Vidia is sitting by herself while the rest of Pixie Hollow is still at the Crossroads of the Four Seasons celebrating the restoration of the cold shafts that preserve the Winter Woods and the blessing of the union of Lady Ishandra and Lord Milori as co-rulers by Queen Clarion. Vidia paid her mandatory respects to the Lord and new Lady of the Winter Woods, partook of her share of the food and a goblet of Alfean honey mead brought in by the Winx to celebrate the occasion. A short while after, she started to feel claustrophobic being surrounded by so many people and wings and sought to be away from it all and found herself a spot near the Pixie Dust Tree. She has her legs drawn up and her chin resting on her knees listening to the rhythmic chirping of the crickets which always seemed to sooth her when she hears wings and the soft thump of someone lighting. She lifts up her head to see Leffi, the new Storm-Talent and a onetime member of the infamous Trix who once called herself Stormy, standing beside her.
“May I join you?” Leffi asks the Fast Flyer.
Vidia pats the grass beside her. “Sure,” she says, smiling only slightly, “pull up the grass and have a seat.”
They sit quietly for a time until Vidia turns to Leffi and asks, “What are you doing here anyway? I thought you would be celebrating.”
“Well, I was,” replies Leffi, “but after paying my mandatory respects to Lady Ishandra and Lord Milori, eating some of what little I could stomach of the food and drinking a goblet of Alfean honey mead I just had to get away from the crowd,” then Vidia begins to laugh but not unkindly.
“I guess we are more alike than I figured,” says Vidia, smiling.
As the Fast-Flyer and the Storm-Talent sit talking, on the Mainland, a young, wise and gentle man is standing beside his beautiful, red-blonde wife looking down at their newborn son in his cradle. The baby makes his first infectious laugh and his father, caught up by his son’s laughter, laughs with him. The two streams of laughter meet and meld, float out a window and are picked up by a Scottish thistle seed. A powerful gust of wind then captures the seed and blows it far beyond where it should naturally float: past the Mainland, across the Never Seas to Never Land and then on to Pixie Hollow.
“Your stars are different than those on Alfea and you have only the one moon and one sun,” says Leffi.
“What is it like on the world you came from,” asks Vidia, surprised.
“We have two suns and three moons,” says Leffi while Vidia waits for her to go on. “The primary sun is called The Huntress, is golden and travels from East to West. The secondary sun, called The Hart, is blue and orbits from pole to pole. The three moons are gold instead of silver and are called The Three Sisters.”
“Would you like to learn the names of the stars and constellations in our sky?” asks Vidia.
“Sure,” smiles Leffi. “What is the name of the fast moving star over there by the Pixie Dust Tree,” she asks, pointing.
“By the Yellow Pixie Dust!” exclaims Vidia. “That’s not a star, Leffi, that’s a Newling coming in from the Mainland. We’ve got to hurry!”
The Faerie and the Witch rush to the Pixie Dust Tree. Vidia uses her power of wind to guide the seed to the dais where Newlings are created and is surprised to see what kind of seed it is.
“We need to cover it quickly with Pixie Dust before the laughter imbuing it is gone. If we don’t get it covered in time then will have a dead Newling on our hands and Clarion will see both our heads roll,” says Vidia urgently. “There are no Dust-Keepers to do the task. I could have done it myself but Tinker Bell and Duchess Tecna have everything so locked up with ‘automation’ that it’s no longer a matter of just collecting Pixie Dust and dumping it. I have no clue what gadget I have to pull or twist to make this what’s-it do its job.”
“Okay, Vidia,” says Leffi, picking up on the urgency. “Breathe in and breathe out or Queen Clarion won’t need to behead you – you’ll blow a gasket on your own and die anyway.”
Leffi does a quick fly around the machine and things click in her mind. She lands beside Vidia and points at two levers. “You need to pull those two levers,” she tells the Fast-Flyer.
“How do you know?” asks Vidia.
“I don’t know how I know, I just do. Trust me and pull those levers!” says Leffi. But, seeing that Vidia is not moving, she goes to the levers and pulls them herself.
“Are you crazy!” screams Vidia but her voice is lost over the sound of weights dropping, gears locking and turning, a trough swinging into place and Pixie Dust beginning to pour over the seed. Vidia looks momentarily relieved until she notices something’s wrong.
“It’s releasing both Yellow and Blue Pixie Dust,” she yells loudly. “Stop it! Stop it!”
Leffi pushes on the levers. Another set of gears lurches into place, starts spinning then locks stopping the flow of Pixie Dust and moving the trough to its original position. Leffi pulls the leavers into the middle position, the machine stops and the silence is almost deafening.
“I’ve got to blow this dust away,” cries Vidia but Leffi holds her back.
“Vidia,” says Leffi, holding Vidia firmly by her shoulders and trying to be calm, “it will be alright. Trust me.”
“Will you stop saying that!” Vidia almost screams while pushing down Leffi’s arms. “Anyway, it’s too late to do anything about it now.”
The two look on as under the Magic of the Blue and Yellow Pixie Dust the seed mutates into a tall Sparrowman whom the Fast-Flyer and the Storm-Talent immediately note is a near spitting image of Lord Milori of the Winter Woods but there are some important differences. His hair is red-blond, his eyes are cerulean, his wings are intact, and his clothing indicates that he will be a resident of Spring Valley.
“As my sister Ishandra would say,” blushes Leffi, “‘Now, that’s a man!’” and Vidia looks as if she’s gone completely twitter-pated and about to start drooling.
“Hello,” says Vidia.
“Hello,” says back the Sparrowman in a rich, deep voice that sets the Faerie’s and the Witch’s hearts a-flutter.
“What’s your name?” she asks.
“Philippe,” he replies and smiles at them.
“Welcome to Pixie Hollow, Philippe,” they smile back at him.
“Leffi,” says Vidia, “I now need to find out what kind of talent he is. Follow me.”
Vidia takes Leffi to the alcove where the talent tests are stored when not in use and starts handing her boxes. “Just open and carefully tip the box so the object inside slides out onto the table. Don’t touch them yourself or you’ll influence the tests. Start with the furthermost table.”
Leffi sets out the tests as instructed but notices that Vidia has not given her the test that goes on the last table. Vidia leads the Newling to each table asking him to pick up the one object on each. One-by-one he picks up the objects but so far none react. She gets to the middle table when she sees people and wings coming towards the Pixie Dust Tree.
“Looks like we’re in big trouble,” says Vidia to Leffi.
“They won’t dare!” replies Leffi in witchy tones despite her bell-like voice. “We did what needed to be done and I don’t think any of them wants to have to explain to Queen Clarion why none were here to do their jobs.”
“Good point!” replies Vidia, beginning to like the way this Witch thinks.
The remaining Tinx and the Winx are soon standing before Vidia, Leffi and the Newling. Tinker Bell looks at her Pixie Dust dispenser, the tests on the table, the pile of Yellow and Blue Pixie Dust still glittering on the dais and the handsome Newling between Vidia and Leffi.
“Who did this?” asks Tink.
“Don’t ask stupid questions, Tink,” snaps Vidia, rolling her eyes.
“I think she wants to know who operated the Pixie Dust dispenser,” steps in Tecna.
“I did,” says Leffi which has both Tinker Bell and Tecna surprised.
“But how?” asks Tink. “You’ve seen neither a Newling created nor the operation of the Pixie Dust dispenser.”
Vidia is looking to the stars and mumbling, “Please, not this again!” But aloud says, “She just does but she doesn’t know why.”
“I can see patterns,” says Leffi. “I can mentally twist them around so they mesh and make sense. Just a quick fly around gave me all I needed to know to run this Pixie Dust dispenser.”
“It’s not important just now,” breaks in Aisha, seeing that this is rapidly heading towards a catfight. “Tinker Bell, have they followed the correct procedure?”
“Yes, Princess Aisha” replies Tink, “but Leffi should have pulled only the one lever. He should have been covered with only Yellow Pixie Dust. I have no idea what being covered in Blue Pixie Dust as well might have done to him.”
“So, who is this handsome Newling?” smiles Stella while unabashedly checking out the new guy.
“Stella!” hisses Musa. “Don’t start going all Mitzi on us.”
Bloom is also looking at the handsome Newling but her mind is in a totally different head-space. “He’s like a wise, gentle and compassionate father,” she’s thinking, “and someone who cares profoundly for and protects his children. I can only hope that when I find my birth-father that he will be the same.”
Fawn is looking about and creasing her eyebrows. “Where is Queen Clarion?” she asks. “She should be here overseeing this.”
“I doubt we’ll be seeing much of her,” replies Flora. “Although she blessed Ishandra’s and Milori’s marriage, saw them established as the Lord and Lady of the Winter Woods and also expressed her joy that Ishandra has healed Lord Milori’s broken wing with Ice-Witch magic she left very shortly thereafter. I sense that this has broken her heart very badly.”
“Broken heart or not,” says Tecna, “I’m glad to see that she’s finally free from this no-win situation. It’s time for her to move on,” and the Tinx look at her upset and Silvermist starts to cry.
“That’s pretty insensitive, Tec,” admonishes Bloom. “You can’t expect her or anyone else to flip-flop her feelings like that. When one falls in love, it’s usually for keeps.”
“I didn’t say it to be cruel or callous,” huffs Tecna, “but logically, this situation should have been dealt with and resolved long ago,” then seeing the expressions of her comrades and the Tinx falls silent.
“As Regent of Pixie Hollow,” says Aisha, “it seems that this task has now fallen to me to oversee. Okay, where are we thus far?”
“Philippe has yet to finish all the tests that determine what kind of talent he is,” replies Vidia. “So far, there have been no results.”
“Philippe,” sighs Stella in her mind. “What a dreamy name!” However, she manages to keep her expression neutral.
“Have him continue,” orders Aisha.
The tensions mount as Philippe picks up and then puts down the remaining tests without any reaction. The tension peaks as he picks up the final test but it does not so much as glimmer.
“This has got to be wrong!” exclaims Tinker Bell. “Everyone has a talent of some sort. Vidia, did you do this right?”
“Don’t look at me,” says Vidia defensively, now looking more frightened than defiant. “I did everything by the book.”
Aisha looks at the remaining table and notices that there is nothing on it. “Vidia, was that the absolutely last test?” she asks.
“Well,” says Vidia, “there’s yet one remaining test I haven’t tried but it’s usually not presented.”
“Bring it out,” orders Aisha.
Vidia goes back to the alcove and comes back with the last test. She opens the box where within is a glowing scepter. As she approaches Philippe, the scepter begins to glow brighter. She places the box carefully on the last table but does not remove the scepter.
“Pick it up,” she tells Philippe. When he does, the scepter’s glow becomes almost unbearably bright and the Tinx and Winx move quickly to shield their eyes.
“Whoa!” exclaims Vidia. “Put it back and close the lid.”
“What does it mean?” asks Philippe as he returns the scepter. He turns to find Vidia on her knees and forcing Leffi to do likewise and quickly the Tinx and the Winx, following her lead, are also kneeling. “What is the meaning of this?” he asks once again.
“Your Majesty,” says Vidia in a respectful, low voice. “This last test…, this test proves that you are a King-Talent. Your destiny is to marry our Queen Clarion and together rule over Pixie Hollow.”