SO. I watched this movie like 3 days ago and absolutely fell in love. Dave is such a sweetie. Balthazar is freaking awesome. There totally should have been more Drake (seriously).
Conclusion: Love, love, love, love. Here's some fanfic with endless linebreaks. Read enjoy and review (:
The weeks after the Arcana Cavana incident were the worst ones of his life.
Unfortunately for Dave, they were only the beginning.
Dave didn't understand why no one believed him. He knew what he had seen: there had been people inside that shop, one of them as evil and dark as one of the villain in one of his stories; except this wasn't a story, it wasn't a lie. It had been real!
But no one believed him. There had been no one in that shop. His teacher had hissed at him angrily for getting lost, and then blamed him for the broken items in the shop. She told him he was lucky that there had been no one inside to charge him for making a mess, but Dave didn't think he was lucky at all. He wished with all his heart that Balthazar was still in that shop, willed it with all his being, focusing on his ring as if somehow it would fix everything.
It took him three days to return to school. His parents had been angry and bewildered about the whole thing. His father had been tightlipped and scolding over what the teacher had told him, and he had sent Dave to his room without another word. His mother had tried to listen, gently scolding him not to lie, but later that gentleness would be gone, replaced with frustration at his insistence. She left him alone in the darkness of his room, feeling cold and confused. Balthazar had said he was a bad liar. Why didn't anyone believe him?
The kids at school jeered at him, calling him a liar and a bed wetter. His rising popularity came crashing down on him with each protest he made against the claims, red-faced and short-tempered. He landed himself in detention more times than he could count, and it was then that his anger turned to misery. Robert looked embarrassed to be seen with him and soon stopped talking to him. And Becky…
Becky didn't look at him anymore.
These days, no one really seemed to.
Dave never told anyone of his ring. He was afraid that they would think he had stolen it, and he feared that if they took it away from him then everything would become a lie, a dream, a story he had made up.
Sometimes—very rarely—he feared that it had been. The ring never did anything special anymore, no matter how hard he tried. He kept it close to him at all times, and although sometimes things seemed to move out of the corner of his eye, nothing really seemed to happen.
The thin small gash hidden along the skin of his thigh reminded him of the vase that had broken on top of him. It was almost unnoticeable to the eye but Dave saw it as clear as day and it eased the confused feeling in his chest on the days when he began to doubt himself.
Some nights, when his mind was clear and empty and his consciousness was beginning to drift off to sleep, there was a familiar warmth at the tip of his fingers, a bright light shimmering behind his closed lids. But the next time he opened his eyes the only thing that shone brightly was the sun greeting him from the other side of the window. His ring was nothing but a heavy weight on his hand, its dull, lifeless color mocking him.
His parents were at their wits end. They warned him over and over to stop picking fights at school, and despite his wish to please them Dave couldn't help but to keep insisting on the truth.
His father's face had never been redder in anger, and his mother's sorrow was an ever-present scar, looking ugly and jagged with disappointment. Dave didn't understand what he was doing wrong. They had raised him up to be an honest boy and he had never lied to them before. He didn't understand how they couldn't believe him.
They sent him to therapy.
Dave refused to be cooperative. He knew he wasn't a liar. He knew what he had seen. It was the doctors who were lying. He hadn't been hallucinating or daydreaming, and he definitely wasn't lying. It wasn't a cry for attention; it had happened! It had been real!
The more he insisted on this, the more his parents continued to ignore him. It was as if they couldn't bear to look at him anymore. More often than not Dave found himself alone in the house, the quiet stillness of it all sometimes playing tricks on his mind. Dave sometimes wondered if his parents even thought of him anymore. It was only their nightly hissed arguments, easily heard even behind closed doors, that reassured Dave that they did.
Some days, Dave wondered what would have happened if he had done as Balthazar had asked. If he hadn't messed around with the ring in the shop, then Balthazar would have never gone away. He would have taught him everything there was to know. He would have mentored him.
His classmates would no longer jeer at him. Becky would look at him again. Robert would return at his side. And his parents, they would smile at him again, looking proud and not disappointed.
Other days, Dave wondered if holding on to that moment—which was filled with not only wondrous things, but also scary, nightmare-inducing things—was really worth it.
Was that memory worth all the pain and humiliation he had faced over the years? His classmates' ridicule and his parents' disappointment?
There was a part somewhere deep inside of him that was screaming yes. Magic was a part of him, magic was his life—how could he even think of ignoring that which was a part of him?
Balthazar's eyes had looked tired when Dave had first walked into his shop. But when he had seen the ring come alive in Dave's hands, they had turned so full of life and hope. They had looked so happy.
Dave didn't know why, but that, above everything else, made it worth it.
"Where did we go wrong with you Dave? What have we done to deserve this?"
"Do you have any idea of the humiliation we have to face when people realize who you are? What you are?"
"I don't want to hear any more of your lies! Just, just leave Dave."
Sometimes he wished Balthazar would show up in the middle of the night so Dave could pull him into his parents' room and show them, make them see.
Mostly, Dave wished the older wizard could take him away from all of this.
The vase hadn't been particularly expensive or important. It had been an ugly vase actually. His mom had always wanted to get rid of it.
Control, Balthazar might have said once. Or maybe that had been a dream, but those were the words that rang through Dave's mind as he stared wide-eyed at the broken pieces of the vase that lay scattered on the floor.
His parents had fallen silent.
A moment like this was what Dave had been waiting for really. He had wanted to show off his magic for so long, prove that he wasn't lying, but now, at this moment, all he wanted was that vase to have never shattered in his anger. His parents stared helplessly in shock and denial, their words of protest for once nowhere to be found.
Dave hated the way they were looking at him. Their gaze turned judging… fearful. Dave clutched at his ring, hidden in the pocket of his trousers, and all at once he began to feel ashamed of what he had done. Of what he could do.
After what seemed like an eternity his father finally spoke up again. He stared straight into Dave's eyes and then, "No more lies, Dave." He told him, his voice trying to be stern but failing. After all, he was the one insisting on the biggest lie of them all; but at this moment Dave was willing to overlook that. Dave was willing to overlook everything as long as his parents stopped looking at him as if… as if he was…
"I'm sorry." He told him, them, both. Dave decided then, it was time to put all of this behind him. All he wanted was everything to return to normal.
That night, before he went to sleep, he took care to hide away the ring. Dave couldn't bear to throw it away, despite his wish to put everything behind him. One day, he would though. For now, this would be enough.
They never spoke of it again after that. His therapist declared his episode a hallucination and Dave accepted that without protest for once. His parents avoided his eyes more often than not, their smiles becoming fixed, but Dave could live with that too.
When they told him they were moving to another city, Dave merely smiled at them and asked him where to.
Things changed. He found himself lying to them (to himself) more often than not. Nobody protested over the fact that it was obvious what he was up to. This was the one lie that everyone seemed content to believe.
(The hardest part was tricking himself to believe this; but for his parents, Dave could do anything.)
Of course, school was still an issue. No matter where he went, his name seemed to be linked with ridicule and derision. As time went on Dave couldn't help but to sigh at these antics, feeling more exasperated than resentful.
He threw himself into his studies. He sought to be the best son his parents could ask for. He became the class genius, even if his social life was practically nonexistent.
Bennet was a good friend to him at least.
Years went by, and despite the fact that he never seemed to fit in with the rest of his classmates, and despite the fact that his relationship with his parents never fully recovered, Dave thought that his life was pretty good.
(In truth, Dave thought there was always something missing.)
They say the past always came back to haunt you. Dave didn't particularly mind that proverb much, especially not when it meant that Becky could become a part of his life once more.
He had felt so lucky, as if the curse of his life had finally been lifted.
And then Balthazar came crashing back into his life, not a few hours after.
He really should have seen that coming.
He should have been angrier. He should have protested more. But the fact was that despite saying he had put his past behind, Dave had waited for this moment for ten years.
He had so many questions he wanted to ask. Some were quickly answered. Others didn't need to be asked.
And the last, he couldn't dare ask him.
Why didn't you come back? Why didn't anyone believe me? Are you going to leave me again?
Despite his protests of wanting a normal life, of wanting to forget that day at the Arcana Cabana, Dave knew from the moment he had met Balthazar that he was meant for something more.
It was scary, sure. Being attacked by wolves, dragons, as well as threatened by one of the evilest wizards and his not-quite-evil protégé was kind of frightening.
But the moment he had been able to use magic, real magic, Dave had felt complete for the first time in a long time. Something finally seemed to click in place, something wonderful and not at all shameful.
Balthazar looked pleased to hear that answer. Dave smiled happily to himself.
Magic was real. It had always been. And despite the fact that there were some Evil Sorcerers to beat, and that he sort of had to Save The World… this wasn't a fairy tale, it was definitely real.
(Here, in this city, miles away from his parents, Dave thought he could put that past behind at last and pick up right where he had left off ten years ago.)
(And anyway, the hero always got the girl. Meeting Becky at this time couldn't possibly be just a coincidence. Maybe that was magic too.)
There was plenty to learn, but there was plenty of time too. Dave had waited ten years for this after all, and no matter how much he may whine about the old man's training, Dave's life had finally been set right again.
(Dave had always known the wait would be worth it.)