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Lessons in the Unseen

Chapter Text


Nicholas Scratch stood at the entrance of Gehenna Station. It was mostly silent, the wind whistling through the trees being the only hint of sound in the air. The building seemed desolate and overgrown with ivy, but Nick knew that behind the large wooden doors was an entirely different world bustling with young witches and warlocks.  

He gave one last look over his shoulder, at the broken-down train tracks behind him, before raising a hand to knock on the doors. The sound pierced through the quiet atmosphere, radiating as it traveled through the old wood of the doors. He stepped a pace or so back, allowed enough space for the doors to open. It only took a moment before he heard the handle turn and one of the doors swung open slowly, the old hinges creaking. 

Before him stood a young woman, blonde hair shaved short. Black lipstick painted her full lips. “You must be Brother Scratch.” She gave him a playful smile before delicately extending a hand out to introduce herself. “I’m Prudence. I’ll be escorting you to Headmaster Blackwood’s office. Welcome to The Academy of Unseen Arts.” 

“Thank you.” Nick followed her into the building, his eyes wandering around his surroundings. The interior was warm and dated, much like his previous institution had been. Red wallpaper lines the hallways and dark cherrywood formed most of the furniture. There was an era of elegance that plagued most of the pentagonal rooms.  

Prudence gave him a sly look as they wandered through the halls, her heels clicking against the dark hardwood. “If any of my professors had been even half as refreshing as you, Brother Scratch, I might’ve paid more attention in class.” 

Nick couldn’t help but chuckle at her comment, despite being in disbelief at her boldness. He looked up as they neared a set of wooden doors adorned with golden handles. He could faintly hear arguing on the other side. A set of female voices and a male voice – one much louder than the others. Discomfort plagued him. 

He looked at Prudence in front of him, expecting her to knock or announce her presence in some manner. She didn’t. Instead, she just pushed the heavy doors open with a comfort in her step. The arguing stopped immediately. Nick had no idea what he was getting ready to walk into, but he took a deep breath and followed Prudence in. He had no other option. 

Father Blackwood, Nick assumed, was seated at his desk, his fingers at his temple. A red-haired woman stood beside him, one arm crossed over her black dress while her other hand held a cigarette, its smoke billowing upwards. Before them stood a younger woman, her head craned over her shoulder to glare at the intruders. Her hair was a color that Nick had never seen before. Blonde, nearly white, with tinges of silver. Her hands were on her hips in displeasure.  

Nick couldn’t help but stare. She didn’t make eye contact with him. 

“Prudence,” Blackwood started, clearly already annoyed by the situation he was in. “Would you allow us a few minutes to-” 

He was cut off. “No, we’re done here,” the white-haired woman spoke, venom dripping from her voice. She turned hastily and shoved her way passed Prudence, who could only shoot her a look. “Excuse me,” she muttered as she stepped around Nick, her hair briefly grazing his shoulder. He watched her leave, before he finally turned around to look at the others in the room, unsure of what to do or say. 

The red-haired woman beside Blackwood excused herself, ignoring Prudence and Nick entirely, before she quickly exited as well, footsteps following behind the younger woman. 

“Apologies, Father,” Prudence started, bowing her head briefly. “Brother Scratch was outside. I thought it would be rude to make him wait.” 

Blackwood gave a long sigh before he composed himself. “Of course,” he said after a moment. Prudence dismissed herself with another small bow and a wink in Nick’s direction.  

“I do apologize, Brother Scratch, for the hostile situation you’ve just walked into. Please, rest assured that it isn’t a usual occurrence in our academy.” Blackwood stood to shake the young warlock’s hand, the two exchanging greetings. Nick assured him that it was fine. 

Blackwood motioned for Nick to sit.  

“You’ll have to excuse Ms. Spellman. She’s got a temper to rival all of the fiery pits of Hell,” Blackwood said as he began to shuffle through some paperwork on his desk, the look on his face told Nick that he hadn't meant that as a compliment. 

However, Nick’s interest was piqued.  

“Spellman?” he asked, trying to hide the curiosity in his voice. He was aware of the Spellman name. 

“Yes,” Blackwood replied, uninterested. “Our Ritual Magics professor.” He pulled a file from the bottom of a stack of paperwork and held it out to Nick. “Here you are, Brother Scratch. Inside you will find your class schedule as well as other important documents, such as your designated teaching room, a map, a guidebook, and a list of amenities that our campus offers.” 

Blackwood continued to fill Nick in, spent a bit more time conversing with the young warlock about his previous endeavors, before he finally summoned Prudence to finish giving Nick a tour of the academy. 

Despite the strange start to his day, Nick decided that the academy was worth sticking around.  


Sabrina stood in front of the large bookcase. It extended well into the high ceilings of the library, the only place in the academy she felt comfortable enough being in after her debacle with Faustus Blackwood and her aunt Zelda. She shook the recollection from her mind, deciding to deal with it later. She was at work, after all, and that deserved her full attention. 

She had her eye on a book just out of her reach. Not high enough to warrant dragging the ladder over, for sure, but not low enough that she could grab it either. She tried to anyway, standing on her tip toes and stretching her arm over her head. Her fingers brushed the bottom of the spine just briefly. 

She landed back on her heels with a sigh. 

“Need some help?” a voice behind her asked, breaking the quiet air of the library. Sabrina jumped before turning to look for voice’s owner. 

She recognized him as the man she’d briefly seen in the office prior to storming out. He held a box against his hip, a few books sticking out of the top. The corner of his lip was pulled up into a half smile. Sabrina hadn’t gotten a good look at him in Blackwood’s office, being that she was determined to get out of it. This time, she allowed herself a few moments to take him in. His dark hair was styled neatly, curls pulled into place yet seemingly natural and not overdone. His eyes were as dark as his hair, she noted.  

Sabrina turned her attention back to the book momentarily and mumbled a few words in Latin under her breath. The book flew from the shelf and into her open hand. She turned back to look at him. “I think I’ve got it,” she answered, watching his half smile extend into a full one.  

“Why didn’t you just use magic to start with?” he asked her, curious. 

Sabrina shrugged. “I don’t need magic for every little thing that I do. I like to at least try first,” she responded. It was a mantra she lived by, having grown up half mortal. It made more sense to her to exhaust her mortal methods before she resorted to magic. 

He nodded at her, trying to understand. Magic was so ingrained in who he was that he had no problem using it whenever he needed, whether it be a minor issue or a larger one. Still, he found her reasoning interesting. 

“I’m Nicholas Scratch, by the way. Nick Scratch.” He extended a hand to her. Her shake was firm, he noted. Nick had a feeling she wasn’t the type to mess around.  

“Sabrina Spellman, Ritual Magics,” she answered back. His hand was warm and a bit rough. 

There was an awkward moment of silence before Nick spoke again. “Edward Spellman’s daughter, right?” Nick asked, treading carefully. He didn’t want to freak her out, but her father was a rather well-known warlock, especially given how controversial he was.  

She nodded slowly, curiosity taking over her features. “You knew my dad?” she asked him after a few moments. 

“Not personally,” Nick replied with a shake of his head, “I just think pretty highly of him, being that he was both the best Conjurer and Binder the witching world has ever had.” 

Sabrina relaxed a bit at that. People either loved or hated her father and she’d heard arguments from both sides. Despite never having known her father, it still hurt to have people openly degrade him in front of her, solely because they didn’t believe in his ideas.  

“Those are your fields, huh?” Sabrina smiled at him for the first time since he’d met her. “Conjuring and Binding?” 

He nodded, shifting the box around in his arms. He’d enchanted it so that it was virtually weightless, despite the density of books within. Still, he found that he was a bit nervous in her presence, which was odd for him. Nicholas Scratch didn’t get nervous, not around beautiful women. Which she was, that much he couldn’t deny. She was beautiful, even in the dim lighting of the stuffy academy library, but there was something else about her. She looked like she was analyzing him. 

“Yeah, I’m replacing-” 

“Laris Aimes,” Sabrina finished his sentence. “And also, finally filling the position for Binding professor. We haven’t had one of those in ages,” Sabrina explained. “Father Blackwood has been teaching it for a while now.” Sabrina said his name like it was a stain. She still wasn’t over whatever it was that had happened earlier. Nick didn’t press her about it, he had other questions. 

“What happened to him?” He was referring to Laris Aimes. Blackwood had been short with him about it, told him he was simply no longer with the academy. 

Sabrina shrugged, dusting her fingers over the book she’d pulled from the shelf earlier. “No one really knows, since he wasn’t close with anyone really. The guy was old and cranky. Never cared to make any meaningful connections with the rest of the staff or students for that matter. He came in, taught, and left. Everyday.  

“Then, one day, he just didn’t show. No one’s seen him since. His home was checked eventually, everything was neat and tidy with no signs of intrusion.” Sabrina shivered a bit thinking about it. He’d been her teacher when she was a young witch and studying. Though she’d always thought he was a harsh old man, she did respect him. “He just vanished. A lot of people think he got sick of everything and just left, but I’ve always wondered if there was something more to it.” 

Nick took a second to process it. “Weird,” he finally declared, agreeing that it sounded strange. People didn’t leave places without reason, that much he personally understood. Sabrina just nodded. 

The sound of hasty footsteps and panting broke the silence between them. A young girl rounded the corner, her eyes locating and settling on Sabrina. 

“S-Sister Spellman,” the girl said between breaths. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She held up an empty birdcage with one shaky hand. “Stratus is gone.” Her familiar, Nick assumed.  

The look on Sabrina’s face changed to one of warmth. She made her way to the girl, comforting her with a hand on her shoulder. “Shh, it’s okay, Martha.” She rubbed her hand over the young witch’s shoulder. “Bird familiars like to spend their time outside. Naturally, they like being free. But don’t worry, they always come back. You just have to practice calling Stratus back to you.”  

Sabrina waved at Nick, bidding him farewell, before she walked the distressed girl out of the library. All the while comforting her with words of reassurance. The doors of the library shut with a thump and the room was silent again. 

He let out a brief sigh, shook the nerves out of his body, and returned to the mission he’d originally been on when he’d entered the library. He'd spent most of his day meeting and chatting with his new co-workers, and while he appreciated how hospitable they were being, Nick really hated small talk. He’d finally decided that during his break, he’d needed to get away somewhere quiet to focus on his lecture planning.  

However, even as he unloaded his box of materials on the nearby table, he found that his thoughts kept drifting back to the pearly haired witch he’d met moments earlier.  

Another sigh. He sat down, flipped open the crisp new planner he’d purchased, and forced himself to focus.  

Chapter Text

Sabrina focused her attention on weaving the thin stem of a dried flower through the base of her fall wreath, careful not to snap the brittle thing in half. Spread out in the Spellman living area was a collection of various creative supplies, ranging from hot glue to all sorts of fall themed flora and material.  

She was an “emotional crafter”, as Ambrose had dubbed her. The Spellmans could easily tell something was up whenever a seasonal floral arrangement randomly sprung up somewhere in the house. After her last break up with Harvey, right before the Winter Solstice, Zelda had woken up to a large and in charge arrangement of poinsettias nestled on the counter near the coffee maker. 

“What plagues you, cousin?” Ambrose dared to speak up from the sofa, his eyes drifting from the laptop he’d had his eyes glued to for the last hour or so. He paused whatever TV show he’d been binging. 

Sabrina kept her eyes on her project. “I don’t know what you mean,” she said, gluing a large burlap bow to the bottom of the wreath. Ambrose was about to press on, but she spoke before he could. “Other than the fact that our aunt has decided to marry a literal bridge troll.” She smacked the bow a couple of times for good measure, as if the damn thing dared to fall off.  

Ambrose didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was crooked. He wanted to live, and the way Sabrina held the hot glue gun in her hand made it clear that she wasn’t messing around. “As much as we might disagree with her, in the end it’s impossible to stop her.” He sat up and set his laptop down on the coffee table. “Although, I also don’t have any desire to see Blackwood at our dining table any more than we already do. And I’m not calling him uncle.” That would be weird enough considering Ambrose was doing all sorts of things with Blackwood's daughter, Prudence. 

Sabrina couldn’t help but snort at that. She would rather barrel roll through the pearly gates of Heaven itself than ever even consider Faustus Blackwood as a part of their family. Just as she was about to pipe up about possibly enchanting all the chairs in the house to pull away whenever Father Blackwood tried to sit down on them, Zelda appeared in the doorway. She saved the conversation for later. 

“Dinner’s ready,” Zelda announced. “Hilda’s made ‘Toad in the Hole’.” She paused to wave her hand around in the air. “Whatever the Heaven that is.”  

“Not hungry,” Sabrina answered in a monotone voice, dabbing some more hot glue onto her wreath. 

“And I’m meeting Prudence for dinner,” Ambrose piped up. 

Zelda sighed. “Have it however you’d like,” she answered. Her eyes landed on Sabrina. “But you and I will talk about this, young lady, sooner rather than later. And just so you know, my decision about the engagement is final. You’d both better learn to get used to it.” 

Sabrina slapped on a spice-orange felt leaf onto her wreath in response, signaling to Zelda that she was done talking. 


“What in Satan’s name is that thing, Spellman?” Nick asked, coming up behind Sabrina with a cup of hot coffee in one hand and a book in the other. She was in the staff lounge room, putting up what Nick thought was a wreath, though he couldn’t be certain. 

“I'm trying to get this place into the fall spirit,” she answered, hands on her hips, a hammer poking out from her back pocket. When he still seemed confused, she sighed. “It’s a wreath. I made it.” It’d been a few days since she’d talked to him last, having only seen him in passing a couple times since. 

“Oh, sorry,” he answered, though Sabrina wasn’t sure whether he was apologizing for not being able to tell what it was or for the fact that the thing even existed. A small smile played on his lips. “It’s...cute,” he said, a few seconds after noticing her disappointed face. He wandered over to one of the tables in the small room and took a seat, setting his coffee down. 

She followed him, sighing. “I know, it’s actually ugly.” Nick was surprised by how quickly she had come to terms with it. “I’m just upset, and I find that hot gluing some crap to a foam board is pretty therapeutic.” She glanced over at him. He looked at home in his black pants and dark sweater, his jacket thrown over a chair. The sleeves of his sweater were pulled up to his elbows, his strong forearms exposed. Judging by his shoulders, Sabrina could tell that he was fit. Not that she was really looking. 

Nick set his book down and crossed his arms onto the table. He had a feeling he wouldn’t really bother with any reading. She plopped into the seat in front of him and he found himself leaning in a bit. “Tell me, Spellman, what’s got your inner crafter in a frazzle?” He wondered if he was crossing a line. To be honest, he’d only known Sabrina for a few days at that point and he didn’t want to be intrusive.  

Sabrina pondered for a moment, biting her lower lip. Ultimately, she decided there would be no harm in telling him. The academy would likely find out soon enough, and honestly, sometimes venting to a near stranger who probably didn’t care was better than someone who did. Sabrina didn’t really want advice, she just wanted someone to listen to her vent for a bit.  

“My aunt,” she started. “is marrying Father Blackwood. They told me about it a few days ago, you walked in on the tail end of that argument.” In retrospect, it was probably good that he had. Sabrina couldn’t imagine that she would have calmed down had she not left entirely. Punching the headmaster would have likely gotten her fired.  

Things started to make a little bit of sense to Nick. “And you don’t approve,” he answered knowingly. He hadn’t known Blackwood long enough to form an opinion on him quite yet, though he could agree that something felt off about the old warlock. For one, he’d hired Nick without even bothering to interview him, simply because of his previous headmaster’s recommendation. He thought it was odd, for sure, but he wasn’t going to complain about getting the job. 

“Definitely no. He’s a sexist asshole and no good for my aunt,” Sabrina said, without holding back. “And I’m not scared to say that in front of you because I don’t care if you tell him, he already knows how I feel.” Even as a student, she’d always had issues with Faustus Blackwood. It always seemed as though he’d tried to squander her success by placing limits on her. Sabrina had always fought back, which had not only surprised Blackwood, but the students as well. Many of them had sided with her on various issues.  

Nick chuckled, his fingers wrapping around the handle of his coffee mug. “Don’t worry, Spellman, I’m not a gossiper.” He took a sip of his coffee, feeling a little good about the fact that she had confided something in him. Nick didn’t have any issues getting along with people. He was generally friendly and easy to talk to, but he wasn’t one for lasting connections. Though, he thought it might not be a bad thing if he worked on that while he was there. 

He and Sabrina chatted for a few more minutes, mostly about the academy. She told him about a few various shortcuts that made getting places faster and avoiding people easier. She made note of a few problem students that he should keep an eye on, ones that liked to pull pranks or irritate other students. Otherwise, she told him, it wasn’t too bad.  

Sabrina left a little later to get to her class. She found herself smiling as she wandered down the hallways, a pep in her step despite the recent mood she’d been in. Talking to Nick had proven to be the distraction she’d needed. Now she just needed to figure out how to continue ignoring her aunt Zelda for the remainder of the day, and the next, and possibly even the week after that. Zelda had easily found all her hiding spots. Sabrina chalked it up to Prudence and her sisters, the three of them were the eyes and ears of the academy, after all. 

She clutched her bag over her shoulder and pushed open the door to her classroom, finding a collection of students already present. She offered them a smile and greeting before heading to her desk, where a black cat waited for her. He bumped his nose against her arm, chirping a greeting. 


The bell rang throughout the halls of the academy, signaling the end of the school day. Sabrina dismissed her class with a brief reminder of their upcoming exams as well as the homework that was due at their next meeting. She dusted the chalk off her hands and reached for her own bag, packing her planner and a few other items that she took home with her daily. Sabrina had taken up Roz’s invitation to meet her and the others at Dr. Cerberus’ that evening, and they were due to meet in a half hour.  

Sabrina exited her room, pulling the door shut behind her. She wiggled the knob, a habit she’d picked up after the school released a new policy about the importance of keeping classrooms locked. It had something to do with a student entering and vandalizing the Latin room. Though, Sabrina had wondered how locking a door in a school full of witches and warlocks would really accomplish anything. 

She looked up to see Nicholas Scratch standing at his own classroom doorway, speaking to a student. She wandered across the pentagonal foyer that separated her classroom from his, catching his eye about halfway through. He gave her a small smile, one corner of his mouth a little higher than the other.  

The student excused herself, bidding both of them a goodbye before she left.  

“Spellman,” he greeted with a nod. 

“I see you’re managing to survive,” Sabrina said as she got closer. “No toads in your chair yet? Or snake familiars up your pant leg?” The students at the academy had their own special ways of welcoming new faculty. She’d gotten mice in her desk drawers on her first day, something Salem had had a blast with. To that day, he still referred to it as his own “Feast of Feasts”. 

“Nothing too extreme,” Nick replied with a chuckle. “Someone thought it would be funny to change my board and all of my notes to French.” He remembered the giggles and hushed voices of his students as he’d turned to read off another point from his chalkboard, only to find that it was no longer in English. 

Sabrina couldn’t help but widen her eyes in surprise. That was a new one. “And how’d that go?” she asked, curiously. 

Sans problème.  I’m fluent.” A grin spread across his features when she broke out into laughter. He decided that he liked the sound of her laugh. 

“I think it’s safe to say they won’t bother you anymore, Scratch.”  

“Call me Nick,” he responded almost immediately.  

She opened her mouth to respond but a ring resonated from her bag, surprising her. She quickly reached in, scrambling to put her phone on silent before it became to apparent that she had a phone on property. The first rule in their teacher’s handbook was that cellphones and other electronics were strictly forbidden on campus. Sabrina had already been caught multiple times. 

Nick raised an eyebrow, amused. “I guess you're the rebellious kind,” he joked. 

Sabrina hushed him. “Don’t tell on me. It’s not my fault Blackwood’s a conspiracy theorist,” she shot back, eyes on her phone, which she kept hidden by her bag. Blackwood had backed up his rule by stating that phones were easily traceable and that the school’s prerogative was to remain hidden. It was a valid point, she supposed, but not one she really cared to consider. It wasn’t like any mortal could enter without a witch anyway. 

“I’ve gotta go,” she replied quickly. The text was from Roz asking where she was. “See you tomorrow, Scr-Nick.” She waved at him over her shoulder before she raced off.  

She arrived at Dr. Cerberus’ in record time. She swung open the glass door, a small bell ringing above as she entered.  

“Evening, Sabrina.” 

“Hey Cee,” Sabrina responded, out of breath. He was behind the counter in his usual over-the-top vampire costume. He motioned to the back of the diner where her friends were seated. Sabrina headed on back. 

What she hadn’t expected to stumble upon was a giggling Roz, seated beside Harvey – Sabrina’s usual spot, even after their break up – with her hand on top of his. Harvey was whispering something to her, Sabrina couldn’t hear. She felt like she was intruding. Neither had noticed her yet. 

Theo popped up from the back, having just come out of the restroom. “Sabrina!” He beamed at her. 

Sabrina met him with a hug. “Hi, Theo.” From the corner of her eye she watched as both Harvey and Roz straightened up. Harvey cleared his throat and Roz issued her a shy greeting. 

It was too awkward to ask, at least at that moment, so Sabrina pretended like she hadn’t seen anything. Instead, she plopped down into the other side of the booth, patting the spot beside her for Theo to sit. She smiled at them all, ignoring the strange way she suddenly felt. 

“So,” Roz spoke up as they passed around menus, knowing full well none of them needed one. They all knew the whole menu by heart. “Anything new, Brina?” 

Sabrina spilled the beans about her aunt’s engagement. They all cringed. Despite none of them knowing Faustus Blackwood personally, her constant complaints about her boss were enough to paint a vivid picture. They spent a good amount of time on the topic before Sabrina moved on. 

“We’ve got a new teacher too. Father Blackwood finally hired someone,” Sabrina started, pausing while a basket of French fries was set down in front of her. She thanked Cee, grabbing a hot fry. 

“Let me guess, someone incredibly old and set in his ways?” Theo asked, shooting some ketchup over the top of his own fries.  

Sabrina shook her head. “Surprisingly, no. He’s young.” At least, she thought so. Nick was a warlock after all, his age could have been anyone’s guess. “His name is Nicholas Scratch. He said he’s a fan of my dad’s.” Sabrina made a mental note to ask more about that. There was very little she knew about her own father. Maybe Nick could offer her something more. 

“Ooh, Nicholas Scratch,” Roz repeated, “he sounds sexy.” 

Sabrina didn’t miss the way Harvey looked at Roz when she said that.  

“He’s...interesting,” Sabrina corrected. Though she didn’t deny that he was attractive. She felt that was the general opinion around campus, at least. 

They hogged the booth for quite a while longer, everyone adding something into the conversation pot. They talked about upcoming movies, and the ones Sabrina was interested in seeing for her quickly approaching birthday. They’d agreed to a movie, with pizza and game night at the mortuary afterward. Once the plans for her birthday were set in stone, they parted ways. 

Harvey had stayed a little more quiet than normal, Sabrina noted as she wandered back home that night.  


“Don’t forget,” Sabrina reminded, holding up a thick book for her class to see. It was the next day and she was back at the academy, thoughts of her mortal friends on the back burner for now. “You should all have your copies of Agrippa’s  Three Books of Occult Philosophy  by now. You’ll be required to pull from it for your upcoming papers on-”  

Prudence stood in her classroom doorway, causing her to pause mid-sentence and look up. 

“I’m just checking in to make sure you don’t miss the faculty meeting this afternoon,” Prudence said with a sly smile. To announce Blackwood’s engagement to Zelda, no doubt. Sabrina rolled her eyes. 

“Thanks Prudence, but I haven’t forgotten since the last time you checked up about it.” Sabrina glanced at the clock on the wall. “An hour ago.” 

Prudence shrugged briefly, the smile still on her face. “Just making sure.” 

Sabrina thought she’d leave after that, so she turned to face her class again. However, Prudence continued to hover in her doorway. Sabrina sighed heavily. “ What , Prudence?” 

The girl shrugged again. Her smile was a wicked grin now. “Nothing,” she’d answered just before she swirled on her heel and left. 

Sabrina just shook her head and returned to teaching. Prudence had probably gotten the idea that she was planning on skipping the meeting, which she  had  been considering. Eventually, she decided it wouldn’t be worth the lecture from her aunt later. 

The rest of her class went about smoothly and without interruption. She had her lunch in the lounge, lingering a bit longer, before she finally got up to go to the meeting. It was being held in a room further into the building, specifically set up for conferences. Chairs were lined up in neat rows with most of them already taken.  

A young woman waved her over. Beside her was an empty chair and beside that chair sat a young man with easily recognizable and perfectly styled dark hair. Nick.

“Hi, Elspeth,” Sabrina greeted the school’s Herbalism teacher with a warm smile. She noticed Nick sit up a bit straighter upon seeing her. “Thanks for saving me a spot.” 

“That was Brother Scratch, actually. He got here before me,” Elspeth replied, greeting Sabrina with a cheerful smile. 

Sabrina turned to him, “Hey,” she simply said. 

“Hi,” was his response, a half smile present. 

They turned their attention to the front, where Blackwood stood at a podium. “Thank you, all, for joining us. I understand the importance in returning to our daily matters as soon as possible, however it is imperative that we have a brief meeting to discuss some important upcoming events. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.” 

Sabrina found herself zoning out as Blackwood discussed some basic things: The Feast of Feasts – which wouldn’t involve cannibalizing another witch this year, thank Satan – and various other more minor school events. 

Finally, he cleared his throat. “And more importantly,” he continued. 

Sabrina sank lower into her seat. 

“As we remember my wife’s passing five years ago – Blessed she lie in Satan’s name – let us also remember Zelda Spellman’s utmost support during our grieving period. She has stepped up and presented herself as a second mother to my young children, cared for them as though were her own. Not only that, but she has shown her dedication to our academy in ways unimaginable,” he paused briefly to glance at Zelda. She stood from her seat and joined him at the front.  

“Some of you may already be aware of this, but as an official announcement let it be known that we have decided to wed,” he finally stated. Zelda’s arm laced around his bicep and she nodded to the crowd, a proud smile adorning her elegant features.  

Sabrina didn’t think that anyone in the crowd was all that surprised, but they sure faked it, nonetheless. Claps resonated around the room. Sabrina rolled her eyes. 

“And now, as we close this gathering, please allow a few more moments for our future Lady Blackwood to speak on matters of our upcoming theatrical production.” He stepped back and allowed Zelda to come forward. 

That’s right, Sabrina thought. She’d forgotten about the stupid play Blackwood liked to put on every year. 

Zelda began speaking then. “Thank you.” She glanced back at Blackwood before returning her gaze to the crowd. “As you all know, it’s almost time for this year’s production of  The Passion of Lucifer Morningstar . As is tradition, we will be using Father Blackwood’s rendition. However, due to the upcoming wedding and other academy factors, I am choosing to step down as play’s director this year. Instead, we’ve elected a replacement.” 

Zelda’s eyes shot over to Sabrina. “My own niece, Sabrina Spellman will take over my duties this year.” 

Sabrina sat up. “What?” she asked aloud. “Aunt Zelda, I never volunteered-” 

“You were elected,” Zelda reiterated. Sabrina had a feeling this was her aunt’s way of getting back at her for blatantly ignoring her over the past week. As cold as her aunt pretended to be, Sabrina knew that she was hurting her feelings. 

Zelda’s eyes landed on Nick next and she smiled. “Brother Scratch, since you’re new to academy, it would be good for you to partake in something extracurricular. You’ll be joining Sabrina.” 

Nick quirked an eyebrow, but he nodded anyway. He met eyes with Sabrina, who could only look back at him helplessly.  

Blackwood made some closing statements after Zelda stepped off, and within a few minutes, everyone began filing out of the room. 

Sabrina walked back to the lounge with Nick. “I can’t believe she’s making me do this. She knows I hate that ridiculous play. Just wait until you read it.” She was fuming as she entered the lounge. “I tell her every year how much I hate it.” 

“Seems to me like you’ve made yourself and easy target, then,” Nick joked. Sabrina shot him a look. 

Before she could respond to him, her eyes glanced to the empty spot on the wall where her home-made wreath had previously hung. Now, its home was in the trash can nearby.  

“Well that’s a bummer,” Nick said as he approached the trash can and peered in. Yeah, the wreath hadn’t just fallen off the wall. It’d definitely been shoved in there. 

Sabrina could only sigh. “I had a feeling that would happen. It’s what I get for trying to brighten up this dreadful place.” 

“I don’t think this place is ready for a Sabrina Spellman Original.” He reached into the trashcan and gently pulled out the wreath. “Tell you what, Spellman, how about I give it a new home where it’ll be much more appreciated. How’s my front door sound?” he asked. To be honest, the thing was downright ugly, and he was pretty sure that even the old lady that lived next door to him would make fun of it. But, he knew Sabrina felt down and if that’s what it took to cheer her up, then he was willing to take the fall. 

Plus, the damn thing was growing on him. That or she was, he couldn’t quite tell.  

She was blushing from embarrassment. “You don’t have to do that, Nick. It really isn’t that important.” It wasn’t. She made things all the time and threw them out, but his offer meant a lot to her. The fact that he was willing to hang  that  on his door just to cheer her up said a lot about his character. 

“I’ve already made my mind up,” Nick replied. “Let's just hope no one steals it.” He gave her a smile, and Sabrina would be lying if she’d said that one hadn’t caused her to melt a little – just a little. 

Chapter Text

Sabrina sat at the breakfast table, pouring maple syrup over her blueberry pancakes until it pooled around the bottom of the stack. Hilda had prepared her favorite breakfast that morning as a confidence boost for her new role as the play’s director. But it wasn’t confidence Sabrina needed; it was patience.  

Ambrose wandered into the kitchen just in time to grab the bread that popped up out of the toaster. “Going for a sugar high this morning?” he asked her. She shot him a look and poured a little more for good measure, as if to taunt him. 

Hilda brought over two cups of coffee. One for herself and another for Sabrina. “Oh, remember when she was little? The tiny thing nearly ran the Riverdale maple trees dry.” She poured some creamer into her coffee, thinking back fondly to a tiny Sabrina, sticky with syrup every time she left the breakfast table.  

“That’s why she’s so sweet now,” Ambrose joked as he bit into his toast, his other hand reaching out to ruffle Sabrina’s hair. She swatted him away before he could, having already styled her hair for the day.  

“Ha-ha,” Sabrina replied, but she didn’t laugh. “Aunt Zelda’s already at the academy?” she asked after a few moments.  

By now, Zelda would have already been in the kitchen, fussing over something in the newspaper, with her cigarette and coffee nearby. Even though they were currently mid-disagreement, Sabrina did have to admit the kitchen felt oddly empty without her. She found that she missed Zelda’s occasional remark about her table manners, or her tongue click at Ambrose whenever he came downstairs with toothpaste on the corner of his mouth. 

“Yep,” Ambrose replied, leaning his elbows over the back of one of the chairs. “She left before the sun came up. Something about planning her engagement party. Prudence is there helping her.” 

Hilda nodded, a smile on her face.  “I’ll be joining soon. Zelda’s leaving me in charge of the menu, and I’ve got to start brainstorming.” She was trying to hide her excitement. She knew how her niece and nephew felt about the engagement – she mostly felt the same – but she absolutely loved party planning. Especially when she got to combine it with her love of cooking and baking. 

“What’ve you got planned today, dear?” Hilda asked a few seconds later, taking a sip from her mug.  

“Well,” Sabrina started, poking at her pancakes with her fork. “It’s a Monday, so not much outside the usual. Then after classes I’ll have to oversee the audition process with Brother Scratch.” She still didn’t feel all that comfortable calling him ‘Nick’ in front of her family. She hadn’t known him that long, after all. 

Ambrose picked up Sabrina’s coffee mug, quickly moving it out of her reach when she grabbed for it, a frustrated look on her face. “I may have to swing by the academy to introduce myself to this Mr. Scratch. From what I’ve heard, he’s rather easy on the eyes.” 

Sabrina rolled her eyes and shoved her finger into his side. She relinquished her mug after he’d taken a sip. “Heard from who? Prudence, I assume?”  

He winked at her. “I don’t reveal my sources.” 

Sabrina shook her head and gave him a look. “Just keep it in your pants. For the sake of my ears.” She dropped the remaining piece of pancake onto the floor after countless nips on the ankle from Salem. He quickly grabbed it and ran off, choosing to eat it on the window sill. Sabrina stood to take care of her dishes. 

“Sabrina,” Hilda piped up, eager to move the conversation away from the topic it was undeniably headed toward. “How was your dinner with your friends, dearie?” 

Sabrina looked over her shoulder from where she was at the sink, a smile on her face. “It was nice to have us all together again. It’s hard to do that with everyone’s schedules.” Ever since Roz had taken her job at the hospital, she spent most of her time there. She was selfless, always offering to pick up shifts or stay late.  

On top of that, her father’s health was beginning to deteriorate, so most of her free time went to caring for him. However, despite not being able to spend much time face to face, the two of them always made time to speak on the phone, whether it be during Roz’ lunch break or Sabrina’s walk to the academy. 

Theo had also picked up a job in Riverdale, and it was going well so far. As for Harvey, he spent his time freelancing in his budding art career and helping his father in the mines whenever he could. It was a miracle when the four of them could meet in person. 

Gone were the after-school evenings spent at Cee’s, hogging a booth for hours while binging on fries and shakes, chatting about silly teenage things that didn’t matter anymore. Her friends were all adults now with their own lives, and as proud as she was of them, it was hard to think about them aging. Especially considering that she wasn’t. At least not as quickly as them. 

“At least you got to see them all,” Hilda said. Sabrina nodded while drying her hands off on the kitchen towel nearby. Hilda pushed a bit further. “Theo, Roz, and sweet Harvey.” 

Ambrose dropped the knife he’d used to spread butter on his toast. It hit the tile and clamored loudly. “Auntie,” he warned, knowing where Hilda was headed. 

“How are things with Harvey?” Hilda pried. Ambrose rubbed his palm over his forehead. 

Sabrina turned around. She leant back against the kitchen sink. “Things are fine with Harvey, auntie. We’re doing okay.” She stopped for a second. “As  friends, ” she finished slowly, as if to make it clear to her aunt. 

“They haven’t hooked up since Valentine’s Day-” 

“Ambrose!” Sabrina threw the kitchen towel at him. He ducked. 

“-So, it’s safe to say they’re through. For good this time,” Ambrose finished. Sabrina rolled her eyes again. 

Officially, she and Harvey had broken up just before the Winter Solstice – before Christmas. However, there were a few occasions where they’d both experienced moments of weakness and found their way back to each other – or more specifically, each other’s beds. The last time had been on Valentine’s Day - or rather, night  – when Sabrina had felt particularly lonely, given the spirit of the holiday. Ambrose had caught Harvey leaving that time, his appearance disheveled. 

She wasn’t ashamed of it. Harvey had been her first love, after all. And even though their relationship had become strictly physical toward the end, she still valued it. Harvey had taught her a lot. Mostly, that it was okay to not work out. 

Sabrina looked at her aunt. Hilda was blushing as she stood up, waved her mug around, and declared that she had business in the greenhouse.  

“Did you really have to end it off on that note?” Sabrina asked, knowing how her aunt Hilda was a bit more sensitive to certain topics. 

Ambrose clapped her on the shoulder as he walked by. “I bet she won’t bother you about the mortal boy anymore, though,” he said, a smirk on his face. Sabrina just sighed. 

With breakfast over, Sabrina grabbed her things, pulled on her jacket and buttoned it up before throwing her bag over her shoulder. Her feet slid into a pair of heeled booties.  

Salem waited for her at the front door, followed her out, and jumped onto her shoulder from the porch banister. He settled around her neck like a scarf. 

“Oof,” Sabrina said when she felt him climb onto her. “No more pancakes for you. Soon, you’ll be too heavy to carry.”  

Salem yowled at her. 

“I’m kidding ,” Sabrina responded with a laugh. “I wouldn’t do that to you.” 

Sabrina found Nick amongst a small group of – mostly female – coworkers. “You got some time?” she asked him, poking her head around Dorcas’ shoulder. The woman shot her a look of irritation, which Sabrina ignored. Instead, she waved a copy of The Passion of Lucifer Morningstar – Blackwood's rendition – in her hand. 

“Of course,” he spoke up. He didn’t seem all that bothered to leave his conversation, because he quickly caught up to her. As soon as he took the script from her hand, she began talking. 

“Auditions are today at five o’ clock. We’re holding them in the desecrated Church nearby. Obviously, we will pick only the best of the best, no pity-picks. Also expect to stay awhile because-” 

Nick stopped her in the hallway. “Okay, slow down.” He waited a moment while she floated back down to Earth. He turned to face her, his brown eyes catching hers. “Firstly, Good morning,” he said politely. 

“Good morning, Nick.” Her hands were on her hips, but a small smile did form on her face, much to her dismay. 

A smile pulled at the corner of his own lips. He started walking with her again. “So, auditions at the Church at five. Got it.” 

“Yes. Be there or don’t. I’ll start without you,” Sabrina tacked on. 

“I’ll be there,” Nick replied.  

“And no distractions. Save that for your free time.” He saw her motion to Dorcas and the other girls.  

His smile turned into something a little more playful. He looked at her, one eyebrow quirked. “Somebody seems jealous.” 

Sabrina shook her head quickly, hoping to shake away the blush that had started to form on her face. “Not jealous. Just serious. I don’t like wasting time, Scratch.” 

Nick nodded, but he kept the playful smirk. “Yes, ma’am.” 

They walked down the hallway, Sabrina’s eyes glued to the script as she analyzed it. It was all the same, thus far, as the previous year and all those before. She was stupid to hope that Blackwood had made any changes – for the better – this year.  

She could feel Nick watching her. 

“So, what’s with the sudden change?” he asked after a few moments of studying her. She looked up, a confused expression on her face.  

“What are you talking about?”  

“You made it pretty clear that you hate this play, yet you’re in total director mode now.” He looked on curiously. 

Sabrina looked up at him again, this time her eyes held determination. “Let’s get one thing straight, Scratch. I hate this play, with a passion – no pun intended – but I also pride myself in not half-assing anything, ever. I can’t control how the script is written, but I can control how well the performance goes.” She supposed that was another reason why Zelda put her on as her replacement.  

He smirked at her, impressed by her drive. It even inspired him. “Well then, Spellman, let’s make this the best damn play this school has ever put on.” 

Sabrina’s smile deepened. She could agree to that. 

“Ms. Callister, paper please.” Sabrina stood beside her student’s desk, one hand extended out, palm up. The other hand held a stack of papers tightly against her chest. When the student handed hers over, Sabrina added it to the stack. She continued down the aisle until she had all of them. Then she returned to her desk and dropped the stack on top. 

“That’s all for today,” she said when she turned around to face her class again. “You have a free night with no homework this evening, but I do suggest that you read Chapter 4 in your assigned textbook. It’s not a required reading, but it will strengthen your knowledge on summoning dolls. Your next project will involve an in-class demonstration on the subject. You’ll be breaking off into pairs, so start thinking about who you’d like to work with.”   

The bell rang as she finished up. She dismissed them with a goodbye before she turned to wipe that day’s lecture notes from her board.   

Once her board and her desk were somewhat tidy, she took the stack of papers she’d collected and stuck them into her bag. 

Sabrina left the quiet of her classroom and headed into the hallways, squeezing passed students and faculty as she hurried to the library to work on some grading. She spent some time in the area roped off for teachers, meticulously grading her students’ papers. Putting detail and time into grading was important to her. Even her students were grateful with the amount of effort Sabrina put into making sure they understood a topic.  

Once she finished with a good portion of them, she decided to save the rest for later. With a quick glance at her phone – which was hidden in her bag – Sabrina decided that she had some time to run to Cee’s for a coffee before heading to the Church. 

She grabbed one for Nick, too. She opted for a black coffee with some packets of cream and sugar on the side, since she didn’t know how he took it. Cee prepared hers as per usual, adding in the shot of cinnamon syrup she liked that time of the year.  

Sabrina made it the Church with fifteen minutes to spare and was shocked to see that Nick was already there, seated at the front row with a make shift table pulled haphazardly out in front of him. He seemed comfortable enough, elbow propped up on the table with his head leaning against his knuckles. When he heard her come in, he straightened his posture a bit.  

“You were right,” he said when she neared him. He had one of the scripts spread out in front of him. “This is awful.” 

Sabrina shrugged. “Told you,” she said, setting his coffee down in front of him. “I grabbed you a coffee since we’ll be here for a few hours – lots of expected turn out apparently, way more than last year.” She wondered if it had anything to do with the newest addition to their teaching staff. He seemed to be garnering enough attention around the academy. “I don’t know how you take it, so I’ve got some cream and sugar in the bag.” She motioned to the small paper bag nestled in the cup carrier beside her own drink.  

“Thanks, Spellman.” He gave her a genuine smile. He seemed content to sip at his coffee without any additives. Sabrina dropped into the seat beside him and pulled back the stopper on her coffee cup. The scent of spice filled the air around them. “That smells like fall in a cup,” he commented. 

“Isn’t it great?” Sabrina asked, a little giddy, before she took a sip. Nick leant back in his chair, arms crossed, and observed her for a moment. He thought it was kind of cute, the way that she lit up over something as small as a flavored coffee.  

“What’s the deal with this rendition, anyway?” Nick asked finally, breaking her out of her caffeine trance. “It’s a pretty well-known story. Everyone knows Lilith wasn’t as submissive as that.” 

Sabrina sighed, setting her cup down. Her thumb grazed the edge of the lid. “Blackwood has some really traditional views, especially when it comes to witches.” Sabrina could make a career out of calling him out whenever he attempted to pass a new policy that restricted female students only.  

She looked at him, angling her body a bit to face him. “You came from another school, right? What was it like there?” 

“In some respects, much the same. But different, too.” He watched as she leant in curiously. “My last headmaster was a bit more progressive in her views. She’d be pretty appalled by this.” He tapped the script with his fingers.  

Sabrina listened on with intrigue. She felt a bit jealous, for sure. “Blackwood told me women weren’t allowed to be Headmasters or High Priests,” she said. 

Nick just shrugged. “He lied to you, then.” She seemed relieved but also disappointed at the same time. “Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to complete equality, but it’s getting better.” 

Sabrina sighed. She should’ve figured as much. It was nice to realize that it there was hope outside of their academy, at least. “We only just recently got rid of a witch sacrifice for Feast of Feasts. When I was a student, I dug up some dirt on Blackwood and threatened him with it. Now we just celebrate with a large dinner in the dining hall, sans witch meat.”  

Nick smiled. “Like father like daughter,” he said. 

Sabrina raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?” 

“You father outlawed Feast of Feasts when he was the Headmaster and High Priest. I guess at some point, Blackwood reinstated it. Then, you came along and brought it down again.” 

Sabrina was shocked to say the least. She opened her mouth to question him further, ask how he knew so much about her dad when she knew nothing, but the door creaked, and a ball of black fur jumped onto the table. Salem dropped onto his back in front of Sabrina, purring.  

A student poked her head in. “Sister Spellman? Is it time for auditions?” 

Sabrina straightened, remembering her duties. She cleared the space in front of her, pushing Salem the side, and pulled out a clipboard to take names on. “Yes, come on in.” 

The auditions went by well enough. As much as Sabrina loved her students, she had to admit that some of them were downright awful actors. Some left her hopeful, and others were actually very good. 

One young witch was even bold enough to blow a kiss in Nick’s direction while reading lines for Lilith. Sabrina had watched as he quickly scratched her name off the list before turning to give Sabrina a helpless look. 

As Sabrina had anticipated, they were there for hours. After they’d gotten through the lot of students, they spent some time going through their lists and picking students they thought stood a chance. Sabrina was surprised to find that Nick seemed totally into it, making suggestions and choosing much of the same students that she had.  

Eventually, and with much consideration, they’d narrowed it down into a tight list of students, their parts, and their understudies. It had taken them awhile, but it saved them having to hold a second day of auditions. 

When they finally closed up the Church for the evening, Sabrina was sighing in relief. It was late, and she was exhausted. The chill outside made her shiver and grow even more impatient for the hot bath she’d be enjoying as soon as she got home. And the tea that would be sipped alongside it. 

Beside her, Nick stretched and yawned, his breath coming out in a white cloud as he exhaled. He looked at her with tired eyes.  

They walked ahead and he stopped at the break in the path. She turned to go left, and he stayed toward the right. 

“Can I walk you home?” he asked. It was well into the night, and especially dark in the woods. 

Sabrina shook her head, not wanting to keep him up. She knew the woods well enough, and that path led directly to the mortuary. Plus, she had Salem. “I’m okay. Thank you though, Nick.” 

He nodded at her, his hands finding a home in the pockets of his jacket. “Then, I’ll see you tomorrow. Goodnight, Sabrina.” It was the first time he’d called her by her first name.  

Just as she was about to bid him a goodnight as well, she thought about something. “Nick?” He looked at her over his shoulder, his eyebrow raised. He waited for her to speak again. “Would you be willing to share some things about my dad with me? Even if it’s just information on his professional life, I’d like to know something about him.” 

His expression softened and he smiled. “Of course, Sabrina.” She smiled back at him.  

They parted ways after that, Salem lounging on her shoulder as she headed toward the mortuary. Tomorrow afternoon, she would post the results of the auditions. Then, in a couple of days, rehearsals would start.  

She walked home in silence, Salem asleep, while thinking about how, perhaps, just maybe, she didn’t entirely hate this whole play directing thing. 

Chapter Text


Sabrina turned, a large sheet of paper in her hands. Pieces of tape dangled from the tips of her free fingers. “Hey, Nick,” she greeted before she resumed, carefully holding the paper against an announcement board at the entrance of the school and using her other hand to apply tape to the corners. She stepped back to reveal the list of students they’d selected for the play. 

“I didn’t see you this morning,” he said, referring to her usual stop by the teacher’s lounge before class. 

“I was late,” Sabrina explained, “Salem barfed on my sweater.” Nick winced. Sabrina sometimes hated how seriously Salem took his role as a house-cat. 

“I’ve got something for you,” Nick said proudly. He motioned with his head to suggest they step aside, away from the crowd of students. He pulled something out of his back pocket and held it out to her. It was a small, roughly bound book. Sabrina looked at it curiously before tilting her head up at him again. 

“It’s one of your father’s journals,” he answered, reading her confused expression. It changed to shock then. “It’s not the real thing. It’s a copy, of course.” 

Sabrina ran her fingers along the edge of it before taking it. “How’d you get this?”  

He leant in a little closer, enough that Sabrina could smell a faint hint of cologne mixed with the scent of leather. “I technically didn’t acquire it legally,” he said quietly. 

“Ah, there’s that bad boy persona,” Sabrina commented, a hint of a smile on her face. 

That made him chuckle. “Yeah, that’s what you like?” he joked, a playful glint in his eyes. Sabrina wondered if he’d just tried to flirt with her, or if that was just his nature. She lightly smacked his arm with the back of her hand. 

“Your father’s a very popular warlock even after...” he paused briefly. She knew what he was referring to. Her father's death. “Anyway, despite that, his theories are still considered controversial by much of the community, so it’s not like you can get them at any old Satanic book store or library. You’ve got to dig a little deeper.” 

Sabrina thumbed the small notebook in her hand, trying to think back to what she could remember of her father. She’d never known him and hadn’t ever really gotten the chance to learn much about him outside of the usual things that her aunts told her. That he was brave, good natured, a loving brother, but they never went beyond that. They never commented on his position in the witching community, or what he had contributed. Only that he’d been a Headmaster and High Priest at their academy before Blackwood. 

The only ‘controversial’ thing she’d had a clue about was that he’d married her mother, a mortal. Sabrina knew about that all too well, considering it was something she’d always gotten picked on about. Being a half-witch half-mortal made her an easy target for the degrading remarks she sometimes received. And while they were sparse now – nothing compared to when she was a student – they still happened. 

Nick seemed to notice that she’d suddenly spaced out because he spoke up softly, breaking her out of her thoughts.  

“You okay?” he asked her, his dark eyes catching hers. Sabrina nodded. “I don’t have everything your father ever wrote, but I’ve got a good enough collection. You can look through it if you want,” he offered. He was willing to let her have whatever she wanted. Edward Spellman was her father, after all. 

Sabrina opened her mouth, but the sound of the bell cut her off. She hurriedly stuck the notebook Nick had given her into her bag before looking up at the warlock. “Thank you, Nick. It really means a lot.”  

“No problem,” he told her. “You better get to class, Spellman. I’ll see you around.” 

She gave his arm a squeeze before she brushed passed him. 

“I can’t believe you were elected when I'm, by far, the better actress,” Dorcas droned on as she leaned against the table. It was the next day and all Sabrina had wanted to do was have a morning tea in the lounge while she wrote in her planner. However, as soon as she’d seen Dorcas wander in, Sabrina had dumped her decaf tea out for a coffee, deciding that she’d better stick to something caffeinated.  

“Uh-huh,” Sabrina replied, not looking up from her planner. “I remember that one time you played Lilith, Dorcas.” She remembered that it had been like nails on a chalkboard. 

Nick sat further back, shuffling through a stack of papers, while listening to Dorcas and her sisters hound Sabrina about her role as director. 

Prudence was seated across from Sabrina, filing her nails. “Relax, Dorcas. Let Sabrina have her fun.” 

“It’s work, Prudence, not fun,” Sabrina corrected her.  

“But it can be fun, can’t it, Sabrina?” Prudence shot her a wicked smile. “A bit of roleplay to get the gears turning.” She looked at Dorcas. “Didn’t you and Melvin partake in some additional rehearsals behind the stage that year you played Lucifer and Lilith?” 

“In costume,” Agatha added on. Dorcas had a diabolical look in her eyes, her red lips pulled into a smirk. 

Sabrina nearly spit out her coffee. "Excuse me?” 

“All I’m saying,” Prudence continued, “is that you and Nicholas can’t expect to educate the youth on the fervent love story of Lucifer and Lilith without being fully comfortable with each other.” 

“It is called ‘The Passion of Lucifer Morningstar’ for a reason, Sabrina,” Agatha piped up again. It was Nicholas who nearly choked that time. Prudence shot him a wink.  

“That’s it, I think I’m done here.” Sabrina stood up, haphazardly throwing her stuff together and scooping it up into her arms. She practically threw her mug into the lounge sink before she hurried out, giggles erupting behind her. 

Sabrina spent her free time in her classroom the rest of the day, not daring to step foot into the lounge after her encounter with the ‘Weird Sisters’ earlier. Undoubtedly, with Prudence in charge of costuming the actors, she knew she’d have to see both Agatha and Dorcas at some point, too. Until then, the quiet of her empty room was incredibly welcoming. 

Sabrina had chosen to lock herself away for another reason, too.  

In front of her, spread open on the dark cherry wood of her desk, was her father’s journal. The longer she read, the more confused she grew. The journal was incredibly personal, undeniably, but it was more a place for her father to jot down his ideas – no matter how random – in a scratchy handwriting that took her sometime to decipher.  

She flipped a few more pages and was surprised to find a hand drawn sketch. It was of her mother. She smiled softly, a finger gently tracing the image, careful not to smudge the graphite. Beside the image, on the adjacent page, was a love poem. 

Sabrina jumped when Salem yowled beside her. Her alarm clock, telling her that it was time to pack up and head to rehearsals. It was after school at that point, her last class of day long gone.  

She packed up her things, slipped on her red pea-coat, and left to brace the world. 

When she arrived at the Church a few minutes later, she found that most everyone was already there. Prudence was in the corner, measuring their Stolas actor for his costume. A few students gathered in a small circle on the floor, painting a backdrop. Nick stood on the stage, a script in his hand, while he spoke to their Lucifer and Lilith. The students were listening, nodding eagerly as he coached them. Their ‘False God’ actor hung around nearby, running lines quietly as he paced back and forth. 

“The frightened little bird joins us,” Prudence commented with a smirk as Sabrina walked by.  

“Can it, Prudence,” Sabrina shot back. She pointed to Agatha and Dorcas, who sat in a pew near Prudence. “They’re not supposed to be here.”  

“I’ve appointed them into the costuming committee. I need some help sewing in all these feathers,” Prudence justified.  

Agatha winked at Sabrina, who waved them off after she decided the fight wasn’t worth it. 

“Spellman.” Nick was waving her over. 

Behind her, she heard Prudence mutter, “Duty calls,” under her breath. 

She ignored his hand when he went to help her onto the stage, feeling the ‘Weird Sisters’ eyes on her. They practically lost it when she actually did stumble - that stage was definitely higher than she remembered it being - and Nick had to grab her by the bicep anyway to keep her from falling. He pulled her up in one swift motion until she was face to face with him. 

“I can’t stand them,” Sabrina grumbled. 

“Don’t worry about them,” Nick answered, “we’ve got more important things to deal with.” 

It turned out that even though the love interests were solid actors alone, they were lackluster when it came to their chemistry. 

As they progressed through their lines, Sabrina was steadfast, while Nick was patient. Even when their Lilith faltered under the pressure, it had been Nick who comforted her, told her that it was alright, and everything would come with practice. Sabrina had watched on, impressed, as he helped her pull herself together. 

An hour and a half in and he’d decided it was best they take a short break. Sabrina agreed. They mingled on stage as they waited for their actors to return. 

“This is harder than I thought,” Sabrina admitted, a little embarrassed. Was this really what Zelda had to deal with, year after year? 

Nick shrugged as he walked toward her, the top couple of buttons of his white dress shirt long since undone. His sleeves were rolled up, olive skin exposed. Sabrina had to admit, she could see the appeal of someone like Nicholas Scratch. Dark hair and eyes, that off-kilter smirk. He had the whole package.  

And that could be very dangerous, Sabrina thought. 

“Lucky for you, you’ve got a seasoned veteran here,” he stated. “I don’t mean to brag, but I did have some solid roles in back my own academic days.” 

Sabrina raised her eyebrows, a playful smile threatening to expose itself. “Nicholas Scratch, you mean to tell me you were a theater nerd?” 

He shot back with his own smile. “You could’ve called me that, yeah.” She laughed fully then. “Giggle all you want, but I bet you would’ve swooned had you seen me in my school’s adaption of Lucifer’s Fall: The Musical.” 

Sabrina pretty much lost it then. She held her hand just above her mouth, trying to cover how big her smile was. Her petite frame shook with laughter. “I’m sorry, did you say ‘musical’? You were in a musical?” 

“Oh, not just one, Sabrina.” A wicked grin formed on his face and he leaned closer, his lips just inches from her ear. She felt his breath on her cheek as he whispered, “many,” in her ear, the word drawn out and airy. He was being overly seductive as a joke, she knew that much, but it didn’t stop her stomach from turning into a jumbled mess. 

Dangerous, she repeated in her mind, very dangerous

Luckily, she was saved when their actors returned seconds later. Both teachers straightened themselves out, the time for joking over. They quickly picked up where they left off, except Sabrina had left Lucifer and Lilith to Nick while she excused herself to help their False God run some of his lines.  

While their False God was scribbling some notes into the margins of his script, Sabrina caught wind of Nick’s coaching. She couldn’t help but listen in. 

He was seated on the wooden crate of props, his script dangling from one of his hands as he directed. “Acting is just pretending,” he was telling the students. “When you are on the stage, you aren’t yourselves. You’re Lilith and Lucifer. Remember that. Envision yourselves as your characters, that includes taking on their feelings, their emotions, and how they perceive each other.” Nick stood up. “The story of Lucifer and Lilith is magnetic and passionate.” 

He looked over his shoulder then, at her. “Spellman, can I borrow you for a second?” 

She left the student with a pat on the shoulder before she climbed back up onto the stage. “What’s up?” she asked him. 

He stood, unfolding his script. “Read for Lilith, please?” She realized he was trying to demonstrate for the students. She stepped forward, gave her nod of approval. 

Nick cleared his throat. He turned to face Sabrina, standing just a few feet from her. “Lilith,” he began, “why do you lie so far away from me?” His voice was gentle, soft. His brown eyes looked deeply into hers, as if searching for something. “Come closer.” 

“I will not lie beneath you,” Sabrina returned, “but only by your side.” 

“Is that what you said to your husband, Adam?” Nick asked, stepping a bit closer to her. He leaned in a bit. “Aren’t you cold, woman?” 

“Yes,” came Sabrina’s response, “I’ve been cold since the garden.” She found that her own voice was just above a whisper, sorrowful, as she attempted to convey Lilith’s emotions. 

Nick’s hand reached up to touch her shoulder. She became hyper-aware of its weight. “Come closer, then,” his soft voice pleaded, “and I’ll keep you warm.” His thumb was gentle, tracing slow patterns on her shoulder. Sabrina felt her stomach do a somersault, but she stayed in character – or at least, tried to. 

That was, until Prudence shouted from the back of the room. “Bravo!” She clapped. Nick gave a bow in her direction.  

He dropped his fingers from her shoulder, and they were no longer Lucifer and Lilith, but Nick and Sabrina. Coworkers, she told herself. 

“That was amazing,” said their Lilith, who was called Abigail. 

“Agreed,” Marcus – Lucifer – added on. He looked at Abigail. “Let’s keep practicing.” 

Rehearsals lasted for another half hour or so, until Sabrina decided it was cut it off and head home. It was a long first day and they were due to meet the next evening as well.  

“I still can’t believe you were a theater kid,” Sabrina was saying while she packed up her things. As directors, they were the last to leave. “But it did come in handy tonight, so I guess I can’t make fun of you too much.”  

Nick was pulling on his jacket when he chuckled. “Why is that? Because I’m so dashing and a complete charmer I don’t qualify as theater material?” he joked back. 

“Dashing? Maybe,” she said with a shrug, “Dark and mysterious is more like it. Word around the block is that Nicholas Scratch is the bad boy type.” There had been a few occasions when she’d heard the term thrown around the teaching lounge, whenever someone brought up Nick. And since he was still a new face, someone always did. 

That made Nick smirk. “Just because I wear dark clothes and hate small talk doesn’t make me the 'bad boy' type,” he responded. He held the door open for her. The cold air hit sharply, and she pulled her jacket tighter. “If you got to know me, you’d realize that.” 

There was that charm. She wondered what getting to know Nicholas Scratch entailed.  

“You make a good Lilith, by the way,” Nick said after a few paces. When she scoffed, he corrected himself. “The real Lilith, not this bastardized version.” 

“I guess you make an ‘okay’ Lucifer,” Sabrina responded. 

He bumped shoulders with her playfully. She felt the heat through his jacket. “Just okay, huh?” he teased, a smile on his face. 

She tried to hide her own smile as it formed.  

“Just okay,” she repeated. 

“What’s got you so giddy?” Ambrose asked her when he caught sight of her practically skipping into the Spellman living area that night, a cup of tea in hand and Salem prancing in behind her.  

“I’m excited for my tea,” Sabrina declared, propping a book onto her lap. 

“You have tea every night, cousin. Chamomile, to be exact.” He pointed at her cup. “So, unless you’ve got something new in your mug there, I’m going to assume it’s not the tea.” 

“Ambrose, your cousin has had a long day, leave her be,” Zelda spoke up, book in hand, cigarette smoke billowing. “How was your first evening directing, Sabrina?”  

Zelda didn’t expect an answer, so she was pleasantly surprised when Sabrina simply said, “It was fine.” The tiniest of smiles formed on Zelda’s face. She hoisted her book up higher to hide it. As guarded as she came off, hearing her niece say something to her after days of avoiding her made her hopeful. 

“Oh, that’s right,” Ambrose was suddenly sitting up, a sly smile armed. “Should I be prepared to catch someone  else  sneaking out of the Spellman front door past the witching hour?” 

Hilda swatted at him with her hand. “For Satan’s sake, Ambrose, she and Harvey have just-”  

“I’m over Harvey,” said Sabrina. 

“She’s over Harvey,” echoed Ambrose, smugly. 

“And praise Satan for that,” Zelda added, taking a long drag from her cigarette. “I do pray that your next conquer is someone more capable. A warlock, I hope.” 

Sabrina rolled her eyes. “Will everyone relax? I’m not ‘conquering’ anyone anytime soon.” She gave an exasperated sigh and roughly opened her book. “Now please, let me have some peace and quiet.” 

Chapter Text

“I’ve got the popcorn and candy.” 

“I’ve got the sodas.” 

Sabrina held the cold beverages against her chest as she bounded up the Walker stairwell behind Roz, both girls a mess of hushed voices and giggles. They’d decided on a girls’ night since their schedules had somehow – miraculously – aligned for once. Both Theo and Harvey were out of luck, Roz had explained to them. She wanted a night with just her best girl friend. After a week and a half of directing a play full of teenagers, Sabrina had eagerly obliged.  

Roz stopped mid-stairwell to peak her head over the railing. “Daddy, you’ll be alright down here?”  

Her father sat in his favorite chair; his cane propped up against it. A bowl of popcorn sat propped on his lap. He briefly glanced at Roz before he returned his attention to the television where he flipped through various sports channels. “I’ll be alright, sweetheart. Enjoy your evening.”  

Roz smiled back and they proceeded forward, setting everything down on Roz’s bed as soon as they entered her room.  

“I needed this,” Roz said with a sigh of relief. “A girls’ night. When’s the last time we had a sleepover?” 

Sabrina laughed as she perused Roz’s DVD collection. “I can’t remember, so it must’ve been forever ago.” 

“And,” Roz started, a smirk on her face as she began to reach around below her bed. She pulled out a glass bottle, nearly full of liquid. Rum. “Got us something to help us forget about our day jobs for the night.” She winked. 

“Ooh.” Sabrina waggled her eyebrows. “The perfect daughter, Rosalind Walker, sneaking alcohol into her overly-religious father’s home? I never thought I’d see the day,” she teased. Roz had only recently moved back in with her father. After college, she’d returned to a small apartment in the center of downtown Greendale – her own corner of the world as she’d lovingly dubbed it, because the tiny thing really  was  just a corner. However, with her father’s health in bad shape, she’d opted out of another lease and instead, taken residence back up in her old room, which still had all relics of her high school days plastered around it. 

“Hush,” Roz shot back playfully. She opened a couple of cans, emptying the liquid into two glasses and pouring a hefty shot of rum alongside. “Your rum and coke, my 'lady.” She held it out to Sabrina, who took it gingerly with her pinky extended. 

“Thank you, madame.” 

“What shall we start with?” Roz asked while Sabrina continued to look through the line-up of old DVDs. Her finger landed on something and she pulled it out, holding it up for Roz to see. “’Nightmare on Elm Street’, really? Halloween’s still a couple of weeks away, Brina.” 

“I’m in the mood for something spooky,” Sabrina responded. 

Roz laughed. “You always are, Brina. Fine, pop her in.” She motioned toward the DVD player a couple of feet away.  

The next hour and a half progressed with both girls seated on Roz’s bed, snacking on popcorn while sipping their drinks, occasionally making comments about the movie. They let the ending credits roll, the two of them becoming too enthralled in their conversation to bother switching it off. 

“Yeah, and remember when she slid on that banana peel that Harvey left in the hallway, because he wanted to see if it really worked? He meant it for Billy, but Mrs. Williams came trudging down the hallway like she always did and bam, she was spinning into the lockers,” Sabrina tried to recall while she struggled to laugh and breathe at the same time.  

Roz was laughing too. “And she ended up twisting her ankle? Harvey felt so bad about it that he had flowers anonymously sent to her office. That has to be the funniest memory of sophomore year.” 

“Seriously, sometimes I miss high school,” Sabrina said as she regained her composure.  

Roz smiled thoughtfully. “Me too.” 

Sabrina sat up then, setting her glass aside. “Alright,” she started, “your turn to pick a movie.” 

Roz hesitated momentarily, her fingers thumbing her glass nervously. Sabrina eyed her in concern. “Actually, I was hoping to talk to you about something first.” She looked conflicted, like she wasn’t sure if she should continue, but Sabrina placed her hand on her shoulder. 

“Sure, Roz. Is everything okay?” Sabrina asked, concern heavy in her voice. 

“Everything’s fine. It’s just that...” She paused, looking at Sabrina. “It’s actually, um. It’s actually about Harvey...” Again, she hesitated. “Harvey and...I,” she clarified.  

Sabrina felt like she had an idea of what was coming. Her thoughts flashed back to Cee’s, when she’d caught them holding hands. “You can tell me anything, Roz,” she reassured. 

“I guess I just want to make sure that...everything is over between you and Harvey, right?” Roz asked. “Because I would never want to make you upset Sabrina, so if this makes you uncomfortable in even the slightest way, please just let me know and –” 

Sabrina took her friend by the shoulders. “Roz,” she said, softly, stopping her friend from rambling. “I get it.” Roz seemed a bit relieved that she wouldn’t have to further explain. “Don’t worry. Harvey and I are completely over. You’re my best friend and it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I’d tell you if it did, believe me.”  

Sabrina pulled Roz into a hug then, patting her back. “I love you, Roz. You’ve got my blessing. Thank you, for coming to me about it first though. It means a lot.” 

Roz hugged her back, letting out a big sigh of relief. “I wanted to do this with Harvey. It only felt right that he be there too, but he was too nervous and said it’d made him uncomfortable.”  

Sabrina sighed. “That’s Harvey.” 

Roz rubbed her shoulder as they pulled from their hug. “I’m sorry, Brina...” 

Sabrina smiled back, shaking her head. “Not your fault, Roz.” 

She found that she couldn’t blame Harvey all that much, especially since the end of their relationship had been so...weird. Especially after Harvey had - 

“Brina?” Sabrina looked up to find Roz starring at her, her expression soft. “Friends forever?” 

Best friends forever,” Sabrina corrected, a grin on her face. They toasted their nearly empty glasses. 

“Sister Spellman, what’s the difference between Summoning Dolls and Voodoo Dolls?” a student asked, eyes wide with inquisitiveness.  

Sabrina smiled. “That’s a good question,” she pointed out after watching a couple of students roll their eyes at the girl. “Voodoo Dolls are generally regarded as more malicious and heavily invasive because of the need for hair or other fragments. Summoning Dolls aren’t as invasive, and you don’t need any bits of material from your intended target. You can’t harm your target with it, so it also requires a lot less magic and therefore, is great practice for beginners.” 

“Will we learn how to make Voodoo Dolls?” another student asked. 

“Not in first year Ritual Magic, Mr. Parson.” She watched him sigh in disappointment. “I'm afraid that’s saved for my more advanced classes.” 

Another student raised their hand. “How can we be certain that this will work?” she asked, raising up the doll she’d crafted of her project partner. “I mean, with the way these look, how can we be certain that we’ll summon the right person?” The student looked at her doll, frowning at the asymmetrical face. It had the same hair color as her partner, and similar little doll clothes, but otherwise it didn’t look remotely like them. 

“Another good question,” Sabrina declared. She pulled her needle through her own small doll, snapping the thread with her teeth once she was satisfied with the stitch. “It’s not really about the doll,” she started, “it’s more about what you envision and the spell itself. You need a clear picture of the person in your mind, and you need to focus on it. The spell also requires a name, first and last.” 

Sabrina reached for a piece of red twine from her desk. With her thumb, she pressed one end of it into the doll’s chest. 

“Ready for an example?” she asked. The class nodded eagerly, students sitting up in their chairs. 

She began to wind the red twine around the waist of the doll, turning it in her hands as she proceeded. Her eyes closed and she began to chant the spell. “Hic ante circulum appareatis..." Her words were clear and firm, as she had always taught her students to be. Spells worked best when spoken with clarity and confidence.  

She continued with the spell, repeating it multiple times. She knew that if she was annoying enough, he’d show up. “Faciem meam, Nicholas Scratch.” 

When she opened her eyes, he stood at the back of her classroom. 

“You’re interrupting my class, Spellman.” 

When the students noticed him, they clapped. Sabrina bowed, a clever smile on her face.  

The bell rang and the students made to leave, their dolls in hand. “Finish your dolls,” Sabrina told them. “Next class, you’ll practice your summoning. Have a good evening.” They bid her farewell as they headed out, leaving her alone in the classroom with Nick. 

He walked down the aisle between the desks, a smirk on his face as he eyed the doll in her hands. It had black cloth cut for the hair, two buttons for eyes, and even a little lopsided smile. “You could’ve just asked for my number, you know,” he joked. 

Sabrina just rolled her eyes. “I’ll do you one better,” she responded. He quirked a brow. “Let’s have lunch.” 

He eyed her, playful glint and all. “Are you asking me out on a date?” 

She scoffed. “As if, Scratch. I’m simply asking my coworker and co-director if they’d like to attend an off-campus lunch with me, seeing as they’re new to area. It’s strictly work-related.” 

Nick played serious then, straightening up and clearing his throat. “Work-related, got it.” Sabrina shook her head, though she couldn’t help but smile. She went to grab her bag and jacket when he asked her, “You gonna keep that, Spellman?” in reference to the doll still in her hand. 

She dropped it into her desk drawer and shut it with her hip, shrugging as she did so. “Might come in handy.” 

“I’m never not going to find this offensive.” Nick cringed as they ducked past a large, inflatable Halloween decoration of a witch, sickly green in color with a large wart on her nose. The way to Dr. Cerberus’ was down the main street of Greendale’s downtown area – if it was even big enough to count as a “downtown” - and the shops all took Halloween seriously. Each year, the shop owners decked out their store fronts, all trying to top one another. 

Sabrina enjoyed it every year, though she could see how another non-mortal-raised witch could take it the wrong way. 

“You get used to it,” Sabrina said. “Trust me, they do the goblins dirty, too.” Salem meowed in agreement, poking his head up from her shoulder. 

She entered Cee’s first, the bell above the door chiming her arrival. Nick followed her in, a look of curiosity on his face as he attempted to survey his surroundings. Where to start? 

“Afternoon, Sabrina,” Cee called from behind the counter. 

“Hello, Cee,” she called back to the man. “Got someone for you to meet.” She motioned for Nick to follow her. 

“A fresh face in this old town is always appreciated,” Cee chimed back, leaning his elbows onto the counter as they approached. By now, Sabrina had managed to turn most of her witch acquaintances into loyal customers of the eclectic diner. Even Prudence enjoyed a good burger over the Academy’s questionable cafeteria food. 

Nick stepped forward, held out his hand, and tried his best not to stare at the man’s strange choice in clothing. “Nick Scratch, Sabrina’s coworker.” 

Cee shook his hand firmly. “Cee.” 

“Pleasure to meet you.” Nick withdrew his hand after the handshake, tucked it back into his jacket pocket.  

“Warlock, right?” Cee questioned, to which Nick widened his eyes and glanced at Sabrina.  

“Cee knows. He’s dating my aunt,” Sabrina explained before glancing around. “Speaking of which, is she around today?” 

Cee nodded, pointing a thumb behind him. “She’s in the back. Why don’t you two have a seat and think about what you’d like. I’ll send Hilda your way.” 

The two of them sat at a nearby booth. Sabrina slid a menu his way. “What do you think?” she asked, not bothering with a menu. 

“Honestly?” he asked, glancing up from the menu to look around them once more. “Weird. But also, kind of cool.” 

Sabrina smiled. “You’ll learn to love it. Good food and good company.” Salem slid off her shoulder and into the booth beside her with a yawn. Sabrina sat contemplating for a second before she pushed a bit further. Within the few weeks she’d worked with him, she learned that he rarely shared anything about himself unless asked. 

“Where’d you live before Greendale?” she asked, suddenly. He looked up. 

“Springdale,” he answered. 

“That’s not that far.” A few hours by car, at most. Bigger than Greendale, but still a fairly quaint town. “Any reason for the reloc -”  

Footsteps interrupted her, as well as her aunt Hilda’s little squeak as she approached them. “Oh, you must be Nicholas,” she greeted. 

“Guilty.” He smiled back at the blonde. “And if I wasn’t already in the know, I’d mistake you for Sabrina’s sister.” He winked at Hilda. Sabrina just rubbed her temple, wondering if bringing him was a mistake. 

Hilda erupted into nervous giggles, her face turning a shade of red. “Well, aren’t you a charmer? Cee, maybe you could learn a thing or two from this young man.” 

“Noted,” was Cee’s response. A fresh burger sizzled as it hit the grill. 

After introductions were out of the way, Hilda took their orders. She dropped off some drinks and promised to return with their meals shortly. 

“Alright,” Sabrina started, reaching into her bag and pulling out her notebook. She dropped it onto the table between them, flipping to a bookmarked page. “The play’s a few days away. We need to triple check that everything’s set, and all loose ends are tied. Starting with costuming...” 

Nick winced. “You really meant it when you said this was work related.” 

Sabrina uncapped her pen. “Of course, I meant it.” 

Hilda returned not long after, setting their meals down. They spent some time going over everything while eating their food. Sabrina had kept anything that had to do with the play neatly organized and documented. With the performance just around the corner, they had to make sure all was set. 

With a glance at the time, Sabrina decided it was best they head back. Both had class soon. 

“That was great,” Nick said, feeling satisfied with his meal.  

“Cee’s food is pretty hard to beat,” she said in agreement. “Until you try aunt Hilda’s.” She slung her bag over her shoulder and Salem dropped to walk beside her.  

They headed back toward the front of the diner when Nick stopped, his attention stolen by the small shop near the front. He hadn’t noticed it the first time around. 

“You didn’t tell me about the occult section,” he mused, excitement in his eyes. He wandered off before she could stop him, disappearing into an aisle of books. She couldn’t help but smile at the child-like quality his voice. He seemed genuinely intrigued. 

Sabrina checked the time again. She supposed they had a few extra minutes to spare, so long as they made it back in time for class.  

“Sabrina?” He was a few aisles in when he called for her. “You’ve got to come see this. It’s a book on Houdini’s stage tricks.” 

She gave a small whine but went to find him anyway. “Hurry up, you’re going to make us late.” 

Sabrina paced in the aisle between the pews. Performance night.  

“No, no... We definitely need more seating,” she argued. A couple of stomps later and she had her head poking down the corridor toward the entrance of the church. “Melvin!” she called. No answer. She tried again, a little louder that time. No answer again. 

She started a list in her mind. People to murder after the play. Number one on the list was - 


Melvin appeared before her. Fear painted his features. He didn’t have to say anything, Sabrina was already barking orders at him. 

“Bring in some more chairs, please. Fan them out around the pews but leave the center aisle open.” His legs couldn’t have carried him faster had he tried. She even had the audacity to yell, “thank you,” after him. 

Sabrina spun again. The pen attached to her clipboard clanked around. She made her way backstage. 

“Shit,” Nick said. 

Agatha stepped in front of him, approached Sabrina delicately. Even she was a little hesitant to poke the dragon, despite her usual blunt and carefree self. “Hi, Sabrina.” 

“Hi, Agatha.” Her eyes shot around the area, analyzing quickly. “Where’s my Lilith?” 

“Well,” Agatha started. “See, she’s not feeling well. I think it’s the nerves.” 

Sabrina paled. “Where is she?” she asked again. 

“She’s in the bathroom, getting sick,” Nick answered that time. 

Sabrina’s eyes landed on him then. “Then send for her understudy. I need a Lilith back here. Now.” 

Nick stepped forward, dared to enter the five-foot radius around her everyone else had been steering out of all afternoon. “I already have,” he said calmly. She didn’t know how he could be so cool and collected, considering it was night of the play’s performance and one of their lead characters was sick. If that didn’t make him nervous then she didn’t think anything could. 

“Sabrina, everything’s okay,” he said, risking his life even further by putting a hand on her shoulder. He thought for sure she might harm him, maybe use a spell to throw him into the wall. But she didn’t. If anything, it seemed to calm her. “You’ve done everything possible to make sure nothing goes wrong. For Satan’s sake, you appointed an understudy for the understudy.” 

Duh,” was her response. 

 “For every character. Even Stolas.”  

“Stolas is vital.” 

Nick sighed, giving up. “Yes, yes he is.” He spun her around, gently pushed her forward. “Why don’t you just sit down and relax for a bit? You’ve been working really hard.” 

Sabrina let him guide her, sighing. A small gap in the stage curtain allowed for her to peek out into the pews, where she could see Melvin setting up the chairs. “Seriously?” She tore out of Nick’s hands to fling open the curtains, startling Melvin. “Melvin, I know for certain you don’t think that those chairs are even remotely symmetrical. Are you kidding me right now?” 

“Fixing them right now,” Melvin called back, hurriedly moving to adjust them. 

Agatha poked her head in. “Sabrina, Lilith’s here,” she announced. 

Sabrina sighed in relief and shoved past her and Nick, leaving Melvin grateful for the interruption. “Finally.” 

“She’s crazy,” Agatha whispered once Sabrina was out of earshot. 

“She’s dedicated,” Nick shot back before he left after her. 

Soon enough, it was time to start. Students and staff filed in, chatting while they picked seats. “No going back now,” Nick had whispered to her once the crowd was seated and the actors were in place, ready to begin. They were standing to the side with the rest of the off-stage cast, close enough to the stage to see everything without risking being in the way of the audience – which, in the end, wasn’t big enough to warrant Melvin dragging in the extra chairs.  

The lights darkened around them, while the stage simultaneously lit up. Someone – Nick? - squeezed her hand, likely to keep her in place if she decided to jump onto the stage. She squeezed back and didn’t let go, not even when the curtains finally shut after the last scene and the crowd began applauding. 

When the lights finally returned, she saw that most everyone in the crowd was joyful, smiles plastered on their faces while they clapped. Even Blackwood grinned, much to her shock.  

A good performance. A weight fell off her shoulders. 

She let go of Nick’s hand, finally, once she’d realized the grip she still had on it. They were swept up into conversations and congratulations then, her aunt Zelda and Blackwood being the first to find them. Everyone only had good things to say, surprisingly. 

It was only once they were finally leaving the church for the evening did she manage get in a word with Nick. 

“That was great. We really pulled it off,” Sabrina said, wearing the same smile. 

“It was perfect,” Nick responded, his own smile armed. “But I definitely need a drink after that.” 

Sabrina gave a sigh of relief. “I know what you mean. I could really use a shot of absinthe.” 

Nick didn’t hesitate. “Want to hit up Dorian’s?” he asked. 

She smirked. “So, you’ve found the hidden gem that is Dorian’s Gray Room?” 

“Of course,” he responded, giving her a playful smile. “No offense, but you’re a very exhausting boss to work for - this last week especially. I had to find some place that served stiff drinks.” 

“I wasn’t your boss. We were co-directors,” Sabrina shot back. 

“Sure, we were.” 

“We were!” 

“I'm not arguing with you, Spellman.” 

Chapter Text

Saturday – the day of Zelda’s engagement party - arrived too soon. Sabrina had every intention of keeping out of the planning process as a declaration of her disapproval. However, thanks – or rather, no thanks – to Hilda, she somehow managed to get sucked into the tail end of it. 

Now, on her day off, she was stuck wandering the empty hallways of the Academy with a box of freshly polished wine glasses. 

Even Salem was nowhere to be found. Her supposed ‘partner in crime’? Yeah, right. 

She took her time walking, in no rush to make it back to the Great Hall where the others were setting up for the party. Halfway into the perfect pentagonal room that held the entrance to her own classroom, she noticed that Nick’s room was ajar, light peeking out through the crack. 

She pushed the door open with her hip. “Morning. What’re you doing here?” 

He looked up, took in the sight of her dressed down in a pair of dark wash jeans and a turmeric-colored sweater, soft curls in her silvery hair. Something fluttered in his stomach. “Morning.” He pointed to the small stack of papers before him. “Last minute grading,” he explained. 

“Ah.” She perched onto the edge of the large teaching desk, her feet dangling. She noted that his hair was a little undone, a stray curl tickling his forehead. He unknowingly flicked it away before she could stare any longer.  

“What’s that?” he asked, peeking into the box nosily. She let him. 

“Glasses for the party. Aunt Hilda wanted me to deliver them.” She thought about smashing them. That might be funny, after all the work Ambrose had put in by hand polishing them. “You’ll be there?” she asked. 

“Of course,” was his response. “I’d like to keep my job, after all.” 

Sabrina snorted. Blackwood had made it obvious that all staff were required to attend. 

Nick dropped his pen and sat back in his chair, looking up at her. He tried not to focus too hard on the way she was seated on his desk. Best not to let his mind wander, he thought.  

“So,” Sabrina started, chewing on her lip like she was thinking about something. “What are you doing for Halloween?” 

Nick pretended to think about it. The answer was ‘absolutely nothing’, like any other year. Had she asked him back when he was a student, he probably would have been at some party, talking up a girl or two, likely getting wasted. Now he was the equivalent of whatever the Halloween version of Scrooge was. “Night in. Maybe share a pizza with my friend Jack.” 

Sabrina looked confused. “Jack?” 

“You might know him. His last name is ‘Daniel’” He looked proud of himself. 

Sabrina rolled her eyes. “That’s just sad,” she replied. 

Nick shrugged. “Told you I wasn’t a ‘bad boy.’ Not anymore, at least.” He paused then, sitting up and looking disappointed. “Wait, don’t tell me I’m going to be chaperoning some ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ party or something? I’ll tell you right now I’m not the guy for it. I’ll let them spike the punch and run rampant.” 

Sabrina laughed, holding the glasses tight to keep them from clanking. “What? No...” He looked relieved. “My birthday is on Halloween. I was going to ask if you wanted to come and meet my friends. I’m having a small gathering at my house. We were going to see a movie, but my aunt Hilda dug up a projector from the attic so we’re doing a movie night with some games and drinks after.” She realized how lame that sounded, being that she was turning twenty-seven.  

But Sabrina wasn’t in any rush to let go of her youth, especially since she was barely an eighth of the way through her life cycle and all her mortal friends were going to age much faster than her. She pushed the thought away, not wanting to think about how her friends weren’t going to be around forever. 

“However, if you feel like that’s not up your alley then feel free to spend the evening with Jack,” she said, a little sheepish.  

He smiled at her. “I’d love to come, Sabrina.” 

She smiled back. “Good. Brush up on your Charades skills, then. We’re all pretty competitive.” Especially Theo, she thought. 

He went to say something, but a loud chime stopped him. She jumped and reached into her back pocket for her phone. “Sorry.” She hopped off the table, gently settling the box against her hip. “Don’t tell on me,” she teased, in reference to the phone on the academy property. He gave her a playful look and motioned for her to answer. 

“Hey, Roz,” she greeted once she picked up the call. 

Immediately, he heard the voice of a female on the other end, bright with energy. He dropped his attention back to his students’ homework, not wanting to intrude on her conversation.  

“Yeah, purple is fine,” she was saying as she waved at him, a big smile on her face, before she headed out of the room. He listened to her voice as it disappeared, a smile on his own face. 

He found her easily in the crowd. Like usual, her hair gave her away, silvery white and extra bouncy that evening. Her wine-red dress hit just above the knee, made her shine like it had been crafted just for her. Maybe it had, he wondered. 

Nick hated to stare. He didn’t want to be a creep, but he couldn’t look at Dorcas any longer. Or listen to her, for that matter. He glanced back at her, nodded politely. She was a nice girl, pretty in a flawless sort of way. Something that would've pulled him in before, but now he kept hoping Sabrina would turn his way, catch his eye, and come save him from chugging the rest of his drink. She had her attention taken up by Prudence and another man, talking with her hands like she always did. 

He smiled. 

“I know, crazy right?” Dorcas asked, catching his smile. 

“I’m sorry, what was that?” Nick asked.  

“I was telling you about Agatha and that guy.” 

“Right,” Nick said, sipping his drink. When he looked up again, Sabrina was gone. So was Prudence and the guy she was with. 

“She teaches Ancient Tongues for a reason,” Sabrina said, coming up behind him. He startled, but immediately felt relief. 

Thank Satan. He was saved. 

“Shut up, Nick likes listening to me,” Dorcas defended. Nick nodded to be polite, but the look he gave Sabrina told her something entirely different. She smiled back as if to apologize.  

Subtly, she took note of his well put together appearance – even more so than usual. His dark suit fit him perfectly, his hair styled neatly. 

“So, you’re the elusive Nicholas Scratch, sent to us from a far-off land,” Ambrose said, pulling up beside Sabrina, Prudence wrapped around his arm.  

“That’s me,” Nick said, extending a hand out for Ambrose to shake. “Though, I prefer ‘Nick’, please.” 

“Nick,” Ambrose tested. “I’m Ambrose Spellman, Sabrina’s cousin. Blessed to make your acquaintance.” 

“Ah, finally a face to tie to the name I constantly hear her throw around,” Nick joked.  

“Good stuff, I hope. I am her favorite cousin, after all.” 

“My only cousin,” Sabrina corrected with an eyeroll. Ambrose tugged her ear. 

“Isn’t he exactly as I described?” Prudence asked, a scheming look on her face. She looked as devious as a plotting cat.  

Ambrose smirked. “Absolutely, right down to the devilish locks and chocolate brown eyes,” he said, glancing at Prudence. “He is what the mortals call a ‘bite’.” 

“A snack,” Sabrina corrected, serving him another eye roll. 

“See, even my sweet cousin thinks so,” Ambrose said, sliding an arm around Sabrina. “And she has awful taste in men.” 

Nick quirked an eyebrow at her as if to confirm, that smug smirk present on his face. 

Sabrina shook her head at their antics, thoroughly regretting bringing Ambrose over to introduce to Nick.  

Thankfully, she was saved.  

Father Blackwood’s voice boomed through the hall, amplified by a spell of sorts. He gave a short greeting and then everyone was directed to the dining hall, where the dinner would commence.  

Sabrina waited with the others, allowing most of the crowd to go in first. Finally, she took her seat beside Nick, across from Ambrose and Prudence.  

“I thought this arrangement would suit us best,” Prudence announced, revealing who had overseen the seating chart.  

She glanced at Nick beside her then at Prudence, who winked. Of course.  

The dinner progressed rather dully. Nick tried to remain serious every time Sabrina leaned over to whisper something about whatever staff member had taken a stand at the front to say a blessing for the couple.  

He was doing pretty good, all things considered, until she made a comment about the snooty woman in charge of student records. The one who would always come to work with her bright red lipstick smeared – very obviously – around the edges of her mouth. 

“Her lipstick looks like that because of how much she kisses Father Blackwood’s ass,” Sabrina whispered.  

Nick nearly choked on his wine, a tinge of red painting his cheeks as he tried not make a sound. He didn’t want to risk offending his boss and Sabrina’s aunt, so he stifled a cough into his hand. Sabrina sat back innocently. 

Hush,” Prudence hissed. “Both of you. Set an example.” It was clear she was beginning to regret her seating arrangement. 

Later, they were all dismissed back into the hall, where music played, and an assortment of desserts and drinks were served via magically enchanted trays. 

Nick had traded out his glass of wine for a glass of whiskey. He’d need the extra buzz if he planned to ask Sabrina to dance. 

She was chatting with her aunt Hilda when he interrupted, apologetically. He was smooth with it, complemented the menu Hilda had prepared for the dinner. She blushed and thanked him. Then, he looked at Sabrina. 

“Would you like to dance?” he asked. 

She weighed her options. “I’m not the best. I’ll step on your feet,” she replied. 

“I’ll be okay.” 

And just like that, he whisked off onto the dance floor. His hand went to her waist, placed appropriately, the other took her hand. She responded with her free hand on his shoulder.  

He moved her gently, yet with enough purpose and skill that it covered up her lack of dance experience. 

“I guess you know what you’re doing,” she spoke. “Somehow, I’m not surprised.” 

Nick chuckled in response, whispered something clever back to her. She barely caught it with the music around them. 

He spun her around, waltzed her around the floor until she felt weightless - like nothing could touch her.  Maybe she’d had too much to drink. Maybe her heels were too high. Any excuse she could think would work just fine, so long as she didn’t have admit it had anything to do with the warlock in front of her.  

He looked at her and she tried not to gawk. Prudence was wrong. So was Ambrose. His eyes were somewhere in between brown and charcoal, she noted, not chocolate like they’d said. 

Nick slowed, noticed something. “Are you okay?” he asked, concerned. His thumb ran gently over her hand. 

Sabrina nodded. “Yeah, fine,” she responded. Then she shook her head. “Actually, no. I don’t feel all that great.” 

Nick stopped, his expression soft. “Can I do anything for you?” he asked. 

She shook her head. “No, no. I’m okay. I’m going to step away for a second. I think I’m just a little dizzy,” she assured.  

He nodded, letting her go. She stepped away and disappeared into the crowd. As she walked away from him, she decided she wasn’t dizzy, but nervous. So nervous that her hands shook. Playfully flirting with Nick was one thing, being that close to him was another. The spot on her waist where his hand had previously occupied tingled. 

Wanting to avoid the crowd for a moment, she stepped into a bathroom further away from the party. Silence met her immediately and she sighed in relief before heading to the sink. 

Her aunt Zelda stood leaning against the bathroom wall, nursing a glass of whiskey, a cigarette pressed to her lips. She exhaled smoke. “Sabrina.”  

“Brown liquor, how very unlike you.” Sabrina noted, motioning to the glass. She dunked her hands under the sink water, needing to feel the coolness on her skin. What came next might as well have been vomit, because it was certainly just as shocking. “Then again, you said yes to marrying that personification of a menstrual cramp, so I guess you’re full of surprises, auntie.” She made eye contact through the mirror.  

Zelda slammed the glass down onto the counter hard enough that Sabrina thought it would shatter. “Excuse me?” 

Sabrina knew she should stop, but she couldn’t. Weightless and untouchable, she still felt like that. “Why are you marrying him anyway? You certainly don’t love him, so what’s it for? Status? Power?” 

Zelda starred at her for a moment, her lips pulled into a thin line. “Love? You’re barely half a century old, what do you know about love?” Sabrina glared back, opened her mouth to speak, but Zelda shut her down. “What, you mean what you’ve seen in your mortal movies, hm?” 

“Mortals know love better than witches, in most cases,” Sabrina shot back, water still running over her hands.  

Zelda laughed, almost in a sad sort of way, at her. “You’re comparing the union of a warlock and witch to the love of mortals? Please, Sabrina, give me a break. You’ll learn one day, too.” 

“I’ll learn?” Sabrina swallowed, shut the water off, and stepped forward. “I’ve learned not to settle.” 

“Sabrina, do you know how old I am?” Zelda asked sharply. She stood up straighter, pushed herself off the wall, and faced her. “I’ve lived a long time. I’ve seen plenty of witches slaughtered – burned, shot, drowned,” she spat, “Used as scapegoats for whatever problems their towns met. Bad weather, sickness, quarrels, whatever.” 

“Witches of the past didn’t have the luxury of marrying for love. They married for survival, to protect their babies. Love had and has nothing to do with it, not in the way you seem to think, anyway.” 

Zelda squashed her cigarette out, dusted off her hands. “If you must know, nosy child, I am marrying Faustus for my family’s safety, for the coven, and for those sweet children. For poor Judith, whose only mistake in life is that she was born a girl to a father like Faustus Blackwood.” She stepped closer to Sabrina, looked her in the eye. “Do you understand now?” 

With that, Zelda brushed past her, let the door slam on her way out, and left Sabrina with her abandoned glass of whiskey and the piercing silence for company. She looked at herself in the mirror, saw the tears spilling out of her eyes before she could feel them. They stained her dress a darker color, made her mascara run. 

Sabrina steadied herself against the counter, her knuckles turning white as she gripped the marble.  

There was a slew of emotions brewing in her – anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, and a few others she couldn’t be bothered to name. She’d been awful – cruel – to her aunt, ignoring her for days and making a snide comment whenever she could, without ever knowing what she had bottled up inside. 

Her aunt Zelda, who raised her like a mother, who loved her, was selflessly marrying a man she didn’t care for to protect those she did love. 

She thought about the twin children, who’d be lucky to have a stepmother like Zelda raise them, keep them safe from their own father.  

Sabrina didn’t know how long she’d sat crumpled up against the bathroom wall, but when she finally stood, she felt worse than before she had sat down. 

She washed her face, cleaned up the smudged make up as best as she could, and decided to brave the outside world again – at least until she could escape out the front door. 

Once the bathroom door opened, the music flooded her senses again. She bypassed the crowd, took the shortcut to the front of the school, escaping into the cool air. Her jacket, lost somewhere among the party, was a fleeting thought in her mind.  

She stepped down the concrete steps, becoming aware of just how annoying her heels were in the grass once she stepped foot on it.  

“Sabrina,” someone called from behind her. She looked up to see Ambrose. 

He didn’t ask her anything, not yet, but he draped his jacket over her shoulders and whispered, “Let’s go home.” 

She hugged him, resisted the urge to cry some more in his shoulder, and held him tightly for a few seconds. He kissed the top of her head before letting her go and turning around, a bend in his knee. “Come on,” he motioned for her to get on his back. 

Once she was comfortable, he started walking. It reminded her of when she was young and Ambrose would piggy back her through the yard, aware of the boundaries of his arrest even when she begged he take her further out. She’d never understood why he couldn’t come pick her up from school so she didn’t have to sit in Zelda’s smoke filled car, why he could never go to town festivals with them, or why he never came to her school play the year she got to be the Lion in the Wizard of Oz – even though she wasn’t cowardly. 

Still, she always convinced her aunts to let her bring something back for him, whether it be a caramel apple or a balloon animal. No matter how small her gifts had been, Ambrose had always treasured them. 

“We were worried,” he started to explain, snapping her back to present day. “Nick was concerned when you never returned, but then aunt Zelda told us to leave you alone for a bit.” 

Sabrina sighed, head against his shoulder. “I was stupid,” was all she said. 

“That’s nothing new,” Ambrose dared to tease. It made her smile and kick him. 

From the corner of her eye, she saw a blur of gray fur. She blinked once to focus her eyes, but it was gone.  

Probably a familiar, she thought, choosing to ignore it. 

Ambrose had nagged her to get to bed. Maybe she should have, but at the same time she knew she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. Instead, she chose to sit and lean against the Spellman stairwell railing until it left an imprint in her cheek. 

“She’s probably staying with Blackwood tonight,” Ambrose said from the top of the stairs. 

Realistically, Sabrina knew her aunt would be exhausted and would want to sleep in her own bed that evening. It was Zelda after all, there was only so much, socially, she cared to handle in a day. 

The front door creaked open and Sabrina sat up. 

Zelda stood in the door way, shocked to see Sabrina still in her dress and seated on the stairs. “For Hell’s sake, Sabrina, is that any place to sleep?” 

Sabrina’s eyes welled up again. “I’m sorry,” she said, at once. “I’m sorry, aunt Zelda. I shouldn’t have said that to you.” 

Zelda dropped her purse on the nearby table and crossed the entryway toward her, arms opening. Sabrina fell into them, hugged her aunt with whatever strength she had left that day, and cried. Zelda remained silent, rubbing circles on her back. Just like when she was young, it soothed her immediately.  

“I shouldn’t have gotten angry with you. You couldn’t have known,” Zelda finally whispered. 

The thing about Zelda was that she never said, ‘I love you’. Not in the way that Hilda always did. 

It took Sabrina a long time to realize that Zelda’s love manifested itself in other ways. Like how that evening, instead of going to bed after a long day, she brought two cups of chamomile tea up to Sabrina’s room. That was her way of saying ‘I love you’. And when she sat on the bed beside Sabrina, brushing tangles out of her damp post-bath hair while they sipped their tea in silence, it was her way of proving it. 

Sabrina chose to carefully break the silence. “You’re a good mom.” 

Behind her, she felt Zelda stop mid-brush. Just briefly, before she picked up again. 

Chapter Text

Sabrina sat at the breakfast table, humming to the song on the radio. It was the morning of her birthday and sunlight flooded the Spellman kitchen, warm like the lemon tea she was currently enjoying. The smell of sweet blueberry pancakes tinged the air as Hilda prepped her favorite breakfast. 

Above her, a blood curdling scream echoed. Right on schedule.  

“That’ll be Prudence,” Sabrina sighed delightfully. She heard the shower turn off, followed by footsteps stomping down the creaky stairwell. 

Prudence appeared in the kitchen archway, wrapped in a towel with her hair partially wet. She glared daggers at Sabrina. 

“Good morning, Prudence. I take it you’ve met my friends?” Sabrina asked. 

“You mean the shower of snakes I just stepped into?” It looked like Prudence was ready to strangle her. Sabrina was simply pleased. 

“Cheer up. I spent all of yesterday evening collecting those,” Sabrina responded. It was well worth her venture into the backyard, even if it had stained her nailbeds.  

Girls,” Hilda hissed, holding her spatula up threateningly. “There will be no fighting in the kitchen this morning.” 

“Serves her right,” Sabrina defended, pointing at Prudence. “She put vinegar in my rose oil. I didn’t notice until it was in my hair.”  

Normally, whenever Prudence spent the night at the mortuary, she tended to sneak in and use Sabrina’s bathroom. It was cleaner than Ambrose’s and Sabrina had a variety of products for Prudence to poke through. That was fine, Sabrina never really minded anymore. Until Prudence had decided to tamper with her things and prank her.  

Both girls opened their mouths to shout at one another when Hilda finally snapped. “Oy! I swear to Satan, I will dump all of these pancakes into the trash right now if either one of you says anything else.” She looked at both, her usually calm demeanor long gone, thrown into the garbage where the pancakes would soon be should they continue. “Bloody hell, is everyone in this house a child?” 

Another scream shook the house. 

Hilda glared at Sabrina. 

“I put some in Ambrose’s bathroom, too,” she explained quietly. “You know, to cover both bases...” 

“Oh, yes, she’ll love that! Nice idea, Theo,” Roz said from inside the Spellman parlor room. Sabrina sat on the other side, lazily sprawled on the loveseat while staring at the black cloth Roz had taped up in the archway separating the two rooms. All to block her view in. 

“You should let me see,” Sabrina chimed in. “I can tell you if I love it or not.” 

“Zip it, Brina. I’m being nice by letting you stay there instead of upstairs.” Roz wasn’t messing around, that was for sure. 

“Yeah,” Theo piped up. “Don’t you have somewhere to be today?” 

“No,” Sabrina mused. “The Academy’s closed on All Hallows Eve.” 

There was a sigh from Roz. What a typical witch stereotype, she was probably thinking. “Of course, it is.” There was a pause. “Go get dressed or something. You’ve been in your pajamas all day.” 

“It’s my birthday,” Sabrina reminded her. She dropped her head back on a pillow and sighed. Stay out of the kitchen, Hilda had told her while she prepared her cake. Don’t come into the parlor room, Theo and Roz had warned. What was a girl supposed to do beside lay on the couch and think about nothing? 

She would get up and get dressed soon enough. No way would she greet her guests in her pajamas. That was reserved for the best of friends only.  

Theo and Roz were there, prepping for her ‘party’.  

Harvey was stuck in the mines, probably of his own choice. Party planning wasn’t exactly his cup of tea. 

Theo had timidly asked if he could invite Billy, to which Sabrina had agreed eagerly. Billy had done a lot of growing since high school and he and Theo had been spending more time together. 

And Nick. She had no idea if he even planned to come anymore. To be honest, she hadn’t spoken to him much since Zelda’s party – out of embarrassment purely.  

What did he think of her? She had stumbled away, leaving him in the middle of the dance floor alone. She wondered if he knew that she was scared. Scared because she had only ever been that close to Harvey. Only ever let her guard down around Harvey. 

It scared her to feel that comfortable around someone else. Someone so different from Harvey. 

Sabrina told herself she would never settle again. But she found that couldn’t take a risk either. 

Roz poked her head out from behind the makeshift curtain. Two mustard yellow scrunchies separated her hair into buns. “Get,” she paused to throw a pillow at Sabrina, “dressed.” 

Sabrina grumbled but sat up, giving in. Roz stuck out her tongue and ducked back into the parlor. Sabrina left the living area and headed up the stairs to her room, picking Salem up off the banister on the way up.  

She dropped him onto her bed and stood in front of the mirror. She spun once, revealing a plaid skirt, black tights, and a maroon turtleneck. Salem meowed. She spun again. Next was an over-sized olive-green sweater or a pair of tight jeans. Salem yawned.  

Boring, he thought. 

She did one more spin. A simple black dress, mid-thigh, with a scalloped neckline. Sabrina looked back at Salem. “Nice choice,” she told him. 

After her curls were touched up and her make-up to her standards, she slipped her black hair band into its typical spot. Finally, she blotted some burgundy colored lipstick onto her lips as a finishing touch.  

The doorbell rang. She headed down the stairs to open the door, wondering who had shown up early.  

When the door swung open, Billy Marlin stood on the Spellman steps.  

“Hi, Billy. Come on in,” she told him. He greeted her with a ‘Happy Birthday’ and handed her a bottle of expensive wine, a card attached to it.  

She was thanking him just as Theo came down the hallway. 

“Great,” Theo said. “We need you on the ladder.” He quickly ushered the taller man into the parlor with Roz and him, shot a look back at Sabrina as if challenging her to follow. 

She wandered the house for a few minutes before she decided that she would die of boredom, so she retreated to the kitchen to find Hilda, whom she had managed to wear down enough to let her help set up some candy bowls and drinks – so long as she didn’t go into the fridge where her cake was chilling. 

An hour or so later, Ambrose and Prudence entered the kitchen. 

“Those trick-or-treaters get more ruthless every year,” Ambrose said, grabbing one of the drinks Sabrina had neatly arranged on a tray. “One of them threatened to pull my pants down if I didn’t give them an extra candy bar.” 

Prudence dropped a kiss to his cheek, a distraction to steal his drink out of his hand. “I took care of that, didn’t I?” she asked in a sweet voice. She shot Sabrina a playful look. “Scaring mortal children is becoming one of my favorite activities.” 

Just as Sabrina went to speak, clever response prepared, the doorbell rang again. “Probably a straggler,” she said. Only the bravest of children came to trick-or-treat at the mortuary, considering it was centered deep in the woods and speculated to be haunted by much of the Greendale youth.  

She dusted her hands off and headed to answer it, candy bowl prepared. When she opened the door, Nicholas Scratch stood before her. He glanced at the candy bowl, then up at her, a little smirk playing at his lips. 


He came. 

The way her stomach flipped shocked even her. “Hi, Nick. Come in.” She offered to take his jacket once he did and hung it up on the nearby rack. 

Nick came. She didn’t know why that made her giddy, but it did. Maybe he didn’t think she was weird. 

When she motioned for him to follow her further into the house, he gently stopped her with a hand on her wrist. 

When she turned to face him, he looked a little nervous. “Happy birthday,” he told her. Then, he held something out to her. 

It was a book. Thick with a sturdy, leather wrapped cover, the corners of which were covered with elaborate gold protectants. In a scripty, gold foiled font it read: Lilith, Mother of Demons. Below it, the Latin translation. It was weighty when she finally did take it in her hands, her eyes twinkling with wonder. She turned it over in her hand, ran her finger down the gold edged pages. 

“You should learn about the real Lilith,” Nick told her. “You’ll come to find that she’s much more than what Blackwood has fantasized.” 

Sabrina was speechless. Gently, she flipped open the pages. The inside was just as decorative and elaborate as the cover. Full page illuminations and handwritten, neat script filled the interior. “Nick,” she breathed, unsure of what to say. “Thank you. It’s beautiful...” 

“It’s one of the original editions, written centuries ago and copied by hand by one of the High Priests of the Church of Infernia in England.” This only caused her eyes to widen more as she suddenly became very aware of how precious the item she held was. He noticed and gave a small chuckle. “It’s protected by various magic seals, so it won’t deteriorate like a normal book would.” He saw her relax a bit. 

She didn’t know what propelled her next move, but she set the book down on a nearby table – very gently – and slid her arms around him, pulling him into a hug. Her head rested on his shoulder and she smiled. He was a bit hesitant, a little shocked, but he returned the hug, letting his hands find a spot on her back. 

“Thank you, Nick. I love it,” she said, quietly, against his shoulder. When she pulled away, she smiled at him.  

Sabrina motioned toward the kitchen. “Aunt Hilda, Ambrose, and the wicked witch are all in there. I’m going to go put this somewhere safe and I’ll join you.” 

After settling the book in a spot of its own in her room, she returned downstairs and into the kitchen.  

Ambrose had already settled Nick in with a drink. “He’s already an upgrade from Harvey, cousin. Takes his bourbon neat, as one should.” 

“What’s a ‘Harvey’?” Nick asked, curious. 

Here we go, thought Sabrina as she helped herself to some wine. “An old conquest,” Ambrose was explaining. “Long gone.” 

Sabrina gave him a stern look, a warning to play nice. Harvey wasn’t there to defend himself, after all. 

Until he was, suddenly.  

Harvey Kinkle stood comfortable in the Spellman kitchen archway, having let himself in. 

“Sorry, I’m late, Brina. Had to go home and wash the mines off before I came.” He made across the kitchen, gave her a small hug while slipping a small wrapped present into her hand. It had Roz written all over it. Harvey was a skilled artist but was horrible at wrapping gifts. Sabrina set it aside to open later. 

She thanked him, hugged him back. Harvey greeted Hilda and Ambrose briefly, then his eyes landed on Nick, seeming confused by the addition.  

Nick didn’t miss a beat, introduced himself with ease. Harvey looked at him apprehensively, gave a slow introduction back. If Nick noticed, he didn’t seem to care. 

“What’re you drinking?” Ambrose asked him. 

Harvey spotted the already opened bottle of bourbon he and Nick were sharing. “Bourbon’s fine. Over ice, please.” 

Ambrose shot Nick a subtle look, as if an inside joke had already struck. 

Moments later, Roz walked in, followed by Theo and Billy. They looked exhausted but proud. Roz had a hand on her lower back as she walked over. 

“Should’ve let me help,” Sabrina said, noticing her posture. 

“No way. My girl’s worth every crick in my back,” Roz said, teasingly. After the trio quickly made acquaintances with Nick, Roz leaned in. “He’s cute,” she whispered. Sabrina shot her a playful look but didn’t deny it.  

“How’d the play go over?” Theo asked after a few moments, reaching for a handful of pretzels. Sabrina had mentioned to him on the phone a bit ago that they were working on one for the academy.  

“Well enough, Nick’s a good actor. We couldn’t have done it without him,” Sabrina explained.  

Nick chuckled. “She’s humble. Sabrina did most of the work.” Sabrina shot him a playful look. 

“What kind of plays do witch schools perform, anyway?” Harvey asked. “’The Crucible?’” 

It was quiet in the room. Even Zelda had entered, stopping in the doorway. Roz elbowed him. 

“It was a joke...” Harvey said slowly, as if everyone would suddenly understand. 

“It’s not funny,” Nick replied, his tone leveled. “You’re in a home full of witches. It’d be wise to be respectful.” The two stared at each other for a moment, neither speaking. 

Hilda turned to refill the pretzel bowl. Zelda wore a dignified smirk. The others stood awkwardly. 

Roz spoke after a few moments, clearing her throat. “The parlor’s set up. So...” 

Sabrina sprang in. “Let’s start the movie, shall we?” she asked. “You guys go ahead. I’ll bring the snacks.” Those joining the movie filed out of the kitchen without further instruction.  

Nick stayed behind, taking the tray of snacks out of her hands. She picked up the drinks instead. “I’m sorry,” he said, softly, out of earshot of her aunts. “For killing the mood like that.” 

Sabrina shook her head. “Harvey killed the mood. He’s...difficult.” She chose her words carefully. She didn’t want to burn a bad image of Harvey into his mind. Sabrina gave his shoulder a bump with her own, careful not to shake the drink tray. “Come on. And keep a strong hold on those frosted animal crackers. I have dibs on that bowl.”  

They headed down the hallway toward the parlor. Roz stepped outside, held the curtain back for them. “Surprise, Brina. We hope you like it.” 

Beyond the makeshift black curtain was the parlor room, completely transformed. Small, twinkling lights were strung up along the ceiling in Halloween colors, alternated with tufts of draped fabric. Pillows were arranged around in a circle at the center of the room. The projector screen sat at the front. The room was dark, lit up only by the screen and the bits of colorful lights dotted along the room. It was magical, like the blanket forts she used to build with Ambrose. 

Her eyes were wide with joy. “Roz..” she whispered. “This is amazing.”  

When Roz had declared she wanted to do all the décor without her, Sabrina had been apprehensive. She loved decorating for her own parties, despite how weird that might have sounded. But Roz had really gone above and beyond. It was perfect. 

Sabrina went ahead, set the drinks down in the center. She picked a comfy spot beside Theo and fell back against the pillow, relaxed and happy. 

Roz looked at Nick, who seemed just as awestruck. She smiled. “Let me help with that,” she said, reaching out to take the tray from him. Her fingers briefly brushed against his. 

In the briefest moment, a mere second, that their skin touched, the world went black around Roz. Images flashed through her mind. Yellow eyes, sharp teeth bared, gray fur. A wolf, growling, blood staining its muzzle. A metallic scent hung heavy in the air, sharp like a winter dive into Sweetwater River.  

Then nothing as she was flung back into reality. She shuddered, looking up at Nick who glanced back at her in concern. 

“Rosalind?” he was asking. “Everything okay?” 

Roz had a lot of experience with her cunning. She was quick to snap back, calm herself, and go back to what she was doing. “Yes,” she told him, and then she turned and joined the others, choosing to ignore her vision for now. For Sabrina. 

Still, something didn’t feel right. She set the tray down and settled into a spot beside Harvey. 

The movie, a classic horror film of Sabrina’s choosing, overtook the screen and for the time being, all was normal. Better than normal. The environment was cozy and magical. Sabrina and Roz exchanged looks when they caught Theo moving to sit closer to Billy. 

Harvey and Roz stayed relatively close, but not enough to suggest they were anything more than friends. They had both agreed to keep it subtle around Sabrina, at least for a while longer, allowing her some time to get used to it. Though, fingers were laced together in the small space between them, away from Sabrina’s view. 

They didn’t have to worry. Sabrina’s focus was primarily on the movie, though she did find herself glancing at Nick every now and again, trying to read his mind. She was curious about his feelings regarding it all – the setup, the movie choice, everything. He pretended not to notice, fought the smile off every time he saw her glance at him from the corner of his eye. He certainly didn’t notice when their shoulders met and stayed pressed against one another.  

Nope, not all. He was focused on the movie. So focused that he   also  didn’t notice the way the twinkling lights played off her hair, made it almost sparkle. Or the way her lashes framed her eyes.  

After the movie the group moved onto charades and if Sabrina hadn’t thought Theo was competitive before, she did now. They were split into groups of twos. Roz and Harvey, Sabrina and Nick, and Theo and Billy. Even Prudence and Ambrose joined in for a round. With everyone drinking, it was hard to keep serious – much to Theo’s irritation, who just wanted to play. In the end, it was much too hard to determine who had even won, so they declared Theo and Billy as winners.  

Hilda’s cake was delicious, as usual. Even Salem was allowed a glob of icing.  

Soon enough, it was nearing the end of the party. Harvey, Roz, Theo, and Billy all sat around the table playing monopoly. Sabrina had declined, instead chose to stay around the kitchen island, tidying up a bit. Nick, who didn’t feel like learning anymore mortal game rules that evening, joined her. 

She was sipping some tea, deciding she had had her share of alcohol for that evening, and watching as Roz sweet talked Harvey for one of his properties. 

“They’ll be okay,” she said, mostly to herself. 

“Is that weird for you?” Nick asked from beside her, his thumb running along the edge of his own mug. 

Sabrina thought for a moment. “A little.” She had to be honest. “But at the same time, I think it maybe should have always been this way.” Her eyes were still on the couple, watching as Harvey gave up his Montreal property to Roz without a second thought. Sabrina couldn’t help but let a small smile grace her lips. 

“Did you love him?” Nick asked. He thought he might regret asking that, but the alcohol in his system propelled him forward. Sabrina didn’t seem to mind. 

“Yes,” she answered easily. “I did. For a long time. I still do. He’s one of my best friends,” she clarified. “But somewhere down the line of our long relationship I had to think some things through. Like how practical we were, being that he’s mortal and I’m not. Not fully, at least.”  

Nick understood what she meant without her having to say it. Harvey would die long before Sabrina, and he could tell that it hurt for her to think about that.  

“He was my first love. I was so stuck on that, that I didn’t even realize when I wasn’t in love with him anymore. One day, something brought that to light for me.” She pulled her eyes away from the pair, feeling like she was being intrusive. Her eyes settled on Nick’s. His eyebrows were knitted in concentration, like he was trying to figure something out, his gaze on his tea. 

Sabrina probably should’ve left it there, but she didn’t. “Have you ever been in love?” she asked him, watching as broke from his trance, appearing suddenly surprised. She looked away, embarrassed. 

“No,” came his response. Simple. He looked a little embarrassed himself. 

“Really?” she asked, facing him fully. “You’re telling me in your – how old are you?” She realized she didn’t know and couldn’t guess either. Being a warlock, it could fall anywhere. 


“In your thirty-one years, you’ve never found someone that came even close?” she pondered. “I see women – and men – crowd you at work all the time.” 

He chuckled, still a bit nervous. “I’ve been with a lot of people,” he admitted. “But no, never,” There was a pause. “It’s different for me, I guess.” He had always been curious though, always wanted to know what that felt like. Mortals made it look easy. 

Sabrina smiled at him. “It’s a nice feeling, to be in love.” She took a sip from her mug. “Difficult, too. But worth it, even if it’s fleeting.” 

He nodded, pretended to understand.  

“I could help,” she mused. “Is there anyone you have your eye on?” She felt a little weird asking that, like something in her was expecting disappointment. Sabrina fought it away.  

Nick tapped his thumb on the edge of his mug, bit his lower lip like he wanted to say something. He made eye contact, looked conflicted. Something fluttered in her stomach. 

The table of monopoly players broke out into laughter and startled both Nick and Sabrina.  

“I should go,” Nick said, seconds later. “It’s late.”  

Sabrina walked him to the door. He slid on his jacket and she followed him onto the porch. The autumn night air made her shiver and hug her arms around herself. “Thank you for coming, Nick. I’m glad you could make it. I hope it wasn’t too weird for you, being around mortals.” 

Nick gave her a smile. She felt a little warmer. “I had a nice time, Sabrina. Thanks for inviting me.” He lingered for a second longer before he finally bid her a goodnight.  

“Nick.” She caught him on the third step down. Suddenly, she was full of nerves. “If there’s a girl you like,” she started, feeling a bit stupid but also courageous, “You should ask her out. She might like you, too.” 

Nick gave her a bashful little look, a small head nod, before he made to leave again. He paused a couple steps further, turned like he was going to say something, stopped, sighed and then finally said, “Goodnight.” 

“Goodnight, Nick.” 

He disappeared once his foot hit the last step, leaving Sabrina alone with her racing heart. 

Chapter Text

Sabrina left the Spellman mortuary with a pep in her stride. She skipped down the steps, fingers laced around the strap of her messenger bag, the ends of her black cape coat fluttering behind her. Morning dew coated the lawn like a layer of chiffon, delicate and untouched. She followed the pathway down through the yard and went left, into town. 

Minutes later, she was seated in a small booth at Dr. Cerberus’, the steam from her coffee feathering into the air between them. Roz sat across from her, dressed in her hospital scrubs and stirring sugar into her own coffee. 

Cee and Hilda held their own quiet conversation behind the counter as they worked to prep the diner for the day. An occasional giggle from Hilda wafted its way over, along with the smell of her cinnamon tea. The shop was not yet open, but Cee had suggested ages ago that the two girls stop in before hours so that they could have breakfast and coffee together. So long as he was there, he would let them in. It was a way for Sabrina to see her friend before she was sucked into her busy schedule at the hospital. 

“So,” Roz began. “You and Nick?” 

Sabrina blew at the steam, taking a small sip. “Nick and I what?” she asked afterward. 

Roz pretended to roll her eyes. “Come on, Sabrina. The guy had eyes for you and only you the entire night of your birthday. And you never stopped smiling.” 

A small smile played at Sabrina’s lips. She let the façade drop. “I think we might’ve had a moment,” she answered honestly. “I might like him.” 

“Well, I think he might like you too,” Roz said, playing along. 

Sabrina set her mug down. “I sort of suggested he ask me out...but I don’t know if it came across that way,” she said, looking up at Roz in a nervous sort of way. “I thought he was going to, out on the porch, but he didn’t.” 

Roz nodded along, listening. 

“And I don’t know...I’d like to give it a shot, but I’m nervous about being in a relationship again.” 

Roz gave her a soft smile. “A shot could be worth it,” she answered, then she reached over and placed a hand over Sabrina’s. “But, Sabrina...I love you and I feel like as your best friend I should also tell you. The night of your party, I accidentally touched Nick’s hand and I saw something.” She leaned in. “With my cunning.” 

Sabrina felt her stomach twist. 

“It was dark and cold all around me. Then I saw a wolf, I think. Its muzzle was bloody.” She paused to look at Sabrina. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t go after him, but just that you should maybe be careful around Nick Scratch.” 

Sabrina felt a shiver run up her spine. But she thought of Nick, who didn’t make her feel fearful or unsafe. He was respectful, warm, and his brown eyes got all crinkly when he smiled. There was a pull to him that she couldn’t deny. But...all the same, she didn’t really know him, either. 

She played with her hands in her lap, now debating. 

Roz sat in her side of the booth, feeling bad. Seeing her friend move on was everything for her. She felt awful being the one to cast doubt in her. “It could be nothing,” Roz said. “Sometimes, nothing happens.” 

Sabrina nodded. She sipped at her coffee quietly, ate her breakfast slowly, and let Roz change the topic to something else.  

It was a long walk to the academy that morning, the autumn air dense and sharp. She focused her attention on the way her red scarf danced through the wind and the leaves crunched below her boots. And like the leaves, her focus quickly crumbled when she spotted Nicholas Scratch on the steps to the academy. Nick - who she had learned didn’t particularly care for cold mornings, so he teleported directly into the academy – had chosen to walk today.  

He glanced her way when he heard her approach, his olive skin flushed from the chilled air. When he smiled at her, it was genuine.  

“I’ve been thinking,” he told her, following her up the rest of the steps. He held the door open, going in behind her. The school was quiet, students still soundly preparing in their dorms, awaiting the day. “You were right. I am interested in someone.” 

“Oh?” she asked, hoping her voice didn’t betray her.  

“Mhm.” His shoulder was inches from hers, threatening to meet. “So, I’ve decided to ask out Dorcas.” 

She froze in her step, turned to look at him in confusion. He laughed. 

“I’m kidding.” She relaxed a bit, pretended it wasn’t obvious. He stopped her with a gentle hand around her elbow. Her body turned to face his. “Spellman, I’d like to go out with you. Non work-related,” he managed to say. 

Sabrina could have grinned from ear to ear, but she played it cool. “Hmm,” she mused, watching his eyebrows raise as she pondered his offer. She slid her finger through her scarf, loosening it from her neck. With two hands, she leaned forward and draped it around his neck instead, wrapping it around once until it was his. “Why don’t you warm up, and I’ll think about it.” 

She was walking away before he could respond, soft curls gently bouncing. 

Her scarf was warm and smelled like roses. Beneath it, he smiled. 

If Nicholas Scratch was sly, then Sabrina Spellman was wicked.  

The truth was, despite Roz’s words that morning, Sabrina had had her answer before she even walked away from him. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t keep him on his toes, ruffle his feathers a bit.  

Throughout the day, she found she rather skilled at driving Nick insane. 

Before her third class of the day, she was stood outside her door, greeting her students as they entered. Nick, across the way, leaned against his own classroom doorway, a small smile on his face as he looked at her. She had shot him a wink and shut the door behind her and her last student. 

During lunch hour, she had stopped him. He looked on in anticipation, expecting an answer. Finally, he must’ve thought. Sabrina had reached up, ran her thumb along his jaw and said, “You had something on your face.” Then she had smiled and walked away, leaving him in a mixture of disbelief and disappointment.  

When she had found him in the library after school hours, seated at a table in the back, she thought he might have given up. When he spotted her – her shoes against the dark floors a give-away – he looked surprised.  

She made her way over. He turned in his chair when she slid to perch at the edge of the table. 

“I’ve been thinking,” Sabrina said, echoing his previous words. “A date with you sounds nice.”  

A smile flickered across his features in response. 

She spotted the bit of red peeking out his bag. Her fingers pinched the edge of the cloth and she pulled out her scarf, gave it a flick to open it up before she wrapped it around her neck. When she left the library, she noticed it now smelled like him – like the air in the woods after a big rainstorm, a hint of leather mixed in. 

It was her turn to smile. 

When Nick showed up at the mortuary doorstep a couple of days later, his dark hair and eyes a contrast to the light gray sky above them, Sabrina shivered with excitement. Every year, after apple season was officially over, Hilda would Sabrina to collect any remaining apples from Mrs. Martha’s orchard. Even a bit overripe would still do wonders for a pie or apple butter, Hilda explained. Sabrina never thought she'd be this eager to run an errand for Hilda.

“Have you ever gone apple picking?” Sabrina asked him, a basket hanging off her arm. 

He shook his head. “Never saw a reason to,” he explained, eyes on her. She looked beautiful, as usual, her reclaimed scarf donned. 

“It’s always more rewarding when you do something yourself,” Sabrina said. “At least that’s what aunt Hilda says. You know, she does all her baking without magic. Everything is by hand.” 

Nick thought that was admirable. Sabrina had an entire other life that didn’t revolve around magic. He was fascinated by it.  

“What do witches do on dates?” Sabrina asked as they walked to the orchard. She had never dated a warlock before. 

“Mostly sensual things,” Nick answered honestly. At least that was the case for him. Most – if not all – of his previous relationships had entirely glossed over the dating phase and gone straight into being physical. 

When he noticed her shocked expression, he realized what she must have been thinking. “That’s not what I’m after with you, Sabrina,” he quickly corrected. She looked relieved. His hand carefully slipped into hers. “I like being around you.” Her own hand tightened its grip, fingers lacing through his. They both smiled.  

Mrs. Martha was outside sorting through some things when they reached the orchard. “Welcome,” she told them, a warm smile on her face. “Take as much as you’d like, Sabrina. I’d like to have nothing go to waste once I close the orchard for the year.”  

Sabrina thanked her and they were on their way, hand in hand.  

Nick took the basket from her once they had it partially full, holding it at his side.  

“I want to know you better, Nick,” Sabrina said as she deposited another apple into the basket.  

“You can ask me anything. But as a warning, I’m not really that interesting,” he replied, a little smirk on his face.  

She rolled her eyes playfully. “Everyone’s interesting,” she shot back. A breeze lifted her curls. A wave of warmth washed over him when the smell of roses tickled his nose again. He couldn’t understand why he was so affected by her. “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” she asked. 

“Vanilla,” he answered.  

“That’s boring.” 

He smiled. “Told you.” 

“Mines lemon in the summer, pumpkin in the fall, mint-chocolate in the winter, and strawberry in the spring,” she answered easily.  

Nick chuckled. “That’s incredible, Spellman. I didn’t know people ate ice cream in the winter.” 

Sabrina smiled. “It’s a year-round delicacy.” 

He wanted to kiss her and her little quirks, but instead he chose to reach for an apple instead. He stood up a little higher, snapped it off the branch with ease, and dropped it in the basket. He could wait. “Is that so?” 

“Mhm,” she replied. She took his hand again, finding it easy and comfortable to do so. “Favorite pizza topping?” she asked. 

He thought for a second. “Pepperoni and mushroom.” 

Sabrina wrinkled her nose. “Sorry, but cheese was the right answer.” 

Nick couldn’t help but laugh. “You have a favorite ice cream flavor for every season but you’re telling me cheese is your preferred pizza topping? I don’t buy it.” 

“This is not going to work out, Nick. I’m sorry,” she said dramatically. “Our pizza opinions just don’t align. Hit the road, buddy.” 

“Damn, that’s rough,” he replied, “I thought I’d at least make it to the second date.” 

Sabrina laughed, her thumb running along his softly. She looked at him. Even in the cold air, his eyes were a warm anchor. It had been a long time since her first date with Harvey, back when they were in high school. Did she feel this way too? She couldn’t remember. It had been so long ago.  

They walked in comfortable silence a bit more, Sabrina wandering off a few paces every now again to collect an apple. Every time that she returned to his side, she reclaimed his hand. It was always there, warm and inviting.  

She wanted to know more about him. Where he had come from, what his life had been like, his favorite things. With her fingers once again laced through his, she asked him, “Where do your parents live?” she asked, wondering if it had been hard for him to leave them wherever they were. It would be hard to leave her aunts, too. 

There was a pause for few moments before he finally spoke. “They passed when I was young,” he answered.  

Sabrina immediately felt regret and it became evident on her face. Her other hand reached over so that she held his hand with both of hers, giving it a soft squeeze. “I’m sorry,” she said sincerely.  

Nick gave her a soft smile. “It’s okay, Sabrina. It was a long time ago.” 

He watched with surprised eyes as she lifted his hand, still between both of hers, and placed her lips softly against his knuckles. Her eyes were closed, dark lashes casting shadows along her cheeks like soft lace. Her skin was flushed from the cold, rosy along her cheeks and nose. Nick could have crumbled at her feet right there. 

One of his fingers moved on their own accord, shifted ever so slightly to touch her cheek softly. She opened her eyes, gave him a small smile, and he felt his typically calm nature dissolve into a puddle at his feet. Sabrina could ruin him, he thought. The urge to kiss her, to hold her, only grew.  

Sabrina lowered their joined hands again, gave him a small tug. They picked up walking again. No more overly invasive questions for today, she decided. Instead, she would ask him something more harmless, or so she thought. She thought of Salem, who was with her almost always with her.  

“Do you have a familiar?” she asked. She never saw him with one, but maybe he just didn’t bring it to the academy with him.  

Beside her, Nick shifted nervously. “Yeah,” he replied after a couple of seconds, hoping to leave the topic there. He could tell her maybe, about the complexity of his relationship with his familiar, but just not now. He couldn’t ruin this. 

Thankfully, Sabrina's attention had quickly shifted elsewhere. “Nick,” she emphasized, pointing above him. Something had caught her eye. When he looked up, he saw an apple, perfectly red and free of blemish, hanging a few branches above them, out of reach. 

“You want that one?” he asked, a little smug smirk on his face. Before she could respond, he was already setting the basket down and shrugging out of his jacket. 

“Nick,” she said. “I’ll just use a spell.” 

He stopped her, gave her a small shake of the head. “A pretty girl once told me it’s worth it to try first.” He rolled his sleeves up and gave her a little wink. It made her blush. 

He maneuvered his way up onto the tree branch smoothly. Unable to stop herself, Sabrina watched the muscles in his arms flex as he pulled himself up. Nick balanced on the branch, reached up, and grasped the apple. He handed it to her once he was on the ground again, dusting his hands off before sliding back into his jacket.  

“Did you do that to impress me?” Sabrina teased, dropping the apple into the basket after examining it. 

He fixed the collar of his jacket, chuckling. “Am I that easy to read?” He picked up the basket, took her hand again. This time, he felt her other hand graze his up his forearm and settle on his bicep. She wrapped her arm around his, pulled herself a little closer to him. 

“Cold?” he asked, enjoying the warmth she brought with her.  

Sabrina gave a nod, a little embarrassed. She could feel the heat of his body against hers. It was nice and comforting. He took their joined hands, carefully placed them into the pocket of his jacket. His thumb rubbed against hers, felt the soft skin there. Sabrina nearly melted. 

They spent some time like that, against each other as they slowly wandered through the orchard, apples long forgotten. Their basket was nearly full, anyway.  

Eventually, the sun began to drop closer to the horizon, painting the scene in hues of pink and orange. It was time to head back. They both felt it, despite not wanting to leave. The temperature was dropping quickly as night approached.  

On their way back to the entrance of the orchard, Sabrina finished filling their basket to the brim. Once satisfied, she gave a long sigh of relief. Hilda would be happy. 

Nick was quiet beside her, content to gaze at her every so often. The sunset lit her hair in ways he thought were impossible. 

Sabrina reached her hand into the basket, found a nice plump apple and brushed it over her jacket. She took a bite, relishing the sweetness of it.  

Nick leaned a little closer, a playful glint in his eye. “Can I have a taste?” he asked. She held the apple out for him to bite. 

Sabrina should’ve known, when he bypassed her hand entirely, that he wasn’t talking about the apple. His lips found hers, gentle and sweet, tasting of apple. 

The world disappeared around her.  

Whatever the temperature was at that point, she didn’t feel it. Sabrina only felt warmth spread through her body, filling her from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. She leaned into him, deepening the kiss. His lips were warm, and she didn’t want it to end. 

When they broke apart, Nick was mentally cursing the sun for betraying him, for allowing the day to come to an end. He wasn’t ready to let her go yet. Sabrina seemed to understand. She dropped the apple and slid her hands up to his chest, slipped her fingers around the collar of his jacket and pulled him in again. A little more aggressive, a little more passionate. He returned it, matching every bit of vigor.  

They made it back to the mortuary after nightfall. Sabrina was sure she would be questioned the moment she walked through the door, but she found herself not caring.  

She turned to face him once they reached the top of the steps. “Was that okay?” she asked, eyeing him curiously.  

He gave her that crooked smile. “Better than okay,” he answered. “I want to see you again, Spellman.” 

Sabrina returned a smile. “I’d like to see you again, too.” 

Nick moved closer, leaned in to kiss her again. She met him halfway. It was soft, gentle, and full of promise. It made her heart flutter.  

“Would you like to come in? Have a cup of tea and warm up before you go,” she suggested, eager to spend a few more moments with him. 

Nick motioned to the window, where the curtain quickly shifted. “I think it’s better if I go.” He would let her family warm up to the idea of him before he barged in.  

Sabrina nodded, understanding. She didn’t want to deal with her family either, especially since they had been pushing her toward Nick since he’d shown up in Greendale.  

“Goodnight, Nick.”  

“Goodnight, Sabrina.”  

As she turned the knob on the door, she heard scrambling. Sabrina stepped inside, caught Zelda and Ambrose on their way back to the sitting room, acting innocent. 

“Oh, Sabrina, you’re home,” Zelda said, turning to look at her as if she hadn’t noticed Sabrina was gone. 

“Real funny, auntie,” Sabrina replied, depositing her jacket onto the hook nearby. 

“Have you got my apples?” Hilda asked, wandering out from the kitchen.  

“She’s got some, alright,” Ambrose commented. Sabrina launched an apple at him.  

“Stop it, you’ll bruise them!” Hilda exclaimed, taking the basket from Sabrina before she could do anymore damage. 

Sabrina followed Hilda into the kitchen. “I’ll have my tea in my room tonight,” she decided. She prepared it as quickly as she could and raced up to her room before her family could pester her anymore. 

Salem sat in the center of her bed, tailing swishing around. He gave a loud meow, jealous that Sabrina had chosen not to include him. 

“Hush, you wouldn’t have liked the cold anyway,” Sabrina said, setting her tea down onto her nightstand before plopping down onto the bed beside him. She laid there for a second, letting everything settle, before she reached into her bag and found her phone. 

So, I may have just gone on a date with Nick, she texted to Roz.  

She watched in amusement as three dots little flickered on her screen, Roz’s response following shortly after. 


Chapter Text

A week later, Sabrina stood gazing up at a thin metal stairwell against a red brick building. Previously, the structure had served as home for the Greendale newspaper. Some years later, once the owners had swapped to a larger space closer to the downtown area, the building was renovated into a unit of apartments.  

She remembered the bright orange construction cones and how they held up traffic every morning. The school buses never went out to the mortuary. It was too far and the road through the woods was much too narrow. Zelda had turned up her nose, anyway, stating that no niece of hers would be driven to elementary school in a filthy bus where hundreds of other snotty kids spewed spitballs and stuck old gum under seats. Instead, she would ride in Zelda’s car, in the back seat where she had to stretch her neck to peer out through the windows. 

Zelda threatened to go to the mayor in full complaint mode every time the construction cones came into view. The ride to school had doubled in time that spring. Sabrina started passing time by reading aloud whatever book she had picked up from the school library that week. Zelda had traded in her traffic complaints for an opportunity to work on Sabrina’s diction, correcting her whenever she mispronounced a word. She never did go to the mayor, either. 

Eventually, Sabrina had started walking once she started middle school. Kids, mortal or witch, could be cruel and would not take kindly to her being dropped off by the mortuary hearse. Zelda would never outright say she was disappointed, but she would make a subtle remark every morning regarding the trek to school. The mud was too thick and messy, the fog too dense and dangerous. There was always something. 

“Have you any idea the sorts of animals that live in those woods?” she had once asked Sabrina. 

A small smile graced Sabrina’s lips as she recalled the memory, ascending the apartment stairs as she did. She had a strange family, but she loved them. 

Up on the landing, she noticed a couple of weathered porch chairs and a small table. The door beside them had deposited her into a quaint hallway with soft yellow walls and wooden flooring.  

There were two doors, one on either side of the wall. Sabrina didn’t have to look at the unit numbers to know which she needed. From afar, she could spot her Satan-awful wreath. The sight of it made her giggle. She hadn’t expected him to actually put it up. 

She shifted the warm apple pie – courtesy of Hilda – to one hand so that she could knock. There was some movement and the knob finally turned, revealing a casually dressed Nick. Black jeans and a soft gray t-shirt that hugged his arms and draped over his chest in a way that made her heart beat faster. He smiled at her.  

“This is for you,” she told him, setting the pie in his hands. She shrugged off the extra bag on her shoulder and held it up. “Hilda also packed us lunch. She said she thinks it’s nice that I’m making new friends.” Her aunt would probably never let Harvey go, not even with Ambrose’s frequent teasing about her budding relationship with Nick. 

Nick raised his eyebrows suggestively. “Do you kiss all of your friends on the lips?” he joked. 

“Only the hot ones,” she teased back, a little smirk on her lips. She pressed a sweet kiss to his. He savored it like a piece of hard candy. 

Dating Nick was new and exciting. It was different from what she was used to, but in a good way. Harvey had been comfortable and safe, but Nick left trails of fire wherever he touched her, and yet somehow made her shiver at the same time. Even if it was just an infatuation at this point, Sabrina didn’t want to deny it any longer. The devilishly handsome Nicholas Scratch had a grasp on her. 

“Want some tea?” Nick asked. When she nodded, he disappeared into the kitchen. 

As she slipped out of her jacket, she allowed herself to take in his apartment. It was small enough that she could see almost all of it from where she stood, and it just smelled just like him. There was a small sofa on one side, a mounted TV, and a desk pushed up against the opposite wall with a few open books on it. Beside it was a bookcase crammed full of various texts.  

A small kitchen equipped with a breakfast bar sat tucked in the corner. Two stools sat propped under the bar.  

There was another door toward the right, where she saw the corner of a bed peeking out. In the doorway hung a bar for pull-ups, she assumed, and a couple of weights sat haphazardly to the side. Sabrina tried not to let her imagination wander to a shirtless Nick, sweaty from his work-out, his breathing heavy. 

Sabrina wandered over to the living area, finding that she liked the large window at the center of the room. It showered the small unit with golden sunlight. The sill was wide enough to perch on comfortably. She thought of Nick propped up on it with a book cozy in his hand. The image made her smile. 

A kettle went off and she heard him fumble about in the kitchen. Moments later, he returned with two cups of tea and placed them both on the coffee table.  

“I like your place,” she decided, a little smile on her face as she joined him on the sofa. 

“Yeah, well I like you,” Nick replied smugly. Sabrina rolled her eyes at his cheesy response.  

They took some time to sip their tea, his arm along the top of the sofa as he listened to her talk about her day. His heart fluttered when she slipped her fingers through his and slid his arm down until it wrapped around her. Nick pulled her in a little closer, resisted the urge to kiss her mid-sentence. He hoped he wasn’t obvious with the way he blissfully stared at her.  

As they neared the end of their mugs, Nick took her by the hand over to his desk. Aside from wanting to spend some time with her outside of the academy, he had invited her over because he knew she wanted to peruse the rest of her father’s work – or rather, what Nick had collected of it. There was more out there, he knew. Unfortunately, he hadn’t had the ability to get his hands on it all quite yet. 

He proceeded to open a couple of drawers. They were packed to the brim with various stacks of bound papers, journals, and texts.  

Nick sat to the side, watched her shift through it all like a child on their birthday. Her eyes twinkled with wonder as she touched it all. She thanked him profusely, nearly knocking him onto his back and spilling the remainder of his tea when she hugged him. 

A couple of hours later, they were sprawled across the wooden floor of Nick’s apartment, Edward Spellman’s work scattered around them. 

Sabrina was shuffling through a loosely bound stack of parchment when she reached over to poke his side. “This is crazy,” Sabrina said. “My dad was acquainted with a warlock in England who specialized in Herbalism. He had a shop in the middle of a mortal town and sold various medicinal herbal blends to both witches and mortals.” She looked at Nick in disbelief. 

Nick nodded as he skimmed through something in front of him. “Your father was a firm believer in using magic to better the lives of mortals, too. He thought it might help create a union between the two. That particular warlock, Marian Lancewood, was regarded as a lunatic by much of the mortal community there, but he did have some firm believers in his medicine, too. Some mortals swore by it.” 

Sabrina found herself smiling. Witches and mortals, sharing lives and going about their days together – that was something to think about. She tried to imagine a world where her two sides weren’t constantly at war with one another.  

She scooted closer to Nick, bumped his shoulder. “I keep seeing this though. ‘N.E.S’,” she said, pointing to a handwritten note at the bottom of the document that read, “Case reviewed by N.E.S for falsities. None found.” 

Nick shrugged. “It’s in a lot his documents. I always thought it might’ve been the initials of another Spellman that worked with your father. They cosigned a lot of his other documents, too.” His fingers worked quickly through another stack, pulling out a few pieces of parchment to show her. Unfortunately, the person had signed everything with only their initials as well. 

Sabrina pursed her lips as she thought through her relatives, trying to recall anyone who might’ve shared the initials. “My aunts had another sister. Ambrose’s mom. But her name was Glenda and she passed away when Ambrose was born. I don’t know of anyone else, but I can ask my aunts.” 

Nick nodded, leaning in to place a small kiss to her temple. “That’s worth a shot. It could lead to a lot of other information.” Especially if that person were still alive, somewhere. They could gain a lot more insight on Edward Spellman’s research and theologies if they could potentially meet the person that worked with him. 

Sabrina rolled over so that she was laying on her back, holding the parchment above her. “The more I can learn about my dad, the better. I’m sure he wanted to go on and do great things before he died. Maybe, I could breathe some life back into his ideas.” It was perfect. As a half-mortal, half-witch, she could speak on behalf of both. Previously, she had felt it difficult to really belong to either side. 

Nick slipped an arm around her waist, used it to gently slide her to him. He didn’t fight the urge to kiss her that time. “You’ve got my support, Spellman,” he said when they finally broke apart. 

They stayed like that for a little longer, savoring each other’s warmth, before Sabrina finally suggested they take a break and eat something. Lunch had passed them some time back with neither of them noticing or caring. She reheated the food Hilda had prepared for them and they returned to the sofa to eat. Nick gave her free reign over his TV.  

Once their plates were clean, they settled back into the cushions, Sabrina finding a comfortable spot beside him, his arm over her waist. She was talking quietly, explaining something about the show on the TV, when he began to slip away, her voice lulling him to sleep. Her fingers ran up and down his forearm slowly and mindlessly, soothing him. 

He would wake up to her later, stroking his face with a gentle hand.  

“Mmm,” he grumbled, shifting his face away until he was face down in the cushion.  

“We fell asleep,” she said, untangling herself from him. He attempted to pull her back, but she escaped, giggling as she did so. “Wake up and come say goodbye to me.” 

“I don’t want to do either of those things,” he announced groggily, voice muffled by the pillow. His fingers held hers, the last bit of her he could reach, in rebellion. He wanted her to stay, but he couldn’t admit that to her yet.  

“Nick, we both have an early day tomorrow.” She watched him for a moment, then she pretended to sigh dramatically. “I guess I’ll let myself out then, no goodnight kiss or anything.” 

Nick stuck his head up to glare at her. She shot him a wink and went to get her jacket. He slid off the couch lazily, rubbing his eyes.  

She ran a hand through his hair and smoothed down his curls once he approached her, finding it adorable the way they stuck up.  

He pulled her against him, his chest warm and inviting. Then, he kissed her, long and slow. It took everything in her to pull away from him, especially when he rested his head on her shoulder afterward. He was still sleepy, she could tell, so she gave him another quick peck against his hair and pulled away finally. 

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Nick.” 

He gave her a nod and a crooked smile. “Always, Spellman.”  

Sabrina left before he could entice her to come back. She missed him already. 

Sabrina cursed herself for leaving her gloves at home. Her original intent had not been to stay at Nick’s past sundown, but a nap on the sofa with him had just been too tempting. Before she had known it, the weight of his arm around her and his soft breathing had put her under a spell. The irony. 

She fixed her bag on her shoulder and stuck her hands into her pockets, the path into the woods appearing closer with every step that she took.  

Sabrina supposed she could teleport, but that wasn’t one of her greatest skills. She enjoyed walking to places on most occasions and never really found that she needed to appear and disappear with such gusto. The last few times she had attempted it had left her in strange places close to her intended location but never quite right. 

It wasn’t far, she thought. Soon enough, she would be home and in a hot bath.  

The sweet smell of tree bark and earth enveloped her senses as soon as she entered the woods, made her feel at home. The beaver moon hung heavy in the sky above her, balancing between the tree branches like an owl and draping the path in a stream of silvery light. It was a beautiful night, despite the temperature. 

Something snapped behind her. Instinctively, she glanced back. All sorts of animals lived in the woods, many of them nocturnal, but none of them particularly dangerous to a trained witch. Sabrina turned to face the main path again. 

She halted with a gasp. 

Something stood before her, far off down the path. A shadow. It moved toward her, its steps steady and cautious. 

“Hello,” Sabrina found herself saying. Beyond the whistle of the wind, she thought she heard a low growl. 

It stepped closer, revealed itself in the pale moonlight. A wolf with thick, shimmery gray fur. Its eyes were as bright as the moon and yellow in color. Even in the distance, Sabrina knew it easily dwarfed her in size.  

She thought of what Roz said. A wolf with a bloodied muzzle. Only this one had no blood staining its pale coat. She gulped. Not yet

“Are you a familiar?” Sabrina asked tentatively, hoping her voice didn’t reveal the rising fear she felt.  


She shivered.  

“I’m a witch.” She stepped forward a bit, held her hand palm up to show she meant no harm. “Are you lost?” Sabrina had lived in Greendale long enough to know that wolves didn’t come this close to town.  

She took another step forward. The wolf bared its teeth and another low growl sounded, the thin black lining along its mouth quivering. Sabrina stood frozen, not daring to move. 

It shifted closer and she found enough courage to step back. The growl grew louder as it approached. 

With her hand still raised, Sabrina said an incantation, watched as a lined burned itself across the ground in front of the creature. Startled, it snarled at her. The wolf then lunged forward, only to be pushed backward by the barrier she had placed. 

Then, something else happened.  

Angered, the wolf bowed. Under the shadow of a nearby tree, Sabrina watched it contort and shift. It stood slowly, became twice as tall as it had been before. Its limbs were lengthened, top half hunched forward a bit. Moonlight glimmered off its sharp claws, now much longer and thicker. 

Sabrina watched in amazement as the creature trudged forward against the invisible barrier, shattering it with ease.  

She ran, her heart racing in fear. The wind scratched at her face as she raced away from the animal.  

Sabrina looked back long enough to say another incantation. “Ignis appareret.” 

A nearby try, hollowed and dry, burst into flames and snapped, falling in front of the wolf-creature. She ducked behind brush, mind flying in different directions as she thought of what to do. She could leave, teleport wherever, and escape. But students constantly traveled through the woods, and she couldn’t live with herself if one of them were attacked. 

She thought about Roz’s vision again. Her heart continued to deny that this had anything to do with Nick, but her mind was screaming something else.  

She reached into her bag, shuffled through it as silently as she could. Seconds later, she withdrew the summoning doll of Nick.  

A nearby growl startled her, and she quickened her pace. 

Sabrina unraveled the red twine quickly, reset it back in place and began whispering the incantation. It was hard to keep her thoughts clear and words precise as she listened to the creature stalk nearby, searching for her. 

“Hic ante circulum appareatis. Faciem meam, Nicholas Scratch,” she repeated a third time, voice shaky. He was probably asleep. He wasn’t coming. 

When she opened her eyes, she didn’t see Nick. Instead, she saw the creature standing yards away from her, large teeth bared and glistening with drool. Its eyes were on her. 

“Amalia?” she heard from her right. Sabrina craned her head, squinted her eyes in the dark. Nick. He wasn’t looking at her. Instead, he watched the animal. 

Amalia. Sabrina thought it was ironic that something so horrifying had such a lovely name. 

“Don’t move, Sabrina,” Nick told her, but he never looked at her. His hand was up as he approached the creature called Amalia.  

Amalia watched him closely, her growling low and quiet now. Nick stopped in front of her, raised his hand above him. Amalia lowered her muzzle down, her large nose resting against his palm. 

“Sabrina,” his voice was steady, but there was something else beneath it. Fear. “Can you stand? Slowly.” 

Sabrina couldn’t believe this was happening. She prayed for it to be a dream. Any moment now, she would wake up on his sofa with his arm around her and all would well. 

She stood slowly, breathing stalled as she tried to keep quiet. But she stepped wrong and a twig snapped beneath her foot. 

Amalia’s eyes were on her immediately, lunging away from Nick and at her. Her large jaw opened. Jagged teeth prepared to sink into her. Sabrina shut her eyes, ready to teleport. Anywhere. It didn’t matter anymore. 

The air shifted around her, but the blow didn’t come. When she opened her eyes, Nick was in front her, back pressed against her. His right arm was up, in between Amalia’s clenched teeth. Blood dripped in steady lines down his skin. 

The wolf, having realized what it had done, unhinged its jaw and stepped back, releasing a loud cry into the atmosphere. 

Nick spoke quickly and surely, a hand up as he spell-cast. “Tu me misisti, et contentiones sint causa doloris mei.” A circle burned into the ground around Amalia and flickered. Then she was gone, the ghost of a howl lingering behind. 

The air settled around them, now silent without Amalia’s growls.  

Nick turned to her quickly, his hands finding her arms. “Are you okay?” he asked, the calm demeanor now gone. Sabrina felt his shaky hands on her. 

Sabrina’s eyes were on his arm, watching with concern as it continued to bleed. “Nick, y-your arm.” 

“Fuck my arm,” he responded, eyes etched with worry and brows knitted. “Are you hurt?”  

Sabrina could only shake her head, still in shock. “We need to look at your arm,” she said finally, reaching out to grasp his wrist. 

Moments later, he teleported them back to his apartment. In the well-lit atmosphere, the severity of the bite mark became clearer. Blood spilled from the puncture marks and onto the floor.  

“Where are your towels?” Sabrina asked quickly. He headed toward the bathroom. She followed. From the linen closet she retrieved a towel and wrapped it around his arm, applying pressure as she did so. “Hilda really should look at this. She’s a healer.” 

Nick quickly shook his head. He would not bother her family with this. No way in heaven. “No,” he said, almost pleading. “It’s not bad. It doesn’t hurt.” 

“Bullshit it doesn’t hurt,” Sabrina shot back, watching him wince as she continued to apply pressure. She looked around the bathroom, trying to think. If she could stop the bleeding, they would be okay. “Do you have any Achillea leaf?” she asked. A basic herb most witches had in their cabinets, used to quickly stop bleeding. 

“I think so,” he replied, opening the nearby medicine cabinet. Sabrina shuffled through some items before she located it. She removed the lid from the jar and reached in, grabbing a few of the dried leaves and tucking them between her lips. With both hands free, she unwrapped his arm.  

The pressure had helped stop much of the bleeding, thankfully. Sabrina took the leaves again, crushed them between both of her hands, and pressed the crumbled herb onto the injury. She left her palm pressed against it as her mind worked to think of the incantation.  

It was basic Herbalism, something she and every other student at the academy had been required to take. A class she had defiantly and purposely slacked off in to prove a point to Blackwood when he declared it to be a more "womanly" form of magic. 

“Mend carne, repara fornacem os.” 

Sabrina removed her hand, watched the bleeding slowly stop. She released a relieved sigh. 

“Sabrina, I’m sorry,” he said, watching her. “This was my fault and I-” 

“You have to have some gauze somewhere in here,” she said, ignoring him entirely as she searched through his cabinets for something to wrap his arm with. Under the sink, she found a roll of gauze and quickly went to work wrapping his arm. 

Afterward, she ushered him back into the living room and onto the sofa. He dropped back without much effort. With her before him, he looked up, took in her appearance. She was covered in his blood and it made him want to sink into the earth and never return. 

Sabrina watched him for a moment, not knowing what to say or where to begin.  

“Explain,” she simply said, “what that was.” 

He leaned forward a bit, rested his arms on his knees and fumbled with his fingers. “Amalia is my familiar,” he started slowly, looking at the floor. He didn’t dare look up at her. “She was given to me at birth. When my parents died, Amalia took care of me. She was always fiercely protective, but it’s gotten worse over the years and...” He sighed heavily.   

“Why did she try to attack me?” Sabrina asked. 

“I don’t know.” He truly didn’t. “It’s only ever been me that she’s stalked. When I started at my academy, she stayed outdoors. She was too big, too intimidating. Always kept me a distance from everyone else. I couldn’t have her there with me, so I banished her out into the mountains.” 

Sabrina continued to watch him. 

“She kept coming back. Before I moved, I finally sent her to South America. I hoped she would stay away for good. If she came back, I wouldn’t be there. But she found me. Again.” 

Nick paused for a moment to look up at her. She hadn’t taken a seat yet. He took her hand, let his thumb graze her fingers. “Sabrina, I’m sorry.” 

“Why didn’t you tell me about her?”  

Nick looked at her, feeling ashamed. The reason was selfish. He hadn’t wanted to scare her away from him because he liked her. And he wanted her to like him, too. Telling her about the large wolf familiar that stalked him possessively wouldn’t have done him any favors in that regard. He planned to tell her at some point, but now he understood how wrong he had been about the entire situation. Sabrina had deserved to know from the start.  

They were silent for a few moments. She finally spoke. “I need to go. Get some sleep. Tomorrow we’ll talk to Melvin and see if he can help.” 


“Lacunae magicae.”  

Nick winced at the sharpness in her voice as she cast the teleportation spell. Before he could even blink, she disappeared in a blur, wanting away from him. 

Chapter Text


Goblin spirits who had been allied with witch-kind since the beginning. They often disguised themselves as animals.

Chosen by young witches and warlocks, they assisted, protected, and amplified their powers. They were companions, skilled in their own manner, not lessor beings as many new students assumed. They were to be regarded with respect, and cherished. 

Melvin explained all of this from his desk, a tidy cherry-wood table in the middle of his Familiarity with Familiars classroom. Beside him, a bloodhound snored, unaware of Salem’s apprehensive gaze.  

“It’s not unheard of, but it’s definitely rare to receive a familiar at birth,” Melvin explained. “Choosing your own is an important rite for a young witch or warlock. Being able to pick your own ensures that the bond is deep and strong. It’s definitely strange that your parents would decide to overlook that.” 

Nick shifted uncomfortably on his feet. “My father told me that Amalia was specifically chosen for me. He was adamant that she was a good match.” 

Sabrina looked at Melvin. “In the cases of witches being assigned familiars, how did those go? As far as compatibility?” 

Melvin gave a little shrug. “There really aren’t enough cases to study. In the few that I’ve researched, the relationships were either strained to the point of the witch seeking out another familiar, or they were just...alright. Like I said, it’s rare. Almost unheard of.” 

They sat in an uncomfortable silence for a couple of moments as the three of them continued to ponder the situation.  

“Sabrina,” Melvin spoke hesitantly. “You said that Amalia broke through a magic barrier without much effort.” 

Sabrina nodded. “Yes, after she changed forms. She shifted from a regular wolf to…something else.” 

“Shape-shifting isn’t uncommon. Most familiars have a different form. Even yours, Sabrina. They are goblins, after all,” Melvin said, watching Salem. The cat flicked its tail. 

“Yes, but Salem’s never followed anyone into the woods and attacked them without reason,” Sabrina shot back. Nick flinched beside her. “And he certainly isn’t aggressive with anyone.” 

Melvin shifted to sit up. “When did Amalia’s aggression start?” 

“After I started at the academy. Once I began spending time with people other than her,” Nick explained. 

“Wolves are territorial creatures, but a familiar isn’t a regular animal. They are as intelligent as us,” Melvin continued. “What concerns me is that she was able to burst through another witch’s magic with such ease, especially being that her warlock was not on site. Our powers feed off each other’s. A familiar separated from her warlock should not be able to display that much strength.” 

There was another pause as Melvin drummed his fingers on his desk. “And then there is the concern of her being given to you at birth.” He said the words slowly before he looked up and made eye contact with Nick. “Nick, I think you should see Brother Chalfant. I’m afraid I can’t help you much.” 

Sabrina looked confused. “Melvin, Luke is a demonologist. What would he know about familiars?” 

Nick bowed his head, thumbs pressed against the bridge of his nose. He sighed deeply.  

“Nick, I know you’ve likely had suspicions about Amalia before - that she’s not a regular familiar...” Melvin looked on in concern. “It’s just that, in the past, I have read about some peculiar instances where witches took a different approach regarding their choice of familiar.” 

Sabrina’s eyes narrowed. “What are you saying, Melvin?” 

The man shrugged his shoulders. “I think that Amalia may not be a goblin...” 

Nick let out a long sigh and pressed his thumb to the bridge of his nose. “It doesn’t line up all the way, Melvin.” 

Sabrina looked around, confused. 

“It doesn’t always have to,” Melvin piped up. 

There was a moment of silence where Nick seemed to ponder something as he bit his lower lip. Sabrina looked between the two of them, eyebrows furrowed. 

“What am I missing?” she asked. “Why would you go see a demonologist for about a problem with your familiar?” 

When Nick finally made eye contact with her, he looked conflicted.  

Then, quietly, his voice came. “Melvin thinks Amalia might be a demon,” he said. 

Sabrina’s chair scraped against the floor loudly as she stood. “That’s ridiculous. How is that even -” 

Nick took her wrist, caught her attention. “Sabrina, it’s okay. I’ll figure this out.” He had to. He could not risk Amalia hurting Sabrina, no matter what she was. 

Sabrina looked at him, then at Melvin. “A demon?” she asked in disbelief. The bloodhound looked up at her lazily, wondering what the commotion was about. Melvin soothed a hand over the top of his head. 

Nick stood. “I’m going to catch Chalfant before his class starts. I’ll see you later, Sabrina.” He looked as if he wanted to kiss her, but he chose not to test it now.  

“Obviously I’m going with you,” Sabrina replied, grabbing her bag from the back of the chair.  

Nick took her wrist. “I’d rather you not,” he said. When she looked offended, he explained. “It’s my responsibility.” 

“You don’t me well enough, then. If you think I’m going to let you work this out alone.” Sabrina answered stubbornly. She took him by his good arm and ushered him out of the room before he had a chance to argue. 

“It’s possible. To be frank, the entire process is difficult and requires a powerful conjurer to summon and keep the demon subdued long enough for the binding process to be completed - which needs to be done by a skilled binder. Nowadays, its more effort than reward. But in the era of witch hunts and trials, some powerful witches and warlocks found it worthwhile to take demons as companions,” Luke explained. “Brother Scratch, you studied demonology at your academy, correct? You know all of this already.” 

“My father wasn’t a conjurer or a binder. He studied demonology. Neither was my mother,” Nick responded, ignoring his question. “They probably wouldn’t have been able to complete the ritual.”  

“Your parents didn’t have to perform the ritual,” Luke said. “So long as they had the help of a skilled conjurer and binder.” 

Nick pressed on. “Demonic contracts require consent from the host. I was an infant, I couldn’t have agreed to that.” 

Luke nodded slowly. “Yes, but there’s a loophole for everything,” he said. “Our lord loves to bargain. Your mother or father could have offered something of value to him.” 

Nick felt like a fraud. There was nothing of significance that he could offer up. He spent a great deal of his time studying the work of Edward Spellman, but how much time had he really taken to study his own family’s history? It was minor in comparison.  

Maybe he could have figured this out on his own, long ago, if he had gone through his own father’s belongings. He had intended to, at one point, but it made him uncomfortable. The past still hurt, not matter how much time had gone by. 

They were quiet for a few moments, each of them wondering how the Dark Lord may have been swayed to approve such a ritual. 

It was Sabrina who spoke up with a sudden realization. “Your name, Nick.” He looked back at her. “’Old Nick’ is another name for the Dark Lord. Like Lucifer and Satan.” 

“Our Lord is a vain one, indeed,” Luke agreed. “Names are important to him.” 

“Think about it, Nick. Every time someone says your name, they praise Satan,” Sabrina continued. “And if you grew up into a powerful warlock, imagine the satisfaction that would bring to him?” 

Nick felt sick. He swallowed down the bile that threatened to rise. It made sense. He didn’t want it to, but it did. “Why would my parents do that?” 

Luke shrugged. “Maybe they were paranoid. Or they had an enemy. I can’t imagine someone would want to do this without a valid reason.” 

Nick dropped his head into his hands, the room spinning around him. Somehow, deep down, none of this shocked him. Something had always told him Amalia was different. She felt different. A hand ran over his back soothingly. It calmed him. 

“It would certainly explain her aggression. The longer a demon is bound to Earth, the more dangerous they become. They aren’t meant for this plane. It eats away at their sanity,” Luke continued. “What’s the familiar’s name?” 

“Amalia,” Sabrina spoke for him while he attempted to regain his composure. 

Luke stood. “Let’s go see Cassius. He’s got a copy of the ‘Compendium Daemonium’ in his collection. Your parents would have had to pull from a list of known demons.” 

They headed down into the library, Sabrina’s hand on Nick’s back. He was silent as they descended the stairs, a hundred thoughts racing through his mind. He wanted to know why. What were his parents afraid of that would lead them to do what they did? He never remembered his father or mother having enemies, but he had also been so young that it could have completely gone by him. 

Cassius was in the front sorting through some returns when he greeted them. “Brother Chalfant, Brother Scratch, Sister Spellman – the three of you seem like you’re on a mission.” 

“Something like that,” Sabrina replied politely. 

Cassius nodded and gave a warm smile. “Well, help yourselves. Let me know if you need anything.”  

They wandered through the various pentagonal rooms until they found the one that housed all of texts on demonology. Luke scanned the shelves until he spotted what they were looking for, then he carefully extracted it. The large book hit the nearby table with a thud. 

He flipped open to the front of the book, where the demons whose names began with ‘A’ were listed. Nick leaned forward, palms on the table, Sabrina beside him. Finally, they landed on with the image of a wolf-like creature, its features resembling Amalia’s after she had shape-shifted. There was no mistaking it. The name above the demon read ‘Amalycana Minora’. 

“Is that her?” Luke asked. Both Nick and Sabrina nodded slowly. “A minor demon from the outer ring of hell, but still incredibly powerful.” 

Sabrina eyed the image carefully. The large teeth sent a shiver down her spine as she remembered the way they pierced Nick’s arm. The way they had initially lunged for her. She glanced over at him. He saw her eyes on his arm and he tugged his sleeve further down. 

“How do we break the contract?” Sabrina asked, her eyes meeting Luke’s again. 

It was Nick who spoke. “Demonic contracts are bound in blood. There should be a physical representation of the contract somewhere – likely a container of my blood and Amalia’s. It needs to be destroyed during an unbinding ritual. Then, Amalia needs to be banished to Hell again. Without being bound to Earth, she won’t have a reason to return. Thankfully, I’m a skilled enough conjurer and binder that I should be able to complete the ritual on my own without bringing anyone else into this.” 

“I’m going to help you,” Sabrina decided. 

Nick’s eyes flickered over hers. “No,” he denied. He felt bad enough that Amalia had gone after her, nearly hurt her. He wouldn’t involve Sabrina in this again. 

Her own eyes held defiance. “Yes,” she declared. He held her gaze for a moment. Hers was unwavering. Nick sighed when he realized he wouldn’t win the argument. 

During lunch hour later, Nick sat in his classroom, Sabrina in the seat in front of him. They remained silent, her eyes watching him with concern. His mind was elsewhere as he attempted to recall bits of his childhood. He searched for the signs, warnings, that backed up Amalia’s true nature.  

He remembered being a child, playing in the yard of his family home with his father’s familiar – a dark black wolf called Shava. Nick had always found it amusing that whenever he threw the ball, the familiar would run it back to him. They would go on like that for what seemed like hours. Shava never got tired or bored, and it was always Nick who wore out first. 

Once, he had gotten too playful and jumped on Nick. He was small then and the wolf had easily knocked him over. Amalia had lunged at Shava, knocked him onto his back and bared her teeth. Amalia, being the larger and more powerful of two, caused the other wolf to leave the scrapple with his tail between his legs and his head bowed in submission. 

“Amalia’s an alpha,” his father had explained to him a little later. “She will always protect you. That is her job.” 

It hadn’t made sense to him then, but it did now. Amalia was a demon, and despite his father’s familiar being powerful in his own regard, he would always submit to a demon. There was a hierarchy. 

He hadn’t even realized his leg bouncing nervously until Sabrina placed her palm over his thigh. “How do you feel?” Sabrina asked. Both of them had skipped lunch that afternoon. 

“About as well as any guy who’s just found out his parents bound him to a demon at birth,” Nick answered, his tone a sounding a little sharper than he had intended it to. His eyes softened when he realized. “I’m sorry.” 

Sabrina didn’t seem bothered. She stood from her chair and walked around the desk until she was in front of him. “No, actually I think I’m the one that should apologize,” she said softly, pulling herself up to sit on his desk, directly in front of him. “I was kind of an ass to you last night.” 

Nick shook his head and sat up. His hands yearned to feel her, to hold her, but he fought the urge. “Sabrina, no. You had every right to be pissed.” He bit his lip. “Amalia is my responsibility. And she tried to hurt you. I was careless in constantly pushing her away without dealing with the problem. I’ve always had suspicions about her, but because it’s only ever been my problem, I never really cared to fix it. Now that she’s affecting other parts of my life…” He chanced it and took her hand, unable to fight the desire any longer. “I can’t let it continue on.” 

Sabrina responded by taking both of his hands with hers, fingers interlacing. She relished in the warmth that his larger hands brought unto hers. “Roz had a vision about you, during my party. She has those, by the way. She calls it her ‘cunning’.” Sabrina explained. “She wanted to warn me, but at the time neither of us really knew what it meant. I’ve never felt unsafe with you, so I ignored it because I thought that if it concerned me in any way, you would tell me. Even if this is just a casual fling or…whatever.”  

“I would never intentionally hurt you, Sabrina,” Nick responded honestly.  

“I know now,” Sabrina said with a nod. 

“I was going to tell you about Amalia soon, but I thought you’d be afraid of me. The idea of her has scared people away before. That’s selfish of me, I know, but I never thought she would come after you.” If he’d had even inkling that she would, he would’ve sorted this out much sooner.  

A soft smile rose to Sabrina’s face. “I could never be afraid of you, Nick. I’m a horror film connoisseur, it’s going to take more than that to spook me.”  

Her fingers played with his and her expression became a little more serious. “Part of the reason why I ended things with Harvey was because there are parts of me that he could never accept. He would never tell me that, but I knew.” She recalled her previous relationship. The way Harvey had always been apprehensive of her witch half since she the day she had told him. Sabrina couldn’t blame him. He could never understand and that wasn’t his fault, but it did sting. 

Nick looked a little bitter at the mention of Harvey. Sabrina knew that he hadn’t liked him from the initial introduction at the mortuary, when Harvey had made that poor attempt of a joke. 

“Anyway,” she continued. “I can’t be with someone and not accept the parts of them that I don’t understand. That would be hypocritical of me.”  

“So, I can still be hopeful that I’ll make it to date number two?” Nick asked, his playful demeanor making a hint of a comeback.  

Sabrina traced a finger down his jawline, stopping at his chin and letting it briefly graze over his lips. She leaned in and placed a kiss there. The first one since the previous night. “Date number two wasn’t at your apartment yesterday?” She asked slyly.  

“I thought that was hanging out,” Nick replied, a little breathless. The way she touched him was enough to make him a little lightheaded. Again, he couldn’t understand why. 

“Hm, well what do you have in mind for our second date, then?” Sabrina asked. 

“I think I can come up with something,” Nick answered. “As soon as I fix this.” 

Sabrina cradled his face in her hands, took note of his façade and how it slowly dropped for her. “As soon as  we  fix it,” she tacked on. 

He gave a small nod, savoring her touch. 

“What do we do first?” Sabrina asked, determination in her voice. 

“I have to go to my parents’ house,” he responded, his voice quieter than normal. “I’m sure that’s where I’ll find the blood contract.” He dreaded going back there, but he had to. Nick wondered what he would come upon when he did return to his childhood home. Would it be ransacked? Covered in dust and mold? It made his heart beat anxiously in his chest. 

Sabrina sensed his discomfort. Her hands moved from his face to his shoulders, where she gently pulled him against her, arms wrapping around him in a hug. His face settled against her neck. The skin there was as soft as rose petals and just as aromatic. He melted against her. 

They stayed that way until the bell rang.  

Sabrina observed the large house, abandonment exuding from its unkept appearance. The gray stone was overgrown with dried ivy and stained a rust color in the bits where the foliage had slipped away over the years. It felt cold and barren. No longer a home. Now it was just a scary house on a hill. 

Nick didn’t stir behind her, his gaze trained ahead. His calm demeanor was seconds from breaking, but he held it together well. His brown eyes, still warm – always warm – glanced at her briefly. “You can stay out here, if you want. I’ll be quick.” 

“No,” she told him. “I’ll go in with you.” 

He nodded once and reached forward to push open the wrought iron gate. The wolf sigil in its center – once a declaration of pride – was rusted over in patches. The metal scraped and clanked loudly against itself as the gate shut behind them. The stone pathway to the home was now overgrown and shrouded with grass and weeds. 

From his pocket, Nick withdrew a key. It slid into the hole and with a bit of wiggling, the grand doors gave away. With the bits of sunlight that filtered into the home, Sabrina could see the interior. A thick blanket of dust painted everything in a gray hue, existing delicately like a virgin snowfall, soon to be ruined by their footprints. 

Nick motioned for Sabrina to follow him as they entered through the foyer and into one of the hallways. They passed a grand kitchen on their way. On its counter, Sabrina spotted a silver tray with all the trimmings of an afternoon tea session cut short. Nearby, a kitchen towelette was thrown haphazardly over the side of the sink. She imagined that once, the room must’ve bustled with all the warmth and splendor of a family. 

“Sabrina,” she heard Nick call. He stood some feet ahead, looking at her questioningly. She hurried after him. Unlike her, he didn’t seem eager to explore every crevice of the house. 

They continued down the hall. The rooms nearby all had their doors shut, not allowing for Sabrina’s wandering eyes to venture any further. 

Nick halted, stopped her with an outstretched arm. He stepped forward hesitantly and the floorboard creaked. The faintest of smiles touched his face. “Still creaks,” he said with a hint of surprise. “I used to sneak out this way into the yard. I always jumped over that spot.” His father’s office was just around the corner, behind two large doors with brass handles. He spent a lot of his time in there and Nick always had to be sneaky if he wanted to make it outside without him noticing. 

His mother would catch him out there later, lecturing him about his studies. He would complain that it had been too easy, and he had already memorized everything. She would increase the difficulty of his lessons, but he would still breeze through them.  

Nick didn’t allow his eyes to wander, despite Sabrina’s inquisitive glances. The home was desolate and empty. It felt even colder indoors than it did outdoors. Nick had returned to the home a couple of times previously. The first time, he stayed in the yard, unable to step up onto the porch. The second time, he had made it just briefly past the front door before he gave up and left.  

Surprisingly, he had imagined the reunion with his childhood home would go much worse. He was doing okay, he thought. This wasn’t his home. It wasn’t warm and his parents weren’t there. It was just a shell now, nothing more. 

He had considered selling it. It needed a family. Someone to love it and keep it tidy, fill it with all the things a normal family would enjoy. But something kept him from it every time. He always thought if he’d had a family one day, he would like to bring them there, let his children scamper down the hallways like he had once. And despite that he never really thought a family would happen for him, that glimmer of hope never faded. 

Nick shook the thought from his mind. Now was not the time for self-pity and wallowing. He was lucky to be alive, that he had to remember. If it had not been for Amalia, he wouldn’t have been. 

A shiver ran up his spine at the thought of her. Soon, he’d have to send her away. He only hoped it would be painless for her, that the result would help her. Luke was right, Earth was no place for her. 

His eyes focused on Sabrina again and his heartbeat calmed. Like an anchor, she steadied him. She slipped a hand into his, gave it a squeeze.  

“It’s probably in my father’s office,” Nick said finally. “Right through here.” 

He put a hand on one of the brass handles and turned it. The door gave away after a bit of effort, sweeping a thick layer of dust off the floor as it opened. Nick stepped in, Sabrina following closely behind him. To be honest, he really couldn’t remember much of this room. He had only ever been in there a few times, usually to alert his father about dinner or let to let him know that his mother needed him. 

The room was as silent as the rest. The curtains were drawn, leaving the room in almost complete darkness. Nick said an incantation and some surrounding candles lit up, casting an amber hue over the room. Shadows danced along the wall as the candle flames danced.  

Sabrina looked around.  Bookshelves lined one of the walls, full of various texts, their spines disguised by dust. An apothecary cabinet sat against another wall, its many drawers holding things Sabrina could not even imagine. The top of it was lined with various sorts of jars and vials, much like the ones she often saw in her aunt Hilda’s greenhouse.  

The scene looked almost sacred, like it shouldn’t be disturbed. 

Nick didn’t waste any time observing. Instead, he decided it was best to treat it like a band-aid and rip it all off in one go, so he began opening various drawers in his father’s desk, the sound of which startled Sabrina. Everyone had their way of coping. 

She wandered over to where he searched, her eyes wandering over the top of his father’s desk. Various books and journals sat splayed across the surface. Something piqued her interest and reached out to touch it before she could stop herself. Her fingers grazed the edge of a photograph, which she delicately extracted from underneath a notebook. Sabrina eyed it curiously. 

“What is that?” Nick asked from somewhere behind the desk. 

“A photo,” Sabrina answered, brushing a bit of dust off the top of it. “Can’t tell what it is.” She squinted her eyes in the dark. It was an image of an item. It looked like the wing of plane, maybe? It was hard to tell. 

“I think I found something,” Nick said, and she dropped the photo back onto the desk, coming around the desk to meet him. He stood, dusted a cobweb out of his hair, and held something up under the light of a nearby candle. A small silver box with delicate edges and a small lock. Along the top, it was dated. Below it, was his Nick’s full name. 

“What’s the date?” Sabrina asked.  

“My birthday,” Nick replied. He fumbled with the lock. Its age allowed it to be easily broken with a spell. Inside, cushioned against a velvet backing, was a small vial no longer than Sabrina’s thumb. It was filled three quarters of the way up with blood. 

“It looks...” Sabrina started. “So ordinary.” 

Nick was surprised too. “Easily overlooked. I think that was the point.” He gave a sigh, relieved that he wouldn’t have to continue digging any more. “Let’s get out of here,” he said a little too quickly. “I’ve had enough of the past for now.” 

On their way out, Sabrina stopped by the door to the office. There was a photo on the wall, directly in line with the desk. Fuzzy gray dust covered the glass. She looked to the door where Nick had already left through before she carefully removed the photo off the wall. With the sleeve of her jacket, she wiped away the dust.  

Beneath it was a photo of a man with dark hair and a face that reminded her of Nick’s. The same eyes. Beside him was a woman, her features sharp and brown hair in soft curls. A small child held onto her, his hair a little less tame, but still very much Nick’s. He smiled like he had just been tickled. 

Sabrina examined the photo with a warm smile. As she had previously thought, the house had belonged to a family. One she hoped had been happy and loving. As much as she wanted to ask Nick about them – how they were and what had happened to them – she didn’t. When he was ready, he would tell her.  

Instead, she cleaned up the edges of the frame and placed it back on the wall. The sad, dark room seemed to warm up a bit. 

“Sabrina?” she heard Nick call her a second time.  

“Coming,” she called back, heading for the door. Sabrina cast one last look back at the photo before she whispered and incantation to put out the candles.  

She slipped her hand into his when she found him down the hall. He looked relieved to see her, almost like he didn’t want to be alone there. “Feeling okay?” 

“Better with you here.” He brought their joined hands up to place a kiss against hers. “Thanks for coming with me.” 

Then, he kissed her lips. Soft and delicate like nothing else mattered. 

Chapter Text

The Greendale woods were unusually quiet during the witching hour. The wind didn’t whistle, the animals didn’t stir, and time seemed to stand still. It was surreal, like existing in a dream.  

They stood in a clearing between a ring of widely spaced trees. Sabrina watched as Nick cast a spell and an upside-down pentagram carved itself into the earth before them, with him standing just at the forefront.  

“Spiritus,” Nick said, and a symbol appeared at point closest to him. The symbol for human spirit, witch and mortal alike. 

“Aqua.” The symbol for water carved itself into the next point. 

“Ignis.” Fire appeared after. 

“Terra.” Earth. 

And lastly, “Caeli.” Air. 

His Latin was clear as he spoke. “Silva spirituum protegere.” A circle carved itself around the pentagram. “Dominus tenebris, nobis praebent fortitudinem.” Another circle worked itself into the ground, closely behind the first. A short line formed at each point and crossed both circles, connecting everything. 

Sabrina quirked a brow to look at him. It looked different from the ones she had seen before. 

“Your father designed this circle. The second line of protection is a buffer for the first. His ingenuity in the craft is one of the reasons he was considered a master in his field.” 

Sabrina felt a sense of pride course through her veins. Her father. He had been responsible for so much more than she could have ever imagined. Nick knew this. Nick seemed to know more than anyone. 

From his pocket, Nick withdrew a small blade. At the center of the pentagram, he carved in Amalia’s name – the one they had read in the compendium.  

“Sabrina,” Nick said, pulling her out her thoughts. “Can you light a fire?” he asked, pointing to its respective symbol. 

Sabrina nodded and after a quick incantation, a flame grew at the point.  

Nick stepped back to his original spot. He looked at Sabrina, eyes finding hers in the darkness and holding her gaze. “Are you sure about this? I’d rather you at home right now,” he told her honestly. He still felt guilty for dragging her into this mess. But Sabrina was determined to see it through. 

“You can’t get rid of me, Scratch. Get used to that.” 

Despite their current circumstances, he let a little smile flicker across his features. The small fire in front of her lit up the scene just barely, the forest shrouded everything else in darkness. Even the soft glow of the moon couldn’t penetrate this deep into the woods. 

Nick was drawn to the way the flames cast their amber hue on her. She was breathtaking. Always. 

“We should start,” Sabrina said. “Before the hour’s up.” 

Nick nodded. He turned to face the pentagram again. 

“Ideo vos apparebitis daemonem invocare te.” The energy around them shifted. The flames before Sabrina began to dance a little faster, rise a little higher. She watched Nick, saw the moment where his character shifted. He became serious, his attention focused on the task before him. It was fascinating to watch. She was beginning to see Nick for who he was – a powerful warlock. 

Sabrina watched his lips, the same ones that had worked magic against her own, as they now recited the ancient and sacred language that made up their craft. This image of him, with his sleeves drawn up to his elbows, the top few buttons of his shirt undone, and his hair with just the perfect amount of tousle, was alluring. 

The earth rumbled before them and Sabrina’s eyes shot to the center of the pentagram, where she watched the ground sizzle in white hot heat. From it, rose Amalia. She stood, yellow eyes looking around at her surroundings. They landed on Nick, finally. 

“...intra quod circulus sumus manere, donec vos es iam liberari.” 

Amalia attempted to step forward, toward Nick, but the circle that kept her bound didn’t allow it. 

“Nicholas.” A shiver ran up Sabrina’s spine as the demon spoke for the first time, the edges of her voice tinged with the hint of a snarl. Her jaw didn’t move, but sound resonated from her chest. 

“Amalia,” Nick greeted. 

“Release me from this circle,” Amalia demanded. Nick shook his head. 

“I can’t do that,” he responded. 

“This place,” Amalia started, looking around. “Smells like witch hunters. You need protection.” 

Sabrina seemed confused. “There aren’t any witch hunters in Greendale.” 

Amalia’s yellow eyes settled on her. “The girl is oblivious,” she said with a deep grumble. 

Nick stole her attention again. “Why did you attack Sabrina?” he asked, wanting to shift her back to him. 

“She is not a normal witch. I fear for your safety,” Amalia responded, drool dripped from her bared teeth. 

Nick nodded. “She’s half mortal, but she’s not a danger to me, Amalia. I care about her.” Amalia released a low snarl at that. 

“You choose a bastardized witch over me. You push me away. I only want to serve.” 

Nick stepped forward. “Enough.” Sabrina noted a hint of anger in his own voice. “I’m not pushing you away anymore, Amalia. I’m setting you free.” 

Amalia hunched over a bit, another growl forming in her chest. “I need to protect you.” 

Nick shook his head. “I don’t need protection anymore. I’m alive because of you and I’m grateful for that. I always will be. You kept me safe. But I’m capable of that myself now.” He looked at her, his expression softening a bit. “I can never repay you for what you’ve done for me, but I can set you free and let you go back home once and for all.” 

From the pocket of his jacket, he withdrew the vial and held it up. Amalia’s eyes trained on it, interest piquing. Her eyes never left it, not even as Nick lowered it to look at it one last time. She knew what it was. 

“Thank you, Amalia. For everything.” Without looking back, he dropped the vial into the fire. “Nunc me separare. Duabus aimabus non conspiciunt.”  

One last time, Nick held up his hand, palm forward, toward Amalia. She sauntered forward carefully before lowering her muzzle. Her large nose pressed gently against his palm. It appeared to soothe her, just like it had the night she attacked Sabrina. 

“Be safe,” Amalia said, her voice much clearer.  

Nick smiled and gave her a nod. Then, he proceeded with the ritual. The final stage, banishing her to Hell. “...ego eieci te ad infernum,” he completed.  

Within the blink of an eye, Amalia’s form fizzled away. Like before, she only left behind the sound of a howl. It carried into the forest, shook the branches of the trees, stirred creatures in their sleep. The woods, which had gone quiet during the witching hour, seemed to wake up with the departure of Amalia. 

Then, silence again. The energies around them began to settle. 

They air felt different, Nick thought. Lighter. Or maybe he imagined it. When the world began to spin and he stumbled backward, his back hitting the trunk of a tree, he felt Sabrina grab him. 

“I’ve got you,” she said. And she meant it.



Nick found that he didn’t dream much anymore. When he did, he would forget it by the time he was out of bed, too preoccupied with thoughts of the day to care about it. 

Even the nightmares had dwindled down. Few and far between. Not like the days as an academy student, when he had been too afraid to go to sleep for fear of waking up his dorm-mates. He learned to wake up silently, trained himself to make as little noise as possible. Alone in the dark, he would steady his breathing with clenched fists and bite the inside of his cheek until it was sore and tasted like metal.  

There was only one nightmare – or rather, memory - that would bother him now. It had been years since the last time he had been bothered by it.  

It always went the same way.  

Him, as a child, standing at the edge of the lake behind his parent’s home, swallowed by the shadow of his familiar. Never too far from him, she sat looming. A great big gray wolf with golden fur threaded through her face. Yellow eyes always watching. 

Each time, he would pick up a few flat rocks from around the lakebed, give it a good look over, before attempting to skip it across the lake. Each time, it would pitter once or twice before falling in, only a few feet from the edge. He would try again, and again, until finally his shoulder hurt, and he would drop seated onto the grass.  

“When I’m big like my dad, I bet I’ll know how to hit the middle, ‘Malia,” he said, a small hand disappearing into the thick fur on her shoulder. 

Then, a scream would always break the silence, rumbling through the earth. His mother. He would pick up running to the house, prepared to fend off spiders and snakes, Amalia following behind him. He would make it to the window on the first floor where he had snuck out through, ready to climb back in and be the hero to save the day. 

Then, another scream.  

The door to the study would slam open. His mother would expect him to be there, going over his Latin like a good boy, but he would be gone. Snuck out again. She would sob and scream. This wasn’t snakes or spiders, that much he would quickly realize. 


Chairs would be overturned, furniture thrown aside. He would reach up, grasp the sill, and go to jump, but a sound so loud would rattle through the house and freeze him in place “Nicholas! Dear Satan, where is my baby?” his mother would cry. Then his name, over and over again. 

The door would slam open again and that time, another voice. A strange male voice would announce, “The witch is in here.” 

At this point, his mother would attempt a spell, but she never would finish it. Not even in his dreams, where anything was possible.  

He sat up in bed, the sound of gunshots and his mother voice still in his head. The inside of his mouth tasted metallic again and his chest heaved as he tried to regulate his breathing. Sweat glistened over his exposed skin. 

His bedroom was dark and silent. The rest of Greendale remained in its dreamlike state, blissfully unaware, and it finally hit Nick. 

He had severed the last remaining tie to the family.  

Amalia was gone.  

He was barely half-way through his first century, destined to live upwards to a thousand years, and he had already almost forgotten his family. He only remembered the way his mother’s voice sounded in the last moments of her life, and his father’s he’d forgotten long ago. 

How long would it be until he forgot about Amalia, too? 

Nick threw back the covers and moved to sit at the edge of his bed, where he dropped his head into his hands and groaned. His racing heart began to slow, the sweat on his back dried, and Nick smashed the lamp from his bedside table onto the floor.



“Banishing demons, is that what the kids are calling it nowadays?” Ambrose asked the next morning, his eyes perusing over the ingredient list on the back of the cereal box. Hilda had joined Cee the night before and left the Spellman household to fend for their own breakfast.  

Sabrina dunked her spoon into her own bowl of now soggy cereal, missing her aunt. The breakfast table felt cold without her. “I’m not lying. It’s way too cold out in the woods at night to even consider shacking up with someone there.” 

“Right,” Ambrose said. “I only hope you used a contraceptive spell.” 

Sabrina considered flinging her spoon at him. “You don’t need to have the safe-sex talk with me. I’m twenty-seven and this is not my first relationship.” 

Her aunt Zelda fluttered into the kitchen before Ambrose could respond, shoving two swatches of black cloth in front of them. “For my wedding dress, do you prefer ‘Midnight Sky’ or ‘Raven’s Wing?’” 

“They’re both black,” Sabrina said, staring at the pieces of fabric. They looked identical. 

“Don’t listen to her,” Ambrose interceded. “Definitely midnight. Suits your skin tone more.” 

Zelda looked long and hard at both swatches before she gave a quick nod. “I suppose you’re right. Thank you, Ambrose. At least I can count on you.” Then she breezed out of the kitchen just as quickly as she had come in.  

Sabrina just stared at Ambrose. He shrugged. “Easier to just go along with it.” 

Later that day, in her classroom, she watched the clock on the wall. It ticked by slowly, minute by minute. She felt like a student, eagerly waiting to be let out of class.  

Her students were oblivious as they finished up their exams.  

“Time’s up,” Sabrina said a few minutes later. “Please turn in your forms and then you may leave.” 

One by one, they handed in their testing forms and filed out of the classroom. Sabrina tapped the edges of the forms against her desk to form a neat stack. Then, she slid them into a folder and into her bag.  

She headed out of the classroom and toward the one directly across from hers. That morning, she had missed Nick in the lounge. It wasn’t unusual. They didn’t always arrive at the same time. 

Sabrina was eager to ask him about his thoughts on what Amalia had, about the witch hunters and how she smelled them in the woods. 

She waited beside the door until all his students were out of the room, then she poked her head in. “Hey, handsome.” 

“Hi,” Melvin replied from his spot at Nick’s desk, looking a little sheepish. 

Sabrina glanced around the room, confused. “Where’s Nick?” 

“He called in,” Melvin explained. “I’m subbing for him.” 

This only confused Sabrina further. “You’re teaching a Conjuration class? No offence, Melvin, but that’s not really your field.” 

Melvin nodded in agreement. “I was instructed to just issue an independent study session. They’re prepping for their exams.” 

“Is he sick or something?” Sabrina questioned further.  

Melvin shrugged. “Sorry, I don’t know. Father Blackwood only told me he took a personal day.” 

Nick didn’t miss class. From what she had seen, he was strict with his schedule.  

She grew concerned. The unbinding ritual he had performed the previous night could have easily put a strain on him.  

Sabrina decided to check on him as soon as the school day was over. She thanked Melvin and left. 



Sabrina stood before Nick’s door, hand raised to knock. She gave the door a couple of raps and waited. Nothing. 

“Nick?” she called and knocked again. There was some movement, but again no response. “It’s me.” 

She heard his voice echo from somewhere in the apartment. Sabrina rolled her eyes. “No one’s home.” 

“Open the damn door, Nicholas.” 

He sounded closer this time. “Sabrina, I’m not really up for it today. Please.” 

“Nick,” Sabrina said again, this time a little softer. “You know I don’t care for rules. I’m going to find a way in there if you don’t open this door.” 

Silence again. 

She looked down at Salem, who stood beside her. Sabrina gave him one nod and he shifted, fluidly transforming into his shadow form and slipping underneath the door with ease. The lock clicked on the other side. 

Sabrina pushed the door open slowly and glanced in. The only light came from the large window in his living area. Her eyes landed on him, standing in his bedroom doorway looking at her tentatively.  

She shut the door behind her and looked back at, raising her hands up briefly in question. “So, what, you’ve got a girl in here or something?” she asked jokingly.  

He looked slightly offended. “No, why would I?” 

She sighed. He clearly wasn’t in the joking mood today. Sabrina dropped her bag onto the sofa and made her way over to him, noting the way he held his hand behind his back as he leant against the doorway. 

“What’s wrong, Scratch?” she asked gently. His hair was a disheveled mess on his head, and he hadn’t yet changed for the day, choosing to remain in a pair of dark sweatpants and a t-shirt. If she wasn’t worried before, she was now. 

“Nothing. I’m just having an off day,” he explained. Then he gave a sigh. “I really wish you hadn’t come here.” To see him this way, he wanted to add on. He was a mess, in all regards. And now Sabrina was there to witness it. 

“I was worried,” Sabrina shot back, a little offended herself. “I’m sorry for caring.” 

“I didn’t mean it like that,” he replied, relaxing his shoulders a bit. “You don’t have to worry. I’m okay, Sabrina.” 

Sabrina’s eyes kept wandering back to his side, where he kept his arm behind his back the entire time. Something crossed her mind. 

“Show me your arm.” 

He stepped back a bit. 

“No,” he denied. “It’s fine.” 

“If it’s fine, then you can show it to me.” She grabbed for it. He gave up eventually and let her have her way. When she unraveled the gauze, she gasped. “It’s infected,” she declared. “Hilda has to look at this.” 

Nick snatched his arm back quickly. “It’s fine.” 

Sabrina shot him a challenging look. “You’re in denial and I’m not going to argue with you, but you are coming with me and letting my aunt look at your arm.” 

Nick groaned in exasperation. “Look, I get that you care about people and that’s your thing, but I’m not your responsibility and I can handle myself.” 

The look Sabrina gave him wasn’t what he expected. She didn’t glare or get angry. Instead, there was a flash of hurt that crossed her face before she quickly covered it up.  Nick immediately regretted what he said. 

“You’re seeing Hilda,” was all she said as she pulled his jacket out from the nearby closet and shoved it toward him. Then she removed her scarf from her neck. Nick remembered it as the one she’d worn the day he asked her out. His stomach dropped as she wrapped it around his neck for the second time. It smelled like roses.  

He felt awful. 

He didn’t say anything else as she ushered him out the door. 

Sabrina decided that walking to the mortuary would give both of their emotions a chance to simmer down. She couldn’t blame him too much. He had just lost his familiar, she reminded herself.  

Hilda was in the greenhouse when Sabrina and Nick arrived.  

“Welcome home, dear,” she said upon seeing Sabrina. A bit if surprise tickled her face when she spotted Nick. “Hello, Nicholas.” 

“Hi, Ms. Spellman,” he replied, a bit more reserved than usual. 

Sabrina didn’t waste any time as she lifted Nick’s arm. He winced. “Nick’s arm is infected.” 

“Oh, dear.” Hilda hurried over, dropping the shears onto the makeshift table where she was working.  

After examining his arm, Hilda worked quickly with a spell to disinfect it and treat it. Her skill and wide variety of medicinal herbs meant that she had everything on hand. His arm was patched up in no time, and Hilda had insisted he have a bowl of warm pumpkin soup and a mug of tea. Nick quickly learned that no one left the Spellman household without some sort of pampering from Hilda. 

The tea – which Hilda had lovingly spiked with a hint of lavender and some magic after noting the dark circles under his eyes – worked wonders. Nick was drowsy and already half-asleep before Sabrina even had the chance to set up on the crown sofa in the living room.  

She propped an extra cushion under his head and draped a warm sherpa blanket over him once she finally had him settled in.  

“I need to go home,” he tried to argue, but his voice betrayed him, and it came out closer to a whisper. His eyes were already shut. 

“Shh,” Sabrina soothed, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Take a nap. You’ll feel better.” 

She took some time to watch him. His breathing had slowed, lips parted just barely, and his body fully relaxed against the sofa. After pulling the blanket up a little higher, Sabrina finally left him. 

“He’s out,” Sabrina said as she re-joined her aunt in the kitchen.  

“Poor dear.” Hilda gave a little sigh. “I almost didn’t recognize him as the same boy from before,” she said, in reference to Sabrina’s birthday where Nick had come in usual well-dressed splendor.   

Sabrina nodded in agreement. She was still worried about him. Even though his physical state was repaired, thanks to her aunt, whatever was on his mind still concerned her.  

“I’ve got some grading to do. I’ll be in my room,” Sabrina said after a couple of seconds.  

“Don’t worry, love, I’ll keep an eye on him,” Hilda replied with a warm smile. 



In the comfort of her room, Sabrina mused over countless exams, grading each meticulously. Her record player twirled about behind her, filling the room with a quiet stream of classical music – her preferred choice when it came to grading exams.  

Halfway through Canon in D, Sabrina decided to call it quits. She dropped her red pen onto her desk and leaned back in her chair to stretch. From the corner of her eye, she spotted a bit of gold. A little smile tugged at her lips as she reached for the book Nick had given her, letting her fingers trace over the golden pages once again. It felt like silk. 

Her mind wandered to him again and she glanced at the clock. It had been two hours since she had practically dragged him to lay down. She wondered if he was awake yet. 

Sabrina stretched her legs and stood before she wandered down the stairs and into the living room. There, she found Nick’s spot empty.  

With a discontented sigh, Sabrina dropped down onto the sofa where he’d previously been asleep. She took the pillow he had slept on and hugged it against her body. It was still warm and smelled like him. 

Hilda wandered in a little later, a cup of tea in one hand and one of her strange novels in the other. She took a seat across from Sabrina.  

“A well-mannered young man,” Hilda commented. “He was overly grateful before he left.” 

Sabrina smiled. “He’s stubborn.” 

“So are you,” Hilda replied quickly. “Quite a match, if I may say so. The world should be afraid.” 

Sabrina rolled her eyes playfully at her aunt. She settled back into the sofa and snuggled under the blanket. His scent lingered on it too. “I don’t think he likes it when people try to help him,” Sabrina said a little sadly. “I think there are parts of him he doesn’t trust me with yet.” 

Sabrina noted how he didn’t like to appear vulnerable or weak. She recalled the visit to his parents’ home, where he had kept his guard up even though Sabrina could tell it was seconds away from falling.  

“I don’t think he doesn’t trust you, love. I just think maybe he isn’t used to it.” Hilda seemed to hesitate for a moment, suddenly a little nervous about something.  

Sabrina caught on and gave her aunt a questioning look. “Why do you think that?” 

There was a long pause like Hilda was considering whether to continue or not. 

“When you first mentioned him, I thought I had recognized the surname,” Hilda said. “But I couldn’t remember where I had seen it, until this evening. I spoke to Nicholas a bit before he left. I was bloody stupid – asked him about his family and what they did. He told me he was the last Scratch.” 

Sabrina shifted. She had done something similarly stupid, as well. 

“Scratch,” Hilda repeated. “I kept rolling the name around in my brain and then something clicked.” 

Sabrina raised an eyebrow. 

“Years ago, a family in nearby Springdale was attacked by witch-hunters,” Hilda recalled. “Cause for quite the hysteria here in Greendale. Nothing came of it, thankfully, but for a while witches were boarding up their homes and casting protection charms by the hour.”  

Hilda thought back to the large assembly of witches gathered tightly in the academy the night the news broke, afraid to sleep in their own homes. The four of them – Zelda, Hilda, Ambrose, and a bundled-up Sabrina – had all slept in the parlor for at least a week after, refusing to leave Ambrose alone in the mortuary. Sabrina had just turned two and fussed the entire time. 

Sabrina’s eyes were wide, and she paled. 

“Nick told me his parents died when he was young,” Sabrina said softly. She fought the way her eyes watered. “Are you sure you’re thinking of the right family?” She thought back to the Scratch home and what she had seen. The sterling silver tea set. The now nearly deteriorated kitchen towel thrown across the sink. A family in motion cut short.  

In her gut, she already knew the answer. 

Hilda gave a sad sigh. “I’m quite certain, dear. But there’s always a chance I could be wrong, too. The surname ‘Scratch’ may not be limited to one family.” 

Sabrina bit her lip. “It’s quite a coincidence, though,” she said. 

Hilda nodded in agreement. 

They sat in silence for a great deal of time, Sabrina allowing her mind to wander. The urge to follow Nick was hard to fight. She wanted to cave in and go after him, wrap him up in a tight hug and not let him go for hours. But she didn’t. She felt that he would not accept it right now.  

“Auntie?” Sabrina asked. 

Hilda looked up. “Yes, love?” 

“Are there any witch-hunters in Greendale?” She felt stupid asking, but Amalia had sounded so sure. 

She gave Sabrina a soft smile. “You’ve got nothing to worry about, dearie. We’re all safe as can be. No witch-hunters in this town.”  

Sabrina hugged the pillow tighter to her body and pretended that Nick could feel it. Maybe he could. 

Chapter Text

Sabrina found Zelda in the study, morning light flooding the room with amber tinged warmth. Outside, the temperature was not so forgiving.  

Zelda sat fumbling with a piece of black tulle, a plethora of various bits and bobs of wedding décor scattered around her, covering every inch of her mahogany desk.  

“Keep your vile creature of a familiar out of here. He’s already stolen enough ribbon to wrap around the mortuary twice,” Zelda said, effectively ruining whatever calm atmosphere Sabrina had thought she’d walked into. 

“He’s still asleep,” Sabrina replied. “Salem enjoys some additional beauty rest every weekend.” Unfortunate for her, that meant being forced from her own bed by a paw to the face or a wet nose against her cheek. 

Zelda released a long sigh. “Prudence was in charge of this. Unfortunately, she’s off with Faustus planning this year’s Feast of Feasts,” Zelda declared. She paused to flick the ash from the end of her cigarette.  

“What’s there to plan? It’s just a large dinner every year with some prayer beforehand,” Sabrina replied. 

“Yes, thanks to you,” Zelda said. Sabrina could sense a bit of pride in her voice and it made her smirk. Zelda looked up after a few moments. “Well, did you come to help or is there an ulterior motive? There always is with you.” 

“Well...” Sabrina started.  

Zelda sighed deeply. 

“I’ve been thinking, you’re pretty old,” Sabrina finally said. 

Zelda set down her tulle and looked up in offense. “What on earth has gotten into you?” 

“No, I didn’t mean it like that. I just mean, you’re old and knowledgeable, ” she quickly corrected.  

Zelda’s glare didn’t falter. Sabrina realized she wasn’t coming across the way she had meant. 

“What I’m saying is you’ve lived in Greendale for quite some time, right?” Sabrina asked.  

Among the time she had spent in between America and England, Zelda had lived in Greendale for the larger portion. “Yes,” Zelda answered, awaiting Sabrina’s next question, which she was sure was to come. 

“Did you know the Scratches?” Sabrina asked. “Nick’s family.” 

Zelda quirked a brow. “I knew of them,” she began. “Not personally. They were a prominent family. Fairly wealthy. They were acquainted with Edward, I believe.” She set the tulle down entirely and focused on her cigarette.  

Sabrina looked surprised. “They knew my dad?” 

“It's not all that shocking. Edward had acquaintances all over the world.” There was a small tug at her lips as she fondly recalled her brother. “Your father was a very popular warlock.” 

Sabrina nodded, smiling. 

“In fact, now that I think about it. I remember I met them briefly at the academy. While your father was the Headmaster. They came to meet with him. His mother was very pregnant at the time,” Zelda noted, taking a puff from her cigarette. 

“Did you know what it was about?” Sabrina asked curiously.  

Zelda shrugged lightly. “It wasn’t my business. Like I said, your father had many friends and was visited frequently.” 

Sabrina nodded. “Makes sense,” she replied. There was a pause. “Aunt Hilda told me his parents were killed by witch-hunters. Do you remember that?” 

Zelda took a long draw from her cigarette as she thought. “Of course. How could I forget the crisis it caused here?” She exhaled smoke. “You were just a toddler then.” 

Sabrina bit her lip nervously. “Are witch-hunters still around?” she asked hesitantly. “Like in Greendale?” 

“There haven’t been any attacks in Greendale since the trials ages ago.” Zelda picked up the tulle again, intent on working. “Most believe the attack on the Scratches was targeted.” 

There was a shiver that ran up Sabrina’s spine. “What do you mean?” 

Zelda looked at her as if it was obvious. “Witch-hunts aren’t normally singular attacks. In their prime, they always came in waves.” 

“Why were the Scratches targeted?” She remembered Luke’s words the day they had confronted him about Amalia, when he mentioned Nick’s parents possibly being paranoid or having a sort of enemy. “Why would witch-hunters come looking for them specifically?” 

Zelda sighed heavily, growing tired of the questions. “I don’t know, Sabrina. If you are so concerned with the matter, perhaps you should look up the public records. Or maybe even ask Nicholas, for that matter.” She raised a hand to wave her off. “Now, if you don’t mind, I have a lot of planning to finish. Enough of your inquisitions for today.” 

"Fine,” Sabrina grumbled, accepting her fate. She would pay the library a visit instead. 



Family Presumed Dead; Witch-Hunters Likely Involved. 

Goosebumps formed on Sabrina’s skin as she read the title, fingers gripping the copy The Witch Times she had managed to locate in the public records room of the academy library. She glanced behind her, as if to check for anyone. This felt invasive, she had to admit, but it was there, and it was public for any witch to access. 

Nicholas had read into her family heavily, she reminded herself. He knew her father better than she did.  

Still, this felt different. It felt personal. 

Sabrina sighed as she traced her thumb along the edge of the newspaper. Despite its age, it was still in pristine condition. A magical seal kept it that way. 

Without a date, it had been difficult for her to even locate the proper issue, but thanks to Zelda’s note of her being just a toddler at the time of the attack, Sabrina had been able to narrow it down. 

Now she sat at the back of the dimly lit library, a small lamp before her, and the tragic outcome of Nick’s family in her hand.  

She had to admit, the whole idea made her feel a bit sick, but she couldn’t stop now. 

Sabrina sighed again and continued reading. The article was dated twenty-five years prior. 

‘Distinguished demonologist Nathaniel Scratch along with wife, Lasanda, and son, Nicholas, currently presumed dead after evidence on property suggest possible attack by witch-hunters. Nearby neighbors in the witch community of Ochre Lake in Springdale claim to have heard gunfire on the evening of July 7th, just after six p.m. At this time, no other attacks have been reported. The Church of Darkness will hold a memorial on July 10th to honor the deceased. Prior to his death, Scratch authored The Rights of Demons under the Hierarchies of Hell under his middle name, Eliphas. A posthumous publication is being planned by current High Priest, Zacharias Ellwein” 

That was it, a paragraph in a newspaper, planted right above the coronation of a new High Priest in another nearby Church. That was all they got. 

The entire existence of a family forced into six sentences, quickly strung together by the impersonal touch of a typewriter and then mass copied.  

A drop fell onto the newspaper, stained it a darker gray before quickly being dissolved away by the magical properties in the fibers of the paper. Another followed shortly after. Like the first, it was gone within a few seconds.  

A sniffle broke the silence in the library, and it was then that she realized the drops were tears and she was the one crying.  

With shaky hands, she held the paper in front of her, squinting through the blur that her tears had created. She re-read the paragraph until she could recite it word for word, until it became ingrained in her mind. If the rest of the world forgot about the Scratches, at least she never would.  

“Sabrina?” came Cassius’ gentle voice. She sat up. “I’ll be closing the library soon. You’re welcome to stay, just lock up once you’re finished.” 

“I’m leaving,” Sabrina said, quickly working to wipe away her tears.  

The walk home was cold and lonely. She mentally recited the paragraph, trying to remember the family she saw in the photograph at Nick’s childhood home. 

That night, she drew her bath a little warmer than usual. 

When she finally slipped beneath the milky surface of her lavender and honey infused bath, Sabrina relished the way it felt against her skin. It breathed warmth into the bathroom, fogged up the window until the stars blurred into the sky, becoming unrecognizable. She sat back and closed her eyes. 

Half-way through her bath, a knock sounded on her bedroom door. 

“Not now, Ambrose,” she called back, expecting her cousin. 

“It’s Nick,” she heard his familiar voice answer. “Can I come in?” 

Sabrina sat, realizing she was incredibly naked and not ready for him to walk in on her like that. “Hang on,” she replied, getting out of the bath. After quickly drying off on a nearby towel, she dressed in her white robe. “Come in.” She pulled the plug on her bath and went to meet him. 

Once Nick entered, he stopped immediately in the doorway, hand still on the knob. His eyes took in her appearance and she thought she caught him blushing. “Sorry,” he said all too quickly. “I can come back later.” 

Sabrina shook her head and wandered out of the bathroom, hoping her emotions wouldn’t betray her. “Stay. I’m done.” 

He nodded once and shut the door behind him slowly. Sabrina evaluated his appearance. He looked better, dressed in his usual dark wears and seeming put together. Her heart fluttered the same way it did every time she saw him, only this time it was a bit stronger. She wanted to cry again. 

“I came to apologize,” he started, a little nervous. “I was a dick to you.” 

Yes, he had been a dick. Under normal circumstances, she would have pointed that out, but that article about his family flashed through her mind. Those six sentences, so impersonal and cold.  

Sabrina started to cry. 

He caught her just as the first tear fell, pulling her into a hug. His heart clenched. “Fuck, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Sabrina. I was having a bad day and I took it out on you. I’m so sorry.” 

She shook her head against his chest as a sob wracked through her body. “It’s not that,” she answered, holding him tight. “You were an asshole, but that’s not why I’m crying.” 

He kissed the top of her head and rubbed her back, becoming more worried. “What’s wrong, then? You can tell me.” 

“I meddled,” she answered shamefully. “I read about your parents.”  

He didn’t tense or get angry like she had expected. Nick just held her and continued to rub her back soothingly. 

“Okay,” he simply said, nodding against her damp hair. 

Sabrina pulled back enough to look up at him. “Aren’t you mad?” she asked, sniffling. Satan, she probably looked awful in that moment. 

Nick didn’t seem to care. His gaze was gentle as he pushed her hair away from her face and placed a kiss to her forehead. “No,” he answered. She noted the slight bit of red around the edges of his eyes. He had probably read it himself, maybe memorized it the same way she had. “It’s just an article, and it’s public information so you didn’t really meddle.” 

“Just a paragraph in a newspaper. Why didn’t they dedicate more to them?” 

Nick just shrugged. “It wouldn’t have made a difference to me.” He was right. It wasn’t like it would have brought his family back. 

“They said you were dead,” Sabrina held back another sob, burying her face in his chest again. She breathed in deeply, trying to imagine a world in which that familiar smell of leather and rainstorm didn’t exist. It hurt to think about. 

He kissed her head again, let his chin rest again it, partly so that she wouldn’t notice the way his own eyes burned. “Amalia got me out of there. Without her, I would have been,” he said.  

“That’s what you meant when you said she saved you,” Sabrina said, recalling the night of the unbinding ritual. She felt him nod against her hair.  

Nick felt the walls around him crumble when he was near her, even more so now. He had never shared any of this information with his previous companions. And if they knew, they didn’t bring it up. They only mingled between sheets, skin against skin, their language the sounds of pleasure. It was different with Sabrina. Their relationship was an enigma he was still trying to sort out. 

“You had to banish her,” Sabrina said against his shirt, her voice soft. “That must’ve been hard for you.” 

“It was, but it was harder for me to watch her try to hurt you,” Nick answered truthfully, recalling the surge of emotion he’d felt that night he’d appeared in the woods to find Amalia after her. 

“Even so,” Sabrina said, her cheek pressed against his chest. She could hear his heartbeat. “I’m glad you had her, that she was there to save you. I'm glad that I got to meet you, Nick.” 

Nick nodded once more. “Me too,” he answered, feeling his eyes burn. Despite the rough patches he’d had with Amalia – her aggression and the possessiveness that kept him from ever really being able to make lasting connections – he did love her. She was his family.  

And, in a way, Amalia had led him to Sabrina. 

There was a comfortable moment of silence where they just held each other. 

“You can trust me,” Sabrina said finally, her voice muffled slightly by his shirt. 

“What was that?” Nick asked, glancing down at her. 

Her head shifted so that she could look up at him, her eyes red and puffy. He hated to see her cry. “You can trust me with your heart, Nick,” she told him. “I know your mood yesterday likely came from having to banish Amalia, but if there was something can tell me.” Then, she paused for a second. “I care about people, that’s sort of my thing,” she echoed his earlier words back with a lightheartedness. “And you’re one of those people.” 

Nick felt his heart tighten at her words. He had no idea how he had managed to keep someone like her for as long as he had. He bit his lower lip in an attempt to keep the prickly feeling in his eyes at a minimum. His fingers ran through her hair before they finally settled at the back of her neck, his thumb delicately brushing the skin there. 

“Banishing Amalia sort of triggered a memory for me. I’m fortunate in that I didn’t see my parents die – but I heard my mother’s death and it’s not something I think I’ll ever be able to forget.” Her voice echoed through his mind once more, the way she had called for him one last time. He shivered. 

Sabrina must’ve felt it, because she pulled him into a gentle kiss that radiated warmth through his veins. It was enough to break whatever focus he had kept up until that point, a few tears betraying him and slipping out. She pulled back from the kiss to wipe them away. 

“Talking about it can make it better. I know it’s helped me in the past. You letting me go through my father’s things...That’s been a plus, too.” 

He managed a smile for her. “With you, I could talk about it. Maybe not tonight, but sometime.” 

She nodded at him, a little smile on her own face. She pulled him into another hug, which they shared for a long stretch of time, neither ready to let go. 

Finally, Nick sighed and straightened up a bit. “I’m glad I came to see you.” He had to admit, he felt a lot better. Seeing her, holding her...It made it easier. “It’s getting late though. I should go.” 

Sabrina spoke up a little too quickly, shocking even herself. “You could stay,” she said. 

Nick shook his head. “I’ve already bothered your aunts enough. I’m not going to overstep into their niece's bed, too.” 

Sabrina poked his side, the mood shifting to something a bit lighter. “You’re not the first boy I’ve had in my bed, Nick. Plus, they like you. My aunt Zelda asks about you all the time.” 

He thought about it briefly, unable to talk himself out of it. “Fine, so long as you never again taint my mind with the image of Harry in your bed,” he answered. 

Sabrina couldn’t help but giggle at the hint of jealously in his voice, not bothering to correct the incorrect name usage either. He had done that on purpose, and she could tell.  

Her hands slipped under his jacket to help him out of it. It quickly found a home on a nearby chair. “I’m going to go get into my pajamas. You get comfy,” she told him with another quick peck on the lips.  

When she returned, she was wearing a pair of sleep shorts and a camisole. Nick couldn’t stop his eyes from wandering over her form once he realized she wasn’t wearing a bra. Judging by the sly look on her face, she noticed. She moved to the side of the bed he was seated on, a finger tracing over his jaw and landing on his chin. She directed his gaze up to her face. “What are you ogling at, Scratch?” she asked, sounding innocent. 

“You’re so beautiful,” he blurted out, unable to craft a better response. “I don’t know how a guy like me ended up with a girl like you.” 

That made her laugh and roll her eyes playfully. “Yeah, right. As if you aren’t every girl’s wet dream,” she shot back. 

He smirked, a little crooked. “Does ‘every girl’ include you?” 

She gave his arm a little playful smack, her cheeks quickly turning a shade of pink. 

Her eyes wandered over him. He’d shirked his sweater and sat comfortable in an undershirt, and though he’d gotten rid of his belt, he still wore his pants. “Are you going to sleep in pants? That doesn’t seem comfortable to me, Scratch.” A tingling sensation shot up his spine when she said his name. The edge of her voice was tinged with a hint of deviousness. 

He stood, rising to the challenge, their chests nearly touching as he unbuttoned his pants and undid the zipper slowly. She didn’t break eye contact with him, not even as he placed his thumbs under the waistband on his pants and slowly slid them off. Only once he was left standing in a pair of dark boxer briefs did she finally brush past him and into bed.  

That energy that he felt when he was in proximity of her – he wasn’t used to it. He understood sexual tension better than most- that he wasn’t a stranger to. He’d felt it around other women. That desire to connect, to feel the warmth they offered even if it was temporary and fleeting, to allow them to use his body in the same manner. Because that’s what it was – an exchange of energy. A trade. Make someone feel good and they’ll do the same for you, then you both move on. 

With Sabrina it was different. He didn’t want to know her temporarily. He didn’t want to meet her between her rose scented sheets, exchange favors during the witching hour, and then move on. He wanted to hum prayers against her skin, let his lips explore the altar that was her body, let her bless him with her soft cries. He wanted to worship her.  

“Come here,” she said, gentle and inviting as she held up the cover. He slid under them, his body immediately finding hers. He kissed her softly, his thumb tracing over her cheek. When they broke away, she felt breathless.  

“Kiss me again?” she asked. 

“As many times as you’d like,” Nick whispered against her mouth when he leaned in to kiss her once more. 

“I don’t think that’s possible,” she replied, a little smug. There was an incantation and the lamp in her room shut off. 

He chuckled softly. “I love a challenge.”  

Her legs hooked around his hips, pulled him over her. His lips trailed from her lips to her neck, where he drew an airy little moan from her. “Is this okay?” he asked. 

Yes,” she breathed, fingers tangling in his hair. 

“Just tell me if you want to stop.” Her comfort was his priority. 

“It’s a no to stopping,” she whispered back with a little giggle. Her hands slid below his shirt, over the taut muscles on his abdomen. She felt the heat in the room rise as her hands trailed up his chest next. The soft groan he released tickled her neck. 

Her fingers slid around to his back, the desire to feel every part of him rising. 

Just as nails grazed his skin, the door to her room swung open and light from the hallway poured in.  

“We’re going to grab a drink at Dorian’s. Want to come?” she heard Ambrose ask. Prudence stood beside him. 

Sabrina wanted to die. Not because she was caught with Nick, but because this had been exactly what Ambrose had been endlessly teasing her over. 

Nick rolled off her. Sabrina thought that even he looked embarrassed, though he managed to play it off well.  

“Does no one in this house understand knocking?” Sabrina snapped. 

“Relax, Sabrina,” came Prudence’s devious tone. “Nick can come, too. Though I think that’ll be easier accomplished if we let you be.” 

Sabrina threw a cushion at the door. They avoided it easily. “Get out.” 

“Right,” Ambrose said. “Stay safe. Don’t make me have to have a word with you, Nick.” He shut the door with a smirk. 

Sabrina dropped her hands over her face. “The worst – those two.” 

Nick couldn’t help but laugh as he pulled her close. He settled in behind her, her back pressed to his chest, and kissed her shoulder. A strong arm draped over her waist. “They’re not so bad.” 

“You don’t know them as well as I do,” Sabrina replied, snuggling up to him. His affection was enough to relax her. 

Realistically, Nick knew they wouldn’t get far that evening. He hadn’t planned to. Getting caught making out was one thing. Getting caught half-way through the act itself was another.  

Moments later, Salem slipped in through the crack beneath her door, intent to join the sleepover. He plopped down in front of Sabrina, right next to Nick’s hand, and rolled over to expose his belly. 

“You’re almost as cute as your witch,” he told the cat as he stroked his stomach. Salem meowed. “Sorry. Handsome, not cute,” Nick corrected. 

A little smile tugged at Sabrina’s lips. “He doesn’t let anyone but me stroke his stomach. He never even let Harvey come this close.” She remembered all the times Salem had sulked off to sleep elsewhere when Harvey stayed the night. 

“That’s because he doesn’t know how to give good scratches, does he?” Nick asked. “Pun fully intended.”  

Sabrina giggled and turned to kiss him. 

They settled comfortably back into their position, Salem falling asleep after a few more stomach rubs. Nick’s own eyes drooped, and he nuzzled against her neck.  

“Goodnight, Sabrina,” he whispered. 

“Goodnight, Nick.” 

Soon enough, Nick drifted off. She could tell by the way his breathing slowed and his arm around her loosened. Her fingers absentmindedly stroked the patch of gauze over his injury. She closed her eyes, but sleep didn’t come. 

Her mind was too active.  

Sabrina rolled over, careful not to wake him, and observed him. He had an arm propped under the pillow, the covers draped lazily over his body. From what she could make out in the darkness, he seemed peaceful. She kissed his forehead, a stray curl tickling her nose.  

Her thoughts wandered back to the article. 

She repeated it once in her mind. 

Then twice. 

And finally, a third time. 

Just as she was starting to slip away, something crossed her mind. 

Sabrina sat up with a startle, shocking even herself. Nick grumbled beside her. 

Sabrina,” he whined. 

“I have to go back to the library,” she said quickly, grabbing for the covers. Cassius had given her a spare key ages ago. She could get in.  

“What?” Nick rubbed at his eyes, wondering what she was going on about. 

“The library,” she repeated, as if it hadn’t been clear enough the first time. “I need to check something.” 

He groaned and pulled her back by the waist just as she went to exit the bed. “Sabrina, whatever it is, it can wait until morning.” 

“No, Nick. I have to-” 

Please, Sabrina. Stay with me,” he pleaded, his voice scratchy from sleep. His thumb stroked the bit of skin that was exposed below her camisole.  

She gave up with a sigh. He nuzzled against her. Sabrina cursed his charm and the sweet way he placed a few lazy kisses against her neck.  

She sank back into the softness of her bed, limbs tangling with his. 

Fine, she thought. She could wait until morning. 

Chapter Text

The moment Nick opened his eyes, he knew Sabrina was gone. 

Rain pelted against the large rose window above her bed, casting a gloomy gray hue over the room. He sat up, feeling more rested than he had in days. It was unusual, given how light of a sleeper he was, that he didn’t notice her slip out. 

On her side of the bed, he spotted a small sachet of ground lavender, which he was certain hadn’t been there the previous night. He smirked. Despite her cleverness, she’d forgotten to hide her evidence.  

He pushed back the quilt and stood to find the rest of his clothing. His things were folded neatly on the upholstered bench in front of her bed – no doubt the work of Sabrina. He slid on his pants first, looping his belt through. He pulled his black sweater on over his undershirt. After grabbing his jacket and slinging it over his arm, he paused briefly in front of the mirror to fix his hair somewhat back in place. That particularly difficult curl refused to conform.  

He spotted something on his cheek before he turned away. A light smear of maroon in the shape of her lips. 

Nick licked the tip of his thumb and wiped away the lipstick with a smirk. She probably thought she was so sly, marking him for the rest of the world to see, probably hoping he wouldn’t spot it. 

Voices echoed from the lower level. The sound of laughter wafted up the stairway. He followed it down, finding himself being led into the kitchen. Nick had a feeling the rest of the house likely knew of his stay, and so he thought he should be polite and greet them before he headed out. 

“Nicky,” Prudence spoke as soon as he entered. Ambrose and Hilda both turned their heads in his direction. 

Hilda blushed heavily and immediately dropped her attention back down to the skillet of eggs she was preparing. 

“Good morning,” he said, taking a couple of steps into the kitchen. He scanned the room. No Sabrina. “I’m looking for the mischievous little witch who put me under a sleep charm.” 

Ambrose smirked as he spread butter onto a slice of toast. “I never thought of my cousin to be the sort to hit it and quit it,” he said. “I thought she was still upstairs.” 

“She mentioned something about the library,” Hilda spoke up quickly, hoping to change the tone in the kitchen. 

Memories of the previous night flickered through Nick’s mind. That’s right, she had mentioned something about needing to go back there.  

“Thanks,” he said. “I’ll leave you guys to it. Have a nice day.” He turned to leave, not wanting to intrude any further, but Hilda stopped him suddenly with a click of her tongue. 

“Nonsense, you’ll have breakfast with us before you leave. Then you can take something to Sabrina seeing as she made the decision to skip breakfast, too,” Hilda piped up in a very motherly tone. 

“That’s okay, I’ll --” 

Hilda waved her spatula toward the breakfast table. “Sit,” she directed. Nick did as he was told. 

“Auntie Hilda considers breakfast-skipping as a serious offense. I wouldn’t test her,” Ambrose said in a lighthearted manner, just as Hilda came over and began scraping scrambled eggs onto a serving dish. 

Hilda ignored him. “Nicholas, will you be having coffee or tea this morning?” 

Nick draped his jacket over the back of the chair as he sat down, looking over at the woman. “ is fine. Thank you.” She was back with a carafe, pouring a steaming cup of a strong coffee into the mug before him.  

Nick looked at Ambrose a little uncomfortably. Outside of a restaurant setting, he wasn’t really used to being tended to in this manner. He usually fumbled with his own breakfast in the morning, and he had most certainly never stayed at any partners home long enough to eat breakfast with her family. Sleepovers themselves were a rarity. 

It was odd, but also nice. 

Ambrose seemed to understand. “It’s gotten worse since she’s taken the job at Cee’s,” he answered.  

“I’ve got fresh apple butter,” Hilda spoke as she wandered back over the table, finally taking a seat of her own once the table was set to her liking. She set the jar of apple butter down at the table. “Homemade, of course. Thank you, Nicholas, for helping Sabrina with those apples.” 

“Yes, ma’am, of course.” 

Hilda smiled warmly before looking over at Ambrose. “See that, those are called manners. You two hellions could learn a thing or two,” she said, in reference to Ambrose and Sabrina. 

Yes ma’am,” Ambrose mocked. 

Breakfast went by wonderfully. Nick was glad that Hilda had made him stay. The food was delicious, and it was nice to be with company. His awkwardness with the scenario melted away soon enough and was quickly replaced with a comfortable warmth. Hilda was motherly, Ambrose joked the entire time, and Prudence was Prudence. 

Afterward, Hilda packed a breakfast sandwich for Sabrina, and a few pastries for the two to share later. She handed Nick the little paper bag and thanked him for staying. 

Nick left the mortuary in a good mood. It made him happy to know that even with the absence of her parents, Sabrina had a loving family. She deserved that, and so much more. 

He teleported to the library, eager to find out what she was up to. It took him some time to find her, but soon enough he was able to spot her silvery hair.  

She lit up when she saw him. “Good morning.” 

He eyed the large take-away cup of coffee on the table and the way she seemed to bounce around the room. “Good morning, Mischief.” 

Sabrina smirked. “You needed to rest,” she defended, knowing she was caught. Now that she thought back, she did forget to put away the lavender after she’d cast her sleep charm on him. 

He playfully rolled his eyes and leaned in to kiss her, setting the bag Hilda had packed on the table. “Whatever it is you’ve got going on, you’re taking a break to eat. Your aunt was upset that you skipped breakfast.” 

“Never mind that,” she said with a wave of her hand. “This is way more important than breakfast.” 

Nick surveyed the table, his eyes taking in all the open documents and newspapers lying around. “What are you doing?” he asked. 

She seemed proud of herself, happy that he’d finally asked her. “Did you know that your father’s middle name was Eliphas?” she asked. 

Nick cringed. “Yeah, I unfortunately inherited it.” He looked at the newspaper in her hand. The one she’d referred to the night before, when she’d mentioned reading about his parents. It had been ages since he’d read it himself.  

“Well,” Sabrina started. “In the article that I read, it said that he wrote a manuscript for a new book before he-” She eyed Nick, he just nodded. “Before he passed,” she finished gently, looking back down at the newspaper. “Have you read it?” 

Nick shrugged. “Barely. It’s not an educational text, more like a collection of his own thoughts and opinions on the social hierarchy of demons. I’m guessing that’s why he wrote it under another name, so it could be separated from his educational works.” No, he hadn’t read it. It would be embarrassing for him to admit that he had never really felt ready.  

“I found it,” Sabrina said with a nod. She picked up another book, a thick one with a navy hardcover and silver writing across the front. “I did some reading. Like you said, it’s purely opinion. I guess it’s hard to research the depths of Hell without actually having been there, so we can only really speculate on how things operate -” 

“Spellman,” Nick said, dropping a hand on her shoulder. “You’re rambling.” 

“Right.” She paused to clear her throat. He wondered if she had even gotten any sleep. “So, anyway. I read through some of it, and I found this on page three hundred and forty-two.” She held the book out to him, the page in question open. 

He read it and then his eyes widened. 

“He referenced my father’s work. Not only that, but he also mentioned a collaboration.” 

Nick pulled out a chair and sat down. 

“And get this,” Sabrina said, eyes quickly scanning the table. She grabbed a journal – one of her fathers. “I broke into your apartment, by the way. I hope that’s okay.” 

Nick just nodded, unfazed, his mind instead trying to process everything else. He had a feeling he knew where she was headed. 

“Look at this,” she flipped to the proper page. “It was pretty cryptic before, I’m sure. It makes sense now. Listen...”  

‘The Dark Lord has accepted our proposal. Vanity is often encouraged in our religion, unlike others, so it is not a surprise that he would find it intriguing. This will be one of the first cases of its kind. In the long run, once we can assess its overall success, we plan to transcribe a document detailing the process. Obviously, if the demon becomes volatile, it will be aborted. For now, she seems tame. However, that will change as her stay continues. Hopefully, the problem will be taken care of before it reaches that stage.’ 

Sabrina paused briefly after she read, surveying his expression. Then she pointed to the top of the page where it was dated. Nick’s birthday. She remembered it from the silver box at his parent’s home, the one that contained his blood contract to Amalia. 

His eyes widened. “Amalia. That was about her. That means...” 

“My father was the skilled conjurer and binder that Luke referred to your parents using.” 

Nick stared at her, his jaw slack. 

“Nick,” Sabrina said. “I think your father was N.E.S. Nathaniel Eliphas Scratch. He worked with my father.” 

This put a completely different spin on everything. All of Edward Spellman’s work, it took on a different meaning to Nick now.  

It involved his father. It involved him. 

He didn’t know how to feel or how to react. For one, this now meant he would absolutely have to look deeper into his own family – something that he still didn’t know if he was comfortable doing. 

He would worry about that later, he thought with a gulp. 

Right now, he was just shocked. This was not what he had expected to wake up to. 

Among the shock, something else stood out to him. He turned to Sabrina, took the journal from her hand and read the entry himself.  

“’Hopefully, the problem will be taken care of before it reaches that stage.’ What do you think that means?” he asked. He understood what it referenced – that Amalia’s stay was never meant to be permanent – but what was ‘the problem’? 

“I don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet,” Sabrina said. 

A little smile touched Nick’s face. “Yet,” he repeated, noting the promise in her voice. “The little sleuth you are.” 

She smiled too. “And here I am, yet to receive a kiss for all my hard work.” 

He set the journal down and cradled her face, noticing the exhaustion she was trying cover up for him. Then, he kissed her. “You’re amazing, Spellman.” He kissed her again for good measure. 

“I’m just surprised you didn’t figure it out first. You’ve spent so much time reading my dad’s stuff.” 

Nick shrugged. He wasn’t afraid to admit that he had missed it. Sabrina was smart. He adored that about her. “Give yourself some credit, Sabrina. You’re clever.” He smiled at her. “Plus, you’ve got that Spellman touch.” 

“My touch can work wonders in other ways too,” she flirted, her hands smoothing up his thighs. Nick nearly jumped. All that caffeine made her bolder. 

He kissed her forehead and pushed the paper bag in her direction. “Later. You need to eat,” he said. 

Sabrina reached for the bag. Then, she seemed to spot something on him. A giggle resonated from her. “I guess you liked my gift,” she said. 

Nick looked confused. “What are you mean?” 

Briefly ignoring her breakfast, she pulled a small mirror from her bag and held it up to him. With a gentle hand, she directed him to expose his neck. Under his jaw was another little spot of lipstick. 

“Son of a hellhound,” Nick cursed. He hadn’t seen that one. “I ate breakfast with your aunt and cousin this morning, Sabrina.” No wonder Hilda had kept glancing at him. 

Sabrina started on her own breakfast after letting him have the mirror. A playful smirk was on her face as she nibbled on her sandwich. “Not my fault you didn’t notice.” 

He folded the mirror back after wiping away the lipstick. “I’ll get my revenge. I hope you know that.” 

“I’m so afraid,” she feigned. 

“You should be,” he said, but found it hard not to smile. 

While she ate, he perused her notes. His heart swelled thinking about her - racing to read, taking diligent notes, recording it all. He hoped she felt proud. She had every right to. 

At the back of his mind, a thought still bothered him. 

He had to figure out what that ‘problem’ was. 

And if it still lingered. 

“Can we go see a movie tonight?” Sabrina asked beside him. 

“A movie sounds nice,” Nick replied. 

 “So,” Theo began slowly, finger fumbling with the straw in his strawberry milkshake. “Are you guys together together?” 

Sabrina saw Roz lean in across their booth at Dr. Cerberus’, a little eager herself. “I don’t know,” Sabrina replied. “We’re still feeling each other out, I think.” 

“Like, physically feeling each other out or?” Theo asked bluntly. Roz slapped his shoulder. Sabrina blushed. 

“We haven’t gotten that far,” Sabrina replied. “Not yet.” 

Roz smiled. “I told you everything would be just fine.” 

From the corner of her eye, Sabrina watched Harvey roll his eyes. She chose to ignore it. 

“Everything is just fine when he’s that fine,” Theo piped up. Sabrina snorted. Theo never held anything back. “Have you seen those biceps?” 

“I’ve felt them,” Sabrina replied with a smirk. Roz and Theo dissolved into laughter. “They’re the real deal. No magic.” 

Theo wiped at his eyes as he calmed down, the fit of laughter slowly ceasing. “In all honesty, though. I hope he treats you right and that you’re happy.” 

Roz nodded quickly. “Exactly. You let us know if that’s not the case, Brina. We’d kick warlock ass for you.” 

Sabrina laughed herself. “I am really happy. I like him. He’s considerate and he respects me. I thought when I first met him that he might be a bit of a -” 

“Pompous asshole?” Harvey asked. 

Sabrina was a bit taken-aback. “I was going to say a bad boy, but I guess that works too,” she replied slowly. She looked back at Roz and Theo. “Anyway, what I was saying is that he’s not like that. He’s actually very sweet, at least to me.” 

Harvey just scoffed. Sabrina shot him a look, Roz gripped his arm, and Theo looked down at his milkshake awkwardly. 

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” Sabrina asked. 

Harvey shrugged.  

Moments later, she was pushing Harvey through the bathroom door. “What is your problem?” she asked a little aggressively. 

“I don’t have a problem. I don’t know why you seem to think so.” 

“Then why are you rolling your eyes or making a slick comment whenever I talk about Nick? It’s starting to really get on my nerves, Harvey.” 

Harvey blew out a sigh and went to leave, Sabrina put a hand on the door. He stepped back, irritated. “You’re really going to hold my hostage in here?” 

“Yes, I am. Until you tell me what your damn issue is.” 

“I don’t have any issues, Sabrina. I’m just concerned,” he finally said, crossing his arms. 

Sabrina narrowed her eyes. “Concerned about what?” 

“About your sudden interest in that Nick guy. He’s the exact type of guy you said you’d never get involved with. Do you remember high school? We used to make fun of guys like him.” 

Sabrina was quickly growing more and more annoyed the longer Harvey went on. “I’m not following, Harvey. What type of guy is Nick, according to you?”  

“A player, Sabrina,” Harvey replied. “He’s a fucking smooth-talking player.” 

“Excuse me?” 

“Come on, ‘Brina. You know it, too. He’s the kind to jump from girl to girl, not giving a shit about anyone but himself. It’s not right.” 

Sabrina’s hands went to her hips, a telltale sign that she was pissed. “And you’ve come to this conclusion how? You barely know Nick. You’re basing this off what? His appearance? Your two second conversation with him at my party?” 

Harvey sighed. “I’m a guy, Sabrina, I just know. Those types, they just stick around long enough to get a taste.” He didn’t have to explain. Sabrina knew what he was hinting at, that Nick’s only goal was to sleep with her.  

His expression softened a bit. “Sabrina, you’re one of my best friends and I don’t want to see you get hurt once he decides to blow you off for someone else.” 

Sabrina stepped forward. “Well, here’s what you should know. You’re my friend, Harvey, but you’re not my boss and you’re  definitely not  going to pick and choose who I date. That’s not how this works. I make my own decisions, and even if they hurt me in the end, they’re my decisions.” Her pointer finger jabbed him in the chest. 

The door behind her creaked open. It was only then that she suddenly realized she had raised her voice at Harvey.  

“Everything okay in here?” Nick asked, having just arrived at the diner after spending some time grading schoolwork at the academy. He hadn’t expected to walk in and find a startled Roz and Theo pointing at the bathroom door.  

When Sabrina turned to look at him, she noticed that his eyes weren’t on her. Instead, they were trained on Harvey. The tension in the room rose as they held eye contact. 

“Everything’s okay,” Harvey shot back. 

“I wasn’t asking you, farm boy.”  

“Everything’s fine,” Sabrina spoke, causing Nick to finally look at her, breaking whatever stare off they were having. 

“Our double feature’s starting soon. We’ll be late if we don’t leave now,” Nick said. She turned away from Harvey and followed Nick out, her mood evident in the way she walked. 

Stepping outside into the cold air helped. The walk to the movie theater was relatively short, but much needed.  

Nick dared to speak up after letting her cool off for some time. “So..” he began, treading carefully. “Can I ask what happened, or would you rather not talk about it?” 

Sabrina sighed heavily. “Just Harvey being an asshole.” Her footsteps slowed as she thought about something. Eventually, she stopped entirely. Nick looked at her in question. 

She tugged on his arm to pull him out of the walkway. “Nick,” she started, biting her lip. “Are you my boyfriend?” 

There was nervous little smile that flickered on his lips. “Well, I hope so.” 

Sabrina took his hand as she pondered. “And I’m the only girl you’re seeing?” 

His face softened. “You're the only one, Sabrina.” His thumb stroked the back of her hand. Sabrina relaxed. His other hand gently pushed her chin up so that she was looking at him. “I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve been in open relationships before. You should know that they were all fully consensual. I’d never put anyone in that position otherwise.” 

Sabrina nodded. She remembered that witches were often poly-amorous. It didn’t bother her to learn that about him, so long as he was only hers now. 

“I’ve always been okay sharing before, but not with you. It wouldn’t be fair for me to expect you to be okay with it either.” He smiled then. “And I don’t want to be shared. Truthfully, I like being just yours.” 

Sabrina smiled and leaned up to kiss him. “I don’t share well, anyway.” 

Nick smirked. “I had a feeling.” He took her by the hand again. “I hate to ruin this moment, but we’re actually going to be late if we don’t move.” 

“We still have to get popcorn, too. Damn it, we’re going to miss the previews!” She started speed walking, dragging him along with her. 

“You can go save our seats and I’ll grab the popcorn,” Nick said with chuckle. “But tell me, Spellman, are you okay sharing or should I get you your own?” 

Sabrina giggled. “Popcorn is meant to be shared on dates, Nick. It’s an excuse to sit close and touch hands,” she explained matter-of-factly.  

Her angry mood was quickly fading. She didn’t have anything to prove to Harvey, it didn’t matter to her what he thought about their relationship. Nick had already proven himself. Even if no one else saw that, she did. 

Chapter Text

Sabrina lifted the pot of tea up as she poured, watching the stream of amber liquid fill her cup. She dropped in a spoonful of honey and stirred, disturbing the ribbons of steam as they billowed out. Her eyes dropped to the array of texts spread out on the Spellman breakfast table.  

Aside from her, the kitchen was empty. The only sounds came from the ticking of Hilda’s beloved cat clock and the occasional sound of paper shuffling. Salem slept in a puddle of sunlight near the window, tail flicking about as he dreamed. 

It had been nearly a week since their discovery, and yet Sabrina and Nick had barely been able to dissect anything together. He was busy with his own courses. It was exam week for the advanced students and between his Conjuration class and the Binding Rituals one he also taught, he had his plate full. 

Sabrina catered more to the younger students, and her advanced classes were sparse being that she was still a fairly new teacher. Most of her exams had occurred the week prior and the ones she had remaining would be a breeze. Her students were prepared, she had made sure of that. 

The following week was the celebration of the annual Feast of Feasts, and students and staff would have the week off in honor. They would have plenty of time to spend together then, but Sabrina was an impatient individual and she was unable to wait. Knowing now that their parents were connected made her all the more eager to read her father’s work.  

So, on a Thursday morning before the beginning of the school day, she sat in the Spellman kitchen with stacks of Edward Spellman’s work piled around her.  

Ambrose entered the kitchen a little later, throwing her a sideways glance as he rummaged the fridge for something to eat.  

“What’s that? Another research project for your students?” he asked, emerging with an apple. 

“No,” Sabrina replied, not looking up at him. “It’s some of father’s things.” 

Ambrose fell into the seat beside her, reaching for one of the journals with his free hand. “So you’ve finally ventured into the Sanctum, I see.” 

Sabrina looked up, a hint of confusion on her face. “No, these are Nick’s. He said they’re copies he got from the witch equivalent of a black market.” 

Ambrose quirked a brow. “Why so? All of your father’s works were donated to the academy upon his death. They should be in the sanctum with Cassius. I thought you’d have dipped your toes in this information a long time ago, cousin. Especially with how nosy you are.” 

“What?” Sabrina asked, genuinely shocked. “Why didn’t the aunties ever tell me that?” 

Ambrose shrugged. “Uncle Edward is a touchy subject for us all – the aunties especially. There are some controversial ideas in those, I imagine they didn’t want you to burying your nose into it at such a young age.” 

“I’m twenty-seven,” Sabrina shot back. 

“Twenty-seven is still a baby witch, cousin.” 

Sabrina groaned, though she knew it was true. Compared to her aunts – and even Ambrose – she was young and to them, naïve.  

“Besides,” Ambrose said. “Blackwood isn’t so open to those ideas. They likely didn’t want you to get into any further trouble with him.” 

“Screw Blackwood,” Sabrina snapped.  

“I wouldn’t even if my life depended on it,” Ambrose said, biting a large chunk out of his apple. 

Sabrina sighed and flipped through the journal. “Did you know that Nick’s father worked with mine? I found that out about a week ago.”  

Ambrose seemed genuinely intrigued. “That’s interesting.” 

“It is,” Sabrina said. “Nick said he only has a small collection of my father’s things. But now that I know the academy has the rest, well that’s just great. We’ll get a larger insight on this and I’ll be able to touch the real stuff.” She imagined holding the same sheets of paper her father had, tracing the spots where his fingers had touched. Could she know him better then? Her mother and father, though forever lost at sea, would not be lost to her.  

Sabrina shivered at the idea.  

She sipped her tea hastily, let its warmth bring her back down to Earth. 

“I’m not sure what you mean, Sister Spellman. Your father’s things aren’t in my library,” Cassius told her hours later. 

“But my cousin said-“ Sabrina started.  

Cassius said an incantation, floating the book in his hand back to its proper shelf. He pushed the cart along, disappearing behind another shelf.  

Sabrina followed. “Ambrose said they were here, in the sanctum.” 

“I don’t know why he would tell you such a thing,” Cassius responded, his eyes on the spine of another book, reading it quickly. He lifted it up and returned it just as he had the other.  

“My aunts know about it, too.” Sabrina was desperate. She had not expected to be disappointed when she finally made it to the library. There was no way Ambrose could have sounded so sure about something only to be wrong. 

Cassius looked at her briefly, and Sabrina caught something in his eye. It had been there just for a second, easily missable, but she saw it. That glimmer of truth, of an urge to share it. “I’m not sure, Sister Spellman. Perhaps, you misunderstood.” 

“I didn’t,” Sabrina replied. She sighed and dropped her hands to her side. “Please Cassius. I just want to know about my father. You were here when he was in charge of the school, right? I’m his daughter and I’ve never even known him. That’s all I want.” 

Cassius dropped his eyes to the library cart with a sigh. His hands gripped the handles like he was contemplating something. “Sister Spellman, your father was an exceptional Headmaster and High Priest, but he is no longer here.” He paused for a moment. “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.” 

Sabrina’s face dropped. It clearly wasn’t going to work. Maybe he was right and it wasn’t here and she was harassing him for no reason. “Okay,” she finally said, giving up. “Sorry for bothering you, Cassius. I’ll leave you alone now.” 

She turned to leave, feeling disheartened. 


Sabrina froze and looked behind her. 

Cassius glanced around, checking for any lingering witches, before he motioned for her to come back. He looked as though he were about to tell her something he would later regret. Sabrina leaned in eagerly. 

“Your father’s things were in here, once,” Cassius said, his voice barely above a whisper. “Not long after Father Blackwood took over the school, he had them all locked in his office. He deemed it much too controversial to be displayed in the academy – even the sanctum.” 

Sabrina’s eyes widened with shock. Cassius thumbed a book nervously, as though wondering if he should’ve told her.  

“I have some copies of them.” She chose to leave out who’d given them to her. If anyone was listening, she didn’t want to get Nick in trouble. “But they’re just copies. I was hoping to have the real thing.” 

Cassius looked to the side once more. Sabrina wondered why he seemed so nervous to speak to her about the matter. Surely no one would hear them in the library. “That’s another reason why Father Blackwood had them stored away. Someone has supposedly leaked a great deal of them out into the world in the form of copies.” 

Sabrina bit her lip. There seemed to be a great deal of mystery behind her father and his studies. Her mind began to race as she considered its complexity, yearning to solve it.  

Cassius looked at her then, his lips becoming a straight line. “Sister Spellman, I’ve told you this in confidence. I hope that you won’t do anything rash with it. As you know, my job could be on the line.” 

Sabrina nodded quickly. “Of course, Cassius. I won’t do anything to jeopardize your job,” she promised. “Thank you for telling me. It’s a disappointment for sure, but at least I have the copies.” 

Cassius nodded back, moving away a bit. He picked up another book and gave her a small smile. “Your father was a good man. It was a pleasure to work for him.” 

Sabrina smiled as well. “Thank you, Cassius.” 

Sabrina went to class with her mind askew. Thankfully, being that it was an independent study session, she didn’t have to do much beside watch and check up on the students every now again. Her fingers drummed against her knee as she sat at her desk, eager to leave. 

Afterward, she marched to Blackwood’s office.  

She pushed open the large set of wooden doors and saw him at his desk. He glanced up briefly. 

“By all means do come in,” he said, a bit annoyed. “What can I do for you, Ms. Spellman.” 

Sister  Spellman,” Sabrina shot back. “I have a title just like you, Father Blackwood.” 

He dropped his quill and sat up. “How could I forget, being that it was I who gave it to you.” 

“I earned it, but that’s neither here nor there.” She started forward, stopping at the front of his desk. Sabrina drug into her bag and fished out her father’s journal. “I’ve been doing some reading, Father Blackwood,” she began. 

His eyes narrowed at the journal. 

“I managed to get my hands on one of my father’s journals,” Sabrina said, holding it up for him to see.  

“And how did you do that?” he asked, suspicion in his voice. 

“I stumbled upon a copy.” She flipped through it in front of him. “My father had a lot of great ideas, Father Blackwood. I think they would be useful to the academy.” 

Blackwood hands gripped the arms on his chair. “I politely disagree.” 

Sabrina shook her head. “Beyond the more radical ideas, of course.” She would give him that, for now. “But there are other ideas, such as alterations to ancient circles that would result in safer conjuration and summoning. I believe that our students could gain use from that.” She remembered the night Nick banished Amalia, how he’d explained the circle her father had crafted and its benefits. 

“Our traditional methods work just fine,” Blackwood shot back. 

“Until they don’t,” she replied.  

They stared at each other for a period, neither backing down. 

“All I have are copies,” Sabrina said. “But I’ve heard that my father’s complete collection was donated to the academy upon his death. I would like to gain access to them.” She left out all the parts about Cassius telling her they were in his office. He didn’t need to know that she knew, and she didn’t want to get Cassius in trouble for telling her.  

“They are dangerous texts. As such, if you bring that to the academy grounds again, you will have to forfeit it.” His sharp-nailed finger pointed at the journal in her hand. 

“They belong to my family. As his next of kin, they are rightfully mine. I only want them back,” Sabrina retorted. “I won’t bring them to the academy.” 

Blackwood narrowed his eyes at her. “They were signed over by your father. Therefore, they belong to the academy and at the academy they shall stay.” 

“They aren’t even being used.” She clutched her father’s journal tighter, as if she were afraid he’d take it. 

“They belong to the academy, Ms. - Sister Spellman.” He picked up his quill again, intent to end the conversation. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to tend to and you have another class, if I’m not mistaken.” 

She slammed the door on her way out. Blackwood exhaled as he leaned over his desk, his fingers at his temple.  

That evening, she found her way to Nick’s apartment. He’d caught her in the hallway just briefly, his fingers skimming her arm as he whispered a plea in her ear. Meet at his place, he’d asked. Sabrina couldn’t deny him, and frankly, there was something brewing in her mind and she wouldn’t mind his help. 

By seven p.m. he still wasn’t home. She was seated on the sill in his living room, underneath the large window she enjoyed. A cushion kept her back propped up while she sipped at a cup of tea, her school schedule for the next week laid out before her. The TV buzzed with some sort of home improvement channel she had found and put on.  

Just as the woman on the TV took a mallet to a wall mid-demolition, the doorknob jingled. Nick came in moments later, looking exhausted. He threw his jacket over the arm of the sofa and dropped his messenger bag onto the floor.  

“Our boss is a piece of work,” he said upon seeing her, relief evident in his face. He was happy she hadn’t bailed. 

“I was just about to say the same thing,” Sabrina replied, sitting up so that she could kiss him when he came over. His lips were cold from the outdoors, but she warmed them, nonetheless.  

“He chewed me out because one of my exam problems involved conjuring a fifth level demon. They’re advanced students, but apparently, they’re only strictly supposed to summon level fours and below. I was conjuring level five demons when I was twelve, Sabrina.” He stopped talking only to slide out of his button down, which he threw beside his jacket. “How are these kids supposed to learn anything?” 

Sabrina slid her arms around him. He kissed her forehead. “Blackwood is an idiot,” she replied. “He wants everything under his control. I think he’s afraid of his students surpassing him, in some ways.” 

Nick sighed and dropped his head to her shoulder. “I’m glad you’re here,” he finally said, feeling the stress of the day melt away. “I’m going to quickly shower, if you don’t mind.” 

Sabrina smiled and moved her hands up his back slowly, rubbing it over the fabric of his undershirt. “You do that while I heat up some dinner. Hilda’s packed enough shepherd's pie to keep you fed for days.” 

He kissed her neck sweetly, feeling incredibly grateful. “You’re a hellsend, Sabrina.” 

She smirked and smacked his butt. “Go on and shower.” 

While he went off, she wandered into his kitchen, extracting the dinner Hilda had packed for them from its container. She poked a couple of holes into the foil and sent it into the preheated oven.  

He emerged just as she was pouring a cup of tea for him. She nearly dropped the cup at the sight of him shirtless and in a pair of comfortable pants, with a few stray droplets of water trailing down his olive skin. A black shirt was slung over his shoulder.  

If touching him under his shirt hadn’t presented her a clear enough image of his perfectly sculpted body, then seeing it firsthand sure did. Sabrina suddenly felt very warm, and not because of the cup of piping hot tea in her hand. 

He brushed up against her as he came over to help. “Are you okay?” he asked, noticing her red face. She just nodded and went to take the tea into the living area. He followed her with their plates.  

Once they were seated, he reached for the shirt on his shoulder, intent to put it on. Sabrina cleared her throat. “You don’t really need that, do you?” she asked innocently. 

Nick seemed a bit confused for a second before he caught on. With a little smirk, he tossed it to the side. “I guess it is a little warm in here,” he added, pushing his damp hair out of his face. She watched closely.  

Sabrina returned to her own tea, hiding her smirk behind the cup. “I guess so.” 

Half an hour later, they were pressed together on his small sofa, Sabrina nuzzling into his neck. Nick was content and nearly asleep, his arms around her.  

“Nick?” she asked, her breath tickling his neck. 


“Why do you live here?” she asked. “The academy has teacher housing. Most of the staff live there. Why don’t you?” 

He gave a little shrug. “I like it here. It’s quiet,” he replied, dropping a kiss to her hair. “Your father talked a lot of about intermingling with mortals. I thought living here might prove useful in studying them while also remaining at a safe distance.” 

Sabrina snorted. The way he spoke about mortals was almost like he was in a safari and they were wild animals. “How often do you even interact with mortals?” Sabrina asked.  

“Occasionally. My neighbor is a nice old lady. I’ve met her plenty of times. She has an annoying little dog that barks during the strangest hours, and she hates your wreath by the way.”  

Sabrina giggled, trying to imagine Nick talking to an old lady while at the same time trying to not mention things such as mortals or magic. 

“Are we counting halves, too? Because there’s a half-mortal that I interact with quite frequently and I think I really like her,” he added on. 

“I think she might like you, too,” Sabrina teased.  

They settled into a comfortable silence, her mind wandering over her conversations with both Cassius and Blackwood.  

She wasn’t aware of the way her fingers drew patterns over his chest until he spoke up again. “Is there something on your mind, Spellman?” 

Sabrina propped her head up so she could look at him. “Did you know that my father’s work was donated to the academy upon his death?” she asked. 

Nick nodded. “I did,” he replied. “To be honest, it was one of the reasons why I transferred here. I had already bothered Cassius about it on my first day. That’s when I met you in the library.” He pushed her hair back with his fingers. She had looked beautiful from afar that day, but she was even more so up close. “I didn’t have much luck. Cassius told me they weren’t there, not even in the sanctum.” 

She let herself melt against his touch. It was warm and comforting. “They’re in Blackwood’s office. Locked up,” Sabrina said. 

Nick quirked a brow. “And how do you know that?” 

“Cassius told me. Blackwood had them stored away shortly after he took over the school.” 

“How long did you have to interrogate poor Cassius for that information?” Nick asked.  

Sabrina smirked. “Not long. I like Cassius so I was actually going to just leave and come back again later, but he just told me.” She drummed her fingers on his chest. “Anyway, I have a plan.” 

Nick looked at her, not liking where this was going. 

“But before I tell you, you should know that I went to Blackwood first and I asked nicely.” 


“Okay, semi-nicely.” She hated that he could read her so easily. “He said no to turning them over to me.” There was a scheming look in her eyes. “So, I’m going to break into his office and take them.” 

Nick deadpanned. “You want to break into the High Priest’s office? Our boss’ office?” 

Sabrina nodded, as if it was as casual as popping into the supermarket. He sighed. 

“Sabrina, you could lose your job.” 

Sabrina shrugged, not worried. Usually, she dove headfirst into everything and worried afterward. That was her style. “I was actually hoping you could help me.” 

He stared at her long and hard. She looked back sweetly, hoping to win him over. 


Nick sighed. “When are you planning to do this?” 

“During the Feast of Feasts celebration. He’ll be too busy at the Church and the dinner afterward to mind his office or notice us when we slip out.” She stroked her finger along his collarbone. “Imagine what more we could learn. And we’d have the real stuff.” 

He considered it. She continued to look at him with the same expression, brown eyes glittering with hope.  

“I guess someone has to be there to keep you out of trouble.” 

Sabrina gave him a big smile and moved to kiss him, her arms sliding around his neck. She peppered a few more kisses along his cheeks and forehead. 

“The second we notice any trouble, we’ll leave.” 

Nick didn’t buy that, but for her sake, he nodded. His fingers slipped behind her neck, tugging her back down to him when she moved. He pulled her into another long kiss, which she reciprocated. 

“You’re a rebel, Spellman,” he told her when they broke away finally. “That’s how I like my witches.”  

She giggled. “Well, then you’ll love me.” 

Her words made him feel strange, as harmless as she might’ve meant them.  

“Are you staying the night?” he asked a second later. He tried not to seem too hopeful. 

Sabrina thought about it for a second. “I wasn’t planning on it, but I guess it’s sort of late.” She sat up. “Would that be okay with you?” 

Nick smirked. “I wouldn’t be complaining, if that’s what you’re asking.” His hands smoothed down her thighs as she sat up on his lap. She was wearing jeans. A thought played on his mind. “Are you going to sleep in pants?” he asked, echoing her previous words back at her.  

Sabrina gave him a devious little smile. With her hand, she dug around under him until she dislodged the black shirt he’d thrown aside earlier. “This will do,” she shot back. Then she slid off him and escaped into his bedroom to change. 

Nick chuckled. “Thief,” he joked. 

It was her first time in his bedroom. Sabrina wasn’t surprised to find even more books lining the wall furthest from the window. They were sorted by subject – demonology, conjuration, binding, sacred scripture, necromancy, and even things like herbalism, spiritualism, and invocation – though there were less of those. There were a few other subjects that were piled into one area, likely not important enough to secure their own spots. Things like other pagan literature as well Greek and Roman mythology. She grazed the spines delicately before finally turning away to change.  

After removing everything but her panties, she folded her clothing into a neat pile and then pulled on his shirt. The fabric was soft and smelled like him. 

She found the door that connected to his bathroom – which could be entered from the living area as well – and went to wash her face. He joined her a little later, his arms snaking around her from behind. He pressed a kiss to the side of her neck. 

“It suits you,” he said, in reference to his shirt. The way it fell over her body was enough to drive him wild. He was certain the image of her in it would plague his dreams for the next few nights. 

Sabrina tilted her head to the side, allowing him a bit more access to the sensitive skin on her neck. “I might steal it,” she replied, voice a little breathy.   

“I wouldn’t mind,” he responded. She turned to face him, her back pressing into the bathroom counter. 

Her kiss felt like Hellfire coursing through his veins – like his whole body had gone up in flames. Except, there was no pain. Nothing but heat and passion and, perhaps, something else. Something he couldn’t quite figure out. 

Maybe, he thought, maybe one day he would. 

Chapter Text

“Praise Freya!” 

The crowd echoed the prayer. 

Sabrina sat in the pews between Ambrose and her aunts. A brief glance over her shoulder allowed her to gain a peak at Nick, who sat a couple of rows back, beside Elspeth and Dorcas – the latter of which ogled at him like she wished he were on the menu that evening. Not that Sabrina could really blame her, he did look exceptionally handsome in his black suit. 

A wink from him caused her to turn back around with a blush. Now who was ogling? 

Within a few short minutes, the crowd was ushered out of the desecrated Church and into the academy’s Great Hall for pre-dinner drinks. Blackwood would follow, as was expected of him. As the High Priest, it was his prerogative to remain and lead the entire process of the Feast of Feasts. 

Normally, she would hate that, but tonight it was a blessing. 

She stood near the back of the room, a drink in her hand as to appear normal. Her eyes grazed the crowd, searching for Nick. 

A pair of hands slid over her waist.  

“Praise Satan for this dress,” Nick whispered in her ear. “Absolutely stunning, Spellman.” 

Sabrina swatted his hands away, not wanting to draw any attention to them. “There you are.” 

“You left with me Dorcas,” he replied with a smirk.  

“I had no choice. You were late.” 

He gave her that look, the same one he’d given her the morning of their sleepover, when she’d tried to drag him out of bed for breakfast and he’d begged for a few more minutes. Those brown eyes were very dangerous, she decided.  

“Only five minutes.” 

Sabrina rolled her eyes playfully. “One of these days I’ll be immune to those brown eyes and you’ll have to find another way to charm me,” she replied. 

“But not today,” he shot back sweetly.  

Sabrina looked around, eyeing the crowd once more. They were grouped off, all of them in their own conversations. Blackwood stood further back, near the opposite wall with a few staff members. 

She set her drink down and looked up at Nick. “We should probably go now.” 

He nodded but lingered for a moment. “Are you sure about this?” he asked. 

“Aren’t you?” 

Nick glanced at Blackwood once before he turned back around. “Lead the way, Spellman.” 

She slid her hand into his and they both slipped out of a nearby archway, heading down the hallway. “Do you think anyone saw us?” she asked. 

Nick shrugged. “Not like they’d care anyway. No one’s first assumption would be that we left to do something illegal.” 

Sabrina glanced once behind her before slipping down another corridor. “What would their first assumption be?” she asked blindly. 

There was another crooked smirk. “That you whisked us off to a nearby empty classroom so you could seduce me,” he answered easily. 

“Is that some sort of fantasy of yours?” 

“I’m a simple man.” 

Sabrina laughed quietly. 

They rounded the corner towards Blackwood’s office. The hallways were entirely empty as attendance to the feast was necessary. Yet, here they were, not attending.  

Nick stopped her at the end of the hall. “Hang on,” he told her. He located a nearby mirror and breathed on it. In the fogginess, he sketched a quick pentagram, circled it, and connected the points. Then, he whispered an incantation and held out a hand. 

The mirror fogged up even more as smoke billowed off it. From the smoke, a small gray snake emerged and wrapped itself around Nick’s arm, slithering up until it faced him. It had white eyes. 


At its name, the demon flicked its tongue. 

Sabrina watched curiously as Nick slipped a knife from his pocket. Her curiosity quickly turned to shock as she watched him lift it up the snake. 

She winced and shut her eyes right before he sliced it in half. After a second, she opened them again, expecting to see a bloodied snake cut in two. Instead, she was surprised to find that there were now two whole snakes. 

Their tongues flicked at the same time. 

Nick raised his arm and one snake slithered up the wall, choosing to rest on a sconce. “Aithris can replicate indefinitely. He’s every herpetophobic's worst nightmare.” He glanced up at the snake. The other one slithered around his shoulders and settled near his neck. “Despite the number of bodies, he still only has one mind. He’ll be our look out. His other half will alert us if he spots anyone.” 

Another glance up at the snake. “Agreed?” Nick asked. The snake flicked its tongue in response. 

Sabrina nodded, too. “Good thinking.” 

“Like I said, here to keep you out of trouble.” 

“It’s still too early to brag, Scratch,” she warned. This could all go horribly wrong and they could face serious consequences depending on how far Blackwood took it. She didn’t let the thought consume her mind. 

They continued down the hallway until they were met with the large wooden doors that led into Blackwood’s office.  

She turned to face him. “Okay. I’m going to perform a cloaking spell. It’ll keep us hidden from any potential alarms. The only issue is that as soon as we cast any sort of spell when we get in, the magic will unveil us and if Blackwood’s got the place alarmed, he’ll know. So, no spells.” 

Nick nodded.  

She used her tip of her foot to draw a circle around her own body while whispering an incantation, “sub tenebrae conculcabunt me, tuere me ab oculis tuis.” Afterward, she walked a circle around Nick as well, using the same incantation.  

She turned her attention to the door. With one hand, she tried it. Locked, of course.  

Locked doors were never an issue with her. She whispered Salem’s name and within seconds, the cat appeared before her with a chirp. She glanced at the door and gave him a nod. He understood.  

They both stepped back as Salem dissipated into a black shadow, the edges of which curled upwards like black smoke. He slipped beneath the door and after a second, there was click.  

Sabrina pushed open the door and smiled at Salem. He blinked his gold eyes back at her. She could only hope that because Salem’s transformation wasn’t any sort of spell, that it wouldn’t trigger any potential magical alarms. Still, they couldn’t be certain and the only way to find out was to wait and see if anyone showed up. 

Nick glanced around. There were vast amounts of drawers and places to search. “Do you have any idea of where we might look?” 

Sabrina pulled something out of the small bag at her side. A watch, the leather band of it was worn and the hands long since halted. “It was my father’s. My mother got it for him when they first got together – so my aunts say. He never took it off, until she got him a new one for their anniversary and he decided to wear that to Europe instead.” Right before their plane went down. She cleared her throat. “I’ve enchanted it beforehand. It’ll vibrate once we’re close to his things.” 

Nick was impressed with how much planning she had done before hand. For some reason, he’d assumed she would just barge in. He watched as she stepped forward, holding the watch out. She stopped before a drawer unit at the back of the office.  

“We’re close.” Three of the drawers had locks on them. It had to be one of those. 

“We’re going to have to figure out how to unlock those without a spell.” 

“Salem,” Sabrina said again, turning to glance at the cat. “His abilities don’t end at slipping under door-cracks. He can fit into any crevice, no matter how small. Even a keyhole.” 

The cat meowed in response.  

“Yes, really,” she replied. “We can’t just turn around now, Salem.” 

Salem gave another disgruntled gruff before he slipped into his shadow form again, this time creeping into the lock. It clicked and the drawer slid out. Salem jumped onto the floor. 

Sabrina immediately reached in. There was a mess of documents inside that she went through quickly. Old student records, Blackwood’s personal calendars, and various other things that didn’t concern them. A small unlabeled folder caught her attention. Nick must’ve thought the same because he picked it up before she could. 

He flipped through it and she watched his eyes slowly widen.  

“What?” she asked, moving so that she could look too. Before she could see anything, Nick set the folder down on Blackwood’s desk.  

They both hovered over it, and Sabrina was surprised to find various sheets of different sized and textured parchment shoved into it. The first thing that caught her eye was dated July 1st and read, ‘Payment of thirty-thousand US dollars transferred to Von Kunkle.’ Sabrina didn’t understand what it meant. It was a receipt of some sort. Blackwood had paid someone for something, she could only assume. 

Von Kunkle. She rolled the name over in her mind a few times, wondering why it felt oddly familiar. 

Sabrina pushed a few more pieces of paper aside, catching sight of whatever Nick had first seen. It was another dated note. It read, ‘Laris Aimes, Conjuration Professor. Fired August 2nd.’ 

Fired? Blackwood had never said anything about firing Brother Aimes. 

“Why would he lie about that?” Sabrina asked, confusion heavy on her face. “He specifically told us Brother Aimes never returned to work...But this says he was fired. I don’t understand...”  

Nick looked just as confused as she did. 

Out of the blue, the snake on his shoulder hissed. He stood up with a startle. “We need to leave. Someone’s crossed Aithris.” 

Sabrina was quick to grab the folder. She shut the drawer and its lock clicked back into place. The two of them hurried out and turned down the corner, Blackwood’s office shutting and locking behind them. 

Hiding behind the corner, they could hear voices. 

“How could you forget the ceremonial dagger? I would be wise to appoint a new Top Boy, now wouldn’t I?”  

“I-I apologize, Father Blackwood. It slipped my mind.” 

“Well hurry in and grab it,” Blackwood spat back. Dinner would be halted without the dagger. It had once been used to slit the neck of the chosen witch of the feast, now it simply was used to slice off the first piece of lamb roast. 

Blackwood and the student disappeared into the office.  

Nick grabbed her arm gently and gave it a tug, signaling for them to move. They made it back to the spot where they’d left the snake previously. Nick banished it quickly and the two of them teleported back to the entrance of the Great Hall.  

Her thoughts raced. For one, she was disappointed. The two of them hadn’t managed to grab her father’s things in time. 

The folder she had grabbed felt strange in her hands. Perhaps, taking it was a bad idea, but she had no way to go back now. Her adrenaline was still high and so was her curiosity – she wanted to go through it. 

It had to wait. 

Sabrina faced him and held out the document. “Open your jacket,” she said, sliding it in snugly once he did.  

She popped open a couple of his shirt buttons and gave his hair a tousle.  

“What are you doing?” Nick asked. 

“If anyone asks, I seduced you in a classroom,” she answered. “Come on, we need to get back to the dinner.” 

He stopped her. “I’m sorry. That was a disappointment.” 

She touched his cheek. “We didn’t get what we wanted, but that’s okay. Maybe there’s something in that folder that I can use against Blackwood. He had it locked up for a reason. I’ll get my father’s things one way or another, Nick.” 

Nick took her arms and leaned in to kiss her. It was long-drawn and helped ease both of their minds.  

After, she took his hand and led him through the Great Hall and into the dining hall. She maneuvered through the tables and they sat down with Ambrose and her aunts, looking as innocent as they could. 

Ambrose’s eyes skimmed over Nick’s undone buttons and his tousled hair. Before he could craft a clever response, his aunt spoke.  

“Really, during a sacred holiday?” Zelda asked, disapprovingly.  

Sabrina just shrugged. 

Sabrina kicked off heels in Nick’s doorway, letting out a sigh of relief. Leaving dinner right at the end had not come as easily as she hoped. Her aunts were persistent that they stay through dessert and the after-prayers, which involved even more blessings to Freya. To be honest, Sabrina was sick of it. 

With residual adrenaline still in her veins, Sabrina crossed over to where Nick stood ready to take off his jacket, his own mind lost to his thoughts. She kissed him passionately, her hands helping him out of his jacket. It hit the floor quietly. The whole transaction caught Nick off guard, but he’d caught up easily enough. 

“Eager enough to undress me?” he joked, when she pulled back. Sabrina took note of the folder on the floor with his jacket. She picked it up delicately but didn’t open it. Who knew what other strange things lingered within? 

Disappointment hit her again. She had been so close to her father’s things and yet, she had to walk away. 

Nick saw her struggling. He took the folder from her hands and set it aside. “We don’t have to read it right now. Let me brew some tea for you and we can just relax for a second, okay?” he asked, stroking her cheek delicately. 

She touched the hand on her cheek. “You’re a good boyfriend, Nick,” she told him. His expression softened as he considered the compliment. “Thank you for supporting my crazy ideas, even if we didn’t get what we were looking for.” 

He kissed her forehead sweetly. “I’ll always support you, Spellman.” Nick gave her a small smile then. “We’ll find a way to get to your father's things.” 

Sabrina fully kissed him then. She knew it would be a long time before they could try anything again. It was too risky, even for her, to march back there so soon. Still, his offer meant everything. The fact that he was willing to dive into trouble with her truly resonated with her. 

He cupped her cheeks while they kissed, held her face like she was something otherworldly and important – like nothing else mattered to him but her. It made her shiver. With a simple gesture, he was able to make her feel like she was the only person on the planet. 

Her fingers trailed down his chest, over the buttons on his black dress shirt. She undid them one by one before sliding her hands under the shirt, letting her palms run over the warm skin there. He shivered beneath her touch.  

Sabrina tugged the rest of his shirt from where it was tucked into his pants and removed it. It joined his jacket on the floor.  

She bit his lip and a low growl emitted from his throat. His hands, which had since trailed down to her waist, pulled her against him. 

It was different – the way he touched her. Nick was considerate but also unafraid. His hands didn’t second guess or fidget. They moved with purpose, smoothing over the curves and softness of her body like they were meant for her. 

She took his hand and led him away, the mood shifting. 

In his room, she sat on his bed while he knelt before her, hands delicately removing her thigh-highs. He caressed the light red marks they’d left on her pale skin. The intimate gesture made her melt. 

His brown eyes flickered over hers – his gentle way of checking in with her – before his lips soon replaced his hands, dragging softly along the skin of her legs. It was strange and entirely new to her, the way he could cause her to shiver while simultaneously making her feel as though she was on fire.  

“This dress,” he said, “please wear it again.” His hands smoothed over the soft fabric of her black dress, hiking it up a little higher. 

That made her giggle. 

He moved to her lips next, pressing his against them. His arm wrapped around the small of her back, pulling her further onto the bed. She let out a little airy moan when he dropped to her neck next, nibbling on the skin there. 

Nick stopped only to push her gently onto her back, before he descended her body again. He pressed a kiss to her inner thigh again and her head fell back against the bed.  

“Are you okay with this?” she heard him ask. 

“Please don’t stop,” she whimpered. 

Sabrina heard him whisper, “praise Freya,” against her skin and her laugh was caught in her throat as he descended on her, gently with a few kisses first before he discarded her panties entirely, her dress pushed well past her hips now.  

Her eyes fluttered shut, lights exploding behind them. Her mouth fell open in a silent cry. With her breath stopped in her throat, she was rendered speechless. Fingers snaked into his curls, tugging at them lightly. 

She knew Nick was more experienced in certain aspects of life over others. Even so, she didn’t expect this. It was like nothing she had ever felt before. Even more unexpected were the fingers that joined in next, fitting like puzzle pieces against her anatomy.  As he continued. the heat in her core rose, threatening to bubble over.  

He pulled back a little later and the sound that came out of her surprised even her. The expression on his face was smug and he had the audacity to lick his lips. She might’ve felt embarrassed if it hadn’t felt so good. 

The smug look quickly dissipated when her own hands got to wandering, trailing down his chest and landing over the painfully obvious spot in his pants, noting his want. He stifled a groan in her neck. 

She moved quickly then, pushing him onto his back. Sabrina straddled him, hips finding his. Her hands slid over his, slowly moving them so that they were on her waist. 

Her eyes met his. “Undress me,” she whispered. He didn’t wait, his hands sliding around her back and finding the zipper to her dress.  

Nick pulled it down, allowed her dress to fall around her shoulders. His breath hitched in his throat as it fell away even more, revealing her perfect skin like a long-held secret. She reached behind next, undoing her bra. 

His eyes followed the thin black straps of the lace garment as they fell away. He helped usher them along, using his fingers to hook underneath and gently remove the bra entirely. Finally, she was revealed to him. 

“Stunning,” he said for the second time that night.  

Sabrina pulled her dress off the rest of the way and leaned over him, her lips capturing his. It pulled him out of his trance and his hands moved to explore the newfound skin. He cupped her breasts, finding himself grow even more with the way they fit perfectly in his hands. She moaned against his mouth. 

The pants had to go, she decided. Quickly, she worked with the belt, drawing a chuckle from him when she struggled to get it undone. It was thrown somewhere into unknown of his bedroom, she didn’t care. She moved off him to pull down his pants.  

There was a moment of hesitation before she removed his boxer briefs, a moment where she looked up at him as if asking for permission. He quirked a crooked smirk in her direction and she rid away of the boundary finally. 

Nick was quickly realizing a few things as she straddled him again, their skin now entirely bare and free to meet. One was that Sabrina, like her hair, was a light of shimmery silver that painted everything in a hue of perfection. She was a spot of light in a dark room, drawing him closer like a moth with nowhere else to go. A gem among the harshness he’d often found life to be.  

She was divinity in the form of a witch. A half witch, half mortal.  

When she sank down on him, slowly but surely, it was his turn to feel complete. He groaned, shivered, and fell away into another plane entirely. A plane that existed solely for them – one where nothing could harm them.  

Amid it, she leaned over him, her hands caressing his face. “Everything okay?” she asked in a voice that echoed her own desires with a breathiness that nearly drove him over the edge right there. 

The next thing that he realized was that he was undeniably too far gone to even consider a different route. He would do anything for her – risk his job, his life, whatever it took, for her

That scared him, but also propelled him forward. He found her hips – held them like he was drowning and they were a lifeline – and rocked up into her.  

She fell forward onto him, her hands gripping his hair and the sheets simultaneously, and let the world fall around her. She had her own realizations, too. If the warlock below her could make her feel like this, like everything was perfectly golden and pure, then she could let him. 

His lips found hers in the darkness of his bedroom, answering her previous question with a vigor as their bodies slipped into a perfect rhythm. Everything was okay – everything was beyond okay – with her. 

Steamy heat enveloped her senses, relaxing her muscles and cleansing the sweat from her body. Through squinted eyes, she searched around Nick’s shower, pleasantly surprised to find it stocked not only with shampoo, but conditioner. Praise, Satan, she knew those devilish locks of his weren’t the product of whatever hybrid monstrosities she was used to finding in Harvey’s shower. That three-in-one garbage that couldn’t even be considered as either singular group – shampoo, conditioner, or body wash – yet was somehow all three.  

No, Nick was a gentleman. He washed his hair first, then lathered it up with conditioner. Somehow, she was even more attracted to him. 

With the ends of her hair thoroughly drenched with conditioner, she looked for his body wash. She sniffed it. It sported the same masculine scent he did, minus the leather which assumed came from his jacket. If she got to smell like him for the evening – which she was certain she already did anyway – then all the better. 

After she was clean, she stepped out of his shower. With a little smile, she caught sight of a neatly folded towel, alongside a clean shirt of his.  

She dried off and pulled on the dark gray shirt, wandering out into the bedroom. 

“You have conditioner,” she declared simply. 

“You wouldn’t like my hair otherwise,” Nick replied, though the statement didn’t carry the typical teasing tone he’d probably wanted it to. 

With a raised brow, she moved over to him, coming up behind him on the bed and snaking her arms around his shoulders. He was still a bit sticky from sweat due to their previous activity and him not having showered yet.  She placed a kiss against his disheveled hair and peered over his shoulder. 

In front of him, he had the folder they had extracted from Blackwood’s office earlier.  

“You have to look at this,” he said, moving a bit so that she could sit beside him. He pushed an article clipping toward her, delicately as if he were afraid of it upsetting her.  

She read over it once.  

High Priest, Edward Spellman, and Wife Perish on Flight to Italy

Sabrina’s stomach dropped.  

“My parents,” she started. “That was in the paper after they died.” She looked up at Nick, as if hoping he could answer her next question. “Why would Blackwood have that?” 

Nick snaked an arm around her to pull her against him, leaving his hand resting at her waist. “I thought it was just a memento. You know, being that he’s now the High Priest. A way to remember him or something. But then I found this...” He shuffled a few sheets of paper aside to reveal another article clipping. 

Sabrina’s breath hitched in her throat. 

It was the same article she had read in the Witch Times a few weeks prior. 

The Scratch family deaths. 

With a shaky hand she lifted it, as if to double check for certainty.  

“Why does he have an article on my family?” Nick asked. He could somewhat understand the Spellmans, being that they had a connection to Blackwood. But his family? The family that lived in another town entirely, that – up until now – had no connection to Blackwood. 

However, he supposed if his father had been connected to Edward Spellman, perhaps he knew Faustus Blackwood, too. 

“I don’t know,” Sabrina said. “Maybe he knew your parents and kept it for the same reasons? But then why would he have these locked up somewhere? And he's never mentioned to you that he knew your parents, right?” 

A shiver ran through Nick as he shook his head. For once in his life, he had no answers.  

Maybe there was a connection between the Spellmans and the Scratches that ran deeper than just journals and research.  

And somehow, Blackwood was there too. 

Chapter Text

The bells above Cee’s door jingled as Sabrina entered the small diner. 

She relaxed when the door shut behind her, no longer the victim of the harsh weather outside. Her eyes searched the interior, landing on Roz and Theo, who were settled in a booth near the back. She joined them, greeting Cee on the way. 

“It looks like it might snow early this year,” Sabrina said as neared her friends. 

“That’s the global warming,” Theo replied knowingly.  

“Can you believe it’s December already?” Roz asked, a mug of hot chocolate pressed between her hands. She sighed deeply. “Where did the time go?” 

“Into a vortex,” Theo added on, the cold temperature having put a damper on his mood. 

Sabrina took a seat on the opposite side of the table, leaving a spot open near the aisle. “It’s been a busy year for all of us,” she added on. “How did you guys fare for Thanksgiving?” she asked. 

“Me and my massive family. You know how that goes every year,” Roz answered, taking a sip from her hot chocolate. Sabrina just nodded. She’d met Roz’s extended family once. They were all warm and inviting but she was right – there were plenty of them.   

“Just dad and I this year,” Theo added on. “How was your...feast thing?” 

“Feast of Feasts,” Sabrina corrected politely. “It was alright, now that it doesn’t involve cannibalism.” She watched them cringe.  

“Speaking of cannibalism, is Nick still coming?” Theo asked, shifting the mood away. Sabrina blushed. She regretted informing her friends of her relationship’s shift into the physical side. Especially Theo, who had been particularly nosy and immediately connected the dots once Sabrina had mentioned that Nick had been rather ‘generous’ with her. 

“Nick is still coming,” Sabrina said, giving Theo a little harmless kick under the table. “He’s at the Academy. He’ll be here soon.” 

“What’s it like being with a warlock?” Roz asked, leaning her elbow into the table and smiling. “Now that you’re officially together and all.” 

“I mean, it’s not that different from dating a mortal in some ways. It’s mainly just a different set of interests. He doesn’t care for mortal politics, but he can give you an in-depth history lesson on the various types of demons and their origins.” She smiled, thinking about the way his eyes lit up when he talked about the topics he was passionate about.  

Sabrina fumbled with her fingers. “Some things are different, though. When I’m with him, my magic feels stronger. It’s strange. The night we were together – it felt different. Like there was this insane amount of energy in the room that just kept growing.”  

She recalled it with a faint blush, remembering the way she’d collapsed on top of him once they were both spent. It had taken her awhile to come down from the high she’d felt, and they’d spent a good deal of time just lying there, a mess of limbs and sheets. Sabrina had wanted to ask him about it, if he’d felt it too, but she assumed it was just something that naturally occurred with witches and warlocks. 

“I mean, I guess it makes sense. Magic plus magic equals more magic, right?” Theo tried. 

Roz gave a smile in her Sabrina’s direction. “It’s not a bad thing, to be with someone like you. I know you and Nick just got together, but I hope that it works out. Really, because...” She paused for a moment to take her friend’s hand. “Because I really want you to have someone – outside of your family of course – that can be with you on your journey through life. Someone that can keep up.” 

Sabrina understood Roz, enough that it made her eyes cloud up. Theo understood, as well, and he gave Sabrina a gentle smile. They knew they wouldn’t be around forever. 

“Don’t get me wrong, I did root for you and Harvey. But I am a little relieved that it ended,” Roz said honestly. “And I’m not saying that because I’m with him now, Brina...Of course not. It’s just that...He could never give you everything. He physically can’t.” His body could never last was what she meant. Sabrina would remain just as youthful at eighty years old, with very little change overall, and Harvey would be at the end of his life. 

Even though she was currently still upset with him about he’d said to her before, it did make her sad. Harvey was still one of her best friends. They all were. 

Tears welled up in her eyes. “It doesn’t matter whether I’m with Harvey or not. Losing any of you is still going to be hard,” Sabrina said. “I love all three of you equally.” 

“We love you, too, Brina,” Theo assured her. 

“We do,” Roz tacked on with a nod. 

There was a laugh from Theo then, a short and gentle one. “Shit, that really got dark.” 

Roz laughed. “It did, didn’t it?” 

Sabrina wiped away at her tears, managing a smile.  

The bells above the door jingled again, signaling another entrance. Sabrina peered over her shoulder, catching sight of her boyfriend, clad in a black jacket and gray pants, a curl hanging on his forehead. His olive skin was flushed from the cold. 

Nick slipped into the seat beside her, their shoulders brushing. He leaned in to kiss her cheek, his lips cold. “Sorry, I’m late,” he apologized. When he pulled back, he noted her watery eyes and he grew confused. A couple of glances around the table left him feeling a bit awkward, as if he’d just intruded in on something. 

“Don’t mind us. We got lost in a bit of a dreary conversation,” Roz said. “It’s good to see you again, Nick. You know you don’t have to be such a stranger.” She smiled, indicating that she was just teasing him. 

Nick reciprocated her smile. “Absolutely. I just happen to get stuck at the Academy on most days,” he replied. He greeted Theo next. 

“What do you teach there?” Theo asked, genuinely interested. He had always been the most curious one of the three mortals, never afraid to ask Sabrina about anything regarding her witch side.  

“I teach two subjects. Conjuration and Binding Rituals,” he answered, a little surprised that Theo cared at all. 

“What exactly do those involve?” Theo asked, leaning in. 

Sabrina saw the point at which Nick switched into his subject, always eager to educate. That joyful glint returned, and he leaned forward, hands in front of him as he went into it with Theo. She smiled, her own hand reaching up to rest at his elbow. She thought about Roz’s words – about having someone to journey through life with – and wondered if it were possible. It sure sounded nice, but could two people really stay together for that long? A thousand years, give or take, was a long time. 

That couldn’t survive on just love – it'd need commitment, trust, and a whole lot of other things. 

That was thinking way too far ahead, she realized. Life didn’t revolve around just a relationship anyway – there were other things to look forward too as well. 

Her eyes focused back on Nick, watching the corners of his eyes crease as he smiled fully at something Theo said. Her heart fluttered. 

“Wait, like real demons?” Theo was asking, eyes wide. 

Nick nodded. “Yes, but not just demons. It’s possible to conjure other things, too.” 

Cee came around soon enough now that their party was completely there. It was a slow day for the diner since most people probably couldn’t be bothered to face the weather. It wasn’t bad to have the whole place to themselves.  

Cee took their orders and left back to the kitchen. Just as he did, the bells above the door jingled for the third time. 

Sabrina peeked over the booth to see Harvey pushing a wheelchair. An elderly man sat in it, glancing around as they entered the diner. 

“You remember Cee, right grandpa? We came here a few times when you visited before.” 

The old man in the chair looked around and gave a curt nod.  

Harvey spotted the group and pushed forward, smiling.  

“Hey guys,” he greeted once he reached them. “Look who’s in town, all the way from Springdale. Grandpa’s here for the holidays.” 

Theo smiled and held out a hand. “Hi, Mr. Kinkle. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Theo.”  

Sabrina couldn’t remember any of them officially ever meeting Harvey’s grandfather before. His visits were sparse and generally fell around the holidays, when the others were usually too preoccupied with their own families. 

The older man shook Theo’s hand. “Actually, it’s Von Kunkle. But I prefer Gregory.” 

Von Kunkle. Sabrina’s eyes widened a bit.  

Beside her, Nick straightened, his face paling. Sabrina looked up at him, but he didn’t make eye contact with her. His eyes were on Harvey’s grandfather. 

Harvey smiled. “The Kinkles descended from great hunters. Some of the family keeps the traditional name ‘Von Kunkle’. He’s been educating me a lot on our family’s history over the last weekend,” he explained. Then, he put a hand on Roz’s shoulder. “Grandpa, this is my girlfriend, Roz.” 

The man nodded. “A beauty, isn’t she?” Harvey just smiled while Roz blushed.  

Gregory looked to Sabrina next. “Sabrina,” she greeted. 

His eyes were on Nick then. Nick didn’t jump to introduce himself like he normally did. Sabrina wrapped a hand around his arm, giving it a little squeeze. “This is Nick,” she said. 

Gregory’s eyes lingered on Nick the longest. “Pleasure to meet you,” he said slowly, mouth pulling into an even smile. “You just look so familiar to someone I once met. Are your parents in Greendale, too?” 

“No,” Nick answered, speaking for the first time since Harvey’s grandfather entered. 

“Oh.” The man suddenly frowned. “I hate those witches.” 

The hairs on the back of Sabrina’s neck rose. She felt Nick tense, watched his hands form into fists below the table. 

Gregory pointed up at the wall, where a large poster of a Halloween witch hung. “Halloween is over. Shouldn’t those awful things come down?”  

“Yeah, but at Cee’s it’s Halloween all year long,” Harvey explained.  

Nick stood abruptly, sliding out of the booth before Sabrina had the chance to stop him. The bells jingled once more as he left through the exit.  

“What’s his problem?” Harvey asked, his eyebrow raised and his eyes on the door. He glanced at Sabrina briefly. 

“Is he okay?” Roz asked. Theo looked on in concern, eyebrows knitted. 

Sabrina stood and pulled on her jacket. In the moment, she dropped her concerns with the Von Kunkle surname. It could wait. Nick needed her more. “Excuse me,” she said, just before she slipped out through the exit as well.  

Outside, she looked both ways down the sidewalk without luck. “Nick?” 

She rounded the corner and caught sight of him leaning against the side of the building, his face pale like he was going to be sick. He looked embarrassed when he noticed her.  

Sabrina went to him, placing a hand gently on his shoulder as she did. She noticed how his fingers fidgeted at his side and the way he tried to stop them by clasping his hands together, like he was trying to hold his own hand. She wondered if that was a habit for him, a way to comfort himself.  “Are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” 

"I heard one,” Nick said, swallowing hard. “I’ve heard his voice before, Sabrina. H-He...” A memory flashed through his mind, the only one he could never drown away. The same memory he had dreamt about weeks ago. His mother, calling out to him one last time, and then the strange man’s voice just before he ended her life. The one he could never recognize up until now. “He was there when my mother died. I heard him, Sabrina. I swear.” 

Saying it out loud made him feel lightheaded. 

He became aware of his breathing and how it quickened. Alongside, his heart pounded in his chest, feeling like it would burst. Nick let his back press into the brick of the building, feeling his legs would betray him any moment. He ran his hands over his face, wiping the thin layer of sweat that had formed on his forehead despite the temperature outside. 

He shut his eyes when everything began to spin around him. 


He only faintly heard her voice, as if she was miles away instead of just a couple of feet.  

“Nick,” Sabrina repeated as she stepped closer to him. “Nick, I think you’re having a panic attack.” She took him by the hands and guided him from the wall, noticing the way that he almost swayed. Her arms slid around him, one of the sliding up so that it was at the back of his neck. She ran her fingers over the hair there. 

“Take deep breaths,” she instructed, her head on his shoulder. “I’m right here. Just listen to my voice and try to breathe for me. Can you do that?” 

He pressed his face to her neck and nodded. 

“Everything’s fine,” she assured him. His breathing began to slow, and she felt him eventually relax, but he didn’t let her go. She held him just as tight, her fingers still stroking the back of his neck.  

Sabrina pulled back just briefly to place a soft kiss on his lips. It seemed to help.  

“Are you sure?” she asked him after a few more minutes of comfort. Her own stomach was a mess of emotions that mostly revolved around Nick and Harvey’s grandfather potentially having murdered his family. It made her heart clench. It was a strange place to be, in the middle wondering what the Heaven was going on. 

“Sabrina, it’s haunted me for most of life. I’ve never been more certain about anything. I was outside, in front of the window. I heard him shoot my mother.” He paused to swallow back the sick feeling again. 

Nick pulled back to look at her. “He asked me about my parents. The hunters never saw me but maybe he recognized me because of my father.” Nick knew he looked like his father. His mother had often told him that. So had the photos he’d seen. It made him sick to think that he’d recognized him solely from having probably shot his father, too. 

“Harvey called him a hunter,” Nick pushed. He was beginning to grow a little suspicious of Harvey, too. He knew he there was a reason why he felt unsettled by him. 

Sabrina nodded. “A game hunter. Harvey mentioned it before. He used to go with his family sometimes.” 

“It’s a cover,” Nick said with certainty. “He doesn’t hunt animals, he hunts witches. Though I guess he’d classify us as much the same.”  

It made Sabrina think of Amalia’s words in the woods. A shiver ran through her body. Nick pulled her closer. 

“Be careful around Harvey,” Nick said with concern. He knew better than to tell her not to see her friend. That wouldn’t happen. But he could at least ask her to be careful. “Please, Sabrina.” 

“You’re not worried about me, are you?” Sabrina asked. “Harvey wouldn’t sell me out, even if he knew his family’s history.” 

Nick kissed her hair, trying to push away the sinking feeling his stomach produced at the thought of her being hurt in any way. He had been a child when his parents were killed, but he was grown and capable now. He would never again allow for anyone close to him to get hurt. “I’m going to worry about you whether you want me to or not. I care about you, Sabrina.” 

“I care about you, too.” She pressed her cheek to his chest. It was freezing outside, and he was warm. “But Harvey’s grandpa is a lot older now. I don’t think he can hurt us.” 

“It’s not him I’m worried about. I’m sure he’s not the only witch-hunter in his family.” 

Sabrina looked at him. “Do you think it’s the same Von Kunkle from Blackwood’s file?”  

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence. How many families are there in this area with that surname? I’d doubt there’s more than one.” 

Sabrina was quiet for a moment. “But why would Blackwood be associated with witch-hunters? What does that mean?” Even as she asked the question, something in her gut told her she already knew the answer. The payment of a large sum of money. The Scratches being attacked seemingly out of nowhere with most assuming they were targeted.  

She didn’t need to think too hard to connect the dots. 

Nick didn’t respond. She didn’t know what sorts of thoughts were brewing in his mind, but she had a feeling they probably aligned somewhat with hers.  

Her dislike of Blackwood grew. She wanted nothing more than to march into his office, slam everything into his face, and demand answers. But even she knew that wouldn’t get them anywhere. For one, they didn’t have proof that he was responsible for anything. Everything thus far was simply speculation.  

“Nick, I’m so sorry. About your parents, about the possibility that...” 

He moved his hands to her face, held it the same way he had the night of the feast. His hands were still shaky, she noted. She stilled them with her own, stroking her thumbs over the back of them. He wouldn’t have to hold his own hand anymore, she promised herself that. 

He managed a small smile for her. “Let’s get out of here, it’s freezing.” 

They arrived at the mortuary a bit later, both of them deciding not to brave Cee’s after everything that had happened. Hilda was cooking dinner and though Nick had previously lost his appetite, the smell of it was enough to entice it back.  

“Oh, just in time,” Hilda said, beaming a smile when they entered the kitchen. She pulled Sabrina into a tight hug. “Goodness me, Nicholas. You whisked my niece away for far too long. I’ve barely gotten to see her.” 

When she hugged him next, it was enough to let him know she was joking. He knew Hilda was, by far, the more affectionate aunt of the two, but it still caught him off guard. Her embrace was warm and reminded him of his mother. 

“You’re in a good mood,” Sabrina said. 

“I just love this sort of weather. Makes you want to cuddle up near the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. That sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Maybe after dinner I can make us some,” Hilda continued as she went back to stirring a large pot of what appeared to be some sort of stew. 

She turned quickly toward them again, remembering something. “Oh, I’ve made some fresh pumpkin scones this morning. Nicholas, dear, help yourself while I finish this up.” 

Sabrina’s phone pinged a few times. She left Nick to the mercy of her aunt while she wandered off to the kitchen island. 

Missed you at Cee’s. Is Nick okay?  the text from Roz read. 

Another popped up. This one from Theo. Hope everything’s okay! Let me know.  

It made feel better to know that her friends cared. Not only about her, but for Nick as well. Having them accept him meant a lot to her, and even softened the blow of Harvey’s obvious distaste of him.  

Everything is fine. Nick didn’t feel well, but he’s better now. Thanks for checking in. Love you guys!  

She hit the send button and put her phone back in her pocket. 

“That’s okay, Ms. Spellman. I really don’t need anything,” Nick was saying when she returned to them.  

“I’ve made more than enough. I’ll pack a few scones and a couple of muffins for you to take home,” Hilda replied, obviously not accepting his answer. 

Sabrina smiled. "Aunt Hilda’s not going to back down. She’s probably going to double down and add even more to your basket if you keep up refusing,” she said as she put on a kettle of water for tea.  

“Fine, but those abs that you like so much are going to disappear if you keep forcing all of these pastries on me,” he teased. 

She rolled her eyes playfully. “Those abs are nice, but they’re not why I’m with you, Nick.” While in the tea cupboard, she pulled out two boxes. “Peppermint or cinnamon?” she asked them. 

“Peppermint. I’m feeling quite festive,” Hilda piped up. 

Nick shrugged. He didn’t care either way. 

“Peppermint it is then.” Sabrina dropped a bag into three separate mugs while waiting for the water to heat up. 

Nick took a seat on a stool in front of the kitchen island. Despite how he’d been feeling earlier, being in the Spellman mortuary had a way of cheering him up somewhat. Maybe it had something to do with the warmth that seemed to radiate throughout the house, which went hand in hand with the smell of Hilda’s home-cooked food. Or maybe it was watching Sabrina bound around the kitchen as she prepared their tea, dancing around her aunt as they both tried not to run in to each other.  

It was all of it, he decided. It was being there with other people. He felt the same thing whenever Sabrina was at his apartment. She lit it up, made it something warm and comfortable and not just a place to live.  

She took a seat beside him moments later, placing a kiss on his cheek as she set his mug of tea down. “Half a spoon of honey. Not too sweet,” she confirmed before turning to take her own mug. 

He wanted to kiss her but restrained himself in front of her aunt. 

Less than an hour later, they were seated at the table. Despite it only being the three of them that evening – Ambrose and Zelda had other plans – Hilda had set the table up the same way she always did, with enough food to feed the entire Academy.  

She passed around a basket of bread – fresh baked, of course – and they commenced. 

After a few minutes of comfortable silence, Sabrina addressed her aunt. “Auntie, did my father and Blackwood get along well when he was alive?” 

Hilda and Nick both looked up in surprise. “Your father got along with everyone, dear,” Hilda answered. 

Sabrina looked down, stirring her spoon through her stew. “They never fought or anything?” 

“They had their disagreements, yes, but everyone does. They sure kept Cassius on his toes, I’ve heard. He’s a pacifist if I’ve ever seen one.”  

“Cassius?” Sabrina asked. Nick looked between the two of them. 

“Yes, your father was quite close with that old warlock. Met him during his years in England, I believe. Cassius traveled all this way to work for him once your father took the role of High Priest,” Hilda said, tearing off a piece of bread. 

Sabrina understood Cassius’ previous statement now, and the way he had looked at her like he wanted to tell the truth.  

“I know Father Blackwood mentored my father. Do you know if he ever got jealous of my father surpassing him and becoming High Priest?” Sabrina inquired. 

Hilda looked at her, wondering where all this was coming from. “I’m not sure, dear. I didn’t spend much time at the Academy. But I suppose, yes, there would be some jealousy there. Father Blackwood obviously wanted the role.” 

Nick spoke up next. “How long after...the accident did Blackwood step up as High Priest?” He was mindful not to put too much emphasis on Edward’s death. 

Hilda looked up in thought. “Goodness, I’m not sure. There’s a period where the Council discusses and chooses the best fit. Obviously, they have the final say over everything. I believe it took a few months before he was officiated.” 

Sabrina and Nick exchanged glances.  

“Where are all of these questions coming from?” Hilda asked. 

“I’m just curious, I guess. Since Father Blackwood and I have some issues with each other. I was just wondering if it had anything to do with my father,” she quickly covered. 

Hilda sighed. “He’s quite brash, isn’t he? I don’t think he hates you, Sabrina. I think he just doesn’t understand you and your drive.” 

“Because I’m a girl,” Sabrina pointed out. “He loves ambition when it comes from men.” 

Hilda gave her a soft smile. “Your aunt Zelda and I raised you to be ambitious, dear. You don’t worry about that old hag of a man. It’s obvious he’s just overcompensating for something.” She gave her niece a wink. 

Sabrina’s eyes widened at her aunt’s suggestion, not having expected it at all. Had her sweet aunt Hilda, who usually cringed at Ambrose’s dirty jokes, just insulted Blackwood’s junk? 

The look on Nick’s face told her she was right. 

From there, dinner proceeded in a more lighthearted manner. 

After dinner, they retired to her room.   

Sabrina shut the door behind her and leaned back on it, her hand still on the knob. She watched Nick. 

“There’s something I want to do,” she said slowly. 

Nick sat down on the edge of her bed. “You want to talk to Cassius,” he stated, reading her mind with ease. 

Sabrina nodded, making her way across the room to him. His arms slid over her waist and tugged her down until she was sitting on his lap. She settled comfortably against him. “He can tell us more. About what happened. With both of our parents.” 

“How are we going to get him to talk?” Nick asked, one hand resting at her waist, the other on her thigh. Her arms slid around his neck. 

“I don’t know. I’m hoping what my aunt said is true and that he was close to my father. I imagine if I bring that up, he might be more inclined to talk to us. He wanted to talk to me, I could tell the day I went to the library to ask about my father’s journals. Something is stopping him. I think he might be afraid of Blackwood finding out.” 

Nick nodded. That made sense. 

“What do you say?” she asked him. “Want to get into some more trouble with me?” 

“There’s absolutely nothing else in the world I’d rather do,” Nick said. Sabrina couldn’t tell whether he was serious or joking, but she kissed him anyway.  

“Tomorrow, after classes,” she said when they broke away. 

He echoed her promise. “Tomorrow.” 

Chapter Text

Rest didn’t come easily for Sabrina. Her mind simply would not let her. 


She couldn’t stop thinking about him.  

Her best friend turned boyfriend, then best friend again. The familiar and soft boy with a dopey smile that she’d grown up with. The one she had fallen in love with over shared milkshakes and movie dates. The one who picked her up on time, every time, in his old inherited red truck. The same truck that he would use to drive her out into the outskirts of Greendale, into a field so that they could star-gaze from the back.  

Harvey, her first love, who had presumably descended from witch-hunters. 

A shiver wracked her body, stirring Nick beside her. 

He didn’t know, she told herself. He couldn’t know. Even though they were no longer in love, no longer star-gazing from the back of his truck, they did love each other. He couldn’t know about his family and be okay with it. 

Could he? 

He had never particularly been comfortable with her witch half. It was too different, too dark, for him. He looked at her funny whenever Latin spilled from her mouth, as if she was possessed and speaking some Hellish language, like in the horror movies they often watched.  

She didn’t practice her magic in front of him. She couldn’t. Even though he never spoke up, she knew that he was watching her - maybe even judging her.  

But he couldn’t know about his history. He couldn’t support it. And his grandfather belonged to an entirely different sector of their family. They weren’t Kinkles, they were Von Kunkle.  

Her eyes drifted to the man beside her, across the sleep-softened features of his face. His parted lips, the peaceful way his eyes were closed, his dark curls against her white pillowcase. 

She thought about him, how different he was to Harvey. Unlike Harvey, Nick was rarely on time. She teased him about that constantly, the way he was always five minutes late to everything. When she questioned him, he always had some sly remark. Caught in traffic, he had tried once - an obvious joke. 

And Nick encouraged her magic and never judged her when she used it. He never looked at her like he was afraid.  

Her mortal side? It fascinated him. 

She had once thought that the two of them symbolized her two halves. Harvey, her innocent and sunlight brimming mortal side. And Nick, her tenebrous and moonlight painted witch side. 

But that just wasn’t true.  

Harvey was absolutely that. He was her mortal side. She remembered him in amber hues and soft smiles, in the warm flannel shirts he would drape over her shoulders. 

But Nick wasn’t her witch side. He didn’t symbolize darkness, nor did he only exist to represent the deeply coiled roots of ancient magic that flooded through both of their veins. If anything, he symbolized her whole being. Her witch and mortal side, because he embraced both. He embraced movie nights and laughed when she shook popcorn out of her shirt, but he also embraced her walk into the path of Night.  

And she was there, somewhere, with her heart shattering because Harvey’s family was responsible for the end of his. 

“I can hear you thinking,” she heard Nick whisper, voice rough from sleep, his eyes never opening. “Go to sleep.” 

His strong arms slid her closer, tangling around and between hers until she was pressed against his chest and feeling safer than she ever had before. He placed a kiss against her temple - a lazy, lips barely moving, lightly dragging along her skin, kiss.  


Sabrina turned to see Nick heading her way. “Good, I was starting to wonder if you’d stood me up.”  

Nick chuckled softly. “Stood you up? I’d never. I stopped to answer some questions a student had,” he explained. He looked to the library doors.  

“Are you ready?” Sabrina asked.  

He nodded and she pushed open the door. Inside, she watched as an assortment of books floating through the air, all headed in different directions as they were returned to their proper shelves. Cassius stood in the middle with his trusty cart, stacks of books piled neatly on top.  

“Off you go,” she heard Cassius gently say as they approached, unaware of their presence. He pushed the book up into the air and it floated away. Sabrina thought it was sweet, the way he spoke to the books like they were something precious and innocent.  

“Good afternoon, Cassius,” she greeted.  

He turned, a little startled. “Oh, hello. Sister Spellman, Brother Scratch, good to see you.” Cassius looked between the two of them. “Is there anything I can help you with today?”  

Nick nodded and stepped forward. “Actually, yes. Could we talk to you for a moment?” he asked after glancing around and deeming the area private enough.  

Cassius looked perplexed. “Of course. What do you need?”  

Sabrina spoke next. “I just want to ask some things about my father.”  

Cassius nodded slowly, seeming a little unsure. “Alright.”  

“My aunt said that you were close to my father. You came all the way from England to work for him. Is that true?”  

The old warlock nodded, a smile gracing his features. “Yes, that’s true. He offered me whatever position I preferred, but I just wanted to be with the books.”  

That warmed her heart. Cassius was like a grandfather to most of the Academy. There wasn’t a soul in the school who had anything bad to say about him.  

“How was my father’s relationship with his staff?” Sabrina pushed.  

Cassius picked up another book and read the spine. “Oh, he was wonderful. Very fair. Even those who didn’t agree with his policies and ideas respected him for that.”  

“Even Blackwood?”  

Cassius’ demeanor shifted and he appeared a bit nervous. “Yes, even Blackwood.”  

“But Blackwood locked up my father’s journals and erased him from the Academy,” Sabrina added on. “Why is that?”  

“I’m not sure, Sister Spellman. I can only speak on behalf of your father and my relationship with him. I know nothing of Father Blackwood’s business.”  

“Cassius,” Nick tried. “You’ve been at this Academy for a long time. Surely you were able to make some examinations regarding the relationship between Father Blackwood and Edward Spellman?”  

Cassius put his hands on the cart handles and gave it a push. “I spend most of my time down here, Brother Scratch. I don’t know much about the workings of the school beyond the library.”  

Sabrina looked at Nick. Neither of them bought it. Cassius was a genuine person and a bad liar.  

“Cassius,” Sabrina started. “There are things that we found. Things that make us question Blackwood’s previous intentions.” She paused for a moment, making eye contact with Cassius. He looked down, avoiding her eyes. “Please, Cassius. I only want to know if there was any ill will from Blackwood toward my father. I already know that Blackwood didn’t agree with my father’s policies.”  

She swallowed hard before she continued. “I guess I’m just trying to figure out if...if maybe that was enough to cause him to...take extreme measures.”  

Something flickered across Cassius’ eyes. He covered it quickly and turned around, eager to move his cart and continue his work. “I’m sorry, Sister Spellman. I simply do not know.”  

“I stole a file from Blackwood’s office,” she blurted out. Nick looked at her in shock, not expecting her to go that far just yet.  

“Sabrina...” Nick whispered, taking her wrist. She didn’t look at him. Her eyes remained on Cassius’ back, watching the way his shoulders stiffened.   

“He had news articles in there, on both my parents and Nick’s parents deaths,” she continued.   

Cassius turned to briefly look at the two. “Not here,” he said.  

“What?” Sabrina asked.   

“We can’t speak here. Meet at my cabin, west of the hanging tree, at sundown. I can only tell you what I know, so please don’t expect much.”  

Sabrina nodded quickly. “We’ll be there.”  

Cassius disappeared behind the shelves.  

Nick looked at Sabrina, the shock still evident on his face. “Spellman, you might just be the death of both of us.”  

“Let’s hope not,” she shot back before she headed for the library exit, nerves running through her body.   

The air in the woods was frigid and unforgiving. Sabrina’s breaths came out as clouds of white against the darkness. “Why does Cassius have to live in the middle of nowhere?” she asked, stepping over a large branch, her shoes nearly catching in the bark. Nick steadied her.  

“You don’t enjoy a nice walk through the woods in anticipation for some potential information regarding the demise of our parents? I’m having a great time.” Never before had he wished to teleport somewhere more than now, but since they didn’t know exactly where Cassius’ cabin was located, it would be impossible to pinpoint the right spot to appear in.  

Sabrina shot him a glare. “I can do without the sarcasm, Scratch. Just because you’re muddying up your clean boots doesn’t mean you have to give me attitude.”  

He cracked a smile. “At least the moon is nice.” Nick followed behind her as they hiked through a particularly dense part of the woods, shaking a leaf from his hair. “We could just ditch this whole thing and take a break. That clearing back there looked like a nice spot to moon gaze.”  

“I’m not getting naked in this freezing temperature,” Sabrina shot back, aware of where he was headed with his suggestion.   

“We wouldn’t be cold for long,” he added on. “I’d keep you warm.”  

“Aha!” Sabrina called out, effectively ending their conversation as she pointed to a small cabin just ahead. “That’s got to be it.”  

She raised her hand to knock but the door creaked open before she could, revealing Cassius. He looked at them briefly before glancing around. “You’re certain no one’s followed you?” he asked. 

Sabrina shook her head, wondering why he was so paranoid. “No one.” 

“I don’t think anyone would want to,” Nick added on, rubbing his shoe against a patch of grass to wipe away the mud before they went indoors. Sabrina smacked his stomach with the back of her hand, a warning to be on his best behavior.  

The door opened fully and Cassius stepped aside, allowing them access. The inside of the cabin was toasty warm and lit up dimly by a small fire and some scattered candles. It was rustic in appearance, with worn wooden floors and old rugs. The walls, almost in their entirety, were covered in shelved books. Nick’s eyes immediately went wandering. 

“Can I offer you some tea? I was just about to brew some for myself.” 

“Oh, no thank you. We’re sorry to bother you. We’ll be quick,” Sabrina said politely. Cassius excused himself momentarily while motioning for the small seating arrangement at the corner of the room. She took a seat, while Nick stayed standing, his attention stolen by the books. 

There a was a small gasp from him as he delicately extracted an emerald green book with a golden spine. “A Rendezvous with Basilikys. This is a first edition. Unreal.” His eyes glimmered as he delicately handled the book. “When I was a kid at my Academy, I looked everywhere for a copy of this. I never found it.” 

“Never found it?” Sabrina asked, eyebrow quirked. 

“I was a kid with a fondness for knowledge, Spellman. I had to make due, even if that meant stealing a book off a teacher’s desk,” he said, smirk armed. “Or from the Headmistress’ bookshelf.” He thought about it for a second. “I guess I am a bad boy.” 

Sabrina laughed. “Not really, but that sounds adorable.” She steadied herself on her elbow as she propped it up against the back of the chair she was occupying. “You’ve always loved to read, huh?” 

Nick nodded. “I wasn’t good at making friends when I first came to the Academy as an orphan. I didn’t know a lot of kids my age when I lived with my parents, so I guess I was kind of awkward around the other kids. I leaned a lot into reading, since it’s mostly a solo-activity. Anyway, there was a series of books that I liked. They each revolved around a particular demon and their back-story, how they came to be, and what they were known for. The narrator is a character named Olwyn Strange who treks through all sorts of worlds to explore and learn about different demons.” 

“So it’s like a kids guide to demonology,” Sabrina pointed out. 

“Exactly. It’s what sparked my interest in the subject.” He flipped through the book gently. “This brings back a lot of memories. Good memories.” 

Sabrina smiled softly. “I don’t believe that you didn’t have any friends. I’ve seen you around people before, Nick. They crowd you.” 

He chuckled quietly. “I wasn’t really all that much of a charmer to begin with, Spellman.” 

“Well, what happened?” 

Nick shrugged. “I was growing up and eventually started garnering more attention from my peers. Hormones played a large part. I liked the attention that I was getting - from both witches and warlocks - and I wanted people to like me, as shallow as that sounds, so I went with it.” 

“It’s not shallow,” Sabrina added on, “to want to be liked.” She gave him a little smirk. “And I think the charm was there before the promiscuity, Nick. You were just shy.” 

He shrugged again. “Maybe.” Then he paused to look at her, eyes moving away from the book. “Does it bother you…that I’ve been with more people than I can probably recall?” he asked, eyes searching hers, as though looking for approval. 

“It doesn’t bother me. I don’t care who you’ve been with, Nick. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping around if that’s what you’re into.” She smiled at him. “You’re mine now and that’s all that I care about.” 

“You’ve got no idea, Spellman,” he started, his own smile warm and genuine, “just how yours I am.” 

He set the book away delicately just as Cassius came back in. “That’s a good one,” Cassius said, motioning to the book. “The history of Basilikys, the great snake demon. The Life Eater, they call him.” 

Nick came over to join the two of them in seating area. “I was just telling Sabrina about it,” he said, taking a seat in the chair beside her.  

Cassius began pouring three cups of tea, despite Sabrina having declined it earlier. Sabrina smiled. Typical Cassius. 

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I don’t plan on telling Father Blackwood of your escapades into his office.” 

“I know,” Sabrina replied with a nod. “It’s why I told you about it.” 

“To be frank, I had a feeling you would go and do something rash once I told you your father’s journals were in his office.” 

Sabrina blushed. Was she really that predictable?  

“You were close with my father,” she piped up eagerly.  

Cassius nodded. “Yes, I met him in England. I ran a bookstore near the center of Manchester.” 

“A witch bookstore?” Sabrina asked. 

The warlock shook his head. “A mortal one.” Both Sabrina and Nick let their jaws drop visibly. 

“Cassius, you’ve interacted with mortals before?” Sabrina asked. 

He nodded. “I did. I love literature of all sorts, even the mortal finds. I kept them in the upper level, but I did have a private collection of our literature on the lower level. I let the town’s witches borrow as they saw fit, so long as everything stayed secret.” He smiled fondly then. “Your father came in one day. He’d gotten word of me from one of the witches. He was intrigued, as he himself was still in the early aspects of his own studies. Studies that would later develop into what he preached later in life.” 

Sabrina was completely enthralled, eagerly eating up whatever information Cassius threw at her. 

“He met your father during his time in England, as well,” Cassius added on, looking at Nick. 

“My father?” Nick asked, leaning in. 

“Nathaniel Scratch. The Wolf of Newcastle is what they called him back then. He was a businessman of sorts. Edward met him at a meeting for distinguished warlocks, an event where warlocks from all parts of the world came to meet and discuss ideas. They hit it off right away.” He paused momentarily. “To be honest, the day you showed up at the library, I thought I’d seen a ghost. You favor your father, at first glance at least.” 

Nick and Sabrina both glanced at each other, the two of them realizing just how valuable the information from Cassius was to them. They’d known their fathers were connected, but outside of the work they produced together, there wasn’t much else known.  

Cassius held the key. 

“My mother,” Nick started slowly. “Did you know her, too?” 

Cassius nodded. “Lasanda Scratch. Your father called her ‘wildfire’. It was an accurate name, given her history in France,” he said with a soft smile. 

Sabrina perked up at that, remembering back to when Nick first started at their Academy, when he’d mentioned being fluent in French. “Your mother was French?” she asked.  

Nick nodded. “Her maiden name was Beauchene. She was from southern France. Marseille, I believe.” Recalling this helped him remember his mother and her accent, the way it used to comfort him. It was hard to remember her voice now, but he remembered that she had always called him ‘petite loup’ - little wolf. 

Something sparked in Sabrina. “Beauchene,” she repeated once. “Wait, like the Lasanda Beauchene?” 

Cassius nodded with a smile, while Nick looked confused.  

“What do you mean?” he asked, unaware. 

Sabrina just looked at him in disbelief. “Nick, your mother. She-” she paused, unsure of how to string together words anymore. She tried again. “When I was studying at the Academy, I wrote a paper on influential women of the witch community. She was one of the women I researched and wrote about. Nick, your mother was pretty incredible.”   

He looked at her with an expression of disbelief that mirrored her own. 

Sabrina looked to Cassius quickly before she turned to Nick again. “There was a dispute in the town where she stayed. A dispute over a group of orphaned children. They were children of formerly accused witches and the town wanted to rid of them, as well, because they feared the children would grow into their magic and take revenge on the town. She fought against it and was tried as a witch, subsequently scheduled to be burned at the stake.” 

She watched Nick wince. 

“And she was. I mean, that’s what they thought. Really, she put a glamour on the leader of the town - a known witch accuser - to take on her appearance and the people unknowingly burned him. They didn’t realize it until he died on the stake. By then, she had smuggled out all five children. The records don’t explain what happened to her afterward, but I always liked to imagine she got away - somewhere happy. The children, too.” 

Nick looked completely shocked. 

Cassius nodded. “She did. She made it all the way to Newcastle. She was in search of Nathaniel, to be exact. You see, Brother Scratch, among other things, your father also worked to offer witches safe passage across the ocean, to America. Your mother heard about him and she came searching, desperate to send the rescued children here, to one of the renowned Academies, where they could raised safely.” 

Sabrina took Nick’s hand and squeezed it tightly. He still had yet a word to say, remaining speechless. It was a lot to take in, she understood. 

“That’s how they met?” Nick asked after a few more moments of silence. 

Cassius nodded. “Yes. There was nothing subtle about her. She showed up in rags in an attempt to disguise herself,  with five hungry children at her side. She demanded your father’s help, that or she would raise Hell - excuse my language. She didn’t have to, he agreed quickly. The children were well taken care of. I’m certain they grew up to be fine witches and warlocks.” 

“That’s amazing,” Sabrina said, a smile on her own face.  

“She helped him after that, smuggling more and more witches to safety. Not long after, they were married,” Cassius explained. 

When Sabrina looked at Nick again, he was chewing on his lower lip, an indicator that he was thinking about something. After a couple more moments of silence, he spoke. “Were they in love?” he asked, then clarified, “did my father love her?” 

“I’m not sure about their personal life, but I believe so. He looked at your mother in a way that was hard to ignore. When she was in the room, you could forget about getting his attention.” 

Nick seemed satisfied with that, his hands fidgeting in his lap. Sabrina reached over once more to take his hand. He squeezed back to let her know that he was alright. 

“Going back to my father and Nick’s - they were close, I presume?” Sabrina asked. “Nick and I were able to decode some things in my father’s journals. We found out that Nick’s father worked with mine to further his ideas.” 

Cassius nodded. “Yes. The two of them moved here within the same year of each other. Nathaniel went to teach at the Academy in Springdale and Edward taught at our Academy briefly before he took on the role of High Priest. I followed not long after, taking the librarian position. Nathaniel inherited a lot of money, enough that he was able to help sponsor some of Edward’s studies and ideas. They worked together on much of his projects and both agreed on much of the same things.” 

“Blackwood wasn’t happy, was he?” Sabrina asked. 

There was a sigh from Cassius. “He wanted the position of High Priest. He thought that he was what was best for the coven, not Edward’s ‘radical’ ideas. I think it angered him that he was once your father’s mentor and was subsequently surpassed - not only in power but popularity. Edward had a certain charisma. He and Diana found each other shortly after your father rose to the role of High Priest.” 

Sabrina smiled warmly at the mention of her mother.  

“Unfortunately, Father Blackwood didn’t like that either. He felt ridiculed. A High Priest of the Church of Night with a mortal woman - you could say it sickened him.” Cassius sighed, obviously disgusted by it. She could tell that he truly admired her father.  

Sabrina’s eyes flashed over to Nick momentarily, her hand tightening around his. It was time to start asking the hard questions. Nick seemed to understand. 

“In the file that we took from Blackwood’s office - there were articles on our parents, as you already know, but there was also a record of a payment to a Von Kunkle.” She paused for a second before she continued. “We met a Von Kunkle yesterday, my ex-boyfriend’s grandfather. Nick remembered his voice as belonging to one of the witch-hunters that killed his parents.” 

Cassius was nodding as she spoke. 

“My aunt said that she, and many others, believe that the attack on the Scratches was targeted.” Sabrina bit her lip. “I guess..what we’re asking is-” 

“Did Blackwood have my parents murdered?” Nick asked before she could. “Did he collude with witch-hunters to have them killed?” 

There was a long sigh from Cassius. Sabrina felt they were digging into something long and complex. 

“Your father…He took the news of Edward and Diana’s death quite difficultly. He was convinced that Father Blackwood had something to do with it. I could see why he thought that - their plane went down just before a very important meeting where Edward was due to present his manifesto to the Anti-Pope. The last two years of Nathaniel’s life were spent obsessively trying to scrounge up evidence, trying to prove his theory. It was driving him mad.” 

Nick swallowed hard, trying to take it all in. 

Sabrina froze, her mind flashing back to Nick’s childhood home, to the photo she picked up that resembled a plane wing. “Was he right? Did Blackwood have my parents killed?” she asked, very slowly. 

Cassius looked at her. “I don’t know, Sabrina. It would be very difficult to perform such an act. It would have taken a lot of powerful magic to not only tamper with but to subdue someone like Edward from using his own-” 

“Did he do it?” Sabrina asked again, the corners of her eyes burning. “Did Blackwood kill my parents? Was he responsible for Nick’s, too?” 

Cassius’ eyes were downcast. “As I said, I don’t know what transpired between those three. I only know that a week before the Scratch deaths, Nathaniel came to see Father Blackwood. What came of it, I’m not sure. Nathaniel was resolute - on a mission. He barely stopped to even speak to me and then he was gone.” 

Sabrina looked at Nick, saw the mixture of emotion on his face that he desperately tried to cover up. 

He clasped his own hands together and looked at Sabrina and Nick. “That’s all I know, I’m sorry.” 

Her eyes betrayed her, a few tears escaping. Nick sat up as she furiously wiped at them, not wanting to cry in front of either of them.  

“I believe it’s getting late,” Cassius said, looking toward the clock on the wall. Their tea sat untouched and cold, long since forgotten. 

Sabrina stood, clutching her jacket around her body.  

“Thank you, Cassius…For speaking to us,” Nick said, his hands on Sabrina’s shoulders. He rubbed them gingerly, glancing at her as he moved them to the exit. 

They bid Cassius a goodnight and stepped outside into the cold again. They only made it a few yards into the woods again when Sabrina started to cry, unable to hold it in any longer.  

His hands were on her shoulders again. “Hey, it’s okay,” he soothed, eyes gentle as he looked at her. It wasn’t okay, he knew that, and frankly he felt the same way she did.  “Come here.” She fell against his body once his arms were around her, her sobs muffling against his shoulder. He ran a hand over hair, the other holding her tightly. “Let me teleport us back to your room.” 

“N-No,” she sobbed. “I don’t want to look at anyone right now.” 

Nick kissed her head before he rested his cheek against her hair. “Okay,” he said. “We’ll stay here. I’ll keep you warm and you can cry as long as you’d like, and I promise I won’t let you go.” 

“Cassius s-says he doesn’t know…But I know, Nick. I can feel it.” Another sob tore through her body. “He killed them. Both of our parents. I know he did.” 

The edges of his own eyes burned, but he would not allow himself to fumble and crack. No, not when she needed him. “He did,” Nick said. “But he won’t hurt you or your family again, I promise you. Your aunts, Ambrose, and I - we won’t let that happen.” 

Sabrina nodded against his shoulder. “Or you. If he tries to hurt you, Nick, I swear on-” 

He kissed her hair again. “He won’t. Don’t worry about me.” 

There was a sniffle from her, her sobbing drying down. “I’m going to worry about you. I care about you,” she answered, recalling his previous words. 

That pulled a small smile from him. “I care about you, too. So much.” 

She looked up at him, sniffling again before she wiped at her face. “Can we go to your apartment? I think we both need to shower and get warm.” 

Nick nodded. He whispered the incantation and kissed her forehead. They appeared in his living room, in the darkness, moments later.  

He flipped on the lights and led her to his bathroom. There, he turned on the shower, letting it warm up as he retrieved a towel and something clean for her to wear. He took her jacket and placed a soft kiss on her lips. “Get warmed up, Spellman. I’ll make some tea while you’re in there.” 

He was halfway out the door when she stopped him with her hand. He looked back at her, noticed her sheepish expression. “Can you join me? I don’t want to be alone right now…” 

Nick briefly glanced at the shower, wondering if the small contraption could really fit the two of them, before he discarded the thought and nodded. “Of course.” 

It was a tight fit, they both realized quickly. Nick’s shower wasn’t all that big, but in the moment, neither of them cared. It was nice to be close, to be cared for. There had been an attempt to get clean, which dissolved rather quickly once his hands were on her, pulling her close, kissing her like everything was okay. 

He held her in a reverent sort of way, pressed his lips to her skin like she was the last drop of ceremonial wine at Black Mass and he wasn’t sharing. Her own hands trailed down his back, the pads of her fingers pressing into the tense muscle there until he sighed contently. It was odd, for him at least, to be in such a intimate setting without his thoughts dissipating into impurities. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t be pressed up against someone’s naked body for any reason other than sex, but Sabrina wasn’t ‘normal circumstances’. Not to him. She was something else and all he wanted was to keep her thriving and happy. 

And safe. 

He would do anything to keep her safe, he realized. Even as they slipped under the covers of his bed later, his mind tired but unable to rest, it was all he thought about.  

She played with his hand, clasping it between hers, while her own mind raced.  

“Do you think we would have known each other sooner had things not happened the way they did?” she asked, pulling him from his trance.  

“I think so,” he answered quietly. “I would have swept you off your feet before what’s-his-name had the chance.”  

Sabrina chose not to comment on the way he addressed Harvey. It didn’t matter in the moment because she was seriously considering his declaration, wondering how differently things would have gone had Nick gotten the chance to be her first love. If it had been him picking her up, taking her star-gazing, draping her with his leather jacket instead of flannel. 

“You would have stood a chance, yeah,” she teased lightly.  

“Just a chance? Damn.” 

“From what I’m hearing, you were quite the stud. I don’t know if I would have wanted to fight other people for your attention,” she tacked on, joking of course. 

“There wouldn’t have been any competition,” Nick said and he meant it. Her breath hitched in her throat at his reply.  

Her fingers laced with his, his hand still between the two of hers. They laid there in silence for a bit longer, the darkness of his room shrouding them in their thoughts.  

“It was nice to learn a bit about our parents.” She turned over to face him, the outline of his body apparent but his features hidden. “Your mom was pretty amazing. I would have loved to meet her.” 

A soft smile overtook his features. “She was, from what I can remember. She would have loved you. I know because she was a lot like you. Fiery and passionate.” He paused. “I never knew about her history - what she’d done.” He felt guilt again, the same one he’d felt when Sabrina discovered his father as N.E.S. These were things he would have known much sooner had he actually taken the time to learn about his family instead of running from it. 

Sabrina smiled too, inching closer to him until she could press her cheek to his chest. She breathed out contently. 

“Why did you ask that?” Sabrina chanced. “About your parents - about whether your father loved your mother?” 

There was a long pause of silence from him. Sabrina wondered if she had pushed it, until his voice vibrated in his chest, a little gentler than before.  

“I wanted to know if I was capable of it.” 

She felt something stir in the pit of her stomach. “Capable of what?” she asked. 

“Of being in love - of loving someone truly. Like the mortals do.” 

Sabrina felt the stir in her stomach again, felt her heart clench. “Why don’t you think you’re capable?” she asked. “Because you’re a warlock?” 

He was silent. 

“Your father loved your mother. Mine loved my mother - so much that I can feel it to this day. Witches, warlocks - they’re all capable of love too, Nick. Maybe they live differently but that doesn’t mean they can’t experience it, that they’re not capable of it.” There was a pause where she wondered if she should continue. “You’ve got a long life ahead of you, Nick. You’ve got time to find it with someone.” 

Saying that last part made her feel strange, made her stomach drop. He pulled her closer and she felt him exhale against her damp hair.  

He didn’t say anything, but there was something desperate in the way that he held her. 

Chapter Text

Sabrina stirred underneath the covers, her eyes opening just barely. She could make out his outline, seated at the edge of the bed, his back to her, fumbling with a pair of socks. The window across the way suggested that it was still early - before sunrise, at least.

She pulled the covers up higher, snuggling into the softness of his bed. “Mmm...”

Nick turned to look at her apologetically. “Sorry, did I wake you?”

“Too early,” she grumbled, peering up at him through sleepy eyes. He was getting dressed. “Where are you going?”

He smiled at the scratchy sound of her voice. “The Academy. I’ve got some things to grade.”

“Stay. Do it later.”

Nick chuckled and moved closer to her, still shirtless, to place a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours at most.”

She snaked her hand out from underneath the sheets to touch his cheek, her eyes fluttering shut again. He wrapped his fingers around her wrist and turned his head so that his lips pressed against her palm, smiling as he did so. Her half-asleep state was adorable, he found.

“Go back to sleep, Spellman.” He tucked her arm back under the covers, making sure she was covered and warm before he stood to put on a clean shirt. She gave one last grumble but didn’t protest, burrowing further into his pillow.

He finished buttoning up his fresh dress shirt and looped a belt through his pants before he left the bedroom. He stopped in the doorway to give Sabrina one last glance. Her soft breathing signaled her return to slumber.

There was something uplifting about waking up beside her. Something he wouldn’t mind enjoying for days to come.

Nick picked up his jacket off the arm of the sofa and slid into it. He threw his Academy bag over his shoulder though he knew he wouldn’t need it. Something stirred in him. Guilt, he quickly realized. It made him regret hiding the truth about his intentions that morning. Truthfully, he was going to the Academy, but he wouldn’t be there grading.

The decision had come the night before, when she’d finally fallen asleep against him. A decision he realized could likely get him in trouble, but he didn’t particularly care either way. Sabrina was his only concern.

He didn’t open the door to his apartment. Instead, he whispered a quick incantation and materialized in front of Baphomet moments later. Giving the statue a look over, he sighed and turned toward the empty hallways. Aside from the couple of students he saw drowsily wandering the halls, there wasn’t a soul in sight. Most of the teachers hadn’t even yet arrived for the day.

But Prudence was awake, and she was quick to greet any intruder. Her heels clicked against the wooden floors as she headed toward him.

“Nicky, you’re here early. So eager to leave the comfort of your bed?”

“Good morning, Prudence.” He gave her that classic Scratch smirk. “I could say the same for you.”

Prudence crossed her arms over her chest and shrugged. “I have duties to the Academy. More often than not, I’m here early.” She produced her own smirk. “Tell me, how is our dear Sister Spellman? I hope you left her warm.”

Nick wondered how she could tell that he had just been with Sabrina. The coy smirk on her face told him she’d read him right. “She’s fine,” he answered. “Is Father Blackwood around?”

“In his office,” Prudence replied. “Going over his plans for the day.”

Nick nodded. “Thank you, Prudence. I’ll see you around.” She brushed her fingers over his arm when he passed her, giggling. It was strange, the way the charm of another woman didn’t affect him much anymore. All that he could think about was the pearly-haired witch that currently occupied his bed and how he ached to join her again.

Nick made his way down the various hallways and pentagonal rooms until he reached the center of the school. The doors to Blackwood’s office were shut but he could see the light spilling beneath the crack. He inhaled a deep breath and stepped forward, raising his hand to knock on the door. Blackwood’s voice sounded seconds later, granting him permission to enter.

He pushed open the large wooden door and stepped in.

Blackwood glanced up at briefly. “Brother Scratch, how unexpected.” He nodded in greeting and motioned for the chair in front of his desk. “Please, sit.”

Nick sat down.

“You’re quite the early bird today. What can I do for you?” Blackwood looked up at Nick expectantly.

“You can drop the formalities, Blackwood. We both know why I’m here.”

Blackwood’s expression straightened. “Do we?”

Nick motioned to the set of drawers behind Blackwood rather obviously before allowing his eyes to settle back onto the High Priest.

Blackwood sat up a bit straighter, turning his attention away from his work. “I assume you’re referring to my missing files.”

“You realized they were gone the night of the feast,” Nick stated. “I’m sure you had ideas on who was behind it.” He could feel the heat of Blackwood’s glare from across the table. “Though, I imagine, you weren’t eager to make a show of it. With the sorts of things that were inside, you probably wouldn’t have wanted to draw any attention to it.”

Blackwood dropped his quill. “There was nothing incriminating inside of that file. Nothing more than simple records. I didn’t search for it because it wasn’t important.”

“That’s a lie.”

“Mind yourself, Brother Scratch. I am your High Priest.”

Nick sat up, his elbow pressing into the armrest of the chair. He eyed Blackwood for a few moments.

“What are your plans for the rest of the Spellmans?” Nick asked very bluntly and with no desire to tip-toe around the subject.

“What in Satan’s name do you mean by that?” Blackwood snapped.

“The Spellmans,” Nick clarified, though he knew Blackwood had heard him the first time. “What further intentions do you have with them?”

Blackwood clasped his hands together on-top of his desk, his glare deepening. A frown sat heavily on his face. “I have no ‘intentions’ with the Spellmans. We exist cohesively within the coven, as all the families do.”

“Except I don’t think you have ever ‘existed cohesively’ with the Spellmans, Father Blackwood. Not from what I’ve heard.” Nick narrowed his eyes. “Your engagement to Zelda Spellman is meant to prove something, isn’t it?”

“Our engagement is between us, Brother Scratch.” He shut the folder in front of him and sat up. “I suggest you make an attempt to remember your place in this Academy. You’re here to teach our youth, not badger your High Priest with your ridiculous insinuations.”

But Nick didn’t stop. “You want to prove to everyone that you had no ill-will toward Edward Spellman. You want to marry his sister to shut down any suspicions the coven might have about your previous jealousies of the former High Priest.”

“That is absurd, Nicholas.” Nick noted the change in his title. “I had - have - nothing but respect for Edward Spellman. I mentored him myself. He was like family to me.”

“But he rose above you, didn’t he? You wanted the title of High Priest before him, but he was the better fit. He was charismatic, powerful, and intelligent. You hated how easily he could persuade people, how easily he could win them over.” Nick tapped his fingers on the edge of the arm rest as things became clear to him. “And you thought he was finally gone, but then his daughter showed up and she had all of the same qualities as her father.”

Nick became aware of the vein that was lightly protruding on the side of his Headmaster’s temple. He remained still and calm, though Nick knew he was getting to him.

“This is about the Spellman girl,” Blackwood realized. “She’s clouded your judgment and you’ve come to assert your dominance as her partner.” He nearly laughed at that. “I assure you, Nicholas. I have no quarrels with Ms. Spellman. She has been a thorn in my side since the day she has stepped into this Academy, with her self-declared ‘progressive’ views, but I hold no ill-will toward the girl.”

“I don’t have any dominance to assert, Father Blackwood. Not when it comes to Sabrina. She is well able to face you herself. I’m sure she has ideas to come see you, too.” Nick leaned in until he was resting his hands on the opposite end of Blackwood’s desk. It was only a matter of time before Sabrina stormed his office herself.

“Then why are you here, Nicholas?”

“I only wanted to make it clear that should Sabrina fall to victim to anyone’s cruel intentions, I wouldn’t let something as frivolous as my position stand in between my desire to right it.”

He met eyes with Blackwood, both of them understanding the weight of his words.

“Cruel intentions?” Blackwood echoed back.

Nick nodded. “You know what I mean.” He paused briefly. “I’m certain you wouldn’t crash another plane, so whatever else it is that you’ve got brewing.”

Silence met him. Blackwood didn’t deny anything, Nick noticed.

“The Scratches,” Blackwood started, his voice a pitch lower, “always so eager to grovel at the feet of a Spellman.” There was something sick that lingered on the edge of Blackwood’s smirk - pride, perhaps. “Your father once sat in the same spot as you, with quite the similar threat.” Blackwood watched Nick’s eyes narrow, watched his knuckles turn white as he gripped the edge of the arm-rest. “Tell me, Nicholas, what do they say about wolves? That they’re loyal-”

“That you should make sure to kill the whole pack,” Nick answered, cutting him off, his tone even.

“A shame what happened to them - your parents.” Blackwood made it a point to sigh. “Nathaniel Scratch was truly a sight - as cunning as they come. And wise, too. His potential was wasted with his choice of a business partner. Edward Spellman would never have gotten far with his radical ideologies. Nathaniel’s fate was sealed from the beginning.”

Nick’s face was straight as Blackwood droned on about his father. “All at the cost of thirty-thousand dollars,” he added on. His mother and father - and almost himself - reduced down to a mere number. A price. One that Blackwood had likely paid without a second thought.

They stared at each other for a few moments, with Blackwood well aware of Nick’s reference. Again, there was no denial.

“You’re a lot like him, Nicholas. I’ve read the files from your previous institution. You’re far ahead of your generation in many aspects. I’d even go as far as to say you’ve surpassed your father already - perhaps even Edward Spellman. The best conjurer your Academy has ever produced. Binding a close second. And your demonic knowledge is steps beyond even some of the most educated.”

“Orphaned boys have a lot of time on their hands,” Nick replied sourly. He’d spent many Solstices in the Academy library while the other students went home. He used to pretend it was a blessing, that it didn’t bother him. The whole library to himself - no held books to wait on, no students to bother him.

It wasn’t until he was older that he realized he’d always subconsciously counted down the days until school was back in session, until the swell of students and teachers in the hallways could once again make the Academy feel alive - make him feel like he mattered again.

“And dedication, it seems,” Blackwood continued. “Most intriguingly, the will-power and ability to craft new magics. Unheard of processes - dangerous processes.”

Nick stared at him. He knew where Blackwood was headed. There were odd sorts of magics which he had dabbled in during his spare time. It wasn’t a topic he particularly cared to discuss with Blackwood. “Not unheard of,” he clarified. “Only never previously attempted.”

“The thing of folklore and myths - fathered into creation by a young boy.” Blackwood frowned. “Such potential - such knowledge - yet again wasted. All for a Spellman. A witch, nonetheless.”

Nick was through talking.

Ignoring Blackwood’s comment, he sat up, his fingers sliding over the desk to pick up the quill Blackwood had long since discarded.

Blackwood watched him suspiciously.

“You’ve got an extensive background in demonology yourself, Father Blackwood,” Nick began. “Have you heard of the demoness Vrethala?” he asked, eyes downcast as he worked to quickly scribble something on a nearby sheet of paper, not caring what importance it held to Blackwood.

“She was human, like you and I. Outcast by her village because her beauty incited jealously and drove men wild - so they say. The Dark Lord took her in, re-birthed her in fire and gave her an immortal life within the fifth circle of Hell, allowed her to punish as she saw fit,” Nick explained.

He dropped the quill, revealing a summoning circle with a nearly perfect pentagram. A cross ran upside-down through the center of it. The rest of it was filled in with intricate symbols which Blackwood quickly tried to decipher. His attention shifted away once Nick began an incantation.

The energies in the room shifted, filling the office with a heavy somber feeling. The circle sizzled briefly, the black ink flashing white. Nothing could be visibly seen leaving the circle, but both men could sense that something had joined them. The lamps flickered with some of them shutting off entirely.

“The Dark Lord doesn’t give freely, as you know. The price of immortality - of a new life - came at the cost of her physical appearance. The poets of her era wrote of her fiery red hair, her sun-kissed skin, eyes the color of polished emeralds - all of it gone.” Nick didn’t move, but he glanced around the room briefly. “Now she exists with no body at all.” He looked around. “Vrethala?”

There was a long sigh somewhere behind him, breathy and ghostlike - reminiscent of a wind chime.

“Summoning Vrethala is forbidden by the Council,” Blackwood warned, sitting up a bit straighter, his eyes on Nick.

Nick shook his head, clicked his tongue once. “Not forbidden - only heavily discouraged.” Then he quirked a smirk of his own. “Do you plan to tell on me?”

Blackwood frowned, his jaw tense.

The female sigh came again, this time from somewhere else near Nick. The sheer sound of it could rattle any man - any woman - in their body, but it wasn’t the first time Nick had heard it.

“Unbind me from this circle,” the demoness spoke, though she was nowhere to be seen. Nick felt a set of fingers trail delicately from one of his shoulders to the other as the demon moved to his opposite side. Though he couldn’t see her, his eyes followed her.

“In due time,” Nick replied. “Patience is a virtue.”

Blackwood looked at Nick. “Enough of this, Nicholas. Banish her back to Hell or I will. The Academy is no place for a demon of her strength.”

Nick looked back at him, gaze unwavering. “If you’d like to attempt banishing her, Father Blackwood, then by all means, be my guest.” He watched Blackwood struggle to remain seated, likely fighting the desire to come after him.

“Vrethala,” Nick spoke the demon’s name, calling her to attention. He felt her presence beside him again. At her given range, she was only allowed to wander a few feet from him before she was stopped by an invisible ring. “Ut fructum.”

Seconds later, the same chime-like sigh was beside Blackwood, tickling his left ear. He felt a hand trail up his arm.

Blackwood quickly poised his hands into the typical posture of banishment - his fist against his palm.

But Nick spoke before he could. “Vrethala, invedendi.”

Blackwood froze suddenly as something coursed through his body, through his nostrils, and squirmed under his skin - something foreign. His body went as cold as ice.

“You know why the Council heavily dissuades the summoning of Vrethala. She’s completely untraceable. Without a body, she takes on the form of air. She can fill any crevice - slip into your body like a breath of air.”

As Nick spoke, Blackwood became aware of his left hand. It reached for a nearby letter opener. He tried to fight against it, but the power controlling his body was much too strong. His fingers grasped the letter opener firmly, turning his knuckles white,

His hand began to creep toward his neck.

The sharp edge of the item pressed against Blackwood’s neck, in a spot where he could bleed to death within minutes should it be pierced. He could only widen his eyes.

“She could kill you right now, if she wanted - if I asked her. There would be no way to prove anything either. The High Priest of the Church of Night, slashed his own throat in his office.” Nick smirked. “You like collecting articles, right? Maybe we could put that one on file for you.”

The letter opener pressed in a bit further.

“Vrethala,” Nick warned. The demon whined. “Satis.”

“I haven’t had my fun,” Vrethala’s voice echoed from Blackwood’s chest.

Nick stood from his seat. “Next time,” he told her kindly. There was another airy sigh and the letter opener gave away just slightly.

Nick’s eyes met with Blackwood’s. “We both know it wasn’t a coincidence that Edward Spellman did nothing to save himself and Diana Spellman from the ‘accident’. Odd, being that he was incredibly powerful.” He stopped for a second. “It also wasn’t a coincidence that my parents lost their lives soon after my father came to see you, probably to discuss his own theories on the matter.”

He reached for his messenger bag, pulling it onto his shoulder until it sat cross-body. “I don’t know how you plan to meddle in the future, but I am certain that you will try.” He walked around the desk until he was beside Blackwood again. “Sabrina is strong-willed. She has plans of her own for the world, plans I’m certain the likes of you would rather see diminished. And you should know, Father Blackwood, that any attempts to stand in her way - to harm her - will end with dire consequences for you.”

There was another incantation that made Blackwood lightheaded. When he finally opened his eyes, the space was empty. The paper that held the summoning circle was torn in half and Vrethala’s presence was gone from the room.

Nick stepped foot into his apartment later, Vrethala fully banished back to her realm, and adrenaline coursing through his veins. He could feel the energy left over from the conjuration occupying the space around him, rolling off in waves.

The apartment was still dark, still quiet, so he crept carefully through it, dropping his jacket and bag on the floor beside the sofa. He had no idea what propelled him to enter Blackwood’s office - to threaten him in such a manner. He knew Sabrina could take care of herself. She was powerful, intelligent, and clever.

But so was Edward Spellman and he met an unlucky fate.

Nick was scared - Hell, he could admit that. It was clear that Blackwood didn’t operate alone. He had connections, dangerous ones.


He shook the thought from his mind. Sabrina was fine. She was strong and she had people who loved her, people who would help her should she need it.

He was one of them.

Light had begun to filter through his window as the sun rose outside. It was still early, he realized. He knew he should let her sleep - Satan knew she needed it - but he couldn’t stop himself from pushing open the door to his bedroom. He needed to see her for himself, make sure she was still warm and safe.

She was in his bed, her body turned toward the door, still asleep. A smile graced his features as he made his way over to her, gently brushing a few strands of hair away from her face. He placed a delicate kiss on her forehead.

Sabrina shifted, her eyes fluttering open. She smiled when she saw him. “You’re back,” she mumbled.

He nodded. “I’m back.”

It happened quickly. One second she was fully under the blanket, the next her arms were reaching out for him, hands grasping his wrists and pulling him down onto the bed. She found his lips clumsily in her half-asleep state, all while she fumbled to guide him under the covers. He chuckled.

“Kiss me some more,” she directed sweetly.

It was like he was waiting to hear her say that. He didn’t hesitate, his lips capturing hers again. The room seemed to ignite.

He was aware of her wandering hands as they pulled his shirt, un-tucking it from his pants. They slid under, up his back, and then down again. She repeated the action, the second time with a bit more bite behind her nails. It made him sigh against her mouth.

Nick pushed her - his - shirt up her body as his lips slid down to her neck, teeth grazing the soft skin there. She whimpered when his hands brushed softly over her breasts.

While he kissed down her neck, her hands had found their way around him to fumble with the buttons of his shirt. He shrugged out of it when she finally pushed it down his shoulders. The over-sized shirt on her body came off next. She was pulling him back against her within seconds.

His lips trailed down her neck, down the valley of her breasts, drawing an airy little moan from her.


Her fingers tangled in his hair as he lavished her chest with kisses, using her teeth to lightly nip at her. She gave his hair a gentle tug, motioning for him to come back up. He groaned at her impatience, at the way she pressed her lips to his like she was parched and desperate for him. It drove him wild with want.

Nick pulled back briefly to look at her splayed out beneath him, painted partially by the half-risen sun. Her soft curls bloomed around her head like a crown of roses.

His heart lurched in a way that was unfamiliar to him.

Sabrina trailed her hands down his chest, a sort of admiration present in her own eyes. He hoped he was good enough for her. He hoped he always would be. She bit back a smirk as her fingers worked to undo his belt and afterward, the button and zipper of his pants. His body hummed in anticipation as she worked his pants down his thighs, his boxer-briefs following shortly after. He hooked a finger through her panties and they joined the abyss of his bedroom, already forgotten.

Less than a few minutes later, they were plastered against one another, unable to wait. He rocked into her slow and deep, hitting the spot that drove her wild just right.

They relished just existing - their foreheads pressed together, lips parted in silent cries, neither wanting to disrupt the delicate gossamer of intimacy they’d discovered. It was a sort of closeness Nick had never experienced before, and he felt it in his bones, in the thin capillaries that wove through his body. He was certain that she had infiltrated every cell that made up his existence.

And he wanted her there.

Her gaze began to waver, nails scrambling at his back as if it were possible to get him any closer. He grasped her hip and tried anyway.

Her head fell to the side, eyes screwing shut as the pressure built up. He slipped a hand under her cheek, gently guided her face back so that she was once again looking at him.

“Please, let me see you.”

He didn’t know he could beg like that.

And then she unraveled, eyes never leaving his, breathing his name back at him while the tremors rolled through her body. He drank her in, unblinking and in complete fascination. It was impossible to hang on any further after that. His own release flooded through him, drawing her name from his lips over and over until he was certain she wouldn’t disappear.

It was silent in his bedroom after, nothing but the sound of their heavy breathing and a sprinkling of some morning birds to occupy the atmosphere. The sun had risen fully by then, covered them in golden morning light, caused the sweat to glimmer on their bodies.

“What a way to wake up,” Sabrina spoke, gently breaking the silence. She looked up at him, eyes hazy from a mixture sex and sleep, and the words tumbled out of him before he could even collect his thoughts.

“I love you,” he exhaled. “I think I have for awhile now.”

Sabrina halted, breath hitching, jaw going lax.

There was silence, again. She looked shocked.

“Nick, I-”

“Don’t,” he began, swallowing back his fear. “Don’t feel pressured to say it back just because I did. And you don’t have to explain to me why you don’t, if you don’t. I just wanted you to know.”

Selfishly, he didn’t want to experience first love and first heartbreak all in the same morning. It was enough for now to just know, to be aware, of his own feelings.

She was right, he was capable of loving someone.

Chapter Text

“How unexpected it is to see you home, cousin. I was starting to think you’d moved out.” Ambrose entered the Spellman kitchen and grabbed a jug of orange juice from the fridge. He wandered over to where Sabrina was in front of the stove to peer over her shoulder. “You’re cooking?”

Sabrina flipped an egg over in the skillet. “Just some eggs and bacon. Hilda’s helping Cee open up the diner today.” The egg sizzled and she watched it closely, hoping not to burn it. Sabrina Spellman was not the greatest cook around. With Hilda in the house, she’d never really had the chance to procure the ability. It was simply unnecessary as she knew her food would never match the standards of her aunt’s anyway. “And I’ve only been at Nick’s for a couple of nights, Ambrose.”

Ambrose shrugged and wandered over to the kitchen island, dragging out one of the stools to sit on. He poured a glass of orange juice as he waited for Sabrina to finish preparing her breakfast so that he could snag some of it himself. If Sabrina’s cooking skill was minor, his was nonexistent. He settled for a muffin in the meantime. “Shame. I was hoping you’d stay so I could finally take your bedroom,” he joked.

Sabrina rolled her eyes. “There are other rooms in the house. You picked to live in the attic.” She slid the eggs out of the skillet and onto a plate where she already had her bacon ready. Out of the silverware drawer she grabbed two forks, knowing Ambrose was going to mooch.

“I was only kidding,” he replied, surveying his cousin’s mood. Something was off. “What’s got you on your toes this morning?”

Sabrina sighed and set the plate down between them. She split her egg in half with the fork, watching the yolk pool in the center. “Nothing. I’ve just got a lot on my mind is all.”

Ambrose picked up a piece of bacon. “The Academy?”

There was a shrug on her part. “Something like that.”

There wasn’t anything the two of them didn’t talk about. Ambrose was generally the first person Sabrina came to whenever she had troubles. Being the second youngest in the house meant that he could relate better than her aunts. He knew he could get her to talk. “Remember, can’t be worse than the time you crashed the hearse halfway into the graveyard.” It had happened when she was a teenager and ever since then it had become a way rate the severity of her problems. If it was worse than the hearse-to-graveyard situation, then it was bad.

“Worse,” Sabrina answered.

Ambrose quirked a brow. “Worse? Please, cousin, do spill.”

Sabrina hesitated for a moment, pushing her egg around the plate. She hadn’t started eating yet. With a sigh, she let it out.

“Nick told me he loves me. Like - loves me.”

“That’s your ‘worse than smashing three ancestral headstones with a car’ situation?” Ambrose asked in disbelief. “Are you worried that he doesn’t mean it?”

She shook her head. “No - that’s not it. I think he does.” She paused. “It’s just that I don’t know if I feel the same. There are other things on my mind right now that outweigh romance and I just don’t have the time to think about it.”

“You have to think about it?” Ambrose asked. “I’m not quite certain that’s how that works, cousin.” He snapped a piece of bacon in half before tossing it into his mouth. “I remember one Sabrina Spellman jumping at the opportunity to tell her mortal boyfriend she loved him - a month into their relationship, mind you.”

She sighed. “That was high school, Ambrose. And look where we ended up.” Apart. Not in love. And worst of all, in mid-disagreement with him not approving of her current boyfriend.

“He wasn’t right for you,” Ambrose said with a shrug.

Sabrina looked apprehensive. “And Nick supposedly is?”

Ambrose shook his head. “He might be, or he might not be.” He looked at her suddenly, a little more seriously. “Did he get upset with you for not saying it back?” There was a hint of protectiveness in his voice. As much as he liked Nick, he wouldn’t hesitate to put the warlock in his place if he attempted to pressure his younger cousin.

“No, definitely not,” Sabrina answered quickly, shaking her head. “He said he just wanted to tell me and that he didn’t expect a reply one way or the other. He hasn’t brought it up since, but it does feel just a little bit awkward.” Nick had gotten up as usual the morning of his declaration, taken her out to breakfast at Cee’s, and acted as though everything was normal. He didn’t appear bothered, but it didn’t stop her from feeling like the air between them was a little off.

“Then I don’t see the issue,” Ambrose answered.

“I don’t want to hurt him. He’s amazing. I just - I don’t know what my problem is.” One moment, she had been in love with Harvey and the next, she wasn’t. She supposed she was a bit scared of the same thing happening. What if she loved Nick at one point and then had to take it back? That would hurt him.

Ambrose smirked. “Well, in the meantime, if he needs some extra affection Prudence and I would love to take him off your hands for a night.”

Sabrina shot him a look, mouth down-turned at the thought of her cousin seducing her current partner. “That’s just - ew. You’re not borrowing my boyfriend for one your orgies, Ambrose.”

Then Ambrose laughed. “Relax, I’m pulling your leg. Prudence and I have already extended our hand out to Nicholas in regard to that. He’s declined us, if you’re wondering.” When Sabrina looked at him again, he raised a hand up in defense. “It was during Zelda’s engagement party. The two of you weren’t together yet, but it was pretty obvious he was stuck on you.”

That made her smile. She wondered how long Nick had had feelings for her. He did make her happy.

“Still, doesn’t sound like that great of a problem. Nothing some time and self-reflection couldn’t solve. Now, what’s really bothering you? You mentioned you had other things outweighing it.”

This was the hard part. She had yet to tell her family about her discoveries involving her parents and Nick’s. To be honest, it was mostly because of her aunt Zelda and her current connection to Blackwood. It was just too risky to talk about it in front of her or even with Hilda or Ambrose. She also knew it was a lot to take in and they still didn’t have concrete proof. Even as her family, they were still likely to not believe her.


Sabrina realized she had zoned out. She sighed and looked at her cousin, but not before quickly looking over her shoulder. They were home alone but she still felt paranoid.

“I’m quite certain Father Blackwood was responsible for my parents’ plane crash. And there are some things that suggest he was also the one who paid off the witch-hunters that killed Nick’s parents.”

Ambrose looked back at her in bewilderment. “Sabrina, that’s -”

“It’s a lot. I know.” She sighed. “Nick and I talked to Cassius. He was at the Academy with my father and was pretty close to not only him, but Nick’s dad too.”

Ambrose nodded slowly, trying to follow along.

“He didn’t really confirm anything, but the way he was acting suggested to me that he likely knows. I think he’s afraid of Blackwood - rightfully so, if everything really is true. And I think it is, Ambrose.”

“That’s quite the hefty accusation,” he replied, disbelief painting his voice. “I’m not so sure you should entertain the idea…”

It was as Sabrina imagined. They wouldn’t believe her.

Blackwood had been the one to help lift Ambrose’s house-arrest. Even if her cousin didn’t like him, he did probably hold some sort of respect for him.

“You don’t believe me?” Sabrina asked.

Ambrose sighed. “It’s just a bit…ridiculous sounding, honestly. I’m not too sure Blackwood is capable of something like that.”

“Forget it,” Sabrina shot back, standing up. “I have to get to the Academy.”

“Sabrina, wait-”

“I’ll see you later.” She grabbed her planner off the counter and shoved it into her bag, grabbing her jacket on the way out of the kitchen. Salem trotted after her. She paused momentarily to look back at her cousin. “And don’t tell either of the aunties that I said anything. Just forget all of it.”

She left before he could respond.

At the Academy, she pattered down the hallways with a sharpness in her step. She didn’t expect Ambrose to believe her, but it still hurt that he’d shut it down so quickly.

She decided to leave her family out of it entirely. At least until she could sort it out herself. Right now, Nick was the only other person she trusted with the information.

She wondered where he was, if he had arrived yet.

Sabrina pushed open the doors to the teachers’ lounge and threw her bag over a chair. Prudence looked up from where she was brewing a cup of tea.

“Quite the bite in your step today, Sabrina,” the witch spoke.

Great. Not only had her cousin pissed her off that morning but now she also had to deal with his girlfriend. “I’m really not in the mood, Prudence.”

Prudence shrugged, wearing a little smirk. “Whatever you say. Don’t blame me for whatever troubles your warlock is giving you.”

“My warlock is just fine, thank you,” Sabrina shot back, cursing Prudence’s abilities to peer into people’s minds. She had probably sensed that Sabrina had been thinking about Nick, despite that her sour mood wasn’t because of him.

The door to the lounge swung open and Elspeth came rushing in.

“Prudence,” she called, causing both of them to look up in surprise. Elspeth seemed genuinely concerned about something.

“Elspeth, what’s wrong?” Sabrina asked, coming to her friend’s side.

Elspeth looked between the two of them. “Cassius,” she began, inhaling to catch her breath. “He’s not here. The library’s still locked.”

Sabrina’s eyes widened. She looked at Prudence. “Cassius is never late. He’s always early. Every single day.” There hadn’t even been a time where Cassius hadn’t come to work - not in the years Sabrina had been there. Her stomach dropped in worry.

“I’ll look into it,” Prudence said. “I’ll call him through an enchanted mirror and see if he’s home. Maybe he overslept.”

“Cassius never oversleeps,” Sabrina tacked on.

Elspeth shook her head too. “Never.”

Sabrina turned to the girl as Prudence left the lounge in a hurry. “Elspeth, can you see if you and Melvin can maybe search the Academy grounds? Maybe he’s just gotten caught up somewhere with a student and hasn’t had the chance to get to the library yet.” Sabrina knew that wasn’t the case, but she didn’t want to startle Elspeth any more than she already was.

Elspeth nodded and left behind Prudence, practically running.

Sabrina darted off in the opposite direction. She swung open the door to Nick’s classroom minutes later. He was at his desk reading and looked up when she came in, a surprised look on his face at the sight of his girlfriend barging in, red-faced and out of breath.

“You missed me that much?” he teased. As he continued to look at her, he noticed she looked terrified. He set his book down and stood to meet her. “Sabrina, is everything okay?”

Sabrina shook her head. “It’s Cassius,” she managed to choke out between gasps of air. “He’s missing, Nick. He never came to work.”

Nick’s brows raised with concern.

Something wasn’t right.

“His cabin,” Nick began. “We should go check it.”

Sabrina was grabbing his wrist before the words even registered, the same thought on her mind. Classes would start soon but that was the least of her worries.

She heard Nick chant the incantation for teleportation and when she opened her eyes again, they were in front of Cassius’ cabin.

“Maybe revisiting the past was difficult for him and he decided to take a day off,” Nick said, trying to be hopeful. He could sense her worry.

“He’s been at the Academy since then, Nick. You don’t understand, Cassius always comes to work.” She pushed through some branches as they entered the clearing that sat before Cassius’ small wooden cabin. Looking over, Sabrina noticed the front door was slightly ajar. Chills ran through her body.

Now Nick was certain something was definitely not right.

The cabin felt desolate before they even ventured inside. Nick stayed by her side, hand on her shoulder as they walked to the front door.

Sabrina pushed the door until it opened fully.

“Cassius?” She knew there wouldn’t be a response, but she still tried anyway. Her heart raced. She glanced back at Nick, concern flooding her features. “Nick, I’m scared. What if he got in trouble because of us? What if-”

Nick cupped her cheek. “Don’t think about that right now. We don’t know anything.” He glanced around before his eyes settled on her again. “Let’s look around, see if we can find anything. If he was afraid of Blackwood finding out that he spoke to us, he might have left.”

Sabrina didn’t believe that. “I don’t think he left.”

Nick stepped further into the cabin and looked around. It took him a second to notice the emerald green book that sat upon the coffee table. A Rendezvous with Basilikys. The same one he had looked at the night they came to speak to Cassius. There was a page that been recently marked. He flipped open to it.

It was a page in which Olwyn Strange addressed the reader in a monologue about his discoveries. There was a specific line that was underlined in black ink.

Sabrina came up beside him seconds later. “Nothing in his bedroom. What is that?”

He held it out so they could both read. The line which Cassius had underlined read, ‘Alter your own life as you please so that you may die with no regrets. Fate is but a suggestion and you’ve no time for suggestions - only purpose.’

They looked at each other silently.

Sabrina took the book from his hands to get a better look. Just as she did, two sheets of paper fell from it.

Nick picked it up one of them as Sabrina picked up the other.

“I have no regrets, that I am certain of. Look out for one another, always, and remember that fate is but a suggestion,” Nick read the note aloud.

Sabrina lifted up her piece of paper, which she quickly learned was actually an old photograph. It was withered around the edges but when she held it up, the image was clear. Three men stood in the center, posing for the camera. Her eyes found Cassius immediately, a tad younger, standing to the left. Beside him was a man whose face she recognized from the countless photos scattered around the mortuary. She had one in her room. Her father. And lastly, on her father’s other side, stood a man with a face resembling Nick’s. His father.

All three of them wore smiles. Her father’s hands rested on the shoulders of the other two men.

Sabrina’s eyes watered as everything became clear to her. One thing she was certain of, Cassius was gone. She felt it. Even if she couldn’t admit it.

She could see Nick’s fingers shake as he took the photo from her, intent to study it as well. They didn’t speak on it - it hurt too much to see their fathers and Cassius, frozen in a moment of time where everything appeared okay. In that moment, they looked hopeful, blissfully unaware of the way things would end.

“He knew,” Sabrina said. “He knew he would get in trouble for speaking to us, for telling me about the journals. I shouldn’t have pushed him to talk to us.”

Nick took her hand and led them outdoors, hoping the cold air would calm them both. “You can’t blame yourself. You didn’t force Cassius into anything,” he said, though he felt an extreme amount of guilt on his own shoulders. He had been too preoccupied with worrying for Sabrina’s safety, assuming that Blackwood would go after her first, that he hadn’t considered anyone else. He prayed his visit to Blackwood’s office hadn’t inspired the man to seek retribution elsewhere.

Sabrina raised a hand to wipe away her tears as they rolled down her cheeks. “Blackwood must’ve found out.” Nick pulled her into a hug, hand smoothing over her hair. In the distance, close to a nearby tree, something glimmered in the sunlight.

With his interest piqued, Nick let her go momentarily, stepping closer to the object on the ground. Sabrina watched in confusion as he bent down to pick it up.

“What is that?” Sabrina asked, squinting her eyes as she stepped forward. Everything looked blurry through her tears, which she cleaned away for good with the sleeve of her jacket.

“An arrow,” Nick said, looking at the item in the wonder as he tried to sort it out. It was shorter than a traditional arrow, and a bit skinnier. “I’m not all too keen on mortal weapons, but I think this is to a crossbow.”

He reached up with his other hand to touch the tip. Upon contact, he hissed in pain and instinctively dropped the arrow to the ground, shaking his hand to soothe it.

“Nick!” Sabrina rushed over and grabbed his hand, flattening it out between hers. There was a red welt on the inside of his thumb and forefinger. “Are you okay? What happened?”

“I’m fine. It just burned me,” he said, reaching down to pick it up again, careful to hold it by the wooden shaft this time.

“That’s not a regular arrow,” Sabrina said, looking at it with trepidation.

Nick swallowed, not believing the words that were about to come out of his mouth. “I think it might belong to witch-hunters.”

It couldn’t be a coincidence that shortly after a witch-hunter had shown up in Greendale, there was a missing witch and the remnants of a strange weapon on the forest grounds near his home.

She reached out and took it from him. Without much thinking, she placed her finger over the tip, just as he had.

“Sabrina!” Nick grabbed the arrow from her hand and held it out of her reach. “Why would you do that?”

Sabrina didn’t respond, instead she looked down at her own hand in fascination. It was unmarked and there had been no pain when she touched the tip. “It didn’t burn me,” she said after a few moments.

Nick looked at her hand too, then up at her. Sabrina motioned for him to hand it back to her, which he did after a few moments of careful consideration. She rolled it between her palms, fingers grazing the tip with no consequences. No burns. Not even a slight sting.

“Maybe it’s because I’m half-mortal,” Sabrina said, trying to find an explanation.

“Maybe,” Nick agreed, but something told him it wasn’t all that simple. She had witch blood running through her veins - it should have burned her as well. Then again, Nick wasn’t exactly an expert on the workings of a witch-hunting weapon, so he couldn’t speak on anything. “Let’s leave,” he suggested. “Take it with you. We’ll figure this out somewhere other than the scene of a suspected attack.”

Sabrina stayed planted. “But Cassius…” She looked to the man’s cabin again, not wanting to leave the mystery of his disappearance unsolved.

“We’ll figure that out too,” Nick comforted. “I promise, Sabrina.”

“We can’t let Blackwood get away with this.”

“We won’t,” Nick said, just before they teleported away.

Chapter Text

“Bloody Hell, can’t I at least take my shoes off?” Hilda exclaimed as Sabrina swarmed her on the Spellman porch. She swatted at her niece while Nick attempted to take the heavy bags of groceries from her hands. Once inside, she slipped out of her shoes and into a pair of fluffy slippers. Then she draped her jacket over a nearby hook and turned to look at Sabrina, who stood just a few feet away, eagerly waiting for her.

“It’s important, auntie,” Sabrina hounded, pushing her aunt toward the kitchen. “Is aunt Zelda home?”

Hilda sighed in irritation as the younger witch ushered her toward the island in the center of the kitchen. After a long morning of helping Cee run the diner, she had hoped to come home and relax a bit. She knew now that that was out of the picture. “She’s at the Academy, teaching Satanic Choir. Don’t the two of you have classes to teach?”

“That’s not important right now,” Sabrina said as Nick settled Hilda’s grocery bags on another counter. He joined them seconds later, though he gave Hilda more space than what Sabrina was currently offering her. He felt a bit bad for the woman.

“Well then, what is it?” Hilda asked, careening off to the side with a huff as she made an attempt to put away her groceries. Sabrina stopped her with her hand, guiding her attention back to them. She watched as Sabrina reached into her bag and retrieved an arrow, which she promptly settled onto the counter between them. Hilda looked alarmed at the sight, stepping back a pace. “What in Satan’s name is that?”

“It’s an arrow,” Nick said obviously.

“I’m well aware of that, Mr. Scratch,” Hilda replied, tone a bit sharp. She picked up the arrow by the shaft and held it up. “I suppose what I am asking is how the two of you have come to possess a weapon generally used by mortals? Witches have no use for these.”

“We found it,” Sabrina answered, deciding to get to exactly where they’d found it in a moment. “Auntie wait-”

She tried to stop the woman just before she touched the metal tip of the arrow, but Hilda had already pressed her forefinger to it. The arrow clattered to the counter seconds later, Hilda squeaking in pain as it did. She pressed her finger to her tongue in hopes of soothing the burn.

“It burned Nick too,” Sabrina said. “Just like that.”

The look of horror in Hilda’s eyes was hard to miss. With her finger still pressed to her mouth, she rushed out of the room, the arrow in hand. Nick and Sabrina followed her into the greenhouse. There, she pulled various jars off of the shelves. She brought them over to the gardening cart in the corner of the room, where she retrieved another empty jar from a shelf below.

Sabrina watched in wonder as her aunt poured varying amounts of the different liquids into the empty jar, filling it halfway with the concoction.

Hilda picked up the arrow once more, dropping it tip down into the jar until half of it was submerged under the green liquid. Just as quickly as it had gone under, it began to fizz, bubbling dangerously close to the lip of the jar.

“Just as I thought,” Hilda said, voice holding a sort of fear Sabrina was not used to hearing from her. “This is a witch-hunting tool.”

“I knew it,” Nick said, eyes drawn to the jar as it continued to fizzle. The tool hadn’t just been dropped nearby by a careless mortal. It had likely been used, intentionally, to harm a witch. To harm Cassius.

Sabrina between the two of them. “That explains why it burned the two of you, but not why it didn’t burn me. I’m a witch too - half at least.”

Hilda carefully extracted the arrow from the jar, wiping it onto a nearby rag and turning it under the sunlight that bloomed through the greenhouse windows. It glimmered in a way that was almost beautiful, if it weren’t so deadly to their kind. “It’s made in the traditional way, though the design is more modern. Old witch-hunting tools were imbued with Holy Water. A simple touch can cause a painful burn, yes, but penetrating the skin can paralyze the limb entirely,” Hilda explained as she eyed the weapon tentatively. Nick and Sabrina did the same.

“Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to hunt us,” Nick realized. “We have magic and they don’t. They needed to level the playing field, in a sense.”

Hilda nodded and looked at Sabrina, who sat there confused as ever, her question still not answered. “Holy Water doesn’t affect you, dear,” she started, gently, knowing she was about to step foot into an unknown territory for Sabrina. “You were baptized as a baby - in the Catholic manner.”

Sabrina looked shocked. “What?”

“Your mother chose to have it done, with me as the witness,” Hilda continued. “I’ve got the records somewhere.”

“But why?”

Hilda gave a small shrug, her face softly gazing at her niece. “She was raised Catholic by her family, and I believe she wanted share a part of her own faith with you, despite that she had married Edward and agreed to raise you as a witch.” Hilda grasped her shoulder lightly. “Your mother loved you, but she gave up a lot to be with your father - my brother - it was the only thing she could give you that was truly hers.”

Sabrina swallowed back her emotions as Hilda continued on about her mother. “Did she…know it would protect me? Against witch-hunters?”

“Possibly,” Hilda replied. “Though, there haven’t been witch-hunters in ages…I don’t know why she would consider it an option.”

Nick nudged her lightly and she became aware of his presence. “My parents bound me to Amalia to protect me,” he said quietly, meant only for her. “Maybe your mother baptizing you was her own way of protecting you.”

It made sense, Sabrina realized. Perhaps her parents were apprehensive early on, just like Nick’s had been.

Hilda cleared her throat a few seconds later. “Regarding this weapon,” she began. “I’d like to know where the two of you found it.”

Sabrina remembered Cassius. It almost made her cry again. “We found it outside of Cassius’ cabin,” Sabrina said. “He didn’t show up to the Academy this morning. Nick and I were worried so we ventured out and…” She trailed off, finding it hard to continue.

“We have reason to believe Cassius was likely attacked,” Nick finished. The weight of Cassius’ note was heavy in his pocket. The photograph too. He couldn’t help but take them. It felt wrong to leave them there.

Hilda breathed in slowly, trying to make sense of their words. Witch-hunters in Greendale. It just didn’t make sense. Though there had been issues in the past, it was a safe town. Safe for witches, safe for her family. “Cassius - why in Satan’s name would witch-hunters be after Cassius?”

Sabrina fidgeted with her fingers until Nick slipped a hand into hers. He gave a squeeze. “We spoke to him,” Sabrina said. “After you mentioned his closeness with my father, I had to find out, aunt Hilda…I had to ask him about it.”

Hilda looked between the two of them. “Why would Cassius be in trouble for speaking to you about your father?” she asked slowly. “That’s certainly no reason for hunters to seek him out.”

“We think Blackwood sent them after him,” Nick spilled.

Hilda looked flabbergasted. “I’m sorry - wh-what?”

“It’s true,” Sabrina added. “Blackwood was jealous of my father. You said it yourself, he always wanted the role of High Priest. My father stood between that goal. So did Nick’s.” She paused to watch her aunt’s expression, which remained in the same state of shock, unchanging. “He sent witch-hunters after Nick’s parents. He probably caused my parents’ plane to crash. And now he’s gone after Cassius, because he spoke to us about the past - which didn’t favor him.”

“Explain,” Hilda said, looking between the two of them. “How the two of you got to this - ridiculous - conclusion.”

“Nick.” Sabrina looked to him. He knew exactly what she insinuating before she even asked. He squeezed her hand once more before letting go and disappearing. Moments later, he returned with the file from Blackwood’s office in his hand. He laid it down before Hilda and Sabrina leaned forward, beginning the process of explaining it all to her aunt.

She slid the receipt for the payment to the Von Kunkles toward her aunt.

“Are you familiar with the Von Kunkles by any chance, auntie?” Sabrina asked.

Her aunt looked at the paper like it would bite her. Everything they were telling her sounded like it had come out of a movie. She wondered if she was dreaming. “Slightly,” she answered. “Mr. Kinkle mentioned them before - the other half of his family. His father ran a gun business in Springdale, I think. Maybe he still does. A couple of times a year, he would go hunting with them. He’d leave little Harvey here with us sometimes, remember?”

Sabrina recalled the times Harvey would stay with them while his father and older brother went off on short trips into the mountains - to hunt, she’d learned later. Harvey had been too young to go, but he never seemed to mind staying with her. Sabrina had enjoyed their time together too. Hilda would take them out for ice cream and let them build blanket forts in the parlor.

Then Harvey’s father had begun to drink, and the trips dwindled down until they were few and far between. She had missed Harvey at the mortuary during those times.

“They’re hunters,” Nick agreed. “But they don’t just hunt animals.”

“I don’t believe this,” Hilda said, holding up her hands and sighing in exasperation. “This is all too much. We’ve known the Kinkles for years. Mr. Kinkle has his own problems, but he’s never been openly hateful toward us. He’s just another neighbor. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Sabrina looked at her aunt with a somberness. The same thoughts had been on her own mind in the last couple of weeks. It was difficult to find out that your neighbors - fellow Greendale citizens - had hidden connections to something so terrifying.

She wondered if the rest of Greendale would view them in the same light should they ever learn of their heritage - that Spellman family with their Satanic roots and witchcraft. They’d be viewed as evil, distrustful, even barbaric.

She was understanding just how Harvey might’ve felt when he found out she was a witch.

“Harvey doesn’t know,” Sabrina said, ignoring her aunt’s doubts. Whether she believed them or not, it was true. “I’m afraid for him to find out.” He had enough issues with his family - his father - as it was.

The slamming of the front door alerted the trio.

“Sabrina!” her aunt Zelda shouted from the foyer.

Hilda quickly reached for the arrow, stuffing it into the pocket of her Dr. Cerberus’ issued apron. She shoved the jar of green liquid away from sight and looked to Nick and Sabrina. “Not a word further of your discoveries. Zelda mustn’t know anything just yet.”

Sabrina couldn’t agree more. She desperately wanted to tell her aunt the truth, but she knew that Zelda wouldn’t react in the same way Hilda had. Hilda was at least willing to hear them out, Zelda would likely have none of that.

“Sabrina Diana Spellman, have you simply lost your mind?” Zelda chastised as soon as she spotted her niece, green eyes sharp with fury. “And you, Mr. Scratch, are no better than her. Have the two of you any idea of the calamity that ensued in the Academy following both of your absences today?” She pointed a finger directly at the two of them as Hilda slid out of line of her sister’s remarks, busying herself with something else. “Skipping classes like a pair of high school teenagers. Honestly…”

“Auntie,” Sabrina spoke, ignoring Zelda’s lecture. “Has there been any update on Cassius?”

Zelda looked irritated with the sudden shift in topic. She had more to say. “Faustus visited his cabin earlier. There was nothing there to cause any concern.” She stepped forward. “He’s an old warlock, Sabrina. A respectable one, at that, but his time is coming up and he’s likely realized he’d like to spend his remaining years somewhere else. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had a witch leave for similar purposes.”

She was referring to Brother Aimes, Sabrina realized. Only, Sabrina knew that old warlock hadn’t run away. He’d been fired, and something much worse had likely happened to Cassius.

She also realized that she and Nick had gathered up any evidence that could suggest an attack on Cassius. Thankfully so, as it seemed Blackwood had made a cameo at the cabin as well. He probably would’ve disposed of it, covered it up. It would have been easy as the High Priest.

Zelda lit a cigarette and sighed before returning her attention to the duo. “Now, back to the Academy. Lunch hour is almost up and the two of you will finish teaching your remaining classes.”

“Your aunt is pretty terrifying,” Nick said as they made their way back to the Academy.

“Really?” Sabrina asked, feeling a wave of nausea wash over her as soon as they entered. She really did not want to be there right now. Not with everything that was going on. “I don’t notice it anymore.” It was true. As much of a trouble-maker as she was, it wasn’t a shock that the fear of Zelda Spellman had worn off ages ago.

“Hey.” Nick pulled her aside just before they entered one of the busier hallways. His hand gently gripped her arm and he stood close enough to kiss her. She almost thought he might, but instead he just looked at her with that gaze of vulnerability that she knew was only reserved for her. The last time she had seen it was right before he had professed his feelings for her. “Stay safe,” he said. “I know you’re upset with everything that’s going on. I am too. But we need to stay vigilant.”

Sabrina reached up to touch his face. He unraveled a bit more for her, leaning into her palm. “Don’t worry about me,” she said. “I won’t do anything stupid. I’ll try not to, at least.” That couldn’t be guaranteed though. Sometimes, she really just couldn’t ignore the urge. But, as much as she wanted to barge into Blackwood’s office and slap him with the evidence they’d collected, she knew it wouldn’t do good right now. He had the Academy on his side, and who would believe them?

“You telling me not worry isn’t going to make me not worry.” He gave her a small smile. “There’s no one else in my life that’s more important than you.” He resisted the urge to tell her he loved her again. It wouldn’t be wise to push it, he decided. But he did love her, and every day he was more certain of that.

“I’m worried about you too, Nick.” She was, unbearably so. With each action they took, it seemed as though they were digging their own graves just a little bit deeper. “With everything that’s happening - with Cassius.” She blinked away the tears that threatened to appear again. “It’s hard not to.” Sabrina looked up at him, her palm still pressed to his cheek, his hand now wrapped delicately around her wrist. It didn’t matter to her who saw them. “Stay with me at the mortuary. Until this blows over, at least. There are generations of protective seals on the house. I’d feel better having you there with me.”

“I’ll go wherever you want me to,” Nick told her honestly. He’d stay with her even if it was only during the night. Sleeping without her wasn’t something he wanted to do either. “I promise you we’ll figure this out, Spellman. We’ll expose him - to the coven and the Council if we have to.”

Sabrina slipped her hand down until it touched the back of his neck. She pulled him in for a kiss. It helped calm the storm of emotions within her, even if just briefly. How exactly they were going to take down the likes of Blackwood was lost to her, but she was certain they would figure it out. There had to be a way.

“Let’s go. Before my aunt comes after us again,” Sabrina said once they pulled away. Nick gave her a nod before they slipped into the hallway together, bracing the Academy’s population.

They made it to their shared pentagonal foyer before noticing the group of Academy professors gathered by one of the classrooms. Sabrina made her way over, Nick following closely behind her.

“It just doesn’t seem right - none of this does,” she heard Melvin whisper.

“What’s going on?” Sabrina asked.

Elspeth spoke up next, fidgeting nervously as she did so. “A group of us went searching for Cassius…He’s old and we were worried that he was hurt somewhere, needing help,” she began to explain. She glanced to Melvin as if searching for comfort. Then she met eyes with Sabrina again. “We found something near the river.”

“We found Brother Aimes’ bag,” Melvin finished.

Both Nick and Sabrina straightened, looking at each other.

“They think it’s Brother Aimes’ bag,” Prudence corrected from the center of the group.

“There was a Council issued Conjuration textbook in the bag, Prudence. It was his,” Melvin shot back, surprising Sabrina with his confidence. He looked at Sabrina again. “It was covered in blood. Old blood.”

Prudence rolled her eyes. “It was covered in river sludge, Melvin.”

“There was blood too,” Elspeth argued.

“Where’s the bag now?” Nick asked, stepping forward so that he stood beside Sabrina.

“Agatha was going to perform a divination on it to tell us if it really belonged to Brother Aimes, but Father Blackwood took it,” Dorcas spoke up this time. Even she looked scared.

Sabrina looked at Nick as if to say ‘of course Blackwood took it.’ Why wouldn’t have Blackwood taken it?

Her anger grew, pushing to the forefront of her emotions.

Prudence looked to her sister. “He’s going to sort it out, Dorcas. He’s the Headmaster for a reason.”

Sabrina could tell that beneath Prudence’s calm and cool demeanor, she was a bit rattled by the situation herself. Prudence made eye contact with her and narrowed her eyes, as though to tell her to back off. Sabrina just glared back.

“Months ago, Brother Aimes disappeared,” Melvin said. “And now Cassius. What’s going on in our Academy? In our Coven?”

Elspeth looked even more worried. “Something is wrong. I can feel it.” She wrapped her arms around herself, desperate for comfort of any sort. The witch was visibly shaken. Sabrina placed a hand on her shoulder. “This morning, all of my dahlias died. I used to cut them for Cassius to keep in the library.” A tear trickled its way down her cheek. “All of them - dead. The same morning he disappeared.”

The sound of footsteps alerted the group. They looked up to see Blackwood trudging down the hallway, passing directly between them and causing them all to split or be run over. “The bell will be ringing shortly. I suggest everyone be mindful of the time and head to their stations,” he said. As he passed, he looked directly at Nick and Sabrina.

Sabrina stepped forward, a wave of courage washing over her. She opened her mouth to call out to Blackwood, but Nick took her wrist.

As the teachers scattered to their respective posts, Sabrina turned to Nick. “He’s trying to cover it up. He’s trying to cover everything up,” she said once Blackwood was out of earshot. “We need to get to that bag before he gets rid of it. I don’t think Brother Aimes was just fired, Nick. I think its much deeper than that.”

Chapter Text

Nick watched Sabrina pace around her room, certain that she would wear away at her rug the longer she continued. It was a miracle that she had managed to sit long enough to eat dinner that evening, as much as she had protested it. He didn’t blame her. He was stressed too but putting her first gave him a goal of sorts and helped keep him sane.  


Sabrina stopped and turned in his direction, fire in her eyes. “We have to go,” she decided. “Nick, every second we spend here is a second he has to bury even more evidence.” 

Nick stood from her bed and walked to meet her. He enveloped her in his arms and pulled her close, so that her head rested against his shoulder. A hand ran over her hair, sliding the black hairband out. He tossed it onto her bed behind them. “As long as Blackwood stays at the Academy, he has the upper-hand on us. We can’t just barge in, as much I want to.” He pressed a kiss to her temple. “At this point, I’m willing to bet he’s got his office heavily guarded with an array of demons.” 

“You can banish them,” Sabrina said matter-of-factly, confident in her boyfriend’s abilities. She’d seen him banish Amalia on his own. “While you do that, I’ll go after Blackwood.” Sabrina looked up at him, hoping he would agree. She was ready to go, even if meant going in blind.  

“And cause a scene, the both of us.” Nick looked down at her. “Who would the Academy believe first, Sabrina? The Headmaster or two ‘rogue’ professors?” 

Sabrina wasn’t going to let up. “We don’t have to make a scene. The students are in their dorms and the staff is at home,” she argued. “Plus, he isn’t expecting us. He doesn’t even know we have his files. As far as he’s concerned, we’re clueless. I doubt he would have gone to such extensive measures as conjuring demons to guard him.” 

Nick looked suddenly uncomfortable. “Actually, I think he is expecting us…” he trailed off. 

Sabrina looked at his questioningly. “What do you mean?” 

“I might’ve done something rash,” Nick said. 

She narrowed her eyes, stepping back enough so that she could look directly at him. “What did you do, Scratch?” 

He felt a bit like an idiot, partly because he’d threatened Blackwood to begin with, and partly because he hadn’t just rid of him in his office the morning he’d gone to see him. It would have saved Cassius, even if the Council did manage to somehow trace it back to him. “He knows we took the files. He found out the night of the feast,” Nick said. That part wasn’t his fault at least. “I know this because I might’ve gone to talk to him about it.” 

“Nick!” Sabrina pulled away fully. He winced at her tone. 

“I might’ve threatened him too,” Nick continued, deciding he should. “So, I definitely think he might be expecting us.” 

“Is that where you were the morning you left early?” Sabrina questioned, her face straight. Beneath it, a fit of anger was brewing. 

He nodded. 

Sabrina was pissed. He clasped his hands in front of him, fully prepared to accept whatever lecture she was about to give him. He probably deserved it. No, he certainly  deserved it.  

“I’m pretty angry, Nick. For multiple reasons. First, you put yourself in danger by doing that. What if he sent witch-hunters after you ? And I wouldn’t have even known. You could’ve been dead. Right now, it could be you instead of Cassius.” It was hard to ignore the way her voice cracked at the end. As much as it pained her to think about it, she would have been far more torn up had it been Nick. She was incredibly upset over Cassius, but Nick was…Nick. 


“Shut up, Nicholas. You’re going to let me finish speaking,” Sabrina shot back, hands on her hips. “Second, you tell me not to make any rash decisions, but here you are - doing exactly that.  That’s incredibly hypocritical of you. Not only that, but now Blackwood knows that we know, and he’s going to take extra precautions to keep us from getting any closer. We lost our chance now, Nick. All because you had to go and wag that damn tail of yours-” She gestured a hand at his crotch. She was so over warlocks and their constant need to feel in charge. “To prove what? That you’re tough?” 

“I didn’t do it to prove anything,” he replied, chancing it and stepping a bit closer to her. She didn’t move away. “I was afraid and I made a stupid decision. I didn’t want him to come after you next-” 

“So what?” Sabrina asked, cutting him off again. “You had to go and put the target on your own back?” 

He looked at her but didn’t respond. 

Her anger faltered a bit, revealing a bit of the softness that still lingered beneath. “As smart as you are, Scratch, you’re also an idiot,” she said, though it came out much gentler than anything she’d previously said to him. “I can take care of myself. I don’t need you to go around striking threats for me.” 

He took her hand slowly. She let him. 

“I know,” he said. “Sabrina, I know you're independent. And you're strong too. Incredibly so, I can tell just by the energy you carry. You're a force to reckoned with, Spellman.” She looked at him like he was flattering her, but he only looked back at her with an expression that told her he was serious. “But even your father, as powerful as he was, met a devastating fate. Mine too. All because of Blackwood." He paused briefly to grasp her hand a bit tighter. “And I know, I was an idiot to do that, but like I said I was scared - terrified - that he might try to do something to hurt you. He hated your father, Sabrina. You want to change the world like he did. You’ve already started to.” 

He looked at her, his brown eyes soft. She felt her anger dissipate even more. “Sabrina, I’ve never loved anyone like I love you. That scares me sometimes, but what scares me more is that you could be gone one day.” His eyes moved to the floor like he was embarrassed. He didn’t do well with admitting his weaknesses, not when they involved his heart. Before Sabrina, he’d always thought he would never be able to love anyone – not truly, not like a mortal – but now he was certain he could never stop.  

Falling in love with Sabrina was like getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm. One moment, it was sprinkling. Maybe a bit uncomfortable, but easy to ignore. The next moment, it was everything all at once. Rain, soaking him through in seconds, and thunder and lightning too, rattling everything around him. It was invigorating, a good bit terrifying, but most of all - it left him feeling so alive. He wanted to be good to her, good for her. “I loved my parents, and they disappeared. I loved Amalia, too, and she had to leave.” 

“You’re not going to lose me,” Sabrina said, realizing his fears. Everyone that he’d loved had been taken from him. Of course, he’d worry the same about her. “But you must be honest with me, Nick. We’re a team.” 

Nick nodded, a furrow in his brow. “I’m sorry, Sabrina.”  

She watched him for a long pause before finally sighing. It was hard to stay mad him, and right now it wasn’t too wise either. “Come here, Scratch.”  

He slipped into her embrace like he was meant to be there. She pulled him close, nuzzling into his shoulder, inhaling that familiar scent she’d learned to find comfort in. It was strange. Most of the people in her life had been there early on and were a constant presence in her life since. Her aunts, her friends, and even most of the Church members. Some of them she couldn’t even recall meeting. There was comfort in knowing the same people, knowing that they would always be there. 

But with Nick it was different. He’d swept in like the first cool autumn breeze at the end of a long summer. The kind you never expected but greatly appreciated. She fell for him in a similar way – unexpectedly. And it hadn’t taken a lot, not really. A couple of turns on the dance floor, a few poorly written lines of play dialogue, and a scary movie under some Halloween colored twinkle lights. That was it.  

Now, she couldn’t bear to lose him. 

The words were there, at the tip of her tongue. She could say them. She could change everything. Instead of her boyfriend, he could be her lover. 

She parted her lips, certain she could conjure the words the same way he conjured demons – effortlessly.  

Only, she knew that things carved into stone could still be ruined and Sabrina didn’t like the idea of picking away at anymore previous promises.  

As if noticing her inner turmoil, Nick pressed his lips to hers, sealing away her thoughts. He held her the same way he always did – a hand at each side of her head, thumbs stroking delicately at her temples.  

“It’s all a mess, Nick,” she said instead. 

“Only for now,” he promised. 

Sabrina raced up the last set of stairs in the Spellman home. They were narrower and towards the top you had to duck your head to avoid slamming your head into the floor of the attic. Upstairs, there were boxes and trunks full of storage, old things the witches didn’t deem important enough – or too important – to remain with the rest of the household. Trunks of old photos enchanted with protection spells and sealed away, old relics collected during the aunts’ travels, all the pregnancy books her mother had read during the thirteen long months which she’d carried Sabrina – witch and mortal alike.  

Amid all that, there was a small door that led to Ambrose’s domain.   

Sabrina trudged in, caring very little about her cousin’s sleep or his privacy. She was still mad at him. 

He was in a heap of sheets and covers, sprawled out on his bed with only his foot sticking out. Sabrina knelt beside his bed, shoving him aside as best as she could. He was bigger so it was more difficult than she thought it would be. 

Ambrose grumbled. “What the Heaven are you doing? Get out.” 

“Shut up, cousin,” Sabrina shot back. Though his use of the word ‘cousin’ was amicable and often stemmed from love, hers meant she was angry.  She crawled over the side of the bed he’d been occupying, palms pressed down as she surveyed the pillows and sheets with a squint. Inwardly, she cringed.  

“Sabrina,” Ambrose tried again, this time sitting up with a disgruntled look.  

“Shut up, I’m looking.” Suddenly, her face lit up. “Aha!” she shouted as she extracted a short blonde curl from one of the pillows.  

“What are you doing with Prudence’s hair?” 

Sabrina scooted backwards off the bed, the curl clasped firmly between her forefinger and thumb. “I’m minding my own business. You should do the same.” 

Ambrose scoffed. “As if you’ve ever minded your own business before, cousin. Mind you, you’re in my room, which automatically makes it my business.” 

“And yet, I don’t care,” she said, standing up. “Go back to sleep.” She shot him a look just before she left in a hurry. 

He gave up and dropped back onto his pillow, drawing the covers over his head with a groan.  

She ran back down the stairs and into her empty room. Nick had left before the sun had fully risen, wanting a change of clothes from his apartment as well as a few extra minutes to go over his lecture for the day. Sabrina knew the truth. Even though he was entirely welcome at the mortuary, Nick still felt like he was overstepping every time he stayed. He would never tell her, but she knew him well enough by now. 

In her bathroom, she stood before the mirror with Prudence’s hair extended out before her. Closing her eyes, she focused her attention and began the incantation. “Ut mihi, similis tui. In eodem.” She repeated it a total of three times before blowing on the curl of blonde.  

When she opened her eyes, she saw Prudence in the mirror. She smiled and the witch in the mirror did the same. 

Sabrina spun, making sure her glamour charm was as perfect as could be before she disposed of the hair and left her room. 

She raised a hand to Hilda as she passed the kitchen. “Bye auntie!” 

The older witch gave her a slightly confused look before meekly raising her hand as well. 

At the Academy, she made a beeline for Nick’s classroom. She found him seated at his desk with a cup of tea, the contents of his lecture spread out before him. “Good morning, handsome,” Sabrina greeted, coming up behind him and sliding her hands over his shoulders and down his chest. 

The second he looked up at her, he stood abruptly, dumping tea all over his arm and the side of his shirt, the chair scraping loudly. He cursed at the hot liquid but quickly put enough space between himself and Sabrina. “Prudence, I’ve told you before – I'm with Sabrina. Only Sabrina.” 

“Sorry!” Sabrina realized quickly she hadn’t filled him in yet. “It’s me. I’ve got a glamour on.” 

Nick sighed in relief and a bit of irritation. His skin still burned from the hot tea. 

“I’m impressed though,” she said with a smirk. “You’re so quick to push away another woman.” 

Nick rolled his eyes as if it were obvious. He whispered an incantation to clean his shirt of the tea and sat back down. “Of course. I’ve already told you that you’re the only one. You think I’d betray that?” 

Sabrina smiled. “No, of course not. It’s just nice to see it in action.” 

Nick snorted. “Okay, Spellman,” he said with a shake of his head. “What are you up to, anyway?” 

“I’m going to talk to Blackwood as Prudence. Mostly just so I can get a look around his office. I know he won’t admit anything to her, either way.” Even though Prudence had been uncovered as his daughter ages ago, she was still an orphan in her father’s eyes.  

“What if he sees through your spell?” Nick asked, turning in his chair to face her. She saw the worry in his face. “I don’t think you should go snooping through his office again. He won’t care if you’re Prudence or not.” 

“He won’t notice. He’ll be too preoccupied with everything else,” Sabrina defended. “And I won’t snoop. I’ll just talk to him, as Prudence, while I let my eyes wander. And if I’m lucky, he might spill something.” 

Nick considered it. Finally, he sighed. “Fine. But be careful. And don’t push it.” 

“I will be,” Sabrina agreed with a nod. She grasped his shoulder and leaned in. “Now how about a kiss? I was still half-asleep when you left this morning.” 

Nick made a face. “I’ll pass,” he replied. “It’s too weird.” His eyes trailed over her body again. It didn’t feel right to kiss someone who didn’t look like her, even if it was her. He never really thought he’d feel that way about anyone. “Come back when you look like my girlfriend again. I’ll save you a kiss.” 

Sabrina huffed and stood up again. “Fine. Let’s meet for lunch. I’ll fill you in if I find out anything.” 

She made to leave but he stopped her again. “Be careful,” he repeated.  

“I will be,” she promised.  

Sabrina slipped out of his classroom seconds later, smoothly joining the crowd of witches once more. She straightened her shoulders, trying to exude the same energy Prudence normally did. Intimidating, she thought. That was what she needed to be.  

It was a welcome change, though, Sabrina decided as she took in the way students and teachers alike sprang out of her way, donning apologetic expressions as they did. 

As she wandered down the hallways, she focused her attention around her. If she were to run into the real Prudence, she’d surely be done for. She had to be mindful of her sisters too. The three of them were connected in such a way that that Agatha and Dorcas would likely see through her spell. 


Sabrina stopped in her tracks, her back facing the voice. She was too afraid to turn around, fearful that whoever it was would recognize her as a fraud. 

Elspeth came into view, stopping in front of her. “Any word on Cassius yet?” the witch asked. 

Normally, Sabrina would warmly greet Elspeth. The two of them got along well and she was certain Elspeth didn’t have a bad bone in her body. However, she wasn’t Sabrina right now. She was Prudence. “Don’t you have somewhere to be today, Elspeth?” she asked coldly. “Herbalism isn’t going to teach itself.” She inwardly cringed at her tone. 

“I’ll take that as a no,” Elspeth said with a sigh before she ducked out of the way, disappearing down the hallway.  

Sabrina refocused her attention back on getting to Blackwood’s office unscathed. She picked up her pace, heels clinking against the floors with each step she took. Prudence sure loved to make her presence known.  

Thankfully, the rest of her trip through the academy went unbothered and soon enough, the doors to Blackwood’s office came into view. She sighed in relief and stopped just in front, hand on the golden handles.  

There was an odd sort of creaking sound that emitted from the office, like the sound of an old rusted swing blowing gently in the breeze. She almost didn’t notice it at first. Curious, she gripped the handle a bit harder and pushed, wondering what the Heaven Blackwood was up to. The door stuck. She tried again, this time putting her weight against it. 

The door finally gave away and she was flung into the room. Sabrina steadied herself and squinted through the darkness of the dimly lit office. Why was it so dark? As she stepped forward, she felt her shoe slip against something wet on the floor.  

“What...” she whispered, focusing her eyes ahead of her. 

Her breath hitched in her throat, blood feeling as though it had gone cold in her veins.

Then, she screamed. 

Chapter Text

A scream radiated through the halls of the Academy. 

Nick sat up in his chair with a start. 

Sabrina. His mind immediately shot to her.  

He stood, looking at the pockets of students that had gathered early, their usual morning chats cut short, gazes fixed on him. Some appeared confused, others a bit fearful, but all were silent.  

“Brother Scratch,” one of the students spoke, “what was that?” 

“Stay here,” Nick told them as he headed for the door. His heart raced, beating against his eardrums so loudly he could barely hear himself utter the incantation for teleportation.

He resisted the urge to conjure a demon - or ten - to finally do away with Blackwood. Fuck the Council and fuck whatever punishment he would surely be forced to endure. He would put his head in whichever guillotine they chose if it came down it. He would pick Sabrina over his own life a thousand times over. 

Satan, he really did love her. 

Nick appeared just outside of Blackwood’s office not even a second later. A crowd had already gathered, students and staff all trying to peer in. There were whispers as he pushed through the crowd, but he paid them no heed. Their glares as he slipped through the nonexistent cracks in between the herd of people went unnoticed too. This was no time for manners. 

He saw her at the very front, her glamour spell long gone.  

A breath of relief passed through him as he took in her appearance, unharmed and alive. He said a silent blessing. 

Nick looked ahead finally, following her frozen gaze as he reached her, stopping at her side protectively. 

His eyes went wide as he took in the scene. 

“Unholy shit…” 

Before them hung Faustus Blackwood’s lifeless body, strung up by his neck from the ornate chandelier above his desk. He swung ever so slightly, drawing a subtle creak from the old metal. Three short daggers punctured his chest, leaking crimson down his crisp white shirt. It made a mess of his desk and puddled onto the floor. Sabrina stood at the edge it.  

Shocked, he didn't know what else to do but stare.

Zelda’s voice came from somewhere behind the crowd. “Make way, for Hell’s sake.” She pushed hurriedly through the crowd, Prudence at her heels. She stopped in her tracks once she neared the front, eyes on her fiancé.  

The shock quickly shifted to anger and she turned to the swarm that had nearly doubled in size. “Away, now. All of you, gather the students in the Great Hall. Make sure the premises are secured and that there is no lingering threat.” 

Prudence stuck at the center of the room as though a nail had been driven through her foot. It was the first time Sabrina had seen her so silent.  

Zelda turned around, back to the corpse. “Brother Barker, Brother Millard – stay.” The two warlocks exchanged glances. With the High Priest now dead, the orders had to come from somewhere. They both gave a short nod and met her in the middle of the room. “Prudence.” Zelda looked to her next. “The twins are in the choir room. Please see to them.” 

Prudence’s eyes caught Zelda’s, but she still didn’t speak. 

“Your brother and sister need you, Prudence,” Zelda pushed. 

Prudence finally nodded, snapping out of it. She ducked out of the room in a hurry. 

“Sabrina, come on,” Nick said, reality seeping back into his mind. He maneuvered her petite frame around easily enough, shifting her so that her back was turned to Blackwood. She stumbled like a drunk man. 

“Nick, he’s dead...” Sabrina said, as though it had just hit her. She looked up at him, catching his eyes. “He’s dead.” 

“He is,” Nick just said, simply, not entirely sure if it had even fully registered with him. He looked at Sabrina and an immense relief swelled within him. She was alright. Unable to resist it, he slipped his arms around her, pulling her into an embrace. “Are you okay?” he asked, a hand smoothing over her loose curls.  

She nodded. “I’m fine. I’m just...shaken up.” Her shock was quickly becoming replaced with fear. Blackwood had been murdered. Someone had killed him. 

“Brother Millard, Brother Barker,” her aunt spoke in a clear voice, pulling her from her thoughts. “Cut my fiancé down, please. I’ve had enough spectating.” She sighed and Sabrina looked at her in worry. Her aunt seemed calm given the situation, but Sabrina knew her well enough to guess that concern lingered somewhere inside. Zelda would never show it, but even she was afraid. Sabrina could tell by the way she kept raising her hand to her temple. 

“Sister Spellman, you don’t think...” Brother Millard began, addressing Zelda. “He was stabbed three times and hanged.” 

“Like the witch hunts of old Greendale,” Brother Barker added. He looked at the others.  

“There haven’t been witch-hunters in Greendale for many years,” Zelda interjected. “It’s simply not a rumor we can afford to spread. Not right now. I’m certain the two of you remember the fit of hysteria that shook the Academy the last time there was word of hunters.” 

Sabrina’s hand tightened around Nick’s. That had been the time of his parents’ deaths. 

“I need to alert my sister to prepare for a body. Cut him down, leave him as he is, and bring him to the mortuary. We will have him thoroughly examined.” Zelda turned on her heel, sending an array of red curls over her shoulder. 

“The Council needs to be alerted,” Brother Millard spoke. 

Zelda shot him a look. “They will be,” she snapped. “As soon as we have an idea of what we are dealing with, Brother Millard. As of right now, it stays within the Academy.” 

“If there are witch-hunters,” Millard challenged, though he had lowered his voice a substantial amount. “The coven and the Council need to know.” 

If, ” Zelda enunciated, “if this is the work of hunters, Brother Millard, I assure you the coven will be notified. We need to be certain before we let this sort of information out into the coven. My fiancé was murdered in his office, Brother. How do propose witch-hunters gained access to the Academy?” 

Brother Millard was silent. Zelda’s eyes bore into him as though furthering her point.  

“It’s more likely this was an inside job done by a coven member. We are the only ones with access to the Academy, after all,” Brother Barker pushed.  

Brother Millard sighed. “Fine. But I’ve got a bad feeling about this – all of this.” He paused briefly. “Let’s allow Hilda Spellman the opportunity to examine the body. Should we search his office?” 

“A surface search only. These are still Faustus’ private quarters. We should respect that even in death,” Zelda directed. “Until we can declare a new High Priest, his quarters should be left as is.” Sabrina was shocked to hear the edge in her aunt’s voice, as if she didn’t want them snooping through his belongings. 

Zelda turned on her heel, facing Nick and Sabrina. She took in her niece’s stature – shock was prevalent, but so was that typical glint of fire that was a trademark of Sabrina’s. “Sabrina - you’ve had enough of the Academy. Go to the mortuary, help your aunt prepare for the autopsy.” She looked to Nick next. “Brother Scratch, I could use your help here. I’d like to have a binder check the Academy seals for any disruptions.” 

Nick looked to Sabrina and nodded slowly. As much as he wanted to comfort her, he knew he had a job to do as well. He squeezed her hand. “Will you be okay?” he asked. 

“I’m staying,” Sabrina declared. “I want to help.” 

“Nonsense,” Zelda snapped. “You found the body. You are in no shape to be wandering the Academy. Go home. Help Hilda. That is where you are needed.” 


“That’s final, Sabrina. You either leave, or I will have you escorted.” 

Sabrina glared at her aunt. She knew Zelda wanted her out of the way so that she wouldn’t continue snooping – which, without doubt, she would do, as soon as the initial shock of the situation wore off. And it was wearing off fast. 

“Take the twins,” Zelda added on seconds later. “This environment is no place for children, and I’ll need Prudence’s abilities in helping to calm the rest of the Academy down, as I’m certain they have all likely lost their minds already.” She knew the news of the High Priest’s death would travel quickly. By now, the entire coven likely knew. Prudence, with her mind control abilities, would prove fruitful in a situation like the one they were in.  

“That’s not fair. Everyone gets to help except -” 

“You are helping. You’re helping your aunt – both of them,” Zelda shot back. Sabrina glared back at her, not liking the double-edged sword her aunt had dealt her, as if insinuating Sabrina would be in the way should she stay. 

Sabrina turned on her heel and left the office, ignoring Nick when he reached out for her. 


Please, Ambrose,” Sabrina insisted later that day. “They’re five years old and all over the place. I don’t know how much more of this I can handle. Judith isn’t too bad, but Judas is incredibly restless, and I just can’t anymore.”  

She had been keeping an eye on the twins since her return to the mortuary by instruction from Zelda - which she was still fuming about. While the others got to help, she was stuck on baby-sitting duty. It hadn’t been too bad in the start, but as the day progressed, they got more and more irritable. Within the last hour, Judas had begun flinging his food around the living area and by default, Sabrina had gotten caught in it. 

Ambrose peeled off his gloves and threw them into the trashcan at the bottom of the basement steps before he proceeded up. The body of Faustus Blackwood had been delivered not too long ago by Brother Millard and Hilda had already begun her work on it, with help from Ambrose. Sabrina didn’t usually care to partake in the portion of the family business that required opening chest cavities and scooping out the insides.  

“Tired already? I do hope you don’t plan to have children anytime soon, cousin.” 

Sabrina huffed. While she still was still a bit peeved at Ambrose, she recognized that it wasn’t entirely in her favor to pursue that given the current situation. “They’re five and not used to me taking care of them. They keep asking for Prudence and you’re the closest I’ve got.” Ambrose had spent his fair share of time helping Prudence care for her half-siblings. They were familiar with him, at least. 

Ambrose plucked a piece of cheese from her hair as he passed. “I’ll help, sure, on one condition,” he said. 

Sabrina rolled her eyes. She really was not in the mood for whatever strings he was going to try and pull. She listened anyway. 

“You drop whatever vexations you have with me,” Ambrose stated. “I miss nightly drinks with my favorite cousin.” 

Sabrina sighed heavily. “Fine,” she said begrudgingly. “I’ll drop it – for now.” With Blackwood lying cold and dead on their autopsy table, she supposed she could let her little fit of anger toward her cousin go. It still hurt that Ambrose had refused to even entertain her idea, but she was beginning to see why it would be hard to believe at first.  

Ambrose squeezed her shoulder and headed into the living area. Sabrina whispered a ‘thank-you’ after him. Subsequently, the twins could be heard cheering as he entered.  

“Uncle Ambrosie!” 

She rolled her eyes, though she felt her heart soften a bit. She could recall the time when she was a just a little girl herself, excited to see her cousin, running across the front yard after school to hug him. It had always been that way between them.  

Unfortunate in its own regard, her first words had never been ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ like most babies. Nor had it been ‘auntie’. Her aunts were adamant that her first word had been ‘Brosie’ - short for Ambrose. 

It was hard to stay angry at him when she remembered things like that. 

Sabrina wandered down the hallway, stopping just short of the study. Through the glass doors, she could see a silhouette seated at the desk.  

She pushed open the door slowly, surprised to see her aunt Zelda at home, seated at the desk with a glass of gin placed precariously over a clump of black tulle – the same tulle she had been carefully working into her wedding dress. The rest of the décor sat in the same place as it had before, now serving as a ghastly reminder of the day's events.  

“Aunt Zelda...” Sabrina spoke, unsure of how to address her. Her aunt was slumped forward on her elbows, thumbs pressed to her temples like she was fighting a headache.  

“What, Sabrina? I’ve got enough of my mind as is,” Zelda returned with a hint of exhaustion. She did well to cover it, but Sabrina caught it anyway. Her aunt quickly cleared her throat and looked up at Sabrina. “I’ll speak to you later about what you were doing in the office to begin with. Don’t think I haven’t heard of your previous actions, storming the High Priest’s office for access to private texts. Honestly, Sabrina, have you lost your mind?” 

Sabrina recognized what her aunt was doing. She was trying to subvert the attention away from herself. “Aunt Zelda,” she repeated, stepping closer to the desk until she was close enough to touch it. The mahogany was cool against her fingertips. “Are you okay?” 

“I’m fine, child.” There was a pause where Zelda seemed conflicted. She shook her head, stray strands of red hair falling out of place. It was symbolic, Sabrina noted, as she watched her aunt fumble with her own emotions.  Zelda was never one to say exactly how she felt, and she often kept everything masked underneath a vale of perfectly styled hair and a sharp edge of red lipstick. 

“It’s been a long day for everyone,” Sabrina continued, choosing her words carefully as to not allow her aunt to fully shut herself away.  

There was a pause that lasted several moments, both woman silent. 

“It was never meant to go this way. Everything has gone to mess,” Zelda finally said. 

Sabrina straightened, a strange shiver traveling up her spine. “What wasn’t meant to go this way?” she asked quietly. 

Zelda looked at her through narrow green eyes and a thought registered in Sabrina’s mind. Her own brown eyes widened in response.  

Zelda was referring to Blackwood’s death. 

“Aunt Zelda...” Sabrina started, unsure of what to say. 

“Edward was my brother,” Zelda began, and Sabrina swore she had caught the slightest hint of a crack at the edge of her aunt’s voice. “I loved him, respected him, even if I didn’t agree with many of his choices. Diana, too, was family.” 

Sabrina’s heart swelled painfully at the mention of her parents. 

“I knew it was no accident.” The plane crash, Sabrina realized. “A warlock as powerful as Edward, allowing himself and his wife to perish in such a mortal manner - I couldn’t believe it. That was not my brother. He would’ve saved the whole plane, had he been able to.” Her voice soured at the end, rattling even Sabrina. 

“You knew,” Sabrina whispered. “You knew that Blackwood...” 

“I would’ve done it sooner. I planned to,” Zelda said, gaze fixed somewhere beyond Sabrina. “But then the twins came along and I couldn’t allow them to be orphaned – especially not after Constance. Satan, the wedding was only a few months away. They would’ve been rightfully my children, under witch-law. I would’ve raised them myself, but I suppose that’s now down the drain as well.” 

Sabrina was completely taken aback. Her previous notions of the engagement had only been a scratch on the surface. Zelda had planned to marry Faustus Blackwood for his children, so that they would legally have a mother after she – Sabrina swallowed - took care of him

The entire time, Sabrina had been fighting the urge to go to her aunt about everything she and Nick were struggling with, but she had already known. Part of it, at least. 

“Aunt Zelda, Blackwood was responsible for more than just my parents’ deaths,” Sabrina said. “Nick and I think he had something to do with the murder of his parents’, too. Now that he’s gone – I'm certain we can prove that by accessing his office. We can shed light on the whole situation. Gain justice for both my parents and Nick’s - even if Blackwood is dead, people deserve to know that he wasn’t as great as he claimed to be, that he was a murderer.”  

She now understood why her aunt had been adamant that no one go through Blackwood’s office – there were likely things in there that could further prove his involvement in her parents’ deaths. 

I was supposed to bring justice to Edward and Diana,” Zelda snapped back at her, her tone causing Sabrina to fumble back a few paces.  


Zelda released a long sigh seconds later. “Please, Sabrina,” she said, in a voice that almost pained Sabrina. She had never heard her aunt sound so...tired. “I’ve had enough for today.” 

Sabrina dropped her head and ducked out of the room. It was evident that her aunt was dealing with her own problems and it had been wrong of her to selfishly push her desire to expose Blackwood onto her so early into the whole ordeal.   

Sabrina shut the door behind her after she left the study. She considered going back to the Academy to see what was going on. Zelda wasn’t in any state to go after her now, so she wouldn’t have to worry about being restrained to the mortuary. 

Just as she considered her options, the knob to the front door turned and the door swung open. Nick appeared on the other side, looking the worse for wear. His eyes landed on her, relief flooding his features. 

She crossed the foyer quickly and he scooped her up in his arms as soon as she was within arm’s reach. Her arms slipped around his neck, pulling him closer. He slumped against her. 

“How are you feeling?” he asked, his grip on her not faltering. 

“Like shit,” Sabrina said. That was an understatement, but she didn’t want to talk about it right now. “How about you? You look exhausted. How’s the Academy holding up?” 

“I’ve used up most of my energy on re-strengthening the seals around the Academy like your aunt instructed. I walked here...I don’t even have enough magic to teleport,” he said, shamefully. Sabrina could tell it had taken a toll on him. The Academy was large and seemingly endless, he would’ve had to expel a lot of energy if he planned to reach every crevice, and knowing her aunt, she had likely asked for just that. 

“That Academy...” he started, pausing as though wondering how he should continue. “Word got out that there might be witch-hunters in Greendale. That paired with the general shock of the High Priest being murdered has made everyone lose their minds, naturally. The Weird Sisters had to place a calming charm over the entire Academy to help.” He sighed. “It’s pretty much on lockdown. Classes are canceled until further notice and the students have been placed under a curfew.” 

Sabrina hugged him closer, feeling him come even more undone the more he unloaded on her. She pulled back a bit to press a kiss against his temple. He was sweaty but she didn’t care. “I’m sorry you had to deal with all of that,” she said, smoothing a hand over his hair. “I guess my aunt’s hopes for the coven remaining oblivious to the idea of witch-hunters has gone out the window.”  

“Those who aren’t buying into the witch-hunter theory are throwing blame elsewhere – at other coven members,” Nick explained. 

Sabrina straightened. “Does that include me?” she asked. 

Nick sighed. “You were the first to find him – that apparently makes you a suspect in the eyes of some of the coven,” he presented carefully, unsure of how she would react.  

“I didn’t do it, Nick.” 

“I know,” Nick soothed, pulling back to look at her. “They can go to Heaven, for all I care. You’ve got a lot of supporters, though. Your students love you, Sabrina.” He kissed her forehead. “Another suspect is apparently Cassius – seeing as he’s missing. Really, everyone is just pulling things out of their ass at this point.” 

Sabrina sighed. There was blame being thrown in all directions. 

“Do you think Blackwood’s actions finally caught up with him? He played with witch-hunters...maybe that finally came back to bite him in the ass,” Sabrina mused. 

“I have my own theories,” Nick said with a sigh. “Though, the initial seals on the Academy were still intact. I’m not quite sure how witch-hunters could have slipped through them.” He paused briefly. “Unless...” 

“Unless Blackwood let them in,” Sabrina finished. They stared at each other in silence, both of their minds racing to consider the situation. It was becoming more complicated – more concerning. 

Sabrina was starting to feel like her aunt. She was exhausted – maybe not as much as Nick – but enough that she didn’t want to think anymore. “Let’s take a bath,” she said, pulling away but letting her hands slide down his arms lovingly. She felt he deserved one, and she deserved a bit of him. “I need a distraction. Aunt Hilda is still working on the body.” 

Nick pulled her in for a kiss, putting whatever energy he had left into it. “That sounds like the best thing on the planet right now,” he breathed after they broke apart.  

“It’ll be a tight fit, but we can make it work,” Sabrina explained with a little quirk of the lip.  

“It only sounds more enticing when you say it that way,” he teased. His hands slid down to rest at her waist. Had the sound of children in the other room not been prevalent, he might’ve let his hands wander a little lower.   

“Come on,” Sabrina said, desperate to escape reality for an hour or so, even if that meant letting the world burn around them for the time being. 

She took his hand, intent on leading him up the stairs, when the doorbell sounded.  

Nick looked at Sabrina and sighed. He headed for the door, stopping briefly to peer out of the window.  

He turned to face her again. Sabrina could tell by the disgruntled appearance that he wasn’t happy. 

“It’s your stupid ex-boyfriend,” Nick grumbled. 

Sabrina followed him to the door. “What’s Harvey doing here?” She reached for the knob but paused momentarily to look back at the warlock. “Play nice,” she instructed. Nick just crossed his arms, reminding her of a five-year old. “If that’s too hard for you, you can go and color with the twins.” 

Nick shot her a look just before she opened the door. 

“Sabrina,” Harvey sighed in relief. His eyes shifted to Nick and then narrowed just slightly. “Nick.” 

“Harold,” Nick very clearly and incorrectly addressed. “It’s a pleasure to see you again, but I’m afraid we’re in the middle of something.” 

Sabrina turned her face away from Harvey and toward Nick. She gave him a look, as though to tell him to shut up. 

“Come in, Harvey,” Sabrina said seconds later, stepping to the side to let Harvey in. “Nick is right though; we are kind of in the middle of something.”  

“Something witchy?” Harvey asked. Sabrina nodded. “I won’t be long. I was just hoping to talk.” He glanced at Nick before looking back at her. “Alone. Just for a few minutes.” 

Sabrina, too, glanced at Nick. “Sure,” she said. “Nick, why don’t you go and help Ambrose with the twins? I’m sure he could use it.” 

“Fine,” Nick agreed, though he did so begrudgingly. He kissed her on the cheek and disappeared into the living area.  

“What is it?” Sabrina asked with a bit of edge once she and Harvey were alone. The last time they had spoken, it hadn’t been pleasant. 

Harvey stepped a bit closer to her, his features softening. “Sabrina, I came to apologize. The way I talked to you was messed up and it’s been on my mind ever since.” 

“I’m not the only one you owe an apology, Harvey. Nick’s the one you called a ‘player’,” Sabrina explained. 

Harvey sighed. “I’m not really ready to do that yet. Besides, he didn’t hear me,” he replied. 

I  heard you,” Sabrina shot back.  

“Fine,” Harvey began. “You get him a stool to stand on, and I’ll apologize to him, too.” 

Sabrina smacked him across the arm. “Harvey!” She was becoming very tired of all the testosterone she’d had to deal with as of recent and was seconds away from sending Harvey on his way home, too.   

He held up his hand in a defensive position, but she didn’t miss the slight smirk on his face. “Sorry. I’m sorry.” 

Sabrina crossed her arms and glared at him. 

Harvey became a bit more serious. “No, but seriously, Sabrina. I really am sorry. You’re right – I don’t have any right to dictate who you date. Especially since...” He cleared his throat and a hint of color touched his cheeks. “Especially since I’m with Roz now and you never threw a fit about that. If anything, you were supportive. Roz told me.” 

Sabrina listened on. 

“And maybe I don’t really care for the guy right now, but that doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, you’re a grown woman and you deserve to make your own choices. I don’t have any right to interfere with that. If you think Nick is good for you, then I can learn to keep my opinions to myself.” 

She sighed and dropped her arms. “I’m glad you’ve realized that now, Harvey.” 

“I was an asshole to you, and I’m sorry,” Harvey continued, becoming a bit more sheepish as he went on. “I guess, deep down, it came from an area of self-doubt and I projected that onto you.” 

Sabrina quirked a bow in confusion. “What do you mean?” 

“I don’t really know,” Harvey explained. “I guess – Well, Nick is obviously very different from me. I would go as far as to say that he and I probably have nothing in common.” 

“You both like books.” 

“I like comic books and he likes...ancient tomes and whatever the hell else the wizards in Harry Potter read.” 

Sabrina wanted to face-palm. 

“Anyway,” Harvey said, pulling the conversation back to topic. “Sabrina, we were together for a long time and then after we break up, you start dating a guy who’s the complete opposite of me. I guess it made me doubt...” 

“It made you doubt whether or not I really loved you?” Sabrina asked, hoping she was understanding him properly. 

Harvey nodded. “We aren’t for each other – I get that now. But Sabrina, we had some good times. I really was in love with you.” 

“I was in love with you, Harvey. It was real.” She gave him a soft smile. “Just because I’m with Nick now, and just because he’s different from you, doesn’t invalidate our previous relationship.” 

“I’m sorry, Sabrina. Really, I am. For everything that I said to you.” He paused and looked at her, really looked at her. “I don’t just mean at the diner, either. I’m sorry for everything.” 

Sabrina understood. “It’s okay, Harvey.” She smiled at him. “We’re both happy now, aren’t we?” 

He nodded, a grin spreading across his face. It told her all she needed to know about his relationship with Roz. 

Sabrina opened her arms. “I love you, Harvey. Maybe not the same way as before, but just as strongly.” 

“I love you too, ‘brina,” Harvey said as he embraced her. “And I miss my best friend.” 

“I miss you too –” Sabrina started, but was cut off by the door to the basement and embalming room swinging open. It hit the wall with a loud bang that made her jump. 

“Zelda!” Hilda shouted at the top of her lungs, racing out of the basement. She was in her autopsy garb and almost entirely covered in blood. “Zelds! Oh, come quick!” 

Zelda came trudging down the hallway, a frown on her face. “Hellhounds, Hilda, will you keep it down? I’m coming.” 

Ambrose and Nick appeared simultaneously. Sabrina split from Harvey and went to her aunt, who was already flying down the staircase and back into the embalming room, mumbling ‘oh dear’ repeatedly on her way down. 

“Come, Zelda, hurry!” Hilda called back. “There’s something you must see!” 


Chapter Text

“What in Satan’s name is going on, Hilda?” Zelda snapped as soon as she neared the bottom of the basement stairs.   

Sabrina slipped past her aunt and moved to the spread that Hilda had on the counter before her. The three daggers that had been retrieved from Blackwood’s body were wiped clean and laid carefully on a towel. Behind her, Blackwood had already been crammed into one of the cadaver drawers.   

“The blades have tested positive for Holy Water,” Hilda explained, motioning with her chin toward the daggers. “We’ve got witch-hunters.”   

The silver blade gleamed under the morgue’s heavy-duty lights.  

“Impossible,” Zelda said, disbelief evident in her voice. She reached for one of the daggers and immediately hissed when her finger grazed the blade. It clattered back onto the counter and She stepped away, green eyes wide. It had burned her.  

“How could have witch-hunters gained access to the Academy?” Zelda asked, seconds later.  

“Because Blackwood conspired with them,” Sabrina answered, stepping closer to the daggers. She picked one up and examined it. There was something enticing about the blade, something almost hypnotic. Perhaps that was intentional. Her finger touched the smooth metal. It didn’t burn her like it had her aunt. “The Academy has multiple hidden entrances, doesn’t it? He probably let them in.”  

“Why on earth would Faustus have anything to do with witch-hunters?” Zelda asked, incredulously.  

“He needed someone to do his dirty work,” Sabrina said.  

Nick stopped beside Sabrina, peering down at the dagger in her hand. “They’re engraved,” he pointed out as he reached for one of them, careful not to touch the blade. He held it closer and squinted. “Von Kunkle,” he read. There was a small sigil beside the name - a brand.   

“Von Kunkle?” A voice behind them asked. They all turned to look behind them. Harvey stood at the center of the stairs, appearing bewildered. “That’s my grandfather’s name,” he said apprehensively.   

“Harvey,” Sabrina said softly. She set the dagger down and moved toward him. “Harvey, there’s something you should know.”  

“What’s going on, Sabrina?” he asked, his eyes shooting around the room fearfully, glancing at the group of witches before they flickered to the daggers and recognition flooded his features. “Those are from grandpa’s shop – his hunting shop. What are you doing with them?”  

Sabrina started up the stairs toward him, he stepped back.   

“Harvey, they’re witch-hunting weapons,” Sabrina tried to explain, but she had no idea where to begin. Her heart lurched painfully at the fearful look on Harvey’s face. It felt like she was losing her friend all over again.  

“What the hell are you talking about? That’s not what they’re for! They’re for animals.”  

Sabrina tried to approach him again, but he moved away. Her eyes burned. “Harvey, your grandfather – the other half of your family – they were involved with Blackwood. They killed him. They’ve killed other witches, too.” There was no way to approach the topic lightly. She had to rip off the band-aid.  

“My grandfather is in a wheelchair, Sabrina. He can’t walk!” Harvey said, voice rising as his emotions skyrocketed. “He’s only ever hunted animals – never people. Never witches!”  

“Harvey, we can prove everything. Just calm down, please,” Sabrina soothed.   

“No!” Harvey yelled back. “No, this is ridiculous! Whatever is going on, my grandfather has nothing to do with it.”  

He stepped out of the basement and headed for the front door. Sabrina raced after him.   

“Harvey, please-”  

Harvey turned to look at her, his hand on the doorknob. “Keep my family out of this, Sabrina. Please.”  


He slammed the door shut on his way out.  

A wave of pain flooded her chest and she choked back a sob. She had hoped, somewhere deep down, that when Harvey figured out his family’s history, he would’ve reacted differently. That he would’ve understood, that he would’ve sided with her for once. But it was his family she was accusing, and she found that she couldn’t blame him for being so protective of them. Sabrina felt that she would’ve likely reacted the same way had the roles been reversed.  

Still, it didn’t stop the tears that rolled down her cheeks.  


She could tell something was amiss from the sound of his voice. She wiped her eyes and turned to look at Nick.   

“We’ve just gotten back on good terms – and now this,” Sabrina said.  

“Forget him,” Nick shot back, clearly not happy with the mortal. He took her hand. “Your aunt found something else.” She watched as his expression hardened. “It’s not good.”  

“It never is,” Sabrina replied.  

He led her down to the basement once more, where her aunts and cousin stood. Sabrina could tell the air in the atmosphere that the energy had shifted. It felt heavier – more somber. That paired with the way Nick stood beside her, an arm around the small of her back as though ready to catch her any second, made her feel uneasy.  

“Sabrina,” her aunt Hilda spoke, and Sabrina thought she looked like she might get sick if she continued. She held something in her hand. A piece of bloodied parchment.  

“Hilda found a note clasped in Blackwood’s hand,” Nick explained. “She was getting ready to tell us before Harvey had his moment.”  

Sabrina grabbed the note from her aunt’s hand in a hurry, smoothing out the crinkled edges.   

“Sabrina, wait-”   

Ambrose held out his hand, but his warning went unnoticed by her. She had already begun to read it.  

‘The half-witch will not permeate the realm of mortals. Any witch who stands in our way shall burn.’  

Initially shocked, Sabrina read the note multiple times over. By the third time, her hands were left shaking.  

She glanced around at her family, at Nick, feeling lightheaded.  

“Me,” she whispered. “They want to get rid of me.”  

“Over my dead body,” Nick said with fire in his voice that she wasn’t used to hearing. It rattled something deep in her bones.  

“Over all of our dead bodies,” Ambrose corrected. Both of her aunts nodded firmly. “And we're a tough lot to kill.”  

“You can say that again,” Hilda said, glancing at her sister.  

Zelda extracted the note from her hand and shoved it back toward Hilda. “This stays here – in this house. Satan knows how the coven would react to this. I’ll call a meeting tomorrow. We’ll let them know that we are dealing with witch-hunters, but that is as much as they will get. The note stays between the five of us.”  

“The coven will question how witch-hunters got into the Academy – they'll question why they went after Blackwood,” Ambrose spoke up in concern.   

“The coven deserves to know what their High Priest was involved with,” Sabrina said with determination.   

“That isn’t our concern right now. Our concern is keeping you alive, not seeking out proof for theories that possibly hold no truth,” Zelda answered.  

“They are true,” Sabrina snapped. “You knew Blackwood was responsible for my parents dying. Why is it so hard to believe that he may have conspired with witch-hunters, too?”  

Nick sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. Even though they had just discovered that the witch-hunters were after Sabrina, she still put that aside to focus on others. “Sabrina, I know exposing Blackwood is important, but your safety should be our priority.”  

“I’ll find out what they want with me, and why,” Sabrina shot back. “I’m certain it has something to do with Blackwood, too.” She shrugged out of Nick’s arm and raced up the stairs.  

Nick made to go after her but was stopped by Zelda reaching for his elbow. He looked back in surprise.  

“Let her be for now,” Zelda said, knowing fully well her niece wouldn’t leave the mortuary right now. Sure enough, the door to her bedroom could be heard slamming shut seconds later. “Nicholas, I’m inclined to believe that you care about my niece.”  

He nodded fervently. “Deeply.”  

“Then I can ask that you keep an eye out for her. The rest of us will do the same. Sabrina has a heroic streak and a rash personality. She will attempt to right any wrong that she can. I’ve raised her to be ambitious, but I fear that may put her life at risk this time.” She paused to look at him. “Nothing can happen to my niece, Nicholas. You understand that, don’t you?”  

“I would die before I let anything happen to her,” Nick said, his demeanor serious and dedication ringing deep in his voice. “I promise you that.”  

Zelda only nodded in response, but she squeezed his arm.   

He understood. She trusted him.   

She skipped dinner that evening, but that was hardly a shock. Even the others had picked at their food, their appetites non-existent, too.   

Nick was restless enough that he had succeeded in convincing Zelda to allow him to look at the protective seals surrounding the mortuary. They were strong, just as Sabrina had said, crafted with care and generations of spell-work. It was interesting to note the different touches each of the previous Spellmans had left on the old framework of the home. Though the binding and sealing were straight-forward, the magic of each witch or warlock was just slightly different, like a signature, almost.  

Edward Spellman’s were the most prominent, the most powerful. That went without say.  

He would have had a field day with the project had the circumstances been different.  

After spending some time re-fortifying the seals, Nick finally slunk back into the mortuary, his energy now entirely spent. He would have face-planted into whatever surface was just beyond the front door had his concern over Sabrina not been so strong. He pulled himself up the stairs and to her room, where he found the door still shut.  

She had unlocked it at some point, likely expecting him to retire for the night.   

A touch of silvery hair peeked out from underneath the covers, which she had hiked almost entirely over her head. He sat at the edge of the bed closest to her. When she finally withdrew the covers, he took notice of her swollen eyes and red cheeks.   

Nick knelt over, kissed her forehead, and still managed to sit up again despite wanting to collapse on top of her.   

“I want to go back to the orchard,” Sabrina declared with a slight sniffle.  

His chest warmed at the memory of their first date, heart yearning to return to the simpler times of their relationship. They had come a long way since then, dealt with enough in such a short period that he wondered if they ever truly could go back. “Me too,” he agreed, fingers pushing a strand of hair from her face.  

“You climbed that tree for me,” she recalled, fondly.  

It made him chuckle. “I would do anything for you – climb any tree for you.”  

She believed him.  

“How about that bath?” Nick asked seconds later. “Otherwise, I might just collapse and fall asleep right here.” He patted her chest softly, right above her heart. She draped her hand over his and squeezed. It didn’t sound like much of a threat to her. She would’ve welcomed him.  

“Okay,” Sabrina agreed, sitting up slowly to avoid making her head spin any more than it already was.  

Minutes later, they were both submerged in the steamy water. She sat between his legs, with her back to him while he worked the pads of his thumbs into the muscles at her neck. It was a tighter fit than she imagined, but she was still right – they made it work, despite the idea of sex having long since been thrown out. Neither of them could handle anything remotely physical right now.  

She leaned back, settling against him and relaxing as his warmth flooded her. It was a different sort of heat to the bathwater. It felt safe. She tried to envision the rest of the world falling away – all the news of the day disappearing with it.   

But it didn’t work. It still plagued her mind and made her head ache.  

His arms slid around to hold her, fingers lacing with hers.  

“Oh, Nick,” she sighed. “What are we going to do?” She had been so certain about fixing it all before, but now it almost felt hopeless.  

Nick pressed a kiss to her damp hair. “We’re going to survive, as best we can,” he said, moving his lips to the back of her neck. She felt his warm breath as he continued speaking. “And then, when everything is right, I’ll take you apple-picking again.”  

A little smile flickered across her lips, despite it all. “The orchard doesn’t open again until next year,” Sabrina said. “You think we’ll still be together then?”  

“I hope so,” Nick answered, lips working her shoulder next. “I’ll stay with you as long as you’ll have me.”  

That morning, Sabrina left Nick to sleep in. He had nearly passed out in the tub the night before, and through the course of the night, had barely budged from the position he’d fallen asleep in. It had taken her some effort to finally withdraw herself from his arms, and he had only woken up just barely to grumble some incoherent words at her.  

“Shhh,” she whispered, pressing a kiss to his messy hair since his face was completely engulfed in a pillow. He seemed to be breathing fine, so she hiked the covers over his bare shoulders and left him. “Get as much as sleep as you can.”  

Nick made one last attempt at pulling her back into bed, but she was awake and much quicker.   

Wandering out of her bedroom felt strangely like any other day.  

The normalcy in the Spellman home almost made her wonder if the previous day’s events had been a dream. The sun still peered through the windows, the birds still chirped outdoors, and the sound of daily shuffling in the kitchen still tinged the air.   

But upon entering the kitchen, upon seeing her family so unlike her family – quiet and stoic – she realized it had all been true. Blackwood was still dead, and the witch-hunters were still on the loose – still after her.   

“Sit still, Judas,” Prudence snapped while she fumbled with keeping the boy in his seat.  

“No!” the little boy shouted, arms flailing and tantrum ensuing. “No, no, no!”  

Prudence knelt forward, hands on her knees, and looked at the boy. “Judas, please sit still, eat your breakfast, and then you can go play. Understand?”  

The boy looked at her long and hard, brow furrowed, before he gave a final huff and went back to eating his pancake. His sister sat beside him, swinging her legs around leisurely, munching on her own pancake, and paying him no attention.   

Sabrina could still never get used to the image of Prudence as a mother figure. It was so...unlike the girl that had nearly harrowed her to death her first semester at the Academy.   

Zelda looked up at Sabrina as she entered the kitchen. “You’re awake,” she said, as though she was surprised.   

“I’m awake,” Sabrina echoed, heading to the fridge mindlessly. She grabbed the jug of orange juice, figuring it was the least likely to upset her stomach. She found she still didn’t have much of an appetite.   

“How are you feeling, dearie?” Hilda asked gingerly. “How about some pancakes? We haven’t got any blueberries, but we’ve got plenty of maple syrup.”  

“No thank you, auntie. I’m feeling a bit queasy.”  

“I’d like a stack,” Ambrose said, entering the kitchen as though on cue.   

“All done!” Judas announced, pushing away his empty plate. “We play now!”  

Prudence sighed and stepped aside as the twins raced out of the kitchen, giggling and pushing each other. She met the others at the kitchen island, seeming tired and out of character.  

“I’ve called a meeting at noon today. We’ll go over our discovery. There’s also the issue of deciding on a new High Priest. We’ll choose nominees and let the Council know so they can make their selection,” Zelda said after taking a drag of her cigarette.  

“You’ll let the Academy know about the witch-hunters,” Prudence directed. She looked at Sabrina through narrow eyes. “About what they want – about who they want.”  

Sabrina set the jug down and looked up in surprise.  

“Oh, relax, Sabrina. It’s at the forefront of your mind. You’re practically shoving it at me,” Prudence shot back.  

“We’ve decided to keep that from the Academy, Prudence. There’s no need for the rest of the Coven to know. It will only give us more trouble,” Zelda explained.  

“Why?” Prudence asked with clear irritation. “The Coven should know why their High Priest was murdered. They should know it’s because of her.”  

“Prudence-” Hilda started with a gentle tone.  

“Because of me?” Sabrina asked, her fingers gripping tightly around the handle of the jug. “Blackwood’s death was his own fault.”  

“Then what do the witch-hunters want with you? Why did they specifically ask for you?” Prudence asked. “You’re the reason why my father is gone, why the twins will now have to grow up without one.”  

“If Blackwood was more concerned with being a father, maybe he wouldn’t have gotten himself into what he did. He asked for this.”  

A breeze picked up in the room, fluttering through Sabrina’s hair lightly. Hilda looked to the window, knowing well enough that it wasn’t open. “Sabrina,” she soothed, putting a hand on her niece’s shoulder.  

“Half-breed,” Prudence gritted out.   

Sabrina shrugged away from her aunt’s touch and circled the kitchen counter until she was feet away from Prudence, facing her directly though she was still a bit shorter.  

“Say it again,” Sabrina threatened, “to my face.” The cabinets clattered and the wind picked up speed. It began to thrash dangerously around the kitchen. The napkins fluttered off the breakfast table.  

Prudence neared her, eyes narrowed as she stared down Sabrina. “You, half-breed, are the reason why my father is dead.”  

“And your father is the reason why mine is dead,” Sabrina spat back. “I don’t know why you still defend him. He never cared about you. He knew you were his and he still left you orphaned. Even if he were here now, Prudence, he still wouldn’t want you. He gave you all the jobs in the Academy that he didn’t care to do and manipulated you into thinking it was because he trusted you – or cared for you.”  

The lights flickered once. Then twice. The chandelier swung above them.   

Hilda jumped when the shutters outside slammed heavily against the side of the home.  

“Sabrina. Prudence. Stop this, right now!” Zelda said, raising her voice. Neither of them looked at her.  

Ambrose swatted away a sheet of newspaper as it smacked him across the face. “Which one of them is doing this?”  

“It’s Sabrina,” Hilda said, trying to step forward. Another heavy breeze pinned her back into place.  

“And deep down, Pru, you know he would do the same to the twins if he could, if he wasn’t being held accountable this time. Maybe Judas would be safe, but you know he would walk all over Judith the moment he got the chance. Judas is rambunctious and all over the place, while Judith is shy and quiet – that should tell you enough about the way he treats them.”  

Sabrina could tell she hit a soft spot simply by the way Prudence’s expression shifted into a wave of deep-set anger. She stepped forward and Sabrina was prepared to do the same, but a sharp pain shot through her head. She touched a hand to her forehead and faltered back a couple of steps, wincing in pain.  

“Get out of my head, Prudence!” Sabrina shouted, hand still gripping her head as Prudence used her abilities to assault her brain.  

Make me,” Prudence shot back. “You can’t.”  

Sabrina stepped forward. Again, the wind picked up speed, this time even more so than before. Hilda’s fine china in the nearby cabinet exploded, sending her family ducking as pieces of ceramic flew all over the place. Glasses from the breakfast table slid to the floor. The bulbs in the chandelier shattered, raining glass down on everything.  

A shard of glass grazed Sabrina’s cheek, slicing it open. The sharp stab of pain was enough to pull her back toward the cusp of reality, to calm her down enough to realize what she was doing.   

When she looked back at Prudence, there was fear.  

“My aunt Zelda,” Sabrina breathed as the things began to settle around her. “She has been more of a parent to you than anyone else. Maybe you should reconsider where your loyalty lies.”  

Sabrina shoved past her, walking calmly out of the desolated kitchen and past her family, all of whom stood planted in shock.   

Nick was in the kitchen archway, having woken up from the noise. Through bleary eyes, he watched as Sabrina walked past him. Instinctively, he reached out for her, but she vanished with the whisper of an incantation.  

“What just happened?” Ambrose spoke, breaking the silence that had taken over the household in Sabrina’s absence.   

Nick raked a hand through his hair, which stood wild from sleep. “I should be the one asking that,” he said, slowly, unsure of what he had just walked into. One second, he had been asleep, the next, he’d been thrashed awake by the whole house shaking. He’d caught the end of it, but even then, he couldn’t believe what he’d seen.  

“That wasn’t Sabrina,” Prudence said. “That was something else.”  

 Teleporting into Blackwood’s office under a fit of anger proved to be more difficult than she had initially thought. She clattered into a table upon her entrance, nearly knocking over a lamp in the process. She glared at it as though it were the cause for her foul mood.  

At this point, Sabrina gave very little thought as to what her aunt Zelda would think should she find out her niece had trespassed into her – now dead – boss’ office. Her dispute with Prudence had left her wanting nowhere near the mortuary.   

To be honest, she couldn’t really fathom what had just happened. All she knew was that, at some point, Prudence had angered her enough that she no longer wanted to hold it in anymore. Normally, Prudence’s insults didn’t bother her much anymore, but with everything happening as it had, Sabrina simply couldn’t anymore. She really couldn’t.   

She felt awful about Cassius, about the fact that it had likely happened because of her and her desperate need to know. But she would not let Blackwood’s death be pinned on her conscience, as well. That was his own fault, and frankly, Sabrina would not miss him. That much she could admit.  

She traced her finger over the clean edge of Blackwood’s cherry-wood desk. The rest of it was still mottled with blood, now dried and crusted.   

A string of voices echoed in the hallway. Sabrina froze and snapped her head up, listening as a group of witches passed the office, oblivious of her presence. She relaxed when they disappeared entirely, choosing to settle down in Blackwood’s chair once she was confident enough that no one would enter.   

“Ignium,” Sabrina whispered and watched as a thin line of fire blaze in between the cracks of the door, sealing them shut. Now, she could fully loosen her shoulders.  

She sat there for a second, pondering everything and nothing at the same time, wondering how it felt to exist in this office for most of the day, conspiring and plotting the deaths of others. He made it seem easy. She supposed when one loved their job, it didn’t feel much like work.  

The thought made her want to vomit.   

Eager to cleanse her mind, she reminded herself of her mission. She wasn’t there to live a day in Blackwood’s – former – life. She was there to expose him – to the Academy, to the Coven, to Prudence.  

As much as the two of them had been through, rounds of harrowing, threats and insults thrown high and low, Sabrina found that she did care for Prudence. She even felt bad for her. Her own parents were dead, long gone and without even a memory of them to hold her over, but they had loved her. They had died loving her, wanting her.  

Prudence had no mother, and now her father was dead, too, except he had never loved her, never cared for her, never wanted her.   

If she could expose Blackwood for the monster that he was – that he had been – then maybe she could help Prudence put it in her past, too. The Spellmans had cared for her enough to consider her family now. Even Hilda had warmed up to her, despite her initial distrust of the girl.  

She traced the lock on one of the desk drawers, thinking of Salem and how she should’ve summoned him to come with her.   

There was a ‘mrrp’ from somewhere beside her.   

Sabrina peered down on the floor next to the chair. Salem sat, looking at her judgmentally.  

“Oh, please, Salem,” Sabrina said with an eye-roll. “Don’t act so high and mighty.”  

He released a meow, low and feisty.  

Sabrina gave him a pointed look. “Gee, I had no idea you were so well versed in witch-law. Did you study?” She watched the cat go silent, staring at her with a look that only she could read – a look that told her he was considering biting her ankles should she continue her sarcastic remarks. “Just get over and unlock this for me,” she said.   

He waited. She sighed. “Please?”  

Salem disappeared into a glob of smoke before she could blink.   

“There are certain things even I cannot agree with, Sabrina…”  

In his shadow form, Salem’s voice was deep and ghostly, perhaps even a little frightening to anyone who may have never heard it before. He had greeted her in that voice long ago, during their first meeting. Even then, she hadn’t feared him.  

“Yeah, yeah…” Sabrina shrugged him off with a wave. “I’m aware this is technically illegal, but once I show the coven what I’ve found, I’m sure they won’t care how I acquired it.” It also wasn’t the first time, she wanted to mention, but he probably didn’t need the reminder.  

“If you say so…”  

“Thank you,” Sabrina said when the drawer popped open. She shifted through it, finding nothing that concerned her. She pointed to the drawer right below it, asking for Salem’s assistance once more.  

It had taken some time, countless drawers and locks, until she finally found a stack of journals hidden beneath some rather innocent-looking documents.   

She forewent the stained desk and dropped them onto the floor instead, kneeling below them.  

The journals weren’t ordered in any specific way, but she judged them by the leather and the general appearance of them. The first that she chose was older and weathered, more so than any of the others.  

She recognized the handwriting. It had been on so many of her official Academy documents. It belonged to Faustus Blackwood, or, it had.  

The first entry was dated the day of her parents’ deaths.  

Sabrina swallowed and read.  

‘Edward Spellman is dead. So is his mortal wife. I can hardly believe it. Years of planning – even more of wishful thinking – have led to this. The coven will now be free of his radical, unfit ideas and can once more return to its prime state – its traditional state. We have dishonored the Dark Lord enough by allowing Edward to foster his blasphemous ideas in our Church. No more, and never again.  

I have killed Edward Spellman. I have finally done it.’  

Tears welled in her eyes, flooding her vision and blurring the text on the page. She wiped them away. Crying would have to come later. Now, she had to be strong. She had to be Edward Spellman’s daughter.  

She read the next entry.  

‘The Coven has held its vote. I have been nominated. They feel I was close enough to Edward that it should be a comfortable enough transition for the Academy. The only one to not have not cast his vote is Cassius. I suppose that is his own act of rebellion. He has never favored me, either. No matter. Once the Council chooses me, the Coven will learn that I am the proper fit. The position of High Priest, of Headmaster, belongs to me.’  

The entry after was short and dated just a week later.  

‘The Council has chosen me. I will return the Church of Night to its former glory. All will be marvelous again.’  

Sabrina felt disgusted. She wondered how long it had taken for him to reinstate the Feast of Feasts, and how many witches had died because of it.  

She continued.  

‘Nathaniel Scratch has been watching me, among his mourning. Pathetic, really. He’s come to my celebration, has congratulated me on my newest position, but I can see the distrust in his eyes, in the firmness of his handshake. He is suspicious. Likely even jealous. Let him be. Let him realize that Edward Spellman is no more – that I have made sure of that.’  

Sabrina sat up, tucking her legs beneath her. Salem sat beside her, tail flicking about anxiously. His connection with his witch ran deep and he could feel the shift in her energy as she continued with the journals. He nuzzled his head against her elbow and felt her relax a bit.  

“Imagine if Nick and I had found this the night of the feast,” Sabrina said. Her father’s own journals were locked up somewhere in the office, too, but she found that right now, they were at the very back of her mind. She could wait a bit longer.  

Her eyes fell back to the journal, flipping ahead a page, eyes following the line of text like a cat after a string toy.  

‘Some of my informants have reported the sighting of a black wolf amongst the Greendale wood. I would assume nothing less of Nathaniel, sending his familiar to watch me from afar. Perhaps, I should return him in pieces to Nathaniel. Or, he could make a fine pelt.’  

Sabrina swallowed and glanced at Salem. She could only hope that the familiar hadn’t been harmed, that he had returned to his family alive, even if he would die with them years later.  

She continued, shuffling through pages. Many of them had no connection to either of their fathers and detailed some of Blackwood’s other duties, his desires for a son heir, and his impatience with his countless wives all of whom couldn’t bear him one. Sabrina couldn’t read it. It was sick.  

She caught Nathaniel’s name on a page toward the end.  

‘Nathaniel Scratch has come to my office today. He’s been working hard, that one. It would be wiser to spend his time studying his craft, but he would much rather find a way to pin Edward’s death onto me.   

He sat across from me in my office today and attempted to threaten me – my livelihood, my job, my life. He firmly believes that I have had something to do with Edward’s death and he believes he has finally found proof, or he is bluffing. Either way, he has threatened to go to the Council and expose me.  

So, I have told him everything. I have told him about my delve into mortal poisons. The witch-hunters of the land have their own weapons, and upon learning of Edward’s desire to permeate the mortal realm, to share it with witches, they have kindly offered their hand.  

A sprinkling of Holy Water in his drink, the one we shared the night before his flight, was enough to severely lessen his magical abilities. After that, all it took was a few enchantments to render the plane useless. Those mortal contraptions are easily destroyed.’  

“To permeate the mortal realm,” Sabrina repeated, looking at Salem. “The note left by the witch-hunters said the same thing about me.” Now she was certain it had something to do with Blackwood.  

She ignored the sick feeling in her stomach and continued forth.  

‘I have asked for assistance from my natural enemy once more: the witch-hunters. The most successful in all this region, at that. The Von Kunkles.   

If there is anything witches and mortals favor alike, it is money. Gregory Von Kunkle and I have settled on a sum. I have paid him to hunt the wolves residing in Springdale. The whole lot. Nathaniel and his wife, whom I have heard has recently become pregnant. A shame, really. He should have thought more of that before he came striking claims.  

His son, too. Another shame. The warlock is young, and I despise bringing children into this matter, but it will be suspicious if I do not. Witch-hunters would leave no witch alive if given the choice, so I must honor that.’  

Sabrina set the journal down and let her head fall back with a deep exhale, willing the tears to dry and disappear. She couldn’t help imagining a small Nicholas, afraid and hiding, as the witch-hunters descended on his home, a place where he was meant to feel safe.   

And his mother, she wondered if Nick had even known of her pregnancy, of his chance at having a sibling.  

Once she felt she could continue, she did.  

The next entry was simple but haunting.   

‘The Wolf of Newcastle is dead.’  

Sabrina set the journal down quickly, wanting no more of it. It felt hot and evil in her hands. Once, a man so horrible and disgusting had held it and poured all his monstrous thoughts into the pages, all his rage, and she could feel that radiate off it.  

The next one she picked up was dated much later. It was dated the year she had begun at the Academy – just days after her sixteenth birthday.  

The first pages were more bits of useless information. There were entries about Lady Constance and his impatience with her inability to bear children.   

Deeper in the journal, she found an entry on her.  

‘Sabrina Spellman has entered our Academy. She is a problem, just like her father. There is something off-putting about her. Perhaps it is her righteousness or her desire to ‘right’ the witch world when she simply does not understand that there is nothing wrong with our traditional ways. The Dark Lord prefers it this way. No matter, she will learn.’  

Sabrina rolled her eyes at the entry. She skipped ahead with no real desire to relive her early days at the Academy.  

‘Ms. Spellman is entirely distasteful and a dishonor. She has dismantled a portion of our Church today, selfishly of course. Her choice in using my illegitimate daughter’s parentage against me has forced my hand in altering the Feast of Feasts, again. So be it. No more witch sacrifice, for the time being at least.’  

For forever, Sabrina thought. As it should be.  

‘Cassius has been a thorn in my side since the Spellman girl’s initiation into the Academy. He is keeping a close watch on her, though he seems to think I do not notice it. After the Feast of Feasts debacle, he has attempted to reconcile with me in defense of Ms. Spellman. I have been thinking of ways to end her reign here – perhaps he has picked up on that. I will have to investigate.’  

Her heart clenched at the mention of Cassius. He had been on her side since the very start. Knowing now what she did of her father’s relationship with the old warlock, it didn’t shock her, but it did make her miss him, deeply.  

As she read, there were more accounts of Cassius coming to her side, much to the dismay of Blackwood.   

There had been times, she realized, where Blackwood had attempted to rid of her. Prudence and her sisters’ harrowing attempts had been one of them. She understood now that they had been put up to it by Blackwood.  

Sabrina sighed and remembered her fight with Prudence. The girl had been a chess piece of Blackwood’s board long before she had even known she was his daughter.   

Sabrina dropped the journal and reached for another.  

The journal in her hand was the newest, dated earlier that year. Sabrina was surprised that he had kept up with writing in one for that long. She supposed he needed some way to keep track of his lies.  

‘Nathaniel Scratch’s son is alive-’  

Sabrina’s eyes widened. Nick.  

‘He is residing at the Academy in Springdale, now an educator. He has been raised by the Academy. It’s come to attention that he has asked for a Coven transfer. As Nathaniel’s son, I am interested in his mind, especially without the influence of his father. I will make space for him at the Academy here. Having him on my side could prove useful.’  

Blackwood had once wanted to brainwash even Nick, it seemed. Thankfully, it had never worked. Unknown to Blackwood, Nick had already begun reading her father’s work.  

‘Brother Aimes refuses to leave even after he has been fired. He feels he is entitled to his position because he has occupied it so long. I’m certain we can find something for him that will be a better fit.’  

She recalled the bag that had been found near the river. Sabrina shivered, trying to envision Brother Aimes’ possible fate.  

‘Nicholas Scratch has entered our Academy. After discussing with his previous Headmistress, I am certain that he is as wise as they come. Powerful, too. He is adept at Conjuration, Binding, and Demonology – the perfect choices for a young warlock such as he. More interestingly, I have come across some of his files that describe his tampering in new magics. I am interested to learn more about it.’  

“New magics?” Sabrina asked aloud. What the Heaven did that mean?   

Sabrina fumbled forward. She could ask him later.  

‘Nicholas and Sabrina seem to have hit it off well enough – thanks to my meddling fiancé. I am seeing history be replayed before my very eyes and it is off-putting. I will have to sort this out immediately.  

I have learned that Nicholas has a familiar. It seems, his father has meddled with demonic binding. I will summon the familiar tonight, tie her rage to Sabrina Spellman, and hope that it will be enough to finally rid of her. The girl is not adept at banishing demons, nor handling them, so I pray for good news.’  

Anger flooded her, as well as shock, and a few other emotions she didn’t care to name. He had been the one to bring Amalia to Greendale, and it was because of him that she had gone after her.  

Her fingers gripped the journal tightly, knuckles turning white.  

She continued reading, fumbling through Blackwood’s writings as he reacted to finding out Amalia had been banished and that she and Nick were closer than ever. Among the sick feeling, a bit of joy fluttered in her stomach. He hadn’t managed to break them apart. The two of them had stuck it out.  

There was a large portion dedicated to her storming his office for her father’s journals, as well. It was at that point that Blackwood seemed to have learned of her delving into her father’s studies. His fear only escalated after that, it seemed.  

He also wrote of his discovery regarding their trek into his office. Apparently, they had not been as covert as they had thought.  

‘Nicholas has shown up to my office today to threaten me, just as his father had before his death. I am enraged. He has summoned a demon, a powerful one, to attempt to scare me. I would be so proud to have this sort of power in our Academy had he not chosen to align himself with a Spellman. I suppose history has repeated itself. A Scratch will always fall to the charm of a Spellman. Unfortunate for them, other parts of history will also repeat should they continue down this path, and I am afraid they will.’  

The next entry was about Cassius.  

‘Cassius has become involved. I can see now that he is beyond repair. It’s awful. The Academy seems to enjoy his presence and he has a good relationship with the students. It will be a little unfortunate, I must admit, to see him go, but it must be done.’  

Sabrina felt the tug at her heart again.   

‘I’ve met with Gregory Von Kunkle again, this time regarding Sabrina Spellman. I have informed them of her claims, of her desires and plans. She wants to follow in her father’s footsteps. She wants a world where her two sides could live in harmony. That could never be. Witch and mortal could never live together. Thankfully, Von Kunkle understands. We will meet again tonight to discuss our plans going forward. Like her father, Sabrina Spellman will be no more.’   

Sabrina shut the journal and let it drop to the floor.   

That had been Blackwood’s last entry.  

She could only assume he had been murdered after that, by the very people he was destined to work with.  

Served him right.  

Only, she was too afraid to celebrate that. It seemed that Blackwood had sold her out to the witch-hunters as a way of getting rid of her. She was half-mortal and half-witch, something she assumed the hunters would only be disgusted by.   

She was someone who could walk among them, who could relate to them.  

It likely scared them.  

“You’ve left quite a mess in the kitchen, Spellman.”  

Sabrina turned at the voice, seeing Nick.   

“It was either that or leave a mess of Prudence,” Sabrina shot back, dropping her gaze back down to the journals as she worked to collect them into a pile. “What, are you here to ask to go and apologize?”  

“No,” Nick replied, meeting her on the floor to help. He caught sight of her face, of the dried blood on her cheek from where a piece of glass had scratched her. He let his attention fall from the journals, choosing to instead graze his thumb over the mark gently. “Your cousin has already dug into her for calling you a half-breed. He was pretty upset with her.”  

“He was?”  

“He’s your family,” Nick answered. “At the end of the day, you’re more important to him than anyone else outside of the Spellman household.”  

Sabrina smiled softly. “I do feel a little bad, though, for going off on Prudence. I just...With everything that’s been going on, I got mad.”  

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me, Sabrina.” Nick gave her a small smile. “Though you should apologize to your aunt. Putting all her fine china back together required a great deal of effort and magic.”  

Sabrina sighed and dropped the journals onto the clean portion of the desk. “I’ll apologize later. Right now...”  

“Right now, we should go and meet in the Great Hall. Your aunt Zelda is holding a meeting and we need to be there.”  

That’s right, she thought. Her aunt was going to address the Academy and let them know about the witch-hunters.  

“I read through these. They're some of Blackwood's journals,” Sabrina said, patting the stack. “You should, too. It’s everything that we need to incriminate him.”  And then some, Sabrina thought. 

Nick nodded. “So we can throw him in skeleton jail.”  

Sabrina shot him a look. “He’s dead, but he shouldn’t be free of guilt. Everyone needs to know what he did,” Sabrina explained. “And I found out why the witch-hunters want me.”  

At that, Nick looked at her, his attention caught.  

“Blackwood told them about me, about my mixed blood. I’m guessing they feel threatened by that,” Sabrina explained. “They don’t want that sort of connection lingering between the witch and mortal realm. They don’t want me to exist.”  

“You exist,” Nick told her as he took her hand. “And you will continue to exist. We will make sure of that.” 

Sabrina nodded, hand tightening around his. 

"We'll talk after - about the journals. For now, let's just get through this Coven meeting in one piece," Nick said.

Chapter Text

“Is the whole Coven here?” Sabrina asked as she and Nick attempted to squeeze through the densely packed hallway leading toward the Great Hall.  

“I think so,” Nick said. “With the High Priest dead – murdered – it's really no shock.” He pulled her toward him before she became the victim of the nearby witch’s accidental elbow. She sighed heavily, her hands on the strap of her bag tightening even more so. 

Blackwood’s journals would not leave her side – she would make sure of that. 

Sabrina hooked a finger through his belt-loop just before they were nearly separated by a group of passing by witches, their attention stolen by their heated conversation. Everyone was on edge, though she couldn’t really blame them. 

Almost all the students had emptied into the hall, as well. After the rumor of witch-hunters had circulated, no one was all that eager to spend their day boarded up in their dormitory. She supposed everyone was anticipating some sort of news – a false alarm, perhaps, or even the claim that Blackwood had been singularly targeted and there wouldn’t be an all-out witch-hunt. It made something in her stomach stir. None of them were expecting – hoping for – the news Zelda that would give them - that there were witch-hunters, out and about, and that they had threatened the entire coven.  

Because of her.  

Except that part was to be kept secret.

“Clear the way,” a sharp voice echoed from behind them.  

Prudence Night shoved her way through a portion of the crowd and Sabrina watched as the rest parted like they were water and she was oil. It made her wonder whether Prudence had used a mind trick, or if she was just that threatening. Sabrina figured the latter.  

Her sisters flanked her sides. Behind the three of them, Zelda strode.

Prudence wore an unreadable expression as she passed them to take her spot at the front of the crowd, her sisters mimicking the action. Zelda followed, stopping before the crowd and turning to face them.  

Sabrina stepped toward the edge of the crowd, where the view was clear. Nick took the spot beside her. Her grip on her bag didn’t loosen.  

The crowd hushed, quieting their whispers and focusing their attention forward. The tension in the room was thick and made the room feel muggy, even with its vastness and high ceiling.

“Witches, warlocks,” her aunt addressed after a few moments. “I’d like to discuss the results of yesterday’s events. As all of you are aware our High Priest, Faustus Blackwood, is no longer with us. Let this be a reminder to us all that despite the many blessings our Lord bestows upon us, despite the longevity of our lives, death is still an unpredictable force.” 

“Blessed he lie in Satan’s name,” some of the crowd echoed back. Sabrina couldn’t help but roll her eyes. 

Zelda paused as she inhaled deeply, gathering her next thoughts, preparing herself and the crowd. “Last night, the body of Faustus was examined thoroughly by my sister. It has come to our attention that the weapons used were tainted with Holy Water.” 

Most everyone in the crowd whispered the same thing. 


“He was the victim of a witch-hunt,” Zelda finished, clasping her hands before her.  

“I knew it!” shouted Brother Millard. “I knew it when I saw the format in which he was killed – stabbed thrice in the name of the Holy Trinity and hanged. They’ll slaughter all of us in the same manner.” 

The crowd broke out in collective gasps and shrieks.  

“Calm down,” Zelda near shouted. “There will be no more slaughters. Our walls have been re-fortified to fend off any more attacks. The Coven is safe, as long as we continue to keep our safety at the forefront of our minds. Until the threat is entirely clear, we should enforce a curfew. The students should not leave the building for any reason unless deemed necessary.” 

“How did they get into the Academy?” someone asked, fear evident in their voice. 

Sabrina couldn’t take it anymore, standing silent and allowing them to fear for their lives while also mourning the death of a man who didn’t deserve it. 

“Sabrina, wait-” Nick attempted to stop her, but she pulled away and stepped in front of her aunt, facing the crowd. 

“Father Blackwood let them in,” Sabrina said, her voice clear and unwavering.  

The crowd gasped once more. 

“That’s a lie! Father Blackwood would not allow for witch-hunters to enter the premises – that is part of his sacred oath as our High Priest!” another staff member shouted. 

“He did,” Sabrina shot back. “He conspired with witch-hunters, not once, but on several occasions.” 

“Sabrina,” her aunt gritted out. “Remove yourself from the podium and return to your place, right now.” 

“No, aunt Zelda. The Coven deserves to know.” She turned to the crowd once more. “They deserve to know the man that led them, truly know him. They deserve to know that he plotted and succeeded in murdering the previous High Priest.” Another wave of gasps radiated through the hall. “My father, Edward Spellman, and my mother, Diana Spellman - both of them died at the hands of Faustus Blackwood.” 

“Impossible - I was there when they served the news of Father Spellman! His plane went down in the Atlantic, Father Blackwood was at the Academy the entire time!” someone shouted from the crowd. 

“Sabrina-” her aunt tried once more. Sabrina ignored her. 

“The records state it was an accident,” Sabrina said. “But the truth lies in here.” She opened her bag and pulled out a journal, holding it above her head for the crowd to see. “Blackwood poisoned my father with Holy Water to lessen his magical abilities and then enchanted the plane to plummet – he wrote about it in his private journals.” 

There was whispering among the crowd as they huddled close, all of them likely questioning the reality that they had lived over the course of the last twenty-seven years.  

“He paid witch-hunters to murder my father’s close friends – after they threatened to reveal his secret. He had Cassius murdered, and likely Brother Aimes’, too,” Sabrina went on. 

Another Coven member spoke up. “Nonsense, none of that is true. You are spouting lies.” 

“It’s all in here,” Sabrina declared, waving the journal once more. “I have the rest with me, as well.” 

“How do we know those haven’t been falsified?” someone asked. “You could’ve easily concocted false journals to spread misinformation on our High Priest.” 

Nick stepped forward this time. “Magic can reveal they are real. They contain Blackwood’s thoughts. His hands have touched them and left behind a trail of energy. A simple divination would prove them real,” he answered. 

The crowd roared with more voices as everyone attempted to make sense of everything. 

“My father wanted a Church that held all of its members in equal standing,” Sabrina continued, glancing at Nick, grateful for his input. “He held witches and warlocks in the same regard. He wanted to abolish some of the more barbaric rituals of our people. The Feasts of Feasts, for example.” 

“We know of Edward Spellman,” another staff member said, stepping forward. “Many of us stood by him – supported him. His time came too soon.” 

“Some of Father Spellman’s ideas were radical, but he was a fair leader and a powerful warlock,” someone else said. 

“Then do not allow him to die in vain,” Sabrina shot back. “We will prove the journals are real, we will copy the necessary pages – anything to justify the things that I have told you today.” She looked to Agatha next, who stood with her own shocked expression. She would need her help later. 

The crowd dissolved into fervent chatter as everyone tried to dissect what was said. Some appeared still in disbelief, some curious, others were afraid and silent with their faces pale. 

“Who will lead us now?” another voice asked timidly. “In these trying times, it is imperative that we have a High Priest – someone to direct and keep the peace. Our Coven would fall otherwise.” 

The chatters began to die down as a new question formed in everyone’s minds.  

“Our obvious choice is Zelda Spellman.” 

Sabrina snapped her head in the direction of the voice. 

Prudence Night stood before the crowd, eyes holding an immense wave of determination, her voice solid and powerful.  

“A woman?” a meek voice asked, not in distaste, but in a way of innocent questioning. 

The crowd looked to Prudence. 

“Zelda Spellman is a witch as powerful as any warlock and just as fit to lead. In the history of our Academy, she has dedicated most of her time to selflessly serve us, educate us, and protect us. My abilities show me that the pride of the Coven has been, and still is at the forefront of her mind. Furthermore, she is the only midwife to have ever been able to deliver not one, but two healthy babies to Constance Blackwood – who, before her, had suffered the loss of countless babies. She was willing to marry Faustus Blackwood, a man who we are discovering is not as reputable as we once thought, to be able to foster those very children.” 

Prudence paused briefly, the entire Coven watching her with silent reverence. “More so, she has a direct relation to the previous High Priest, Edward Spellman, and if we care to run our Church based on a system of blood-heirs, then she is the most well-suited in that regard. I have no doubt that she will do what it takes to protect our Coven from any threat the witch-hunters may pose.” 

The Coven was silent. 

Slowly, one hand raised in the air. 

“I cast my vote in for Zelda Spellman,” a young woman said.  

Another second passed and one more hand raised. Then another. A third followed shortly after. 

“Zelda Spellman,” they all declared, one by one. 

And it continued, at first gently, and then with increasing strength as most of the Coven threw in their votes for Zelda. 

Watching it all unfold was powerful, to say the least, and it peppered goosebumps along Sabrina’s skin. Tears gathered at the corners of her eyes. The Coven – most of it, at least – stood with her aunt. 

She glanced at Zelda, who stood in front of the crowd with a look of silent wonder. It became apparent to Sabrina just how much her aunt had likely yearned, always in silence, for a feat as remarkable as the position of High Priestess of the Church, of Headmistress of the Academy. She deserved it.

“Will the Council accept a witch as High Priest?” someone else asked. “They are comprised solely of warlocks...” 

“We can convince them with our support,” Nick spoke. “I came from an Academy with a Headmistress – a successful one. I will stand beside Zelda Spellman and testify to the Council.” 

Sabrina’s heart swelled. She was certain her choice in warlock could not have been any better. She took his hand. He squeezed hers back in response. 

A student raised her hand. “What do we call you, then?” She asked. 

“The proper term would be ‘Mother Spellman,’” Nick replied. 

“The Church of Night has consistently been run by warlocks. To elect a witch would go against tradition,” Brother Millard spoke. 

Prudence fixed her gaze on him. “The Coven has voted, Brother Millard. If you do not agree, you may see yourself out. I’ve heard the Church of Shadows is searching for new members.” 

Brother Millard looked disgruntled, but he stepped down anyway. 

It took Zelda a couple of moments to gather herself, to find her voice once more. “I am honored,” she said. “And I thank every one of you. If I should acquire this position, know that I will not fail you and that I vow to do all I can to protect you.” 

Claps reverberated throughout. 

“As far as this meeting is concerned, that is all the news we have to share with you today. Please note that should any other information arise, we will let you know. For now, keep caution and be safe,” Zelda finished. 

Once more, the crowd dissipated into discussion as they began to gather themselves to leave, hushed whispers radiating throughout the Great Hall.

Zelda looked to Prudence and Nick. “I’d like the two of you to come with me. It’s best we make contact with the Council as soon as possible.”

Sabrina turned to Agatha. “I need your help,” she said. “Are you ready to perform a divination?”

The witch looked at her with a hardened expression. She nodded once. “I’m ready to figure out what’s going on.”

Sabrina pulled her bag over her shoulder as she wandered down the red wallpaper trimmed hallway. The divination ritual had taken up a great deal of her time that day and it left her feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. If dealing with Prudence was bad, dealing with Agatha was even worse. She wasn’t the friendliest or easiest person to get along with, Sabrina found. Between the three sisters, she favored Dorcas. ‘Favored’ was a likely overstatement, but Sabrina genuinely found her the easier to be around. While she was a bit clueless at times, she was fairly nice compared to her counterparts.  

In the end, it had been a success. They had proven the authenticity of all the journals by having Agatha perform her divination with most of the Academy staff bearing witness. They had even performed a spell to copy some of the entries to release to the Coven, specifically the one which described the way Blackwood had ended her father’s life. For obvious reasons, Sabrina had kept much of them private. There were entries regarding Nick’s family that she wasn’t comfortable putting out into the world, especially without his permission.  

The Coven would know now the sort of man that had once led them. They would know that he wasn’t what he’d preached, that he was truly vile at the center.  

Now that all of that had been sorted, she was eager to meet with her aunt and Nick to find out the results of their discussion with the Council.  

The doors to the High Priest’s office were ajar. She peeked in, finding her aunt, Prudence, and Nick at the center of the room, gathered around the desk. They were talking in hushed voices. 

Sabrina pushed open one of the doors. The creaking of the hinges caught the attention of the group and they turned to look at her. 

“Good, Sabrina, you’re here. Come in and shut the door,” Zelda said. 

Upon entering, Sabrina noted that the office appeared clean now. There were no more splotches of blood, and the desk was no longer a mess. A larger stand-up mirror sat before them. It had likely been their method of contacting the Council. “Good news?” she asked, hoping to not sound too desperate. She wasn’t sure if she could handle the Council’s rejection on top of everything else that was already going on. 

“Your aunt’s in,” Nick spoke before anyone else. “Zelda Spellman is our new High Priestess.” He was beaming. Zelda, too, though her expression was much more reserved. Even Prudence looked satisfied. 

Sabrina smiled. “Congrats, auntie.” She circled around the desk to hug her aunt. 

“Not so fast, Sabrina,” Zelda said. “Yes, that is good news. Impeccable, almost. But I’ve also asked the Council to extend a hand with our current problem. Don’t forget, the witch-hunters are still our biggest priority.” 

Sabrina’s smile fell. “Did you tell them about…” She paused to swallow. 

“I’ve informed them of the witch-hunters fascination with you. It’s impossible to lie to the Council,” she answered with a sigh. “They’ve got ways of seeing through that. Anyway…” 

“They’re refusing to help,” Nick finished. 

Sabrina frowned. “What? We’re being hunted and they won’t do anything?” 

“Our Coven is the only one affected,” Zelda said. “In their opinion, it is an internal affair that doesn’t require the intervention of the Council. They feel that it ours to bear, given that-” 

“Given that your birth was unnatural,” Prudence finished. She gave a small shrug upon seeing Sabrina’s face. “Those were their words, not mine.” 

Sabrina sighed and dropped her gaze. She felt Nick’s arm as it slid around her, his hand reaching up to squeeze her shoulder.  

Fine, she thought.  

“We don’t need their help, anyway,” Sabrina said after a couple of seconds, her tone resolute. “If they refuse to help their own kind because of something they don’t agree with, then their help is unwanted. We can fix it ourselves – I can fix it.” 

She had no idea how. She only knew that she had to.  

“How, Sabrina?” Her aunt asked, at her wit’s end. “How on earth do you plan to fix this?” Zelda sighed deeply and dropped into the chair – her chair. Satan, she couldn’t even celebrate right now. “All that we can do is protect ourselves, protect the Coven, and prepare to defend ourselves should we be attacked.” 

Sabrina tightened her fists at her sides. “You want us to cower?” she asked. 

“I want us safe,” Zelda enunciated. She stood suddenly and circled her desk. “I’m going to go and suggest to the Coven members whose homes are not so adequately protected that they may reside in the Academy should they desire to.” 

She left before Sabrina could pester her anymore.  

Sabrina groaned loudly. “This is what happens when only one gender is allowed to lead,” she snapped, finding that she no longer held the Council to the high-regard that she previously had. They really were just a group of useless old warlocks.

Prudence made to follow her aunt. Sabrina stopped her, her hand grasping her elbow. Prudence looked back and they stared at each other for a brief moment, neither of them dropping their gazes.  

“Thank you,” Sabrina said finally, dropping her displeasure with the Council to address Prudence with honesty. “You stood up for my aunt – for the Academy. And I’m sorry about Blackwood, Prudence, but you’re welcome at the Spellman table just as much as the twins.” 

Prudence pulled her arm back swiftly. Sabrina thought the witch might go off on her again, but she didn’t. “I've spent so much time looking into the minds of others that I’ve neglected my own. I suppose it’s time I make my own decisions.” 

Sabrina opened her mouth to respond, but Prudence vanished before her. 

She’d never had a sister, but she hoped that one day, she could view Prudence in a similar sort of light. 

Sabrina shrugged the bag off her shoulder and held it out to Nick. “Here,” she said. “If you want to go through Blackwood’s journals, that is. They're definitely – interesting – but, just so you know, there are some things in there that might be a bit hard to swallow.” She wasn’t certain she wanted to really push them onto him, but at the same time, she didn’t want to keep them from him. He had a right to read about his family and the lengths that Blackwood had gone to get rid of them. 

Nick took the bag. “I’ve already had to tear through my dead father’s office to find a demonic blood oath to then send my own familiar back to Hell – I think I could probably handle whatever is in there.” 


“They’re just words, Sabrina. They can’t hurt me.” He gave her a smile before leaning in to kiss her. 

Sabrina pushed open the heavy library doors and began the long descent down the stairs. It was strange to be there now. She felt her heart crumble at the thought of Cassius, once warm and friendly, occupying the library. 

She peered through the archway at the bottom of the stairs. It was dark and cold, lacking its usual charm. She supposed no one was all that eager to spend their time studying after the news they had received, and especially with Cassius no longer part of the experience. Plus, it was well into the evening now. 

The library was under the Academy, and it spanned almost its entire footprint. The texts that filled its walls were old and seemingly endless. Shelves upon shelves of various literature, a likely hassle to keep track of. But Cassius had loved it. It had been his pride and joy. She was certain he could’ve lived there, had Blackwood allowed it. 

It was hard to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach, the tightness in her throat.  

Fate is but a suggestion, and you’ve no time for suggestions – only purpose.  

She thought about that line, remembered as clear as day the way Cassius had underlined it like it had been his mantra, or perhaps, his last bit of advice to them. 

Sabrina found Nick seated toward the back of the library, the stack of journals stacked in front of him, a glass of something amber in his grasp, nearing on empty. He leaned back in his chair, seemingly absorbed in thought. 

“Alcohol isn’t allowed in the library,” Sabrina said as she approached, eyeing him disapprovingly. He sat up with a start and peered over his shoulder.

“Who’s here to stop me?” Nick asked. 

She stopped in front of the table and looked at him. His hair was a bit messy, a curl hanging in his forehead. She knew he had a habit of fumbling with it whenever he was deep in thought.

“He sent Amalia after you,” Nick said. 

Sabrina nodded. “He did.” She rested her hand on top of the chair straight across from his, weighing her options between sitting or dragging his ass out of there before he got hammered.

“I blamed myself for that, for being careless, for putting you at risk.” He still did, even now. “The whole thing had been one of his ploys.” Nick pressed the pad of his thumb into his temple. “Not that it mattered, I still would’ve had to banish her regardless.” 

He downed the rest of his drink and set the glass down. Sabrina saw him eye the bottle briefly, likely debating whether to pour himself another. 

She bit her lip. “I’m sorry...about your mom,” she said softly. “Did you know?” 

Nick nodded. “I knew,” he said. He stared down at his upturned palm with a somber expression. “I remember her putting my hand on her stomach one night and telling me that our family was going to get bigger. I don’t think I really understood what she meant back then. It wasn’t until later that I realized she was pregnant.” 

“I’m sorry, Nick,” Sabrina said, feeling another tug at her heart. “For what it’s worth, you would’ve been a great brother.” 

Nick snickered. “That’s debatable, but thank you.” 

“I’m serious.” 

“Sabrina, no offense, but you didn’t know me before I came to Greendale. I wasn’t that great of a guy. I was incredibly selfish. Before you, I really didn’t care about anyone else.” He paused for a moment, considering something. “I still am selfish, I think.” 

“You were only like that because of what happened to you,” Sabrina said. “You wouldn’t have been that way otherwise. The you that you are right now, the one the cares about people, that’s the real Nick.” 

Nick leaned forward on the table, resting on his elbows. He smirked at her. “If you weren’t a witch, Spellman, you’d be a Saint.”

Sabrina rolled her eyes at him. “And you’d be a drunk,” she said.

He chuckled. “It takes a lot more than a glass or two of bourbon to get me drunk, Sabrina. I merely wanted to stop thinking for a bit, that’s all.”

Sabrina nodded, understanding. “You think too much,” she agreed. She pondered for a moment. “And I don’t think enough.” She smirked. She was more of a ‘rush right into action’ kind of girl.

“The perfect match,” Nick replied with his ever-growing smirk present. A bit crooked. 

“I have been doing some thinking, though,” she continued, gripping the back of the chair a bit tighter. “The witch-hunters dealt with Blackwood, of all people. I can only imagine what he told them about me. I’m sure it wasn’t anything great, knowing him.”

Nick looked up at her. He had a feeling he knew where she was headed.

“Sabrina,” he warned.

“They’re humans. With minds. They can be reasoned with,” Sabrina explained. “I should try and talk to them, let them know that I have no intention of...messing with the mortal realm or whatever they meant by that.”

Nick stood, pushing off of the table as he made an attempt to come closer to her. His foot caught the leg of the table and he went tumbling onto the floor. Sabrina heard the audible ‘thump’ as his knee landed against the hardwood floors. 

“Son of a fucking bitch,” he cursed.

Sabrina peered around the table to where he was, still on the floor. “Like I said: drunk.”

“I’m not drunk, but I think I just shattered my fucking knee-cap,” he grumbled.

“Cassius doesn’t like cursing in his library,” Sabrina added.

Nick pulled himself to his feet, his other palm pressed against his knee. Taken out by a table, like a true warlock. “Cassius is dead, Sabrina,” he enunciated. She flinched. “The witch-hunters that came for him didn’t care that he was an innocent old man. They didn’t ask questions, they just killed him. That’s what they do. That’s what they would do to you, too, if you tried to reason with them.”

He was right - she knew that - but it didn’t make her consider her options any less. “You don’t understand, Nick.” She tried to fight the way her lip trembled as she spoke. “I’m the reason the whole Coven is in danger. I can’t just stand around and do nothing. I have to try something - anything.”

Nick took her wrist, gently guiding her into his embrace. She pressed her cheek against his chest and he held her. “I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with that. I can’t just let you walk into danger, knowing you’d likely be killed.” By the very same people that had killed his family decades prior. Things really did have a way of coming full circle, he had to admit. “You’re so important, Sabrina, to so many people. And I know that doesn’t sound like much coming from me, being that we haven’t really been together that long. But think of your family - think of your aunts, of Ambrose, of your students. Think about your parents. Your father fought so hard for a world where you’d be appreciated for who you are. Think about what it would mean to all of those people if you just went headfirst into your own end like that?”

He kissed her head, let the smell of her rose-scented aura wash over him like a gentle and soothing wave. “Contrary to what you may believe, I love your personality. I love how you act first, think later, how you’re so incredibly selfless. You live for others, and that’s an admirable feat, but Sabrina, right now I want you to be selfish. And if you can’t, then think about being selfish for the sake of your family.”

The tears slid down her cheeks before she could stop them. He wiped them away with his thumb.

“You’re pretty articulate for a drunk guy,” Sabrina whispered quietly, seconds later. She felt a laugh rumble in his chest. Nick was probably the only person that could talk her down from a ledge, she realized. Never before had she ever considered the opinion of another person. It was why she was so good at getting into trouble, even if her intentions were usually good.

“That’s because I’m not drunk,” he repeated for the third time that night. 

She wiped away at the rest of her tears and pulled away enough to look up at him. “Fine,” she answered. “I guess I won't try to hunt down the witch-hunters for a meet and greet.”

He sighed in relief and lifted her hand to press a kiss to her wrist, lips right above her pulse. “Thank you.”

She reached up to kiss him, scrunching up her nose at the taste of alcohol on his lips. He chuckled in response.

“Let’s go home,” she decided. “I’d like to at least try and sleep, and my aunt Hilda is probably wondering where we are by now.” She let him go to pack up the journals once more. Tomorrow, she would find a more secure place for them, and let Nick use his binding to seal them more efficiently than Blackwood had. “I think that knee of yours needs a kiss or two.”

Nick nodded knowingly. “Three. I think it might actually need three kisses.”

She smiled and took his hand. “You might even be able to get four,” she added. “If you’re lucky.”

They walked back to the entrance of the library, where she let Nick handle the teleporting.

It wasn’t long before they were tucked under the warm blankets of her bed and safe for the evening. He’d gotten his kisses, and she’d even managed to sneak him a fourth. 

Now, she was pressed snugly against him, with his arm wrapped around her. She lightly trailed her fingertips along his forearm. The remnants of his scrap with Amalia were still there. The indentations of her teeth had scarred his skin, and though they were a lot less noticeable now, they would forever be a reminder of that night in the woods. 

“Those journals,” Sabrina spoke, remembering something else. He hummed in the darkness. “Blackwood said you’d muddled around in some ‘new magics’. What did he mean by that?”

“It’s not that important,” Nick explained. She could tell he was teetering on the edge of sleep. “Just something I messed around with in my free time.”

“Which is?” she inquired further. He nuzzled further against her hair.

“Just another way of conjuring demons, one that requires a bit more mental dexterity.”

She thought about that. It still didn’t really explain anything. “Do you think it could help us with the witch-hunters?”

“Possibly. Maybe…”

Sabrina sighed. “I’m going to need a better answer than that.”

“Mmm,” he grumbled. “Just so you know I’m considering going to sleep at my apartment if this bed-time interrogation continues...”

“Fine,” she huffed and closed her eyes, forcing herself to try to sleep. “I’ll bug you about it tomorrow.”

“I can hardly wait.”

Chapter Text

Sabrina lifted the steaming mug of coffee to her lips, giving it a quick blow before she dared a sip. She had decided to have her coffee out on the Spellman porch, despite the cold temperature.

The front door flew open suddenly, nearly causing her to drop the dangerously full mug straight into her lap. 

Nick looked around, spotted her, and then sighed in relief. “You could’ve said something, you know. I’ve just searched the entire house for you,” he said. She could hear the slight agitation that tinged his voice. “I even walked in on Ambrose showering - that was fun.” He wasn’t fully at fault for that. Ambrose had been in Sabrina’s bathroom and he’d naturally assumed it was her.

Sabrina snorted, snuggling deeper into her throw blanket. “I bet he liked that,” she teased. Nick didn’t look amused. “Relax. I just wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee out in the fresh air, seeing as I’m not allowed to walk to the Academy anymore.”

Nick slipped onto the wooden bench beside her with another sigh. She threw half of the throw over his lap. “I get it, you hate feeling cooped up. I don’t blame you, and I’m sorry for panicking, but I’d just assumed you’d run head-first into the woods. Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past you.” He took her mug as she offered it to him. One sip left him grimacing and pushing the mug back toward her. “Unholy shit, did you drop a pound of sugar into that thing?”

“I was going to, but then I remembered my overly-cautious boyfriend and decided the lecture just wasn’t worth it,” Sabrina answered honestly. It was routine at this point to grab her bag and head out the door, through the woods, and into the Academy. 

His expression upon tasting her coffee made her erupt into laughter. “I like it this way,” she said honestly.

“It’s a miracle you even sleep.”

“Shut up, Nick, and try to enjoy the day while we can.” She leaned her head against his shoulder. “I’d like to get to the Academy soon so we can find a secure spot for those journals. I feel weird sleeping with them in the house.”

“They’re certainly malicious,” Nick said.

She gave herself a few more minutes to finish off her coffee, Nick eventually slinking off to find his own cup. 

She felt a lot better than she had the previous night. A morning spent sleeping in had done wonders for her mind and body. Or perhaps, it had been the heavy make-out session that followed their wake-up. She could still feel Nick’s shaky breath against her lips. Her hand had slipped beneath his waistline, surprising him. Her wicked grin afterward had only further enticed him.

Needless to say, it had taken them some time to gather themselves and finally head downstairs.

By then, it had been nearly noon.

The last two mornings had not been good, but today had started off well enough. She hoped that would continue.

Sabrina leaned up to kiss him, taking both of his hands in hers.

It was well into the afternoon when they finally decided to leave. 

“Lacunae Magicae.”

They flitted away with a blur, appearing at the Academy statue room just seconds later.

“-want all of the students secured in the Academy. No witch, nor warlock is permitted to leave the Academy walls unless strictly approved!” Zelda called. “All Coven members should be immediately alerted to seek refuge in the Academy.”

Sabrina spun quickly. At one end, she saw her aunt, addressing a group of scatter-brained staff members. At the other, stood Melvin, his clothing and face covered in dirt, tears staining his cheeks, with Prudence and Dorcas tending to him.

“What’s going on?” Sabrina asked, rushing over to the group. 

She had spoken much too soon. Today would be just as bad, she realized very quickly.

“El-Elspeth!” Melvin sobbed. “There were three of them...shot her - took her!”

Who, Melvin?” Sabrina asked, stepping closer, forcing herself to speak despite the fear that had suddenly bubbled up in her chest, like a cauldron threatening to spill over. “Who took Elspeth?”

“The witch-hunters. She fell when they shot her. They shot at me, too, but they missed and-and I teleported. She was screaming...they carried her away!” He pressed his palms to his face. “Satan, I was a coward. I should’ve stayed and tried to help…”

“They would’ve taken you, too,” Nick said.

Her heart felt like it would beat out of her chest. “No, no, no - this can’t be happening,” Sabrina said, fumbling back a couple of steps. 

“Where?” Nick asked Melvin.

“I-In the woods. She went to her outdoor garden to gather some herbs for a potion. She wanted to craft a Praesidium brew for the younger students - to protect them, to help them feel safe. She just wanted to help, that’s all,” Melvin choked out.

“We have to get her back,” Sabrina said, looking at Nick. He guided her away and placed his hands on her shoulders. 

“Sabrina,” he started slowly. “I know you don’t want to hear this. I know you care about Elspeth-”

“No.” Sabrina shook her head, willing him to stop.

“-but it’s very unlikely they kept her alive,” Nick finished softly.

She tore out of his arms and raced after her aunt. “Aunt Zelda - wait!” Zelda acknowledged her but continued walking, the entire time mouthing instructions to another staff member. Sabrina grabbed her arm. “Aunt Zelda, we have to go out and try to help. It’s possible that -”

“I will not risk the safety of the Coven for one single witch,” Zelda said.

“She’s a part of our Coven, too.” When her aunt ignored her to continue her trek down the hallway, Sabrina stopped and glared at her back. “What would you do if it were me? What if I were the single witch ensnared by hunters?”

Zelda stopped in her tracks and turned around once more, this time slowly. Her gaze was hard and unwavering once she met Sabrina’s eyes.

“If the life of a single witch isn’t worth it, then let me go. I’ll take Elspeth’s place,” Sabrina fiercely declared.

Zelda looked angry and horror-stricken all at once. “Nonsense. Elspeth was captured and has likely already been killed, Sabrina. It’s unfortunate, but a matter of luck. I refuse to release my niece to a group of witch-hunters because of another’s misfortune.”

“You’re supposed to be everyone’s High Priestess. You’re supposed to stand by all of us, not just the people important to you,” Sabrina shot back, tears gathering in her eyes. 

Nick was beside her, reaching out a careful hand to touch her. “Sabrina, your aunt’s right. It would be too much of a risk to-”

“No!” Sabrina pulled away before he could touch her. “I’m honored, Nick, truly, to be the one that you love and care about, but would it kill you to at least pretend to care about another Coven member, too? Would it kill you to care about someone that I care about?”

His face fell. He chanced a small step toward her. “Sabrina, I do care-”

“No, you don’t.” She spun and looked at her aunt, at all the others that had gathered to spectate. “And you don’t either, Mother Spellman.”

She shoved her way past them and raced down the hallway before they could stop her.  

It wasn’t fair, she thought. Why did Elspeth have to pay the price? She was kind, good-natured, and always so generous. Even on her worst days, Elspeth always looked toward the brighter side. 

Somewhere further into the Academy, Sabrina shoved open the doors to the conservatory where Elspeth had normally held her Herbalism class.

Greenery plagued all of the walls and ceiling, growing into every crevice that it could. Wisteria - Elspeth’s favorite. 

She wandered in, gazing around.

Various plants sprouted all along the wall in different sized planters and jars, some dangerous, held up high and out of reach, others harmless and useful, spread along entire surfaces. Flowers of all shades, leaves of all sizes, thorns, and vines, and sweet-smelling buds, too.

Sabrina stood in the center of the room and cried - sobbed - because they were all alive. They were all so green and thriving and alive.

And that meant that Elspeth was, too.

She hurried.

Quickly, she grabbed a pair of gardening scissors, racing onto a nearby ladder and pulling herself up the rungs until she neared the ceiling. The sun peered in through the glass ceiling, filling the room with a warm glow, a glow that she would’ve welcomed any other day. A bluebird - Elspeth’s familiar - tapped away at the glass in desperation.

“We’ll get her back,” Sabrina promised the bird.

She reached up over her head and snipped off a thick bloom of wisteria, keeping a thick piece of stem intact. Elspeth had nurtured it, grown it with love and care. It had her magic, her energy, all over it. 

She slipped down the ladder easily, sure that Nick or her aunt or some other person she didn’t want to see was looking for her. Closing her eyes, she whispered the incantation for teleportation once more.

When she opened her eyes, she was near the Walker household. 

Sabrina scrambled for her phone with shaky hands, finding Roz in her contact list quickly. She pressed the phone to her ear and waited.

“Hi, Sabrina,” Roz greeted.

“A-Are you home?” Sabrina asked, skipping the greeting. “I need your help, please.”

“Yeah, I’m upstairs.” Someone peered out of the second-story window. “I’m coming down. What’s wrong?”

The front door swung and she looked at Roz through tear-stained eyes. It was a risk to go there, given how close Roz was to Harvey, and given Harvey’s family...But she felt safe with Roz, she always had. 

Roz helped her inside, visibly concerned for her. 

“I need your help, Roz,” Sabrina repeated. She shoved the bushel of Wisteria at Roz. “Elspeth is missing-”

“A witch?” Roz asked. Sabrina nodded. 

“She was grabbed by witch-hunters.”

Roz blinked, eyes wide as she tried to take in what Sabrina had just said. “Excuse me?”

“There’s no time to explain, but she’s alive. All of her plants are connected to her. As long as they’re alive it means that she is, too.” Roz nodded slowly, though she was still confused. “Please, Roz. She grew this. If you touch it, you can see her, right? You can try?”

“I can try,” Roz said. “I will try.” She took the bushel from Sabrina and clasped it between her hands. Her eyes screwed shut and she forced herself to focus on it, to feel the softness of the petals, and the hardiness of the thick stem.

Seconds later, her eyes shot open. A bead of sweat slid down her forehead. She absentmindedly wiped at it, her eyes on Sabrina. “In the woods,” Roz said. “It was dark. There was a fire lapping away a girl’s feet, trailing up her body. Three men surrounded her. They had crossbows, I think.” 

A visible shiver ran through Roz’s body as she processed the images.

“Where in the woods?” Sabrina asked. “Were there any different features that you can remember?”

“It was in a clearing with big boulders. There was moss growing on them.”

“I know where that is,” Sabrina said resolutely. It was near the desecrated Church. They wanted them to see, she realized. They wanted them to smell the smoke, to see it plume up in the air. It was a threat. “Where is she now?” Sabrina asked. “Do you know?”

“I don’t. But tonight, right after the sun sets, that’s where she’ll be.” Roz looked at her friend with worry. “Sabrina...What’s going on?”

Sabrina fell forward into her friend’s arms, everything falling off of her shoulders at once. They were going to burn Elspeth. The witch-hunters were going to kill Elspeth. Another sob wracked her body, even as she attempted to hold it in.

She could not, and she would not allow them to sacrifice Elspeth in her place. She would face them herself, Coven or not.

She just had to wait out the sun.

“Everything’s a mess,” Sabrina answered meekly. 

Roz held her tightly, pulling away only just briefly to maneuver Sabrina onto the couch in the living room. “Talk to me,” Roz said.

Sabrina clasped her hands together to keep them from shaking, and she told Roz everything.

She told her of Blackwood and his malicious conspiring, the way his hand had played a role in her father’s end, the way he’d forced Nick’s parents out of the world, too.

She told her of the Von Kunkles and how they’d been the ones hired by Blackwood to carry out his deeds.

Yes, she explained, those Von Kunkles . It was why Nick had gotten sick at Cee’s that day, because Harvey’s grandfather had been the one to murder Nick’s mother, and his voice was one that Nick could never forget.

And they had taken Cassius, too, Sabrina continued. They had killed Blackwood after he deemed them worthy enough to trust.

She told her how now, they wanted Sabrina, and that they were willing to ‘burn any witch who stood in their way.’

After it all, Sabrina was not a mess. She wasn’t torn up and sobbing as she had been earlier. No, now she was upset. She was aware and angry and wanting her friend back.

Outside, the sun had begun to set. Sabrina grabbed her bag. After all of that, Blackwood’s journals had never even been put away.

“Sabrina, wait,” Roz called. “Where are you going?”

Sabrina had stopped at the bottom of Walker porch steps and turned to look at her friend. “I’m saving Elspeth,” she said simply. 

“Sabrina, you can’t just-”

“It’s okay, Roz. I’ll be fine,” Sabrina assured. “Nick will find me - he always does.”

She hadn’t waited for Roz’s response before she vanished.

She thought about nothing as she plunged into the woods that evening, the moist air enveloping her like a cool blanket. She had no weapon, not even a simple ritual dagger, but she had her hands and a mindful of spells. 

For Elspeth’s sake, she hoped that would be enough.

Nick shoved open the Spellman door for the second time that day. 


The man appeared in a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt, gazing at Nick questioningly. Briefly, he’d opened his mouth, ready to spew out some clever remark, but he’d quickly shut it upon seeing Nick’s expression. In the short time that he’d known the warlock, he’d never seen him look so afraid.

“It’s Sabrina,” Nick choked out. “We can’t find her - I can’t find her.”

Ambrose’s expression changed, becoming somber. His mouth was a straight line as he spoke. “What do you mean, Scratch? Where is my cousin?”

“Elspeth was snatched by witch-hunters earlier.” Nick swallowed, dread lacing his features. “I think she might’ve gone after her.”

Ambrose was practically shoving him through the front door before his words had even registered in his mind. “Hilda, watch the twins!” he managed to shout back. 

“Prudence and her sisters are in the woods already, trying to pinpoint her location,” Nick croaked. “Zelda had to be restrained back at the Academy. She’s a mess, but attempting to remain calm.”

“Nick! Ambrose!”

They looked ahead. Up the Spellman pathway came a breathless Roz, sweaty and looking as though she had just run a marathon.

“Sabrina,” Roz said as she neared them, hunching over as she inhaled gulps and gulps of air. “She went after her friend. I couldn’t stop her…” Her breathing was ragged. “Is it true there are witch-hunters after her?”

“We’re going to find her,” Nick promised. “Go inside, stay with Hilda. She’ll need someone.”

“Please find her, Nick,” Roz said. “She said you always do.”

His heart lurched and tears pricked at his eyes. He forced them away.


Nick pressed a hand to his forehead as a string of incantations followed his name. Prudence. She was summoning him, in a similar way that Sabrina had at the Academy after crafting that doll of him. 

He felt like screaming at the unfairness of everything, but he held it in. She was alive and he would bring her home, kicking and screaming if he had to.

“Grab my hand,” Nick said, holding it out for Ambrose, who took it in a hurry. They vanished, Nick grasping the metaphorical red string that Prudence had dangled before him, allowing him and Ambrose to pulled to her location.

Less than a second later, they were facing Prudence, Dorcas, and Agatha.

“She’s here,” Prudence said, tucking away her puppet. “Somewhere in the woods. I can sense her mind, but it’s faint. Far away.”

“Can you find her?” 

“These woods are different at night, Nicholas. They’re enchanted by the old magic of Greendale’s original witches. It’s meant to deter hunters. The trees are said to shift at night and the woods become a maze. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get lost. There are spells to make it easier, but finding her will be difficult. We should split and start combing the woods. Whoever finds her first will alert the others,” Prudence explained.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Nick said. “Sabrina has traveled the woods at night countless times and she’s never gotten lost.”

“Sabrina was born in the center of these woods. She knows it like the back of her hand,” Ambrose explained. “She’s run in as a kid and left us searching for her for hours. She always resurfaced on her own.” 

Nick looked up, through the clearing in the trees. The bare branches danced, brushing up against one against the dimness of the sky. 

He looked down at the others again.

“Shit,” he cursed. 

He forced himself to calm down. He had to be calm and unafraid if he was going to do this.

It was hard to not be terrified. Sabrina was somewhere out there, just out of his reach, fumbling about with witch-hunters.

“Stand back,” Nick directed. 

“What are you doing?” Ambrose asked, but they all took a couple of steps backward anyway.

“I’m going to find her and bring her home, then you’ll have to lecture her about running off alone into the midst of chaos,” Nick said. He wouldn’t be able to, he admitted. Once he saw her, he would pull her into an embrace and he wasn’t sure he’d ever let her go again.

He grasped a nearby stick and held it above the ground, drawing symbols in the air as he went. He read them off, the elements, one by one and watched as they burned into the ground in a fashion similar to the way they had the night he’d banished Amalia. 

“Conjuring?” Ambrose asked.

“Yes, the best trackers that I know,” Nick explained. Once the circle was complete, he dropped the stick and held his hands up in the proper position. 

His voice boomed, breaking through the near silence of the forest. The incantation was long, intricate, but he read it loud and clear without fumbling. 

Afterward, he dropped his hands and waited.

The circle buzzed once, then twice, then stopped entirely. Smoke billowed out of it, but nothing else emerged.

Nick looked around, the others too.


Then something else.

“They’re here,” he said finally.

Just before Ambrose could ask him to clarify, the sound of what seemed like hundreds of feet came thundering toward them, encircling them, shaking the Earth. Deep-throated snarls and growls radiated throughout the forest.

“Don’t be afraid,” Nick said. “They feed off fear. And don’t look them in the eyes unless you plan to challenge them.”

“Who?” Prudence asked, losing her patience quickly. Just as she spoke, everything silenced at once. Dozens of red eyes, glowing in the darkness, began to surface around them. 

A single hound stepped out of the pitch-black background. He was barely visible against it, with black fur and straight, pointed ears. The moonlight glimmered off his sleek coat. He resembled a large Great Dane, his body smooth and strong. On all fours, he could look Nick directly in the eye.

His piercing red eyes bore into them.

The others appeared slowly, materializing before them, and all around them. They were smaller than the first hound, but similar in appearance.

“Hellhounds,” Ambrose said. He’d never seen them for himself before, but as Nick had said, they were the best trackers Hell had to offer. He’d heard that the Dark Lord personally used them to seek out his enemies. 

“Barghest,” Nick greeted with a solemn nod.

The hound only stared back. Then, from somewhere in his chest a deep voice carried, rumbling the very air around them. “Nicholas Scratch,” it spoke.

“I’ve lost someone,” Nick explained. 

“We only seek to kill, as you know,” the voice returned. Nick looked directly into the hound’s eyes. It snarled and stepped forward. “Avert your eyes, witchkind. You may know my name, but your kind is not above me.” At that, the other hounds began to growl. 

"You won't kill her."

“Do you challenge me?” it asked seconds later.

“I do not challenge you, but you will seek someone out for me,” Nick said. There wasn’t a hint of fear in his voice as he, too, stepped forward. “You will do that for me, or I will borrow your eyes for myself.”

There was another snarl, this time laced through with a guttural laugh. “You dare threaten me? There are hundreds of us and one of you.”

“I only need you. The others will follow.”

“Are you so certain?”

“Entirely so,” Nick answered. He had to be. “Ambrose.”

Ambrose looked at Nick in anticipation. He hoped Nick understood the severity of the situation and lessened his stance. He didn’t like the way they were being looked at, by hundreds of eyes, with no way out. He nodded once to let the warlock know he’d heard him.

“Be ready to catch my body, please. And watch over it until I return.” He looked behind his shoulder briefly. “If my body is harmed, I may not be able to come back.”

Shit, Nick thought. He was really doing this. Not with a single demon, but a horde. 

“What are you doing, Nicholas? Do you plan to Astral Project?” Prudence asked.  

Nick didn’t answer her. The hound’s eyes had darkened, his stance became hunched, teeth bared as though in preparation for an attack. 

“Corpus meum erit inhabity...Corpore dum cupio discedere…”

As he continued the incantation, the hound snarled. “Stop this, now,” it demanded.

“...invitamus me,” Nick finished. Ambrose stepped forward just in time to catch his body as it collapsed. Nick’s body quickly became dead weight in Ambrose’s grasp.

“I’ve never heard that incantation before,” Ambrose said, voice holding a tone of concern.

“You and us the same,” Prudence shot back.

Barghest, the Alpha hound, began to relax. The offensive stance faded and he stood up. When Ambrose looked back at the demon, there was something different. Its eyes were still a piercing red, still just as sharp, but there was something else about them now.

Something familiar.

“I think,” Ambrose started, unsure of what to say as he looked deep into the eyes of the hound. It didn’t attack. He glanced back at Prudence briefly. “I think that-”

He froze. Barghest had moved closer, craning his large head down to run his nose along the collar of Nick’s shirt. 

He was sniffing him, Ambrose realized, for Sabrina’s scent.

Then Barghest turned in the opposite direction and plunged into the darkness, his horde following him.

Nick remained unconscious in his arms, but Ambrose was certain that his mind and soul were somewhere else entirely.

Somewhere inside of a large beast called Barghest.

Sabrina raced through the woods. Left, passed the droopy tree, then straight ahead, toward the river. She was careful to duck under the branch that hung too low - the very same one she could remember climbing and swinging off of when she was younger. 

She couldn’t explain it, but somehow, when it came to the Greendale wood, she always knew where to go. It had always been that way.

Once, after a fight with Harvey, she had taken a walk to clear her mind, and strangely enough, the path had ended up leading her toward the Kinkle home. It had been on her mind, she thought back then, and subconsciously, she must’ve wandered that way.

Then another time, she had been returning home from Theo’s when halfway into her journey she’d realized she’d forgotten something there. She had spun around, and the forest was suddenly behind her with the field leading to the Putnam residence vast and open in front of her. She visibly remembered trekking half-way through the woods, yet suddenly, she had been at the front again.

It was odd, but it had never been something she heavily considered. Prudence had told her of the old witches of Greendale and how they had enchanted the forest to move about at night. She had always assumed it was the remnants of their magic that guided her. Only, none of the other witches could maneuver through the way she could.

But she had also been born there and that, perhaps, had something to do with her connection to it. 

Sabrina halted to a stop. 

The sound of voices carried through the trees, amplified by the breeze. Then a scream, followed by crying. She was close, she realized.

The smell of smoke pervaded her senses and she pushed forward once more. She was nearly out of breath at this point, but teleportation wasn’t an option. She needed to save as much magic as she could. 

The red flames glittered through trees far ahead. 

Almost there, Sabrina thought.

And then what? She willed the thought away.

She would figure it out, she decided.

She shoved through foliage and low swinging branches. Up ahead, the clearing waited. She practically flew toward it. Her skin buzzed, hairs rising, as she fell into the clearing.

Sabrina focused her eyes on the scene before her.

Two witch-hunters had their weapons trained on her. Behind them, a third held up a flaming torch, just feet away from a make-shift pit. A wooden stake sat at its center, tall, strong, and currently holding a witch.

Elspeth screamed her name upon seeing her. Her hands and feet were tied, immobilizing her. They had made certain she wouldn’t spell-cast.

“How did she get past the circle?” one of the witch-hunters asked. “It’s been reinforced with Holy Water.”

The other stepped forward as Sabrina got to her feet. “That’s her,” he said, his eyes on her hair. “That’s the witch Gregory wants.”

Her lungs burned, but she willed her voice to be strong regardless. “Let her go,” Sabrina instructed.

“Capture her,” the witch-hunter with the torch said. “We’ll grab her, burn this witch, and be on our way.”

An arrow flew in her direction, grazing her shoulder.

Ahead, the flame-bearer dropped the torch into the pit.

“No!” Sabrina screamed. 

The fire spread immediately. It covered the coals at the bottom of the pit, growing in strength as it devoured them. Elspeth screamed again as they raced toward her.

The others lifted their weapons, aiming once more. Just before they pulled their triggers, something happened. 

The Earth seemed to shake violently, as the sounds of howls and snarls filled the air. Claws scraped against dirt and rock. A stampede of animals, Sabrina thought. That was what it sounded like. But out here? It didn’t make sense.

Then, one by one, their red eyes emerged from the darkness. Everything went silent as they slunk forward, encircling them. They stood beside one another in a densely packed line, but the circle that the witch-hunters had laid kept them from getting any closer.

One of the hounds pressed their snout forward and yelped when it was promptly burned by the invisible line of Holy Water.

Sabrina exhaled slowly, realizing only then that she had been holding her breath. She looked to the largest of the hounds and something struck her immediately. A wave of familiarity rushed through her body, tugging at her heart.

“You found me,” she said.

An arrow clicked into place. Sabrina spun, facing the hunters again.

“The witch is doing this. Shoot her!”

Elspeth screamed as the flames grazed her feet.

Sabrina screwed her eyes shut, arms outstretched, palms out, as an onslaught of arrows whizzed through the air.

Nick sat up, gasping for air as he scrambled to get to his feet. 

“A mossy clearing,” he choked out. “About eight-hundred meters North. She’s inside of a circle of Holy Water with three witch-hunters. I couldn’t get any closer.”

He looked pale, unwell, and like he would topple over at any second. Nick didn’t consider any of that as he stumbled forward, uttering a teleportation incantation. He blurred forward a few feet and nearly fell over.

Ambrose grabbed him. “You’re out of energy. I’ll get us there.” Behind him, Prudence and her sisters had already disappeared. 

“A-Ambrose, she did something I’ve never seen,” Nick stammered out.

“So have you,” Ambrose answered and then they were gone. When he opened his eyes again, they were behind the horde of Hellhounds. 

At the center of the circle, the scene stood frozen. Elspeth shouted from the stake, fire dancing dangerously around her ankles. Just feet in front of her were the witch-hunters, crossbows aimed, unmoving. Before them, several arrows hung suspended in the air, inches from Sabrina’s body.

Then everything unfolded in a matter of seconds.

They watched as Sabrina wordlessly shifted her outstretched arms, sending the scene into motion once more. A large gust of wind, powerful and thick, ravaged through the clearing. The arrows flew in the opposite direction, hurling toward the bodies of the witch-hunters. The wind sent them barreling backward, too, and they rolled over one another like rag dolls.

Something sizzled and rumbled.

The group watched as the witch-hunter’s circle of Holy Water shattered and imploded in on itself. The horde of Hellhounds poured in through the cracks like black smoke, descending immediately upon the bodies of the witch-hunters.

Nick stumbled beside Ambrose, taking a few cautious steps forward. He put every last drop of magical energy he had into an incantation for banishment. The Hellhounds began to fade away, one by one, revealing the charred bones of the witch-hunters. It was all that was left of them.

He made another attempt to move, to run toward Sabrina, but his legs gave away and his vision blurred. Her silvery hair as she rushed to help Elspeth off the stake was the last thing he saw before he blacked out.

Chapter Text

He dreamt of his mother again. 

Inside the abandoned Scratch home, he wandered down a hallway, tracing a finger over the wooden engravings along the wall and watching as the dust piled up beneath it. On his way, he passed a mirror and caught sight of himself. 

He was bigger, older - himself, right now, not a child like before. 

Further down, he found a door that was ajar and when he opened it, he saw his mother lying on the floor, the blood beneath her body a crimson blemish on the blanket of dust surrounding her. She was face down, silent and unmoving, but when he’d crouched beside her to gently flip her over, she had shifted, taking on Sabrina’s appearance. Her hair was pale, her rosy cheeks now a somber gray.

He cradled her in his lap and sobbed. When he lifted his head, he saw his mother slip out of the shadows. She looked the same as she did the day she’d died. Her hair was loose and wild around her shoulders, and she was wearing the dusty-lavender dress he'd remembered accidentally staining. His child-sized handprints were still smeared along the bottom of it.

“This is your fault, Nicholas,” she chided as though he were still a child, a finger raised in chastisement. “You let her go alone.”

His voice was thick when he finally gathered enough air to speak. “I won’t anymore,” he promised, pressing Sabrina to his chest. There was a sound that softly began to fill the space around him, seemingly coming from all directions. It sounded like sand pouring against a hard surface. His eyes shot around the room, and then down once he realized where it was coming from. In his arms, Sabrina’s form crumbled into something soft and fine, and slowly slipped through his fingers until she joined with the white dust that cloaked the rest of the room, becoming unnoticeable amongst it.

“You won’t always have a second chance,” his mother’s voice rang as everything began to blur around him.


When his eyes shot open, Ambrose was hovering above him. He quickly became aware of his own body as it laid, stiff and uncomfortable. His jaw was clenched enough that it made his teeth ache. The metallic taste of blood filled his mouth, likely from where his teeth had met with his cheek. 

“You okay, Scratch?” Ambrose asked, concern evident in his voice and face. His hand still gripped Nick’s shoulder from where he had shaken him awake.

Nick was sitting up before he could stop himself, shoving the nightmare as far back into his mind as he could. “Sabrina-”

“She’s fine,” Ambrose answered. “She’s in the infirmary with Elspeth. Hasn’t left her since we brought her back.”

“Where am I?” Nick asked next, gazing around the space through bleary eyes. The edges of his vision were still blurry. He blinked to try and clear it up.

“In a temporary dormitory near the infirmary. Zelda has requested the entire Coven reside in the Academy until further notice. It’s too dangerous for any witch to be out and about right now. I came by to check on you, seeing as you’ve been asleep for the entire night and half of the following day.” Ambrose dropped into a nearby chair, throwing his legs up over the arm.

Nick rubbed a hand over his forehead, wiping away at the thin layer of sweat there. His head was pounding and his entire body felt weak, but he supposed that made sense if he was out for as long as Ambrose claimed. He threw a leg over the side of the bed and made to stand. Ambrose stopped him with a click of his tongue.

“Give it a few minutes,” he said. “You’ve just woken up from...whatever that was.”

“I’m fine,” Nick said. “It’ll wear off.”

“And while it does, you can explain to me how you managed to pilot an entire horde of Hellhounds to do your bidding.”

Nick pressed his thumb a bit firmer against his temple and let out a soft chuckle. “I guess I’m just a dog person.”

Ambrose rolled his eyes. “You really want to joke right now?”

Nick sighed and swung both of his legs over the side of the bed, though this time he made no attempt to stand. “It’s a lot to explain all at once,” he said. “I don’t really know if I can right now, either.” His head ached painfully.

“Have you done that before?” Ambrose pushed.

“Not to that extent, but yes, a few times.” He looked at Ambrose when he realized he wasn’t getting out of this situation anytime soon. He tapped his fingers against his knee, desperately wanting to go find Sabrina, but at the same time, knowing it wasn’t a good idea right now. He continued. “When I was a student, I had a lot of spare time. I was delving pretty deep into demonic studies, trying to learn everything that I could.”

Ambrose hummed in agreement. “Sabrina told me you’re pretty skilled in that department.”

The corner of Nick’s mouth tilted up just barely. “A little, I guess. Anyway, it started when I read Alizon Merlin’s Codex of Infernia . In the later chapters, he talked about walking with demons and-”

“I’m pretty sure Merlin meant that metaphorically, Scratch.”

Nick nodded. “I know, but it got me thinking about how far our connection with demonkind can really go. Witchkind has always been aligned with them, whether for our benefit or theirs.” Witches could often call upon demons to do their bidding, but demons could also bring upon a witch something sinister. A haunt, torment, even a painful end. “Most often, we conjure them without much thought. Unless you’re a demonologist, how much time do you really spend considering a particular demon? I was never really satisfied with just conjuration - I wanted to know what I was summoning. I wanted to see things from their end, to walk with them, as Merlin expressed.”

Ambrose smirked. “You’re a strange one, Scratch.”

“I guess so,” Nick said with a short laugh. He didn’t tell Ambrose that most of his studies had resulted from a place of loneliness. In the times when being all by himself had become too much to handle, he’d turn to bothering demons with whatever curious questions his young mind had. His first solo conjuration had resulted in him summoning a minor demon that resembled a fox, which he’d immediately pestered with questions regarding its being. He could recall how shocked the demon had been upon learning that Nick hadn’t wanted anything from it other than knowledge.

A great deal of his understanding regarding demons had come from textbooks and lectures, yes, but an even bigger portion had come from simply speaking to them. It was how he had come to know Vrethala, the invisible demoness, so well.

“I got sucked into a lot of obscure texts regarding some of the peculiar links witches have had with demons,” Nick continued. “You know of Evinora Circe, right?”

“The witch of Cremona.”

“They say after decades of being tormented by a demon, she was able to mentally control it into devouring itself. Essentially, she overpowered it far enough to override its natural instincts of self-preservation and tricked it into deeming itself as its own enemy. She poured years and years of time into learning the mental workings of that particular demon in order to bring about his undoing.”

Ambrose nodded slowly. “I’m familiar with it, not quite as much as you, it seems, but I have heard the stories.”

“I drew inspiration from that, as well as a few other cases of demon inhabitation, and began researching into it. If demons can enter our minds and possess us, what stops us from entering theirs and doing the same? As Evinora proved, it’s actually possible, so long as the witch knows what they’re going up against,” Nick went on.

Ambrose sat up, pulling his legs from the arm of the chair and settling them flat on the floor. He leaned in on his elbows. “And how exactly is it possible?”

“As I have it right now, it's a combination of three spells: a sleep spell to briefly incapacitate the demon, a minor mind-control spell to open their mind, and astral-projection as a way to temporarily separate myself from my body. The last step requires binding myself to them.”

Ambrose considered it with a low whistle. 

“You’re welcome to browse through all of the documents I’ve comprised regarding it.” The Council, though intrigued, had refused to let him publish any of it for educational purposes unless he could deem it successful and safe, not that he ever really considered teaching a subject on it. 

“It doesn’t sound very safe.”

Nick shrugged. “It’s only unsafe if my body is injured excessively or if the demon overpowers me. That’s why it’s important to know the demon you’re inhabiting.”

“‘Only if’” Ambrose scoffed. “I’m sure Sabrina will have a blast with that part once you tell her about it.”

At the mention of Sabrina, Nick’s gaze fell to his hands. His thumbs fidgeted with one another as he considered the previous day’s events. “I fucked up, Ambrose,” Nick said. “I should have sided with her, or at the very least, gone with her.”

“She took a risk, Nicholas, one that I don’t think I really agree with either. When Sabrina wants to do something, she’ll do it, and believe me, we’ve already exchanged some heated words over her reckless decision.”

“Knowing that I should’ve been there with her. I should’ve caught her before she left, I shouldn’t have let her go alone,” Nick said. His mother’s phantom words resurfaced in his mind. You let her go alone.

“Sabrina went alone because she wanted to. Had she come to us, we would’ve fought her about it, I’m sure, but in the end, she’d have had us walking into the woods hand-in-hand, don’t you agree?”

Nick nodded. 

“Then it’s not your fault and you should stop blaming yourself - but you should talk to her,” Ambrose said. “Maybe not right now. She’s still in a rather foul mood, but maybe in a few hours.”

“No,” Nick said, standing up. His vision blurred briefly, the world spinning around him as he forced his body up. He shut his eyes and waited for it to pass. “I can’t take it anymore. I have to see her.”

“Fine,” Ambrose agreed. “But before you go, I need to ask.” Nick looked in his direction, awaiting his question. “In the forest, in front of the witch-hunters, right before Sabrina spell-cast, did you hear her say an incantation?”

“No,” Nick answered firmly. Not then, and not the first time when she had halted the arrows mid-air. “Her mouth didn’t move.”

Ambrose only nodded, as though relieved that he wasn’t the only one to question it. Nick had only assumed that a dozen other questions had likely flooded his mind. They sure had for him.

Right now, however, only one thought was at the forefront of his mind. Verifying her safety, seeing her for himself, was the most important thing. 

He gave Ambrose a simple nod and a hand raise as a bid farewell before he left the room.

Minutes later, after figuring out where exactly he was, Nick found himself heading down the hallway in the direction of the infirmary, sticking closer to the wall than normal. He still felt light on his feet, and he wasn’t sure if was swaying or not, but just in case, he wanted to make sure the wall - and not the ground - was there to catch him. 

He heard her voice in the infirmary. She was talking to Elspeth, he assumed. Hilda, too, was there.

He peeked his head in.

“Nicholas,” Hilda called, motioning with her fingers for him to come. “How is your head, dear? Are you well? Come, let me check.”

“It’s better,” Nick answered, but the woman had already descended on him, checking him over once more. Once she deemed him fit, she gave his arm a squeeze and turned back to Elspeth.

“How are you feeling, Elspeth?” Nick asked politely.

“I’m well, thank you, Brother Scratch.”

“You can call me Nick,” he said with a half-smile. “We’ve been through enough to warrant being friends now, don’t you think?”

Elspeth giggled and gave him a hearty nod. “Of course, Nick.”

His eyes flickered over Sabrina next. “Sabrina-”

“Let’s talk,” she said, lifting herself up and off of Elspeth’s bed. She didn’t hesitate, leaving the infirmary quickly. He followed. Once they were outside, with the door shut, she turned to him. He could see the conflict in her eyes. “Are you okay?” she asked first. “Ambrose told me you performed some questionable magic last night.”

He nodded. “I’m fine, I promise.” Satan, all he wanted to do was pull her in, kiss her, and never let her go, but he had a feeling she had other things on her mind. His fingertips burned with the desire to touch her. He forced them to remain still.

Upon learning that he was alright, her eyes focused on him a bit more firmly. There was that fire that he loved seeing, but hated being on the receiving end of. 

“Just so you know, Nick,” she began. “I’m not sorry - for running away, for going to save Elspeth. I would do it all again - for her, for anyone.” 

“Listen, Sabrina, I’m sorry for-”

She cut him off. “That’s not what I want to hear.” Her brown eyes bore into his. “What I want to know, Nicholas, is whether or not to plan to stand beside me.”

He opened his mouth to respond, but she cut him off once more. 

“Not in my way, but at my side - as my partner.” 

Nick freed his hand from its mental restraint and let it grasp hers. Carefully, he dropped down onto one knee. He clenched her hand like he might lose his balance any second. 

He saw hesitation flicker across her features, but he didn’t care. “Nick, wait…”

This time, he cut her off. “Sabrina, I love you. And though I may not agree with some of the things you do, I swear on everything that is Unholy that I will stand beside you, and never let you face the world alone again. I’ll be your partner, in every definition of the word. I promise you that I will always find you, and if I can help it, I promise to not stand in your way.” He pressed a kiss to her hand, his eyes catching hers and holding the gaze. He needed her to know that he meant it. 

“Nick…” Sabrina smiled at him, eyes glistening with the onset of tears. She was quiet for a few seconds. “It’s the same for me, too, you know. I’ll stand beside you, always. And I’ll always find you when you need to be found.” She reached with her finger to brush his curls out of his face. He tried not to shudder at her touch. “But Nick, you should know, falling onto your knee like that...It means something else in the mortal world.”

Nick glanced down briefly at his posture and he blushed - heavily - as realization flooded him. “Oh - That’s...I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I know, Nick,” she said, breaking out into a full smile. “We’re definitely not ready for that right now.” She gave his hand a tug, helping to pull him back up and onto his feet. Then she kissed him, her hands sliding up to cup his face. 

She tasted like smoke and he slid his arms around her waist, pulling her forward and against his chest. It was hard to ignore the way she fit against him, the way his body accepted her entirely. There had never been a time in the past in which he’d felt that way about anyone - and he’d surely had enough experience to back up this theory. Everyone else had always felt ‘alright’, but never so undeniably perfect. Never Sabrina.

The kiss extended well into minutes. When Nick pulled away, he was aware of the tension between them, the heat that had suddenly filled the space between and around them. The way that she gazed back at him was enough for him to consider risking whatever energy his body currently possessed to teleport them somewhere more private. 

She seemed to notice this and proceeded to press another, more innocent, kiss to his cheek.

It pulled him back to reality and he shook away the impure thoughts. They were replaced with other thoughts, however.

“Can I ask you something?” She looked up at him, willing him to continue. “In the woods last night, when you shot the arrows back at the witch-hunters and when you shattered that used an incantation, right?”

Sabrina thought about it for a second.

“You didn’t, did you?” Nick realized.

“I did,” she answered, almost a bit defensively. “It was in my head.”

“In your head?” Nick looked incredulous. “That’s not how our magic works, Sabrina...There’s always an incantation.”

“I did use an incantation-” she enunciated further, “ -in my head.”

Nick was silent for a second, and then he nodded. “Okay,” he said, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “I believe you. It’s just strange is all.”

“It’s also strange when my boyfriend comes to get me in the form of a large Hellhound,” she shot back.

“I guess you’ve got a point there.” Nick smiled and pulled her in a bit closer. “You knew it was me right away, though.”

“Of course I did,” Sabrina said it like it was obvious. “I know your eyes and I know how I feel when you look at me. Those weren’t your eyes, but yours were definitely in there somewhere.” She rested her head against his shoulder, her nose pressing against his neck. “I know you, Nick. I also know that you’d better explain what all that was about, too.”

He kissed her head. “I will,” he promised. 

“Nicholas. Sabrina.”

Zelda’s voice carried down the hallway as she made way toward them. From her finger dangled a pair of keys. She held it out for Nick to take. “Your dormitory is ready. I’m sorry, but the teacher’s ward has already been filled, so you’ll have to make do with the smaller space for now. It is a single room, at least, so you will have your privacy. It’s on the third floor, fourth door on the left. The two of you may only teleport directly into the mortuary to gather some things, but that’s it.”

Nick eyed the keys briefly before he pocketed one and slipped the other into Sabrina’s hand.

“I’ve had to have them crafted. With the entire Coven here now, there have been requests for a system of locks. Each dorm - residence - has been uniquely veiled. The keys act as the second half of the spell. Only those in possession of the proper key can disarm the veil and enter,” Zelda explained. Nick nodded. It made sense.

“Thanks,” Sabrina replied curtly. “Nick and I will be on our way now.” She grabbed his hand and made to leave, but Zelda interrupted.

“Sabrina,” her aunt addressed. Sabrina groaned. “Nicholas can go ahead, I’d like to have a word with you.”

At that, Nick knew better than to stay. He gave Sabrina’s hand a quick squeeze and scattered before she could stop him. He ignored her look of betrayal as he sauntered off.

After his disappearance, Sabrina’s eyes landed on her aunt once more. “Just make it quick, auntie.”

“I’d like to apologize,” Zelda said abruptly.

“Because you weren’t going to do anythi-” Sabrina shot back at the same time. She stopped upon hearing her aunt's words, blinked twice, and looked at her. “Wait - what?”

“For Satan’s sake, child, I’m apologizing. You were right, as the High Priestess, my loyalties should lie with the entire Coven. I should make an attempt to protect everyone equally, regardless of their relationship to me,” Zelda explained. “I should’ve worked to retrieve Elspeth before immediately regarding her as dead.”

Sabrina was taken aback. It wasn’t often that Zelda ever apologized to her for no other reason than it was usually never warranted. Normally, it was Sabrina’s job to apologize. “I accept your apology, auntie. We’ll work together to make sure the entire Coven is safe.”

“Right.” Zelda nodded once. “Well, thank you. That’s it, you may leave now. And Sabrina, I’m glad you’re safe. The others, too.” 

Sabrina smiled at her aunt and nodded. “Thank you. I’ll see you at dinner tonight.” 

An hour or so later, Sabrina had finally made her way up the Academy stairs in search of their dormitory. After leaving her aunt, she’d decided to check up on Elspeth again. Melvin had joined her, and the three of them had shared a tray of tea in the infirmary. Elspeth was entirely grateful toward both of them. Melvin for alerting the others, and Sabrina for saving her.

Inside the dormitory, Nick was sprawled on the bed, shirtless and with his hair damp. He looked up briefly from his book to greet her. From his appearance, she’d guessed he’d likely just showered. 

“Have I ever told you how irresistible you look in that state?” Sabrina asked, feeling a flutter somewhere in her stomach at the sight of him.

Nick met her eyes again and smirked. “Yeah? Well just so you know, this bed is pretty sturdy.”

“That’s good to note,” Sabrina said, playing along as she took in the rest of their surroundings. It was quaint and plain, but she supposed it was a small price to pay for safety.

“I went to the mortuary to grab some things.” He paused at her disapproving look. “Relax, Ambrose teleported us there. I grabbed whatever I had there and some of your things.” He motioned toward the dresser in the corner.

Sabrina opened one of the drawers curiously. The first drawer held some of her clothes. Thankfully, she trusted Nick enough to dress her, given that he seemed well off enough dressing himself. It was a luxury she could never afford with Harvey, who seemed to think his flannel button-downs were a fashion statement in their own right.

She opened another drawer just below it, revealing some of her underwear. He had been practical in that sense, at least. She couldn’t imagine not having any underwear for the indefinite amount of time they were likely to spend at the Academy, but…“I see you’ve brought back only my really lacy panties,” Sabrina said, lifting up a pair of delicate crimson ones.

His face disappeared behind his book. “Oh? Those aren’t the ones you like? I thought they were...”

She snorted. “Real clever, Scratch.” She flung the panties back into the drawer and made her way over to him, slipping onto the bed.

Nick shifted under her as she suddenly straddled him. “Wait, wait, wait-”

Sabrina sat up immediately, worried that she had upset him somehow. She watched as he carefully marked his page in the book before setting it down. She couldn’t help but laugh. “You’re such a nerd.”

“Isn’t that part of the allure?” His hands slid over her hips, pulling her onto him. “And why you fell for me?” He wagged his eyebrows at her suggestively. She snorted back a laugh.

Her hands trailed over his bare chest, lips finding his and hovering just above. “Well, I do love a well-educated bad boy, it seems,” she said, just before she descended on him. 

He seemed to hesitate a bit at her words and she realized quickly how her harmless poke might’ve affected him, but he was soon grasping her hips and his touch was enough to make her drop the thought entirely. She dropped down until she was fully seated on him, grinding her hips lightly against his. 

He slid her sweater up and over her head, audibly groaning at the sight of her once she clad in her bra. When he looked up at her again, she could practically read his mind.

“I want you to take me, Nick,” she breathed, letting her hand drop lower, brushing over his abs.

Someone cleared their throat.

They both snapped their heads up to see Prudence standing in the doorway.

Sabrina was quickly grabbing for her sweater again. “So much for those stupid keys,” she said, irritated. 

Prudence just shrugged. “I have a key to every room.”

Sabrina shoved on her sweater in record time, mussing her hair. “Of course you do,” she shot back. She slid off the bed, much to Nick’s dismay. He made an attempt to gather his own shirt, though he took his time.

“Relax, Sabrina, I’m certain you and Nicky will have some alone time later,” Prudence said. “I’ve only come to tell you that your mortals are outside. They’re making demands and I feel it is only right to alert you before I teleport them to the other side of the planet.”

“Why are they here?” Sabrina asked, confused.

“Is the tall dumb one there?” Nick asked, craning his head to look at Prudence.

“I’m guessing you mean the Kinkle boy? Yes, he’s there too,” Prudence clarified. At that, Nick’s expression fell and he groaned. 

Sabrina’s stomach dropped to her knees and she halted at the mention of Harvey. What was so important that he had decided to show up at the Academy doors? In the past, it had been a place he’d deemed he’d never go.

“Come along, Sabrina, before Dorcas and Agatha do away with them.”

Chapter Text

The sound of Prudence’s shoes clicking against the hardwood flooring reverberated down the hallway. Sabrina followed anxiously behind her, while Nick wandered behind the two of them, arms crossed and looking like someone had just poured bleach all over his favorite black shirt.

“You don’t have to come with us, you know,” Sabrina said to Prudence. 

Prudence glanced back at her just briefly before offering her a small shrug. “I think I’d like to be there in case Nicholas has a tantrum.” She pursed her lips to keep from smirking. “It would be fun to watch.”

“I’m not having a tantrum,” Nick shot back, indicating that he’d heard her, not that Prudence had intended for it to be a secret. “I just don’t like him.” It came out a bit quieter and Sabrina actually had to crane her head over her shoulder to look back at him, certain that he was pouting. He was. She sighed.

“I don’t understand why the two of you can’t at least, for my sake, pretend to get along.”

“Maybe because every time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him, he’s always found some way to upset you,” Nick said and then further enunciated his point with an added, “every time, Sabrina.”

Sabrina stopped walking and turned around fully. Nick stopped abruptly to keep from running into her. Prudence continued down the hallway without care. “Just let me talk to him - to them. There’s got to be a reason why they’ve shown up out of the blue, and here of all places.”

“I don’t trust him,” Nick said, brows furrowed in frustration. “Not with his family’s history.”

“You don’t have to,” Sabrina answered. “Roz and Theo are there, too, and they wouldn’t get involved in anything that would hurt me. You understand, right?”

He nodded once. From her understanding, he seemed to like her other mortal friends. It was just Harvey that he had a problem with - and as much as she hated to admit it - rightfully so. Harvey hadn’t exactly been kind to him either, and there was the issue of his grandfather’s ties to Nick’s parents. She supposed the two of them would never get along, but they didn’t have to either.

“He’s been rude to you lately,” Nick said, a little softer this time. “I don’t particularly care what he says to me - I’m not that easily wounded. But I don’t care for his attitude and the way he talks to you.”

“He’s not like that all the time,” Sabrina defended. “He’s a good guy, Nick. He’s just…”

“Do the two of you plan to finish your earlier activities in the middle of the hallway, or can we continue?” Prudence asked, having finally decided she’d had enough of waiting. She stood feet ahead, tapping her foot impatiently against the floor.

“We’re coming,” Sabrina called back. She gave Nick one last look and warning. “Just keep your hands to yourself, please. I’d like to not have to watch my ex-boyfriend get punted down the stairs.”

“I don’t have to, he’s stupid enough to fall down them himself.”

Sabrina just sighed in return and left to catch up with Prudence, choosing to not respond. Nick picked up following her again, this time appearing smugger than previously.

As they neared the entrance, the sound of Dorcas’ laughter became prominent. It filled the foyer at the front and radiated into the statue room. It made Sabrina groan and trudge forward a little quicker.

When Prudence rounded the corner, both girls spun around to face her, giggles hushing just slightly. Dorcas absentmindedly toyed with a puppet that looked eerily similar to Harvey. Sabrina shot her a glare that she ignored.

“Thank God,” Roz breathed upon seeing Sabrina. Theo’s eyes brightened, as well.

“Sabrina!” Harvey called, stepping forward. His features were hard to read but she knew him well enough to decipher them. There was relief, fear, and what appeared to be sadness all mixed into one tense expression.

Sabrina kept her own face straight as she closed the space between them. “Roz, Theo...Harvey. What are you guys doing here?” she asked.

“Trying to survive that,” Theo said, pointing to Agatha and Dorcas. They both smiled back innocently, though Sabrina knew they were far from it.

Sabrina glared at them a bit harder. “You can leave now,” she told the girls. Agatha, Dorcas, and Prudence all remained rooted.

“We don’t think so,” they said back in unison. Sabrina shivered. That was never something she could get used to. 

Harvey was the first to speak. “You’re in danger,” he said quickly. He shifted closer to her and suddenly, the tip of a rifle peered out from behind his shoulder. Beside her, Nick tensed and inched himself closer to her. “All of you are, but Sabrina, you especial-”

“We know that, farm boy,” Nick practically spat back. “Your folks have made that very clear.”

Harvey ignored him, his focus still on Sabrina. “Listen, I know that I was an ass, but Sabrina, you know that I have a...strange relationship with my family. My grandpa came to town and he seemed like a great guy.” Sabrina caught the strained look on his face as he paused. He was uncomfortable discussing his family outside of their usual group. Sabrina was well aware of Harvey’s not-so-great situation with his father. “I took offense when you pointed a finger at him. I shouldn’t have exploded and yelled...I just.”

Roz reached up a hand to grip Harvey’s arm. “We found out something,” she said, turning her attention to Sabrina. “After you came by yesterday, Sabrina, I wasn’t sure that I fully believed you either…” she admitted sheepishly. Sabrina’s expression faltered just barely at her friend’s words, but she remained calm. She couldn’t really blame Roz. “But then I went to Harvey’s. I’ve been helping him with his grandfather whenever his dad isn't around. The guy takes a lot of different medications and when I was getting him his dosage, I touched him. I had a vision.”

“What did you see, Roz?” Sabrina asked, concern heavy in her voice.

“Harvey’s grandpa was walking. He got up out of his wheelchair just fine, like he didn’t need it at all. He was loading a rifle and there were these other men with him. All of them had different weapons - guns, crossbows, knives. They looked like hunters. When he lifted the rifle, it was pointed at you.”

Sabrina shuddered.

“That’s not going to happen,” Nick clarified. Sabrina could tell from the way his voice shook in the slightest way that he was just as shaken up as her. Since Roz’s vision of Amalia, Nick had quickly learned that they weren’t something to brush off.

“I fought with Roz, too, when she told me,” Harvey admitted shamefully. “I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t even let her finish speaking. To me, Grandpa was a good guy. He treated me well and he really tried to make us seem like a family. But...” His gaze dropped to his feet where he absentmindedly toed at the stone steps of the Academy. “This morning he and my dad were talking. I think they thought that I was still asleep. They were talking about me, at first, and when my dad would tell me. My dad said he didn’t think I had the strength to handle it, that I would mess it up. I had no idea what they were talking about.”

Harvey cleared his throat. “I was honestly just going to leave and go back to bed, but then they said something.” He looked at Sabrina, eyes boring into hers. “They mentioned ‘witches’. At first, I didn’t think I heard it right, but then they continued, saying that they would have to get more aggressive after what happened in the woods last night. They talked about making a direct attack.”

“What do you mean, Harvey?” Sabrina asked.

“At the Academy,” Harvey answered, swallowing hard. “They said they knew the Coven would hole up here. That you would be here.”

Sabrina froze, fear brewing in her stomach. It pulled at her, made her shiver, but she forced herself to remain steady on her feet. The Academy was the safest place in Greendale. The witch-hunters would never be able to gain access to them in there. Nick seemed to sense her fears. The weight of his hand on her shoulder calmed her.

“They can’t break through the Academy walls,” Nick said. He squeezed Sabrina’s shoulder. “I’m keeping them sealed myself.”

Harvey let out a shaky breath. “Sabrina, I don’t know how...or what they plan to do. I just know that they’re going to try. At least, that’s what they said. I, um, oh. Hang on, I swiped something from my grandpa’s things-” He slid his backpack from his shoulder, the rifle clanking around as he did. The other witches around her shifted uncomfortably and Nick stepped fully in front of Sabrina. Harvey seemed oblivious as he dug around his backpack.

Sabrina peeked around Nick’s shoulder, watching as Harvey extracted a thick book from his bag, its pages marked with various tabs. It was worn and used. He held it out to her. Nick took it before she could. 

“A Compendium Maleficarum,” Nick breathed. “I’ve never seen one in person before.” 

“What is that?” Sabrina asked.

Prudence answered before Nick could. “It’s a witch-hunters manual if I’m not mistaken.”

Nick nodded. “You’re not. That’s exactly what it is.” His features shifted into one of disgust and he shoved the book back at Harvey. It thumped against his chest. “Why the Heaven would you bring that here?”

“It’s what they’ve been using, I’m guessing,” Harvey answered. He flipped through the book quickly until he landed on a page. “I remembered what you said in the mortuary the other day, about how the daggers were covered in Holy Water or something.” He held up the book to a page. 

Sabrina squinted and leaned forward, trying to read it from where she was. One page was in Latin, with its translation on the opposite page. 

“They’re instructions on how to imbue weapons with Holy Water to make them deadly to witches,” Harvey said. The sentence sounded strange coming from his mouth, like Sabrina would’ve never expected to hear him say any of those words alone, much less together. “You should take it. It’ll at least give us some ideas on what they might try.”

“Us?” Sabrina asked, taken aback by his words. What was he suggesting?

“I’m staying,” Harvey said.

“Me too,” Roz piped up.

Theo raised a hand. “Me three.”

“Harvey, guys, you can’t…”

“We’re staying at the Academy,” Nick answered. “Mortals aren’t allowed in here, and frankly, I don’t think any of the Coven would take the visit lightly considering what they’ve been through.” He gazed at Roz and Theo and then he added, “no offense.”

Harvey ignored him entirely, moving so that he could see around him and look at Sabrina. “I don’t care where we stay. The three of us want to help, in whatever way we can. We’ve already agreed to it and we aren’t leaving.”

“How are you going to stand up against your own family, Harvey?” Sabrina asked, the edge of her voice cracking just barely. They’d had conversations like this in the past, regarding different situations. 

“I’m picking you,” Harvey said, with determination. “I should’ve picked you from the start, Sabrina. You, Theo, and Roz have always been my family. And maybe I never realized that before, but the three of you are enough for me. I’m sorry that I acted out, but I promise I’ve picked my side now. For good.” 

“That’s nice, Harry, but you’re mortal and we’re better off protecting ourselves. The three of you should head home, or somewhere else,” Nick said. Sabrina knew what he really wanted to say. That he didn’t trust Harvey. That he thought he was lying.

“We don’t have magic, Sabrina, but we have other things to offer,” Harvey pushed.

It was then that Sabrina understood why Harvey had brought along his rifle. He intended to use it against his own family, to help protect her, to help protect the Coven. 

“If they get in,” Roz interjected softly. “I’m not familiar with witch healing methods, but I’m trained in regular mortal medicine. I can help, if need be. I want to help, Brina.”

“And I have a bat,” Theo said, extracting a large metal bat from seemingly nowhere. He held it up dauntingly, waving it about as though it were a sword.

“Unfortunately, as entertaining as this has been, Nicholas is right. Mortals are forbidden in the Academy. It would be an insult to the Coven if we allow a witch-hunter and his friends into the building,” Prudence spoke up. Then she waved her hand once as though brushing them off. “So scram.”

“I’m not a witch-hunter,” Harvey shot back.

“It’s in your blood, isn’t it? You want to gain access to our Academy so you can help the others in,” Agatha said. “Even if Sabrina is blind, the rest of us don’t trust you.”

“Agatha might be right,” Nick said, leaning in, his voice quiet. “This could be a trap, Sabrina…”

But Sabrina wasn’t having it. She held her ground. “I trust him,” she answered simply.

“I don’t,” Nick shot back just as quickly.

“What did we just talk about, Nick? You said you’d stand beside me.”

Nick’s eyes were hot as he looked at her, fire raging somewhere inside of him. Not in anger, but in conflict. Her words had gotten him, even if just a bit, and it had caused him to fight with the more rational side of his mind. “Not like this,” he said. “This endangers not just you, but the entire Coven. You have to consider them. They won’t like this, and they have a say in it just as much as we do.”

“They’re mortal,” Sabrina said. “They can’t hurt them...and they won’t.”

“The rest of the witch-hunters are mortal, too, Sabrina. Don’t forget that.”

She squeezed his wrist and looked up at him. “Please, Nick...They’re my friends. I trust them. I trust Harvey.” She could tell the way his eyes shifted that the words had indirectly hurt him. It was clear. He felt that by trusting Harvey, she wasn’t trusting him .

“Enough,” Prudence said, stepping back into the building. “It’s cold out here. The mortals can leave now or they can be teleported, and I don’t care where to.”

“No,” Sabrina said. “They can stay. My aunt is the High Priestess now, so she can decide.” Her eyes caught Prudence’s and the two of them looked at each other momentarily before Prudence finally sighed.

“Fine, Sabrina. But if this backfires, it’ll be your fault.” When the trio stepped forward, Prudence quickly stopped them once more. “Weapons must be surrendered,” she said.

Harvey pulled off his rifle and held it out by the strap. As Agatha took it, Sabrina became aware of the way Nick watched it carefully, keeping his distance. He did a good job of covering up his anxiety regarding the weapon, but Sabrina could read him well enough to notice. His parents had been murdered by a gun wielded by a witch-hunter and she knew that seeing one up close was likely very unsettling for him. 

Sabrina gripped Nick’s hand in hers, pulling his attention back to her. His eyes flickered away from the weapon.

“It’s not loaded,” Harvey said, seeming to sense the general tension in the air regarding the rifle. He dropped the box of ammo into Prudence’s open palm next. She tried not to look embarrassed when the initial weight of it made her stumble a bit.

Theo handed his bat off to Agatha, who simply stared at him, wiggling her fingers about as if expecting more. Theo sighed and pulled out a small pocket-knife from his jacket and handed it off to the witch.

Roz carried nothing but a small bag with some of her personal things. Once the others were settled and the group filtered back into the building, she hugged Sabrina tightly. “I’m so glad you’re okay,” she exhaled. “I was so worried.”

“I was too,” Sabrina said, arms wrapping around her friend. “But Elspeth is just fine. We got her back.”

“I knew you would,” Roz said, pulling away and smiling at her friend. Nick held the door open for them as they headed into the building.

The walk toward Zelda’s office went just as well as Sabrina expected. The witches wandering the hallways had all craned their heads in their direction, some more subtle than others. 

Mortals, ” they whispered amongst each other, some sneering, others watching with a cautious curiosity. Sabrina just ignored them. She hadn’t expected any of them to welcome her friends with warm hugs anyway, but she did suppose she’d have to keep an eye over them in case someone tried to pull anything.

Zelda looked up in shock as the group strode in through her office doors. “What’s the meaning of this?” she asked, eyes flickering over Sabrina’s mortal group. “Sabrina…”

“The witch-hunters are coming to the Academy,” Sabrina said. “Harvey overheard their plans.”

Zelda appeared in disbelief. “That’s impossible. They can’t enter the Academy.”

“Even if it is,” Sabrina said. “We should take precautions, don’t you think? They’ve gotten in once, through Blackwood, and even though I’m confident in Nick’s binding abilities, I’m not willing to be careless about the threat.”

Zelda blinked a few times, taking it in. Sabrina could tell that her aunt was shocked, likely even scared herself, over the potential of an attack. “Right...well. Mr. Kinkle is certain of this?”

Harvey nodded. He retrieved the Compendium Maleficarum from his bag once more and held it out to Zelda. “I took that from my grandpa. Maybe something in there will be useful in helping us determine when and how they will strike.” 

Zelda eyed the book suspiciously. “I had no idea such texts were still in circulation…”

“Witch-hunters still exist, auntie. I know you’re still trying to get over that, but we’ve got to act. The Coven should know, too, so they can protect themselves. If they want to leave, we should let them,” Sabrina said.

Zelda sighed. “Of course, yes. Those who desire to leave can gather their things and teleport, but I assure you, the safest place is the Academy. And us witches are resilient, most of us will want to protect what is ours. The Academy is sacred to us, after all.”

“Harvey, Theo, and Roz are staying to help,” Sabrina said, not as a question but as a statement. Zelda’s eyes narrowed.

“I told her it wasn’t a good idea,” Prudence said. “So if you could make the final call, I can show them out.”

Zelda’s eyes moved over the three mortals, examining them carefully. “In theory, if the hunters are able to permeate the walls of the Academy, it will be dangerous here. The three of you are magic-less and easily harmed - are you certain about this?”

“Mother Spellman-” Prudence stepped forward but was promptly cut off.

“We are,” Harvey said. Roz and Theo nodded as well. “Sabrina is important to us.”

“Very well, so long as you are aware of the threat.” Zelda picked up the compendium with the intent to examine it.

Prudence looked concerned. “He’s got witch-hunter blood. This could be a trap and we could very well be playing into it like a pack of foolish rats.”

“Oh, please, Prudence.” Zelda waved her off. “I’ve known Mr. Kinkle since he was a child. That boy hasn’t got it in him to harm a fly, which is the very reason why I’ve never quite approved of his relationship with my niece.” She made no attempt at remaining quiet about it either.

Harvey looked offended. Sabrina elbowed him. Then she elbowed Nick, too, for appearing so smug during such a dire situation.

“Find a few spare rooms on the third floor for your friends, Sabrina.” Zelda sighed heavily then. “I’ll have to call for another meeting to address this. I’ll need you and Nicholas back downstairs as soon as you finish so that we can gather the Coven.”

On the third floor, Sabrina located a couple of empty rooms for her friends. Roz and Harvey were keen on sharing a room, while Theo wanted his own for obvious reasons. She got them settled in, showed them the common area which held the bathrooms and other necessities were located. She left with the promise of returning with dinner.

It was strange -  given that she’d managed to skip the dorm life as a student - to have to experience it all now. As odd as it was, she supposed it was sort of like a big sleep-over, except her ex-boyfriend was in one room, and her current boyfriend in the other. Sabrina shuddered over the predicament. 

She met up with Nick on the stairwell and they went down the rest of the way together. In the Great Hall, her aunt was positioned on the podium at the front, the Coven gathered in front of her. Sabrina and Nick took their place near one of the archways along the wall.

“Thank you all for gathering so late in the evening,” Zelda addressed. She looked out into the crowd, allowing the witches to settle before she proceeded. “As many of you are aware, we’ve won a small victory against the witch-hunters. As of yesterday, Elspeth Willows was captured with the intent to be burned-” The crowd mumbled amongst themselves in displeasure. “-fortunate for us, she was rescued and successfully returned to the Coven. Aside from a few burns, she is alright.” 

“Tonight,” Zelda continued. “We’ve received word of the witch-hunters next attack. It seems, there is a potential of a head-on attack directed at the Academy.” There were collective gasps among the Coven. “Not to fret - our Academy is protected heavily by the seals of our ancestors, which have recently been refortified.” 

Zelda offered them a few moments to collect and calm themselves before she continued. “However, we’d like to consider even the smallest of risks and take this threat seriously. Therefore, if any witch would like to leave, they are free to do so. Gather your things and teleport if you so choose to. However, those who choose to remain, please be aware that should things take a turn for the worse, your lives could be in danger. We are grateful to anyone who chooses to stay and protect the Academy, and we will keep as safe as we possibly can.”

“We choose to stay,” a young girl Sabrina recognized from her class said from the very front of the crowd. The group of students gathered around her all nodded sternly. “The Academy is our home and we want to protect it.”

There were murmurs as the others considered the young girls’ words.

“Reminds me of someone I know,” Nick whispered beside her. She gave him a small smile and took his hand. He squeezed back.

A few witches darted out of the crowd, likely in a desire to flee, but most of the Coven, with great consideration, stood their ground. From where she stood, Sabrina could see as one Coven member stuck out their hand to the person beside them, who took it and reciprocated the action with the next witch. It continued until most everyone was linked.

Then, there was a sort of calmness that fell over the hall as someone in the crowd began the incantation for protection. It radiated throughout the Coven until all were repeating it. The room was silent afterward as everyone allowed for the spell to settle.

They filed out of the hall shortly afterward, with Zelda closing out her announcement with more words of praise to those that had decided to stay. She suggested another meeting as well, for the next morning, where they could go over the plan should an attack truly happen. 

They made a pit-stop at the dining hall, where Hilda had already made work of the Academy’s kitchen. After the last two days, Sabrina was more tired than hungry, but Nick had convinced her to eat something. She joined her friends in one of the dorms and they all ate slowly, each of them retracing their day. 

Roz had convinced her cousin to watch over her father with the excuse of being stuck at the hospital for an indefinite amount of time. It shaken her up, she expressed, to lie to her father like that. Theo had told his own father that he’d be taking a short trip to Riverdale for the next couple of days, with the potential of an extension should he decide to stay longer. He hadn’t minded, according to Theo. Harvey’s father and grandfather had no idea of his disappearance, though they would likely figure it out soon enough. It had truly tugged at Sabrina's heart to witness her friends drop everything and come to her aid.

Afterward, Nick and Sabrina decided to retire to their own room. There, she undressed and got ready for bed. A comfortable silence hung over them as Nick did the same, slipping out of his shirt first and then out of his pants. She opted for some cozy pajamas, though his discarded shirt did look tempting. 

Nick dropped onto the bed with a sigh. She slipped in beside him, becoming aware of just how small the bed actually was. It hadn’t been so evident earlier since she’d been directly on top of him. Now, side by side, it was clearly not enough space. They were in a student dorm, after all, and it was only meant for one person. 

“What a day,” Nick said, moving a bit so that he could make room for her, though it seemed entirely impossible. The bed was pressed against the wall, and his shoulder against it.

“You were asleep for half of it,” Sabrina shot back playfully. She rolled onto her side, back facing him, and wiggled back until she was snug and comfy against him. He stopped her with a hand on her hip, fingers grazing the exposed skin there.

“You’re going to have to slow down with that if you plan to sleep tonight,” he told her. 

She gave another wiggle just to taunt him. “Is that a threat, Scratch?”

“Possibly,” he replied, nuzzling into the back of her neck, an arm wrapping around her protectively, but also because the lack of space meant that was the only place he could really place it.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

Nick didn’t have to think about it. “Well, I’m stuck in a twin-sized bed with my girlfriend, in a dormitory meant for students, with her annoying ex-boyfriend sleeping in the room beside us, and his murderous family is out to try and kill said girlfriend,” Nick replied. “So, just fine, I’d guess.”

Sabrina snorted. “I meant your head.” She laced her fingers through his, playing with them absentmindedly while she thought. “He’s alright, Nick. He’s on my side this time, and I believe him.”

“He’s an idiot asking to get killed,” Nick replied. “Who the Heaven pulls up to an Academy full of witches with a damn hunting rifle?”

“Harvey wouldn’t hurt us, Nick, especially not me,” Sabrina said. She wiggled and rolled until she was facing him, their faces inches apart. “I’m sorry he brought that along. I know you don’t like it.”

She felt him tense up a bit, but he remained quiet, his fingers finding hers in the darkness again. 

“Nick?” Sabrina whispered a few moments later.

“I remember the gun-fire,” Nick said. Then a second later, much quieter, more vulnerable, “I’m afraid of losing you to it, too.”

“You won’t,” she promised him, clumsily searching for his lips in the dark. She kissed his nose instead. He chuckled softly. “We’ll keep each other safe.”

But Nick still wasn’t satisfied. “I can conjure demons and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.” He sighed. “But a piece of metal makes me uncomfortable. Something about that doesn’t seem right to me.”

“Everyone has something they’re scared of, Nick. You’re a warlock, but you’re still human.” She found his lips successfully that time and pressed a long kiss to them. He chased her for another just as soon as she'd let go. “You’re the bravest one I know, too.” 

“You’re braver,” Nick shot back with ease. He shifted again, still not entirely satisfied with their positioning. “Hang on, I’m just going to-” His arm slipped beneath her, drawing a giggle from her as he maneuvered them around. He ended up on his back, with her halfway draped over his body. “Is this better?” he asked.

She hooked a leg around his waist and nuzzled her cheek against his chest, feeling more comfortable, more safe, than she had for a while, even with the looming threat lingering over the Academy. With the steady beat of his heart slowly lulling her to sleep she whispered, “it’s perfect.”

Chapter Text

Nick raised his arm above his head, craning his neck to the side to avoid the dusting of chalk as it rained down. He set the chalk down and raised his hands in the proper position, uttering an incantation. 

He had woken up at some point in the early morning, sandwiched between Sabrina and the wall, a crick in his neck and the overwhelming feeling of dread in his stomach. He had spent a great deal of time in the previous days refortifying the seals along the Academy, and yet, the less rational side of him told him it still wasn’t enough.

So he had kissed Sabrina, slipped out of bed, dressed, and headed down to check his seals over once more. Now, he stood atop a ladder, redrawing the necessary sigils along the walls closest to the exterior. 

As he finished his incantation, the chalk markings glimmered just briefly before fading away, becoming a part of the wall. There was a familiar sizzle of energy around him that told him it’d worked. He moved along, raised his chalk once more, but the sound of footsteps made him pause. 

Nick looked over his shoulder and froze momentarily. The sight of Harvey Kinkle headed in his direction made his stomach churn. “Great…” he grumbled under his breath.

“Hey,” was all Harvey said when he paused in front of the ladder.

“Hey,” Nick replied, returning his focus to his sigil-marking once more. “Don’t you have a farmer’s almanac to be reading?”

He didn’t have to look at Harvey’s face to know that he was irritated. “I don’t even live on a farm, dude.”

Nick glanced back at him long enough to look him up and down. “Could’ve fooled me,” he said.

“Whatever, you ‘Addams Family’ rip-off,” Harvey shot back.

Nick snorted. “Nice. Did you stay up all night thinking of that one?” With the chalk positioned between his fingers, he shifted to look at Harvey fully, elbow resting along the top of the ladder. Honestly, he was surprised to see that the mortal had been courageous enough to wander through the Academy alone.

“I don’t know, did you really have to go through all of this just to feel taller than someone else for once?” Harvey asked, giving the side of the ladder a light tap with his forefinger. He looked amused with himself.

Nick glared down at him. “My body didn’t siphon all of its energy into producing a bean-stalk of a human with a pea-sized brain.” He’d never before felt insecure about his height, but Harvey truly had a way of making his blood boil regardless. In his defense, he was the average-sized adult, while Harvey was the freak with the extra-long legs. A damned grasshopper. “What the heaven are you doing down here anyway?”

Harvey held up a paper bag. “I was hungry and Hilda found me before I got lost. She gave me a sandwich,” he said a little smugly. Hilda had always favored him and he knew that. A little more begrudgingly he added, “she sent one for you, too. She said she knew you were awake.”

Nick eyed the bag suspiciously like he was afraid of being poisoned. However, the smell of egg, ham, and that pinch of whatever extra-special magic Hilda had masterfully added - love, she claimed - was all too enticing. He came down from the ladder slowly and accepted the second sandwich. “I know you didn’t come all this way to give me a damn sandwich, farm-boy. What is it that you really want?”

Harvey narrowed his eyes at the nick-name, filling Nick with a sense of satisfaction. It bothered him and that had been his intention. 

“I meant what I said - I want to help,” Harvey said.

“You can help by staying out of the way,” Nick answered, earning him an irritated sigh.

“Listen, I get that you and I don’t like each other. We’re not really supposed to - seeing as I’m the ex and you’re the current boyfriend but…”

Nick rolled his eyes. “I’m not jealous of you if that’s what you think,” he shot back. “I’ve never had a problem with any of my previous partners’ exes. If anything, I’ve charmed enough of them.”

The look on Harvey’s face was akin to a child experiencing their first horror film. It made Nick roll his eyes.

“Relax, Harry, you’re not my type.” He slumped back to sit on one of the lower rungs of the ladder. “Plus, I’m new to this whole monogamy thing and I’m not trying to screw it up.” He heard the slightest sighs of relief come from Harvey before he bit into his sandwich.

“And if you did, then I’d really be pissed at you, just so you know,” Harvey threatened as he resumed leaning against the wall. “Sabrina deserves to be loved whole-heartedly.” 

“Not that it’s any of your business, Harry, but I do love her whole-heartedly,” Nick replied a bit more bitterly than he had intended. He didn’t need a lesson in love from the one and only Harvey Kinkle. “All of her.”

That stung the mortal, Nick noticed, as he watched him drop his gaze down. “I love Sabrina,” Harvey replied a few seconds later. “And I’m learning to be more open-minded. I am.”

“My problem with you,” Nick said, continuing his initial point, “is that you continuously upset her - disappoint her. I’m not a master regarding the subject, but I do know that that’s not how you love people.”

“It’s difficult,” Harvey defended. “There are parts to Sabrina - an entire half of her - that I’ll never understand - not fully. I can try, but I’ll never truly succeed. The only thing I can do now is love and support her - which, I admit, is something I should’ve done much sooner.”

Something in Nick snapped and it spilled out of him before he could stop himself. “That’s the issue. Stop thinking of her as ‘half this’ and ‘half that’. She’s a whole person, not a damn peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sabrina is all Sabrina. Her ‘halves’ are intertwined. She’s not mortal sometimes, and other times witch - she’s both all of the time. If you can’t her love her in her entirety, then you can’t love her at all.”

Harvey went silent and Nick knew he was considering his words. He felt the tiniest hint of pity suddenly. He was facing the man that had once loved Sabrina Spellman and subsequently lost her. To be that guy seemed like the worst thing to Nick.

“You’re some sort of artist or whatever, right?” Nick continued a bit softer this time. “When you mix two colors together - let’s say red and blue - what do you get?”

“Purple,” Harvey responded with ease.

Nick nodded. “Purple,” he agreed. “It’s not blue or red anymore, even though that’s what took to make it. It’s a whole new color. It’s purple.”

“Sabrina is purple,” Harvey said, with what sounded like a newfound clarity.

“Sabrina is purple,” Nick repeated. “She’s the most radiant shade of purple out there, and you were the idiot that lost her.” Though, he supposed he should’ve thanked him for that. He’d learned from Harvey’s mistakes, in a way.

Harvey sighed. “I was an idiot, that I’m certain of, and while I love Sabrina, I’m also certain that we could’ve never stayed together in the long run,” he said. “Roz has made that very clear for me. What I feel for her, I don’t think I’ve ever felt for anyone before - not in this strength.”

Nick nodded. He didn’t know either of them well enough, much less their dynamic together, to be able to make a declaration on their relationship, but he knew how he felt about Sabrina and if Harvey even felt the slightest bit the same for Roz, he would be okay.

“But I meant what I said - Sabrina has always been my family. Roz and Theo, too, but Sabrina always more so. Maybe it’s because we dated, but she’s the closest I’ve ever been to anyone besides my brother.”

“Your brother?” Nick asked before he could stop himself. Sabrina hadn’t mentioned another Kinkle son, and from what he could make out, Harvey was an only child.

“Tommy,” Harvey seemed to recall with a mixture of fondness and sorrow. “He was my best friend. He, um, passed away in a mining accident when I was in high school.”

“Sorry,” Nick found himself saying. Even if he didn’t like Harvey, he understood the pain of losing a family member. He’d been there a couple of times himself and it wasn’t something he’d ever wish on anyone.

Harvey shrugged. “Sabrina was with me through it. God, she handled a lot. My mood swings, my issues with my father, the long reign of bullshit that followed that damn train-wreck of a relationship.” He sighed.

“She cares,” Nick said. “I learned that the hard way.” He recalled the morning she’d shown up to his apartment and then proceeded to practically drag him to the mortuary so her aunt could look at his infected arm. It had been the first time anyone - outside of his short-lived time with his family - had expressed a genuine interest in his well-being. 

“She can be a lot,” Harvey said with a small chuckle. “But she always means well.” There was a moment where he paused as if considering whether or not he should continue. In the end, he did. “When I was a freshman in high school, right around the time Tommy died, my dad, he gave me a nasty black eye-”

“Your father hit you?” Nick asked, slightly alarmed. In the short time that he’d known his own father, he’d never laid a hand on him, even when he’d been displeased with him. Neither had his mother. He knew that it happened, but it had always been shocking to him that a parent would strike their child. 

“He didn’t mean to,” Harvey quickly added on. “He was drunk and falling over himself. I tried to help him up and I guess he got startled. His hand went flying and my face was the unfortunate destination.” It didn’t sound like an accident to Nick, but he didn't question it any further. “Anyway, Sabrina was so pissed she was ready to march in and fight him herself. She was fourteen and tiny, but it took everything in me to hold her back.”

“She’s tough,” Nick said with a proud smirk. 

“Since then, she’s never liked my dad. I don’t really blame her, either.” Harvey clasped his hands in front of him, seemingly lost in his memories. They’d both finished their sandwiches but neither made an attempt to move. “She’s always had my back. My only regret is that I didn’t try harder to have hers, too.”

“I suppose you have a lot to make up for,” Nick said, slightly begrudgingly. He knew Sabrina had no intent on letting Harvey go and Harvey seemed to have no intent on leaving. It wasn’t really his place to stand between them, he decided. 

“I do,” Harvey agreed. “For one, accepting her as purple and nothing less.” Nick actually chuckled at that. 

“How did you even find out?” Nick asked. “About her being a witch.”

Harvey gave a gentle shrug. “Sometime in high-school. I think Theo and Roz had suspicions. I was entirely clueless,” he said truthfully. “It took some time to believe her. The only witches I knew were from things like ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘Harry Potter’ - both very much fictional. Once she showed me her magic, I believed her, but I sort of just chose to ignore it. It wasn’t hard - Sabrina was entirely mortal around us. She just went to this other school in her free time. Then, we graduated and soon enough, she took on this new job at the Academy.”

Nick watched as Harvey got progressively more embarrassed. “I was a dick to her about it...I wasn’t supportive - like, at all . I wanted us to leave Greendale, start off something new, but she wanted to stay. She said she had a lot of things to change and that she wanted to leave the Academy in a better state than she’d found it. I thought it was bullshit - an excuse. That’s when our relationship really began to crumble. The more witch she became, the less I wanted to do with her.”

That made Nick angry, but he stayed silent. He understood that it was in the past now, and he couldn’t fight Harvey over something he could no longer change. Still, the idea of him treating Sabrina any less than she deserved irritated him. 

“But I didn’t know anything else and I didn’t want to let her go. We’d been together for so long and I think both of us just assumed that was it - that grown-ups were just meant to have disagreements with their loved ones. Only with us, it was constant. We were great sometimes, other times we were awful. Then, there was my dad, drilling me about the responsibilities of being an adult - of getting my life together. So I did what I thought would solve all of my problems-”

Nick stared at him in confusion.

“-I proposed to her,” Harvey finished.

Nick’s eyes widened. “You what?

“I essentially put a very large, very expensive band-aid over our wounds in hopes that it would solve everything. Couples were just happier once they were married, right? That’s what I seemed to think.”

“Unholy shit,” Nick muttered, still in disbelief. He tried to envision an alternate reality in which he’d met Sabrina as a married woman. As shameful as it was to admit, he wasn’t certain if it would’ve stopped him from pursuing her. 

“Yeah…” Harvey said with a loud sigh. “Not my greatest moment.”

“I guess it’s good that she said no,” Nick said slowly.

Harvey shook his head. “She didn’t. Actually, she said yes.” That made Nick’s eyes widen again, jaw nearly dropping. “I think she thought the same - that it would solve everything. A month later, she showed up at my doorstep, mid-snow-storm, and gave the ring back. That was it, as far as our actual relationship. I mean a few times after that we-”

Nick cringed and held up a hand. “I’m actually good, man - I’ve got the picture.”

Harvey shrugged. “Since then, things really haven’t ever been right. Not like before. I guess that’s what I really want to fix. I just want us to be good again - best friends again.”

“Just be there for her,” Nick said, again surprised by his own response. “That’s all that she wants.”

Harvey nodded. “I guess accepting you comes along with that. I admit I had the wrong impression of you at first. I really thought you were some-”

“‘Smooth-talking player’?” Nick quoted.

Again, Harvey looked embarrassed. “You heard that?” 

Nick nodded in response, a small smirk on his face.

“I mean, you weren’t wrong. I sort of was that, except I didn’t ‘play’ anyone. Witches are more open to the idea of free-love than mortals seem to be. It’s not wrong, it’s just a different way.” Nick let his own hint of honesty show through. “I’d always been curious though, about the whole monogamy thing. I know true-love isn’t synonymous with that, but I’d always wondered what it would be like to be with one person entirely. Now that I’ve met Sabrina, I don’t think I could ever go back to the way I was before.” He found that he quite enjoyed monogamy when it was with her, as much as he’d previously enjoyed his witch-orgies.

“Regardless, I can tell that you care about her,” Harvey said. Nick could tell that he wasn’t ready to start unpacking the complexities of witch romance quite yet. “And I know we’ll likely never be friends, but we could try and tolerate each other, at least until this is all over.”

“I guess,” Nick said. Trusting him would be an entirely different situation, but he chose not to bring it up right now. “I suppose I could conserve some energy by not hating you entirely.” He stood, dusting the crumbs off of his pants, still in disbelief over their conversation. When he’d crawled out of bed that morning, he’d had no idea that he would be having a semi-friendly conversation with the witch-hunter’s grandson. It could’ve gone much worse, he realized. 

“Time to get back to work,” Nick declared.

“I meant it when I said I wanted to help,” Harvey added on quickly. 

Nick looked at him for a couple of seconds and then sighed. “If you want to help,” he began, “go find Elspeth in the conservatory and ask for some sage. She’s in there crafting some healing potions for Hilda, so don’t bother her too much and don’t ask her any stupid questions.” He knew Elspeth was still recovering and could probably do without the mortal breathing down her neck. Harvey gave a nod before he made to walk off. “Make sure it’s white sage,” Nick called after him.

Harvey raised a hand to signal that he’d heard him before he disappeared down the hallway.

Sabrina was ashamed to admit that Nick’s departure from bed had come as a slight blessing to her. As awful as that sounded and as much as it made her feel like a bad girlfriend, she was also human and the idea of sharing a twin-sized bed with him had only worsened throughout the course of the night. 

One, Nick was a furnace. Normally, it was her favorite thing about him, but in such close proximity, it had quickly become too much.

Two, she swore Nick was part gymnast. He never woke up in the same position he’d gone to bed in, and his favorite seemed to be flat on his stomach, face buried in a pillow, with her tucked somewhere beside him. Again, that was usually fine and even a bit adorable, but with the limited space, it had been nearly impossible to get comfortable. 

So when he’d slipped out of bed that morning, she’d given him the biggest kisses she could manage and promptly star-fished across the bed as soon as he’d walked out of the room. The bones lining her spine had popped in the most harmonious way and she’d contently fallen asleep, her body finally catching up to her.

Hours later, however, she’d woken up missing him. The smell of him still lingered on her pillow and the blanket they’d shared. Her stomach grumbled, too, and she quickly decided it was time to wake up. 

It was still early, she realized. Her mortal friends were likely still asleep and she decided to go and find some breakfast. She knew Roz well enough to know that she didn’t operate properly without her morning coffee.

She headed down through the foyer, sensing the familiar tingle of magic. There was a spark and then shuffling. Sabrina followed the sound down the hallway, curiosity getting the better of her and deterring her from her intended goal.

She didn’t expect to find her boyfriend positioned at the top of a ladder, scraping a short piece of chalk along the wall. What surprised her even more was seeing Harvey a few yards away, carefully holding a stick of lit sage and guiding the smoke about. 

When Nick caught sight of her, she gave him a confused look. “Why’s Harvey smudging the hallway?” she asked as he descended the ladder, appearing amused. 

He greeted her with a kiss. “He thinks he’s helping,” Nick explained. Sabrina gave him a doubtful look, not convinced with his reasoning. “He was adamant and I didn’t know what else to have him do. He’s sorta useless.”

“Am I doing this right?” Harvey asked hesitantly, oblivious to their conversation.

“You’re doing great,” Nick encouraged. Sabrina just held up her thumb and donned the best smile she could offer.

“You’re eating this up, aren’t you?” she asked under her breath, meant for Nick. She noted the way his lip twitched. He was trying his best not to grin out of sheer enjoyment. 

“He wanted to help,” Nick replied with a shrug.

Sabrina just sighed. “Well, at least the energy in that part of the hallway is pristine condition.” They two of them hadn’t killed each other and that was enough to make her happy. The fact that they were currently occupying the same space - and seemingly out of their own choices - was fantastic. 

“One could say the same about my mood,” Nick offered. Sabrina gave his arm a swat.

“Play nice,” she returned. “I’m going to get some breakfast and meet up with Roz and Theo to see how they’re doing. I can’t imagine they slept all that well.” She felt it was best to get the Heaven out of dodge. There was a strange sort of calmness between them that she didn’t want to mess up with her presence. 

“I always do,” Nick said. “I’m going to stay and work on my seals a bit longer. I’ll see you later?”

Sabrina gave him a nod and a sweet kiss before she departed down the hallway en route to the Academy’s kitchen where she knew she would find her aunt. 

“Morning, auntie,” she greeted upon spotting Hilda prepping what appeared to be dozens of egg sandwiches.

“Morning, love!”

Sabrina eyed the sandwiches as she approached the counter. They smelled good and it made her stomach rumble. “I just witnessed the weirdest thing,” she began explaining. “Harvey and Nick were... getting along .” She paused. “They were even working together.”

There was a playful little glint in Hilda’s eye that Sabrina quickly picked up on. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at her aunt.

“Oh, well that’s good to hear,” Hilda responded with great gusto. “Old boyfriend, new boyfriend, mortal and witch-”

“What’d you do?” Sabrina asked, cutting her off before she began rambling. Hilda was practically buzzing with joy. Sabrina looked down as she waved a hand over the sandwiches before her. Something occurred to her.

“Well, dearie, the whole Coven is rather tense and quite fearful. I thought a little relaxation charm would help everyone.” Hilda tried to hide the smile that crept up on her face. “A couple of them may be a bit more potent, perhaps with an added touch of ‘friendliness.’”

Sabrina nodded along. “So, you poisoned my friend and my boyfriend - that’s cool.” She smiled as she said it, showing no ill-will toward her aunt. In fact, her idea had been a genius one.

Hilda swatted at her. “Oh hush, Sabrina! I haven’t poisoned anyone. A little push in the right direction toward a mutual friendship never hurt anyone.” 

“I don’t think we’re getting a friendship anytime soon,” Sabrina said as she searched around for something to pack a few sandwiches in. She trusted that Hilda hadn’t laced the others with any extra magic. “We can hope for an understanding, however.”

Hilda helped her, retrieving a paper bag from one of the drawers. She packed it up and handed it off to Sabrina. “That’s all we need right now, love.”

Sabrina smiled at her aunt, thanked her, grabbed two cups of coffee on her way out, and then headed off to find her friends.

Upstairs, she knocked on Theo’s door. There was silence. The dormitory was dark when she finally peered in. Theo’s form could be seen snuggled up in bed.

“Theo?” Sabrina tried.

There was a grumble. “Unless the Academy is burning to the ground - I don’t care. It’s too early.”

Sabrina snorted back a laugh, remembering her friend’s morning temperament wasn’t the best. “I’ve got breakfast. Find us when you want some,” she supplied before she shut the door, leaving Theo in darkness again.

She wandered to the next door and knocked. Roz called for her to come in. When she entered, she saw her friend seated on the bed, appearing freshly dressed and much more awake than Theo. 

“Good morning, Brina,” Roz greeted, a slightly confused expression on her face. “I swear I went to bed with a boyfriend last night, but he’s since disappeared...”

Sabrina giggled, joining her friend on the bed. “He’s downstairs with Nick.” It still felt weird to say that, despite having witnessed it. Roz looked just as disbelieved. “My aunt fed them some magic and now they’re fine being in the same room, though I think Nick is abusing it.” The image of Harvey pointlessly waving around the stick of sage flashed through her mind again and she shook her head. She handed Roz her coffee.

“That’s good,” Roz said with a soft laugh, setting her coffee off to the side to cool. “I thought for sure they’d physical with each other at some point. And no offense to Harvey, but he’s a total teddy bear with no idea of how to throw a punch.”  

“To be fair, Nick’s all magic and mind. I think he prefers to fight with words,” Sabrina replied, dissolving into laughter as well. Despite the crazy situation they were in, boarded up in the Academy with no real idea of when or if the threat was coming, it was comforting to know that she and Roz could still fall right back into their comfortable ways. “Want some breakfast?” Sabrina asked as she began to unpack the sandwiches. She left one in the bag for Theo.

“Please. I woke up feeling ravenous,” Roz said, accepting the breakfast as it was handed to her. “I guess this is what our lives have come to,” she began with a joking tone, “placing bets on whose significant other will snap first.”

Sabrina snorted. “I guess so,” she said. It was a weird situation to be in, but it was their own. “Did you sleep well last night? With the different setting and all?”

Roz nodded. “I slept fine given the space. And you know Harvey. Once he goes out, he’s out like the dead.”

It was true. She’d split the bed enough times with Harvey to know that he slept like a log and rarely moved. There were times when she would wake up and push him just to see if he was alive. “Nick’s the opposite. He can’t lay still,” Sabrina added.

Roz smiled herself as she nibbled on her sandwich. “That sounds...oddly adorable.”

“It is until you wake up nearly crushed to death.” Despite it, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. A reality in which she'd be forced to wake up without him wasn’t one she ever wanted to envision, much less live in. As nice as having a bed to herself, she always missed him - his breathing, his heartbeat, his warmth, everything.

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” Roz asked, snapping her out of it.

Sabrina looked up from her sandwich. “Hm?” 

“We’re exactly where we’re meant to be,” Roz continued. “We’ve got each other - the four of us, best friends for life. And we’ve got someone who loves us just the way we are without wanting to change anything about us. We’re so lucky, aren’t we?”

“We are,” Sabrina agreed, feeling her eyes sting just a bit.

Roz grasped her hand and squeezed as though sensing her thoughts. Maybe she had read her. Roz was good at that. “Nick loves you,” Roz said with a confidence that frightened and comforted Sabrina all at the same time. “He really does - so much. And he’s not afraid of you or who you are.”

Sabrina just stared back at her, feeling the stinging in her eyes strengthen as she fought away the tears, fought away the feelings she knew she should’ve addressed sooner. She hadn’t been fair - to herself or Nick. 

“I just know things,” Roz explained, even though Sabrina completely understood by now. Even without her abilities, Roz just always...knew. “Plus, I brushed up against him coming in yesterday and my cunning activated unintentionally. It told me enough.” She gave Sabrina a comforting smile.

Something strange bubbled up within her - A realization of sorts. Something clawed to get out. Something desperate and raw - red and passionate but gentle and pure all the same. Something golden, brimming with a sweet warmth that flooded every vein in her body.

It was a relief to finally let it overtake her - fill her. It was like waking up.

She finally understood why she’d decided to hoard it, why she’d hidden it away from herself. She had not only been afraid of loving and losing Nick, but she had been afraid of losing herself.

Nick had made it clear that he had no intention of leaving. He’d made it clear that he loved every bit of her, even the sharp edges that turned some people away. He would never quiet her, never hold her back. 

And she supposed she had always thought that falling in love was an undoing, an unbecoming of sorts. One had to give away parts of themselves in order to love someone entirely. Her mother had given up her mortal life to be with her father, and in a way, her father had given up the respect and the ways of his own people.

Sabrina had given up a lot to be with Harvey, too. It had hurt her in the end, left her confused and broken, left her wondering which side of her was more important.

But now she understood that that wasn't what falling in love - what being in love - was supposed to be. It wasn't supposed to be an undoing.

Nick had never asked her to be anything but herself. He wanted her - all of her.

And she wanted him - all of him.

She loved him. She had for a while now.

Sabrina stood suddenly. “I’m sorry, Roz, but I have to go.” She turned and handed Roz the paper bag. “Please, give that to Theo when he wakes up...I need to find Nick.”

She needed to tell him. He deserved to know that someone loved him.

Roz seemed to understand and she let go of Sabrina’s hand. Perhaps, Roz had seen into her mind, too. “Go get your man,” she said, reaching for her coffee cup.

Sabrina tried to steady her breathing as she raced down the stairs two at a time, careful not to trip.

She thought about what she might do when she found him again. Would she throw herself at him and kiss him senseless? Would she whisper the words against his lips in between breaths? Would she whisk him away somewhere quiet and confess to him, in a more gentle manner, that she had loved him all this time but had been too stupid to tell him?

Would she-

An explosion reverberated throughout the stairwell, sending her swinging as she scrambled to grab hold of the handrail. 

No, she thought as another - this time louder - explosion echoed all around her. The old wooden ceiling of the Academy creaked, raining dust and smoke down on her.

No, her mind screamed again. Not now.

Chapter Text

The Academy shook with a force that nearly knocked Nick off the ladder. From their place in the hallway near the entrance, he could hear as an explosion thrashed at the doors. 

“What was that?” Harvey asked, but Nick could tell that question had come more as a natural reaction to the sound. Harvey knew exactly what was going on. The fear was evident all over his face.

“I think your family’s here to pick you up,” Nick replied, shoving his chalk into his pocket. It could become potentially useful later, though he was still confident in that the witch-hunters wouldn’t stand a chance in penetrating the Academy walls. His protective seals would hold.

They had to.

When he glanced at Harvey again, he was wearing that same fearful expression. “Get a grip,” Nick repeated. “You knew this was happening. You need to prepare yourself for the worst.” He faced the mortal fully. “If you don’t think you can stand up against your family, then you should leave.”

“I’m entirely prepared to fight back,” Harvey shot back, features hardening in the slightest bit. “But my father is on the opposite side of that door, and as much as he and I have our problems, he’s still my father.” Nick didn’t respond to that. He understood that even if only in the faintest way. 

Another explosion radiated above them this time. Nick wondered how the rest of Greendale wasn’t hearing it. He supposed the hunters had worked something out, as it wouldn’t do them any good should the mortal law enforcement show up and see them bombing a seemingly abandoned train station.

Absentmindedly, Nick swiped a hand along the old walls of the Academy. “Qui affecto protego, mixtisque iubas serpentibus et posteris meis stirpiqui.”

“What does that mean?” Harvey asked hesitantly, eyeing Nick’s actions. 

“It’s a protection spell,” Nick answered. “You can put it over people, but also things and places. In this case, it’s more of a finishing touch.” He remembered the previous night, when he laid wrapped up with Sabrina in their tiny bed, whispering the incantation to each other as they drifted off. In his mind, he must’ve repeated it a thousand times over before he actually fell asleep. 

A third explosion sounded, followed by the creaking of old wood.

“Are you sure the walls will hold?” Harvey asked. 

Around them, Nick could already hear as witches stirred, flooding out of their rooms. By now, he imagined they would all be rushing to link hands in an attempt to arm the Academy with their own protection spells. The sound of a child crying echoed somewhere down the halls. Some of the Coven members had small children, some too young to even understand what was happening. The thought had made him all that more desperate to protect the Academy. 

“I sure fucking hope so,” Nick answered a few seconds later.

Just then, Zelda appeared a few feet away, frantic and clutching the wall. In her free hand was the Compendium Maleficarum that Harvey had stolen from his grandfather.

“Get away from the front doors,” she exhaled, out of breath.

Nick was shocked to see her so fearful. It wasn’t every day that Zelda Spellman was anything but calm. “The doors are fine,” Nick said, in an attempt to assure her.

“They’ve found a way in,” she continued, waving the Compendium around. “A mixture of Holy Water, Witchesbane, and a few other ingredients that we’ve got no time to list.” Nick’s stomach dropped. Beside him, Harvey paled. 

“It’s not possible,” Nick said.

“The explosions are merely a method of scaring us before they enter, which could be at any point. Even a circle of our best spell-casters won’t hold them off for long.”

As if on cue, the violent thrashing of fire quieted, leaving the Academy still. 

Then, less than a minute later, one final explosion sounded, sending all three of them against the wall. Smoke poured into the hallway in thick ribbons. It stung Nick’s eyes and made Zelda cough. It didn’t seem to bother Harvey, which made him realize it was likely some sort of witch-repellent. 

“The children, my niece. Dear, Satan...” Zelda rasped, covering her mouth as the smoke assaulted her. She squinted through an eye. “I’ve got to protect them.” She slid along the wall as the cloud around them dissipated, making it a bit easier to breathe. 

When Nick’s vision cleared, he saw the light filtering in from where the doors had been. They hung off the hinges, cracked and bowed in. There were silhouetted men standing in the center. He could make out the shapes of their weapons as they held them up.

The Academy hadn’t had the chance to attend the meeting Zelda had proposed that morning and it left them in disarray with no plan of action, he realized. 

“I need to get my rifle,” Harvey said. “I think it’s in Zelda’s office.” Though he sounded unbothered by the smoke, there was a frantic sort of nervousness that coated his voice. He made to leave but turned when he noted that Nick stood planted where he was. “Come on,” he repeated.

There wasn’t time for Nick to respond before the mortal grabbed his arm and practically dragged him away just as the group of witch-hunters began to filter in, muttering something to each other as they did. They followed Zelda out.

En route to Zelda’s office, the hallways were clear. Everyone had already fled toward the interior of the building. Nick inhaled the clear air and his mind re-focused itself once his lungs no longer burned.

He pulled out of Harvey’s grip. “Go,” he said. “I’m going to find Sabrina.”

Harvey understood. “If you find my friends before I do, keep them safe.”

Nick gave him a single nod before he departed toward one of the stairwells that led to the third floor. 

He’d nearly made it before an arrow whizzed past his shoulder. He rounded the corner, took cover behind the wall, before peering out just a touch, enough to note the trio of hunters that strolled down the hallway. At the very front stood Gregory Von Kunkle.

On his feet, no wheelchair in sight. Roz had been right.

The lead witch hunter whistled. “Come out, witch.”

Nick whispered an incantation under his breath, finding some comfort in the familiar buzz of energy as it took hold. He couldn’t allow that man and his group of hunters to continue their descent into the Academy. For now, Sabrina was somewhere further in and hopefully safe. He’d give up his life before he let them continue in.

“We’ve got no qualms with you, nor your Coven. We’ve only come for one thing - well, one witch. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. She goes by the name Sabrina Spellman.”

Nick slipped out of the shadow of the corner and into the hallway. He stood facing the three men. “You’ve come as far as you’ll go.”

Gregory’s eyes flickered over him and then his face relaxed as a smile took over. The two men beside him raised their weapons in defense. “Oh, you. I met you at the diner.” He paused momentarily. “I’d wondered where I’d remembered you from and then it hit me, it wasn’t you I’d remembered, but someone else. Has anyone ever told you’re the spitting image of your father?”

Nick’s expression hardened, his fists tightening at his side.

“It’s rather eerie,” Gregory continued. “I’ve never lost a hunt before you - the little one that got away. I remember now. We searched everywhere for you until we finally gave up. The chances of an adolescent wolf surviving alone are slim anyway, I’d thought, but here you are - all grown up.”

“I wasn’t alone,” Nick answered. It had been difficult with Amalia. He remembered wandering out in the woods between Springdale and Greendale for weeks, not understanding anything only that his parents were gone. Eventually, after realizing she couldn’t keep him alive, Amalia had led him to the care of other witches. His previous Coven had raised him, but Amalia had never been far. 

“Of course,” Gregory said. “It must be tough for you right now, to face the man that murdered your parents. I suppose you recognized me before. You ran off with your tail between your legs. But it’s fine, I assure you what happened with your folks was nothing personal, just a mere business transaction.”

Nick’s stomach sank even further. The reminder of Blackwood’s hit on his parents dealt a strong blow, but he stood his ground. He understood the man’s tactic. The witch-hunter wanted to break him, but Nick was stronger than that.

“Though I do admit, your father was something of a good man, as much as he was a witch. I’d shown up claiming to have car problems and he was quick to try and help, despite his clear lack of knowledge regarding mortal transport. Unfortunate for him, the first shot didn’t kill him. I hit him in the chest and it paralyzed him. I left him there while I took care of the rest of the family. There was nothing that he could do. He couldn’t even scream.”

“I don’t care what you spout. It isn’t going to affect me,” Nick shot back, fighting the way his heart had clenched in his chest at the mention of his father and what he’d gone through in the last moments of his life. Nick had hoped his death had been quick, painless, and to learn that it had been anything but that did hurt. Gregory had been right about one thing, however. The memories Nick did have of his father painted him as a good man. A good father.

“I disagree,” Gregory said, his smile deepening into something that rattled Nick. It appeared he was enjoying the trek through the past with a morbid sort of fascination. “I have to say, I hit the jackpot with your mother, though.”

Nick froze at the mention of her. His father’s death had always been easier to swallow. It had been out of sight and away from him.

But his mother, he’d heard her die. Just a few short feet away from him, he’d heard her scream and fight and eventually, take her last breath.

“Do you know the sort of healing benefits the blood of a pregnant witch offers?” Gregory asked, sending a tremor through Nick’s stomach. “They say one sip can cure even the worst mortal diseases, even more, can extend your life by a year or longer. Your mother made me a fortune and later when another particular witch paralyzed me from the waist down, her donation saved me.”

It took everything in Nick not to gag at that. His stomach yearned to heave up its contents. He reminded himself that every second he stood here with Gregory was another second the Coven - Sabrina - was safe. It was another second they had to prepare. 

“I admit, in the end, visiting the Scratches made quite the difference. Faustus Blackwood’s payment was but mere pocket change compared to the other benefits.” Gregory glanced at the men beside him. One gripped a crossbow, the other a rifle. He looked back at Nick. “I’ve learned over the course of my stay at Greendale that Sabrina Spellman is your mate.”


As though they were animals.

“Therefore, you must know her whereabouts. Lead us to her and we will leave the Coven in peace,” Gregory said.

“Fuck you,” Nick replied because it was the only thing that came to mind.

“I have no qualms with the Church of Night, but I will kill anyone who stands in my way. You’ve got one more chance,” Gregory said. “One witch for the safety of the entire Coven - you would be a fool to turn that down.”

“Unfortunate for you, I value the safety of that particular witch over anything else in the world.”

“Get rid of him. We’ll find her ourselves,” Gregory said. He took a step back, raised his rifle to rest on his shoulder. His partners stepped forward. “I’m going to meet with the others.”

Before Nick could make an attempt to stop him, his partners had already begun unloading their weapons at him. They flew toward him but bounced off an invisible force field just a few feet in front of Nick. He gave a small sigh of relief. His previous incantation had been to draw a wall of protection between him and the hunters and it had worked. 

He opened his eyes, searching for Gregory but finding that he had disappeared. The two men stood before him, confused but not deterred from his initial goal of murdering him. 

Nick watched as one of them reached for their waist, drawing out of a dagger. From the gleam of the metal, Nick knew that it was heavily laced with Holy Water, just like the ones they’d previously found.

The man threw it forward. It latched onto the force field and sparked.

Nick was quick as the barrier began to shatter. He said another incantation and the Academy walls around him glowed as a series of circles and sigils came to focus.

He hadn’t spent all of his time solely on re-fortifying the Academy’s protective seal.


He’d spent a great deal of it prepping circles throughout the hallways in case the hunters did manage to enter. It would save him the time of having to draw them later.

He began another incantation.

“Hurry,” he could hear one of the witch-hunters say. Another dagger hit the forcefield. 

Just as it shattered, smoke flooded the hallway, pouring in from circle and pooling around Nick’s feet. A somber sort of mood filled the vicinity and a chime-like giggle sounded.

He had been hesitant to summon Vrethala in such a vast space. She wouldn’t care for the safety of the others should she escape the circle he’d locked her in and that worried him. But he’d had no other option. No other demon moved quite as quickly as her.

The witch-hunter raised his rifle.


Before his finger pulled the trigger, he froze, limbs static as Vrethala invaded his body. She fought for control and won easily. They were mortal, after all, and would have been no trouble for her. 

“Have fun, Vrethala.” He released his bind on her. Within seconds, the man’s hand reached for a dagger, his hand shaking as he tried to fight it off. His hand raced to his neck, settling at his throat. Nick averted his eyes, not wanting to look at the man’s horror-stricken face as Vrethala made quick use of his body.

There was a strangled sort of sound before his body crumpled to the floor.

Nick didn’t notice the second witch-hunter as he lifted his crossbow. The arrow came flying, whizzing through the air with a whistle.

It struck him in the thigh.

Nick doubled over in pain as the arrow seared through his flesh, hand gripping the wall. He made an attempt to spell-cast, to throw up another wall of protection while he regained his footing, but it didn’t work.

“Holy Water doesn’t just paralyze your limb,” the witch-hunter said. “It keeps you from spellcasting, too. How do you think we’re able to kill you?”

As the man had stated, Nick’s leg felt useless. He held the wall to keep his balance as the pain not only throttled his leg, but made it incapable of operating. In his lack of focus, his palm slid over Vrethala’s circle and it smudged. That combined with his lack of magic sucked her back into Hell, rendering him demon-less

Fuck, Nick thought. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

He probably was going to die. Without seeing Sabrina, without making sure she was safe.

Except, he wouldn’t let that happen.

“We can try again before I kill you - where is the witch?”

Nick’s hand gripped the shaft of the arrow and without further thought, he pulled.

If it hurt going in, it hurt a thousand times more coming out. Fire flooded his leg, traveling up his body with a rattling sort of heat. He bit his lip hard, tasting the metallic tang of blood as he ripped the arrow clean out of his thigh. It took every cell in his body not to scream as he did so.

He threw it aside, his breathing heavy and sweat beading on his forehead, his chest, and just about everywhere. He felt the trickle as blood poured down his leg. Now that the barricade of the arrow was gone, it was free to flow.

He needed to make this quick before he died of blood loss.

Nick slid away just as another arrow raced at him. Stepping on his injured leg hurt like Heaven, but he needed to make it just a bit further down the hallway.

A few feet down, he pulled another circle from the wall. This one was larger, double the size of the rest.

He called out the incantation and ducked just as another arrow raced at him. The circle above him lit up as it opened. Out of the portal flew a blur of gray, partnered with a howl that radiated throughout the hallway.

The demon dropped down in front of him, back to him as it faced the witch-hunter.

“Amalia,” Nick sighed in relief.

She snarled, low and deep, at the sight of the witch-hunter. The fur along her shoulders and neck stood up as she hunched over. From her chest, she withdrew the arrow that had been intended for Nick. It had barely scratched her.

He knew what he was doing when he drew her circle along the various walls of the Academy. 

The Scratches had been Amalia’s family, too, and she had never let go of her hate for the witch-hunters that had taken them.

He watched the witch-hunter load his weapon again. He also watched as Amalia took another arrow and barely faltered. Witch-hunters were equipped to hunt witches, not demons.

At that, the witch-hunter took a step back, realizing his predicament. He was partner-less, fighting a demon who clearly was not susceptible to his attacks.

She lunged at him.

His scream punctured the thick air around them like a knife. Amalia sunk her claws into him, unhinged her jaw, and bit down. Nick screwed his eyes shut as the sound of bone breaking pervaded his senses. The scent of blood-tinged the air soon after.

Then, silence.

He sat there for a moment, breathing heavy, letting everything settle around him. 

Slowly, Amalia turned and faced him.

He raised his hand up, palm facing her, as she neared him. A habit he hadn’t quite forgotten. She dropped her wet nose to it and Nick sighed. It had always been his way of calming her down, of comforting himself - especially when she had gotten progressively more aggressive.

“You are hurt,” Amalia stated, voice rumbling within her chest.

He remembered his injury.

As best as he could manage, he made an attempt to heal it. It did nothing but stop the bleeding for the time being. He wasn’t skilled in that department of magic, but he supposed that would do.

“I’ll be fine,” Nick said as he pulled himself to stand. “Thank you, Amalia. I knew I could count on you.”

“I am free, but I still protect you,” Amalia returned. “Nicholas is family.” He couldn’t help but smile as her word usage. As a demon, Amalia didn’t have use for such phases, but Nick had taught her the meaning of ‘family’ a long time ago. He’d always referred to her as such, and it made his heart ache to hear her say it.

“I have to find Sabrina,” Nick declared, not forgetting his mission. Fear flooded him again. He’d escaped death, but he had yet to find her. 

“Sabrina is family to you, too.”

“She is,” Nick verified, feeling a pang in his heart at Amalia’s wording. “She means everything to me.”

Amalia gave one single nod with her head, dripping blood from her muzzle. “You find her. I hunt.” 

He understood. She wasn’t finished with the witch-hunters quite yet.

He didn’t stop her.

Amalia’s body shifted. She dropped down onto all fours, assuming the form she had taken on more often than not during her time on Earth. A large grey wolf - the way he’d remembered her as a child. 

She was fast that way, too.

Nick gave her a final nod before she turned and raced down the hallway, feet scraping along the hardwood flooring as she disappeared. 

He steadied himself, ignoring the searing pain in his leg, and pushed forward.

Sabrina lifted herself off of the stairs as what seemed to one, very loud, final explosion thrashed the Academy. She ran while she had the chance.

Practically flying down the hallway, she spotted a head of brown hair near Zelda’s office. “Harvey!” The smell of smoke, a nauseatingly cloying sort, became apparent as she neared him. 

He turned, relief flooding his features. Gripped in his hands was a rifle. Very quickly, she became aware of what - of who - was missing.

“Nick,” she called before Harvey could respond. “Where’s Nick?”

“He ran off looking for you,” Harvey said, pointing a thumb down a different hallway. “We separated ways back, near the entrance.”

Her stomach dropped to her knees. “Alone?” she nearly yelled, unaware of the volume of her own voice over the pounding of her heart. “You let him go alone?”

“He was looking for you. I went to get my rifle,” Harvey reasoned, though the look on his face made it apparent he was just now realizing his mistake. “I thought he would’ve just…”

“Teleporting uses energy,” Sabrina explained. “Nick wouldn’t have wasted it carelessly.” She looked around her for a second, trying to calm her beating heart. Nick was probably alright. He was resourceful and one of the best warlocks she knew - probably the best, if she was being honest. He could hold his own.

She turned and ran down the opposite hallway. Harvey followed her.

“Where are you going?” He asked.

“I’m going to find your grandfather and end this. If it’s me he wants, then I’ll come to him.” She couldn’t continue to pretend that hiding was an option. The stake of the Coven - Nick’s safety, her family’s safety, everyone’s safety, relied on her.

“He’ll kill you,” Harvey answered quickly, fear ringing deep in his voice.

“He can try,” Sabrina shot back. 

She had no idea where she was going, where they would even be at this point, but she ran as quickly as she could.

In the foyer, she halted, the statue of Baphomet beside her. From one archway stepped forward Gregory. Harvey’s father was at his side. Sabrina met eyes with him.

“You’re letting this happen?” she asked before she could stop herself.

“He’s protecting his family, protecting all of mortal-kind,” Gregory’s voice echoed. “Unlike that one - the dishonorable runt that he is.” He motioned toward Harvey with his chin.

Sabrina eyed the space around her, watching as more witch-hunters filtered in through the other archways, forming a loose circle around her and Harvey. “What do you want with me?” she asked, mentally kicking herself for allowing her voice to waver the way it did.

“I thought it was clear,” Gregory said. “You were born from a mortal and a witch. Your very being is sacrilegious. You hold the ability to walk both worlds, to lay claim to both, and that’s simply not in our best interest.”

“What did Blackwood tell you?” Sabrina questioned, ignoring his rambling. 

“That you existed. Before this, I had no knowledge of the existence of halflings. Not only that, but he expressed his concerns with your desire to meld the witch and mortal realms, something he deemed your father responsible for.” He stepped forward. “I never did have the honor of meeting Edward Spellman, somehow could never get the timing quite right. Then he perished.”

Sabrina glared back at him.

“Sabrina isn’t dangerous to the mortals,” Harvey said, surprising her. “None of the witches are. They’re just trying to live - just like us.”

“Your father was right - your mind is clouded. It’s a shame, I had taken a liking to you, Harvey, but you clearly can’t seem to grasp the danger that a witch poses to us. Most live quietly, yes, but there are some who curse us, who kill us, who leave us injured and unable to walk. They steal our children for their disgusting rituals.”

“Some mortals do that, too.” Harvey shot back.

“Your mother had similar thoughts.” Sabrina watched as Harvey’s father faltered just barely. Gregory’s words had affected him. Beside her, Harvey tightened his grip on his rifle.

“Mom died in a car accident,” Harvey said.

“She did,” Gregory confirmed in a way that made it obvious her death hadn’t truly been an accident. “It appeared that way, at least.” 

At that, Harvey went quiet. Sabrina stood her ground. “Harvey’s right. There are mortals who do bad things, too, but that doesn’t make all mortals evil.”

“Witches worship Satan, Ms. Spellman. Is he not the definition of evil?”

“In the eyes of your God,” Sabrina replied. “The followers of both will likely never see eye to eye but it doesn’t matter, they’re both just different ways of living. Neither is without fault.” 

“I’m not here to discuss theology with you, Sabrina,” Gregory replied. 

“Then what?” Sabrina asked harshly. “What do you want?”

“To erase the stain that your existence has created. I can’t allow you to interact with the mortal realm. My priority is the protection of mortals, and you’re simply too dangerous of a witch.”

“And who are you to decide that? If you believe in your God, then you should also believe that it’s not yours to pass judgment on others, to take the lives of others,” Sabrina pushed. “I don’t pose a risk to the mortal realm, if anything, I want to help it.”

“He and I can disagree on that when the time comes,” Gregory answered. He gazed at the other witch-hunters just briefly. “Shoot,” he directed.

Harvey’s father lifted his crossbow. The arrow flew from it before Sabrina could even register what was happening. She raised her hand to cast a spell, but the arrow hit her in the torso before she could. It sent her back a couple of steps, crying out in pain.

Harvey shot toward his father, grazing the man’s shoulder. Another witch-hunter shot back, hitting Harvey in the hand and sending the rifle flying. He groaned in pain.

“Once more,” Gregory said. Another hunter shot this time. It came from behind, hitting Sabrina somewhere in the back. It made her fall forward onto her knees. Tears sprung from her eyes at the stinging sensation of the arrows. Though she couldn’t feel the pain of the Holy Water as the other witches would, it still hurt more than she could imagine.

Gregory lifted his own rifle. “And finally, since I’ve always been the best shot.” 

A bullet this time pierced her directly through the heart. She inhaled as it struck her, freezing. Harvey caught her before she fell back completely. 

She could see him screaming at her, but everything had gone silent. The pain faded and then disappeared altogether.

Time seemed to stop.

She heard an unfamiliar voice, melodic and clear, like a pin dropping in a very quiet room.

“Sabrina Spellman.”

In her vision appeared a young woman. Her hair was brown and long, falling to her waist. She was dressed in an emerald green dress, lush like the forest outside. 

No one else seemed to notice her. Not that they could, they all stood unmoving, as though caught in time.

“Who are you?” Sabrina wanted to ask, but the words feathered out around the edges. The woman seemed to understand.

“You haven’t been reading your book.” A smirk drew across the woman’s lips. “And to think, the trouble that young warlock went through to gather it for you...”

Sabrina sat in shock, realization hitting her.

“Lilith,” she breathed.

The woman appeared pleased. “You’ve found yourself in quite the predicament, Ms. Spellman.”

There was no denying that. Sabrina thought it appeared quite obvious. “Am I dead?” she asked, voice barely a whisper. She wasn’t ready to die. She hadn’t said goodbye to her family, her friends, to Nick.

She hadn’t told Nick she loved him.

“Yes and no,” Lilith answered. Then she paused. “Not yet.”

Sabrina didn’t understand, but she breathed a sigh of relief. A pang of pain radiated in her chest. “Are you saving me?”

“No, my dear, you’re saving yourself.” Lilith stood, moving away from her. She moved toward the frozen hunters, breezing in between them. 


She wore a clever smile when her eyes landed on Sabrina once more. “You know how,” Lilith said.

But she didn’t, Sabrina realized. She didn’t know what to do, or how.

“You do,” Lilith continued, as though reading her mind. Maybe she was. “Think, Sabrina, how do we pay homage to the witch-hunters? The ones whose ancestors tied yours to the stake and-”

“Burn them,” Sabrina found herself saying. “But I can’t. They shot me and it hurts - It will hurt. I don’t have any magic and I don’t know…”

“You know the Holy Water doesn’t affect you. You’ve still got your magic, and I can help with the pain,” Lilith continued. “All you’ve got to do is, well, do it .” She moved toward Sabrina once more, this time standing before her. “There is a fire that’s hotter than any other...they deserve it, don’t you think?”

“Hellfire,” Sabrina said, to which Lilith nodded, pleased once more. “I can’t summon Hellfire - I don’t know how.” Only three witches in the history of their kind had ever summoned Hellfire before. And Sabrina was only half a witch.

“You can, and you know how,” Lilith said. “Do it, Sabrina. Burn them .”

Sabrina sat, unmoving and silent, unsure of it all. Yet...a small voice at the back of her head spoke something different.

“Burn them,” Lilith pushed once more.

The voice grew louder.

And louder.

It continued until it filled her mind entirely, booming with a loudness that shook her to the very core.

It mixed with Lilith’s ever-growing demand.

Burn them. Burn them, burn them, burn them.

Her eyes screwed shut as the pain started to flood her body again. Reality seeped into the scene, snapping her back into a place where time existed once more. 

But the voice didn’t recede.

It only grew.

And so did her desire to give in.

“Ater ignus, fuse fume,” she began, repeating what the voice in her head had been saying.

“She’s spell-casting,” a seemingly frightened witch-hunter said.

“Te evoco ut potentium tuam monstres…” Sabrina continued, eyes still closed as she spoke. She sat up as the pain dulled again. She knew if she stopped, it would hurt again. 

So she didn’t. She continued the incantation.

Gregory made an attempt to shoot her once more, but Harvey had reached his rifle and this time, his shot hit. His grandfather stumbled back as the bullet hit his arm, causing him to drop his weapon. 

A light breeze picked up and as Sabrina continued with her incantation, a flutter of fire started as the corner of the room. Blue like sapphire, and hotter than any fire Earth could produce.

“Caelo sub isto, harc arborem consumo. Lucem tenebrasque tuas monstra…”

The fire flickered as it grew.

The surrounding witch-hunters lowered their weapons and looked around, frightened. 

“Sabrina?” Harvey asked. He made an attempt to touch her, but she blazed hotter than anything he’d ever touched before. It made him pull back his hand.

Soon enough, the Hellfire raged larger, hotter. The floor rumbled, sending the hunters swinging as the hardwood cracked beneath them. From it, a larger wave of fire blossomed, rising up toward the ceiling. 

It flooded the room, circling around as it engulfed the witch-hunters, their screams lasting only mere seconds before the fire consumed them entirely. One by one, they were reduced to ash.

Afterward, her body, no longer fueled by magic, fell. She was aware of someone catching her. Her body relaxed and she slumped back. Soon enough, the rush of magic and energy was replaced once more by the pain of being shot three times.

But she felt...relieved.

When she opened her eyes, she saw Harvey. His tears rained down his face in heavy droplets. 

“Harvey,” she whispered. Her voice didn’t sound like her own. It sounded raw and raspy like the fire had burned her throat. Tears formed in her own eyes, sliding down the side of her face and into her hair. She inhaled a deep breath of air and hoped that it would carry her over long enough to say what she needed to.

She had told Harvey she loved him. She had told Roz and Theo enough times, too. Her family certainly was aware. All of them knew she loved them.

“I need do something for me,” she breathed, pausing as a wave of pain washed over her. “Tell Nick that I love him. Please, Harvey.”

“You’ll tell him yourself,” Harvey rasped, his voice uneven. Even he was uncertain.

And then he was screaming, for her aunt, for anyone.

At some point, the wound in his leg had torn itself open. He supposed it was because he was moving, but he really didn’t care. 

The closer he drew to the foyer, the hotter the atmosphere seemed to become. The energy that flooded the hallway was unlike any he’d ever felt before. He had no idea what happened in there, but he knew that it couldn’t be good.

He hoped it didn’t involve Sabrina, but something deep inside told him it had.

Then, he heard screaming. A desperate cry for help.

As much as his leg begged him to stop, he refused. He pressed on faster, practically running as best as he could into the foyer.

He saw Harvey first, seated at the center of the demolished room. 

He saw her next, cradled in Harvey’s arms, bloodied and crumpled.

He felt every emotion he ever could have at that moment. It tore through him, slicing him in every direction. The pain of the Holy Water covered arrow had been nothing compared to this.

Nick took the final steps to her, dropping down to his knees. He felt nothing in his leg now. Everything had transferred to his chest, settling heavily over his heart.

He didn’t feel like he was there. He didn’t feel like himself. 

It was a dream, he told himself as he smoothed back her hair. It was just a nightmare, nothing more. He tried to believe that, but the weight of her frail body as Harvey transferred her over to him was enough to solidly it as reality.

He didn’t want to look at her, at the puncture wounds on her chest and torso, but he did. “No…” he found himself saying, sounding foreign and strangled, not at all his voice.

But she looked relieved. He cradled her as gently as he could, using a hand to press down on her wounds, trying to keep the blood inside. But she had too many punctures and him not enough hands.

“Nick…” she exhaled. 

“I’m here,” he said. He didn’t notice Harvey leave, whispering something about getting help. He traced his thumb over her cheek, begged for them to take up their usual rosy shade. She felt so small in his arms, unlike the boisterous Sabrina he was used to.

She breathed a ragged breath and then -

“I love you,” she stated, the edge of her voice mingled with pain. “I’m sorry that I didn’t say it sooner.”

Whatever was left of him shattered. He lost it.

“No,” he said again. “You can tell me later when you’re better, okay? Not like this.” 

He had often wondered what it would be like to hear her finally say it. He had found joy in imagining the various scenarios in which it could possibly happen. Sometimes, he would get lost in them.

Perhaps, he had once wondered, it would happen in his apartment. She would be seated near the big window - her favorite spot - with a cup of piping hot tea, and he would be nearby with a book, and it would just roll out of her. Or, in bed, after they had worn each other out and were both sex-drunk and sleep-addled, barely able to form sentences, she would whisper it against his chest. Maybe even at Cee's, over breakfast, while she gently kicked his foot with hers, she would sweetly hand it over in an attempt to get him to pass her the maple syrup he had been playfully holding out of her reach.

None of them, absolutely none of them, had ever ended like this.

He never imagined she would say it while broken and bruised and teetering on death. He would take her never saying it again if it meant she would be okay.

“I love you, Nick,” she repeated, raising a weak hand up to touch him. She couldn’t quite get it up to his face. He took it and pressed her palm to his mouth. He was crying. No, he realized, he was sobbing.

With one last exhale, her breathing stilled.

“Please, Sabrina,” he begged once her eyes drooped and she slumped against him. “Please, open your eyes for me? Please…”

He dropped his forehead to hers, draped himself over her, and willed everything to stop, to start over. He pleaded with any entity that was out there to allow him to switch places with her. There were so many people that loved her and it wasn’t fair. It shouldn’t have been her.

He thought of the dream he’d had nights before when she’d slipped like dust through his fingers, of how eerily similar it felt now.

He was aware of the hands as they pulled at him - at her. They came from every angle and in his pain-stricken shock, he yelled at them to stop, clutching her closer in hopes that she wouldn’t turn into dust and slip away. If they were trying to tell help, he couldn’t tell. He could only faintly hear their voices as they moved around him.

“He’s in shock.”

“Hold him back.”

And then there was nothing but blackness as reality blurred around him.

Chapter Text

It took everything in Nick to remain where he was rooted as Zelda Spellman finally rattled off the last name on her list of dearly departed. Witches - students, professors, unknown-to-him Coven members, there was a name to fill each slot. All of them lost in the witch-hunters ravaging of the Academy. He and Sabrina had not been the only ones fighting for their lives during the attack.

Now, he joined the remainder of the Coven in the Great Hall, head bowed in mourning. The burials had taken place hours before - the desecrated Church had gained several new headstones - and now they stood for one final memorial, one last “good-bye” to those who’d perished. Zelda had taken her time, read each name off slowly, and allowed for a moment of silence. 

The pain in his leg had dulled greatly over the last couple of days, and though standing on it for any long period of time still left him winded and biting down on his cheek, it wasn’t the current cause of his displeasure. It was the tight knot in his stomach, the one he was certain sat with each person that was crowded into the tight space.

It was grief.

Previously, Nick’s priority had only ever laid with his own self-preservation. With no one else to care for him, it only made sense that he cared for himself. But then he had met one Sabrina Spellman and she had set forth on a mission to educate him in the art of caring for others and now here he was, a bleeding heart if he’d ever seen one.

Beside him, Ambrose blew out a low breath, the cloud of despondency that shrouded him matched the dark attire that had been popular with everyone that evening. For once, Nicholas Scratch was not the only one in all black. “I suppose that’s the last of that,” he said.

Nick nodded, his attention drawn mostly to the front, where Zelda addressed the crowd once more before she stepped down. The others lingered, unsure of where to go, what to do, now that their brothers and sisters had been officially buried. He didn’t blame them. It was well into the night now, as it was the tradition to hold funerals during the witching hour, and he supposed that had played a role in everyone’s dismal mood. “I guess,” he replied.

“I’m entirely over this sullen mood. I can’t stand funerals.”

Nick raised a dark brow. “Don’t you help run a funeral home?”  

“Never said I loved my job,” Ambrose replied, giving his long scarf a yank. He flung one end of it over his shoulder.

Nick gave a shrug and shifted his balance. His leg ached painfully but he tried not to let it show.

“Maybe you should make an attempt at actually using that cane instead of dragging it around like it’s some sort of pretentious accessory,” Ambrose only half-joked, making Nick glance down at the mentioned item. He hoped his face didn’t betray just how much he hated the damned thing. 

Ambrose was entirely right - it made him look like a pompous asshole. It was particularly the reason why he had often managed to conveniently “forget” to bring it with him where he went. A couple of wacks of it over the shoulder - courtesy of Hilda - had mostly straightened him out, but he was still stubborn.

Reminded of its presence, Nick shifted to allow the cane to take up most of his weight. “Sorry, mom,” he said back, making Ambrose roll his eyes. With most of the Coven having left, Nick made an attempt to escape, as well, offering Ambrose a curt “good-night” before he turned his back to him.

“She wouldn’t want you sulking around like this, you know,” Ambrose called out, making Nick stop in his tracks to look at him. 

He raised a hand to motion at what was left of the memorial service. “We just attended a mass funeral, Ambrose. I’m sorry that my attitude was not up to par. I’ll be sure to bring my A-game next time we bury a fourth of the Coven.” He had made an attempt at covering up the irritation in his voice, but it still dribbled out.

“I don’t mean just today,” Ambrose pushed. “You hardly sleep and when you do, it’s because you’ve overexerted yourself with Academy repairs and you physically cannot handle being awake any longer.”

“That doesn’t sound like sulking. It sounds like working.”

“It’s sulking.”

“I’m not sulking,” Nick shot back. “But if I was, I would think it was rightfully earned.” He had to be honest, it made him just a touch bit angry that Ambrose could be so blithe and nonchalant and so damn, well for lack of better phrasing, Ambrose . Nick supposed it had something to do with his previously long imprisonment within the Spellman mortuary. It seemed to have given him a different outlook on life that the rest of them just didn’t seem to have.

Ambrose sighed. “All I’m saying, Nick, is that maybe you should try sleeping in a bed for the night. Trust me, it would do wonders, and before you know, the week will fly by.”

But Nick knew that to be false. What would do wonders for him, right now, would be the sight of Sabrina Spellman twirling around in front of him, bubbling with joy and purpose and life . It didn’t belong in whatever dreams his mind was sure to craft in his time of rest, it belonged in reality. She belonged there.

Okay, so maybe he was sulking, but Satan-damn-it, he was allowed to.

“I sleep just fine.”

“On the hardwood floors?”

“The rug’s plush,” Nick argued, waving a hand around as though it would further his point. “Isn’t it too late for you playing the role of a self-care guru?”

Ambrose shrugged. “I haven’t got anything better in mind.”

“Goodnight, Ambrose. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Nick said, thoroughly fed up with the direction in which the conversation was headed. Ambrose Spellman had not been the first to comment on his lack of self-care in the last few days. First, it had been Hilda, then Elspeth, then Hilda again, once even Zelda, a couple of times Melvin had made a few comments, and now Ambrose seemed to be offering his profound wisdom, too.

Thankfully, Ambrose gave up just as quickly as he had begun. Though, he gave Nick one last pitiful look. “Goodnight, Nick.”

After leaving Ambrose, Nick made a bee-line, as best he could, toward Zelda’s private quarters. He hoped as he had for the last several long days, that when he opened the doors, he’d be greeted with a set of warm brown eyes, but the more rational side of him told him to be patient. It wasn’t time yet.

Inside, he was greeted with the sound of quiet humming. He made his way through the narrow hallway at the entrance and into the joined living and sleeping area, where he stumbled upon Elspeth. She sat near the bed, trimming away at a bouquet of white pearlescent roses, the aroma of which hit him as soon as he entered.

“Oh, Nick, hello,” she greeted with warmth. 

He wandered over, curiously intrigued. “Hi,” he returned, eyeing her activities. She trimmed away a rotted leaf and he watched, with amazement, as she blew softly onto the unopened bud of a rose and it unfurled before them, the petals glimmering and new. 

Nick had never cared much for any magics that didn’t involve demons or the darker arts. Even in his days as a student, he had breezed through the required courses with a rushed carelessness, always eager to study his conjuring instead. He had earned his grades, of course, due to his bright mind and capable memory, but he was shit out of luck when it came to actually performing any Herbalism or Healing.

But watching Elspeth spin her magic through the delicate leaves, turning dingy brown back to lush green, was entirely hypnotizing. He had learned to garner an appreciation for the art of Herbalism, even if the magic was lost on him. She placed the newly flowered rose into a clear crystal vase full of water.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I left after the funeral wanting something less depressing. I thought I’d change out her bouquet, give it a good refresh.”

Nick nodded because it made sense. The effect of Sabrina Spellman did not linger solely on him. The room had gained a lot of traffic throughout the previous week. Even Harry had shown up, desiring a visit, and Nick, having noticed the restlessness in his stance, the dark circles under his eyes, hadn’t had the heart to deny him. The mortal had been growing on him ever since, though he hadn’t been eager to admit that to himself. 

Elspeth breathed in and Nick did the same, inhaling the subtly sweet scent of the iridescent roses. They had a striking resemblance to Sabrina’s hair, he noted. “Roses are her flower,” Elspeth said seconds later because she had determined that everyone had one.

“They are,” Nick agreed, finally pulling himself away from the gleam of the flora and toward his true purpose. He turned to face the bed, took in the image of Sabrina at its center, hair fanning her face, lashes casting shadows over her cheeks, and breathed a quiet sigh of relief. She had been there, unmoving, for days now, but her face had regained its color and that heart that he had cherished so much had returned to its natural rhythm. Her chest rose softly as she slept. Salem laid at her feet, ever so watchful of any guest that came by.

Nick settled at the edge of the bed, careful not to pinch her beneath him. He brushed his fingers along her temple, smoothing back a stray hair. “She’s cold,” he immediately noticed. 

“It’s the sleep spell,” Elspeth assured. “She can’t feel it, I promise. Hilda’s given her something for her mind, too. I can assure you, she’s having nothing but the sweetest of dreams right now.”

Without hesitation, he stood to retrieve a throw blanket off of the nearby armchair, giving it a good shake before he returned and settled it over her, on top of the thick blanket that already occupied the bed. He felt Elspeth watching him, and he felt the slightest bit embarrassed. Nick knew he’d been fussy and not at all himself recently. He had given anyone and everyone a piece of his mind, even going as far as snapping at Hilda after she had accidentally forgotten Sabrina’s socks the last time she had changed her clothing.

He had apologized immediately afterward and had felt like an idiot since. Hilda had been unbothered, but he still remained bashful in her presence. 

“A few more days,” Elspeth once again spoke. “Just a few more and she’ll be awake.” She gave the last rose one more look over before gently placing it into the vase with the others. Once satisfied with her bouquet, she brought it over and set it down on the nightstand beside Sabrina. 

A few more days. Nick could hardly wait.

Once he had regained his own mental footing after the morning of the attack, he’d learned that, after her initial stabilization, Hilda had placed her under a sleep spell to give her body the adequate time and energy to heal itself. A genius idea, truly, as Sabrina would have never willingly remained in bed for that long on her own. She was too much too stubborn.

As much as he was allowed to sulk, he was also allowed to feel relieved. The Coven had suffered loss, but Sabrina was alive and at the end of the day, that was all that mattered to him. She had been shot three times, all through very vital regions of her body, but she had survived. If he hadn’t believed in miracles beforehand, he surely did now.

He brushed another strand of hair away from her forehead as Elspeth, beside him, dusted off her hands. “I’ll be retiring for the evening. It was nice to see you, Nick,” she said, wandering off to gather up her tools into a basket. She gave him another warm smile. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” Nick echoed with his own polite smile. 

Once Elspeth disappeared through the door, he stood and shrugged out of the uncomfortable jacket he had worn to the memorial service, shucking his cane somewhere out of reach. He disrobed out of the rest of the funeral-appropriate clothing and reached for the more comfortable t-shirt and pants he had left draped over the side of the armchair earlier. Once dressed, he returned to Sabrina’s side. 

He sat with her for a few more minutes, allowing him some time to ponder everything, to feel grateful that, despite it all, they still had each other. It was something he had done every night since she had been asleep. 

He leaned down and placed a kiss on her forehead. “I love you,” he whispered, even though he knew full well that she couldn’t hear him. Perhaps, he hoped, if anything could reach her, it would be that.

Nick stood a few moments later and reached for the throw pillow he’d been partial to the last few nights. He dropped it onto the floor beside the bed and followed with his body. The blanket he had been using was now draped over her and he didn’t particularly care enough to go looking for another, so he crossed his arms over his chest and laid back.

He wouldn’t leave her to sleep alone.

“This hazelnut roulade is impeccable, auntie, truly -”

“Ambrosie, dear, please leave the dessert for a second and come look.”

There was a muffled, “hm?”

“Come. Come.

The sound of footsteps followed shortly after. Then a quick gasp. 


“She’s nearly healed, Ambrose. Almost entirely.

A pause, then the voice that sounded like Ambrose’s spoke again. The black fuzz around her mind began to fade, the voices of her family becoming less echoey.

“Well, that’s good, isn’t it?”

“Yes, of course. It’s marvelous, in fact...but goodness, also very strange.”

There was movement again, the shuffling of clothing. She felt something moving along her torso and then it stopped.

Sabrina stirred as the buzz of life flooded her limbs once more - fingers twitching, breath quickening. Her eyes fluttered open next, slowly, until she was gazing up at the ceiling of an unfamiliar room. She squinted, the fresh air stinging.


Hilda’s shocked face quickly came into her view. “Oh-!” Ambrose’s face followed shortly after, cheeks stuffed full to the brim with whatever it was that he had been eating, expression frozen in a state of disbelief. “You weren’t due for another couple of days, love.”

Sabrina’s face shifted slowly into one of deep-set confusion. She wasn’t due? She wanted to ask what her aunt had meant, but all that came out was a groggy, “whaa?” Gripping the side of the mattress, she shifted to sit up, but Ambrose quickly stopped her.

“Not so fast, little one.”

“Where am I?” Sabrina asked instead as her mind began to defrost. 

Ambrose brushed the crumbs off of his shirt and finished chewing. “You’re in Zelda’s private quarters in the Academy,” he informed her. “She normally retires to the mortuary, so it was open. And she didn’t want you in the infirmary where the others could disturb you.”

“The others?” Sabrina questioned.

Hilda spoke this time. “Yes, dear. We’ve had a number of witches injured. Those pesky weapons have made it all the more difficult to heal.”

That’s right, Sabrina remembered. They had been attacked.

She struggled to sit up again. Hilda helped her this time, propping her up against a pillow just slightly so that she could make sense of her surroundings. “What happened?” she questioned further. Her mind was still fuzzy, and as much as she tried to think back to what had truly happened in those last moments, it was hard.

She remembered the Von Kunkles and their horde of witch-hunters lining themselves in a circle around her and Harvey. Then, they had shot at her. 

Sabrina shivered as her mind attempted to make sense of what happened afterward. Surely, Lilith had been a product of her imagination, her pain-induced hallucination. But she could recall the blue fire and the way it had lapped at the ground around her, cleansing away the invading men.

It had felt real.

“You were hurt,” Ambrose said and left it at that. Sabrina could tell that even he had no desire in specifying her injuries to their entirety. “We got to you in time and aunt Hilda was able to patch you up. She had the brilliant idea to use a sleep-spell on you to allow your body to siphon its energy solely into healing you.”

That explained the stiffness in her body. Her bones creaked as she shifted. “How long was I out?”

“About half a week. Should’ve been a full but you’ve never quite done anything the proper way, have you, cousin?”

That made her smile.

“You’ve healed incredibly well, love. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone recover so quickly from something so horrid.” Her aunt’s eyes watered as she - as delicately as she could - pulled Sabrina into a hug. “I’m sorry - I know I shouldn’t be touching you much, but I can’t help it. We were so worried for your safety.”

Sabrina returned the hug, though rather sluggish. Her arms still felt like jelly. She supposed that was the result of having not used them for nearly a week. 

A thought occurred to her suddenly.

“Nick - is he okay?”

Hilda jolted up as though suddenly remembering. “Oh, yes! He’s just fine dear. Right as rain, if he’d just use that cane properly. He’ll be overjoyed to know you’re awake.” She turned to look at Ambrose. “Where was it that he went?”

Ambrose gave Sabrina’s hair a quick ruffle before he plopped down in a nearby armchair. “I sent him to Cee’s to grab us lunch. Frankly, he’s been unbearable since you’ve been out, cousin. A wounded puppy, if I’ve ever seen one. And as fussy as the twins.”

“Oh, hush, Ambrose,” Hilda chastised. “The poor boy’s been in over his head with worry. You can’t blame him for caring as much as he does.”

Ambrose smirked in response. “Yes, I don’t so much mind the caring, it’s more the insufferable brooding and sulking.” Sabrina could tell by his tone that he was only joking, but she honestly wouldn’t have been surprised to find that Nicholas had, in fact, been brooding. 

Memories flooded her mind once more. She could recall him finding her and cradling her. His face had shattered and she swore, had she reached out, she could’ve grasped a handful of the heartbreak that had radiated off of him. Her heart clenched in her chest, tears pricking at the corners of her eyes as she recalled telling him that she had loved him. At the time, she had thought it would have been the first and only time.

“Oh, he doesn’t mean that, Sabrina,” Hilda soothed, catching sight of her sullen expression. “Nicholas has just been quite adamant in making sure you were well taken care of, is all. He’s been by your side every night, just in case you needed him.” She motioned to the folded blanket and extra pillow that sat on the floor beside the bed. 

Sabrina rubbed the tears away before they fell. “He saw me... like that ,” she said. “I know it really hurt him. He doesn’t have anybody left and he thought he was losing me, too. I can’t even imagine what was going through his mind then.”

Ambrose’s expression softened. “When we found you two, he was in complete shock,” he explained. “We were trying to get to you, but he wouldn’t let you go. I don’t think he even registered who we were at that point. I had to drop a temporary sleep-spell on him, too, just to get him to loosen his grip on you.” 

“But you’re okay,” Hilda quickly added on, seemingly eager to shift the conversation into one with a brighter tone. “You both are.”

Sabrina nodded, relieved with the way it had ended, relieved that she was alive, that Nick was. “And my friends? They’re okay, too?”

Ambrose gave a nod. “Yes, all accounted for. In fact, they were all incredibly useful, too. The little one-”

“Theo,” Sabrina corrected with a fond smile. 

“Theo,” Ambrose said with a nod. “Theo saved several injured witches by bringing them to Hilda. There’s a witness account of him bashing a witch-hunter over the head with his bat.” 

Sabrina tried to hold back her laughter, but it escaped in the form a giggle. That sounded like a Theo - brave and protective.

“Harvey - of course, he was with you, so I’m sure you’re aware the lengths he’d gone,” Ambrose said. “His hand is injured, but he’s healing.”

Sabrina nodded. Harvey had been incredibly brave that morning. She made a mental note to check in with him later. After all, his family had been on the opposite end and if she remembered correctly, his father had been caught in the crossfire. Despite his issues with his father, she knew that Harvey could never truly hate him.

“Rosalind was incredibly helpful in the infirmary,” Hilda added on. 

Ambrose nodded in agreement. “She can’t perform magic, but she was quick to catch on to all the various salves, ointments, and tools Hilda had at her disposal. She helped save a lot of lives.”

Sabrina smiled. Roz had been her usual caring self. It had not mattered to her that the procedures and patients had been different. If she was able to help, she would. 

“I was also quite shocked to spot a large gray wolf-demon roaming the Academy, too. She gnawed off the face of a witch-hunter that nearly took me down,” Ambrose said.

Sabrina gasped. That description could only fit one demon. “Amalia,” she breathed. “Nick must’ve summoned her.”

“Amalia?” Ambrose questioned, intrigued. 

“His familiar. Well, previous familiar.” Sabrina explained.

Ambrose only blinked in response, no less confused. “He had a demon for a familiar?”

Sabrina nodded. “It’s a long story.”

The door swung open. “Cee sends his regards,” a voice called from down the hallway. “He also said to stop making up your own menu items, Ambrose.”

Sabrina sat up in anticipation. 

Nick stopped in the doorway, too preoccupied with fumbling around with the take-out bags in his hand to look up. He maneuvered his cane out of his hand and leaned it against the wall. She watched the slight bit of frustration cross his face as he stepped down with his bad leg.

She couldn’t help but smile.

He looked up finally and his gaze froze on her. The bags went tumbling from his hands and onto the ground. He looked her over from where he stood. “Sabrina-”

Ambrose sat up with a start. “My milkshake , you asshole!” He was thoroughly ignored by Nick, who left the bags lying there. 

He looked conflicted, like he wanted to scoop her up and hold her but he knew it wouldn’t be a good idea. She hoped he would do it, anyway.

“Hi,” she said softly, feeling as though the air had gone out of her lungs. He looked tired, worn out, and entirely out of it, but then he smiled at her and she knew that he was still Nick and still warm as ever. 

“Hi,” he echoed. With the initial shock finally melting off his body, he made his way over to her. She noticed the slight limp in his movement, but she let it slide. She would chastise him later for disregarding his own health the way she knew he probably had been. His hands found her face, cupping softly as his thumb traced gently at her cheeks. “What are you doing awake?”

“You know me,” she replied, “I don’t do things by the book.”

“You certainly don’t.” The smile spread until it was a full one. She relished the familiar way one corner of his lips sat just a touch higher than the other. The witch-hunters’ weapons hadn’t done away with her, but that smile certainly could. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Good,” she said. “Not bad at all.” She watched from the corner of her eye as Hilda dragged Ambrose from the room, him fumbling with getting the straw into his shake. Her eyes focused on Nick again and she reached up to smooth down his hair, which stood a little more messy than usual. “Would feel so much better after a kiss, though.”

He leaned into her touch like it was the only thing he craved. His lips were on her then, gentle against her own. She let her hand fall to his chest and she pulled him in, not satisfied with the way he held back. She was surprised with her own strength. Somehow, she had thought being shot three times would’ve hurt a lot more, but it was a dull and bearable pain now - almost nonexistent if she didn’t focus on it.

“Are you sure you feel okay?” he spoke softly against her lips when they broke apart. He planted another kiss on her cheek, then her forehead, before he locked eyes with her, trying to read her face for any sort of discomfort.

“I’m a little cold,” Sabrina said, noting the chill that had been present since her waking, though it wasn’t anything entirely too uncomfortable. “But otherwise, I feel - good.

“It’s a side effect of the sleep-spell,” Nick explained. “It’ll go away after a few hours of being awake.” He perched on the bed gently. She made some space and patted the spot beside her. After some hesitation, he shrugged out of his jacket and slid onto the bed.

Sabrina rested her body against his. “Keep me warm until then?” she asked.

His arm slid around her, holding her ever so gently against him. She shifted until she could rest her head against his chest. He was warm and her body was eager to be near him. 

“For as long as you want,” he told her. “You’ve got no idea what seeing you awake is doing for me, Spellman.”

She smiled and pressed her nose against the junction where his neck met his shoulder. He jumped just a little from her cold skin and it made her giggle.

“I’m sorry for making you worry,” she said. 

His voice rumbled in his chest as he spoke. “You’ve got nothing to feel sorry for, Sabrina,” Nick said. “You saved the Academy - I’m not entirely sure what you did, but you did it. You’re so amazing and so strong. I’m the one that’s sorry - for not being there in time.” He rubbed his hand over her back. It soothed her. “I have to admit, I’m grateful that Harry was there, that you had someone with you.”

Harvey .”

“Kinkle,” Nick settled, though there was a hint of playfulness in his voice that told her the two of them weren’t on bad terms, not like she had assumed, anyway. There was some respect there and she could sense it.

“I saw Lilith,” Sabrina said after a couple of seconds. “She told me to burn the witch-hunters, and I did.”

“You saw Lilith?”

“I was probably hallucinating,” Sabrina considered. 

Nick held her just a bit tighter. “Harry said the fire was blue.” He paused. She knew what he was thinking. “Hellfire is the only fire that’s blue when summoned to Earth.”

Sabrina just nodded against his skin. 

“You would be the fourth witch in history to do that, Sabrina. Satan, you truly are incredible.”

She considered it as she nibbled on her lower lip. She loved it - the way he didn’t even deny it, the way he just accepted it without a second thought because he truly believed she could do anything. “I don’t know how,” she explained. “I just...knew the incantation.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Nick assured her. “You’re alive and that’s all that counts. I don’t know what I would’ve done - what anyone would’ve done - should we have lost you.”

She moved her head and sat up so that she could look at him once more, face to face. His eyes were glossy. “I told you before that you won’t lose me.” She laced her fingers through his. He nodded but stayed quiet, like he was afraid he would choke the moment he spoke. “Do you remember what I told you?” she asked.

“I could never forget.” His voice was strained when he finally did speak, and it cracked in the slightest as he continued. “I love you, Sabrina.”

“I love you, Nick.”

His body shook when she kissed him and she knew that he felt the pull - the residual Hellfire that still rushed through her veins, the old magic that bore deep in both her bones and his - and that he was content to be at the center of her firestorm.

Chapter Text

The Winter Solstice had snuck up on everyone, breezing through Greendale like an unexpected snow-storm. The Spellman mortuary stirred as everyone pulled their weight in last-minute preparations. 

Zelda, her hands full with feeding the twins, threw orders around wherever she could. Upstairs, Ambrose clanked around in the attic, searching for all of the decorations he’d haphazardly shoved away last year.  Every so often, a string of curses would radiate down through the home. Hilda, quiet as a mouse, twirled around the kitchen, preparing all of the ingredients for her baking marathon. Each year, she prepped enough to keep the kitchen well stocked with baked goods for the entire duration of the Solstice. 

Sabrina, having ignored her duty of hanging sprigs of holly and blessed thistle over their doorways, instead chose to partake in a stand-off with her boyfriend. 

“I’m not wearing that,” Nick said from his position at the very top of the Spellman stairwell. 

Sabrina groaned and waved the red sweater above her head as if it would make it seem any less threatening to the warlock. “Come on, Nick. You’re being a real Scrooge right now.” 

They had been like that for over ten minutes. The second she inched forward, he inched back. 

It had all begun that morning when she’d set a shopping bag down in front of him at the breakfast table. Carefully, she had extracted a very bright, very red sweater from within the depths of the bag. At first, he had assumed it to be hers, but Nick had caught on quickly enough once he’d realized it was much too big to belong to Sabrina.

Seconds later, he was already at the top of the stairwell, glowering down at her with the biggest frown she’d ever seen him wear. All thoughts of magic had gone out of the window as he’d practically ran up the stairs, bad leg and all.

“No - you really need to learn the meaning of that word, Sabrina.” Nick paused. “Here it is again: no.

She was losing her patience. “Nick, really? What’s the problem? Just put it on.”

“The problem? Have you looked at that thing?”

Sabrina gave the sweater a quick once over before meeting his eyes again. “I have, in fact, and I fail to see the issue.”

“The issue is that-” he waved his hand rather theatrically at the garment, “-it’s fucking red.”

She still didn’t understand. “You’ve worn red before.” Sure, it had been a few shades darker, maybe more of a maroon, but did it really matter? The look he shot back at her told it did to him.

“Yes, but that’s red red.” Nick crossed his arms over his current sweater. He’d gone for a dark gray that morning - charcoal, as he’d previously explained to her. The dark ensemble of clothing he was partial to was nothing short of alluring - sexy, even - but Hell, would it kill him to switch it up a bit?

Sabrina frowned, a little offended. “I’m wearing the same color.” 

“And it looks beautiful on you,” he replied, a little bit of a devious smile flickering across his lips. “ So beautiful. You’re really blowing me away, Spellman.”

“Stop trying to butter me up and just put on the damn sweater.”

No .”

“You need a nap, mister,” a tiny voice squeaked out. Sabrina turned to see the eldest Blackwood twin, holding a gingerbread cookie nearly the size of her head and flaunting quite the stern expression. 

“Letty,” Sabrina said. With Blackwood out of the picture, they had recently taken to calling her ‘Leticia’ and she seemed to rather enjoy it. To her, it was much prettier than ‘Judith’. “Wouldn’t Nick look very nice in this?” She flashed the sweater. 

Leticia gave a firm nod. “Pretty. Like an elf.”

Nick nodded along. “Yes, an elf is exactly what I want to look like during this celebration of Yule .”

“Nicky needs a time-out!” Her brother piped in, his own cookie nearly gone. Crumbs adorned the formal wear Zelda had insisted on dressing them in for the holiday. Sabrina definitely didn’t miss the uncomfortable dresses her aunt used to shove her in for the duration of the Solstice.

“Grown-ups don’t get time-outs,” Nick told the little boy. 

“Yes, they do. Auntie Zel-duh says Ambrosie has to go to his room when he’s bad.” He pointed a small finger up at Nick in chastisement. “Hildie says we’re supposed to listen to S’brina or we get a time-out, so you have to listen.”

“It’s three against one, Nick. You’re not winning.” Sabrina took a couple of steps up the stairs. Nick narrowed his eyes at her. She darted up the stairs after him and before he could finish his teleportation incantation, she was already on top of him, knocking him onto the floor.

Nick gasped. “Ow - Sabrina, my leg’s still healing.”

Sabrina sat up, dropping the idea of the sweater briefly. “I’m sorry, are you okay?” She had forgotten that he was healing at a much slower rate than her. It had only been a week, but her wounds had diminished down to mere scrapes.

He smirked and rolled out of her grasp, using her pause to his advantage. Though a bit wobbly, he raced to her bedroom. 

She shut her eyes, whispered something under her breath, and appeared before him seconds later. He nearly collided with her in front of her bed. “I don’t know how you thought you were going to get away from me.” With her own devious smirk armed, she stood before him. He plopped down on her bed.

“I have another proposal for you,” Nick said playfully. His hands reached out to slowly trail up her thighs to her waist. “Instead of me putting on that sweater, why don’t we get you out of yours?” His fingers settled at her hips and he gave her a slight tug toward him in one final attempt to get what he wanted. “That sounds like a way better idea, don’t you think?”

Sabrina dropped her head, letting her lips graze softly over his. He practically melted under her. She kissed him, biting his lip and drawing a groan from him. “You’re not flirting your way out of this one, Nicholas Scratch,” she told him seconds later.

Nick sighed. “Fine,” he finally gave in. Begrudgingly, he reached to remove his current sweater, but she stopped him.

“Allow me,” she said, sweetly. He playfully rolled his eyes, but let her work his sweater off of him. Sabrina eyed him, momentarily allowing herself to appreciate his toned upper body. If the Spellman mortuary hadn’t been so active that morning, she might’ve taken him up on his offer. “Actually, I wouldn’t mind if you walked around just like that.”

“Just give me the damn sweater, Spellman,” Nick grumbled.

New sweater donned, Nick walked through the home with an air of uncertainty. His previous visits to the mortuary had been limited to Sabrina’s bedroom and a few other spaces, but now he found himself wandering through one of the hidden hallways en route to the kitchen. The walls were plagued with framed portraits of who he assumed were previous Spellmans.

Some were paintings, others were black and white photographs processed before color had become a thing. It was like walking through time and as he continued, tinges of color began to bloom across the wall. 

He stopped in front of a frame. Nestled at the center of it was a man with brown hair, a woman with blonde, and a tiny baby with a little knitted bonnet on her head. Even as small as she was, Nick could recognize her by the tiny pouted lip. It made him chuckle. 

He felt a bit of guilt when he thought of the similar photo that hung in the house his parents had worked so hard to make a home, and how he’d let it - and all of the other memories - rot under a blanket of dust. In the new year, he wondered, maybe he could make a better attempt at honoring his deceased parents’ memory. 

“Nicholas, is that you?” Hilda’s voice carried through the corridor, sending with it a flurry of warm spices and caramelized sugar to pull him from his thoughts. “Could I borrow you in here, love? Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to masterfully craft a potion for another set of arms just yet.”

“On my way,” Nick called back with a laugh.

“Here,” Sabrina directed, pointing at an open spot on the Yule tree. 

Nick circled the tree and stuck the ornament where she’d suggested. He leaned in to kiss her cheek. He spotted her with another ornament in her hand. It was a tiny frame holding a photo of a man and a woman. He recognized them from the photograph he’d seen in the hallway not long ago.

She nodded, offering a small smile. Gingerly, she placed the ornament at the center of the tree. Nick slipped his arms around her waist and gently pulled her back to rest against him. “You look like your mom,” he said, resting his chin on her shoulder. He held her like that for a moment, gave her time to appreciate the photo. 

“My hair was the same shade as hers before my dark baptism,” Sabrina said. Though she had gotten used to her silvery streaks, she still missed the warm blonde hair she’d once shared with her mother.

Nick pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “You’re radiant either way.” A little smile tugged at his lips. “You want to put the topper up?” he asked softly, hoping it would lift her spirits a touch.

Sabrina offered him a full smile. “That’s my favorite part,” she told him, a hint of excitement painting her voice. “But I’ll need some help because I can’t reach it.” That year’s Yule tree was particularly tall. 

She broke away from him to locate and unwrap the delicate glass tree topper. It was a simple pentagram, speckled with bits of gold accents. According to her aunt Zelda, it had been in the family for generations. 

Sabrina tried not to squeal as she was unexpectedly lifted up by Nick. Before she knew it, she was on his shoulders and he was hoisting her up with ease. “Hold on tight,” he told her, ever the flirt. 

She shifted a tad, losing her balance just briefly. He caught her in her time, keeping her upright. “Sorry, you’re usually facing the other way when your legs are wrapped around my neck.”

Nick,” Sabrina hissed, dropping her gaze down to him. “What if the twins hear you?”

He smirked, hands smoothing over her thighs. “They can’t hear us, they’re helping Hilda frost cookies.” 

She rolled her eyes before she resumed her action of settling the star atop the tree. Once it was nestled into place, she smiled down at him. “Okay, you can let me down now.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

She pinched his nose and he reluctantly let her go. Just as she dropped to her feet behind him, the twins came rushing into the living area.

“Nicky, can you read us a story?” Leticia asked, holding up the brand new book Zelda had gifted them as an early Solstice gift. It was a book of children’s Yule stories. “Auntie Zel-duh said Ambrosie is busy.”

“Sure,” Nick replied as both children came racing over to him, cheering.

Judas - or Jude, as he’d preferred now - clung to Nick’s leg. “Can you do the funny voices?”

Nick detached him from his leg, scooping him up instead. “I can try,” he answered with a smile, though he knew Ambrose took the cake when it came to that. He deposited the little boy onto the sofa and Leticia climbed on after. Finding a spot between them, he opened the book. “You want Sabrina to help?”

“Yes!” both of them practically yelled. Sabrina laughed and joined them on the sofa, squeezing in beside Nick. Leticia settled on her lap. 

Nick opened the book. “Any suggestions?” he asked, glancing between the children.

“Gryla!” Jude suggested and Leticia nodded along.

Gryla and the Yule Lads it is, then,” Nick said, finding the proper page.

Hilda entered the room a little later, a large camera in her hand. “It’s time!” she declared, radiating with excitement. She poked her head down the hallway. “Ambrose, Zelda, come!”

Ambrose appeared seconds later. Gone was the usual robe that he reserved for his downtime at home. Instead, he’d opted for something a bit dressier, one of his long scarves hanging around his neck. “Time for the photo, is it?” he asked just as Zelda entered as well.

The twins stirred on the sofa, their curiosity piqued. “Photo?”

“Yes, loves.” Hilda motioned for them all to stand, Nick and Sabrina included. “The annual Yule photograph for Auntie Hilda’s scrapbook,” she cooed to the twins. “Everyone, in front of the fireplace, please. Zelda, then Ambrose, the twins in front, then I, then Sabrina -”

Nick held out his hand, expecting her to pass him the camera. “I’ll take the picture if you’d like.”

Hilda gave his hand a little smack. “Goodness, no. We’ve got a timer and magic for that, dear. You’ll stand beside Sabrina.” She ushered him toward the fireplace. “A family photo means all of us are in it.”

It was hard to ignore the way his eyes stung as he floated over to meet Sabrina where she stood beckoning him with a big smile and open arms. Hilda wasted no time setting up the tripod for the camera, moving smoothly as propped the camera on top. Zelda stood fumbling with the twins, making sure they were in place and looking clean. Ambrose and Sabrina bickered playfully beside him, and he stood there, unsure of how he’d managed to fit into it all, but feeling grateful all the same. He’d never thought he’d find a family to replace the one he’d lost. He found that he truly cherished the Spellmans.

“Shut up, Ambrose!” Sabrina argued, jabbing a finger into Ambrose’s side and snorting when he yelped.

“Hands out of your mouths, please. Jude, stand up straight,” Zelda fussed.

“Look alive, everyone,” Hilda instructed as she made her way over, taking her spot, and just like that, everyone straightened up. Sabrina looped an arm around his waist and his found a spot around her shoulders. He held her close. “Everyone say: Praise Satan!”

There was a click as the camera snapped the first photograph.

“A few more,” Hilda said, “just in case.”

“Hey, Nick,” Sabrina whispered, drawing his attention. 

She pulled him in for a kiss just as the second flash went off.

After the photographs and the following dinner had come to an end, Sabrina found both Nick and Ambrose in the kitchen, tidying up what remained of their feast. Hilda had gone all out, making sure to include all the trimmings of a proper holiday dinner. Sabrina didn’t know how any of them were still standing after that.

“Could I borrow you a second?” she asked, coming up behind Nick. 

“No way,” Ambrose shot back. “You’re not leaving me to do all the cleaning up.”

Sabrina took her boyfriend’s hand anyway, ignoring him. “It’ll just be a moment and I’ll come back to help.”

“Liar,” Ambrose declared. Sabrina stuck out her tongue before she hauled Nick off with her. 

“What’s up?” he asked her in the hallway as he dried his hands off on the kitchen towelette he’d brought along with him. 

“Stay here a sec,” she directed before she disappeared into the study nearby. When she returned, she was holding a small black box. With a little blush, she held it out for him to take. “I got you something for Yule.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” he told her softly. She wiggled the box impatiently. He took it, holding it in his palm for a few moments, almost as if frozen.

In front of him, she buzzed with joy. “Open it.

He did, gently and with a lot of care. Inside sat a new watch, the band of which was crafted with a soft black, matte leather. The face of it was a dark gray with glimmering silver hands. “Oh,” he breathed.

Sabrina smiled. “My mom got my dad a watch when they first got together,” she stated. “My aunts say, despite his charisma and overall charming personality, my dad was somehow chronically late to everything.” She paused to look at him, knowing he would understand why she’d mentioned that. He himself had a habit of losing track of time. “To fix that, my mom set it forward five minutes or so, to make sure he would show up to places on time.”

She tried not to grin as she withdrew the watch from the box and did the clasp. He held out his wrist and she worked to fix it in place and then turned his hand over. A smile worked its way onto his face as he admired it.

“What are you trying to say?” he teased softly, his breath taken away by the gift. 

Upon seeing it, Sabrina knew it was him - the color, the style, everything. “I’m saying,” she replied, looking up at him with a playful expression, “that you have that habit, too, so I also set this one forward five minutes, because I hate waiting on you.”

“You don’t hate it, you love it,” he teased and she had to laugh at that.

“I secretly do,” she said in response. “Only because I love you so much.” His expression softened, the way it always did when she told him that, and she had told him plenty of times over the course of the past week.

“Thank you.” He leaned in to kiss her sweetly. “I love it, and I love you, too.”

She kissed him again, for good measure.

After they broke apart, Nick gazed upon the watch again. He looked to be considering something. He had caught sight of the extra little silver hand that sat still. “What’s the other hand for?”

“Tap the face twice,” Sabrina directed, taking a couple of steps back. She had been waiting for him to notice. 

He did as he was told and the hand spun to land on her. “I know you said you’ll always find me, but that should make it easier,” she said, watching his face as it blossomed into something resembling amazement. “Knowing myself, I’ll probably get into trouble again at some point.”

“Unbelievable...” Nick breathed, eyes still wide. “Come here.” He slipped his arm around her waist and with a flourish, he teleported them to her room. Immediately, he let her go to rummage through his jacket, which was thrown over the chair at her vanity. From the pocket, he withdrew a rectangular wooden box.

Sabrina blinked, confused.

“I have something for you, too,” Nick said. “I was going to wait until tonight, but now’s as good a time as ever.” He smiled as he opened the box, peering in. He looked back at her. “Turn around.”


“So I can put it on you,” Nick said.

“Put what on?”

“Just do it, Spellman.”

She spun around, turning her back to him, wondering what the Heaven he was going to do. Within seconds, something cool touched her neck. Instinctually, her hand reached up to touch it. She waited until he finished clasping it to go look in her vanity mirror.

A thin silver chain hung from her neck. Looped onto it was a small silver ring. It was simple but when she peered down at it, there was a tiny engraving. She squinted, trying to read it.

“Invictus maneo,” Nick recited. “It means, ‘I remain unvanquished.’”

“It’s beautiful..” Sabrina breathed.

“I’m not sure how true it is, but the story goes that a witch who lives many centuries ago jumped into a river near the town she lived in, a spot where they regularly drowned witches. It’s said that she put a spell on her body that would transfer to the river upon her death, making it impossible to drown any witch in its waters. Her body turned to silver and fell to the bottom, where it stayed for hundreds of years.”

He came up behind her, moving her hair aside and pressing a kiss on the back of her neck.

“My mom told me when I was a kid that my father found it on his travels, apparently it’s made of the same silver that the witch dissolved into. It’s said to grant the wearer luck and protection. My father gave it to her and she gave it to me when I was born. It was all I had of hers when I joined the Academy.” Sabrina’s eyes watered. He slipped his arms around her and looked at her in the mirror. She leaned into his embrace.

“I hid it away for a long time. I was afraid of losing it or someone taking it.” She held the ring between her fingers as he spoke, touching it gently. It was too big to fit around her finger. She supposed that was why it was on a chain to begin with. “For a long time, I thought I’d lost it for good. But with everything that’s happened, I searched until I found it again. I’m not sure how well it actually works, but I like to think it’ll keep you safe.”

“Nick…” she exhaled, a couple of tears escaping her eyes. She turned around in his arms and pulled him in for a kiss that flooded her to the brim with warmth. Little did he know that just being with him made her feel safe - untouchable, unvanquishable. “You should keep it...It’s from your mother,” she whispered seconds later.

“She gave it to me because I was what was most important to her,” he explained. “And I’m giving it to you because you’re what’s most important to me .” 

Sabrina nearly melted.

Nick let her go and took a few steps away from her, stopping just before her bed. He smiled at her. “As I said, I was going to wait until tonight, but the reason why I had to give it to you now…Well, I’ll show you. I’ve enchanted it. Repeat this incantation...” 

It was short and unrecognizable. She did her best to repeat it properly. As soon as the words left her mouth, the ring around her neck lifted and moved until it was pointed in his direction. He moved and it followed. 

Sabrina gasped.

They’d had the same idea.

“In case you ever need to find me, too,” Nick said, looking at her sheepishly.

Tears falling freely, she nearly tackled him onto the bed.

That night, after being summoned for a round of hot chocolate and various desserts in the parlor with the rest of the Spellmans, they retired back to her room.

Nick fell back on to her bed, full and entirely spent from the day, while Sabrina crept off to her bathroom.

“I’m going to pass out - right here, right now,” Nick declared. Now that he was lying down, he couldn’t imagine moving ever again. “I think Hilda fed me enough for the whole week.” He’d lost track of how many gingerbread cookies she had shoved in their direction.

“’re tired?” her voice carried over from the bathroom.


“Oh,” she feigned disappointment. Nick cracked an eyelid to look at her. She stood with her head peeking into the room. “I guess I should take this off then?” 

He watched as she breezed out of the bathroom in a set of lacy maroon lingerie that hugged her body perfectly. His body sat up on its own, eyes fully awake and drawn to her, slowly tracing the delicate lace as it curved around her hips. He was suddenly very full of energy.

“Well, wait a second now...I think I might have room for another round of dessert.” His tongue flicked across his lower lip. “It’s a Yule miracle...”

Sabrina moved through the room, clicking the lock into place as she did. His own legs were moving, meeting her halfway. He took her hand and spun her around slowly, his body humming in anticipation. “Do you like it?” she asked.

“The love of my life, standing before me in this …” His fingers feathered over the edge of her panties. “What’s not to like?” Nick asked. She giggled when he lifted her and then deposited her onto the bed seconds later. He caught sight of the silver necklace glittering around her neck and it nearly brought a tear to his eye.

“Think you’ve got a bit more energy to spare tonight?”

Nick hovered over her, lips dragging over the soft skin along her neck. He hooked a hand under her knee and lifted her leg up and onto his shoulder, planting a kiss on the inside of her thigh. “I think you might regret asking me that...”

“As much as I fought you to get into that sweater, I want it off of you - now.

This time, he gladly did as he was told.

Chapter Text

It was well into Spring.

Classes had begun anew, the snow had feathered away to reveal the fresh earth beneath, the forest trees had donned their lush coats once more, and Sabrina sat at the center of Hilda’s vegetable garden, weeding a small patch of radishes. She had swapped out her usual skirt for a pair of shorts that had, unfortunately, made it easy for the dirt to stain her pale skin.

Nick had joined her at some point that morning and sat just a few feet away, grasping at the fine weeds that plagued Hilda’s beetroots, silent as a garter snake. He had been quiet since she had opened her eyes to find him awake, on his back, his hands across his chest, and studying the ceiling of her bedroom.

Even now, his gaze remained vacant and yet, somehow, conflicted all at the same time. He didn’t seem to care that his expensive jeans were now mottled with the pungent black dirt. 

Sabrina had left him alone. She was learning to be a little less overbearing, especially since she knew she had the habit of crossing boundaries and breaking down walls that weren’t hers to destroy. And, the two of them had been walking on egg-shells that past week when it came to her own emotions, so it wasn’t a smart move to poke him when she, herself, might’ve crumbled at any moment.

It had started when Harvey and Roz had shown up at the mortuary one week into April. The first thing Sabrina had seen was the glittering ring on Roz’s left hand. The sunlight had hit it perfectly, crafting fractals along her palm when she had reached out to ogle at it, and she knew that this time, there hadn’t been anything pushing Harvey but his own heart.

She had nearly knocked them both off the porch with the force of her hug. Her tears had rained down, scorching her cheeks as she’d jumped in place, overjoyed for her friends and the possibility of them sharing a future - a life - together. 

But then they’d expressed the true nature of their visit and her emotions had taken a swerve to the left.

Together, through teary eyes and soft smiles, Harvey and Roz had announced their plans to leave Greendale. It was something Harvey had wanted for a long time - he had certainly pestered her enough about it when they were together - but his father had always remained at the forefront of his hesitance. After Tommy’s accidental death, he had wanted Harvey to inherit and run the mines, despite it being the very last thing Harvey had ever wanted for himself.

But now, with his father gone and Greendale tainted with more bad memories than he cared to shoulder, Harvey had sold the mines off to a more willing distant family member on his mother’s side. And then, he and Roz had made the decision to finally wander beyond the town’s limits, to start somewhere fresh where his dreams of being an artist could finally blossom into something he’d be proud of.

Roz had already secured a few interviews at some of the hospitals near their potential destination and was excited to see where the future would take her. She had decided to take her father with her, being that she was his sole caregiver.

And while Sabrina was entirely supportive and happy for her friends while they had shared a tray of tea out on the porch, the reality of it all had hit her full force when they had finally disappeared down the Spellman pathway. 

Her friends were aging, moving away, and finding their own places in the world. And though, despite the promise that they would get together whenever possible - Sabrina had obviously secured her spot as Roz’s maid of honor - it had dawned on her that, should she and Nick ever decide to consider marriage, Roz would likely be long gone. Who would be her maid of honor?

She hoped Theo would not swing around next week and announce his own departure. Her fragile heart would simply not be able to take it.

She was still healing, slowly but surely. Roz and Harvey deserved to be happy and she had to be happy for them, too.

Sabrina gave a rough tug on one particularly difficult weed, accidentally uprooting an entire radish in the process. She cursed and threw them both out into the grassy area outside of the garden’s limits. Dusting off her hands, she had made to stand, tired of it all and wanting to get a glass of water, when Nick finally looked at her for the first time that whole morning.

His expression was pensive and when he’d opened his mouth to speak, it had felt like a full minute before he finally said something. A thousand thoughts had seemingly crossed his mind in the matter of seconds that it had actually been.

“I think I want to tidy up my parents’ house,” he declared with a bit of trepidation. Sabrina stood frozen before him, eyebrows raised, because that had been the last thing she had expected to hear him say. “Would you...maybe be able to come with me?”

“Of course,” she responded before even taking the time to consider his proposal. Of course, she would. She would follow him into the depths of Hell should he ask her. She gazed upon him, as though the source of his proposition would dawn on her, so that she could understand why her boyfriend had suddenly decided he wanted anything to do with his parents’ home. Especially when he had damned it all to Heaven months ago.

“I’ll decide after if I want to sell it.” He paused to brush some dirt off his hands, an action to cover up his inability to look her in the eye. “Of if I want to keep in the family...maybe for any future generations..I mean, if...”

When,” Sabrina corrected, because if there was one thing she was certain of it was that, one day, she would like a couple of babies with him. Maybe they could have his dark curly hair, or her righteous taste for justice. Maybe they could be brave and smart - the perfect combination of the two of them. Either way, she knew, without a doubt, that he’d make a good father. He had proven that to her with the way he had acted around the twins.

“When,” Nick repeated the word like it was threaded with hints of hope and something new, something that could one day be his own. Then, the softest of smiles graced his features and She couldn’t help but grin back at him.

Sabrina pointed at the patch of beetroot in front of him. “I thought I was going to be the one to bug you about our future at some point, but I guess you beet me to it.”

At that, Nick laughed, full and hearty, before pelting her with a handful of dirt.

Sabrina stood staring at the foreboding home of stone and glass and dead ivy. It looked the same as before, desolate, untouched, and brimming with a sort of sorrow that was hard to ignore even standing outside the perimeter of the yard.

The windows were still shrouded with gray curtains, the wolf sigil on the iron gate was still rusted over, and the wind that whistled through the old trees and hinges of the gate was enough to send a shiver up her spine.

But it had once been Nick’s home. It had once been a beautiful house with delicately crafted architecture and a loving family to fill its halls. If she would’ve peeled off the dry brown ivy off the sides of the home now, it would expose the masterfully laid Venetian cobble that made up the exterior of the building. 

“The first step,” Sabrina began, turning to face Nick, “is to step inside.”

He tore his gaze from the building to look at her. The sunlight played through the leaves of the nearby trees, casting varying shapes of light and shadow across his features. It lit up his brown eyes a few shades lighter and it took all of her willpower not to get lost in them. 

His hands trailed softly up her arms, her shoulders, to finally settle on the sides of her face. He leant in and pressed a long deep kiss against her lips. When he pulled away, he let his thumb trace softly along the flushed skin of her cheek. “I’m ready,” he said with a steadfast determination that surprised her.

The iron gates creaked loudly, signalling their arrival. Nick held her hand as they trailed up the pathway in case she slipped on one of the potentially dislodged stones. She didn’t let his hand go even as he unlocked the front door and they stepped into the entrance way. He didn’t seem quite ready to let go either.

Inside, the home was silent. The sound of outdoor life, of birds and various other creatures, couldn’t penetrate the stone walls and left it feeling cold. She glanced around at the windows where the sunlight barely filtered in, dulled by the layer of thick white dust, to the furniture that had given away after years of abandonment. Any charms of upkeep left by his parents had likely faded with their deaths.

Salem, who had followed along, immediately wandered off, leaving a trail of tiny paw-prints in the dust. 

Sabrina looked at him again, searching for any sort of discomfort, judging to see if he would need to step outside. He looked...okay, all things considered. “We’ll start somewhere easy,” she said. “Which room hurts the least?”

“The kitchen,” Nick decided. She understood. It wouldn’t hold as many personal objects as a room such as bedroom would.

She gave him a firm nod. “Okay. We’ll start there. And we should probably tidy up a guest room, too, so we have somewhere to sleep.” 

They had left her aunts with the promise of returning sometime before the end of the week. Both of them had agreed to take it slow. It was a large home, after all, and Nick had been adamant that he wanted to take his time doing as much of the labor as required. Again, she understood. He wanted a chance to heal along with the home, to give it the time and detail it so desperately needed.

“From what I can recall, there are at least three guest rooms upstairs.” He paused, as though remembering something. “One of them has a pretty nice view of the lake.”

She smiled, because he was looking for a speck of brightness in such a grim situation. Sabrina leaned forward to peck him on the cheek before she tugged him into the direction she remembered the kitchen being. 

They left the small bags they’d packed near the front door with the decision to come back for them later.

In the grand kitchen, she got to work.

“Let’s open the windows,” Sabrina suggested. “I’ve got a few spells up my sleeve to help with the dust. And it would be nice, too, to get this place breathing again.”

They began working with the old locks of the windows. Some were harder than others to unhinge, having grown over with rust and general lack of maintenance, but once they’d gotten the majority open, the sunlight was free to pour in, flooding the large room with a sense of life. Paired with the distant sounds of chirping birds and the gentle rustling of trees, it felt lighter and much more alive. A lot less like a haunted house.

At the center of the kitchen, she held up her hands, shut her eyes, and focused on getting the spell right. She hoped the years spent watching Hilda craft cleaning charms would count as enough practice to get it right the first time around. 

As soon as the last words of the incantation left her lips, a small gust of wind swirled in front of her. A couple seconds later, it grew, picking up and breezing over the space before her, gathering all of the thick dust and leading it out through the open windows. 

Sabrina breathed a sigh of relief, gazing around at the kitchen as she did. The counters and glass inserts in the cabinets would need some shining, but it looked a hundred times better.

She heard Nick sputter behind her. 

When she turned around, she spotted him a couple of feet away, covered in bits of dust with a cobweb hanging off one of his curls. He just stared at her, deadpanning.

“Sorry,” Sabrina offered, trying to fight away a smile and failing horribly. 

“This is funny to you?” Nick asked, the corner of his lip hinting at the slightest of smirks. He held out his arms as an invitation. “Come here, Spellman. I think you should take some of this.”

He was quick, slipping his arms around her waist and pulling her to him. She let out a little squeal as he lifted her and settled her atop the counter. Her legs parted to accommodate his body. The granite was cool against her thighs, but that wasn’t what made her shiver. It was Nick’s gaze and the way he looked at her as though nothing else mattered, as if she were his anchor and the sole reason behind his ability to stand so courageously in the home his parents had been murdered in.

Sabrina smoothed her fingers through his hair, carefully removing the cobwebs from his curls.

As though reading her thoughts, he gave her a soft smile. “You make me feel like I can do anything.”

She kissed him. He tasted a bit like dust but she didn’t mind.

Sabrina slid her palm across the freshly laid sheets, smoothing out the wrinkles as best as she could. She stepped back to admire her work. The bed was stripped of its old, moth-mottled sheets and dressed with clean linens. 

The rest of the room had also gotten a minor make-over. The dust had been ridden of, in a similar fashion as the kitchen, and she’d used a repair charm to fix up any of the furniture that had rotted. It looked good as new now and clean enough for them to sleep in it over the course of the new week. 

Sabrina leant over the sill of the open window, inhaling some of the fresh air and allowing herself a second to take in the scenery. The lake outside was quiet, serene, and dotted with distant homes. Nick had told her that they had once belonged to witches, too, but they’d all fled after the attack on the Scratches. He wasn’t certain as to how many, if any, had returned.

She could see why the Scratches had chose this lot to build their home on. It was secluded, had a big yard, lots of space, and a beautiful view. She tried to imagine Nick growing up there, running down the hill that led to the lake, barefooted and with his hair a mess. It was heart-wrenching to think of the disaster that had put a screeching halt to his otherwise peaceful childhood.

She exhaled deeply and tugged the window shut, deciding she should go find Nick again. After carefully descending the creaky staircase, she wandered back into the kitchen, Salem at her heels. He wasn’t anywhere in sight. 


“In here,” she heard his voice echo from somewhere to her left. The large archway leading into the formal dining area came into view when she rounded the corner. Inside, he was seated at the table, an assortment of documents sprawled out in front of him - loose leafs, folders, journals, sheaths of random parchment. He glanced up at her when she entered.

Sabrina halted behind him, fingers trailing over his shoulders as she peered over him curiously. “What’s that?”

Nick reached up, absentmindedly resting a hand over hers, gently lacing their fingers together. Sabrina took note of his shaky hands and the way he searched for comfort without even realizing it. “Some things from my father’s study.” He shuffled the papers aside. “I thought it was time I finally familiarize myself with some of his teachings, too.”

“Are you okay?” Then she paused. “Should I leave you?” She considered the idea that he may want some privacy as he went through his father’s personal belongings. 

Nick shook his head. “I’m alright. It’s easier with you here,” he said, glancing up at her briefly. She gave him a small smile and planted a kiss against his temple. He dropped his gaze back down onto the table, shuffling through a few sheets of paper. 

“He kept everything I ever gave him - all of the stupid little drawings I did between my Latin lessons.” He donned a fond smile as he slid out a yellowing sheet of paper, revealing a scribbly child’s drawing. It was messy but she could make out the figures that represented his mother, his father, and him. There were two others scribbles, one in black and one in gray. The pointed ears told her the gray scribble was Amalia, but the black scribble was unknown to her.

“He loved you,” Sabrina soothed, wrapping her arms around his shoulders from where she stood behind him. “Your mom, too. And Amalia.” She had, in her own way. As much as demons were capable, anyway. “And me...I love you, as well.”

That sat like that for a few more minutes, him filtering through some of the other documents. There had been some of young Nick’s writings, too, his handwriting scratchy and cute. It had gotten better over time, but he had never really had the best penmanship. Sabrina had joked before that it was because his mind worked faster than his hand could write. 

He had carefully set aside some of his father’s research, his own documentation and teachings on his own various studies - mostly topics regarding demonology that Nick wanted to familiarize himself with. He intended to bring it back to Greendale with him.

Eventually, Sabrina had wandered away, her interest piqued by the large french doors at the back of the room. The glass had long since frosted over and even when she pressed her face to it, it was hard to make out what lay on the other side. 

“What’s out there?” she finally asked, drawing him from his thoughts. 

Nick twisted in his chair to look at her. “The solarium,” he answered, standing up and making his way over to her. “My mom grew a lot of lavender. I think it reminded her of France.” He wiped away at the grime on the glass, but it did nothing to clear it. Instead, he grasped the handle and gave it a pull. It finally gave away after a few strong tugs.

Sabrina stepped out, Nick following cautiously behind her. The solarium, as it had originally stood, would’ve been beautiful, she thought. Now, it was worn and ruined, overgrown with greenery and foliage as nature dutifully attempted to reclaim the land it stood on. There were large terracotta planters sprawled across, some tipped over, others broken and lying in pieces. At one point, she assumed they’d held large and plentiful shrubs of lavender. 

At the center sat an old iron tea-table, the chairs rooted into the decaying floor by overgrown weeds. 

Sabrina startled as a chime rang above her suddenly, echoing around them as the breeze outside picked up. She looked up, spotting the scattered remains of variously sized wind chimes. 

The room, with its bountiful light and perfect positioning in the garden, would’ve been a nice spot for a morning tea, or perhaps an afternoon lunch with the family. 

“It’s beautiful,” Sabrina whispered, because even in its state, it was breathtaking. 

“It was,” Nick replied with a shrug and she realized how hard it must’ve been for him to even speak, to make his presence known in a spot she presumed was once very sacred to him - to his mother.

Sabrina turned to face him with the intention of promising him she would fix it up, they would fix it up, when she froze in her spot.

Behind Nick sat a wolf, its black fur as dark as a starless sky. It stared back at them through steely gray eyes. 


Salem hissed and ran up her side to perch on her shoulder.

Nick immediately turned on his heel. His own face quickly transitioned into one of pure shock and then, very slowly, familiarity.

“Shava,” Nick breathed.

Nathaniel, the creature seemed to say, and Sabrina realized, very quickly, that the wolf wasn’t just any wolf, but a familiar.

It dawned on her then, that perhaps, he had been the second scribble in Nick’s childhood drawing, placed sloppily, yet very intentionally, beside his father.

“No,” Nick said with a slow shake of the head. He pointed at himself, thumb against his chest. “Nicholas.”

The wolf - Shava - stood suddenly, ears pointing straight up, an air of shock evident in his own features. Tentatively, he neared Nick and dropped his muzzle down to sniff him. He lit up in recognition then and jumped onto him, standing the height of Nick and nearly toppling the warlock.

You’re bigger, Shava whined, but they both understood him as though he were speaking, just as they could any familiar.

“You’re alive,” Nick replied and a smile worked its way onto his face, his eyes clouding at the sight of the familiar, the only speck of his past that hadn’t tarnished away with the rest. “How did you survive that?”

I was hunting in the woods. The wolf gave the side of Nick’s face one long swipe with his tongue before he dropped back down to his haunches, tail flickering back and forth with joy. When I returned, everyone was gone. 

Nick, finally remembering that Sabrina was just a few feet away and watching them hesitantly, reached for her hand. He settled her at his side, an arm at her waist. “Sabrina - this is Shava. He was my father’s familiar. I had no idea he was still alive…”

Sabrina reached out, a little uncertain, to pat the wolf on its head. Her experience with familiars had generally been limited to ones smaller than herself, and the one time she had gone outside those boundaries had been when Amalia had attacked her. And Shava, though smaller than Amalia by a longshot, was still fairly large next to her petite frame. “Hi, Shava…”

Shava sniffed her hand, his black nose twitching as he did. Spellman, he declared and Nick nodded, his grin still present. 

It made sense, Sabrina realized, Shava must’ve met her father at some point. 

Shava gave her another sniff. Your mate.

“My love,” Nick corrected, squeezing Sabrina a little more soundly against him. She felt a wave of warmth soothe over her at the words he’d chosen to use. He turned his attention back to the familiar. “Shava, what are you doing here? Why haven’t you found a new witch to follow?”

Shava’s gray eyes flickered around the solarium, as though surveying. I know, nor want, any other. Nathaniel was it. Now, I protect the Scratch grounds. 

It made sense. Given how large and extravagant the Scratch home had once been, it had certainly surprised Sabrina to find out that it had never been invaded by ransackers. It’s halls hadn’t even been touched by the occasional groups of pesky teenagers that came to places like this in search of quick thrills. 

“I’ve been thinking of selling this place,” Nick stated, a little hesitantly. “If I do...where would you go?”

“You could come to Greendale...with Nick,” Sabrina suggested before the thought even fully registered with her. All she knew was that she didn’t want Nick to lose the only link he had left with his family, and she didn’t really consider what her family would think should they return with a large wolf. Her aunt Zelda was certainly a dog person, but probably not to that degree. And even though aunt Hilda had read The Little Red Riding Hood enough times over, the big bad wolf still spooked her.

I’ll stay here. In the woods.

Sabrina bit her lip. “But...But Nick might not sell it,” she continued, glancing at Nick briefly. He looked back at her with a quirked brow. “It seems like a nice place to raise a family, when we decide to venture down that route. It would be somewhere to make new memories in. And it’s close to Greendale - a quick teleport back to the aunties and Ambrose. And if Shava stays here, Nick, you could come and see him, too.”

Nick took her hand and squeezed it, giving her a nod and a soft smile. “You’re certainly winning me over, Spellman...but I haven’t decided yet. I think I’ll need some more time before I can.”

Sabrina smiled at him. “Of course,” she replied, clasping his hand a little tighter. “We’ve got all the time in the world.”

Nick seemed to like that answer because he dropped to his knees and dug his fingers into the fur at Shava’s neck, giving the wolf a round of scritches, and smiling bigger than he had in days. 

Sabrina stirred, opening her eyes to the darkness. Even in the dimly lit bedroom, she knew she wasn’t home. And even before she rolled over, she knew Nick wasn’t in bed with her. 

She didn’t blame him for not being able to sleep. It wasn’t only a new environment, but it was one that sat heavy in his heart. The house was large and the bedrooms were well sound-proofed, so she couldn’t make out where he was by listening. She assumed he was downstairs.

Sabrina slid out of bed, apologizing to Salem when she nearly knocked him off, and slipped her feet into a pair of slippers she had brought along with her. 

Downstairs, the only light that was on was the one that led to his father’s office. He had spent a greater portion of the day there and she had left him to it. As much as he had claimed to want her there, she simply felt it was best that he have some privacy. In the end, she knew he must’ve felt grateful for it.

Instead, she had worked to clean his mother’s solarium. He hadn’t gone back in there since they’d spoken to Shava, so he was unaware of the progress that she’d made. The foliage and weeds had been cleared and she was working on repairing the old terracotta pots that had belonged to his mother. In the morning, she would phone Hilda and ask for any spells she had on preserving the lavender plants she had decided she would plant fresh, in memory of his mother. 

Even when they left back for Greendale, the plants wouldn’t rot, so long as the charm was active. 

She hoped the surprise would help him.

“Nick?” she asked softly as she peered her head into the study. He was seated at his father’s desk, sorting through some of his books. The study hadn’t particularly been left in a clean state. For one, his father had seemingly left it in an untidy manner before his death. He had likely been in the midst of using it. And two, the last time they’d come there, Nick had practically torn apart the desk in search of what he needed.

He looked up at her. “Hi,” he greeted. “Did I wake you? Are you cold? We could move into a room with a fireplace, if you’d like.”

She went to his side. He opened his arms and she slid onto his lap with a little yawn. “No to both,” she replied, resting her head on his shoulder. “I just don’t like sleeping without you, I guess.”

He kissed her hair. “I’m sorry. I was just restless and I didn’t want my tossing to wake you.”

Sabrina realized how sleepy she was just being beside him. The warmth of his body provided - really, his presence all together - was enough to make her want to fall asleep right there, in his lap. “I’m used to you tossing. And clinging to me,” she added.

Nick snorted. “Sue me for liking to cuddle.”

“What are you doing down here, anyway?” she asked.

“I wanted to take a couple of his books back with me. I didn’t realize how many he had.” He had a lot. More than even Nick had. “So I thought I’d pick the ones I wanted to read now and come back for the rest later. I thought maybe I would read a couple of his journals, too.” He rubbed her back. She fought the urge to drift off. “I think it’s time I get to know my father a little better.”

“Mmhmm,” Sabrina replied. “Your dad would like that.” She kissed his neck softly. The scent she associated with him filled her nostrils and soothed her even further. Nick went back to fumbling with some of the books as best he could while still holding her against him with one arm. 

Sabrina’s eyes drifted to the desk and then something caught her attention.

“What’s that?” she asked, pointing to a rectangular object that was lodged in between some of the journals. She blinked to clear the sleep from her eyes and once she was able to read the label, she gasped. Across the black object was a white label with very clear and distinct lettering that read, ‘Spellman Visit - January.’

“Heaven if I know,” Nick replied, following her eyes and quickly wandering fingers. She grasped the object and held it up.

“It’s a VHS,” Sabrina said in realization.

“A what?”

“A VHS,” Sabrina repeated. “Do you not know what a VHS is?”

Nick shrugged. “Beats me.”

Sabrina resisted the urge to laugh. “It’s what came before a DVD, Nick. Do you know what DVDs are?”

He looked offended. “Of course I know what DVDs are ,Sabrina. We watch them all the time.”

A little giggle slipped out. He seemed almost defensive about the whole thing. “I don’t mean to laugh. It’s just a little funny that you’re so clueless about some things, yet somehow still a genius. It’s cute.”

That didn’t help to soothe the offended expression that still lingered on his face. “Sorry I’m not an expert on all things mortal.”

“You have a TV, Nick.”

“Yeah, I paid a mortal to set it up and all I have to do is press a button.”

Sabrina laughed fully. “You’re so adorable,” she swooned, because Nick doing anything remotely mortal always made her do that. At some point, she had introduced him to a game on her phone and he had lost hours to it and would’ve lost even more had she not intervened when he started getting mad at it.

She looked around. “Your dad has to have some way to play it, right? I mean he has the tape here…” Suddenly, she was very awake. She desperately wanted to know what was on that tape and if it involved her parents at all. It certainly had their name on it.

In the corner of the room, on the floor beside the apothecary cabinet, was a very small box TV with a built in VHS tape. She stood and made her way over.

That’s a TV?” Nick asked.

“It’s an old one, but yeah. Yours is a lot more fancy and modern,” Sabrina replied. She plugged the TV into a nearby outlet and dusted off the screen. Then, she turned it on and to her surprise, it still worked. 

Sabrina slid in the VHS and sat back.

There was a bit of static as the tape began to play.

The image that filled the screen made her heart skip. A woman with short blonde hair stood at the center. 

Her mother. 

She held a tiny baby in her arms. 

“Sabrina...Here, Sabrina. Look at daddy,” a man cooed to the baby. The voice was unknown to her, yet felt very familiar all the same. The little baby looked up, eyes wide and searching.

Another woman appeared as the camera zoomed out just a bit. Her hair was longer, a pale brown with curls. Her attention also fell to the baby Sabrina now realized had been her. “She’s absolutely perfect...Hi, sweet girl,” the woman spoke softly. She had a slight French accent.

She heard Nick’s breath hitch behind her. He came slowly to sit beside her, eyes glued to the TV.

The second woman was Nick’s mother.

“Edward, have you got that bloody mortal contraption out again?” another man’s voice piped in.

“It’s called a camera, Nate.”

The camera swung away from the two woman and toward the man who had spoken. He stood grinning. Sabrina was overtaken with how much he looked like her Nick. The photos she had seen of him previously had made that obvious, but now, watching as he moved, she had no doubt that the man was his father. The only difference was that the man’s hair - though just as dark as Nick’s - didn’t have the same curls as his. That he had gotten from his mother.

“Nate, look at her. Isn’t she precious?” Lasanda Scratch spoke. “And looks so much like Diana. I want a baby that looks like me, mon cheri, let’s have another.”

At that, Nathaniel laughed. “You hear that, Nicky?” he asked, glancing down. When the camera shifted a bit, the image of a little boy clinging to his leg became clear. A few curls hung in his forehead in a very Nick-like fashion. “Your mum wants another baby.”

Lasanda breezed over and lifted Nick. He made a pouty face as he desperately tried to keep hold of his father. Sabrina giggled at the way he appeared so shy. It was the opposite of the way Nick was now. 

“Yes, but Nicholas will always be my first,” his mother spoke, smooching his cheek a couple of times over. “My petite loup.” She brought him over to where Diana and Sabrina were. Nick shied away, burying his face in his mother’s hair. Little Sabrina looked on in wonder as she chewed on her hand. She was only a few months old then, Sabrina guessed.

“The second generation of Spellman and Scratch,” Edward spoke. “They’ll conquer what we couldn’t.” Her father had said it jokingly and Nate had laughed along, but in the end, it had been true. And it would be true, Sabrina thought. She and Nick could move forward to change the witching world in the way their fathers had wanted to once.

“Yes, and hopefully they will be a bit more responsible,” Diana spoke and both she and Lasanda laughed that time.

“Look, Nicky,” Lasanda said as she untangled him from her and faced him out to look at baby Sabrina. He looked young himself. Sabrina had been born recently, so that would make him about four years old. “This is Sabrina. She’s going to be your friend.”

“She’s a baby,” Nick spoke for the first time. He sounded skeptical.

At that, baby Sabrina had giggled, withdrew her hand from her mouth, and smacked child Nick on the forehead with her wet palm.

“Ew!” he squealed and then flailed in an attempt to get out of his mother’s arms. The camera had cut off then, right as all the adults began to laugh.

Present Sabrina and Nick sat there in silence for the next couple of moments, both of them stunned speechless.

“That was in January,” Sabrina spoke first. “My parents died in April.”

Nick moved to sit closer, his arm circling around her waist. He pulled her to him and she put her head back on his shoulder. “It was one of the last times they were together,” he said. “It was...nice. I’m glad we got to see that.”

Sabrina smiled. She was grateful that they had stumbled upon the tape. Her tears, which she had fought off while watching, fell freely now. “Me too. I can’t believe we technically met before.” 

“I don’t remember that,” Nick revealed as he placed a kiss against her hair. 

Sabrina giggled. “You certainly should. You told me I was ‘ew.’” 

“You’re the opposite of ‘ew’, Spellman,” Nick said, giving her side a little pinch. Sabrina leaned over to kiss him.

The house that had felt heavy and desolate upon their arrival was beginning to feel a little more like home.

Sabrina woke the next morning with no memory of getting into bed. She looked to her side. Nick was peacefully asleep on his stomach, his face hidden in a pillow with his hair a mess. At some point, she realized, he must’ve brought her up to bed. The last thing she remembered was settling down on the chaise in his father’s study while he continued searching through it. 

She leaned over and brushed her lips along his temple. He moaned.

“A lil’ more…”

She smiled and complied with his request for more sleep. After all, she wanted to get a head start in the solarium and it would be good if he wasn’t around to ruin the surprise. She slipped out of bed and wandered down the steps, taking them two at a time this go around. The house much more comfortable than it had the previous day. They still had a lot more to clean up, but it was beginning to look a lot more bearable now.

Sabrina pulled out her phone and hit the number for the mortuary. 

“Yes, love?” came Hilda’s cheery voice. “How is it going there?”

“It’s great, auntie,” Sabrina replied. “But I’ve got to bother you a few of your spells...”

And it began.

Hilda offered her knowledge and Sabrina followed as best as she could. She repaired the pots, cleared away the debris, set the tables up nice and neat once more. She spun magic through the pots of dirt, sprouting fresh lavender from the seeds she had found lying around the garden space. Breathing life in the plants at such a rapid rate would surely wear away at her energy levels, but she knew it would be worth it.

She was no Elspeth, but in the end, the lavender plants towered high and mighty. The aroma they brought along was nothing short of amazing and she found herself taking a moment to just stand there and inhale it.

Sabrina even repaired the wind-chimes and set them up along the ceiling again. The breeze filtered in through the windows that had been left ajar, striking them just right so that the sound reverberated through the whole room. 

She was surprised that Nick hadn’t bothered her once. He was still asleep, she assumed as she raced up the stairs again, fully intending to wake him up this time.

The bed was empty. 


Through the window, she saw him at the edge of the lake. He picked up a couple of rocks, examining them once, before tossing them out into the water. She realized he was skipping them, or at least, trying to. Yards away, Shava laid in a patch of sunlight, asleep.

She took the stairs down again, out of breath from running through the house and repairing the solarium. 

When she neared him, she realized he looked contemplative. He threw another rock. It skipped a couple of times and then fell into the water with a plop. “Shit…” she heard him murmur.

“Good morning,” Sabrina said. He startled a bit, but then smiled sheepishly once he saw her.

“Morning,” he greeted. She nestled against his side and gave him a kiss. 

“What are you doing out here?”

“Trying and failing to skip a rock,” Nick said with a chuckle. “And thinking...I’ve been doing a lot of that.”

She looked up at him with a raised brow. “Thinking about what?”

“About this house,” he replied. “And how much I don’t want to let it go now that I know how important it was to my many happy moments took place here that far outweigh the bad.” He ran a hand over her back and smiled. “The longer I stay here, the more I remember. I thought I had forgotten my parents, but I think it was because I wanted to forget. I don’t anymore.”

Sabrina smiled and slipped her arm around his waist. “We’ll keep it,” she declared. “We’ll give it love, we’ll honor your parents, and one day, we’ll raise a baby of our own here.”

“I’d like that,” Nick said. “I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year, too. About what we’ve been through and how far we’ve come. About what we’ve - I’ve - learned.”

She laughed, wondering how endless Nick’s brain must’ve been to consider all of that in the short time that he had been awake. “What’ve you learned? What sorts of lessons has this previous year bestowed upon you, o’ wise warlock?”

Nick smirked. She resisted the urge to kiss the corners of his crooked lips. “Let’s see...I’ve learned how to care about people I generally probably wouldn’t give a shit about.” Sabrina snorted. “I’ve learned a lot mortal stuff that I am probably going to continue messing up and having you laugh at me for.”

“It’s not my fault you thought Tom Cruise was a boat.”

“Whose last name is ‘Cruise’, anyway?”

“Whose is ‘Scratch’?”

“That’s fair,” he answered, then continued. “I’ve learned to tolerate Harry.”


Nick smirked. “I’ve learned that family doesn’t always mean you’re bound by blood.”

Sabrina nodded. “Pretty soon, my aunts will probably love you more than me. I think Zelda might already.”

He gave her a little chuckle and pulled her closer. “But the best lesson I’ve learned, by far, has been one you’ve taught me, Spellman.” He leaned in, lips brushing hers just barely, the smallest of smiles adorning his face. “How to love and be loved.”