Sarah smiled viciously down at her handy work while everyone else in the room gasped in surprise. Sarah's father had become a petite read-headed teenage girl, and the injuries he'd received at Mary's hands carried over to his new form. Jill quickly checked to make sure she was still okay, as the injuries looked a lot more severe on her smaller frame. Shaking her head she looked over at Sarah. "He's still not in any danger, I think, but you could have killed him doing that with his injuries!" Jill said angrily.
"I wasn't about to heal him and then inflict the injuries all over again after I girlified him!" Sarah replied. "And he needs to know what it's like! Not just being in a body of the wrong gender, but of being beaten to a pulp and being helpless, too!"
"Well, I guess I can't call the police, now!" Mike said, looking at Sarah's father.
"We wouldn't have let you anyway." Erica said, pointing at Sarah. "If Mary's magic is becoming active, then we don't want to attract attention to her."
"She's got a point, it's hard to believe Mary could have done all this without magic." Jill said. "Bringing the police into it would be dangerous for all of us."
"So what do we do?" Mike asked.
"How's your mom?" Tiffany asked.
"She's sleeping, but he beat her up pretty bad." Sarah replied, glaring at her father again. She suddenly turned around and walked back to her mother's room. Erica and Tiffany hurried after her. She stepped up to her mother's bed and placed one hand on Mary's forehead. She closed her eyes and stood there like that without moving for some time.
"Wh" Tiffany started to say, but Erica put her finger up to her lips to stop her.
"She's doing something!" Erica whispered excitedly. Tiffany looked back at Sarah and saw that her hand, the one on her mother's forehead, was glowing slightly. The glow expanded to Mary for a moment, and then faded out. "You did it!" Erica exclaimed excitedly.
"Did what?" Tiffany said.
"She managed to copy the affects of the healing water and use that on her mother! Her injuries are all healed." Erica explained.
Moving closer, Tiffany could see it was true. Other than the dried blood, there was no sign she'd been injured at all. "Wow, that's great!" Tiffany exclaimed.
"We should let her sleep." Sarah said. The others nodded and they returned to the living room. Mike had gotten the couch upright again, and was in the process of putting Sarah's father on it.
"What happened?" Jill asked when she saw Sarah walking in.
"She healed her!" Erica replied proudly.
Jill's eyes widened at that, "You can heal now? That's great!"
Sarah smiled, "And that's not all! When I healed her I could feel that her 'condition' wasn't a medical condition at all!"
"What?!" Mike exclaimed. "Then what was it?"
"It was her magic. It was too weak to manifest properly, and that resulted in her 'episodes'. Now that magic is getting stronger and her power has awoken, she won't have that problem any more!" Sarah replied.
"What about the episode that trashed this room and your father?" Mike asked.
Sarah shook her head, "That wasn't an episode like before. Remember, Mom said she'd killed Dad. Before she never remembered what happened, but this time she did. I'm not real clear on what her powers are, but this was a manifestation of them, not an out of control episode like before. And she didn't kill him, so she has some control."
"Okay, but what are we going to do about him?" Mike asked, glancing at Sarah's father where he lay on the couch.
"Nothing, for the moment. Once Mom's feeling up to it we can decide what to do. Whatever we do, we can't leave him in a position to hurt Mom again. I don't want her to be in a position to have to kill him to defend herself, either. And if he did hurt Mom again, I'd probably hit him with a fireball instead of girlifying him." Sarah said.
"We definitely need to avoid that, I don't want you to have to deal with the guilt of killing your own father, no matter how justified!" Erica said.
Sarah's father groaned and shifted, but didn't wake. “I think we'd better be prepared to deal with him ourselves, he may wake before your mother.” Jill said.
“Aren't you going to heal him?” Tiffany asked.
Sarah looked torn as she gazed at her father. Finally she growled, “Oh, all right!” and knelt next to the couch. She put her hand on his forehead and soon all his injuries were healed.
Erica wrapped her arm around Sarah's waist and said, “Pain's not going to change his mind, anyway.”
Sarah sighed sadly, “No, I guess not. I don't know if anything will.”
Sarah's father slowly opened his eyes as Sarah stepped back from the couch in Erica's arms. “Wh-what?” he squeaked. His hand shot up to his mouth and he looked down at the rest of his body. “What have you done to me?!” he shrieked.
“She just gave you a taste of what she had to deal with all her life.” Erica said with no trace of sympathy in her voice.
“Change me back at once!” he screamed.
Sarah flinched, but Erica held onto her. “Give her a good reason to!” she replied.
“I'm her father, that should be reason enough!” he said angrily.
“You do realize that she can leave you like that for the rest of your life and there's not a thing you could do about it, don't you?” Tiffany said angrily, her violet eyes almost glowing as the shadows pulled in around her.
He shrank back from Tiffany and said, “You wouldn't do that to your father, would you?” He didn't sound nearly as confident, and kept glancing wearily at Tiffany.
“Why not, you refused to allow her to be herself all her life, and beat her whenever she didn't live up to your expectations. Why shouldn't she keep you like this?” Erica asked.
Mike and Jill both watched in amusement, and Mike decided to get in on the act and shifted to his giant wolf form. He sauntered casually over to the couch and bared his teeth at Sarah's father and then curled up at Sarah's feet and rested his head on his paws.
Sarah's father shrank further back into the couch and looked around wildly, finally beginning to realize how precarious his position was. “P-please ch-change me back?” he begged haltingly.
“What's going on in here?” Mary asked as she sleepily stepped into the room.
“We've just been trying to figure out what to do with Dad.” Sarah replied, smiling happily to see her mother up and healthy.
“He's alive?! Where is he?!” Mary exclaimed.
“He's right here.” Sarah said, pointing him out.
“I'm glad to see he's alright, but did you have to change him into a teenage girl?!” Mary asked, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
“Considering the other options available to her, maybe we should be glad that's all she did.” Jill said.
Mary seemed to consider that, “Yes, I suppose you're right.”
Sarah's father yelled, “Would you get your son to change me back now?!”
“I don't have a son, George, I have a daughter. And all things considered I'm not particularly inclined to act on your behalf right now.” she replied.
“But I'm your husband!” he said weakly.
“You don't look much like my husband right now. But that's probably for the best, since the last time I talked to him he decided that beating me up would somehow convince me that he's right.” Mary said angrily.
George looked around wildly, but found no help. Jill was indifferent, Mike was amused, and the rest were angry. Tiffany was cleaning under her fingernails with a throwing knife and Sarah's hands were glowing blue. “Are you going to kill me?” he asked weakly.
“Tempting.” Erica said, pulling her dagger out and inspecting the blade speculatively. Sarah shot her an annoyed look but she just shrugged. I thought it would be useful to keep at least one weapon on hand. You do tend to get yourself into trouble, after all. she thought.
“You might want to consider apologizing before one of these ladies lets their temper get the better of them.” Mary said.
“B-but...” he stammered, before sagging in defeat. “Alright,” he sighed, “I'm sorry.”
“For what?” Erica asked.
“For...for hitting Mary. I never should have done that.” George replied.
“And?!” Erica growled.
“And for hitting Se...uh, Sarah?” he said.
To Be Continued…
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