Damn, y’all, if I was really going to magical boarding school, I would totally figure out how to transform Monday into the third day of the weekend. And also how to make a potion to cure hangovers. And remove calories from alcohol. Unfortunately, we have to have an actual ADVENTURE, which means we’ve got to figure out if our dad is under some kind of enchantment. Last week, after you overheard hottie necromancer Eli talking to his mom about some kind of coup, you decided to call up dear old dad, who invited you to come home for the weekend. And, by ONE MEASLY VOTE, you guys chose to: Agree, and plan to invite some of the necromancers (maybe Eli?). Maybe your dad’s prejudice against them isn’t as bad as you remember, and just maybe he’ll let slip some important clue if he goes off.

Let’s find out what happens when you take a little field trip back to home sweet home…

Chapter 06: Does Water Cause Wand Shrinkage?

“I have no idea why we’ve never done this before,” Drusilla purrs, as she dips her toes into the steaming water. “It’s absolute heaven.”

Dace nods before finishing off the punch in his plastic cup. “I’m also super glad that I learned this alcohol transformation spell over the summer because ROCK!” He smashes the cup in victory before heading back to the table where your housekeeper, Daphne, has laid out enough food to feed an army of dragons.

You sigh, looking at the water glisten on his taut… back muscles. You used to think he was the hottest boy in school, but ever since a certain necromancer appeared, you’re starting to wonder what you ever saw in Dace Shaw.

“I still can’t believe you managed to convince your dad to bring, like, half the school over here.” Drusilla motions to the crowd of your fellow students lounging around the springs, laughing and playing drinking spell games. “I just hope your mom’s cool with the massive loss of virginity that will happen later tonight in her house.”

You roll your eyes. “Dru, please. Like any of these guys could get their wands up.”

She smacks your arm. “Well, Dace seems to be a master wizard in that department.”

You return the smack and shake your head. “Ugh, I wouldn’t know!” You’ve gotten close with Dace, but even those ab muscles weren’t persuasive enough to make you go all the way. And given your chemistry with Eli, you suddenly realize how relieved you are that Dace isn’t your first.

As if he was reading your mind (which you know isn’t possible, thanks to the excellent blocking spell you looked up in the library), Eli emerges from the house and searches the crowd until his eyes lock onto yours. You feel a flush spread across your face, and you’re thankful you can blame it on the hot springs swirling around your feet.

Druisilla glances in Eli’s direction, then turns back to you with one eyebrow artfully cocked. “I bet he’s got no problems with his wand.”

You manage to break your eyes away from Eli and assume an innocent expression. “Like I would ever get with a necromancer. That’s, like, nasty.”

Drusilla just laughs. “Pretend all you want, Tabitha Whitley, but I’ve known you since we were in pre-spell together, and I can tell that you’re totally crushing on that guy. And I don’t wanna judge, because the dude is fine, but there’s something I think you should know about him.”

Just as you open your mouth to ask Drusilla what the hell she’s talking about, Eli approaches. “Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?”

You look uneasily at Drusilla, who simply shrugs. “Uh, I guess?” You suddenly feel shy, which is weird. Gah, you’re Tabitha Whitley! Get it together!

Eli glances over at Drusilla. “If you don’t mind, it’s private.” Drusilla issues a dramatic sigh (the girl has a real talent) and gathers up her towel. “Tabs, come find me after, ok? We need to finish this convo STAT.”

You watch her walk away as Eli settles in her place. “So… have you talked to your dad yet?”

Again, you’re struck by the electricity that seems to crackle around him. Just how powerful is this guy? And why won’t he take off his shirt? Hello, it’s a POOL PARTY.

You shake off visions of skinny dipping and try to focus. “Well, a little. He and my mom were here when we all arrived, but it was such a clustercuss of people, and they’re all about being the perfect hosts, so we haven’t had any real time together.”

“But did he seem odd to you? Or off in any way?” Eli dangles his legs into the springs, inches away from your perfectly manicured toes.

You close your eyes in an effort to block out his dizzying nearness and analyze your memory of the last few days. When you asked your father if you could bring a few friends, he actually seemed excited, which definitely struck you as strange. After you were inducted into the prestigious and uber elite Order of the Sphinx, which was founded by your great-great-grandfather, Daddy pretty much stopped caring about the rest of your social life. The man still thinks that Drusilla’s name is Priscilla, for God’s sakes.

“Well, I still think it’s strange that he actually let everyone come here,” you say, daring to look into Eli’s eyes. They flash with an emotion you can’t seem to identify. Anger? Hope? Dare you think… lust? “I mean, he literally said the phrase, ‘The more, the merrier,’ and if that’s not a sign that he’s been bewitched or whatever, I don’t know what is.”

Eli reaches down to touch the water, and his arm brushes against yours, leaving behind a burning sensation that is far from unpleasant. “Yeah, but that’s not enough. You need to talk with him, one-on-one. I’ve been doing some research, and I think I’ve found a spell that can help us.”

“You mean, it would lift the enchantment?” Part of you still refuses to believe that Eli’s right, but the other part of you is too distracted by imagining his lips softly brushing against yours.

“No, I think this thing, whatever it is, is too strong for a simple spell to break. But there is an incantation that would reveal who is controlling him.”

“So you don’t have any clue who’s behind this? I mean, what does this have to do with the coup you and your mom were talking about?” The minute the words pop out of your mouth, you realize your mistake.

“Did you use Auricus aperto on us?” Eli narrows his eyes. “I should have figured. What else did you hear?”

Suddenly, Eli’s smolder has gone from sexy to threatening. But you haven’t suffered through four summers of Magic UN to back down now. “I know I have information that you want. Information that’s very…” you choose your words carefully, “important to your cause.” Your mind grasps wildly for something that sounds plausible. “I know you need an in to the Order of the Sphinx.”

Eli freezes. Bingo! You’re just about to continue your cross-examination when you see your father saunter out onto the patio, scanning the crowd. And then, just behind him, you spot Dru, who begins waving you over urgently.

Do you:

A. Spend a few more minutes interrogating Eli. It seems like you’re finally about to get some answers.

B. Head over to talk to your dad. It’s time to figure out what exactly is going on with him.

C. Walk over to Dru. She obviously has something important to tell you about Eli.

D. Head into the house by yourself. Maybe your dad’s office contains some clues.

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.