Are you sure?’ The magician looked down at the… that… the thing on the bench in front of him.
The student nodded. She wasn’t exactly beaming, but there was a smile there.
The magician picked one of the wands from the wand rack, wiping it on his sleeve as he approached the bench again. The thing raised what could have been an eyebrow as the magician approached it. He poked the… the thing with the end of the wand. The thing wobbled like a thick jelly, the eye-like… thing on the… er… thing blinked slowly.
‘Well?’ The student stood up straighter, a bloom of pride on her face.
‘Well….’ The magician didn’t want to admit it was hopeless. Students like this one, with such rich – and indulgent parents – were never hopeless. He prodded the thing again. It wobbled again. ‘Not exactly the traditional handsome prince, is it?’
The student deflated. ‘But you gave me a frog.’
The magician tried one of those benevolent smiles he’d heard were useful at times like this. ‘Well, it is traditional.’
‘Tradition, pah.’ The student folded her arms. The wand in her hand shot out a stream of sparks that scorched the top of the workbench.
‘WHAT…!’ The magician remembered the tuition fees were almost due. ‘Er… what have I told you about discharging your wand as soon as you’ve used it?’
The student sighed and nodded. ‘Always make sure there is no magic left in the wand afterwards, EVERY time you use it,’ she said in a sing-song voice. Her eyes rolled up into her head and her weight fell on one leg as she folded her arms even tighter. She sighed theatrically.
Bloody magic, the magician thought. Is it real worth it? Then he thought of the tuition fees, straightened his beard, sighed and reached for the Introductory Magic book. ‘Right, let’s start again.’