Chapter XX: The Aurora (2/12)Mature

After eating a huge slice of sponge cake - filled with butterscotch and fudge sauce - Will and his friends returned to the commonroom to gather their things for Cryptid Creature Care. As a special treat, those going on the outing that evening were given a half day to pack and prepare, not that it seemed they needed it judging by the frantic behaviour of that morning.

They spent their lesson with Professor Scrawlish warm in a classroom in the Whiteas building, where they learnt about domesticated creatures such as cactus cats and giant hedgehogs, which required several permits to own because of spike hazards. In their final lesson, Alchemy, Tayna's antagonism towards Professor Alkimia hadn't lessened, in fact as each lesson passed, it became worse. He had been so impressed by their ability to transmute that he decided to put the Elementals together on one table and give them separate tasks to the rest of the class. Whilst they practised medicine in the spagyric art of alchemy, the young royals were tasked with transforming things, becoming more difficult each time.

'I hate him more and more every lesson,' grumbled Tayna,

'For once,' said Silex bitterly, 'can we get through one of these lessons where you're not complaining? We have to do it, so we'd better get going.' Everybody around the table seemed to agree with him, Tayna's eyes narrowed and scanned across them all, falling at one point of Marinia, who glanced up and quickly looked down timidly. Tayna put her hand over her mouth, and Will could see she was concealing a ghost of a smile, subduing the urge to laugh. They completed the task - to turn an iron dagger to copper - Alkimia's eyes watered with joy and he carried it carefully to a glass case behind his desk, writing the experiment and the date on a label and locking it away.

The day's lessons concluded, and most of the students anticipated their free afternoons, going to the Tower of Venus to eat at the restaurant or enjoy the private baths - which were much more like spas. Will, Tayna, Sayara and Andrel returned to the Draíochta commonroom along with many others. In the minutes it had taken them to walk from the Whiteas building to the commonroom, the students were in a flurry to get changed, and most of the boys had cleared out or were leaving, chastised by most of the girls for being in the way.

The three of them manoeuvred past the students rubbing their heads with towels or the girls walking on their heels with toe separators on. They reached the dormitory and headed straight to the top where it became quieter, Tayna and Sayara grabbed their bags full of things, leapt onto their bed and shut the curtains like changing booths.

'Aren't you boys going to get changed?' asked Sayara,

'I think I'll stay like this,' Andrel said nonchalantly, leaping onto Will's bed and putting his arms behind his head.

Tayna huffed in annoyance from behind the curtains, 'can't you at least make some effort?'

'Fine, for you, I'll comb my hair.'

The End

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