Summary: "A darkness spreads like ink through the streets of Hallmark, like a plague. The darkness has a name: The Jewel Hunter. And she'll be taking you for the next jewel in her collection, Holly."

"Really? Let's see about that, you stupid messenger." With that, Holly plunged her knife into the thing, sending it into an explosion of dust. She straightened and brushed off her pants to find Adrian looking terrified.

The Knight of The Crown Beauvoir, Holly Gardian, is one of the ten children that survived the blast of power in the Hallmark schoolhouse before they woke up in their respective beds. Now the Jewel Hunter, the cause of that blast, has come out from hiding to kill those who possess magic, and Holly and her friends have to stop her before it's too late.

Or:

A story involving a girl who controls probability, a lesbian princess, a mind-reader and her younger sister the shapeshifter, a wingman (no, literally, you'll see), a king in hiding, and a green-haired, fox-tailed, botanokinetic. And as if they didn't have problems of their own, they have to go save the world oh my god how unfair is that?

A/N: The prologue does not detail the blast as it occurs after Gladyll dies.


"Before you say anything, the fire isn't my fault."

Gladyll Fairfax blinked at the young girl. "There's a fire?"

The girl sputtered, "That is, in the castle." At Gladyll's alarmed look, she added, "Lisa was playing with her set, and I, uh, I didn't drop my play acting mode yet." She cleared her throat. "There."

Gladyll narrowed her eyes. "There's a fire?" she repeated.

At that moment, Ruby burst in through the door. Ruby Cress, like her mother, was a quiet, calm woman. But Gladyll had never seen her this frazzled as she ran up to Gladyll, her daughter bobbing in her arms.

"Gladyll," she panted, "they're onto us." Gladyll's chest tightened. "You know what you must do."

She faced the small girl - Holly - angrily. "You promised me you wouldn't start any fires!"

Holly looked at her with barely concealed anger and impatience. "The fire isn't my fault, and I tried to save the books. I really did, and I was about to tell you when Mrs. Cress burst through the door."

Gladyll took a deep, calming breath. She swiftly hoisted Holly on one hip, cradled Ruby's child with the same arm, and grabbed Ruby's hand with her other. Then she ran like hell.

She ran out the open door and turned a sharp left at the hallway leading outside. Few knew of it, and maybe she could escape with their lives.

Then she rounded a second corner, and her heart sank. Or maybe not.

The lithe woman in the shadows was scraping her two daggers against each other, making a chilling sound. No doubt she was cleaning the blood off them from a previous kill. She stepped forward, flicking her hood down.

"Well met, Gladyll," she purred. "Glad to see you brought my prize to me." Her eyes flicked to Ruby, and Gladyll realized her terrible mistake. The Jewel Hunter knew the manor so much better than her - how could she have been so foolish to assume that she didn't know about this passage?

The Jewel Hunter wanted the Cress women, and what she wanted, she got.

Ruby made a whimpering noise; she was only twenty-five, and had been in this world two years. Gladyll put her arm around her protectively and said, "You won't be getting her on my watch."

The Jewel Hunter's eyes glimmered as she stepped out of the shadows - like crystal, Gladyll thought in a sudden haze of memories. She said, "Then we'll just have to remedy that, won't we?"

Ruby's eyes were wide and tearful. She grabbed Holly and her daughter from Gladyll's arms and set them on the ground, whispering something to them. Holly nodded, eyes wide, and ran with the child in her arms.

Gladyll heard the whoosh of the dagger and turned. The last thing she saw was the Jewel Hunter's bright purple eyes.