A/N: Well, this is it.

Thank you for sticking with me and my overactive imagination to the end. Seriously- it's been great. Now, I hope you enjoy the finale. :)

The Necromancer's Matter, Part 13; Legendary

Their destination was in sight. Gradually the skeletal dragon lowered to the bloodstained ground, the force of it's beating wings sending vibrations through her bones.

Destiny turned to Vladimir. "I take it we're here?"

Vladimir just nodded, refusing to say much more.

Taking Vladimir's word for it, Destiny looked around furthermore for Valkoor Thorn.. Where was he...

It wasn't hard to spot a sick, mutated thing along the way.

The thing looked like a cross between a human and a dragon. It was, for the most part, in a human shape, but that's all that there was familiar about it. Wings covered in a gross substance protruded out of it's back, and it's skin was a mutated light red with spots of darker red and black visible. Talons unfurled from bulky fingers, and large amber eyes scanned around pointedly. And it looked to be around ten feet tall.

Destiny took a deep breath. "Don't tell me that's..." she couldn't finish the sentence.

Vladimir nodded. "It is."

Destiny scanned Valkoor, looking for any kind of weaknesses that she could possibly use to her advantage. After all, she was the one who was supposed to defeat this thing, right?

Let's see... he was huge, so perhaps agility might work, although she'd have to go fast. He was looking around a bunch, looking for anything that might stand in his way-

Although he wasn't noticing them.

Quickly a half of a plan flashed in Destiny's mind. Before she could assess it, she stood up, bent her knees, and dove off the dragon.

Vladimir's eyes nearly became the size of Valkoor himself. "What the- Destiny!"

For a few moments, she was weightless save the Blade of Seven repeatedly whacking her hip as a result of the air currents.

The next moment she had a pain rippling through her arms and legs from the impact of landing on Valkoor.

She wasted no time. Destiny picked herself up and drew the Blade of Seven, which, along with her landing on his shoulder, averted his attention to her.

Thinking on her feet, Destiny twirled the Blade of Seven in her hands so it was facing downwards, and plunged it straight into Valkoor's shoulder.

Valkoor gritted his teeth as Destiny made sure to twist it for extra effect. He growled unearthly at the nuisance, and swiped his hand across his shoulder to get rid of her.

Destiny's eyes widened once she saw that hand nearly the size of her own body come towards her. Knowing that she had to quickly avoid it or get seriously injured, she released her grip on the Blade of Seven, still in Valkoor's shoulder, and flung herself off his shoulder.

Airborne again, Destiny quickly looked for a way to get onto Valkoor's body. Perhaps a leg...

She twisted her body so it was facing Valkoor's leg, and maneuvered her body so it got closer and closer to Valkoor-

Her efforts failed. As a result, Destiny hit the ground facedown, and she heard a sickening crack and red liquid edge into her sights.

Destiny screamed at the vicious pain searing through her veins. Despite this, she knew that she had to defeat Valkoor- even if she had to die.

She took a deep breath and picked herself back up despite the pain. Right when she stood up her legs faltered, but Destiny forced herself to steady them. Her nose, given the pain also stemming from that and the crack she had heard earlier... it was broken, wasn't it?

No matter. She had to go on.

Narrowing her eyes, Destiny began to run, slowly at first, but quickly began to pick up pace once Valkoor's foot was nearer. And thanks to the quick pace, she was able to make a decently high jump and get onto Valkoor's leg.

Valkoor growled at the sight of her climbing his leg in an attempt to get up there and hurt him. He had a feeling that he had to get rid of her, and fast-

Wait a minute. The aura around her- a radiant, clean one. It was heralding that she was a Pure Descendant-

Valkoor froze. This meant not only she had Valkoor's blood flowing through her veins as well, but it might mean... that Prophecy of Fire... could it mean that she was the one to defeat him?

Because she sure looked to be a necromancer at the very least.

Valkoor had to kill her. And fast.

Meanwhile, his pondering had gave Destiny a bit more time. Now she was on his kneecap, which protruded enough to give her a good enough foothold. Destiny paused for a second to catch her breath, then jumped again and resumed climbing.

Destiny was seriously beginning to annoy Valkoor. He plucked the Blade of Seven out from his own shoulder and was just about to fling it at her, if something hadn't hit his head- hard.

Valkoor's head whirled around to see that wretched Vladimir hovering on that skeletal dragon.

"Come on, you can do better than that!" Vladimir taunted before hunching his back over and guiding his dragon, who gave a splintering war cry, to ram into Valkoor's head again.

Hmm, who should he deal with first? Vladimir or Destiny?


Valkoor threw the Blade of Seven straight at Destiny's head, who immediately froze. Death was flying toward her, blade over hilt and hilt over blade...

What was she to do? Release her grip and fall to her death or stay here and have the very Blade she forged to kill her? It was death either way.

Before the Blade of Seven could pierce her skull, Vladimir quickly swooped down to get to the Blade before it got to Destiny.

Vladimir narrowed his eyes. Come on...

The dragon arced under the Blade and caught it in its lap behind Vladimir.

Destiny stared at Vladimir and the dragon. They had saved her life... just two hours ago she would think them much more likely to take it.

Vladimir twisted his body around so he could get the Blade of Seven from behind. The legendary weapon in his hand, he directed his dragon around cleanly, flew behind Valkoor and slashed the nape of his neck before flying away high above his head.

Encouraged by Vladimir's actions, Destiny nodded briefly to herself, reminding herself of her mission and proceeded onwards.

Valkoor's lips transformed into a snarl. He turned around slowly, trying to spot Vladimir...

Who had now flown near Destiny. "Catch!" he yelled as he threw the Blade of Seven rather gracefully.

Destiny wasn't scared of the Blade of Seven coming near her this time. She jumped off Valkoor's leg, snatched the sword in mid-air, then landed on Valkoor's other scaly leg, plunging it into the middle of his thigh.

Now Valkoor was very annoyed. He had to get rid of those two, and fast. Destiny and Vladimir had only been allies for a few minutes and already they were an astounding duo.

Destiny yanked the Blade out of Valkoor's leg and backflipped off of it onto his kneecap. There she scrambled and laid down as she stabbed the sword into his kneecap.

Valkoor roared in frustration, then finally took the liberty to bend down and smack Destiny off of him again.

This time Valkoor was successful in getting Destiny off of him, and the impact of his hand stung into Destiny's stomach, plowing her down into the ground. She barely even realized she was falling before she landed on the ground, on her back this time, and her spine was skidding across the ground and pain was arcing through her once more by the time she realized she needed to get back up.

The pain forced Destiny to stay down. She mashed her teeth together forcefully as if they were trying to break into each other in order to keep from crying out loud in pain. She couldn't let Valkoor know that she was in pain...

Destiny could hear Vladimir calling her name, and she realized too late that Valkoor was bringing his foot down on her.

His force sent the Blade of Seven skyrocketing from her hand, and once more she was sent flying, back skidding across the ground. Primary colors socialized in her vision, and she felt like she was teetering on a log although she was laying down...

Faintly Destiny heard the flapping of skeletal wings, but Valkoor was there first. She barely realized that Valkoor was picking her up by her ankle, then was tossed yet again like a rag doll.

This time Destiny knew she had to catch herself. She gathered every last ounce of strength she could possibly find, then landed on her feet.

Breaths tore their way free out of Destiny's mouth, and it took all she had to walk to the Blade of Seven, pick it up, and actually charge towards Valkoor-

Suddenly she felt a new burst of energy break free. The random spots of color faded, and her vision was suddenly much more clear. Edges sharpened, colors that were supposed to be there boldened, and she could pick out more details than she could when she felt like she was on the verge of death.

"Hey! Will you back off on killing Valkoor for a while? I believe it's my turn now."

Her head instinctively flew up towards Vladimir, but he was looking around, same as her. Then she caught just who the owner of the voice was-


Neela, dressed in Fire robes instead of the Death ones Destiny had recognized her so well as, smiled cruelly at Valkoor.

"Hello," she greeted. "My show now!"

There was something in her voice, however confidant she looked, that quivered and needed to settle itself.

Valkoor narrowed his eyes, curious as to the newcomer. "And you are?"

Neela gripped her staff pointedly. "The one who's going to defeat you- Valkoor." She said the name sarcastically, as if she wasn't speaking to Valkoor. "Or should I call you that?"

Vladimir and his dragon stopped flying around, their eyes now staring at Neela intently. Should she call him that... what was she talking about?

Then he remembered that Ambrose had pretty much said the same thing- that he wasn't Valkoor or something.

"Or perhaps," Neela continued, half to herself, "I should call you Neela Waterpetal!"

Vladimir nearly fell off his dragon. What the... how could Valkoor be Neela if Neela was standing right there?!

Valkoor laughed uneasily, a laugh that echoed throughout the battlefield due to his massive height. The uneasiness was camouflaged very well, only a small part of his voice suggesting it.

"Right," he boomed. "I am not this Neela. My name is Valkoor Thorn, the Dragon Titan!"

"Okay, Valkoor Thorn the Dragon Titan," Neela used her hand to mimic a mouth, and repeated Valkoor's words in a high-pitched, mocking voice. "Personally- actually, you know what? I don't care who you are. Point is, I'm gonna kill you!"

Right away Neela carved a Fire symbol with her staff. Destiny reached out a hand to stop her, tell her to leave it all up to her-

Wait a minute. That line. Girl of Death and Fire...

That could very well be Neela.

Destiny gasped at her revelation. So, did this mean... was she not going to die?

But if she wasn't going to die... that meant Neela would!

And having saw Ryan on his deathbed, his fate uncertain even though Jessica, Cody and everyone Sacrificed a portion of their energy to help him stay alive- Destiny couldn't bear to lose Neela, even if she had been an enemy of hers for a long time.

Remembering them Sacrificing for Ryan then caused her to realize- that burst of energy she had gotten. That had been from Neela, hadn't it?

So that meant... Neela knew about what she was going to do. Because unless she knew she was going to die anyways, she wouldn't have taken on Valkoor without much energy.

A phoenix shot from the Fire symbol, which angrily dove towards Valkoor. Immediately Valkoor tried to sweep the phoenix away with his hand, but his efforts were useless. The phoenix bit into his head, lighting it on fire.

Destiny smiled at Valkoor trying to hold it in, the fire gradually settling down. With she and Vladimir having weakened him, and Neela preparing to kill him... they were going to defeat Valkoor, weren't they?

A radiant beam of hope shone through her body.

Neela wasted no more time. Yet again a Fire symbol popped out of her staff's rhythmic movements, and in exchange a meteor shower hurled themselves at Valkoor.

Valkoor didn't waste time either. The Thorn Crest popped to life as well, creating an effective shield against the meteor shower. Then Valkoor quickly made that same symbol, bringing a radiant yet empty beam of light at Neela.

That sole beam of light shot systematically split into other black beams, then they all projected themselves at Neela. The beams had an effect on Neela, boring into her stomach and forcing her to stagger back.

Suddenly, a beam the color of ice shot out from Neela- immediately a confused expression contorted her face. Then shot out a fiery red one, a purple one, a yellow one-

Destiny realized that this was exactly what had happened in her duel with Vladimir.

She had always wondered how she had been able to do that. Now it made sense to her- somehow, as a Pure Descendant, she had been able to channel her enormous energy as a Pure Descendant and convert into a devastating attack.

The black and green rays appeared soon enough. They all mingled together, making a tan ball of swirling energy- then that ball hurled itself at Valkoor.

Valkoor had no time to prepare for what was coming. His eyes widened as the ball of energy, containing the power of all seven main schools, pommeled into his stomach.

The Ninth Legendary gritted his teeth, and bit by bit parts of his body began to crumble, like a giant hand squishing sand apart. Valkoor threw himself on the ground, trying not to crumble to death.

His strategy wasn't working.

Valkoor meshed his teeth together, feeling himself falling apart. His own body part were slipping and sliding, crumbling-

No. He would refuse to acknowledge it. He would stay alive and conquer the Spiral, even if he would do so by sheer willpower alone.

"No one can destroy me!" Valkoor screamed. "I am the Ninth Legendary! I am the Dragon Titan! I am Valkoor Thorn! No one, and I mean no one- can get rid of me permanently!"

Valkoor's words weren't exactly convincing. Even as he spoke, only his body from the waist up remained, and he had returned to his regular size.

Neela stared at Valkoor, half in horror, and half in pride. The sight of him denigrating was terrible, and she knew that she had done that-

But at the same time, she had been able to take on a Legendary and win, even if her soul was the one residing in it.

Valkoor screamed again, one so piercing that everyone felt as if they had to cover their ears with their hands otherwise they'd go deaf. Blinding black rays penetrated from his chest, bit by bit consuming what was left of Valkoor.

Destiny, Vladimir and Neela systematically turned away from the awful sight, as if seeing Valkoor collapse would mean their end as well. Slowly the light faded, and all three felt as if it was safe to look.

And when they did, no sign was left of Valkoor except a pile of ash.

They couldn't believe it- Valkoor Thorn was actually gone.

Neela let out a few breaths of relief. "I... I did it-"

Her words were quickly cut off when a sharp knife of pain stabbed into her chest. And the pain didn't just stand in one area- it was as if multiple rounds of electricity were racing through her whole body.

But at the same time, she felt relaxed. She could feel immense waves of power coming through her body. Her vision sharpened, her hearing was extended, and now physical objects that she touched would feel much more powerful. It felt as if the essence of magic itself was in her very fingertips...

Because maybe it was.

Neela straightened, looking at her hands and at her whole body as if she'd just transformed into an animal. It was the same, yet different. Around it held a radiant aura- an aura of power and peace at the same time.

The Force.

Neela's eyes widened, momentarily forgetting the pain. So this was what happened when she killed a Legendary, huh? Woah...

She wasn't celebrating for long.

Right at that moment, the very ground below her began to tremble, as if it was suffering from hypothermia. Many wizards scattered throughout the battlefield looked around, screamed, or, as most of them did, make a break for the Basilica.

Vladimir hopped off his dragon for a moment and immediately wished he didn't. "What's going on?" he bellowed through the chaos.

The situation was becoming worse- before they knew it much of the ground was splitting rapdily, as if being cut from giant scissors. As the cracks widened, lava began to seep out and overtake the rivers.

Destiny gulped, remembering what had happened at the arena, then she remembered what Nicholas Ashwielder had said long ago.

"A world will fall..."

"I think... I think the impact of Neela's spell is causing Dragonspyre to deteriorate!"

Neela froze, the color from her face melting when she realized that she was the one who caused this, even if she had done it to defeat Valkoor.

As if on cue, she felt the last of the Force came to her.

Neela's words tangled themselves up in her mouth. She knew what she had to do next.

She could see it all. By killing Valkoor, she would live, but only for a while. Bit by bit she'd deteriorate until she joined the afterlife.

But now, with the Force...

Neela shook her head anxiously. "Destiny, Vladimir, run, quickly!" she shouted suddenly.

Destiny didn't need to be told a second time. Right after Neela finished her sentence she made a desperate break for it, sparing a last look behind her- one filled with sorrow.

But Vladimir stopped running, spinning on his heels. "Neela, come on! Before Dragonspyre collapses completely!"

Neela just shook her head sadly.

Vladimir's face lost the hurried expression. "Neela... what's wrong?"

Neela shook her head anxiously, not wanting to explain this to Vladimir and put him through so much hurt beforehand. "It's nothing. I'll catch up with you later."

"It's not nothing. What's wrong?"


"I'm not going until you give me an explaination!" Vladimir felt his voice rising, and immediately shrunk for raising his voice at her.

But Neela didn't care. She took a deep breath.

"Vladimir... I have to delay Dragonspyre from collapsing. I got the Force from Valkoor, and I'm using that to give everyone time to evacuate the world."

Vladimir stared at Neela for a few moments, not quite grasping the point- then suddenly gasped.

"Wait- no!" Vladimir cried. He gripped her shoulders as if he wanted to crush them into oblivion, and in that moment Neela's shoulders ached almost half as much as

Vladimir's heart did. "I just lost Llewella! I can't lose you too!"

Neela smiled assuringly. "Don't worry about me- besides, I'm going to die anyways, as a result of killing Valkoor. May as well do it now, you know?"

From a distance, Destiny had stopped to look at the scene. By now almost everyone had fled to the Basilica- all except her, Vladimir and Neela. What was going on between the two?

"But Neela-" Vladimir seemed to have difficulty breathing. And from a distance, Destiny could see something glinting on his face...

Was the ruthless Vladimir Thorn crying?

"I have to stay," Neela interrupted with a voice harsher than she intended.

Their eyes locked for a moment- eventually amber won.

Neela's shoulders slacked, and she placed her hands on his shoulders. "Vladimir, I... I..." Neela tore her head away and sighed, then brought it back up again, this time with a small smile on her face. "Point is, you're the greatest friend I've ever had. I'll see you again, soon. I promise."

Vladimir's throat constricted, then nodded, eyes pooling. For a few long moments he stared into her eyes... they were very bright in this angle...

"Go," Neela said abruptly, breaking the moment. "Get out of Dragonspyre along with everyone else. I imagine the Legendaries have left, so have everyone on both sides- now it's your turn. Don't have me die on you for nothing!"

Vladimir chuckled a bit, but it didn't remove the tears on his face. At long last, he turned around and ran away as fast as he could.

"Yeah, I'll see you again." Vladimir said again to himself, voice cracking. He believed in those words- and that belief was what held him from looking back.

Neela swallowed down a gulp. Bit by bit, Dragonspyre was collapsing-

She had to do it. This moment- it all came down to this. This might be even why she had been born.

It had been hard, saying goodbye to Vladimir. And in the end, she hadn't even mustered the courage to say what she had wanted to say.

No matter. She had to focus on the task ahead of her.

Neela closed her eyes. She could feel it- she could feel the Force resonating deep inside her heart, burning with great brilliance.

Slowly she allowed some of that brilliance to seep out of her body. She herself felt the Force begin to seep out of her...

Neela opened her eyes again and smiled, breathtaken.

The Force... when expressed outwardly, it was... beautiful. That was the only word that could hope to be used to describe it.

It was hard to describe the Force. It was like an outline surrounding her, all glowing in such iridescent colors and just like the sensation she had felt earlier when receiving it. It was like looking at the dazzling wings of an angel- powerful, yet peaceful.

Neela sighed in awe at the sight. All of those beautiful colors... a much more pretty last sight than all of the swirling magma and collapsing cobblestone around her.

Neela closed her eyes again and focused on releasing the rest of the Force outside of her. She thought of happy memories, her friends, good times, and the Order and Destiny here or there.

But Neela mostly thought about Vladimir. His shoulder-length black hair, his round aqua eyes, the way he threw his head back when he laughed.

Scratch the Force being the best last sight. Vladimir was.

Neela Waterpetal grinned broadly and let the rest of it out.

Everyone looked grim, especially Vladimir.

No one said a word. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. All anyone could hear were the occasional wails of a baby and the shuffling footsteps.

Many people had died in the Battle of Dragonspyre. Neela, Headmaster Ambrose... at least Ryan lived, although his physical recovery would take at least a month. His psychological recovery a lot more.

It was time for everyone to sit down. Destiny looked all around her- Natalie was crying, Alexis trying to comfort her. Esmee and Jessica were sitting side by side, and for once Jessica wasn't protesting about how Life and Ice were lame. And Vladimir just sat there morosely.

She barely even payed attention to what the speakers said at the funeral. Sometimes she did hear a few speeches about Neela.

It was soon Vladimir's turn to go up after another one of Neela's close friends finised her speech. He too had been assigned to give a small speech about Neela.

Vladimir's eyes were downcast, as if he couldn't bear to look at everyone. "I spoke with Neela in her last moments," he said in a small voice. "She seemed more than willing to sacrifice herself for everyone else- something I truly admire. Neela... she was one of the most wonderful friends I could ever had, and sometimes I even had fantasized about it turning into something more."

Destiny could hear the holes in his voice.

Vladimir was overly relieved when he was allowed to step off the podium for Neela's mother to say a few words.

The rest of the funeral dragged on slowly. Morbid hymn after morbid hymn, too much crying...

But Vladimir had already cried all the tears he had to cry. Because of this, he showed no tears during the funeral, and he knew that others would be thinking him a heartless freak for that.

At last all the attendants departed. For the longest time, Vladimir was still sitting down. He only stood up when it seemed everyone else had gone- except for another person, head low.

Vladimir approached the figure cautiously. As he got nearer, he could see it was a girl, probably his age, with light blonde hair and morbid, shady blue eyes. Her soft chin pointed to an elaborate blue and white dress.

"Um, you okay?" Vladimir tried. He already knew the answer, but it didn't hurt to ask.

The girl looked up, then smiled wearily. "Yeah. Just that... Neela... she was my friend. We were very close."

That's when Vladimir recognized her as the speaker before him.

The girl chuckled a bit, trying to lighten the mood. "Anyways, my name's Isabella. Isabella Pearltamer. You?"

"Vladimir Thorn," Vladimir replied automatically.

Isabella raised her eyebrows. "I see. So you're that rich Marleybonian kid, huh?"

Before she could say anything else, a new voice cut in. "Vladimir- Headmistress Ambrose wants to see us."

Vladimir spun on his heels to see Destiny. She was one of the few girls who had worn dress pants for the occasion instead of a dress or skirt.

He nodded. "Right."

Vladimir followed her to the Headmaster's off- the Headmistress's office. When Redbeard Ambrose had died, Amber Ambrose had assumed the position quickly, even with a baby to look after and with a shattered heart.

He still felt quite responsible for his death, for Llewella's death, for Neela's death. If he just hadn't-


Vladimir hadn't even noticed that he and Destiny had arrived.

He straightened his back. "Yes?"

The Headmistress closed her eyes serenely. "You, Vladimir Thorn, were the one to revive Valkoor Thorn, am I correct? Neela may have finished it, but you did most of the work with planning it and whatnot, is this right?"

Weakly Vladimir nodded as Destiny shot him a concerned look. What was going to happen now? He could tell that he was going to be punished- severely- for his actions.

And he had to face it- he deserved it.

"I'm assuming that you must feel horrific guilt for your actions-"

Already Vladimir couldn't take it. He threw his face down so it could see nothing but the floor, his face twisting into a look of pure sorrow.

"I'm so sorry!" Vladmir said. "If I had known what would have happened-"

"Hardly anyone is blaming you, Vladimir. And if they do, I'll make sure that they take it up with me, all right?"

Vladimir stared at her in disbelief, lining up his neck and spine again.

"With the loss of your sister and friend, I think that's all the punishment you need," Amber continued, her back to Vladimir as she looked through a shelf filled with books. "But there is a line of the Prophecy of Fire that is still incomplete."

Headmistress Amber took a book out and looked through the pages for a moment, then her eyes rested on one page.

"Let's skip to the last lines, shall we?" Amber asked. "Part of the enemy shall deem himself good, a powerful rage unleashed."

Vladimir cringed. The first part mentioned Cody leaving him, and that powerful rage was the one he had felt when Llewella had left him.

"One that will reawaken him, with the power of the Legendaries."

Valkoor Thorn. Vladimir hoped that the Prophecy wouldn't throw all of his mistakes back in his face.

"A soul split, blood and carnage will follow in his wake, Death shall fully claim a numerous population, the Holder of the Force being one in death arms... passing down and becoming Thorn's Burden."

Amber looked up, barely giving Vladimir time to react. "Vladimir... I think this means you."

Vladimir took a step back in shock. Him... the Holder of the Force? But...

Destiny said it before he did. "That's not a punishment, that's a reward," she protested. Then she looked back to Vladimir and embarrassingly added, "Not that I want you to get punished or anything, but-"

"It is both a curse and a blessing," Amber intercepted. "But whether you discern it as a reward or punishment, this is possibly the largest responsibility anyone can possibly imagine. You have the essence of magic at your fingertips yet you must control it severely and only use that added power in a time of great need."

Amber took a deep breath. "As of now, I am the Holder. But I can choose to give it to someone else if I wish it so. And I do- with being the Headmistress of Ravenwood and my son to look after, I don't think I could take on the responsibility. But you, Vladimir... after the Battle of Dragonspyre, I think you have a sense of responsibility. You now see a very fine line between good and evil when it is so thin for the rest of us."

"But I'm a Descendant of Valkoor," Vladimir said. "I mean, my ancestors have a bloodstained history. What makes you so sure that I'm the right one for the job?"

Amber smiled so warmly it felt that she could melt a tundra just with that smile alone. "Just the fact that you're humble about it affirms that you are the right one for the job. Now, do you accept?"

Vladimir raised his eyebrows, still unsure of what to say. He licked his lips and shuffled his feet. Destiny was right- this did seem more like a reward than a punishment.

And Vladimir had gone crazy with trying to resurrect Valkoor- how was he so sure that he wouldn't go crazy with this as well?

But then Vladimir thought of Neela and Llewella. They had both died on his watch. Perhaps Neela was foretold to die, and perhaps Llewella had chosen to sacrifice herself, but that didn't mean that he still didn't feel responsible for their deaths. He should have never revived Valkoor...

And he had to make sure that didn't happen again. What if he could prevent later deaths? If he wanted to help the ones he loved avoid death, he would have to start by protecting them. Perhaps accepting the Force would be the best way to do that.

Destiny witnessed Vladimir nod determinedly. "I do."

With that, Headmistress Ambrose stretched her arm out, and Vladimir placed his hand in hers. Nothing happened at first, but slowly a radiant, powerful yet peaceful aura surrounded the both of them until they were completely encased in the light...

Then a faint tingling was heard, like a miniature explosion. All at once it began to secede, and Vladimir was staring at himself as if he had just grown an extra arm but couldn't find where it was.

Amber nodded. "Vladimir Thorn, you are now the current Holder. You are excused."

Vladimir didn't exit for a few moments. Then he finally gave a quick nod and walked out, Destiny quickly following.

"So how does it feel?" Destiny asked once they were outside. "You now contain the Force, what's it like?"

Vladimir's face contorted, as if he was trying to decide which expression to use. "Difficult to say," he said at last. "You feel as if you can do anything, because you can. But at the same time, it's like walking in a minefield- you never know when you're accidentally going to let it loose."

"Do you regret receiving this?"

"Mmm, partially."

Destiny took a deep breath and stared on ahead. Wizard City still looked the same with the clear lake, ripe grass and graceful sky. The sky was even more beautiful at this time- the funeral had been in the early morning so the attendants could spend the rest of the day paying their respects. Due to this the sun was just barely beginning to take to the sky, slowly illuminating the sky a vivid painting of reds, purples and yellows.

"The sun's coming up," Vladimir noted. "Finally- we have some light."

Destiny nodded. "Yeah- a new dawn."

She closed her eyes gently, remembering all of the things she and the Order had gone through, all the places they'd been, the Descendants and Shards they had to find...

It was hard to believe that the thrill of it all was over. Destiny would miss that feeling of adrenaline she got every time she battled Vladimir or Neela, the victory of whenever they achieved something great, or even those strangely prophetic dreams she got once in a while.

On another hand, she was grateful for it.

Destiny opened her eyes again, squinting when she found she was looking into the sun. She lowered her eyes and smiled. She could finally relax.

"Seriously? That's it?"

"Yup. After all, all stories eventually come to an end."

Angie rolled her eyes defiantly. "Well yeah, but this one didn't have to! After all, I remember someone saying that a story is never finished, only abandoned."

"Well, I'm afraid that I'll have to abandon this for now." I gave a small smile to my little sister. After thirteen days, one part a day, she had grown unbelievably attached to the story that I had made up as I went. It was very amusing to me to see her reactions to everything I told, as if she were three years old again and not eight going on nine. However, her love for the story just might backfire on me right now.

"But still! That's the worst way to end a story- with a death! Why did you make Neela die? WHY?!"

I giggled. "Well, her tale had to come to an end especially. And if she hadn't died, than everyone else would have."

"And Vladimir. Oh my gosh why was he the one to get the Force in the end? He doesn't deserve it!"

"It's both a punishment and a reward," I found myself quoting Amber Ambrose. Truth be told I had grown very attached to poor Vladimir Thorn in the end. At first he was just meant to be some random, narcissistic villain- but he had turned out very different. "Well- aside from the ending, did you like it?"

Angie's frown instantly broke into a smile. "Did I like it? Are you kidding me- I loved it!"

Screams outside abruptly rung through the air outside before either of us could say anything more, followed by a loud rumbling that made me want to shrivel up under my study desk.

But I didn't do that. I crossed over to the door and flung it open, eyes anxiously scanning Ravenwood to check out what was happening. The screams were even louder now, and everyone may as well have been running around in circles.

"What's going on?" Angie yelled through the chaos.

"That's what I'm trying to find out!"

A new voice joined us. "Alyssa!"

My head turned to the familiar voice- Valdus Nightheart, one of my closest friends.

"What's going on?" I repeated the question to the conjuror.

"I'm not too sure!" Valdus yelled, trying to speak even when he was shoved aside by a fleeing wizard. "But I'm pretty sure it's coming from the Death School!"

I threw my head back to see Angie's face, which looked like a picture of horror.

"Th-the Death School?" Angie quivered. She had hated her school at first, but my story had helped her adjust to it. "I wanna come too!"

"No, Angie, stay here," I warned as I drew my wand out of my purple robe.


I took a step outside, but before I joined Valdus, I backtracked momentarily and flashed a smile at Angie. "Don't worry- I think you're right. It's not over yet."

I shut the door behind me before I could see Angie's reaction.