A low wind whistled, quivering the clouds underfoot. Somewhere in Faerieland, Neopets and faeries could see from the windows of their homes an eerie golden light illuminating the nighttime sky. Whoever was making the fire or potion (or whatever it was) did not take great care in keeping it surreptitious.
Jhudora was not one to worry about this sort of thing. She knew (and so did anyone else) that if a curious Neopet came along, she could snap her fingers, and watch the intruder disappear from sight. But that was why she did not stay on her cloud. That was the first place they would look for her.
So she chose to work behind the Tower, the place where Queen Fyora sold rare items. No one would look for her there, and most couldn’t afford the costly items the Queen had, so they wouldn’t visit it anyway.
Her concoction was the thing that was illuminating the sky. It was a bubbly potion with a gooey consistency, hard to stir. Still, Jhudora kept at it. There was, of course, no reason Jhudora was making the potion; she was simply making it because she wanted to.
It was nearly ready now. Jhudora’s hand skimmed over the collection of potions she had brought with her, and stopped over the bottle that held a thick white potion, something that looked like glue. Jhudora knew, however, it was not glue, and, smirking vehemently, she uncorked the bottle and dumped all of its contents into the cauldron.
But that was little too much.
Instead of turning a pale gray like it was supposed to, the mixture bubbled fiercely, turning to a dazzling white that made Jhudora shield her eyes.
And suddenly, there was a hideous BOOM and the potion exploded.
Daring to open one eye, Jhudora saw a spew of the white liquid burst from the shattered cauldron, illuminating the sky in an arc of white light and slap the side of the Tower. Instinctively, she closed her eye again.
When the epidemic of exploding liquid had stopped, Jhudora looked around. Her bottles of potions were knocked over; their contents oozing all over the ground, and her cauldron lay in pieces. Nothing else seemed to have suffered any damage from the explosion, but then she realized something with a gasp.
The Tower was gone.
It was completely gone, without a trace. What would Queen Fyora say? No one else had such power to destroy a whole building and make the rubble vanish. She would be forced from Faerieland, and would have to live somewhere--perhaps the Ice Caves--in discreet, in a cave by the Snowager.
“What happened to Jhudora?” everyone would wonder, and then realizing that she was nowhere to be seen, forget about the Dark Faerie and continue going to Illusen, Jhudora’s dreadful sister, for quests.
Slowly walking toward the place where the Tower essentially would have been, Jhudora reached out her hand out, not expecting to touch anything, but to her great surprise, she did. It was hard and smooth, like the material the Tower had been made of.
Could it be...?
Jhudora slowly walked to where the entrance to the Tower would have been, and reached out. Her hand touched the smooth, cold surface of the brass door handle that had been there...
...or was there, still.
Strangely, when Jhudora turned the handle, she found it was open, and walked inside.
She was in the Tower. Displays of Fyora’s colorful, costly items stared back at her. The counter was still there, the shelves... everything. Not a paintbrush had been harmed.
Jhudora’s hand flew to her mouth in surprise. She hadn’t destroyed the Tower at all; she had concealed it. It was still there, but it was invisible.
Too much of that invisible potion. That was it. She had only added it to keep her mixture safer, more discreet, to any puzzled Neopians that would investigate. Instead, she had added too much, and made the Tower invisible.
Still, it didn’t mean she wouldn’t get into trouble. Fyora would still punish her for it, and the worse part was Jhudora didn’t know how to fix it. So she did the only thing that seemed sensible at that point; she gathered her broken bottles and pieces of cauldron, and flew back to her cloud before anyone could notice that the Tower was missing.
But she couldn’t hide forever...
* * *
The next morning, Jhudora forgot about the event that happened the night before, and she went about her daily business which, of course, was handing out quests. One particular preppy Kyrii who talked too much, however, reminded her in a way most undesirable.
“The Tower’s missing, did you know that, Jhudora?” she asked. “Well, I mean it’s there, but it’s invisible! Isn’t that the strangest thing? Queen Fyora’s really mad--”
Her heart pounding loudly suddenly, Jhudora snapped, “I’ve no time for gossip, you little pest! Just get my item!” She snapped her fingers, and in a flash, the Kyrii was gone, somewhere in the Market Place, to search for Jhudora’s Coffee and Marshmallows.
Feeling suddenly rattled, Jhudora sat back in her throne, rubbing her temples. She needed a good cup of coffee. She stood up, and decided to go for a walk, to “see what this news was all about” if anyone asked.
A crowd of awestruck Neopians were standing around the invisible Tower, where an angry Queen Fyora stood at the front by the door. Her face was pinched in a disappointed frown.
“Whoever did this will pay!” she was saying, her voice rising above the chattering of the surprised Neopets. “How dare someone make my Tower invisible?”
Jhudora stood next to another Dark Faerie, one she knew quite well called Zelda.
“Strange,” said Zelda.
“Mm,” droned Jhudora, pretending to be extremely interested in studying the concealed Tower, which really, of course, looked like she was studying the air.
“You know, Jhudora, last night I saw an orange glow coming from over here,” said Zelda. “And then, suddenly, it turned white and exploded, or something. And now the Tower’s invisible.” She leaned close to Jhudora, her eyes narrowed. “Do you think that’s just a coincidence?”
Jhudora almost gulped, but she knew it would make her look frightened, vulnerable.
“Are you implying something?” she snarled back.
“No,” Zelda leaned back. “Don’t you think that’s sort of strange, though?” Her voice was smooth, rolling, confident... a little too confident.
“What would you expect me to know about it?” challenged Jhudora.
“Well, you are the most powerful faerie in Faerieland,” Zelda reminded her. “Besides Fyora, I mean. And she certainly didn’t make her own shop invisible, now did she?”
Jhudora was silent. What could she say? If she didn’t say anything, it would mean she had relinquished, confessed. But if she hurled a jeer, it would seem like she was being protective, hence, another form of confession.
“Well, does it really matter if it’s invisible or not?” she finally managed to say. “She can still sell things. It’s not like I made--” She stopped short. “I mean, it’s not like it’s destroyed, or has completely vanished.”
Zelda’s eyes were narrowed again, but she didn’t say anything.
Jhudora shrugged and pushed her way through the crowd. As she passed the front, she tried to avoid eye contact with Fyora. She knew if she did make eye contact, Fyora would see right through her.
As she walked home, Jhudora thought about what had happened. Why should she be scared of Fyora? Sure, she was the Queen, but Zelda said they were both the most powerful faeries in Faerieland. It must be true if Zelda said it, right?
It still did not keep Jhudora from worrying... even if she did not like to admit it. She jumped whenever a knock thundered on her door. The slightest flicker of movement outside her prison-cell window made her gasp. Fyora said it herself, whoever was caught responsible would be punished.
She was still worrying even after dark. The crowd of Neopians had not ceded to gossip, and Jhudora noticed the few Neopets waiting in line for her quests were talking about it as well. She even heard one story that made her quite concerned that they were suspicious.
“Who do you think could’ve done it?” asked a pink Wocky.
“I don’t know,” mused the yellow Kougra. “But it must’ve been someone really powerful.”
“Are you suggesting...?” The Wocky’s voice trailed off as she met Jhudora’s eyes.
Angry, Jhudora had slammed and locked her door, ignoring the continuous banging that followed. After sitting on her throne for a good twenty minutes, drumming her fingers against the armrest, the Neopets finally got tired of waiting and left.
She sat there, thinking. If it was so obvious to dim-witted Neopets, how obvious was it to Queen Fyora? And why hadn’t she come to punish her already?
Her question was answered almost simultaneously. There was a loud, echoing knock on her door, something that sounded more than just a quest-wanting Neopet. It was influential, something that ordered Jhudora to get up and respond. When she did, she was staring into Fyora’s apathetic eyes.
“Queen Fyora,” said Jhudora darkly, trying her best to hide the nervousness that quivered in her voice. “Is there something you should need?”
A playful smile crossed Fyora’s lips. “We both know why I’m here.” she said. Even though she was smiling, her voice was still indifferent.
Jhudora looked to the ground, trying to hide her shame, tapping her feet. “I didn’t mean for it to happen.”
“I know.” Fyora stepped inside Jhudora’s gloomy castle. “It was completely unintentional. Still, I have to do something about it. You are to only make potions, or whatever it is you do, on your cloud. You are not to make anything that could cause damage on property other than your own.”
Jhudora’s jaw twitched, but she nodded reluctantly. “What are you going to do about it, though? I don’t know how to fix it.”
The playful smile widened. “I have an idea,” Fyora said. “The Hidden Tower. People will have to look for it to browse, and possibly buy, my rare items. Faerieland needs a bit more excitement, doesn’t it?”
“Yes,” agreed Jhudora. “It does.”
Because nothing out of the ordinary ever happens in Faerieland, she thought with a smirk.