“Oooh, we’re in trouble now, it’s the cops,” Maizie said in a bored voice. Her family tended to be on the wrong side of the law more often than the right side.
“She attacked me for no reason!” Arty howled. “Call the prefects!”
“By the way, what is the school’s policy on endangering, harassing or distracting students during levitation?” Maizie folded her arms and shot Arty a smug look. For a girl who came from a family of artful dodgers, she was an expert in memorizing rules and regulations.
“You know what the school policy is, Maizie. It looks like you’re both going to be spending the weekend in detention,” Erik said firmly, fixing Arty with a harsh look.
“No WAY! I don’t do detention! I’ll call my mother!” Arty stiffened with righteous indignation.
“Call all you want. The school’s policy is clear,” Erik said. “I will be accompanying you to the office now.”
“I didn’t distract her! She fell off the broom because it wasn’t strong enough to hold up her fat ass!”
Fiona hung her head to hide the sudden spurt of tears that trickled onto her cheeks.
Faster than lightning, Erik’s hands shot out and suddenly Arty was dangling two feet off the ground, legs thrashing in the air. His face turned red and he made frantic gurgling sounds.
“Watch your tongue, or you’ll find it ripped from your mouth,” Erik hissed, eyes sparking with anger. Fiona frantically scrubbed the tears from her face with her sleeve while he was distracted.
Erik dropped Arty to the ground, and Arty gasped and wheezed, sucking air into his lungs as his color slowly returned to normal. There was murder in his glare, but he didn’t say another word.
Fiona glanced at Maizie, who looked completely unfazed by the threat of detention. Then she glanced at the hedge, and concentrated until her temples throbbed and her vision grew hazy, and a vine shot out and snaked around Arty’s ankle, yanking him off balance and sending him tumbling to the ground.
“Detention’s so much more fun when you spend it with friends,” Fiona said, and Maizie flashed her an amused grin.
Erik shook his head chidingly. “Fiona, you’re better than that.”
“Oh, and Maizie isn’t?”
“I think you already know the answer to that question,” he said, shooting Maizie a disapproving look. “Fiona’s a nice girl, Maizie. You should stop being such a bad influence on her.”
That sent Fiona and Maizie into peals of laughter, and they marched off down the maze trail towards the detention office, heads held high, as Erik dragged the protesting, howling Arty along with him by the back of his collar.
“Got a minute, Erik? I want to go over our open cases with you.” Chief Enforcer First Class Ryan Greer, a muscular warlock with a brush cut and mustache, waved at Erik from his office, inviting him in. “Nice job on the zombie powder poisonings, by the way.”
His office was immaculate, all the paper on his broad mahogany desk organized in file folders tucked into a tall stacked file holder, and wooden shelves full of trophies – including shrunken heads of trolls, the gnarled hand of a Dark Witch, and a row of trophies for winning first place in the City-Wide Enforcers Softball League .
Those losers at the City-Wide Fire Brigade Softball League hadn’t won a tournament in six years.
Erik settled down in the chair facing Greer’s desk. He was dressed casually, wearing black jeans, a studded belt, motorcycle boots and a t-shirt; he liked to work undercover, and dressing down meant that there was that much less that a glamour spell needed to conceal.