The Prophecy Faeries 2: Imagen's Revenge - Part One
PART ONE: THE VISION
An air faerie with pale blond hair walked slowly down the halls of Faerie Heights Academy for Magical Study. She carried a few books, like most of the other students. Unlike the other students, however, she walked alone. The faeries around her were chatting and greeting friends, but this faerie did not seem to notice her classmates. Her unnaturally large eyes, a clouded blue in colour, did not focus on any particular face.
The faerie’s name was Clarisse, and she was certainly no ordinary faerie. Clarisse and her three best friends were world-renowned heroes, having defeated a dark sorcerer only a month before. However, this was not the most extraordinary thing about Clarisse.
Clarisse had visions of present or future events, she sensed the emotions and feelings of those around her, and, occasionally, she could even read the thoughts and memories of people nearby. She had tried to keep her abilities a secret as much as possible, but recently she had been forced to use them as she and her friends faced dark magic.
Despite her new celebrity status, most students were still wary of her. Even now, as she walked down the hall, people parted around her, keeping their distance. She could feel the curiosity, uncertainty, and even fear that filled them as they noticed her. She had never been popular before, but these feelings had intensified ever since people began to realize what she could do. Walking to and from class each day had become a miserable experience; she felt as though a spotlight beamed down upon her.
She searched the feelings of those near her, looking for a happy emotion. Finally, she found a faerie who had not taken notice of her, but was near enough that Clarisse could clearly sense her emotions.
She was a small earth faerie, in her first year at the Academy. Her shoulder-length brown hair parted around her heart-shaped, perfectly complexioned face. Small and petite, the faerie was pretty, even by faerie standards. Clarisse thought she looked familiar, but couldn’t think of where she’d met this faerie before.
Clarisse paused beside a water fountain so that she could observe the faerie more closely. The earth faerie was selecting the books she would need for her homework that night, oblivious to the other faeries around her. Suddenly, two identical light faeries emerged from the crowd and approached the earth faerie.
Clarisse, as well as everyone else in Faerie Heights, knew the light faeries well. They were identical twins named Harmony and Melody. Though they were intelligent, beautiful, and popular, Clarisse and her friends disliked them, for they often acted arrogant around their fellow classmates.
Though the twins were adored by students and teachers alike, Clarisse had noticed that the twins were interested in associating only with the prettiest, richest, or most popular faeries in the Academy. Clarisse’s best friend Bernadette had many unpleasant nicknames for the twins’ group of friends, such as “The Shallow Elite” and “The Musical Clones”. The nicknames, Clarisse noted, were not entirely inaccurate.
Clarisse could only hear snatches of the conversation from where she stood, but it didn’t matter; by focusing her attention (and her mind-reading power) on the three faeries, she was able to understand what was being said.
When the twins approached and greeted the earth faerie, Clarisse noticed that she seemed to be feeling nervous at their sudden interest in her.
“We just wanted to invite you to a study party on Friday,” Melody was saying.
The twins continued to describe their party, insisting that the earth faerie would enjoy it. Though their voices sounded enthusiastic, Clarisse could feel other, less pleasant emotions hiding beneath the surface, but she was unable to pinpoint them.
“Sounds great,” said the earth faerie, sounding as nervous as she felt.
“See you there,” said the twins simultaneously.
“Room 151 on the Light Faerie Floor,” Harmony added as they walked away.
“And so another innocent enters the realm of the Beautified Zombies,” said a familiar voice from behind Clarisse. The voice belonged to a dark faerie. Her short hair was black with tints of purple, bringing out the black-and-purple swirls of colour in her eyes.
“Hey, Dette,” Clarisse replied without looking behind her.
Bernadette grinned. “You’d think they’d invite us too, since we saved them from being hypnotized by a dark sorcerer and all,” she said sarcastically.
Clarisse, who was still focused on the earth faerie, did not respond at first. “Does that earth faerie look familiar to you?” Clarisse asked.
Bernadette rolled her eyes. “The twins’ clones all look the same. Let’s go.” She tugged Clarisse away, and they headed off to their dormitory.
Even more faeries took notice of them now; everyone knew who they were, simply because no other dark faeries and air faeries walked together through the halls. Audible gasps and unabashed stares issued from various faeries around them. It made Clarisse realize why the scene she had just witnessed was unusual: light faeries had just invited an earth faerie to a party. At Faerie Heights, different kinds of faeries didn’t often mix.
As the stares continued, Bernadette began to grow irritated. “Stop staring before I hex you,” she snapped at a small, open-mouthed faerie. The faerie’s eyes widened, and she fled down a corridor as Bernadette laughed in amusement.
“You act so much like a dark faerie sometimes,” Clarisse commented. Bernadette immediately stopped laughing. Having been occasionally subjected to the cruelty of dark faeries herself, she often tried to prove that, despite being a dark faerie, she was not an evil faerie. She took being compared to dark faeries as a great insult, and though she knew Clarisse had been teasing, she found her comment unsettling.
Before long, Clarisse and Bernadette reached the main floor of the school, situated on the fourth floor of the seven-story building, directly in the center of the Academy. It was here that Clarisse and Bernadette lived, along with their two best friends, Victoria and Hortensia.
They were several feet from the entrance of the dormitory when Clarisse stopped suddenly. “What is it?” Bernadette demanded.
“I just realized why that faerie looked familiar,” gasped Clarisse. “I can’t believe I didn’t realize it before....”
“Realize what?” asked Bernadette exasperatedly.
“That earth faerie that Harmony and Melody were talking to... she’s Tenny’s little sister, Elesempra.”
Bernadette considered this for a moment. “You’re right,” she said after a moment, “that was Ella. I forgot that she started her first year in the Academy a few months ago. Do you think we should tell Tenny that her little sister is hanging out with the Musical Clones?”
“I don’t know,” Clarisse said. “There’s nothing wrong with her hanging out with them, exactly... I wouldn’t mention it, except I felt a little of what the twins were feeling.... It didn’t seem like they were just being nice and offering her an invitation. There was an ulterior motive of some kind.”
“Maybe we should just casually mention it to Tenny,” Bernadette said, “and let her handle it if she thinks she needs to. It’s her little sister, after all, and none of our business.”
The two faeries resumed walking to their room. As Bernadette fumbled in her bag for the room key, Clarisse mused, “Orfanthea doesn’t hang out with the twins, does she?” Orfanthea was Hortensia’s other sister, who was a year younger than Hortensia but older than Elesempra.
“I don’t think so. Their group is mostly just light faeries. Why does it matter?” She produced the key at last and slid it into the lock.
“I was just wondering. I hope they’re not befriending Ella because they know she’s Tenny’s sister, and we’re kind of famous now.”
“Why not just befriend us and Tenny then, if it’s the fame they’re after?” Bernadette asked as she swung open the door. Clarisse frowned, deep in thought, and did not answer.
Clarisse and Bernadette shared one dorm room, while Victoria and Hortensia shared another. Connecting the two rooms was a small living area that all four of them shared, with a bathroom and closet at each end. Though the bedrooms could be closed off from each other, they always kept the doors open, creating one large living space for the four of them.
When they entered their room, Clarisse walked to the far wall and cracked open the room’s only window, letting a soft breeze waft in. Her side of the room was closest to the window, where she could feel the breeze easily. Clarisse and Bernadette sat down on the sofa and began to chat absently, waiting for their friends to arrive.
After several minutes, the door to the second bedroom opened and a water faerie rushed in, tossing her books haphazardly to the floor by her bed before walking into the living area. She looked as if she’d walked in out of a rainstorm; her clothes were soaked, and her damp blond hair dripped water onto the floor.
“What happened this time?” Bernadette asked. “I thought your lessons were supposed to be helping with this.”
Victoria had a peculiar imbalance of magic; though she was exceptionally powerful at certain spells like conjuring water, she found their opposites, like vanishing water, to be exceptionally difficult. For years, Victoria had had a problem with conjuring excessive amounts of water accidentally, soaking either herself or those around her. With the proper personalized training in private lessons, however, Victoria was learning to master her powers.
“It wasn’t an accident,” she said defensively. “Some fire faeries set a classroom on fire. I was nearby, and a professor asked me to put it out. I just got a little wet in the process.”
“Obviously,” Bernadette said dryly. “You’re getting water all over the carpet.”
“Oh well,” said Victoria dismissively, pulling her tangled curls up in a messy bun to keep them from dripping. As she picked up an algebra book from where she’d tossed it to the floor, she announced dramatically, “I’ve decided that algebra is the root of all evil!” She plopped onto a chair, looking grimly at the book. “Seriously,” she continued as her friends laughed, “it’s terrible! No one with any sanity actually likes algebra.”
“Actually, approximately fifteen point eight percent of Neopians polled said they enjoy algebra,” said Bernadette, who seemed to remember the statistics of any poll she’d ever read.
“No way,” said Victoria, settling into a chair beside Clarisse. “I don’t believe it.”
“Numbers don’t lie,” said Bernadette.
“You always say that.”
“And anyway, I’m sure the fifteen point eight percent of people who said that are insane and/or evil. That’s my point. No one sane likes algebra.”
“I like algebra okay,” said Bernadette, “as well as math in general.”
“My point exactly. You’re insane,” teased Victoria, just as the bedroom door opened and the final member of their quartet walked in. Hortensia was an earth faerie with long auburn hair, which was streaked with green and brown, and deep brown eyes, often seen with a large pile of books balanced precariously in her arms.
“What crazy thing did you do this time, Dette?” Hortensia called as she placed her books carefully on her desk and aligned them perfectly. She then walked over to the living space, where she could see Bernadette, who was still sitting on her bed.
“Nothing,” said Bernadette. “It’s Tori who’s lost her mind.”
“Tenny,” said Victoria, “please take pity on me and help me with algebra.”
Hortensia agreed; before long, she was teaching all three of her friends how to factor algebraic equations.
An hour later, Hortensia glanced up from her homework to see that Clarisse was standing in front of the bathroom door, a studious look on her face. She was staring at a large poster board that Hortensia had hung up the week before.
A month earlier, the four faeries had been told the story of a prophetess named Khorianna who lived over five hundred years ago. Before she died, Khorianna had written three prophecies about four “prophecy faeries” who would save Neopia. The first prophecy had turned out to be true, and the four friends realized that they were the faeries that the prophecies referred to. Shortly after defeating the sorcerer Dinusa, they had read the second of Khorianna’s prophecies, convinced that this one would come true as well.
Hortensia had carefully copied the second prophecy onto poster board and hung it on the bathroom door for all of them to see. Because the prophecies were cryptic, the four faeries needed to interpret the meaning of the second prophecy so that they would be prepared for what was coming. Tacked all over the poster board were scraps of paper with their notes as they tried to figure out what the prophecy might mean. The prophecy read:
After the great battle
Against their first foe,
The Prophecy Faeries
Attempt to overthrow
The ruling apprentice,
The Conquering One,
The one who has gained
The power of the Sun.
Beware the duet
Who cloak darkness with light,
For too soon they will grant
The Conqueror’s might.
Beware the Dragon
With the sky on his wings
For the war will commence
When the informer sings.
“What are you thinking about, Claire?” Hortensia asked curiously when she saw Clarisse standing before the poster.
“I’m not sure,” she said slowly. “Something’s bothering me, but I can’t figure out what it is.”
“Why don’t prophecies ever make sense?” asked Bernadette. “I suppose it would have been too much trouble to write, ‘Go to this place and defeat so-and-so on this day at this time, or you’ll all die.’”
“It’s certainly less optimistic than the last,” Victoria noted grimly. “At least the last one made it sound like defeating Dinusa was a possibility. This one makes it sound like we’re going to be defeated.”
“It doesn’t say we’ll be defeated, exactly,” Clarisse mused. “It just says ‘the war will commence.’”
“If the ‘informer sings’,” Hortensia added, gazing at the last few lines. “Not that we have any idea what that means.”
“Why can’t prophecies use names, instead of stupid titles?” complained Bernadette. “If I was writing the prophecy, it would say, ‘hey, Claire, Tenny, Dette, and Tori, make sure you tell Fyora to arrest Imagen so he can’t escape and kill you all.’”
Imagen was Dinusa’s apprentice, another sorcerer whose powers were unknown. Though they had defeated Dinusa and her mentor, Imagen had escaped, and had yet to be found. They all suspected that the “ruling apprentice” might be Imagen.
“If only Hentoff were here,” said Clarisse sadly. “Maybe he knows more about what it means.”
In addition to being their former history professor, Hentoff was a five-hundred-year-old Draik with magical powers. He had helped them interpret the meaning of the previous prophecy and had helped them battle three sorcerers. However, Hentoff had never recovered from the battle. He was currently lying in a Faerieland hospital in a coma; doctors at the hospital were unsure if he would ever regain consciousness.
“Well, I don’t know about you all,” said Bernadette, “but I’m starving. Let’s go eat dinner.”
Her friends agreed, and the four of them left the room and headed off to dinner. Clarisse was the last to leave. She lingered beside the poster a moment longer, staring gloomily at the words. She had a peculiar feeling that the answer was right in front of her, but it had slipped out of her grasp.
Clarisse awoke abruptly around midnight. She sat up and glanced curiously about the room, wondering what had awakened her. In the dim light provided by the moon shining through the window, she could see the huddled shape of Bernadette, sleeping soundly in her bed. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary.
Deciding to open the window and let a breeze into the room, she rose softly, stood, and headed for the window, but she had taken only a few steps when suddenly a familiar feeling of numbness consumed her. She knew what was coming, but there was nothing she could do to prepare herself.
The room blacked out, and she fell to the floor, unable to hold herself upright as she was possessed by the power of her vision. There was no room for thought above the pounding in her head. After a minute, she forgot where she was entirely as the scene of the future unfolded before her.
She was in a typical dormitory somewhere in Faerie Heights. The room was crowded with light faeries who were giggling and chatting aimlessly. Slightly isolated from them, an earth faerie sat and watched the light faeries, unable or unwilling to join in their conversation. Clarisse recognized her as the same faerie she’d seen in the hallway that afternoon: Hortensia’s younger sister Elesempra.
Clarisse instantly recognized two light faeries at the front of them room as Harmony and Melody. She realized that she was witnessing the study party that the twins had invited Elesempra to when Clarisse had seen them.
Everyone fell silent as the twins called everyone to attention and began to speak. “Welcome to the second meeting of the Advanced Faerie Magic Club,” Melody began.
“Remember,” Harmony added, “that our only rule is not to tell anyone about this club. We wouldn’t want the teachers to forbid us from practicing magic.”
“Also,” said Melody, “we don’t want anyone getting jealous that they weren’t invited. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. So, if you’d all promise again not to tell anyone—”
All the faeries shouted out that they would agree to keep the club a secret.
“All right,” Harmony said, “let’s get this meeting started!” She and Melody sat down beside their friends.
“So,” said Melody, “for our new members, we’re going to explain everything again. This is a very special kind of club. It’s a magic club.”
“We already do magic in school all day,” someone groaned. “What’s so special about it?”
“This isn’t ordinary magic,” said Harmony impatiently. “We’ve recently met a very powerful magician named Drake. Drake knows all kinds of amazing things about magic, things they never teach you in school. Drake has been passing all of this information on to us, and we decided to start this club to share all of these spells.”
“Every time Drake teaches us a new spell, we’ll share it with all of you, and we’ll all practice it. Before long, we’ll be the most talented faeries in the entire school, because we’ll know so much more magic than everyone else,” said Melody.
“But there is one small catch,” said Harmony. “Drake is a scholar, and he’s learning all about unusual kinds of magic. He would appreciate it if, in exchange for his teaching us all these spells, we give him any information we might come across about unusual magic.”
“Ella, come over here,” Melody called, looking at the earth faerie. Elesempra rose and sat beside Melody in the circle of light faeries.
“We’ve invited Ella here, not only because she’s a very powerful faerie, but also because Drake is especially interested in the magic of the Prophecy Faeries, and Ella is sister to one of the Prophecy Faeries, right, Ella?” said Melody.
“Drake thinks that the Prophecy Faeries have a very unusual sort of magic,” added Harmony, “and we could learn a lot from them. However, when we asked the Prophecy Faeries to tell us about their spells, they refused to meet with us. So, we were hoping that Ella might persuade them to share some information with her about their special magic. We can give that information to Drake, and in exchange he’ll teach us all kinds of advanced spells.”
“You’ll do that for us, won’t you, Ella?” asked Melody.
Before Clarisse could hear Elesempra’s reply, the scene began to fade. Clarisse awoke slowly from her daze as her regular vision returned and she became aware of where she was. Her three friends, who had awoken when they heard her fall, were crouched around her.
Clarisse kept her eyes closed, wanting to think about her vision before she explained it to her friends. The entire thing seemed eerie, almost surreal, and Clarisse had a terrible sense of foreboding. Somehow, she knew that the scene she had just witnessed had something to do with the prophecy.
“Are you okay, Claire?” asked Victoria when Clarisse finally opened her eyes.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Clarisse said, “but you’re never going to believe what I just saw.”
To be continued...