The title for chapter thirty-two is from…Ain't Misbehaving. Congrats to Easterly Winds and Yank2324.
It's the last one! I was going to post this on Wednesday, but since today's Kristen Chenoweth's birthday, I decided to do it now. And sorry about the slightly depressing ending.
Chapter 33: Thank Goodness
The two objects Harry had given Elphaba reflected against the light as she turned them over in her hands, examining them repeatedly, as if to try and find some hidden message or technological explanation. The stuffy air of late last August was still present in the green witch's nostrils, but now it was an entire year gone. She briefly imagined the absence of Glinda's undoubtedly expensive perfumed scent in the summer air.
In ten minutes she was to attend a party, one final celebration in the Order of Voldemort's successful defeat and a goodbye, all mashed into the infamous backdrop of the Great Hall's academic luxury. Elphaba didn't want to go. She dreaded going. The finality it marked mean that the witch would have to face reality, really face Glinda's absence rather than imagine it ominously. Nothing, not even Harry's gift to them, would make that okay, because lovers felt the love of each other in their hearts, but part of that was tangible. Elphaba figured that half of herself would be gone until Glinda came back. How long would that take, again? She asked herself darkly.
Someone knocked on the portrait guarding her entrance rather meekly. "Come in," Elphaba called out, expecting another Ozian. Even Fiyero's presence would be comforting.
"I hate divination and I don't know your password, Fae!" Hermione called, laughing from outside the room. "You'll have to settle for letting me in!"
Elphaba stood, placed the objects neatly in their wrapping, and advanced to the portrait. She swung it open and stuck her head out. "If you truly wanted to get married, you wouldn't care for my blessing," she said coyly before letting the bushy haired witch in, grinning as she came.
"No!" Hermione failed to swat Elphaba in the head. Instead, she merely met thin air and swung her arms uselessly. "I said it before, and I'll say it again: You're horrible, Fae Thropp."
"I am simply prejudging to avoid future confusion. For example, if you and Fiyero were to…" Elphaba stopped and raised her hands in mock surrender as Hermione put on a villainous grin and made to poke her. "What have you come for, really?" Remembering her manners, Elphaba indicated the couch.
Hermione grasped the green witch's forearm and dragged her down so they were seated beside one another. "I want to talk to you, Fae."
"That much is obvious, but the real mystery lies in what you wish to discuss," Elphaba prompted sarcastically.
"Glinda." Hermione said it solidly, her accent over-extenuating the 'ah'. Elphaba tried to interrupt with a snide remark to cover up the sadness building within her, but the bushy haired witch raised a hand with seniority. "Fiyero asked me to take it up with you, actually."
"So it's been him I've needed to kill all along," Elphaba mused absently. She recollected herself. "There's nothing to sort out, Hermione, I'm fine."
"No, you're not," Hermione replied evenly. "You pretend like you are, but the truth is that you have all the right and privilege to not be okay. Your girlfriend is leaving tomorrow to another world; I'd think you loony to be all right. What you must do is attend the party. It'll help. Instead of sitting up here by yourself, go down to the Great Hall and indulge for once."
"You came here to tell me all that?" Elphaba asked briskly. Her rooms were silent before this, and she had enjoyed it so much that the green witch had even made to shallow her breathing to preserve such quiet. It enveloped her and helped her forget her troubles. Here Hermione was now, reminding her of her grievances with a painful sting. It was like someone saying, "Here's the medication for your headache. Watch me throw it out the window."
"I also wanted to let you know that we're all here for you: Me, Fiyero, Harry, and even McGonagall's a shoulder, albeit a sharp one." Hermione reached for Elphaba's hand, which twitched at the touch, as the thought of recoiling came into the green witch's mind. "Fiyero wanted me to remind you that Glinda will be back before long. She couldn't stay away from you even if she tried."
Elphaba shrugged. "You could be correct. Putting that aside-"
"Come on, Fae." Hermione nodded towards the portrait guarding the entrance. "Glinda's waiting especially for you. Don't disappoint the poor thing. Besides, Snape's always saying that you're not one to mope."
"I'm coming, then," Elphaba sighed. "Give me a moment, will you?" She picked up the two objects on the desk. They were quaintly waiting to be rewrapped, and she obliged. The grey tissue paper crinkled with age under her fingers, but slipped into her pocket without protest.
Hermione watched with a curious expression. "Where did you get those?" she asked maybe too eagerly. "Harry's got a pair that are identical."
"These really are his," Elphaba admitted as they made their way out the room and through the empty corridor. "He says that Glinda and I should be able to communicate."
"Will they work from here to Oz?" Hermione frowned.
"Hopefully." Elphaba shrugged. She wished to say, "They better," or "Damn them if they don't!", but opted for contemplation and stalked moodily to the Great Hall. Recognizing Elphaba's negative mood towards sociality at the current moment, Hermione walked swiftly behind her so as to avoid backlash.
"Elphie!" Spotting the less-than-glowing witch, Glinda shrieked with happiness. "There you are!"
Elphaba smiled genuinely without exposing her teeth. "Here I am," she agreed. There was a beat spent before Hermione walked away to the nearest table, granting the couple privacy. They stared at each other for a moment. "Do you mind coming out with me?" Elphaba offered finally. "I have something to give you."
"Oh," Glinda sighed sadly, suddenly becoming crestfallen. "I didn't get you – you didn't have to get me anything-"
"It's more of a joint gift with Harry," Elphaba explained, walking through the giant double doors in the Entrance Hall, beckoning the blonde to follow. Slowly, they approached the lake at separate speeds. There was a sense of tranquility about how the waves lapped at the shore and the chilly breeze creeping up from the water that settled the green witch. The irony of its alleged danger towards her was of ridiculous degree; the lake was more than just memorable to her.
"Elphie?" Glinda's voice broke into Elphaba's thoughts.
"Over here." One could not spy on them from the entrance of the castle, for Elphaba chose a spot well hidden from view in fear of just that. "Then, I'll give you the- well, you'll see when you open it, won't you? Look."
They sat down, Elphaba drawing her legs up to her chest and Glinda resting her back against a fat oak tree. Elphaba uncovered one of the wrapped objects from her pocket and held it out in offering.
Glinda slowly unwrapped the grey tissue, peering up uncertainly now and again as she did so. She inhaled sharply as she discovered… "A mirror?" she asked lightly, stupefied at Elphaba's uncharacteristic choice. "And here, I was hoping for a picture book."
Elphaba didn't say anything. Rather, she smiled as she pulled out another mirror of identical proportion and decoration. "That would be preferable, yes, but they're more than ordinary mirrors," she said. "It's a way to communicate between worlds."
"Really?" Glinda let out a squeal, bouncing once or twice in excitement. "You're brilliant, Elphie! You really figured it out. I knew you could do it!"
"Give the credit to Harry: he was the one to figure it out," the green witch confessed. "Technically, he received them from his godfather quite some time ago, but they became obsolete after a while."
Glinda nodded, examining her mirror and drumming her nails on the glass face. "How do they work?" she asked curiously, a bounce present even in her voice, giving way to an endearing, childlike tone.
"You have to say my name clearly into the mirror," Elphaba replied. "I have the other mirror, so you'll be able to see me as well as talk to me. Of course, it's not as good as physically being here, but it'll do for now."
"For now," echoed the blonde. She placed the mirror delicately beside her. "What does 'for now' mean? I don't want these devices to suffice. I want to be with you."
Elphaba sighed, toughening herself. "We've had this conversation before, Glinda, many times. We could be together again. Someday. Maybe." If you believe in miracles, she added bitterly.
"We'll talk every day. Promise me that, at least," Glinda demanded, her eyes bright in dismissal of Elphaba's pessimistic outlook, though inwardly cloudy. "And you have to tell me about everything, and I mean everything, that's happening with you. Just like normal."
"Of course," Elphaba promised, if only to reassure Glinda. "But that's a mutual agreement. It'll be as if we aren't apart at all." She spoke breathily, unable to hide a wave of dread and aching seep over her, much like the gentle lake. Like the lake, which reeled onshore and off, it reeled in and went back out. Glinda noticed, and she pulled Elphaba close and kissed her fiercely on the lips.
When the kiss was returned, they stayed that way as long as they could, pressing themselves together desperately and coming up short with future hopes. Glinda slowly traced Elphaba's sharp cheekbone. Trailing a lazy finger down her jaw, she elicited a shiver from the green witch.
At that time, Elphaba felt like a schoolgirl again, girlish, sheepish, and protesting without any real want or intent to stop. "We-" she whispered lightly before being cut off.
"Exactly. We. I love this." Glinda hushed her quietly, as though raising her voice would tear a hole in the moment. "I couldn't forget you. I'll never forget you. Even if I wanted to, never in a thousand, million, zillion years…"
Elphaba hummed appreciatively, resting her forehead on the blonde's temple, and mumbled something along the lines of "I love you". Glinda closed her eyes, trailing her lips down Elphaba's face, too saddened to just kiss her.
However, someone calling their names shattered their privacy. Elphaba felt she could actually hear the silence die out. "Elphaba? Glinda? Are you two out here?" The voice was approaching.
"Always in between us," Elphaba joked lightly, earning a sincere grin from the blonde. They stood up and dusted themselves off.
Fiyero proffered an apologetic shrug as he came forward. "Sorry to be a bother," he apologized awkwardly. "People are asking after you two."
"Those people should learn to piss off," Elphaba grumbled under her breath, making it so Fiyero could not hear.
"Don't worry Elphie." Glinda caught wind of her distress. "We'll have time to continue this later."
"Hey now," Fiyero cut in, slapping his hands over the sides of his head frantically. Elphaba smirked. "My ears are innocent!"
The green witch grinned evilly at Fiyero's discomfort, thoroughly pleased. She offered a cordial hand in front of her. "Lead the way, your Highness," she curtsied slightly, although awkwardly.
The Winkie prince scowled as he followed the two witches inside. "You know I hate it when you call me that."
Elphaba shrugged as she walked into the Great Hall. "Gives me all the more reason to do it," she said simply. Fiyero grinned with the two women on either side of him, remembering when it was simpler between the three - easier, more immature times.
Hermione stood amongst the jovial habitants of the Great Hall and performed a toast to Harry and Elphaba for their gallantry in defeating Voldemort. "Since this is Harry's first celebration in the routing of Voldemort, and certainly not the last, I propose a toast to both he and Fae for their brace, fruitful effort!" She winked and swirled her wine glass. "To Harry Potter and Fae Thropp!"
The hall roared with agreeing Order members, faculty members, and friends. Elphaba's verdant cheeks blushed a darker shade of green, and Harry grinned lopsidedly at her from embarrassment, hiding his face as much as he could in his hands.
He took initiative and stood to counter Hermione. The hall was brightly lit and decorated with the Hogwarts crest, the ceiling unfathomable from the candles floating upwards like a burning orchestra. Harry's scalp was mussed naturally, seeing that he could never tame it. He looked boyish in his handsome robes.
"I would also like to propose a toast," he began, grinning, "to a man without whom, we would not have been able to end the fighting. I'm sure we all have our stories of his honesty, his initiative, and his fearlessness. He wasn't frightened of Voldemort. Rather, from the beginning, he made to triumph over it. Look at us now! A toast to Albus Dumbledore!"
The crowd rumbled with gaiety, their cheers and agreements dying out into excited chatter. Harry took a seat while glancing at Elphaba, both appreciating the attention turning to someone else. A band took the stage and began to play songs pertaining to victory, the light mood happier, if possible, than the first feast kicking off a school semester. It was a school ball with adults. It was a victory of love and goodness.
It was denial, Elphaba thought darkly, and grasped Glinda's hand under the table. As the party settled into comfortable merriment, he made his way over to the green witch, holding out his hand and bowing.
"May I have the honor of this dance?" he asked as the music swayed in the background. Elphaba turned from talking to Glinda, her laughing grin fading into a kind of joking sneer.
"Only if Snape will entertain Glinda on the dance floor," she said. At the mention of his name, the Potions Master grimaced and glanced at Glinda warily.
The blonde wiggled and touched Snape's arm, who withdrew in horror. She giggled. "Oh, come on, Snape, I'm sure those two left feet of yours could use some exercise!"
If she cried outwardly, she wouldn't be able to stop. From time to time, Elphaba shuddered or sucked in air to stop her eyes from watering or emitting a sob. It started long before the party was over, watching as Glinda laughed carelessly, only to glance over at her and take her hand or smile with such devotion.
Everybody was so happy since the war was over, and they doubled their joy at these parties. Since the battle ended, Elphaba had been kneading her hands and gnawing on her lips, wishing this would end in some other way. The portal was ready and they both were stalling. Glinda could leave something behind – maybe her favorite shoes went overlooked, or maybe her wand was forgotten on the nightstand.
It was way past time for the blonde to return – she was off estimated schedule – and at this late hour- 1 PM- the sun did not attempt to hide.
Order members said their goodbyes: Madame Pomphrey forced Glinda to accept a parting gift, and even Snape managed a gruff goodbye, until only few people were left to see her off. Elphaba wished it was just her and Glinda, or better yet, the entire situation to be completely unnecessary.
Silence in such a large area contradicted Elphaba's normal enjoyment of it in confined places. It was eerie for the Great Hall to be so empty, and the silence built up heavily; Elphaba's limbs felt burdensome trying to move.
"You've been a tremendous help since the day Albus called you," McGonagall thanked heartily. "If ever you wish to come back, you'll be welcome at once."
"Thank you. It means a lot," Glinda said, patting the woman on the arm. "You're ten times better than any Headmistress I've ever met."
McGonagall blushed and backed away, as though there wasn't enough room for them all to shift in the colossal space. Hermione was next. She held back tears without avail, which Glinda shed as well as they conversed.
"You must be careful. He's devilishly handsome," Glinda narrowed her eyes playfully at the Winkie prince, earning a laugh from the bushy haired witch. Elphaba shuddered and received a pat on the shoulder from Fiyero.
Harry gave her a hug, and she thanked him repeatedly for the mirror. She whispered in his ear something that, when reading the blonde's lips, Elphaba hypothesized to be, "Take care of Elphie."
It was all very morbid. The green witch couldn't help but be reminded of a funeral, for she was becoming far from a stranger in recent experience after the final battle. She couldn't help but remember afterwards, in their rooms, she complained about the aftermath, and Glinda would touch her tenderly. They'd be preoccupied for another hour.
Presently, the blonde ordered Fiyero to behave himself and accepted a wide, opened arm hug – one only a dear, dear friend could get away with. His eyes were misty, and Glinda, who had somehow blinked her tears away after talking with Hermione, took his hand and was wished well. "Be careful of the flying monkeys," he warned. "They get restless in the autumn."
After silence engulfed them once more, Elphaba was the only one left who had not been consulted before Glinda left. The green witch couldn't bring herself to look up, but rather, listened to the silence. The others were waiting for her, so she swallowed her pride and met the other four.
"Do you… do you think you could…" She indicated the door. "For a minute, I…"
Understanding what Elphaba wanted, McGonagall nodded in Glinda's direction and herded the others out like sheep. The giant doors, larger than any other in the castle, slammed shut with a specific ancient creak!, and they were finally alone again. The green witch didn't think the hall had ever held as little as two people in it. It seemed absurd. Elphaba felt an urge to yell loudly to compensate for the missing noise.
"I wanted to-" Elphaba said, still not meeting the blonde's gaze, which were intent and burning a hole in the green witch's skull.
"Elphie," Glinda called, hoping to meet eyes.
"I wanted to tell you, I-"
"Elphaba, look at me, please." Glinda held her hand out, waiting. Elphaba raised her eyes and sucked in air, rushing forward and grasping her hand. "Elphaba, don't make that face."
"The one that says this is the end of the world," Glinda elaborated goofily, running her free fingers over Elphaba's lips, and they smiled together for just a second.
"But it… it is," Elphaba said quietly, dejectedly. "Or at least, it feels like it."
"I will call through our magic mirrors," Glinda instructed, her voice attempting to be powerful, but it was choked because of tears. Her face was a mess from her tears. "And we will talk forever. And then, when we're finished, you will call not more than one minute later. And then we'll talk for another forever."
"That sounds alright," Elphaba said distractedly. She had taken to wiping wetness from Glinda's cheeks with the tips of her fingers, brushing them across her blotching face. Her soft features were blemished, more natural, by the salty substance.
"Elphie, Elphaba," the blonde moaned. He fingertips on her cheeks turned to a hand on the back of the other's neck, guiding toward the green witch. They kissed beyond the need of air, and parted a long time after, gasping. It was instinctive, when words couldn't exactly translate emotion. Their mouths met again and again, lazier than before; stalling and harsh to the point of swollen lips.
"I wanted to say-" Elphaba said again.
"This will be hard-" Glinda was trying to explain.
"Wishing this was easier-"
"No way to make this easy-"
Elphaba sighed. Their hands were still entwined. They both looked down, the contrasting colours blending through tangled fingers: Green, pink, green, pink, green, pink. It was a fascinating combination, one that both had dwelled upon countless times before. It was a marvel to never be made logistical.
"I-I have to… go," Glinda said finally, her voice in monotone if it weren't still choked through emotion. Her throat swelled in an attempt to hold back wracking sobs, supposing that she'd save those for later.
Elphaba nodded as if to convince herself, and squeezed Glinda's hand before letting go. "I love you," she said. It was quiet, a different approach in dealing with welling emotion; she just wouldn't speak forcefully at all, so as to block out any crying.
"I'll miss you." Glinda brought her lips to Elphaba's in a quick, chaste kiss.
They avoided meeting eyes when they broke apart, and Glinda took up her bags and made for the portal with Elphaba by her side as they walked to the Forbidden Forest. The Clock of the Time Dragon was more than this, of course: it was a symbol of their entire existence in Oz. It influenced them in every major decision made, whether they knew it or not, and now it was breaking them apart again.
It was just a collection of energy from this world, or at least, the only visible feature, hovering like a frozen, colorless vortex. Though the Wizarding world in England was phenomenon, what with its trapping and clever division of magic, Elphaba felt more aware of the power from Oz. Perhaps she was warier because of the dangers from her past. Either way, somehow, the portal drew awe from the witch.
Elphaba watched, expressionless, as Glinda made her way up to the portal and hesitated. The green girl's heart caught in her throat. Glinda turned around and smiled at her, something less than a grin but with more vigor than bearing her teeth. It was that devotion again, and it was contagious.
The green witch smiled weakly back at her and waved. Glinda nodded, smiling, and turned to walk through the portal.
When she was gone, the hand Elphaba waved was pressed soundly against her chest, the pumping of blood in and out of her heart beating against her breastbone, beating uselessly, pointlessly, incompletely…
Now there was only one person out on the Hogwarts grounds, a practically mind boggling number for the giant, airy space. All was silent now, and Elphaba couldn't even hear her own breath, as result of the coldness that was spreading through her. She whipped her hand away from her heart and, unsure of where to go next, walked away swiftly.
She walked back into Hogwarts and closed the door behind her.
Coming up: Um…nothing. It's the end. –sob-
It's over! After going through one notebook and almost 200 pages on Word, it's over! Finally, I can change the status from 'In-progress' to 'Complete'!
I just think that you all should know that this story was never going to be posted. Back in December, I just wanted to write a scene or two to see what a HP/Wicked crossover would look like, but I ended up posting it after writing said scenes. Since then, it's expanded into the story you see today.
Now…here's a lot of notes concerning thank you's and the sequel that many of you have been asking about. So…read on.
There are several people that I want to give a special thank you to, but first, a huge thank you to all my reviewers. If it weren't for all of you, I would never have been able to finish this story- the first story I've ever finished.
CardboardCreative: Thank you for your 'destruction' of my chapters. It made it all so much better. Whenever I finish sending you my emails with the chapters, I am always excited to read your emails/chapters back. I'm so thankful that you're helping me with the sequel as well.
Mara: Thank you for writing scenes for me, especially fluff scenes, which I can never write. Thanks for beta-ing for me as well- the first twenty chapters, I mean. I can always count on you for someone to talk so at school if I need some inspiration.
MidnightPopcorn: Thanks for helping me with chapter titles. Even if I didn't end up using all of them, they were very much appreciated. And thanks for the…amusing emails involving threats of murder if I didn't update.
GothPhantom: You probably don't know this, but our IM chats really inspire me in my writing. Thanks for putting up with me and my crazy IM schedule. (Actually, technically, there is no schedule.)
The first order of business about the sequel is that the sequel may take from two weeks to a month for me to put upI have the first few chapters planned out, but I still have much to talk to Cardboard about. Besides, I want to at least get a few more chapters into SIS first, not to mention do some one-shots that I've promised to do.
Here is the official summary of War of the Worlds: Tainted Blood, thanks to…Cardboard:
With Voldemort's defeat, Ron takes up shop in Oz to terrorize Glinda and hopefully get revenge on Elphaba as well. Elphaba wants to help, but can only do so by revealing to her friends at Hogwarts the reason she and Fiyero left Oz in the first place. Enemies old and new clash, and in the process, Elphaba learns that there truly is no place like home.