Keep Holding On: Fly

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the Italian animated television series, Winx Club -- I leave that honor up to Iginio Straffi as well as the producers of Rainbow S.p.A. Nor do I own the songs, "Keep Holding On," by Avril Lavigne, or "Fly," by Hilary Duff. However, I can and DO claim to own this story, in addition to its inspired ideas FROM said series.

Note: If it were up to me, I'd have renamed Mirta, since I don't find her "bitter" at all. Lucy's more bitter than she is, and her name as well doesn't fit her. Unless that was done on purpose to be "cute." You know, like "Oh, Mirta's so much like 'light' and Lucy's kinda 'bitter.' So let's swap their name to be in contrast to their personalities!" or whatever. LoL Anyway. Sorry. Thinking aloud and yes, still very obsessed with name meanings. Anyhow, thanx again for the few new reviews. To answer you, Starlit Phantomess, and as a result, everyone else who might have been wondering, yes, I'm going off of the original version (that is, that it'd been Icy to reveal Lucy as part of hers and Darcy and Stormy's cruel prank against her, and wasn't Bloom to "debunk" the spell. Since I like Lucy, BOTH versions upset me, but I always found the 4Kids version to be more irritating and "messed up" since it was a "good and pure" fairy to have been the one to "out" Lucy and crush her dream. YES yes, we all know I don't like Bloom so much, yes. LoL). I'm usually more partial to the original version to any series I may watch, for the sole purpose that it was left untouched and as originally intended.

So sorry for the "spoiler" and sorry to those who like the 4Kids version (although, truthfully, I won't be using any of those scenes where the Winx chicks are helping Stella get ready, and that cute fairy botched up her hair spell, or voice spell in the 4Kids one, blah blah blah. Just read and see LoL). About the only thing that I will be using from the 4Kids version are a few lines of dialogue, but I've been doing that so yeah.

Please enjoy the finale to this story, and with the accompanied track I've provided here (obviously get rid of the excessive spaces) to make it more moving (It made ME cry to listen to while reading over this story, anyway LoL):

h t t p / s o k a i . i m e e m . c o m / m u s i c / r f 2 Z d 9 z 6 / f l y /

P.S. Please don't leave a review, telling me things like how it seemed that the upcoming battle scene (yes, there is one) seemed to go on for hours. It's called dramatic building, and although this finale turned out to be 25 pages long, the battle really doesn't go on for AS long as some of you reading it might feel. Just trust me, okay? LoL Oh, and excuse the "stupidity" and/or "Are you serious?" moments within said battle. Just wanted to make it typical, predictable battling behavior these girls sometimes exhibit (that is, lower their guard, talk more than fight, etc. Y'know, stuff we real life people wouldn't really do because we're smart LoL). Did it for a reason.

So, yeah. Enjoy.


This story was created/written in May 2007, and completed in June 2007.


.§§§.

Too worried and riddled with guilt over her lack of support to her best friend, Mirta had been completely unable to concentrate upon much else for the rest of the afternoon. And when early evening had settled in, she'd found herself feeling as though on the brink of a panic attack, as she'd known that by then Lucy had made her way to the Miss Magix pageant.

No longer able to take on anymore anxiety, Mirta had decidedly retired quite early for the evening, hoping that being unconscious would allow her a bit of reprieve from the sensations she'd been enduring ever since that afternoon and felt as though were gnawing away upon her stomach.

However, there had been no such luck.

For, it had been no more than an hour since she'd managed to fall asleep that Mirta had been ripped from her semi-comatose state, due to a rather startling dream. No, it had been more like a vibe -- an omen, more so, in regards to the pageant and Lucy's progression through it.

And so, no longer able to ignore her upsetting emotions and managing to successfully cast a slightly difficult teleportation spell, Mirta had transported herself to the site of the Miss Magix representation.

Letting out a soft gasp, Mirta felt a bit overwhelmed at the same time that she'd felt impressed by the girth of the sea green hued arena before her. She'd felt so small and insignificant in comparison as she gazed up in awe at the epic building, and watched the array of magenta, cyan, pale green and pale orange colored and individual spot lights illuminating the entire area, causing the stadium to appear far larger than life than it already had all on its own.

"Now I'm beginning to wonder why I'd never come here before," she murmured breathlessly to herself, honestly forgetting the reason while she continued to stand within the entrance. However, the moment she'd remembered that she was there for Lucy, Mirta simultaneously remembered the answer to her question.

"Because witches don't belong here . . ." she replied in compliance to her mind, exhaling softly in faint lament.

Regardless, none of that mattered at the moment. All that had was the urgency to get inside, find Lucy to see that she was all right and, if she was, to apologize for their argument and lend to her reinforcement.

With her objective settled, Mirta took a deep breath and began to ascend the stairs and enter the building. Once inside, however, she'd felt instantly overwhelmed all over again, as the inside seemed to be as astronomical as its outside. And not only that, but there appeared to be doors upon doors, lining the vast halls before her, in addition to corridors laid out left and right.

"How will I know which way to go?" Mirta thought aloud, wishing that her lessons in her classes back at Cloudtower had gotten to the point of teaching about Locater Spells. Then she could have just cast it and found not only Lucy, but the audience where the pageant was being held.

"Excuse me? But are you lost?" Mirta suddenly heard an extremely soft, gentle and lyrical female voice sound from behind. Turning around in surprise, Mirta's turquoise colored eyes met with a pair of soft, lime green colored jewels that made her heart swell with mixed emotion (most of which being felicitous, for a change) to gaze upon them.

And it was because those eyes seemed to only hold nothing but kindness, patience and love within them, instead of the usually cool, distance, and judgment that she'd witness within the eyes of the majority of the witch population back at Cloudtower.

Her eyes, this girl's, however, were very much like that of Mirta's . . .

". . . Are you all right, sweetie?" Mirta heard the young female with the inviting, warm eyes and long caramel colored locks ask in distinct concern, and felt her reach out a hand to rest upon her shoulder. It was then that Mirta realized that she'd just been standing there, staring at the poor girl without a word. It was also then that she'd realized that nobody this open, genuinely nice and compassionate towards a complete stranger could have been a CT resident -- or a witch, in general.

Which could only mean that this young woman happened to be a --

"Fairy! Uh, I-I mean, very, thank you. That I'm all right, that is," Mirta found herself blurting out, before quickly covering her slightly rude outburst. She immediately felt her cheeks grow red in alarm, while the rather tanned brunette merely smiled warmly back at her. She did not seemed affected at all.

"Well, that's good, then," she replied with an even bigger smile, causing her eyes, that continued to dance with a fiery warmth and glow, to crinkle slightly. "Do you still need help getting back to the auditorium where the pageant's being held? I'd just come from the restroom, and admittedly found it a bit overwhelming to get there at all, as this place is rather large."

Mirta couldn't help but to return the kind girl's generous simper upon hearing this. She also couldn't help but to feel extremely . . . at ease, and unafraid that she might be either disrespected or judged (which was how she usually felt back at her school -- and with great cause, as she generally always was the target for ridicule).

What a wonder a change in mere location (and not to mention, company) could manage.

Clearing her throat, no longer feeling as troubled as she had when she'd first arrived, Mirta nodded slowly in acknowledgment.

"Yeah, I'd felt the exact same way when I arrived just a few minutes ago," she said within a small, shy smile. "And thank you. I could use the help in finding the auditorium. Are you competing within the pageant? Oh! Wait! That's a stupid question! That is, I mean, that you probably wouldn't be out here if you were, right?"

As the pair began walking down the vast hallway in unison, the brunette did not make any sort of condescending remark that Mirta had honestly been expecting and used to occurring as a result of her debauchery, but merely giggled softly instead.

"Oh, no! Of course not!" she said with a wave of her bejeweled, slender hand, her tawny cheeks earning a generous rouge hue to them. "I don't think that I could ever do something like this! I can be a bit shy at times, you see . . ."

Mirta immediately smiled broadly at this.

"I know exactly how that feels. My best friend always teases me for being the 'shy and quiet' girl at my school. So I highly doubt that I would ever be able to do something like this, myself," she revealed to the gentlewoman with the emerald colored eyes.

Of course, even if I weren't shy, I'd never be able to compete, anyhow, just because I'm a witch, she thought solemnly, before forcing the depressing thought away.

"Well, there's nothing wrong with being reserved at times, sweetie. And I'm sure that the girls at your school appreciate you just the same," complimented the unknown teenager with a warm smile, gazing at Mirta while the both of them continued down the hall. "By the way, which school are you from, if you don't mind my asking?"

Mirta instantly tensed up at this, stopping dead in her tracks. It would figure that, when she was finally sharing a conversation that was worth partaking in, it had to be tainted by her having to reveal which school she attended . . . or did it?

"Um, why do you need to know that?" she asked awkwardly, earning a grand look of perplexity from the sweet girl at her side.

"Well . . . I don't need to know. I-I'm sorry if I'm getting too personal, but I only asked because I don't think that I've ever seen you around Alfea College, which is where I go," she responded with an apologetic air, confirming to Mirta that she was in fact a fairy. And not just any fairy, but one who'd attended the very school she'd been hazed over several weeks before.

"Talk about irony," she muttered aloud before she could stop herself, swiftly raising her hand to her mouth while the other girl present merely raised both delicate eyebrows in curiosity. "T-that is, my friend, who's competing tonight, was telling me about the other girls within the pageant and thought that maybe one of the fairies from Alfea might be a part of it . . ."

Which is totally a lie, but I highly doubt that this girl would know for sure of who's from where anyhow, thought Mirta in self-reassurance, at the same time that the brunette's face instantly lit up. Plus, if this new choice in topic will help deflect where I go to school, then that's even better.

"Oh, yes! Maybe your friend was talking about my friend, Stella. She's the one within the pageant tonight, and my friends and I have been lending her our full support by helping out with preparations," she said, resuming her walk with Mirta in tow. "That's where I've been -- in and out of her dressing room, that is -- but excused myself to use the restroom once the intermission had begun. Of course, it should be over by now. We'd better hurry back inside so we won't interrupt or distract the performers."

Mirta could only nod slightly as she allowed the unidentified girl to lead her to the auditorium, due to once again being lost within her thoughts. She knew nothing about this girl or her friends, but just by listening to her go on about them, Mirta could tell that they must share a tight nit sort of bond.

Are all of the fairies at Alfea as nice as this girl? And share such super close relationships? If so, I actually feel kinda jealous, she reflected silently, as the nameless young woman pulled open the doors to the orange and magenta schemed, slightly packed auditorium.

"Well, this is where we part ways, I suppose," said the soft spoken girl after gently closing the door behind the two of them.

Mirta gazed at her in surprise, as though not expecting her to say such a thing.

"Huh? O-oh, right. Well, thanks for everything, then and . . . good luck to your friend," she replied, barely above a whisper as she began to make her way down the aisle to try to find an empty seat.

"W-wait! Excuse me, but I'd never gotten your name, or introduced myself, for that matter -- I'm sorry," Mirta heard the female call after her, while people were randomly filtering into the area to await to pageant's resuming.

Mirta felt herself blush furiously at this. Would the caramel haired girl be able to tell that she was a witch just by her name, she foolishly wondered in a bit of paranoia?

Clearing her throat, the redhead smiled faintly and replied,

"Uh . . . Mirta. My name is Mirta."

The brunette fairy merely smiled generously at this, as she reached out and gently seized Mirta's hand to shake.

"That's a very pretty name you have. My name is Flora. It's nice to meet you, Mirta," she complimented, releasing the crimson haired teenager's hand just as the lights within the auditorium began to slowly dim. "Oh! The pageant must be resuming! I'd better go find my friends before it grows too dark to see! Maybe I will see you afterwards! Oh! And good luck to your friend, as well!"

Mirta merely nodded as she watched the girl known as Flora cheerfully wave and walk off within the other direction of where the vermilion tressed witch had been heading. To see her again might have been an honestly pleasant occurrence, if Mirta wasn't so certain that either Lucy or the Trix Sisters would trounce her further for her affinity in regards to Alfea.

Well, maybe Lucy might. But only just because I don't really think that Icy, Darcy and Stormy would be here -- even ifthey'd offered to help her, thought Mirta with an intermingled feeling of relief and upset. It was then that her anxiety over her friend's well being was renewed, and her stomach began to churn with discomfort as she'd managed to find an empty seat towards the front through the increased darkness.

All I have to do is wait until after Lucy comes out to perform or something, and then I can know for sure if she's doing all right or not, she believed silently.

Settling into her seat, sinking down within it a bit as part of her familiar, self conscious tendencies, Mirta looked up at the stage right when a tall, middle aged looking man within a white tuxedo and possessing short, slicked backmaroon colored hair and clipboard in hand took the stage.

It was in that same moment that she'd heard a familiar set of voices sounding directly in front of her.

"Argh! This guy is so getting on my nerves!"

"I know! If I wasn't having so much fun sabotaging these losers' performances, I'd have put a hex on him from the very start."

"Who says you still can't, Darcy? Once we've finished toying around with these 'Pretty-Pretty-Princesses,' we can cast a Silencing spell upon him or something."

Mirta gasped sharply, although thankfully not loud enough to draw unwanted attention to herself. She couldn't believe what she was hearing (or that she hadn't them immediately), although she wasn't that really all that surprised. Not only were the Trix Sisters here at the pageant, after all, but had been apparently living up to their reputation for being mischievous tricksters.

Although Mirta did not much care for the Miss Magix pageant, she did not really find it fair for Icy, Darcy, and Stormy to purposely destroy each contestants' chances at winning.

Wait . . . What if that's what they've done or will do to Lucy, and had planned on doing so all along? To mess up her performance? thought Mirta in increased worry, about to stand from her seat to go find Lucy before it was too late, when the man on stage she assumed to be the MC began to speak.

"Erm . . . W-welcome back, ladies and gentlemen! I-I'm sure that the second half of our pageant will be . . . um . . . just as . . . colorful as the first half!" said the man, light blue eyes twinkling with nerves and face crinkled in embarrassment as he slapped his left hand to his forehead in exasperation.

Now that she'd overheard the Senior Witches bragging about their accomplishments, Mirta knew that the MC was clearly referring to their corruption.

"Eh . . . let's move onto our next contestant! Miss Popularis . . ." finished the male on stage, just as a lithe, mesmerizing young woman within a soft yellow tinted tutu gracefully sauntered onto the now empty stage as he'd retreated.

Suddenly no longer able to move, Mirta curiously found herself feel as though entranced by the angelic looking creature standing a mere few feet away from her. There was something curiously . . . familiar about the girl, whose flawless, creamy complexion, appearance, and abounding river of shimmering midnight blue colored tresses was the equivalencing embodiment and attributes of a goddess.

"Excuse me, but would you mind taking your seat, young lady? My wife and I can no longer see the stage," Mirta could hear an elderly man speak behind her, causing the redhead to blush at the realization that she had still been standing.

Waving her hand and inclining her head meekly in apology, Mirta reclaimed her seat at the same moment that the MC had also replaced himself back onto the stage and stood next to the young, smiling beauty simply known as "Miss Popularis."

"Her realm is famous for its gracious and well mannered folk!" the man introduced, extending his left arm toward her while reading off of his clipboard with an awkward smile spread across his visage. "And, their regional dance, 'Hair Ballet!'"

Hair Ballet? I wonder what sort of dance that could be, pondered Mirta with a raised finger to her chin in curiosity, as she watched the MC take a small bow and once again leave the stage to allow the spotlight to both be literally as well as figuratively focused upon the confident and seemingly flawless ballerina who had taken center stage.

For the next five to ten minutes, Mirta's mental query of what precisely was a "Hair Ballet" could be had been answered, in addition to the fact that hers and the rest of the audiences' complete attention (negating Icy, Darcy, and Stormy, of course) had easily been captivated by the beautiful Miss Popularis.

Bowing gracefully with her ballet slippered feet within fourth position, the audience seemed to wait upon bated breath for the young fairy to perform her variation. The wait was not long, for within seconds did a lulling, almost hypnotic tune begin to reverberate into the atmosphere, and Miss Popularis gracefully rose and straightened her posture and position into en pointe, causing her flowing hair to sway gently behind her in the same instant that soft yellow sparkles curiously appeared and shimmered momentarily around her.

A warm, relaxed smile spreading across her unmarked countenance, Miss Popularis gently closed her happy, soft blue eyes as she continued on within her variation.

I have never felt this free and confident before in all of my life, she reflected happily in silence, allowing herself to become increasingly engrossed within her performance.

Any moment, everything can change,
Feel the wind on your shoulder,

For a minute, all the world can wait,
Let go of your yesterday.

For one moment, at least, every negative thought or worry that I've ever had is completely gone, and I feel as though I am capable of anything. And thanks to Icy, Darcy, and Stormy, it's going to stay that way. Everyone loves me right now, and always will after tonight, when I win this competition.

Eyes remaining closed, Miss Popularis, or, in secret, Lucy then proceeded to get into an grand battement pose, with her left knee straight. Effortlessly lifting the same leg she then extended it behind her with support from her right. Meanwhile, as an accompaniment, her right arm protracted directly in front of her while the left was raised back along with her left leg.

Lucy at last then opened her light blue gems and exhaled in content as she swiftly grew accustomed to being the center of attention by the flock of audience members -- even by including Icy, Darcy and Stormy, now, she'd vaguely managed to make out through the dimly lit audience area.

This is a definite sign that things really are going to change for the better for me! Even the Senior Witches had actually stuck around to watch me perform! They could have gone back to Cloudtower after casting this rad spell on me, but they didn't. Because they believe in me and the newfound popularity I'm going to achieve! It's too bad that Mirta couldn't feel the same . . . Some friend she turned out to be, she thought silently with abundant excitement, before overwhelmed by a bit of sadness by the final thought.

Can you hear it calling?
Can you feel it in your soul?
Can you trust this longing?
And take control,

As the provided music continued to sound throughout the auditorium, the transformed Lucy (on various counts, both emotionally as well as physically) braced herself as she began to advance into the more difficult part of her solo dance: An allegro, as it would involve an arrangement of fast foot work, turns and jumps.

Smiling broadly, Lucy was only filled with an overabundance of confidence and pride rather than worry, as she continued on with her variation, elegantly gliding and prancing around the stage like a beautiful swan.

This was her moment.

Performing a bit of an Arabesque move, Lucy immediately moved right into and performed a perfect Grand Jeté, a long horizontal jump that'd transitioned into a midair split. As she performed this beautiful jump, straight across the stage, Lucy couldn't help but to softly giggle as she could hear, even over the music, several audience members gasp in delight at the sight -- and with good reason.

Under the bright, fantastic lights, coupled with the level of expertise she'd magically now possessed, the gorgeous ballerina seemed to be floating within the air as a result of her jump, and glided across the stage.

Fly
Open up the part of you that wants to hide away

Landing gracefully onto the opposite leg that she'd taken off from, Lucy then raised her arms into third position, straight over her head, while twirling gracefully across the stage several times and causing her hair to wrap around her and continuing to "dance" right along with her as the glittery light gold illuminations mysteriously returned.

After another series of twirls, turns, and another grand battement or two, the young witch prepared for her finale, her supposedly "signature" move for which this particular variation had been named. Raising one leg straight up into the air, Lucy bent forward and gently seized her other leg as she proceeded to twirl within the same spot, causing her extremely long locks to effortlessly cloak around her body in the process.

They love me! Listen to everyone cheer and gasp in awe! I'm definitely winning this pageant! she gleefully thought, at long last feeling completely and truly accepted.

After yet another series of elegant, breathtaking and seemingly impossible twirls that continued to cause her hair to swirl, in addition to more magical sparkles to surround her, Lucy at last finished her variation as she settled upon the ground with her knees hugged to her chest with her flowing tresses gently settling around her as a final pose.

Eyes closed a moment, inhaling deeply to catch her breath, a bashful, appreciative smile instantly spread across her tanned visage before transitioning into a rather generous simper, Lucy reopened them to look upon the audience, just in time to see the standing ovation she'd rightfully deserved.

You can shine
Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,
And start to try, cause it's your time,
Time to fly.

As the auditorium had instantly grown rather loud to the abrupt eruption of applause, courtesy of the duly impressed audience, the equally impressed (and not to mention visibly relieved, quite possibly because nothing calamitous had occurred) MC walked back onto the stage at the same time that Lucy had slowly risen to her feet.

Meanwhile, back within the audience and amongst the many people who continued to clap furiously, Mirta, the entire duration of the performance, could not at all believe what he had seen. That graceful, elegant and confident goddess of a ballerina had been Lucy, she'd finally realized.

Her Lucy.

The generally recluse, typically sulking and brooding Lucy, who'd never once seemed to possess much confidence for more than a second throughout all of the years that Mirta had known her.

And now suddenly, here she is, looking far more beautiful than I'd ever seen her, she pondered with a sad smile upon her face, feeling tears of mixed emotion filtering into her eyes. But not because of the spell Icy had cast upon her, to make her take on that form and perform such a breathtaking ballet. It was because, if only for right now, just like she wanted, she's truly happy without any sort of inhibition of what others would think of her if she allowed herself to be . . . But it shouldn't have to be for this one moment. Lucy should allow herself to beam and be as wonderful all the time as she is tonight, and let the whole world see the beauty inside of her that I've always known to be there.

As though on cue, Mirta's emotional and reflective thoughts were broken through as she could distinctly and unfortunately hear Icy (who, alongside Darcy and Stormy, was quite possibly one of the only people to have remained within their seat and not bothering to applaud) speaking before her, with an undoubtedly evil smirk upon her cool countenance.

"Little do they know . . . she's really 'Miss Outcastis!'" she delivered coolly, causing a sharp chill to careen straight down Mirta's back and make her cease within her clapping.

God! It's amazing how I'd forgotten all about my fears that the rancid Trix trio might try to sabotage Lucy in some way, she pondered in amalgamated anger and renewed concern, slowly sitting back down within her seat and worriedly tugging at the front of her shirt. I don't think that they'll do anything to her here or hopefully maybe not at all. But by their having helped her with the spell at all, Lucy's still obviously going to be indebted to them in some way -- and that's what worries me most . . .

"Ohh! Now, that's what I call talent, ladies and gentlemen!" gushed the MC, who continued to stand beside the blushing and visibly overwhelmed Lucy throughout the roaring applause and waited patiently for the audience to begin to settle down before speaking. "What a treat! Bravo!"

Biting her maroon colored bottom lip at the same time that a small smile returned to her pale, freckled face, Mirta watched her best friend take a final bow before gracefully strolling off the stage, allowing the MC to continue on with the pageant and announce the next contestant entry.

"And now, our final contestant tonight: Miss Solaria! Performing the dance of the great Western Moon of Solaria!"

Forcing herself to focus upon and enjoy the rest of the show, Mirta raised an eyebrow in intrigue as the name of the realm the curvaceous, hazel eyed blonde (who'd just then walked onto the stage) dressed within a cowboy outfit was apparently from.

Hey . . . Solaria . . . Wasn't that the realm Icy, Darcy, and Stormy were talking about at lunch before I'd stupidly bothered to conduct 'peace talks' with them several days ago? she silently recalled, watching the Solarian fairy confidently incline her head towards the audience with her left finger upon her khaki colored cowboy hat and a smile gracing her cheeks. I wonder if she knows the fairy who was apparently robbed of her ring or whatever it was by the witches . . .

As the blonde fairy from Solaria took off her hat for a brief moment before replacing it and beginning to perform her dance routine, Mirta's attention turned to the Senior Witches in question, who appeared visibly irritated by the girl's presence.

I guess they hate the people from that realm, period, in addition to the one fairy they'd tried to victimize, the redhead continued within her thoughts with a small frown forming upon her face. Or maybe it's just because of the fact that they weren't able to get away with their evil act that's causing them to hate on anyone from Solaria. Either way, that's too harsh!

As the performance progressed, the audience had grown increasingly impressed and favoring of the sunlit haired bombshell expertly dancing upon the stage, just as they had been for Lucy.

Icy, Darcy, and Stormy simultaneously gasped heatedly in affect at this profound realization.

"They love her! I am not gonna let her 'two-step' her way to the crown!" cried Icy in anger, vowing to obviously destroy the unsuspecting fairy's dance routine, as well as the possible chance of winning.

"Uh oh . . . I don't like the sound of that," whispered Mirta in suspicion as she couldn't help but to overhear the alice blue haired witch speak yet again. "Should I try to divert any spells or tricks they might do again? I mean, I can't just sit here and not help that innocent girl . . . But, if I do try, Icy, Darcy and Stormy might turn their aggression and magic onto me instead yet again . . ."

Biting down onto her lip once again, this time a bit harder, Mirta exhaled sadly to herself as she'd steadily chosen to continue to sit within her seat and merely watch as the Trix Sorceresses proceeded to swiftly attempt to ruin the golden tressed Solarian beauty in various, cruel (although admittedly creative, as well) ways. She never felt as greatly ashamed of herself as she had at that very moment. Instead of finally standing up to the Senior Witches on behalf of that poor young woman, and in the process standing up for herself, Mirta had chosen to continue to remain within obscurity and let them win once again.

I can't watch anymore, she thought miserably, covering her eyes with both of her skinny hands as the three older enchantresses in front of her continued to use their magic in a vile manner.

Expecting to hear the audience sharply inhale in disappointment -- or worse, horror, the young Cloudtower freshman was deeply surprised to instead hear nothing but continued praise and gasps of awe.

"What --?" she murmured softly to herself, daring to take a peek through her fingers. Not only was the stage a wreck, with various cracks within the floor and debris scattered upon it, but the blonde fairy from Solaria was still going strong within her performance with the same confident smile consistently spread across her face.

And, on top of that, as the icing upon the proverbial cake, Mirta turned her attention onto the Trix and was extremely pleased to see that all three were profoundly mortified that none of their hexes and incantations had succeeded to halt the woman's dance progression.

Thank goodness thought Mirta with a happy sigh, resting a hand upon her chest in relief. At least she'd managed to escape those witches' tricks . . .

"What a great dance!" the MC complimented after the Solarian teenager had finished her dance, took a generous bow and he'd joined her onto the chaotic stage floor thereafter. "And what a neat . . . twist! I must say that you certainly possess great balance and skill! We'll just get this all cleaned up before moving onto the question and answer portion of our pageant!"

Mirta couldn't help but to giggle gently as she heard this.

If you only knew the half of it, she mused, watching in delectation as the mystical being on stage appeared to be thinking the very same thing as she merely grinned with a sheepish shrug before making her way off of the stage.

.§§§.

"And that concludes our talent contest!" revealed the MC with gusto about a half an hour later, causing the Trix Sisters and even Mirta, admittedly, to exhale in relief. Although the Miss Magix pageant hadn't been as bad as she'd initially thought, it still was not entirely her cup of tea, so to speak. And since she had only come to see Lucy, having to endure the rest of the pageant's procedure and process was greatly unnecessary to her.

"We can all agree that this year's pageant has been . . . heh . . . quite special! How about a big round of applause for our contestants!" the MC continued, grinning sheepishly as he and the rest of the audience gazed upon the sea ofinjured contestants standing within two separate rows upon the now magically restored stage.

Mirta folded her arms across her chest and frowned deeply at the unfortunate display in sympathy.

Yeah it was "special." Just about every single one of these girls had all been badly injured because of the Senior Witches. I'd be willing to bet all of my magic that those three are probably the main reason that Cloudtower -- no, witches, in general, get such a horrible rap, she reflected silently, her scowl deepening. One of these days they are going to get what's coming to them . . .

"And now, finally, the moment we've been waiting for!" continued the MC, lifting a sky blue colored sealed envelope with the words "Miss Magix" scribbled upon it in soft pink lettering to his chest. Tearing it open, he pulled out the contents that would reveal the winner.

". . . And this year's 'Miss Magix' is . . . Miss Popularis!"

Mirta immediately jumped from her seat as her body became renewed with vigor upon hearing this, cheering and applauding like mad with the rest of the audience. She couldn't believe it. Lucy had actually achieved her goal -- her dream, to become the very first witch to win the Miss Magix pageant.

And even with the fierce competition brought on by the fairy from Solaria . . . who doesn't really look too happy at the moment, the redhead noted silently with mixed happiness for her best friend, as well as rapport towards the distinct blonde (who'd then appeared to be extremely shocked and angry). But I truly think that the better, more deserving person had won. Who knows when Lucy will ever get another opportunity like this? That girl is probably used to being the center of attention and winning events like this all of the time, anyhow.

An abundantly happy Lucy made her way to the center of the stage to accept the cyan colored crown and white and blue colored sash that had been simultaneously brought out to place upon her head and body, with green and blue confetti falling all around her from overhead.

Too engrossed within her happiness and pride for her best friend while watching her enjoy the limelight, Mirta was regrettably too late to notice Icy's cruel, light blue colored eyes curiously then begin to glow a soft violet hue . . .

In alarm, Mirta gasped sharply, eyes growing large in horror as she helplessly watched Lucy outlandishly cringe and tense up in seemingly immense pain, before hunching during the same course that Icy's spell had obviously lifted as her true appearance was then revealed to the entire audience.

"Oh, no . . . Lucy . . ." breathed Mirta lightly in sorrow, her heart breaking as she witnessed Lucy's formerly happy and content visage contort itself into one full of despair and embarrassment.

At the same time, the auditorium regrettably filtered with jeers and hissing for the outed witch to promptly leave the stage.

"Boo! Get her off the stage!! She cheated!!" Mirta was appalled to hear the gentle, elderly couple from behind her suddenly cry out, causing her heart to ache at such harshness.

"No! S-she didn't! She just --!" she began in vain, as she turned around to face them in attempts to explain on her friend's behalf, before the MC's voice, once calm, cheerful and welcoming (and, in irony, especially towards Lucy), had easily swallowed up her words as his own were laced with nothing but disdain and execration.

"Miss Popularis is disqualified!"

"No!" cried Mirta as she whirled around in her spot and faced the stage once more, looking up at the MC with pleading eyes, even though she was well aware that he could not see her (and, even if he could, would not care within the slightest).

This wasn't fair. The only thing that Lucy had done that might have been "wrong" was use a spell (with the "devil's" assistance) to alter her appearance. But, the rest of it (regardless of whether or not the incantation had assisted in her ballet performance) had been all Lucy.

Lucy, who had been leading with her heart and merely doing what made her happy, instead of staying within the background and following the crowd.

How could that have gone so horribly wrong?

Mirta helplessly watched her dearest friend look into the audience for any sort of mercy -- specifically, from the Senior Witches. However, the only thing that they had offered onto the swiftly pilloried Cloudtower enchantress was their back, as the trio merely rose from their seat and walked out of the auditorium without a word.

The normally timid rosy haired gentlewoman felt profoundly strong, violent anger surging throughout her being at this.

I knew it! I knew that they would do something completely horrible to Lucy! And even after they had, she still turns to them for validation! thought Mirta in immense frustration. Fervid tears beginning to form within her turquoise tinted eyes, she turned her head to witness the Trix Sisters retreat from the arena a moment, before returning her attention back onto Lucy, for whom time was standing still as the barrage of verbal abuse continued.

Mirta's frown instantly evaporated the instant that her eyes had locked with Lucy's, her own tears forming. It was at that moment that the teal haired woman had seemed to finally notice that Mirta was there . . . and that realization alone seemed to have done nothing at all to comfort her.

In fact, the very minute that the two women's eyes had met it seemed to be all that Lucy could take. For, tears beginning to freely flow down onto her scrunched up visage before she'd promptly concealed it with both of her hands, she blindly ran off of the stage in overwhelming shame.

"Lucy!!" Mirta called out abortively to her friend, her voice sounding nothing more than a whisper amidst the gibing audience. "Ugh! I can't just stay here! I have to go find her before she does something drastic!"

Without another word nor thought, Mirta swiftly turned on her heel and rushed down the aisle towards the exits in pursuit of her friend . . . and, as a result and unbeknownst to her, succeeding in captivating the attention of one individual in particular . . .

.§§§.

"God! Why'd this place have to be so big??" exclaimed Mirta in frustration, after wandering around through every corridor and hallway for what felt like ages, but in reality was a mere several minutes. Still, regardless of the amount of time that'd actually been spent, the clock was steadily ticking away, and she still had been unable to locate her friend.

Mirta could only hope and pray that wherever Lucy was, it wasn't where the Trix Sisters had adjourned to, after having left the auditorium as well.

"Knowing them as I regrettably sort of do, they'll most likely add insult to the injury they'd caused if she's with them," reflected Mirta aloud, wrapping around yet another corner and continuing on. "Or, worse. They might try to turn it around and make it seem like it was all Lucy's fault for bothering to enter the pageant at all -- or that they only wanted to help her . . . Ugh! I've got to find her!"

Looking about her surroundings, Mirta could at last recognize where she was to be the hall that led straight to the main exits. It wasn't the dressing room area she'd been aiming to locate (so that she could in turn find her distraught friend), but it was better than nothing.

Besides, if she is inside her dressing room, she'll have to come outside eventually, she rationalized within her mind as she jogged over to the main doors after they'd come into view. And when she does, I can finally talk to her and let her know that I do care for her . . .

Pushing open the door and walking back into the crisp, fresh night air, Mirta expected the area to be empty, as she assumed that the pageant's finale was still progressing. However, what she hadn't expected was to see Icy, Darcy, and Stormy all seated upon the concrete steps of the main entrance.

The trio were laughing gaily in unison, seemingly engrossed within an undeniably cruel conversation (and one most likely about what had just transpired for Lucy).

"And, I mean, could you believe that that loser freshman actually believed that everyone loved her? Her face was absolutely priceless after you'd lifted the spell off of her, Icy! Pure genius to do it right at that moment!" Mirta listened to Stormy heartlessly deliver in the midst of her shared laughter with her comrades, the triad apparently unaware that their conversation was no longer private.

"Yeah! And it was genius of you, Stormy, to suggest that we stick around a while longer to wait for her to come out, so that we can revel within her misery some more rather than waiting until tomorrow," added Darcy, complimenting her younger friend for her heinous tact.

Stretching, Icy suddenly rose from her spot and grinned as she continued to stare straight ahead.

"Absolutely. And, the best part of it all is that she'll never even think to suspect the three of us as the ones who'd ratted her out, so to speak," she said with a patented, vile smirk upon her face, while resting a hand upon her slender hip. "She'll probably think that some fairy, like 'Lil' Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes Stella -- who was clearly upset not to have won -- just cast a spell to embarrass her somehow, and in the process interfere with the magic already at work upon her. But how beautiful is it that not only was she humiliated anyway, but will probably come running to us for some sort of comfort! Hardly!"

"Exactly! Not if I have anything to say about it, anyway!" Mirta suddenly heard herself say furiously, surprising herself (as well as the Trix threesome) in the process, and feeling regret for having said a word. She wanted to protect Lucy. That was true. But she also was keenly (as well as regrettably) aware that she was no where near a valid match for the women before her, and would undoubtedly be belittled in addition to "punished" for her interference.

Well, it's too late to back out of it now. I suppose I'll just have to brace myself for the worst, she thought, swallowing hard as she forced herself to take on a brave resolve as all three ladies whirled around and instantaneously glared daggers at the scrawny crimson tressed girl.

"Well, well, well! If it isn't our other favorite CT freshman -- not!" quipped Icy as Darcy and Stormy both stood up, grinning maliciously.

"If you were smart, you would've stayed inside to continue cheering stupidly for your equally stupid friend, instead of coming out here to -- what? Confront us? Please!" berated Stormy, waving a hand at a taken aback Mirta in dismissal.

"What? You didn't honestly think that we wouldn't have noticed? You were directly behind us, after all," said Darcy with a lazy air, smirking harshly at the cardinal haired girl. "We just didn't feel like wasting our time on you yet again. But now that you're here, we might as well mess around with you to help pass the time until 'Lucy the Incompetent' comes out."

All your worries, leave them somewhere else

"She is not incompetent!" Mirta blurted out heatedly, cheeks instantly growing hot with mixed embarrassment and anger, however still determined to stand her ground. "You'd twisted all of her hopes and dreams into some horrible nightmare! How do you three live with yourselves?"

Find a dream you can follow,

"Just fine, but thanks for the concern!" said Icy, sharing yet another laugh with her fellow witches at the novice sorceress's expense. "In fact, I think that the only concern you should have is the major pain the three of us are about to inflict upon you!"

Before she could properly react, Mirta instantly felt her tiny body become immobile and rigid, at the same time that the same eerie purple aura that was beginning to engulf the poor redhead's body was now also emitting from the right hand that Darcy had outstretched directly in front of her.

"Aww! You look a bit tense! Why not lie down a while?" chided Darcy as she continued to utilize her wretched magic upon the younger girl, causing her to hover within the air for a few seconds, before violently swinging her hand to her immediate left, and as a result catapulting Mirta helplessly within that direction and away from the stadium.

"Ahh!!" she screamed, squeezing her eyes shut as she did her best to brace herself for the immense affliction she was then about to experience.

However, nothing had happened. No excruciating pain had swept over her body.

"Argh! What the --!" Mirta could hear Icy, Darcy, and Stormy simultaneously exclaim in inappreciative shock, watching in rage as a sudden burst of green had appeared within the atmosphere. At the same time, enormous vines began to spring forth from sparkling pollen, before the plant had securely wrapped itself around Mirta's body and thus preventing her from connecting with the ground.

"Great catch, Flora! Your 'Glitter Dust' attack saved your friend in the nick of time! Looks like you were right to worry for her!"

"Thanks, Bloom! I'm just glad that we're now here to help! Are you all right, sweetie?"

Mirta, whose eyes had been closed throughout the entire commotion, felt herself being gently touched upon her back as she simultaneously exhaled violently, realizing that she'd stopped breathing. Slowly, she turned her head and felt her eyes begin to water with overwhelming, intermingled emotion as she was surprised to gaze upon the kind visage of the emerald eyed, tawny skinned brunette fairy she'd encountered earlier that evening.

I . . . can't believe it. She doesn't even know me, and yet she'd still come after me . . . she marveled silently, blinking furiously to keep the tears that were brimming within her eyes at bay. I've never encountered such heart in my life . . .

Reach for something, when there's nothing left

"I . . . y-yeah . . . Thank you, Flora," replied Mirta breathlessly, seizing the beauty's hands, who'd helped her onto her feet as the mystically conjured vines gently released her from their grasp before dissipating.

And the world's feeling hollow.

"We should've known that the rest of you 'Pixie Brats' would be at such a 'Reject Convention,' since your precious Stella had been so busy prancing around the stage like some sort of headless chicken!" remarked Icy with hostility, Darcy and Stormy chiming in with their usual backdrop of cruel laughter as they took their familiar places at either side of her.

Mirta frowned deeply simultaneously with her savior, in addition to Flora's apparent friend (another redhead like Mirta, herself) known as Bloom who'd joined her. She watched the newcomer who slightly resembled her (with the exception that the other girl's hair was far longer, she didn't possess freckles or any other sort of blemish upon her fair skin, and the shade of her locks were more of burnt orange than true red) walk forward and place herself in front of Mirta and the brunette with a profoundly bold confidence.

"That's pretty hypocritical of you, Icy, considering the fact that you three primadonnas are here as well! Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that in turn make you some sort of reject, too?" retaliated Bloom with a broad smile of her own, raising a delicate eyebrow in inquisition at the now furiously blushing duo-plus-one of witches erected before her.

Wow . . . Look at her. I could never be that firm and witty, thought Mirta, gazing in awe upon the natural born leader of a woman. I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Growling in fuming ire, Stormy's lithe body swiftly slingshot itself into the air as she tapped into her magic to levitate. Balling up both of her fists, she glowered down at the opposing trinity of freshmen below her.

"Grr! I am so sick of you stupid Alfea fairies!! And you, you refuse, annoying little wicca wannabe who so doesn't belong at Cloudtower! You 'Firsties' are definitely gonna pay! Electric Booty-Kick!" she cried, thrusting her right arm forward towards the unsuspecting women. Violent volts of white hot electricity outlined in violet magically emitted forth from her hand and sharply careened down to the ground at its intended marks.

"Ahh!" cried the two Alfea fairies and the Cloudtower first-year simultaneously, the three just narrowly missing the furious attack as they'd each dived out of its direct path of harm.

Gruffly landing onto her stomach, Mirta regrettably heard the two benignant women gasp in surprise from behind her, which she instantly understood to be due to Stormy's unfortunate unveiling of Mirta being a resident of Cloudtower, a school for witches.

"She's a witch? Flora, why didn't you say anything? I thought that witches and fairies don't get along with one another?" questioned Bloom, profuse confusion resonating within her voice.

Great. Now I'm really in for it from both sides, believed Mirta in silence as well as regret, far too petrified (in addition to mortification) to turn to face her potential, additional foes and to witness and listen to Flora's response.

Thankfully enough (and ironically so), Icy abruptly interrupted with yet another savage guffaw as she said,

"Oh, please! I don't know about you ladies, but I for one feel rather insulted that the title of 'witch' could possibly be attached to this pathetic excuse for a human, let alone a CT resident! Let me make it easier on you for having to deal with your useless existence by burying you ahead of schedule! Ice Coffin!"

"No!" cried Flora, suddenly startling both Mirta and Bloom in the process as she rushed forth from her spot beside Bloom and pushed the young witch roughly and hastily out of the way as the atmosphere grew curiously frigid and ice began to form around eventually encase the unfortunate brunette.

"Flora!!" exclaimed Bloom, her cyan colored eyes widening in shock as she watched the gut-wrenching display of her obvious friend, now unconscious with only her head visible and free from the supremely cold ice. Angry tears now filtering into her livid orbs, she shifted her gaze away from the newly helpless female and squarely onto Mirta, who'd remained upon the ground with shocked tears of her own within her eyes.

"I-I . . . I don't --" she stammered, shivering in fear, as well as due to such close proximity to the coffin of ice after which the attack was named. She couldn't believe what was happening. One minute, she had been merely searching for her best friend, and then the next it'd escalated into such a chaotic and unexpected brawl between fairies and witches.

It's all my fault . . . she thought, closing her eyes as she waited to feel a world of physical retribution from the obviously heated Bloom.

Can you hear it calling?

"Errr!! You three are going to pay for this!! Bloom-Magic-Winx!!" cried the lone fairy with strength and choler riddled within her voice, causing Mirta to re-open her eyes to witness the display, while the Trix Sisters merely looked on in incredulous boredom across the way.

Can you feel it in your soul?

Mirta let out a soft gasp as she marveled at the mystical sight beginning to transpire before her. Bloom, her sylphlike, now unclothed body mysteriously glowing a warm orange, raised both arms straight above her head and clapped her hands together a moment before parting them to reveal a small ball of fire hovering between them.

Can you trust this longing?

Crisscrossing her hands together, with the index and middle fingers the only ones left extended, the spherical flame expanded and seemed to set the carrot orange haired female's body aflame as it then began to careen downward.

In reality, however, wherever the combustion had caressed Bloom's body, new attire materialized in its stead. Detached, electric blue colored sleeves appeared upon each of her arms and, after uncrossing and spreading them on either side of herself, a sparkling, cyan tinted top emanated onto her chest through the flames, within the same moment that a short skirt of the same color clothed her bottom half.

Leaning forward a bit, delicate, pale green tinted iridescent wings unfurled from behind Bloom, before a tiny, yet beautiful golden tiara appeared within her rich pumpkin hued tresses.

And take control,

At last opening her eyes, Bloom, utilizing her newfound wings, swiftly flew up into the air several feet before landing within the same spot, magically outlined a golden heart and struck a pose (so to speak) for her foes with a rather determined look shining forth upon her face.

Fly

"Wow . . . she transformed into her . . . fairy form," murmured Mirta in awe, unsure of what to call the breathtaking metamorphosis.

"Now to defrost Flora!" said Bloom, turning her back, a bit foolishly, to the Senior Witches as she prepared to presumably use a magical spell or two to free her still captive and unconscious comrade.

"I think we've given Bloom and her little lackey a bit of false hope and confidence to winning this fight long enough, Icy," said Darcy with a growing smirk as all three witches had then joined one another within the air. "What do you say to taking them out, once and for all?"

"Bloom! Look out!" cried Mirta too late, only able to watch a newfound lightning based attack, launched by Stormy after Darcy had finished speaking, to suddenly barrel itself into the cyan colored fairy square in the back. It sent her careening several feet ahead of her, and away from Flora, causing her to land roughly upon her chest with a deafening crash.

Before she had had time to get up and try to seek possible shelter, Mirta felt her body being abruptly bombarded by yet another one of Darcy's aggressive onslaught, hitting her straight in the face and causing her to violently topple over.

Both women now lay, doubled over in pain, while their three combatants continued to remain aloft above them, cackling in presumed victory.

"Y'know, I gotta say! I actually feel sorry for your dumb little fairy school and its supposed prestige, if you're the best that they have to offer, Bloom!" said Icy in between chortles, looking over the grimacing orange haired fairy with esteemed pride due to the display of visible damage and bruising her violet tressed comrade had bestowed onto her.

"Yeah! Pretty sad! And a definite bummer for us, seeing as we haven't even broken a sweat!" added Stormy condescendingly with narrowed eyes. "Ah, well! Do send our regards to 'Down Below' after we've finished annihilating you!"

Mirta, seemingly disregarded for the time being, seized the distracting opportunity to will herself to concentrate and focus her fleeting strength to conjure up one of her best and fine tuned illusion spells, hoping against hope that it would serve to buy Bloom enough time to either collect herself in order to fight back or to flee and thus save herself.

Open up the part of you that wants to hide away

But even though I've only known this girl for no more than fifteen minutes, something tells me that the idea of abandoning her friend isn't even an option for her at all right now, she mused, inhaling deeply as she slowly managed to roll onto her back. Which is why I really hope that my spell can help her in some way . . . that I can be useful

You can shine,

Resisting the urge to dive back into another dispiriting indulge of self pity, Mirta exhaled sharply and, body temperature increasing in heat, began to cast her enchantment.

Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,

And start to try, cause it's your time,

"Illusion Delusion!" she exclaimed, thrusting both arms straight into the air at the same time that vibrant sparkles, originally blue in color before immediately shifting to a soft orange hue, emitted from both of her open palm.

Time to fly.

Whether or not they had been suddenly neglecting her presence, or merely did not expect her to no longer possess enough strength (and not to mention, courage) to fight back, after Darcy's rather powerful attack, was unclear. Regardless, all three Trix sorceresses suddenly found themselves surprisingly losing all concentration within their conjurations, as a monstrous roar abruptly sounded from behind them.

Mirta softly smiled to herself in a rather vindicated, congratulatory manner as she slowly rose to her feet and watched Icy, Darcy, and Stormy fall to the ground in completely broken focus by the sudden appearance of a gargantuan, olive colored, eight red saturated eyed monster that snarled with a vengeance down at them.

"That ought to keep them busy for a bit," said Mirta to herself as she moved to the newly wounded Bloom, who was at last managing to delicately rise to her feet as well.

"Bloom, are you all right?" asked the redhead, hesitating before reaching out a hand to securely lift the tangerine haired fairy.

Increasingly coughing a bit before responding, Bloom took a few deep inhales as she looked from Mirta, with slightly weary eyes, to the rather humiliating display of the Senior Witches berating one another over how such a "lowly freshman" could have managed to disconcert them with the ever present and looming illusion of a beast before the trio.

". . . Y-yeah . . . I am . . . Just g-got the wind knocked out of me more than anything else . . . Thank you . . ." she at last replied, still fixating her stare upon the Trix three with earned caution, for what she was aware would undoubtedly be round number two once they'd gathered their own wits about them. "I don't understand why you'd want to help me, when I'm a fairy and you're a witch like they are, but I'm actually really glad that you have. But, you've got to do me one more favor, and get out of here."

And when you're down and feel alone,
Just want to run away,

Mirta immediately shook her crimson head at the same request she herself had been thinking of asking her gamboge-locked counterpart.

"No, way! This is as much my fight as it is yours! More, if anything! I'm staying to help!" she rebutted fiercely, straightening her posture, Bloom following suit as her face at last relaxed upon hearing this.

Trust yourself and don't give up,

Smiling gently at her new comrade-apparent, she nodded gently.

". . . All right. Fine. But please try to stay out of harm's way as best that you can," she consented, exhaling for good measure as she then drew her attention onto the unfortunately still seized Flora. "I don't know how long Flora will be able to last in that ice without the rest of my friends here to help me release her . . . but for her sake, I'm going to try anyway!"

With a determined, gruff respire, Bloom gave her brunette friend one last look before suddenly flapping her wings vigorously and ascending into the air, body glowing a warm orange like before.

"I hope this works! Hey, Icy! Stormy! 'Regard' this!" she cried, forming two sets of fireballs in each of her palms before sending them in two different directions. The first, drifting down to the ground below and towards Mirta, bypassed her as it glided gently and settled at the base of Flora's ice encased feet, successfully managing to begin melting it in the process.

Meanwhile, the second ball of flame, much bigger than its companion, continued on straight ahead towards the triad of witches who'd at the same time just finished disposing of the nuisance of an illusion summoned by Mirta.

"What the --" began Stormy, as she and her fellow enchantresses whirled around a bit too late to react properly, however were in time to get lambasted to the ground as a result of being pegged within the chest with the full brunt of the fiery blast.

". . . Uhh," moaned Bloom softly as a wave of fatigue returned to wash over her, swiftly eradicating the gradually returning strength she'd been accumulating. Her wings no longer able to sustain her flight, she gingerly returned to the ground at the same moment that the Trix had tumbled, themselves.

The odds within the ongoing battle at least now seemed to be a bit more evened for both Bloom and Mirta -- that is, for the time being.

"Even if that attack had done little to damage them some, it's at least seemed to daze them for a bit longer, while I try to catch my second wind," said Bloom, breathing heavily and appearing flushed as well as strained.

"And you made the right choice to split your attack in half, because look! The ice around Flora is melting and giving way!" said Mirta in congratulations, pointing to the tawny skinned female before moving to Bloom's side.

"G . . . Good! Look after after her for me . . ." instructed Bloom, willing herself to take a few steps towards the now fuming deuce-ace before her, who were helping each other up. "I'm going in for one final attack."

"What? B-But, Bloom! You're --"

"-- Done!" screeched Icy suddenly, wasting no time in counterattacking, with both Darcy and Stormy joining suit with their own onrush.

Seeing the onslaught fast approaching, Mirta, without thinking of hesitation thrust herself within its direct path and shielded the greatly debilitated Bloom and the relatively thawed and slowly arousing Flora in the process.

It was in that exact moment that time seemed to slow down to a complete stop for the red haired freshman witch of Cloudtower. All former, familiar thoughts and feelings of guilt, suffering, betrayal, confusion and sadness instantly seemed to relinquish its steady hold upon her and evaporate away as most positive emotions gradually began to filter in.

I can't just stand idly by anymore and watch Bloom sacrifice herself in return for my safety. If she can be brave time and time again -- even with the odds stacked against her -- I just know that I can be, too. I know that I can, thought Mirta with growing, foreign confidence, her insides curiously beginning to seer with an unfamiliar yet comforting sensation. Because I am not a loser . . . and I am not as weak and insignificant as Icy and everyone else throughout my entire life always seemed to believe -- including Lucy at times . . .

You know you better than anyone else

And somehow, some way, I'm going to prove that to them! she reflected silently as a final afterthought, just as her core body temperature had swiftly reached an unbearable breaking point.

Any moment, everything can change,

Suddenly, Mirta let out a sharp, violent gasp and squeezed her eyes shut as her body roughly arched itself and every magical spell simultaneously launched by Icy, Darcy and Stormy instantly dissipated upon impact. She felt as though her entire being was inexplicably erupting into white hot flames, while surprised exhales surrounded her front and behind as the remaining five ladies took in the startling and unexpected sight.

"W . . . What's happening to her?" asked Bloom to no one in particular in intermingled awe and concern, after moving over to cradle Flora's newly freed but moist, weakened body.

"She's . . . transforming . . . but . . . how?" the brunette nonetheless responded, voice barely above a whisper as both she and Bloom witnessed the birth of a new destiny.

Body illuminated within a cloak of a dark pink aura, Mirta's body began to gently levitate from off of the ground and her clothes instantly melted away, much in the way that Bloom's had during her own transformation.

Feel the wind on your shoulder,

Mirta felt her limbs take on a mind of their own as she turned and inclined her head to her left, while her left hand delicately draped itself over her bare chest with her fingers and palm resting upon her right shoulder. Meanwhile, her right arm caressed her hip on the same side as well as pelvic area, while her actual hand itself concealed her nether region.

The vermilion locked young woman felt a soft smile caress her pale, freckled cheeks as an overwhelming sensation of nothing but affirmative feeling cascaded over her, at the same time that her body took over once more and suddenly moved into a new position.

Blindly extending her left arm straight out to her side, it suddenly grew warmer and tingly as the other women around Mirta witnessed a mysterious looking denim blue colored energy expertly zigzagged its way down the appendage and left a sparkling, elbow length glove of the same tint within its wake. Her other arm followed suit thereafter, as it removed itself from her lower domain and straight out to the other side of her person. In an instant, the very same trickling effect that had occurred to its left counterpart happened this limb as well, and it too was now covered with an equally shimmering blue glove.

With both extremities now clothed, Mirta unconsciously lifted them up, straight over her head and then crisscrossed her wrists with the back of her palms resting against the other. She let out a tiny exhale as her lips began to part and she'd turned her head straight forward, her entire organic structure now practically sizzling with kinetic energy in the same way that her arms had moments before.

And then, suddenly, in a moment did the rest of the young witch's brand new attire appear before her spectators' very eyes.

For a minute, all the world can wait,

A beautiful, dark pink short tank top, with straps of the same denim blue as Mirta's gloves magically appeared onto her in a trickling, waterfall-like effect. And, in the same manner, a micro-mini skirt, matching the same pink tint now clothed and comfortably hugged itself around her bottom.

Legs, formerly crisscrossed the entire duration, at last unfolded themselves in time for the pair of blue knee high boots (with the heels pink in contrast) to appear upon each of them in a flash of pure light.

As a final touch to the young gentlewoman's transformation, a beautiful, black threaded necklace, with a thistle colored diamond adornment hanging from it (as it did upon her skirt) appeared around her neck within a wavy-like manner.

Let go of yesterday,

At the same time, Mirta arched her back to the sudden, undeniable feel of her own pair of brilliant, iridescent and lavender colored wings unfurling themselves in order to properly expose themselves, in all of their elegant splendor, to the world for the very first time.

Fly

At last opening her eyes, the breathtaking redhead smiled softly as she utilized her wings as her premiere experience, and expertly (and surprisingly so, considering) executed a broad loop within the air before settling down in between Bloom and Flora.

Open up the part of you that wants to hide away

". . . M . . . Mirta . . . You're a --"

"-- Idiotic fairy?? Oh, this is rich!" Icy discontinued Bloom with perfect precision, causing her in addition to Flora to frown in great vilification.

The newly altered Mirta, however, could only blink repeatedly at this, while simultaneously gasping in utmost affect and discombobulation by the choice of words having been instituted by the woman with the alice blue colored tresses.

You can shine

Fairy? Was that really what she was? If that were so, how was it possible, when, as far as she was aware of, every female within Mirta's family had all been witches including she herself? That was how it had always been for as long as she could recall.

Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,

And yet, suddenly there she now was, standing before both foe and potential friend alike, adorned within vestments that were very much "fairy-like."

While Mirta did not understand any of it, it nonetheless admittedly felt a bit right to her . . .

"I always knew something was way off about you! And now here's the proof as to why: She's a freak!" chided Stormy, flexing the fingers of one hand while using the index finger of her other to point accusingly at her.

"Seriously! You were a reject as a poor excuse for a witch, and you'll be an even bigger reject now that you're a fairy! But, at least now I won't feel so bad to take you out, since you're no longer one of us. Ha! Just kidding! As though you ever were or hoped to be!" ridiculed Darcy, stretching her arms out before her as she geared herself up to attack with her fellow diabolical mates.

"Final blow, ladies! Yahh!" instructed Icy, as the three women wasted not another breath, immediately levitating and swiftly beginning to decrease the distance between the other trio and themselves as they charged steadily forward.

"Mirta! Please protect Flora! I don't know what powers you now possess, but right now I'm still the only one cognitively capable of defending ourselves right now! Ahh!" cried Bloom as she once again took flight and dove right back into the engagement, bravely sallying forth after the Trix Sisters head on with profound and resilient courage despite her still clearly weakened state.

"I . . . need to help her . . . I have to help Bloom . . ." said Flora with distinct frailty of her own, as she slowly managed to stand through Mirta's help. Her body, still cool and damp, was in deep contrast to the feverish determination shining forth within her brilliant green eyes.

A moving ridge of awareness abruptly flooded over Mirta and touched her heart as she gazed into them, causing her to gasp softly as a result.

". . . Y . . . you can't help her if you're still faint, Flora . . . but maybe I can help you . . ." she murmured the first half softly, before ending her sentence with such a bellicose authority that she'd never before harbored.

And start to try,

With an eerie, yet assuring instinct, Mirta then raised both palms to Flora's damp chest within a fluid motion and directly over her heart, which caused the other girl to blush and exhale in affect in the process. Body glowing softly once again, the cardinal haired fairy then proceeded to close her turquoise colored eyes as words slowly began to form within her mind, before at last uttering them aloud.

"Ardent Cleanse . . ." she said softly, her previously aura-surrounded body now growing a deeper shade of pink illumination at the same time that Flora's had also begun to glow the same hue. The gentle brunette let out a relaxed sigh as she closed her eyes and tilted her head back, suddenly feeling blessed and renewed with distinct vigor, as thousands of pink and blue colored sparkles shimmered around her increasingly strengthened body.

Within seconds both the auras as well as lights were gone, and Flora and Mirta reopened their eyes. Mirta, whose cheeks had grown flushed with dynamic energy, had grown even more calorific as she watched the older girl smile in profuse appreciation at her.

". . . Thank you, Mirta! You . . . you healed me! I feel so much better!" she expressed in extreme gratitude, her voice and face looking far more healthy than mere moments before (in addition to her clothes, that were once moist, were now magically dry).

Mirta could only blush and nod awkwardly at this in response, lowering her hands away from Flora before moving to her side.

I don't even know or understand how I did it . . . But the feeling and words had just come to me, regardless . . . she thought, turning her head to watch Flora's body suddenly begin to glow once more, this time carnation in color, as the unfair fight between three against one above their heads simultaneously drudged on (although it thankfully seemed that Bloom was holding her own, signifying the great strength she wielded inside of her against all odds).

"I'm coming, Bloom! Flora-Magic-Winx!" she exclaimed boldly, obviously commencing within her own fairy transformation as her clothes promptly vanished within a flash of light. Within another flash of light, a delicate looking, orchid colored and appropriately shaped choker suddenly graced her neck, while detached sleeves of the very same tint appeared and greatly housed themselves around her bare arms.

Shimmery greenish-yellow magic swirled around Flora's body before her new outfit (a sparkling, orchid and fuchsia colored bare shouldered bodice, that modestly concealed the flattering mini skirt of the same color, in addition to ankle-high boots that also mimicked the fuchsia/orchid hue) mystically appeared. She opened her emerald colored eyes and grinned softly as a pair of minuscule and humble translucent green-yellow wings placed themselves upon her flawless back.

Just as Flora had completed her transformation, Stormy, seemingly the only one of the three Senior Witches to have noticed, suddenly roared,

"Oh, no you're not!"

At last prying herself away from the condensed attention upon Bloom, the violet haired Weather Goddess promptly re-acknowledged the caramel tressed fairy.

Seeing that Flora was about to be attacked, Mirta was swift to take action.

"No! You're not, Stormy!" she cried, violently thrusting her right arm forward and a violent burst of green colored energy effortlessly emitted forth from her palm directly at Stormy's nosediving body, catching her off guard and hitting her within the arm and singing it.

"Ahh! You hit me?? And managed to make me bleed! You're toast, you little troll!" she screeched in fury, looking down at her left arm to examine the bloodied scorch mark that Mirta's attack had made, before counterattacking with one of her own lightning based attacks.

"Now, it's my turn! Ninja Daisies!!" said the newly transformed Flora, after Mirta had narrowly managed to dodge Stormy's attack and had fallen to the ground at the brunette's feet. A barrage of daisies, surrounded within a soft green aura, suddenly and steadily flowed forth from Flora's outstretched hand, scowling a bit before watching in satisfaction as the attack bombarded a livid Stormy and obscuring her view.

"Ugh! Darcy! Go help Stormy save some face by getting rid of those two nuisances, while I dispose of Bloom!" bellowed Icy, frowning deeply. "I don't need reinforcements to destroy you -- Too bad it won't be as satisfying, though, since you're just a miserable, pathetic mass of weakness now. But, ah well! It'll still be just as fun!"

Panting heavily with her vision growing a bit blurred, Bloom returned the glare as she vaguely struggled to remain afloat after all of the ongoing assaults she'd managed to thwart from all three witches up until this point.

"Th . . . that remains to be seen, Icy! Fire Blast!!" she cried, forcing her fleeting energy to launch yet another fiery blast at the Ice Mistress floating strongly before her.

Meanwhile, down below, a separate battle had commenced between Darcy and Stormy, against Flora and Mirta, with both sides continuously firing off attacks left and right.

"Give it up! We have you outmatched in strength, and you know it!" said Darcy in between assaults, having returned to the ground momentarily while her amethyst haired companion continued to levitate at her side.

"Yeah! We're everything you're not and only wish you could be! But that's something you obviously have to learn the hard way -- like 'Lowbrow Lucy' had! I can't wait to get back to Cloudtower so we can mess with her some more! But, after we've finished you off!" added Stormy with a small, satisfactory growl as she raised an eyebrow in provoking.

"Don't you get tired of sounding like a broken record, Stormy? How many times have you said that, and we always kick your tail?" said Flora with a smirking grimace, sending another green-oriented spell attack within the direction of the older woman in question.

Mirta, meanwhile, suddenly found it rather hard to breathe in the midst of her newfound attacks and capabilities, in addition to Stormy's familiar and incessant berating. It was as though her vicious words had been some sort of catalyst for things unknown, as something heavy, invisible in nature, was mercilessly weighing down upon her chest -- her entire body, in fact, and a great prickling sensation enveloped her.

It was then, suddenly, that flashbacks of the past several weeks, and right up until that very moment, had begun to flood her mind at the same moment: The unwarranted cafeteria incident . . . The abject altercation with Lucy . . . Tonight's debacle of a pageant . . .

All had been disparaging mishaps one after the other, filled with nothing but heartache and misery -- and all had been ultimately prescribed by the hands of the Trix Sisters, for the sole purpose of their enjoyment . . .

"W . . . what the --" Stormy called out in alarm, as every female present (even including Icy) had then become petrified at the sight of Mirta's enigmatic, ferociously glowing body that'd shone far more intensely than ever before.

Locking eyes with Stormy, Darcy and then Icy, Mirta fleetly rose up into the air and clenched both of her fists, her entire being continuing to exude with illuminating brilliance.

Fly

". . . You . . . You three have hurt and tormented me -- tormented Lucy -- for the final time! You've tried to turn the only friend I've ever truly had against me, by polluting her mind with heinous, false hopes of being one of you! And then only just sabotaged that dream -- as well as the dream of being something more than she already is in front of half the entire realm of Magix!" she fumed, body tensing up and shaking in uncontrollable rage.

Forget about the reasons why you can't in life,

And start to try, cause it's your time,

"Well, I'm finally taking a long overdue stand against you witches, and letting you know that Lucy is supremely more than enough as she is right now! And so am I! I finally feel less conflicted about who I'm supposed or everybody wants me to be and what I should do -- and I'm not going to let your negativity weigh down upon me anymore! Intrepid Explosion!!"

Time to fly.

Upon saying that innate utterance, the bright, excruciating light that had been surrounding Mirta had then reached its pinnacle, as it suddenly burst forth, away from her body the very moment she'd outstretched all of her limbs and squeezed her turquoise eyes shut.

"Ahh!!" all three witches exclaimed in shock and symptom, as the bedazzled attack unsparingly engulfed the three whole -- including Bloom. When it'd eventually subsided, however, it'd been only the orange haired fairy to have remained both conscious and unscathed, as she'd appeared to have gratefully settled back down to the ground, for the last time that evening, in renewed fatigue a few feet from the crumpled, visibly wounded heaps of the notorious Senior Witches.

"Mmm . . ." groaned Mirta after having taken in the sight, suddenly feeling greatly nauseous and enervated. Without warning and unable to stop herself, she felt her body grow limp and eyes grow profusely heavy before closing as she plummeted to the tough ground below.

"Mirta! Oh! I-I've got you!" called out Flora as she swiftly flew towards and directly below the other worn out redhead besides Bloom and catching her in time, just as Mirta's fairy costume mysteriously vanished within a bright flash of dark pink light.

"Is she all right?" asked Bloom with an exhausted sigh, as she closed the distance between her two comrades and herself after wearily walking over to them.

"Yeah, I think so . . . Just really tired . . . like you," replied Flora, smiling gently at Bloom before turning her back to the motionless girl she cradled within her strong arms. "You both were incredible!"

"Maybe I was, but Mirta was absolutely phenomenal! She's managed to take out all three witches with that one attack! Talk about powerful!" gushed Bloom with a tired smile of her own, before placing a hand over her chest and concentrated. In the next instant her Winx costume had vanished as well, and her regular, civilian clothes were returned.

"Ohh . . ." moaned Mirta softly, stirring awake within Flora's arms.

"Hey . . . You're coming to. Are you all right?" asked Bloom in concern, resting a comforting hand upon her shoulder.

Slowly opening her cerulean eyes, Mirta instantly felt her cheeks flush in abashment at the close proximity she was to both girls.

"O-oh . . . Well . . . yeah, thank you," she managed to muster, her shyness returning. "But . . . what happened?"

"You don't remember how you defeated Icy, Darcy, and Stormy with your awesome Winx, sweetie? You were really wonderful!" complimented Flora, as she gently let her new friend down and raised a hand to her own chest in the way that Bloom had just moments before, achieving the same result as her mystical attire disappeared and was replaced by her skirt and midriff-exposing top.

Mirta rubbed her head softly as a light headache had then begun to form, her face a bit apprehensive as all of the confidence she'd previously felt seemed to have mysteriously vanished alongside her newfound magical abilities.

"I . . . well, yeah, I kind of remember, I guess," she hesitantly replied, looking from Flora to Bloom. "But what I --"

"-- Mirta . . . are you . . . I mean . . . You aren't . . ." Mirta could hear and immediately recognize Lucy's voice awkwardly sound from behind her.

Whirling around in surprise, Mirta grinned enthusiastically at her best friend (who had discarded her tutu and returned to her beige colored tank top and teal skirt), happy to see that she was unharmed (or so she at least appeared, physical-wise).

"Lucy! You're okay! I'm so glad!" she cried, unable to stop herself from rushing to the taller girl and abruptly enveloping her into a broad and generous hug. "I'd thought . . . I mean . . . after what happened to you . . . I'm just happy I'd found you!"

Expecting the viridian haired girl to either push her away or not return the embrace (as she normally never would, for the most part), Mirta felt overwhelmed with emotion as she surprisingly felt Lucy hesitantly and awkwardly wrap her arms around her to reciprocate the gesture.

". . . I . . . I'm fine . . . I guess . . . I couldn't take the laughing anymore, you know? So I went back to my dressing room to cool down. And after calming down for a bit, I made my way outside through the side exits over there," she began, pointing one hand over her shoulder towards the stadium and a side, shaded area from where she'd suddenly emerged. ". . . And that's when I saw you . . . actually confronting the Senior Witches . . ."

At this, Mirta let go of her friend and blinked in surprise.

"You . . . saw . . . everything? Everything that'd happened?" she asked indecisively, unsure of what to feel at that moment. As much as she cared for her, Lucy was the absolute last person whom Mirta would have wished to have witness her inscrutable, supernatural transformation -- since Lucy undeniably despised fairies so much. And because the redhead had been so busy defending the girl's honor, she hadn't even bothered to stop and truly think of what repercussions it might have upon their already tumultuous friendship.

Whether she was ready or wanted to know or not, Mirta was about to find out.

For, as soon as the front doors to the Miss Magix arena opened and the first wave of audience members began to at last cascade out, Lucy's formerly even countenance melted into one of profound abhorrence.

"Yeah! I did! And I'm not at all surprise, either, because you'd always been so different!" she scoffed, folding her arms across her chest. "Once a fairy-lover, always a fairy-lover! And now you're an actual fairy, yourself!"

Taken aback, Mirta could only shake her head slowly in confusion, disbelief and brokenhearted as she she'd managed to merely utter,

"B-but . . . what? Lucy, I --"

"-- From here on out, consider us enemies, pixie! Have fun hanging out at your beloved Alfea with your stupid new fairy pals! Loser!"

And with the snap of her fingers, Lucy suddenly vanished within the blink of an eye, leaving behind only a small billow of dark teal colored smoke in her wake.

"Lucy, wait!" cried Mirta over the small collective of startled gasps from passersby who'd not been expecting such vanishing theatrics as they continued to exit the stadium. She couldn't believe what she'd just heard. After all that she'd risked and thankfully accomplished that evening . . . Avenging Lucy upon her behalf, and her appearing to have actually witnessed the entire ordeal as well as what had been said (thus proving to Lucy that Mirta was indeed not as spineless as they'd both previously assumed) . . . now it was unbearably apparent that the retreated witch was soundly out for the redhead's blood in such a drastic one-eighty affect from her previously docile demeanor . . .

"How . . . how could this be?" murmured Mirta in a despondent daze, as more and more individuals steadily passed and head within different directions. She felt Flora gently place a consoling palm upon her arm as she slowly turned her around to face her.

"Hey . . . I'm so sorry, sweetie . . . If I'd have known that that's how your reunion with your . . . friend would have done, then Bloom and I would've spoken up sooner . . . But we'd both wanted you two to have some privacy . . ." she said solemnly, before gently lifting up Mirta's now inclined head with her slender, tanned finger. ". . . But you're not a loser! You're amazing . . .! Please don't let her get you down . . ."

Bloom nodded in wholehearted agreement.

"Flora's right, Mirta -- on all counts! That was not fair of Lucy to treat you that way, and if we'd had known that that was what she was going to do, then Flora and I definitely would have had your back -- like you had ours!" encouraged Bloom, resting her own hand upon Mirta's wrist with a growing smile. "You're anything but a loser! Not especially since you helped to bring down the Senior Witches! Now, we can --! Hey! Where'd they go?"

At this, all three gentlewomen looked within the direction where Icy, Darcy, and Stormy had all laid, unconscious, not moments before, and were surprised to find the area empty as audience members walked by it, unaware of what had transpired within that very spot earlier on.

"They're gone!" gasped Flora in alarm, as Bloom frowned in frustration, and Mirta's expression had merely remained just as sullen as before.

"I knew that we should have kept a better watch of them! But I'm sure that we'll undoubtedly run into them again in the future -- and, knowing them, they definitely won't take this lying down . . . even though they technically already have," joked Bloom halfheartedly, trying to lighten the mood at the same time that her other remaining best friends, Musa and Tecna, had suddenly emerged from the building as the last members of the audience to do so.

In between the pair was the pageant's winner and fellow comrade, the newly crowned Stella.

"Ah! There you girls are! We've been looking all over for you! Well, after my rightful crowning and press conference. Oh! And publicity shoot, of course!" said the mesmerizing blonde with her usually exuberant confidence, as she approached her two formerly missing-in-action girlfriends.

It was then that the Solarian woman paused a moment, after she, the other Caucasian female and Asian young woman had each taken notice of Mirta, in addition to the faint but visible bruises that'd remained upon Bloom's body.

". . . Did I miss something, here?" added Stella as an aftereffect, as the orange haired fairy and Flora unanimously let out a weary exhale, while Mirta steadily remained silent and turned her back to them.

In one fell swoop had one heavy burden of never having fit in as a witch been lifted, only to be replaced by a new burden of being an evident fairy -- a fact she might have better enjoyed, had she not lost her one and only confidant in the process.

How would life craft itself for the young Mirta now?

In a moment, everything can change . . .

-- The End


(A.N. Praise Jeebus. I'm DONE with this was-supposed-to-be-a-quick-story. D.O.N.E. Woo! Yet, NOW I'm kinda tempted, at one of my friend's pleas, as well, LoL to do a mini-series for Mirta and MY version of how progress through Alfea from season 1 to now, etc. But I'm not sure, since there's already another story like that here . . . and he needs to update it, already!! LoL But yeah. We'll see.

Hope you enjoyed. And hope you're also happy that I've included the main Winx gals in this part, since that's clearly the reason why this story had been bypassed at first. Ah well. LoL And yes, Flora asking Mirta to not allow Lucy's "loser" comment to get her down and all that jazz IS familiar, because I'd taken it from the final ep in season 1. But that's my fave part in that ep and always makes me get teary-eyed like a geek, because I love Mirta, Flora's such a sweetie-face, and her 4 Kids voice is adorable at that part when she says it. LoL

But yeah. Please. PLEASE, I beg of you, do NOT just have "hit" this and/or actually read this story, but not leave a review, okay? Cuz for all the "drama" this finale had caused me to get just right – for me, anyway – I really hope to get SOME sort of feedback and reaction. Thanx!!)