Temptation: Part Four
"Hey, what are you doing?" Kayli jumped in surprise as Sweetpea slammed down in the seat next to her. Kayli had gone into Potions early to study for their upcoming Midterm Exam, but instead found herself reading the Black Magic book. Ever since she had stolen the book from the Library she found she couldn't put it down. During lessons, free time, even meals, she found herself drawn to the book, like a bug to a flame. She'd taken to reading under the table, or even putting the book inside another textbook, just so that she could get away with reading during lessons.
"Oh don't tell me you're reading that book again! C'mon, just tell me what's in it already." Sweetpea made a half hearted grab at the book, but Kayli quickly jumped away.
"Hey, it's mine, bug off!"
Sweetpea's mouth dropped open in shock. "Whoa, sorry, I was just goofing around. Sensitive much." Hurt, Sweetpea turned and made a point of carefully taking out her books one at a time and setting them on the desk. Embarrassed, Kayli quickly sat down again.
"Sorry, sorry, I guess I'm just stressing about this stupid midterm. This book is just for extra practise. You know, so I ace this thing for sure," Kayli lied.
Sweetpea looked over in surprise. "But you're never stressed about school. What's the deal?"
Kayli shrugged and pulled at her robes, not looking Sweetpea in the eye. "Well, you know, I really want Artro to advance me, so I need to do really well to prove to him how ready I am."
Sweetpea nodded thoughtfully as she opened one of her Potion's textbooks. "That makes sense, but you already do really well in everything. You'll have to do something extra to prove how ready you are. Want to come to my room after class so we can brainstorm ideas?" Kayli glanced over at Sweetpea, who was watching her expectantly.
"Um, yeah, sounds great, but maybe another time? I've got a lot of homework and stuff." Kayli cringed at her weak excuse. Great, now she was lying to Sweetpea?
Sweetpea nodded, completely oblivious. "Sure, whenever you're free." And with that she turned back to the front of the room, where Dronus was getting ready to start his lesson. Ignoring her feeling of guilt, Kayli turned back to her book, ready to block out whatever Dronus had planned and learn more about Black Magic.
There really wasn't anything exceptionally remarkable about the book; it was just like any other textbook Kayli already had. There were sections on spell preparation, potion brewing, charms, and anything else a young Wizard studying in Black Magic could need. It was almost disappointing how ordinary the book was. Kayli wasn't sure what she'd been expecting, but this certainly wasn't it. All the same, like a good student preparing for any class, the first time Kayli had opened the book she'd had a pad of paper set next to her, ready for notes. After diligently jotting down a few comments, Kayli found herself too enthralled in the book to write much of anything. The first night, without realizing it, Kayli had stayed up until dawn learning everything she could about Black Magic. It was as if the book had some sort of spell on her, drawing her in until she could focus on nothing else but the book. But that was ridiculous; a book couldn't cast a spell.
Regardless, Kayli found this book to be more interesting than any other textbook she'd owned in the past, and was beginning to wonder why Black Magic had been banned in the first place. Sure there were a lot of really dark, dangerous spells, but with the right spell castor maybe they could be used for good. And sure, some pets would let the power go to their heads and start to abuse it, but as long as teachers were selective in who was allowed to learn Black Magic, they wouldn't have a problem. So what was the big deal?
After reading for several more days, Kayli finally reached the section containing the actual Black Magic incantations. After a brief moment of hesitation, where she considered Artro's warning and her own promise to Helena to avoided Black Magic Spells, Kayli pushed on and continued to read. What did either of them know anyways? It's not like she was going to perform any of the incantations. This was purely for educational purposes. How could she claim to put forth an accurate report if she didn't evaluate all of the facts?
"And what do we have here?" Before Kayli could react, her Black Magic book was yanked out of her grasp. She jerked her gaze up in surprise, only to be met by Dronus' furious glare. "It would do you well to pay attention to the lesson. Although you may think yourself above my class, as long as you are enrolled in this school, you will be required to take Potions, and as long as I am the Potions teacher, you will spend your time in my class how I deem appropriate."
And with that he turned on his heel and strolled up to his desk, tucking Kayli's book neatly inside a drawer. "You may see me after class to pick up your possession. Now, as I was saying, once the Tchea Fruit has been properly broiled..." Kayli dug her hooves into the desk to control her rage. Who did Dronus think he was? She had more power in one hoof then he had in his entire body! Why, she could destroy him, and he dared question her? He was nothing, NOTHING and she was everything, she was-
"Hey." Kayli's murderous thoughts were interrupted by a whisper from Sweetpea. "Are you okay?" Kayli took several deep breathes, trying to control her growing rage. Slowly, she loosened her grip on the table and carefully arranged her face into a mask of boredom before turning to Sweetpea.
"Yeah, whatever, I'll just get it after class."
Kayli watched the clock for the remaining half hour, desperate to be reunited with her book. Thank Fyora Dronus hadn't bothered to look inside; she would present her findings to Artro when she wanted and how she wanted. Kayli tried to push the memory of her reaction to losing the book out of her mind; so she'd gotten a little mad, big deal. It certainly wasn't the first time she'd been frustrated by something Dronus had done. Presumptuous, hot-headed coward that he was...
Finally, the bell rang and Kayli all but flew up to Dronus' desk, mentally preparing herself for whatever lecture he had up his sleeve. She would listen respectfully, pretend to be apologetic, and then run off as soon as she could so that she could return to her room and continue to read.
As she reached Dronus' desk, she waited patiently for the teacher to acknowledge her; she was determined to keep her cool this time. Dronus silently continued to pack his bag, ignoring Kayli as she gave an impatient huff. Kayli took a deep breath, pushing past her rising anger over being ignored.
"May I have my book back?" Kayli asked, pleased at how calm she sounded. Inside, she was a hurricane of emotion, trying to stop herself from leaping over the desk, pushing Dronus aside, and retrieving the book herself. Finally, Dronus looked up, his expression serious but no longer angry.
"I'm afraid I'll have to contact your mentor about this before I can return your book. Yes I know." He said as Kayli started to interrupt. "But this is your third infraction and that's school protocol." Once again, Kayli pushed past her anger as she responded.
"But Artro's been gone for the past week, no one knows when he'll return." Kayli's voice shook with outrage, something she hoped Dronus couldn't detect. One of the reasons Kayli'd had so much extra time to read the past few days was that she didn't have to perform any of her regular apprenticeship duties. Artro had informed his two apprentices that he needed to travel to Terror Mountain immediately, in order to collect some kind of ingredient that only appeared once every few years. That, combined with pushing off her homework and other assignments, had given Kayli plenty of time to work through her Black Magic textbook. "I need that book for an assignment, is there any way I can get it back now?"
Dronus frowned thoughtfully as he studied Kayli's desperate expression. "I can honestly say I wish there was, but rules are rules I'm afraid. You know, I've never seen you this involved in a school assignment." Kayli kept her face carefully blank as Dronus continued. "Kayli, you're one of the brightest students I've ever had, with a real affinity for potions. If you'd put half as much effort into your work as you do in avoiding my assignments, you could really achieve something great."
Dronus' words had no effect on Kayli. What did she care what the old Wizard thought? What she really needed was that freaking book back...
"So there's no way you're going to give me my book." Kayli struggled not to scowl as Dronus sighed. "Again, I wish I could. It's encouraging to see you so interested in a topic. Not to worry, I'm sure Artro will be back in a matter of days. I can speak with the teacher who gave the assignment you need the book for if you'd like." Dronus raised an eyebrow as Kayli took a step back.
"It's fine." She said through clenched teeth. She turned and stormed out of the room before Dronus could say another word. Nasty old coot. She could really teach him a lesson if she had her book. Her thoughts turned desperate as she thought of the book. No way could she wait for Artro to return. If Dronus gave the book to him, he'd know what she'd been up to. And if Dronus kept the book for much longer he might get curious and take a peek inside. She couldn't allow that to happen. She needed the book back. Tonight.
"Um, what are we doing again?" Sweetpea nervously hurried to catch up with Kayli, who was striding down the hall towards Dronus' classroom. It was now nearing one in the morning, and the building was silent as a grave, and pitch black too. Sweetpea raised the ball of light they'd conjured earlier and gave Kayli a questioning look. Kayli hadn't wanted to involve Sweetpea, the goody-two shoes brat, but she'd needed someone to keep watch. And Sweetpea could easily be manipulated with the right tone and the right words.
"Just picking up something I left in class. I don't want a janitor or someone to find it, so we need to get it right now. Besides, isn't this exciting?" Kayli laughed lightly as she turned another corner and Sweetpea ran to catch up.
"Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of 'illegal'. What, this can't wait until morning?" Sweetpea sighed as Kayli shot her a look. "Fine, fine, I get it. What are friends for after all?" Sweetpea cautiously glanced over her shoulder as the girls arrived at their destination. Kayli waved a hand and the ball of light came closer to her. Thankfully, she'd written down a couple of Black Magic spells before Dronus had confiscated the book, and there was one that would be perfect for this situation...
As she carefully began reciting the words, Sweetpea looked up sharply. "What are you doing?" Kayli ignored her and continued with the spell. As she finished, a black tar-like substance began pouring out of the key hole. Kayli smugly turned the handle and the door swung open silently. Who knew it would be this simple?
Sweetpea followed Kayli as she marched into the room and up to Dronus' desk. She all but wept in relief as she rescued the book from the drawer it had been stashed in. She carefully replaced it with a nearly identical book she'd dug up at the library earlier. Should Dronus open the book to see what Kayli had been researching, he would find a harmless book on water based charms.
"What was that spell you were reciting? I've never heard anything like it before." Kayli longed to tell Sweetpea to mind her own business, but carefully took a deep, calming breath instead. She found she had a better control over her emotions now that she had her book back.
"Well maybe you need to study more." Kayli teased as she all but skipped out of the room. She considered leaving Dronus a nasty revenge present, but decided that would be overkill. No one needed to know she'd ever been here.
After reciting her Black Magic spell backwards, reversing the incantation and removing the tar, Kayli shut the door and smiled at a perplexed Sweetpea.
"What, you suddenly know everything there is to know about magic?" She teased. Sweetpea smiled as the girls headed back towards their rooms.
"Well no. Can you at least tell me what kind of spell that was?" Kayli smirked and shook her head, delighted that she knew something Sweetpea did not.
"Nope. You'll just have to find out for yourself." And with that the two girls went their separate ways, off to their rooms to get some sleep before morning.
To be continued...