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Author's Chapter Notes:

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Hilda brought her arm down swiftly while muttering something under her breath.  There was a flash of light and blue smoke billowed around the table and the four witches seated around it.  As the smoke cleared it was revealed that a set of cups and saucers, a sugar bowl, milk jug and a large coffee pot had appeared on the middle of the table.  All these item were made of delicate china with a pretty design.  They sat complacently on the table as if they’d been there all along.




“An excellent way to begin the meeting!” remarked Bill, as she pushed back her white streaked hair, which has come loose during her earlier struggle with her familiar.




Joey nodded her approval, then winced – her absurdly long hair had got caught on her chair which had tugged painfully when she’d moved her head.  Impatiently she pushed it to one side, grumbling under her breath that having long hair was all very well when one was standing up!




Bill began to pour the nectar from the coffee pot into the waiting cups.  It was a bright green liquid.  Karen sighed contentedly.  “I’m so glad you thought of a way of disguising this nectar as ordinary brown coffee, Hilda.  It’s lovely being able to drink it everyday, instead of just secretly at our meetings.”




Hilda smiled smugly.  “My pleasure, my dear girl.”




Joey murmured agreement with Karen as she accepted the cup Bill passed to her.  After sipping her drink Joey took a closer look at her cup.  The design on the dainty china was made up of a pattern of faces.  They were not just any faces however – they were miniature portraits of Old Girls.  Not painted portraits though.  If you looked carefully at the china you could see the faces sometimes moved.  In fact the faces at the bottom of the cup were getting rather red from the heat of the drink it contained.  Some of the faces, most in fact, were smiling, but one or two scowled.  Joey was peering at one of the miserable faces.




“Gosh!  So that’s where Phil Craven got to!”  She looked up at Bill, “You are clever with your pottery spells Bill!”




Bill smiled appreciatively.  “Well if those girls aren’t returning as mistresses or marrying doctors it’s good to keep them involved with the School somehow!  I’ve already begun on a complimentary set of plates.”




Joey leaned in closer to her cup and waved at Phil.  Phil glowered back.


“You should sell some at the Sale!” cackled Joey.




By now Hilda had decided that enough time had been spent on refreshments and cleared her throat meaningfully.




“Ahem.  It will soon be Bonfire Night and so we must decide on our annual Bonfire Spell.  Have any of you given it any consideration?”




Joey, Bill and Karen stared at each other hopelessly.  What could they do this year?  It had to be something practical, not too obvious or dramatic.  The last thing they wanted was to attract attention to the School, or, worse, arouse Matey’s suspicion.




Hilda leaned back in her chair and took a long sip of her luminous green drink.  Watching her colleagues’ desperation she sighed quietly to herself, and a faint stream of green steam came out of one ear.  It was always left to her to come up with an idea.  They never took responsibility for these big spells, just had silly, unrealistic ideas obviously thought up on the spur of the moment.




Karen was the first to speak, suggesting they perform their usual Halloween warm up spell on Sally Denny.  This was met with instant enthusiasm from Bill and Joey.  Hilda smiled.  She also enjoyed making those particular potions.  However she felt they were being distracted from their main purpose of the evening and so curbed her own enthusiasm for the moment.




“There will be plenty of time for that after we have decided on the special Bonfire Spell.” She stated firmly.  As she had silently predicted they immediately began their next tactic of reminiscing about previous years’ Spells.



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