A/N: I'm sorry that this one took a little while. I started on at immediately after the last chapter but life kept interfering with my progress. It also didn't help that there are scenes in this chapter that I've been thinking about for a while. Hopefully I managed to find the words to do them justice.

Chapter 17: Stolen Magic

Generally speaking, when you drop a house on someone they die. And when they die they tend to stay dead. The rules of generality do not always apply in a magical world such as Oz. Five years ago when a rogue twister swept Dorothy, Toto, and their house over the rainbow and into a strange new world, Dorothy had not been aware of the existence of witches. She had not been aware of a pair of sisters, one ruling the west and the other the east, who were feared for their cruelty throughout the land. When her house finally touched ground in the Munchkin Land, Dorothy had no knowledge of having killed someone. When the deed had finally been revealed and the magical ruby slippers transferred to her feet, she had felt very little guilt in the matter. Everyone around her had assured her of the justness of her deed. The Munchkins celebrated her as a hero and no one bemoaned the loss of their former ruler. That was when the Wicked Witch of the East was just a pair of stripped legs beneath a house. Now, as Dorothy faced a living, breathing being—a being that undoubtedly craved revenge—she couldn't help but feel guilty of a terrible crime. Afterall, the witch had said it herself: death by house was not something anyone was liable to forget. Mouth suddenly gone dry, Dorothy attempted to swallow the lump in her throat. The witch's dark, smoldering eyes were still focused on her frightened blue ones. She could not read the emotion within though she suspected it was nothing pleasant.

I have to say something. I have to try and keep myself alive.

"I—I'm sorry"

"Sorry?" the witch cooed.

"You must know, I never intended to kill you. I didn't know what would happen or where I would end up. I just—there was a twister. I thought I was going to die. When I woke up I was in Oz and you were…I'm so sorry. I'm not a murderous person really, I was just a little—"

Her words were cut short by a bout of uncontainable laughter. Toto whimpered quietly, obviously as disturbed by this sudden outburst as Dorothy was. She hazarded a glance at the stoic man who stood off to the witch's side. For a moment, she thought she saw something flash across his face.

Pity? Or maybe, amusement?

"Oh dear—ha ha—oh, my. You're not still fretting over that are you? Such a sweet thing you are!"

"Sweet? I—I don't understand. Don't you want…don't you want to kill me?"

"Hmm…no. Though I did think about it for a short while, in the last moments of my former life. Oh yes, I envisioned doing positively dreadful things to you. I'd tell you what they were but—oh goodness, I'm too embarrassed"

The witch began to giggle. She covered her face with one hand and placed the other on her stomach in an attempt to steady herself. Dorothy had a very limited experience with witches. She had met a good witch and a bad witch. She knew how they were supposed to act. Giggling like a schoolgirl was most certainly not how a bad witch was supposed to act. At a loss for words, Dorothy decided to remain silent. After a few minutes of giggling, the witch managed to regain some of her composure.

"I'm sorry—I just have such an overactive imagination. Sometimes it runs away from me. No, I'm not going to kill you. Afterall, we're practically sisters you an I. And you're so adorable, unlike Elphaba. I never did understand how I was supposed to be related to that stuffy old hag. No, I'd much rather have someone like you to call my own."

"Sisters?" Dorothy asked slowly, not sure if she heard the witch correctly.

"Oh dear, the white witch did tell you didn't she? Or maybe—could it be that the great and powerful Glinda has not figured it out yet? Oh how marvelously amusing! Oh come now, don't look so startled. I promise I'm not going to kill you, though others would certainly have you dead. Oh, come closer—let me get a good look at you!"

Dorothy remained where she was. As much as she would have liked to claim that her feet did not move out of defiance, in actuality she was far too frightened to go anywhere at all. Even if she wanted to, Dorothy doubted that she could will her feet to shuffle an inch let alone a meter. The witch rolled her eyes and smiled. She began to walk towards her, filling the gap between them in seconds. Dorothy wanted to do something—anything—to defend herself. She tried to call on her magic but felt no reply. The witch reached out her hands and began to inspect Dorothy's face and hair.

"Oh you are positively adorable! I didn't think it would work—what with your pink complexion, but we do look so good together don't we Captain?"

"Yes, Mistress"

"Can't you picture it—Dorothy and Zephyra? Hmm…on second thought, perhaps we should find you a better name. One that begins with a 'z' perhaps? Oh I am glad I decided not to kill you!"

"I don't—at the risk of sounding very repetitive," Dorothy began, leaning away from Zephyra's touch, "I don't understand this at all. You—you're a wicked witch aren't you? An evil witch? And I—I killed you. How are you here? What is it that you want from me? What does Glinda know or not know?"

"Oh, finally—questions! I was worried that you were a quiet one! Well, if Glinda hasn't used the mind she so often congratulates herself for having to figure out the entire picture then I would be remiss to spoil the surprise. Oh, how disappointed you look! Very well, I will tell you some of the riddle as your sister. But the rest," she whispered, leaning into Dorothy's ear, "you will have to figure out for yourself."

"To answer your first questions, I was rather wicked in my day. Good and evil are such confining concepts though. I really don't remember much of what I've done, though I've been told I've done quite a bit. And I did die thanks to your little house stint. But it's alright dear—I forgive you. I even forgive you for taking my shoes—silver really is more my colour anyway. And they'd be of little use to me now as your body has taken hold of most of the magic. I seem to recall that the little people even made a catchy song about my demise. Remind me to kill the Mayor later, would you Captain?"

"Yes, Mistress."

"I died, and was dead for quite sometime before mumsy decided to bring me back. She could have revived Elphaba, but who wants a minion who melts? And here I am, as lovely as ever—even more so, I think. Then again, I don't rightly remember how I was before. The Captain has often told me but I'm afraid I don't have a head for that sort of thing. In one ear, out the other. As to what I want from you that much is simple. I want a new sister and you've passed all of my tests. We're already sisters in magic. Your magic is mostly mine you know. It is a Stolen Magic, borne from the slippers of my creation. You're practically apart of me! That's how I managed to bring you here despite the powerful magic protecting the palace. We have a magic connection, among other things. And you do sort of owe me a sister don't you dearest? I may not have liked Elphaba, but she was the only one I had. There is one more important connection between us but unfortunately I cannot tell you. I want to see the look on Glinda's face when she finally puts the pieces together. Be a dear and tell me all about it."

Sisters in magic? Sisters in more ways than one? It doesn't make sense. I'm not from Oz. My parents died before they had another child. It—it can't be. There must be a lie in here somewhere. There must be…

As Dorothy was absorbed in her thoughts, dumfounded and startled by witch's revelations, Captain Fyter leaned towards Zephyra and whispered something into her ear. It must not have been pleasant, as the witch's response was to pout and release Dorothy's face with a sigh.

"I'm afraid my dear Captain has a point, lovely. It really wouldn't be in the best interest of your health to stay here any longer. You are so lucky to have lived without a mother. It really is very inconvenient when they decide to pop in and check up on your evil progress. And I'm afraid that I've fallen a tad short of my evil quota this week. I daresay she was expecting to find corpse dangling from the turrets by now. I suppose finding that munchkin Mayor will help."

"You can't mean you're going to kill him!" Dorothy gasped. Much to her chagrin, Zephyra began to laugh again.

"Don't worry sister dear, I'll be sure to tell you all about it so you won't feel left out. Captain Fyter, please escort Dorothy dear out. It would be best to use the back I think—mumsy tends to go for the big entrances."

"If you'll follow me Miss Gale" Captain Fyter said, gently taking hold of Dorothy's arm and pulling her towards a door to the left of the throne. Toto, eager to leave, trotted ahead of them.

"Wait!" Dorothy called, twisting her head over her shoulder. "Why did you send Winkies to Kansas? What does have to do with any this? Who was the other voice in my head?"

As Captain Fyter pulled her through the small wooden door at the back of the room, Dorothy heard Zephyra's haunting laugh once more.

"You'll just have to wait and see sister! Wait and see!"

The door closed on the witch and Dorothy was hastened down a dark hall. It seemed as though she would be leaving with more unanswered questions than when she had arrived. As the magical lights blurred around her, she wondered if they were questions that she even wanted answered.

A book that may have taken an average brain a few days to complete took Scarecrow only a few hours. He knew that he really shouldn't be reading at a time like this. There were things to do—mysteries to be solved. The Emerald City was filled with life and as such problems. There was always something to be done for a King of such a place. He had not managed to find one rest day during the entirety of the past five years. Fortunately, Scarecrow did not require sleep. He could if he wanted to, but sleeping frightened him. He was always fearful that someone would destuff him while he was resting or set him ablaze. They were irrational fears that the logical portion of Scarecrow's brain dismissed as childish. The illogical part of his brain, though incredibly small, clung to such fears with a vice grip.

There was something about this particular book that compelled him however. Maybe it was the promise of a few hours of distraction he knew it would provide. Sometimes, when his mind was working on something especially difficult to crack, he increased his chances of success by forcing himself to think of something else. Maybe it was the connection to Dorothy he felt when he read her hand written notes and observed which passages meant the most to her, as she had placed little stars next to them. He hadn't had the opportunity to discuss her interests in books. He had planned to yesterday morning before he was called away to fulfill one of his many kingly duties. Scarecrow was of the opinion that a love of reading spoke a lot about a person. Futhermore, one could dissect the various layers of a person's personality by examining the books they read. This particular book, Frankenstein, showed Scarecrow an interesting aspect of his friend's personality. It was not the sort of book he would normally associate with someone as kind as Dorothy. The story was a dark one, though the language was lovely. After having experienced her fair share of monsters, Scarecrow would have figured that the last thing Dorothy would have wanted to read was a story about just that—monsters and their makers. Still, he supposed that there was a lot he probably didn't know about his dear friend. They had only known eachother for a few weeks of their lives. To Scarecrow, those weeks were the most important weeks he had ever experienced. They were the first weeks in which he had really lived. In a span of a few weeks, a life that had been full of solitude and banality was suddenly filled with wonder and friendship. By the end of those two weeks, Scarecrow had gone from being inept at scaring crows to being a King. As he gave the book a final read through, one passage in particular caught his eye:

"No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs. Pursuing these reflections, I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption." *

Life and death. To renew life—to revive the dead.

The floodgates that were keeping his mind at bay flung open. A myriad of different thoughts and sensations overtook him all at once, causing him to drop the book that had so enraptured his attention moments before. Vital pieces of the puzzle that had been missing suddenly fell into place. It had been so obvious! How had he and Glinda not seen it earlier! Dorothy's magic, the ruby slippers, the strange female voice in her dreams—all of it made perfect sense!

Renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption. He had read of such things before in the royal records. He had read of the witch who was capable of such an unbelievable feat—a Victor Frankenstein living in Oz! And the monster—the monster could very well have Dorothy! Scarecrow hurriedly rose from the floor, tripping over himself as he made frantically for the door.

I have to find Glinda.

The halls around her blurred. She was fighting against two conflicting instincts. One demanded that she break free of her silver haired escort and run back towards the throne room to demand answers. When she had woken in her strange age-worn room hours ago, she did not think she had expectations regarding how her day would play out. And then, moments earlier, when the truth—or at least, a partial truth—had been laid bare before her she had felt confused and, strangely enough, robbed of something. It was then that she realized that there was some need she had been expecting to be filled. More than answers, she had wanted closure for all the things that had happened to her in recent months. She wanted closure for the broken friendships, family hardships, and dead acquaintances. As Captain Fyter guided her on, wheeling her around countless corners and through countless doors, the truths that she had discovered hardly seemed to matter anymore. The closure she had so desperately needed had not come and as a result she felt emotionally exhausted. It wasn't until that point that Dorothy realized just how many feelings she had swallowed over the years. Now, as they threatened to break free of their prisons all at once, all she wanted to do was find some calm, quiet place to hide. Sweet, crisp air tickled her nostrils, bringing her back to reality. Without even realizing it, Dorothy had been led outside. The sun had moved positions since she had last checked. It was lazily dropping towards the west, the promise of sunset hours away. Captain Fyter gently pushed her against the stony wall of the keep with his left arm. Surprised by this unwelcomed contact, Dorothy stifled a shriek. Toto, who had been ahead of the pair for most of the journey, stood between his girl and the strange captain. Beneath the warbling of nearby birds and the rustling of the forest, Dorothy could hear Toto growling softly. She risked a glance at her guide and noted the concern on his face. He was cautiously looking around them, letting his eyes wander over a large area before whipping his head back to the beginning of his search. It was almost as if he thought someone was lying in wait and he expected to catch them by glancing back at the precise moment. When he was satisfied that the monsters of his imagination were absent from the surrounding environment he released his grip and let Dorothy release a breath she had not known she was holding. As he turned to meet her eyes, Dorothy realized how much taller he was than her. She had always been petite. When she was little girl Hunk had jokingly called her a rare Kansas pixie. During her last birthday she had all but abandoned any hopes of last minute growth spurts. Aside from her short height Dorothy also had a very small frame. Years of farm life had made her moderately athletic. In a frightening moment of clarity, as she took in the broadness of the Captain's shoulders and his firm build, she realized that she would have very little defense against him should he decided to do away with her. The magic that she had been informed she possessed seemed to pay little mind to her calls. Aside from a spirited Toto, Dorothy knew that she was easily outmatched. Just as her mind was beginning to run wild with possible fight scenarios the Captain's easy tone cut through the silence. Once again, Dorothy found herself jumping in surprise.

"We don't have much time," he said. "The black witch approaches. Once she is here you will not be able to remain hidden. If she finds you, she will kill you."


"Don't speak, just listen. You have to use your slippers to return to the Emerald City. The white witch, Glinda, gave you a visitor's key when you first arrived. You should be able to slip through the Palace's magical barriers with ease. When you arrive, tell the witch of everything you've seen here. No detail is too trivial. With this information she should be able to finally realize the plans at play. My only hope is that it is not to late."

"Why are you telling me all of this?" Dorothy whispered. The Captain continued speaking as if he hadn't heard her.

"A name will be the key to the truth. Lillias Radgnal. Remember it well. Now, concentrate on your magic. Remember what it felt like when you used the shoes to travel before. Don't over think it and don't fight your feelings. Feel that you want to go. The rest will follow suit."

Dorothy bent down and scooped Toto into her arms. She made a mental note to ask Brellya for a basket once she returned to the Palace. If she was going to be teleporting all over Oz then she needed to make sure that Toto was secure. Dorothy liked to think herself a good judge of character. Despite the fears she had felt seconds earlier she knew that she could trust the Captain's words. Though there were so many questions that she wanted answered Dorothy shoved them out of her mind and focused on the image of the Palace. When she first used the slippers to return to her dull side of the rainbow she had been picturing the farm with all of her might. Now she summoned up images of the Palace. She thought of her friends. She thought of her room, making sure to remember small details in order to make the picture seem more real. She clicked her heels together once.

There's no place like Home.


There's no place like Home.


There's no place like Home.

The world around her began to spin. Air that had been still whipped through her hair with force. As the tower began to fade away and she steeled herself for a ride she knew to be dizzying and turbulent, Captain Fyter spoke once more. His words were almost lost in the wind.

"You have friends in unexpected places Dorothy Gale."

The world around her changed. Her only thoughts were towards home.

Being King had its advantages. With the layout of the Palace clear in his mind, Scarecrow burst out of Dorothy's room and directly into a secret passageway a mere meter away. There were some passageways that were very well known to the castle staff. Afterall, staff used the halls more than the monarch generally did. As such, it was only natural that routes originally designed to be a secret were discovered in little time at all. There were some paths, however, that were still relatively unknown. In fact, sometimes certain paths would shift locations entirely. As he had explained to Jack and Jinjir in their meeting yesterday the Palace was very much a living thing. Years of powerful magic seeping into the earth had eventually formed a distinct consciousness. The consciousness, often called The Whisperer by locals, lived in every inch of the Palace. Some claimed that the magic was so powerful that it traveled miles underground, branching out in all directions. It was both the magic in the walls and a separate entity. It seldom communicated though when it did it was usually through physical means instead of verbal means. One such mean was to occasionally relocate the Palace corridors—especially those hidden within the walls. Fortunately for Scarecrow his chosen path was unchanged today. He rushed through he confined space as swiftly as his straw legs could carry him. The poles that ran through his body were light and thin, making his steps quick and easy. His major joints however had never been very flexible. There was only so much bend one could get of straw—even if said straw was magically influenced. A trip that would have normally taken him thirty-minutes if he had taken the common path took him only five through use of the magic corridors. Spotting an exit, Scarecrow burst out into the hall at the bottom of Glinda's scrying tower. A nearby servant jumped in alarm before hastily executing a lop-sided bow. Scarecrow had just enough kingly composure to offer a kind smile and nod before running up the winding stairs. Without knocking he burst through the tower doors. The momentum saw him performing a sloppy roll on the floor, stopping a few inches short of the train of Glinda's skirt. A few feet away, Leonas jumped in surprise.

"Good evening," Glinda said calmly, as if such interruptions were perfectly common.

"Good—," Scarecrow began, stumbling to his feet, "evening, Glinda. Leonas."

"That was definitely a…kingly entrance" Leonas said, his furry face breaking into a toothy smile.

"I am sorry about intruding but there's something incredibly important that I must discuss with you—the both of you."

"By all means then, discuss it" Glinda said, becoming for Scarecrow to sit in a freshly magicked seat. Just as he leaned towards the offered seat the tower doors—which were magicked to always close after being opened—burst open once more. Nick came stumbling in, running into Scarecrow and pulling the both of them down onto the cold title with an audible smack. Leonas jumped once more and Glinda had to hide her smile behind one of her hands. The ball of tin and straw rolled about a bit before both men managed to detangle themselves and stagger to their feet. Glinda summoned another chair and both Nick and Scarecrow staggered to their seats. Leonas, after having overcome his initial shock, was doing his best not to snigger.

"I think that I should lock the door, don't you agree, Leonas?" Glinda said after having regained her composure.

"Yes, I think that would be for the best."

The tower doors clicked and Glinda spread her skirts before taking her seat. Lacing her long fingers together, Glinda set her hands on the table and looked at the two bedraggled men with calm eyes.

"As Scarecrow is king of this Palace and he did burst through my door first I think it is only fair that we hear his important news first. Any objections?"

"Well, alright. It is fair I suppose. But please do make it quick Scarecrow—I have something very important to share" Nick said, fiddling with his fingers like a nervous child.

"As do I Nick. I promise that I'll be as brief as possible. And please don't fiddle so, you'll work your joints into rusting! I'm sorry that I came in unannounced Glinda—and Leonas—but I have something incredibly important to say. I know who has taken Dorothy."

"What?" Leonas and Nick demanded in unison. Glinda inclined her eyebrows in surprise but made no move to interrupt Scarecrow's story.

"I promise that I'll explain everything as best I can. It all started with a book"

Scarecrow began to recount the story of Frankenstein, taking extra time to mention the passage that had caught his eye verbatim. He could tell that his friends were trying their patience as they listened to what appeared to be a book report. Fearing that he would leave out an important detail, Scarecrow tried not to rush through his retelling. When he had finished, he stood waiting—expecting his friends to jump to the same conclusion he had moments earlier. Unfortunately, they did not.

"I don't understand Scarecrow," Leonas began, "how this story tells us where Dorothy is. Was she taken to this Geneva place?"

"I highly doubt it Leonas, Geneva is in a land called Switzerland on Dorothy's side of the rainbow," Glinda said kindly. "Perhaps if you would take the time to lay out all of the facts for us Scarecrow…"

"Right. Yes, of course. After all, if you didn't know what I know then that passage would seem awfully out of place wouldn't it. All right, let me try to slow my mind for a while so that I can speak the thoughts I've been thinking. These are the facts we know for certain: Dororthy was attacked by a flying monkey—a dead one, which I think you'll confirm Glinda, with your inspection of out captive. The magic that deals with death and resurrection is very dangerous. Correct me if I'm wrong Glinda, but haven't many magic users in Oz's history died from meddling with such black arts?"

"Yes, I've seen more than a few fall in my time from such experimentation."

"But there has been one witch who was able to accomplish quite a bit with black arts."

Glinda's eyes glimmered in recognition. Scarecrow knew that she was beginning to piece together the puzzle, which emboldened him to continue.

"That witch—the witch known as Mombi—is almost as old as Oz itself. She was so adept at manipulating magic that she made for herself two daughters. She also managed to extend her life unnaturally through the use of life transference magic. Her daughters—the Wicked Witches of the East and West—were both destroyed at the hands of Dorothy. Therefor, if we combine the fact that black arts have been used to target Dorothy and that those arts involved the ruby slippers, winged monkeys, and a school for girls—everything falls into place!"

"I was afraid of this" Glinda said quietly, unable to hide the worry wrinkles on her forehead. Nick looked at Leonas, and then back at Scarecrow before saying,

"I'm sorry, Scarecrow. I'm still not entirely sure what exactly has fallen into place."

"Nor am I" Leonas added.

"Centuries ago," Glinda began, "I, and some of my best students, decided to put an end to the witch known as Mombi. She had caused me, and all of Oz, a great deal of trouble in the early days. For a while, it appeared as though she was loosing strength. In truth, she had changed bodies with an elderly woman. With her new face, Mombi opened a border school for girls. She claimed to be teaching healing magics. She mostly targeted orphans, or girls of poor families. Eventually however, some of the girls were missed. Upon investigation, we discovered that Mombi had been farming young girls for their magic and their bodies. It was her key to immortality. I am of the Fae, therefor I naturally have a very long lifespan. Mombi was not, and as such she could not run from time forever. So she stole time from others. Together with my students, as well as Orphne, the Witch of the South, we managed to free the girls that could be saved and to reduce Mombi's power. We always feared that she had managed to dilute her life force somehow, attaching it into different objects or people. We knew that we weren't rid of her then, but there were more worrying events occurring at the time. The reign of King Pastoria had fallen, and his only heir Ozma disappeared. While we set about trying to keep the Emerald City from crumbling, we tried out best to keep Mombi under close guard. She had been imprisoned in a crystal for quite some time, though eventually her daughters managed to free her while my hands were full. As Scarecrow said, Mombi had two daughters, both created through magic. One was Elphaba of the west and the other was Zephyra of the east. Elphaba was not possessed of a great amount of magic though she was very cunning. Zephyra, on the other hand, was mostly magic and incredibly unbalanced. You know this very well Nick, as it was because of Zephyra that you lost your body."

"Yes, that's right. Nimmie was her servant when she ruled Munchkin Land. It's as you said—she was very unbalanced. She could go from a state of childlike naivete to a state of cruelty in seconds. Nobody knew what would set her off. She enchanted my ax when she heard that Nimmie and I were to be engaged. If it wasn't for Ku-klip—one of Orphne's students—I wouldn't have survived. Yes, now I think I see it as well. The wicked witch of the west was in charge of Winkie Kingdom before I was. She had many flying monkeys at her disposal. With help from her mother's dark magic, as well as her agenda against Dorothy—of course, it really does all make sense! Then we have no time to loose! We must look find Dorothy at once—her life really is in danger!"

"But where would we even begin to look?" Scarecrow said, throwing his arms into the air. "Surely Mombi wouldn't be stupid enough to have taken Dorothy to her old haunts. She's managed to stay under the radar for all of this time…"

"There is something else as well," Leonas said. He had remained quiet while Scarecrow, Glinda, and Nick had spoken. While he wasn't always credited for his intelligence, as a feline he had a very keen mind. Though he could not figure out the puzzle on his own, once the pieces were laid before him Leonas could study them with a clarity unique to cats. "We still do not know which sister Mombi brought back."

"Does it matter? Either way she's in trouble!" Nick cried. He was dreadfully close to having a panic attack.

"If it was Elphaba or Mombi who took Dorothy, then she is very likely to be unharmed. They are both very vain creatures who take pleasure in explaining their plans for all to hear. No doubt the only harm they would have accomplished would be to monologue Dorothy ill. If it was Zephyra however…"

"However?" Scarecrow prompted.

"I'm afraid that Zephyra has always been beyond my abilities to predict. Either way, I believe Dorothy is very much alive now, though she surely won't remain so for long. As to where they are, you can leave that to me. Now that I know the facts of the case, finding her should be a much simpler task."

Standing abruptly, skirts flowing around her, Glinda glided towards her scrying mirror. She gently poked the surface of the water with the tip of her index finger, sending soft ripples throughout the basin.

"I've tried scrying before for Dorothy to no avail. For some strange reason, the palace has been expelling a great deal of magic. The work of the Whisperer, no doubt. This sudden release of very old magic has been rendering all of my sessions fruitless. I've caught traces of magic from time to time—oddly enough, there seems to be some sort of string of magic somehow attached to Dorothy. However, when I tried to follow the string it splinters off into many different directions. Maybe, just maybe the palace's magics have calmed down enough for me to do a proper—"

A bright light jumped off the water's surface, interrupting Glinda's sentence

"What was that? Did you find her?" Scarecrow asked.

"Yes, and no. She used the slippers, but the flow of her magic was disrupted. I believe that she meant to use them to come back to the palace. There's still so much interference however—it looks as though she was redirected to somewhere else entirely."


"I tend to find out."

While Dorothy was spinning she felt a sickening lurch in her stomach. Something wasn't right. She should have been at the palace already. Just when she thought she would be sick from the constant spinning the air around her fell away and felt cold stone against her back. Toto shook his head and staggered about. She had been holding onto him rather fiercely during the trip for fear of loosing him along the way. Despite having been thrown about for what seemed to be hours, Dorothy felt surprisingly clear headed. She opened her eyes cautiously. She had received quite enough surprises the day and was quite ready for something familiar and comfortable. Evidently, her magic did not agree with her sentiments. The building around her was old and crumbling. The bricks that kept the ancient structure together had been weathered from time. Her hand brushed against something soft and wet. A strange type of blue-purple lichen was growing between the cracks in the floor. She slowly rose to her feet. Nearby was the frame of window that had long since been broken. When she glanced outside, her heart skipped a beat. In the warm light of an approaching sunset, Dorothy could see the faint gleam of the Emerald City's green towers. The massive structure of the Palace looked incredibly small, and Dorothy supposed she must have been at least ten miles away. Still, she could see her home. Somewhere, one of her friends was probably looking out at her without even knowing it. All she had to do no was to let them know she was near and hope they would reach her before nightfall. After a day full of witches, Dorothy shuddered to think of what might be lurking out in the meadow between the strange, crumbling building and the palace after nightfall.

A/N: Hopefully I've managed to surprise you all with my plot twist. It was planned though, and I hope that came across in this chapter. This one isn't too long but was very hard for me to write. I had to keep backtracking to make sure that I didn't contradict myself. Be sure to keep an eye out as there is still one major surprise to come.

*this excerpt is from the third chapter of the electronic edition of the book. I have two print editions, but the electronic one was just easier to access. You can get the e-book for Frankenstein free through the Gutenberg Project. You can also get the first seven of the Oz books.