Support is.. necessary [5.4]

TheRealmV2.jpg

Some things in life are so unbelievable we doubt if they actually happened or not,
Other things are so embarrassing that we wish they hadn't really happened,
and sometimes things fall into that awkward spot somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
What can you do about it at the end of the day?

What can HANNAH do about it more importantly!

Events unfold including but not limited to:
John being trapped by a disappearing wall and Eris has a front-row seat to the creation of a universe.
Meanwhile some familiar familiar's get familiar with each other
(try saying that one three times fast),
and Hannah goes on a power-trip while wearing a long white silk nightgown!


 

“Ari, time to get up.”

“Mmmnufrrrnn..”
Apparently that groan was enough of an answer for Mum because I could hear her stepping past the door with annoyingly heavy footsteps until she got far enough away that even I couldn’t hear her anymore.

..Urgh!..
I was having SUCH a good dream too, there was food, and John, and pillows.. then Eris turned up and thing’s got a little crazy but I fell back..to..sleep..

“..crap..”

That was all real, wasn’t it?
..without a shadow of a doubt..

What the hell was I thinking?!
Sarah’s going to be impossible now!

You know what mages are like, with the amount of them that were apparently spying on us last night, there’s practically no chance at all that I’ll be able to lie my way out of it all!
Especially with how much they all apparently love to gossip constantly when I’m involved.

“..craaaapppp..”

My bedroom door burst open and a little bundle of brown hair came whizzing in with the hem of a rather cute, long white nightgown flying around her ankles as she built up speed for her inevitable leap on top of me.
I only JUST managed to brace myself for impact but even then her little knees ended up landing in my gut despite my best efforts to prevent it, forcing a rasping gasp out of me in the process.

“Morning Mom! Gran Cooper says you gotta get up or she won’t keep saving some of the leftovers from the meal you had with dad yesterday and just let everyone else eat them instead.”
She didn’t even wait for me to respond before bouncing around on the bed excitedly with a happy giggle or two, apparently just because she felt like it.
“Come on, get up! I want more watermelon and Gran said I can have it if I get you up quickly!”

..powers-damned vindictive mothers..
It’s too early for this crap.. far, FAR too early..
..What time is it anyway?..

I shifted my hips a little awkwardly, making Eris topple over onto the bed with another round of playful giggles as she went.
The movement was enough to get me in range of my phone so I snatched it up and blearily stared at the numbers on it until they started making some sort of sense.

It’s only seven-thirty?
..Uugggg!..

What the hell did I do to piss Mum off?!
Making me get up this early on a day that I’ve got nothing important going on is just EVIL!

“Fine, fine, I’m up. Go tell Mum I’ll be down in a minute, I just need to have a wash and stuff..”

Eris giggled to herself again and like the overly energetic little bundle she apparently is this morning she hopped off the bed before practically sprinting out of the room.
If I’m not mistaken, I think she actually almost crashed into someone on the way out judging by the sudden surprised yelp that came from outside.

Either way, when no more raised voices could be heard for the few seconds afterwards I figured it wasn’t really something I needed to worry about at the moment.
With a heavy sigh I pushed my bedcovers back and sat up on my elbows but froze in surprise seconds later.

Who the hell would hav-
SARAH! Powers damn that sister of mine.

Even when I sleep OUTSIDE she still manages to find a way to get me wearing something embarrassing to bed!

Cautiously I picked at the lace on the relatively low neckline of my new nightwear for a few seconds in disgust before finally realising why it looked so familiar.
Eris’s cute little ankle length white nighty had this EXACT same mix of awkward, almost Victorian looking, detailing on it!

There’s no way Sarah could have bought this without my knowing unless she had help.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally her over-the-top feminine style of course but she’d have never have thought of it otherwise.

My sisters not dumb by any stretch of the imagination but she tends to need a REASON to get creative when she torments me in some way or another usually!

I really doubt she’d have been able to find a matching mother-daughter set of nightwear in THIS particular style easily anyway, so it’s VERY probable that she either got two identical ones and had someone to shrink Eris’s one to fit her or she got someone to go out of their way to find a matching little copy of mine at short notice.. which leaves only one realistic option for her accomplice..

..John?..
Bloody John and his stupid sense of humor and his stupid.. stupid!..
..He was probably the one who brought me back to the house too..

How on earth I didn’t notice being picked up and carried, I’ll never know!

I plucked at the lace again self-consciously before giving it up with a huff.
It could have been a lot worse at least, knowing Sarah I could have ended up wearing vintage Playboy magazine lingerie if she was feeling vindictive or just generally playful.
At least this thing’s modest, even if it IS modest to an almost silly degree in parts.. maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fussy lace an-

“ARI! Thirty-seconds before I let the Were’s eat your breakfast!”

Crap, I’ll get you for this Sarah I SWEAR it!
“Coming Mum!”

Sliding out of bed was a little awkward with my legs being held relatively close together by the ankle length nature of the nightgown, a style I’m not exactly used to or anything, but I managed somehow and with only some minor grumbling I got back to my feet at last.

With the clock ticking I don’t exactly have time to waste getting changed or taking a shower now annoyingly, so I compromised by letting off a tiny pulse of magic to ‘refresh’ myself, then snagged a suspiciously convenient long white silk dressing-gown that I’m PRETTY sure wasn’t hanging behind my door this time yesterday morning.

A quick glance in the mirror had me tossing my hair, pushing the wide shoulder straps on ‘my’ new nightgown up a bit better and giving myself a little pout of commiseration on the understanding that it’s probably the only sympathy I’m likely to get this morning knowing my family.

“ARI!”

“I’M COMING!”
..Jeez, she’s pretty high strung today isn’t she?..
I gave my reflection one last annoyed glare before turning with a sigh to head downstairs at last.

I KNOW I’m gonna get some crap for wearing this to breakfast, my life just sucks like that sometimes.

======

“Well good morning little Miss Sunshine, took you long enough, love the nighty it really suits you..”
Judging by the little smug smirk on her face Mum is more than a little aware that wearing it in the first place wasn’t my choice at all.

“Morning Mum, where is everyone?”

“In the dining room of the elevator space as usual I suppose.. or sleeping of course.”
Of course, sleeping, like I should currently be doing!
..thanks for that one Mum..

“I take it the whole ‘I’ll give everyone your food’ thing was just a bluff then, huh?”
She grinned and nodded to me cheekily.

For a long moment I just processed that idea but in the end all I could really focus on was the fact that my bed is still calling me and I still have a chance to actually get changed before someone, who isn’t Mum or Eris, sees me in this getup if I can just get back to my room quick enough.

“Well, in that case I’ll just go back to-”

“Park your butt missy! I want to talk to you and you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, your Gran’s really excited about some idea she’s had for making the elevator space easier to travel through because of something you did yesterday and YOU promised a certain little girl that she could go swimming in the lake today, apparently?”

Ugh, damn me and my promises!

My last wistful glance back toward the stairs full of hope and despair all rolled into one was interrupted nicely by the sound of plates being placed with slightly more force than strictly necessary behind me, an old favorite trick of Mum’s to remind us not to make a fuss in the morning considering both Sarah and I get our early-hour bad tempers from her to start with.

I turned regretfully and sank into my preferred stool at the kitchen counter while kicking my legs a little to make the nightgown settle right.
A few tugs and butt shifts later had ‘my’ dressing-gown wrapped around me well enough that even I couldn’t see any cleavage from my admittedly awkward viewing angle.

“What’s for breakfast then?”

Mum moved a few plates around on the counter and loaded a few bits onto another plate before answering me with a suspiciously casual tone that wouldn’t fool anyone in the slightest.

“Mixed meats, John told me your favorites then claimed a few bits for himself and Eris too before moving all the other stuff into the elevator for everyone else to eat when they want.”
Oh.. well.. that’s nice of him, isn’t it?”

What makes him think he knows my favorites in the slightest anyway?!
Even I didn’t know half the things I found myself enjoying last night would be.. things I’d enjoy?..

..until I tried them at least..

Trust him to be a so big-headed and full of himself that he woul..would-
Almost subconsciously I took in a deep breath and found my mouth watering a little bit.
“Is that chicken? I thought I ate all of that yesterday.. and sausage.. fried tomato’s?..”

..Mango slices!..

Mum shot me a knowing look while she turned around holding a plate that was practically full-to-bursting with gorgeous looking foods that left me feeling all warm and fuzzy from the smells alone.

“Thanks Mum!”
She snorted to herself and turned back around to start making drinks from the look of it while I dug right in by shoving a piece of perfectly cooked chicken in my mouth.

“Don’t thank me Ari, thank John, he chose it all.”
I grunted rather than actually answer her but I have no doubt she noticed my practically glowing ears at the thought of thanking John for this.
..it’s going to be bad enough just talking to him after last night..

“He’s a nice boy, I approve of your tastes at least, even if I do think your relationship is progressing a bit too quickly for my comfort-”
..RELATIONSHIP?!..
“-don’t get me wrong Ari, I’m glad you’re happy together but your my little girl and you’ve grown up so fast without me being there to s-support you.”

She sniffed heavily with her back toward me.
Knowing what was expected of me, along with just a touch of guilt from the hand I had in helping this new ‘life story’ of hers along as well, I dropped my fork back onto my plate and moved around the counter to give her a hug.

Her breath hitched a little for a moment but the dam broke pretty quickly and in seconds I found myself practically supporting both of us as she leaned her larger frame around me in a tight hug while she cried heavily for the decade or so of ‘my’ life that she thinks she missed.

..thinking about it, we kind of did miss a decade together really?..
We barely talked to each other when I was in my teens and then things kicked off and.. well..

I sniffed a little as some sleep-dust got in the corner of my eye awkwardly making them water up a bit.

..stupid female body with squinty watering eyes..
I’m NOT crying damn it!

======

“I’m sorry Ari. I don’t know what came over me.”
..you’re not the only one..

We pulled apart at last and I made my way back around to my stool again.
I’d like to say that things weren’t awkward but honestly, they were totally awkward now!

Neither of us is usually very ‘touchy-feely’ in general.. well.. Mum was like that with Sarah obviously, however as we are all keenly aware at this point, I am NOT my sister.

Mum busied herself making tea while I focused almost unbelievable amounts of intense attention upon my breakfast so we could both pretend her mini-breakdown and my lapse in sanity by trying to comfort her, despite my general lack of ability to do just that for anyone usually, never happened.

..ahh, the perils of coming from a dysfunctional, emotionally stunted home environment..
Shut up brain!

======

“Morning Mom!”

Those two simple words, that just happened to be echoed from several suspiciously different voices made me cringe a little inside.
Slowly I turned around on my stool and found myself face-to-cleavage with an over-enthusiastic hug from a certain rather over-endowed former goddess of beauty.

A few seconds later a giggling little bundle bumped into my leg too.
Obviously, even when it just comes to hugs, Eris isn’t willing to be outdone by her ‘big’ sister.

The pair of them giggled and squeezed me tightly for a few seconds until ‘Dite finally had enough, letting me go so I could take in a slightly relieved breath and catch a brief glimpse of Sarah letting Mum out of a similarly tight hug on the other side of the counter.

Eris took my moment of freedom as an excuse to leap up onto my lap, nightgown swinging wildly as she scrabbled around to get comfortable.

It was painfully obvious that we made a somewhat ‘adorable’ sight cuddled up together with our new practically matching, if adjusted to be age appropriate, nightwear just from the fond look that came to Mum’s face when she looked our way.
A few seconds later Sarah looked over at us and a couple more after that ‘Dite glance over as well with her own fond smile that made Eris sink a little harder into my chest in embarrassment.

“I take it you had a hand in our current attire Sare?”
Always one to take credit when she can, Sarah nodded in response while sharing a conspiratorial wink with ‘Dite that said all I needed to know when you add in Mum’s rather telling guilty glance to the side moments later.

..they were ALL in on it?..

I should have guessed really.. there’s no residual magic in either of our outfits that I can feel so the obvious answer would be that they were purchased, not conjured.
The only people who had a chance to get new clothing yesterday were ‘Dite, Echo and whoever else went off with them to ‘pick me up a few bits’ as an apology back in Klamath proper.

Let’s be honest, the odds that Sarah turned down a chance to buy me more embarrassing clothing are slim-to-nil even on a good day, so she probably went with them too on a little shopping adventure of her own at some point while I was busy claiming my new study area and reading to calm myself down.

“..at least it’s not as bad as the monstro-nighty..”
That little grumble got a few raised eyebrows and a rather sharp, almost thoughtful, look from Mum but luckily before I had to explain myself to them John decided to make his, as always, grand entrance instead.

“You know, you owned a nightgown practically identical to that one back in Versailles, right?.. the whole ‘innocent virgin’ style with white lace look suits you Han, even if it IS complete bullsh- oof!”
His annoying little snipe cut short easily under the onslaught of my elbow striking his gut as he got within reach.

It’s nice to know we’re back to normal and he’s not going to be all weird with me after last night at least, even if it’s painfully obvious everyone else is buzzing for information about our ‘working lunch’ turned apparent ‘dinner date’ since so many of them practically camped around us for the night to watch from the shadows and everyone else currently in our kitchen area is glancing between us curiously.
..stupid nosy family..

John settled onto the stool next to me while offering me a playful but slightly apologetic look that sadly worked quite well to mellow my attitude toward him in spite of the annoying ‘virgin’ comment he just tried to make.

A few seconds later Mum planted a plate down in front of him full of mixed of meats and fruits from yesterday’s over-the-top selection.
Seeing where things were going as Mum turned around to grab yet another plate, Eris quickly detached herself from my lap and hopped onto the stool on my other side, neatly forcing ‘Dite to take the last seat in the row in a way which, I’m SURE, was entirely accidental.

The fact that she then proceeded to jump between sending sweet innocent looks at me, eager hungry looks at Mum and smug teasing looks at ‘Dite would also have nothing to do with her actions either of course..

After a rather amusing but surprisingly short few seconds of watching the wild changes in her demeanor and facial expressions as she unsuccessfully tried to keep the three different looks going in quick succession, culminating in her awkwardly giving me a smug look and turning sweet innocent eyes over to Mum, she got what she wanted anyway as a plate full of watermelon and other fruits was deposited into place by her now highly amused ‘Grandmother’.

As Mum turned away to sort out her own breakfast while valiantly protecting her toast from Sarah’s wandering hands she gave me a warm look that I returned happily before blissfully going back to my nice meaty breakfast at last.

“Your Gran’s been bugging me to get you to sort out the room arrangements upstairs, now that you’ve shown you can manipulate the dimension at will and all..”
I shot John an exasperated look but only received a bored shrug in return as he focused more on his breakfast then the actual conversation we are apparently now having.

“I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to sort things out like that? I’ve only managed to move one room so far an-”

“Yeah, I told her that, I said you’d probably give up pretty quickly considering how uselessly out of control your magic’s been lately and all-”
My cheeks flared red in indignation at being cut off, quickly followed by my ears burning from embarrassment at how easily he dismissed my abilities.
“-I said it would be a long shot that you’d even manage to move a few rooms at best, of course, but she’s got some ideas for things she wants in her head that she just won’t let go of easily.. did you know the bathrooms are almost a twenty minute walk away from the dorms in there at the moment?”

I hadn’t known that but then it’s not like I’ve really had a chance to explore or anything.
Honestly it’s kind of amazing I’ve managed to get anything done with how hectic things have been lately an-

“Everyone understands how hard it must be for you at the moment. You’re new to all this and we really need to cut you a bit more slack with how delicate you’ve been lately..”
..DELICATE!..

Listen here John-boy, I’m not the one who went around DYING recently!
I’ve been changed, I’ve been kidnapped, I’ve been attacked and caged, but I’m still going strong and if anyone around here is bloody DELICATE then it’s been bloody y-

“..we figured that maybe it would be better to work on the low yield waypoints instead honestly, considering how long it might take you to build up the power and fortitude to change things in th-”

“That DOES it!”

My hands slammed down hard on the table making everyone but John flinch slightly.
He watched me with obvious amusement as my fingers twitched slightly with a chill of magic rolling across my finger tips from my agitation.

Delicate?.. DELICATE?!..
I’ll show him fucking DELICATE!

“Han, where are you going?”
I growled under my breath rather than answer Sarah as I launched myself off my stool and marched off towards the staircase, nightgown flying behind me like some demented silken cape.

A few seconds later I was joined in my march by a slightly out of breath Eris who’d run to catch up with me.
I barely broke my stride as I dipped down to pick her up, receiving a slightly relieved sigh of gratitude from her in the process.

My mind wasn’t really on her honestly, I was focused on John and his stupid.. stupid.. URG!
I’m NOT delicate! I don’t need him protecting me from a bit of effort or ANYTHING else for that matter!

Who the HELL does he think he is talking about me like that?
Like I’m some pathetic little shrinking violet that can’t even handle an honest day’s work?!

I’m a MAGE damn it!

I’m a powers damned Locus Point with more magic then I know what to do with half the time!
How DARE he suggest I can’t handle some simple renovations to MY personal dimension so that MY family don’t have to be uncomfortable as they live their lives safely inside it!

We reached the top of the stairs and the few family members, notably an older group of women who appeared to be playing some kind of card game on our dinner table, all shot me surprised looks as I stormed past them and into the elevator without another word.

The familiar, somewhat annoying, glare of the golden football field sized entrance hall just served to annoy me even more honestly.

Despite my simmering rage at John’s mocking me and my determination to prove him bloody WRONG, I still had enough mind left to let Eris down before getting started at least, although it was a close call for a few moments there.

The second she landed back on solid ground she took a tight grip on the back of my open robe, pulling herself close into my side with, what I can only assume, was some degree of worry.
Rather than focus on that annoyingly jarring problem though I fixed my mind on the task at hand and dipped into my lines to enhance my magic senses.

Last time I managed to move a room by focus and willpower alone but that’s so MESSY.. that’s not how I WORK usually in the slightest damn it?!
Any fool with enough power can do messy work, I’m above all that and despite what John seems to think I’m not going to let some stupid powers-damned N’th dimensional space beat me!

With a grunt and a forceful mental push I forced out an almost flat wave of magic from my body in a ring around me on all sides, creating the perfect circumstances necessary to use another of my old favorite ‘dirty tricks’ that is supposed to be practically useless in most cases except for the annoyingly common ‘few’ times when it isn’t and it can show it’s true worth if you know what you’re doing with it.

It took every bit of focus I had to tighten down my senses and ‘feel’ out the rebounding echoes of my magic as the thin wave I sent out spread around us in all directions, shooting off down the hallways at speed and marking out anything of interest for as far as it could keep going.

Internally I started making a mental ‘map’ of the land that was coming into focus around us.
It quickly became apparent that everyone has been dealing with an unnecessarily complicated maze here as hallway after hallway pinged up on my senses and were added to the hive of tunnels on my new mental ‘map’ of the area.

When it finally felt like I had a good handle on the area around me I started getting to work.
I focused intensely on what I wanted to happen and, being so deeply in touch with my senses as I am at the moment, I could actually feel the magic moving from my mind through my core and out of my feet into the floor below us this time.

Eris let out a gasp of surprise that I can’t really blame her for if the hallways are behaving as they feel like they are in my head.

In short order I managed to tie all the branching halls of my mental map together into one big ball of interconnected pathways connecting together into one single entrance I allowed to remain connected to the main football field sized area we’re stood in for the time being.

My magic jolted slightly for some reason and the rate that it was leaving my body sped up slightly in response.

As my connection to the world around us grew, it became almost pointless to keep focusing on the map as I started to actually FEEL the halls around us like an extension of myself.
I could feel all the inhabitants of this space, of MY space, blissfully carrying on their activities in almost total ignorance to the changes going on around them with a few exceptions where people happened to be traveling between rooms at the time that I started tentatively moving things.

With barely a thought, all the hallways currently being travelled by, now hopelessly lost, members of my family jumped position and almost instantly joined together into a little knot with a single exit leading back out into the main entrance I’m currently stood in to let them all escape before they started to panic or anything else people tend to do in these sort of situations.

That little problem sorted, I started the far too easy process of trimming off unnecessary hallways until all the rooms that I could feel had been used recently were left connected together by a single long corridor.

My task done I let myself drop out of my lines again and came back to the world to find myself being watched by a rather awed audience of mixed family members, an almost shivering Eris and a smirking John who was leaning casually against the wall nearby.

It was hard to concentrate on them all though when, despite my having returned to the ‘normal’ world, I found myself being flooded with information about the world all around us still anyway?
The walls practically thrummed with my magic along with the floors and everywhere else.

It should have been overwhelming but honestly all I can feel is comfort from it all at the moment.
It’s an amazingly calming feeling, to know that you’re completely in control of the world around you..

“Be honest, if I hadn’t mocked you, do you really think you’d have managed all this in one go?”

Case in point, the moment that smug little statement of fact disguised as a question slipped past John’s lips, the wall he’d been leaning against almost instantly disappeared sending him into a wild tumble backwards that would have been amusing enough if my mind hadn’t kept going with the joke.
Before he could even realised what was happening the floor rose up underneath him in a rolling wave that started undulating steadily to trap him in a smooth continuous state of ‘falling’ as he slid from one curve into the next like a hamster spinning on an out of control running wheel.

I couldn’t help but laugh along with Eris at the surprised yelp he let off, one that quickly dissolved into grunts as his mildly desperate attempts to get free increased and my mind had no problem subconsciously stopping him at each turn with a few tweaks to whatever he tried to use as an anchor point of sorts.

Even better, he can’t warp out because the constant tumbling must be disorientating as all hell and there’s a very real possibility that he might find himself falling on his head if he warps at the wrong moment!

I let the rolling go on for a few more turns before his magic shifted slightly giving off the vague feeling of unease that I’ve come to associate with nausea over the years.
Without even a conscious thought the rolling stopped and one edge of John’s continuously curved floor-tumbler flattened out, letting him slide across the floor to freedom at last.

He came to a stop as a huffing, slightly green looking, pile at my feet and sunk his head down heavily to the floor with a tired grunt.
My magic sung with amusement and shifted excitedly around my body in a way that almost made me feel light-headed for a second.

“You ain’t seen nothing yet John-boy”
..call ME delicate will you?..

My magic surged and the room around us rippled in response.
A chair formed up out of the floor below John and moved him bodily into itself so he was sat up again with a rather stunned look on his still slightly disorientated face.

I threw my hands up, more for dramatic effect then actual need, and the golden walls around us shot off in all directions.
Within seconds we were in a room that was suddenly the size of a few football fields strung together; a moment more and it had become the size of at least ten fields while showing no signs of stopping any time soon.

The hallway doors holding my family inside them, along with the doorway leading back out of here to our house, obviously disappeared into the distance with the walls at first but with a thought they appeared in front of us again, mounted into the front of squat little box rooms formed out of the golden floor in a loose three-sided ring around us.

As the walls kept expanding outwards I found that I didn’t even need to focus on them anymore.
My magic, the magic of this dimension, knew EXACTLY what I wanted to achieve at this point.

When the walls finally got so far away that their edges had literally disappeared off behind a suspiciously appearing ‘horizon’ line, I turned my attention back onto other things.. mostly a bit of desperately needed interior decorating.

With a thought and a pulse of magic the golden floor beneath our feet bulged up for a moment before practically bursting forth in a tidal wave of grass and wildflowers.
I found myself letting off a happy cackle of laughter as waves of euphoric magic formed up around me and the ceiling high above us started bleaching itself white before progressing on into a much nicer ‘sunny day’ shade of sky blue.

I’d barely even thought of that comparison before my magic ran with it and a Sun formed itself up high in the sky making me laugh happily all over again as its warm ray’s hit my face.
..so much power..
SO. MUCH. POWER!

It barely took a thought to change the remaining hallways from gaudy gold into nice long stretches of white marble full of tastefully designed pillars with paintings lining the walls at random, replicated directly from my mind, ranging from famous artworks to movie posters and beyond.

A giggle left my lips as I felt my magic tweak the paintings slightly, adding little hidden people to some of them, removing key objects in others and even going so far as to ever so slightly tilt a few of them against the walls just for my own amusement.
..this is amazing..
THIS IS AWESOME!

“HANNAH!”
John tried to reach me but with a happy giggle the chair he’d been sitting on reformed under his feet and seamless curves came into existence around his wrists, holding him tight to his new chair.

I don’t need his help!
..MINE!..
This is MY realm! MY place!

With a thought the ceilings of the now marble covered hallways became great arching curves of hardened quartz, hard as diamond but crystal clear in a way nature could never manage.
Despite the hallways existing outside of my marvelous, near endless at this point, field-like ‘entrance area’ and its borders they now clearly let everyone inside them see my beautiful clear blue sky and warm sun at last!

Again my magic followed a barely even half-thought idea and suddenly the ‘sky’ above us was in motion with clouds, birds of all colors and a slowly progressing flow of ‘time’ visible for everyone to see.

I always hated how the Hub’s never had a sense of time!
Without a day and night cycle people tend to start going a little crazy.. crazy.. craz-
..URGH! NO!..
The halls! My lovely halls!

Changes started happening all around us wildly.

To the south, a lake the size of the Upper formed along with its own fresh water spring, tumbling waterfalls and miraculously pretty soft-sand beach front.
To the north, tree’s formed up into a thick and inviting forest that sent a delightful wash of smells out that made me huff in a deep breath of joy from just how nice they were.

Even the doorway’s around me changed from open hallways mounted inside small box rooms with wooden doors, shifting as they began to contort wildly until finally they’d become startlingly realistic replicas of the few still standing carved stone arches left at Stonehenge instead.

..I love Stonehenge!..
The welsh boy’s that sourced the stones for us were ever so nice and we had so many fun solstices dancing naked around th.. the.. the-

“HANNAH!”
With a thought a thick piece of his chair moved to cover Max’s mouth before he could.. could..

..oww?..
Magic pressed in on me from all around oppressively and for the first time I realised just how much it HURT!

The pressure, the endless waves of magic dancing at my fingertips, eager to be used and shaped and formed and.. and..

..URRGH!..
The hallway full of family rooms tucked behind the now open stone archway in front of me multiplied and shifted around into a layout I’d not even realised I wanted until they were done forming already.
Along with it, several more stone arches formed up around us and throughout the endless field of flowers far off into the distance.

Most of them formed up with simple looping connections between each other, just empty shortcuts waiting for a use later on.
There’s a very specific reason, one that I barely even started to consider as a possibility before they were finished forming, that they remained as simple useless looped connections but before I could really focus on what that reason was the main ring of huge stone doorways around us started moving, settled firmly into a wider ring around us and suddenly filled themselves with hallways of all kinds imaginable.

My senses stretched and I could feel the world expand out as the hallways grew, containing everything my mind could think to add.

From one filled with giant multi-story shopping malls to one with multiple natural spa hot spring resorts and ones filled with nightlife places like cinemas to an entire wing dedicated to libraries, they all formed at a whim as magic swirled around me in a joyful rolling wave that left me wanting to giggle and puke all at the same time.

My every thought is manifesting in here before I can even realise I’m thinking them?!
My finger twitched and a red-light district full of all manner of sex relevant shops formed up somewhere at the far back of the hallway I’d subconsciously decided was to be the ‘dirty underbelly’ of my new universe.

..this power..
SO MUCH POWER!

I can shape the world to my desires!
With a thought I can create life or DESTROY it!
I’m the Alpha and the Omega! I’m a GODDESS INCARNATE!
I’m-

“Mom?”
Eris’s half-gasped, fearful plea cut through my mental haze like a knife.

In seconds I found myself back inside my body, being battered on all sides by oppressively strong waves of madness-inducing magic and the only thing holding me fixed in reality was the tearful, almost terrified eyes of my daughter.
..my Eris..

Both my hands came up to the sides of my head as I tried desperately to hold it all in, building up wall after wall of defences to keep the magic out which barely seemed to make it pause!

With a wild gesture of my hand John’s restraining chair disappeared leaving him to fall heavily onto the soft grass in the same way I did moments later as my legs gave out and I collapsed forward in pain.

“John.. help..”
He staggered to his feet and rushed over to my side.

The magic seemed to martial itself at his approach, a desperate scream rent the air and I was only vaguely aware of it leaving my lips before the magic crested again, shattering my defences with an unfathomable wave of power that tore at my very BEING on impact!

Suddenly, as fast as it had started, the attack ended leaving me a weak sobbing mess on the grass below us.

John and Eris made noises for a while but I couldn’t focus on them enough to understand what they were saying.
The only thing I could feel.. the only thing I could concentrate on at all was John’s magic?

He’d encapsulated me in a bubble of that wonderfully warm magic he lets me borrow sometimes.
Compared to the horrible PRESSURE that the magic around us had been forcing upon me, his was like the gentlest of hugs.. so warm.. so soft.. so caring but so frightened?..

..my head hurts..
My head hurts.

“Hannah?!”
That’s my name!
My name, my world, my family, my John..

I giggled to myself happily as my eyes squinted themselves shut against my will and the world finally stopped hurting at las-

======

“Mmrfurna-ank”

“You’ve got to stop doing this Han.. it can’t be healthy to pass out this often, you’re going to give yourself an aneurism if you keep it up..”
I grunted and, after one or two failed attempts to sit up on the nice squishy bed underneath me, I gave up and settled for shooting an arm out from under the covers to offer him my middle finger in response; an action which at least earned me a laugh, if not actually getting my point across quite as eloquently as I would have liked.
“Ever the lady I see.. how are you feeling?”

My raised middle finger bobbed in the air a little as my arm started to tire but eventually I managed to make my hand co-operate, shifting my fingers into the universal symbol for ‘okay’ before my arm gave up on me to collapse back to the bed with a soft thumb.

“As much as I’d love to find out what the hell happened earlier you’re apparently under your Gran’s care and she’s stated clearly that.. ahem.. ‘if that foolish girl wakes up before tomorrow at the earliest then I’ll personally come in there and knock her out again myself!’-”

I found myself grinning into my pillow at the idea of Gran saying something like that.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d totally believe it, we established ages ago after all that Gran’s a psycho when she wants to be!

Just the idea of her doing it though feels somewhat amusing when you consider the usually calm exterior she lets people see in general.

“-have I mentioned how much I like your Gran by the way?.. smart lady, knows how to put you in your place when you need it.”
I’m sure she does John-boy.

I wonder how many times she had to zap him before he’d listen to her if he now thinks that highly of her methods?
Despite my apparent inability to move much at the moment I still managed to snigger a little to myself under my breath at the idea of Gran giving John shock treatment until he’d agree to stop dragging me into the stupid crap we end up involved with so often lately finally sunk into his thick head.

“Now you’re awake there’s a certain little bundle of joy that’s been reduced to biting people who try to make her leave standing guard outside your door right now.. she REALLY wants to see you again.. I’ve told her you need your rest and that ironically you really are ‘delicate’ at the moment so she’ll be careful.. if you want to see her?”

My hand twitched frantically for a second as I tried to make it do what I want again.
My motor control is apparently shot to shit at the moment.. it feels like someone scrambled my brain around something fierce!

Finally my hand decided to co-operate at last and I managed to give him a shaky ‘okay’ sign before shifting it into a middle finger again for the ‘delicate’ comment.
He got me good earlier and, catastrophic side-effects aside, he was actually right that getting me riled up in indignation was a good way to motivate me to do things I would never think possible, just to prove a point to him if nothing else.

I hate to say it but my ego CAN be a weakness at times and John is one of the few people on earth who knows how to trigger it let alone use it for good.
..he’s still an ass though..

While I was busy mentally tearing into myself for being so easily manipulated by him as usual, he laughed under his breath and stepped closer to me so he could brush his hand across my hair gently for a second before pulling his hand back sharply as if only just realising what he’d been doing in the first place?

He didn’t get a chance to do much more then turn slightly away from me in embarrassment before I managed to forcefully push my hand out and snatch his one up in a weak grip that made him freeze mid-step.

I let my magic rub gently against his for a second, getting a nice warm tingle in return for my troubles, and offered him the best reassuring squeeze I could manage until my strength gave out making my hand flop back down harshly.

He turned back around and with almost worryingly gentle care, lifted my hand back up onto the bed.

After a long moment where I could feel him run his thumb over my knuckles reassuringly a few times he let off a sigh and moved away properly this time.
“Get some sleep Han, doctor’s orders.”

I buried my head back into my pillow to smother the grin that came to my lips along with the slight blush on my cheeks.
..it’s nice to know he cares..

A door opened and, after a few mumbled words outside, quick little footsteps entered the room until the bed bounced slightly and I found myself with a long haired little bed-invader snuggled into my chest tightly.

After a few seconds of indecision she lifted my dead-weight of an arm over herself into a cuddle and sighed happily to herself as she nuzzled her cheek into my chest.
I held off for a moment or two but finally gave in and sighed happily too, giving her what I hope was a recognisable squeeze before letting my body relax properly and drifting back off into a far more comfortable, warm state of sleep that I apparently needed at this point pretty desperately.

Explanations, questions and repercussions can wait!
I’m tired, I ache and I’ve got my Eris with me.

..life is good..

======

“Morning girls”

We both staggered forward on slightly unsteady feet along the short trip from my bed to the dinner table outside my room, which I have to say will just HAVE to act as a breakfast table again today because I REALLY don’t think I’m up for tackling the stairs right now.
Eris’s little mouth split wide into an almost painful looking yawn and I’m sorry to admit that mine followed quickly behind hers a moment or so later.

“You look a bit better?”
I shot Mum as warm a smile, although it was interrupted slightly by yet another yawn anyway.

..I actually feel better honestly?..
My body still ache’s a little but it’s more of a ‘you ran a marathon you fool!’ kind of ache then the full body WEIGHT I felt pressing down on me yesterday at least.

..my motor control is certainly better!..
To prove that point, more to myself then anything, I clenched my hands into fists for a moment before flexing my fingers out a few times.
There’s still a slightly numb tingle in my fingertips obviously but that tends to happen for a while after you channel too much magic through your hands at once, so it’s probably no big deal at this point.

“I’ll be the judge of her condition Susan, thank you.”
The amusement in Gran’s voice didn’t detract much from the steel present behind it as she wandered into my view range and carefully cupped my head into her hands, shifting her gaze between one eye and the other a few times with a thoughtful hum.

She moved on to checking my pulse and breathing a little then finished off by snagging a spoon from the table and tapping me pretty hard on my nightgown covered knee making it jerk slightly, in a completely involuntary reaction on my part.

“Good enough I suppose, certainly not enough to postpone you’re swimming trip today as long as you have a good swimmer nearby to keep an eye on you.”
Eris seemed to go from ‘zombie’ to ‘perky’ in the blink of an eye when the dreaded ‘swimming’ word was mentioned.

I gave Gran a slightly pained smile that she returned fondly before tweaking my nose between her fingers and moving over to one of the free seats nearer to the windows.
Not to be outdone, Eris hopped into my poor lap getting a tired puff out of me as she landed

..urrgg, it’s too early for this crap..

I suppose even almost dying from a sudden bout of power-induced megalomania only allows me a slight delay on abuse and demands when I’ve made a promise to an impressionable little girl, doesn’t it?

It’s obviously going to be tiring in general but I’m sorry to say that swimming actually sounds kind of nice to me right about now honestly.. not so much the whole ‘effort’ and ‘swimming’ part of it but I could DEFINITELY get behind some ‘floating weightlessly’ and, admittedly useless considering my magical nature, ‘sunbathing’ at this point if nothing else!

Yet again I’ve spent too much time indoors lately for my sanity’s own good.
Maybe it really is some kind of latent ‘cat’ instinct brought out by that whole mess with us blocking my seer talent and awakening my apparently rather strong connection to my spirit animal but if it is connected to that then I’m fine with it because the sun’s nice and warm enough today already that sunbathing with a good book is a completely acceptable waste of a day to my mind.

..speaking of cat’s..
“Where’s Mau?”

Nobody even got a chance to open their mouths, let alone answer, before the weak shadows created by the sunlight streaming in through the windows nearby moved slightly and something furry bumped into my leg.

“..Mau..”
Yeah, yeah, ‘you called?’.. very funny..

..smart-ass little fur-ball..

“Okay, what about Felix?”
I doubt he was stupid enough to go back to the Hub considering the towering rage Maven must have for both of us at this exact moment.

This time I really did receive blank looks of confusion from everyone at first.
Finally Eris seemed to realise who I was talking about and belatedly I realised in turn that I hadn’t actually introduced him to Mum or Gran yet.

I barely even mentioned his name around Eris either for that matter?
My mouth opened to explain who exactly Felix is to the adults in the room but I found myself interrupted by a dual set of squeaky shouts coming from behind my chair.

“Hip-nabin!”
‘We-fight!’

The little imp came flying in out of nowhere and tackled Mau from his position at my ankles, sending them both into a rolling tumble under the table which quickly started knocking over empty chairs and causing a lot of noise.

“..I’m really not well enough to be dealing with this crap..”

A glance around the room didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence considering Eris has ducked her head under the table and appeared to be alternatively cheering on whoever was ‘winning’ at any given moment as the two fought on.
Gran offered me a slightly pained smile and Mum just watched on in a kind of stunned silence which really wasn’t helping much either honestly.

“Turu-je-benta salvig-VEES!”
‘There-can-be only-ONE!’

In any other situation, seeing an imp posing dramatically on top of a slightly worried looking kitten with a butter knife raised high in the air like a sword.. before cracking up with a serious case of the giggles and dropping it in favor of pulling the kitten into another tumbling melee of fur-covered limbs would have been considered somewhat fun or at the very least cute in my option.

As it is, the only thought I had going through my head as they continued their now apparent ‘play fighting’ was the sheer horrified question of ‘who the hell let Felix watch Highlander?!’
The answer wasn’t exactly hard to reach sadly.

With a frustrated growl I threw my head back and yelled out as loud as possible to make sure he bloody-well heard me no matter where he’s currently hiding.
“JOHN!”

“You called?”
I’m sorry to admit I shrieked like a little girl when his voice came moments later from right behind me.

If I’d been thinking properly I’m sure I would have felt him coming, from his magic or something if nothing else, but I WAS kind of distracted by Felix and Mau’s rather unexpected free-for-all battle.. a battle that now appears to have reached yet another peak with Mau posing over Felix’s ‘fallen’ body, sitting back on his haunches with his little front paws tucked under his chin in the air.

“MAU!”
I don’t.. he can’t..
‘KHAN!’, seriously?!

Slowly I turned to fix John with a deep glare.
Despite him being himself as usual, he still flinched slightly at the obvious anger shining through my eyes even as my lips twitched hard in an aborted attempt by my body to form some kind of laugh I desperately didn’t want to let out right about now.

“Star Trek, John? I sleep a day away recovering, meanwhile you let them watch Highlander and the second Star Trek movie?!”
The now restarted melee of rolling fur paused for a moment, Felix on top this time, and with a breathless little squeak he turned his head to offer me a grin.

“Ful-is-nenkik fen-plac Bii San-ya”
‘All-of-them actually Lady Death’

“ALL OF THEM?!”
John cringed and shot the pair a mild glare of admonishment.
It may have been my imagination but I’m pretty sure he mouthed a silent ‘traitors’ towards them before turning back to face me with an entirely unconvincing smile on his lips.

“They were at each other’s throats Han, I had to do something before they hurt someone or set something else on fire, so we sat down and had a ‘guy bonding day’.. they aren’t much for conversation obviously but they understand English much better than most familiars manage usually so it was kind of fun watching them get so into the classics like that.”

..they had a ‘guy bonding day’ without me?..
That’s so meaannn!

..whiney much?..
Shut UP brain! I mean it’s, ya know, unfair and stuff.. because I’m a guy and John’s my man-besty not theirs and.. and, um?..

..quit while we’re ahead..
RIGHT!.. wait.. what did he mean when he called them ‘familiars’ anyway?

The tumbling fur melee paused again with the pair of said ‘familiars’ rolling to a stop at my feet so Mau could shoot a big innocent-eyed look my way, one that really couldn’t have been more unconvincing if he bloody tried.

“..Mau..”
What do YOU mean ‘you told me so’ you annoying little fuzz-ball?!

“They are NOT my familiars!”
The whole room went silent at that simple, slightly louder than necessary, statement of fact.

Eris pulled her head out from under the table to shoot me an incredulous look.. one that was mirrored by Gran across the table, John at my shoulder, the tumbling duo on the floor and even copied by my bloody MUM of all people!

“What?.. Th.. they’re not!”

“..you’re so naive sometimes Mom..”
I gasped and turned my eyes down to stare at Eris with a hurt look which quickly morphed into a light glare at the amused grin on her face.
..traitor..
“Mau’s a great pet and he’s really cute but you’d have to be a bit of an idiot to not see the connection between you two? You even act like he’s actually TALKING to you sometimes and that would just be weird if he wasn’t your familiar!”

He’s.. got a very expressive face and meow and-

..denials kind of pathetic when it’s this obvious, isn’t it?..
Crap, he’s ACTUALLY my familiar, isn’t he?

Power’s save me, he’s going to be unbelievably smug about all this!
..stupid little fur-ball machine..

“Mau?”
Yes, I know you’re not stupid, it’s just a turn of phrase an-
Damn it, stop reading my thoughts!

You’re a cat, you’re not allowed to read my mind even if you ARE my familia-
Crap crapping.. crap.. well, there goes my shot at denial!

Well.. well, at least I KNOW that whole bit about Felix being one too is bullsh-

Certain throw away facts and memories decided that THIS was the best moment to make themselves known again by flashing quickly through my brain in an almost painfully fast succession before I could even finish trying to convince myself that Felix was innocent in all of this.

‘I’m going to force some magic out of my core.. it’s going to hurt Felix, I’ll only be able to do it for a moment. Can you gather up what I release and shove it all into this glyph here?’

‘are-you-okay my-bonded?’
‘I-am-here my-bonded.’

The blood runes I used to stop Handyman’s army of Golems.. Felix sucked up some of my magic to activate the rune for me and, when I got past the pain of it all, his eyes were LITERALLY sparkling from excess magic!

That strange second voice thing in my head that lets me understand him, despite not knowing how to speak imp in the slightest didn’t start up until after that point either.. and he only started calling me his bonded AFTER running the hell away from me when I confronted him about being able to understand him too!

“..I’ve got two familiars.. one’s a kitten demon that does Kirk impressions and the other’s a fae imp that likes Highlander..”
John snorted to himself and threw a comforting arm around my shoulders to give me a squeeze, which actually seemed to help a lot more then I’d like to admit sadly.

“Make that three familiars, the whole ‘unresolved bad faith binding’ you gave me basically labels me as yours until you sort it out, after all.. isn’t magic wonderful?”
He squeezed me a little tighter and mushed his cheek into my hair like some sort of overgrown house cat playing with a favorite toy.

For one horrid moment I actually believed him.. between the brands known effects so far and Edith calling him my ‘pet’ the other day it all made so much sense, as much sense as my connections with my ‘other’ two apparent familiar’s did at least.

It wasn’t until Eris finally snorted in an attempt to contain a fit of laughter that she just couldn’t hold back anymore, setting off John and breaking the moment entirely, that I came back to myself with some sense of reality and realised that he was messing with me again in some stupid attempt to lighten the mood.

“That’s not fucking FUNNY John! You damn near gave me a heart attack for a second there?!”

“A- Hannah, Language!”
I shot Mum an incredulous look which really wasn’t helped much by the obvious giggles she was trying to hide, nor the smirk Gran was offering me from her position at Mum’s side.

“URG! I’m too ill for this crap!.. I’m gonna go get ready for swimming and I SWEAR to the powers if you lot have lumbered me with some stupid frilly piece of floss for a swimsuit I’m gonna.. I’m gonna.. URRG!”

My position on things eloquently put out there for everyone to hear I turned and stomped off to the safety of my room at last.

The dramatic exit was probably lessened to some extent by the kitten, imp and now not able to laze about in my lap little girl who all jumped to their collective feet moments later so they could trail after me like a row of massively deformed ducklings of course, but I’m beyond the point of caring about looking stupid by now luckily.

My personal dimension tried to possess me, my daughter thinks I’m an idiot and I ended up bonding two bloody familiars without bloody noticing it for at least two BLOODY weeks?!

Stupid familiars, stupid kids, stupid John, stupid LIFE, stupid.. STUPID!

“Mom, can we wear the new matching swimsuits Aunty Sarah got us the other day?”
Damn it! I KNEW Sarah would have something embarrassing up her sleeve to make things worse somewhere as well!

..stupid sister?..
Yeah, stupid manipulative clothes-buying sister too!



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