BBW Natasha Visits a 'Wizarding School' (lesbian, stuffing, sex, MWG)

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Chapter 13b: Secrets Told in the Staff Lounge



“Dang, and you invented this product?” said Natasha who couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “You could make mega millions with this in the No-Wa-Kah world, you know.”

Kristen shrugged, “Well, it’s not been perfected, and I’ve only experimented with it on myself. I only felt comfortable sharing it with you because of how well I made this most recent batch.”

Natasha nodded, thinking. “Well, you have always been as thin as a rail, why did you need to take these pills at all? I mean, look at you.” Natasha waived a hand across the table at her thin friend.

Kristen looked down and then up, blushing, “Well, I’ve had a slowing down of my metabolism, you could say.”

Then she blurted out in a fast whisper, her hands jutting out to the center of table, “You remember that photo at home on the mantle with me and my other teachers? Well, I sort of…let go that summer and just enjoyed myself. Perhaps…perhaps a little too much.”

Natasha leaned in, putting her hand on Kristen’s outstretched ones. “Oh, Krissy. I had no idea.”

“Yeah, well, I gained a ton of weight and…it didn’t seem to bother me. But when I began to outgrow my clothing, I couldn’t afford to keep up that pace; I mean, you know what clothing costs these days. And well, being a potions professor, I did what I do best and invented, tweaked and…” her eyes dropped down to the little tin box that sat between them.

Natasha felt her heart warm. Kristen had been so honest and forthcoming, and it explained so much she had seen and experienced so far on this trip. She felt much closer than she had in months, maybe years to her friend. She leaned closer into the table and slightly whispered, “well then, I have a confession to make from this morning…”

She’d revised her story about having her breakfast later than she’d originally told Kristen, as well as about taking the two pills shortly before Kristen had come back home to take them to lunch.

“Ah, so that’s why you wanted to take the long way to dine; you wanted to burn off a few calories.” She said with a wink.

Natasha’s cheeks flushed pink with mild embarrassment, and she nodded.

Reaching a hand across the table again, Kristen said, “I promise not to let you get fat this trip. Now, how about we get you a proper second helping of lunch, hmm?”

“Scout’s honor?” said Natasha with mock-seriousness.

“Cross my heart, hope to die. Snap my wand and watch me cry.” Kristen recited, hand over heart, serious but with a smirk on her face that made them both chuckle.

Natasha sat thoughtful for a second. She had been on the leaner side for most of her life. True, she’d been a bit chubby during her teenage years and again there was that little spell during college. But as she had gotten older and mentally matured, she mastered the art of self-control, not eating your feelings and she finally found a type of exercise that she could stick with, running.

And Kristen had been so open and honest with her own truth. True, neither of them was getting any younger and Natasha had seen the changes that age brings in some of her friends back home. Thinning hair, greying and the effects of wrinkles and gravity. Why did she need to feel conflicted about what she was eating or not eating? Wasn’t the point of a vacation to take the road less travelled and live a little? Besides, it’s not like she would be eating this way all the time and who better to share meals with other than Kristen? The two of them shared many a secret before, so why stop being authentic now?

“Coming? You looked like you spaced out for a second there,” said Kristen.

“Sorry, little daydreaming there,” she said with a smile.

“Have you made your decision yet?” asked Kristen.

“You promise not to let me get fat this trip?” asked Natasha. She was feeling vulnerable now, putting her trust in Kristen to help her enjoy this trip but in manageable terms.

Kristen nodded wordlessly and Natasha trusted her implicitly.

Natasha put her hands together and rubbed them softly. “I was eyeballing that barbeque station. I’m a sucker for grilled meats.”

Both women made to get up, each taking their plate and putting them in the Food Waste section of the staff lounge. Natasha was glad to be able to abandon her technique of spreading her salad around her plate to disguise how much she’d not eaten. Her belly gurgled again as if acknowledging that a proper lunch was owed.

Natasha smoothed her cardigan down her front, noting a mild bulge that the material could no longer hide. Similarly, she observed that Kristen’s sweater vest was pooching forward several inches, hanging low over her trousers. Each observed the other and grinned inwardly.

Leading the way this time, Natasha grabbed a fresh plate from the side table and approached the main dining table. There were no other hungry staff patrons in line, and she spotted the clock on the wall. It looked like the lunch hour was ending, though she’d remembered Kristen saying she had a free period after lunch.

“This place stays open after lunch. It doubles as our staff lounge and the buffet tables get transfigured back into study desks.”

“Ah, that makes sense.” Said Natasha.

“Bien venue, welcome back. Ready to try something else? Or perhaps more of the same?” offered Chef Gustav warmly.

“I’d like a little of everything from the Barbeque Station if I could, please.” Said Natasha with a little flush in her cheeks again. ‘Am I really going to do this? To give in and…indulge?’ she thought.

True, she wasn’t really hungry, but the temptation of trying to eat to fill her belly and have it deflated again was new and…intriguing. It would be kind of fun to be a little gluttonous. Even for only a meal or two. Also, she’d worked out hard nearly all her life and as most recently as this morning. Did she have to be so serous with her food choices all the time? Wasn’t she allowed to cut loose once and a while? And besides, she was going to return to her normal eating ways after this trip was over. And then there was those little blue square pills. She’d have to ask Kristen for a supply to take back with her…

“Absolutely,” said the Chef, “right zis way.” He took her plate and added to it, as requested by Natasha: barbequed pork ribs, stacked three high, chicken in the pot, a thick slice of meatloaf, a side of beef stew in a bowl, a leg of fried chicken that looked like double the size of a normal chicken’s thigh and a mountain of mashed potatoes. She decided to skip the vegetables as there was no room left on the plate.

“Anything else, mademoiselle?” he said, looking at the overladen plate.

“No, I think this will do me for a while, thank you.” She said happily as she reached forward to take her plate and bowl of beef stew.

Kristen handed him her plate and said, “I’d like to try the Italian Station this time, please.”

“Certainly,” the Chef said as he walked over to the tray. “What would you like?”

“Let’s have one of those baked personal pizzas, basil and tomato. And, um…I’ll take a few links of the chicken sausage with the peppers. Let’s not be shy with those. Oh, and several meatballs, two slices of garlic bread and some of that buttered garlic dipping sauce on the side?”

“Oui, coming right up.” He said cheerfully and he prepared her plate.

“Bon appetite.” He said cordially as they turned and slightly grinning to each other made to sit back down at the table.

“Why don’t you sit next to me, the place is clearing out anyway.” Offered Kristen, as they made to reseat themselves. The place was indeed clearing out as a bell tolled on the wall, signaling 1:00pm.

Chairs scraped and feet took the weight of their owners as the room thinned out. Natasha looked at the buffet table. The Chef, who had now taken off his apron and hat had raised his wand and incanted a spell so that the buffet table and its laden trays vanished and were replaced with large desks and table lamps, chairs zooming from nowhere to tuck themselves in and around.

She looked at the now-vacant dining tables, the tablecloths were pulled out as if by a skilled magician and when they turned themselves over and replaced themselves on the tabletops, the contents on the table vanished and they too looked like study tables.

“Oh, that magic…” intoned Natasha as this time, she sat down next to Kristen and began to dig into her second helping and third major meal of the day.

She kept her eye on the little tin box, knowing it was her lifeline as she continued to put food into her body. She started with the ribs and quickly finished the pile. The sauce was amazing and not all sticking to her fingers which had been a mild worry of hers. Almost immediately, her body filled out. That familiar pressure behind her navel was back and she thumbed the catch of her designer jeans, relieving the pressure and allowing the zip to offer her more room. She also undid the bottom two buttons of her cardigan for similar relief.

Natasha observed Kristen do something similar. She’d raised her sweater vest and untucked the tails of her dress shirt and reached in to dig open the fastener of her trousers. With an “Oof,” Natasha watched as Kristen pushed apart the flaps. A gentle roll of pale skin was revealed, and Kristen gave herself a little pat. “That’s better, isn’t it?”

Natasha looked up and her eyes followed from Kristen’s exposed belly to her face. Kristen was smiling, her face searching.

Natasha felt her cheeks initially flush with embarrassment, having been caught watching what she felt was an intimate moment. But Kristen’s eyes held kindness, an understanding. Almost as if to say, ‘don’t you want to look? I don’t mind if you do…

Kristen echoed the words Natasha was hearing in her head. “Hey, it’s okay. You can look. I’m looking at you, too.” Kristen reached a delicate hand under the table towards Natasha who did not protest. She felt the outstretched fingers reach for her cardigan and find the parted fabric. Kristen continued, eyes flicking between where her hand was and Natasha’s face. The signs said to keep going.

Kristen put her hand on Natasha’s belly, and she could feel the heat coming off the softer flesh meld with the heat coming off her palm. Scooting her chair, a little closer, she looked around, but nobody was in their vicinity to interrupt or interject.

Kristen began making circular motions and Natasha closed her eyes and a small moan escaped her lips. She bit her lip and her head lowered. She was enjoying this.

“Mhm…maybe we can save that for…later?” breathed Natasha, who opened her eyes. Kristen nodded and slowly removed her hand, but not before giving Natasha a reassuring pat.

++++++
 
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Chapter 14: Unnatural Gains

The two women eyed each other thoughtfully as they slowly dined on their second helpings. Everything was amazing, dense and neither stopped until they cleared their plates.

Natasha throughout her meal had to keep adjusting her clothing. She could feel herself filling up with every bite. Her stomach was full, and the pressure being exerted upon her abdomen, was considerable.

Gazing around once more under the guise of taking a sip of water, Natasha scanned the staff lounge. It was nearly empty and those who were present were completely absorbed in their own goings on. For all intents and purposes, Natasha and Kristen were the only two in the room.

Mollified, she had fully unbuttoned her cardigan to reveal her expanded belly. Unbidden, but through the sheer volume of food she had eaten, her shirt had ridden up so that the area just below her belly button was visible. The sliver of pale skin continued to grow with every accompanying bite and her shirt continued to ride up to finally reveal more of her middle. Natasha cupped her belly and traced a finger around her deepening navel, taking in just how big she was getting. She waggled in her chair and was now aware of her backside. It too had grown and now filled her pants, the pressure in them was immense. She noticed the sizeable gap between the buttonhole and the catch of her jeans and worried that the elastic that she still had with in her pocket might no longer be enough. How would she escape the dining table and have other people not gawk at her swollen middle? She could always take off her cardigan and tie it around her orb of a middle. Eating this way was thrilling, absolutely thrilling. Natasha noticed during several moments while eating a particularly delicious bite, that little explosions of pleasure were going off in her head. She felt sensations in her body that she had always linked with intercourse. She felt a warmness between her legs and several times she’d noted her nipples stood out proud and erect from beneath her t-shirt material. She had caught Kristen observing this phenomenon also, and that made her feel warmer still.

Kristen was in a similar state of growth. Her body expanded and pushed against the confines of her school attire. The sweater vest, which appeared not to have much give, needed raising and so she hoisted it up to accommodate for her now present love handles. She unbuttoned the bottom two buttons of her dress shirt and folded the fabric back. Material freer, she hitched thumbs around the sides of her trousers and scooted them down her backside and let out a pleasurable exhale that received Natasha’s notice and approval.

Both sets of eyes travelled to Kristen’s now exposed middle. She had worn low v cut panties which emphasized her growth and Kristen cupped her expanding belly which went from taught six-pack to food baby, to teardrop … to small Buddha.

They continued to nibble and gaze at each other, both lost in their deepest thoughts. Natasha observed Kristen several times reaching toward her middle. She thought or maybe imagined (hoped?) that on a few occasions, that she had seen Kristen slid a few tender fingers under her belly, under her underwear, and massage her outer sex.

The only noise both women made at the table were intermittent moans of pleasure. Quiet and demure, they ate and expanded, unnoticed by anyone else in the near-vacant staff lounge.

“Oh my god. That was a stunning lunch,” said Kristen, leaning back in her chair, her hand resting on her lower abdomen. The bulge prominent, her face very happy.

Natasha leaned back similarly, “I cannot believe I let you talk me into doing a second helping. You’re trouble, Krissy.” Though she didn’t mind the trouble at all.

“You were the one who ate her whole plate. I didn’t make you do that.” Said Kristen, who reached over and poked a single finger into Natasha’s wider middle. The finger felt warm and seemed to radiate heat as it went deeper and deeper into her belly.

Kristen spied the clock on the wall, “It’s 1:30. I have a 2:50 class, but maybe we can walk some of this off and I can give you a little tour?”

“I hope those pills are extra strength, or we will both be in trouble getting dressed,” said Natasha who made to synch the ends of her pants together to no avail.

Reaching forward, Kristen opened the box and frowned slightly. “Shoot, there’s not enough in here for both of us.”

“What do you mean?” asked Natasha, her voice rising in panic.

“From the amount we just ate, we’d need three pills each to get us back to our fighting weight.”

Natasha looked up with mild concern as Kristen showed her the near empty box. Only three pills.

“Tell you what,” said Kristen seeing the look of shock on Natasha’s face. “Let’s have you take two and I will take one. It will lean us out a little and when you get back to the house, you can take one more and you’ll be back to your skinny self.”

“But what about you?” asked Natasha.

“I’ll be fine. I can wear a school cloak over my teaching clothes for the afternoon classes and no one will be none the wiser.”

“Are you sure?” Said Natasha, biting her lower lip with concern.

Kristen nodded and they each took the pills.

Natasha felt nothing for several minutes. “Do these things not work as well, the more you take them?”

“They do lose some of their effect, yes. I am still tinkering with dosages and frequency. I haven’t found any side effects though, so we are lucky there,” she added catching Natasha’s eyes.

Somewhere from behind her navel, Natasha felt that similar sensation of deflation. She felt the dense meal begin to digest and the pressure of her backside, hips, thighs and abdomen ease. She saw her shirt accommodate to her deflation and observed she had more room in her jeans than she had had a few moments ago. The ends of the jeans did not meet up, but the elastic trick worked like a charm once again and she praised herself for her foresight in keeping the elastic handy. She composed herself and made to stand up, rebuttoning her cardigan. To any onlooker, she’d look perhaps a little fluffier than when she had sat down, but no more than that.

Kristen had a harder time composing herself. The single pill had worked somewhat, but she still looked pudgy. She stood up and tucked in the ends of her dress shirt into her trouser bottoms. Her backside and hips had widened considerably, and the material stretched under the added weight. She pulled out her wand and conjured a thick black belt and looped it through the eyelets of her trousers and secured it by having to add a hole at the very end of the material with the tip of her wand. The ends of the trousers were far apart, and the zip had no chance of merging. Kristen took her wand and muttered, ‘extendo fabricum’ and her sweater vest shot down several inches to cover her gluttony. She grabbed her coat and threw it on which also added to disguise her body a little better.

“Well, that’s that then. Ready for a walk?” she said, caressing her belly like she was in the second trimester and making Natasha both blush and feel excited.

Seeing her friend like that, bigger and devil-may-care was thrilling. She had a sudden flash of de ja vu. Like somehow all of this or something similar was already familiar to her, but as quickly as the memory came, it went.

“Well, ready?” Kristen repeated looking at Natasha warmly, now putting her day bag over her shoulder.

“What? Sure, yes. Definitely.” She stammered.

“Those all mean the same thing, silly.” Said Kristen, who offered an elbow to which Natasha interlinked her own. The pair sauntered out of the staff lounge, fuller but far happier than when they had entered.

Inwardly, Natasha had some difficulty with her new thoughts and emotions. She’d learned that Kristen was not naturally lean; but might have some sort of binge eating tendencies that she developed one recent summer of indulgence. True, she looked ravishing and very happy in her photo, but was she truly happy in real life? Natasha could not get over the fact that someone could enjoy eating and stuffing, could she? She glanced at Kristen’s body. With that tidy bit of concealing magic her clothing hung loosely and other than a slightly fuller face, she looked the same. But as Natasha had observed her tucking herself back in and caught sight of that belly…to go from sweet six-pack to…God, a Buddha belly. Natasha guesstimated that Kristen had gained about 16 pounds. And with not the slightest concern.

Then there were her own feelings. She had fought her own weight for some time. She did enjoy food and drink and she worked hard on keeping her body relatively fit. She was not model-cover lean, but she looked decent, and all her male suitors had always commented on her ‘rockin’ bod.’ She brushed a free hand down her stomach and sides. She guessed that if she hopped on a scale at that moment that, even with the aid of the pills, she’d still be about 8 pounds heavier. Which was a lot on a 5’7’’ frame. She felt the denseness of her belly and sides and rear. Did she really mind carrying around these temporary pounds? She certainly did not feel like she had gained any.

Her thoughts distracting her again, Natasha didn’t hear the faint accented voice of the Chef, Gustav as he approached their retreating backs.

“Ah, Mademoiselles’, I’m glad I’ve caught you both.”

“Everything okay? We certainly enjoyed lunch today.” Said Kristen, speaking for them both, but without giving a hint that they purposefully enjoyed lunch a little too much.

“I am glad, of course.” He said and procured two brown wax bags; their tops folded over.

“What are those?” asked Natasha, looking at his now outstretched hands.

“Dessert of course. You missed out and I thought, perhaps…”

“Gustav knows I can develop a sweet tooth on occasion.” Said Kristen, taking a bag and motioning for Natasha to take the other.

“I am pleased I have guessed correctly. A good day to you both.” He bowed low and made to walk away.

Natasha unlocked her elbow from Kristen’s. Curiosity got the better of her. Opening the bag, she saw 6 extravagant looking cookies which were twice the normal thickness. Naturally, they smelt amazing, and her mouth began to water in anticipation.

Come on!” she exclaimed with a laugh looking from her bag to Kristen’s and then at both of their swollen middles. “We can’t eat these now. Or ever.”

“Here, give them to me,” said Kristen and she snatched the cookie bag from Natasha, refolded it and put it, along with her own, inside her day bag.

“Satisfied?” said Kristen, reshouldering her bag and making to head out of the staff lounge.

“Much, much.” Said Natasha.
 
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Chapter 15a: Not Just a Walk Among the Roses

With the remaining time before her next class, Kristen had steered them through a few passages that Natasha had not remembered coming down. “Shortcuts,” Kristen had said.

Occasionally, Natasha observed a student running pell-mell through the hallway to his or her class.

“Don’t dawdle, O’Hennesy!” called Kristen after one young youth who was slow walking his way to an apparent class.

Natasha grinned at the sternness in Kristen’s ‘teacher voice.’

“Don’t let me get on the receiving end of one of your detentions,” she said.

“Oh, I put it on for the kids. I’m a softie, you know that.” She said smiling.

“We both are, in more ways than one, too.” Said Natasha making them both chuckle.

God, how easy it was becoming to talk about food and bodies now,’ thought Natasha as they pushed open a large set of doors, exiting the school. They were now entering the North-West section of the campus grounds.

“Where are we?” asked Natasha, blinking rapidly, her eyes accommodating to the sunlight.

“We are on a parallel footpath to the trail you took earlier today. But don’t worry, no giant serpents or spiders on this walk.” Said Kristen, taking Natasha’s hand and giving her a reassuring pat.

“How can you be so certain? I mean, do you patrol the grounds or something. Have the equivalent of giant mousetraps to catch the bad bugs in the forest?” asked Natasha.

“Nothing so dramatic, but we have charms and enchantments that need upkeep; just like anything that needs mending,” offered Kristen.

“Well, I’m still going to have nightmares about that one,” she said with a shudder.

They continued onward. The footpath eventually merged with a side trail that merged again with another; the terrain slightly sloping upwards. Natasha felt her leg muscles burn with the exertion and felt that Kristen must also be feeling the effects of exercise. She welcomed the extra fitness, and it gave her an excuse to feel the food she’d eaten would be converted to energy and get burned off.

“Do you always have nice weather when the rest of the country doesn’t” she asked Natasha as she adjusted her cardigan, opening a few buttons to ventilate herself.

“We do live in a region where we have unnaturally warm weather. We nearly always have a perfect day during every season. And it only rains at night.”

“Jealous,” drawled Natasha as she remembered many a night commuting in the city from work back to her apartment in the rain, her umbrellas always getting blown into misshaped messes.

They passed under a section of trees, their canopy offering a little shade before they came to some benches. Natasha thought she saw faint cobwebs, hanging loosely in a few tree branches, but it might have been a trick of the light.

Continuing through the tree growth, they passed a few benches made of wrought iron and planks of wood. A few bore placards, dedicated to those who’d presumably passed on or made contributions to the school.

Kristen steered them to a clearing ahead. It was a lookout that showcased the entire campus. It was almost like looking at an arial map. Around the perimeter of the lookout were several perfectly manicured rose bushes. Each rose a prize-contending specimen and double the size of any rose that Natasha had ever seen.

“This is one of my favorite places to come to when I have free time.” Said Kristen with longing. She had her hands on her hips and was staring full faced at the view that opened expansively in front of them.

Natasha too could see why Kristen liked this view. “I can’t believe how high up we are, I feel like we should have mountaineered to get this high. Magical trail?” She added, consulting her watch. Kristen nodded. It had only been a few minutes, there was no way they could have covered this kind of distance without magical assistance. The view was several hundred feet above campus, the rock range they were standing on had a steep drop off to the trees and shrubs below.

Natasha pointed this out and Kristen said, “Don’t worry, there’s an enchantment to prevent anyone from getting too close. Here, watch.” She picked up a rock near her foot and walked ahead a few steps. She lightly tossed it over the edge. Where it should have begun to plummet down below, the rock instead bounced back off an invisible wall of air.”

“Cool.” Said Natasha.

“Just don’t try that with a cigarette butt,” Kristen added, mimicking flicking and receiving the butt back and began mime patting herself out. Kristen began to point out various buildings and facts of history about the school while Natasha absorbed it all. She was enjoying getting the history lesson and Kristen spoke energetically which kept any part of the conversation from getting dull.

“…and that building over there is the gymnasium which was rebuilt 100 years ago after a fire. It is state of the art by today’s standards.”

“So, fire-proof now?” asked Natasha. Kristen laughed.

“Something like that.”

Natasha pointed to an area near the staff cottages. It looked similar to the administration building where she’d met that crazy old woman who’d given her the protective necklace during her runs.

“What’s that building over there?” she said, pointing.

“That is our staff rejuvenation center. Think spa meets gym. It has all the accommodations from hot tub to sauna, swimming pool to weight room, cardio, yoga. You name it, we probably have it as well as classes for it.”

“Dang,” said Natasha.

“Yep, I get in there when I can to stay in shape. We have prerecorded classes, like Peloton, that I like to take so that I have someone guiding me during fitness. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused.” Said Kristen and Natasha nodded.

Natasha looked around at the lookout spot on which they were standing. The little park benches looked cute, and she could picture herself taking her notes up here one day and sitting on them and watch the day go by.

She spied a little outcropping of bushes to the left and what looked like a worn and rarely used footpath heading in that direction.

“What’s over there? It looks like another path.” She said pointing.

Kristen laughed, “We call that Lover’s Lane. Original name, I know.”

Natasha raised an eyebrow, “Ever gone down there with someone?” she said coyly.

“Gone down? Or gone down on someone over there?” Said Kristen and Natasha blushed slightly.

“Kidding. But can’t say that I have, but I have caught the odd pair of students ditching class over there.” She consulted her own watch. “Hey, we should probably be making our way back soon. This way also takes us back to school. It is a bit of a shortcut to a shortcut. Want to take it?”

Natasha nodded and they headed left. After a few paces, she and Kristen became aware of a sound in the air. They both stopped and craned their ears, straining.

“That sounds like…groaning?” said Natasha, looking confused.

“Yeah, it does.” Replied Kristen, who reached into her day bag and removed her wand. “Here, stay behind me.”

They walked single file and Natasha picked up a rock, just in case. The two women silently crept ahead and walked around the corner, the bushes a little thicker now.

The sound grew louder, and Kristen raised her wand and pointed it at a section of shrubs that were moving slightly, the noise apparently coming from behind them.

Bombarta!

The shrubs parted and behind them was a park bench that had apparently been drug there long ago. Scattered around it were various bits of bric-a-brac: snack wrappers, empty bottles, scraps of discarded clothing, cigarette butts and at least one condom.

Lain astride the bench were two older students, in the throes of romance. Lip-locked and hands wandering, they hadn’t even noticed that their place of intimate concealment had just been invaded.

“Ringwald! Estevez!” roared Kristen, drawing herself up to her full height, “Explain yourselves!”

The couple froze and slid to either side of the bench as if magically forced to do so. The boy, Estevez, was standing up and tucking in his shirt ends. The girl, Ringwald, wiping her lips with the back of one hand while also hastily buttoning up the top of her shirt. She did not look up, her cheeks reddening.

“W-we’re sorry, professor!” he stammered, meekly meeting her eyes.

“Well!?” she said, hands on hips; a red spark flashing out of the end of her wand.

“We lost track of time after l-lunch. S-such a pretty day and…”

“And you thought you would ditch class and come up here for a bit of snogging, is that it? What say you, Ringwald.” Kristen said crossly, turning to the girl.

She fiddled with the hem of her skirt then looked up, “Please Professor. We didn’t mean any harm, honest.”

The boy nodded fervently, and he made to help her up.

“Fifteen points from each of your houses for this and detention for a week beginning tomorrow. My office. 5:00pm. Is that clear?”

They bowed both their heads and nodded. “Good. Now, off to class with you.” She procured out of thin air, two red envelopes and handed one to each of them. “Take these to your professors. These Growlers will explain why you are both so late.”

‘Growlers were letters, that when opened burst, read themselves aloud and were loud enough to carry to anyone within hearing distance. Highly embarrassing, but highly effective’, recalled Natasha through thought.

The students held out their hands and took the envelopes and scurried past Kristen and Natasha, running and jabbering until they disappeared.

Natasha waited a beat longer before bursting out laughing, dropping her rock. “Okay. That’s hysterical. I thought they were monsters for a second.”

Kristen held her stern face for a second, then laughed too. “Hell, I feel like a hypocrite. This bench was here when I was a student. So many memories.”

Natasha cuffed, her on the shoulder. “You cheeky bugger. I knew it. Oh my god, do tell!”

Kristen reddened slightly and began to explain, “Well, one time back when I was in my final year. The cutest boy in the class and I—”

She stopped mid-sentence when they heard a crash, a roar and a scream that came from somewhere close by.

“****, now what,” said Kristen, brandishing her wand again and running off. Natasha followed, leaving the rock behind.

They ran around a corner, then another and found the boy and girl, who Kristen had momentarily told off, being savaged by a trio of spiders.

Natasha cried out and stopped dead in her tracks. The boy who had obviously tried to fend them off lay unconscious, his wand a few feet from his outstretched hand. One of the spiders was in disarray, leaning heavily on its many legs and bore a large scorch mark over its many eyes. The boy must have damaged it before he was attacked. The spider was waiving its head drunkenly from the knock-out spell but was quickly regaining its footing. The other two spiders were preparing to advance on the girl, who screamed again and again, her wand held loosely at her side.

Kristen turned to Natasha, throwing her day bag aside and coat, “Stay back!”

Natasha felt a wave of wind cross her body and a semitransparent glow surrounded her. She saw Kristen do the same to the girl who looked around confused.

Kristen shot a spell green-gold distress call spell from the end of her wand, then shot another spell at the girl as well as the unconscious boy, as an advancing spider came at him. She covered the distance so that she was now standing in front of the boy. Kristen slashed her wand down and a giant red shape that looked like a boxing glove hit the same spider that the boy had previously injured. It fell back with a hard crunch, its legs twitching in the air before laying still. She bent low over the boy and put a hand over his heart.

She put her wand tip to his chest and said, “Enervate!” A green mist shot into him, and his eyes fluttered open, “Here!” she said, shoving his wand into his hand and helped him to his feet.

As Natasha watched the two of them regroup, she shrieked aloud, pointing and could only watch with horror, her fingers pressed now to her lips, as the girl was set upon by the other two spiders. She was a goner, Natasha knew it. She heard the girl scream and raise a hand in defense as one of the spiders bore down on her.

Its large leg which should have knocked the girl to the ground glanced off, and the spider made to bite her with his extended and glinting pincers. The pincers got close, but bit nothing but air. The girl still winced, her wand still hanging limply in her hand.

A protective spell…’ thought Natasha as she saw Kristen and the boy join efforts in defending the hysterical girl. Flashes of red light; a few dodged efforts and near misses, and the remaining spiders were blasted off their many legged feet and lay in upturned heaps, dead.
 
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Chapter 15b: Not Just a Walk Among the Roses

“Kristen, watch out!” cried Natasha pointing as, from around the bend, four more spiders joined the fray.

Outraged, the larger of the group charged Kristen, who was unprepared and got knocked back hard and rolled in the dirt, her wand lay a few inches from her hand. In seconds the spider was on her, and Natasha couldn’t think of anything else to do, so she ran head-long at the spider, yelling, “Hey you eight-legged fucker!”

She created a barrier between herself, Kristen and the spider, hoping to give Kristen a chance to regroup. She pummeled whatever part of the spider she could swing at, but her blows were ineffectual. The shield charm that surrounded her was offering protection against bodily harm from the spider who swatted and made to bite her; but she was worrying now as she could see the charm beginning to weaken: cracks were beginning to form around the areas that the spider was repeatedly attacking her.

Kristen grunted and slowly got to her feet, wiping a bit of blood from the edge of her lip which was now slightly swollen. “Tasha, get behind that tree!”

She did so only after Kristen retrieved her wand and re-incanted the protective spells on herself, the girl (who was now on her knees with her hands over her head) as well as the boy who was doing an impressive job at keeping the other three spiders at bay; but his magical strength was weakening. Each defensive spell he cast was losing its shimmer. The wizards were losing.

Shield charm recast, Natasha retreated behind a tree trunk and watched as she saw Kristen and the boy help the girl get to her feet, while casting repelling spells against the advancing spiders.

The girl seemed to finally collect herself, and just in time, too. A further four spiders clattered into the clearing, ready for a fight. Three spiders down; but it was an eight-against-three war.

Natasha cowered behind the tree trunk as instructed, what could she do? She watched as Kristen did most of the offensive damage to the spiders, while the two students backed her up. Time and time again, the spiders advanced, changing tactics. Jumping and rearing, their pincers clicking maddeningly, waiting to plunge venom into their victims. Once, a particularly large spider had leaped over and onto the boy, venom dripping from its pincers. The force of the downward blow knocked the boy to his knees. But for the shield charm, he would be a goner; already full of magical cracks it was barely holding.

The girl was thrown back by a particularly viscous swipe from another spider, “Ahhh!” she cried.

All eight spiders advanced on Kristen who began to turn her body, face set and determined as they circled her, waiting to see who would pounce first. Each one waiting for the right moment, they attacked, each time cracks and more cracks formed from her weakening shield charm. She was getting jostled back and forth. Dropping to knee and skidding around, Kristen cast stunning spell after stunning spell forcing the spiders back. The diversion allowed the boy and girl collect themselves. Would they be able to reach Kristen in time to provide aid?

Two quick blows to Kristen’s head and shoulder forced her to one knee again. She grunted to stand and was knocked on her back by another spider, a large crack appeared in her shield charm, which flickered, faded and then went out. She was defenseless.

Natasha cried out, her hand outstretched. There was nothing to do but watch her friend get devoured in front of her. She shut her eyes and screamed. The spiders looked up, temporarily distracted by yet a fourth option for a meal.

It was enough of a distraction for Kristen to barrel roll to one side and get to her feet. She fired off three quick bursts of light from her wand and narrowly avoided the razor-sharp pincers of one of the spiders. As it was, she received a glancing cut, her shirt sleeve scarlet with fresh blood. Frenzied, she raised her wand, wind rushed up all around her. The wind turned into mist, black as midnight and seemed to thicken.

The spiders made to advance towards it; but were buffeted back as the mist thickened and the wind intensified. The sound coming from within it was terrible and Natasha heard a deep voice that she thought not possible to have come from Kristen’s body.

Kristen had levitated several feet into the air, her arms outstretched like a cross, her hair was billowing out in all directions and lighting seemed to crackle from her eyes.

MUERTO TOTALIS INFINITUM!

Eight blood red scythes appeared, held aloft by eight hooded figures that were born from the black mist. The spiders sensed death and made to flee.

Slice. Slice. Two fell, instantly dead.

SLICE. SLICE. Two more fell, rolling over, their legs upturned, reaching for the sky.

Again! And again, and again! Three more met their maker and lay still.

The mist continued to swirl around Kristen. It was a terrible sight to behold, Natasha registered, as both the boy and girl were clinging to each other with fear in their eyes.

Kristen had her wand hand outstretched like she was holding a sword and pointed it at the final and largest spider. Its glowing eyes, all eight of them, were murderously staring at Kristen who stared back.

The final spider roared and charged at her, its body shaking with fury, spurned on to avenge its slain brethren. It leaped into the air, fangs bared, and legs outstretched. Kristen was prepared, she had a dark smirk on her face as she crosscut her wand through the air at the assailing arachnid which let out a triumphant death rattle and buffeted back and was sent careening to the ground, which shook under its crumpled weight.

++++++

The black mist began to dissipate, and Kristen was lowered to the ground. She stood, tottered and fell to her knees, her head bowed. Natasha emerged from behind the tree to catch her friend.

“Kristen, KRISTEN!” she cried, holding her in her arms, kneeling herself to prevent the fall. She wiped her hair out of her eyes, which flittered open and closed a few times.

The boy and girl came to her aid also, wands outstretched and prepared for another fight.

“Holy bleedin’ Jesus,” he exclaimed, his head darting from left to right.

“I’ve never seen powerful magic like that before. I’ve only read about curses like that,” said the girl, her voice in awe.

Natasha tapped Kristen’s cheek. She was responsive, but barely.

Suddenly a whoosh of wind came up out of nowhere and three adult wizards and a fourth, that looked like a medic wizard materialized. They represented the Chogward’s Tactical Danger Team.

“Oi! Which one of you sent the distress call,” He was looking from one to the other of the students. His second and third in command spotted the scattered pile of dead arachnids, put two and two together and began surveying the area, looking for further danger.

Kristen feebly raised a hand, “That was me, Rodolphus…You’re a bit slow. Had to…had to do the hard work for you today…”

The medic wizard made for Natasha to move back as he unpacked a kit and began extracting various items. “Bit, stung?” he said, as he took his wand and began scanning Kristen’s body. An x-ray like beam shone out from his wand as he scanned her, looking for major signs of trauma.

“Nothing broken. You’re lucky. Likely going to find some nasty bruising though. Those were mountain spiders, tough as they come. Here, drink this.”

He unstoppered a glass bottle and conjured a glass out of thin air and handed it to Natasha. It began to fill with an amber liquid she knew to be some sort of Brandy. Natasha took the glass and helped Kristen steady herself and tipped the contents gently into her mouth.

“Thanks,” she said, a little whisps of smoke coming from the corners of her mouth. Color was coming back into her face and skin. Her eyes looked clearer, and she made to stand up, though with Natasha’s help. She took another sip of the rejuvenating liquor and the cut on her lip and arm began to self-heal.

“Looks like it was a hoard passing through. I’ve found the nest. Completely cleared out.” Looks like you kids and your professor got the lot, including the leader.” said one of the wizards aloud, signaling it was all clear to let their collective guards down.

Rodolphus and the other two wizards began talking to the kids, the medic wizard now asking them similar questions and probing them magically for any injuries. They were talking animatedly, pointing at both Kristen, the sky, and the inert pile of spiders.

“I think I’ll be taking the afternoon off today,” said Kristen as she began dusting off her clothes which were considerably ripped and mud stained.

Natasha nodded, hugging her friend. “Oh, my God. I thought you were a goner. That we were all goners. I thought—I thought...” Tears were welling up in her eyes and it was Kristen’s turn to comfort Natasha.

“Hey, hey. It’s going to take more than a few pissed off spiders to take my old ass out.”

Kristen walked over to the group and Natasha made to grab her coat and day bag.

“Ringwald, Estevez,” she said, the sternness back in her voice, just as Natasha had rejoined them.

The students looked up at her, slightly fearful but also very thankful.

She held up a hand, waiving off their thanks and instead gave them a hug, embracing them both.
“Good work you two, good work. I’ll be having a word with your Defensive Magical Arts professor about this. Let’s not make a habit of coming up here between classes until we can make sure the trails are safe again, okay?” They nodded, vehemently.

“Absolutely Miss, never again.” Said Ringwald.

“Ditto, Professor.” Said Estevez.

“Right then. I award you twenty points to each of your houses, and we will say no more about the detentions. Now, off you go with the Tactical Danger Team. Rodolphus—” she said, motioning to the head of the team.

“Tell our headmaster I will be along to debrief him of what happened here today and let him know I will need someone to be covering my afternoon classes.”

He nodded and motioned for his team and the students to head back to school.

Natasha spied the closest bench that was partially intact from the battle and made for Kristen to sit down on it, first laying down her coat and day bag.

Kristen waived her wand and muttered, “repairo.” The cement and woodwork restored themselves. And she made to sit down. Natasha heard a loud crunch.

“Oh my god, was that your back? Are you okay!” she said, rushing over to Kristen and putting an arm out.

“Relax, hypochondriac.” She reached behind her and fumbled with her day bag. She reached a hand inside and pulled out the source of the noise. In her hand were the two bags of cookies Chef Gustav had given them. She unfolded one bag and showed Natasha a disintegrated mass of cookie crumbs.

“Don’t say it…” warned Kristen with a smirk.

“That’s how the magical cookie crumbles?” said Natasha with a shrug.

They laughed, Kristen wincing a little.

“So, what happens now?” said Natasha as Kristen made to be helped up.

“Well,” she said, brushing a little more dust from her clothes. “I’ve got to head up to see the headmaster and report what happened. The Tactical Danger Team will likely do a scan of the campus and forest grounds to make sure no other hoard of spiders have come through.”

“And after that? You said you’ve got someone covering your classes today?” inquired Natasha.

“And after that,” repeated Kristen, “…you can help me take care of these bruises…”


++++++
 
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Chapter 16a: The Potion’s Room

The light that shone through the window cast an afternoon glow throughout the tiny waiting room outside the large office. Natasha busied herself with a wizarding magazine on a side table after she had made some polite small talk with the secretary outside the headmaster’s office.

She could only imagine what sort of conversation must be going on inside the adjacent room, its double doors with their padded leather fronts were shut off to the outside world.

Natasha was reading through a particularly interesting article on tea infusions when she noticed that the set of lights that sat over the top of the headmaster’s door changed from red to green. The meeting must now be over.

Sitting there with her magazine and no longer reading, Natasha waited for the familiar double click of the doors as they swung open.

“…And don’t think I won’t be singing your praises at the next council meeting. What you did deserves recognition,” said a voice from deep within the room.

“Well, so long as that recognition comes with a salary bonus and maybe some extra time off, you can tell them whatever you like. Thanks again, cheers.”

Kristen emerged from between the doors and was smiling. She turned to give a farewell wave before closing the door.

The secretary, who had been in the middle of typing something looked up, “Well, you’ve had quite the day, haven’t you?”

“You could say that.” Said Kristen, making to walk over to the coatrack to retrieve her overcoat and day bag. She smiled at Natasha, who smiled back.

“I’ve revised your afternoon timetable and I’ll need you to sign this report before you go,” said the secretary, handing Kristen a folded sheet of paper as well as a clipboard and quill.

She took them, put the note in her pocket and scribbled her signature in a loopy scrawl, “Thanks, Poppy. Enjoy the rest of your day.”

“And you do the same, luv.” Said the secretary, returning to her paperwork.

Natasha made to get up and Kristen draped her overcoat over her non-injured arm.

“That didn’t take too long,” she said as she and Kristen turned toward the door and exited the outer office where the headmaster presided.

“Oh, this was more of a formality. Written statements and verbal recitations for major magical events like the one we just had get recorded and documented. The real leg work will be an investigation about the spider’s migratory patterns. We have not had a problem like that since before I got here. The headmaster told me, anyways.”

Natasha shuddered, “And here, I thought I was being treated to a lovely week away from the hustle and bustle of the non-magical world.”

“It’s not all about you, Tasha,” said Kristen with a grin, shouldering her friend as they walked down a staircase and continued walking through the corridors.

“Hey, I’ve got to stop by my classroom to pick up a few things for tomorrow’s lessons and I could use an extra pair of hands.”

“What, after all that, you don’t even get the rest of the week off?” said Natasha in mild surprise.

“It is not like the regular world, Tasha. Nobody died and remember—we’re magical. How is my lip?” she said, turning towards her friend.

Natasha looked at it, “it’s nearly healed.”

“You see?” she said, beaming.

Natasha remembered the amber liquid Kristen had drunk after the ordeal, its smoky effervescence. A strong healing draught, she surmised.

They walked through several long corridors, passing by at least a dozen portraits that showed various witches and wizards, landscapes and still life scenes. Natasha marveled as most of the portraits were in states of motion. One painting was of a tall ship, its sails billowing, and the body of the boat gently being buffeted by the waves.

“Just down this set of stairs and we’re there,” said Kristen, steering Natasha a little.

“Sorry, just doing a little rubbernecking. It is not every day you get to walk through a place that literally has magical everything.”

Kristen smiled as they came around a corner to a dimly lit hallway. Ahead were several doors that led presumably into individual classrooms. A few doors were open, and Natasha could hear snatches of conversation, lessons being taught by various professors.

Opening one door on the far left, Natasha entered a large room that looked more like a cathedral. Large rectangular desks were spaced evenly in several rows and empty cauldrons sat on every surface. Accompanying them were what looked like Bunsen burners, as well as mortars, pestles, knives and cutting boards. ‘Tools of the trades for the students’, guessed Natasha.

A safety sink lay at one side of the classroom and opposite it sat a raised desk with large blackboard. Its surface covered with a loopy scrawl that Natasha knew to be Kristen’s. Notes on potions and diagrams with arrows were scattered all over the board—a lesson in progress, thought Natasha.

Behind the raised desk and blackboard was a small, narrow door that could be a potions storage cupboard. Kristen pointed towards the desk and laid her coat and day bag on its surface.

Natasha observed the desk which was littered with stacks of papers and a basket that contained at least two dozen scrolls.

“Can you pick those up while I hold open my bag? I need to get these graded by tomorrow,” said Kristen reaching for the bag.

Natasha nodded and held the scrolls, lengthwise, and aimed them at the bag. Instead of sticking out at the top, they disappeared within the bag and Natasha smiled. ‘Magical bag; should have known it could hold the world’, she thought.

Next, she helped Kristen with a stack of papers, and they too disappeared into the bag. Kristen gave it a little shake to settle the contents and left the bag propped open on the desk.

“What’s next?” asked Natasha, the task completed. She looked again at the small, narrow door behind the desk.

Kristen took out her wand and tapped the door, unlocking it. “I store potions and other magical ingredients in here. Gotta keep it locked so that wandering fingers don’t go snooping; I need to get something in here and then we can head home.” She explained, pushing it open admitting them both. The room was dark, and Kristen pointed her wand at the ceiling and produced an orb of light that bobbed along with them as they walked.

Natasha looked around. Again, the room looked far larger than the outer door suggested. It was long and rectangular with shelves on either side. She craned her neck looking up as rows and rows of labeled shelves loomed above them both. Large, wheeled ladders were affixed on either side to permit access to the uppermost shelves. Boxes and containers were labeled clearly, some with innocent sounding names, while others sinister. There were also various sized glass jars. Some with clamp-down lids, others with cork stoppers, each looking unique. Some held grainy contents, while others liquid. Some looked like dried insects piled high and some Natasha just didn’t want to know the answer to.

Spotting one large glass jar, whose contents interested her, Natasha said, “What’s Labes acidum?” She turned the jar over in her hands looking at the flowing red liquid-solid contents from within.

“That’s…acid fire. It will literally burn a hole right through any layer of exposed skin without the right protection,” said Kristen taking the jar gingerly back from Natasha and setting it back on the shelf.

“R-right. Probably shouldn’t touch anything in here without asking.” She said, sheepishly.

Now, looking with her eyes, she observed the room as Kristen made to walk to the end where a smaller desk sat. As they approached it, a little desk lamp flickered on of its own accord. Natasha observed several papers on the desk in Kristen’s neat scrawl that looked like potion calculations, ‘her secret recipe for thinness’, she thought?.

Kristen went around and tapped a drawer that zoomed open and after some searching, she found a small bottle vial of emerald green liquid and pocketed it.

“What’s that, beauty cream? Oh my god, don’t tell me that you have a secret for that, too, because I’m getting these wrinkles around my eyes.” said Natasha, now leaning on the edge of the desk with a smirk.

“You wish. You’re pretty enough as it is. No, this is a salve for magical burns and bruising.”

Natasha blushed slightly, which went unnoticed by Kristen in the mild dimness of the desk lamp.

“Well, you took a nasty turn out there,” said Natasha, shivering slightly at the memory of the afternoon’s ordeal.

“If it hadn’t been for you standing over me, that spider might have had an extra meal,” said Kristen coming around the edge of the desk.

She took as step towards Natasha, who turned to face her.

“I might not have any magical powers, but I can still scream and yell and create a distraction,” she said.

Kristen took a step closer and brushed a strand of hair out of Natasha’s face.

Natasha closed her eyes and felt the soft touch as Kristen’s fingers tucked the few strands behind her ear. She could feel Kristen’s closeness and could smell a combination of fragrance, sweat and earth from the battle. She breathed in deeply.

Opening her eyes, she saw Kristen looking back at her. Saying nothing and everything. She felt Kristen’s hands reaching for her own, their fingertips touching, then palms. This time, it was Natasha who stepped forward.

She exhaled and her eyes found Kristen’s nose. She let her gaze fall to her lips which were slightly parted. She observed the small reddish cut on one side and tilted her head.

“What are you looking at?” whispered Kristen, who leaned forward slightly.

“Your cut looks like it needs a little more healing.” Natasha replied, her voice a little lower.

“What does it need?”

“This.”

Natasha leaned forward, lips parted and kissed Kristen.
 
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Chapter 16b: The Potion’s Room

She felt sparks going off in her brain as she felt her friend respond in kind. Natasha worked her lower jaw, the muscles of their lips fitting like two pieces of a puzzle. Their hands released and they stepped closer together, hands now reaching for each other.

Natasha felt Kristen’s hands reaching for her back and shoulders, bringing their bodies closer. Natasha responded by cupping the small of Kristen’s back with one hand while bringing her other hand behind her head. She could feel the fine hair as her fingers pressed in to cup her warm neck.

“Mmm,” moaned Kristen as their lips parted and reconnected.

Their bodies shifted so that Natasha was pushed against the edge of the desk, Kristen leaning her bodyweight into her. Natasha took the weight and spread her legs so that Kristen could get even closer. The warmth of their bodies heated up the room and Natasha felt a flush going down her neck. She let out a moan of pleasure as she felt a tongue enter her mouth, parting her teeth. Then, she felt her own tongue responding and working, meeting Kristen’s as their hands began to explore each other’s bodies.

Heart racing, her breathing quickening, Natasha felt a hand run itself down her throat, fingertips on either side making her gasp.

“Like that?” breathed a voice in her ear. Natasha moaned for more.

The hand slid down her chest, between her breasts. Her nipples became peaked with desire. She felt her stomach flutter as the hand continued down past her stomach then past her navel. She rocked her hips forward as she felt the hand turn, fingers now cupping her sex.

Natasha let out another moan, her face pressing forward into Kristen’s, who bit her lower lip and sucked hard. She felt the hand working through her clothing, the thumb pressing against her, working circular motions, while the fingers reached, curling and uncurling.

Kristen moaned as Natasha reached for her, her hands now grasping her shoulders. Bodies writhing, Natasha let her hands wander to Kristen’s lower back. She stood still allowing Natasha to lift up her sweater vest and untuck her shirt. Feeling the heat coming off her skin, Kristen stepped back a little as Natasha fumbled for the buckle all the while Kristen continued to work her sex.

She could feel the pulse of Kristen’s heartbeat through her softer stomach, each beat sending a ripple through the pale skin.

“Mmm, yes…” groaned Kristen as Natasha unlatched the belt that confined her womanhood. Hands slightly trembling, Natasha synched the button and pulled the zipper down. Kristen leaned in and Natasha’s hands found the fabric of her trousers. She inserted a hand between fabric and underwear and cupped Kristen’s athletic, though softer rear and slid the trousers down.

A warm animal scent met them both and each groaned in hunger. Natasha let her hands wander around Kristen’s rear, pinching and squeezing, taking in the size and warmth. Natasha could feel Kristen working her harder through her own pants and felt the moisture soaking through.

“Oh, oh, oooh.” She cried out, turning her face away from Kristen as she felt herself climax. But Kristen held her hand firmly over Natasha’s sex, kneading it and working her with her fingertips, as a fountain of pleasure from within Natasha was released.

“H-holy ****,” she gasped, her breathing coming in waves, her head slightly spinning.

Kristen moaned in response, and they repositioned themselves, this time with Kristen leaning against the table.

They looked into each other’s eyes, seeing each other differently. Waves of pleasure were passing between them, and they had all the time in the world.

Wordlessly, Natasha pushed Kristen firmly against the desk and made to put her hand over her sex in the same manner Kristen had done to her. She could feel moisture soaking through the panties and between their heavy breathing and moans, Natasha slid the panties to the side and inserted a finger.

“Ahh!” cried Kristen, pushing her sex against Natasha’s hand, forcing her finger in far deeper than she had meant to. Natasha could feel strong powerful muscles contract and relax as moisture continued to flow from Kristen’s body.

Natasha felt a hand join her own and rhythmically, she helped her friend climax.

“Mmm, MMM! Right there, yes, YES!” breathed Kristen. Natasha could feel her friend’s legs begin to shake and quiver.

Their mouths met and broke away like waves crashing upon the shoreline. Lips working, tongues dancing, Natasha removed her wet fingers and brought them up to her mouth. Greedily, she licked them, and Kristen made to do the same.

“You taste amazing,” breathed Natasha, looking into Kristen’s eyes.

“Careful…there might be calories in that…”

Their lips rejoined, sharing Kristen’s essence and Natasha stepped forward and Kristen leaned back, hands braced against the desk.

“**** me, **** me,” Kristen said, her teeth bared, lower lip exposed.

Natasha leaned in and rhythmically began to gyrate her pelvis against Kristen’s, who responded in kind. Their cores met and Natasha felt a second wave of pleasure radiate throughout her body. Feeling her own legs quiver with oncoming fatigue, she pushed Kristen back and leaned in so that her hands were also on the desk.

She bucked against Kristen, each of them moaning and groaning in ecstasy as their pelvises undulated in unison.

Harder. Faster. Harder. Faster.

“Oooh, I’m cuming!” cried Kristen as her legs quaked, her body spasming. Natasha, not far behind merely grunted and continued to pursue the pleasures of mutual orgasm.

“Ahh, ahh!” she groaned and with one final push she rammed her body into Kristen’s and both of their worlds fell away.

With a loud BOOM! The desk toppled to one side and both women tumbled in different directions and clattered to the floor. The orb of light overhead snuffed out and the desk light fell. The room was plunged into instant darkness.

Laying on her back, panting hard, Kristen’s voice rang out, “What the hell happened?”

Natasha, equally disorientated replied, “I dunno, did something hit us?”

Kristen cried out, “luminara!” and from somewhere on the floor, Natasha saw the tip of her wand glow faintly like a nightlight. It was closest to her and so she held it aloft for Kristen to reach. Their hands touched and Natasha felt the intimacy with which Kristen took back the wand.

“Luminara maxima,” she said aloud, the orb of light hovered, bathing the room in cool light.

Then, Kristen began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Said Natasha, rolling onto all fours and using her thigh to help her stand up. It wobbled slightly as it bore her weight.

Kristen made to put her hand over her mouth, her expression bemused, “you rocked me so hard that you knocked the legs right off the side of this desk.” She laughed and made to pull up her trousers.

She pointed and Natasha did indeed see that the desk was knocked askew and that two wooden legs lay splintered under the shifted weight.

“I don’t know what came over me, I just—it felt so good not to keep going…” she said, her mind still focused on what they had been doing only moments before.

“Oh, I am not complaining.” Said Kristen, wiping a few strands of hair out of a face that shone with sweat.

Both women were making to tidy themselves up. Natasha, who bore a large wet patch over her crotch, shirt slightly crumpled while Kristen looked like she’d been untucked and savaged by a giant.

The smell of sex hung in the air and both women were taking it all in. Tension had been building between the two since Natasha had arrived. The high emotional factor of seeing an old friend, mixed with the stressors of adult life, body confusion and the thrill of eating for pleasure while experiencing the physical results had overloaded each of their circuits.

It was hard for Natasha to see Kristen, in a slight state of undress, and not to want to continue where they had left off. She looked mesmerizing untucked, fluffier, glowing with health. She noticed a look of hunger in Kristen’s eyes that meant she was feeling the same.

But what did this mean for them? For their friendship? Were they in love with each other or merely lust. True, Natasha had known Kristen to have a few male relationships when they were in college, but did she still prefer the company of men? Come to think of it, did she remember Kristen ever having a steady boyfriend during their time at school? Natasha certainly had and did prefer the company of men, but none of them had ever managed to provide her with the pleasures that she had received from Kristen. Did this mean she was curious? Her brain felt like mush from all these rapid thoughts.

“Ah, hi?” said Natasha, giving Kristen a little wave as she tiptoed through the rubble of the storage closet, careful not to bump or jostle into any of the items that lined the shelves.

“Heya,” said Kristen, offering an outstretched hand to help Natasha over to a small clearing she’d made for herself.

Natasha took it and they looked at each other in that little clearing for what felt like a few minutes, though it may have only been a few seconds. Time seemed to stand still for them both.

Kristen stared longingly into Natasha’s honey brown eyes noting their warmth. She had the lopsided smile of someone who was a little tipsy on love. Natasha in turn was gazing into Kristen’s hazel ones, tracing the laugh lines at the sides and down towards her nose and then towards her mouth. Oh, that mouth.

Natasha reached for Kristen, her hands on either side of Kristen’s face. Kristen lowered her head, her lips parting and she received an enthusiastic long and very slow kiss.

“What was that for?” said Kristen after Natasha pulled back, both breathing deeply.

“That…was for saving our lives back there.”

“Remind me to find more danger for us in future, then.” Said Kristen with a smile.

“So, what do we do now?” said Natasha, hands at her sides, not sure what to do with her body and all the feelings she was experiencing.

“Well,” said Kristen scanning the room at large, the spilt contents still strewn across the floor, the desk still pathetically lopsided. “Might be a good idea to tidy up, don’t you think?”

“Duh—yes, of course.” Said Natasha.

“Here, help me pick these things up, it wouldn’t look good to have this mess discovered by any of my co-teachers.” She waived her wand and said, “repairo” to each of the desk legs. They reformed and solidified under the table which righted itself. Natasha pushed on the surface, half-expecting the desk to buckle, but it held firm.

Kristen adjusted her pants and tucked back in the ends of her shirt, then smoothed down the sweater vest before making to pick up some of her scattered papers.

“Oof, I think I added a few new bruises.” Winced Kristen as she made to lift the lamp and replace it on the desk.

“Sorry for the sex sprain,” said Natasha with a wry smile, replacing stacks of papers on the desk near the lamp.

Kristen smiled as she waived her wand through the air, “refoveo orchis.” The scent of sex that hung in the air was replaced with a fragrant burst that smelled like an orchid house. A sweet, light scent hung in the air and reminded Natasha of summer and baking in the kitchen.

Next, Kristen waived her wand over herself and Natasha, “limpia ropa.” The remnants of their sexual escapade had left their clothing damp and wrinkled. Natasha felt a light gust of warm wind pass over her and the crumpled shirt she wore began to de-crease and lay flat. The dampness of her denim jeans was now gone, and she felt like she’d just put on clothing that came out of the dryer. Similarly, Kristen’s clothing flattened out and they were both presentable once more.

With the room repaired, both women refreshed, Kristen smiled and reached into her pocket and pulled out the little emerald-green vial.

“Glad this didn’t break; it was my last vial.” Said Kristen.

Natasha laughed, “Time for that TLC?” She asked, looking at the vial as Kristen stowed it back in her trousers. They made their way out the potions storeroom and back into the classroom proper.

Kristen nodded as she gathered her remaining things, her day bag, and the two of them exited the classroom, holding hands.

++++++
 
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Chapter 17a: Wine by the Fireplace

The walk from the school campus back to the cottage was uneventful. The afternoon of terror with the spiders, which transitioned into the greatest sexual experience Natasha had ever had in her life had left her feeling quite spent. As she and Kristen walked to the cottage, she noted that they were both slow in their steps and Kristen, with her many bruises must feel equally if not more trained than Natasha did.

“Hey, can I carry that day bag of yours? It looks heavy.” Natasha offered; her hand outstretched after noticing Kristen wince a few times as she readjusted it.

“Actually yes. Thanks.” Said Kristen.

Natasha took the weight which was surprisingly heavy and adjusted it so that it didn’t cut deeply into her shoulder.

The sun was past its midday glow and was passing into early evening. School classes were winding down for the day and Kristen was thankful she had the afternoon off before returning tomorrow.

Both women made plans to distract themselves from their passionate moment deep within the Potions Classroom and busy themselves with their respective works.

Turning up the lane, Kristen tapped the door of her quaint cottage and entered. Natasha felt instantly welcomed with the familiar layout and, non-spider atmosphere.

Placing Kristen’s overladen day bag on her work-study desk, she went to the sink and poured each of them a large glass of water. Kristen was busy with two mugs of tea and was in the process of selecting teabags.

Natasha went to her bedroom and grabbed her own day bag, full of manuscripts as well as her laptop bag. She’d also grabbed her phone which had several missed voicemails and text messages.

She returned just in time to see Kristen bent low over the fireplace, tapping it with her wand. The room warmed up several degrees and the reflected glow of Kristen’s profile next to the fire softened her features and made Natasha smile.

“Got room for me at that desk?” she asked, walking over to the sink and taking a sip of her water, her hand outstretched offering Kristen her glass of water.

“Always,” she replied.

They each had a second glass of water, noting how dehydrated they felt.

The kettle whistled and Kristen poured in the hot water as Natasha settled down, first with her laptop and phone. “Electronic correspondence first”, she thought.

Kristen set the mugs of tea between them, and Natasha could smell a spicy vanilla aroma. “What kind of tea is this?” she asked.

“It is a restorative tea blend I made. I call it Evening Vigor.” She said looking over Natasha and blowing on the rim before taking a deep sip.

Natasha picked up her own mug, feeling the gentle warmth in her hands. Tea and coffee usually took ages to cool down, but every cup she’d had in the magical world seemed to always be the right temperature for that first, and always best, sip.

“Mmm, wow.” Said Natasha, feeling the liquid trickle down her throat and into her stomach. She felt as if she had just stepped out of a shower. She could feel her pulse quicken and her blood pump more vigorously throughout her body.

‘The tea certainly lived up to its name’, she thought. She felt her mind slightly sharpen and was ready for some work.

Kristen, too, looked determined. Her own mind honed to complete her classroom grading. She reached for her wand and pointed it at the record player in the corner and muttered, “musica.” And the room filled with a perfect melody as they began to work.

For the next few hours, between refills of tea, Kristen’s scroll pile shifted from ungraded to graded. Natasha could faintly hear the scratch of her quill as she made an addition or comment on a student’s homework. Every now and then, Kristen would utter monosyllables or groans of loathing based on whatever students he was grading.

“Really, O’Mally. How do you not know the basics of Grant’s Law. That’s 101 basics. Zero.” She muttered and Natasha could feel a giant “X” being given to that particular piece of homework.

Focused on her own tasks, she had prioritized her emails and phone messages based on their urgency. Many were calls for help that she could defer to other members of her department. Forwarding what needed passing on, she cleared out the first wave of busyness when her stomach gurgled faintly.

Putting a hand on her belly, she looked up at Kristen who was still hard at work, hunched over her side of the table, hand scribbling over the graded homework, a loose strand of hair coming untucked from behind her ear. Natasha sat observing her for a few moments, her hand resting on her chin.

Kristen looked up, “what?”

“Nothing. Just looking.”

Kristen smiled mischievously and motioned with her head for Natasha to get back to work.

They continued for another hour; all the while Natasha’s stomach gurgled a little more loudly.

“Oof,” exclaimed Kristen after she completed her final piece of graded homework. She put the scroll into the stack with the others, a pile that seemed to defy normal physics. She then grabbed the right side of the nape of her neck and began massaging it with her left hand.

Similarly, Natasha was feeling the stiffness creep in by the many hours and many cups of tea.

“Nearly done?” said Kristen, eyebrows raised as she stifled a little yawn.

“Maybe another five?” Replied Natasha, who took a moment to glance out of the window and see the daylight end and evening begin. She noted lightning bugs begin to flicker in the dusk and the chirrup of crickets.

Kristen nodded and got up. She collected the teacups, noting that Natasha’s was also empty and went into the kitchen.

“Feel like a big meal, or something light?” she called.

“Umm, light?” said Natasha, her stomach gurgling more loudly.

“Right.” Said Kristen raising a supercilious eyebrow.

In truth, Natasha found herself quite hungry, bordering on being ravenous. But what she craved more than food was the company of Kristen.

“I think I have something in mind for dinner,” said Kristen. She went to the fridge and began talking aloud to the kitchen. Natasha looked up and saw various vegetables, knives, bowls and cutting boards station themselves and begin to wash, rinse, chop, slice and dice. All the while Kristen waived her wand like a conductor directing an orchestra.

“Anything I can help out with?” Offered Natasha as she finished her final bit of electronic correspondence.

“Nope, all good.”

“I think I will change before dinner then?” said Natasha. She folded up her stuff and tucked in her chair. Stretching, she reached up and felt a light breeze touch her abdomen from where her shirt had raised itself. Pulling the material back in place, she padded down the hallway and into her room.

She looked through the clothing she had remaining and felt that after a harrowing day, that comfort would be the perfect remedy. She selected a pair of terrycloth sweats as well as a baby doll t-shirt made of the same material. She also gathered a fresh pair of underwear and decided to freshen up in the bathroom before rejoining Kristen for dinner.

Kristen was preparing for them both an arugula salad with oven roasted vegetables and grilled shrimp. For an appetizer, she brought out a spread of hummus, poured out olives into a dish and selected some savory rosemary crackers and put them on a cutting board.

“Mmm, that smells delightful,” called Natasha as she walked down the hallway to re-enter the room.

“And you look fresh as a rose,” said Kristen, observing that Natasha both looked and smelled like she’d stepped out of the shower, which in fact, she had. Hair blown dry by the Mirror and comfy clothing donned, she stepped barefoot into the kitchen and offered to set the table.

“I think a quick shower is what my body needs also,” Kristen said over her shoulder as she walked into her room and began to strip. She discarded her school uniform and noted that she had acquired a few holes in the trousers and sweater vest. “Repairo” she said to the holed fabric, which began to knit itself back together. Satisfied, she tossed the clothing into her hamper along with the rest of her clothing and walked in a toweled robe into the bathroom.
 
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Chapter 17b: Wine by the Fireplace

“My dear!” said the Mirror, noting the black and blues of Kristen’s back, arms and thighs as she removed the robe and made to reach for the faucets.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got someone to handle it for me, thanks Mirror.” Said Kristen as she stepped into the warm water and began to lather up her aching body. The Mirror shimmered in reply.

Kristen took her luffa and applied some bodywash and began to scrub the day off her body. She let the water fall across her face and used a facewash to remove the traces of dirt and grime from her battle on the trails.

She winced as she ran the luffa over her arms, breasts, abdomen and thighs noting the purplish blotches with their irregular shapes. She noted that she had one particularly dark purple bruise across her right breast, the one which also bore a mole, and which appeared slightly swollen. Similarly, she noted on her left thigh, just past another mole that she had two bruises on both the inner and outer portions of her thigh.

Good thing the ointment only needs a little dab per area,’ she thought, thinking of the vial on her dresser.

Shower concluded, Kristen stepped out and onto the bathmat. Towel at the ready, she patted parts of herself dry and at the insistence of the Mirror, allowed the hairdryer to help her with the hard-to-reach areas.

Kristen noted that the hairdryer, after drying her hair how she normally liked it, proceeded to run itself along her body as it had done with Natasha.

Bemused, Kristen said, “That’s a new one. Where’d you learn do to that?”

“From your friend; we like her.” Said the Mirror cheerfully as at that moment the hairdryer lingered over her sex far longer than it had ever done before.

“That’s a new move, too” She chided, but did not shift her body to deflect the heat. She accepted this transitional change in her bathroom habits and told the hairdryer to keep that in the drying rotation after every shower, henceforth.

Now dried, she went back to her room to dress for the evening. She spied the little vial of emerald-green ointment on her dresser and made sure to wear clothing where Natasha could easily move and reach.

She examined herself in her full-length mirror which resided on the back of her bedroom door. She noted the face that looked back was tired and wan, but happy. Her makeup-free features shone with health and vitality, despite the harrowing afternoon. She observed with mixed pleasure that her lounge clothing didn’t quite fit they way the had before this week began. True, she’d had a large lunch with Natasha, and she had yet to take another pill to help return her to her normal state. Her eyes scanned the rest of her body and she was tickled to see that her abdominals were slightly filled out, making her stomach look fluffier. Similarly, she had the beginnings of love handles. Kristen flexed her quads and the strong muscles were visibly displayed, their hard-earned contours rising from under the skin.

Satisfied that she looked only a little fluffy, she went over to her dresser drawer and selected her evening ware. She selected a pair of athletic looking booty shorts that were cut high on the thigh as well as a crop top that exposed a few inches of stomach. She selected a pair of silky soft panties and put them on. She forewent a bra.

“What took so long, I decided to start without you!” said Natasha, who was helping herself to some of the hummus and crackers. Kristen noted a small pile of olive pits on her plate.

Natasha was seated at the table; their seating arrangement was next to each other which Kristen had no objections with and said as much.

“I thought we could sit next to each other to better see the fire while we dine.” Said Natasha, reaching for another hummus-laden cracker and popped it into her mouth.

Natasha had already poured two large glasses of red wine and she had already served up some of the salad from a bowl onto each of their plates.

“Man, this arugula is nice and peppery,” said Natasha, who was already forking another leafy bite into her mouth. The roasted vegetables were perfect with a nice film of olive oil and spice; while the shrimp ‘How the heck did the house grill the shrimp, I didn’t see a barbeque’ thought Natasha, was juicy and not at all overcooked.

“Cheers, girl.” Said Kristen, clinking glasses with Natasha as she took a sip. The first sip of wine is always the best. It signifies that the day is over, that there are no further work responsibilities to tend to. It is a time for relaxation and restoration for the day ahead and there is no need to rush into tomorrow too early.

Kristen tucked into her salad, and they shared the appetizer plate, which Natasha had spaced in front of them. They dined in near silence, shared only with the music from Kristen’s record player (which, when one side was complete, it turned itself over and resumed playing, unprompted) as well as the pop and crackle from the fireplace.

About halfway through the meal, Kristen made to get up. Natasha watched her as she sauntered into the kitchen. Kristen’s shorts were looking nice and snug in all the right places, her crop top showed off a little more belly after their dining and despite the warmth of the room, two pin pricks were visible beneath her shirt. Kristen waived her wand through the air and the music quieted a little and the lights dimmed as she retrieved and uncorked another bottle of wine.

Sitting back down, Kristen offered to pour Natasha another glass while filling her own.

“Thanks for the top up,” said Natasha brightly.

“It’s not bad, right?” said Kristen looking at the bottle more closely. It was a 2008 Elvish wine from Rivendell Estates.

They continued dining and sipping on wine, the meal nearly complete.

“Wow, Kristen, that was a fantastic dinner. Filling, but not too heavy.” She looked down at her abdomen which had swollen slightly, though not to the size she’d seen it at lunchtime.

“Right?” said Kristen, eying Natasha’s stomach. Her baby doll t-shirt emphasized the length of her arms, but the hourglass cut of the shirt was slightly distorted, accommodating to her increased belly, which protruded so that a cute sliver of white skin was displayed between end of her shirt and the tops of her terrycloth sweats.

“Dinners like these make me so relaxed,” said Kristen after a moment.

“I know, and you’ve got that nice fireplace with that vacant couch,” offered Natasha.

“I’ll tidy up, you make yourself comfortable. I’ve got another surprise. Don’t worry, it’s a small one.”

Intrigued, Natasha made to get up, not bothering to adjust her clothing. She felt comfortable enough in Kristen’s presence to be more herself. Kristen made for Natasha to take the bottle of wine with her.

As she did so, Kristen went back to the kitchen and waived her wand, the dishes and cutlery floated over to the sink and began the process of cleaning themselves as they had done earlier that morning.

“Close your eyes,” said Kristen across the room to Natasha, who had made to curl herself up at one end of the couch, catlike, while taking a sip of wine. The firelight enhanced her beauty and further softened her features, including her long eyelashes.

Kristen bent over to the oven and extracted a sheet pan of cookies. Transferring them to a plate, all twelve, she grabbed her glass of wine and walked over and in front of Natasha.

“Smell, but keep your eyes closed,” she said.

Natasha grinned and leaned forward; her nostrils flared. She scented the air her smile widening.

“Cookies?” she said, opening one eye and then the other.

“I felt kinda bad that you didn’t get a chance to sample Chef Gustav’s cookies earlier today. But you know; survival over cookies, kind of a no-brainer.” She said, tilting her head to one side.

Natasha made to grab one and they were the perfect temperature. Warm, but not too hot and perfectly gooey. They were also the perfect size, double-thick and a little larger than palm sized.

“I hate undersized cookies,” Natasha said, turning it over and examining it.

“Right? But I promise you can only have one. Remember, scouts honor not to let you get fat on this trip.” Said Kristen, holding up a hand.

Natasha giggled and took a bite, “Oh my god! What’s in this? It’s delicious. And they don’t crumble!? That’s impossible.”

Kristen smiled and took a cookie for herself and began to nibble. They were good.

“Wow, is that real vanilla bean? And chocolate chips? And toffee. Toffee!?”

Kristen nodded, delighted, while she continued to watch Natasha’s face express cookie-fueled joy.

“Dang,” said Natasha through a mouthful of cookie. “You are making it really hard to stay lithe this trip. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you had an ulterior motive. You’re not training to become the witch from Hansel and Gretel are you?”

Kristen shook her head, but raised a mischievous eyebrow, “Well, if I am, then it’s backfiring isn’t it.” She said gesturing to her body, her fluffier body.

Natasha’s eyes flicked over to Kristen’s body, who, after putting the plate of cookies on the little coffee table in front of the fireplace, sat down near her on the couch. She looked amazing in the glow of the firelight, features softer, more feminine. It seemed to enhance her beauty as well as her softer figure.

Natasha noticed the slightly softer face, the hard lines of her arms and legs now a bit softer under her evening clothes. Her crop top, which would have showcased a toned abdomen, was now displaying a less toned one, with the hint of fat at her sides and front. ‘An athlete in the offseason?’ Thought Natasha.

Natasha took a sip of wine after she had finished her first cookie and sat once again in thought. She was struggling less and less with the notion that Kristen was not as naturally thin as she had remembered and that she did enjoy the act of indulgence when the conditions presented themselves. Was Natasha that condition? What about her presence, here, brought out that quality in her? And if she, Natasha, was that catalyst, what about Kristen brought out those indulgent feelings in her?

And now, why, all of a sudden did she begin to have these more persistent thoughts of female love; the exploration of unfettered sexuality as well as the compulsion for indulging in food even though she was not even always hungry. What did it all mean?

“Krissy, I am really enjoying my time here; I don’t think I would have had nearly as much fun if I were staying in that hotel in town.” said Natasha after a few minutes, grabbing a second cookie and looking at her companion.

“Aww, I’m so glad. And—”, she moved a little closer on the couch to reach for a second cookie for herself, “—I’m glad I could host you.” Their knees brushed.

“How come you didn’t want me to stay with you in the first place? I thought you might have been living in the school like a dormitory—no room, you know?” asked Natasha.

“Or—maybe no room because of, maybe a boyfriend?” she added, trying to keep the question out of her voice.

“Well, I dunno.” Said Kristen, setting her wine and cookie down on the table. “I guess, I guess when you get older you think about how things were when you were younger and sometimes you want things to go back to how things used to be. But then, time goes by and people can change.” Her eyes flicked towards Natasha’s.

“Well, you know I haven’t changed.” Said Natasha with a smile, “Still the same old, slightly clumsy, unlucky in love Tasha.” She said, stifling a small hiccup which made them both laugh.

Kristen looked at Natasha who put down her own cookie and glass of wine. They turned to face each other on the couch, “I—I think I might have changed a bit,” said Kristen.

“What do you mean? The eating thing? I would hardly call that a change. Heck, it happens to us all.”

“No, it’s not just that. There are …things from our past that—that I can’t stop thinking about. And now, being so close to you, I—I am feeling those things again.”

“I don’t know what you mean, Krissy. We had a great childhood and those years at college were great. I remember we did drink a lot, so there are some parties I don’t remember, but I am sure I could say the same for you, too? Right? …Right?”

Kristen nodded solemnly and swallowed. It appeared that she had more to say but was holding back. Natasha observed her, but she seemed to be making some internal decision. Kristen exhaled, got up off the couch, nodded solemnly once again and said, “I’ll be right back. There’s…something you need to see.”

Natasha tipped her head to one side, confused. Was this a trick? A prank? Had she had too much wine? Why was she suddenly confused. Kristen was not making her feel uncomfortable and Natasha couldn’t work out the message Kristen was not saying aloud. Natasha’s mind was working slowly, it must be the wine, she thought.

Kristen returned a few minutes later with an old shoe box that Natasha instantly remembered from college. It had a thin layer of dust on it as Kristen put it on the coffee table and sat on the floor, next to Natasha who remained on the couch.

“Oh, my goodness. I remember that box. We both had one. Our memory boxes from college!” said Natasha, her hand making to reach out to prize off the lid.

Kristen raised her hand which met Natasha’s mid-air. She held the hand in both of hers and brought them to rest on Natasha’s knee.

“Natasha, before you open that box, there’s something you need to know.” Kristen’s mouth was set, her eyes searching.

“Krissy, what’s with all this build-up? You’re being so mysterious.” She said with a little laugh.

Kristen got up off the floor and sat down next to Natasha, her two hands still holding Natasha’s one.

“Tasha…we used to be girlfriends.”

++++++
 
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Chapter 18: The Past



Natasha stared at Kristen for a full thirty seconds and then burst out laughing.

“Haha! Nice, you got me with that one!” She said, raising a hand to her chest and tilting her head back to laugh a little more.

Kristen’s face broke a little and Natasha stopped laughing. “No—wait. I didn’t mean to laugh like that, it just sounds so non-sensical. I mean, how could we, right? I would clearly remember four years of having a girlfriend.”

“I know this is hard for you to hear, and I’ve been trying—for years—to find the right way and time to bring it up to you. But I’ve been living a lie to myself all this time and it’s not fair to keep a part of you that you’d asked me to hide for you, hidden for any longer.” She said all at once, emotion rising in her voice.

“Wait, what? That I asked you to hide? Kristen, this makes no sense.”

Kristen nodded towards the box and Natasha reached for it. She gently took off the lid and set it aside and brought the box to her lap. It was packed. Filled with old Polaroid photos of the girls in their younger years, stacks of folded up letters and a clear golden vial with a gas-liquid that shimmered and smoked from within.

“I’ve kept this box with me all these years. It contains every letter you ever wrote me and every photo we ever took, together.”

Still not understanding, Natasha grabbed a letter from the top. She recognized her own handwriting, that untidy loopy scrawl she had back in college. The letter read as follows.

“K,

That was an amazing night we had. That concert was such a surprise. Who knew Modest Mouse and Green Day could put on such great shows? You know me so well! You always know how to pick me up when I feel low. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have a girlfriend like you.


Natasha signed her name with a heart. She added in post-script:

“P.S. I think my hips are still sore from that move you did. Where did you learn that? Perhaps I don’t to know.

N.”



But she had no memory of that concert, or those bands, with Kristen. Uncomprehending, she reached into the box, deeper this time, and found another letter, dated six months earlier. She unfolded it and a small Polaroid fell out. It depicted the two of them. It looked like a selfie of the two of them on a hiking trip. There were trees and a lake in the background, complete with a pitched orange tent. Each had sunglasses on and their hair in identical ponytails. They had their arms around one-another, were topless and carefree. Natasha turned the photo over and again, she recognized her own handwriting, “Camping K &N”. Again, she signed with a heart.

Scanning the letter, she read:

“K,

I’m so glad you talked me into this long-weekend camping trip. I don’t know what I was ever afraid of. You always know how to help me get out of my shell. From hiking to kayaking. I still think about that first time we went cliff jumping. Thanks for finding a baby one for me to start off on and I promise I won’t close my eyes and scream next time. And I’m glad my dad had a spare tent we could borrow. Oh, if he only knew what we did in there ;)

N
(heart)”

She looked at Kristen who was looking at her, searching her eyes and face. But Natasha still held no memory of that either. She searched back into her memory and could only remember big pieces. Exams, walks around the school grounds, shopping, the cafeteria; hours spent in the library studying. Goofing off and getting high or drunk with her other classmates. But nothing about her or Kristen ever having an intimate relationship.

She looked through the box and found many photos, all Polaroids near the bottom. Every photo dated with a location or comment on the back. Sometimes both. Every one of them featuring Kristen and Natasha.

Flash. Selfie of Kristen and Natasha in bed together, sheets drawn up, smiles; each with bedhead.

Flash. Topless Kristen reflected in a mirror, brushing teeth and mildly indignant as a reflection of a fully nude Natasha was also visible, grinning, in the reflection. Clearly a candid moment that Natasha wanted to capture, much to Kristen’s then-chagrin.

Flash. Kristen and Natasha, lip-locked on another camping trip; Autumn leaves, their color bursting from the trees, each of them wearing beanies.

Flash. Another selfie of them holding hands, the background of their college campus in view.

Flash. An intimate selfie photo of Natasha laying across Kristen’s exposed breasts; both of them smiling, half of Kristen’s face in view.

Flash. A POV of Kristen going down on Natasha.

Flash. A POV of Natasha going down on Kristen.

Flash. Flash. FLASH!

Confused, Natasha made to get up, hastily shoving the items in her hands back into the box. She walked away from the couch, the fireplace and from Kristen. She needed to think but she couldn’t.

“Tasha,” called Kristen from the couch, making to get up but keeping her distance from her friend, her former lover.

Pacing, Natasha had her hands on her temples and was beating a gentle tattoo against them with her fists. "How. Come. I. Can’t. Remember.” She said, biting off each word like celery.

“Because—,” said Kristen from somewhere over her shoulder, still keeping her distance, “You’d asked me to.”

“I-what?” said Natasha, turning to face Kristen.

Kristen made to get up once more, leaving Natasha as confused as ever as she went down the hall and back to her bedroom. Natasha reached for her glass of wine and downed it and quickly poured herself another, nearly slopping some over the side of the glass. How could it be that Kristen had memories that she had not. She had actual, physical proof that they had been not just a couple, but an intimate one.

For one fleeting moment, Natasha had thought that maybe Kristen had bewitched these photos or had in some way performed dark magic, but that made no sense either. When Natasha had looked up at Kristen for a reaction after seeing and reading her old memories, she saw a woman with a sad face. Like the look one gives to someone who is speaking to someone with dementia. Sad understanding.

Kristen returned with another shoebox, just like the first one as well as a wide pewter bowl. Wordlessly, she handed the box to Natasha who lifted off the lid. It contained primarily photos, old photos of their time together in university. Nearly every photo was a nude.

Natasha gasped as she flicked through handfuls; nearly every photo was either of herself or of Kristen, raw and very overweight. Many photos showed them from various angles as they had presumably been trying to take selfies. Rolls of fat that accumulated around waists, thighs, around necks and chins, arms and legs. There were several photos, clearly of Natasha mid-bite with various items of food, looks of ecstasy playing across her face. Many showed her and Kristen with bedroom eyes, sated with various wrappers or containers strewn about themselves. Kristen, too, was very heavy in many of these photos. Her face younger, but unmistakably fat.

“Kristen, what…” she began, but there were no words.

Kristen reached for her wand, which she had placed out of the way on the coffee table. She held it length wise, letting her fingertips caress either end. She rolled it, thinking. Thinking hard.

She exhaled, “I know this is going to be hard for you to believe, but we fell in love during college. And we both discovered that we are both FA’s, fat admirers.”

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Chapter 19a: Natasha’s Forgotten Memory

Natasha sat there, taking it all in but it was all still so very strange. So very confusing. Her eyes flicked from one of the boxes to the other, to Kristen and into the fire. Something had to give in order for her to connect all the pieces of this very large and mysterious puzzle from her past.

“If I was a fat admirer, then wouldn’t my tongue be rolling out of my head every time I had bite of an ice cream sandwich or whenever I saw someone wobbling past me on the sidewalk?” Said Natasha after a minute.

Kristen, who had been silently watching Natasha process her emotions put a hand on her friend’s knee. “It’s a fetish, so it can be whatever you want it to be. You might discover pleasure when you see someone else enjoying food, regardless of whether it is healthy or not. Or, perhaps seeing someone wearing clothing that is formfitting, revealing the curves of their growing body. For us, it was…” she broke off, looking away into the fire.

Natasha put a hand over Kristen’s and squeezed. “Please, I need to know. Is there a way for me to remember it, to remember us?”

Kristen shook her head, “I made a promise to you when we were in college that I wouldn’t. It broke my heart, but it was what you wanted; and I loved you—still love you—and I couldn’t possibly do that to me or you, again.” She sniffed and dabbed at one eye with her finger.

“Was it some sort of unbreakable spell you used? Is that what is preventing you from helping me remember?” She said, eyes searching Kristen’s face, her own eyes beginning to water.

Kristen shook her head, “Not an unbreakable spell, it was an Amorous Charm that I cast.” She reached into the second box of photos and at the bottom, procured a second vial that also contained that gas-liquid vial. It’s golden color shimmered and smoked from within.

“Well, charms can be uncast, can’t they? Even if they are powerful, old magic. Right?” Asked Natasha, her hand squeezing Kristen’s more firmly.

“Tasha, you made me promise you…”

Natasha got up off the couch and kneeled on the floor between Kristen’s own. She took her wand from her and gently placed it on the table so that she could take both of Kristen’s hands in hers. They looked into each other’s eyes. The flicker of flame from the fire made the shadows dance across their faces. “Kristen, I renounce that whatever I agreed to, whatever you have done to me, or for me, even if it was for my own protection or request; and I bid that whatever magical enchantment or law that you are upheld to, to prevent me from having these memories, be lifted, forthwith.”

Kristen looked into Natasha’s eyes after she had uttered these words, she smiled.

“Why are you smiling, did I say something wrong?”

“No babes,” said Kristen, helping Natasha to her feet and back onto the couch.

Natasha was waiting for something to happen after she had said those words aloud. Perhaps a sudden rush of wind or crackle from the heavens to tell her the charm had been lifted, but nothing did. The room crackled from the embers of the fireplace, its glow the only light in the room.

Kristen looked at Natasha, whose eyes were then drawn to the first shoebox of memories. It’s papers and photos piled high in the box, but from within, the little golden vial began to shimmer and glow of its own accord. Natasha reached for it. It felt warm in her hands, like she had been holding it for ages.

“What is this?” asked Natasha, already knowing the answer.

“Those are your memories. They contain all the pieces of the puzzle you’re asking for.” Natasha nodded and then looked at the tabletop and remembered that when Kristen had returned the second time, that she had also brought with her a large, shallow pewter bowl. It was so shallow that Natasha had first thought it was a plate with more food. But somehow she knew it wasn’t. It looked far older and more important than to be a dish for serving.

Natasha looked into the second box that Kristen had brought out for them. She saw the golden vial in that box and surmised that those must be Kristen’s memories. When she asked, Kristen nodded.

“Then I want to know. I want to remember.” Said Natasha, grabbing the first bottle and holding it in her hands. She nodded with her chin at the pewter bowl, “how do I retrieve my memories?”

“Only the person whose memories are contained within can access them. I couldn’t open that vial, even with all my magical prowess.” Said Kristen.

“But I can,” whispered Natasha, more to herself then the room at large. She reached for the tiny cork and pulled. It came away easily and Kristen brought over the bowl for her. She moved back slightly on the couch, both of their knees now folded in front of them and placed the bowl between them. Natasha knew what she had to do. She upended the contents of the liquid gas and saw it fall, unnaturally into the basin, its contents shimmering and smoking, furling an unfurling like fog as it covered the bottom of the bowl.

“What happens next?” she asked, watching the contents swirl of their own accord.

Kristen reached for her wand, “Now that you have removed the charm that held that sealed the vial, I have to activate the memory. Then you will have access to it.”

“What do I do after that?” she said, biting her lower lip with worry.

“You enter the memory.” Said Kristen, tilting her head, making a diving motion. Natasha reached out and squeezed Kristen’s hand. “I want you to come inside with me, is that possible?”

Kristen squeezed back and nodded, “Yes.”

Gently, Natasha put her hands on her thighs and straightened up. Kristen sat upright also and began to wave her wand in the most complex of ways and uttered the words, “Compos Oceanus”.

The gas-liquid shimmered, its surface crackled as if little lightning storms were now occurring. Then it returned to a stillness. The surface now began to swirl like the beginnings of a tornado, though she felt no wind.

Kristen nodded at Natasha, letting her know all was ready.

“We don’t have to do this,” said Kristen softly, eyes flicking over to Natasha.

Natasha gave Kristen’s hand a tender squeeze, “No, I need to do this. I need to remember my past, our past.”

Kristen gave a watery smile.

Breathing deeply, Natasha regripped Kristen’s hand and leaned forwards into the bowl. Into her past.



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Chapter 19b: Natasha’s Forgotten Memory

Natasha felt a gentle pull from somewhere behind her navel. Then she felt the slightly unpleasant sensation that the room she was sharing with Kristen was upending itself. She felt queasy as she began to fall forward, her arms outstretched as she fell down, down, down into the swirling gas-liquid.

As she plummeted, she heard voices from her past flittering past her ears. Some whispers, some very clear. Her eyes were watering and she turned to her left to see that Kristen was falling alongside her, her face happy and eyes focused. She pointed with her wand hand ahead and Natasha noticed that what looked like just a light at the end of the tunnel, was forming and becoming clearer. It was forming a solid memory. They had arrived.

Natasha and Kristen’s feet touched solid ground. Natasha looked around: they were outside their campus dormitory. Students were coming and going through the large double doors of the building she learned to know so well. It was their first year. Sights, smells and experiences began to return to Natasha.

“What do we do?” she said to Kristen, her eyes devouring the old memories. Everything looked slightly sepia tone, slightly fuzzy at the edges, but was becoming more and more clear.

“In this world, we are only observers. Think like we are watching old home movies. But instead, these are your memories. We cannot talk to our past selves or make physical contact. There’s no Butterfly Effect where you can stop a past event to change the future, either.”

To prove her point, Kristen made to stand apart from Natasha and walk in front of a group of students who were making their way from the dormitory building to some supposed class. Instead of knocking Kristen to the ground, they turned to mist and reformed on the other side of her, as if nothing were ever in their way.

Natasha spun around, taking in the 360 degrees of her previous academic life. Even though this was a memory, all her senses were heightened as if she could smell the memory. “So, what happens next?” She asked as Kristen moved to the side.

“Because these are your memories, we are experiencing the world as captured by your subconscious. That is, everything your eyes and ears took in then, we will experience now. So, we follow…you.” Kristen pointed her chin and Natasha turned and she let out a gasp. It was Freshman Natasha! She was beaming at something as she was skip-running up to the dormitory building, trapper keeper in hand.

Kristen smiled and motioned that they were to follow.

“What happens if we just stood here and watched her go larping away?” Asked Natasha.

“Well, your subconscious would not remember anything else, so the area we are in would disappear, so we’d do best to follow you,” said Kristen, gesturing with her hand that they should catch up.

Natasha nodded as she could see the far edges of this memory disappear as Freshman Natasha moved farther ahead and away from them.

Freshman Natasha had now opened the doors and disappeared inside the building, the two women in tow. “This is weird.” Said Natasha, a slight thrill in her voice, noticing the various campus posters of upcoming events and classmates, who, freshmen then, would become some of her upperclassmen later on.

“Look, there’s Wally. I forgot he had glasses. I met him when he wore contacts in a Second Year elective class,” she said, bemused as they continued to follow Freshman Natasha.

“Three floors up, two hallways over, hang a left, short staircase and home.” Said Kristen as they took a shortcut that then-Freshman Natasha wouldn’t learn until after the Christmas break of that year.

They beat Freshman Natasha by about 2 minutes. The memory went hazy and transparent as they bent the rules of the memory, but as it came back into focus, they knew Freshman Natasha was arriving while they ‘waited’ for her outside the dormitory door. They could hear music coming from within. It was old timey Big Band; the same sort of music Natasha had heard in Kristen’s cottage.

Around the corner came a beaming Natasha, hair longer, the odd pimple and an absolute spring in her step. She reached for her lanyard and selected her dormitory key. She put the key into the lock, turned it while knocking ‘rap, tap, tappity-tap’ and flung open the door.

Inside was Freshman Kristen, also longer-haired, wearing an oversized t-shirt and baggy jeans, bobbing her head to the music over what looked like serious homework. The two women stepped inside to join their younger selves.

Kristen made to pull Natasha to one side, so they could watch the memory unfold without their younger selves unforming and reforming every time they paced around their tiny dormitory room.

“Oh my god, Krissy! You won’t believe it. I passed. I fricking passed.”

“Hmm?” said a preoccupied Freshman Kristen, her mouth slightly agape.

Freshman Natasha waived a graded exam paper in front of her, it was clinched in her first now and she made to flatten it out and slapped it on the desk where Kristen was working and further smoothed it out.

“B+, not bad!” beamed Freshman Natasha, who began rolling her arms in front of her and waggling her hips like a football player after an impressive touchdown.

Freshman Kristen laughed, “You’re a-dorkable. But congrats. I’m glad our cram session last weekend paid off.” She said, her chin resting on her hand.

“What are you working on?” asked Freshman Natasha, putting her backpack and trapper keeper down and taking her exam paper back.

“Got a term paper with my study group and nobody is pulling weight. The usual.” Sighed Freshman Kristen.

“Well, you always manage to get things done against impossible odds. It’s like magic how you pull off some of these late-night exams and loads of homework.” She said.

Present Natasha looked at Present Kristen and said, “HA!”

For, it was at this time, that Kristen was a fully graduated and qualified witch from Hogwards. She had told Natasha that, during her high school years, her family had sent her away to a boarding school, paid for her by a distant, wealthy and now-deceased uncle. They saw each other every summer and long breaks; but Kristen had kept her magical powers a secret. She had not revealed her truth to Natasha until after they had graduated college.

Present Kristen looked at Present Natasha, “Now you know how I was able to do those seemingly impossible tasks over all those years, nearly always at the last minute. Magic.”

Returning to the past, Freshman Natasha looked like she was about to duck out again and head to another class.

"Hey Krissy, dinner in the cafeteria later?”

Freshman Kristen nodded, “Maybe after 7:30? I have a late lab, so grab a snack beforehand. You always get hangry when you have to wait for me.”

Freshman Natasha stuck her tongue out at her roommate who replied in kind as Freshman Natasha smiled and closed the door. The memory began to fade.

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Present Natasha had noticed that even though they were in their first semester of school, that she was already a little heavier than she had been in high school. She had noticed that Freshman Natasha was carrying some extra weight in her middle and that the shirt material was already stretched across her chest. She mentioned this fact to Present Kristen.

“Yes, you had a more stressful class schedule that I did. And, with magic, I was able to cope better than you were. Strictly speaking, we are not allowed to perform magic in front of No-Wa-Kah’s, but I was always careful and because I was already fully qualified, the magical trace falls off you at 17. So, unless I flagrantly did magic in front of someone, I was perfectly fine using it sparingly.” Natasha nodded and Kristen continued. “Meanwhile, you stress ate and I sometimes joined you for moral support.”

Natasha nodded.

“While we could relive as many memories as you like, I can get us caught up a little bit quicker if I do this,” she said, raising her wand and saying “Progresso Momentum”.

A flurry of fast-paced memories began to unfurl before them. It was like watching sped up film, but Present Natasha watched as Present Kristen narrated.

“During our freshman year, we began to get closer. Stress was definitely getting to us both. You were always so focused with work and exercise, and when you missed a way to siphon off your academic burdens, you were a real bear.”

Some memories flashed of Freshman Natasha standing in front of her long dormitory mirror in front of her closet. She was posing, tilting and swirling, lifting and pushing skin around. She had gained the freshman 15 before the first two months of school had ended. Much of her clothing was skin-tight and she was forced to pull her clothing down anytime she moved the wrong way.

More memories flashed by showing Freshman Kristen’s physique. They showed that she had gained a few pounds, but she still held her relatively athletic physique.

Another swirling memory came into focus. This time, it looked like later in their first year. They were once again in the dormitory and it looked like just after the Christmas holidays as their room still bore signs of hung garland and a small paper Christmas tree was taped to one wall, paper ornaments adhered to it. There were raised voices coming from outside the door and it burst open. The girls were arguing.

“No, YOU f**k off.” Said Freshman Natasha, the door bouncing against her larger frame as she bulled her way through the door and over to her side of the room.

Freshman Kristen, also a little heavier joined her, her hand outstretched placatingly. “Hey, don’t yell at me because you don’t like what I have to say. It wasn’t me who broke off our exam prep study session to see that band with your other classmates. I did warn you. And I’m only trying to help. You did ask me to help you study, if you recall.”

Freshman Natasha waived an angry hand and stomped off to lay down on her bed, arms behind her head and exhaling loudly. Freshman Kristen huffed too and went to her side of the dorm room and sat at her desk and began revising for one of her own subjects. She crossed her legs tightly and was aggressively tapping her foot as she settled into her studies.

After a while, Freshman Natasha got up off her bed. She pulled down her shirt to cover her belly which had ridden up when she flopped on her bed. “Hey, Krissy. Look, I’m sorry for what I just said. You are always trying to help me out. Those kids in my class. They can be a bad influence. I forgot my priorities.”

Freshman Kristen put down her pen and spun on her chair. Her expression said she wasn’t ready to accept the apology and sat with arms folded across her chest.

“Hey, don’t be like that with me. I said I’m sorry.” Said Freshman Natasha and she stood in front of Freshman Kristen, her hands outstretched, an offering.

Freshman Kristen accepted them, and she stood up, “Still want to be my girlfriend, even though I get crazy over dumb stuff?” Said Freshman Natasha.

“Hmm, well, it’s not a trait I’d continue to hone. But I forgive you.” They hugged, Natasha’s belly making contact with Kristen’s lithe one, which gurgled.

“Did you skip lunch again? You’re always doing that when you get busy with schoolwork.” Said Freshman Natasha, holding her at arms-length.

True, Freshman Kristen did look a little gaunt in the face, “Not as much as I used to, but I wouldn’t be so thin if somebody stopped eating all our snacks in the fridge.” She eyed Freshman Natasha’s belly.

Freshman Natasha’s face blushed, she let go of Freshman Kristen and covered her belly with both hands.
Now it was Freshman Kristen’s turn to apologize, “Hey, you know I don’t mean that. Just save a snack or two for me. Besides, I love your belly and I love you.”

Present Natasha gaped as Freshman Kristen stepped closer to Freshman Natasha. She reached out with a hand and placed it on Freshman Natasha’s warm belly. She gently rubbed it in a soothing motion along and around her navel before turning her hand so that her fingers reached down. She then traced fingertips down and across to Freshman Natasha’s sex.

“See?” said Freshman Kristen as she tipped her head to the side and squeezed her hand over Freshman Natasha who moaned. They inclined their heads and Freshman Kristen began working her hand over Freshman Natasha’s sex as they kissed passionately, Freshman Kristen steering them over to her bed where they collapsed onto it, giggling as the memory faded.

++++++

Present day Natasha could not speak for an age as she took in the steamy memory, but she could now feel the ghost of a hand touching her belly, just as the hand had done in the memory…

Present Natasha turned to Present Kristen. “I remember that week. It was exam hell week and I was rebelling against a hard exam schedule. I was jealous of you and your ability to seemingly coast through it all. Not that you didn’t have your struggles, but I now am remembering that I was jealous of you.”

“Well, I couldn’t use magic for everything to make my life cake. Someone would have noticed. Also, our Magical Ministry doesn’t take kindly to putting out magical fires when we overstep our spell casting…”

Natasha nodded solemnly. Yes, that made sense. She couldn’t have expected Kristen to bail her out every time she need a term paper completed or to stop time during a difficult exam on her behalf.

Looking around, she saw other memories from different timelines flash by and around her, like vehicles passing by, or a bus with an advertisement on its side. As she saw these fragments, she began to feel like a part of her past was returning to her. Like finding an old book that you read as a child so much so that the cover fell off and the inner pages came loose – but the second you picked it up, the entire plot and cast of characters comes flooding back.

She was remembering.

As she and Present Day Kristen stood there in memory limbo, another memory came into focus. Kristen stepped closer to her and held out her hand and Natasha took it. Natasha knew this memory very well. It was the very same memory she had had on her visit to Kristen by train. She squeezed Kristen’s hand who squeezed back. The memory began to replay itself.

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