Updated: Nov 5, 2018
Not every magical being at the manor was born from the darkness of the Ravenfells. Some, like the visiting witch, found their way to the manor and its secrets for their own reasons, and their own stories.
Felinda, despite what her favored Halloween stomping ground suggested, was a good witch. Her powers, though dark seeming, were sought for noble means to do what earthly witchcraft was always intended, the same way Katerina’s budding powers began so many years ago, to protect the creatures of nature.
Like other witches of her type in this day and age, she usually felt drawn to a cause, the magic summoning her to a higher calling and granting a gift to serve it. Not all discover magic through this service, but those of the greatest purest heart usually do. And Felinda was one whose heart was as pure as the hearts of the creatures she chose to protect. Her service was to the pets of the world, neglected, abused, homeless. Her gifts aided her in healing those she could. But like all noble good witches discover, even magic has its limits.
Felinda did her best, offering her gifts in every way she could until there were days she felt like there was nothing left of her magic to give. But still there was more suffering. Still there were more pets who needed her help than she could manage. More were being born every day to owners unable to care for them. She urged spay and neuter until her voice gave out and still she could not stop the flood of unwanted pets.
Then one day her gift evolved violently with her emotions and found a darker side in answer. In a desperate attempt to stop an out of control puppy mill which had evaded the law time and again, Felinda’s powers rose to her call and strickened all of the animals on the land. Her powers of course would never allow her to truly cause harm to animals she loved so dearly, but she had to stop this abuse. Every animal within the mill was left infertile that day, unable to produce the valuable puppies the offending owner sought so desperately at the expense of the dogs’ well-being. The peaceful surrender Felinda sought so earnestly for a year suddenly happened after only a month once the curse of sterility was discovered.
Among the circles she worked she became known as Felinda the Good Witch of Pet Infertility. She preferred not to intervene when a more general option like spaying and neutering could help the matter, but when nothing else could stop the flood of unwanted animals without homes, she would summon her curse and stricken them for the better good. But even with this dark gift she could not stop it all. Still there were more pets born every day without loving homes to take them.
Worst of all, the ones who broke Felinda’s heart the most, were the ones who were lost and could never be helped. Every pet who didn’t leave a shelter with an owner while living was held as a failure, though she knew there was only so much she could do even with magic at her command.
For those she was unable to help, she tended a garden, as so many witches of her kind do. She buried their ashes or their little bodies there, and she gave them a place to belong and to be cared for, even if only in death. It was a somber duty, but Felinda took the sadness with pride, for someone had to give these poor forgotten creatures dignity at some point. She tended this service for many years offering the spells and prayers that she could for their lost souls, hoping that they could feel the love of an owner just once on the other side. But an accidental meeting and the draw of Ravenfell magic would change all of that forever.
It was by mere happenstance that Felinda met the current owners of Ravenfell Manor. They adopted a cat from one of her numerous projects many years before. While following up on the recently passed senior Cody for an article, she met the boys of the house again and got to talking for a bit. As a witch, of course she loved Halloween, and she was fascinated by Brandon’s strange distant obsession with the magic of the holiday. She could tell there was more going on than either was letting on. She could sense the dark magics that were stirring in the soil of the gardens. So when they suggested that she should come and join them for their annual celebration, Felinda was eager to accept. That decision is what changed the somberness of her enduring duty.
When she arrived that first Halloween night at Ravenfell Manor, attired in her witchly robes, more authentic than anything she was forced to wear in her regular day to day workings, she was shocked to discover this was not just some Halloween decorations put together by the boys of the house. The magic she had sensed that summer within the soil had awoken. The thinness of the veil was torn asunder and the spirits from the other side walked freely from death upon the old forgotten manor grounds. The entire place was transformed, Ravenfell Manor brought back from the past for this one night. But there was another miracle of the manor, brought back by the dark magics of the Ravenfells.
Felinda did not know how to respond at first when she heard that familiar purring meow. She was partially horrified and stunned when the large undead Maine Coon pulled himself free from the dark soil of the manor gardens. He had been cremated, she was certain. Yet the magic of the manor grounds had reconstructed the cat, for the most part, into the furball she had known and loved in the shelter before the boys adopted him. With a tear in her eye, she petted a beautiful creature she thought she would never see again. And with a growing smile upon her face, Felinda began to hatch a plan for the following year. Her duty to those forgotten shelter pets did not seem so daunting or somber anymore.
When Halloween of the following year arrived, Felinda returned to Ravenfell Manor bedecked in her robes of power and bearing an urn with the ashes of those she could not save in life. It was a bit sad, but in a heartening way. For here among the dark magics of the manor, these forgotten pets would have one last chance to be loved. Hildegard Ravenfell, the resident old crone, accepted the novice white witch into her hut, and gave over her gardens to the pet cemetery, which Felinda now tends each year at the manor.
Those who walk the paths are urged to give love to these forgotten ones before they move on to the afterlife. But even more, Felinda encourages others to lessen the burden of her year’s failures, to lighten the weight of the urn she carries to this dark sad graveyard every year. She has accepted the darkness of the Ravenfells, but she uses it for a bit of light. For one day she hopes to come to the manor with an empty urn, for all the little animals have loving homes at last.
It is a noble cause, however, the Ravenfells do know one thing for certain. Few dabble with the darkness without welcoming it into their hearts just a bit. So they welcome Felinda the "good" witch among them. For every year she becomes a little more a Ravenfell herself.
**If you wish to help Felinda's quest and diminish the burden of the ashes she carries to the manor each year, consider offering support to the Feline Community Network on Facebook. They do wonderful work, and they are the organization our wonderful witch devotes so much of her time and effort to when she is not here at the manor with us.
By: Brand J. Alexander