Music Video Voting!

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Hello, and welcome back to Rainbow Dust!  I’m sure you’ve all been awaiting this moment as much as I have: the voting for our Music Video Showcase is about to begin!  However, before I do this, I’d like to show you one last song that I only thought of recently.  I’m glad I finally remembered it, because I’d think it’d be a great theme song for Winx!  This is more of an “improbable dream”-type things, though, since not only is it sung by an ’80s singer (which might not “attract young ratings”…yadda yadda yadda) and that there’s probably no way that Nick could get the singer, Olivia Newton John, to actually sing it again for a theme song.  Something tells me that someone with that much star power is kind of out of Nick’s league, but you never know.  (If the name isn’t ringing a bell, she’s best known for being the female lead in Grease, which is probably one of the most famous movie musicals around, if not the most.  Good luck on that, Nick.)  But anyway, here’s the song:

Anyway, with that out of the way, time to proceed to the other songs!  These are reposted from other posts scattered throughout the summer.  Also, I’m only listing the ones that people actually responded to.  Look at these songs and try to decide which is your favorite.  You only get one vote, and if there’s a tie, we’ll settle it in the next post, which will be my response to the new Season 6 trailer!  There’s going to be a lot more information coming your way, but first, let’s settle the contest!  Enjoy the extended look at these songs and stay tuned to more of what this website has to offer!

A Matter of Trust (BloomxSky)

Time in a Bottle (Nabu)

I’m Not in Love (MusaxRiven)

Tough Guys (S2-3 Aisha)

Copacabana (S4-5 Aisha)

 

Let the Flames Begin: Or, What 4Kids Did Right

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WARNING: Please understand that this title is meant to be dry humor about the reaction some well-known Winx fans might have to the sentiments of this article: to instantaneously start flaming it.  Therefore, do not take the title seriously.  This is a positive Winx blog, and while reasonable disagreement is acceptable, no flaming.  Every time you do that, you are pushing kindly argumentation theory teachers to spiral into increasing levels of insanity and to start crying about how no one seems to appreciate their advice in today’s world.  End sarcastic public service announcement and actually start talking about the topic.

Let me set the scene for you: imagine that you’ve just come out about your Winx fandom to one of your friends.  Rather than laugh at you, they ask, “Oh, was that the fairy show on Saturday mornings?”  You nod your head, and then the friend starts having one of those crazy nostalgia moments, maybe even bursting into song.  And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Why the heck doesn’t anyone know about Winx on Nickelodeon, a 24-hour television behemoth, but everyone seems to remember the tiny 4Kids adaptation that was only on Saturdays?  That’s right, just when you finally began to understand the entertainment industry, wrenches like this get thrown into the mix.

So that just got me to thinking: what could 4Kids have gotten right with Winx?  How did a European show become so much of the American nostalgia experience?  And even more importantly, how could Nick replicate that seemingly effortless success?  Finding these answers made me realize that even though 4Kids Americanized the show substantially, you can’t help but admire some of their amazing business strategies.  Let’s get started:

  • They treated Winx Club as though it could have ratings to rival any of their other programs.

Now here’s where Nick’s success can become its greatest downfall.  To elaborate, consider the fact that no one on 4Kids could possibly have had the mindset that small, Saturday morning cartoons could topple SpongeBob from its throne as the most popular kids’ animated series.  Therefore, they pretty much publicized all their shows equally, meaning that there were plenty of opportunities to learn about the show while watching, say, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Yu-Gi-Oh!  I always used to get really happy when they showed Bloom as a “spokesperson” for one of their promotional station commercials.  The problem with Winx on Nick is that it’s still “new,” and while newer teen sitcoms can gain popularity quickly, it’s much harder for newer cartoons to gain this same momentum when the station’s been around for years.  (Now, this would be a lot easier if Nick was at least half as diligent about airing reruns as 4Kids was.)  “New” in this case can translate to expendable and fleeting, plus the fact that Nick has a history of trying to keep newer cartoons from getting more popular.  (For instance, they rarely air “newer” shows like TUFF Puppy other than on Nicktoons Network, and scrapped Danny Phantom after only three seasons.  Please ignore the fact that I’m only using Hartman cartoons as examples.)  A good solution to this problem might be adding more commercials and print ads, but also the possibility of a TV special highlighting its popularity in Europe.  This would be a great opportunity to show its consistency and to clear up some of the bad press that Winx is getting lately.

  • They pandered to the younger audience in ways that adults could at least tolerate.

4Kids Winx had camp, and it most definitely spread this to even the most serious moments.  Remember the hardcore guitar riff that would always play during Valtor’s latest act of villainy, the Big Nos done by the Winx as Tecna was being sucked into the Omega portal, or the infamous Lord Darkar “talk to the hand” line?  Nick, on the other hand, tries to lure younger audiences in through formulaic plot ehconstruction and simplistic plotlines.  How do these two methods differ?  For one thing, camp is notorious for luring huge cult fandoms.  Some arguments cite this as the reason for the genesis of the comic book fandom.  Additionally, its camp appeal sets it apart from average children’s programming in that it is actually memorable.  People still make jokes about 4Kids Darkar’s lines even today, eight or nine years after S2 aired on the station, to the point that I actually found it jarring that Nick tried to make him into a full-blown, demonic character (complete with that voice *shudder*).  Pretty much, a lot of people liked 4Kids because it came off as effortless and almost self-deprecating in some of its scripts, while Nick is simply trying too hard by comparison.

  • The publicity that 4Kids had was pretty awesome for its time.

Remember that this was a time before iPads, apps, and the like, and even if those would have existed, 4Kids likely wouldn’t have had the time or the resources for these methods.  So they had to stick to a mixture of time-honored strategies and new innovations to get the word out.  Remember how you could spend hours just searching around on winxclub.tv, looking at character descriptions and an insane amount of games?  If you did this in a public place in the days before mainstream Wi-Fi, some other kid could see you, become curious, go on the site, watch the show, and bang, they’re a fan.  On the other hand, the same can’t be done with the Sirenix Power app because doing so requires a certain technology and a certain amount of money.  (I still haven’t played it, for instance, and I’m sure plenty of others have the same problem.)  A similar advertising technique was the Winx coloring books, chapter books, and “mangas.”  (And yes, I insist on putting that last one in quotations.)  Nick made a wise decision in compiling the comics, if only I could find a copy.  4Kids went out of their way to ensure that Winx books could be found just about anywhere, while I still have yet to find any of Nick’s books.  This is true to the extent that I can say that I became a Winx fan after seeing one of these books in a magical and heavenly paradise known as Borders.  (For those unacquainted with it, don’t try to find it, as, no matter how hard you tried, your quest would always come out fruitless.  If one still existed, I wouldn’t be sitting at the computer right now.)

So, as you can see, the idiosyncrasy about this complex issue is that Nick’s greatest advantage–its accessibility–can also act as its greatest weakness.  Winx on Nick has never had to worry about possibilities like lack of viewership, lack of publicity, or being seen negatively; it’s like the cliche of spoiled rich kids who feel “entitled” to their relations’ success.  Until now, that is.  The very thing that Nick has been trying to avoid is gaining quicker and quicker onto their heels.  Now, one of the few ways for Nick save that from happening is to acknowledge 4Kids’ existence, look at their strategies, learn from them, and put their own spin on them.  If they’re reading this, I highly recommend for them to do so…

…RIP Borders

FANFIC WEEK: “Black Gold–Part One”

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We’ve finally entered the home stretch, folks!  That’s right–this is the last Fanfic Week entry.  It’s been a lot of fun working on all of these stories, and while there were times I didn’t think I’d finish them all, I did it.  This has got to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve done on this site as of late.  It forced me to buckle down and think: “I don’t care if I don’t think I can write this today.  I’m going to do this anyway, because I never back down on my word, and I’m not planning on changing that.”  I’m loving seeing your commentary about these, and I’d really like to see how you like Black Gold.  I’ve only had this idea for about a month, so it may not be as streamlined and planned as some of them yet, but I have faith in it.  It takes a different look at what happened on Earth after the Black Circle attack, and shows that magic on Earth still has a long road in front of it.  But Morgana, Nebula, and the new character Tristan all have guts to change things.  Except the Black Circle may not have disappeared as much as the Earth fairies would like to think…don’t leave this page, because we’re in for a bumpy ride!  Here’s Black Gold:

Black Gold

Part One: Wandering Wizard

            Tristan didn’t remember much about the battle.  All he knew about it, or about most things, was that it was the most brutal one he’d ever seen.  It was all a blur, and he wasn’t sure if he’d even fought.  The way he was brought up, or at least what he could recall of it, was about looking as normal as possible, hiding everything about yourself.  All he knew was that once he’d revealed himself as a magical being, the Wizards of the Black Circle didn’t hesitate.  He struggled, hoping this wouldn’t be the end, that he’d get another chance.  And as a matter of fact, he did.  Here he was, alive once more.

Except he didn’t remember any of it.

****

            The first thing that he realized when he finally awoke from his coma was that he was sprawled over a rather cramped space, which he later realized was a small room with a door.  He stretched himself out to regain his strength and began to mutter to himself.

“Something tells me I’ve slept in worse places before,” he sighed.  “I bet this is one of those dumb hotel rooms I’ve heard about where you can barely have enough room to get a decent rest.  Don’t know how long I’ve been out, or even how long I’ve been alive in the first place.  I suppose I’m off to a good start.”

For some odd reason, he failed to see a huge watermelon in his way and promptly tripped on it and slammed into the door, which was now open.

“Who leaves a watermelon in a hotel room?!” he yelled after this.  “Seriously?”

“Hey, what are you doing here?!” answered another man, who was quickly approaching him.  “We’re closed!  I bet you think you can try to steal from us, right?  That’s as good a reason as any to be in here right now.  I’m calling the police on you, got that?”

“I wasn’t trying to steal from you, sir,” Tristan tried to explain.  “I just ended up in your backroom somehow.  I don’t know how long I was in there, but somehow, I was trapped inside.”

“Yeah, yeah, likely story,” the man grumbled.  “I can’t trust delinquents like you.  Why should I believe anything you say?”

“Because he’s telling the truth,” answered the only other person there, a woman with long, dark hair.  “The truth spell hasn’t responded yet, so therefore, he isn’t lying.  Besides, this isn’t exactly the first time a wizard has ended up in Gardenia.”

Just excellent, Tristan thought.  Out of all the people who could’ve saved me, it had to be a fairy, a natural enemy of wizards.  I bet she’ll turn me into a punching bag by tomorrow morning.

 He then decided to run away.  Something just didn’t feel right about the magical aura within him.  He must’ve been changed in some way before he’d woken up.  So this was the only chance he had left: to live alone and bide his time until he could regain his strength.  Unfortunately, he failed to remember that fairies could just teleport in front of him, which was exactly what happened.

“I’m not going to hurt you, got that?” the fairy replied in a stern voice.  “And you are not going back out there to live on your own.  The few Earth wizards that are still around had to have been incredibly weakened.  You may not like to hear this, considering that you’re an adult and all, but if you’ve stayed quietly inside a storage closet for this long, you need help, and we have space in our house.”

“Hmph,” Tristan muttered.  “Things have definitely changed since the last time I was here.  Not that I remember much about it, but your kind have never been the most welcoming.”

“I will admit that we might’ve seemed like jerks to you in the past,” she responded, “but we didn’t realize that the Black Circle were just as bad to wizards as they were to fairies.  If we would have, we could’ve been allies a lot sooner, but those times are over.”  She smiled at the young man and continued, “Please forgive my husband Klaus’s conduct towards you, but ever since the whole Earth fairy incident, who could blame him?  But all that’s over, and at least now I have a somewhat normal life working here.  My name’s Morgana, by the way.”

“I’m Tristan, or at least, so I think,” he answered.  “Ever since the attack, I haven’t been remembering much of anything these days.”

“That’s a trait typical to many of the wizards whom they attacked,” Morgana reasoned.  “Most of them were about your age, which made finding help for them harder.  After all, a lot of people think that they can act for themselves.”

“That doesn’t mean you should take me in or anything.  I mean, I know you’re trying to foster relations between the two parties, but I don’t want to intrude—“

“You’re not intruding,” Morgana corrected.  “Lately, the two of us have been lonely anyways, since our daughter just left for Alfea.  We’re perfectly willing, as long as you lighten up a bit.  I understand it’s natural to be a bit grumpy about all of this, but that won’t help your condition improve.”

She then slammed a smoothie cup into his face and muttered, “Hey, drink this.”

“Where did that even come from?!” he asked in complete and utter shock.

“Um, I used the blender right over there,” she answered.  “You need to get something into your body.  Who knows how long you were in there?”

Tristan was about to lift the straw up to his lips when Morgana interrupted, “By the way, that’ll be $4.99.”

“Really?!” he yelled.  “You’re charging me?!  I never wanted this!”

“See, that’s your problem,” Morgana chuckled.  “You take everything too literally.  I was kidding.  But drink it, or else I will charge you for it.”

At this point in time, it felt as though it were really possible for a fairy and a wizard to live together.  But forces were conspiring to ensure that the rivalry would never be broken.

And Tristan would be the one to incite this presence…

****

The next day was nowhere near what Tristan would have expected.  Sure, he would have expected to Morgana to yell at him more, or even for her to change her mind about giving him a free smoothie.  What he didn’t expect was having his limbs chained to a wall in the middle of nowhere.  But, sure enough, that’s what had happened.

That good-for-nothing fairy betrayed me! he thought to himself.  And I honestly thought she was trying to make friends with me.  Times really haven’t changed one bit.  Next thing I know, they’re going to execute me for no reason.

“I know that I have much to explain,” Morgana whispered as she walked past, steadily approaching him.  “But this is not what it looks like.”

“Yeah, easy for you to say.”

“It’s going to be okay,” Morgana continued.  “I just had an audience with the queen of the fairies, and we’ve both come to the decision that we will set you free and allow you to go back to Gardenia, as long as you promise never to kill a fairy.”

“Why would I want to do that at all?!” Tristan demanded.  “I never said I wanted to kill anyone!  If anything, that’s discrimination against wizards!  You think that, just because I’m a wizard, I’m going to steal your powers and pluck your wings off and—“

“That isn’t the reason she wants to make this pact with you,” corrected another fairy, who had just flown over to meet the other two.  “As a matter of fact, that wasn’t even her idea; it was mine.  As soon as Morgana relayed a message to me last night concerning your arrival, I requested that you be brought to Tir Nan Og, which is where you are currently.”

“You used to be the queen of Tir Nan Og, though,” Tristan replied.  “Surely you can still override your subjects’ requests?”

“Nebula here is the current queen,” Morgana explained.  “I did not wish to strain our friendship more than it already was by the incident.

“…oh,” Tristan whispered awkwardly.  “Carry on, then.  Forget I said anything, Your Majesty.”

“Don’t know if I’ll ever get used to being called that,” Nebula muttered.  “Especially with me having been an army leader for so long…but objection overlooked.  After all, Morgana did say that you remember very little about what took place, and you were never in contact with fairy society to begin with.  However…there was one observation, which I discovered last night, that cannot be ignored so easily.  We chained you in order to prevent you from doing something that you would later regret.”

“What could I possibly have done in the middle of the night?!” Tristan yelled.

“Let me put this bluntly,” Nebula answered.  “The Wizards of the Black Circle knew that they would someday be defeated, while it wasn’t something they liked to think about.  When they attack another wizard, they normally do so for one of two reasons.  More often than not, they do so because they fear that the other one will infringe on their territory or become more powerful than them.  It’s a normal predatory response, but yours is a rarer case.  You were exposed to high levels of dark magic, from what our research can perceive, and yet you still managed to survive.

“Consciously, you feel minimal change from the way you were before.  But your entire magical core, the source of your powers, was rewritten.”

“Do I want to know what that means for my future?” Tristan questioned.

“No, but it’s something you need to be aware of,” Nebula replied.  “Exposure to enough dark magic can, in fact, overload a person’s magical systems to the point that they are completely rewired to resemble those of darker beings.  To put it simply, you have been so absorbed to the Black Circle’s aura that your magical composition is shifting to resemble the irregular magical structure of the Black Circle wizards.  In other words…you are essentially more like them than you are like other wizards.  And in most cases, this translates to unconscious urges to attack fairies.”

“Nebula believes that, if you accept our deal, you will be less likely to be a threat to our world, and to Earth’s as well,” Morgana explained.  “We cannot allow another wizard to reach that level of power from that sort of source.”

“So that’s all you see me as now?” Tristan objected.  “A threat?”

“No,” Morgana spoke.  “We aren’t just doing this for our own safety.  We’ve taken in enough wizards to realize that we cannot afford to have another Black Circle.  As long as the memory of the attacks remains fresh, people cannot accept wizards for who they truly are.  You are the one who can change that.

“You must choose between succumbing to your so-called ‘destiny’ as a wizard or coexisting with the other groups who have finally discovered the grave mistakes they have made by denying you as one of their own.  But keep in mind that whatever decision that you make may be the only determining factor between peace and war…

To be continued…

And so, with all that wrapped up, it’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the poll where you can vote on which Fanfic Week submission was best in your eyes!  (Next week, we’ll vote on the music videos, so keep thinking about that song you liked most!)  See you then!

FANFIC WEEK: “Riven’s Requiem”

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This is the only standalone story in Fanfic Week, and I’ve had a great time writing it.  Recently, I saw a post on this blog saying that the Specialists should have a special (pun intended) episode dedicated just to them, and Riven’s Requiem, to me, has that feel to it.  It’s not so much a romantic story as it is a story of friendship: Roy just wants to befriend Riven, but Riven isn’t too keen on the idea.  If we look at S4, who could blame him?  A lot of people have addressed the idea of how Aisha was affected by Nabu’s passing (or coma), but this story was the result of a realization that Riven, his best friend, would feel much the same way.  Sure, Riven may not be the type to admit this sort of thing.  But he eventually realizes that he can’t hold his feelings in forever and continue to push people away.  And if you read further, you’ll find that that’s when the magic truly happens…

Riven’s Requiem

Roy watched eagerly as his Specialist upperclassmen discussed their new band.  He knew that it was impolite to eavesdrop, but he’d discovered that they needed a drummer, and Roy knew that he was perfectly qualified.  While the other band members were inexperienced and needed large amounts of practice before they could even dream of performing for the Alfea students, the driver of the Odyssey Explorer, unbeknownst to most people, had been playing the drums for years and wanted to use that opportunity to get close to some older Specialists.  Everything would fall into place…

…except the lead singer, Riven, rejected him on the spot.

“Come on!” Roy yelled.  “You agreed to watch me audition!”

“I didn’t actually mean that we needed a sixth member,” Riven answered.  “We don’t really need two guitarists, so I’ll move one of them over to drum duty.  Our band has to be a group of five.”

“But if I joined, I thought that maybe I’d be able to get closer to the Alfea band’s drummer,” Roy explained.  “I’ve had a crush on her for a while, and from what I know, she’s single.  Don’t get me wrong, I like playing music.  But honestly, I just want her to realize my existence.”

“Please tell me you’re referring to another band,” Riven sighed.  “Because if it’s the band my girlfriend is in…”

“It is.  Her name is Aisha, and–“

“She doesn’t want to be in a relationship.  I know that for a fact.  The last time she was in one, she was so heartbroken, and that was only a year ago–“

“Then I can help her!” Roy interrupted.

“No,” Riven answered.  “It isn’t that easy.  It just isn’t.  But that’s beyond the point.  There was only one person meant to be the sixth member of We’re Not Doctors, and he’s gone.  And you just think you can traipse into here and replace him!”

“I’m not trying to replace anybody!”

“Then if you don’t realize that, we can’t be friends.  I don’t want some dumb replacement!  Every time you come around here, you go and make me think about him!  Do yourself a favor and don’t show your face around me again, got that?  I don’t want word getting out about me letting someone other than Nabu be the sixth member.”

He then grumbled and continued, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get to class.  You got out lucky this time, but I won’t do it again.”

“Why are you still at Red Fountain in the first place?” Roy asked.  “You could’ve graduated by now.”

“Great, you finally agreed to change the subject,” Riven muttered.  “But point is, I never intended to just stay here for four years.  I always have to sharpen my fighting skills, always be alert.  The one time I didn’t have my head in the game, everything went black.  I don’t want it to happen again, so I’m going to become the best fighter anyone could ever think of.  Not for myself, but for the person I failed when he needed me most.  Not only that, but I’ve decided that I need to be more than just a regular Specialist.  That’s why I challenged myself to go into the advanced swordsman-wizard integration program.  And as for why, I’m strapped for time, but more importantly, I can’t lie to myself and say that a first-year Specialist would ever understand.”

~~~

That night, Riven opened his dorm door to find that Roy had not taken any of his hints, and was still trying to befriend him.

“I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again!” he shouted.  “Can’t you at least be a respectful underclassman and find better things to do?!”

“Saladin sent me here,” Roy explained.  “He doesn’t like the fact that you’re trying to get out of having a roommate.  He’s worried that you’re becoming a recluse.”

“I’m not a recluse,” the older Specialist muttered.  “I’m just very selective about my friends, is all.  Ya know, your whole ‘being obsequious to get upperclassmen to like you’ act may work on some people, but not me.  Never had a roommate, never needed a roommate.  And if Saladin doesn’t like it, he won’t be gettin’ any more of my tuition.  It’s not like anyone would see me as a dropout if I did, anyway.  I can fare perfectly well on my own, for your information.”

“Why in the world should I let you drop out?” Roy asserted.  “You just told me today that staying at Red Fountain meant more than anything to you, that you’d go for the whole advanced program.  And you’re going to give up on that just because you’re going to have a stupid roommate?!”

“I admit that I’d definitely have a stupid roommate,” Riven hesitantly agreed.  “You.”

“You think I’m just going to put up with this sort of flak from you?” Roy answered before fully realizing what he was hearing.  “Wait, did you just say that you’d let me be your roommate?”

“Only because you had the courage to stand up for yourself like that,” Riven answered.  “It takes guts to boss a higher-ranking official around.  And after that, I thought that maybe you aren’t so bad when you aren’t trying to hide behind a fake personality.  That’s why I found you annoying.  So, maybe you aren’t as stupid as I thought.”

He then turned to Roy and added, “This still doesn’t mean you can get in the band, though.”

“But that doesn’t matter,” Roy muttered.  “I like a good challenge.”

~~~

Roy’s time with Riven had barely changed anything in his life.  The older Specialist occasionally talked to him, but spent most of his time talking on the phone or thinking to himself.  However, Roy was beginning to realize that there was more to Riven’s problem than he’d originally thought.  Originally, he’d just thought of him as a grump, but for some reason or another, he didn’t seem to act that way to his friends—or at least not as much.

“I’m not feeling too well,” his roommate had groaned to him one day after waking up.  “I think I’ll skip today and go back to bed.”

“What do you mean, you don’t feel well?” Roy asked, knowing that Riven liked it more when he didn’t blindly give in to his demands.

“You know, I’m depressed, and I don’t feel like going to school today.”

“You’re always depressed!” Roy retorted.

“That’s where you’re wrong,” Riven answered.  “I can be pretty chipper at times, you know?”

“Yeah, and mermaids will fly, too.  I have yet to see you in a good mood, but at least get in the shower and try to see if you get better.  You’re on a strict regimen, so you can’t afford to miss days like this.  Honestly, I don’t know how you did it before you were in the graduate program.  If you don’t get up right now, I’m going to tell all the other Specialists that you said I could try out for the band.”

“Pfft, they wouldn’t believe you,” scoffed Riven.  “I’m not that nice.  And besides, there’s only one person who should be the sixth member, and—“

“If that’s the case, then where is he?” Roy yelled.  “You think that a true friend of yours would just sit around and watch you suffer?!  If he wanted to be in the band, he would’ve told you by now!”

“Fine, fine, I’ll go,” Riven sighed.  “Just, please, please stop pushing it.  He’s more genuine than you could even imagine.  Saying that makes me regret I even let you into my room.  You know, I was really willing to consider you a friend.  I even called Aisha to tell her that you liked her.”

“You have her number?”

“I’m not giving it to you, idiot.  She isn’t interested, just like I told you before.  There are plenty of girls out here in Magix.  I know what it’s like to completely fail in romance, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, and especially not you.”

“How would you know?!” Roy retorted.

“Back when I was your age, I dated one of the Trix,” Riven muttered bluntly.  “Enough said.  And if you tell that to anybody—“

“—yeah, yeah, I have an imagination.  I imagine you being late to class and being chewed out by Codatorta.”

“Thanks for the warning there.  And maybe part of the reason I wasn’t willing to open up to you before was because you made me think of the way I used to be, the lengths I would go to for love.  Newbies like you should just learn to take it easy their first year.  It’ll solve a lot of problems, that’s for sure.  But anyway, I have to get ready for the assembly tomorrow, anyway.”

“Oh, yeah!” Roy remembered.  “Was it an award that you received or—“

“You’ll see.  It’s something that I’ve been trying to avoid for a long time, but…it’s something that you guys all need to hear.”

~~~

The next day, all students were sent to the auditorium for the mysterious assembly.  Rumors had been flying around for days as to what it pertained, but no substantial evidence had been provided.  All they knew was that it had been put on by the Advanced Wizarding Society program that Riven was in.  That was probably the most enigmatic of all the masters’ level degrees at Red Fountain.  If it gave Specialists any magical abilities, they sure didn’t show them.  But it had been planned as a sort of semester final project by that elite group, and Riven was the keynote speaker.

“Hello and welcome,” Riven greeted when all the students had entered the auditorium.  “Often, this day would mark the beginning of winter break for Specialists, but this year, Saladin has decided to make it a half day.  A lot of you might be thinking that such a decision to bring you a few more hours of boredom today was arbitrary and, therefore, useless, but I sincerely hope that such will not be the case.”

He seems a lot different when he’s speaking, Roy observed.  You wouldn’t think a guy like him could be so eloquent, and he certainly doesn’t talk that way in everyday context.  But there’s a lot more to him than I realized, it seems.

“Believe it or not, there was a time when all of the magical social classes were on equal standing with one another,” Riven continued, gesturing to his classmates to start conjuring a sort of magical slideshow.  “We don’t quite know when that stopped, but we know why.  The rate of crimes committed by wizards and witches skyrocketed, and so the fairies and Specialists of that era thought it would be easier, and safer, to exclude them from society.  But despite all we know of witch discrimination, the wizards fared far, far worse.  Many young men of that time were desperate enough to hide their powers and to attend this very school to become Specialists, just so that they could be accepted by the world.  And eventually, we stopped teaching about most of them.  There were plenty of influential wizards in history, but since they were so hidden in society, there was no need to honor them, or so the people thought.

“This has caused an increasingly prevalent ideology among Magix residents—namely that wizardry is a corrupting power, and those with it are doomed to become evil.  Think about it: how many wizards can you name?  A majority of citizens can only name five: Valtor, Gantlos, Duman, Anagan, and then there’s…I’m not even going to try to say it.  There was a time in my life that I could, but not anymore.  I’ve faced all of the evil wizards I just named in battle, but he was the worst.  Even worse than Valtor, in my opinion.  All the other wizards I named other than Valtor were under his command.  But no matter how hard he might try, he cannot take credit for this story you are about to hear.  He has had enough tales told about him and his nefarious deeds.  No, this story shows us that there can be good, compassionate wizards out there, who have not been rewarded anywhere near enough for their efforts.

“After fairies and witches ended their years-old rivalry with the Battle for Magix, the Red Fountain admissions staff was deciding whether or not to do the same for wizards.  The idea was taken from the concept of the Cloud Tower freshman Mirta being transferred into Alfea as a full-time student, but we wanted to take it even further.  We wanted to raise a new class combining wizards and Specialists.  What we too often tend to forget is that we all have magic within us, even us Specialists.  Wizards, however, are much harder to find than the three main magical classes, and few have any training in magic whatsoever.  On the year that Valtor attacked, Red Fountain finally decided to take its first-ever wizard exchange student, a young man from Andros named Nabu.  The first time I met him, I was suspicious.  I’d never known that wizards had the capability to be good, I’d never been taught that way.  But once I actually got to know him, I found a relationship that I’d never felt before.  Almost from the beginning, we became close, and I promised him that we’d both go through the Advanced Wizardry Society program together and graduate together.  He turned out to be the best friend I’d ever had.

“After slightly completing my fourth year as a Specialist, I received an offer from Saladin to accompany some fairies on a mission to defeat the Wizards of the Black Circle, the ones who had tried to erase magic from Earth.  I was well-acquainted with that particular group of fairies, and my girlfriend, Musa, and Nabu’s, Aisha, were both going.  I knew that Nabu would probably opt out, would likely see a problem with attacking his own kind, but to my surprise, he decided to come with me.

“’I don’t like to just stand by when stuff like this happens,’ he said to me.  ‘Especially when it’s wizards doing it.  If people see me defending the fairies, maybe they’ll think differently about this whole thing.  I don’t like to live my life just letting people think I’m some sort of bad person.  It’s more fun to prove them wrong.’

“From the get-go, we noticed that having Nabu along was a huge asset.  He knew his way around wizard magic, which made him more knowledgeable to enemy strategies.  He even ended up trying to help one of the weakened Black Circle members convert to good, but when the person he was trying to help turned on him, he killed him like that.  Not because he wanted to, but because he was a threat to the magical world.  So we thought, hey, we only have three Black Circle members left to catch.  How hard could it be?

“But the few Earth fairies left on Earth were all attacked at once, he’d met his match.  Now would be the time I would normally start crying and stop talking about it, but I promised myself I wouldn’t.  In that battle, he saved more Earth fairies than I can count, but…he ended up overloading his magic and was dying.  We had a magical artifact that could bring people back to life, but the leader of the Black Circle just stole it from us and used it on a flower.  That’s why I can’t say his name.  Not because I’m scared of him, but because he killed my best friend and he killed Aisha’s fiancée.

“But I swore that I wouldn’t give up on the wizard program.  I’d become a wizard-Specialist hybrid so that I could pursue the path, the dreams, that Nabu never could.  I’d make people realize that wizards are no different from the rest of us, and that’s why I’m talking to you today.  Back when I was a young Specialist, I thought of wizards as enemies just as bad as witches.  But now I know that there are good wizards and good witches.  It doesn’t matter what group we’re in.  We can coexist with all groups in Magix if we really try.  That’s why this program was set up.  We’re going to lobby to start a wizard academy in Magix, so that someday, wizards will just be another, accepted part of society.

“But more importantly, know that each and every one of you has someone looking out for you, whether it be a friend or lover.  To find them, you need to look deep inside yourself.  Always cherish the relationships you create now, because you never know when they’ll slip away.  And if tragedy strikes in your life, don’t just mope about it.  You have to fight to ensure that the same tragedies don’t happen to others; you have to let it help you change your life for the better.

“I didn’t quite understand that until Saladin realized that I needed a roommate.  He chose the most unlikely candidate, a man so much like Nabu that I couldn’t stand to be around him at first.  But when I began to separate him from my memories of Nabu, I realized that I was pushing away someone that could help me.  I may never be fully comfortable around you, Roy, but I’ll keep pushing through.  I don’t want to be thought of as an emotional sap or a crybaby, after all.  I have a reputation to keep, you know.  At the same time, though, I’d like to say that you aren’t just a replacement Nabu, a roommate, or even a classmate to me anymore, but rather…a friend.”

He then closed his speech, thanked the students for being there, and descended from the stage.

~~~

a few days later…

~~~

“Hey, Riven!” Roy greeted.  “I just got this idea today, and you’ll love it!”

“Does that idea involve you being in We’re Not Doctors in anyway?” Riven groaned.  “Because you know, I’ll just save you some time.  You’re going to be our next drummer.”

“That wasn’t what I wanted to talk about, but—wait, what?!” Roy responded.  “You’re not joking, are you?  I thought you never wanted anyone other than Nabu in the band!”

“Nabu probably didn’t know how to play drums,” Riven explained.  “You have years of experience.  That’s the only reason I let you on.”

“Oh, I know that’s not true,” teased Roy.  “You really do accept me as a friend; you just don’t want to say it.  You can say it in front of a big audience, but not when it’s just us.”

“Public speaking is different,” Riven retorted.  “It’s societally okay for men to get emotional in speeches, but not anywhere else.  People like orators who can get emotions stirring.”

“But anyway, what I wanted to say was…Morgana said that she’d take care of Nabu ‘until he woke up again,’ right?  And the magical artifact was only supposed to work on people, right?”

“Yes to both, but what’s your point?”

“Well, that could mean that Nabu could be alive, but just unconscious,” Roy continued.  “It’s very rare for overuse of magic to actually lead to death, too.”

“I wouldn’t push my luck,” Riven answered.  “I mean, it’d be nice if it were true, but if I believed it, it’d just get my hopes up.  Then I’d go into another depression when I’d realize that it wasn’t going to happen.”

“Don’t be so negative about everything!” Roy chuckled.  “Isn’t that what you said in the speech?”

“If you keep using my words against me, I’ll kick you out of the band,” Riven warned.  “I don’t have to put up with this, you know.  Come on, let’s get to practice.”  Roy, having noticed something strange, couldn’t help but bring it to his friend’s attention.

“Riven, you’re actually smiling for once,” he observed.

“Like I said before, I’m not depressed all the time,” Riven muttered.  “You just have to get to know me.”

As the two young men rushed to the practice session, Roy looked to the sky in thought about what had just unfolded.  He’d changed so much over the past few months, and the growth he’d experienced was something that could never be taken away from him.  But more importantly, he’d finally given Riven another reason to smile.

Maybe I’m just overreacting, he thought to himself, and maybe I’m just a bit idealistic, but I can’t mistake this feeling.  It’s the feeling of having contributed to the world, of knowing that you’ve changed someone’s life.

            Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel as though, as long as I keep holding on, something wonderful is about to happen…

The End

~~~

After this comes the last entry into Fanfic Week: Black Gold.  This series will place a lot of focus on the wizards, both good and bad, of the Winx world.  I really like the main character, Tristan, and his interactions with Morgana.  I might have a different way of writing her than some other people, but I personally find it entertaining.  The poll of which fanfiction you liked the most will be on the Black Gold post, so look forward to it!

Also, on a humorous note: often songs go through my head as I write stories, and for Riven’s Requiem (for some odd reason), the song was this song from MLP.  Take that as you will…*chuckles*

FANFIC WEEK: “Elements of Harmonix–Part One”

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Without further ado, here is the second ongoing fanfiction that I will be writing: “Elements of Harmonix.”  I was never a huge fan of the Harmonix idea in general, so I decided to reimagine it as a crossover with My Little Pony.  This one was really fun to write, since it’s a parody fic with no fourth wall (and it’s even implied the only reason this would’ve happened was so that Hasbro and Rainbow could milk more money out of it).  I’ve written it with character introductions so it could possibly be read by non-bronies who are interested in the show.  As it’s a parody, it was kind of hard to find a good “stopping place” for this part (since it’s not as neatly done as Zenith of Corruption was, and since I reeeeally need to rewatch the Harmonix episodes to remember the order…curse you, similar episode structures!).  Rarity and Rainbow Dash were probably the easiest of the MLP characters to write, in my opinion.  (WARNING: As this is a parody fic, Bloom’s actions are very exaggerated to poke fun at the Bloom-hating trend.  I personally am ambivalent on this issue, but please know that her actions in this are meant to jest about the way fans can often depict her.)

Elements of Harmonix

Part One: Bloom and Pink (because I couldn’t think of anything better)

It all began with a letter or, more accurately, with several letters.  Those inside the room had been there for hours, striving to write the proper words to sum up the situation.

“And so, Katelyn Balach,” Tecna read from her letter, which was approaching its end, “you must acknowledge that Winx can be a valuable franchise for Nickelodeon and for the world.  Therefore, we must not be forced to wait six weeks plus to get our fix.  We really do wish to know how Season Five ends and what plans you have for Season Six.  Sincerely yours—“

“Tecna, what in the world are you talking about?” Stella questioned in shock as she was filing her nails.  “Who’s Katelyn Balach?  And Season Five of what?  We’re supposed to be earning Harmonix here!”

“I don’t quite know why I was writing that letter,” Tecna replied.  “It’s just that Bloom damaged the fourth wall when we were fighting off the Trix.”

“The fourth wall of what?” Musa answered.  “I knew I just finished writing a letter about ‘the importance of believing in your friends,’ but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“There are people watching us right now,” Flora whispered.  “I’m glad the fourth wall was there.  This can get a bit creepy.”

“Do not focus on it,” a soothing voice replied from another room.  “Have you finished with your letters?”

Aisha, Flora, and Musa began to rush to find various stationery items.

“The stapler’s broken!”

“My pen is out of ink!”

“What’s a synonym for ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’?”

“Not to worry, guys,” Bloom interrupted.  “I took the liberty of writing my letters, plus all of yours.”

“That’s really nice of you, Bloom,” Flora acknowledged.  “What’s the occasion?”

“Oh, I always like to have attention directed towards me.”

“So do I!” Stella chimed in.  “Speaking of which, I don’t understand why you consider writing morals for every one of our episodes to be so hard.  I just used Nick canon.  I bet you guys were all still working on S1 while I was already working on S3.  Thanks, one-hour season specials!”

“Said no one who ever existed,” countered Musa, who then used her magic to create a rimshot sound for her joke.  “Seriously, I have no idea why I never thought of that idea before.”

“Seriously, Stella, if you spent as much time working as you do trying to get out of work, you would’ve gotten the job done quicker,” Flora replied.

“Your way, my way, everyone has their own way,” Stella answered.  “And I’m sticking by mine.”

All of a sudden, a majestic white figure cantered into the room.  While it looked like the Creature of the Rainbow Mantle they had saved earlier, it differed from it as well.  It was the one who had told them to write “letters”—though they were more like morals—for all of the episodes they had been in so far.  However, Stella had factored the Nick specials in, while the other girls had (for some reason) decided to follow the original canon.  It was no surprise that she had ended up finishing first, and now they were about to receive Harmonix.

“I am Princess Celestia,” the winged unicorn began.  “While Harmonix is a first step to Sirenix, there is one thing that Harmonix has that Sirenix does not.  Since you have fulfilled my task, you have proven yourselves worthy of this great power.  And for that, you will each receive an Element of Harmony to guide you in your mission to defeat Tritannus.”

Please excuse us while we are down for two minutes due to first-time transformation sequences (the full-length ones that they subsequently shorten and never use again), which are too elaborate and beautiful to describe in word form.  Anyway, after all the fairies had transformed into Harmonix, they looked back down to see that there were now six horse-like animals standing beside Princess Celestia.

“They’re so cute!” Stella cried.

“Could you please focus on the mission now?” Tecna answered.  “These are magical artifacts, not petting zoo animals.”

“But you must remember that these Elements of Harmony are on the same level as you,” Princess Celestia continued.  “They are magical creatures just like fairies, and are therefore not for riding.  They can do Convergence level spells just as you can.  And in order to use their full powers, you must first befriend them.”

“Well, that can’t be too hard,” Bloom muttered.  “They look friendly.”

A yellow-and-pink pegasus shrank away from her and stiffened her wings while making an unbelievably cute squeaking noise.

“That went well,” Musa sighed.  “Wait, why do we all look similar in this transformation?”

“That’s clearly the result of amateur design,” a white-and-purple unicorn answered.  She closely examined the fairies and sighed, “Not to mention the fact that high-low dresses are a dime a dozen.  Any clothing store would carry them.  And I would never understand why anyone would wear heels, with all the controversy they’re attracting.  You must love yourself first and foremost, and anyone who would sacrifice proper hooves for style clearly does not.”

“Why do I get the feeling that they did that just so the toy companies can use the same dress mold for all of us?” Musa continued.

“Don’t even get me started on that,” a blue pegasus with a rainbow mane scoffed.  “Those guys never get my hair right.  They always make it long and girly, and nowhere near as awesome as it already is.  Something tells me the pink, spiky-haired person over there has the same problem.”

“And don’t even get me started on the time they made Princess Celestia pink and–!” another hot-pink pony answered.

“Pinkie, I thought you promised the princess never to speak of that again!” yelled her companion, who seemed to have both wings and a horn.

“Oh, like that time Rarity fell in love with a rock because she thought it was a diamond?” Pinkie questioned cheerfully.

“Yes,” the white-and-purple unicorn, clearly Rarity, responded through gritted teeth.  “Just—like—that.”

“Hey,” Musa commented.  “Happens to all of us.  My rock’s name is Riven.”

“Don’t cause more Musa/Riven shipping drama!” Bloom advised.  “That takes away from my screentime!”

“Oh, you’re one to talk!” Musa countered.  “You’re the one who’s always freaking out about Diaspro being placed in random locations where she could reconnect with Sky!”

“They don’t seem to be very good friends,” the yellow pegasus whispered.

“You know why we don’t argue like that?” the rainbow-maned pegasus replied.  “Because I’d smack you upside the head if you did.  That goes for you guys, too.  Don’t make me do it.”

Bloom and Musa stopped arguing as soon as she said that.

“Aw, you guys aren’t too bad,” she muttered.  “You just need some motivation every once in a while, and I’d be more than willing to oblige.  Name’s Rainbow Dash, Element of Loyalty.  Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”

“That was my line!” Rarity yelled.

“Let’s not get too into that,” the purple alicorn advised before turning to the two fairies.  “I’m Twilight Sparkle, by the way.  Don’t pay too much attention to them.  Rainbow and Rarity can be a bit self-centered at times.”

“I am never self-centered!” Rarity huffed.  “I’m the Element of Generosity, after all.  Name one time—“

“Season One, episode sixteen, ‘Sonic Rainboom,’ in which I have to save you from falling because you have to steal all the attention!” Rainbow Dash retorted.

“I guess we aren’t that different after all,” Twilight Sparkle answered.

“That will provide quite a bit of help in the mission,” Princess Celestia agreed.  “Each of the fairies is meant to bond to an Element of Harmony, but to decrease the repetitiveness of the episodes, all of you will do so at this very moment.”

“Musa, Tecna, Flora,” she began, “please step forward.”

“Is this the line that gets eliminated or the line that stays?” questioned Musa suddenly.  The princess merely shook her head in response.

“You three will stay behind for the first mission,” Princess Celestia continued.  “Three of the ponies will also stay with you.  Bloom, Stella, Aisha, you will be bonded to your corresponding Elements now.  Bloom, yours shall be the Element of Laughter, Pinkie Pie; Stella’s is the Element of Generosity, Rarity, and Aisha’s is the Element of Loyalty, Rainbow Dash.  You three must find a way to defeat the sea monster, Tritannus, while the others play getting-to-know-you games.”

“I hate those games,” Musa groaned.  “All they do is make you do embarrassing things in front of your friends.”

“Don’t be silly,” Pinkie Pie replied.  “It’s okay to make a fool out of yourself in front of your friends!”

“And with that, I shall teleport the main three to an undisclosed location,” Princess Celestia announced.  “May your mission succeed.”

The room suddenly darkened and Rarity yelled, “Wait!  What type of sea monster are we battling?  Does he just want a moustache made out of my tail again?”  The darkness cleared to reveal an ocean.

“This is going to take a lot of explaining,” Aisha sighed.  “On both our parts.  But the point is that it’s not going to be that easy.  You can’t just hand Tritannus something to appease him.  He’s always been this way.  And I should know, because he’s my cousin.”

“Whoa,” muttered Pinkie Pie.  “And I thought my family was bad!”

“Shut it, Pinkie,” Rainbow Dash responded.  “This is no time for jokes.  It’s time to be serious.

The sooner we do that, the sooner we can get back to Equestria.”

To be continued…

Just for fun, I’d like to see how many fandom jokes (Winx, MLP, or both) you can find in this.  There are a lot of little Easter eggs in this one…

FANFIC WEEK: “Zenith Of Corruption–Part One”

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Hello again, everyone.  Against great odds, I have finally finished the Zenith of Corruption fan fiction today!  (For some odd reason, this one was the hardest to finish.)  Therefore, today is the beginning of Fanfic Week, in which I will display four of my original, never-before-seen fanfictions.  This is the first action that the rainbow FICTION system have seen in quite a while, but this is just the beginning.  Zenith of CorruptionThe Elements of Harmonix, and Black Gold will all continue to run in serial format, so check back in a few weeks and your favorite might have a new part published!  There will also be a standalone fanfiction called Riven’s Requiem that will show the true history behind the Specialist band.  Once all three of the continuing fanfics have been published, I’ll create a poll so that you can vote on your favorite one.  So, without further ado, let’s kick Fanfic Week off with Zenith of Corruption, the fanfic you’ve all been waiting for!

Zenith of Corruption

Part One: The Four Seekers

Gentle sunbeams began to flow into an Alfea dorm room, despite the dark curtain that was supposed to block out their entry.  A high-pitched noise sounded, breaking the delicate glass vial on the dresser.  The faint outlines of a holographic image appeared from nowhere.  In short, this was not going to be a good morning.

“What is with all of this?” muttered a figure in one of the beds.  She was still half-asleep, and her orange hair still exhibited the messiness of slumber.  “Can’t a moon fairy get some rest every now and again?”

“Faragonda needs us,” her roommate stated simply.  She was a quiet sort, and unlike the other fairy, was definitely a morning person, as her platinum blonde hair had already been tied up and her morning chores already finished.

“How can you get up this early on the weekends?” the other fairy groaned.  “It’s six-thirty, and she expects us to get up from our nice Saturday sleep-in time?  What right does she have to do that?!”

“Um, Nova, she’s kind of the headmistress.”

It was Nova’s fourth year at Alfea, and she was looking forward to leaving.  As a Solarian moon fairy, she definitely wouldn’t be expected to work mornings.  She’d spent most of her third year dreaming about fighting sea monsters and rogue witches, rather than just sitting in a room half-awake.  Though her roommate, Galatea, wasn’t bad.  Sure, she could be a bit annoying at times, with her habit of waking up at the worst times to play music that Nova didn’t really want to hear as she slept, but the two became unlikely friends.  However, she couldn’t argue with her.  Galatea just knew her far too well.

****

The two roommates transformed and flew straight to the headmistress’s office.  The two now had their Charmix forms: Galatea’s had a bass clef pin and a violin-shaped purse, and Nova’s had a star-shaped pin and a magenta circular purse, whose swirled details made it look like a faraway galaxy seen through a telescope.  Nova looked absentmindedly at her light pink, butterfly-like wings that framed her gold-and-black sleeveless dress.  How long will it be, she thought, before they would actually see battle?  How long would it be before she got her own adventure?

“I know it’s rough,” Galatea spoke.  “After all, a lot of fairies earned their Enchantix so quickly, and you’ve been stuck in here.  But you do know what this meeting could be about?”

“Yeah,” Nova answered, “but I’m not getting my hopes up.  No way could I have been drawn.  I don’t think Grizelda’s that fond of me.”

« Il y a beaucoup des feés que Grizelda n’aime pas, » a tiny voice intoned.  « Elle est toujours grognon.  Alors, ne vous inquiétez pas.  Vous êtes une bonne fée.  N’oubliez jamais ça. »

“That would be a lot more comforting if I actually knew what that meant,” Nova retorted, looking straight to the figure behind the voice, a pixie with a blue, white, and red dress, brown eyes, and long, wavy brown hair.  She had followed the two fairies along with Nova’s pixie, Glim.  Second-year fairies were now taken to the Pixie Village as a field trip.

“She was trying to tell you that most fairies annoy Grizelda and that you really are a good fairy,” Galatea answered.  “That’s a rough translation, actually.”

The two were now inside the office and were about to talk to Miss Faragonda when one of the other occupants, a pink-haired fairy with heart-shaped wings that could instantly be identified as the Earth fairy Roxy, suddenly spoke.

“Whoa!” she yelled.  “Your pixie speaks French?!”

“We use a similar language for music on Melody,” Galatea answered.  “I’ve never actually been able to tell the real language she speaks, though.”

“That’s interesting, that she speaks an Earth language,” Roxy continued.  “Luckily, most people here speak English, but I didn’t know that pixies could use other languages.  I wasn’t able to shake mine either.”  She pointed to her pixie, Zing, who had followed her also.

“Her name is Éponine,” the Melody princess replied.  “So, do you know why we were called here?”

“Faragonda had already talked about it with Mirta and me.”  She pointed to the red-haired fairy on the other side of the room, who waved to the others with a nervous smile.  “You guys were running late, so Faragonda told me to discuss it with you—“

“There’s no need,” Miss Faragonda answered, coming back into the room.  “I was simply gathering the other students who are coming with you.”

“With us?” Nova asked.  “Where are we going?  And why?”

“You four were drawn to participate in the annual Enchantix Retreat,” Faragonda explained.  “Originally, only third-years and higher could participate, but since we’ve been trying to get our graduation rates up, we’ll try taking a second-year like Roxy along to see what happens.

“As you know, these retreats were set up in order to test your skills in such a way that the Virtual Reality Chamber cannot.  While some fairies can venture between realms to increase their chance of earning their Enchantix, you unfortunately have not yet had the opportunity to do so.  For the next month or so, you will go to a realm that is currently unstable.  Your goal is simple: try to keep the peace and help its citizens.  The first few days will be the hardest, as those are the observation days.  You may watch, but you cannot fight, no matter how dire the circumstances are.”

Faragonda paused slightly and continued, “Now I will present you with the other members of your team.”  She gestured to a fairy with a dark green updo and a silver transformation outfit designed to resemble circuitry and to another with short magenta hair and an elaborate purple-and-green transformation.

“You four will be going to Zenith,” Faragonda stated matter-of-factly.

“Zenith?!” questioned Galatea.  “But isn’t that a prosperous realm?  After all, they produce most of the technology in Magix.”

“Yes, but there is a skewed balance of powers there,” Faragonda started.  “It started years ago when King Cryos developed a mysterious illness.  The doctors couldn’t cure it, even with the most advanced technology in Zenith.  If the citizens were to have found out about his condition, they would begin to lose faith in their technology, and it would have made the kingdom appear weak to others.  The real King Cryos has been bedridden for years, so a robot was created in his image.  Its speech was determined by a special message-sending keyboard that only Cryos had access to.

“However, as his illness escalated, he began to confide more and more in his advisor, Eigen, who wished to use Zenith’s technology not to aid its people, but rather to conquer other lands.  He claimed it was in order to expand Cryos’ reign, but as time passed, it became clear that Eigen was planning a coup against his own king.  This caused the people of Zenith to turn against one another, and fighting between Cryos supporters and Eigen supporters continues to this day.  To make matters even worse, Eigen has gained access to the Cryos robot, and is using it to advance his agenda.  The first time he gained control of it, he used it to tell the Sovereigns’ Council that he would not participate in their plans.  Now control of it sways back and forth between both parties.  However, as long as Eigen is around, he’ll try to take down Cryos—which could mean trouble for all realms if he succeeds.  Zenith has been a strong ally for so long that they would have both the advantage of surprise and that of weaponry.”

“That’s where we come in,” Mirta commented.  “In such a war-torn land, it seems very likely that even the tourists might not be safe.”

“And if they’re from our realm, that means we can finally get our Enchantix!” Nova rejoiced.

The other fairies stared at her for several minutes until the green-haired girl replied, “Sheesh, don’t get your hopes up too much.  Not only is Zenith completely harmless to outside travelers, but with our technology the way it is, we don’t even rely on Enchantix fairies as much as you people in other realms do.  We can equip you with so many devices that by the time you’re through, you have practically the same capabilities.”

“So why did you even come to Alfea in the first place?” Nova retorted.  “Obviously you just think you can take the easy way out.  Or did you just want to come here so that you’d look better to society?!”

“Nova, Theta, please stop arguing,” Faragonda interrupted.  “Theta and Tecna will be your guides through Zenith, so you must try your best to get along with them.”

“Sorry, Faragonda,” Nova continued.  “I don’t care too much for snooty girls like her, but I’ll try my best for you.”

“I’m not snooty,” Theta sniffed.  “I was just trying to be honest about my roots.  I went to Alfea because I wanted more of a challenge than most other people from Zenith were willing to give me.  I’m a very competitive type, you know.  And who knows?  I wouldn’t mind trying to earn my Enchantix before you.”

“You’re on,” Nova answered.

“Don’t take me so seriously,” Theta spoke.  “That was just me pretending to be snooty.  As much as I like a challenge, I don’t care if it takes me twenty years to earn my Enchantix.  Anything to make people respect me for more than just being a spectrum fairy—“

“You’re a spectrum fairy?” Galatea questioned.  “Weren’t they in one of your Magix Geographic magazines, Nova?  Aren’t they the ones that—“

“—drew their powers from the electromagnetic spectrum before anyone else even discovered its existence?” Nova finished.  “To answer, yes, yes, they most certainly are.  Do you have any idea what this means?  To illustrate, the average Solarian fairy only has the power of visible light taken from the sun or moon, but spectrum fairies take it even further to its invisible levels: radio, microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays.  Which mean more focused telepathy, superhuman vision of any kind which, coupled with radar capabilities, translates to unmatched tracking ability!  Not to mention temperature calibration and concentrated radiation.  They are a scientific marvel!”

Again, everyone stared at Nova in complete shock for several minutes.

“You do realize I don’t have all those powers yet,” Theta bluntly stated.  “Fairies like me only reach that stage when they earn Enchantix.”

“My powers are the same way,” Mirta answered.  “Since I started off as a witch, I can only use simple fairy magic.  I don’t even know what my power source is yet.”

“Sorry about that,” Nova chuckled.  “Not a lot of people know this, but I’m really passionate about science.  The reason no one knows it is because, well, I’m a girly girl.  I look up celebrity gossip, but really, I just do that to practice researching.  And for the record, Magix Geographic is the only magazine I actually subscribe to.  I just read the other articles online.”

“As nice as it is to get to know each other,” Tecna interrupted, “we should probably get going.  I have a way for us to get a shortcut to Zenith.  But there’s a catch—you can’t retract your wings until we get there.”

“Why is that?” Roxy wondered.

“You’ll see.”

~~~

Insert several plays of the Sirenix song and several Winx hiatuses here.  On second thought, skip the hiatuses.  No one likes them.

~~~

“Somehow,” Roxy whispered, “I didn’t imagine we would have to swim this much to get there.”

«Vous n’êtes pas un lutin,» Éponine answered.  «Alors, ce ne sera pas difficile pour toi.»

“I heard that,” Roxy replied.

“I heard it too,” Zing agreed.  “But I couldn’t understand it!”

“Okay, we should be out of the Infinite Ocean…now,” Tecna announced.  “It is now safe to breathe and break the water magic.”

“Oh, thank goodness,” Nova sighed.  “We were lost in there for so long that I thought I was going to turn into a mermaid.  And of course, it doesn’t help that Theta just randomly disappeared while we were in there.”

“She’s gone?!” Galatea asked in shock.

“I know, right?  Now we don’t know where we should sleep, not to mention that her tracking skills could’ve helped us!  Some guide she was!”

“Now, let’s all stay calm,” Tecna advised as the younger fairies got out of the water.  “She told me that she needed to stop by and get something in Zenith before we arrive, so I tried to transport her straight to Zenith.”

“Why couldn’t you have done that in the first place?!” Nova sighed.

“Technology fairies and water magic do not quite mesh well,” Tecna replied.  “Just like how, if you drop your cell phone in the water, it short-circuits and stops working.  As such, I do not pick Sirenix skills up as quickly as other fairies do.”

“But more importantly, we need to know the time,” Roxy said.  “If we still have time, we could check into a hotel for a night and find Theta tomorrow for our actual residence.”

“I’m a moon fairy, so I should be able to calibrate the time by looking at the correlation between the satellite up there and the stars down there.  By the satellite’s position, we should be able—Why do I keep getting weird looks today?!”

Nova sighed and clarified, “I’m going to look at the moon is to estimate the time.  Since the moon is so high up, it must be midnight.  And inertia is a property of matter.”

“But what does that last sentence have to do with the situation?” Tecna questioned.  “Wait, did you just say midnight?!”

“I’m getting tired, and that was the only other ‘scientific’ thing I could think of,” Nova sighed.  “But for that matter, what does midnight have to do with anything?”

The Sirenix fairy pointed to the sky, which was beginning to crowd with a huge cluster of fairies.  Some held weapons and some looked as though they were about to use a spell, but none of them seemed to look friendly, and all seemed as though they were about to attack.

“There must be thousands of them!” Nova shouted as the army flew further and further down.  “I hope the law of inertia tells them to stop moving, because Faragonda said we couldn’t use our powers!”

“Oh, great,” Roxy muttered.  “I hope Faragonda would understand, because if we don’t use our powers, we might not get the chance to pay the rest of our tuition!”

“There’s only one thing on Zenith that’s absolutely constant,” Tecna whispered as she prepared to fight.  “The sooner you learn that, the better.  Stay on this realm as long as you’d like, as long you aren’t out after hours.

“Because at midnight every night, the air raids begin.”

To be continued…

Note: For those actually curious, here are the English translations for the two phrases Éponine says.

1. “There are a lot of fairies who Grizelda doesn’t like.  She’s always grumpy.  So, don’t worry.  You are a good fairy.  Never forget that.”

2. “You’re not a pixie, so it won’t be difficult for you.”

Random Winx Confessions

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I came across something when I was randomly searching for Winx online one time, and it’s pretty interesting.  It’s called “Winx Confessions,” and it’s pretty much where you admit random things you’ve thought about the show.  It’s really fun, so I was thinking that maybe you can post some of yours.  Here are mine:

  • I honestly wish that there was an actual Fruiti Music Bar in real life.  If there was, I’d go there all the time, since the smoothie shop in my town got closed down.
  • Someday, I reeeeeally want to go to Rainbow Magic Land.
  • As much as some people may diss FloraxHelia, I really like it.  As unrealistic as they can be, I’ve always loved shojo manga-like relationships like those.
  • I’ve tried just about all the main Stella transformation hairstyles in real life.  The Enchantix/Believix one looks really good on me, but it takes some time to do.  I even have little leather ponytail holders like the Magic Winx Stella, so if I ever go to Rainbow Magic Land, I might do a cosplay!
  • I just realized that if Piff is meant to act just like a real baby, she’d have separation anxiety from Aisha and would be crying through S4 and S5.  Thank goodness the pixies are coming back…
  • One time, I got really mad because somebody thought Mirta and Tressa were ugly.  I think they’re really cute.  The Tressa complaint was because she has thick eyebrows.
  • I’ve also thought about how mermaids would wax their eyebrows underwater, and now I understand why Tressa would have thick eyebrows.  The wax would probably melt underwater!
  • My all-time favorite wings are Stella’s Enchantix wings (because they look like stained glass) and Aisha’s Believix wings (because of the jewel details and the crescent-like shape).
  • For some odd reason, I rather like Galatea.
  • I still think Roxy should be a Winx.
  • When I first saw the S3 theme song sequence, I thought Chimera was going to be the next Winx!  Too weird, right?
  • One time, 4kids had an advertisement for the Golden Kingdom arc showing the other Winx fighting Bloom with the tagline, “The Winx go against one of their own.”  I thought it meant the return of Dark Bloom and thought about all the new powers she would get with Bloom’s Enchantix, like dust that would spread disease and the power to become giant.  Then I was really mad when the clips were just from a practice fight…
  • I actually kind of like that Musa isn’t a complete tomboy.  That’s the way I am with my clothes.  I don’t dress girly all the time, and still have a lot of T-shirts.  I don’t think the media shows those sorts of girls enough.
  • Some people may think that Stella’s sailor outfit makes her look like she’s younger, but I like it.
  • Enchantix will always be my favorite transformation.
  • I was never a fan of Harmonix.  But I like the darker color swap for the Comic-Con doll.
  • Really, blue and black should be Bloom’s main colors.  I’ve always wanted to see a good fairy wearing black.  White would be nice too.  I imagine Mirta having a black Enchantix and Galatea having a white one.
  • I wish Musa still wore pigtails.  I really liked it in S3 with her long pigtails.
  • Seriously, Flora should wear buns more.
  • I am amazed at how much volume Aisha has when she ties her hair back.  I wish mine could look that good…
  • I love Bloom’s Harmonix hairstyle.
  • Winx has taught me that boy-short hair can look awesome.  Many of my favorite hairstyles are Tecna’s (any of hers, but especially Sirenix and training), Tressa’s (though she does technically have a ponytail in back), Mirta’s…I love how Rainbow doesn’t think only long hair is attractive.  I have long hair…but I’d really like to cut it one day.
  • Of course, you’d probably know that I really want Nabu back…
  • …but I want Roy and Aisha to stay friends.  There’s never been a male/female friendship on Winx, and I could see Aisha as being the type to like these friendships.  Honestly, I’m that type as well.

So the group challenge for this week is to come up with “confessions” like this.  Pretty simple, right?  So go ahead!

Also, the music video event is nearing its close.  Please suggest songs posted here that you’d like to see in the final round.

Next week or two weeks from now will be Fanfic Week.  I’m working diligently on four different fanfics, three of which will be released as serials.  The titles are Zenith of Corruption, Black Gold, Riven’s Requiem, and The Elements of Harmonix.  Please tell me which one you’d like to see first so that I can finish it first!