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The Unknown

Chapter Text

Once Josie’s out of the bed she looks back at the two other occupants of the room. Lizzie is still fast asleep as Josie expected and Penelope is also still asleep lying with her head on the now empty bed. Josie turns and goes out to look for her father.

It’s still quiet as Josie walks through the hallway of the school. Not that it’s a strange thing for it to be quiet on a Saturday morning in a boarding school full of teenagers. Josie is thankful for the quiet especially when she looks down on herself and sees she’s still in the same somewhat dirty outfit from yesterday. She goes to her dads rooms first but she finds them empty. She tries for his office next and begins to wonder if the school’s under some kind of spell because her dad is sitting at his desk fast asleep. Josie rolls her eyes at the man. This is about the first time Josie can remember waking up before him and she doesn’t want to disturb his sleep but she’s in serious need of answers here. Josie huffs and decides to wake him. She doesn’t really want to but the questions in her head are too loud to ignore. Knowing her dad he won’t mind being awakened by his daughter.

“Dad,” Josie calls out softly trying to wake him gently without much effect. “Dad,” she calls again louder this time but Alaric doesn’t budge. Josie rolls her eyes and nudges his shoulder. “Dad!”

Alaric shoots up.

“What?” He mumbles and when he sees Josie standing next to him his eyes widen. “Josie,” he whispers pulling her toward him and hugging her tight.

“Dad. Dad, I need to breathe,” Josie mumbles but returning the hug anyway.

“Sorry sweetheart but you had me worried. Are you feeling okay?”

“I’m fine,” Josie waves away his concern. “Well, as fine as one can be after finding out you either have to die or kill your sister and apparently your father and sister have been keeping this little detail from you,” Josie continues looking at her dad sharply. She hasn’t forgotten the events that had lead to her being out on her own in the forest.

“I’m sorry Jo. I promise it wasn’t like that. Your sister found out about it not too long ago and I was planning on telling you but I just didn’t know how,” Alaric explains.

“Okay. I mean not okay but something else happened yesterday and I need to talk to you about it.”

“What happened? Are you sure you’re alright? You didn’t get hurt did you?”

“Dad! I’m fine. At least I think I’m fine,” Josie replies running a hand through her hair in a nervous gesture. She wasn’t sure if the ritual had worked or not but she knew she had to tell her dad about it. “Yesterday when I was in the forest I saw some kind of bright light and well I was going to run away from it but then I heard a voice calling out for help. So I went towards it.”

“Josie,” Alaric sighs knowing his daughter’s kind nature wouldn’t have allowed her to do anything else but wishing she had a little more consideration towards her own wellbeing.

“I know dad but I’m fine okay. So the voice belonged to a woman and she was hurt pretty badly. She told me she was dying and needed my help so I offered to run back here to get her help. She declined saying that there wasn’t enough time and that it was too late to save her life but that she needed my help to transfer her powers to someone worthy. Apparently she was the last of her race.”

Alaric’s eyes widen.

“Anyway I offered to go search for someone worthy but she told me her amulet had pointed her in my direction because it had decided that I was worthy,” Josie continues shrugging self-deprecatingly. “I argued with her about it not really believing I was worthy and telling her about my destiny and the Merge. Insisting that I couldn’t take her powers and help her race survive because I wasn’t going to live that long either.

“Josie,” Alaric sighs sadly.

“No dad. Don’t interrupt. Anyway this woman insisted that I was worthy and that she should transfer her powers to me so that the Unknown could live on. So… Erm… I guess you could say that the last thing I remember before waking up is that I took part in a ritual to receive powers from an Unknown and I was hoping maybe you would know a little more about the Unknown as a race?” Josie finishes unsure of herself and looking at her father hopefully.

Alaric is looking at her with wide eyes and his mouth was hanging open.

“I… I…” He tries a few times only to fall silent again. “Josie that’s impossible,” he manages to get out eventually. “The Unknown is a species within the supernatural world that has been extinct for years. It’s impossible for you to have come across one.”

“But dad I did. How else would I know of their existence?”

“Maybe you read about them in a book or something and the stress of yesterday caused you to black out and dream about them.”

“Dad I was awake! I saw this woman. I agreed to do the ritual. She was bleeding all over the forest. I haven’t made that up!”

“Josie, when Penelope found you, you were alone. There wasn’t anyone near you or she would have told me,” Alaric sighs walking over to the door of his office. Maybe the doctor needed to take another look at Josie while she was awake.

“The woman had red hair and green eyes. I didn’t make her up!”Josie insists beginning to get angry.

“Sweetheart yesterday was a trying day for you and maybe you got hurt in the forest and hit your head or something. We should have the doctor examine you again,” Alaric said taking Josie by the wrist and guiding her out of his office towards the infirmary.

“Dad. No enough!” Josie yells out losing her temper and not noticing that they have gained an audience consisting of Penelope and Lizzie. What Josie also doesn’t notice at first is that a bright blue color invade her eyes just before blue flames erupt starting at her hands and making their way up her arms towards her elbows. “I swear I saw her. I didn’t imagine anything. It was real!”

“Whoa,” Penelope breathes out despite herself but remaining unnoticed by Josie and Alaric. Lizzie is staring at her sister with wide eyes and an open mouth.

Alaric whose eyes have gone as wide as Josie has ever seen them says gently as if afraid to spook her: “Okay Josie. I believe you.”

Josie frowns wondering at this sudden turnabout.

“Not that I’m complaining or anything but why is it you suddenly believe me?”

Alaric doesn’t say anything in response he just points at her arms where blue flames are still flickering around both of her lower arms.

“What the… I’m on freaking fire! Put it out!” Josie calls out panicking and flailing with her arms when she finally notices the blue flames. The blue flames grow in intensity before dying out. Josie’s breathing heavily staring at her own arms in suspicion as if expecting them to burst out into flames again.

“What the hell was that Jo?” Lizzie demands once she’s gotten over her shock making Josie notice her and Penelope for the first time.

“Ehh…” Josie hesitates unsure where to even begin explaining this to her twin and hesitant to start explaining it in the hallway. Before Josie can open her mouth again to answer or deflect the question she isn’t sure she loses her train of thought when something or rather someone slams into her giving her a fierce hug. “Pen,” Josie whispers in wonder and confusion at the unusual behavior of the brunette hugging her tight.

Penelope lets go of Josie blushing slightly. “Sorry,” she murmurs. “You just had me worried,” she says with a shrug trying to regain some of her innate confidence and giving Lizzie who is glaring at the pair of them an evil glare back.

‘Back to normal,’ Josie thinks with a sigh wishing the hugging could have lasted a little longer.

“Jo would you mind explaining how the hell you were able to conjure fire like that?” Lizzie asks again looking impatient and still glaring at Penelope.

“That’s not a conversation for the hallway,” Alaric interrupts. “How about we return to my office?” He suggest leading Josie back to his office. Lizzie doesn’t even hesitate to follow wanting to know what’s going on. Penelope however hesitates. She’s not sure if Josie wants her there but she desperately doesn’t want to lose sight of Josie. The other girl had given her a serious fright yesterday and again this morning when she woke up to an empty bed.

“Come along Pen,” Josie calls out when she notices the other brunette’s not moving to follow. Penelope grins and her grin broadens when she sees Lizzie roll her eyes. ‘Well that answers that question,’ Penelope thinks and follows the other three happily.

 

“Well? Start explaining,” Lizzie says shooting a small glare at her sister for having the audacity to ask that bitch to follow.

“I’m not the only one that has to explain,” Josie admonishes her twin. She hasn’t forgotten the fact that Lizzie and her father kept the Merge a secret from her.

“Fine,” Lizzie whines rolling her eyes and giving in not wanting to see her sister get as upset as she was yesterday. Penelope smiles loving that Josie is standing up for herself for once.

“How did I get to the school?” Josie asks knowing it’s not the question anyone expects from her but needing to know. Her father had mentioned something about Penelope finding her which had made her extremely curious.

“Well…” Penelope hesitates not wanting her ex to know just how heavily involved she had been. “MG carried you here,” she continued hoping Josie would leave it at that.

“Okay… So how did that come about?” Josie asks and then when Penelope seemed hesitant to reply she added: “Dad told me you were the one that found me?”

Penelope shoots an annoyed glare to Alaric whose only response is to grin back at her making her roll her eyes.

“Yes I found you. I saw a bright light and went in the direction of the light and found you there unconscious.”

“Was I alone?” Josie questions not understanding where Nora’s body could have gone.

“Yes?” Penelope replies frowning in confusion.

“What were you doing in the middle of the woods?” Josie questions feeling like there was more to the story than Penelope was letting on.

“Looking for you,” Penelope mumbles knowing there’s no way Josie is going to let it be.

“Oh,” Josie whispers looking at Penelope in wonder.

“Hope and MG were looking for you too but I was the one that found you,” Penelope added hoping to draw attention away from the fact that she voluntarily spend hours walking around in a forest looking for her ex.

“Right. Remind me to thank them,” Josie replies with a grin knowing Penelope had specifically asked for a thank you the last time she was involved in saving her. As Josie expected Penelope’s gaze shot towards her the question why she wasn’t being thanked ready already formed in her mind when she saw Josie’s teasing grin and rolled her eyes.

“Great! Now that that’s all cleared up could you please tell us what happened to you Josie and how you were creating blue fire?” Lizzie interrupted the moment annoyed that Penelope was getting so much attention.

“Right. Well…” Josie started not looking forward to repeating the story again knowing both her sister and Penelope weren’t going to keep quiet during the story.