• Published 28th Aug 2015
  • 2,936 Views, 74 Comments

Bewitching Circumstances - bluemoon1996

Two teenagers anger a witch on halloween, and she is quick to punish them as she sees fit.

  • ...

Don't make Enemies with a Witch

Jemaul was both furious at his sister, and rather proud of her. For an eight year old, she was remarkably good at keeping secrets, and she was quick on the draw for making up tales. Both were traits she picked up from him, which left him with mixed feelings, but it also meant he could count on her not to spill the beans until he decided to. It only cost him most of his allowance for the next month and a half. And a picture. And the promise of a 'pony ride'.

He settled for furious. But she did help. Mostly. Apparently he was something from a cartoon she liked? It didn't make sense the way she explained it, but between setting up the age old padded covers trick and figuring out how to walk properly, they didn't have much time. The only bright side was that it was late enough that pretty much everyone was holed away in their houses for the night. His new night vision was also a plus.

His inner monologue kept skipping tracks between blathering fear and paranoia, impotent rage, frustration at Timbit, and concern about how the hell they were supposed to get out of the situation. First things first—find Matt. Skulking through the night he managed to get into Matt's backyard and dug out the hidden backdoor key. Hooves made actually getting the door open almost impossible, and when it finally did open he took a tumble into the room.

"Matt? You around?" Jemaul called out, pushing the door shut behind him and picking his way through the house. He followed his ears to the living room, but it was empty, with only the television on, displaying a game on the pause menu.

On the sofa, curled up in a ball was Matt's family cat, Trouble. The black cat looked at the new creature, curiosity in his big yellow eyes, before just apathetically putting his head back down.

Jemaul looked at the cat with uncertainty, unsure whether to take his disinterest as a good thing or not. He sighed, entire body language dejected, wondering if Matt had freaked out and run off. He might have himself if Lori hadn't showed up., His ears were twitching of their own violation, tracking sounds, and one in particular caught his attention. It was soft, but regular. With no other leads, he followed it to the bathroom, nosing the door open. "Matt..?"

The sound was exceptionally quiet, but Jemaul's new ears were able to pick it up as clear as day. It was crying and it was coming from the bathtub. At the foot of the tub was a pair of black basketball shorts, while the blue privacy curtain had been ripped from its hooks and now decorated the inside the tub like a tarp.

"Go away," a voice called out quietly, sounding rather pathetic; it seemed to have some sort of strange scratchy, hissy quality to it.

Jemaul thought about it for a moment. "No."

"I might be contagious," the voice said, letting out a defeated sigh. "I guess I deserved this..."

"Damn right you did. Let you talk me into pissing off a witch," Jemaul hissed. "Now get your fuzzy flank out of there before I decide to never leave my room again!

"I'm not fuzzy, Jamie. I look like a xenomorph screwed a horse," Matt called out from the tub, his voice panicked, "... And I'm stuck... Help?"

"And I look like dracula's little demon horse," Jemaul grumbled. "Why do I have to do everything."

There was a lumpy mass in the tub, Matt somehow having gotten tangled in the curtain like a shower burrito. "If I still had hands this wouldn't be an issue," Jemaul said. With his teeth, he gripped a random fold that looked loose and started tugging as best he could with hooves that proved tractionless on laminate floors.

"What the hay did you do?" Jemaul cursed half legibly as he struggled.

"I freaked the heck out when I woke up and saw I was a damn roach horse," the impromptu mummy said flatly.

Jemaul tried a new tactic. He propped himself up on his forelegs, wedging his hind legs against the tub, and took an involentary bite out of the curtain as he fell backwards . He landed a bit painfully on his tail and wings, but he took maybe a third of the curtain with him on the way down, and it wasn't as painful as when they first turned up. "Ow… that was stupid..."

After a bit of struggling, Matt managed to get himself free from the plastic cocoon and flopped halfway over the bathtub wall. His new body was the same in shape as Jemaul’s, but that was where the similarities ended.

His entire body was covered in plates of black glossy chitin, giving him an insectoid appearance, with the sides of his back covered by some dark green shell adorned with flimsy wings. Both of his eyes were completely green, and a fang poked out from under his upper lip, which was now dark, leathery skin. All the hair on his head was completely missing, replaced by some form of crest, while a black horn jutted from the top of his forehead. And most strange yet pointless of all were the several holes that dotted his limbs. Matt took one look at Jemaul and with a shove of his hind legs, fell head over heels, landing on his back and out of the tub. With a noise that sounded more like a headcrab's cry, he rolled over onto his belly. "...You weren't kidding."

"You aren't exactly the prettiest flower in the garden, either," Jemaul muttered, thinking unkind thoughts about wings and tails.

Matt's ears flattened against his head at that comment. "at least you don't look like a tyranid ate a horse," he snapped back, "I'm just waiting to realize that I got one of those mouth tongues." With that, he gave a small shudder of disgust as he looked down at his hole filled hooves.

"You look like a giant beetle lizard. You need more serrated edges, exposed ribs, layered exoskeletons, far more savage, possibly prehistoric dentition and spikes to qualify as tyranid, zerg or any other of that archetype." Jemaul smirked at him. "Besides, look at those delicate little diaphanous wings. My wings are more zerg and tyranid like than…

Jemaul rubbed his forehead with a hoof. "Tartarus spawn, I'm comparing wings…"

"I don't even know what ninety five percent of that even meant," Matt said flatly, "all I know is this hurt like son of a bitch... and I can barely feel anything." He kept looking at his forelegs, "and what the Tartarus is with th-" His eyes widened, "Tartarus!? What the buck is that supposed to mea- Buck! Why can't I say Buck! Bucking damn it!"

"Tartarus is basically gree-"

"I know what Tartarus is," Matt snapped before Jemaul could finish his sentence, "but why the buck can't I say buck or Tartarus! Gah damn it!" He slammed his forehooves on the ground in frustration.

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say it has something to do with our missing fingers," Jemaul deadpanned. "My sister says I look like a pony from a show she likes."

"A pony? Then what the Tartarus am I supposed to be!?"

"If I've got fangs, batwings, demon eyes and purple fur and still a pony, you're a pony," Jemaul said, rolling his eyes.

"I'm a giant bucking roach, I am no- you know what nevermind," Matt shook his head as he shakily got to his hooves. He wobbled for a few seconds before falling back on his flank.

"Roaches have six legs, bristles on their limbs, antennae nearly the length of their body, wings kept under shell, always forget what the proper name is, and commonly come in orange," Jemaul said. He poked Matt on the shoulder. "You've got none of those. Aside from the seriously weird holes and that horn, you look about as pony-like as I do."

"That's exactly why I said nevermind," he sighed as he tried getting to his hooves again only to fall over again, "to avoid a biology rant from you."

"Can you walk?" Jemaul asked him.

"I've spent the last few hours wrapped up in the shower curtain," he replied dryly, his voice dripping with sarcasm, "I've had plenty of damn time to learn how to walk."

"Considering your wings and mine, and the different tails," Jemaul continued, ignoring the sarcasm with the ease of one who developed an immunity from personal use, "you're going to have to figure out your centre of balance on your own."

"I'll get it in a bit," he replied, getting to his feet and surprisingly didn't fall down as he took a step and fell flat on his face, "...damn it."

It took several more tries and a lot of falling but after about ten minutes, he was walking. Even his gait were more akin to Frankenstein's Monster.

Jemaul took on the role of 'coach', providing motivational 'encouragement' from the sidelines. "You couldn't walk out of a paper bag like that. No wonder a curtain bested you."

"Well, excuse me for not being a quadruped 24 hours ago," he quipped as he slowly made laps around the living room. "I don't have a little sister who just so happens to watch a cartoon that just happens to be what we changed into."

"A witch apparently turned us into cartoon characters. I'm purple." Jemaul huffed and sat on his haunches. "I'm not questioning anything anymore."

"Purple is the color of royalty if that's a plus," Matt said as he kept going, "but at least you're something that makes sense. You're kinda like those horses from Harry Potter that pulled the carriages. I'm a weird bug horse hybrid thing."

"Thestrals are hairless skeletal reptilian creatures… do I look like I don't have fur?" Jemaul hissed, bristling slightly. "You look more like a thestral than I do."

"Whatever," Matt just sighed as he plopped down on his haunches in front of Jemual. "We both know where we need to go," he said, a serious look on his buggy face, "we gotta go and make her turn us back!"

"No!" Jemaul snapped, his wings flaring, fangs bared and a hoof stomping the ground. He closed his eyes and exhaled, calming himself. "No, we are going to ask her. Politely. Civilily. Nicely. After apologizing for breaking in."

Matt let out some manner of scared bug noise and fell back at Jemaul's outburst. "I know that," he said, getting back up, "my option is last resort dude."

"Sorry for yelling," Jemaul said after a long pause. "But… she just saw us, and look what happened. Whatever she did is even messing with our heads. What do you think she would do, could do, if we started yelling in her face?"

Matt was silent but nodded, way too many ideas ran through his head ranging from just flat out death to mind control and far worse.

Jemaul wilted, huddling into a slightly trembling mass, legs, wings and tail pressed tight to his body. "I don't wanna be a pony… I wanna be me..."

Without a word, Matt went over to his friend and put a hoof on his shoulder, "I do too Jamie...," he sighed. As Matt stood by his friend, he noticed something he hadn't before. He could almost feel Jemaul's panic, as if it was an actual object. It felt like butterflies had practically filled his stomach.

Jemaul closed his eyes again and focused on calming his breathing. It wasn't that he was prone to anxiety attacks, but that he was prone to his emotions cascading. It worked both ways. He might spiral into pointless worries, or get over excited about mundane things. He generally tried to keep to a more level outlook. He took the panic and put it back in the box Lori inadvertently helped make. "Sorry. Sorry. I'm fine."

"Today's just been... Interesting," he said simply, "come on, we know where we need to go."

"Yeah. Let's go to the witch's house in the wee hours of the morning," Jemaul mumbled. "Brilliant..." It wasn't as if they had any other choice. But it didn't make it any less stupid. He looked at Matt and paused, his ear twitching and tail flicking. "Um… I just realized something."


"I've been naked this entire time… and I never noticed, and it didn't bother me," Jemaul said slowly. The closest thing to clothes he had was the gym band his phone was in. "Still doesn't."

"Great," Matt groaned, facehooving and wincing slightly as he remembered hooves were hard, "now I can't not notice that..."

Jemaul shrugged, then shuddered. "Okay, this is one freakishly powerful witch..."

Matt simply nodded before sighing, "I shoulda listened to Daud."

"Um… Daud?"

"Never make enemies with a witch," he said flatly. His eyes widened slightly before he looking down between his front legs and let out a relieved sigh before looking back up, "thank Faust."

Jemaul raised an eyebrow, but the answer presented itself and he let out a bark of laughter. "Okay, that would have been evil. Hilarious, but evil."

"I just had to make sure," he muttered quietly, clearly embarrassed, "but we seriously need to get to her house."

"And we'll politely go to her front gate and maybe front door," Jemaul said. He hesitated. "Maybe we should bring something to eat?"

"Our fridge is basically empty," Matt simply said, "and what exactly would we ever bring her?"

"Something for me to eat," Jemaul sighed. He supposed he could suffer to go a few hours without a snack. "But whatever. We should avoid the main road. Maybe cut through the park... "

Matt nodded in agreement, "thank Faust, it is dark outside."


Getting out of the populated part of the community was both the hardest part, but surprisingly easy. They tried to avoid street lights for the obvious reasons, which was easier since Matt's night vision was, through not as keen as Jemaul's in their new forms, still better than a human's. Their smaller size helped them sneak around as well. The only issue was hooves making noise on the concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads, but they couldn't do anything about that.

The feeling of unease and dread started building up again as they turned unto Jane Lane. Shadows seemed to stretch unnaturally. Overgrown bushes shifted and waved, with or without a breeze is seemed. The ambient sounds were soft, but something felt off about the rustling of the leaves and the random creaks and insect sounds. A shudder rippled down Jemaul's spine, his wings trembling slightly in the seemingly cooler air. "This place is so much worse at night."

"Now more so than ever," Matt said, nodding in agreement; his own night vision wasn't as good as what Jemaul's had become but he could still see fairly well.

"Come on," Jemaul murmured, casting nervous glances around, as if expecting something to jump out from every shadow.

Matt took a deep breath before continuing onward; his mind started playing tricks with the shadows. He could almost swear that he saw some of them moving of their own accord. "Probably just my nerves getting to me," he muttered to himself.

"Or her getting to your nerves," Jemaul added, over hearing the comment. Overgrown and ill-kept or not, the road shouldn't look as spooky as it did. "You know, if this was a horror movie, I would be facepalming and muttering that the characters had no common sense."

"But here we are, coming up to a witches home as Dracula's pet daemon horse and a xenohorse," Matt said quietly. "And you're the black guy so you'd be extra bucked,"he added a few seconds later with a small nervous chuckle.

"It's why I'm the voice of reason. The Samuel L. Jackson of our cast of hapless heroes," Jemaul responded. Talking was helping. It helped draw attention from the surroundings, it distracted them, making progress easier. "Besides, I'm purple now. You're the black guy at the moment."

Matt's eyes widened at that, "well... Buck." He couldn't help but chuckle nervously again, "I'm boned if she decides to do anything else to us."

Something screeched in the trees, a shrill cry cutting abruptly through the air. Spooked, Jemaul's wings flared and he hopped closer to Matt; who nearly jumped out of his skin at the sudden noise.

"Let's hurry... Now," the bug pony said, now clearly panicked as he started to move once again, his pain quicker now.

"Quick march?" Jemaul chuckled nervously. "Because I could totally get behind a quick march right about now. Totally not running scared. Just… an expeditious charge. Quick march."

Matthew simply nodded in agreement as they kept moving forward. His eyes darting about even more now than ever before. Almost every shadow seemed to take on a sinister role and every hoof-fall seemed as loud as a cannon. Their speed steadily increased, their quickly march just shy of actually running. The wrought iron gates of the Granny Rag's estate where an almost welcome sight.

The unfamiliarity with the bodies kicked in again. Particularly when Jemaul found his attempts to stop running morphing into a scarcely controlled stagger. Unconsciously, he flared his wings, which only made it worse as the wind they caught lifted his forelegs off the ground and he found himself briefly airborne before crashing to the ground in a tumble.

Matt simply collapsed on the ground in front of the the gate panting heavily, "that... Creepy.. Not going back... Till sun up...."

Jemaul spat out a mouthful of dirt and grass. "Just… open the gates or something."

Without responding, Matt got back to his hooves and went over to the gate and before he even touched it, the gate opened on its own with a squeak. "Well," he said after a few seconds, "that was creepy."

"And expected, to be honest. I would have been disappointed if it didn't," Jemaul groaned, getting back to his feet. "Still, even if it met expectations, that's like saying a shark ate the penguin. Still freaky."

"What's next? Spooky scary skeletons?" Matt laughed dryly as he started down the path to the porch. His eyes not leaving a single turned on light on the second floor. "She knows we're coming," he said to himself.

"Don't get carried away, Scooby. I don't have any scooby snacks." Jemaul hesitated, but propped himself up and hit the knocker a few times.

"Well, we aren't Scooby Doo monster either."Matt said, plopping down on his haunches.

"The monstered were really a few times," Jemaul pointed out, his ears perked and head tilted slightly to the side as he listened for any movement inside, but not hearing anything.

"So... Is she coming?"

"I don't hear anything..." Jemaul said slowly. He knocked again, a bit harder.

Matt just let out an annoyed groan and laid down on his belly, "great, now we play the waiting game...yippie."


Five hours. That's how long they waited. No matter how hard they knocked, how much they called, and despite Matt's horrible singing that stretched for about twenty minutes, there was no reaction from in the house. Jemaul refused to even entertain the idea of breaking in again, and if the idea of throwing a rock or pebble passed through the thoughts of either one, neither voiced it. Jemaul dozed off around sunrise, curled up on one of the chairs on her porch, sucking on his tail. Matt had passed out long before Jemaul had. He was asleep on deck itself, his tongue hanging from his mouth and a small pool of drool on wood.

A sharp crack woke them both, jolting them from whatever dreams they were having and back into the land of wakefulness. "You two turned out better than I expected."

"Huh? Wha?" Matt groaned as he yawned, opening his eyes to his forelegs. He frowned, "damn it, that wasn't a dream." He then looked up and saw Granny Rags looking at him and he let out a scared bug noise.

She took another picture of Matt, quickly catching Jemaul as he too yawned before freezing up at the sight of her. "But that's enough of that. Come in and have some breakfast." She turned and trotted back into her house, leaving the door open behind her.

Matt just looked over at Jemaul in surprise, "I think we should follow her," he said slowly, unsure of what to make of the situation

"That… actually scares me almost as much as what would happen if we don't follow," Jemaul said, hopping off the chair and hurrying after her with Matt quickly on his hooves.

The fact that they knew the way to the kitchen was a bit guilt inducing, but sure enough, there were three places set with plates, bowls and utensils around the breakfast table, one chair and two stools. The center of the table set with all the fixings of a diverse, those relatively normal ,'serve yourself' meal. Cereals, milk, oranges, avocado, blue and black berries, sausages, tomatoes, salsa, scrambled eggs, waffles, flat bread, hummus and carrots. There were a lot of choices, but not an excessive amount of anything.

She took the chair, leaving the two stools for them. Nervously, Jemaul climbed up on one.

"Eat, eat," she encouraged, spooning food on her own plate as if nothing were out of place. "Most everything here is homemade."

"Pardon my bluntness ma'am," Matt said quietly, "but how? We can't exactly lift up spoons here."

"Less thinking and more doing," she chided. "You won't understand to think is to do, so you must do rather than think. Work with limitations to work around them. Think of the goal and desire."

"Umm...okay," Matt said slowly exceptionally confused before he hopped up on the stool. "Any idea Jamie?"

Jemaul scratched his head with a wing. This old lady made no sense. He entertained the idea that she was going senile. He shrugged in Matt's direction. "I'm hungry, so I'm going to get food." Using both legs, he picked up the bowl of berries and awkwardly tipped some into his own bowl.

Mimicking Jemaul, Matt, went for the closest food to him and dragged the plate of sausages over to himself. Using a fork and one of the holes in his forelegs, he managed to drag one or two over to his own plate before leaning down and sniffing them. They seemed to be ordinary breakfast sausages but Matt couldn't quite put his finger on it as to why they seemed off to him. He leaned down and took a bite of one before slowly chewing and swallowing, "nothing. I've tasted bread with more flavor than this sausage." He looked more confused that freaked out by this statement; his own panic levels being sapped away several hours ago.

"Really?" Jemaul been fumbling with getting a bit of everything, sans the hummus and salsa, figuring out how to balance a utensil between his hoof and pastern. He sniffed at the sausage before nippling it. He reared back in surprise. "Wow… that's pretty good."

"It's the apples, garlic and oregano," Granny Rags commented simply. "Your shape must just not be able to taste it. Unusual. It shouldn't have done that much."

"What do you mean that much?" Matt asked, confusion clearly evident in his voice, "whatever you did to us?"

Granny Rags ate a piece of orange before responding. "Come now, that's not the kind of talk to have over a nice breakfast. And you need a better poker face," she added, pointing at Jemaul. "If your friend it going to insist on bring up serious things, you might as well both speak up."

Jemaul shrunk a little more on his seat. "It's just that… you scare the horseapples out of me and confuse the Tartarus out of me to."

She frowned, giving him another look that had him pale. "The table is definitely not the place for that kind of language. Few places are."

"Sorry," Jemaul squeaked.

Matt couldn't help but snicker slightly but stopped as soon he got a glare from Granny, he let out some manner of chirping sound as he his ears folded back against his head; "Sorry ma'am," he said quietly.

"Better. Now, are we going to enjoy a lovely breakfast, or talk about serious things?" she asked, still with her level authoritative tone.

"I'm not really hungry," Matt flinched under her gaze, "Jamie?"

Jemaul looked down at his plate and couldn't help the rumble that his stomach made. It had been nearly half a day since he last ate. Longer actually, since he had been too spooked after the pinching to eat when he got home. He looked up at her and shuffled his hooves slightly, speaking up softly, "both?"

Matt just facehooved at that.

She sighed. "Fine. I suppose we should start with introductions. Name and just a little something about yourself."

"Well, I'm... Matt," he said slowly, unsure of what to say, "and... And...." He couldn't look at her as he tried to think of what to say.

"My name is Jemaul, but my friends and family call my Jamie half the time," the guy in question said after swallowing a mouthful of waffles. He added in a mutter, "I've got a little sister that enjoyed this way too much."

"I am Delilah Daphnes, a rather skilled practitioner, I can say without bragging," her countenance darkened as her smile dropped. "And you two brats stole something very important from me."

Matt let out a small squeak of fear and shrinked in his chair, "we know," he practically whispered.

"You do? Excellent," she smiled as she sipped her cup of tea. Jemaul stared at it. He was almost certain there hadn't been any tea on the table. "So, what will you be doing about it?"

"What can we go about it?" Jemaul muttered into his food a bitterly. "I mean, after what you put us through..."

"A simple lesson your parents should have taught you," Miss Daphnes snorted.

"Simple?!" Matt slammed his forehooves on the table, causing a few dishes next to him to shake, "a species swap is not akin to a spanking!" After a few seconds of awkward silence, Matt's eyes widened and he decided that staring at the partly eaten sausage would probably be the best course of action.

"Perhaps you rather felony charges for breaking and entering, burglary and grand theft?" Miss Daphnes didn't seem provoked by Matt's reaction. "While I find the sentimental value of that item the important, its material value is still high enough."

"So torture and forcing us to wait outside half the night is your better option?" Jemaul spoke up.

"Yeah!" Matt looked up, suddenly feeling courageous again, "I got to feel my legs snap and reform! That should have killed me!!!"

"What?" She asked curiously. "It was a simple transformation spell. You stole an amulet my granddaughter and I were working on, so it seemed amusing to turn you both into something from her favourite cartoon. Quick and simple and gives you motivation to come here. Better than a newt or a toad."

"Quick and simple?" Jemaul echoed in disbelief. "I blacked out when these wings grew in!"

Matt nodded in agreement, "Miss Daphnes, I don't know what your definition of quick and simple is but this was neither of those things!" He frowned, brow furrowed as he stared at her, his wings buzzing slightly behind him.

"Impossible. That is from a completely different spell," Miss Daphnes said dismissively. "You'd have to have been on wavering borders..."

"Wavering borders? What the heck are you talking about?"

"I cast a transformation spell that would warp your physical form into something else. Relatively painless and quick," she huffed. "The only way that could have changed was if there were enough connections between the targets and the concept. Even if the veil is a bit thin this time of year."

"If you mean the show with the ponies, my sister likes it," Jemaul offered.

"I didn't know it existed till... This," Matt said a few seconds later, gesturing down at himself:

"I only found out this morning," Jemaul grumbled.

"So you say it was painful and lengthy?" Miss Daphnes asked.

Matt simply nodded.

"The spell must have changed somehow. I'm not sure how, maybe the amulet itself." She looked thoughtful. "You should still consider yourself fortunate."

"Fortunate? You just admitted you don't know what the bu- what happened to us!" Jemaul said, his eye twitching, narrowly avoiding swearing again. "What part of that is fortunate?"

"The part where you are still alive and sane. Do you know how fortunate you are that you stole what you did? Quite a few of the trinkets I keep can cause a good deal of harm if they were improperly handled. Had it not been for the shift in the season, the wards on my home might have lashed out at your mind for breaking my threshold." The kindly old lady aura was replaced with something sharp and cutting. The air in the room seemed to become charged, prickling at Jemaul's fur and Matt's wings as some force seemed to weigh down on them. The light from the windows seemed to distort, casting false shadows as the temperature in the room fluctuated.

"Even the spell itself, had I controlled my anger, could have broken you rather than merely leave you in a new form. You broke into my house under some childish motivations with less than moral intentions. You stole something precious to me and my granddaughter for no other reason good reason. The only reason you still sit there eating my food is because for all I am, I am still fond of the mortal world." As quickly as it came, it was gone, and the atmosphere snapped back to normal.

Jemaul valiantly managed to avoid peeing himself, quivering on the stool, wide eyes locked on her. Power. That was power. It was one thing to know it, but to see it demonstrated live in front of them? Neither of them would soon forget they were sitting in what might be the heart of the witch's power.

Miss Daphnes ran her finger over the rim of her cup and steam started wafting from it once more. After taking another sip, her tension melted away, and the kindly elderly lady was back.

Matt, however, was not as prepared as his friend was. Eyes wide, and shaking like a leaf, he stared at Miss Daphnes in utter terror. Suddenly, Matt erupted in green flame and once it disappeared. A small dark green pony with a shaggy brown mane sat in his place, looking on the verge of bawling as he barely looked over the table. "B-but can you fix this," he said, his voice now high and squeaky like a child.

Jemaul stared at Matt in horror, his jaw hanging to the table. He pointed a shaky hoof at the colt. Miss Daphnes snorted. "No, I didn't do that. He did it himself. It seems the spell really did change. You shouldn't have actually had the magic of the ponies."

"I… what?" Jemaul stammered, unable to look away from Matt for long.

"A changeling and a bat pony. From season two. And yes, I should be able to fix this," Miss Daphnes said contemptuously. "But you'll need to return what you stole first."

"No! Fix us now!" The little colt shrieked, slamming his forehooves on the table. "We can't get it back like this! Justin won't give it back!"

His little tantrum upset a few of the items on the table, a box of cereal tipping over, some of it's contents scattering. She frowned at his little display, waving a hand at the spilt serious almost as an afterthought. Flakes skittered back into the box that proceeded to right itself as she spoke. "While I won't pretend to have made my own follies in this, it starts with the choices you two made, entangling yourself in the magic on Samhain of all days! Magic is of power, of will and of emotion. The amulet you stole is tied into the spell, partially by my own feelings and attachments, largely by your own guilt!"

Jemaul whimpered again as her bearing started slipping from 'Grandmother' into 'Witch' once more. He actually knew what Samhain was. More than once or twice in the past he, from an interest spurred by some novel he was reading, read up on ancient traditions and practices. Once even as his chosen topic for an assignment. "But… I… we... " he swallowed. "What if we can't get it back?"

"Then your outlook is less cheering," She said simply.

"B-b-but I don't wanna be a bug...." Matt muttered quietly, sniffling as he looked down at the floor.

"Then you should try your best to get it back," Miss Daphnes said in a much more compassionate tone. "I do apologize for taking the curse too far, but I was not lying when I said some of what I have could have killed you both."

"Killed?" Jemaul's eyes widened again.

Matt's eyes widened for a second before he shook his head. "Umm... One question though," he asked, his eyes still red with tears, "how do I turn back to normal?"

"I don't know," she said simply. A raised hand forestalled any questions. "I am not attempting to be difficult. What you did was simply a trait of who and what you became now. I will have to check a few things to be sure, but if the spell shifted in the manner I believe it did, you should know how to undo it if you merely sit and reflect on it some."

"Oh...okay," Matt said quietly to himself before going silent as he was lost in thought. After nearly ten minutes or so and passing gas once, green fire once again erupted around Matt and he was back to his normal buggy self. "Yes! A resounding success!" He cheered to himself.

In the time Matt spent on introspection, Jemaul and Miss Daphnes had a somewhat productive conversation. Mostly after she insisted he finished eating while she tossed a few questions at him and examined his magic aura. They learned quite a lot during the wait. Such as the fact that Jemaul actual knew how to fly.

"Finally figured it out?" Jemaul asked. They were in the room on their own, Miss Daphnes have left for something.

"Yeah," Matt nodded, "I just had to clear my head and think of my 'normal'," he did air quotes with his hooves, "form and boom, I'm bug again."

"And it took you ten minutes to clear your head," Jemaul snickered. "I know you don't think that much."

"Oh ha ha," Matt laughed sarcastically, "you try to figure out something you don't know how to do yet did anyway."

"I can fly," Jemaul said with a solemn nod.

"What," Matt blinked in surprise.

"I realized I knew how to fly," Jemaul explained. He flapped a few times, lifting himself off the chair before landing awkwardly. "Would have been more useful earlier, but still."

Matt looked back at his insectoid wings before looking back at Jemaul, "I'd much rather stay in the ground thank you. So what else did she tell you?"

"We have less than a day," Jemaul said hesitantly, his ears lowered.

Matt's eyes widened at that. "Well, let's get going then! I'm not staying a damn roach my whole life," he said, stomping his forehooves in determination.

"Says the magic shapeshifter," Jemaul said with a roll of his eyes. He looked around for Miss Daphnes, who had left after her initial pokes and prods to do other things. His twitching ears faintly detected her muffled footsteps from the second floor, though it sounded further than it should have have to him. "And how? It's bright daylight outside. We don't exactly blend in.

"Last thing she told me was that the time of the year messed up her spell, so instead of making us look like ponies, it actually made us ponies." Jemaul pawed anxiously at his seat. "The spell is pretty much permanent, but she can reverse it if the trigger for the original spell, the amulet, is returned, but only while it's still Samhain, but before sunrise tomorrow."

"So we're stuck in the house of a old lady who scares the living daylights outta both of us," Matt said flatly, "great... Just bucking amazing."

"At least she's willing to help us," Jemaul sighed, resting his head on the table. "Mostly. It could have been worse."

Matt nodded in agreement before sighing sadly, "it's been one tartarus of a day hasn't it Jamie? Brutal transformations, sneaking around, and getting scared shitless by a little old lady." He laughed dryly.

"And now we have to somehow get back a valuable trinket from a rich jerk, who lives in a penthouse on the other side of town, all before sunrise tomorrow." Jemaul snorted let his head roll to one side. "When did we sign up for the Urban Fantasy Adventure expansion to life, and can I opt out of this campaign? I think I'm too low leveled."

Matt just laughed dryly, "yeah, when the buck did we end up in an episode of Grimm."

"When it turned out the rumours about a witch were real, most likely," Jemaul sighed. "You gonna eat anything?"

Matt shook his head, "not really that hungry. And it doesn't help that all this tastes like cardboard."

"Maybe it's because of what you turned into?" Jemaul proposed. "Because it tasted pretty good to me."

"Yeah, that's probably why," Matt frowned, "all the more reason to get that damn necklace back. I wanna be able to eat food again and like it!"

"The point is, we still can't go out in the open like this. Nothing looks like us," Jemaul commented. He chewed his lip thoughtfully. "For the most part. Maybe we could pretend to be pets in costu…. no, that's dumb. Only a kid would fall for that."

"Let's just wait till it's getting dark outside and use the alleys and whatnot to get to his building then just go up the fire escape to the top," Matt said matter of factly. "And knowing him, he's probably away at some 'party' getting piss drunk with his chums."

Jemual got up roughly, upsetting the stool as he started pacing. "I would thank God that it was halloween so we have a better chance of sneaking around looking like this," Jemaul waved a hoof at himself vaguely, "but then, none of this would have happened if it wasn't halloween."

He glared at Matt, a faint hiss of irritation and frustration escaping him. "Of if I hadn't let you convince me to do this in the first place!"

"There's no point in bitching about what has happened Jamie! We got bigger fish to fry at the moment!" He got to his hooves and trotted over to the window to look out of it, "like the fact we could end up like this forever if we buck this up!"

"I know, I know, I know! You think I don't know? But, Tartarus Gates… We can't do anything but wait it out!" Jemaul kicked a stool with his hind leg, knocking it part way across the room as his wings twitched. "If we get spotted, someone's gonna call Animal Control. Animal Control. Because that's what we look like. Some beasts that will, I dunno, kill kids and drag them off to the underworld."

"For you at least, they'd think I'm some damn mutant roach or an alien of some kind and send me off to the MIB," Matt just plopped down on his haunches and visibly slumped. "This is just insane, utterly mental!"

Jemaul took several shuddering breaths, each one coming slower than the one before, as he calmed himself down. "Sorry… yelling at you isn't going to solve anything. We just have to… to wait till it gets dark. Then we can go out and, and try to find it."

Matt nodded in agreement, "yeah, well, at least she has a TV so we're not just sitting here twiddling our non existent thumbs." With that, Matt got to his feet and started making his way to the living room.

"Actually, I do have thumbs," Jemaul said, wiggling the thumbs of his wings at Matt. "I'm going outside. I plan to get used to these."

"Whatever," Matt said as he trotted into the living room, "I'm gonna see if she has Netflix."

"Let me know if she has anything good," Jemaul called after him.

"I will; Who knows she may have the show on too," Matt laughed to himself.

"Yeah," Jemaul said thoughtfully. "Definitely call me if she does. It would be good to know what we're supposed to be able to do. Lori wasn't all that helpful."

"Will do Jamie."


Though she keep her motives to herself, Miss Daphnes allowed the pair to remain on her property for the day. She didn't spare much time for them. Aside from not stopping Jemaul from shadowing her as she touched up her wards and giving Matt access to her neflix account. After that, she plucked tail hair from both of them and retreated to her room to do her own thing with them. She did let them know which episodes their kind appeared in. They made sure to watch them.

Jemaul wiped out a few times as he worked out a familiarity with flight. The curse gave him an advantage, and he was more than willing to try and exploit it. It wasn't exactly the easiest thing, but he kept at it. Matt, more or less ignored everything and holed up in the house watching netflix.

"So I'm basically a Zerg minus the big pointy bits...." Matt said to himself as he started walking to the door out into the backyard where Jamie was. He had just finished watching the episode where changelings, as now knew, first appeared and it was definitely something.

Jemaul was carefully brushing bits of shrubbery and dirt from his mane. While he 'knew' how to fly, that was mostly instinct. Actually flying under his own directive has been a learning curve. He thought he was doing rather well for himself, but landing was a tricky, as was maintaining his flight. It didn't help that his awesome night vision came with sun sensitivity. He nodded at Matt when he emerged. "Almost time?"

"Yeah it is,"He said, the sky already darkening, "and on a side note, I'm a bad guy and you're the guards of royalty."

"So says all of, what, thirteen seconds of screen time?" Jemaul muttered. "I can fly and pull a flying batmobile. Maybe call up storm clouds? That might have been Luna. Been trying, not cigar."

"At least we know why food has no taste for me now," Matt frowned.

"Yeah… um... just what have you been eating?" Jemaul asked hesitantly.

"I don't know," he said confused, "I guess I just haven't been hungry yet or I have some ambient absorption."

Jemaul shook his head, shuddering slightly. "That is all sorts of creepy. Think you could pull off what the queen did?"

Matt was silent for nearly a minute as he thought, "I doubt it; I seem to be one of the drones not a queen so no special mind control powers for me."

"You are still a guy, so there's that," Jemaul said, giving his mane a vigorous tussling to get the last bits out. "Still think you should have figured out flying. Can you do the wall walking?"

"I assume so, I was gunna try inside but she somehow knew," he said, a scared tone in his voice, "I'll admit she's nice but she scares me."

"The fact that she switches between nice and nasty so fast is what scares me," Jemaul admitted.

"Come on, let's just go and get it back now," Matt looked over his shoulder at the house and nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Delilah standing at a window looking out at them. "Like right flippin' now!"

Author's Note:

Edited by Blazing Sword and Gambit Pawn