Visualizing the Unseeable Flow

Here it is, Sunday, and I’ve been hard at work since about six this morning.  Yesterday I bought a program that will allow me to do videos of what is on my computer screen while I’m working, so this means that video I’ve wanted to do on Dragon will become that much easier to create and put up on the blog.  You can expect to see that sometime soon–and you going to get a little treat along with that, because I’m actually going to write in the novel as I’m demonstrating Dragon.  Call it spoilers if you will.

Speaking of the novel and the current scene… When I said during the yesterday’s video that I expected to current scene run maybe two thousand words or so, I lied.  I’m already past two thousand words and I’m now expecting it to run maybe another thousand before I’m finished. I also checked the timeline on Chapter Ten for the novel and found that I started five weeks ago, back in the middle of February.  Based on these dates, it’s likely this is the longest I’ve worked on a chapter in any of these three novels.

In Friday’s post we had Kerry getting ready to teach Advanced Spells all about time.  Well, he’s up in front of the class having a few last thoughts…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

He rolled his eyes as he faced his audience. On his far left sat the two new B Levels, Naomi and Subhan. To Subhan’s left sat Pang, and on his left was Kerry’s empty chair. Though Naomi had the option to cluster herself with the rest of the girls, she stated that she felt more comfortable sitting with someone from her own level.

To the left of his empty chair sat Annie, looking at him with friendly intensity. Nadine sat next to her, and to the ginger girls left sat Regina and Serafina respectively. Kerry knew he didn’t have to worry about any of these girls, though last year Serafina made it known that she wasn’t all that interested in time spells and he half expected her to ignore him for most of this class.

 

What Kerry is doing is very similar to something I used to do when I taught. Yes, way back in the early 1980s I actually taught computer classes. Let me tell you, it can be a bit intimidating getting up in front of a bunch of students who are looking to you for the answers–or who really don’t give a shit if you have anything to say.  And I was far older than Kerry at the time, so you can imagine how he’s feeling.

Fortunately, he knows most everybody there, so getting started doesn’t seem to be much of a problem–

 

He stared at the floor in front of his empty seat for a few moments before looking up. “I find time to be an interesting concept. Not just from the point of view of someone who enjoys reading stories about time travel and time manipulation, but also from the point of view of someone who has come to somewhat understand how it can be manipulated.” A smile crossed his face as he scanned his fellow classmates. “Also, given how long all of us will live, I guess you could say we’re already cheating time before we even learn how to cheat time.

“What makes time spells so tricky, at least to my way of thinking, is that it’s difficult to visualize how to craft the spells necessary to pull off various effects. I mean, it’s difficult enough for some people to pull off what we now consider simple spells and even some of us have trouble with crafting the more difficult spells due to their concepts, so it’s not completely out of the question that understanding time is going to be an easy thing.

“As all of us now know, time is not always a simple progression of cause to affect—and, no: I’m not going to tell you what I think it is because all of you’ve already heard my explanation.” He flashed a quick smile around the room at the relieved looks of students who didn’t want to hear about timey whimy balls of stuff. “Though right now I know how to accelerate and slow down time, I’m not quite as good as those witches who have actually learned how to stop and reverse it. But, I think slowing it down and speeding it up are more important to us right now.

“One of the really interesting things about time spells is that they can have an introvert effect on objects in physical space—and those effects can be harmful. Let me show you something.” He turned towards Wednesday. “You ready to be my handy assistant?”

Wednesday conjured a small box of yellow tennis balls that popped into existence near her right waist and floated alongside. “I’m all set, Teach.”

 

I’m sure there was a point in Kerry’s life where he was lying on his bed in his dorm in the coven tower, staring at the ceiling, thinking, “Man, all those years of watching Doctor Who have finally paid off.”  Though it probably wasn’t just this show they got them started on the concepts of working with and bending time; I’m sure he got a bit of an education reading ‘—All You Zombies—’ by Robert A. Heinlein, a story he wrote in one day on 11 July, 1958.  That story, along with another, By His Bootstraps, were full of quirky paradoxes which shouldn’t happen, but did within the stories.  Heinlein love playing with time paradoxes, and these two create some of the most fantastic paradoxes ever.

And in terms of how time can be affected at the School of Salem, these are likely paradoxes that one would not want to have happen to them.  Helena learned the hard way that one needs to avoid paradoxes, and through geek culture Kerry is probably quite aware of how poorly things turn out when you go back in time to inform your past self of something they should or shouldn’t do.  It’s quite likely he knows that playing with time that way is quite similar to what happens when you try to manipulate the present to either bring about or prevent a future vision you’ve had.  As Dan has pointed out, without a frame of reference from which to work, it’s highly likely that whatever you are setting out to do will never happen.

Now, comes the obligatory warning: the excerpt you get tomorrow is going to be full of science.  Sure, there’s magic, but sometimes that magic comes with a sprinkling of science–

So says the writer who has a girl who can fly.

The Baby Snakes

Can’t say this morning hasn’t been productive, because it sort of has.  I’ve just spent the last twenty minutes or so doing a read-through of one of my parts, and as much as I hate to say it, reading the scene out loud had me catching parts of the story that didn’t seem right.  So I made a few changes here and there and . . . hey, if you’re not writing, you’re doing something that’s about writing, right?

"I'm always amazed . . . that I actually wrote this crap."

“I’m always amazed . . . that I actually wrote this crap.”

But there was writing last night.  A lot of writing:  one thousand, one hundred and forty-nine words by the time I called it beddy-bye.  A nice run not spoiled by loading up with carbs and being tired throughout the day, which is something I’m going to try today as well, because I want to crank out another thousand if I can tonight

So what do witches do once their advanced class is over and they need to chill?  Wednesday knows . . .

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

“Same here.” Pang stared at the table in the middle as if expecting something to appear at any moment. He looked up at Wednesday. “It usually doesn’t take this long—”

Eight plates with grilled cheese sandwiches popped into existence, with eight slight steaming mugs of apple cider next of them. Wednesday giggled. “You were saying?”

Nadine grabbed a half of her sandwich off her plate immediately. “They had to make two more servings, dude.” She nodded across the table. “Ain’t you paying attention?”

Kerry hesitated before reach for the plate in front of him. He felt Annie stiffen for a moment, making him wonder if she didn’t like being singled out for attention. He tried to lighten the mood. “Grilled cheese?”

“Perfect for an after class snack.” Wednesday reached for her cider. “There’s a chemical released when making grilled cheese that has been shown to reduce stress, and hot cider helps make you drowsy. An hour from now you’ll crawl into bed and drift right off to sleep.” She took a short but loud sip. “Given you’re likely still a bit hyped up over class, you’ll both need this.”

Annie cleared her throat. “You’re probably right, Pro—I mean, Wednesday.” She looked around as she chuckled. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Pang was almost finished devouring half his sandwich. “I just started this level and I’m still catching myself calling her ‘Professor’.”

Hasumati spoke for the first time since leaving class. “This is my third year and it took me a year and a half to get out of that habit.”

Kerry turned to Annie, who was looking also looking at him. “We’ll do our best not to slip up.”

 

Yes, don’t call the Little Witch “Professor” too many times, or she might turn you into a newt.  Actually, that’s Jessica who does that–and has.  Check her terrarium the next time you’re in class . . .

It’s one of the nice perks of being “advanced” that you get to sorta break the rules.  It’s late at night and everyone’s suppose to be in bed, save for a few people up to the Observatory getting in some ‘scope time.  But those people are probably advanced kids as well, and they’re in what’s considered class time anyway.  No, this is, “Hey, lets go have a quick bite and bullshit for a while before heading off to bed, ’cause we can!” time, and it’s something that the Kids in the Fishbowl haven’t seen.  Until now.

Though when they do see it, they find out they have a couple of cool nicknames.  Yeah, who doesn’t want those . . .

 

Pang reached for his cider. “You guys sure did great tonight.”

Annie shook her head, her eyes focusing on the table. “I didn’t think were were that great.”

“Are you kidding? You both levitated on your fourth try.” Pang leaned back, carefully crossing his legs. “The first two classes I couldn’t do anything: every spell I tried was a fizzle.”

“I was the same way.” Rivânia pulled hair from the corner of her mouth. “The first month I was in class I managed only one spell.”

“Yeah, but you guys don’t know who you’re dealing with here . . .” Nadine smiled as she leaned forward, her elbows against her knees and the mug of cider between her hands. “These are The Baby Snakes, guys—” She pointed at Annie, then Kerry, both whom appeared confused. “Athena and Starbuck. I was telling you about them, Riv.”

Rivânia paused for just a moment to let the information sink in, then . . . “Oh. These are the two? The ones checked out on Espinozas?”

“Yeah: them and Emma in my coven. The other girl off the Trainers is on a Witchy Poo.” She smiled across the table at the now-blushing A Levels. “I forgot to mention—I’m one of Vicky’s minions. You probably never noticed me ‘cause I keep my hair tucked up under my helmet.”

Kerry knew the question to ask. “What’s your call sign?”

Nadine beamed. “I’m Scarlet Witch.”

“But of course you are.” Kerry tore into half his sandwich in three bites. “You race?”

“Yeah; I’m a Blackbird.” Nadine pointed to Rivânia. “Riv’s a Hunter.” She examined Kerry and Annie. “You both going out for racing next year?”

Annie was quick to answer. “I probably won’t, no.” She glanced at Kerry, who didn’t register any emotion. “I wouldn’t make a good racer.”

“I didn’t say anything, Sweetie.” He reached over and rubbed her hand. “It’s cool.”

“Wait . . .” Serafena stated into her mug, her eyes unfocused. “Sweetie?  Oh . . . You’re the Lovey Dovey Couple.”

Annie and Kerry winced. They’d heard the expression many times among their own level, but this was the first time to hear it used by students from upper levels. Annie placed her left hand against her head. “Who told you this?”

“From A Levels in my coven.” Serafena looked up from her mug and shifted her gaze between the two students. “There is a boy, he was the first I heard speaking to the other in your level—”

Kerry cocked his head forward. “Is he from the Philippines?”

“Yes, I think so.”

His eyes narrowed as he turned to Annie. “It’s Fidele, just like we thought.”

“Yes.” Annie brushed her hair away from her face as she slowly shook her head. “Why did he do that?”

“Who knows?” Kerry couldn’t fathom why people would start saying like that; it wasn’t like Annie and he were bothering anyone, and it wasn’t really any of their business. “Eh, nothing we can do about it now.”

Wednesday—who’d sat quietly while this conversation went on—finally let her view be known. “If nothing else, you’ve developed a reputation—and to do that in your first month here is something of an accomplishment.”

“Yeah—” Nadine spoke between the final bites of her grilled cheese. “Would you rather be known as a couple of mopey losers without a clue?”

 

No, but it’s a toss-up between Lovey Dovey Couple and The Baby Snakes.  Though The Baby Snakes does have a charm to it, and can come off as being pretty bad ass . . .

"I in no way resemble a Frank Zappa song!"

“I in no way resemble a Frank Zappa song!”

One of the things that does come up from that is Annie’s reluctance to fly and race.  There are reasons for it, and they will pop out real soon–in like another two chapters.  Actually, coming up in the next part, but only after some sorcery comes down the pike and our Baby Snakes sort of get tossed in the black magic pit and show their stuff.  It’s going to be . . . well, I was thinking about it on the way to work, and . . .

Won't be long before we finally get to see what happens in The Witch House.

Won’t be long before we finally get to see what happens inside The Witch House.

You’re just going to have to wait.

 

Entering the Big Empty

Let’s just set the bar right now:  yesterday was a miserable day.  I needed to do a lot of running around for one, and that really kept me away from the keyboard.  While I managed to hunt down all the medical prep stuff that I’ll need very soon, and I found a great camera tripod for $50 that I think will come in very handy for me in the future, it also meant that by the time I did all this, and covered lunch, it was close to two before I rolled back to the apartment–

The apartment with no A/C, I should mention.  It crapped out Friday evening.  Friday and Saturday weren’t bad, but yesterday was getting kinda nasty inside, so I had to break down and pick up a high powered tower fan.  It’s keeping me cool at the moment, though once the air starts to stagnate in here, it’s probably going to blow a lot of hot air around.  I’m hoping that after I make my call to the management this morning, they’ll get this probably fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

I also fell asleep reading a book, which is more than likely why I was first up at four AM before drifting off into a fitful sleep–one that was marred by some strange dreams beforehand.  I swear, where are the nice dreams I used to have?  Now it’s all about people ignoring me, and telling me I can’t buy things, and so forth and so on.  And in one case being flat out ignored by someone.

Where are the dreams where I’m asked, “Were you found in a compromising position with a woman who you adore?”  And my answer is . . .

But of course!

But of course!

When I came time to writing I was pretty much out of it, about to fall asleep–and I pushed it hard to get the four hundred and seventy-seven words I show you below, where the kids come into the totally empty Dining Hall after their night class.  Good or bad, it’s all there.  Enjoy as I check out into my own big empty . . .

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Entering the Dining Hall at just past twenty-two hours, Kerry felt, for the first time, the size of the room. He’d seen The Great Hall empty before: during his first night here, before and after taking Annie to the hospital, on a couple of occasions after Astronomy Class, when Annie and he had walked through the Rotunda on their way to the tower instead of taking the Pentagram Wall passage between Åsgårdsreia and Cernunnos, and during the aftermaths of the Midnight Madness.

But he’d never been in the Dining Hall late of night when it was empty. He’d wandered into the hall when it was nearly empty during the day, but those moments didn’t carry as much weight as now, with Wednesday leading her seven students into the hall after the completion of Advanced Spells. Now it struck Kerry like a large, dark cave room, full of darkness and shadows and subdued echoes.

He didn’t find it frightening or intimidating at all: he found it fascinating. The room was one of the oldest sections of the entire school, and Kerry could almost imagine what it was like here, over three hundred years ago, maybe with people sleeping here, or doing some late-night studying, or having a conversation with another students while sharing a midnight snack—

Though he doubted very much that the room was completely empty like it was now.

This is what made the room different from the times Annie and he departed a Midnight Madness. The sofas and chairs and tables and beds were still present when they walked back to Cernunnos Tower. Now there was nothing but empty space: no tables, no chairs, no podium for the Headmistress to address the students from. Even the fireplace at the north of the room was out.

Wednesday walked towards the center of the room close to the fire place, speaking in a normal tone of voice. “New Advanced Spells configuration, please.” In a matter of sections a sofa, a large armchairs, and two love seats appeared before her, all facing each other across a a low oval table. Wednesday pointed a finger at the fireplace; the wood inside erupted into flames before settling down into a nice, cozy fire.

The students found their seats as Wednesday continued standing, looking as though she was waiting for someone. There was a soft pop as a woman teleported into the room, only a couple of meters from the instructors. “Good evening, Professor.”

“Good evening, Zora.” She nodded towards the students. “Could we have grilled cheese and hot cider?”

“The usual servings?”

“Not tonight.” She pointed at Annie and Kerry sitting together in the love seat. “Some new blood joined us. Make that servings for eight.”

“Have it right out for you, Professor.” Zora vanished as Wednesday turned and headed for the arm chair closest to the fireplace.

 

There you have it.  If I can stay awake tonight–and if the apartment isn’t a hot box–I’ll start getting into something interesting in this scene.  At least I hope it’s interesting–

If not, we could get up and dance.  It won't be a Clone Dance--wait!  We can do that here!

If it’s not, I could have the kids get up and dance. It won’t be a Clone Dance–wait! We can do that at this school!

Loving Affermations

It’s the Solstice today, so not only is it a good day for positive energy, but every day gets shorter from here on out.  Good things all around, and if you can get out and take in the day, do so.  Don’t be like me and stay shut in all the time writing.  Then again, I’ll be on the road for a few hours today, so I don’t think I’ll fit the definition of “shut in” this summer day.  Oh, and if you wanna dance skyclade tonight, knock yourself out.

Given how crazy last night was, it’s nice to have a little calm this morning.  I was tired, I was chatting, I was writing with the goal in mind of cranking out one thousand words, because it’s been a while since I did that.  Energy levels have been in the toilet since returning to The Burg, and with the weekend starting I wanted to change that.

I also changed a few other things . . .

While at work I started having ideas about a scene in my kid’s lives that takes place some time in the future–like five years after the current story time.  Yeah, I’m mentioned before that I think things out that far in advance–so far advanced, in fact, that I know what happens to my characters after they die.  This was a change to their time line, and adding-on to events that are going to happen–

What was I looking at?  Their hospital time.

Don't worry:  The Foundation gives them full coverage and all the nano-tech they can handle.

Don’t worry: The Foundation gives them full coverage and all the nano-tech they can handle.

I had to work this out because . . . well, because.  I’m strange that way.  And yes:  they are in a coma, which should give you some idea that whatever happens in that strange sounding name right before the coma line must be bad.  Eh . . . not that bad.  I mean, they live, right?

Then, while I’m chatting my butt off, I get into the writing.  It’s Annie’s turn on the magical firing line, and she might be Kerry’s Dark Witch, but even dark witches have off nights . . .

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie knew the process, knew how to craft her Art. She picked the most innocuous plush for her target, a grey and pink cube on the right side of the table. She visualized it rising and floating under her control into her hands. The energy was there, as was her will power.

Annie gathered the energy and let it flow through her—

Nothing happened.

She stared at the cube, wondering what went wrong. There were a few things she could point to and say that they might have prevented the spell from happening, but she didn’t want to analyze that here and now. I’ll just do it again, just as Pang and Kerry did.

She did just that. She readied herself; she found her energy; she began Crafting; she willed it all together—

Nothing happened.

Annie breathed a deep sigh, then turned to the students, though she was mostly facing Wednesday. “I guess I’m not feeling the spell as much as I did a few weeks ago.” She locked her feelings down least anyone see what she felt inside.

Wednesday shrugged. “It happens to us all at this point.” She waved her hand in the direction of the table. “It’s okay; there’s no hurry. Take your time and just relax.”

 

Oh, yeah, Wends:  that’s easy for you to say, sitting there watching everything unfold.

There is such a thing as performance anxiety in the magical world, and it would appear Annie is feeling it a little.  She’s not feeling it, she’s not getting something out, and she knows it.  That’s when her lovey-dovey boyfriend comes out of his chair, but rather than acting like a baseball manager who’s going to pull his starter because he’s lost his curve ball, Kerry just wants to talk–and talk in a close, comforting way.

 

“I know.” He deftly stepped around her until he was between her and the table full of frustrating plushes. “Please look at me.”

“Kerry—”

He lightly touched her upper arm. “Please?”

Though Annie felt this was the worst time to talk about anything, she turned toward Kerry because he asked, and tried not to look at the table behind him. “Yes?”

She was surprised when he stepped so close as to almost press against her. He took her hands and gently laid his forehead against hers. “What’s the matter?”

“It’s—” She sighed again, then, with her head bowed against his, looked up into his eyes. “Kerry, I don’t know a lot of regular spells. Most of what I’ve taught myself was sorcery—but when it comes to regular spells . . .” She slowly shook her head against his. “I’m not that good. I don’t feel I should be here.”

 

That’s about as close to any admission she’d ever come about her abilities, and, of course, there’s only one person she tells.

Kerry start talking her down.  He’s admitting he screwed up, too, that it took him four tries to get it right.  Also,  she did that ice encasement, what’s the big deal about a little levitation?  She tells him that she likes practicing alone, and that she didn’t mind having him there in the spell cell because–well, he’s her soul mate, right?  He tells her, again, that he know she can do it, because . . .

 

Kerry didn’t allow any time for those thoughts to bounce around inside Annie’s mind. “You can. I know you can.”

“Why do you say that?” She almost pulled back to look him in the face, but there was something intimate and comforting standing with him close to her. “You always say that.”

“Because it’s true.”

“Because I’m the ‘dark witch’?”

“No.” Kerry drew a deep breath through his nose. “You’re better than me—”

“I am not.” She pinned Kerry with her stare. “You’re as good as me—”

“Only because of you.” He turned quiet for a moment, but when he spoke his voice was softer and filed with awe. “You showed me a few weeks back how to be a better witch, a natural witch, a great witch if I worked at it. You gave me hints and offered suggestions. You offered ideas and told me what I should study and what I should ignore.” He chuckled. “You even have me reading those book on divination.”

Annie grinned and kept her eyes hooked on Kerry’s. “Yes, you are.”

“The thing is . . .” Annie thought he was pressing harder against her forehead, even though she didn’t feel an increase in pressure. “I listened to what you said, and if I’m good, it’s because of what you’ve done for me. It’s all because of you.” He tilted his head a little so it seemed as if they were facing each other. “That’s why I have faith in you.”

 

Kerry knows she’s helped him get to where he is now, and now it’s his time to help her get this thing done.  The fact that he, and eleven year old boy, is willing to admit to the person who calls herself, and whom he thinks of as, his girlfriend, that without her he wouldn’t be anywhere as good as he is now . . . that’s powerful thing to admit.  Just as she’s willing to admit that, yeah, I’m not always the bad ass Dark Witch you think I am.

I’ll finish this scene either today or tomorrow.  Today is a lot of driving and whatnot, and then there’s the finale of Orphan Black tonight, which is probably going to leave me feeling depressed–but there will be writing sometime this weekend.

You can rest assured of that.

Oh, and did I mention I wrote 1004 words?  Yeah, there was that.

Oh, and did I mention I wrote 1004 words? Yeah, I did.

Levitation Station

I worked through my tiredness last night–well, really, I was having fun all around the Internet last night.  For one, I got into a Facebook discussion about books and writing which was a lot of fun:  any time I can talk about that stuff is a good time.  I also had some good feedback the day before from a reader of this blog who read Part One of Act One of my current novel in progress, and that put a bit of a spring in my step as well.

Given all that, given I was still tired last night, given that I was running around trying to get a letter from my therapist for an appointment I have this Saturday . . . I still managed nearly a thousand words.  Finished out one scene and started another.  Good times all right, yo.

Moving on up to the Float Side.

Moving on up to the Float Side.

Wednesday got all her kids together and went over the lesson for the night, which was–well, you’ll see below.

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Wednesday ran the palms of her hands over the front of her bright purple tee shirt, smoothing it across her belly, before turning towards a table at the far end of the room covered with various plush items. “Tonight we’re going to work on our object levitation. Of all the daily spells you’ll use, object levitation is the one that you’ll probably not only use the most, but you’ll use it for just about everything.”

She pointed at the objects on the table before looking at Annie and Kerry. “As we’ve done before, we’re using a lot of plushes to keep people from getting hurt. This way if you look control of the spell, you’re not going to drop one of these through the floor, or hurt yourself if you should get smacked in the face.”

Wednesday wiggled her right index finger and one of the dolls on the table quickly floated away and sped towards her, stopping about a quarter of a meter away. “While most of the people here are going to levitate multiple items, you two—” She pointed at the new kids in the class. “—are going to be considered with doing what I just did: levitating one object off the table, having it come to you—” She waved her hand and the doll returned to its resting place. “—and then putting it back. You’re allowed to touch it: I don’t expect you to keep it hovering in the air like I just did.” She winked. “You’re not that good—yet.”

Turning away from the table, Wednesday slapped her hips twice as she walked back to her chair. “Okay, kids: let’s get ready to levitate.”

 

Someone’s been watching too much wrestling.

I like the idea of learning levitation using a bunch of plush dolls.  Can you make Hello Kitty float?  Go for it.  What about making Sailor Moon dance around?  You betcha!  Certainly a lot more fun and entertaining than feathers.

It’s also a great environment.  Everything is far more relaxed, the kids are up late so they don’t feel like students, and Wednesday isn’t busting their asses to do things right–after all, advanced students need a different sort of mentoring–they don’t have the same pressure to perform.

Though the pressure is there.  However . . . I don’t recall Wingardium Leviosa being conducted like this–

 

Mama never told me about classes like this. I wonder if they even had these when she was here. Advanced Spells was nothing like Annie expected. She’d known would be smaller, but she’d thought there would be a short lecture followed by a more intimate lab—much like Beginning Spells but with fewer people.

This was nothing like their former class.

After Wednesday said they were going to practice levitating, she told Pang he was first up. That was when Wednesday looked across the semi-circle of students and informed Annie and Kerry that before they went to open lab, each student was required to attempt the spell individually in front of everyone. “After all, if you can’t do it like this . . .” She smiled and sat back as Annie felt the strangest sensation creep across her heart.

Pang didn’t start off well. The first time he tried to levitate a single item nothing happened, making him exhale and slump dramatically. The second and third attempts were better, though each time his plush fell to the floor before coming the four meters between the table and him. On the fourth attempt nothing happen, but before he could do anything Nadine crossed her legs and sighed before speaking a loud mumble. “Come on, you’re holdin’ us up, bitch.” Several of the girls laughed, causing Pang to turn and flash hand signs at them, yelling something in Korean—“Kuh juh”—and then joining them in their laughter. Even Wednesday giggled along with the rest of the students—

The only ones not laughing were Annie and Kerry, though she saw him chuckling with the rest of the group. Annie quickly realized that this sort of banter relieved the tension they felt, and tension was the last thing one needed when trying a complicated spell. It obviously had some effect on the boy, for on the next attempt he was able to levitate another plush to his hand—which he displayed proudly for all to see—before sending it back to the table.

 

See, that’s what Harry Potter needed more of:  Ron trying to do something while Hermione is in the corner of the room rolling her eyes and mumbling loudly, “Will you just do it, bitch?”  And then having Ron turn on her and yell, “Piss off!”, which he would have totally done.  Professor Jessie Pinkman would be proud.

Fortunately they didn’t do that, so I can do that here.  Because kids, you know . . . they say the damnedest things when they’re levitating stuff.

As you’ll find out when I write more tomorrow.