The good news is I managed a lot of rest last night after a long day to spending money on work related outfits. I probably would have slept right though the night if the fire alarms for the entire building didn’t go off at midnight and ring for about fifteen minutes. That usually happens about once every six months, and I get up, look around, smell for smoke, and then look outside to see how many fire trucks show up. Last night only one showed, so I’m guessing they knew right off the bat it was a false alarm. After that I fell back asleep and didn’t wake up until six in the morning.
I’m still a little tired: I suppose that’s my body trying to make up for the stress I put on it from trying on clothes for two hours straight. I bought enough to ensure I have enough outfits to start work, and I even had a bra fitting, where I discovered I was wearing the wrong one since like forever. Now I’m legit there, too, and all ready for the big coming out party at work on 2 February.
What’s been happening with my kids, however? Well, the last anyone saw of them, they were being led into a library full of instructors in their private residence for a chat. It’s actually a bit intimidating if you think about it, because you’re sitting across from the headmistress and two coven leaders, and you have no idea why you’re there other than to discuss something.
In case you’re wondering the seating arrangement, it’s–top to bottom–Mathilde, Erywin, Wednesday, Jessica, Ramona, Vicky, and Helena. Annie and Kerry are sitting on the love seat across from this gathering.
And why are they here? Let’s have Wednesday bring us up to speed . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
The young instructor sat up in her chair and began smoothing her skirt. “First off, I want to thank you for the work you’ve done in the Advanced Spells class, and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next year.” Wednesday set her hands upon the arms of the chair as she relaxed. “Though given where you are in respect to the abilities of the other students, I’m gonna have to work hard to come up with something challenging next year.”
Annie felt both proud and slightly embarrassed. It was one thing to have Wednesday complement Kerry and her as they walked back to Cernunnos Tower with no one else around—it was another matter entirely to be complemented in front of people who had taught you for the last nine months. “Thank you, Professor.”
“You can call me Wednesday.”
“Yes.” Erywin adjusted her dress as she crossed her legs and got comfortable. “We’re all friends here, so no need for formality.” She nodded towards her right. “Though make sure to save your respect for the Headmistress: she’s the one who decides if you move on or not.”
“Erywin . . .” Mathilde rolled her eyes. “Please continue, Wednesday.”
“Thank you.” She eyes both students sitting directly across from her. “Do you remember when I brought you into the class I mentioned that it was always by invitation only, that one simply couldn’t ask to join?”
Annie nodded while Kerry responded. “I do.”
“What I didn’t mention at the time is that mine is not the only advanced class—and that in order to get into those classes one needed to be invited as well. That’s why you’re here—” Wednesday indicated the instructors on either side of her chair. “Each of the instructors here teach an advanced class in their appropriate discipline, and they’d like to offer you both an invitation into their class.”
Hey, moving on up, kids! All that hard work and witchy . . . witching paid off, and I’m sure that doing some work for the Guardians may have played a part in it as well, though we’ll see that’s probably not the reason. The real reason is the kids are way too advanced, and it’s driving the instructors a little crazy.
As you would expect, they’re excited–
Kerry sat up as if he’d been shocked. “Really?”
A huge smile erupted upon Annie’s face. “That’s incredible.” As much as she’d driven herself to excel with the crafting of regular magic and sorcery, she’d never imagined that her actions would lead her to be invited into advanced study programs. “Which ones?”
When you get an excited Annie, it means she’s impressed. But what about her question?
Wednesday cocked her head to one said. “Which one what?”
“Which classes?” She turned her head slightly from side-to-side, eying each instructor. “Which ones?”
Wednesday exchanged looks with all the women in the room. Helena finally spoke on behalf of the group. “Annie . . . all of them.”
There are six instructors in the room, and all of them want to take you beyond the next level. Um . . . yep.
Now it was the student’s turn to exchange looks. Kerry gazed off into nothingness for a few seconds as he considered the sorceress’ words. “Everyone wants to invite us?”
Wednesday nodded. “Yes. It wasn’t an easy decision, because this is going to put a lot of pressure on both of you to not only continue doing the extraordinary work you’re already doing, but to push you both just a little more—”
“I don’t see that as a problem.” Now that the enormity of their presence here was wearing off, Annie was returning to her normal, calm self.
“Same here.” Kerry still seemed a bit shocked by the revelation, but had brought himself under control nearly as fast as his girlfriend. “We can do this.”
“I’m happy to hear that, Kerry.” Wednesday folded her hands around her right knee. “Well, we have to do this by the numbers, so . . . You know I’ll have you back for your B Levels; no need to linger there.” She turned to the woman at her right. “Erywin?”
Now, one might say that the reason the headmistress is allowing this to happen–and if you don’t believe Mathilde has a say in that matter, you haven’t been playing attention–is that she’s been told the kids need this sort of instruction. Then again, as Erywin says when she invites them into her Advanced Formulistic Magic class, she needs to give them a challenge, and this is the only way to give them one. Let’s face it: they already faced down bad guys and showed they’re well ahead of their levelmates, so what are they doing to do in their B Levels? Learn Air Hammer, which is a B Level spell. Um . . . no. It’s funny, but looking at the spell list I have for the B Levels, both my kids already know them, so . . . challenges, yeah.
We know they’re going back to Advanced Spells, and they’ll be in AFM, so what’s next? Jessica?
“Like Erywin, I feel I need to give you both a challenge.” Jessica nodded at them as she spoke their names. “Annie, you’ve proved you’re one of the fastest learner in the class, and Kerry—” She chuckled. “You’ve taken to transformation magic not only well, but I’ve heard from a few people . . .” Her gaze shifted towards Erywin for a moment. “—that you’re doing things that should should do for another two levels.
“Actually, that’s been your whole A Level experience: it feels like you haven’t been stumped by anything I’ve showed you, and if you were, you didn’t stay that way for long. Or you’ve taken something small and expanded it beyond the experiences of the others—”
“Like the light bending spell?” Kerry leaned forward and smiled.
“Yes, just like that one. While the rest of the class can do small objects, you both—” She shrugged. “I think we know we’re you’ve both went with that particular magic.”
Vicky tapped the arm of her chair. “Good enough they could cover a few hundred kilometers today and not be seen.”
Jessica nodded and continued. “Given that, I’d like to invite you both to my Tuesday night Advanced Transformation Crafting. Like Wednesday’s and Erywin’s classes, it’s a small group of people, far more intimate and not as structured. Also, it’ll give you a bit of a breather, as B Level Transformation Crafting is on Tuesday afternoons, and not having to go to that class will give you break after History and Science.” She rubbed her hands together. “What do you say?”
As before, Kerry answered first. “I’d love to be in your class, Professor.”
“As I expect, Kerry.” She turned to the girl next to him. “And you, Annie?”
Annie seem to to give the matter serious consideration. “I would like to decline your offer, Professor.”
But . . . Annie? What are you doing? Well, she has an explanation . . .
Annie glanced at Helena for just a second, then turned back to Jessica. “I’m working with Professor Lovecraft to I can work at being a sorceress as good as her. One of the tenets of being a good sorceress is being able to teach what you’ve learned to others, and that’s something I’ve done with Kerry throughout this school year—”
Jessica seemed a little taken back by this news. “I’m sorry, what? You’ve been teaching Kerry sorcery?”
“With my knowledge.” Helena nodded in the direction of the headmistress. “And with Mathilde’s knowledge as well. If I’d thought she was doing something wrong, I’d have stepped in and stopped her.”
Jessica turned towards Erywin. “Did you know about this?”
Helena quickly spoke. “She didn’t learn about it until this . . . thing she and I did with Annie and Kerry started.” Though she was aware that Jessica had some knowledge that they’d worked with the Guardians, Wednesday, Ramona, and Vicky were still in the dark where even minimal details were concerned. “Just like you, Jess, she was on a need-to-know basis, and I didn’t tell her until she needed to know.”
Annie stepped back into the conversation so she could explain herself. “Kerry and I both know where are strengths lay: mine are in sorcery, and his are in transformation magic. Since he’s informed me that he’d also like to work toward becoming a good sorceress, it makes sense that if he could learn advanced transformation magic and then teach it to me, it would go a long ways towards that tenet of the art.”
And there you have it: Annie has the idea that this is one of the ways Kerry can learn to be a “good sorceress”. He teaches her advanced transformation, she teaches him advanced sorcery. It doesn’t make Jessica a happy camper, but, again, this is something of which the Headmistress was aware, and what are you going to do about it, Coven Leader? Nothing, that’s what.
That last line was as far as I wrote: that was word eight hundred and eighty-eight. I didn’t go any further because I needed to get this post out and go do other things, and . . . see those words “Needed to know.” Look at the word “to”. I made a note in my scene area that “to” is word one hundred thousand for Act Three. Yes, I’ve passed that threshold again.
As Erywin said, “My business is finished.”
At least for right now. There’s more later.