There are two problems with Magia 463: Advanced Advanced Advanced Curse Magick. The first is that it’s impossible to say the official course title, which is in Latin, without sounding unbearably snooty, so everyone defaults to English and sounds like a record skipping. The second is that it satisfies a core requirement. Everyone wants to take Pox for Jocks.

Melinda and Allie have been lab partners since Alchemistry 101. They argued long and hard about who to choose as their third for this class. It was important not to end up with some fratty blockhead making rhymes-with-witch jokes, or an Objectivist, or anyone calling herself Raven. They got Heather.

Melinda holds up Heather’s part of the assignment and squints. “What does this say? ‘Buble, buble, toil and tourbble?’”

Heather sniffs. “I can’t believe you cling to such a modern conceit. Spelling wasn’t even codified until 1755.”

Melinda looks at Allie for help. Allie gives the now-familiar shrug: You’re the one who wanted to work with an English major.

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