**HEAVY ANGST WARNING**
No really, heavy angst ahead, major character death, no happy ending. I was talking with @preciseprose about the saddest possible ending to The Owl House. This is my attempt here, so if you’re not one for angst, stop right here.
The door to the Owl House crashed open. Eda kept packing her bag, giving the intruder barely a glance as she did.
“I know what you’re doing,” she said. “I want to go with you.”
“Blight,” Eda finally acknowledged the other woman. “Been a while. ...is it still Blight? I mean. It’s been a few years.” She stood up, her spine popping unpleasantly.
“It hasn’t been long enough for that to have changed.” She frowned. “Not that I use that name much anymore, if I can avoid it.”
“It’s been a while,” Eda said tiredly. “How long were you two even together? A week? Two? You’ll have to move on eventually.”
“Says the witch who’s been obsessively rebuilding the portal for two years.”
“Nice of you to try to help, if you were so aware, Ms. Nosey.” She dropped onto the couch, offering Amity a place to sit as well.
“Given that they’ve outlawed portal magic again, I would think that keeping Lilith off your back would be contribution enough.”
Amity hummed affirmatively. “Knows. Doesn’t approve. It won’t bring her back.”
“Don’t you think I know that?” She raked her hands through her hair, flicking out a few bits of debris when she pulled them back out.
“Then why do you want to go?”
“Why do you,” Eda shot back at her. “Want to find another human, do you?”
“That’s uncalled for, and you know it.” Her voice shook. “I loved her just as much as you did-“
“I- I know. I’m sorry.” She took a deep breath, calming herself. “Shouldn’t have gone there but every- every time I hear someone ask why I just-“
“I want to know,” Amity cut in when she saw Eda struggling for words. “Where she came from. What made her into the person she was when we met. The people who didn’t, or couldn’t accept her. Her family, if I can.”
Eda’s jaw hung open before she slammed it back shut. “Yeah. That last one. It’s. What I’m going for. It won’t be her- I don’t even know if her mom is still around anymore either.” She picked up the cloak folded in front of her gently. “But she deserves to know. We were lucky, you know?”
“You and I have different definitions of ‘lucky’,” Amity laughed bitterly.
“I mean it. You and me- the dweebus. Plant Girl-“
“Eda, you know their names.”
“Doesn’t mean I’m gonna use them,” she chuckled. She grabbed at Amity’s hand, holding it awkwardly. “We got to grieve, kiddo. I mean, we had hope for a few days there- I think Lilith bought her some time-“
“Finally doing the right thing for once,” Amity growled. Eda squeezed at her hand and she sat up straight, looking sheepish. “I- sorry. I know she’s your sister. It can’t have been easy for you.”
“It wasn’t. But you’re not wrong. Thinking I’d lost both of them. But that’s the thing. We knew. Her mom...I mean, how many years has it been? She was supposed to be here for three months, and now...” She shook her head. “Even now I keep wondering if it wouldn’t be...kinder, to let her keep the hope that she’ll come home one day.”
“But she won’t.”
“She won’t,” Eda agreed. She swallowed hard. “So she should at least know that...she was a hero.”
Amity tugged at her hand, making the older witch face her. “And she was happy, Eda. That...matters more, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, kiddo.” Her voice broke. “Yeah it does.”
Amity’s tracking spell led them to a small house on the edge of the woods. The area was quiet. Remote.
“As far as I can tell.” Amity cast the tracking spell again, holding the picture of Luz and her mom tightly in her hand. Her magic streaked forward in a pale magenta line, surrounding the house in a pale glow, highlighting it against the evening darkness.
“You know, I...never thought of what to say, when I got here.” She fidgeted with the ribbon holding the cloak folded. “Didn’t think I’d get this far honestly.”
“We’ll have to convince her to listen to us before we tell her anything,” Amity said wryly.
The woman peeked out the door, looking tired and cautious. Amity compared the picture in her hand to the woman in front of her. She had streaks of gray through her hair, bags under her eyes. There was no joy in her face the way there was in the picture, just a tired resignation.
“Can I help you?”
“You understand that what you’re saying is crazy, don’t you?” She paced the room in front of the two witches. “I sent my daughter to summer camp to get her away from magic. Back into the real world. And you’re telling me-“
“She never made it to camp,” Eda finished for her quietly. “Ended up in our world,” she nodded her head at Amity. “Decided she wanted to stay for a bit.”
“And then just...didn’t come back? Decided to stay without so much as a goodbye?”
“She wanted to come back, Ms. Noceda. So much. She’d tell me sometimes-“
“And who are you,” Camila interrupted. “ I know who she is,” she jabbed a finger at Eda, “the woman who kidnapped my daughter, but you-“
“We were classmates,” Amity said, looking to Eda for guidance. The other witch shrugged helplessly. “And then we were...more.”
“You- her girlfriend.” Amity nodded shyly, and Camila dropped into her armchair with a short laugh. “That. That makes sense at least.”
“Did you...know,” Eda ventured carefully.
“Of course I knew. Luz has all the subtlety of a housefire,” she laughed, covering her face with her hand. She breathed deeply for a moment, calming herself. “Is she good to you?”
Amity nodded surely. The short time they’d been together had been some of the happiest in her life.
“And, you’re good to her too?”
A second nod, this one jerkier as she hiccupped, the tears bubbling up.
“May I use your restroom?”
Eda grabbed her wrist, stopping her before she could finish fleeing the room.
“I can tell her now, if you want,” she said quietly. “You don’t have to be here for this part.”
“I want to. For Luz. Just. A minute. Please.”
Eda let her go.
“Are things...okay between them right now?”
Eda leaned forward, resting her arms on her knees.
Camila nodded. “She seemed...afraid of me. Luz hasn’t,” she bit her lip, “I mean. What did she tell you, about me?”
“Everything she could think of. She didn’t,” Eda’s breath hitched and she held it until it was safe for her to speak again. “She didn’t want to forget anything about you. So we got the good, the bad and the ugly of it all- not that there was much bad or ugly. She loved you, you know.”
Amity walked back into the room, her eyes red. She stood behind the couch, a hand on Eda’s shoulder.
“Where...where is she, anyways? Too busy being a powerful witch to come see her mother herself?”
“The things that kid could do with magic,” Eda laughed in agreement. The sound was broken, and Amity’s hand clenched tighter on her shoulder. “Things I couldn’t even imagine a human doing before I met her. But it was her and it just made sense. That imagination of hers,” she shook her head. “Got us out of trouble as many times it got us into it, huh?” She patted Amity’s hand on her shoulder, easing her back around to sit beside her.
She stared at the table through watery eyes, and didn’t let go.
“Ms. Noceda,” Amity called the woman’s attention back to herself.
“Camila, please,” she responded. “My daughter’s girlfriend- you can call me by my first name. We’re family.”
“Camila,” Amity continued weakly, the warmth of Eda’s hand in her own grounding her. “We- When- She-“
“You shouldn’t be the one to have to do this, Kid,” Eda muttered. She reached into her hair and pulled out Luz’s cloak, kneading it in her hands before passing it over to Amity to hold.
“I don’t know how things work in the human realm. But on the Isles. On the Isles, we had an Emperor by the name of Belos. He was a tyrant. And Luz...Luz hated that. Couldn’t stand for it. He took anything that was different, or weird and just. Crushed it, until it met his requirements, or was too broken to fight back. I was one of those things that was different. It’s why I can’t do magic anymore,” she said, drawing her jagged spell circle and letting it crumble into nothingness.
“Luz would’ve let it go, but, well. Belos kept clenching that iron fist tighter and tighter. We fought back. We had to, or we would’ve all,” she trailed off, staring off into the distance.
“Some of us did,” Amity whispered clutching the cloak to her chest.
“Not- not Luz.” Camila looked desperately between the two witches, eyes bright with tears. “Please. Tell me not- she didn’t. Not her.”
“She was a hero, in the end,” Eda sniffled. “It was the final battle and- my sister, Lilith. She and Luz have never gotten along, not since- well. That’s not important right now. But Lilith saw the blast coming and she,” her voice broke, “did what she could. Shielded them both and then teleported Luz away. She knew they were both out of juice and they were surrounded. We almost didn’t get to Lily in time. I have no doubt that if she’d kept Luz there with her-“ She shook the thought from her head.
“Willow was the one to find her. Another friend of ours.” Amity took over the story, knowing that Eda’s estrangement from Lilith made it even harder to talk about. Lilith had never forgiven herself. “We’d beaten Belos- my siblings and I. A few of our classmates. Most of us were only half conscious when they brought her back. I- I don’t remember-“
“You screamed.” Eda stared into nothingness. “I was in the healer’s tent with Lily and I remember hearing you scream. And Willow was sobbing, trying to talk. I ran out there and Lily. Lily was worried, too. She followed me out and we saw Willow holding her...she looked so small. I took her from Willow and. You followed me back into the tent. Someone yelled for a healer. You were just talking to her the whole time.” She turned to Amity, staring through her.
“The whole time. The healer got there. Took Luz and kicked us out.”
“We sat outside the tent the whole night, didn’t we?” Amity’s voice was small.
“Yeah. We did.” Eda blinked and she was back, her eyes welling with tears. “She gave them a hell of a fight after Lily teleported her away. They...we think she had enough time to recover a bit and then- an ambush. Willow found her surrounded by the emperor’s minions. Gave as good as she got,” she nodded, tears flowing down all three women’s cheeks.
“My baby...my Luz,” Camila wept. “If you had just sent her home-“
“Don’t you think I tried?! The portal was gone! Incinerated! And then Belos had it and she was just- so...so determined to help everyone. To fix it. I couldn’t even get the portal to work for two years-“
“Two- two years? She’s been...gone that long? I didn’t know.” She slumped over in her chair. “Two years, and I didn’t know.”
“There was no way for you to-“
“I should have known,” Camila shouted at Eda, “I should have- she was my Luz I should’ve felt it somehow-“
“There was no way,” Eda said again. She gently tugged the cloak back from Amity, walking it over to Camila, kneeling in front of the crying woman.
“There is nothing in this or any realm that could come close to replacing her. There’s no words that I can say to make this hurt less; nothing I can do, either. I know that. I’ve been where you are-“
“I’m her mother,” Camila said, glaring through her tears. “She was my daughter.”
“And she was our family too,” Eda said firmly. “We loved her too.”
“We still do,” Amity said, meeting Camila’s eye for a moment.
“We do. And that’s why I couldn’t. I couldn’t let you hold onto false hope that she’d come back one day. The waiting. Titan,” she bowed her head, “you’d waited long enough, hadn’t you?” She looked into Camila’s eyes, searching.
“This was hers,” she said softly, setting the cloak on Camila’s lap. “A gift from a proud mentor, to the best Witch’s Apprentice there ever was. It was made out of Witches Wool and,” she chuckled, the sound watery, “she was so excited when she saw it-“
“Get out of my house.”
“Both of you.” Her hand clenched in the soft fabric. “Please. Go.”
Eda stood slowly, Camila’s eyes fixed on the cloth, her chin quivering.
“She wore it nearly every day. Her room back in our realm. It’s exactly the same as the day she left it. I can hardly step inside it to look at it.” Camila’s eyes drifted down the hall to where Luz’s childhood room stood, untouched since she’d desperately searched it for clues for where Luz had gone.
“Please. Just go,” she repeated hoarsely.
She nodded. “Come on, Amity.” Eda walked to the door, holding it open.
“She- she missed you,” Amity said, holding her own wrist in her hand. “She loves you so much- she told me she was lucky to have you waiting here for her. She was sure you would. We couldn’t replace you, and, and we wouldn’t have wanted to. But while she was there. She was happy. She was loved. I. I think she’d want you to know that.”
Camila sobbed, holding her hand over her mouth. She stood and hugged Amity tightly, the cloak pressed between them. She pressed a long kiss to Amity’s forehead. “Thank you, mija. Thank you.”
Amity nodded unsurely, looking back as she headed to the door. Camila sat in her armchair again, hugging the cloak and crying.
Eda closed the door behind them, wiping the tears off her face with the back of her hand.
“Will she be okay?”
“She needs time.”
“But will she be okay.”
“Are you?” Amity shook her head. “Neither am I. But. We’ll get there.”
Inside the house, Camila unfurled the cloak, a small pile of pictures fluttering to the ground as she did.
Luz, looking the same as the day she left.
Luz, her arms thrown around a witch in green and a witch in teal, gigantic grin on her face, dressed in her multicolored uniform.
Luz and Eda hugging at a birthday party.
Luz, long and lanky, dismayed by her too-short leggings as a small...dog? Cat? Creature laughed at her uproariously.
A group shot, all of Luz’s friends holding each other, Luz pressing a kiss to Amity’s blushing cheek.
A candid of Luz as an adult- during the war? She stood tall and proud, a smile on her face as she directed people around a clearing with reddish grass and a purple sky.
She was still so young.
She sobbed at the sight of that familiar handwriting on a small card of paper.
I don’t know when I’ll get these to you. If I’ll get these to you. I’m sorry I left. I’m sorry I couldn’t come back when I was supposed to. I had to save Eda. I had to keep you and the Human Realm safe from Belos. It’s still not safe on the Isles yet, but my friends and I are going to do our best to fix it. Things here are...bad. Real bad. I know I’m usually an optimist but I’m worried. If something happens, and I don’t make it back home I want you to have these. These are my friends, Gus and Willow. Eda, my mentor, who’s basically the coolest, and King, our adorable demon roommate. And Amity, who I’m going to ask on a date soon. I think I love her. Is it too soon to say that? We’re not even together yet!
I wish you could meet everyone. I think you’d like them. I wish you could see this place. It’s everything I dreamed of in a fantasy world and more. It’s terrifying sometimes, but, I think that comes with the territory.
I still miss home. I miss you, and our telenovela nights. You coming home from work and telling me the latest gossip from the hospital. The times we’d cook together.
Maybe we’ll get to do it all again some day.
Te quiero, Mami.
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