Malchior… Words can not describe how much I hate that guy. He took a vulnerable teenage girl with low self-esteem, manipulated her and ended up making her even more messed up than before. Anyone else ever notice how Raven got even quieter after the events of Spellbound?

Words can't describe how much he creeps me out, either, because his patterns of behavior with Raven were so strongly reminiscent of how a sexual predator works (Can you imagine the sort of nightmares Spellbound must have given savvy parents?). He sort of sounded like he'd had practice, too.

Oh, Malchior's never mentioned by name in the oneshot, though I'm sure you guys can gather who it's about. I don't think Raven would like to refer to him by name, after what happened.

Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans.

He hurt her, wounded her, tried to kill her and in a way he did.

Raven's dark eyes grew darker, harder, colder. Shutters went down over the irises, even more concealing than what had been there before. She retreated into herself, thought over her hurts, looked back and saw, in hindsight, what should have been so obvious but wasn't.

She was so stupid… She knew so well that if something seemed too good to be true, it usually was, and Raven knew this wasn't an exception, but she'd wanted so badly for it to be true that she just took him at face value and hoped for the best, never expecting the worst as she should have done.

A human spirit trapped in an inanimate object, over the course of a thousand years, would eventually dissipate and disintegrate into the atmosphere. A disembodied human soul simply could not survive in a temporary vessel for so long.

But an immortal spirit could, and a dragon was reported to have gone down at the same time as the sorcerer. It was so simple, so easy to see, but Raven had missed all of it. It would have explained how the unnamed book had survived for so long, too. The spirit of the dragon animated the pages and kept them from decaying.

He'd had a silver tongue. Raven wondered, caustically, where he'd learned the words to charm human girls, if he'd been in the position to have to manipulate a woman before. It wouldn't have surprised her.

Probably said a thousand times… He'd just never come across a magic-user with the power sufficient to release the seal on his soul before. The spell certainly would have killed anyone with insufficient raw power to perform it.

He'd had a silver tongue… and an iron hand, and a cruel heart.

And Raven, for all she had thought she was so strong, had fallen right into his trap. She'd known but never really appreciated how lonely she was until he'd called her beautiful.

She knew now. Knew better.

She wouldn't make the mistake of letting someone in like that again.

Especially not someone with a silver tongue, who knew all the right words to say, to beguile and influence.

Never again.