Their first class was Mr. Gardswell. Ashley followed Taylor, Connor and Jerry to class. The class was a dark room filled with levitating desks arranged in a circle. When they walked in, they were standing in a fishbowl looking up at all the desks around them. There were already ten other children in seats, talking and playing with little green people that fit in their palm.
“What are they playing with?” Ashley asked. Jerry turned around.
“Those are baby gremlins. Those are the literal teacher’s pets,” he told her. Taylor turned towards her.
“Okay, Ashley,” she started, “this is Mr. Gardswell’s class. He teaches us about using your powers to fight.” She said it with an eye roll. “Be ware of the gremlins. They are snitches and don’t fall out your chair. The spell is simple. ‘Levitate.’”
“Yep. Just be careful and go slow. You don’t want to hit your head on the ceiling,” Taylor warned.
“I learned that the hard way,” Jerry said, making a show of rubbing the back of his head. Connor laughed at him and flew up to an empty seat. Jerry and Taylor followed suit. Ashley concentrated on the seat next to Taylor and thought about what she wanted to do.
“Levitate,” she murmured and she was at her seat in seconds. Just then the bell rang and a man in a long black coat appeared in the front of the room that hadn’t been there a second ago. He was looking up at them. His eyes were green and blue. His skin was tanned and he had curly hair. If he smiled, Ashley thought he would’ve looked handsome but all he did was scowl which reminded her of a bat. The class immediately hushed and waited for his instructions.
“Ashley Gaine,” he bellowed. The room echoed and all the gremlins that the students had been playing with vanished into green dust. Ashley blinked and raised her hand.
“Yes, what?” he asked. Ashley gulped and looked at Taylor who mouthed the word ‘sir.’
“Oh! Sir!” she quieted her voice. “I mean yes, sir.” The man seemed to stare through her and Ashley cringed in her seat.
“You may not know all the rules here, so let me explain them to you.” He started levitating towards her desk. “I am Mr. Gardswell, and you are supposed to, as with any other teacher that has the unfortunate chance of teaching you, address them as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’.” Ashley couldn’t help it.
“Yes, ma’am,” she said. The class laughed and Mr. Gardswell raised a hand and instantly their mouths hushed. Ashley smirked at him.
“Ahh, so you think you’re funny, do you?” he asked, looking amused.
“Hey, I mean, you’re the one who's funny looking so you tell me...sir.” Ashley smiled. Mr. Gardswell’s face hardened and he put his hand on her desk which she was resting her elbows on. Immediately, the desk got hotter and hotter until it was glowing with white heat. Ashley yelped and jerked away from the chair, making herself spiral towards the back of the room.
“Who looks funny, now, Miss Gaine?” he asked with a wicked scowl. Ashley furiously rubbed her arms and glared at him.
After Ashley flew back to her seat, Mr. Gardswell started to teach. He clasped his hands together and floated back towards the front of the class.
“Okay, class, today we are going to start to learn how to fight using hand to hand combat. Your sources, when you get them I mean, may not always be at your disposal. There are many spells that can render a sorcerer or sorceress useless and without their powers and you don’t ever want to be in a situation where you are completely defenseless. Being defenseless gets people killed.” A girl in the front of the class with short black hair raised her hand.
“What are the spells that can cancel out a sorcerer’s powers?” Mr. Gardswell stared at her for a few moments before speaking again.
“Well, you’d have to be a very strong sorcerer to perform a spell like that. A sorcerer stronger than even me. But I doubt that anyone in here could perform that spell anyway; not only would you have to have the spell committed to memory but you’d also have to have-” He stopped himself and stared at the class. “Don’t worry, that spell will probably never be worked on you. It hasn’t been used in almost half a century.” The same girl raised her hand again.
“Who was the last person to use it?”
“The Consul. If you have anymore questions ask your history or dark sorcery teachers. We are getting off topic here.” Ashley glanced at Taylor who was staring at Connor and Jerry.
“Taylor?” she whispered. Taylor looked at her with wide eyes. “Do you think that-” Taylor shushed her and mouthed the words ‘later.’
After class, Taylor ran up to Ashley.
“Ashley, do you want a death sentence?” she whispered.
“What?” Ashley asked innocently.
“I mean, I didn’t realize how sassy you could be,” Taylor said in awe. Ashley laughed and shrugged.
“Apparently, I’m always sassy towards adults. At least, that’s what my dad kept telling me,” Ashley admitted. Then Jerry and Connor appeared next to them.
“Guys, did you hear about what Mr. Gardswell was saying?” Jerry whispered loudly. Ashley laughed.
“Before or after he tried to cook me alive?” Ashley asked. Jerry shook his head and smiled.
“After. About the consul and that spell.” A silence grew upon the four.
“You don’t think he was talking about those families do you?” Connor asked.
“Who else would it be about?” Taylor asked.
“All I know is that those sorcerers must have been pretty dangerous if their powers had to be taken away in order to bring them down,” Jerry said. Taylor nodded as they weaved through the crowded hallways. “What class is next?” Ashley asked, breaking the tension. Taylor smiled.
“My favorite class: Miss Felise’s Fortune Telling Class.”