Laufey: The Butterfly Effect


Laufey: The Butterfly Effect


By: Licorice

A little follow up to Anon Allsop's The Coven Please be aware that I explore some ideas in here that may upset some readers, so please keep that in mind.

Edit: updated with input from Elrodw

The Coven, as they enjoyed calling themselves, watched the lives of Heather and Chad, and at first things were predictable, even boring. Heather, beautiful and naive was also very reserved and withdrawn. She did little to draw attention to herself and seemd unexpectedly uncomfortable with the approaches of others, be they male or female.

Even the four themselves, though they made few attempts to engage the new girl, found that she would make excuses not to talk to them. She was skittish, quiet and very timid. Jen had enjoyed being pushy with the girl, until Chad had stepped in to stop them.

Chad was different as well. He seemed aggressive and grumpy, and ignored interactions from others, refusing to talk to his team mates or even his friends.

Then, one day both missed a day of school, then two and three: stretching on into weeks. It was clear then that the pair were not coming back, and rumors floating around the school were about them being pulled out of school due to the demands of Heather's extremely conservative parents.

This puzzled the coven, as her family was supposed to be nice but responsible, not conservative. There were also rumors that Chad had been kicked out of his house. Jen confirmed this to be true, as she had gone to see Chad but was shocked at what she had found.

Chad had a good family, his father had been supportive of him and his mother had managed to balance work and her family.

But when Jen had arrived at the house, it was a very different and confusing scene: a very small home with a very angry and embittered father. When she had asked about Chad he had gone into a swearing rant about his son being a good-for-nothing and 'just like his mother', and had slammed the door in her face.

Jen was too shocked to be insulted, and lost as to what had happened. She had tried to find Heather, but her home was inhabited by strangers, which meant that Heather's family now lived elsewhere.

The coven were not exactly worried, more confused and uncertain. But still, their spell was in place and the future was now set.

"Excuse me, girls?" they turned to see the aging principal Wilson. Balding and slightly portly, his better days were behind him.

"Yes Mr.Wilson?" asked Tara, uncertain why the principal would want to see them.

"Follow me please" he turned and began to walk away.

The coven looked at each other with confusion, but followed, a strange ball of anxiety building in their guts as they wracked their brains to try and guess what they may have done to anger the principal.

"Mr.Wilson, what's this about?" probed Shawna hopefully, in her cutest and sweetest voice.

"Do not ask questions. Follow." the words were laced with magic and the girls felt it tighten around them, silencing their mouths and pulling them
forward.

All of a sudden, the four felt very real fear, for they had never before been ensnared in a foreign spell, held helpless and captive, they couldn't even look at each other for support!

They were lead out to the parking lot where a large black 1950's cadillac was waiting, with shining chrome covering it and an angel hood ornament, and leaning against it was a woman dressed in a dark green three-piece suit and prescription glasses, with her pitch-coloured hair pulled back into a ponytail.

Oddly, instead of having 'cadillac' written along the side in silver, the word 'Charon' was written instead.

She opened the door without a word and the four piled into the back seat, buckling themselves up before sitting silent and still, staring straight forward. The coven could hear their principal and this strange woman talking but they were unable to make out the words, only the tone gave the indication that neither were pleased with the four witches.

The woman then walked around in front of the car and entered on the driver's side, buckled herself up and started the car, pulling out of the parking lot and down the street.

The ride was agonizing, the paralyzing spell along with the eerie silence made for a potent brew of fear, they couldn't even speak to their kidnapper to learn what was going on, they could only sit and stare straight forward, hands folded in their laps as buildings passed them by.

The woman didn't even spare them a glance in her rear view mirror, she only watched the road, not even turning on the radio to provide some ambience. The silent ride felt like they were being taken to the electric chair, condemned of some crime they didn't even know.

The car pulled onto a side road and entered a tunnel that had no lights, and the woman waited an agonizingly long time to turn on her headlights, but as they exited the tunnel, the four saw a highway that had certainly not been there before, and it was night out!

Or at least it looked like night, with the pitch black skies, and the street lights illuminating the four lanes of traffic, four unused lanes save for this single car. There was however, no moon or stars, creating and unnerving and confusing lack of time.

"...the spell is withdrawn you can move now." the woman spoke to them for the first time in over an hour.

the four felt the stiffness in their bodies flee and slumped, before launching into a confusing mess of questions, demands and pleads. It was verbal madness and yet the woman acknowledged none of it for almost a full minute before suddenly slamming on the brakes.

The girls screamed as the car ground to a halt, before heaving and staring at the driver in terror.

"Do I have your attention?" she asked after they had collected themselves, "Good. Because I can't answer a thousand questions at once. One girl and one question at a time please."

She then again began her car and started driving.

The four looked at each other before Tara, the de-facto leader spoke up.

"Who are you? Where are we going?"

"My name," the woman in green cut the eldest of the coven off before it could continue, "Is Miss Loki Laufey, attorney at law. As for where you are going, and why; you girls are going to see a group of people in charge of magic around the world. Think of it as the magical government. As to why, it's because you have been unbelievably reckless and malicious in your use of magic. I am to represent you when we get there, and try to prevent you four from having any particularly nasty fate bestowed upon you"

The four were stunned by this revelation, a magical government? They were in trouble with the magical government?

"What did we do?" asked Jen quietly, now quite afraid.

"You have abused your magic" explained Miss Loki, "many, many times. But this incident with Heath and Chad was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Not just in your abuse of your spells, but your blindness to the consequences of it"

Jen's fear melted into rage.

"HE RAPED ME!" she screamed, "HE FUCKING DESERVED IT!"

"No." Loki responded calmly, "He didn't. He definitely deserved to be punished, that I won't debate. But you girls went far and beyond simple punishment into cruel revenge that impacted tens of thousands of lives."

The car turned onto an off ramp, and onto a road with a tunnel at the end.

"I will speak no more of this, but I will give you some advice. The people I work for are not to be trifled with. They are extremely powerful magical users, so do not assume you can lecture them. Remember your place and remember that these people have power to make what you did to to Heath and Chad seem tame by comparison, and are very displeased with you four."

the car burst out of the tunnel and onto some non-descript street with a large and imposing building at the end. There were randomly placed trees on either side of the street, but no buildings and only a few street lights illuminating to an empty parking lot next to the large government-styled building.

Loki shut off her car and picked up her briefcase.

"Remember; be respectful" she reminded then unlocked the car doors, and the girls filed out after her.
They walked silently into the building, where a large black woman in a security guard's uniform sat behind a mahogany desk.

"Miss Laufey" she smiled, "Welcome back," then she nodded to The Coven, "These them?"
Loki smiled back and nodded, "Yes, these are them. Are The Guardians ready to see us?"

The woman stood and gestured to several chairs in the waiting area,

"I'll go check, how about you wait here?"

Loki gestured and the coven sat while loki stood, waiting patiently.
"...He raped me" Jen broke the silence with a testy growl, "he deserved what he got! How can you say he didn't?"

Loki looked at Jen with a displeased frown.

"He raped you, and if you had gone to the police he would have been arrested. More girls would have come for and after a lengthy investigation, he would have been found guilty and sentenced to juvie then prison," she explained, "Justice would have been done. You would have given birth to your daughter and then had the option to give her up for adoption or keep her.

But that's not what you did." Loki turned to face the four.

"I say you abused your powers because you cast a series of reality-altering spells without any appreciation for the damage you caused. You girls have powerful magic and the potential to become very potent witches with proper training, but you're all young and you use your powers to punish anyone you see as wronging you or yours with a disturbing pettiness. You are comparable to an angry teenager going into his school and shooting it up, but unlike a school shooter, you can't be caught or stopped by conventional means"

the four witches were enraged and jumped to their feet, shouting accusations, insulted that this 'Loki' would compare them to a disgrunteld, murderous teen!

"AHEM!" the security guard broke up the argument, and the group glanced at her.

"They are ready to see you"

The court room where these 'Guardians' sat was unnerving and had that tone of strangeness.

Rows of seats where the public gallery would have sat were empty, as was the jury box, with only one desk for defendants and a row of chains behind it. Oddly, no desk for plaintiffs were present.

Ahead of them was a towering and imposing semi-circle where multiple judges could sit, peering down at the defendants from all angles. They were not yet present however.

"One last thing," Miss Laufey glanced at the girls passed her glasses, "in spite of what you may think, I'm not here to hurt you. I want to help you girls and believe me I can understand being raped. I can understand the longing for revenge, trust me I know. Some people think I'm the devil or some
kind of malicious, sadistic monster who torments the innocent"

the four looked alarmed, was that even potentially true!?

"I'm not" she dismissed, "I can do malicious acts at times, but my aim is always to help people, even if I am unorthodox about it. But the judges? They only know you from your reputation, so please; listen to them. Really listen, because they have a lot of experience with magical crime and misuse. I don't think you girls are criminals-"

A door behind the judges bench opened and eight ominous figures dressed in large flowing robes entered, only illuminated by the light from the room they had exited, which provided no clear view of their features.

"I think you're just a few girls with a lot of power and no oversight" Loki finished quickly, "So please let me help you"

the eight judges sat at their respective places, and turned on small lamps before them, illuminating the bottom of their faces and enough to give a rough estimate of their genders and age, but it was impossible to see the features that defined them individually.

"Miss Laufey" began the Judge directly ahead, he was clearly aged with wrinkled hands and yet his voice was strong, authoritative.

"You found the girls in question, did they offer any trouble?"

Loki stood from her chair and opened the briefcase she had brought with her.

"No your honor, they were understandably confused and frightened but they didn't give me any trouble"

He grunted and there was a shuffling of pages as the eight judges produced folders and sifted through them.

There were four men and four women probably middle aged, but the presence of magic made telling their precise ages near impossible, though it was curious that these eight would elect the form of older men and women rather than younger and good looking.

"There is no need for you girls to try and explain yourselves," the aged man with thinning hair began, "We already know your reasoning"

"I don't think you do!" Jen fired angrily, "I don't think you understand at all! I WAS RAPED!" the sophomore shrieked, "THEY DESERVED THEIR PUNISHMENT!"

Loki rubbed the bridge of her nose.

"...Are you quite done?" asked a woman, whose hair reminded the four vaguely of Judge Judy. The fact that she had a similar voice and mannerisms didn't help.

"Wha-?" Jen had expected the males to be indifferent but not such a stern-sounding lady.

"They are not on trial here, you have already seen to that. Miss Loki, could you please explain to these young women The Butterfly Effect?"
Loki gave a smooth smile and a slight nod, before addressing the girls.

"The Butterfly Effect suggests that the soft beating of a butterfly's wings could create a tornado somewhere else. More to the point, it means that the smallest changes in one place can have overwhelming changes in others."

The four witches glanced at each other in uncertainty,

"So what does that have to do with us?" Tara asked with diplomatic curiosity.

"Everything." Loki's tone was slightly strained, "You girls made very dramatic changes to the past of a single person...but you cannot do that without changing others around them to facilitate the future desired result.

Heath's family was very supportive, liberal-minded and proud of their son. Heather's family is not, because of the changes needed to create the future you're attempting to form."

"Indeed" A thin male judge on the far left interjected. He sort of reminded the defendants of Bill Nye.

"Heath's parents would not pressure their child to keep a pregnancy if it was not good for them. But Heather's family is very religious, conservative and judgemental. They demanded that she drop out of school and that she WILL keep the child. Her own desires, her own hopes and dreams do not matter, only the shame she has brought upon the family. "

A heavyset woman on the far right with an Asian accent took over.

"Heather was raped, at a very young age by a youth pastor."

The four defendants were stunned. Raped!?

"We never said she was supposed to be raped!" Kathy protested, "That wasn't supposed to happen!"

"That's because you didn't think!" The Asian judge yelled, causing the four to back up slightly, "You never specified that she wasn't supposed to be either. Her childhood rape caused embarrassment in the family, who accepted monetary compensation in exchange for staying quiet and moved across the country. Heather was kept sheltered but was looked upon as being damaged by her family. They protected her for their good as much as hers, which left her starved for affection.

As a result she had no social skills, she wasn't allowed friends nor allowed to engage in social activities. When she met Chad she was so starved for affection that she would do anything to please him. Her parents were enraged when she was found to be pregnant, and refuse to support her educational needs.

Instead, she will be forced to live in an apartment at the back of their property, and get a job, and this is just ONE of many lives altered and changed by your irresponsible and shorted-sighed magic use!"

The girls reeled under the verbal assault, they had never expected that one spell could have such serious and far reaching consequences.
"And in case you think it was justified, your spell destroyed the happy marriage of Chad's family, to create the right environment to force Chad into having to live with his girlfriend, under the requirement that he support the child and get a job. " This was spoken by the third female judge, a woman with a distinct English accent.

"So the situation you girls have created is a sexual assault victim, multiple lives altered in minor or dramatic ways, a ruined marriage, two ruined parental relationships and two youths with no high school education raising a child...no excuse me," she checked her papers, "Multiple children. As you said they would 'shower their daughter with siblings', in poverty."

"So," the Billy Nye judge cut in, "Now we come to the part where you girls get to speak and explain what all those people did to deserve their lives altered so dramatically and why you feel the need to punish multiple unborn children"

The silence was deafening, as the teenage witch coven gaped, glancing at each other. They didn't realize that their spell had affected so many.
"...I don't care" Jen stated after a moment, "They fucking deserved it. They DESERVE to feel raped and trapped. They deserve to have their fucking lives ruined!"

Loki squeezed her eyes shut and looked at the girls.

"This is what I meant, you four are too emotional to have access to this much power and not enough respect for the consequences of using your magic" she then addressed the judges.

"Your honors...they're not evil. They're unbelievably reckless, and even cruel...but they're teenagers. Most teenagers don't understand the impact of their actions, and all four are too emotionally linked to this to truly appreciate the devastation."

The eight magical justices seemed to look at each other before the one with thinning hair gestured to the lawyer.

"And your suggestion?"

"Well," the emerald-clad Loki smiled, "I would suggest that their powers be sealed temporarily,"

"WHAT!?" the four began to protest but Loki shot them a filthy look that silenced the coven,

"As I said...temporarily, while they attend classes on magical use, responsibility and history. To understand the danger they carry. Their multiple victims should have their cases reviewed and altered or cancelled as need be.

Heath should remain changed but the rapist will be someone from their school who was already suspected of sexual assault."

The fourth female judge, with a Hispanic accent nodded.

"Yes, the art teacher."

Loki nodded in response

"Yes, he's also a friend of Chad's family. Due to this, Chad will be pressured to not assist Heather, though the choice will ultimately be his whether or not he does. As for Heather, she will be pregnant but whether or not she chooses to give birth or abort or put the child up for adoption is entirely her call"

The coven looked ready to protest, as all four were devoutly pro-life, but had sense enough not to mention their personal views on the matter.

"Heather's family will be returned as close to Heath's as reasonably possible, given the situation. Heather and Chad will be aware of the magical changes, but will onyl be able to speak about it to the defendants...should they wish to, or each other. "
Loki then turned to face the four fuming witches, who thought that Heather and Chad were getting off light for their crimes.

"Chad's crime in this was one of sticking with his friend but not one that could be prosecuted as he was not present and any information he could have offered the police would be little help as it wouldn't be a witness statement and little more than heresay. To that end, his punishment is to be forced into a position of being torn between his family and his friend. This is not a situation with a good answer for him, no matter what he does. Either way, he's likely going to lose an important relationship."

The four were slightly more satisfied with that.

"And it will follow him for the rest of his life, few things are worse than regret and living with what if's.

As for Heather, she will be stricken with the loss of her identity, and severe gender dysphoria she cannot act upon. Over time our spells will ease her more comfortably into her life, but the sense of loss and wrongness will stay from her memories, unless she chooses to give up her previous identity and memory entirely...in essence killing herself.

She will be tortured enough, struggling with her own sense of violation...rape, and in no position to raise a child. What she does with that child is her own decision as it should be; it IS her body"

Loki fired a heated glance at Jen who had shame enough to look bashful,

"so trust me they both will have enough to wrestle with. But you girls will as well...you four were well on your way to becoming the kind of person I hunt down and exterminate."

"Exterminate?" Tara squeaked then glanced at the judges for some kind of contradiction...but was met with only silence and stern consternation.

"Indeed...exterminate. Not everyone can or wants to be helped, and sometimes it's just better to put down a rabid dog then have its disease spread."

The lawyer's face softened.

"I've been where you girls have been, anyone with magic has," the eight judges nodded in silent agreement, "But what you need to learn is that the greatest lesson with magic is learning when not to use it. Mundanes live their every day without magic and do so with general happiness."

She then turned back to face the judges.

"Is my proposal acceptable?"

The balding judge seemed to look to the assembled teens,

"Do the defendants agree to the terms? Failure would mean an alternate sentence. Such as loss of your powers permanently."
The teenagers looked at each other once more...there was a choice, but not a real choice.

"We agree" responded Tara with a quiet timidness.

"Then the court finds no issue with the sentence. The changes will already be underway when the girls return to their school, and we will review others affected by their magic in the coming weeks. Case adjourned."

He banged his gavel and the eight shut off their lamps, and shuffled out of the court room.

"Let go" Loki lead the coven out, and into her car in the parking lot.

"...He deserves more" Jen protested quietly, as they drove down the empty highway.

"Who? Heather? No, she doesn't. She's going to be living in her own personal hell. But...if you want to make her situation more difficult and please the judges at the same time, then help her."

"How do you figure?" the twins demanded, and Loki smiled slightly into the rear-view mirror.

"By helping her, you will show Heather the kind of good people you are...and her guilt over her actions will grow. Guilt she has to live with for the rest of her life, while you four end up looking good."

The witches sat in contemplation as Loki's eyes turned back towards the road,

"Just a thought."

The black Cadillac pulled up to the school and Loki looked back into the mirror at the four.

"Listen...your lives are made up of what you do. You four have amazing power, but you surrounded yourself with revenge and payback, instead of helping and enriching the lives of others. How do you think that would have looked in five, ten years? You would find yourselves alone, angry and trying to fill the emptiness in your life with more revenge and punishment, believe me I know. I've been there...it's not a nice place to be"

Jen, the youngest and most effected by the events, looked up at the lawyer,

"Why are you doing this?"

Loki sighed slightly.

"Because I don't want you girls to become like me or the countless other embittered, angry and jaded spellcasters out there. There is a waterpark run by a woman who once was letting her magic get away from her because she'd been struggling with the dark side of magic. Even now, having touched it once, the dark side still tries to tempt her. The stories she could tell..." Loki got a far off look in her eyes for a moment,

"The point is, you girls still have a chance to escape that easy trap and live lives surrounded by those who are blessed by your presence as opposed to those burdened by it. Take this chance, and become something to aspire to, alright?"

The four nodded and started to exit, while the lawyer gave them a smile. She was glad she caught them so early, they still had a chance to turn their lives around...that was good to see.

Then with a heavy sigh, she opened her briefcase and scanned her case files...ah...there was a note in here. Something about a goddess who had turned an abusive father into a succubus for...eternity?

Loki lifted one sculpted eyebrow then shook her head and gunned the engine before leaving the parking lot.
Meanwhile, the coven looked at each other uncertainly, their eyes had been opened by that strange meeting.

Yet in spite of how long it took, it seemed that people were only starting to arrive at school! It was humbling how many magic users were around them, and how many were more powerful.

Jen's eye however caught heather, quietly making her way towards the school...and she took a deep breath, before walking towards the new girl.

-End-

Authors Note This story was partially inspired by how irked I get that some stories seem to handwave changing someone's entire history wouldn't have drastic changes on their lives and the lives of those around us. Changing someone's gender (in my opinion) would have a domino effect through their lives, altering everything about them and their experiences, creating a different person at the end. I find it very difficult to believe that someone could be transformed and their lives being exactly the same.



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