Curses are an interesting breed of magic. They require a certain level of
creativity. Like a charm, curses are
often made of the mage’s own words rather than the scripted lines of a
spell. The tricky thing about curses,
though, is the choice of words. Curses thrive on poetry. They have a flair for the dramatic, eloquent
lines of verse instead of magic thrown haphazardly into a few words.
are showy and elegant, which is why they are so well-fitted to villains.
morning I’m out the door before Snow has even begun to stir, my wand tucked into
my pocket. The passages are cold with
the morning frost, and birdsong echoes off the stone of the walls.
spent all of last evening crafting this curse, after I’d dumped the rest of my
tea out the window. Salt. He’d turned the sugar into salt, and I hadn’t
even had the sense to stop after the first sip.
I just had to keep drinking, even before I was sure he had done anything
to it. Pride and spite are just two
sides of the same coin.
the first one in the dining hall, which is exactly what I’d hoped for. The tables are set, the chairs are tucked in,
and the mouth-watering aroma of pastry wafts from behind the closed kitchen
doors. Immediately my eyes are drawn to
a particular seat towards the right of the hall. It’s the first place I look every time I
enter, and from that moment on it’s the place I avoid looking at for the rest
of the meal.
make my way over to Snow’s seat, I find myself stepping lightly and my heart
starting to pick up, like I think I might get caught. The involuntary adrenaline of the oncoming
curse increases as I reach the spot.
What luck that Snow hasn’t sat anywhere else since our first year.
my wand from my pocket, I cast a quick look around the room to make sure no one
has snuck up on me, and take a breath that reaches deep within my belly,
igniting that familiar spark of magic. I
lower the wand to tap Snow’s plate.
“Tick tock, hard as rock,
Stone and glass and marble block,
Soft and fluffy cherry scone
To his teeth be hard as bone,
Any food to touch this face,
Toughness of cement encase,
And when hands do wash this plate,
Return then to your former state.”
don’t see any obvious change in the plate I’m cursing, but I know it will
work. The spark has fanned into a flame,
dancing through the wand and sinking into the glass.
takes a few seconds longer for my magic to burn out and my heart rate to slow
back down, but as soon as I feel it soften I turn and leave the dining hall.
When I return later, I do the same thing as I always
do. I glance at Snow’s seat to find it
empty still, and then make my way to my own table on the far side of the
room. Dev and Niall are already there,
and they both give me a silent nod as I slide into my seat. I can’t help but look back at Snow’s table,
my eyes darting from the door to where Bunce is already waiting and back again.
alright?” Dev catches me scanning the crowd of students. “You look jumpy.”
get much sleep,” I tell him, and he shrugs like he doesn’t particularly care if
I’m telling the truth or not.
Snow appears in the doorway, I automatically drop my gaze back down to my empty
plate. I don’t see him sit down at his
spot, exchange pleasantries with Bunce, jump back up to retrieve the famed sour
cherry scones from the front of the hall, and yet I still manage to see all of
it. It’s in my periphery, it’s
constantly on the edge of my awareness, biting through the shell I keep trying
to put up around myself.
can’t help but watch when he brings the first scone to his mouth.
effect is visibly immediate. His eyes
widen and his free hand flies to his mouth.
Bunce looks concerned, and Snow is staring at the scone in betrayal. Tentatively he goes in for another, much
smaller bite. Once again he is the
picture of dismay.
My tea for your scones, I think. Fair.
he looks so miserable that it almost takes some of the fun out of it.
Bunce drop one of her own scones onto his plate, and I can’t help snickering at
her mistake when he can’t bite into that one, either.
remember to look anywhere else just as Snow casts a withering glare in my
We’re even, don’t you dare try to pull
if we don’t settle it officially, he will do just that.
push my chair back from the table and stand, mumbling an excuse of “not hungry”
before stalking to the doors. I feel
Snow’s eyes on me the whole way.
he catches up with me, I’m leaning casually against the stone wall just out of
sight of the dining hall, my arms crossed, a bored expression smoothed onto my
face. Snow marches up to me, red-cheeked
the fuck did you do, Baz?” he growls, his tone accusatory.
Snow,” I tell him, not wasting time pretending it wasn’t me. “It’s what we came to Watford to learn, did
no one ever tell you?”
spelled my food?” he says like it’s
the worst offense in the world.
actually, and it’s the plate, not the scones themselves. That’s why Bunce couldn’t help you.”
backs off an inch or two, crossing his arms over his chest in a mimic of my own
posture. “So that’s how you want to
peg this on me, Snow,” I raise an eyebrow at him, “you’re the one who had to
you responded,” he retorts, a lock of bronze falling into his eyes, “and you
made it personal.”
what could be more personal than scones?”
not kidding, Baz.” He takes a
confrontational step closer and I’m glad no one is around to see my shoulders
stiffen. “This isn’t over.”
course it’s not. Because he’s Simon Snow
and I’m Baz Pitch, and we’re enemies. It
can never just be “over” for us.
lean as close as I dare, holding his blazing gaze in my own. “Fine,” I murmur, “have it your way.”