AN~ Hey all! This is a plotbunny I've had in my head for ages, and a VERY late Christmas present for sistersgrimmfan on deviantART. It's really long, and it was originally going to be longer, but I decided I had to cut it short to keep from making it a multichapter fic. Hope you enjoy!
Scarborough, Dear Reader, is a small town in Westchester County, New York State, on the banks of the Tappan Zee river, in the mostly empty space between the towns of Sleepy Hollow and Ossing. There is another town with the same name in England, but a spell will always choose the route of least power to satisfy the requirements, as Sabrina learns.
"Puck?" Sabrina asked, taking a deep breath. "So, listen... I kind of think... I kind of think I like you. As more than a friend. And I get that you don't like me back and that's OK, but I just thought you deserved to know 'cause friends don't keep secrets from each other. Just... just tell me you don't like me and promise not to get all awkward around me, 'cause this doesn't have to change anything. I was just tired of keeping it from you."
Puck stared at Sabrina for a full five minutes, then said, "You... you mean like as a friend, right? That kind of like?"
Sabrina gave him a look. "Would I give you a whole speech about how we're friends? If you don't like me back, you can just say it, you don't have to go all weird on me."
Puck took a deep breath of his own, then said, "Grimm, I figured you already knew I liked you. I mean, I grew up for you. I just kind of figured that, y'know, you got over me. 'Cause I knew you liked me once."
"Yeah," Sabrina said, remembering the apple incident. "Well, I didn't. And here we've both spent the past five years thinking the other one didn't feel the same way."
"Kind of stupid, huh?" Puck asked, smiling wryly.
Sabrina grinned back at him. "Yeah. Really stupid. Like you."
Puck rolled his eyes. "Says the idiot. You would be dead if it wasn't for my brains. Admit it."
"Your brains?" Sabrina asked. "I seem to remember it being my plans that got us out of most of those situations. Not yours. thank you much."
"Right." Puck raised his eyebrows.
The two fell silent, though, and Sabrina said suddenly, "So... now what?"
"Now what what?" Puck asked.
"Well, we both know we like each other now," Sabrina said. "So what happens now? Are we, like, together, and do we tell our families, or keep it a secret, or what?"
"Do you want to be together?" Puck asked.
"Kind of," Sabrina said. "Do you?"
"I've never done it before," Puck said with a shrug. "We may as well try it. But I won't be all mushy and touchy-feely," he warned her.
"I wouldn't expect you to." Sabrina rolled her eyes. "So do we tell the families?"
"They're going to find out anyway, you know," Puck pointed out.
"True," Sabrina said. "Daphne's going to have a field day with this, you know that, right?"
"Yup." Puck made a face. "Let's get it over with, shall we?"
Are you goin' to Scarborough Fair?
The Grimms had taken it fairly well, all things considered. Henry has been a bit upset, unsurprisingly, and Daphne had proclaimed that she knew it all along, but neither reaction was surprising, and everyone else had simply been happy for them. But now Sabrina and Puck were off to New York City, to tell Titania, and Sabrina was scared stiff.
"Relax," Puck told her, swinging the vorpal blade casually as they walked through central park. "It'll be fine."
"Are you sure there's not some ancient law we're breaking?" Sabrina asked. "I bet there's an ancient law."
"I think I'd know if there was an ancient law, Grimm," Puck said dryly. "I am a fairy after all. A fairy king, at that. I should know about our laws."
"Sure," Sabrina said, pulling open the door to the Golden Egg. "But I won't calm down until we've told your mom we're together and she doesn't have a problem with it."
"You're what?" a voice came from inside the room. It was Titania.
"Well, that was convenient," Puck said dryly. "We're together, Mom. Like, dating. And... I'm pretty serious about her. More serious than I've been about anyone or anything, ever."
"Not that that's saying much," Sabrina said dryly.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
"Oh, no," Titania said. "This will never work. I cannot allow it."
"What?" Puck asked, but Titania didn't answer.
She was rooting around in her purse, pulling out various packets. "She can't... you can't..." She looked up and asked, "Puck, just how serious about her are you? Willing to give up anything? To lay down anything? To do whatever it takes?"
"Yeah, of course, mom, why?" Puck asked.
"Because I have two choices," Titania said. "One is the easy one. Sabrina will forget you ever existed, and you'll have the choice to forget her. The other is the hard one. So if you're truly commited to each other, I'll do it."
"I'm willing to do anything," Sabrina said.
As she said it, Titania looked up with a frightful glimmer in her eye and, ripping open four of the packets, threw the contents at Sabrina, who disappeared.
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine
"Mom?" Puck snapped, torn between anger and panic, "Where did she go? What did you do? Bring her back!"
"I can't," Titania said sadly. "It's the rules, Puck. Fairies- especially royalty- cannot marry humans. So she had to go. It's the only way."
"What?" Puck snapped. "We never even mentioned marriage! We've only been dating for like, a month! Who gets married after a month? This isn't Ancient Greece anymore, mom! People take their time about these things! Where'd you send her?"
"Scarborough," Titania said.
"Scarborough, England?" Puck clarified. "You just sent my girlfriend to England with n passport, no money, no luggage, and no friends?"
"It's the place they're sent," Titania said. "I didn't make the spell. I just perform it."
"You mean this has happened before?" Puck asked. "And you didn't tell me?"
"I thought you knew," Titania said. "Or that it wouldn't make a difference. You were so young for so long..."
Puck shook his head, turning. "It doesn't matter now. I have to go get her back!"
"You can't, Puck," Titania said. "You can't contact her. It won't work."
Tell her to make me a cambric shirt
(On the side of a hill in the deep forest green).
Sabrina woke up on a forested hillside with someone shaking her shoulder.
"Hey, hey are you OK?" the someone was saying.
Sabrina groaned. "Where am I?" She sat up, rubbing her head, and added, "And why am I covered in spices?"
"Dunno," the someone, who Sabrina noticed was a girl around her own age, said. "What's your name?"
"Sabrina," Sabrina said. "And... wait. You don't know where we are?"
"Well, you don't, either," the girl pointed out. "Nice to meet you, I'm Debbie."
She offered her hand to Sabrina, who took it and used it to pull herself up. "Thanks," she said.
"No problem." Debbie smiled.
The two girls studied each other. Sabrina saw a shortish girl with light brown hair wearing hiking boots, jeans, and a sweatshirt, with a backpack thrown over her shoulder, kind of scruffy but cheerful enough, and Debbie saw a leaf-strewn teenager in city street clothes, who still managed to look comfortable despite the incongruity between her clothes and the hiking trail she stood on.
"So where are you from?" Debbie asked.
"Ferryport Landing," Sabrina said, and in response to Debbie's blank look, she explained, "It's a little town on the river about twenty miles north of Poughkeepsie."
"Oh." Debbie smiled and started walking up the trail again. "I live in a small town, too, so I get it."
Sabrina followed Debbie, and the two walked in silence for a while.
"I do sort of know where we are, by the way," Debbie said. "Not exactly, 'cause I don't do trail maps, it takes the fun out of it, but we're over fifty miles from where you live. I don't know how you got there from here."
"I didn't," Sabrina explained... sort of, "Last I remember I was in New York City."
"Oh." Debbie blinked. "Care to explain how you got here from there?"
"If I knew, I would," Sabrina said. "But I don't. So, where, in general, are we?"
"In the trails outside of Briarcliff Manor, New York," Debbie explained. "Closer to Scarborough, actually. It's a little south of Ossing."
Sabrina nodded. "Thanks. That helps. Do you have a cell phone or something I can use to call home?"
"I do, but you won't get service out here," Debbie apologized. "Maybe when we get back to... wherever."
"Okay, thanks," Sabrina said, and they kept walking.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
"It's an ancient spell," Titania explained. "To judge the worth of potential human mates for fairies. I know you believe Sabrina Grimm to be as worthy of you as any fairy, but the ancients were a little less accepting."
"Right, so how do I fix it?" Puck asked.
"You can't," Titania said. "Unless you want to break it off with her. She has to do this herself, with no help from you. It's why you won't be able to contact her in any way."
"Fine, so what does she need to do? And how is she supposed to find out?" Puck asked. "Since I can't talk to her."
"Someone else will have to tell her," Titania said. "And I was about to explain it to you."
"So explain!" Puck demanded.
Titania looked at Puck and sighed. "She'll have to complete two tasks and collect four herbs in the proper order, at the right time, and send the correct items back also at the right time. Then, once she's finished, she'll have to use the herbs to return to you. If she does it, you two are free to do whatever you wish together. If she doesn't... you'll never see her again."
"What?" Puck asked. "Why?"
"Either she'll stay and keep trying for the rest of her life, or she leaves," Titania said. "But if she leaves the town, she'll forget she ever met you."
(Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground).
"She's nowhere in England." Daphne, a confident, curvy, biggish teenage girl, sat down at the table with the rest of the family. "I've checked everywhere, I've sent out every possible type of surveillance, Sabrina's just not there."
"Good thing, too," Basil said, rubbing his big sister's arm and pointing at the computer screen in front of him. "They've already got snow up there. She's not dressed for that."
Henry sighed. "I knew something like this would happen." He glared at the living room. "From the minute they told us, I knew there'd be consequences."
"Shhh," Veronica said calmingly, also looking at the living room, where Puck could be seen, sitting hunched over, "Don't make the poor boy feel worse. Puck already knows this is his fault. He's trying to fix it. And he loves Sabrina as much as you do."
"Wait a second..." Basil said. "They sent her to Scarborough, right?"
"Yeah, Puck said Titania said it was called the Scarborough spell," Daphne said. "Why?"
"'Cause it's not the only one out there- the England one," Basil said, typing onto the computer. "There are at least two others- one in Maine and one here in New York."
Daphne sat up straighter. "Then maybe she went to one of those. Uncle Jake told me that a spell will always take the route of least energy, because most magical resources are finite, no matter how big the power supply is, and a lot of them drain the caster, too, so..."
"Which means?" Basil asked.
"Check the closest one first," Veronica translated. "She might be there."
"I'm on it!" Daphne called, already running back up the stairs.
Without no seams nor needlework
"Sabrina?" Debbie called from the hall of her house.
Debbie had offered to let Sabrina stay with her until she could get home, and Sabrina was now sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee, trying to get the late October chill out of her under-dressed bones.
"Wassup?" she called back to Debbie.
"There's someone here to see you..." Debbie shouted, sounding nervous. "Some girl..."
"Daphne?" Sabrina asked, standing up, not noticing as some of her coffee sloshed onto her wrists.
"Sabrina?" the familiar voice came through the doorway, closely followed by an excited teenage girl, who ran to Sabrina and hugged her fiercely, spilling even more coffee in the process. "We were so worried about you!" Daphne gushed.
"How long have I been gone?" Sabrina asked, squeezing Daphne tightly. "And how soon can we head back?"
Daphne's face fell, and she pulled back from Sabrina a bit. "You... can't go back, Sabrina."
"What?" Sabrina asked. "Why not?"
Daphne glanced at Debbie, then whispered the situation to Sabrina, who yelped, "What?"
Daphne nodded. "So, you can go back, but..."
"No," Sabrina said. "I'm staying. I can do this. I have to do this. I can still talk to you and the rest of the family, though, right? Even though I can't talk to Puck?"
Daphne nodded. "Of course. As long as you're doing this yourself."
"Right," Sabrina said, taking a deep breath. "Let's get down to business."
(Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain).
Two week later, though, she was no closer to a solution.
She sat in Debbie's living room, trying desperately to figure out some way to do what she was supposed to be doing, searching the internet for clues.
"I still don't see why you need to make a shirt with no seams," Debbie said conversationally. "It seems... whoa! Pun! Anyway, it seems like a stupid request."
Sabrina shrugged. "Dunno, but it's what I need to do."
"And herbs?" Debbie asked. "I mean, really. I hope they don't have to be fresh. You're not going to find anything growing in November."
Sabrina clicked a link and said, "Well, I think I can figure out why I need the herbs. And I can get fresh parsley, I just need to rob a fancy restaurant."
"So why parsley?" Debbie asked.
"For stability, festivity, knowledge, and death..." Sabrina blinked. "That's an interesting list."
"Death?" Debbie asked. "What?"
"Bad luck and witches, I guess." Sabrina shrugged. "But knowledge and festivity I get for myself, and stability I get, too... Daphne said it helps with... yeah. It makes sense that I have to get it first."
Debbie stared at Sabrina. "You don't actually believe that stuff, do you?" she asked.
"I have to," Sabrina said simply. "Have you got any parsley in your cabinet?"
"I'll check," Debbie said, standing.
As Debbie left, her grandmother, who she lived with, looked up and spoke almost for the first time since Sabrina had started staying with them in Scarborough. "You're on the right track." She smiled at Sabrina, "Deborah doesn't understand, she's been brought up in a world that's too modern, but I know what you're up to. I've seen spells like this before. You'll get it."
Sabrina stared at the old woman, really looking at her for the first time. She reminded her a bit of Granny Relda, with her hands always going and he streaked gray hair. But...
Sabrina sat up straight. "What's that you're doing?" She asked, pointing at a small tube and a ball of yarn that Debbie's grandmother was fiddling with.
"This?" The grandmother held it up with a knowing smile. "It's called spool knitting. They use it for handles on knit bags and such, because it makes a tube."
"Just how big do they make those tubes?" Sabrina asked, excited.
"You might have to special order it, but I imagine they come in as big a size as you want," the grandmother said with a twinkle in her eye.
"You knew all along, didn't you?" Sabrina accused.
"Maybe." The grandmother smiled slyly. "But you had to find it out for yourself, didn't you?"
Then she'll be a true love of mine
"You need what?" Daphne said into the phone.
"Puck's measurements, a giant spool knitter, at least two feet diameter, and enough cotton thread for two shirts. Maybe three," Sabrina's voice came through the receiver. "I want to make sure I get it right. Oh, and a dry cleaning kit."
"Okay," Daphne agreed. "I'll get it there by next week."
"Thanks." Daphne could hear the smile in Sabrina's voice. "And... Tell Puck I miss him, will you?"
"I will." Daphne grinned. "Glad you figured it out. Have you gotten how to wash it in a dry well and hang it on a thorn yet?"
"Yeah, that's what the dry cleaning kit is for," Sabrina said. "I'm thinking one of those ornamental wells, you know? 'Cause they're still wells, but they don't have any water. And Cambric is a really light cloth, if I make the shirt right I should be able to hang it on a thorn."
"Great." Daphne smiled. "See you soon, then?"
"Definitely," Sabrina agreed.
(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call).
Sabrina spent a long time trying to make the shirt, and once she was done, it was hideous. But it would do. The plain knitted cotton tube was enough to fulfill the requirements.
"Where are the arm holes?" Debbie asked as Sabrina showed it to her. "It's not really a shirt unless it has sleeves."
"Crap," Sabrina moaned. "I'll have to cut some out."
"But won't that make it unravel?" Debbie asked, watching as Sabrina retrieved a pair of scissors.
"Not if I tie knots in them," Sabrina said, snipping methodically. "And knots don't count as seams."
"Are you sure?" Debbie asked.
"Oh, they better not," Sabrina said, tying a knot in the snipped threads.
"Hah, knot, not..." Debbie smiled. "Pun!"
Sabrina rolled her eyes and threw the shirt in a box that was already partially filled with parsley.
Tell her to find me an acre of land
Puck opened the box excitedly. It glowed to his eyes with a magic that meant Sabrina had done what she had to, even though the shirt was hideous. His eyes fell on the herbs, though, and he looked up at his mother in horror.
"Sage?" Puck asked, standing up from the bar of the Golden Egg. "Sage, mother?"
"What's wrong with sage?" Titania asked. "And remember before you get too angry that I didn't make the spell."
"Sage is for immortality," Puck said. "Why is there an immortality herb in the spell?"
"Because if Sabrina does what she must, you two will be offered a choice," Titania said. "Either she can become immortal... or you can become human. And remember, it's also for respect. To show that we respect her for what she's done and that she respects us for allowing her this chance."
(On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves).
It was early spring, and Sabrina still hadn't figured out step two.
"An acre of land between salt water and the shore..." Sabrina mused, sitting on the hillside outside of Debbie's house.
"Can't really find that," Debbie said. "Especially not here."
"Actually..." Sabrina said. "Technically, all this land is between salt water and a shore. They're just very far apart! Now I just need an acre that I can plow!"
"That's kind of stretching it..." Debbie said warily.
"I don't care," Sabrina said. "I have to get this done!"
"You need to do what, again?" Debbie asked.
Sabrina ticked things off on her fingers. "Plow an acre between salt water and the seashore with a sheep horn, sow it with a grain of corn, reap it with a leather sickle, and gather the crops with heather."
"How are you supposed to have crops when you sowed it with one grain of corn?" Debbie asked.
"Well, there has to be heather, right?" Sabrina asked. "And probably some of those herbs for good measure. It doesn't say the whole thing has to be sowed with one grain of corn. Just that there has to be corn in it someplace."
"You've thought about this a lot, haven't you?" Debbie asked, and as Sabrina nodded, she added, "I still don't get why you have to do this. Are you, like, part of a secret society or something? Why all the secrecy? It's almost like magic."
Sabrina laughed awkwardly. "Magic? Really? How old are you? But, yeah, I may possibly be part of a secret society..."
"That makes so much sense!" Debbie exclaimed. "So you're, like, doing a test or something?"
"Something like that," Sabrina agreed.
"Ah." Debbie nodded. "You probably can't tell me anything more than that, right?"
"Exactly," Sabrina said, deciding that it was very convenient when people formed their own conclusions.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Washes the grave with silvery tears).
"The Scarlet Hand is rising again," Daphne told Briar's grave sadly. "I had to tell someone, and the family doesn't want to talk about it, and Sabrina... well, I didn't want to worry her."
It was a beautiful spring day, and Daphne had gone to Briar's grave, like she did every month, to tend the rosebush that grew from Briar's heart. Sometimes Daphne could swear it carried her spirit, that it was tied to Uncle Jake, and that it thought as much as Briar herself had.
A particularly big rosebud was nodding its head right then, almost as if Briar was listening.
"I wish you weren't dead," Daphne told Briar. "Uncle Jake never really got over you, you know. I guess that's how it is with real love. But... well, you were awesome, and I don't care if it's been about ten years, it still hurts a lot, and I still remember you like it was yesterday. You were the first person I ever saw die, you know. Not the first I saw dead, but the first I saw die."
The rosebud drooped a bit more.
"I'm sorry, I'm being morbid," Daphne said. "But... well, with the war threatening again, I guess it's on my mind. I'll be cheerful now. Sabrina think she's figured out how to complete her task. She got the first one done, now she just has to hope that the spell agrees that her acre qualifies. I hope it does. I miss her."
The rosebud nodded again.
"I've got to get back now, Briar," Daphne said. "It's been nice talking to you. Bye!"
Between salt water and the sea strand
"Done!" Sabrina shouted enthusiastically, walking back through the door to Debbie's house. "Now all that's left to do is wait."
"For how long?" Debbie asked.
"Until it grows enough that I can harvest it," Sabrina said, sitting. "A month, maybe two. Then you can have your guest room back."
"Don't forget the sickle," Debbie's grandmother reminded Sabrina. "You need to reap it with a leather sickle."
"That too," Sabrina agreed. "But I've got months."
"I hope you don't feel like I'm rushing you out," Debbie spoke up suddenly. "It's not that I don't like having you here, you're awesome. I just..."
Sabrina smiled. "I get it. I promise we'll visit after this is over and I go home."
(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun).
"Then she'll be a true love of mine.
Puck looked at his gun warily. "This doesn't feel right," he told Mustardseed.
"You need to be able to defend yourself," Mustardseed reminded him.
"Yeah, but... guns?" Puck asked. "It feels wrong somehow."
"The other side has guns, too," Mustardseed pointed out. "We need to match them, otherwise they'll win."
Puck sighed. "Fine. But It still feels wrong."
"War is wrong, brother," Mustardseed said. "But we do what we must."
Tell her to reap it in a sickle of leather
Sabrina had a harder time 'reaping with a leather sickle' than she'd expected. She was afraid to use magic because it might not be considered doing it on her own, and leather is not particularly sharp, so it makes it difficult to slice through the plants.
But she managed it. She had to, after all. If she didn't do that, she wouldn't be able to see Puck again, or the rest of her family.
Sometimes she wondered if the real reason she was so intent on doing this was that she couldn't bear to admit something had gotten the better of her. But then she thought about Puck and decided that that wasn't it.
(War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions).
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Generals order their soldiers to kill).
The war was raging full-blast again. Daphne hadn't ever really realized just how much Sabrina did until she was gone.
Summer had always been war-making time, ever since the dark ages. Daphne remembered that from her history lessons. The peasants would try to grow things and the rich would fight each other, usually destroying a large portion of the peasants' work in the process. And here they were again, mirroring that in the twenty-first century. How depressing was that?
They were winning this time, though. They were prepared, because Henry and Charming had always believed the Scarlet Hand would rise again. They'd planned for this, and as a result, they were winning more battles than they lost.
That didn't make it any less painful, or mean they hadn't lost anyone. Veronica had been badly wounded in battle, and Morgan le Fay was in critical conditon, and would probably die. Daphne could see why her future self was so jaded, when she thought about the losses.
But she would live through it, and she would keep up her spirits. Because life went on, even through war.
And gather it all in a bunch of heather
"So you'll be heading out soon, then, right?" Debbie asked Sabrina, who was packing her last box, full of herbs-rosemary for remembrance, and thyme for courage, vigor, and strength- heather, and a single corn stalk.
"If all goes well," Sabrina said, taping the box shut.
"How will you know?" Debbie asked. "Will they call you or something?"
"I think Puck will, or he'll come here," Sabrina said. "I'm not sure, though. This was kind of just dumped on me."
"I don't think I want to be a secret agent," Debbie said. "It sounds hard."
"My life has been harder than you can image," Sabrina said. "Be grateful you're normal."
"But you seem happy," Debbie said. "Would you switch?"
"Probably not," Sabrina said. "It's been hard, but I think it was worth it, overall. If you'd asked me five years ago, then I wouldn't have said the same thing, but now... well, I think I'm good."
(And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten).
Then she'll be a true love of mine.
Puck looked at the package, which glowed with the telltale light of a completed spell. "She did it! She really did it!"
"Did you ever doubt her?" Mustardseed asked, putting his gun on the table. "She's quite capable, your Sabrina."
"I didn't, really, but I was worried," Puck said. "And now she's coming home to a war. I hope she doesn't mind."
"Have you thought about what's going to happen after?" Mustardseed asked. "Are you prepared to spend eternity with her?"
"I have, actually," Puck said. "And... well, you're probably not going to agree with this, Mustardseed, but... Sabrina wouldn't be happy as an Everafter. Having to watch all her family get old and die without her? She'd hate it. So..."
"Don't tell me you're thinking about doing what I think you are," Mustardseed said, looking sorrowful but not particulary surprised.
Puck nodded. "It's the only way she'll be happy."
"But your immortality, brother..." Mustardseed said sadly.
"It's what I have to do," Puck said. "Make the ultimate sacrifice. It's not fair that everything goes on Sabrina."
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there,
She once was a true love of mine.
Puck and Sabrina were reunited in New York City in the middle of a battle for Central Park. They didn't run into each other's arms like the movies, or kiss passionately, or even exchange a word. Puck simply tossed Sabrina a sword as she walked into the fray, and they stood back to back, defending each other like they'd done for so long.
They never truly got their happy ending. Puck grew old, but kept his abilities, and they had children, not too many, but enough to keep them busy. The Scarlet Hand never truly gave up, but the Grimms always kept them in check. It wasn't an easy life, or a particularly beautiful one. But they were happy, because they were together. They made sacrifices, but they also got rewards occasionally.
Because that's what life is, and they knew it. So they made their own happiness, despite the odds.