“Raven, what is this?” I asked, picking up a clump of crystals attached to a long piece of thread. She had been working on this for a few days now, we just made sure she ate and had plenty of coffee and then we just left her to it. We knew better by now than to interrupt her.
“I’m working on something to protect the wearer from magical attacks.” Raven stated briefly, still engrossed in her work. I looked around the room.
“Well I guess that would explain the pieces of practice dummies that are covering the floor.” I joked.
“Oh yeah I meant to clean those up but I’m so close to figuring this out I couldn’t tear myself away.”
I watched as she poured different ingredients in to a cauldron and wondered how long exactly she had been working on this. It looked like she hadn’t slept in days and I hoped that for her health if nothing else that she was, in fact almost done. She heated the cauldron and I couldn’t help but think that at that moment she looked exactly like a stereotypical witch. She moved away from her current experiment and analysed a map whilst the ingredients cooked. Raven stared in to the open Exitium and concentrated.
“Trying to find Sierra?” I asked.
“Yes but I think this thing is broken. It says she’s here.”
“As in she’s in this country? Or is it more specific to state?” I questioned.
“It’s difficult to tell. It’s as if the Exitium wants to say that she is right here, as in here in the agency.” Raven told me. I thought about that for a moment.
“So you’re saying she could be in disguise?” Raven nodded.
“But with her family right here, why would she hide?” It just didn’t make sense.
“Maybe she doesn’t know.” Was Raven’s only answer.
How would someone not know their own parents? I mean it’s not as if she’s never met them before. Perhaps her memory could have been wiped just like Raven’s had. In which case that kind of thing happens far more often than we thought. I guess most witches could’ve carried out the spell; the only reason why it required so many powerful witches to wipe Raven’s memory was because of how powerful she is. But then again, any daughter of Jonathan and Maya would be powerful. The fact that everything we found out just lead to more questions was starting to give me a headache.
“It’s done. Time to see if it worked.” Raven said. She scraped the dried crystals out of the cauldron and clumped them together, looping a chain through the cluster of crystals as she did. She stood up and hung the necklace around a practice dummies’ neck. “I hope this works; Tom is getting a little irritated by me destroying all of his equipment.” I moved out of the way as I felt magical energy building in the air. Raven shot a bolt of fire at the dummy and when that failed she used a few powerful spells on it but when nothing damaged it a smile spread across her face.
“I combined the ingredients that I used for the charm I gave Melanie to protect her from mental attacks when I made this. With these we could be pretty much unstoppable.” She told me. “Now just to change the appearance a bit….” She said as she removed the crystals from around the dummies’ neck. After Raven concentrated for a moment the crystal necklace transformed in to the shape of a teardrop. Undoubtedly Raven picked a shape that would make the charm look like any ordinary piece of jewellery. “Now that I know the precise ingredients it won’t take me long to make enough for us to have one each, we will all be protected.”
“Just make sure you make yourself one also.” I told her pointedly. “The reason the witches are so confident to take you on might be because they think they’ve found a way around you not being able to die.”
“Now that would be interesting.” Raven said thoughtfully. “We need to round everyone up; it’s time to send the witches a message back.”
Within an hour we had everyone in the office. We had spent the time gathering all the necessary weapons and Raven had been replicating the protection necklace.
“So how do you plan to send them a message?” Alexander asked.
“It’s quite simple really.” Raven began. “They’ll be suspecting one so I will send it to the hottest witch club in the city and it won’t be long before one of them sees it.”
“So you know which club is the hottest witch club in the city?” James stated the obvious.
“Yes, and the owner is an old friend of mine so it won’t be a problem.” Raven explained.
“So what’s the message?” Alice asked and Raven held up a piece of paper.
She had drawn a raven with a sword through its back. The writing beneath it was clear ‘decide, we’ll come to you.’ The drawing was very simple, but only the ones who need to see the message will understand what it means. The witch coven adapted their symbol after Raven betrayed them by adding a sword through a bird’s back. This was the perfect message to send.
“Why not ’I’ll come to you?’ Why give away the fact that you’ve got help?’” James asked.
“They used Genna to send me the message. They know exactly what kind of help I have.” Raven replied.
“Are the necklaces finished?” I asked her after a moment. She nodded.
“Yes.” She started handing them out. “These should protect us from all magical attacks-“
“Should?” Alexander interrupted.
“There hasn’t been much time for testing.” Raven continued. “These however will not make us indestructible. It won’t take long for the witches to figure out why their magic isn’t working and it will take even less time for them to find a way around them. It will only give us an element of surprise.” She explained.
We spent the next two days finalising strategies and resting up. Well, everyone except for Raven of course, who was still trying to find a way to solve the mystery that was Sierra’s disappearance. Robby tried to be subtle when he was watching her but wasn’t successful. She didn’t seem to mind though as he was close by to ask him anything she needed to know about his twin sister.
We were eating when I noticed the look in Raven’s eyes become distant, after a moment her vision ended and she turned to address everyone in the room.
“They’ve decided. The fight is tonight.” She told us. We finished eating and Raven marked a spot on the map. It was a large clearing, perfect for a fight that needed to go by undetected. “This would be the time for anyone to speak up if they were having doubts. No one will think badly of you, this fight will be dangerous and it is doubtful that we will all come back alive.” Raven spoke to the room.
“You do not need to die for me; you all have families that I want you all to take a moment to think about before we leave. This is the last time anyone will get a chance to back out. This is my fight, not yours.” The room was silent. After five minutes with no one backing out Raven nodded. “I appreciate all of your help.”
“Don’t go getting all mushy on us.” Jake joked, lightening the mood. Raven smiled.
“Ok then, suit up.” Raven told everyone.
“Aren’t you supposed to end with a motivational speech?” Jake asked, smiling.
“I’ve never been any good at those.” Raven said. She was then distracted by something she saw out of the corner of her eye. “What on earth do you think you’re doing?” Raven asked genuinely shocked.
“I’m coming with you of course.” Adrian’s daughter said in a sweet voice.
“No you are not; you’re only five years old!”
“But you trained me yourself, do you not believe in your own work?” The little girl teased Raven.
“Of course I believe that you are fully able to hold your own in a fight but I’m not about to risk it. You’re too young sweetie, I’m sorry but you have to stay here where it’s safe.” Raven told her.
“That’s not fair.” She pouted.
“I’m pretty sure Adrian nor your mother would agree with that.” Raven replied.
“Danielle I said you can’t go, it’s far too dangerous and you’re too young. Please don’t argue with me.” Raven said. We all stared at her in shock. “What?” She asked, clearly not realising what she just said.
“Raven you just called her-“ I began before recognition shone in Raven’s eyes.
“Danielle. Yes of course, how did it take me so long to remember?” She seemed to ask herself.
“Do you remember anything else?” I asked her hopefully.
“No I’m afraid not. That will have to do for now, we have to head to the clearing.” She said with a pointed look at Danielle, letting her know that she was not included in that.
I hoped that winning this fight would bring Raven’s memory back, Danielle looked so hopeful just then and I’d hate for her to be disappointed. But that was for another day. For now, it was time to fight.