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She knew it was wrong. How many times had she told herself that it was utterly and inexplicably wrong? More times than she could count to. Yet there she was, the now slightly flaxen haired Aspect of Magic was standing her ground on venturing off to the city of Argolis. Malva had placed all hands on deck upon deciding that she shall go off to Greece to search for any other possible answers she could be provided with, regarding the fall and destruction of their home, Isle of Skye. How could the Russian born woman forget about it? How could any one of them forget what happened? There was no way she could push it aside without investigating about it. Only, she knew she had to push the matter aside for a while as she got down and resolved other problems on her plate.
It has been at least an hour since she had let her eyes linger on the the red ruby pendant that laid prettily on the table not far off from where she stood. Malva leant against the wall of her room and crossed her arms in contempt. She wasn’t sure what to do with the petty little trinket that she has had in her possession for almost four centuries now. For such a small thing, it held a certain aura to it and it wasn’t at all near pleasantries. It held all the dark energy she harnessed for some particular missions back in the days. Sometimes, in order to best the darkness, was to overtake it using the lesser known method. One it doesn’t expect you to go for. Life did have a tendency at wanting the most twisted for everything.
Shaking her head at her own herself, she grabbed the pendant and tossed it into the drawer before closing it furiously and sat on her bed, her sapphire hues never leaving the mahogany wooden table. It didn't last as long as she thought it would though, seeing as Malva went back to grab it and pushed it inside her purse. It wasn’t as if she could avert her attention so easily without any reason to do so despite giving herself one very solid one. Which was to forget about the past and move ahead in her life. But it’s always easier said than done, per usual. The pendant might look fancy and pretty, but it was gleaming in a very malevolent light. And if there was anything Mal knew from centuries of dwelling around magic, it’s that she doesn’t go well surrounding herself with so much dark energy as it tempts her. But she needed it for this journey.
But after what Octavia told her that day, she couldn't forget about it. This is something she needed to do, she convinced herself to do it. Her touch with magic in general had been cut off, albeit not fully, but it doesn't feel like how it was supposed to feel and if Malva couldn't cope or adapt to those changes, then what's the point? Especially with the chaos incited as of late, things were hectic and it was slowly overwhelming the purple dragon to the brink of insanity. Mal had rummaged through her closet yesterday to find one particular book she kept locked away until she realized she didn't bring it with her. Keeping it in the manor should have been the safest choice but not to Malva, that book was way too important to just be laying around so she had kept it somewhere else in 1698.
Mal didn't pack much, she literally only put enough clothes to last for a few weeks because the Citadel had their own clothes to be worn and they can venture to Athens if they want. Her hair was a lighter shade of brown and it was slightly longer, the Aspect of Magic stared at her reflection in the mirror before making her way downstairs with her luggage, to wait for Octavia at the living room. This trip wouldn't be anywhere near a luxurious vacation to Greece, yeah people know they'll stay at a hotel in Athens but Mal was going on a pilgrimage to Mycenae Citadel located in Argolis which would take all the attention away. She perched one arm on the couch and allowed her white persian ragdoll cat, Seraphire, nestle in her lap.
Sebastian definitely felt more nervous on the inside than he was showing on the outside, honestly he hadn’t really been expecting her to show up here now and yet he couldn’t help but feel relieved knowing the world had finally brought her back to them. He chuckled when she said he wasn’t a priestess “Well observed, I guess your eyes actually do work then” he commented under his breath, jesting the fact that despite him searching for eye contact with her she was avoiding it at every turn. He knew why she was doing it, it had always been easier for her to stay made at him when she avoided eye contact with him. “Very well” Sebastian purred when the blonde asked if the two of them knew one another “Rest your mind seniorita, she’s more likely to hurt me than the other way around” he gave a dry laugh, the aspect of magic could be pretty hot-tempered, he remembered that well.
He noticed the slight pause she gave when he spoke about fixing the place like he promised her he would, it was enough for him to know that she was entirely cold to him now, despite the impression she was trying to give, there was a part of her deep down that would always value their relationship. He pressed his lips together and then grinned when Mal said he was always shady “She’s not wrong there” but it seemed like he had convinced the blonde well enough that there was no harm to be found her. No matter how angry Mal made him, he would never hurt her and the aspect knew that well enough. Once Octavia had left the room he instructed the rest of his students to head back to the dorms and practice, after all, he didn’t particularly want an audience for what came next.
He pressed his lips together, giving a half glare when she immediately commented about how the place seemed like it was a summer camp for diviners “They left, despite years of trying to revive this place to the way it was, they were too afraid of the dark magic which held onto it” that was where he was different, he embraced dark magic and light magic alike, he knew they both had their place in the world and that neither could be truly shunned “You know what they’re like...with their harsh guidelines and rules, they decided it was better to find new ley lines to rebuild” but he had stayed because it was important to him to restore this place. “Nice to see you too, bonita” he commented in a somewhat sarcastic tone because two of them could play the coy game.
“Seems like you know a little about the fight with dark magic yourself” he commented bluntly, he hadn’t been able to pin it before but now he could see it well enough, her energy was different, something had changed within her which had affected her magic “I don’t remember you caring for the decor much before...well except for that time when you covered one of the statue’s eyes with your shirt before we…” he didn’t finish the words because she knew what he meant.
Sebastian was a reminder of what she's lost. Which now includes her own control over her magic, which is darn frustrating for the Aspect of Magic, knowing she's at her most vulnerable and in front of him. "My eyes never stopped working" she muttered under her breath and grumbled to herself. Neither of them actually wanted to make eye contact and perhaps it was for the best. But she couldn't hide from him forever, and neither could he. "I am trying my best not to" she quipped casually upon hearing his remark saying she was the one more likely to hurt him than the other way around. She was relieved to know Tavia went to her room to rest because the Nephilim needed that, and if she was going to have a company, she would prefer it to be her trusted guard. Her absence also gave her the opportunity to settle whatever there is for them to settle. Privately.
"So eventually they left… leaving thousands of years worth of history to rot alone" there was a certain disdain in her voice, clearly Malva wasn't amused to hear that the people she entrusted this place to, packed their bags up and left. "Well, I guess they didn't leave it to rot alone… you're here." It didn't mean she was any happier to approve about it. Mal knew she couldn't blame the priestesses for leaving either, even she ran away from the dark magic that deeply affected her after what happened here. So much it traumatised her to the point where the brunette could barely try to read about it without flinching. "I want to say I'm disappointed in them but I can't even blame them for leaving. This place… despite the makeover you gave it, could never return to the place it once was. No amount of new things can wash away the darkness that once plagued this sacred place." The dark magic didn't feel too daunting anymore, signalling he did a good job at cleansing the place but it was still new, and Malva hated that.
She halted on her steps when he said that, of course he knew. Goddammit. "I'm gonna stop you right there, mister" she turned around to face him and narrowed her sapphire hues, as if she was taunting him to let another word slip. Their history was particularly colorful, how could she forget that. "Besides… I'm fine. I still haven't gone crazy so that's a start. It's a low bar but I had to make it. I can't give up now… not when they needed me the most." Though she tried to keep a strong front, her voice wavered slightly. "I'm here to find answers… to questions that stretched wider than the Nile. But I'm not sure what I'll find." There was no point putting up this strong exterior in front of him when she knew he knows what goes on inside her mind. "What about these apprentices you took… your students. Them knowing this place, they do know they cannot speak of it to anyone else, right? You did... make that rule very clear, didn't you?" she enquired curiously, should any other diviner know of it, selfish souls can come and extract whatever they want from this place. It was why the priestesses were basically the ones who took an oath of silence and seclusion.
He was doing his best to cover the nerves he felt in his chest with his usual sarcastic demeanor. Sure he could pretend that he didn’t care but that didn’t change the truth that the person he had wanted to see for years now was finally standing right in front of him. There was a part of him that wanted to immediately spill into the apology he had been rehearsing in his head for the best part of 40 years but that didn’t seem to be the words that came to his lips right now. “Don’t shoot” he responded putting his hands up for a moment when she said she was trying not to hurt him. He couldn’t really blame her for being angry with him still, they seemed to repeat the same cycle a lot and it always ended up with them both getting hurt.
Eventually the two of them were alone and that made Sebastian feel a little more nervous, he swore he could feel the energy coming from her. He kept his gaze pretty much anywhere but on her “Somewhat reluctantly but yeah...you know how people get around dark magic” he was the kind of person who embraced all magic in every form but most diviners seemed to fear it. “I am here...been here a while now actually...had to find somewhere that felt right” he didn’t really know where his place was in the world for a long time and it felt like he had finally found somewhere that worked. “Hey I wouldn’t give up on it just yet” he warned her, shaking his head to dismiss her comment about how darkness had taken over the place “I found something interesting here...something that told me this place wasn’t over yet” he nodded slightly, jerking his chin to encourage her to follow him while he headed towards the passage he had discovered.
He lowered his gaze and bit his lip when she immediately cut him off like that. He could sense the person he knew before was there but she was behind a wall of hurt. It honestly made him sad to see but he did as she asked and kept his mouth shut about the topic. “Not going crazy isn’t exactly a high bar” he commented as he headed towards the door and the pointed to the hidden door which he pushed open and headed through it. He lead the way down the dark passage before coming to a stop down in the basement where there was a large, almost ethereal looking pool “Still think this place is plagued in darkness?” he questioned with a raised brow before seating himself by the pond.
“Answers” he repeated after her as he glanced up at her, a frown creasing his features “Why don’t you start my making it a stream?” he suggested bluntly “Why did you come to the citadel?” they could start there at least. He did sigh slightly when she brought up his apprentices and how they were supposed to be secret “It’s been 40 years and you wanna jump right into questioning me about the freedom of sharing magic?” he responded with an unimpressed look. He certainly wasn’t here for a lecture and had little patience for that at all.
Should she have gotten easy on him? After all, it has been quite a while since they have seen one another. No, she scolded herself. And wasn't she the one who rejected every time he would request for an audience all these years? He was still as playful as ever, that part of him never seemed to change, a part of her was relieved to see that but she couldn't allow herself to chuckle and laugh like she used to. "I know" of course she knew how people got around dark magic, she remembered she was one of those who weren't comfortable with them as of late, it wasn't anyone's fault but her own. If she had been stronger, then perhaps the temptation wouldn't pose a problem. "Somewhere that felt right? To what? Build a school for diviners who couldn't control their magic? Realize your dream was to be Albus Dumbledore or something?"
From what she saw earlier, it did look like Sebastian has been doing plenty of work, including recruiting apprentices. It's not uncommon for them to have more than one apprentice, but it's a rare case because they're not exactly opening a magic school. Even Malva had been particularly picky on who she picked and she has never picked more than a few at a time since she didn't want her spell journals to fall into the wrong hands. She was curious to know what he had found, if Sebastian found it interesting then it must really be something. It wasn't easy to impress him. "It's not a high bar and that should tell you about my situation" the Aspect of Magic had her own pride, she wouldn't just tell people she needed help, it took her siblings and the people closest to her a while to even poke the crack underneath.
The problem still remains that Sebastian Daystar knows pretty much everything about her so instead of hiding it, she was giving off vague hints. When they got downstairs, she could see the light illuminating from the pond, which made her sapphire hues light up in wonder as she scurry over to see what it was, hand outstretched to touch the clear water. "What is this?" She couldn't feel any hint of darkness, apart from the dark diviner sitting nearby. When he suggested to make it into a stream, Mal sighed heavily and closed her eyes for a bit, "I should do that…" But where does she even begin to start? She's afraid to tell him that she didn't know but putting her pride aside was needed at a time like this. "I came here to see if I could seek some audience with the high priestesses... have a council and discuss maybe. Anything. Evermore is too buzzing that I can't focus without something disturbing me. I want to be at peace, that's why I came here." It was clear her entire being was giving off a distress signal.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy, which was probably long overdue but… surely it didn't take only 400 years for me to deteriorate this badly, right?" Now that she remembered it, she has never been this distant and scared of magic before. It was always a period of discovery with him, even when she might not approve his methods, she never stopped him. Until that incident. "You know how I've always felt about that" she exclaimed bluntly, "I'm not like you and you're not like me. We both have different responsibilities. You're one the strongest, if not the strongest diviner, I'm the Aspect of Magic tasked to keep the balance, sometimes our wants can't weigh the other."
He gave her a judging look when she jested him about his own goals were, he had always been the kind of person who went with the flow and did whatever he wanted to do. He couldn’t say he had planned on becoming a teacher but people often came here when they were looking for help and answers and despite the cold exterior he put on, he wasn’t the guy who turned people in need away. “Guide people who are lost, help them figure out their place” he rolled his eyes when she called him out for wanting to start a school “I don’t have a disciplined bone in my body Mal, I’d be a terrible principal” he retorted and shook his head slightly.
He always worried about the aspect of magic because he had known for the longest time that she pushed herself too hard. She pretended she didn’t care but it was actually quite the opposite in reality, she cared too much and that meant she took too much on alone which she didn’t know how to shoulder. “It does” he commented matter of factly as he sat himself down beside the pond, his eyes watching the shimmering, almost mystical water as she reached to touch it. He was sure she could sense its energy “The citadel’s source of magic I guess...found all dirty and dusty down here and cleaned it up” it was beautiful and clearly powerful, he had stayed here to protect it since then.
He could respect how hard it was for her to let down her guard, especially with someone like him. They had a rocky past and time didn’t just magically heal the wounds they had inflicted on one another, seeing her made his heart lurch in his chest but he wasn’t sure if it was in fear of being hurt or something else. “Not sure what they could have told you” he responded a little bluntly “For these big mystical protectors they sure gave up on this place fast” he commented in a slightly disgruntled tone. He did notice Mal’s cautious tone and timid wording though which spoke volumes to him.
He straightened up a little and moved his eyes towards her, watching carefully “You’re not crazy Mal” he responded in a resounding tone, he was sure of that much. Despite how her rationale presented itself he had always known she was smart and calculated. She wouldn’t be here right now if she hadn’t exhausted every other avenue. He bit his tongue when she voiced her usual opposition to his ways with magic but he let it go because there was a time and place and this wasn’t it. “Whatever this is, it has you really scared” he commented in realization as he stared back at her. Well that was mildly terrifying. He needed to see it for himself so he lifted his hands so they were either side of her face but he didn’t move to touch her “May I?” he was hoping to be able to get a read on her magic.
He had a way to come up with a good comeback and even Mal sometimes found herself speechless because she didn't know what to say to refute that. Most of the time, the Aspect of Magic would huff and roll her eyes in annoyance but this time, she didn't. He had a point, guiding people is what people like them should be doing, especially with the power they hold. "Help them figure out their place? How would you do that, I wonder" she trailed off, she couldn't even figure out her own place right now so hearing that from her had her chuckling. As if it wasn't an easy thing to do. "Exactly, you'd be a terrible principal, I don't need to remind you that you're usually the one being disciplined and not the other way around" and of course, she's the one at the other end of that stick. "You didn't deny it though, the part where I said about opening a school. Maybe not a principal but a teacher?"
Sebastian has always been one to aeek new knowledge, but she wasn't sure if he's still the same person she knew centuries ago. People change, right? She certainly did. Drastically, if anything. It was hard to pretend that everything was fine in front of him because the dark diviner could read her like an open book, sometimes she would hedge a guess that he knows her better than she does herself. But that's a given if you have spent a long time with said person, right? The water felt calming, the moment she touched it, she could feel as if it was trying to reach her with a message. A whisper. Malva could easily mistake it as a lull; a comforting one. If possible, she just wanted to stay here and listen to it. "How come nobody ever found out about this place? It has been up for thousands of years… could it be that it was sealed up by someone back then?"
There were so many questions to be asked and she wasn't sure if there were any answers to them. She sensed the disgruntled tone in his voice and sighed, turning her head around from her crouching position to face the male in the room, "Maybe it doesn't affect you as much because you're… connected to it. What happened 400 years ago… the energy signature wasn't like a simple hex or curse, it felt suffocating. Like it was trying to squeeze something out of you and for people who are not used to dark magic, it's a whole different field for them." She was speaking for the priestesses but she was also talking about herself. Mal was never the same again after that day, herself ridden with a heartbreak and her state deteriorated afterwards. Hearing it from him of all people saying she wasn't crazy put her heart at ease, she missed being reassured like this and even if she won't admit it out loud, Sebastian held a place in her heart.
When he said it has her scared, she blurted, "It does." At first, she stared at his hands skeptically but after a while, she bit her bottom lip and gave him her consent, she wanted to know what's going on too. "Last time… I found out I didn't lose my magic, it's still here. But it's not controlled and I don't know how to enact it properly… I feel like it's like a Pandora's Box waiting to be unleashed if I tried to use its root magic." That's why she has been using a conduit to channel her power.
He noticed the way she went quiet in response to his answer which made him smirk slightly because he knew he had rendered her unable to return with a snippy comeback, they knew each other well which is why they were able to pre-empt one another’s responses “Not sure yet...turns out I don’t even know where my own place was so” for a while he thought it was to be beside her side but since then he still felt lost because she cut contact with him and since then he’d been trying to find his own path. His wrinkled his nose slightly when she mentioned how he would be a terrible principal “You’d know” he teased shaking his head slightly, he never made life easy for her that was for sure. “Maybe teaching wouldn’t be so bad...it feels selfish to know all this about magic and keep it to myself” and he was pretty selfish but even then, magic was one of the things he was most passionate about.
He watched the way she was with the water and he could tell that she could feel it’s power too, it was such a beautiful place and the serenity it brought him made him believe that maybe there was a way to restore this place to its former glory. God knows he’d been trying. “I get the feeling it didn’t want to be found” he spoke softly as he shifted his position “They say that magic and fate are closely intertwined” and he did believe that, he had seen enough of it to be sure of that. He bit his lip softly when she mentioned how he was connected to this place “This place holds a lot of history for us” he spoke softly, not good things to begin with but now it had become much more special to him “Makes you wonder whether the full circle is some kind of coincidence” he didn’t think so “The power here...it feels stronger now...more real” he nodded a few times thoughtfully.
He noticed the way she seemed to be relieved by the fact that he said she wasn’t crazy which made him let out a soft breath, despite the emotional barrier she was putting up, there was small clues in the way she acted which told him she was still the girl he knew. The girl who always plagued his mind no matter how much time passed. “I can tell” he responded candidly when she confirmed she was scared. Mal didn’t scare easily so he knew it was serious if she was spooked by it. “So whatever it is has locked your magic away huh?” he nodded a few times before letting his hand come to rest against her cheeks. His eyes immediately glowed gold as he held her face, letting his senses take over as he searched her mind for clues.
The first thing that hit him was an insane amount of resistance which immediately told her that this wasn’t going to be easy. He took a deep breath as he pulled up a stronger pulse of energy to attempt to break through the magic that was trying to block him out “I’m not giving up that easily” he commented as he gritted his teeth, his own body shaking as he finally managed to crumble the barrier and he immediately felt a wave of dark magic take over him, thankfully he wasn’t afraid of dark magic. It was though he was watching Mal from outside a window, she was in a dark room, looking for a way out, but there were no doors and it seemed like she couldn’t see the window from within. He reached up a hand to press against the glass only to receive a shock which caused his eyes to open and him to gasp loudly as his hands dropped from her face to his sides. "That looks terrifying" he whispered softly, as he took deep breaths and stared into her eyes.