Author Topic: Serena: a not so short story  (Read 8659 times)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #45 on: 12. August 2022, 23:25:24 PM »
Chapter 56 - Anyone seen Serena?

Sarah's phone rang.

"Hi Sarah, it's Davina here. Is Serena with you by any chance?" (Davina is Serena's mum)

"No, she isn't."

"Oh, I've been trying to get in touch with her for ages, but she's not answering her phone, or replying to texts or mesages - normally she at least replies, even if to say she's busy"

"Ok, leave it with me, I'll see what I can do....". She ended the call with Davina, and tried calling Serena, then tried messaging her. No response. Next she called Samantha, but she'd not heard from her either. Sarah was now also a little worried: as Davina had said, Serena was usually very good at responding, even if it was just a simple 'ok'.

Sarah collected a couple of simple artefacts, plus something of Serena's that she had left at Sarah's. She then sat on her settee, closed her eyes, and concentrated.... she was doing a 'locater' spell, to find Serena. These spells work really well at short ranges, but the further away someone is, the harder they are. It took her a while, but finally she found her: she was about 3 miles away. She sensed that she was outside, but Sarah was getting some strange feelings, feelings that maybe Serena wasn't 100% ok.

Whilst a 3 mile teleport for Serena was quite easy - her magic had become quite strong - it was a long distance for Sarah. In such cases, it was often easier to do it in two or three hops. She looked at a map, to see where she could 'stop on the way', and found a convenient copse of trees. She quickly prepared herself. She probed.... she felt that there was no-one near the trees, so made that her first hop. It was raining quite hard, but the trees seemed to shield her from the worst of it. Another probe, for the second jump... she could feel grass. She could feel heavy rain. She could feel Serena, lying on the grass, getting very wet. Not quite knowing what was going on, she decided to teleport a short distance away, if only for her own safety.

She stood up, and concentrated on the teleporting spell.... The next moment she was about 20 feet from Serena, in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Serena was lying on her back, with a huge smile on her face, her hand pointing upwards. Suddenly a huge flash of lightning came from Serena's hand, going up into the sky - Serena seemed to be 'playing' with the storm!

Sarah stood where she was for a moment, catching her breath, then carefully walked over to Serena, who noticed that she was there.

"Hey, Sarah.... do you like my thunderstorm? It's so pretty, isn't it? Look at all those beautiful colours..."

"YOUR thunderstorm?"

"Yeah, mine... I made it......"

"Wanda? You here?" asked Sarah.

"Hi Sarah! I'm so glad you're here at last.." replied Wanda, appearing in Serena's hand

"What's she doing?"

"Apparently practicing her dark magic. Her braces told me that she summoned this storm..."

"You're kidding me? She summoned the storm? That's strong magic.... how the hell did she manage that?"

"Hell probaby does come into it somehwere: she's wearing her 'Dark Jewellery', plus I'm pretty certain she's taken something, she seems pretty 'high' to me!"

"High? You mean on drugs or something? and what do you mean, 'Dark Jewellery'?"

"Her Dark Jewellery helps her with her dark magic, didn't she tell you about it? And yes, apparently certain substances can enhance magic quite substantially". Sarah thought a moment.

"We need Samantha, she'd be able to help us.... but it will take too long for her to get here."

"Maybe we can persuade Serena to summon her?" suggested Wanda. Sarah knew that Serena was able to do summoning using light magic: she'd taught her. Whilst most individual witches could maybe summon over a few metres using light magic, and a group of experienced witches could summon over maybe a mile or two, dark summoning was FAR more powerful.

"Can Serena do dark summoning already?"

"Take a look over by her bag...". Sarah looked around, and saw Serena's small rucksack. Next to it was a 3 ft long sword, and an almost foot-long dagger. "She summoned those before she summoned the storm. I have an idea" said Wanda, "Call Samantha, tell her to grab her wand...". Wanda then turned her attention to Serena: "Hey, Serena....."

"Yes, Wanda... do you like my thunderstorm?"

"I do, it's very pretty isn't it? You've done really well! You know, you should show Samantha what you've done!"

"Yeah, I should, shouldn't I?"

"Why don't you just summon her?". While Wanda was talking to Serena, Sarah was on the phone to Samantha, and using very few words had told her to grab her wand, and prepare to be summoned!

"Good idea, I need to practice my summoning, don't I?" She sat up, and waving Wanda said "My darling Samantha, wherever you are, I summon you to join me, to enjoy this pretty sight". Clearly she had also silently said the words of one of the the dark summoning spells, which in itself worried Wanda a little, but it didn't seem to affect her noticeably. Serena waved her hands dramatically, and a moment later Samantha appeared: she instantly put her arms around Serena, flowing her love into her. As she did so, she could feel herself getting wet, and could hear the storm raging around her. And she could feel a lot of darkness....

"Do you like my storm, Samantha?"

"Yes, it's very nice, Serena!" she replied, taking a quick look. She then turned to Sarah. "What on earth's she doing out here, in this weather?" Samantha asked Sarah.

"She summoned this storm herself, just like she summoned you... and those things over there". Samantha turned and saw the sword and dagger. "Wanda says she's been practicing her dark magic, and she thinks she's  high on something too."

Samantha looked into Serena's eyes: her pupils were dilated. "Yeah, I recognise that look, probably something like Ecstacy, makes sense... certain things like E's can really enhance your magic powers"

"And you know that because?" asked Sarah, rather surprised.

"Well.... erm..... mum and I may have.... errrr.... 'dabbled' a few times... we need to understand these things! It's our sort of magic."

"Oh.... ok.... do you know anything about her 'dark jewellery'?". Samantha looked at Serena, and could tell from it's look that the rings she had in her nose and on her lip were not the ones she had bought from the shop, they were less bright, and must therefore be the ones made from the unholy chain.

"Yeah, I guess this is her 'dark' jewellery, she said something a bit ago about getting something made, although I've not actually seen it before - shall I take it all out?"

"No, hold on for a moment. Wanda, do you reckon Serena could teleport herself, along with Samantha plus the sword and dagger, back home?"

"The way she is right now, definitely!"

"Ok, let me grab her bag, I should be able to get myself back to her place. Here, Samantha, take the sword and dagger, and hold on to Serena," said Sarah. Then to Serena she said "Serena, it's a really lovely thunderstorm you created, but we're all getting very wet, and getting quite cold too. Why don't we all go back to your place, so we can all can get nice and dry and warm again?". At the same time she tried a simple 'suggestion' spell to help things (although she didn't think it would actually work, the way Serena was right now, but it was worth a try)

"Yeah, ok.... but can I just do another couple of these first?", and she lifted her hand up to the sky, releasing two rather pretty and very large lightning bolts that went up to the sky, and into the storm.

Samantha was holding the sword and dagger in one hand, and had her other arm around Serena. Serena looked at Samantha, put her arm around her, smiled, then waved her other hand. "Home, Jeeves!" she said, laughing. Moments later, they were both on the floor in the middle of Serena's room. Sarah arrived a few seconds later.

"Get that jewellery off her quickly!" said Sarah to Samantha. Samantha carefully dropped the sword and dagger, then turned to Serena, putting her arms around her, and making a 'calming and relaxation' spell.

"Serena, I need to take out your jewellery....".

"Yeah, ok....". Samantha gently removed the nose ring and the two lip rings, then lifted up Serena's lip, and carefully removed her frenulum ring.

"Give them to me...." said Serena. "I need to combine them, and put it back onto my finger.". Samantha was a little confused, but trusted Serena, and passed them to her. Samantha and Sarah both watched as Serena took the 4 rings, put them into the right order, then twisted them together, transforming them all into a small ring, which she put on the little finger of her left hand.

"Oh, I feel so tired..." said Serena. With the dark jewellery removed, and the effect of the drugs starting to wear off, no-one was surprised. They helped her onto her bed, then Sarah did a 'dry clothes' spell on them all. Outside the thunderstorm was clearing.

"So what was that all about?" asked Samantha.

"Wanda, can you fill us in? And can someone explain about that jewellery?" asked Sarah.

"Well, the jewellery was made specially for her out of three links of the un-holy chain that the Coven of Light has," explained Wanda. "She finally got the jewellery a week or so ago, and has been practicing with it - it greatly increases her abilities to do dark magic. So far her braces have been helping control the dark powers, and protect Serena from its effects, but today Serena bought a couple of pills from a girl at school - take a look in that small pocket of her jeans - and tried one out: it certainly turned up her magic abilities.... she was summoning simple things to start with, then summoned the sword and dagger. Then she decided to summon the thunderstorm..."

"Well, I think she's definitely got the hang of summoning! Any idea where the sword and dagger are from?" asked Sarah, picking up the sword. She could tell that it was not merely a decorative sword, but one designed for real use.

"I suspect it came from the same place as me: the secret hidden armoury that is protected by the PineTree coven. If it is, then it's a sword and dagger that she was destined to have, just like I was destined to be her wand. And there's a load more stuff ready for her, when she needs it."

"Thanks Wanda. Samantha, can you stay with Serena, help her and make sure she's ok? I need to go speak to her mum, and I think later we both need to have a word with Serena, she can't go doing this sort of thing alone, it's far too dangerous for her, something could go wrong."

"Ok, I'll give my mum a call too, let her know I'm here"


About an hour or so later, Serena opened her eyes. She was lying on her bed, and felt a bit rough. Samantha was on the bed, next to her.

"Hey there" said Samantha, "how you feeling"

"A little rough.... I feel like I've been out drinking too much again..."

"Yeah, except it wasn't drink, it was one of these, I'm guessing" she said, showing her the little blue pill in its small plastic bag.

"Yeah, it was. I must confess, I didn't really expect it to work as well as it did... Hey, did I really summon a thunderstorm?"

"Yup. And you were toying with it, I saw lightning coming out of your fingertips... it was actually pretty cool, but pretty dangerous too. And that's before I remind you about the other things you summoned". She pointed to where the sword and dagger were.

"Wow, it's big, isn't it? So I guess you now know about my rings, don't you? Of course you do, you took them out for me, didn't you? That's really what today was about, I wanted to see what sort of things I could do when I wore it. I mean, I'd had a small play yesterday, but I needed to try it out properly. Although it wasn't till I took that pill that I could REALLY do stuff"

"About that... while you were sleeping, I had a chat with your braces - they were a bit worried, they were getting close to the edge of their ability to control your darkness you know. Next time, please let me or Sarah be with you, just in case....

"Yeah, ok, but please don't stop me, I *DO* need to practice the dark magic, including with drugs. So, you have that second pill of mine?"

"Yes, I've got it, I'm thinking that maybe I should look after it for you for the moment..." said Samantha.

"Ok, that's fine with me. Please don't get rid of it though, keep it safe, ready for when I need it. Hey, maybe I should get a few more, keep a small stock?"

"If you like, I can probably get some more for you - don't ask! - at least that way I can be sure they are fairly clean."

"Make sure you don't get caught with them..."

"Don't worry, I know how to hide stuff from normies! Hey, talking about 'hiding stuff' what you going to do with those?" asked Samantha, pointing at the sword and dagger. "I mean, you can't just leave them lying about here in your bedroom!"

Serena put the ring of dark metal to her mouth to help her dark magic, and quietly said a summoning spell: the sword was instantly in her hand. "This is quite some sword, isn't it? I wonder what it can do?" said Serena, looking more closely at the sword.

The sword was about 3 feet long, with a handle bound in what appeared to be leather, and a metal crossguard (bit between handle and blade). The pommel (that's the lump at the back of the handle!) was made of smooth round metal, with patterns inscribed in both it and the crossguard. Not that she knew a lot about swords, Serena could feel that the blade was of very high quality, although there were a few scratches and one tiny nick in the blade: clearly the sword had been used before, probably a long time ago. Overall, it was clear that this was a sword to be used in anger, not one to be used as a decoration. She also felt it contained a lot of magic, although she had no idea what sort of magic.

The dagger, about 10 inches long in total, was clearly made at the same time, looking like a smaller version of the sword, with similar inscriptions, and similar magic feel to it.

Wanda popped up. "Serena, please go careful with it, I believe it contains some of the unholy chain, both lighter and darker bits, plus it contains a LOT of magic. So you have the sword and dagger, where's the scabbards and shield that go with them then?"

"Scabbards? And there's a shield too?"

"Yes: the scabbards are to protect your dagger and sword, and in the same way that the sword and dagger can both be offensive, your shield can protect you. I guess you'll need to summon them all, like you did the sword and dagger." Wanda decided that maybe now was not the best time to tell her about the rather large number of other items that were available to her.

"Ok, let's give it a go then...." Serena took her ring off her small finger, split it into four, and inserted the rings into her nose, lip and mouth. "You ok with this, braces?" said Serena, starting to feel the darkness from the jewellery.

"So far so good" they replied.

Serena closed her eyes, letting the darkness inside her grow. "I summon my shield, to protect me!". Nothing happened. "Goddamn you, Shield, get your ass here! Now!" she called out more angrily. Still nothing happened.

"I think you need a bit more darkness in you, maybe like you had earlier, to summon it..." suggested Wanda.

"But I managed the sword ok a moment ago!"

"Yeah, and it was only a few feet away, and not only did you know where it was, you could actually see it. You don't actually know where your shield is hidden. By the way, you were talking about finding somewhere to safely hide and store your sword and dagger: may I suggest that walls are very good places to hide things!"

"Thank you Wanda, that all sounds sensible. Ok, so maybe something for another day. But while I'm wearing this, let me hide the sword and dagger. Sword, I summon you to hide in a suitable place in the walls of this house - choose somewhere you feel safe, and stay there ready until I summon you again...". The sword disappeared from her hand.

"Hey, dagger, over here!". The dagger appeared in her hand. "Definitely a bit easier to hold, and like the sword, I can feel magic inside it". She spoke to the dagger "Ok, dagger, you too need to hide yourself somewhere in the walls of this house, like my sword. And don't worry about your lack of scabbard, I'll get them for you both". The dagger disappeared from her hand, and hid itself too.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #46 on: 13. August 2022, 22:15:19 PM »
Chapter 57 - Meet the elders

Serena was asked to attend a meeting with the elders: whilst she could have teleported straight into their lounge, she thought it more polite to just arrive at Brian Johnson's (the chief elder's) front door.

"Hi, Serena, come on in! Tea? Coffee? Or maybe something stronger?"

"Actually, any chance of some cold water?"

"Of course". Brian's wife went to get her water, and took Serena into the lounge, where David Jones and Mrs Johnson (same surname, but actually no relation to Brian) were sat.

"I hear that you've been doing some 'practical dark-magic training'," said Brian.

"Yes I have, there's been a couple of 'projects', and both have improved my dark skills a lot."

"We are still just a bit worried about the dark magic having a long term effect on you..."

"Me too, but so far, with help from all these braces in my mouth, I seem to be controlling it very well, so don't worry too much!"

"Oh good, we'd hate for you to 'turn to the dark side'!" joked David. "So, the reason for asking you along was that we thought we could update each other on what's been going on recently."

"Yeah, good idea. Ok, so after the big picnic, which I thought went amazingly well, I had a chat with all the older kids at school, and they are all up for doing some mentoring with the younger kids. Already we've managed to get most of the Year 11 kids together and have a chat with them, and some of the others are working on things to do with the younger kids."

"Oh, that's good news. So I hear you've met the new family then? They came along to a social event last week, they told us you'd been encouraging them to join in a bit more."

"Yes, Nitesh is a nice kid, and I met his mum and dad too. Of course, his mum isn't a witch, but she seems pretty ok with things. I'm hoping to get in touch with their old coven, persuade them to join our united covens. I left them a message, but I'm still waiting for a call back from them. Nitesh's dad says they seem to be a bit of an isolated group."

"Oh, good. Well, we have a couple of leads on some other local covens - would you like us to follow up on those?"

"Yes please... I'll take any help that's offered, but if you need me to help with them, get involved in any way, just let me know. And I'd appreciate copies of any new prophecies you find, please."

"Of course. So, tell us a bit more about this dark magic training you've been doing..."

"Sure. So Wanda finally found where Lucifer was, and he's agreed to...."

"Did you just say 'Lucifer'? As in the Dark Lord himself?"

"No, that's Satan. Lucifer used to work for Satan, but he's changed, he's been running a restaurant in town for quite a while now. He's very much on-side, appreciates that any dark threat would affect him and a few of the other realms too. Anyway, yes, he's helping with my dark magic training. He's been very helpful: it's all very well just looking at the various dark magic reference books, which I've been doing, but he's helping me understand how I need to be, within myself, to get the best of the dark magic."

"Yes, Mrs Johnson says that you've been looking at her library..."

"Indeed, she has quite a useful collection - plus she makes great cups of tea to go with it!"

"Sarah told us about what you did at school - apparently you sorted out a school bully rather nicely?"

"Yeah, now that was a great example of using dark magic to actually get a good result. It turns out that she's actually quite a nice girl, just had a few... ok, a LOT of... issues, but I think she's gonna be ok now. In a bit of a dark way, it was actually fun to do. And I got to drive a very nice bright green car around for a couple of days"

"Oh, I heard about that," said David, "so that was YOU then? Nice one! So, you said you've done a couple of projects, what was the other?"

"Yeah... that nasty thunderstorm the other day - you can blame me for that!"


"I found a couple of books over at Mrs Johnson's that said that certain 'substances' can improve your dark magic: I can confirm that that is 100% true. I took a certain 'little pill', and my dark magic was good enough to summon that thunderstorm. And a sword and a dagger... Not that I normally condone the use of drugs, but knowing that they CAN help could be VERY useful in the future is important. It also made me realise how important having people like Sarah and Samantha around me is."

"Sword? Dagger?"

"Yes, remember I told you that the PineTree Coven has a hidden armoury ready for us, I believe they came from there. Let me get them for you - which actually leads me onto something else: thank you for the chain links from the un-holy chain: I now have 4 small pieces of jewellery that ALSO help with my dark magic. I keep one in my mouth most of the time, the other three, I keep on my finger." Serena removed the ring from her finger, showing how they separated into three other items, which she then fitted.

Serena held her hands out, said some words quietly, then said "Sword, I summon you! Dagger too!". The dagger appeared in her left hand, the sword in her right. She passed them both over, the sword to David, the dagger to Brian.

"I had a play with them earlier, and I get the feeling that, once I work out the right magic to use, I'll be able to cut through pretty much anything human-made with them. Already I can cut through wood as if it's like butter. But don't worry, only seems to work for me!"

"And your braces, all that metal in your mouth, they are protecting you from the dark magic you do?"

"So far, yes, they have been very good to me, help me manage the effects of doing dark stuff. And Wanda, my wand, she's quite amazing too, although - for good reason - she hides away when I do most of my dark magic. By the way, I guess I should warn you that I maybe needing to do something that's technically illegal shortly. Don't worry, I'll make sure it's just me doing it though."

"What's that then?"

"I'm not really sure yet: the idea is that whilst it will be technically illegally, morally it should be fine. And I'd rather not give you any more details when I do it, as the idea of having a criminal record  doesn't really appeal!"

They continued chatting for a while longer, including updating her about other relevant things.

"Serena, thank you so much for being so open with us. And don't worry, any details you give us will be treated as confidential: we'd much prefer that you trusted us, and continue to share, just in case something comes up..."

"It's hard enough being the only one that's doing this dark-magic stuff, but knowing you're supporting me does help a lot. Mrs Johnson, your library is not only amazing, there's some really helpful stuff in there, I'm so grateful that you trust me enough to have free access - there's some pretty nasty stuff in there! And I'll be honest, some of it really does scare me."

"Don't worry, Serena, I fully trust that you know the difference between good and evil, and that you know how far to go. As I have said, you are welcome at any time!" said Mrs Johnson.

"Well, thank you Serena for coming. We're trying to organise another Coven social in a couple of weeks time, I'm hoping you'll be able to come along?"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #47 on: 14. August 2022, 19:38:05 PM »
Chapter 58 - Girls night out.

"Hey, what you doing Friday night?". Serena was on the phone to Samantha.

"Not a lot yet, I'm guessing you have an idea?"

"Yeah, I was thinking we could do with a bit of fun - fancy going out for a couple of drinks, then on to a club?" suggested Serena. "You can crash here afterwards - I don't want to get done for 'supping and spelling'!" (that's the witches version of 'drinking and driving'!)

"Sounds like an excellent idea. Yeah, let's do it! I'll go dust off my broomstick!"

"Now that raises an interesting question: broomsticks or no broomsticks, is there a flying spell?"

"Not that I've ever heard of..."

"I mean, I guess you COULD do lots of mini-teleports, but how long could you keep THAT up for? Oh dear, it's something I'm going to have to try out, isn't it!" said Serena, starting to giggle.

"If you do, can I be there to watch? Please???"

So, it's Friday, they've had a couple of drinks, and they are waiting to get inside the club. The police are keeping a watch outside, clearly it's a bit of a known trouble-spot (probably more so later on, as people's alcohol levels get a bit too high!). Finally, after 10 minutes they are inside, paying their entrance fee. There's a few signs around, one telling you not to cause trouble, the management reserve the right etc. Another saying they have a zero tolerance drugs rule.

To be honest, it's not a particularly good place, but the booze is a bit cheaper than the other couple of clubs, and Serena prefers the music here.

"Yeah, I'm sure that stops people" commented Samantha, as they went in. The bar was getting busy, so Serena decided to use her abilities to their advantage. She cast a couple of suggestion spells, along the lines of 'be nice, and let the ladies through'. Once at the bar, she cast a suggestion spell on one of the barmen: 'maybe you need to serve the tall girl next....'. Come on, magic has got to give you a few advantages!

They took their drinks, and sat down on a table next to the dance floor, and watched the few people who were dancing: it was still relatively early, so the place wasn't yet over-busy. Serena sipped her drink as they chatted... and when I say chatted, some of it was verbal, to make them look normal, but much of it was mind-to-mind. It was something  they had done a few times before, so it worked well for them.

"Hey, far side, guy in the green top...." said Serena. Samantha looked across the room.

"Umm, not seeing him..."

"Over in the corner..."

"Ah yes. You fancy him then? Wouldn't have thought he was your type - nowhere near tall enough for a start - although he DOES look like a bit of a 'bad boy'."

"No... just watch him carefully... I think he's selling stuff..."

They both watched him for several minutes, whilst just appearing to be two girls enjoying an evening out, which is what they came out for.

"Oh, yes... I think you're right." Samantha was in a slight quandry: what he was doing was, of course, 100% illegal. And the club made it clear that they have a zero tolerance policy. But on the other hand.... Yes, Samantha does very occasionally 'do drugs' with her mum. For 'magical purposes' obviously. "So, what you gonna do, tell someone?"

"Actually... no. I'm seeing an 'opportunity'."


"Well, remember I told you about my new task: I have to steal something illegal."

"No way, Serena, it's not just him, it's his bosses, and their bosses... they'd all be after you?"

"You're assuming that I'd let him remember... I've been learning some new magic that will help. Like mind wipes."

"Mind wipes? That sounds like scary dark stuff... But you can really do mind wipes?"

"Yup, it is a bit scary, and it COULD go wrong, I've never actually done a wipe on a normie, but I'm very confident. Anyway, the task is for me to do and learn from, so I'm thinking fast of a way to not involve you at all, or if I need to, then minimally. I'm thinking along the lines of letting him think he's going to sell me some drugs, take them, then make him forget. I should be able to be pretty accurate on the mind-wiping duration"

"But if you're standing in front of him, he's gonna see you and realise something is up when he suddenly loses some memories."

"Actually, one of the things about the wipe is that the memories aren't replaced with blankness, they are just cut out completely, but yes, being in front might not be the best idea. Ok, how about if I'm behind him, maybe I appear to be just walking past him." Suddenly a smile came to Serena's face. "And if I'm behind him, then I......". Serena told Samantha her idea, and as they apparently innocently drank their drinks, they worked on the plan.

"You probably don't want to be doing it out here either, too public."

"No, but I bet the patio is nice and quiet this evening. Ok, how about this....." Once more they fine tuned the plan: as Lucifer kept remining Serena, planning is everything. "Ok, well, there's no rush, I don't imagine he's planning on leaving for a while, fancy a dance?".

The two girls danced for a while, then got some more drinks, which they half drank, then put them on a small table to retrieve later. Samantha went over to the guy in green, and 'suggested' that she would maybe like to do some 'business', but not here, how about out in the patio, she'd meet him there in a couple of minutes. Serena was over near the door to the patio: near enough to see, but not close enough to be seen as Mr Green Shirt went out. As she waited, she took the ring from her finger, and added the two lip rings to the two she was already wearing: she'd already swapped out her nose ring.

"Ok, braces, I need to do some fairly lightweight stuff, then a fairly short mind-wipe, you guys ok with that?"

"Sure, should be fine. Just don't go summoning your sword though!". Serena smiled at the thought of having her three foot long sword, in a nightclub!

A minute or so later, Serena went out, walking straight past Mr Green Shirt, as if to go to the balcony to get a breath of fresh air. She actually paused behind him for a moment.

"Ok, Samantha, start the timer...." said Serena silently. Samantha was nearby, but not yet out on the patio. Serena touched Mr Green Shirt on the shoulder. "I believe that you might be able to sell me something that I need..." she said to him.

"Depends what you want," he said starting to turn around.

"No, don't turn around, I'd rather you didn't really remember who I am. You got something between a 'D' and an 'F'?"

"I might have some. How many?"

"Depends on how much?"

"I can do you 2 for 15 quid."

"Ok, definitely interested, do I get to look at them first?". He put his hand into one of his pockets, and brought out a little plastic bag with a small number of blue pills in. Serena gently leaned around him, and put her hand gently on his, and pulled it slightly closer. It was a balance between Mr Green Shirt feeling ok with things, and Serena actually being in control. She smiled when she saw the small image on the pills: it looked like a face with a pointy hat - a witch! She let go of his hand. "They look like they are probably ok. Do I get a discount if I buy a few: I'm off to a party later, could do with a few 'presents'. How about 12 for 70?". Serena planted an idea in his head 'it's not too silly an idea, but maybe she'll go a bit higher'.

"Make it 75, and you have a deal. I assume you have the money?"

"Of course!". Serena opened her wallet, and took out 75 pounds - she'd needed to borrow some of it from Samantha. "Here, look...". She showed him the money, but didn't let him take it from her. "Let's see all the goodies then." She watched from behind as he surreptitiously put his hand into his pocket again, pulled out another little bag, then counted out more of the blue pills and put them all into the first small bag. All the time his eyes were watching the door, in case someone else came out onto the patio - unlikely, as it was a bit cold out there tonight.

"Mind if I just count them?" asked Serena, adding the suggestion 'you know she has the money, and she seems nice enough. Besides, how can she run away, I'm between her and the door?'. Then to Samantha she said "start counting the time out loud will you?". Serena took the little plastic bag, ran a 'make invisible' spell on both it and the money.

"Forty four, forty five, forty six...." said Samantha. Serena dropped the now invisible items into her bag, and cast the mind-wipe spell for 50 seconds. Then she quickly grabbed his left arm, which was currently by his side, and pulled it up sharply behind his back. From his perspective, she would have only just walked behind her, then gone for his arm - so completely unaware of what Serena had just done to him.

"Don't struggle," she said, casting a calming spell on him, "or it will hurt a LOT more." 'You're screwed, she's a LOT bigger than you too!' suggested Serena. She promptly grabbed his other arm, and pulled that one behind him too. Yes, being taller gave you certain advantages. "I really hate people like you, you f*ck up people's lives.... Ok, let's go slowly, towards the door!". Mr Green Shirt wasn't saying a thing about his drugs, so clearly the mind wipe had worked just fine.

"Ok, Samantha, now....". The door opened, and Samantha came in. The idea was that Serena needed a bit of help, but she didn't want it to appear to Mr Green Shirt that they knew each other. As far as he was concerned, Samantha was just the girl he was supposed to be meeting on the patio.

"Problem?" asked Samantha, looking at the two of them.

"Yeah, he's a scum drug dealer, I was going to take him outside, I can't imagine the club wants him here... open the door can you, please?"

Samantha pretended that she wasn't over happy with what Serena was doing, but wasn't in a position to object, so she opened the door, letting Serena frog-march him through. The reality was that she was quite impressed that Serena appeared to have pulled off 'the heist'.

"Excuse me miss, what are you doing?" said a large bounce not long after, as Serena was walking Mr Green Shirt through the club.

"I saw him selling drugs, and I'm guessing you'd rather not have him doing that. There were some coppers out the front when I came in, reckon they'll still be there?"

"Yeah, most likely. Want me to take him?"

"No, I'm fine thanks, we don't want to risk him getting away... besides, I'm actually enjoying this!". The bouncer could see she had the drug dealer guy securely, so went in front, leading the way, and as they got to the front entrance, they paused, and the bouncer had a word with a colleague, who went outside, and returned quite quickly with a WPC. She then had a quick word with the bouncer, and then approached Serena.

"I understand you have made certain accusations about this gentleman?"

"Yeah, I saw him selling some drugs earlier. I bet if you look in his pockets you'll find some, plus the money he has taken."

She turned to Mr Green Shirt. "Would you mind if I do a quick pat-down?" she asked. 'I'd do what she asked if I were you' suggested Serena.. The police lady patted his pockets, and clearly felt something. "I think it's safe to let go of him now" she said to Serena, then turned back to Mr Green Shirt: "ok, you, turn out your pockets!". Surrounded by several fairly large bouncers, backed into a bit of a corner, with the police in front of him, he didn't have much choice. There was, of course, several plastic packets in his pockets, containing tablets of a couple of shapes and colours, and a good amount of cash. Police lady blipped her radio, calling her colleague in, and explained what she had found.

"Can we use your office for a few minutes" he asked one of the bouncers as he walked in.

"Sure, over here." They all went into the small office. The male officer spoke to Mr Green Shirt, while the lady officer spoke to Serena.

"Can you tell me what happened?"

"Sure. So, I'd seen him earlier, he had pulled the little plastic bags from his pockets, exchanging them for cash... he tried to hide what he was doing, but he wasn't especially good at it. Anyway, a bit later, I went out to the patio, to get a breath of cooler air, and saw him there. So I walked past him, then started thinking 'hey, maybe I can actually do something about this, I'm bigger than him', so just grabbed his arm, and pulled it behind his back. I probably told him not to struggle, then grabbed his second arm, and simply marched him out here. That bouncer there met me on the way, I told him what happened, and he lead me out to the front, where they called you guys".

"I'm interested why you actually did what you did..."

"There's a kid I knew at school who did drugs, screwed her life up for quite a bit. So I don't like what guys like him do."

"Fair enough. Don't suppose you have any ID on you, do you?"

"Sure". She opened her bag, and took out her phone in its case, which she opened, removing her Driving License (the phone case also contained some cash and a bank card). The police lady looked at it, and copied a few details.

"This still your address?"

"Yes, and I suspect you might like my phone number too," said Serena, giving her phone number.

"Would you mind if I just checked that you're not hiding anything?". This was the risky bit. Serena took out her keys and her lip gloss from her bag, and showed the police lady her now (apparently) empty bag (*) - the invisible cash and drugs were still in there, and as long as the WPC didn't actually feel inside Serena's bag, she would be ok. Serena then held her arms up, letting the police lady check her out.

(*note: whilst ladies are renowned for having huge handbags full of junk, this was a small bag that Serena used when going out, with absolutely minimal stuff in it.)

"Thanks for being so cooperative, makes our lives so much easier." she said very pleasantly to Serina. "How you getting on over there, Tony?"

"He's being surprisingly cooperative - I think he's a bit embarrassed that your lady there dealt with him the way she did! Once you have her details, I think we can take this gentleman back to the station...."

"Ok, well thanks... err... Serena for what you did. We probably won't need any more from you, but you never can tell".

"Sure, no problems" she replied. "Hey, Samantha, where are you?" she said silently.

"Sat with our drinks and a couple of reasonably good looking guys, waiting for you to return. All ok?"

"Yup....". Serena grabbed her few bits, and put them back into her bag, and went and joined Samantha again.


"So, what did you get then?" asked Samantha later on, when they had got back to Serena's.

"A dozen E's, and he had absolutely no idea what I did to him! Tell you what, it was scary but fun. I'm guessing you'd be happy to look after them?". Serena ran the 'reverse invisibleness' spell, and took the pills and cash out of her bag. "Ah, yes, some of this is yours too" she added, passing Samantha the two £20 notes she'd borrowed from her earlier.

"No problems. Let me just take a look at them..." Samantha took one of the pills out, and looked at it. "Oh, how ironic, it looks just like a witch, doesn't it? Let me test it...". Samantha called up her lovely jewel-encrusted wand, and used it to run a spell. "They seem to be pretty clean." she said. "Well, that saves me having to buy you some more."

"And I suspect that Lucifer will be happy with what I did too....."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #48 on: 18. August 2022, 22:56:34 PM »
Chapter 59 - Chatting with Sam

Serena had a couple of free lessons, so had gone into the common room. Sam, who was doing two of the same courses as Serena, had also gone there, and they sat together. Sam, like Serena, was a witch.

"I hear you guys finally managed to do a session with the lower school kids. Sorry, I couldn't help." said Serena.

"Yeah, it went pretty well, actually. I think they like hearing stuff from us, if only because we're not their parents! I just hope they all understand why we can't go around shouting about being witches... although it would be hard for them to actuly PROVE anything, as they can't do anything till they are sixteen."

Serena giggled. "I'm just trying to imagine what would happen if 7 or 12 year olds could do magic! That would be so scary!"

Serena liked Sam. She actually liked him quite a lot. He was pretty chilled, quite clever, and not bad looking. And under any other circumstances, would probably have done something to encourage him to be her boyfriend. But now wasn't the time to have a boyfriend, things were just too busy right now. But they were good friends, and having friends around you is always a good thing. Ok, yes, she had Sarah, but she was almost 10 years older than her. And over the last weeks, she and Samantha were getting quite close too: it's just a shame she didn't live a bit closer.

"So, what have you been up to then?" asked Sam.

"Well, I've been doing dark magic training with Lucifer. I mean, yeah, I can learn a lot of the actual magic from books, but he's not only able to explain how some of it works, but also how it interacts, both with other magic, and your mood."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, the 'lighter' dark magic is actually pretty straightforward to do - you could probably manage to do some yourself, but to do the darker stuff, you have to have the right 'frame of mind'."

"Like when you 'took down' Mandy Miller?"

"Yeah, that morning I got myself into quite a dark place, but with the help of my braces, and some 'anger management' work I did with Lucifer and Sarah, I was ok."

"I'm guessing what we all saw that morning was just a tiny part of what you needed to do?"

"Absolutely. The goal was to cause humiliation, and I decided to do that by getting Mandy to wear her headgear to school. I mean, I know you had braces a couple of years ago, but I don't know if you had any headgear.... but if you did, would YOU have worn it to school?"

"What, and have Mandy make me feel like 6 inches tall? No way!! So I'm guessing you had to do something to MAKE her have to wear it?"


"So, go on, what DID you have to do?"

"The most tedious bit of it was having to do a whole LOAD of 'retrospective' spells..."


"Yeah, little ideas sent back in time. Let me give you an example.... ok, give me a moment.". Serena put on her dark jewellery, then silently cast a simple retropective spell, then removed it again. "So, on the way to school this morning, you went into a shop, and bought a packet of Fruit Pastilles, didn't you. But why?"

"Umm... how do you know about that? And I'm not really sure why I bought them."

"The reason you bought them is because I like them, and a moment ago, I suggested you should buy some, but keep them till lunchtime."

"You're kidding me, you did THAT?"

"Yup. I hope you still have them, because I would love one right now...."

Sam opened his bag, and retrieved the pastilles, passing them to Serena. "Thank you very much" said Serena, putting a couple of pastilles into her mouth, then passing back the packet to Sam. "So, I needed to make Mandy not wear her headgear, and noticeably so, such that her ortho would tell her he would cancel her treatment, unless it was wired in place."

"Oooh, nasty! But knowing as much as I do about her, I would have thought she would have just given up on the braces."

"Yes, you would, wouldn't you? So another thing I was doing was eavesdropping on her when she was at home, and it soon became apparent that she had quite an incentive to finish her treatment."

"Which was?"

"If she finishes her treatment, her parents are giving her a car."

"Holy crap, that is some incentive!"

"Yeah, isn't it just? So I just had to make it such that she hardly wore her head gear. I sent back thoughts of 'it's itchy', 'it's hot and sticky', just like I did with you. Plus a few more on her mum and her ortho. Close to a hundred retrospective spells!"

"You're kidding? That's a LOT of magic to have to do!"

"Yeah, then there was a few bits I needed to do in the days before. Like remind her ortho about using wired-in headgear: it turns out that his ex-partner did some research that showed that short-term wired in headgear made kids learn that wearing headgear in public isn't the end of the world, and they wore it as needed. I just had to go and use their computer to print out a copy of that research paper."

"How did you do that then? Break in at night?"

"No, I did it all remotely: I persuaded them both to leave the room for a few minutes, with the PC still logged in. I was surprised how easy it was to do. But that's dark magic for you!"

"Sh*t, that is devious: remind me to never get on your bad side! Hey, what about that car you came to school in?"

"Yeah, that WAS nice, Lucifer lent it to me. I hate to think how Mandy felt that morning when I came to school in a Lambo... I mean, she's just getting a boring Bimmer... Again, all part of the plan. A lot of work, but you have to admit, and it was amazing when it all finally came together... and it did all make her into a much more pleasant human being, didn't it?"

"Yes, very true. So a question: why were you so nice to her afterwards?"

"The purpose of doing it all was for me to learn new skills. A good side effect was that it made Mandy into a better human being. Beyond that, there's no reason to actually be nasty to her. Underneath that thick veneer of being the school bully, she's actually quite a pleasant person. So yeah, that was my first task..."

"First task? You've had more?"

"Yeah, the second one happened so much quicker. I was tasked with stealing something... something that, if I was caught with it, I could be in a lot of trouble."

"So stealing a million pounds, or something very valuable?"

"Yes, that was where I was thinking. So, last night, Samantha and I were having a night out, and I saw a guy selling drugs in the club."

"Ok... so what did you do to him?"

"All planned in about 30 minutes: I persuaded him to give me some E's, then wiped his memory of ever doing it, then frog-marched him through the club, and handed him over to the police!"

"I heard something about that - that was YOU? That sounds so cool!! And I'm guessing the 'thing that could get you into trouble' was the drugs?"

"Yeah. They were actually in my handbag when the policewoman took a look inside - luckily I'd made them invisible, but she still might have felt them."

"So what did you do with the drugs? Hand them over to the police?"

"And get asked very difficult questions? No, I need them..."


"Something not to tell too many people about, but feel free to tell the other four: it seems that I can do some rather powerful dark magic when I take some E's. Remember that nasty thunderstorm a week or two ago?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"That was me! I summoned the storm. Hey, want to see something lit?"

"Go on...."

Serena put her dark jewellery on again, and summoned her dagger, and passed it over to Sam. "I thought it was probably not a good idea to summon my sword".

"Wow, that is amazing. So what's the sword like?"

"Similar style, but about 3 feet long. And with magic, it seems to be incredibly sharp...."

"Where did it come from?"

"You know the PineTree coven? Apparently they have quite a hidden armoury waiting for me."

"What's in it?"

"Not sure. I've not done any 'spelling under the influence' since the day of the storm, seems like it needs some pretty strong magic to get it to show itself. And I don't actually need it yet".

"So what's next then, training-wise?"

"Not sure, but I'm sure Lucifer will tell me when I see him tonight."

"So what's he like? I mean, he must be really nasty, he is from hell after all!"

"He's actually rather nice.... I have a feeling that he and Sarah are actually dating, but you never heard that from me!!"

"Heard what?"

"Yeah, just like that!".

Yes, Serena felt very comfortable talking with Sam. They chatted together for quite a while, then went to the school canteen for a bit of lunch.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #49 on: 21. August 2022, 21:03:05 PM »
Chapter 60 - And yout third task is....

"Oh, nicely done: thinking on your feet too, taking advantage of a situation... that's the sort of thing you'll need to do when fighting whatever the 'dark forces' are." said Lucifer. He seemed very happy with the outcome of the recent 'drug-stealing', and he particularly liked the fact that the pack of drugs were actually in her bag when she showed her bag to the police lady! Just invisible.

"And Sarah, don't worry, Samantha has the little blue pills...."

"Ah, good. So, Lucifer, what next for Serena? You said we'd probably not like it...."

Lucifer explained the next task that he wanted Serena to do. (and for the moment, to slightly extend the suspense of the storyline, I will not yet explain the task... but it will soon become apparent)

"No way! Lucifer, you can't ask her to do that!" said Sarah, a bit annoyed.

"Why not? It's something she's going to need to be able to do if she has any hope of defeating whatever this dark threat is. And she needs to be able do it without thinking."

"But Lucifer, Serena's only 18 for goodness sake!"

"Sarah, it's ok. Yes, it's pretty sh*t, but he's absolutely right: if I can't do this now, then I'll never be able to do it when I need to." said Serena.

"Thank you for understanding, Serena. Look, I don't care who your 'target' is, it could be that drug dealer again, but I think you already ruined his life for him - his bosses will NOT be please that you managed to get him arrested, and the drugs taken off him. But I'm suspecting you will want to choose some sort of 'low-life'. And once again, it's about planning so that there's no way that anyone thinks you were even involved. And as I said, this one is as much coping with the end result as actually doing it."

"Yeah, of course. So I guess I have some more research to do. Any relevant magic come to mind that you'd like to teach me tonight?"

"Well, I guess invisibility might be useful to you..." suggested Lucifer.

"I can make myself invisible?"

"Well, sort of: its more like when you throw a silence shroud around yourself, you throw an invisibility shroud over yourself - didn't that Harry Potter character do something like that? Plus it's a short-term spell, only lasts a few minutes."

It turns out that the magic needed to use invisibility was quite dark and difficult, meaning that Serena definitely needed to use her dark jewellery: now that Sarah knew about it, Serena was not trying to hide it any more, and it was probably good that Sarah could see how Serena could use it, and the effects it would have when she did dark magic. Even so, it took a couple of hours of very hard work before she was able to make herself, or other people and objects, invisible for more than just a moment.

"Wow, that was quite exhausting!" said Serena as she removed her nose and lip rings, replacing them with her normal jewellery. "By the way, thanks for your help, braces, I could feel you guys starting to struggle at times."

"That's why we are here, Serena!" they replied.

"I have a feeling that I'm going to need to practice this quite a bit more, at the moment it takes some time to cast the spell."

"You'll only be able to speed it up a little, I understand it's one of those spells that just takes its time, so you'll need to plan ahead a bit if you want to use it.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #50 on: 22. August 2022, 22:34:39 PM »
Chapter 61 - Serena spends time with her grandpa

"Hi Grandma! I have a couple of hours free time this morning before my next class, so thought I'd pop over"

"Serena, always nice to see you!". Serena had decided to teleport over and see how both Grandma and Grandpa were. Grandpa because he wasn't too well after his recent stroke, and Grandma because her life revolved so much more around Grandpa.

After making a cuppa, they went and sat in the lounge, where grandpas was in a comfy chair. Serena put her hand on his, and cast the spell that let her 'talk' to her grandpa.

"Hi Grandpa!"

"Hello my lovely Serena... it's nice to hear your nice voice..."

"Its not a long visit today, I'm between lessons. Hey, would you be ok with me looking after you for a few hours at the weekend, I was thinking about trying to persuade mum and dad to take grandma out, go somewhere, give her a bit of a break?"

"Of course, Muriel deserves to get out more than she does, but she's always stuck here looking after me."

"Ok, let me see if I can organise it!".  Serena let go of grandpa's hand, and turned to grandma. "I have an idea grandma: how about I ask mum and dad to take you out somewhere, either Saturday or Sunday. I'll stay here and look after grandpa, you go out and have a few hours break!"

"You sure?"

"Absolutely. You know we get on well, and he likes the idea too..."

"In that case, yes, that WOULD be rather nice."

Back home that evening she mentioned the idea to her parents, and they thought it was a lovely idea, so on Sunday, they went and had lunch with grandma (she was more than happy to cook them all lunch), then after lunch, Serena's mum and dad took grandma out for the afternoon, leaving Serena to look after grandpa.

"Take as long as you like, I'll be ok here. If there's a problem, I can always call you!" said Serena.

Despite it now being early autumn, it was one of those lovely sunny afternoons. "Hey, grandpa" asked Serena, "how would you like to go out in the garden for a bit?"

"That would be rather nice, but how are you going to do it? I mean, this is hardly a wheelchair!". Grandpa was sat in one of those rather large and comfortable electric recliner / situp armchairs, not renown for ease of being moved.

"Ah, remember my pledge?"

"You mean to the slight darkness?"

"Yes, that one. I've been learning some great dark magic.... people forget that whilst the magic may be deemed to be 'dark', there's noting stopping you using it for good things. I'm going to unplug you from the mains, then do a combination of teleporting and summoning: I reckon it should be easy to get you and the armchair outside!".

Serena unplugged the chair's mains plug, and temporarily tucked the wire into the side of the chair.

"I don't think you've properly seen my dark jewellery, have you? I don't know if you've heard of the 'unholy chain' but my 4 pieces of jewellery were made from one of the darker parts of the chain. She sat in front of grandpa, and let him watch as she removed the ring from her small finger. "It's actually 4 pieces, but I always wear one of them... let me take it out for the moment...". She carefully removed the frenum ring, and combined it into the ring. "So, I can wear it on my finger lime this: the inside is coated with a different metal, that shields me a bit from the jewellery's effects. Then I can take the ring off, and split it like this, and it's 4 smaller pieces".

"Oh, that is very clever..."

"Here, would you like to hold them, and look at them?". She put the 4 items into her grandpa's hand.

"These are lovely, made by quite a craftsman".

"Yes, they are rather nice, aren't they? It was actually the same man who made my braces for me: my braces are made from one of the 'lighter' parts of the unholy chain, and they help to protect me when I use the jewellery to do dark magic." Serena removed her nose ring, and put it into her pocket, then took the 'dark' nose ring from grandpa, and fitted it, followed by the frenum ring, and then the two clip-on lip rings. "So now, the dark metal is much closer to me, and it lets me do dark magic a LOT easier."

"Dark magic can be bad for you if you let it take you over, so please be VERY careful, Serena!"

"Don't worry, Grandpa, I'm very aware of that, and my braces really help me. And Wanda, my lovely wand, is always quick to tell me off too! Plus Sarah and Samantha are both there to help me. Anyway, you ready to go outside? Let me just get your blanket, just in case."

With her jewellery fitted, Serena was ready to take grandpa outside. "Ok, let me go outside, see you in a moment". Serena was getting very good at casting the 'talk privately with grandpa' spell, so even though she kept breaking the spell by letting go of his hand, she quickly re-cast the spell.

Outside, Serena warned her braces what she was about to do - whilst the braces were fine with simple dark magic, she always liked to let them know what she was about to do, that way they would be ready. Next, Serena concentrated on the large armchair, with grandpa in it - she didn't want him to suddenly appear without the armchair: that would be uncomfortable for him, and embarrassing for Serena. Then she cast a combination of the teleporting and summoning spell, and a moment later, grandpa and the cair ere safely outside.

"You ok there, grandpa?". The smile on grandpa's face made it clear that he was very happy with his new location.

"Oh, it's so nice to be able to come outside again! I don't think Muriel's magic would be up to do what you just did."

Serena summoned one of the outside chairs over to her, and sat down next to grandpa. "Let me just take the lip rings off, it helps my braces cope better."

Serena sat for a moment, looking at her grandpa: he was a very different man from the grandpa she'd know when growing up: that grandpa was a very happy, outgoing, caring and fun man. But the several strokes he had had recently had robbed him of most of that. His mind was not as capable, nor was his body able to interact as well with his mind. He was now pretty much immobile, stuck in the chair all day. Grandpa's situation saddened Serena.

"So, grandpa, how's things? How you feeling?"

"I feel isolated, a bit lonely." he replied slowly. "Grandma does talk to me, but we can't really have a conversation like we used to. I used to love being able to go out, meet with people, but I clearly can't do that any more. My brain always feels so.... fuzzy.... and whilst I can remember stuff from ages ago, I have problems remembering new things."

"Any pain?"

"The pills help, but I have odd little twinges and the like."

"Let me try doing some pain magic, although I have no doubt that grandma already does that for you". Serena did some general 'reduce pain' magic, in case it helped.

"So, what sort of things are you doing to help learn the dark magic?" asked grandpa: he clearly managed to remember that Serena was needing to learn a rather different magic from everyone else.

"Well, I've been reading a load of the books that Mrs Johnson has in her library - she's one of our Elders of course - there's some very useful books there, although some of them do actually scare me a bit"

"Being scared of magic is always a good thing. You must respect magic, it's not something that is a right, it is a gift given to us, to use wisely" said grandpa.

"Yes, you are so right grandpa! So, as well as the books, I've actually done a couple of 'projects' where I had to use what I'd been learning". She didn't want to go into a lot of detail, she didn't want to upset him by telling him some of the stuff she was doing. "So, is today a good day for you, or a not so good day?"

"Today is a good day - you have come to see me, and we can chat together. And you brought me outside too, that feels so good!".

"What about the not so good days?"

"That's most days. My carers, they are lovely people, but I do sometimes feel no more than a piece of meat, that needs to be undressed and cleaned every morning, then dressed and put into the chair for the day. The put back into bed every evening. It's not what I'm used to, it feels ... degrading!". Grandpa said all of this very slowly, but Serena didn't mind waiting while he said it: she hoped that simply being there, listening and talking to him would help him regain a tiny bit of of the self-respect that he had clearly lost.

Serena stood up, and put her arms around her grandpa, hoping it might make him feel a little better: if nothing else, it made Serena feel a bit better.

"Ok, well, we have loads of time, I'm thinking we could play a game" suggested Serena.

"A game? I wish I could get out of this seat an play a game with you, any game would do..."

"Ah, I'm thinking of a game you used to play with me when I was young. I-spy. You up for it?"

"I think I might manage that one... ok, I'll give it a go."

"Ok, you think of something, and I'll try and guess it...". Serena gave grandpa as much time as he wanted to think of something.

"Ok, I have something, it begins with 'B'. Although I'd doubt that there's any here right now, but I know they are here at some time in the year...."

"Oooh, 'B'. I'm guessing it's not as simple as a bee?"

"No, I wouldn't make it THAT easy for you."

"My braces? They are out here in the garden, but only when I visit!" That one made grandpa laugh. "Ok, how about 'bugs'?"

"Nice idea, but no...."

"Bracken? No, I've never seen that here in your garden. Hey, you haven't started to grow 'bamboo' have you? Oh, I know, how about 'bark', on a tree. There's plenty of that around!"

"Good guess, but I'd remember that THAT is always around...."

"Ah, yes, of course. How about 'brambles'? You got any of those?"

"We certainly used to, but no, not what I'm thinking."

"Oh, where were the brambles then?"

"In that rough bit behind the big shed."

"Ah, ok.... you've thought of a hard one...."

"It's autumn now, isn't it? Maybe you need to think of things you'd see in the spring..." Serena closed her eyes, and imagined sitting in grandma and grandpa's garden in the spring. Daffodils are flowering, and several other early flowers. The grass would be starting to grow again, with maybe a few dandelions growing in the grass. Then she suddenly remembered how, as a kid, she was fascinated by the lovely yellow flowers in the grass, but they weren't dandelions, they were buttercups! "Hey, you're not thinking about buttercups, are you?"

"Yes, I am. We used to have loads of them in the grass, didn't we?"

"Yes, we did, they were really beautiful, and so delicate. Hey, I wonder if it's possible to magic some up? I know it's out of season, but magic doesn't care about that! I bet Samantha would know!". Serena called Samantha, who had a word with her mum, who found a book with a suitable spell in it. Serena had got pencil and paper by this time, and write the spell down.

"Ok, grandpa, want to try a bit of magic, it's a pretty simple spell?".

Grandpa smiled. "It's been a while since I did any magic, but yes, I'd like that!" Serena repeated the spell to grandpa a couple of times, then they said it together: a small posy of buttercup flowers appeared.

They spent quite some time playing I-Spy: not only did it pass the time nicely, but it gave them things to talk about. After that, Serena made them both a hot drink.

Serena had a question for her grandpa, but wasn't quite sure how to ask it.

"Grandpa, can I ask you a very serious question?"

"Of course you can..."

"Well... what's it like getting old?"

"Something tells me that's not actually the question you're really wanting to ask, is it? You're wondering what it's like to be so near the end of my life, aren't you? It was something I wondered about too, when I was younger."

"You're right, I think that WAS what I was really wondering."

"Well, it feels both bad and good. The bad bit is not actually knowing what comes next... is this 'it', or is there something to come. I used to worry a lot about dying, but I'm feeling pretty ok about it now. I've had a lovely life. I've seen you and your cousins grow up from little babies to being lovely young adults that I'm proud of. I've done a lot of things in my life, and I feel very content that I've had a pretty good life. I know my health is deteriorating quite quickly now, and I probably don't have THAT long to go. I just hope that, when it does come, it's peaceful. One thing that really scares me is thinking about it being painful."

By now, tears were welling up in Serena's eyes: for the first time she realised the reality of things, that yes, grandpa would probably not be with them for a lot longer. "Oh, grandpa, when you do finally go, I'm going to miss you so much! But I wish I could do something to make sure you leave us peacefully....."

"I think the worst bit of it all is not knowing when I'll finally go. I think I'd happily die tomorrow, if I knew it would be peaceful."

"Why specifically tomorrow, and not now?" said Serena, feeling strangely a bit less morose.

"Because I'd like to talk with Muriel and your dad once more, before I go."

"What about Uncle Dennis?"

"Oh, we had a nice long chat the other day, I think we are both ok...."

"Grandpa, you have a rather morbid sense of humour!"

"Yes, well that what happens when you get close to the end...."

The two of them sat quietly for a bit. Serena used one of Samantha's 'love and good feelings' spells on grandpa: from personal experience she knew that it would help him feel a bit more relaxed.

"Hey, I wonder if there's some ice cream in the freezer?" said Serena. She probed into the kitchen, then into the freezer. "Yes, there is - would you like some?"

"That sounds like it could be fun!" said grandpa with a smile on his face.

They talked as Serena helped her grandpa eat the ice cream. The cold ice cream had a strange effect on Serena's braces: the extreme cold slightly contracted the metal in her mouth, slightly affecting them. It wasn't so much the brackets or archwires, it was the expander, the tongue crib and the metal plate in the roof of her mouth, she could feel them all pulling inwards a little bit.

"Hey, braces, you guys ok with the coldness of the ice cream?"

"Yeah, it's actually rather refreshing! Makes a change from the hot tea and coffee!". Serena liked her braces: when she wasn't doing nay magic, they were very relaxed about things. And even when it came to magic, they never really complained - after all, that was their job, to protect Serena from the dark feelings that come from doing dark magic. There was a good level of mutual respect, Serena tried to remember to warn them when she was planning to do magic, and they fed back to her how they were coping.

After the ice cream, Serena read aloud from the book that grandma was reading to him, which made her remember the times when she was really young, and stayed over with them, and grandpa used to read to her.

"We're back" said dad's voice. Serena put down the book, and got up.

"Did you guys have a nice afternoon?"

"Yes, we did, thank you Serena!" said her grandma, "And thank you for looking after grandpa - I hope you both had a nice afternoon?"

"Yes, I think we both enjoyed it. I hope you don't mind, but we raided the ice cream!"

"oh, I bet Jack enjoyed that treat, didn't he?"

"Yes, he did! hey, when you're ready, why don't you join us, and I'll 'host a meeting' for us all". After making tea, they all held hands, and were able to talk with grandpa.

"Serena, would you mind if I had a private chat with your dad?"

"Want me to do it like this for you? I don't mind"

"No, we'll just use traditional talking!" said grandpa.

"Serena, thanks for what you did this afternoon. Grandma certainly enjoyed being able to get out, and I get the feeling you two actually had a great afternoon together too...." said her dad as they drove home.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #51 on: 23. August 2022, 17:24:11 PM »
Chapter 62 - Very very dark magic

"Hi Samantha, I'm rather hoping that you are at home?" said Serena. It was the next day, after school.

"Yes, I am. Why? You wanting to come over?"

"Yes, but not just yet. Umm... I need to do some rather dark magic, and I suspect I'm going to need your skills afterwards."

"Ok. So what is it this time?"

"I'd rather not say just for the moment, if you don't mind."

"Ok. Well, I'll be here, just come over when you need to. And hey, be careful!". Samantha knew that when Serena did any serious dark magic, it affected her, and she knew that's why she was so important to Serena. She also knew that Serena was well past the 'dark magic is fun to do' point: any dark magic that she did was to get her ready for the future, when she knew Serena would need to do dark magic at the drop of a hat, to protect against whatever darkness it was that she would need to defeat.

Serena double checked the spells she needed to do: this was one task that she simply couldn't get wrong, it HAD to go perfectly. She had wondered whether to ask Serena for one of the 'pills', so she could take part of it, to enhance her magic, but decided that the level of magic she would be doing didn't really need it. The magic itself, although needing to be done very carefully, wasn't actually that complex. What worried her was whether she could actually carry it out, or whether she'd simply 'bottle out' at the last moment. It was something that she'd not told ANYONE about - if only because the potential consequences of being 'found out' were quite extreme.

She took a deep breath, and put on her dark jewellery.

"Wanda... I need a quick word please!"

"Yes, oh lady of the dark magic?" said Wanda, appearing in Serena's hand. Serena smiled: Wanda knew her far too well.

"Wanda, I'm about to do some very dark magic, and I don't want you anywhere near when I actually do it. However, I need you to be listening out, as I'll probably need to call you immediately afterwards, so you can help me to teleport over to Samantha's."

"Oh, right, THAT dark! Not a problem, mistress! I shall await your call, but I'll go and hide away in the mean time!", and with that, Wanda disappeared once more.

Ok, so this was it! Serena probed: she needed to be sure that no one else would be around. Good, no one else there, just grandma and grandpa, sitting in their lounge. Grandma was reading the paper, grandpa was lying back in his chair, listening to the radio.

Serena cast the teleportation spell, and she appeared right where she wanted to be: about 15 or 20 metres from the house, in a small group of trees and bushes. Close enough to the house to do what she was about to do, yet far enough away to not be seen or heard. Another deep breath - she wasn't 100% sure that she really wanted to do this. She was shaking a bit. She felt a hand gently touch her shoulder: when she turned around, she saw that Lucifer was just beside her.

"Don't worry, I won't interfere, I just thought that you shouldn't be alone the first time you do something like this. But if you need me, just ask.... You ok?".

"Not really, but I need to do this by myself...." Strangely, knowing that Lucifer was there with her calmed her nerves a bit.

"Of course, I understand completely. I'll keep out of your way." Lucifer took a step backwards, to let Serena not feel too 'crowded'.

Another deep breath. Serena both wanted to do this, yet didn't want to do this, and was actually very grateful that Lucifer had turned up. She reached out and probed once more. Yes, Grandma was still reading the paper, grandpa was still listening to the radio. She reached out to grandpa. "Grandpa, I love you so much, and I'm going to miss you... I'm so sorry for doing this..... I just hope I'm doing the right thing for you....". The first tears came to Serena's eyes.

She cast a gentle sleep spell, so that grandpa was lying peacefully in his chair. More tears came to her eyes. Serena reached out with another, very very dark bit of magic, and cut off the electrical pulses that ran grandpa's heart, which then stopped pumping. As she continued the spell, even more tears came to Serena's eyes. A minute later, when she finished the spell, she fell to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably - she was completely distraught.

"Wanda, I think Serena could do with your help!" called out Lucifer quietly. Wanda appeared in Serena's hand: she knew what she needed to do.

"Ok, Serena, take a few deep breaths...... that's good. Now probe, and check that Samantha's bed is clear...... that's right. Now, teleport yourself to Samantha!"

A sobbing heap suddenly appeared on Samantha's bed. Samantha had waited in her room, expecting Serena to arrive at some point, but it was still a surprise when she did. She ran over to her, and immediately cast a calming spell. As she put her hands onto Serena, she could tell that Serena wasn't in a good place, so she lay down on the bed next to her: in a moment she would wrap her arms around her, and pour out her love and whatever else she could into Serena, but first she needed to remove Serena's dark jewellery. The two lips rings were easy, they quickly unclipped. Then the nose ring, which was a bit harder. Finally, she opened Serena's mouth, and removed the frenum ring, and put all four rings on the bedside table: she didn't want the dark jewellery anywhere near Serena at the moment.

Next, she touched Serena's braces. "You guys ok?"

"Yes, we're coping. The problem isn't so much the magic she used, it's how it's affecting her. But thanks for taking out the jewellery, it's starting to feel better now... But I think Serena needs your help."

"You ok there, Serena?" she asked, with her arms wrapped around her.

"I just killed grandpa..." said a sobbing Serena.

Samantha (correctly) guessed that this was part of Serena's ongoing dark magic training - being willing to kill someone in a battle would be quite essential, so better that Serina deal with the after-effects now, rather than in the heat of battle. But why her grandpa? Why not just some nasty low-life? Anyway, that didn't really matter right now, Serena needed Samantha's help to deal with what she'd just done.

So, she didn't reply to Serena's comment, and whilst she was actually quite shocked by what Serena had just said, she knew there was nothing she could say to console her. She also realised that she was a little out of her depth here, so  she used magic to call out to her mother: "Mum! Please come up to my room straight away, I need your help! It's urgent!". Moments later her mum arrived, and could see Samantha trying hard to calm a very upset Serena, so went across to them, sat on the edge of the bed, and put her arms around both of the girls, and started to add her calming magic to Samantha's.

By about 15 minutes later, Serena had calmed down, and Samantha's mum cast a light sleep spell onto Serena. About 30 minutes after that, Samantha's phone rang.

"Hello, Samantha, it's John Muffin here, Serena's dad. Is Serena with you?"

"Yes she is.....". Samantha half guessed that her dad probably now knew about Serena's grandpa.

"She's not picking up her phone. Can I have a word with her please? Look, I know exactly what she's done, and I'm not mad with her for doing it, in fact I'm strangely ok with it..."

"She's actually asleep right now.... should I wake her?"

"No, let her sleep a bit more. When she wakes, get her to call me will you? I'm at work right now, but I'm about to go home. I'd like her to come with us when we visit her grandma."

"Ok, sure. By the way, my condolences, Mr Muffin."

"Thank you Samantha..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #52 on: 24. August 2022, 16:59:00 PM »
Chapter 63 - The consequences

Samantha looked at Serena, asleep on the bed. Her mouth was a little open, and she could see her braces. Most people when seeing Serena's mouth like that would see the metal, see the shape of some braces, and simply assume that she had pretty normal metal braces. If they looked a bit closer, then they would realise that there was a bit more metal behind the brackets, and if they knew about such things, might think that she had normal metal bands on her teeth (for some strange reason). At the same time, they might wonder why her lips were slightly pushed forwards, but would have no idea why: few enough people knew what headgear was, and even fewer knew about lip bumpers.

If a normal person took an even closer look, then they might see the expanders and tongue crib inside her mouth: many would have no idea what they were for, leaving just a small number who understood what they were used for. They would probably assume, correctly as it happens, that Serena was at the end of her orthodontic treatment, but would then incorrectly assume that she'd soon be getting her braces off.

And again, most normal people (even those who knew a bit about braces) would not understand why the bands on her teeth were quite so big, and covered quite so much of her teeth - in fact, they wouldn't see much white of Serena's teeth at all. And as for that metal plate that covered the front of the roof of her mouth - that would make absolutely no sense at all!

Yet Serena never complained about her 'mouthful of metal'. Yes, her braces could get rid of her lisp, and she could use magic to help clean the food from her braces, but she still the metal in her mouth, getting in her way.

Samantha had a deep respect for Serena: not only did Serena have the braces to put up with, but she knew that Serena hadn't asked for what had happened to her, yet she had accepted her role without question. She had accepted the need to learn the dark magic which, when she used it, affected her, especially when the intent of the magic itself was dark, like today. Mind you, having said that, Samantha had also taken on HER new role quite willingly. Any plans she may have had for her life, just like any plans Serena might have had, were out of the window: both of them had a completely different life ahead of them, one full of so many unknowns.

Serena stirred, and opened her eyes. Samantha sat down on the bed next to her. "You feeling better now?"

"Yes, thanks. I wasn't in a good place when I came over, was I?"

"No, you weren't, but with mum's help we managed to calm you down, and get you to fall asleep for a bit. Anyway, your dad called, he'd like you to call him back. And don't worry, he knows what you did, and he actually seems to be ok with it. He's probably home by now, and he'd like you to go with him to be with your grandma."

Just then, Samantha's mum popped her head in the door. "Ah, you're awake, I hope you're feeling a bit better?"

"Yes, I am... and thank you for what you did earlier, I appreciate it!"

"That's ok."

"Look, I need to go home, talk with dad, explain why I did what I did. Samantha, would you mind coming with me please?". Samantha looked over at her mum.

"It's ok, go with her..."

Serena put her hand down to her little finger to remove her dark ring, to find it wasn't there. "Where's my jewellery?" she asked.

"Ah, yes, I took it off you, it's on the bedside table....". Serena picked up her 4 pieces of jewellery, and put them in once more, then took Samantha's hand.

"I guess it's time to go and face the music... let me message dad, let him know I'm on my way. Ah, I left my phone at home, didn't I! Can I use yours?". After sending a short text, she took hold of Samantha's hands and cast the teleportation spell: they were in Serena's room moments later. Soon after, there was a gentle knock on her bedroom door, and the door opened: it was her dad.

Serena rushed over to him, and put her arms around him. "Dad, I'm so, so sorry for what I did...", tears welling once more in her eyes.

"Hey, it's ok, Serena. I'm ok with what you did... I mean, I'm sad that dad has gone, but I'm ok with it..."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, last night, remember grandpa wanted a word with me? He said that he'd had a lovely day with you, which he really enjoyed, and that you two had some pretty deep discussions, but that made him realise that he was actually ready for 'the next step'. He said that he thought you might try to end his life, but I shouldn't stop you, and I should tell you that he was ok with it.... And, strangely, so am I."

"You're really ok with what I did?"

"Yes, I am: I have no doubt that dad is in a much better place now. I just have a couple of questions for you..."


"First of all, did you make it peaceful for him? He was really scared about having a painful death."

"Yeah, he said that to me too, so I think I made it suitably peaceful for him....."

"Thank you. And is there any way that anyone could know it wasn't natural? It worries me that someone might work out that you were somehow involved."

"No, I made sure there was no one around who might see me... although strangely Lucifer popped up just before I did it. And I don't think it will look like anything more than his heart just stopped due to old age."

"Ah, yes, Lucifer, I had a quick word with him last night, he said he'd make sure you were ok. Are you ok?"

"Not really, I'm still very sad that grandpa has gone, but at least I know it was on his terms. I was really scared how you would react, but knowing you're ok with it makes me feel a lot better. Not that that really helped at the time."

"So who else knows?"

"Well, Samantha and her mum, Lucifer, Sarah - if she doesn't know yet, I will need to tell her - and.... well, you. I'm assuming you've said nothing to mum? Or grandma?"

"No, they don't know, and I'm not planning on telling either of them. To be honest, the fewer who know the better. Ok, well we all need to go and visit grandma: Samantha, you are very welcome to join us - your skills will be very welcome I suspect."

"If I can help, happy to come along...".

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #53 on: 25. August 2022, 17:30:50 PM »
Chapter 64 - kind words from Lucifer

Serena went over to see Sarah, Lucifer was also there.

"Serena, how you feeling?"

"Actually amazingly good. Dad already knew what I was going to do, and was amazingly ok with it. Everyone else felt it was a good death too - grandpa's health was clearly going downhill, so it was more a matter of when than if. I feel quite gratified that I was able to help grandpa in such a way."

Lucifer came over to Serena, took her hands, and bowed his head. "Serena, you have my utmost respect. When I asked for you to kill someone, I assumed it would be some sort of vindictive killing of an unworthy low-life. Instead, you turned something that could have been very bad into something that was surprisingly good - I had not expected that - but I should have! I should have remembered that, unlike me, you are driven by the light, and not the darkness. And the way you carried it out was absolutely faultless. And completely caring."

"Thank you, Lucifer: from you, those are very kind words. So, what do you have planned next for me?"

"To be honest, I don't think I can actually help you any more. My plan was to get you to understand how to deal with... how to cope with... the effects of doing dark magic, and you have proven that you know what to do. You also realise that, at times, you need to use other's abilities, like Samantha's, and there is nothing wrong with that. Yes, you need to learn a lot more dark magic spells I suspect, but you're more than able to do that!"

"So, it sound's like I just graduated the 'University of Lucifer'! Lucifer, thank you so much for your help!"

"Completely my pleasure. Look, if you need my help in the future, just ask. There's no doubt in my mind that the prophecies were completely correct: you are the one to lead everyone into battle to defeat whatever darkness comes."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #54 on: 26. August 2022, 19:18:17 PM »
I try very hard to keep the time-line vaguely correct, and it's usually about 6 weeks from start of term to half-term... in this case, a lot has happened, so maybe there's been a slight time-warp, such that 8 weeks or so got crushed into those 6 weeks. It doesn't REALLY matter, does it? Besides, I believe I'm covered by Paragraph 79(b)(ii) of my 'Artistic License', which allows such things in fictional stories.   :) 


Chapter 65 - Holiday time

It's half-term break, it's a couple of weeks since grandpa died, and Serena's uncle and aunt are keeping an eye on grandma, so Serena and her mum and dad have gone away for the week, up to the Lake District again.

Yes, Serena has taken her books with her, hoping she might have SOME time to read through her notes. Luckily, in the same way that she has a really nice 'filing system' in her memory for her magic (the mental 'yellow stickies'), she is able to use that same system for her schoolwork - which is part of why she's an A-grade student. Although memory is just part of it - where 'it' can be either the school work or the magic.

They have all been out for a walk, and have stopped for a few minutes, sitting on a bench adjacent to a children's playground. In the playground is a young child, and her mum. Suddenly, there is crying from the child, and her mum rushes over, putting her arms around him to comfort him.

Serena overhears a few of the words, and instantly recognises them - they are not normal words, but the words of a magical 'calming' spell, exactly the same spell that Serena's mum would have used on her, when she was little.

Serena puts her little finger to her mouth, to allow her to do some simple dark magic a bit easier (but without actually fitting her dark jewellery). She looks at the the mum, and sends a silent message. "Good afternoon, I'm Serena. Please don't panic. I'm assuming you're a witch like me....".

The mum is a little surprised - it's not the sort of thing you expect to happen when you're out at the park. She looked up, and scanned around herself. Had she been a more proficient magic user - like Sarah for example - then she might have been able to reply equally as silently, but she couldn't.

So Serena spoke to her again: "Sorry for startling you. I'm the teenager sat on the bench with my mum and dad. Would you mind if I came and had a quick chat with you?". The mum looked over at Serena - who wasn't actually that far away, and nodded at her.

Serena stood up. "Back in a moment, I need to have a quick word with that lady...." she said to her parents, then walked calmly over to the mum. Serena guessed the mum was in her mid to late 20's, similar age to Sarah.

"Hi there, I'm Serena... I heard you using some rather special calming words a moment ago, so worked out that you're a witch. I was hoping you might be able to help me..."

"Hello... Serena... I'm Ellie. I'm guessing you're not local, otherwise I'd know you! And I'm guessing that you practice your magic a lot more than me, if you were able to talk to me like that."

"Correct on both counts. I'm holidaying here for the week with mum and dad. And yes, I've been trying out quite a bit of magic recently."

"Ah, ok. I hope you're enjoying our little corner of England?"

"Oh, very much so, you're so lucky to live here. Look, I need a very simple favour, you won't need to do very much. I'd just like to meet up with the elders of your coven for an informal chat."

"That doesn't sound too difficult - yeah, I'm sure I could do that for you."

"Thanks. Why don't I just give you my phone number, and someone can call me. We go home on Sunday, so time is a bit of the essence."


"So, is your coven open or closed?"

"What do you mean?"

"Let me put it another way: do your under-16's know about magic?"

"Ah, right, yes, they do."

"And what about your son, does he know yet?"

"Yes, he does, although I'm not really sure how much he does, he's only five"

"Can I show him a bit of fun magic, might make him smile. Might make you smile too..."

"Go on then...." Serena removed the ring from her finger, taking off the two lips rings from it, which she fitted, then put the nose ring back on her little finger. "Don't panic guys," she said to her braces.

Before doing anything, Serena scanned around: she didn't want any 'normies' to see her doing magic. She got onto her knees, so was down at the child's level. She magicked up two small fireballs, throwing one into the air, then magicked up a third, and briefly managed to juggle the three fireballs, before finally dropping them. Both the young child and her mum were smiling. Serena did it a second time, and managed to juggle the fireballs a bit longer.

Her simple bit of darker magic done, she removed her two lip rings, and combined then with the third ring on her finger.

"So, what's with the lip rings then? I'm assuming they're magic of some sort?"

"Yes, the rings are made from a very special metal, and it makes it a lot easier for me to carry out certain types of magic, like the fireballs," she replied.

The two of them chatted a bit more, before Serena finally left her, and returned to her parents.

"So what was that about then?" asked her mum.

"Oh, I overheard her casting a calming spell, so realised she's a witch. I've asked if she can put me in touch with the elders of the local coven."

"Ah, ok, 'reuniting the covens'..."

"Yes, I need to take every opportunity I can...."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #55 on: 27. August 2022, 23:11:55 PM »
Chapter 66 - Meet the coven elders

Serena received a call on the Wednesday, around lunchtime.

"Hello, is that Serena? My name is John Munchin, I'm one of the elders here at the 'Lakes Coven'. I believe you asked Ellie if one of us could call you?"

"Yes, I'm Serena Muffin, and thanks for getting in touch. I'm not really quite sure how to explain this to you over the phone, but let me try. I'm from 'The Coven of the Light', but I also bring greetings to you from 'The PineTree Coven', 'The Coven of Love and Tranquillity' along with a few others. I'm guessing that your coven has a prophecy - I don't suppose you have ever read it, have you?"

"I've... heard of it... but never actually read it. What of it?"

"Well, your prophecy will no doubt tell of a young witch, a witch unable to fully pledge to the light, who will reunite the covens of the land, then will go on to defeat some sort of dark and evil threat. I think you, and the other elders, need to read that prophecy. You see, I believe I'm that young lady, and I'm currently trying to reunite the covens...."

There was silence for a bit. "What makes you say that?"

"Please, read your version of the prophecy, then let me meet you, and I think you will understand. Please trust me on this."

"Ok, yes, I'm sure we can do that," said a slightly hesitant voice.

"Please, it's probably more important than you might realise."

John agreed to speak to the other coven elders, and that they would indeed read the prophecy, then call her again.

Serena's phone rang again at about 7:30 that evening.

"Good evening Serena, it's John Munchin here again. We would very much like to meet you - when would be convenient?"

"Hello again, John, thanks for calling back. I can be with you straight away - can you give me an address?"

"Yes, we're at 17 Golden Avenue... Where are you?"

"That doesn't matter: let me look at a map, and I'll be with you in a minute or two... don't worry, I'll explain when I get there."

"Ok, well... we'll see you soon then!".

Serena checked the map on her phone: other side of the town, not that THAT mattered. "Mum, dad, I'm just popping out to meet the elders of the Lakes Coven....". Serena put in all of her dark jewellery, then she probed, found the house, and checked outside the front door, making sure it was both safe and that she would not be seen by any 'normies'. In the blink of an eye she 'said' the words needed to teleport, and was then standing in front of a rather large and imposing house. She walked up to the door, and rang the bell. It was opened by a man Serena guessed to be in his early 40s.

"Good evening, I'm Serena!" she said.

"Hello Serena! I'm John, we spoke... well, just a moment ago. You got here rather quicker than I expected... please, come on in..."

"Yes, why waste time driving when you can just teleport!" said Serena nonchalantly. As she walked in, she could see John looking at her, which wasn't too surprising, her look wasn't exactly 'conventional'. She got similar looks from the other 2 people waiting inside the house.

"This is my wife, Rachel, and this is George Melly, we're the three elders here." Serena shook hands with them, then sat down.

"I'm guessing you've read your prophecy?"

"Yes, we have, and it was pretty much as you said"

"In that case, maybe you should see copies of a few more prophecies, they are all similar, but slightly different. Wanda? And visible to all, please. Wanda, can you quickly organise copies of the prophecies from my bedroom, please?"

"Certainly, just give me a moment."

"Yeah, that's fine, Wanda." Serena turned to the three elders: "Oh, yes, whilst you can see her, you can't hear her. This is my wand, Wanda, she talks, and is very helpful. So how does your prophecy describe me then?".

John picked up an old envelope, and removed the contents. "Apparently 'you are an only child, and you pledged neither to the dark nor the light. You will learn great magical powers, and whilst some may be dark, you will use them for light purposes'. This next bit I really don't understand though: 'you will have a mouth of metal'.... and at the end it says you will become our queen, but not of your own choice'"

While he was reading, Wanda reappeared in Serena's right hand, and in her left were several pieces of paper.

"Oh, that's interesting, that last bit is slightly different from these versions. As for the 'mouth of metal', maybe I just need to show you!". Serena smiled widely, letting them see the massive amount of metal in her mouth: metal full bands, the herbst, the lip bumpers. Then she opened her mouth a bit, letting them see that there was metal inside her mouth too.

Serena passed the prophecy copies over to John, and the three of them read them.

"So, what's with the 'mouth of metal' then? asked Rachel. Serena explained that they were made from a special magical metal, that would help protect her from the dark magic. "They are the opposite to the metal my jewellery is made from: my jewellery is made of a much darker metal, that helps me with my darker magic. I could do with removing it, but first, I think maybe I should give you a quick example of the sort of thing I'm able to do."

"Ok, braces, I'm just going to summon my sword, then I'll send it back again, then I'll take the dark metal out again," thought Serena

"Thank you, that will be appreciated!" they replied.

Serena took a breath, and looked up the summoning spell on the yellow stickies in her mind. With her two hands held out, palms upwards she said "My sword, I summon you to gently appear on my two hands". The sword was resting on her hands.

"This sword comes from the PineTree Coven, they tell me there are many more such weapons, that we will use to fight the dark evil threat, whatever that actually turns out to be. Here, take a look....". She passed it over to George.

"You said 'we' then... you mean everyone?"

"No, I don't think so: if you look at the prophecies, you'll see that it says that there will be two others who will fight with me, plus a third who will protect us with her love and healing, so I'm assuming they will be for us. I've hardly played with this sword, but it seems to have some quite amazing abilities, probably not the sort of thing that most witches would be able to handle."

"Do you know who the others will be?"

"Well, one of them is my teacher, Sarah. Another, the one with the love and healing, that's Samantha, she's from The Coven of Love and Tranquility. But I'm still waiting to meet my third companion. Shall I take that sword back from you?".

With the sword back in her hands, she sent it back to hide in her house. "If you'll just excuse me a moment" said Serena, who proceeded to remove the two lips rings and nose ring, combining them together, and putting them onto her finger, then replaced them with her 'normal' jewellery.

"Clever magical jewellery, very nice! Well, it sounds to me that we need to talk a bit more," said Rachel, "would you like a tea or coffee?"

"Yes please, a black coffee would be lovely, thanks!".

As they drank their drinks, Serena explained to them the many things that had happened in her life, plus what she believed to be the background of the prophecy.

"How are you feeling about what the prophecy asks of you?"

"Well, the 'uniting' bit is starting to happen - I'm rather hoping you are wanting to 'join our club'. I can understand things were maybe 'rather difficult' around 300 years ago, when we all split up, but I'm thinking it is maybe a good thing for us to all reunite. I still don't see most witches wanting to to particularly use their powers that much, and we'll be able to use technology to keep in touch. My magic is starting to get stronger, and if I'm to believe the prophecy, I'm going to have the skills, equipment and people to actually defeat whatever it is. To be honest, it's the queen bit that I'm scared of, I mean who am I to presume I'll ever be good enough?"

"Although our prophecy does seem to indicate it won't be of your choice"

"Yes, that bit WAS interesting, none of the other prophecies actually said that."

The three elders had a quick conversation. "We're thinking that maybe you should meet some of the others in our coven: we are a fairly small coven, so that should be easy to organise. When are you planning on going back home?"

"We're due to leave on Sunday."

"Ok, well I'm sure we can organise something on Friday or Saturday. You said you're here with your parents: they should come along too!"

Serena got a call from John to suggest that they could all meet on the Friday evening: a small group of them would meet for dinner at a pub, then they would use the upstairs room to meet with others in the coven. After asking her parents, they agreed it would be a good plan.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #56 on: 28. August 2022, 19:25:27 PM »
Chapter 67 - Now meet the coven

It was nice for Serena to actually involve her parents in what she was doing for a change: much of what she did was really just with Sarah, or Samantha, or the other witches at school. In total, there was around a dozen who turned up for the meal, which was actually quite pleasant. Afterwards, they went upstairs and joined all the others: about 30 in total, with their ages going from 5 to 85.

"Good evening everyone, and thanks for coming along! We have a visitor with us tonight, plus her mum and dad: I'll introduce her in a moment, and let her speak to you, but it's because of her that we're all together tonight. A couple of days ago, Ellie called me, said she'd met this teenager who wanted to speak to us, the elders. So I called her, Serena, and she asked if we could read an old document that we have. She predicted pretty much exactly what the document would say, so we ended up having a much longer chat with her, and that's why we're here this evening. I'd like to read that document to you, then hand over to Serena. The document is actually something like 400 years old or so, and contains a prophecy...". John pulled out the prophecy from it's envelope, and slowly read it to everyone.

"And it's about now I hand over to Serena... Serena, you are very welcome here tonight!". After a quick round of applause, Serena started to explain:

"Good evening everyone, I come in peace to visit you all this evening. My name is Serena, and like my parents, I am from the Coven of the Light. I am an only child, and I'm still at school, and I'm just over 18 years old... which means that I recently had to pledge to my coven. A quick question for you: are you aware of anyone who has ever pledged to anything OTHER than pledging to the light?" She paused a moment. "No, I didn't think you would. And that had been the case in our coven too... until I pledged, that is!". Serena paused again. "For several weeks before my pledging, I was getting a feeling - a feeling which I just could NOT ignore, that I could not actually pledge to the light. I hasten to add that pledging to the darkness was even less of an option. I felt I needed to pledge somewhere between the dark and the light, and mainly towards the light. Needless to say, that did not go down too well: how would you have described the feeling in the room that day, dad?"

"Definitely a deadly silence, followed by feeling of distrust and 'what on EARTH?'...." explained her dad.

"Yeah, there were eyes wanting to bore holes into me. Luckily, I was saved by one of our elders, who mentioned a very old prophecy. It described 'a girl, an only child, who would pledge neither to the dark nor the light, with a mouth of metal, a will of steel, and a heart of gold, who would reunite the covens of the land, and defeat some nasty evil force'... in fact, very similar to what YOUR prophecy says.... and these prophecies too" she added, picking up several other pieces of paper. "Feel free to read them later on."

"Now, I'll bet a few of you are wondering about that 'mouth of metal', it is a bit weird. Well, at the time I pledged, I had what I believed to be quite normal braces. Except they weren't, they were actually made of a special magical metal, and it gave me strange feelings: good feelings, a feeling that what I was doing was the right thing to do. When I spoke to my orthodontist, he introduced himself as being from the PineTree coven, and he explained that this metal would help me with what I needed to do. I ended up getting those braces removed, and had a newer, rather more extreme set of braces installed, containing a LOT more metal. Let me smile for you...!"

Serena smiled, letting people see the metal in her mouth. "When these braces were fitted, they needed no glue, they fitted themselves to my teeth. Over time, I'm told the metal will become part of my teeth and my mouth. Their purpose is to protect me when I need to do any dark magic. Now, these bits at the front here, they are called 'lip bumpers', they are also made from that metal, and really like to stay in my mouth: hey, let me show you something...". Serena had a quick word with her braces, and removed her upper and lower lip bumpers.

"Now, these fit into tiny tubes on the braces at the back of my mouth, and I'm sure you can appreciate how fiddly they could be to fit back in. Not these lip-bumpers though! My braces are actually sentient, and can look after themselves!". Serena smiled widely, then tossed her lip bumpers vaguely towards her mouth, one at a time. As expected, they slipped themselves nicely back into place.

"And the best side effect is that they can compwetewy get wid of my lithp! So, yes, I am definitely a girl with a metal mouth, albeit not through choice."

"So, this prophecy says I need to reunite the covens of the land: several covens, in the area near where I live, have already agreed to re-unite, so that's why I'm here tonight. Yes, I'm supposed to be on holiday, but thanks to Ellie over there, I've been able to meet you all tonight, and I would like to invite you all to work with us to reunite all the covens around the country."

There was a quick round of applause. "Thank you Serena. The prophecies also mention that two others will fight alongside you, and another will be nearby, to inspire and care for you: I believe you know who these people are?"

"Yes, I have met two of the three. The young witch who will inspire us and care for us is Samantha, she is a member of the Coven of Love and Tranquillity. Then there's Sarah, actually my magic teacher, who is one of the two who will fight with me. But I'm not yet sure who the third one is yet."

"Well, thank you so much for visiting us, and telling us what's happening - I guess we'll be all having a talk about it this evening. In the meantime, please, everyone, make Serena and her parents very welcome!"

"Serena, let me introduce you to a couple of our younger members... let's start with Harper." Jon lead Serena over to a girl who was currently by herself. She was as noticeably short as Serena was tall: Harper was only 4ft 6in tall, but was quite muscular in build. Again, opposite to Serena, Harper's chest was well-endowed. Her long dark hair was tied up at the back of her head into a simple ponytail. Serena will discover later on that she's 25 years old.

"Harper, do meet Serena. Harper is a gymnast, and although she tends to not shout about it, she got a couple of gold medals at the last olympics." Harper smiled at the introduction, letting Serena see the lovely set of metal brackets on her front teeth.

"Hi, it's nice to meet you, Serena" said Harper, shaking Serena's hand.

"Weren't you at the European Games recently, I'm sure I saw you on TV?"

"Yeah, I was... that was another medal!". It was at this point that Wanda popped up in Serena's hand.

"Serena, your maj... sorry, your magical mistress! We need to speak as a matter of great urgency...." said Wanda getting VERY excited.

"I'm kinda busy right now, Wanda!" said Serena.

"But, your almighty tallness, this really is very very important!!"

"Your almighty tallness?" said Harper, smiling.

"Sorry, yes, it's Wanda, my wand, she gets a bit excited at tim.....". Serena stopped mid-sentence as she realised what Wanda was about to say. "Wanda, I think I know what you're about to tell me. You'd better make yourself visible. Harper, this is Wanda... and you heard her just a moment ago, didn't you??"

"Hello there, Harper!" said Wanda, getting all excited.

"That's pretty cool, a wand that talks! Hello Wanda! Nice to meet you!" replied Harper

"I have a feeling that she doesn't quite realise quite how important it is, the fact that she can hear me..." said Wanda. "But I really do believe that she is the one!"

"What do you mean, 'the one'" asked Harper.

"Well, you see, whilst Wanda is able to make herself visible to everyone, you and I are the only two here who can actually hear her, and as far as I know, there's only two others who can also hear her. One is Samantha, of the Coven of Love and Tranquillity, the other is my magic teacher, Sarah: they are my two other companions, as described in the prophecy..."

"So that means........?" said Harper.

"So that means that I think you must be my third companion. As in the prophecy. Welcome to my team, Harper!"

"Do I actually get any say in this?"

"Probably about as much say as whether you were even born, or became a gymnast...." suggested Serena.

"As much as that?" said Harper taking a big breath. "Ok, so what happens now then?".

Serena liked both Harper's sense of humour and her attitude. "Probably not a lot right now. I mean, it would be nice to introduce you to Samantha and Sarah at some point. I could probably summon them here, if you happened to have any ecstasy on you.." said Serena with a bit of a smile. Harper looked a bit perplexed. "I'll explain later in more detail, but it seems that certain drugs make my dark magic work better. Anyway, Harper, I know nothing about you, so tell me. For example, what do you do for work?"

"I work for myself, doing web site design stuff. Luckily that lets me work around all my gymnastic training. You said you're still at school?"

"Yeah, upper 6th, taking my A-levels this year. Shame there's not an A-Level for 'witchcraft' or 'how to defeat a dark enemy'. Would be more helpful than things like 'Alchemy'."


"Yeah, although the normies seem to just call it 'Chemistry'". Harper laughed, getting the joke.

"And I'm guessing you'll be off to Hogwarts University next year then?"

"If only... Hey, do you do much witchcraft yourself? I mean, that could come in useful with your gymnastics!"

"I can do some basic spells, but we decided that it would be safer to not actually learn too much, just in case I did something accidentally during a performance."

"I think that's going to have to change. Something tells me that part of the reason that you are 'the one' is BECAUSE of your gymnastic skills. Sarah and myself have no real agility skills that will help us with fighting, but combine teleporting, levitation and other stuff with what you can do, that would be pretty awesome!"

Sarah and Harper continued talking together, they seemed to get on pretty well.

"So, you're here on holiday? When are you going back?"


"Ok, so thinking aloud: would it help at all if I came back with you? I mean, in my own car. Then I could meet Sarah and Samantha. And work with you. I don't suppose you have a spare room I could use for a few days?"

"That sounds like a great idea! And yes, we do have a spare room - let me have a word with mum, but I'm sure it won't be a problem. But what about your work, and training?"

"Well, the 'season' has  finished, and I was actually planning on retiring this year - I'm getting quite old for a gymnast you know!  And I can actually do my work from anywhere, assuming you have half-decent internet."

"Of course we do... So, you said you still live at home: your mum and dad going to be ok with you coming back with us?"

"Oh, no problems there, they know I'm planning to retire this year, and they know I'm all grown up now."

"Good. Hey, come and meet my mum and dad....."

While all this was going on, John, her 'host', had overheard what was going on, and had decided that, if Harper was indeed Serena's third companion, then meeting anyone else for the moment was probably a pretty low priority for her.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #57 on: 29. August 2022, 22:10:00 PM »
Chapter 68 - Harper tries some magic out

The next day, Saturday, Serena's parents dropped Serena off at Harpers: they had arranged to spend much of the day together. Part of the reason was to simply get to know each other a bit better: if they were going to be 'working together', they needed to know and understand each other a lot better. Serena and Sarah had know each other for some time now, so Harper had some 'catching up' to do.

In addition, Serena wanted to show Harper some magic, to see how good she was.

They started off by having lunch with Harper's mum and dad: whilst she had briefly met them last night, it gave Serena a chance to explain things in a lot more detail to them all. After lunch, Serena and Harper went into the garden.

"We could do with somewhere with a bit of space, but with no one around...."

"Plenty of that around, once we get out of town, should only take 15 or 20 minutes to get somewhere suitable."

"Why bother with a car? Let's be eco-friendly..."

"What do you mean?"

"I can just teleport us there."

"But I thought teleporting spells only worked over short distances?"

"With Light Magic you'd be correct, but that's one of the joys of being able to use Dark Magic, I can go quite a long way. So, show me on a map where we want to go, and I'll take us there."

"That is a cool use of magic! But we'll probably want to take our coats, it's likely to be chilly there - did you remember to bring yours?"

"Ah, no, I left it in the car, hang on....". Serena had a quick word with her braces, to prepare them for what she would be doing, put on her dark jewellery, ran a 'find my coat' spell, then simply summoned it. "Ok, let's take a look at the map..."

"I always thought dark magic was something very bad, something we 'witches of the light' should never do, but you seem to be ok with it."

"It's like many things in life, as long as you respect it, and use it sensibly, it's not really all that bad. I mean, take your car: in the wrong hands a car is a lethal weapon, it can kill both the driver and others. But you still drive it, don't you? You're just careful how you drive."

"Yeah, ok, very fair comment. So have you ever used your dark magic for bad?"

"Depends on how you define bad. As part of my training with Lucifer, I had to publicly humiliate a girl... but the end result was that the girl, who was the school bully, and quite the b*tch, but she's now actually quite a pleasant girl. So was that bad or good? Then I killed my grandpa, but that was more of a mercy-killing."

"You KILLED your grandpa using magic?"

"Yes. Lucifer needed me to kill someone as part of my training: I mean, there's no doubt when we start to fight whatever this evil is, that we're going to have to kill someone or something at some point. He assumed I'd find some criminal lowlife and take them out. But I was talking with my grandpa - he'd had several strokes, and was pretty much incapacitated - and I got a very strong feeling that he was 'ready to leave us'. Turns out I was spot on: dad had spoken to grandpa too, and grandpa'd told him that he was ready to go. Having said that, it was still a pretty sh*tty thing to have to do". A tear came to Serena's eye as she remembered her grandpa for a moment. "So yes, it's quite possible to do good-ish stuff using dark magic. So, one of the things I'd like to do with you today is see how you get on with dark magic."

While she was talking, she was looking at the map with Harper. "Ok, I'll need to probe around, don't want any normies anywhere nearby, do we?". Serena closed her eyes and concentrated, probing to where Harper had suggested. Yes, it looked like it would be a good place: a large open bit of 'rough grass', surrounded by trees. She probed around, and there seemed to be no one within about a mile. She chose a landing spot and probed.. no, a bit uneven underfoot... ah, that looks better, over there.

"Ok, take my hand. I'll warn you, first time can feel a bit odd: I'd suggest you actually keep your eyes open though. A deep breath might help too." As Harper took the deep breath, Serena teleported them: she'd actually lied about the deep breath, she just wanted to distract Harper a little.


"Yeah, a couple more deep breaths will definitely help now!". Serena also took a couple of deep breaths: whilst she was pretty used to teleporting over distances, it still took a few moments to recover. "We ok braces?"

"We're fine, thanks, we're getting quite used to your teleporting now, you actually do it very gently."

"Well, thank you, guys! Anyway, I'm going to leave my dark jewellery on, as I want to try and teach Harper some dark magic"

"Ok, just let us know if you need to do anything especially dark." Serena turned to Harper. "You ok now?"

"Yeah, that was, well, 'amazing' doesn't do it justice!" So, what we going to do?"

"Good question. Ok, so I know you're a gymnast, but do you REALLY enjoy it? I'm thinking about things that could work well with your gymnsatic skills.!

"Yeah, I actually DO still enjoy it, it's actually quite exhilarating when I do some of the harder stuff."

"Ok, you up for learning to levitate? I'm thinking that could work nicely in the middle of one of your handsprings! I wonder if, say, you needed to jump up somewhere, the extra energy in the spin would help you, compared to just running and jumping".

Over the next half hour or so, Serena demonstrated the practicalities of simple levitation, then got Harper trying it: her gymnastics abilities helped a lot, as she found it very easy to balance.

"It feels a bit strange, just hovering in the air" commented Harper.

"Yes, it's not something I've used a lot, so still feels a bit odd to me too, but you seem to be doing really well. Would you like to try combining it with one of your gymnastic moves?""

"Yeah. I wonder if I can get enough rotation after pushing off my hands to use the levitation to let me do a second spin? Let me do a couple of normal double handsprings first, then I'll see what happens if I levitate a little bit."

The bad news is that Harper messed up the first 3 tries, but the ground and the grass were both soft enough that she wasn't hurt. The fourth time Harper managed quite a nice levitation in the middle of the handspring, landing on her feet afterwards.

"That was fun!" said Harper, smiling. "And I think it's something I can work on and develop in my own time. I wonder if there's a gymnastic coach out there who's also a witch, they would be able to help me."

"I think you might be pushing your luck there! Well, you picked that up pretty easily. How would you like to try out the dark version?"
"Ok. But what's the difference?"

"Like the teleporting, it's about 'how much'. So you were managing to get maybe a foot or two off the ground. With the darker version, you'll get a lot higher... you'll just need to think carefully about landing too! And making sure you keep the levitation going while you do other things - and that's just going to need practice."

"Ok, let's give it a go then!" It took Harper a while to get used to the 'attitude' needed to make the dark magic work, it wasn't something she was used to. "I'm a bit wary of pushing you too hard on this, in case it starts to affect you. I'm lucky, I have my braces to help protect me. Ok, let's try this again. Now Harper, you really must concentrate more, I'm not going to take 'I can't' for an answer on this. Take control of it! Stop messing around, and just tell the magic what you need!". Serena wasn't trying to be nasty to Harper, she was trying to invoke her negative emotions a bit more, to make the dark magic work.

"Yes, I CAN do this, godammit!". Harper repeated the dark levitation spell, and this time she floated up about twenty feet into the air: Serena decided to quickly join her, just in case anything went wrong.

"Ok, keep it going, don't lose your concentration. See if you can move around, it's just a matter of asking... sorry, TELLING the magic what you want to do!". Slowly Harper started to move forwards. "That's it. Now go slowly downwards.... your balance is really good....". As Harper 'landed', she went into a simple tumble, in order to control her landing.

"Yeah, that was a LOT harder to do than the light version, I was having to concentrate so much. And be a bit angry about it."

"Don't worry, it gets easier the more you do it, you get used to always needing to be extra assertive. Now, try and quickly clear your mind of the negayive feelings. Lucifer got me to imagine a tiny box in my mind, and to put any darkness and negative feelings into that box, then close it. I don't know it that will work for you, but worth a try."

They sat down on the grass together. "So, I CAN do dark magic then!" said Harper.

"Yes, as I said before, the darker stuff isn't that much different from the lighter stuff, but you really need to work on controlling those negative feelings afterwards - it's something we can work on together."

"So what else do you think I ought to try and combine with my abilities?"

"Teleporting is a very obvious one, both light and dark versions, but I think that's going to be another day. But if you can work with the levitation stuff, I think that's gonna be a pretty useful skill to have!"

As Serena relaxed, she looked around: this was a lovely place, full of nature, so peaceful. Harper was so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #58 on: 30. August 2022, 17:25:12 PM »
Not sure if it's good or bad news, but we are coming to the end of this story: after this chapter, there's only 4 more chapters left! Definitely good news though is that we have a load of braces in today's chapter!!!


Chapter 69 - Driving back to Serena's

They had decided that Serena's mum and dad would drive back by themselves in their car, and Serena would travel back with Harper, in hers. Not only did Serena know where they were going (ok, google maps helped a bit!), but it gave the two of them a load of time to chat.

They listened to the radio for a bit, and talked about where they lived, and their friends. Then Harper asked Serena: "So, those braces of yours, they seem a bit extreme. How long have you had them?"

"Well, I've not had these specific braces all that long, but I originally got my braces a little before I turned 16. My teeth were a bit of a mess back then, but my braces were relatively normal: I had metal brackets on all my teeth, bands on my molars. I also needed to wear headgear, to move my teeth back a bit, to make space at the front. I also had tiny metal springs on the archwires for a bit."

"So no expanders back then! Any elastics?"

"Ah, yes, I forgot about those... elastics from my top rear molars with the bands on down to my lower front molars, plus a couple of smaller ones at the front for a couple of months."

"So how long were you supposed to have them?"

"For a bit over 2 years, which means I would have been getting them off sometime soon. Of course, that changed when my braces got 'upgraded'."

"So what happened that you got 'upgraded'?"

"Well... as I was coming up to my pledging, I was getting strange feelings that I shouldn't be pledging to the light. So when I thought that I would need to pledge to the darkness, I seemed to get bad feelings in my mouth, but when I starting thinking about pledging somewhere in between, but mainly to the light, I got really good feelings in my mouth, as if my braces were telling me I was thinking the right sort of thing. When I actually pledged, they gave me some good feelings too, but it was a few days later, when I was doing some magic with Sarah... some slightly darker magic, when they showed me pain. It was then I decided to go and have a word with my ortho, Peter. He wasn't too surprised, and explained that they were made from a special metal."

"Special metal?"

"Yeah, comes from something called 'the unholy chain'...". Serena explained what the unholy chain was.

"Ok, so why such a big mouthful now?"

"He explained that I would need much more metal in my mouth, for it to be helpful to me, to help protect me from the effect of doing dark magic."

"But why in your mouth? Couldn't a simple bracelet have sufficed?"

"No, I need the intimate contact with it. With them. With my braces."

"You make it sound like they are alive!"

"They are, sort of. They are sentient, they speak to me. I'll let you meet them later on, when you're not driving!"

"So what exactly DO you have in your mouth?" said Harper, maybe a bit too enthusiastically.

"Where do I start? Upper and lower expanders. A tongue crib. Metal bands - very wide metal bands - on all my teeth. A metal plate at the top, at the front. And the lip bumpers.". Serena ran her tongue around her mouth to remind herself what she had. "The good thing is that when they fitted themselves, they kinda tucked themselves nice and closely to my teeth, so they aren't as much in the way"

"Fitted themselves?"

"Obviously I didn't see it, but Peter told me that as they put the various bits into my mouth, they sort-of 'shrunk' onto my teeth, and the expander bits moved as much out the way as they could. No glue needed. Same when he fitted the archwires."

"Sounds like you have a lot of metal!". It was odd, but the way Serena heard Harper say that, it sounded almost joyous. "So how come no lisp? I mean, if I had THAT amount of stuff in MY mouth, I'd hardly be able to speak!"

"That's the braces: not only do they protect me when I do dark magic, they also stop me lisping. Mind you, when I'm at school, or in public, they give me a bit of a lisp, otherwise people would ask awkward questions".

"Oh, ok. Sounds like you're ok with having such extreme braces then."

"Yes, I am, actually. So what about YOUR braces then? How come you never had braces when you were younger?"

"I actually didn't need them, my teeth were pretty ok." Serena felt that Harper was being very careful with what she was saying, not telling her the whole story.

"Ok, so what happened? What changed to make you need braces?"

Harper had realised a bit earlier in the journey that, at some point - whether it be in the car today, or somewhen else - she would need to talk with Serena about braces. After all, she had some herself, even though they were, by comparison to Serena's, rather plain and simple. So, it was clear that she needed to be open about things.

"Serena, we're only just getting to know each other, aren't we? But I get the feeling that you are actually quite open-minded, willing to accept different viewpoints...."

"I like to think I am. Why?"

"Ummmm... I think I need to tell you something, and I'm going to trust that you'll understand what I tell you, and that you won't laugh at me..."

"Well, you see, it's like this.... oh, gawd, how do I say this: I like braces."

"You like braces? There's nothing wrong with that."

"I like braces... a LOT! To be honest, for you to appreciate what I'm trying to say, maybe I just need to say two words: braces fetish!"

"Braces Fetish?"

"Yes.... braces fetish! Ever since I was a young teenager, and I first saw a girl at school in braces, I wanted some. I rather hoped that I might get some, but my teeth were nowhere near bad enough to need them: I was nowhere near the level to get them on the NHS, and if I'd have suggested going private, I have no doubt mum and dad would have just laughed at me. But I found braces to be so fascinating, and the more I saw people around me at school with braces, the more I wanted some. I'm not quite sure what it is about them that I like, but I can say that they give me good feelings!"

Serena was having a bit of trouble taking in what Harper was saying. She tried to think about things that she 'liked', and then try to extrapolate the 'like' to something stronger...

"I guess part of it's the look, the sight of metal on white teeth," continued Harper. "But I think it goes further than that. It's almost a feeling of bondage, a feeling that once you have them on your teeth, they restrict you, and you can't get rid of them easily." Harper stopped talking, to let Serena process what she'd just said.

"So you get enjoyment from seeing braces? Or from having braces?" asked Serena, starting to appreciate what Harper was saying.

"It makes me feel very good to both see others with metal braces on their teeth, as well as knowing that I have braces on my teeth. I will admit, I'm actually rather jealous of what you have though!"

"I suspect you might change your mind if you actually had this lot, especially without the magic to help. So you don't actually NEED your braces then?"

"Well, technically I sort-of need them, to correct a very VERY minor issue, but no, not really. Luckily I found a rather understanding orthodontist!"

"When we're back at my place, we need to go and see Peter at some point - he's my orthodontist, plus is one of the elders of the PineTree coven. I'm wondering if it would help at all if you got some braces - or even something else - made from the unholy chain, to protect you when you need to do some dark magic?"

"Hey, I'm definitely up for that. Ah, service area ahead, fancy a comfort break? Plus I could take a proper look at your braces!" said Harper with a rather larger than normal smile.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #59 on: 31. August 2022, 20:04:18 PM »
You all KNOW how much I have enjoyed writing stories for my fairies... so lets have another cross-over episode, shall we? I mean, magic users from the different realms need to work together, don't they?


Chapter 70: More cake

Serena and Harper were in Serena's room, chatting, and drinking a freshly made cup of tea. For some reason, the idea of having a 'nice slice of that disgustingly fattening cream-filled chocolate cake to eat, like what they do in that nice café in town' came to mind: it would go nicely with the cuppa.

And of course, once she began to think of 'that nice cream-filled chocolate cake', she remembered a certain fairy, who had given her her last slice of that nice cake. And she remembered that the certain fairy was a teeth and braces fairy.

"So, your braces," said Serena. "I know you like them, and I know you have a big thing for them, but are they really enough for you? I mean, I remember you said you were rather jealous of the metal I had in my mouth...."

Harper smiled. She was always happy to talk about braces, it made her 'feel good', if you know what I mean. "Yes, it WOULD be rather nice to experience something a bit more... 'extreme', but how am I going to get them? Hey, do you think your ortho would be up for it?"

"Peter? Not sure about un-needed braces, although if braces from the holy chain could help you, then yes, but apart from that I think he's pretty 'normal' as far as giving braces to people. No, I was thinking of magic."

"Magic? Is there magic that can just 'magic up' something, and fit them? It seems to be hard enough just moving something that already exists."

"You're right, OUR magic can't, but I'm thinking there's another sort of magic that might be able to. So, to change the subject a little for a moment: would you like a slice of disgustingly good fresh-cream filled chocolate cake?"

"The idea appeals, yes, but where you going to get some at this time of night? No, you can't steal it from some local café's fridge!!"

"No, I wasn't going to steal it, don't worry. It just needs a different kind of magic, just like if you'd like some new braces. Just watch, and be amazed: I was the first time!".

Serena cleared her mind, then said out loud "I wish Elida could bring me a couple of slices of that lovely creamy chocolate cake - she knows what I mean, but if she's too busy, then I don't mind waiting!". In preparation, Serena put on her dark jewellery.

"A witch making a wish? You've got to be kidding me! I mean...." said Harper, suddenly stopping in the middle of her sentence: two slices of cream-filled chocolate cake had just appeared next to them.

"Hello again Elida, thanks for coming! Let me just make you visible.". She turned to Harper: "Take my hand, Harper". Since her last meeting with Elida, Serena had looked up a few dark spells for making hidden things visible, that would hopefully work better than the previous one she had used: she wanted Harper to be able to see Elida too. Serena carefully said the words of the new spell, making Elida visible, then removed her dark jewellery once more.

In human terms, Elida was something like 5 or 6 inches tall, dressed in a black t-shirt over another top with green and black stripes on it, and a short white skirt. Her hair was ginger, a bit longer than her shoulders, with a fringe at the front, and the back hair tied up in a sort of bun with a white ribbon. Her wings looked very much like a dragon-fly, wispy with green and black highlights. On her feet she wore a pair of white trainers, and in her hand she held a small wand.

So maybe not quite the 'cute traditional' image of a fairy, but a more modern, more street-wise teenage version.

"What? who?..." stammered Harper.

"Harper, this is Elida, she is a fairy, actually a very important and very powerful fairy, we had a lovely chat a while ago, seems we have a lot in common. Elida, this is Harper, she's the third of my companions."

"Oh, you found her, that is great news! It's so good to see you again Serena, and nice to meet you too, Harper!"

"Hello there, Elida!" said Harper, not quite sure what to say to a fairy who had just appeared.

"Ooooh, you have lovely shiny braces.... would you mind if I took a look, Harper?"

"Sure," said a rather bemused Harper, "Go ahead!". As Harper smiled, Elida flew up and took a look at them.

"Oh, I'm so glad you you got nice large metal brackets, they look so much nicer!"

"Yes, they do!" said Harper.

"I think I need to explain a couple of things for both of you." said Serena. "So, Harper, Elida is by trade a teeth and braces fairy, and loves the sight of shiny metal braces, as I think you just gathered."

"Oh, yes, I think metal braces are so beautiful.... oh, let me see yours again, Serena!" asked Elida. Serena opened her mouth, and once again Elida looked at Serena's quite amazing mouth of metal.

"She's as bad as me!" said Harper.

"Yup, she is. So, Elida, Harper has a bit of a thing for braces too...." explained Serina.

"Oh, goody!!" said Elida, smiling. "And don't feel at all awkward, Harper, I have several other 'customers' like you."

"Anyway, I was hoping you'd let Harper make a wish...".

Elida smiled even wider, and spoke to Harper: "Something tells me that you would like some more braces... am I right Harper?"

"Yes, I would! Can fairy magic do that, because our magic can't?"

"Oh, braces on humans is pretty easy peasy, especially for me."

"What do you mean, 'especially for you'?" asked Harper.

Elida and Serena explained that not only was Elida a 'teeth and braces fairy', but that she was 'a Protector', and whilst she could never do any bad fairy magic, she was one of the most able fairies in the country. "As I said, we have a lot in common, although I get to do a lot of dark magic too".

"Oh, by the way, since we last met, and you mentioned about the future dark threat, we've set up a new computer system at FI5. It's based on the system we use to predict wishes being made, but we've tuned it to search for any form of darkness in the human realm."

"Oh, that sounds good. Seen anything yet?"

"A few little things, but nothing relevant. So far we're seeing fairly clearly about 3 or 4 months into the future, and rather more fuzzy beyond that - kinda like your human long-term weather forecasts! But if we see anything, we'll let you know. So, back to you, Harper, what extra braces would you like?"

"Um, this is all rather sudden, I need to think a bit.."

"That's ok, I'm not in a rush. Hey, any chance of some tea and cake then?" asked Elida.

"But of course! Let me get a cup and plate from my old dolls house for you. So, what do you fancy, Harper?" asked Serena as she went to her old dolls house.

"Oh, by the way, if you don't like what I give you, or you just get bored with them, you can just make another wish, and I'll remove them or swap them for something different, all part of the service!" explained Elida. "To be honest, it's kinda fun to do that for customers like you!"

"Well, I'd love to try out some expanders, like Serena has, and maybe a tongue crib too"

"That's gonna give you one hell of a lisp! You sure you want to do that?" asked Serena.

"I think that's part of the appeal. Besides, Elida, if you're ok with swapping them out, then why not?"

"I can do that for you, no problem. Want to throw in some herbsts while you're at it?"

"Oh, Elida, you are tempting me so much! Let me think while I have another bite of this amazing cream cake!"

"Yes, Elida, the cake is rather good today..." added Serena.

"I did a bit of work down at that Café, gave them a few ideas to make their cake even better, sounds like the ideas worked."

"Oh, yes, I think they did!".

The three of them chatted for a while, drinking their tea, and eating the rather scrumptious creamy chocolate cake.

"So, you ready for a bit more metal then?" asked Elida.

"Let me just go brush my teeth first.." said Harper.

"Don't bother, let me...." said Serena, throwing the 'clean braces' spell at Harper. "I'll teach that one to you later. So, what you going for?"

"I think just the two expanders, and the tongue crib for the moment, but can you try and make the expanders fit reasonably close to my mouth?"

"I'll try. Ok, I just need you to wish for me - a wish keeps all the paperwork in order... you won't believe what I have to do if I do something without a wish!"

"Ok, sure... 'I wish that you could give me nice chunky metal expanders, top and bottom, and a suitably annoying tongue crib.' That do you?"

"That will do just fine, thank you! Ok, just relax....". Elida called up her wand, and cast the relevant fairy spell.

"Holy thit, thith feelth amathing, tho much more metal in my mouth!" said Harper, clearly getting more excited as she felt around her mouth with her tongue. "Will you guyth excuthe me for a few minuteth, I need to jutht go and 'do thomething'..."