irresistible to Gem Feeders," Janna replied, matter-of-factly.

"Well, at least she can't cause any more trouble," Marco said, leaning back against the door.

"Uh, I wouldn't be too sure of that," Janna said and Marco gave his friend a confused look before she gestured to up ahead with her wing. Marco gasped, nearly falling over as he saw Edith slithering across the smooth tile.

"How did she get out?!" Marco exclaimed, barely keeping his voice low enough Star and Baby wouldn't hear.

"Edith is very sneaky," Janna answered simply.

"Yeah, I noticed," the hooded teen said, before adding hastily, "Now come on, help me catch her before she messes Star up."

The blond was breathing slowly and steadily, in and out, in and out, letting the magic gather trying to ignore the impatient tapping of Baby's pen on the clipboard. She tried to push out all distractions again, but a loud shuffling behind her, drew her out of her concentration and she took a quick glance over her shoulder to see what was going on, her wand still held out and ready. She nearly dropped said wand though as she saw Marco dive forward, with Janna perched on her shoulder, scooping up Edith off the ground, who hissed unhappily. Baby seeing Star's shocked reaction and hearing the small noise behind her started to turn and Star quickly tried to signal to Marco to do something, waving her hands in the air.

Marco spotted this and seeing Baby starting to turn, he threw Edith right over Baby's head and Star sucked in a breath at the unexpected action. But Janna was already ready for this as she zoomed off Marco's shoulder, swooping over and snatching the snake up in her claws without the cat noticing. Star could only watch in disbelief as Janna winked over at her and then flew out the window just as Baby turned back around. The blond royal stared dumbly out the window for a few seconds, her mouth hanging open before she shot her boyfriend a questioning look. What the heck was that about?! Her eyes asked and the boy gave her a sheepish grin.

Baby watched the short exchange between the two before marking something down on her clipboard. She looked up from it, giving the hooded teen a harsh frown, "Is there something you wanted to say, Mr. Diaz?"

Marco shook his head, before saying quickly, "Uh no, ma'am. I was just-"

"Um, Miss Baby," Star spoke up, trying to save her boyfriend from further scolding, hoping to draw the cat's attention back onto her. "I'm ready to perform the spell."

"Oh, that won't be necessary," Baby said.

Star's eyes widened in surprise. "W-What?!" the blond royal muttered in confusion. "But you asked me to-"

Baby held up a silencing paw. "I've seen all I needed to see," Baby replied simply, her tone cordial and chipper but Star could hear the condescension layered just beneath, which sent Star's nerves over the edge.

"But I didn't do it yet," Star tried, her voice hopeless and desperate as the familiar tendrils of fear claimed her. She turned to get back into position again. "If you'd just let me-"

"I'm not interested, princess," Baby retorted immediately. "The test is over, I'm afraid. I've made my decision."

Star tried to swallow back the creeping doubt as she asked nervously, "Then, h-how did I do?" There was a slight quiver in her voice as she held the wand up to her mouth in anxious anticipation. Marco too held his breath, crossing his fingers behind his back, both teens hoping for the best, waiting for Baby to say...

"You failed." Those two simple words shattered Star, the girl stumbling back in surprise as her head spun. Marco gasped in surprise, his eyes going wide as he struggled to comprehend that statement, unable to believe his girlfriend had actually failed. Star felt her knees go weak and had to sit down on her bed to keep herself from falling over as she stared blankly ahead. "I-I failed," the girl mumbled as the reality of the situation settled over her. How was that possible? After everything she had done, after all the work she had put into it. She had still failed. She was a failure of a princess and a Butterfly. What would Mewni think of her now?

Marco, seeing the devastated look on his bestie's face, decided to take matters into his own hands and attempt to change the fairy's mind. He sucked in a deep breath, before asking in the most convincing, friendly tone he could, "There has to be some mistake. If you'd just give Star another chance, I'm sure she could do the spell no problem."

"Oh, I'm sure she could too," Baby said. "But unfortunately, that's not why she failed." Her gaze narrowed in on the hooded teen, shooting him a scolding glare as she stabbed her pen in his direction, adding harshly, "The reason she failed was because of you, Mr. Diaz."

Marco was taken aback, putting a hand slowly to his chest as he replied, "M-Me." He swallowed guiltily, shrinking some into himself, before saying in a soft, defensive tone, "But I was just trying to help."

"That may be, but it's clear to me that all you are is a distraction to Star," Baby continued, holding nothing back as she voiced her true thoughts aloud, openly and cruelly criticizing Marco, uncaring of the hurt that flashed across the boy's face with every word. "She can't go more than a few seconds without staring at you and it's clear she can't focus on her tasks with you around. It's obvious to me that Star would be much farther along in her training if not for 'distractions' getting in the way of her progress."

Marco hung his head in shame, feeling guilt and remorse flowing through him in painful waves, tears forming in his shaky vision. He did his best to fight back the negative thoughts but it was like Baby had just opened a dam of emotions that he had spent months trying to rid himself of, a new fear threatening to thwart all the progress he had made. It was as if Baby had come and just reset him back to the old days when he lived in constant shame and dread under Toffee's cruel rule.

Star seeing how the fairy's words were affecting her tenderhearted boyfriend, felt something inside her snap, temporarily blacking out as all the pent up anger consumed her very being, painting her heart dark for a fleeting moment. Without even realizing it, Star was storming over to Baby, getting right up in her furry face as she shouted aggressively, "Don't ever say that about Marco!"

Baby was taken aback by this, fluttering back to put some distance between her and Star but the girl wouldn't be thwarted, taking a step forward into Baby's personal space once more. "Marco is not a distraction! If anything he's the whole reason I can do magic in the first place!"

Marco's mouth dropping open as his eyes flashed with concern for his friend, shaking his head slowly to try and tell her to stop. But the girl didn't see her boyfriend, all she saw was red, all of her anger directed solely at Baby for daring to insult her Marco. "He's helped me in more ways than I can count and that includes with magic! He makes me a better person and inspires me to do more! The only reason I was even able to do this stupid test at all is because of him and instead of blaming him for stuff you should be down on your knees thanking him because I wouldn't have gotten this far without him!"

"Star," Marco spoke up, his voice a quiet squeak as he tried feebly to gain his girlfriend's attention, trying to keep her from saying something she would regret... any more than she already had.

But Star couldn't be stopped, not until she had finished saying her piece, as she yelled at the top of her lungs in the most violent, enraged tone she could muster. "And if that's how you really feel then you can just... leave!"

All at once, the resentment and rage vanished from Star, leaving her feeling shaky and empty, panting as she stared into Baby's disturbed eyes. The fairy looked downright terrified, her eyes so wide it seemed she was staring at death itself and Star felt her heart clench as she realized what she had just done. She turned to Marco, casting him a concerned, fearful glance, only to find his face the picture of disbelief. She swallowed hard before turning back to Baby, who's horrified face had morphed into an angry scowl.

"U-Uh, um, Baby, I... I..." Star whispered, trying to think of some way to backtrack, to save herself from her previous actions. She couldn't have just ruined everything for herself... could she have? There had to be some way to fix this.

But as Star's brain struggled to come up with a way out of the mess she had made, it seemed she was already too late as Baby said in a monotone voice, "Very well then." And in the blink of an eye, she was gone, exiting out the window's of Star's room in a puff of black smoke, sending papers and other things scattering about the room at the abrupt action but Star was too numb to notice or care. Instead, she just stared lost out the window, unable to believe what had just happened.

She had just failed her test.

The blond royal felt her knees go weak again and she slowly backed over to her bed, plopping down on it hard as she stared forward in bewilderment. "I-I can't believe I just did that," she muttered to no one in particular, letting the sentence be drowned in the emptiness around and inside of her. "I just yelled at Baby," she continued, the confirmation feeling like acid on her tongue. But none moreso than the words that followed. "I-I just failed my test."

Marco watched his girlfriend closely, feeling his heart clench at the brokenness he saw on her face. She looked devastated and he was partially to blame for that. He had helped contribute to her failure, without even meaning to. "I'm sorry, Star," he said with a long sigh. Star looked up at him with confusion and he added apologetically, "You only failed because of me." The guilt threatened to eat him whole as he swallowed down the lump in his throat.

"What?! No, Marco, don't say that!" Star shouted at once, shooting him a panicked look. "This isn't your fault! It's mine." She put a hand to her chest for emphasis, giving him what she hoped was a comforting look. "I should have known better than to yell at Baby like that but when she said all those things..." Star shook her head, her eyes flashing with anger for just a second. "I just... lost it."

"Yeah, but," Marco muttered quietly, avoiding Star's eyes as he stared guiltily down at his shoes. "That wouldn't have happened if I hadn't-"

"Marco," Star said firmly, finally capturing Marco's attention as he looked up and locked eyes with her. She saw the tenseness in his body and gestured him closer. "Come here."

The boy obeyed, slowly walking over to his girlfriend, before standing nervously over her as she looked up at him with starry-eyed vision. "You did nothing wrong. I meant what I said to Baby, even if I was angry at the time. Every word."

"Really?" Marco muttered and Star gently placed her hands on his cheeks, causing his suns to spin.

"Absolutely! Marco before I met you, I could barely handle a Narwhal Blast," Star said, her voice sweet and light and full of affection for her dear bestie. This caused Marco to smile and this encouraged Star to continue. "And then you came along and inspired me! You made me want to be a better me and you made me feel confident, both in my magic... and in myself." That's why I love you, Star added in her head, her cheeks flushing slightly at the thought. But she forced the thought down before she got too flustered, as she finished with a bright grin, "I'd be lost without out."

Marco gave Star a goofy, puppy-dog grin as his shimmering eyes flooded with tears, unable to contain his joy at hearing those words from his girlfriend. He sniffed, wiping the tears from his eyes with the back of his sleeve, Star giggling at how adorable he looked in that moment. "I'd be lost without you, too," the boy said, his voice choked up with emotions.

Star felt her heart melt at the sight of her cute boyfriend, wrapping her arms around his neck and bringing him closer to her, so their noses could touch. She stared deeply into his gorgeous chocolate brown eyes, whispering breathlessly, "Thank goodness that's never gonna happen."

Marco nodded, causing their noses to rub up against one another and sending tingles down each others' spines. "Yeah," he agreed, feeling like his heart might explode from the rush of wonderful emotions in his chest. However, a worrying thought crossed his mind as he asked nervously, "But what are we gonna do now? What if the MHC shuts down our commission?"

"Then we'll deal with it together. Like we always do," Star replied, no longer fearing the future. Not so long as she had her Marco here in her arms. As long as they had each other than there was nothing they couldn't fix. "And you know what," the blond royal added, still staring unblinkingly into endless brown orbs.

"What?" the boy asked, his eyes sparkling with childlike curiosity that set Star's very being ablaze.

"I don't regret what I said," the girl explained. "No one talks to my Marco like that."

Marco smiled brightly at that and thanked the girl with a gentle kiss. Star's eyes widened as their lips met, before sliding closed, enjoying the moment. It was pretty rare for Marco to initiate the kisses but boy was he good at it. His lips moved so expertly against her own, leading her into blissful wonderment while still keeping her in the moment, his hands lightly squeezing her sides as he deepened the affectionate kiss. Their cheekmarks lit up bright white, Star's wand laying next to her on the bed, doing the same as it had done many times before.

Only this time, there was another reaction from within the room.

The apple, which lay forgotten in the middle of Star's room, started to glow. White magic flowed around the fruit's form, causing it to shudder and quake before splitting open. The two perfect halves of the apple lay still for a second before the seeds were soon covered with the same white magic from before, small roots soon growing from the seeds. Those roots sprouted out limbs, which turned into a thick trunk, each tangle of branches looping around each other in a hypnotic dance, as more and more branches and roots sprouted out from the steadily growing tree. The tree soon filled at least a quarter of Star's room, spreading out as much as it possibly could, still glowing with magic the whole time.

Its branches were pink and red, the top of the tree making a heart shape. One of the long branches reached out over the two oblivious teen's heads, still too lost in their kiss to notice the miraculous sight. Finally, though an apple formed at the end of said branch, before cutting itself loose and dropping down toward the two... hitting Marco directly on the head.

"Ow!" the hooded teen said with a cry of pain, breaking off the kiss as he put a hand to the top of his aching head. He hissed in agony, his eyes scrunching up as he rubbed at the sore spot. "What the heck was that?!" he asked in confusion, looking down at whatever it was that had just injured him, Star following his gaze.

But their eyes both widened in surprise as they stared at the juicy apple, Star muttering, "Wha?" before the couple looked over at their unknowing creation. The blond royal jumped in surprise seeing the large tree now taking up space in her room, while Marco's eyes filled with bafflement, clearly lost on what he was staring at.

"Um, Star, why is there a tree in your room?" the boy asked naively.

Star just shook her head though, replying in an equally stunned tone, "I have no idea." But finally, she spotted the source of the large plant, her pupils shrinking as she stared at the apple core. "But, I-I think I did this somehow."

Marco turned to her with surprise, his eyes widening with both joy and confusion, "So you did magic without knowing it? Just like back in the graveyard."

"I guess," Star said with a shrug. She didn't quite understand it herself. She hadn't been even thinking about the apple, her focus and attention on Marco. Was the magic seriously acting on its own again? And if it was, why did that keep happening? It was always so random and unpredictable. She should probably have a talk with her mom about that later.

"Actually, you both played a part in it," a voice said beside them and the two screamed in surprise as they turned to see Baby snacking on the fallen apple, watching them closely from her perch on Star's bedpost.

"Baby?" Star said in disbelief.

"What are you doing back here?" Marco asked at the same time.

"Oh I was just observing the final part of your test," Baby replied as if the answer should be obvious.

"Wait, final part?" Star repeated dumbly as she dared herself to hope that all was not lost.

"But I thought she failed," Marco added, still looking lost, his eyebrows scrunching together cutely.

Baby shook her head. "That was all part of the test, I wanted to see how Princess Star would react to negative emotions and feelings," Baby explained simply, her voice light and bubbly.

"So wait, you insulted Marco to see how I would react!" Star shouted, feeling another quick flash of anger.

"Yes, and do forgive me for my behavior earlier, Mr. Diaz. It was necessary for the test," Baby replied.

"Uh, sure," Marco said, surprised by the sincerity in Baby's voice now. It was like he was talking to a whole different person- or cat- or whatever.

"But yes, there were three parts that I was told to test you on," Baby continued, a kind smile on her face now. "The first was to test your knowledge on the wand and it's history which you passed. The second was to test your actual ability with the wand, which you did exceptionally on. And the third was to see how your bond with Marco is affecting your magic growth."

"Wait, my bond with Marco, what do you mean?" Star asked.

Baby paused, before asking, "Has Glossaryk not covered this subject with you?" Star and Marco shared a look, their cheeks blushing slightly, the fairy's keen eyes watching the exchange closely. "I see," was all she said, before pausing to think of the best way to explain this to the two teens. "Well to put it quite simply, your feelings for one another can have an effect on your magic and on each other."

Star gasped, shooting Marco a disbelieving look which he returned, before the blond royal exclaimed, "Seriously?!"

Baby nodded. "Yes, your magic is tied very closely to your emotions, so your feelings can affect the strength of your magic and in some cases can even act on those feelings without a need to be cast or summoned." The cat turned to the tree with a knowing look. "And from the looks of it, I'd say you and Marco have a very strong bond indeed."

"Soooo, what you're saying is, I helped make that?" Marco asked, pointing numbly up at the tree that towered over them.

"Somewhat, yes," Baby answered, clearly pondering it some herself. "But it is a bit more complicated than that."

"So then, is there a way for me to control that power?" Star asked, hoping to find some way to use this ability to her advantage. If she let it go unchecked who knew what would happen. "Cause right now it's just kinda random if it works or not."

"Eventually yes. But that will take time to master. For now, the best thing you can do is to stay together and see how your bond grows with time. The closer you two are, the stronger your magic will be." The cat grabbed each of their hands, before guiding them together, the two curling their fingers around the others warm palm before sharing a loving smile, their cheeks pooling with blood.

"Thanks, Baby," Star said, her eyes never leaving Marco's. "We'll keep that in mind."

"Good to hear," the cat fairy said cheerfully. "I'll just be on my way, then. Farewell, Princess Star. Marco Diaz." She gave a quick nod to the two teens before turning to leave, only for Star to call out to her.

"Wait, I have one last question for you!" Star shouted, stretching out a hand in the cat's direction.

Baby turned to her with wide, surprised eyes which gently softened as she waited patiently to hear the girl's question. There was something that was bothering her about this whole thing, why would the MHC care about her relationship with Marco? Especially if it was all a scheme to take down her commission. It just didn't make sense. Had she been wrong this whole time? "Whose idea was it to test me on my relationship with Marco?" she asked, her eyebrows scrunching together. Other than her mom she couldn't think of anyone who would even care about this. Maybe she had set up the last bit of the test? She was an active member, after all.

Baby gave the girl an apologetic smile, "I'm sorry, princess. But I'm not at liberty to say, I'm afraid that's top-secret information."

Star let out a sigh before muttering, "Figures." It was definitely her mom. It had to be. But she pushed down her annoyance as she gave Baby a lighthearted grin, saying politely, "Well, thanks anyway, Miss Baby."

"Just Baby is fine," the cat said with a wink.

Then, just like before Baby vanished into a cloud of smoke, which blasted through Star's room at a breakneck speed. It swirled around Star and Marco a few times before heading for the window it had come in through.

At that exact moment, though, the door to Star's room opened, Kelly walking in briskly with a tray of delectable goodies in her hands, Alfonso, Ferguson, and Janna following behind her. "Okay, get it while it's hot-" the hairy teen started to say, only to stop mid-step as she looked over at the swirling cloud of smoke. However, the smoke cloud quickly altered course, zipping by the tray and causing Kelly's hair to blow back wildly. In a second, everything on the plate was completely gone, not even a crumb left behind as the cloud of smoke returned to its original path and flew out the window, which slammed shut on its own.

For a few seconds, no one said anything, standing there stunned as the room settled down from the latest windstorm, Star room now messy than when she began this whole fiasco. Finally, it was Kelly who broke the long stretch of silence, groaning in annoyance as she shouted angrily, "Seriously, still no thank you! Just gonna eat and run." She let out a scoff, as she smoothed out her messy hair. "Ungrateful."

"Kelly, you're a waitress, how are you not used to that by now?" Janna asked sarcastically, Edith resting happily on her shoulder.

"Doesn't make it okay!" Kelly replied sharply, crossing her arms in front of her chest, while Tad gave her a comforting pat on the head.

"I'm sure it was delicious, babe. How could anyone not love your food," her boyfriend praised, lovingly.

"Thanks, Tad," Kelly said with a sigh.

"So how did the test go?" Janna asked, scratching Edith under the chin and shooting the two teens a knowing look.

Star shrugged. "I think I passed... somehow," the girl replied honestly. "It was kinda all a blur."

"You did amazing, Star!" Marco said, putting a hand on his girlfriend's shoulder.

"So did you! I couldn't have done it without you, Marco," Star said giving him a loving look.

"Hey, what are besties for?" the boy said, with a playful grin.

Star giggled at that, before giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "You're the best bestie a girl could ever have," she whispered lovingly to him.

"Sooo," Janna spoke up, eying the massive shrub taking up a large section of the girl's room. "You wanna explain what's with the giant tree in your room?"

Star and Marco shared a look, their cheeks flushing somewhat as the memory of how the tree had been created rushed back to them. "Ohh... it was just... part of the test," Star muttered shyly, sharing a knowing smile with her boyfriend.

"Well, fill us in on the details later, right now I could go for some grub," Ferguson said, rubbing his rumbling stomach and Alfonso nodding in agreement.

Star and Marco laughed, the former saying, "Oh man, sounds great! I'm starving."

"And on the way, we can give this little troublemaker back to Daisy and Violet," the hooded teen added, giving Edith a scolding glare while scratching her underneath the chin at the same time.

"Alright! How about it Kelly, you up for one more round of cooking?" Ferguson shouted, pointing dramatically over to the girl.

"Not happening," Kelly deadpanned, her body sagging with exhaustion as she rubbed her tired eyes with the palms of her hands.

Marco put a hand on his friend's shoulder before saying, "Don't worry, Kelly. Star and I can make some of our famous Super Awesome Nachos."

"Yep, it's the least we can do after everything you did for us, today," Star added sweetly.

Kelly gave her friends a grateful smile. "Don't mention it. Happy to help out my friends." She paused though before adding hintingly, "So long as my friends are ready to return the favor."

Marco and Star nodded, catching on to her unspoken request. "You're on," Star replied.

"Ready to help you win this year's baking competition for sure!" Marco shouted, pumping a fist in the air.

"Good to hear," Kelly said with a curt nod.

"So what are you planning on making, Kells?" Star asked as the group all exited the room together, leaving the messy, unorganized room to the work of the maids, the friends ready to celebrate their victory and plan for their next one.

"Glad you asked..." the hairy girl began, with a sly grin on her face.

"Star's magic progression is coming along nicely," Baby began her report while munching greedily on a snooker's bar at the same time, speaking in between bites of food. "She's already mastered some of the toughest spells in the Book of Spells, with no help from Glossaryk I might add." The fairy finished up the bar before tossing the wrapper aside and starting on a new one. "At the rate her magic is growing she will exceed standards and full mastery of her Trait within a year or two."

Baby quickly downed the bar of chocolate, chewing noisily before swallowing and continuing, "Her emotional state and confidence level, which showed concern beforehand also seem to be leveling out thanks to the efforts of Marco Diaz and the rest of her friends. Although she does show issues with temperament and judgment where her friends are involved, particularly that of Marco Diaz." The fairy shuddered as she remembered the pure rage and hate on Star's face after merely insulting the hooded teen. Heaven help the unlucky soul who had to face the protective wrath of that girl.

Baby shook her head clear of this thought though as she carried on with her report, picking up yet another candy bar and throwing the previous wrapper onto the growing pile. "As for the nature of the princess's relationship with the Diaz boy... well, I haven't seen a bond like theirs in a long time. And the pure magic that grows from their love is... quite astounding. With time, it could be a very valuable tool indeed."

Baby finally finished with her report looked up at her boss, saying in a soft tone, "It's exactly as you predicted, Councilmen Lekmet."

The goat creature nodded solemnly, his brilliant mind just thinking and calculating for a few moments, turning over possibilities and thoughts too complex for mere mortals to even comprehend. Before finally, he met Baby's eye bleating out a commanding message to the feline, "Thank you for your assistance in this matter."

"Of course, Councilmen Lekmet," Baby said before bowing. "Shall I send this report to the rest of the commission?"

Lekmet shook his head, holding out a paw toward Baby. "No, I will deliver it to them myself," he replied and the fairy happily passed him the clipboard, before going back to eating her treats. Lekmet read over the tiny print for a moment. He would have to be sure to 'fix it' before turning it into the others. He couldn't give them any more tools against Star. Remembering to cover his bases, he added sternly, "What we discussed here does not leave this room."

"That's probably for the best," the fairy said, peeling back the wrapper on another snooker's. "Heckapoo and the others sure have it out for those kids. But personally, I can't help but route for them. Star and Marco's goals are noble. I hope they can pull it off."

Lekmet's gaze softened while his mind turning with a thousand possibilities and outcomes, before holding on a shining future where two teens achieve the impossible, Monsters and Mewmans united and at peace. And even though, Lekmet knew he held very little sway amongst the other, younger members of the commission, he would still do everything in his power to see this future came to light. Even if that meant going behind the commission's back. Star and Marco may not know it, but they had a hidden ally, silently cheering them on in secret. "As do I," Lekmet said in a soft, far-away tone, a hint of sadness and longing just barely creeping into his voice.

Alright that does it for this one! Hope you all enjoyed! I had a blast writing this one and I'm super proud of how it turned out! That Starco moment with the tree is one of those moments I've been holding onto for like three years now XD Glad I got to finally share it with you all! Also it was nice to have Baby in the story and make her a little less of a jerk than she was in cannon. She was just putting on an act, she is actually really nice. Don't know if we'll see her again, but who knows?

Anyways, that does it for me for now, next up is Cooking with Kelly! See you all then, and in the meantime stay safe and stay awesome, Stardom!

Gamelover41592- Thank you so much! Haha yeah it was a bit of a surprise, huh? Well I figured we've already seen Star go through Mewberty, why not see what our favorite hoodie wearing teen's Mewberty looks like! Hehe and boy was it a fun one to write!

Viceversa96- Oh wow, really! Haha I am really proud with how it turned out! It was a lot to balance but I think they all blended really well together into a full complete package. His design was tough for me as you know but I think it turned out really good! Haha, she sure did, huh? I mean it's Mewberty Marco with some cute Starco thrown in the mix, what's not to love? Haha, yeah Janna is the perfect troll, isn't she? She takes glee in messing with people that's for sure. Yep, it sure would be! Haha, I kinda wanna write it now to be honest but I'm not sure where to fit it in at.

Bedrock Armor- Thanks! I'm kinda in shock I've been doing this for so long now! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter! Haha they probably woulda been like, "Uhh, Big Brother, when did you grow wings?" XD I feel like they're too young to know what Mewberty is so it would come as a pretty big shock to them. Haha yeah, he definitely does but I wanna hold off on that till season 3, I have a whole chapter in mind for him saying "I love you" and Star being able to finally say it back to him. So yeah, sadly it'll be a bit of a wait, I just thought it would be good to include it in as a continuation of the chapter before.

Oh yeah, once that procrastination block kicks in, it can be hard to get out of. I'm sure you'll get past it eventually, though, try not to stress yourself too much about it, okay. I will admit that's pretty funny XD At least you're being self-aware about it. I would have done the same thing, to be honest.

Haha, lol, I get that, I have some family who won't be woken up by alarms too. The alarm is more to wake us up and then wake them up in turn XD I know you do, I can tell it's bothering you that you aren't writing. Oh man I hope not! I'm sure they understand you are just busy and going though some stuff. Yeah I can't say I'm surprised Mewberty one, it had the most interesting and easy to grab onto plot of the three. I'm glad I did Baby next though, it was the one I was really looking forward to writing :)

Zangoose28- Thank you! Haha yeah I love my girl Jackie, and her and Higgs was fun, but I think Dex and Higgs might have been my favorite of the three. I had a blast with their scenes, I kept laughing just trying to write it. Oh man, Starco fluff is definitely my specialty! Hehe yeah that was pretty sneaky of me, I'm glad you caught on to that ;) I love putting in little references to the show where I can. Yes! Skullnick is an interesting character for me and her scenes always manage to surprise me! Well it made sense to me to put that in there, especially since I gave a tiny hint at it in the chapter before and I'm glad I did cause I think it turned out quite cute. Thanks that might be my favorite scene in the whole chapter!

TTT10- I do too, which is good cause it won, so yay! Also, yes! It always makes me happy to see some love for my two guards! I adore their scenes sooo much!

LockandKey989- Haha thank you! I thought I would be a nice subversion of expectations! I actually was going to call it originally "Mewberty (With a Twist)" but I didn't want to give it way too early.

Starco4everr- Thanks a million! Glad you liked it!

Killerp12345- Thanks for voting and don't worry that one will be next for sure ;)

Lord of the Storm- Okay! It won but it was a very close race. I love the reason you gave for wanting it, though! You have a good point, now is the best time to test Star's abilities and growth! I'm really happy I got to do this one first now cause it does make the most logical sense!

Haha, that's the word I would use for it, too! I did my very best to make it as freaking adorable as I possibly could! Oh man, yes! Why would Marco go girl crazy when there is only one girl for him? Yep, well since I gave everyone magic and cheekmarks and stuff I figured Mewberty would just be a regular thing everyone has to go through. Haha, thanks! Makes sense, right? She did have a massive crush on him back in the day! Plus I can't help but picture Oscar being oblivious as the guards use him as bait to draw Star in XD Oh man, thank you! I was really concerned his design would be terrible but boy am I happy with how it turned out! I loved the colors mostly, I gave him the brightest hues I could think of to match his personality and wanted his design to have to do with the sun since that's what he presents in this story. Yes, for better or worse, Marco and fire seem to share some kind of connection.

Oh man thanks! I can't believe I've been doing this for so long now! I feel great, to be honest! This has been some of the greatest years of my life, this story means so much to me and I'm glad I have you and everyone else along for the ride! I always hoped my story would be popular but I didn't expect it to do this good! I mean, I'm coming up on 400 favs and followers! How is that possible?! I'm really more speechless than anything else and don't know what to say except thank you. I would say the story is still keeping true to my original vision, with some minor changes here and there I've had to make. Overall I'm happy with the end product every time, though! Haha thanks so much! I always look forward to sharing my new ones!

Sugar- Wow, thanks! Yeah I'm glad he turned out so cute, I basically turned him into a lovesick cat with wings I think XD Yes, I didn't even think of that but yeah, you're right, he's a firefly! That's awesome! Oh really? Huh, I can't see Marco as a beetle of all things XD Yes! Spider Marco that's a fun idea! Haha, I could see some really great moments coming with that especially with Star being a butterfly! The flight was my favorite part for obvious reasons! Haha, yes that woulda been nice... very romantic, sadly I did not think of it at the time! He shoulda carried her bridal style, though.

Thanks so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it so much! Oh man I kinda do too, it would be hilarious! Especially with Tom invovled! Who knows? I might squeeze it in somewhere in the next season! This one is just too packed as is.

Janna: Tooommm.

Tom: *with a large target on his chest* Oh no you found me, please don't get me.

*Janna picks him up and flies off with him*

Tom: Yes now it's my turn to have a romantic flight with-

*Janna drops him in a nearby lake*

Hehe she never fails to mess with him! Don't worry she saves him a second later and they have their romantic flight just with a soggy demon instead XD. Also no but Tom would go through Mewberty since he's half-Mewman (hence the cheekmarks)

Monkey lover 911- No problem! Yes his Mewberty was definitely a weird time for everyone, although I would say Star had it much worse since she didn't have a Marco to calm her down after transforming. Next it's time for Star's magic review! Haha you do too! And thanks, you're an awesome person too, friend!

Dex Cipher- Hey! It really has! Glad to see you've still been reading and enjoying the fic! Thanks so much! It was a lot of fun to try my hand at Mewberty and giving center stage to Marco was the best! Haha yes, he was out of it and relying on instincts but Marco is still Marco even in Mewberty! Him being willing to defend his friends fit really well for me, too! He won't attack unless he feels threatened or that one of his friends is. Oh man Marco is such a puppy yes! Although he got pretty cat-like when he got ahold of Star's headband XD

Thanks! Haha, I'm glad to know I've got my characters down well, the hardest was Skullnick cause making her attack Marco but still keeping her not completely unlikable was a challenge. I rewrote her confrontation with Star and Marco at the end like multiple times! Haha still I'm glad everything made sense! Yep, Moon and River need more scenes honestly! I had very little planned for them in my story so I keep trying to squeeze them in where I can so they don't feel bland or underused. It's funny that's really what their personalities boiled down to in my original vision but they deserve better! I'm trying to flesh them out as much as possible!

Oh man yes! That scene was sooo fun! Star got them murder vibes! I figured she'd react very strongly to seeing those ropes! Protective Starco is one of my favorite parts of the ship so I love putting that in as much as possible! Thanks a million! Star's focus was on getting Marco back and having her take charge as the leader she is was great! Marco really does bring out the best in her, even when he's not present ;)

Haha, the wholesome moments are why I enjoy this fic so much too! I've read explicit stuff before and it just doesn't work for me, I prefer fluff and wholesomeness! And I think the dramatic elements I do have make the moments of joy all the more satisfying. Haha, pure and innocent is Marco in a nutshell! I would say that the adorable moments are one of my greatest strengths in writing.

Well thanks! That's such high praise coming from you! I was actually a big fan of yours back in the day and you were one of the writers that got me interested in the fanbase in general! I remember the first time I got a review from you I was stunned! I even kinda named one of my OC's after you ^^ Hope you don't mind! Oh, don't you worry, I will keep at this story, I want to keep working on it till it's done! It's become a part of me, it's almost as important as breathing! I mean after 3 years it should hold a special place in my heart, right?

Haha, yes I shoulda guessed! I hope you enjoy the chapter! You too!

RJWritingInk- ch.36- Oh it's no problem! I don't mind you waiting, I've been slow at reading stuff myself, just can't seem to find the time for it anymore so I get you! Anyways welcome back! Oh man, haha, the cat army! The true villain of the series! Forget Toffee, Warrior and his gang of thugs are the ones we should fear! Haha, yeah I needed an action scene and I thought a fight against cats would be entertaining! Then again, they are the pets of an assassin so maybe they are just really well trained?

Yeah, poor Babs. I can't help but picture people seeing her only as a child which infuriates her to no end for obvious reasons. It really is unfair, though. You can see why she's so closed off from people now and why she is so suspicious of Star at first. She hasn't had it very easy.

ch. 37- Wow, thanks! Okay ask away, I'm happy to answer questions though some I won't be able to for spoiler reasons. Jackie's parents both died in a skateboarding accident. They were training for a tournament on Mewni and well Mewni's extreme racing led to their deaths sadly. Star found Jackie almost immediately after that but don't worry I'm going to have a whole chapter explaining Jackie's backstory in much more detail later on. Dedicating a whole chapter to show Jackie's relationship with Star over the years.

Higgs mom died in the war. She was one of the best warriors they had but she was no match for Toffee. That's partially why Higgs got so mad at Marco in the beginning. He took away her chance at revenge against the lizard. But she would never voice that out loud.

This one is a bit more in spoiler territory ;) All will be revealed in time! Let's just say she has some major plans for the royals and none of them are safe so long as she's out there. As for how many, not very many since no one has caught onto her scheme yet. She's being very crafty, taking her time. She can't play her hand too early.

I'm glad you have gotten back into it too, I understand the wait though, especially with my chapter length!

ch. 38- Yep haha, this one is one of my prouder works! It was so much fun to craft an entire village and society separate from what we've seen from cannon! This is one of those chapters I've been holding onto from the beginning and the wait was killing me! I was so happy when I finally got to share this one with the world! I really did put everything I had into the chapter, thanks for noticing! I'm glad I was able to capture that feeling! Yes, it was tricky but I think I resolved that in a way that made logical sense. I've been holding back answering Eclipsa questions for so long now!

Yes, my proudest achievement has and will always be Marco. He's my child and I spent the most time crafting his character. He really is perfect for the job, all he needs is to get past his own self doubt and he could change the world!

Spoiler! Haha, I'm afraid that is a bit complicated. There is no exact way for them to overcome their intolerance to sunlight but that's kinda the point. They've been dealt a bad hand in life, a life they had no choice in and some would do anything to change that. Even betray their own kind.

Ch. 41- Wow, I'm so glad you liked it! Haha I did my best to make it live up to it's hype by filling it to the brim with fluff and cute moments!

Yes, Marco is still Marco no matter what! He is as sweet as he is innocent! I did my best to not make him come across as too hormone filled it was more like he went back to his basest of instincts. The only way he would ever hurt anyone is if they tried to hurt him and his friends.

Janna: Oh of course I did, that's prime blackmail material, after all. Plus, it's trending all over the Mirror Web right now. Old Skullsy is internet famous.

Yes she can, any Mewman can go through Mewberty, whether half-bloods or not. Which means Tom can, too. But it acts differently depending on the person and half-bloods don't usually have it as bad. Still since it's Janna you can imagine the destruction. I'm still on the fence about writing a chapter about it. I already have a lot to tell.

I kinda would too, haha! Who knows maybe someday I will, but I got my hands full at the moment, sorry! If I ever open up a request window you can give me that prompt for sure!

I saw, thanks so much! I really appreciate it! And I made sure to give both you and Andy a shout out for the wonderful work!

LockAndKey989- ch. 7- None taken. You have every right to your opinion. Although I'm a teensy bit confused because this story has never had a cover before? Unless you mean the image of Star and Marco kissing that AndyChipss drew? Oh well, I personally love it! And it was a gift from two close friends so it means a lot to me on a personal level.

ch. 8- Yay, some caught it! Haha, it was a fun little reference to throw in! I try to keep only Star vs references in but sometimes I can't help but throw in one from another cartoon I love! As for your question, their plan was to make Star remember who her real friends were by doing stuff they used to do. They thought once she started hanging with them, she'd realize how much cooler they were than Marco and possibly even ditch him at some point.

DC the cat- Yay, I'm so glad you did! It's always nice to hear from you! Oh man, yeah this whole year has been filled with problems! I'm glad you didn't end up out of the job especially with your appliances all giving you trouble! That suck, dude! Sorry to hear that! I know the feeling though, my car has been giving me all kinds of trouble and I've been back and forth from the auto shop for like a week trying to get it all fixed. Everytime I think I'm done, something else ends up messing up. My radio is dying again as we speak and that could mean the battery is going out but who knows? We'll see. At least we have jobs to help pay for all this, huh?

Yes, voting! Yeah, that is sad cause there are a lot of different ones and they all seem very interesting! Oh okay, that's a good idea, I might do that haha! Also I will totally check that guy out, he seems really informative!

Oh thanks! It was really fun to get to twist up the formula and make it my own! I was pretty unsure about his design since I'm not an artist and I was concerned it would look bad but there is actually a drawn form of him now and it turned out great! I wanted the colors all bright and flashy to match his own bright personality! Yes who woulda thought having her friend bugged would actually come in handy XD Oh I love Kim Possible and yes, Wade has the whole world wired after all! Yes that could have ended badly for the king and queen had Daddy Buff Frog not known about his son's condition. Haha, yeah embarassing parents a tale as old as time! Dex means well though, it's just that Higgs is too concerned with her image to appreciate his efforts. Oh you did, haha, that's great! I was originally going to end the fic with Star starting Mewberty so that the whole cycle just started over again but I figured it made more sense for her to already have gone through it. Yep it is! I feel like I kinda wrote myself into a corner a bit cause now everyone wants to see what her Mewberty would be like haha! Ooohh good theory, I approve! That is super cute!

Yeah I think it sounds better too! It is a fun idea, for sure, and yes a spell with many names, that's great! I might end up using that actually! Although I don't know why it keeps making me thing of Harry Potter especially since I haven't seen or read it. Oh do you mean: "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. May those who worship evils might, beware my power: Green Lanterns light!" Yes, I may have heard it once or twice XD

Ding, Ding, Ding! You got it right as for how it works exactly that will have to wait and see! It is a bit different from the cannon that's for sure. Oh okay, thanks! I'll check it out!

Haha differences in tastes, I guess. I have seen some but I'm not super into it. Mostly I like Gordan Ramsey's shows. But Good Eats sounds amazing! It's kinda like How It's Made but with food and I love that show so this sounds right up my alley! Evil stuffing! It is the worst thing to ever happen to this world! XD I did, I love hearing ideas even if I don't use them, they give me a lot to think about which is fun! I do too! It makes sense and it would give me opportunity for a lot of creative jokes and moments!

Oooohhh that is such a good question! I had fun thinking this over and it got me thinking that what if some of the ally's they have were like conquered dimensions? Like the Wooletts were actually taken over or formed some kind of agreement with Mewni and that's why Kelly being on Mewni is so normal. There could be dimensions where Mewmans live outside of just Mewni! Haha, honestly I still have a lot to think about on this question but I'm loving the idea of this! I think it's safe to say that Mewmans and humans have spread their power far and wide since they are two of the biggest dimensions, Earth for its science and Mewni for its magic. Also I would like to think at least one species on Mewni is actually just part of a conquered race who migrated there for one of the reasons you said. I'm thinking maybe the either the pigeon folk or the waterfolk. I'm still unsure if I ever did Steven Universe if I should make the gems aliens from the Earth dimension or just creates of a different dimension entirely.

Haha yes and I'm glad for it, it deserves the attention! Good to hear, I hope you enjoy his stuff! Thanks it was a tough one but I did my best. Not every question has to have a neat and tidy answer after all. And I mean it's hard to argue with Tolkien himself. Someone actually pointed out to me that my fic is longer than all three Lord of the Rings books combined which is mind blowing to me!

Alright noted! Haha, I figured it had to do with it being a double entendre to be honest. It's weird that people get that worked up about silly stuff like that! Also oh yeah I remember that line, can't believe it slipped by the censors to be honest! Yep, it was kinda a stroke of genius for me since it makes sense for an idea I had later on in the fic. Hmm that is a good question, I guess it's independence for the Monsters more than anything. I like the ideas for Monster holidays! That sounds awesome and I could see them celebrating a Monster hero. And yeah that's super interesting the idea of them having a holiday based around a Mewman one! Hmm, I'll have to keep that one in mind going forward. Also yes, Halloween or something similar to it, that sounds perfect! Janna does need something to get into the creepy spirit over.

Woooowwww there is so much to unpack there! I loved the examples it really helped me to understand what you were talking about haha! There is soo much more to voting than I thought and thanks for informing me about all this! It was really cool to learn! I also loved you used superheroes as your candidates and stuff XD Very fitting! Haha thanks for the information dump, I appreciate it! Sorry if I'm not going super into detail here there's not a whole lot to say but I do appreciate it all the same!

Thanks! Same back to you, friend! You could also wish my a late Happy Birthday haha!

Pen-Woman- Oh wow, really! That's so great to hear! I'm really happy with it and it seems everyone else is too! I mean, who knows? His connection with Star does have a factor on him and he is pretty special! ;) I don't plan on him doing too much magic in the story because I've seen magic Marco done quite a few times. I want it to be a bit more unique than that if I can help it. Aww, that's so sweet of you to say! I do my very best and it's always nice to feel rewarded for my efforts! ^^

Funny you should say so, if you check my author's note on the top I've actually gotten several bits of fanart for this story! If you want to go check them all out! They are all fantastic!

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