Hope In A Jar
Cutscene: Hope In A Jar
Author
IC Details
Synopsis:

In the few minutes after the New Year's Eve countdown, Zatanna Zatara sneaks away from the party in the Titans headquarters to harness the evening's power.

IC Date: December 31, 2018
IC Location: Titans Secret Headquarters, New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 31 Dec 2018 21:34
Rating & Warnings: G
Associated Plots

Bursts of color drew her eye where she stood as fireworks exploded in the horizon, easily glimpsed from the observation deck of the Titans' new headquarters, situated in an abandoned shopping mall. Despite the short notice and the sudden move, Tim did a good job having their new digs retrofitted for everything they needed and while he never said it in so many words, a part of her knew that he hoped that the relocation was temporary and that at some point, they would all be allowed back to the team's birthplace. Somewhere in New York, the trademarked T-shaped building stood empty, devoid of life in the coming new year.

This evening was particularly potent for casting spells, especially those associated with blessing and renewals, the main reason why she excused herself for a brief moment from the revels occurring in the new headquarters' main space to invoke the quick ritual. Away from the faint, audible hubbub of a myriad conversations happening at once, she carefully lowered herself on her knees and reached with pale fingers for the black candle and its holder, situating it on the floor-to-ceiling window in front of her. A snap of her fingers set fire to the wick, a single tongue of red-gold flame illuminating her face, and adding more definition to the ghost of her reflected on the clear pane. She set a small chalice of water next to it, and lit up a single stick of sage incense. A small jar and a piece of quartz quickly followed the arrangement, the latter placed in the chalice. She held a bowl of grapes on her other hand.

It was only a few minutes after the countdown had finished, but she had to work quickly to secure the effects she wanted. Eyes closing, her lips quietly formed the words; even while in English, speaking backwards made them sound arcane. She exhaled softly on the fruits three times, before cupping the bowl within her left palm. She reached for one, plucking it from the rest with the fingers of her right hand.

"Ti eb os, doog tsehgih eht rof. Raey wen eht emoclew dna rof eraperp i, smaerd eseht htiw. Tsap eht esnaelc i, htaerb nwo ym htiw. Evah i taht lla rof sknaht ym evig i, Etaceh Rehtom."

Light spilled from her in faint wisps at her invocation, threading across the floor and drawing a circle around her kneeling form. Power caused the fine hairs at the back of her neck to rise, feeling the touch of the Goddess of Magic. She took a breath and let it out slowly.

Bart Allen.

Her fingers lifted, pushing the single grape in her mouth and eating it.

Conner Kent. Nicoletta Minoru. Raven. Kamala Khan. Richard Grayson. Koriand'r. Wallace West. Victor Stone.

She did the same for each name that slipped across her memories, threading each with power and will, her hopes for each crystalizing in the back of her mind. The quartz in water started to glow and break apart into pieces.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, for their upcoming nuptials. Matthew Murdock and Franklin Nelson, for the vast undertaking before them.

The grapes in the bowl were dwindling in number. She reached for another.

Jane Foster. James Buchanan Barnes.

One by one, they vanished into her mouth. The crystal in the chalice crumbled further.

Peter Parker. Timothy Jackson Drake.

Her fingers rolled another grape between them, her expression solemn.

John Constantine.

The last grape on the bowl was one she stared at the hardest, her head lifting as she watched the fading stream of lights past the window. For a moment, doubt seeped in somewhere within her - would this be enough, to reach past the stars? To pass through the boundaries between worlds and go beyond? Just how powerful was the magic found in the human concept of Love?

She reached for the last grape, and invoked her last name.

Giovanni Zatara.

The quartz shattered completely in the chalice, the remaining shards left glittering under the light of her sorcery. Setting down the bowl, Zatanna reached for the smoking receptacle and poured its contents in the waiting jar, sealing it tightly. In time, the light would fade once each boon was used up. By the end of the year, it will return to what it was before, nothing but useless bits of quartz and water.

Until then, however…

The magician cradled the gleaming jar against her chest as she watched the last of the fireworks explode above the distant horizon.

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