Flying Lessons

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 Zelda told Imogen everything. From the elves to Leo's wish, she laid it all out for her to make sense of in her own way while they picked at bran muffins in a secluded corner of the dining hall. She took it in stride, not saying much, but Zelda could tell her mind was working over each new detail.

"You know I'm coming with you when you go investigate St. Germain's factory yourself," Imogen said as they headed up to the charms classroom. With start of a new term, a new class had been added to their Friday afternoons: flying lessons. If they were to get their wings in a few short months, it would make sense to teach them how to use them.

"What do you mean investigate? Madame LeBleu kicked me off the mission. I'm sidelined, remember?"

Imogen snorted out a laugh. "Like you're just going to sit and wait for the grownups to figure it out? Our first year you exposed a group of fourth years who were selling memory enhancing potions out of the loo against school rules."

"So?"

"You, Zelda Ravensdale, are never sidelined." Imogen tossed her hair over her shoulder with a look of pride.

Zelda would have laughed, but her phone buzzed in her bag. She told Imogen she would catch up with her in class, then ducked into the stairwell to attend to the call. Leo's name on the caller ID made her stomach do stupid twists and turns in a way that happened every time she thought of him since New Year's Eve.

She pressed accept and Leo's voice came to life in her ear, "I have bad news."

Her stomach stopped its acrobatics and her lungs as well. "Everything okay?"

"I sent the inspectors to St. Germain's today," he said. His voice was thin, tired.

"Oh no."

Leo sighed. Zelda could imagine him ruffling his golden brown hair into a disarray. "They didn't turn up anything."

"Not even near the display case in the stockroom?"

"Nothing in the store or the factory itself. I'm sorry, Zelda."

Her heart sank. It had been so long since she'd seen the woman in doll sized clothes in the window. A tiny sliver of doubt crept into her mind that said it really had been a dream, but a part of her knew there had to be a way. "It's okay," she replied.

"I've been wondering — there's probably more we can do. The National Archive has to have something on the matter."

"Really? The school library didn't have any, but no one has bothered to study the magic of elves since they supposedly disappeared."

"It couldn't hurt to look—"

Zelda started to suggest a time for them to meet, but Professor Nelli Sweet rounded the corner on her way to the charms classroom. One look at Zelda with her phone to her ear turned the woman's sweet, round face to hardened disapproval.

"No cellphones out of the dormitories, Miss Ravensdale. That's a demerit for you," the professor said.

Zelda hung up without saying goodbye, and scampered to the charms classroom before the professor could give her a lecture in edition to the demerit. The rest of the fourth year GITs were already waiting in the classroom when Zelda arrived, and Professor Sweet soon followed. In a moment of hope that they would get to practice flying, the girls gathered in the open part of the classroom reserved for practicing spells.

"Form rows, please, ladies," Professor Sweet said once she withdrew her wand.

Across the practice area, the girls spaced themselves into rows so they could all see their instructor. It looked like they would actually get the chance to fly.

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