A young brunette woman stood up. "Yes, your Honour?"
"Everything goes to you. Your sister would also like you to take care of their son."
"What?" Maddie said in shock. "But I can barely take care of my daughter, Emily!"
"Do not worry," the judge said. "Henry Black has offered to help you out financially."
"The Henry Black?!" Madie suddenly exclaimed. Her eyes turned into hearts. Literally.
"MADDIE!" the judge bellowed.
"Sorry," a blushing Maddie said, her eyes now normal again.
"Be grateful that this courtroom is full of magic-using people," the judge said angrily. "And yes, the star of those silly fantasy movies."
"Your Honour," a young man said, "it's to help Frogwings on their Creatures classes. It helps to know what non-magicians think about mythecal creatures like vampires or lycanthropes!"
"True," the judge replied. "Maddie?"
"Fine, I'll take care of the boy," Maddie said.
"Good," the judge said. "I assume you'll not enroll your daughter in a magic school?"
"Only if I have no other choice," Maddie answered. "Being fully human, it's best to be safe than sorry, right?"
"Of course," the judge said, "as most of the magic users believe that eating humans will grant them immortality. So, what job would you like? I can help, you know."
"I'd like to be an English teacher, if that's possible."
"Ah, yes, your English is most impressive, at your young age. Only what, 19 when you had your daughter?"
"Yes, your Honour."
"Very well, you shall be an English teacher at the school between Franskraal and Pearly Beach. I am the headmaster there, so it's fine."
"Really?" Maddie asked. The judge nods in response. "Thank you, your Honour."
After three months had gone by, Maddie and Henry became engaged. This was going to be Maddie's second husband - her first husband had died because of heart complications. Maddie was already planning on her wedding dress, and wasn't going to waste time making it as beautiful as possible. It was going to take place on 5 September that year, on Emily's birthday. However, there was one problem: Emily's cousin.
"Who would take care of Shaun?" Maddie asked Henry.
"I'll call a maid," he replied. "And Emily?"
"She'll be a bridesmaid. At her fifth birthday."
"Wow, she'll be happy as well, right?"
"Yeah... Losing her biological father like that was hard, but she's too young to know..."
"When will you tell her?" Henry asked.
"As soon as she is eight years old, at least," Maddie answered. "Anyway, let's get ready for the wedding, okay?"
The following day, the wedding ceremony began and was peaceful, until...
"Do you, Maddie Lawson..." the priestess began, but was interrupted.
"MADDIE!" The door crashed open and a police officer ran in. "Shaun's been kidnapped!"
"Darn it!" Maddie exclaimed. "Who? How?"
"The maid did it," the cop answered. "She was with that 'gas mask maid' gang all this time!"
"No, not my sister," Henry muttered. "I can't believe my sister did that!"
"Excuse me, but we've got to do something, dammit! Shaun's my nephew!" Maddie exclaimed.
"I understand," the priestess said, then she added with a wink, "I'll take care of Emily."
"Thanks, Chantelle!" Maddie said, then she, Henry and the police officer rushed out of the church.
"Yes, aunt Chantelle?" Emily asked as she brushed dust off her clothes.
"Could you come with me?"
"Okay!" She followed her aunt into a room.
Chantelle smiled as she locked the door. "How long can you hold your breath?"
"One minute," Emily replied, as Chantelle put on a gas mask. "Are you going to hurt me?"
"No," Chantelle replied, slipping out of her shoes. She handed Emily a gas mask. "Put that on, remove your shoes, wait at the door."
"Okay," Emily said, confused about what was happening now. She did so as fast as she could, before she asked, "Are we going to kill people with poisonous gas? Such as chlorine or phosgene or some organophosphate nerve agent?"
"You know some big words," Chantelle said in shock. "Anyway, no, we're going to be distracting people first before killing them. You also need a coat, Emily."
Emily picked up a coat from the coat-hanger against the door, and put it on. "It's a bit large..."
"What do you expect? You're five years old, that coat's for thirty-plus people," Chantelle said. "Anyway, I want you to act like a cold-blooded murderess. D'you think you can do that?"
"Can I kill my parents with nerve gas and then stab them with poisoned daggers?" Emily asked.
"No!" Chantelle exclaimed angrily.
"I was just answering your question, aunt Chantelle. I can pretend to be evil and murderous."
"Oh, good," Chantelle replied, sighing with relief. "Press that button against the wall," she said, pulling on a pair of black gloves.
"Okay," Emily said. She pressed it, and the room began to sink into the ground. Eventually it began to fill with a green gas. "What's going on?"
"I'll tell you about it later," Chantelle answered. "Right now, your cousin's life is at stake. And the gas is toxic to the touch. When I say 'gas chamber' then you should immediately hold your breath, okay?"
"Okay," Emily said slowly. "But why not something else?"
"That's what came to mind when I set the trap, because that's basically what the entire place is, sheesh. Now, hush, Emily. We're almost there."
Three minutes of silence passed before the floor stopped shaking. The door opened, and the two entered a room where fifteen girls were waiting, all of them wearing maid outfits and gas masks. "You're late," one of them said. "And who is that kid?"
"Sorry we're late," Chantelle said. "I heard Shaun Engiabo's been--"
"Yeah, he's been kidnapped," the maid said. "WHO IS THAT KID?"
"I've got his five-year old cousin here," Chantelle continued. "She hates Shaun."
"Will you allow me to kill him painfully with poisonous gases?" Emily asked politely.
"Maybe," another girl replied. "You look ten years old, though. Not five years old, you should be shorter then."
"I grow quickly," Emily replied. "The moment he starts dying, I'll probably mock him in his last moments and tell him that he's worthless and stupid and boring and annoying and-" she swore - "idiotic!"
"Girl's got a harsh tongue," a third girl said. "Don't know any five year old children who actually use swear words."
"How about we... lock the two up in a gas chamber?" Chantelle asked as she began to hold her breath. Emily quickly held it as well, as the fifteen maids began coughing and quickly collapse to the ground. After fourty-five seconds had gone by, Chantelle sighed. "Quick, and painless."
"See, I was working as a spy to stop the gas mask maid gang - there's still three more of them left, so it'll be easy to get them arrested instead. As for the poisonous gas, it's there to prevent spies from infiltrating their secret headquarters. They didn't count on spies wearing gas masks, though. As for how they died, well, let's just say it's easy to hide syringes in chairs that contain deadly poisons." Chantelle sighed. "Let's hope your mother and your stepfather found Shaun."
"I hope so too," Emily replied. "It is his fault that I'm in this mess, after all."
"Actually, no," Chantelle said. "There's another ally here, she is the one who kidnapped Shaun. I asked her to, so that the gas mask maid gang can be brought down."
"I see," Emily said, surprised.
"JAINA!" Henry shouted.
The gas mask-wearing maid holding an unconscious (and short) Shaun stopped suddenly. "B-brother!?"
Henry and Maddie stopped running as Jaina turned around. "Give me back my sister's son," Maddie said angrily. Then a door behind Jaina opened and two more girls wearing gas masks came out, although they lacked the maid outfits.
"Huh?" Maddie looked confused as the youngest girl ran to her and hugged her.
"Mother, it's you!"
"Who are you?" Henry asked. The girl removed her gas mask.
"Emily?!" Maddie exclaimed in shock.
"Wait, what's going on here?" Jaina asked in shock, putting Shaun on the ground.
"Fifteen of the gas mask maids are dead," the other girl replied, removing her gas mask as well, "and now, there's only three left."
"Chantelle!" Jaina exclaimed.
"What's going on here?" Henry asked.
"Jaina and I were working undercover to stop the gas mask maids," Chantelle replied. "Emily helped us as well, by pretending that she hated Shaun. By the way, does she watch anything on television that contains language?"
"Not that we know of," Maddie and Henry both said. Emily blushed.
"Oops... I'm in trouble now, aren't I?" she asked.
"Definitely, young lady," Maddie asked.
"Anyway, call the cops," Jaina said. "Have them know that the gas mask maids will be at this location after the wedding. Speaking of which, you two should go back to church and finish it before something like this happens again."
"Ha ha, very funny," Henry said.
"So, my parents dies in a terrorist attack?" Shaun asked. Five years had gone by since that day when Maddie and Henry had gotten married.
"Yes," Maddie answered. It pained her to lie to her nephew, but she had to. She didn't want her daughter or her nephew to know about magic being real. "And now, Emily's stepfather was... murdered brutally..."
"Don't worry about it, mom," Emily said. She was also ten years old now, like Shaun.
"Why are you keeping the last name?" Shaun asked.
"Because it'll be a hassle to change it back to Lawson, especially with the IDs," Maddie replied.
Emily smiled. "I can try to use the Internet to get a job-"
"No, Emily," Maddie said. "I have a job, after all. You two should go to bed, too, it's school tomorrow."
"Awww," Emily said, frowning. "Everybody's mean to Shaun and me."
"Look, I'll sort them out if you tell me what they do," Maddie said. "I can't do anything if you don't tell me what they do to you, you know."
"Yes, and night, aunt Maddie," Shaun replied as he left the room.
"Night, Shaun. Night, Emily," Maddie said.
"Night, mother." Emily hugged her mother tightly, before leaving the room.
Maddie took a photo of Henry that was on her cupboard, and started crying. "Why did that Irovan have to do this? Why?"
Morning came. Shaun was up before his aunt or cousin. "Morning."
"Morning, Shaun," Maddie said surprised. Shaun immediately figured out that she cried herself to sleep.
"Morning, cousin," Emily said. "Why're you up so early?"
"I wanted to make broke-- bread-- er..."
"Breakfast?" Emily asked.
"Yeah," Shaun answered. "But it ended up a flop." He looked at the bread. It was burnt beyond edibility.
"I'll do it," Maddie said. "After all, I'm better at making toast than you are, Shaun. And why do you keep blowing on your fingers?"
"Burnt them," Shaun said meekly.
"Ugh," Emily said, hitting her face with her palm. "You really are clumsy, aren't you?"
"Emily!" Maddie exclaimed angrily.
"It's true," Shaun said. "I am clumsy. Not even Mr. Twiddle is as clumsy as I am!"
"Uh, Shaun," Emily said, "Mr. Twiddle is not only very forgetful, but he's also a character from a book written by Enid Blyton."
"I know that," Shaun said.
After breakfast, Emily and Shaun were taken to school by Maddie. The two wore different school uniforms than the other students, but they were completely normal - except, of course, for their pasts. This is where Shaun Engiabo's story truly begins. Only time will tell where it will end.
Last edited by Kim on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:12 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : TV Tropes didn't exist in 2001, so all mentions of Xanatos Gambit was removed. Also fixed a spelling mistake.)
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