The Winning Coven
"Every Halloween night, the chosen witches' coven meets up, and attempts to connect with the ancient ancestors of the witching families, and gets to make one wish, a thoughtful and wise one, that will affect the entire witching generations past them. But do be warned, for if you make a cruel, selfish one, it will affect not just the other witches, but the witches of the coven too."
They heard, as their potions teacher, Ms. Moon, read the following guidelines. The coven was chosen for which 4 students will be challenged to work together. The witching emerald will pair all students by groups, and whoever finishes the 3 tasks will be the chosen coven who will meet up and connect with the witching ancestors. Right now, it was just the ceremony for this competition but has not started yet.
Their teacher, Ms. Moon continued reading: "As always, no cheating spells, no help from any other groups, and no harming anyone while attempting to do each challenge. No magic use is allowed when figuring out the riddles, and if they do so, the group will be disqualified. The 4 witches will know if they have won or not, for they feel a connection inside them, bonding with the 5 founding spirits."
All the students whispered to each other in wonder and excitement. The clock had ticked noon, and the competition officially began.
“Students, your first riddle should be shown on your quest chart. The object you should find is 'the remembering' potion’s ingredients. It will be in a brown sack. There will be 4 sacks, so only 4 teams will win. The other 12 cannot compete in further challenges. I will be notified of all your moves, so don’t try to get disqualified.” Ms. Moon told them.
The riddle read: “I am outside but can also be inside. Some can buy me, some can grow me. I can be fake, or real. What am I?"
First, everyone gathered up in the hall, and the witching emerald paired all the students and evenly distributed them into 16 groups.
There is one group to be more exact, that wish they had never been together.
“Amethyst, Blair, Coral, and Dianne, your time starts... NOW!” Ms. Moon told them.
“Forget about the past and start a new one,” advised Amethyst.
“No! We can’t forget it so easily! You’re the reason I never got in the honors witching program!” Blair shouted at Amethyst.
“Well stop playing nice, Blair! You pushed me in the pond when I was looking for some mint leaves!” Amethyst argued back.
“Dianne, can you stop this fight!” Coral asked.
“I don’t want to talk to you! Do you not remember when you turned me into a warthog, on purpose?” asked Dianne.
“Again, it wasn’t on purpose! I counted the ingredients wrong!” Coral fought back.
Ms. Moon appeared in front of them and sternly spoke, “You little rascals have been wasting your time for figuring the first riddle for talking! You all go this instant or won’t be participating in the challenges.”
The 4 of them bent down and nodded.
“Well... have any of you got an idea? What could it be?” asked Amethyst.
“Something that can be outside, and inside. What could that possibly be?” Coral asked frustrated.
“I don’t know,” Dianne told.
“What happened to your arm?” asked Blair.
“You mean this wound? Long story short, this summer break, I grew my roses, and when I touched it, it pricked me.” Coral responded.
“Wait a minute, that’s it! Plants! They can grow inside and grow outside. They can be bought and can be grown! They can also be fake, and real!! You’re a genius Coral! Now, all we need to do is go to the academy’s greenhouse. There we can find the remembering plant!” Amethyst exclaimed.
“What are we waiting for? Let’s go!” Dianne screamed.
“I love the excitement Dianne, but you need to keep your voice down! The other 15 groups can hear us!” Blair advised.
“Sorry!” Dianne replied.
The 4 girls quickly rushed inside the academy’s greenhouse, and to their surprise, they found a lot of remembering plants.
“How are we going to find out which one we need!?” asked Coral.
“There must be something! Keep looking! Don’t lose hope everyone.” Amethyst reassured them.
“Look, I would hate to burst your bubble, but I have a bad feeling that... well, the other 4 teams took it,” Blair suggested.
“No! They would tell us if the first round was over, won’t they?” Dianne replied.
The 4 girls started to search everywhere and sometimes tumbled on each other.
“Wait for a second, I see a sack, underneath this plant! This must be it.” Coral told.
Coral slowly untied the ribbon of the sack. The other girls huddled closer.
“Well, first let’s remove all the ingredients, and then open the scroll to find the next clue,” Coral responded.
The others nodded their heads. Coral took each ingredient out carefully and placed it in the other’s hand. Soon, after emptying the ingredients, Coral felt the scroll.
“What does it say?” asked Blair in curiosity.
“It says, “A fine job, you did. But are you up for the next task? Focus, is a must, but do you know where to find me, in times of rush?”
“How can we find focus? It’s not an object or a person we can touch! It’s a feeling, a word!” Amethyst said.
“Um... I thought you had a little bit of sense in your brain! Of course, it’s going to be like this! Riddles are always hard!” Blair talked back.
It was getting obvious that the 4 of them were not working together as the other teams. They were lucky that they got this far.
Ms. Moon’s voice echoed the entire school, “Students, the winning teams of round 1 have their quests set up differently. The groups who got didn't get to round 1 will go to their normal classes.”
“We’re lucky we got until the 2nd round. Does anyone of you have ideas of where the next clue is?” asked Dianne.
“I have an idea. When the riddle said focus I think it is meaning the focus spell we learned in potions class yesterday! I just don’t know what focus has to do with the place we have to go to.” Amethyst shrugged.
“You might be on to something here! She’s right! But we just have to figure out where we get the most concentration.” Blair told.
“Can I say something? I am pretty sure that the next place we have to go is the library. That is where I get the most concentration and focus. What do you all think?” Dianne asked.
“Maybe you’re right! In a library, no one talks! We study witching spells there! So, the focus potion must be in the section of focus spells!” Coral exclaimed.
Saying this, the group dashed into the library. Oddly, they saw no one in there, not even the librarian.
“Where did everyone go?” asked Blair.
Suddenly, Ms. Moon appeared in front of them again. “Looks like you found the next clue. I will give you the ingredients,” she said.
“How many groups can get in the 2nd round?” asked Amethyst.
“Only 2. The first one figured it out about 10 minutes before you 4 came.” Ms. Moon replied.
The girls took the sack and stored the ingredients. Like last time, they found another scroll.
The riddle read: “Great to those who got past the 2 other rounds! But you also have to figure this one too! You sit on me and go anywhere. But you first must tame me, to follow orders. I take you places, far, and wide! But do you know what am I?”
The girls stared at the riddle looking blank and confused. But this was not the time to give up! They had worked so hard to reach here!
“What do we tame?” asked Blair.
“Well, we tamed our familiars!” replied Coral.
“But we don’t ride on our cats! It must be something else,” said Amethyst.
“Also, the last part of the riddle said what am I, not who am I. That means it cannot be a living thing. It has to be an object.” Dianne told.
“You’re right. We need to find a non-living thing that we tame for it to follow our rules.” Coral replied.
“Just to state the obvious here but we need to hurry! The other team is probably ahead of us! We need to finish quickly. Also, it is starting to get dark outside.” Blair warned.
“We know Blair! Stop making us even more tensed!” shouted Dianne.
“I just wanted to warn you three!” Blair scoffed.
“Yeah, but don’t you think we already know that we’re behind?” Coral questioned.
“Please! Everyone, this isn’t the time to argue! I know that we all used to be friends once, but all separated in our ways, but we can’t show our anger right now! We can be the first coven of this year to connect with our witching ancestors! Isn’t that like a miracle! Or even a dream come true?” Amethyst advised them.
“Fine. Now let’s not waste any more time by quarreling.” Blair responded.
“Wait for a second, that’s it! Remember when we all met the first time? It was by doing our flying class! We all had to be strong, and bold when taming our broomsticks! That is where we need to go! To the broomstick shack! There we can finally find our next clue! Come on!!” Coral remarked.
So, the 4 girls quickly rushed to the broomstick shack. There they saw all types of brooms.
“Whoa! We’ve never been to the shack before! It’s so big and has every type of broom there is! How do we know where our invitation letter for tomorrow night is?” asked Amethyst.
“Guys! Our quest map... it’s shaking! I don’t think the invitation letter is on the brooms. I think it’s here!” Blair exclaimed.
“Yeah! Maybe you’re right!” Dianne shouted back in excitement.
As Blair had said, the invitation was there. They were the first coven for this year to do the ancestor ceremony.
It was finally Halloween night. The 4 girls were excited to start their ceremony. They had been practicing the spell, and now all they had to do was chant it together, strongly, in unison. The spell would only work if everyone participated and worked together to bring the witching ancestors.
They gathered their ingredients from the remembering spell, focus spell, and put a strength spell on their broomsticks. It was finally time! Ms. Moon gathered the cauldron, and the rest of the witches stayed outside in the Great Lawn. Ms. Moon continuously kept checking the time, for everything must be perfect for this spell to work accordingly. Tick. Tock.
“It is time. All 4 of you, add the ingredient I tell you to. Remember, each measurement must be perfect. Even the slightest mistake can make the ancestors mad.” Ms. Moon warned.
“Amethyst, put in the 5 rose petals. Blair, choose one twig and break it by half but only put one, of the two pieces into the cauldron. Coral, take the swamp water, and pour all of it inside the cauldron. As for you Dianne, you must take a pint of each spice I provided you in the focus spell and sprinkle it.” Ms. Moon instructed them.
As Ms. Moon had told them, the 4 added the ingredients with utmost focus and precision. They noticed the cauldron bubbling up.
“Chant the words strongly girls!” Ms. Moon told them.
“Hear our call! Almighty witches! We bring upon you all! The academy’s riches!” they chanted.
After exactly 3 times, they saw the 5 ancestors. To show their gratitude, the girls bowed in front of them and shouted, “ALL HAIL THE FOUNDING WITCHES!”
As the challenge had said, the winning coven was going to get one wish, but it had to be a very important one.
The 4 discussed to themselves.
“What should we wish for?” asked Dianne.
“What would bring something good to all witches?” asked Coral.
“I... don’t know,” admitted Amethyst.
“Hmm... how about this. All witches should get the freedom to spend Halloween with their friends! Think about it! Halloween is the time where we have our exams, thus cannot celebrate Halloween properly!” Blair suggested.
“You’re right! If we wish this, it will benefit all the future generations!” exclaimed Amethyst.
The girls told the 5 ancestors their wish, and it was granted. All the witches were happy about the coven’s choice. So, instead of studying for their exams all night, the girls got to spend time with their friends.
The surprising part was that it took them an extreme set of challenges to bring the 4 girls together. After all, the fun part of Halloween was about scaring your friends, wasn’t it?