I FORGOT THIS STORY EXISTED FOR TWO YEARS AND I AM THE WORST PERSON ALIVE!
Here is the much awaited final chapter, I hope you guys like it. If you're even reading it anymore and I totally understand why you wouldn't be. I mean, two years is a LONG time...
I led us silently down the corridors, pulling Alex into the shadows with me when I heard footsteps. I reached down and unbuckled my wedges, chucking them to the ground. They might be cute, but they weren't practical running shoes. They also made pretty loud noises when I walked and didn't help us be subtle.
I closed my eyes and focused, looking through the building for Eliza. Why I had a knowledge of the building I was sure, but I needed to use it now. I sensed her a couple corridors over and lead the way there, hiding against the lip of the door when we approached the room.
The zap of electricity as so loud it made my jaw ache, Alex's hand flexed in mine and I was sure he was remembering grabbing the bars of the cell earlier. I risked a peek into the room and saw Eliza sitting in a chair, her body bound to it with wires stuck to it in random places.
"You should've just kept your mind blank, pussy cat. It would've been a lot easier to everyone involved," Harolin mused from somewhere I couldn't see. "Now I've got to get rid of you, go back and kill that annoying little hot head, and convince Pruina to be on my side. Did I mention I have to do all of this before winter solstice in two weeks? I'm making pretty good time, don't you think?"
When Eliza tried to talk, waves of electricity coursed through the wires and her body. She jolted and it took all of Alex's strength to keep me from barging in, guns blazing. We had to be smart about this, we probably only had one shot and needed it to be perfect.
Like someone above head me, Harolin walked into the middle of the room. She had her back to Alex and me, not expecting us to be free. We had the upper hand for now and needed to figure out how to turn the game in our favor quickly.
I placed my hand on Alex's arm and hoped like hell this worked. Can you hear me? Please be able to hear me.
Aubrey? Why can people just get into my head so easily? It's starting to be really weird.
Shut up, we need to make a plan fast.
Can you freeze her to the ground? It'll give us a couple seconds of extra time.
The only problem is she has the same powers as me and way more experience using them. I'm no match for her.
When Eliza and I were outside earlier, we heard some of her guards talking. Apparently, you're a lot stronger than her and you can take her out if you just focus. She also loses all her power at sunlight.
Alex was right, I could save Eliza if I just focused. There was no other option, all three of us were leaving this place alive tonight. I moved my hand from his arm and hold both my arms out, palms up, and shot ice right at Harolin's feet.
Everything happened quickly after that. Alex and I moved forward, him going to Eliza and me moving in front of Harolin. This was my fight, they weren't going to get hurt because of me anymore. This power didn't make me weak, it made me strong –strong enough to beat her and I knew it.
"This is stupid, you're never going to beat me, Pruina. You may have the makings of a queen, but you're heart leads instead of your head and it'll be your downfall," she seethed, trying to tear her feet from the ground.
"I assume you've thought with your head and looks where it's got you, Harolin. You're all alone, trying to convince your only family to freeze the entire world. That's crazy!" I said, refreezing her feet as soon as she got one free. "This is ridiculous!"
Her shoulders sagged and she looked defeated. "You're right. I'm not a good leader, it's time for you to take over. You've got your father's heart and my brain, you're the perfect example of a Queen."
I dropped my guard and approached her, my biggest mistake. She broke free and pushed me back, freezing my hands against the wall so I couldn't move them. She froze my feet to the wall as well before standing up straight and pushing a button that made a door fall and stop Alex in his tracks with Eliza leaning against him.
"Did you seriously think your little 'family's important, love makes your strong' speech was going to work? You've watched too many Disney movies," she scoffed, rolling her eyes.
Then she turned to Alex and Eliza. "You're both too annoying for your own good. Especially you with your fire hands and arrogance. Remind me of your father, you'll come over to my side easier than Pruina ever would."
"Alex would never be evil!" I shouted, but he didn't look as certain as me.
"You really know nothing! Those humans were very good for you!" Harolin said, turning to face me. "There was a battle many years ago between the elements. I stood for ice and Alex's father stood for fire. The two of us together were invincible, no one could beat us. Then Marnin turned against me in battle, left me to die. The world ended and those of us with elemental powers barely survived."
"What are you talking about?" I asked, trying like crazy to bust out of my icy restraints but to no avail.
"The humans call it the ice age, the fire and wind element wielders call it irony," she told me stoically. "It was their own personal hell, everything was frozen for so long. It used up most of my power, but it's going to be different this time. I'm going to control the world and watch it burn, ruining Marnin's powers this time!"
I looked at Alex, but he wouldn't meet my eyes. Did he know about this the entire time? Did he know who I really was?
Instead of being miserable, I used that flare of emotions to break the ice. My entire body was tingling now and I was going to use it to my advantage this time. If I really was stronger than her, now was the time for me to find out.
I remembered what it felt like when she shot that burst of ice at my chest and used it against her. My hands were snowballs when I sent the burst, hitting directly above her heart. She gasped and fell backwards, scrambling to claw the ice away before it stopped her heart.
"Aubrey, the sun's rising. I can sense it!" Eliza cried before sagging back against Alex.
"She's right, I can feel it." Alex agreed, laying Eliza back against the wall and coming over to stand by me. "Let's finish this, okay?"
I took his hand in mine and intertwined our fingers. I don't know what came over us, but we turned toward Harolin in sync with each other and held out our palms. Fire shot from Alex and another burst of ice shot from me. They hit her at the same time and she exploded in a puff of steam, evaporating before our eyes.
"Did that just happen?" I asked in disbelief. "She just exploded and evaporated away. At the same time."
Someone cleared their throat behind us and the door pulled up, letting us out of the room. An older man I didn't recognize was standing there. He was about fifty or so with a beard and glasses, the elbow and shoulder of his jacket torn and his cheek bruised.
"Headmaster Flannigan!" Alex exclaimed.
"I see the myst has worn off. That's wonderful, can we go back to school now? I'm dreadfully in need of a brandy and a shower," he said. "It's nice to meet you, Aubrey, isn't it? Quite the display, wonderful to have you at Brenner."
"It'll be wonderful to be back, once it's safe," I replied before rushing over to Eliza.
I hefted her up and, with the help of Alex, made our way back to the school.
I took the best shower of my life and put on comfy clothes before going to the infirmary to check on Eliza and Aiden. Alex was already there, waiting outside the door for me. He had the same idea, wearing sweats and a sweatshirt with flat, wet hair and his glasses.
"We should talk about today and what Harolin told you," he said quietly.
"It doesn't matter," I said, taking both his hands in mine and sliding my fingers between his. "I know you're good, I don't care about your father or my mother or anything at all from the past. I just care that you fought with me and for me. That's what matters."
He pulled me forward and kissed my forehead. "I love you."
I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him, allowing him to walk me backwards until I was against a wall. It was the first time we hadn't been interrupted because of something more important. I was holding his face and he was gripping my hips.
"I love you, I love you, I love you," I sighed against his lips, placing kisses between them. "I love you, Alex."
We parted a little while later and actually went into Eliza and Aiden's room. He was sitting on her bed, brushing her hair back as she talked about the kitten they were going to adopt one day. I smiled and leaned into Alex, whose arm was already wrapped around me.
"Queen Pruina," Aiden said mockingly. "What do we owe the honor, your majesty?"
"Fuck off," I sighed, pushing out of Alex's grip and moving over to the chair beside Eliza. "You have a lot to tell me so you'd better get started."
Alex gestured for me to stand before taking the seat and pulling me into his lap. He wrapped his arms around my middle and rested his hands on my belly with mine on top. Once we were comfortable, Eliza started talking.
"Harolin wasn't lying about the great war. It resulted in the great freeze, or the ice age as humans call it, and Harolin's power was what fueled it. That's why she's so weak and her power is fueled by the night time," she explained. "Marnin fooled your mother into being good and changed sides, causing the tilt in the battle. She was never the same after that, very unbalance and hell-bent on rising again.
"Then, fast-forward to seventeen years ago, she became pregnant with you. Gregor was your father and he was good, so she used him to get pregnant and had him killed. Then you were born and she feared that you were human so she gave you away," she continued. "I suppose she placed one of her minions in all the power control schools and Headmaster Carson just got lucky."
"Okay, that kind of makes sense. What about you and Aiden? Harolin said you were my Protectors," I pressed on. "What does that mean?"
"Eliza and I were trained to make sure you were safe and put in school when our boss found out you were coming to Brenner. Carson must've messed with her heads so we forgot our mission until Alex jarred it loose in her head," Aiden explained, rubbing Eliza's shoulder as she spoke.
Whoa, that was so much information to take in. "There was a guy in red robes, he came and talked to me and Alex when I was dying. He told us that our combined powers make this kind of crystal that can replace fossil fuel…"
When I actually said that out loud, I realized how crazy it sounded. Thankfully, Alex was with me and nodding his head in support. I relaxed back into him, kissing his jaw happily.
"That was probably just a random monk. They were really close with the elements, a couple of them had the affinities you two have, they come in dire times to give their guidance," Eliza purred, leaning in to Aiden's touch. "As for the crystals, that's for a later time. No need to rush that."
Alex stood up with me held easily in his arms. He walked over to Aiden's bed and laid me down, quickly following behind. He held me close to us chest, wrapping the sheets around his as Aiden did the same with Eliza.
Our fingers were intertwined and that's the last thing I remember before I finally went to sleep. My powers were good, I was good. This was good.
Thanks for reading! And sticking with the story for two years!