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Forever Genie? - Part 5A by hippo2 Forever Genie? - Part 5A by hippo2
A few days later, Martha received an unknown call on her mobile. As far as she could tell, it was an Italian number, but she didn't recognize it. When she accepted the call and said her name, she heard the familiar voice of Tony Melani.

"Martha, is that you?" Tony asked.

"Yes that's me. Nice to hear from you again, Tony."

"Yeah, finally I found you. Didn't you receive out invitation we mailed you?"

Martha was asTonyshed. "What invitation?"

"The one Stefania and I send to the hotel by snailmail a few days ago."

"I'm sorry, but I don't work there anymore. If it has arrived there..." Martha though for a moment. "That cursed Svetlana! I'm sure she hasn't forwarded the letter. But say, what's the invitation for."

"Stefania's and my daughter was born a last week. And we'd like to invite you to her christening." Tony explained.

"I don't know what to say. Of course I'll come to the christening. "Martha replied. "When is it planned?"

"That's the point. It will be in two days." Tony said. "I hope you can still make it."

"Don't worry. Since Svetlana fired me, I have plenty of time. And as a genie, I can teleport to your place. Just give me your address and I'll be over in a second."

After Tony gave Martha his address, Martha ended the call. Quickly, she wrote a note for David that she was going to see some friends in Italy. Then she took her lamp and blinked herself away.


Stefania and Tony were sitting in their living room when the door bell was ringing. Stefania had her daughter on her lap so Tony went to answer the door. A minute later, her returned with Martha in tow.

"Hello Stefania!" Martha greeted the young mother. "I'm glad to see you and your daughter are doing fine!"

"Hello Martha. Sorry, that we didn't contact you earlier. But we had to settle down of the last two years. Finding jobs, building up a home and a family." Stefania explained.

"Ladies, if you don't mind, I'll go to town and buy something for diner." Toni interfered.

"You don't have to. With my powers, I could easily create a delicious dinner for us." Martha proposed.

"No, Martha. You're our guest and I'll take care of the diner for you." Tony insisted. "And later, I'll prepare the guest room for you."

"That wouldn't be necessary, I have my lamp with me." Martha explained.

"As you wish." Tony went over and gave his wife a kiss. "I'm off to town now. See you later."

When Tony had left the house, Martha sat down in the living room. "So, you two are now a family?" Martha asked.

"Right. After graduating from University, both of us found a job and we could buy this little house. But one year ago, I was laid off at my job. At least Toni still got his and he's earning enough for all the three of us. Anyway, with Calista being with us now, I have other priorities." Stefania explained.

"Wow, that must be quite a change for you. Going from a young man to being a mother within two years..." Martha said.

On these words, Stefania gave Martha a frown. "Thank you for reminding me." she said with a bitter voice.

"What... What's wrong?" Martha answered with astonishment.

"For the last two years, I haven't remembered that I was once a man. I'm happy as a woman. And now you bring all of it back." Stefania snapped at Martha.

The genie put her hand on Stefania's shoulder. "I'm sorry, I didn't know..."

Stefania forced a smile. "It's ok. You didn't know how much I have changed over the two years. My memories are still there in my mind but they seem so alien to me now, like a strange dream."

"Then I guess don't want to become male again then?" Martha ask.

"Male again? Never! I have a wonderful daughter and a loving husband. What else could a woman wish for? Ok, maybe to find a job again would be nice. But in total I'm happy to be Stefania.
Oh, by the way, do you wan't something to drink?"

"That would be nice. But you don't have to stand up. I'll conjure it up for us." Martha blinked and a canter of juice with two glasses appeared.

"Thank you Martha." Stefania filled Martha's and her own glass. She took a sip. "But tell me, how have you been doing over the last two years?"


Tony returned just when Martha had finished her story. "Hello Ladies. You won't guess what I found out: There's a special art exhibition in the local museum and they are displaying Hermione's masterpiece. Shall we go there together?"

"Sorry, Tony. You can go with Martha but I have to stay here with Calista." Stefania said.

"Ok, you can help me as well saving Hermione." Martha said.

"Saving Hermione? What do you mean?" Tony and Stefania asked.

"Right, you don't know that." Martha scratched her head. "Hermione made a bad wish that sucked her into her last picture. She's trapped inside ever since."

"So you knew that already when we came to Switzerland?" Stefania asked Martha angrily.

"Yes I knew it. But I didn't know where the picture was back then. So there was no chance to save Hermione two years ago." Martha admitted. "But now, there is probably a way."

"What do you mean with 'probably'" Tony asked.

"If somebody is transformed and then stays for too long in his or her new body, the magic will fade away. Over time, the new body becomes the natural body of transformed person. Also, the mind will adapt. Take your wife for example." Martha explained.

"I'd say that's the best that happened to her." Tony gave Stefania a loving kiss. "But I see your point. Still, it's better to be a free human than being trapped inside a painting."

"Even if her mind has completely gone?" Stefania asked.

"Before I can save her, I'll check the painting for remaining magic and if Hermione's mind has survived." Martha declared.

"Good, let's hope it is still possible to save Hermione." Tony decided. "Shall we go?"

Martha and Stefania agreed.


Sometime later, Tony and Martha were standing in the museum in front of Hermione's last painting. The resemblance of Greek priestess in the picture and Hermione was astonishing.

"Is that the picture Hermione was locked inside?" Tony asked.

Martha nodded.

"Ok, then please examine the picture." Tony said.

First Martha checked the painting for the magic signature. It was very weak, just as Martha had expected. If they wanted to rescue Hermione, now was probably their last chance. Then, Martha searched for Hermione's mind. Finally she found it but it had already changed. She couldn't even understand her thoughts any more, as if they Hermione was now speaking a different language, if any.
Martha thought for a moment: Because the magic signature had already degraded so much, it would be very difficult to undo the transformation - if Martha could do it at all. And even if she did it, she would get Hermione back, since her mind had already changed. Faced with these facts, Martha made a decision: "Tony, I'm very sorry, but I'm afraid we are too late. The magic signature is hardy existing anymore. And Hermione's mind has definitely adapted. We have to face the facts and accept, that Hermione is gone."

"Are you sure about that." Tony asked. He was definitely in denial.

"If we bring her back now, we would only get an empty shell. Do you want the for Hermione?"

Tony thought for a moment. Martha placed her hand on Tony's shoulder. "Let her go!"

With a sad face, Tony nodded. "I guess you are right. You know better about these things. If you say that we can't rescue her, I trust you on that."

"Ok." Tony said. He felt crushed. "Let's go home and explain this to my wife."

TO BE CONTINUED...

Part 4D (Goddess, Geniedom): hippo2.deviantart.com/art/Fore…
Part 4E (Mouse, Geniedom): hippo2.deviantart.com/art/Fore…

Part 6: hippo2.deviantart.com/art/Fore…
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