Disclaimer: Nothing is mine; this does not follow the continuity of "Dawn of the Golden Witch". This follows the continuity of my fanfic "Turn of the Endless Sorcerer". It was basically just another idea I daydreamed about after finishing the story and I decided to turn it into a oneshot (much like my other oneshot "A Ghost Story"--shameless plug, lol). No reason it can't be done, right?

Also, some OOC-ness on Virgilia's part may occur.

***WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ONESHOT CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR CHAPTERS 21, 22, 23, AND 25 OF THE FANFIC "TURN OF THE ENDLESS SORCERER". IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THAT STORY, OR IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THOSE CHAPTERS YET, READ THE FULL-LENGTH STORY FIRST.***


October 16, 1986

Virgilia sat up in the pavilion of the rose garden, taking small sips of tea. She closed her eyes and inhaled the flowery scents around her. Wasn't it only yesterday Beato herself had recovered from the slow, agonizing process of reverting back to mortal?

No. She couldn't think of that. It had been difficult to watch Beato doubling over in agony and being unable to do anything about it...it was especially difficult to watch your own child suffer...

Virgilia opened her eyes. Just a few days ago, Kumasawa had agreed to take her to see Beato, who now lived with her fiancée, Ushiromiya Battler. He was a good man; he would treat her right. She had no doubt in her mind about that. He was the one who had revived her, after all. And he had taken the time to visit her every day when...

Virgilia's train of thought was interrupted by a black hole appearing in the middle of the rose garden, and a familiar-looking, curly-haired witch climbed right out of it, wearing her usual revealing dress. She sighed. Of course. It was Gaap, one of her least favourite people to deal with. Ever since Beato had created her, she had given Virgilia quite a bit of grief over the past few years.

But now, in light of the recent circumstances, Gaap had become a bit more bearable. The situation her best friend was placed in made her slightly more serious...not by a whole lot, but ever so slightly.

"Oh, Lia, Lia, Lia," sang Gaap as the black hole disappeared behind her and she joined Virgilia, sitting next to her.

"Yes, Gaap?" sighed Virgilia, realizing it was all useless when it came to trying to shorten Gaap's name. She hated it when her name was shortened like that.

"How is Beato doing?" asked Gaap, leaning forward with her elbows on the small table. "Maria is a nice girl, and I don't mind being her furniture now, but I miss Beato. Maria tells me you and Kumasawa went to visit her recently."

Virgilia took a sip of tea. "Yes, we did," she said. "Beato is actually doing quite well—she lives with Battler and his family now."

"Ah, I remember Maria telling me that," nodded Gaap. "She said something about Battler getting his powers revoked? I'll bet she'll have the time of her life with that kid once he's better! As long as he's cute...and makes good muffins."

"Beelzebub has had an influence on you, I see," Virgilia lightly chuckled. She reached over for a scone on the plate in the middle, but her fingers were barely within reach when the plate suddenly disappeared through a black hole and then reappeared in Gaap's hands. Virgilia was not in the mood to fight; she only glared as Gaap took a bite out of a scone with a mischievous smile.

With her mouth full, Gaap said, "Ith Beato shtill canky?" She gulped and repeated in a clearer tone: "Is Beato still cranky?"

"She was a bit emotional, but otherwise perfectly happy," said Virgilia. "Why do you ask?"

Gaap put the plate down (but at an angle where Virgilia would be unable to reach, to her dismay) and said, "Well...after you passed out and we hid you in the chapel for a little while, Beato was...just not herself. After I hid you, I heard her screaming at the Stakes about how they didn't exist, and when I came to see what was wrong...she told me I didn't exist, either. She apologized later, but wouldn't tell me what was going on. What made her act like that?"

Virgilia looked down into her cup of tea, suddenly feeling guilty and ashamed. "If I were to take a guess," she said, "I'd say it was because of me."

"Because of you?" said Gaap, surprised. "Why?"

Virgilia hesitated. She was not sure if she could tell Gaap this. She knew Gaap was mischievous...she just hoped Gaap wasn't cruel. On the other hand, taking it back and denying it would be the equivalent of denying her own sin, which she had done for too long...

"Come on, Lia," said Gaap light-heartedly. "What did you do—tell her she couldn't have an extra cookie?"

"No," said Virgilia, pushing her cup aside. "Lady Lambdadelta told her I'm her mother."

Gaap burst out laughing, much to Virgilia's annoyance. "Ah, Lambda's a kidder!" laughed Gaap.

Virgilia looked Gaap straight in the eye and said sharply, "She was not joking. She was telling the truth."

Gaap abruptly stopped laughing. She frowned and said, "You? But...I thought you said her mother died in childbirth..."

"I lied," said Virgilia, turning away and looking out at the field of roses upon roses. She said softly, "I met Christopher a little while later than this time nineteen years ago. He was a partner of Kinzo's. He and his wife came to stay at the Ushiromiya household. I still remember the day I met him—Rosa was sick, and had just regained the strength to sit up in the parlour and watch me perform my magic before her. I had just finished up when Kinzo came in and introduced me to him—Christopher Lombardi."

Gaap interrupted Virgilia's tale: "Was Christopher...Beato's father?"

Virgilia did not answer. Instead, she turned to Gaap and said, "He was the most beautiful man I had ever laid eyes on. In the moment I was introduced to him, I wanted to be his. I don't know if what I felt was love at first sight, or lust at first sight. What I do know, is that my feelings of happiness were dashed when Kinzo introduced Christopher's wife just a few seconds later—Angela."

Gaap did not say a word. She was beginning to pile up the pieces in her mind, but would wait until Virgilia was done talking before putting them together.

"To her face," continued Virgilia, "I smiled and laughed, treating her as a friend. But deep down, I hated her. She was a perfectly nice woman who would never hurt a fly, yet I hated her. Her worse crime...was being married to the man I desired. It was a selfish, petty reason to hate her, yet hate her I did."

Virgilia realized only now what she had been saying. She caught herself and looked into Gaap's wide blue eyes. She looked truly curious, silently encouraging her with her eyes to go on. Virgilia looked away and took another sip of her tea, thinking, What was I thinking? Why did I just open up about something so shameful? If it were one of the Stakes, then it might be okay...even if it were one of the servants, it would be okay...but Gaap? Why am I admitting all this to Gaap of all people? I should just stop right now...

"Well?" prompted Gaap. "Aren't you going to continue?"

Virgilia said coolly, "I think you can figure out what happened next."

"Well, yeah, sure," said Gaap. "But it's no fun unless I hear it from you! This is even better than those romance novels I stole from Natsuhi!"

At this, Virgilia had to smile. She once again placed her cup of tea aside and went back to her story: "It happened one rainy night on Rokkenjima. Angela's mother was dying, and she left to be by her bedside to her last breath. Kinzo took his wife and child, and they all went with her, entrusting the mansion to the servants. Christopher was left alone in the guest house.

"You know...there had been times where I would try to get some alone time with Christopher, even for just a few minutes, but if it wasn't his wife walking in, it was Kinzo to discuss business matters, or it was otherwise one of the servants wishing to confirm something with him. It annoyed me greatly. Yet even during the few times where no one interrupted us for fifteen minutes at most, I knew I could not even plant the slightest kiss on his cheek. There were too many people...too much of a risk that someone would come.

"That night, however, I had the perfect opportunity to have him just to myself. I gave the servants orders to guard just the main mansion, and that Christopher would be perfectly fine on his own. Then..."

She paused. This was the part that was difficult to tell. Just thinking about it made her feel ashamed and disgusted.

"Then you slept with him," finished Gaap.

This seemed to give Virgilia the boost she needed to carry on. She nodded, turning her eyes away. She said, "Actually...I more or less seduced him."

Gaap had just taken a huge bite out of her scone when she said, "Hmm?" She was now completely alert, crumbs falling down her chin. The sight was almost amusing.

Virgilia forced herself to continue, realizing she had gone too far to just stop right there: "It seemed like a good idea at the time...after giving the servants their orders, I went to my own room, changed out of my clothes, and into a bathrobe. Then, I went over to Christopher's room. Well...we started talking, as I figured it would be better to start it off innocent...and he eventually drifted over to the topic of his wife...I told him I understood his loneliness...and that I was willing to provide him with the company he needed."

"From that point on...I started to lose control of myself. It didn't even feel like it was me slipping off my robe, or kissing him, or that it was even me who allowed him to lower me onto the bed and..."

Her voice faltered. She said, "You see now? You see why I'm ashamed to discuss this?"

All Gaap said was, "That was the night Beato was conceived, wasn't it?"

The fact that Gaap was so curious and not judgmental just made it even harder for Virgilia to continue with her confession. She took a deep breath and said, "I was foolish. Not only that, but impulsive. I never thought of what the consequences would be if I spent just one night with Christopher, not thinking of beyond the morning. All I wanted was just one night—just one, and that was it. The next morning, I put my robe back on, snuck out of his room, went back to my own, got dressed, and we both went on as though it never happened.

"That all changed one day...it was nearly a month after I seduced him that I started getting sick..."


Virgilia sat up on her bed, waiting for Dr. Nanjo to come back. He said the results were due to come back today, and he would take a close examination of them before returning with a diagnosis. She hoped he'd be able to figure out what was wrong with her real soon. For the past week or so, she felt tired and sluggish. She shrugged it off to her staying up a bit later than she should, but recently, she had started feeling sick to the stomach and would have to run to the nearest bathroom at least twice a day if the nausea grew overwhelming. Yesterday, she actually had to run out of the parlour in the middle of performing magic; if she had stayed any longer, she would've gone through the mortification of being sick in front of the Ushiromiya family.

She wondered if she had some sort of flu bug...if so, she wondered where she caught it from. Perhaps Rosa had brought it home from school and passed it onto her. If this was the case, she would not be able to interact with Christopher much anymore...not that they had in the first place...ever since they had shared a night together last month, he seemed to be deliberately going out of his way to avoid her.

Well, why should she care? She finally got what she wanted from him; that should be all she needed...right?

The door opened, and Virgilia sat upright. In came Dr. Nanjo who said, "Lady Beatrice, the results have come back."

"And?" prompted Virgilia.

Dr. Nanjo seemed a bit hesitant. Before replying, he went over and shut the door. He then walked up to the bed and sat down in a chair. He said, "Lady Beatrice...who is he?"

"Who is who?" said Virgilia.

"Who is the man you've been sleeping with?" said Dr. Nanjo bluntly.

For a moment, Virgilia froze up. He knew...he knew about Christopher...she didn't know how he knew, but he did. She forced herself to relax. For the time being, she would play dumb. She scoffed, "Don't be ridiculous, Dr. Nanjo. Why are you so certain I've been sleeping with someone?"

Dr. Nanjo then gave the reply that sent a wave of shock throughout her:

"Because you're pregnant."

After the initial shock passed, Virgilia repeated, "Pregnant?" She could hardly believe it...all she asked for was just one night with Christopher...she hadn't asked for his child...

"Yes, you should be about five or six weeks along," nodded Dr. Nanjo. "If you need any further care for the duration of your pregnancy, I'll be there to help you out. I do have a family to return home to every now and then, but I'll see what I can do to help you and your child."

"My...child..." whispered Virgilia, her fingers lightly touching her stomach.

Dr. Nanjo stood up. "If you truly feel uncomfortable discussing the father's identity," he said, "then I won't press into the matter any further."

"Thank you for understanding," said Virgilia quietly. "You may go."

She closed her eyes, blocking out the sound of Dr. Nanjo's footsteps, followed by the door closing. She was carrying Christopher's child...What would she tell Kinzo? What would she tell Christopher?

She sighed and rubbed her aching temples. "What am I going to do?" she muttered. "It's Christopher's child..."

She opened her eyes and smiled. She rubbed her stomach and whispered, "Christopher's child...no, our child. The child Christopher and I made together..."

But what about Angela? That was an obstacle. Well, most obstacles could be easily removed.

She kissed her fingertips and lightly pressed them to her stomach. "Don't you worry about a thing, little one," she whispered. "You will have your daddy in your life. I'll make sure of it."


"So...how did you plan to make Christopher part of Beato's life?" asked Gaap, asking like a small child during a bedtime story who begged for one more chapter.

As if admitting she had seduced a married man wasn't hard enough...

Virgilia said, "Gaap...do you think any less of me from what I have told you so far?"

"Finish telling your story first," said Gaap. "Then I'll judge."

Virgilia looked around to make sure no one was listening before speaking: "What I did next, I thought was perfectly justified, but it was far from anything resembling justice..."


Virgilia stood with her back to Angela, pouring each of them a glass of wine. "I'm glad you could meet me in the dining room," she said. "I've been meaning to have a talk with you."

"Yes, it has been a while since we last talked, hasn't it?" sighed Angela with that whimsical voice that made Virgilia grit her teeth in annoyance.

Virgilia said calmly, "Yes. It has been too long." She looked over her shoulder and gave Angela a fleeting smile before turning back to the drinks. She pulled a small packet of cyanide from her sleeve and neatly poured the contents into the glass going to Angela—she had managed to nick some from the shed, which was used for the occasional pesky bug threatening the beauty of the roses. So in a way, it seemed rather appropriate—she would be using it to get a pesky person out of her way.

Virgilia first picked up Angela's glass and handed it over to her. "Aren't you going to get your wine glass, Lady Beatrice?" she said.

"But of course," said Virgilia. She herself did not plan to drink much, but she had to make herself less suspicious. She took her own glass and sat right across Angela. "I called you here because I have some surprising news," she said. "And only you can know about it for now."

"Oh?" said Angela, wrapping her delicate fingers around her glass. "Whatever could it be? Is it a way to make Christopher smile more often? Recently, he seems almost afraid to talk to me."

Virgilia knew why this was, but she only said, "Well...it might make him smile." She was waiting for the right moment; if she said it too soon, the plan would be ruined.

Angela said, "Shall we make a toast to it, then?"

"No, I don't think a toast will be necessary," said Virgilia, feeling the urge to run up to Angela and force the poisonous liquid down her throat. "Why don't you take a sip first? Then I'll tell you."

"Oh, if you insist," said Angela. She had brought the glass to her lips when Virgilia said, "I'm pregnant."

Not a drop had made it to Angela's lips just yet. She lowered her glass ever so slightly and said, "Oh, congratulations, Lady Beatrice. You must be very happy."

"Yes, I'm very happy," said Virgilia, trying to hide her annoyance. "But please, don't let me stop you; go on, drink the rest."

Angela smiled. "Very well then. Who's the father?" She brought the glass back to her lips and began to take the first few, deadly sips.

Virgilia allowed a cruel smile to show and she said: "I am carrying Christopher's child."

At this, Angela coughed on her next sip and brought the glass down to the table. Her smile had vanished. She didn't even have a chance to reply to this when she began coughing and choking. Her eyes widened, realizing the truth too late. Virgilia said with the same, cruel smile, "I'm sorry, dear, but my child needs a father. And I just can't have you in the way, now can I? With you gone, I will be able to marry Christopher, and the three of us will be a happy little family. And I will be twice the wife you ever were."

At this line, Angela collapsed and fell to the floor.


Just when Virgilia thought it wasn't even possible for Gaap's eyes to grow any wider, they did. And if her jaw had not been attached to any bones, it surely would've fallen to the ground. "Y—you...you..."

Virgilia had to look away in shame. "At the time," she said, "I thought I was doing it for my child...when really, I was doing it for myself."

"How...how could you?" was all Gaap could say. "I mean...sorry Lia, but...that sounds so...so..."

"So blatantly out-of-character?" finished Virgilia.

"I was going to say 'evil and melodramatic', but that works, too," said Gaap, still blinking in shock.

Not even this could lighten up the atmosphere. Virgilia said softly, "I was so blind...I only saw what I wished to see...I have always regretted it. Especially after I learned too late that Christopher never really loved me..."


"Angela's dead, isn't she."

His voice was flat. Angela had disappeared only a few hours ago. Virgilia had managed to convince the servants that Angela had simply gone for a walk around the forest (having hidden her body inside her own room for the time being), but Christopher was smart enough to see right through this lie. He had gone straight to Kinzo's study, where he stood in front of his partner's desk, staring right out the window.

Virgilia spoke: "Christopher..."

"You killed her, didn't you," said Christopher in the same flat, dull tone.

Virgilia did not answer this. She walked up to him and said, "Christopher...there's something you have to know. Remember that night we shared when Angela was gone?"

Christopher's only response was a stony silence. Virgilia whispered in his ear, "I'm pregnant."

She hoped this would stir some sort of reaction out of him, but there was none. She went on: "It's your child. Now with your wife gone, we can get married. We'll set it up to look like she threw herself off a cliff...then we'll get married and say the baby came from—"

Virgilia was not entirely sure of what had just happened; she was only aware of a sudden sharp sting across her face and stars appearing before her eyes. It took her ten seconds to realize she had been slapped...and that Christopher was now facing her looking absolutely furious.

"You liar," he hissed. "You don't even know who the father is, do you? You've been going around seducing every other man in the house like the whore you are."

Virgilia flinched at these harsh words. She was, little by little, being brought to the harsh reality of her actions. Her mind flew back to the look of horror in Angela's eyes as she died...even if poisoning was a 'gentle' murder, it was still murder...then she thought back to the night that led her to where she was now...

"Christopher, it's not like that," Virgilia tried to explain, but Christopher said harshly, "Liar."

"Christopher," said Virgilia, "you are the only man I ever slept with."

"Whore!" barked Christopher, who once again struck Virgilia across the face, causing her to stumble and fall, her hands instinctively reaching out to protect her stomach instead of herself, causing her to fall flat on the ground. She had begun to sit up when she noticed Christopher standing above her with one foot back.

Virgilia instinctively knew what he was going to do—he was going to kick her in the stomach and make her lose their child. She was prepared for when his foot began to fly right towards her; it was only a few inches away from her stomach when she managed to create a magic barrier that, upon impact, caused him to fly back about a foot and a half before falling to the ground.

Virgilia was shaking terribly, but she used the nearby bookshelf to keep her balance as she began to stand back up on her feet. Christopher, too, got to his feet. He said darkly, "So you really are a witch after all. And here I was, thinking those were just well-performed magic tricks just above pulling a rabbit out of a hat."

Virgilia felt her heart pound against her chest. Now he knew she was a real witch. She had to protect her child by whatever means necessary, but now that he knew...

"Well, there is an old saying in an old book I am most familiar with," said Christopher, walking over to the desk. "'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'."

Virgilia's eyes darted over to the item Christopher was looking intently at: The gun lying on the desk. She said, "Christopher..."

"Now it makes sense," said Christopher, he and Virgilia moving in time towards the desk. "That's why I was so easily taken by you—you used your magic to blind me, didn't you?"

"I did no such thing," said Virgilia, trying to keep herself calm, hoping to make it to the gun before he did. "I have never used my magic for evil. Magic's only purpose is to make people happy."

"Some people would say otherwise," said Christopher coldly, now at the table. Virgilia thought her heart was going to burst forth from her chest as she spoke: "You do not need magic to commit a great sin. All you need is human nature, a force that is incredibly cruel within itself, with far more malicious intent than any sort of magic."

Christopher's hand made its way over to the gun...

...but Virgilia acted with lightning speed and reached it at the exact same time his hand did. That hand...that very same hand that had caressed her skin...

The two struggled to get the gun out of each other's grasp. Virgilia was quick to take it within her own hands and, before she had any time to think it through, blindly shot at Christopher through the chest, emptying the gun's contents into him, causing him to fall to the floor.

After the sounds of gunshots stopped ringing in her ears, Virgilia stood there, trembling even harder than she had before. She could only stare at Christopher's lifeless body, thinking about only a month ago, that chest she had just shot through had been the very same chest she had been more than pleased to press her own chest against...that his body had been the body she craved and longed to have a part of for months before finally having it just for herself...

She let out a cry of despair and fell to the floor, allowing her sobs to come. What had she done? What was she thinking? How could she have slept with a married man? Why...?

If only she had managed to control herself and not taken advantage of the opportunity...if she had made the wiser decision...then none of this would've ever happened. She wouldn't have to live with the fact that she had taken the life of a perfectly nice woman whose tragedy came about by simply being married to the wrong person...she wouldn't have to be facing this pregnancy alone, with no support...

"Why?" she sobbed. "WHY?"

She was alerted by the sound of footsteps. She was not sure of what fate would lie in store for her. Whatever it was, she deserved it. She would have to face it sooner or later.

In through the doors came Kinzo and Kumasawa. Kinzo began to say, "What happened? We heard gunshots and..."

He stopped at the sight of Christopher's body, and a trembling Virgilia with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her former teacher being here would just make it even worse. How could she admit to what she had done to the woman she greatly admired?

Virgilia somehow brought herself to look at the two standing there and said softly, "I'm pregnant."


If Gaap had needed any further assurance that Virgilia's tale was indeed more suspenseful than anything she had ever read, this was it. Virgilia said softly, "Kumasawa—my teacher—was so angry with me. I did not need to say much for her to figure out who the father was, or how it happened. She gave me the lecture of my life, a lecture I'll never forget. It's a lecture I have no desire to re-tell..."

"Then don't," blurted out Gaap. She was beginning to see how uneasy re-telling all this was making Virgilia feel. She said, "Just...tell what you can."

Virgilia drew another breath and said, "Well...Kinzo was a bit more understanding. He sent me off to live in Kuwadorian...which, I suppose, was decent of him, in spite of all else he did. He said he'd tell everyone else Angela was on bed rest—when in reality, Kumasawa and Kinzo took her body and threw it into the ocean. Even Kumasawa had softened up enough to provide me with company: Her former furniture, Ronove."

"O-oh," said Gaap, raising an eyebrow. "So that's where Rono is from, eh?"

Virgilia nodded. "I had known him for quite some time—he was her furniture, after all. I also knew he could not provide me much in the way of love interest, so I wasn't as nice to him as I should've been during my first few months at Kuwadorian. It wasn't until I was halfway through my second trimester that I started showing him the respect he deserved..."


Ronove smiled at Virgilia as she walked up to the dining table which had a nice, hot muffin on a plate waiting for her. She had not requested a large breakfast and was grateful to see Ronove obey her orders.

"Good morning to you, Lady Beatrice," said Ronove politely.

Virgilia did not return the smile. She pushed her chair out so she would have more room to sit. She had gotten to be quite big during the past few months. What a bother.

"How is the baby doing on this fine morning?" asked Ronove cheerfully.

Virgilia waited for the muffin to cool. "The baby is just fine," she said.

"That's good to hear," said Ronove. Then, "How are you adjusting, milady? I can only imagine how hard this must be for a woman of your standing."

"How could you know?" muttered Virgilia. "You'd know nothing of what it is like to become an outcast."

"I am sure your title is still very much respected," said Ronove.

"You don't even know what happened, do you," sighed Virgilia.

"You don't have to speak of it if you do not wish to," said Ronove.

Virgilia figured her muffin had to be cooled off by now. She picked it up and took a bite out of it. She took a few more bites and swallowed. She had just put the muffin back down on the plate when she felt a few sharp kicks in her belly.

"What, that's not good enough for you?" snapped Virgilia. "I'm sorry I can't provide you with anything better! I'm sorry your father was already married to another woman! If you want to complain, fine, go ahead—you have every reason to."

She slumped over and buried her face in her hands, sobbing quietly. Her months of confinement in Kuwadorian were beginning to take a toll on her, especially the thought of her impending due date, which was coming up in just a few months. Soon, she would bring another person into the world...a person without a father...a person with a mother who was a seductress and a murderer...

"Milady."

Virgilia felt a hand place itself on her shoulder. She looked up and saw Ronove offering her a handkerchief, his face warm and kind. She gave him a grateful smile and took it. She hoped this would begin something resembling a friendship.


"After I stopped crying," said Virgilia, "I told Ronove everything I just told you. He reprimanded me for murdering Christopher's wife...and for sleeping with a married man...but he said he was willing to help me deal with the consequences of my actions however he could. He has been a kind friend to me over the years. His companionship was much preferable over any sort of romance."

Gaap had lost all interest in the scones, which now lay on the table. "And...?"

"And...there's not much to tell after that," sighed Virgilia. "I had a safe yet painful delivery with my former teacher by my side, and I decided to simply present myself as a guardian chosen to raise Beato and never tell her the truth. A few months later, I made the foolish mistake of thinking Christopher might actually want to see his daughter, so I summoned his spirit and..."

"And he rejected her," finished Gaap. "So...how much of this did Beato find out when Lambdadelta told her?"

"All of it," said Virgilia glumly. "Looking back now...perhaps it wouldn't have been such a bad idea to lay out the bare minimum facts to her, little by little, piece by piece. To learn all that all at once must've been overwhelming for her."

"I can only imagine," said Gaap, realizing only then what her best friend had to be feeling when she denied the existence of her own furniture: Anger, confusion, denial, that horrible sting of being unwanted and unloved...no wonder she had taken her anger out on them. "So...did you get a chance to make up with Beato?"

Virgilia nodded. "I've taken a step in the right direction. From now on, I'm going to be more honest with my daughter, and even acknowledge her as such. I wish she had known from the very beginning, but...I've done a lot of things that cannot be taken back. All I can do now is learn from them."

Virgilia leaned forward in her chair and sighed. After pouring her heart out to this one person, the person whom she would've been least likely to talk to, she felt drained, both emotionally and physically. She still couldn't quite figure out what made her tell everything to Gaap of all people. Maybe it was because she assumed Gaap wouldn't take it seriously because of her playfully nature?

No. She realized it was ultimately because she had come to acknowledge her sin...Gaap would not be one to go around blabbing it to the servants; hopefully, she would forget about all this by tomorrow and go back to being her usual merry prankster self.

Virgilia realized only then that the plate of scones had been pushed in her direction. She looked up and saw Gaap, who smiled. "You are right. You shouldn't have done what you did...but don't worry. I at least understand what was going through Beato's head that night." Then, "Should I go steal some butter from the kitchen to go with our scones?"

Virgilia smiled. "No, that won't be necessary." She couldn't shake off the feeling, but somehow, she knew this was the beginning of a very strange friendship.

End


A/N: As for any extra thoughts from the author...one of my biggest concerns is making Virgilia too OOC. I've tried balancing her personality—showing her in a despicable light in her first few flashbacks, then in a regrettable light in the present, and finally in a semi-sympathetic light. It's a bit complicated, and I hope I didn't mess it up too badly.

And for some funny reason, the flashbacks with Angela and Christopher remind me of the ending of "School Days" (only in Virgilia's case with Angela, the roles are reversed, and the end result isn't so...nasty *shudder*).