Fire and Water: Tears of the Phoenix - RarepairKai22 (2024)

Chapter 1: Enough is Enough

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

It has been three days.

Three days since her son came home despondent and silent, losing appetite and staring blankly into space, seemingly lost to the world.

Three days since he told her, tearfully, that he had met All Might, and his idol had told him, to his face, that he could not become a hero because he is quirkless. Three days since he rescued Katsuki from a villain made of slime, only to be rebuked by the three pro-heroes who had just been standing there, watching as Katsuki nearly drowned because none of them made the move to rescue him.

Three days, and Inko decides that enough is enough.

This cannot go on for much longer.

Contrary to what many might think, Inko is not stupid or blind.

She knows that Japanese society is broken. She knows there is an unhealthy, pervasive bias towards quirks, especially strong, flashy ones. Inko knows that her son, Izuku, who drew the short straw by being diagnosed as quirkless, has been subjected to horrific abuse and torment by his peers and the adults who are supposed to keep him safe. Inko knows that Katsuki had been one of the main instigators of the abuse, and that every teacher in that school let the explosive teen get away with his crimes.

She tried her best, being there for her son and offering him the support and love that a mother would give to her son. Still, Izuku defended Katsuki to the very end, claiming that it was merely schoolhouse roughing and that it was not a huge deal to worry about.

It is completely f*cked up, how society had warped her son’s mentality to look past the obvious abuse, and the sobering reality of knowing that even if she did report the abuse to the authorities, they will either not take her and Izuku seriously, or dismiss them entirely because of his diagnosis.

Japanese society is rotten to the core, corrupted by the glamour and prestige of flashy quirks and celebrity fame under the guise of pro-heroism.

Inko knows that they need to leave, to remove themselves from the rot before they become victims of a society that has failed people like them.

The thought has been floating in her mind ever since Izuku was diagnosed, but she had refrained from jumping the gun, even when Hisashi offered to have them join him in the United States after he was posted there for work.

Now, though, there is no more denial. They have to leave Japan.

She will finally take up her husband’s offer.

Izuku, despite everything that has happened thus far, is conscious enough to know that something big is happening.

He first noticed his mum packing things, putting them away into boxes and having a moving company move them out of the apartment. Then, clothes go into luggages, as if they are going somewhere.

Izuku can no longer hold his silence.

“Mum, what are you doing?”

“We’re moving, sweetie.”

“Moving? To where?” Izuku asks, more than a little confused.

“To America, Izuku,” Inko replies, “We’re joining your father in California.”

Izuku remembers his dad, a tall man with wild, untamed black hair, which he inherited along with his mum’s forest-green colour. Midoriya Hisashi can breathe fire, although the extent of his quirk is quite weak, just like his mum’s telekinesis quirk. Hisashi moved to America ten years ago, shortly before Izuku’s diagnosis. It was for his job, as Hisashi had been promoted to run the American operations of the company he worked for.

Even though he is on the other side of the world and a full 17 hours behind them, Hisashi maintains close, if physically absent, contact with Izuku and his mum. Whenever he could, Hisashi would video-call Izuku and Inko, and would patiently listen as Izuku went on long rambles about his quirk analysis. Hisashi always told Izuku that he missed him and his mum, and even though he is an entire world away, he loves Izuku no matter what.

Still, the fact that his mum declared that they are moving to join his dad in America is a bombshell for Izuku. One must understand that Izuku had no prior warning of the move, and this. Coming right on the heels of his dreams being destroyed by his idol and being humiliated by pro-heroes in front of a watching crowd, it feels as if all of the air has been knocked out of his lungs.

“N-Now?”

“Yes. Now.” Inko nods, “I have already booked our tickets, and we are leaving tonight.”

“B-But, this is too sudden!” Izuku protests, “What am I going to say to my classmates and teachers?”

“You won’t be saying anything, because they don’t deserve anything from you,” Inko replies firmly.

The intense tone catches Izuku off guard, “W-What?”

“Izuku,” Inko pauses in her packing and takes her son’s hands, “I know what is going on in that school of yours. You may claim that is just schoolboy roughhousing, but I know the difference between playful roughhousing, and outright physical and verbal abuse.” Izuku opens his mouth, but Inko raises a hand, “Izuku, yes, I’m saying it now, you were abused by Katsuki, and the students and staff of that God-forsaken school. I have seen the burns and scars. I have seen you using burn cream and gauze in an attempt to hide what he did to you. I have seen you flinch and shy away from loud noises, and sudden touches make you jump. Those are tell-tale signs of abuse, and the fact that they came from my own godson is beyond forgivable.”

Izuku has grown deathly pale. It is earth-shattering to hear his mum sound so vengeful and vindictive towards his childhood friend abuser, especially one who she once thought of as a son in all but blood.

“Sweetie,” Inko’s voice becomes softer, “I love you, and I want the best for you. Staying in Japan will only be one disservice after another for you. I know the statistics, most quirkless youths die by suicide before they reach adulthood. I don’t want to risk losing my only child to a society that wants people like you gone and dead. Plus,” she smiles, “we will get to start afresh, and you will get to see your father regularly too. No more late-night video calls due to massive time zone differences. We can get to be a family again. Surely, that sounds much better, right?”

Izuku is silent, glancing down at their linked hands. This still feels like the rug has been pulled out from underneath him. He will be leaving everything behind and moving across the world to a completely different country.

But…

“Quirkless freak!”

“What a loser…”

“Weirdo.”

“Take a swan dive off the roof, if you’re so desperate for a f*cking quirk in your next life!”

“It’s okay to dream, but you need to be realistic.”

Will he really lose anything, if he leaves?

In the past, Izuku had pushed away the voice in his head that tried to reach out to him, getting him to see the reality of his circ*mstances. But after going through back-to-back traumatic events, the vault door keeping that voice locked away is blasted off its hinges.

There is no escaping the reality of the situation.

Nobody will care that he will leave. In fact, people will celebrate that he is gone. They will breathe a sigh of relief, patting themselves on the back that the nuisance that is the quirkless Deku will finally be out of their hair. He is just a waste of resources, a defective failure that will never amount to anything. Kacchan would be happy. Hell, even the Symbol of Peace didn’t believe in him.

For years, Izuku had banked on All Might being the one who stood out from the naysayers, the burning flame of hope that even being genetically disadvantaged, Izuku stood an equal chance of achieving the dream coveted by millions of children and teenagers across the country.

But that flame has been extinguished. There is nothing left anchoring him to this place that he lived in for all of his life.

After some thought, Izuku slowly becomes inclined to agree with his mum that perhaps moving to America is the best option for him.

And just as she said, he will get to see his dad in person for the first time in a decade. Izuku misses the playful hair ruffles and warm hugs from his dad. Having someone else who loves him unconditionally, quirkless, for who he is, seals the deal for Izuku.

“Alright, I get it now,” he nods, “Do you need help with packing?”

With everything packed, Izuku and Inko leave their apartment for the last time at around four in the late afternoon. Calling an airport limousine, mother and son depart from Musutafu and head up to Tokyo-Narita International Airport for their flight to Los Angeles.

They have dinner in the airport after checking in their luggage and clearing immigration. At seven in the evening, the gate opens, and they clear security one last time before boarding the plane.

Izuku and Inko settle into their seats, with the teen by the window. Izuku watches the ground crew prepare the plane for taxiing and take-off, loading baggage and other essentials. Planes land and take off into the night in adjacent runways.

In a matter of minutes, this plane will leave Japan, taking him away from his country of birth and flying across the globe to America, where his father awaits their arrival.

Izuku does not pay attention to the in-flight safety video broadcasted on the screens. He is too lost in his head to really think about anything other than the fact that this is it, this will be the last time he will see Japan for the foreseeable future. This is the last time where he will hear Japanese being spoken as the primary language. He is starting afresh abroad and, hopefully, his departure will herald a better life for himself and his mum.

Finally, the doors are closed, and the plane taxis out of the gate and into the runway. After being cleared for take-off, the plane thunders down the runway and lifts off into the night sky.

Japan becomes smaller and smaller, until a veil of clouds wipe away the last traces of light below. The plane stabilises, and enters into cruising mode.

The lights in the cabin dim down, giving the passengers a chance to get some sleep.

Izuku figures, now is better than any to settle into a nearly 10-hour long flight.

He closes his eyes, and the continuous hum of the plane slowly sends him under the call of Morpheus.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

Here we go guys, the promised rewrite.

The main changes I made was Katsuki not dying at the hands of the Slime Villain, plus a couple of small edits I made to the grammar and words.

I will upload the next chapter on 3 April, so stay tuned until then!

- Kai

Chapter 2: Arrival in Gardenia

Summary:

Izuku reunites with his dad, arrives in his new home, and experiences a strange dream.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Ladies and gentlemen, we will begin our descent into Los Angeles International Airport shortly. Please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. Cabin crew, prepare for landing.”

After a long 10-hour flight, they are arriving.

Izuku slept through most of the flight, waking up near the tail end when the cabin crew served out the in-flight meal to the passengers. Spending the last three hours of the flight entertaining himself with trashy comedy shows and predictable dramas that were available in the entertainment catalogue, Izuku opens his window blinds to watch the plane make the descent into America.

Past another veil of clouds, the vast desert of California comes into view. The ground gradually approaches, and LAX sweeps into view. Then, the expected impact of the plane’s wheels hitting the tarmac of the runway, and they have landed.

The plane taxis into the designated gate, and the doors are opened. Izuku unbuckles his seatbelt, and Inko puts away her book on English grammar and vocabulary. They grab their bags from the overhead compartment, and disembark from the plane.

LAX is completely different from Tokyo-Narita. The air is livelier, louder and brighter, in Izuku’s opinion. Perhaps it stems from his belief that Americans are more outgoing and expressive than their Japanese counterparts. But then again, that could just be a stereotype.

Wasting no time, Inko and Izuku clear immigration and collect their luggage. They head for the arrival hall, scanning the crowds for any sign of their welcome party.

“Izuku! Inko!”

Izuku whips his head towards the voice.

There, waving his hand vigorously and a beaming smile stretching his lips, stands Hisashi.

“Dad!”

Dropping his luggage, Izuku zips over and leaps into his dad’s arms. Hisashi wheezes from the sudden load, laughing as he spins his son in a circle.

“God, it’s so good to see you, Izuku! You have grown so much!”

“I missed you, dad,” Izuku buries his face into Hisashi’s shoulder.

Hisashi ruffles his son’s hair, “I missed you too.”

Inko appears, now dragging both her and Izuku’s luggages, “Hisashi, it’s great to see you again.”

“Inko, love,” he bends down to kiss his wife’s cheek, “How was the flight?”

“Good, had a nice sleep on it,” Inko hugs him, taking a leaf out of Izuku’s book, “Were you waiting long?”

“Nope, I timed it perfectly,” Hisashi returns the hug, “Shall we get going? It is quite a drive to Gardenia.”

“Gardenia?” Izuku asks, “We’re not staying in Los Angeles?”

“No way! Los Angeles is too expensive for me to stay in,” Hisashi laughs, “The company would never put up with the insane rentals here. No, we are heading a bit up north. Gardenia is a smaller city in between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s also close to Silicon Valley, where I work.”

“Oh, I see.”

Hisashi sets Izuku down, “C’mon, I’ll go get the car.”

Izuku does not really remember much of the drive up north to Gardenia. The jet lag hits him with the power of a Shinkansen, knocking him out for most of the journey. He only remembers being conscious enough for a lunch stopover in a small town about halfway through the drive, before becoming dead to the world once more.

“Izuku, we’re here!”

He is rudely shaken out of his slumber. Blinking away from his nap, Izuku looks out of the window.

The desert and mountains of California have given way to urban sprawl. Buildings rise up from the ground, and people of all shapes, colours and sizes walk around.

In all honesty, Gardenia is not that much different from Musutafu, with perhaps the only difference being that Gardenia is less densely zoned than Musutafu. The buildings are spaced further apart, there are plenty of trees and greenery growing on the pavements and in between roads, and it feels less packed together. Although Gardenia is definitely a city that is bustling with life, the vibe feels…freer, for lack of a better term. People are not rushing in a hurry from one place to another. There is a chilled-down energy in the air, and the people appear more relaxed than those in Musutafu.

Izuku watches the city move past him as Hisashi navigates the streets, before pulling up along a row of townhouses a bit away from the city centre.

“Is this the place?”

“That’s right, Izuku. Welcome to your new home.”

Getting out of the car, Izuku stares in wonder.

The townhouse is three storeys high, with a small garden in front. Peering around, Izuku notices that there is also a spacious yard out back.

“Oh, this is just beautiful!” Inko gushes.

“Quite a nice place, isn’t it?” Hisashi smiles, “The rent is cheap, even more so since the company is paying it.”

They unload the luggages from the boot, and Hisashi gestures to the front door, “C’mon, I’ll give you both the grand tour.”

Izuku thinks that he could get used to this.

Naturally, there is far more space here than in their old apartment. The rooms are bigger, and it feels more airy overall. Izuku’s new bedroom is easily twice as big as the old one, currently empty. That is, until the timely arrival of the moving truck, allowing work to get started right away.

The house is soon bustling with activity. Hisashi and Inko direct the crew to arrange and set the furniture according to how they want everything to go. Izuku’s room is quickly filled with boxes containing all of the hero merchandise he has accumulated over the years. He will sort them out later, and possibly sell them on Ebay for a decent sum.

At the end of the day, exhausted out of his mind, Izuku crashes onto his bed and is out like the light in seconds. He is too tired from jet lag to really ponder about how different life is going to be, his anxieties about whether people here will accept his quirklessness better than back in Japan, and how tomorrow is going to play out.

For now, he lets himself fall asleep.

~~~

Water is everywhere.

A dim light shines from above, bringing forth hues of blue to black from the surface down to the abyss below. Bubbles form with each breath, but he is perfectly fine, breathing normally and without struggle.

In the distance, he hears a call. It does not sound human, nor does it sound like an aquatic animal. It sounds more…like a bird, or a raptor. It sounds melodic, a fusion of a hawk’s roar and the soft, tinkling music of chimes and harps.

He feels drawn to the call, but he cannot move. He is suspended in this endless void of water.

Instead, it comes to him.

A creature approaches, appearing to fly through the water. As it gets closer, he makes out features that give the creature a distinctly avian-like appearance.

A bird, with massive wings that seem to turn into liquid at the ends, a plumage that looks like a stream of water and bubbles. The only creature he can match it with is a phoenix.

Strange, phoenixes are supposed to be creatures of fire. How is this one made of water?

What an oxymoron…

The phoenix stares at him intently, wings pushing currents to swirl around him. He is unable to speak, unable to ask why it has appeared before him. What does it want from him?

A haunting trill, cooed quietly. The phoenix comes closer and rests its head against his forehead.

The darkness envelops him once more, the sounds of water and bubbles fading until all is silent, leaving behind an empty void, devoid of everything, but the start of something.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

So the edits in this chapter are mainly grammatical and removal of one unnecessary part.

Next update on 5th April!

- Kai

Chapter 3: A New Friend

Summary:

Izuku makes a new friend.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Life eventually settles into a routine.

Hisashi would leave for work in Silicon Valley, while Inko busies herself with housekeeping and looking around for a part-time job to earn some extra income on the side.

Izuku, on the other hand, enrols into online school programmes to continue his education.

While Gardenia has a middle school, he arrived at a time when it would be rather awkward for him to join, especially since Izuku is the equivalent of a middle school student studying in their final year. Online learning, his parents decided, is the most efficient way for Izuku to continue learning and prepare for high school once the summer comes to an end.

That said, enrolling in online programmes does come with some side effects.

As the learning is self-paced, there is no strict timetable that Izuku has to adhere to. On top of that, Izuku’s intelligence and ability to learn at a faster pace means that he clears many of the programmes faster than what was normally required.

This left Izuku with a lot of free time and nothing to do. Often left to his own devices with his mother searching for part-time work, Izuku eventually decides to explore Gardenia to get a better understanding of his new home.

With a bit of luck, he might even bump into a few of the local heroes who have agencies in Gardenia.

Hopping onto a bicycle that his dad had graciously bought for him, Izuku spends many afternoons cycling around the city, exploring every nook and cranny. He visited the city market, browsed through the shops, sequestered himself in the library, and tasted the offerings at the many beachfront cafés.

However, if there was one place in all of Gardenia that took the honour of being his favourite place to visit in the entire city, it is the park.

Gardenia Park is a large green space in the middle of the city. Larger than most parks Izuku is familiar with, it feels more like a nature reserve than just an ordinary city park. While the park does have proper paths, much of the space has nature growing unchecked. Izuku has spent many hours wandering around the trees and plant life, moving away from the hustle of city life and immersing himself in the quiet calm of nature. He would put on his headphones, plug in his Spotify playlist, and simply chill out, surrounded by greenery and the occasional woodland creature.

Today is no exception.

It is just one of those moments where you just want to find some peace for yourself. Izuku cycles to Gardenia Park, goes off the main path, and wheels his bicycle to a tree stump that he found the week before. Setting his bicycle down, Izuku puts on his headphones, and starts his Spotify soundtrack, and loses focus of the world around him.

As music plays directly into his ears, his thoughts begin to drift to how much his life has changed since coming to live in Gardenia.

Overall, the people here are friendlier, generally nicer. The librarians are kindly old women who are always ready to lend a hand if needed. The server at the beachfront café that he frequents knows his typical order by heart. The stallholders at the city market greet and wave with bright smiles and cheerful tones, and even regular passers-by are more likely to assist you if needed. Just yesterday, Izuku failed to see a dent in the pavement and tripped. While the fall was by no means bad, a man had stopped to get him up to his feet, all the while asking if he was okay. This sort of thing would never have happened in Musutafu.

And speaking of his previous home city, Izuku had occasionally checked in on the current events that were going on back in Japan. It was a little trickier to get news information from Musutafu, what it being a smaller city that paled in comparison to the capital, Tokyo, to the northeast. Even news about U.A. and All Might never really reached this side of the planet, usually relegated to the further end of the search results on Google.

Additionally, Izuku wonders what Kacchan is up to. His mother had not told Auntie Mitsuki and Uncle Masaru that they were leaving, and she changed their phone numbers upon arrival in Gardenia. Would Kacchan have noticed that he was no longer around? What would his reaction be?

Who was he kidding? Kacchan would be delighted that he is no longer around. No useless Deku to get in his way. Kacchan can now take pride in being the only one from Aldera to get into U.A.. There is now nothing holding Kacchan back from becoming number one and surpassing All Might.

Izuku sighs. He tries to push all thoughts about Kacchan away. It will only depress him further if he lingers on it.

A breeze blows through, ruffling through his messy locks. The weather is nice today, maybe he can spend some time walking around the park?

Sounds like a good idea.

Izuku gets up from the tree stump, and returns to the path. As he has his music playing, he fails to hear a bell ringing desperately.

“Look out!”

He looks back, and his eyes balloon in terror.

Izuku shrieks and stumbles off the path, as a cyclist barrels through where he had been standing a moment prior. Izuku loses his footing and tumbles to the ground. The cyclist screeches to a stop.

“Oh my god, are you okay?!”

Izuku groans in pain. The cyclist hops off their bicycle and rushes to him.

“Are you hurt?”

Izuku looks up. The cyclist is a teenage girl with long flowing red hair. She is dressed in a turtleneck blouse and skirt with blue leggings.

“I-I’m fine…sorry…”

The girl helps him up to his feet.

“My bad, I didn’t hear you coming,” Izuku bows in apology.

“I’m sorry too, I was going a bit too fast,” the redhead waves off, “Are you sure you’re not hurt anywhere?”

“I’m really fine, don’t worry,” Izuku replies.

“What a relief,” the redhead sighs, “It would be a disaster if you were hurt…”

“Thanks for your concern,” Izuku tries to give a reassuring smile, “But I’m completely fine.”

The girl then has a thoughtful look, “I think I’ve seen you around here a couple of times.”

“Oh, I like coming here to Gardenia Park,” Izuku replies, “I like the feel of nature.”

“Big same,” the girl replies, “Oh crap, where are my manners? I’m Bloom, what’s your name?”

“Izuku, Izuku Midoriya,” Izuku has to force himself to give his first name, as per western customs, “I just moved here to Gardenia.”

“Really?” Bloom’s curiosity piqued, “Where are you from?”

“Japan, from the city of Musutafu.”

“Hm, can’t say I know where that is,” Bloom scratches her cheek.

“Yeah, Musutafu is not as well-known as cities like Tokyo or Osaka,” Izuku shrugs, while he internally finds the girl’s words a little surprising, considering Japan’s top hero and heroics school is in Musutafu.

“Why did you move here?” Bloom asks.

“My dad lives here, and my mum wants us to be a family again,” Izuku replies, making sure to not mention the real reason for his move.

“That’s nice,” Bloom smiles, and together, they walk and talk, “How do you like Gardenia so far?”

“I love it here,” Izuku beams, “The beach is so pretty, and the people are really friendly!”

Bloom chuckles, “I’m glad you’re fitting right in. So tell me, Izuku, what are your hobbies?”

“I…like to analyse heroes and quirks…”

“Analyse?” Bloom tilts her head, “Like you break down quirks and find out every bit of information about them?”

“Yeah, pretty much,” Izuku nods, coming out of his shell a bit more from the lack of criticism, “What about you, Bloom?”

“I like to draw,” the redhead says.

“Can I see?” Izuku asks politely.

Bloom takes out a tablet, and opens her drawing app. She selects her latest work-in-progress, and hands the tablet to Izuku.

“Wow! This is really good!” he exclaims, eyes sparkling. It is a sketch of a fairy with flower petal wings and a dress that is fashioned like a blossoming flower.

“Aw shucks, you’re just saying that,” Bloom chuckles.

“For real!” Izuku gushes, “This is like really master-level! Did you spend a long time on this?”

“I…sketched this earlier in the morning,” Bloom is turning as red as her hair, “I swear, it's nothing special -”

“Nothing special?!” Izuku screeches, which drew some annoyed stares from other park-goers, “You have a talent! No - a gift! Is this your quirk? Do you have an artistic quirk?”

Bloom is really, really red from embarrassment now, “Actually…no, I’m quirkless.”

The world screeches to a stop.

Izuku knows he is gaping at Bloom, so he forces his jaw shut, “R-Really?”

“Yeah…”

sh*t, Bloom is becoming uncomfortable! Damage control! Damage control!

“That’s amazing, Bloom,” Izuku puts all of his sincerity into his words, which makes the redhead blink, “It just makes your art even more impressive! It means that your talent is from your own skills, and not enhanced by a quirk! You truly have a gift, Bloom!”

Bloom stammers, “Y-You’re not weirded out that I’m quirkless?”

Izuku’s smile is positively radiant, “Bloom, I’m quirkless too.”

Now it was Bloom’s turn to have her entire world screech to a halt.

“F-For real?”

Izuku decides to tell the truth, “One of the reasons why I left Japan is because I’m quirkless. People like me are not treated well there. We are inferior, defective, sub-human. We are denied basic rights and decency there, and we are subjected to unimaginable discrimination. Heck, I was even suicide-baited by my childhood friend. My mum didn’t want me to suffer any longer, so she packed our bags and moved us here to be with my dad.”

“I…never realised how bad things are elsewhere,” Bloom replies breathlessly, “I mean, most people here don’t care that I don’t have a quirk, but there are some who like to rub it in my face, you know?”

“I get it,” Izuku nods, “And I agree, the people here are much nicer. I’m so glad that I moved, and I’m even more glad that I got to meet you, a fellow quirkless person.”

Bloom’s eyes sparkle, ‘Wanna be friends?”

Izuku smiles his brightest smile thus far, “Friends forever!”

—------------------------------

The two new friends hang around in Gardenia Park for several more hours, getting to know each other much better and chatting about everything under the sun.

Then, as the actual sun begins to set, the time comes for them to head home.

Bloom and Izuku exchange numbers, and leave the park. Very quickly, they realise that they are headed in the same direction, so they continue their conversation as they go.

“So your mum is looking for a part-time job?”

“Yep, she wants to earn some extra income and have something to do,” Izuku replies.

“Hmm…I’ll ask my mum if she could use some extra help around the shop,” Bloom thinks about it.

“Oh yeah, you said your mum is a florist and owns her own shop?”

“That’s right. Normally she handles things fine by herself, but I have overheard her talking about how she would appreciate a second pair of hands to help with the upkeep.”

“Do you mind sending me the address of your mum’s shop?” Izuku asks, “I’ll pass it on to my mum.”

“Sure, I’ll do so when I get home.”

“Thanks Bloom. Oh, speaking of which, where do you live?”

“Just over the -”

Izuku starts at where Bloom is pointing.

“Bloom…I had no idea we were neighbours.”

“What?”

Izuku points at his house, “I live next door to you.”

Bloom gasps, “No way! We’re actually neighbours! That’s even better! We can introduce our parents to one another!”

“How does tomorrow sound?” Izuku suggests.

“Done!” Bloom beams, “I’ll see you then, neighbour!”

“See you then!”

Waving each other farewell, Bloom and Izuku separate and head into their respective homes. When he closes the door behind him, it all comes rushing up to Izuku.

He just made a new friend. He has a friend, who is a girl!

His face explodes into red, and he sinks to his knees, muffling his screams with his arms.

Apparently, it is still loud enough for his mother to come running.

“Izuku? Is everything okay?”

The teen removes his arms from his face, “Mum! I made a new friend today! She is quirkless like me!”

Inko gasps, and immediately hugs her son tightly, “I’m so happy for you, Izuku! This is amazing!”

“Even better, she lives next door!” Izuku continues, “She wants to meet you and dad tomorrow!”

“Really?!” Inko jumps to her feet, “I must get ready! Quick, tell me Izuku, how should I dress? Should I bring some food over? Do you think they would like katsudon?”

Izuku laughs, a true genuine song of joy, as he tries to cajole his mum down from her frenzy.

Things are really starting to look up now.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

This will be the last regular update for now. I'm literally drowning in assignments and I don't have time to write, so we can expect some delay until the next chapter is ready.

Thanks for your patience, and I'll see you all soon!

- Kai

Chapter 4: A Magical Encounter

Summary:

Izuku and Bloom hit off a fast friendship, but their ordinary lives are about to take a sharp veer off the cliff.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The two families hit it off like a house on fire.

Bloom’s parents, Mike and Vanessa Peterson, are extremely welcoming, and Izuku had a wonderful time over at the Petersons’ house. Inko had brought over katsudon, and it had gone down like a treat. Mike had insisted that she give him the recipe, having never tasted anything like it before. Also, Bloom had apparently informed Vanessa about Inko looking for part-time work, and the two women had discussed privately about whether Inko would like to help out at the shop on a flexible basis. Inko had immediately accepted, and an agreement was subsequently cemented in paper.

Izuku thought that Mike and Vanessa’s quirks are extremely well-suited for their jobs. Mike is a firefighter, and his quirk allows him to shrink fires down enough for his crew to extinguish them quickly. Vanessa, on the other hand, has a quirk that allows any seed to sprout, even those that would otherwise not grow due to the southern California weather.

As time passes, the two families grow closer. Vanessa and Inko see each other frequently, especially while running the shop. Mike often invited Hisashi out for drinks with his mates, and Izuku and Bloom would hang out together once the latter got off school in the afternoon.

More often than not, Izuku and Bloom would head to the park. As the days become hotter, the shady trees provide much-needed relief from the sweltering heat. Protected from the harsh rays of the sun, Izuku and Bloom typically find a good spot to sit down, dig out their afternoon snacks, and spend the next few hours chatting just about anything.

They often trade stories about their time in middle school. While Izuku’s stories tend to be quite depressing, Bloom talks about the popular girl, Mitzi, who loves nothing more than to flaunt her wealth and rub it in the faces of those who she thought were beneath her. Bloom, unfortunately, was a target, more often than not, particularly because she is quirkless.

Not that Mitzi’s quirk was any better or useful. All her quirk did is make her hair shine and appear glossier than normal, which might be useful if she was advertising for some hair care product, but apparently, according to Bloom, Mitzi intended to just roll around in “daddy’s riches” all her life and never do a day of honest work.

It also helps that many other students in Bloom’s school can’t stand Mitzi either, and only those who are really shallow or fellow rich kids gravitate towards the spoiled brat. Mitzi also tends to repeat the same things over and over, which makes it easy for Bloom to block her out.

Schoolyard menaces aside, the afternoons are Izuku and Bloom’s chill-down time. Bloom would sketch and colour on her tablet, and Izuku would plug in his Spotify playlist and analyse some villain attack or hero debut that he read about in the news that day. On multiple occasions, Bloom would bring her pet rabbit, Kiko, out with them and let him wander around the surrounding trees.

Kiko is quite interesting, according to Bloom. Nobody knows where the rabbit came from, and the shelter that Bloom adopted Kiko from suspected that the rabbit had been a test subject in some secret lab, because Kiko appears smarter than the average rabbit, and occasionally displays human-like behaviour, like running on his hind legs whenever he is particularly excited or freaked out, and even uses vaguely human gestures when trying to get attention from someone.

Izuku is endlessly fascinated, but understands that despite his occasional human-like behaviour, Kiko is still a rabbit through and through. Kiko was incredibly shy when Bloom introduced her pet to Izuku for the first time, and would run or hide whenever Izuku got too close. If the possibility of lab experimentation were to be considered, it is only natural that anyone who isn’t Bloom getting too close would trigger the rabbit’s flight response. So Izuku kept his distance until Kiko was ready to open up to him.

Eventually, the days turn into weeks, and summer comes upon Gardenia, bringing with it sweltering temperatures that roasted the air like a barbecue. Even the ocean breeze became unbearable, with the salty moisture worsening the humidity of the atmosphere. While the summer in Gardenia is no worse than summer in Musutafu, Izuku never liked the feeling of sweat constantly pouring down his body, and neither did Bloom. As summer got underway, the two teens spent more time sheltered by the trees in Gardenia Park. Even in the hellish month of June, the ample shade from the densely forested green space ensured that the temperature was several degrees lower than in the rest of the city. Izuku and Bloom never felt like they were constantly on the verge of dehydration, and it is easy to forget that it is blazingly hot outside.

On this particular mid-June day, Izuku and Bloom did as they always had for the past few months. Finding a nice, shaded spot in the park, Bloom released Kiko to explore, while she got around to start a new art piece. Izuku, on the other hand, picked up where he left off on a book about the history of American heroes since the global quirk wars of the early 2000s. His Spotify playlist was not tuned to his songs this time round, instead a podcast on quirk theory that he chanced upon after the algorithm suggested it to him.

There are no words shared between the two friends. They simply enjoyed each other’s company in comfortable silence, basking in the shade and the cooler air.

That is, until Kiko comes running back to them, screeching in distress.

“Kiko? What’s wrong?” Bloom puts down her tablet.

The panicking rabbit tugs at her legging, urging Bloom towards somewhere deeper in the park.

“I think he wants you to follow him?” Izuku guesses, taking off his headphones.

Bloom immediately stashes away her tablet. Kiko runs off into the trees, with Bloom and Izuku in close pursuit. Winding through the trees and thicket, they eventually approach what appears to be a clearing. A loud roar prompts them to creep closer, but remain hidden from sight.

Whatever just made that feral roar, it doesn’t sound friendly.

Izuku and Bloom peer around the tree.

There seems to be a fight going on inside the clearing, between what appears to be an ogre with an army of ghouls, and a tall, blond girl. The girl has sun-tanned skin, and her get-up reminds Bloom of the Sailor Moon outfits from the 1980s anime. Her off-shoulder top has sleeves made of translucent golden fabric that hug her upper arms, and a chest piece which is made of luminous orange fabric on the top part covering her breasts, and a shiny metallic-like material that covers her abdomen down to her waist. A short, wavy orange skirt falls halfway down her thighs, and she is wearing knee-high heeled boots that are of the same orange colour as the skirt. The girl is clutching what appears to be a long, sky-blue sceptre with a large sphere at one end, framed by five jewelled spheres that are gold in colour. Also, there appears to be a pair of wings that are sky-blue in colour and shaped like rays of sunlight.

Izuku and Bloom gasp when several of the ghouls leap at the girl, screeching and swiping at her. The girl leaps out of the way, and thrusts her sceptre at the ghouls. It produces a burst of blinding light that forces Izuku and Bloom to look away, squeezing their eyes shut. The ghouls screech in terror, and when Izuku and Bloom are able to see again, where the ghouls had been earlier are just now piles of ashes.

Still, that doesn’t appear to deter the ogre, who simply claps his hands. More ghouls appear out of thin air, and with another loud roar from the ogre, they surge towards the girl in another wave of attack.

“Power of the shining sun!” the girl cries, and all five jewelled spheres light up at once. Another blinding burst of light, much brighter than the one before it, engulfs the clearing, once again forcing Izuku and Bloom to shield their eyes so as to not go blind. When the light clears, the ogre has been pushed back, but ultimately held against the blinding burst. Now very much annoyed, the ogre roars again, and charges towards the girl at a deceptively lightning-quick speed. The girl barely has time to react when she finds herself being flung backwards by a powerful blow from the ogre’s fist. The sceptre flies from her hands, landing some distance away.

“sh*t!” Bloom curses under her breath.

The ogre then produces more ghouls, which immediately overwhelm the downed girl, pinning her to the ground. With a triumphant grunt, the ogre swipes the sceptre from the ground and looms over the helpless girl.

“Not so sunny now, aren’t ya?!” he growls right in her face.

“Hey!”

Suddenly, a rock comes soaring through the air and smashes against the ogre’s head.

Startled, the ogre spins on his heel.

“Let her go!” Bloom shouts, as Izuku throws another rock that brains the ogre again.

Unfortunately, all it does is enrage the ogre.

Immediately, Bloom and Izuku see the flaw in their plan, “sh*t…”

“Get them!” the ogre roars.

It all happens so fast. Several ghouls surge towards the two teens. Bloom baulks as the ghouls leap at them, claws outstretched.

“Get back!” she screams, thrusting her hand out.

Suddenly, without rhyme or reason, a ring of fire bursts from the ground. Flames surge up from the ring, creating a sphere that completely covers Bloom and Izuku. The incoming ghouls shriek in terror, then pain, as the red-hot flames instantly incinerate them to ashes.

Bloom gasps, and the fire dies down, leaving behind a ring of charred grass.

Izuku blinks owlishly, “B-Bloom…what did you…?”

“Did I just do that…?” Bloom stares at her hand, eyes as wide as dinner plates.

The ogre, shaking himself out of his shock, roars again, and charges at the teen. Izuku shrieks as the ogre grabs him, and lifts him off the ground.

“Izuku!” Bloom cries.

Izuku struggles against the inhuman grip, as the ogre roars in his face, “You should have run, foolish boy!”

With his panic erupting, Izuku screams, “LET GO OF ME!!!”

Over his chest, a shining blue light appears. A supernova of energy explodes, knocking the ogre and the remaining ghouls away. Izuku falls to the ground, as water rains down upon the clearing. No one notices a phoenix-like creature surge up into the air, its haunting song echoing long after the water stops falling.

Shaken out of her stupor, Bloom rushes over to Izuku, “Are you alright?!”

Groaning, Izuku gingerly pushes himself up, “I-I’m fine.”

Footsteps approach them, “Whoa, those were some sick power moves there!”

Izuku and Bloom realise the blond girl from earlier is standing before them, her sceptre once again in her possession.

“Thanks by the way! You two totes saved my dumb ass back there.”

“U-Um…no problem,” Bloom says after a moment, helping Izuku to his feet. He looks to the side, and pales, “Incoming!”

The ogre reappears, covered in cuts and scrapes, along with leaves and twigs. The ghouls flank him, growling menacingly. The blond girl stands her ground in front of Izuku and Bloom, sceptre ready for another fight.

“You better get the f*ck out of here,” Stella warns, “With three magical beings against your puny army, you won’t stand a f*cking chance.”

Izuku and Bloom both know that she is bluffing, since they literally have no idea how to call back that strange fire and water they somehow managed to conjure earlier. However, it seems as if to give credence to the blonde’s warning, their hands begin glowing blue and orange respectively.

Thankfully, it seems the ogre has enough brain matter to make smart decisions, “Just you wait, fairy! I’ll get you next time!”

A sickly purple light envelops the ogre and the ghouls, and in a blink, they disappear into thin air.

Then, quite suddenly and without warning, the blond girl loses her stance and crumples to the ground.

“sh*t! Are you okay?!” Bloom exclaims.

She and Izuku kneel near the unconscious girl, as her outfit seems to shift and change shape. Her wings and sceptre disappear, replaced with an expensive-looking dress.

“Come on, say something!” Bloom shakes the girl’s shoulders, to no avail. She turns to Izuku, “Help me get her to my bike! She needs help!”

“Right!”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

I honestly think the Winx's fairy outfits are kind of dated, and I'm not particularly in favour of what we know about the Season 9 remake's outfits so far, so I looked around Tumblr and Pinterest for inspiration, and decided to redesign the Winx's fairy outfits, starting with Stella.

Let me know what you think about my design concept.

- Kai

Chapter 5: Home Invasion

Summary:

Bloom and Izuku realise that they may not be as powerless as they once thought, and Knut returns with a vengeance.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Meanwhile, in a dim and misty void out of the way from planet Earth, the ogre stumbles through, nearly losing his footing. From the darkness, three pairs of sharp, glowing eyes appear.

“Knut! What the hell are you doing empty-handed?! Where is the sceptre?!”

Unlike his fearsome disposition in the park, Knut cowers under the shrill, disembodied voice, “I-I almost had it! I s-swear I did!”

“Then where is it?” a second voice, calmer but no less dangerous, questions.

“Y-You see, there were two Earthlings, and they -” Knut is cut off by a hard smack to the head.

“You useless lump of dragon sh*t!” the first voice screeches, “Are you saying that you lost the sceptre to two puny humans?!”

Knowing that he is in deep trouble, Knut quickly pleads his case, “B-But they were not humans! At least, not like normal humans! You see, they had magic powers, and -” another sharp slap to the head.

“How many times have we drummed into that empty cave that is your head that humans don’t possess magic?” the second voice, now darker with barely-contained fury, sneers.

“B-But it’s true!” Knut is now dangerously close to wetting his pants, “The girl with the red hair produced a spherical shield of fire that burned my ghouls to ashes. A-And the boy, with the green hair, he knocked me away with a great blast of energy that caused rain to fall! P-Please believe me! I would never lie to you!”

The voices go silent for a long, tense moment.

“Knut,” a third voice, frigidly cold, speaks up, “Spare no detail, and tell us everything.”

“Bloom, I’m sorry, can you…run that by us again?”

Understandably, when Mike opens the door to see his adopted daughter and the son of their next door neighbours bringing in an unconscious girl with blonde hair in an expensive-looking dress, he is more than a little confused and perturbed.

He waited until the two teens had set the girl down on the sofa, before calling his wife and Inko over to question Bloom and Izuku about their unusual find.

Bloom and Izuku took turns relaying what happened to them in the park, which leads to their current predicament.

“We’re telling the truth!” Bloom exclaims, “Kiko heard a commotion, and we saw her battling against this large ogre and his army of ghouls!”

Vanessa and Inko give each other perplexed looks.

“Um…are you sure you aren’t talking about a villain who looks like an ogre?” Mike tries to ask.

“No way!” Izuku shakes his head, “There are no records of villains with an ogre quirk in Gardenia, and not one that could create living forms like ghouls.”

“And that’s not all!” Bloom adds, “We have powers!”

At this, both Vanessa and Inko turn to their respective children, sitting up.

“What?” Mike thinks he misheard.

“I know it sounds crazy, because we’re quirkless and we’re not supposed to have powers, but we apparently do?” Izuku scratches his cheek, “Like, several of the ghouls tried to attack Bloom, and she suddenly created this sphere of fire which turned them to ashes!”

The three adults stare at them blankly.

“And Izuku too! He was attacked by the ogre, but he managed to blast it away with a great explosion of water!” Bloom says, “I don’t think I saw it clearly, but it came out like a phoenix or something!”

Again, they are met with blank stares.

“We know it sounds crazy, but we’re telling the truth!” Izuku says when the silence drags on for a bit too long, “I don’t know it happened, it just did!”

This time, Inko speaks up, “Izuku, um…are you okay? Were you hurt? Did you hit your head or something?”

In retrospect, and Izuku knows this deep down, that suddenly spouting about having a power after being proven conclusively to be quirkless for the past ten years or so is tantamount to insanity. And to anyone else, Izuku would really have looked insane spouting what he just said.

“Listen, we really should do something with that girl you two brought in,” Mike takes over, “We should probably get her to the hospital too, and try to contact her parents -”

“No, wait!” the blonde suddenly sits up, very much awake, “there’s no need for that. I’m fine, thanks.”

Bloom goes over, “Hey, how are you feeling?”

“Much better, and thanks for saving my ass back there, by the way,” the blonde replies.

“No trouble,” Bloom waves off, “These are my parents,” she gestures to Mike and Vanessa, “my friend Izuku, and his mum. My name’s Bloom, by the way.”

“And what should we call you, dear?” Vanessa asks.

“My name’s Stella,” she replies, “but I’m not from around here. Have you heard about the Magic Dimension?” Given the confused looks she is getting, Stella explains, “It’s in another galaxy. I’m the princess of Solaria, as well as the Fairy of the Shining Sun.”

“Fairy?” Bloom’s interest is piqued.

“That’s right,” Stella nods, “See, I was confronted by an ogre and his gang of ghouls, and they chased me all the way here - !”

Mike runs a hand down his face, “Alright, I’ve heard enough. I’m calling the police, this girl is delirious!”

He goes to the phone, which Stella notes with quite a bit of annoyance. She then points a finger at the phone, and to Izuku and Bloom’s surprise, a beam of sunlight-like energy shoots from her finger. The beam hits the phone, just as Mike picks up the receiver, and it promptly turns into a head of lettuce, with the receiver being turned into a carrot in Mike’s hand.

“W-What?” Mike is left stunned.

“Believe me now?” Stella asks with a huff.

“I…think you got our attention, Stella-san,” Izuku surmises for everyone.

“So as I was saying, that nasty ogre and his ghouls attacked me in that park, but Bloom and Izuku showed up and sent them packing!”

Vanessa and Inko, to their credit, are a little intrigued, since Stella appears to be corroborating the account of events that Bloom and Izuku gave earlier.

“Actually, I have no idea what we did then,” Bloom speaks for them both.

“A fairy doesn’t need to know how, they just do it,” Stella counters, and while this doesn’t really provide any answers, it does intrigue Izuku, and excites Bloom.

“Us? We are fairies?”

“I would say so,” Stella nods, “After all, only fairies can perform that level of power that you two did. Of course, there are those who are also able to perform magic, but fairies have to be wield a certain level of power to qualify as a fairy.”

“Um, not completely correct, Stella,” Inko speaks up, drawing all attention towards her, “From what I’m hearing, it seems that the fire and water that Bloom and Izuku created should be something only “fairies”,” she puts in air quotes, “can do. But for the vast majority of people, creating fire or water is within the realm of possibility.”

“What do you mean?” Stella tilts her head.

Inko turns to where the head of lettuce is standing on the table. She raises a hand towards it, and the vegetable quivers. To Stella’s intrigue, the lettuce slowly floats over to Inko’s hand.

“Wow, that was a really cool telekinetic trick!”

“That is my quirk, Stella,” Inko replies.

“A quirk? Is that magic?” Stella asks.

“Um…not…really?” Izuku scratches the back of his head, “I guess it's more about human evolution? There is nothing magical about quirks. It forms part of the human genetic structure.”

It takes a moment for Stella to wrap her head around it, “I guess that sort of makes sense? Still, it's cool how humans on Earth have developed their own powers. Where I come from, we are taught that Earth is the only planet in the known universe where magic doesn’t exist. I mean, there was this whole legend about how magic used to exist on Earth, but all the users were either killed or vanished without a trace.”

Mike sees that the conversation is starting to get a little sidetracked, “That’s good and all, but can we get back to the part where you claimed our children to be actual fairies ?”

“Well, while I was out like the light, I did happen to hear you guys talking,” Stella clears her throat, “Something about Bloom and Izuku being “quirkless”?”

“Um, yeah, that’s the thing,” Izuku nods, “Bloom and I are not supposed to have quirks. I mean, I didn’t ask Bloom if she had any testing done, but I did when I was five, and I didn’t have a quirk factor, which makes me unable to have a quirk.”

“We did bring Bloom for an examination when she turned five,” Vanessa reveals, “Even though Mike found her in a burning warehouse, we still brought her in to see if she would develop a quirk, as would any parent. Bloom didn’t appear to have a quirk factor either, at least, according to the doctor.”

“Well, if that is the case, then it is all but confirmed that you two are indeed fairies,” Stella surmises, “I mean, unless the doctors got you both wrong, which I totally have serious doubts about, that means the only way you were able to produce those sick flames and water is because of magic, which makes you both fairies!”

Silence follows for a moment, as everyone processes the information before them.

Seeing that her husband is quite literally losing brain cells trying to put everything into a coherent picture, Vanessa says, “Bloom, why don’t you take Stella and Izuku up to your room for a bit. Us adults need to have some time to ourselves for a private discussion.”

“Alright, mum,” Bloom gestures towards the stairs, “Shall we head up?”

Meanwhile, in Gardenia’s industrial district, the darkness of the night and the lack of people walking around provides the perfect cover for a dirty purple flash of light to go unnoticed.

Any security cameras in the immediate area inexplicably fail at that moment, as a lumbering shadow emerges from an alleyway.

The ogre from before, Knut, looks around to ensure that the coast is clear. Behind him are another army of ghouls that he has conjured up, and his secret weapon for this mission.

“Troll, sniff out those fairies.”

A hunting troll, a truly hideous figure with foul-smelling, leathery skin that is sagging and wrinkled in all of the wrong places, takes a big whiff of the air with its hideously large nose.

“This way.”

“Well, Stella, this is my room,” Bloom opens the door.

Kiko, who had up until that point been dozing away in his basket, wakes up to see what the commotion is all about.

“Oh, cool! I love it!”

Stella takes a moment to have a look-around.

“Are these your drawings?”

“Yeah, those were from art classes several years ago,” Bloom rubs the back of her head, “I’ve always had a fascination towards fairies, especially when I was a child.”

Stella eyes a sketch with an appraising eye, “Well, you certainly got the looks down, for sure. And, since we’re on the topic of fairies, let’s talk about your powers.”

The three go to sit down on Bloom’s bed.

“So, I somehow awakened a water power, and Bloom a fire power,” Izuku says, “How do we know this wasn’t some kind of fluke in the heat of the moment?”

“Well, you just need to believe in your powers,” Stella explains, as Kiko hops over to sniff the hem of her dress curiously, “And when you need your powers, they will come to you naturally. However, I know that for beginners such as yourselves, it may seem difficult. So, why don’t we start with a little exercise?”

Stella cups her hands together, and a small ball of light materialises over her palms.

“This is a manifestation exercise,” she explains, before extinguishing the light, “It was taught to me when I was very young, which was like, a very long time ago. It requires concentration to draw your magic out into your palms, and to manifest it into the physical form that it takes. Why don’t you two give it a try?”

Bloom goes first. She copies the way Stella cupped her hands together, and closed her eyes. She filled her thoughts with a desire to manifest the fire she had produced back in the park. But for the first few seconds, nothing seemed to appear or work.

Then, there is a great whoosh , and Bloom screams.

Fire bursts out of her palms, but it comes out far too strongly and quickly for Bloom to react in time. She flails back onto her bed, accidentally releasing the flames all over the carpet on the floor, which promptly ignites.

Fumbling off the bed, Izuku never notices his hands beginning to glow. He is thrown several steps backwards, as a blast of water explodes out of his hands, landing over the flames, extinguishing the carpet before it could burn up entirely and spread the fire elsewhere in the room.

Silence follows for a long moment, save for the sizzling of the carpet.

“Well, at least we know that you two can manifest your powers at will,” Stella gives a bright smile.

Bloom and Izuku both turn in tandem to give the blond their most deadpan stares possible.

Unbeknownst to the people in the townhouse, danger is closing in towards them.

The hunting troll takes another whiff of the air, before pointing towards the townhouse, “In there.”

Knut rubs his hands in glee, “Good. Very good.”

“Vanessa, you surely don’t believe that Bloom is a fairy , right?” Mike tries to reason.

“Well, I can’t find any good reason not to believe so. Can you, Mike?” Vanessa counters.

Mike turns to Inko, hoping to find support there, “And you?”

Inko is unsure of what to say, “I…don’t know. If there is one thing I know for certain, Izuku will never lie about something like this. He has long accepted that he was quirkless. There is no good reason why he would suddenly claim to have a power…unless it is true.”

Mike groans, his head falling into his hands, “This is insane! Can’t anyone see this?”

“It is insane, I agree, but it also makes sense,” Vanessa suddenly says, which brings the attention towards her, “Remember those times where Bloom got hurt when she was younger? Her injuries would heal up by the next day. Even the concussion she received from falling off the swingset in third grade healed up within a day, to the point that the doctor conducted an examination to see if her quirkless diagnosis was a false positive. How else, other than magic, could have explained that?”

Mike opens his mouth, realises his wife’s point, and wisely shuts it.

“If it is indeed true that our children have magic, and by Stella’s definition, are fairies, what are we supposed to do with that information?” Inko asks.

It is a good question, one even Vanessa is unsure on how to answer. Should they be registered as having a quirk, even if magic technically is not a quirk? And also of equal importance, what are they supposed to do with Stella, who is now upstairs with the teens in question?

Meanwhile, Kiko had come downstairs in search of any food that was lying around. As the rabbit passes the kitchen, he sees the back door shaking, and several shadows loom behind the windows. Ears drooping, Kiko screeches, and bounds into the living room in a frenzy.

“What now, Kiko?” Mike asks.

The rabbit tugs at the man’s pants, gesturing towards the kitchen.

“Later, Kiko. You’ll get your dinner soon.”

Evidently, it was not the response the rabbit was hoping for. Unfortunately, he is unable to warn his owners further, when a loud crashing noise echoes from the kitchen.

Mike is already on his feet, “What in the world?”

The entire house trembles, as the hunting troll punches the door in and forces its way inside. Mike and Vanessa shriek in terror, as Kiko runs to hide behind a potted plant. Upstairs, Bloom, Izuku and Stella feel the house vibrate from the violent intrusion. A roar gets Bloom on her feet instantly.

“sh*t! Someone broke in!”

The trio immediately rush downstairs.

“Puny humans, where are the fairies?” Knut growls menacingly, as Mike tries to ward off the advancing ghouls with a footstool he picked up, Vanessa and Inko taking shelter behind him.

“Looking for moi?”

All eyes turn to the stairwell, as Stella makes herself known to the intruders, with Bloom and Izuku close behind.

“Attacking me is one thing, but breaking into someone’s house? So not cool,” Stella sneers, as her power surges up, “C’mon you two, let’s transform!”

“T-Transform?” Izuku utters.

“How on earth do we do that?” Bloom exclaims, as the ogre and ghouls advance towards them.

“Call upon your magic, and release it!” Stella replies, before shouting, “Magic Winx!”

In a flash of light, her beautiful dress has been replaced by the same outfit Bloom and Izuku saw her in while she was battling the ogre in the park clearing. Although, this is the first time Bloom sees the wings sprout from Stella’s back. Stella takes off a ring on her left hand, and it extends out into the sceptre she was carrying earlier.

Still, that gives little guidance for Bloom and Izuku to follow. However, with the ogre, ghouls and troll getting closer, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Mirroring Stella, Bloom and Izuku both yell in tandem, “Magic Winx!”

A surge of energy rises from within, and time seems to slow down.

Bloom feels flames erupt from her body, shooting outwards and taking the form of a dragon. Bloom stares in wonder, reaching out towards the mythical beast. The dragon suddenly roars, and swirls around her, before coalescing on her chest, forming a gold, oval-shaped jewel. Flames fan out from the jewel and cover her torso, forming a single-shoulder, blue crop top with a loop that goes around her neck and down her other shoulder, clipping onto the neckline of the crop top. Flames shoot down from the jewel, coalescing down from her waist to the knees, forming skin-tight pants of a matching blue colour. The flames then continue down to her feet, burning off into a pair of heeled boots that are of a lighter, sky blue colour. Some small wisps of fire shoot up to her wrists, and spiral up her lower arms, creating gold-coloured wristbands, and then leap up onto her forehead, coalescing into a gold-rimmed diamond tiara. The dragon from before spirals up around Bloom, diving into her back, causing her to gasp, as fire-shaped wings sprout with bursts of fire.

As for Izuku, he feels as if he is sinking into an oceanic abyss. A haunting trill reaches his ears, as a phoenix of water appears before him. It flaps its wings once, before dissipating into water molecules. The molecules gather around Izuku’s torso, coalescing into a sleeveless turtleneck crop top of a pinkish-red colour. Other molecules cascade to his waist and coalesce down to his ankles, forming skin-tight leggings of a darker maroon. A rush of water then swirls from his waist to the knees, forming into a pair of shorts that are coral-orange in colour. Four clouds of molecules coalesce around his hands and feet, turning into ruby-red fingerless gloves and matching high-top sneakers which are sleeker than the pair he usually wears. Amidst his curly locks, bubbles come together to form a diadem with rubies, before shooting down to his back, rapidly expanding in size, and then bursting into a pair of droplet-shaped wings.

Before anyone knows it, time speeds up again.

“Totes cool, you two!” Stella gives them a thumbs-up, “You just transformed for the first time!”

Bloom and Izuku look over each other and themselves, utterly speechless and amazed.

There is little time for admiration though, as Stella turns back to the intruders, “Now we’ve got triple the magical power. Wanna try your luck?”

Evidently, Knut thought so, “Troll! Get them!”

The hideous beast roars, and surges towards the three fairies. Stella immediately swings down her sceptre, creating a blast of light that knocks the troll back into a wall with enough force to crack the surface.

Knut, understandably, is not amused, “Don’t just stand there, ghouls! Get them!”

Stella turns to Bloom and Izuku, “There are too many. We need to split up. I’ll handle the troll.”

“Right!” Bloom nods. She turns to her parents and Inko, “Get out of here. We’ll deal with them…somehow!”

Despite the surrealness of the situation, the three adults acquiesce, and with Mike picking Kiko up, the three adults leave the house through a nearby window. Bloom then turns to the advancing ghouls, “C’mon, let’s take this outside!”

With Stella dealing with the troll, and Bloom leading the ghouls out of the house, Izuku is left to deal with Knut. Thinking that the newly-transformed fairy would be an easy picking, the ogre surges towards Izuku with deadly intent. With only milliseconds to come up with a plan, Izuku subconsciously calls for his power, and immediately, a blast of water shoots out of his hands. The stream of water wraps around Knut’s head, forcing the ogre to screech to a halt.

“W-What the - ?! I can’t breathe!” his muffled voice comes from inside the water.

Leaping on this distraction, Izuku calls on the water again, this time producing another blast so powerful that it knocks the struggling ogre back into the TV console. While it is unfortunate that the impact destroys the console on impact and cracks the TV set, Knut does appear out for the count. Izuku spins on his heel and rushes out of the back door, where Bloom is busy taking out the ghouls one by one with several bursts of fire. Growing increasingly used to the feeling of power churning under his skin, Izuku unleashes a stream of water, similar to the one he used against Knut. The water sweeps the ghouls up, and traps them inside an orb of water.

As the ghouls screech and struggle inside their fluid prison, Izuku turns to Bloom, “Use your fire!”

Getting the idea, Bloom releases a fireball, which hovers under the sphere of water. The fireball expands to the size of the sphere, and very quickly, the water begins to boil. The screeches inside escalate in volume and pain, as the ghouls are boiled alive. Izuku holds the sphere until the screeches die down, before releasing his power. The water collapses, and the boiled carcasses drop onto the ground, crumbling to pieces upon impact.

Izuku immediately goes to Bloom, “Are you okay? Were you hurt?”

Bloom shakes her head, “No, I’m good. Thanks for helping.”

“No problem.”

Just then, a flash of light erupts from the house behind, and Stella smashes through the window, rolling to a stop before Bloom and Izuku.

“Stella, are you alright? Did you handle the troll?” Bloom asks.

“I’m good,” the blonde replies, although her answer to the second question presents itself when the troll smashes its way through the back doorway, “Evidently, not well enough.”

The three fairies prepare for another fight, as the troll growls menacingly. However, before it could attack, a rope with a glowing magenta orb at one hand wraps itself around the troll’s neck, and pulls it back. The beast roars, fighting against the restraint choking it.

Stella looks to where the rope had come from, and brightens, “Oh! Good timing!”

Bloom and Izuku look to where Stella is referring to. At the other end of the rope, holding on with considerable strength, is a tall, muscular young man with slicked-up maroon hair. With him are four other young men of varying height and musculature. They appear to be wearing armoured uniforms of some sort with capes, with the only differences being the colour of each uniform. The young man restraining the troll has a red colour scheme, while his compatriots have a sky blue, green, orange and yellow colour scheme respectively.

“Good job, Riven!” the one in the uniform with orange in it, a bespectacled redhead, who appears lankier than his more muscular compatriots, flashes a thumbs-up.

“Now let’s get this brute into custody where it belongs,” the one in blue, a tall young man with blond hair tied up in a tight bun, adds.

Riven rolls his eyes, “Relax, I got this covered.”

The one with green in his uniform, with brown hair swept to one side and tanned skin, idly comments, “I’m totally relaxed. It’s just -”

Suddenly, the troll grabs the rope and pulls, yanking Riven off his feet.

“ - you I’m worried about.”

With a yell, Riven lands in front of the three fairies, his rope coming loose from the troll’s neck.

Now free, the troll switches targets, advancing on the young men. It roars, and raises its fists.

“Guys! Get behind me!” the blonde in blue shouts.

He activates a shield from somewhere, which provides an unexpectedly strong cover against the troll as it rains its fists down in a series of punches.

“A little help here, Roy!”

“Got it, Sky!”

The one with yellow in his uniform, Roy, who has dark skin and light blond hair done up in dreadlocks, thrusts a javelin at the troll’s arm, the bladed end breaking through skin and muscle. As the troll roars in pain and stumbles back, the young man with green in his uniform raises a matching coloured broadsword and strikes the ground, creating a fissure that races towards the stumbling troll. The ground opens up beneath the beast in between the legs, causing it to teeter at the precipice. The bespectacled redhead then produces a gun and fires several shots at its feet, causing the troll to fall into the crevice below.

At this moment, Knut emerges from the house, with another army of ghouls.

Riven turns to the three fairies, “You’ve done enough for now. Let us take over.”

He unsheathes another weapon, which Izuku thinks is some kind of battleaxe, and charges at Knut. The ghouls leap out in defence of the ogre, and are sliced apart by Riven’s axe. However, as there are so many of them, Riven quickly becomes distracted, which prevents him from seeing the incoming punch from Knut. He is knocked away by the blow, which prompts Izuku to step in. Knut barely has the chance to react when a blast of water propels him into the bushes.

Izuku turns to Riven, who is gingerly getting to his feet, “Don’t say things too early.”

He gets another eye-roll for his troubles.

Picking himself up from the bushes, Knut growls in irritation, but seeing as the troll is nowhere to be found, and he is faced against five young men with weapons and three fairies, the odds are clearly not stacked in his favour.

Showing that he has at least one brain cell in his noggin, Knut claps his hands, and disappears in a flash of sickly purple light, deciding that escape while it is still possible is the better call.

“Coward,” Stella mutters, “why am I not surprised?”

Blowing a strand of hair out from her face, Stella relaxes and turns to Bloom and Izuku, who had just gone back over, “At least that’s done with. Oh! Before I forget, Bloom, Izuku, let me introduce you two to these fine gentlemen, known as the Specialists.”

“That is Riven,” who grunts in acknowledgement, “Brandon,” he swings his broadsword over his shoulder, winking playfully, “Timmy,” who waves with a smile, “Prince Sky of Eraklyon,” he sheathed his sword and gives a salute, “and Roy, personal guard of King Teredor of Andros,” he sheathes away his javelin and waves with an easy grin.

“We were looking all over for you, Princess Stella,” Riven says, “But more importantly, are any of you hurt?”

Admittedly, Izuku is a little surprised. For all that Riven appeared to be quite aloof and closed off, him asking if any of them were injured or hurt was a little jarring.

“Riven is our healer,” Brandon helpfully explains, “While he is quite rough around the edges, he has a caring heart, and besides, his magic has healing abilities.”

The redhead simply rolls his eyes, “See if I heal you again after another botched spar.”

“You and I know that you will,” Brandon replies easily, “Your heart's too big to ignore the call of blood and injuries.”

Riven appears ready to fire back a cutting remark, when the troll finally climbs out of the crevice in the ground.

“You aren’t going anywhere, big guy,” Sky produces a collar of some kind, and clamps it around the troll’s neck. Suddenly, it sparks to life, and the beast appears to seize up and go ramrod straight. A forcefield envelopes the troll, and it is levitated out of the crevice.

“What’s going to happen to it?” Bloom wonders out of curiosity.

“No creature reserve is going to take a hunting troll,” Timmy explains, “They are too volatile and dangerous to other species, so the necessary protocol should anyone catch one is to cremate it to inorganic matter so that it does not pose a threat.”

Given how it had pretty much torn up her home, Bloom is not in any mood to be sympathetic to the creature.

“Thanks a lot, guys!” Stella waves them off, as Sky sets up a device which appears to open a glowing portal, “Take care on the way back! I’ll let Daddy know that I’m okay now!”

Riven grunts again, and steps through the portal first. Timmy and Brandon wave goodbye and follow suit, taking the troll with them.

“I hope to see you around at Alfea, Bloom!” Sky calls just before he enters the portal.

“Hope to catch you again, Izuku,” Roy salutes with a wink, and takes the device before going into the portal, which closes up after a few seconds.

“Well, that’s that,” Stella remarks.

Izuku then remembers, “What about our parents?”

On cue, Mike, Vanessa and Inko make themselves known, rushing over with palpable relief.

“We were so worried,” Vanessa hugs Bloom, “Is everyone alright?”

“We’re fine,” Bloom replies, as Inko crushes Izuku in her own suffocating hug, “But the house…”

Before anyone can answer, the sound of screeching tyres from nearby catches everyone’s attention. A car pulls to an abrupt stop, and Hisashi jumps out of it. He looks incredibly frazzled, as if he was on edge for the entire drive.

“I came over as fast as possible!” he wheezes, “Is everyone - ?”

Hisashi freezes, seeing Stella for the first time, as well as Bloom and his only son in their fairy forms.

“Um…did I miss something?”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

There are quite a number of personal headcanons and creative liberties in this chapter, as I didn't want to just copy the Nickelodeon specials scene by scene. And we see the Specialists for the first time!

Also, I didn't want Riven to just be this grumpy, temperamental misogynist that Season 1 portrayed him as, so I overhauled his character, and gave him a bigger role within the Specialist group, while still retaining his less problematic character traits that ensures some familiarity with the Riven we know.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think down in the comments section.

- Kai

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Chapter 6: Arrival in Alfea

Summary:

Following the home invasion, Stella brings Bloom, Izuku and their parents to the Alfea School for Fairies.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

After trying (and failing) to provide a simplified explanation to a rather confused and perturbed Hisashi about what in the world he had just missed, both families decided that it was perhaps for the best if everyone returned to their homes and get a good night’s sleep, before reconvening again in Bloom’s house the next morning to discuss what in the world they should all do next.

Of course, there was the fact that Bloom’s living room had been completely wrecked from the break-in the night before, something Mike tried to get started on before the Midoriyas arrived.

This is the sight that Stella was greeted to after waking up and coming downstairs. Mike has a broom in hand, and is trying to sweep up the mess on the floor, never mind the fact that there are cracks running along several of the walls, the TV screen is broken, and so is the console, in several different places to boot.

“Good morning! Need some help with the clean-up?”

“Ah, good morning Stella,” Mike wipes some sweat off his forehead, “No thanks, I think I’ve seen enough magic for a lifetime.”

“You sure? I mean…” Stella glances at the cracks, “Those do look rather nasty.”

“For sure, Stella. Thanks.”

Stella shrugs, and goes to sit down on the couch. A short while later, Bloom and Vanessa come downstairs to get breakfast ready. They had just finished when the doorbell rings, signalling the Midoriyas’ arrival. Once everyone has sat down at the table and food is distributed, the discussion that has been hanging over everyone’s head finally gets underway.

“So what you’re saying is,” Hisashi waves a hand at Izuku and Bloom, “that our children have magic powers and are fairies? And what happened last night was a break-in by creatures not from this world?”

“That’s the gist of it, Mr. Midoriya,” Stella nods.

Hisashi is left speechless for a moment, before slowly turning to Mike, “Do you have anything stronger than coffee?”

Understanding the plight of the poor man sitting next to him, Mike gets up from the table, goes to a cabinet, and pulls out an already-opened bottle of whiskey. He pours a generous amount into Hisashi’s coffee mug, who promptly knocks it all back in one gulp.

“Listen, I totes understand that all of this is unbelievable, but its just really bad luck…or good luck,” Stella amends when both Mike and Vanessa give her a pointed look, “that you weren’t there when that nasty-ass ogre broke into Bloom’s house, complete with a hunting troll and an army of ghouls. But!” she puts down her cutlery, “I do know of a way to make it all the more believable.”

“How?” Izuku asks.

“By going to Magix, of course!” Stella replies, and explains further when all she gets are confused looks, “Since Bloom and Izuku are undoubtedly fairies, it’s only natural that they enrol into the best school for fairies in the entire magical dimension!”

“And what is this magical school?” Vanessa asks, as Bloom perks up and Izuku tilts his head in curiosity.

“It’s the Alfea School for Fairies,” Stella replies, “I’m a student there, incidentally, and the new school year is due to start next week. However, I’m sure that if we can meet with Headmistress Faragonda, she might be convinced to enrol both Bloom and Izuku too!”

“Can we go there now?” Bloom asks excitedly.

“We sure can! That is, if everyone is ready to go?” Stella points out.

Despite the fact that there doesn’t appear to be a given option to refuse, in truth, everyone is curious about this Magix and Alfea. So, once the dishes have been cleared away and everyone is given a chance to freshen up and put on some clean clothes, they gather in the living room.

“Alrighty then!” Stella produces her sceptre, “Hold on to your stomachs! Sun of Solaria, take us to Magix!”

A blinding light blasts out of the sceptre, enveloping the entire room. The floor then seems to disappear, and the group find themselves falling through a shimmering portal. Kiko screeches loudly as he tumbles like a wet rag in the washer, while Izuku feels his stomach threatening to make an emergency exit through his mouth.

The gut-curdling experience lasts for a total of five seconds, before the portal opens up and spits everyone out onto a grassy surface. Stella lands with practised finesse, while Bloom, Izuku, their respective families and Kiko all land on top of one another in an ungainly pile.

“We’re here! Is everyone okay?”

Extracting himself from the pile of bodies, Izuku is unable to stop the nausea and promptly vomits out his breakfast in a sparkling cascade of rainbow light. Bloom is also deathly pale, and the adults are no better.

“That was…something,” Inko comments diplomatically.

“Never again, thank you!” Mike groans.

Being the first to settle his stomach, Hisashi gets to his feet and looks around, “Holy sh*t! This place really does exist!”

“Welcome to Magix, everyone!” Stella proudly proclaims, reverting her sceptre back into its ring form.

Also getting to her feet, Vanessa spots something in the distance, “Is that Alfea over there?”

“Yep!” Stella beams at the sprawling pink castle in question, “Marvellous, isn’t it? Quite fitting for the best school for fairies in the entire magical dimension, if I may say so myself.”

Also on his feet, Mike takes several steps forward, “I wonder if Alfea has any scholarship opportunities -”

Everyone whips towards him when Mike suddenly collides with something solid and not quite there.

“What the - ?!” Mike tries to push through, but finds himself unable to, “I can’t get through! It’s like there’s an invisible wall!”

“Really?” Vanessa goes to her husband’s side and sticks a hand out. True enough, her palm feels something solid and unyielding, although she cannot see it.

Bloom raises an eyebrow, and walks past her parents. Izuku follows behind her, and passes Mike and Vannesa, also without issue.

“Where is it? I don’t feel anything.”

“Whatever it was, it’s not affecting us,” Izuku remarks, “And not Kiko either.”

“That’s because it’s a magical barrier,” Stella explains, producing an orb of light and tossing it in the air between Bloom, Izuku, and their parents. Sure enough, a barrier comes into view, separating them, “It was set up to keep all non-magical beings out of Alfea.”

“Does that mean we can’t come along?” Inko asks worriedly.

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Stella waves off, “I have an easy fix for this.”

She conjures two more orbs, and casts them over the adults. The orbs start raining showers of sparkling lights over Mike, Vanessa, Inko and Hisashi. When the showers stop, all four are now glowing with bright light.

“When you are covered in magic, it’s possible to trick the barrier into letting you through,” Stella explains, before joining Bloom and Izuku, “Come on over!”

The four adults glance at one another, before tentatively stepping forward. Sure enough, they are able to join their children without issue. The party then trek down the hill they were on, cut through the nearby forest on a dirt trail, before finally reaching the main road. The journey to Alfea takes only a few minutes, and the party is given their first close-up look of the sprawling castle.

The structures that make up Alfea castle are arranged in a semicircle formation, painted primarily in pinks and blues, but also with a myriad of other bright colours. Palatial turrets rise from the ground, with stained glass windows which add to the rainbow of colours when the sun reflects upon them. At the front of the castle are a set of gates shaped like a pair of wings.

As they approach, the wing-shaped gates slide down, granting them entry.

“Does Alfea allow anyone with magic to enter?” Inko asks.

“Supposedly, although I’ve heard stories that Faragonda had put in enchantments which stop anyone with nefarious intentions from getting in,” Stella replies.

“Who is Faragonda?” Bloom asks.

“The headmistress of Alfea,” Stella replies, “Very kind but really firm about rules. At least, not as much as Griselda..” the blonde shivers, “But I digress! Faragonda is one of the reasons why I brought you guys here. You will need to speak to her if you want to enrol in Alfea.”

“Well, I suppose that is more logical than pulling off some stunt like impersonating a student…” Izuku mutters to himself.

Hisashi looks around the courtyard, “Why is it so empty?”

“It’s summer break, or rather, nearing the end of it,” Stella explains, “We’re totes lucky that Bloom and Izuku discovered their magic powers now and not later. I heard it's a real hassle to apply for enrollment once the school year has begun. Too much paperwork, apparently!”

“Don’t I know that…” Hisashi mutters.

As they move across the courtyard, Izuku and Bloom notice a person standing before the entrance of a building at the farthest end of the courtyard. It appears to be a woman, with white hair in the shape of a cloud, and dressed in a prim lilac and purple pantsuit with a ruffled collar and a wrap-around skirt on the waist.

The woman notices their arrival, “There you are, Ms. Stella!”

The blonde perks up, “Oh! Headmistress Faragonda!”

Immediately, the party realise who this woman is, and stand back as Stella goes to meet her headmistress.

“Your father was so worried, he was looking everywhere for you!” Faragonda admonishes.

“My apologies, headmistress,” Stella bows respectfully, “I was attacked by an ogre and his army of ghouls. For real, you can ask Red Fountain’s Delta cohort, squad three. They can corroborate my encounter with the ogre.”

“Well, I am relieved that you are safe and unharmed,” Faragonda nods, and then notices the party behind, “Oh? Who are they?”

“Ah, yes, headmistress, I want to introduce you to Bloom, Izuku and their parents,” Stella gestures to the party, “They are all from the planet Earth, but see, Bloom and Izuku just discovered that they possess magic powers and are fairies.”

“Really?” Faragonda’s interest is piqued. She then turns to the party and bows in greeting, “Welcome to Alfea, everyone. As Ms. Stella said, I am Headmistress Faragonda. Please, follow me to my office. I am interested to hear about this remarkable revelation.”

Following Faragonda into the building and up several flights of stairs, the party arrives at a set of double doors which open into a spacious office. There are bookcases lining the walls, as are several paintings and tapestries. Several potted plants dot the office, and what appears to be a large globe at one corner.

Faragonda leads them to her desk, where several chairs pop into existence, enough for all to sit down.

“Now, tell me about what happened.”

The next twenty minutes is spent explaining to the headmistress about what happened, leading up to the home invasion where Bloom and Izuku transformed into their fairy forms for the first time, and subsequently battled against the ogre, his ghouls, and the hunting troll, which was later captured by the Specialists and taken away to be destroyed.

By the end of it, Faragonda leans back into her seat, quite winded.

“Goodness, that is a lot to unpack…”

“What do you mean, headmistress?” Vanessa asks.

“You must understand, everyone, that what you have described about Earth completely upends everything we know, or thought we knew, about the planet,” Faragonda explains, “It is common belief that Earth is the only planet in the known universe which is devoid of magic, and yet, the majority of the inhabitants have developed powers that are comparable to magic, but as you describe it, is actually the next form of evolution. At the same time, what also intrigues me is how both Bloom and Izuku are, quote on quote, quirkless, in a world of quirks. And yet, are not actually powerless, but fairies.”

“Yes…I can see why it is convoluted,” Hisashi agrees, “My wife and I had Izuku tested extensively when he failed to manifest a quirk, and the tests were conclusive that he lacked a quirk factor.”

“Same when we adopted Bloom,” Mike adds.

“But what I don’t get is…how does Izuku have magic too?” Bloom asks, “I can sort of see why for myself, since I’m adopted, and perhaps my biological parents, wherever they are, had magic too. But Izuku is a biological child, who is quirkless, but also has magic that somehow went undetected?”

“A mystery that is undoubtedly intriguing, but one I do not believe that we will find answers to at the present moment,” Faragonda brings the discussion back on track, “What we should focus on right now is ensuring that both Bloom and Izuku are enrolled into Alfea. Given how volatile magic can be in the hands of the inexperienced, it is imperative that you receive the proper education to control your magic and use it for the right purposes.”

“Great!” Stella claps her hands, “So what do Bloom and Izuku need to do?”

What follows is a series of enrolment forms and paperwork in which Bloom, Izuku, and their parents fill out and sign. Thankfully, Bloom has just finished junior high back in Gardenia, and given that Izuku was being homeschooled after arriving in America, enrolling into Alfea posed no major hurdles or obstacles.

“Thank you,” Faragonda nods after the forms are returned to her, “I will sort out the paperwork as quickly as possible. I look forward to seeing you on campus, Bloom and Izuku,” she gives them a gentle smile, before turning to Stella, “Same for you, Ms. Stella, although I do hope that this semester would see far fewer…hair-raising incidents by your hand.”

Both Bloom and Izuku simultaneously turn to Stella, who while her voice never faltered, there was a bit of an embarrassed flush on her tanned cheeks, “Will do, headmistress.”

With that, the meeting comes to an end. Faragonda thanks everyone for their time, and sees the party to the door. Before they leave, though, Faragonda has one last tidbit to share.

“Oh, before I forget, I would highly recommend that you take a trip to Magix before the start of term,” she tells Bloom and Izuku, “On the first full day of the academic calendar, it is tradition for Alfea to a host a dance commemorating the start of a new school year, so it would be handy to have a nice set of clothes for the occasion.”

“Thank you for letting us know, headmistress,” Bloom nods.

The party then leave the office, Faragonda waving them off. When the door closes behind them, the headmistress heads past her desk towards the windows which overlook the courtyard.

“Two fairies from Earth. I must say, I think this school year is going to be quite interesting,” she mutters to herself.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

This story is in desperate need of an update. The amount of dust that has gathered would be enough to cause allergies for two months.

- Kai

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Chapter 7: The First Day

Summary:

Bloom and Izuku depart for Alfea with Stella, and meet their new roommates.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Come the time of departure, the sun rose into the sky as it always had done, and it looked like it would be another perfectly normal day in Gardenia.

For two teenagers, though, their lives are going to take a whole new direction.

At precisely 10am in the morning, the doorbell of the Peterson townhouse chimes. Mike answers it, and greets the Midoriyas warmly. Izuku is carrying a large suitcase, packed with the clothes he will need for the new school year.

Bloom is also just coming down the stairs with her own suitcase, accompanied by Vanessa and Stella, who had arrived earlier in the morning just after breakfast. Together, the two families gather in the living room, and farewells are made.

“Have fun, okay? And don’t forget to do your best,” Vanessa tells Bloom as she and Mike hug her.

“We’ll miss you both,” Inko says, as she hugs Izuku. Hisashi joins in, while very visibly trying to not let his emotions overwhelm him.

“We better get going, otherwise we’ll be late!” Stella reminds everyone.

Bloom and Izuku quickly join the blonde, along with Kiko, who comes hopping over and is picked up by Bloom. The four parents wave their goodbyes, as Stella extends her sceptre.

“Magic of Solaria, take us to Alfea!”

“Bye!” Bloom calls out as light shines out from the sceptre.

“We’ll be in touch!” Izuku adds, as the room explodes in a supernova.

The floor disappears underneath them, and the trio fall through the portal. This time, both Izuku and Bloom are prepared for the landing, and arrive on their feet instead of their stomachs.

“Everyone good?” Stella checks, transforming her sceptre back into its ring form, “Let’s get going then!”

They take the same route to Alfea. Both Bloom and Izuku immediately notice how crowded it is. What appear to be hover-vehicles line the road near the front gates, and there must be hundreds, if not more, students gathering in groups or making their way through the gates. It is a diverse crowd, cosmopolitan with students of all genders, skin colours, and body sizes. Bloom even notices students with pointed ears, reminiscent of elves, and other features one might recognise from a fantasy novel.

“Where do we go from here?” Izuku asks.

“We need to register,” Stella replies, looking around, “Where is she…ah ha! There’s the old grouch!”

Not too far beyond the gates, a line of students queues up before a table, where a severe-looking woman dressed in prudent clothing and thin spectacles sits with a pen and clipboard.

“She doesn’t look too friendly…” Bloom notes.

“Yeah, Griselda isn’t really known for having a sense of humour,” Stella shivers, “She’s the head of discipline, see. A huge stickler for the rules. Some even say that she has a stick shoved so far up her behind, it will grow into a tree within a few years.”

“Yeesh…” Izuku winces.

They go to join the queue. Things move relatively quickly, and before long, they are next.

If Izuku thought that Griselda looks incredibly strict before, as soon as she notices Stella, her already-severe expression becomes decidedly stormy.

“Good morning, Ms. G, long time no see!” Stella beams.

“Not long enough, Ms. Stella,” Griselda huffs, “I still have no clue how your parents managed to convince the school board to re-enrol you after your shenanigans last year.”

Bloom briefly remembers Headmistress Faragonda mentioning something about “hair-raising” incidents. If anything, it only serves to fuel her curiosity further.

“Daddy promised a large donation, and it’ll take more than that to get rid of me, you know,” Stella cheekily sticks out her tongue.

Griselda lets out a long-suffering sigh, “Yes, because we are constantly running low on funds because of students like you. I guess I should have expected that by now,” she ticks off Stella’s name on the list, “And these two behind you?”

“Bloom Peterson, from Earth.”

“Izuku Midoriya, also from Earth.”

Griselda checks her clipboard, “Ah, yes, there you two are. You may come in.”

With clearance granted, the trio head into the courtyard, where more students are congregating, catching up with friends after the summer break.

“What happens if your name isn’t on the list?” Izuku asks out of curiosity.

“No clue, but I heard from rumours that the results aren’t pleasant,” Stella shivers, “Something about being turned into toads and being used as potions ingredients or whatnot…”

“So where to now?” Bloom steers the conversation into a different direction.

“We’re going to find our dorm,” Stella replies, “Every student here has a dormitory. Alfea is basically a boarding school, just like Cloud Tower and Red Fountain.”

“You mentioned Red Fountain before, but not Cloud Tower,” Izuku notes.

“Cloud Tower is the school where wizards, witches, and other wixen individuals go to,” Stella explains, “They possess high levels of magic like fairies, but their powers tend to be based around more neutral or negative traits. Of course, I’m not saying that all Cloud Tower students are evil or anything. In fact, Alfea and Cloud Tower often have exchange lessons where students from either school attend as part of the curriculum, and I’m sure students are friends with one another, but we’ve had more than a few cases of Cloud Tower students going rogue every now and then.”

“Then Red Fountain?” Bloom asks.

“That’s where students who either don’t possess magic, or have magic but not as much as fairies or wixen, go to,” Stella continues, “Red Fountain is more of a military academy, really. The students there usually become the armed forces, protectors, or guards of their realms.”

“Like Roy?” Izuku remembers.

“Precisely,” Stella nods, “Additionally, royal families send their children there too. You may remember Sky, who is the crown prince of Eraklyon. Their education primarily centres on their future role as monarchs.”

Bloom does, indeed, remember the blond-haired young man, if the slight blush on her cheeks is any indication.

Going through several staircases and hallways, the trio finally find their designated dormitory.

“Oh, goodie!” Stella beams, “We have different roommates this time.”

“What’s wrong with the previous batch?” Bloom raises an eyebrow.

“No sense of humour, the lot. And really questionable fashion taste!” Stella pushes the door open.

The dormitory is a considerably large space. There is a common sitting room which Bloom and Izuku immediately see as they enter, complete with a flat-screen television, two sofas and a couple of armchairs, and a coffee table to complete the set. Large glass windows let in plenty of natural light, and on both sides of the sitting room are doors, presumably leading to the different shared bedrooms.

On one door, Bloom and Stella’s names are printed on a piece of paper. Another one has another two names from the list on the main doors, Flora and Musa, and the third has Izuku’s name, along with someone named Tecna.

They check out Stella and Bloom’s room first.

“Oh nice!” Stella gushes, “They’ve expanded the room!”

“Did you have a roommate previously?” Bloom asks, as she goes to set her suitcase on one of the two beds.

“Nope,” Stella shakes her head, “Usually, princes and princesses who attend Alfea have rooms all to themselves. But I think Faragonda put you with me so that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle with the logistics.”

Izuku hums to himself, “I wonder if this Tecna is here yet…”

While Bloom and Stella work on setting their room up, Izuku heads out towards his dorm room across the hall. However, he barely takes two steps out of the door when he steps on something organic, and the room is filled with a piercing shriek.

Startled out of his life, Izuku stumbles back, nearly dropping his suitcase along the way. Something zips out of sight below him, retreating into the room which belongs to Flora and Musa.

“Izuku, what was that?” Bloom rushes to the door.

“I-I don’t know,” Izuku takes a shuddering breath, “I just stepped on something, and then the shriek -”

“Oh, I’m so sorry about that!”

A new voice catches their attention. There is a teenage girl of average height, a bit on the chunky side, and with brown skin and moss-green eyes. Her chin-length brown hair is curly, with the bangs a lighter blonde shade. She has a pair of round-lens glasses with green rims, and she is dressed in a white blouse with a scalloped collar, and ankle-length skirt that is both pink and purple, adorned with vines and embroidered flowers.

Based on her appearance, Izuku guesses that this must be Flora.

“I didn’t realise that my talking plant’s vine had escaped out from my room,” the girl, presumably Flora, rubs the back of her head in apology, “I hope it didn’t give you guys too much of a shock.”

“You have a talking plant?” Bloom asks, quite disbelieved.

“Yep! He is one of my creations,” the girl gushes, before realising something, “Oh, gosh, where are my manners? My name’s Flora.”

“My name is Bloom, and this is Izuku,” Bloom introduces.

“And I’m Stella! Gotta say, you’re rocking that skirt really well!”

“O-Oh…” Flora blushes, “T-Thanks.”

At this moment, the main doors open. All four turn around to see who it is. However, for a moment, the door remains ajar, as if it was opened by accident or by a gust of air. A few seconds pass, before someone peeks in cautiously. When their bespectacled eyes see the four pairs of reciprocating eyes, they widen a bit, before disappearing, and the door closes behind them.

“That’s odd…” Stella states ever so eloquently.

Izuku goes to the door, and peeks out into the hallway. Seeing as there is nobody, he shrugs, and closes the door behind him.

“I think somebody got the wrong dorm,” he says to the three girls, “Anyways, Flora-san, could you tell us more about -”

Suddenly, the door swings open unexpectedly. Had he not been heading towards the three girls, Izuku would have been hit pretty hard by the door. Startled for a second time, Izuku barely registers the sound of rushed footsteps, before a second door opens quickly and slams shut just as fast.

It takes a few more seconds for Izuku, and everyone else, to realise that the door that was slammed was the one that led to the room designated for him and Tecna.

“What was that all about?” Bloom wonders.

“If that was Tecna,” Flora guesses, “I guess they are not really fond of socialising?”

That triggers a response, but not in the way any one of them expected.

“P-Please call me Tec,” the door is now ajar, and a face is slightly visible from the gap, “I prefer that. Also…” Tec appears to swallow, “they/them pronouns, please.”

And with that, the door closes again.

“Well, I guess we have our answer,” Stella shrugs, “Also,” she turns to the door, “thanks for telling us! We’ll remember that!”

The door doesn’t open, so it’s unclear if Tec actually heard Stella’s affirmation.

“Guess they aren’t keen on social interaction,” Bloom surmises.

“I know how that feels,” Flora admits, “I’m pretty shy by nature. But I guess for some people, meeting new strangers is much harder.”

The door opens a second time.

“Ah, looks like this is the right one.”

Four heads turn to the new arrival. Entering the dorm is a rather petite girl with warm olive skin, and short black hair styled in a bob and air bangs, with a green stripe running down the side. Dressed in a red tank top, grey ripped jeans, a hoodie wrapped around her waist and a well-used pair of headphones draped around her neck, she would not look out of place in a hip-hop dance troupe from the early 2000s.

“Hey, are y’all my new roomies?” the girl quips, idly chewing on what Izuku perceives to be bubblegum, which is proven true when she blows out a bubble, before popping it and pulling it back into her mouth, “Name’s Musa, hope we can get along.”

“Hey Musa! I’m Stella!”

Musa raises an eyebrow, “Stella…aren’t you the pyromaniac who bombed the potions laboratory last year?”

Bloom and Izuku blink in surprise.

Stella huffs, “It was for the sake of my kingdom, I don’t regret it.”

“Yet you were expelled…?” Bloom points out.

“How did you blow up the laboratory in the first place?” Flora asks.

“I was trying to invent a new shade of purple,” Stella explains nonchalantly, “Obviously, it didn’t work, since potions is my worst subject. But, had I been successful, it would’ve been the national colour of Solaria!”

Suddenly, a screech rings out from Flora’s room. The gathered teens all rush in, and enter to the sight of the talking plant that Flora mentioned earlier dangling Kiko by one of his legs.

“No! Bad plant!” Flora admonishes, rushing forward, “Put down that rabbit instantly!”

Bloom instantly notices what has gotten the plant so riled up, “Oh, sh*t, I’m so sorry, Flora. I think Kiko thought your plant was his lunch…”

True enough, one of the plant’s vines looked as if it had a few nibbles taken out of it.

“Speaking of lunch, I’m off to get some grub,” Musa says, putting down her luggage, which looks a little worn and stained around the edges, “Guess I’ll see y’all around some time.”

With a wave, Musa pops her bubblegum again, and leaves the room.

“Well, looks like we have quite the colourful bunch this year!” Stella remarks, “Have to say, quite a circle of personalities too. Much better than last year’s roommates!”

“Musa doesn’t look too friendly…” Izuku notes.

“Eh, I’m sure she’ll warm up in no time,” Stella waves off, “So, what shall we do right now?”

“I’m still in the midst of unpacking,” Flora states, “Maybe we can get to know each other a little later?”

“I need to set things up too,” Izuku adds, “Though, I’m not sure how Tec is going to take to me being their roommate…”

“Well, unless you fancy sleeping on the sofa, you gotta do what you gotta do,” Stella winks.

And there is nothing else beyond that.

Making his excuses, Izuku heads off to his shared room. He knocks on the door lightly, “Hey, Tec? It’s me, your roommate. Is it okay if I come in?”

For a moment, there is silence, followed by a soft, “S-Sure.”

With permission granted, Izuku opens the door, and steps inside.

Just like with the other two shared bedrooms, the room is large enough for two beds and plenty of personal space for each occupant. On the side of the room furthest away from the door, Tec appears hunched over something. Now having a good look at his roommate, Izuku notes that they are wearing an oversized hoodie with the hood up, and off-white track pants and clunky, high-top sneakers, similar to Izuku’s own, but of an off-blue colour instead of red.

“Hey, um…Tec? My name’s Izuku, he/him pronouns. Listen, I understand if you don’t like social interaction much, so I respect your privacy, and you respect mine?”

Izuku waits for a response. Tec stops whatever they were doing, and slowly turns around to just meet his eyes. Peeking out from underneath the hood, Izuku spies a few strands of magenta hair.

“S-Sure.”

Tec then goes back to doing whatever they were at previously. Izuku heads to his new bed, and sets his suitcase on it to start unpacking.

At least so far, things are better than they were in Aldera. He just hopes that, with time, his new life here in Alfea goes smoothly.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

So quite a few changes from the canon series. I tried to give more depth to the Winx's characters, especially since I figured it would be more realistic if there is some awkwardness in their first meeting. Additionally, I didn't quite like how the girls are quite literally the same in terms of body design, save for their hair, so I made some changes here and there. I had the most fun redesigning Flora, taking inspiration from both Mirabel and Isabela from Encanto.

Anyways, let me know what you think. I'm struggling to figure out how to introduce the Trix in this fic. Though, keep all feedback respectful, any flaming or hate comments will just be deleted and the poster blocked.

- Kai

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Chapter 8: Back-To-School Chaos

Summary:

Alfea hosts its back-to-school dance, but the night is going to be far from smooth-sailing.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Somehow, despite being in a totally unfamiliar room, and with a socially-anxious roommate not too far away, Izuku is able to fall asleep, and wakes up just as the sun is beginning to rise.

As he sits up, yawns loudly and rubs the dust from his eyes, Izuku notices that Tec is already up, although they have long since vacated their bed and is nowhere to be seen. Shuffling out of bed and sauntering out of his room, Izuku yawns loudly again.

“Oh, good morning, Izuku!”

Looking to his left, he sees Stella outside on the balcony, the windows opened and letting in the morning sunlight.

“Morning…you sound lively…”

“I’m the fairy of the shining sun, silly! I get my powers from the light of the sun.”

“Ah, sounds about right.”

Stella goes back towards the sun’s rays.

“So you absorb sunlight every morning?” Izuku asks, punctuated by another loud yawn.

“It’s part of my morning routine,” Stella replies, “Plus my morning skincare rituals, and choosing the best outfits for the day, and making sure my hair is as luminous as always.”

“...you do that,” Izuku says after a moment, “Oh, by the way, did you see Tec earlier?”

“Nope, though I did hear the doors close not too long ago,” Stella shakes her head, “I guess Tec really isn’t up for morning chatter.”

“Right…anyways, I guess I’ll see you in the dining hall later.”

“You go ahead, I’m still waiting for Bloom to wake up,” Stella waves him off, “She sleeps very soundly, did you know?”

“Can’t say I do…” Izuku saunters back into his room to grab a change of clothes and his toiletries in order to freshen up.

Meals are served in a large dining hall. There are set times for the three meals of the day, and students can take however long they wish to eat, so long as they finish up before the end of the designated time, or before any subsequent lessons.

The food is served along long buffet tables, and the students go to sit in one of three equally long dining tables, one for each cohort year. The staff eat at their own table on a raised platform which overlooks the rest of the hall, mainly to keep an eye on the students and make sure no tomfoolery takes place.

Admittedly, the food is unlike anything Izuku has ever seen before, but they all do smell nice, so there is hope that they are equally palatable.

After leaving the buffet tables behind, Izuku very quickly realises that he has no idea which table he is supposed to sit at. There are no clear designations to say where first-years like himself sit, and he doesn’t want to commit an accidental faux pas by sitting at the wrong table, in front of the entire school, no less.

Thankfully, he sees Flora sitting at the table located at the far-end of the hall on the right. Subconsciously releasing a sigh of relief, Izuku beelines over to that table, and sets his tray down on the space directly opposite Flora.

“Good morning, Flora-san.”

The bespectacled girl looks up, “Oh! Good morning, Izuku. Sleep well?”

“More or less,” Izuku takes his seat, and quietly gives thanks for his meal. Flora watches him with mild curiosity.

“Are those traditions from Earth?”

“One specific location, really,” Izuku tucks into his breakfast. Even though he has no idea what he is eating, his choices do taste good, so that’s a plus, “There are many countries on Earth.”

“Really?” Flora raises an intrigued eyebrow, “How many are there?”

“About 200,” Izuku replies, “But the numbers are always changing.”

“And is it true that there isn’t magic on Earth?” Flora asks.

“Well…” Izuku pauses mid-chew, before swallowing, “not…in the traditional sense? I mean, most people on Earth have powers. They just aren’t…magic, per se.”

Flora remains intrigued by this, and seeing that her silence continues on after a few seconds, Izuku decides to switch topics before it inevitably moves towards his formerly “quirkless” status, “Did you see Tec or Musa this morning?”

“Oh, Musa was still sleeping when I left, and I didn’t see Tec. Were they awake when you got up?”

“They had left already,” Izuku replies, “I don’t suppose Tec will show up for breakfast?”

“Not likely, at any rate,” Flora shrugs, “Was anyone else up already?”

“Stella was up, Bloom was still sleeping.”

“Hm…I hope they come soon. At this rate, they’re going to miss breakfast,” Flora remarks.

It does, in fact, take some time before Stella and Bloom arrive.

“Sorry, I overslept,” the redhead apologises.

“Bloom’s a very deep sleeper, I now know,” Stella teases, “I think she could sleep through the worst solar storm Solaria ever faced.”

Both girls sit down, with Bloom next to Izuku. The redhead looks at the food on her plate, uncertain of what to make of it.

“Don’t worry about it,” Izuku tells her, “Even though I have no idea what I’m eating, it all tastes good. Trust me on that.”

Bloom slowly takes her first bite, realises that what Izuku said is true, and has no further trouble with her breakfast.

Sometime later, up at the head table, Faragonda stands up, and taps a spoon on her teacup loudly, “May I have your attention, please?”

All conversation in the dining hall ceases.

“Thank you. A very good morning to everyone here with us today, and welcome back to another year of learning here at Alfea. For those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Faragonda, and I am the headmistress. With me here at the table are the teachers whom you will meet during your lessons.”

Faragonda introduces each and every one present at the table. There is Palladium, a leanly muscular elf with long, light orange hair who teaches magical reality, potions and herbology. Wizgiz, a leprechaun who teaches the art of magically shifting from one form to another, also known by the mouthful “metamorphosymbiosis”. DuFour, who specialises in etiquette, poetry and literary spells; Avalon, a paladin with a broader musculature than Palladium who teaches magical philosophy and history; Pikass, who teaches public speaking and presentation, and finally, Neralah, a female dwarf who teaches physical education.

“I hope every one of you will have a fulfilling time with all of your teachers, and not give them too much of a difficult time, though I don’t doubt that some of you might be willing to test those boundaries,” Faragonda chuckles, “but I digress. Moving on, I have an important announcement to make, so please listen up. As is tradition, Alfea will be hosting a back-to-school dance this evening. There will be no classes today, so as to give everyone sufficient time to pick out your best outfits for tonight’s festivities. The students from Red Fountain and Cloud Tower will also be attending, so we must all do our parts to be exemplary hosts to our friends.”

Griselda adds her two cents, “The staff will be watching to make sure that everyone remains on their best behaviour. And while we do not pry into whatever…private activities that go on inside your dormitories, we expect each and every one of you to maintain cognitive functions and use any and all protection. The school and staff will not be held responsible for any consequences that occur from any irresponsible drunken shenanigans.”

“Thank you, Ms. Griselda,” Faragonda nods, “That being said, please do not be afraid to mingle and make new friends tonight. Also, the students of Red Fountain and Cloud Tower will be bringing special gifts for everyone tonight, so we encourage you to bring your own gifts too in order to extend the hand of friendship to your peers. That is all from me, we look forward to seeing you tonight.”

The headmistress sits back down, and conversation resumes, though the tone is more excited than before.

“Good thing we went to Magix earlier and got you both outfits,” Stella remarks, “I can foresee the shops being absolutely packed afterwards.”

“Do you have an outfit for tonight, Flora-san?” Izuku asks.

“I do,” Flora scratches her cheek a little shyly, “it’s nothing fancy or anything, but I figured it would do for a formal event.”

“Hmm…I know!” Stella snaps her fingers, “We should do a fashion show in our dorm later!”

“Why?” Bloom asks.

“Why not?” Stella counters, “I’m sure we’re all curious to see what we’re all going in later.”

“But…you already know the outfits that Bloom and I are going to wear,” Izuku points out, “In fact, you were the one who chose the outfits.”

“Oh, details,” Stella waves off, “And besides, Flora hasn’t seen you in them yet! I wouldn’t deprive her of the chance to see you at your best!”

“Well…I’m not really what you call fashion-inclined,” Flora admits, “but I’m sure you both will look great!”

“Trust me, Flora, they both are,” Stella winks.

Across a large lake from Alfea, perched upon a rocky mountain lined with jagged boulders and cliffs with sheer drops, the Cloud Tower School of Wixen rises imposingly over the sky, which while still daytime, is unusually ominous, occasionally rumbling with thunder and lightning.

In one of the many dormitories, three occupants are discussing an announcement made earlier in the morning by their headmistress.

“So Griffin said that Alfea is hosting their back-to-school dance again.”

“Ugh,” her frazzled-haired roommate groans, “why do we have to attend that lame-ass party anyway? All that laughter and smiles make me want to puke!”

“Trust me, dear,” the third witch, as cool as ice, smirks, “it might not be worth our time, but it’ll be our best chance to get our hands on the Ring of Solaria once and for all.”

“But we have to be around those pixies and specialists!”

“We won’t have to,” the first witch states, “We just need to show up with the rest, and then slip away. Plus, we can create a little…diversion, so to speak, which will aid our cover.”

“What do you mean?”

“Cloud Tower, like Red Fountain, will be bringing gifts to the party. I’d say we give them all a surprise that nobody will ever forget.”

“Oh? Do share.”

The impromptu fashion show is underway.

Once again, Tec is nowhere to be found, which isn’t surprising to Izuku.

On the bright side, it ensures that he has the entire room to himself, so he doesn't have to ask his roommate to vacate while he gets dressed.

It’s a good job that Stella showed him how to get into the three-piece suit that she chose for him. For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t look any different from a formal suit that one might wear on Earth. The differences, though, come in the blazer extending beyond the waist and down to the ankles, giving it a robe-like appearance, secured at the waist by a belt, and the collar being higher and covering his neck.

Slipping into black and silver dress shoes that came along with the suit, someone knocks on the door, “Izuku, are you ready?”

“Coming, Stella!”

Wiggling his toes to make sure the shoes fit, Izuku opens the door, where Stella is waiting outside.

“Looking good, Izuku! Just like the day I bought it!”

“Same for you, Stella,” Izuku replies, looking up and down.

The blonde is dressed in an expensive-looking dress, more so than the one she wore in Gardenia. It has the same gold and orange colour scheme, and a long, flowing skirt. However, the top is more revealing, resembling a bikini-top that is studded with diamonds with blue strands of fabric forming an intricate pattern down the midriff and connecting the top and skirt together.

“Thanks! It’s an Iwink Wizrahi, and I maxed out the credit card Daddy gave to me.”

“Umm…is that wise?” Izuku asks.

“Maybe not, but when I saw it, I simply knew I had to buy it. It was screaming out to me, “Buy me! Buy me please!””.

“Good to know where your priorities are.”

Izuku and Stella turn around. Musa is standing nearby, dressed in robes that are reminiscent of the hanfu, but have a noticeable masculine design.

“Oh, Musa-san, you decided to join in too?”

Musa shrugs, “Eh, I saw Flora getting dressed, so I thought I’d jump in too,” she blows a bubble from her gum, and pops it with her teeth.

Bloom, who is in a pale-blue evening dress with see-through sleeves that are covered in diamonds, notes, “Not a fan of feminine designs?”

“Always hated that sh*t,” Musa sighs with an emphatic roll of her eyes.

Izuku wonders if she was going to elaborate further, but Musa doesn’t. In that time, Flora emerges from her room, dressed in the outfit she was going to wear later in the evening. Izuku notes that her dress bears a strong resemblance to a quinceañera dress he saw a latina girl in Gardenia wear for her fifteenth birthday. A predominant mix of pink and purple, with green accents in the form of leaves and the scalloped collar.

“Those colours suit really well,” Stella remarks, “And the green matches with your glasses!”

“T-Thanks,” Flora blushes, “I hope I didn’t go overboard. The leaves and flowers are add-ons.”

“I think they suit the occasion,” Bloom gives a thumbs-up.

Musa looks around, “Where is our resident nerd?”

“Tec? I don’t think they would enjoy this kind of impromptu fashion show,” Izuku states.

“I’m sure we’ll see them at the party,” Stella waves off, “Even if they don’t, well…can’t force them to show up if partying isn’t their thing.”

“So what usually happens in this back-to-school dance?” Bloom asks.

“Just your typical party, really,” Stella shrugs, “I mean, there is dancing, and food, of course. It’s really meant for the students of all three schools to mingle and have fun before the boring stuff starts.”

“Do…people really sneak off to do things in the dorms, like how Ms. Griselda said about protection?” Flora asks.

“Sometimes, usually only after people have too much to drink,” Stella replies, “Of course, established couples would take any chance they can to sneak off for some private time. You find them in all sorts of places, really.”

“Good to know…”

“Anyways, do either of you know anyone from Red Fountain or Cloud Tower?” Bloom shifts the conversation to a different topic.

“Nope,” Musa replies simply.

“I do know someone from Cloud Tower,” Flora reveals, “Her name is Mirta, and I believe she’ll be coming tonight with her friend Lucy.”

Stella, for her part, sighs pleasantly, “I will get to see Brandon again. It’s been too long since we spent time together!”

“Sounds like you are ready to mingle, as Headmistress Faragonda said,” Izuku remarks.

“Blegh, boys…” Musa rolls her eyes again.

“Not planning on hanging out with anyone?” Bloom asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Boys are assholes,” Musa simply states, before heading back to her room, “Anyways, I’ll see y’all later. Gotta work out the music soundtracks for tonight.”

The door closes behind her. Silence takes over for an awkward moment.

“A-Anyways, I’m going to see if they need help with decorating the main hall,” Flora graciously breaks the silence, “Are any of you interested?”

It is a welcome offer, to which Izuku and Bloom eagerly accept.

Later that evening, several large red hovercrafts descend down into the Alfea courtyard. Landing ramps lower down, and from the aircraft, about five dozen students from Red Fountain emerge. They quickly gather into a rectangular formation before two men, one much taller and broader than the other, who is quite elderly, and is dressed in a beige and white robe, with a predominantly white scarf worn around his shoulders, with smaller lines of red, yellow and green.

“Alright, you little sh*ts, have fun, but don’t do anything that will disgrace the name of Red Fountain, and for heavens’ sake, use protection if you get up to any hanky-panky. Any unplanned pregnancies will be on you. Am I clear?”

“Yes, Master Codatorta!”

Codatorta nods to the much shorter, elderly man, and together, they lead the Red Fountain students into the main building in the direction of the party hall.

Somewhere amidst the cohort, Brandon nudges Riven, “Try not to sour the night with your broodings, okay?”

“f*ck off, asshole, I do not brood.”

“Sure you do,” Timmy adjusts his glasses, “People are known to steer clear of you once they see the trademark scowl you have patented.”

“Do you want me to send you to the f*cking infirmary?” Riven growls.

“That kinda goes against the point, since you’ll just treat whatever injuries you inflicted,” Roy points out.

“How about I just leave you to die next time, then?!”

“No you won’t,” Timmy rebuts, “Your heart's too big for that.”

The argument more or less devolves from there. Brandon leans over to Sky and whispers, “Can’t say I didn’t try to liven him up.”

Izuku hangs around Stella, Bloom and Flora. The entire Alfea student population has gathered, as the time inches towards seven in the evening, which according to Faragonda, is the time where the Red Fountain and Cloud Tower students will arrive.

The sound of feet approaching the doors signals the arrival of their guests.

“Students, please give a warm welcome to the specialists of Red Fountain, and their headmaster, Saladin,” Faragonda’s projected voice echoes through the hall.

Applause fills the air, as the students of Red Fountain enter with Saladin and Codatorta. Izuku stares in amazement at just how massive Codatorta looks, easily towering over his students and the comparatively-miniature Saladin next to him. Heck, he is broader than Professor Avalon, who is by far the most muscular of the Alfea staff.

Saladin greets Faragonda and Griselda, before the Red Fountain students disperse to mingle with their Alfea counterparts.

Instinctively, Izuku cranes his neck, hoping to spot Roy amidst the crowd.

His search, however, is interrupted by the doors opening a second time.

“Ah, everyone, please give a hearty welcome to the students of Cloud Tower, and their headmistress, Griffin.”

Unlike the myriad of different coloured suits and dresses worn by the Red Fountain specialists, the outfits worn by the wixen students of Cloud Tower are dressed in attire that remind Izuku strongly of those worn by goths, emos and occult-leaning individuals on Earth. In fact, save for the clearly fantasy elements in their attire, what the Cloud Tower students are wearing wouldn’t look out of place in a store like Hot Topic.

Headmistress Griffin cuts a striking appearance in front of her students. Pale skin with a slight greenish tint, dark magenta hair done up in an extravagant style, heavy makeup, and gaudy jewellery complementing a tight-fitting maroon dress and faded purple gloves that go up to her elbows, she undoubtedly made for an intimidating figure.

That said, it is all warm, if sardonic, smiles tonight, as Griffin embraces Faragonda and Saladin like old friends. The Cloud Tower students also disperse, mingling with their Alfea and Red Fountain counterparts, and soon, chatter fills the air.

“And now, let the party commence,” Faragonda claps her hands.

Up on a raised stage, Izuku spots Musa starting the music. The first song manages to get through no less than 10 obscene profanities in five seconds before Avalon could be seen bolting towards the stage. The paladin moves with frightening speed, almost as fast as lightning. Avalon immediately tries to intervene with the console, much to Musa’s displeasure. However, it seems that despite his best attempts, the song not only refuses to change into something less profane, a tongue suddenly sticks out and blows an insulting raspberry right into Avalon’s face.

Back where the staff of all three schools are gathered, Izuku spies Griselda looking up heavenward and visibly praying for patience.

Thankfully, the students don’t seem to mind too much, with many gathering on the dance floor to jam along with the heavy metal-like song.

Meanwhile, Izuku starts feeling a little peckish, so breaking away from Bloom and the others, he beelines towards the buffet table, and eyes the food and drink on offer. Again, he has no idea what on earth the food is, but the smell is appetising enough, so he piles his plate high.

He is just about to turn around with an absolute mountain of food when he nearly smacks his face head-on into a chest with firm pectorals.

“Careful there, you would have wasted all of that food.”

Recognising the voice, Izuku looks up, “Oh! Roy! Good evening!”

The dark-skinned specialist grins boyishly, “Hungry?”

“Absolutely starving,” Izuku chuckles, steadying his plate, “I haven't eaten anything since lunch. Too busy decorating the hall with the others.”

“I can tell,” Roy eyes the pile of food balanced precariously on the plate.

“Anyways, are you planning on eating anything?”

“Yep, though, probably not as much as you are planning to.”

“Tell my stomach that.”

Roy chuckles, and goes to grab a plate and fill it with a moderate amount of food. He rejoins Izuku, “So, how has Alfea been thus far? Any more rogue ogres and ghouls you need me to rescue you from?”

Izuku knows that he is joking, so he throws one back, “If I had, I would have directed them to Red Fountain instead. I’m sure you and your squad could always benefit from extra training.”

This time, Roy bursts out in laughter.

“But for real, things have been more or less peaceful here,” Izuku continues, “No ogres or ghouls.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Roy nods, wiping away the tears that had gathered from laughing his lungs out.

“So did you destroy the troll from last time?” Izuku asks.

“Yep, as soon as we arrived back at Red Fountain, we sent it off to the laboratories to be euthanised,” Roy nods, “I witnessed the cremation.”

“How does that work?” Izuku asks curiously, in between bites, “Did they just shove it into a machine or toss it into a bonfire?”

“A machine,” Roy replies, “It’s faster, and more fuel-efficient than a bonfire cremation.”

The conversation deviates from there. Izuku laughs at some more of Roy’s jokes, but the humorous atmosphere is broken when Izuku’s stomach growls again, but for a different reason entirely.

“Oh sh*t…I don’t feel so good.”

Seeing how pale and green Izuku’s cheeks have become, Roy quickly takes his plate away, “I think you ate something your system isn’t reacting well to.”

“Could be anything,” Izuku groans, “Please excuse me.”

“Take your time, I won’t go anywhere.”

Izuku dashes out of the hall and beelines for the nearest bathroom. Thankfully, it is not too far away. Diving into the first stall he can get into, he barely gets a chance to sit down on the bowl before the emergency evacuation begins.

Meanwhile, three witches from Cloud Tower have also left the main hall, but for a different reason entirely.

Slipping into a hallway not too far from the hall, they come before two large chests.

“So these are the gifts, huh?”

“I wonder what those Red Fountain losers brought for those annoying pixies.”

The chest bearing the Red Fountain insignia is opened, revealing hundreds of small, palm-sized eggs with golden spots on them. One such egg is taken out, and broken open. A swarm of golden butterflies is released, and flutters up to the ceiling, where they hang around for a few seconds, before dissipating.

“Ugh, that was so f*cking sweet I almost got diabetes from that.”

“Good thing we’re fixing that, no? Now let’s see where that ring is stored…”

Sighing deeply, Izuku emerges from the bathroom, flicking his hands dry.

It had been an arduous experience, evacuating his system of whatever was causing the disturbance. He just hoped that the bathroom had a good ventilation system, otherwise it might not be usable for the foreseeable future.

As he heads back towards the main hall, several voices reach his ears.

And while this in of itself wouldn’t warrant him to pause in his tracks, what was spoken was concerning enough to pause.

“...Now let’s see where that ring is stored.”

Again, it could’ve been anything else. But with his experience of the magical dimension thus far, the only ring that has triggered the most significant events he had gone through was Stella’s ring. And the voices don’t sound all too friendly either.

So, acting against his better judgement, Izuku follows where the voices are coming from, and hides around the corner just out of sight from the source.

There, he spies three witches, one who has long, snow-white hair tied up in a high ponytail, the second with olive-green hair, and the third with short hair frazzled so much that it looked as if she ran a strong electric current through it. All three wore heavy make-up, and looked quite sinister.

Izuku watches as the witch with olive-brown hair extends her hands into the air, “Cast the spell, the past it tells. Show us where the Ring of Solaria is!”

A dark miasma appears before her hands, and an image appears. Izuku barely holds in the gasp, as the image shows Stella taking off her ring and placing it in a seashell-shaped box. She had removed it since it didn’t go with the dress she showed off earlier, and kept it away for safekeeping.

Now, though, it is evidently clear that these three witches are planning on stealing it, which brings back uncomfortable memories of Knut the ogre, both in Gardenia park and at Bloom’s house.

“Good work,” the white-haired witch nods, “now, let’s give everyone a surprise they’ll never forget!”

The three witches join hands, and chant in tandem, “Turn the enchanted into the cursed. Give them bites that make them puke. Let the eggs open and snake-rats appear. And let them spread pain, nausea and terrible fear!”

Three orbs of icy-blue, magenta and purple lights appear and converge on the open chest. Even though he is quite far away, Izuku is able to tell that the eggs have been cursed.

“Now we get out and watch the chaos unfold.”

Thankfully, the three witches run off in the opposite direction from where Izuku is hidden. Still, with a pit rapidly forming in his stomach, Izuku takes off for the main hall, knowing that unless something is done post-haste, calamity will follow soon.

Returning to the party, Izuku immediately scopes for Bloom and Stella. Winding through the throngs of students, apologising as he goes, he thankfully bumps into Stella, who is chatting with Brandon over a glass of fizzy liquid.

“Whoa there! What’s the rush?”

“There’s an emergency,” Izuku says hurriedly, “Where are the others?”

Eyebrows furrowing in concern, Stella goes with Izuku to look for Bloom and Flora. Musa is still manning the music console, having managed to wrestle control back from Professor Avalon, and Tec is nowhere to be found.

Finding a secluded corner away from the main hub of activity, the four roommates come together.

“Alright, spill, what’s gotten you in such a tizzy?” Stella asks.

“I was coming back from the bathroom, and I saw three witches from Cloud Tower put a curse on the gifts that Red Fountain brought to the party.”

“Cursed? What exactly did they do?” Bloom asks.

“The gifts are enchanted eggs, which are supposed to release golden butterflies when opened. Only the curse changed them to produce something called a snake-rat?”

Flora immediately pales, “Oh no, this is bad.”

“What’s a snake-rat?” Bloom asks out of curiosity.

“They are creatures primarily found in swamps in tropical climates,” Flora explains, “I see them regularly in the mangroves in my home realm of Linphea. They are known to attack anything that disturbs their habitat, and their bites are incredibly venomous. At best, it causes severe nausea and abdominal pain. And at worst, if a person reacts badly to the venom, they can die in less than ten seconds if no antidote is administered.”

“Holy sh*t…” Bloom mutters.

“Why would these three witches sabotage another school’s gifts?” Stella crosses her arms.

“It’s merely a distraction,” Izuku explains, “They’re going to use the ensuing chaos to steal your ring, Stella. I think they were the ones who hired the ogre to attack you.”

“Of f*cking course…” the blonde sighs.

“We need to act fast then,” Bloom says, “We need to go back to the dorm and get your ring.”

Flora looks towards the doors, “That will have to wait. They’re bringing the gifts in!”

True enough, two pairs of Red Fountain and Cloud Tower students are carrying the chests into the hall.

“Quick! We need to cast a counter-reversion spell,” Stella jumps into action, “Flora, do you know which one I’m referring to?”

The bespectacled girl nods. Bloom and Izuku, despite not knowing the details of this spell, quickly take the offered hands from Stella and Flora, and form a circle.

“Everyone, chant along with me.”

Stella leads the incantation, and both Izuku and Bloom try to keep up, “Let the dark magic be reversed. Return the eggs to what they were before they were cursed!”

Izuku and Bloom suddenly feel a tug from their torsos and two orbs of water-blue and fire-red join the leaf-green and golden-yellow orbs in the centre of the circle. The four orbs conjoin together into a larger, white sphere, which then produces a stream of light that sneaks around the feet of the gathered students. Izuku and Bloom push more magic into the sphere, increasingly straining their bodily strength. Unseen by the attendees, the stream of light reaches the Red Fountain chest, and encompasses it with a subtle glow. Inside, the eggs, which had taken on stripes after being cursed by the three witches, revert back to their original forms with the golden spots.

And just in time too. The chest is opened by one of the specialists, being none the wiser of what had just happened. The eggs are distributed, and soon, the hall is filled with gasps of awe and delight, as swarms of golden butterflies fill the air.

The four fairies unlink hands. Bloom and Izuku sigh with exhaustion.

“That was intense,” the redhead wheezes.

“Are counter spells this difficult?” Izuku wipes the sweat from his brow.

“For a beginner, yes,” Stella replies, “But with enough practice, it gets easier.”

“Good to know…”

Flora turns to Stella, “You better get your ring.”

Nodding in thanks for the reminder, Stella snaps her fingers, and summons the seashell box from her room. She takes out the ring and slides it back onto her finger, before vanishing the box back to the dorm.

A shadow looms over Izuku, “Hey, is everything okay?”

He turns around, “Oh, Roy, sorry about that. Was just tending to a small emergency.”

“Oh dear, is everything sorted out?”

“Yep!” Izuku beams, “And so is my stomach. I wasn’t sure what I ate that could have caused the upset, though. I don’t recognise any of the food being served here.”

“I feel you,” Roy nods in agreement, “Andros has a different cuisine than what is served in Red Fountain. But I do know some familiar dishes, and I can explain what they are if you’re interested.”

“Yes, please, I don’t want to make another bathroom unusable so soon.”

Both Izuku and Roy head back to the buffet spread. Stella nudges Bloom, “If those two aren’t together by the end of the year, I’ll burn my entire wardrobe.”

Knowing the sheer number of clothes and outfits in her roommate’s expanded walk-in wardrobe, Bloom snorts, “Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.”

“Un-f*cking-believable!” the white-haired witch screeches, freezing some nearby bamboo into icicles and shattering them into tiny shards, “They reversed our curse?! How could a bunch of freshmen pixies undo our curse?!”

“This is so getting on my nerves,” her electrified counterpart grits her teeth, “Let’s just trash the place and be done with it all.”

“Not unless you want to get your flat ass tanned by both Faragonda and Griffin at the same time,” the third witch reasons, her tone dark.

“I hate it when you’re logical and whatnot.”

“f*ck off, you whiny bitch.”

“So our gifts were cursed?” Brandon asks.

“Apparently,” Stella sniffs, taking a sip of her drink, “thankfully, we were able to reverse it before any damage could be done.”

“Why would those witches be after your ring?” the brown-haired specialist wonders.

“Who knows, really,” Stella sighs, “I mean, it’s not like my ring is the most powerful artefact in the entire magical dimension. Sure, it amplifies my magic, but other than being able to make me look chic and defending me against opponents, it’s nothing different from any magical ring out there!”

Brandon purses his lips, “Do you think these witches are seeking out some greater power?”

“I sure hope not,” Stella shudders, “It’s bad enough that we have several wixen go rogue every year. But seeking out some greater power for some nefarious purpose? No thank you, very much.”

“Ugh, can’t we just do something? I’m all charged up, but there’s nothing for me to let it out on!”

“Patience, dear. We need to find the right moment and target.”

The witch huffs, crossing her arms petulantly.

A few moments later, luck seems to turn for them.

“Ah ha, and here comes a willing volunteer…”

It was all too much.

They know that this should have been the best opportunity to practise opening up socially and making new friends. They even researched obsessively about what kind of material, colour, and outfit design would catch the most attention.

It was all on the encouragement of their parents to make friends and not dig deeper into the “computer nerd” stereotype by having no actual social life.

One thing though, stereotypical computer nerds are socially-awkward. They are socially-anxious.

The difference in one word makes all the difference. The stereotype makes fun of a certain group of people who don’t understand social cues. Here, they have an actual, diagnosable medical condition.

And it's not like they don’t want to socialise or don’t know how to.

It was all too much, at one go.

The loud noises from hundreds of people talking at once, knowing that any number could suddenly make eye-contact with them, and fearing that they will mess up as soon as they open their mouth came together into a terrifying, confusing mix of spiked adrenaline and escalating flight-or-fight urges.

They had briefly thought about seeking safe refuge with their roommate, Izuku, but he was nowhere to be seen.

And rightly so, since no doubt, he was having a great time with the others, or maybe even someone from Red Fountain or Cloud Tower.

They were all alone, in a social minefield where danger lurks everywhere. One wrong move, and they would be once again subjected to the humiliation, pain, and contempt from those around them.

They thought that Alfea would be different. Zenith, for all of their technological advancements that propelled the citizens to new heights, failed to factor in mental and emotional development in the process. Technology and magic brought change, but it turned the citizens into no better than the machines they now operate. Those who were fortunate enough to have unbothered minds benefitted, but those who had problems with their mental and emotional states found themselves at the bottom of the pecking order.

In Zenith, clear minds were favoured over everything else. And despite their prodigal skills in technology and magic, they were seen as less desirable because of the constant state of fear permeating through their mind when faced with other people.

Their parents sent them to Alfea, hoping that they would “get over” their fear of people. A small part of them hoped so too, and it seemed that tiny progress was being made, courtesy of their roommates, especially Izuku. Not only did they respect their pronouns, Izuku was conscious about their disorder, establishing safe and comfortable boundaries.

But now, those tiny baby steps are ruined by the rapidly erupting fear and panic from being in a noisy hall full of people who could be looking at them, with all sorts of unknown thoughts and feelings about them, how they looked, and whether they look like a right fool.

It is too much.

Too much!

Not wasting a second, Tec turns on their heel and flees from the main hall. Acting entirely on blind panic and instinct, they somehow end up outside on the grounds, only noticing the change in location when the cool night breeze hits their skin.

Looking around, Tec curses under their breath. They didn’t mean to end up outside.

What a mess…now it is going to be a much longer way back to the dorm, and they have no idea which part of the castle they are in now!

With a loud sigh, Tec turns on their heel to begin the trek back to the castle.

“Leaving so soon?”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

To be honest, this chapter was going to be longer, but I'm running on fumes by this point, so I figured a cliff-hanger would be sufficient to get the tension growing.

Also, I'm glad to see that the reception of the previous chapter did not include any flames or hate comments, but I did notice that the response overall was somewhat muted.

It could very well be me just overthinking things, but I wonder if there are things about my take on this BNHA/Winx concept that you're not satisfied with? Let me know in the comments section below.

- Kai

-------------------------

Chapter 9: Technology and Blood

Summary:

Izuku intervenes in the confrontation between Tec and the three witches.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Despite refilling his stomach, there was something Izuku couldn't quite put his finger on.

Not so much a symptom of a physical issue, nor the sinking feeling he experienced when he uncovered the plot by those three witches to cause mayhem in order to steal Stella’s ring. But rather something unknown, like there is a matter he is forgetting, but can’t quite remember what it is.

As it is, Roy seems to notice his state of mind, “Something up?”

“You ever had that nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something, but can’t quite remember what it is?” Izuku asks.

“I’m pretty sure,” Roy nods, “Of course, I can’t exactly help with this one.”

Izuku hums, “Do you mind if I step outside for a bit?”

“No trouble, take your time.”

Izuku hands over his now-empty plate, and leaves the hall. Now in a quieter setting, Izuku mutters to himself, “What could it be…”

His ruminations, however, are suddenly broken by a loud noise, seeming to come from just outside the hallway he is in.

“What the…?”

Worried that something could be wrong, Izuku immediately heads for the nearest exit in the direction of the disturbance.

“Leaving so soon?”

Tec whips around, anxiety spiking at the unfamiliar voice.

“W-Who are you?”

There are three young women standing before them, and judging from their looks and entire, the three had to be witches.

“Doesn’t matter who we are,” the white-haired witch chuckles, “It won’t be important in the long run.”

“What d-do you want from me?” Tec stutters, inching backwards.

“Nothing much, just something to let the steam out,” the frazzled-haired witch flashes her teeth in a sinister smile, “And you’re the perfect target.”

Tec tries to make a run for it, but finds their path blocked by the last of the three witches, dressed in dark violet and with olive-brown hair.

“Come now, let’s have a little fun. Shadow Siege!”

Shadows from nearby trees, and even the walls of Alfea castle surge towards Tec on the witch’s command. Forced on the retreat, Tec jumps and dodges attacks from the myriad of shadows taking aim at them.

“Pathetic little pixie, don’t you even know how to use magic?” the frazzle-haired witch sneers, “Lightning barrage!”

From shadows, comes the lightning. Once again, Tec is forced to dive out of the way from being electrocuted and burnt by the storm of lightning bolts raining down on them. They try to make a run for the castle, but find their path blocked again, this time by the white-haired witch.

“Such a shame that you want to leave us so soon,” she shrugs, “Oh well, since you want that so badly…Ice -!”

“What the f*ck is going on here?!”

It was one thing to come across the same trio of witches who tried to sabotage the party all to steal a magical ring, but another thing entirely when those same witches were attacking his roommate in what was clearly an unprovoked assault.

And yes, he may have only met Tec for less than two days, and only seen them around for a couple of minutes at the most, but this?

For Izuku, this will not stand one, bit.

“Huh, another pixie? What is he going to do, charge in like some kind of hero?” the frazzle-haired witch sneers.

This triggers memories of a life an entire dimension and a planet away, where his mere existence was subject to ridicule, torment and derision. Unprovoked, unsolicited, instigated by bullies who were nothing more than cowards at heart, hoping to make themselves feel better and stronger by targeting those weaker than themselves.

Images of spiky blond hair, red eyes saturated with bloodthirstiness, and explosions popping from hands flood his mind, and from within, a surge of energy erupts with terrifying force.

Izuku’s eyes flash, “Magic Winx!”

Magic completely envelopes him, as the haunting song of a phoenix fills the air. His formal suit and shoes are gone, washed away and replaced with wings and water pooling around his hands.

The white-haired witch clicks her tongue in annoyance, “What a nuisance…” her eyes narrow, “Right, since you’re so eager to be a hero, Icicle Avalanche!”

From the air, icicles with deadly points rain down on Izuku. His wings instinctively flutter, and his feet lift off from the ground. Izuku flies backwards, out of the way from the icicles. The water pooling in his hands rapidly expands into fluid orbs, which he hurls at the white-haired witch. She dodges the first few, but Izuku ups the assault, and several hit with enough force to knock the witch off her feet and send her flying backwards into the bamboo grove.

“You’ll f*cking pay for that!” the lightning-powered witch screeches.

She retaliates with another barrage of lightning bolts, backed up by the olive-brunette with orbs of dark violet magic. Izuku dodges, rolls and flies out of the way from these attacks, coming to a land before his stunned roommate, “Tec, a little help here, please!”

In truth, they are quite stunned and unsure of what is going on, let alone do something about it. However, a blast of sickly magenta magic crackling with electricity barely skims past their head. While it had not been a direct attack by the lightning-producing witch and more likely to be a stray shot that missed its target, it was enough for Tec to snap out of their frozen terror, and realise the gravity of the situation.

Sure, they are still riddled with anxiety from the entire debacle, but seeing their roommate fighting against three powerful witches flips an inner switch.

They might not know what to do in social situations, but their sense of right and wrong is very much clear and understood. This is an unprovoked attack, and they are not going to just stand by and see their roommate, who had not only respected their gender nonconformity and their crippling social anxiety, but has now come to rescue them from a perilous situation.

There is only one thing for them to do.

“Magic Winx!”

The grounds light up with a digital-green light, stopping the fight going on between Izuku and the three witches.

The world flashes away, replaced by something resembling a technosphere. Tec’s robes flicker away, as they transform into their fairy form. Several screens blink into existence all around their body, and a swarm of zeroes and ones coalesce around their shoulders, torso and down to their elbows and knees. A lilac armoured bodysuit shimmers into existence, before more swarms of ones and zeroes fill up the spaces of their arms and lower legs. A pair of light, faded blue gauntlets and boots provide protection for their extremities, and as for their head, a projection creates a helmet with a green, transparent visor. And finally, the screens all switch off into white orbs of technical magic, which surge to their back, and expand outwards into their wings, shaped like two WiFi signals with three strength bars.

The world reasserts itself, and Tec stands up to the three witches as the fairy of technology.

“Hmph, really? Is that all you got?” the white-haired witch sneers, “Oh well, I guess we just have to show these two pixies that playtime is over.”

She unleashes another storm of icicles upon them both. Izuku blasts some away with a torrent of water, while Tec creates a shield using a green digital web, which protects them from the icy onslaught.

“Don’t hog all of the fun, let me have a go,” the darkness-powered witch raises her arms, “Perceptus Disorientus!”

The world begins to distort, inducing severe confusion on both fairies. With their head beginning to ache, Tec growls, “Information Overload!”

They unleash a barrage of useless, trivial data and facts. The dark-powered witch is immediately struck down by her head being assaulted in all directions, and the perception-confusing curse ceases at once. The other two witches snarl with fury and immediately strike back with ice and lightning.

Soon, the entire grounds turn into a warzone, with water and technology clashing with the combined force of ice, darkness and lightning. How nobody in the adjacent hall realises that a battle is taking place is anyone’s guess. But as the fight drags on, and the white-haired witch takes a blast of water to the face, she screeches, “Enough of this sh*t! Ice Coffin!”

Immediately, both Izuku and Tec are encased in giant icebergs, and for a moment, it seems that the battle is over.

“Well, that’ll show them,” the frazzle-haired witch cackles.

Except, the ice surrounding Izuku begins to crack and splinter. Before any of the three witches could react, the ice explodes with terrifying force, shaking the ground and sending projectiles hurtling towards the windows of the hall, shattering the glass.

The haunting roar of a phoenix fills the air, as Izuku emerges, his exposed skin flushed red from the frigid ice, and his breath coming out in condensed puffs of water vapour. Then, in front of the three stupefied witches, his forest-green hair begins to flicker to a brown colour, and back to green in rapid succession. His fringe was hiding his eyes as he emerged from his frozen prison, but as he raises his head to glare at the witches, they are treated to the unsettling sight of eyes that have lost their emerald colour.

Now, they are an angry red.

The fragments of ice around Izuku start to rise with his erupting rage. The three witches subconsciously step back, as the ice seems to melt and turn into a liquid not unlike an important crimson fluid that is necessary for life.

Izuku opens his mouth, and his voice carries an ominous warning of what is to come, “Pay with your blood.”

Before any of the witches could react, let alone flee or attack, Izuku throws a hand out, and clenches it into a tight fist. All three witches seize up, and their bodies begin spasming uncontrollably. With every movement of Izuku’s hand, their bodies jerk and snap in tandem, as if he is a puppet master controlling them with strings. As Izuku channels more of his rage into his power, the witches’ veins begin to come into grotesque view, a sickening red against their pale skin.

Then, Izuku suddenly pulls his clenched hand back, and all three witches scream in unholy agony, their mouths snapping open and their bodies arching backwards as if possessed. From every possible opening and orifice, blood begins spilling out, surging towards Izuku and swirling around him in a horror show of gore.

Izuku could have gone too far. He could have easily drained all of the blood from these three witches who attacked his roommate, completely unprovoked. He could have mercilessly killed them, leaving them as nothing more than hollow husks, entirely drained of their life force.

He could have become the very entity that he despised, had it not been for a timely interruption.

“What is going on here?!”

And just like that, Izuku snaps out of his murderous rage. His eyes turn back to their original emerald hue, and his hair stops flickering. The swirling blood splashes all over him in a crimson shower of gore.

His breath is ragged and shallow, as comprehension slowly returns to him. He hears gasps, and footsteps rushing towards him.

“Mr. Midoriya,” Faragonda strides up to him with a stern, questioning look, “what in the world did you just do?”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

Quite a number of you posed the very good question about how Izuku could possess magic despite being the biological child of Inko and Hisashi.

Well, this chapter holds the first clue. Let's see how many of you are able to pick it up.

- Kai

----------------------------

Chapter 10: Important Conversations

Summary:

Conversations of great importance are held.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Mr. Midoriya, what in the world did you just do?”

Izuku, understandably, is unable to respond. First of all, he truly had no idea what had happened, other than somehow losing conscious control and only snapping back into focus at Faragonda’s voice. That said, the sight of his entire body covered in blood, plus the three bodies of the witches who attacked him and Tec barely clinging to life while also liberally bleeding from every possible orifice didn’t exactly paint a picture of his innocence.

“Headmistress Faragonda, I -”

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how one saw it, Izuku is suddenly hit by a wave of dizziness, his vision blurring. All energy rapidly drains out of him, and the last thing he registers before the darkness takes over is his body keeling over, but whether or not he reaches the ground, he never knew.

As it was, Bloom realised that something was wrong when, out of nowhere, several of the hall’s windows shattered as huge chunks of ice smashed through. Those who were nearby screamed and ran for cover, as showers of broken glass rained down onto the floor, and the chunks of ice crashed through the buffet spread and several unlucky tables and chairs.

In the ensuing confusion and panic, Faragonda, Griffin and Saladin restored order and made sure the students remained inside, while they went out to investigate the cause of the disruption.

Quite understandably, Bloom immediately became concerned for Izuku, as he was nowhere in sight. Despite Faragonda’s orders to stay inside, she immediately rushed out of the hall, with Stella, Brandon, Flora and Roy following close behind.

They followed the three school heads to the grounds outside of the hall. There, they came into the scene of a battle that had, horrifically, spilled blood.

It was a confusing and worrying sight. There appeared to be three witches on the ground, not moving and bleeding liberally. Tec was frozen solid inside a massive iceberg. And Izuku, horrifically, was covered in blood.

Bloom sees Faragonda question Izuku about what happened. However, before he could respond, he suddenly keels over, losing consciousness.

“Izuku!”

Bloom rushes over, going past a surprised Faragonda. Izuku’s unconscious body reverts back into his party outfit, but the blood still remains. Bloom falls to her knees, and begins shaking Izuku frantically.

“Izuku, wake up! C’mon, say something!”

“Ms. Peterson, did I not order all students to -” Faragonda shakes her head, “Never mind. This is more important.” She sees Tec frozen in the iceberg. With a snap of her fingers, Faragonda produces a ball of magic, and throws it at the ice. It immediately disappears with a burst of sparkles, and Tec’s lifeless body falls to the ground.

Faragonda sees the others behind her, “You lot, help me bring them to the infirmary, right now!”

Everything is dark. Black, completely black. There is nothing all around.

But he hears voices.

Unintelligible, but clearly voices.

There are several, indicating multiple people nearby.

He tries to hear what they are saying, but he can’t make out any words. Still, he tries harder, willing his ears to start working again, and perhaps, also get his eyes to open.

After some effort, the darkness gives way to a soft light, as his eyes spring open, and the world becomes clear again.

Izuku jolts up with a soft gasp. He looks around, he appears to be in a room of some sort. Not his own, but something akin to a nurse’s office like in Aldera Middle School.

There are several beds nearby, with a few of them occupied. He spies three figures, but he can’t quite make out who exactly they are.

Izuku pushes the blanket off of him, revealing that he is no longer in the suit that he was wearing at the party. Instead, he appears to be in a robe akin to a hospital gown.

The sound of a door opening makes him look up. A woman of average height with orange hair tied up in a bun, half-moon spectacles and what appears to be a nurse’s uniform enters.

“Ah, Mr. Midoriya, you’re awake. Good, good, how do you feel?”

“U-Um…fine, I guess?” Izuku replies uncertainly, “Where am I?”

“You’re in the infirmary, and I’m Nurse Ofelia,” the woman introduces herself, “You were brought here not too long ago. Now, since you’re awake, allow me to do a few diagnostic tests.”

Unsure of what is going on, but in no position to refuse, Izuku nods. Nurse Ofelia performs her tests using a couple of spells. Evidently, there is nothing of concern, so she nods to herself and steps back.

“From what I can tell, you are in tip-top shape, Mr. Midoriya. As such, you should be well enough for Headmistress Faragonda to ask you a few questions.”

Just like that, it all comes rushing back to Izuku. The fight against the three witches, being encased in ice, managing to break free and then blanking out, only returning back to conscious focus when Faragonda’s loud voice reached his ears, and then realising that he was covered in blood, and the three witches lifeless on the ground and bleeding horribly.

Rendered speechless from the wave of memories, Izuku can only nod. Nurse Ofelia leaves the room, and returns shortly with Faragonda and Griffin.

“Good to see you awake, Mr. Midoriya. I hope you could tell us both about what happened.”

Anxiety curls horribly in Izuku’s stomach, “I-I really have no idea how I was covered in blood. Those three witches froze us both, and I -”

“Why don’t you start from the beginning,” Faragonda interrupts, “Tell us how you ended up outside.”

Taking a deep breath in an attempt to settle his nerves, Izuku explained how he stepped out of the party to get some fresh air, when he heard a commotion outside of the hall. There, he encountered Tec being attacked by the three witches. He then transformed in order to come to Tec’s aid, and during the ensuing battle, the white-haired witch froze them both in icebergs. He somehow managed to free himself, but he subsequently blanked out and had no idea what was going on. Izuku stressed that he only came around when he heard Faragonda shout, and only then, did he see the witches bleeding on the ground, and he himself covered in blood.

“I had no idea what happened, but I swear that I never wanted to kill those three witches or anything! Please believe me, Headmistress Faragonda, I really didn’t mean to do whatever I did then!”

Both Faragonda and Griffin turn to one another, grim expressions on their faces. Izuku inwardly expects the worst, until Faragonda turns back to him, “We believe you. As it is, I placed a truth compulsion charm in this room. You would not have been able to lie or tell half-truths with the charm in effect.”

Izuku releases the breath he had been holding in.

“What I want to know, as headmistress of Cloud Tower and responsible for those three,” Griffin continues, eyes and expression stern, “is why did they attack your roommate in the first place?”

“I…I don’t know how Tec got outside, but see, those three witches tried to curse the gifts that Red Fountain brought to the party. I saw them put the curse because I had to use the bathroom then and had overheard them,” Izuku explains, “The eggs that released the golden butterflies were turned by those three witches to release snake-rats instead. It was only because me and my dormmates reversed the curse which stopped their plan. I-It was supposed to be a diversion, see, because they wanted to steal Stella’s ring. I think…they saw Tec come outside, and tried to attack them in retaliation for their plan being foiled.”

If Griffin looked stern before, now she looked downright livid, “Very well. Thank you for telling us this, Mr. Midoriya.” She turns to Faragonda, “You have my reassurance that I will deal with those three severely.”

“I trust that you will, Griffin,” Faragonda nods, “Are you going to take your leave now?”

“Yes, unfortunately. The party is over, from what I can tell.”

Griffin makes her excuses, and leaves the room. Nurse Ofelia immediately goes to the three occupied beds, which reveal to be the three witches, apparently to prepare the unconscious trio for transportation back to Cloud Tower.

“Headmistress?” Izuku asks Faragonda, “A-Am I in trouble?”

This time, her expression is kind and reassuring, “No, Mr. Midoriya, you are not in trouble. You did the right thing by helping your roommate. That being said, I wish to speak with you privately in my office after breakfast tomorrow. I will inform Professor Wizgiz that you will be excused from his lesson.”

Slowly, Izuku nods. He does wonder, though, about the purpose of the imminent meeting.

He does, however, have an inkling on what it might be.

Izuku deflects off the questions that came from a worried Bloom, Stella and Flora after he was discharged from the infirmary. He understood and appreciated their concern, but even he doesn’t know all of the details, other than that he will have a private meeting with Faragonda after breakfast the next morning, and won’t be attending Wizgiz’s lesson.

As it was, Tec didn’t return from the infirmary that night. Apparently, they were being kept on observation because of prolonged exposure to the frigid temperatures from being frozen in the iceberg.

The night passes, and the sun rises in the morning. After breakfast, Izuku bids farewell to Bloom, Stella and Flora, and heads off to Faragonda’s office. He knocks on the door, and it opens.

“Ah, good morning, Mr. Midoriya, come in, please.”

Izuku enters the office, and sits down on the offered chair in front of Faragonda’s desk.

“I called you here this morning because it pertains to what happened with those three witches last night. Before we start, I want to reiterate that you are not in trouble.”

“Headmistress Faragonda, if I may ask, who were those three witches? I’ve never seen them before.”

Faragonda laces her fingers together, “Those three witches, as I was informed by Headmistress Griffin through a letter I just received, are senior-year students who are infamous in Cloud Tower. They are famously known by their nicknames, rather unimaginatively Icy, Darcy and Stormy. They have, apparently, quite the following, although Griffin reassured me that the majority of Cloud Tower students are either indifferent to them or are disdainful of their antics, including alleged bullying and harassment.”

“And what is happening to them now?”

“According to Griffin’s letter, she will be punishing them in accordance with the rules and regulations of Cloud Tower, and trust me, Mr. Midoriya, you do not wish to learn the exact details,” Faragonda shudders slightly, “But we are digressing. As I mentioned earlier, we’re here to talk about what happened last night. From what I could gather when I arrived at the scene, you were pulling the blood out of Icy, Darcy and Stormy with your magic. Has this ever happened before?”

Izuku immediately shakes his head, “Never, I swear to you. I only thought that my powers were water-based.”

“Well, you aren’t completely wrong,” Faragonda replies, “Blood is made up of water, just like how our bodies are primarily made up of water. It shouldn’t be too far from the realm of possibility for you to be able to control blood. I hypothesise that this is a secondary aspect of your magic when certain emotions, that is anger or fear, take over completely. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that this blood-bending aspect of your magic is tied to past trauma that you may have experienced before.”

Izuku can see where this could possibly be leading to, “Headmistress Faragonda, even though I possess magic now, I didn’t always have it with me. If you remember, Bloom and I are “quirkless” , unlike the majority of Earth’s population where they have a quirk. And the country where I used to live, prior to moving to America to live with my dad, the disparity is even greater. The quirkless make up only 20% of the entire population. And in Japan, there are no laws or legislation in place to protect quirkless people from discrimination. It also doesn’t help that even within the quirkless population, I’m a minority. Most of the quirkless are elderly people. It is almost unheard of nowadays for a quirkless person to be born.”

Faragonda’s expression becomes grim, “You were bullied relentlessly. Discriminated against, treated as inferior and denied basic rights.”

These were not said as questions, but statements. Izuku nods for every single one of them, “I was lucky, in a sense, that I have a home, and my parents have jobs. The few quirkless children who are still in Japan…are not as fortunate. The fact that I made it to 14 years of age is already amazing, since most quirkless youths die by suicide before they reach adulthood.” Izuku glances down at his hands, “Nobody wanted to be friends with the “quirkless freak”.”

Faragonda sighs, leaning back into her chair, “Thank you for being upfront about this, Mr. Midoriya. You are incredibly brave, and I commend you for that. I suspect that the pain and trauma you experienced in your former home might have a part to play in the blood-bending aspect of your magic. From what I can tell, it was an instinctive reaction to the pain you experienced, equating those three witches with your previous tormentors. In essence, this secondary aspect of your power is a defensive mechanism aimed at protecting you from harm. However, as you might already know, it could potentially harm those who are innocent, and just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Izuku thinks of Bloom, Stella, his parents, and asks frankly, “What should I do, then?”

“Since we believe that this blood-bending component of your magic is tied to negative emotions such as fear and anger, it is important that not only are you able to foster good control over your powers, but also your emotions,” Faragonda states seriously, “Emotions are part and parcel of life, and there is no shame in experiencing them, especially when those near to you are victims of an unprovoked attack. However, when we step over the line, and retaliate with excessive force, we become no better than the aggressors themselves. Of course, I am not saying that you should not fight back if you or others come under attack, but what is important here is that you don’t go over the line.”

“How should I go about this?”

“Here in Alfea, we use multi-faceted solutions to manage situations like this. Since your blood-bending ability appears tied to negative emotions, I would recommend both practical and therapeutic approaches. For students who have difficulty controlling their power outputs, whether in classes or out in the world, Alfea offers supplementary sessions where students are able to learn and master better control on their magic. These sessions are closely monitored by teachers, so students have peace of mind that they are on-hand to mitigate any potential disaster should they occur. Additionally, I will be in contact with Headmaster Saladin of Red Fountain to arrange for sessions with a mind healer to work with you. I personally do not know what you went through, but just from looking at the surface, I can tell that the pain goes back many years.”

She isn’t wrong, Izuku thinks to himself.

Still, this is a generous olive branch, when Faragonda could have easily expelled him for pulling the blood out of those three witches. She could’ve shown, although she wouldn’t have known it, that she was no better than the teachers of Aldera Middle. Faragonda could’ve been the reason why Izuku returns to Earth, permanently, once again let down by an authority figure and adding to the endless list of trauma and disillusionment that filled Izuku’s mind.

It would’ve been a huge tragedy. But no, reality has smiled on him for once.

And he isn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

The meeting ends shortly after. Izuku agrees to the arrangement, and Faragonda promises to sort out all of the logistics on Izuku’s behalf. He leaves the office feeling a lot lighter.

“Izuku?”

He pauses at the soft, almost timid voice. Turning to where it came from, Izuku spots Tec peeking out from behind a pillar.

“Oh, Tec, good to see you,” Izuku approaches, but doesn’t get too close, “How are you feeling?”

“I’m…okay.”

“Yeah, can’t imagine being frozen in an iceberg is a pleasant experience.”

“...yeah,” Tec visibly swallows, before cautiously revealing a bit more of themselves, “A-Anyways, Izuku, um…can I…talk to you for a quick second?”

Oh? This is new.

Izuku quickly nods, so as to not spike Tec’s anxiety, “Sure.”

“I…I just want to thank you for helping me,” Tec says, “You’re a good person.”

“No problem, Tec,” Izuku gives a genuine smile, “Anyone with a good heart would do the same.”

“...I’m glad about that,” Tec nods, before blinking, “Oh! Right, um…R-Roy wanted me to pass this to you.”

They produce an envelope. With an eyebrow raised, Izuku takes another step forward and takes the offered envelope. Tec quickly withdraws their hand, “I…I gotta go. T-Thanks again, Izuku.”

Tec quickly rushes off into the opposite direction. Izuku glances down at the envelope. He goes to a quiet corner in the main atrium and sits down on a bench. He opens the envelope and reads the letter inside it.

Izuku,

I hope this letter reaches you.

I was worried when I saw you covered in blood, and the bodies of the three witches on the ground, bleeding horribly. I didn’t want to assume, so I waited until I heard the full story.

You were incredibly brave, coming to help your roommate. Even though I have personally never seen so much blood spilled out before in my life, I knew that it was in defence of your roommate. Despite only knowing you for a short time, I have full confidence that you would never willingly hurt someone without good reason. You just have this aura of light and goodness around you, I can’t explain it.

I don’t know if you have a phone, so I wrote this letter to you, and passed it on. Hopefully, we can get the chance to talk, and maybe even see each other more often.

You’re a good person, and I want to get to know you more.

Yours sincerely,

Roy

Izuku’s hands, which are holding the letter, fall to his lap. He is silent for a long moment, his eyes unfocused, as his mind plays back the words he had just read.

On cue, a tsunami of fuzzy warmth floods his insides, and he releases the blissful sigh. He can’t help it, he really can’t. The fact that Roy, whom he had only spent an evening with and witnessed his descent into darkness, had taken the time to write an entire letter to him, is just…

…he can’t even find the right words to describe it.

Izuku spends a long time in a daze, as the fuzzy warmth refuses to subside. Eventually, the ring of the lunch bell gets him moving, but one thought remains firmly etched in his mental to-do list.

Get a phone, and then, get Roy’s number.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

Looks like Stella won't have to worry about having to burn her entire wardrobe.

- Kai

-----------------------------

Chapter 11: Supplementary Lessons

Summary:

Izuku learns how to control his magic better.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

While waiting for his sessions with the mind healer to be arranged, Izuku begins his supplementary lessons to better control his magic.

And by extension, that included Bloom.

These supplementary lessons take place outside of the regular curriculum, usually when the student involved does not have classes. While it means that Izuku and Bloom may have less free time than the rest of their peers, both understand why such lessons are necessary.

And so, when the day’s classes have come to an end, instead of finally letting their hair down or getting stuck in to the homework they might have from the lessons they had, Izuku and Bloom head out to a garden behind the main campus buildings, where Faragonda and Griselda are waiting for them.

Unlike any ordinary garden, in the middle are a series of bowls set up on marble pedestals.

“What are these?” Bloom wonders.

“These are manifestation bowls,” Faragonda explains, “They are made from stone with runes carved into them.”

“Such bowls are often used to help individuals to manifest their magic under controlled settings,” Griselda continues, “While young children are often those who use such bowls, we use them on occasion for students who require a bit more extra practice.”

Izuku goes to one of the bowls, likewise for Bloom, “What are we supposed to do?”

“First, place your hands on the bowls,” Faragonda instructs, “There are runes inscribed on the bowls that will absorb some of your magic.”

Izuku and Bloom do as instructed. Immediately, the runes on the bowls light up, with blue for Izuku and red for Bloom.

“Good, now, envision a memory that fills you with happiness. And then, try to manifest your power from the bowl.”

Izuku closes his eyes, searching for a happy memory that took place in his life.

As it is, most of the memories that instinctively come up are painful, sad and angry. Being diagnosed as “quirkless”, the bullying, torment and pain, being abandoned by his childhood friend, and having his dreams destroyed by the man he idolised since childhood. However, as he dug deeper, beneath the pain and suffering that dominated his life, he saw his family - his parents, especially reuniting with his dad in LAX, then meeting Bloom, Vanessa and Mike, and then Stella, his roommates, the Specialists, Roy -

From the bowl, water begins to rise. As Izuku doubles down on the more recent, happier memories of his life, the water swirls as it rises, forming a column akin to the structure of a DNA.

“Good, Izuku, you’re doing well,” Faragonda nods, “Water forms the basis of every living being, from humans, animals, even planets. Without water, there cannot be life.”

Izuku slowly opens his eyes, and pulls his hands away from the bowl. The swirling water falls back in with a soft splash.

The attention then shifts to Bloom. She too appears to be doing well. Wisps of fire are dancing from her bowl, sometimes coming up as small orbs, but very much a controlled display.

“Excellent, Bloom. You may let go of your bowl.”

The redhead opens her eyes, and pulls her hands away. The wisps of fire dissipate, and the air around her bowl cools.

“How are you both feeling?”

“Like I just cut through a cement block,” Izuku wheezes, wiping his brow.

“Did you have trouble finding a happy memory?” Griselda asks.

“I…guess? It took me a bit. There were…so many unhappy ones, for lack of a better word.”

Griselda and Faragonda share a look.

“Um, may I ask a question?” Bloom raises her hand.

“You may.”

“What happens if we think of a bad memory while performing this exercise?”

“Well, the runes inscribed into the bowls would prevent any significant blowback should the one performing the exercise gets overwhelmed by a bad memory,” Faragonda explains, “While bad memories are also a fuel for one’s magic, they, understandably, do cause quite adverse effects for the caster and those around them, especially if the caster is not usually attuned to using magic from negative sources.”

“But say, witches and warlocks?” Izuku asks.

“Then the opposite is true, although, bear in mind that no two magic users are the same. Some fairies might have a more neutral or negative alignment with their magic, and the opposite is also applicable to witches and warlocks,” Faragonda states.

Something to think about, Izuku notes to himself.

“Is there a way for us to figure out where our alignment is?” Bloom asks.

“Usually, it comes from years of practice,” Griselda adjusts her spectacles, “Although, it will do you good to understand that one’s magic alignment can also shift, depending on life events and experiences.”

It may seem complicated, especially in the broader sense of the picture, but really, since when was magic ever considered easy?

Bloom and Izuku certainly don’t see it that way.

“So, how was your first supplementary lesson?” Stella asks later in the evening.

“All things considered, I think it went pretty well,” Bloom replies, hugging a cushion to her chest.

“No explosions or destroyed laboratories?” Flora asks, half in jest.

“Hey now, I didn’t deliberately blow up the potions lab,” Stella huffs.

“Nope, Headmistress Faragonda and Ms. Griselda oversaw our lesson,” Izuku shakes his head, “And besides, we weren’t in a laboratory per se. We were in a garden, so to speak…”

He explains the nature of their lesson.

“Well, at least you didn’t lay waste to the garden, those poor plants…” Flora shudders.

“I don’t think Ms. Griselda would appreciate us destroying school property so soon,” Izuku mutters.

“Anyways,” Stella steers the conversation to a different topic, “Any news on those mind healing sessions yet, Izuku?”

“Not yet,” he shakes his head, “Apparently, they will be held at Red Fountain, and Headmistress Faragonda is working with Headmaster Saladin to plan out a workable schedule with one of the mind healers there. See, they only have so many healers, and perhaps hundreds of students. I think it will be a while before I get to start.”

“Understandable,” Flora nods, “The Red Fountain students go through a lot more stuff, or so I heard.”

“On the bright side,” Stella adds, “Whenever you do start, it will be a good excuse for you to meet up with Roy every week!”

At this, Izuku turns into a strawberry.

“I-I…wouldn’t be opposed to that.”

“But don’t you already have his phone number?” Bloom asks.

Izuku’s flush darkens even further, as both Stella and Flora whip towards the redhead.

“Say what?”

“You mean you guys didn’t know?” Bloom raises an eyebrow, although her tone takes on a teasing lilt when she shifts attention back to Izuku, “Izuku asked Tec for help in procuring Roy’s number. If I’m not mistaken, they call every evening or so.”

“A-Ah…I-...um…it’s not every evening, just…”

“Ooh? What’s this?” Stella turns devious eyes towards Izuku, “Am I hearing wedding bells so soon? Is this a chance for me to design your wedding outfit? Oh, Izuku, you shouldn’t have!”

“Noooooooo……”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

Just something short to let everyone know that this fic is still being worked on and not abandoned.

Happy new year!

- Kai

-------------------------------

Chapter 12: The Black Mud Swamp

Summary:

An outdoor lesson shouldn't be this chaotic...right?

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Aside from their supplementary lessons, Izuku and Bloom continue to attend classes within their normal curriculum.

Sometimes, though, these classes take place outside of campus.

“Welcome, students, to the - ACHOO!”

That was the third sneeze Izuku heard ever since arriving in what can be best described as some kind of marshland or swamp.

“ - to the Black Mud Swamp. So - ACHOO!”

And that was the fourth.

“Pardon me, just a moment,” their teacher, Palladium, takes out a vial containing some pale green liquid and downs the entire contents in one go, “I have the unfortunate luck to be allergic to some of the plants that grow in abundance at this time of the year. So, no doubt some of you might be wondering, why am I leading today’s lesson when I’m usually in charge of potions and magical reality classes? Well -”

A girl with a rather annoying nasally-sounding voice rudely interrupts, “I must be in the wrong class. I’m from an urban realm.”

Palladium, for his part, remains unfazed, “Well, Ms. Dahlia, we here in Alfea believe in the benefits of a well-rounded education.”

“Ouch, sick burn much?” Stella whispers to Izuku.

Dahlia would have sulked at the rebuke, when she suddenly yelped, “A-A bug just bit me!”

“We are in a swamp, after all,” Palladium folds his arms across his broad chest, “Are you allergic to insect bites? No? I would suggest you apply some repellent salve and learn not to whine over such insignificant matters. You are, after all, disrupting the class.”

“Ouch again…” Stella snickers, to which Izuku snorts.

“Anyways, barring any further interruptions,” Palladium continues, “While this is different from, say, magical reality or potions, today’s lesson will help you all to make use of the world around you to find your way and to complete any objective or task you might have. For today, I want you all to form groups, and to make your way to the Crystal Clearing here in the swamp. You are not permitted to use any magic to guide you, and I will know, because I will be watching and assessing your progress.”

“Um, professor?” Izuku raises his hand, unlike a certain classmate of his, “What if we encounter something that is dangerous or a threat to our physical safety?”

“If you are referring to creatures, I wouldn’t worry too much, Mr. Midoriya,” Palladium replies, “The Black Mud Swamp isn’t known to be home to any dangerous beings like trolls and the like. However, in the unlikely event that you are attacked by a creature, you are allowed to use magic to defend yourself. But that is the only exception.”

Satisfied, Izuku lowers his hand.

“Alright then!” Palladium claps his hands, “If there are no further questions, I wish you all good luck. You will know when you reach the Crystal Clearing because I will be waiting for you there. Take care, everyone!”

Without a further word, the elf produces a crystal and disappears with a burst of light.

“Right,” Izuku says, turning to his dormmates, “Shall we get moving?”

The swamp, as one would expect, is damp, humid and all-round unpleasant.

That said, things were made a little more bearable thanks to Flora, who is part of Izuku’s group, as she brought along some repellent salve that she offered to the others. Stella, Bloom and Izuku applied liberal amounts over their exposed skin, and it was a good thing too, since insects of all kinds thrived here in the swamp, but gave the group a wide berth from the scent of the salve.

“You certainly came prepared,” Bloom remarks.

“Force of habit,” Flora replies, adjusting her glasses.

“Are there places like this in your home realm?” Izuku asks.

“Much worse,” Flora replies without missing a beat, “So far, this is like a walk through a garden in comparison.”

“Do…we want to know?” Stella asks a bit warily.

“Nope!”

As they trek through the swamp, thankfully while not getting eaten alive by insects, Flora suddenly stops.

“Wait, don’t move.”

“What’s up?” Izuku asks.

“See that?”

Up ahead, the path is blocked by a large pool. The water within is quite dirty, with bubbles growing and shrinking on the surface.

“Is it…some kind of gas?” Bloom wonders.

“I would think so too,” Flora nods, “Judging from the water’s colour, and how the bubbles don’t seem to pop, the gases within could be flammable, toxic, or thick enough to choke us to death.”

“Soooo...we go around it?” Stella surmises.

“Probably for the best.”

They have to go into the trees to get around the pool, but are able to get to the other side with no issue.

“Hm…I’m curious though.”

Flora picks up a nearby pebble, and from a safe distance, chucks it into the pool. It pops several bubbles, and a sickly blue gas is released.

“Well, it won’t catch fire, intoxicate or suffocate us,” Flora remarks, “But it will turn us to stone.”

“Sheesh,” Stella winces.

“What kind of gas is that?” Izuku asks, unable to look away.

“Colloquially, we call it petrifica gas,” Flora explains, “Anything it comes into contact with is instantly turned into stone.”

“Like Medusa…” Bloom mutters.

“Medusa?”

“An old Greek legend from Earth,” the redhead replies.

“Never heard of it,” Stella shrugs.

“I’ll tell you about it later if you're interested.”

As the day progressed, and the sun rose higher and higher into the sky, the heat in the swamp became unbearable. Sweat poured liberally down Bloom, Izuku and Stella’s faces. Even Flora, arguably the most accustomed to such temperatures, had sweat matting her hair to her face.

“Oh gods, I can’t deal with this!” Stella groans, resting herself against a tree.

“Here, drink up,” Izuku offers her a bottle.

Stella eagerly snatches the bottle and downs the contents in one go. Izuku takes the bottle back and refills it with more water from his magic. They might not be permitted to use magic except for defensive purposes, but Izuku thinks that Palladium would close one eye to ensure that none of them keeled over from dehydration.

“This is such a pain!” Stella wipes her hand across her forehead, “How much further is it?”

“We should take a short break,” Flora says, “It could still be quite a distance off, since I expect that Professor Palladium wouldn’t make this easy for us.”

“Too bad we can’t transform,” Bloom sits down with a sigh, “It would be so much easier to get there by flying.”

“Maybe one of us can climb a tree or something?” Izuku suggests.

“Any volunteers?” Stella asks, “I can’t risk getting scrapped up or anything.”

Bloom gives the blonde a deadpan look.

“I’ll do it,” Izuku gets to his feet, “I see a tree nearby anyways.”

He goes over, and grasping some of the lower branches, he lifts himself up onto a sturdier bough. As his focus was tuned entirely on not falling off, he failed to see something slithering towards him.

“Izuku, watch out -”

Too late.

Izuku is suddenly yanked off the tree by what appears to be a vine, and with a startled yell, is hoisted up in the air.

Flora, Stella and Bloom are on their feet immediately. As they run towards Izuku, several more vines shoot out from the growth. One barely skims by Flora’s nose, allowing her to grab onto it. Her magic immediately senses the life force within the vine, and she realises a crucial fact.

“Izuku!” she calls out, while dodging more of the vines, “You need to keep quiet!”

“W-What?!” he shouts back, as he is vaulted across the air.

“These vines are sensitive to noise, and they use sound to protect themselves!” another shout comes from Stella, as one of the vines grabs her ankle, “We need to calm down!”

Somehow, despite the harrowing experience, Izuku manages to stop his screams, a tough job when he is being flung and hurled in every direction imaginable. Immediately, the vine that has got him in its hold goes limp, and he falls back down, but thankfully not hitting the ground. Flora channels some of her magic into the vines and gets them to release him and Stella.

“Are you alright?” Bloom immediately rushes to Izuku, keeping her voice down so as to not attract the vines again.

“That was terrifying…” Izuku braces himself against the redhead, “How could Professor Palladium allow this in a lesson?”

“The vines are typically not dangerous,” Flora explains, “As I said, they attack only when they feel they are threatened in some way.”

“Still, a warning would have been nice,” Stella grumbles, “Even worse, that stupid vine made off with my boot!”

“Are you okay, Riven?”

“Just fine, thank you for asking.”

“Hey, chill out man, that boot hit really hard. We were worried.”

Several yards away from Izuku and his friends, the Specialist squad comprised of Sky, Brandon, Timmy, Riven and Roy are hidden within the trees, decked out in camouflage gear instead of their usual uniforms. Unbeknownst to the fairies, the Specialists had been trailing them since the start of their journey through the swamp.

“Nah, don’t worry too much about Riven,” Brandon jokes, “After all, he has quite the hard head on top of his helmet.”

“How about I send those vines after you instead?”

“So long as you don’t get Izuku in the way.”

“Yeah, yeah, we know that, Roy-boy,” Sky nudges his fellow blonde, “Can’t have your favourite be attacked a second time, after all.”

Roy swats Sky back, “Have some compassion! Izuku isn’t from this realm. Didn’t you see how terrified he was?!”

“Well, neither is Stella, or Bloom,” Brandon points out.

“If you hooligans are quite done already,” Riven cuts in, “They’re moving off.”

“So…now what?”

After some more trekking, the group hit their next obstacle.

A large river blocks their path. Given that the water is dirty and murky, no one is sure how deep it is. Finding a long stick, Flora goes to the river's edge and dips it into the water.

“It’s not deep, or at least, not along the edge. That could change rapidly in the middle, or we could get swept away by a sudden current.”

Izuku purses her lips in thought, “How about we find some stones to get across?”

“That’s probably the best idea,” Flora nods.

“Totes agree,” Stella shudders, “Whatever is in there, definitely can’t be good for my complexion.”

“But don’t you use those mud masks as part of your morning routine?” Bloom points out, half-jokingly.

“That is different, I will have you know!”

The group moves along the river, keeping their eyes peeled for any signs of stones that can be used to get across.

“Nope, all I see is brown, green, puke, green, and more brown,” Stella says after some time.

“Are you sure we aren’t walking in circles?” Izuku wonders.

“We’re not, thankfully,” Flora checks the compass she had produced.

“Look! Over there!” Bloom points excitedly.

At long last, they find something.

In truth, it is not stones or rocks, rather a long line of debris consisting of twigs, branches, leaves, soil sediment and other materials.

“Not ideal, but it will have to make do,” Flora sets down her backpack, “Luckily, I brought rope along.”

“Seriously, how prepared are you?” Stella asks.

“Excessively,” Flora replies without hesitation again, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

“Are you always this prepared back home?” Bloom asks, out of curiosity.

“You'll have to be,” Flora states with the utmost seriousness, “So far, even with the petrifica gas and those vines, everything is pretty tame compared to what you would get in Linphea. At least, we haven’t encountered anything here that could kill us at the drop of a hat.”

“Good to know…” Stella winces.

Flora ties the rope around her waist, “Here, tie it around your waists too. We’ll then cross it in a single file.”

Bloom secures the rope around her waist, and she hands it to Izuku and Stella to do the same. Flora then takes her first step onto the river debris, testing it with her foot to see if it would hold.

“Spongey,” she remarks, then puts more weight on it before placing her other foot on, “Let’s do this slowly.”

It is a careful operation. They cannot afford to rush. One slip and they would all be dragged down into the river. Flora takes careful steps, making sure that her foot doesn't plunge through the mass of debris before taking the next step. Bloom, Izuku and Stella mirror her, moving carefully.

Slowly, but surely, they manage to cross most of the river.

Given how smooth the entire operation had been until then, something was bound to go wrong.

To be fair, it wasn’t anyone's fault. Given that the impromptu bridge was, quite literally, just a mass of river gunk that had gotten caught up with no means of anchoring or support, it didn’t take much for one small surge of water to cause the entire build-up to give way.

Flora has just barely stepped onto the opposite bank when, suddenly, the debris under Stella collapses. With a startled shriek, she plunges into the river, dragging Izuku, Bloom, and then Flora into the water.

After much sputtering, choking and shrieking, Flora calls out, “Is everyone okay?”

“Oh my f*cking god,” Bloom spits out some water she almost swallowed, “the river is only waist-deep!”

“I think I found some rocks…” Izuku groans, as he struggles to his feet while nursing his sore bum.

“First the vines, now this?!” Stella groans in frustration. As she tries to wring the muddy water out of her clothes, Stella screams into the heavens above, “You think this is funny?! I can hear you laughing at us right now!”

“C’mon, guys, don’t laugh!” Brandon strains under his quivering lips.

Riven and Timmy have no such reservation, smothering their laughs with their backpacks or other gear in-hand so as to not be heard by the drenched fairies.

“I’m just glad that the water isn’t too deep, and there isn’t a current,” Sky chuckles.

Roy turns to his squad, “If Izuku comes out of this with a whooping cold, I will kick your nonexistent asses.”

“Ex-f*cking-cuse me?” Riven rounds on the dark-skinned blonde, “I do have an ass!”

“Your “ass” can replace my ruler if I ever lost it!” Roy shoots back.

“Okay, okay, calm down, guys,” Timmy recovers from his laughing fit to stop the burgeoning fight, “Let’s see if they need help or are injured in any way, then we can fight about asses afterwards.”

Thankfully, aside from bruised egos (and in Izuku’s case, a sore bum which thankfully eased after a bit more walking), none of the quartet were hurt in their unexpected dip into the river.

With the afternoon sun, their wet clothes dried considerably fast, but sweat once again took over, and although the water had dried off, the filth and muck from the river remained stubbornly stuck to their clothes. While Izuku was more than happy to help wash off the filth from their skin, there was little he could do for fabric.

And so, smelling rather like algae and other unmentionables from dirty river water, covered in sweat, and to top it all off, being bombarded by insects since their dip and Izuku’s water had also washed off the repellent salve, the continuing trek in search of the Crystal Clearing was much more unpleasant than it previously was.

“Once we get out of here, I’m getting daddy to have a few words with Alfea about this!” Stella whines for the upteenth time.

“Not used to the wild?” Flora asks, gracefully ignoring the blonde’s complaints.

“I don’t think Earth has any of the stuff we just went through,” Bloom tries to wipe the sweat from her brow to no avail, “At least, not anything like petrifying gas or vines that will attack us at the slightest sound.”

“Not in the forests or swamps at any rate,” Izuku adds, killing a mosquito-like insect when it landed on his arm, “Humans on the other hand…”

That seems to pique Flora’s curiosity. However, before she could ask him to elaborate further, a sudden scream catches their ears.

“What in the -?”

Followed by a roar that was distinctly not humanlike.

“There’s trouble,” Bloom realises, “C’mon you guys!”

They quickly rush towards where the screaming came from. Bursting into a clearing that was, unfortunately, not the one they were supposed to be headed for, they come face to face with three girls from their class being cornered against some large boulders by a creature that looks too uncannily familiar to three of the quartet.

“What the - a hunting troll?!” Bloom gasps.

“I thought Professor Palladium said that the swamp isn’t home to such creatures!” Izuku exclaims in disbelief.

The troll in question is closing in on the hapless girls, who seemed to have forgotten that, in such unusual circ*mstances, they were more than permitted to use magic to defend themselves.

Not Flora, though.

“Oh no you don’t!” her glasses shimmer under the light, “Magic Winx!”

A bright flash of light fills the clearing, catching the attention of the troll.

From Flora’s hands, magic in the form of flowers and leaves burst from her hands, swirling and coalescing around her body, creating a layered dress that goes down to her knees. It is predominantly pink, with the middle layer of the skirt a rich purple, matched by the scalloped collar which forms next. Detached sleeves of the same pink colour materialise on her arms, and matching boots with purple heels cover her feet. Flora brings her hands to her lips, and blows out several leaves, some of which string together to form laurels on her head, and the rest dive into her back, sprouting into light green wings that resemble that of a butterfly.

The light fades away, revealing a transformed Flora.

She doesn’t waste a moment.

Restrain growth!”

Her hands begin to glow green, and she slams them into the earth. The ground underneath the troll lights up, and vines suddenly bursts upwards, wrapping around the troll’s arms, restraining the creature from attacking the terrified girls.

“You will not lay a finger on them!” Flora declares, straightening up again, “Slumber powder!”

From the vines restraining the troll, several wild-looking flowers blossom from the leaves. The flowers swing towards the troll, and blast it with clouds of yellow pollen. Almost immediately, the struggling beast goes limp, and crashes to the ground with enough force to shake the entire clearing.

“Whoa…” Izuku utters.

“That was so cool, Flora!” Stella gushes, “You showed that beast!”

“It was the right thing to do,” Flora says, as she de-transforms back.

“Is everyone okay?!”

The quartet spin around at the new voice, one that three of them are familiar with.

“Timmy?” Bloom blinks in surprise.

The Specialists rush out into the clearing.

“Hold up, what are you five doing here?” Stella raises an eyebrow.

“Making sure that none of you fairies get killed,” Riven grunts.

Bloom puts two and two together, “Were you following us the entire time?”

"And did you see our fall into the river?" Izuku realises, paling with mortification.

“Yeah,” Brandon rubs the back of his head, “We were tasked to ensure that none of your class gets into any life-threatening situations, although it seems that you guys had it covered.”

Meanwhile, Roy had gone over to Izuku, “Are you okay?”

“I-I’m fine, Roy,” colour returns to Izuku's cheeks, “The troll didn’t manage to attack us or anything.”

“I’ll say,” Timmy remarks, as he inspects the lifeless beast, “Whatever powder hit it, it was so potent that it's dead!”

“Oops,” Flora winces, “I guess I overdid it.”

“No sh*t,” Riven snarks, as he checks on the three girls that the troll had been targeting earlier. He sighs, “These three got the tail-end of the powder.”

Thankfully, it seems that the girls are merely sleeping.

Sky groans, “This is going to be a huge pain in the ass.”

“What is?” Bloom asks, partly out of curiosity and the other of concern.

“Paperwork, more specifically incident reports,” Sky replies, “This was obviously an act of sabotage. Hunting trolls are not known to roam around in this swamp.”

“Why would anyone do that?” Flora asks, confused and slightly horrified.

“For sh*ts and giggles, maybe?” Stella huffs, “I can already think some people who would be more than happy to let loose that beast on our classmates.”

Izuku and Bloom share a knowing glance.

Timmy sighs, “Let’s just get this brute out of here.” He sets up a device which envelopes the dead troll in a hovering sphere of some sort. He turns to Riven, “Can you take care of the girls?”

“On it,” Riven nods, all snark gone. It was now back to professionalism.

Just like with the troll, the three slumbering girls are lifted up in similar hovering devices, although these resemble more like stretchers.

“We’ll bring the girls back to Alfea,” Timmy tells the quartet, “And we’ll let Professor Palladium know about what happened.”

“Good luck with the paperwork,” Bloom says, waving them off.

“Thanks, Bloom, we’re going to need it,” Sky returns the wave with a wink.

Meanwhile, Roy ruffles Izuku’s hair, “Stay safe. I’ll call you tonight.”

“Y-Yeah. Sure thing.”

With three sleeping girls and a dead troll in tow, the Specialists bid the quartet farewell and disappear back into the forest.

“Well, shall we continue on?” Flora suggests.

A couple of hours later, the sun has already set beneath the horizon, and the first stars are beginning to take to the night sky.

Much to the quartet’s relief, they stumble into another clearing, one where Palladium is waiting, along with several of their classmates. Izuku spots Tec and Musa among them.

“Oh! You made it,” Palladium says, “I was beginning to wonder if any more would show up.”

It takes a moment, but Izuku registers what the elf just said, “Did you…not expect us to make it?”

“Well, I didn’t tell you all where the clearing was, and I didn’t hand out maps,” Palladium shrugs, “In fact, in all of the years that we have conducted this lesson, this has to be, by far, the highest number of students who made it to the end!”

Stella, quite understandably, is seconds away from going supernova, “So we did all of that suffering for nothing?!”

“On the contrary, Ms. Stella,” Palladium shakes his head, “Even if you did not make it to the clearing by nightfall, that was not the objective of the lesson.”

Flora, after some thought, snaps her fingers, “You were testing us on how we took the journey, rather than getting to the destination the fastest.”

“Precisely, Ms. Flora! And I must say, you four proved to be quite resourceful during your trek. Furthermore, in doing so, you have learnt more about yourselves, and used whatever skills and resources you have on hand to navigate through an unfamiliar environment.” Palladium turns to Izuku, “Bonus points for you, Mr. Midoriya. Even though I did say that you could only use magic to defend yourself against attacking creatures, you did so for the wellbeing of those in your group, so kudos to you.”

“T-Thank you, professor.”

Bloom raises her hand, “Professor, what about the three girls who were attacked by the troll?”

“Ah, they have been sent back to Alfea post-haste, and are recovering under Nurse Ofelia’s care,” Palladium replies.

“Speaking of which, how much longer do we have to stay here?” Stella groans, falling to her feet from exhaustion, “I’m completely knackered, and I smell like absolute sh*t!”

“Fear not, Ms. Stella, we will be transported back to Alfea in the coming minutes,” Palladium reassures her.

“What about those who aren’t here yet?” Flora asks.

“They will be teleported back too,” Palladium replies, “The crystal I used to get here at the start of the lesson has been attuned to all participants. No matter their location, the crystal’s magic will bring them back to Alfea as well.”

Just as he said, the crystal in the elf’s palm lights up after about five minutes. Those in the clearing, and all the others still scattered elsewhere, are all magically teleported back to Alfea, leaving the swamp to enter the night in relative peace and quiet.

“How’s the paperwork coming?”

“A huge chore, as you can expect. But it was necessary, as those three girls could have been seriously injured or killed if you guys didn’t intervene.”

“Give yourself some credit, Roy. I’m sure that you and your squad could have also intervened too.”

“Yeah, but if we did, it would just be another set of incident reports added to the list, since we were really supposed to stay out of sight.”

A few moments of silence.

“So did you cremate the troll’s body too?”

“Yep. It’s standard practice for hunting trolls, given how dangerous they are.”

“Did you guys manage to figure out who sicced the troll on my classmates?”

“They’re still investigating. Though, to be honest, I don’t think anything will come of it. There are lots of ways to hide one’s magical signature, after all.”

“I see.”

“But enough of the troll. How are you feeling right now, Izuku?”

“Doing much better, thanks. After we got back, I took a long, hot shower. I swear that I still smelled like dirty river water despite scrubbing myself over multiple times.”

“Eh, I’m sure it’s not that bad. You did just get a dip, not a full dunking, after all.”

“Still, it’s not exactly pleasant to begin w - ACHOO!”

“Sorry, Izuku, but I need to go off first. I have something important to attend to.”

To Izuku’s confusion, instead of hanging up, Roy appears to just set his phone down before walking off. A few seconds later, he hears the dark-skinned blonde shouting, “Riven, you f*cking prick! Get that flat, nonexistent ass of yours here for that kicking I promised!”

What followed could be best described as some kind of fight, with loud crashes, shouting and swearing coming from somewhere else in the dormitory.

Izuku stares in bemusem*nt for several seconds, before deciding to end the call, since Roy didn’t appear to be returning to end it on his side anytime soon.

‘What was that all about?’ he wonders to himself.

It was just a sneeze, after all.

To Be Continued.

Notes:

So in case anyone was wondering, this chapter took inspiration from another Winx Club rewrite over on FF.net called Flame of the Dragon, and can be read via this link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10315530/4/Winx-Club-Rewrite-1-Flame-of-the-Dragon

Additionally, Flora's fairy form is inspired by her season 9/reboot outfit.

- Kai

----------------------------

Chapter 13: Date of Deception

Summary:

Always check that your date or outing is genuine, and not an attempt to steal something important to you.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Potions is one of the core modules that every student of Alfea needs to attend and pass in order to progress and graduate.

In Izuku’s mind, he expected cauldrons and strange ingredients and liquids. And to his credit, he is partially correct. Potions classes used all kinds of unfamiliar and alien liquids and dry ingredients, but unlike his mind’s imagination, classes actually resemble more like chemistry lessons back home.

Instead of cauldrons, there are glass beakers, test tubes, bunsen burners and bottles, all of which wouldn’t look out of place in a standard chemistry lab.

Izuku had a complicated history with chemistry lessons, as the bullying he experienced in Japan often translated into attempts at sabotage that he will get blamed for, despite clearly being the victim. Thankfully, such malicious behaviour was absent from potions classes here in Alfea.

Palladium, who was in charge of their expedition in the Black Mud Swamp the other day, is also the teacher in charge of potions, although by the elf’s own admission, he is more of an expert in magical reality, another core module that Izuku and the others take on a separate day.

Given the elf’s no-nonsense attitude towards untoward behaviour, potions classes usually come and go without any major problems. And besides, one really shouldn’t mess around in a class where explosive results are a very real possibility.

(Izuku still glances at Stella every now and then, half-wondering if another explosion was going to erupt from her spot and force everyone to evacuate before the ceiling came down on them…)

Anyways.

Today’s lesson focused on brewing a specific potion, one where upon consumption, it will ensure that the person will make the most logical decisions throughout the course of a week.

As it stands, Izuku has been paired up with Tec, who apparently has a passing interest in the mechanics of potions-making. When they weren’t tinkering away with machines and technology, Tec liked to dabble in potions to see if the results can make their work easier in any way.

With Izuku’s attention to detail and Tec’s experience with potions, their brewing has always been among the best in the entire class, perhaps only second to Flora, which given the nature of Linphea, is probably a crucial skill to have in order to not die every single day.

Plus, Izuku and Tec work extremely well together. While Izuku would’ve bombarded Tec with volleys of questions, he learnt very quickly to rein in his nerdiness, lest he spook his poor roommate. Plus, while not as severe as Tec and thanks to having a solid group of friends with the likes of Bloom, Stella and Flora, Izuku’s experience with anxiety back on Earth has endeared Tec to him, and it seems that Tec is slowly coming out of their shell, although they were still not quite ready to integrate with the rest of the dormitory.

That aside, the pair’s potion is brewed without any hiccups, and is graded by Palladium. Given that it was among the best in the class, Palladium gave Izuku and Tec what could be an extra credit assignment, instructing them to consume a dose of the potion, and document how it has impacted their decision-making over the coming week.

Seeing an easy boost to his grade, Izuku drank a test tube volume of the potion, and with it, classes ended for the day.

Returning to the dorm, Izuku gets out his latest notebook and a pen to note down his experiences. As he does so, knocking comes from the door.

“Izuku! Are you busy?”

“What is it, Bloom?” he calls back.

“Stella’s going on a date, and she needs help with what to wear.”

Seeing an opportunity, Izuku leaves his room and joins Bloom. Inside the room she shares with Stella, Izuku is greeted by what looks like the aftermath of a tornado ripping through a wardrobe. Clothes and dresses are strewn everywhere, with no surface untouched by fabric and other accessories.

“Good heavens, I know you’re rich, Stella, but you could clothe everyone in Magix with what you have!”

“I have to remain on top of the trends, after all!” Stella replies, as if it is obvious.

“Then what about the out-of-date clothes?” Izuku presses.

“Oh, I give them off to charity,” Stella waves a hand, “I mean, so long as they aren’t ruined or anything. Now anyways! I’m off on a date with Brandon tonight, and I have no idea what to wear. Maybe you can pick out a few?”

Izuku, seeing how many more are still inside the expanded walk-in wardrobe, decides that he might as well get to it. Stepping inside, he browses the racks, taking a few dresses off and slinging them over his arm.

Doing the same, Bloom turns to Stella, “What on earth is this doing here?”

The redhead shows her a dress that looks like somebody gargled several clashing colours of paint and spat it out onto the fabric, “Did you buy it?”

“Oh, no! I designed it myself!”

Bloom gives the dress a second look, “Um…okay.”

“Hey, Stella? How about these?” Izuku returns with the dresses that he pulled off the racks.

“Sweet! Thanks, Izuku. I’ll have a look.”

Taking the load off his hands, Stella goes to a nearby changing stall. Izuku sees Bloom still staring at that garish colour-vomit of a dress, “Where did you get that ?”

“Stella designed this, apparently.”

Izuku does a double-take, “Designed?” He looks at the mess of colours, “In the dark?”

“Or perhaps an acute fever haze,” Bloom hands the dress over, “Could you put it away? I might get nauseous just from looking at it.”

Izuku takes the dress and puts it far deep into the wardrobe. Returning shortly after, he is in time to see Stella emerge from the changing stall, decked up in an A-line dress with a much more pleasing palette of blues that complement each other, a far better choice than that vomit-inducing monstrosity.

“Thanks a lot, Izuku! You have impeccable taste!”

“So where are you and Brandon going?” Bloom asks.

“To this new nightclub called the Black Lagoon,” Stella explains, “It just opened recently, and apparently, it’s quite popular.” She then scrutinises her hand, “Hm, my ring doesn’t really match. Luckily, I have some bracelets that go better with this dress.”

Stella slides the ring off her finger, and hands it to Izuku, “Could you hold on to it for me?”

“Are you sure?” Izuku takes it.

“Doesn’t your ring make your magic stronger?” Bloom points out.

“It’s just for the night,” Stella is already crouching by a chest full of jewellery, “And plus, I’m going on a date with Brandon. I doubt anything will happen!”

While he has his doubts, Izuku slides the ring onto his own hand. If Stella is entrusting such an important artefact to him, he might as well put it on a part of his body where he can see it.

“Well, I better get going! I’ll see you guys tomorrow!”

“Have fun, and say hi to Brandon for us,” Bloom waves her off.

Once Stella has left, Izuku turns to the redhead, “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t you think that things have been a little too peaceful lately?” Izuku asks, eyebrows furrowed with concern.

“C’mon, Izuku, don’t jinx things,” Bloom lightly nudges Izuku’s arm, “I’m sure everything will be fine.”

Looking back, Izuku should’ve noticed that things were not as fine as he would like them to be.

To be fair, the rest of the day came and went, and come the next morning, everything seemed as normal and routine as they could be.

That said, Izuku should’ve noticed that something was amiss.

When he woke up with the sunrise, he didn’t see Stella out on the balcony, getting her morning dose of sunlight, though that could easily be dismissed as the blonde having already done that and was busy getting ready for the day.

Then breakfast came, and Izuku saw no sign of Stella in the dining hall, which was equally strange, but also plausible that Stella had already eaten.

But then came morning lessons, and Stella failed to show up. Even their class with Professor Wizgiz, who was teaching the important fundamentals of transforming different parts of their bodies into something else (in today’s case, their heads into pumpkins), had no sign of the blonde.

With his worry spiking, he asks Bloom, “Did you see Stella this morning?”

“No, I thought she had already gotten up when I woke up,” Bloom shakes her head.

“I didn’t see her at all today either,” Flora adds, “She didn’t show up for lunch either. It’s so unlike her to skip meals, it’s not healthy.”

Izuku purses his lips, “Something’s up. I’m going to check the dorm. Are you two coming?”

Bloom and Flora tag along, the both of them now just as concerned as Izuku. They reach the dorm, and Izuku pushes the door open.

“What in the -?”

The entire place has been trashed like nobody’s business. Items are strewn everywhere, furniture is overturned and thrown about, and the different rooms looked as if someone held a rave in them and had taken too many questionable substances.

“Good heavens, who did this?” Bloom exclaims.

Not wasting a beat, Izuku rushes to Stella’s room, calling her name. Darting inside, he looks around. The room is just as torn up as the rest of the dormitory. Fearing for his friend’s safety, he calls her name again, when suddenly, the wardrobe doors open.

“Izuku?”

He spins around. Emerging from the walk-in wardrobe is Stella, looking decidedly frantic.

“S-Stella!” he exclaims, “What happened here? Why is everything all over the place?”

“I can’t find it, Izuku!” Stella cries, “It’s missing!”

“What’s missing?”

“My ring! I searched the entire dorm, but I couldn't find it! I think someone stole it. You have to help me, Izuku!”

Izuku’s mind zeroes in on the warm material of the ring on his finger. He is about to open his mouth and tell Stella that she gave him the ring for safekeeping, but something stops him.

More specifically, the alarm bells going off inside his head.

There is no way that Stella would have forgotten that she entrusted her most important source of power with him. And in the time that he has known the blonde, if there is one thing that he knows Stella is not, is being forgetful of what matters to her the most.

“Who are you?”

“Stella” blinks, “W-What are you talking about, Izuku?”

“You’re clearly not Stella,” Izuku growls between gritted teeth, his eyes flashing, “Who are you, and what have you done to her?”

“Y-You’re not making any sense, Izuku!”

“I’m giving you one last chance,” Izuku’s hands begin to glow blue, “What did you do the real Stella?!”

“Stella” flinches, before proceeding to hurl sickly-green balls of energy at Izuku. He easily dives out of the way, as the attacks are sloppy at best. “Stella” is clearly panicking, trying to take him out in order to escape. However, Izuku won’t let this imposter get away, especially not until he has answers.

Water swirling around his hands, Izuku jumps to his feet, and charges. The imposter barely dodges the liquid attacks, crashing into several overturned boxes in her haste.

Izuku moves in for the final blow, but suddenly, Bloom calls out from the open doorway.

“Izuku? What’s going on in there?”

Seeing an opportunity, the imposter hurls another charged attack towards the doors.

“Bloom! Watch out!”

The redhead was just about to step through the threshold when Izuku cried out. Bloom screeches, stumbling backwards as the balls of green energy sail over where her head was just milliseconds prior. In the process, she crashes into Flora, who was just behind her. Seeing the perfect chance, “Stella”’s appearance disappears into a dark green silhouette, and the imposter makes a run for it. Izuku gives chase, but the imposter is much too quick, adding the fact that they literally dive-bomb out of the balcony window. By the time Izuku gets to the balcony, the figure is already running across the courtyard below, scaling the walls and then disappearing from sight.

“What the f*ck was that all about?” Bloom gets to her feet, helped up by Flora.

“Stella has gone missing,” Izuku says, “Someone impersonated her, and was looking for her sceptre.” He shows them the ring in question, still on his finger, “We need to tell the teachers right away!”

“This is most troubling,” Griselda says, rubbing her temple, “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will contact the police right away. If you have or found any further information, inform me or a staff member immediately.”

“Yes, Ms. Griselda,” Izuku nods, getting to his feet. Together, he and the girls leave the deputy headmistress’ office.

“I’m really worried,” Bloom admits, as they head down the corridor, “Who knows what could be happening to Stella right now.”

“At least the police are going to be notified,” Flora rationalises.

Meanwhile, Izuku is silent, arms folded tightly across his chest.

“Do you want to talk about it, Izuku?” Bloom asks.

“I just…” he runs a frustrated hand through his curls, “I don’t like this. I hate just doing nothing, while knowing that someone we’re close to is in trouble.”

“It’s not like we can do anything, though,” Flora points out, “Do we even know where to start looking? And besides, shouldn’t we leave this to the police?”

“We may not have the time,” Izuku rebuts, “Stella has been missing for a day already.”

They come to a stop.

“If I remember correctly, Stella said she’s going to a place called the Black Lagoon,” Bloom says, “Supposedly it is a new nightclub which opened, and Stella said she was going there on a date with Brandon.”

“Well, I guess we need to ask Brandon when he last saw her,” Izuku surmises. He immediately fishes out his phone, and dials in a number. Activating a video call, Izuku waits for the line to be picked up. It takes a few dial tones, but eventually, Roy’s face appears on the screen.

“Hey Izuku, what’s up?”

He notes that Roy’s dark skin is glistened with sweat. The specialist appears to be in a gym, judging by the racks of dumbbells nearby, along with other background noises consisting of iron being pumped, as well as grunting and sighs.

“Hey Roy, sorry to call you so unexpectedly, but there’s an emergency.”

“sh*t, what happened?”

“Stella’s gone missing,” Izuku explains, “Someone impersonating her broke into our dorm in search of her sceptre, which is with me.” He shows Roy the ring on his hand, “All we know is that she supposedly went on a date with Brandon to some nightclub called the Black Lagoon yesterday. Is Brandon with you?”

“He isn’t,” Roy shakes his head, “but he couldn’t have gone on a date with Stella anyways. He was stuck in Red Fountain the whole day yesterday because he had to retake a test that he flunked last week.”

“I see,” Izuku’s lips dip downwards, “Thanks for the info, Roy.”

“No problem. Keep me updated, yeah?”

“I will. Talk to you later.”

The call ends, and Izuku pockets his phone, “So, we now know that Brandon didn’t even meet with Stella yesterday.”

“So where do we start looking for this Black Lagoon nightclub?” Bloom asks, folding her arms across her chest, “Is it even in Magix to begin with?”

“Um…I-I think I can help.”

All three heads swerve to a nearby pillar. Tec peeks out from behind it, “W-While it s-shouldn’t be too hard to use g-g-geolocation services, m-my gadgets s-should be able t-t-to do a-a-a more extensive s-search.”

“Tec?” Izuku raises an eyebrow, “You heard about what happened?”

“I o-overheard,” Tec seems about to shrink back behind the pillar, but to everyone’s surprise, they actually step out from behind it, “E-Even though I-I’m not c-close to Stella, s-she does s-share the dorm w-with us. I-It wouldn’t b-be right to not d-do anything w-while she could be i-in trouble.”

Both Bloom and Flora are stunned in silence, having not expected the socially-anxious Tec to actually offer their help in the search. As arguably the closest to Tec, Izuku slowly goes over to them, regarding them with an appreciative smile, “Thank you, Tec. I know this is incredibly difficult for you, and I want you to know that we’re extremely grateful for your help.”

Tec’s eyes glance down for a bit, before slowly, a shaky grin spreads their lips, “H-Happy to help, Izuku.”

Turns out, geolocation services yielded no results, not even with whatever device that Tec said they have put together themselves which supposedly went beyond the basic services that regular smartphones provided. It was as if this Black Lagoon nightclub simply didn’t even exist in the first place.

Still, there was a plausible explanation, as this establishment was so new that it didn’t have an online presence as of yet. However, Izuku had his doubts, as given how technologically-advanced Magix is, not having an online presence even before opening wouldn’t be any good for business.

Something was definitely fishy, as their next course of action - asking random strangers on the streets if they heard of a Black Lagoon nightclub, also yielded no results. Every answer they got was either a ‘no’, or a confused negative.

After a fruitless hour of sleuthing, the quartet have sought shelter on a bench under a tree. Even with the sun progressing towards the horizon, it was still a warm day, and Izuku kept piling more water onto his friends so as to stave off dehydration and heatstroke.

“Dead end after dead end,” Bloom groans, after downing her fourth bottle of water, “Just f*cking great.”

“I-I’m sorry for not being a-able to h-help more…” Tec mutters.

“It’s not your fault, Tec,” Izuku is quick to reassure them.

“Well, somebody should know what this Black Lagoon is,” Flora hums, “Otherwise, how would they have told Stella about it?”

“You’re right, sis.”

All four turn to the new voice behind them.

A heavy-set man with glasses waves, “I couldn’t help but overhear what you guys were saying. The Black Lagoon haven’t been the best with advertising themselves, but I’ve been there, and it’s totally rad. If you’re still interested in visiting, it’s just outside of town, beyond Yesterday Avenue. Cross the bridge, and you’ll see it. It’s the building that is right up against this big oak tree. You can’t miss it.”

“Really? Thank you so much,” Izuku bows gratefully.

“No probs, bro,” the man winks, before heading off down the street.

“C’mon guys, let’s get going,” Izuku says.

Following the directions given by the man, the group pass through Yesterday Avenue, and cross the bridge that leads into a wooded area. True enough, there is a building nestled with the growth, with an oak tree growing adjacent to it.

“Well, here we are,” Bloom remarks.

Tec gives the building an appraising look, “D-Doesn’t really look like a nightclub…”

“Well, the guy’s directions weren’t wrong,” Izuku notes, eyebrows furrowing, “Though…does anyone else sense something here?”

The girls look around. Flora goes to the oak tree growing by the building, and places a hand on the trunk. Instantly, she shivers and recoils her hand, “T-This tree…it doesn’t have any life force within it. It…it’s dead.”

“Dead?”

Tec instantly whips about, their own eyebrows furrowing in trepidation, “I-Illusion.”

Sure enough, the very world around them begins to shift, as if a veil is being pulled away to reveal what is actually underneath. A wind kicks up, ruffling the group’s hair and clothes. Within seconds, the world had changed, and not for the better. Gone was the peaceful, tranquil setting, and instead, an ominous, foreboding world of rot and decay is shown to the group.

“C-Charming,” Bloom shivers slightly, with the air significantly colder than before.

The building itself is no better, crumbling apart and looking seconds away from collapsing into itself.

“Well, as ominous as this is, Stella is somewhere inside,” Izuku musters up his courage, “C’mon.”

The group goes to the door, and Izuku pushes it open. The inside of the building is in as bad a state. Izuku notes that, had it not been for the cobwebs, sludge, grime and other unmentionables, the place would really look like a nightclub or restaurant. There are tables and chairs, what looks like a bar area, and even a raised stage where a band could play. However, it seems that with the establishment’s current state of decay, nothing but condemnation and demolition can do anything to save it.

“I don’t see anyone here…” Flora whispers.

Tec glances behind, “H-Hey, where’s the door?”

The group looked back. True enough, the door has vanished.

“So nice of you to join us.”

The group swings back to where the sneering voice came from. Standing on the dilapidated stage, the “Stella” imposter grins down at them with a cruel smile.

“You,” Izuku steps forth, “what have you done to Stella?!”

The imposter sniffs, “How rude. Have you not heard of something called manners? A simple question with “please” would’ve sufficed. Though,” they cackle, “because you actually made it here, I suppose I can play nice for a bit.”

The imposter snaps their fingers, and the space behind them warps and shifts. The group gasp, as Stella, still dressed as she did when she was getting ready for the “date”, appears into view, appearing to be unconscious and bound by the same sickly-green energy that the imposter attacked Izuku and Bloom with back at Alfea.

“It was too easy to lure this bitch here,” the imposter cackles, “Stupidly easy. Then again, I suppose all blondes are all show and no brains.”

“Let her go right now!” Bloom yells.

“Ah ah,” the imposter wags their finger, “First things first, you have something that I want.”

Izuku’s lips split into a snarl, “Like I hell I will! Magic Winx!”

This prompts Bloom, Tec and Flora to also transform. Light of water-blue, fire-red, technology-green, and flower-pink fills the room, and when it recedes, the quartet have transformed into their fairy forms.

“How cute,” the imposter sneers, “Though, you know that if you attack, your little friend gets it?”

“So long as we attack only you,” Izuku growls, water surging around his hands. He then unleashes it in a devastating geyser. The imposter dives out of the way, the water smashing into the wall behind them and sending bits of rotten ceiling beams cascading down. Bloom joins in immediately, calling forth fire and hurling the flames one after the other in quick succession, forcing the imposter to roll and dodge so as to not get burnt.

By the side, Flora blows a cloud of green sparkles towards Stella, which form into leaves that circle around the immobilised blonde in a bid to protect her from stray attacks. Tec also joins Izuku and Bloom by slamming their hand into the floor, releasing techno-magic into the rotten floorboards. Like electricity running through a circuit board, green pulses shoot in between the floorboards and rise up around the imposter’s feet and strike one after the other.

“Enough of this!” the imposter screeches, raising their hands which start to glow the same sickly-green colour. Rotten furniture from all over the room rises into the air, appearing to glitch and warp. The imposter throws their hands down, and the furniture pieces go flying in all directions, hurtling straight towards the fairies.

Izuku and Bloom are forced to duck and dive out of the way. Tec, though, realises something important as a stool brushes past them.

“It’s not real! It’s merely an illusion!”

Jumping to his feet, Izuku leaps at the imposter, knocking them to the ground. Izuku pins their hands and legs, immobilising them.

“You will pay for this,” Izuku growls, as his eyes turn a very angry red, “Your blood will suffice.”

Izuku grabs the imposter’s neck, and squeezes hard. The imposter’s eyes bug out, and they choke and gurgle helplessly. Bloom, Flora and Tec are treated to the gruesome sight of the imposter’s veins coming into view, and the strangled noises becoming desperate as blood pools out of their mouth and nose, rising up to swirl around Izuku. His eyes burn with vengeful fury, his hair alternating between brown and green rapidly.

“Izuku! No, stop!” Bloom cries out, rushing forward.

Then, out of nowhere, a loud bang rocks the building.

“What is going on here?!”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

I haven't updated in a good while, and mainly because the corresponding episode just infuriated me to no end.

But now isn't the time to rant, and instead, I'll preemptively answer a couple of questions you might have.

Yes, I'm aware that Izuku having blood-bending powers might seem out there and maybe even OOC, but there is a good reason for it, along with the fact that his hair shifts from green to brown and back again whenever he uses that specific power. I won't spoil the reason, but here's a clue, it is connected to Bloom being a princess of Domino.

Second, the imposter who kidnapped Stella has some connection to the Trix, but the Trix are actually not the direct perpetrators of this dastardly event. More on that in the next chapter.

And third, Izuku will face consequences for this. Yes, it was in defence of Stella, but what he did to the imposter was overboard. The fallout will also be dealt with in the next chapter. But on the plus side, we can trust Faragonda to be fair, and we'll see Roy again too!

- Kai

--------------------------------

Chapter 14: Consequences of One's Actions

Summary:

The fallout of Stella's kidnapping.

Notes:

Coral Island has unashamedly taken over my life.

*sighs...*

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku is snapped out of his murderous rage by the unexpected shout.

The blood that had been swirling around him in a macabre, gorey dance splashes lifelessly all around him and the imposter, whose body sags back down and quivers from the loss of blood. Izuku barely has the chance to blink, let alone open his mouth, when a blast of light fills his vision, and his entire body freezes up. He too flops lifelessly onto the rotten floor, as everything goes dark.

The entire situation is a mess, Bloom inwardly remarks.

Police personnel have swarmed the building, photographing the crime scene and interviewing both Flora and Tec, much to the latter’s chagrin. Meanwhile, paramedics have loaded Stella and the imposter into medical vehicles to be taken back to Alfea for treatment. Izuku has also been taken away, although by the police, and it isn’t hard to notice that Izuku’s wrists have been cuffed to prevent escape. Although, given the spell that Faragonda used to immobilise Izuku, it can be safe to say that he won’t be getting away even if he wanted to.

In truth, Bloom doesn’t know what to feel about all of this.

On the one hand, she is relieved that the imposter is now in custody, and Stella appears to be unharmed. But the sight of Izuku strangling the imposter and literally pulling their blood out from the nose and mouth was something that Bloom would never unsee for the rest of her life.

Not to mention, the fact that Izuku looked absolutely monstrous while doing so.

While she tried to convince herself that Izuku probably had no conscious realisation of what he was doing, his actions seemed too methodical and practised for Bloom to reconcile with. Almost as if he had done something like this before.

Was everything she thought she knew about Izuku a lie? Was the kind, good-natured boy that is her neighbour in Gardenia and her dormmate in Alfea nothing but a façade?

“Ms. Peterson.”

Bloom looks up.

“Headmistress…”

Faragonda regards her with a serious, but compassionate look, “Are you alright? Were you hurt in any way?”

“N-No, I’m fine,” she shakes her head, “But Izuku…?”

Faragonda sighs, “This is the second time this has happened. It is evident that we need to expedite things faster. We can no longer afford to take things slowly.”

“Headmistress, is Izuku in trouble?” Flora asks, Tec hiding behind her.

“I suspected that Mr. Midoriya’s blood-bending power is tied to the trauma and pain he suffered on Earth,” Faragonda replies, “And while that belief has not changed, it is now clear that we need to intervene more to prevent incidents like this from happening again. And while Ms. Stella’s kidnapper is the one behind this entire debacle, and will face criminal action, Mr. Midoriya did use excessive force against them. If Headmistress Griffin seeks to pursue charges against him, he will need to face the due process of the law.”

“Y-You think that one of the students of Cloud Tower i-is behind this?” Tec asks, while Flora and Bloom share a worried look.

“I suspect so, but we’ll only know for sure when we return to Alfea,” Faragonda states, as she heads to the blown-out door, “Come along. We shouldn’t linger around here.”

Later that evening, Faragonda heads down to the infirmary to check on how things have progressed.

Allowing herself in, she spies Stella in one of the beds, not yet awake. Not that the blonde was expected to wake up just yet, anyways. According to Nurse Ofelia, Stella had been dosed with a spell that essentially put her into suspended animation. And while the nurse had undone the spell, Stella isn’t expected to regain consciousness immediately, given the dark nature of the spell.

Faragonda thinks back to the meeting she had with Griffin earlier.

“So the culprit is a devoted follower to the Trix, the three witches who fought against Mr. Midoriya and his roommate during the Back-To-School dance?”

“Yes, she hasn’t been subtle about her admiration to those three,” Griffin sighed, “But to think that she would go this far…”

“What were her intentions, do you think?”

“My guess? She wanted to prove her worth to the Trix, maybe ingratiate herself with them, by kidnapping Ms. Stella and retrieving the ring that they coveted. After all, the Trix themselves tried to wreak havoc during the dance in order to steal the ring.”

“Speaking of which, what do you intend to do with Mr. Midoriya? He did use excessive force against your student.”

“That may be true, Faragonda, but in all honesty, she brought it upon herself. She knowingly broke the law in a hairbrained attempt to curry favour with individuals with known bad intentions. While the force used against her was excessive, she should’ve anticipated that such repercussions were possible when planning her scheme. So, no, I won’t be pressing charges against Mr. Midoriya. If anything, we should be helping him further with this unpredictable aspect of his magic, while I ensure that the culprit would never set foot in Cloud Tower ever again.”

Inwardly, she agreed with her Cloud Tower counterpart wholeheartedly. With the prospect of Izuku facing criminal litigation off the table, Faragonda can feel relief knowing that right now, they can focus on what is more important.

Going to another room separate from the infirmary, she checks in on Izuku, who is resting on his own bed, and noticeably free from the cuffs that restrained him earlier. When Griffin had expressed her intention to not press charges against the boy, the police had removed the cuffs.

Faragonda watches the slow, steady rise and fall of his breathing, and the calm expression on his face. No doubt, Izuku will be in a right tizzy when he wakes up. Hopefully, with the plan she is already discussing with her Red Fountain counterpart, Faragonda will be able to assist Izuku wherever she can, and such incidents, and unnecessary stress for Izuku, will become a thing of the past.

Putting it simply, Izuku feels way out of his element.

Partly because the magic that he has become accustomed to has been blocked. The hum of fluid energy that used to noticeably course through his veins has all but been silenced, courtesy of a bounding charm placed on him by Faragonda. And also partly because he is not in Alfea right now, rather, staring up at the front gates of Red Fountain.

He had been briefed on the current arrangements the day before. While he won’t be facing criminal charges against the witch who kidnapped Stella (who, for the record, has been expelled from Cloud Tower and facing criminal charges of her own, specifically kidnapping), he will need to spend the next two weeks on what amounts to probation, which is basically having his magic blocked and unusable.

It’s not the same as having his magic temporarily stripped from him, which is the punishment for more egregious rule-breaking that are not severe enough to warrant suspension or expulsion from Alfea, but for Izuku, who has gotten used to having magic humming through his body, the sudden silence is quite jarring, to put it mildly.

At the very least, such an unfamiliar discomfort is only temporary, and right now, he’ll be spending the next two hours in a place that, at least in theory, is supposed to be help him process and resolve the root cause, or causes, of his unpredictable blood-bending magic in a nonjudgmental and compassionate environment. And to sweeten the deal, he won’t be facing this unknown alone.

As he approaches the gates, he spots the one person that not only makes his heart lighter, but his stomach flutter with fuzzy warmth.

“Hey, Izuku.”

Roy’s gentle, beaming smile does a welcome job in chasing away much of the jitters coursing through his nerves. Izuku can’t help but smile too, and when Roy opens his arms in an offer of a hug, Izuku immediately takes it without any questions.

Roy wraps his strong arms around Izuku, “How are you doing?”

“Better, because of you,” Izuku replies instantly, face nuzzled into Roy’s chest.

Now, not too long ago, Izuku would be mortified to speak so candidly and bluntly, especially with someone whom he is beginning to suspect that his feelings toward is shifting beyond that of friendship, but he can’t help himself. Furthermore, Roy’s hug is a soothing balm against the alien emptiness that has been plaguing him since the day before, so he thinks he can afford to drop his brain-to-mouth filter for a bit.

“Charmer, aren’t you?” Roy teases.

Izuku looks up, “Hey, why don’t you have an integral part of yourself blocked and unusable, then we’ll talk.”

It also speaks multitudes about how much Izuku’s confidence has grown that he can now snark back at people without his debilitating anxiety making him second-guess and question every single word, ultimately spiralling him into a never-ending void of self-reproach and paralysing fear.

“I know,” Roy chuckles, ruffling Izuku’s soft locks, “I can only imagine how it feels like.”

Izuku sighs, planting his face into Roy’s chest, “It’s not fun.”

“I know. I know.”

They stay there, by the gates, not moving for a bit, merely enjoying each other’s warmth and presence.

“We should get going.”

Izuku slowly pulls away, “Promise that you’ll stay with me throughout?”

“I promise.”

To prove his point, Roy takes Izuku’s hand and leads him into the ground, never letting go. They completely ignore several other Red Fountain students watching them with a mix of interest, bemusem*nt and confusion.

“Are they dating?” one of them asks his friend.

“Sure seems like it…”

“Even if they’re not, I ship it.”

To Be Continued.

Notes:

Happy Pride, y'all!

Hope you guys enjoyed the Royzuku interactions at the end. And yes, I have unashamedly created a ship name for them, despite being a literal crack ship.

- Kai

-----------------------------------

Fire and Water: Tears of the Phoenix - RarepairKai22 (2024)
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