Chapter XVII - Jack meet Easter Bunny
It was a lazy afternoon.
They were all grouped in their own little world as Sköll was listening the music box, Hati was cleaning his starlike fur while Raijū and Jack were playing chess.
The winter spirit was just going to moved his bishop when, to his surprise, two bats swinged through the window and land gracefully on the table with a purple envelopes in their mouths.
"Are you expecting a letter?" Raijū asked, looking at an unexpected visitors.
"No." Jack said and was about to moved his bishop when one bat flew and landed on his head. "But I guess that's the letter for me."
The teenage boy took a letter, and he could feel it vibrating like a tuning fork.
"This looks like the April Fool's prank." He froze his letter, just in case.
But Raiju's whole attention was fixed on his own letter, which had begun to smoke at the corners. He stretched out a left hand, eased the envelope from bat's mouth, and slit it open.
A split second later, they thought the letter had exploded; a roar of sound and music filled the room, shaking dust from the ceiling.
" YOU'RE INVITED TO A WITCH PARTY TO CELEBRATE SUMMER SOLSTICE AND THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHAOTIC NODE! LET'S HAVE FUN IN THE SALEM WITH US! AT TWILIGHT, I - ENCHANTRA DE SPELL - WAIT FOR YOU, IN MY CASTLE! "
A ringing silence fell. The purple envelope, which had dropped from Raijū's hand, burst into green flames and curled into sparkling ashes.
"Guess we're going to part." Jack said with a smile on his face.
The view of castle couldn't have been anything less than what Jack expected from Enchantra's home.
This place looked like something out of an old movie about wizards and witches. Enchantra's Castle was a large, five-storey high building that utilized architecture dating back to the Baroque, situated within what appears to be a large crater with spiked raised edges. All over castle, he saw gargoyles one after the other. Young and old, small and big, simple and weird, the gargoyles came in a variety of form.
"Are you coming, Jack?" Raijū asked, looking back as some spirits hurried to the entrance.
"Well, I guess." Jack said. "If I'm lucky, I'll find someone to annoy."
"I don't think that's hard for you." Raijū snickered, beginning his walk to the door.
"And I take pride in that." Jack grinned as they entered the castle.
The passageway leading to Enchantra's party had been lined with candles, the effect was very cheerful. These were long, thin, goldish-white tapers, all burning bright orange, casting a warm, magical light over their faces.
They turned a corner and saw ghost of butler standing at a doorway hung with crimson red velvet drapes.
"May I have your name, sir?"
"And you, young gentleman?"
"On behalf of myself and my lovely mistress, enjoy yourselves." He hid the guest list and bowed them inside.
"Woah..." Jack stared in amazement at the room.
All around them, from top to bottom, back to back, side to side, were thousands upon thousands of beautiful crystal. Surrounding all across the walls, all of them reflecting it's beautiful magnificent light off of each other from the gigantic chandelier above. The floor itself was nothing to gawk at. Beautifully crafted with a pristine light pink color, which helped to reflect the candle's ray (and polished possibly one hundred times a day by the looks of it). Everywhere around the floor was spotless and clear, reflection greeting everybody wherever they walked. Curved floor-to-ceiling windows revealed the moon floating like a gem in the vastness of sky, in an ocean of stars.
The room was full of hundreds of mystical beings, mostly walking around a crowded dance floor, dancing to the loud, snappy sound of magical instruments, played by an skeletons orchestra on a raised, glimmering platform.
"You need to be careful. Not to step on anybody's tail or another extra appendage," said Raijū, and they set off around the edge of the dance floor.
They passed a group of happy gnomes, a winged man wearing loincloth , and the Yeti, a cheerful ghost of knight, who was talking to a man with a pumpkin for a head. Jack wasn't surprised to see that the Count Dracula, a pale, self-centered vampire who baring his fangs, was being given a wide berth by the other spirits.
"Is that my favorite werewolf?" The young woman called as she approached, arms open and ready to embrace anyone.
She was a rather tall, skinny woman with green skin and pink cat eyes. She sports long, wavy dark hair with lighter purple highlights, which she keep up in low ponytail, aside from two beaded strands. She wearing a purple dress with dark magenta double-breasted T-corset, underneath she has a long boots with black straps around them. At the top of her dress, she had a cerise pink gem with a silver border, and she also had black fingerless lace gloves that have a diamond pattern design and end halfway up the forearm.*
"Hello Enchantra." Raijū said with a small smile before he started wagging his tail.
"I haven't seen you since the last blue moon." She squealed, hugging her dear friend in a tight hug. "And Jack," Witch greeted with another hug, "So nice to see you too. I'm very glad you came."
"I wouldn't miss it for anything." Jack declared, meeting witch's eyes and giving her a authentic Duchenne smile. It was no secret the winter spirit really liked Enchantra. That witch is like a cool aunt to him.
The moment was broken by a loud chimes of clock, echoing all over these large room. It's midnight in the witch's castle.
"It's time!" Enchantra frantically draws a rune in the air and casts it upon herself, and when she opens her mouth her voice is amplified across the entire roo. "Excuse me for a second, everybody. All monsters to the dance floor, please. It's time to do the vampire boogie!"
Her voice back to normal when she said. "I assume you'll be joining us, Jack?"
"I'll have something cold to drinki and join you in a moment."
"I'll take you up on that." Enchantra said with a grin, tweaking Jack's nose good-naturedly, causing him to let out a short laugh.
"Let's go, wolfie." The witch grabbed Raijū's hand and dragged him onto the dance floor before he could say anything.
Jack breathed a sigh of relief. The boy wasn't lying when he said he want to come. But dancing the vampire boogie... he didn't have this on his to-do list for the party.
When the winter spirit found the magical bar not a three minute later, a smile stretched his lips.
The enchanted bottle flew through the air on a cloud of green mist. All glasses hopping in the rhythm of music. And a cubes of ice change shape every 30 seconds.
"What can I choose? Chocolate Frog Cocktail, Butterbeer, Spiked Pumpkin Juice, Moon Voodoo, the pinky Elf," The boy started to ramble, walking along the bar.
"Or maybe -OOF!"
"Watch where you're going, mate." Jack turned to see who he bumped into. It was a male Pooka.
The mythological Pooka had a very intimidating presence, the figure standing over a two foot taller than Jack, almost two and half feet, as well as grayish-blue fur with tattoo-like imprints on both; his forehead and shoulders, and bright emerald-green eyes.
"Sorry, Mr. Kangaroo."
"I'm a bunny. The Easter Bunny." He said with a thick Australian accent, leaning down to squint at boy and causing Jack to self-consciously held his wooden staff tighter.
"Look, Bunny, have you ever heard of personal space?" Jack asked and then he grinned. "Or breath mint?"
"I don't need breath mint." The Easter Bunny stepped away from Jack just before smelled his breath. "And who are you, anyway?"
"I've heard about you and your problem with belivers." The way he said it to Jack felt like he was talking about a anomaly. Like spirit's problem with kids could be equated to a strange illness. Jack just determinedly staring at the Easter Bunny as he drinking the carrot juice.
"Aster! It's good to see you again. It's been a while." Raijū appeared out of nowhere and smacks a Easter Bunny's shoulder, Bunnymund choked on the carrot juice he was trying to drink.
"Raijū... I didn't know you were coming here too." The bunny said, voice heavily strained.
"I see you've met my son."
Aster was speechless. He looked between werewolf and pale boy as if waiting for them to crack a smile and call it a joke.
"Your son?" He looked at the winter spirit from head to foot.
"I'm adopted." Jack said, misreading the look on Aster's face.
"I was willing to believe you're wolf's flesh and blood."
Jack flashes him a cheeky grin. "Thank you for the compliment, Kangaroo."
"You seem more like a kangaroo to me." Jack mocked causing Aster's eyebrow to twitch.
"And you live in Australia*." Raijū stated, upsetting the Pooka more.
"If it's a row you want, you best think twice, mate."
"Aster, we're here for the party. But if you want to rematch for last time, you know where to find me." Raijū's words were sharp, his tone biting, like frosted wind. And then his voice softened. "All right, walk with me, Jack. You must try Istrian 'Pršut'*, a ham dried in the 'Bura' wind."
Bunny gaped at the crowd for a few moments after Raijū and Jack vanished from view.
"So, how do you know him?" The boy asked as the two walked through the tables of the snack section.
"We met at Jena in the year 1682. We both wanted to get a seedling of a rare species of plant that belonged to Georg Franck von Franckenau*. There was only one seedling. Aster won the race for it. And we've been rivals ever since."
"You don't like him."
"I don't like him and he doesn't like me."
The winter spirit looked in a Pooka direction and said, "I don't think he likes me for some reson."
"Don't mind him, he's not the welcome-other spirits type." Raijū replied, " Ready to try Istrian 'Pršut'?"
"Just got to take care of something first." Jack turned his staff in hand and send a bit of his winter magic at Easter Bunny, freezing his drink. The bunny's eyes widened as he figured out that he couldn't take his mouth off glass.
Raijū smiled, and Jack's delighted laugh echoes in the room.
*Enchantra's look is based on Casta Fierce, the witch character from the Monster High.
* Bunnymund's Warren is a underground oasis deep under the Australian Outback.
* It is hand cut prior to serving. Istria pršut holds one of the most prestigious places in Istrian cuisine, and it is among the most requested starters in konobas (taverns) and restaurants throughout Istria.
* In legend, the Easter Bunny carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, on the night before his respective holiday. This custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's (German physician and botanist) De ovis paschalibus ('About Easter Eggs') in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.