Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Well folks this is the end! This is the last chapter and it was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. I almost broke it up into two separate chapters but I did promise this would be the last so you're getting one very long one. Thank you fantasyfan551 for all your hard work and thanks to everyone who reviewed or even just enjoy the story. It was tons of fun and I hope to do it again soon. I hope you all had a chance to vote in the poll for the next story and the winner is... not going to be announced until the end of this chapter. I know it's a tease but I wrote a little teaser at the end of the story to officially announce the story that won. The next story might not be posted for a little while, I have to finish my portfolio for my new job which takes priority right now. Although, if you subscribe to my author's alerts you'll be sent an email as soon as the new story is up. Okay, that's enough out of me I know why you're really here. And I think I've left Will and Matt alone long enough in...
Just let go of me
Is this the way it's got to be?
Dear Agony Breaking Benjamin
It had been over a week since Shagon had finally been defeated but victory never tasted so bitter. Will and Matt hadn't spoken to each other since Matt and Shagon had been separated and the demon imprisoned. The tragic irony was that, if either of them had worked up the courage to confront the other then they would both see just how deeply their love truly ran.
Will was sitting alone in her room staring out her window watching the rain drops run down the glass. Matt hadn't said a word to her even after he had been freed. But this only helped convince her that he didn't want anything to do with her any more. She remembered when Shagon had first woken up had mocked her for causing Mandy's death. Now she couldn't help but think that if Mandy hadn't died, Matt's defenses wouldn't have been cut down so much and the demon might not have gotten loose. This line of thinking wasn't really logical and totally untrue but it was how she saw it.
She was so engrossed with these troublesome thoughts that she almost didn't hear her friends knocking at her door. Listlessly she glanced in their direction not inviting in nor asking them to leave. Seeing the state their friend was in, the other Guardians went to her.
"No word from Matt?" ask Cornelia putting a hand on her shoulder. Will quietly shook her head.
"Have you tried to call him?" Irma asked trying to get some response out of her friend.
Again, Will shook her head not bothering to look up. Taranee and Hay Lin looked at each other nervously for a moment before Taranee reached into her bag and pulled out a small red book.
"I'm not sure if this is the best time to talk to you about this, but there was something about Mandy that you need to know." Finally Will looked up and saw the book in Taranee's hands.
Will looked back at them confused. "What's this?" She asked taking the book.
"It's Mandy's diary." Hay Lin's comment startled Will almost causing her to drop it.
She held onto it tightly but wasn't attempting to open it. "I don't understand, why do you have this?"
Taranee went over and sat beside Will. "Do you remember when Hay Lin and I went to Mandy's funeral to explain why you and Matt couldn't make it?" Will nodded not saying anything. "We had a talk with Mandy's father. It seems that Mandy had depression."
Will's eyes opened wide as she stared at the book in her hands. "So she was... oh God, and then I just blew her off on her own" But Hay Lin grabbed her by the shoulders making Will look her in the eye.
"No Will, this wasn't your fault it never was. Mr. Anderson told us that Mandy had actually been depressed for a few years now. He's not sure if it started when he and his wife got divorced or if that's just when they first noticed it. He said she had good days and bad days but not too long ago she was put on antidepressants." Hay Lin got quiet for a moment trying to compose herself. "She had a really bad reaction to it and it wound up making symptoms worse. He was trying to get her some more help but it seems that Mandy was hiding just how bad it really was. Mr. Andersen thought all of her friends had forgotten her birthday but he later found out she was calling everyone telling them that the party was either canceled or the date had been changed."
Will stared at the book stunned by this new revelation. It didn't make her feel any better though. She still thought that she could have done something or said something. Even she couldn't have helped, she still made Matt miss her last goodbye. "Does Matt know?"
Taranee shook her head. "I don't think so, we told Mr. Anderson we would tell him when he was out of the hospital but then with the whole Shagon drama we completely forgot to tell either one of you." Taranee took the book out of Will's hands and opened it to a marked page. "I know this will be hard but I think you need to hear this from her side."
The other girls gathered around her. Hay Lin smiled sadly putting her hand on Will's. "And we think you'll need your friends with you when you do." And as Taranee began to read Mandy's sad tale with Will and all of her friends around her, another relationship was breaking apart.
Deep within the mystical fortress of Kandrakar, Halinor was quietly packing her belongings. While her face might have been quiet her thoughts were still raging. The conversation with the Oracle after Shagon had finally been defeated had gone very badly. Even now her fists shook a little remembering what he had said.
He said that this was the way it was meant to be and that Matthew was finally free of the demon Shagon and the last of Nerissa's evil. "And now that he has completed and passed this latest test he is better prepared for his role as Regent of Earth."
But Halinor had lost her temper and shouted back, "That was no test that was torture!" and with her words falling on deaf ears she stormed out of the room.
But even after the anger had left her she realized that she still hasn't changed her mind. She began to pack and that was how her friend Luba found her.
"Halinor what is all this childish behavior about?" Halinor sighed as she closed the first trunk.
"I do apologize for the outburst, but I meant when I said. I simply can't stay here any longer." Luba watch as her friends continue to pack. At first she was sure this was just another pathetic attempt at getting some reaction out of the Oracle, now she wasn't so sure.
"I still think you're overreacting. The boy is finally becoming a warrior, and just as the Oracle predicted, all is well. The boy is even stronger now because of it." Halinor's hands stopped as she was about to fold one of her shirts.
"Then you're as blind as everybody else around here. Physically he is unharmed but Matthew is far from alright." and she went back to folding her close. "And for the record, Matthew is not the reason why I'm leaving. It was just the final slap in the face. We are so far away from everything, so detached, we see so much and yet so little." She said in a sort of faraway voice as she closed her second trunk.
Luba was quiet for a while but she couldn't pretend that she didn't understand. She had picked up several disturbances in the Aurameres especially in the keeper. In fact, it was still fluctuating. "Perhaps you are right but the Oracle sees much more than we can ever hope to see, which is why we must have faith in him."
Halinor opened her last trunk and was now in the process of sorting out what she wanted to take and what she could leave behind. "I fear my faith has been very weak lately and that is another reason why I must leave. I know he is needed, and I know his word is law, but I can't have my own doubts cloud the minds of everyone else here."
Luba gave her an odd look. "What did he say when you told him you were leaving?"
Halinor stopped for a moment but then resumed packing. "Nothing."
"I haven't told him." She said casually wrapping up a delicate picture before putting it in her trunk. She didn't need to turn around tell that Luba probably had a shocked expression on her face. She laughed a little. "Oh don't look at me like that. Besides he is the Oracle, he probably already knows." She took a small crystal statue was about to pack it but after looking at it for a few moments she had a change of heart. She walked over to Luba and held out the small statue of a cat and offered it to her.
"What is this?" Questioned Luba not reaching for the objects.
Halinor smiled. "I got this on a trip to Egypt, a country on my home world of Earth, where they worshipped cats as sacred animals. I'd like you to take care of it for me."
Luba frowned looking at the statue. "I am not a simple Earth cat." She said somewhat offended.
But Halinor just smiled. "I know but I want you to have something to remember me by, besides I've seen the way you look at it. I think it will look nice on your dresser." Reluctantly Luba took the small crystal statue.
"I'm only taking this because I know you'll be back and when you do you'll want this back a well." Halinor smiled happily at her response.
As she gathered her belongings Luba tried one more time to reason with her. "And just what do you plan to do when you get to Earth?"
"Actually, I have a few things lined up already." At this news Luba raised an eyebrow.
Halinor just smirked sheepishly. "I told you this wasn't a spur of the moment decision. I just haven't had the courage to officially leave until now."
She was heading for the door but a frustrated Luba still had one more thing to say. "What about the courage you need to tell the Oracle how you feel about him. How you truly feel about him."
Halinor stopped for a moment and looked back sadly at her friend. "I'm afraid I don't have quite enough for that. I suppose I am a bit of a coward for not doing it sooner." She turned back around and headed for the door. "But then again so is he. Farewell Luba."
And if that the former Guardian of Fire officially left Kandrakar with no plans of ever returning.
The next day Will finally pluck up the courage to talk to Matt in person. Unfortunately that afternoon he wasn't home and when she asked his grandfather where he was he said he was visiting an old friend. He didn't need to explain, Will knew just what he meant.
It had been raining a lot this week so Matt would not have had the chance to go to the graveyard and visit Mandy's grave yet. While she didn't want to disturb him she needed to say her piece to both him and Mandy, and he deserved to know the truth about what had happened to his childhood friend.
It wasn't long before she spotted him. He was sitting beside her tombstone rearranging the wilting flowers that had been soaked by the rain before adding his own. Will was glad she at least thought to bring flowers herself but right now she felt she was intruding on this private moment. Gathering up her courage she took her colorful bouquet and went over to the grave.
"I...I hope I'm not intruding." She said quietly. Matt looked up surprised but he didn't ask her to leave. Silently she took the plastic wrapping off of her flowers in began to mix them in with the older ones making them look more lively. Once they were done they both stood in silence staring at the tombstone.
Will looked sadly at Mandy's grave. She would have liked to have gone to the funeral to give her a proper farewell but in her heart she had a feeling Mandy knew the reason why she couldn't attend. "I'm sorry Mandy. I wish I could've gotten to know you a little better. You were great in swimming though, you definitely looked better in gold than I would have. Thanks for trying to be my friends even if I wasn't always friendly in return. And thanks for being there for Matt I know he thought of you as a dear friend. And I'm sorry...I'm sorry I was jealous and I'm sorry I thought you were trying to steal Matt away for me. I was... I was just being really stupid. And I'm sorry that we didn't know you're suffering and that your last moments were alone. I just hope you are in a better place right now where nothing else can hurt you again."
They were silent again for another few moments when Matt finally said, "That was nice, I think she would have liked that." She was glad. She was happy that he liked what she said because it came from the heart and she meant every word.
"Thanks." But while she knew what she wanted to say to Mandy she wasn't sure what else to say to Matt.
Matt was still looking at the grave deep in thought. "I said my goodbyes early, before you came. While I wish I could've gone to the funeral I think just saying goodbye really does help." Will glanced over at his face. He looked like he was still torn as if he was still searching for answers while trying to let go of a dear friend. Knowing there was never going to be the perfect time Will reached into her bag and pulled out Mandy's diary.
"Hay Lin and Taranee went to the funeral while you were in the hospital." Matt turned around and looked at her curiously. "We wanted to tell Mr. Anderson why we couldn't make it to the funeral and he gave them this." Will said holding up Mandy's diary. "She didn't want anyone to know, she hid it from everyone that she was going through a really tough battle with depression. Sometime in the last few months she had a bad reaction to her new medication and it just went downhill from there. Her father was planning on getting her some additional help after her birthday but he didn't realize how depressed she really was. She was trying to hide it even from him. But she couldn't face all of her friends together all at once, that's why she called that day. She wasn't calling to remind you she was calling to tell you the date was changed so no one would be around when she..." but she couldn't finish that thought. Instead she handed Matt the diary turning away from the anguished look on his face.
"It's all in there, her dad said you could read it if you needed to. She even said in her diary that she hoped nobody blamed themselves for what she had decided." Matt took the little red book in his hand tears forming in his eyes. "I know," she said. "It doesn't make me feel any better either."
She closed her eyes for a moment but she needed to get one more thing off her chest. "I meant it when I said I was sorry that I was jealous even if I know now that wasn't the reason why Mandy...it's still no excuse. And if you still hate me for it then I understand and I won't bother you anymore. But I just wanted you to know that I still love you and I'm glad that your now finally free of Shagon." She turned around and slowly started to make her way out of the graveyard. It was light out when they came but now the sky was becoming gray with the setting sun and the rising moon. But she had done what she had set out to do and if this was the end of their relationship than she could get over it.
I have nothing left to give
I have found the perfect end
You were made to make it hurt
Disappear into the dirt
Just before she reached the main entrance of the gates she was grabbed from behind in a tight embrace. "please…" Matt said in a low whisper. "Please don't leave me. I thought... please I can't bear to lose you again." She heard him sniff a she felt tears on her face, she wasn't sure who's it was. "After everything I'vehe's done, I didn't think you even want to look at me."
Now Will was sure that it wasn't just Matt's tears she was feeling on her face. She had said that if this was the end of their relationship then she could get over it... she lied. She spun around facing the boy she loved with all her heart and embraced him as tightly as he had embraced her. The two lovers cried happy tears finally realizing that their love ran stronger and deeper than even they had realized.
But just as they had finally come back to themselves after an intense emotional reunion the pair thought they saw what looked like a young woman standing besides Manny's grave. She smiled at the pair as she faded away finally at peace with herself and her loved ones.
Will and Matt both looked at the spot where the girl had once stood. They said nothing but held each other's hands. They were content knowing that a good friend was finally at peace.
Carry me to heaven's arms
Light the way and let me go
Take the time to take my breath
I will end where I began
That same night in the heart Kandrakar Luba was making her way to the Oracle's chamber. She couldn't believe that Halinor had actually left. She would have bet her whiskers that she was just attempting to get the Oracle's attention and would have been back by now. But that was not the case.
She politely knocked on the Oracle door and was granted entry. "Forgive my intrusion Oracle but this is about Halinor, she" but Oracle held up a hand.
"I am well aware of Halinor's decision Luba." He said dryly but Luba blinked. "Trust me when I say she is exactly where she needs to be." Luba rubbed her head becoming more and more frustrated with these two. But Halinor had guessed right when she said the Oracle probably all ready knew she was leaving, and he did nothing to stop her.
"Forgive me if this seems out of line but were you aware at all that Halinor had feelings for you?" she honestly wasn't expecting an answer, at least not a straight one, but the Oracle sighed.
"If you were wondering if I was blind to what was right in front of me, then no." But this only made Luba more confused.
"Then why not acknowledge them or at least turn her down instead of leaving her wondering all this time?" She normally would not have said this as harshly as she did to the Oracle but it seemed a lot of Halinor's suspicions were proving true and she did not like the idea of her friend's feelings being toyed around with.
The Oracle looked up at the sky for a moment. "Fate is not always kind. I was needed here, she was destined to leave, but if I would have acknowledged her feelings than she would have fought stay. I should have turned her away long ago but I could not bring myself lie."
Luba was stunned. He had been carrying this around for a very long time putting his own wishes and desires aside for the sake of the greater good. And while she thought it was admirable it was still very sad for both him as well as Halinor.
He quickly shook himself off or had at least put on a stronger masks to hide his true feelings. "But everyone is where they should be which is fortunate indeed. Not long from now are warriors will be facing another new challenge the outcome of which even I am not certain of yet."
Elyon was grateful that Caleb came as quick as he did, but he would not be happy with the reason. "Caleb we have a problem."
Caleb frowned, this must be important if Queen Elyon was skipping the introductions. "What's the problem?"
The Queens sighed and rubbed her head. "During all the confusion and the mad rush at Halloween Nerissa's seal was left unguarded."
Caleb's eyes widened in shock. "Wait, your not saying"
The Queens stood up looking extremely frustrated. "I'm afraid so. Someone stole the seal and Nerissa is once again on the loose."
The day after Will and Matt's heartfelt reunion another couple was trying to get back to a state of normalcy. Now that the world was safe yet again Nigel was a little unsure how he felt about his girlfriends being a secret superhero. And while he may have fantasized about a similar situation when he was 13 the reality was proving to be far less glamorous than the comics had made it out to be.
He finally managed to talk to Matt after over a week. The poor guy was practically on his knees racked with guilt. He had already heard the full story about Matt and Shagon and how they had at last been separated from each other and he couldn't help but feel sorry for his best friend. He was honest when he told Matt that he didn't hold a grudge, he couldn't say he would've fared any better had he been in Matt's shoes. Although, he left out the fact that his arm was still a little sore.
And while he and Matt were working things out he and Taranee both seemed a little unsure about how this would affect their relationship. Taranee wanted to be honest now that Nigel was in on their secret but it was a lot to take in. Taranee sincerely hoped that Nigel wouldn't try to run headlong into battles thinking she was in trouble. That's what got Matt into this whole mess, prophecy or not.
But right now they were just a normal couple sitting in Taranee's room working on their homework. They were enjoying some quiet time alone with the exception of her open bedroom door (mother's orders) and were just finishing up algebra. Nigel stretched and stood up a little stiff from sitting for so long.
Taranee smiled. "You look like a cat when you do that." he turned around in midstretch and smirked back.
"I'd like to think of myself more like a tiger." He teased as he crawled onto her bed imitating the jungle cat.
"Ooh, mice of the world beware." she said teasing back while keeping one eye on her door for any sign of her mother.
"No mouse is safe while I'm on the prowl. Not Mickey, not Minnie not even Mr. Huggles" he stopped as he realized what he just said. Taranee got quiet as well.
"Are you really okay with all this?" She finally asked looking into her boyfriend's eyes.
Nigel sat back down on the bed. "Honestly, I'm still a little freaked out by all this but I'm kind of proud that my girlfriend is a bona fide superhero."
Taranee looked at him skeptically. He said that now but the next time there's trouble and he has to wait on the sidelines how would he feel then? "Just promise me that you're not going to try and jump into a battle the next time there's trouble."
Nigel frowned for a moment. "Can't I do anything to help? Because I think I'm going to go crazy knowing you, Matt and the girls are off risking your lives and I'm stuck here just hoping you get back in one piece."
Taranee was afraid of this. Historically men were the ones who went off to battle while the wives and girlfriends waited patiently for their husbands or boyfriends to return from war. Even though they both felt that they were very modern some things were just ingrained in the male psyche. That it was their job to protect their woman. And while this was a little flattering it was also a little frustrating.
"We'll come up with something. But right now I think we should take this one step at a time." Nigel nodded. While he was still a little unsure of what part he was supposed to play in all this he was willing to work with her and be whatever she needed.
Taranee glanced at her watch and saw it was getting late. "And speaking of time, until my mother extends my "male visitor curfew" we are going to have to part for the evening."
Nigel pouted but got off the bed gathering his things. But as he reached for a book that he had dropped he saw something sticking out from underneath her bed. And since he was playing a cat that evening, curiosity got the better of him. He picked up his book and "accidentally" pulled the unknown object out from underneath her bed. "What's this?" He said trying to sound innocent. It didn't work too well once he saw what he had in his hand.
Taranee made in eking sound and quickly snatched the leotard from his hand. "And just what do you think you doing with that?" She said trying to stuff it in one of her drawers while looking a little ticked off at the redhead.
Nigel just rubbed his hair sheepishly. "Nothing, I was just reaching for my book and pulled out by mistake." It would have felt more credible if he didn't have the a Cheshire cat like grin on his face. "What's it for anyway?" Trying to change the subject.
"If you must know I used to take dancing lessons at my old school. They don't have a program for that here at Sheffield but a friend of mine was telling me about a new dance studio that was opening up in town and I thought it might be fun." She explained as she walked her boyfriend to the front door.
"I think you should go for it." Nigel said thinking just how good his girlfriend looked in tights. "Maybe I could come by when you have practice sometime?" he said trying to be supportive but trying not to sound too creepy at the same time. Truthfully Taranee was still trying to decide if she wanted to sign up or not. This wasn't just an after school program this was a serious dance class and would take up a lot of her free time. But since Nigel was supportive...
"I like the sound of that. I'll have to practice a lot though, I hear the audition just to get in is pretty brutal."
They kissed goodnight and said good bye but just as Nigel was about to leave he shouted back. "Oh, forgot what was the name of the school you are talking about?"
Taranee shouted back, "Jenson's Academy"
The last few weeks for Matt had been filled with a lot of ups and downs but right now he was chalking up his current situation to a severe case of bad luck. As he sat in the waiting room of the doctor's office he couldn't help but glare at his mother.
"I still can't believe you're making me see a psychiatrist." he said in a little accusing voice not hiding the fact that he was not happy with his mother's decision at all.
She did not look her son in the eye and continued to read her magazine while they waited to see the doctor. "What else can I do? You won't talk to me, your father, or your grandfather about anything, you are keeping tons of secrets from me, and then there was the coma and your mysterious disappearance from the hospital. If you can't talk to me then you at least could talk to somebody else." She said as if to say case closed.
Matt felt another headache coming on. Even after being separated from Shagon he was still screwing up his life. He would have refused to see the psychiatrists altogether but his mother had threatened to ban him from seeing Will if he didn't at least give it a try. She didn't get like this very often but when she did she was even more stubborn than a mule.
The stupid thing was that he couldn't really blame her, he had been acting weird lately, more than your average teenage weird. But what he didn't know was that she had gotten a call from Mr. Anderson asking about Matt since he heard that he was in the hospital. It was then she found out that Mandy had suffered from teen depression which led to her tragic suicide. It might have been a little paranoia on her part but Matt had been acting very depressed since his childhood friend had died. She was simply looking out for her son not wanting to miss something if she could prevent it.
But to Matt this was just horrible luck and bad timing. This was not going to go well no matter how he looked at. He wasn't 18 yet so whatever he told the psychiatrist they could tell his mother and he certainly couldn't talk about his other problems. One session of his homicidal split personality, a magical warrior girlfriend and a Megalomaniac foreign exchange student would earn him a oneway ticket to the loony been. It was risky but he was going to have to lie and hope the psychiatrist couldn't see through it.
Just as he was thinking about using a glamour to buy him some time the receptionist came in and told them the doctor was ready to see them. 'Damn.' he thought as he and mother were let in to the Doctor's office. He tried to will himself to relax. 'This first meeting is only suppose to be an introduction I just have to get through this one. Afterwards I can think of a plan to get out' But his thoughts came to an abrupt halt as soon as he saw the doctor. 'Halinor?'
Even with glasses, dress pants and a light nit blue sweeter there was no mistaking the former Fire Guardian. She smiled softly upon seeming the young man. "Hello, I'm Dr. Halinor Owen. It's nice to meet you Mathew." she said extending her hand.
Once the shock wore off he extended his own arm shook her hand. "Likewise." He said cautiously not totally sure what was going on.
"Alright, Mathew, Mrs. Olsen have a seat and make yourselves comfortable. The first session is going to be very informal. For right now I'll just be getting to know you and you can tell me why you're here."
Just like she said most of the session was mostly simple questions, most of which were asked by his mother. While Matt was still confused he actually did have a few questions for Halinor but he couldn't ask them with his mother in the same room. He did ask if his mother would be present for every session and thankfully this would be the only one. When there was about 15 minutes left in the session Dr. Owen stood up.
"Thank you for taking the time to bring your son in Mrs. Olsen but I think if we're going to be seeing each other on a regular basis I think I should spend a little time with Matthew alone." Luckily his mother seemed to like her son's new doctor enough to trust them alone for the remainder of the session.
Almost as soon as Halinor had shut the door she looked back at the boy with a large smirked on her face. "And now that she's gone we can talk about what's really important here. I'm assuming you have questions." 'That would be an understatement.', thought Matt as she when back to her original chair.
"Well yeah, first of all, what are you doing here? How did you end up as a doctor in a psychiatrist office and are you sure my mother can't hear us?" Matt said starting to fidget in his seat.
Halinor took her glasses off and looked at the young Regent. "I'm no longer affiliated with Kandrakar. And before you ask, no I wasn't fired or banished, it was simply my time to leave. Before I accepted the position in the Council of Kandrakar I had my own practice. The people here think I've come out of retirement.
"And while I wasn't sent here from Kandrakar to meet you here I doubt it's a coincidence. I was just as surprised as you were when I saw your name on my list of potential new clients. But to be honest I was going to look you up to see how you were doing. I didn't think it was going to be this formal though." Still seeing the concerned look on Matt's eyes she added, "Oh, and don't worry your mother can't hear us." Matt let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. He was embarrassed to admit that, that was what was worrying him the most.
"Thank God." he said and then he got serious. "So is this like an official session or are you just going to help cover for me with my mom?"
"While I am a real doctor I can also be someone you can talk to about things you couldn't talk about with anyone outside of the guardians. But know this, you don't have to talk to me about anything you don't want to nor will I tell your mother anything that she doesn't need to know."
In the end Matt left still a little uncertain but he did have to admit there were times when he needed to get a few things off of his chest but couldn't go to Will or the other girls. So he told his mother he was going to at least give this a try and she was happy that finally her son would be talking to someone.
At the same time across town at the Silver Dragon Hay Lin had just finished an online chat with Eric. While their long distance relationship was hard on both of them it still felt so wonderful just to hear his voice or read his messages over the computer. She was also relieved to see that he was all right. Shagon had given them all quite a scare but luckily no one was killed. They were all very thankful for that and even more grateful that the bastard was finally locked away.
Right now she was in the basement of her family's restaurant carefully packing up the book of prophecy. Her grandmother had been right all along and that it was dangerous to rely on it. The words could not be translated, there were parts missing and the pictures were all very vague. She did take one final glance at the hidden picture that she found in the lining of the front cover. The picture showed Matt the way he was now in his new Regent uniform. While there were other things in the picture there was no way to tell for sure what they meant. Yan Lin thought it was best to return the book to Caleb for safekeeping.
There was one difference in Matt's uniform though. Hay Lin couldn't help but notice that it looked like there was a crack in his Matt's mask, that was in the picture, but it was not on Matt's transformed Regent outfit. Stubbornly she closed the book. Again that could mean 100 different things, none of which might be right, it could even be a crack or a discoloration in the paper, it was hard to tell the book was really old.
It was almost a shame that she had finally pact the book away and decided not to think about it anymore. She didn't think to look in the lining of the back cover.
November seemed to have come and gone a flash. While no snow had fallen, Winters blistering cold was already spreading across Heatherfield. While many shoppers were busy shopping for holiday bargains one of its most wellknown shoppers was taking a break. Cornelia had met up with Caleb in a local coffeehouse to get a bite to eat and get out of the cold.
Caleb had already explained that Nerissa's seal had once again been stolen putting everyone on edge. Not even shopping was able to distract the Earth Guardian from the feeling that was more trouble coming. She ordered herself a skinny cappuccino with extra foam while Caleb just had water.
"I still don't get how you can drink that stuff." He said making a face. But his girlfriend just took another sip.
"It's a bit of an acquired taste but it's good for waking up in the morning and warming up on freezing cold days today." Caleb still didn't look convinced but chalked it up to just another one of those quirky Earth things.
"I've seen Matt go through several of those a day even in the summer." The young man said still thinking about how many times he brought one of those strange cups to training.
Cornelia just smirked. "That's why frapps are served cold." Caleb gave up and rolled his eyes but his comment reminded Cornelia of something that had been on her mind for a while now. "Speaking of Matt after all the chaos during the Shagon incident, you never did tell us what you promised Matt."
Caleb gulped for a moment. "I'm afraid I can't answer that. It was something just between us and Matt swore me to secrecy." Cornelia narrowed her eyes with suspicion.
"Then why was he shouting it while he was fighting Shagon, it must have been important since he was fighting so hard just to get the words out." Now Caleb was really getting nervous. He couldn't tell her what they had promised each other but he didn't want to lie either.
"Look, I'm not going to betray Matt's trust. If you want to know so badly you'll just have to ask him." He said with finality hoping to close the subject. Little did he know that Cornelia had all ready asked Matt about the promise and his answer was just as cryptic.
Caleb was hoping Cornelia was just going to let this go but the way she was looking at him made him really nervous. He was so distracted he didn't notice that he grabbed the wrong cup and accidentally took a sip of her cappuccino. He gasped in surprise but when he tried to spit it out he started to choke.
Cornelia was torn between sympathy and laughing at her boyfriend's clumsy mistake. So she did both. She patted his back and handed him his glass of water. Laughing she said, "Remind me never to let you try the espresso." Caleb was a little embarrassed but at least she had finally dropped the subject and they were now back to their normal conversation.
Back in Meridian enough time the past that Nerissa felt safe enough to return to one of her old safe havens. She still had to be cautious though, no one knew she was finally free from the former Heart of Meridian. She took the cracked crystal with her to throw off her enemies. And it wasn't a good idea to leave something that she had been imprisoned in behind. Queen Elyon and the guardians were still far too young to separate their emotions in battle. It was easy to trick them by letting them think she was helping them. She had shown Queen Elyon how to resort all her power by destroying Tridart and Ember. But the young queen didn't realize was that by absorbing all of her power she had released all of the magic from the seal and breaking the bonds that held the former Guardian prisoner.
She cautiously made her way to the falls, there was something she needed to retrieve. While she hadn't counted on Shagon stabbing her in the back she did have other means of which to regain some of her power. Naturally the Mage's old home had been searched and some items had been confiscated. Her suspicions were correct when she learned that the girls have discovered the book of prophecy. Not that it mattered, she had learned all she could from the book and had conveniently removed a few pages of valuable information that she kept for herself. But there was one spot that would only reveal itself to her and her alone.
"Ah, there it is." She said picking up a small box from a hole in deep within the walls. "There may have been some setbacks but that only means I can't afford to play around anymore." She opened the box and saw several things inside all of which were very valuable... except one. She reached in and pulled out a simple necklace with a single river stone that glittered in the candlelight. She didn't remember why she kept this here but she remembered where she got it. It had been a gift, a gift from Julian. It was his first gift to her so many years ago.
She stared at it in silence. When she was finally free she learned that Julian had passed away. Which meant that part of her ideal world would never come to be. Then she remembered how she was thinking just moments ago that the guardians were weak for letting their emotions get in the way of the battle. She should throw this out and forget about him. And that may have been her intention but she couldn't bring herself to let it go.
In the end she placed it back in the box with the other valuable objects. "Nerissa you old fool." She said to herself as she closed the box in quietly slipped out of the Mage's former residence. "This is bound to come back to haunt you."
Irma was at home enjoying a nice warm bath after her father had insisted she and her brother shovel out the driveway after the years first snow. She thought how unfair it was that the first good snowstorm was on a Saturday and they didn't even get out of school. But really that was just a distraction from what was really on her mind. She and the boy she really liked, Joel, were stuck in the friend zone. She wasn't quite sure how it happened but after a disastrous Valentine's Day she worked up the nerve to call him. They went out a few times and found that they had a lot in common.
They both like the same music, were both obsessed with Carmilla the rock singer, and both of them hated the cold and couldn't wait for summer where they could play on the beach. But the more comfortable she got with him the more she realized that while they were having fun, they didn't do the things normal boyfriends and girlfriends do. There was no doubt she liked him but now she wasn't sure if she just liked him as a friend or a boyfriend. If she was being honest with herself then she would have admitted that she really didn't have a lot of experience with a steady guy. She was thinking about turning to her friends but all of their relationships were so different she wasn't sure it would help.
She held her breath and ducked her head under the water pretending that it could wash all of her troubles away. "But what do I do now? Do I take things a step further or leave them as they are?" She sighed as she lathered her hair with her favorite shampoo trying to sort out the conflicting emotions in her head. "I really like Joel but what if I am just a friend to him? I'm not sure I want to risk losing his friendship if I don't know how I really feel."
She dunked her head in the water again washing out her hair. "Ah, this is so frustrating!" she shouted to herself as she started to let the water out of the tub. "I think I need some ice cream." But as she watched the water swirl down the drain it happened again. She was having another vision. It was unlike in the movies where a psychic could see something clear as day, that something bad was going to happen, and know exactly how to stop it. With her the water would sometimes show her clear images but it also showed her symbols, shapes and colors all of which could sometimes be very confusing. But she knew one thing, something was coming, something big. And their powers, friendship, hearts were about to be tested yet again.
The snow wasn't so bad for everyone however. Will and Matt were enjoying being snowed in at Will's place with her mother visiting a friend in another town, and two cups of steaming hot cocoa to help keep them warm. Time marches on an old wounds were finally beginning to heal. Somehow the subject of Halinor came up and Will was curious about Matt's therapy sessions.
"So how are things going with Halinor?" Matt looked up after adding another marshmallow to his cup. He was reluctant to tell her at first that his mother had forced him to see a psychiatrist. But despite Halinor's assurance that what they talked about was private, it was only a matter of time before Yan Lin found out her old friend was back in town and Matt thought it was best to tell him the truth before they pieced it together themselves.
"Honestly, not half as bad as I thought. It's kind of a relief to talk about the other part of my life and not worry about spilling our secret or someone dangerous or someone else thinking I'm crazy." And it was true, it was indeed a relief. It also helped that Halinor had been enslaved by Nerissa as well and could sympathize, to some extent, about what he had gone through. But they were still some things that he wasn't comfortable telling anyone just yet. Only Caleb knew about the pact he had made with Shagon and how close he came to taking himself out along with the demon. He wasn't ready to talk about that yet.
Will nodded and took a sip of her hot cocoa. "I'm glad. Sometimes it seems like you've been to hell and back." Matt shifted a laugh.
"Yeah that's sounds about right. But it was hell for all of us." They was quiet for a moment but then Will stood up and seated herself besides her boyfriend.
"As horrible as that whole situation was at least one good thing came from it." Matt nodded completely understanding what she meant.
"Yeah, I can't believe he's finally gone." Matt said with a sigh.
"True, miss him too." Will said with a smile causing Matt to raise an eyebrow. "But my aim is getting better."
"Oh you're going to pay for that." He said in a teasing voice as he tackled Will torturing her with tickles. And the couple laughed together relishing in the simple joy of just being together.
After both Will and Matt recovered from there little romp the couple sat together enjoying the snowy landscape. (after cleaning up the floor from the spilled hot chocolate of course) Matt then turned to Will and gently touched her cheek and looked at her taking in a lovely sight before him. Gently he placed a kiss on her lips and she returned it.
When they broke away from each other Matt was still looking into Will's eyes. "I thought I lost you." He said sadly not wanting to look away. "The truth is, the reason it took me so long to start fighting back was because I thought I had nothing left fight back for." Will didn't turn away. She knew Shagon must've done something terrible for Matt not to fight back.
"I don't think I could stand losing you again." Will responded by taking his hand in hers.
"I don't think I'd fair much better." she said imagining just how horrible it would be to see him dead. "But it's not something I want to dwell on. We have a chance at a fresh start. I say we take it for all it's worth."
Matt smiled and gathered her and loving embrace. While the nightmare Shagon had shown him would forever be in the back of his mind, Will was right. It was best not to dwell on dreams or nightmares. Surprisingly Will pulled away but held on to his hands.
"Let me see you again in your Regent's form." She said starting to back up a little. "I remember it looked really different but I didn't get a chance to take it all in. Come on, let me see."
A little surprised at her request but Matt had to admit he didn't get a good look at either. He just knew he didn't look like Shagon anymore, it didn't even feel like Shagon, it felt more like himself but different. It was hard to explain. Within moments he sprouted a set of large black wings, his hair formed into dreadlocks, his tail extended and his now black uniform shown brilliantly in the privacy of Will's living room.
Will took her time looking the Regent of Earth up and down. The new outfit seemed a lot more detailed. It was all black with a light blue trim, his pants had a light feather pattern on them, and it looked like he had additional armor plates around his chest and shoulders. Both wings were covered with a light protective cover. Matt did say his wings were very sensitive. The right wing had several straps that at first it looked like it was binding the wing but upon closer inspection they looked more like a device to give them more power. The whole outfit looked likes a uniform, something that a Knight protecting a Princess would wear. His once gold mask was silver with to red streaks descending from the eye. Nerissa's seal was completely gone into its place, on his left wing was the symbol of the heart of Earth blazing proudly.
Will smile in approval while Matt was taking a good look in a nearby mirror. "Wow, you look badass!" she said happily liking his new bad boy look.
Matt was pleased as well, he did look good he thought to himself, taking in the entire look. He wasn't quite sure who designed it, he certainly didn't, but it seems like the Heart of Earth has good taste. There was only one thing left to inspect. Hesitantly he removed the silver mask from his face. He wasn't sure what to expect when he looked into the mirror but he did have a little surprise. The red streaks that looked like tear stains on the mask were on his face as well. He wasn't quite sure how to feel about them. He knew that some people tattoo tears by their eyes to symbolize either having killed somebody and regretting it or losing someone precious to them. Maybe this was his way of keeping Mandy close to his heart. And if that was the case then he was glad.
Will gently took the mask from his hand and leaned up to kiss him. He was almost a foot taller so he had to bend down to meet her. Still locked in each other's gaze Will touched his face. "I love you. I love your new look but even if I didn't it wouldn't matter. Because it's still you."
Matt smiled back and held her close. "And I you...I love you so much hurts and I wish this moment could last forever."
But forever was a long time. And back at Mt. Thanos Shagon was not looking forward to forever. It was very ironic that he was finally free of that irritating boy but was now locked away in a different prison. The Guardians probably thought he would feel right at home here. After all, this was the place of his birth. He did not intend to stay but after quickly observing his surroundings it was clear he wasn't getting out, at least not the way he came in. He would have to think of another way to escape.
He had taken some time to look around the room and see what he had to work with. It wasn't much: a simple bed and a dresser with a mirror on top. He tried pushing the bed into the bars but that only shocked him and instantly the bed when right back to where it was like there was some kind of charm that reset everything that was moved too far. And then there was that mirror. He hated it. He hated to be reminded of this week body with no powers so he smashed it on his first night.
The next morning however it was back in one piece mocking him. He was also testing the limits of his bonds with himself and Matt. And he had come to the conclusion that he was simply too far away to feel much but at that moment he was certain he felt a surge of love. It made him sick, and in his rage he slammed his fist right into the mirror.
The glass and the image within shattered but he had been careless this time. He drew his hand back and saw several cuts starting to bleed. He stared at the blood too angry feel any pain, than a thought occurred to him. "This body... it's so fragile." He picked up one of the larger pieces of the broken mirror still dripping with his blood. "I wonder how much it would take..." He said to himself as thoughts swirling around in his head. While it took something very intense for either one of them feel the other this far away, there was one thing that he was certainly Matt would feel. Matt had made the pact not to take his own life but Shagon didn't. He toyed with the idea while staring at the broken shards. "It would be easy, and just the thought of Will's face contorted in agony as she watches her boyfriend died in front of her..."
He held of the shard close to his face then moved it toward his neck, it would only take one quick jab. Suddenly his eyes narrowed angrily and he through the piece away causing it to smash into the wall shattering it into even smaller pieces. "But I'm no coward and I'm not weak! I won't do them any favors by taking out a deadly threat for them. I may not be powerful now but I have time. Time enough to find a way out, and time enough to come up with a way to get my powers back and time enough to get my revenge on that wretched boy and his little girlfriend once and for all."
He chuckled madly to himself thinking of all the possibilities. "Besides where's the fun taking out Will's boyfriend before her eyes if I can see it for myself... Right before I shut those eyes were good."
The snow had finally let up and Matt was getting ready to leave for home. While Will's mother was trusting Matt more these days it was still out of the question for him to spend the night especially if she wasn't home. He understood, they had had a fun afternoon and it was not a good idea to get on Susan Vandom's bad side when it came to her only daughter.
But as he went into the other room to get his coat Will heard a tapping on her window. Curiously she went over to see what it was and to her surprise she spotted a brown owl tapping at the window holding two letters in its beak. "What's an owl doing out in the middle of the day in winter?" But as its trappings became more insistent she thought that maybe Matt had sent her a letter via owl.
She hurried to the window to let the bird in. It quickly flew in shaking the snow off of its feathers. It dropped a letter in front of her bed and flew to the room where Matt was. 'Oh, how cute.' she thought as she reached for the letter but as soon as she saw where the letter was from she paused. "Okay this has to be some kind of joke. Matt!" she called to him from the other room.
Matt came back in with a similar letter in his hand. He had tried to asked the bird a question but it had flown off to quickly. He held up his letter with an odd look on his face. "So you got one too?"
Will held hers up looking just as confused. "You mean you didn't send this?" Matt shook his head.
"No, I tried to ask the owl if this was for real but he flew off before I could ask. This has to be fake though."
Will gave a nervous laugh as she examined the letter most afraid to open it. "Yeah, there's no way this could be real. Besides its December if it was real would've come sometime in August."
Even so, if this was a prank it was very well done. From training owls to fly in the day and dropping off two letters to the right people. She looked at the address and sure enough it said her name her apartment, and even the room she was in. And when she looked at Matt's it also said his name, her apartment, and the room he was in.
Matt look at Will almost asking for mission to open up the letter. "Even if it is a prank this means somebody's spying on us. Anyone can guess I was here but how would they know what room I was in?"
Will thought he had a very valid point and was even looking around and out the window to see if she could spot anybody. After the incident with the Riddle and Sylla they couldn't be too careful. "I think we should take this to Yan Lin, I've got a very strange feeling about this." but as they gather their things getting ready to go over to the Silver Dragon Will wondered aloud. "Do you think anybody else got one?"
Matt looked like he was either smiling or cringing when he thought about Hay Lin and how big a fan she was. "I think if anyone especially Hay Lin had we would've heard" suddenly Will's cell phone went off and sure enough the caller ID showed Hay Lin.
With one last glance at Matt Will answered but before she could even get a "hello" in the young Guardian of Air shouted into the phone, "WE'RE GOING TO HOGWARTS!"
In another dimension, in another time and space in that very school Severus Snape was making his way to the headmaster's office. These were dark times, just a few weeks ago Cedric Diggory had been killed and Lord Voldemort had returned. It was foolish to think that the Headmaster was wrong when he said he didn't believe that Lord Voldemort was gone for good but he was not looking forward to returning to his role as spy for the order. He had managed to fool the Dark Lord again by pretending to have been spying on Dumbledore this entire time. Fortunately he was forgiven, so to speak, for providing years of valuable information.
The ministry was also in denial and they were even trying to insert someone into Hogwarts to keep order. He suspected that's why Albus Dumbledore had called an impromptu teachers meeting in the middle of the summer. It wasn't the full staff just the heads of houses but still he was not looking forward to this meeting.
After giving the password, "rock candy", to the gargoyles he made his way to the Headmaster's office. He was the first to arrive but the others quickly made their way up and took their seats. But as soon as Dumbledore came into the room with a twinkle in his eye as bright as a star he knew this meant nothing but trouble.
"Thank you all for coming so quickly on such short notice. But I've just been informed that we will be gaining six new students from the legendary school of Kandrakar. They will be attending classes here in the fall and will remain for the entire school year." The headmaster said with a large smile.
The other teachers were a little confused however. Why were they all called in during the summer just to hear about a few new students. Minerva McGonagall, wasted no time in asking that very question. "I'm assuming there is something special about these new students since we were all brought here on such short notice Albus."
Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling more than ever. "Oh yes, I have had the privilege of teaching several of these students before I became headmaster of this school. Not much is known about the Kandrakar school except that they only teach extremely gifted children and occasionally we have the honor of hosting a few of there students. I felt it necessary to inform the heads of house because these will be very special children indeed."
Severus Snape was disliking them already. He hated the idea of special children who thought they were above everyone else. But why bring them here now when it was clear that there was a war coming? Or perhaps, he thought with no small amount of dread, it was precisely that reason why. And the extra shiny twinkle in the headmaster's eye was only reaffirming his suspicions and dread.
The Headmaster sat down and displayed six files on the incoming students who would be attending their 5th year at Hogwarts. "While these are gifted children I am quite certain that there are things we can learn from them as well as things that they can learn from us. And I'm quite certain that we can expect great things out of all of them."
SHAGON'S REVENGE: THE END
Shiroi Misa: Thank you so much fantasyfan551 for being such a big help in betaing this fic for me. And thanks to everyone who reviewed this story and hung on until the end. It was great fun and the reviews encouraged me to keep going. Congratulations on the winning story, "Wands, Wizards and W.I.T.C.H." and thanks to everyone who voted. A little sad that no one voted for the zombie fic, but, oh well. I guess I do fit into a weird little sub-group that likes cartoons and horror. Maybe I'll do some more fan art around October instead. The Time Dancer almost won but to be honest I'm a little glad it didn't since it would have had a lot of spoilers for an upcoming fic. So you'll see out little time traveler somewhere down the road, her story will be told just in a different way. I hope see you for the next story (I do love Harry Potter) This will be more humor and adventure with a slice of angst and many twists and turns so it should be fun for all. Thank you all again!
Lots of love, Shiroi Misa