Title: The New Circle
Fandoms: Smallville/Secret Circle
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Clark Kent, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Nell Potter, John Blackwell, Gabe Sullivan, Lex Luthor, Davis Bloome, Jason Teague, Tess Mercer, Oliver Queen, Patricia Swan...
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe Sullivan had a normal-ish life before the circle and John Blackwell turned her life upside down and gave new meaning to the unexplained weirdness that goes on in Smallville. Now life's a witch, she's a part of a circle she's not too sure she wants to be bound to, and not only do they have to worry about Witch-Hunters, but unknowingly to them another circle is on the hunt too.
Wanna thank tenshinrtaiga for betaing!
The next couple of days passed rapidly, Chloe spending most of her time at Potter's Potts. Peggy was apparently "oh so sick" and needed to stay home, so Chloe had to deal with the shop all by herself. Not to say that she was actually working all alone. Diana was her ever faithful companion and extremely good at what she was doing. She was good with people (a "real sweetheart" according to some of the older women) and Chloe was glad to not have to actually deal with the customers herself anymore. She really wasn't much of a "people" person and Diana was, so she left the clients to Diana and dealt with the inventory and other such things herself. It was brilliant really; the two girls saw a raise in clientele and business – and that was not considering the ridiculous amount of daily deliveries to the Luthor mansion.
Other than Diana, Chloe usually had one or more of the boys over helping and today it was Clark whom the girls were taking advantage of and giving all the grunt work to. He was used to it from helping his father on the farm all the time, though, and physically was definitely the fittest of the boys, something which Chloe caught Diana admiring a time or two when she thought no one was looking – or whenever Clark bent over to pick something up. It seemed that there was just something about Clark Kent that made Balcoin girls just stand and watch because Chloe had to admit doing some admiring herself. She was definitely past her huge crush on him but Clark was still highly attractive in his sweet, muscly way and she was a woman who was far from blind.
"I don't think it's very useful, but it's on her curriculum of things I need to learn so I have mastered it just to prove to her that I could." Clark made a face, concentrating on the glowing ferret seated on the table top, transparent and ghostly, yet glowing and sparkling brilliantly.
"Who cares if it's useful?" Diana wanted to know, eyes wide as she leaned down on the surface of the counter to be face to face with the creation he was keeping around with his force of will alone. "It's so cute!"
"Doesn't this remind you of Harry Potter somewhat?" Chloe wanted to know, fascinated as she reached out and hesitated, not sure if she could or should touch it. "The Patronus, I mean?"
"Your Patronus is a ferret!" Diana laughed, clearly over the moon with this. "You're our Draco Malfoy!" She paused and thought about it for a second. "If Draco Malfoy was nothing like himself, I mean."
The ferret sniffed the air towards Chloe's hand and came a little closer, the blonde moving it palm up as the ferret licked the side of her hand.
"I can actually feel that." The girl knew she was smiling like an idiot. "Clark, this is about the coolest thing you have ever done."
Clark seemed quite proud of himself, not so disparaging about this ability anymore. "Mom says that the creature will be different for everyone."
"So it really is like a Patronus." Chloe couldn't and wouldn't stop herself from geeking as she reached out slowly and caressed the top of the ferret's head, feeling her Balcoin symbol tingling as the nearly transparent ferret's colors began changing. "Whoa."
Clark's eyes widened and he gulped loudly.
"You need to teach me this spell," Diana gushed, reaching out to pet the ferret's back.
As soon as her scarred hand touched the ferret Chloe could feel their magics intertwining and suddenly the ferret took a life of its own, body growing and contorting until it was larger and more muscular and its eyes were raging red.
Both girls removed their hands immediately, the creature's body quickly returning back to normal, the ferret blinking innocently at them.
Clark must have lost all concentration because the ferret disappeared and the boy shook his head, bringing his hand to it. "What was that?"
Chloe and Diana exchanged looks before the blonde held out of palm to Clark. "I think it was these."
Diana tapped her own scarred palm. "What exactly did we do?"
"I need to sit down." Clark seemed almost woozy as he pulled up a chair and collapsed onto it, resting his head hard on the counter.
Chloe and Diana exchanged worried looks before going on either side of the boy. "Are you okay?"
"I-I felt-wow." Clark seemed a little disoriented, his voice strained. "That was a physical manifestation of my magic and your magics-wow."
"We might have broken him." Diana sent Chloe a nervous little look.
"I'm fine," Clark assured, still not lifting his head from the counter. "It's just, I think I got an overload surge from your magics mingling with mine. Whooo!" He finally lifted his head, shaking it a little, still seeming somewhat woozy. "I feel a little tipsy right now."
"I'll get you some water." Diana slipped away to the back room.
Chloe rubbed Clark's back. "Feeling better?"
"So that's what your magic feels like." Clark shook his head, still trying to 'sober up'. "What a rush."
Chloe eyed her friend, still rubbing his back. "Lex said something like that."
Clark tilted his head towards her.
"He said that according to Jason, being enthralled by me gives the person the greatest rush, better than something he called Devil's Spirit." Chloe made a face, lips pursed in thought. "Diana said that Devil's Spirit is actually a sort of magical drug that enhances powers temporarily, gives a high, but is also highly addictive and very dangerous. She knew someone who'd been in a coma because of it."
Clark continued to eye her. "How are you doing?"
She eyed him thoughtfully. "In what way?"
"Every way I guess." He moved his body so that he was facing her on the stool. "Your mom and Lex came up negative on both their sources and along with Gabe are going to visit someone with ties to the Balcoins but won't tell you anything until they get back – coupled with everything else, you must be – well, how are you doing?"
"Would be bad if I said I was doing great?" Chloe asked quietly. "I know I should be more worried, but I'm not. I feel really... numb... to the whole thing."
Clark eyed her before reaching out and grabbing her hand, giving it a little squeeze.
She smiled and squeezed back.
Diana returned and put down a glass of water. "Sorry about the whole-whatever we did."
"No prob," Clark assured her with a little grin, drinking the water as if he hadn't had a sip in years.
Chloe and Diana shared amused looks over his head.
Clark continued drinking until there was not an ounce of water left.
"So, is Greg still coming over to have lunch with us?" Chloe wanted to know.
Clark thought for a moment. "I think so, why?"
Chloe tried for innocent. "No reason."
It was all she could do not to look towards her bag where the letter was stuffed inside. She'd forgotten all about the little notes that she'd been receiving but when she'd opened up the store to find a note that had I KNOW WHO YOU AREwritten on it, well...
She wanted to know if maybe Greg could use his ability to see where this letter had been before, or, well, who had written it. But she didn't want to worry the others yet, not when it could be just someone playing a prank on her or something. They had other stuff to worry about for now.
"I have a test with Lex tonight." Chloe didn't know exactly why she blurted that out all of a sudden.
Clark and Diana shared a look before they turned to look at her quizzically and asked in unison: "Test?"
"Yeah, you know, on my ability to enthrall people?" She licked her lips nervously. "I'm curious as to how we're going to do this because Jason's already told Lex he's not going to kiss me to help him with his research and Lex isn't affected by my enthrallment-"
"Your mom's got to be angry about that, all things considering," Clark interrupted.
"-So it's going to be interesting to see how he does whatever it is he's going to do," Chloe continued, as if Clark hadn't said a thing.
"As long as he doesn't poke you with needles and stuff..." Diana made a face, folding her arms over her chest. "But that's why I'm coming along, just to make sure he doesn't do anything underhanded."
"I can come along too if you'd like, for company," Clark offered. "Plus, I've always wanted to see what the inside of that place looked like."
Diana sent Chloe a look that said it was her decision to make.
"Sure," the blonde decided. "Why not?"
Clark grinned, obviously pleased.
The clock chimed once before the sound of a sparrow could be heard singing, betraying how late it was. "Okay, you two. Go get me lunch."
"Since when did we become her slaves?" Clark asked Diana good-naturedly as the blonde shooed them both out from around the counter.
"And that's when you don't live with her." Diana continued with the teasing, shaking her head as they walked towards the door. "She's a tyrant!"
Chloe rolled her eyes as they slipped out the door, the blonde sitting down on the seat before looking down at her hands. They were usually uncovered now; the blonde did not see the use of hiding the burnt symbols on her hands. Sure, she got some looks and some of the older women would gasp in horror and ask what had happened to her, but she'd told them she'd carelessly picked up something that had been heated on the stove and the designs on the pot had seared into her hand. Diana's, Chloe attributed, to the brunette pushing the pot away from her after pulling Chloe's burnt hands free.
It was ludicrous but weirder things happened in Smallville and no one doubted the story at all.
Suddenly the front door swung open and a tall, leggy brunette sauntered in, a taller blonde guy with a hoodie entering after her. Both looked around the place, the brunette with interest and the blonde with wariness, before both zoned in on her at the same time.
Chloe tried to fight the alertness that zinged through her that said she had to keep an eye on these two and instead forced a smile to her lips. "Welcome to Potter's Potts, can I help you?"
"You sure can." The girl smirked, her single dimple going deep as she sauntered towards the counter. "Is this the only flower shop in Smallville?"
"Yes..." She raised an eyebrow in confusion at the question.
The guy followed at a more sedate pace.
Chloe waited until the two of them were standing opposite her at the counter to speak, a little taken back by the fact that they were both much taller than her. "So, how can I help?"
"We're new in town, just got in actually with some other friends, and we're looking for someone." The girl was straight to the point. "She'd be new in town so you'd know who she is in a place this small."
"Her name's Diana Meade," the guy finally spoke, his eyes narrowed on Chloe. "You know where she is?"
Chloe didn't know these people, they could be Witch Hunters for all she knew, so she kept her smile on her face. "Diana Meade?" She slipped her hands into her pockets, hiding the symbols from them. "I'm not sure I know who that is."
The guy reached into his pocket and pulled out a picture of Diana, putting it down in front of her.
"Oh." Chloe raised an eyebrow.
"You recognize her." The brunette noticed.
"Yeah, she was here a couple of days ago with a blonde guy." She knew that Grant was blonde and so she wasn't lying to these guys (Whitney was blonde too), but knew they'd assume she was talking about Grant. "I don't know if she's still in town though. I think they came to see someone and were going to be back on the road soon, or at least that's what I got from what I overheard them discussing."
"You've got to be joking me." The brunette shook her head, blinking. "She's not even here?" And with that she threw her hands in the air and stormed out.
Chloe watched her go before turning her gaze to the blonde guy, who was still here. "Did this girl tell you she was here?"
"She's a friend and we're worried about her." The guy eyed Chloe suspiciously, keeping the picture there between them. "We think she might be in trouble."
Chloe met his gaze straight on. "I'm sure she's fine."
The guy continued eyeing her before turning around and leaving as well, slipping the photo into his pocket.
Chloe waited until the door closed before grabbing her cellular and ringing Diana's number immediately as she hurried to the window and gazed out of the blinds, seeing the couple meet up with another boy and girl, talking amongst each other.
"I know you're hungry Your Highness but we've only just reached the-!" Diana answered with a giggle.
"Are you expecting someone?" Chloe went straight to the point, pulling away from the window when the people turned towards the store.
"No." Diana sounded odd. "Why do you-?"
"A guy and girl were just in here, flashing your picture around and saying they were looking for you."
There was silence, and then asked, "Was the girl blonde?"
"No, a brunette."
There was another pause. "Then who-?"
"They're here with some others, leave where you are and go to the Talon immediately. I'll come when I'm sure I'm not going to be followed."
"You think they're Witch Hunters."
"Just do it, Diana. And be careful." Hanging up, Chloe dialed another number and rested the phone between her ear and shoulder as she went to lock up the cash register. She threw her things into her bag, speaking up the second the dialing stopped. "There's a group of people looking for Diana, don't know who they are but they could be Witch Hunters. I need you to go to the Talon and wait for the others."
"Witch Hunters?" Greg's voice was dark.
"Maybe, I'm not sure, it's just a possibility." Chloe closed up her bag, whispering softly, the blinds all around her closing simultaneously. "Be careful, okay? They might know more than they're letting on and are just playing with us."
"Are you safe?" Greg wanted to know.
"They're not looking for me." She went to the window and gazed out through the blinds once more, finding them gone. "Call Whitney though, just in case. I'm leaving and don't want what I'm saying to be overheard in case they're hiding somewhere."
"If you don't arrived at the Talon within fifteen minutes of me..." Greg hung up on that threat.
Chloe took in a deep breath as she slipped through the door and locked up, changing the sign from OPEN to CLOSED. She looked around her before shucking her hands into her pockets and beginning to walk around back where her car was parked in the isolated parking space behind the shop. It was only as she reached the parking lot that she even thought about calling someone else, like her mother or Jason or Lex or-and it was already too late because there were footsteps behind her.
Stopping straight, Chloe turned and faced the group of four standing behind her. "The flower shop's closed for business right now."
"It's interesting how that only happened after we came," The blonde guy declared.
"Not really, it's lunch time." Chloe could bullshit with the best of them, trying not to let the fact that she was outnumbered and trapped in a place that was not visible from the road completely scare her. "Now if you excuse me-"
The tall brunette raised her hand and power flew out, sending Chloe flying back into her car. "You're not going anywhere."
These were witches!
Chloe's eyes widened as she looked between the four of them. "What do you want?"
"The truth." A petite girl with dark curls declared. "Where is Diana Meade?"
The shorter boy nodded, eyes dark. "And don't lie to us."
The tall girl smirked. "Or we'll hurt you."
Chloe kept her hands pressed back against the car, breathing hard, her back still hurting from where she'd been thrown back into the vehicle. She looked between these four and tried weighing her options.
"Maybe you need some more convincing." The tall girl stepped forward with a wicked smirk.
"Faye-" the shorter male began.
But he didn't have the chance to say whatever he'd been about to say because Chloe had anticipated danger and her magic reacted, sending this Faye person flying into the brick wall hard, knocking the brunette out cold as she slumped to the ground.
The blonde male turned on Chloe, growling as he threw a curse at her and Chloe honestly reacted without thought. She ducked, the spell hitting her car and causing a dent in the work, and she had to roll away from another sent by the short girl. Chloe could feel her pendant warm against her chest and her dark magic begging to be let loose and yet she fought it as she managed to get on her feet and stumble out of the way in time for one of her car's windows to shatter.
The tall blonde male grabbed her as she stumbled and slammed her down on the hood of the car, forcing the oxygen out of her lung violently and Chloe retaliated by not only bringing up her knee hard against his family jewels but levitating him up in the air and rolling off of the hood, her magic slamming his body down through her windshield. She got on her feet and felt the spell coming at her and flung her hand out and sent the spell right back at the girl, who started screaming and rubbing at her eyes as she fell to her knees.
Pain suddenly raced through Chloe's body and she turned to see the boy holding his palm out towards her.
Balcoin dark magic.
And yet he wasn't a Balcoin. His dominant palm didn't bare the mark.
That had to mean that... he'd killed a Balcoin and took his powers.
The realization hit Chloe worse than his curse, the blonde feeling fury unlike any other at the thought of one her siblings dead. It could be Pete for all she knew! They could have been going around killing Balcoins and trying to absorb their powers!
Straightening from where she'd doubled with the pain, Chloe felt that fury bubbling deep inside her, numb to the shock on his face as suddenly he began to falter. She stormed towards him before grabbing his neck and pinning him against the wall.
"What did you do to Diana?" he spat, choking.
"Do you really think I'd let you do to her what you did to the person you stole this magic from?" she spat back, seeing his eyes widen. "Murderer."
His eyes widened. "What? NO! I-!"
And yet she didn't let him speak, tightening her grip on him, his hands flying backwards to be pinned above him. "That magic doesn't belong to you."
Her pendant was glowing as Chloe's hand around his neck tightened, forcing his mouth to stay open as he gasped for breath. She didn't know how she was doing this or if it was even possible, but she knew that the dark magic inside of him belonged to the Balcoins and that he had no right to it. It belonged to her family and she wanted it back.
Once again her magic was acting independently and Chloe knew the boy wasn't the only one who was shocked when the dark magic began escaping his lips in the form of a black mist. It was almost like an enthrallment and yet instead of placing magic inside of someone else, Chloe was removing it, the dark bodiless mist trailing from his mouth to hers, filling her, causing little explosions behind her eyes as it continued to slither from him into her, integrating with her dark magic as if finding a long lost part of itself.
The tail end of the dark magic slipped from his mouth, slithering through the air between them before disappearing into her mouth and down her throat, the blonde letting him drop as she closed her eyes, feeling high and... and... different.
She sensed the murderous spell before it hit her, the spell hitting the shield that'd come up around her without the blonde realizing. She turned around as a petite blonde raced towards her, flinging curses left right and center. There was something familiar about this girl, about her magic, but Chloe was in a dark haze, her body acting on autopilot, her magic reacting.
The girl dropped to her knees, eyes wide and shocked as she gripped at her throat, almost as if completely taken back by the idea that she wasn't winning.
Chloe fought for control over the magic inside of her. The magic was pushing for her to kill this girl and the others, but especially this girl.
It wanted her dead.
It wanted Chloe to do it.
It whispered in her ear temptingly.
The shock was still visible on this other blonde's face as she tried to do magic, tried to do anything, but was unable to.
It was almost as if she'd thought herself invincible and was now terrified by the realization that she wasn't.
"Please," a hoarse voice said to her right.
Chloe turned towards the boy she'd sucked the dark magic out of.
"Please don't kill her." The boy slowly stood, grabbing his stomach.
The girl was lying on the ground, beginning to burn slightly, like those in the field – like those in the school.
"You attacked me," Chloe reminded him, her voice a growl. "I did nothing and your people attacked me."
"We were wrong." He limped towards her.
She was on the alert, waiting for him to try and attack once more.
He didn't. "We're scared and worried about Diana. She disappeared and then she reappeared asking for her books-she just ran. We-we should have handled things better but Faye's a hothead and Jake's an asshole and Melissa was reacting to Faye getting hurt because they're best friends." He limped closer. "I didn't kill anyone for the dark magic. I swear." He flinched at the pain he was apparently feeling. "I was supposed to get rid of a crystal skull that had dark magic in it, but I was tempted and I was weak. I've always been weak. Cassie and Diana were in so much danger, everyone was dying, and I couldn't help. I wanted to be stronger, I-I was wrong. I should have done away with the magic and-I'm sorry." His eyes were so sincere. "Please don't kill her."
Chloe didn't know why she did it, why she stopped the magic slowly killing the other girl. There was just something about this guy... "If you're lying-if you're here to hurt Diana-I will kill you."
He gulped before straightening. "I would never hurt Diana."
The trembling blonde on the ground was gasping in air gratefully, still suffering from the aftershocks as her skin slowly healed itself back now that Chloe had removed the curse on her.
"I will kill you if you do." She needed him to know this.
He nodded. "I'm Adam Conant."
She didn't recognize the name.
He realized this, licking his lips. "Diana was a part of my Circle-she used to be my girlfriend at one point."
And that was when it hit her who these people were.
Chloe's eyes widened as she gazed at the fallen (mostly unconscious and badly hurt) members of Diana's old Circle.
Her green eyes went to the blonde who was shivering viciously on the ground.
Diana had mentioned once that Cassie was blonde, just like Chloe.
Chloe might have said that out loud because Adam turned to look at her (he'd followed her gaze to Cassie) and before she knew it, Chloe's world was spinning. She felt herself tipping over when someone grabbed her and it took her a minute to realize the one straining to keep her from falling was actually Adam Conant.
And then a couple of things happened at once as her world began to grow dark and the exhaustion of her overuse of magic began to kick in...
"What did you do to her?" Clark gasped.
"I'm going to kill you!" Whitney snarled.
"It's not what it looks like!" Adam tried.
"You're dead." Greg promised.
"Adam?" Diana cried out in horror.
And then everything went silent.