Roomies 4: Part Eleven
Jesc slowly opened her eyes, blinking a few times as light filtered into her pupils.
She was in a bright white room with sunlight sifting through the windows and nestled in a bed with warm clean sheets: the hospital wing.
“That was some fall you took.”
Jesc turned her head slowly to her left, blood rushing painfully as she spotted the faerie seated at her bedside: Queen Fyora.
“Your majesty,” Jesc said quickly, trying to sit up, but Fyora put a hand down on her, halting her progress.
“Please stay down,” the Queen said calmly. “You need to rest if you want to make a full recovery.”
Recovery? Jesc thought. She glanced down at herself and almost performed a double-take: her right arm and leg were both in light blue casts, gently elevated at the end of her bed.
Suddenly, everything came flooding back. The Rememorandum Potion, the confrontation in the courtyard, Queen Fyora’s voice echoing over the grounds... and then Mrs. Pierce losing it, shooting a spell towards Jesc, and darkness.
“I tried to do the best I could,” Fyora said, her lilac eyes sincere, “but I’ve always found that bones heal best the old-fashioned way.”
Jesc was barely listening. Instead, she gazed beyond the Queen at the bed to her left where a fire faerie was resting: Mrs. Pierce.
“Is she all right?” Jesc blurted suddenly, glancing up at the Queen.
Fyora glanced at Mrs. Pierce and turned back to Jesc, a curious expression on her face. “You are quite an extraordinary young lady, Jesc,” she murmured. “After everything you’ve gone through, you’re still concerned about her.”
The air faerie shrugged and smiled. “I guess it’s just the way I am.”
Fyora smiled back and stood up from her chair, her long dress rippling gently and her pale wings extended gracefully. “Yes, Vermillion should be fine. I managed to catch her before she reached the ground, so right now she’s just sleeping off that curse Jhudora shot at her.” She shook her head grimly. “That dark faerie has some temper.”
“I know,” Jesc nodded, “but I think it’s just part of their nature because I read this book once, Dark Faeries, Are They Truly Evil Or Just Misunderstood?, and it went into detail about a young dark faerie who got into a whole argument based on something silly like Gnorbu Floss, all because of a slight misunderstanding, and then she suddenly became so infuriated she doused an entire town into never-ending darkness, and no one could see where they were going because it was so dark and this one Meowcl—”
“Er, Jesc,” Fyora interrupted gently, her head spinning, “now that you’re alright, I really should get back to the castle. However, it was very nice to see you again, and I wish you all the best.”
Jesc nodded in understanding. “All right. Thank you, for everything, your majesty.” However, before the Queen could leave, Jesc shouted, “Oh! One more thing!”
Jesc slipped a piece of hair behind her ear and glanced at Mrs. Pierce. “When she has to go on trial again, do you think you could limit the dungeon time and instead opt for community service? I think she’ll enjoy that.”
Fyora stared at Jesc for a moment in stunned bewilderment, and then nodded her head. “Don’t worry, Jesc. I’ll see what I can do.” And with that, she placed a hand on the double doors and left.
However, before the doors could fully close, two figures darted inside of the hospital wing: a dark faerie and a short yellow Aisha with round black glasses; Jhudora and Jim.
“You!” Jhudora shouted as she stormed inside, prodding her green nail towards Jesc. “Don’t you EVER do anything like that EVER AGAIN! Do you know how worried I was? And worry, might I add, is not a fun feeling.”
Jesc laughed. It felt good to see Jhudora, even if she was completely riled up.
“Hello, Jesc,” Jim murmured quietly, wincing after Jhudora’s outbreak. “I hope you’re feeling better after that fall. I didn’t know contacting Fyora would have made such a big mess of things.”
“Don’t worry, Jim,” the air faerie said with a smile. “She’s actually the one who healed me, so I guess it was a good thing you swooped on by.”
“Oh, speaking of swooping on by,” Jim exclaimed, his eyes widening, “Happy Birthday, Jesc. I know it’s a few days late, but it’s better late than never, I suppose.” He fiddled with his glasses. “I hope you liked the gift.”
“Er, about that,” Jhudora interrupted sheepishly, her voice strangely gruff. “You see, Jesc, while you were unconscious, I got a little bored and unwrapped most of your pre—”
A slight rustle to everyone’s left made Jhudora freeze. Jesc turned her head gently and spotted Mrs. Pierce slowly shifting, slipping out of dreamland and into the world of the awake.
“Oh d-dear,” Jim spluttered, taking a few steps backward. “She’s waking up, isn’t she?”
“That’s alright,” Jhudora muttered darkly, pulling her wand out from her sleeve. “I can fix that.”
“Jhudora, no!” Jesc scolded, reaching for the wand and cringing as pain shot through her broken arm.
But by then the fire faerie had already woken up, her scarlet eyes blinking as she gazed around the room. As realization dawned on her pointed features, slowly Mrs. Pierce propped herself up... but then her hand flew to her temple. Apparently she had one heck of a headache.
“Ugh,” she groaned, glancing over towards Jhudora. “What spell did you hit me with?”
“Not sure,” Jhudora answered, trying to restrain herself from attacking the fire faerie for a second time. “But I hope it hurt.”
“You always were good at spells,” Vermillion admitted slowly, massaging her head with her fingers. “At least, I think so.”
“Al-alright,” Jim mumbled, fixing his glasses as he turned away from Mrs. Pierce; he hadn’t forgotten the incident in the fall and how she had left him to rot in an oubliette overnight. “I-I think I’m g-gonna leave right now. There’s, er, business to attend to, and I have a pair of wealthy clients wandering aimlessly around this building. Feel better, Jesc. Goodbye, Jh-Jhudora.” He gave the two faeries a slight nod, pretending that Mrs. Pierce wasn’t there although his small body had broken out in tremors, and then the yellow Aisha scurried out of the room, clenching his glasses as he ran.
“I hope I didn’t scare him off,” Mrs. Pierce muttered gruffly under her breath.
Jesc stared at her former teacher curiously. She still looked the same as she had when she had taught her last year save for the wild, knotted hair and the askew glasses perched on her nose. But her voice was different. It was still low and guttural and somewhat harsh, but there was a different undertone, one full of reconciliation, even if it was rather grudging.
It was as if Mrs. Pierce really was trying to start over and have a fresh start.
Jhudora seemed to catch that too, and slipped her wand away, although her violet eyes remained wary.
“Listen,” Mrs. Pierce breathed, raking back her knotted hair, “Jesc, what happened out there... I didn’t mean it. I mean, yes, you two had gotten on my final nerve and I had been out of my mind for so long, but that burst of anger at the end, the spell I cast on you... it was uncalled for.” She looked ashamed admitting it, and her eyes remained downcast as a slight blush crept up onto her pale cheeks. “As hard as it is for me to say it: you were right. You always were, Jesc.”
“Hey, and what about me?” Jhudora asked.
Mrs. Pierce looked her over and smirked. “Jhudora, you’re still the most troublesome dark faerie I’ve ever met.”
Jhudora frowned. “That’s all?” Then she shrugged. “Whatever. I’ll take what I can get, as long as you finally get off our cases and let me live the rest of my life in peace.”
The fire faerie smiled half-heartedly. “Oh, you don’t need to worry about that. After the mess I’ve created, I’m pretty sure I won’t be seeing the light of day for a good thousand years.”
“Don’t worry,” Jesc piped up consolingly, “I put in a good word for you with Fyora.”
Vermillion laughed dryly, amused at the concept. “I highly doubt the Queen will listen to you, no offense, Jesc. But... thanks for the thought.”
Jesc shook her head. “No, I really think you stand a chance. Plus,” she raised her arm enclosed in the cast, “I’m perfectly fine! Sure I’ve gotten a few scrapes and bruises and broken bones, but I’m sure I’ll be all healed up in a couple of weeks, and I can testify if you want, and even bake cupcakes with mounds of vanilla icing on top to raise money to help you—and ooh! I almost forgot!” She thrust out her arm towards the two faeries. “Do you guys want to sign my cast?”
“Er...” Mrs. Pierce, said, her head still spinning, “no thanks.”
Jhudora merely shook her head. “I don’t do autographs.”
“Oh,” Jesc said, but she didn’t break a smile; it was against her nature. Especially when everything had worked out so well. Mrs. Pierce was attempting to make peace (somewhat), and Jhudora hadn’t blasted her to smithereens (yet). All in all, it was a good day.
“Hey,” Jesc asked, her curiosity piqued as she glanced to her left. “What’s that?”
The miniature wooden table at the side of her bed was overflowing with get-well gifts. There were candies, small presents from her birthday still wrapped despite Jhudora’s emotionally unstable day, and colorful cards urging her to recover quickly—even one from Arena, the young fire faerie who had tried to raffle her off as bait. But nestled among all of the goodies was a small glass vial filled with a swirling pink and purple mixture.
“It’s a sleeping draught,” Mrs. Pierce remarked through her glasses. “I believe Fyora left it for you to help you sleep and recover.”
Jesc picked up the potion bottle and uncorked it, taking a whiff of the contents. Almost immediately, her head began to swim and her eyelids grew heavy. “Alrighty, then,” she said with a smile, taking a sip of the sweet potion. “I’m off to bed. You two better not be fighting while I’m out.” She slid under the covers, a yawn twisting her mouth into a wide “O” as she closed her sky blue eyes. “Goodnight.”
A moment later, she was fast asleep.
Jhudora watched Jesc for a moment. She was slight and battered, but she knew the air faerie was a trooper; she’d recover within a matter of days and be back to her usual high-energy, annoying self.
Mrs. Pierce shook her head. “She’s an interesting one,” she murmured.
“You can say that again.” Jhudora turned slowly toward the fire faerie, appraising her with her eyes. Mrs. Pierce had been her enemy for so long, someone to loathe and hate, but now she just looked like a normal faerie. Finally.
“Hey, Mrs. Pierce,” she asked, her voice coming out a bit heavy. “What you said before, about me and Jesc being similar... did you mean it?”
Mrs. Pierce’s lips curled into an amused smile. “Of course I meant it. I mean, come on, Jhudora. You may think you’re a big and bad dark faerie, but there’s a lot about you that’s just like Jesc. Perseverance for one... although yours is a bit more like complete and utter obstinacy. Not to mention that you’re both not too bad at magic. And besides, if you and Jesc were complete opposites, I highly doubt you’d have put up with her for the past year and a half.” The fire faerie shrugged. “I would have wagered that she would be a Mortog by now.”
“Ehh, she’s too much of a sister to do that,” Jhudora mumbled, glancing at her sleeping form. “Although sometimes I really am tempted.”
Mrs. Pierce chuckled, and then slid herself deeper beneath the covers, suppressing a yawn. “No one’s perfect, Jhudora. No matter how hard we try, no one is.”
Jhudora stayed in the hospital wing for a few more minutes after Mrs. Pierce had fallen asleep. The room was completely quiet save for the soft sound of air entering and exiting their lungs as the faeries slept, and everything was bathed in a pinkish glow from the gently setting sun.
“I need to get going,” Jhudora mumbled to no one in particular, getting up from her chair. Gathering herself together, she adjusted her dress, fixed her hair in a mirror mounted on the wall, and helped herself to a few of the chocolates on the side table besides Jesc. The air faerie was sleeping peacefully, a smile on her face, and the cast on her arm was the same shade of blue as her gently curled wings.
Do you guys want to sign my cast?
Jhudora paused for a moment, and then glanced from left to right. Carefully, withdrawing her wand from her sleeve, she wrote a hasty scribble on Jesc’s arm and then fled, making her way out the Faerie Academy and into the fading sunlight.
When Jesc woke up later, she was greeted with a simple message written on her cast:
You’re pretty vo.