The CHASM


The CHASM
By
Morpheus

A teenage boy enters the CHASM, a school that teaches the use of magic. However he soon learns that magic can sometimes be unpredictable.

Authors Note:

A few years ago when I was thinking over ideas for a story about a magic school, two different rival story ideas formed, each with very different magic systems and plots. At the time, I chose to write the one that became my story the Academy because I thought that it would have made for a much better story. However, the other story idea keeps coming back to me ever since, especially whenever I consider ideas for a possible sequel to the Academy. Because that idea has been so persistent to my imagination I have finally decided to write it. Due to the origin of this story and the fact that I'd borrowed some elements I'd come up for this one to use while writing the Academy, there will be a number of similarities.

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I shifted position uncomfortably in my bus seat, more than tired of sitting here. It felt as though I'd been riding this bus forever though the truth was I'd only been on it for about an hour so far. It was the previous five hours that I'd spent on the plane trip that made this seem even longer.

With a sigh, I looked down at the book in my hands, a fantasy novel that I'd started this after getting on the plane and was already halfway through. As much as I enjoyed a good fantasy book, I'd had my fill for the moment. I was tired of reading and tired of sitting. Of course, I was also excited and impatient considering where we were going.

At the moment, the bus was driving me and a bunch of other teenagers to the Charles Halldecker Abridged School of Magic...also known as the CHASM. It was a real school for magic, though probably not quite what most people thought of when they considered such things. Real magic didn't take years of apprenticeship and study to learn but was something that could be learned fairly quickly. Once you learned the pronunciation and basic rules, you were pretty much on your own. As a result, the CHASM was less a true school for magic and more of a summer camp. I was going to be there for the next eight weeks learning everything I could about the subject.

I was more than a little excited about going to the CHASM though just a little confused by the bus ride. Since we were going to a school for magic, I would have thought that we'd be magically transported there, maybe brought by dragons or a magic train. But instead, we get a perfectly normal and ordinary bus. I was a little disappointed at that though I wasn't the only one.

"The least they could do was spring for a magic bus," I muttered in annoyance while the boy beside me nodded in agreement.

I'd already introduced myself to my seat neighbor when we'd gotten on the bus and after talking off and on for most of the ride, we'd become somewhat friendly if not actually friends. Winchester Riley...or Winch as he preferred to be called was 16 years old, the same age as me. He had dark brown hair that was cut really short, wore a pair of thick glasses, was 5 foot 8, just 2 inches shorter than me and where I was lean and wiry he was a bit chubby.

"At least we're almost there," Winch said. Then he hesitated a moment before admitting, "At least I think we are... I mean, I was told it would only be an hour on the bus."

I nodded at that, having been told the same thing. I looked out the window and saw that we had gotten pretty well into the middle of nowhere. Then a minute later, I could actually make out the CHASM in the distance. The CHASM wasn't actually in a chasm, as cool as that might be, but was located in more of a small valley, well away from anyone outside the school. Of course, that made perfect sense since most people in their right minds wouldn't want to risk being around a bunch of teenagers who were practicing magic.

"There it is," Winch said unnecessarily.

As we approached closer, I saw that the school was surrounded by a tall stone wall. There was even a large iron gate in front which looked rather impressive. However, what caught my attention was the fact that there were several vans parked alongside the road...or long driveway at this point, and a dozen people standing there with signs. There were protesters in front of the CHASM.

"What are they protesting?" Winch asked curiously.

I just scowled and answered, "Us."

One protester was holding a sign which read 'magic is unnatural' while two more held a banner between them which read 'teach our kids science not magic'. There were other signs as well as people yelling at us as we drove past. I couldn't make out most of what they said though several eggs splattered against the bus windows.

A minute later, we were past the protesters and through the gate to the CHASM. I watched out the window as the gates closed behind us, letting out a sign of relief as they did.

"What were they mad about?" Winch asked with a blank look. "We didn't do anything to them."

"There are always people who are afraid of magic," the girl on the other side of the bus aisle said. "Or jealous."

I nodded agreement, remembering some of what I'd learned during history class last year in school. Once I'd found out that I could do magic, I'd actually gone back and refreshed some of the material now that it actually related to me a bit.

As far as we knew, there have always been people around who could do magic. Sometimes they called themselves wizards, sometimes sorcerers, and sometimes they were even priests and claimed their powers came from whatever god they worshipped. Nowadays, we called such people magir.

All through history there have been people who were jealous of magir or even afraid, sometimes with good reason. After all, when a person has power it can be easy to abuse it. But just as often, the magir had been no threat and the fear was undeserved. Whether the fear was deserved or not, it was often taken out on innocent magir in the form of witch trials and burnings. Eventually, the magir had become terrified and went into hiding, policing themselves keeping their very existence secret. For the most part, normals soon began to forget that magic was even real.

The magir remained in hiding for several centuries but that all changed during World War 2. Many magir began to try helping the Allies, using their magic in secret at first and then finally in the open. After the magir helped end the war, the opinion of the magir was quite positive for a time which made it much easier for them to come out of hiding. It was also found that a lot more people had the potential to do magic than was previously realized and now the magir could actually find and train them. Nowadays, anyone who was interested in finding out if they could do magic and become a magir could easily get tested for it which was how most of us ended up here.

The bus pulled up in front of the cluster of buildings that served as the school and everyone began getting off. I grabbed my fantasy book and joined them, feeling a mixture of nervousness and excitement. As the students gathered in front of the bus, we were met by several instructors who began calling out names.

I tried paying attention to which of the kids answered to what names so that I'd know who they were later on. The girl who'd been sitting across the aisle on the bus raised her hand when they called Angie Morse. I took another look at her, guessing her to be about the same age as me. She was a little on the petite side with blonde hair that was pulled back in a pony tail.

Then they called out, "Jon Argent," and I raised my hand and went to collect the room key and package of goodies that they were passing out.

A minute later, they called out Winch's name, "Winchester Riley..."

The blonde girl Angie was standing a few feet away and looked at him with a curious expression before asking, "Winchester?"

Winch let out a sigh that suggested this was a topic he was tired of talking about. "My dad is a total freak for old western movies," he explained with a shrug.

Angie nodded and responded, "I guess that would explain it." Then she looked at me and noticed the book I was holding, suddenly exclaiming, "Hey, I've read that one..."

"Yeah?" I asked. "You read fantasy?"

"Love it," Angie said with a grin. "I'm Angie by the way."

"Jon," I told her.

"Call me Winch," Winch said.

"Better than being called Chester I guess," I joked. Winch just nodded at that with a slight wince that made me think there was a story there somewhere.

We talked for a few more minutes while the rest of the names were called off and then we grabbed our luggage and were led to the building where our rooms were. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a room to myself, even if it was pretty small and cramped. Still, it was mine...at least for the next two months.

I quickly unpacked my stuff and put my clothes in the dresser they'd provided. I then brought out the small stack of books that I'd brought, all of them fantasy novels. Most of them were ones I hadn't read but I had brought a few copies of old favorites like the Hobbit and Peter Pan. I just wasn't sure how much time I'd have for reading though.

Once I was done setting up my room, I went and joined up with the group again as they gave us all a tour around the CHASM facilities. It was kind of interesting but only so far as it increased my anticipation of the real reason we were all here, learning magic. I could tell that everyone else thought the same thing.

Just as we were finishing up the tour, Mrs. Welch, the elderly instructor who was giving the tour called out to us, "We have something else here for you..."

Mrs. Welch took is into a room that she'd already told us was an assembly hall though there were currently no seats set up. However, there were about a half dozen long tables, each covered with books. Each one looked different, some with plain brown leather covers, some with covers that were made of cloth, and some that were nicely decorated.

"In a minute, you will each be able to choose one of these books," Mrs. Welch told us all. "This will be your grimoire where you will write down every spell that you are able to cast. This way you can keep track of them all and study them at your leisure."

"My dad said grimoirs are old fashioned," one girl from our group said. "I mean, why can't we just have our spells saved on computer?"

"You can when you go home," Mrs. Welch told her with an amused look. "But what happens if your computer crashes?"

"I have a backup," the girl responded with a shrug.

Mrs. Welch looked slightly annoyed and continued her speech. "It is traditional that you keep your grimoire to yourself and only show it to people you trust. It is a record of every spell you can cast which means it lists your magical strengths and weaknesses. In older days, your grimoire was something that an enemy could exploit against you. In modern times, this may no longer be as large a problem but it is still a tradition that most magir value." Then she slowly looked around the room and added, "Each of your rooms has a safe in it so you can store your valuables, including your grimoires."

After this, Mrs. Welch let us pick out our grimoires. I looked around until I found one that caught my eye, one with a green leather cover that was a bit textured. I showed my choice to Winch who revealed the plain brown leather one he'd picked.

"Look at mine," Angie said, coming up to us to show off her new grimoire, one that was blue with a little white thread around the trim and which had a picture of a dolphin stamped onto the front. "What? I like dolphins."

I opened my new grimoire and looked inside again, smiling faintly as I did so. All the pages were blank though mine had faint lines in the paper while some of the other books didn't. I figured I needed them since I couldn't write in a straight line without a guide if my life depended on it. Now all I had do was write my name inside the front cover and it would be ready to use. I could hardly wait until I was able to actually do so.

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It was my first full day at the CHASM and my first real class was about to start. This class was being held outside in an area with bleachers for all of the students to sit in. There were about thirty of us now in total since another bus had arrived last night. All of us were eager for this to begin so we could learn magic.

I looked over at Winch and Angie who were sitting beside me. Since we already sort of knew each other, we'd sat together last night during dinner and continued hanging out afterwards. We sort of continued on that pattern this morning, sitting next to each other when we came in for the class.

Technically, this was less of an actual class and more of an introduction to the staff, or at least that was what it had been so far. There were five instructors for the camp as well as a few older students from previous years who'd returned just to help out. Each of the instructors introduced themselves and I even learned that Mrs. Welch worked as a normal school teacher during the regular year and taught at CHASM as a summer job.

My grimoire sat in my lap and most of the other students had their grimoires with them too. There was no real point in being all paranoid and secure with it at the moment when no one had anything written in theirs. Of course, that might change once we all started learning a bit more.

Winch sat beside me with a note pad in his lap instead of the grimoire. When I'd asked him about it, he'd said it was to take notes on what he learned and if there were any spells he could copy them to his grimoire later. I felt a little annoyed that I hadn't thought of that, though I'd never actually been very good about taking notes.

"I think the real thing is about to start," Angie whispered to me and Winch.

One of the instructors who'd earlier introduced himself as Neil Coburn had gotten in front and looked as though he was about to start a lecture. He was in his late twenties or early thirties and had seemed pretty cool so far.

"Okay," Neil said to us, "We're going to be getting to the part you're all really here for in just a little bit. Right now, we're going to cover some of the basics. Some of you may already be familiar with some of this but remember, not everyone here is. And if you are, you just might learn more anyway."

"All right," I grinned, paying attention more than I normally paid in school in spite of being one of the people with at least an idea of how this worked.

"To start with," Neil began, "Magic is subjective. That is to say, it works just a little different for each and every magir. No two magir cast all the same spells and the effects between two magir casting the same spell can be vastly different. However, this is all merely on the surface. The underlying rules of magic are quite consistent."

Neil paused to slowly look across all of us in the bleachers. He smiled faintly and then continued. "One of the most difficult things for new magir to accept is the fact that most spells will simply never work for you. You can pronounce the words perfectly and practice countless times...but they will still never work. In fact, there are thousands of spells out there and only a fraction of them will ever work for you. Because of this, we define spells by levels. A level one spell is one that works for more than fifty percent of magir. A level two spell works for between twenty five to fifty percent. This goes up to level six which is for all the rarest spells, ones that will work for fewer than one out of a thousand. We will go into the levels in more detail later."

I just nodded along, already knowing this information. My uncle Dave is a magir and explained some of the basics to me when he found out that I was going to be a magir too. As uncle Dave had already told me, you also used letters to describe how powerful a spell was. A spell that was 1A was a spell that a lot of magir could use but that wasn't very powerful. However, a spell that was 4D was fairly rare as well as much more powerful.

"It might help if you consider magic like a computer," Neil explained. "Imagine a computer that controls reality and that spells are just the commands the computer will accept. Anyone who has access to write commands is a magir but every magir is authorized to run different commands, apparently assigned at random."

Then Neil stepped back and one of the other instructors took his place. This was a beautiful woman in her late twenties who'd been introduced as Ms. Sheffield. I already had a bit of a crush on her as did a number of other boys.

"For this next step, we would like three volunteers," Ms. Sheffield called out.

I immediately raised my hand as did most of the other guys. I had a sneaky suspicion that this was why she'd asked for volunteers rather than Neil.

"Me," Angie raised her hand eagerly.

A minute later, three volunteers had been selected to come down to the front but I hadn't been one of them. I wasn't sure if that was good or not but I'd soon be finding out. Angie had been selected and was standing in front with two boys, looking just a little smug about having been picked.

"I really hope this is something I can tease her about later," I whispered to Winch who chuckled in response.

"We will demonstrate what Neil said about the same spell having different effects," Ms. Sheffield said. "Three of us will use the same spell. Now watch."

Ms. Sheffield turned to the volunteers and said a few words that I recognized as a magic spell. Suddenly, a vine with flowers on it appeared and wrapped around Angie. She struggled to move but appeared to be held tight.

A moment later, two of the other instructors cast the same spell. One of them was a balding black man with glasses named Mr. Rawlins and the other was a Hispanic woman in her thirties who'd introduced herself as Theresa Ruiz. As with Neil, Theresa had actually told us that we could call her by her first name. Almost immediately afterwards, the boy that Mr. Rawlins had targeted suddenly had a thick looking chain wrapped around his body while the boy Theresa had targeted looked as though he was now wrapped up in red ribbons.

"As you can see," Ms. Sheffield said, "we all cast the same spell and it worked the same way but looked quite a bit different for each of us. The visual effects vary from person to person and magir often have themes that run through their spells. For example, most of my spells have a visual effect that relates to plants and flowers."

"Hey, can you let me out of here," Angie demanded, still struggling with the vines that held her.

"It will wear off in a minute," Ms. Sheffield told her with an amused look.

"Going back to the computer analogy," Neil told us with a grin. "Every magir has a different desktop image, screen saver, text color, and other visual customizations. But no matter how your graphics options are set the command still runs the same way."

"Comparing magic to computers," I muttered with a shake of my head. "That kind of takes the fun out of it."

"I think it makes sense this way," Winch responded with a shrug.

At that point, Ms. Sheffield's claim that the spell would wear off proved to be true as the vines holding Angie suddenly faded away. The two boys who had also been held were released as well. All three of them were obviously relieved.

"Now we're going to give you a bit of what you're all looking forward to," Noel announced. "We're going to break into groups and try a few low level spells. Let's see if we can get you each a spell or two for your grimoires..."

"Yes," I exclaimed, sharing a grin with Winch and nodding to Angie who was still standing in front with the other volunteers.

A few minutes later, all the students had broken up into groups of five or six and were assigned to an instructor. Of course I ended up on the same team as Winch and Angie since we didn't want to be split up. Unfortunately, we didn't get Ms. Sheffield as our instructor like I'd hoped but instead got Neil who wasn't a bad choice...just not very pretty.

Neil had a list of five 1A spells, the same spells that each of the other instructors had for their group of students. I recognized these as also being the very same spells used on the standardized magir test. When they came to my school to test those of us who were interested in finding out of we could do magic, they had us try each of these spells. If any of them worked for us we knew we were magir. Of course, it was theoretically possible that none of these spells would work for you but the odds of that were pretty small.

"Is this dangerous?" Winch asked Neil as he looked over the spells.

"Not at all," Neil told us. "These are all completely harmless spells. If they don't work for you then nothing happens. If you mispronounce them...nothing happens."

The first spell was one to summon a small light which Neil joked would be great for us to use at night since it could save money on CHASM electric bills. I was excited by this one since I knew for a fact it would work for me. It was the spell I'd tried during my test which proved I was a potential magir. However, I couldn't help but feeling nervous as well when I remembered what it had looked like. I wasn't quite comfortable using that in front of other people.

Neil repeated the spell several times, summoning small balls of light which hovered in the air in front of him. He made sure that we could all hear how it was pronounced and then we were able to try it. Winch was the first to get it and suddenly a light bulb appeared floating in the air in front of him.

"Kind of literal," I told Winch with a grin as I slapped him on the back.

The next member of our group to make it was a blonde guy named Nick who was about a year older than me and always looked as though he wanted to punch someone. For him, a ball of fire appeared in the air though a quick test proved that it didn't actually burn anything or even provide heat, just light.

"Damn," Nick muttered in annoyance, obviously wishing his first spell would let him summon a real fireball.

"Come on," Angie exclaimed. "Work..." She repeated the words of the spell again but nothing happened.

"You're pronouncing it correctly," Nick told her, putting a hand on her shoulder. "It looks like this isn't one of your spells."

I sighed and knew it was my turn. I said the words, "K'tath verasatal n'gaaff estu." When nothing happened, I knew that I'd gotten the pronunciation wrong and tried again. It had taken me four times during my test before it had worked for me. This time I got it on my second.

I knew when I'd pronounced the spell correctly because I could feel a warm tingling as the magic activated and then a glow appeared in the air in front of me. The greenish yellow glow came from a small figure that hovered in the air, a figure that looked like a tiny naked woman with greenish skin and wings.

"Is that a faerie?" Angie demanded, "Wow...you've got a pixie."

Nick's light had looked like a ball of fire and Winch's had looked like a light bulb. Mine looked like a tiny faerie woman that was about 4 inches tall. She was beautiful in a strange sort of way with wings that were moving back and forth. The glow emanated from her skin almost as though she was some sort of firefly.

"That is so gay," Nick exclaimed with a loud laugh that made me blush self-consciously. "I mean, I thought only girls did the whole faerie thing..."

"Enough of that," Neil told Nick, giving him a look of warning. "None of us can control what form our spells take." However, he didn't mention that it was often believed the subconscious mind influenced this.

I just stared at my little faerie light, feeling both mesmerized and embarrassed at the same time. It was very awkward having a faerie show up when I cast my spell, even if it was just an illusion. After all, faeries were supposed to be all girly and stuff...like unicorns and kittens. But on the other hand, I've always been sort of fond of faeries. I've always sort of envisioned them as symbols of magic and wonder, not that I've ever told anyone else that.

"Well I think it's cool," Angie said, giving me a grin.

Nick snorted and responded, "Yeah, but you're a chick."

"Screw you," Angie responded, flipping him off.

Winch looked at me with a wry smile and commented, "Interesting."

I just rolled my eyes, eager to get onto the next spell. The next spell was one to create a small fire...to light a candle. Nick grinned at that one, looking smug. I figured this must be one of the spells that had worked for him during the testing. Unfortunately, it hadn't worked for me but that just might be because I didn't get the pronunciation right.

Nick was the first to work this spell and a candle that had been set in front of him just lit without any special flair. Then it was one of the other members of our group followed by Winch. When winch cast the spell, it looked like a lighter just appeared for a moment.

"This isn't fair," Angie exclaimed. "I can't get this one to work either."

"Me either," I admitted. After five attempts to cast the spell, Neil confirmed that I'd pronounced it correctly at least once but nothing happened.

The next spell was one to levitate small objects and this time I was the first person to get it right. I cast the spell on my grimoire and suddenly a tiny faerie appeared holding the book and flew up into the air with it. I blushed a little at having another faerie but that balanced out with my smugness at having gotten this one first.

When Angie got it, a bubble appeared around the rock she'd been targeting and it floated up into the air. "Oh yeah," she exclaimed. "That's what I'm talking about..."

This time it was Winch who was disappointed that the spell wouldn't work for him. Nick was pissed that it didn't work for him either and I couldn't help but laughing at his reaction.

"What the hell are you laughing at faerie boy?" Nick demanded.

"Go ahead and kick his ass," Angie told me, looking as though she was looking forward to watching a fight.

However, Winch told me, "Just ignore him."

"It's hard to ignore someone that ugly," I said, just loud enough for Nick to hear. However, Neil was there so Nick couldn't do anything besides glare at him.

Unfortunately, the two remaining spells on the list didn't work for me though Winch and Angie had a little more luck. I was disappointed that only two of those spells worked for me but that didn't ruin my mood much. After all, I now had two spells in my grimoire and I couldn't wait to add more.

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I stared in awe as a cloud of rose petals swirled around in the air in front of me, creating an incredible spectacle. Then I looked at the woman who'd just cast the spell which created this thing, Ms. Sheffield. Of course, she was even better to look at than the petals.

"And this is a spell to obscure you from view," Ms. Sheffield said. "It can actually be very useful in self-defense situations, giving you a chance to get away."

I nodded at that as did the rest of our little class group. At the moment, I was teamed up with Winch, Angie, Nick, and a girl called Spooky. Spooky was a goth girl with red hair and who always wore black clothes. She also liked piercings since she had a small stud through her nose and about four rings in each ear. All of her spells seemed to have some sort of Halloween or spooky type theme so someone started calling her Spooky and the name just stuck. Fortunately, she seemed to actually like the name.

It had been two weeks since we'd arrived at the CHASM and I'd gone through a number of classes like this. Most of the classes were sort of boring and included things like magir history and learning how to read and pronounce spells from old grimoires.

At least once a day though, we'd break into groups and one of the instructors would try teaching us some level 1 or 2 spells such as what we were doing now. I'd picked up several new spells this way though realized that this was a very difficult way to actually learn spells.

One thing that I'd realized was exactly why this school was only 8 weeks. All they really needed to do was teach us all the rules of magic, how to read and pronounce the spells, and how to be safe about it all. After that, they couldn't really teach us much more because most of their spells were ones that wouldn't work for us.

Once magir got past the basics, we had to improve our abilities on our own by searching through old grimoires and spellbooks. Fortunately, the CHASM had a nice library full of such books including a lot of grimoires that had been donated over the years. In fact, the CHASM was open for most of the year just for other magir to come and look through the library. All the students had been doing that as well, looking for low level spells that we could try out.

At the moment, we were all trying out the spell Ms. Sheffield had shown us. It looked interesting so I kind of hoped it would work for me. Of course, I hoped that for every spell I saw.

"This is a level one B spell," Ms. Sheffield told us. "Now go ahead and try it."

"Look at his," Nick exclaimed smugly as the spell worked for him and a thick cloud of smoke appeared in the air a short distance away. "I've got a smoke screen." I just nodded, not surprised by the form his spell took since he seemed to have some sort of fire theme going with his spells.

Winch got the spell next which wasn't surprising as he had a knack for being able to pronounce the spells correctly after only one or two tries. We were all getting better at the pronunciation thanks to the lessons but Winch was still better at it.

As soon as Winch completed the spell, a large curtain suddenly swept through the air in front of us, making it so we couldn't see through it. The curtain wasn't attached to anything and just floated in the air, surprising me a little in spite of the fact that I shouldn't have been. Winch didn't have any real theme though there was definitely a pattern.

"That'll bring down the curtains on anyone chasing you," I joked with Winch. "Now let me..."

I carefully said the words and got it on my first try. A moment later, the air in front of me sparked and swirled as a huge swarm of pixies appeared in the air. I couldn't really see past them which was the entire point.

""Way to go faerie boy," Nick laughed.

"Just shut up already," I told Nick, more than tired of his joking.

Unfortunately, the whole faerie thing had definitely proven to be a theme for my own spells. In a way, it was kind of cool since I'd always had a fondness for faeries...not that I'd admit it to anyone else. However, it was also very embarrassing and I kind of wished I could have had something a little more manly...like dragons. Dragons are cool.

"Make me Argent," Nick responded with a sneer.

"Enough with measuring your dicks," Spooky said with a roll of her eyes.

"I'm with her," Angie agreed. "Now shut up and let us ladies work."

Angie cast the spell a wall of thick fog appeared, proving that the spell worked for her as well. Since we'd started, it was becoming obvious that she had a theme as well. Most of her spell effects looked as though they somehow related to water or the ocean.

Then Spooky cast the spell and a mass of pure darkness swirled in the air, looking almost like a small patch of night. She looked rather pleased with herself when she saw that.

"All of you could do that spell," Ms. Sheffield exclaimed in surprise. "That is very unusual." Then she looked at us all and smiled pleasantly. "I have a couple spells that aren't on the actual lesson plan but I thought you all might like to try them."

The first spell turned out to be the same one she and the other instructors had demonstrated for us two weeks ago when she'd tied Angie up with flowering vines. I saw the evil grin on Angie's face as I imagined she must be thinking about using this for a little payback.

Just a few minutes later, Nick, Winch, Spooky, and I were all disappointed while Angie was smirking at her success. She had managed to wrap Ms. Sheffield up with what looked like seaweed. Out of all of us, she was the only one who'd been able to work that one.

"Damn," I muttered in annoyance. That would have been my most powerful spell yet if it had worked. It was a 2b spell that could have been very useful. I looked at Angie and sighed, knowing that she'd be teasing Winch and I both about having a spell more powerful than any of ours until we each found something better.

"I think you might like this next spell," Ms. Sheffield said with a faint smile. "Because of its nature, it usually only works for those who have a strong theme with their magic."

Ms. Sheffield said the spell and then a single rose appeared in the air in front of her. It had a red petals that seemed to glow just slightly. It just hovered there for several seconds before vanishing.

"This spell is to summon your crest," Ms. Sheffield said with a pleasant smile. "This is an image that represents your theme and which will often reappear in your spells. In fact, there are some other spells that will not work for you unless you can do this one first."

"How does that work?" Winch asked thoughtfully, pulling out his pen and paper to take notes.

Ms. Sheffield looked thoughtful for a moment before answering. "I believe it is because some of those spells require you to have a crest or they won't be able to complete."

"Sort of like a prerequisite?" Winch asked. "I mean, like in school where we have to have first year algebra before we can sign up for second year."

"Something like that," Ms. Sheffield answered with an amused look. "Or you can think of the crest as being a required ingredient." She shrugged. "There are several spells I know of that work like this...where no one who can't cast another specific spell is ever able to cast them. There aren't very many spells like this though. Most of the ones that are like this are crest spells, ones that require you to have a crest."

"That sounds interesting," Winch mused thoughtfully. "I wonder how that works..."

"Wonder later," I said, elbowing him in the side. "Magic now."

Ms. Sheffield wrote the spell down for us so we could see it and then repeated it several more times so we could hear the proper pronunciation. A minute later, Angie was the first to get it working when a small mermaid appeared in the air in front of us.

"A mermaid," Angie exclaimed excitedly. "Awesome..." Then she paused to stare at it for a moment before turning to Ms. Sheffield. "I thought you said your crest showed up in a lot of your spells. I haven't seen a mermaid in any of mine yet."

"You don't have very many spells yet," Ms. Sheffield told her with an amused look. "And some people have their crest appear in their spells more often than others."

Spooky was next to get the spell and a wicked looking jack-o-lantern appeared in the air on front of her. To my surprise, she looked more annoyed than pleased.

"What is that?" Spooky asked with a scowl. "Shit... Can't I get a black cat or something instead?"

"I'm afraid it doesn't work that way," Ms. Sheffield told her with a chuckle.

I was next to complete the spell correctly and another faerie appeared in the air in front of me. Of course, I wasn't surprised. Out of all of us, mine was the most obvious crest since I've had faeries appear in over half the spells I was able to cast.

"Look at Argent," Nick laughed. "Yet more faeries. You must be seriously gay."

"Enough of that," Ms. Sheffield told him, giving me a warning look as well.

Nick was able to summon his crest next and a small dragon appeared in the air. He was very smug about that while I was jealous and annoyed. I liked dragons so how come I got faeries instead of dragons?

Unfortunately for Winch, the spell didn't work for him at all. He shook his head in disappointment and muttered something about it not being fair. I put a hand on his shoulder but didn't say anything. I wasn't sure what I could say.

"This is very interesting," Ms. Sheffield said once we were done. "This spell is level two A... The fact that four of you are able to perform it is quite amazing."

"So, are you going to teach us another one?" Winch asked, obviously hoping to get another spell that he could use.

"No," Ms. Sheffield said. "We're done for today. Just make sure you all update your grimoires."

"Well, at least we got a couple new spells," I told Winch and Angie.

"I would have liked more," Angie responded with a sigh.

"At least you got more than I did," I pointed out. Then I grinned and said, "Why don't we go see about getting some more?

The other two nodded agreement so the three of us went to the library to do a little research. Almost every student spent some time in the library, looking at old grimoires that had been donated to the school after their owners had died. We'd write down spells that we wanted to try and then go to the testing grounds to find out which ones actually worked for us.

Winch, Angie, and I each grabbed a different book and sat down to look through them. This kind of research was boring but at least it could pay off big with new spells.

"I wish there was some way we could tell what spells would work for us without all this," I told my friends with a sigh. It seemed like such a waste of time trying out all of these different spells with the hopes that some might work.

"I know what you mean," Angie responded, getting up and returning the grimoire she'd been looking at. She was looking for the next grimoire she wanted to grab when she paused and exclaimed, "What's this...?"

"A book?" I answered, not looking up from the one I was still going through. "Oh look, here's a spell to clean your clothes..." I hesitated a moment then copied it down on my note book. If nothing else, it might one day keep me from having to do laundry.

"No, I mean look." Angie said, holding up a book and grinning excitedly. "It's not a grimoire..."

"Then what is it?" Winch asked, looking up from the grimoire he'd been looking through.

Angie set the book down and smirked as she opened it up, revealing pages of spells. "Look here," she said, pointing to the first page. "It's a test book."

That immediately got my attention as well as Winches. We both looked at the book Angie found and saw that on the first page it clearly said that it was a collection of new spells to be tested. We all looked at each other and grinned at that.

Only the best and smartest magir were able to really create new spells. I wasn't quite sure how they did it but they'd study known spells and then figure out new ones that should theoretically work as well. Of course, just because it was supposed to work didn't mean it would work for them even if it was a legitimate spell. That was why spellcrafters, magir who specialized in finding new spells would write test books, journals where they'd list the new spells they'd come up with and what the results were once someone was able to verify it worked.

"Look," I exclaimed, pointing to the first spell listed.

The first spell had a note where the writer said that he or she believed this spell was a 3b spell that dealt with invisibility. Underneath that, there were a lot of small check marks, one for each time a different person tried the spell and that it didn't work. Eventually, there was a note that the spell did indeed work and that it was verified to make small inanimate objects turn invisible for several minutes.

We flipped through the book, noting that each new spell had several pages reserved for it before it would have the next test spell. There were only 21 spells total listed in the journal and 17 of them had notes indicating that they'd been proven to actually work. There were 4 spells that appeared to be complete failures or just so rare they hadn't found anyone able to verify them.

"I didn't think we had any test books in the library," Winch said after a few minutes. "Maybe it was in a collection that someone donated."

"Well, let’s go try some of these out," I suggested with a grin, picking up the test book and the list of other spells that I'd wanted to try.

"Sounds good to me," Angie agreed eagerly.

"I don't think we're supposed to take books out of the library," Winch said uncertainly.

"No," I told him smugly. "They specifically said that we couldn't take grimoires out of the library. They never said anything about test books."

A minute later, all three of us were heading out of the library with the spells we wanted to test. I tried hiding the test book so no one would see us leaving with it though I was still a little nervous.

We were just leaving the library when we nearly ran into the janitor, Mrs. Thompson. She was a frumpy looking woman in her 40's who was responsible for cleaning most of the common areas of the CHASM. She was also one of only two people working at the CHASM who weren't magir, the other one being the cook.

"Sorry about that," I quickly apologized to Mrs. Thompson.

Mrs. Thompson just chuckled. "Quite all right," she responded. "I know you kids must be in a hurry to try out some new spells."

"We sure are," Angie told her cheerfully.

"Just try not to make a mess," Mrs. Thompson told us with an amused look. "Last year someone was testing out a spell to summon mud and it was absolutely horrible."

"We don't plan on summoning any mud," Winch told her pleasantly.

"That's good then," Mrs. Thompson said. "I'll see you kids later then."

"Later then," I told her as we hurried away. I let out a sigh of relief that she hadn't seen the test book.

After this, all three of us went to the training ground where Mr. Rawlins was acting as the life guard, supervising any students who were testing new spells. I would have preferred doing this without his watching but the law said that until a magir had their class 3 license, they were not allowed to practice magic without supervision. Unfortunately, I wouldn't get my class 3 license until I graduated from the CHASM.

We each went through the list of spells we'd copied down and then switched lists to try out the others too. After over an hour of practice, we each came away with at least one new spell. Angie was disappointed at only having one while Winch was smug about gaining three new ones. I'd gotten two new spells and was a little jealous of Winch but not too much.

"Check this out," I exclaimed, casting one of my new spells again. This one was an improved light spell which made a faerie appear holding a glowing ball of light. The previous light spell would stay where it was summoned but this new one would actually follow me around which made it a little more practical.

"Very nice," Angie said with a note of jealousy in her voice. "But I can do the same thing with a flash light."

I nodded to Mr. Rawlins as we left as did the others. None of us had wanted to pull out the test book in front of him since he might confiscate it and we didn't want that until after we'd had a chance to test the spells ourselves. The idea of having new spells that very few other people if any had was an opportunity that none of us wanted to lose. That meant we had to test the spells later on once we had a little more privacy.

We kept the book hidden all through dinner and then afterwards we snuck out while everyone else was distracted. There was a nice secluded spot behind the library that was just the place for us to try out a few spells before it got dark.

-------------------

I stood on the testing ground with Winch and Angie standing beside me. We each had a list of new spells to test out, a list that we'd copied from the test book. After testing out a couple spells last night, we figured that we could get around having to sneak around by just copying the spells and testing them the same way we tested any other spell copied out of a grimoire.

"Funny that we're testing these right in front of an instructor," Angie exclaimed with a grin, looking over to Neil who was the life guard for the time being.

"I'm not sure that's such a good idea," Winch said, looking a little nervous. "I mean, a couple of these spells have never successfully been used...at least not according to the book."

"Then we get to be the first," I responded, slapping him on the back. "Come on."

Angie nodded, then looked her sheet of spells and asked, "Did you guys notice how many of the spells deal with your crest? I think that whoever made these ones may have been trying to find crest spells."

"Great," Winch responded with a roll of his eyes and a look of disappointment. "And I don't have one."

"Well, we did find one spell last night in there that worked for you," I pointed out, grinning since it worked for me too. Surprisingly, it had worked for all three of us though the notes said it was a 2b spell so the odds were kind of against that.

We decided to show off for Neil a little by trying that spell first. I read the words, trying hard to pronounce it correctly. It had taken several tries last night but this time I got it on the first try.

A moment later, a small glowing faerie appeared in the air in front of me and started pointing towards where I had left my grimoire sitting on a table. Angie had a mermaid appear and it pointed towards her grimoire, slowly swimming towards it just like my faerie was swimming towards mine.

"My turn," Winch said, repeating the spell as well. A compass appeared in the air in front of him, pointing towards his grimoire.

"A spell to find our grimoires if they get lost," Winch said. "I suppose it might be useful some day."

Neil was watching us from a distance, apparently curious about how all three of us were able to get the spell on the first turn. I realized that maybe showing off like that might not have been a great idea but I was still kind of glad I'd done it.

After this, we started going over the spells that we didn't get to last night which was most of the ones from the book. Most of them said that they were classified at level 3 or higher so the odds of finding more of them that worked were kind of low but I still had high hopes.

The first few spells on my list had no effect at all, much to my disappointment. There was one to summon lightning that would have been really cool. Then I looked at the next one on my list, one that hadn't been verified as working. The notes in the test book had said this one was believed to be a level 6 spell...one of the rarest. It also said that it was supposed to have something to do with a magir's crest.

I read the spell aloud and nothing happened. I frowned and read it again, this time being just a little more careful of the pronunciation. This time I could feel the magic responding. However, a moment later, I suddenly felt a wave of strange warmth rush through my body. I gasped in surprise and then staggered, hardly able to control myself. All of my muscles felt like rubber.

"Jon?" Angie exclaimed, rushing to me. "Are you all right?"

"I don't know," I gasped out, realizing that my skin was tingling.

My entire body felt extremely weird, almost as if it was all moving and reshaping itself like clay. I could actually feel my bones shifting positions inside of me and strangely enough, it didn't hurt. It just felt extremely odd.

"What's happening to him?" Winch demanded of Neil who had also rushed over to check on me.

I was on my knees, taking deep breaths while I felt my very flesh shifting. I saw that my hands were changing right before my eyes, somehow looking softer and more slender. My nails were growing longer and turning darker as I watched.

The others were talking but I was so caught up in the sensations running through my body that I barely noticed. I was too stunned to even fully absorb the fear and confusion that I felt as well. Instead, the only thing that I was fully aware of were the changes, the pulling in my crotch and the swelling on my chest.

After a minute, the sensation of my flesh moving all stopped and I remained where I was, gasping for breath and trying to make sense of what had just happened to me. I felt different...very different. It was obvious that the spell I'd just cast had done something...but what?

"JON?" Angie grabbed my shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"I don't know," I responded after a moment, trying to get to my feet and feeling that my entire sense of balance was off.

"Oh my God," Winch blurted out, staring at me with a look of stunned disbelief.

"Holy shit," Angie exclaimed, staring at me with a similar look.

Then Neil asked, "Are you all right Argent?"

"I don't know," I repeated again.

Then I looked down at myself and gasped in surprise as I saw the first and most obvious sign of the changes I'd just gone through, a pair of mounds pushing out from my chest and threatening to burst my shirt open. As hard as it was to believe, they looked like breasts.

"Holy shit," I gasped, grabbing the mounds instinctively and then gasping again as I felt that they were indeed a flesh and blood part of me.

"What was this spell?" Neil demanded with a worried look. "And where did you get it."

I looked at Angie and then Winch, each of whom then gave each other a nervous look. Then we all looked at Neil realizing at the same time that we were all in even more trouble than I'd thought.

A short time later, Neil had confiscated the test book and the three of us had been sent to our quarters while he talked with the other instructors and they decided what to do. I was stunned and confused but thankful for the chance at privacy since it would give me a chance to think things through on my own.

"What the hell was that spell?" I asked myself the moment I was alone with the door closed.

I held up my hands and stared at them, seeing that they looked sort of girly now especially since I had manicured nails that looked like they were covered with a dark green polish. Of course, that was nothing compared to these mounds on my chest. I looked down at them and then gulped.

After a moment, I took a deep breath and then went to look at myself in the mirror on the back of the door. I froze and stared at my reflection in stunned disbelief, unable to believe that it was really me staring back.

"Holy shit," I exclaimed.

The person looking back from the mirror certainly wasn't me. Instead, there was beautiful and exotic looking girl staring back. She had pointed ears like an elf from one of my fantasy books and long green hair that went down to the middle of her back. Her eyes were a brilliant green of a shade that I'd never seen on another person and were even more unique due to the flecks of gold in them. He lips looked like they were coated with dark green lipstick and her skin sparked a little, looking almost as if it was lightly dusted with glitter.

"Holy shit," I repeated again, running a hand through my hair and noticing that it felt very soft and smooth. Then I felt my ears, verifying that they were indeed pointed. "No fucking way..."

Of course, my face certainly wasn't the only thing to notice. I was still wearing my normal clothes but they no longer fit, being tight in a couple places and loose in others. Still, I could see a very feminine figure with what looked like DD cup breasts. I was absolutely stunned.

And then, as if it couldn't get any stranger, I noticed something behind me...something impossible. My eyes went wide as I stared into the mirror and saw dragonfly wings spread out behind me, looking as though they were coming from my back. They were transparent and shiny with shimmers of green and gold running through them.

"I'm...I'm a faerie," I blurted out in amazement.

I turned to look at my wings, seeing that they weren't just in the mirror but really were sprouting from my back. I could move them at will, even relaxing them so that they went flat against my back and dropped down to be less noticeable.

"That spell turned me into a faerie," I whispered again, sure that I had to be imagining this. Maybe the spell had really just made me see things...like a spell to create hallucinations. That would certainly explain this. That would explain all of this. Then I cupped my new breasts again and gulped. "This doesn't feel like an illusion."

I felt scared, confused, and excited all at the same time. The fact that I'd turned myself into a faerie was freaking me out, but the truth was, I'd been reading about fantasy creatures for most of my life and actually seeing one in person was unbelievably thrilling at the same time.

With that, I took off my shirt and only then paused to wonder how I'd done that with the wings in the way. I looked at the back of my shirt and there were no holes in it where the wings had come out. That didn't make sense.

However, I didn't stop to think about the strangeness of my new wings any further. Instead, I turned my attention to my new breasts which were bare and fully exposed. I stared down at them in stunned amazement, hardly able to believe they were real. In a way, the wings on my back were less fantastic than these. After all, I've wanting to get my hands on some perfect breasts like these for a long time and I'd only considered the idea of having wings only once or twice.

I felt myself up a bit and then continued undressing myself, dropping my pants to the ground and feeling my crotch. My usual equipment was gone and in its place was girl's slit. There was no hair down there anymore either. In fact, I didn't seem to have a single hair on my body below my neck.

"I really am a girl," I whispered, wincing as I said it.

Then I turned and stared at my naked body in the mirror, feeling kind of weirded out but curious at the same time. I was definitely hot in a fantasy novel sort of way. I just stared at myself for a few minutes and then slowly ran my hands over my body, still amazed that this was really me.

Once I was finished with my full body exam, I started getting dressed again. I had no idea when Neil or one of the instructors would come for me but I knew that sooner or later they would. I didn't want to get caught in the buff when they did.

My own clothes didn't fit me very well anymore but they were all I had. My pants went back on without much problem, other than wanting to fall down. The real problem was when I got to my shirt. I spread my wings out and then stared at the shirt in my hand, wondering how the hell I could get my shirt back on over those things.

"I got it off without a problem," I muttered, deciding that I could at least try.

I relaxed my wings and let them fold back and then put my shirt on. To my surprise, it went on just as easily as normal and then I spread my wings again and had no problem. I didn't have any holes cut in my shirt but the wings went through them just the same.

"Weird," I thought aloud.

Since I had nothing else to do, I decided to experiment with my wings a little. I reached back to feel them but my hand went right through them. I blinked in surprise and tried again. It was like they weren't really there. It was almost like they were just some sort of an illusion.

After a little more testing with my wings, I exclaimed, "They're not real."

Of course, it made a sort of sense. Most of the special effects that occurred when magir casts spells were just special effects that had no real effect on how the spell worked. It seemed that my wings were worked the same way, being more illusion than anything else. It was strange to accept though since they felt like they were really part of me. It was almost like finding out that your arm wasn't real when you could move it around and wiggle your fingers.

About two hours after I'd been sent to my room, two instructors came to check on me, just as I'd been expecting. Neil and Mrs. Welch came in and stared at me with expressions that were part disapproval and part amazement. However, I noticed that Neil also briefly had another expression, one that I liked even less than the disapproval. It was the same expression I'd seen on the faces of a number of my male classmates when they were watching Ms. Sheffield.

"Good heavens," Mrs. Welch exclaimed when she saw me. "You certainly were changed."

"We were hoping it would have worn off by now," Neil said with a frown. "Most transformation spells wear off after a few hours at most."

"Most don't even last that long," Mrs. Welch added thoughtfully.

I just nodded at that, feeling uncomfortable under their scrutiny and disappointed that they hadn't come in with a solution to my problem. This might be interesting in a twisted sort of way but I certainly didn't want to be stuck like this. I was more than eager to get back to normal.

"Do you know how to change me back?" I asked hopefully, thinking that maybe they were dragging this out in order to teach me a lesson or something.

Neil and Mrs. Welch shared a look before shaking their heads. "Not yet," Neil said carefully. "But we do have some good ideas. It may not even be necessary though because this may still wear off on its own."

"If it hasn't worn off by tomorrow," Mrs. Welch told me, "then we'll consider our options." She paused for a moment and gave me a steady look before saying, "I think now you understand why it’s so dangerous to test new spells. Until a spell has been successfully cast for the first time, even the spellcrafter who discovered it can't know exactly what it does." Then she shook her head and gave me a look that suggested I'd done something very stupid. Considering my situation, I had to agree with her.

"I once knew a guy who used to test a lot of the new spells," Neil said with a sad look. "One of them caused him to just suddenly fall over dead. They called it the suicide spell after that. As far as I know, no one has ever used that one since." He put a hand on my shoulder and then pulled it back with an uncertain look, as though not sure this was appropriate now. "This could have been much worse."

A few seconds later, both instructors turned and left my room, leaving me alone with my thoughts and my new body. I looked down at myself and sighed, hoping that Neil was right and that this really would wear off on its own because I didn't even want to consider what it would mean if it didn't.

--------------------

When I woke up in the morning, I was disappointed to discover that I was still a sexy faerie chick and that I hadn't miraculously changed back to normal during the night. I felt a moment of dread as I lay in bed followed by some hope as I remembered that Neil said that there might still be options.

I sat up in bed and realized that I was sitting on my wings or at least would have been if they'd been physical rather than illusion. That suddenly made me realize the logistical problems of having real wings and just how lucky I was that they were only illusion. If these had been real, I had been sleeping on them for half the night and probably would have torn them up by now. And if they were real, there would also be problems with putting on any kind of shirt or jacket and even doing something as simple as sitting in a chair.

"Thank God they're illusion," I muttered, wishing that the rest of my changes were too.

Once I was dressed, I lowered my wings and let them hang down behind me almost like a cape. Last night, I'd discovered almost by accident that if I had my wings relaxed like this, I could actually make them vanish. Actually, the word 'vanish' wasn't completely accurate since I could still feel them there. It was more like I could make them turn invisible, at least until I actually opened my wings in which case they'd become visible again. I knew that I was bound to be stared at now and anything I could do to reduce that attention would help.

I reluctantly left my room and went straight for the cafeteria for some breakfast. The moment that I stepped inside, I was immediately aware that all of the other students turned and stared at me. I could hear a lot of whispering which made me wonder what the rumor mill was saying about me. However, I did my best to ignore it all as I grabbed my breakfast tray then went to an empty table off to the side where I could sit by myself. I didn't exactly feel like being social at the moment.

I had barely been sitting for a minute when Spooky came over and stood there with her tray of food, staring at me for a moment before asking, "Are you really Argent?"

"Yeah," I responded, looking back and frowning. "I had an...accident."

"Wow, you even sound different. I heard it was a level six test spell," Spooky said, sitting down across from me and giving me a curious look. When I nodded agreement, she shook her head and mused, "That's kind of cool in a way... I mean, you've got to be the only student around here who has a level six spell..."

I snorted at that and told her, "So far I could do without it."

"Yeah," Spooky chuckled. "But that could make an awesome Halloween costume." She shook her head and grinned. "I mean, turning into a real elf."

"I think I'm a faerie, not an elf," I pointed out with a sigh. "Like my crest...just bigger."

"But you don't have wings," Spooky said, taking another look at my back. "Someone told me that you did though."

I grimaced at that, wondering how much more attention I'd be getting if I didn't have my wings invisible at the moment. I was considering how to respond when suddenly Nick started yelling at me from another table.

"Hey Argent," Nick yelled with a nasty smirk. "I always knew you were a faerie..." Then he and some others began laughing.

I clenched my fists until I felt my now longer nails digging into my palms. I was blushing in embarrassment but also angry. Just then, there were more gasps of surprise and stares. It was only then that I realized that I'd spread my wings and broken the invisibility. Now everyone in the cafeteria could see them in all their glory.

"Holy shit," Spooky exclaimed, "You really are..." Then she paused, "Sorry, I mean, I know that's got to be weird as fuck for you."

"You have no idea," I muttered, glaring over at Nick.

"Oh, the little faerie princess doesn't like that," Nick called out, standing up and coming towards me to get more personal. I stood up, about ready to hit him as hard as I could...even if I did suddenly realize that he now looked a lot bigger than he used to.

"Don't you dare make me put my foot up your ass," Spooky told Nick.

A moment later, Angie's voice exclaimed, "And we'll help." I looked over and saw Angie and Winch walking into the cafeteria, both of them glaring at Nick as they came over to join us.

"Hey Jon," Winch greeted me uncertainly.

"You know that spell I found yesterday to make a guy impotent for a month?" Angie asked Winch in an almost casual way. "I think that now might be a great time to use it for real."

Nick glared at her, his expression indicating that he thought she was bluffing. However, it appeared that he didn't want to risk calling her bluff because he shrugged and muttered, "What a bunch of losers," before he turned and left the cafeteria.

"Do you really have a spell like that?" Spooky asked Angie with a smirk.

Angie just shook her head and shrugged before responding, "Nope."

Spooky laughed at that and then slapped her on her back, saying, "I knew I liked you."

"Thanks," I told them, feeling even more embarrassed than before if that was possible. Then I tried saving face a little by saying, "I could have taken him if I had to but it's nice you all had my back."

"Sure, no problem," Winch said with a weak smile. He stared at me for a moment, his eyes lingering on my chest longer than I was comfortable with before he quickly looked away.

It was then that I realized that Winch, who was normally a couple inches shorter than me was now a couple inches taller instead. In fact, I was now about the same height as Angie and perhaps a little shorter than Spooky. When I'd changed, I must have lost about 4 or 5 inches of height. It was no wonder that Nick had seemed bigger and more intimidating than before.

Angie and Winch went to get their food while Spooky and I sat back down and went back to eating. She looked somewhat pleased with herself while she ate, probably playing the scene over again in her head and savoring the way she'd helped chase Nick off. I had to admit that I was pretty impressed with the way she and Angie had dealt with him. After all, Angie's threat was one that most guys just couldn't ignore.

Once Angie and Winch had come back with their food and joined us, Spooky gave me another long look and said, "I guess you really do have wings after all..."

"Yeah," I responded, stretching them out so she could get a good look at them. Everyone in the cafeteria had already been staring at me so I figured I'd give them all a little something more to look at while I was at it.

"Careful," Winch said. "You might hit someone with those things..."

"It wouldn't hurt them if I did," I responded with a shrug, relaxing my wings so that the hung down behind me again though I didn't bother making them invisible this time. "They're not real. They're like...illusions."

"Is the rest of it...?" Winch asked carefully, gesturing at me.

I just shook my head and told him, "No, the rest of it seems real enough."

I talked with my friends for the rest of breakfast, talking about my situation while trying to ignore the stares from the other students who were walking past. When we were finally through eating, I had to excuse myself since I needed to go see if the instructors had any idea of how to fix this yet.

A short time later, I was sitting down in a room with Neil, Theresa, and Mrs. Welch all standing in front of me with thoughtful looks on their faces. They kept ignoring me and talking amongst themselves, nearly acting as though I wasn't present and annoying me in the process.

Finally, Mrs. Welch gave me a steady look and said, "I have a spell that can undo some transformations, but only if the power level of the transformation spell is low enough." Her expression turned skeptical and she continued, "Considering that you haven't turned back yet, it's unlikely that spell will be effective but I think we need to try it."

"Sounds good to me," I told her, trying to hide my nervousness.

Mrs. Welch nodded and then went and picked her grimoire up from the side table where it had been sitting. She flipped it open to a page that had been bookmarked and then read the spell. I felt a very faint tingle of magic touching me but absolutely nothing else. The spell I'd cast had been too powerful.

"I spent half the night looking for some spells that might help," Theresa said, holding up a notebook where she had lots of notes written. It looked like she'd been hard at work in the library from what I could see. "I'm not certain any of us can perform these, but it doesn't hurt to try."

Theresa read one spell off the page and absolutely nothing happened, indicating that this wasn't one of the spells she could cast. However, she didn't look bothered by that and went on to the next spell and then the next. She read half a dozen spells, none of which worked for her. Then without a word she handed the notebook to Neil who repeated the process.

When Neil reached the fourth spell on the list, I felt a faint tingling much as I had when Mrs. Welch had tried her spell. And just like when Mrs. Welch had tried, this one failed.

"Interesting," Neil mused, pausing to copy the spell down on another piece of paper. It seemed that even though it hadn't worked on me, Neil was going to add that one to his grimoire.

Neil tried the other spells on the notebook and then handed it to Mrs. Welch who also repeated the process, not finding any of them which worked for her. When she was done, she shook her head and sighed. "I suppose that would have been too easy."

"We can pass these spells around and have some of the students try them," Theresa suggested. "We should get a few more we can try on her...I mean him later. But for now," she flipped the page of the notebook and then handed it to me. "There are several spells I found to break spells on yourself."

There were three spells on the page with the first one having a note saying that it was to undo any transformation on yourself. I read the spell, being careful to pronounce it correctly. When nothing happened, I tried it again being even more careful.

"Nothing," I muttered, going to the second spell which looked like it was supposed to work about the same way. However, that spell didn't work for me at all, nor did the third one. "None of them worked," I said unnecessarily.

"There is one more thing I want to try at the moment," Neil said, going to the side table and picking up the book of test spells that he'd confiscated from me. "Try casting the spell that did this again. It might be possible that a second casting will reverse it."

I nodded at that as I took the test book and flipped to the page where I'd found the spell that had transformed me. I read through it and felt a faint tingle of magic but then it died without doing anything.

"Damn," Neil muttered to himself before turning to give me a forced smile. "We can't give up hope yet. We'll try these other spells again once we find people who can use them. One of those ones just might do the trick. In the mean time, we've already contacted a spellcrafter, an expert on test spells, and he said he'll fly out immediately."

"It looks like we'll also have to notify your parents," Mrs. Welch said, giving me another long look before adding, "And a doctor. I think you need a proper examination."

When Mrs. Welch said that she wanted a doctor, I thought she meant Mr. Rawlins who used to work as an RN and who served as the CHASM's school nurse. However, that wasn't quite what she had in mind and several hours later a real doctor arrived, driving all the way out to the CHASM on an emergency house call.

Doctor Wren was a middle aged woman with hair that had once been all dark but was now about half covered with gray. Her skin was a light brown shade though her ethnicity was a little difficult to identify. She was also a gynecologist.

"I hear that this is your first exam," Doctor Wren told me once she'd closed the door on the nurses office with just the two of us inside.

I grunted at that and glared at her, hardly able to believe that I'd been set up with a gynecology exam. I hadn't even been a girl for 24 hours yet.

"I understand your lack of enthusiasm," Doctor Wren said with a slightly amused look. "The instructors here explained your unique situation to me." She gave me an odd look, one that was part curiosity and part amusement.

"I'm glad you think it's funny," I finally said, crossing my arms defiantly...or at least trying to since my new breasts got in the way. That just made me feel even more awkward.

"Not funny," Doctor Wren told me with a somewhat sympathetic expression. "Just...interesting."

"Then I'm glad I amuse you," I responded with a roll of my eyes.

Doctor Wren sat down beside me and commented, "You look like you stepped straight out of a fairy tale. I'm not a magir and don't know much about magic so this is pretty unusual for me." Then she gave me a gentle smile and added, "I imagine that it must be pretty unusual for you to."

I nodded at that, relaxing a little bit which I was sure was her intention. "I don't know why they called you," I said, realizing that I sounded like I was pouting even as I said it. "I'm gonna change back soon."

"I hope so," she told me with a nod. "But for now, we need to give you a proper physical to make sure you're really in good health...and to find out how accurate your transformation is. Who knows, it may help them figure out how to change you back faster."

That made me pause to think for a moment. Then I grimaced and silently cursed. How dare she use reason on me like that? It just wasn't fair.

"Fine," I reluctantly told her.

Doctor Wren started with a normal physical, checking my heart rate, blood pressure, and thinks like that. Then she asked me to undress. I hesitated at that, definitely not comfortable undressing in front of a complete stranger...especially when I looked like this.

"Come on," Doctor Wren told me with an amused look. "You don't have anything I haven't seen before."

That annoyed me so I spread my wings and suddenly made them visible again. Doctor Wren stepped back and stared at me with a gasp of surprise. The look on her face was priceless.

"Okay," she admitted. "I haven't seen that before."

I felt just a little smug as I began getting undressed. Once I was naked though, my nervousness returned though I tried not to show it. Doctor Wren put on some latex gloves and then examined my body with a professional detachment, even feeling my breasts as she gave me a breast exam. I wasn't sure whether to be very embarrassed about that or turned on. However, any idea of being turned on that I had was removed when she told me to sit down on the table and spread my legs so she could perform a pelvic exam.

"This would be a little easier if you'd come into my office for the exam," Doctor Wren told me. "I have equipment there that is a little more suitable for this kind of exam."

I just stood there and stared at her, having known she was a gynecologist and that this was to be expected but I couldn't bring myself to do it. The whole idea of having a vagina was weird enough but having some complete stranger poke and prod it was completely unthinkable.

"You know, real women go through this every year," Doctor Wren said as she gave me a patient look. "Surely you're man enough to handle it just once."

First she'd used reason on me and now my own male pride. I didn't know whether to hate this woman or feel respect for how easily she managed my hesitation.

I reluctantly did as she asked, hating every moment of it. She pulled some sort of metal brace out of the kit she'd brought with her and used it spread my legs apart and keep them that way while she went to work. The examination was extremely uncomfortable and humiliating but I'd never felt more relived when than when it was finally over.

"Well, it's official," Doctor Wren told me when she was finished and while I was getting dressed. "You're definitely female. From what I can tell, your biology is still human and your...exotic appearance is mostly cosmetic. Of course, you'd need blood tests, X rays, MRI's and some other tests to be completely certain but I couldn't find anything particularly unusual...other than the obvious that is."

Once we were completely done, I stormed out in a foul mood, feeling completely violated and humiliated in ways that I hadn't even realized were possible before. I hurried through the hall of the building, wondering how real women could go through that every year. I shuddered at the idea of EVER having to go through that again.

--------------------

I sat in the back of the classroom, listening to Mr. Rawlins discussing the history of magir, specifically the way that they used to fit into different cultures before they all decided to go into hiding. At any other time the topic might have been somewhat interesting but not only was Mr. Rawlins a bit dry and bland in his delivery, I was also greatly distracted.

I still hadn't gotten over my exam from Doctor Wren earlier today and I had a feeling that I'd be remembering that for awhile, whether I wanted to or not. After that, I'd gone back to the group for my normal classes though I would rather have avoided them. I kept getting odd looks and stares from both instructors and students, and worse, I noticed a lot of whispering. I could even occasionally hear the words 'faerie princess' mockingly said behind my back, sometimes intentionally. Of course, not all the other students made fun of me. There were more than a couple who kept giving me looks of sympathy and pity which I thought might be even worse.

The instructors had done what they'd promised and continued looking for people who could cast those spells which might cure me, and though I'd been called in and had three more of them cast on me, none of them worked. I was getting more than a little frustrated and hoped that this expert they'd called in would be able to help.

Fortunately, I at least had clothes that fit me again even if they were girl clothes. A couple female students had donated some spare clothes for me, Spooky being one of them. Angie had tried, but even though we were now about the same height, we weren't quite close enough to the same size.

"So, I heard they had a doctor come in for you earlier today," Angie whispered into my ear from beside me. "Did they find anything wrong with you...other than the obvious?"

"Probably a psychiatrist," Winch mused. "I mean, this has got to be pretty traumatic so they must think she...he needs counseling."

"I always knew you were a whack job," Spooky teased, having sat next to us for most of our classes today.

"She wasn't that kind of doctor," I snapped in annoyance.

"Perhaps a surgeon," Winch mused, smiling faintly so I knew he was teasing me. "I mean, if they removed your wings and sculpted your ears a little you'd at least look human again..."

"Other than the green hair and sparkles," Angie added with a grin that hid the envious look she'd been giving me a moment before. "Oh, and those breasts. Those are way too perfect to be human."

My friends continued teasing me until the end of the class a few minutes later and then even as we were leaving. "It was probably a gynecologist," Spooky joked with a broad grin. "I mean, you do have the plumbing now."

I froze and that and winced uncomfortably while Winch just snickered and responded, "That's a good one."

Spooky stared at me for a moment, apparently noticing my reaction before blurting out, "Holy shit... It really was a gynecologist."

"Really?" Angie asked in surprise, staring at me for a moment. Then she and Spooky exchanged a look before they both burst out laughing.

"It's not funny," I snapped but Angie immediately responds with, "No...it's hilarious."

Winch looked extremely uncomfortable but asked, "What did the...the doctor say?"

I took a deep breath and tried to steady myself before I answered, "She said that biologically, I am now completely female."

Winch, Angie, and Spooky were all silent for a moment before Angie exclaimed, "That's great news?"

"What?" I stared at her as if she was insane.

"I mean, now you're one of us," Angie said, gesturing to Spooky.

"Oh yeah," Spooky added, getting in on the act. "Once you start having your period we can talk all about feminine hygiene and all that other stuff that guys don't like to hear about... In fact, we can give you some tips now..."

Winch gave me a look of sympathy as he stepped back, saying, "I've got something I really need to go do..." He smiled weakly, obviously realizing how flimsy this was. "I'll catch you guys later."

"Wait," I called to him, desperate for him to help me out here. However, Winch was gone, leaving me to drown in a sea of estrogen with no life preserver.

Ironically, it was Nick who came to my rescue by calling out from further down the hall, "What's that...the faerie princess club?" That immediately got the attention of both Spooky and Angie and they rushed off to deal with him much as they had that morning while I was able to sneak away during the distraction.

A few minutes later, Mr. Rawlins found me and gave me a gentle smile as he said, "There you are Argent. We have some good news. The expert we contacted has arrived a little earlier than expected and he'd like to see you immediately."

I was excited at that and eagerly followed Mr. Rawlins to the office where the expert was waiting. He let me inside, nodded to Neil and the other man who were inside, then left me with them. I glanced at Neil but turned most of my attention to the man who was sitting in a chair and reading through the book of test spells. He looked to be in his 50's with hair and a beard that were nearly all gray.

The man stood up and said, "You must be the lad in question." He gave me a careful look. "I was told you also had wings..." With that, I spread my wings and broke their invisibility so he could see them. "Magnificent."

"This is Jon Argent," Neil introduced me to the man and then told me, "This is Conrad Lestraad who rushed over from Montreal to try and help you."

"Um...thank you," I responded, lowering my wings but not bothering to turn them invisible.

Mr. Lestraad opened the book of test spells and pointed to the inside cover where a few notes were written. "This book was written by Simon Grinwell, an old friend of mine who passed away about fifteen years ago. In fact, he was my mentor...taught me everything I know about spellcrafting."

"Then we're fortunate you were able to help," Neil said.

Mr. Lestraad nodded faintly and mused, "I remember this book... I was one of the people helping Simon test the spells in it. I even remember this spell though it didn't work for me or anyone else who'd tried it. In hindsight, it appears that may have been fortunate."

"Do you think you can change me back?" I asked him hopefully.

"Most likely," Mr. Lestraad responded, holding up the notebook with the spells that the instructors have already tried. "I do have a lot more experience with this sort of thing than your instructors do and a few more tools."

Then Mr. Lestraad opened a pack that he'd brought with him and removed two books. I assumed one was his grimoire while he explained a moment later that the other was a collection of spells that could help undo some problems created by test spells. Then he looked into his grimoire and read a spell from it. There was a faint burst of sparks in the air between us and I felt a tingle of magic but that was all.

"That was a scanning spell," Mr. Lestraad explained, sitting back down with a thoughtful look. "It lets me gather a great deal about the effects of a spell. It gives me a vague idea of its level and power as well as how it works. In fact, this is one of the main spells that one needs in order to become a spellcrafter. After all, you need to study how known spells work a great deal before you figure out which words may work for another."

"And what did you find out?" I asked him.

"It is a level six spell," Mr. Lestraad said thoughtfully. "Very rare. But we already knew that. There is more but I need a few more tests. Can you cast the spell again so I can get a more recent reading? This should give me more to work with."

I took the test book and read through the spell again with the same effect as the last time I'd tried it, a faint tingling and then nothing. Mr. Lestraad leaned back with his eyes closed, frowning slightly.

After a minute, Mr. Lestraad opened his eyes and nodded, picking up the other book and saying, "There are a variety of spells in here for situations like this. You'd be surprised at some of the things that happen testing new spells. When I create a new spell...or discover it if you wish to be more accurate, even I don't know exactly what it will do. I have a vague idea but don't actually know for certain until its cast and I can test the effects." He flipped through the book for a moment and added, "In my position, I've learned a great many tricks. Did you know, when you transform someone, when it wears off they return to their normal form. Previous transformations are usually erased in the process."

"Wait," Neil exclaimed. "You mean all we had to do was transform him into something else?"

"It is rather simple, isn't it?" Mr. Lestraad said with a look of amusement. Then he looked at me and asked, "Are you ready lass?"

I winced slightly at being called 'lass' but nodded, "Yeah."

Mr. Lestraad read a spell and a moment later there was a puff of smoke around me. When it cleared, I was stunned to find that Neil and Mr. Lestraad had both grown into giants. It took me a few more seconds to fully realize that it wasn't they who'd grown but me who'd shrunk. I looked around, realizing that I didn't even come up halfway to their knees...and I felt extremely strange. I opened my mouth to ask what he'd done to me but all that came out was, "Meow..."

"You make an adorable cat," Mr. Lestraad said, leaning over and scratching behind my ears. Oddly, it felt kind of nice. "But don't worry, this spell wears off after only several minutes. That is one of the main reasons I use it for this kind of situation."

I didn't exactly feel thrilled by that but the thought of turning back to normal when this spell wore off removed any bad feelings I might have had. Since this would only last for a couple minutes, I hesitantly walked around the room, finding it strange to walk on all fours like this. Everything seemed so different from this angle. Then I felt the familiar tingle of magic right before there was a big puff of smoke.

"Did it work?" I asked eagerly, looking down at myself and wincing as I saw that I was still a faerie girl. "It didn't work."

"That's...unusual," Lestraad said after a moment, looking a little confused. He stared at me with a look of thoughtful concentration. "That usually works...but not always. There are other options to try."

Mr. Lestraad went back to looking through the books and talked as he did so. "Simon was a great spellcrafter," he said as he flipped a page. "He was especially fascinated by familiars...or crests as they're called now. These are symbols that represent your magic and the unique symbolism which runs through it. He was always fascinated by the fact that some spells would only work if you had a crest. In fact, anyone who had a crest also had an affinity for crest related spells."

"An affinity?" I asked.

"Many magir have certain types of spells work for them more often than others," Neil said. "We call this an affinity. We don't know why it happens but it’s usually related to your theme. Elzebeth...Ms. Sheffield has an affinity for plants so spells that make plants grow or control plans work for her more often than they probably should. Mr. Rawlins has an affinity for spells that manipulate metal. And I've even noticed a few of your classmates showing affinities. That Nick seems to have an affinity for fire spells."

"Precisely," Mr. Lestraad agreed. "Anyone who actually has a crest is able to perform crest related spells more often than their level would suggest. A spell that measures as a level three spell may work as often as a level two and a level two spell may work about as often as a level one." Then he paused to hold up the test book and continued, "Simon specialized in trying to find new crest spells and probably created a quarter of the ones that do exist."

"Wow," I respond in surprise. "I kind of noticed that there were a lot of crest ones in that book."

"I want to try a few more things," Mr. Lestraad told me. "Stand back please..."

Mr. Lestraad performed several more spells from his grimoire and I felt a slight tingle each time. Then he opened the other book and handed it to Neil, instructing him to attempt several of the spells which he himself was unable to perform. Neil tried them but they didn't work for him either.

"I have one more spell that I want you to try," Mr. Lestraad said, handing me the second book and pointing to one of the spells. "It can remove all external spell effects and transformations no matter how powerful, restoring you to your normal form. It is the most powerful spell of its type that I know, though unfortunately I am not one of those lucky enough to have it in my grimoire." He chuckled slightly and added, "This is a level five D spell."

"Then it probably won't work for me," I said with a sigh.

"It's a crest spell," Mr. Lestraad told me after a moment. "That will increase your actual odds a bit I'd think."

"So, less than a one percent chance becomes less than a ten percent chance," I responded with a roll of my eyes. "Gee..that really improves things."

After the other failures, I certainly wasn't holding my breath for this one. But once I said the words, I felt the tingle of magic. Suddenly, there was a glow and small faerie appeared in the air in front of me. It looked slightly different from the faeries that usually appeared, slight enough that most people probably wouldn't notice it. However, there was something different about this one, something that somehow made it seem more real. It was exactly the same as the faerie that came when I called for my crest.

"It's working," Neil exclaimed.

My crest faerie suddenly flew straight into my chest and there was a flash of light and a slight twisting sensation. However, when it passed, I looked down and saw that I was still exactly the same as I had been. I was still a faerie girl.

"It didn't change him back," Neil said unnecessarily, giving Mr. Lestraad a look of disappointment.

"I've never heard of this one failing to work for someone who could actually perform it," Mr. Lestraad mused. He leaned back and stared at me for a moment longer before shaking his head. "I think I understand now."

"I thought it was supposed to change me back," I blurted out, starting to get a little angry. These failures were really worrying me and I was disappointed that this so called expert hadn't been able to fix me yet.

Mr. Lestraad nodded and then let out a sigh. "Most crest spells aren't all that unique," he finally said, sounding almost like he was thinking aloud. "Nearly every crest spell has other spells that don't require a crest which can do nearly the same thing. However, the crest spells do tend to be a little more powerful."

"But this didn't work," I repeated, wishing he'd just stop lecturing and fix me.

"Simon was fascinated by the crest spells nonetheless," Mr. Lestraad continued as though he was completely unaware of my frustration and impatience. "After all, your crest represents your very magic and in some ways...yourself. Simon spent decades searching for what he thought would be the ultimate crest spell...and he believed the spell that transformed you was it."

"What?" I demanded. "What do you mean?"

"Even Simon wasn't completely certain what it would do," Mr. Lestraad explained with a sigh and a shake of his head. "But he was sure it would somehow tap into your crest on another level. I see now that it did." He gave me a steady look and added, "It put you in complete synchronization with your crest."

"But what does that mean?" Neil asked, looking just as confused as I was. "I thought that spell was supposed to remove any external spell or transformation."

"It does," Mr. Lestraad said carefully, giving me a sympathetic look this time. "It returns you to your normal form, free of all spell effects."

"Does it look like I'm free of all spell effects?" I snapped, gesturing down at myself and spreading my wings again to make a point. "I'm a fucking faerie!"

Mr. Lestraad continued to stare at me with an expression of sympathy. "What it means," he finally said, "is that this is your normal form now. When you cast that spell, it rewrote who you are. You can't break the transformation and return to normal because this is normal for you now. This is now your body's natural form."

I just stared at Mr. Lestraad in horror, sure that he had to be wrong. That made absolutely no sense. I was a guy...not some faerie chick...no matter what the mirror said. This was supposed to be just some sort of weird curse that could be broken so I could go on with my life.

"Let me put it this way," Mr. Lestraad said with a scowl. "You were merged with your own crest. This is permanent and irreversible. Other spells may be able to transform you again, but as far as the magic is concerned, this is who you are. This is your natural state."

"Oh God," I gasped, about ready to collapse.

Neil didn't say a word as he moved a chair to me so I could sit down. I accepted it and sat down, thankful for the chance to do so. My head was swimming with the realization of what this meant.

After a minute, Mr. Lestraad told me, "I am sorry to tell you this but there is nothing I can do. Nothing that anyone else can really do. There are spells out there that can make you look like your old self but they are temporary and you'd soon return to this form."

"Just great," I whispered, fighting back the tears that were threatening to come out.

"My scans suggest that there is another effect of this," Mr. Lestraad said quietly. "One that may actually be beneficial."

"I can't see much beneficial about this," I spat out, gesturing down at myself.

"Perhaps not," he responded sadly. "If I am correct, then becoming merged with your crest this way would also give you a super affinity for any crest spells." At my blank look, he explained, "You should be able to cast ANY crest spell. Any spell that requires having a crest should work for you now."

"I didn't think it was possible to change what spells you could use," Neil gasped in surprise.

"I didn't either," Mr. Lestraad said. "However, it appears that Simon's ultimate crest spell does just that."

This whole situation left me feeling completely stunned and confused. I had absolutely no idea of what to think or do. What did this mean for me? I couldn't be stuck like this for good... I couldn't. With that, I got up and numbly walked to the door, barely even hearing as Mr. Lestraad apologized again.

"I can't be stuck like this," I whispered, looking down at myself and gulping. "I can't..."

--------------------

I currently stood outside in one of the spell testing areas along with my friends. Not only were Winch, Angie, and Spooky with me but so were two other boys and an instructor. Our class had been broken down into smaller groups again so instructors could go over some magical defense lessons, but in spite of the interesting topic and the fact that we had Ms. Sheffield teaching it, I still had a hard time staying focused or paying attention.

I was still pretty shaken from the traumatic events that occurred yesterday. In fact, yesterday had probably been the worst day in my entire life. First there was that humiliating gynecology exam and then I was told that I was going to be stuck like this for the rest of my life. I had no idea how to deal with this.

One thing that I had noticed which was really uncomfortable was that the two other boys in our group were giving me the exact same kind of looks they were giving Ms. Sheffield. In fact, I'd seen a lot of boys in our class giving me those looks though they tried hiding it. Every one of them knew who I really was or at least who I'd been before my transformation but that didn't seem to stop it, though it did seem to make them nearly as embarrassed about this as I was though.

I watched as Ms. Sheffield demonstrated a spell to create magical armor, a level 2 spell that could protect from some physical damage. On her, it now looked as though she was wearing lightweight armor made of rose petals and thorns. It was interesting to watch and I was looking forward to trying that spell out myself, but I was still distracted.

My attention turned to Spooky who seemed to have joined my group of friends on a somewhat permanent basis. It had taken me a bit before I realized why she was hanging around so much now. She'd always thought of herself as being something of an outcast, of being outside the normal group. Since my transformation, I had become the ultimate outcast since I wasn't even the same species anymore. I figured that she now felt we had something in common.

I was a little disappointed to discover that I couldn't cast this armor spell though the only one of my friends who could was Spooky. As soon as she completed the spell, there was a swirl of shadows around her and when it cleared, she was now wearing a black dress with a wide brimmed witch hat. There was a buckle on the hat that looked like a jack-o-lantern and a belt buckle that also looked like one.

"Wicked," Spooky exclaimed as she showed off her new wardrobe, the manifestation of the actual armor.

"This will only last about fifteen minutes," Ms. Sheffield told her with a smile. "So if you ever need to use this to protect yourself, you'll need to remember that." Then she turned to the rest of us and said, "Don't feel discouraged. There are several other defensive and armor spells out there which may work for you."

"Glad that one worked for you," I told Spooky, careful not to show that I was a little jealous. It would have been nice having something to help protect me, especially since I was smaller and weaker than before.

"That's it for now," Ms. Sheffield told us as she let us all go. "Everyone will need to meet up in the outside bleachers in two hours."

"Great," I muttered, "I've got to piss like a race horse..." Unfortunately, doing that as a girl was a little more awkward than it used to be, especially since I have to use the girls restroom. I was still getting glares from some girls when I did that though it was still less awkward than using the guys.

"I was thinking of hitting the library to look for new spells," Winch said, looking to see if any of us would join him.

But just then, Ms. Sheffield said, "Argent...Jon...can I have a word for a moment?"

I was a little startled at that but nodded and stayed behind while my friends started to leave. "Yes?" I asked cautiously, wondering if maybe she'd found some other spell she wanted to try on me. Of course, from what Mr. Lestraad had said, just about any spell would be useless. And after all the failed attempts, I was inclined to believe him.

"You looked pretty distracted during the lesson," Ms. Sheffield told me with a gentle smile and then gave me a sympathetic look. "I heard about your situation and I'm sorry. I know this must be very difficult for you."

"Yeah," I responded with a nod, not sure what else I could say. In fact, saying 'very difficult' was still something of an understatement, but what would be accurate when your very body and self identity were completely taken away from you.

"I know this may be hard for you to believe right now," she said, putting a hand on my shoulder, "but being a woman isn't the end of the world. I can't imagine what this is like for you and know that it certainly won't be easy to adjust...but it could be even worse." Then she smiled a little more and teased, "Try to give being a woman a try. Who knows, you may find it's not so bad."

"Um...okay," I responded as she gave me a nod and left.

I shook my head, realizing that this was the most attention Ms. Sheffield had ever given me as an individual. I couldn't resist smiling faintly as I realized that for once, all the other guys would be jealous. Then I had to remind myself that they weren't the 'other' guys anymore. Whether I liked it or not, I was no longer one of them. Still, it was difficult to actually think of myself as a girl either.

I was a little surprised to find that my friends had all waited for me, though at the same time, I hadn't been joking when I'd said I needed to go to the bathroom. We all went into the main building in a group and I couldn't help but shaking my head, thinking of the old stereotype about women needing an entourage to go to the bathroom.

We were just about to go inside when I noticed that a car had pulled up in the driveway and two people were climbing out, a man and a woman. I stared at them for a moment with my heart suddenly jumping into my throat.

"Oh shit," I blurted out, taking an automatic step backwards.

"What's wrong?" Angie asked, looking around and then seeing the people I was staring at.

"My mom's here," I whispered, suddenly feeling absolutely terrified. I couldn't let her see me...not like this. The very idea sent a surge of dread through me.

"That's your mom?" Spooky asked. Then she grinned and added, "She doesn't look so tough. I bet we could take her no problem."

I laughed at that. "Yeah, you probably could," I admitted, feeling just a little better but still no more eager to let her see me like this.

"And that's your dad with her?" Winch asked, giving me a curious look.

"No," I responded with a shake of my head. "I haven't seen my dad since they got divorced when I was four. That's my uncle Dave. He probably came because he's a magir too."

Angie nodded at that then asked, "So, what's he do?"

I looked at her, realizing that they were trying to distract me and being thankful for it. "He's a consultant with the police," I answered after a moment.

All three of them nodded in understanding when I'd said he was a 'consultant'. When most companies hired a magir for their magic, it was under the job title of consultant. That effectively left their duties a little flexible and kept them insulated from some of the normal rules of the companies and their unions. It wasn't uncommon for magir to actually work as freelance consultants or to consult for several different companies...though they were usually contractually obliged not to work for any rivals.

"He has this spell that lets him see the last ten minutes of what someone sees before they die," I explained. "He helps them solve murders... I mean, it's inadmissible in court but he can at least tell the detectives who to start investigating and where they should look for evidence."

"Very cool," Spooky exclaimed, grinning with a gleam in her eye that made me think she'd be asking uncle Dave if she could copy the spell from him. "It would be fucking awesome to see the last bit of Elvis' life."

"It doesn't work like that," I pointed out. "The longer they've been dead the less he can make out. It only really works for about two weeks back."

"Too bad," Winch mused. "That could have been really interesting..." Then he grinned, "It could still be kind of interesting though."

"And creepy," Angie said with a grimace. "I'll stick with the living thanks."

I just frowned and watched mom and my uncle Dave walk past without a glimmer of recognition in their eyes. I felt relieved at that yet hurt at the same time. I gulped, realizing that I'd have to go in and talk to them or one of the instructors would come looking for me soon. I was more than a little tempted to just go and hide out somewhere but I knew it would only delay the inevitable.

"Damn," I muttered, looking at my friends and telling them, "I've got to go..."

I left my friends and went in by myself, stopping by the bathroom not only to relieve my still present need but also to give me just a couple more minutes before I had to face my mom. I wasn't too worried about uncle Dave. Sure, it would be awkward but not nearly as much so. My mom had initially been against me coming here in the first place and it had been uncle Dave who'd talked her into allowing it.

When I was leaving the bathroom a few minutes later and trying to gather my courage for the encounter, I nearly ran into the janitor Mrs. Thompson. "Excuse me," I apologized but she just gave me a look of disapproval.

"Just look at you," she exclaimed with a scowl. "You used to be such a nice young man but now look at you..." She shook her head sadly and muttered, "This is what comes of messing with things you don't understand."

"Yeah, I shouldn't have read the test spell," I responded with a roll of my eyes. I'd been getting a little tired of having everyone remind me of that mistake...especially when I got a reminder each time I looked in the mirror.

"That isn't what I meant," Mrs. Thompson told me with a glare. "This just proves how dangerous magic is. You should quit while you still can and try to live as normal a life as you can."

"I'll think about it," I said, shaking my head as I hurried on my way. I couldn't help but wondering why she was so upset. After all, it wasn't like she was the one who'd been turned into a faerie.

Just a minute later, I was outside one of the offices hearing my mom's voice yelling at someone. I gulped and stepped into the doorway, seeing that mom was in there with uncle Dave, Neil, and Mrs. Welch. It looked like mom had been in the middle of going off on the instructors.

"I was just about to send someone for you," Mrs. Welch said when she saw me standing there.

I gulped and then quietly said, "Um...hi mom."

Mom stared at her with her mouth literally dropping open. Uncle Dave was a little better, probably due to the fact that he was a magir and much more used to the strange things that magic can do, but even he looked a bit surprised.

"Jon?" Mom exclaimed, looking more than little skeptical. I nodded self-consciously, wishing that I could curl up and die...or at least turn as invisible as my wings. "What did they do to you?"

"I...I kind of did it to myself," I admitted shamefully, unable to meet her eyes. "I tried a spell I shouldn't have."

Mom stared at me for a moment with an expression of shock and horror and then abruptly turned to Neil and Mrs. Welch, angrily demanding, "How could you let this happen to him?" Then she snapped at uncle Dave, exclaiming, "I knew I never should have let him come here..."

"We've already called in an expert," Mrs. Welch told my mom in what was obviously meant to be a calm and soothing voice. "Mr. Lestraad examined Jon yesterday and the results are not good..."

Neil and Mrs. Welch explained what Mr. Lestraad had discovered during my testing but it was obvious that my mom didn't really understand much other than that it was permanent. Uncle Dave on the other hand was staring at me with a look of surprise.

"That spell actually changed which spells he can do?" uncle Dave gasped. "That's unheard of. I didn't think it was even possible."

"We didn't either," Neil told him with a shake of his head. "Apparently, this is a very unique spell." He shook his head again and added, "It effectively changed his user profile and permissions on the computer that runs reality."

"Unbelievable," uncle Dave said, giving me a curious look.

"You and your computer metaphors," Mrs. Welch told Neil with a faint smile.

Mom glared at uncle Dave while I stood back, feeling extremely self-conscious and trying not to be noticed. Mom was really getting worked up and I knew better than to get in her way when she was like this.

Then Mom suddenly exclaimed, "I'm taking Jon home right now. I never should have let you mess with something as dangerous as magic."

"No," I exclaimed in horror. "If I go now, I won't be able to get my license..."

"Good," Mom responded. "It's too dangerous for you to mess with..."

"Just about anything can be dangerous," uncle Dave pointed out to my mom with a grim expression. "Cooks can get burned or cut. Electricians can get electrocuted. And this is the perfect place to teach him how to handle magic safely."

Mom glared at uncle Dave and snapped, "And they let this happen right in front of them. There is no way they should be trusted with kids..."

"So," I said, glaring at mom as I asked, "When are you going to be signing custody of me over to dad?"

"What?" she blinked in surprise and confusion, some of her anger dispersed by this unexpected question.

"I mean, I broke my arm right in front of you when I was eight," I reminded her. "And I stepped on that rusty nail last year... By your own logic, you can't be trusted to watch me either."

Uncle Dave nearly snickered at that but was able to control his expression. "We'll let you discuss this," Mrs. Welch said as she and Neil hurried out of the room to avoid being caught in this family disagreement.

I stood there and continued glaring at mom defiantly, one of the few times I'd ever stood up to her when she was like this. I've always loved fantasy stories and fairy tales, being fascinated by the wonder of magic. When I found out that I could do magic...that I could be a magir...it had been the best thing that ever happened to me. It had been like a dream come true. I wasn't about to let my mom just take that away from me just because she was being overprotective.

"As far as I'm concerned, you're done with this magic," my mom insisted firmly. "You're going to go back home and live a normal life with a normal job." She glared at uncle Dave.

"Do I look like I can be normal anymore?" I demanded angrily, spreading my wings and watching her gasp in surprise. "I don't think so."

"Just calm down and we can talk about this," uncle Dave said, ever the voice of reason.

Our 'discussion' lasted for nearly an hour with mom and I both raising our voices a little too much. Uncle Davie remained the calm one and kept things from going too far. At first, he seemed to side with my mom about being responsible but I soon realized that he was actually taking my side and just getting her to listen to him. Before long, he started arguing my case even better than I could have.

"Jon already has magic," uncle Dave pointed out calmly. "He already knows enough to be dangerous. At least here there are people with experience to help him learn how to handle it safely so this kind of thing doesn't happen again." Then he added, "It's much safer having him taught here then trying to experiment on his own."

Mom glared at me at that, realizing that I wouldn't give up that easily. If I had to search the internet for every spell that someone posted and then practice in secret, that's exactly what I'd do.

Then uncle Dave pointed out, "These people have a lot of resources available. They have experienced people, a large library, and a lot of connections to experts. If anyone is able to find a way to change Jon back to normal, these are the ones..."

Eventually, we wore mom down and got her to agree that I could stay at the CHASM...for now. I was just thankful that I wouldn't have to give up my hopes of getting a class 3 magic license so I could actually practice it without supervision. Of course, it was contingent on my completing the remaining five and a half weeks at the school without any other incidents.

Once everything was settled, uncle Dave pulled me aside and told me, "Just be careful and don't give her any reason to change her mind."

"I won't," I promised him.

Uncle Dave nodded and then stared at me for a moment before shaking his head. "Sorry," he told me with a faint chuckle. "It's just hard believing you're you..."

"Tell me about it," I muttered. "You have no idea how weird this is."

"No, I don't," he agreed sadly. Then he pulled out his wallet and removed several hundred dollars which he handed me. "This is for new clothes and other things you might need." He glanced back towards my mom and added. "I don't think she's in the mood to think of the practical things at the moment."

"Thanks," I told him with a grin.

It would be nice to wear something other than that the charity the girls...or the 'other' girls had given me. It was going to be very difficult to get used to thinking of myself as one of them. I was tempted to hug him but thought that might be a little too weird for both of us.

Then once uncle Dave was through with me, it was mom's turn to pull me aside. "I've always wanted a daughter," she told me awkwardly, giving me a careful looking over. "Just not like this."

"I think I'd prefer having a sister too," I responded wryly.

Mom stared at me for several very long seconds before abruptly announcing, "You're very lovely."

I winced at that, feeling even more uncomfortable. "Please don't say that," I told her even though I knew it was true. In fact, that was why it bothered me.

"When someone gives you a compliment," mom admonished me, "you're supposed to say thank you."

"Would you say thank you if someone said you were looking very masculine?" I asked her defiantly.

For a brief moment, she just stared at me with a scowl. "Being turned into a girl has made you very cheeky," she finally said. "I think it kind of suits you."

I blinked in surprise at that but didn't know what to say. I shrugged and muttered, "Who uses the word cheeky anyway?"

"Watch it mister...miss," mom said with a faint look of amusement. Then she shook her head and sighed. "I told you that spending all your time reading those fantasy books couldn't be good for you..."

I rolled my eyes, having heard that quite a few times before. Of course, considering how I now looked she might actually have a point. However, I know that the truth was, even if I'd known that reading too many fantasy novels might have caused me to somehow turn into a faerie girl, I probably would have kept reading them anyway.

"I know we've had this talk before," mom said, looking a little uncomfortable as she looked me body over again, "But things have changed and I think there's more you need to know..."

I was absolutely horrified as mom launched into her revised lecture on 'the birds and the bees' which was aimed towards my new gender. However, that was nothing compared to her warning me about the risks of having unprotected sex. By the time our talk was done, my cheeks were burning and I'd never felt so mortified in my life.

Fortunately, mom did give me a credit card so I could by new clothes and things for myself. I guess uncle Dave had underestimated her a little, though I certainly didn't mention the money he'd already given me.

Once everything was settled, mom and uncle Dave said their good-byes and left, much to my relief. They were family but dealing with them at the moment was very awkward, especially after my mom giving me 'the talk' again.

I started back to my room, thinking that I needed a little more time by myself to think things through. But before I'd gotten there, I found Angie and Spooky standing in the hall, apparently talking about which boys they thought were cute from what little I overheard.

"What's wrong?" Angie asked, looking concerned as she saw me. "Was your mom really that bad?"

Spooky just grinned and teased, "You look like you just got done getting the talk."

I froze and stared at her in surprise and demanded, "How the hell do you do that?"

"What?" Spooky asked, looking surprised herself and then giving me a more intense look before exclaiming, "Holy shit." Then she and Angie shared a look before they both burst out laughing.

I just shook my head and muttered, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" Then I glared at Angie who looked like she was about to say something and snapped, "Don't answer."

-----------------

It was two days after uncle Dave and my mom left and I was finally getting the chance to use the money that they'd given me. The instructors had given the students a field trip, taking us into town so we could get away from the school for awhile. Not surprisingly, Angie and Spooky had insisted we come to the mall for a shopping trip.

Normally, I would have hated the idea of being dragged through clothing stores like this, but the truth was, I was actually looking forward to getting clothes that fit my new body a little more comfortably not to mention actually being able to choose them myself. Of course, I didn't mention that to them and continued protesting and complaining about this nearly as much as Winch who'd been dragged along as well.

"What am I here for anyway?" Winch demanded impatiently. "I don't need any new clothes."

"No, but we need someone to carry our bags," Angie responded with a grin.

I had to resist the urge to grin along with her, knowing that in other circumstances I'd be expected to do all the hauling. I definitely felt sympathy for Winch but not enough to volunteer to carry Angie and Spooky's things as well as my own.

So far, my shopping trip had consisted of buying a few feminine hygiene and other things Angie and Spooky had insisted a girl would need as well as some casual jeans and T-shirts. I was already wearing one of the shirts I'd bought, one that was too girly for me to have worn before but which I could now get away with. It was just a green t-shirt but it had a picture of a faerie on the front which had a certain resemblance to myself. I had to admit, I liked it and it did suit me a great deal.

As far as I was concerned I had most of the important things already and was half through with my shopping. However, Angie and Spooky both had other ideas and I could actually hear Winch groan along with me when they started to list off the other shops we had to hit.

"But this might still wear off," I pointed out, not really believing it myself. Mr. Lestraad had made it pretty clear that this was permanent and irreversible but I could still hope.

"But what if it doesn't?" Angie asked. Then she abruptly turned to Winch and said, "You're dismissed for now." She gave the familiar 'shoo' gesture with her hands as she added, "I think we need some girl time with our new initiate."

"You make it sound like I'm pledging a sorority," I muttered in response, only to earn a tongue getting stuck out at me.

"Sorry to leave you like this," Winch told me with a sympathetic look before he hurried off, taking the chance to escape.

"Now you're ours," Spooky exclaimed with a tone of mock menace. "All ours..."

I just rolled my eyes and responded, "You two are enjoying this far too much."

As I stood there, I looked around, noticing that a lot of people in the mall around us were staring at me. Of course, it was pretty easy to understand why. My wings were currently invisible and my pointed ears were hidden by my hair but I still had green hair, skin that sparkled a little, and a killer body with DD breasts. I'd be staring too if I saw someone who looked like I did.

Unfortunately, understanding why people were staring at me didn't make it any more comfortable, especially with the way guys were looking at me, some old enough to be my dad. I've even seen Winch looking at me like that a couple times, a fact which was especially awkward for me.

Just then, Angie distracted me from my thoughts by exclaiming, "Hey Jen."

I blinked in surprise and asked, "What did you call me?"

"Jen," Angie responded with a smile. "You do need a new name and Jen is pretty close to your old one."

"But," I started to protest, a little offended that she'd take it on her own to give me a new name.

"She has a point," Spooky pointed out.

I glared at Spooky, knowing I couldn't very well complain about someone else giving me a new name without my permission to her. After all, I barely even remembered that her real name was Rebecca since all the students had been calling her nothing but Spooky since her second day. And as much as I didn't like to admit it, I already knew that Angie had a point. I did need a new name that was more suitable for my new body. But that wasn't the point.

Before I could protest any more, Spooky grabbed my arm and started pulling me towards our next destination, saying, "Come on Jen, you need new shoes..."

A couple minutes later we were in a shoe store though both Angie and Spooky were more interested in shopping for me than for themselves, though I did notice the way Spooky kept looking at a pair of knee high boots. I quickly found a pair of sneakers which fit comfortably and didn't look bad.

"You'll need more than that," Angie told me. "Every girl at least needs one pair of heels..."

"I don't need heels," I protested. "This is all I need."

"Spoken like a guy," Spooky responded with a look of mock shame. "We'll have to change that."

"In spite of how I look," I reminded them, "I'm still all guy inside."

"Obviously," Angie said with rolled eyes.

I wasn't sure how but by the time we left, I'd been talked into buying a pair high heels to go with my sneakers. They weren't stilettos or anything but they were still high heels.

After the shoe store, they pulled me into another store to pick up some lingerie and under things. I'd been making due for the past few days with a borrowed bra that was way too tight but which I'd been told I HAD to wear. My breasts were pretty firm and didn't seem to need the support, however, the bra did keep them from jiggling around too much when I moved around. I thought it might be nice having one that fit me a little better though I'd never admit it.

"Oh no," Angie exclaimed when I was looking at a pair of plain panties, feeling very self-conscious in the process. "No granny panties.

"Every girl has to have at least one sexy pair," Spooky told me. "It's a rule...like having to have at least one pair of heels."

"And at least one nice dress," Angie pointed out with a wicked grin.

"Oh no," I protested. "Mom would kill me if I bought too much on her credit card."

"She'll understand," Angie told me. "Besides, didn't your uncle give you some money too?"

When we left the shop with the lingerie, I had some plain lingerie and panties along with one 'sexy' pair that my friends had insisted on. After that, they talked me into a little black dress at another shop as well.

"Mom is gonna kill me," I muttered, hoping that she didn't look too closely at the heels and dress. Even if she didn't mind, I'd be pretty embarrassed.

"Next we need to go get you a makeover," Angie told me with an almost evil grin. "I can't wait to see you with makeup on..."

"It wouldn't do much good," Spooky disagreed, giving me a careful look. "Her natural coloring is already like having permanent makeup... I mean, it even looks like she has eye shadow and green lipstick."

I blushed at that and told them, "Good. We can skip the makeup..."

"I don't know," Spooky responded after a moment, giving me another look. "Maybe you should get something to cover up your natural coloring... I mean, you might want to cover up that glitter look on your skin sometime."

"Great," I muttered with a roll of my eyes. "You found the one thing that would make me even consider the makeup..."

"You should get your hair done too," Angie said thoughtfully. "It's so long and silky..." She gave me a look of envy. "But I guess you don't really need it right now."

"We don't have the time," Spooky reluctantly agreed. Then she brightened up and added, "But there is something else you need...jewelry. Every girl has to have jewelry."

With that, Angie and Spooky pulled me into the jewelry store to look at some pieces. Mostly they looked and talked about what they liked while I stood back and shook my head. For a girl who was mostly goth, Spooky was really coming off as pretty girly today.

After a minute, Angie exclaimed, "Hey Jen, look at this." She pointed into the cabinet and added, "This one is perfect for you."

I looked at what she was pointing at and saw a small and simple emerald pendant that was set on a gold chain. It was pretty nice and I had to admit that the emerald almost matched my eyes.

"You've got to get that," Angie urged me excitedly. "That would look perfect on you."

"My mom would kill me if I bought it on her card," I pointed out, not mentioning that I'd die of embarrassment if she found out.

"But your uncle gave you cash," Angie said with a smirk.

It took a couple more minutes but Angie and Spooky convinced me to buy the pendant. It cost me more than I would have liked but I reminded myself that uncle Dave had given me the money to buy things I'd need and my friends insisted that this was something I'd need.

As soon as we left the jewelry store, Angie and Spooky insisted I put the pendant on. I did, wishing I had a mirror to see how I looked but they both said it looked perfect on me. I couldn't help but feeling kind of pleased by that though I was too self-conscious to admit it.

We finally caught back up with Winch who was unceremoniously handed nearly all of our bags. I might be a girl now but I still had too much pride to for that so took all my things back from him, much to Winch's relief and Angie's amusement.

"Don't worry," Spooky told Winch with a deceptively sweet smile. "You can still carry my bag."

"You sure you want to carry those Jen?" Angie asked, pointing at my bags. "I'm sure Winch wouldn't mind.

"Jen?" Winch asked, giving me a curious look.

"Her new name," Spooky told him with a smug look.

Winch gave me a steady look for a moment before shrugging. "I guess it suits you."

Right then, I noticed a girl who was about twelve years old standing there and staring at me from a short distance away. When I looked back, she blushed and then abruptly asked, "Are you a vampire?"

I was so surprised I nearly choked at that. "What?" I gasped.

"Are you a vampire?" the girl asked again, looking almost excited. "You sparkle like a vampire..."

"Vampires don't sparkle," Spooky snapped at the girl, looking almost offended. "I hate those damn movies... Vampires DO NOT SPARKLE!" The girl gulped nervously and ran off while Angie, Winch, and I all just stood there laughing.

A few minutes later, we met up with Theresa and Mr. Rawlins who were acting as chaperones for all the students who'd come to the mall and who were also the ones who'd be driving us back. We waited with them for just a short time while the other students returned as well. Before long, we were heading back to the CHASM.

--------------------

I was sitting down at the desk in my room and feeling a little tired from my shopping trip earlier today, more emotionally tired than physically. Since I'd spent all day running around the mall with my friends, I thought that it was time that I actually try getting some work done before going to bed.

On the desk in front of me were my grimoire and several sheets of paper that had some spells listed on them. I glanced nervously towards my door then back at three of the sheets of paper. The instructors had confiscated the book of test spells that had been responsible for my transformation but they'd never thought to take the sheets of paper that my friends and I had copied the spells onto so we could test them. I currently had every spell from that test book right in front of me, including the one that had actually changed me.

"This one didn't work for me before," I said, looking at one spell which I had previously tested before my transformation. However, it was a crest spell so according to Mr. Lestraad, it should now work for me. I'd been pretty interested when he'd told me that I should be able to cast any crest spell but I've been a little too distracted to really test it out. "It should work for me now...in theory."

About a third of the spells in the test book were for crest spells so I was eager to try all of them. In fact, in spite of what had already happened to me, I fully intended to continue trying all the other spells too...all except for the last couple which had never been verified to work. Those ones I was going to keep away from but all the others which had been verified and which had descriptions of what they did were fair game.

"Several new spells," I mused, not sure if I should write the crest spells into my grimoire until I'd actually used them myself or not. After a little consideration, I decided to hold back on those since I was still a little hesitant to believe Mr. Lestraad's claims about my being able to cast any crest spell. I'd want to do a little more testing myself first.

After a few minutes, I stood up and looked at the bags of clothing that were currently sitting on my bed, waiting to be put away. I blushed a little as I considered some of what I'd bought, thinking that I'd really wasted my money. There was absolutely no way that I'd really wear any of the sexy lingerie, the high heels, or the dress.

"I do have the body for it," I thought aloud, feeling a strange mixture of embarrassment and pride at that. If I was going to be stuck as a girl, at least I was a total babe.

With that, I went and looked at myself in the mirror, something that I'd been doing quite a bit since my transformation. I was getting a little more used to seeing this sexy faerie girl staring back at me though it was still a bit disconcerting. I wasn't sure if I'd ever really get used to it enough to think of that as 'me'.

"Not bad," I mused, posing a little and enjoying the sight. "Not bad at all."

Then I turned my attention back to the pile of clothes and smiled faintly, suddenly feeling a bit daring. After all, it wouldn't hurt to try it all on in the privacy of my own room. It wasn't like Angie and Spooky could tease me about it like they'd done at the mall. In fact, it might even be kind of fun.

Once I'd made my decision, I nearly tore into my bags, pulling out everything that I'd bought earlier today. Then I got undressed and began to put on my new clothes, starting with a pair of lacy black panties and a matching bra.

"I look like some kind of Victoria Secret model," I joked as I admired my reflection in the mirror.

Then I put on the dress, a sleek black thing with a little green on the front and which dipped down low enough in front to reveal a bit of cleavage without being too daring. It went all the way down to my knees and was split on the side so I could move a little more easily.

The final thing I needed to put on were the black high heels. These were two inches and weren't nearly as unstable as stilettos so I could probably make do with these ones. In fact, Spooky had called them training heels though I got the impression from Angie that in spite of her big talk, she'd never really worn heels either.

"Well, I know they fit in the store," I muttered, slipping on the shoes and standing up. I was a bit wobbly but found that if I went slow and was careful about how I stepped, I was able to walk around my room without much trouble. "Kind of uncomfortable though."

I went and looked myself over in the mirror again, having to admit that it did all look good on me. The pendant which I was still wearing looked great on me as well and seemed to add the final touch. There was no doubt that I looked quite hot like this, a fact which left me feeling just a little confused about who I was becoming.

"Very sexy," I said, deciding that there was one thing missing.

A moment later, I spread my wings, revealing them in all their radiant glory. They always seemed to glow a tiny bit when they were out so having them in full view really added to my exotic beauty.

"So this is Jen," I mused as I stared at my reflection.

Angie and Spooky had been using that name all through the shopping trip and even after we got back. In fact, Winch and several other students had started calling me by that name as well so it appeared that whether I liked it or not it actually was becoming my new name.

"Hi, I'm Jen," I introduced myself to the mirror, trying it out. It was the first time I'd actually used that name for myself. "I'm Jennifer Argent." Strangely, I kind of liked the sound of it. After all, if I was going to be stuck with a girl name now I could definitely think of worse ones. "Okay, I guess I really am Jen now."

Just then, there was knock from my door. I froze and stared at the door for a moment and then looked down at myself and blushed. I didn't want to answer the door like this or let anyone else see me all dressed up. Then again, it was probably Angie or Spooky at the door and they'd actually get a kick out of it. In fact, it might even be a little fun to surprise them by showing them how this all looked on me.

When I opened the door, it wasn't Angie or Spooky standing there but Winch. His eyes immediately went wide and he stared at me with a look of surprise. I blushed in embarrassment at having been caught by him like this but I tried hard not to show it.

"Hey Winch," I greeted him with a nervous smile.

"Wow," he said, still staring at me. "You look...wow."

"Don't start on me," I told him with a blush, not in the mood to be teased about this. However, one look in his face and I could tell he was serious which was even worse in a way. "So, what's up?"

Winch blushed at that and I suddenly realized that my question could have been understood another way. I blushed even deeper and then glared at him as if it was all his fault. That might not be fair but it did make me feel better.

"I was planning on going to the library to look for some new spells," Winch told me after an uncomfortable minute. "I was wondering if you wanted to come along."

"Sure," I responded, pausing to look down at myself again and realizing that I'd have to go out like this unless he waited for me to change clothes again. Then I sighed, knowing that it was too late for that. If I insisted on changing I'd just come off as even more girly than if I just toughed it out and pretended not to care. I grabbed my grimoire from the desk and said, "Okay...let's go.'

I was slow and a bit unsteady as we walked to the library, a fact that both amused and annoyed Winch at the same time. I could understand his annoyance since it was already dark out and we had less than an hour until the library was locked up for the night. Fortunately, Winch didn't say anything about this.

Winch abruptly stopped and grabbed my arm. "Jen," he started awkwardly.

"Yeah," I responded, giving him a curious look and wondering why he was suddenly looking so nervous.

"I was wondering if maybe," Winch said, looking away self-consciously as he added, "If maybe you'd want to go out with me?"

I nearly choked at that, gasping in shock and taking a step back. "Are you kidding?" I demanded.

"Sorry," Winch apologized. "I know it's a silly idea..."

"You think?" I snapped, realizing that I'd just hurt his feelings.

I remembered how hard it was asking a girl out and being afraid she'd turn you down. I'd always been afraid that some girl would be a total bitch about it and use it as an opportunity to insult me. It was a bit of a shock to realize that in one moment I'd just become that bitch.

"Look Winch," I told him, grabbing his arm as he started to walk away. "I know I look like a chick but I'm still a guy inside." I remembered how I was dressed at the moment and winced. "I mean, I'm not into guys. I still like girls."

"Oh," Winch responded, obviously embarrassed. He couldn't look me in the eyes as he added, "With you being dressed like that I thought..."

I blushed and tried to think of how to explain things to him. "Look," I said carefully, feeling embarrassed as I explained, "If you could look at one of those chicks from a magazine anytime you wanted...staring at her without getting slapped...wouldn't you do it?"

"I guess," he admitted reluctantly.

Then I forced a grin as I added, "Well, now I can."

Winch stared at me for a moment and then started laughing though it was still a bit weak. Then he gave me a strange look before saying, "Don't think you're gonna get Angie or Spooky. They're straight..."

"I know," I responded with a sigh. I had kind of hoped that Spooky had become interested in me because of my sex change, that she might secretly be a lesbian who had a crush on me. However, it hadn't taken me long to realize that wasn't really the case. "They're just friends...just like you."

We both just stood there for a moment in awkward silence, thinking about how strange the situation was. I'd known Winch had been staring at me every now and then but I'd never thought he'd forget about my having been a guy like that.

Suddenly, Winch exclaimed, "Is that smoke?" He pointed to the door of the library which had smoke coming out of it.

"FIRE!" I yelled as loud as I could, rushing towards the library door as fast as my shoes would let me. I saw Ms. Sheffield a short distance away and called to her, "There's a fire in the library!"

Ms. Sheffield reached the library door before I could and went inside. I hesitated only a moment before going inside as well, gasping when I saw a fire spreading over one of the book shelves. However, what really shocked me was the sight of the janitor Mrs. Thompson standing there with a can of gas in her hand which she was starting to pour on another shelf.

"What are you doing?" Ms. Sheffield demanded with a mixture of anger and horror.

"I'm destroying these filthy things," Mrs. Thompson exclaimed. "It's for the good of these kids..."

Ms. Sheffield gasped, then stared at the fire, calling out a spell as she did so. There was a sudden flurry of flower petals swirling through the air and the fire completely went out. Once the fire was gone, the flower petals started to fade away and vanish.

"What the hell are you doing?" Ms. Sheffield demanded again, this time looking pissed off. I'd never seen her angry before since she was always calm and ladylike.

"I'm saving those poor kids," Mrs. Thompson responded with a grim expression. She stared at me and said, "If I would have done this earlier that boy never would have been turned into a freak."

"Who are you calling a freak?" I spat out angrily. She'd hit a nerve with that.

"Magic is dangerous and unnatural," Mrs. Thompson said with a look of severe determination in her eyes, almost of obsession. "It should be completely illegal. Kids need to learn science, not that supernatural filth."

"You sound like those protesters," Winch exclaimed with a gasp.

"I am one of them," Mrs. Thompson responded proudly.

Then Mrs. Thompson suddenly raised a gun that I hadn't seen and fired a shot, right at Ms. Sheffield. Ms. Sheffield was thrown back with a loud scream as blood exploded from her shoulder.

"Ms. Sheffield," I exclaimed in horror.

"Oh shit," Winch blurted out, jumping for cover.

I immediately joined him, wincing as Mrs. Thompson fired another shot though she didn't hit anyone. I tried thinking of what I could do but my mind came up blank. Then I had an idea and started flipping through my grimoire for a spell I could use.

"Found one," I muttered, feeling my heart race in fear.

I took a deep breath and then cast the spell, holding my hand out and suddenly firing a ball of golden energy from my hand. It flew across the room and hit Mrs. Thompson, sending her flying back where she slammed into one of the book shelves, dropping her gun in the process.

I knew that I needed to distract Mrs. Thompson so I flipped to the right page and cast another spell. Suddenly the air between us was filled with a swarm of faeries that completely obscured the view.

"Go get help," I told Winch, looking at Ms. Sheffield on the floor. I couldn't leave her with this crazy woman.

"Come on," Winch called to me as he ran out the door.

The cloud of faeries quickly faded away and I realized that during the distraction, Mrs. Thompson had been able to retrieve her gun. I winced, realizing that I should have done something else while she couldn't see me.

But just then, Ms. Sheffield began reciting a spell even as she grimaced in pain. The instant she was finished, flowering vines appeared around Mrs. Thompson, holding her tightly in place. This was the same spell we'd been shown during our first lecture so I knew that Mrs. Thompson would be helpless for a couple minutes...hopefully long enough for help to arrive.

Ms. Sheffield," I exclaimed, rushing to my instructor's side.

"Get out of here," Ms. Sheffield whispered, wincing as she did so. "Go get help..."

I just stared at the blood which covered her entire shirt and was pooling all over the floor. I was horrified at the sight, suddenly afraid that she'd die before an ambulance could arrive and get her to the hospital. I couldn't let her die in front of me like this. I had to do something.

Then I suddenly remembered one of the spells that I'd seen in the test book, one of the ones that I hadn't even tried yet. I scrambled through my grimoire to where I had the pages of test book spells tucked safely within. I tried to quickly find the right spell and let out a sigh of relief when I found it.

"It's a crest spell," I told Ms. Sheffield nervously. "I should be able to do it..."

I read the spell, being so nervous that I got the pronunciation wrong. I tried it again, this time trying to be more careful. As soon as I finished the spell I could feel the magic suddenly build and release.

A moment later, my crest faerie appeared in the air with a swirl of green and gold energy floating around her almost like a ribbon. She immediately flew straight down to Ms. Sheffield's shoulder and vanished in a flash of light.

"My shoulder," Ms. Sheffield exclaimed, sitting up and feeing her shoulder with a look of surprise. She pulled her blood soaked shirt back and stared at where she'd been shot but there was no sign of injury. "You healed it..."

Just then, two instructors came charging through the library door, obviously ready for a fight. Mr. Rawlins was wearing a suit of metal armor which I assumed was really a shield spell while Neil was holding a ball of glowing light in his hand. They both stopped and looked around in surprise.

"Elzebeth," Neil exclaimed as he rushed to Ms. Sheffield's side. "You were shot..."

"I'm fine now," Ms. Sheffield told him, turning to stare at me. "She used a healing spell on me...a powerful one."

Neil gave me a curious look and asked, "Where'd you find that?"

I hesitated a moment before answering honestly. "In the book of test spells."

"She saved my life," Ms. Sheffield told Neil. "She kept that bitch from finishing me off and then took care of my shoulder."

I looked over at Mrs. Thompson who was furious though still held firm. Mr. Rawlins had walked over to her and removed the gun from her hand. Then when the spell wore off and freed her, he immediately grabbed her to make sure she couldn't get away.

"We've already had someone call the police," Mr. Rawlins said, giving Mrs. Thompson a dirty look.

"The fire department should be here too," Neil added, looking at the book shelf where all the damage had occurred. Most of those books had been lost in the fire but none of the other book shelves had been touched.

"Very good job Ms. Argent," Ms. Sheffield told me with a smile. I was so happy to be complimented by her that I didn't even care that she'd called me 'Ms'.

--------------------

I sat cross legged on the floor of the library with a bunch of burned books laid out around me. Fortunately, the damage to the library hadn't been too bad and Ms. Sheffield had been able to put the fire out before it spread to the actual physical structure. As it was, the wall and ceiling were charred a bit but most of the damage had been contained to the book shelf and all the books on it. I was one of the people who'd volunteered to go through the burned grimoires and see which ones could still be salvaged. It was pretty obvious that there weren't many of those.

"I can't believe Mrs. Thompson did all this," Angie said from beside me. She was actually the only person besides myself who'd volunteered to help Theresa go through this mess. "I mean...the janitor?"

"Yeah," I agreed. "But you should have seen her. She looked pretty crazy."

It had been two days since Mrs. Thompson had flipped out, setting fire to the library and shooting Ms. Sheffield. Afterwards, the police reported that she was actually part of some fringe group of atheist extremists, a group that was determined to wipe out the acceptance of magic. They wanted to prevent any kind of magic or the supernatural from being taught and insisted that society needed to turn exclusively to science and reason in order to advance. And according to the police, Mrs. Thompson had come to work at the CHASM for the sole purpose of being a spy for those people.

I shook my head with a sigh and picked up the next book in my pile. The cover was already burned through and most of the pages were ash. This had probably been one of the books she'd actually gotten gas on because it was completely toast. I tossed it into the pile of books to be thrown away.

"Are you two all right here by yourselves for a few minutes?" Theresa asked Angie and me. "I was going to go and get us some snacks."

"No, we've never been in the library all by ourselves before," Angie responded sarcastically. "I don't know what we'll do without supervision."

"Smart-ass," Theresa said with a look of amusement.

"Well, I'd rather be a smart-ass than a dumb-ass," Angie told her with a broad grin.

Theresa joked, "I don't know why I put up with you. I could get any of the other students to help with this..."

"But none of them have my sparkling personality or her wings," Angie said, sticking her tongue out as Theresa who left to get the snacks.

"Thanks for helping with this," I told Angie as I tossed another book. After being here when Mrs. Thompson had burned the books, I sort of felt like I had to help get things cleaned up so had volunteered. Angie had joined me, more to keep me company than anything else.

"No problem," Angie said, tossing a book into the garbage pile and then picking up another one. "Hey, this one doesn't look burned at all." She held the grimoire up for me to see and she was right. It didn't look burned at all, though she did wipe some soot off the cover. She flipped through the book for a minute and then exclaimed, "No wonder...here's a spell to make things fireproof."

"Too bad they didn't use that on all these books," I responded with a shrug. I looked at the soot on the ceiling and wall and added, "I think they used something like that on the building though."

Then Angie suddenly exclaimed, "Holy shit..." When I gave her a questioning look, she responded, "You remember that guy who wrote those test spells...?"

"Yeah," I responded with a frown. "Simon Grinwell." There was no way I was going to forget his name since one of his spells had changed my body and life so drastically.

"Well, this is his grimoire," Angie said with a grin, holding the book open to the front page and pointing to the owner's name.

I snatched the grimoire from her and saw that it was not only Simon Grinwell's name but was also written in the same handwriting as the book of test spells. "Holy shit," I said, repeating her words from seconds earlier.

I flipped through the grimoire, taking note of the fact that there were probably three times more spells in this one than in most of the grimoires I'd looked through. Of course, that made sense since Simon Grinwell was a spellcrafter and would be able to find a lot of new spells that actually worked for him. I also noticed with some excitement that there were a number of crest spells in here, which was no real surprise since he specialized in crest spells. Those could definitely be useful for me.

After a moment, I closed the book and wiped more of the soot off the cover. Under the soot, it looked like it was in great shape. I grinned, knowing that I had to go through this grimoire a lot more carefully. I had to copy every one of these crest spells and try most of the others. However, I didn't want to risk just leaving this laying around the library where it could get lost...at least not yet.

"I'm going to borrow this one," I told Angie, slipping the book into a safe place where I could retrieve it and sneak it back to my room later on.

Theresa came back a short time later with a plate of cookies and a couple cans of soda. Neither Angie or I said a word about having found Simon Grinwell's grimoire. The truth was, she probably wouldn't have cared that we found it since it wasn't really any different than any of the other grimoires that were stored in the library, but it definitely had personal meaning for me as well as the promise of new spells.

Once we were done separating the books to throw out from the ones which could be salvaged, Angie and I were free to go. I left the library with the grimoire hidden in my jacket while Angie stayed behind for just long enough to distract Theresa and then she came and caught up with me.

We were barely away from the library when I heard the call of, "Hey, it's the faerie princess club..." I snapped around to see Nick walking towards us with a sneer on his face.

"Great," I muttered with a roll of my eyes. "The asshole is back."

Nick had been particularly insufferable for the last couple days, taking the fact that I'd been caught in a dress and heels as license to tease me even more. Fortunately, I didn't have to retaliate much since Angie had been taking it on herself to do that for me.

"Hey pencil dick," Angie yelled back. "Why don't you go bother someone who wants to see your ugly face...?"

"Angie," I warned her, about to remind her that I was more than capable of fighting my own battles. Ever since my transformation, even my friends seemed to think that I couldn't take care of myself, as if being turned into a faerie as well as a girl somehow made me delicate and in need of protection.

"Don't worry," Angie told me with a grin before I could say anything more. "I've got this Jen."

And with that, Angie went marching towards Nick, yelling out a steady stream of threats and insults. I stood back and watched for a minute, shaking my head slightly at her creative use of profanity. If nothing else, watching her defend my honor was always entertaining.

Since Nick was distracted and Angie looked like she neither needed nor wanted my help, I shrugged and then continued on my way back to my room. I figured I could drop off the grimoire and maybe catch up on a few chapters of that fantasy book I've been reading. Truthfully, I've been so busy with my friends and practicing real magic that it had been getting neglected.

When I reached my room, I didn't bother turning on the light. Instead, I carefully recited a new spell that I'd recently learned and a dozen small faerie made of glowing yellow light appeared. They quickly spread out until they circled the room, lighting the whole thing. This was my most powerful light spell, one that could light an entire room for several hours before it wore off. I had several other spells that were related to light as well and was beginning to wonder if maybe I had something of an affinity for light spells the way Angie was showing for water spells. I made a mental note to try finding a few more light spells so I could test that out.

I went to set Grinwell's grimoire on the desk when I noticed that there was already a small box sitting in the middle of the desk, one that I hadn't put there. I paused to stare at the box for a moment and then at the door. My door had definitely been locked but someone had gotten in her anyway.

"Like a locked door matters around here," I muttered, knowing that there were numerous spells that could get past a locked door in one way or another. However, the real question was why?

I opened the box and then stared at the contents in surprise. There was a pair of earrings, the kind that dangled just a little. Each one was gold and had a small emerald. Each one was also a perfect match for the pendant I'd bought at the mall and had been wearing since.

"What the hell?" I asked in confusion, reaching up to feel my pendant.

I took the earrings out and looked them over more closely, thinking that they definitely looked nice. However, they didn't do me much good since my ears weren't pierced and more importantly, I had absolutely no idea of who left them here or why. There were no notes or anything to even give me a clue.

Suddenly it dawned on me and I muttered, "Winch..."

Winch had been staring at me ever since my transformation, just like everyone else, but a couple days ago he'd actually tried hitting on me. I still felt uncomfortable when I thought about being hit on by a friend. He must be the one who'd left this. He'd even had the opportunity while Angie and I had been busy in the library.

"And I thought it was weird before," I said with a sigh.

I put the earrings back in the box then went in search of Winch. It didn't take me long to find him in one of the rec areas, though when I did, I was more than a little startled to see him making out with Spooky.

As soon as they noticed me, Winch pulled away and nervously exclaimed, "It's not what it looks like..."

However, Spooky gave me a defiant look as though daring to make something of it as she responded, "Yes it was."

"O...kay," I said carefully, not sure what to think of this. Winch and Spooky were almost complete opposites so I never even considered that the two of them might get together, but then again, they say opposites attract. "I just didn't realize you two..."

"It just kind of happened," Spooky said, looking just a little smug.

Winch gave me a nervous look, perhaps wondering if I'd get jealous since he'd been hitting on me the other day. I just sighed, realizing that I couldn't very well accuse him of leaving the earrings for me, at least not in front of Spooky.

"Someone left these in my room," I said, holding the earrings out so they could both see them. "Do either of you guys know anything about this?"

"No," Winch responded after a moment, giving the earrings a careful look. "I haven't seen those before." I stared at Winch for a moment, knowing from the look on his face and the fact that he was a horrible liar that he was indeed telling the truth.

"They match your necklaces," Spooky said. "But I don't know who left them either."

"Damn," I muttered in annoyance. And I'd been sure it had been Winch. "Then who left these things?"

"You've got a secret admirer," Spooky exclaimed with a grin. "That is so cool..." Then she laughed and teased me, "No offense, but who in the world would do that? I mean, you do have a bit of baggage."

Winch looked extremely embarrassed and looked away, making me guess that he hadn't told Spooky about the other night. I hadn't said anything to Angie or Spooky either so it looked like it was just between Winch and me.

"Yeah," I responded as deadpan as I could, "Who in their right mind would possibly interested in this?" I gestured down at my body and earned a laugh from Spooky.

"Good point," she told me with a grin. "If I leaned that way, I'd probably be interested."

"Well, I guess I'll let you to get back to what you were doing," I told them, trying to hold back a grin and probably not succeeding very well. Then I turned and left, looking down at the box in my hand and shaking my head.

--------------------

I sat out in the school courtyard with my friends, my wings spread out behind me in all their glory. Over the last couple days I hadn't bothered to really hide them very much. After all, everyone here knew about me and had seen them...especially since they tended to become visible whenever I felt strong emotions anyway. I'd finally decided that it didn't really make much sense bothering with the effort, at least not here.

At the moment, we were eating lunch and taking a break from any lectures or classes. Spooky and Winch were sitting beside each other, no longer hiding the fact that they'd become an item. I couldn't help but feeling at least a little jealous, something that I had in common with Angie since we were both left out. However, we were both doing our best not to show it and to just be happy for them.

"I've got something for you," Angie told me, handing me a sheet of paper with two spells written down on it. "I found a couple crest spells when I was looking through some books earlier..."

"Thanks," I told her, grateful for the additions to my own repertoire. Since any crest spell would work for me automatically, my friends had begun collecting any that they found and giving them to me. That had certainly helped me add to my grimoire.

"So you still haven't found out who gave you the earrings?" Spooky asked.

"No," I shook my head. "Still no idea."

"You should at least start wearing them," Angie pointed out. "They'd look good on you."

"I'm not gonna wear them," I insisted. "For one thing, my ears aren't even pierced."

Angie and Spooky then turned and gave each other one of those looks, the same kind that had preceded them dragging me around the mall. Then they both grinned simultaneously before turning to look at me.

"We're gonna have to fix that," Angie said with a mischievious grin that made me just a little nervous.

"Right now," Spooky added, jumping up and grabbing my arm and pulling me to my feet. "Come on..."

"But," I started to protest, looking to Winch foe help. He just watched with an amused expression. "Come on...not now..."

"I'll see you later," Spooky told Winch with a grin. "We've got girl business to attend to."

Angie and Spooky began pulling me towards the dorm area and I sighed and went along, offering at least a token resistance for the sake of my own pride. However, as we were starting to go, I noticed Nick standing a distance away watching us. When he saw me looking in his direction, he quickly looked away and pretended not to notice us.

"Nick?" I asked myself, suddenly wondering if that jerk might be the one who'd left the earrings. However, I shook my head, having a hard time believing that was even possible. He probably wouldn't do that unless he was trying to find something else to tease me about.

A few minutes later, all three of us were sitting in Spooky's room while she pulled out a needle and a bottle of alcohol. I gulped, definitely not liking the look of this, especially when I saw the needle.

"It will sting a bit at first," Spooky told me with a grin. "Then she gestured to the multiple piercings in each of her ears. "I've had a lot of experience with this."

"But I don't want my ears pierced," I told them with a sigh.

"You'll need to if you're gonna wear those earrings," Angie pointed out.

"But I'm not going to wear them," I reminded them. "I don't have any idea who gave them to me. I mean, whoever it is might get the wrong idea..."

"It doesn't matter who gave them to you," Angie responded with a roll of her eyes. "They're yours now and they'd look great on you." Then she grinned, "And even if you don't wear them, you're still getting your ears pierced. It's sort of a rite of passage for us women."

"But I'm not...," I started to protest and then stopped with a sigh. I definitely had the body and I've already worn a dress and high heels. Whether I liked it or not, I've already been getting more and more into my new gender. Hell, one day it might even feel perfectly normal...though that day would probably be a ways off. "Fine... Let’s do it."

A minute later, Spooky had punched a small hole through each of my ear lobes. She hadn't been kidding when she'd said it stung. However, I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of acting all girly and crying about it.

"Now you need to put something in the holes to keep them from closing up again," Spooky said. "Gee, I wonder where you're going to get something like that..."

I gave Spooky my best glare and told her, "You are one evil manipulative bitch, you know that?"

"Know it?" she responded with a look of mock surprise. "I take pride in it."

After this, we went back to my room to pick up my earrings and put them in. I felt a bit self-conscious as I did so but I tried not to show it. It felt a little strange as well having the extra weight from each of my ears and feeling the earrings moving around when I shook my head. However, when I looked in the mirror I had to admit that they did look good on me. They even made me look more feminine and sexy, though I wasn't quite sure if that was a good thing or bad.

--------------------

It was getting late at night and I should have been in bed but I was still a little distracted. I sat at the desk in my room, looking at the new crest spells that I'd entered into my grimoire. I still hadn't even tested the last couple so didn't know exactly what they'd look like when I did.

On a whim, I cast one of the spells and a moment later, a little faerie appeared in front of me, standing on my desk. She was my crest faerie, a somewhat distinctive looking one who held a certain resemblance to me. She just stood there passively, awaiting directions.

This spell was a messenger spell, one that would summon a messenger who could repeat anything I told it to. It could record my voice like an MP3 and then fly to whomever I told it to where it would then repeat the message.

"Shouldn't you be in bed?" I asked, providing my message to the faerie. Then I told it to deliver the message to Angie who I was sure would still be up too. The faerie suddenly flew off, going right through my door as though it wasn't there. "Very cool," I mused after it left.

Then I sighed and shook my head, feeling the earrings that I'd put in earlier today moving and reminding me of their presence. I didn't know if I'd get used to that sensation or if I'd wear these for very long. If I did decide to start wearing earrings on a regular basis, I just might use those stud ones that didn't dangle down like this.

I turned my attention to the next crest spell that I hadn't tested and knew that it wouldn't be a good idea to try that one in my room. That one was actually an offense spell to attack someone with. I wondered if maybe I should try that one out on Nick.

A moment later, I suddenly realized that I wasn't alone. I snapped around and stared at a small faerie that was floating in middle of the room, looking as though I'd just summoned her. However, this wasn't one of mine.

"What the hell?" I gasped, staring at this new faerie in surprise.

As I got up, the faerie flew back towards the door and then just hovered there. It took me a moment to realize that it wanted me to follow it. This was definitely making me curious so I did just that.

The faerie flew through the door the same way my own messenger faerie had a few minutes earlier and then slowly went down the hall while I followed. It led me to the stairs and then up to the top floor which was used for storage rather than dorm rooms. I continued following this faerie until it stopped in front of a closed door and just vanished.

I hesitated a moment and then went inside, not sure what I would find. The room was dark and I couldn't find the light switch. However, I'd begun memorizing several of my spells that I thought might be the most useful so I cast one of my light spells. A tiny faerie appeared in the air beside me, holding a glowing ball of light which let me look around.

"You came," a woman's voice said from off to the side. I couldn't see her very clearly since she was too far away from my light but I recognized her voice.

"Ms. Sheffield?" I asked in surprise and confusion.

She stepped closer into the light so I could see her more clearly and I gasped when I did. Ms. Sheffield was dressed in a slinky and sexy red dress that revealed more than little cleavage. She also wore a pair of stilettos that made my heels look absolutely tame in comparison.

"Um..wow," I whispered, more than a little impressed though I was only more confused.

"I'm glad you accepted my invitation," Ms. Sheffield said with a look of amusement.

"But I followed a faerie," I told her nervously. "I thought you only did flowers..."

"There are ways to spoof a theme if you know how," Ms. Sheffield told me as she stepped closer. "But I didn't call you here for a lesson...at least not that kind of lesson." Then she looked me over and added, "You're wearing the earrings I left you. They look very good on you."

"You left these for me?" I asked, reaching up for one of the earrings.

"Those were a thank you for what you did for me in the library," Ms. Sheffield told me with a sexy smile. "This is just because I want to."

And with that, she put her arms around me and kissed me right on my lips. My entire body immediately felt like it was on fire and even though I was completely stunned, I couldn't help but kissing back.

"Ms. Sheffield," I whispered when she pulled away from me.

My entire body was burning with excitement in ways that I'd never felt before. My nipples were hard and firm, feeling like tiny erections. At the same time, I was getting all wet and hungry down below. I'd played with myself only a little since my transformation, being afraid to go very far. But if I'd known that I could feel like this, I would have spent every minute masturbating.

"My name is Elzebeth," she said seductively, moving around behind me and putting her arms around me, cupping my breasts in her hands from behind. I moaned at how good it felt. "You can use it in here."

"Elzebeth," I repeated, feeling incredibly turned on. "But you're an instructor..."

I felt foolish for protesting or resisting at all. After all, Ms. Sheffield was the sexy teacher that every guy had a crush on, including me when I'd still been a guy. In fact, I was still extremely attracted to her so nothing had changed as far as that went. This was literally a wet dream come true and far too good to be true.

"Not in here," Ms. Sheffield...Elzebeth whispered in my ear right before she began to nibble on it. I moaned at the sensation then gasped as one of her hands slipped down lower and rested on my lower stomach, just inches above my crotch. "In here, I'm just Elzebeth."

"I know how all the boys look at me," she said quietly. "I know how you looked at me before your accident and noticed that you've been giving me the same looks since. As you might guess, I'm not interested in boys and never have been."

"Oh," was all I could say to that though part of that may have just my gasping from the way she was massaging my breasts again.

"You're gorgeous," Elzebeth told me, pausing to kiss my neck and sent chills right down my spine and into my groin. "Sexy and exotic. I've been admiring you since your transformation but wasn't planning on doing anything about it. But then at the library..." She paused for a moment and then whispered, "You looked oh so delicious in that dress... Being a woman truly does suit you. And after the way you helped me..." Then she kissed my neck again.

"This feels so good," I moaned in delight, feeling even more turned on with every moment. She really knew how to push my buttons.

"If you say no," Elzebeth told me quietly, "It ends right here and now. We'll pretend this never happened. But if you say yes..."

"Oh yes," I moaned in response, knowing that there could be no other answer.

"Before this goes any further," she whispered in my ear, pausing to lick my ear before adding, "you have to do something... You have to promise not to tell anyone...not even your friends. I could get in a great deal of trouble for this."

"I promised," I told her. "I won't tell anyone..."

Elzebeth didn't say anything, she just changed positions and got in front of me, throwing her arms around me and giving me a long passionate kiss. I kissed back as hard as I could, knowing I was clumsy and inexperienced but hungering for more. Her breasts pushed against mine making it all the more exciting.

"Welcome to womanhood," Elzebeth whispered after she pulled away. "Let me show you the benefits."

Elzebeth and I went back to kissing and I could feel her tongue moving into my mouth. I tried returning the favor but was clumsy. She pulled back enough to whisper some advice and then we went at it again.

We were just beginning to remove each other’s clothes when my light spell went out, leaving us in the dark. Elzebeth giggled and said, "We could do this in the dark...but I want to see you..." Then she said a spell and suddenly we had light again, provided by a glowing flower that gave us just enough to see by.

A few minutes later, we were on a pile of pillows that had been set up in the far corner almost like a bed and we were going at each other. I moaned as she licked my nipples while her fingers went between my legs and did something that I couldn't describe.

I returned the favor as best I could, doing well enough that she was enjoying this nearly as much as I was. I'd never had sex before my transformation so this was my first time. It seemed strange that my first time being with a woman was as one, but it felt good enough that it was well worth waiting for.

And then Elzebeth brought me to orgasm. The pressure had been building and building until it finally exploded in waves of bliss that rocked my entire body. I'd never felt anything like it and immediately wanted more. Fortunately, she provided more...lots more.

An hour later, we were curled up together, both of us tired and just savoring the afterglow. I'd heard the word 'afterglow' before but had never really understood what it was until now. Even though we'd stopped, I still felt this incredible glow of pleasure through my body. My wings had even responded by glowing for real

"I've never felt anything like that," I whispered with a satisfied smile.

"There are advantages to being a woman," Elzebeth told me, giving me another kiss in the lips before sitting up.

While we'd been going at each other, I'd noticed that she had a tattoo on her shoulder but hadn't given it much attention. Now I got a better look at it and was a little surprised to see that it was a tattoo of a green faerie.

I giggled at the sight, feeling a little self-conscious about actually giggling but not enough to really care. "You've got a tattoo of a faerie," I pointed out.

"I've had it for years," she told me with a look of amusement. "It's an absinthe faerie... Absinthe is sort of a guilty pleasure and I got it one night after drinking a little too much of it."

"You know," I said with a smile as I ran one hand over one of my breasts and the other over hers, "I think I'm really going to like being a girl..."

"I'm glad to hear you say that," Elzebeth said with a mischievious smile. "There's something I've been wanting to try with you but didn't think you were ready..."

With that, Elzebeth muttered another spell, one that I couldn't quite make the words out for. Then she stood up, giving me a great view of her fantastic body. I had run my hands over nearly every inch of it and was eager to do it again. Then I suddenly noticed what her spell was doing and gasped in surprise. Her vagina was changing, swelling and forming into what was obviously a penis. After mere seconds, she actually had a dick that was bigger than mine had ever been...and it was fully hard.

"Now where were we?" Elzebeth asked me with a lustful look, bending down to give me another long kiss. "Oh yes...you were saying that you liked being a woman. Now let me give you the full experience..."

------------------

I sat in a classroom, listening only halfway as Mrs. Welch gave us a lecture on magir history, specifically about the earliest known history of magic users. Theresa was there as well, acting as an assistant instructor.

I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat, aching in my nether regions. However, it was good sort of ache. Still, I blushed and had mixed feelings every time I remembered how I'd gotten that ache.

Last night with Elzebeth had been absolutely incredible and I never would have imagined it would happen. Not only had I lost my virginity, she'd also popped my cherry. It had hurt when she did it but had felt sort of good afterwards, especially as she continued. I could hardly believe that I'd actually had a dick inside of me and enjoyed it...even if was attached to a woman.

There was no doubt in my mind that last night had changed me in ways that I still didn't understand and may not for a long time. The experience had been overwhelming and beyond what the old Jon could possibly handle. It went beyond what he could have accepted of himself. I knew without a doubt though that my old sense of self-identity had been irreparably broken but that a new one was already starting to form.

Until last night, I'd been thinking of myself as a boy who just happened to be in a female body and that was certainly true. However, I was physically female now and would remain so for the rest of my life. There seemed to be no way of changing me back to who I had been before. And after last night, I realized that this didn't have to be a bad thing. Being a girl...being a woman could be a very nice thing.

I had no choice about being a woman, only about the kind of woman I was going to become. Being a bit of a tomboy like Angie would be natural considering who I had been before, yet ironically, I was probably already a little more feminine than she was. Spooky was more feminine but she was also a goth, definitely not my style.

If I had to choose a role model for the kind of woman I wanted to become, only one person came to mind...Elzebeth. She was a lady who could be sexy and feminine without throwing it in your face or seeming all 'girly', and she always came across as confident and in control. At the same time, as she'd shown me last night, she could also be wild and passionate. Maybe one day someone would say those things about me though it was a little hard imagining.

I'd already run into Elzebeth today though it was only in passing and she barely paid me any attention, treating me exactly as she had before...the same way she treated all of the students. I had to hold back and keep from smiling at her or doing anything to give us away. It hadn't been easy, especially as I could clearly remember the sweet taste of her kisses and had longed to kiss her again.

When the class ended, I got up to leave with my friends, wincing slightly at the ache I still felt as I walked. However, we had barely gotten out of the classroom door when Spooky asked, "Can I have a word with you in private Jen?"

"Sure," I responded, nodding to Angie and Winch who continued on. "What's up?"

"I was going to ask you the same thing?" Spooky said, giving me a speculative look.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Come on," Spooky responded with a roll of her eyes. "You've been walking funny all morning."

"I pulled a muscle," I lied.

Spooky just snorted, "I've seen girls walking like that before. Hell, I was walking like that myself for a couple days last year after my first time." Then she pointed at my wings and added, "And your wings have been glowing all morning too."

I glanced back at my wings, blushing slightly. As I'd discovered last night, I could make my wings glow in the same way that I could make them invisible though it had happened without my conscious will. In fact, it seemed that for me the word 'afterglow' was a bit literal.

"Someone got fucked last night," Spooky said with a smug grin. "Who popped your cherry?"

I blushed even brighter at that and then frantically denied everything. "I don't know what you're talking about. I just pulled a muscle."

"Fine," Spooky told me with a shrug. "Don't tell me." Then she gave me a conspiratorial wink and asked, "Did you like it?"

I nearly choked at that but before I could come up with another lie, Spooky just laughed and then walked off. I was thankful for her departure because I hated lying to my friends. It was especially hard since what I really wanted to do was brag that I'd been with Elzebeth, the teacher that every guy in the CHASM had a crush on.

As I started walking back to my room for a bit of a break, I noticed Nick a short distance away. He turned and obviously saw me but made no move to yell out an insult or come towards me. In fact, he just turned and continued on his own way.

"Good thing I don't have to deal with him right now," I muttered in relief. However, there was something just a little odd about how he'd just ignored me now that I didn't have someone here to back me up.

Just then, something suddenly occurred to me. Lately, every single time Nick had messed with me it had been when I was with my friends. Specifically, it had been when I was with Angie. Every time, she immediately jumped to my defense and went after Nick like a rabid dog.

"Oh shit," I whispered in realization.

Nick wasn't really messing with me...he was messing with Angie. He was just teasing me because he knew it would get her attention and that she'd come after him. Nick had a thing for Angie.

"Just great," I muttered, shaking my head in amusement. "I've been caught between those two flirting..." I just wondered if Angie had realized that she was really the reason Nick was teasing me.

Then I grinned and chuckled to myself as I continued on my way, alternately thinking about having a little talk with Angie and about the next time I could see Elzebeth. I just really hoped that last night hadn't been a onetime thing...and that I could get her to give me a copy of that one spell she'd used.

--------------------

My room was feeling extremely small at the moment, even smaller than normal. Of course, this was just due to the fact that my friends were all gathered in there with me. Angie sat beside me on the bed while Spooky had claimed the chair at my desk. That left Winch standing in the middle of the room.

At the moment, we were all sitting around bragging about the new spells we could perform. We hadn't been working together as much during our practice sessions because two days ago the instructors had assigned each of us a mentor, one of the instructors who would work with us one on one to answer our questions, help us identify any affinities we might have, and to provide a general role model. Because of this, we'd been practicing with our mentors rather than each other most of the time.

I'd been lucky enough to get Elzebeth as my mentor, a fact which had surprised me just a little at first. After all, I thought she would have avoided spending too much time with me in the open. Then again, this also meant that we now had an excuse to be seen together without making anyone suspicious.

As I thought of Elzebeth, I absently began to finger a silver bracelet that adorned my left wrist. I'd found it on my desk yesterday with a note that said, 'A woman named Argent should have at least one piece of nice silver jewelry.' The note hadn't been signed but of course there was no doubt as to who'd left it.

Angie looked up from Simon Grinwell's grimoire which she'd been flipping through and saw me playing with the bracelet. "Have you found out who your secret admirer is yet?"

"Not yet," I lied.

Spooky gave me a skeptical look but didn't say anything. She hadn't told the others about her suspicions from a few days ago either, for which I was very thankful. I might have accepted the fact that I was becoming a girl in more than just a physical way but I certainly wasn't comfortable with them knowing that I'd taken that particular step. As it was, I was pretty certain that Angie hadn't even gone there yet.

"It looks like I've got a bit of an affinity for light spells," I said in order to change the subject. "I learned a new one this morning..."

"How many ways do you need to light a room?" Spooky asked with a roll of her eyes.

"This one can do more than just light the room," I responded, opening my grimoire to the right page and then reading the spell aloud.

A moment later, a ball of glowing light appeared in the air in front of me. Colors swirled through it in a brilliant pattern. I was careful not to look too closely at it though my friends did. They all stared at it intently without saying a word until it faded away ten seconds later.

"That was intense," Angie said once the ball was gone. She shook her head as if to clear it.

"Almost hypnotic," Winch said, sounding just a little unsteady. "I couldn't look away."

"Okay," Spooky admitted with a grin. "That is a little more interesting than just lighting a room..."

I grinned back and explained, "It's sort of a distraction spell..."

"It works," Angie agreed.

Winch just stood there with a thoughtful look on his face. Then he said, "You know, an affinity for light spells might not be a bad thing. I mean, aren't most illusion and invisibility spells basically just light spells...?"

I stared at Winch for a moment and admitted, "I hadn't really thought of that." Then I grinned excitedly as I added, "I'm gonna have to look up some of those and try them out..."

"Lucky you," Spooky said with a sigh. "You've got an affinity for light spells and crest spells..."

"Actually," I responded smugly, making a show of buffing my fingernails and then blowing on them. "I have a SUPER affinity for crest spells..." Then I held up my grimoire and pointed out, "You know, I do still have that spell that gave me my super affinity...and this." I gestured down at my body. "You could always try it out yourself."

"No thanks," Spooky exclaimed with a look of horror. "There is no fucking way in hell that I'm gonna risk turning into a pumpkin."

"Ditto," Angie said. "I've got this affinity for water now and that's enough for me." Then she grinned, "Speaking of which, I got this spell that lets me purify water..."

After a minute of Angie bragging about the new water spells she'd been getting, Winch said, "I don't have any crest or any affinities...but Mr. Rawlins and I found that I can perform a scanning spell... You know, one of the main spells you need to become a spellcrafter..."

"Really?" Spooky responded, looking a little surprised. Apparently this was the first time he'd told her this as well.

"If I work hard," Winch said proudly, "I might be able to become a spellcrafter some day."

"Impressive," I said, thinking that it might be great having a friend who was a spellcrafter.

Of course, becoming a spellcrafter wouldn't be easy. When we graduated from the CHASM we'd all have our class 3 licenses which meant we could perform magic without supervision. After that, all we had to do was keep our noses clean for a year and we'd automatically get upgraded to a class 2 license, the one we'd need if we actually wanted to make a living off magic. Companies couldn't hire magir unless they had their class 2 license. However, in order to become a spellcrafter you needed a class 1 license, one you had to earn with a lot of studying. A class 1 license was sort of the magir equivalent of having a masters degree.

"I do have another spell I wanted to show you," Winch said after a few seconds. "This one lets you see what you'll look like in the future."

"You've got a spell to see the future?" Angie blurted out while Spooky and I just gasped in surprise. Any spells that could see the future were supposedly unreliable and were very rare.

"Not really," Winch responded with a self-conscious smile. "It doesn't show the future... It just shows you what you'll look like when you're older...assuming of course you're still alive and other things haven't happened. It just sort of shows what we'd look like if we continue as we are now."

Winch went to the mirror on the back of my door and read a spell from his grimoire. I could feel the presence of magic and see a faint sparkle over the surface of the mirror followed immediately by the image of a clock which appeared on the surface with the hands spinning quickly.

"I set it to thirty years," Winch said.

I got up for a better look and gasped as I saw Winch's reflection in the mirror. It was wearing the same clothes he was wearing now but definitely looked much older. The mirror Winch also had a nice gut and his hair was thinning quite a bit.

"I'm going to be going bald," Winch said with disgust in his voice. "I'm gonna have to start exercising too..." He patted his stomach with a frown while staring at his reflection.

Winch stepped back so the rest of us could get a good look at our own reflections. The older Spooky looked like she'd put on a little weight and looked a bit frumpy, much to her horror. She quickly turned away from the mirror in disgust. Angie on the other hand had filled out and had more pronounced curves with breasts that looked about two cups larger. She was actually pretty pleased by that.

"All right," Angie exclaimed in delight. "I'm gonna have a growth spurt... I knew it..."

"I look like my mom," Spooky complained bitterly

Of course, the reflection that interested me the most was my own. It was also the reflection that surprised me the most because it looked exactly the same. My reflection didn't look even a year older than I did now, though as I stared at it I realized there were subtle differences. My reflection didn't look any older but it still held an aura of calm femininity, sophistication, and maturity. That gave it a sort of ageless quality.

I stared at my reflection, telling myself that my transformation must have made me immune to Winch's spell the same way it made me immune to all attempts to change me back. However, another thought occurred to me as well, one which left me a little dizzy with the ramifications. What if my transformation just kept me as I was now and made it so that I wouldn't age?

My friends were so absorbed in their own reflections that none of them seemed to give mine a thought. A minute later, the mirror blurred and returned to normal, reflecting the images of how we looked now rather than how we might look in the future, much to my relief. Seeing myself like that had given me a lot to think about and I already had enough to adjust to as it was. The idea of being potentially immortal was a bit more than I could bear at the moment, but at the same time, I rather liked what I saw.

We all returned to our seats as we continued talking about what we'd seen though it wasn't long before Angie held up Grinwell's grimoire and exclaimed, "Look at this spell... It says it can temporarily give you the power of your crest."

"No thanks," I responded, gesturing down at myself with a wry smile. "I've already got it permanently.

I knew exactly which spell she was talking about since it was a crest spell and I'd already written it down in my grimoire. However, I had yet to try it since it didn't seem very practical for me considering my unique circumstances.

Angie began reciting the words aloud and suddenly there was swirling of water which whipped around her body. I jumped off my bed and glared at her while the water receded, revealing that Angie's body had just been transformed.

"Holy shit," Angie exclaimed, feeling her legs...or at least where her legs had been. From the waist down she now had fish tail with bluish green scales.

"You turned into a fucking mermaid," Spooky blurted out, staring at Angie with a look of amazement.

"I can't believe it actually worked for me," Angie said, sounding nervous all of a sudden. "I didn't think it would... I mean, it's a level five spell..."

Then Angie looked at me and her expression became even more worried. I could see the wheels turning in her head and the fear that this might be a permanent transformation the way mine was. Somehow, I doubted that she'd want to remain stuck as a mermaid.

I reached out and cautiously touched her tail, verifying that it was indeed real and solid and not just some illusion. "At least the spell says it will wear off in half an hour," I pointed out, mostly to calm Angie down. "You might as well have fun with this."

"How?" Spooky asked with a smirk. "We don't exactly have any lakes or pools for her to swim in."

"I feel like a fish out of water," Angie joked weakly.

Angie moved her tail around experimentally, growing more curious as she did so. "It feels kind of weird," she said, giving me another look and asking, "Is that what it's like having wings?"

I spread my wings open behind me and willed them to glow just a little. "I don't know," I told her with a grin. "I've never had a tail." Then I added, "But it was pretty weird suddenly having wings and feeling them on my back..."

"I wonder if you could breathe underwater." Winch mused aloud.

"I don't know," I said with a shrug. "I've got wings but I can't actually fly."

"It's weird not having legs," Angie said, flipping her tail around again. Then she abruptly said, "I don't know why, but I think I really can breathe underwater. If I had enough water to swim in that is..." She let out a long sigh of disappointment.

Spooky came over and hesitantly touched Angie's tail then shook her head. "I wonder," Spooky mused, "Do you get that super affinity for crest spells too?"

"Oh yeah," Angie responded with a grin. "I've got to check that out..."

Angie squirmed on my bed trying to position herself more comfortably which apparently wasn't easy to do without legs. She then tried a crest spell from Grinwell's grimoire that she already knew didn't work for her. This time, the results were the same as when she'd first tested it which proved that her transformation hadn't given her a super affinity for crest spells like mine had.

After this, we picked Angie up and carried her to the mirror so she could see what she looked like. She stared at her reflection in amazement, hardly able to believe that she'd actually turned into a mermaid. I could certainly understand her feelings on the subject, more than anyone else around this school ever could.

Half an hour after Angie had read the spell it wore off and she transformed back to normal, almost as much to my relief as her own. I really didn't like the idea of having to explain to the instructors about how she'd been changed the same way I had because I'd snuck another book out of the library.

"That was cool," Angie exclaimed once she was back to normal. She sat on my bed and kicked her feet back and forth, grinning as she did so. "You guys should try it."

"No fucking way," Spooky said firmly. "I'm not gonna risk turning into a damn pumpkin for even half an hour."

"Crest spells don't work for me," Winch pointed out.

All eyes turned to me since it was already a known fact that the spell was one I could perform. "It wouldn't do any good," I reminded them, gesturing down at myself. "I'm already a faerie."

"Yeah, but I still want to see what will happen," Angie responded with a grin.

"I don't think so," I protested. "I've already gone through enough unexpected changes to last me a lifetime." Then I gave a wry smile and pointed out, "Actually, that last one will last me a lifetime."

"Yeah, but we know this one won't be permanent," Spooky said. "Come on, are you a little girl or a woman."

"Fine," I responded with a sigh and a roll of my eyes. I reached for my grimoire and flipped to the page where I'd written that spell down and then began to say the words.

As soon as I finished saying the spell, I could feel the rush of magic flowing through my body, changing and transforming me again. I let out a gasp of surprise at that since I hadn't expected anything to really happen this time. A moment later, all of my friends suddenly began to grow. In fact, everything in my room was growing including the bed I was sitting on. I remembered my experience as a cat and knew that it wasn't they who were growing but I who was shrinking.

"Jen's shrinking," Winch exclaimed unnecessarily.

I was becoming smaller at a very rapid rate and in mere seconds, my friends all looked like giants. The changes stopped and I stood up, finding that my bed seemed like a huge field at my new size of 6 inches tall. I stared way up at all of my friends and gulped nervously, especially when I saw the look of mischief on Spooky's face.

I held my hands up and saw that they hadn't really changed, at least not other than size. A quick look over my body revealed that I hadn't really transformed into another shape but had only become smaller. In fact, even my clothes and jewelry had shrunk with me. Now with my new size, I truly did look like one of those faerie that appeared with my spells.

"You're tiny," Angie said in awe before giggling. "You're the size of a doll."

Then Angie reached down to grab me, no doubt to pick me up and have fun teasing me. I reacted out of some instinct and flew straight up in the air, avoiding her grasp. It was then that I realized what I was doing...that I was flying. I really was a faerie now.

"Holy shit," I exclaimed in amazement.

"You're Tinkerbell," Spooky said with a grin.

I felt a little nervous being so tiny compared to everyone else in my room but there was something thrilling about this as well. The idea of actually being able to fly with my wings was definitely an added excitement so and I took full advantage of this to slowly fly around my room. After circling it twice, I landed back down on my bed.

"I can't believe you turned into an even smaller faerie," Angie said. "That is so cool..."

"It's also kind of awkward," I called up, finding that I had to raise my voice a bit to really be heard by them.

Spooky just laughed and said, "Too bad you're gonna have to wait a half hour to change back."

I just grinned at that and remembered the spell Mr. Lestraad had taught me for breaking any spells or transformations on me. It was one of the few spells I'd actually memorized so I began to say the spell and laughed at the looks on my friends faces as I quickly began to grow back to my normal size.

"That was interesting," I said with a grin. "But I don't exactly want to be stuck the size of a doll..." Of course, I knew full well that I was going to try that spell out again when I was alone and had some privacy.

After this, we continued talking for a little longer but it was getting late and we would all need to get to bed soon. We finally began saying good night to each other and my friends were grabbing their grimoires and notes and preparing to leave.

Spooky was about to go out my door when she paused to look down at my new bracelet and smirked. "You know," she said with a look of amusement, "For someone who was a guy a few weeks ago, you sure are collecting a lot of jewelry." Then she looked at Angie and pointed out, "You wear even more than Angie now..."

"All I've got is earrings," Angie responded, pointing to the studs through her ears.

"Maybe someday you'll catch up with Spooky," Winch added with a chuckle.

With that, they began to leave though Winch gave me an odd look before doing so. I let out a sigh, knowing that my relationship with Winch just hadn't been the same since he'd tried hitting on me. It was more than just his being embarrassed by that though. In fact, that was just one of the first signs that he no longer thought of me as one of the guys but as someone on the other team entirely. Of course, I couldn't blame him since I looked like one of the girls and was acting more and more like one with every day. In fact, the truth was that I'd been thinking of myself as one of the girls more and more often lately, especially after that night with Elzebeth. I missed my old relationship with Winch but knew it could never go back to the way it had been.

Once my friends were gone, I put my grimoire and Simon Grinwell's grimoire away in my safe and began to get ready for bed. However, only a minute later I suddenly noticed that there was a glowing rose sitting on my desk. I went to pick it up but it vanished the moment I'd touched it. That was too bad but not a surprise since its message had already been delivered.

I grinned in excitement as well as a little nervousness. I grabbed a brush and ran it through my hair to make it look as nice as possible and then I began to worry about my clothes and that they were too plain. I hesitated a moment, wondering if I should change or not. After a few seconds, I decided to change my shirt from the T-shirt I was currently wearing to a blouse that looked nice and showed a bit of cleavage

"And to think," I muttered as I slipped off my sneakers and put on the heels, "I actually thought I'd never wear this stuff..."

Just ten minutes after finding the rose, I had left my room and was making my way to the stairs that led to the top floor of the building. I actually wished that Angie and Spooky had made me buy perfume at the mall since that would have been a nice touch.

I was just a little surprised at myself for wanting to wear the sexy clothes and perfume. The truth was, I still wasn't comfortable with that stuff but knew that Elzebeth would like it. And right now, I wanted Elzebeth to be as attracted to me as possible.

I went upstairs and to the room where I'd had sex with Elzebeth, pausing outside the door to wonder why she'd waited until now to call me back. Maybe she'd been busy or maybe she just hadn't been in the mood since then. However, I suspected that she'd been waiting to see if I really could keep quiet about what had happened.

After looking down the hall to make sure there was no one watching, I went inside the room. This time there were lights on though they were a little dim. Elzebeth was sitting in a chair beside a small table with a glass of wine in her hand. She was dressed in a slinky black dress that looked very sexy on her.

Elzebeth smiled when she saw me and got up, taking a sip of wine before setting the glass down. A few seconds later, the two us were embraced in passionate kiss that sparked every erotic point in my body. My nipples were hard and I was wet and hungry down below, aching for her touch along every inch of my body.

"I'm glad you could make it," Elzebeth told me once we pulled apart. She gave me a very appreciative look and smiled.

"So am I," I told her, more than eager for a repeat of the last time. "So am I."

--------------------

It felt just a little strange as I walked through the mall again, this time wearing the heels I bought on my last trip and a nice blouse. I'd also gotten used to walking around the CHASM with my wings hanging out in the open so I'd had to remember to keep them out of sight and invisible. Strangely, I found the need to do so kind of annoying but knew that it was better than the stares I'd get otherwise.

As it was, I was well aware of the attention I was getting, even more than the last time I'd been here. Of course, that was due to my more feminine way of dressing and perhaps even of moving. Angie and Spooky were both amused by all the guys who keep giving me 'the look'.

"I can't believe it," Angie told me with a shake of her head. "I'm actually jealous of you."

"It's like you've jumped into the estrogen pool with both feet," Spooky said with a grin.

I just shrugged and told them, "I figure that I'm going to be a girl for the rest of my life so I might as well learn how to do it right." Of course, I didn't say anything about the influence Elzebeth had on that realization.

"I guess that makes sense," Angie responded with a chuckle.

"I just wish Winch were here," Spooky said, looking at us and quickly added, "Just to carry our bags of course."

"Of course," Angie and I said at once while sharing a look and a grin. Spooky just blushed slightly at that which was a nice triumph since she rarely seemed embarrassed by much of anything.

When all the students had been given another opportunity to come into town, Winch had chosen to head out to with some of the other guys rather than be stuck on another shopping trip with the girls. I certainly didn't blame him in the least since I would have done the exact same thing if I hadn't been changed. As it was, I was still having a hard time believing that I was enjoying this myself.

"I don't have as much money as last time," I told my friends with a sigh. I still had a little of what uncle Dave had given me and I knew I could get away with putting just a little more on my mom's card but I didn't dare get carried away.

We'd already stopped for one new shirt, a nice blouse that really looked good with my curves. I would have liked to have gotten more sexy tops but couldn't justify it at the moment. For now, I'd have to make do with the t-shirts I'd already bought.

"Shoes next," I said, heading straight to the shoe shore while my friends followed.

I went straight for the high heels, the ones I'd been adamant about not even considering the last time. My attention was on the stilettos which were a bit higher than my current pair of heels. The idea of walking in these things still made me a bit uncomfortable but I remembered how awesome they'd looked on Elzebeth and wondered what they'd do for my legs and ass.

"You'll break your ankle if you try walking in those things," Angie exclaimed with a look of surprise.

Spooky laughed and said, "I think we've created a monster."

I blushed at that and set down the stilettos. Angie was right about my breaking my ankles if I tried using those. I'd gotten the hang of my current set of heels but wasn't quite ready for an upgrade just yet. I wasn't sure whether to be relieved at that or disappointed.

Once we were done looking at the shoes, we left without any new purchases. We wandered to the jewelry store where Angie and Spooky wanted to window shop. I still wasn't really into the whole jewelry thing but I was starting to see some of the appeal.

"I think I'm gonna get these," I said as picked out a pair of inexpensive and simple gold studs.

"Wow, you really are building a jewelry collection," Angie said with a grin. "What's the matter, your secret admirer hasn't given you anything else in awhile?"

I just glared at Angie for a moment while Spooky snickered. "Every time I take these out at night," I point to the earrings that dangled from my ears, "the holes close up almost all the way by morning and it hurts punching them open again. I figured I could use these at night...and when I don't want these ones getting in the way."

"Speaking of your secret admirer," Spooky said. "Have you gotten any more presents."

"Nope," I responded smiling faintly. Elzebeth hadn't given me any more jewelry since the silver bracelet but she'd certainly given me a lot of other things, most notably more orgasms than I could count.

"You know who it is," Angie pushed. "Who is it?"

"No one," I lied, feeling uncomfortable with lying to my friends. However, I had given Elzebeth my word.

"You're seeing someone," Spooky pointed out. "I mean, with the way you've been dressing to show off and you even bought some perfume when you were getting that shirt."

Angie and Spooky were both staring at me, silently demanding answers. I let out a sigh, knowing that I couldn't keep lying to them, not when they knew something was going on.

"Just hypothetically," I said carefully. "If I was seeing someone...this hypothetical person might be embarrassed to be with me since I used to be a guy and wouldn't want anyone else to know."

"I suppose most guys would be kind of embarrassed," Angie mused. "I mean, most guys I know would be vicious about teasing anyone who was dating you... No offence."

I just nodded at that. "And this theoretical person might have made me promise to keep anything between us a secret. Of course, this is all hypothetical and I'm not really seeing anyone."

"Of course," Spooky responded with a grin.

Angie grumbled and muttered, "I still want to know who it is," but she didn't push anymore.

After I'd bought the studs, we went to the salon for a bit of a makeover. At least Spooky had insisted on a makeover though most of it would be pointless for me. My natural skin pigmentation almost made me look as though I was already wearing makeup and lipstick so putting real makeup on me just didn't look right. My nails were much the same way, being dark green almost as though they had polish on them and being naturally manicured. In fact, during my time as a woman they hadn't chipped or lost their perfect shape in any way.

"Whoever dyed your hair did a fantastic job," the woman who began to style my hair said. "I can't see any roots showing at all..."

"I used magic," I told her honestly.

"Fantastic," the woman responded in amazement. "Maybe we should hire a magir to help out around here... If some spell can do this..."

"You'd be amazed at what a little magic can do," I said with a chuckle.

The woman gushed as she worked on my hair, exclaiming, "It's so smooth and silky," and then, "No split ends at all... We absolutely must get a magir..."

Of course, she was a bit startled by my pointed ears but I joked, "I just got back from a Star Trek convention... Don't I make a fantastic Vulcan?"

It was strange but I enjoyed the pampering, the attempts to give me a manicure and pedicure though I needed neither. The woman cut my hair by about four inches and styled it, something I wasn't quite certain about. My hair had been perfectly fine before though Spooky and Angie insisted it looked good now.

"I guess I got used to it being longer," I told them with a sigh.

"Don't worry," Spooky teased me. "You still look like a faerie princess."

"No kidding," Angie added. "You should spread your wings and really give these people a show."

We were laughing as we left the salon, each of us having been pampered a bit. I felt a little guilty for putting my hair styling on my mom's credit card when I didn't even need a hair cut...but not much.

I couldn't help but wondering what my mom would think the next time she saw me. I'd talked to her on the phone just a couple days ago but it just wasn't the same. She was starting to realize that this wasn't just some temporary transformation but she didn't know how much I'd really changed, inside as much as out. When I finally went home, it was going to be quite a shock for her and quite awkward for me.

"What are you thinking about?" Angie asked me, interrupting me from my thoughts. "You look distracted."

"I was just thinking about what I'm going to do when school starts up in the fall," I said, gesturing down at myself and laughing. "It will be kind of strange going back to my school like this. I don't know what I'd say to my friends there."

"That might be a little weird," Spooky agreed.

"I was thinking maybe I'd pretend to be my own cousin," I told her with a shrug. "Or maybe just switch to a different school."

"Well you shouldn't be thinking about normal school now," Angie said with a grin. "You still haven't finished with this one."

"Yeah Jen," Spooky told me with a smirk. "Don't fucking worry about it."

Just then, I noticed four guys staring at us and it wasn't quite the same way that I'd become used to being stared at. They were in their late teens or early twenties and were all staring at us with expressions of open hostility.

Spooky saw this too and demanded, "What the fuck are you looking at?"

"You're all from that magic school," one of the boys responded with a sneer.

One of the other guys added, "A bunch of cult nut jobs..."

"WHAT?" Angie demanded angrily.

"Everyone knows you're all a cult," the first boy said, giving us a look of disgust. "You all mess with that unnatural magic and ignore what's real." Then he spat out, "All you magic users are delusional."

"Magic is real," I pointed out in annoyance. "Ignoring magic because it doesn't fit in with what you believe is what’s delusional."

"Fuck you bitch," he exclaimed. "Fuck you and all you damn cultist freaks."

"No, fuck you," Angie exclaimed angrily. "Fuck all you dickless wackos..."

At that, the guy who had done most of the talking and who seemed to be their leader lashed out and hit Angie in the face, sending her sprawling back on the ground. I gasped in surprise and then glared at them furiously.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Spooky demanded, holding her hands out as if they were claws. "Don't make me tear out your damn eyeballs..."

The guys all laughed at that and I could see a bad look in their eyes. I'd seen this kind of thing before in some guys I'd gone to school with. Alone, they weren't much of a problem but when they got together they'd egg each other on, pushing each other to prove how tough they were. As far as they were concerned, we'd just challenged them and they couldn't back down in front of each other.

Another of the guys lunged at Spooky but she kneed him in the balls. Normally I would have winced in sympathy pain but not this time. Instead, I punched him as hard as I could which admittedly wasn't quite as hard as I would have been able to before my transformation.

"You damn magir think you're so special," their leader spat out. "You sure don't seem much to me..."

Before I knew what was going on, one of the guys had grabbed my shoulder while another had punched me in the gut which hurt let hell. I lost my breath and was helpless as they started grabbing Angie and Spooky.

"What the hell?" one of the goons blurted out, staring right at me. All four of them turned to stare at me with looks of surprise, making me realize that my wings were now visible.

"I told you those magir were all freaks," the leader exclaimed. "Get the freaks..."

I grimaced and tried to focus, knowing that I couldn't just let these guys beat the crap out of us. Sure, mall security would probably arrive before they could go much further but I wasn't about to just sit here and play victim. After taking a deep breath, I said one of the spells that I'd memorized.

Suddenly the air around us was filled with tiny faeries, creating a cloud that our attackers couldn't clearly see through. I grabbed Angie and Spooky and pulled them back, already saying the words of another spell.

The spell I cast was a crest spell but there were no new faerie appearing in spite of that. Lately, I'd noticed a number of my crest spells weren't summoning my crest in spite of the fact that crest spells ALWAYS had your crest in them. It had taken me a bit to realize that this was because I'd taken the place of my crest. I actually was my crest now.

A swirl of golden sparkles came out from my hands and swept over the boys and a moment later all four of them collapsed to the ground motionless. It was a sleep spell, one that I'd thought would be great for self-defense after the encounter with Mrs. Thompson.

"Let's get out of here," I gasped out to my friends who nodded agreement.

"That was bad ass," Spooky exclaimed. "I'm gonna have to memorize some of my own spells..."

"It looks like you won't need my help against Nick anymore," Angie joked.

I just grinned back at her and said, "About that..."

A short time later, we'd met up with Theresa and the other students who'd come to the mall and were on our way back to the CHASM on the bus. I was a little sad to leave the mall since there were a few other things I'd wanted to do but not only had we run out of time on our field trip but I didn't think it would be safe for us to hang around after that fight.

When we got back to the school, the protesters had shown up again, probably having heard about our field trip and seeing this as an opportunity. They were out there with signs, throwing eggs and rocks at the bus as we went past. I winced as one rock hit the window near my seat and cracked it.

"You know," Spooky said from beside me with an exasperated sigh. "I really wish they'd let us use a few spells on those assholes."

"We'll be lucky enough not to get in trouble for using magic on those jerks at the mall."

"Yeah," I responded with a sigh. I'd broken some pretty big rules by using magic outside the CHASM without supervision and another big one by using it on those guys. "Well, at least it was an interesting trip." I held up the bags that contained my new purchases, hoping that all the hassle had been worth it.

--------------------

I was in my room, brushing my hair in front of the mirror and sighing. It had been three days since I'd gone to the salon and gotten my hair styled and it looked as though that had never happened. Four inches had been cut off my hair but it had grown back and now looked exactly as it had before.

"At least it looks nice," I said, thinking that if my hair kept growing back to this length that fast then it was a good thing I liked it like this.

Once I was done making sure I looked good, I left my room and started to the library to meet my friends. We were going to do some more research together, as we did just about every day. We'd all been finding lots of spells for our grimoires though it was getting harder and harder to find new ones as we'd already tried a lot of the most common level 1 spells.

I ran into Winch on the way and we continued to the library together. Winch was making a rather obvious effort to try not to look at my chest, something which amused me slightly. I still got a bit creeped out when guys stared at me there, especially Winch, but I could appreciate how much effort it was taking on his part in order to behave.

"Was I ever that bad?" I mused, remembering the way I'd always stared at girls chests when I thought I could get away with it. Of course, I'd been just as bad if not worse. In fact, in spite of having my own breasts I still tended to look a bit.

When we reached the library, Angie and Spooky were already there with a couple grimoires in front of them. Spooky and Winch shared a quick kiss before Winch settled down next to her.

After we had been there for only ten minutes, Nick came into the library and paused when he saw us. "If it isn't the faerie princess club," he said with a sneer.

"No," I told Angie, putting a hand on her shoulder before she could get up. "I've got this one." She looked disappointed as I stood up and started walking towards Nick while he looked a little surprised and disappointed as well.

"So the faerie princess decided to stand up for herself," Nick said after a moment, giving me a glare. "What are you planning to do?"

"Look asshole," I told him, "I am getting sick and tired of this." Then in a slightly quieter voice so Angie wouldn't hear, I added, "If you have a thing for Angie...fine. Just leave me the hell out of it."

Then I just walked past Nick and towards the library exit, deciding that I didn't want to deal with him at the moment. He just stood there with a confused expression.

Just as I was about to reach the door, a man suddenly stepped into the doorway. He was wearing a red bandana over the lower part of his face and had a machine gun pointed at me. As if that wasn't enough, a woman with a similar bandanna and gun appeared behind him.

"Don't move," the man with the bandanna yelled. "And don't say a word... If any of you freaks opens your mouths I'll shoot you."

"If you even so much as think about using magic, I'll shoot you," the woman exclaimed.

I gasped and just barely kept myself from demanding to know who they were. The man and woman came into the library and ordered us to sit on the ground. I had to keep biting my tongue and could see that the others were having just as difficult time with it as I was.

"Holy shit," the woman with the bandanna exclaimed, suddenly pointing her gun right at my head. "This one has wings..." I gulped, realizing that my wings hadn't been very noticeable when relaxed but they'd finally seen them.

Both of them stared at me with looks of hate in their eyes. "Using magic to change yourself," the man spat out in disgust. "You people will ruin the human race if we let you."

"And we're not about to let you people do that," the woman added, pulling out a roll of duct tape.

"Not a word," the man reminded us with a sneer.

A minute later, the woman had put a strip of duct tape over my mouth and then wrapped my ankles together as well as taped my hands behind my back and wrapped several layers around my upper arms and torso. She was surprised when she couldn't touch my wings with either her hands or the tape.

Once we were all tied up like this, the woman kicked me hard but not as hard as the man did when he kicked me next. None of the others were kicked so it looked like my wings had marked me for special attention.

"She even has pointed ears," the woman muttered to her companion. "These magir freaks will ruin human evolution... Good thing we're here to stop them." Then she held up a canister and looked to the man.

"No need to waste the sleep gas on these ones," he told her. "We've already got these ones contained. Let’s go join the others. We've got a lot more of these freaks to round up..."

I stared at our attackers in fear though I certainly wasn't the only one. I felt so weak and helpless, even more than I'd felt when those guys had been messing with us at the mall. At least there I'd been free to move and use magic but these guys had guns and took all that away. All of us were tied up helpless.

"Its time someone dealt with you magic fanatics," the man said, giving me one more swift kick before he turned and started to leave. "That's what we're here for."

"We'll come back and burn this trash once all the other cultists have been dealt with," the woman said, gesturing to the book shelves.

I just glared at them as they left, realizing that they must be part of that group of fanatics that Mrs. Thompson had belonged to. My heart raced in terror as well as relief. Those people had just left the library but they were planning on coming back to burn the grimoires. I strongly suspected that they might be planning on burning us with them.

Then I looked around and saw Spooky glaring at the door with a furious expression in her eyes. Angie looked pretty defiant as well while Winch looked like he was about to panic. Nick however, was watching Angie with a worried look in his eyes.

I struggled to get loose but the duct tape was holding too well. I'd have to work at it. Then I had an idea, I intentionally tipped myself onto my side and wiggled until I was behind Angie. It was very painful doing this because of the bruising they'd caused with their kicks but I did my best to ignore it. I placed my face behind her back, hoping that she'd get the idea. Her hands had been tied behind her back the same way mine had been but her fingers could move. She quickly got the idea and worked at pulling the tape loose from my face.

"Thanks," I told her gratefully once I was able to speak again. Then I took a deep breath and began to recite one of the spells I'd memorized.

It only took a few seconds for the glow to surround my body and then I began to shrink. My clothes and jewelry all shrunk with me but the duct tape didn't. As a result, I was soon a tiny faerie with wings and was able to pull myself free of what little duct tape remained stuck to me and then fly to a short distance away.

"I'll be back in just a moment to let you guys out," I called out loud enough so they could all hear me. "I need to look around before I change back to normal."

With that, I flew out of the library, trying to keep out of sight as I flew to the main building to warn one of the instructors. However, I quickly realized that I was too late. There were at least a dozen men and women who had the red bandannas over their lower faces and weapons in hand.

The attackers had obviously used the sleeping gas that they'd mentioned earlier since the cafeteria was full of sleeping students and instructors. The attackers were pulling more unconscious people into the cafeteria and dropping them there while others kept guard.

"Damn," I exclaimed, frustrated at the realization that all the teachers and other students had already been taken down. These people had hit us fast and without warning. If there was anyone else free, I didn't know where they could be.

I returned to the library as fast as I could, knowing that they'd probably be back for us soon. I landed right in front of my friends and used the spell that would break my transformation and change me back to my normal size.

Fortunately, the others had been busy in my absence and had been working to free each other. I helped which got them free that much faster.

"Everyone else has been captured," I told them as I helped remove the last of the duct tape from Winch. "We're the only ones who are free."

"We should hide and call the police," Winch said nervously.

"Fuck that," Spooky exclaimed. "They'll never get here in time..."

I nodded, wincing from the ache in my side. "Those people have hostages," I pointed out grimly. "A lot of them." I grimaced and shook my head, imagining that things could get even worse though it was hard to see how.

"I don't know about you guys but I'm fighting," Nick exclaimed with a look of determination in his eyes.

"Hell yeah I am," Angie agreed.

Spooky nodded agreement as well and pointed out, "We have magic so we're not exactly unarmed..."

"It's not a good idea," Winch said carefully. "But I'm in."

"Then it's unanimous," I told them, looking around at my friends and Nick. "We just have to figure out how to do it without getting anyone hurt."

Just then, the man who'd captured us came back and paused for a moment to stare at us in obvious surprise that we'd gotten free. However, he recovered quickly but not quickly enough. Angie cast a spell and he was suddenly tied up in seaweed and unable to move.

"This should be a little more permanent," Winch said, holding up the roll of duct tape that the attacker had left behind after finishing with us. He grinned as he went to work.

"Fucking loser," Spooky snarled, kicking our prisoner.

"Time to go kick some ass," Angie exclaimed with a smirk.

Spooky grabbed her grimoire and read a spell from it and a moment later, her clothes shimmered and changed. She was now wearing a black witch costume that had a jack-o-lantern symbol on her belt buckle and on the buckle for her witch hat. I recognized this particular witch costume as the appearance of her armor spell.

A moment later, Nick recited the same spell from memory and his own armor appeared, looking like some sort of fantasy medieval armor that was red and black with what looked like dragon scales all over it. I had to admit that it looked pretty wicked.

"Too bad that spell won't work for me," Winch said with a look of disappointment.

"Me either," I added with a smile. "But I found a more powerful armor spell that will work for me. It's a crest spell."

I flipped to the right page of my grimoire and read the spell aloud, not sure what form my own armor would take since I'd only found this spell last night hadn't tested it yet. A moment later, gold and green energy flowed over my body and my own clothes shimmered and were replaced with my own armor, though it hardly looked like armor.

"Wow," Angie exclaimed, staring at me in surprise. "That's armor?"

"Looks even less like armor than mine," Spooky pointed out with a smirk.

I looked down at myself and saw that I was now wearing a shimmering green dress that went all the way to my feet. There were no sleeves but there was gold metallic wrist bracers that that looked very intricate and delicate. I quickly found that I was also wearing a gold tiara on in a very similar style to my bracers.

"Now you really do look like some kind of faerie princess," Nick said, though there was no mockery in his voice, only amazement.

"Let's go kick their asses," Angie exclaimed, heading for the library door.

"Wait," I told her. "We're badly outnumbered and they're hardly unarmed. If we do this, we'll have to be smart about it."

"What do you have in mind?" Winch asked thoughtfully.

I frowned, not having really thought that far ahead. Then I looked back at our prisoner and grinned. "We split them up and take them out by surprise," I said.

A short time later, I'd explained what I had in mind and we'd split up into two groups. Spooky and Winch were in one group while I was teamed with Nick and Angie. It was strange being teamed with Nick but he behaved himself.

I went out and acted as a decoy, having my wings spread out and glowing so as to draw more attention. I let myself be seen by two of the attackers who were dragging in an unconscious student, whom they immediately dropped to start shooting at me. I felt one bullet hit my armor and bounce off though I knew it would leave another bruise.

"Get her," one of the two attackers yelled at the other.

I ran around the corner and as soon as they were close, they suddenly found themselves facing a giant transparent dragon. They both froze and gasped in terror, too scared to move. This was actually an intimidation spell that Nick had cast and it obviously worked well.

Suddenly, a massive wave of water slammed into both of the attackers and sent them flying back, dropping their weapons in the process. It only took another minute before we'd taken them both out.

"Three down," I pointed out. "About a dozen more to go."

"We'll get these ones tied up," Angie told me. "And get him to safety." She pointed to the unconscious student that the attackers had abandoned in order to come after me.

"I'll go draw in another one," I said, going back out to play decoy again.

This time, I tried something different, summoning a single small faerie to act as a decoy for me. This was a messenger spell but they wouldn't know that. I found three more of the bandanna wearing attackers and sent the faerie to tag one of them and then lead them towards me.

"Now," I exclaimed once they were close, hitting them with the sleep spell I'd used at the mall, catching two of them though I missed the third.

However, Nick hit the third with a blast of fire that had him screaming in pain until Angie slammed him with a blast of water which put the fire out. By that point, he wasn't in much shape for further fighting.

Unfortunately, this fight had created too much noise and more of the attackers came rushing out of the building towards us. In fact, we seemed to have accidentally drawn the attention of just about all of the ones who remained.

"Oh shit," I exclaimed. "There are too many of them..."

Nick opened his grimoire to a page and read off a spell and suddenly a small dragon appeared in front of him and then flew towards the attackers, breathing a stream of fire. They opened fire with their guns while Angie read the spell to create a thick fog so they couldn't see us while we ran away.

I let out a stream of curses, flipping through my own grimoire until I found a spell that might be able to help. I read the spell and a swarm of about a dozen small faerie appeared in the area around me. Each faerie was armed with a small spear.

"Attack them," I ordered my faeries and all of them flew off towards the attackers, going through the Angie's fog without hesitation.

A moment later, the attackers all started yelling in pain as they were being poked and stung by my faeries. I'd seen Elzebeth cast the same spall and for her it was a swarm of bees that would sting opponents. My faeries worked about the same way, poking at the attackers with the spears, not doing much damage but really pissing them off.

"That won't last for long," I said, already reading another spell, this one creating an illusion in front of me that looked exactly like me. This is one of the light spells I'd learned, one that bent light to create an illusion. I sent my copy in one direction while I ran in another. The attackers saw my illusionary copy and went after that one.

Angie, Nick and I took this opportunity to get away and out of sight. Unfortunately, we'd given away our presence so our plan to take them out one or two at a time was no longer an option. Still, we were hardly helpless.

Suddenly, Angie cried out in pain and hit the ground. I snapped around and saw that not all the attackers had been fooled by my distraction and that one of them had just shot Angie.

"BASTARD!" Nick screamed, casting a spell that shot a ball of fire right at the attacker.

"Angie," I cried out, dropping by her side and seeing that she'd been shot in her thigh.

"Damn it hurts," Angie exclaimed with tears running down her cheeks.

Another attacker jointed that one, this one a woman. I thought she was the same woman who'd jumped us in the library but wasn't certain. She threw a canister right at us and it exploded with a thick smoke pouring out.

"The sleep gas," I yelled out, rushing back from the gas.

I felt bad for abandoning Angie to it but knew I couldn't pull her out in time. Seconds later, Angie and Nick were both collapsed to the ground unconscious while I'd managed to avoid that particular fate. Now I was alone and both of the attackers were still armed with guns.

I felt bullets bounce off my armor and I gasped in pain. None of the bullets got through but they were leaving some nasty bruises. I flipped open my grimoire and read another spell. Another swarm of faeries appeared around me, but these ones were acting as additional armor. When they fired more shots at me one of my faerie disappeared and kept me from being hit. However, each shot caused another of my faeries to disappear.

"Rat bastards," I snarled, casting one of my few offensive spells.

I fired a ball of green and gold energy which hit the woman and knocked her back. It wasn't very powerful but it could get the job done. I cast the spell again, this time firing it at the man. Unfortunately, I missed him and he returned fire, causing more of my faeries to vanish.

At this point, the woman was getting back up and rejoining the fight. I cursed and decided that turnabout was fair play. I cast the sleep spell again and let out a sigh of relief as both of them collapsed to the ground.

"Angie," I exclaimed, rushing back to her side. She was unconscious but still bleeding from where she'd been shot. I used my healing spell and let out another sigh of relief as her injury vanished.

Angie moaned and began to move, indicating that my healing spell had also taken care of the sleep gas. She opened her eyes and slowly sat up.

"Damn, I feel like shit," she said with a scowl.

"Let me take care of Nick," I told her, going to his side and using the healing spell again. A moment later, he began to sit up as well.

I may have taken out these two attackers but our fight had created enough noise to attract the rest. I cursed as they started coming into view but then the air between us was suddenly filled with flower petals that started swirling around, hitting some of the attackers and throwing them back.

"Elzebeth," I muttered, looking around for her and seeing her rushing towards us. Even better was the fact that she wasn't alone. Winch, Spooky, and four other students were with her as well. "Reinforcements," I exclaimed.

The attackers who were still standing opened fire and Winch called out a spell and a brick wall suddenly a few feet in front of us, providing cover from the bullets. I let out a sigh of relief, not sure I could take many more hits. My whole body was already bruised.

"Nice dress," Elzebeth commented with an amused look.

"We found a few others who got away," Winch said, gesturing to Elzebeth and the other students.

Spooky used a spell and suddenly a jack-o-lantern appeared on the ground, though this one revealed it was more than just a pumpkin since it actually had a body made of vines. It stood up and then started towards the enemies.

"A spell to summon a guardian to fight for me," Spooky said smugly.

"That's a crest spell," I exclaimed, suddenly feeling jealous since it was one I didn't have yet.

"Fine," Spooky said with a roll of her eyes, holding her grimoire open so I could read the spell.

I read the spell and a moment later, another faerie appeared in front of me. This one felt different than my usual crest faeries...even more real. I could tell that this one was actually solid.

Spooky's jack-o-lantern monster tore into the attackers, grabbing one and throwing him into another. It breathed out a blast of fire from its mouth and forced several more of the attackers to back off. At the same time, my own tiny faerie guardian joined the fight, not looking nearly as fierce or intimidating but it flew straight into the gut of one of the attackers and he was thrown back. Then my faerie guardian grabbed one of the female attackers and flew up into the air, carrying the attacker about a dozen feet before dropping her right on top of one of her comrades.

"Awesome," I exclaimed with a grin. "I like that spell."

A moment later, Spooky sent a dozen bats to mess with the attackers while Elzebeth sent a small swarm of bees. The other students stood back behind the brick wall since only one of them seemed to have his grimoire with him. He was a boy named Anton whom I'd talked to a couple times but didn't know very well.

One of the attackers threw another canister of sleep gas at us but Winch responded faster than I would have expected and there was suddenly a big metal safe where the canister had been. Then Winch immediately called out another spell and one of the attackers suddenly had a thick metal chain connected to his leg with the other end tied to a big metal ball.

Angie and Nick just stayed behind the brick wall, trying to recover. I'd woken them up from the sleep gas but there were strong after effects and they were both still a bit groggy. Anton read a spell from his grimoire and sent a ball of purple energy at the attackers, hitting one of them. The attacker who'd been hit was suddenly in a giant purple bubble and couldn't seem to get out.

I flipped open my grimoire to a spell that I thought might be useful and cast it. My whole body began to glow with a golden aura and I started to levitate off the ground. In spite of having wings, I couldn't normally fly but this spell would let me do so to a small degree. I went up into the air, a bit higher than the brick wall. I wasn't happy about the loss of cover but figured that having the high ground would make up for it.

"Holy shit," Spooky exclaimed. "You can fly?"

I had a good view of everything from this height and had full intention of using it. Elzebeth used a spell that made vines come out of the ground and wrap around the ankles of three of the attackers. Winch followed suit with a spell that made bear traps appear in the ground between us and the attackers.

"My turn," I muttered, sending another wave of faeries to attack and sting our enemies. They wouldn't do a lot of damage but would keep them occupied and too distracted to really focus on me.

By this point, Nick and Angie had recovered enough to rejoin the fight. Nick sent several balls of fire towards the enemy while Angie cast a spell that made giant octopus tentacles come out of the ground and wrap around one of the attackers. She followed that up by sending a ghost shark that didn't seem like it was able to do any damage but was definitely able to chase one of them away in terror.

"We need to disarm them," I called down. "Watch out... Three of them are trying to circle around behind us. Spooky, our guardians are starting to fade away."

I used my height and position to play the role of sniper, firing balls of energy at any of them who were caught my attention. I could only hit one of them at a time this way but each time I hit one they'd be knocked back, often dropping their weapons. I just wished they'd cluster together close enough for me to use my sleep spell.

Then I decided to change tactics and began using my levitation spell on any weapons that they'd dropped. It looked almost like another swarm of faeries descending on our attackers, grabbing machine guns and flying off with them much to the anger and frustration of their owners.

It was at this point that the attackers finally realized what I was doing and started focusing on me. My final faerie protectors all vanished and I was hit with a spray of bullets which hurt like hell. I screamed and dropped from the air, hitting the ground hard.

"JEN!" Elzebeth exclaimed, rushing to my side. "I don't see any blood..."

"Just bruised I think," I gasped, wincing in pain as I got back to my feet. Unfortunately, I was pretty wobbly.

"GET THOSE FREAKS!" one of the women with a bandanna yelled out to her companions. "We can't let them corrupt our children!"

"And fuck you," Spooky yelled back, sending what looked like a ghost to attack the woman who was trying to rally her allies.

There were only three attackers who were still armed and capable of fighting. Elzebeth took one of them down with the now familiar spell that wrapped him up with vines to contain him. Winch took down a second with a spell that summoned a giant metal hand that grabbed him and lifting him off the ground, causing him to drop his weapon in the process. The third was trapped in another glowing purple bubble, courtesy of Anton.

"We're done," Angie exclaimed with a sigh of relief. "We've got those rat bastards."

"We've got to check on the hostages," Elzebeth said.

I looked at the students who didn't have their grimoires with them and told them, "Get the guns and keep them on those guys." I pointed to the unarmed attackers, some of which were held by spells that would soon be wearing off.

"I'll help," Winch said.

"Me too," Spooky added, giving Winch a smile.

Elzebeth led the way back to the main building while Nick, Angie, and I followed. I winced with every step, trying not to let my completely bruised body slow me down. Elzebeth gave me a concerned look but didn't say anything.

We rushed into the cafeteria and found that not all of the attackers had come after us. Two more of them remained in the cafeteria, holding students hostage. We all froze at that.

"Don't move you freaks," one man yelled at us, pointing his gun right at an unconscious Theresa.

"Drop those books," the woman who was with him ordered us. "Put your hands up or I'll shoot this one." She pointed a gun at one of the students.

"Damn," I muttered, reluctantly putting my grimoire on the ground. Angie and Nick did the same thing though Elzebeth didn't have her grimoire with her.

"Cover me," Elzebeth whispered, shifting position so she was behind me, partly concealed by my wings which were spread open. Then I heard her saying a spell, quietly enough so that the attacker's couldn't hear.

As soon as Elzebeth finished her spell, small vines appeared on the intruders weapons. The quickly realized this and the man pulled the trigger but nothing happened. He swung his rifle to us and tried to shoot it still did nothing.

"It won't last long," Elzebeth exclaimed, then immediately began casting another spell. The woman was suddenly wrapped up in flowering vines, unable to move.

The man jumped at Angie, swinging his rifle at her like a club and hitting her arm since she was raising it to block the blow. Nick screamed and jumped on the man, beating the crap out of him with his bare hands. I didn't dare use any of my spells on him since Nick would have been hit as well. Fortunately, I didn't need to do anything. Nick had the enemy on the ground and Angie screamed and kicked him between the legs, taking any remaining fight right out of him.

"We did it," I called out with a grin.

"Get these two tied up," Elzebeth said, gesturing to the two attackers that we'd just taken down.

I picked up my grimoire and was about to start waking up instructors with my healing spell when I heard a gunshot and simultaneously felt an explosion of pain in my left shoulder. I screamed and dropped to my knees, realizing that I'd been shot from behind. It was only then that I realized that my armor had already faded away.

"JEN!" Elzebeth exclaimed in horror.

I glanced back with a grimace and saw the gunman running out the door and away. Angie was immediately chasing after him, screaming out profanities while Nick followed close behind.

Elzebeth dropped to her knees by my side, holding me and trying to check my wound. "Oh God Jen," she gasped. "I don't think it hit bone..." She shook her head and apologized, "I'm sorry but I don't have a healing spell for this...at least not memorized."

"I'm all right," I told her with a wince, silently cursing the fact that my own healing spell wouldn't work on myself.

Elzebeth didn't say another word but bent forward and gave me a kiss. I put my good arm around her and kissed her back, wishing things were a little different at the moment so we could really get passionate.

Just then, I heard someone exclaim, "Holy shit..." I snapped around and saw Spooky standing in the doorway, staring at us with a look of surprise on her face. "Ms. Sheffield?"

Elzebeth stood up and helped me to my feet. She gave Spooky a cold look, obviously not happy about having someone who'd actually seen us kissing. I blushed, embarrassed at having been caught.

"We have to make sure we got all of them," Elzebeth said, staring for the door.

"You and Ms. Sheffield?" Spooky asked me, still looking like she didn't believe it. "She's your secret admirer? No fucking way..."

"Not a word to anyone," I told Spooky, wincing at the pain in my shoulder.

"Sure, I'll keep it quiet," Spooky said, then paused to blurt out, "You're bleeding..."

"I got shot," I told her, then gestured to the two invaders we'd taken down. "Can you get them tied up? We got interrupted before we could."

"Gotcha," Spooky said, turning her attention to those two and smirking. "Okay fuckwads, time to get into a little bondage..."

I just chuckled at that, then picked my grimoire up again and followed after Elzebeth. I winced at the pain with each step, knowing I needed medical attention but determined not to stop just yet. I wanted that bastard who'd shot me.

A few minutes later, I found Angie, Nick and Elzebeth hunched down and taking cover alongside the building. A quick look revealed that the gunman had taken cover as well and was shooting at anyone he saw.

"He's not alone," Elzebeth told me when she saw me. "He found another one of his friends. The two of them are hunkered down."

"Can you use that spell to take out their guns again?" I asked.

"No," Elzebeth responded. "It only works if I get a good look at the weapon. Same with the spells to hold them."

"They're staying out of sight," Nick said angrily.

I looked down at myself, thinking about the fact that my armor had already worn off in the cafeteria. If it hadn't, that bullet would have just left me bruised rather than with a hole through me. I was going to have to rectify that.

After a muttered profanity, I opened my grimoire and cast the armor spell on me again, smiling faintly when my shimmering green dress and tiara returned. Then I cast the spell that summoned the small swarm of faeries which would also protect me from damage. Then as I was trying to think of what else I could use, I saw another spell.

I couldn't remember the words for the guardian spell I'd read from Spooky's book but I did have a similar spell in my own grimoire. It was one that I'd found yesterday along with my armor spell though I hadn't been able to test it yet.

"No time like the present," I muttered, glancing over the spell which said it would give power to your crest so it could fight for you for several minutes.

I read the spell and the moment I'd finished it, a swirl of golden light formed around me. I expected to see my crest appear in front of me the same way it had when I'd cast Spooky's guardian spell, but instead, I suddenly felt a surge of strength flow through me. I gasped in relief as the pain vanished from my shoulder and I could move my arm again. Then a golden metal shield formed on my left arm while a delicate looking gold metal sword appeared in my right.

"Holy shit," Angie exclaimed as she saw me.

"The spell gives my crest power," I whispered in realization. "But I am my crest..."

I was completely stunned by this but wasn't about to ignore an opportunity. I was now armed as well as armored so began walking right towards the intruders. They opened fire on me and several of my faeries vanished. They fired again and more of my faeries vanished.

"Look out Jen," Elzebeth called out.

To my amazement, Nick yelled, "Yo Princess...go kick their asses."

My last faerie vanished before I reached them but I held up my shield and it was able to protect me until I reached them. They both jumped up and tried using their rifles as clubs but I took a swing with my sword and the blade sliced right through one of the rifles as though it was nothing.

"I surrender," the other exclaimed, dropping his rifle and holding his hands up.

The man who'd surrendered was the very one who'd shot me and I was more than a little tempted to run him through with my sword. I had no doubt that I could slice him in two with no effort, not after the way it had cut through the gun. However, I wasn't a killer so kicked him in the balls as hard as I could instead.

"I think that's the last of them," Elzebeth said as she rushed to my side, giving me a look of amazement.

"You have got to give me that spell," Angie told me. "That was awesome..."

"Do you still think I'm some silly faerie princess?" I asked Nick with a smirk.

Nick gulped visibly, his eyes going to my sword. Then he finally said, "Actually, you looked more like some faerie queen..."

"I can live with that," I responded with a laugh.

Unfortunately, my new guardian spell chose that moment to wear off. My sword and shield both vanished and the pain suddenly returned to my shoulder. I let out a loud gasp and nearly fell to my knees since I wasn't expecting it to come back like that.

"Let's get you some medical attention," Elzebeth said gently, giving me a look that seemed filled with both worry and pride.

"And call the cops," Angie pointed out, glaring at the two newest prisoners.

"At least it's over," I said with a wince of pain. "It's finally over..."

However, the intruders we'd just captured glared at us with hatred in their eyes that told me that for them it would never be over. Fortunately, they were no longer a threat and for the moment that was enough.

--------------------

I was sitting in the cafeteria with Spooky and Winch, eating lunch and joking with my friends. It had been nearly a week since the attack on the CHASM and things had returned to normal for the most part. Of course, for me the word 'normal' had developed a somewhat different meaning than it had for most people.

With that, I absently rubbed my shoulder where I'd been shot, remembering how badly it hurt. After I'd woken up Mrs. Welch, she used a healing spell to take care of it. However, her healing spell wasn't nearly as powerful as my own. My spell would make it so it was like the wound had never happened while hers just sped up the natural healing process in a small area, leaving me with a scar that looked like it had been there for years.

The truly strange thing was that within two days, my scar had faded away until there was no sign it had ever been there and that was not something her spell was supposed to do. At the same time, the bruises which covered my entire body had also all healed and faded away in only one day. Those things reminded me of how fast my hair had grown back to its normal length after being cut as well as how I'd looked when Winch had cast the spell to let me see what I'd look like in thirty years.

I'd already spent a lot of time thinking about my future image in the mirror as well as how my hair had grown back so this healing from my injuries didn't really surprise me much. In fact, it just seemed to confirm what I already suspected. I'd been given this body by magic and that very magic was acting to keep my body the same way it was when I was first transformed. That meant I healed from injuries very quickly and apparently didn't even age. The ramifications of that were still a bit overwhelming so I was careful not to tell anyone that I might be potentially immortal.

Then my thoughts turned back to the actual attackers, an organization with the self-righteous name of the Protectors of Reason...which seemed rather ironic to me. They were comprised of fanatical atheists who believed magic went counter to science and a rational society, though they also had some members who just hated magir for other reasons.

Elzebeth had relayed to me everything that the police told the instructors, and according to her, the so called Protectors had been planning on using us all as hostages and demanding that other schools of magic be shut down and that laws be passed to ban the teaching of magic. They had even planned on killing a few of us just to make an example. Their main goal had been to make people afraid of trying to learn magic at all.

Our attackers had also planned on burning every grimoire and book of magic in the CHASM, having collected the grimoires from all the students and instructors they'd knocked unconscious and throwing them into a pile. Fortunately, we'd stopped them before they could actually burn those grimoires or the library but not before they'd gotten a few books. They'd already burned all the books they found in the instructors offices, including the book of test spells. As far as I knew, I was now the only person in the world who still had a copy of the spell that had transformed me.

I forced myself to stop thinking about that and to focus on my friends. Spooky was talking about a new spell she'd found that would let her walk up walls. I was looking forward to seeing that one in action.

"Now you can do the whole Spider Man thing," I told her with a chuckle. "I found an invisibility spell that works for me this morning."

"Really?" Winch asked, giving me an eager look. "That would be interesting to see."

"Or not see," Spooky pointed out with a smirk.

"Actually, it isn't all that impressive," I admitted with a shrug. "It won't work on myself. I can only turn other things invisible...and only if they're small enough."

"That might still be useful," Winch mused thoughtfully. "Consider this... You could turn your valuables invisible so no one steals them..."

"Unless someone happens to touch them," I pointed out. "Touching the item breaks the spell."

After a minute of talking about the uses for my invisibility spell, Spooky complained, "I just wish it was easier finding new spells." She shook her head and said, "I tried three spells this morning and then realized that they were ones I've already found in other grimoires and tried before. I hate to waste my fucking time like that."

"That reminds me," Winch said with a grin. "I've been thinking of starting a database for spells." At our questioning looks, he added, "As you pointed out, this way of digging through old grimoires is time consuming and inefficient. I was thinking of copying spells into a database so you can search for spells by level, type, or what they do. I mean, imagine being able to look up every healing spell at once to find ones that work for you." Then he looked at me and continued, "And you've got affinities for crest spells and light spells so imagine being able to just print out a list of every known crest spell or light spell..."

"That would make it a whole lot easier," I told him with an appreciative nod. Unfortunately, the CHASM tended to be a bit old school about tracking magic spells and that held true to most magir. Some magir would write up books of certain types of spells but there was nothing as organized as what Winch was talking about, at least not on any large scale. "That could actually be awesome..."

"And Angie could look up water spells," Spooky said, pointing out in the process that she wasn't at the table with us.

Ever since the big fight, Angie had been spending a lot of time with Nick and the two of them had become something of a couple. She was really impressed at how he'd jumped to her defense and I couldn't say that I blamed her. He might be a jerk a lot of the time but he really did care about her. Then again, Nick had pretty much left me alone since then too since I'd impressed him with how I did in the fight. Of course, the fact that he no longer needed to mess with me to get Angie's attention helped too.

"I've got to get going," I told Spooky and Winch. "I've got some one on one training scheduled with my mentor."

Spooky gave me a knowing smirk at that and said, "Have fun."

I rolled my eyes as I got up from the table, thankful that Spooky had kept my relationship with Elzebeth a secret. However, it had come with the price of telling her all about it, or at least as much as I thought she needed to know. What actually went on behind closed doors was none of her business, in spite of what she seemed to think.

A few minutes later I met up with Elzebeth, though not in the room where we had our frequent nightly encounters. Instead, we met at one of the practice areas since in spite of what Spooky thought, this actually was a training session. I couldn't help but feel a stirring of disappointment at that even as I was glad to see Elzebeth again. Since there was no one around, Elzebeth and I shared a quick kiss before we actually went to work.

"You did incredibly well during the fighting last week," Elzebeth told me. "I think we can work with that a bit, practice some more of those spells so you're prepared if anything like that ever happens again."

I was about to ask her what the odds of that were when I remembered that it had already happened several times. Not only did those fanatics attack the school but I'd also had to deal with the jokers in the mall and Mrs. Thompson. As much as I might not like the idea of going into a war zone again, it made a lot of sense to be ready just in case.

"The one I really want to see is you augmenting yourself again," she told me after I'd activated my armor spell and the one which summoned the swarm of faeries that offered further protection. "That one was very impressive."

"Alright," I said, actually pleased by the opportunity to show off in front of her.

I cast the spell which was supposed to give me a guardian but which instead turned me into one. A moment later, a glow of golden energy swirled around me while I felt myself flooded with strength and vitality. A shield appeared on one arm while the delicate looking golden sword appeared in my other hand. I suddenly felt invicible, though I knew this would only last for a couple minutes.

Elzebeth and I spent the next half hour testing my capabilities with the augmentation spell on top of my other protection spells, though it meant I had to keep casting them again. She launched several attacks at me while I saw how much my armor, faerie defenders, and shield could protect me. And of course, we tested my sword, finding that it could cut through just about anything with ease.

After this, we went over the other spells that I'd used in the fight as well as the spells I had in my grimoire which might be useful for defending myself if I ever needed to do it again. We discussed which ones would be most effective as well as which might work well together. Then we settled on a few that I should to memorize...just in case.

As we were finishing up, Elzebeth asked, "Have you thought about what you were going to do after you leave here? Your graduation is coming up pretty soon."

I paused at that, feeling a little guilty. My mom had been about to yank me out of the CHASM again when she heard about the attack and I'd had quite an argument with her over the phone because of it. I'd ended up having to use the 'if you refuse to let me use magic, then the terrorists win' argument in order to get her to agree to let me stay. I felt bad about using such a cheap shot to get my way but Angie told me that just proved I really was a woman now.

"I can't really do much until I get a class two license," I point out with a shrug. "I figure, once I've got that and I graduate from high school I'll become a consultant for someone... I mean, I've got a really good healing spell and I know a lot of places really want magir with healing spells."

"That is an option," Elzebeth agreed with an amused look. "You would probably also be very popular among those fantasy conventions..."

"Oh yeah," I spread my wings and laughed. "I've got permanent cosplay going on."

"I'm afraid I've got an appointment with another student in just a few minutes," Elzebeth told me with a sigh, giving me a suggestive look as she added, "How about we meet up again at dinner for some more individual lessons." The look she gave me made this clear she didn't mean lessons with magic.

At this point, the other student she was going to do some training with arrived. I glanced at the boy, feeling a tiny bit jealous though I knew it was ridiculous since I had Elzebeth in ways he could only dream of. However, I was also faintly annoyed since his presence also meant that I couldn't kiss her again before leaving.

"Then I guess I'll see you later," I told Elzebeth, trying to keep a somewhat professional demeanor as I picked up my grimoire and left.

A few hours later when it was time for dinner, I didn't go to the cafeteria like I normally would have. Instead, I went to the room where Elzebeth and I usually met. As I expected, she was already there waiting for me.

Elzebeth sat at a table with two plates of food, food that looked a bit nicer than what was currently being served in the cafeteria. She saw me and smiled then poured two glasses of wine. This surprised me a little since I was still underage...but not much. One thing that I appreciated about Elzebeth was that when we were alone she always treated me as an adult...as a woman.

"Thank you," I said as I accepted the glass of wine and took a drink. It was the first time I'd ever had wine and I couldn't say that I really enjoyed the taste. Still, I did like the experience.

I stared at Elzebeth for a moment, admiring her beauty and grace. I cared a great deal about her and knew that she cared about me, though I suspected part of her interest was in being able to remold me into a lady. However I held no illusions that we were soul mates who would remain together for the rest of our lives. There was the age difference for one thing, not to mention the fact that I would probably never see her again once I left the school. This saddened me a great deal but I was definitely going to enjoy her company while I still could.

I thought about the spell she used to temporarily grow her own dick and felt a little disappointed since that spell didn't work for me. I'd been transformed before I'd ever had sex as a man, and though I really enjoyed being penetrated, I would have liked to have experience being the penetrator at least once. Still, I enjoyed being penetrated by Elzebeth enough that I wasn't about to complain.

"This is good," I told her as I took a bite of the food.

"Thank you," she told me, looking pleased. "I cooked it myself." Then she gave me a suggestive look and added, "Just wait until dessert."

"I can't wait," I told her honestly, taking a sip of wine and smiling. "I can't wait."

-------------------

It was my last day at the CHASM, my last day here in this school. I couldn't help but feeling mixed emotions about my upcoming graduation. On one hand, I was finally going to get my license and legally become a full magir and I was also going to get to go home to my friends and family. But on the other hand, I'd been here at this school for the last two months and it had become almost like a home to me. I was going to have to leave the friends I'd made here and then deal with everyone back home, dealing with the stares and questions which were sure to come because of my transformation.

Of course, one of the things I was going to miss the most were my encounters with Elzebeth. I'd enjoyed my time with her a great deal and learned more about being a woman from her than I would have imagined. She helped make my transformation not only bearable but enjoyable. We'd said our private good-byes last night and I still ached just a little from it, though it was the good kind of ache.

I smiled as I remembered last night and then turned my attention back to my packing. I'd already packed up most of my belongings but still had a few things left to put in my bags. After all, I'd be leaving the school once the graduation ceremony was over.

I held up the gold metal tiara that Elzebeth had given me last night as a good-bye present. It was beautiful, strongly resembling the one I gained with my augmentation spell and it looked great on me, making me look like a real faerie princess. However, I couldn't think of any legitimate reason to wear it right now, at least not without looking silly or drawing questions about where it had come from. So with a sigh if disappointment, I wrapped it up in one of my shirts to protect it and put it into the bag.

Next was a book, the same fantasy novel that I'd been reading when I first arrived here two months ago. I'd been so busy dealing with real magic and adventure that I never did get around to finishing it.

"I'll have plenty of time for that on the plane trip home," I reminded myself as I put it into my carry on bag.

I packed two other books as well, the first of which was my grimoire which I put into my carry on bag since I wanted to keep it close to me. I also had a second grimoire that I'd recently made though it was comprised entirely of spells that I couldn't cast but still found interesting, including the dick growing spell of Elzebeth's and the spells from the test book which had never been verified as working for anyone. I'd already copied everything I could use from Simon Grinwell's grimoire and had returned it to the library a few days ago.

Once I was fully packed, I checked myself out in the mirror to make sure I looked good and then left my room. There was something else I had to deal with before the graduation ceremony, something which made me more nervous than when I had facing those fanatics who invaded our school. I was going to have to face my mom again.

Uncle Dave and my mom arrived at the school a short time later, having come to actually see my graduation in person. A lot of other students had family members come as well though I doubted that any of them were as nervous about it as I was. After all, the last time I'd seen my mom in person had been six weeks ago, right after my initial transformation.

When I saw them pull up in a rental car, I took a quick glance down at myself, unsure of what they would both say. I was dressed with slacks, a nice blouse, and heels, not to mention my jewelry. I had intentionally dressed in a feminine manner rather than in just plain jeans and T-shirt because I wanted to make a statement to them that this was who I was now, that I was a girl now and not a boy. I even spread my wings a bit so that they couldn't miss seeing those as well, even though I felt a little like a peacock for doing so.

My mom's eyes went wide when she saw me standing there and she carefully asked, "Jon?"

"its Jen now," I reminded her pleasantly. "Jennifer."

"You look...nice," she said, looking a bit lost and confused. I'd expected a reaction something like this.

"So how are you holding up?" uncle Dave asked, giving me a once over with his eyes.

"Pretty good, I guess," I responded with a grin.

My mom just looked me over again, obviously a bit surprised by how feminine I was dressed. Then she said, "I thought they would have found a cure by now..."

I paused at that and stared at her for a moment, trying to think of how to respond. Finally, I said, "There is no cure." She gaped while I continued, "This is who I am now." I gestured down at myself and gave her a reassuring smile. "That's okay though. I've gotten used to it."

The truth was, I'd not just accepted being female, I've embraced it. I liked who I've become and who I was still becoming. If someone came up to me right now with a spell that was guaranteed to turn me into a guy again, I'd refuse to use it. I had no desire to go back to being the old Jon when being Jen was so much better.

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence as my mom continued to stare at me, obviously hoping for something that would convince her that in spite of my physical changes I was still the same Jon inside. However, I wasn't going to just pretend to be the old me so she could feel more comfortable. She needed to understand that I really had changed more than just physically. That was one of the reasons I'd chose to dress the way I was. In fact, I'd briefly even considered wearing my dress though I'd decided that might be going a bit too far.

"It's nice to see you're adjusting well," uncle Dave said to break the silence. I gave him a thankful look as he added, "I know it can't be easy."

I just smiled at that and said, "Come on, let me introduce you to my friends..."

A minute later, I found Spooky inside talking to her own mom, a woman who looked a great deal like the image of future Spooky from the mirror. Being introduced to Spooky took my mom's mind off my changes though she also looked a little confused, first by Spooky's name since I'd introduced her as Spooky rather than Rebecca . Then she looked at me as if wondering exactly what kind of friendship I had with her.

After this, I found Winch and Angie and introduced them as well. It was just a little embarrassing having my mom meet my friends like that, especially as she started asking them questions about how I was doing, digging for more information about me. Of course, I didn't really like it but could understand her wanting to do so.

"So," my mom asked me when we'd left my friends. "Is there anyone...special?"

I stared at her in surprise and blushed badly. "No," I lied. "My situation makes things...complicated."

"Are you sure there isn't a...boy?" she asked awkwardly and then quickly added, "I mean with the way you're dressed..."

That question surprised me even more than the first one, though I'd known it would be coming sooner or later. I just hadn't expected it quite yet.

"I don't think now is a good time for this subject," uncle Dave pointed out.

I was grateful for him giving me a moment to consider my reaction. My first impulse was to vehemently deny everything but that wasn't the impression I wanted to give.

Instead, I calmly told my mom, "Actually, I still prefer girls." I smiled faintly as I tried to contain my discomfort over talking about this subject and just act confident. Elzebeth had told me that the secret to being taken seriously as a woman was to act calm and confident, as though you were the one in control even when you weren't. "You don't need or really want to know more about that part of my life so let’s leave it there."

Once again my mom was stunned and my response had left her hesitant and speechless for a moment. That was definitely a nice change since my mom was rarely at a loss for something to say. Uncle Dave just looked amused. I suddenly realized that this had given me an opportunity to seize control over the conversation if I wanted so there was no doubt in my mind that I would be using this tactic again when dealing with people in the future.

"I just don't want you to get pregnant," my mom stammered awkwardly. "You're still new to your new biology..."

"I'm familiar with the birds and the bees," I assured my mom wryly. "And that isn't going to happen anytime soon."

I wasn't about to bring this up at the moment but I suspected that I was even capable of getting pregnant if I tried. I'd been female for six weeks and still hadn't had my first period. And considering the way my body worked, healing injuries quickly and preventing changes, there was a very good chance it might reject any pregnancy completely.

"I have to go take my place for the ceremony," I told mom and uncle Dave as we reached the assembly hall which now had rows of chairs and a podium set up. "Family is supposed to sit in that section."

With that, I left my mom and uncle Dave and went to my seat, finding that my friends were already sitting in theirs. Spooky gave me a sympathetic look and said, "Dealing with your mom looked pretty rough."

"You have no idea," I told her pleasantly. "She was asking about my dating interests."

"Ouch," Spooky responded with a wince.

"What did you tell her?" Angie asked.

"I told her to mind her own business," I said with a smirk, earning a few laughs.

The ceremony began a few minutes later though it wasn't nearly as fancy as one might expect of a graduation. After all, none of us were wearing graduation gowns or those silly caps. Instead, each of the instructors stood up and gave small speech, giving advice and words of wisdom. Only then Mrs. Welch started calling people up for their diplomas.

"Winchester Riley," Mrs. Welch called Winch after she'd called a few other names first.

Winch got up and went to the front where he collected his diploma as well as the license that came with it. He gave us a thumbs up as he returned to his seat, showing off the license.

"Angela Morse," Mrs. Welch called out a few minutes later, followed shortly afterwards by, "Jennifer Argent."

I got up with a grin, pleased that she'd used my new name rather than the one I'd registered with. I went up to the front and happily accepted my own diploma and license, noticing that those had been made out to 'Jennifer' as well. I felt excited as I went back to my seat, waving to uncle Dave and mom in the process. They both looked quite proud.

Spooky was the last of our group to be called and I nearly missed it when Mrs. Welch called for Rebecca Conner rather than the more familiar name of Spooky. Once she was back in her seat, we all congratulated each other and pretty much ignored the rest of the names being called out.

When the last diploma had been given out, Mrs. Welch said, "You have all accomplished something great but this is only the start. Congratulations young magir."

We all jumped up at that and started cheering while all the instructors stood up front clapping. I noticed Elzebeth watching me with a smile so I waved to her. Anyone who was watching would merely assume I was waving at all the instructors though she would know who it was really meant for.

"All right," Angie exclaimed. "We did it. We're magir..."

"Fucking awesome," Spooky said with a grin. Then she abruptly said, "Oh, I've got something for you guys..."

"Yeah?" Angie asked curiously.

Spooky reached into her pocked, looking a little self-conscious as she pulled out a handful of what looked like patches that could be sewn onto a jacket. She held one out for me and I saw that it had a black background with a green faerie shape in the middle. Around the outsides were the words 'Faerie Princess Club'.

"I made them myself," Spooky said. Then she gave us a defiant look as though daring us to make something of it. "Yeah, I can sew..." Then she gave me the first patch before holding up another one. This one didn't have a picture of a faerie but instead had the image of a jack-o-lantern. "This one is mine."

Then Spooky showed the others patches, one with a mermaid which she handed to Angie and one with a rifle which she handed to Winch. I was wondering why he had a rifle until I realized it was a Winchester rifle, which made sense in a way since he didn't have a crest like the rest of us.

"I've got one for you too," Spooky said as she handed a patch to Nick as well, which surprised me. His had the image of a dragon on it. "You are sort of an unofficial member now, I mean, being the one who came up with the name and all..."

Nick looked a bit uncomfortable at that and sarcastically responded, "Great..." He glanced at me to see if I might still be holding a grudge and he relaxed a little when he saw I was laughing.

After this, we all started saying our good-byes, even coming to tears a bit as we shared e-mail addresses and promised to keep in contact. I was sad about leaving my friends and I certainly wasn't the only one.

"Girls get so emotional about these things," Winch told Nick while Angie, Spooky and I all flipped them off.

"Well, good luck Princess," Nick told me before he left with Angie so that they could say their good-bye's in private.

"Later ass-hole," I called back.

A minute later, Winch and Spooky walked off together as well. I was about to go look for my mom when I noticed Neil coming towards me with a wrapped package in his hands.

"Hey Jen," Neil said, "I've got a little present for you."

"What?" I blinked in surprise as I accepted the small package. "What for?"

"Actually, it's from Conrad Lestraad," Neil told me with a chuckle. "He asked me to give it to you."

I tore off the wrapping paper and found that it was a book that had a sheet of paper tucked into the cover. I took out the paper and saw that it was a letter from Mr. Lestraad.

'Ms. Argent,' the letter began. 'I acquired this book from Simon Grinwell some years ago. As I have told you previously, he was fascinated by crest spells and took special interest in studying them. This book contains every crest spell that Simon found in his long career of collecting them which makes this the most accurate list of crest spells in the world. This book not only contains nearly every known crest spell but also has every one that Simon ever discovered. I thought that you could make much better use of this book than I or anyone else.' It was signed 'Conrad Lestraad'.

"Holy shit," I whispered, flipping through the book and seeing that it had dozens of crest spells written down in it. My heart jumped as I realized the incredibly valuable treasure I held in my hands.

I was still trying to absorb the immensity of what I held when I noticed that Neil had left and Elzebeth was coming towards me. She saw the book in my hand and smiled.

"I see Neil managed to get your present to you," she told me with an amused look. "Gretchen really wanted to add it to our library instead." It took me a moment to realize that she meant Mrs. Welch. "She tried talking Lestraad into donating it to the school instead."

"I'm glad she didn't," I said, thinking of all these new spells, some of them extremely rare. "I can't wait to try some of these out."

Elzebeth laughed at that and told me, "I can imagine." Then she said, "I have something for you as well." She handed me a piece of paper.

"What's this?" I asked.

"My email address," she told me with a smile and a gleam in her eyes. "Oh, and the address of a company where I just signed on to work as a consultant in a couple weeks."

I looked at the paper and saw the address. My eyes went wide and I blurted out, "This is an hour from where I live..."

"Really?" Elzebeth responded with a look of mock surprise. "What a coincidence. Then I guess I'll see you again soon..." She gave me a knowing look and a somewhat smug smile before she slowly turned and walked away.

I stared after Elzebeth for a moment and then grinned in delight. "I can't wait."

For a moment I just stood where I was, trying to absorb everything that was going on. I had a fantastic and sexy body that I'd really come to appreciate and wouldn't give up for the world. I had a class 3 license and was officially a magir, no longer needing supervision to use magic. I now had a copy of nearly every known crest spell there was, which was no small thing. And of course, it looked like my relationship with Elzebeth wasn't going to end quite yet.

The only real problem I could see with my life right now was that I was definitely going to miss my friends, but I was also certain that I would see them again. If nothing else, I could at least keep in contact online.

I clutched the book of crest spells tightly in my hand and looked down over my body, smiling as I did so. My wings spread open and glowed a little in response to my emotions. "Oh yes," I purred to myself as I went to go find my mom and uncle Dave. "I love being a faerie princess."

THE END



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