The Consortium of Thaumatugry

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The term began with trying on their wings, but the novelty soon wore out as the pressure of their final months before their certification exams began to set in. On a Saturday afternoon when a bout of freezing rain, in addition to the piles of homework, put the school in a state of irreparable gloom, Zelda and Imogen decided to escape the dour mood in the library of Madame LeBleu's by heading to Lord Scarlet's. In the time since their last meeting, Specs had made considerable progress on his invention that would transport Imogen using both magic and tinkering.

At the soonest opportunity, they Poofed onto the front steps of Lord Scarlet's Academy where Specs was waiting to usher them out of the sleeting rain.

"Specs!" Zelda exclaimed as they scrambled into the foyer.

Specs was a familiar sight. Their friend had his many lensed glasses on, his sandy hair a mess as it usually was, and today he wore his crimson blazer over a rumpled shirt that he tucked haphazardly into his slacks.

He wiped the rain from his glasses to see them. "Come in! It's disgusting out there." Specs shut the door with a flourishing kick to the heavy wood.

As a greeting, and a surprise to Zelda, Imogen threw her arms over Specs' shoulders.

"Hi," Specs said, looking slightly shocked.

She withdrew and gave Specs a smile. "Did you have a good holiday?"

"Yeah," he replied, coloring. "C'mon. The workshop is this way." He turned to hide his blush.

They followed their friend down a long hallway off the foyer, and turned into a towering room full of worktables and all sorts of machinery that puffed and whirred — mechanisms whose uses Zelda was ignorant of. The workshop had towering windows that lined the far wall and gave them a commanding view of the manicured gardens and the doleful sky. Imogen wandered among the tables examining the half finished projects that lay on their surfaces.

Specs eyed Imogen and the almost dreamy way she moved through the workroom. "Is she okay?"

Zelda stepped closer to Specs so Imogen wouldn't overhear them. "She and Fletcher broke up two weeks ago."

At this Specs removed his glasses. "What? I mean — that's terrible. Why–why do you think?" he sputtered, his voice thick with concern.

"She said it was because they had nothing in common."

"Was it mutual?"

Zelda nodded and a hopeful little smile crept over Specs' lips. It was impossible to ignore the eagerness in his voice. "What's that smile for?" she asked pointedly.

Specs shook his head as if to shake off the smile. "Nothing. Nothing," he said before chasing after Imogen. Zelda had seen him look after Imogen that way many times in the course of their friendship, but he seemed to be giving her that smile more often than ever before.

She followed behind, giving Specs enough space to catch up with Imogen in private. Specs eventually stopped in front to large pair of wooden boxes. On the side of one, a shiny brass crank attached to a series of gears and a large curl of copper wire connecting the two.

"Well... here it is!" Specs gestured to the contraption with a look of pride.

Imogen circled the first wooden box. "Impressive. Will it really work?"

At this Specs shrugged. "I hope so, though I haven't had a fairy around to try it on."

"That's what we're here for," Zelda chimed in.

Specs held open the wood door to the first box for Imogen to step inside. "For you, Miss Yang."

A curious smile melted over Imogen's lips that Zelda had never quite seen on her friend. Before Zelda could figure out what was on Imogen's mind, Specs shut the door to the contraption.

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