Welcome back adventurers! We are officially 13 days away from Christmas, which (in case you aren’t as amazing at math as I am) puts us exactly one day away from it being 12 days before Christmas. Which, I suppose doesn’t exactly mean anything, since the REAL 12 days of Christmas begins on Christmas day. But 12 days before Christmas is about the time I start panicking because not only have I purchased approximately zero presents, I haven’t even thought about gifts. Like, nothing in mind for anyone. But don’t worry, I’ve trained everyone I know to have low expectations by being late on presents for years. You should try it! But you know who probably has all of her Christmas ducks in a row? Tabitha Whitley! So let’s check in and see how she’s doing.

Last week Tabs/you accidentally killed your secretly evil, secretly gay ex-boyfriend. And Dace’s death has magically triggered your dad to fall into a fugue state. You asked Eli to use his necromancer powers and raise Dace (because, I mean, who wants to be a murderer?) He refused and you (by a very slim margin) have chosen to B. Begrudgingly agree with Eli that raising Dace is not a good idea, and work on reversing the spell on your dad instead?

So let’s begin!

Chapter 14: If I Could Turn Back Time

You’re shocked that Eli has refused to raise Dace. In fact, it has been so long since someone has told you no that you’re a bit stunned. You’re about to argue with him until the thought of it all hits you with a chill. Raise someone from the dead? In the last couple of years, you’ve worked tirelessly to control every situation, from who you dated and hung out with to obsessively controlling what others think of you and your image. But bringing someone back from the dead? That’s playing God. When did you become this person who could even consider something that drastic?

“Look Eli, you’re right…about Dace. Maybe it’s better we leave him as is. But Eli, what do I do? I killed him! I killed Dace!” You choke on those last words as you say them. Without Eli raising Dace, there is really no way you are getting out of this situation.

“Look Tabs, the way I see it, you have two choices. The first is to turn yourself in. You were acting in self defense. But that isn’t going to matter much when you killed the son of one of the most important members of the Counsel. Your only witness is an ex-criminal necromancer. The wizarding justice system is complete sham on a good day. But this deck is completely stacked against you.” You can hear the bitterness in his voice as he says this. If anyone knows firsthand how bogus the wizarding court system is, it would be Eli.

“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison…so what is option 2?”

“We get rid of the body.” Eli says, without a hint of humor in his voice.

“We get rid of the body! But how? Oh god…” you can hardly believe you are having this conversation. You wish you could go back to the beginning of this night. Your biggest concern then was trying to figure out how to play it cool in front of the perpetually towel clad Eli. Now you know your mother isn’t your mother, your dad is in a catatonic state and you’re discussing how to dispose a dead body. When did you life become of those dark indie films Dru loves to make you watch?

“I learned quite a few things during my time at Gainschwitz. It’s very hard to pin someone down for murder charges when there’s no body. And there are certain spells that can help with…the disposal.”

Unsure if you can stomach exactly whatever those spells entail, you find yourself stalling. “Look, let’s worry about Dace later. There has got to be something we can do to help my dad. Remove the spell or reserve whatever has been done to him. Besides, if we can get him back to normal, he will know what to do about Dace.”

“That’s a good point” Eli agrees. “But we have to hurry.”

You run over to were your dad is slumped over on the ground. You lift his head up and rest it in your lap. His eyes are open, but glazed over. You point your wand toward his chest. “Revealious!” you shout. Nothing happens. “Damn,” you mutter. Revealious may be only a high school level spell, but it is supposed announce what type of enchantment is being used on the target. Usually it’s highly effective. Which means whatever is doing this to your father is seriously dark magic.

“I can’t even tell what spell has been used on him, much less how to reverse it!” you find yourself whining. You silently curse your school’s policy toward the dark arts. Your Anti-Dark Magic class doesn’t teach you any dark spells, or their specific counter curses. It’s been a pretty heated debate during the last decade and a half. During the 90s, wizarding kids were taught safe practice of some dark magics. The theory was that it was better to prepare them – that kids would seek out dark magic on their own and hurt themselves if they weren’t taught how to both use and counter dark magic on their own. In 2000, the overwhelming majority of those appointed to the counsel were those who took a much more conservative approach toward dark arts. As such, every Anti-Dark Magic class you’ve ever had in school has taught you practically nothing. Most lessons consist of your Anti-Dark Magic Professor telling you over and over again the horrors of practicing dark magic and that you should avoid it at all costs. Great in theory, but not exactly helping you out when Dark Magic is used against you.

“It’s going to take some serious time, and some serious research, to even figure one what spell was used against my dad. And then who knows if I’ll even be able to counter it!” You desperately wish you had someone older and more experienced around to help you. Whatever the Shaws used against your dad is completely out of your depth.

Suddenly you hear an audible gasp behind you. You turn around to see your mother, err “mother”, starring at the scene laid out before her. “Mom!” you shout. “Something has happened to Dad, you’ve got to help us!”

“Tabitha!” she shrieks. “What on earth have you done to Dace? Do you realize who his father is? The Shaws will destroy us! You have ruined this family!”

“But mom!” you yell, unsure of what to call the woman who raised you. “It was self-dense. Dace was attacking Dad! I had to do something. And now he’s in trouble. Please help me reverse whatever spell is on him. Once Dad is back to normal, he can straighten everything out.”

“There is no possible way your father can fix this. He is a weak man. Always has been, always will be. Your existence is proof enough of that. I’m calling the wizarding authorities. I wash my hands of this.” And before you can utter so much as a “wait”, you mother has disappeared with a pop. Tears begin filling your eyes. Dace is dead, your Dad is in a seemingly irreversible fugue state and your mother (or at least, the women you had always believed to be your mother) is about to betray you to the wizard cops.

Suddenly Eli is pulling your arm. “Come on, we need to get out of here. There is no time.” You both run through the house, outside past the partygoers and straight into the woods. You sprint for a few minutes until you are exhausted and out of breath. You can hear the sounds of sirens in the distance and find yourself collapsing in a heap of tears and self pity. Eli tries to pull you back to a standing position.

“Tabs. We have to get out of here. Running isn’t going to cut it. I need to you to perform an apparition spell.”

“But…I’m not licensed yet! It could be dangerous!”

“Tabs, I know you. You may not act like it, but you’re one of the most talented wizards around. If anyone can pull this off, it’s you. And, I’m sorry to say, it’s not like we have much of a choice.”

You think about it. Eli is right, there isn’t much choice. Well, there are a couple of choices, but none of them seem very safe. And yet, you find your thoughts drifting back to the Unknowable Spell.

Do you:

A. Attempt an apparition spell to get you and Eli to another location, far away?

B. Go back to the house and turn yourself into the police.

C. Attempt the dangerous Unknowable Spell and turn back time to the day before this party ever happened.

D. Ravage Eli is the woods until someone finds you. Now or never, right?

Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.