She bowed, trying to contain the sneer that wished to appear on her face, and turned around before her father could say anything. Her mom called out her name, but she never looked back. She couldn’t accept the situation, and once again she thought about telling everyone that Bloom was responsible for freeing the wizard.
It had seemed like a very natural thing to do, when she saw the two of them besides the witch’s body, talking calmly. He had a smile on his face, and Bloom was just catching her breath, not worried for one bit at the presence of the criminal in front of her.
If she hadn’t seen the red head transform, she would’ve probably never even imagined she could be the one responsible for all of Andros’ troubles. But when she saw the blue attire she wore as she took on her fairy form, and the way her red hair was styled, it became obvious.
She looked at the other Winx, and realized they were all dressed in colors she’d seen that day, in the lair of Valtor, as she and her army interrupted whatever went on there. For a long time, it had been a mystery as to who he met, and why. No known criminal fitted their description.
She decided to fight off the Trix first, and watched with anger as Bloom got out of her sight, while she was stuck to deal with the sisters. But once it was done, she immediately flew towards the lake, just in time to see Bloom fire one last time and render Icy unconscious.
She gritted her teeth.
Even though it had angered her, she understood that nothing would come out of denouncing Bloom. They couldn’t charge her with anything, as she only freed the wizard to survive. Magix wouldn’t sentence her to anything, and she would just become the target of hatred.
Layla wouldn’t do that. She was angry, but she wanted the situation to be solved. Now that she knew Bloom had contact with Valtor and he seemed to trust her, she would use it to get rid of him. For now, they were too weak to face him anyway, but as soon as she got stronger, she would show him just how wrong he was for attacking her Kingdom.
Looking out on the sea, she sighed, letting the tears she held back during the meeting roll down her cheeks.
What once was a beautiful ocean, was only polluted water now. No one would want to dive into it.
Andros had always been marvelous, and its big ocean had so many tales to tell. Usually, during summer holidays, she would be seeing a lot of people, as they tried to dive deep enough to uncover a treasure.
But no one approached it anymore, fearing for their life.
Layla only walked close enough to the water to kneel in front it, and only touched it with the tips of her fingers.
It was calm, so she was completely taken by surprise when a mermaid suddenly jumped out of the water, and caught her by her wrist before pulling her into the sea with her.
She didn’t have time to fight, and only transformed at the last second, before seeing all the other mermaids moving towards her.
With sadness in her heart, she fired at them to try to get free, but it didn’t work at all. There were too many this time, and she couldn’t call for help. Everyone thought the palace was safe, yet here she was.
She could see her bedroom’s window from where was.
A mermaid passed in front of her, blocking the view, and prepared herself to attack, when suddenly, she screamed and bent backwards.
Layla wasted no time swimming towards the surface, and flying into the air before looking back down.
For a moment, everything was calm again, and she frowned. When suddenly, all the mermaids that attacked her before pulled their faces out of the water, smiled, and screamed in victory, pulling each other into a hug.
They were all back to normal, and the Princess stayed frozen in the air, as the guards rushed to see what the commotion was all about. They eventually sent one of them as a messenger to report to the King and Queen what just happened.
Less than a week later, it was confirmed that Valtor’s influence had completely disappeared, and the water turned back to blue a few days later.
Layla was smiling from her window, ready to dive into the water, before a servant knocked on her door, and gave her an envelope.
The Princess laughed, recognizing the bright colors.
She just received her first personal invitation to the Pixie’s village.
Linphea was always sunny, and the breeze cool with a floral scent.
Today was no exception, and the girl laughed as she saw her little sister running around in the grass, testing some of her early magical abilities under the careful eyes of her parents. They were both bathing in the sunlight, a cocktail next to them.
But there were no smiles on their faces. Flora could clearly see their frowns, although they tried to hide it. Their eyes were never off their youngest, who pretended that a rock was Stormy, as she attacked it with all her might.
Her mother eventually stood up, and took her daughter by the arm. Miele tried to fight back, thinking it was a game, and sent a cool breeze of magic towards her mother. Flora laughed, as only her little sister would think this was a good defensive spell.
But her mother's reaction was instantaneous, and the noise silenced the forest around them. She felt the nature grow sadder in an instant, and Miele still had her face turned to the side, an angry red mark appearing on her cheek.
‘It’s all your fault,’ she heard being said next to her.
She jumped, and turned around to see her father looking at the scene with sadness in his eyes, before retreating back inside the house. Flora turned her eyes back to her little sister, and saw her mother talking angrily at her.
It took no more than two seconds for her to make up her mind, then making her way towards them. On her path, the grass and plants made way for her, and she eventually reached her mother, who did not even see her coming.
But Miele did, pushing her mother back to run towards her older sister. Flora did not hesitate to hug the love of her life, staring angrily at her mother, who reciprocated it. It took a lot of her might to not explode immediately, as she delicately pulled back from her sister before telling her to get back inside, smiling at her.
Once Miele was out of sight, so was her bright expression, and she turned to her mother.
‘Why did you hit her ?’
‘She used magic against me.’
‘She was playing !’
‘Playing ?’ Huffed her mother. ‘You call that playing ?’
‘I don’t see what’s wrong with her reaction ! Every kid plays with their magic !’
‘But they do not imagine themselves fighting some witches !’
Her heart missed a beat.
In this moment, she understood why she felt like her parents had become colder. It did not even surprise her, really, nor did it make her angry. Instead, she felt a wave of sadness and disappointment wash over her.
When she came home after the fight, she did not expect balloons or a party to be thrown in her name. She simply wanted to see her family, which she could’ve very well lost because of the three sisters.
But she thought they would one day mention it.
Although they never did, she decided to brush it off, thinking that it was a sensible subject. After all, their daughter could’ve died in the battle. She supposed that the stress must have been great on them. But she didn’t imagine that they actually were against her actions.
‘Is that a problem ? That Miele thinks she could actually defend herself, and even others ?’
‘Of course it is ! I don’t want both of my daughters to get killed because they thought they were some kind of heroines from a book !’
Flora willed away the tears forming at the corner of her eyes, as she tried to stand up for herself, for once. Just like her friends taught her. She didn’t have to be pushed around, not even by her parents. It would never happen again.
‘What do you mean by that ?’ She asked, her voice too calm for the situation.
‘I don’t want her to turn out like you.’
She brushed past her daughter, never looking back.
It took Flora a moment, as she stood staring at the empty space her mother once occupied, before she let her magic run free, soon finding herself surrounded by flowers of all types, which grew out of nowhere.
Then she turned around, flying to her room to avoid facing her parents again.
Miele was waiting for her on her bed. She looked up with puffy red eyes and an angry mark on her cheek, but a beautiful smile on her lips. Flora tried to reciprocate the feeling, but wasn’t totally there.
What her parents said hurt, and she didn’t want to fight.
But she wouldn’t let them hurt her sister either. She would grow to be an extraordinary, confident fairy, may her parents like it or not.
Musa groaned, and stood up.
‘Where are you going ? The party’s not over yet !’
‘It is for me,’ she answered as she made her way to the kitchen to take a glass of water.
‘You could’ve won,’ said the pink haired girl, putting down her joystick.
‘As if,’ laughed her friend.
They heard a ringtone, and soon, two Specialists were materialized in a corner of the room. Timmy immediately took off his shoes and went up to Tecna to greet her, while the brunette laughed as Riven tried to stay on his two feet and brush off the strange feeling of being teleported by a machine.
‘What were you girls doing ?’ Asked Timmy as he sat down where Musa was seconds ago.
‘We were playing, but Musa didn’t want me to win,’ answered Tecna with a wink towards her friend.
‘What ? That’s not true,’ she answered with a smile.
Riven finally had regained his bearings, and made his way towards the kitchen, taking the glass from Musa’s hands. She did not say anything, and laughed, realizing she reacted just like him the first time she visited Tecna’s home.
‘It’s not funny’, he mumbled, as she nodded while bursting out laughing.
The two watched with raised eyebrows as the two geniuses came to a tie, before looking at each other and nodding.
Silently, they made their way to the exit, or rather “the corner” as they liked to call it, and disappeared to the streets. They knew the two lovebirds would spend the day playing, doing research about things only they could understand, and would be perfectly happy to spend this moment, alone together.
Timmy was also a very good influence on the fairy, as he helped her voice her feelings. It was something her family had never taught her, but because she experienced it with her friends, she wanted to know more about it.
The Specialist had been pleased.
It only took a word from her to make him help her do her research, to understand how to react in front of others, or how to behave when something happened. To choose the right words in order to reassure others.
The technology fairy was amazed, and couldn’t stop herself from looking for more answers. In one of the first times of her life, she went out, trying to experience things with people.
On the other hand, Musa and Riven had decided to check out a night club, and were ready to dance and party the night away. They wouldn’t admit it to each other, but they liked to dance together. It was like being in their own bubble, and they couldn’t care less about what happened around them, or what people thought of them.
The fairy also wanted to forget her father’s words. He was so proud of his daughter, but still refused to see the talent in her. It was unnerving to have to hide herself when she sang, always having to cast a spell of silence around her room.
She didn’t dare to imagine what he would do if he ever discovered she actually wanted to become an artist. She only hoped it would be too late for him to stand in her path.
‘Are you coming ?’
She came back to reality, realizing Riven was waiting for her to get in the queue. She laughed and took him by the hand, pulling him to the entrance. The robots there watched her, nodded when she approached them, and made way for the two friends to enter. She passed the doors with a big smile on her face, while Riven was still looking behind him, unsure of what happened.
She spent the night laughing, and as planned, forgot all about her problems. She lost herself in the eyes of her crush, entertaining the idea of someday asking him out on a real date.
For now, she would simply enjoy the moment.
It was raining in Gardenia.
Bloom welcomed it, sick of the sun and the high temperature. She liked to hear it bang on her window at night, helping her drift to sleep. Her parents had also welcomed it, especially her mother who tended to her flowers all day, desperate for a little, natural rain.
Her head was pounding from everything that happened in her first year at Alfea.
When she originally went there, she believed she was dreaming, and couldn’t quite realize that it was really happening. She dreamed of being a fairy for so long while being told it was impossible so many times, that even if she succeeded in using her magic some part of her was still expecting to suddenly wake up in her bedroom, late for school.
But as days went by, she grew more confident. Until the day she transformed, and fought back the witches. This day, she realized how real everything around her was real.
She’d made real friends, and had a new life and opportunities in front of her. Everything had looked so bright, until she was sent to Omega.
After that event, she lived with a weight in her stomach, reminding her that if some people were suffering somewhere, it was her fault. She resented herself a lot, but eventually her friend’s words made her feel better. She did what she had to survive.
She thought she could live with that idea, but when Layla came into the picture, she understood she lied to herself. Every time she would look at the Princess, she would be reminded of the problems she caused.
The fact that she freed Valtor because she needed to live wasn’t enough. This wouldn’t appease Andros’ citizens, because to them, she was the reason they lost their home and possessions.
There was no way she would live freely. One day or another, her deed would be known by everybody. A secret that big couldn’t stay between the six of them. If Layla wasn’t the one telling the truth to her people, Valtor could try to blame her.
The red head turned in her chair, sighing, before screaming and almost falling off of it, under the mocking eye of some particular wizard. She put herself together quickly, and raised an eyebrow at him, trying to ignore what just happened.
He stood in front of the door, leaning against it as his eyes took in his surroundings.
‘I never had time to finish my sentence.’
‘Hello to you too,’ she answered as she tilted her head, trying to figure out what he was talking about.
Because of all that happened with Layla, and the fact that she could’ve been reported as a criminal, she completely forgot about what he had actually tried to tell her. It did not cross her mind once, so she found herself staring at him with a surprised expression.
‘You have powers, Bloom.’
She snorted, making him shoot her an annoyed look.
‘Very strong powers, and I want your help.’
After dealing with the Trix, she hoped to find some peace and quiet. Although now that Layla knew about Valtor, she would probably try to get as much information as she could from her.
‘I want to destroy the Three Ancestral Witches.’
Both her eyebrows went up, and she blinked.
‘You heard what I said.’
‘Because I can’t do it on my own,’ he admitted with reluctance.
‘No,’ she said as she shook her head. ‘Why do you want them gone ? Don’t you want them to come back ?’
‘No. I need them gone.’
‘How do you know they’re still alive ? Nobody has seen them for-‘
‘Eighteen years, yes.’
She looked down, confused.
‘But I’m not powerful enough.’
‘You will be, one day,’ he assured her. ‘And I will help you get stronger. I will give you everything you need, so that you can help me.’
She shook her head.
She couldn’t help a criminal, that was insane ! He was hurting the whole magical dimension, and now hoped she would give him her help. She didn’t know why he suddenly wanted to get rid of what she understood to be his mothers, but she wouldn’t.
Who knew what would come out of it. Maybe he would get stronger, or maybe even invincible. But he surely wouldn’t do it just because the sake of the entire world was at stake if they ever came back.
‘In return, I’ll help you find your parents.’
She scoffed. So that was his big plan. Telling her what she wanted to hear so he could manipulate her into helping him.
She shook her head, a crazy idea forming inside her head.
She saw him tense, and frown.
‘I also want you to stop hurting people.’
He sneered, taking a threatening step towards her, before stopping himself and closing his eyes. She feared for her life, but tried to sit tall on her chair in her blue pajamas.
She couldn’t help him while her friends suffered. She needed them by her side.
‘If that is what it will take.’
Her heart stammered in her chest, and she almost wanted to tell her friends about the news right there, even if he was still in the room.
‘But,’ he immediately said as he saw a smile appear on her lips, ‘I want immunity if you ever bring your Kingdom back from the dead.’
She tilted her head. It was a risky decision to take right now, with no idea of what happened to her people, and real knowledge of who they were. But what was most important to her right now was her friend’s happiness, and their well-being. Valtor was a threat to the two.
She’d supposed he didn’t attack any of their home planets because he didn’t wish to upset her. After all, everyone expected him to go after Solaria, Eraklyon or Magix. It would’ve made sense, as they are the most important and powerful Kingdoms of the Magical Dimension. But he ignored them, never even once showing his face there, and focused on realms she’d never heard of.
Some had suggested that he may be bidding his time, or wasn’t powerful enough to attack them. But Bloom was certain that if he succeeded in bringing Andros to its knees, it would be a piece of cake to take down every planet in the universe.
Right now, she had the opportunity to bring back peace, and she would take it. If not for herself, than for Layla. The Princess was suffering every day, and she needed to show her that she didn’t wish for Valtor to succeed. She needed to prove that she was against his plans, but still needed him.
She was ready to endure whatever may come her way if she ever succeeded in bringing her people back to life.
‘Well, should we shake hands on it ?’
She watched him take off his glove, and extend his hand towards her.
She stood up, and walked over to him, realizing just how tall he was as the top of her head barely reached his chin. She looked into his eyes, but the usual mischief she could see in them was missing. For once, she saw him serious, and she understood just how important what she was going to do was.
Shaking his hand would mean peace for everyone, but would force him to lay low. For some reason, helping him banish the Three Ancestral Witches and the immunity she could bring him in the name of Domino was enough for him.
Something seemed amiss, but she shook his hand nonetheless.
Some part of her knew he would be too proud to break their promise. But, if he ever decided to betray her after completing his end of the bargain, she would have her friends and her Kingdom by her side. She would be able to fight him back.
He smiled and just like the Cheshire Cat, disappeared from her view in a cloud of smoke, his golden eyes being the last thing she saw of him. She then jumped around her room, letting her magic play with everything around her.
She would be crazy not to enjoy this moment.
It was snowing on Solaria, and Stella looked at it sadly from the dining room window.
‘Your father will be here in a moment,’ said one servant as she bowed before exiting the room.
After all she lived through with her friends, it was strange to be back in this huge castle, with no one to turn to. Her mother was far away on a business trip, while her father had his Royal Duties to attend to.
She knew he would talk her into taking some courses, because she’d been failing some classes in Alfea. In fact, she knew it was the only reason why he would eat with her tonight.
The Princess needed to be perfect, representing what young people needed to look up to. And although no one compared with her fashion sense and beauty, as she embodied what Solarians thought of perfection, she knew that if she did not pass her third year with excellency, she would be no more than a joke.
The court had laughed at her when they heard she’d been expelled, forced to do her first year all over again. Her friends had turned their back on her, because she was too troublesome to their liking. But Stella kept smiling, because she wouldn’t let herself cry over some people who only saw her as a mean to an end, even if it broke her heart.
It was even worse when they discovered that she wasn’t dating a Prince, but his squire. The shame had been great, so great that she considered breaking up with him. But then, she remembered that he was one of the few people to make her happy and she was too selfish to let him go, understanding why no one could know the truth about their switched personalities.
Meeting the Winx was the best thing that happened in her life, if she was honest with herself. Bloom saved her life, helping her discover what it was to have real friends, who would be angry at her and tell her what she did wrong, instead of accepting anything she threw their way.
After the final battle, tales of her fighting the two sisters with her friends had been heard by everybody. She suddenly saw a lot of people coming back, praising her and asking her to go shopping or go to a café. She laughed and turned them all off.
Now she had real friends, and she couldn’t wait to see them again.
The doors were opened for King Radius, followed by some members of the Court, and he took place at the end of the table. She sat in front of him, as he raised an eyebrow at her audacity. It would probably be the cause of an argument, sooner or later. But they always kept it between themselves, because he couldn’t humiliate the only heir to the throne in front of other people.
Just as she guessed, he tried to convince her to take some classes, talking about it with some important member of the Education System who never ceased to say that they had really good results with fairies failing in school.
She ended up leaving without being invited to, and disappeared in her room, packing everything she would need to survive for a week. Brandon already knew she was coming. His family would welcome her anytime anyway.
Even if they weren’t part of Royalty, their family was well-off and the house big enough to welcome a few guests, so there was no problem if she dropped by for a few days.
They were also very proud to have the Princess of Solaria under their roof.
She was given a little room. Brandon winced as he realized it was even smaller than what she had in Alfea. But she laughed it off, saying it was fine. And she believed in her words.
With his family, she laughed, and enjoyed her holidays. She came by a lot, helping as much as she could, discovering what it meant to be a normal person. She formed a bond with Brandon’s mother, while his father kept praising her for her use of magic when the sun had set and she would light everything up.
Just like on Solaria, the summer was the coldest period of the year, and for the first time she enjoyed going out instead of staying locked up in her room. She didn’t complain when a kid threw a snowball at her. Instead, she retaliated, spending her days doing something she never thought she would enjoy.
But the best part of it all was the way Brandon would hold her at night.
She would cry a lot, missing her mother deeply and desperate for some attention from her father, other than him being angry at her bad grades. She also hated to cry over that, knowing she was lucky enough to be a Princess and have a lot of money, and power.
She expected Brandon to shush her and tell her to stop being a brat, just like her maid used to do when Stella would confide in her. But he never did. Instead he hugged her and let her cry in his sweater, his head on top of hers, repeating that he loved her over and over again.
In times like this, she realized she’d been a fool for ever thinking she could live without him.