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.
A/N: Timeline-wise it is side-by-side with events in Secret Circle. It is around Season One of Smallville...with alterations of course. And Lex Luthor has not arrived in Smallville up until this point in the story.
There was a lot that she didn't know, and she ended up spending the rest of the day with the circle in the Talon, watching them perform spells, listening to Whitney go on about the plants and the magical properties they had, and Lana recite much of the books' knowledge by heart. The others were obviously ahead of the silent blonde by leaps and bounds, having had time to study under Nell's apparently quite competent tutelage. It was fascinating to watch them interact with each other like this because while Lana was undeniably petite and fragile looking the large, powerful boys around her obviously didn't question her leadership, didn't think to. Chloe wondered if somehow following the Thoreaux lineage was in their (the other Circle members) genetic makeup since their ancestors had all supposedly done the same.
And that made her wonder if no one had ever rebelled over that…and if they had…what exactly had happened to them? Was there a punishment for trying to usurp the position of leader from someone who was "born" to lead the circle?
It wasn't that Chloe was trying for leadership, hell, she wasn't even sure she wanted to be a part of this circle much less it's leader…but these were the sorts of questions that plagued her mind as she observed the group dynamic.
She learnt something fascinating just by listening to them though, proving that keeping the Circle near (even if for information alone) was a wise choice.
Apparently each of their families had a family book of spells with their family history and secret written on it, but only Lana had hers since Nell had bequeathed it to her once she'd awoken. The others were searching for theirs to no avail. Pete's mother had turned away from witchcraft sometime after Pete's birth and was now a devote christian, so he knew better than to ask her for it and was searching for the book on his own. Clark had tried to broach the topic with his parents, but neither of them had thought that he was ready so he was also searching on his own. Greg was out of luck considering that his mother had no idea that magic existed, much less that she'd married into it.
So that left Chloe with the Hibbins' book of shadows.
She could ask her father, but considering he didn't have magic and apparently had never been told about his wife being a witch, well, it was probably better if she tried searching for it on her own.
Hopefully her mother hadn't taken it with her when she'd left.
That was why when she'd finally arrived home she'd thrown her bag to the ground and had gone to her parents' room, hesitating only a second before hurrying in. She memorized where everything was so that she could but them back in order before her father returned late that night, and she'd been in the middle of pulling all of his books from his private collection off of his book shelf when someone knocked on the open bedroom door.
"Usually it's the parents digging through the kid's room."
Eyes wide, Chloe gave a shriek as she turned towards the voice, finding John Blackwell leaning in the doorway. "How'd you get in the house?"
He chuckled. "I'm staying the night. Your father leant me the spare key. I was sleeping in the guest room when I heard the noise and came to investigate."
She flinched, looking around her. "You're probably wondering what I'm doing."
"I can guess." He pushed away from the doorway and went to sit on the bed. "And I can say I don't think your mother would have hidden her family's book in plain sight."
Chloe felt relief and shock flow through her. "So you do know."
"Takes one to know one."
She turned towards him, eyes wide. "I knew it! You're a witch too!" She then frowned, biting her bottom lip. "You say witch when it's a guy too right? I'm still really new at this."
"Yes, we're called witches as well." John chuckled, apparently quite amused with her questions. "So I'm figuring that the local circle has zeroed in on you now that your powers have manifested."
"Yeah, they say they're the children of my mom's old circle."
"Ah, so the Kents, Fordmans, Arkins, Potters and Geneva Grant had children then." John kept proving himself to her with every word and comment he made, and honestly, he was much more likable than Nell Potter.
"Is it true that Lana Lang's family are one of the most powerful witch families?" Chloe turned towards him, seating Indian Style.
John groaned, palming his face. "Is Nell still bragging to everyone about that Countess of hers? Isobel?"
"Pretty much, yeah." Chloe grinned, enjoying his reaction because it quite mirrored her own.
"Don't get me wrong, the Thoreaux lineage isn't something to scoff at, and Isobel was a hell of a witch if the ancient archives can be believed..." John finally removed his hand from his face, shaking his head. "But there were other families which were much stronger than the Thoreaux. They weren't the all-powerful leaders that Nell and her family would like everyone to believe. They're usually the leaders of their circles that's true, because they're very controlling...Nell especially exhibited that trait. She would always find ways of manipulating those in her circle to do as she wanted. It annoyed your mother to no small degree."
Finally, something she had in common with Moira Sullivan nee Hibbins.
Chloe eyed the man, having so many questions and not sure which one she wanted answered first. She'd always resented her mother for leaving her, but that resentment was tenfold now knowing that the woman had known that Chloe would come into her powers and have no one but Nell Potter to go to, and yet she'd left without so much as a letter to explain things for her only child. "Do you know where my mother is now?"
John's smile melted slightly as he eyed her, shaking his head. "Sorry, but I don't."
"I-I'd thought that maybe she had sent you." She admitted, feeling so stupid for it. "When we touched this morning you weren't surprised by the magic shock, it was a confirmation to something you already know." The girl shrugged. "I guess I figured that maybe mother knew that I was awakening and had sent you here to try and help me a little."
John eyed her in silence, continuing to shake his head. "I haven't seen Moira since your birth."
"Then why are you here now?" Chloe wanted to know, pushing up to her feet.
He eyed her in continued silence before running a hand over his hair. "We have a lot that we have to talk about, Chloe, and I know that you are going to have even more questions by the time we've finished than you do now."
"I find that hard to believe." She muttered in disbelief, unable to believe that she could have more questions than the millions that were now clogging up her mind. One of those very questions bubbling up her throat and spewing from her lips before she could even think to stop it. "What does it mean to bind a circle?"
His expression immediately turned from cautious to grave. "Nell wants you to bind the circle?"
"Yeah." Chloe nodded, feeling uneasy with his reaction. "She says its for our own protection because of Witch-Hunters...but somehow I feel like she'd not telling us everything."
"There is protection in a circle, but you also become vulnerable and dependent on your circle members." John frowned.
"Dependent." Chloe flinched at the very word. "In what way exactly?"
"Many ways, but in the one that matters most-you can't do magic unless you're in close proximity with someone from your circle."
The blonde drew back at the very thought.
Magic might be something new to her, and she might have only done one spell, but the thought of this power being limited...to having its access restricted to her like that...it felt liked the possibility of losing a limb.
"Exactly." John seemed to understand her, nodding.
"So you're not bound to a circle?" Chloe asked curiously, knowing so little about this mystery man standing before her who promised more answers than she had questions.
John didn't answer, but all around them everything started floating.
"Wow..." Chloe grinned brightly, looking around her. "So you can do magic without saying spells?"
"Of course I can, and so can you." He assured her with patience and a little hint of a smile. "It's a little harder to do, but with strong instincts and determination...and also knowing what you really want...you could be invincible."
She pondered the notion, raising her hand towards one of the pens floating in the air. The blonde tried concentrating, tried bringing it towards her without a spell, and yet it twirled slowly in the air and never followed her mental commands.
John chuckled, shaking his head. "I never said that you'd be able to do it right away."
"But I was able to do the spell to make my fake butterflies fly on the first try." Chloe countered, letting out a little growl. "Even though the spell was dumb. There wasn't even latin involved."
He was obviously finding her extremely amusing. "You've only found out about your powers a day now Chloe, give it a little more time. You'll be surprised at how powerful you really are, and how quickly your strength is going to increase."
She sent him a curious look, having noted the many times he'd hinted at the fact that she was going to be a force to reckon with, something that she admittedly liked the thought of. "Are the Hibbins a powerful family then?"
He paused for a moment, considering, before giving a slow nod. "You come from an extremely powerful bloodline, and you're the firstborn girl. That's important in magical families. All of your family are important, but you hold a special position."
"Firstborn, period." She reminded, wondering about this "position", the whole thing sounding a little military-which made her think of Lois and Lucy and the General. "Don't have any other siblings."
He paused, eyeing her, obviously considering something before taking in a breath. "As a Firstborn, and a woman, you will find that you have a certain pull on male witches, especially if they do magic with you."
Chloe's eyes widened, remembering the issue with Whitney and then with Clark.
"I see this has already started." John frowned, leaning his chin on his hand as he looked at her. "Who?"
"Whitney Fordman kissed me to shock my powers into activating, which he said was his magic entering me and connecting with mine...and he's been unusually flirty ever since." Chloe still didn't know how to deal with the thought of a flirty Whitney-and the possibility that it might all be the fault of her unintentionally magically date-raping him. "And then after performing magic with me last night Clark Kent-Martha Kent nee Clark's son-who's been my best friend for years, suddenly seemed to notice I was a girl and he was about to kiss me when his dad called and interrupted it."
There was an odd glint in John's eyes as he gazed at her. He opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened it again, leaning hard against the wall as he eyed her. "There is a lot I have to tell you, Chloe. But what I have to tell you would take days to properly tell, to properly convey the importance and the sentiment. I wish this trip could be longer, that I could start with your instructions now, but I'm unfortunately pressed for time." He leaned forwards towards her. "Just know that you're stronger than you or your circle...and especially Nell Potter...know or could ever understand. And it's better if they, especially her, are left in the dark. About you...and about me and my visit."
"You don't trust her." And she latched onto that because she didn't like or trust the older woman either, preferring to trust the man whom her father would allow to spend the night in their home.
She trusted her father's judgement...even if he didn't know John was a witch.
"I don't want to hurt your feelings, but those boys aren't reacting that way towards you because they have genuine romantic feelings, it's actually something they're unable to understand or control either so you're going to have to take control of the situation. That's something you're going to have to get used to, taking over, taking control. It'll come naturally to you soon, especially now that you've awoken, both as a woman and as a witch." John declared, his voice and expression serious. "While I don't have time to truly sit down with you and explain your role and your particular gifts, I need to warn you about this…effect…you're having on those poor boys. If their magic has gotten a taste of your magic, it's going to subconsciously urge them to seek you out and search for opportunities in which your magic connect...such as performing spells together or more...physical...ways."
She went scarlet, but wouldn't let her embarrassment keep her from asking questions. "Does this happen with every female witch from powerful bloodlines?"
"Firstborn female. And only from the most powerful bloodline." He was emphasizing that again, which was fascinating because Nell didn't make the Hibbins seem like they were all that powerful, especially not in comparison to the Thoraeux. "You have to limit the magic you do with others because your bloodline is a very old, very powerful one. There are some witches who could get a high off of it...and you don't want people developing an addiction in which you're the fix."
Suddenly, being from a powerful bloodline seemed like a pain in the ass.
"But if I'm bound in the circle I'll only be able to do magic with someone else..." Chloe ran her fingers through her hair. "Being bound seems less and less like the right thing for me to do."
He hesitated for a moment. "I'd like to show you something."
John Blackwell motioned for her to follow as he left her father's room, the things still floating even when he left. It fascinated her as she gazed at the floating objects before hurrying after John, finding him returning to the guest room he was staying in at the moment. A part of the teenager reminded her about the warning to never follow a stranger into a bedroom, but some other part of her scoffed at the wariness concerning John. It was ridiculous really, the amount of trust she was putting into a stranger. As a rule of thumb she tended to distrust and be wary of everyone, but there was something about John Blackwell that drew her to him...made her want to listen to what he said and believe every word. There was a connection between them. Maybe it was the magic thing...but she didn't feel this sort of connection with Nell Potter.
So maybe it was something else.
Reaching for his suitcase, John put it on the bed and opened it, revealing neatly folded clothes and a medium sized black bag within. "What I'm going to show you, and tell you, needs to stay between us." He turned his gaze on her. "I need you to swear that to me."
She nodded, her curiosity killing her. "I swear."
"Good." He reached for the bag and opened the draw strings, hesitating a second as he turned his body towards her. "There's so much I need to tell you, to teach you, and I know that you will have many questions for me but I can't answer most until I return. But your powers have awoken now, and you're a woman, so it is important that you know at least this much."
Her eyes narrowed, knowing in her gut somehow that despite everything that'd happened so far, it was this moment that would change her life forever.
"The blood that runs through my veins runs through yours, and because of that you will be in grave danger." John Blackwell floored her with this revelation, his gaze intent on hers. "The Witch-Hunters have a special interest in our family, and so you must keep your existence, your connection to me, and your magic a secret...you cannot trust those in your circle." His face went dark. "It would not have been the first time that members of a circle betray their so called family to the Witch-Hunters in exchange for immunity or something of the like."
"We're...related?" That's all she'd heard, eyes on the man.
Was he a cousin of her mother's?
Or had her mother had a brother she'd never told her about?
"Yes." He nodded, seeming so much more to her now that she knew they had blood connections. This must be what she'd felt from him all this time, the connection, the familiarity. She'd felt their shared blood. Maybe that was why their hands had sparked when they'd touched for the first time. Maybe it was kind reacting to kind. "I will explain things in more detail when I return, but until then...this is yours." He reached into the bag and pulled out a beautiful necklace. A circular orb pendant hung on a silver chain, a small crystal dangling from the bottom of the orb, and a symbol and inscriptions in a language she'd never seen before covering it.
It was beautiful.
"It's mine?" She whispered, looking up at him and then back down at him.
He nodded, unclasping the chain before putting down the bag and going behind Chloe to fix the necklace around her neck. "It's passed down to the firstborn daughter of our family once she comes of age and her powers manifest." He rested his hands on her shoulders.
"Then why wasn't it given to Lois?" Wouldn't that have made more sense, given the fact that Lois was the firstborn girl of the Hibbins lineage?
Chloe clasped her hand around the orb, and suddenly magic shocked through her, and she could feel something powerful...overwhelming so. John's hands on her shoulders connected her to him, and she could feel their magics clashing as they met.
There was a loud bang as the things that'd been floating in her father's room hit the ground. Hard.
Something else...something within her that she hadn't felt before while doing magic...seemed to give a spark of life.
But she didn't pay much attention to it, instead feeling a third party...and once more the presence, the magic, was familiar.
"The medallion." John hissed, yanking his hands from Chloe, ending the connection abruptly. "She's found the medallion."
"What are you talking about?" Chloe turned towards him, heart still racing.
"I have to leave sooner than I thought." Disappointment and urgency mixed within him as he started towards the bed before turning back towards her. "Never take that off, and never let someone else see it."
"Why?" Chloe questioned, clasping the pendant in her hands, still somewhat numb from everything that'd just happened and confused as to what it (and John's reactions) meant. What medallion was he talking about? Who had found it? Why was it important? And who had she felt momentarily?
"I can't answer your questions now!" He was hurriedly throwing his things into his suitcase. "But I will once I return. Everything will be answered." Slamming the suitcase closed, John turned to her and shocked the girl stiff by drawing her close and pressing a kiss to her forehead. "Soon."
And then he was gone.
Long after she heard the front door slam shut Chloe was still in the guest room, hand clasping the orb...which throbbed as if alive.
What the hell had just happened?