Cordelia woke up, disoriented at first. Where was she? A damp cave. Granite Falls. The retired sage. All of last night rushed back to her. She felt the dried tears on her cheeks. The two puncture wounds on her neck where Micah drank from her.
Where was Micah anyway? She looked around the cave. If he’d left it, it had to be night time already. She headed for the cave entrance to see if he was outside.
She was greeted by the stary night, but Micah was nowhere to be seen. Did he just leave her? He was adamant that she should go back home before they hid away in the cave, said he’d be leaving Glimmerbrook for good. Perhaps he’d decided to get a head start.
She started making her way back home, following the woodland path towards the lake. Did this mean last night was the last she’d seen of Micah? The thought made her feel incredibly alone. She’d hoped he would stay with her, although she wasn’t sure why.
Cordelia rubbed her fingers over the puncture marks again. He could have killed her last night… but once again, he hadn’t. Still, from everything she’d learned about him, it was clear she was better off with him gone. So why did it not feel that way? Why did she still think that he’d make living I the house Morgyn conjured more bearable? Although she couldn’t really bear to allow herself to think of Morgyn.
She saw a dark silhouette by the water’s edge. Relief washed over her as she realised who it was.
“You left me!” She cried out. Why was she reacting this way? He didn’t owe her anything, and had every right to move on. At best, she was prey to him, at worst, she was the girl that got his lover killed.
“I had to hunt.” He turned towards her. “I couldn’t risk staying in the cave with you when… you know. Not after last night. So I took a little trip to the campground. Everyone’s fine.” He added quickly, as if to reassure her.
Somehow, the campers weren’t really at the forefront of Cordelia’s mind. He wasn’t leaving her, then. “So… you were going to come back?”
Micah nodded. “I had a lot of time to think while you slept.” He told her. “I don’t want to give you false hope, but I think we shouldn’t give up just yet. The old sage pretty much confirmed that it is possible to bring Morgyn back to life, she just doesn’t want to. All we need to do is find a way to be more persuasive.”
Cordelia hesitated. “Are you thinking of threatening her, like you said before?”
“I considered it.” He confirmed, his voice grim. “But it doesn’t exactly seem like a bright idea to threaten someone that used to be the sage of untamed magic. At least, I’m assuming that’s what she was.”
“Must have been.” Cordelia said. “When I first came to the magic realm, my friend Dandy told me that nobody knows what happened to the old sage of untamed magic, and that there were rumours Morgyn had killed her. But Simeon said they were just rumours. And I guess he was right.”
Micah gave her a funny look. “All rumours start somewhere.”
Cordelia sighed. “I know. Why would she want Morgyn dead?”
“Morgyn clearly made a lasting impression.” Micah let out a solemn laugh. “Just our luck huh?”
“Luck.” Cordelia repeated. “That’s what we need.”
“Obviously.” Micah gave her a perplexed look. Of course, he didn’t understand where she was going with this.
“No, I mean literal luck… there’s something called a potion of good fortune.” She clarified. “It’s one of the brews we sell at the store. A popular one, for obvious reasons.”
Micah perked up a little. “Can you make it?”
“Hopefully I won’t have to.” She told him. “We almost always have some in stock at the shop.”
Cordelia flicked the lights in the Hex Shop on. It was already midnight – it took them a couple of hours to get back to Glimmerbrook, and annoyingly, Micah then insisted that they stop by their house for Cordelia to get something to eat. It was only once she shoved the food down in a hurry that Cordelia realised how ravenous she’d been. Perhaps he had a point, but still, she didn’t want to waste time.
She searched the shelves, scanning the potion labels. “Come on, there’s got to be some in here…”
Micah’s eyes wandered to the cauldron by the window. “Do you know how to make it?” He asked.
“I know all the ingredients by heart. Could probably brew it in my sleep. But… I’m not a spellcaster.”
The vampire furrowed his eyebrows. “Does that matter?”
“Well, without magic it’s just random things thrown into a stew.” Cordelia explained. “I can’t exactly…”
She paused mid-thought as her eyes landed on a potion of magical aura.
Her first day of work at the store. Grace made her drink the potion of magical aura, and she had one, because of those motes. Morgyn never did remove those from her. And motes were basically raw magic, weren’t they? Like the old currency…
She shook off the thoughts of the odd store in Selvadorada. Now was not the time to get distracted. “I can try.” She told Micah.
Micah observed Cordelia in silence as she worked. It was obvious she must have made the potion countless times before. There was something nice about the confidence she had as she stirred the mixture, adding ingredients. He wished she had that confidence when it came to other things.
Once everything was sizzling, she leaned over the cauldron with quiet determination, reaching out. Strange orbs of light poured out of the palms of her hands and dropped into the brew.
“What the heck?” He came closer to have a better look. “Didn’t you say you weren’t a spellcaster?”
Sparks danced above the bubbling potion, causing Cordelia to burst into a satisfied giggle.
“It worked!” She squealed, racing towards him.
He froze as she threw her arms around him, pulling him into a hug. She was warm and soft. He could feel her pulse against his cold skin. Her blood from last night was still fresh in his memory…
He was thankful he’d fed, but made sure to draw away immediately.
“Sorry.” She said apologetically, turning back to the potion, too distracted to realise the reason for his reaction. “I was just… never mind. I’m not a spellcaster, no. I just had a tiny bit of magic in me, temporarily. Just about enough to make this potion, it seems.”
She scooped some of the liquid into a flask and examined it. “It looks right.”
She didn’t waste time, drinking the contents of the vial almost instantly.
“Feeling lucky yet?” Micah asked with a dry chuckle. He wasn’t sure what any of this was going to amount to, but somehow, seeing her smile made him feel better about everything.
“I don’t know.” She said. “I think we should head home now though.”
“Right…” Micah headed for the shop entrance.
“No wait, let’s take the back door,” she called after him.
That hardly made sense. “Why?”
“I’m not sure.” She admitted. “Just feels like a good idea.”
“Whatever you say.” He shrugged, following her out through the back exit.
“You looking for something in particular?” Micah asked Cordelia as she rummaged through her drawers.
“Yes.” She finally pulled out a small ragdoll, of all things.
“What the hell is that?”
“A voodoo doll. Morgyn got it for me in Selvadorada.”
Micah frowned. Cordelia seemed like the last person in the world that should mess with voodoo. “What for?”
She shrugged. “I guess they thought it would be useful. And they weren’t wrong.”
“I’m not following.” He said slowly.
“You said it yourself, we need to find a way to be more persuasive.” She motioned to the doll.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me…”
“Why? I literally have the means to make the old sage do whatever we need. That’s taking persuasive to the next level!” The girl exclaimed.
“This isn’t like you.” He told her, his voice quiet.
“Like me? What do you really know about me?” She snapped.
A lot, Micah thought. He only just saw her mind last night.
“I know you’re not a person that forces people to do things against their will using voodoo, for one. Is that who you want to become?”
“I’ll become who I have to be to make this work.” She said, her voice bursting with defiance.
“That’s a dangerous route you want to head down. I should know.” But he knew there was no convincing her otherwise. There was a fire in her eyes. He sighed. “Do you even know how to use this thing?”
“No.” She conceded, not allowing his words to affect her. “But that doesn’t matter. The potion will tell me.”
The potion was doing something all right, Micah thought.