Abi let out a long low howl. It had taken her quite a long time to master the transport spell. It was not simple magic, and could go horribly wrong if one did not possess enough power. She had gotten to the point she could transport to places she knew very well. Since she had, as her former self, hijacked Laguna’s magic, so that whenever Laguna conjured the dancing milk carton, location information would be sent back to her estate. Using that information was how she had known Laguna had been at that shop, and most likely Tahlmus as no Siren had any need of a clothing shop. It was how she was currently at the location, that the Sirens had called home.
“How did we miss them again?” she screamed. “Why do they seem to keep slipping through our fingers?” The couple of henchmen she had brought with her shrugged their shoulders. Abi let out a long high pitched scream. Once no more air could be exhaled form her lungs, she transported herself and the two henchmen back to her estate. She paced until dawn trying to figure out how to find the Sirens and how to get that male elf that Davey had referred to as Tahlmus.
After the sun came up, Abi went to the ghost pirates holding cell. It had taken some very special magic to keep Davey once the petrification had worn off, but she had done it. Davey wasn’t quite the catch she’d been hoping for, but he had provided some information, such as the elf’s name, and that he was a slave to the Sirens. She would apply more pressure to him now. He had to know where else the Sirens could hide.
“I will not say another word to you,” Davey stated in answer to the questions Abi continued to ask. “There is nothing you can do to make me talk.”
“Oh, but I think there is,” Abi replied as she motioned to her right. Looking where she pointed Davey the ghost pirate saw his moose, hanging upside down by its hooves.
“Ok, ok , I’ll answer your questions, just please let my moose go.”
Abi smiled. “Start talking. If I like what you have to say, I’ll let your moose go.”
Davey explained he didn’t know of any other location the Sirens gathered at. He had only ever met with Celestial at the location Abi had already tried. “But,” he started as it looked like Abi was just going to walk away. “I know that if there are any women seeking out the Sirens, as a means to escape the life they have and the feelings are genuine, then the Sirens have to answer the call, and Celestial deems if they are worth turning. Coral, Fleur, and Laguna are usually the ones who answer this call. They are the ones outside of Celestial that Tahlmus is closest to.” Davey paused looking at Abi for some sign of acceptance.
“Which one does he care for more?”
Davey cocked his head. “It’s hard to say,” he started. “He is most intimate with Coral because that seems to be what she wants. Fleur just wants someone to talk to about her creatures and he pays attention to her like she’s the only being left on earth. Most of the time Laguna just needs a confidence boost, so he showers her in compliments and positive affirmations; other times he just holds her so she understands that someone cares,” Davey finished.
Abi smiled. She now knew Tahlmus’ weakness. He didn’t like seeing others suffer, or go without their needs being met. She would be able to exploit that. With a snap of her fingers the henchmen swung the moose over the pit and released him. Davey cried out for his moose as Abi just laughed and left.
A plan was already forming as she walked down the halls. It was then that she felt it. Another horcrux had been destroyed. She growled, wondering how the young elf had managed to locate and destroy one of her horcruxes in broad daylight. The crown she had sacrificed in hope it would petrify the Siren that found it, but it hadn’t worked, and she still didn’t understand why.
She quickly finished forming the plan, she believed could not fail. She had heard stories of some women who lived in a nearby village, that had tried to find the Sirens and failed. Their names were Michelle, Winter and Rebel. They had been classmates together when they were young, but none had ever grasped the ability to weave the simplest of spells. With no magic the only way to escape being a slave was to find a male mage that would accept a non-mage wife. The three women had tried desperately to find a suitable man to keep them from their fate. Unfortunately their unappealing behavior and unattractive physical features, left them single handmaidens, to much more beautiful, non-mage women.
They had snuck out to the water several times over the years looking for the Sirens. Oh, how they wished for the Sirens to take them in and make them more beautiful so they could find mage husbands to take them away from their life of slavery. They had never found a Siren. You see for what they didn’t know was that the Sirens could tell one’s true intentions. The Sirens knew the true hearts of Michelle, Rebel and Winter, and therefore never made themselves available when the women came calling.
It was these women that Abi went to see. As she made her way to their village she could feel the destruction of her last two horcruxes. She needed these women to gain the upper hand on the male elf Tahlmus. The best way to do that, she now knew, was to capture some of the Sirens, specifically Coral, Fleur, and Laguna. She thought she could be fine with just one as long as it was Coral, since Davey had mentioned their more intimate relationship. However, she knew she would feel better with all three of them, since Tahlmus seemed to have a soft spot for each of them.
Abi found and approached the three outcast women, with a promise. A promise to give them the ability to be like Sirens, beautiful and alluring, if they could only do one thing for her. Michelle, Rebel and Winter didn’t even wait to hear what the task was before signing on the dotted line. Once they had signed, Abi performed some magic to conceal their true desires. She then gave them a description of the three Sirens she wanted captured, and gave them the special metal cuffs they’d need to accomplish it. Michelle, Rebel and Winter happily skipped off, to go find the Sirens. They would catch the three that Lady Abi wanted. Then they would find the men of their dreams who would whisk them away from their current lives.
“There’s so much information,” Tahlmus sighed as he leaned back in the chair he had conjured up. Winky nodded as she looked up at him. They had been reading all afternoon, and had yet to find anything about lifting the curse from the Sirens, or what happens exactly when an extra horcrux exists. “How am I ever going to find an answer to this?” he whispered running his hand through his hair.
“Well, maybe if you told me more, I could be more efficient in my reading. I know you haven’t revealed all of your suspicions to me, or anyone else for that matter.”
Tahlmus sighed. “I know, but I… I just…” he hit the table in frustration. “I guess I keep hoping that I will find something that will prove me wrong. I don’t want to worry anyone or burden them.”
“Like how you didn’t tell me what would happen the day we were to be bonded.”
Tahlmus grimaced as he let his head fall back over the chair. “You’re not going to let me forget about that are you?”
Winky smirked. “No, I won’t,” she paused. “You know I understand why you kept it from me though, right?”
“It’s what I hoped for…” Tahlmus started. He shook his head then brought it back forward to look at Winky. “Come closer and I’ll explain better what I’m trying to find and why.” Winky moved closer to Tahlmus and he explained everything he knew, and everything he was pretty sure of.
“Do you really think that lifting the curse will work?” Winky asked once his explanation was done.
Tahlmus shrugged. “It has to. I don’t think I can follow through if it doesn’t. And if I can’t go through with it…” Tahlmus trailed off, tipping his head back over the chair again, closing his eyes.
“Do you love them?” Winky asked.
“Wait what?” Tahlmus asked as his head snapped back into place and he looked directly into Winky’s eyes.
“I asked if you loved them. You’re agonizing over this a lot,” Winky replied.
Tahlmus sighed. “I guess I do,” he replied. “At least to some degree. I think it started because I didn’t think I’d ever get to see you again. Guess I also figured you might never forgive me,” he paused looking at Winky. “I do still love and long to be with you.”
Winky understood where he was coming from. She had thought of trying to find someone else, knowing that the Sirens would never let them be together as a couple. “I still love you too,” Winky replied. Tahlmus smiled, before putting his lips to hers. The burning that came from the tattoo was intense, but as their lips parted he knew the pain was worth it.
“I think we will have to find some different books,” Winky said softly still looking into Tahlmus’ eyes.
“I agree,” he said. They both went over to the pile of books to try and find some others that might be more helpful to study.
The sun was starting to set as Michelle, Rebel and Winter all made it down to the beach. They had done this many times before, and had failed, so they felt a bit apprehensive as they walked down along the water. Finally finding a good spot, they stopped and sat in the sand waiting for the sun to go completely under.
Once it did Michelle stood to speak. “Oh great Sirens hear our call; we seek you so our barriers may fall.”
Rebel then stood to continue, “beautiful as a Lily in the water; we seek you out to become your daughter.”
Finally Winter stood to finish it, “the songs you sing sound so sweet; please come take us to your home way down deep.”
A wind blew by them and the water ripped as if it was taking their words to the Sirens. The three agreed to wait for a span of time before trying again.
Celestial heard the call as she was walking up the path to the cave. She had been on her way to see Tahlmus when the voices on the wind stopped her. “Oh great Sirens hear or call; we seek you out so our barriers may fall. Beautiful as a lily in the water; we seek you out to become your daughter. The songs you sing sound so sweet; please come take us to your home way down deep.”
She turned to call on Coral Fleur and Laguna, but they were already standing there. “We heard the call,” they said in unison. “Which of us shall go determine their true motives?”
Celestial gave it some thought. There had been three different voices on the wind, and the plea sounded sincere. “All three of you go,” she finally said. “Bring them to me. I will be on the beach with Tahlmus awaiting your return.” The girls all nodded and made their way down the path towards the water.
“Wait,” they heard as they reached the water. “Coral. Fleur. Laguna. Wait, please,” Tahlmus’ voice was closer as he finished his plea. The girls turned around and looked at him. “Please” he started while panting. He had run all the way down the path to try to stop them. “Please don’t go.”
“But we have to,” Fleur said.
“Yeah, silly, someone needs our help,” Coral continued.
“We are obligated to go, if the plea is sincere,” Laguna finished.
“Then please take me with you,” Tahlmus stated.
“We can’t do that. You’re a male,” Fleur said.
“Everyone knows those of the male species cannot become Sirens,” Laguna continued.
“You’re being silly Tahlmus. This is what we do,” Coral finished.
Tahlmus shook his head. “No, you don’t understand. I have a bad feeling about this. Please don’t go, or if you have to go, take me with you.”
“Sorry love,” Coral started.
“This is just how things have to be,” Fleur continued.
“We will be back soon,” Laguna finished, as they walked out into the water. Tahlmus tried to follow, but the tattoo started to tingle and burn.
“You don’t understand,” he yelled. “Please… don’t go,” he finished in a whisper as he realized they were already gone. He kicked the sand in frustration as he came out of the water. Something was going to go wrong, he could feel it. Celestial was there waiting for him, her arm was stretched towards him. As he got closer she started to sing. She had never sung to him before. Her song was beautiful and he found himself getting lost in it.
Coral, Fleur and Laguna perched on a rock close to shore, but out of eyesight of the three women sitting on the beach. They had been observing them for several minutes. Coral and Fleur had determined that the women were sincere. Laguna, however, was hesitant to make that decision. There was something she recognized, but couldn’t put her finger on it. After a couple more minutes of Coral and Fleur convincing her that her feelings were only existent because of Tahlmus’ pleas to keep them from their duty, Laguna agreed that they should take the ladies back to Celestial.
They approached the three women; walking up onto the beach from the water within their line of sight. The three women stood as the Sirens got closer. Coral noticed the cuffs too late. Before she could warn the others all three were wearing metal cuffs. Not one of them could use their magic. To try, burned their skin. The three women who they had come to take back to Celestial were ushering Coral, Fleur and Laguna back to the Dark Lord’s estate.
Continue onto Part 6.