Monday, June 8, 2015

Cook, Orb's Year 945-948


Orb's Year 945
"We're headed off to work now!" her mother called from the other room. 
"Okay, mother!" Gretel called back, hurriedly making her bed.   She wasn't sure why she felt more comfortable in the evil witch's old room, but she did.
"Come on, Gretel, it's time to go to school," Hansel said, coming into her room.

"I'll be right behind you," Gretel said. "There's just something I need to do first."

Hansel looked at her questioningly.  What in the world did she have to do?

Gretel rolled her eyes. "Girl stuff," she said primly, shooing him from the room.
Once she was alone, she snuck into the secret chamber behind her step-grandmother's bookshelf.  Once in the chamber, she sighed with relief. 
She hurried to the ancient book and ran her hand down to the spell that had caught her eye.  Expello SimaeThat would come in handy if Wilhelmina ever showed up again!  To make it, she needed 1 dragon scale, 1 mystic dust and...
"Ew!" she exclaimed in horror. "One eye of newt!"  She made a face of disgust. 

Shaking her head, she decided to start with the first ingredients.  She thought she'd seen instructions on making dragon scales somewhere earlier in the book.  She flipped through a few pages until she'd found what she was looking for.
Crossing her fingers, she followed the directions and began stirring the pot.  Hopefully this worked!

***

Hansel headed inside after school.  He brought Gretel her schoolwork after making excuses for her absence.  "It's girl stuff," he'd told Lady Knowles with a pink tinge to his cheek.  Apparently all girls knew what that meant because Lady Knowles had nodded knowingly.
"Gretel?" he called out, finding her room empty.  "Huh, maybe she went to work," he said, placing her school work down on her floor and heading out of her room.
Gretel waited until she heard her bedroom door close and then gently eased her hidden door open.  She hadn't realized so much time had passed!
In the living room, Hansel was reading a note with his back to her.

"Hansel?" she called.
Hansel spun around and let out a high-pitched shriek.  Upon realizing it was just his sister, he glared at her angrily.  "You scared me!" he said, clutching his chest and feeling the rapid pulse.
Then his eyes narrowed. "I looked in your room, but you weren't there.  Where were you?" he asked suspiciously.
Gretel rolled her eyes. "I was taking a bath!" she lied.

Hansel couldn't put his finger on it, but he knew that Gretel was lying about something.  "Then why didn't I hear any bath water?"

Gretel put her hands on her hips. "Why would I lie about taking a bath, you nimrod?" she asked testily.
Hansel considered his sister thoughtfully, "I don't know," he finally admitted.  It was rather silly now that he thought about it.  "Well, I'm off to the Kitchen!" he announced.  "I'll see you this evening!"
Gretel shook her head after he'd left. That had been closeIt was probably best only to enter the secret chamber at night so that she wouldn't get caught.  There would be too many questions.
Having made her decision, she sat down, intent on passing the time.

But the pull was too strong...

The longer she sat, the more she felt the urge to go back into the room! 
She jumped up and ran to her room.
Entering the secret chamber, she sighed with relief.  There, that felt better, she thought with a smile.  

Orb's Year 946
Gretel wiggled the wand she'd found and practiced reciting the words that she'd painstakingly memorized.  "Inflammo!" she whispered, pointing the wand towards the scrolls.
The scrolls burst into flames.
"I did it!" she crowed.  "The spell worked!" This wasn't hard at all!  Once she'd learned to master the simpler spells, she could begin to work on the more difficult ones.

She stopped and cocked her head to the side.  She heard her mother's muffled voice and her steps at the top of the stairs.

 Fanny poked her head into her daughter's room. "Gretel, is everything okay?" she asked.

Gretel glanced up from where she'd sprinted to the bed. "Everything's fine!" she said, breathing heavily.

 "It smells like smoke in here! What have you been doing?"

Gretel sniffed the air delicately and met her mother's stare.  "Hm, I don't smell anything," she said casually.

***

 Hansel opened the door just as Gretel had reached for the hidden book.

Snarling, she turned on her brother, "What are you doing?" she yelled.  "Can't you knock first?!"
Hansel reared back with surprise. Gretel never yelled at him! Putting his hands on his hips, he glared right back at her.  "I'm so sorry! I just came to get you for work this afternoon since you've gotten so absent-minded!"  He turned and walked away, calling over his shoulder, "See what Uncle Connor says if you miss work once more!"

***

Gretel was beginning to hate working at the Kitchen.  It cut into the time she could spend making her reagents and learning more spells.

Giselle Taveryn leaned over to her sister, Heaven, giggling quietly.  "Look at him, he's a chubby tubby!" she said, nodding her head towards Hansel.  "Has anyone ever told him how unattractive he is?!"

Heaven giggled back with her sister, glancing towards Gretel and shushing Giselle.
A spell popped into mind and Gretel cackled under her breath.

Sneaking around the corner, she waved the wand and muttered the spell under her breath, ending with "Corpus Fleshicus!" 
Heaven glanced down at Giselle's fuller dress-size and frowned. "Perhaps you should lay off the sweets, as well, sister dear!"

Giselle stomped her foot and glared.  "How dare you!" she snapped, running her hands down the side of her dress.  Oh, she was feeling fuller...
 Now, that was funny!

Orb's Year 947
Gretel had gone through Wilhelmina's wardrobe and found a beautiful black satin dress.  She'll never be able to fit in this again! she thought, grabbing the dress and slipping it on.  Perfect fit!

With a wave of her wand, she cast a spell that had caught her eye. 
Meow!
With Mandrake, her familiar, tearing into a small cat toy, Gretel began a potion that would make her more powerful.
She tested the liquid, licking the potion from her finger. Mmmm... close.
The Enchanted Essence of Cur Tails!  The plum liquid seemed to shine as she ladled it into the bottle.
Tipping up the Essence, she downed it.
She cackled evilly.  She could feel the power pulsing through her veins!

***

Hansel knocked loudly.  "I'm not opening the door! I'm just letting you know it's time to go to work!" he said.  He listened at the door for a response.  He thought he heard a scraping noise of wood against the floor and wondered what she was doing.  "Gretel?"  He held his breath expectantly, his ear against the door.
Gretel opened the door with a flourish and Hansel reared back so that he wouldn't fall down.  "Sorry! Are you ready?" he asked.
Gretel smiled widely, throwing Hansel off.  "I'm right behind you," she promised. 
As Hansel turned to lead the way, Gretel waved her wand at his back.
"Corpus Athleticus!" she whispered.
Hansel stopped, feeling a little light-headed.  "Whoa," he said, putting his hand to his head.  All of a sudden his muscles felt sore and weak.  Where his clothes looser than before?
Gretel breezed past him, "Are you coming, brother?" she asked sweetly.

Hansel stared after her, still disconcerted, "Yeah, I'm coming," he called, hurrying after her.  Was it just him or was it easier to jog down those stairs?

Little did he know it was just the beginning...

***

Gretel put a bottle on the table in front of him as he ate breakfast.

"What's that?" he asked, shoving another spoonful in his mouth.

Gretel smiled.  "Just a little drink I made for you.  Drink it up and enjoy your day off!" she sang as she turned to leave.
Shrugging, Hansel reached for the bottle and drank it.  Mmm, it tasted a little fruity!

 ***

Amara knocked on the door, waiting a moment before tapping again.
Hansel opened the door, surprised to see Amara at his door.  "Hi? Um, what are you doing here?" he asked.
Amara grinned. "I just wanted to see you!" she said with a smile.  "Can I come in?"

"Uh, sure," Hansel said, taken aback.  Girls didn't usually go out of their way to seek him out.  A commotion outside caught his eye. 
"Oh!"

***

The ladies crowded into his home, fluttering eyelashes, simpering and waving their hands in front of their faces.
Amara boldly walked up and reached for his hands. "I just love the color of your eyes!" she told him.
Before Hansel could say anything, Harlow Farmer stepped between them, reaching for his hand and leaning close to whisper in his ear. 
Elle Cook spun him around for attention, telling him that she loved his hair.

Hansel was feeling bewildered. 
The women circled him, all reaching out to touch him or talk to him, begging him for attention.  His mind reeled.  What was going on? he thought with wonder. 
He'd just received his first kiss when all at once, the ladies blinked a few times and looked around blankly.
Harlow reached to touch her lips and glanced around.  "What? What's going on?" she asked the other girls in the room.
Feeling strange because none had recollection of coming over, they all turned and left the house.
What in the world?! Hansel wondered as he watched them go. 

Orb's Year 948
Gretel stared out the window, watching the lightening show.  She rubbed her arms to ward the chill.
"Gretel, what in the world are you looking at?" her uncle Connor asked from the seated area.

"What was that?" she asked absently, still staring out the window.  How could they not feel that?  Energy was pulsing through the air.  She could practically smell Wilhelmina!

Whatever her uncle's response was, she missed.
"Excuse me," she said, heading to her room.  "I'm going to lie down."

"What was that?" Connor asked his half-sister after Gretel had left the room. 

Fanny shrugged helplessly. 

***

Gretel was busy mixing a few reagents for her spells when she felt the room fill with a magical energy. 
Mandrake hissed as light filled the room.
Gretel gasped and stumbled backwards as she came face to face with Wilhelmina.  "I knew you were still alive," she said in a small voice, betraying her fear.
"You thought you killed me?" Wilhelmina laughed.  "You stupid, willful child! You

"You might have thought that you'd killed me, but it is not so easy to kill one as powerful as I!"
"When I woke up, I heard you and your brother running into your parents' room upstairs. Such unruly, loud children!"
"I cast the Magivestigium spell," she said, smiling wickedly at Gretel, "Ah, I see you know what that spell is!"
"I appeared in my secret chamber."
"I quickly headed for the last of my Elixir of Life."
"As soon as I drank the liquid, I felt renewed."

"Then why... why did you leave?" Gretel asked.
Wilhelmina glared at Gretel with her evil eye.  "Because you had foiled my plans, you stupid, willful child!"

Her gaze drifted to the elixir that had been renewed.  "I can see that you have been of some small use..."
Gretel straightened her spine, whispering the words to a spell that could remove Wilhelmina from their house. 

"Are you..." Wilhelmina asked with a guttural laugh. "You can't cast a spell on me! I'll show you what happens when you do not respect your elders!" Wilhelmina pulled her own wand out,

Gretel frantically tried to finish her spell, desperately ignoring Wilhelmina's recital. Gretel's spell grew louder and louder until she finally shouted out over Wilhelmina, "EXPELLO SIMAE!"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Wilhelmina screeched.  "You STUPID, WILLFUL child!"
"This is not over!" Wilhelmina threatened before she disappeared.
Gretel stared at the spot Wilhelmina disappeared and let out a deep breath.  She'd won this round, but she knew that this was just the beginning...

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