Never Ending Story
Dedication: The readers and reviewers of our first round robin. Thank you for reading it even if there was a bit of a mix up before we got lives.
Note: I apologize for the long wait in updating, I have a very demanding life right now and it's been hard getting back into writing. Thank you for waiting.
Disclaimer: Winx Club belongs to RAI DUE, Viacom, and others who are not affiliated with me. I make no money off of this story.
Chapter Nine: You're Not the Boss of Me Now
The tension was so thick in the dorm room that Raven shared with Amber that you could cut it with a knife, as the saying went. However any sharp object in that room where the two musically inclined witches-in-training resided would've been a decidedly bad idea. Amber's voice was back to normal after the incident at the auditions a few days ago, but she wasn't sure who'd spelled her. Raven was one of the lucky suspects, and Amber's sister Lapis was the other.
Amber wasn't sure who could've done it and she didn't feel like asking around. She also couldn't get the other girls to switch rooms with her, so she treated Raven like a ghost. A ghost she could glare daggers at and not talk to. In other words, she just gave her roommate the silent treatment while mulling over the possible who-done-its.
"Are you going to speak to me again, or just glower at me from across the room for the rest of the school year?" Raven finally asked on the third day of tense silence.
She and Amber were in their room studying. Raven was studying her Potionology notes and Amber was studying Raven's body language for signs that she'd sabotaged her chances at the audition.
"When you figure out what happened at the audition, I'll consider it." Amber snapped petulantly as she opened her laptop.
Raven shrugged. "You got spelled." The onyx-haired girl replied, shifting positions so she faced Amber. "That's the best I can offer. But I don't believe it was your sister and I know for a fact it wasn't me."
"Then how did you wind up being one of the winners of the spot from Cloud Tower and Lapis has one of the ones from Alfea?" Amber asked in an accusing tone.
"Maybe because I'm a good singer and so is Lapis? There's nothing suspicious about my talent."
"I'll bet there isn't."
Raven shrugged because she saw that unless she had a crowbar and a four by four she wasn't going to get any sense into her roommate's head then went back to studying. Her potions grade was already slipping from an 'A' to a 'B' and she couldn't let that happen. To be more accurate, her parents would flip out if she allowed that to happen, they'd probably jump to conclusions that she was trying to take over the magical dimension or got knocked up. Those were the typical assumptions that made Raven sometimes wish she could see what would happen if she let all of her grades slip to a 'B' if only to watch her father have an aneurism.
Then of course because the situation just couldn't get more intense, Fiona decided to make an appearance, trailed by Miranda.
"I hear congratulations are in order!" Fiona sang out as she rushed over and gave Raven a hug.
Miranda held back from saying anything in regards to Raven or Lapis' winnings, instead she just went and sat on the indigo colored arm chair next to Amber's bed.
"Don't congratulate me too much. I have to do a duet with Cheeky McWinkster." Raven groaned.
That gave Amber a twinge of sympathy for her roommate. Cheeky McWinkster was the name Raven had given to a boy from Red Fountain who'd been winking at her during the auditions at Alfea trying to get her attention. Raven wasn't thrilled by his attraction to her or the recent events that would make them an unofficial couple at the dance next Friday.
"Who's he and how did they meet?" Miranda asked as she pulled a fashion magazine from her bag and began flipping through the pages looking for some dresses.
"He's Raven's paramour." Fiona teased, dodging a pillow Raven threw at her.
Miranda giggled, "You poor thing."
"He's not my paramour or whatever else you all are thinking." Raven explained, "His real name is Bryan, he's from Melody so his voice is decent.
"And he attends Red Fountain as a second year student." She added with a growl as she sat up on the bed, her studies abandoned.
"What did you do, run a background check on him?" Amber asked amused and forgetting for the moment she was upset with Raven.
"Well, yeah. I mean, I do have to spend time with the guy, but actually I got Tatiana to do it since she likes to crack into files and everything." Raven admitted, she couldn't even program her new smart phone.
"Yeah that's great, but how did you meet him?" Miranda repeated.
"He kept winking at me during the auditions!" Raven griped, "We haven't formally met yet, and when we do I intend to keep things strictly business."
"Good luck with that boy." Fiona snorted in a rather unattractive manner. "If this is the Bryan my brothers warned me about, you'll need a good defense spell on hand."
"So what did your dad say when he found out about this little set up?" Miranda wondered, knowing it wouldn't be a good reaction but there would at least be a good story.
"He hasn't found out yet." Raven answered. "But you all know it won't end well when he does."
The other three girls nodded. After Riven's incident with Darcy during his second year at Red Fountain (which resulted in the birth of Raven's older half sister), both he and Musa were reasonably concerned about their younger daughter's relationships. It was widely known that Riven was overprotective of both his daughters because he was afraid they would end up the same way he had. This of course was highly unlikely since both girls had extremely involved parents as well as an involved grandfather who took note of everything they did, but Riven did not want to take chances where his little girls were involved.
"So ladies, I'm guessing that you two didn't come over just to comment on Raven's win." Amber remarked as the lull in the conversation dragged on.
"You caught us, Amber." Fiona answered with a smile. "Miranda and I were wondering if you two had picked out your dresses for the dance yet."
"I am not getting dressed up to perform with that dork." Raven snapped. "He might think I'm trying to impress him."
"Too bad, you're still coming with us." Fiona retorted, "For all we know you'll come out in an argyle cropped sweater and some cropped pants with shorts over them."
"Don't forget the socks and sandals." Miranda quipped, she'd seen pictures of her parents and the Winx Club dressed in outfits such as Fiona had mentioned and just the thought sent shivers down her spine- the bad kind of shivers.
"If she comes, I'm staying here." Amber threatened.
"That goes for me too." Raven added, glaring daggers at her roommate.
"By the Great Dragon!" Miranda shouted shocking everyone with the force of her voice. The dark haired girl usually didn't speak unless spoken to twice. "Cut the crap! You two are coming with us if we have to bind your asses and drag you out the door!"
"Well that's a good argument." Amber said flatly.
"Sounds like we don't have much of a choice." Raven pouted.
"You're right, you don't." Miranda confirmed sounding smug
"So let's get going before the good dresses get taken." Fiona chirped as she led Raven out the door.
The stores of Magix were flooded with students from the three schools scrambling to find the perfect outfit for the first interschool dance at Alfea.
"Do we really have to go through all of this?" Raven asked as Fiona shoved her over the threshold of yet another dress boutique.
"Yes, we do." Fiona replied through her gritted teeth.
"And this time don't try to make the speakers explode." Miranda added in a warning tone.
Miranda was referring to Raven had very specific tastes in music and she hadn't been shy in expressing her dislike of the fluff pop which had been playing in the last three stores. The way Raven expressed her dislike however, had gotten the quartet kicked out of three stores before anyone could do any real shopping.
"Hey, I can't help it if these stores in Magix can't play decent music." Raven answered defensively.
"But you can help not making things explode and getting us thrown out of said stores." Amber argued back.
Raven looked down at the floor, properly chastened for the time being.
"Okay let's do what we came in here to do now." Fiona suggested as she guided Miranda over towards the dress racks.
"Okay you do that, I'll sit over here with my music and pretend this isn't happening." Raven announced as she pulled out her ear buds and an MP3 player.
The other girls shrugged and started flipping through the racks. Fiona took it upon herself to pull out a few choices for Raven along with ones for herself, she then took them up to the cashier for safe keeping.
"How about this one?" Miranda asked holding up a sleeveless ankle length sheath dress in a dark green fabric with a high neckline. There were no embellishments, no cut outs and nothing to draw attention to the young woman in it. In short it was a dress to wear if you wanted to be a wall flower.
"Nice, if you wanted to blend in with the shrubbery." Amber replied bluntly as Fiona nodded her agreement.
Miranda briefly considered a retort about how looking like a shrub wasn't a bad thing, but thought better of it and returned the dress to the rack.
"I'll keep looking I guess." The brunette announced in an uncertain tone, Amber and Fiona nodded their agreement.
After Miranda went back to her search, Fiona held up her newest find, an emerald green one shoulder column dress with a slit just past her knee, half way up her thigh if she moved too fast. It was, bright, sexy, and in short it was a dress that would give her older brothers twin aneurisms.
"That is gorgeous." Miranda sighed longingly, Amber looked over nodded her agreement.
"I'm trying this on now!" Fiona announced as she headed towards the change rooms.
"I'll come with you, I found a few dresses I want to try on as well." Amber said holding up her colorful bundle in both arms.
A few minutes later both Amber and Fiona emerged from their respective change rooms with Miranda and a reluctant Raven waiting for them. Fiona looked happy with her first and only choice, the green of the dress complimented her eyes and the cut flattered her figure and showed off her toned legs and arms. Amber on the other hand looked like an unhappy, over decorated cupcake. Her curvy figure completely off set by the puffy skirt of her ball gown inspired dress.
"Well, it's not too bad." Miranda opined diplomatically, trying not to wince and show her true opinion. "I mean it's okay, if you like looking like a princess. Which uh you are….."
"Or, if you like looking like a pastry," Raven added with a smirk.
Amber rushed back into the change room, but not before shooting her roommate a death glare which Raven gladly returned.
"While Amber tries to find something that isn't so… uh... ornate, I'm going to go pay for this dress." Fiona told the others, "It's on sale too, so I'd better pick it up before someone else does."
"I'll come with you." Raven offered.
"Oh no you don't, you and Miranda still need dresses. Look, I'll help you both out when I get back."
"You are so not fun Fee." Raven pouted as she and Miranda sat down and waited for Amber to come with her next dress. Fiona shrugged and headed back into her change room.
"Ok, so tell me what you think about this one." Amber said emerging yet again from the change room, she had already dismissed two other dresses, one because the deep blue reminded her too much of her traitor sister's hair color and the other because it was too tight in a few key places and was the only one left in that style. The dress she was wearing now was a strapless knee length style with silver sequins and beading over the sweetheart neckline, thinning out to scatter over the flared skirt.
Fiona hadn't returned from the front of the store yet, so Amber was faced with Raven's stark honesty and Miranda's diplomacy.
"Well, it's a stark improvement over the first one." Raven replied wryly. "Plus, it will be easier to dance in than that long full skirt."
"It's perfect for you." Miranda added enthusiastically. "The silver sets off your hair, you should definitely get it Amber."
"It's settled then." Amber said with a smile in Miranda's direction, "this is my dress." With that the blonde hurried back into the change room to get her skirt and t-shirt back on.
"So, I guess all that's left are my dress and yours," Miranda pointed out as they walked back into the show room.
"Whoop de doo." Replied Raven in a bored tone, the whole shopping ordeal was getting to her. It was either her ADD or the fact that clothes were just something she put on so she wouldn't have to walk around naked, but the black haired music witch didn't see much point in spending hours trying on outfits. Too bad that she actually had to care a little bit about finding a dress because she would be singing in front of the three main schools of Magix in just over a week
"Would you like some help? I know we both don't care too much about fashion, but two heads are better than none."
Raven just shrugged and both girls headed back towards the racks, Fiona met them over there and Amber soon joined. The other two girls had left their garment bags at the register so they wouldn't have to tote them through the store. Twenty long agonizing minutes later Raven heaved a loud sigh of resignation.
"This is hopeless!" She exclaimed, "I bet my mom had an easier time of it fighting Valtor than I'm having of finding a dress that won't make me look like a cream puff or a tooth fairy in training!"
"Maybe if you weren't so picky and didn't wind up getting us kicked out of three stores prior to this one you'd have more of a selection." Amber shot back. "Honestly Raven, sometimes you are more trouble than you're worth."
"You know Amber, you already have your dress, there really is no need for you to hang out with us anymore." Raven spat. "Why don't you take your prissy royal arse and go back to the dorm so you can brood about losing?"
Sensing that a brawl was about to commence, Fiona quickly placed herself between the bickering teens and held up her hands.
"Okay ladies, enough already!" she shouted causing other shoppers in the store to look over in their direction. "Now I understand that you were spelled Amber, but it's not going to do you or your stress levels any good to continuously snipe at Raven because I don't believe she's the culprit."
"Told ya so," Raven sing songed.
"As for you Raven, we get that you don't like shopping and make snarky comments to keep people from getting closer to you because that's just what your dad did for years, but enough already."
"Are you done?"
"Quite, now Amber, why don't you head over to that other cluster of dresses over there with Miranda," Fiona pointed to a rack of dresses on the opposite side of the store, "I'll deal with Raven's dress issue, especially since she needs a decent one for the dance."
"Don't remind me." Raven half begged, she didn't mind that she'd be standing on stage in front of crowds of people. She just didn't want to remember that she would be doing a duet with a boy she couldn't stand- even if she had only been in his presence for ten minutes when they had accepted the awards for their respective schools.
Amber felt a brief pang of sympathy for her roommate as she and Miranda headed towards the other side of the store to browse.
Miranda was an easy shopping partner once Amber had convinced her that there was no reason why she should blend in with all the staff and ornamental plants. They quickly picked out three dresses and Amber half dragged Miranda to the change rooms to try them on.
The first dress looked better on the hanger than did now on Miranda, her dark brown curls blended in with the dark brown taffeta of the dress. The second dress couldn't be pulled down past her chest which left the poor girl struggling until Amber opened the door and helped wrestle the rust colored satin net off of her friend. The third time though was obviously a charm, even Miranda could feel it as she slipped the gold embroidered gown over her head and walked out to have Amber help her do up the loops on the collar.
"You look wonderful." Amber said smiling as she fastened the last button hole, and it was true. The final gown was floor length with a small train in the back and embroidered with rust and brown designs on gold lace. There was a cut out neck line between the cap sleeves along with cut outs in the back . "It's very sophisticated."
"That settles it then," Miranda sighed. "I won't be sitting on the sidelines like I did in junior high."
"That's a good thing though, right?"
Miranda shrugged. "Why don't you just text Fiona and tell her we'll meet her and Raven back at school?"
Meanwhile on the other side of the store, Fiona was having the mother of all battles with Raven over finding a dress for their first formal dance. Raven had dismissed the four gowns Fiona had chosen for her as either too childish, too girly, to fussy and too street walker. The Linphean native was praying for her mother's sweet temperament which she hadn't inherited to get her through the rest of this shopping trip with her childhood friend.
"Fee, I'm going to be attending a dance with my father present!" Raven cried with a note of panic in her voice when she tossed the blood red 'street walker' dress over the door of the change room nearly hitting Fiona in the head with the hanger. "I can't look like a hooker! Let me go out and look myself please!"
Without waiting for a response, Raven dashed through the door of the change room and rushed barefooted towards junior formal wear. Once there, she flipped quickly through the dresses cursing herself for laughing at Ailani's insistence of having a dozen custom made formal gowns each school year and being too short and too curved to borrow anything but shoes from the Solarian princess even if she hadn't scoffed at the idea.
Raven was about to scream in frustration when she saw a scrap of vivid purple chiffon seemingly hidden between two pastel mother of the bride dresses just across from where she was. With the determination of a hunter in pursuit of her quarry, Raven headed straight for that purple fabric, woe to anyone who stood in her path. Grabbing the dress from its hiding place-because once she held it up in front of her it was very clear that someone else had hidden that dress in hopes that no one would see it- Raven knew that she'd found 'the one'. Holding her prize, she made her way back to the change room where Fiona was waiting for her, green eyes wide with shock.
"Well, let's hope it was worth stealing." Fiona remarked dryly as Raven popped back into the change room and slipped the dress over her head. "It looks like who ever saw it before you wanted to come back for it."
"Or just make sure no one else had the same dress she did," Raven offered as she smoothed the skirt so it hit two inches above her knee the chiffon overlay cascaded down to her ankles. The bright purple of the dress set off the violet highlights she intended to keep in her hair and her pale skin. Raven was pretty sure that if she didn't wear a push up bra her dad wouldn't go into cardiac arrest over the neckline either.
"And this dress was definitely worth hiding, I just hope who ever did it isn't from our group," Raven added coming out of the change room, "Because this is the dress I'm buying."
Fiona fought back tears of joy, after nearly two hours of searching and missing out on studying for her potions test, she had finally accomplished the first major battle of her life as a student of magic, and it didn't even involve casting a spell. She, Fiona DiFiore, had managed to help Raven find a dress that she actually liked. She wondered if her mom had felt this accomplished when she'd helped defeat the Wizards of the Black Circle.
Thank you so much for being patient while I finally got around to updating this story. I think the hardest part of this chapter was finding dresses I liked and taking the time to actually describe the dresses. Now Rogue, it's your turn.