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Who would have thought performing unknown rituals has consequences?

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The explosion knocked Lachesis backwards and onto the floor, stunning her. Calida was flying circles anxiously over her when she came to. Lorelei's worried face floated into view a moment later, followed by her waving hand. "Lachesis? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Lachesis croaked, taking Lorelei's hand and pulling herself upright. Her back felt like one giant bruise, and the fall had definitely winded her, but she'd been in worse shape before. Her shield spell was gone, presumably having done its job. "What happened? Did we do it?"

"Yup!" Lorelei exclaimed, turning to point behind her. Where the pile of spell materials had been, there were now two glass jars with miniature fireballs hovering inside.

Lachesis stared. "That's the egg?" She opened her magical senses, feeling around the room. Sure enough, her magic reacted to the jars the way it did with Calida and the desgolo, a gentle, pleasant pulsing sensation - the telltale sign of a magical creature. "Any idea what it'll hatch into? How does it hatch, actually? Do we open the jar?"

Lorelei shook her head. "I distinctly remember there being an open jar that looked like this in the room we cleaned up," she said. "Given that we merely got an explosion, and not a bunch of scorch marks as well, I'm going to guess that opening the jar right now is the wrong way to go." She moved to examine Lachesis. "Follow my finger with your eyes, okay? Ah, good, you're not concussed."

"Why weren't you affected as much by the explosion?" Lachesis grumbled, as Lorelei sent a gentle wave of light healing magic through her. The magic was cool and soothing, and in its wake her back stopped aching.

"Dunno," Lorelei replied, pulling Lachesis to her feet. "I suspect since I fell backwards, I was a bit further from the blast. And since I was already down, what the shield spell wasn't able to absorb just pushed me along the floor."

"Thanks," Lachesis said, bending to pick up the jars. She passed one to Lorelei. "Well, guess we'll just have to wait and find out what hatches from these things. Hopefully whatever it is will be worth it."

*

"Aughh, no, not the closet," Lachesis wailed, as the comet that had hatched out of the jar less than an hour ago zoomed around the room and, having already set the bed, the bookshelf, one particularly unfortunate quail amagnae, and Lachesis' homework on fire, crawled through the crack under the closet door. She ran over and flung the door open, only to find the little fireball merrily inspecting her outfits, leaving scorched through holes and burn marks on every outfit she owned. The draft from opening the door caused several clothes to burst outright into flames - including her favorite dress, which had taken the better part of a year to save up the money for.

Lachesis yelped and screamed out the first anti-fire spell that came to mind, which unfortunately resulted in dumping a gallon of water over the entire contents of her closet and herself. The air in the room, only just recently cleared, once again filled with acrid smoke and steam. The comet weaved frantically, zooming away from the spray and towards where Calida was perching. The cinersi hadn't involved herself, electing to observe the mess in an "I told you so" way. Calida watched the comet fly towards her and chirped sternly - and to Lachesis's surprise, the comet stopped in its tracks, bobbing up and down, as if unsure of what to do.

Before Lachesis could throw herself at Calida's mercy and beg her to take over caring for the comet, the cinersi gave one more disapproving chirp and flew out the window, followed by the last of the quail and wugu amagnae who hadn't yet fled. Lachesis expected to have to slam the window shut, to prevent the little comet from escaping, but it stayed put, apparently thoroughly chastened by Calida's scolding.

A moment later, Pele, Lachesis's first companion, flew in through the window. Lachesis recoiled despite herself from the flames the phoenix threw everywhere, but Pele's control over fire was much more refined than the comet's. All the sparks winked out harmlessly. She threw a slightly offended glance at her magi.

"Sorry," Lachesis began, but Pele's attention was no longer on her. The phoenix cocked her head to glare at the comet, who seemed to actively shrink a bit. Pele gave a sharp chirp, and the comet slinked into a (thankfully empty) corner, where it dimmed, sulking.

Lachesis sighed with relief when the comet seemed content to stay where it was for the time being, and set to work cleaning up the mess. "It's good to see you," she said to Pele, after she'd spelled all the water to turn into mist, and then summoned a breeze to whisk it out of her room. Her phoenix generally stayed in Voltar these days, where she led a flock of wild phoenixes. "Did Calida ask you to come?"

The phoenix nodded, glancing at Lachesis reproachfully. Lachesis sighed, grabbing a broom to sweep up ashes. "I know, I know. This was a silly idea and I really should heed warnings about advanced rituals instead of letting Lorelei talk me into doing them anyway. At least she's probably also learned a lesson this time." She finished sweeping up and focused on Pele again. "Why did Calida ask you to come, though? She seemed to know what to do."

Pele fluffed herself and spread out her wings, showering the room with flames. "I guess that's fair," Lachesis conceded. Pele was made out of fire and literally impervious to whatever the comet might do, and so better equipped than Calida for the job. Lachesis turned to contemplate her ruined closet, books, and bedding. The bedding she could probably request a replacement for from Keep stores. The books, fortunately, had mostly just had their covers singed. Her clothes, though...most of them were in ruins, and what wasn't in ruins desperately needed patching to be remotely presentable again. She sighed, thinking - there were localized time reversal spells in existence, specifically intended for repairing things, weren't there? Could she find one to apply to her closet, and maybe her homework while she was at it?

Pele chirped in alarm, breaking Lachesis out of her reverie. She whirled around, just in time to see her phoenix swoop down and snatch the little comet away from the broom, which had blackened and started smoldering.

Lachesis sighed, beating out the fire, and decided against fixing her clothes for the time being. Maybe after the comet grew up and (hopefully) had enough control to not set everything on fire all the time. She slipped Pele a few crickets when she was done scolding the comet, and sat down to rewrite her essay, only to realize that her quill had perished along with her homework.

Lachesis sighed again, rubbing her temples as she felt a headache coming on. It occurred to her she had no idea how long flaming comets took to grow up. Whatever amount of time it took, it was going to be too long.