The blood-red liquid in my soot-stained potions cauldron frothed, turned blue, and overflowed onto my desk. “No!” I cried as I snatched my alchemy workbook.
Nicole looked over at the mess. “Again Kayla?” She shook her short blonde hair at me.
Balancing my workbook on one hand I pulled out my wand with the other. Pointing the wand at the goop I incanted “Purus Redono!” The morass of blue foam sparkled and evaporated. Putting everything down I thumped my clenched fist on the polished oak desktop. “What am I doing wrong?”
Nicole peered at the notes in my workbook, one hand rubbing the crystal charm pendant she wore around her neck. “A levitation potion? Where’d you get the recipe for that?”
“It’s Professor Agwilde’s homework. I’ve got until tomorrow afternoon to turn in a working potion, and it’s part of the term’s grade!”
“Seriously? We haven’t even been back a week!”
“I know! He gave us the recipe, but not how to mix it or how much.” I frowned and rifled through the jars of ingredients which were now mostly empty. “I think I’ve got one or two more chances and then I’m out of at least three things.” I huffed. “I’m starting the term with a fail. Can this get any better?”
Heels clicked on the polished stone floor of the study hall, and Heather strode over and sat down opposite me. “Hey guys!” she said, flipping back her mass of raven-black curls and twisting it into a bun. “What are we working on?”
My heart panged in a small fit of jealousy. My mousy-brown mop of hair wouldn’t behave like that even if I cast a spell on it.
“You look extra buffed and shiny,” said Nicole. “What’s his name?”
Heather pouted. “Nicole! How can you say something like that?”
I smirked. “Because we’ve been your room-mates for the last two years.”
Heather laughed. “You guys! Well, it’s not anyone in particular. Not yet anyways. I had a look at the class schedule and realized that the rugby squad would be coming back from practice right as I was on my way here. So I took the long walk around to run into them.”
I frowned. “You paraded yourself in front of a bunch of sweaty guys?”
“No. I found a good spot to watch a bunch of sweaty guys parade past me!”
I shook my head. “Hey, where’s your potions homework? You said we’d work on it together!”
Heather pulled a textbook out of her bookbag. “Already done and turned in. You could’ve been too if you hadn’t run out of class as soon as the lunch bell rang.”
“I was starving! My body thinks I’m still on summer break and I missed breakfast.” I shoved my workbook in front of her. “Where am I going wrong?”
“Oh! Levitation potion. I didn’t get that one, sorry. What about you Nicole? Have you had potions yet?”
“No. I’ve got it first thing tomorrow. DeJourner though, not Agwilde.”
“Lucky you,” I said. “It sucks that we don’t have any classes where we’re all together this term.”
Nicole grinned. “I guess the three of us will just have to get into trouble outside of class for a change.”
The banging of a heavy walking stick on the stone floor interrupted our laughter. Professor Sigrun drew herself up to her full, imposing height, her bony hands clutching the ball on the top of her cane. I was surprised to see the hint of a smile on her normally dour face as she waited for the hall to quiet.
“Students. I have an announcement of great import.”