With Halloween less than three weeks away as I write, our next story stays in Riverdale, but with a long forgotten character who was last seen just going into high school just three years ago. Bearing this in mind, you won't see Sabrina or the Archies in this next tale. In fact, this is set a few years into the future. All characters are copyright Archie Comics save for new characters created for this story. ============================== Chapter 1: It was the first day of school, and Amanda Clifton was running late. Her car wouldn't start, and she had just missed a city bus that would've gotten her to Riverdale High in time for homeroom. Not good form for a transfer student from Salem High entering her junior year. "This simply will not do.", she thought to herself. Luckily, one of her neighbors, George Halliday, was taking his daughter, Jinx, to school, and offered Amanda a ride. Jinx had befriended Amanda over the summer after Amanda and her father arrived in town. "Thank you so much, Mr. Halliday.", Amanda said. "I owe you a debt of gratitude." "Think nothing of it, Amanda.", Jinx piped in. "If you ever need help, just call us." "I have to take my car to the garage this afternoon. Once that's repaired, I'll give you a ride some morning, Jinx, to return the favor." Matthew Clifton watched as his daughter left with the Hallidays. "She doesn't know she doesn't need anyone to repair the car. She doesn't know what she is yet.", he thought to himself. ================================ Meanwhile, another transfer student, Stacy Weathers, had arrived on time, as her parents had bought a house two blocks from the school, so she had no such worries about transportation. Upon arriving, she met with Principal Waldo Weatherbee and guidance counselor Gerald Hoffman. "According to your transcript, Ms. Weathers, you only need three credits to graduate.", Hoffman said. "We can arrange a half-day schedule for you if you like." "I appreciate the offer, Mr. Hoffman, but I'd rather take on a full slate like everyone else. Can't be too careful, and those extra classes could come in handy come exam time at the end of the season.", Stacy replied. "A great attitude to have!", Weatherbee exclaimed. "Let me show you to your homeroom." =============================== Stacy, Jinx, & Amanda all tried out for the cheerleading team. New coach Samantha Powers was impressed with all three, but only had two spots to fill. Or so she thought. "The final roster will be announced prior to the home opener on Friday night.", she said. Riverdale was supposed to have its football opener vs. Clark Corners the previous weekend, but Clark Corners' field was being renovated due to a water main break two weeks earlier, and the game was postponed, rescheduled for October 21, the bye week before the playoffs. That allowed Coach Powers time to fully assess her new team. However, on September 8, at the end of classes, Amanda and Jinx returned to their lockers, only to discover that someone had broken into Amanda's locker, and left some strange markings on the door. Weatherbee looked at the markings and frowned. "What is all this?", he inquired. "I wish I knew, sir.", Amanda replied as she surveyed the damage done. "Three of my textbooks have been stolen, and my jacket, too." "Amanda?", Rusty Davis called. "I found your books & jacket on the roof." "Now who would put them there?" "The same miscreant who marked up your locker door, I'd imagine.", Weatherbee sniffed. "I'll have Svenson clean up the door ASAP." Just then, Stacy came over and reported that her locker had been ransacked as well. She recognized the markings and said the same were on her locker door. "Did you have anything stolen, Ms. Weathers?", Weatherbee asked. "Yes, sir. Three books and a backpack. Found them in a dumpster." "Seems we have something in common.", Amanda offered. "Aside from both of our lockers being vandalized, I'd have to disagree. Someone may have the same perception about both of us, but I'd venture they may only be half right." With that, Stacy turned on her heels and left. ================================ The next morning, Weatherbee returned to his office to find Matthew Clifton waiting for him, ahead of Amanda arriving. "My daughter doesn't know I'm here, and I'd rather she didn't know anything about this meeting.", he said. "She told you about the markings on her locker door?", Weatherbee asked. "Yes, she did. I told her I'd explain it to her at a more appropriate time, but I am aware that you've had some experience with the supernatural in the past." "I've had a witch here as a student in the past, Mr. Clifton, but she graduated a few years ago. I would surmise that you yourself would be a warlock?" "Very perceptive, Mr. Weatherbee. I'm well aware of the Spellman family's residency here in town, and I was hoping my Amanda would make their acquaintance. She could use a tutor, as she doesn't even know she does have powers, which have yet to manifest, and should have upon her 16th birthday." "It seems to me, Mr. Clifton, that Amanda may not be alone. Stacy Weathers was also a victim of these vandals." "Weathers, did you say?" "Yes, sir." "It certainly seems as though the vandals know more about these girls' heritages than the girls themselves do, or at least more than Amanda does. I am not so certain about this other one." "My staff is looking into who could have accessed the student database to obtain the information without authorization." "And it would avail you naught. Someone knows that both girls are or will be witches. Someone who had crossed paths with the Spellman women, and don't want any more of our kind in this city. I would suspect, sir, that the vandal or vandals are not current students, but operating covertly." "Well, Mr. Clifton, we could certainly use your help in this matter. We'll keep Amanda out of the loop if at all possible, for your sake." "In time, she'll become aware of what she is, and will be a valuable ally. I will lend a hand for now, and then, if you will, the baton will be passed." Clifton then teleported out. Weatherbee counted himself thankful that he now had a soundproof office. ================================= There are new witches in town, but how does Jinx fit in? We'll see in chapter 2.