This chapters dedicated to Hannahgrayson. I wasn't going to update today, but after reading her review and already having the chapter written I felt compelled to.
Exhausted, Aurelia got into bed, a full hour before lights out. She was still annoyed at the day's events. Stupid Ethel! Her relationship with her aunt had been improving before today. Now it was ruined and she would never know the reason why her and her mother didn't speak. She laid there in the dark for ages, forming conclusions in her mind, each one more ridiculous than the one before, before falling into a deep sleep.
"When will daddy be home mummy!?" A pretty child of six asked the woman sitting on the staircase, whose eyes were dripping with tears. "What's wrong mummy?"
"Daddy isn't coming back sweetheart."
"Quick go get Miss Hardbroom Maud!" Mildred ordered her friend. She had heard Aurelia screaming and had found the girl wriggling in her bed, sweat in her golden hair. "Wake up Aurelia!" she shook her friend.
"Millie? Wha? what happened?"
"I heard you scream. It looked like you were having a fit or something!"
"I had a bad dream."
"Into your own room Mildred, I will deal with this." Miss Hardbroom ordered, appearing at the doorway, awoken by the commotion.
"Buu-" Mildred went to argue but saw the look on her form-mistress's face and decided against it. She left the room with Maud who had been hovering behind her teacher.
Aurelia stared at Constance, she didn't seem any less frightening despite being in purple PJ's. She had her ebony hair hanging loose making her look almost identical to her mother.
"How are you feeling?" She asked briskly, sitting on the edge of her bed.
"I'll be fine Miss Hardbroom, honestly it was just a dream." Aurelia muttered unconvincingly. Constance placed her cool bony hands onto her temple.
"You have a fever. Here." With a flick of her wrist she conjured a bright blue ice-pack. "Keep this on your head. I have cast a spell so that it stays cold. You will remain in your bed tomorrow. I will inform Miss Cackle. It seems like a bout of common witches' fever, which can come on from stress. Usually with bed rest the person recovers within twenty-four hours. I will check on you in the morning."
"Miss Hardbroom?" Aurelia's muffled voice came from underneath her cover.
"I'm really sorry about earlier." Aurelia decided not to mention Ethel, she doubted Miss Hardbroom would believe her.
Miss Hardbroom stared at her niece, the girl seemed sincere. "You are forgiven, but as my own personal form of punishment I will expect you to attend an hour's one-to-one training session next Monday, straight after lessons." Constance knew that with some extra training Aurelia could be an excellent flyer.
"Yes Miss Hardbroom." Aurelia muttered.
With that her aunt left, and Aurelia sighed before closing her eyes. Tonight, at least, the woman had seemed almost human.
Constance sat in the staffroom sipping a cup of strong black tea. She couldn't sleep. Her mind was turning with thoughts of Aurelia. The fear in the girl's eyes had done nothing to convince her that it was just a 'dream'. No it had definitely been a nightmare. With the revelation about what had happened to her father she felt sure that the girl was reliving the horror of her past. She had felt strangely protective of Aurelia tonight.