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Blair climbs out of the Uber car, and glances up at her grandfather's house. It was an old,
Victorian, three story mini mansion. When it was first built in the late eighteen-hundreds, it was painted an eggshell white. Now, the paint has weathered to a light brown, and is covered in green ivy.
Climbing the cracked, creaky stairs to the front door, Blair thought about what her new life would be like living in this new house. Her parents had died just one month prior in a car crash, leaving Blair an orphan. It had been legally decided for her to live with her closest living relative- her grandfather. He was a nice enough man, though he mostly kept to himself before the accident. Since then, he called Blair frequently to discuss matters such as what color she wanted her room and what she liked to eat.
Blair knocked on the keyhole door, shuffling on her feet, her hands tightly gripping the handles of her suitcases. Then, the door opened. Standing in front of her was her grandfather. He used to have auburn hair to match hers, but over the years it has lightened to a silvery grey. Their eyes, however, remained the same crystal blue.
The grandfather smiled when he saw her. “Blair, welcome!” he said, ushering her inside. “I have been preparing all week for you.”
Blair returned a kind smile. “Thank you, Grandfather.”
Her Grandfather shook his head. “Don’t use that old-sounding garbage. Please, call me Opa. Now, get inside.”
The two stepped inside, into a large living room. It had a flat screen tv and a surround sound stereo, both evidently new due to the boxes in the corner of the room. Blair took a deep breath, inhaling the smell of fresh cinnamon. Opa’s favorite scent was cinnamon, and he made everything smell like it, from the house, to his clothes, to him.
Opa climbed the nearby staircase, motioning for Blair to follow. At the top of the steps was a hallway, with about a dozen rooms. He opened the first door on the left. “This is your new room.”
Blair stepped inside and looked around. The walls were teal, with cherry blossom trees painted in the corners. Under a large window overlooking the front driveway, was a platform bed with black sheets. Near the door was a desk with a computer, and next to that sat a table with a stereo and a stack of cds. She examined the stack with Opa watching.
“I didn’t know what kind of music you liked, so I bought what was popular on iTunes.” he said. Blair nodded, not really happy that Opa bought music she wouldn’t listen to. In the stack was top forties artists such as Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris. She was more into rock and alternative music. Luckily, she had her My Chemical Romance and Panic! At The Disco cds tucked safely into her suitcase. Not to mention, the hundreds of songs on her phone. But still, she thanked Opa and started unpacking her suitcases.
Later, when the clock struck five, Opa called Blair to dinner. After finding her way to the elegant dining room, she saw that they were having pizza, her favorite. “Tomorrow,” said Opa, “You go to your new private school tomorrow, Vanderdall Academy. Your uniform is in your closet.”
“Okay, thank you.” Blair said, nervously. She had never been to a private school before and didn’t know what to expect. She was about to say something when something caught her eye out of the corner of the dining room. It was an old, eight foot tall bookshelf. The wood was brown and dusty, and it looked like the books haven't been touched in ages.
Opa caught Blair staring at the bookshelf. “Leave it alone. Don’t touch it.” he warned.
“Why? What’s wrong with it?” Blair asked, curious.
“Nothing is necessarily wrong with it.” Opa shrugged, “I just don’t want you to mess with it.” Blair didn’t ask anymore about it.
The next day, Blair dressed in her new Vanderdall Academy uniform. It was a red and blue plaid skirt with a white shirt and a red tie. She also threw on the optional blue jacket with the school logo on the breast pocket. She found a backpack with basic school supplies on the dining table waiting for her when she went downstairs. Then, Blair left for school.
Vanderdall Academy was nothing like any other school Blair has gone to. From the outside, it looked like a castle with tall turrets and high archways. The front lawn was full of people when Blair rushed to her first class and accidentally knocked into a blonde girl carrying a cup of Starbucks.
“Watch it!” scowled the blonde, as Blair backed away. “You nearly made me spill my coffee.”
“I’m sorry.” said Blair, shyly. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“Well, isn’t that obvious.” hissed the blonde. “Who are you, anyway? I don’t recognize you, and I know everyone in the school.”
“I’m new. I went to a public school before this.”
The blonde gasped. “You went to a public school!? Are they just letting anyone in now?”
Before Blair could reply, a black haired girl ran up to them. “Laura-Ann,” She said. “Don’t you have anything better to do than torture new kids?”
Laura-Ann glared at the girl looking as if she was about slap her. Then, she softened. “Fine. You two have fun. I’m going to get to class.” Before she left, she leaned into Blair’s ear. “Watch your back.”
After Laura-Ann left, girl shook her head. “Sorry about her. Laura-Ann is a devil. Anyway, I’m Cassie.”
“Hi, I’m Blair.” Blair said. Something about Cassie made Blair instantly like her. “I guess I’m not really off to a great start here.”
Cassie chuckled, “I don’t know. On one hand, you made enemies with one person; on the other hand, you made friends with me. If you really want to be off to a good start, you should come to the big party tonight. Everyone will be there, so you can make lots of new friends.”
Blair smiled, “I would love to go. What do I wear?” she said, hoping it wasn’t her school uniform.
“Whatever you want, really.” replied Cassie. “What about I come over to your house before hand and we can get ready together?”
Blair agreed and gave Cassie her new address. Then, they both went to class.
Cassie arrived at the house an hour before the party. “This place is so cool!” she said walking around. When she came to the dining room, she went to the old bookcase right away. “Wow, look at this!” she smiled.
“Umm,” said Blair, “We’re not supposed to touch that,” But it was too late. Cassie already had her hands on a book.
When Cassie tried to pull the book off the shelf, it didn’t budge. Instead, the whole bookshelf creaked open, as if it was a door. “A secret room.” she whispered, and went inside, a stunned Blair close behind.
The room was little in size, only six feet square. It smelled like dust and felt moist. The walls and floor were both made of dark wood. In the center, was a table with a book on it. “Cassie…” whispered Blair, “I really don’t think we should be in here,” But Cassie crept forwards anyway.
Blair was the one who opened the book. She thought since it’s her house, she should do it. She read the first page:
“Do you think it’s talking about us?” asked Cassie
“Yes,” nodded Blair, “I don’t know why, but I think it is.”
The girls sat in Blair’s room with the book between them. “Ready?” asked Blair. Cassie nodded. After a sharp intake of breath, they turned the page. Staring back at them from the open pages, was a picture of Blair and Cassie. Under that, two words:
“That’s… Not normal.” said Cassie, slowly.
“What about this is normal? I mean, seriously! My Opa has been hiding a secret room with a secret book that says we’re wi-wi-witches!” Blair stuttered. “Why wouldn’t he tell me?”
Cassie shrugged, “Who cares? We know now.” She turned the book’s page again. The next page had what the girls could only assume was a spell. “It’s titled ‘Storm.’” Cassie read it out loud.
As she said the last word of the spell, there was a loud boom, shortly followed by a flash of lightning and the downpour of rain.
The girls glared at each other in awe. Blair grabbed the book and flipped a couple of pages. “Here’s one for prosperity,” she smiled.
The girls waited, the rain ticking on the window. “It didn’t work,” huffed Blair, stuffing her hands in her jean pockets. Then, her face lit up when she started pulling one-hundred dollar bills out of her pocket.
Cassie began helping Blair pull out the endless supply of money out of her pockets. “This is amazing, we’re rich!”
Blair and Cassie stood in front of the bathroom vanity mirror about to perform another spell. “What is this one for, again?” Blair asked.
Cassie looked down at the open book that was balanced on the sink. “For hair growth. Here, say this,” She said, showing Blair the book.
With that, Blair’s hair started to grow rapidly. In three seconds, her hair has already grown a foot. “Make it stop! It’s not supposed to grow this fast!”
Cassie searched rapidly through the book. “I can’t, there’s no counter curse.” Then, she started looking in the vanity drawers and found a pair of scissors. Quickly, she cut through Blair’s hair, right near her scalp, letting it drop to the floor. But, it still continued to grow. In seconds, her hair was already down to her waist.
“Stay there.” Cassie ordered. “I’m getting your Grandad.”
Racing downstairs, Cassie rapidly searched for Opa. Her plan was to tell him everything, from them going in the secret room, to Blair’s current hair scare. Hopefully, being a witch runs in the family. She found him in the living room, reading the newspaper.
“Mr. Opa! We need your help, come quick!” Cassie said, leading Opa to Blair’s bathroom.
By the time they reached the bathroom, Blair’s hair was so long, it was all over the floor. Opa stared in awe until he uttered six words. “You found the book, didn’t you?”
“Yes, now fix me!” shouted Blair shouted.
Opa closed his eyes and spoke loud and clear:
“Mutata retro facultatem frangendi
Facere iter per redire
Nocere autem ut adveho nostrum via
Rursum si non”
Instantly, Blair’s hair stopped growing.
Opa and the girls sat across from each other at the dining room table. “Why didn’t you tell us?” Blair asked calmly.
“When I was young, I used to get made of all the time because of my powers. I didn’t want you to go through that. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” said Opa.
“What about that poem and our pictures in the book? How did they get there?” asked Cassie.
“Well,” sighed Opa. “The poem isn’t about you, it was about your great-great-great-great-great grandmothers. The were best friends as well. Right before they were born, a prophecy was written about them. That ‘poem’ was the prophecy. As for the pictures, there's a spell on those pages of the book to display pictures of the reader. Since the two of you were reading it, there was a picture of you both.”
Blair crossed her arms. “You still should have told us.”
Opa nodded. “Yes, I should’ve. You may not realize it now, but being a witch comes with a lot of responsibility. I will train you two to use your powers. Until then, no more spells.”
Blair and Cassie looked at each other and smiled. They knew they had a long journey ahead of them.