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‘PRIVATE – Emergency Use Only’. A sign upon a puce-coloured door read. Quinn Lawson stared at the door, with volatile dedication. She longed to go inside, longed for that emergency where she could utilise her talent as a student body president to protect Absolutely University. But the door was out of bounds for now.

Whoosh. A black, ghost-like figure passed by the desk, alerting her senses almost immediately. A malignite was on campus. She lifted herself up from the chair, hands firmly pressed upon the desk. She side-glanced to the left, then to the right, left again, and right again. What was there was now far away, and out of reach for certain. Leaning forward, Quinn darted out of the chair, and over to the door. Her heart was pulsating at an expeditious rate, almost as if a woodpecker was throttling at her emotions. She turned the handle slowly. The door flipped open at her command, and she rushed into the dark abyss.

A spiral staircase led the way to the path of the malignite. With its’ wrought iron rails and unwelcoming architecture, Quinn felt a shiver of uncertainty. Her legs stumbled up the staircase before her brain could react. As she ascended, the darkness grew around her. She took a match from her pocket, lighting the waxy figures within the nearby candle holders with every few steps. After this process turned into a painful and continuous cycle up the seemingly everlasting staircase, she finally reached the peak. A harsh light shone from the room in front of her. She gently pushed the door open, and found a room.

Stepping into the room, an ominous tone became present. Quinn gasped in shock - the sinister nature was more than off-putting. Dawn would love this, she thought to herself, after this her thoughts flicked back to fear. A large, foreboding screen surrounded the main chamber. It flickered. Now she knew this was a bad idea. It flickered again. She began to tense up, all of her body moving into a state of horror. The screen flickered relentlessly – almost as if the broadcast was pounding on the screen itself. A figure became noticeable, through the slowly dispersing fuzz. She knew exactly who it was.

“Well, well…” the figure began to speak. “If it isn’t President Junior? Came to see me, I see?”

“That’s Miss President Junior to you, Clorrowick.” Quinn replied with a forced wit. She knew that she had to appear confident – it would be too easy for him to strike, otherwise. “You’re not even supposed to be contacting AU, not after what you did to my father.”

“And you are not supposed to be up here, are you?” He retaliated humorously. His voice had an almost sleepy tone, with a light British hint. “You little darkling.”

“Don’t you dare call me that!” Quinn snapped back. She was vigilantly defensive of herself – and deathly afraid of turning dark like Clorrowick had. But they were old friends, and he couldn’t help but tease her. This didn’t make her hate him less or make her anger at what he did any less significant. She just kept neutral. “I mean, me being up here is my business. I’m sure you have better things to do than tell my father-”

“You have no idea what I’m doing.” he slyly hinted. Quinn raised her eyebrow.

“I thought we’d agreed to keep things honest between us.” Quinn smartly reminded him of a promise. “I was seven, you were, well…”

“Ageless?”

“Too old to count, more like. You promised that no matter what happens, you’ll be honest, because I’m not the one who’s doing anything wrong.” Quinn leaned forward and smirked. “Remember that?”

“But you’re so much older now-”

“Completely irrelevant.”

“Well, what do even want?”

“An explanation.” Quinn began to elaborate, “I spotted a malignite on campus. Malignites aren’t supposed to be anywhere in AU. You’re planning something, aren’t you?”

“So what, one of my little slaves found their way into your precious university.” Clorrowick retorted. “It’s not as if they’re doing any harm.”

“Don’t lie to me!” Quinn shouted at him.

“Fine.” he gave in. “I’ll only tell you because I like you. I’m planning to restrategize a carefully organised incursion on a certain magical university.”

“You really think you’re going to succeed this time?” she hissed.

“You haven’t found anyone powerful enough to stop my dark magic.” he brought up a valid point. “Therefore, I know I’m going to succeed.”

“We haven’t found anyone powerful enough yet.” Quinn maintained her confidence, “but we will.”

“I bet it’s the only thing that gets you to sleep at night.” he playfully expressed.

“That and an Ambien every night.” Quinn joined in with the joke, but she was still alarmed.

“For now, I must bid adieu.” he began to close his conversation. “I’ll see you on the battlefields. Covered in the shame of your people.” and with that, the screen flickered off.

Quinn tried to maintain a level of confidence, but she was genuinely scared. Clorrowick was right – nobody had harnessed that power of magic before, and been able to stop dark magic. Dark magic was always stronger than good magic – that’s how it had always been for her. She couldn’t beat them, none of the students could, not even the Principal himself. It then became apparent – somebody will be able to. She just didn’t know who.

After rushing back down the staircase, she almost leaped for the phone on her desk. Dialling swiftly, she dived in to answer the phone. It felt to her that everyone’s lives were at stake.

“Get me Orienna Jefferson, as soon as possible. It’s an emergency.” she gulped at that last line. This was a substantial problem to her, and it needed to be cleared up as fast as possible. She had to find the ‘Powerful One’, and there was only one way to do it.

Orienna Jefferson was the only student who could master clairvoyance, the hardest spell to use. Not even Quinn herself could use it. Orienna was lucky enough to have gained it as her special spell, the one she was given at the start of her studies at AU. Quickly enough, Orienna was in the office.

“What do you need me for?” she enquired.

“Just to clarify, this is a very important task revolving around a huge danger.” Quinn began to introduce the matter. “This stays in these four walls, okay?”

“Okay.” Orienna replied with assurance.

“There is one person out there, one person that can stop the powers of dark magic. They will stop them in the future - I know they will. Can you see into the future to tell me who this is?”

After setting up a plethora of equipment, with tangles of wires and metal pieces, Orienna began to work the spell. “Wonder what’s the buzz tomorrow,” Orienna began the clairvoyance spell, “tell me what to stop my sorrow.” With this, she beamed magic outwards into the devices on the desk. These would assist her in finding out the information from the further future. For thirty seconds, an aura of silence and deep concentration took its’ hold. She gasped, her eyes widened, and the beams suddenly stopped.

“Did you find anything?” Quinn quietly asked.

After a pause, Orienna deliberated, “Yes.” She paused again to take deep breaths. “This student, she is a very smart girl - confident, ambitious, skilled; just about every quality you would want. She has a lot of potential, academically, socially and magically. I just don’t think she sees it yet.”

“That sounds like a challenge.” Quinn worriedly said. “But I need to try, at least.”

“And one more thing,” Orienna continued, “her name is Norah Cardew.”