Homecoming at the Witch's Academybymsgrant67©
Harriet Garrett was walking through the subway terminals in New York's Grand Central Station toward platform 21¾ ; she was letting all of the thoughts of nostalgia float through her head.
"Had it really been 20 years since she had first made this trip?" she thought.
"No," she corrected herself, "It has been 27 years since my first trip. Only 20 since I left the academy."
She was approached by another witch, roughly her age; she thought that she remembered her name as Selena, not a close friend, and kind of distracting right now.
"Harriet, it is you," she exclaimed, "You're going to the homecoming this year? Great. I don't remember ever seeing you at one before. A word of advice, skip the house tours and such; it is simply horrible what these kids have done to our beautiful dorms. The Halloween Homecoming Ball is something special though."
Harriet patiently waited through this then muttered something under her breath. Selena blinked her eyes, and though still standing in front of Harriet had a puzzled look on her face. In the meantime someone new, looking like a younger version of Selena walked up."
"Selena, were you talking to someone? I thought I heard you from way back there," she said, motioning behind her to the stairs.
"No, sis, I've just been standing here waiting for you," she answered, in her mind, truthfully.
"Great, well let's get going; we don't want to miss the train," the younger sister replied.
Harriet, now invisible to everyone, glided amongst all the others onto the train. She quickly sat inside a rail car, and magically locked the door and made an "Out of Order" sign appear on it, facing the aisle. She wasn't in the mood to be social, hadn't been in years, and wanted to gather her thoughts. She had chosen to ride this train for this very reason; there were certainly much quicker, even instant ways to get to get to the academy now, but she wanted to remember the feelings that she had once had while making this journey. The excitement, apprehension, nervousness, all of it.
About halfway through the ride she became aware of another presence in her car.
"Identify you please," she lazily said, not bothering to look around as she could sense that the entity was unseen.
A goblin appeared instantly, identifying himself as Gregor.
"Why, hello there, Miss..." he said, pausing for her to finish her name for him.
"You obviously know, or else you wouldn't be here," she replied.
"Well, we sensed a powerful being; are the stories true?" he asked.
"Probably not," she answered, "They seldom are."
Rapid questions followed, "But you did travel to the East," was the first.
"I did," she answered, giving him no more information than that which he specifically asked.
"And you discovered the hidden monasteries that have held the secrets beyond our understanding for centuries?" he asked.
"I wouldn't say 'discovered;' the people who live there would probably take exception to it," she replied.
"All three?" he asked for clarification. "The legend reads that no man shall ever possess the knowledge of even two of them let alone all three."
"Maybe no man ever will," she answered, "But I do."
"It says that even if one learns the secrets that he shall be locked up for his own good." He continued.
"I was," she answered.
"But you're not locked up now." He said, trying to understand.
"No, I'm not," she simply answered.
"But why not? How?" he began to ask again.
"I seduced a guard," she explained. "He arranged my escape."
"Are they looking for you?" he was slightly worried that he could be found with her and accused of something.
"No, there would be no point," she replied. "They have no way to hold me now; I'm too powerful. They accept my freedom as something that was meant to be."
"You really completed the seven years of training at each one, but how, my race has only had a handful, actually even heard of a handful of us finding even one of them, and they say that the training kills most who attempt it. It just doesn't seem possible." He was in disbelief.
"It was seven levels at each, not seven years; they aren't exactly schools, you know. Though now that I think about it, that sounds pretty close to the length." She answered matter of factly. "And I did see some people die. I was very nearly one of them."
The goblin was almost at a loss for words, as he was finally noticing how detached and unfeeling she seemed as she discussed her past twenty years. He thought of leaving, but his curiosity was too strong; for he was a true goblin, and in his world, knowledge was power, and power was money. He had to learn all he could.
He knew that most who searched never found any of the great fortresses; fewer still even entered one. The legend held that only about five people per century were accepted to begin training, and maybe one would finish. For him to be sitting here with maybe the first person ever to complete all three was amazing, but, if he could find a way to sell maps or clues, anything to help some search, he would be rich beyond his wildest imagination.
"I have heard that there is immense physical pain, second to nothing else on earth," he said.
"I wouldn't agree with that," Harriet answered.
"Really, why?" he asked.
"The mental pain and anguish was much worse." She paused and looked at him for a long moment. "Do you really want to hear this; it may not be good for you?"
"Yes, please," he answered with probably the same enthusiasm that people in Spain had when Columbus came back from his first voyage to the new world. "I've just heard so many tales, and now I'm with someone who can tell me if they are true. For instance, if you don't mind me saying, you look young, beautiful, even in good shape; nothing like what your body should look like if the stories were true."
"Oh, I see," Harriet instantly changed into something else, no, wait, it wasn't something else, but a different version of herself. She had the same eyes, same features, but it looked like she was just back from a war. Scars on her face and arms, what appeared to be many wounds somehow almost healed, but not quite. Gregor had never seen anything like this; there didn't seem to be a part of her body not affected.
"Is this what you expected," she asked, knowing that it was much worse than anything that he could have expected.
"I'm sorry," he barely uttered.
"Don't be," she quickly replied as she instantly changed back. "I made the choices to go through it all. And it's a simple charm to keep my body as I do; it's the twenty year old version of me. My actual body is elsewhere, aging properly."
"Why?" was all the goblin could muster, forgetting for the moment his thoughts of wealth and glory.
"To be the best," she answered automatically, "The greatest witch who ever lived."
"Well then, you did that," he answered. "Not even the old Headmaster Crookshanks would be a match for you now. He never found one fortress I'm told."
"Maybe he was just smart enough to stop looking," Harriet replied. "I believe he could have found the path I used, finding and reading lost journals of old wizards, both dark and not, chasing down a thousand false trails to identify the one true one."
"And you have these journals?" he asked, finally going for the payday.
"No, they've been destroyed; not that it would matter; the fortresses are now hidden differently than they were," she explained.
"And you've mastered the unknown curses?" he was back on track with his questions.
"And the known, of course," she answered. "You know, there are actually six forbidden, not just three."
Noticing his look of excitement and knowing he wanted to see something, she glanced at a spider, crawling along a web in the corner of the room. Gregor's eyes followed hers, and he noticed it as well. It instantly dropped dead to the floor.
"Oh my!" he exclaimed, "The killing curse, and performed without words, but how?"
Rather than answering, she looked at the goblin, and he began contorting himself in various positions. At his first shout of pain, his body relaxed and fell back into its normal position.
"Bloody Hell, why did you do that?" he asked. "I assumed if you can do one curse without speaking you can do more."
At this point, the goblin tried to disappear and did so momentarily, but he quickly reappeared.
"You're not going anywhere yet." Harriet told him.
"You can stop a goblin's magic?" he asked incredulously.
"Yes, and an elf's and a unicorn's and anything else you can name." she stated.
"When can I go, please?" he asked, "I don't want to be here when the authorities arrive."
She appeared confused by the question, and then quickly realized that he thought they would arrive since she used two forbidden curses.
"They're not coming," she said, "They can't detect my magic."
He didn't even bother to ask why not; he figured they just couldn't.
"Why are you returning to the academy?" he asked, "Surely not just for homecoming?"
"Yes, and I'm actually hoping for a little romance, something I've put off for far too long," she answered, giving a little more information than Gregor really wanted.
"Ah, I remember," he smiled, "You and Raymond Wingate."
"Ray's actually not going to be here; I've given him a charm so that he'll lose track of the date until after the reunion." She told the goblin. "I have some unfulfilled feelings for Dirk Marasha."
"Very well," he responded, disgusted, as he hated the Marashas, but careful not to anger this powerful witch.
Harriet responded, "You know, you can't tell a soul about anything that we have spoken of, right?"
"Sure," he answered, and both knew that he was not being truthful.
"If you'd prefer, I can return you to the point in time in which you entered my cabin, that is, if you don't think you can keep this to yourself." She calmly said.
"No please, I won't tell," he answered, the back of his mind scrambling to figure out a way to profit from this conversation.
Harriet uttered a word in a language that he didn't recognize and said that he was free to go.
"What did you say?" he asked.
"I merely gave you, what was once known as the pirate's curse," she answered.
"What? You mean if I tell anyone about this, I'll die?" He asked.
"Close," she explained, "You don't have to actually reveal it, through words or writings; the moment that you actually decide to reveal it, your heart will stop. This, of course, prevents the secrets from getting out. Wizard pirates used it to keep their treasures hidden. It's quite effective."
"But the other goblins sent me, they'll ask questions. What do I tell them?" he asked nervously.
She responded, "Tell them that the rumors aren't true; I have spent years searching and found nothing of value, other than a few parlor tricks. That's what they want to believe so it will be easy enough for you to sell the story. Oh, and please spread it amongst any humans you come into contact with, as well."
"Yes, of course," he answered as he disappeared.
Part 2: The Homecoming Event
The morning of the reunion went well. Harriet found herself enjoying the tour and reminiscing with former friends and acquaintances. She enjoyed seeing Nelson most of all. He had never left the academy, was still the professor of herbology, though rumor was he was being considered for a recently opened administration position. Harriet smiled as she thought about her courses at the academy. After what she had been through it was kids' stuff. It was like the faculty was on the verge of discovering greatness, but instead, they taught bits and pieces of something bigger.
She had to remind herself that many wizards could not comprehend the stuff that she had learned, and of course, most would not want to go through what she had in order to learn it.
She retired to her room to rest and prepare for the dance. All of the current students had gone to a nearby town for the annual Halloween party, so the great hall would be "Adults only" this evening.
Her costume would be simple. She had kept up with everything enough to know that there were always stories of a man going home with a woman who had worn the same costume as his wife or girlfriend; she would not need trickery to get Dirk, she suspected that he had wanted her back in the day.
Additionally, she had, via a little known spell, made his wife sick a few days ago, and sick enough not to want to be out of bed. Harriet knew that she wouldn't make the trip. Dirk would though; Harriet had secretly arranged for him to be receiving an award for something, and she knew that his ego would force him to attend.
She put on an elegant black silk dress; it hung over her body perfectly, revealing each curve magnificently. She then rolled stockings on each leg, fairly slowly. She could easily have just magically dressed herself instantly, but she loved to feel the stockings on her legs with her hands. This was to be her night after all, and she wanted to be in the mood.
In her hand she carried a stick with a mask on the end of it. It was a beautiful handcrafted one from Venice and would have received considerable attention on its own. Next to Harriet though, looking as gorgeous as she did, the mask could potentially go unnoticed.
She entered the great hall and immediately attracted the attention of every male present. She moved about amongst everyone, ever the social butterfly, teasing the men and laughing with the women. That is, everyone except the Sigma House, the witches and wizards who tilted to the dark ways, and even now, who still kept to themselves in one corner of the hall.
When she passed nearby them, she always had her mask up, and she noticed on more than one occasion that Dirk was watching and appearing interested. She paid no attention to him though; she knew that often there was no better motivation for a male to make a move than to think that the female was completely disinterested.
A while into the party, she let the mask fall while she faced him and inwardly smiled as she caught the shocked looked on his face as he realized that it was her. It was a mixture of happiness that he knew her and pain that he knew how horribly he had treated her at the academy. He knew that he had made life hell for her and her friends and wondered if she would be angry about that now, twenty years later.
She smiled at him as if to say it was okay while giving a playful bite to her lower lip. She then glanced down to her empty champagne glass. He got the message as she headed over to the bar and scurried over to meet her there.
After having their glasses filled they stepped to the side to talk.
"Harriet Garret," he said, "Haven't seen you in years, heard you were on some foolish quest."
"Really, Dirk," she replied, "That's how you want to start this conversation?"
Her look told him that he had already messed up; "Damn," he thought to himself, "Am I that much of a smart ass?"
"No, sorry about that," he said, "I'll start over. How is that Wingate of yours? I hear that he just waits for you to come back from traveling, still hoping to marry you someday."
She leaned in to his ear and whispered, "Dirk, he's not 'my' Wingate, and I refuse to believe that you left your Sigma crowd and came over here to talk about him. I will tell you that he's not here though, which is probably what you really want to know."
He thought that her lips or maybe even her tongue had grazed his ear, or maybe it was just wishful thinking on his part, but he knew that he wanted to stay here with her, so he tried again.
"You look beautiful tonight Harriet," he said.
"Thank you, Dirk," she coyly replied, "Much better."
"How have you been?" he asked, "Traveling, I hear?"
"Yes, quite a bit," she replied.
"Found anything interesting?" he asked again.
"Plenty," she replied, "It has been twenty years after all."
"Yes," he agreed, "You really do look great."
"You said that," she teased.
After a brief pause she decided to speed this up and added, "You know Dirk, the nervousness of your conversation leads me to the belief that you want to kiss me."
"God, yes, Harriet, but how?" he asked.
"You want to know how to kiss me, Draco?" she asked, teasingly, raising one eyebrow.
"I mean, where? There are so many people around," he clarified.
"And you don't want anyone to see?" she asked.
Right? I mean, well...," he began to stammer, not knowing what the correct answer should be.
"It's okay; I wouldn't mind some discretion either," she let him off the hook.
"I suppose we could go to the room of requirement," he thoughtfully stated. "That place has to meet our needs, by definition even."
"Oh, we can do a little better than that, Dirk," she argued playfully.
She leaned in and kissed him very, very gently. Her lips like feathers on his and her tongue, gently pushing its way into his mouth. He enjoyed this immensely but pulled away.
"Not here, please," he looked into her eyes.
"Why not?" she questioned. "I think it's beautiful."
He looked around and couldn't believe his eyes. They were standing alone on a mountain as the sun set to the left of them and the sky looked amazing.
"How did you create this illusion?" he asked, "Where is everyone and the great hall."
Well, this isn't an illusion," she answered, "We are standing in the Sonoma Valley in California. That's in the United States. Neither the great hall nor the people inside have been affected in any way."
"I know where California is, but how? You can travel at will like that, no brooms, no fireplaces, nothing." He was amazed.
"One of the little tricks I picked up on my, what did you call it earlier? 'Foolish Quest' I believe?" she replied.
As she spoke, Dirk noticed that the sky appeared to be falling somehow and immediately realized that they were now standing on a beach with a rough ocean nearby.
"Easter Island," she answered his unspoken question. "Better?"
Dirk was now as turned on by her power as he was her looks, and he took her in his arms and began to passionately kiss her. She allowed herself to relax in his arms, returning the kiss but leaning back, gently pulling him down with her. One of his arms was supporting her, and the other was exploring her body, albeit through her silk dress.
"Dirk," she whispered, "I've never had a pure blood wizard; can you fix that for me?"
He lunged, and she allowed herself to fall completely, but rather than falling into the sand, as Dirk expected, they fell into the softest, silkiest bed that he could have imagined.
"Where?" he managed to say.
"My own place," she answered, "In rural Italy."
He went back to his passionate attack, and Harriet was able to catch his right hand which was doing most of the exploring in her left one and slow things down a bit. She still allowed it to grab her chest and feel her legs and thighs, but at a slower, easier speed than he had been going on his own.
Eventually, he pulled the dress up over her head and found the sexiest black merry widow that he had ever seen.
At this point, she rolled him onto his back, pulled her tongue from his mouth and began to pull it down his chest, stopping briefly on his nipple and then proceeding down toward his cock. He noticed that his clothes were off, but he had no recollection of having taken them off.
"Had she done that without his noticing?" he thought, but just for a second as he really didn't care.
"I have another surprise, Dirk," she said as she reached his cock and took one long lick from the base of it to the tip.
"Mmmmmmmm," was his only reply.
"I can be anyone you want me to be, Dirk, just name it," she said between licks.
"What?" he asked, finally realizing what she had said.
"Look," she replied.
As he glanced down, he noticed that the merry widow was gone and she was now in white bridal lingerie, and something else was different, she was wearing a brighter red lipstick, and her hair was blonder.