Summary: During World War II, a witch summons a demon to help with the war effort. Things don't go as planned.
Disclaimer: I own nothing that comes from the Jossverse. This is strictly for entertainment and enjoyment purposes only. I hope.
Michael had to try the locator spell several times before he got a lock on a definite location. The rain was proving to be a hindrance he hadn't counted on. The demon was down by the harbor. More water. It was only a mile away, but he wasn't capable of a teleportation spell and Abigail didn't have a car.
"Abbey, do you have a copy of the Malficus Mallorem?"
Abigail had curled up on the couch, staring out the window at the rain that showed no sign of letting up. If anything, it seemed to be getting heavier, but it was probably her imagination. She kept going over the ritual in her head, but she couldn't see where she had gone wrong. Well, the rose quartz for the doll's eye crystal, but it shouldn't have made this much of a difference. It shouldn't have.
"Abigail!" Michael's patience was worn thin. He wanted to be understanding and supportive, but it was difficult. When it came to magic, she was convinced she knew everything there was to know, yet he was unaware of who taught her. Even the most powerful witch, which Abbey wasn't, needed instruction.
Abigail stirred slightly, not really hearing him.
"Abigail! I asked you a question. Would you please answer it!"
"Do you have a copy of the Malficus Mallorem?"
"Yes. It's in my room." Abigail looked at him with vacant eyes.
"Would you mind getting it?" It was impossible to keep the irritation out of his voice.
She continued to look blankly at him for a moment, like she didn't comprehend what he was saying. Slowly, just as he was getting ready to prompt her again, she got off the couch and headed up stairs.
Michael shook his head. This storm was affecting her in ways that didn't make sense to him. He'd have to talk to her after all this was over about a great many things.
Better. No pain. Space. Still wrong. Not home. Wrong. Water. Home.
Luck was on their side for a change. Michael was able to find a spell in the book that would act as an umbrella for the both of them, for lack of a better example. Abigail was still out of it, just letting him guide her where ever he wanted her to go. There was something nice about it, but even more so, it was just... disconcerting. Abigail was never pliant, never made things easy. It was one of the things he loved best about her. She challenged him to think faster and in directions he never would have thought of without her prodding. If only she wasn’t so convinced she was the only one who knew anything about magic. It was just too much.
There was a time limit on the spell, of course, and only so much it could do given the ferocity of the storm beating down on the little village. They needed to get to the harbor as quickly as possible.
Wind. Rushing, pushing. Tearing. Home. Want home. Not home. Closer. Not close enough. Miss. Them. Far. Too far. Want home. Need home. Strange. Have to go. Home.
Reaching the harbor, Michael looked for the demon, but he saw nothing but the rain. The water was rising, but the village was on high ground, so he didn't worry about that just yet. Abigail hadn't said a word on the walk over. Neither had he, but he didn't find that quite so noticeable. The storm was still gaining in intensity. Seemed to get stronger the closer to the harbor they got. Which would make sense if it were coming in from the southeast.
The darkness of the night was almost complete and the torch barely shed any light beyond the sphere of the spell. Michael kept them heading toward the the mouth of the river since that was where the indication of the demon was strongest in the locator spell. There was nothing but water to be seen.
"Damn it! Where the hell is it?"
Abigail inclined her head toward him at the sound of his voice. "Language, Michael. A vicar must set a good example."
He stopped dead in his tracks. "Language? The whole bloody village could be underwater by morning, there's an unknown demon on the loose that we can't find, and I'm not sure what we're going to do with it once we do find it, and you're telling me to watch my language? Bloody priceless."
"We're going to enlist it's help in the war effort. That's what we're going to do with it once we find it. And what are you so worried about anyway? The spell said it was down here at the harbor. We'll just keeping walking to the mouth of the river and there it will be."
Whatever fugue state she had been in had obviously worn off and it was back to the single mindedness that drove Michael around the bend.
"Abbey, you have to give that idea up. It's not going to happen. Whatever this demon is, it can't be controlled. There's no protective circle around it, there are no binding spells or charms on it. We'll be damned lucky if it doesn't kill us where we stand."
"I called it. I can control it. You'll see." With that she headed determinedly towards the mouth of the river.
"I don't care what time this is over. I'm calling Laurence as soon as I get home. Provided I'm alive and the phone lines haven't gone down."
As they reached the mouth of the river, there was still no sign of the demon. However, Michael was able to see that a water spout had formed on the beach head on what he thought may have been the exact spot the locator spell indicated.
Once again, he stopped right where he was. This was no demon Abigail had summoned. The invocation was so far off from what was needed to call forth a Malnor it apparently had been spot on for summoning a water elemental.
"It should be right here. We can't have missed it." Abigail was turning around looking in everywhere except at the water spout.
"We haven't missed it, Abbey. It's right there." Michael took her by the shoulders and turned her so she was facing it. "You didn't summon a demon. You summoned a water elemental. It explains the storm and why I was having such a difficult time with the spell. At least it will be fairly easy to return it to its own dimension. It belongs here even less than a demon does."
"Don't be ridiculous. We're not sending it back. If it can make things this difficult for a silly little English village, how much more will it be able to do on a German battlefield."
"My god, are you daft woman? Where have you been all evening? We can't control an elemental. No one can control an elemental. They can be called, yes, but they destroy everything in their path in their quest to return home. Some of them never find their way. You have read about Pompeii, yes? A fire elemental. Krakatoa? Earth and water elementals. Someone was overly ambitious that day."
"I can." Abigail moved closer to the spout, speaking to it. "I called you forth and you will do as I command."
Michael could see no reaction to Abbey's words in the water spout. Abigail moved closer to it and he could see the confidence returning with each step. Mixed emotions were an understatement. He'd liked the quiet, quiescent Abigail even less than the confident, arrogant one, but at least the quiet one seemed capable of understanding the consequences of her actions. The arrogant one never even bothered to consider any outcome but the one she wanted and even a good outcome had no consequences. How anyone who used magic could think that baffled Michael.
"Cease this storm immediately!"
Of course nothing happened. Michael was just glad the storm didn't intensify.
"I command you!"
The wind picked up speed and the plaintive sound swirling through the streets and buildings came close to breaking Michael's heart.
"We can send you home." Michael could feel the waves of animosity coming from Abigail. He was exceedingly glad that looks couldn't kill. "We didn't mean to bring you here. I apologize for that. But we can send you back. I would like to send you back."
Michael wasn't sure how the elemental could hear him or even if he could hear, he just had to let him know that he wasn't like Abbey. He wasn't pushy or thoughtless. He was incapable of using someone or something as a weapon. It was why he had chosen the Church over the Council. It wasn't that he didn't understand that wars were raging, one hidden in the dark, taking victims who weren't even aware it existed, and the other taking place in broad daylight, everyone aware whether they wanted to be or not. Michael just thought that everyone should make their own choice of whether or not to fight and how they fought.
"No, we wouldn't like to send you back. We would like you're assistance. My country is at war. You can help us win." Abigail was not giving up. This would work. It had to. How else could she show Michael how much she could help him, help the Council?
"That may be so. In fact, it probably is. But I don't want to force you to do anything. I can imagine how much you want to go home though. I know how I'd feel if I were ripped out of this dimension. I'd do almost anything to get back home. I can help you do that. I will help you do that. Just, could you please make the rain stop? There's been an awful lot of it in a very short time. We're not equipped to handle it. Please."
The storm died almost immediately.
"NO! I'm the one who brought you here. I'm the one you should listen to. I am not sending you back. Not when you can do this."
"Abbey, demons are notoriously difficult to control. An elemental impossible. It can't help us in the war effort. Storms are too unpredictable. If it does this much damage to "a silly little English village" that we are having trouble dealing with, why do you think it won't effect our side just as badly as the Nazis. How helpful will that be?"
He wasn't getting through to her. He never got through to her.
He pulled a small, leather bound book from his inner coat pocket and flipped pages. Finding an incantation that would restore balance, he started reading.
Abigail through herself at him, fists flying. Michael fended her off, losing his place in the process. He tried to keep from hitting her, but she was making it very difficult for him.
Suddenly, a gust of wind, targeted and specific, carried Abigail away from Michael, leaving him able to complete the incantation and send the water elemental home.
The wind whipped up for just a moment. Then gradually, almost imperceptibly, it fell away into nothing.
Michael hurried over to where Abigail lay in heap not far from dock. She was conscious, but was still regaining her breath when he reached her.
"Abbey, are you all right?"
"No, I'm not all right. How could you do that to me?" Abigail pushed him away, sending him sprawling in the mud.
"Do that to you? Why, you ungrateful little.... Goodnight, Abigail. I'm sure you can find your way home." He managed to get to his feet without any major falls back into the mud. Abigail continued to sit, looking up at him in a fury. He dismissed her with a nod and started walking back to the village.
"Get back here! Michael David Wallace, you cannot leave me here like this!" She still made no attempt to get herself out of the mud.
Michael turned. "Oh, yes I can, Abigail, and more importantly, I am. You have to learn... something, anything, from your mistakes and this was a mistake." Michael paused, debating with himself. Cursing himself for the words he had to say though she didn't deserve them. "There's a coven here in Devon. They're always looking for talented witches to work with, to increase their knowledge base. My brother Laurence works closely with them in his dealings for the Council. He, we, could put in a good word for you."
"And why would I want a good word put in for me?" Abigail was surveying the area around where she was sitting, looking for a decent hand hold to pull herself upright.
"Because you can't go on this way. What if I had been home when the storm hit? How would you have handled it? You couldn't have. The storm would have raged all night and what state would the village have been in by morning? Half under water I should imagine. The coven can help you focus your power, maybe even be able to help you with your plan for the war effort. Oh, for God's sake, here."
Abigail had only been half listening, as she had started the arduous process of getting to her feet. It hadn't gone well and she'd found herself face first in the mud twice.
Pulling her up to her feet before she had a chance to think, Michael continued. "It will be a good thing for you, to have others around who understand magic and what you can do with it."
"So you want to punish me for one mistake." Abigail reached into his coat pocket and took his handkerchief out to wipe her face.
"One?" Michael stopped himself. This wasn't the time. "This wouldn't be punishment, Abbey. It would be an opportunity for you to increase your power and control over magic. If anything, it's a reward. For being able to summon an elemental. That's not an easy thing."
"I'll think about it." Abigail drew herself up to her full height, which was nearly a foot shorter than Michael. She hooked her arm through his and they headed back to her cottage.
Michael wrapped himself tightly in his flannel robe, while drying his hair with a towel. It was after midnight, but he wasn't going to bed until he'd talked to his brother. Laurence was a night owl anyway and answered on the third ring.
"Larry, it's Mike. Remember that witch I told you about that lives in the village?"
"The one you're seeing? Yes, I remember. How's she doing?" The warm, teasing note in his older brother's voice made him roll his eyes. To hear Larry talk, Michael'd never had a girlfriend.
"We're not seeing each other. Not anymore. She raised a water elemental earlier this evening."
"She what?" That had gotten his undivided attention.
"She tried to summon a Malnor demon to assist in the war effort, but made a complete botch of the ritual and ended up with a water elemental. I was able to send it back to it's dimension, but we need to do something about her." He paused, not looking forward to Larry's reaction. "I mentioned the Devon coven to her."
"Mike, you shouldn't have done that." Laurence sounded tired rather than angry and Michael wished he'd been angry instead. "Lady Markham is willing to work with just about anyone, but I can't say the same about that witch of yours."
"I know and she wasn't thrilled with the idea either, but I had to do something. If she doesn't get some training, she's going to end up hurting herself, hurting others. Her heart's in the right place."
"It's her head I'm concerned with," said Laurence.
"I don't blame you. It concerns me as well. I just don't know what else to do with her though. She can't be allowed to go on as she has been. Anything I do will be counterproductive."
"She does get a matrimonial gleam in her eye whenever you're around."
"Exactly. Can't you talk to Lady Markham? If nothing else, she's be able to keep an eye on Abbey and keep her from being a danger."
"I'll call her in the morning, but I won't make any promises."
"You're giving her a chance. That's promise enough for now." Thinking a second before he continued, Michael said, "Don't mention the elemental to Dad will you. He'll think it means I'm ready to take my place in the family business and I'm not."
"Have to admit I hadn't thought of it. Not that I don't love seeing you squirm, but nobody should be subjected to Dad's one track mind. Not even family."
"And we're the only ones who could put up with it. Thanks, Larry. Good night."
"Good night. I'll ring you after I talk to Lady Markham, let you know what happens."
Michael hung up, praying that this would give Abbey what she needed.