This is my first fanfic. I've never really been into the whole fanfic thing, but in my summer boredom I've started browsing the different stories here. I created the account at the outset so I could just follow a few people, not intending to write anything of my own. However, then I discovered that there were few proper Gavin Rose (as Navarog) and Kendra Sorenson stories. Personally, I love Fablehaven just the way it is and wouldn't change anything about the series – that said, I've always wondered what if? in regard to Gavin and Kendra. I'll admit, I've always had a secret wish of a darker fantasy between the two. Also, I'd like to purge myself of the vague ideas I had of life post-Fablehaven series. I'm not sure how this is going to turn out. So, keeping in mind that I'm flying by the seat of my pants, here goes…
Disclaimer - I own nothing of Fablehaven! Brandon Mull owns it all.
Kendra Sorenson was not typically one to take long walks in the forest by herself, so she wasn't entirely sure what she was doing under the wooded canopy of the Fablehaven forest on the day in question. It was quite out of character for her to be off alone in the woods; especially in a forest brimming with magical creatures of all varieties, many of whom would do her harm if given the option. Her adventures all those years ago had only served to lessen her sense of adventure (unlike her brother). Life after a close-call apocalypse had been predictably anticlimactic – perhaps even more so than Kendra had anticipated. Things on the Fablehaven preserve, as well as on the other preserves, had been as peaceful as they had been in a century. Her interaction with the mythical creatures of the world since then had been virtually limited to the fairies, Raxtus, and Bracken.
Kendra had seen less of the unicorn than she had initially hoped, but their friendship was progressing along. Bracken kept Kendra at arm's length, to her slight annoyance. They were intimate friends, but never had anything physical happened between them beyond the occasional, friend-zone hug. Kendra had finished out high school, and had started college in Connecticut at a community college not too far from the preserve, with hopes that Bracken would begin to view her as the adult she was becoming; yet, he still made no move. Kendra hadn't pushed initially. She was hesitant to commence with her next bout of life-altering excitement.
Her life had resumed a somewhat-mundane routine only after a few months with the Zzyx escapade. Kendra returned to habitual absorption with her studies, and regular vacations at the preserve with Grandma and Grandpa Sorenson and Grandma and Grandpa Larsen. Seth, once he had finished high school, had become a famous adventurer, striving to surpass his ancestor Patton Burgess by doing any and every outlandish and dangerous thing he could think of. He was often accompanied by Vanessa and Warren, and many other members of the Knights of Dawn. The Knights had originally had their hands full helping restore balance in the magical community, but many of them (who did not go off gallivanting with Seth, shadow charmer extraordinaire) were beginning to retire. There was less need for the organization without the Society at large. Without the Sphinx as their leader, the Society had virtually run themselves into the ground. The Society may still have had some pulse of life underground, but at the time Kendra couldn't imagine them as much of a threat.
In other news, the process for determining Eternals was still coming along. The Sphinx was thankfully no longer a candidate. On the other hand, Kendra was. Becoming an Eternal would make it possible for Bracken and Kendra to be together. Perhaps that was what Bracken was waiting for?
Kendra had eagerly looked forward to seeing Bracken upon her arrival to Fablehaven, at the beginning of the summer, but Grandpa Sorenson had extinguished her excitement the instant she'd mentioned the unicorn by hesitantly informing her that Bracken and Seth, alongside the newlyweds, Warren and Vanessa, were on a very secret mission in Venezuela. Grandpa Sorenson had been excessively vague in regard to the details of said mission.
So Kendra was at Fablehaven with only her grandparents, Dale, and Hugo to keep her company - not exactly the most exciting bunch. Consequently, Kendra was experiencing something she hadn't in quite some time – well, ever really: restlessness. Every morning, Kendra was up before Dale, and busied herself around the preserve till late in the evening. Her thoughts were often with Bracken and her brother, what they could be doing, and if they were safe. She became a tidge anti-social, for reasons she couldn't fathom. She felt like she was waiting for something big to happen. Kendra found it somewhat depressing to sit around and hold her breath for seemingly no reason.
Kendra was once again musing what exactly it was she might be waiting for, when a familiar red-headed, awkward satyr stumbled across her path. Literally stumbled, tripping over his own hooves. Kendra smiled in spite of herself.
"Kendra! What a surprise! Imagine, seeing you here." He smiled nervously. "Looking as lovely as ever," he added a little wistfully.
Kendra tried not to roll her eyes. "Verl, were you stalking me?" She crossed her arms in an exaggerated motion.
His eyes widened to the size of saucers. "Never!" The indignant reply came out as a bit of a squeak. Kendra bit her lip. She'd always pitied Verl, even though Seth taunted her mercilessly for the satyr's harmless - if misplaced - adoration.
"I was walking in the woods, leisurely observing the beauty of y- the day," he amended hastily, "When I heard a rather frightening growl, as though it were right in my ear – right in the middle of the path, in the middle of the afternoon! And I ran away to find…" He trailed off and blushed. "I mean, I had thought maybe I'd seen you earlier, and I came to make sure you were alright."
Kendra frowned. "Did you see anything, Verl? When you heard this noise?"
Verl shook his head. "Nothing at all."
A monster on the loose was not what Fablehaven needed right then. Of course, if Verl didn't see anything it may have been an enchantment or a prank intended to spook him. Nevertheless, there was something in the wild look in Verl's eyes that Kendra found unsettling. Obviously he didn't think it was a joke.
"I'm going to speak to Grandpa Sorenson about this, Verl. Keep me posted if you hear anything else."
"Kendra,…" Verl began but Kendra was already hurrying along the path back to the house, and didn't hear the rest of what he was going to say.
Kendra found Grandpa Sorenson reviewing some papers in his office.
He looked up as she came in. "Kendra! Is everything alright?" His bushy gray brow furred as she walked in.
"Well," Kendra said rather breathlessly, "I don't know." She sat down and relayed her conversation in the woods with Verl, including her speculations.
When she was finished Grandpa Sorenson looked at her thoughtfully. "I agree that it could have been a prank. In fact, it was most likely a prank pulled by Doren and Newel. But I can see that you are genuinely concerned. Dale and I will investigate it tomorrow, if only to admonish the other two." He nodded at the sinking sun, whose dull rosy glare was steadily filling up the room.
Kendra pursed her lips. She was filled with a sense of urgency. Her instincts screamed no, investigate now! Still, she nodded her consent. She stood to leave, when her grandfather said, "Oh Kendra, while I've got you here - I know it's late, but Ruth forgot to pick up her prescription again. I hate to ask you to do it, but you know your Grandma and Grandpa Larsen won't be back until Friday, Ruth is cooking, I'm busy with all of this," here he gestured to the work scattered across his desk, "And Dale is still rounding up a few things around the preserve. Would you mind going for her?"
The drug store was approximately forty-five minutes away. Kendra did mind, but she didn't say so. What she said was, "Of course I'll go get it, Grandpa. I'll leave right now."
"That's a good girl. Thank you, Kendra." And with that he bowed his head and resumed studying the papers on his desk.
With an inward sigh, Kendra went outside with a shout to her grandmother in the kitchen where she was headed, as the door banged shut behind her, hopped into her old pick-up truck she'd received as a graduation present from her parents, and backed up. Swerving, she began down the endless driveway. Driving gave her time to clear her head. Grandpa was right. It was probably nothing.
She was not even ten feet from where the road intersected with it when a dark shadow flashed in front of her headlights hitting her hood with a thud.
Kendra skidded to a halt. With a sickening feeling, Kendra leapt out of the truck to inspect the damage. She looked around the fading twilight. No sign whatever she'd hit. She looked back at her truck and groaned. The dent was massive.
"Today is not my day," she decisively said aloud.
"I don't know, Kendra," a voice speculated from off to the side - a male voice. Kendra tensed. "We've still got a few minutes left of daylight, and I strongly suspect your day is just about to get much better." The voice sounded sardonically cheerful. Kendra knew that voice. It belonged to someone who had died nearly half-a-decade ago.
Slowly, Kendra turned around. A smug grin, dark hair, and leering eyes met her gaze. He was older, still (Kendra noted with a wince) quite handsome, and reeked of potent sinister magic; enough magic to make her realize she wasn't hallucinating. His presence seemed even more dominating than when she'd last known him – at least the him she'd know briefly before he'd been eaten by her friend Raxtus.
"Navarog," she found her voice.
He grinned wolfishly. "Miss your Demon Prince, Kendra?" he taunted.
What was he talking about? Bafflement and the sheer impossibility of the situation was causing her mind to reel, and to make her feel more than a little nauseous. "You are not my demon prince." She heard herself whispering hoarsely. She felt as though she were watching the scene take place from a million miles away. Because it was a dream. Kendra had to be dreaming.
"Oh, but you see, I am." He shrugged as if to say, what can you do?
Recovering some of her wits, she felt a harsh retort on the tip of her tongue, but Navarog saw the focus returning to her eyes, and was quicker than she. He leapt on her with astounding agility, clamped his hand around her mouth, and pressed his other hand into her neck. Panicked, she struggled, but found her vision quickly becoming tinged with darkness.
She was faintly aware of the boy she'd once known as Gavin Rose speaking softly in her ear, "Come with me Kendra. Let your Demon Prince make your day all better."
Kendra knew no more, except the darkness.