3 months earlier
Hawthorne watched the morning rays of sunlight slither their way into the room as she sat on the floor. She glanced to Chloe’s side of the room. Her roommate never came home.
At least someone got lucky last night, Hawthorne smirked to herself, feeling a twinge of jealousy towards Chloe. This was definitely not how she envisaged Dandelion’s overnight visit going. She let the elf sleep in her bed, since it wasn’t like Hawthorne herself was able to sleep.
Not that Dandelion seemed to be doing much sleeping himself either, as far as she could tell by his constant shuffling and lack of heavy breathing. But his eyes were shut. Clearly wasn’t in the mood for talking. Not that she could blame him. She had no idea what to say herself either.
The elf propped himself up in the bed. Probably her staring, Hawthorne thought, quickly looking away. “Did you sleep ok?” She asked.
He gave her a funny look. “No.”
Hawthorne nodded. Of course he didn’t. She joined him on the bed, but felt stuck for words. What was she supposed to say? Me either? Dandelion was very well aware of her sleeping patterns, of lack thereof, and she didn’t want to sound like she was mocking him. Sorry about grandma? That was hardly going to cut it.
She cleared her throat. “What are you going to do? Are you gonna see your dad?”
Dandelion shook his head. “I don’t… He… I don’t know him.” He was looking at her, but it didn’t really seem like he could see her at all.
“Don’t you want to know him?” Hawthorne replied, hoping she sounded non-confrontational.
“I… I don’t know.” He stood up, grabbing his hoodie from the floor. I think I’ll just go home. Trains should be running again, right?”
“I guess… You know you can stay as long as you want, right?” She tried again, but Dandelion seemed in a hurry to get dressed. “If you want to work things out with your dad and stuff. I’m sure Chloe won’t mind.”
He looked towards Chloe’s empty bed. “Where is your roommate?”
“Probably hooked up with some guy at the party.” Hawthorne shrugged. “She was pretty drunk, so my guess is she’ll be sleeping in. Hopefully she won’t be too hungover when she rocks up. Not that we have to stay here. We can always go grab a coffee in town or something-“
“I’ll go get that train.” Dandelion stopped her.
“Oh.” She tried to hide her disappointment.
“Do you want me to walk you to the station?” Hawthorne asked, scanning the room for clothes she could quickly throw on.
“I think I remember where it is.” He rejected her offer. She must have looked deflated, since his expression softened. “I’m sorry, Hawthorne. Thanks for offering. I just… I’d really rather be alone right now.”
Hawthorne’s heart sank. “It’s because I’m related to her, isn’t it?”
“No.” The elf replied sharply. “I meant what I said last night. None of this is your fault. Or Cordie’s fault. So please don’t blame yourself. We’re ok, ok?”
“Ok.” She said, her voice numb. But nothing seemed ok at all.
“I’ll see you later.” He told her, already headed for the door.
“Dandy, wait!” Hawthorne dashed after Dandelion, desperate to stop him. Dandelion turned back towards her. She couldn’t tell if his expression was puzzled or annoyed.
“You should take this.” She handed him her mother’s necklace. “In case you change your mind and do want to see your dad… you should have both of the keys.”
Dandelion hesitated for a moment, but his fingers did wrap around the key in the end. He gave her a small nod. Hawthorne hoped he would say something, but no such luck. He was out of the door before she knew it.
Simeon Silversweater was not having a good start to the new year. He let out a sigh of frustration, evaluating the state of the hall.
Shouldn’t have to be him to clean up after Morgyn’s charade, but of course it wound up being the case, as per usual. It wasn’t too strenuous, thanks to practical magic, but that did not make the matter any less tedious.
What was more, while Simeon himself did not participate in the ball, he heard enough about Morgyn’s personal blowout and rumours of a subsequent confrontation with Luella. Thankfully at least the latter happened outside, but that didn’t stop the guests from talking.
It seemed like a never-ending loop with those two.
In spite of the two other sages having ascended 41 years ago, Simeon somehow still found himself in a babysitter’s role. Something he had hoped would become obsolete after three decades of being a guardian to two elven children. It was a cruel twist of irony; one he did not foresee when he made the tough decision to never start a family of his own in order to become a sage.
And yet here he was, at 107 years old, having spent the best part of his life responsible for something akin to children he never intended to have in the first place. He felt tired. So tired.
While Simeon hoped to still have a couple more years in him, thanks to his grandmother’s elven blood, he was not sure how much more time he would have. It was certain that he could not continue to oversee Morgyn and Luella for much longer.
The thought of the other two sages almost inevitably blowing up the realm troubled him. It was easy to see how the two of them could easily throw away everything he’d worked for his entire life. But as the world welcomed yet another year, it was clear to Simeon he did not have yet another year of supervising in him. He yearned to retire. And that meant having to let go.
The choice of successor was not difficult. Darrel Charm had dedicated the last 15 years to his position as an adviser to the sages. Clearly he shared Simeon’s values and sense of duty. With his family’s lineage, Darrel indisputably had talent, and was more than proficient at the majority of practical magic spells.
But most importantly, Darrel always represented the people of Glimmerbrook. The Charms had a voice in the spellcaster community like no other family. Simeon had learned the hard way that Morgyn – and disappointingly, Luella as well – would never prioritise the future of the realm over petty personal squabbles.
But Darrel had been dutiful over the years, and always spoke on the behalf of the people. Naming Darrel the new practical magic sage meant the other two sages would not be able to ignore the voice of the community over their own selfish pursuits. It was the most prudent way ahead.
Of course, the current state of affairs was not favourable to Darrel being able to speaking on the people’s behalf, or any kind of harmony in the realm. Beyond the sages each choosing their successors as they saw fit, the archaic system in place demanded that all three sages were in unanimous agreement before the realm took a position on any official matters. As if that would ever happen with Morgyn and Luella once Simeon left.
The other two sages both had a track record of completely disregarding the unwritten rule in the past when it came to the dealings with vampires, or Morgyn’s insane Selvadorada expedition. But Simeon had no doubts that the minute he retired, they would both cite this to block and spite each other, indirectly preventing Darrel from achieving anything meaningful on the people’s behalf.
Which was why the system had to change. And it was today Simeon intended to secure that change with the last notion he hoped to pass as a sage.
A/N: Just to avoid any confusion about the timeline (since the BC timeline is always all over the place), this chapter is picking up where we left off in the season one finale, meaning the events of chapter 2.1 are 3 months away. The timeline will catch up to the season 2 opener eventually, but I’m sure it will be obvious when that happens.