Sunday, September 22, 2013

Antidotes and Complications

Spike stared at the instructions on the board in dismay. Create a complex antidote. Lovely. She sighed, flipped open her book, and stuck her wand into her hair to hold it all back up off her face. All right. Part of the problem is mixing the ingredients. I haven’t been blending finely enough, and stirring in the right order is tricky. If only I had ekletrickity, like in Advanced Muggle Studies. I could use a blenderizer, like we did for those frozen drinks at the beach party … She stopped dead in the act of reaching for the powdered boomslang skin. A blenderizer

Swiftly she combined all forty-six ingredients in the cauldron, setting the flame underneath to bring it to a slow simmer. Now, deiseil twice, widdershins once, then once, then twice, then three times, then once, once, twice, finishing once deiseil, then reversing direction but not number. Got it. She grabbed her wand from her hair, murmured ”Revuelvo,” and dropped it into the cauldron, where it sank to the bottom and began to spin. Clockwise, anticlockwise, then reversing around again.

Yay for Muggle Studies! thought Spike, as she began to tidy her bench.

All was going well until Drusilla asked Spike to pass the unicorn warts. “Is it supposed to be that color?” Dru hissed under her breath. Spike looked down, with sinking heart. The potion was willow green with streaks of color floating through it like ribbons. “How--?”

Spike touched her hair and found … her wand holding up her heavy bun. “Oh, bloody …” She had dropped her hairstick into the potion, and the Little Gods only knew what that had done to the complex antidote. Worse, here came Professor Halliwell, ready to check her work.

Thaddeus sniffed at the vapors.

“Nettle extract, sea buckthorn oil, nice, very nice. Ground pearl, unicorn hair, uhmmm hmmm. Willow … not willow bark, the actual wood. Interesting choice. And is that … yes, I think so. Glass and copper. The copper I understand, but the glass, Spike?”

“For … unification. And clarity.”

He raised one eyebrow. “And?”

Spike racked her brains. There was something else glass did that was important … got it. “For flow even in stasis.”

“Fifteen points to Slytherin. Well done.” The professor moved on, and Spike retrieved her hair stick from the cauldron. ”Evanesco,” she hissed, and the goo came away leaving the stick clean.

But when she took it out of her hair that night, the glass finial was nowhere to be seen. Instead, tiny copper branches supported tinkling green crystal leaves that chimed together softly.

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