Chapter 17 – Roasted Warlock
"What?!" Tina almost shouted.
Charlotte smiled at her granddaughter and said, "Relax Tina, Beatrice said there was another fork. What happens in the other fork Beatrice?"
"In the other fork, Nathaniel...disappears. I'm not sure what that means, but Willow is fine." Beatrice said, much to Tina's relief.
"So, what do we have to do to make sure the second fork happens?" Tina asked.
"That's the part that worries me." Beatrice replied. "We have to talk to this FBI agent. Apparently he knows someone who can help."
Charlotte frowned, "I see. That would pretty well expose magic to this agent. Could you tell if he would tell anyone about us?"
Beatrice shook her head, "No, the vision was focused on Willow and Nathaniel. But there's more. This person the agent knows...I think it's the one we sensed yesterday. The Ascendant One."
Tina grimaced, "I guess that makes sense, you said an agent of law was watching over the Ascendant One, so it would make sense that he'd know how to contact her. If you're right, then maybe you were also right about the Awakening happening sooner rather than later."
"Let's not jump to conclusions." Charlotte cautioned. "Beatrice, do you have that card with you by any chance?"
Beatrice nodded and retrieved it from her purse. "Yes, I thought you might want to see it. My friend didn't really want to be involved, so she was happy to hand it over. Here you go." She handed the card to Charlotte.
"I'm inclined to call him, but this could affect us all. I suggest we discuss this tomorrow when we all get together again. We have that much time, don't we Beatrice? Your visions usually don't take place for at least a few days." Charlotte said.
Beatrice closed her eyes for a moment and then nodded, "Yes, that's safe. I can't be sure, but it feels like the attack will take place on Monday or Tuesday. If we've made contact before then, Willow should be fine."
"Are you sure we can't just call now?" Tina asked worriedly.
"I'd like to," Charlotte said with a sigh, "but so long as Beatrice feels it's safe, I really think we should run this by the others. And since we're meeting tomorrow anyway..."
Tina nodded, "Okay, I guess that makes sense. Is it alright if I call Willow and warn her, though? Or will that mess things up?"
Charlotte turned to Beatrice, who shook her head, "No, that shouldn't be a problem. I got the distinct impression from my vision that Willow knew he was coming. Why she's undefended in both versions I don't understand, but she is. It shouldn't hurt anything to call her."
With that Tina went to grab her cell and dialed Willow. "Hello?" Willow's voice asked a moment later.
"Hi Willow, it's Tina. Beatrice is here, and she had a vision about Nathaniel attacking you. I wanted to warn you. She seems to think that, if we do what she saw in her vision, you'll be fine, but I wanted to warn you anyway." Tina said.
"Oh...wow. But why would he come after me? He knows I'm a newbie." Willow said in surprise.
"Beatrice doesn't know. Can you make sure you stick with Rose or something until we've found him? Beatrice says it won't make any difference, but it doesn't hurt to try." Tina replied.
"Wait, you sound really worried. Did she say what happens to me in her vision?" Willow asked worriedly.
"Uh, yeah. If we don't contact this agent in her vision, then he...well..." Tina couldn't quite get the words out.
"He kills me, doesn't he?" Willow said weakly. There was a long silence, and then Willow said, "Is it alright if I come over? I'm feeling kind of freaked out right now."
"Uh, maybe I should come to you. You shouldn't be wandering around alone right now. Especially at night." Tina replied worriedly.
"Don't worry about that, I'll have Rose drive me over. She'll insist anyway, since I'm staying at her place right now." Willow said.
"Oh?" Tina asked.
"Yeah, I insisted, so that she wouldn't be alone in case Nathaniel came after her. I guess it's just as well I did." Willow said.
"Okay, come on over, then. But be careful, both of you." Tina said. Willow agreed and hung up. Putting her phone away, Tina rejoined Charlotte and Beatrice in the kitchen.
"Willow and Rose are going to come over here. Willow was feeling freaked out after I told her. I hope that's okay?" Tina asked.
Charlotte nodded, "That's fine. They can stay the night, if they want. They'd only have to come back tomorrow, anyway."
"I don't feel that it will change anything for the worse." Beatrice added a moment later.
"You are sure about this second fork, aren't you?" Tina asked worriedly.
Beatrice nodded, "Yes, I'm quite sure. Like everyone else, my visions have been getting stronger lately. In my case, it means I can see and feel things more clearly than before. This is the clearest vision of them all. I think perhaps because it involves the Ascendant One. Her power might be bringing things into better focus than they otherwise would be."
"What exactly is this 'Ascendant One' supposed to be, anyway?" Tina asked.
"Your guess is as good as mine. All I know for sure is that she's powerful and that an agent of law is watching her for some reason. And she's female, but that's not from my vision, it's from you. And her appearance is tied to the rise of magic, though I don't think it's the cause. I think she just appears around the same time as magic is growing stronger." Beatrice replied.
"Well, I just hope she's a good person who will want to help Willow." Tina said.
"My vision strongly implies she will, so she can't be all bad." Beatrice said. "Would you like me to stay to talk to Willow?"
"Yeah, that would be nice." Tina said. The conversation turned to what happened to her friend until Willow and Rose arrived about fifteen minutes later. Rose looked worried, and Willow was drooping like her namesake.
"Hi guys. How are you feeling, Willow?" Tina asked worriedly on seeing the state Willow was in.
Willow smiled halfheartedly, "I've been better." She stepped over and hugged Tina tightly, surprising her. She hesitantly hugged her back.
"Maybe I shouldn't have told you." Tina said once Willow pulled away with suspiciously moist looking eyes.
Willow shook her head vigorously, "No, I'm glad you did. If this had been dropped on me tomorrow it would have been worse. At least this way I'll have a chance to get used to it before everyone starts talking about it."
"You sound like you're expecting to die. We're not going to let that happen Willow." Charlotte said. "We know what we need to do to prevent it. I would make the call now, if it didn't affect so many other people. But if the others refuse without giving a very good reason, I'll make the call anyway. Your life is more important than our secrets."
Willow smiled weakly, "Thanks Charlotte. I didn't mean to sound like I was giving up. I just thought it was better to know what was coming."
"And don't worry, if somehow they manage to convince Grandma to not make that call, I'll just handcuff myself to you so that when Nathaniel comes for you I can roast his ass!" Tina said angrily.
To Be Continued…
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