A/N: Hi guys, Um just a quick to point out that the story is going to keep going so those of you begging me not to drop it, I don't plan to, the chapter just take a little longer to crank out, as I do have ideas but their not very clearly formed in my head yet, I know how I want things to go and how it'll end, it's putting it in words that's the hard part (laughs) Also, Yes in This Chapter I will be Introducing an OC character, Yes she will be a Major part of the story, and yes she will have a Key point to the conclusion. I know that bothers some people who don't care for OC's in their stories, I just hope that I write her well enough that you can accept her into the story.


A Matter Of Time

After the events of the movie Merida is shocked to Find Mor'du still roaming the woods of her homeland! When the great bear sees her she fear the end but oddly it merely turns away. Intrigued Merida follows him into destiny.

Chapter 5

Witch

A fire crackled cheerfully in the fireplace as An old crone put her home to rights. She knew there'd be a chance some fool would pour to many bottles in her cauldron. Hmph. Maybe she should just retire. The wikerman festival was hardly what is had been years before, and all these new age witches with their love and prosperity spells where driving her up the wall! There was very little respectable magic anymore and no one had any respect left for the old ways. The will of religion was swamping over the land and she had no doubt that the old ways where slowly dying. Maybe this was the perfect time to retire. She'd never even started this to be a witch in the first place, she'd just wanted to channel and control her powers! How could she have foreseen that she would become so adept or that those irritating little wisps would keep leading people to her bloody front door!

A knock sounded and she looked up.

"Speak of the devil." She murmured stepping forward, it was fairly late for anyone to come seeking bear carvings or a spell for that matter who on earth could it be? Opening the door she barely got a word out before the door was shoved the rest of the way open and a tall woman breezed in crouching and yet still managing to move effortlessly around the cramped room.

"Oh dear. I heard the explosion, but I had hoped it wasn't your home. Though, the magical feedback made it a bit obvious." The woman said with a sigh plucking lightly at the veil on her head the circlet of gold that held it in place shined softly as the drop shaped crystal, that fell from a delicate chain to her forehead, winked in the light.

"I'm glad you're well at least. You're back early, was the festival not to your taste? You said last year it was getting quiet boring." She said examining her nails as she looked around "I like what you've done, these bear carved beams are so much nicer than those ratty old beams you hand, I guess you got lucky having some idiot princess blow your home up." The woman said before moving to settle in one of the witches carefully carved chairs. The witch sighed but shut the door not fighting against the woman knowing it was just easier to humor her, and… well she had so few friends even if this younger caster wasn't the best person in the world, it was nice to have tea and a chat with someone once in a while.

"So what brings you here anyway?" the witch said walking over even as the Caster shifted with a wordless spell she summoned the making for tea and had a pot on the fire to boil water.

"I thought you might like to know that your spell on the young prince has been compromised." She said softly watching the Flames as the witch gasped shifting slightly

"That's not possible, My spells only break if the right path is followed, That young man's been a bear for hundreds of years! There's no possible way my spell is broken." She said stubbornly drawing a chuckled from the Caster

"Older magic was involved then either you or I can tap into. The bears body was crushed by one of the Rune Standing stones at the dance." She said simply waving a hand the pot lifted from the fire and slowly tipped the water it contained into the cups she'd summoned, the herbal smell of the drink filling the air with its soothing fragrance.

"The magic broke the hold the bear had on the prince's mind, he and the princess are now together. I have seen them in my glass. She is determined to break your spell. She will come to you to break it." She said chuckling as if she'd told a funny joke

"I imagine she has no idea that you can't break your own spells." She said slowly sipping her tea there was an air of superiority to the way the caster spoke that had the witches hackles up but before she could respond the caster held up a hand.

"Don't worry. I know how you feel about unhappy customers… that's why I'm here. My own skills while younger than your lay in areas yours do not. I can help them… if the princess and her monstrous companion find their way to you, simply, send her to me. I'm sure you can come up with some sort of story, You can't cast the same spell, he's too old, whatever you like." The caster said lips curling in a slow smile.

"And when they come to you, what will you do to them?" the Witch asked eyeing the woman, while the witches spells always gave the person who bought it exactly what they asked for… even if it wasn't what they had in mind, she knew this Caster was a twisted creature, one who bent magic to her own amusement. The woman in white waved a hand

"Nothing they won't be able to break free of… If that princess really is as capable as she seems it'll be no trouble at all for them. After all she broke your spell, and she didn't even understand what you meant with your cryptic little riddle." She said chuckling and sipping her tea letting out a soft satisfied sigh as the drink warmed her.

"You know why I became a caster, You know why I stay here. Even with the spread of religions that would see us and the old ways crushed, there are plenty of places I could move on to, but I stay here, and very soon everything I have wanted will come to pass. " she said slowly dragging her finger along the rim of the cup letting out a slow breath staring into the flames as the witch watched her profile.

"Why did you never come to me for a spell?" the witch asked suddenly "You didn't find you you where a Caster until after everything had happened. There was no reason you couldn't have come to me and asked for a spell yourself." She said watching the younger woman. For a moment she seemed thoughtful before shaking her head.

"Perhaps I didn't want to be a bear as well." She said moving to stand careful to keep her head bowed so she didn't crack it on the low ceiling.

"Tea was lovely dear, as always." She said sweeping to the door the robes fluttering with each movement before she paused at the door

"Don't forget dear, send them to me, I promise I won't be to cruel… though even if I was, what could you do to stop me?" she said with a chuckle as the door blew closed, the casters laughter carried on the wind long after, and shivering from the bad feeling it cause the witch locked and warded her windows and doors. Even if she didn't guide those two towards the Caster, she had no doubt the woman would lure them to her, one way or another.


Merida jolted gasping as she woke looking up, what had woken her? It was still dark the embers of her fire glowed dully as the silvery light of the moon filtered in through her window. Pushing off the thick covers she slid from the bed looking around her room frowning taking a breath and listening, she couldn't… hear anything out of the ordinary but, the air felt strange charged somehow, she moved to her window Pausing as she was something white flash through the woods, on the edge of the trees, what was that? Startled she watched the didn't see it again confused she turned back to her room, stifling a scream as floating in the center of her room, was a wisp!

Or at least…. She thought it was a wisp

Unlike the wisps that lead her to the witches hut with their rich color of blue like a searing flame, the wisp that hovered here giving it's haunting call what white, it drifted there in the center of her room and, it was odd, but she had a distinct feeling that it was watching her. She stepped forward carefully reaching out to touch it, unlike the blue wisps it sat there watching without eyes as her hands draw closer and eventually passed through it. The air around it was cold and she pulled her hand back fast, it had been like plunging it into a bucket of Icy water!

"What are you?" she asked, but the wisp simply gave its soft call, not beckoning her as the blue ones did but tilting it's little body before vanishing as abruptly as it appeared. Stunned by what she had seen Merida moved crawling into bed, her room felt cold all of the sudden and as she dragged her blankets close huddling under them she closed her eyes tightly trying to banish what had happened from her mind. Why was she so frightened? The wisps had never hurt her, but she'd never touched one before… and this one had looked different… wisps had never appeared in the castle before either!

Ever since finding Mor'du more and more strange things had been happening!

Burrowing deeper in her covers she turned away from her window and sought the comfort of sleep, trying to fight the sudden irrational fear claiming her mind.


Morning dawned and Merida made her way down to breakfast rubbing her head, scowling darkly at her breakfast as she ate her mood was so foul her father finally commented on it asking while she was so put off.

"I don't know, I didn't sleep very well last night but I'm not sure why, I feel like I had a really bad dream." She admitted shaking her head Eleanor chuckled as she ate almost surprised by the rather tame reason for her daughter foul mood.

"Well Eat up and get it out of your mind dear, we have plenty of work to do today." She said primly before smiling "And then you can god riding and clear your head. Mind you be careful though, there's frost this morning and the woods with be damp." She advised with the stern tone every mother used when advising a reckless child.

Despite Eleanor's words Merida couldn't get it out of her mind, throughout the day she worked but it was distracted, why was she so anxious. Time seemed to drag on, she wanted to go and see Mor'du, was she anxious about him? Worried? Why? He was a giant killer bear…. But he wasn't that anymore he might be a bear but he had the mind of a man, and a man greatly weighed down by the gilt of his own selfishness.

Merida fought not to groan as she thought about it, would a bear do something drastic… could a bear kill it's self? She shuddered at the thought no no that was stupid. He might have been a bear for however long, but he was first and foremost a prince, he would have an innate pride that would hopefully keep him from doing anything to extreme. And after all nothing he had done had indicated that he was so miserable he'd take that path, he seemed as interested as she was in breaking his spell. Maybe he wanted to rebuild his life, live for his brothers and repent for his mistakes?

Right?

That idea was much more hopeful and much more to her liking.