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1. A Clockwork Fairy

By Ælfstangard

Fantasy / Adventure

Celebrations & Farewells

Shortly after breakfast the boxes of parts and the clock were brought back out to the table. It was a beautiful morning, with crisp fall weather and a few puffy clouds.

The other Winx and students headed for class while the pair got things set up.

“How long until you’re finished?” Griselda asked.

“We lost hours yesterday, so probably tomorrow morning,” was the answer.

“Very good. I’ll inform Ms. Faragonda,” said Griselda, and took her leave.

Some hours later Tinker Bell was tapping away at the bent part of the clock’s rim while Tecna dug for the broken gear and the shorn teeth. She kept glancing at the working fairy, wondering how that tiny hammer was doing anything at all to the hard metal. But every time she looked, the bent part was less noticeable.

Finally Tinker Bell dropped the hammer and sat down wiping her brow. “Whew! That was some tough going!” She lay down flat by the clock.

Tecna did a sensor sweep. “Good job, though,” she reported, “The bending is entirely gone. I can’t even tell where it was.”

Tinker Bell looked at the sensor box with envy, but knew it was far beyond her knowledge and understanding. Pixie Hollow had a lot of catching up to do as far as tinkering went.

“I have the gear and teeth ready,” said Tecna, gesturing at a different part of the table.

Tinker Bell started to get up, but the other fairy stopped her. “You have been working non-stop this morning. Take a break.”

Not inclined to argue, she lay back down and put her hands behind her head. But ten or fifteen minutes later her laziness was overwhelmed by the desire to fix things and the knowledge of something broken nearby. She got up and went to inspect the clock’s broken strut. The gear was the easiest thing to fix, so it was left for last.

The strut took the rest of the day to repair. Tecna’s sensors kept finding tiny cracks in the repairs that Tinker Bell had to remove. But finally both were satisfied with the fix.

That evening after finishing homework, the Winx and the visitor sat in the common room of the suite and talked. They showed her the TV and computers, and electric lights, and many other things an advanced civilization takes for granted. They also showed her different kinds of magic. Tinker Bell was fascinated with all of it, but acknowledged Pixie Hollow was not ready for such advances.

For her part, Tinker Bell told them of her home and friends, of her newly-discovered sister, and the adventures she had been on since her birth.

“Maybe we can come visit some time,” said Bloom.

“That may not be easy, or wise, considering the size difference,” said Flora. “I wouldn’t want to go blundering in, breaking things and stepping on people.”

“But there must be a spell to get around that,” said Musa, “I really want to hear a concert there.”

“I want to see the four seasons at the same time, and find some new types of flowers,” said Flora. “Oh, and see the story tellers.”

“A visit to Tinker’s Nook for me,” put in Tecna.

“Fashions would be a lot different there, and I’d like to check it out,” added Stella.

“I want to do all of that, and meet everyone I can!” laughed Bloom.

“It would be great to have you all there and show you around!” said Tinker Bell, “My friends would love you!”

“Well, maybe some time we can make it happen,” said Musa, wistfully.

“But in the meantime, you’re welcome to stay with us when you visit,” said Bloom, “And we’d love it if you came back soon!”

“Yeah, we’ll show you the City of Magix,” said Musa. “You won’t believe the place!”

“And Red Fountain where the boys go to school,” added Stella.

“And of course Lake Roccoluce while it’s still warm,” said Flora.

“There are many things left for you to see,” said Tecna.

“We’ll even show you Cloud Tower, where the witches go to school… from a distance,” said Musa in a stage whisper.

“Thanks, Bloom, all of you,” was the response. “I’ll look forward to it.”

The next morning Tinker Bell spent a couple of hours repairing the broken gear, then she and Tecna reassembled the clock. It was difficult, and they had to go back and change a few steps, but the diagrams were clear and they eventually put it all back together.

There were a few anxious moments when they set the time and started the mechanism, but Tecna’s sensor box confirmed the repairs were sound and the time being kept perfectly. It seemed that metal fatigue and gravity had caused the malfunction. But the tinker’s repairs should last a long time.

The classrooms emptied of students and teachers as everyone gathered to see the clock put back into place.

Tinker Bell dropped pixie dust on it, and Tecna and Bloom took it up to its spot. They held it in place as the small fairy replaced the bolts holding it to the hinge.

Finally the clock was swung into position and the latch clicked firmly. The crystal was closed, and repairs finished. They looked down at the waiting people.

“Ready!” called Tecna.

“Professor Palladium?” Ms. Faragonda said, turning to the elf.

He made a complex gesture. “The clock is integrated to the system again,” he announced, “Stand by…” He took a device from his pocket and stared at it a few moments. “Systems coming on line… Everything is back up! We’re in good shape!”

There were cheers and congratulations from the students and teachers as Tinker Bell, Bloom, and Tecna flew back down to join the other Winx.

“Good work, all of you!” said Palladium.

Professor Wizgiz transformed himself into a copy of Tinker Bell, and flew over to her. She turned to him and was startled, thinking a mirror had been held up to her.

“Gotcha!” said the leprechaun with a grin.

“Why, you!” said Tinker Bell, and chased him around a bit until he changed back. Then they both laughed, along with everyone else.

“The remaining morning class is cancelled,” Faragonda announced. “Lunch will be at the usual time.”

“Dismissed!” said Griselda in a loud voice, clapping her hands.

As the crowd broke up, Tecna and Tinker Bell excused themselves to go clean up. The other Winx decided to go to the suite with them.

Just as Flora opened the door, the clock chimed eleven, and everyone stopped to listen.

“Sounded like it used to,” said Bloom.

“Mmm… the chimes were a bit crisper than they used to be. I can tell,” said Musa.

“I’m just glad to hear it again,” put in Flora, and the others agreed.

“I can tell you that it is now running perfectly on time,” said Tecna, “And that makes me feel better.”

Soon they all sat in the common room waiting for lunch.

“Hey, Tec, what did you think of the clock?” asked Stella.

“As I stated, I am not used to working with technology that old, but it was a fascinating experience none the less,” she answered.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t me who had to fix it,” said the blond princess, “My nails would never be the same again!”

They ate lunch together for the last time, and Chef Scolia came out and gave Tinker Bell a sealed bowl containing a vegetarian pasta dish that would feed a lot of the Pixie Hollow fairies.

Many students came by the table to give Tinker Bell a farewell and a thanks as they left for afternoon class.

In Faragonda’s office, the visitor put her bags and bowl down on the transfer stone. Then she flew over to each Winx and gave them a kiss on the forehead. This caused all of them to blush, especially Tecna. Then she did the same with Griselda and Faragonda.

“Griselda took a step behind Faragonda, and just nodded at the visitor. She was definitely not used to that kind of affection.

“Thank you all for a wonderful experience!” she told them.

“I am glad you had a good time, and thank you for your service!” said Faragonda. “And you and your friends are welcome to visit any time!”

“Bye, Tink!”

“Say hi to everyone for us!”

“Come back soon!”

“Take care!”

“Be logical and use your new knowledge to improve the lives of everyone!”

The others in the room looked at Tecna, and rolled their eyes.

Tinker Bell flew back to the stone and picked up her bags.

“Bye, everyone! I’ll miss you!”

Just then the clock struck a single chime. Tinker Bell gave a ‘thumbs up’ and vanished from Alfea, gone back to Pixie Hollow.

Re-appearing in the ring by the root, Tinker Bell looked around. She was home. Making sure her bags were secure, she tossed some dust on the covered dish, and pushed it toward Tinker’s Nook.

She had a lot of stories to tell.

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