Daphne knew something was up when she was awakened, not by her alarm clock, not by Granny Relda, but by Puck, of all people.

Up until then, she'd been having a great dream.

About unicorns, of course!

Oh, but not your typical fluffy, innocent unicorn. These unicorns were evil, with red eyes (always a sign of evilness), clawed hooves (did that even exist?) and a tendency to eat teddy bears (the horror!).

Daphne, being the amazing detective she was, found a way to turn the evil unicorns into loving creatures again. They would have lived happily ever after if Puck hadn't interrupted her.

Now, most people considered Daphne to be a sound sleeper. They said she could "sleep through a hurricane," which she totally resented. There was no way she could sleep through a hurricane. Those lasted days and she could hardly go through a single morning without eating!

The truth was Daphne had trained herself to recognize certain sounds and smells.

Banging pots and pan? No biggie. She would just insert the noise into her dream and pretend there was a thunderstorm. Puck and Sabrina turning the house upside down with their incessant fighting? Daphne would snuggle up to her pillow and dream about going after them with a frying pan until they admitted their feelings. The delicious aroma of Granny Relda's cooking? Nothing could make Daphne wake up faster.

But the sound of somebody slipping on a toy, landing with a thump outside of Daphne's bedroom, and swearing in a way that would make Veronica come out with a bat?

Well, that one was tricky.

See, Basil had become increasingly annoying with his stupid "I wanna be like Puck!" pranks. Daphne could finally put herself in Sabrina's shoes now that whenever she woke up something disastrous happened. Last night the twerp had picked her lock and drawn all over Daphne's face with lipstick.

How did she know it was Basil? Let's just say Basil's spelling was about as terrific as Puck's when he was twelve. Her face had said, "Daphne has a penut brane!"

Hmph! She'd show him who had a peanut brain!

So before going to sleep she'd lined the hallway with lots of squeaky toys. That way she could catch Basil in the act and wake up before he could do anything. She just hadn't expected it to be this early.

Daphne yawned and rubbed her sleepy eyes. It was 7:00 AM! Who woke up at 7:00 AM on Saturday?

Not Puck, that's who.

Yet when she opened her door, ready to teach Basil a lesson, that's who she found sprawled across the floor.

"Puck?" Daphne asked, certain that she was still dreaming. The very thought of Puck waking up early was preposterous.

"No, it's Prince Charming," the figure below her scoffed and lifted his face. "Who else lives in this house, Marshmallow?"

"Uh, sorry?" Daphne gave Puck a hand, still puzzling things out. "It's just… you never wake up this early."

Puck got up and frowned. "Is it so strange that I have the ability to set an alarm clock and get up when it rings?"

Daphne stared. "Yes."

I didn't even know that was possible, Daphne thought, but decided against saying so since Puck seemed to be in an extremely cranky mood.

A morning person Puck was not.

"So," Daphne drawled as she followed Puck to the front door. "What's the story, morning glory? There's got to be a reason you set your alarm to 7:00 AM."

"6:30 AM," Puck corrected sourly while he pulled on his shoes with a jerking motion.

Daphne rubbed her eyes, took a closer look at Puck, and then rubbed her eyes again.

Was that a plaid shirt he was wearing? Properly buttoned? With clean- somewhat formal- black jeans?

Yep. She was dreaming. No way would Puck wear clothes like that if he had a choice. Daphne still remembered when Veronica had to practically force an outraged Puck into a tuxedo through blackmail and vicious threats for his prom. Now that, Daphne smiled dreamily, was a memory worthy of being recorded.

"Hello? Earth to Marshmallow?" Puck waved a hand over her face.

Daphne instantly snapped out of her reverie.

"I lost my keys, so lock the door." Puck ordered her.

"Oka- Wait. What? You're going somewhere? Where? Why? Now?"Daphne asked.

"Uh," Puck shifted uncomfortably and took an unnecessary long time to answer. "An interview?"

That made no sense. Puck already had a job at Toys R Us. Even if something had happened there, he wouldn't sacrifice his sleep for a mere interview.

Something smelled fishy.

And it was up to Detective Daphne to figure out what.

"Why don't we have a nice little chat over breakfast?" Daphne asked Puck sweetly, dragging him to the kitchen. "How about pancakes or waffles-"

"No," Puck interrupted hastily. "Thanks Marshmallow. But I really got to go. I'll grab something on the way."

He just about ran to the door, as if afraid that he would change his mind if he stayed any longer.

"Go back to sleep!" He pointed a finger at her before stepping outside.

The door slammed shut.

Daphne stood alone in the kitchen.

No one was there to witness her jaw crashing to the floor.


"Sabrina!" The younger girl burst into her sister's room, panting and moving her hands frantically.

"Wake up right now! You won't believe this! We've got to- Sabrina?" Daphne stopped pacing around the room and gaped at her sister.

Her blond hair was knotted and spread messily across her pillow. She twisted right and left, her forehead glistening with sweat as she struggled for air. The expression on her face frightened Daphne because Sabrina rarely allowed it to make an appearance, always hiding it, forcing it in. But in her sleep, there was no mistaking it; the strained look on her face was one of utter terror.

"You can't take… I won't let…" Sabrina gasped.

"Sabrina!" Daphne shook her sister viciously, trying to break her out of whatever nightmare she was having.

Nothing.

She pinched her. Hard.

Still nothing.

Now Daphne was starting to get really scared. But she knew what she had to do.

She raced to the kitchen, filled a pot with cold water and raced back to Sabrina's room where she proceeded to dump the pot over her head. Whew, Granny Relda really did know her stuff. The water worked like a charm.

"What the- who did- the hell is this?" Sabrina spluttered, staring incredulously at her soaked clothes and bed before resting her eyes upon Daphne.

"You!" Sabrina glared at her sister. "What is wrong with you?"

It was kind of mean, Daphne mused, that Sabrina automatically pointed her finger at her. It could just as easily have been some invisible dwarf. Or a revenge fairy. Yeah, she liked the sound of that. Just what proof did Sabrina have that she dumped that water over her anyway?

Daphne glanced down at the pot she was still holding.

Oh.

"Ha ha ha…" Daphne laughed sheepishly. "Good morning?"

"You," Sabrina spoke through gritted teeth, "are so dead."

"Hey. Hey!" Daphne backed up as Sabrina stalked towards her with a murderous expression. "You should be thanking me, not hurting me! I just saved you from dying!"

Sabrina stopped. "Dying?"

"Well, yeah. " Daphne backtracked, wondering if she was being too dramatic. "You were having this seizure. That was one crazy nightmare you were having. I thought you would stop breathing."

"Nightmare," Sabrina repeated slowly and then shivered.

Daphne looked at Sabrina anxiously. "Hey… are you okay?"

"I'm fine," the older girl snapped. "Why are you up this early anyway?"

"I- oh, yeah!" Daphne seized her sister's shoulders. "Something's wrong with Puck!"

"Yeah? What else is new?" Sabrina yawned.

"I'm serious! He's acting like a completely different person!"

"Uh-huh."

"You don't believe me? Listen to this: he woke up at 6:30 AM… willingly!"

Sabrina seemed startled for a second, but shook it off as she stripped the bed of its soaking sheets and lied down on the bare mattress.

"And he wore formal, well formal-ish clothes, by choice! Way too suspicious if you ask me. We have to follow him and see what he's up to!"

"You're being ridiculous. Maybe he had somewhere important to go." Sabrina closed her eyes.

"Important enough that he skipped breakfast?" Daphne raised an eyebrow.

"What?" Her eyes flew open.

"That's right," Daphne continued smugly as Sabrina looked at her in shock. "I offered him breakfast and he downright refused it. Now what do you think about that?"

Sabrina shot out of bed. "Get dressed and meet me outside in five minutes."

The younger girl pumped her fist in victory. It was time for some spying.

Daphne style.


"All right. Where's that loser now?" Sabrina asked from behind the steering wheel.

"Just keep driving straight." Daphne peered at her GPS, the special one Uncle Jake had given her as a present. It allowed her to track anyone and everyone who had a car with a license plate. You knew their name. You knew their license plate. And bam- with the help of the GPS- you knew their location too.

Henry had been vehemently against the present, insisting that he didn't want his daughter to become a creepy stalker.

Stalker? Oh, her poor father. Didn't he know that the proper term was undercover agent? Undercover Agent Daphne. Such beautiful words.

And creepy? Puh-leaze. Daphne was on a mission to help humanity! Who knew what damage a sleepy, smartly dressed, hungry Puck could inflict on to the world?

"Hey," Sabrina glanced at Daphne. "Got any disguises up your sleeve? He'll freak if he finds out we followed him."

"Have no fear." Daphne reached into the backseat of the car. "Undercover Agent Daphne is here!"

Her sister snorted.

"Do you doubt my status as a secret agent?" Daphne exclaimed, highly insulted. "Wait 'til you get a hold of this!"

She pulled out a fake grey beard and mustache, an old brown duster Daphne had stopped Granny Relda from throwing away (it was so very detective-like), a cane, and one of those hats men wore in black and white movies.

"With these you can completely transform into an old man! Seriously, no one can tell the difference!"

Sabrina raised an eyebrow, unimpressed. "What else?"

"Well," Daphne heaved a sigh and held up a piece of cloth. "There is this invisibility cloak, it probably doesn't even work and besides it's way too Harry Potter-"

Sabrina grabbed the cloak from Daphne. "Thanks."

She didn't notice- or, more likely, didn't care - Daphne sulking all the way to their destination. A hotel. And a real fancy one at that.

"You would have looked so good as an old man," Daphne grumbled.

"Are you still harping about that? Hurry and get into that costume, we're here!"

"It's called a disguise." Daphne lifted her head to glare at her sister, but got distracted by the magnificent building before them. "Whoa, swanky. What's the name of this place?"

"New York Palace," Sabrina scoffed. "Fitting, huh?"

"You bet."

"How are we going to follow Puck, now though? That tracking thing doesn't work if you're not in a car."

"Silly Sabrina." Daphne smirked as she secured the grey beard and mustache onto her face. "Just follow my lead."

Daphne hobbled with her cane past the front entrance, the grand chandeliers and marble floors, all the way to the reception desks without gaping too much at the beautiful interior.

"So what's the plan?" a voice beside her whispered.

Daphne jumped. "Don't do that! It's creepy not knowing where you are."

"Sorry," said Sabrina, not sounding sorry at all. "But how are we going to find him?"

"Worry not, my dear sister." Daphne brandished her cane like a wand, causing people to yelp and get out of the way. "I will make Puck come to us."

"Uh-huh," Sabrina said, sounding bored beyond belief. "Right. You know, I think I'm going to leave if you can't even-"

It took all of Daphne's resolve not to thwack her sister with her cane. "Will you stop taking the fun out of everything I do? It's been months since I've had a case like this! You're always so negative and pessimistic and annoying and– and you could at least pretend to be-"

A hand clamped over Daphne's mouth. Or at least she was pretty sure it was Sabrina's hand since there was nothing she could see in front of her beard-covered face.

"Okay. Okay! I'm sorry for being so grumpy! Just shut up and stop talking so loudly!" Invisible Sabrina hissed.

"Oh boy," Daphne said. "They're all looking at us like we're nuts."

Everyone surrounding Daphne had moved a safe distance away. One mother pulled her child behind her protectively and almost sprinted away from Daphne.

"Wrong," Sabrina said. "They're looking at you like you're nuts."

One man pointed at Daphne. The security guard beside him nodded, looking straight at them.

"Move!" Sabrina ordered and this time Daphne had no qualms about obeying.

They ran as subtly as they could through the crowds of people until they reached a big stone pillar and collapsed behind it.

"Sabrina?" Daphne asked.

"Right beside you," Sabrina responded, though her voice was a bit husky. Had they run too fast or was she-

"Hey!" Daphne growled. "Are you laughing at me?"

The peals of laughter from the space beside her confirmed her thoughts.

"It's just-" Sabrina snorted. "You looked so-"

"Out with it," Daphne demanded, holding her cane out in a threatening manner.

"Your beard was falling off."

"What?" Daphne's hands instantly went to her face and she let loose a string of words that would have earned the severest of glares from her mother.

"Forget about that," Sabrina said, sounding much too gleeful for Daphne's liking. "Let's go find Puck, okay?"

"No." Daphne slouched. "I don't want to."

"Oh, c'mon. It's no big deal."

"No big deal? My beautiful disguise is ruined! Ruined, I tell you!"

Sabrina groaned. "You're such a grumpy old man."

Daphne perked up. "Really? You think so?"

"Yes. And you're like that even when you're not wearing a stupid disguise. What's the point of coming all this way if we're not even looking for Puck?"

"I told you," Daphne said, exasperated. "He'll come to us."

She got up and pointed across the grand hallway.

"I was doing some calculating on the way and the earliest Puck could get here before us was fifteen minutes max, since, you know, you drive like a maniac and-"

"Get to the point."

"Remember how I said Puck turned down breakfast? He looked like he was fighting a losing war with himself and his stomach would have won if he stayed a second longer."

"And that helps us how?"

"I think two minutes- let alone the hour he spent driving here- is enough to convince him that nothing is worth sacrificing his breakfast."

Sabrina followed Daphne's gaze across the corridor to the sign that said "New York Palace Café."

"He's in there!" they both exclaimed.

And sure enough, not even two minutes had passed when Puck appeared in front of the café's entrance eating a doughnut with one hand and holding a big bag full of goodies in the other.

"What a pig," Sabrina said.

"Hey," Daphne said, offended. "I respect his right to eat and so should you."

"You only say that because you're both pigs."

"Am not!" Daphne exclaimed. "Oh, just hurry up or we'll lose him!"

They shadowed Puck as he went up the elevator. Now that was an awkward experience. Daphne was sure he would notice her among the others in the elevator, but Puck never even glanced her way.

Although she'd like to credit that to her magnificent disguise, something else seemed to be the matter. It truly appeared that Puck was deeply absorbed in thought. She expected Sabrina to laugh when she whispered it to her as they hid behind a corner and watched as Puck stopped in front of Room 431.

But Sabrina said nothing.

They both knew something wasn't right.

Puck had barely raised his hand to knock when the door opened to reveal a blond young man, dressed impeccably in a dark suit.

Mustardseed.

Daphne gasped. He looked terrible- as if he had aged five years since the last time she'd seen him. His mouth was pressed in a thin line and although he gave his brother a small smile, his face soon transformed back into a gaunt, weary display. Everything about him screamed exhaustion and Daphne wondered if he had slept at all the past few days.

Puck must have noticed as well since he instantly pasted a grin on his face and punched his brother's arm in way of cheerful greeting, telling Mustardseed it was way too early for him to start looking like a corpse.

"I haven't had a chance to edit your will yet," Puck added.

Daphne shook her head sadly. She would never be able to figure out how much of Puck was an act and how much was his true self. But she knew this much: Puck cared a lot more than he let on.

And that was sweet. Really sweet.

Though he'd probably die rather than admit it.

The brothers closed the door to the room, leaving behind two worried sisters anxiously muttering among themselves in the hallway.

"Tell me you have some detective device to let us listen in on them." said Invisible Sabrina.

"No," Daphne replied. "We have something better: the Queen of Sneaks."

"Ah," Sabrina said slyly. "How silly of me to forget."

Daphne was sure that if she had been visible, Sabrina would be sporting an evil grin.

The plan was simple. Daphne would pick the lock because it annoyed her that Sabrina always got to do the sneaky stuff and she wanted to try it for once. Then Sabrina would slip inside and allow Daphne to eavesdrop with the aid of a cell phone. Hopefully, no one would notice the door opening by itself, but if they did…well, Daphne was looking forward to practicing her wind noises and blaming it on the wind. Not the most glamorous plan, but it would work.

Or at least that's what Daphne thought the first two minutes Sabrina was in there.

By five minutes, Daphne was considering going in herself.

"What's taking her so long?" She tapped her foot impatiently.

One man passed by, looking at Daphne curiously.

"What're you looking at?" she growled, holding her cane out threateningly.

The poor man all but scampered away.

"Daphne."

Daphne whirled around to where the voice came from.

"What are you doing? You should be in there!" Daphne hissed. "Hello? Spying? Eavesdropping? Any of that sound familiar to you?"

"I can only spy when there's people to spy on," Sabrina replied through gritted teeth.

"Explain yourself." Daphne glowered.

"There's no one in there! I checked the whole place a billion times, top to bottom. They're gone. Gone. You hear me?"

Daphne knew she should be surprised, but after all she'd been through as a detective, nothing really surprised her anymore.

"We'll see about that." She hobbled angrily into hotel room 431.

To say that the inside was beautiful would be an understatement. It was magnificent. Fit for a king. But what else would you expect from a hotel called New York Palace?

"Hello?" Daphne shouted. "Anyone home?"

"That's your idea of spying?" Sabrina muttered. "Why not bring a parade and a band to announce your arrival while you're at it?"

Daphne ignored her sister's comments and continued to search for clues. There was nothing to go on, really. No unmade bed, no clothes, no luggage, nothing that gave an indication of its inhabitants. In fact, it seemed like no one had even been there recently.

The only thing that seemed out of place was the tall, beautifully carved wardrobe in the corner. She was pretty sure hotels had out phased the wardrobe long ago.

"Did you check that wardrobe?" she asked her sister.

"What do you think?" Sabrina said, still annoyed. "I checked everything. There's nothing there but old fur coats."

"Old fur coats?" Daphne's eyes widened. Her heart skipped a beat. Could it be?

"What is it?"

"It's- it must be- I mean it has to be- there's no way it can't be…" Daphne raced to the wardrobe, blabbering all the way.

"What are you rattling on about?" Sabrina asked again.

"Narnia!" Daphne exclaimed. "It has to be!"

There was a moment of silence.

"No."

"No, what?"

"No way. I did not come all this way just so I could go to Narnia and frolic around with an annoying lion and an equally annoying witch. Anyway, Puck and Mustardseed aren't going to be there, so let's just forget about it."

"First of all, no one says 'frolic' anymore." Daphne crossed her arms. "Second of all, you should be more honest about your fears, Sabrina. I know Narnia scares you, but-"

"What are you talking about?" Sabrina exclaimed. "I'm not scared of that- of that- that place."

"Stop lying," Daphne scolded her sister, "You always closed your eyes when we watched the movie when we were little and you even hid my copy of it under the bed!"

"So what if that goat man creeped me out," Sabrina grumbled. "It's not like I'm scared or anything."

"Prove it."

The wardrobe flew upon and Daphne climbed inside, with her sister reluctantly following behind.

"Ugh," Sabrina made gagging noises. "These coats smell terrible- old and stuffy, like they haven't been washed in a hundred years."

"That's because they probably haven't." Daphne sneezed from the dust.

"Hey, stop pushing me!"

"Then move faster! I can't stand being crowded in small spaces."

"It was your idea to come here in the first- oof!"

The girls tumbled out of the wardrobe.

Daphne slowly got up and looked around.

Well, it wasn't Narnia.

It looked like an extension of the New York Palace with its shining marble floors, looming ceilings, and luxurious interior.

They silently made their way through the place, looking for signs that would tell them where they were. If not for the absence of hotel rooms along the hallways, it really would seem like another part of the hotel. An unfinished part perhaps.

In fact, if it wasn't for the fairy that bumped into her just then, Daphne might have kept on believing that.

"You, old man!" The fairy pointed a finger at Daphne accusingly. "Who are you and what business do you have in Faerie?"

The boy glaring at her seemed no older than her, with curly red hair, freckles across his nose, and wings unfurling behind him which were an unusually dark pink. Daphne noticed he had a sword strapped to his side.

Not like that would make a difference against Old Man Daphne and her trusty cane.

"Who are you?" she pointed her cane towards the boy's chest.

He puffed himself up. "I am a guard of the palace of Faerie, entrusted the duty of protecting His Majesty, King Puck and His Majesty, Mustardseed with all of my br-"

"That's nice." She cut him short. "Any idea where Mustardseed is?"

"Outsiders aren't allowed to know, old fool." The fairy guard looked smug. "Do you have an appointment with His Majesty?"

"Well, of course I do!" Daphne exclaimed. "Me and Mustardseed, we go way back."

The guard raised an eyebrow skeptically.

Hmm, maybe she didn't sound old enough.

"I knew him back when he was just a lad." She pretended to wipe away a tear. "That boy, sweet child that he was, always managed to make time for a useless old man like me. All my sons and daughters grew up and left me to live a lonely, secluded life with no one to care for me. That prince of yours- such a dear, dear child- brought the first rays of sunlight into my darkened world of woes. Oh, I haven't seen him for the longest time."

The boy looked like he was close to wiping off a tear of his own.

"But perhaps it's for the best if he can't see me." Daphne sniffled. "Who would want to spend time with a man as old and useless as me anyway?"

With that she began to hobble away, groaning about creaky joints and migraines.

"Wait!" the guard said. "I'll find out if he can see you."

And he ran away.

Daphne grinned behind her grey beard.

Mission accomplished.

"I," Sabrina sounded disgusted, "cannot believe he fell for that."

Daphne struck a pose with her cane. "Who could resist such a marvelous disguise?"

"Get a hold of yourself," Sabrina hissed. "I'm sure the other guards aren't nearly as stupid."

"Sir?" the boy called out, running towards them. "I asked a fellow guard about His Majesty and it seems that he's occupied at the moment. But if you can wait a bit longer, I'm sure he can meet you."

"Why, thank you," Daphne replied. "The news gives me great comfort. Where should I wait?"

"Come with me." The boy smiled at her and Daphne began to feel guilty for deceiving him. Sure, he was an idiot, but he seemed like a sweet guy who genuinely cared about others.

She followed him down the marble halls until they came to a hallway grander than the rest, leading to a huge set of doors. The guards there stared at her suspiciously. One had thinning grey hair and a stern expression while the other one seemed more relaxed- if his drooping eyelids were any indication.

Neither smiled.

"Hey, Newbie, you missed your shift again," Grey Hair said to the redhead, looking particularly annoyed. "And who's this freak?"

"A friend of His Majesty," the boy said uneasily.

"Uh-huh." Droopy snorted. "And I'm Titania's brother."

"You are?" The boy stood in awe.

"Of course not, you dope! Get back to work!"

"Yes, sir!" He scampered off, leaving Daphne alone. Completely and utterly alone.

Well, there was those big, bulky guards glaring at her, but they didn't count.

Something told her that they weren't going to fall for her sob story, not in a million years.

"Uh," Daphne tried to smile, "you look very nice today?"

"Shut your trap," the Grey Hair glowered. "The only reason you're still here is because I want to see what His Majesty will do to you."

"I imagine it will be very amusing," Droopy added.

Daphne let out a massive sigh. "Well, at least give me a chair."

Silence.

The guards reached for their swords.

"On second thought," Daphne raised her hands in surrender. "I always liked sitting on the floor anyway."

And so Daphne sat on the cold marble floor for a full ten minutes- bored, bored, and very bored. Mustardseed was taking forever. Even Sabrina had ditched her - that traitor. Once in a while she'd start humming a song just to annoy the guards. The best reaction was when she started singing "O Christmas Tree" and Grey Hair very seriously asked if she had hit her head somewhere and was unable to remember what time of year it was.

Still, there was a limit to even Daphne's amusement and she was running out of songs to hum.

Just as Daphne's eyes were starting to droop, a loud bang startled her out of dreamland.

The huge doors were open and right at the center of them stood Puck.

But was it really Puck?

His hands were stuffed into his pockets and his eyes were a cloudy pensive that betrayed no hint of emotions. But the most troubling thing was the expression on his face.

There was none.

Vacant. Empty. Blank. It worried Daphne more than any of his fake smiles and phony laughter. At least then she could guess at what he was hiding.

"Your Majesty!" Grey Hair exclaimed, bowing.

Droopy's eyes widened as he bowed too.

They've probably never seen Puck like this either, Daphne thought as Puck passed by.

She was certain that this time he would notice her, laugh at her, glare at her- do something. But he completely ignored her, just as he had in the elevator.

"Ahem," a voice said behind her.

Daphne stared at Puck's disappearing form and asked distractedly, "What?"

Wait a second.

That voice.

She turned around so fast she cracked her neck. Oh, shoot. She'd almost forgotten why she was here!

"Hello," Mustardseed said, "Daphne."

"I- what- how did you-" Daphne spluttered.

"Know it was you?" Mustardseed gave a weary smile. "Simple. No one else would wear a disguise that terrible."

Up close, the dark circles under his eyes seemed larger, his complexion paler.

"Speak for yourself," Daphne gaped. "Didn't you sleep at all the past few days?"

Grey Hair put his hand on his sword. "Apologize to His Majesty at once."

"It's all right." Mustardseed raised his hand. "She's a friend."

"Wait," Droopy said. "You actually know this frea- I mean, person?"

"Oh, yes," Mustardseed said. "Me and Daphne, we go way back."

Droopy looked dumbfounded, but was saved from having to reply by the sudden appearance of Sabrina.

With a swish of her cloak, she seemed to emerge from thin air and was standing in front of Mustardseed before the guards could even let a startled cry out from their lips.

"I suppose I really shouldn't be too surprised," Mustardseed sighed. "Where one Grimm is, the other is never far behind. Hello, Sabrina."

"Hello," Sabrina said flatly, watching him with eagle eyes.

"And how are you today?" He didn't so much as flinch under her gaze.

"Not well, if you must know." Her stare turned into a glare.

"I'm sorry to hear that." He didn't really sound sorry.

"Wait." Droopy broke their phony, polite exchange. "Did you say Grimm? As in the Sisters Grimm?"

"That's right." Sabrina turned to him. "What about it?"

Droopy scratched his head. "Nothing. Just, with all those stories I've heard about you, I thought you'd be a little more threatening."

"You want threatening?" Sabrina growled and seized the guard by the collar. "I'll give you threatening."

"Stop it!" Daphne yelled before Grey Hair could step in. "Snap out of it, Sabrina!"

Sabrina froze. Her face betrayed uncertainty and Daphne recognized the display of pent up frustration as worry, not anger. Her sister was worried about Puck.

"I-" Sabrina faltered. "I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me lately."

Daphne eyed her sister with concern. Sabrina had been acting strangely for the past few weeks; tense, anxious, and out of control, like a volcano of emotions ready to erupt for no apparent reason. The last time she'd acted like this was when she was twelve and that worried Daphne more than anything else.

Mustardseed put a hand on the shoulder of each sister and steered them politely but firmly down the corridor.

"Hey," Sabrina said. "Where are you taking us?"

He simply replied, "You shouldn't be here."

"Oh, no." Daphne halted. "We are not leaving this place without answers, Mister. What is this place? What on earth happened to make you look like a member of the Walking Dead? Why does Puck look so-"

But she never got to finish her questions.

A shrill, piercing scream rang out, cutting off what Daphne was going to say.

She froze.

The screams continued to echo throughout the halls.

Daphne shivered. She had never heard anything so terrible in her life. The wailing was like fingernails on a chalkboard. Like a banshee. Or worse... like someone dying.

Every bone in her body told her that something was wrong wrong wrong.

Instead of running away like her mind implored her to do, she turned towards Mustardseed. "What is that?"

"You shouldn't be here," he repeated.

"Yeah, yeah. You said that already." Sabrina shifted impatiently. "Now are you going to take us to whatever is making that noise or am I going to have to break down the doors and look myself?"

"You won't be able to break it down." Mustardseed said tiredly, looking at the two sisters.

"Oh, really?" Daphne arched an eyebrow.

"I wouldn't bet on that." Sabrina put her hands on her hips.

There followed an intense stare down between the Faerie prince and the Grimm sisters. It lasted forty-five seconds.

The sisters won.

"Why do I even bother?" Mustardseed put a hand over his eyes and massaged his forehead, as if by doing so he could pretend he was asleep and far, far away from the two girls that stood beside him. "Have it your way, then."

Without another glance, he made his way down the hall and gestured to Grey Hair and Droopy. "Tell my mother I'm looking for Puck. And secure the door after I've passed through it."

Grey Hair inclined his head. "Very well, Your Majesty."

"So," Daphne said, trying to catch up with Mustardseed's long stride as he passed through the huge set of doors. The trio ducked down as the ceiling got significantly lower.

"Since when does Faerie employ guards?" Sabrina sounded genuinely puzzled.

Mustardseed stopped and swiveled around as another door- this time made of a strange metal, with a single keyhole- appeared at the end of their path.

"Since I had no other choice."

He took out a set of keys from his pocket and opened the door.

It was a prison.

Daphne knew that, unmistakably, even before she completely entered the room hooded with darkness, felt the cold metal walls with her hands, and saw the iron bars rising from the ground. She instantly hated the place; it reeked of misery, torture and death.

She was so caught up with her own thoughts that it wasn't until the figure in the cell raised her head and screeched that Daphne noticed they weren't alone.

Being closer to the source of the screams only amplified the terror multifold.

Daphne stared, transfixed, and unable to move.

It was a girl. Dirty, bruised and wild eyed, but a girl nonetheless. She stopped screaming, becoming aware of her audience, and her face stretched out into a hideous grin. Panting like a dog, she seized the bars of the cell and shook them violently. When they didn't break, she dropped to the floor, howling and clawing at her face.

At that moment, Daphne came back to her senses.

"What are you doing?" She ran to Mustardseed's side. "Do something! She's hurting herself!"

He stood motionless. "I've tried. She won't let anyone near her."

As if sensing that they were talking about her, the girl sat up on her knees and smiled. The scratching was momentarily forgotten. Droplets of blood trailed down her cheeks and chin like fresh tears while jagged scars lined her face, presumably also created by the girl's vicious finger nails.

"Who is she?" Sabrina asked in a hushed voice.

Mustardseed was silent for a moment.

He turned to Daphne. "Do you remember that blind Old Lady we met the day you turned that boy into a frog?"

Daphne frowned. "The one who lived in a shoe? Yeah, I remember. What about her?"

He nodded towards the girl in the cell and it seemed like an eternity before he spoke.

"This is her daughter. Brenda."