Beams of the moon’s heavenly light pierced through broken roof of the castle ruins. Chalk markings decorating the castle’s stone floor glistened in the light. The spell didn’t call for the light of the moon, but it couldn’t hurt. Ocellus compared her magic circle to the illustrations in her tome, a perfect recreation. Satisfied with her handiwork, Ocellus looked out amongst her friends. Gallus had perched up high on a pillar, staring into the beauty of the moon. Yona and Silverstream marveled at the ancient tapestries they had found and were engaged in an energetic conversation of culture and art. Outside the castle door she could see the light of a fire. Just in time.
The light grew brighter as Smolder and Sandbar came in. Sandbar set his lantern by the door.
“Is there a reason that we’re doing this here instead of the tree house? It’s a lot nicer in there”.
“That's exactly why. The atmosphere is right here,” Ocellus said, opening her forelegs to soak in the darkness of the the castle ruins. “The tree house too nice for the occult.”
Sandbar’s teeth began to chatter, “T-the occult?!”
“Duh! You think we came to a creepy castle in the dead of night for a tea party?”
“Considering we have a perfectly good beautiful, crystal tree house of harmony in the courtyard — yeah, I kinda did!” Sandbar said as he circled around the magic symbol on the floor.
“Did you bring the knife?” Ocellus asked.
Smolder flipped a kitchen knife between her digits.“Yep!”
“A knife!" Sandbar yelped. "You had that the whole time?” Sandbar’s shout drew the attention of the rest, who all came to stand around the circle’s perimeter.
“Oh, don’t worry,” Ocellus shot Sandbar a wink, “we aren't doing anything we’ll regret.”
“I doubt that,” Sandbar whispered.
Gallus yawned. “So, the big baby aside -- what exactly are we doing? I have a lot of sleeping I’d rather be up to.”
“You never did say why we’re here. Being in the Everfree at midnight’s got my blood pumping!” Silverstream said jumping with energy.
“Nothing good happens in the Everfree at midnight!” shouted Sandbar, trembling like a leaf.
“Nothing bad will happen, I promise.” Ocellus levitated her book into view. It was a weighty tome of spells bound in golden threads with a cover written so ornately the others could barely recognize it as ponish. Wherever Ocellus hadn't put her hooves on it was still covered in a layer of dust thick enough to write in. “I just found this spell in headmare Twilight’s things.”
“Ocellus stole it,” Yona said, wearing a smug grin.
“Borrowed. I was just thirsty for some higher reading, and Starlight’s a pretty easy impersonation. I found a particulary interesting spell I wanted to try, but it takes all of us.” Ocellus levitated the book before everyone, open to a bookmarked page. It read ‘The Fate Binding Spell’.
“Fate binding?” Smolder crooked her brow, eyeing the book with the wearyness of a cornered prey.
“It means we’d never split apart. At least not for real.” Ocellus coughed before reading a passage aloud. “If you never want to part, then put this spell within your heart. Even if you’re worlds away, fate’s threads will always stay. Whether separated by years or miles, fate will bring you each other's smiles.” She looks up from the pages. “Basically, we’ll never split apart. Not for long. Even if we all went our own ways, something will bring us together, like being connected by a rubber band.”
“Sounds kinda possessive if you ask me,” Smolder said, flipping the knife in her claws.
“Yaks don’t believe in fate. Fate weak idea. Future is what yaks make of future. Yona play along though.”
Silverstream looked amongst her friends, “You know, if you’re afraid of drifting apart, the easiest way to tie our fates together is if we all marry each other.”
“I’d be down for that!” Sandbar said.
Smolder mocked gagging. “What, no! I’m not marrying Sandbar! No way!”
Yona snatched Sandbar and pulled him into her fur. “Smolder just don’t know how to make good choices.”
“Yak too stubborn to consider better options,” Smolder scoffed.
“Marrying me has a lot of perks. I'mroyalty, I've got the second biggest house, lots money. Just putting it out there.” Silverstream chirped, shooting finger guns to everyone in the room.
“Ocellus, let’s go over how to start the spell before Silver starts buying rings,” Gallus said. His talon was already clutched in Silverstream’s claws.
“So before we’re all end up betrothed,” Ocellus used her chalk to point to series of encircled markings. “each of you need to step into the circle that matches your star sign.” Ocellus stepped forward into the circle marked by the serpent of the stars, symbolizing the endless hunger for strength. The others each looked at the markings in confusion. Except for Sandbar, who tip-toed into the circle marked by the painter fish, symbol of boundless creativity and uniqueness.
Ocellus chuckled to herself. “This is an Equestrian spell, so it's using Equestrian astrology. Silverstream, you want to step on that one.” Ocellus lifted a lantern over one of the circles. “The caged dog, symbol of the withdrawn.”
“I don’t think I like Equestrian stars,” Silvestream said “My real sign’s much better: Novasta, the comet breaker!”
“Smolder, you want to step on the pegasus twins, symbol of freedom.”
“Yep, that sounds about right.” Smolder laid down in her circle with her chin rest on her knuckles, flipping the kitchen knife high in the air.
“Yona, you go to that side over there with the circle marked by Azalea the breezie, sign of humility.”
“Yona best at being humble! Yona never brag!” she shouted, before chuckling her way to her spot.
Gallus started walking to the last circle before Ocellus started speaking. “And Gallus. Yours is Nightmare Moon. The star sign of those who draw power from isolation.”
“Wait, why does Luna have a star sign but not Celestia? She’s been a princess for like, ages.” Silverstream scratched her head.
“You kinda only get one if you’re dead or made up,” Sandbar shrugged. “And we spent a lot of time thinking Nightmare Moon was both.”
“So next we have to each spill our blood in the center of the circle.”
“Hold on! We’re spilling what?” Sandbar yelled.“We’re not cutting each other open, right?”
“The only way for our fates to be entwined is for us to all share organs, obviously. Come on, hand over a stomach.” Smolder grinned.
Sandbar clutched his belly. “No way! I can't give up my stomach! I’m still using it to digest things! Like right now!”
“No worry. Yona has spare stomachs for three of you.”
Occelus looked up from behind her book. “If you all keep torturing Sandbar we’ll be here ‘till the sun comes up. We just need each give ourselves enough of cut to get our blood to run. Then we bleed into the center of the circle. I brought bandages.”
“Stolen from shy pony!”
“Borrowed. The book stresses that the offering has to be performed starting from the creature to the right of the spellcaster. Each of us will give blood and then say our name. So, Silverstream goes first, and counterclockwise from there.”
“Hold on a second! Isn’t all of us using the same knife super unhygienic? We could spread diseases.”
Smolder grinned "You think I'm diseased?" She said before blowing out a ball of flame over Sandbar's head.
A soft chuckle escaped Ocellus’ mouth. “Actually, the knife’s only for you.”
“Why me!” Sandbar cried.
“I wasn’t really told what were doing, but me and Gallus can just riiiiip with our claws.” Silverstream stretched out her talons. “Or we can just bite ourselves. Our beaks are meant for tearing flesh after all.”
“And my teeth are pretty much the only thing around that can pierce my scales.” Smolder flashed her sharp grin. “This knife couldn’t cut me if I tried.”
“Yona smash rock on head. Bleed plenty!”
Gallus grimaced. “I get more concerned about Yak pride every day.”
“And my horn’s got a jagged edge I can cut my foreleg on.” Ocellus’ horn shined in the moonlight.
“But why does that mean I have to use the knife?”
“What else are you gonna bleed with?” Gallus asked.
“Yona has extra rock!”
“I can bite you without leaving the circle. I haven't tasted a pony in a long time.” Smolder licked her razor-like teeth. Her words carried a soft hiss.
“Okay fine, I’ll use the knife!” As Sandbar gave in Smolder burst into a roar of laughter.
“Good. Only Yona bite Sandbar,” Yona said sporting her prideful yak smile. Sandbar’s face turned pink as the others snickered.
“Now that I've got that mental image bubbling in the back of my head, lets get started. Silverstream, would you please do the honors?” Ocellus turned to Silverstream to see her beak already speckled with blood.
Silverstream twisted a claw in her hair. “So lets say I got too excited and already bit myself? What then?”
Ocellus flipped through the pages. “Just… do it again?” She shrugged. “And bleed over the center this time.”
Silverstream opened her beak wide and snapped it down on her fore-leg. Her beak dripped a yellow blood. She flung out her fore-legs, letting the blood drip over the center of the circle as she whispered her name. Splatterings of yellowed clashed against the dark stone like starbursts in the night sky. “Ooh, is the magic happening? Is it happening!?”
“Not until every creature's blood is in the center,” Ocellus said.
“Don’t you think you’re being a bit overeager?” Smolder sat in her circle jabbing the knife against her knee.
Silvestream shrugged. “We’re a bunch of kids performing an ancient occult spell in a haunted castle! Heck yeah I’m excited!”
Smolder sat up,“Hello? Its spell to bind us together forever. Sign our fates together for life and all that! Were you listening? Don’t you think that calls for some hesitation?”
“Of course I was listening,” Silverstream huffed, “ I’d give up a lot more than my blood to guarantee that.”
“Heck yeah! I’d do… a lot for that. Because you never know what will happen, y’know.” Silverstream held a claw over her cuts, staining her other claw in blood as it dripped down her arm. “I didn’t personally lose a lot to the Storm King, but I spent every day afraid he’d come for me. Counselor Neighsay could have split us apart. Cozy Glow almost killed Yona. That wasn’t even something she did on purpose! It's not just us drifting apart, anything can happen. No matter how it happens, I don’t want to be us to be divided. I’d give up a lot for that.”
“Oh.” Smolder’s voice turned into a whisper. “I guess you would.”
“Yona was saved by friends. Not fate. Fate not necessary.”
“Maybe. I’d just like more security than that. Besides,” Silverstream tossed her frown aside for a cheerful smile, “my blood’s already in the spell. Gallus’ next! And don’t forget—spell or no spell, marriage is still on the table.”
“Nuh-uh.” Gallus said. “Not marrying Sandbar.”
“Am I really the deal breaker here?”
Gallus gave a thumbs up. “‘Cause he’s my bro.”
"I guess that makes me feel better."
“Spell only works at night, guys. Keep up the chatter, and we’ll have to do it all again.” Ocellus idily flipped through the pages of the spell book only barely looking up at the others. “and try not to hit any arteries.”
“Yeah, yeah, that's easy for someone without veins to say.” Gallus scraped his beak against his fore-leg just enough to get red running from the surface.
“I’ll have you know my wings have very strong veins.” Ocellus’s magic prepared a bandage for Silverstream’s arm. Her bleeding had already slowed, but with the two bites she’d made her arm was already drenched in yellow.
“Gallus,” he whispered, as his blood dripped into the center, his red griffon blood splattering against the yellow. “Here’s to manipulating fate itself. You’re up next, Yona.”
Silverstream tapped his shoulder with a wing. “Sure you don’t want to talk about anything? This seems like a good time to get stuff off our chests. I’m already feeling better after talking.”
“Yeah, Gallus. I bet you have something to say about all this.” Smolder said as she glared deep into his eyes.
“What's there to talk about? Ocellus wants to try a thing so we're giving it a shot.” Gallus said, in his dry tone.
“Hmm. So griffon blood like yak blood.”
“What you going on about?” Gallus said.
“Griffon bleed red, Yak bleed red! Yona demonstrate!”
“I didn't think any other creatures bled red.” Gallus mumbled to himself.
Yona held a rock about the size of her skull in her hoof. She reared back her head and in the next moment slammed it into the rock with enough force to smite a cockatrice. It shattered into pieces, leaving nothing but rubble on the floor. Her head rose, revealing a satisfied, toothy grin. Her head had a few scratches, and for as hard and jagged as that rock had been, she was only bleeding just enough for a few red streaks to run down her face.
“Maybe Yona use second rock? Bigger rock. Show friends second time.” One her hooves lifted just near the edge of her ring.
“Don’t!” Gallus shouted “It might break the circle!” Yona stopped in an instant.
Smolder smirked. “Concerned, Gallus?”
“What?” Gallus’ tone shifted back to its typical flat nature. “Ocellus went through all the trouble. I don’t want anyone to waste her time.”
“Gallus is right. If she moves from her spot now we’d have to start over. You’re bleeding enough for the spell, just drip a bit over the center.” At Ocellus’ request, Yona leaned in to hang her head over the center. Her blood dripped over Gallus’ and Silverstream’s , forming a ring of red splotches with yellow strands spreading between like roots.
“Yona admit something. Yona maybe want to break circle.”
“Why would you want that?” Silverstream said. “You don’t even believe in fate.”
“Yona lied.” She said, her eyes gazing into the blood as it started to mix together.
“Yona believes in fate a little. Yona scared of fate. Yona want to know choices are Yona’s own. If fate control Yona, then what does Yona do? Is Yona even real if fate exist?”
“If you’re so scared of it, why in the world are you going through with this? You could break the circle right now.”
“For friends. Yona give up bit of self for friends. Friendship about sacrifice. Yona will face fear.”
“I’m not to sure what fate is,” Ocellus looked Yona in the eyes, “but I’d like to think Fate is a bit different from determinism. I think we still have choices and our own thoughts and actions. Fate is more like a gentle push to a certain outcome.”
Smolder puffed a snort of fire. “That sure is a conveniently wishy-washy idea of fate you’ve got there.”
“Well, what if I put it another way. Assuming determinism is real and all the choices we make are the ones we were destined to make, there's no reason to bother thinking about it, because whether you believe it's real or not won’t change anything. You make all the same decisions because you have to… assuming it’s real, that is. So I choose to believe in my own idea of fate. As long as it doesn’t matter, I can believe in the version that makes me feel comfy.” Ocellus paused for a moment. “We’ve discussed this sort of thing in the hive. About if we could have always made the choice to give love ourselves. Thinking about it was kinda harmful for everyone.”
“Yona isn’t sure that beliefs not mattering makes it feel any better.”
Gallus grumbled, rubbing his temples. “I think the gist of what Ocellus is saying is that existentialism is a scam to make yourself feel bad. Thinking about reality won’t change reality.”
“So Yona just need to believe she has control?”
“How can you believe that and thespell?” Smolder slammed her claws onto her knees. "You can’t believe in both!”
“Spell only make friends stay together. Yona still choose everything else? Then Yona still leading own life. That what Yona choose to believe.”
“Thatta girl, Yona.” Gallus did his best to give her a pat on the back without breaking the circle. The best he could manage was a light brushing. A roll of bandages wrapped around Yona’s head, lit by the glow of Ocellus’ magic.
Everyone turned to Sandbar trembling in his small circle. His hooves clicked against the stone floor.
The knife clattered on the floor in front of him. “There ya go. Not that you’ll do it.” Smolder chuckled.
“It's not that scary. We all did it.” Gallus raised his un-bandaged leg. “I'll give myself another cut if it'll help.”
“Me too!” Silvestream cheered. “What's the harm in a third bite?”
“With the way you do it? Plenty. I'm an infiltrator not a nurse.” Ocellus said, preparing more bandages just in case.
“It's not the knife I'm scared of!" Sandbar yelled "… well, okay, I am very afraid of knives. But it's not like I never got a cut before. I just never did it to myself. I'm way more afraid of what might happen. Like this sort of thing always goes wrong, doesn't it? Some kids cast a spell for fun and the next thing you know there's five missing creature reports and one really messed up corpse.”
“It's not impossible,” Ocellus said dryly.
Smolder sighed. “That's what you’re afraid of?”
“Yes! Equestria’s full of monsters, okay? There’s loads of dangerous spells out there! We could summon a magical killer, or get Ocellus possessed... It could even be a fate binding spell ‘cause we'll all die together!”
“It could happen,” Ocellus mumbled.
“You don’t really think Twilight would keep any spells that’d kill anycreature, do you?” Silvestream asked.
“No, but what if we do it wrong? What if something is drawn wrong?” Sandbar fell to the floor, cowering behind his hooves. “We’re messing with the occult! You screw up the slightest thing and your house is full of demons.”
“Ocellus doesn’t make mistakes. She’s an A-triple-plus student,” Silverstream said, unfurling her wings towards Ocellus.
“She would know,” Ocellus chuckled. “I’ve been letting her copy my work for weeks.”
“You’ve been letting me? I thought I was so clever.”
Sandbar lifted one of his hooves. “I don’t want to sound like I don’t trust her, but even she said it's possible!”
Gallus shrugged “Sure, but it's not like it’s likely. What're the odds that a fate spell is one centimeter off from summoning an arimaspi or something?”
“I think Sandbar’s onto something. We don’t know. I bet that book doesn’t even tell you. Does it even say a single word about how it manipulates fate beyond that little poem?” Smolder said waggling a finger at Ocellus' musty old tome.
Ocellus swung the pages to a bookmarked passage. But before she could respond, Gallus put his talons down. “Of course anything can happen. It’s the same thing Silverstream’s afraid of. That's exactly why she’s trusting in this spell. On the way home today we could be attacked by who knows what. Just ‘cause we got here safe doesn’t mean we’ll leave safe.”
“Gallus right. Elder yak says Ponies die just getting out of bathtub.”
“There’s statistics for it,” said Ocellus.
“So yeah, maybe the spell goes wrong. Maybe you trip out of the bathtub tomorrow. But you can at least trust in Ocellus, right?”
“First of all, that's a gross misuse of statistics.” Sandbar stood back onto his hooves. “But I guess if you all trust in her so much, I should too. I have a feeling I’m not getting out of here until I agree anyway... but if I die, I swear I’m haunting all of you.”
“Hey, don’t haunt me! I didn’t tell you to do it!” Smolder shouted.
“All of you except Smolder.” Sandbar took a deep breath before taking the knife in his mouth. It trembled and clattered between his shaking teeth.
A faint light overtook the knife, stilling it. Ocellus grinned. “You looked like you could use some help.” With Ocellus’ aide, Sandbar gave himself a quick, shallow cut on his foreleg. A small stream of hot pink blood drained from the wound and dripped into the center as Sandbar whispered his name.
“Figures ponies have pink blood” Smolder chuckled.
Sandbar pulled his foreleg in, covering his wound.“What do you mean it figures?”
Gallus snickered, “You ponies are all friendship and rainbows. It's like you're made of sugar.”
“We’re a very sweet culture. Thank you for noticing.”
“Smolder, it's your turn.” A small grin grew on Ocellus face as she gave Smolder a knowing look. “Though I imagine you have an argument to make.”
Smolder folded her arms. “What makes you say that?”
Ocellus chuckled. “You’ve been doing it all night. You haven’t really made it a secret that you aren't a fan.” The others verbalized their agreement.
“If you really want to know. I think this is a bad idea. Just an all-around awful idea.”
“But why?” Silverstream clutched her claws together. Her voice tinged with worry. “You guys are the closest friends I’ve had in my life. Why wouldn’t you want to stick together?”
“Yeah, Smolder.” Gallus shifted onto his hind legs. “Enlighten us.”
“Because one day we’re all going to graduate, and we’re all going to do our own thing. We should accept that. We can’t force each other to be together.”
Gallus eyes narrowed. “You want to split up?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Then what are you saying?”
“I’m saying I don’t belong to you!” Smolder shouted, a small flame burning in her mouth. “I don’t want to split up either, but this is too much! This whole ‘tying fates’ thing. It's like something a possessive boyfriend would do.”
Sandbar scratched his head. “You have experience with possessive boyfriends? You want to talk about it?”
“In the dragon lands they’re pretty much all possessive. The point is that it's like you’re trying to own me. I’m not down for being part of any creature’s friendship hoard. Maybe the rest of you don’t mind being kept on an invisible leash forever, but I’m not. ”
“Then why did you let us all waste our time?” Gallus snapped.
“Because I thought if I kept going you’d snap to your senses! Gallus, I thought you out of everyone would use your brain here!”
“I guess I just thought we were more alike." She grumbled "I didn’t think you’d let something as mushy as staying together forever get to you.”
“There's not exactly anything to lose. If I look at it economically, it's only a net gain. I give up some blood and I have friends for the rest of my life!”
“We have our own futures to lose, Gallus! You don’t know how you’re going to live from no your life! What you’re going to want from ten years from now! We don’t know what we’re throwing away. You can’t look at that through ‘economics’! You think you can’t make other friends?”
Gallus went silent.
Sandbar snapped his head towards Smolder. “That wasn’t okay.” His voice stern.
“It wasn’t okay? How was I supposed to know he’d clam up!? Forgive me for thinking he’s the coolest guy I know and that creatures should be getting in line to be his friend. You don’t need to cling to us. That goes for all of you! None of you should be this desperate!”
“Yona not desperate!” She stomped. “Yona just really like friends. Don’t assume! Yona has plenty of friends and family in Yakyakistan, but Ponyville friends special. ”
“And so what if I’m desperate!” Silverstream cried. “I have the right to be desperate!”
“Listen. I’m gonna put it like this. I like you guys. I really like you guys. But tomorrow, I might not. I don’t know that. Maybe one day one of you will hurt me, hard, and from that day on I won’t stand the sight of you. Or maybe it happens to any of you.”
“But we can work past those things,” Gallus said, clutching his heart. “ That's what friendship is about isn’t it. That's what we’re all going to school for.”
“Maybe there's things you can’t work past?” Smolder said grimly.
“Listen. I’m just I think you guys should reconsider your options. I have a lot of years to work with. Even if I hate you one day, I wouldn’t mind spending my first hundred with you guys.”
“So it's a short term commitment for you, is what you’re saying.” Gallus’s tail snapped. His eyes studying Smolder.
“Don’t say it like that. It sounds like you don’t matter. I’m only saying any of this because I care about you. I have a lot of room to make mistakes you don’t. I think about that, okay?”
It fell silent. For a moment, Smolder simply stood in her spot, looking at the sky. Her chest rose with the weight of her breaths. She opened her mouth, her razor sharp teeth shining in the moonlight. Then, in one bite, her arm was dripping in blue blood. With her palm open, she hung her arm over the blood pool. Her name whispered off her tongue as blue streaks ran down her scales.
“There, I’m in it. For you guys. I’m not going to force it, but any of you can change your minds right now.” Smolder’s stare turned to Ocellus. “You don’t even have to cast the spell.” Her gaze redirected to Gallus. “We can let what happens happen.
Ocellus' wings buzzed. Her eyes were closed, breath slow and deliberate, ears shifting so slightly whenever one of her friends spoke. In spite of how things looked to the normal senses, they were all radiating so much love.
“I guess this is the part where I’m expected to make a heartfelt argument too.” Her magic wrapped a bandage around Smolder’s arm as she chuckled to herself. “Would you believe me if I just said I was selfish?”
Smolder shrugged. “Not really.”
“Good, because I was going to say that the love I get from you guys is sweeter than anything I’ve ever tasted. That's not a lie, but if I said that's why I was doing this I’d be lying out my horn.I just think all of us have the same fear. I don’t want to grow up and regret not being with you all anymore.” She raised her hoof to the jagged gap in her horn. In one rough motion, green hemolymph began dripping down her face.
“I’m sorry to disappoint, Smolder”
Silvestream clutched her heart. “I’m sorry too. I just feel like I need this.”
“Yona sorry as well, but Yona promise to never hate friends.”
“I’d like to say the same, but I don’t think you’d take promises of things we can’t guarantee. So instead, just know that I’ll always try my hardest to make the rest of our friendship the best it can be from this moment forward.”
“It’s fine. I knew none of you knuckleheads would call it off.” Smolder rested her head against her palm, taken over by the urge to laugh. “I must have seemed like a real jerk a minute ago, and now you’re all apologizing to me. You’re way too nice.”
As the last of the blood pact was offered to the circle, the moon reached the highest point in the sky. The chalk glowed with the colours of their blood, shifting between yellow, red, pink, blue, and green. And just like that, it was over.
“Is that it? No whoosh-whoosh bang-bang? No big rainbow?”
“Yona not feel any different.”
“Usually when there's a big force of magic we all float or something.”
Ocellus clapped her book closed. The sound echoed throughout the ruins. “Well, it is a spell dealing with fate, after all. It's not known for being a tangible force.” She walked free of her circle and stared at the splattering of colours on the ground. It was at moments like this she wished she had Silverstream’s eye for artistry. It was entrancing in a sweet, yet macabre kind of way, she thought.
“This was a bit more stressful night than I thought it would be, but I guess we had our very own feelings forum.”
“It was kinda nice to get everything off my chest.” Smolder let out a yawn. “But now I think it’d be nice to just get to sleep.”
The six grabbed their lanterns and bags and headed for the gate.
“You think the professors are gonna ask why we all have bandages?” Sandbar said, with the handle of his lantern between his teeth.
The six of them walked through the everfree by the light of their lanterns, and the helpful orange glow of the markers Zecora had set. Their system usually had Yona and Smolder take the lead, but tonight Smolder had pulled to the back of the pack with Ocellus. As the others chatted about the night and how to avoid getting caught sneaking back in, Smolder pulled Ocellus aside.
The two were lit only by the glow of Ocellus’ horn. Smolder planted a palm on Ocellus’ shoulder. “The spell isn't real is it?”
“You really had me going there for a while. I was pretty scared, but Its not exactly a magical workout to make a bunch of pretty lights. And it's not hard to write down a fake spell in an old book, either.”
“Wouldn’t my horn have been glowing if I was making the lights?”
“Your horn glowed the whole time, dork. Was there any point where you weren’t floating your book or the bandages around? You’re a clever liar.”
“Is that what you think?” Ocellus smiled.
“I think that you're really nice. Nice enough to tell a lie for a friend.” Smolder stroked Ocellus's head. “You're Sweet”
“Thanks. But you never know. I might be nice enough to bend reality for a friend too. I could break a lot more than fate if a friend needed it. Don’t think I couldn’t just cause I’m cute.”
The sound of beating wings drew close. Smolder took a few steps as her own wings unfolded. “I bet you can. Seeya, world breaker.” Smolder gave Ocellus a quick wave before shooting into the air.
Gallus landed in front of her, his talon stroking his bandaged leg. “Ocellus.”