Sarah pivoted at the sound of this new voice and Scar started growling again.
There stood a tall dark man who practically glowed with magic.
"Miss Williams, I presume." He bowed his head.
"Who...you're not Jareth." Sarah said.
The man rolled his eyes and chuckled. "Thank the Gods. My brother seems to have a knack for trouble I wish to avoid. I am Jorwyn. Old and wiser, I hope, than my dear sibling."
Hoggle was bowing. "Yer Majesty."
"Ahh. Thank you Sir Hoggle. No need to fear me dear. I am acting regent of The Goblin Realm. I let Hoggle come first to put you at ease. I give you my word and bond I mean no harm. I am here to to make sure you arrive at Jareth's trial safely. Did you activate the crystal?"
"Ummm..okay. Nice to meet you, I think. No I just got it. Maybe you can tell me exactly what the hell is going on?"
He smirked at her. She noticed when he did that he looked like his brother. "No matter. I'm sure it's just Jareth commanding you to refuse. You see, Jareth had a rather spectacular fall from grace once you were allowed to win and leave. My brother is impulsive, brash, young by our standards. He is however the most powerful magician that has ever been known. Being such he was granted Kingship over The Labyrinth far before he should have. The Realm thrived for centuries, we thought it was secure. Then you my dear girl. You turned his world upside down and inside out. Imagine one of us becoming enamoured of a mortal teenager!" He tsked. chuckling.
Sarah's eyes narrowed. "Hey now. I don't care who you are. I don't care what anyone says. I won that game fair and square. Maybe I'm just a mortal but I kicked your brother's pale ass, fancy pants."
This cause the man to laugh harder. "I can see why he liked you. Feisty little one your are."
Sarah put her hands on her hips and glared at him. "I can see the resemblance now. Condescending jerks, both of you. If he liked me he had a funny way of showing it. Anyway, what am I supposed to do? I'm not going anywhere without my dog."
The darked haired man turned his head just far enough to see the creature standing beside her, growling at him.
"Gods what an ugly thing. Is that even a dog?" He said.
Sarah had heard about enough. "Look you can insult me. I can fight back, but do not talk about my dog. He goes or I don't."
Jorwyn rolled his eyes again. "Fine. The dog can come. Get dressed please. In something suitable." He said as he eyed her nightwear.
"What? Now?" Sarah gasped.
"Yes. you'll be home soon enough. It will be like mere minutes have passed. It may be a day or two there though so pack an extra set of clothing."
Sarah nodded and got some jeans, a long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt and took them to the bathroom and dressed, then put on her socks and hiking boots. She grabbed her backpack and threw in a bag with travel toiletries, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 t-shirts and undergarments in it as well as a few other "just in case" necessities.
"Oh wait." She remembered something. She went to the kitchen and grabbed several cans of dog food and stuck them in a paper sack, grabbed his leash and snapped it to Scar's collar. "Had to get food for Scar. Alright." She told the man now picking things up from her vanity and examining them.
He was holding a bottle of her perfume as he looked her up and down. "That will not do for court, but I can make you a dress easily enough." He sat down the bottle. "Close your eyes and hold on to the dog. Hoggle go ahead please."
Hoggle disappeared then Jorwyn wrapped an arm around her while she wrapped an arm around her dog.
She felt the floor disappear and before she could cry out she was on her ass on rough stone. Scar whined and proceeded to vomit up his dinner next to her.
She petted and calmed him before standing up and looking around. "Where are we?"
"Goblin Castle, dear." Jorwyn said from across the room sitting on Jareth's throne. "Goblins! Clean that up would you?"
She spun around. "Wow. it's so much..cleaner."
"My brother was never known for neatness or having a love for housekeeping. I will not live in filth while I am here. Which if the Gods allow will not be much longer. I am not fond of this place. My brother seems to enjoy rustic charms but I refer the civilized world."
He stood up and beckoned her to follow. "Come girl. I will show you to a room. Bring the dog. I will also order some breakfast for you and some meat scraps for him. Once he feels better he will be hungry."
She followed him, leading Scar on the leash. As they made their way through the castle, she gaped at the tapestries and statues. Eventually they stopped in front of a wooden door which he pushed open and gestured for her to go inside.
Sarah led Scar into the room. It was large with a huge canopy bed, fireplace, a table and chairs, a bookshelf heavy with books and various other pieces of furniture and decor.
"The bathroom is through that door. The wardrobe is there." He pointed.
He walked to it and chanted in a strange language. "There. Now when you open it, there will appropriate clothing. They will conform to your shape and size perfectly."
She opened the wardrobe and ran her hands over velvet and silk. "Thanks. When is Jareth's trial?"
"Later, after midday. It is still quite early for both above and here. If you would like, get some rest and food will be waiting for you when you awaken. I will send a maid to help you dress."
"I think I can manage." Sarah laughed. "And I'm wide awake now."
"As you wish. If you need anything do not hesitate to ask, girl." Jorwyn said.
"If you're Jareth's brother..I mean, how big is the underground? How many of you are there?" Sarah wondered as she turned to see him making to leave.
He turned back around, his dark eyes amused. "We number in the tens of thousand I would suppose. We used to be almost as numerous as humans, then came The Great War and Separation, and now we are slowly dying out. This is why the children are needed from above. To keep us procreating. Mortals are far more fertile than we."
"You mean you..." Sarah felt herself getting unreasonably angry.
"Don't turn them into goblins? Of course not. They are adopted and eventually they marry into our society and have families, live normal lives here. Such mortal borns are quite coveted here as mates. Especially females. Then tend to not lose their fertility even with immortality.
"What about the boys?" Sarah had to ask, wondering what Toby's fate would have been.
"Not as highly coveted. Male immortals are not so infertile as female, but still they highly prized for the fresh blood they bring to our kind."
"What about Jareth..I mean doesn't he have a...mate? Or potential mates?"
Jorwyn laughed at the very thought. "Jareth? Oh my dear little mortal, he is chased after by every single female in the realm, and many males, though he prefers women personally. He has quite the reputation you might say. But no..he is not bonded or in the process of being bonded. Not many women want to have the...honor of ruling this place. Though they do enjoy his affections a great deal and he is never without a paramour or two. As I said, he is always in high demand, but being The Goblin Queen is considered a low position." He gestured around. "Even my own wife will not stay here but visits when I ask her. I would not force her to stay here. She would go insane. Now, if you excuse me, I have a great deal to get done before we leave for the court."
He bowed low and left.
Sarah walked around the room, touching the luxurious bedding running her hand over the heavy wooden furniture. Scar sat on the rug and watched her, panting and whining slightly.
The door burst open, startling her and the dog. He ran and hid behind her, trembling and growling.
"So much for having a big scary dog to protect me." She said as she shook her head and looked behind her at the frightened animal.
Several goblins wheeled in a squeaky and rather rickety looking cart.
"Food!" One announced in a loud high pitched voice. "King ordered food be brung to you and the beastie! Best we gots!"
Sarah had to laugh at the bumbling creatures. Stumbling over each other to put some covered plates on the table, arguing among themselves.
"Watch it Dinky!" "Ahhh! Hot!" "Stupid!" "Shut up." "Why I oughtta.." "Stop it!"
It was like watching the goblin version of The Three Stooges.
They got everything on the table and lastly placed a bowl with bones and meaty bits on the floor. "For The Lady's monster!" A Goblin wearing a pot for a hat announced proudly.
Sarah approached the table. Well it smells okay, she thought. "Thanks guys. Really. You did a great job."
They turned and stared at her. "What?" They said in unison.
"I said thank you." She replied tilting her head.
They whispered among themselves then turned back to her. "Ummm..you is welcome Lady?" It came out as a question. They must not be thanked very much, she thought.
"Now shoo. I need to eat and feed Scar." She smiled as she said it.
They just stood there, confused.
Sarah sighed. "Alright have it your way. Get your goblin hides out of my room or I'll ask the King to bog you all!" She yelled.
They squeaked and screamed as the dashed out the door, tripping over each other as they ran...but she could hear them giggling and chattering as they got further and further away.
Sarah sat at the table and laid her head in her hands, laughing. "Little weirdos." Still, she found them endearing.
She lifted the trays and found scrambled eggs, bread and butter, and some sort of fried meat she figured she would be better off if she didn't ask the origins of.
There was also a pot of tea, sugar and milk.
"Come Scar. Got goodies for you!" She said.
The dog walked slowly to her, having been thoroughly traumatized by now.
When he got within reach she held a piece of meat from his bowl up to him. He sniffed if gingerly then licked it. finding it agreeable, he dove into his food.
Before she ate, she picked up Jareth's crystal. "I wish I knew what was in this crystal."
It popped, leaving a piece of thick parchment.
Soon someone, I am presuming my brother, will come to you. Refuse whatever you are asked to do. It would be for the best. Your presence is not required nor do I want you to attend.
I wish you well in all you do.
~Jareth, King of the Goblins~
This confused Sarah. They say she was required but he says she isn't? She decided to ask Jorwyn about it later.
The food had turned out to be quite tasty. She figured the cook must not be a goblin she thought as she ate. The eggs and butter fresh, the bread warm. She filled up then pushed back from the table, sated.
Sarah stood up and stretched, walked to the balcony doors and pushed them open.
What she saw took her breath away. The Labyrinth stretched out before her as far as the eye could see.
"It really is beautiful here. Amazing." She mused. The lush green forests and hedges, sandstone walls, the fairies, butterflies and birds, all brightly colored flitting here and there. She could see a huge overgrown flower garden off the side, riots of color winding together.
Her fingers itched to tame that garden. She loved flowers and gardening. Digging her fingers into the soil and bringing such beauty into the world. It had been a long time since she had gotten to do that. Ever since she left her small hometown to relocate to the big, overcrowded city.
She smiled and breathed in the clean sweet air.
Her eyes popped open at that thought. "Why am I not more weirded out to be here? I should be freaking out and I'm standing here like I am right at home?" She said out loud to no one.
She shook her head at herself. "Get a grip."
She went and sat on the bed across from the open doors. Scar having finished his food hopped up next to her and laid his head in her lap. She laid back as she petted him, feeling drowsy.
"Mmm..maybe just a few minutes. I need to rest my eyes." As she finished the thought she was out like a light.
knock knock knock...
She sat up suddenly. "Not again!" She said. It took a minute to realize what had happened was not a dream.
knock knock knock..
"Coming!" She dashed across the room and opened the door. There stood a beautiful woman dressed to the nines.
"You are Lady Sarah?" the woman asked.
"Yes?" Sarah answered. "Who are you?"
"I am Queen Penelope. Jorwyn's wife. He sent for me and my servant Gwennie.." She pointed to the girl behind her. " thinking you might need a woman's companionship and help."
Penelope was as fair as her husband was dark. With pretty blue eyes that shone with nothing but kindness.
"Sure come in." Sarah opened the door wider.
"We need to get you ready quickly. It is less than an hour to Jareth's trial." The blonde said as she ushered Sarah to the wardrobe.
Penelope flung the doors open and started going through the clothes."Let us see..noo..not that..oh that is hideous.. wait here we are." She help up a pretty green dress.
"This would be perfect on you dear!" She began tugging at Sarah's clothes.
Sarah squirmed a little."Umm...I think I can get dressed myself."
The woman had the grace to look apologetic. "Oh I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be too forward. I forget humans aren't used to such things. You will need help dear. Trust me. If you would remove your clothing we can get started. No need to be shy."
Sarah, blushing, took off her clothes except her underwear and bra. Her skin prickling at the loss of warmth her clothes provided, which made her shiver.
"Goodness but you are pretty one!" Pennelope declared. "A fine figure! How I envy your curves!"
Once Sarah put on the appropriate undergarments, The servant girl held out the dress so Sarah could step in and pulled it up her body.
She then laced up the back. "Hold your breath please, My Lady." She asked. Sarah did so.
It was tight but not uncomfortably so.
Penelope picked up her hand and told her to sit. Sarah listened as she recited in that same unknown language her husband had used, She felt tingling over her face and head.
"Perfect!" Penelope said as she stood back. "Don't you think Gwennie?"
Gwennie nodded enthusiastically. "She is lovely, My Lady."
Just then Scar peaked out from the other side of the bed and whined loud, startling the two women.
"Oh Gods what on earth is that?!" Penelope gasped.
Sarah refrained from laughing. "That's my dog, Scarface. At this point it is safe to say he is more scared of you than you are of him. He has had a rough day."
Scar looked at his human with big pleading eyes. "How do I look Scar?" Sarah asked, twirling.
He turned and stuck his head under the bed, whining.
"Thanks." She said to the dog wryly.
"He ...is safe?" The servant girl asked shyly.
Sarah did laugh then. "Yes. He is fine. He won't hurt a fly. Will he be okay here until I get back?" Sarah asked the queen who was walking around Sarah, tucking in this and fluffing that.
"I will inform the king and I will make sure food and water is left in the room and for the door to be locked. Goblins are curious little creatures. I can barely stand to be around them most days. I am glad Jorwyn let's me stay home and occasionally visit. There!" She stood back.
She walked Sarah to the mirror. "Aren't you a vision!"
Sarah's mouth fell open. The dress was a bright emerald velvet, long sleeved and off the shoulder. The sleeves came down to points on the hands and was trimmed in ivory lace around the top of the bodice. It wasn't anything ostentatious like her peach dream dress, but it was fancier than anything she had ever worn.
The woman had used her magic to pile her hair atop her head with perfect curls falling down to her shoulders, flawless makeup and even a pair of matching earrings. When she had walked to the mirror she noticed on her feet were matching low heeled slippers.
"Thank you...this is all happening so fast!" Sarah said to the women. "I feel like I'm getting married or going to prom or something."
"I'm not sure what a prom is, but oh if only. Jareth needs to settle down. Might tame him and get him to behave." Penelope said.
"Not to me! I mean I'm not marrying him! That's not what I meant!" Sarah exclaimed.
Gwynnie giggled behind her and Penelope gave her a stern look. "I am a woman. We know these things. If he had not been interested this whole mess would not have happened."
"I was a child." Sarah told the woman.
"Of course you were dear. In the above. Here many ladies are betrothed quite young even if they do not marry for a long time."
Sarah just stood there letting everything sink in. No point in arguing anyway.
"Come now. We must be off." The queen commanded. She pushed Sarah ahead of her disregarding her protests. Waving an arm behind her a large bowl of water and more meat scraps appeared on the floor. "Your beast will be fine."
Sarah was practically dragged down the stairs and into the throne room where the king paced back and forth. He stopped when he caught sight of Sarah. "Well then. That's more like it. You like like a fine lady and not a ruffian. Now the court will not laugh you out of the room."
"Now wait a minute..." Sarah started to protest.
"Not now girl. We must hurry. Take my hand and keep hold of my wife's please." The 3 winked out of existence.
In seconds they were facing huge gold doors. Sarah was still trying to let her stomach catch up with the rest of her and stop her head from spinning.
A guard bowed low and knocked on the doors which caused them to open.
"King Jorwyn and Queen Penelope of The Dreamers Kingdom!" Said a loud voice.
Sarah's eyes were huge and she was looking around for the source of the voice but couldn't find it. She was hustled inside the cavernous room and once again was practically dragged down a large aisle. On either side People stared at her and whispered as they wondered who she was.
"Wait..what is..." Sarah started to say when she was interrupted by the voice.
"Royals and laypeople, Ladies and Lords, please be seated! We will start momentarily."
Sarah was standing at the front between the king and queen. She was completely befuddled and was trying to figure out what was going on.
She whispered. "Is this the trial or something else?"
"Hush!" Jorwyn said. "Yes."
Sarah nodded and was silent.
Trumpets blew and a line of people in formal robes walked across in front of them to a dais at the end of the room, each taking their seats.
As soon as everyone was settled a speaker stood. "We gather here to try, Jareth, King of the Goblins and Lord of The Labyrinth, for breaking one of the fundamental rules of his station. Letting a mortal win. He failed in his role as Lord, and gave said mortal immortal magic. The law is, if a mortal wins, The sitting Goblin King must perform the trials to regain his throne."
"I don't have magic." Sarah hissed under her breath. Which got her several dirty looks.
"Bring the prisoner forward."
Sarah held her breath. She was both apprehensive and unexplainably excited, because she knew who was was about to make an appearance.