A/N: Hehehe... Long time, no update. Fret not. I fully intend to finish this piece of work soon. I'm still constantly coming to this site, seeing if my favorite authors have updated... But I hope there are not too many that are waiting on this.
Again, my mistake.
Still, this little thing has really only two chapters left, so I will try to write them and update soon.
Reviews are completely and utterly acceptable. :)
"Prince Malcom! Prince Malcom! Forgive me your highness, but it is time to wake up!"
'Prince Malcom' sat up slowly from bed and rubbed his eyes. He pulled his feet over the side of the expansive bed and began to stand up, wincing at the cold stone floor beneath his feet. As he stood, a multitude of attendants swarmed around him to robe him in finery.
He dreamily allowed them to cloth him and as he turned to face a large mirror in the corner, his yelped in surprise.
Naturally, the servants had no idea why their prince was closely examining his face in the mirror.
"Prince Malcom" then narrowed his eyes. "Very clever Puck. But sorcerers have been dealing with your kind for centuries; it would be expected that we would have some safe guards."
And with that, he grabbed a sword from above the fireplace and (rather unceremoniously) started to hit a large ornamental shield on the wall.
And yes, it was made of iron.
The entire illusion or perception as you could call it rippled and began to haze over. In some patches, the Archmage could see his personal tower residence appearing in the fake bedroom of the Prince.
Finally, the glamor resided and Puck was in the corner holding his ears.
The Archmage noticed there was some blood glistening in the fay's hands, presumably from the intense sound that to a fairy was physically painful. He only noticed this dimly and briskly walked over to Puck, grabbing him roughly by the tunic.
"Even I appreciate the jest every once in a while, but that little display was rather foolish of you."
Puck was clearly still in pain from the residual effects of the iron clang, but he still managed to smile. "I only gave you what you wanted, master."
"Then I suppose I will have to be more careful with what I want, now, shall I?" The Archmage said in a growl. Puck's head lolled back a little as he looked as if he was bored.
"Can I sit down now? Torture always makes me feel really sleepy."
The Archmage was about to grant his request rather forcefully when he regarded the fay with a scrutinizing eye. "I... did not realize that fairies bled." His face contorted in slight disgust as he noticed the darkening blood on Puck's tunic.
Puck managed to get his head slightly level with the Archmage's eyes. "That," he said almost drunkenly, "... is for your benefit. You could not fathom what I really look like after an attack like that."
The Archmage frowned. Then he put Puck on the floor, not really gently, but also not very hard.
"How much magic can you do without my commanding it?"
Puck rolled his eyes contemptuously. He was obviously tired, but it appeared that the Archmage didn't want to recognize that. Twenty questions round two.
"Just the small stuff... personal glamors or illusions, levitation, and I guess interactions with a magically imbued object..."
"...What? Oh yes... It's a kind of... defense. I can appear as if I were a succubus or some ...other... demon, to scare...you off."
"WHAT happened?" Cried Angel as she came in through the window.
The Archmage looked at her with confusion. "Were you not just in here a moment ago?"
Angel balked. "I haven't been in here in over a week. Neither have you. I was just passing by to see if you were back yet-"
"WHAT?!" The Archmage yelled, regarding the smirking Puck.
"Oh uh, sorry master, I must have gotten the times mixed up, slowing it down for that little excursion into the 'what if-'"
The Archmage grabbed his iron dagger from his belt and ran over to Puck, clearly intending to murder him.
But Angel stepped in the way.
Her eyes blazed red and a guttural growl sounded from her mouth. She grabbed the Archmage's hands, clearly overpowering him and getting him to lose the dagger. She started to lift him off of the ground. His eyes widened in slight fear and surprise, until he glanced at Puck.
The fairy's dark smirk told him everything. During that week, Puck had managed to win the loyalty of his apprentice.
"He's using you, Angel!" Cried the Archmage, now desperate. Angel's eyes reverted to normal at the use of her name. The Archmage had never done that before.
Angel narrowed her eyes. "Just like you planned to use me as a scapegoat if one of your assassination attempts ever failed?"
Unfortunately, the Archmage couldn't help but wince. How had Puck known that?
Puck noticed that Angel was beginning to tense as if she was about to rip him to shreds. "Angel," he said softly. "Angel, just put him down."
Angel didn't acknowledge that she had heard him, but threw the human into a chair. He scrambled to try and escape out of the chair and make for the door, but he was roughly pushed back into place by a whip-like tail.
"Don't move, else I ignore the elf," She said.
The Archmage scowled. "Now what? You are still under my control, if I so remember..."
Angel bristled, but said nothing. Puck stood and stared down at his master. "You are absolutely correct. What kind of guest would I be if I left you without a departing wish?"
"Pardon? You said leaving? What makes you think I would set you free?"
Puck smiled. "Well, you were gone so long, Angel here learned the incantation to steal me away. I am no longer under your control."
"I was not aware that there was such a spell. Fine, be her slave. May you be a curse on her as you were on me. But know this, gargoyle: For this betrayal, you are no longer an apprentice of mine."
Angel folded her arms. "Are you sure you don't want the fairy back?"
"I release you, you troublesome sprite! I want nothing to do with-"
A bright flash of green had enveloped the room.
The Archmage was then alone. He ran to his books and leafed through their dusty pages. Years of research and acquisition of materials to be routed by a single incantation? Surely he was mistaken...
Then he found the entry he was looking for, and it made his face turn read with fury. There was no such incantation that would take the bonds of one man and the fairy and bequeath it to another.
He had been had. Of course. The fay and the gargoyle had lead him to believe him free of the fairy's service.
He sat down in his chair and glanced at the page in the Grimorum that the gargoyle had recorded. He made to tear it out, just as Merlin had done so many years ago. Just as he was about to tear it out, he stopped.
Perhaps it would curse someone else in the future.
Angel found herself on the top parapet of the castle, high above her compatriots below. The other gargoyles of the castle were gliding and diving on the sea winds, expressly enjoying their evening.
She leaned over the edge, smiling. "I never thought I would have the nerve to be rid of that old man."
Puck leaned over the ledge next to her. "I think you may find yourself stronger than you credit yourself. After all, you did defy your kinds natural aversion to sorcery."
"And interacted with the likes of you!" She said, teasingly. "What will you do now?"
"I should think that Avalon calls my name. I will say it won't be nearly as exciting."
"Then why not stay?" She said, innocently, looking down at the sea.
Puck smiled lightly. "I have enjoyed my time outsmarting the Archmage with you, young one. But unfortunately, even free from mortal bonds, I am not my own."
"When you do have your capacities, then."
"Until then. Good luck with the ceremony."
"Yes...Wait, what? What ceremony?"
Yet, the Puck was gone.