The magnetism in his voice had already had her taking steps toward the bathroom door. Especially with the necklace now no longer around her neck, she felt powerless to him. If she did have suppressed powers of her own, they were useless against his.
However, she managed to pause for one last line of questioning. She was still confused, and whereas it seemed that she had already decided to help him, subconsciously if nothing else, she knew she wasn’t entirely convinced yet. ‘Hang on a sec, Max,’ she started.
‘Let me get this straight. My grandmother was, is, a very powerful sorceress, and there are more of you all, including your family, but my grandmother stole the powers of your grandmother, breaking some sort of magician law, and so now she has to be, what? Sent to sorcerer prison?’
Max chuckled. ‘No. Michelle, the stealing of another’s powers is punishable by death.’ Michelle froze. She can't help in the sentencing of her grandmother to death! But Max continued. ‘Death by the Arandin Desert.’
Before steadfastly refusing to assist with the killing of her grandmother, Michelle was confused again, and needed to know: ‘What is death by the Arandin Desert?’
‘Your grandmother is immortal. Fixed under the spell of everlasting life. The Arandin Desert is, well, anti-magic. It is like a hell for sorcerers. All magical power is drained, and no spell can be cast. Your grandmother will not have everlasting life in the Arandin. That is where she will be cast.’
‘Ok. Well in that case Max, I’m out.’
‘I’m out. I’m not coming with you, I’m going to demand that you reverse the effect of that spell on Robbie, as you promised you would once I gave you that necklace, and I’m going to remain, normal as you call it.’
‘Michelle, you can't. You don’t understand, we need your help,’ there was now a touch of desperation in Max’s voice. He didn’t seem so powerful anymore.
‘I can't help you send my grandmother off to that Aran-di- whatever desert to die! She’s my grandmother!’
‘Your grandmother, who you already thought to be dead anyway, you mean? Michelle, what you don’t understand is that it is a sacrifice that could very well save our world, and quite possibly yours too.’
‘What!? How will it save anything?’
‘The War, Michelle. I told you that in the Beginning there was one all-powerful sorceress who started the first Community amongst our ancestors, Alexis. She had the power to Teach others, and only she. As more and more of the Rest were Re-born, and she was Teaching more and more, she grew weak, and old. She passed her Knowledge to one other, one with everlasting life. It was Her who has been the catalyst of our Community’s growth and we now stand on the brink of being able to reveal ourselves to your world. When we can finally live with you, rather than hide away. But there was always one other. A sorceress who wanted the power for herself. She believed that she could integrate our kind with yours easily, that humans would accept us, and maybe even worship us as gods.’
Michelle interrupted him, ‘Her? You’re talking about your grandmother aren’t you?’
‘Yes, Michelle. My grandmother is the, leader, if you like, of our Community. When your grandmother stole Her powers, a civil war broke out. It is at a point now when our War will spill into your world and threaten all mankind. The End is nigh. Michelle, we have to stop your grandmother.’
Michelle took a couple of steps back and sat again on the toilet seat. She put her head in her hands.
‘How can I be of any help?’ She said.
‘You have had the necklace around your neck. You already had the ability of a sorceress inside you, it’s hereditary, but the necklace has enriched it, given it a spark if you like. It is still buried, deep within your soul, but you now have the ability to become the greatest sorceress to have ever lived. You are the only one who can stop your grandmother.’
‘But what about the inner meditation, the years of searching you talked about?’
‘When my grandmother was granted Her powers, Alexis was weak and old, but not dead. She lives now, but is nearing the end of her life. She passed her Knowledge onto my grandmother, but she is still as powerful as she was in the Beginning. Come with me, to see her. She will Teach you, like she Taught the first of our Community.’
He held his hand out to Michelle again, palm open as before, and looked at her, not with that enchanting stare that had first caught Michelle, but an honest, genuine one. Michelle didn’t feel any sort of magic pull this time. Completely of her own strength, she raised her hand and placed it into Max’s.