Chapter 33-Feeding Friends
It’s been a few days since Mr. Silvet awakened from death and my dramatic leave of the police department. The coven is still debating what to do with Nick’s father. I think they want to use him to draw out the necromancer, but Will called me yesterday. He told me that they planned on letting the high council of supernatural affairs handle the case.
Since then, I’ve started getting used to working back at Wally’s and it also happens to be a Thursday afternoon. So I don’t have to go in yet until nine for my shift. The doorbell rings and I set my peanut butter and jelly sandwich down on the counter. Crystal looks up from the couch over at me.
“I’ll get it.” I tell her while wondering who it could be.
The door opens and a whirl of bright orange hair crashes into me. Automatically, I circle my arms around my best friend and start crying against her in shock. I look up from her shoulder and see Yansmen and Heinrich standing on the porch. Colin walks up the steps behind them with a sheepish smile.
“What happened?” I ask Stella in a hoarse voice.
“The insane vampire p-priest had been keeping us locked down in the portal! I think he was worried people would check the portal, so he moved us back and forth from a mine shaft in the mountain to there again. He got anti-magic restraints so I couldn’t use my craft at all. The coven checked the portal and found us today. Luckily, he h-had moved us from the mine, otherwise, no one w-would have found us!” She sobs uncontrollably over my shoulder.
I can’t believe he was hiding them up there all this time! Officer Heinrich speaks into his radio and Yansmen gives us a sympathetic look stepping forward. I wonder if they promoted him to an on-duty officer since I left?
“Mr. Silvet admitted where he was keeping them and blamed his actions on the necromancer,” Yansmen looks at Heinrich who nods in agreement, then he continues, “The coven also agrees with us that he hoped to use them as bait to lure you to the portal. That whole family is so screwed up.”
Yansmen takes off his hat, shaking his head in disgust. Heinrich’s stare is still on Stella and when she pulls away from me, she glares at the two of them. Colin rubs his arms looking nervous at the vampire policemen.
“We leave you now, must search necromancer. No leave house until we come back.” The german officer commands us and I sniffle pulling my friends inside.
Yansmen and Heinrich turn away from us heading back to the police car parked out by the curb. I shut the door quickly. Arm in arm, I usher my friends over to the couch and we sit down together crying. Colin tries to pretend he’s not crying, but he isn’t hiding it very well.
Both of them don’t notice Crystal until she limps towards us from her position by the coat closet. Her crutches click across the hardwood floor and she stops in front of the tv. Stella shoots up up from her seat looking strikingly like her mother. Her hair got a little longer I think since she was taken.
She looks over at Crystal.
“Get out of my house, you backstabbing bi-” She begins to say, but Colin yanks her arm.
She slumps down into her seat and gives him a ‘what did I do’ look. Her bright blue magic still dances dangerously close around Crystal’s crippled body.
“Stella, Darren did that to her.” I say while looking at Crystal’s leg.
“You replaced me, with her.” Stella mutters and I shake my head knowing she’s not really thinking through what she says.
“She had nowhere to go. Her parents are shunning her and while you were gone Darren escaped their house. He made it up here and tried to get me to activate the portal just like Mr. Silvet hoped to do.” I tell her.
Stella turns her gaze to me and covers her mouth sobbing again. Her eyes are red and puffy from crying so much.
“Did he hurt you? Where is he now?” She asks me while wiping her face.
“He was taken into custody. He hasn’t been sentenced yet though that I know of. He tried to choke me and then bit me.” I tell her while rubbing my neck remembering it all.
“I can go live with my brother.” Crystal offers.
Stella’s face darkens and she laughs bitterly, “No, he won’t be able to look after you. Darren’s a vamp, he’ll find his way back to you. This is all your fault. You should have never dated him! Now we’re all going to get killed because of you when he finds us! It doesn’t matter where you go, just get out of here and leave us alone.”
Colin stands up with a sigh and follows Stella as she storms into the kitchen. Crystal limps over next to me on the couch.
“She’s just scared and hurting. She didn’t mean that.” I comfort Crystal, but she just shrugs her shoulders looking helpless.
Reluctantly, I get up and approach Stella and Colin.
“What else did we miss out on?” Stella asks me looking deflated.
“I left my job. I’m at Wally’s now.” I say and Colin laughs heartily as if I told a joke.
“About freaking time, let me guess. The vampire in chief tried to bite you?” Stella asks me.
“No, I just don’t know what his intentions are. Besides, you know how the coven felt about me working there.” I tell her carefully, not wanting to tell her everything right now.
“Well, you never know with vampires. It’s good you left.” Colin tells me while plucking the collar of his shirt away from his neck.
Stella seems much more calmer now. She probably doesn’t know Crystal’s crying over at the couch. She’ll probably apologize to her later. Colin and her go upstairs. I practice using my magic to get the oven to turn on. Maybe pizza would be nice and calm everyone down. It won’t take too long to be done.
While we were talking on the couch earlier, Stella told me Colin and her were already brought into the station for questioning. Officer Heinrich, Will and Marcella all were in the room taking turns asking questions. I’m surprised they didn’t end up having to take a truth serum, but Will probably had a role in that.
I’m so glad the coven found them. If they would have worked with the police instead of only waiting until now to do so, they would have found them much quicker though.
“Someone’s here!” Stella yells suddenly from upstairs.
Shortly after, she comes downstairs with Colin following behind her. She holds a small clear crystal in her hand. The coven must be here because the items they put in our mailbox usually pop up in Stella’s room on her windowsill. I guess they know better than to try and break in now that she and Colin are back. The ward around the house is stronger more now than ever and Stella could fry them if she wanted.
It turned out it was just a few coven members with some ‘welcome back’ gifts to celebrate their return. Colin left to go back to his place about an hour ago and Stella’s already asleep upstairs. So I just let Crystal sleep in my room for the night. I’m so relieved they were found, but I worry about the others who are still missing.
The coven knitted Stella and Colin each a blanket. They also baked us a bunch of luna pies. As much as I despise the coven, I could not resist trying one of their mouthwatering homemade luna pies.
They made us over ten of them. Four blackberry, two apple and the rest are strawberry-rhubarb and pumpkin. Luna pies are infused with their maker’s magic. Usually, people tend to eat only their own family’s pie since the coven frowns upon the sharing of magic in any form.
It was generous of them to make so many for us. Will arrived with them, making us one of his own too. He also told me he was there while the witches baked them to make sure they didn’t try anything.
I take another bite of my slice of apple pie and carry my plate over to the back door walking into the backyard. The crisp air doesn’t really bother me at all. I sit down on the lawn chair near Stella’s garden and place my pie on my lap. The night sky is so clear tonight letting me see more stars than usual.
Yesterday, I really shouldn’t have blown up at Nick. How could I think him all those things when he’s done so much for me? I’m still afraid of who he could really be, but he’s never really given me full proof to think him capable of fulfilling the legend for the devil. I just don’t know what’s going on in his mind. It’s probably for the best I left, but how can I just ignore his issues when he has the same problems now that I do?
He’s been marked by the devil and I can only hope Will is wrong about him. I just can’t comprehend why he would wait so long to tell me he conjoined our magic. I’m worried he never planned to. Still, his father may be the one the devil chose and maybe he’s just tormenting Nick by awakening his father.
Nick saved my life and has been watching over me, even paid my bills. He never should have forgiven me for accidentally cursing him, but he did. And what did I do? The one time he upset me, I felt so crushed and acted exactly as the coven would have wanted me to. When in reality, it wasn’t even his fault.
Where does she think she is going?! First, she went outside and sat out in the freezing cold for a good half hour. I thought I heard the back door slam shut downstairs and when I looked out my window I saw her sitting out by my garden.
I heard her come back inside and then return to the yard. So I checked my window again saw her flying up above the house on her broom. I rush out of my bedroom and knock on her bedroom door, where Crystal sleeps.
“Wake up! We’re going flying!” I yell in panic, but she remains quiet.
I roll my eyes and then frown, “Look...I’m sorry about the things I said earlier, but Val is literally going on a guilt trip now. Come on, we should follow her and bring her back.”
The door opens and Crystal rubs the sleep from her eyes while hesitantly stepping out of her room with her crutches. I already got my broom in hand and I know she’s recovering from her injury still, but she can just fly with me. I really don’t want to be flying alone out there with the freaking necromancer still about.
She shouldn’t be here alone either.
“I left my broom at my brother’s apartment.” She tells me with a yawn.
My broomstick levitates horizontally off the ground and I hoist myself over it. After I wave my arm for her to sit behind me, she mounts my broom. I do my best to fly down the steps without us banging our heads on the sloped ceiling.
It’s awkward, especially since she’s holding onto me like she’s going to fall off. Has she forgotten who I am? I’m the crazed bat’s daughter and unless a tornado decides to sweep us away she is not going to fall off. It makes me feel like an old hag compared to her. What are Val and I supposed to do with her? We can’t replace her parents. She’s old enough to take care of herself, but she still needs guidance. Clearly, her own parents were pretty lousy at it too seeing as she decided to date a vampire and end up running away from home.
It’s good Will is striving to make our town maintain a level of peace and I’d like to think our communities can all get along. What happened to Crystal is awful, but if my mother were alive she would have said she brought it on herself. She should have known better. Vampires and witches don’t mix, at all.
"Patentibus!” I holler and smile seeing the front door open ahead of us with record speed.
Usually, it takes a few seconds for my magic to kick in, but it was nearly automatic. Freezing cold air slams into us and Crystal yelps behind me as we dart out of the house, heading straight up into the night sky like a rocket.
“It’s too dark out and we won’t want to get lost and freeze out here. Turn on your phone GPS.” I say over my shoulder.
Then I lean forward and look down at the town we’re rapidly gliding over. I don’t think Valerie ever perfected her flight much before she died and, most likely, has not had the chance to practice much since she revived anyway. She doesn’t fly very fast at all and we’ve already caught up to her.
“You coming home?” I ask her loudly over the wind while coming up to her side.
She jumps seeing us and nearly loses control over her broom.
“I just needed a little escape to think about some things. You both didn’t have to follow me out here, I was coming back.” She laughs lightly, but I frown seeing her cheeks stained in tears.
I’m surprised her tears haven’t turned to ice on her face. Well, they probably will soon if we don’t get back home. I can barely feel my hands it’s so cold out here. Val leads the way and we follow her to the house. I curse at myself under my breath, remembering we left the front door wide open as we descend down onto the ground below. I get off my broom first and help Crystal step down.
An awful scream comes from inside the house, it’s Valerie.
In a hurry, I walk Crystal to the front door so she can lean against it while I go inside and see what’s wrong.
“There’s so many!” I yell seeing a bunch of black mice run over the downstairs floor.
They aren’t the only creatures though. Bigger black furry rats are spilling out of the cupboards too and scurrying down the steps coming downstairs in waves. They all are headed for the food in the kitchen, but most of it the rats in the kitchen already ate. I mean come on, I was actually looking forward to eating those luna pies!
I hear a thud behind me, looks like Crystal passed out from the sight of them. I would have too, but this isn’t the first time I’ve seen the rats in the house. She doesn’t know about Val’s curse, she’ll be able to make them disappear.
“Val! Do something! Get them out!” I shriek when a giant rat runs over my shoe to get to the kitchen table where the pies wait. I kick it off my foot and watch it fly through the air squealing like a gleeful pig as it lands happily on top of the table.
The rat quickly gets drowned out by the others piling on top of it and I gag at the sight. The table breaks under their weight and the rats all swarm over it.
"In infernis arderet!" Val yells from her standing position on the couch.
Not all of the rats disappear though because they endlessly continue to pour down the steps from the upstairs. Every last crumb of the pie is surely gone now and losing interest in the contents of our kitchen, which they just emptied, they decide to find their next source of food -- us!
“No, no, no...” I whisper, wondering why so many of them are here.
Valerie keeps yelling the devil’s spell and wave after wave they disappear. However, they still keep spawning from the upstairs in giant masses and flooding down here. I can only imagine what our rooms look like. I have a candy bowl on top of my dresser and I’m sure they got in that too.
“Keep going! It’s working!” I try to encourage Valerie.
Finally, their numbers dwindle and fewer and fewer start coming downstairs. Eventually, Val manages to get rid of them all. The air smells strongly of smoke and I look at the ground seeing dozens of circles with six-pointed stars in them made of ash on the ground, the devil’s hex mark. Valerie’s magic pulsates around her and I feel it brush up against my aura by accident. My magic instinctively goes into defense mode and rebounds back against hers, pushing her off the couch.
“Sorry!” I say quickly while hopping down from the couch.
“It’s alright, just give me a moment.” She says quietly while looking dizzy and breathing heavy.
This is the first time I’ve ever felt her magic attack mine. I know she didn’t mean to, but it felt like spiders crawling up my arms. She has to learn to control it, if she accidentally did that to another witch they would lawfully be allowed to kill her without her needing to go through trial.
Her hair drifts around her face and she clumsily collapses down onto the couch. I go over to the front door and practically drag Crystal over into the living room, she’s still out cold. Now, so is Valerie too and it makes sense why. She used way too much black magic in such a short amount of time getting all the nasty demonic rats out of here.
I had hoped things for her wouldn’t be so bad while I was gone. Have things really gotten this worse?
We weren’t even gone from the house that long for them to all show up here so suddenly. They might have come in through the chimney or maybe the attic. I walk around the living room and over to the kitchen just to make sure every last disgusting rat is really gone. They made such a mess!
Everything in our fridge has been torn open and emptied. All of the food in the cupboards has been eaten by them. The containers are left chewed open if not torn up to bits. Our pantry has been completely destroyed by the demonic rats too. Boxes of food and our canned goods are all over the floor and ripped open, spilling out everywhere.
Sluggishly, I start to use my magic to begin cleaning up. Then I return to the couch in the living room.
From the corner of my eye, I see something move underneath the couch. Three yellow snakes slither out from under it and make their way up the couch and nearer to Valerie’s sleeping body. I hold back a scream, seeing her pet one of the snakes in her sleep as it slithers across her lap.
If I use my magic to kill them, I may end up hurting her by accident because they are so close to her. The snakes travel over the arm of the couch then and creep towards the front door.
The sound of a door quietly shutting upstairs makes me tense up. The snakes slither up the steps and I follow them with my magic at the ready. I swear I hear the sound of whispering as I get nearer to the steps.
Determined, I march up the staircase ready to activate the ward in case I find an unwelcome visitor. The three snakes travel underneath the door of Valerie’s room and I stop at the top of the steps listening.
Someone is walking around in there! I can hear them! Screw it if it’s the coven, I’m not taking any chances. Besides, they should know better than to be trespassing into any witch’s house right now with everything that’s been going on.
"Prope." I whisper, making the ward close in hopes of killing whoever’s in there.
I hear a light ringing, the ward around the house activating. However, I don’t feel it tremor and it should have since someone uninvited is in here.
I throw open the door looking around Val’s bedroom wildly, but no one’s in here. Then I check all around the room, not seeing the snakes anywhere either. I’m not crazy, I know for a fact somebody was in here. It was like the snakes knew so too, but how could they have known?
They weren’t black like the demons Val takes care of, but I still felt like there was something vile about them besides the fact them being snakes and all. When I was walking up the steps and heard the whispering, I just could feel this presence. It was like something sinister was waiting up here for me. It felt like this great cloud of cold was wrapped around my body and for a moment, I thought it could have been of the devil. Each step I took up the steps was making me more and more panicked because I felt like I was suffocating on air. It was hard to breathe and I wheezed against the feeling. It was almost like somebody’s magic was trying to keep me at bay, warning me to stay back by trying to squeeze the life out of me.
Deep down in my gut, I knew something was waiting in here for me, but I had already used my sight and saw no trace of craft. Not in here, not in the hallway and not even when I was walking up the steps.
“What doing?” A deep voice asks from right behind me and I shriek seeing the giant german officer accompanied by a tall witch with dark hair and green eyes, Marcella.
I already met Marcella for the first time today and automatically knew we wouldn’t get along. I didn’t want Val knowing we were made to take a truth serum. The headmistress didn’t want to believe we were being held hostage by Mr. Silvet the entire week.
The flashing of blue and red lights flickers off the walls of the staircase coming in from the windows outside where the police cars are. The other idiot policeman who brought us to the house earlier stands at the bottom of the steps with Will and a couple other police officers. I’m sure William felt the ward being activated since he helped me set it up last time. I’m glad he’s here now with backup.
Somehow, Val and I are going to have to come up with an excuse for me activating the ward. We can’t let them find out about the demons in here. I had already taken care of the ashes on the ground to cover up her use of the devil’s magic before I followed the snakes up here.
The headmistress ignores me and walks around the room letting her magic roam all over Val’s belongings. She snoops through her closet and I march up to her, but a heavy hand lands on my shoulder.
“Not get angry now, time for that later.” The vampire coos in my ear.
I shudder seeing him watching me fondly as he looks me up and down. Ew! Never happening. He raises his chin with a grin as if hearing my thoughts and knowing he’s caught my attention. I don’t care if the headmistress herself is in here. I remember this creepy officer from before being taken hostage. My magic pushes him away from me, but his smile only widens more.
Then, he proceeds to follow me downstairs like a dog.