"Alicia, what are you doing?"
The girls that Alicia had ranted to at the dance about Gabriela sat around her at breakfast.
The one who spoke was a light-brown-skinned girl with grey eyes and wavy black hair with platinum blonde streaks. She looked just as annoyed with Alicia now as she did at the dance.
Alicia continued to look at the Earth fairies who were sitting with their fellow freshmen laughing and enjoying the meal.
"What? I haven't done anything to them- yet…" Alicia muttered, twirling her hat on one hand idly.
"I can tell you want to..."
"And what if I do, Nélessea?" She turned to her, putting back on the hat and brushing a few crumbs off her black and pink outfit.
The others in their group watched this exchange carefully. Two of them were twins with waist-length pale blue hair and light green eyes and the other was dark-skinned with black hair in a puff and brown eyes.
"Why I get placed in a room with her I'll never know…" Nélessea thought, sighing.
"Do you really enjoy confrontation Alicia? You always seem to want to pick a fight with someone…" The dark-skinned fairy asked curiously.
Alicia rolled her eyes and got up. "Nothing better than messing with other people sometimes, Janelle…" She strode over to the Freshman table.
"So, what's it really like in Bangkok?" Zoe asked.
Tasanee looked up from her cereal, looking mildly surprised.
"Hm. No one has really thought to ask me about home… Are you really interested?"
"Yeah. It looks like such a fascinating place. So beautiful…" Zoe sighed.
"It is…" Tasanee smiled. "Though you do get used to it all after you have lived there for a while…"
"I guess so, but I can't ever imagine getting used to that…"
"We're getting used to Magix, aren't we?" Emilia butted in.
"I wonder what my pixie would think of my home, of my mother, of Sumalee…" Tasanee trailed off as she followed Zoe's gaze.
Alicia strode over to their table, looking like a smug cat on dark pink heels.
Those in their vicinity went silent as they turned to watch. Over at the Junior table, Alicia's roommates as well as a few others turned to watch as well.
Her fingers brushed the chocolate bar Gabriela had next to her plate of scrambled eggs.
"Touch my chocolate bar again and I will cut you." Gabriela said calmly, not looking up from her meal.
Alicia raised an eyebrow.
"I wouldn't put it past her at all…" Emilia warned.
Alicia ignored her. "Chocolate bars at breakfast? And my favourite brand at that? I guess I will have to relieve you of this for later…" She moved to take it, but Gabriela was quicker.
Her right hand flashed with purple light, a small shuriken appeared in her fingers and she stabbed it into the table, narrowly missing Alicia's fingers as she drew them back quickly, eyes widening.
"You are lucky your reflexes are so fast. I would suggest running along to your roommates. They're waiting for you I believe..." Gabriela nodded to Nélessea and the others, who were snickering at the snooty fairy's expression.
Alicia huffed and stomped away.
"You were remarkably calm about that considering the last time you exchanged words it almost came to a fight…" Zoe commented in surprise.
"I thought she was gonna kill her for sure!" Aziza exclaimed from a few seats away.
"I was fully prepared to have to duck…" Clarisse muttered from her seat next to Alice who nodded in agreement.
"That was her being calm?" Kaya raised an eyebrow from her seat next to Aziza.
"Remind me never to piss Gabriela off…" Lyra whispered to Nandi, who nodded, eyes wide.
"If you'll excuse us, we have somewhere we need to be…" Zoe finished quickly and was the first of her group to leave.
"Hey girls! Long time, no see!"
Zoe, Tasanee, Gabriela and Emilia ran forward to hug her, knocking her and themselves into the ground laughing.
"I guess you're all doing pretty okay judging by the smiles on your faces…" Aisha grinned.
"You bet we are!" Emilia exclaimed.
"Of course. Now, who's ready to meet their bonded pixie?"
Aisha chuckled. "Okay then. Let's go…"
The few students in the library whispered to one another as they saw three members of the Winx Club strolling into it.
Musa, Tecna and Stella went right over to some shelves.
"Ah, just like old times…" Stella smiled.
The other two looked at her incredulously.
"When were you ever in the library of your own free will?" Musa raised an eyebrow.
"You usually only ever came in here when the rest of us decided to have a study session…" Tecna pointed out.
"Hell, I don't even think she'd even know where the library was if it weren't for us…"
"Okay, okay! I get it! Sheesh!" Stella pouted and the other two chuckled.
"Hmm… Potions… Battle Magic… Runes…" Tecna picked a few books and carried them to the nearest desk.
"Cosmetology spells would be nice in giving Duman a makeover, but not so much help in a fight. I mean, I can't make him over to death- unless I drowned him in lip gloss. Still…" Stella put that book aside.
Musa rolled her eyes. "Power-specific spells would still be useful. Not just all this new… well technically old general magic…"
"Are there any books in there written by people with our specific power types? Us and the Arcelians, I mean." Tecna asked a she began to make notes from a textbook about runes.
"Arcelians?" Musa and Stella turned to look at their techno-fairy friend in unison.
"Well, yes. It's only logical to come up with some way of referring to them in a group and I thought that Arcelians was an appropriate term, given the circumstances…" Tecna didn't look up from her notes as she spoke.
The other two fairies shrugged. "Works for us…"
"Welcome back to the archive, Mirta. You've brought Bloom and Flora with you I see." Concorda flew over to greet them as they entered the hidden archive.
"Yep. We're here on a little research mission." Mirta smiled.
"I heard. Pixies have been fairy allies for many years so a threat to Fairykind is a threat to us. I will always be glad to help you." The archive pixie smiled.
"So, where do we start?" Flora asked.
"Well, this section contains a lot of pixie spells that your young friends' bonded pixies (if they become so lucky!) could use to not only assist their fairy's power levels, but boost their own as well…" Concorda gestured to a shelf just behind them which Mirta immediately went to.
"Pixies have also travelled the realms and collected all sorts of ancient spells alongside fairies. In fact, there are some spells here that only a bonded fairy or pixie is able to perform. Why that is, we haven't discovered yet, unfortunately…" The pixie shrugged.
"Another research topic added to my list…" Mirta smiled slightly as she levitated a book down from a higher shelf.
"Concorda, do you have any background information on the Wizards of the Black Circle themselves?" Bloom asked.
Immediately, the archive pixie frowned. "Plenty. Earth once had their own pixie communities but they too were wiped out. We have all sorts of tales and observations from those who managed to escape to this realm…"
She held up her hands and muttered an incantation under her breath, glowing softly as she did.
Books flew from all corners of the room, making the three fairies duck for cover.
One even clonked Bloom in the back of the head, bowling her over with a thud.
When the archive pixie had finally finished, there stood a large pile of books in front of her which hid from view.
"Well, this is all that the spell recognized. I may have missed a few, but for now, let's work through these…" Concorda flew up to the top of the pile and swung around a heavy tome as she set to work.
Aisha watched the younger fairies' reactions to seeing Pixie Village for the first time and smiled. She had the same reaction when she first saw it too…
"It's really beautiful…" Tasanee said in awe.
"Just when you think you can't get any more amazed…" Emilia commented. Zoe and Gabriela nodded in agreement.
They soon snapped out of it as Ninfea flew over to greet them.
"Welcome to Pixie Village, girls! I am Ninfea, Queen of the Pixies. It has been a long time since a pixie has bonded with an Earth fairy, so we are really glad to have you here!"
"Thank you, Your Majesty. It's truly a delight to be he-" Zoe was cut off by an explosion in one of the nearby buildings.
They group ran/flew over, with Gabriela reaching the building first.
A pixie stumbled out coughing and covered in soot.
"Note to self. That potion combination does not work…" She said to herself, before looking up at Gabriela, who had knelt down to check on her.
The bond was instant.
"I'm Gabriela, Fairy of Weaponry!"
"I'm Zing, the Pixie of Bugs! I'm so glad that I bonded with a fairy like you!" Zing sounded slightly dazed- though whether that was from the bonding or the explosion, no one could tell.
"That's bonding. It's like love at first sight between a fairy and a pixie." Aisha explained to the younger fairies, remembering when she said almost the exact same words a few years earlier. "Their bond will be unbreakable."
"What does it feel like, Gabriela? To be bonded with a pixie?" Emilia asked curiously.
"It feels so sweet, like how I would imagine sugar if it were an emotion…" Tasanee thought.
"I don't even know how to describe it. It's like… knowing you'll have a really great, loyal friend for the rest of your life. I… wow." Gabriela blinked, but then smiled and turned to the pixie sitting on her shoulder.
Aisha nodded, smiling. "I guess that's as close as putting it in words as we'll ever get. Speaking of, here's my bonded pixie now!"
"Aisha!" She cried out.
"Piff!" Aisha twirled her around a bit.
"Girls, this is my bonded pixie, Piff. We bonded when she was just a baby and she's helped me through some rather difficult times…" She smiled at the young pixie and she smiled right back.
"Chatta and the others are coming soon. They went off to get some pixie snacks to share with our guests!" Ninfea smiled. "Now, why don't you ladies follow Aisha and me and we'll give you the grand tour?"
"So how do you like Pixie Village, huh? Don't you think it's great? I do!" Chatta rambled on, but Aisha quickly cut her off.
"Enough, Chatta! They won't be able to understand you if you talk so fast!" Aisha chuckled.
"Sumalee behaves like that when she is excited too. I got used to it…" Tasanee smiled and turned to her own bonded pixie, Pam.
"I think it's great!" Zoe grinned, as she munched on some cookies that her bonded pixie, Caramel had made.
"Of course it is! It's where I live, isn't it?" Cherie piped up from her seat on Emilia's shoulder.
"Our resident storyteller is off on her travels to collect more stories again. It's too bad. She'd have interesting stories to tell you all…" Ninfea said. "I'll be sure to let you know when she comes back. I'm sure she wouldn't mind sharing some stories with you…"
"Yeah, they'll be back. Look, we should get back now. I was supposed to help the others with some research." Aisha stood up.
"Any of you coming back with us today?" She turned to Zing, Pam, Cherie and Caramel.
"Yes, of course!" They exclaimed in unison.
"I'm already packed!" Cherie snapped her fingers and some suitcases came flying through the clearing and straight into her outstretched hands.
The other pixies flew off to get their own stuff.
"So, what's it like in this Australia place?" Caramel asked as she watched Zoe find places to put her stuff.
"It's pretty okay. Warm most of the time, though we can get winters cold enough that make you feel as if your blood is freezing…" Zoe finished up and sat on the bed next to her.
"You have to take me there sometime!" Caramel exclaimed.
"Believe me, I will. I'll have to go back at some point anyway…" Zoe said.
At that point, Gabriela and Zing, came in, laughing hysterically.
"You just got back. What did you do?" Zoe raised an eyebrow.
"Met… Alicia in hallway… Zing changed into cockroach… Alicia ran off screaming…" Gabriela could hardly breathe with how much laughing she was doing.
"Yeah… Just as long as you don't do that around me or Tasanee. She hates bugs almost as much as I do…" Zoe shuddered.
"Fair enough…" Zing and Gabriela shrugged.
Meanwhile, Emilia, Tasanee, Cherie and Pam are sitting together in their room, chatting.
"That's us for you. Normal Earth girls, get attacked by evil wizards, become fairies, go to another realm with alien fairies to go to a fairy school. No one on Earth will ever believe this…" Emilia said.
"Perhaps so, if it wasn't for certain events in Porto Alegre…" Tasanee commented. "The only people that know of my powers on Earth are my mother and my best friend Sumalee."
"And the people back in Monterrey saw us, remember? At that OXXO store, correct?" Emilia said.
"Well, if anyone got footage, then that means they know about all of us now, right?"
"Not necessarily. Mirta told me about something called a transformation glamour? They wouldn't recognize us unless we transformed right in front of them…" Tasanee said.
"So they wouldn't have recognized Zoe as an Australian runaway since she was transformed, but would recognize Gabriela since she was in her civilian form when we were at the store?" Emilia asked.
"I think so. The theory behind it is not so easy to understand. We should do some research on it together sometime." Tasanee reached for a notebook and began to write as Emilia nodded in agreement.
"So, what did you girls learn today?" Aisha and the other older fairies sat together in an unoccupied dorm room within Alfea's walls.
"There are spells that only bonded fairies and pixies can cast to link their powers together and lend each other their skills…" Mirta said.
"There are also several rune spells that could be used to help protect their homes and potions which could be brewed to protect their minds from outside interference…" Tecna added.
"I came across a pretty dark spell in the Restricted Magic section. It's called Shadow's Call." Musa said, shuddering.
"What does it do?" Bloom asked.
"For starters, it's a spell that goes into your very consciousness. It can control your actions, but not your mind. In other words, you'd be like a living zombie. You'd know what you're doing, but would be powerless to stop it…" Musa explained.
"That was just for starters?" Stella raised an eyebrow.
"Uh-huh. If the caster puts enough energy behind it, they can "call" or rather; steal your very soul…" Musa shuddered again.
"Whoa…" Everyone was stunned.
"Is there a way to reverse the damage?" Mirta asked.
"There is, but I doubt anyone here would want to. In order to heal a person from the effects of the Shadow's Call, they'd have to give up their own soul. It's a completely lose-lose situation. The Wizards of the Black Circle have used this spell in the past quite frequently and rather effectively too…"
They were all silent for a full minute before anyone spoke again.
"Let me get this straight. Not only did The Wizards of the Black Circle steal the Earth Fairies' magic, they stole their souls too?" Aisha sounded horrified.
"All the more reason to make sure they don't do it to anyone else, right?" Bloom declared.
This chapter is brought to you by... my update pact with LoveLoveLovix! She updates Fly or Fall and I update this before the 22nd February and we get to avoid Chibi Horsewoman repeatedly tagging us on Facebook!
Another filler-ish chapter, but it does set up quite a few important things for the future.
Next chapter will be rather action-packed, I promise you that…