ARIEL STAYS IN THIS STORY, PLEASE.
Book 4: Not an Ice day
A dark, bony shadow paced back and forth across the floor of an ice cave, hidden deep in the Gracidean mountains. Farther back, four more shadows watched and waited for the inevitable explosion. "This band of ice witches has fallen to pieces! Defection, jail-"
"Don't forget Malina and the-"
"We all remember Malina the Incompetent, doll. Nor will she be forgetting us anytime soon."
"Enough! We need new blood. New witches to join us. Or easily swayed fairies." A white, sharp-toothed grin widened in the darkness. "I'm not afraid of... persuasion."
"Hmm.... Aurora, darling, didn't your youngest sister just start at that school for fairies?" The first silhouette on the right took a sip from a martini glass. "If she's anything like you.... She could be worth a visit to warmer climes." Her pacing stopped, and the lead silhouette paused to consider it.
"It's settled. We leave for Alfea in the morning."
Chapter 1: Sophomores
"I can't believe we're FINALLY Sophomores!" Summer squealed, jumping up and down with excitement. All six dormmates stood in the front hall of Alfea, surrounded by their luggage. Ali sat on one of her bags, texting her oldest sister, Adriana, assuring her, yes, she'd gotten to Alfea safely. Liona sat on the floor across from her, playing with Blizzard. Ariel was counting her bags, making sure they had all arrived. Summer, Katherine, and Samantha stood in front, watching all the other students greet each other after a long break.
"Nor can I!" Samantha agreed, turning to Katherine. "What about you, Kathy?"
"What? Oh...er...yeah..um..Whatever." Katherine stuttered, nervously.
"Saywhatifyou'restupid." Ariel said, trying to catch Katherine's attention.
"What?" Katherine asked, confused.
"Ha ha! You said WHAT! Haa!" Ariel chortled.
"What on earth is she talking about?" Katherine said.
"HAAA! YOU'RE STUPID BECAUSE YOU SAID WHAT!" Ariel exclaimed.
"She did a tounge twister that like, Grade 5 people do." Liona explained, and stood, brushing off her pants and grabbing her bags. "Kind of immature, actually."
"Immature, maybe. Funny, definitely." Aliana giggled, and grabbed her bags as well.
"HMPH!" Katherine snorted, yanked her schedule out of her pocket and pretended to study it, ignoring the others.
"Cut it out, girls!" Summer admonished. "We're SOPHOMORES now, we need to show more maturity and less madness."
"Summer's right." Liona agreed. "We're supposed to be setting a good example to the freshmen students."
"Who cares about the freshmen?" Aliana asked, "I mean, so what if we were freshies once? They're just little kids."
"I can just remember the start of the year..." said Samantha, dreamily, "It only seems like yesterday."
"So can I!" Ariel butted in. "Ali and Liona were arguing, I was sleeping, and Katherine was making herself a general pain by getting herself in trouble."
"ARIEL!" the girls chorused.
"We WERE quite a bit of trouble when we were freshmen," said Katherine, bringing back the original subject.
"But THAT was all Freeze, Illusion and Bolt's fault." Samantha reminded Ariel, who hmphed and hovered her bags up the staircase to their dorms.
"Whatever. We still had to save her."
All six girls tumbled into their dorm in a mountain of luggage, which Summer quickly sorted and sent off to the respective rooms. Ariel ran straight to her dorm's double doors and burst in, screaming "AWWW!!! DORMY!!! I MISSED YOU!!"
"It hasn't changed a bit!" exclaimed Summer, sitting down on her bed next to Ariel's and stretching back onto it.
Summer and Ariel had shared a dormitory with a built-in suite and walk-in-wardrobe, which would be quickly filled to the brim with both girls' clothes.
"It's still as luxurious as it was before!" declared Ariel with a twirl, her skirt flaring out. "All we have to do is move all our stuff back in!"
"Yeah," Summer agreed sarcastically, pulling out a book. "Which means goodbye to all counter space in the bathroom. Do you really need all that stuff?"
"A girl should never be separated from her makeup!" Ariel explained, wagging a finger at Summer. "And don't forget that!" She spun and marched into the bathroom with her slightly collossal makeup bag.
"Okay, if you say so..." Summer replied, settling into her book.
"It's April, Summer!" Ariel shouted from the bathroom, "And that's nearly summer. WINTER is for reading books and SUMMER is for playing!"
"I'm Summer." Summer laughed. "So I decide what summer's for and what it isn't."
"Well, then, let's have some fun!" Ariel announced, coming in from the bathroom and yanking her friend to her feet. "TO THE POOL!"
In Katherine and Samantha's dormitory
"All right, Kath. New semester, new beds. I get the top bunk." Samantha declared. "No arguments."
"Yes, argument. The top bunk is mine!" Katherine protested, stalked over the ladder and climbed up.
"But you slept in there LAST time!" Samantha retorted, folding her arms. Katherine just relaxed back on the bed, and closed her eyes.
"So? Ariel and Summer have the same beds." Katherine replied. Samantha rolled her eyes and climbed up the top as well, but she snagged a pillow from the bottom first.
"How about this?" Katherine cracked an eye open at her friend, then sat bolt upright. "We decided who wins... with a PILLOW FIGHT!"
In Aliana and Liona's dormitory
"Home sweet home, right, Ali?" Liona flopped down onto her bed and sighed. "So good to be back."
Ali didn't respond, just kicked off her shoes and curled up on her bed. Liona sat up and looked over at her normally talkative blonde friend. This isn't like her.
"All right, girl. Spill it. What's bugging you?" Liona asked, climbing onto Ali's bed next to her and laying down. Ali sighed and rolled over.
"It's nothing. Nothing at all."
"Aliana, look at me." Ali twisted and looked over her shoulder at her persistent friend. "You are the most talkative person I know besides Ariel. And you can beat her at times. What in the Magix dimension is the matter?"
"My oldest sister."
"Adriana? What happened?"
"No, not Adriana. Addy is fine. I mean my other oldest sister. Aurora."
"Aurora?" Liona thought for a moment. "Never heard you mention her before."
"That's because she was officially declared dead. Unofficially, though, she was rumored to have joined a dangerous gang called the Ice Witches, the Ghiaccio Streghe." Ali sighed. "Addy told me they were sighted in Magix City. In the past, they've gone after each of my sisters. Now, Addy thinks they're after me."
"Don't worry about it, Al. We're here. They won't come near you."
"Yeah. If they try, Katherine can scare them away with her bedhead and morning breath." Ali laughed.
Liona just shook her head and smiled. "Guess you're feeling better, huh?"
Thump! Something hit the wall next to them.
"Better go see what Kathy and Sam are up to." Liona rolled off the bed and headed for the door, then paused. "You going to be okay?"
"Yeah, I'll be fine."
After settling a pillow fight and a bed dispute in the dorm next door, Liona wandered back into the main room just as Ariel and Summer burst back through the doors. Ariel had a glowing tan -Already?- and Summer's blonde hair had pale highlights in it.
"Been at the pool, Ariel?" The vivacious redhead nodded.
"Now I'm off to the shower! Chlorine will absolutely wreck my hair, and I can't show up to the firs day of classes with bad hair!" She went through to her room, leaving Summer and Liona still standing in her wake.
They settled down to watch TV and go over their schedules. Eventually, Katherine and Sam joined them, as did Ariel. After the clock struck nine, all the girls stretched and headed for their rooms.
Inside her dorm, Liona discovered it empty, except for a note on the dresser, from Ali.
- I went for a walk, be back by nine.
- I went for a walk, be back by nine.
"Hey guys," Liona called, thinking about what Ali had told her earlier, and how the Ice Witches might be after her. "Have any of you seen Ali?"
"Nope!" "No, I haven't." "Not me!" "No, why?"
Upon realizing their roommate was not where she was supposed to be, Liona and Ariel dashed outside, the other three close behind.
They split up and searched all over the grounds, Blizzard at their heels. Eventually, they regrouped in front of the main doors.
"We've been searching for three hours. If she was on campus, we would've found her by now." Samantha said, collapsing to the ground against a pillar.
"I can't reach her phone either." Ariel sighed, and sat next to Sam.
"Did we do something to upset her?" Katherine asked. Summer shrugged. Liona shook her head, frustrated.
"No, this doesn't have anything to do with us." She quickly related the story of the Ice Witches, and Adriana and Aliana's worries that Ali might be next.
Aliana could hear voices. She was in a familiar place, the floor covered with gleaming ice and the ceiling made from glistening snow. One of the voices was pure and deep and Aliana was sure she recognised it. The other was harsh and slow, and Aliana recgonised that one too.
Footsteps approached her, and she froze with fright.
"Wh..who are you?" shivered Aliana, turning to meet the unfamilar face.
"I'm Glacier Frost. Glaccy F, I'm sure you've heard of me?" Glacier chirped.
Aliana turned to face her. Her hair was a creamy color, long and wavy, her skin was as pale as the ice that surrounded them and her eyes were a cold navy. Glacier wore a steel blue tube dress, covered in snowy-sparkles with silver stilletos.
"Yeah..." Aliana murmurred, "I've heard of you."
"And my retired gang of Ice Witches? Ya know, Thrilling Three? We need three new members." Glacier spat.
"Course I have. And whatever you're thinking, the answer is no!" snapped Aliana.
"Aww, the icicle has stabbed." teased Glacier. "And now I want you to meet the other witches in this gang..."
A beautiful woman stepped into the room. She looked the opposite to Glacier; straight and glossy black hair that reached her shoulders, a golden tan and warm green eyes. The woman wore a navy midriff tube top, with a white top covered in snowflakes underneath. She also sported a midnight blue miniskirt and white knee-high boots.
"Let me introduce you to...Ava Lanch!" Glacier exclaimed, cackling.
"No way!" Aliana gasped. Ava Lanch had been Gracidea's Beauty Queen for ten years in a row.
Another two figures walked into the room. One Aliana knew very well, and the other she had seen before but she couldn't remember where.
"AURORA!" gaped Aliana, shocked that her sister was part of the Witch Gang.
"Nice to see you too, sis." Aurora chimed. "And this Ice Witch gang is a great idea, it would make people more aware of the Ice Fairies!" she said to Glacier.
"Aww, it's great to see you agree, Rory." Glacier smirked, "Ava and I have plans to make you, Ali and Freeze here part of our Ice Witch Group."
"YOU'RE JOKING!" retorted Aliana, jumping back. "I will NEVER join your STUPID Ice Gang and nor would you, sis, this time last year." she sighed.
"Well, I'm in." Freeze cut in. "This will be awesome, as we getta kill two birds with one stone!"
"What do you mean?" Aliana asked.
"Your friends will be heartbroken you joined and we're gonna wreak havoc in all those realms that don't appreciate us!" cackled Freeze.
"Well, not ONE of my friends is gonna be heartbroken tonight, 'cause I'M NOT JOINING, you hear?" shouted Aliana with rage.
"Chillax, Al." Ava soothed, "Something SERIOUSLY BAD could happen to your friends and family if you don't join." she grimaced, showing her dark side.
"I joined up years ago, and look what they've done for me. My powers have been increased beyond my wildest dreams. Now, it's time for you to join, little sister." Aurora said. "Unless, of course, you your little friends to have an accident, you'll join."
Ali looked up at her once-admired sister in shock, then in resignation. "Fine. I'll join, but only because I want my friends and family to be safe."
"Great." Glacier gave a slimy smile. "Just perfect."
Aliana shook with fear. What could Glacier and Ava be planning for her? What lengths would she have to go to keep her family and friends safe?
"C'mon." Freeze said, pulling Aliana up. "You're a bad girl now."
"I'm not sure if I wanna be..." muttered Aliana under her breath.
The five girls walked into the heart of the cave, everyone of them laughing. Except Aliana.
Back at Alfea
"So, to sum it all up, Ali has an older sister that joined the villains, and now said villains are after her?" Liona nodded. Katherine snorted.
"Sounds like Miss Ice Princess couldn't protect herself. Now who's getting into trouble?" Samantha looked like she agreed with Kathy, and Ariel gave the both of them dagger glares.
"Should we go get Miss Faragonda?" Summer asked quietly. Ariel shook her head.
"By the time we get her, it might be too late. We need to go now!" All but Katherine nodded their agreement, and all six marched out the front gates, with Kathy trailing behind.
Chapter 2: The Search and the Quest
The girls searched the forest, but still could find no trace of their blonde friend. All the while, Kathy complained, and kept asking when they were going back to Alfea. When they stopped in an open meadow, however, Kathy made an announcement.
"Right, girls!" Katherine exclaimed, "Gather! Follow my lead!"
"EXCUSE ME?" Babi Ariel retorted, stepping back from Katherine, "Follow YOUR lead? It's all about YOU isn't it? In the first year, it was my life for yours! And in this year, Kathy P is the leader! Well, sorry girlfriend but you really should let Liona take charge! I mean, Ali is her closest friend! Plus, you didn't even want to come! We had to practically drag you out here!"
"Oh, Ariel, now's not the time!" sighed Katherine in a condescending tone, like 'Oh, isn't little Ariel so cute?' and a knowing look to the others, which Liona and Summer pointedly ignored.
"LOOK! YOU DID IT AGAIN! YOU'RE BOSSING US!" shouted Babi Ariel, taking a threatening step towards Katherine.
"I'm only trying to protect Aliana, Babi Ariel!" Katherine replied, "After all, I know these woods better than any of you!"
"BETTER THAN ANY OF US!" Babi Ariel screeched again, furious, "THAT'S WHY I HAD TO GIVE AWAY MY ONLY MEMORY OF MY FAMILY THAT KEEPS ME ALIVE AWAY JUST FOR YOUR BOSSINESS!"
"Please, girls! Don't pick fights!" sighed Liona, resting her hand against her forehead.
"It's just a stupid necklace! Katherine's life is WAY more important than your little necklace that you got back!" Samantha fought back.
"JUST A STUPID NECKLACE? MY DAD GAVE THAT TO ME BEFORE HE DIED AND I SUPPOSE YOU'RE SAYING MY DAD IS STUPID TOO?" Babi Ariel shouted, through tears.
"Ariel, wait!" Summer said, but Ariel had already run into the trees sobbing.
Liona and Summer decided to follow her, but Samantha and Katherine, shrugging, stayed behind in the meadow.
"I'm sure Samantha didn't know that your dad gave you that necklace," Summer said, soothingly.
"Well, I'm sure she did!" assumed Ariel, with a spiteful tone in her voice.
"I'm sorry Ariel. I didn't know about your dad either." said Liona, biting her lip.
"It's okay," Ariel sobbed, "At least you aren't all shouty and mean about it or anything."
A sudden crunch of leaves echoed out over the sound of Ariel's sobbing as two figures approached the three girls.
"Look, I'm sorry for being so bossy." mumbled Katherine. It was obvious she had a hard time apoligising.
"And I'm sorry for calling that necklace stupid. I never knew it meant so much to you." Samantha said, shuffling a bit in the leaves.
"So, all's good, right?" Summer asked, standing up. Ariel stood with her, and nodded a bit.
"I guess, for now. All that's really important now is finding our friend." Kath and Sam nodded.
"Now let's go find Ali!" cried Liona, jumping off of the ground.
The girls ran off into the distance, the moon lighting the area of dirt they had been sitting on. Suddenly, a flash of silver light appeared on the pile of leaves and four dark sillhouettes rose from the ground.
Glacier stepped forward.
"So how do you like our HQ location?" she asked, brushing some invisible dirt of her miniskirt.
"It's a forest. The forest seperating Alfea, Cloud Tower and Red Fountain." Aliana said matter-of-factly.
"Exactly." Ava replied, "We'll surround the forest with an ice barrier so nobody can get in or out of the schools."
"But why would you want to do that?" Aliana asked, "Won't we be trapped too?"
"You clearly do not get it. If we were to cause trouble elsewhere, say Magix, no one can jump in and stop us." A devilish grin appeared on her face.
"Yeah, whatever. But what about us?" Aliana replied, resting her hand on her hip.
"We'll be able to control the barrier because we made it, so we can make a hole in it whenever we want, and cover it up again too." Ava explained.
"But before we do that," Glacier said, "We need to sort you two out with some more appropriate attire."
"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" Aliana snapped, clutching her signature snowflake necklace tightly.
"Listen to her, Ali," Aurora whispered, "We need to get into Glacier's good books if we want that great ice power she's promising us."
Yeah, that great EVIL ice power she's been promising us!Aliana thought. She just shot her sister a "who cares?" look and remained quiet.
"All set?" Ava asked Aliana and Aurora.
Without waiting for an answer, she clicked her fingers and an ice-blue light surrounded Aliana's and Aurora's bodies. Suddenly, Aliana was wearing a black tube bodysuit, black fingerless gloves a navy blue belt and black boots. Her long, white-blond hair was swept up into a high ponytail, and navy lipstick and eyeshadow appeared on her face.
"Ow!" she exclaimed, and noticed her skin was a lot whiter.
Aurora was wearing an ice-blue tube bodysuit, ice-blue fingerless gloves and a black belt and ice-blue boots. Her hair was pulled up into the same hairstyle as her sister, and her makeup was white.
"These outfits rock!" Aurora exclaimed.
"Yeah, totally(!)" Aliana added sarcastically.
"Now, time to cause trouble!" Glacier cackled, and her fingers began to glow ice-blue.
Chapter 3: The Ice Barrier
"What the hell are we going to do, Glacier?" asked Ava as they hiked further.
"Oh, you'll find out soon enough." Glacier teased. As she strided her white-as-ice legs looked like icicles from their colour and width.
"What ARE we going to do, Aurora?" Aliana asked.
To be continued