A/N: YAY! My first story! This is basically about Helga getting hypnotized into being herself by accident by some weirdo hypnotist. *Gasp* You'll have to read more to fully understand though! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Me no owny Hey Arnold!
In the immortal words of a very optimistic, young, orange-haired boy, "It was a bright, Beautiful... oooooof... I'm okay." I couldn't have said it better myself. It was a bright, beautiful day! For most at least.
If there was anyone who disagreed with Eugene that day it was Helga Pataki. The meanest, toughest, most brutal girl at PS118. The ruler of the 4th grade. Queen of Mean! Nobody dared to look her in the eye. Well, other than Phoebe. Phoebe had no reason to fear Helga. She knew all about Helga's secrets. Well... most. She knew enough about her to see that she was a lot nicer than she let on. But that was as far as Phoebe had ventured into the world of Helga G. Pataki.
There was only one other who dared take even one step closer to solving the mystery that was Helga. That one other person was a boy, a nine year old! Well now of course he was ten and in the fifth grade. He could see there was more to Helga than some sarcastic, mean, and frankly... RUDE bully. He wanted so badly to crawl inside her head and see what the heck was going on in there. But everytime he got even remotely close to solving her or at least acquiring another piece to the puzzle, she'd push him away. She never opened up, well, that wasn't completely true. She had opened up once...
It was still dark out. The rain fell aggressively onto the hard, thirsty ground. Arnold had gotten fed up. He demanded an explanation for her actions. She had been the mysterious cloaked stranger who haunted the corners of every step he took. She was Deep Voice!
It didn't add up. She hated him! She always did! But what took place on the roof of the FTi building that fateful evening proved otherwise. She had professed her love for him! She told him all about the stalking, the shrines, and all those poems! She told him everything and sealed it with a kiss! But it all seemed too weird. It didn't feel like it was happening.
Once it was all said and done, he gave her a free bee. He allowed her to keep whatever shred of dignity she had left. They agreed it was all in the heat of the moment! But he knew it wasn't, and although it didn't make the least bit of sense to him, he tried to understand it. It didn't make sense at the time. But he had thought about it so much the remainder of the Summer that he was sure he'd not be able to face her. But he couldn't just run away from it. He had to try to understand. He felt like he was still missing a few stray pieces. But he took comfort in the fact that most of the pieces laid before him. All he had to do was get her to open up just a little more. He couldn't stand it anymore! Her confession transformed his... well... it kinda felt like a small hobby on the side of all he held dear, and for some reason, she was one of them. But that little hobby had erupted into an obsession now. He had to understand! He would surely go mad if he didn't get that girl to explain why she was the way she was! He had always believed there was good in everyone, but she was testing him and gosh darn it... he was going to pass that test with flying colors!
It was the first day of school and he knew she'd be there. He felt a strange pain in the pit of his stomach. Call it a hunch, but he knew something weird was going to happen today. You know, something weirder than what usually took place. Like Curly throwing himself at Rhonda and screaming, "You know you love me! MWAHAHAHA!" or Phoebe speaking Japanese early in the morning or Helga yelling sarcastic remarks at Harold right before beating him to a pulp. It was always chaotic at PS118 and everyone knew it. But hey, it was home.
As he took his first few steps outside of his home and out into the warm, crisp morning air, he took a deep breath and began walking to school. He didn't want to ride the bus today. The farther from the object of his thoughts he was the better... for now anyway. He just walked for a while heading in the direction of school. He worried about who their new teacher would be. He had heard rumors that Mr. Simmons had been moved up to the fifth grade, but he couldn't be certain.
Soon he was at the steps of PS118 and he knew that as soon as he opened that door, there would be no going back. He swallowed hard and slowly pushed the door open. Sure enough, there they were. All of his beloved class mates gossiping about the new school year (who was in what class, which teachers were fired, and of course they were talking about all their new back-packs, pencils, books, and all they were going to learn). Arnold walked in looking around for Gerald as he tread through the halls. He didn't see him.
He walked into his new class room and gasped. It looked exactly like the 4th grade class room. It was the same size, shape, and all the desks were arranged the same way they were before. The only real difference you could see was all the new motivational posters hanging on the walls. He felt some comfort in knowing that it wasn't going to be so life changing after all. After coming out of shock he spotted Gerald in the front row chatting with Phoebe about the weather. He looked nervous so Arnold decided he needed a wing-man and trotted over to help him out. Gerald could hear the faint sound of rubber smashing on the floor behind him and turned to see Arnold. He let out a relieved sigh.
"Arnold, my man, can you believe we're in 5th grade?"
"I know, it's weird. But it'll be nice to get a fresh start."
"Oh yes. I'm rather excited to begin our studies." Phoebe interjected happily.
"Yeah! I can't wait to hear about math, science, history, geography... uh... my brain is already getting dizzy thinking about all the stuff we're gonna learn." Gerald replied trying to sound interested.
"Indeed. Arnold, on your walk here, did you happen to see Helga anywhere? She told me over the phone that she was going to get here early so she could deal with some unresolved issues."
"Um... no. I didn't see her. But I'm sure she'll be here soon."
Arnold had been mistaken. Class had started twenty minutes ago and she still wasn't here. Arnold wondered if she was just as scared to face him as he was to face her. But he pushed his thoughts aside when Mr. Simmons... yeah, Mr. Simmons... announced they had a very "Special" guest.
"Students, I have a "special" treat for all of you! He's a professional hypnotist and he's visiting our class today to talk to you all about the joys of hypnotism! Let me introduce Mr. Mantle."
A man in a dark cloak stepped into the room. He had shiny black hair and bright green eyes. His face didn't have a single wrinkle. He was obviously still very young. Somewhere in his twenties.
"Thank you for the introduction, but please, my stage name is Mr. Hypno. I rarely go by Mantle. I used to though. I even had this cool slogan, 'If you can't handle the mantle, get off the stage.'" He looked a little embarrassed."It wasn't as catchy as I had hoped."
"Oh well I'm sorry, Mr... um... Hypno."
"It's fine. Now children." He began as he proceeded to the front of the room as went and took a seat back in his desk. "I would like to start off by explaining to you that hypnotism is not a toy. It's a very serious and sometimes therapeutic thing that should not be tampered with unless you're a professional like me. I hope you all understand, because now I would like to demonstrate. Any volunteers?"
The second after the last word escaped his lips, Helga flew the door open angrily. She scowled at any who dared to make eye contact as she entered the room. She was wearing her usual attire and she even had her hair up in two gravity defying pig-tails that would surely scream at any who questioned their golden blonde color, but something seemed different about her. She looked the same way she always had, but she seemed a lot more bitter and angry. She had clearly woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Before Mr. Simmons could question her tardiness she had already laid out an explanation.
"My sister wouldn't let me leave the house until she told me all about her adventures in Alaska this morning." She rolled her eyes.
"Well, okay Helga, I'll let you off the hook this time, since it's the first day of school, but please don't let it happen again."
"Please, like I can control my sisters big mouth after it's starts going on and on about how she's teaching a bunch of dumb kids in Alaska. Figures a bunch of Alaskan dorks need a teacher, their brains probably have frost bite."
The class snickered at her response.
"Well, please take a seat."
She began her long tread over to her desk but was stopped abruptly by a man in a cloak.
"Who in the name of criminy are you?"
"I am Mr. Hypno! I have come to demonstrate hypnotism and I would like you to be my volunteer."
"If I let you do your mumbo-jumbo hypno crap on me will you leave me alone?"
"If you wish."
"Okay, fine. What do I have to do?"
He smiled and gestured her over to a chair he had placed in the front of the room. She scoffed as she walked over to chair and scoffed again as she sat down.
"Okay! I require complete and udder silence! So no one's to say a word till I say it's OK."
He gave the class a quick smirk before continuing. He waved a watch in front of her face and whispered silently in her ear. He snapped his fingers and she fell fast asleep. The children silently 'ooooohed' and 'aaaaahed' at this. Then he searched the room for someone who looked honest. He settled on a football-headed boy with crazy blonde hair in the front row and approached him. He whispered into his ear.
"What would be the strangest thing to see this girl do?"
Arnold contemplated this and finally answered. The man snickered slightly at what the boy told him then walked over the the girl and announced.
"When I clap my hands you will be a sweet, little girl." He clapped his hands. "When I snap my fingers you will awaken." He snapped his fingers and sure enough, her eyes flew open instantly. She seemed a little confused and asked sweetly.
"Um... what's going on?"
"Young girl, would you mind kissing that blonde boy on the cheek? Just to prove you're as sweet as honey."
She smiled at that remark and did as he said. She skipped over to Arnold's desk and leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. He was a little freaked out by the sudden kiss. He hadn't wanted for him to be the test to see if she was nice or not. But it was over in a flash and she skipped back over to him. The class gasped! Helga G. Pataki had been turned into a little, sweet girl! Most of the class wished she could have stayed that way. But it would be wrong to just kill Helga off like that.
"That was very sweet of you." He said kindly toward the young girl.
"Well thank you, but I do believe that you should return me to normal now."
"As you wish." he replied as he gestured her back into the chair.
She smiled softly and sat back in the chair with a big smile on her face.
The class was still in awe at what had just taken place. Arnold rubbed his cheek almost happily. He couldn't explain it, but he liked the feel of a sweet Helga's lips on his cold cheek. She had kissed him softly, and sadly... quickly. He sat his head in his hands and gazed in disappointment at what was taking place. Mr. Hypno had just snapped his fingers and she had instantly returned to dream land. He pondered how he should phrase the next thing he would say. He needed to get it right.
"When I clap my hands you will return to your true colors! There is no need to hide your true self anymore!" He clapped directly after this statement.
"Now when I snap my fingers you will awaken."
She stirred and yawned stretching.
"Wow, I feel great. I feel like I just took a long nap." Helga said with a smile.
"Yeah, most do. Thank you for your service Mrs... um..."
"Helga." She finished bluntly.
"Yes, . You may take your seat now."
She walked over to her seat with a new spring in her step. She felt good. After the demonstration it all went down hill. He just lectured on the dangers of hypnotism and told stories of his past flops with hypnotizing chickens to act like roosters. Nothing nearly as exciting as what had taken place with Helga. For a few fateful seconds she had turned sweet as honey, as caring as a mother, the best phrase would be to simply say... Helga went crackers. The beginning day progressed without a hitch till the bell rang signaling recess. Arnold felt a lack of wet, sloppy spitballs. He figured maybe now that he knew her secret she would leave him alone... nah! Helga was too mean. Something was definitely up.
At recess Arnold looked around for Helga. After a few moments of his eyes wandering, he spotted her over on the swings swinging high and happily. He walked over to her with a weird twitch in his stomach. He sat down on the swing next to her waiting for her to notice. She saw him sitting there with a clearly fake smile plastered on his face. She was a little creeped out by this but none the less, she stopped swinging.
"Hey Arnold, how's tricks?"
"Fine I guess. Um... I feel like we should really talk about what happened back on FTi."
"What's there to talk about? I told you my feelings, you were freaked, you let me take it back. I know it happened and so do you apparently. But whatever. I love you and that's all there is to it. There's no denying it now that it's out in the open. Well anyway, I'm going to go join the conversation over there."
She sounded so pleasant and she didn't seem to mind that he knew at all. Something was a miss. But he decided not to question it.
"Uh... OK Helga. But there is one other thing I wanted to ask you. Why didn't you shoot any spitballs at me in class? Are you going to be nice to me now?"
"Hmmm... I guess I didn't shoot any at you. Funny. I had planned to. Oh well. I guess I just don't have it in me anymore. I didn't feel like shooting spitballs at you. I don't know why. I guess it doesn't matter. I'll see you when I see you Arnold."
Well that hadn't gone as expected. She just walked away like nothing had ever happened, and she was chatting it up with Rhonda, Nadine, Lila, Phoebe, and all the other girls in their class. This was odd, but he didn't question her in fear that he may jinx the situation.
"Hey girls. So wha'cha you talking about over here?"
"Oh nothing you'd be interested in, Helga. But if you must know, we're talking about hairstyles and lip gloss. Nothing you'd know anything about."
Phoebe interjected, "I'm afraid I have to Concur with Rhonda. This wouldn't interest you."
"Oh come on! I've had different hairstyles before and I've even worn a few different shades of lip gloss. But mostly I'm into lip balm because it makes my lips taste good and it keeps them plump." Her eyes widened slightly. "I've never told anyone that before."
"Well now you have. I'm impressed Helga. I didn't know you knew anything about beauty." said a very impressed Rhonda.
"Yeah, I've actually been thinking about new hairstyles lately. I want a hairstyle that looks nice, but keeps my hair out of my face when I'm playing sports. Do you think you girls could help me out?"
The girls seemed so weirded out by this. Not only was Helga asking about hairstyles, she was being friendly. Of course they were shocked by this random turn of events. But none questioned it. They all played along as they chatted about hair and lip balm all through recess. The boys seemed a bit thrown off by it, but figured she was planning some sort of prank. But they didn't know.
The bell rang and everyone went back to class. Helga surprisingly didn't push a soul. Plus in class she raised her hand for almost every question asked and any time she was called on she got the answer correct! It was odd. Even Mr. Simmons was making weird faces about it. But soon it was lunch time and she walked happily over to the cafeteria with many of the girls following behind.
Arnold had to know what was going on so he decided he would have to sit her down and question her at lunch. He even got several of the guys on board to help him interrogate her. They couldn't wait till after she got her food and sat down because that would mean she would be too busy chatting with the girls about whatever! So they forced their way through the sea of girls and Stinky and Harold grabbed her and sat her down at a table before she could get away. She looked shocked. All the boys had serious looks on their faces.
Arnold began, "What's going on?"
"I was about to ask you the same question."
"Just answer the question." Gerald commanded.
"I can't answer because I don't understand the question."
"I reckon she's telling the truth." Stinky said.
"Well then, why are you being so nice and acting so weird!? You were talking to all the girls about hair or something, you haven't bullied anyone today, and you answered all of questions correctly! I repeat, what's going on?"
"Arnold, I'm just being myself. I don't know how that could be a problem."
"But this isn't you! You're always bullying everyone and making sarcastic remarks! You haven't done either!"
"I told you Arnold. Nothing's up. I'm just being myself. I don't feel like bullying or making sarcastic remarks today. I can't explain it, but I guess I just feel like being nice today. That's all. Now if that's all you needed to ask me, I have to go starve myself now." She said rather annoyed as she got up from the chair they forced her in.
"What do ya mean starve?" Stinky asked a hint of confusion in his usually dim eyes.
"Well I know for a fact that Mirriam didn't pack my lunch today. So I'm just going to suck on this lollipop I've got." She replied, holding up a lollipop that she got from her pocket.
"Well garsh Helga. I'll trade you a Mr. Fudgey bar for yer lollipop."
"Thanks Stinky. That's very kind of you. But I'd feel like I was cheating you if I traded my measly little lollipop for a whole Mr. Fudgey. So as nice of you as that is, I'm afraid I must decline your offer."
"Well it's no problem Helga, seeing as it's a lemon flavored lolli. I'd gladly trade with you."
"Well if you're sure."
"I'm as sure as the grass is green." He said in his usual southern drawl, holding up a Mr. Fudgy bar.
"Well thanks... I guess" They switched the items. "Guess I'll see you later, Stinko."
"I reckon I'd like that a lot Miss Helga."
She giggled almost flirtatiously as she walked away, Mr. Fudgey in hand. Most of the boys stared in disbelief at what had just happened.
"Mmmm mmmm mmmm, Helga Pataki being nice. It's like something out of a horror film." Gerald stated as he watched Helga walk over to a table and sit down with all the girls.
"I must say it's perty strange, but I like it." Stinky said with a smile as he stuffed the lollipop in his mouth and sucked on it loudly.
"I'm sure everything will be back to normal tomorrow." Arnold said trying to make sense of what had just happened.
But he was wrong! He couldn't have been more wrong! Her new attitude only got worse... er... better... er.... you know. Things were getting even weirder the next day when she walked into class punctual and pretty! She wore her usual duds but now she had her hair tied in a ponytail with her big pink bow. Not to mention the pretty pink flower she wore in her hair. But the weirdest thing she wore that day was a smile!
Arnold was still weirded out by this but accepted it after only a hour the next day. He decided he would talk to her at recess to see if she was really telling the truth. But once recess rolled around, he was beaten to the punch by all the boys in their class! They were gathered around her as she talked about... poetry?! Yes, she was discussing poetry with all of the boys in the class.
"So yes Sid, you can't just write a few rhyming words on page and call it a poem. It has to come out of your soul."
"Boy howdy Helga, you sure do know a lot about poetry."
"Well, I've been writing ever since I learned to spell."
"Garsh Helga. Were all those mushy love poems in class yours?"
"Who were they written for?"
All the boys waited in anticipation, some slightly hoping it was them.
"Oh, he knows who he is. But I'd rather not say."
"So it's one of us?"
"He's in our class." She replied to Peapod kid vaguely.
"Can't you tell us who he is?"
"I don't think he'd appreciate me telling you all. But he knows who he is."
"Garsh ... That's awful nice of you to respect his feelings on the matter."
Arnold had overheard the whole thing. He was happy she didn't spill. He was almost sure he'd be teased for it. But he still had to speak to her. So he pushed his way through the crowd of boys and grabbed Helga by the hand and explained to everyone that he had to talk to Helga alone for a minute. They all shrugged and walked off.
"What did you want to talk about?"
"Um... I just wanted to tell you that I kinda like this nicer you. I still don't understand what happened to you. But I do know that I like it a lot."
"Well that's very Arnold-ish of you to say. Well I'm going to go play some hops scotch if you want to join me."
"Sure." He said with a smile.
They had played hops scotch, swung on the swing together, and even just talked for a while alone on the bench. He was enjoying this new Helga, maybe a little too much. He was starting to get butterflies every time she walked by him. He definitely liked this new Helga. But there was one last thing that sealed the deal. She helped a small boy up so he could get a drink at the fountain during the next recess. That had done it. He really liked her now. They were talking when some of the boys (including Gerald) started to take notice of his strange behavior, along with some of the girls.
"'Wow Helga, I had no idea you knew so much about poetry. Maybe you could help me out. I've been having some problems with a poem I've been trying to write for class."
"Sure Arnold, no problem."
"Great. You know, I really like this nicer side of you, Helga. I don't have the slightest clue as to why you would hide this side of you."
"I've explained this at length Arnold-o. I just woke up and for some unknown reason, I didn't feel like... I don't know. Ummm... taking out my frustrations on others, I guess you could say."
"That is kinda weird."
"No duh, Einstein." She flashed him a bright smile.
She was still a very sarcastic person. That would never change. What did change was how she said it. It wasn't said with spite or annoyance or in that "It's-so-obvious-a-squirrel-could-figure-it-out" way. It was said with a hint of joy and chalk full of humor. She said it to get a laugh instead of saying it just be obstinate and rude. It was a nice switch. At least it seemed like a grand improvement to Arnold.
Arnold laughed lightly. She was always funny, and he could never explain how he felt about her because he could never think of the right words to explain it. So he just excused it as nothing whenever he was around her. But now it was getting a lot harder to hold back. It was a lot easier to dismiss the connection he felt with her when she was just a mean, old bully, but now... now she was so much more than that. She was witty, hilarious, intelligent, charismatic, and quite pretty. What with her shiny, golden blonde hair that always shone in the sun, those abnormally long eyelashes that she hid so well because she knew that long eyelashes meant girly and she was most certainly not girly, and how those eyelashes added such emphasis on her big, beautiful, crystal blue eyes.
His smile widened considerably as they continued their conversation. All the other 5th graders were gathered around the monkey bars observing this strange feat unraveling several feet before them.
"Boy Howdy, Arnold sure does seem to like Helga now."
"Wha'cha mean, Sid? I reckon I don't see it. They're just talkin'. Nothin' out of the ornary about that." Observed Stinky, scratching his head in his usual in-the-dark manner.
"Nothing out of the ordinary?! Stinky, Helga and Arnold have always hated eachother! Them talking to eachother in a civil manner is simply an outrage!"
"Cool it Rhonda. We all know it's weird, but I'm sure this will all blow over by tomorrow. I mean, Arnold and Helga getting along? That's just crazy talk."
"I conquer with Gerald. The chances of Arnold and Helga becoming friends is 127,485.234 to 1."
"Wha?" Stinky asked.
"The chances are very slim."
"Exactly, like me and Phoebe said, this whole thing will have blown over by tomorrow."
"I can't believe it hasn't blown over yet!" Cried a very shocked and frustrated Gerald.
"I know, Helga and I were supposed to meet at the corner on 3rd so we could converse on the way to school. But I see that she made other plans."
Standing a few feet before them were Arnold and Helga, both laughing and talking about random things. It was all very distressing for their poor best friends.
"Thanks for calling me this morning to wake me up in time for school, Arnold. Mirriam's usually passed out at this time and Bob has to drive to work at the crack of dawn. So it was a huge help."
"It was no problem, Helga. But... um... Can I ask you something kinda personal?"
"Depends on how personal, Arnold-o."
"I don't think it's that personal. Just something I've always wondered about."
"Well, okay. Ask away."
"Why do you call your parents by their first names?"
She stared at him incredulously for a moment before she started laughing.
"Oh that's just too easy. You had me worrying there for a second, Hair Boy!" She laughed as she playfully punched him in the arm. She didn't do it hard enough to actually hurt him. She could never hurt Arnold.
Once her laughter died down she answered his question easily.
"Because I don't think they deserve to be called Mom and Dad. I call them that on occasion, but it's never permanent. Mirriam is almost always asleep on the couch or something and Bob never pays any attention to me! Even when Olga isn't around he still doesn't know I exist! And if you don't believe me, well, you've heard him call me Olga before! He doesn't even know my real name! It's ridiculous! What kind of a father doesn't even know his daughter's name?! What kind of a mother spends all her time sleeping instead of making her daughter's lunch, or driving her to school, or caring that she's constantly starving herself to death because she hasn't made dinner because she's too busy being passed out on the kitchen counter?! I repeat!!! They don't deserve to be called Mom and Dad!" She finished her rant in one breath and was now breathing heavily. Arnold was extremely taken aback by this whole thing. Her answer started out so calm and collected and slowly but surely turned into... into... madness! She clearly felt very strongly about her decision to call them by their names.
She was still catching her breath, trying to calm down, but Arnold could see she was still very distressed. He wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug. Helga was momentarily caught off guard. Now normally Helga would have pushed him away by now. She had melted at his touch just like always, but when the time came to push him away, she just couldn't do it. He was just trying to comfort her. For some bizarre unknown reason, she wrapped her own arms around him, returning his embrace.
Arnold was very weirded out by this, but happy none the less. He hugged her tighter and she did likewise. They stayed like that for a few more moments till Arnold finally remembered why he hugged her in the first place. Her breathing had returned to normal and she seemed much more at ease. So he slowly and hesitantly removed his arms from around her and grabbed her hand. She smiled at this gesture as they continued walking to school.
"So you really love me, huh?"
"I just mean this whole thing is kinda weird don't you think?"
"I understand your new to this whole me loving you deal, but I've been dealing with this for the past seven years. It's nothing new to me."
"Oh yeah..." He gulped before continuing, "So I'm guessing you want me to tell you how I feel..."
"Arnold, I don't want to make you uncomfortable. I realize all this must still be shocking for you, but please... I know you probably need time to think or something, I'm not in a rush for you to tell me you love me, propose on the spot, and get married at age ten or anything." She snickered at the obsurity or her statement before continuing,"Just think about it and once you're certain of your feelings, then you can tell me. Take your time. But don't take too long, I'm still young and I really need to know how you feel sometime so I can know if... if... if I'm wasting my time on someone who'll never love me back."
"Well... thank you Helga."
She smiled sadly at him. They continued walking to school in silence. Arnold contemplated his feelings for her as she just basked in his glow. There was no doubt that he really liked her, and there was no denying that strange connection he always felt with her. But love? That was a really strong word. He still had to think on that. But looking to his right at the girl he had once known as a bully, but now knew to be actually really sweet and caring and intelligent and many other nice things. He smiled and knew that it wouldn't necessarily be hard for him to love her. But he still had to think.
And what was with her sudden attitude change?
A/N: So what did you think? Did you enjoy it so far? I hope so because I busted my butt over this! lol! Well, new chapter should be up within the next month or so. Remember to Review!