Chapter 1

AN: Charlie and Serena are owned by AquaTurquoise, while I own Jazz. Any other characters mentioned are either mine, Aqua's or they belong to the oiginal creator of Sofai the First.

It was a summer day. No school, no meetings, or work whatsoever. It was incredibly nice, a much-needed break for Sofia and her family. She and Cedric had set up a nice little picnic in their secret garden, right beneath the impressive tree. In clear view, there was a certain stone with the name Erine carved in it. Neither Sofia nor Cedric planned to tell their son and daughter the significance of that gravestone, at least not until they were much older. It would be a heartbreaking tale, but one that would need to be said if the little ones grew curious about it, as children do.

Sofia cooed watching her children play a game of tag with their youngest, Charlie being it. She leaned into Cedric who kissed her head, before resting his cheek in her hair. "Just look at them, we made them." She couldn't stop her eyes from misting a little. Cedric nodded, nuzzling her before kissing away a single tear that slipped down her fair cheek, "We did," he smiled in pride.

"I never want this moment to end," Sofia whispered to him, "I almost wish time could just stop and we can enjoy this forever." Her husband chuckled, "The feeling is mutual, my love, but you know the saying: 'Be careful what you wish for...'"

Serena ran as fast as she could, not wanting to be tagged by Charlie. Her little brother screamed her name in a playful manner, getting just a little closer. Serena laughed, taking a sharp turn behind the tree, and yelping when she tripped on a root curling out. She winced, kneeling to examine her knee. There was a little scrape on it, but no clear sign of blood. Serena hated the sight of blood, it always made her stomach churn unpleasantly. Probably because of...

"Gotchu!" Charlie laughed, lightly patting her arm. His triumphant grin immediately became concerned, "Sissy, are you okay? What happened?"

She smiled at her brother, "I'm fine. I just tripped. I bet Papa knows a spell to fix it." She did too, but she would always prefer Mama or Papa to heal her. Charlie helped her stand and walked close to make sure she didn't fall again. Serena wasn't sure if it was just her, but she felt as though something was off. It was a sudden change in the air it seemed.

"Sissy, something doesn't feel right," Charlie admitted, sounding unsure. He glanced at her for assurance. Serena nodded, "I feel something different too." Now she was on guard. Since the events of Greeneyes, Serena had become extra aware of her surroundings. Right now, something was very off.

It wasn't until they came from around the tree did they realize what it was.

"Mama, Papa!" Charlie screamed in shock, rushing to their parents. Cedric and Sofia were sitting incredibly still, not a stray hair was moving. They looked like a living paintings. Serena rushed to them as well, ignoring the sharp sting in her knee. "Papa?" She touched Cedric's arm and pushed, he didn't move. Both he and Sofia were completely frozen, smiling at one another in their signature loving way, arms around one another.

"What happened?" Charlie whimpered, he gazed at the garden and noticed that there was no wind, no sound. No birds, beetles, or anything. It left him and Serena feeling alone and small. "It'll be okay," Serena assured him, hugging Charlie. Charlie began to cry, burning his face in Serena's gown. Serena pulled away and withdrew her wand, aiming it at their parent, "Cairkan!" A blast of lavender magic shot at the couple but did nothing.

"Try again, m-maybe you missed," Charlie whimpered, though he knew that wasn't the case. Serena had amazing aim and was well-skilled in casting spells. There was a reason she got full marks on her exams and was praised by her instructors. Charlie didn't have his wand on him, he had left it in his room by mistake. A habit that he started to develop during summer break.

A sudden roar, that of a demonic lion sounded from nowhere. A portal opened and a man, it seemed, dressed in white with green stripes, with a round helmet, flew out on a demonic bike of some sort. It was bulkier than the bike their Uncle James had and colored completely green. Serena immediately pulled Charlie behind her and with a flick of her wrist held her wand in hand. She aimed it at the stranger who expertly climbed off his demon steed and began to approach them. He was looking at them, judging by their reflections on the dark glass covering the front of his helmet.

"Stay back!" Serena yelled, the tip of her wand glowing with the power of her next unspoken spell. The man raised his gloved hands in surrender, his deep voice speaking out from inside his helmet, "Relax. I'm not going to hurt you."

"I've heard that before. Now remove your helmet!"

"Okay, okay. Whatever you say, Sissy." He reached up to grab his helmet. Serena and Charlie were both confused, as anyone would be. "Why did you call me 'Sissy'?" The princess demanded.

The helmet was pulled off revealing a man with light skin, brown eyes, and short, wavy, auburn hair that was parted in the front. He smiled, revealing a row of clean teeth, "I've always called you 'Sissy', you are, after all, my big sister."

Serena gasped, "C-Charlie?"

"But I'm Charlie," her little brother said behind her, looking between his sister and the stranger. Serena took a moment to gaze between them, noting the similarities that were impossible to deny. His face was slimmer, his build higher, but she just knew. "Y-you're telling the truth."

"I'm glad your intuition never fails you," the older Charlie said, he sighed, scratching his head, "I'm sure you're both really confused and I would be too in your position. The best thing I can describe is the timeline has been tied into a knot. It starts here, and ends with me, twenty years into the future."

"Twenty years?" Serena and Charlie parroted together. "Wow, Sissy, I get really tall," Charlie whispered excitedly in Serena's ear. Older Charlie chuckled, having picked up on his counterpart's words, "If it matters, I'm 6'3."


"Why is the timeline in a knot?" Serena asked, wanting to get straight to the point. The older Charlie shrugged, "That's what I'm trying to figure out. I was just following a trail and it led me here to you two. For some reason," He paused to gaze at the area and looked hurt upon seeing his parents frozen in time, "We're the only ones who are immune. Since our timeline is in a knot there isn't a flow. Nothing is moving forward or back. I managed to use a difficult spell to follow the lead back to this specific time and place."

"What about future me, is she around?"

"She's frozen too. Everything is frozen, besides us three."

Young Charlie clings to Serena in fear, his sister then looks at the older man, "What do we do now?" That was what older Charlie wondered as well. He didn't expect to meet his past self and sister. He knew there was a chance to come face to face with them, but he hoped he had been fast enough to avoid the encounter. Sadly, fate, destiny, or whatever other force was out there decided that wouldn't be the case. He considered his options carefully, before looking at his bike. "I think it would be best if you two were to come with me." He said after a moment of silence. There was no point in leaving them here without supervision. They were only kids, and while Serena had always been the more mature one, she was still a child nonetheless. He imagined leaving one of his nieces in a similar situation and it made him visibly wince with worry.

"Where are we going to go?" Charlie asked, still clinging to Serena. His adult self looked around, "We need to make a pit stop in the old apartment."

"What's a pit stop?" Serena asked, confused. The adult shook his head, "It's just a saying from Midgard. Look, I need to get the Galactical Spell book. It might be the only thing that can help us find out what's causing this."

"Wait a second, if you don't have it then how did you come back in time?" Serena felt her guard return, moving to protect her little brother. Older Charlie saw this and immediately held his hands up in defense, "As I said, I used a difficult spell to get here. You didn't think that Papa's spell book is the only way to travel through time and realms did you?" When they didn't answer, he continued. "There are a handful of ways to travel, but as I said, they require a lot of magic. Papa's spell book is the easiest way to travel. We need it in order to get to Midgard."

Midgard, neither has ever heard of Midgard before. Older Charlie walked toward their parents and knelt next to Cedric, "Papa, I'm sorry, but I need to borrow your spell book. It'll only be for a short time and I promise I'll return it as soon as I'm able." Cedric doesn't answer, frozen in place with a face of pure contentment. Charlie whimpered and sniffed before standing up. "We need to get the spell book. It'll help us." He holds his hands out for the kids to take, "Can you guys trust me?"

"I trust you," Young Charlie says instantly. Serena seemed hesitant, "Do you know what's causing this?"

"Not really," he admitted, "But I do know that it involves us three for some reason. We need to figure out why and how to fix it. I feel the spell book might be the key to helping us."

"But we don't know where it is." Younger Charlie said with Serena nodding in agreement. Older Charlie smiled, "That's okay because I do. Where else would you put an all-powerful book that can essentially take you to any destination you can imagine? In plain sight." He didn't elaborate, but instead took out his wand. Serena and Charlie recognized it as their Papa's wand, the family wand. In an instant, they had teleported to Hexley Hall.

The rush of magically teleporting left the children a little light-headed. Once they snapped out of it they both gasped upon seeing they were in the halls of their school. "Wow, you can teleport too? That's so cool!" Young Charlie said grinning at his adult self. Older Charlie smiled, "It's not that hard of a spell to learn. However, I doubt the Conjuror's Board would be happy with what I'm doing. Oh well, I'll deal with them later."

"Do you work with them?" Serena asked, to which her future brother nodded, "Yeah, I work for them. However, I can't say too much since it's the future and I don't want to jeopardize my timeline any more than I already have."

"Wow, I'm super cool," Charlie said to Serena. She smiled, "I've always thought you were cool, Charlie."

"Awe, thanks, that means a lot, Sissy" Older Charlie said. To which his younger self frowned, "I think she was talking to me."

"Technically we're both the same person."

"You might be, but I think we need to give one of you a different name." Serena pointed at her adult brother, "How about you go by Charles."

He visibly cringed at the idea and shook his head, "Yeah, no. Sorry, Sissy, but that sounds way too regal for me. How about... Camden? It's our middle name."

"Okay, we'll call you Camden and we'll call you Charlie." Her little brother nodded in agreement, then turned to his older self-or Camden, "Why is the spell book here?'

"It was placed here probably a few months ago if I remember right. It's supposed to be more secure this way. It'll be way too obvious to find it in some vault. Anyone who knew about it would seek it out. So rather than that, it was decided by the Conjuror's Board to place it here, where no one would notice it unless they know what to look for. Only a handful of people know where it is. Thankfully, I'm one of them. Follow me."

They venture to the library of Hexley Hall. Bookshelves filled the large room, with several empty tables all around. There was hardly anyone's insight except for the librarian, Mrs. Applebee, who was reading a popular romance novel.

Camden stood in front of a picture frame hanging on the wall in the back of the library. The portrait was of Hexly Hall's founder and first Headmaster reading a book, with spectacles resting on the tip of his nose. Camden withdrew his wand again and tapped the book the former Headmaster held, "Muncul." Sparkles danced off the portrait before the book pulled itself out of the painting, leaving the founder to stare at his empty palms. Camden took the book from the air and turned to the awe-struck faces of Charlie and Serena. "Now that we have the book, I need to go back to Midgard and check on a few things."

"Where's Midgard?" Charlie asked, he looked to Serena who shrugged in answer. Camden slipped the book into his suit before grabbing their hands and leaving the library.

"It's the realm I've been living in for the past four years or so." His older counterpart said, "I was sent there to study its magic." They stepped out into the grand hall, where Camden withdrew the book again and tapped his wand on it's center, " Ratio Veni Magia" The book glowed and hovered in the air before transforming into a modest size door with the knocker shimmering a little. Camden smiled, pleased the spell had worked. He then ushered the children to it, "We need to hurry. It probably still follows the sixty-second rule, unlike in my future."

Upon opening the door, they stood on an unseen platform with the vastness of space opened around them like a curve. Even below, there were stars and distant galaxies. Camden was always so taken aback by the sight, even now seeing it for possibly the millionth time, he could hardly breathe. Thankfully he snapped out of it and called out, "Transport request: Midgard, current time." He hoped that it would work. It had been a difficult process jumping to the past on his bike. This would hopefully be easier.

The door that appeared before them a slight distance away, was deep maroon color with an insignia of an oddly shaped M, on it. Camden immediately seized both Serena's and Charlie's hands, "Hurry, we have less than a minute." Not waiting for their response, he rushed them towards the door, the children barely keeping up. They reached the door just in time, with only five seconds left. Camden opened the door and practically shoved the kids in first before hopping in after them. He knew that if he was caught in there after those sixty seconds there was no tell where or when he would end up. In his future, Papa had thankfully figured out a way to add an extra thirty seconds it wasn't a whole lot, but still progress.

The familiar smell of asphalt and exhaust hit his nose. He closed his eyes, preparing for what he would see. He had been in Midgard when time suddenly froze and the sight was heart wrenching. Never in his life did he feel so alone. It was his worst nightmare. Camden shook his head, reminding himself that he wasn't alone anymore. His past self, Charlie, and big sister, Serena were here wit him now. Why they hadn't been effected, he couldn't say, but there had to be some sort of link. He just need to find it and fast.

"What is this place?" Serena reached for Charlie, taken aback by the alien world they were in. Tall rectangles made of glass stood proud, practically leering over her and her brother like bullies. There was a strange black path with yellow lines bordered by some sort of walkway. Random people stood frozen in midstride. Serena watched on person in particular, a man with a small dog, staring at a small rectangle thing in his hand. He obviously wasn't paying attention because another man, had his back turned to them, staring at a box across the black path that held a glowing red hand palm.

"Relax, it's okay," Camden said gently to his sister and Charlie, "I need you both to take a minute to gather your bearings. You're in a different realm in a different time. Just breathe." He could easily remember first coming to Midgard and being so overwhelmed that he was sent into a panic. It had been dark and wet out, with lights reflecting off all surfaces; noises he's never heard before pounding his mind. He had ran into the middle of a the street by mistake, right in front of Jazz's-

Jazz... He needed to find her and see if she was alright. He knew she was back at their apartment, probably studying for her upcoming exam. Even if she was effected, Camden just needed to see her.

"This place smell gross," Charlie complained, wrinkling his nose, "What is that?"

"Don't worry, you'll get used to it. I know I eventually did. Come on, we need to get going." He offered them his hands, to which each took one and walked on either side of him. Charlie, as expected when meeting your future self, had a lot of questions.

"What do you do?"

"I study magic."

"How old are you?"

"I'm twenty-five, soon to be twenty-six in November." He winked at Charlie, "You're going to like the gift Mama gets us."

"Should you be careful in what you tell us?" Serena asked, a little put off by Camden's readiness to tell everything. Camden nodded, "I should, but at this point there isn't anything to worry about. Time has been stopped. There probably won't be any repercussions for answering a few of your questions. Plus, even if time wasn't frozen at the moment, telling you the future won't cause any effect. It's a little hard to explain, but time is like a tree, you have your stead timeline-the trunk-but you also have a ton of branches as well. Each branch is a potential future scenario. You guys decide what you want to do. Whether you end up here in the future or not, is completely up to you.

"Mama and Papa told us this story, I'm sure you remembered it because it was a few months ago that you learned what happened with her."" He didn't need to elaborate for his sister to know who her was. "That was completely different from what happened with Sunni. So, you can consider this an alternate future timeline if you want. Regardless the past isn't as fragile as you think. And neither is the future. It's a path you can either take or ignore. Does that make sense?"

"I guess so," Charlie thought about it for a moment, "So, it's like snow. When you walk in snow you leave foot prints, but everything in front of you is blank. So you can choose which way you want to go, right?"

"Exactly! You catch up pretty quickly, Mini-Me."

Charlie laughed when Camden ruffled his hair. "That being said, we still need to be cautious, as you said Sissy."

Serena nodded in agreement before wincing when her stomach growled. Her and Charlie hadn't had a chance to eat the lunched Mama and Papa packed that morning. Charlie groaned beside her, rubbing his achy belly, "I'm hungry."

"We'll grab something to eat once we get to my place," Camden said, "I think Jazz was planning on cooking spaghetti tonight."

"Who's Jazz?" Serena immediately felt bad upon seeing Camden's sad look. However, she couldn't expect what he said next.

"She's my wife."

The walk to Camden's apartment was thick with silences. Serena and Charlie both whimpered at the sight of everyone frozen in place. They all looked ready to move. Some who were frozen in mid-step looked ready to fall over if so much as a gust of wind blew by. But there was no wind. There was no sound, other than the light clicks of their shoes on the concrete (Camden explained that's what they were walking on). After a while, both she and her brother got used to strong smell. It wasn't pleasant. Camden led them to a small red building. It actually wasn't small, it towered over them just like the others, but compared to the "Skyscrapers" it was very tiny. Camden opened the metal gate that covered the front door and waved for them to go inside first.

Both Serena and Charlie hesitated. Beyond the door was a short, dark walkway. It reminded them of some creepy dungeon. "It's okay, there's nothing to be afraid of," Camden assured gently, he offered them a comforting smile, "I was a little scared too, but the only scary person who lives in this apartment building is Mrs. Stray, and she's about as dangerous as a eyelash in your eye." He meant it as a joke, hoping to lighten the mood, but found his attempt at comedy to fall flat on its face.

Despite this, Serena and Charlie walked in slowly, as if afraid to wake some sleepy giant. Camden was about to enter when he noticed something in the corner of his eye. Turning quickly, wand withdrawn, he gazed the road, no movement. This did not comfort him. If anything, it made him more suspicious. He had learned long ago to always trust his gut, and now his gut was telling him something wasn't right. He slowly turned and happened to glance down. There, near his shoe was a tiny pile of black sand. He knelt to it, examining it closely. There was something oddly familiar about it. He couldn't place, but a light of familiarity switched on in his mind.

"Camden, are you coming?" Charlie called to him, his voice piercing the unnatural silence, making the young man jump in surprise. He nodded, "Yeah, sorry." He took one last look at the bit of sand and stood up to follow them in. The bad feeling in his gut growing a little stronger.

After going up a short flight of stairs, Camden unlocked a door. He took off his shoes, a habit he's done since first moving in, and placed them on a mat near the door, "Honey, I'm back." No response. He shouldn't have bene surprised, but he was. He was so used to hearing her greeting him in return. Looking into the room, his heart sank.

Jazz. His Jasmine, was seated frozen comfortably on their couch, her textbook in hand. She had been studying of course. Jazz was working towards her doctorate degree. She only had a semester left. Jazz was a beautiful young woman at age 24. She had long orange hair that fell to her hips and lovely aqua eyes that always mirrored her gentle and loving personality. She was confident, smart, and so wonderful in general.

It had not been love at first-sight when they met. In fact, him perusing a relationship with her would have gotten him in hot water with the Conjuror's Board long ago. Thankfully, his boss, Gabriel, helped him out, but giving him a new job. One that would allow him to take up a permanent residence in Midgard without jeopardizing his career. He wouldn't have taken the opportunity if he didn't have the support of his family. His parents and sisters urged him to be with her. They were so wonderful and he felt so grateful to having such an ah-mazing family. He was able to travel back and forth between realms, reporting his findings to his superiors who were forced to bite their tongue around him.

Camden sniffed, allowing himself a moment to cry. The last time he saw her before this, he had been in a rush to get to work. He kissed her goodbye and promised to be back for movie night. When time froze, he didn't have time to run to her, he needed to find the source of this chaotic event. He felt like an idiot for not prioritizing his love first. "Jazz," he walked to her and kissed her cheek, "I'm so sorry." He combed his fingers through her hair and sighed in defeat when she didn't leave into his touch like she used to. "I'm so sorry, my moon." He took her book, closed it shut and then lifted her off the couch. She didn't weigh any heavier or lighter than before.

Camden carried her to their bedroom in the back and laid her down. He maneuvered her body so she was in a comfortable position, closed her eyes as well, and pressed another kiss to her face. He set the book down on her nightstand and covered her in their blanket. "I promise, I'll fix this. I love you." He assured her, his voice fragile, cracking a little. He wished she would say something back.

After several minutes, Camden reluctantly returned to the living room to find Serena reading a book about Psychology (one of Jazz's textbooks) and Charlie flipping the light switch in the coat closet, it wasn't doing anything because of time being froze, but the clicking sound it made was entrancing. Camden chuckled at his younger self, remembering how mesmerized he was with Midgard's amazing technology.

Serena closed the book and looked to him, "So what do we do now?" Camden sighed, "Well first I need to get you guys something to eat, then after that we need to think of a game plan. Was there anything strange that your remembered before everything stopped?"

Serena shook her head, "No. I remember feeling that something wasn't right, but that's it. Nothing strange happened as far as I know." Camden nodded and looked to the closet, "Charlie, what about you? Anything weird?"

"This whole place is weird," Charlie answered, coming out into the living room. "What does that do? Is it magic?"

"Not really, it's hard to explain, but they use electricity to power homes and such. That switch creates light in the closet, as do those over by the door. There's more to it, but that's the best way to describe it without getting too technical." He thought about the black sand outside. The closest beach was about 200 miles on the other side of town. Not to mention there was only one beach that the knew of which held black sand and there was no way a small pile would just appear out of no where, not unless someone had dropped a bottle collected from Greece or Iceland, or some other place know for it's black sand.

It hadn't been there before. The side walks were swept every other Thursday at 3:00. Time stopped at exactly 3:01. Their sidewalk had been swept, the maintenance man was still outside with his equipment, frozen in place just like everyone else, with obvious exceptions. So why did it appear? Where had he seen it before? Something wasn't adding up.

"Camden, is there any food?" Charlie asked, looking tired. Serena did as well. Camden sympathized with them, he was exhausted. "Yeah, hold on." He went to the kitchen and saw that Jazz had indeed started preparations for making spaghetti. However, the noodles were still stiff, and half sunk into the warm pot of water. He decided to just conjure up something to help them through. With his wand, he made a healthy spread of sandwiches and cans of soda. He grabbed a can and broke the tab open, before taking a sip and sighing at the cool, refreshing, bubbly taste on his tongue. He didn't miss the curious looks on Serena and Charlie's faces. He opened theirs too. "It's really good."

"Wow!" Charlie exclaimed after taking a cautionary sip with Serena, "It's super sweet!" Serena nodded in agreement after drinking hers. "Glad you like it. It's one of my favorite things about Midgard: The food." He took another sip of his drink, allowing himself a moment to relax. He knew he would need to retrieve his bike at some point. Given there wasn't enough space to carry the kids, he opted to travel without it. Thankfully, Jazz had a bike too. They would take rides together on their free days, exploring the suburbs and different parts of the city. Normally, he would ask permission to use hers but felt this was necessary. He thought back to the black sand, there was something vaguely familiar about it, but he didn't know what.

The silence broke when Charlie let out a deep belly belch that made Serena cringe in disgust, "Charlie, you shouldn't burp like that, Mama-" She was interrupted by her own belch. Immediately blushing, she covered her mouth in embarrassment, "Excuse me."

Camden chuckled, "No worries, it's just the soda. You don't need to worry about manners right now, I doubt anyone outside would care."

At the mention of the people currently frozen in time, the mood shifted to a serious tone. "How do we fix this?" Serena asked, putting her soda down. "I'm still trying to figure it out."

"You said you were following a lead, what lead?" Charlie asked.

"There's been these invisible wormholes that travel to different places in time. Sometimes to the past and sometimes to the future. However, they're nearly impossible to breach without the use of some very powerful magic. Thankfully, I've studied ancient magic and have learned a few powerful spells, one of which let me to go through the wormholes. I wound up stumbling onto you guys. For some reason you're not effective by this and neither am I." It was strange, he didn't fully understand why they hadn't been froze. If this mysterious entity could freeze all of time, why didn't it effect them? What purpose did they have. Did it not see them as a threat? Did it exhaust all of it's power to the rest of reality?

He looked to find his younger self growing tired, his eyes heavy. Charlie yawned and put his head on Serena's shoulder. Camden noticed Serena looked pretty tired herself. He wasn't fairing much better. As much as Camden wanted to solve this mystery and return time, they needed to rest. "There's a guest bedroom down the hall across from my and Jazz's room."

"Shouldn't we worry about fixing everything?" Serena asked, struggling to keep herself awake. Camden smiled in understanding, "We will. But we need to rest first." He could tell that, just like her future counterpart, Serena was still trying to be the mature one, the adult, even though she was just a child. Camden never thought much of it growing up, he figured it was just part of her personality, but once he learned about Greeneyes, it all made sense. It broke his heart to learn of those events, but in a way it made his family stronger. He was strong too.

"Follow me," He lead them to the guest bedroom. After Serena and Charlie climbed into bed, Camden went to his room and laid down next to Jazz. He laid with his back turned to her. Normally he would have held her but knowing she wasn't aware of his presence, he felt like a stranger in his own bed. Nothing about this was right. He burried his face into his pillow and sobbed quietly until he too fell asleep.