The 31st Night
Tria A Nox Noctis
Chapter 1: Spell casting
Raven lit the last candle. The fire flickered blue for a split second before it settled into a shadowy yellow. The candle completed the circle around her.
An old book was splayed out in front of her on the carpet. The text looked nearly unreadable in the unstable light, so the girl leaned closer.
It was an incantation, a sort of old language that would most closely resemble the Latin language of Earth. She brushed silky hair back behind her ears.
The girl raised her hands, palms facing each other but not touching. She had memorized the spell already, so she closed her violet eyes to better concentrate.
"Nox noctis…" She murmured and touched the middle fingers of her hands just barely together. "Devenio a mei. Animus, spiritus, effusio es meus per te essum."
Her black energy focused on her hands that fizzled slightly in the air. Something brushed by her in the dark but the girl kept her eyes closed.
"Devenio a mei!" She spoke with more force now, pressing all the tips of her finger together. The candles around her flickered hauntingly and her blood red chakra glowed.
"Occuro ab mei animus, edo te aetas. Adfero te malum, abnocto!"
With a sudden movement she broke her hands apart, her palms now facing away from her. Black tendrils poured out of her body across the crackling pages of the book. She could hear a rush of rain outside; her conjuring had brought about a devilish storm.
"Devenio a mei!" She yelled to the forces that would listen. Lightning boomed across the sky, shaking the tower.
The fire around her blazed up a moment, swirling an array of unnatural colors. Something dark brushed around her body mussing her cape up.
"Adfero mei…" Raven muttered now softly. Everything she had been pushing away suddenly collapsed.
Like a black hole the power was recalled into her body. Her conjuring wrapped itself around her body for a moment, feeling through her mind and emotions. Without warning it phased itself through her skin and into her.
Raven wobbled a bit and opened her eyes carefully. She could see the candles around her flickering hazily.
She felt so tired… she…
The mystic let out a large sigh and fell sideways unconscious.
Beast Boy hit the pause on his Game Station. He turned slowly to see Starfire grinning at him widely, an array of orange and black decorations in her arms.
"Uh, Star?" He asked guardedly. She was smiling the same way she did right before she decided you needed to try a new Tameranian pudding.
"I have just uncovered the most wondrous of traditions!" Her eyes widened brightly. "Robin has just finished telling me of the Hallo Ween, we must be in celebration!"
"It's Halloween." Beast Boy corrected, looking over her armful of goodies. He should have seen this coming. "I mean I guess we could celebrate…" Halloween pranks were already brewing within the boy's mind.
Starfire giggled, dropping a small black plastic bat. "Robin said that I can be doing the decorating and next week there is a treat or tricking!"
Beast Boy grabbed the fallen comrade and handed it back to Starfire. "Dude… we're that far into October already?" He scratched his head. He had already gotten the new release for RoboCoperz and that had come out the 15th… and he'd been playing that game for a week…
It took a moment of mental adding. "Today's the 22nd." The green skinned boy nodded more to himself. "I guess it is getting close."
Starfire nodded eagerly and dumped the decorations onto the couch that Beast Boy had been about to take back up for gaming. "Will you help then?" The Tameranian asked curiously, tilting her head in such a way that Beast Boy pushed his game away and agreed.
"Hey have you guys seen Raven?" Cyborg entered the living room to see a green giraffe and a floating alien hanging droopy cobwebs from the ceiling.
"No I have not, but I do wish to ask her if she would like to help with Halloweening, she is very good at the scary things." Starfire called, floating back to the floor to greet the tin man.
Cyborg grinned up at the décor. "Yeah she said she was going to help me with some new car parts today." He crossed the room and dropped down on the clearest part of the couch. "Halloween eh? How much persuasion did that take to get Robin's agreement?"
"Very little actually." Starfire grabbed a small pack of spiders and flew back up to stick them in the webbing like Beast Boy had instructed. "It was his idea that we should be doing a celebration."
"Really?" Cyborg mused to himself. It was amazing their leader would let them enjoy something that wasn't furthering criminal leads or practicing their fighting skills. "Nice to see he's finally lightening up."
Beast Boy said something under his breath to Starfire who giggled and dropped a few misshapen spiders.
Cyborg rolled his eye and got back up. "Well I'll go see if I can track down Raven, keep on those decorations you two." He languidly exited, snatching a few of the fallen spiders to possibly decorate his room with later.
Cyborg knocked hard on the metal door labeled RAVEN. There was no sound from the other side. The boy sighed, he had already been up to the roof to look for her, where else did she hide out?
An idea struck him and he pulled up his arm. He typed in a homing signal for her communicator, she rarely went anywhere without it.
A map pulled up on the screen with a glowing red dot. He zoomed in on it. According to this Raven was…
He looked back at the door. She was still in her room. Hammering on the door again he called, "Raven! I know you're in there, you can't get out of helping me this time."
The door quivered under the beatings. Still, it's mistress would not come and relieve it of its post. Bang, bang, the door was bowing now. "Don't make me knock the door in." He warned, getting dangerously close to doing just that.
No noise came from the opposite side of the door. It was strange that she hadn't at least come to yell at him for intruding so bluntly.
Robin pulled off the perfect roundhouse kick, hitting the bag midway up. It jerked on it's chain as he pulled back satisfied. He slid a hand across his forehead, feeling the condensation gather there from his workout.
The boy grabbed a white towel left on the bench beside the door and laid it on his shoulders. He knew there wouldn't be any interruptions during his training today. He had purposely given the okay to Halloween to give Starfire something to do. Villainy had been down for a few weeks down and in her downtime she had taken to following him.
For one used the company of only himself, it was a little… claustrophobic.
The boy exited the training room with a slow gait. His muscles had long tired themselves out and the languid movement felt nice.
He headed toward his room to grab a new suit and maybe catch a shower when he overheard the noise of thunderous pounding. He moved quietly toward the noise so as to not disturb the person.
Recognizing this was the hall Raven's room was in made it only more curious. Usually this part of the tower was quieter than the dead. Carefully he listened to the person pound on what was surely her door.
There was a sigh that he recognized. "That's it." The person he had figured was Cyborg muttered.
A small tapping of keys filled the silence once he had stopped berating the door. Robin wondered what he could possibly be up to. Raven would never allow such a task of brutality to take place upon her doorstep.
And if Robin was right (by the sound of Cyborg entering numbers into a keypad) she sure as hell wouldn't allow him to barge into her room.
Robin fought with himself on whether or not he should intervene. His feet didn't move though. If anything, he was curious to know why Raven hadn't made her appearance yet. True, she could be visiting Nevermore, but she at least left a message with someone so no one would bother trying to find her.
If he remembered right, she had not given any such message in some time.
A sliding of a metal door brought Robin back. It was so smooth that had he not been straining his ears for noise, he might have missed it.
A footstep crept into her room. Now, Robin felt himself moving forward, wanting to see just what was going on.
Cyborg held the door carefully to make as little sound as possible. "Raven?" He called carefully. For all intensive purposes he was ready to split at the sound of a cape rustling. She would slaughter him.
There were candles in the room. They glowed in a circle around a large bundle of what may have been clothes. Most of the candles had nearly burned to the ground, gooey wax was stuck to the floor tiles. She had to have been there not too long ago.
There were piles of books to one side, one rather dirty looking one was open beside the clothes. Cyborg felt dread as he stared at that book. All he could think about was the last time the girl had tampered in her books and evoked the evil dragon Malchior.
Did that process work in reverse? Was she stuck in the-
Cyborg had gone to step closer when his eyes passed to the bundle of what was supposed to be clothing. Violet hair splayed across the floor, nearly blending in with the tiles. He followed it to pale skin…
"Raven!" Cyborg bent down quickly, moving her cloak out of the way. She didn't seem to be hurt.
He checked for a pulse and breath. Both seemed to be just fine. Carefully he ran a hand down the back of her neck and further down her spine to check the bone structure. He didn't want to move her if she had broken her neck or something.
Everything was perfectly as it should be. The tin man propped her up with one arm and shook her shoulder lightly with the other. "Hey… Raven, wake up."
She was unresponsive.
He tried for a few minutes with the same kind of luck. There was nothing wrong with her, so why wasn't she waking up?
"Cyborg?" Robin appeared in Raven's doorway, outlined by the hallway lights. The effect made his facial expression unreadable.
"I don't know what's wrong with her. She was supposed to help me today… and she wasn't answering her door." Cyborg finished lamely. "I'm going to take her up for some testing."
Robin stepped further into the room and gave it a quick survey. "She was conjuring." He concluded.
"Yeah." Cyborg picked up the girl easily.
Robin walked over and picked up the book. Noting the page he snapped it shut. "We may need this later, no telling what came out or went into this book."
Cyborg looked down at the supposedly unconscious girl in his arms. He didn't know what was more terrifying, something coming out or going into that book. Raven looked so peaceful, her usual scowl was gone.
With much trepidation he followed Robin out of the room.
Raven awoke in a dark room. She sat up quickly to survey the area, the air here was different from that of her room.
She could make out vague shapes across the room, but they swam strangely when she tried to concentrate on them. Her body was sore and a pulsing headache was drawing much of her attention.
Had she taken a hit by a truck or something?
The thought struck her memory funny, causing it all to come rushing back to her. Raven had been…
She moaned and flopped back onto the bed. It smelled like disinfectant and she instantly knew where she was. Raven had been to the towers infirmary only once, but you don't forget the smell.
She noticed her cloak was missing. It was not a comforting thought, she felt naked. So then, who had raided her room to collect her?
Raven grit her teeth. They ground with a stomach clenching sound. How dare they? She was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, no one should have been nosy enough to break into her space.
Taking a calming breath Raven clutched the blankets. How was she going to fix this now? Surely whoever it was had seen the candles had seen the book! From that mess in her last spell casting they were surely going to ask.
Raven was paying for her Malchior tryst more than needed be. It was perturbing.
The girl slid out of the bed and replaced the blanket, smoothing them over delicately. Maybe if she just acted like nothing was different and avoided their questions no one would persist on the subject. Surely there wasn't a will quite as solid as hers.
Raven gave a last little fluff to the pillow and turned to try and find her cloak. The room was dark and silent, she was a bit surprised there wasn't some kind of sentry to hawk over her. It was something Robin had been known to do in times of panic.
That might be a good sign. Could is be possible Robin hadn't heard? This could be good. She may be able to persuade them to keep whatever they saw to themselves. It shouldn't be hard, they were in her room after all.
Her cloak was spotted over the back of a metal chair that had been pulled up near the bed. It seemed someone had intended to look over her, or at least sat down. And then got bored? Found themselves preoccupied?
That was one thing she hated about unconsciousness. Unlike sleep when at least Nevermore was still aware of the world, unconsciousness meant she remembered nothing. Raven loved her knowledge, it was one thing she held in highest regard. She was always able to figure things out.
Unconsciousness was a huge blockade to that.
Raven clipped her cloak around her with the hands long practiced. She adjusted it on her shoulders making sure it fell to its proper height.
Quickly brushing back her hair Raven exited the room. Her boots were noiseless against the floor, just as she liked. She took a languid pace toward her room listening to the rain patter against the tower windows and walls. She had almost forgot it was raining.
All of the Titans had to be asleep by now. Passing the digital clock she found it to be closing in on four am. Raven had been out for some time now. It was disappointing in a way, Robin probably knew what happened.
Even the strongest willed Cyborg couldn't keep something like that from their detective-become-hero leader Robin. Even a whiff of mystery and the boy was on it.
Raven had to admit the candles and her book let off quite the whiff to pick up on.
Still, he hadn't left her with an overhanging watchdog and it was odd.
Raven typed in the code to her room hearing thunder long passed rumble outside. The rain still beat down hard, but the storm could not last much longer. Her bedroom door whooshed open.
Light flashed behind her in the sky and it lit up her room for brief seconds at a time. Her candles were still on the floor in a makeshift circuitous shape. Given they were almost entirely melted.
Raven knew the book would be missing. Any of the Titans who had found her would have grabbed the book. She huffed a breath, it would have been easier to ignore their questions if she had the book and could simply hide it away.
But now the spell was revealed. They wouldn't be able to read the Azarathian tongue, but a rough Latin translation might just doom her. The girl should have been more cautious with her spell casting.
She had thought a locked door would have stopped anyone, apparently not.
The bedroom door slid shut behind her, and Raven flickered on a small lamp light. She was not tired enough for sleep and those candles probably needed to be cleared away before morning.
Raven dared not use her powers to make it a quick job. It was never safe exerting herself directly after a conjuring.
By the time the sun had begun to rise on the east side of Jump City Raven's room was clean once again. All the wax had been scraped up and thrown out, the remaining candles put away. Any fallen or disturbed objects were placed back in their place.
She had traded out her cape for a new clean one.
The blazon of sunlight touched everything but her dark room as it rose. The girl settled down on her bed crossing her legs tidily. A little meditation would do her good before the Titans arose demanding answers.
Going to be 8 or 9 chapters, with a lovely theme to be revealed in the next chapter. The spell was a rough Latin translation, the purpose of the spell will eventually be revealed. In meditation touching the middle fingers together was to emphasize the vocal cords and speech.
Halloween horror story, don't expect a happy ending.