Aria Sinclair sat with her mentor in a huge pool of a bath. She glared down at the scented water, flinching occasionally as the red head fussed over her cracked ribs. Stupid, ugly bitch, thought Aria. Of course, this wasn't true. The Major was a brilliant tactician at her worst and nothing less than a genius when it came to spells; illusion and numerology, the two most difficult of disciplines, were her specialty. And most people would call the younger witch insane for the ugly comment. In fact, many would kill to be in Aria's position; to enjoy sharing a bath with Superior Brigadier Ishtar Saberkorn who, for someone over one hundred and sixty years old, could outshine Victoria Secret models with ease.

"You know," speak of the devil. "You're thinking rather rude things about someone who wrapped your wounds for you," drawled Ishtar lazily drawing her fingers through the younger witch's short black mane. "If that's how you speak about me when I'm not around I may have to discipline you."

Aria snorted swatting at the red-head's hands. "You're the one poking through other people's heads and I'm the one who should be punished?" As an afterthought, she added. "Why am I even here?"

"I wanted to talk to you about something. It's rather important."

"So important that it couldn't wait 'til I took a bath on my own?"

Ishtar raised an eyebrow before snapping her fingers. Instantly the water surrounding Aria became thick and as much as Ishtar's fledgling struggled she was rendered almost completely immobile. "The bath was more to keep you from escaping, actually."

Aria sighed, "This is about the school assessment, isn't it. This is why I hid it. Really, it's not that bad."

"You ranked D in numerology."

"I don't specialize in anything close to numerology. I don't even like the SOD."

Ishtar's glare intensified. Aria met it evenly only slightly cowed by her teachers stare. As subtly as she could manage she began to draw in magic to perform an Alteration spell.

"I specifically spent a week teaching you numerology and you understood it perfectly."

Aria snickered. "There's a reason I'm ranked S in Enchantment and an A in Illusion, Mistress. Even you can't overcome a charm-mislead combo, apparently." She flinched, however, when the water around her abruptly became freezing.

"You charmed me?!" Ishtar was absolutely livid.

And, Aria, despite her better judgment screaming at her to apologize (at least look guilty about it!) merely grinned, saying, "And it worked, too." That grin shrunk marginally as she felt Ishtar's roiling magic energy loom over her. She could practically see her life flashing before her eyes as her teacher's scowling lips parted to utter a spell. In fact, she just barely managed to cast a silence, albeit a weak one, to stop what would probably be a rather unpleasant invocation. With relative ease, the Superior Brigadier's trickster of an apprentice cast an Alteration spell, simultaneously trapping Ishtar with a liquid tentacle and releasing herself from the former's water prison.

Aria scrambled out to the tub and turned to smirk back at the red headed witch. Said older witch's glare had intensified and the faint lavender glow of the silence spell began to rapidly dim. Wisely, Aria rushed from the huge ornate bathroom, using a polymorph spell to transmute herself into a sleek black cat as she absconded.

That day everyone at the Organizations HQ was treated to the sight of their commander, half-naked mind you, chasing a cat through the halls.

Aria couldn't decide if she was amused or terrified. Ishtar was casting spell after spell, getting more and more furious as the cat-Aria nimbly dodged each. Occasionally, Ishtar managed to corner her apprentice turned feline only to be knocked back by a head butt. Under normal conditions, a head butt from a housecat would be more adorable than threatening, but if the younger witch was good at anything, it was Transmutation spells. A head butt from the little cat was the equivalent of being charged by an angry ox.

The first time, Ishtar was surprised, knocked down, and utterly flattened. Now, she just sidestepped. Of course, either way Aria was able to slip away and now, having slipped into the labyrinth of a grand library, was nowhere to be found.

"Come out, now, Apprentice," Ishtar hissed as she stalked through. "I promise if you do, I'll limit the pain." The only response she received was a rather heavy tome detailing the history of Alteration magic falling with a thump on her head. She grunted in pain, rubbing the back of her head. She looked up at the sound of a snickering purr and saw her apprentice perched at the top of a mantelpiece, grinning a huge pussycat grin and curling her tail playfully, eyes flickering with mischief.

"Get down here, Aria. I have no patience for your games."

The cat's grin widened and her eyes glowed a bright orange as several books levitated off their shelves and floated high in the air glowing with the same light.

Ishtar narrowed her eyes. "Don't you even dare."

Aria seemed to take that as a challenge. With a wiggle of her rear, she leapt from book to book using them as a staircase to the golden chandelier in the middle of the room. Each volume rained down on the elder sorceress as soon as Aria sprang from it. The cat sat on one of the beautiful golden arches cleaning her paws as Ishtar fended off the rogue spell books. Her smirk returned as Ishtar escaped in a plume of smoke, appearing standing on top of a bookshelf with disheveled hair and a few paper cuts.

Absolutely livid and deadly serious now, Ishtar decided to cast a spell. Her magic took pulsed almost tangibly as her entire form glowed the telltale soft silver light of a Compulsion. Her voice dripping with power and authority, she said, "Get down here. Now."

Aria's eyes glowed silver, as she had no choice to obey. Unfortunately, for both of them, she obeyed in the most literal sense. Leaping from the chandelier, she collided none too gently with Ishtar's stomach sending both of them sprawling on the floor, the Polymorph spell wearing off and transforming her back into a witch. Dazzled, Aria pushed her way into a sitting position, releasing a grunt of effort as she did so, with eyes squeezed shut.

When she blinked them open again, she found herself staring down into her mentor's angry green eyes. With a curse, she attempted to scramble away, only to be grabbed by the back of her shirt and was transformed once again, forcibly this time, into a black cat. Ishtar held her by the scruff and purred malevolently, "I don't know where you think you're going, but let me assure you, there's no Charm in the world that can help you now."

Aria meowed pitifully as Ishtar carried her off.


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