A/N: inspired by...i don't know, an inspiry-thingy, i guess. so this is not a planned ahead kinda thing. the updates won't be regular. maybe once a week, at best. sorry it's so short, i have to go kill some things. please review and tell me what you think.

"Honestly, what is wrong with you, Ali?"

"Eva, we have gone over this," Aliera warned. She stopped climbing for a moment to glare down at her friend.

"Just keep going, for God's sake!" Eva panted.

They were trying to get back into school without the teachers finding out they had left, which involved getting around the school's ridiculous twenty-foot hedge. Which meant climbing over it, and this was turning out to be nearly impossible.

Ali continued upwards, a smug smile playing around her lips. The smile vanished a few seconds later, when her long white hair got into her eyes. Since she needed both hands to hold onto the hedge, she had to do a kind of frantic headshaking to get her hair back to where it was supposed to be.

"Ali, stop that!" Eva hissed, "You're making the damn thing jiggle!"


Both girls paled visibly and stopped climbing. It was their headmistress, Madam Lury, and boy, did she look angry.

"Come down here at once!" she commanded, red-faced.

"Oh, bloody hell," Ali muttered, jumping down. Instead of dropping like an ungraceful…heavy thing, she floated down, landing on her feet like the proverbial cat.

Eva, however, was not quite so lucky. She landed next to her friend on her bottom, barely missing landing on Madam Lury's head.

Madam Lury looked down her long nose at them, literally shaking with anger. "A detention for you both," she began, "Now, what are you doing off campus during school hours, girls?"

Ali smiled, hoping they would be able to get away quickly. She did, after all, have a practice to get to, and she didn't want to miss it. "We were just enjoying a bit of nature, Madam Lury," she explained.

"Hmmm…" The headmistress continued to stare at her students, but let them go anyway. Everyone knew she was a sucker for anything to do with nature. She watched them go around to the front gate, making sure they actually went inside, before heading back to her office. "Something must be done about those two," she said to herself.

"Wow, I didn't expect such a success on the getting-out-of-trouble front," Ali said as they hurried to their "room." It wasn't really a room so much as a suite of rooms, but she wasn't about to complain. She certainly didn't want to be downgraded to the scholarship rooms. Those weren't rooms either- they were more like cells.

"Getting soft in her old age," Eva muttered under her breath, eliciting a startlingly loud laugh from her friend.

"Eva, you can be real funny sometimes," Ali sighed, tossing her long hair over her shoulder. It had an annoying habit of falling into her face, but the teachers wouldn't let her cut it. They said it gave her "that mage look" that everyone was going for these days. Honestly, they could be so dim sometimes. She waited impatiently while Eva unlocked the door and let them in. Ever since The Incident (which we shall not go into detail about, for fear of Eva reliving the trauma), Ali wasn't allowed to touch their key.

"Don't you start," Eva snapped, throwing her bag on the couch.

"You girls really should learn to get along better," a voice said. The voice was attached to a body (as most are), but there was no one in sight.

Ali sighed. "Mother, go away."

"I'm not your mother," the voice said, sounding amused.

The girls were instantly on alert. Eva's hand went to the gem around her neck, while Ali reached for her crystal hairclip, which was, due to a spell gone wrong, her gem.

"Who are you and why are you in our room?" Eva demanded.

"Why, I'm here to take you away. You lucky girls have been selected to serve the Dark Ones, a rare privilege."