For a moment, all Dipper could do was stare at the limp body of his sister, the frozen shock on her face seeming completely out of place. Flames licked up the walls, snaked across the floor, using the cardboard boxes and pieces of mail as fuel to grow stronger. The excruciating heat was what finally pierced his thunderstruck state and he snapped back to reality, the shouts and screams of his friends hitting him in full force.
He knew he ought to say something, to think of a plan that would help them. But he was consumed with indescribable rage. For the first time in his life, he acted without thinking.
"Aaghh! Lavernia!" he screamed, charging forwards, the unit containing the magic still strapped securely to his back.
"Dipper!" hollered Stan, but the boy paid no mind and charged through the flames, disappearing through the hole in the wall and out into the hot afternoon air.
"Wait!" cried Phineas. "You need us!"
He and Ferb were quick to follow after the brunette. Cursing, Stan pointed towards the opening in the building and shouted, "Everyone out!"
Frantic, the kids obeyed and rushed out of the burning deathtrap. Cradling Mabel close to his chest, Stan was the last one out, breathing heavily. But there was little fresh air to soothe them, for Lavernia was now bent on burning the town to the ground, creating monstrous fires faster than the townspeople could take them out.
"Now what?" asked Isabella, eyes teary. "I can't see them anywhere!"
"We'll have to have faith that they'll figure this mess out," said Stan gruffly, anxiety and anger twisting his gut at the unresponsive form of his niece. "Right now we need to do something about this town. If they manage to defeat her, it's going to be a hollow victory if she manages to take Gravity Falls down with her."
Gathering her composure, Isabella nodded firmly. "Right. Buford, Baljeet, we need to find all the water we can! We need to rig up more water guns!"
Her male friends, who were slightly spooked by the new development in Lavernia's reign of fiery terror, managed to nod. They took off running, intent on making more powerful water weapons to combat the fires raging across the town.
Stan cast a quick glance at Waddles. "Stay out of trouble," he warned. "When she wakes up, you better still be around to greet her."
He took off after the kids, leaving Waddles alone in the street. Perry slipped out of his hiding place and rushed over to Waddles, concerned. "What happened?!"
"She got Mabel," he answered, distraught. "She doesn't have her life force anymore. The boys went to try and stop her, Dipper has that device and-"
"Stay safe," interrupted Perry, eyes narrowed and mind racing. "I've got to go. Don't worry, Mabel is going to be fine. I swear."
Waddles could only watch in bewilderment as the platypus activated his propellers and took off into the sky.
Perry stared down below and spotted three familiar figures charging through town, wielding newly-constructed water guns. He felt a flare of admiration for their efficiency and talent for inventions, he could not help but feel the doubt that their assistance would contribute much to the growing fires. The sky was black with smoke and the heat was nearly insufferable.
'Deal with that later,' he thought, focussing his attention forwards. 'Without Lavernia, there are no fires to worry about.'
He eventually found the demon floating in the air, hovering above the high school, which was smouldering slightly. Perry landed on the roof of one the few unscathed buildings and pressed a button on his watch, observing as Lavernia began the creation of another massive fireball, a wicked sneer on her lips.
"Goop Mode activated," his watch chirped.
Levelling his watch at Lavernia, Perry flicked his gaze to the street below. Dipper and his boys were rapidly approaching, each of their faces burning with determination.
'Alright, boys. She's all yours.'
Perry pressed the button and a stream of bright green goop shot across the way and ensnared the demon. Startled, she lost concentration and struggled, falling to the ground in the process. She landed roughly in the street with an annoyed grunt.
Perry ducked down on the roof, but he needn't have worried. The boys were not concerned with where the odd substance that took the demon down had come from. They had one mission and one mission only, and they refused to be distracted from it.
"That's it," snarled Dipper. "That's enough! I want my sister back!"
"You people don't know when to quit," Lavernia growled. She managed to lift a finger and touch it to the goop covering her. It lit on fire, the substance starting to burn through and loosen. "When I get out of here, I'm taking your life force next."
"Candace, come on," said Phineas desperately. He inched forwards, hand held out. "I know you're in there. I know she's powerful, but you are so much stronger than her. You're your own person. You're not just a body for her to use and abuse. We're going to help you."
Lavernia grit her teeth as a strong surge of affection and desperation burst through her. The emotions were not her own, but those of the girl she was controlling.
With a mighty wrench she tore through the goop, allowing her to stand. She glowered down at the three boys, red eyes flashing. Her hands flared with orange flames. "I'm going to kill you," she hissed, pointing at Dipper. "I'm going to do something with you two brats," she continued, glaring in disgust at Phineas and Ferb. "And I'm going to be the victor!"
Perry straightened, eyes narrowed into slits as Lavernia made a threatening step towards the trio. But before she could make another move the world suddenly darkened, causing everyone to pause and stare upwards in confusion.
Thick grey clouds covered the once-blue sky. After a beat heavy raindrops started to fall steadily below, drenching the land and soaking whatever was exposed. Lavernia wrapped her arms tightly around herself and backed away, eyes wide.
"No…no! It's not supposed to rain!"
Dipper didn't hesitate. "Phineas, Ferb, now!"
Phineas raced forwards and tackled Lavernia to the ground. The demon could do very little, for the cold was seeping into her veins and rendering her weak. She tried to thrash, but Phineas had a firm grip. His expression was serious.
"Candace. Now's your chance. Come back to us."
Ferb knelt down and grasped her hand. Lavernia snapped her heads towards him, and the heat in her red eyes had dimmed significantly. In fact, the green-haired boy was certain he could see flecks of blue.
"We love you, Candace," he said softly, looking intently at the girl. "Expel her. End this."
Lavernia took a sharp, gasping breath of air and her body started to convulse. Phineas stumbled off of the girl and cried, "You got it, Candace! You can do this!"
Lavernia curled up into a ball, squeezing her eyes shut and trying to regain control. But it was a hopeless task. She was freezing and the fire in her veins was all but extinguished. An anger that was not her own rose up and a strong voice echoed through her mind.
'You horrible, nasty, using witch.'
'Go back to being dormant!' Lavernia hissed mentally. 'I am in control here!'
'Oh, I don't think so,' growled Candace. She was starting to gain her consciousness back, and she could feel her spirit shoving forcefully against the foreign one dominating her body. 'This is my body. And it's about time I got it back!'
The three boys, watching the jerking form of Lavernia, jolted backwards with shouts of triumph and surprise as a bright red, shimmering mist shot out from Candace's body, tumbling through the air before stopping a few feet away.
"Huugghh!" gasped Candace, shooting upwards and clutching at her heart, which was pounding harshly. She had a massive headache and her stomach was churning violently, but she could remember everything Lavernia had done while in her body.
"Candace!" cried Phineas and Ferb joyfully, launching forwards and tackling their exhausted sister in a hug. "You did it!"
"I didn't do much of anything," muttered Candace weakly. "You guys did. I'm the one who wrecked the place."
"No, she did," said Phineas, shooting a glare at the spirit. "None of this is your fault."
Dipper gripped the remote tightly in his hand. "It's time for you to go back to your prison," he said coldly.
"I hate to disappoint you, but only a witch can send me back to that horrible place," sneered Lavernia, her voice having an odd, echo-y quality to it.
"That's where you're wrong. In Gravity Falls, anyone can use magic!"
Filled with a burning desire to see his sister, and rage over Lavernia's revulsive treatment towards his town, he pressed the green button. Blue magic filtered out of the vents and surrounded him, and he could feel his body tingle with power.
"No!" cried Lavernia. "What is this?"
"Lavernia, thy daemon of inferna, with this chant, you will become trapped in the darkest, deepest depths of the Underworld for all eternity!" shouted Dipper, reciting the spell he had committed to memory. "Be gone!"
The ground began to tremble, so violently that it shook the town from side to the side, the buildings swaying and creaking. Dipper planted his feet firmly to the ground and stayed steady, eyes burning with victory as Lavernia gave a loud screech of agony.
Blinded by a bright white light, Dipper closed his eyes for a brief moment to protect his vision before opening them again. In the space Lavernia once occupied was nothing but a large scorch mark, and off into the distance he could the coloured life forces flying off, seeking their owners.
They had done it. She was finally gone.
Fingers trembling, Dipper pressed the red button on the remote, closing the vents. He turned around to see Candace clinging to her siblings, looking slightly disoriented but otherwise all right.
Wrenching off the device, Dipper dropped it to the ground and raced in search of his sister. Phineas and Ferb helped Candace to her feet and slowly followed after the boy, supporting their sister between them.
Perry watched them go, the sound of rain filling him with relief and peace. He activated his propellers and took off, intent of finding Heinz.
'It's over. It's finally over.'