|The house of a busy mage is never a neat one, and Iris's house was no exception.
Her once-immaculate wooden floor was charred in splotches, marking the potion spills that were mopped up a minute too late, but the burnt spots weren't very visible under the cloth, potion ingredients, and measuring instruments strewn across the floor.
Not that her home didn't have shelves. Each wall in her house was cluttered with shelves carelessly hammered in, which in turn were fully stocked with beakers, potion flasks, and boxes. Some were empty, some were glowing, and some were oozing their contents onto the shelves. The one desk she would have had space with was crammed with open books filled with markings and circles around certain paragraphs.
Iris paid all this no mind.
The Poogle seized a dropper and squeezed two drops of Essence of Mortog in her cauldron. "I'm telling you, Fireball, this will be my big break for sure!" She stirred the mixture with the bottom of her staff. "Others try to work miracles with machinery, but through my research and magical prowess I can do just about anything, even what everyone's afraid of."
Fireball said nothing, only running back to his master among the debris with a Sun Dried Techo Claw in his mouth. "Good boy," Iris crooned, tossing the Doglefox a marshmallow.
"They'll see..." she trailed off as she dropped in the claw with a quiet splash. Her voice lowered in pitch and volume, as if not to disturb the potion she was brewing. "I'll prove I can go back. I'll prove that I can fix everything..." Iris fought to keep her voice from breaking toward the end of her sentence as she struggled to keep her memories at bay.
Fireball stared up at the Poogle questioningly and continued munching on his marshmallow. She patted his fluffy orange head, smiling wanly. "In any case, I've studied too hard for too many years to quit now." Iris's faint smile disappeared.
Taking an empty flask and tongs from a nearby shelf, the Poogle slipped the former into the latter. Holding the tongs with a practiced paw, she dipped the flask into her opalescent brew and lifted it, letting the excess ethereal mixture cascade off of the flask before holding it to her lips.
Iris hesitated for a moment. She'd worked through many nights and studied for many days to bring herself a chance of recovering the past. Had she done it wrong? The slightest error and she would be done for... or worse.
Iris shook her head. "Fireball, love, the time has come." Patting the Doglefox one more time, she lifted the tongs and poured the mixture down her throat.
It burned like the Magma Pool, stung like the Snowager's breath, and trickled like the sleeping Rainbow Fountain. Iris cried out in alarm and pain, dropping the flask onto the floor where it shattered into many pieces.
Fireball, who'd had his head buried in a bag of marshmallows, looked up in a daze. He swiveled his head and sniffed, attempting to find his master.
He couldn't, though, no matter he he tried, for she was in a different place, in a different time...