The Magisters were defeated, they were knighted, and Gwendolyn needn't worry about anyone using her powers for ill will for at least a little while. She should have been happy... she should have been thrilled.

But instead, all she felt was a sense of deep loneliness. Unlike the others, her family was gone, destroyed completely years before by the Magisters. There was nothing for her to return to.

Gwendolyn walked out, a sad expression on her face. She served her purpose. Now what was left for her to do? Settle down, start a family? Who would want her? She was a freak and she knew it. So did everyone else.

Snickers rubbed himself against Gwen's ankle. "Now, now, Lady Eldrisha. There is no need for tears. You have done this country a great service, and they will always be grateful to you for it."

"I am not Lady Eldrisha anymore, Snickers." Gwendolyn responded, almost bitterly. "I am simply Gwendolyn Winterhaven, the Witch of the Woods. And now that I am no longer needed, no one will want a grubby little thing like me stinking up such a lovely place."

"Oh, you're too hard on yourself." Snickers replied, smiling. "So what if you no longer have a family? You've formed a bond with everyone here. They won't cast you aside. Don't you realize that? After everything you've been through with them?"

Gwendolyn listened, and realized: Snickers was right. She was being stupid... if they just wanted to use her, why would they have spent so much time getting to know her? They were her friends, and she was being stupid thinking otherwise.

"Excuse me?" A voice came from behind her, and standing before her was a man in black armor, his hair as red as blood. He wore an eyepatch over his left eye and was smiling. "Why aren't you in there with the others?"

Gwendolyn stared at him, and she felt her heart get a little tight. She wasn't exactly sure why. "Uhhhh... ummm... I just needed some fresh air. Oh! My name is Gwendolyn Winterhaven. May I ask your name?"

"Alexander." He responded. "Alexander Gerard Kahner." He took her by the hand and smiled. "Let's get you back inside."

"Oh... yes." Gwen answered, blushing.

Snickers sat there and snickered. "And so begins a new tale in your life, little Gwen. I think you'll get along just fine."

The End

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