Young Jhudora and Queen Fyora: Part Nine
The green fire quickly subsided, save for a few patches that continued to ‘burn’ on rocks against the wall. Jhudora slowly fell to her knees, laughing. She brushed some of the completely harmless fire off of her shoulder. It was just decorative, but it still made her feel powerful.
Besides, the completely harmless fire had no way of hurting Illusen. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, waiting for Illusen to say something. However, instead of Illusen’s voice, she heard a frantic chirping. She looked down and gasped. At her knees was a brown Miamouse, angrily flailing its tiny arms around.
"Illusen?!" Jhudora called out. The Miamouse let out an ear piercing shriek.
"Oh no, Oh NO! Oh no!" Jhudora quickly grabbed the Miamouse and held it up to her face. She stared into the Petpet's eyes before whispering, "I turned Illusen into a Miamouse."
Illusen angrily nodded her oversized head as Jhudora quickly jumped to her feet. Jhudora quickly wrapped her wings around her body so that Illusen couldn’t jump out of her hands. She began to pace.
"What do I do?!" Jhudora called out, "What can I do?!"
Jhudora took a deep breath. She could simply turn Illusen back into a faerie. Or not. Transfiguration spells were difficult enough with basic food; she couldn’t imagine the horrors if she messed up the spell. Besides, it took extreme rage to turn Illusen into a Miamouse. Jhudora didn’t know if she could build up that much rage again.
Pretending Illusen just disappeared was out of the question. The Earth Elder would declare war until Illusen was recovered.
Even if Jhudora turned Illusen back into a faerie, it would take a mind control spell to keep her from telling everyone what happened. Jhudora heard stories of botched mind control spells causing more damage than a transfiguration spell ever could.
It didn’t help that Illusen began to gnaw on Jhudora’s hand. Jhudora made up her mind, and the Miamouse biting her just made her more resolute. She closed her eyes and for the first time, she teleported.
Fyora hummed as she touched up her makeup in front of her vanity mirror. As she was applying her lipstick, there was a flash of green followed by a massive bang. Fyora turned on her heels, swiping the lavender lipstick across her cheek in the process. As her eyes adjusted, she gasped. Jhudora was lying on her side, collapsed on her floor as if she were a rag doll, her body still wrapped in her wings. From inside the protective blanket of her wings, there was an incessant chirping.
Fyora rushed to Jhudora’s side and fell to her knees. Jhudora slowly opened her eyes and looked up at Fyora. She stretched the one wing that wasn’t pinned to the floor so that the Miamouse could escape.
The Miamouse angrily flailed her arms at Fyora, shrieking all the while.
"Illusen," Jhudora groaned, her words slurring, "Is the Miamouse."
Fyora’s eyes widened as she looked down at Illusen. She stared in shock as Illusen jumped up and down with her teeth bared. Fyora sighed and picked up the Miamouse by the scruff of the neck. She opened one of the drawers under her vanity and gave it a quick inspection to make sure there was nothing important in it. She quickly dropped Illusen among her makeup and kicked the door shut. She sat down next to Jhudora and took a deep breath.
"Tele. . ." Jhudora muttered, "Teleport . . ."
"Yes," Fyora bowed her head as her thoughts began to race.
At the front of her mind was the look of terror on Luma’s face when she realized what power Jhudora had. Fyora was conflicted on whether she was in the right or wrong. This child who she had begun to see as her own had just turned someone into a Petpet. As she couldn’t hear Jhudora’s side of the story, all she could do was imagine her own.
She slowly stood and made her way to her window seat. She sat down on it and stared out of the window. The first possibility was the worst. Jhudora got sick of Illusen and turned her into a Miamouse. The second possibility was barely better. Jhudora used self defence and purposefully transformed Illusen. The next worst was even more worrying to Fyora. Perhaps Jhudora accidentally tried to turn someone else into a Miamouse and hit Illusen instead. While self-defense was a possibility, the memory of Luma’s face made her fear the worst.
A muffled thud grabbed Fyora’s attention. She turned around towards the source. Jhudora’s wing had fallen to the floor. She was twitching slightly as she tried to curl up into a ball, hindered by the wing that was pinned beneath her. Fyora slowly stood and made her way to Jhudora before gently picking her up and laying her on her bed. Fyora glanced over Jhudora and smiled softly. In that moment, she knew that Jhudora couldn’t have done it with malice.
She remembered the first time she had pushed her magic so far that she became physically ill. She was stuck in bed for days, waiting for her head to stop spinning.
From the vanity, Illusen’s chirps became deafening shrieks. Fyora glanced back at the vanity and sighed. She walked back to the vanity and opened the drawer. She pulled out Illusen before making her way out of the room to find a better place to hide the Petpet.
Jhudora slowly opened her eyes. The setting sun threw warm, orange sunbeams over her body. Her brain was fried and all she could think about was how comfortable she was. She didn’t know where she was, nor did she know why she should care about that fact. She simply knew that she was comfortable.
Fyora stood up from the chair at the foot of the bed. Fyora slowly made her way to Jhudora’s side. Jhudora slowly sat up and hung her head. She remembered where she was, and she remembered why she was there.
"So, you teleported for the first time," Fyora whispered, "And not just that, but you used a homing spell also."
Jhudora sighed and nodded. She looked up at the ceiling, fighting back tears. "I was so scared, but I guess dark faeries don’t really benefit from being scared."
Fyora took a deep breath before asking in a normal tone, "Why did you do it?"
"Well," Jhudora closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "I was an idiot. I didn’t like oatmeal, so I used magic to make it into food I liked. I hid in the bathroom, but my magic makes a really bright light when I use it. So she was on to me. So she pretended to be my friend, and I was too stupid to tell her off. She trapped me in a cave and told me that she knew that you were protecting me and she’d have you dethroned, so I was an idiot and ran away. But then I thought about the Dark Elder and how she could have stopped all of this by having a spine . . . and I was angry at the person who loved me the most . . . and I tried to do a completely pointless, impressive type spell to do . . . to do . . ." Jhudora opened her eyes as she trailed off.
Fyora sat down next to Jhudora and nodded slightly. "You were so angry. You don’t know why you did what you did. You didn’t know what you were doing while you were doing it."
"I know why," Jhudora looked over to Fyora, "Because I was angry. If the Elder had just fought for a few days longer, you would have saved us."
Fyora pulled her hand to her mouth and nervously started to bite her knuckle. She didn’t know how to respond to that. Of course, there was the chance that the Elder fighting would have postponed the coronation. There was a possibility that Fyora could have reasoned with the former Queen.
"If the Elder had just said, ‘we’re going somewhere scary, but I need you by my side,’" Jhudora took a deep breath, "Then your position wouldn’t be threatened."
Fyora bit down harder. She knew where the dark faeries had gone, and she knew that Jhudora would have been separated from her Elder. If she told Jhudora about what truly was happening, Jhudora would be even more broken. Fyora pulled her knuckle from her mouth and stood. She slowly surveyed the room, trying to think of what the appropriate response was. She had only been the Queen of Faerieland for a few months. Her powers as Queen were constantly undercut by the Elders taking care of their own and making up their own rules. She rarely had to have an answer, let alone a right one.
So instead, Fyora began to sing. Her voice was as smooth as silk as she sang the Dark Hymn. Jhudora looked down at the bed before bursting into sobs that wracked her entire body. Fyora glanced back at Jhudora. She continued to sing as she sat down next to the dark faerie and pulled her into a hug. Fyora stared out the window as she finished the first verse. Then she continued on to the second, then the third, and then the fourth, until she was singing words that Jhudora had never heard before. Jhudora was slowly able to stop her tears. Fyora closed her eyes as she sang the final note.
"The Dark Hymn came from an ancient book," Fyora’s eyes remained closed as she stood, "An ancient book from shortly after dark faeries first united Fae-kind."
Jhudora looked up at Fyora and gasped. No one had ever said anything to that effect.
"Dark faeries were written out of history and pushed out of Faerieland. The first dark faerie diaspora was in the Haunted Woods," Fyora nodded her head slowly as she remembered, "The passage the song comes from were the lamentations of the diaspora. It was of the heartbreak of being forced out of the world they created. It was of the pain of taming an inhospitable land. It was of the glory of their old home."
Jhudora felt tears rolling down her cheeks once again. She had spent her life singing that song without any sense of reverence.
"But through the years," Fyora turned towards Jhudora, "It became a song of empowerment. It was proof that dark faeries could overcome anything."
Jhudora smiled softly, "Do you think I can overcome anything?"
"Well, Jhudora," Fyora laughed, "I think that you have a better chance than I do."
"So, Jhudora," Fyora took a deep breath, "How can we overcome this?"
Jhudora slowly stood. She walked towards the window and stared out at The Academy in the distance.
"The Elders will wonder about Illusen," Jhudora stated, "And they will blame me. And since it’s your job to keep them safe from me, they will blame you. You need to banish me."
Fyora’s eyes widened. "No!" She began to pace, "If I banish you, I fail you. You’ve done nothing wrong, and I can’t reconnect you with the faeries you need to be with to survive."
Jhudora hummed softly before glancing back at Fyora. "They fear me, correct?" Fyora nodded wildly as Jhudora continued on. "If they fear me, you have an easy way to banish me while keeping me close. Send me back to my ghetto. Put up red tape and don’t let me leave. They’ll forget someday." Jhudora chuckled slightly before adding, "And banish Illusen for her safety. I don’t like her, and she doesn’t like you."
Fyora laughed softly. Jhudora was wise beyond her years and was making plans for her!
"But Fyora," Jhudora took a deep breath, "Promise me you’ll visit?"
"Oh . . ." In that moment, it truly hit Fyora. She had allowed this child’s entire world to be ripped away from her. She then threw her into a hostile world where she could never truly be happy. No matter how wise she seemed, she was still a child, and Fyora had broken her. "I will. I promise you, every week, I will be there. . . until you get sick of me." She forced a smile and pulled Jhudora into a hug.
"So," Jhudora leaned against Fyora as she asked, "Are you ready for your first performance?"
Illusen slowly opened her eyes and looked down at her hands. She had a strange feeling that something had been wrong with her body, but she couldn’t remember what. She was back in her proper faerie body, lying on a cot behind a curtain in Fyora’s throne room. She slowly sat up, her head throbbing.
Next to her was Fyora, holding a glass of water. "Illusen," Fyora gasped, "I was so worried - I am so glad to see you awake!"
Illusen took the water and slowly drank it. She stared at Fyora as she tried to remember how she had gotten to this point. She had a vague memory of being in a cave with Jhudora, but she didn’t remember why she was there. Fyora held out her hand and smiled softly.
"No," Illusen hissed, "Why am I here?"
"Oh, Illusen," Fyora sighed dramatically, "You saw Jhudora do something so awful, she did one of the worst things possible and wiped your memory so that you wouldn’t tell anyone. But I was smart. I knew it was the evil faerie that hurt you. So, I’m going to punish her in front of everyone."
"Oh," Illusen smirked as she stood up from the cot. She stumbled a bit, her head spinning. She wanted to be witty, but she really just felt like she was going to be sick.
Fyora took Illusen’s hand and led her out to in front of Fyora’s throne where Jhudora stood in chains.
Fyora cleared her throat and looked out at the crowd. The entire student body and faculty of the Academy was there, along with some of the most influential faeries in Faerieland. This was Fyora’s chance to prove herself to all of them.
"My dear subjects," Fyora paused dramatically. "The old adage is that you should keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
The crowd sat in hushed awe at the Queen’s booming and authoritative voice.
"Sadly, I believed it," Fyora turned towards Jhudora and gestured towards her. Jhudora gave Fyora a well-rehearsed glare of contempt. Both Fyora and Jhudora had to use all of their strength to not break out of character. "The truth is that you cannot mix your enemies and your friends. I believed that by keeping our enemy close, we could change her. We could make her assimilate. But we could not. We simply allowed one of our brightest, and most valuable, minds to be put in danger."
Jhudora cackled madly. Fyora had told her it was alright for her to do it, as it would make her seem more evil. Even if it wasn’t an act, Jhudora would have still laughed. Every time someone called Illusen smart, Jhudora just remembered all of the wildly incorrect answers Illusen gave in class.
Fyora spun on her heel and rushed to Illusen’s side. She grabbed Illusen’s hand and raised it to the sky. "This clever individual was gravely hurt by Jhudora," Fyora paused to let the gasps of the audience subside. "Illusen saw Jhudora do something so evil that Jhudora had to risk Illusen’s life and wiped her mind. We are lucky that Illusen only lost a day’s worth of memories." Fyora shot a burning glare towards Jhudora, "If her spell had worked as she likely intended, Illusen would have been reduced to the state of an infant."
The crowd rose to their feet and began to scream at the chained dark faerie. Jhudora began to make mocking faces at them. Fyora glanced over at Jhudora and bit her tongue so that she wouldn’t burst out into laughter. Even when Jhudora was trying to contort her face into a threatening state, she still looked like an innocent child playing pretend.
"Silence!" Fyora bellowed out. She took a deep breath and pointed at Jhudora again. "I know what you want! I know you want her thrown into the dungeons of Darigan! But my subjects," Fyora stepped away from Illusen and towards the center of her makeshift stage. She held out her arms and continued, "If we lock her away where we cannot see her, she will simply think of ways to harm us in the future. She will explore Neopia, searching for spells powerful enough to destroy us. We cannot banish her from out of our sight if we value our lives!"
"Where will we put her?!" A lone voice screamed out from the back of the audience, "I don’t want her here!"
Fyora cleared her throat and clasped her hands. "We will put her where we put her kind for years. The Dark Ghetto."
The crowd gasped in unison. The Earth Elder stood and turned towards the crowd. She shouted out, "Imprison the dark scum in the ghetto!" The crowd stood up, roaring in approval.
Jhudora smirked as Fyora held out her arms again, "But subjects! While we can safely lock Jhudora away, we cannot safely allow Illusen to remain in Faerieland!"
The Earth Elder spun around abruptly.
"But Earth Elder," Fyora cooed, "She will be the guardian of the forests of Meridell. She will be the Faerie Queen to every Neopian that sets foot in the entire kingdom!"
Illusen stared blankly out at the crowd. She couldn’t process what Fyora was saying. She turned to Fyora and simply stammered, "I’d . . . I’d be the . . . the Queen?"
"Oh, Illusen, yes!" Fyora grabbed Illusen’s had, kneeling down to her eye level, "You would be safe from the evil Jhudora, and you would protect Meridell as I protect Faerieland."
A giant grin crept across Illusen’s face. It was her dream to be in total control. Fyora was promising her a life of bossing around Neopians without any faeries to tell her what she was doing was wrong.
"Yes!" Illusen jumped into the air, her pure joy causing her to float above the floor as her wings fluttered, "Yes!"
Jhudora hung her head so that no one could see her smile. Illusen’s controlling personality had saved everything.
"Earth Elder," Fyora called out, "Assemble a team to take Illusen to her new home!" As the Earth Elder began to make her way into the crowd to recruit faeries, Fyora snapped her fingers and shouted, "Light Guard, take the scum back to her pond!"
As soon as the Light Guards unlocked Jhudora’s chains in front of her old cottage, she simply turned and made her way into her childhood home. The light faeries watched as she opened the door, made her way in, and then shut the door behind her. Jhudora sat down next to the window and watched them fly away.
She glanced at the spot where the pile of food had been. It had all been eaten by the bartamuses that brought it. She smiled softly, thankful that they had cleaned up that problem for her.
She looked around the cottage and sighed. She knew she was going to have a lot of free time, and she knew that she was going to be very, very alone.
To be continued...