Wenrick

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I’ve always looked up to my mom, but it wasn’t until I started attending her Alma Mater that I found out how much of the rest of the world did, too. Not only was a whole wing dedicated to her, but many of her accomplishments have been implemented into the school system. You might think this would make my life easier, but it’s actually having the opposite effect. All of the other students have ostracized me, due to my mother’s success. They just stare from a distance and whisper to each other when they think I’m not looking. I don’t even have the advantage of knowing the material super well. Mom is always so busy that I have to study and learn it myself. Not to mention the added pressure of her great shadow that professors seem to cast on me. I can no longer deal with disappointed looks, so I study and practice at all hours of the day. Eventually, I studied and practiced so much that I began to truly discover why my mom fell in love with magic. I became addicted to creating new spells, but I’ve never shared them with anyone. Not even my best friend from childhood, Jay.

“Oh, no! Jay!” I look down at my phone in frustration. This is the third time this week that I have completely lost track of time. Quickly shoving a few books and pens into my bag, I run out the door. Jay is going to be so upset with me this time. Even if we have been best friends since we were born, I’d understand if he’s done with me. Shaking my head, I grip my bag tighter. I can’t lose him. He’s the one person I trust the most in the world and know just likes me for me.

Jay also goes to Wenrick Academy, but is studying to be a healer. Unlike me, he knows exactly what he wants to do in life. It’s the perfect job for him, too, because he is the most kind and gentle person I have ever met. I’m blessed to have him as a best friend. Checking my phone once more, I quicken my pace. If I want to keep him as my friend, though, I need to hurry! I’m so late for our study session. I rush through the courtyard toward the Southern dormitories. As if he somehow knew I was there, Jay opens his door just as I’m about to knock. He smiles his big, warm smile and hugs me, pulling me through the entryway.

“Wow, I’m happy to see you, too.” I laugh as Jay lets me go, a little surprised.

Jay blushes, “yeah, sorry about that. I just got some really good news, and I couldn’t wait to tell you!”

I set my books on the table, and then look back at Jay who is almost shaking, “well, say it before you explode!”

“I got the medical internship! I beat out over 3000 applicants and got the internship!” I give Jay a kiss on the cheek, hugging him extremely tight.

“Congratulations! I knew you could do it.” Jay doesn’t move for a moment, then slowly returns the hug.

Softly, he says, “um, Lana, I…” When he doesn’t say anything more, I look up at him. Jay shakes his head, smiles nonchalant, and lets go.

“We should probably start studying. It’s getting pretty late.” I want to ask him what he was about to say, but don’t get the chance because he begins to quiz me on the ingredients for an invisibility potion.

The next few weeks are hard as Jay adjusts to his new schedule and doesn’t have any extra time to spare. I spend even more time in my “secret place” practicing my homemade spells. One day, as I’m practicing, I finally get a spell I’ve been working on for months to succeed. As I flick my wand, saying the spell, the Aurora Borealis can be seen in the night sky. As I watch in awe, I hear a noise behind me and decide now is probably a good time to go home. The next day, as I leave my potions class, I feel like I’m being watched. I look around the hall, but so many other students are leaving their class that it’s impossible to pick out just one. In the afternoon, I go to my “secret place” to practice once more. As I walk through the forest, I feel a presence other than mine, but only for a second. It’s so fleeting that I assume I imagined it. Settling down in my favorite spot, I practice a couple new spells I’ve been milling about until dark. Once the stars come out, I do my new Aurora Borealis spell. As soon as I do, a person appears behind me, nearly scaring me to death.

“Can you teach me that?” My heart nearly jumps out of my chest at the sudden sound of his voice. He laughs at my startled expression, “I’m sorry. I thought you heard me approach.”

I frown, “definitely not.” I begin to pack up my things and walk back towards the school. He walks next to me pacing his steps with mine.

“I didn’t mean  to intrude. I’ve just never seen anything like your spell. It’s totally awesome!” When I don’t say anything, he continues talking, “my name’s Olli, by the way. I’m a Junior in Light magic with a minor in Mythical Beasts. How about you?” I raise my eyebrow at him, but he looks innocent. It seems like he really doesn’t know who I am.

A little shocked, I reply, “my name is Lana. I’m a sophomore, and I’m undecided.”

He smiles widely at me, “well, with what I saw you do, you could easily be anything.”

I blush at his sincerity, “really?” I’d meant it rhetorically, but Olli nods enthusiastically.

With a serious look, he says, “sure. Clearly your magic is strong enough for Light magic, but the spell sounded homemade, so you could also be a Philosopher. But I wouldn’t limit yourself to just those, either.”

Looking down at my feet, I reply, “I don’t think so. I’m nothing that special.” I can feel him staring at me, but I remain silent. Instead, I continue to walk in the direction of the Northern dormitories. He walks me to the door, and I feel a little awkward. For nineteen years, Jay has been my only friend. I didn’t realize how socially awkward I have become. “Um, thanks for walking with me. It was really nice to meet you.” I smile and Olli just stares at me a moment before laughing. He waves his hand in front of the door and it unlocks. I stand there in shock before following him inside.

“I thought it was weird you were walking towards my dorm. I had no idea you lived here, too.”

“What a coincidence…” I step in front of this huge blank wall and wave my hand slightly. A door begins to appear in the stone with the number 313 on it. I glance over at Olli who’s watching his door appear. “Well, goodnight.”

Olli looks over and smiles widely, “night! Call me soon so that we can find a time for me to learn that spell.” He winks and disappears through his door. I’m just able to catch the 643 on his door before it dissolves back into the wall.

I walk into my room and toss my bag onto the floor. As I pull off my jacket, a folded piece of paper flutters to the ground. Picking it up, I find Olli’s phone number on it with a note that says, “don’t forget!” Rolling my eyes, I toss the paper on the counter. There is still some homework I need to finish, but I’m exhausted. I decide to just go to bed and finish it tomorrow before class. While I brush my teeth in the bathroom, I glance at my reflection. I’m always compared to my mom and my looks are no exception. Strangers will say I have my mom’s eyes or hair, but I just want to look like me. I don’t want to be constantly compared. Sighing, I splash some water on my face before drying it off and heading to bed. The next morning, I wake-up and rub my eyes. Yawning, I wave both of my hands, fluttering my fingers slightly. As I get out of my bed, it begins to make itself. I throw my clothes on the floor and get into the shower. Once I’m finished, my room is clean, and I can smell fresh coffee and toast in the kitchen. As I sit down at the kitchen table, my plate and mug magically float down to me. I give a small smile, slightly impressed with myself. It’d taken me a few weeks to master that one.

I quickly finish my breakfast and leftover homework. While I pack up my stuff for class, my phone buzzes. It’s from my mom and all it says is, “heard about Jay’s internship. Congratulate him for me?” I didn’t expect much, but for some reason it still hurts a little. I text back, “k,” then wave my hand in front of my door. I’m distracted as I lock my door back behind me and don’t notice that there is someone beside me. I am so caught up in my thoughts that I jump a little when he suddenly speaks.

“Wow. Are you stalking me, now?” He is joking of course, but gets a worried expression when he sees me clutching my chest. “Oh, geez. I’m sorry. I was just kidding.”

I take a deep breath, and then shake my head, “it wasn’t your fault. I was lost in thought and didn’t notice you sooner.” I begin to walk to my class and, again, Olli falls into step next to me.

“Oh, I see. You were daydreaming about me when I happened to catch you, and now you feel guilty. But you know, you don’t have to feel guilty about daydreaming about me. I have that effect on people.”

I raise my eyebrow at him as I continue walking, “…yeah.”

Olli feigns surprise, “a nonbeliever?! I didn’t realize any existed. Well, it’s the complete truth, I promise. It’s been tested.”

I roll my eyes, “okay. If you say so.” Olli grabs my hand and pulls me into a dimly lit alley. “Hey! What are you — !” The narrow alley has his face suddenly very close to mine. I’m pushed against the wall, his hands on either side of my head against the brick. He stares directly into my eyes, not saying a word. I hold my breath, not able to move. A minute later, he suddenly sighs and leans back against the other wall.

“You really are something special, you know. Every other girl would have been putty in my hands just now. You’re even still –” My hand smacks against his cheek a little harder than I intended. He looks up at me partly in shock and partly as if he’s unsure it actually happened.

My cheeks burn with embarrassment, and as I leave the alley, I shout back, “you can’t just do whatever you want!” Stomping through the halls, I take a deep breath to calm down before I enter the classroom. When I do, a girl I recognize as somewhat popular walks over to me.

“Hi! My name is Arabelle, and yours is… Lana?” I nod and she continues, “I saw you have been hanging out with Olli Knight. What’s the deal with you two?” Instantly, I understand. She only wants to know if i’m going to be an issue for her, she doesn’t even want to be “fake” friends.

“Look, we’re not even really friends, and I don’t want to be.”

“Awesome! Thanks.” The girl flips her hair and walks away. I shake my head and get ready for class. Geez, Jay, I really miss you. When class is finished, I take my time putting my books and notes away. Outside, I see Arabelle chatting away to Olli, but it seems like he’s not really listening. Suddenly, he looks up and we make eye contact. I quickly look away, but not before I manage to see him moving in my direction. Sighing heavily, I’m sure that girl is going to let me have it next class. I’ll need to spend extra time practicing my defense spells. With both hands, I cover my face and shake my head. How did I get myself into this? Where did this guy even come from? I look up when I hear Olli approach. I’m surprised when he doesn’t say anything, but just walks silently next to me. A minute or two passes and I begin to fret from the awkward silence. My thoughts swirl around in my head like a hurricane as I debate whether I should speak first.

“Um–”

“I–” We both stop as we each try to speak at the same time. I blush but am able to recover first.

“You first.” Olli clears his throat.

“Yeah, okay. I just wanted to apologise to you because you’re right. I can’t just do whatever I want to people. I was a real jerk. Can you ever forgive me?” My blush deepens, and I can no longer make eye contact.

“Yeah, I guess so. And I’m sorry for slapping you.”

Olli smiles widely, “I needed the wake up call.” I begin walking again, no longer able to stand still. We head towards the dorm making light conversation as we go. When I finally get back to my room, I feel my phone vibrate. My heart skips a beat when I see that it’s from Jay.

“Meet me at my place?”

“Be there in ten!” I freshen up really quickly and then grab my bag. For the first time in a while, I head to the Southern dormitories. I walk slowly, breathing in the cool, fall air. Just that one message from Jay has lightened my entire mood. Until now, I haven’t really realized how much I rely on him. I really need my best friend. Suddenly, I feel a chill go down my spine. A sweet scent fills the air, and I begin to feel very sleepy. My mind clouds, and I find myself curling up on a bench to take a nap. As my eyes close, I see the blurry outline of a girl.

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Wenrick – Chapter Three

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Olli opens his mouth as if he is going to say something, but then just shuts it again. He nods his head solemnly and simply replies, “I understand.” Hanging his head, he begins to walk back towards our dorm.

“Wait!”

Before he gets too far out of reach, I quickly grab his jacket to stop him. Unfortunately, I twist my ankle as I move to catch him. I close my eyes as I fall towards the ground and wait for the impact. When it never comes, I cautiously open them again.

“Are you okay?” Olli’s face hovers right above mine as he holds me in his arms. I feel the heat rise to my cheeks, and I struggle to quickly release myself from his grasp. Standing a good distance away from him now, I press my hands to my cheeks.

“Y – yeah. I’m fine. Thank you.” Olli runs his hand through his hair and rocks back on his feet.

“Okay… good. Well, I’m going to go, then. Bye, Lana.”

“No! I mean, you don’t have to go… I was just kidding before.” I give a pained smile at how awkward this is because of me. If I just hadn’t made that joke, this wouldn’t be happening right now. Olli just stares at me for a moment before turning around. I watch as his back begins to quiver and shake. Is he angry? Did I upset him that much? I’m just about to reach out and apologize when he tilts his head back and laughs.

“You, you really are something,” he places his arm around my shoulder and begins walking towards ‘the secret place,’ “now, let’s go learn that spell.”

I look up at him as I shrug off his arm, “you’re not mad?”

“Why would I be mad?”

“Because of what I said.” Olli stops walking and looks at me contemplatively.

“Did you mean it?”

Shaking my head, I reply, “no! Of course not.” He smiles widely and continues walking.

“Then, I’m not mad.”

We walk in silence for a bit before I ask, “what did you do to Arabelle? She seemed really upset.”

Olli looks annoyed, “I didn’t really do anything. She asked to meet me, so I came even after what she did to you. When I got here, she told me that she was in love with me, and has been for a couple years, but was always too nervous to say anything. I had just finished telling her that I was sorry, but I didn’t feel the same way, when you guys showed up.”

“I didn’t realize it was so annoying to be confessed to. I’ll remember that.” I begin to head into the forest, but Olli grabs my wrist, stopping me.

He looks into my eyes earnestly, “you know that’s not what I mean. With my… condition, I get confessed to at least three times a week. It’s never real. Half the time, they don’t really even ‘know me.’” Olli sighs and turns away slightly. “Every relationship I’ve ever been in has been a lie. As soon as I feel like I might fall, I find out that they weren’t interested in ME. It was just this curse that causes people to see me a certain way and not care about anything else.” Olli balls his hands into fists. I gently turn him back towards me.

“Hey, it doesn’t work on me, right? So, it must not affect everyone. I’m sure not all of your relationships are lies.” I smile reassuringly at him. In an instant, Olli has his arms wrapped around me. I feel the heat rise in my cheeks and remain very still.

“Thank you. That means so much to me.”

We finally make it to ‘the secret place,’ and I drop my bag down in my favorite spot. I pull out my wand and look over at Olli. He sets his stuff down next to mine and pulls his wand out as well. I check the time on my phone, and then look up at the sky. It took us longer to walk here then it usually takes me when I’m by myself. Now, it’s much darker then when I originally left my dorm.

“Are you ready?”

Olli nods, “yeah. I’m pretty excited.” Smiling, I take a couple steps into the middle of the clearing. Gripping my wand more tightly, I begin.

“First, you hold your wand like this. Then, you move it in an arc like this while you recite the incantation: ‘cretae un boreae aurae.’ If you don’t do everything just like that, though, it won’t work.” Olli moves next to me and mimics my movements.

“Is this right?” I look over him carefully.

“Um, not quite. It’s more like this.” I show him once more, but he continues to flourish his wand much more then needed. Thinking for a moment, I set down my wand and gently take his from his hand.

“Stand behind me and put your hand on mine. I want you to follow my hand movements so that you know what it’s supposed to feel like.” Olli’s face seems to flush for a second, but he moves behind me so quickly that I’m not sure I saw anything. He tentatively places his hand over mine, and my hand almost disappears in his much larger one.

“Is this okay?” I nod my head, not trusting myself to speak as my cheeks flush. Taking a deep breath, I move our hands in the arcing motion that I demonstrated earlier. Together, we recite the spell and the aurora borealis bursts through the sky. It appears much more brilliant than usual as I look up in surprise. Olli pulls me tightly against him, wrapping his arms around my waist. Even though no one else is here, he whispers so that only I can hear him say, “you’re much more beautiful.” With my arms pinned to my sides, I’m unable to free myself from his embrace. My entire body is heating up from embarrassment. I just don’t know how to deal with this guy.

“Olli… let me go.”

“Just five more minutes.”

“Olli!”

“Fine…” He finally lets go, and I take a few steps away so that he can’t grab me again. Taking my phone out of my pocket, I check the time. Frowning, I stuff my phone back into my pocket and pack my bag again. This took longer than I thought, and now it’s really late. Olli packs his stuff as well and takes my bag from me, slinging it on his other shoulder. “It got pretty late, huh?”

I nod my head, “yeah, and I have pretty early classes tomorrow.”

Olli frowns, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep you out this late.”

Looking up at him, I shake my head, “it’s not your fault. I agreed to teach you this spell. You didn’t force me to do anything.”

Olli looks at me quizzically, “you’re a really nice person, Lana. Maybe even too nice.”

“Should I be meaner?”

He laughs and shakes his head, “definitely not. I like you just the way you are.” Blushing, I turn away from him so that he can’t see my face.

“Ehm, well, when do you want to meet again? To finish learning the spell?”

“Just name a time, and I can be there.”

“Well, I go there almost everyday around the same time as today. I guess I could just text you if I’m not going to be there.”

Olli smiles down at me, “that’d be perfect.” We reach our dorm and Olli holds the door for me to enter. As we wait for our doors to appear on the wall, I take my bag back from him. Just as I’m about to enter my room, Olli stops me and takes my hand in his. He brings it to his lips, looking up at me with his pale, gray eyes. “Until next time, Lana.” With that, he slips into his room. Flushed, I stare at his door as it disappears until a voice sounds from behind me. Startled, I quickly turn around.

“Jay? What are you doing here?”

Wenrick – Chapter Two

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When I wake-up, I find myself on an unfamiliar, leather couch. I quickly sit up and a plush, woolen blanket gathers around my waist. Confused and panicking, I hastily look around the room. The last thing I can remember is enjoying the weather as I walked to Jay’s dorm… Oh, no! Jay! Did I ever make it to see him? Where am I now? I hear a noise come from a back room and my entire body tenses. A moment later, Olli walks into the room with two cups of tea. I just stare at him, too stunned and confused to say anything.

Handing me a cup of tea, he sits next to me on the couch, “hey… how are you feeling?”

I sniff at the tea hesitantly before answering, “um, I’m not really sure. I can’t remember anything.” A sharp pain courses through my head, causing me to wince.

Olli gently places his hand on my shoulder, “hey, don’t push yourself. I can fill you in on everything I know. Just sit back and enjoy your tea.” I settle into the couch, pulling my knees to my chest as I hug the mug between my hands.

Olli takes a small sip, and then begins, “so, I was out on my daily jog when I saw that super annoying girl, Ara-… Ara-”.

“Arabelle?”

“Yeah… I saw her hovering over something. Now usually, I would just keep going about my business, but something about her seemed off. And I mean more than usual,” he smiles before continuing, “anyways, I walked over to where she was and saw you lying there. When she began reaching for your bag, I cleared my throat so she noticed me. Almost instantly, her personality changed. Long story short, I got her to leave and brought you here. That’s basically it.”

I take a sip of tea, “I see…”

Olli gives me a concerned look, “are you okay? You seem a little too calm about this.”

I shrug my shoulders, “it’s just an annoying girl. I’m pretty sure that I can handle it.”

“May I ask what you did to get on her bad side?”

“I –” My voice cuts off, and I feel my cheeks redden, “I can’t tell you.” Olli looks confused at first, but then realization forms on his face.

He looks down at the ground as he mumbles, “it’s my fault.” It isn’t a question, but more of an admission of guilt. His current demeanor is so different than when he originally told me of his unique ability.

I cautiously place my hand on his arm, “look, I don’t really understand how your ability works, but this isn’t your fault. Arabelle made the decision to hex me, not you. She’s responsible for her own actions.”

He places his hand over mine, “thanks, but this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Clearly, it won’t be the last, either. It’s just not fair to you. We should… we need to stop hanging out.”

Standing up, I feel angry all of a sudden, “that’s not really for you to decide all on your own!” I’m not really sure what came over me, but I can’t stand to lose his friendship. “I don’t understand why you would even say that!”

Olli looks up at me in complete shock, “I, I just want you to be happy. It’s selfish to wish to keep you in my life.”

I sit back down next to him and mumble, “sometimes it’s okay to be selfish.” For a while, we sit there in silence.

Finally, Olli breaks the silence, “so, where exactly were you headed before all this happened?” I quickly jump off the couch and grab my phone.

“Crap! Thanks for reminding me!” Ignoring the dozens of missed calls, I begin dialing Jay’s number.

“Reminding you of what?”

I give a small smile, “let me just make this call, and then I’ll fill you in.” He nods as I walk to the other side of the room and put the phone to my ear.

Jay picks up on the second ring, “Lana! Are you okay? I was so worried when you didn’t show up!” I smile upon hearing Jay’s voice.

“I’m fine. I’m so sorry I made you worry.”

“What happened? It’s not like you to just not show up.”

“Please don’t get mad when you hear me say this, okay?”

“…okay.”

“My mom called me as I was walking to your dorm, and we ended up having one of our usual arguments. I got all depressed and ended up walking around for a few hours to clear my head. Before I knew it, the moon was out, so I headed home having completely forgotten about meeting up with you. I’m so sorry, Jay.”

“It’s okay. I know what your mom does to you. I just wish you felt safe enough with me to be comforted when this happens.”

Hot tears fall down my face, “Jay… you know I feel safe with you. Please, don’t say things like that.”

Jay’s voice sounds stiff when he answers, “I don’t know what to believe, Lana.” The line goes dead, and I just stand there frozen. Slowly, I put my phone away. I wipe the back of my hand across my face, wondering how this simple phone call went so wrong. I take a deep breath trying to gather myself together. Suddenly, I feel a hand on my shoulder, which causes me to jump.

“Hey, are you alright? You sounded upset.” I turn towards Olli and attempt to fake a smile. It’s obvious he’s not convinced, though.

“I’ll be okay. I just… didn’t really expect that.”

Olli nods sympathetically, “I don’t know who this ‘Jay,’ is to you, but I can tell he’s pretty important. Are you sure it was okay to lie to him?”

I look down at my feet, “so you heard that. Jay is important to me because he’s been my best friend ever since I can remember. He’s been there when even my mom hasn’t. To answer your question, though, no. I did it because I knew how he would react it he heard the truth. He wouldn’t let me handle it on my own.”

“Ah, I see,” Olli takes my hand in his, “but I can understand where he’s coming from.” Blushing, I pull away slightly. I’m still not used to this kind of interaction, whatever ‘it’ is.

“I should probably get going. There’s homework and studying I need to do.”

“Yeah, I guess I should get to work as well. I would walk you home, but you’re sort of already there.”

Laughing, I reply, “yeah, I think I can find my way home from here. On a more serious note, though, thank you for  rescuing me and taking care of me.” Olli smiles and nods as he waves his hand in front of his door.

“It was my pleasure.” He holds his door open for me, but as I’m walking out, I stop in front of him.

“Um, I’ll probably go to ‘the place’ if you want to learn that spell. I usually go around seven.” I don’t wait for him to answer but quickly walk over and wave my hand in front of the wall.

It feels good to be home. I wave my fingers and the kitchen comes alive. I sit down with my homework in front of me as the food prepares itself. As I begin, I’m unable to focus. All I can think about is Jay. My mind just recites our argument over and over. I begin to feel sick to my stomach as I remember how disappointed he was. A plate appears in front of me full of food, but now I’m too upset to eat it. I quickly place it in the fridge for later and grab my phone and jacket before heading out the door. Without really thinking about it, I begin heading towards Jay’s dorm. As I stand outside his dorm, I worriedly pace back and forth. Finally, I muster up the courage to call him.

“Hello?”

“Um, hey, it’s Lana. I… I needed to see you.” There’s silence on the other side of the phone, and then, “I needed to see you, too. I actually ended up walking all the way to your dorm. It’s perfect timing that you called when you did.”

I laugh as I turn to walk back towards my dorm, “I’m in front of YOUR dorm!”

Jay laughs into the phone as well, “I guess we had the same idea. What do you want to do?”

“I can just meet you at mine. If you haven’t eaten yet, I already have lunch prepared.”

“That sounds perfect. I’ll wait right here, then.”

“Okay, I’ll be right there. Bye!”

“Bye!” I quickly make my way back to my dorm. Once I get there, I see Jay sitting outside. I rush over and throw my arms around him.  

“I’m so sorry, Jay. I never meant to upset you. Please forgive me!” Tears slowly fall down my face. Jay gently lifts my chin so that I’m facing him. He wipes my tears away with his thumbs.

“Hey, don’t cry. I already feel guilty enough. It’s my fault we even fought. I shouldn’t have said what I did, especially when you were already upset.”

I bury my face in Jay’s chest, “no, you were right to be mad. If you were having some sort of problem, I’d expect you to come to me. It’s only fair of you to expect the very same from me.” Jay pushes me back slightly so that he can see my face.

“Then, why? We’ve been best friends for nineteen years. I would think you could rely on me, or at the very least, be honest with me.” I pull away a little and turn around so that he can’t see my face.

“It’s nothing like that. I’ve always felt like I relied on you too much, actually. You’re working so hard on your classes and your internship that I don’t want to stress you with my problems as well.” I hear Jay sigh heavily behind me.

“Geez, Lana. It’s not like you’re a burden to me. If something is bothering you, I’d feel better if you told me outright. Otherwise, I’ll just stress anyway trying to figure it out myself.” I look back at Jay, shocked. It’s unusual for him to sound so cross.

“I’m… I’m sorry. I didn’t realize.”

“It’s fine. Just next time, let me know if something is bothering you.”

“I promise.” Jay picks up his bag where he’d set it on the ground.

“So, I’m starving. Is lunch still on the table?”

“Of course! Let’s go inside.” As we wait for my door to appear, I feel awkward. It’s something I’ve never experienced with Jay. I have always felt completely at home with him.

Thankfully, it quickly goes away when Jay sets his notebooks on my table next to mine and says, “do you want to start with potions or spells?” I smile and set a plate of food in front of him.

“Spells is fine.” We eat and study for a long time. The tension from earlier is completely gone now. We laugh and chat as we continue to finish our homework just like always. Well, more like Jay works like a perfect student on his homework, and I distract him. I crumble up bits of paper and toss them in his direction. When he’s able to ignore that, I up my game by waving my hand so that the bits of paper float around his head. That finally gets his attention, so he counterattacks by teleporting behind me and pulling me to the floor. Immediately, he begins to tickle me mercilessly.

“Okay, okay! I give. You win.” Jay lets me go but we continue laughing. I look over at my clock and see that it’s almost seven. With a heavy sigh, I run my hands through my hair. Just when we’re back together, and everything is back to normal, I have to say goodbye again.

“What’s with that big sigh? I thought we were having fun.”

“I was. I mean, I am. I just promised someone that I’d teach them this spell, so I have to be somewhere at seven. As much as I’d like to stay here with you, I can’t break my promise.”

“Wow. How was someone able to get you to promise that?”

Cringing from the memory, I just say, “It’s a long story for another time.”

“Well, I can’t wait to hear it, but I guess this is goodbye for now.” Slowly, I stand and stretch. I pack my stuff and slip on my jacket.

“I’ll walk you out on my way. At least that way we can spend a little more time together.” I smile and wrap my arm around his. We walk slowly towards Jay’s dorm, enjoying the nice weather and each other’s company. As we walk, we begin to hear voices from further ahead. Once we get closer, I see that the girl who kidnapped me is sitting on a bench, looking upset. Standing in front of her is… Olli? The girl glances up and sees me staring. She snarls in my direction, stands, and swiftly walks away, shoving past me as she goes. Olli, having seen what happened, quickly walks over to us after she leaves.

“I’m so sorry about that,” he looks at Jay and offers his hand, “hello, you must be Jay.”

Jay shakes his hand, slightly shocked, “um, yeah. Who are you, and how exactly do you know me?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. That was rude of me. My name is Olli Knight. I’ve just heard a lot about you from Lana.”

Jay looks at me curiously, “oh, really?”

“I believe she said you are her most trusted and valued friend in the entire world and she wouldn’t know what to do without you. Is that right, Lana?” Olli looks at me and smiles widely. I blush and only manage to nod. I feel Jay’s grip tighten slightly as the temperature drops and the air suddenly feels extremely heavy.

“Well, we have been friends for a long time. How exactly does Olli Knight know my best friend?”

Olli shrugs, “I asked her to tutor me. I feel she has a lot to teach.” I feel the tension in the air become even thicker. Quickly, I move in front of Jay and place my hands on his chest.

“So, I’ll call you later?” Jay sighs and finally returning to himself, smiles at me.

“I’ll be waiting.” He continues walking to his dorm, leaving Olli and me alone. Once he’s gone, I sigh, letting my shoulders droop.

“Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

I turn to look at Olli, furrowing my brow, “maybe you were right about us not being friends.”