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Madame Horne's Lavish Library of Worldly Wizardry

Silent Sorcery, Bold Beasts and Splendid Solutions, Chapter One

By K.H. ObergfollPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 5 min read
Celestial-Curious Witch; Dall-E creation

Bitter, yellow-chalk colored fog clouded so thickly in the dormitories rafters that Cassie could practically taste it.

“I don ‘t care what color the fog is Ginny, that is the least of our worries.” Cassie hissed as she dragged a heavy foot-stool closer to the center of the cold, drab, oversized room while Ginny used a pair of broken binoculars to assess the origin of where the fog was coming. Of all the hundred-and thirty-two rooms in the east wing, Milweather’s Girls dorm was at the tip-top of the mountainous circular tower. An upside-down cone hung above them with carved wooden spindling to catch all the wayward spider-webs that bloomed from end to end.

The rooms weren’t too terribly isolating but still, they couldn’t risk waking the monitors who slept just one measly floor below, nearest the common-rooms.

They had the best room in the entire castle—or so they thought. Hundreds of windowed-dormers looked out over the grounds and the moon could be spotted through the shabby shingles above. The smell of burning embers, settling rose petals and dusty drapes hung in the air.

“I swear I think it’s green… green fog signals an invasion if my memory serves me correct…”

“Ginny—shut it. You are not helping anything. We won’t know until we get a sample down to the library,” Karissa muttered as she helped stack a second nearby foot-stool precariously atop the first; stepping back to admire her handy-work— “that should do for now Cassie, who wants to be the first one up?”

“Wait, the library?” Ginny stammered, the binoculars trembling slightly in her hands as though the thought of books stacked high upon a shelf was somehow more dangerous than the task at hand.

There were six of them in the room and not-a-one knew what they were doing, each stepping back into the shadows.

“Yes, the library, unless you have a better solution?” Karissa began, a fearless air straightening her spine as she huffed with impatience— “maybe we should summon Evelyn, or better yet Alvina—seeing as to how you are all so scared.”

Karissa stepped closer to the door— “I don’t want to make you do anything you are uncomfortable with. Besides, I’m sure it’s nothing—just a little leak, or the glare from the moon interrupting a lost cloud perhaps?”

“No, no, no need to get anyone else involved,” Cassie responded rather abruptly. “I believe we can manage…and nowhere in the books have I ever heard of a lost cloud; that’s pure non-sense, utter codswallop.”

“If you say so,” Karissa replied dejectedly as she stepped uneasily onto the teetering stools.

“Where’d I place my capturing flask?” Cassie moaned, letting go of the foot-stools as she floated about the room leaving upturned chaos in her wake.

“Here’s one of mine,” Ginny offered, pulling a slightly cracked hexagonal shaped glass with a rotted sea-cork from her robe pocket and thrust it inches from Cassie’s face.

“How old is this thing? You weren’t sleeping with it in your pocket?” Cassie asked, genuinely curious as she handed it off to Karissa— “aren’t you afraid it will break, shatter, cut you?”

No,” Ginny mumbled.

“Well you know witch’s glass is deadly if broken or inhaled. You should really be more careful.” Karissa added, eyeing the glass specimen with disdain.

“I know, I know, I just like to be prepared, always ready for things like this to happen.” Ginny smiled, clearly oblivious to how much negative attention the ancient capturing flask had brought— “it’s only a few hundred years old or so, an antique collector’s item.” Ginny continued—"I put potions in it all the time. Besides, this wouldn’t be a problem if you hadn’t snuck out to Madam Miridula’s Robe Shop earlier. Maybe that’s why there’s a fog in the room…”

“Oh, so now it’s my fault,” Cassie gasped, tightly clutching her newly minted sleeping robes—” you know she released the spring-line and I had to get one before Audrey Tilcott does. Besides, who can pass up the idea of sleeping in the most superior silk? This is not synthetic..." Cassie paused. Oblivious to the fog growing bigger overhead, doubling in size.

“I mean, this isn’t ‘Rarely-Wicked Wizardwear’, I didn’t by it at a discount…and there aren't any tags or receipts. How’d you even know I left…What were you doing, following me?”

“Cassie…CassieCassie,” Ginny screeched as Karissa came toppling down, the capturing flask shattering at their feet.

“That’s besides the point,” Ginny snapped, ripping a pair of even dustier, smudge-filled goggles from her head. Within seconds the doors to their room flew open sending icy-cold air into the room.

“Girls, ladies!!! What is all this noise? All this racket? You have kept the whole wing awake with your babbling and carrying on. What’s going on…”

Sixth-year student and fellow-hall monitor Evelyn Aurora stopped dead in her tracks, her wand out and ready but it would seem the eerie fog had all but disappeared. The girls looked around, dumbfounded as to what just happened.

“Oh, so, the Sneaky-Silence Spell has you under it’s charm has it? Should I get the Headmistress and order a months’ worth of detention or will one of you fess up?”

“The fog…it’s gone…” Ginny started to explain but before she could delve further into the mysterious happenings a series of shrill screams and bright sparks crashed, bouncing about without any destination in sight.

“Trickle Toads,” third year student Penny Goldfinch rushed in, breathless and nearly knocking over Evelyn Aurora as she stood stoic in her muted, drab hall-monitor robes.

“If you touch the fog it multiplies turning into whatever you fear the most, a diversionary charm…”

I know what that is,” Evelyn Aurora hissed. Her hands clenching her wand as she turned to the girls whose room they were in.

Who did it…”

Admittedly, it was hard taking Evelyn seriously when hordes of teeny-tiny owls hobbled around and bunnies the size of grasshoppers exploded from Penny’s fingertips.

“Make it stop, make it stop,” she screamed.

“Quit moving, keep still,” Alvina Drakes tepid voice cut above the fray.

She was nearly three-hundred years old with a curving hunchback and pointed elbows. Her knotted fingers set about casting banishing spells as an entire forest of miniature creatures disappeared back into oblivion.

“That will settle that,” she nodded with a resolute, yet firm smile. There was a big difference in her wordly ways.

“Is there anything else I should know,” she asked. Her twinkling, gentle eyes resting on Cassie’s latest set of robes.

All four girls replied at the same time— “no ma’am,”

“Alright then, don’t sound so downtrodden. You survived, didn’t you? Until next time this is the best we can do. There’s always tomorrow for another adventure, another mishap maybe?”

Short StoryYoung AdultAdventure

About the Creator

K.H. Obergfoll

Writing my escape, my future…if you like what you read—leave a comment, an encouraging tip, or a heart—I’m always looking to improve, let me know if there is anything I can do better.

& above all—thank you for your time

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