Chapter One

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Spooksville, and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Risa is a young girl being trained in the art of witchcraft by a wizard. She sometimes aids the gang in Spooksville (Springville is the proper name, I think), but her trials to become a full witch are coming up, and she must complete those


Risa took a slight step back, drew in a deep breath, and swung her arm in a wide arc, her magic creating a bright blue line of energy through the air.

"No, that's still wrong!" the wizard Nightshade exclaimed. "I told you, you're using too much power! It's only a medium-strength shield, not a super-strength one!"

Risa clenched her fist, and swept her arm back up again, making the shield vanish. "I'm sorry, Nightshade," she said contritely. "I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with my spells."

"Yes, you do," Nightshade replied. "It has to do with your family."

Risa blinked, and then inwardly cursed. Of course. She'd forgotten to shield her mind yet again. It seemed like she was always forgetting to do that, and Nightshade found it easy to just lift her thoughts from her mind.

"I heard that," Nightshade scolded mildly. "I've told you not to use language like that, Risa. At least, not where I can hear you."

"I'm sorry," Risa sighed. "It's just that... I still don't understand why I had to leave my family."

"So that I could train you in using your powers," Nightshade replied.

"But... Why couldn't you just have trained me while I was still living with my family?" Risa wanted to know.

"Because you would be too dangerous left where you were," Nightshade answered. "Your powers are strong, Risa. But you would be dangerous left with your family, even if I was training you. You could have quite easily lost control and hurt someone. This way, I can keep an eye on you."

Risa sighed. "I miss my sister mainly," she said sadly. "We were really close."

"Would it help to know that your sister moved to Spooksville some time ago?" Nightshade asked.

Risa stared at Nightshade. "How come you didn't tell me that before?" she demanded.

"Because it could well have caused your emotions to go into overdrive," Nightshade explained. "And while your power was still wild, that could have proved to be very dangerous."

"Can I... see her?" Risa asked, hoping that the answer would be yes.

"I don't see why not," Nightshade replied after a moment's thought. "Just remember that Cindy hasn't seen you for quite a while, so she probably won't recognise you. In fact, I think that it would be a good idea for you to start going to school and mix with children your own age."

"School?" Risa wailed. "Why do I need to go to school? I already know how to read and write and all that!"

"You've had to grow up pretty fast, Risa," Nightshade replied. "Now it's time for you to learn how to be a child again."

"That made absolutely no sense!" Risa protested.

"I know," Nightshade replied. "But it sounded good anyway."

Risa gave him an odd look, then, despite herself, burst out laughing.


The next morning, instead of dressing in her training clothes, Risa slipped into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She then brushed and plaited her long black hair.

When Risa had finished getting dressed, Nightshade came into her room. "Looking forward to your first day of school?" he asked, smiling.

"Not really," Risa confessed. Nightshade was easy to talk to. She had never kept anything from him. Until now, of course. She was sure that that would change now that she was going to school again. "I've got butterflies in my stomach," she admitted.

"They'll fade," Nightshade replied, moving to stand behind Risa. He made a gesture with his right hand, and murmured a few soft words while Risa heard a sound very similar to a bell ringing in her head. A white flower slowly formed in Nightshade's fingers, and, when it was fully formed, he gently tucked it behind Risa's ear. "There," he smiled.

Suddenly overcome by emotion, Risa turned and hugged Nightshade tightly.

"Hey," Nightshade said softly, gently stroking Risa's head. "Cheer up, Risa. It's not like we're going to be separated all the time, after all. Just for about six hours a day for five days a week."

Risa gave a wan smile. "I guess you're right," she replied.

Nightshade pulled back gently from Risa. "All right, let's go," he said simply.


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