Roomies 4: Part Five
Soft yellow sunlight filtered in through the large windows the next morning, warming up the dank dorm and its three inhabitants. From its spot on a side table between the two beds, Jhudora’s wand started vibrating, the alarm spell blaring its annoying cry with a vengeance. Jesc’s sensitive ears woke her up almost immediately, and as she sat up from her spot nestled on the cold floor, a chipper “Good morning!” escaped her lips, despite the fact that no one could hear her.
Jhudora meanwhile, after clumsily swatting at her wand so that it would stop ringing, rolled out of bed like a bona fide zombie. Her violet eyes were for the most part closed, her socked steps were shuffled, and she bent over herself as if she was about to fall over. Jesc thought it was a miracle that she somehow managed to go through her morning routine without collapsing into a heap on the floor.
Once Jhudora finished eating a quick breakfast and fixed her hair, she grabbed her school bag laden with new books and her wand, checked briefly to see if her sleeping dark faerie roommate was still breathing, and made her way to the door. Jesc immediately got to her feet, her Red Ixi Plushie comfortably nesting in her pocket, and followed Jhudora down the spiral staircase.
The Academy halls were packed with hundreds of faeries. Many of them were strolling by in giggling groups, while the newbies desperately scanned the crowds for a teacher, hoping someone could point them in the right direction. There was that first-day-of-school vibe in the air, and Jesc breathed it in happily as Jhudora marched her way to her first period class; it almost helped to ease the homesickness that had steadily been building ever since drinking the Rememorandum Potion. But after a few minutes of following Jhudora through the circular white stone halls, a frown slipped onto the air faerie’s face. The route they were taking was all too familiar...
“Oh no,” Jesc murmured, her blue eyes widening as they drew nearer to the door bearing the words, “Proper Uses of Magical Abilities.” Illusen was waiting outside of the room, her hair pinned back with a green clip, and she waved to Jhudora as the dark faerie drew near.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” she teased, reaching for the doorknob with a green-gloved hand. “Ready for class?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be at seven o’clock in the morning,” Jhudora murmured sleepily, rubbing her eyes.
But Jesc wasn’t ready. Proper Uses of Magical Abilities was Mrs. Pierce’s class, and she had no desire to run into that maniac unarmed. Instinctively Jesc reached for her pocket... but her wand wasn’t there, only Mr. Snuggles staring up at her with his stitched-on black eyes. “I get to keep my clothes and my plushie, but no wand?” she pouted helplessly, glancing upwards as if Mr. Sully was watching her from above with amusement. “Whoever created this potion obviously had some priority issues.”
But Jhudora and Illusen had already strolled inside, and the uncomfortable feeling of being too far away from the dark faerie, a side effect of the potion, was already building in her stomach. Jesc reached for Mr. Snuggles, holding him tightly in her arms, as she stepped inside, blinking once the bright room came into focus.
Jesc hadn’t had Mrs. Pierce as a teacher for almost a year, but her room was all too familiar in her mind: bare and boring. But in this classroom, everything was different. The white walls were plastered in colorful posters; most of them bore educational tips on using magic, but a few promoted bands like Jazzmosis and Twisted Roses. Rows of colorful chalk lined the white ledge beneath the blackboard, and Mrs. Pierce’s desk was dotted with colorful objects like a snow globe paperweight, a student-made ceramic pencil holder, and an enchanted glass butterfly that gently fluttered its wings.
But most shocking of all was Mrs. Pierce, seated at her desk and reading a book in her lap as she waited for the late bell to ring. Her hair went down to her shoulders and flipped at the ends, the color a rich auburn untainted by streaks of grey. Her face was rosy and devoid of wrinkles, and instead of the tacky outfit she normally wore, she had on a cute blouse and a professional pencil skirt. She looked so different that Jesc had only recognized her from the black pointed glasses that she still wore, although on the young fire faerie teacher they looked stylish instead of stern.
The bell shrieked its school time cry and Mrs. Pierce shut her book gently before standing up. Jhudora and Illusen had seated themselves near the front, the two faeries exchanging whispers, while Jesc, in complete shock, hadn’t moved since stepping through the door.
“Good morning, everyone, and happy new school year,” Mrs. Pierce announced as she surveyed her class through her glasses. “I’m glad to see everyone back in my class again.”
Jesc frowned; Mrs. Pierce made that same statement every year, but usually it was sarcastic, as if she secretly wished that all of her students had fallen off a cliff over break. Now, however, she seemed genuinely sincere. It was almost creepy.
“All right,” Vermillion continued, gesturing to the board so that a piece of pink chalk flew into the air and magically started writing. “As much as we all hate it, I have to explain the syllabus to you guys.” There was a collective groan, and Jhudora even booed, but Mrs. Pierce just grinned down at them, her eyes twinkling.
“Proper Uses of Magical Abilities class helps us to figure out the proper ways to use our powers, and it prevents us from using them inappropriately, such as, for example, playing jokes on faculty members.”
Jhudora and Illusen exchanged glances, trying to hide their smiles, but Mrs. Pierce only sent them an amused look.
“As second years, in all of your classes you all will be learning different and more complex bits of magic, and so it’s imperative that we continue to learn the differences in what is right and what is wrong. Basically that’s the entire point of this class.”
She paused, trying to look all serious, but the students grinned up at her, anticipating what was coming next.
“All right then,” she said, clasping her hands together, “that’s about it. Now everyone up! Anyone from Suzzi on, push your desk to the right side of the room. Everyone else, to the left. Now that we’ve finished discussing the course, we can get right to work!”
“Yes!” came a cry from the back of the room, and within moments, everyone had stood up and were shoving their desks to the side, chattering breaking out as a space was cleared in the middle of the room.
“I love this part of class!” Illusen muttered excitedly, her jade eyes bright. Jhudora nodded in agreement, moving her desk to the side and joining into the large circle of faeries that had already formed.
Jesc just stared at everyone blankly. “Mr. Snuggles, what is going on?”
“Ready, everyone?” Mrs. Pierce announced, pulling out her sleek black wand as she stepped in the middle of the circle. The faeries around her nodded eagerly, and she smiled, her cheeks flushed with happiness. “All right then. Here we go!”
With that, she suddenly pointed to a random water faerie and fired out a spell. Jesc gasped as the girl was catapulted high into the air, Mrs. Pierce using her wand to guide her across the ceiling. However, instead of outraged gasps, everyone, including the water faerie, started laughing.
“So,” Mrs. Pierce asked, trying to keep her face serious but not succeeding. “Is this a proper or improper use of magic?”
“Improper!” came a loud chorus.
“Correct! My, it seems like the summer hasn’t dulled you all completely.” With a wink, she returned the faerie back to the ground, thanking her as she landed.
Mrs. Pierce continued to cast various spells on her students, causing them to hiccup indefinitely, spin around in circles, and perform other random stunts. She even turned Jhudora into a Mortog for a few minutes, letting the class watch as she hopped around the room before turning her back.
Jesc watched with wide eyes. Seeing Mrs. Pierce act so carefree and fun was amazing, but it left her stomach in knots. On one hand, it was wonderful to see her so happy, and Jesc was even envious that Mrs. Pierce had never acted this way while she had had her as a teacher. But then her heart dropped as she thought of Mrs. Pierce of the future: a crotchety old woman so set on revenge that she had gone completely insane. It made Jesc’s conscience cringe.
Something really awful must have happened to her to make her the way she is now, Jesc thought, listening to the joyous laughter echoing throughout the room with a heavy heart. And of course, I’m the one who was sent back to watch as her life falls to pieces.
The rest of the day whizzed by in a rush of colors and sounds. Although all of the classes, save for Proper Uses of Magical Abilities, were pretty straightforward, Jesc still enjoyed looking at her teachers as they were in a different time. Mrs. Sre’s hair was longer and she kept it up in a high ponytail and under a blue cap during gym classes; Mr. Sully was as gloomy as usual, although he looked a tad younger and his eyes weren’t so watery; and Mr. Greer, her strict old math teacher, sported a thick black afro.
After eating dinner in a courtyard untarnished by a magical shield and littered with colorful fallen leaves, Illusen, Jhudora, and Jesc met back up in room 689. Illusen lounged on the bed, her legs crossed and Great-Aunt Kryta’s book open in her lap, while Jhudora was seated atop a pillow on the floor, struggling with her math homework.
“It’s just like Greer to give us homework on the first day back,” she complained, staring at the thick packet of math problems with a grimace on her face. “Hey Illusen, what’d you get for 38? I keep getting x equals 1765, but that doesn’t make any sense.”
When the earth faerie didn’t answer, Jhudora turned around and groaned. “Not that book again. You have some weird obsession with it.”
“Do not,” Illusen said defensively, turning a thin page. “I mean, you’re totally right about how some of the things in this book are trouble, but then there are others that are completely harmless. Look!” She turned the book towards her friend and prodded at the spidery heading.
“Mad Fire?” Jhudora read, her violet eyes incredulous. “What? You want us to set the light faerie tower on fire? In case you didn’t know, that’s called ‘arson,’ and it’s against the la—”
“It’s not normal fire,” Illusen persisted, scooting closer to Jhudora. “It’s an illusion spell of some sorts. It messes with people’s heads, making them think there’s a fire, when there really isn’t.”
“An illusion, huh?” Jhudora repeated, taking the book into her hands as she read over the spell instructions with new interest. “Well, I guess that’s not too bad then. But it’s not just a normal spell; there’s a potion component to it that we need to brew. And even if we sneak into Mr. Sully’s room to make it, it’ll be a while before we can pull it off.”
“Not too long,” Illusen protested confidently, slipping a piece of chestnut hair behind her ear. “A month at most, I think.” She leaned back against the headboard. “Just think about it. Only a month until we pull off the perfect prank.” Her eyes flicked down to the dark faerie. “So, what do you think? Is Operation Mad Fire in the works?”
Jhudora stared at the book a moment longer, stroking the worn leather binding with a purple nail before nodding. “All right. I’m in.” With her resolve in place, she put the book off to the side and picked her math homework back up. “And, now that I’ve agreed to go along with your plan, will you please give me the answer to 38?”
Illusen grinned and scooted over to her, scanning Jhudora’s messy scrawl with careful eyes. “You forgot to move the decimal over a place.”
“Ah,” Jhudora murmured, adding in the small dot with her dark faerie pencil. “Now what about 49?”
As Illusen and Jhudora went over their math homework, Jesc crept over from her spot on the floor; she had just finished playing a couple rounds of I Spy with Mr. Snuggles, and sadly enough, the plushie had somehow managed to win. The air faerie paused once she was beside the book, her light blue eyes scanning the print and her iridescent wings sparkling in the fading light.
In all actuality, the prank didn’t seem so horrible. Just as Illusen had said, it was merely an illusion spell.
Almost like the one me and Jhudora did on Mrs. Pierce and that candle last year, she thought with a frown on her face. It had been a completely harmless operation... or had it?
Jesc leaned back against the base of the bed as Illusen and Jhudora argued over who had the right answer on the final problem. Their own prank had seemed harmless at the time, but look what it had caused in the long run: nothing but pain for both parties. Jhudora and Jesc were constantly being pursued while Mrs. Pierce thought up even grander schemes. Schemes that included trapping the entire Academy under a sickly green bubble until Jesc and Jhudora handed themselves over.
“I’m here to help stop all that,” Jesc reminded herself, holding Mr. Snuggles to her chest as she glanced over to the two other faeries in the room, laughing as carefree as the two kids they were. “I just hope that I can.”
To be continued...