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Malinda strode down the corridor of Leechdell Castle, carefully sidestepping the crowd coming the other way. She glanced at her schedule to check the location of next hour’s lecture on fancy toad breeding, then looked up to see an old familiar face at one of the vendors' tables.
“Hallo Botula!” Malinda crowed, pushing her way through the crowd to where the smiling blond witch sat with a darling turban perched on top of her head. “Haven’t seen you for two years, have I? Not since the…”
“Spelling for Profit Seminar,” Botula reached over the table to give Malinda a hug. When she sat back down, Malinda couldn’t help notice the spread of spell books on the table. 101 Creative Hexes, Curses for All Occasions, Find Your Inner Demon.
Malinda gasped, “And here you are, peddling your spells! How lovely! Sales going well?”
“Decently,” Botula sat back with a smile. “How about for you?”
“Oh, I’m still fiddling around with my partial transformations. I finally perfected the dragocow, but as Cholerella pointed out, do you remember Cholerella? Yes, as she pointed out there are easier ways to get hot milk. I do have a smashing idea for a cross between a dragon and a rocking chair that I’m working on now.”
Botula gave Malinda a blank and puzzled look. Malinda was used to that reaction to her work, but she had hoped to see a little excitement at least.
“Malinda, darling, have you ever considered perhaps just conjuring a dragon? I mean, that would be something. They’re not real, you know.”
“A dragon? Just a dragon, nothing else?” Malinda asked. That would be difficult. Very difficult. “Right out of thin air?”
“Well, you could start with something appropriate, a lizard or maybe even a snake, and finish up with a full-on dragon.”
“No,” Malinda said, staring off at the stone castle wall while the crowd flowed on behind and around her. “No, I haven’t.”