The Magic In That Night

Cassie pushed her hair out of her eyes. She groaned, frustrated, and flopped down on her bed. Turning over and grabbing the thick old book she had been reading from. Reciting the spell once more, she picked up two shiny gems and placed them in a circle. Her eyes filled with tears at the apparent failure, and she hastily grasped the stones and threw them out her open window.

“Ow! What was that for?” a voice called from below.

“Oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t know anyone was out there. Are you okay? I didn’t mean to hit you,” She looked down for the source of the voice– but only saw a sleek black cat. Comical, really.

“What are you looking at?” the cat questioned, glaring.

“You can talk? But you’re a cat.”

“Oh wow, I didn’t know,” it sassed, starting to walk away.

“Wait! Do you wanna hang out or something?”

“The desperation in your voice is pitiful. What do you want? I don’t usually ‘hang out’ with people like you.”
“I’m a witch,” the girl grinned.

“I know a witch when I see one. Which, for the record, hasn’t been for a long time. Though it’s none of your business. Good day.”

“Hang on! Are you a witch?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be? I’m a familiar– an entity meant to assist their witch by taking the form of an animal. Well, I was, anyway. I’m not anymore.”

“I’m sorry. What happened?”

“You shouldn’t be. You weren’t involved, anyway. Which makes it, in turn, once again.. None of your business. It’s getting late,” the cat said, looking up at the darkening sky. It was painted with shades of pink and purple.

“Where do you live? We have an old dog bed you could sleep in! You should stay. I don’t have a familiar.”

“Doesn’t sound too appealing, to be honest. Dogs are very dirty creatures. Don’t you have a family or something, to be getting back to?”

“No one’s home. Mom’s away on a trip, and Dad has to work late tonight. I could use the company, even just for a bit.”

“I guess a bit won’t hurt. Maybe I can help you with your poor excuses for spells,” the cat muttered. She swiftly climbed up the railings up to the girl’s windowsill.

“I don’t know your name. Do you have a name? I’m Cassie.”

“You can call me Harper. That was my original name.”

“Harper,” Cassie nods. “I can’t get any of these spells to work. I’m doing it by the book! I don’t see the problem..”

“What’s the book called? Let me see it. Real Spells for Young Witches and Wizards? Really? Of course none of these spells are going to work. They’re not real.”

“How was I supposed to know? “Real” is literally in the title!”

“Honestly that should have been your first clue. I know a library in town that has some spellbooks in the back. Real ones. Wanna head down?”

“I’m not allowed to leave by myself, sorry. I guess this is hopeless.”

“Maybe not.. I probably remember a thing or two. What spell are you trying to do?”

Cassie pulled two crystals out from under her pillow. “I’m trying to levitate these.”

“That’s simple enough. Do you know any Latin? That’s what you should be speaking in.”

“Not much.. I’m taking a class, though.”

“Here, just watch me and try to replicate that,” Harper said hastily, speaking a short Latin phrase. The crystals lifted off the bed and hovered in the air for a few seconds, before she allowed them to drop back down. “See? Easy.”

“Whoa! You’re good at that. You should be my spell-teacher! You’ve probably seen tons of spells performed.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. It’s been a while. Are you even allowed to have another pet? I’m good at hiding, but not forever.”

“They probably wouldn’t care. My mom used to have a cat, and she talks about wanting another one..”

“I’m not a house cat. I’m not even actually a cat. I can’t help but think that something will eventually go wrong.”

“It won’t,” Cassie told her, absentmindedly reaching out and putting her hand on the cat’s head and giving her a reassuring smile.

“Let’s get back to the spells,” she replied, repeating the Latin phrase for the girl to mimic. “Focus on what you want to do. It should come to you.” 

“Okay. L-look! I’m doing it!” Cassie exclaimed, the small crystals hovering above the bed once again.

“Yep, you did it. See? It’s not too hard.”

“Yeah, thank you for showing me. Just wish I had a real spellbook.”

“The library has a back door, you know. We could sneak in. I used to do it fairly often.”

Cassie got a gleam of mischief in her eyes. “Let’s do it.”

“I like walking down the street at night. It’s almost serene,” the girl told the cat, emphasising the last part as if to say, ‘I know big words too.’

“Indeed. The cool weather brings out the stars and constellations.” 

“It’s through here,” Harper said, looking back at Cassie.

“My mom always told me this street was dangerous.”

“It’s the fastest way. Not like she’s here, right..?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Harper replied after considering the thought. “Let’s go.”

As the two continued down the alleyway, they shared a pace. Their feet moved the same, and the wind blew their hair in the same ways, like they were meant to walk there, on that street, together. 

“OW! Headlights. Who’s driving here this late?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen any cars back here this time of night.”

“Are they pulling over..? Should we run?” Cassie said, the anxiety showing through in her tone.

“Wait, is that..?”

The car slowed to a halt as the breaks gently squeaked. The window made a mechanical sound as it rolled down, seemingly much slower than it should. A feminine figure could be made out in the dark.

“Mom! Thank gosh.”

“Cassie? What are y–

HARPER?”

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