Disclaimer: The characters of Jareth, the goblins, or any other characters and creatures related to the original Labyrinth story are property of Jim Henson Productions. We are in no way affiliated with this company. However, new and original characters, places within the Underground and evolution of the Goblin King are ours. We do not own any other miscellaneous affiliations such as from shows, books, movies, quotes, etc. This story is for entertainment purposes only.
The contents of this fan fiction is written with a mature audience in mind.
Chapter One: Hocus Pocus
"You're kidding me. Where did you get your ideas, the creator of Harry Potter?" Stephanie gave Jareth a strange look. She took off her headphones and let them drape around her neck and sat down.
The Goblin King repeated the name confused, an eyebrow raised.
"This school of magyk business." Stephanie then briefly explained the concept of the school and lessons but not the main plot. It did occur to her that it had some similarity to the Labyrinth; it could be the owls, her mind laughed.
"I'm not certain I follow what you have explained to me about this fictional school of...Hogwarts'," his features gave a strange look at the mention of one of Hoggle's mispronounced names. "I suppose it's similar," he continued. "Beings from far reaches of the Underground join those nearby to this place. It's for those who have difficulties with their powers, their Calling, as we call it." He placed an arm over one of the seats. "But I assure you, it has been running for...a long time," He was sitting across from Stephanie, at the back of the nearly empty bus; not many took it this late in the evening, even in the large busy city the girl had moved to. To blend into the night, he wore a black thick wool jacket that fell to his ankles, a dark shirt and black pants. His hair was slightly covered by the large collar and didn't look as wild as before. "There are usually not more than two dozen beings,"
"But I haven't lost control since..." Stephanie informed. It was nearly a year ago that her Calling had awaken and was quickly possessed by a darker force. "In fact I haven't been able to reawaken my powers." Beneath her own coat, she wore a dark grey sweater that was so worn that it threaten to fall apart, starting at the sleeves, and black jeans.
No, it's there, he thought. He can faintly sense it. "True. It lies dormant, which is rare but not uncommon." the Goblin King said as he leaned back in his seat. "I'm not quite certain that you'll have a reawakening; it might just appear normally as a sneeze or completely vanish altogether. It got confused so to speak." He paused. "Just like the bearer." he added with a smirk.
"Feh." She did a face but laughed lightly.
"On a serious note," Jareth said after a moment. "I'd rather that you attend a least a few lessons Stephanie."
"Now? I mean, can't you wait until I finish my semester?" The look he gave her told his answer. Stephanie sighed. She had too many assignments. She looked out the window and Jareth let her gather her thoughts. "All right." She finally replied, not turning her gaze away. "But if things get too much out of hand, I can quit when I want."
"Done." Jareth nodded. He stared at her.
"What?" she finally said, annoyed by his scrutinizing gaze. She didn't know why he waited until she asked, normally he would just say what he wanted, when he wanted.
"A week of two of classes will not convince you, nor Kolbl."
"Well obviously I knew that." Stephanie rolled her eyes. "As long as you don't go overboard." She said. "Remember; I'm not used to this and I'm not like one of you." She finished with a shake of her head. All she can do is promise the best she can.
He gave a small smile.
"You won't stop me if decided to quit; halfway, close to the end, doesn't matter, right?" She looked up at him. He remained quiet, looking back at her. He took too long to reply.
"Agreed," he replied slowly. He hoped the girl wouldn't give up, otherwise he would have to find another way to convince her somehow. It was rare to have this kind of power, others had similar strength but he also hated the idea that the Elders made her pursue these "lessons" in order to help him and his realm. He felt the inevitably of a malevolent aura and even though she was somehow connected to all this, it was not her. And time was ticking by too quickly, even with a certain of his abilities, he wasn't able to stop. Even the Elders were becoming anxious.
"This better not be like high school," Stephanie muttered, sinking a bit lower in her seat; her expression actually looked miserable. She was thrilled to learn magyk of course, something you can't take in her realm; but the memories of the experience she had of high school were morbid, mundane and something that would never leave her; it sunk in hard. However, it hadn't been all bad, but certain scenes she hoped would never be repeated. She frowned bitterly. At the time, she couldn't wait when she reached college. Along with college would come excitement, fun, intrigue and a new way of life and fresh new faces. Anything had to be better. She moved away from her small town to a city and for the past two years she had met new people at the college and was free from ridiculous rules and stupid cliques; or she was able to avoid them.
"So," Stephanie finally said, she didn't want to linger on the thought. She toyed with one of her pendants. "Explain how this schooling works."
"If I remember correctly, you have tutors that instruct on how to control your powers or harbour them and use them successfully. I believe that is divided into a couple of methods. There are also a few basic lessons that are a general aid of healing, some with herbs." Jareth said, placing his fingers together in thought. "It's been a while," he added almost embarrassed. "A long while," he chuckled. He knew he should have done some form of updates for Kolbl.
"You had this too?" the girl asked, slightly relieved and amused.
"Indeed." The Goblin King replied with a nod. "Not only was I part of the Royal Family which all of us had to attend or have private tutors, but my own Calling was…difficult." He seemed lost in his own memories.
If the Goblin King, had difficulties in the past, then there shouldn't be any reason for her to feel intimidated. She wondered about that part of his reign and what difficulties did he have with it. She wanted to ask but wording it aloud was a task.
"I am not the only ruler in the Underground." he tilted his head, surely she wasn't that ignorant.
She understood and nodded. There are much more to that realm than she realized. She was aware that there would be a form of hierarchy.
"However, I won't force you or tell you nonsense to remain. You must see it for yourself. But if you wish is so, I shall abide by your decision and I shan't meddle with this again."
"Promise?" Stephanie asked hopefully.
"Yes." Jareth replied. "Only consider before quitting so hastily."
Stephanie nodded, satisfied with his answer. "How long did you stay in your lessons or did you skip?" Stephanie grinned.
"Well...hey now!" Jareth sat up straight, caught clearly off guard. Stephanie laughed at this new discovery about the seemingly perfect Goblin King. He slumped in his seat with a fake pout. "Do I really look like a troublemaker?"
"Stephanie!" Jareth protested loudly and frowned, which made Stephanie laugh more. His expression lost all humour and she knew it was back to business.
"So when do I start?" she leaned back.
Jareth crossed his arms. "It is already too late for this quarter, however, I already have you applied. They would understand that it would be important for you to start as soon as possible; there are a few that won't be happy about it and frankly I don't give a damn; your Calling doesn't run on a schedule. We must be aware for when you do awaken, we can prevent what happened last time."
Stephanie's face shadowed a bit at that mention of a certain series of event. She knew he had not meant it to spite her, but she still felt guilty. She paused before replying. "All right," She stretched out, placing her feet on the seat across from her, next to Jareth.
To lighten the mood, they talked about other things, mostly Jareth informing the girl about events that were happening within the Underground. Mostly the same old things; the goblins becoming restless again, a few arguments and letters sent to him to resolve problems and he decided that the actual Labyrinth might receive some renovations. Then it moved to how Stephanie was fairing. It was the second year of her move to the big city; well as big a city can be in Northern Ontario. The discussion then turned to a few questions she had about how she was going to move from one realm to another and keep time.
He glanced out the large window. The orange lights blurred as the bus moved swiftly in the late night. The bus hummed and bounced as it rode along the main highway, stopping once or twice to pick up and drop off passengers. He had appeared as she was waiting for the bus, so when he boarded, she had to pay his fare in loose change she dug out of her bag. He admitted that it was a bit difficult to materialize onto a moving vehicle, especially in her realm.
She eventually gave up on the task at hand; a large tight knot in the tangled mess of headphone cord and asked about this ability of reordering time.
He had forgotten that some of his abilities have been exposed to the Aboveground. He explained that he was only able to do a small amount of it in this realm, mostly when someone would traverse his Labyrinth. He had no knowledge on how it worked, only that Fae realms had a time lapse. He did convince her that he would make sure that it could be done and as close as possible. He scratched the back of his head. His hair was tied loosely, it was an interesting add to his disguise.
Stephanie sat up straight in her seat, her hand rested upon her large portfolio bag, she glanced at her watch, and almost frowned. One AM. She knew that if her uncle who also lived in the city found out that she was traveling this late especially on the bus; not to mention her parents; he would be beyond worried. Even the nicest cities have its dark side after hours. But it couldn't be helped. She, along with half the class, had lost track of time doing assignment at the college. She was glad that class the next day would be canceled, due to the teacher who couldn't find a substitute to take over. She was exhausted. Another week of being overtired and drained.
Stephanie yawned. "So do explain how am I going to get to the Underground. My powers are dormant and impossible in my world."
"I shall take you at first," he said. "That task is easily done. I might see if I can imprint a crystal to do so later on." he nodded to himself. With this method, it would prevent an accidental sending to a random place and if he were busy to do so.
"How would that work?" she asked.
"I can use either the Goblin City or the residence that you will be attending as an anchor. It shouldn't be a problem."
"Oh. So I'll be staying for longer periods?" she said as she pushed the stop request button.
"Yes. However there are unfortunately no rooms to spare." He said as he joined her as she stood up as the vehicle came to slowing pace. "When you are not returning home, you'll be staying at my castle."
'Well that was...generous of him.' She thought. The bus doors opened. Her back was to him, she did a odd expression, almost wary. It was too late to say anything about it really. It had been decided. She wondered if she would be able to at least pick a room she wanted. 'Now you're being picky,' she chastised herself over his hospitality. She stepped into the cool night and made room for Jareth to join her on the frost covered sidewalk. The bus soon roared away, leaving an eerie silence except for their footsteps. Their breath puffed slightly as they walked. Apparently their discussion had come to an end. She was exhausted so the silence was welcomed.
"Thank you," she said as they reached her residence. She dug in her pockets for her keys. Even though it was a quiet section of the city, she was glad that she had an escort.
Jareth nodded. His hands were in the pockets of his jacket.
"When do I expect you?"
"Not for a few days for certain. There are still some arrangements to be done." he reminded.
Stephanie turned the key into the lock. She slightly pushed the door open, trying not to wake her landlady. She wanted to ask about what she would need for her trip to the Underground. She turned.
The Goblin King had already vanished. If she squinted hard enough in the farthest streetlight, she could see pale feathers on the house's pathway.
Her sides hurt and began to cramp up; she couldn't run anymore. Her breath came out in short pants, soon she would have to stop before the dizzy spells of lack of oxygen to her lungs made her stop.
"Only a little further," she urged her legs. Her boots made a terrible racket upon the wooden floor. She stumbled and almost landed roughly on her face. This was her second week and already she was late for a forth time to attend 'class'; luckily today was only by twenty minutes.
Up ahead, the door was open. The sunlight seeped into the hall. It was some good luck, unfortunately she'll need more to make it to her seat. The idea of sneaking into class was silly and juvenile, but half the time she, as the cliché goes, "acted her shoe size". All she needed was to get her spiel from Magnus as she sat down; but it would be in front of the whole group no doubt and as soon as she walked through the doorway.
'Damn door should be at the back instead.' Not like it mattered, the room was tiny. She rolled her eyes already at the thought of what Magnus, the mentor, new speech would be and how he would deliberately mispronounce her name-with the accent he had made it sound how Teh're pronounced it-he did this not only to prove that he was in charge, but to spite her as well.
She slid on her feet to a stop when she reached the doorway, eyes turned in her direction. She then took a moment to compose herself and walked calmly into the room. A few murmurs and snickers was heard, they stopped suddenly as Magnus gave the section a glare.
'Time to face the music,' she thought. She was actually debating to rush to her seat before he started. Her bag was heavy with books and scrolls, and standing at the front was no picnic. She picked up her pace and made her way to the other side of the class. A sharp voice cut through the air like a knife. Stephanie actually winced and stopped in her tracks.
"Stef'hanee!" repeated Magnus. Stephanie mouthed the yell in time. She rolled her eyes and got an "almost-made-it-this-time" look from a pretty, blond Spryte who usually sat in front of her. Magnus repeated more shrilly this time. "Stef'hanee!"
"Yes!" Stephanie said annoyed and turned around. He gestured for her to approach. She took a deliberate slow pace. Her seat had been only two seats away, she had almost made it this time. It wasn't all her fault; it was difficult to leave her realm and make it in time, even with both realms configuring on the same time line. And traveling with the crystal was helpful but there were still hiccups. Not only the difficulties of traveling she had other problems to deal with: she had the Goblin King on her back already with extra lessons, not to mention her other life with work, problems and school; so she couldn't explain herself even if excuses was unacceptable. No one knew that she came from the other realm and she couldn't explain even if excuses was unacceptable. She sighed. "Here we go," she muttered.
She stood in front of Magnus, and put her weight to her left leg and waited. Magnus was fairly tall, about a foot or so taller than she, maybe taller than Jareth. The tips of his light brown hair were a little past his shoulders. His dark blue eyes flashed annoyed at her as he spoke. She was trying hard to drown out his odd voice. She was getting an earful just as often as most delinquent male students for being late if not, for not working hard enough in order to catch up on the lessons.
"-and I insist you to not only pay more attention, but to wake up earlier in order to attend this lesson. I do not care that you've recently started here, you should be more responsible. You are fortunate that we have not yet assigned mentors for the next assignment but I can tell you they would not be amused by this attitude of yours,"
'This is just as bad as high school,' Stephanie thought and sighed. Her eyes widened. Damn.
"And I do not appreciate you rolling your eyes at my reprimands nor at my lectures. If I bore you, I suggest you do us all a favour and leave. It's rude and it is another thing I despise about your attitude." He was wasting another five minutes. She kept her mouth shut, lest that he keeps babbling about her for being a smart ass. She could have swore that the veins on his neck and forehead were ready to burst. She tried not to stare.
A sound made him stop and glare over her shoulder. A look back made her almost sigh in relief. She was saved today by another student, who himself was late. Magnus turned to give the girl a last glare before turning to late newcomer and started over his tardy speech. Instead of resuming the lesson, and letting the ones that were late and missing out in the lecture with their lost, he was wasting more time with these speeches of his. Forgotten, Stephanie slinked towards her seat. She sat next to a Spryte whose wielding strength was water.
The main structure was built entirely out of thick wood and merged with a large tree; she wondered which came first. It was at the point of the triangular plan*. most buildings were connected and leading to the dining hall at its centre. Next to the main section, a small building with a ramp was a couple of feet higher than the rest, this is where Parl, the headmaster of sorts, resided. Behind it, several wings held the small lecture halls, a conservatory that had it's own entrance, and a small library. The dorms were located on the other side; she had noticed that there were a couple of newer looking additions, the admissions of beings had increased in the past several years according to Parl. During her first time without an escort, she had lost herself and was late. Magnus had to re-explain everything to her, and so began the relationship between them both.
She sighed. Magnus was still at it.
The Goblin King sighed and leaned back upon his preferred, circular ram horned throne. The faded hues of the decorative drapes around the seat leading to the edge of the steps, and the cushion, had been replaced with the deep purple and gold emblems of his Royal linage. Most flags around the room, were also new and marked with similar hues, to show many alliances of the Underground hierarchy.
Eventually, he should consider updating his castle. The whole Throne room was completely renovated since Stephanie had last destroyed most of it, was a nice needed improvement despite the derivation. Although nothing much had changed, it was cleaner than before, even with the slight disorder of the goblins' items that had slowly returned. The large clock was repaired. The circular pit in the centre of the room had a few newer cushions for the goblins to lounge on. He kept a few of his favourite stone goblin face busts that were beneath wall structures, and he had reduced a few of the sitting areas as well. He had lowered the circular window sills and added a better seating area on them, but was mindful of the danger for the goblins. The room appeared to be larger with less items in the way. His carved pedestal that held a scrying crystal was the same, it had been saved from damages. There were no new entrances needed within his castle, and the shortcut from the Throne room to the Escher was the same.
He had woken earlier than usual. Most of the goblins were still sleeping, at least the few that stayed in the Throne room, and for a while he considered making an attempt to disrupt the silence in order to welcome their usual ramblings but did not. He heard the small usual commotion outside in the Goblin City. He could have taken a trek through the Labyrinth to pass time but he wasn't in the mood to do so. His Kingly duties were up to date and he had no lessons with Stephanie. She didn't even have to attend any lectures, so there were no need to escort her. The day had barely begun and he was...bored. He should revel in the day off, the recent activity did keep him occupied, mostly due to the travelling to the realms.
He brought out a crystal. He rolled it over his wrists as he thought. For a split second, he even dared to hope for one of those wishes. He almost chuckled at himself.
It had become a bit quieter in the case of wishes in recent years but he still had the few amount, bringing beings to the Labyrinth; a lot more mortals from the Aboveground. Long ago, the other realm had been superstitious, but as time changed and as their world became more and more modernized, they lost their belief. What had once been fact had now been reduced to legends in the Aboveground. Things had became less dull around the Labyrinth since then, that was for certain, he assumed due to Sarah's adaptation, he was aware what it did in her realm.
"The Aboveground." he said softly.
Along with the wishes, he had met many interesting mortals with some belief in fantasy along with the knowledge of the Labyrinth, some more strange or obsessed than others. He shook his head at the thought. Then of course he thought of the uniqueness appearance of Chantal and Stephanie. For whatever reason, these two individual mortals came to the Underground by means of a crystal and not by wishing someone away; not to mention the near replacement of his rule was the best explanation so far; and he was certain that he hadn't become careless with keeping items. In any case, the girls' meeting was the start of a series of events that had changed things.
Regardless, the unknown amount of loose crystals were out in the mortal realm. His abilities of revealing or reflecting dreams seem to have attracted to Stephanie especially, perhaps because of her knowledge and others like her, knew of the Labyrinth, it explained her appearance in the Underground. He had sat back in his throne. He spun the crystal at then end of the arm of his throne.
Not only was the situation different which peaked his curiosity, but how they were different from the others as well. Both girls were stubborn but Stephanie's determination, was the same as Sarah, maybe more, and yet she was completely not like her at all. Different from the rest of the other travellers of the Labyrinth who would just traverse the maze, to prove they were like Sarah; longing to be there even for the consequences at the end of the thirteen hour limit, some requests he had to ignore which was another annoyance. Rarely had he seen a person more than twice with the friends, he had not minded actually, he was rather fond of the girls. It was something to break the rut he was in.
Jareth smirked. He recalled how he had made Stephanie lose her patience with him. Afterwards, she said that the day had been overwhelming and his ego was annoying, that's why it had been so easy. He rubbed his jaw as though the memory brought back the sensation of the punch. "Bloody good arm," he muttered with a nod.
The Goblin King shifted in his seat. But now, things have become more complicated. He sighed. After the incident of several months ago, Chantal had returned home, not wanting to participate in the future exploits, and since it was revealed that Stephanie possessed powers, she was under surveillance by Jareth. Even with research done by himself, Kolbl and Teh're, there were still no clues or answers as to how it was possible that a mortal from the other realm possessing Underground magyks. 'Was she marked?' he thought. She had been strong in the ability. Kolbl had suggested that she was to attend the academy of sorts as a precaution. In order to be able to gain control of her powers, they still had to force awaken it, which was a tedious and difficult process.
'Quicker improvements was needed.' he frowned.
A goblin asked if Jareth wanted any services which broke him out of his reverie. He declined as he stood up. He should be finding something productive to do. He decided to pester Stephanie, even though he had many minions to do so, perhaps it was because she fought back. He smirked. He glanced at the large clock, at least the sword* shaped hands had moved; a few goblins were slowly stirring awake around the room.
He lightly chuckled. "Let us see what that girl is up to, shall we?" He asked to one in particular, he knew he would get no response from the goblins. "Still sleeping I'll bet,"
Stephanie finished brushing her long dark hair, during the winter even the start of it made her hair turn darker, and the static was almost unbearable; she settled to have it tied up into two messy buns held by teeth clamps, strands of hair hung down carefree. She quickly checked in the mirror that she had very subtle eyeliner; she added a bit more, looking a bit more a darker style today. Satisfied, she then moved to start packing her school things, placing her loose pencils into her large backpack and adding a few last minute items.
Finally ready, she pushed down the sleeves of her black hooded sweatshirt which had an amusing vampire character on the front, and was about to reach for her coat. Normally she would hang her coat in the main closet but lately it seemed not to be wanted in the closet, always found on the floor, soaking up melted snow from the shoe rack placed neatly in there. So she kept it in her rented room which was expensive as she paid room and board for basically a bedroom that she couldn't change; it belonged to one of the landlady's preteen daughters, when they visited. At least she didn't have to leave at the same time, as she had done with a previous rental. Stephanie was still grateful for her uncle to find her a place in such short notice, but she was charged way too much. Sure, she had free access to the rest of the house but hardly any privacy at all, and lately she had been spending most of her days and evenings at school working on assignments.
She sighed and brushed as best she could of the cat hair that clung to her comfortable dark jeans.
"Ah. You're actually awake." a voice said behind her.
Caught unaware, she spun around.
"Jareth!" Stephanie hissed loudly although not enough to be heard by her landlady who was busily bringing a suitcase down the stairs just inches from her door. She wished she a way to sense him. She looked at the carpet around them and expected glitter, there were none and she wondered how much 80's fantasy had warped her brain. "What are you doing here?" it seemed she's been asking the clichéd question since the beginning of their adventures. "Seriously, you're going to have used doors someday."
"I came to see if you were up and ready for your Aboveground lessons." he replied in the same hushed tone. He adjusted his jacket.
"Uh no. I don't have time Jareth, I have a class to attend." she returned to triple checking her bag.
"You are missing too many reviews," Jareth countered. "Parl understands, but I can avoid Magnus' irritation only for so long."
"I know, I'm sorry but it can't be helped. I do have to make an appearance here since I am paying for this course." she stood straight. "I thought that I wouldn't have any problems with handling both realms and you promising not to bitch at me for it."
Jareth lightly shrugged in apology. She hoped that this included a way to make things easier in the future. She couldn't blame him, he was doing the best he could considering the circumstances.
"And I trusted the word of a King... a Goblin King," she teased, hopefully to lighten the situation.
Jareth frowned as he sat down on the twin sized bed. "I'm hurt." he placed a hand over his heart dramatically.
She laughed softly. She stopped suddenly. A noise sounding like nails on blackboard sound, travelled up the stairs. "I'm being summoned." she turned around and opened the door. "I'll be back in a minute." she quietly shut the door behind her.
Jareth sat back. He materialized a crystal and began to spin it around his fingers. He knew he would be waiting a few moments. He would have to convince Stephanie to return to the Underground with him, hopefully before the day was done.
Cathy, Stephanie's landlady, was downstairs and was waiting patiently until the girl arrived. "I'll need your rent, if possible, this morning." she said, adjusting her purse. By her feet stood two suitcases and a few smaller travelling bags, her lunch bag and three shopping bags. Stephanie knew why Cathy needed the money immediately; she was going on, as the fact pointed out, a week's trip or longer.
"I only have part of it. My sponsors haven't deposited this month's allowance yet." It was true and there wasn't much she could do about it either.
Cathy gave an annoyed sigh. "Fine. I don't mind getting what you have now."
Stephanie nodded and refrained from flaring her nostrils. 'This was absurd,' her mind grumbled, she was put on the spot and it wasn't like Cathy desperately needed the money, she had a good job and her cosmetics sales. Not only did Stephanie had to pay the large sum for a bedroom and barely even spent it sleeping there, she also had to pay for half the groceries; most of the time, she was at school till late in the evening; this did not include her travels to the Underground; it was rare that she was even at the house.
A heavy thump above was heard. Both of them looked up. One was more startled than the other.
"What was that?" Cathy asked. Stephanie was wondering what the Hell Jareth was doing up there.
"I think that was my portfolio." Stephanie replied. "I'll be right back." She quickly left the living room in a half rush as not to draw too much attention, and rounded the corner and was up the stairs. When she opened the door, she froze, her deep brown eyes wide.
"Steph? Was that what it was?" Cathy shouted from the living room. Normally the woman's voice put her teeth on edge but Stephanie was too dumbfounded to take notice.
Stephanie blinked. Her hand frozen on the door handle.
The Goblin King sat there in his clothes that were way too big for him. His handsome sharp features were changed into a child's roundness.
"Yeah!" Stephanie managed to call back. She didn't take her eyes off the sight. "It's nothing extreme..."