It was late September and the school field was crowded with students from different schools. Ardennes Academy for Girls had a tradition of opening up their doors to welcome students from everywhere to participate in the annual sports festival featuring the most awaited game of the year, the Wickery Tournament.
The champion school would be taking home a trophy and a fifty thousand dollars cash prize.
Josie knew the game all too well – it was her parents who invented it after all.
Having different students from different schools meant that there was a chance she could see her sister today. The Salvatore School recently announced that they would be joining the event and Lizzie was the captain of the Wickery team back at home.
The brunette smiled at the thought. She hadn’t seen her sister in four months and it was a reunion long overdue.
She made her way to her room, preparing herself for the events of that day. She used to play Wickery with Lizzie, but it was only when the event came up that she realized she didn’t enjoy playing it without her sister by her side so she decided to sit this tournament out.
She changed into her jeans and a simple yellow top. She put on her earrings and her special bracelet that Hope had sent to her months ago along with the huge weapon that was created to be the only thing that could kill the Tribrid.
She walked over to her cabinet and opened it. The weapon was revealed to be standing upright on one corner, away from her clothes.
“I should find you a better hiding spot.” she said softly. She’s been thinking for a while now where she would hide the spear. It had to be somewhere safe and well guarded, she couldn’t have anyone finding the weapon that could kill Hope Mikaelson. No. She wasn’t going to allow anyone or anything to hurt Hope.
She was going to find a way to destroy the weapon instead.
God magic… how do you destroy something like that? She thought to herself.
She closed the cabinet doors and enchanted the door. She didn’t have the most secure hiding spot for it, but she could enchant it so no one would even dare come near it.
In the short time she’s been in her new school, she has grown and advanced so much when it comes to her magic. Needless to say she was something like a celebrity here – and no, this time it isn’t because her parents owned a school. She was recognized as one of the most powerful witches in the entire school. No one could best her when it came to spells and offensive magic, she always seemed to know what to do.
She had a secret – her wide knowledge of magic came from one of the most powerful witches alive, Freya Mikaelson.
A sudden drumming startled her. The sound was faint, but the first hit of the drum roared outside her window. She took a peek and saw that the marching band had begun to play their welcoming song. The students were starting to arrive. She took one last look in the mirror before heading downstairs, excited to finally be reunited with her twin.
The young witch slumped on one of the benches in the school yard. Reuniting with Lizzie was going to take longer than she expected. Her sister was stuck in traffic, brought on by the big gathering. Most people think it’s just another school event, completely missing the fact that all the students were supernatural beings.
She turned her attention to the football game going on by the field that wasn’t too far from where she was. Her lips curved into a small smile recalling the football games she played back in Mystic Falls. She was missing home, but this is where she belonged.
“I remember when you were the one playing in that field. I’ve never seen someone play so clumsily.” someone said from behind her. Josie furrowed her brows at the familiar voice. It couldn’t be, right? She asked herself.
She quickly turned to meet the owner of the said voice and lo and behold, it was the last person she expected to see.
“Hey, Jojo.” Penelope greeted her with a small smile.
Her lips parted at the sight of the witch. It had been so long – too long since she last saw her and now here she was sitting beside Josie, rocking her now mid-length hair and a smile that was slowly turning into a grin.
“I knew you'd be shocked to see me, but I didn’t think you’d be speechless.” Penelope said jokingly, trying to get a reaction out of the brunette.
“P-Penelope, h-hi!” Josie stuttered. She was still trying to process seeing her ex-girlfriend after years, but she managed to regain her consciousness and strength, enough to give Penelope a quick hug.
The raven haired girl chuckled into it. She gave Josie a tight squeeze before pulling away.
“I didn’t expect to see you here.” Josie said, shaking off her shocked face and feeling herself become more comfortable in the presence of Penelope.
“I didn’t expect to see you here either.” the witch replied. “What brings you to Ardennes? Monster hunt?” she asked, her lips curving to a side smile.
“Uh, no. I actually go here now.” Josie answered.
Penelope’s lips pursed, nodding in approval at what Josie had just said.
“Good choice. Did the monsters finally take over the school?” she jokingly asked. “Is Lizzie here with you?” she added.
Josie rolled her eyes and chuckled playfully at Penelope’s comment. She shook her head and let out a contented sigh.
“The school’s still standing and no, Lizzie stayed behind.” she told the girl. “I decided to finally leave the nest, try and find my own path in the world and it led me here. Safe to say Lizzie and I are now living our own lives.” she added.
Penelope smiled widely, as if she was so happy to hear that Josie had finally broken out of her shell with her sister. That was after all what she hoped for Lizzie and Josie. The brunette certainly understood Penelope’s smile. It actually made her happy to be here right now telling Penelope about it.
Though the raven haired girl had hurt her and Lizzie in the process of trying to help them, she meant well and in a way, she owed Penelope a small thank you in helping open her eyes to the truth.
“I’m happy for you, Jojo.” Penelope says. “I was hoping I’d run into you sooner or later and see how much you grew into your own person. I’m glad I get to see you now.”
Josie smiled at her words. She felt herself blushing a little.
“Are you alone?” she asked Penelope.
“No, I’m actually here with my girlfriend.” the girl answers, watching and waiting for Josie’s reaction.
“Girlfriend? Wow, congrats.” Josie said, smiling at her.
She pursed her lower lip inward and let her eyes move away from Penelope, feeling the awkwardness set in. The raven haired girl only laughed at the brunette.
“I’m kidding, Jojo. I’m not dating anyone. But I didn’t think you’d still be crushing on me after all this time.” Penelope playfully said, nudging Josie’s shoulder.
“I am not! I’ve totally moved past that. I am a new and improved Josie Saltzman, no thanks to you.” she replies equally as playful as the other. The two girls broke out into laughter. It had been so long since they shared a moment like this and it felt nice.
“Okay, Saltzman, maybe you can prove it by buying me a coffee. This place is starting to get boring.” Penelope said, getting up from the bench. “There’s a cafe nearby.”
Josie smiled and got up. The two began walking out of the school, Josie completely forgetting that her sister was coming by to see her.
“No way! I always thought that Jed would end up with Alyssa Chang!” Penelope gasped after hearing about how Jed now had a boyfriend and had reset his curse. Josie laughed at Penelope’s reaction. They had been in the coffee shop for almost twenty minutes now just catching up on things.
“Jed had a pretty good character development overtime.” the brunette replied to Penelope.
“Can you blame me? Those two were the biggest jerks in the school.” Penelope defended her stand jokingly. They laughed even more. “What about you? Anyone special since I left?”
Josie’s lips stuck lightly to a small tight lipped smile. She shook her head and looked down on her coffee.
“I’m not so sure if I should be talking about my love life with my ex.” she said and chuckled softly.
“We were friends before being exes, Jojo. I think you’re safe.” the shorter girl replied. “If you’re not down to talk about it, it’s good.” she added, smiling softly at Josie.
Josie pursed her lips outward now and let out a sigh of defeat.
“Okay, I’ll tell you, but first I gotta go get myself a refill.” she said, showing Penelope her empty coffee cup.
“Perfect, I’ll just go and use the bathroom while you do that.” the girl answered.
The two left their table. Josie lined up at the counter to get another order. It was only then that she remembered her sister. Shoot. I should prepare an apology speech for Lizzie. She told herself.
The cafe door opened and it was now Josie’s turn to order. She asked for another cup of coffee and felt someone tapping her shoulder. She turned to see who it was and her eyes widened.
“Oh my God. Jade?” she lets out a gasp.
“I knew you looked familiar.” the blonde vampire smiled. “Hey, Joze.” she greeted and came in to give Josie a quick hug.
“H-hi.” Josie breathed out. “Wow, today must be some kind of blast from the past.” she remarks. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, I’m backpacking through Europe. I’m taking the time to enjoy the pleasures life has to offer me before I get myself into college.” Jade answered. “Small world, huh? What about you? Visiting your mom?” the blonde asked.
“No, I go to school here now. I transferred.” Josie answered.
“Ma’am, your coffee.” the barista called Josie’s attention.
The brunette took her coffee and moved to the side while Jade gave her order.
“You alone?” Jade asks.
“No, I’m actually here with Penelope. Uh, I don’t think you know her, but yeah.” Josie answered.
“Yeah, I’m not sure I know her.” Jade chuckled softly. “It’s surprising your dad let you out of his sight. Have the monsters stopped coming to the school?”
Josie nodded. She gave Jade a quick recap of everything that’s happened since she left.
“Damn… you grew up well, Joze. I’m happy for you.” she replied after hearing the short version of the story.
The two stayed smiling at each other, not realizing that they were being called by their own parties.
“Ma’am, your coffee’s ready to go.” the barista said at the same time Penelope came up to Josie. “Hey, everything good?” she asked her ex.
Jade took her coffee and Josie turned to Penelope.
“Looks like you’ve gotta head back. I should probably go as well. It was nice seeing you, Joze.” Jade said with a smile, glancing at Penelope before looking at Josie. The brunette nodded and gave Jade a quick hug before the blonde left.
Josie and Penelope made their way back to their table.
“Who was that?” Penelope asked.
“Jade. She’s a friend.” Josie answered, smiling.
“No, no, Josie Saltzman, I know that smile. Is she an ex?” Penelope asked teasingly, sipping from her cup.
Josie’s mouth opened to speak but no words came out, just a series of “ I– No– Well– ” making Penelope burst out laughing. The raven haired girl shook her head and tapped the table excitedly.
“Okay, now you really have to tell me why this girl has you in a stuttering mess.” she laughed out. Josie laughed too, it felt so nice to just talk with Penelope, that not even the weight of their past could make things awkward between them.
“Okay, first of all, we were never a thing, okay? It was kind of like a dark Josie phase.” Josie defended herself from the still laughing Penelope. “And second… it’s Jade. I’ve had a crush on her since I was little. She’s pretty and pretty girls make me nervous.” she added.
“Since you were little?” Penelope’s laugh started to slowly die down.
“She used to babysit me? And she got sent to a prison world then I brought her back and we kind of kissed but not really and then we did kiss and then she left.” the brunette told Penelope.
Penelope then scoffed at the story, she shook her head lightly and chuckled softly.
“Wow, you really have a type for dark, dangerous and damaged girls, huh?” she told Josie.
The two girls chuckled at the comment. It’s true that Josie was kind of drawn to those things, maybe it was because she had a darkness in her too, but they were good people.
The two exes laughed as they walked to the school’s main entrance. They had spent the entire afternoon talking and joking around with each other. Josie was relieved to hear about how Penelope found her home in Belgium and how she was talking to this new girl.
Both of them were finally happy and in a healthy place in their lives and Josie couldn’t be more proud of their growth.
“Well, I guess this is where I drop you off. I also have to head back to school. I’m pretty sure they’re wondering where I’ve been.” Penelope says as she and Josie stop in front of the main door.
“I’m sorry I held you up. But I had fun catching up with you, Pen.” Josie said, smiling genuinely.
“Josette Olivia Saltzman!” a familiar voice suddenly called Josie’s name loudly. The two girls turned to the door as it opened, revealing a tall blonde and nearly disheveled Lizzie crossing her arms while looking at her sister.
“Oh no.” Josie mumbles.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here? I should have known it was Satan Incarnate that whisked my sister away on the day of our reunion.” she said, walking down the stairs. She wrapped her arm around Josie’s and squinted her eyes at Penelope. The raven haired girl chuckled.
“It’s nice to see you too, Lizzie. Sorry I kept her from you, we ran into each other and just got caught up talking.” Penelope said kindly.
Lizzie was still squinting at her, unsure if she should respond with the usual hostility she had when talking with Penelope.
“Anyways, you guys should get inside. Jojo, you have my cell, keep in touch?” she asked.
Josie nodded with a small apologetic smile.
“Alright, see you guys around. Looking great, Lizzie.” she remarked before walking away.
“Okay, you have a lot of explaining to do. What were you doing with the evil one instead of being here with me? Do you know how long I waited for you? I even won the stupid Wickery tournament and a lot of people were hoping to see you before they went back to the hotel.” Lizzie asked rapidly, making Josie chuckle at her sister.
She loves her, but sometimes…
The twins walked through the halls of the dorm. Usually there’d be a curfew set and they weren’t allowed outside, but since there was a party going on in the main hall, the curfew was bumped.
Josie told Lizzie about the day she’s had and how she ran into Jade and Penelope on the same day and had them both in the same place at the same time. Lizzie couldn’t believe it of course.
“Talk about a blast from the past.” Lizzie said as the two reached Josie’s room. “Maybe you should stop looking back and start looking into the future.” Lizzie let go of Josie’s arm and opened the door. The two of them stopped when they saw a figure sitting on Josie’s bed.
“Oh great, Hope’s here.” Lizzie remarks, indifferently.
“Hope?” Josie asked, surprised, yet very much pleased.
“Hey, Jo.” the Tribrid greeted with a small smile.
Without a second thought, Josie ran into Hope and hugged her tightly. She had no idea that the girl was going to be here, if she did, she would have returned sooner. She felt Hope’s arms wrap around her, giving her a warm hug.
“How come she gets the warm hug and I get to see Blair Bitch?” Lizzie whined.
“Sorry,” Josie said inaudibly. She pulled away from Hope and their eyes met for a moment. She could see how the shorter girl was excited to see her too. “And stop calling her names, she’s nice now.” she turned to her sister.
Lizzie rolled her eyes and proceeded into the room. She looked around and left Hope and Josie in their own space.
“I didn’t know you were going to be here.” Josie told the girl with a smile she was trying to hold back from growing.
Josie was trying her best to hide the excitement she was feeling. She felt like she wanted to jump seeing Hope here right now. She thought about how she should have joined the Wickery Tournament after all so Hope could’ve seen her play.
She could already tell that with Hope’s simple answer of, “I wanted to surprise you.” her cheeks were flushing red. Hope came to Belgium for her. To surprise her.
“Ugh, you two are unbearable. Just say you missed each other and kiss to end all of our suffering.” Lizzie groaned out, plopping herself on the bed.
Josie’s eyes widened. She has thought about kissing Hope before but to hear her sister say it out loud made her nervous and panicked. Hope seemed to feel the same way because her tenacious facade faded for a moment.
“Well you’re one to talk. I had to sit through seven hours of you and MG being all sappy on the plane.” Hope complained.
The blonde sat up from the bed, her eyes sparkling at the mention of her boyfriend.
“You know, that’s actually a great idea. MG is downstairs getting me ice cream, I should go check on him and leave you two alone.” she said, just before dashing out the door and closing it behind her.
Josie cursed herself internally as she felt her heart beating faster now that she was alone with Hope Mikaelson. She wasn’t sure how to start a conversation with her. The last time they saw each other, Hope’s humanity was off and then their most recent conversation was months ago when she sent Hope a letter and Hope sent her the only weapon that can kill a Tribrid.
“So… you and Penelope were together?” Hope asked, rubbing her jeans awkwardly.
“Yeah. We ran into each other earlier and then we got to talking.” Josie answered and Hope nodded at her. “I… I have the spear in my closet.” she said randomly.
“Oh.” Hope said, caught off guard by the statement.
The room was silent and suddenly they were both awkward.
“Jo,” Hope called. “I’m… really sorry.” she said.
Josie furrowed her brows, confused why the shorter one was apologizing.
“The last time we met… I wasn’t myself and then I was so bitter because I thought that… you left me and ran off only to find out that you were the reason why I’m even back here at all. I should thank you, but I should also apologize.” Hope said, breaking the silence between them.
Josie looked down and shook her head.
“It happens to the best of us.” the brunette said. “What matters is, you’re back and you’re safe now.” she adds.
Hope smiles at her softly. The silence engulfs them again, but this time it’s comfortable. She likes it, just being here with Hope.
“I should… probably get back to the hotel. You probably need some rest.” Hope said after a while. “But… I’ll be staying here for a week and… maybe you’d want to give me a tour tomorrow?”
Josie’s face lights up at the suggestion. She nods eagerly, feeling all sorts of butterflies in her tummy. Hope smiles at her in return.
“Great! It’s a date– or not. We could just like, hang out.” Hope rambled. “I should go.” she adds and smiles at Josie before walking out quickly.
Josie followed to peek outside only to be met with her sister leaning against the door.
“You know you missed your shot, right?” Lizzie said, smirking and shaking her head.
“What do you mean? We’re friends. We hang out.” Josie replied.
The blonde rolled her eyes, seemingly tired of Josie’s lack of knowledge about Hope’s current relationship status.
“I mean, her and Froddo Baggins broke up months ago. That hang out part was her trying to ask you out on a date.” Lizzie said like it was the most obvious thing.
“What? You couldn’t have told me that before you left the room?” Josie asked, surprised. She let out a groan and sprinted to catch up with Hope who was now on her way down the flight of stairs.
“Hope! Wait!” Josie calls, stopping Hope in her tracks. “I actually– tomorrow. It’s a date.” she said, panting. “Why don’t we make it a date?” she repeats.
Hope’s lips slowly curved to a smile.
“What do you say?” Josie asked.
“It’s a date.” Hope answered. “I’ll pick you up.” she adds before continuing down the stairs.
Josie smiled. Maybe she did get a win today after all.