Roomies 4: Part Three
The three of them continued cautiously down the deserted hallway until Mrs. Sre stopped in front of a blank stretch of wall. White stone, now spiderwebbed with a couple of dark cracks, glinted down at them as the dark faerie withdrew her wand. Then, after pressing the tip to the stone and murmuring a spell, a rectangular outline began to glow with a faint golden light. A second later, a wooden door had appeared as if it had always been there along with a brass knob and plaque that read “Faculty Room.”
“I never knew there was a faculty room,” Jesc murmured with awe, tentatively touching the door as if it would bite back. “And it just magically appears? That is so vo!”
“Vo?” Jhudora repeated blankly, a single indigo eyebrow arched.
“Vo. Like vo codestone,” the air faerie explained, her aqua eyes shining. “I made it up. It’s my new word for ‘cool.’”
“Well,” Mrs. Sre said, shaking her head slowly as a grin slipped onto her face, “the Academy has some pretty er... vo secrets, and this room is just one of them. You should hear some of the rumors running around this place about hidden passageways, treasure troves, and etcetera. It’s all part of the rich history of the Faerie Academy.”
“Well, this Academy might as well be history if we don’t get a move on,” Jhudora grumbled, impatience slipping into her voice.
“Very true,” Mrs. Sre agreed quickly with a nod. With a quick twist of her wrist, she opened the door and stepped inside.
Jesc’s eyes widened as she followed her gym teacher and Jhudora. The room was much more spacious than she had imagined, designed with a large seating area to her left scattered with plush chairs, couches, and a coffee table. A small kitchen was in the back corner, complete with a long counter, wooden cabinets, and the almighty coffee maker. But what made Jesc smile were all the personal touches that the teachers had left in the room; ungraded exams were spilled haphazardly on side tables, pictures of loved ones were tacked up on the cabinet doors, and a scorch mark on the floor hinted of some minor magical incident from the past. It was both cozy and professional, and for the first time Jesc wondered if maybe teaching would be her future profession, just for the fact she’d get to chill in such an awesome place between classes.
“Ah, the faeries of the hour!” a soft voice sang. “Perfect!”
Jesc snapped her head forward, noticing for the first time the long table that occupied the space ahead. At least twenty chairs marked up the perimeter, all of them taken by various faculty members, faeries and neopets alike, who were staring at Jesc and Jhudora intently. The speaker was a young earth faerie teacher, barely older than most of the students, with long chestnut hair and leaf green eyes.
“Hi, Miss Nell!” Jesc greeted with a smile and a wave.
“Hello, Jesc,” the Helping Out Neopia teacher responded kindly. “It’s nice to see you too, Jhudora.” Then, with a glance upwards to Mrs. Sre, Miss Nell said, “I started the meeting already; I hope you don’t mind. We’ve already discussed and voted on a few measures of security, spell renewals and the such. Also, we’ve decided that the students will be having lunch in their dorms until further notice so as not to provoke anyone from trying to fly into that barrier Mrs. Pierce put up.”
“Good.” Mrs. Sre nodded, flicking her wand so that the next minute there was a seat for her at the table. “A couple of freshmen just tried to break through a few minutes ago, but I managed to stop them before they got too close. Then this one fire faerie, Arena’s her name, I think, tried to hand Jesc and Jhudora over to Mrs. Pierce.” She paused, as if suddenly remembering that they were both in the room with her, and turned around. “Come on, you two! Conjure up some chairs and have a seat. You’re needed here as much as any of the faculty members.”
Jhudora grudgingly conjured up a seat that bore a striking resemblance to the throne back in her cloud, while Jesc opted for a normal wooden chair painted baby blue with clouds. As she went to sit, however, she found that she couldn’t seem to get down properly; her bottom kept getting repelled upwards.
“Your shield spell, Jesc!” Jhudora snapped irritably. “Take it off!”
“But this is so much fun!” Jesc squealed, bouncing up-and-down a few more times before removing the spell with a quick command. A few of the teachers who hadn’t had her in their class before stared at her curiously, but Mrs. Sre waved their questioning glances away with a simple: “She’s like that at times.”
“All right,” Mrs. Sre continued, her voice slipping into a business-like tone. “Now that we’re all settled, I think it’s time we discuss the most important question of this meeting: what to do about Vermillion Pierce. She wants us to sacrifice both Jesc and Jhudora in return for the other students’ safety, but this is something I am strongly opposed to.”
“I agree,” said Mr. Greer, the bespectacled Acara who taught mathematics. “This Academy was built for the protection of all its students, and that includes both Jesc and Jhudora.”
“Very nicely put. Now some of the students apparently think that since both Jesc and Jhudora have dealt with her before, we should just turn them over—”
“Hello?” Jhudora piped up angrily. “Have any of you seen Mrs. Pierce lately? She’s entirely juiced with power! Now, I’d personally have no problem going up against her if she was somewhat normal, but she wasn’t like that before!”
“Something must have triggered this change,” Miss Nell remarked, her voice thoughtful, “or perhaps it occurred gradually, as she’s been hiding away? After all, no one’s seen head or tail of her since the start of the school year.”
“Either way, she’s a formidable enemy,” Mrs. Sre reminded, “and I think we should use the days she’s given us to make the proper preparations for her attack. If we can somehow gather up the students, at least the upperclassmen, and prepare them for the fight, maybe we can hold her off just long enough to make an escape, or at least contact the Faerie Queen. All in favor?”
Everyone’s hands flew up into the air, even a grudging Jhudora, save for one: Jesc.
“Jesc?” Jhudora asked, glaring at the silent air faerie. “What’s with you? Are you gonna vote or not?”
Jesc frowned slightly, tapping a blue nail against the table as she looked upwards at the faces around her. “Sorry,” she murmured gently, “I was just thinking... How did we get into this problem in the first place? I mean, why?”
Jhudora set her green lips in a grimace and rolled her eyes. “Come on, Jesc, get with the program. It’s because Mrs. Pierce is a lunatic, a crazy old faerie who has nothing better to do than terrorize us in her spare time. Or have you not realized that yet?”
“Actually,” a grim voice piped up from further down the table, “I find this to be a valid question.”
Jesc turned her head towards the speaker: Mr. Sully. He was a morose grey Wocky, his eyes perpetually darkened and his mouth always set in a frown. Jesc took Potions with him everyday fourth period, and although he was a bit of a grouch, she didn’t mind him much, even if it got a tad annoying that she couldn’t seem to make him smile.
Mr. Sully clasped his hands together, his dark rose eyes boring into his colleagues. “Vermillion Pierce taught at this institution for quite some time, am I right? And most of us remember her as a vile faerie that disrespected most teachers and even more of the students. Now, my question is: If she really was this cruel, how was she even hired?”
Miss Nell shrugged. “Fyora has her own reasons for choosing faculty.”
“Actually, Miss Nell, my question is more directed towards the er... elder members of the staff.” His gaze flicked over a few of the other teachers who shifted uncomfortably at being called “old” and asked, “Do any of you remember the day Vermillion first came to the Academy as a new teacher?”
Mr. Greer frowned, shaking his head. “It was so long ag—”
Mr. Sully held up a paw to silence him. “But what about when Mrs. Sre came here, which was a year or so before that?”
An air faerie teacher looked startled, her blue eyes betraying the curiosity on her face. “I remember that day... Mrs. Sre couldn’t find the faculty room, lost her wand, and somehow managed to lock herself in the janitor’s closet.”
Mrs. Sre rouged slightly. “It wasn’t a good day,” she mumbled defensively.
Mr. Sully nodded. “Precisely. Now, you all can come up with whatever excuses you wish for, but it seems to me as if no one can remember the first couple years of Mrs. Pierce’s stay at this Academy very well.”
“Wait a minute,” Jhudora interrupted loudly. “Mrs. Pierce’s first year was my first year at the Academy, and I can remember that quite fine.”
“Really?” Mr. Sully asked, his thin mouth set in a knowing smirk. “Well then, Miss Jhudora, would you like to explain?”
“If I have to,” Jhudora grumbled, leaning back in her throne and fixing her violet hair. “My first year I was all buddy-buddy with Illusen; we spent most of our time playing jokes on the light faeries down the hall.”
“And what about Mrs. Pierce?”
“Well, she was our Proper Uses of Magical Abilities teacher and she...” Jhudora frowned, her face scrunching together. “I... I can’t remember.” Then, feeling like an idiot, she added defensively, “Hey, I wasn’t a student very long, so how should I know? I was expelled a few months into my second year.”
“Ah yes, Jhudora,” Mr. Sully prodded, his voice getting a bit more intense as if he was on the verge of completing a very difficult puzzle. “And what exactly did you do to get yourself expelled?”
“Well, I had spent the summer at my evil Aunt Kryta’s, and then I...” The dark faerie stopped talking suddenly, her violet eyes widening as it all sank in. “BLASTED!” she cursed. “Don’t tell me that witch meddled with my memory?!”
“I don’t know the specifics,” Mr. Sully answered truthfully. “We can only guess. But what I think is that something happened, perhaps in the beginning of Jhudora’s second year, that set Mrs. Pierce on the manic path she’s been traveling for so many years. If we can uncover that memory, I think we have a good chance of beating her.”
“But memory spells are complex bits of magic,” an air faerie teacher murmured. “Usually they can only be undone by the caster, with the Queen as the only exception.”
“Spells are one thing, but potions are another,” Mr. Sully said, his eyes glinting. “Ever heard of the Rememorandum Potion?”
Rememorandum Potion? Jesc thought to herself, straining her mind. But like her, everyone else seemed to be drawing a blank.
The potion’s teacher sighed. “There’s a theory that stored away in our brains is a hard copy of everything we’ve experienced in our lives: memories, dreams, events... even ones that we can’t physically recall anymore. This means that even if a spell is blocking out a certain memory, the memory is still there deep within our minds. The Rememorandum Potion allows us the option of traveling into our memories and re-watching what took place, meaning that we can almost travel back in time and see what caused Mrs. Pierce to turn out the way she has. If we can figure out the cause, then maybe we can better diagnose a way for us to end this conflict peacefully.”
Jhudora snorted skeptically, but Jesc was intrigued. “I say we go for it,” she said with a nod. “I mean, what have we got to lose?”
Mr. Sully reddened, as if he hadn’t anticipated on anyone actually going for his idea so soon. “Er, actually,” the Wocky mumbled, sounding slightly embarrassed, “there are a few... er, complications. First of all, it’s a two person operation. One faerie has to travel inside the other person’s mind to witness the memory, meaning the two involved must be able to trust each other completely. And secondly, there is a chance for things to go wrong, such as two people being trapped inside the same body... forever.”
“Sounds fun,” Jhudora said sarcastically, but Mr. Sully was staring straight at her, his eyes locking onto her intently as if he was attempting some sort of silent communication. “Umm... Mr. Creepy, can you stop looking at me like that?”
Miss Nell gasped, her hand fluttering to her mouth as she grasped what was going on. “Mr. Sully, are you saying that you want Jhudora to take this potion?”
The grey Wocky nodded. “She’s the one Mrs. Pierce has been after all these years. I think that somewhere in her head is the answer to all our problems; we just need to get it out.” His eyes then flickered over to Jesc. “And as for the retrieval aspect, I think we have the perfect faerie for the job.”
Jhudora’s jaw dropped as she glanced over to the blonde air faerie sitting next to her. “Oh no. No way, not a chance.” She stood up abruptly, her throne toppling over, and banged her fist on the table. “I am NOT having Jesc crawl around through my brain! She’s bound to mess something up with all her... happiness!”
“Jesc is a capable young lady,” Mr. Sully contradicted. “She’s in the top five percent of her class, does well in all areas of study...”
Jhudora cringed, trying to imagine having Jesc inside of her head reading her thoughts. It was just too weird.
“Now hold on,” Mrs. Sre interrupted, her hand raised. “Even if Jhudora agrees to this—”
“Which I’m not!”
“—Jesc still has a say in this matter. We can’t just force her to do something of such magnitude against her will.”
But she needn’t have bothered. “I’m in,” Jesc said, tying her hair with a ribbon so that her face was visible to all. Her normally light features were serious and determined. “If I need to search through all of Jhudora’s memories in order to find a way to save everyone, I’ll do it.”
She turned around and glanced towards Jhudora. The dark faerie was still standing, her arms crossed tightly over her chest and her face in a scowl. She stood defiantly silent for a few moments, but then everyone turned to look at her, their eyes full of soundless pleading. So after what seemed like an eternity of silence, she finally caved. “Fine!” she barked. “Have it your way!”
Jesc grinned, a wave of relief washing over her as she sprang out of her chair to give Jhudora a hug. “Thank you so much, Jhudy! You don’t know how much this means to me! You are the vo-est person ever.”
Jhudora just groaned as Jesc held her tightly. What have I gotten myself in to?
To be continued...