Bea looks for Luca

 

Bea stood outside the door to the brown-suits’ office. She shifted her weight and adjusted her grip on the heavy bottle in her hand.

It wasn’t a big bottle, disappointingly. She’d hoped Chokey might have had something more substantial - but it did have a thick glass bottom, and it was surprisingly full. And she knew she was lucky she’d been able to lay her hands on it at all. Chokey had a small collection of drinks under her bed that she thought no-one knew about. It hadn’t been difficult for Bea to wait for the moment when the dwarf and Hemmings were out of the room to steal the largest bottle she could find.

The mortal gods knew how she’d explain where it had gone, once Chokey noticed. But that was another problem, and at the moment Bea had to deal with the more serious issue of the witchlein.

She raised the bottle in one hand, took a deep breath, and knocked on the door.

The door opened.

Bea nearly dropped the bottle as she tried to hide it behind her back.

“What do you want?” asked the pixie who had opened the door. “Shouldn’t you be revising or something? No wandering around, West’s orders.”

“Oh - er. I was looking for the witchlein. Um. Luca.”

“Why?”

“I want to… I need to ask him a question.”

“What?”

Bea mentally cursed. She’d been so busy building up the courage to carry out her plan that she hadn’t thought about the fact there could be other brown suits in the office.

“It’s about… um…”

“You’re the cabbage fairy, right?”

Bea nodded. She was the only fairy at the Academy, cabbage or otherwise. There wasn’t much point trying to deny it.

The pixie rolled her eyes. “I heard all about you. Getting into fights. We’re all very disappointed in you, let me tell you. First fairy allowed in, and what do you do? Start a fight. You’ve got a responsibility, you know.”

“I have?”

“Course you have. Haven’t you heard what’s happening in Ænathlin?”

“No?”

“Blimey. No one’s told you? Well, there’s this group, see, called Fairies Uni-”

“I’m sorry,” Bea interrupted. The bottle was getting very heavy, and she didn’t have a good grip on it. If it smashed on the floor now, she’d never manage to use it to sort out the witchlein. “I just… I really need to see Luca.”

The pixie ran her hand through her hair.

Bea held her breath.

The bottle shifted in her grip.

And then the pixie nodded.

“Luca’s down in the assembly hall, tidying up the dinner stuff.”

“Oh, thank-you, thank-you,” Bea burbled.

The pixie nodded. “Just don’t go doing anything else stupid, alright?”

Bea didn’t dare answer. She just smiled until the pixie closed the door.

It was time to deal with the witchlein, before the witchlein dealt with her.

 

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