Sophie's Return: Part Five
Part Five: The Aftermath
After the castle siege, you might be wondering what happened to all your favorite characters. Well, you’re in luck, because here’s what:
After being taken to the new mayor of Neovia, Mr. Slytri was allowed to keep living in the city from the Haunted Woods only on these conditions: He may not produce any more schemes, his hazel eyes will stay that way, he must have a home out in the open, the castle will be emptied for all its contents, which will go to the brave heroes and heroines who got him here before ultimately being knocked down, and he must wear a tracker chip from the Virtupets Space Station to monitor his every move. If he should break any one of these rules, he will forever be banished from Neovia, and quite possibly the entire Haunted Woods as well. He has so far kept this trust but has been known to fiddle with his tracker chip in a feeble attempt to get it off. Every time, though, he has been the recipient of a small shock on his paw, and then he would promptly stop. As a temporary punishment before the rules and tracker chip, though, he had gone to the Secret Laboratory a few times, but as they only changed his strength and defense by little bits instead of transforming him into something weak or much more unsavory than a Lutari, they decided on another punishment for his actions.
Amery picked Reginald for the scholar job above many other top-notch people, although it remains unsure whether she did it because of the fact that he helped save her or because he was truly the smartest person and therefore most qualified for the pick. Multiple other candidates against Reginald have accused her of just picking him because he saved her life, but her muzzle is sealed. She has been inspired by Reginald, they say, to write a book, which she has; a novel about the Crumpetmonger. She remains headmistress of her college, Melton Acres Academy and has been reported to be working on another novel about the Almost Abandoned Attic.
Reginald grew on at the college Amery was headmistress of to become the professor of several different subjects, including Calculus and Literature, and the group of students one year asked them to help him study before they went on to an all-Neovian contest. Coincidentally or not, the team won first place that year. He has received many prizes for his work and was able, in his spare time, to publish another novel about the last lone nurse in Meepit Oaks Sanatorium, and a memoir of this ‘second Tale of Woe’ as he called it. He won two different awards for the books and is overloaded with agents and publishers. Currently he is writing a third novel and second memoir and gets roughly half an hour of sunlight each day, spending the other time he is awake down in the basement looking at publishing house and agent flyers all over the place, trying to decide which to take for the books.
Edmund and Alice, who were only lightly mentioned through the story, had quite a large aftermath for a brief appearance. Edmund, after his experience of being cramped into small places, he decided to help re-open the Meepit Oaks Sanatorium and make the cells more comfortable and help the mental patients be much calmer when faced with an enclosed area. This was, in all honesty, a coincidence that about three weeks before, Reginald’s novel about the place (while it was still closed) was published. Alice helped Edmund run the place, mainly by cleaning the dust and spyderwebs off of everything, clean off rust, take away anything uncomforting, and changing the sheets every so often. She would also help prepare the meals. The two of them ran the place alone, because after Reginald told them about the book (some say that they saw it on the shelf instead of Reginald telling them,) they decided to keep Meepit Oaks closed to the public, rather only letting those with a known mental patient know so they could bring the little pet to the clinic.
The little Zafara that worked at the Crumpetmonger had an odd descent from café worker after the next Tale of Woe. She continued her work, but leapt up at the sight of a green Ixi or brown Lupe or Kougra, eager to serve them, hoping that they were really Sophie, Bainsley, or Reginald. Once, when she saw a little brown Kougra, without thinking she didn’t ask them what they wanted, she just plopped down Iced Bundt Cake and a filled glass of Snowberry Tea. In a similar manner, she was always cautious of Lutari customers, and once refused to serve a smartly dressed one with a glossy brown coat. Shortly after that, she was fired and spent a week banging at the doors of the Crumpetmonger. In this time, Edmund and Alice came for a quiet sip of tea and eat of some pastries, and quietly took her away to Meepit Oaks in a padded cell made specifically for solitary confinement. She had to have soundproofing around her cell because of her endless rambling on about how she met the swamp witch and if they didn’t let her go she would call Sophie to turn them all into stink beetles.
The shopkeeper of Neovian Printing Press published several different magazines about how Sophie came back to save Neovia again, how she had an apprentice, and about the clever little Kougra with the sword that saved them all. These magazines, of course, were all in great demand and she managed to receive so much money off of it that she expanded her business times two and was able to make a name for herself, no longer gossiping to the occasional customer, but rather is now demanded for all the latest Neovian books and magazines and is trusted as a publisher (she is one who offered to publish Reginald’s next books rather than having him self-publishing like he did with his first three.)
Sophie remains residing in her swamp and has lived a fairly normal life ever since the next Tale of Woe, which she says was ‘nothing compared to the first.’ She claims that is so because unlike the last time, she had another little witch as a helper and actually had an idea of what is going on besides her childhood memories when her brother and apprentice embarked on the castle siege. She started out keeping the dagger but then discovered that she had no use for it and giving it to Bainsley. Since her now-busy family can’t go visit her all too often, she is frequently asked what it’s like without family around every so often. Her reply? “What are you talking about? She’s my family now, and she’s with me every day.” This, of course, she said while pointing at Bainsley. The swamp witch has twice as high demand for her potions and sometimes seems overworked, but is always happy to serve. The citizens of Neovia claim that having a peace-loving little kid around all the time has mellowed Sophie, but she’ll just huff and deny it if you accused her of being calmer and happier in general.
The apprentice of the swamp witch herself started out remaining to give Sophie what she wanted and occasionally helping with brewing, but after her skill increased, Sophie would begin letting her have more liberties, even occasionally letting the little brown Kougra take over completely for a few minutes while she made some food for them so they could eat, drink, and relax after the potion was finished and stored. Eventually instead of helping, Bainsley began working on some of her potions entirely, and now they work together in a partnership to get everyone’s needs done. Bainsley has memorized the name, number, appearance, place, and purpose of every ingredient in Sophie’s potions and is always eager to help out. She has also learned magic outside of potions and was able to expand the shack enough that there was more room for all of Sophie’s petpets, enough space for a full-out potion section instead of just a corner in the shack, and of course another bedroom (even the most selfless of little girls has a request once in a while, after all.) She, too, treats the swamp witch like her family and they will frequently go out together not as witch and apprentice, not even witch and witch, but rather as sister and sister.
Bruno is the only one whose fate remains a mystery. Some say he resorted back to his cave after the next Tale of Woe because he couldn’t bear a life of popularity considering his mutated state. Others claim that he mysteriously died afterwards. Others claim that he is the one who makes sure that the Zafara worker who was fired from the Crumpetmonger is securely confined to her padded cell and the one who threatens her with his grotesque face and stature whenever she screams to all the others (sometimes even soundproofing from magic and Sloth’s space station fails.) Still others claim that he is now a strong man for the gypsies. In whatever case, he has not been heard from publicly in Neovia ever since a week after the castle siege. Before his disappearance, he was always friendly and would answer whatever questions people gave him. (That’s why one theory about him running away to flee the paparazzi was instantly rejected.)
So ends the next Tale of Woe,
And now good listeners, off you go!