A lone frog hopped its way slowly over the gym floor. He was beautiful, in his way – vivid orange stripes against a mottled brown background – but judging from his posture, not overly concerned with his own looks.
“Ribbit!” he called and then stopped, head down, looking forlorn. It was useless. He might as well just go off to the swamp where he belonged.
Mrs Knightley entered the gym and looked around, puzzled.
“Did someone call me?” she asked loudly, “Anyone in here? You’re not supposed to be in here after hours, students – but detention won’t be as bad as being locked in all night! Anyone? Come on, if you’re in trouble, tell me all about it and I’ll see what I can do!”
She frowned at the answering silence, then shrugged and turned away.
Mrs Knightley turned again, and walked over to the middle of the gym area.
“Well!” she said, looking down at the vividly-striped frog, “We don’t see your sort around very often – are you an illegal immigrant, or a student?”
She sighed, crouched, and held out a hand.
“I didn’t think there was much chance of the first,” she said sadly, “Come on then, we’ll see what we can do in my office.”
Four days and fifteen potions later, a sullen teen stood in front of them, head hanging and eyes downcast.
“Turn me back,” he muttered.
“WHAT?” yelled Mrs Knightley, “Do you have any idea how much trouble you’ve caused? Do you have any idea how much effort we’ve just gone to in getting you back? Do you REALISE,” she screamed, “that your parents are going to FIRE ME??”
He shrugged, and looked at his feet.
Mrs Knightley turned bright red with rage.
“Fine. Detention until you get rid of that attitude, young man! OUT!”
He turned and shuffled out, still staring at his feet.
Mrs Knightley slammed her fist on the table, and winced in pain. The remaining people around her winced too, expecting the temper to hit them next.
She inhaled and exhaled deeply, and frowned, lost in thought.
“Mrs Knightley?” an assistant spellcaster ventured, “I’m so sorry, but I need to get home to my daughter as soon as I -”
“SO sorry,” Mrs Knightley said, coming back to the moment, “that boy worries me… oh well, you’ve all done very well, thank you so VERY much – please, stop by the kitchen for some dinner if you like, I’ve kept you so late!”
They all muttered thank-yous and goodbyes, and shuffled out as quickly as they could, narrowly avoiding getting stuck together in the doorway in their haste to escape.
“Turn me back,” she muttered, sitting down at her desk and shaking her head, “What on EARTH is going on this time? Something tells me this is more than normal hijinks…”
She sighed, and made a cup of tea. Maybe she wouldn’t mind being fired, now that she thought about it. This job had always been harder than it looked.