"Well, what will it be? You give me the castle, or the child dies? She adjusted her grip on the child, digging the blade into her neck, making her whimper in pain.
"Neither." A hooded figure stepped forwards, head down, so no one could see who she was.
"And who would you be?"
"Well, now is as good a time as any, I suppose. Let me tell you a story. While I do so, you will not injure the children or teachers in any way."
"Fine then. But hurry up, I want my school."
"As you wish. Once upon a time, there was a girl. Her dream was learn magic, do amazing things, help people, save lives. One day, someone crashed into her balcony, and opened up a new world of possibilities. Do not interrupt! She was whisked away to a castle on a mountain to discover she was a witch. She thought it would be fun, but it was hell. She was ridiculed daily, teachers made fun of her, students bullied her, no one thought to help her understand the ways of a true witch. Then she was stupid enough to turn a scholarship, one of her biggest regrets.
"Then, halfway through her second year, a fellow student cursed a broomstick, and added her spell tag so she wouldn't get the blame. The student while at on the broomstick was set alight, and barely lived. The clueless witch was found guilty, as the person who framed her was flawless. She was promptly expelled, and went back to ordinary school, with friends who actually believed what she said, and didn't turn on her the minute the concern was pointed at her, like her only two friends did that day.
"When it was discovered she was framed, she refused to go back, deciding it wasn't worth the ridicule, and the bully would just keep on trying to expel her. I said don't interrupt! She didn't return to the magical world until three months had passed, and she got a visit from a wizard. His name was Merlin, and he had interesting information for her. She was actually from a witching family! Thirteen generations ago, a witch named Mirabelle gave her magic and the magic of the future generations of her line to a founding stone, but a selfish witch took the credit, a Hallow. The ancient family was promptly forgotten after that, by everyone except for Merlin.
"So she agreed to study under Merlin, yes, the famous one, as long as she could continue normal school. It was too much however, so she stopped school completely and trained with Merlin for another month until she was ready to make her own way in the world.
"So she travelled, looking for the outcasts, the ones who had been wronged. She seeked justice, fought wars, saw horrific things no one should ever have to see. She never hesitated though, even if her sleep would be forever plagued by nightmares.
"She found some adult witches and wizards, and set up a op-ed school for any witch or wizard who wanted to learn magic, until those of a non magical descent. Anyone who was prejudiced or bullied another was out before they could blink. That is part of the reason I am here. If you haven't guessed who I am yet, my name is Mildred. Mildred Hubble."
She pulled off the whole cloak and stood tall. She was Stunning. Her skin was tanned and smooth, she was clearly fit and healthy, she moved with grace and poise, and was wearing black leggings and a black vest top. Her dark hair blew slightly in the wind, like a halo. Her eyes were a deep brown, but it you looked closer, you could see the hurt, loss, sadness, betrayal, horror, and fear she had been through too often to count. But there was a glimmer of hope in there too.
This Mildred already looked like an adult, much more so than those who were in her year at school. They now stood, gaping at her in awe.
"None of you ever believed in me, yet here I am, about to save all of your arses because you are too incompetent to do so yourselves. Agatha, put the girl aside, winner takes all."
And they duelled. It was fast paced, intense, and furious, much more so than the one between Agatha and Ada in Mildred's first year. It just showed how Agatha always was the more powerful of the twins. Although she was nowhere near as powerful as Mildred Hubble.
Then a blue spell hit Mildred in the chest, and she turned into a cat.
"I win! I win!" Agatha cried with glee. But the cat just glared at her, and turned back into Mildred.
"You won't win that easily." Mildred had the upper hand this time, and soon enough Agatha was overpowered and begging for mercy.
"I don't do second chances anymore. You're out of time Agatha. RIP. Rest. In. Pain." And Agatha was consumed by bright purple flames, and was nothing but ash in a mere three seconds.
"That was the quickest death I could give her." Mildred said grimly. "Now for the real reason I'm here. You failed to learn from your mistakes. This school can never be a home to children from a non magical background, yet there are five of them here, and they are suffering. I know because they wrote to me, begging for help. How dare you!"
"You have a school?" A first year asked.
"Yes, and it is open to anyone, not just those from non magical families." She smiled at the small blonde.
"Could I go there?"
"If you like. What is your name?"
"Mona. Mona Hallow." Everyone waited for Mildred to frown and decline, say that the Hallows were an evil bunch, but she didn't.
"Well then Mona, you are very welcome to join me and the students I came to collect. Where are you by the way? The five who wrote to me and asked I come get them?"
Five girls stepped forward, all below third year.
Mildred clapped her hands and their suitcases appeared, neatly packed, in front of them, including Mona's.
"Anyone else coming? I have permission from the great wizard and Merlin himself to do this, so don't try and stop me. I may be the same age as your fourth years, but mentally I am much older."
Ten more children stepped forwards, and Mildred examined all sixteen students carefully.
"If you are from magical families, I warn you now, we do all the basics you may already know, like the proper way to prepare ingredients, how to devise a chant, simple spellwork, and we look incredible in depth at the code. If you would find this boring or unbenificial, Merlin's Rise is not the school for you."
"Even the old families stopped teaching the code properly, they just presumed we were born knowing it. And all families brew slightly differently, so it would be good to get an overall understanding of the complete basics." A first year said.
"Interesting. We might have to start changing the curriculum for all schools. Okay, so I am going to transfer us, and you will meet everyone, then we will pay a quick visit to Pentangles, who we work very closely with, as you need to know your way around there too, as we do many events and activities there. There's the rest of your stuff. Ready?" The sixteen little witches nodded, and with a snap of her fingers, They were gone.
"Don't think this is over yet." Mildred warned, before transferring after them.
And it wasn't over, not until the whole school curriculum had been changed and Pippa Pentangle was in charge of the reformation of Cackles academy. She inspected the teachers, added in lessons and subjects where appropriate, and whisked several students away to Merlin's Rise, which was suddenly the most popular academy in the entire magical world. Obviously, they only took students who wanted to go, they never kidnapped unless the safety of the child was at risk.
So, by the time she was three hundred and twenty, Mildred Hubble considered her work done and died victorious, proving all the prejudiced bastards wrong. And boy, did it feel good