“Wait, what?” Nila said. “Since when?”
“She showed up last night out of nowhere and made the announcement,” Frederica said with a shrug. “Knowing Jo, it was probably a spur-of-the-moment decision.”
“Huh,” Nila muttered. “That does seem like something she’d do. I hope your parents aren’t going to be too lonely with all their kids gone.”
Frederica felt a twinge of residual guilt for not going home over the summer. She stared down at her hands.
“Hey, why don’t we go to my place?” Melody said. “Ronnie’s usually up and out of the penthouse by now. We’d have the place to ourselves.”
“That works for me,” Frederica said. “Magh, can you open a portal to the Champion?”
“Actually, I have a different spell I’d like to try,” Magh replied, and looked up at Nila. “If you are willing to be a… what is the phrase? Guinea pig?”
“Well now, you’ve got me in a bind between my fear of magic and my love of unethical human experimentation,” she said. “Oh, what the hell. Let’s see what happens.”
Magh nodded and drew her wand from her pocket. She made a series of gestures toward herself and Nila. A deep yellow light appeared on their backs, spreading into the shape of wings, like tattoos glowing through their clothes. Then the two of them began to float, rising from the sidewalk.
“Holy shit!” Nila gasped, flailing a little. “What did you do?”
Magh reached out and steadied Nila. The two of them were now about a meter off the ground.
“I cast a spell of Levitation,” Magh said. “Carmen taught it to me during the summer but it took me a long time to get it right.”
“I’m not going to fall, am I?” Nila asked.
“No,” Magh replied. “When the spell runs out, it will gently lower you to the ground. In theory.”
“In theory?” Nila said.
Magh smiled innocently.