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It was long after normal business hours as Wyatt stumbled through the lot and fell against the door of the Archives entrance. His shaking hand reached out to the ornate handle and let the pin prick his hand to take his blood which would still give him entry regardless. Being one of the trusted keepers of the Diviner building gave him such perks and he was suddenly feeling unworthy of the honor. If and when Malva saw him in this current state, Wyatt had no doubt that he would lose the privilege along with her respect once she laid eyes on him. That betrayal alone was incredibly crushing though the darkness he was drowning in only invited more of this kind of pain.
His breathing was ragged and the effort he was taking to hold back the power surging inside him was more than he could stand. At any moment he felt like his skin would set fire and the magic would go off like an atom bomb, killing him and anyone within the blast zone. He knew it would consume him into absolutely nothing and that was fine with him. Wyatt couldn't hurt anyone again. Not like he'd just done to his ex.
"Come on!" he screamed in frustration, banging on the door. Looking to the mechanism that should've let him inside by now, he saw his blood was near black and knew immediately that was why he couldn't get through. The Archives no longer recognized him and to it, he was a threat not to be allowed in. "Malva! Malva!!" Wyatt weakly pounded on the door some more, but the useless effort was only making him fall more deeply into despair. The chances that she was even there were unknown to him. He'd teleported here immediately after almost...
The diviner couldn't think about it. Instead, he let the magic within him continue to burn through his existence, sliding down along the door and slumping against the frame. His breathing became more shallow and he realized in that moment that this might be for the better. The grimoire could no longer use him to bring destruction into the world through its incredible powers and though he physically ached to be near the book again, dying was the only way to make it all stop.
Things have been changing lately around here, and by that Mal meant truly everything. She remembered when she first met Wyatt, someone who would later be a pain in the ass and a thorn to her side. As if she needed another one after Sebastian. Long story short, she took the prodigal dark diviner as her apprentice and has been teaching him some of the more advanced magic because that was usually a perk of learning under her. But it hasn't been going well. Or at least it has been until it was no longer that well anymore. It was fine in the first few months and she wasn't aware of whatever Wyatt was going through personally, he never told her about it nor did he try to indulge her in his troubles. A part of her thought he hid it away so as to not worry her when she was having a lot of trouble trying to balance the insurmountable trouble waiting on the other side while keeping the Archives intact as well as safe from other forces.
She first noticed the slightly weird behavior displayed by the male a few weeks ago but didn't think much about it. Perhaps he was just tired, being surrounded by dark objects and books that were documented about dark magic wouldn't be an easy task. Especially when the most ancient magical objects are stored there in the Archives, which was ironically located in the heart of Evermore. Nobody would have thought she would leave it there and that made it the best location to move it, in plain sight. While she was halfway mixing the new ingredients she got from the apothecary earlier this week into the mortar, she suddenly halted and it was only by a chance that she didn't let the mortar fall on her room's carpet. A searing pain went through her head like a massive migraine, only doubled, as she clutched her head while frowning in confusion. "What the hell…" That kind of signal could only mean one thing; a security breach.
Who the hell would be brave enough to breach the Archives? She was sure she placed a strong enough protection spell over it that would only allow those she permitted inside. Unless this was an inside work. No, she couldn't think that. The Aspect of Magic placed the mortar on the table before heading over to her vanity table to get her ruby pendant that was glowing a malevolent color, she linked it to the ley lines of the city to get a watchful eye should anyone use dark magic. Malva couldn't afford to be on the back lines anymore if anything happened, especially here in her fort. The brunette quickly threw a coat over her and decided to track where that activity was coming from and it was just as she expected; right outside the Archives' entrance.
And that is how she found Wyatt pounding against the entrance doors of the Archives, looking as miserable as ever. She tucked the pendant inside her pocket and crossed her arms as she hovered over him, "Why is the Archives locking you out? What the hell is happening, and why do you look like a freaking mess…" as she stepped closer, she realized he was different than usual, that heavy scent of overpowering madness driven by dark magic. "Wyatt… what did you do?"
Seeing Malva's face brought back a little of the will he had to keep fighting against the darkness that was dragging him deeper into destructiveness. Maybe she could somehow stop this, even if it meant his end. He pushed back against the forces of the grimoire that demanded he release the power built inside him, clutching at her coat in desperation. The pain was becoming excruciating. "I.. I can't." Wyatt cried out in pain, turning over on his side and coughing up blood that was still not the crimson color it should be. Black spiderlike veins danced along his skin as the energy of the magic coursed through him like lava. How did it ever come to this? Simple. As always, Wyatt thought he could handle himself given his cockiness and incredible aptitude for spellwork when in reality, the magic was just using the diviner as its tool.
"The grim..oire," he choked out. Wyatt had already told his mentor that he'd found his family's heirloom from hundreds of years ago in Ireland and though she was quite curious to see the book for herself, he had always found some excuse on why they could never meet up. Weeks later the magic had had a hold of him and its self-preservation made Wyatt ensure no one else could interfere with its need to unleash its power after so many years. Given that only a member of his family would be able to use the magic in its pages, this made the grimoire even more dangerous and desperate; Like it had a mind of its own. Even now he could feel the pull of it from miles away.
Wyatt tried to tell her more. He wanted to tell Malva everything, but fighting against this was taking everything in him. As his fingers clutched to her coat in desperation still, he suddenly noticed the red glow from inside her pocket. He knew immediately what it was and this triggered the power inside him to react. Wyatt could no longer keep it held back as he pulled himself up and staggered a few steps backwards. "Malva.." Her name was just a strained whisper before the diviner was completely twisted away from all rationale and became a conduit instead, being trapped inside his own mind.
She was a challenge. One he couldn't just let stay alive when she was probably the only thing even close to being able to stop him now that he had gained all of this untapped power which had lay dormant for countless decades. Malva had opened up a new world for him when it came to studying magic and now that he could be a formidable foe, the diviner knew she would undoubtedly want to take it away from him. She'd say something along the lines of 'too dangerous'. No. She was just afraid. Afraid that someone else may surpass her in her abilities.
He outstretched his hand to the aspect as black smoke swirled the space between them and wrapped around her throat. His fingers closed into a tight fist to white knuckles as he commanded the smoke to choke the life out of her. Wyatt could see the confusion in her face which turned to desperation when she realized her friend was now gone. The annoying gnat that was his conscience tried to fight back, screaming and clawing his way to take hold again. It made him falter.
A sudden surge of powerful energy hit him square in the chest and Wyatt fell backwards to the pavement unconscious.
The last thing she thought she'd find when she came here was her own apprentice doubling down on pain from dark magic. At first she thought someone had attacked him using that very signature. It wasn't until she realized it came from himself that made the Aspect of Magic freeze on her steps momentarily, "I told you not to touch on those too much" she grumbled, a lot of things were kept there in the Archives for the very reason of it being overwhelming to most diviners and to see her own apprentice fall victim to it was honestly devastating to Malva. When he turned over and coughed out more blood, which didn't even look like their usual blood, she took a step back and sighed, the black color of it was more than enough for a testament.
The moment he mentioned about the grimoire, Mal remembered regarding the family grimoire of his family that they found a while back, she always asked to look through it since nobody seemed to have touched it for at least a century but he'd find excuses not to meet up. How did she know it was purely excuses? She's not an easy person to fool, honestly. But nevertheless, she did leave at that since it wasn't her place to interfere and she believed he would know what to do. Obviously that was a wrong choice on her part. She should've known a grimoire that old would have a tight hold over their own family members. While she was busy thinking of a plan to move him away to a safer place where he wouldn't be a danger to others, giving her the time she needed to find a way to get rid of this hold it has on him, which could honestly mean only one thing for a diviner, she was taken aback when a black smoke outstretched itself and had a tight grip around her throat, successfully trying to cut off her air supply.
Mal struggled for a while until she noticed where it originated from and clenched her jaw, she tried to beg him to come back to the surface of course. There must be a better way to do this. That's what she thought but as time goes by, the hold it had around her was tighter and she knew she had to break free of it. Both her and him. With enough energy she gathered from the necklace she wore, she sent a hit towards him, rendering him unconscious as he fell back against the cold pavement. "Well this is a bust…" she muttered and opened the doors to the Archive while using magic to drag him in with her. Mal had him placed on the couch and made sure to bind his magic by cuffing him with the espiñas dunha rosa (thorns of a rose) ribbon. It was a ribbon enchanted by the Mycenae Citadel's priestesses centuries ago. Mal always had a close connection to them because she's been their benefactor.
The entire exclusive coven's powers are infused in that ribbon to make sure nobody can use any magic so long as it's tied around you and the only person who could take it off is the one who placed it there since they used blood to seal the connective magic. "It's time to wake up now" she drawled and used magic to wake him up. Her magic might have been quite disobedient these days but so long as she has something to channel into, she's fine. And they're in the Archives, so plenty of that.
The darkness was comforting in a way. It pushed and prodded at his mind to continue exuding the power it so desperately needed to get out into the world, but Wyatt was much happier in this oblivion where the grimoire's power couldn't force him to wake up. Perhaps not. Strange visions began flashing through his mind. Memories perhaps? No, these were faces he did not recognize. Places he did not know. These were events of the past and it dawned on him what he was really seeing. This was the fallout of those that were taken by the grimoire. His ancestors through time being gripped into its curse just as he was now. Wyatt was put into the place of the person under its control in these visions as he continued hurting those around him and feeling their anguish. Centuries of pain and pleasure all passed through him in a bittersweet symphony of torment. It felt right, but he knew deep down it was wrong. Wake up.
"It's time to wake up now." Wyatt could hear the familiar voice of his mentor beckoning him from the black. His eyes opened and faded to their normal hazel hues as he tried to focus on her. The spinning in his head began to slow and her features came more into focus. What had transpired just moments ago outside of the Archives had seemed like a dream, but he knew it was him. He'd tried to kill his friend; The one person who was there for him to harness and understand the greatest gift to their kind and he had every intent of ending her existence. "Oh, God," he groaned, rubbing his head. Wyatt wanted to stand, but his legs felt like lead and he had the feeling Malva wasn't going to let him move. "I'm so sorry, M. I..."
It was then he noticed the ribbon around his wrist. He knew what it was and it made his chest ache. She was binding his magic and it felt like a cage. It was like being stripped of who he was. Looking up to her again, Wyatt wasn't going to argue the action. He completely understood why and submitted to the fact that he was a prisoner to the grimoire and now to her. "I was so stupid." It was nice to finally have some clarity in his thinking when it wasn't filled with thoughts of causing others pain for pleasure and power. "The grimoire. It was the most powerful feeling I ever got from any magic. It was like a conduit, channeling all this ability through me. I knew immediately something was wrong, but I couldn't stop once I started. The pages were written with the blood of my ancestors and somehow is cursed for those that use it. It was like a drug. It is a drug. I can't stop." Wyatt was not one to show weakness, but this was a low he'd never been to. "I almost killed someone, Malva. I was seconds away from it and I wasn't even the one to stop myself."
The sweat beading along his head grew and he was starting to feel the repercussions of not releasing the magic inside him. The room spun for a moment and his skin began to feel like it was on fire again, though chills crawled along his body and the color on his skin paled. This was an addiction through and through. "I can hear it inside my head, Malva." A wave of nausea passed through him and he reached for the nearby trash at one of the desks and vomited. "You have to lock it up here in the Archives. The thoughts in my head..." he said with a muffle as his head was inside the can. He lifted his heavy head after a moment and looked to her with as much seriousness as he could to make her understand the threat. "I would and will do anything to get back to it."
Dragging him to a bed where she could properly examine him after binding him there was not easy work. It would’ve been with magic but since she literally placed an anti-magic ribbon that basically acts as shackles, it wasn’t something that could be done easily. You can’t use magic, it’s magic proof after all. And that also applies to those who would want to put the shackles on the recipient. She waited for a few more minutes until she noticed him stirring, the sight of the familiar hazel hues greeting her unamused form. “Well, at least you’re back… from whatever that was” she muttered under her breath and went closer to see if he wasn’t playing any tricks on her. The first thing he did was apologize to her, well, attempted anyhow. “Sorry I had to bind you for the time being. It won’t be long, well that kinda depends on how fast I can get you back into your previous shape. I can’t have you trying to kill me when you’re supposed to protect me and learn.”
She raised her eyebrows in amusement when he said he was stupid, “That’s an understatement.” However, she did promise that she would give him the chance to explain what happened and that’s exactly what she intends to do. She expected a problem to occur the moment she gave him the grimoire, ancestry can be a powerful thing, much like a drug and since they come from a long line of necromancers, that type of power was meant to be a drug. “I was wondering if I gave it away too fast… were you able to detect what type of curse it was? It wouldn’t be random, especially since it’s obviously blood magic.” Blood magic existed so many years ago, it was a balance between faes using traditional magic and the necromancers using blood magic. She didn’t know much about it since she came from a fae coven but years accumulated in her position as the Aspect of Magic allows her to delve deep into things most didn’t have the chance to.
“You almost killed someone? Did you try killing another person aside from me?” That’s another messy thing she wished she didn’t have to hear because how can you explain to them you didn’t mean to kill them? “I need to flush it out of you. No more hands on that book, I’ll keep it somewhere you can’t find until we can find a way to dismantle that curse. It’ll be a lot of work but not impossible… just very time consuming.” Here’s to go back to old books and read through them. “That ribbon will flush out whatever addiction you have towards magic, it’ll be painful obviously, just see it as a rehab, only twice more painful. As a diviner, not having or feeling magic is the most horrible thing to feel in the world, you would lose the connection you have with nature but it won’t be forever. Only until I take that ribbon off. You can still go about your day… but as long as you wear that, you can't even do a spell. The grimoires you touched may as well be regular books.”
It’s harsh but Mal thought it was needed. It wasn’t as if Wyatt was a rookie diviner, he had up to a century worth of knowledge probably and he had access to every book here. To leave him would be to leave a walking time bomb. “When did this start anyway? When did you first… feel the symptoms of madness? I swear I remembered you received the grimoire not long ago.”
Wyatt felt so empty. That innate feeling he had as a diviner, being connected to magic, especially in the Archives, was now gone. His eyes looked down to the ribbon as he touched it seeming like such a mundane thing that could completely erase who he was as it remained attached to him. He took a few deep breaths to calm himself into this new existence and stay focused on her as the anchor he would need to never fall into what he'd been for the last few weeks of chaos and darkness. Never again. He should've gone to Malva immediately when the signs were there. He was smarter than that.
"Yes, I tried killing an ex of mine. We... we found the book where we thought it would be after all the research. It was in Ireland at the old historic site where my family had come from centuries ago. A ruined castle. It was beautiful," he whispered, remembering the moment he stepped inside and away from the tour to really explore the place and feel the connection of his ancestors. Everything seemed like it was falling into place then. Fate had brought him to finding the lost family grimoire, but everything afterwards had been a nightmare he couldn't wake form.
His hues focused in again at the present and looked up to Malva from where he sat heavily. "It started immediately after I opened the book. Whatever magic is entwined inside with my ancestors' blood it took hold right away. Slowly at first. The magic was a high. There were notes in the margins from the others who used the spells in the pages. I felt this connection to them, but then more and more I couldn't keep away from using the magic within. I wanted, needed, to do the more advanced spellwork inside. The book.. it called out. Voices in my head. Whenever I did any magic from it, it gave me this incredible high, but some of the spells I needed help with from an old girlfriend. She is a dark diviner and both were required to make the magic work properly. We felt powerful and kept at it more and more." Even talking about it now, Wyatt could feel the excitement all over and direness to get at the book again. His leg began to bounce as he tried to keep it together.
"Eventually it started to scare her and she could see how I was changing. I was erratic and violent. I would explode at any mention of the grimoire being problematic. She tried to take it from me. I knew it was to protect me from it, but I didn't see it that way. Not while under its influence. I... hit her. Strangled her. I wouldn't have stopped if she hadn't distracted me by moving the grimoire over the fireplace. That was the only thing that made me let her go. To save the fucking book, Malva." His voice shook as the memory played out again. "That's why I came here tonight. When rational finally came back again, I knew I had to, but I'm not leaving." The last of his words were full of a finality he would not let her argue against. "I can't. There is not a normal day I can have until this is over and letting me back out would be a mistake." Another wave of nausea overtook him then, but he pushed it and the lightheadedness away.
"I saw what became of my ancestors and I don't want to end up like them. Some went mad. Some died. They all did horrible things after the grimoire took hold. I don't trust myself. I have to stay here in the Archives, locked up, where I can't do anything else to anyone." Wyatt held her eyes. "You have to get it from my house. I tried to burn it like my ex did, but it's protected anyway which I should've guessed. It did nothing to it. Not one burned page. I threw it against the wall and ported here after."
When he told her that he tried killing an ex of his, Mal scrunched up her nose and pulled a look, “Yikes… that doesn’t sound like it ended well. But at least you emphasized on the tried, which means that is one good news… she’s not dead yet. But then we move onto our next problem that is still in that very same category… she knows you’re a little loose in the screws.” If she thought he was just crazy that’d be fine but from the looks of things, she seems to be a diviner too since she knew what he was going through. “Most beautiful things are deadly, don’t you know that?” she quipped dryly when he talked about how beautiful the place he came across was. “She’s a diviner too, isn’t she? Your ex? And she knows whatever the hell is going on with you?” How is she going to make sure whoever this person is keeping their mouth shut. “You know she’s going to zip it, right? She has to. I can’t contain more than what is already needed.” And she hates unnecessary coverage.
She took a seat nearby and listened to what he had to say, one way or another she still needed to give him the chance to explain anyway since she didn’t know what happened. In order to fix this, she had to know what went on and what exactly triggered the curse. “So it’s an ancestral thing… goddammit those are always a pain in the ass, and not to mention, complicated. I’ll need to go back to when it all started if I want to have a chance to know where it took place.” Most ancestral ties are all connected to where they took their root, and according to Wyatt, his family has been around for centuries, and a necromancer one at that. “Magic is like a drug, you get high on it when you get more of it. That’s why control is such an important thing to have, there’s a reason why your coven leaders don’t allow people to go beyond a few lengths. It’s because of this. When you get high off the power, you want more of it and when you get addicted to it, much like modern-day stoners, you are willing to give it anything, normally if this was just something with one individual, then it wouldn’t matter, I’d just hunt them down and make them reverse it. But it’s not.” This is a wake-up call for him though because like everyone who goes through addiction, rehabilitation is a must.
“I won’t take off the ribbon until you’re fully drained, and by that, I meant your temptations, all of it.” He did mention additional notes on the pages though, so it was clearly used by a lot of people. “How long ago was this again? I mean the grimoire, were you able to detect how old it is?” That would be helpful to know if she could remember certain remedies that worked better. “That book has a hold of you, the magic has a hold of you and that is why I’m going to leave that ribbon on you until I am sure you could stand on your own two feet. Not literally, of course, because you’re going to have to lead me to that very place you found the grimoire at.” She undid whatever that tied him down earlier and pushed a glass of water towards him, and another glass of what seemed to be a disastrous concoction. “Drink both. It’ll replenish your energy… somewhat. And keep your head clear.” He told her he wasn’t leaving but she still needed him, ancestral meant she needed his blood.
“I would love to just lock you up, dear Wyatt, I really do but unfortunately, ancestral means I need that ancestry’s connection and you are that connection. I don’t like the idea of carrying a jar of your blood in my bag too… so there’s that. That’s just creepy, I don’t get why people do that” she shuddered, it was risky and dangerous to let him out, even with the ribbon tied tightly around him. She knows it would not get loose until she was the one who takes it off but still, the temptation of magic may draw him to do other things instead. “I know it’s a risk but every day is a risk for me, anyway.” Was it really something new? “If you couldn’t destroy it, then I obviously couldn’t. Besides, we’re not going to destroy it, we’re going to make use of it. You told me your ancestors left notes… were they written in blood?”
"She's discreet," Wyatt said softly as the scene played out again in his mind of he and his ex. He was better than this. For as long as he'd been alive and the amount of knowledge and magic he'd come across, he knew exactly what was happening and still couldn't be strong enough to stop himself. A curse... he wondered what some ancestor did those hundreds of years ago to piss someone off so badly that they cursed the family and all others who came down the line that found their way to the book. He should've left it there in Ireland. As soon as the cover opened, the energy it gave off was an immediate intoxicating high. All the signs were there, but he couldn't do it. He supposed that was the point of the grimoire's curse and it worked like a charm. The diviner wearily looked up to his mentor. "She won't tell. She's a dark diviner and knows the world of magic. She won't be an issue. If anything, she'll keep trying to contact me to make sure I'm alright when she should've run as far away as possible from me. She's loyal to a fault."
Wyatt listened to Malva as she gave her words of wisdom, knowing it all already, and still hating himself for being too arrogant to follow the teachings he'd been learning since he was a kid. His father had prepped him and praised him, always marveling at how well Wyatt would pick up on things regarding magic. It had given him too much confidence at times. His head remained low, but he glanced to the ribbon around his wrist as she mentioned its purpose again, wishing his parents were still alive just then. He'd give anything to talk to his father right now. "Centuries," he answered shortly, watching the glasses slide towards him. His fingers moved around the cup of unknown first, knowing the water would be the chaser for whatever awfulness he was about to consume. Thankfully, the garbage was still near just in case. "Since cursed, the grimoire must've passed through the hands of at least eight others. Then something happened where the book remained lost for years. Whoever my last ancestor was that had it, must've found a way to keep it hidden or locked away so they couldn't get to it somehow or... killed themself as not to. When the ruins of that estate were excavated, they found the book among the site on the grounds. Remember when we first met and you said royalty? You weren't far off..."
He steeled his nerves and drank the contents of the glass, trying his best not to taste it, but failing miserably. And it was just that.. miserable. Tossing it back up wasn't going to help, so he quickly reached for the water and drank it with a face of disgust. Wyatt paused a moment to make sure it would all stay down before looking to the Aspect as she mentioned needing him to come along. He wanted to protest, but knew there was no point. She was the only one who would be able to help him. Malva knew best. Instead, he swallowed the protesting words that were just at the tip of his tongue and simply nodded in agreement. "Fine. I guess the sooner this is over with the better." This bracelet needed to do its job faster then. The horrid drink he'd had seemed to be working, however. His thoughts were less muddled and the whispering was just a waning buzz of nonsense that seemed to be clutching on to unsuccessfully take hold again.
The green of his hues were becoming more unclouded as he looked the Malva. "Yes, blood," he answered, thinking of the hurried notes that were feverishly written in the grimoire. It was like watching the slow descent of his kin in those words. First it was the excitement of having the book and feeling the power that acted as a conduit once performing the spells inside. Then it moved into madness and corruption as the days went on and the dark thoughts clouded their judgement. Wyatt wondered what really happened to them all. His family's history had been full of secrets, including his own parents and uncle. Kaelyn and him weren't sure if they'd ever learn the truth of it all.
"If we aren't going to destroy it, how do you plan on using it?" He was not so thrilled at the idea of being anywhere near the grimoire when all it wanted to do was get into the hands of his bloodline. Wyatt didn't trust himself no matter how much disgusting crap Malva gave him to drink or dozens of bracelets he had to wear. Porting back home to get the book scared the shit out of him and somehow he felt like going back to Ireland would stir up the ugly past of his ancestors again. This was going to be fun.