Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 190,173,383 Issue: 570 | 9th day of Storing, Y14
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Temptation: Part One


by april_pumpkin

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Thanks to my sister, for helping me and letting me include her pet. Love you Jess

"Alright now, pay close attention, students; this is where things start getting tricky." Kayli rolled her eyes as her teacher, an old Wizard by the name of Dronus, pulled himself up to his full height, and gave the class a stern look. The Elderly Ogrin swept his gaze across his students, pausing dramatically to ensure he had their full attention. They were in the process of learning how to brew a complex sleeping potion, something extremely challenging for aspiring wizards of their age. Kayli let her gaze travel over the rest of the class, and naturally, each student was completely focused on the Wizard at the front of the room. Their expressions ranged from total awe to nervous fear as they watched Dronus run through the steps of the potion effortlessly. Kayli sighed and looked down at her own caldron, the potion finished and waiting for inspection. She'd finished it while Dronus had been going through his opening instructions and safety warnings. The rest of the class might be in awe, but Kayli could hardly contain her boredom. How could they all be baffled by such a simple potion? All you had to do was run through the steps recorded; it was basic mathematics.

      "...Once the Exploding Powder is added, we must add precisely three drops of Mortog Serum, making sure to wait exactly 27 seconds between each drop. If you do not wait the correct time, the potion will be ruined, so I warn you, count carefully..." A nervous gulp could practically be heard as the future wizards turned to their caldrons. Kayli sighed again as she tried to entertain herself by studying her classmates.

      They ranged from well named to bad named, and were a wide collection of species and colours. The majority of students wore a set of green robes, signally that they were simply "Wizards in Training", and were waiting for an apprenticeship with a Wizard. A small handful of students, Kayli included, wore blue robes, showcasing that they had been hand chosen by teachers at their school to serve as apprentices before they graduated. An apprenticeship with a Wizard was something coveted among all students, and receiving one was the highest honour for any hopeful wizard. At any regular school, as a badly named Christmas Uni, Kayli would have been designated a social outcast, but at a wizard school where all anyone cared about was potential, Kayli was a star on the rise, dominating all of her classes and beating out several other hopeful students in an apprenticeship with the schools Applied Magic teacher, Artro. The bright eyed White Acara had scooped up Kayli in her first year when she had accidently levitated a table instead of the pencil resting on it.

      "Oh bother..." Kayli was pulled out of her daydream by a loud hissing noise coming from the caldron to her left. It was manned by a rather flustered looking Fire Uni by the name of Sweetpea, who just so happen to be Kayli's closest friend and Artro's other apprentice. When the old Wizard had brought Sweetpea on as his second apprentice he had been worried Kayli would feel threatened, but the girls had become fast friends despite the opportunity for competition. Besides, Kayli thought, it had soon become clear that Sweetpea, although dedicated to detail and hardworking, lacked a certain... natural ability for magic. This was now evident as she had clearly somehow managed to muck up the sleeping potion. With a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure their teacher was otherwise occupied, Kayli hurried over to Sweetpea's station to help.

      "I followed the spell exactly, I'm sure I did!" Panicked, Sweetpea began rifling through her ingredients as Kayli carefully studied the potion. As well as omitting the unnatural hissing noise, the potion was a rather putrid dark green instead of the sunny yellow it should be.

     "Did you drain the Owabits?" Sweetpea froze and lost several shades of colour.

      "I... I must have... I thought..." Kayli was already moving to fix her friend's mistake. She scurried over to the ingredients cupboard and pulled out several different vials and plants. With another glance at Dronus, who was in the middle of lecturing another student, she ran back to Sweetpea and started adding ingredients to the ruined potion.

      "Oh man, I'm so sorry, I can't believe I missed that step!" Sweetpea covered her face with her wings in embarrassment.

      "Don't worry, it's just a small step, easily missed." Kayli smiled as Sweetpea peered into the potion.

      "What are you adding, Duoroot? Have we even used that in this class?"

      Kayli grinned. "Well, we are now. It'll counter the effects of the Owabit juice."

      Sweetpea began to nod. "Right, because of the root's acidity. What do you need me to do?"

      Together, the two girls worked quickly to repair the potion, keeping a careful eye on the teacher's steady progress towards their station. With a few final drops of Tangella Tonic, the potion quieted and finally began to brighten. Sweetpea sighed with relief as Kayli dove back to her own station, putting on an expression of innocence. A few moments later Dronus wandered up, and gazed reproachfully into Kayli's caldron.

      "Somehow you have once again managed to pull off the impossible, Kayli, by recreating a perfect replica of the potion demonstrated, while paying no attention to the lesson what so ever." Kayli scowled at the Elderly Ogrin as he turned his back and made his way to Sweetpea's station. Why did she have to pay attention if she could already make the potion perfectly?

      "Ah, Sweetpea, let's have a look at what you've whipped up for us today." Sweetpea kept her face perfectly blank as the old Wizard examined her potion. Kayli watched out of the corner of her eye and crossed her wings behind her back for luck.

      "Hmm, yes I see... A lovely potion I must say." Sweetpea sagged with relief but froze when the Ogrin continued.

      "Might I suggest, however, that you complete the assignment on your own next time?" He carefully plucked a lone Duoroot off of the floor and turned his cool glance to Kayli.

      "Another wonderful potion Kayli, nothing but the best from you I'm sure." Kayli scowled as the Wizard turned back to her friend, who looked like she'd like to be swallowed up by the floor. Her face was now almost the same shade as her hair.

      "I would like to inform you that I will be updating your mentor on your progress. If you wish to keep your apprenticeship, I would suggest improving your Potions skills in the near future." Sweetpea stared at the floor as Dronus strolled away, off to examine the next potion. She refused to meet Kayli's eye as she meticulously packed up her ingredients, and put away her equipment. Some of the other nearby students who had heard the exchange smirked and exchanged glances. The general consensus was that Sweetpea didn't deserve an apprenticeship with the Applied Magic teacher, because she herself often struggled in that area. Kayli had heard more than one student mention that if she should have an apprenticeship at all, Sweetpea should be switched to Magical History, a class despised by most students.

      As Dronus returned to the front of the room, Kayli shot a glare at the students who were smirking, and then spared a worried glanced at Sweetpea before returning her attention to the front of the room. She never should have interfered; all she'd managed to do was get Sweetpea in even more trouble!

      "Alright, class, alright! Your homework is to brew the potion located on page 75, and bring it to class on Monday. Have an enjoyable weekend and I will see you all next week." The bell sounded and Kayli hurried to catch up with Sweetpea, who had bolted out of the room as soon as Dronus was done.

      "Hey, you okay? Sorry, I guess I shouldn't have tried to help."

      Sweetpea shrugged and forced a laugh. "No, its fine, I would have failed anyway. Fyora, I can't believe you're so good at that stuff. What, did you just make that solution up?"

      Kayli shrugged. "It wasn't that hard. Mostly I'm bored to tears in that class anyways. Come on, let's hang out in my room before we have to go meet Artro." The two girls hurried up to the dorm rooms, eager to put Potions and Dronus behind them.

      ~~~~~

      Later that night Kayli and Sweetpea hurried down an empty corridor, trying to find the room Artro had told them to come to. While other students might spend their weekends and week nights off catching up on homework or sleep, apprentices had responsibilities to their mentors. Whether those responsibilities were late night spell casting or midnight coffee runs, all tasks were vital to their apprenticeships. Or so their mentors kept telling them. Kayli and Sweetpea each carried a set of ingredients they'd been told to retrieve, as well as other basic spell requirements and tools. Sweetpea also carried several different spell books, none of which Kayli had ever seen before.

      "Hey what are those for?" she asked as they turned down yet another hallway for what seemed like the hundredth time.

      "Oh, nothing, I was just reading about the spells we're learning tonight. You know, getting a feel for when they've been used and in what situation they should be used. What? What?" Sweetpea frowned as Kayli laughed and rolled her eyes. "Hey, it's a good idea! You can never be too prepared."

      "Okay, well, you prepare and I'll follow your lead." Kayli winked as Sweetpea laughed.

      "You know some of us aren't naturally good at everything. Some of us have to work for what we want. Oh! That reminds me; I finally mastered that spell we did in class today!" Kayli gave Sweetpea a perplexed look.

      "What? You redid it? You mean after we hung out? Why? We're probably never even going to use that spell ever again."

      Sweetpea shrugged. "Well, yeah, it's not as common as the Slumberberry Potion or as efficient as the Potion of Night, but it's good to have options in every situation and – What? What?" Kayli choked back her laughter and smiled at her friend.

      "Fyora, you're such a nerd! But that's why we work well together. I cast and you... know things." Sweetpea laughed and rolled her eyes.

      "Wow, that sounds glamorous. I know things? Kudos to me. I'm officially a Wizard now." The girls laughed as they turned down yet another hallway.

      "Wait, wait, what number is that? I think we passed it already." The two turned around and walked back the way they'd come until they stopped in front of a large wooden door. Based on the numbers on the doors around it this was the right one, however there was no number where there should have been.

      "That's weird," Sweetpea commented. "Hey, have you ever been in here before?" Kayli shook her head as she studied the door.

      "Weird," she finally agreed. There was a hum that seemed to come from the door, signalling that magic was going on behind it. A strange blue glow came from under the door. The girls glanced at each other and shrugged. If Artro told them to come here, it was for a reason. Kayli raised a hoof a pushed open the door, ready for whatever may lie on the other side.

To be continued...

 
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