“You have a serious problem,” Orugio grumbled in annoyance. He tipped over the waterdrop buoy over, pouring water into the tub. “I thought you’d grow out of causing trouble for me, but I was clearly wrong.”
Qifrey feebly waved his brand new fish tail. The tub really was not made for a large fish tail. “It wasn’t really— It was just a prank gone wrong, that’s a— I mean I just messed up a little.”
“Uhu, so which one of them did it?” Qifrey waved his hands in denial of Orugio’s accusation toward his disciples, and flailed even more with his tail. It shimmered like green-tinted silver.
“I’ll just give them a throughout scoldi-...”
Orugio went quiet when Qifrey accidentally hit him in the face with his colorful, spot-coeved tail fin.
“Oh… Qifrey, you sure got guts. Ah, maybe I should move you to the stove and light the plates. It’s right there.” He patted the metal tub. “You’re already in a pot, and fish’s healthy, right?” Qifrey’s expression grew increasingly concerned and weirded out. “Nonono, I’ll taste bad, definitely..!”
Orugio grasped the edge of the tub and shook it. Qifrey squeaked. “Gio!” His tail fin smacked Orugio in the face again, and once more. Orugio wrinkled his nose at the sensation. “Now you’re just doing that on purpose.”
Qifrey’s tone did not convince Orugio. That sort of tone had never convinced him, even when they had just met. Orugio pushed down the flailing fin and pinched Qifrey’s nose. “You’re already a full-fledged witch with disciples, don’t get caught by some pranks.”
“And you can’t cook your friends.” Qifrey’s voice sounded strange. “You’re scaring the girls.”
Orugio looked over his shoulder toward the door, and saw a skirt disappear out of sight in haste. “Come out from there,” he said, and he watched them peek out around the corner. How did they pile up to all show only part of their face, anyway?
“Sorry….” Coco was the furthest down, probably crouching against the floor. “Professor Orugio, Professor Qifrey, are you angry…?”
“No, we’re not-...Orugio, your face is scaring them.”
Orugio sighed deeply. Taking part in raising four young teenage girls together with this idiot...how did he end up here. “I’m not that angry. But since this sheep-” he buried a hand in Qifrey’s pale poofy hair and tugged at some locks. “-won’t be able to draw magic right now, you guys’ll have to help me figure out how to turn him back.”
“I remember how Coco misdrew the spell for the most part,” Agete informed him. Of course it was Coco making a mistake in a spell.
Coco shrank back behind the door frame. “I’m sorry…..”
Qifrey chuckled awkwardly, but only so awkwardly that Orugio was the only one hearing it. “It’s alright, Coco. You should see this as a learning experience too.”
“Professor Qifrey, your tail is really pretty.” Tetia’s head was poking the furthest past the door frame, and since she was the furthest up, her long curly hair piled on top of the other girls. Qifrey smiled cheerfully then, pressing his fingertips together. “Thank you, Tetia.”
“That’s not the lesson…” Riche murmured where she was weighed down by Tetia’s shoulders and disappeared beneath her hair.
“But it is pretty!” Tetia protested. She broke apart from the other girls and entered the kitchen, and she brushed a hand along Qifrey’s shimmering scales. The brushbug slipped from her shoulder and onto Qifrey’s tail, and into his lap in the tub, and he picked up the drenched little creature. Tetia smiled up at Orugio, and he looked at her. He could see the other girls follow Tetia into the room. “Right, Professor Orugio? It’s pretty right?”
Orugio sighed deeply.
“Yeah, sure, it’s pretty, but that’s besides the point.”
He glanced up at Qifrey, because he felt his gaze burning into his skull. The man was beaming at him like a fool.
“Don’t look so pleased, moron.”