It was a cold frosty morning when Alexis Nightshade was busy cooking in her kitchen. Said cooking, if one could call it that, involved using magic to get the ingredients to cook itself! She was also baking spirit cakes for the winter festival. This year she wanted everything to be perfect because this was the first year her apprentice, Gwen, was qualified to participate in the rituals. The winter festival rituals included some tricky spell work and until now it had been too advanced for Gwen. She had, of course, been able to watch along with the other witchlings too young to participate, and she had been able to do other things like making the traditional floating lantern to send up to the heavens at midnight, but this year she would participate in the magic rituals. Alexis had made her a brand new festival robe. She wanted to prepare early and show Gwen she was making an effort to make this a memorable evening for her, because unfortunately she had some bad news. Actually she had two pieces of bad news. First of all, Gwen’s mother had written and declined her invitation to watch her daughter participate in the festival for the first time, and even if nobody expected anything else from Wynne, Alexis knew another rejection from her mother would hurt. The second piece of bad news was that Alexis had to go away for a few days, leaving Gwen at home. Of course, that in itself was not the upsetting part. No, the upsetting part would be that Alexis had invited Andromeda’s apprentice, Leda, to come over and keep an eye on her. Alexis shuddered, she wasn’t looking forward to telling Gwen about that!
“Mo… mo…morning,” Gwen said, yawning. She walked into the kitchen resembling a zombie in a night-dress.
“It is almost 11 o’clock, Miss. Would you like to explain why you needed to sleep in today?”
Alexis looked at her sternly, pointing her wooden spoon at her apprentice.
“No, thank you,” Gwen said smartly.
Alexis gave her a suspicious look. She was almost certain that Gwen had stayed up past her bedtime, which she knew perfectly well was not acceptable as an apprentice needed her sleep. Magic is energy, and it is important for any magician to get their rest and to eat properly. Alexis had to be strict about bedtimes because although Gwen liked to sleep, she didn’t like going to bed. Everything fun seemed to happen at night. However, a mentor must always pick her battles, and today she decided to drop it because there were other things that needed to be discussed.
“You have a letter,” she said looking seriously.
“Is it from my mother?” Gwen said, suddenly looking more awake.
Alexis nodded. She handed Gwen the letter, which had been opened.
“I have already read it, I am sure you understand why.”
Gwen nodded. She took the letter and read it quickly, before she laid it down on the kitchen table, looking disappointed.
“Are you alright, my love?”
“Yeah… I guess. I mean… I already told you I didn’t think she would come.”
“Yes, but you wanted her to. That is, after all, why you sent her the invitation.”
Gwen nodded, looking sad. A single tear drop formed and ran down her cheek. Alexis pulled her apprentice into a hug and held her close. Being 200-years-old, Alexis couldn’t always understand what it was like being 21; however, she could understand Gwen’s need for her mother’s approval and love. She had never been there for her daughter, yet Gwen still hoped that one day she would change her mind and come back to be with her.
“Don’t let her ruin the festival for you, my love. It is your favourite day of the year, and you will do great in the ritual.”
“Do you really think so?”
“I do, and I will be the proudest person there,” Alexis said softly into Gwen’s ear.
She hugged her tight one last time before she let go and pointed Gwen to the table.
“Sit down and we will have breakfast, and later we can get started on our lanterns for the festival.”
After they had breakfast, Alexis felt like it was time to tell Gwen the last of her bad news. She took the plates from the table and put them in the sink whilst Gwen was blowing on a cup of freshly brewed tea. Alexis sighed, her back still turned. She had no idea how she could break the news without Gwen getting upset.
“Alexis, what is it that you want to tell me?”
Alexis turned and smiled at her.
“It’s that obvious, is it?”
“Uh huh.” Gwen narrowed her eyes at her and took a sip of her tea.
“Well… as you can see I have been preparing for the festival a little early. Your new robes are finished, I have baked spirit cakes, and I think we’ll have a great time.”
“Stop stalling and get to the point,” Gwen said, sensing more bad news.
“Right,” Alexis said nervously.
It was odd that Alexis should be nervous to tell Gwen something, that was not a normal part of the dynamics of their relationship. Alexis was always very much in charge as she was the mentor and Gwen was the apprentice. If anything, Gwen was the one who would get nervous about telling Alexis things, but that was usually when she had to fess up to having done some naughty deed.
“I have to leave you for a couple of days,” Alexis finally said.
“Where are you going?”
“Andromeda and I have to meet with some wizards in Dragonsdale on behalf of the order; however, we will be back in time for the celebrations. Don’t worry, I will be back in good time to see you in the rituals. I just have to leave you for a few days.”
She smiled at Gwen who was confused as to why Alexis was nervous about telling her this. Being home alone would be awesome! She’d stay up late, eat ice cream for dinner, and perhaps she’d sneak a peek at Alexis’ spell book that she knew was completely off-limits!
“So I get the house all to myself?” Gwen grinned. “Wicked.”
“Actually, no you won’t. Leda is coming to stay to keep you from being wicked.”
“What?” Gwen stood up. “You cannot be serious! That is so unfair!”
“What is unfair?”
“This! You asking Leda to come and baby-sit me as if I were a child. And you know how I feel about her! She is so bloody smug all the time because she is almost a fully qualified witch and I am way behind her in my magical education.”
Gwen crossed her arms and pouted. Leda was ten years older than her, and Andromeda had informed her that she would soon be done with her training. Leda probably wouldn’t leave her mentor for years still, because she still didn’t have much experience as a witch, but she’d be free of all the rules an apprentice would have to follow.
“Alexis, you can’t do this to me. Leda is…”
“Leda has got a good head on her shoulders, Miss.”
“She’s got a big head on her shoulders,” Gwen mumbled.
She sat down looking thoroughly depressed.
“This is so embarrassing.”
“Gwen, you know I love you dearly, and I trust that you have a good heart and that you have good intentions. I do not, however, trust that you can keep yourself out of trouble if I leave you alone for days.”
“I can! I really can.” Gwen looked at her mentor with puppy-dog eyes. “I swear it, Alexis. Nothing bad would happen, I would be really good.”
Alexis put her hand on her apprentice’s shoulder.
“Leda is coming to stay here while I am gone and that is final. You will do as she says, and you will behave yourself, do you hear me?”
“Gwen…” Alexis’ voice had a tone of warning now. “I said… do you hear me?”
“Yes, yes, I hear you.”
The next morning after breakfast, Gwen and Alexis were in the living room working on their lanterns. Alexis had finished hers as it was a very simple and traditional lantern, but Gwen had decided to go for a more complicated design, hoping it would outshine Leda’s when they sent them up together. It wasn’t that Gwen hated Leda, their relationship was a complicated one. They had for as long as Gwen had lived with Alexis always had a lot to do with one another, as Andromeda had been Alexis’ closest friend since childhood. Perhaps in the future they would be good friends, but right now ten years was a big difference in age, and Gwen often felt like Leda treated her like her annoying little sister and not like an equal.
There was a knock on the door.
“I’ll get it, it’s probably them,” Alexis said as she went to open the door.
She quickly returned followed by two women. Andromeda was a tall, dark-haired woman, dressed in the usual outfit for a qualified witch. She was dressed in black; black dress, black boots, she had a black witch’s cloak and a black pointy hat. Furthermore, the woman positively oozed authority. Gwen knew from experience that Andromeda was a good person who also had a soft side, but she could appear quite severe from the outside, and that intimidated a lot of people. Heck, sometimes she intimidated Gwen too! Especially when she had done something wrong. She would never forget the time Andromeda took a switch to her backside in the forest. She had brought Leda and her to the forest to pick flowers and mushrooms for their brew, and Gwen had caused a little incident. Yes, alright, she had pushed Leda into a pond, but, in her defence, Leda had asked for it by scolding her for not separating the flowers and mushrooms in her basket. Was it her fault that Leda had OCD? No! Had Leda had her way, she would have asked her to colour-code them too. The girl had been completely unreasonable, and thus, Gwen felt that it was within reason to give her a little push. Besides, while she was sitting with her butt in the pond, she was in the perfect position to get them a good amount of duck weed.
Leda was a young red-head who only looked slightly older than Gwen. At 31, she was almost finished with her training, but Alexis always reminded Gwen that just because a person had finished training, did not mean they didn’t have anything to learn. Leda would probably still need guidance from her mentor for quite some time, but Andromeda was loosening up on the strict rules an apprentice would have to follow. If there was anything Gwen was jealous about, it was that Leda could come and go as she pleased, and that no one told her to go to bed.
Alexis prepared tea for the guests and she beckoned Gwen to come over as well.
“Gwen, come here and we’ll have a chat before we leave.”
Gwen left her lantern on the table and sat down in the sofa next to Leda who smiled at her. Gwen was sure it was mostly so the older witches would think her mature.
“Gwen…” Alexis said seriously. “I will repeat myself so we are clear on this, while I am gone, Leda is in charge. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” Gwen said unwillingly.
“As long as you behave yourself there shouldn’t be any problems. Leda is simply there in case you need an older witch’s guidance…” she raised her eyebrow “or discipline.”
Gwen felt herself blushing. This was so embarrassing.
“I’m not going to cause any trouble, Alexis.”
“Good. I hope not.”
“But if she does, I’ll be happy to set her straight,” Leda added.
Gwen scowled at her.
“Leda, remember what I told you about being a mentor,” Andromeda said. “It takes patience and understanding. You are here to not only to keep her out of trouble, but also to be a companion. Alexis does not need you to correct everything, she can do that herself when she gets home. Just make sure to look out for Gwen’s well-being, that is why you are here. You are to protect her and keep her company.”
“Yes, Andromeda. Of course, I know my place.” She put an arm around Gwen and pulled her closer. “We’ll have fun, won’t we, Gwen?”
“Sure,” Gwen mumbled, feeling annoyed. It wasn’t that she was against Leda’s physical contact, but she knew that Leda was only doing it to look good in front of Alexis and Andromeda. Gwen had a feeling this was a test for her, an opportunity to show Andromeda that she was responsible. Gwen was a little tempted to try to sabotage her.
“But… what if Gwen misbehaves?” Leda asked looking at Alexis. “I don’t mean to say that I think there will be any trouble, of course,” she added quickly. “But as the person in charge, do I have the permission to discipline her?”
Gwen moved away from Leda and scowled.
“I am not going to misbehave.”
“Gwen, I don’t mean to accuse you of anything,” Leda said, smiling at her and ruffling her hair. “I only want to make sure Alexis and I are on the same page so I don’t overstep my bounds.”
“But… I don’t need….”
“Gwen, enough,” Alexis said sharply, giving her a stern look. She turned to Leda. “I hope there is no trouble. Gwen knows the rules, and she needs to follow them even when I’m not here. Should there be any misbehavior, Leda, you do have the authority to discipline her.”
Gwen gaped at her.
“Of course, you have to take the severity of the rule breaking into consideration,” Alexis continued. “I don’t spank her for every offence.”
“No, of course not.”
“I suggest that if she starts to get out of line, you give her a smaller punishment and a warning that she needs to behave.”
“But if she does something really bad or continues bad behaviour after a warning,” Alexis said, looking at Gwen, “then I think a spanking is in order.”
Gwen cringed. She hated having to sit there while her mentor was giving Leda permission to potentially spank her! Leda wasn’t even a proper witch yet! Yes, it was only a matter of time before Andromeda would send out invitations for her end-of-training party, but she was still, technically, an apprentice.
“Aleeexis… please don’t let her… it’s not fair.”
“Gwen, as long as you behave yourself, it won’t even be necessary. This is all up to you, you know. All you have to do is stay out of trouble.”
“I know,” Gwen said, pouting. “But… trouble… ya know… it sometimes happens. AND she doesn’t know how to spank someone,” she reasoned. “How can you trust that she won’t beat the crap out of me?”
“We have talked about this at home,” Andromeda said. “Leda knows, of course, that she is not allowed to bruise you, Gwen. She will not abuse her power, she will not be too severe.”
“Of course not,” Leda said. “Andromeda has explained. I know how it is done.” She looked quite happy with herself. And for a second, while looking at Gwen, she smirked!
Catching Leda in the moment, Andromeda added to Gwen’s amusements and to Leda’s horror, “You should know how it is done, you have been on the receiving end enough times, young lady.”
After their embarrassing chat, the four witches talked about the festival as they finished their tea. Then Alexis and Andromeda got up and put on their traveling cloaks, and Gwen and Leda followed their mentors outside to see them off. The two older witches hugged their apprentices goodbye and reminded them to behave before they mounted their brooms and left for Dragonsdale. Leda put her arm around Gwen as they went back inside.
“Let’s try to get along, okay, Gwen?”
“Yeah, okay,” Gwen agreed.
“Come on, I’ll help you finish your lantern, and then we can make the brew Alexis wants you to practise.”
Gwen really did want to get along with Leda, and she usually did, except sometimes things got out of hand when Leda was being bossy and Gwen felt like she was being patronising. However, it seemed that Leda was really making an effort to get along with Gwen. Leda felt like this was a test, a test to see how she would manage being responsible for an apprentice. If things didn’t go well it would reflect badly on her, if things didn’t go well, Andromeda might not feel that Leda was ready to finish her apprenticeship.
That first day went rather well, or it didn’t go too badly. They didn’t argue, much. There was a little disagreement when Gwen wanted to skip brewing the healing potion Alexis had asked her to practice and brew a camouflage potion instead. It allowed the drinker to blend in with the environment around herself, just like a chameleon, and Gwen thought it would be much more fun to brew, but Leda reminded her that Alexis had given them a list of work Gwen was to do while she was gone, and that did not include brewing a camouflage potion. She compromised by offering Gwen a later bedtime if she swore never to tell their mentors, and Gwen managed to negotiate in some ice cream and spirit cakes.
The next morning Leda woke up on the sofa and took in the mess around her. Her head was pounding. How did this happen? Yes, she had joined Gwen in some fun. They had ice cream, spirit cakes, and they played Water Bubble Explosion, which was a game Gwen had made up where they each wrapped water in a cocoon of magic, and then tried to protect their own bubble while exploding their opponent’s. Then she remembered that Gwen opened one Alexis’ bottles of elderflower wine, and she had decided to join her so Gwen wouldn’t drink too much. This could not be said to be a good first day! She looked at the time, it was almost noon, and they had barely started Gwen’s list. Leda felt a pang of guilt, Andromeda was counting on her to do a good job, but she had been so worried that Gwen would refuse to listen to her that she had given her way too much leeway. She should never have let the brat open a bottle of wine to begin with! And the spirit cakes? Those were for the festival. She got up and ran into the kitchen and looked in the box where Alexis kept the little cakes.
“Crap,” she mumbled to herself as she noticed how many were missing. Alexis would not be happy if she came home and saw this!
She went upstairs to wake up Gwen. She found her, fully dressed and fast asleep, in her bed, her bedsheets filled with crumbles and a half-eaten spirit cake in her hand.
Not being able to take the mess, Leda took the spirit cake from Gwen’s hand, and did a cleaning spell on the sheets.
“Hmgh… wha…?” Gwen mumbled, keeping her eyes shut. There was a little drool at the corner of her open mouth.
“Gwen, get up, it’s past noon.”
“Okay… I’m coming,” Gwen said tiredly before she went back to sleep.
“Gwen!” Leda shook the younger girl. “Gwendolyn, come on! You have work to do. I have work to do! I have to bake more spirit cakes, so Alexis won’t notice I let you eat them all.”
She shook Gwen again, and the brat opened her eyes, looking groggy.
“Leda… my head hurts,” Gwen complained, “and my tummy… I don’t feel so good.”
“Well, you shouldn’t have taken Alexis’ wine, and you shouldn’t have eaten all those spirit cakes.”
“You had some too,” Gwen said, weakly.
“Yeah… well… I shouldn’t have. Now, come on, get up.”
Gwen got up slowly, and she crawled out of bed with what looked like great effort. When she stood up, her eyes crossed with dizziness and she put her hands over her stomach. The little witch ran towards the bathroom, and Leda could hear her vomiting into the toilet.
“Great…” Leda said to herself, sighing. “Just great.”
When Gwen came out again, she helped her back into bed. Then she put a glass of water next to her.
“Okay, brat, you stay in bed, and I’ll brew you a healing potion. That should do the trick.”
This was not her day.
Leda made Gwen a potion that would settle her stomach and keep her from getting dehydrated. She almost had to force it down the brat’s throat.
“I’m not drinking that, it’s smells worse than the stuff that came out of my tummy!”
“You will drink it, young lady, or I will put you across my knee!”
“You wouldn’t!” Gwen said, eyes wide.
“Want to bet? I ought to spank you for taking advantage of my kindness last night!”
“If you do, you’ll have to explain to Andromeda why you joined in,” Gwen said, grinning mischievously.
Leda scowled at her. That evil brat! She probably planned this, so she could take her down with her if Leda told on her. She took a deep breath, controlling her temper, reminding herself that she was supposed to be the responsible one.
“Please, drink it, Gwen. It will make you feel better. Don’t you want that?”
Once she got the brat to drink it, she tucked her in, knowing the potion would make her sleepy, and turned off the light. Then she went back downstairs, used a cleaning spell on the living room, before she went to the kitchen and started baking spirit cakes for the festival. Once cooled down she put them in Alexis’ box, sealing it with a protective spell she knew Gwen wouldn’t be able to break.
It was late afternoon when Gwen came down to the kitchen. She felt much better after Leda had given her a potion. Leda sat in a comfy chair reading a book she had brought with her from home. She looked up.
“Are you hungry?”
Gwen nodded, she was starving.
She followed Leda into the kitchen and Leda took a plate of food out of the stove where she had kept it warm for her. Gwen sat down by the kitchen table and started eating.
“Gwen, after you have eaten you must do your work,” Leda reminded her.
“I will,” Gwen said, as she took a sip of water.
“I mean it, Gwen. We’re behind schedule. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to explain to Alexis that you didn’t get anything done while she was gone.”
“Leda, I said I would work,” Gwen said, rolling her eyes.
“I will look bad if you don’t. Yesterday’s potion wasn’t good enough, you’ll have to do it again.”
“Leda…” Gwen looked at her again. “Chill. I will work, okay?”
And so after dinner, Gwen set up her cauldron over a fire in the kitchen, promising Leda she had nothing to worry about and that she could continue with her studies. After all, Leda was also an apprentice, she also had stuff to do, and Gwen could follow a simple recipe without anyone keeping an eye on her. No problem, everything would be fine. Super fine.
“Would you care to explain this?”
Leda took in a deep breath and counted to ten.
“Can you explain to me why you’re blending in with the colours of this room like a bloody chameleon?”
Gwen smiled at her sweetly and batted her eyelashes.
“Don’t worry, Leda, it’ll wear off after an hour.”
“That’s not what I meant, Gwen, and you know it,” Leda shouted at the younger witch. “You promised you would work, and by work I mean what Alexis wants you to do.”
“Yeah… well… Okay, I got a bit distracted, but I’ll do that potion now, okay.” Gwen said, putting away a tiny glass bottle with an orange liquid inside, which could only be the camouflage potion she had just made.
Leda had had enough.
“No, you sit down right there,” she said, pointing at the table. “And you will write five-hundred times, I will stop fooling around and do what I am told.”
“No, Gwen, I am sick and tired of this nonsense. Our mentors will be back tomorrow evening and you haven’t finished anything on your list. You will take this punishment, and then you will stop messing about and do what you are told. Take this a warning. Anymore funny business and I will have to spank you. Do you hear me?”
“Okay, okay,” Gwen said. “I’m sorry, Leda.” She looked down at her feet.
Leda waved her hand over the table and parchment, a feather quill and an ink-pot appeared. She gave Gwen a gentle push towards the table.
“Go on. Five-hundred times, I will stop fooling around and do what I am told.”
Later that evening, Gwen sat in Alexis’ study reading a book about transfiguration when she head the doorbell. She knew Leda would get it, but she was curious as to who would come to her house this late. She silently walked towards the living room, but stopped just outside the door that was slightly open, peeking through the crack.
She heard Leda laughing as she came back into the living room with a tall man. It was Lucas Storm, the handsomest wizard in the village, and Leda’s boyfriend. Oh yuck! No wonder she had asked Gwen to go to the study, she was going to have a romantic date, in HER living room. Gwen had never understood why so many women went weak at the knees for the village wizards. Sure, Lucas was a decent guy and she really liked him, but she didn’t feel anything else. She would never get married!
“So… where is the little troublemaker?” Lucas asked kissing Leda’s neck.
Gwen felt like gagging.
“I sent her to work in Alexis’ study. She should be busy until bedtime, or I have promised her dire punishment.”
“I like it when you’re being all strict,” Lucas said, pulling his girlfriend closer.
Gwen rolled her eyes. She couldn’t look, she shouldn’t even be listening. Actually, studying should be so much more interesting than spying on Leda and her boyfriend.
“What’s this?” she heard Lucas ask.
“Oh that’s Gwen’s lines. I had to punish her.”
She could hear Lucas laughing out loud.
“What is it?” Leda said.
“You mean you haven’t noticed?”
“The little hooligan has used a spell to copy the same line over and over,” Lucas said laughing.
“What?!” Gwen could hear the rage in Leda’s voice.
“Fuck,” Gwen said, forgetting she was just outside the door.
She realised her mistake and turned around to run away, not to the study because Leda would find her there, but she had to hide! However, her feet wouldn’t move. Blast it! Leda had heard her and put a spell on her, and Gwen wasn’t powerful enough to break her spell. It just wasn’t fair! Using her magic when she knew Gwen’s powers were too weak was cheating.
Gwen swallowed nervously as she saw Leda’s figure approaching the door, and then open it. If a look could kill.
“Are you spying on us?”
“What? No! I was just curious about who would visit us at this hour, it’s almost nine.”
Leda grabbed Gwen by the upper arm. Her grip was tight and she had no problem dragging the younger witch with her. She was taller than her, and she had a decade of magical experience on her, which meant that Gwen was no match. She knew she could not get away, even if she tried.
Leda dragged her over to the table where Gwen’s lines were. She let go of her arm, to pick up the parchment, but Gwen knew she was ready to catch her should she try to escape. You can’t really run away from a witch, not unless you have powers to equal hers.
“He’s right,” Leda said, in a dangerously low tone. “You haven’t written five-hundred lines, this is just the same line copied over and over. Why didn’t I think to check?”
“Well, you probably haven’t tried doing the same,” Lucas said, putting his hand on her shoulder. “I’ve done it plenty of times, until my master realised what I was doing. He made me do it over again, and I could not do that sitting down!”
He looked at Gwen and winked at her.
“Would you try this with Alexis?”
Gwen gave him an are-you-crazy look.
“No! Of course not. She’s not stupid.”
“Oh, but I am?” Leda said, her face looking red.
“No, that’s not what I meant,” Gwen said quickly, realising she was skating on thin ice. “I just meant that Alexis knows me very well and so she would notice.”
There was a long pause.
“So… emh… you guys probably want to be alone,” Gwen finally said, breaking the silence. “I’ll just go study.”
“Oh no, you won’t,” Leda said, grabbing her arm again. She turned to Lucas.
“Will you excuse me for a while? I have to deal with this.”
“Sure, baby,” she said, kissing her on her forehead. “Take your time. I’ll make myself a drink.”
“But…” Gwen tried, but Leda would have none of it and dragged her with her upstairs.
Once inside Gwen’s bedroom, Leda finally let go of her arm.
“Put on your nightgown and get ready for bed,” she said sternly.
“But it’s only nine o’clock!”
“And you are going to bed early, Missy. With a sore bottom!”
Gwen gaped at her.
“Leda, you can’t be serious.”
“Oh, I am very serious, Gwendolyn. You have been pushing boundaries since Alexis and Andromeda left, and I have had it. Take off your clothes, put on your nightgown, and brush your teeth. You have three minutes or I will get Alexis’ paddle brush and use that to spank you with.”
Gwen didn’t need telling twice. That brush hurt! Realising that Leda meant business, all she could do now was hurry and get ready. She grabbed her pink nightgown and went into the bathroom and got ready.
“You’ve had four minutes now, young lady, do I need to get the brush?” Leda yelled from the bedroom.
“No! I’m coming!” Gwen hurried out of the bathroom. She still had a little toothpaste at the corner of her mouth. Leda removed it with her finger.
She sat down on the side of the bed.
“Right, young lady,” she said, beckoning Gwen with her finger, “over you get.”
Pouting, Gwen did as she was told. Living with Alexis, she was used to getting spanked by now, but this was Leda, it was embarrassing. She could feel her face blush as she was lying over Leda’s lap.
“Right…” Leda repeated.
Gwen could tell she was nervous.
“Leda, if you are uncomfortable, we don’t have to do this,” she said.
“Nice try, brat,” Leda said, as she pulled up her nightgown. “This is happening.”
She pulled down Gwen’s underwear and went straight to business, spanking her bare bottom. It did sting a little, but it was nothing Gwen couldn’t take. The worst part about it was that it was embarrassing, but Gwen knew that she was getting off easy. Alexis spanked harder than this. Gwen could tell that Leda’s heart wasn’t really in it, she lacked confidence in herself.
She made sure to squirm and let out the occasional “Owwww… ouch, I’m sorry.”
When Leda finally stopped, she could feel a sting in her bottom, but she didn’t think the colour would be as red as if Alexis had given her a spanking. Many a times Gwen had gone to bed with a bright red bottom, and that hurt a lot more than her bottom did now.
“Have you learned you lesson?” Leda asked her, rubbing her gently.
“Yes,” Gwen said, sounding very chastised. “I’m really sorry. I’ll be good tomorrow, I promise.”
“Okay, then tomorrow we start anew.”
Leda pulled up her underwear and helped the brat up. Then she pointed at the bed, motioning for Gwen to get in it. Gwen did try to get out of having to go to bed early, but Leda was adamant. When the brat was tucked in, she turned off the light and went downstairs to spend time with her boyfriend, hoping Gwen would stay put so they could be alone.
Gwen had promised to be good, and she had intended to keep that promise. The only problem was that, because the first days hadn’t gone to plan, and because Gwen hadn’t even done half of the things she was supposed to do, Leda was being extremely strict. Gwen was used to being forgiven after she had been punished, but with Leda it felt like she didn’t have a clean slate, and now Leda suddenly expected perfection. It wasn’t really about behaviour, because Gwen made an effort as promised, the problem was that Leda expected her work to be perfect. This was a problem, because Gwen could only do her best. If Gwen had been perfect, she wouldn’t have needed a mentor. Alexis would never punish her for making an honest mistake, but Leda was suddenly on edge about how far they were behind schedule.
“Gwen, that’s the third time you’ve got this potion wrong! Stop messing around.”
Leda waved her hand and Gwen’s cauldron flew to the sink and poured the ruined potion down the drain.
“I’m not messing around!” Gwen said angrily. “It’s a difficult potion to make.”
“You’re not taking it seriously,” Leda said, replacing the cauldron. “Make it again.”
“I am taking it seriously,” Gwen replied, scowling. “And I am not making that again.”
“You will,” Leda said with a dangerous tone.
“I won’t,” Gwen shot back. “I have to practice my ritual spells for the winter festival.”
“You think you can be in the rituals when you can’t even make a simple potion?”
“I will be in the rituals. Alexis already made me a new robe for the festival.”
“Sure she won’t change her mind once she sees how useless you are?”
“If you can’t do a simple potion, you can’t possibly have the magic required for the rituals.”
“I do have magic. I’m going to be in the rituals!”
Gwen was fuming. How dare she?
“Sure you won’t make a fool out of yourself?” Leda said, mocking her.
“I won’t! I can do this, I am ready.”
“Please, you’re so bad at magic your own mother doesn’t even want to come. She’s probably afraid you’ll make an ass out of yourself.”
That did it. If there had been any hope for the two of them two get some real work done before their mentors came back, Leda dragging Gwen’s mother into the argument ruined it all. It was a very sensitive topic for the younger woman.
“I’ll make an ass out of you!”
Gwen closed her eyes and muttered a spell to herself, focusing her rage on Leda. Then everything was quiet for a while, until…
Leda was a donkey.
Gwen bit her lip as she opened her eyes. This was not one of her better ideas. She had just been so angry and she wanted to teach Leda a lesson. She hadn’t stopped to think that she knew nothing of animal transfiguration. She didn’t really know how to transform humans to animals, even if that is what she had just done, and she certainly had no idea how to turn them back!
“Leda, I am so sorry,” Gwen said horrified at what she had done.
“We’ll fix this!”
Gwen wasn’t sure how this kind of transfiguration affected the mind. Was Leda still herself in a different form? Or did she have the brain of a donkey? Would she able to get herself out of this situation? Why had she never asked Alexis questions about animal transfiguration???
Gwen took a deep breath, calming herself down.
“Leda, I don’t suppose you know a spell to turn humans back from animal form? Can you transform yourself back?”
Any hope she had for an easy fix to this problem was crushed with a loud, “Hee-haw!”
“I am so dead.”
Gwen went through all the books she had access to, trying to find out how to fix Leda, but she knew that the books that were probably the most helpful, were also the books she was not allowed to touch. She had tried to take a sneak peak at one of Alexis’ spell books the night before, only to find out that Alexis had put protective spells on her books, to keep Gwen from accessing them. How very irresponsible of her! This was an emergency. How was Gwen supposed to help Leda back into human form if she didn’t have the books with that kind of information?
A mentor would probably say something like, “By confessing to your wrongdoings and asking a qualified witch for help,” as if that was going to happen. The idea of Gwen willingly going to Alexis and Andromeda and tell them that she had turned Leda into a donkey was laughable. That was not going to happen. No, Gwen would have to come up with some other fix, and in the meantime, the donkey would have to stay in the back yard.
The dreaded return of the mentors came a lot sooner than Gwen had anticipated. Trust time to speed up when you need more of it! Alexis came in the door and found her apprentice sitting on the living room floor, going frantically through the pages of a book.
“We’re back,” she said, smiling.
“Already?” Gwen said, looking up from her book.
“I missed you too,” her mentor said raising an eye-brow.
Gwen got up and hugged her mentor tightly. Alexis, a little surprised, hugged her back.
“I wasn’t gone that long, was I?”
“Please don’t leave me again.”
“Oh, it can’t have been that bad,” Alexis said, chuckling.
You have no idea, Gwen thought, still holding on to Alexis.
“Where is Leda?” Andromeda came into the living room, looking around for her apprentice.
Gwen’s tummy suddenly felt like there was a thousand butterflies fluttering around in there, and not in a good way.
“She… she went for a walk,” she said quickly.
“A walk? Now, at this hour?”
Andromeda looked disapproving.
“Yeah, she went with Lucas. I told her it wasn’t a good time and that you’d be back soon, but you know how lovers are,” Gwen said, lying through her teeth. She felt a little proud of how quickly she came up with her story.
“With Lucas you say?” Alexis asked, exchanging a look with Andromeda.
“Yes, with Lucas,” Gwen said, nodding. Then she decided that this was all Leda’s fault anyway, so she could get into trouble. “He was here last night too, but I’m not sure when he left because Leda sent me to bed early. Probably so I’d be out of their way.”
“Really? Andromeda said, raising her eye-brow at Gwen. “Then why, Gwendolyn, did we just meet Lucas without Leda?”
Gwen felt a chill down her spine.
“We came back with Lucas’ mentor and stopped to have a cup of coffee with the two of them. So why, Gwendolyn, would he say that he hadn’t seen Leda since last night? If they are supposed to be out walking, that is.”
“Eh…” Gwen was lost for words. What now?
“We also know about the lines you did not write,” Alexis added.
“Well… you see…” Gwen’s mind was racing. Was it possible to get out of this without punishment? What if Alexis decided to ban her from participating in the winter festival? What if they couldn’t fix Leda? What the hell had she gotten herself into?
“What was that sound?”
“Eh… I think it’s… I saw something in the neighbours yard a while ago,” Gwen said, still lying through her teeth, unable to accept that she had sunken so deep that there was no way she could avoid serious trouble.
Gwen coughed loudly.
“I will summon, Leda,” Andromeda said.
“No!” Gwen said quickly. “I mean… she… she said not to disturb her.”
“Did she now?” Alexis said, suspiciously.
“Uh huh.” Gwen smiled. “I think I got on her nerves. I’m really sorry about that. And I’m sorry I said she was with Lucas, I just… well I thought that sounded better than Leda needing time away from me! She needed a break, and she said not to disturb her so…”
“I am her mentor,” Andromeda said. “She might be a qualified witch now, but she still has to come when I summon her.”
“But… you can’t…”
“Gwendolyn,” Alexis said sharply. “Why don’t you want us to summon, Leda?”
“Because…” mumbled Gwen.
“Again, please?” Alexis said raising her voice.
Gwen took in a deep breath. It was time to face the music. She had no idea how to fix this, so she might as well get help from two experienced witches, even if they would kill her afterwards.
“Because I turned her into a donkey.” She looked down, looking guilty.
There was a long silence as Gwen looked nervously at the two older witches. She felt her legs twitching as if to tell her to run! Andromeda just stood there, mouth open. Gwen couldn’t really blame her. She had, after all, turned her perfect, bloody goody-two-shoes apprentice into an ass.
“Gwen…” Alexis took a deep breath. “How could you?” Her voice sounded constraint, as if she was trying very hard not to scream at her.
“Because… because…” Gwen felt defensive. “Because Leda was being mean to me!”
“Mean to you? She was being mean?” Alexis said looking incredulous.
“I don’t believe that,” Andromeda said, joining in. “Leda would never be mean, especially not to a young witchling in her care. She took this responsibility seriously.”
“Well of course the two of you would take her side! You always do!” Gwen said stomping her foot, which probably wouldn’t help her case. “This is exactly why I didn’t want to tell you, because I knew you’d never believe me over perfect miss Leda who does everything right. Well… she was being an ass so I turned her into one!”
She turned on her heels and headed for the stairs to her bedroom. She only got a couple of steps before she felt her body freeze. Alexis had used magic to stop her.
Gwen rolled her eyes. Did she have a choice? Her foot was glued to the floor! So typical of a mentor to cheat!
“Explain what happened, please,” Alexis directed as she sat down in her comfy chair. “Make no mistake, nothing excuses transforming another witch into an animal, unless you were attacked, but I will, however, listen to what you have to say.”
Andromeda also sat down, giving Gwen her full attention.
Gwen walked slowly back to the two mentors and sat down on the sofa. She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself.
“Well… we didn’t have a perfect start. As Lucas probably told you, I got in some trouble last night…”
The two older witches nodded, but they didn’t say anything.
“I promised Leda that I would be good today, and I was. I did what she told me, except she wasn’t happy. She was still upset about me being far behind, and she hadn’t really forgiven me for the first two days even if she had punished me for that. She expected my potion to be perfect, but it was too hard for me to master. She kept complaining and then we argued because she wanted me to do it again, but I said I wanted to practice for the festival.
“Leda said that if I couldn’t do a simple potion, then I wasn’t ready for the rituals. She laughed at me. She said…” Gwen paused for a moment, feeling sad. “She said that my mother was probably not coming because she knew I’d make an ass out of myself.”
“So… well… I told her I’d make an ass out of her, and I turned her into a donkey,” Gwen said, finishing her story. She looked down at her hands, trying not to cry.
“Gwen…” Alexis said, a little softer.
“I never told her about inviting my mother, Alexis, or the letter I got back. Did you?”
“No, that was our secret.”
“Precisely! So how then would Leda know that my mother didn’t want to come and see me in the rituals?” Gwen’s eyes stung with unshed tears.
She knew she was in trouble, and she was terrified that Alexis would ban her from attending the festival, but Leda had read Gwen’s letter, it was the only explanation. It made her angry and ashamed at the same time. She didn’t want Leda to know about her mother, but Leda had found out that she wasn’t coming to see Gwen in the rituals, and she had used that against her. It hurt.
“Gwen, I think you should go to your room now. I need to have a little chat with Andromeda alone, and then we’ll… well, we will turn Leda back.”
Gwen was lying on her bed when Alexis finally came to her bedroom.
“Did you turn her back? Gwen said, sitting up.
“Oh, yes, that was no trouble,” Alexis said, sitting down next to Gwen on the bed. “They just left.”
“So I didn’t hurt her?”
“Only her dignity.”
“I’m really sorry, Alexis. I shouldn’t have cast a spell I didn’t know anything about.”
“No, you shouldn’t, young lady. That was very irresponsible, and dangerous.”
“I know,” Gwen said, looking sad. “I just got so angry at her. You know she read my mother’s letter.”
“Yes, I know, and I believe Andromeda is going to have a long chat with her about that. Maybe asking Leda to look after you was a mistake.”
“Does that mean Andromeda won’t let her finish her training yet?” Gwen asked, feeling a little sorry for Leda.
“No, of course not,” Alexis replied. “I’ve told you, after your apprenticeship there is still much to learn, but that will come over time with experience. She will get better, but I think that letting her practice mentoring on you was a bit unkind to her, you’re not the easiest apprentice, you know.”
“I know, but that is why you’re my mentor, because you are more than up to the challenge.”
“Flatterer,” Alexis said, shaking her head.
“You’re still in trouble.”
Gwen frowned. She knew, of course, that Alexis would never let her get away with it, but it was a nice fantasy.
“I know I’m in a lot of trouble…” she started.
“A LOT of trouble,” Alexis pointed out.
“Yes,” mumbled Gwen. “But… You’re not…” she hesitated, fearing the worst. “You’re not going to ban me from participating in the festival, are you?”
Alexis’ heart melted at the worried look in her apprentices’ eyes.
“No, hon. I know how important participating in the festival is to you, and I did not spend all that time making you a new robe for you not to wear it! I didn’t do anything wrong, I deserve to see my girl in the rituals tomorrow night.”
“Good,” Gwen said, feeling relieved.
“But you are most definitely getting punished!” Alexis said, looking stern.
“That’s right, my girl. So you can go and get my hairbrush tonight, because you have more than earned a proper spanking.”
Gwen came back into her bedroom holding Alexis’ wooden paddle brush. It was quite heavy, made with dark wood, and the surface was smooth. Gwen would have thought it quite beautiful if it wasn’t for the fact that she knew how much it stung when aimed at a backside!
She had changed into her nightgown and was all ready for bed. She walked over to Alexis who sat on a straight-backed chair in the middle of the room, waiting for her. Gwen handed her the hairbrush. It was weird that even though Leda had not really spanked her that hard the night before, the anticipated punishment from Alexis felt more right, evne if she knew that it would hurt more. It was probably because she was Gwen’s mentor, and they had a bond that Leda and Gwen didn’t have, she also knew that this time she really did deserve to be punished.
“Gwen, would you please tell me why you’re being punished?” Alexis said, holding Gwen’s hand in hers.
“Because I turned Leda into a donkey,” Gwen said, feeling ashamed.
“And why did you do that?”
“Because I was mad at her.”
“And that was wrong because?”
“Because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I wasn’t able to undo the spell. It could have gone wrong, and I could have hurt her.”
“Right. And we don’t just turn people into animals just because we’re mad at them, do we?”
“No,” Gwen said quietly.
“But she hurt your feelings, didn’t she?”
“But can you understand why Leda was frustrated with you today?”
“Because… she wanted me to work and I tried to the things I wanted to do. I think she wanted to prove that she could handle everything, but she couldn’t. Probably because I was being a brat, and she didn’t really know what she was doing.”
“So you took advantage of her inexperience?”
“Yeah… I guess,” Gwen said. She kind of felt like she was digging her own grave. That was the problem with having these pre-spanking chats with Alexis, because that was always when she realised what a brat she had been. Why did she always have to realise these things too late?
“Well, I think we can both agree that you have earned this spanking, can’t we?” Alexis said, patting her lap and tugging Gwen’s arm.
“Yeah…” Gwen started, “But.. you know, maybe seeing as I have already seen the error of my ways, a spanking is not necessary.”
“Oh, no, my dear, ” Alexis said pulling Gwen over her lap. “You are not getting out of this. The next time you feel like turning another person into an animal, I want you to remember what you bottom will feel like once I find out about it. Then maybe you will think twice!”
Alexis rubbed her hand over Gwen’s clothed bottom. She usually started a longer spanking on a clothed bottom for a warm up, but Gwen knew that she would eventually feel both Alexis’ hand and hairbrush on her bare bottom.
Alexis raised her arm and brought down her hand, sharply. Gwen winced.
“Animal transfiguration is nothing to play with, Gwendolyn,” she said sternly. “It can be very dangerous. You will not try that again without me there or without my permission, do you hear me?”
She smacked her bottom again.
“Ow… yes. I won’t.”
“And you will never transform another person just because you’re mad at them.”
“No, I won’t.”
Alexis started spanking her for real now, raining down smacks on Gwen’s backside. It hurt, but Gwen knew that it was only the beginning, and Alexis hadn’t even removed her nightgown or underwear yet. Her mentor was never brutal, and she never punished her for no reason, but she could deliver a proper spanking that would leave a girl sore and sorry. Tonight was no exception. Gwen would, indeed, be going to bed with a red, sore bottom.
After a while Alexis stopped spanking long enough for her to lift Gwen’s nightgown and push it up to the small of her back. She also put her thumbs in the waistband of her white, cotton panties and pulled them down to her knees. She then continued slapping Gwen’s bare bottom with her hand, making sure to cover the entire surface, building a nice, healthy, dark pink glow, which contrasted nicely with her milky white skin.
Gwen was trying to lay still, but she could not help but squirm once Alexis was spanking her bare bottom. Her bottom was smarting pretty badly already, and she knew that it would only get worse once Alexis started using her hairbrush. Each swat made her whimper, but she had so far managed not to cry; however, it was only a matter of time. She always ended up crying when receiving a severe punishment, but it was more because of how emotional she got rather than because of the pain. Though it did hurt.
Alexis stopped the spanking and let Gwen have a break as she rubbed the younger woman’s reddened bottom.
“Am I getting through to you, little witchling?”
“Yeah,” Gwen mumbled quietly.
“We won’t be having this conversation again?”
“No,” Gwen said, her voice cracking. Now the tears started coming. “I promise I won’t transfigure anyone ever again.”
“I hope so,” Alexis said, picking up the hairbrush she had left on the floor next to the chair. “It unacceptable behaviour. It is bad form! And you could get into a lot of trouble with the law.”
Gwen had never thought about it that way.
“Why do you think witches need a mentor? Why do you think we mentors have to be so firm?”
“I… I’m not sure…” Gwen said, sniffing. She rubbed tears from her eyes.
“Because magic is dangerous, Gwen. Because witches and wizards need to know how to use magic properly, how to use it safely, and most importantly, how not to use it. Not everyone can do magic, how do we protect those who can’t from those who can? And how do we protect those with power from themselves?”
Gwen thought about that for a second.
“By giving them proper training?”
“That’s right. That is the kind of responsibility I have. I need to make sure you don’t abuse your power and use on other people, but I also need to protect you from yourself. You could really hurt yourself if you don’t listen to me, Gwen, and I can’t let that happen.”
“I’m sorry, Alexis. I’ll never turn someone into a donkey again. I promise.”
“Good. Let’s hope so.” Alexis rested the cold back of her hairbrush against Gwen’s warm red bottom. “One last reminder, Missy. I might not have banned you from participating in the rituals, but you will definitely feel this when you ride your broomstick tomorrow!”
Then she started paddling Gwen’s backside with her hairbrush, and Gwen could not help but squirm as the unforgiving wood landed on her already reddened skin. It hurt! But Alexis kept landing swats to her backside until she felt her apprentice had been thoroughly punished for such a serious offence. Trying to transfigure another person when she had no idea how transfiguration worked had been extremely dangerous. She could have seriously hurt Leda in the attempt, and it was important that Gwen would learn that lesson and never try anything like it again.
Once the spanking was over, Alexis let the now sobbing girl calm down over her knee as she gently rubbed her red cheeks. She then helped the chastised girl up and pulled her into a warm hug. Together they walked over to Gwen’s bed, and, sensing that she needed her, Alexis got into the bed with the girl holding her close as she cried softly. Gwen, who always got really tired after a spanking, closed her eyes.
“Alexis,” she said quietly.
“Hmm? What is it, my love?”
“I don’t need her to come and see me at the festival tomorrow. She probably would have ruined everything anyway. As long as you will be there, I’m happy.”
“I will always be there, hon.”
“Even when I’m a hundred?”
The night of the festival they met up with Leda and Andromeda before entering the forest. They entered with other witches and wizards, walking along a path lit up with floating globes that looked like glowing water drops. Alexis and Andromeda walked in the front, Gwen was feeling nervous about the ritual, so she was walking a little slower, as if that would help. Leda walked a little nearer Gwen and put her arm through hers. Gwen let her, knowing that Leda was trying to reconcile.
“You’ll do fine. I believe in you,” Leda said, supportively.
“Gwen, I’m really sorry for what I said about your mother not wanting to come. It was cruel, and I didn’t mean it. I should never have read your letter to begin with, I was just being too nosy for my own good!”
She really did sound sorry.
“Thanks,” Gwen said, giving her a smile. “I’m sorry for turning you into a donkey.”
“Yeah… about that…” Leda said sounding irritated. “Let’s never tell anyone about that, okay? It was embarrassing, I’d like to forget all about it.”
“Are you sure? Because you know, maybe in the future when we’re like a hundred or something, it’ll be one of those stories we can look back on and laugh about.”
Leda raised an eyebrow.
“No… let’s forget it happened. Promise you won’t tell anyone.”
“Oh, alright. I promise,” she said, crossing her fingers behind her back.
“Boy did I get in trouble though,” she said, remembering last nights spanking.
“Yeah, me too. Turns out, I’m not too old for a spanking after all. Andromeda said it doesn’t matter if my training is over because she is still my mentor, and as long as she is alive and breathing, she’ll take me to task if I need it.”
“Well, I never doubted that for a second,” Gwen said smirking. “I told you not to get to big for your breaches just because you’re nearly finished with your apprenticeship.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Leda sighed. “I guess I should have had a little more humility.”
Gwen nodded, glad Leda was finally seeing sense.
“Well, I learned one thing from this,” Leda said, stopping and looking down at Gwen.
“I am never getting an apprentice! It is too much trouble!”
“Yeah, me neither,” Gwen agreed.