Pook was nervous and afraid, and she was getting tired of feeling that way.
The Scary Man had come to her and offered her a gift. A wispy cloak...it smelled like JinxJinx. Not the Light JinxJinx with the hair that was wrong, but the REAL JinxJinx. Light JinxJinx tried to warn her against the other one, but somewhere deep down inside Pook she could sense that the other one, the one that was supposed to be false, was the one that was looking for her...wanting her to be with her, instead of Pook always being shuffled off in a corner with a pat and a fish.
The Man with the Sad Face came to the tavern. She had followed him, and while she was wary of him at first as he'd smelled of the Scary Man, she soon realized that he was the same man who'd tried to get her to jump into the brackish water of the Stormwind moats for fun. And he DID smell of the real JinxJinx as well...freshly so.
She sat and picked through his hair as a friendly gesture as he told her about his life, about his responsibilities, about freedom. She started to reflect on her own life...it was always, Pook don't do that! Pook stay here! Pook don't talk to these people! Pook don't chew on that! But the Man with the Sad Face, he seemed so sad, she wanted to cheer him up the way he had done for her. She took him by the hand, dragging him along to stand much to his bemusement, heading for the moat...
Halfway there they ran into a crowd. The Scary Man, and a lot of Her People, and...
JinxJinx. The true JinxJinx.
She showered Pook in greetings and affection, offering her bits of fish and speaking to her in a loving tone. And yet all the rest of the people kept telling her no! Don't talk to JinxJinx! Pook fumed. She would do as she pleased! The Sneaky Dark-Haired Girl tried to come between her and JinxJinx...NO! She would not lose her again!
But lose her she did, when the Scary Man went walking away with her. She tried to follow, but The Grinny Man and others stopped her. No Pook. Bad Pook. Don't do that Pook, there there. There's a good girl. And all the while watching her...nervously. As though they weren't sure what she'd do next.
Pook stalked back to the Wisps and Spirits, fuming. Everyone else had gone off to be involved in this or that, but Pook like a wayward pet was sent home to her cage. She paced the length of the cellar, back and forth, back and forth. After a time the Gnome who Wrote Things came down and seemed to want to still apologize for trying to take her adopted kitten, who even now trailed behind her mewling and forgotten in her rage. She growled at him and he jumped. People, even her people, were always jumpy around her. Always nervous. Always afraid. Upstairs she heard the Man with the Red Beard arrive, and the Gnome brought him down with another long-eared girl to see what Pook was doing. Always looking. Always nervous.
Pook closed her eyes, furious. People were afraid of her. Around her the air distorted and tore, and she could feel the pull of JinxJinx on the other side.
She would give them something to be afraid of.
She arrived at the lair of the Scary Man. There was a lot of fighting going on, yelling. When she got there he told the Scary Dark Haired Girl that she could go, that Pook was the one he wanted all along. This made Pook beam with pride. SHE was the one. She followed down to a dark cellar where JinxJinx, patting her soothingly and purring soft words to her, placed her in a circle of some kind on the floor.
Power lanced from JinxJinx's hand, piercing Pook's chest. Ice and Fire erupted from the Scary Man, tearing her body asunder. Pain exploded in every part of her--
It was dark. In the dark Pook drifted, cold and alone. Suddenly power arced through every fiber of her being, splitting apart everything that made her up and took a part here and there, slamming it together. With every new part she gained she felt more powerful, more confident, more...
Pook opened her eyes. She raised her head and was filled with a thrilling rush of sensation. Devotion. She tingled to the tip of every finger and toe. She heard a murmur and a gasp, and suddenly all of the sounds clicked together. They interlocked and wove something new within her mind. She knelt before Lord Cromwell, now no longer so Scary.
"Thank you, my Lorrrrd," she purred, and not her usual quizzical purr but this was a sound from deep in her throat, husky with all kinds of new feelings.
Her eyes surveyed the room. Before people had mostly been a conglomorate of smells and sounds, but now she saw notable differences. As the fighting raged on she felt like she was awakening to a whole different world than the one she had left just moments ago. Her eyes fixed on the men in the room, flicking from one to another. Such a delicious cornucopia!
"Masterrrr, can I have one to play with?" she trilled, chewing on her pinky fingernail.
"Of course, my dear daughter," Cromwell said benevolently. "Choose a toy for yourself."
"Hmmm..." she said, surveying her options. "Maybe the Dwarrrrf? He's shorrrt in staturrre but is he tall wherrrre it counts?" Borim's eyes went wide and he started to sweat. "Orr perrrhaps MeeshMeesh's toy," she said, crossing to Tekaan. "It would make herrr so mad!"
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw arguing, a flash of pain, a glimmer of tears. Cromwell was asking the Man with the Sad Face...Tybilt...if he'd like to keep Crix as a toy of his own.
"I'll be sleeping alone tonight," he said grimly, and this tickled Pook to no end.
"Arrre you surrre about that?" She said, slinking up to him and running a hand across his shoulders. He turned away from her, but she could tell she had provoked him.
But then something started happening. Jinx, who was following Pook with such care and attention started to get distracted. She removed her hood, and there was something wrong.
"Take her away that she might rest, Pook," Cromwell commanded, but Jinx held up a hand.
"No, my Pook, my love, you stay and pick out something fun. I can go on my own..." Jinx doted.
The remainder of the group that was formerly Her People retreated to the tavern with Tybilt following them, and Pook and Corvissa, Cromwell's other, lesser servant strolled with him in a leisurely fashion to the tomb in Darkshire where they could rest. Occasionally a stray wolf or spider would attack, and Pook would easily destroy them with a flick of her wrist.
"Masterrrr," she purred. "I want to play with Tybilt! Make him come back!"
"Well if she gets a toy I want one too!" Corvissa whined. "I want JeanPaul!"
"In time, my lovelies, in time," Cromwell grinned, but suddenly there were footsteps at the door. Tybilt entered...but followed by the False Jinx, that Redux creature, as well as a large contingent of the Wisps and Spirits staff and patronage.
"Pook..." Redux said, approaching her open-handed. "What's happened to you...?"
"Nothing happened that I did not allow to happen," Pook sneered at her. "Not that any of you could have been botherrred to stop it anyway...I was a pet to you, a distrrrraction and no more. I have outgrrrown my cuteness and have been taken out to the woods..."
"Pook," Redux sighed, resigned. "If this is truly what you wish then I will not try to dissuade you. But the Pook I knew--"
"None of you knew me!" Pook snapped. "NONE of you. EVER. KNEW ME."
Over the general chaos of threatened fights and back and forth taunting, everyone grew quiet. "Oh, cerrrtainly I was therrre to listen, and to play with, to pourrr yourrr hearrrts out to, but did anyone everrrr trrry to listen to ME?"
"Well, you couldn't TALK" Erunamo said flippantly, but Redux held out a staying hand at him.
"No. She's right. You're right," she said, grim realization dawning on her face. "And for that, Pook, I ask you to forgive me. I am truly sorry."
"Ha," Tybilt said humorlessly. "Other than myself and the real Jinx, was there anyone who really did try to listen?"
Pook turned away, pondering. "Dalin," she said after a time. "When I rrrran away, after Jinx died...he was the only one who came afterrr me."
In a flash she turned on the people there, taunting them one by one..."Errrrunamo, is this verbal banter what you rrrreally want? I know that you arre a man of cerrrtain...appetites?" "Borrrim, do you imagine even forrr one second that you arrre as powerrrful as you make yourrrself out to be in yourrr storrries?" "Andrrroth, I'm surrrprised that you climbed out of a bottle forrr long enough to visit us!" "Tekaan, why don't you play with me instead? We both know that MeeshMeesh won't give you what you want..."
Finally she rounded on the Man with the Red Beard whose cat Janx was growling at her furiously. "Flamebeard? Why are you here? Isn't therrre something morrre important that you should be prrrrotecting? You know, I neverr have met Sarrrraich...I shall have to rrremedy that, verrry soon..."
"Sara..." Flamebeard said, going pale.
Pook retreated to where Tybilt was sitting, taking off his helmet and running her hands through his hair in a gesture reminiscent of her grooming of him earlier that same night. "Masterrr, tell Tybilt that he has to let me play with him!" She pouted, nuzzling the base of his neck.
"Well, I can't say I'm...opposed...to certain...uh..." Tybilt said, starting to falter.
But then, Redux went and did something odd. She knelt before Lord Cromwell...and it infuriated him. She expressed sympathy and understanding for him, and Cromwell acted as though she'd thrown acid in his face.
"Well, isn't this nice, we'll all be saved by the powerrr of LOOOOOVE..." Pook laughed mockingly, but inside she knew something was wrong. "Let's go, Masterrr...these people cease to amuse me," she said, pulling him away even as one by one the rest of the Wisps and Spirits knelt and apologized.
Once they were out in the night air again, however, Cromwell seemed to return to himself. "Very well, let us return to the Barracks my daughters. Tybilt, clear the way for us!"
Behind him, Pook subtly edged Corvissa out of the way. SHE was the one who was worthy to be Cromwell's favored child, and no other. And now...
It was time to play.
There was a sound that echoed through every space, a sound halfway between a question and a purr.
A crash. A rip through all existence, pieces scattered in every direction. Most of her parts taken away she started to fade...
And then there were hands. Two pairs of hands, always watching, always guiding. They took the broken leftover pieces and made them into a whole again.
Muddy feet following a path, unsure where it went, driven into the cold by powers beyond their understanding. Staggering over cobblestones they stopped, saw people rushing, greeting, making sounds. They asked her her name.
She opened her mouth to respond only to find that she could not make the slightest sound, even a growl or a trill or a grunt. She was handed a cold slimy thing and she nibbled at it without much interest, there was no appetite left over for her, the Other one had taken all of it and more. She seemed to remember the sensation of being strong, of running, but now she could barely stand and leaned heavily on the arm of one of them for support. They made some sounds that might have once sounded familiar to her...Pook? Rrrow? Prrow?
She nodded at this last one. Yes. That was the sound it had made.
She was taken to a place that seemed familiar...that FELT familiar. Her hands twisted in a pattern that seemed to mean something and then glowed. Healing. Mending and Light.
The people gave her a bed. There was another girl there, a Gnome, who seemed to be very much like her - a puzzle made up of all missing pieces. They tried to understand her, until finally the Gnome had put a paper and charcoal in her hands. She started at them blankly not having the slightest idea what they were for...
And then. Pictures. From her hands, as if she wasn't even doing it herself. A picture OF hands, glowing, guiding. She turned the paper over. On the other side a girl like an animal with darkness covering her face. The Gnome nodded knowingly.
She regarded the paper and realized. She reached out to where the heart would be and made a gesture of pain. Hurt. Anger. Rage. She pulled fingers down her cheeks to signal tears.
"Yes, I know," Redux said. "Rest now, Prrow."
Prrow laid down on the Pook Nest which had been covered with a blanket and made more presentable, falling asleep almost instantly. In her sleep, her hands twitched as if she was dreaming of healing...