Author Topic: Serena: a not so short story  (Read 11143 times)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #15 on: 09. July 2022, 22:10:45 PM »
Chapter 29: And her class tutor is....

As she walked into Room 502, she could see a few friendly faces there already, people who were in her class last year.

"Hi, Serena!" said James as she walked in. "I like the new look, suits you!"

"Hi, Jameth!" replied Serena, smiling, "and thank you!"

"Hey, you got your braces updated too!"

"Yeah, pothibly a bit more metal than I would like, but I'll be ok." Serena continued to be impressed with the lisp her braces gave her - enough to be convincing, but not so much as to be over-annoying! "Tho, how wath your holiday then?". Serena hadn't actually seen James since last term, but she remembered him saying he was 'off to sunny Spain' with his parents for a couple of weeks.

"Yeah, it was great, lots of sun, nice pools, great beaches, fantastic food!".

They chatted for a while about their holidays, and what else they had been doing over the summer break. One thing was certain: James was not a witch, so would have no idea what Serena had REALLY been up to. There was one girl and one of the other guys in Serena's class who were members of her coven who WOULD know, but also knew enough to say absolutely nothing about it!

So Serena made up some half truths, about spending some time learning to play the flute (she knew that she would probably be able to magic up enough ability to actually do so, if she ever needed to. Oh, and to magic up an actual flute too!).

As they chatted, other class-mates were arriving in ones and twos. Serena noticed Cathy Benn walking in.

"Yay, Cathy! I hear congratulathionth are in order!" said Serena.

Cathy smiled, slightly embarrassed. "I didn't think it had been officially announced quite yet?"

"Yeth, probably not, but I do have thecret contactth who have informed me that.... actually Cathy, I think you should tell them. They'll find out pretty thoon anyway!"

"Find out what?" asked Julie.

"I'm the new Head Girl!" said Cathy, proudly. Of course, everyone else in the room went wild. Cathy was a popular girl, and they knew she'd do a great job.

"You got your badge yet?" asked Julie

"Now that you all know, I guess I might as well just put it on". Whilst they called it a badge, it was a multi-purpose thing, and Cathy had it on a simple necklace, which she took out of her pocket, removed it from it's plastic bag, and put it around her neck. Serena went over to her, and hugged her, at the same time silently saying a simple 'confidence boost' spell. Serena understood that, whilst such a role as a leader was nice, it came with a certain amount of worry and stress, something that Serena herself had been working on with Samantha the last few days.

Most of the class was there, when Miss Davis walked in. In her hands she had various bits of paperwork.

"Good morning everyone... don't panic, we're not starting just yet, I'm a bit early!". She went over to the small table at the front, and put her things down. Serena suddenly realised what was going on.

"Tharah... thorry, Mith Davith.... Are you our form tutor thith year then?"

"Yes, I hope that's not a problem?". Clearly Sarah had known about this for a while, and hadn't said a word to Serena about it.

"Not at all, I just thought you looked after lower-thchool clatheth" replied Serena, smiling, and feeling very happy.

"I decided I needed a change, and I had heard such good things about this class. Ah, Cathy, I see you have your new badge on, I'm guessing you already told everyone - anyway, congratulations!"

"Thanks... " said Cathy

"Sorry" added Serena, "I kinda let the cat out of the bag!"

They were all chatting again, when, in the background, a bell rang, indicating the start of classes. Today, being the first day of the year, the first 'lesson' was a class admin one.

"Ok, everyone, if you can start to settle down, and take your seats....." said Miss Davis. Everyone knew that there was a certain amount of admin that needed to be done, so finished their conversations, and sat down.

"Ok, I think there should be 17 of you.... tell you what, if you're NOT here, can you put your hand up?" said Miss Davis, smiling. Her comment broke the ice nicely. "Ok, let's do the register, boring I know, but we need to do it. Serena, maybe you'd like to do it for me?", and she passed the piece of paper and a pen to Serena.

'Oh, crap' thought Serena, 'she's doing it to me on purpose, isn't she?'. In fact, Miss Davis wanted everyone to be aware of Serina's new braces, and to be able to accept her as she was, and hopefully be willing to support her.

"Ok guyth... Thimon Brown.....". Serena read the names out boldly, and whilst there may have been a few smiles as some of them saw and heard Serena's braces for the first time, there were no sniggers or anything like that. Everyone was there.

"Thank you, Serena. Now, officially, my name is Miss Davis. However, when we're in class like this, feel free to just call me Sarah. Some of you are already officially adults, and many of you will be joining that club pretty soon: to be honest, I'm not all that much older than you, so it seems silly to be so formal, so I'll be trying to remember all your first names too. However, out of the class, please set a good example to our younger students, and call me Miss Davis. Ok, we have a load of things to do, announcements to share, let's get on with things. Well, without looking at my sheets of paper here, I'm very pleased to confirm that Cathy Benn is our new Head Girl.... I'll tell you the other appointments in a few minutes. But Cathy, your first official job as Head Girl is... can you give out the locker assignments for me, please?". That took a few minutes.

"Ok, everyone, let's take a look at the announcements. Ah, yes, a really exciting one here: it seems they've re-grassed a lot of areas by the paths around the school, if you can try and keep to the paths, and encourage others to do so, it will be appreciated...". She read several other similarly un-exciting announcements.

"Ok, now the ones I think you DO want to hear. So, you know that Cathy is our new Head Girl". Sarah got up, and walked over to Cathy, and shook her hand. "Well done, Cathy, I have no doubt you'll do a great job, and I'm sure everyone else will support you!". Sarah walked back to her desk, and picked up the piece of paper. "I can also tell you that Julie Towse is the head of the lower school."

She then took a small plastic bag from her pocket, and walked over to Julie. "However, it seems that Julie's little secret wasn't leaked... Julie is one of our first Upper School Prefects! Well done Julie! I believe you all have a short meeting after lunch and before lessons start this afternoon." Julie proudly took her badge, and pinned it to her top.

Serena felt a little emotional. She knew that this could have been her, but she was very aware that she had much more important things to do.

"Ok, that's all the official stuff done. I need to chat to a few of you, in the meantime, feel free to chat amongst yourselves - quietly please, so we don't annoy anyone else. Actually, there's no reason you can't go sort out your lockers if you like, but come back in a few minutes.... However, can I have a quick word with you now, Serena"

Everyone else left the room, speaking fairly quietly, so as not to disturb the rest of the school.

"Mrs Topdog said she had managed to have a word with you - I know you would have made a good head girl, but when I explained a bit about what was going on to her, we both felt you probably wouldn't be able to do the role justice.... you ok about it?" said Sarah, in a low voice

"Yeah, I'm ok. Kinda a bit dithappointed, but you're right, I'm gonna be rather buthy with other thtuff. On the other hand, it'th nithe that I was conthidered. So how much doeth Mrth Topdog know about uth? And what other 'normieth' know about uth?"

"Mainly those who 'need to know', so top-most people in police, at schools and so on. Places where they really need an awareness. Some, like Miss Topdog, know the names of everyone here at school, others know the elders and a few others. Luckily, most people are pretty sensible, and don't do stupid things in public. To be honest, most witches these days don't really use their magic a lot, like you or me, and if they do, it's simple stuff, like spells to take away pain from their kids."

"Yeah, mum did that for me when I wath younger, although I probably didn't notithe at the time. I gueth thingth might be a bit harder, now our younger memberth know about uth?"

"That's one thing I needed to talk to you about: you did a really great job yesterday with the youngsters, explaining stuff, and our elders were hoping that you might like to regularly get together with our youngsters, and sort of 'mentor' them, helping them understand why they have to be careful about what they say, and that sort of stuff. Maybe you can get the other witches here in the sixth form to help you?"

Serena knew there were 4 other witches in the sixth form, 2 of them in the upper 6th, 2 in the lower 6th, and she got on with them ok.

"Ok, that thoundth like a good idea, I'm sure the 5 of uth can help them"

"Oh, yes, there's now 6 of you, we have a new witch student just started in the lower 6th today. I'll get his details later and pass them on. Ok, you'd better go and find your locker, everyone will wonder where you are!" 

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #16 on: 10. July 2022, 22:03:33 PM »
Chapter 30: Meet Mandy Miller

The bell had rung for break time, and students burst out of the classrooms in huge numbers. Whilst the sixth formers were trusted to go out and find their lockers during class time, the others had to wait until morning break.

Word about Serena's new metal smile had clearly spread quickly, as she was getting far more looks than she expected. She decided that the best form of defence was attack: don't hide her braces, but show them off proudly! 

Serena was putting a few things into her locker, and chatting with Julie, when Mandy Miller walked by. She turned, and stared at Serena, having a good look at her metal mouth. Serena was expecting her to make yet another of her catty comments - ah, yes, need to explain, Mandy was the top school bully. In the upper 6th like Serena, she was Queen of nastiness, snide remarks and put-downs. There were a couple of others, lower down in the school, but she had 6 years of experience. What she didn't know about being a bully was probably not worth knowing.

Of course, she was always surrounded by her 'team': like any good bully, whilst she did the bad-mouthing herself, her team would do anything physical - I don't need to explain, I'm sure you understand exactly what I mean.

Anyway, as she saw Serena's mouthful of metal, she smiled. And what Serena saw in Mandy's mouth made her smile too: Mandy also had braces on her teeth. Nowhere near as much metal as Serena, but they weren't your normal large steel NHS brackets, no, they were tiny, and golden, and actually looked amazingly classy. But they were braces!

For some odd reason, Serena felt this information might come in useful sometime.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #17 on: 11. July 2022, 19:22:16 PM »
Chapter 31: The new kid

Serena took the opportunity to visit the Lower 6th form common room, where she found Nadya and Janes, the two witches in the lower 6th.

"Hi guyth... got a thecond?"


"Can you both manage a quick meeting after thchool, there'th a couple of thingth we all need to chat about, should only take 10 minuteth"

Both Nadia and James said they could make it. "Ok, meet on the grathth over by the pavillion...."

Serena then went into the upper 6th common room, where she found Fiona. "Hi Fiona, theen Tham?"

"He was around.... why?"

"Can you manage a quick witches meeting after thchool, 10 minuteth maxth?"

"Sure, that should be ok"

"Ok, can you let Tham know too, pleathe?"

"Sure, no probs...."

The bell rang for the end of break, and Serena made her way to her first actual lesson of the new school year: Alchemy... (Ok, not ACTUALLY alchemy, but close: Chemistry!).

Over lunchtime she caught up with Sarah.

"Ok, I have the details of the new witch who has just joined us," explained Sarah, "he's in L6b, his name is Nitesh."

"Nitesh... ok. Anything elthe I should know?"

"Yes, he's actually a 'half-caste', dad is the witch, mum is normal, but obviously knows about us. They moved here a few weeks ago, and whilst the coven elders have spoken briefly with his dad, they've not come along to any meetings yet. Nitesh had his 16th birthday a couple of months ago, and this is all new to him - their old coven was also a closed coven."

"Ok, tho he might get a little bit of a thurprithed when I approach him? I'm trying to arrange a quick witcheth meeting for the thixth of uth after thchool" said Serena quitely.

"Yeah, go gentle, but that would be a nice introduction for him. By the way, his last lesson today will be in room A16"

Serena managed to leave her last lesson a couple of minutes early, and got to Room A16 just before the bell rang to indicate the end of lessons for the day. There were less than a dozen students in the room, but they were still talking, so she waited just outside until it was clear the class had ended. She gently opened the door, and went in. "Hi everyone, which of you is Nitesh?"

"That's me" said one of the boys."

"Oh, hi Nitesh, I'm Therena, can I have a quick word when you're packed up?"

"Sure...". Nitesh packed up his books, and followed Serena out of the classroom. Serena waited till they were out of earshot of any other students.

"Tho welcome to the thchool, but more relevant, welcome to the 'Coven of the Light'".

"Ah....... ok... thanks... so you're a witch then?"

"Yeth, I am... one of thixth of uth in total in the thixth form. Look, any chanthe you can thpare 10 minuteth for a quick meet-up with the otherth, I'm sure they'd love to meet you, pluth there's a couple of other thingth to tell you all..."

Nitesh checked the time. "Yeah, that's ok.... where we meeting?". Serena lead him to the grassy area by the pavilion, where three of the others were already there, and she could see Sam walking towards the pavillion too.

"Hi everyone!" she said when Sam arrived. "Come in clothe" she said as they all sat on the grass, then cast a spell.

"What was that?" asked Nitesh.

"Jutht a thound-blanket spell, don't really want anyone hearing what I'm about to thay. Tho, firtht of all, welcome to Nitesh who has jutht moved here a few weekth ago. Thith is Fiona, Tham, Nadya and Jameth... hang on a thecond....". "Ok, braces, you can turn my lisp off now!" she said silently. "As I explained, we are all members of the 'Coven of the Light'."

"Erm, Serena... how come your lisp suddently stopped?" asked Nitesh.

"Ah, yes, that's one of the things I guess I'll need to explain to you. So, as most of you know now, I'm the 'target' of a prophecy, the girl with the mouth of metal, blah blah blah, who is going to do lots of things, starting with reuniting the covens of the land. These braces are pretty extreme, but are made of a very special metal, a metal that is effectively 'sentient'. Eventually I'm told that the metal will be absorbed into my teeth. But the braces are there to protect me when I do any Dark Magic that I'm going to have to do to fulfil my prophecy. But one thing they are able to do is get rid of my lisp for me, like now... but clearly I still need to lisp when I'm around 'normies'. Unlike most people with braces, I won't ever be getting rid of this lot, so I'd REALLY appreciate your support around school..."

"Ok" said Fiona.

"They look pretty extreme" commented Nitesh, who hadn't been at the picnic, so hadn't seen them before.

"Yes, they are..." replied Serena, opening her mouth to let him see that she not only had full bands on all her teeth, but had a LOAD of other add-ons both inside and outside of her teeth.

"Oooh, nasty" said Nitesh.

"Actually not as bad as you might think, they are very nice to me! Ok, let's keep this short... the main reason for asking you all here is that we've had a request from our Elders: as you know, until a week or so ago, we were a closed coven, meaning that our under-16s didn't know they are actually witches, and all the stuff that goes with it. The other two covens at the picnic are open covens, so their kids know all about it, and the general feeling is that we need to be a lot more open, so we have decided to also become an open coven. Which is why a load of young kids from our coven were at the picnic yesterday... but it means that our kids have a lot to learn in a short time... things like not telling the 'normies' about us, and that sort of stuff... all things WE got told on our 16th birthday, one at a time. So they have asked if we can spend a bit of time with our under 16's, sort of mentoring them, they think it will come a lot better from us, than from a load of adults"

"That makes a certain amount of sense." said Sam.

"Yeah, my thinking too," continued Serena, "So I was thinking maybe we can organise some simple fun events for them, down the park or something, where we can show them some more magic, and talk to them in a relaxed environment. The last thing we want them doing is blabbing about magic here at school. Now, obviously Miss Davis - Sarah - knows we are all witches, but so does Mrs Topdog.... but that's actually not a problem, she's pretty impressed with us: in the 10 years she's been her at the school, she's never heard of a magic related incident... so let's keep it like that, shall we?"

"Sounds like we need to all meet up again soon, to organise stuff..."

"Well, maybe if we're all free tomorrow lunchtime? How about here at 12:15? We'll try and keep it short again. Ok, thanks for coming guys, see you tomorrow."

As Serena started to walk home, she realised that Nitesh was going the same way. "So where do you live then?" Serena asked him. He told her. "Oh, that's on my way home, you're not far from me. Want to walk together?"

"Yeah, ok... so what's all this about a prophecy, and what you said about yesterday?" Serena explained about when she had pledged to '5 or 10 shades darker than the light', and how it turned out that this was described in a prophecy the coven had. She went on to explain how she'd met the 2 other fairly local covens, and about their similar prophecies, and told him what happened at the picnic.

"So what about you? Where did you come from, and what was your coven like?".

Nitesh told Serena where he used to live. "Our coven is also what you call a 'closed coven', and from what dad has told me, they seem to be quite strict too. I guess that's why we've not come along to any of your coven's meetings yet, I think dad is a bit apprehensive."

"He shouldn't be, the Coven of the Light is a reasonably relaxed coven - I mean, when I suggested to our elders about becoming an open coven only a couple of weeks ago, it was an easy decision for them. Maybe I should drop by, and say hello to your dad, and explain stuff. I'm assuming he's at work now?"

"Dad's's an accountant, so yeah, he's at work. Well, we're almost at my place: why don't you come in and meet mum?"

"Sure, why not. She's not a witch is she? How does she cope with you and your dad being witches?"

"She seems to be pretty ok about it, not that dad or I really do much magic..."

"Any brothers or sisters?"

"I have a younger sister - of course, we don't know yet if she'll be a witch or not. Right, here we are...". he took out a key, and opened the front door. "Hi mum, I'm home!" he called out.

"In the kitchen, getting tea ready!" Nitesh took his bag off, leaving it in the hall, then led Serena into the Kitchen. "Mum, this is Serena...". Nitesh's mum was a nice looking indian-looking lady, dressed in contemporary English clothes, Serena guessed in her early to mid 40's.

"Nice to meet you, Serena! I guess you're in the same class as Nitesh?" she asked, in a very well spoken English accent.

"Actually, no, I'm in the upper 6th. We had a short witches meeting after school, and I invited Nitesh along to meet the other 6th form witches. I actually don't live far away, so we walked home together".

"Oh, ok. So, Nitesh, how did things go today?". For Nitesh, today had been quite a big day. Today was his first day in the sixth form: not in itself a big thing. It was also his first day at a new school: again, not a big thing, quite a few other students had joined the sixth form from other schools that didnt' have one. The really big thing for Nitesh was that he was also new to the area, so didn't know ANYONE else in the school.

"It went pretty ok, probably better than I thought it would." he replied. "And Serena introduced me to the other witches in the sixth form after school, which was pretty cool.". He looked at Serena and smiled, thanking her.

"Mrs Jones, I know you're not a witch, but I hope you'll come along to our coven and meet everyone sometime soon. I was telling Nitesh earlier that we seem to be pretty relaxed about stuff. For example, when I recently suggested we became an open coven, it happened very easily."

"YOU suggested?"

"Yeah, let me explain....", and as she told Mrs Jones the story, Nitesh gave her a glass of cola. "I'd really like to meet your husband, Mrs Jones. Nitesh has my phone number, so do get him to call me when he has a moment".

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #18 on: 12. July 2022, 22:00:29 PM »
Chapter 32: making lots of plans

The next day, the Tuesday, Serena went into town in search of a shop that could give her proper piercings. Of her 'fakes', she found that the two lip rings were actually quite comfortable, but found the fake nose ring to be a bit annoying, so she decided to get two piercings: a frenulum ring (aka a 'smiley' piercing) and a nose ring.

She knew that the shop would want ID to prove she was 18, so she made sure she had that with her. Already having the fake piercings made it simple to explain what she was looking for. Fairly quickly, the girl in the shop was able to find a couple of rings that Serena liked, and twenty minutes later, Serena walked out of the shop, her fake nose ring replaced with a piercing, plus a new frenulum piercing. Being her first piercings, the girl in the shop had spent some time to explain how important it was to keep everything as clean as possible.

Back at home, she explained all to her mum. "So, I got my nose pierced, plus I have an extra one..." said Serena smiling.

"What about the ones in your lip?"

"They are the same as before. I hope you're not mad at me?"

"As I said to you before, you are plenty old enough to make your own decisions, and they are actually quite nice and discrete. Make sure you look after them, don't let them get infected."

"I was going to get Samantha to do some healing spells on them later on."

"Good idea...."

Upstairs in her room a few minutes later, She called David, the lab technician who was going to make her jewelry, and they agreed that she could go to see him straight after school the next day. Her next call was to Mrs Johnson, the elder of her coven, to organise collecting the chain - it was agreed that she could drop by around 7pm.

Serena's final call was to Samantha. "Hey, can I come over for a bit? I just got a couple of piercings, and I'd like you do some healing magic for me."

"Sure, come on over, the bed is all yours!". What she meant was that Serena could 'land' on the bed any way she wanted. For a bit of fun, Serena lay on her bed and teleported to 2 inches above Samantha's bed, and fell the last bit. "I've wanted to try that for a bit" she explained.

Samantha took a careful look at Serena's two piercings. "Yes, they both look good, whoever did them knew what they were doing," and she cast several healing and 'keep clean' spells, teaching them to Serena at the same time. "A bit of antiseptic cream on the nose one won't hurt either, and be gentle with the one inside your lip, try not to play with it, if you can manage that... hey, maybe a 'don't annoy' spell will help..."

"Thanks, Samantha!" said Serena, and she then explained that she was going to pick up the chain later on, then go see David the next day.

"Hello Serena, come on in!". Serena had quickly got to like Mrs Johnson, she was a lovely lady, who now lived alone, and was always appreciative of anyone who visited. She had quickly realised how important Serena was, and helped her wherever she could... part of that was giving her pretty much unrestricted access to her library, another part was persuading the other elders to let Serena have part of the unholy chain.

"I'm going to give you the whole piece of chain: I believe you are getting someone to make you some special jewellery, so I'm sure they can cut off what you need much better than we can. You said 3 links, but if you need a little more, that won't be a problem, just bring the rest back to me."

As well as collecting the chain, she chatted to Mrs Johnson, plus picked up a couple of books that had useful information about magic, and dark-magic, jewellery.

So, after school on Wednesday, Serena went to see David. He took some pictures of Serena's existing piercings, and some closeups of the fake lip rings, so he could work out exactly what he would need to make. He also carefully measured Serena's little finger, which is where they would all would go when combined as a ring.

Serena also gave him the books on magic jewellery she had borrowed, specifically showing him the section on making jewelry convert from one form to another.

"Yes, that makes a lot of sense, some very clever magic there, which I should have no trouble doing for you. So, you have the piece of chain for me?"

"I actually have the whole bit of chain, we thought you would have the right tools to cut it"

"Yes, that's not a problem." He led Serena through to the lab area, Where she opened the small metal box, and removed the chain. Once again, she could feel its darkness.

"Braces, we ok with this?"

"Shouldn't be a problem for the short time you'll need..." they replied.

Serena passed the chain to David. "Oh, yes, definitely a darker bit of chain, I can see whay it's kept in a metal box - let's get this done quickly!". Serena watched as he used some strong cutters to take the three links off, then passed the remainder back to Serena to put back into the box. "I guess I'd better find something safe to keep this in..." and he went and found a small metal tin.

While she was there, David showed Serena some of the rather more normal braces he was making: as well as a couple of pairs of fairly plain Hawley Retainers, there was a quite complicated pair of removable appliances, each with several expansion screws in.

"That's not going to be nice for whoever gets it," commented Serena.

"No, but unfortunately they need to be that big and that thick so that the screw-modules all fit in, and so that the plastic won't break.". He then showed her a couple of fixed appliances he had made. "So, this is a very simple screw expander, it'll probably be more comfortable than that other removable one. However, THIS pair won't be so nice, but I'm sure you already know that!". He showed her an upper expander with an attached tongue crib, as well as a lower expander.

"It's odd, they look so much smaller when I'm holding it like this, than they do when they are actually in your mouth!"

"I never had braces, so I can't comment. Anyway, this is a 'work in progress'... it's the top part of a twin-block appliance." It was very much a 'work in progress', the labial wire was held in place with wax, as were a pair of adam's clasps on the molars, plus some ball clasps at the front. In addition, there was an expander screw, with wires coming out of it, in the middle. "So, there'll be substantial chunks of plastic over the rear molars, then on the lower one there will be large chucks at the front, so that this one pushes the lower one forward."

"So how DO you make the plastic then?" asked Serena.

"If you're not in a rush, I could show you....". As Serena watched, David brushed a bit more release agent over the plaster model, let it dry for a few minutes, then added a small amount of acrylic powder, followed by a liquid... he kept repeating this over and over again, slowly building up the acrylic. "The plate may look a bit over-thick right now, but I'll end up trimming a load of it off, as I slowly refine it."

"So when you make it, the plastic is all in one piece then?"

"Yes, I'll carefully cut it down the middle, so it can be expanded."

"So what do you use to cut it? And to reduce the thickness?". David showed her the small handheld drill, with the various 'bits' that could cut and grind.

"But that must leave them rather rough - those appliances you showed me earlier were so nice and shiny.."

"Yes, after getting rid of any excess acrylic, both in terms of the thickness, but also around the edges, and at the back, they get polished with this". He showed her the polishing wheel, and the pumice paste. "We also use thus to do the final polish on the fixed appliances after they've been made."

On her way home, she dropped off the remaining piece of chain, in its box, to Mrs Johnson.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #19 on: 13. July 2022, 21:53:11 PM »
Chapter 33: The new jewellery

The next week was relatively uninteresting (well, from the perspective of this story). Serena was busy at school starting the new sections of her courses. And then there was homework. At the weekend, she stayed over with Samantha on the Saturday, and they just spent time together, like normal girls do. Then it was back to school on the Monday once more.

Being in the upper 6th form gave her the advantage of seniority, meaning that no-one in the lower school (well, maybe excepting a small handful of girls) would dare say anything about her braces or lisp... although she still got the occasional stare. There were a couple of not so nice comments by a couple of the sixth formers, but her braces helped her, and she was able to simply ignore them. To be honest, the novelty of her rather extreme braces was wearing off by that second week.

Thursday lunchtime, she got a text, from David: 'Your jewellery is ready for you: feel free to drop by after school'. Even better for Serena was that she had a free lesson the last lesson, so was able to go see David a bit early (as well as miss the rush of kids at the normal leaving time!).

"So," said David, showing Serena the 4 small rings: 2 piercings, 2 fake piercings. "Here they are!"

"Oh yes David, they look just excellent!"

"Thank you! So, I used the magic from those books, and when they combine to become a ring, like this..." David picked up the 4 items and combined them into a small finger ring, "the inside is lined with a very thin layer of the 'light metal', the rest is your 'dark metal'. Also, as requested, it is possible to combine just 2 or 3 of the pieces...", and he demonstrated that too.

"Wow, that is pretty cool!"

"Yes, it is: the first time I saw them combine, I was pretty awestruck too! Try it on..."

Serena recombined all 4 parts into the ring, and slid it onto her small finger. "Braces, how you feeling with that?"

"No problem at all: that light metal is doing it's job well! You might want to ask Wanda too."


"Yes, oh mighty one!" said Wanda cheerily. "Oooh, do I sense the presence of some darker metal from the unholy chain?"

"Yes, you do, it's in this ring..."

"Very nice..."

"And if I remove it, it converts into the 4 piercings...". Serena converted them to the 4 piercings, then put them back together again, and onto her finger.

"Oh, yes, they are magnificent. I guess you'll want to test them out, won't you? Do you mind if I hide away while you do that?"

"Absolutely, that was why I called you, to let you know." Wanda disappeared.

"David, my braces and Wanda are all very happy with the finger ring... let's try them as face rings....". Serena again split the ring into 4. "I'm guessing this is my frenulum ring?"

"Yes, it is. Come and sit here, so you can use the light, and there's a mirror around too..." David let Serena sit down, and passed her the mirror. Serena had been using the healing spells regularly since having the piercings, and a couple of days ago, carefully removed then replaced her frenulum ring for the first time: she had done it a couple more times since, so as she removed the ring today, she was feeling pretty good about being able to fit the new one. David gave her a bit of alcohol to clean the ring, and with very little effort was able to fit the ring made of the darker metal.

"Yes, we can definitely feel that" said her braces, "can you?". "Yes, I think I can. Are you ok so far?" she asked them. "Yes, we're fine, do try the others...".

"So far so good," Serena told David, "my braces are coping well. Ok, nose ring....". In the same way she had swapped out her Frenulum ring, she very carefully swapped the nose rings over. "How's it feeling, braces? I'm starting to feel a slight darkness."

"Yeah, we're ok... keep going...".

As Serena removed the two clip-on lip rings, and replaced them with the dark metal ones, she started to feel the darkness inside her increase, and at the same time could feel her braces protecting her.

"We are definitely feeling that, but we are sure we will be ok.... I guess you need to do some sort of 'test drive'..." suggested her braces.

"Ok, David, I think we should go outside, but somewhere where we won't be seen." David took her out to a back yard, which had solid fences around it. She held out her hand, and with almost no effort was able to create fireballs. She was able to teleport across the yard just as easily.

"Keep going, we're ok," her braces reassured her.

"Ok... brown hardback magic book from my bedroom, next to my bed, I summon you!". Instantly it was in her hand. "Nice! Ok, 2 cups of coffee, for David and me! This instant!". She wasn't quite sure where they came from, but she was holding 2 cups of hot coffee: she passed one to David. "And where's the chocolate digestives then?" she added in slight anger. A packet of chocolate digestives landed in her hand. She put both the coffee and the biscuits down safely, as she now wanted to try a levitation spell, by which I mean leviating herself into the air. When she had tried the levitation spell before, even with getting herself relatively angry, she'd only managed to get a couple of inches off the ground.

"Ok, David, I'm going to try levitating myself, so don't panic. Braces, are you guys ready for this?". Serina looked at the relevant yellow square of paper in her mind, and cast the levitation spell: with little effort, she rose most of a foot into the air, and was able to stay there.

"Definitely feeling that one...." said her braces, "but keep going!". Serena cast a further spell, to move her around a bit, then dropped gently back to the ground. She was starting to feel a small amount of darkness, but two things were very clear to Serena: the dark metal made it a LOT easier to do dark magic, and her braces seemed to be able to protect her from the worst of the side-effects from it.

As the two lip rings were trivial to remove, she did so, combining them into a ring, which she put on her finger.

"Thank you, Serena, that feels a lot better."

"Ok, I want to leave the other two rings in place, I think it will help you to start getting used to having them. If it's a problem, I'll take them out."

"No, what you suggest makes sense, and we think that, as long as you don't actually do any dark magic, we'll be ok".

"Well, David, you craftmanship seems to work amazingly well, so thank you once again. I reckon we both deserve to sit and have our coffees now, and enjoy a biscuit or two!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #20 on: 16. July 2022, 22:55:03 PM »
Chapter 34: btw, she found him

It's Friday evening, and Serena has gone around to Sarah's, artly to be sociable, partly to let Sarah teach her some new magic.

"So, how was your second week then?" asked Sarah.

"I'm feeling strangely relaxed: it's my last year at school, but it's starting to no longer feel like school. I mean, most of the teachers treat us almost as adults, which feels good. And I'm so glad I didn't become head girl, that would have added so much stress - although Cathy seems to be coping ok."

"I suspect 'seems to be' is the important bit for Cathy, I think she's struggling at times. You get on with her, you should try and chat to her a bit more. As for your school work, I suspect it's going to ramp up quite a bit in the next couple of weeks. I'm rather hoping you're not using any magic to cheat in any way?"

"No, I'm lucky, I seem to be able to remember stuff pretty easily, which gives me more time to actually understand it. Ok, Sarah, you're a teacher, what's it like for you?"

"Well, my first few years as a teacher were pretty stressful: you have to work out what your gonna teach each lesson, create lesson plans and all that. Of course, now I can re-use a fair bit of what I've already done, so it's a lot easier. But the actual teaching side is always a challenge - you're the exception, most kids don't have such a good memory as you do, or they have problems understanding stuff."

"Do YOU ever cheat, and use a bit of magic?"

"Yes, occasionally, mainly when actually teaching, to help a few of my students better understand what I'm saying... I usually do things like put pictures into their head."

"Do you worry you'll get found out?"

"No, not really, it's really lightweight stuff I do. So, talking about magic, is there anything specific you'd like to do tonight?" Sarah asked Serena.

"Actually, yes, there was something I was reading in this book I borrowed from Mrs Johnson....".

Sarah and Serena got on amazingly well, despite the nearly 10 year gap between them: I guess we shouldn't be THAT surprised, as the prophecies did say that would end up fighting alongside each other.

"Hey, Wanda, you there?" asked Serena.

"Good evening, Masterful Mistress!" said Wanda, clearly having a bit of fun, "of course I am!"

"Fancy trying out some magic with me?"

"Oh, yes please!" replied Wanda, enthusiastically. They started of with some very light spells, which went pretty well, after which they talked about some of the dark magic that Serena had found.

"By the way, thinking about darkness, you heard anything about Lucifer yet, Wanda?"

"Oh, I am SOOO sorry, I completely forgot! Yes, they finally found him! I've asked them to give him the mighty Sarah's phone number, so, mighty Sarah, do expect a call from him sometime!" replied Wanda

"Thank you, Wanda. Hey, Sarah, a question for you..." asks Serena, "don't you ever get fed up or annoyed the way that Wanda keeps calling you 'the mighty Sarah'?"

"Nah, it doesn't really worry me, although I can appreciate her calling you 'your majesty' could get a bit annoying! Wanda: it's ok if you you want to call me 'mighty Sarah'!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #21 on: 18. July 2022, 00:26:38 AM »
A little bit of simple advice to make this chapter more enjoyable: just imagine that Lucifer is speaking with Tom Ellis' voice! Shouldn't be THAT hard to do...


Chapter 35 - Dinner with Lucifer!

Sarah's phone rang - she didn't recognise the number. She answered the call.

"Hello?" she said, "who is this?"

"Ah, good evening, Ms Sarah Davis? My name is Lucifer..." said a very suave and sexy voice.

"Oh, hello, erm... Lucifer, I was expecting to hear from you. I was rather hoping that you might be able to help me with some dark magic training for...."

"Let me stop you there! This isn't really something to be discussed on the phone... why don't you just join me tomorrow evening, for dinner?"

"Dinner? But I don't even know you?"

"I know. So come and have dinner with me at my restaurant, and we can get to know each other better!"

"Your restaurant?"

"Yes, I have 4 of them, actually, you must have heard of the small 'Brimstone' chain? Don't worry, I promise that you will be perfectly safe!".

Sarah thought for a moment. On one hand there was always a risk whatever you did. On the other hand, it seemed that, if she wanted to help Serena with her dark magic, Lucifer was probably the best person - or should that be demon - to help. "Ok, so where and when?"

"How does 7 o'clock sound? I'll text you the address. I look forward to meeting you!"

"Ok, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Good evening, I'm supposed to meeting Lucifer here?" said Sarah the next evening, as she walked into 'Brimstone' at about 2 minutes after 7.

"Ah, Ms Davis, please follow me!". She was led to the rear of the restaurant, and through a door, where she found herself in a small private dining room. Sat at one of the tables was a very handsome looking gentleman, dressed very smartly, clearly wearing custom-fitted clothes. He stood up, and came over to Sarah.

"Ah, good evening Ms Davis! Or would you prefer me to call you Sarah? Let me take your coat." Lucifer helped her remove her coat, and he hung it up. Sarah hadn't been really sure what to wear this evening, but when she checked up the restaurant online, it was clear this was a very upmarket restaurant, so she had dressed suitably, wearing a rather fetching knee length dress that plunged a bit at the front and the back. The lack of sleeves showed off Sarah's nicely developed arms, arms quite suitable for someone who would go on to 'fight alongside' Serena.

"I guess it would make sense to call me Sarah, if I'm going to call you Lucifer!"

"Well, Sarah, do please take a seat... a glass of wine?" asked Lucifer. To be honest, the wine question was more of a command than a question, as Lucifer started to pour it before he'd even finished the question.

Sarah took a look at Lucifer: he was as good looking as his voice sounded. A couple of inches under 6 ft tall, clean shaven, smart short hair. Immaculate manicure. He looked to be in his late 30's, but of course his real age could just as easily be 300, 3000 or 30,000 years old!

Sarah picked up the wine, and took a sip: it was clearly NOT a cheap wine! "So, what's for dinner then?" she asked. "I'm not seeing a menu...".

"That's simply because we don't need one. I've asked the chef to make us something suitable for the occasion."

"And how exactly would you describe this occasion?"

"Well, I am hoping it might be the start of a good friendship," replied Lucifer with a smile, clearly looking once more at Sarah.

The door opened, and their waiter came in, with 2 medium sized plates. "Good evening Sir, Madam....", and he put the plates in front of each of them, then left.

"These are matsutake mushrooms, fresh from Japan: marinated then grilled." explained Lucifer, "I hope you like mushrooms!". As Sarah ate them, she could tell from the taste that they were clearly quite expensive. And she DEFINITELY enjoyed them!

"So, do tell me about Serena then..." said Lucifer as they ate their stupidly expensive starters.

"Well, she is 18. Very bright, both academically, and with magic - already she can do magic that those of us who have actively done magic for maybe 10 or 20 years can not do."

"I assume you are just talking about light magic?"

"No, she seems to be quite able to do certain dark magic too."

"It doesn't affect her?"

"No, she has a mouthful of metallic braces, made from the metal of part of the un-holy chain."

"Braces, as in those things that teenage kids hate to wear, just to get their teeth made a little less ugly?"

"Yes, those sort of braces! But FAR more extreme than most mere normies would have."

"She's braver than I thought!" said Lucifer smiling, which revealed his own perfectly white and straight smile.

"And I'm guessing from your complete lack of comment that you know about the un-holy chain then?"

"Oh, yes, it does have a long history. I know I was responsible for some of the souls that went into it - something I'm not to proud of. Towards the end, I did try and save some of the better souls by putting them into the chain."

"Apparently Serina's braces contain enough metal from the un-holy chain that they are sentient: they not only talk to Serena, they can apparently protect her from the dark magic she will need to learn and do."

"Now THAT could be helpful! Sounds like they contain some of the better souls."

With their mushrooms finished, the waiter came and removed their dirty plates, and replaced them several minutes later with a larger plate with a small thick piece of steak on it. Separately the waiter put a dish of assorted vegetables and some sauce for the steak onto the table.

"This looks rather nice!" commented Sarah.

"It's filet mignon, we get it fresh from France, accompanied by baby courgettes, freshly picked broccoli, roasted baby carrots, along with some purple potato, and peas that will have been freshly picked earlier today." explained Lucifer.

Sarah put a little of each of the vegetables onto her plate, but started with the steak, over which she had poured some of the sauce. Her knife glided through the meat, and its taste matched its tenderness: Sarah had never eaten such a good bit of steak ever before. The vegetables were also cooked just perfectly, neither too raw, not too overcooked, all with a slight crispness - and amazing taste - to them.

"So, the prophecy: I've heard many stories about the prophecy of the covens, do tell me what you know," asked Lucifer.

"Well, we have seen three specific prophecies so far, from three different covens: their core is pretty much the same, but each add in some useful extra details". Sarah described what the 3 prophecies said. "Everyone is convinced that the events pretty much tie up with now..."

"Yes, that's always the problem with any sort of prediction or prophecy, isn't it? I mean, over the years there have been many 'plagues', but even something like Spanish Flu a few years ago died out quite quickly. And I'm pretty sure there HAVE been plenty of witches over the past 400 or 500 years who have not pledged to follow the light - although I'm guessing many of then went straight for the darkness! No, I'm tending to agree with what your saying, plus....."

"Plus?" asked Sarah.

"Well, over the last half century or so, there's been a growing dissatisfaction amongst members of some of the realms, so it must be about time someone actually DID something!" explained Lucifer.

"It sounds like you also believe this prophecy is starting to come true, and that Serena is the one named in it."

"Well, it's the best match I've heard of so far. As I understand it, unless you're a real 'dark witch', it's not easy for a witch who has pledged to the light to actually do any serious dark magic. Unless they are the one who pledged to 'somewhere in between'".

"Serena has taught me some very simple summoning spells, but for the distance I can summon, I might just as well walk and get whatever it is! Serena on the other hand is a lot more able".

As they talked Sarah continued to enjoy her dinner: normally she was a reasonably fast eater, but today, she was taking her time, and enjoying and savouring the lovely mix of flavours in the food.

"Ok, Lucifer, here's a very direct question for you: given a fight between good and evil, which side would you stand on?"

"Well, if you had asked me that a few millennia ago, it would have been the dark side. But I've come to see that darkness isn't really the answer. I'll be honest, I rather enjoy my life here with humanity, so I think I'll be wanting to support the good guys! How many times do I need to tell people, I really am trying to turn my - albeit rather long - life around!"

"But I'm rather hoping that you still have some dark skills?"

"Oh, once you learn dark magic, there's no unlearning it!"

"So, are you interested in helping me, and maybe some others, train Serena in her use of magic, specifically dark magic?"

"If she is as good as you seem to think she is, then yes, it will be a most interesting experience: it's been a while since I've trained someone in 'the dark arts'. Although this time there will be the interesting twist of working out how to use dark magic for something good!"

Sarah took the last bite of her main curse, and put her knife and fork onto the plate.

"Lucifer, that was just amazing! Thank you"

"Oh, we're not done yet. Lets sit and pause for a while, then you can be thrilled by the dessert. In the meantime, more wine?". While Lucifer refilled their wine glasses, the waiter came in at took away their plates. Lucifer and Sarah continued to talk: not only did Lucifer have a most amazing voice, he was also a pretty good listener. Not only did they talk about Serena, and her need for training, they talked about each other.

"Are you ready for the dessert?" asked Lucifer a while later.

"Yes, I think so." A few moments later, the waiter came in with two small plates.

"So, the starter had a Japanese theme, the main course had a French theme. The dessert is Italian: pieces of fresh Italian pineapple and kiwi fruits, served with ice cream - Italian of course! Oh, the cream might not be Italian though!"

"Lucifer, this is lovely!" said Sarah, thoroughly enjoying her fruit and ice cream."

"I'm glad you're enjoying it."

"Something tells me you enjoy nice food..." suggested Sarah.

"I do. A lot of customers come here because it's expensive, many come to just 'eat some food', but it is so nice when I'm able to invite someone like you here, because it's very clear that you have actually ENJOYED the food here tonight."

"I will say that I have liked absolutely everything you have served me tonight, it was quite amazing. the textures, the flavours... so... I have no word for it, will 'yummy' do?"

"'Yummy' is good for me. Of course, it's not just the raw ingredients - although they do play their part, it's the skill of the team that make it: come , I would love you to meet my chefs!". Lucifer led Sarah out of the private dining room, and out to the kitchen. "Tell you what, how would you like to tell these guys what you thought of their food? This is David, he prepared your mushroom starter".

"David, those mushrooms tasted just delicious!"

"Thank you, my pleasure", said David with a smile.

"Yoru main course was a bit of a team effort.. ladies and gents, your attention for a few seconds: Sarah, please try and describe your thoughts on the main course?"

"Well, that steak was just... divine! Those vegetables... perfect!". There were several more very appreciative faces.

"And finally, meet Suzi, she does most of the desserts"

"Suzi, thank you, it ended the meal beautifully!". Suzi smiled too.

"So, can I persuade you to come up to my apartment: we can have coffee, and if there's something you'd like to drink, we can arrange that too."

Sarah thought for a second, but realised that if Lucifer REALLY wanted to do something untoward to her, he wouldn't need her to be in his apartment at the time. Besides, he really did seem to know how to behave like a gentlemen. "Yes, ok then, but I ought to get my coat and bag."

"Don't worry, I'll get them as soon as we are upstairs!" He led the way to a small lift (oh, come on, you don't REALLY expect Lucifer to use stairs do you?). Once upstairs, he clicked his fingers, summoning Sarah's coat and bag. "I mean, if you know magic, you might as well use it occasionally...."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #22 on: 18. July 2022, 19:55:48 PM »
Chapter 36 - Sarah did WHAT?

"Ah, Serena, got a moment?" asked Sarah. It was lunchtime the next day at school.

"Yes, sure," replied Serena, "something important?". Sarah took Serena to a quiet corner.

"Well, yes and no. Lucifer has agreed to come over to my place tonight to start your dark magic training"

"Oh excellent... so you've spoken to him at last then?". Serena saw the reaction on Sarah's face. "Ok, I'll take that as a definite 'yes' then... what's he like?"

"Oh, he's really very nice..."

"So, you had dinner with him then?"

"I might have done... how on earth did you work that out?"

"Oh, come on, Sarah, it's written all over your face. So come on, details..."

"Well, he invited me to one of his restaurants..."

"One of?"

"Yes, he owns several. Look, he's been around for a while, had plenty of time to develop the business model. Oh, god, the food was just so DIVINE! Then we went up to his apartment. FOR COFFEE! Ok, and a drink..."

"... and I'm guessing a bit of 'something more' too!"

"Who do you take me for?"

"Well, a hot-blooded teacher who's not had a boyfriend for a while?". Sarah went a bit pink. "Oh My God! You fancy him, don't you?" Sarah's face went from pink to red. "I bet you have a thing for bad boys!"

"Serena! This is neither the time nor place to be talking about....."

"About your love life?" Serena had a HUGE smile on her face. "Ok tonight... what time is your fancy-man coming over?" she added, smirking.

"Oh, stop it will you!! Just be there for about half seven will you?"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #23 on: 23. July 2022, 23:29:46 PM »
Chapter 37 - Serena meets Lucifer

"I would say 'come on in', but you already are, aren't you?". Whilst Serena would normally teleport straight into Sarah's lounge, today she thought it might be a bit more discrete to land in her hallway, and call out to her. "Come on and meet Luce..."

"Well, hello there, beautiful!" said Lucifer in his normal suave tone, and looking up at Serena, whilst taking her hand. Whilst Lucifer wore shoes with slight heels on, to increase his height a tiny bit, Serena was actually taller than him, plus her heels were even bigger than his!

"Hello Lucifer! Thank you for offering to help me with my dark magic training."

"Completely my pleasure: I'm quite looking forward to seeing how good you really are" replied Lucifer.

Whilst this was happening, Serena's braces asked her "Is this REALLY Lucifer? Big Bad Lucifer?"

"Yes, it is, but we need to trust him. I have no doubt he has a LOT of experience of dark magic, and I need to learn as much as I can from him. Look, do your best, and let me know if you are struggling" she replied.

"Ok, we will. Will you be using your new jewellery?" asked the braces.

"No, I wasn't planning on telling Sarah about it yet. Besides, it will be good for me to see what dark magic I can do without it"

"Ok, that sounds good to us!" said her braces.

"So, we decided that today we will properly start you training in the area of dark magic," explained Sarah. "Luce will be working with you on the dark side of things, but I'm going to be here both to make sure he doesn't actually try and lure you fully to the dark side, but also to be here to put the dark magic into the context of the light magic"

"Oh, Sarah, please, who do you take me for?" replied Lucifer

"Erm, how about Satan's dark ex-assistant?"

"Yeah, ok, but I've told you, I'm trying hard to reform! I wouldn't be here if I didn't think this was the right thing to do.... and I must say, I'm quite convinced I need to help you, for the good of this and the other realms"

"Ok, Luce, calm down, let's get the ball rolling...."

"Right, Serena, let's start your training by helping you understand a few things. Your need of the dark magic is quite different from mine... or should I say 'from what mine used to be'. My use of the dark magic was for purely personal, evil and vindictive purposes. Your use will be quite different: it will be for the greater good, absolutely not evil.... but there still needs to be a vindictive or not-so-good undertone to it, so that it works properly. I think what I need to say is that you need to be able to use the dark magic, but control it carefully, maybe with some equally strong light magic. Although Sarah tells me you also have some special 'braces' that will also help."

"Oh, ok, that makes sense. And yes, my braces have already helped me when I've done some of the simple dark magic stuff." Serena smiled, letting Lucifer see the metal in her mouth.

"Rather you than me with that lot! Now, another thing you need to understand is that powerful dark magic can take a lot out of you, more so than the light magic, although hopefully your braces might help you.  Even so, what you have to do is try and be a bit more intelligent about things"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, imagine that you want to build a house, but right where you want to build that house is a massive oak tree, three foot wide trunk. You can cut it down with an axe.... yeah, I can see you doing that! Or you could use magic to get rid of it, but a big tree like that? It's going to be pretty hard to do, and take a while. But maybe, if you are clever, there's a better way"

"Such as?"

"Well, maybe the tree should have grown 30 feet away, or simply not been allowed to grow in the first place..."

"Right.... but that would have been what... a hundred years ago?"

"True, but why should that stop you using magic. You just need a different sort of magic" explained Lucifer.

"No use looking at me, Serena, I have no idea where he's going with this," commented Sarah

"That's because you only have knowledge of spells of the light. I'm talking about 'Retrospective Magic'. Retrospective magic is a very powerful, and very dark, form of magic. Trying to do anything of consequence is close to impossible, but you can do very small things. Even that needs a lot of very carefully planned and placed magic, which will be very tiring to do. But it can be done. So back to that tree... how about we ask a passing squirrel - a hundred years ago -  to pick up that acorn, and drop it 30 feet away. Or get the person who trod on it, and pushed it into the ground - which is how it started to grow - to just step 3 inches to the left. Small, relatively inconsequential actions that can have a much bigger effect later on."

"Ok, I can understand that. I guess you need to teach me the relevant spells...."

"Well, it's not quite so easy as that. Planning and research are so important with this one. If you get it wrong, you end up with three big trees instead of the one. Plus, the magic works a lot better the nastier the intent is. So, we need to work out something for you which probably won't have too much of an effect overall, but is, in itself quite nasty and vindictive. So what I thought is this: is there someone in your life who at some point has been a bit nasty to you? They probably never actually broke your arm or leg, but they caused you, and probably others, needless pain. Someone who you have thought 'boy, I'd like to get my own back on them one day...."

"Oh, yes, I can definitely think of someone like that!"

"I can feel some anger in there.... Tell me more.... and don't restrain yourself in any way! I'm sure Sarah will help you if you start to go TOO far - but Sarah, please don't do anything too soon, I need her anger"

Sarah had a quick word with her braces, making sure they would allow her to get a bit angry....

"Her name is Amanda Miller.... we called her 'Mandy Miller, the hateful killer', and other similar versions. She is a tiny bit younger than me, not in my class, but still in my year. I guess she comes from a pretty well off family, 'coz she always dresses well and expensively. Always has the latest iPhone - Android phones are far too beneath her! But she's the school bully. You'll never actually see her doing anything physical, if that's needed then she'll get someone else to do that. Most of what she does is psychological. If she can find anything 'wrong' with you, she'll tell you and everyone else about it. 'Oh, not a very nice colour of nail polish you're wearing, that's so last year'. 'oh, that dress is far too long - or short'. 'oh, dear, don't you go to a hairdresser any more?'. 'with a nose like that, I'm not surprised you don't have a boyfriend any more'. All said out loud, said with spite, and in the most public of places. I don't ever remember her saying anything nice to anyone"

"Do go on, tell me more...."

"Well, heaven help you if you had or did something more than just trivial. I know of at least two girls with braces that were brought to tears from her nasty snide remarks. Being called a 'metal mouth' by her was almost a compliment. No, she was much nastier than that. 'Who would ever want to put their tongue in a mouth like THAT?' and 'can you eat bark, like a beaver does?' when someone's teeth stuck out a bit, and got braces. Her remarks can make you feel an inch tall. No, Mandy Miller is just an evil, conniving, vindictive, horrible BITCH! She needs to be neutered!" said Serena in a rather loud voice.

By this time, Serena's braces were doing things to try and calm her, but she was ignoring those feelings. She was absolutely hateful of Mandy Miller, probably badly enough that, if she were there now, she would pull her limb from limb without a single thought!

"AAAARRRGGHHHH!!!!!!! I HATE her! I despise her! She - is - the - SCUM - of - the - earth!!!!!!!!!!"

"Ok, Serena" said Lucifer. "Now take all of that anger, those dark feelings, and contain them, hold them, do NOT let them escape! Feel them! Savour them! Understand them!  Because THOSE are the sort of feelings you will need to cast any form of strong dark magic. Do you want to vindictively pay her back for everything she has done to you and everyone else?"

"OH, YES, I DO!!!!!!" screamed out Serena, louder than she had ever screamed before.

"Ok, Serena, now, start to breathe and relax. Come back down. Pull that anger inside of you. Put it into a little box, safe within yourself. Do not lose it, keep it close, you will need it later. But control it, be in COMPLETE control of it!" coached Lucifer.

Serena started to relax, and let her braces, which by now were exerting all sorts of feelings on her, help to calm her down. Her braces took her anger, and protected her from it, helped her hide it in that small box in her mind, and contain it once more.

Serena sat down and cried. That was not her, well, not the normal her. That was clearly some long term anger deep within her, that she had finally allowed to come out. But she had controlled it, and had managed to put it back into a safe place.

Serena felt different in herself as a result: she felt highly empowered! And ready to do whatever was needed!

"Ok" said Lucifer a while later, when Serena was back to her normal self. "That was pretty impressive. If I was your psychologist, I might say you have a few anger issues there towards Mandy Miller! We just need to be able to channel that later on, but we do now have someone who will be the target of your vindictive humiliation - you just need to work out WHAT you need to do. It needs to be small, and simple, yet something that puts her nicely in her place. More importantly, you need to make sure that there is no way anyone can ever realise that that it was YOU that caused it! Even better if it seems she did it to herself!"

"Luce, you really can be evil, can't you!" said Sarah.

"Yes, I can be quite evil, but that's why you need me. Now, Serena, when planning a retrospective spell, detail is so important. So, you need to go away, and work out what the humiliation will be - I'd like to suggest that, as this is supposed to be a braces story, that it might include some braces. But you need to be very precise in what you want, only then can you work out, with precision, what needs to be done to get that desired outcome. But I think you've done enough for today, go away, and think on it. If it takes a day or even a week, then that's fine. Some of the best actions can actually take some time to properly plan."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #24 on: 24. July 2022, 21:56:01 PM »
Chapter 38 - all about MM

"Good morning Mithth Davith" said Serena, "How are you today?" They were both quite early.

"Very well thank you.... hopefully you're back to normal after last night....."

"Yeth, I'm feeling fine, ath long ath I don't thee a certain girl who ith in my year. I have no doubt she will be taking advantage of thome of thothe younger newer thtudentth. Hey, can I athk a quick favour?"

"Yes, go on.."

"Any chanthe you could put thome thort of thimple calming protection thpell on me for today. I don't want to upthet, or be upthet by, that thertain girl....."

"Yes, I understand, follow me.....".


So, Serena was getting back into the swing of school again - it always took a week or two for most students to settle in after the long summer holidays. It had also finally sunk in that she and her classmates were in the TOP CLASS. There were no other students above them, they were IT! And that calmed Serena greatly.

Shame about Miss MM also being in the top year too.

Whilst the day at school had been good, it was also quite tiring. She may be a witch, but she still had to learn stuff, so she could get her A-levels... although she DID sometimes wonder quite HOW a set of good A-level grades would actually help her save the world. And become queen...

Luckily, she didn't have any homework that needed doing straight away, so Serena lay back on her bed, and thought.... and started to plan. So, Mandy had braces! She wondered when she'd got those. She certainly didn't have them at the end of last term. Whilst her 'meeting' with Mandy had been very brief, she had seemed to be relaxed with her braces, so Serena guessed it must have been soon after the end of term.

She needed to find out more, but how? She knew that MM was a non-witch, so if she had a probing walk around her house, she should be completely unaware. Ok, so she should be respecting people's privacy, but Serena felt that this is one of those times when 'the greater good overrides the needs of the individual'. Crap, that's a bit of dark magic side-effects coming out.... but that didn't matter, what she was doing was all a bit dark, so who really cared?

Where does MM live though? Serena couldn't go probing if she didn't know WHERE to probe. Damn, she should have asked Sarah to find out at school today. Never mind, she could probably find it out online. Serena flipped her laptop open, and started looking. Ok, so according to the phone book, there were 6 Miller's in the area. Ok, search the web.... hmm, ok, that eliminates two of them, so only 4. Maybe the quickest way was to just probe each of them in turn.

She took a quick note of the addresses, and had a look at the online map.... ok, yeah, she knew where they were. Serena closed the laptop, and leaned back on her bed. She removed the magic ring from her pinkie finger, and removed and fitted the frenum and nose rings, putting the other two rings back on her finger: she had decided that having the slight boost from 2 of her 4 dark piercings should raise her dark magic abilities enough to make things a lot easier for her.

She closed her eyes, and walked her mind to the first address. It was a very small house, and within moments of walking in, she could tell it would not be MM's house. Ok, that was good, that narrowed it down to 3. Next house. Yes, bigger. A family inside. A mum, a dad, and 3 quite young kids, but no Mandy. To be honest, 3 young kids and an older one was a fairly unlikely combination, and a quick look upstairs only showed her 3 kids beds.

Ok, on to number 3. Oooh, now THIS looks hopeful. Rather nice large house. Big driveway, with a pair of BMWs. This was much more like it: she had know for ages that Mandy's family was very well off, and they needed for nothing. Oh, yes, there she is!!!! Oh My God, is that HEADGEAR she's wearing? Oh, that gave Serena so many MORE possibilities. Number one on the list was clearly something like 'how can I make her wear her headgear to school?'. Wow, that would fit the bill so well! And there were many other options too.

Right, what does she need to know? First of all, who is her ortho? Next, when DID she get the braces. Hmm, I wonder how much she ACTUALLY wears her headgear. Clearly she wears it in front of mum and dad, but what about the rest of the time?

Ok, let's take a look around...... In the hallway - nice hallway, by the way -  she saw a calendar on the wall.... Oh, looks like she has an ortho appointment, in a few days time... that is useful information! How far back did the ortho visits go..... no-one was around, so she boldly looked back through the calendar. You're joking, first visit a week before end of term, and she got the actual braces fitted the first day of the holidays! MM, what a conniving little B........! Serena took a deep breath, she must stay calm. Take a note of the other ortho visit dates... ok, about every 3 to 4 weeks.

But who is her ortho.... there's got to be a card somewhere. She walked upstairs. Parent's room - very nice, but no.... younger sibling's rooms, no.... ah, yes, definitely Mandy's room: loads of makeup and jewellery on the dressing table. Clothes spilling out of the wardrobe. Clothes dumped around the room. Yup, it's hers!

Oh, what's this on the mirror? BINGO! An old appointment card... look through the mirror on to the back of the card. Oh, them! Interesting! It seemed that she went to the ortho that Serena had visited, but decided she didn't really like: she just felt him to be... well, how about 'old fashioned'? Peter, whilst not young, felt like a breath of fresh air compared to him.

Was there anything else she needed? She couldn't think of anything, besides, now she knew where she lived, it would be easy to pop back if she needed to. Serena walked out of MM's bedroom, along the hall, and down the stairs, where she suddenly found that MM was just starting to come UP the stairs, straight towards her - already she was starting to disconnect the headgear strap from her facebow. Serena panicked for a moment, but then remembered that she wasn't ACTUALLY there, she was just probing... so she just kept walking down the stairs, and straight through Mandy. Whilst Serena maybe thought it felt odd for her, it felt a lot worse for Mandy, who felt a sudden and strange chill go right through her body.

Back home, Serena wrote down the relevant details, in case she forgot. Her ortho's name was Jack Smith, and she included the dates and times of her appointments. Ok, now what was it Lucifer had said. Ah, yes, small actions. Tiny acorns. Serena decided that the first thing she would think about whether it was actually possible to, and how to, get MM to go to school in her headgear. There was absolutely no way she would do it unless it was pretty much forced on her.

Could her headgear get stuck maybe? Serena opened the drawer by her bed, and took out her old headgear: she no longer wore it, since she started wearing a pair of lip-bumpers instead. She carefully took out both of her lip bumpers, and fitted the facebow. Whilst she had molar bands before, which this headgear fitted in to nicely, they had been replaced by the molar bands connected to her upper expander, and the alignment was slightly different. But despite that, it seemed they weren't THAT much different: with a little effort, the headgear slipped into place. It also came out ok, albeit with a little extra jiggling. She tried a couple more times, but if anything, it got easier. So how would a headgear get stuck in place?

Serena did think about whether glue would work, but not only was that a big unknown, someone would quickly work out what it was, and how to remove the headgear. No, it needed to be fixed in some other way, like with wire or something.

Serena searched the internet, and to her pleasant surprise found many mentions about 'wired in headgear', many on a braces fetish site called 'bracesforum'. Further reading indicated that many believed that wired in headgear was actually a myth, no more than a way to just frighten kids into actually wearing their headgear. Serena thought back to when she first got her headgear... it had never worried her, although maybe that was because of mum's spells. Or maybe it was the braces themselves helping her?

But there were a few posts, and a couple of articles, that indicated that, whilst wired in headgear was actually used occasionally in the past, it wasn't used these days. That was a bit of a shame, so she kept searching. She came across a 'paper', all about methods to persuade kids to wear their headgear the needed number of hours. Written by a Mr O Fogey, it included a short study which actually included the wiring in of headgear. It seems that the study found that typically the headgear only needed to be wired in place for a week or two - the main problem appeared to be the social stigma associated with 'wearing the headgear in public', thus forcing the patient to wear the headgear 24/7 for even just a week seemed to 'break the ice', and gave long term patient compliance.

Serena's eyes were attracted to bottom of the report, where it listed the name and address of his orthodontic practice: it was exactly the same as the address of MM's ortho! Sadly not the same name. The date on the report was only 8 years ago, so Serena looked online a bit more: it seems that Jack Smith, the current ortho, actually used to work with Mr Fogey for several years, taking over the surgery 6 years ago. Interesting. So he would probably be VERY aware of that paper.

Ok, so how do we get him to a point that he offers to wire in MM's headgear? Would nearly 3 months of almost complete non-compliance, and thus close to no movement of the teeth, be enough? Hmm, Serena wondered what sort of patient MM would be? She could imagine that MM wasn't likely to be the easiest of patients, and maybe with the absolute tiniest bit of help, the butterfly effect could make her even worse. MM's next appointment could then be the third at which Mr Smith will have complained about her lack of headgear wear.

There was one other potential issues, one of the story site's rules. Lucifer had reminded her that this was supposed to be a story with braces in, so it would need to meet the storyboard rules.

The under-18 rule wasn't an issue, as Serena remembered that MM's birthday was a couple of weeks after hers, so she had, luckily, just turned 18. No, this was the one about 'coercion'. If MM was over 18, she was legally the one who took the decisions, so no-one else could force her to have any particular treatment.

Serena started thinking a bit more laterally. Half a moment..... GOLD braces... that's not free NHS treatment, that's private treatment! And private treatment is not cheap, especially with tiny GOLD braces. No, her mum and dad would be paying. So, what Serena needed was simply some 'leverage', and not any coercion at all! For MM to have got those rather nice GOLD braces, there must SURELY be some strings attached. You know, the sort of 'if you don't do x then you won't get y' that parents often use. And that is not a stick, it's a carrot on a string!

And if there weren't any string attached, then she would just need to add those strings. Serena's thoughts were definitely getting darker, but they were getting amazingly focussed ("thanks, dark jewellery and braces!").

She wrote down a list:

- check that there are strings attached / create strings if needed
- remind Mr Smith that wired in HG is a good and valid treatment option
- do something to make sure MM does not LIKE wearing HG / does not WANT to wear HG (or maybe both) so that she has a very low wear time = no noticeable tooth movement
- make her into an annoying patient, if not one already (might tie in with previous item)
- give Mr Smith (ortho) a bad day on the day of MM's appointment, so he's in a bit of a bad mood
- might want to give MM's mum a bad day too!
- make sure Mr Smith notices her lack of HG wear at all visits

That's seven things.... too many. But hang on, maybe they didn't all need to be retrospective? Maybe she could do something to help remind Mr Smith about the wired in HG sometime between now and her appointment. Giving Mr Smith and MM's mum a bad day can also be done on the day. So 4 things that need fixing, worst case: yes that's looking better.

Ok, tomorrow Serena could do a bit more probing and planning, tonight she was feeling tired, and needed to sleep.....

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #25 on: 26. July 2022, 20:06:01 PM »
Chapter 39 - cream slices

"Excellent research there, Serena!" said Lucifer several evenings later. "And I DO like what you're planning! Those 3 or 4 things that need to be sorted out in the past, they are all very small things, which you should be able to do fairly easily."

"So how does this retrospective magic work then? Do I need to somehow time-travel, and do some magic in the past?"

"No, nothing as exciting as that. It's more about sending targeted ideas back in time. For example, that last one: you just need to send back a few 'make sure to evaluate her headgear wear' reminders to her ortho just as Mandy arrives for her appointment. And send a few suggestions back to Mandy that makes her headgear wearing a bit more annoying for her - I don't know, maybe make it a bit itchy or something?"

"Ok, well I think I need to do some more research tonight on Mandy tonight, get a few more details. Her next appointment at her ortho is on Monday afternoon, do you think that gives us enough time to prepare everything?"

"Oh, yes, that's plenty. So if her appointment is on the Monday, you'll want to do this first thing on Tuesday. What you thinking of doing on the day?"

"Good point, not really thought much about that yet. So, she'll be coming to school in headgear that she HAS to wear, so she'll be annoyed. I'm thinking we somehow need to turn the tables on HER. Maybe we humiliate her in front of as many others as possible, just like she has humiliated so many other innocent kids."

"Who is 'we' then?"

"Ok, I guess that *I* will have to humiliate her! Jeez, how do I do that?"

"You effectively need to be her... in fact BETTER than her. I'm guessing she dresses smart?"

"Of course!"

"Then you need to dress even smarter. How does she get to school?"

"Her mum drops her off in a BMW"

Lucifer smiled. "How would you like to drive to school in a fancy sports car for a few days?"

"What, something like a sporty little Peugeot, you mean? That might annoy her a bit."

"Well, I was thinking of a PROPER sports car, maybe a Porsche or a Ferrari - leave it with me, I'll see what I can do for you."

"A Porsche? Yeah, that would DEFINTELY wind her up!"

"And you'll need to practice being fully in control of the situation, you need to appear to be authoritive, you need to be 'the one'. Nothing that a good bit of dark magic won't be able to do for you."

"Ok, so this list of stuff I need to do.... "check that there are strings attached / create strings": knowing Mandy, I'm pretty certain that her parents would have needed some sort of 'carrot' to persuade her to get into braces at all, let alone the headgear. I guess the upmarket gold brackets are part of it, but knowing Mandy, there MUST be more".

"Ok," said Lucifer, "then why don't you go back there tonight, and follow her carefully. Maybe put a few ideas into her head, maybe also into her mum or dad's - or brother's and sister's - heads. Try reading her thoughts a bit...".

"I think maybe you'll need to show me how to do those remotely, I have no doubt you have some suitable dark magic to help me?"

"Of course. Tell you what, take me with you to her place, so we can both see what is going on, then I can help fine-tune what you need to do." said Luce. "So, let's sit down together, I'm afraid I'll need to hold your hand for you to lead me there though."

"Don't worry," said Sarah, "I'll stay watching, make sure he behaves himself! Have fun!"

Serena and Luce sat together on the settee, and Lucifer took Serena's hand. With their eyes closed, she ran the probing spell, and led him to Mandy Miller's house.

"Ok, let's start in her bedroom, that will give you an idea of what sot of person she is...." suggested Serena. They went into the bedroom, to find that Mandy was there, on her phone. "Well, Luce, meet Mandy Miller. Hang on, she's not wearing her headgear!"

"Yeah, her bedroom door is locked on the inside, so no-one will walk in on her, so she probably feels pretty safe not wearing it." said Luce. "What else can we find out, I wonder? Who's she talking to?".

Serena listened closely to her phone. "Ah, I think that's Penny, one of her 'team' at school. Let's see what they are talking about....".

"So, what colour are you going to go for then?" asked Penny.

"I'd kinda like pink, but that's probably not such a great idea. I saw a rather nice orange one the other day, it looked pretty good! And I saw a picture of one in rather nice shade of green, sort of 'electric' green." replied Mandy.

"What on earth they talking about?" commented Serena. They listened a bit longer, but still couldn't work it out... besides they started talking about something else a minute later.

"Ok," said Luce, "let's meet the rest of her family...". Serena led him into the bedroom next door, where the older of her two brothers was - he looked to be about 15, and was playing a game on his PC: they watched for a bit, but it wasn't of any use. They went downstairs, where they took a quick wander around the kitchen, dining room and downstairs study. Finally, they found her mum, dad, and younger brother (he looked to be about 12 or 13), all in the very spacious lounge, watching TV. "Yeah, see what you mean, they are pretty well off, aren't they? What *I* would do is to somehow get her mum to catch Mandy without her headgear, and make her remind Mandy about her promise - I'd just assume she made one - then read Mandy's mind to see what she was thinking about... sounds like we know what to teach you tonight then!"

"Yeah, I'm ok with that...". They both returned back to Sarah's, and opened their eyes.

"I can imagine your Mandy being quite the bitch at school, I was getting some quite negative feelings from her. Ok, so I'm thinking that I need to show you how to plant small ideas into people's mind - at a distance... you're going to need to do that for a few of the things on that list. Reading someone's mind is hard, but maybe you will be able to pick up some feelings, maybe even a picture... Let's give it a go..."

They used Sarah as a slightly-willing subject. Luce explained how the magic worked. "We all ok?" she asked her braces. "Yes, we're all ready!".

"Ok, Sarah, maybe you could go into the kitchen for a few minutes, and I'll get Serena to put a thought into your head. You see, Serena, having a sort of conversation is easy, but what you need to do is effectively talk to Sarah without her actually realising that you are doing it. I think it's much easier with normal humans, because they aren't expecting strange things to happen to them, but people like us are a bit more aware. So, what idea do you want to put into her head then?"

"Well, I don't know about you, but I could do with another cup of tea..." suggested Serena.

"Ok, so let try it..." Lucifer suggested that, to start with, it might be easier if she wrote down what she wanted, so she could then concentrate on it easier. He then walked her through the actual spell (which Serena put on yet another yellow sticky in her memory), then let Serena cast the spell. She said the words of the spell, then looked at the wods on the paper, which she then said softly: "Sarah, put the kettle on, and make us all another cup of tea, then bring it in when you've made it. And don't forget to magic up some creamy buns too!".

"Yes, I think you did that nicely, I guess we need to sit and wait a bit." They only had to wait a few minutes, before Sarah came back in to the lounge.

"I thought you both might like a cuppa, plus I magicked these up for us". In her hands was a tray, with 3 mugs of tea, plus a plate with three cream slices, and dour teaspoons. "So, how's the magic going?" she asked, "I've not had any thoughts pop into my head though".

Lucifer and Serena smiled at each other. "Well, the magic seems to have worked perfectly" said Serena.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, those cream slices were EXACTLY what I was thinking of when I suggested you should magic up some cakes for us, to go with some tea."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #26 on: 27. July 2022, 18:27:41 PM »
Chapter 40 - Put your headgear on!

"Well, I'd say you definitely have the hang of doing suggestions, and if Sarah didn't notice it, then you did it just perfectly. How about we try something at a distance? Something at your target's house?"

"How about I get Mandy's mum to see her without her headgear, and tell her off?"

"No reason why not... you need to get her mum fed up with her before her next ortho visit! So what you thinking of doing?"

"Well, how's about I persuade Mandy that she needs to go to the loo. Everyone else is downstairs, so she could easily just go without her headgear. Then I need to make her mum spot that she's not wearing it."

"Yes. So what's your timings?"

"So, tell Mandy to go off to the loo, no headgear needed. Then just as she's on the way there, tell her mum that there's she needs to go and ask Mandy: with luck, she will get upstairs just as Mandy is leaving the loo. Or do you think it would be better for her mum to arrive just as Many walks out of her room?"

"Well, the advantage of doing the latter is that if your timings don't work, you'd get a second chance at it for free..."

"Good point...." Serena picked up some paper and wrote down 3 things: first for her mum to go upstairs, second for Mandy to go to the loo, then third a couple of options for if the first bit don't quite work.

"Ok, so just like you did with Sarah: find the target, cast the spell, and clearly say what you want to happen. So, just like we did earlier, you can take us both there, and then I'll leave it up to you"

Sarah sat back in the chair, took Lucifer's hand, closed her eyes, then took them both back to Mandy's house. She started by confirming Mandy was indeed still in her room, which she was. Then downstairs, where her mum was in the lounge, watching TV: very conveniently, an ad break came on. Concentrating on her mum, she cast the spell, then said "You're going to make some tea, but first you need to go up and ask Amanda if she would like some". Quickly they went upstairs, and she waited outside Mandy's room until her mum was on the way. Then into Mandy's room: "Mandy, you desperately need the loo, don't bother with your headgear, everyone else is downstairs, so they won't see you". Mandy got up off her bed, looked at her headgear but promptly ignored it, then went to the door. She undid the bolt, and opened the door - there, directly in front of her, was her mum, about to knock on the door.

"Good timing there, Serena! Couldn't have done it better myself!"

"Amanda! Why aren't you wearing your headgear? You know you're supposed to wear it in the evenings and when you're in bed. Or don't you want the car then?".

"Car?" said Serena to Lucifer. "So THAT's what they were talking about on the phone earlier. OMG, I've found that carrot.... and what a carrot!"

"Umm, it was a bit uncomfortable" said Mandy. It was partly a lie, but hopefully partly true!

Serena smiled. "Don't worry, I'll make it doubly uncomfortable for you, Miss Miller!"

"Put it on, NOW... assuming you still want that new car?"

"Oh... mum....." complained Mandy. She walked over to her dressing table, picked up the facebow, then looking into the mirror, put it into her mouth. Next she picked up the neck strap, hooked on one end, then holding the facebow to steady it, hooked on the second end. Mandy really didn't like weaing her headgear.

Quickly, Serena decided to repeat the two earlier spells, to remind both of them what they were supposed to be doing. "Toilet" she said to Mandy, then "Cup of tea" to her mum. With her headgear on, Mandy walked out of her bedroom, to go to the loo. Her mum called after her "I'm making a cuppa, do you want one? Although you don't really deserve one!"

"Nice work there, Serena, I think we're done! That repeat was a good idea too.". Serena opened her eyes: she was back at Sarah's place.

"So, how did it go?" asked Sarah.

"About ten times better than we could have hoped for. My timings were just perfect, and her mum caught her without her headgear, PLUS... we now know what the 'carrot' is? Fiddlesticks."

"And what is it then? And why did you just say 'Fiddlesticks'?"

"A new car! She's not gonna want to lose THAT! And I have no idea why I just said 'Fiddlesticks'!"

Ok, I'm very impressed!" said Lucifer. "Three lots of 'suggestions' and you got all three perfectly right first time. How about we talk about the 'retrospective magic, and maybe try one out?"

"I'm up for that!" said Serena.

"Ok, so what do you want to do?"

Serena brought up her 'to do' list in her mind. "Well, we've worked out the 'carrot; the next thing on the list was to make sure Mandy didn't wear her headgear enough... but I think I need to work out what to do a bit more yet. Same for 'make her an annoying patient', so maybe we can remind her ortho to check on her headgear wear at each appointment?"

"Ok, so you'll need to cast an individual spell for each appointment - I'm assuming you know when they were?"

"Yup, they were nicely marked up on the family calendar. Now, I guess I could remind him in the morning, but I suspect it will work better if it's just before her appointment. How accurately does the time work in the retrospective magic?"

"For stuff like this, which is in the last 3 or 4 months, pretty accurately - well, assuming the clock didn't change in that period, which they haven't. So, let me demonstrate the spell to you." Lucifer said the words of the spell, then "make Serena say 'Fiddlesticks' in her first sentence, after we return from our remote probing session a few minutes ago".

"Ah, so THAT is why I just said 'Fiddlesticks'! So the time can be more descriptive than just 'at 12:17pm on that date' sort of thing?"

"Oh, yes, and things work even better if you combine things to pinpoint when you want it to happen. So, I'm thinking you might say something like 'when Amanda walks in for her 12:35 appointment, remind Mr X to look carefully at her headgear wear'... that way, if he's a bit early or a bit late, it happens at the right time. You don't want it to happen when he's in the middle of doing something else."

Lucifer explained a few more aspects of doing retrospective spells to Serena: like all magic, if you actually understood the way the magic actually worked, then you could make sure to cast the spells in the best way possible.

Then Serena spent a few minutes writing down some simple notes with details of Mandy's appointment times, and some suitable words to go with the spells (actually pretty similar to what Lucifer just used!)

"So, try and clear your mind, and get into some sort of negative mindset: the more negative you feel, the better it will work - remember, we're dealing with dark magic here. Then once you're ready, concentrate carefully on the spell, and on the details to go with it. As ever, you don't really need to say it out loud, but most people prefer to do that".

"And how do I know if the spell worked?"

"Good question. I find I get a sort of 'good feeling' if it works. Maybe you need to try out a retrospective spell that you know will work?"

Just then, Serena happened to be looking at the tray that Sarah had used to bring in the mugs of tea, and noticed that there were four teaspoons on it.

"Sarah, why did you put the spoons on the tray?"

"Good question, and I have no idea. Wasn't it part of the spell when you put the idea into my mind to make the tea and get the cakes?"

"No it wasn't..." Serena smiled as she realised she must have done it with a retrospective magic spell.

Serena sat back in her chair, took a couple of deep breaths top relax herself, then thought about Mandy Miller: she was definitely something negative! Next she said the words of the spell, followed by "when Sarah made the tea and magicked up the cakes a few minutes ago, make her put four teaspoons on the tray". As she finished the spell, she felt a pleasantly warm fuzzy feeling.

"Ok, yes, I see what you mean about having 'a good feeling'. I guess I can get on with these other spells then....". Once again, she relaxed, thought bad thoughts, said the words of the spell, then described when it should happen, then "make Mr Jack Smith, Mandy Miller's ortho, remember that he must positively check out the effects of Mandy's headgear wear". This time she didn't get that nice feeling. "Hmm, I don't think that worked....".

"I think you mis-pronounced one of the words, left a bit out.". Serena checked the spell, and realised that indeed she had missed out a tiny bit.

Once more, she sat back, thought of bad things and tried again... and this time got the good feelings. "I think that one worked ok! Ok, let me do the others." She repeated the process a few more times, getting good feelings each time.

"Nicely done there again, Serena, you really DO pick up magic quickly"

"So, Lucifer, is there a way to do the opposite of that... kinda 'schedule' a spell. I mean, that could be SO useful!" asked Serena.

"Sadly, not that I'm aware of. But at least you seem to be fine at doing spells at a distance, so as long as you set an alarm on your phone, you should be ok. Are you going to be ok to do the other retrospective spells yourself?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Ok, then I think we can leave your 'project' for the time being, and I'll teach you some other dark spells..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #27 on: 28. July 2022, 17:53:19 PM »
Chapter 41 - Go look at the printer

The next day, Serena finished school early once more, so was able to go home and do a bit more work on her 'MM project'. She took a look at her 'to do' list: one of the items was 'remind Mr Smith that wired in HG is a good and valid treatment option'.

In her bedroom, Serena lay back on her bed, and closed her eyes. First of all, she had a quick word with her braces.

"Hi guys, just warning you that I'm going to do some dark magic."

"With your jewellery this time?"

"Good idea, I think I'll put some of it in... how about I just go for the two lip rings? It will be interesting to see how much easier things will be". Sarah had taken out her dark jewellery yesterday, and put back the 'normal' stuff, as she didn't want Sarah to know about it just yet - she knew how Sarah could be sometimes. I guess, being a teacher, Sarah liked to 'be in charge' of what her students do.

"If it's just the lip rings, that that will be fine with us! Good luck!"

Serena removed her dark metal ring, removed the lip rings and fitted them, then put the now smaller ring back onto her finger. Laying back on her bed again, she relaxed a bit more, and let her mind wander over to MM's ortho's place. Yes, it looked pretty much the same as it did when she had visited for a consult, a couple of years ago. Now she understood more about braces and orthodontics, the place was actually quite nice. What Serena needed to do was to see if she could somehow interact with the computer, go bring up that wired-in-headgear article she'd found, and print a copy out on the printer. She needed to do it during the day, so that it was actually turned on and logged in, but not when anyone was around. Which wasn't now. Right now Jack Smith, MM's ortho was working on another patient, and his assistant was actually using the computer, so she'd clearly need to wait.

Serena wandered over to see what Mr Smith was doing. In the treatment chair was a teenage girl. Her lips were held open with a lip-spreader, giving Serena a chance to have a good look at her braces. Small white ceramic braces top and bottom at the front of course (we must remember that this is a PRIVATE ortho, NOT an NHS one!!). A palatial expander in the top of her mouth (which made Serena run her tongue over her own expander), and herbsts at the side (once again, Serena felt her own herbsts). The expander looked to be pretty well expanded, indicating that the girl would probably have the expander removed soon. Right now, Mr Smith was reinstalling the girl's upper archwire, holding it in place with pale blue ligatures.

As Serena looked at the girl's braces, she sighed, remembering that whilst this girl would eventually get rid of her braces, Serena's braces were more 'for life'.

It seemed that Mr Smith was almost finished with this patient, so Serena practiced putting ideas into his, and his assistants heads. She suggested to Mr Smith that it might be good idea to get his assistant to go and organise them both a coffee, as they probably had some time before their next patient, as well as suggesting that he should go to the loo. To his assistant, she suggested that she take her time and have a chat with the receptionist while she made the coffees.

Which meant that a couple of minutes later Serena had the surgery to herself. She went over to the computer: yes, it was still logged in. Ok, she now needed to use some other magic that she already knew to move the mouse around, and to type on the keyboard: not too easy, and a bit slow, but it worked. She opened a browser and quickly found the article about the headgear trial, saved a copy on the computer's desktop, then printed out a copy on the printer. Finally she closed the browser, and maximised the patient database program once again.

Whilst it had been a bit of a slow job to do all the steps, the job was done, and she had no doubt that her dark jewellery had indeed made it a bit easier. She waited until Mr Smith was back in the room, then planted another idea: 'hey, go look at the printer as you walk past it'. Which meant that he DID walk past it, and noticed the paper in the top. He picked up the paper and looked at it, quickly recognising the article that his ex-partner had written several years ago. With another idea planted in his mind, one specific patient came to his mind. A patient who he remembered did not seem to be wearing her headgear enough: ok, that could include pretty much all patients who had headgear, but there was one who was far worse than the others. He used the patient database to search for her, and check when her next appointment was: next Monday afternoon! While he had the page open, Serena confirmed the dates and times of her previous appointments, and they lined up nicely with what she had found on the calendar. Plus she noticed that there were a couple of summary lines for each appointment: it seems MM was given her headgear on the appointment after she had the braces fitted - again, Serena had assumed this would be the case, it's certainly what happened to her.

Serena felt very pleased with herself: another item on her list was complete, and with a slight bonus to go with it. All Serena needed to do before MM's next appointment was to retrospectively make MM wear her headgear as little as possible (which would probably be fairly easy, knowing MM!), and make her into an (even more) annoying patient.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #28 on: 31. July 2022, 22:44:27 PM »
Chapter 42 - don't wear your headgear!

With her visit to MM's ortho a success, Serena lay on her bed to think about what she needed to do to make MM not want to wear her headgear. It seemed to make sense to start the 'annoyance spells' when she first got the headgear. But what to actually do? Serena opend the drawer next to her bed, and pulled out the plastic zip-lock bag that contained her old facebow and neck-strap.

"Hey, braces, I need to take out my top lip-bumper, I need to wear my old facebow for a bit."

"Ok, go for it! We'll adjust the headgear holes for you as you put it in."

Looking in the mirror, she removed her lip-bumper, and put the facebow into place, then put her old neck-strap on. It had been a while since she'd worn it. She remembered when she first got her headgear that it felt quite sore on her molars for a bit. She also remembered that, if she didn't wear it for a day (which only happened a couple of times) it also felt sore for a while.... so the more she could persuade MM to NOT wear her headgear, the more it would hurt.

Then she started thinking about the strap. Yes, it was annoying, and hurt her neck a bit for the first few days but she got used to it ok.... again, if MM didn't wear it regularly, then it would probably continue to be annoying.

Now, another thing on the list was to make MM into an annoying patient, but the more she thought about MM, she realised that she was already an annoying person, she really just needed to make her feel it was actually ok to not wear her headgear, plus have another confrontation or two with her mum, like she'd organised the other night. And, as she had already planned, get her mum and ortho both annoyed on the day, and she had absolutely no doubt that things would naturally come to a head at her next appointment (and if it didn't , Serena would makes SURE it did!!!)

So, it sounded like she just needed to keep telling MM to just not wear her headgear. It would be boring for Serena to have to do quite so many 'retrospective spells', but it would hopefully be worth it. And hopefully, if she wore her dark jewellery, it would be easier to actually cast the spells.

So what time of day to send the reminders? She suspected that MM would have to put it on when she first gets home, at least for a bit. Then also after tea... those are both times her mum was likely to see her. And of course, there would be no harm in reminding her when she's in bed, whether she's actually wearing it or not.

Serena used her laptop to create a sheet with the dates down the left, and times along the top... then she could do the spells a few at a time, ticking off when they were done.

So, 'when she's in bed'... what time would that be? Serena decided that maybe, later than night, she could visit MM's place a few times, see what her typical bedtime routine was. Yes, a bit of 'intrusion of privacy' but let's be honest, it was 'for the greater good'.

Serena removed her facebow, putting back into its zip lock bag, and into the bedside drawer, and put her lip bumper back.

"Thank you, Serena" said her braces.

"My pleasure, but I'm going to put all of my dark jewellery in.. it's not that I'm going to do anything particularly nasty, I just need to do a load of 'retrospective' spells, and I think it will be easier with it all in. Let me know if you have any problems."

"Thanks for the warning, Serena, but I think we'll be ok: it's really when you do stronger dark magic that it starts to be an issue for us".

With her dark jewellery in place, she lay back on her bed again (if only because it was comfortable), and started retrospectively reminding MM about NOT wearing her headgear: it hurt whenever she wore it, and the neck strap was always uncomfortable. She did ten spells (varying the time and the message slightly each time), getting good feedback each time she cast one, then took a quick break, ticking off the dates / times she had done. Two and a half months is 10 weeks, so 70 days, it was going to take a while to do all the spells, but by the end, she hoped that MM would just not want to wear her headgear. Which is what she'd seen last night.

The more she cast the spells, the more she enjoyed doing it. She had just finished casting her 30th spell, and was ticking them off on her sheet, when Wanda popped up.

"Whoa! Someone is starting to feel rather dark!" said Wanda. "Serena, may I make a suggestion?"

"Sure, go on..."

"Take some of the jewellery out and take a break, it's starting to affect you". Serena realised that Wanda was quite right, so she took off the lip rings, putting them back on her finger: as she did so, her darkness lifted.

"Thanks for the heads up there, Wanda."

"No problems, that's part the reason I'm here. So how's this 'project' going?" asked Wanda.

"So far fairly well. I'm doing a whole load of very simple 'retrospective' spells, planting ideas onto Mandy's head, trying to persuade her not to wear her headgear too much."

"So why do you want to do that?"

"I guess you've not been around when I've been discussing it with Lucifer, have you? As you probably know, Mandy is the big school bully. She makes lots of peoples life hell - mine included. I'm going to try and take her down."

"Ah, yes, definitely not light magic stuff, but something tells me she probably deserves it. So what is it with the headgear then?"

"Well, part of her treatment is headgear... hey, let me show you..." Serena pulled out the bedside drawer, removing her old headgear once more. "So, like my lip bumpers, this is to pull my teeth backwards. And as you can see, it's rather visible, and amazingly embarrassing, so I only ever wore this at home."

"Ok... and?"

"So, the plan is to persuade the nasty Mandy to NOT wear hers enough, and get her ortho so mad that he effectively forces her into having her facebow permanently fixed into place, meaning she'll have to wear it to school..."

"Oooh, now that IS getting nasty! But why would she agree to it... surely she could just get rid of her braces completely, and put up with her crooked teeth?"

"Ah, that's the best bit: it seems that her parents have promised her a new car if she manages to complete her treatment"

"Ahhhh, yes, that's quite an incentive. And she wants the car that much?"

"Knowing Mandy, without a doubt. Lucifer and I were 'virtually there' the other night, and we managed to get her mum catching her without her headgear on, and she remided her of the car - needless to say, Mandy put her headgear on straight away."

"Oooh, Serena, I hope you are able to contain those dark thoughts?"

"That's part of the reason for doing all of this. It's going to be a combination of various bits of dark magic, and Lucifer is training me to be able to contain my dark thoughts."

"Oh, good, I knew Lucifer would be able to help you"

"You know, Wanda, you were right, he's not all that bad at all. And Wanda, it's nice to chat with you: I'm aware I've been ignoring you a bit the last few days..."

"That's ok, I know you've been busy. Hey, not that you really need it, but good luck with the Mandy project!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Serena: a not so short story
« Reply #29 on: 01. August 2022, 19:02:08 PM »
Chapter 43 - How to annoy an Orthodontist?

Serena had woken up a bit early on the Friday, so took the opportunity to look at her 'to do' list once more:

- check that there are strings attached - DONE - the car!
- do something to make sure MM does not LIKE wearing HG / does not WANT to wear HG so that she has a very low wear time = no noticeable tooth movement - DONE
- make her into an annoying patient, if not one already - not really needed!
- make sure Mr Smith notices her lack of HG wear at all visits - DONE
- remind Mr Smith that wired in HG is a good and valid treatment option - DONE
*on the day:
- annoy ortho
- remind ortho again about checking wear time (maybe while he's reviewing patient notes at start of day.
- annoy MM's mum
- make sure MM is ready to argue (pretty easy!)

Everything that needed to have already be done had been done, so she was now planning what to do on the day. First on the list was to annoy the ortho. MM's appointment was on the Monday afternoon, so what would annoy the ortho?

A couple of things came to mind, the first being a few emergency appointments for broken-off brackets. The problem was that, when she thought back to when she had rather more normal braces, she never had a bracket fall off. Yes, generally, she didn't eat the foods that she wasn't supposed to, but there were a few times - ok, maybe more than just a few times - that she 'broke the rules', but she still never had a bracket fall off.

She checked the time: not too early... so she called up Peter on his mobile.

"Hello Serena, what can I do for you this morning?"

"Hello there, Peter, I have a braces question for you..."

"Got a problem with your braces?"

"Not at all, no, this is a bit of a 'hypothetical'. I'm thinking about normal brackets on normal kids: how easy is it to knock a bracket off?"

"Well, if they were put on properly in the first place, not at all easy."

"What if they eat something hard, and catch a bracket?"

"Even then, you'd be surprised how well the brackets stick to the teeth with modern adhesives."

"What about with some magical help?".

"Hmmm..." Peter thought a moment. "You're looking for a way to knock someone's bracket off, aren't you? Even with magic to help, I would say it's not going to be at all easy. When I remove brackets, what I'm doing is to fracture where the glue either joins the tooth or the bracket, and that's where the failure is when one falls off. But if the tooth was cleaned and etched correctly, and the bracket was a good one, then it's going to need some force to remove it. You trying to upset me by sending me a load of kids with broken brackets or something?" Serena could tell that Peter was just joking.

"Sort of something like that, but definitely not you. Ok, how else could I p*ss off an ortho? I need him slightly stressed for a specific patient."

"You know, I'm not sure I should be helping you with this, professional ethics and all that...". Peter was definitely laughing as he said that. "But clearly you have a good reason for needing to do what you need to do. Ok, things that would annoy me... getting into the office late through no fault of my own; an annoying patient; problems with the equipment - I dunno, a dodgy batch of glue, or a dodgy UV curing lamp - although we have a couple of those so less of a big deal. Actually, if they weren't charged up on a Monday morning, now THAT would be annoying. Any of those any help?"

"Yes, I can see a couple there that might work, thank you Peter!"

"My pleasure. Remind me to make sure that I never upset you, will you?" said Peter.

Ok, so how could she make Mr Smith late to the office. Flat car battery? Run out of petrol? Or battery? Bad traffic jam? Broken down car? or bus? Something to think more about

She definitely like the idea of the UV curing lamps being out of charge: 'accidentally' turning off the charger would be the easy bit, but it would be a bit boring making them discharge in the first place: as far as she knew, they couldn't just be left on, they worked with a timer, so she'd need to keep activating it. But she DID have the whole weekend to do it! She quickly looked online for 'dental UV lamps'.

'WHAT? 400 uses on a charge? That's gonna take ages!' though Serina... but it had to be done. Yes, a couple of things she could do to increase Mr Smith's stress levels on Monday - so sorry, Mr Smith!

Second on the list was to remind Mr Smith about MM's weartime: to be honest, he was probably probably going to check anyway, but that was very much an 'on the day' thing, and a very simple thing to do.

Third was how to annoy MM's mum. Again, knowing MM, Serena bet that would be pretty easy, but a couple of nudges would always be worthwhile.... Actually, her mum didn't need to be annoyed with MM, should could just as easily get annoyed with herself. How to get a mum flustered? Being late was always a good one - maybe she doesn't sleep to well the previous night, and she falls asleep, making her late? Yes, that would work. Then have MM keep her waiting (she assumed that MM's mum would take her to the appointment - she certainly couldn't imagine MM walking there, or catching the bus). Maybe she needed to quickly pop over, and see how MM's little bothers behaved in the morning: Serena lay back on her bed, and moments later she was at MM's house. Yes, definitely some mayhem going on there. "Don't ask ME where you put your school shoes last night" sort of thing. Plenty of scope there!

And finally, make MM ready to argue... sounds like she needed to give MM a bit of a bad morning too. Maybe could she make MM have an argument with her mum at breakfast, that would get them BOTH in a bad mood for the day!

It was clear that Serena was going to be busy on the Monday, so would need to take the day off school. Annoying, but not a big deal: Serena was a good student, and learnt quickly, so all she would need to do is look at one of the other student's notes. Besides, Monday was a pretty light day for her. However, she'd need to let Sarah know.