AN: I would like to thank ice Queen of Candracar for betaing this fic. I also like to say I don't own W.I.T.C.H.

The Zombie Curse

The Guardians were on a world simply called, The World of Shadows. The sky was filled with black clouds and green lighting and the land was not much better. The earth and rock were an ugly black color and what little vegetation there was reminded the Guardians of Meridian when Phobos ruled over it. The whole planet actually reminded them of those days.

But even if they succeeded in their current mission, this world would not turn into a beautiful paradise like Meridian did when Elyon took the throne. This world was a dead world. One of a once powerful, but evil civilization, who's only remaining member, was the reason why the Guardians needed to come here in the first place.

He had no name, but he was dressed like a shaman like you would see in a horror movie and was about as dangerous as one, if not more so! His plans were to were summon an army of demons and undead to conquer all the know worlds, but Candracar sent the Guardians to stop him. Unfortunately it seemed that, like with most villains, he did not plan on going down with out a fight.

"Die beings of the light!" The raspy voice of the Shaman yelled as he fired a bolt of green energy from his bone staff, trying to shoot the girls from the sky. But the girls were too quick and agile to be hit while they were flying and dodged his attacks with ease.

"Oh, shut up, being of the horror movie rejects!" Irma said in a mock raspy tone of her own, only infuriating the shaman even more. "Silence whore of the Oracle!" the Shaman hissed and banged the end of his staff on the ground.

This caused several of the black thorny vines to spring fourth from the ground and try to grab Irma. They would have succeeded in doing so if not for Cornelia yelling out "Earth!" and taking control of the vines with her powers. She then sent the vines after the Shaman, but he disintegrated them with another beam of green light from his staff.

"This is getting ridicules! Every time we attack, he avoids or blocks it!" Cornelia said in an annoyed tone, while Irma tried to blast the Shaman with a stream of water, which was blocked by a stone slab that the evil man made rise up to shield him from the attack.

"For once, I agree with you Corny…Which means the end of the universe must just be around the corner." Irma joked, but you could tell she was getting worried. This was quickly becoming a battle of who could mentally out last the other. There was no way to physically over power one another so it came down to whom would make a mistake first, the Shaman or them.

"Irma, please don't risk starting a fight right now. Fighting will only work to this guy's advantage!" Will said as she tried to use her powers of Quintessence to animate some of the surrounding rocks to attack the Shaman, but he used his own power to cancel out Will's.

'Cornelia's right, this is ridicules. We need to catch this guy off balance or this will go on for hours!' Will thought in her mind, as she dodged three beam attacks from the Shaman's staff. Will then got an idea, a very crazy and risky idea but an idea nonetheless.

'It's our best chance though. The girls will kill me for doing this with out telling them but I need to act fast!' Will thought to herself and put her plan into action.

She took out the Heart and suddenly telatransported herself in front of her opponent, much to his and the other Guardians' surprise. "What is this?!" The Shaman said just before Will made the Heart unleash a powerful blast of pink light, blinding the Shaman with the sudden action.

"Cornelia, now!" Will yelled, as she kicked the staff from the Shaman's hand, before taking to the air again. Cornelia instantly knew what to do and called on her powers to restrain the Shaman with his own world's thorny vines.

While the Shaman struggled with his own world's vegetation, the red haired girl landed on the ground, the four other girls all glaring at Will. "Will, what were you thinking! Going in alone and pulling that stunt was dangerous! What if you got caught in the cross fire of one of our attacks!" Taranee scolded her redheaded leader, while the others continued to only glare at Will. They were satisfied with how Taranee was dressing down the Keeper of the Heart, who was cowering under the verbal assault of her fiend.

"Can…this wait…until we get back to Candracar? We really should get this guy to the Oracle before he figures out how to get loose." Will suggested, hoping to at least get a brief reprieve from Taranee's fury, which Will knew was only going to get worse before it got better. Then it would be Irma, Hay Lin and Cornelia's turns!

The others looked at each other, as if having a private meeting with one another, which they very well may have been since Taranee was the one with the telepathy power. After a minute of silence, they turned back to look at Will and gave a firm nod that this wait until later.

Will let out a sigh of relief at this and headed over to their prisoner with the other girls following up from behind. "Okay, you're coming back to Candracar. Are you going to come along quietly or are we going to do this the hard way?" Will said with as much authority as she could muster, seeing how she could still feel the other four Guardians' glared on her back.

The Shaman just glared hatefully at Will while he said, "I'm going nowhere, but you are! To a world of fear and terror!" With that the Shaman started to mumble a spell in a language that the girls could not understand.

Before the Guardians could try to stop him they were hit by a wave a black energy that burst forth from the Shaman. The last thing Will remembered was seeing the evil man's body crumble into dust, before every thing went black.

When Will woke up, she found herself in a soft bed, in a room that matched the architecture of Candracar. Will sat up and noted she was still in Guardian form and it seemed she was unhurt.

'Guess what ever that guy tried to do did not work. Unless killing himself was his goal all along. Wonder what he meant by fear and terror though.' Will thought as she climbed out of the bed and exited the room.

Will then headed for the council chamber to see the Oracle and ask if the other girls were all right.

Once she arrived, she found no one was there, much to Will's confusion. From what Will could tell, from past visits, there was always someone in the chamber, usually the Oracle more than anyone else.

"Where is everybody?" Will wondered aloud as she looked around, hoping to see someone come in through one of the other entrances to the chamber. After a minute of waiting Will went to sit down on one of the benches and hoped a member of the council arrived soon.

Will knew she had to get home before her mom started to worry. But Will was not going to leave until she made sure her friends were alright and what the spell the Shaman tried was supposed to do. She wanted to make sure if the spell had failed or if she had not yet noticed its effects.

Will was so lost in her thought she did not hear someone come up behind her, until Will felt a hand get placed on her shoulder. Will jumped a bit at this but clamed down when she noticed out of the corner of eye the familiar color of Candracar's robes and some strands of light blonde hair.

Will started to turn around and say, "Oh, it's just you Halinor…aaaahhhh!"

Will dove from her seat from what she saw. Halinor was now a zombie! Her skin was grey and rotting and her eyes were pure white. Will backed away in fear, while Zombie Halinor moved towards Will.

"S-Stay back!" Will ordered fear clearly evident in her tone and expression as Halinor advanced towards her. Will kept backing away but eventually ended up backing herself up against a pillar.

Will had nowhere else to go. She was cornered, with a zombie Halinor still coming towards her and would be at arms reach in mere moments unless she did something quick! Will raised both her hands in front of her, sparks of electricity gathering in them as Will said, "Halinor, stay away! If you don't, I will attack!"

Halinor did seem to halt for a moment upon seeing lighting start to crackle form Will's finger tips, but then the former Guardian of fire then tried to reach towards Will again, forcing the redhead to act.

"Quintessence!" Will screamed and caused a blast of lighting to come forth and hit Halinor. The zombie woman was sent flying back and was skidding across the chamber floor. Will fell to her knees at the shock of what she had done. Even if it was a zombie version of her, it was still Halinor that Will had just attacked and had upset the girl greatly.

"I'm sorry Halinor. I…I had no choice." Will whispered as tears started streaking down her face. As Will tried to wipe them away with the sleeve of her uniform, she heard a moan across the room and looked up to see zombie Halinor slowly getting back to her feet.

"No, please don't make me do it again." Will whispered as she got back to her feet, looking around to see what would be the best way to run. Will did not want to make herself shoot the former Guardian again.

Unfortunately, running was not going to be an option because of what was now entering the chamber, zombie versions of the rest of the council and the other Guardians! 'No, not them to!' Will begged in her mind, as the zombies filled the chamber.

Tibor and Luba assisted Halinor while the Guardians and the Oracle tried to surround Will. Will screamed in terror at this and unleashed bolt after bolt of lighting, hoping to keep the zombie versions of those she knew away from her.

The Guardians took to the air to avoid the attacks while the Oracle raised a barrier to protect himself. This caused Will to grow even more afraid, because if the Oracle and the other Guardians still had their powers there was no way she could win.

'I have to get out of here but how! They're too close for me to try and open a fold!' Will screamed in her mind, her current state of terror keeping her from realizing she could fly or telatransport.

Fortunately for Will though, the Heart was not crippled in such a way. If it had, the advancing zombies from air and ground would have got her for sure. The Heart pulsed with bright pink light forcing the zombies back, due to the intensity of it and bringing relief to its Keeper.

'Thank you Heart of Candracar.' Will said in her mind and was now coming up with a plan of action now that she was able to think more clearly. First, Will used the Heart to take away her fiends' Guardian forms so to even the odds a little.

Each Zombie Guardian fell back to the Council chamber floor with a loud thud, now back in what would have been their normal human forms. Once that was done, Will telatransported to the Auramere chamber for the next step in her plan.

Once there Will held out the Heart with a sad expression on her face as she said, "Bet Luba's going to be mad that I did this, but I can't leave Aurameres in Candracar while the council and the other are zombies."

With that, Will focused on one Auramere (her own) and started to absorb it into the Heart of Candracar. Will was not sure what effect having an Auramere inside the Heart would be, so she opted to absorb one at a time just be safe.

Will watched the small pink orb that was the source of her own power and felt a surge of energy flow through her. She felt a bit stronger then usual, most likely because the Auramere was now feeding her directly instead of transmitting power to the Heart, which would then send powers to Will.

'I hope the increase in power won't become too great by the time I get the other four Aurameres absorbed.' Will thought as she prepared to get the next glowing sphere. But before she could begin, the doors of the room burst open and the zombie council and Guardians poured through them.

"Oh no!" Will gasped, knowing she would not be able to get the last four Aurameres with them present. So Will knew it was now time to go for a tactical retreat and quickly opened a fold to Earth.

She was going to need Yan Lin and the Regents of Earth's help to find out what caused this and how to reverse it. Before it was too late!

Once Will exited her fold, she fired a blast of lighting into it to keep the zombies back until she could close the fold behind her. The redhead hoped that by some miracle they could not create folds as well. If they could, Will was worried she may have condemned Earth to the same fate as Candracar until she could find a cure.

"How did this all start to begin with anyway? How come everyone in Candracar is a zombie except me?" Will wondered aloud as she changed back to her human form. Will then looked around to see that she was at the very same spot she and the girls first came to train to use their powers when then they became Guardians.

'Well…glad to see I'm not too far from the Silver Dragon. Though I better telatransport there anyway, I need to get advice from Yan Lin ASAP. Then call Matt and have him gather the Regents. After that next stop is Meridian to get Elyon, Caleb and as many soldiers they can gather on such short notice, it's going to take a lot to take back Candracar.' Will concluded in her mind feeling a bit secure now that she had a battle plan.

Will then held out the Heart and telatransported into the Silver Dragon's back ally, planning to sneak in through the back and talk to Yan Lin with out getting bombarded by questions on where Hay Lin was from the Asian girl's parents.

'I'm sure they would love to hear that their daughter has been turned into a flesh eating zombie. I bet that would go over so well!' Will thought sarcastically as she headed for the back door only to hear it being opened on its own.

Will backed away and prayed it was either Yan Lin or a member of the kitchen staff and not Joan or Chen Lin. For moment she held her breath but finally breathed a sigh of relief when she saw a bit of the familiar green robe that Yan Lin wore, but it would not last for long.

The second Will got a good look at Yan Lin, she had to quickly clamp her hand over own mouth to keep herself from screaming yet again. What ever had gotten the Council and her friends, had also gotten Yan Lin and turned her into a zombie like the others.

"No, not you to Yan Lin!" Will whispered as tears swelled in her eyes again. The one person she could go to for some desperately needed advice was one of them!

After a few seconds of staring at each other, zombie Yan Lin reached its arms out towards Will but was to slow. Will backed away up against the wall on the opposite side of the alley and was shaking her head in fear.

"No, no this can't be happening!" Will said as twin waterfalls ran down her face. It was like she was in a nightmare! Inactively, Will telatransported before Yan Lin could make another move, in hopes that she could at least get to the regents before more zombies showed up.

Will then appeared right out side Matt's window and fell to her knees. This day kept getting worse and worse, first her friends and Candracar, now Yan Lin! Hopefully after Will got Matt and Huggles, then get Napoleon she could find answers on Meridian. That was the only safe place left that Will could think of.

But right now Will just wanted to brake down and cry until she ran out of tears. First her friends and the Council of Candracar, now Yan Lin. How did they get to the former Air Guardian so fast? Yan Lin would not have gone down with out a fight so how did they turn the old woman so soon after Will left?

While Will tried to figure out the answer to those questions, she hears the window in front of her slide open. "Matt am I glad…to…see…" Will started to say as she looked up, but once again was filled with fear.

Both Matt and Mr. Huggles had also been turned into zombies like every one else!

'This can't be happening!' Will mentally screamed and started to run, but Matt had already grabbed her arm before she could get very far. Huggles had jumped onto her should, making the redhead think the dormouse was going to do the converting while Matt made sure Will could not get away.

"I'm sorry Matt, Huggles. But I have to stop you." Will whispered and then focused as much power as she gathered could while in her human form. Lighting then flowed out Will's body and coursed into both the boy and rodent, blasting them away before they could do anything.

Before they could recover (if they could) Will telatransported away to the one place she thought she could get a moment to finally just break down without fear of attackers until she was ready to fold to Meridian. Her home.

Once Will appeared in her bedroom she let herself fall onto the bed, grabbed her favourite stuffed frog from the night stand, curled up into a ball and finally just let her emotions loose.

"This must be all that Shaman's fault! He must have done something to the other girls with his last spell, then they must have infected the Oracle and the Council somehow! I must have been immune because of the Heart!" Will half sobbed, half contemplated, as she lay in her bed crying.

The day had been too much for her; too many people she cared about had been lost to what ever this spell was. "What...If they went after Yan Lin, Matt and Huggles then what about..." Will started say when she saw her bed room door swing open to confirm the very thing she feared.

"No, not you to mom" Will croaked out through her tears, as she looked up at yet another person who she cared about who had been turned into a zombie.

Will's mother was quickly moving towards her, making the redhead scream out the two words she thought she would never have to use in her mother's presence, "Guardians Unite!"

With that a bright wave of pink light flooded the room and forced Susan Vandom back, as if she was scared of the light. Once the light died down Will was now back in her Guardian and was ready to protect herself. Or at least as much she could be against her own mother that is.

Will noticed her mother was now just standing there as if she was afraid. Will assumed the Heart's power scared the Zombies. 'Maybe the Heart can cure everyone then, if that's true. I'll have to ask Elyon, even if she does not know then maybe the Meridian library will have some information that could help.' Will thought as created a fold to Meridian.

Will was about jump through the fold when she saw her mother coming towards her again. This made Will do the most painful thing she ever had to do since becoming a Guardian. Use her powers to hurt her mother.

"Quintessence!" Will said and a bolt of lighting struck Will's mother in the chest, sending the woman flying into the wall behind her.

"I'm sorry mom." Will said with fresh tears in her eyes as she dove through the fold in hopes of finding a way to end this nightmare.

When Will exited the fold and closed it behind her, she noted she was in one of Meridian's forests. 'I was hoping to be closer to the palace. It...might be better this way though, I need time to clear my head before telling Elyon and Caleb what happened.' Will thought as she took to the air.

It took Will two hours to get with in sight of the city, seeing how she flew a bit slower than usual. Will knew time was of the essence but there was no way she was going to see anyone until she actually looked like a Guardian, not a weeping girl with the uniform and wings of one.

The Guardians were what gave Meridian hope during Phobos' reign and when Nerissa kidnapped Elyon. Will knew it was her duty to appear strong no matter how she was feeling inside. This was especially important now because she was the last Guardian left.

'Plus your their leader Will, the Keeper of the Heart of Candracar! If you can't pull yourself together, people might not think they can win against this crisis! Get you head back in the game!' Will commanded herself, gaining some strength from her mental pep talk. Now that she believed she at least had enough strength to at least appear confident, Will picked up the pace towards the capital of Meridian.

Once Will was within the city limits, she noticed something strange. Will did not see any shops open or people walking the streets. It was like the whole city was deserted, much like how it was when Phobos ruled over Meridian.

'Where is every body? Could something have happened to make the city so quite at this time of day?' Will wondered as she flew towards the palace. When Will reached the half way point she saw guards gathering in the street blow. They were all carrying lassoes, chains and nets, much to Will's confusion. This lasted until she saw as a few started to climb out the roofs of some of the buildings and let Will get a better look at them.

"No! Not on Meridian to!" Will gasped, just before the lasso came flying at her. It almost caught Will by the ankle, but the redhead managed to avoid it in time. Unfortunately for Will though, that was only the first of many attempts to capture her. Lassoes and nets came at Will form all sides, all trying capture the redhead and all Will could do was her best to avoid or divert them using Quintessence.

With some of the objects animated by her powers, Will was able to turn them back on the zombies and capture them instead. For a while will thought she might be able to win against the zombie army, but then the reinforcements arrived, much to Will's despair.

A fold opened up and out came the other Guardians, who somehow transformed again and the three regents of Earth. Shortly after they had arrived, Elyon telatransported onto the scene and like her soldiers was also a zombie.

'There...there is no way I can win against all of them!' Will thought in horror and started to fly away, but Hay Lin cut Will off with her superior flight speed. The zombie Air Guardian then blasted Will with a powerful gust of wind, sending the redheaded Keeper flying towards her other magical foes.

Just as Will got with in reach, both Huggles and Napoleon jumped up and grabbed Will arms. They tried to hold her while Cornelia tried to use vines to further restrain Will, but the redhead kept cancelling out the blond headed zombie's control of the Earth using Quintessence. At the same time she was shocking the two transformed animals with lighting, but since Will's attention was split between two different tasks, she could not muster the power to shock them enough to break free.

'Heart of Candracar, please help me!' Will called out in her mind, hoping the pink crystal could help her once again escape. The Heart did indeed respond and while Will held off her captors, the Heart took the zombies by surprise and telatransported Will out Huggles and Napoleon's grasp.

Will reappeared 20 feet up in the air, right above the zombies and was thanking the Heart for the save. But she was not safe for long until her friends were after her again. Hay Lin tired to blow Will out of the sky again, but this time Will was ready and zapped the Air Guardian before she could act.

Will then flew as fast as her wings would take her, dodging energy beams, fireball, streams of water and chunks of Earth as she made her escape. With Hay Lin out of action for the moment and through the use of a few more telatransports, Will escaped the city and her pursuers.

It was getting late when Will finally landed again deep in the mountains, far from any more zombies or Will hoped at least. Will found a cave and settled in for the night, with only the Heart's warmth to drive away the bitter coldness of the night.

"I'm so tired. Maybe if I sleep for a while I can come up with a plan to...Who am I kidding, there is no way I can save anyone now! There is no one left to go to for help! I'm all alone now...Maybe I should just give up and let the zombies take me already" Will thought as she collapsed to her knees and started to cry again in despair.

But as Will wept she heard a voice say, "Don't give up!" This made Will look up to see an orb of white light before that was slowly turning into a translucent person wearing a white robe. The person was male, if the sound of his voice indicated anything, but Will could not see the man's face because his hood was up.

"Who...Who are you?" Will asked, being a bit wary because of every thing that had happen today. "I no longer remember my name child. But even if I did it would not matter, what you really need from me is not my name, but my knowledge and wisdom." The robed figure responded making Will look up at him in confusion.

"W-What do you mean?" Will asked, for some reason feeling hope start to return to her. If this man was going offer help in some way, then Will thought she might still have a chance to save everyone.

The figure knelt down in front and stroked Will's cheek gently as he said, "I can tell you how to save your friends and loved ones, but only if you still have the will and strength left to fight just a little while longer.

Will found the man's voice soothing and found his touch soothing. Even though he was translucent and did not make actual physical contact with Will's skin, the ghostly hand had a warm, calming feeling to it. Having such soothing feelings flow over her made Will believe she could trust this man and knew she needed guidance badly at this point so she said, "If you can help I think I can manage. All I need is a little sleep..."

But as Will started to say that, the hooded figure shook his head and said, "I'm afraid it would be too late by then. You must leave now or else the spell will become irreversible. By sacrificing his life to do it, the man you fought created a powerful curse, one that becomes permanent if left uncured after a certain amount of time has past."

This news horrified Will to say the least and quickly asked, "How much time do I have left and how do I break the curse?"

The man was silent for a second as if thinking something over before he said, "Not long...An hour maybe two at most. Fortunately the actual task you must do is a simple one. The Heart of the World of Shadows still exists, as a black orb. If you were to absorb it into your own Heart, you would gain control of the Shaman's powers and be able to end the curse if you desired to. I can guide you to where the Heart is if you choose to go."

'I'm feeling so tired, but I can sleep later. Breaking the spell is more important anyways.' Will thought determinedly, some of her energy back because of the adrenaline and new found hope. "Let's go then! Can you describe the Shadow World Heart's location? Maybe I can fold us directly there if you do." Will said with a tone that once again held its usual strength and conviction.

"I'm glad you have decided to keep going. Unfortunately it's impossible to fold directly to the spot where the Shadow World's Heart is, but I can help you fold to the entrance of where it is hidden." The robed spirit explained. Will accepted this response and listened closely to the description of the area she was supposed to fold to.

A few minutes later, Will exited the fold right out side the temple entrance that was built into the side of a mountain. Will could feel a dark aura radiating from it, assuring that this was the please she was seeking because it felt much the Shaman's aura when he used magic against her and the others during the battle.

"Despite being a little more worn down then last time, it's just as I remember it. Despite its darkness its good to be home." The spirit commented, instantly drawing Will's attention.

"You used to live here?! I thought your race was..." Will started to say, but the spirit interrupted her. "Like the one you fought? It's true that the majority of my race was like him, but a few of us were good. We were of course wiped out because we opposed the majority of our race's beliefs and ideals. But a few of us managed to remain as spirits in the mortal plain, hoping to secretly guide our race out of the darkness and into the light. Sadly, as you can tell, we failed but at least you can put an end to my races' evil if you succeed in breaking the Shaman's final curse. Then me and the others good spirits can rest in peace." The robed spirit explained in a sad, yet hopeful tone.

This story made Will feel sad for the spirit, but it also filled her with more determination. She had to get that Heart and not only help Earth and Meridian, but this man and others like him as well. "Then let's get going! Like you said, we need to get that Heart fast!" Will said getting a nod of acceptance from the spirit and the both flew into the temple.

The actual route to the Shadow World's Heart was actually a simple one. The temple was one giant room with an alter at the far end of it. By pressing a hidden switch, the alter moved aside to reveal a stair case that would lead them to the secret chamber where the Heart was kept.

Will was glad that for once, a mission was simple and straight forward rather then a complex one like all her past missions had been. 'Good thing the spirit came when he did or else the whole universe would have been lost to that curse.' Will thought as she followed the spirit down the long spiral stair case that lead deep under the temple.

Will was starting to get very tired again when they finally reached the bottom, but knew she just needed hold on a little longer so she could absorb the Shadow World's Heart and end the curse. 'Then every thing will be back to normal. I hope all those who I had to blast with my powers will be alright once the curse is gone.' Will thought as she recalled how she had blast her Mom, Halinor, Huggles, Napoleon, Matt and Hay Lin. Will was especially worried about her Mother and Hay Lin, since she had used more power in blasting them, compared to the others.

"We have finally made it young one. All that stands between us and the cure to the curse is a simple barrier, one I can deal with in a matter of minutes." The spirit said, making Will focus across the simple stone chamber they were in to see what the spirit was referring to.

At the back of the room was pedestal much like the one the Aurameres floated on in Candracar. Only this one was black and covered in strange writing that could not understood. On top of the pedestal was a black orb like the spirit had described, but it also had a dome shaped barrier keeping the two from getting to their prize.

"I'm glad you can take the barrier down. I don't know if I would have enough power to destroy it even if I was at full strength." Will said tiredly, as she walked over to the pillar and waited for the spirit to do his thing.

All the spirit did before starting to remove the obstacle in their way, was to instruct Will to watch the entrance to the chamber, just to be safe. Will did as the spirit asked and waited in the center of the room and stood guard. Two minutes later, while the spirit was in the middle of his task, the one thing Will feared would happen did. The Guardians and the Regents came down the steps and entered the chamber.

"You must hold them off as best you can! I'll try to finish quickly!" The spirit called over to Will and went back to his work. Will said nothing as she unleashed a blast of lighting in an attempt to drive the zombies back.

It did scatter the group of seven, but they quickly counter attacked with their powers. Shagon/Matt fired beam blasts, while Hay Lin, Irma, Taranee and Cornelia unleashed their elements on Will. But the redhead quickly countered by calling on the Heart to raise a barrier of pink energy to block the attacks and keep them from crossing the room any further.

'I hope I can hold out long enough for the spirit to finish.' Will thought as she struggled to maintain her defences while the Guardians and Regents tried to break them down. After what seemed like an eternity, the spirit called out, "It's down!"

This was just in time because with one final combined assault, the Guardians and Regents blasted Will's barrier so hard it exploded sending everyone flying back up against the walls of the chamber.

"Hurry child! You must get up and absorb the Heart before they recover!" The spirit pleaded to Will, who was shaking her head to drive away the fog that clouded her mind. 'Come on Will, you're so close don't give up now!' Will commanded herself and got to her feet.

As Will staggered over to the pillar, she took out the Heart to absorb the orb. But just as she began the process, a fold appeared in the room much to Will's and the spirits shock since he had said that folding wouldn't work in here.

"The defensive wards must have weakened more then I had anticipated! You must absorb the Heart quickly child!" The spirit cried out, but Will was distracted at what came out of the fold and did not hear the spirit's plea.

Will saw her mother exit the fold with the assistance of the Oracle and Yan Lin. Will noticed her mother was topless and the only thing covering her chest was the bandages covering her torso. Will assumed they were meant to help treat the injury Will had inflicted with her lighting bolt from earlier, but then the red head realized something.

'Wait, why would a zombie need help to move around or need an injury treated? They're supposed to be dead and not really care if they have been hurt.' Will wondered while she stared at her mother. Then all of a sudden, every zombie in the room flickered to what they normally looked like, then back to appearing like zombies again.

"W-W-What was that?" Will asked in a stutter, now becoming very confused and afraid. She did not know how everyone looked normal again, but Will knew it had to mean something.

"Don't worry about that! Absorb the Heart!" The spirit commanded in an angry tone, trying to get Will to finish what they had come here to do. To bad for the spirit, a certain mother had other plans.

"Will don't do it! He's lying to you!" the voice of Susan Vandom called out, taking Will completely by surprise. None of the zombies had even made a noise before, let alone speak actual words.

"You...you talked! How can you talk, your a zombie!" Will gasped out; her mind trying to grasp what was going on. "The curse is growing stronger, that's why! Even zombies need guidance so some of them will gain intelligence so to command their brethren. It means your running out of time, you must..." The spirit started to say, but Susan cut in.

"Will listen, you're under a spell! You only think we're zombies! It's all an illusion!" Susan cried out, her image flickering back and fourth from normal to zombie once again. This was greatly confusing Will to the point where she was starting to get really dizzy. Unfortunately this only got worse as the yelling continued.

"She is lying! Absorb the orb and you'll get your real mother back!" The spirit commanded again, this time his voice seemed to sound different, like it was now someone else's. It took Will a few seconds to realize just who this voice belonged to.

"W-W-Why did your voice just sound like the Shaman's just now?" Will asked with fear filling her voice. The spirit looked like he was about respond when the familiar voice of the Oracle spoke out first.

"Keeper of the heart, the spirit you are seeing before you is the Shaman. He may have destroyed his body while casting his final spell that cursed you, but his spirit remained on the mortal plain in hopes of tricking you into absorbing the Heart of his world, then posses you body so he can continue with his plans." The Oracle explained making Will look back and forth between her friends and the spirit.

"T-They're lying to you! They know they are on the verge of defeat and are trying to stall you long enough for the curse to become permanent!" The spirit said, his voice going back and forth between his original one and the Shaman's.

Will, growing more and more confused by the second clutched her head and cried out, "I don't know who to believe!" That was when everyone starting calling out to her. The voices of friends and mother called out for Will to believe them, while the spirit told Will to believe him. The noise was quickly becoming too much for her to bear, until the Oracle roared out, "SILENCE!"

This drew all attention to him as he spoke again, this time with his usual calm tone. "There is one way prove who is lying honourable Keeper, one that only the liar will refuse to do." The Oracle explained then raised his hand and said something that would lead Will to make her final decision.

"By the power and authority of Candracar, I the Oracle swear that we are not lying to you, Keeper of the Heart." This shocked Will knowing that making such an oath made it hard believe that they were lying. The mystic forces would surly punish the Oracle in some way if he was lying, one that even a zombie would not be able to escape.

Will then looked towards the spirit, waiting to see his response to this, but he seemed like he was very afraid now, It was...As if he was afraid to take an oath as well! "You...You are the one who is lying!" Will stated and backed away from the pedestal, much to the spirits dismay.

"No!" The spirit whaled as his shape changed to that of the shaman the girls had defeated just a short time ago. After a moment to recover from the shock of his rouse being uncovered, his eyes quickly became filled with rage. He sights were set on Will and screamed, "I may have failed to trick you, but your body will still be mine!" With that the Shaman dove towards Will and sunk his ghostly hands into her chest, trying to posses her body.

Will lets out screams of pain as the spirit tried to force his way in and Will being in such a worn out state was unable to resist. Fortunately the Oracle acted just in time and fired a beam of bright light that engulfed both Will and the Shaman. The last thing Will remembered was hearing the Shaman scream out in pain before she passed out, her body finally giving into the exhaustion that has been plaguing her for the last few hours.

For the second time, Will woke up in a soft bed but something was different this time. This time she felt something warm was laying right next to her, gently stroking Will's cheek and humming a lullaby the redhead knew very well.

Will slowly opened her eyes to see her mother lying next to her in the bed. Will was bit scared though at the sight, since her mother still seemed to have a greyish tone to her skin but did not look like it was rotting anymore and her eyes were not back to normal, but at least of some of the brown colour was back in them again instead of being pure white like they had been before.

"Will, sweetie, what's wrong? If you're scared because I don't look completely normal yet, it's because the curse is not completely broken. The Oracle explained it would take time to completely rid you of it, but it should not take him too long to find a counter curse very soon." Susan said as she continued to caress her daughter's cheek and calm her little girl down.

Upon hearing her mother's voice, Will did feel a bit more relieved and slowly curled up against her mother for warmth and comfort. After a moment Will asked, "Mom...Are you okay? I hit you with a pretty strong lighting bolt and..." Will could not finish her sentence though, because Will finally broke down and cried.

This was not like the other times Will had cried since the zombie incident began. This was an all out break down. The memories of what she did while under the influence of the curse had come flooding back to her. Will had hurt so many of her friends and even her own mother! Had Will not gotten lucky and some how saw through the illusion, the Shaman would have been back and would have had both his world's Heart, but Candracar's as well.

'I'm a failure as a Guardian and a Keeper. I bet the Oracle is going make me step down as the Keeper at the very least, possibly even take away my Guardian status all together!' Will thought as she cried into her mother's chest, who was now in a sitting position and rocking the redhead back and forth.

"It's alright Will; every thing is going to be alright. Just let it all out." Susan said in a soothing tone, knowing her daughter had been through a lot and not just from recent events. For almost two and a half years Will had been facing challenge after challenge, it was unavoidable that Will was going to break down. All it really was was a matter of when and how and the curse had been the catalyst for the long time coming event to finally happen.

As Susan comforted her daughter, there was a knock at the door which made Susan look over and say, "Come in." With that the door opened and the Oracle walked in. Even though he was giving Will a gentle smile, the redhead clutched her mother tighter because of her fear of being punished for her actions.

"Do not fear Keeper of the Heart, you have done nothing wrong. The curse's illusions are what caused you to do all those things. Though you may wish to keep your distance from Luba for a while, she is not happy you took one of the Aurameres. Fortunately the curse did not effect it like it did you and the Heart it self." The Oracle said to Will, his powers picking up on Will fears.

The mentioning of the Heart made Will's hand shoot to her chest to find it missing and she was back in human form. She was wearing her grey nightshirt with a smiling frog on the front; making Will blush as she realized someone had changed her out of her clothes while she was asleep.

"Don't worry honey; I was the one who changed you." Susan assured her daughter, knowing Will would not have liked the idea of others seeing her naked. This relieved Will a little, since it was her mother and not someone else, but still felt a little uncomfortable to know someone stripped you naked in you sleep, even if it was meant to get Will into something more comfortable.

Will then hesitantly looked to the Oracle and asked, "When will...I get the Heart back Oracle?" Will felt naked and vulnerable with out the powerful crystal near by and hoped she would be getting it back soon. She was worried about the idea of the Heart being affected by the curse, which explained why it was helping during the whole zombie ordeal, but knew that if the Oracle was working on a counter curse, the Heart would be back to normal in no time.

"Once the curse is removed and you have recovered both physically and emotionally, it will be returned to you, young Guardian. Until then I must ask you to remain in Candracar so we can keep a close watch to insure there are no unexpected side effects. I have already created some special astral drops in both you and your mother's place and can give you the time you need." Oracle responded, smiling at the sight of the Keeper staring at her mother as if silently asking 'Why are you staying to?'

"Oh don't be so surprised! I'm injured and you need emotional support right now. I'm staying until you're well enough to go home; I refuse to raise a clone of my own daughter, when I should be looking after the real thing." Susan stated firmly, and then let her expression soften as she kissed her daughter on the forehead.

"Now unless you want something to eat first or need to...Do special business, back to sleep with you!" Susan said and gently got her daughter back under the covers. The Oracle almost chuckled at Will's expression, who looked every bit embarrassed to be told to do that in front of her 'boss.'

The Oracle decided it was time for him to take his leave. As he closed the door behind him he looked back to see Susan start to hum a lullaby again, hoping to help her daughter drift back to sleep.

It would take time, but the Oracle knew that eventually the Keeper would regain her inner strength. But until then, it was time for the Keeper to be just an ordinary teenage girl, free of the burdens of defending the universe form the forces of evil.

'Rest well young Guardian, you have earned it' The Oracle thought as he walked down Candracar's hallways. He silently started coming up with future excuses to tell the Keeper, when she started to wonder what was taking so long to get rid of the last of the curse.

The curse was a strong one that was for sure, but nothing he could not deal with. But the need for the Guardians at this point in time was practically nothing, so why rush to end the young girl's vacation from her duties? 'The Keeper would be upset with me if she found out, but I think I can insure she does not.' The Oracle thought with a small smile on his face, as he continued his journey to his next destination.

Well there you guys go, hope you like it