It has been ten years since Josie and Penelope seen one another. Few weeks after twins' sixteenth birthday they went to Africa to see their mom and they never came back. She wrote to Josie but she never got any reply to the letters she sent. After few months she gave up on that. She was confused to why Josie didn't reply to any of her letters but she couldn't really ask Dr. Saltzman about it. Penelope stayed in contact with Hope so when the place of Dark magic teacher became available, she took the job. She couldn't refuse Hope's offer. Rick was headmaster just in name, but all the duties were taken over by Hope. She changed curriculum a lot and made sure to provide students everything she believed Rick missed when they were kids. That is how Dark magic classes came to be. There was only one name on her mind when it came to that spot. It was Penelope Park. No one ever loved and enjoyed dark magic like that girl, now woman. For Hope anything dark was a trap. She would let it suck her in so badly but not Penelope. She flirted with it and knew when to draw the line. Hope became aware of that talent of Miss Park during their senior year at school. She needed a witch for something and the only person who dared to go with her was Penelope. She didn't really see it coming, but she never doubted that her Avenger buddy loved to flirt with forbidden things. She wanted her students to learn that. When it's time to sop and pull back from it. So, at the age of twenty four Penelope Park became teacher. She found it really funny and ironic. Emma and Dorian couldn't believe who was Hope's choice for Dark magic. Hope knew Emma wanted those classes, but she also knew how much Emma hated Dark magic and that she wouldn't teach kids to deal with it but fear it.
''Penelope Park? She will be teaching?''
''Yes, Miss Park will be teaching Dark magic and you can keep teaching your usual subjects.''
Alaric was sitting in a chair in corner and watched the scene. He was also surprised to see Penelope. He didn't agree with Hope's choice, but he promised her a year without interfering and she had to keep his word. Emma just looked at him in shock.
''Rick, say something! This can't be happening! She picked the only person, aside from her, who actually practices dark magic.''
Penelope found it a bit insulting. Emma was being a hypocrite now.
''And what would you pick Miss? Someone who is not? How can that person teach if they don't know it?''
''You should teach them to stay away from it.''
''And yet…When this school was in a deep…''
Penelope remembered she was in a headmaster's office and a teacher now, so she couldn't really state what she wanted as she wanted it.
''…doodoo…Hope and I used dark magic spells that saved the school and students. You were nowhere to be seen…if I am not mistaken? So, don sell me some stories about dark magic being bad and dangerous…. All of you. You are ok when your butt is in a situation, but you don't want to train your students to have same advantage?''
Rick had to give it to Penelope. She was right.
''Miss Park, you are right… You and Hope did all that…and I am sorry for never giving you the education you really needed to survive in a supernatural world outside these walls.''
''Don't worry Dr. Saltzman. Many of us found a way to learn skills we needed.''
It was a burn on him, Emma and Dorian and Alaric couldn't say anything to Penelope. She was right. In these years many of his students lost their lives because they didn't learn to survive. Hope was right when she screamed at him that he is making his students into clay pigeons just waiting to be dead.
It has been two years since then and he was very surprised how well Hope and Penelope handled the school. Sometimes he was sad and lonely because no one needed him anymore. He dedicated his time to gardening and translating some books he believed would be interesting and useful. After getting the information that History of magic teacher was leaving the school Hope had to find someone to take his place. There was one name she had in mind, Josie. She called her and it didn't take long for Josie to say yes.
Josie's life was a mess. She was in the middle of a divorce. He husband of two years decided to leave her and she couldn't do anything about it. He fell in love with some blond bombshell and she was out of the picture. She married someone who was not part of the supernatural world and she was happy she was away from that world. Being happy in her marriage was another thing. After the affair became public and divorce was on, she started thinking about the life they had. She married male version of her sister. He was selfish, self-centered, mean to her. But she took it because she didn't want to disappoint her family. Her parents were very happy when he started showing interest in her. Lizzie sort of orchestrated their entire relationship, even the wedding was as she wanted it to be. Josie was nowhere to be seen in that entire relationship. She was with him because it was easy. She had no feelings and she couldn't be hurt…and everyone was happy. She remembered how much having feelings hurt and she was ok with this life. Her heart was broken all those years ago and now it was safe... She was hurt by his actions when they got into divorce settlements, but nothing else. She was not sad, she was not hurt he cheated. She was hurt that he was such a trash. He left her with enough money to get a plane ticket to school and some more to have for first two months of life. She didn't miss cars, jewelry, houses all over the world. She missed the time shew as truly happy, but she had no idea how to get that back. She forgot to be happy. She forgot how the happiness looks like. Hope was waiting for her at the airport and she was glad to see her friend again. Josie gave Hope a hug and they stood there for some time.
''It's good to have you back…''
''I am going back to live with my dad… I feel like I am sixteen again…''
Hope just made a face.
''What is it Hope?''
''Nothing… You can always stay in the house…''
''I can? With you?''
''Yes, but… I live with someone…''
''Is he hot?''
''Hot is one of the words to describe that person, but we can circle back to that later… I want to know about you…''
''What about me? My life is a mess. My husband has a new girl toy and I am no good anymore.''
''We can cast some nasty spell on him.''
''It's not that I didn't think of it…But it's not worth it.''
''How do you feel?''
''A period of my life is over…I am twenty six and almost divorced…''
''Do you still love him?''
''It's not that.''
''That is not the answer Josie…''
Josie was silent.
''He was my husband…But when it comes to my feelings… I only loved one person in my life.''
''Do I need to ask?''
''I don't want to talk about it.''
''Josie… When it comes to…''
''NO! I don't want to talk about it.''
And Hope let it go. She knew she should have told Josie who the third person in the house is, but since she didn't want to talk about Penelope, she couldn't force her. They arrived to the house and Hope let her in.
''Josie, we have to talk about…''
Before she had a chance to say anything, out of the bedroom Penelope walked out just in her towel. Josie looked at Hope and then at Penelope…
''Is this some sick joke? Two of you?''
Josie felt like she was stabbed in the heard.
''We are just roommates.''
There was a sense of relief. And then she saw familiar green eyes and smirk… God, she was still breathtaking…
Hope smiled at Penelope and hugged Josie.
''Josie will be staying with us.''
Penelope shoot Hope a look that could kill.
''She is too old to stay with Dr. Saltzman… And imagine all the fun we would have. Three of us… Just like the old days.''
Penelope and Josie just looked at one another.
''Stop being pain in the ass Park… Go and get dressed… We should show Josie her room.''
''Come with me Jojo…''
Josie pulled her suitcase after Penelope and she stop when Penelope stopped.
''This is your room and just across from this room is mine…''
''Oh… And where is Hope's?''
''On the opposite side of the house… When it was just two of us it was perfect arrangement. We would stay away from each other's business…''
''So, you bring people here? Does my dad know?''
Josie lowered her gaze to hide the blush and all the things happening inside of her. Penelope smirked at Josie…
''I still can't sleep at night, so I watch movies. And to answer your question… No, I never got anyone here… Hope on the other hand… She had her adventures…''
Josie lifted her gaze.
Penelope just nodded.
''I thought it stopped…''
''They come back… But they are not always…you know…''
Josie looked at the floor.
''And what about yours?''
''I take sleeping pills, so I don't dream.''
The conversation got a bit uncomfortable…
''I am going in to get dressed… See you around…''
''Thank you Penelope…''
''For showing me my room…''
''Oh… Well, see you roomie…''
Josie got into her new room and pulled her suitcase with her. Room was nice, light and it had a lot of potential to be fixed as her little oasis of peace. The only problem was knowing who is on the other side of the wall. Josie took out her phone and called her dad.
''Hey honey… Where are you?''
''In the little house… I decided to take up Hope's offer and live there.''
''I know dad… I saw her…''
''Oh, ok… And how are you about it?''
''I am ok… ''
''Are you sure?''
''Yes, dad… I am…''
''Ok… Do you want to come to my office so we can talk about your classes?''
''Sure.. I will be there in a minute. I just need to freshen up.''
She hung up on her dad and left the room. She had to find the bathroom. She knocked at Penelope's door.
''Come in Jojo…''
She entered and found herself again in the world of Penelope Park. Walls were white with a lot of black and white photographs. Her bed was black and it had black sating sheets on it. And the rest of the furniture was black or white. She also noticed that Penelope's book shelf was full of all sorts of books and at one of them was the picture they took during their school years. It was less awkward because it was picture of two of them with Hope, but it was clear that they were a couple at the time because they are looking at each other longingly…
''What can I do for you Jojo?''
''I need you to tell me where the restroom is?''
''You can use mine… And the other one is either in Hope's room or just around the corner.''
Penelope was now dressed. She was in black pants, purple shirt and jacket and her hair was up in a very neat bun. As expected, she kept her signature high heels and very sexy makeup.
''I have to see my dad to get the lesson plan.''
''Good… You will like it here… It's interesting to be on the other side of the desk…''
''Oh, you have no idea.''
''Your idea of fun was always scary to me.''
Penelope smirked at her and took her purse.
''And we both know that's a lie Jojo… See you around.''
She heard from the distance Penelope's voice telling hope that she is going into meeting and that she will be back at seven.
Josie freshened up at Penelope's bathroom and looked around. It was strange to be there. Her bathroom still smelled the same of her shampoo and she used the same products she did before. Yes, there was a bit more makeup and perfumes on the shelf, but it was still everything Josie knew about her. She looked around the room some more. There were some object she recognized. Penelope's favorite necklace, some earrings even some jewelry she got her or Penelope stole from her box. She found her topaz ring and pair of earrings she believed she lost. She put them back to Penelope's box and smiled.
She left Penelope's room and closed the door. Hope was making coffee when she got to the kitchen.
''So, you and Penelope?''
''Yes, I got her to teach here two years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. She is doing amazing job helping with the school.''
''So, a meeting on Saturday?''
''Yes, it's something big. She might find us new sponsor…''
''She is really in the meeting?''
''Yes, she is… And she is single… She is single since she came here and no, she is not seeing anyone even as a casual thing.''
''I didn't ask that.''
''But I know you wanted to.''
''No, I didn't…''
''That is a lie.''
Josie smiled at her and rolled her eyes.
''I am going to see my dad… See you later.''
Hope gave her a set of keys and Josie went out. She stood in front of the main building and all sorts of memories were coming back to her. Worse thing was that most of them were about Penelope.
Inside of the school didn't change much. She walked to Rick's office and found him sitting with Emma and going through some papers.
He got up and gave her a hug.
''Hey Josie… How are you?''
'"Still in shock I am back…''
''I can understand.''
Emma got up and greeted her.
''It's nice to see you after so much time.''
''You too Emma… How are you?''
''I am good… I was just telling your dad how your presence will bring some balance to this school.''
''Because the dynamic duo will pay attention to what you say.''
''I don't think I understand.''
''They want to make magic boot camps… Penelope is teaching kids that dark magic is nothing bad.''
''Well it can be useful. She and Hope did save the school their senior year. Or at least that is what my dad told me.''
''You are on their side?''
''I am not picking sides… BUT I believe they know what they are doing.''
''I give up… I hoped you could reason with them, but I see that you sided with them.''
''Did her teaching increase number of incidents with magic?''
''Than she is doing it right… You may be more into earth magic, but…. More knowledge is always a good thing. Especially outside of these walls.''
Josie and Emma went through the lesson plan that former professor left and Josie already had million ideas how to change it. It took them about an hour to talk about everything and then it was time for Emma to leave for her dinner with friends. Emma left them alone and now it was time for the father daughter talk.
''How are you Josie…? Now that we are here face to face… Should I be worried?''
''I am ok dad… I am disappointed, sad and a bit lost… But I will make it and I will be ok.''
''It takes time to get over that sort of betrayal…''
''I know… But all I have now is time… Time to heal and to try to make my life better… and finally own it.''
''You know I am here for you..''
''I know dad…''
''I love you so much Josie.''
'' I love you too dad.''
In her dad's arms and back at the place she always saw as a home, she felt like she could really finally put her life together.