Author's note about this story: This is a little project I've had in mind forever. I loved the W.I.T.C.H. comics when I was younger – and I still enjoy the first two or three arcs, but these days it's lacking arcs, lacking personality and pretty much lacking any interesting feature or creative thought. It's all fashion and boys, which was never the reason I read the series in the first place. So I decided to fix it! The premise was always completely awesome, but even in the first arc, there were plot holes and inconsistencies that always bothered me… and after I heard that it was originally going to be different but the original creators got screwed around issue six, I thought that that would be a nice place to start.

This is going to be more character-driven with elaboration on my take on the backstory of this universe and overall themes about Kandrakar (that I feel got hinted at in the first two arcs, but then kind of dropped out) that might not have been too interesting or fit for the little girls this series was originally geared towards. It's going to be more intricate and mature, all in all (I hope). These first parts will follow most of the plot pretty close but elaborate on characters – as it goes on, it will probably deviate more from the original plot, though (especially recent issues). I also plan on letting the characters age.

So, starting from issue 7 of the comics, go!

Chapter 1

Will couldn't help but be slightly thankful that the dormouse had eaten all those cookies and gotten sick about a month ago. She felt bad for even thinking it, but that didn't change that she was thankful – after all, if it hadn't been sick, she wouldn't have had the chance to get closer to Matt… and she wouldn't have had an awesome job at the pet store, of course! But Matt

Will knew that her crush on the cute singer had grown to quite epic proportions and that, because of it, she couldn't stop smiling like an absolute moron all the time (oh God, he must think she was so immature, and uncool, and totally not-date-worthy!) but most of the time, she couldn't bring herself to care. Not like she actually had a lot of time to agonize over it anyways, between school, swimming, work, and… that.

For once, Will's smile momentarily dimmed as she zipped through the snowy streets towards the pet shop. They hadn't heard anything of Elyon, Cedric or the world beyond the Veil in over a month. It bothered her. And what bothered her more were the circumstances of their last clash at the book store. Rebels… Fugitives… Suffering… She hadn't had time, just not enough time, to think about it or discuss it thoroughly with the other girls, and it had been quiet for a while now, but… She knew that they would have to move face this, though, and soon.

Will's thoughts were interrupted as Olsen's Pet Shop came into her view, and the corners of her lips curled once more as her dark musings were chased away by much happier thought of cute baby animals and boys with brown hair and soul patches.

She quickly parked the red bike outside and had just enough time to notice that her hurried ride had gotten her pants splotched with grimy snow. 'I hope Matt doesn't notice,' was her thought as she entered the shop, the little bell over the door ringing.

Mr. Olsen was putting on his coat as she came in. When he looked up he saw her and smiled. "Good, you're here!"

Will smiled back in greeting, "Am I late?" She shouldn't be with how fast she'd gone through the dangerously slippery streets in her eagerness to get here.

"No, no! No such thing. In fact, you're early!" Mr. Olsen reassured her. "But I have a favor to ask you. That grandson of mine is rehearsing with the band today-" 'Great,' Will thought gloomily. "- and I need to take care of a special patient at home. Is it alright if I leave you here all alone?"

Will smiled at the elderly man as he grabbed his bag and walked to the door. "No problem! Even if leaving me alone here is just asking for a catastrophe to happen…" She finished wryly. Mr. Olsen simply chuckled in response to that and with a 'See you later!' he was out the door.

Though she was a little down that there would be no Matt-time today, hopefully there'd be enough customers to distract her. This was her first time looking after the store on her own… maybe if she did a really good job, Matt would notice and admire her.

The romantic thoughts of what such admiration could lead to lasted for about 20 minutes and it was around this time that Will finally noticed that there were no customers. For the next half hour she observed that very few people walked past the windows and decided to give up on plan 'Get Matt to admire me by running the shop really well' for the day and instead get some homework done.

Will had been there for over an hour when the first customer of the day walked in, a leggy brunette with a smart 'do, stylish leather boots and a long coat baring her stomach ('How does she keep warm in that?!'). Will, determined to get plan 'GMTAMBRTSRW' ('… I really need to think out shorter plan codes.') on the way again, left History behind walked up to the customer with a big smile. "Hi! Can I help you?"

The brunette was looking around. "No, actually, I was looking for Matt." Will's smile immediately vanished, turning into a suspicious frown. Now, why would a leggy, really-kind-of-trashy-now-that-she-thought-of-it brunette like this be looking for Matt?

"Well," she eyed the woman. "Matt's not here today, but if you nee-"

"A piece of paper then." The brunette had the audacity to give a condescending smile as she interrupted.

Demonstratively, Will walked back to her homework and ripped out of one of her notebooks. "Is this okay?"

The woman was fishing a pen out of her designer purse, not looking at Will as she answered. "Yes, fine."

Will stuck her tongue out at the woman's back and stewed with rage as the woman wrote the note. "So you're the new store clerk, I imagine…" She bent condescendingly and smiled again as she handed Will the note. "Please give this to Matt. I trust you to remember!"

"Yeah…" Will looked down at the note as the woman walked out of the store, not looking back. What did it say…? 'I look forward to embracing… my puppy. KISSES, Jackie.' Embracing… kissesStupid Jackie with her stupid, cool haircut and stupid designer clothes and stupid curvy body… Was this the kind of girl, no, WOMAN, that Matt liked? Confident, sexy, everything that Will wasn't…

Preoccupied with jealous rage, Will almost didn't notice Mr. Olsen entering the store and brushing off the snow from his coat. "Everything all right, Will?" he asked bemused.

Startled, Will crushed the paper in her hand, making sure that the old man didn't see it. Giving him an awkward grin, she answered "No visible catastrophes… But I do have a lot of homework! If you don't need me anymore…" She was desperate to get out of here to somewhere she could be alone to think this over and rage and cry and rage…

"Sure, go! We'll see each other the day after tomorrow?"

"Sure thing, Mr. Olsen." Will's thoughts were already going a thousand miles per hour as she hurriedly packed her school bag and shrugged on her jacket. She barely remembered to give the kindly man a goodbye as she rushed out the door, her head still spinning with thoughts of Jackie and Matt… together… hugging, kissing…

'Matt will never see that piece of paper!'

Irma and Hay Lin had gone home together after a long, boring day at school as they often did. Right now though, things weren't boring. In fact, the two of them had a mystery on their hands…

"You have to tell us, Taranee! Friends like us don't keep secrets!" Irma was practically begging into the phone, Hay Lin beside her on the bed trying to get Irma to share the phone.

"And there won't be from tomorrow," came Taranee's calm voice from the other end of the line. "I'll tell you everything then."

"How can you be so cruel?!" Irma was whining now. Hay Lin sounded more angry as she had finally got Irma to share the phone: "While you're off with your 'mystery knight', WE'll be in the hands of professor Vargas!"

"Oh yes, I'm veeeery sad for you." If her voice had been any drier, she'd have to be renamed 'Sahara'.

Now Irma sounded annoyed too. "Don't change the topic! Tell us who he is!" Taranee could hear that the first part was just as much meant for Hay Lin, but she didn't have time to think further as Peter stuck his head into her room to tell her that someone was at the door.

The butterflies (butterfly…) in her stomach took off and began to flutter wildly as Taranee quickly hung up on the two bickering girls, barely uttering a quick 'Got to go!' before pressing the button. 'Shoes, shoes, shoes.' Her fingers fumbled with the laces and the butterflies grew wilder as she asked Peter to open the door.

He looked less than impressed as he nonetheless did what his favorite little sister asked him to and let the boy, waiting outside, in. He barely had a chance to make a joke about waiting for her when Taranee hurried towards them, pulling on her favorite pink tiger-striped coat.

When she saw Nigel standing there, waiting for her with a wide goofy smile and his hat in his hands, Taranee couldn't help but smile back. The butterflies settled down and so did her nerves. As they walked out into the snow together and Nigel held his umbrella over her head, Taranee felt calm and safe and warm, and not even their impromptu snowball fight on their way to the movies made that feeling disappear.

It had been over a month since Cornelia had last seen Elyon, disappearing into thin air with a beaten Cedric, and as Cornelia opened the old diary she had thought lost, she suddenly became very aware of this fact. How long it had been since she had seen Elyon – her best friend – how long since she even thought of her…

Cornelia felt guilty for a second before that was washed away by melancholy and sadness. 'Why? How?' They used to be best friend, the two blondes of their little group so different – Elyon with her drawings and paintings, Cornelia with her ice skating – yet the same (because when it came down to it, it was all art), and they had known each other since they were practically babies and supported each other in everything… Why had that changed? Why were they enemies now? How had it changed? How had Elyon disappeared from her life to the point where Cornelia could go weeks without sparing her a single thought?

She almost cried at the thought – if she had been anyone else, she would have, but she was Cornelia Hale and Cornelia Hale never cried (she wondered if this was why people called her 'Ice Queen'). She came the closest to crying in years though, when a loose piece of paper fell out of the diary, smooth and worn around the edges with deep creases from being opened and folded a million times. She immediately knew what it was without having to open it. She opened it anyway, though, her eyes tracing the handsome figure that was drawn on it. The lines were a little fuzzier than when she first got it; her fingers had traced them a thousand times, dreaming about the boy portrayed there.

She remembered with total clarity the day she got it. It had been a gift, from Elyon… She had placed in a big ice skating competition, Elyon cheering her on from the stands as always – Dad was working and Mother had to take care of Lillian who was too young to go to competitions and that's how it was most of the time, but Elyon was always there… always. It'd been a warm, sunny day and they'd both been so happy and proud and then Elyon had handed her the gift – because she had never doubted that Cornelia would do well – and Cornelia had laid eyes on the boy for the first time. The boy who had haunted her dreams for months, drawn exactly. Scribbled in a corner with Elyon's trademark, elegant writing: 'One day you'll meet him'.

She hadn't doubted Elyon that day. She hadn't doubted that she'd meet the boy for a long time but eventually her hope had begun to wane. She still didn't go out with boys from school but lately she had been more pessimistic about the chances of ever meeting the man of her dreams (literally) and since Elyon first disappeared, she hadn't thought of it at all.

Elyon's disappearance… Her joining the other side… Why? Why weren't they, the Guardians of Kandrakar, trying to do something about it?! Cornelia's sadness gave way to irritation and anger. They should do something about this. Elyon was their friend! And they left her in Meridian with monsters! What if they forced her to work for them? What if they'd brainwashed her, or… or replaced her with an Astral Drop or something? Elyon could be in trouble and nobody was doing anything!

In fact, Cornelia thought, nobody had even mentioned it, not even Will, and she was their leader! She might expect this from Taranee who was understandably still sore about the subject or from Irma, who couldn't get serious for five minutes, or Hay Lin, who had her head in the clouds – and not just figuratively anymore – but Will should have done something by now.

This was wrong – it was all wrong. Putting the old diary on her bed and placing the worn drawing lovingly between its pages, Cornelia decided that it was time to do something.

It was time to get to the bottom of this.