Characters: Zatanna, Zatarra (mentioned), Nabu/Fate (mentioned), Klarion the Witchboy, (mentioned)
Warning: Spoilers for Displaced, obscure comic references, book abuse
Word count: 499
Zatanna was coping.
She was, honest. She just needed some time alone. Because there were so many things to take care of now, no, she didn't want any help! This was something she needed to do alone. How else could she sort through her father's magical tomes? The dust made her eyes water a bit, that was all. She really should have been more up-to-date on her chores, she would have to apologise to Dad for making such a big mess when he…. Zatanna sniffled, and hastily scrubbed at her oddly moist eyes. "Stupid dust."
She just needed to find her next lesson book anyway.
Dad said she was ready for the next level, so, the next book should be somewhere nearby. The mystic library was huge and though she could probably handle summoning it like her father would have, she didn't want to risk getting pelted with every spellbook she'd ever read. Zatanna had already found a few interesting books on her own just browsing.
There was a likely-looking book on the little table near her favourite fireplace, the one with all the snowglobes. The dust around it was thinner too—someone had been by recently. Zatanna smiled. Dad, you knew I'd go snooping, didn't you?
There was something a little…off about the lessonbook, Zatanna thought, drawing closer, dumping her other finds on the armchair. It was too thick, for one. And it looked… old. Centuries old, like it had been written in the Dark Ages. This couldn't be from Dad, could it? The Book of Shadows…? That didn't sound like anything she'd ever heard of. Frowning, Zatanna picked it up. It was lighter than she expected, but heavy and stained, as if it been dragged through wars… There was a note too, folded, and placed under the book; thick, heavy parchment that seemed more at home in the 16th than the 21st. The spiky, ballpoint scribble was all too familiar.
I heard your teacher got nabbed by Nabu- sucks for you! He must not have been very good, since you still do baby magic, but it's just not fun to fight someone so weak… it does look like you might have a little talent for magic, given how much that stupid helmet wanted you— so I'm giving you an old spellbook of mine. Aren't I generous? Expect you to do better next time-and there will be a next time!- so don't disappoint me.
KLARION THE WITCH-BOY
Zatanna hurtled the book away as if it bit her. It hit a column and immediately split its ancient binding, raining thousands of translucent pages. Zatanna slid down the wall, repeating "Ezalb" until every single page caught fire. She didn't realise she was shouting until there was nothing left to burn and she didn't realise she was crying until she saw the inches of fine grey ash that covered the floor.
That… that… after what he did…
He had the nerve to-