Tea & Noses

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“Make it stop!”

“Curiouser and curiouser….”

“This is NOT one of your experiments, Serg!”

“Good thing it’s cold.”

“I am so going to kill you for this, Ned!”

“Yes, or the poor dear would have scorched sinuses by now.”

“Damn it you two! Make. It. Stop!”

Lydia whimpered, said whimpering made even more nasally by the tubes protruding from her nostrils, tubes which funneled the ever-flowing, never-ceasing stream of tea into silver pitchers garnished with lemon and mint. She had filled three thus far of the caffeinated stuff since Ned had made her laugh uproariously at his comment that Serg had a “girly butt,” and now it seemed it would never stop. Ned and Serg, both dressed smartly for afternoon tea, kept watch over her at their table, replacing pitchers as they were filled, sampling and tasting the brew as if it were fine wine. Ned, looking most handsome and un-wizardly in his proper pageboy cap, white shirt and grey vest fitting snugly across his broad, muscled frame, lifted his cup almost delicately to his nose, then to his lips, savoring the liquid as if it were ambrosia. Serg, ever the mad scientist, was poking and prodding her like she was some lab rat, dapper in his bowler and pinstriped suit, gold-green eyes studying her ears most markedly with his otoscope.

Part of her suspected the two had a hand in this quandary, no matter how unintentional it might have been. This was supposed to be a pleasant, elegant tea party, but it had turned into a complete disaster for her, stared at and treated as if she were some inanimate fountain of refreshment by Ned’s awe-struck guests. For Ned, though, it was an unexpected boon, a spectacle to be talked about in magick circles for weeks. For Serg, it was a curiosity, another puzzle to be pieced together, no matter that magick was more a web than a puzzle and all the more troublesome to unravel.

“Here I am, suffering audacious humiliation amongst your closest confidants and you do nothing but vex me!” Lydia swatted away the otoscope, tears, not tea, pooling in her eyes.

“Well, the ears are clear,” Serg said, flashing his most dashing smile. “No tea coming from there.”

“I should hope not,” Ned snorted. “The wax would make it most bitter.”

“Brother, please!”

Ned looked at his foster-sister and sighed. “Oh, come, dearest, you should enjoy your celebrity! Everyone’s a-buzz about you!”

“I have tea coming from my nose, Ned!”

“They’re saying it’s the finest blend ever to grace their cups! A medley of oolong and – what was it, Serg?”

“Rooibos.”

“Yes! Roobios!”

“Ned….”

“An exquisite palette if I do say so myself.”

“NED!”

Serg jumped back as steam suddenly rose from the tubes, the pitchers now boiling and roiling angrily. Lydia was no mere middle-aged woman, no, she was a witch almost as mighty as Ned was a wizard, if untrained and untried, not to mention at the moment unchecked in her ire. Ned had adopted her after a nasty foible in which she conjured monkeys instead of monies – vicious, flying little buggers that threatened to tear apart the very fabric of the town until he was called in to put a stop to the mess. After finding she wasn’t the wicked wench the mayor made her out to be, but a good-natured woman who’s powers had been locked away since childhood, he agreed to help her reign in her gifts.

At the moment, however, the reign was quite loose and there was not a muzzle to be found that could hold her.

“Now, Rhia….” Ned put down his cup, frowning worriedly at her glowering blue eyes.

“Ummm, Ned?” Serg’s brow furrowed, itching his nose.

“…. we wouldn’t want to cause a scene in front of our lovely guests, would we?”

“Scene?” Rhia snarled. “I’ll show you a scene, Ned! SCAFFLEPOFF!”

With an audible pop, Serg’s sinuses began to seep a white, viscous liquid. “Oh, gods!”

Ned snapped his fingers, and tubes sprang forth from Serg’s nostrils, a chair appearing behind him just before he planted his girly butt to the floor. The poor man looked like he was about to cry even as he placed an empty pitcher in front of his nose.

“Rhia,” Ned tsked, “that was most uncalled for. Yet I could use a bit of cream to go with my t -”

“MALIKHAN!”

Before Ned could finish his sentence, a sudden sense of fuzziness overwhelmed him. Taking up a spoon, he eeped when he saw his reflection – a cute capuchin stared back at him, made even more adorable with the tiny suit and pageboy cap. At least she had the decency to shrink the clothes, he thought.

“Rhia.” Ned sighed, large, monkey eyes staring at her.

“Now you’ll know what it is to be a side-show, you insufferable git!”

Ned sighed, sensing the spell was irreversible. He knew it would wear off before the sun rose, however, just as hers and Serg’s would, so he shrugged his fuzzy shoulders, deciding to make the best of the situation. He motioned Serg to fill his tea cup with the steaming stuff from Rhia’s nose, as well as a spot of cream from his, and took a dainty sip.

“Mmmmm, vanilla chai….”
@2014 Spiritwind Studios

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