Time: Noon, One Month Ago
Location: Location: Hudson Valley Wyrd – Hudson Valley, New York
A familiar jingle to the tune of a well aged tv show
came Marie’s call, it was time to move on and visit the Red Devil. While Mandate and Odette together had time and virtue to catch up properly. Leisurely they made their way back to where Odette was originally dropped off, Mandate resuming her disguise as a plain but passably tall human with two dull brown eyes that rarely blinked. Unsettling if one were to stare.
Mandate adjusted her weight considerably for the vehicle and managed to squeeze in the front passenger seat while Marie and Odette were in the back.
“Puck’s vague warnings, I am sure he will elaborate in person.
” Odette remarked sarcastically. “Let us get on with it.
Marie gave Mandate a once over, never having fully experienced her glamoured form. She held a strange presence, something Marie might expect from a being such as a golem. She batted away the thought and turned to Odette.”Agreed. It’ll take a few minutes to drive up to the valley, I can use the time to fill you in. The Hudson Valley Wyrd are a fairly old coven, German lineage for the most part. Aside from maybe the witching families in Vegas, they’re one of the largest I’ve seen. Followers of Frau Holda, mostly. Their coven holds one of the few permanent doors to The Red Devil. Puck closed all the temporary ones with the onset of the Hound attacks.”
Marie turned away and directed the driver, who had made the mistake of taking a major highway instead of the residential street she’d requested. Once they were back on track, Marie continued.”We should expect a fair amount of traffic both in the Hudson Valley and The Red Devil. Plenty of witches, fey, and others were displaced in the Hound attacks.”
“I have heard all about The Red Devil but never personally entered. Illustrious melting pot for locals and riff raff.
” Odette commented, “The Hudson Valley Wyrd must have some strong ties to Puck as well to have a permanent portal, I wonder why. . . Puck has had his hooks in America for a long time.
Odette glanced Marie’s way, “What did Uncle Puck have to say about your new ties?
Marie shifted in her seat.”Not nearly as much as I’d hoped. He says he pieced it together after your meeting and that he didn’t want to interfere with me finding out on my own. And when I asked him if he were . . . my uncle, he didn’t say anything, just that he’d explain everything when we next met.”
Marie shook her head. It was in Puck’s nature to be vague, he couldn’t help it. She expected as much from every interaction, but it didn’t stop her from becoming annoyed when his cryptic warnings and portents involved Gwyneth.”And I suspect he has an invested interest in the Hudson Wyrd because of their gifts in divination. He told me a while ago that Frau Holda had greater vision than his own. The witches there were able to piece together quite a few details before my first arrival. Maybe they trade information.”
Odette turned her lip at that, “Perhaps. If what they have is valuable I have plenty to trade physically, information as well. You know how I feel about divination, whether it is from Puck or a coven it will be frustrating.
“I much rather deal with the present and fresh information than of what may happen.
” She waved her hand at the idea. “What did you have in mind to ask for insight on? Mab?
Marie shook her head. ”Nothing in particular, although anything they provide would be a boon to us. The Witch Mother has as great an interest in these witches as Puck, and acting on her behalf should grant us something in return; it has with every other coven I’ve met so far. Maybe they’ll let me speak to Frau Holda again, she said something interesting when I was there last. ‘We are kindred spirits.’ I keep hearing that. I’d almost forgotten about it until the spirit of The Land in Salem said the same thing. What could that mean?”
She looked to Odette for inspiration, hoping her time among the fey and their ilk would conjure some modicum of a clue about their crypticism. Her experience with witches and their patrons was scant, true, but their relation to the fey was not so distant.
“Similar origins? Family roots? Spirit is free form to the Fair Folk. While mortals,
” She pressed a hand to her chest, “Are anchored. Faerie form in spirit and return to it once they ‘die’.
She used air quotes around die, “Which is not death as we see it. Bach has had some experience in following spirit, passing interest. Kindred Spirit could be referring to faerie bloodline, perhaps others who are in touch with their ancestry can see it in others like yourself. Having ‘sight’ can be opened beyond seeing fey. Once you have eyes to see, you can learn to see more.
Crossing her leg, “Or it could have been a comment that you held similar fashion choices.
Marie laughed. ”I doubt it, it’s been a while since I mounted a stag head on my body but anything’s possible.”
It was something to think on, and perhaps it was as simple as Marie’s faery lineage, but something told her that there was more to it, answers to questions that she had yet to ask.
Their conversation brought them into the Hudson Valley, passing over a bridge into a thicket of forest showing the first hint of autumnal decay. Marie saw Holt in the distance positioned next to a familiar figure, an elderly woman in robes hunched over on a cane. The car stopped just shy of the entrance to the Wyrd’s domain, obscured by an exceptionally powerful enchantment.”Finally here,”
she announced, stepping out of the car once it had fully stopped and retrieving her bags from the trunk.
The elderly woman, features hidden behind dark robes, beckoned to Marie and Odette, bidding them follow an inconspicuous dirt path woven between trees in a sporadic pattern. “Good to see you again, White Witch,” she commented as they walked, tapping on the trunks of trees and whistling discordant melodies along the way. “Same to you, miss Ambassador. There are a few among us who’ve studied your work, spoken to the Fair Folk who’ve crossed our paths. Always a treat to meet a cunning individual such as yourself.”
Odette raised her brow, “A pleasure to meet you as well. . . I was not aware that others studied my actions across the atlantic or took notice.
” She felt a mix of intrigue, a shed of pride.
“I cannot be surprised however, my activity as of late in Las Vegas was bound to receive some attention.
” She said.
“Indeed,” replied the old woman, stopping in a clearing surrounded in birch trees. She whistled, waiting to hear the trees respond, then uttered a word under her breath. In an instant, the veil was lifted, revealing the Hudson Valley Wyrd in all its splendor. The dirt path turned to cobbled walkways and gravel streets, trees become stout hovels and tall cottages of impressive design, inspired by colonial and medieval architecture, and the central statue of Frau Holda stood high above them, a distaff in one hand and a scythe in the other, offerings at her feet, fresh bread, cream, wheat, plates of cured meats and berries, beer, coins, and others.
Marie’s assumption was correct, the wyrd had been visited by a number of stray practitioners, witch or otherwise, looking for a safe haven in the wake of the Hound attacks. She also noted the presence of several invisible creatures, faeries, familiars, anything incorporeal. They lingered at the edge of her vision, some bowing if they noticed her staring, others hissing in contempt. Odette saw them as well, seeing the various fey some native only to the Americas, hearing various languages being muttered amongst the spirits.
“As you can see,” the elderly matron spoke up, “we have had our fair share of visitors as of late. Fortunately, we foresaw such an event when first we settled in the area and chose our enchantments carefully. Had we known, however, the magnitude of this affront, we might have shared our work with our fallen brothers and sisters. You know the fate of the Adessi coven, I presume?”
Marie nodded, presenting the pouch of tokens. ”That’s part of the reason we came. Genevieve Lachance sends her regards on behalf of the Witch Mother. They’ve performed a ritual and blessed these tokens with some form of protection meant for you and the other covens she’s visited.”
“Yes, your familiar explained it to me moments ago. We thank you for this service, White Witch, and would happily offer you and your friend whatever is within our power to offer.”
“Merci beaucoup. An intriguing offer but we hope to gain access to the portal to The Red Devil, please.
” Odette said, the chance at a clearer reading into her future tempted The Ambassador fiercely while it also distressed her. Smile strained she turned to Marie, “White Witch and I have some business to attend to.
“Of course, follow the path up to that circle of stones, there you’ll find the door. But there is one more thing, a message from Frau Holda, something she whispered to me only this morning. ‘Within the mother’s fertile womb lies the answer, seek change where chaos is born, transform, restore, or destroy. The choice is yours’. I believe that portent is meant for the both of you, although I cannot decipher its meaning. I assumed you would know when presented.”
She took the tokens from Marie and made her way through the crowded wyrd, disappearing from view.
Marie shook her head. ”I have no idea what that means. I’m guessing it has something to do with our current goal, but it’s not much to go on.”
“I do not either, Puck’s prophecy referred to a womb as well.
” Gripping the strap of her purse, “There must be some link. Not for us to know as of right now.
” She commented turning to head toward the portal, muttering. “’The choice is yours.’
Time: Noon, One Month Ago
Location: Lost Haven, Maine
Breakfast eaten, showered and dressed for another day, together Madalena and Charlie made their way into the city back to The Shadow of the Moon Jules giving them a ride back. Once they arrived Charlie bent down by the driver window to say thanks and Jules gave her a look as cold as ice.
“Text me.” She said.
Charlie nodded, no arguing. “Yes ma’am.
Jules nodded then her icy expression melted away waving at Maddi, cheerfully she said, “It was so nice to meet you! Take care, you’re welcome by the Corner whenever you like.”
Turning away Charlie was dressed similarly to how she was the day before, clean set of clothes opting to keep the kevlar arm pads and shin pads she improvised with some alterations. Her hair tied into their twin braids, hood down and goggles around her neck and staff in hand. While it was supposed to be a chill day to relax, Charlie felt decidedly naked without pockets full of salt and a water bottle full of rubbing alcohol on her belt.
Madalena waved to Jules a little overenthusiastically, rustling through her pockets to locate the key to Shadow of the Moon. Compared to Charlie, Madalena looked much more civilian, dressed simply, if not a little formal, in slim, black slacks, heeled sandals, a black v-neck, and a red blazer that complimented her hair. Slung around her shoulder was an oversized duffel filled with tools of the trade, along with Puck’s journal, files on the Witchfinder General, and Lady Hex’s attire. ”Honestly, I think I’ll be happy when I can open the shop up again. It’s been a week since I’ve had time to restock and organize the shelves, and I think my rent is late too . . . wait, no, I paid it, nevermind.”
She rambled as she unlocked the store, walking along a few empty displays and pointing at unused floor and wall space. Madalena directed Charlie’s attention to the office and the meditation room behind the counter, a space she would soon be converting into a workroom for her future experiments. Along the same wall, barely visible from the front of the store, was the storage room, whose door held a painting of a dark forest and a tall, lightly illuminated being in the canopy’s shadow.
“If you need help to set back up again just let me know.
” Charlie offered before laying eyes on the illustration. “Puck is alright, but he still looks like he stepped out of the darkest corners of humanity’s nightmares. . .
She gulped, “Respectfully.
“They probably serve a pretty kickass pint of beer.
” She added. “So what do we gotta do? I still have his card.
” She pulled out the little red business card turning it about between her fingers.
Madalena chuckled. ”Not quite, and actually that card is a little outdated. Before the whole Hounds and Witchfinder nonsense, anyone who knew how could open a door to The Red Devil. But Puck thought that might be dangerous considering, so now only what few permanent doors he’s put here and there will give you access. The closest one is in New York, well, was in New York. He told me how to make one.”
Madalena removed the painting from the door, revealing the ashen symbol of an imp within a circle of thorns, accompanied by a phrase interwoven in the circle, etched in another strange, arcane script.”All you do is knock three times and read the inscription. OH! And don’t worry yourself too much with Puck. He’s a little intimidating, I admit, but from what I can tell, he’s not one of those immortal beings that demand constant respect. His reputation revolves around him being a trickster, a little fun at his expense kinda comes with the territory.”
Madalena moved the painting to the side, balancing it against the wall beneath a dusty tapestry, something she’d removed from display because of the moth holes at the bottom. ”Has your Granddad told you anything about The Red Devil before? Seems like he’s a regular.”
Madalena asked as she prepared to open the door.
Charlie shook her head a hand trailing over the surface, “He said it’s invite only, a little jealous he wants to take Harry there for her 21st. We just went to a regular bar for mine. He also said he’d come ‘round for birthdays and anniversaries, whenever another alchemist needed help. He just never went into detail, you know? Always promising it was something to be seen with your own eyes.
” She said removing her hand and stepping back. “For all the time I’ve spent crawling around in Lost Haven’s gutters and exploring it’s abandoned areas I never really got to see what else it was hiding.
“There was always something else to do.
” She said.
Madalena smiled. ”Then today’s your lucky day. Your Granddad was right, it really is something you need to see yourself.”
Maddi turned, knocking three times on the door with a slight pause between each, speaking clearly and with intent the phrase Wild, Wicked, and Wretched be.
Puck’s symbol glowed with unearthly light, like dying embers roused to life. The door swung open, revealing a world completely separate to their own, one filled with idle chatter in alien tongues, otherworldly laughter that sent chills down their spines, smells like poison, expensive alcohol, berries, musk, and the sea, and table after wicker table of Fair men and women, shades, demons of different makes, shapes and sizes, witches and magical practitioners you couldn’t tell apart by looks alone, but to some each had a distinct smell or aura that spoke to the origin of their power.
It was as if they had traveled through time, into a storybook. On every wall, illustrations of a shadowy figure loomed. Behind the bar, stocked with almost anything one’s heart could desire, was a greenish imp mixing away. In the corners of the room were stands and displays where wayward merchants of this world and the next sold all manner of strange concoctions and trinkets, with Puck’s blessing of course. Chandeliers like twisted vines and sticks held candles that provided the perfect amount of dark ambiance to an already ethereal room. And just opposite a spiral staircase, parallel to the bar, a massive stage were a band of faeries and devils played strange music, dwarfed by a crystalline mirror that hung in the background. ”Welcome to The Red Devil.”
Madalena said to Charlie, gesturing for her to walk ahead and take everything in.
Eyes widening like a pair of dinner plates her gape slowly grew into a large grin, looking left and right. The sight of the tavern marvelled Charlie to no end, never truly seeing so much of the magic folk and community in one spot. They were completely right, it was impossible to describe.
“This is amazing.
She blinked looking to Maddi now, “This is fucking awesome.
Rolling her staff in her hands in anticipation. “Feels kinda like going to university for the first time but 100 times cooler and less debt.
””Well, less immediate debt. I’ve heard some horror stories on people who come through and don’t deliver on contracts they have with Puck, but those aren’t too common.””Indeed,”
a voice echoed through the tavern, jumping off walls, emanating from shadows, collecting into a mass that sauntered down the spiral staircase over to Charlie and Madalena. ”I always collect on my debts, but fear not, dearest alchemist, I am usually a saint.”
Puck strolled past the bar, slender claws clutching a glass of whiskey from the impish bartender and downing it before finding himself in front of the pair, standing much taller than the two of them, not including the ashen antlers that added an extra two feet.”I see you have found one another, as intended.”
he grinned, taking Madalena’s hand, kneeling closing, and kissing it. ”A marvelous display of power last night, Lady Hex. I observed your progress from afar. That storm could put quite a few Welsh witches to shame. Well done.”
Madalena blushed, happy to hear, for the second time that day, how her work had been admired.
Charlie elbowed her with a grin, appreciating Puck’s entrance not coming from behind them. It took no small amount of imagination to think of a few various ways debt was collected. “Thanks for sending her my way, we made a pretty awesome team. It’s nice having someone at my back.
” She said sincerely, her voice softening. “Seriously, thank you.
The nearest patrons looked on with interest now, unabashedly listening curiosity winning out over their manners. One such patron was the hunched profile of clearly elderly man, he kept his back turned sipping on his mulled wine, ponytail of greyed hair tied high and pockets full of carbondust, listening.
“We did more than just that though.
” Charlie said.”She’s right,”
Madalena added, removing the folder from a side compartment on her duffel bag. ”We took advantage of the chaos outside the Hound base and managed to pull a file on,”
she lowered her voice, ”you know who. It has a list of known associates, contact information on suppliers, cities where the Court is stationed, and the General’s operations over the past five months. We’ve got him, and with the Hounds out of commission, he’ll be scrambling to regain numbers.”
Puck’s grin grew wider, but his eyes looked grim. ”A wonderful development in our plans, truly, but I must advise caution. Until the General and his subordinates lie cold in the ground or have their foul heads severed and left to rot on spikes, we cannot underestimate them. It was our hubris that saw their eventual return. But do not mistake my words as cause for immediate concern. You have earned an evening’s rest, from this task at least. Leave me these documents and I will draft our next course of action.”
Madalena nodded, handing Puck the folder without hesitation. ”Has the General contacted you in light of earlier proceedings? I have been informed by a . . . let’s call her an associate, that Phoebus is dead, and fortunately, there were a few casualties on the opposite side.””He sent a text early this morning, told us he’d be in touch. Not much else.”
Unconsciously, Charlie rubbed at her neck imagining the thought of severed heads eyes flicking up at Puck then back down at the ground, “You got it. A day off then back to work.
A momentary pause before she grinned, “What’s on tap?
Puck grinned, waltzing behind the bar and pulling down a few choice selections.”My dear, anything your heart desires. Every shelf is top shelf, you need but pick your poison, as they say. I pride myself on selection. Perhaps a fine red from an Italian monastery that burned down in 1325, or cider from a brewery said to be run by the goddess Idunn, keeper of the apples. I also have absinthe imported from Faerie, if you have more eclectic tastes.”
Charlie rubbed her chin thinking of something far out, she just wanted a beer but when was the next time she’d get to taste something a divine orchard? “I’d like to try that Indunn cider please.
Taking an empty seat at the bar, Charlie smiled at Maddi for her to take the vacant seat beside her. The wood was polished to a beautiful sheen, the chairs leather padded seats. The patrons nearby who had been listening on shuffled behind Charlie, to both sides down the bar the questions began.
“Hey, you kids were at Sherman last night?” One asked.
Another patron commented, “We saw you on tv.”
“That storm knocked the news helicopter around.”
“What about that bat? It was huge!”
Charlie grinned, blushing. “Yeah, that was us.
Maddi and Charlie both received pats on their backs, various thank you’s, offers to buy them their next round of drinks.
Down the line the elderly man, sour faced huffed as he pushed away from the bar moving away from the revelry.
The sickly-skinned imp poured Charlie a glass, sliding across the bar before turning to Madalena, who shook her head, uninterested in a drink.”About taking on contracts,”
Madalena said, looking up at Puck, adjacent to Charlie and Maddi.”Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,”
Puck interrupted. ”You have yet to complete the task given to you last night. The offer yet stands, but I cannot, in good faith, entrust a contract to you until your trial ends in success, nor can I offer any further insight on the matter. It wouldn’t be much of a test if I gave you all the answers, would it?”
Madalena sighed and shook her head. ”No, I didn’t think so. Well we’re close, should be done in another day with how effectively we work, right Charlie?’
Charlie laughed, “Soundin’ real familiar right now.
” Taking a sip of the cider, “Easily another day and we’ll be done.
” She agreed, confidently.
The cider was dry and on the secondary sip it felt like her taste buds exploded with the flavour, causing her to cough into her fist. Skeptically looking at the glass, “Okay, I gotta know what’s in this.
Unbeknownst to the newly annointed pair, at the door appeared a trio of with similar purpose to The Alchemyst and Lady Hex, paying the The Red Devil’s Proprietor a visit. The Ambassador stood at the entrance removing her sunglasses, smoothing down the length of her white dress eyes taking in the opulent sight.
Odette’s eye passed over the patrons, over the stage - Bach whispered the song and seemed to know it as his foot began to tap to the beat jumping from her shoulder down to the ground shooting up to his full size. He immediately recognized someone and went to say hello a strangely small group of sprites sitting at an appropriately sized table. The decor, ambience, the cozy yet elegant design was simply beautiful. Eyes found Puck next, nodding a smile that did not reach her eyes. Behind Odette came the impressively large form of Mandate, sans her enchantment. Floorboards creaked, red cyclopean eye taking in the new sights with her visible ‘v’ shaped smile. She shuffled the best she could beside the door frame instructed to stay at the entrance.
“This is certainly far more than what I imagined.
” She said.”Right, it’s your first time here,”
Marie replied, leading Odette down a row of tables to the bar, ”well here it is, The Red Devil, my home away from home for almost two years. I’d actually started to miss it. How does it suit you?”
Odette’s hand trailed along a polished table, “I can see why it is a popular spot for various creatures and practitioners. I like it.
” She pointed, “It does not seem we have very far to go to find Monsieur Goodfellow.
“It would be rude not to say hello.
Puck looked up from the bar, sighting two more familiar faces. He excused himself from his current guests, sauntering over to Marie and Odette.”How fortuitous,”
his hollow voice bounced off tables, echoing even among the crowded speech of the tavern’s patrons. ”Marie, Lady Ambassador, welcome.”
he bowed. ”You’ve arrived much sooner than expected. Did the Hudson Wyrd not offer any additional insight into your unique predicaments?”
Marie glared at him, arms folded. ”A vague warning, if it was a warning. You said you’d have answers for us, so please stop giving us the runaround and tell us what we need to know.””Marie,”
Holt spoke up, jumping onto her shoulder in the form of an ethereal raven. ”calm yourself.”
Answering his question in turn, while she had little patience for Puck himself she could hardly ignore the proper greeting, “Bonjour, Monsieur Goodfellow. The Hudson Wyrd gave us a warm welcome and a little insight. Neither of us have had time to fully consider quite yet. We should continue in private preferably.
” touching Marie’s other shoulder.
Charlie’s eyes tracked curiously to who Puck spoke to, the newest patrons fashionable and looking at the very least uptight. What did catch her attention was the massive tower of mercury at the door, elbowing Maddi she pointed, “Check out the huge golem.
Charlie caught the red cyclopean eye, the weight of Mandate’s attention on her now. It immediately unsettled the alchemist, chilling down her spine and sending off warning signals instincts drawing conclusions before she was aware. She shifted in her seat breaking eye contact, Mandate’s eye continued to burrow into her back.
Madalena turned to the doorway, eying the impressive golem. She’d read a little about their creation from some Kabbalistic texts Puck kept in his office, but she didn’t understand the theory enough to attempt magic of that caliber. Her eyes trailed over to Puck, curious to see who was occupying his attention. Madalena almost overlooked her, but a second glance confirmed her suspicions.”Marie?”
she called out, jumping off the barstool and speeding over to Puck, dodging pushed out chairs and patrons. ”Marie, it’s you right?”
her voice picked up, peeking from behind Puck to find Marie Heartford standing, arms crossed, eyes wide.”M-Madalena?”
Marie stuttered, mouth agape. Before she could let out another sound, Madalena rushed forward, wrapping Marie in a tight embrace that nearly knocked the wind out of her. Marie searched for an explanation, in shock of her rather mundane friend’s presence in The Red Devil of all places.”What are you doing here?””Ah yes,”
Puck interjected, placing a hand proudly on Madalena’s right shoulder. ”I mentioned a new witch in service to The Red Devil. This is she, Madalena Hawthorne.””Or Lady Hex,”
Madalena excitedly trailed his comment, ”I’d been looking for an excuse to use that name and I finally got my chance. Isn’t it exciting, Marie?”
Marie remained stunned, mouth agape, silent.
Charlie came up beside Maddi holding her drink and pointing to Marie, “Who’s this? Name’s Charlie, er I mean Alchemyst.
” Charlie introduced herself, hand out to Marie.
Some of the patrons laughed behind her, “Seriously kid?”
Charlie ignored them. “Whichever is fine.
The Ambassador ran a skeptical eye up and down both Madelana and Charlie. Keeping her hands folded as Charlie offered hers, making no move to shake it. The casual introduction, shabbily dressed pair drew some quick conclusions for the sorceress, “I presume you know one another. Do you need a moment, Marie?
Marie took Charlie’s hand, looking between she, Madalena, and Puck. ”So you work here now?”
Marie questioned Madalena, who nodded in response with a wide grin. Marie turned to Puck.”You’re unbelievable, you know that.”
Marie said in frustration, ”I can’t believe you would go behind my back and recruit one of my friends, wait, actually I can believe it and it’s just as ridiculous. What were you thinking?”
Odette grinned behind her hand, ready to watch the argument about to unfold. ”You, my dear, were unavailable. I needed someone to head my efforts against The Winter Court, and our good Lady Hex was a perfect fit. You recommended her to me, lest you had forgotten.””No,”
she quickly rebutted, ”no I did not. I mentioned her, in passing, after her store was robbed a couple months ago. That doesn’t give you the right to pull her into your mess and-””Her is right here,”
Madalena interrupted, moving closer to Marie. ”and I thought you would be happy for me, why are you so upset? I wasn’t forced into anything.”
Charlie frowned about to jump to Maddi’s defence, Marie responded.
Marie sighed, taking Madalena’s hand. ”I’m . . . I’m not mad or unhappy for you, Madalena, I’m just surprised. I mean, I never knew this was something you wanted to be a part of.””Are you kidding? Marie, ever since I found out about The White Witch, I became even more interested in all of this. Real, genuine magic, traditional witchcraft. You inspired me to keep studying, made me want to practice. If this wasn’t what I wanted, I wouldn’t have signed Puck’s contract.”
Marie took another moment. She looked into Madalena’s eyes and saw the fire, the freedom that she’d felt the first time she met the Bucca as a child, the ecstasy she’d felt among the witches of Lost Haven, of El Paso, of Salem. Finally, she smiled.”Then . . . welcome to the club, I guess.”
she conceded, pulling Madalena in for a another hug.
“You’re the White Witch? Shit, I remember reading about you in the news and hearing your name among the big metas. They still don’t take us seriously but whatever right? Bigger fish to fry like the Winter Court.
” Charlie said her frown disappearing.
Odette couldn’t hide her upturned lip of disgust at the alchemist’s language. “Witch Hunters masquerading under the name of the Winter Court is despicable as were the Hounds.
“As… lovely as this little reunion is we have business to attend to.
Charlie made a face at the sorceress, “Chill out, what’s the hurry?
Odette levelled an icy gaze onto the alchemist and Charlie met it without flinching. ”As much as I want to catch up,”
Marie spoke up, diffusing a tense situation, ”the Ambassador of the Fair Folk and I do need to speak with Puck. It’s a long story and I’d love to fill you in, especially now that you’re involved. Raincheck?”
Madalena nodded. ”I’m holding you to that,”
she replied, patting Marie’s shoulder before returning to her place at the bar. Charlie followed after squinting at their backs but let it go as she returned to her drink.