I’d just finished explaining the situation to the four students that sat in front of me, their responses weren’t very convincing. Asher was asleep, Isla and Meo were simultaneously biting their nails in worried anticipation and Anya looked like she was going to jump out of the window at any moment because she was so bored.
The mixed smells of fear and boredom that wafted through my nose were a strange concoction to behold. It made my nose feel numb. I decided it was time to wake up Asher and make both him and Anya wake up to the reality of why we had really left the school.
I muttered an incantation under my breath: “Epelaci cadrashti morasteate endo incrindo.”A bright, roaring optical illusion of pink flames danced on the surface of Asher’s hair, his eyes opened wide- the flames dancing in those too- a mesmerizing sight to behold, even if it meant he was screaming at the same time. I was fed up of being ignored, disrespected, made a fool of. It was time to make a name for myself at this school.
As the other students’ shocked faces showed me that they too were surprised at what was happening I decided it was time to end the boy’s panic attack. “Foyo!” The hallucinative flames in his eyes and hair immediately vanished- his standard appearance completely unchanged. Luckily for my ears as well the screaming stopped and he collapsed on the space between me and the students in the centre of our minibus (which had a whole two rows of seats missing). I quickly got down on my knees to help the boy up. As I grabbed his arm he violently shrugged me off and punched me square in the jaw.
“How dare you fa-! Oh. It’s only you sir.” He sat down before it all clicked into place. “Why did you do that sir? How?”
“I did that to make you realise that just because where we’re going and what we’re doing isn’t related to anything associated with fun- doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be aware of the danger that I’m putting you in. You’re not coming down to the police station to just be de-briefed on catching any criminal. I’m talking about someone from the magical community Asher.” I leant over to him and met his gaze with a strong, firm hold. “If you’re going to act the tough man around here you’ve also got to realise that you need to embrace fear and adrenaline if you want to catch a criminal. It’s time you woke up and realised that the world isn’t just fun and games Asher.”
The minibus gently halted at the drop off point at the local police station. I thanked our caretaker and told the students to grab the gear as we stepped off the minibus. Chief-deputy Miliny was already waiting for us.
“Miliny! Long time no see. You look as unconventionally gracious as usual.” She grinned at my compliments and we greeted each other with a kiss on each cheek just like that first time in Paris.
“You’re not doing too badly for yourself either I see Chris. Head of the most famous school of magic in the world it seems! I still remember the days when you were a waiter at Amy’s cat house.” I heard Anya in the background scoffing and I glanced back to give her that stare that suggested ‘if you don’t shut up now it’s detention with Svaldifari for you’. She immediately shut up.
Miliny blushed as she realised what she’d just said. “Anyway come in you lot, the first one’s a cracker.”
By the time everyone was sat down in the meeting room the policewoman had already pulled out mug shots and briefing statements for each and every one of us.
“Now this here is Zachary Burnen. He’s a wyangfem, fairly dangerous. He was held in the Jimony maximum detention centre for the past two years for committing theft, abduction and even in one case, death. I’ve had a tip-off that he’s arriving at the Deckerside shopping centre to receive a package of class Alpha potion ingredients- the sort used only for black magic.” Isla gasped at this, still fairly worried at the prospect of catching a criminal. Meoquanee however was beginning to take more of an interest.
“What’s a Wyangfem?”
“A Wyangfem essentially has a human physical form, that obviously helps him camouflage of course, but he has the power to temporarily create beings out of thin air. But his creations depend on how much strength he has. At his peak he could make something as colossal as a seven foot Cyclops, but when he’s weak he can only make apparitions; beings that although may seem real are just like an optical illusion.” I glanced over at Asher to see his reaction: he just kept staring at the picture. At this point Isla spoke up too.
“I don’t know how to be a policewoman. How on earth are we meant to catch him without getting killed?” My response to this was unzipping the larger of the two bags and heaving out a large statue of a staff. At the top of it was a full moon and shooting star engraved with ancient writing down each of the four flat sides.
“Should I even ask?” Anya inputted sarcastically.
“That’s the Nebula Light isn’t it?” Meoquanee said. “By placing your name on a piece of paper and squeezing it between the moon and the streak of the star you can create a duplicate of yourself- so that if the duplicate you dies your full consciousness returns to your original body. But sir how-“
“Very good Meoquanee. Here’s a detention pass slip.” I gave her a reassuring wink as I gave her the note to try and shut her up. It didn’t work.
“How did you get that staff sir?” I cringed inside. Oh well, it’s not like my pupils thought low enough of me already.
“I stole it. Happy? Now Miliny and I have decided that when we get there it would be best if we split up into teams of three, one team to find the potion ingredients and another to catch the man himself.” Miliny nodded.
“Normally I wouldn’t accept this sort of thing but your teacher has reassured me that you are all extremely bright and capable students.” She paused for a moment, a confused expression on her face.
“Chris. You haven’t told me yet actually. Your students.”
“Oh right, sorry. This is Anya- a Tarasque dragon. I understand it could be a complication if she transformed at any one point but hey, you’ve always got the emergency cover-up routine right? Plus she knows a few decent curses and has a good sense of hand-to-hand combat, which I’m sure could come in handy.” I turned to look at her. “I brought her here because she needs to learn how to channel her radiance and passion for her own goals into something constructive, not destructive.” Miliny nodded and Anya scowled. Tough. I didn’t care if she didn’t care. She had potential and she knew it. Period.
“Asher here is a werewolf. Very strong, very fast. He hasn’t managed yet to control his premonitions but he can be very creative when it comes to a practical task. The one thing he has to learn is to avoid collateral damage. But listen if I trust him then you have no reason not to. I think these two would be best going with me to track down the other dealer while Isla and Meo here go along with you to capture the man himself.” Asher decided to butt in.
“What?! You’re sending me and psycho girl to track down a few pouches of herbs and you’re sending down the nurse and the wimp to catch the guy? How is that fair!?” All eyes were on him now. I had to ask the girls to come down before they all tried to kill him- even if he did deserve it.
“Anyway, this is Isla. A very talented half-blood fairy when it comes to controlling certain elements, and this is Meoquanee. It’s very rare when a school manages to find an Acheri in their presence but we are lucky enough to have exactly that.”
“Well, it’s very nice to have met you all. My name is Miliny Wake and I am the last surviving immortal Dincent. I can do what our criminal friend here does but instead with objects rather than beings. Shall we go then?” I watched the stunned faces of my students and smiled in a way I hadn't managed to for so long.
Oh Miliny, I never had a boring conversation with you, did I?