The group followed Jack out to the cars.
"The Lorax?" asked Jamie excitedly. "We're going to get to learn about the Lorax?" His grandparents paused and turned to look at him.
"You've been talking to Ted a lot recently, haven't you?" asked Jack with a slight grin.
Jamie grinned back. "Well, yeah, we do go to the same school and he's only three years older than me. Well, right now he is, he's been twelve for the past 26 years."
"Him, and Red, and all the rest of us have been the same age for the past 26 years," said Jack as he unlocked his car.
Hiccup scoffed. "But you and Rapunzel won't age at all, ever."
Jack shot him a glance. "Yeah, so it would seem." He climbed into the car before Hiccup could say anything else. Rapunzel quickly got into the passenger seat. Hiccup ended up merely rolling his eyes as he and Merida got into the back seat. JJ and Jamie followed MK to her car and the three got in. Mavis got into her car. They followed Jack's car to Once Upon a Hat, each lost in their own thoughts. Where could those villains have been hiding all this time, especially if neither Mavis, Jamie, or Jack knew they were here? Where were they now? Were they planning anything? Which one shot arrows at Jack? How were they able to hide so quickly from him? But the one question that blared in their heads was, where were they now? Where in this tiny town could have served as the best hiding place for five villains? Where else but the caves? It was the only explanation. Maybe even Rapunzel's tower for a while, before they had found it. But those thoughts were pushed to the side when they pulled into Once Upon a Hat's parking lot. Jack waited for everyone to get out of the cars before leading the way into the store.
"Hey Onceler, Sandy, Sandy, Gothi! We're here!" Ted, Red, Audrey, and Nod came rushing to the front. Jack gasped. "So that's why you wanted us out of here! So you could use the youth potion!"
The four stared at him in shock. "What?"
Sandy the witch came around right behind them and tsked at Jack. "For one thing, we would need all the ingredients. For another thing, Rapunzel's hair would be faster."
Jack chuckled nervously. "That's true."
"Hurry it up and get back here. I'm assuming you've found something since you brought the detective here," said Sandy, leading the way to the back of the store. She paused and glanced at the foursome still standing by the front door. "You four need to get going too!"
Ted and Nod saluted. "Yes ma'am!"
Red grumbled and grabbed Ted's arm. "We're going!"
"Be back soon!" said Audrey. She waved and pushed Nod out the door after Red and Ted. Sandy grumbled before turning and continued leading the others to the back of the store.
"Well," said Jack as they walked, "you would be right, we did find something. But, we also need to tell them about the Lorax, and the Onceler's the best man for the job."
Sandy tsked. "You're just as capable of telling them about the Lorax."
Jack put up his hands. "Hey, the Onceler does it so much better."
Sandy huffed. "No, you're just lazy."
Jack grinned. "Maybe, maybe not." Sandy rolled her eyes.
"Hey," said JJ, "I've always wondered. Why is he called the Onceler?"
That was where MK stopped listening. She had paused in her walk and concentrated on something else. Ever since she entered the store, it seemed like there was a kind of pull, or a call to her. It was so slight at first that MK shrugged it off. But now, it seemed stronger than ever, like a game of Marco Polo where the person saying Polo was getting louder because they were closer. MK glanced around, trying to pinpoint the source of the pull, but all she could see were shelves of hats. She stepped towards the closest shelf. The pull was getting stronger. It was like the magical item (what else could it be?) was guiding her towards it. She pushed a few hats aside and pulled out a top hat with a green ribbon. She knew she had found it. But, what kind of magical item was it? Besides obviously being a hat.
"MK?" MK jumped and turned. JJ was looking at her with concern. "Are you alright?"
"Um, yeah, yeah, it's just . . ." She glanced down at the hat. "It seemed like this was calling to me," she whispered.
Sandy let out a whoop. "You found it!" MK blinked in confusion as Sandy came towards her. She grabbed her wrist and began pulling her to the back.
"Onceler, she found it! MK found the hat!"
Onceler's mouth dropped as he saw the hat in MK's hand. "It was waiting for you," he whispered. He grinned. "We can finally try to contact the Lorax!" The Sandman and Gothi bounced around in glee while Sandy let out another whoop.
"Oh, well, um, OK." MK started to hand over the hat, but Onceler stopped her and pushed it back.
He shook his head. "No, you have to be the one to do it."
"What? Me? Why me?"
Onceler shrugged. "The hat chose you, it might have to do with you being the one who broke the curse."
Jamie nodded. "That's right!"
MK glanced down at the hat, bewildered. "But, but, I don't even know how to use it!"
Onceler laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "I can teach you." He glanced at Jack. "And if I heard your rather loud conversation correctly, I have to tell you about the Lorax first."
Jack leaned against the wall, grinning. "Alright!" Hiccup and Sandy shot him glares.
Onceler shot him a look too. "You really could have done it, Jack. You were there too, after all."
Jack crossed his arms. "Just because the Lorax was complaining about you to Manny all year long doesn't mean I know everything that was going on. I didn't even get to meet you until that autumn, remember?" Jack waved his finger. "Besides, this is supposed to be part of your reparation. Right?"
Onceler rolled his eyes and sighed. "Right." He brought his hands together and popped his knuckles. "Alright everyone, get comfortable, and I shall tell you the story of the Lorax."