If you’re new to this story, I suggest starting at part 1, here. Otherwise, read on!
The greenhouse was a tiny building just south of the main school building. It was frequented by gnome mages who took classes in gardening, as well as other mage disciplines that involved nature, such as elf mages and fairy mages.
“Why would she choose the greenhouse?” Oriella asked as they walked briskly.
“Because fire mages rarely go there?” Trina suggested.
Oriella nodded as the greenhouse came into view. No one else was around so the girls quickly ran inside. They looked around the interior of the building; there were long wooden tables full of potted plants and hanging baskets hung from hooks in the ceiling. There was green everywhere with spots of brightly coloured flowers. The greenhouse had a musty feel to it that was very similar to when Trina followed Oriella through a tree. They searched the entire greenhouse but there was no pixie mage to be found.
“She’s not here,” Trina said.
“Maybe she hid the feather here and already left,” Oriella suggested. “Could you see in the pool-image where she might be hiding it?”
“Not really…it was kind of blurry. I just knew it looked like she was in the greenhouse,” Trina said.
“Yeah, same here,” Oriella said, “but where could it be?”
Trina scanned the rows and rows of potted plants but nothing looked out of place. Most of them looked like they had been recently watered and many had been recently planted or repotted. It was impossible to tell where Chantelle may have hidden the feather.
“I say we go back to Flora House,” Oriella said, “and see if Eddy figured anything out from his chat with Chantelle, like where exactly she hid the feather.”
Trina inhaled sharply and began to sneeze. No, not now, she thought. She sneezed five times before she could stop herself. Flames were shooting everywhere and the wooden tables caught fire. The flames grew taller, until they were reaching the hanging plants, and soon the roof rafters began to burn. Oriella grabbed Trina, yanking her out of the greenhouse and into the cover of the Whispering Woods.
“Great gryphons!” Trina said as she watched the greenhouse burn. She could hardly believe she had created such a huge disaster. She had no idea she was even capable of setting an entire building on fire. She felt her stomach tighten with…fear? With dread? What would happen to her if they found out it was her fault? What if she continued to accidently cause more destruction?
She continued to watch the flames as a crowd began pouring out of the dorm houses and gathering. There were at least three water sprite mages who could create spouts of water, similar to Trina and her flames, except they actually knew how to control their water powers.
Within minutes the flames had died down. More water sprites arrived to douse the greenhouse with even more water, just to be safe, but the damage was done. There would not be any classes in the greenhouse on Monday – or anytime soon.
“Let’s get out of here!” Oriella said and yanked on Trina’s arm again, pulling her away from the scene of the fire.
“Where are we going?” Trina asked as they ran along the edge of the Whispering Woods, still under cover of the trees.
“Back to Knox! We’re going to pretend this never happened!” Oriella said.
The girls ran out of the woods as they reached Knox House. Instead of running to the front door they went to the left side of the building where their room was. Ivy grew up all sides of the building, especially on their side, and it was particularly thick right beneath their bedroom window.
“I’ve been doing some tweaking,” Oriella explained and quickly found handholds in the ivy. Trina watched as her nimble friend scaled the side of the wall, with the ivy growing in the pattern of a ladder.
“I’m not so sure I can do that,” Trina said.
“You have to at least try,” Oriella called as she reached their window and slid it open.
Trina took a deep breath and found the first handholds of ivy Oriella had used. It was surprisingly stable; the ivy was so thick it felt like she was climbing a regular wooden ladder. She took a deep breath and continued to climb, reminding herself to not look down. Oriella reached out when she made it to the top and helped her climb through the window.
“Now, let’s casually walk down to the common room as if we’ve been here all along,” Oriella said, brushing bits of leaves and dirt from her clothes.
“They’re never going to believe us,” Trina said.
“Only one way to find out,” Oriella said and headed out the door.
When they entered the common room, Trina was surprised to see someone with sky blue hair.
Chantelle gasped as Trina and Oriella entered and the pixie mage dropped the golden feather.
“Sir Gadison’s Golden Phoenix Feather!” Trina said and rushed forward to pick it up. “Why did you steal this? What are you doing here?”
“No, I’m returning it!” Chantelle said. “I’m trying to help!”
“How?” Oriella asked. “Why are you even here?”
“I’m trying to return it,” Chantelle said again, “because I feel awful, and so Corbin doesn’t lose his suite.”
“So, you did steal it?” Trina asked.
Chantelle hung her head. “Yes.”
“Why?” Oriella asked.
“Because Loukas asked me to the spring dance,” Chantelle said.
“What?” Oriella asked loudly.
“Loukas asked me to the dance, but I said I couldn’t go, because I already have a boyfriend,” Chantelle said.
“Great gryphons, what pixie nonsense are you talking about? Who’s your boyfriend? What does any of this have to do with our feather?” Oriella asked.