They sailed down the main corridor talking about the class schedule. As always, James let Lise set the pace, trailing just slightly behind despite the difference in height. Lise stopped dead as a teenager wearing glittery lip gloss reeled past, juggling a bubble full of barely-contained flame between her hands.
“Hey!” Lise bellowed. “Get that out of the hallway.” She stabbed a finger at the door of a workroom. The student giggled, God help her, and stumbled through the door, the flame surging dangerously as she went. Lise pulled the door shut behind her emphatically.
“Remind me again why we decided to take on a school?” It was an extremely beautiful castle, and after the last year, it was amazing that every inch of it wasn’t covered with scorch marks.
James was laughing at her. Not out loud, but she could tell. “Enlightening today’s youth?”
“I don’t even like kids,” she grumbled.
“I know.” His voice was far too placid.
“You just really like magic.” She huffed. Didn’t everyone? “Just think of all the people who would not be finding out how amazing magic is if we hadn’t agreed to do this.”
She looked at him sideways and tried not to be struck by that. A cluster of teenagers caught her eye. They were vibrating with hilarity and glancing toward her, waiting to see if the headmaster was going to go off in some entertaining way. She straightened to her full height (five feet, one inch, about the same as the twelve-year-olds) and gave them a withering glare. The group started to break up, except for two fifteen-year-old boys, who straightened in unison, snapped her an exaggerated salute, and ran off grinning. She considered that. James was watching her out of the corner of his eye.
“Well. At least they understand who’s in charge.”
His laughter rang through the hallways, and she couldn’t keep herself from smiling.
This week’s Write at the Merge challenge at Write On Edge gave us two photos for inspiration (one of a castle, one of a bubble near a lake, click through the link to see them). Thanks for reading!