Well here's chapter 3.. hope you enjoy it!
I would just like to thank HB's favourite for such a fab review.. really made me smile! :)
Constance Hardbroom undid her bun and slipped into her bedsheets with a sigh. It had been a tiresome day. Her mind was still reeling about the presence of her niece in the school. How dare Cecilia enrol her here?! She had worked so incredibly hard to escape her family and to establish her teaching career.
Aurelia was exactly how she had imagined her to be. She still had the beautifully clear pale skin than she had had when she was a baby. She had inherited many of her mother's features, many of which Constance herself shared such as the long straight nose and hazel eyes. But she had her father's hair. The golden blonde locks she remembered so well. She looked down at her hands. The mere thought of David Candlewick had caused her fists to clench tightly.
"Today you shall be following the recipe for an enlarging potion on page 179 of your textbook. Now it is a simple potion but it involves a variety of bonding methods, therefore it is likely to appear on your Lower Level Witch certificate, which of course you will be sitting at the end of this year. I want you to work individually as it is important for me to assess what damage has been done to your potion making knowledge during the school holidays." Miss Hardbroom wrinkled her nose, as if appalled by the very idea of 'holidays'. "Anybody that fails to complete the potion satisfactorily will be spending the evening in my company." She smirked at the class; many of the girls had a look of horror on their faces. "You will find everything you need on the front desk. Begin." She ordered.
The girls hastily scrambled for ingredients and cauldrons. Before long the room had filled with the sound of bubbling potions and the air had filled with a strange smelling mist. Aurelia started on the potion. The recipe didn't seem too complicated. To her surprise the potion seemed to be going quite well, it was the light brown colour the book described. She read the last lot of instructions.
Add 4 drops of spider's blood and stir anti-clockwise.
Aurelia gathered a pipette and started to add the drops to her potion. She felt a strong gaze and cautiously looked up, meeting the cold dark hazel eyes of the potion-mistress she hastily looked down at her potion. "Oh no!" she thought. She wasn't sure how many dropped she had put in. She thought perhaps she had added all 4…maybe 3…no definitely 3…surely it couldn't hurt to add a drop more?
"Time is up." Miss Hardbroom spoke in her clipped tones. Aurelia looked around, everyone's potion was dark green in colour, except of course for Mildred's which was a mucky blue. Her own potion had turned bright canary yellow.
"Oh no." She muttered.
Miss Hardbroom went around the room inspecting the potions. Dropping a leaf into each and then watching it grow. Even Mildred's potion worked, although it only grew a few cm. Aurelia was the last to be tested.
"Oh dear." Miss Hardbroom said with scorn as she peered into Aurelia's cauldron. She dropped in the leaf which simply fizzed and turned brown. She wrinkled her nose at the offending potion. "Clearly your talents don't stretch to potion making. Clear this away Miss Candlewick, you can come back tonight." Miss Hardbroom addressed the class. "Clear away. You have five minutes."
Constance returned to her desk and watched the class rush to pack away. Aurelia looked more than a little defeated, but Constance didn't feel any sympathy. She was incredibly annoyed at the girl: firstly for being the only girl to fail her potion, meaning that she would have to spend the evening with her; secondly for simply being at Cackles, reminding her of the past she'd rather forget.
"Hard luck Aurelia." Mildred smiled anxiously at the girl as they walked to their next class. "I'm really surprised I'm not joining you tonight, my potion was rubbish!"
"it wasn't as bad as mine.. I'm hopeless at potions. My father always used to say that there is no point brewing a potion if you can do it with a spell quicker."
"Used to say?"
"He died when I was six." Aurelia muttered.
"I'm sorry." Mildred said sincerely.
"It's ok, I mean. It was a long time ago." She smiled bravely. "Urghh I'm not looking forward to tonight."
"Yeh, you could be there a while." Mildred smiled. She had had plenty of experience of one to one potion making with HB, each time had been long and traumatic for the young witch.
"I can see why you all hate her." Aurelia muttered.
Mildred raised her eyebrows quizzically. "Why do you say that?"
"Because she's mean all the time."
"We don't hate her. I mean Miss Hardbroom's a tricky person to get along with. She's really strict on discipline and yeh she will come down hard on you if you are not doing your best. At first I think I really did hate her, but she is the first person to put her life on the line for anyone in this school. She only pushes you because she cares about you."
"She has a funny way of showing it." Aurelia muttered.