“Miss Emma Jane Emmerton, do you understand why you’ve been brought to this court today?”
“You “kind of” understand.” Judge Demmers clarified. At 17-years-old, two full years older than Emma, he sat in his big comfy chair, his spine erect with self-importance. On Monday, she’d see him in school again. There, he was just Ollie: the smart kid with too much time on his hands.
“I mean, yeah,” Emma replied. “This is my fifth time in youth court this year. I clearly did something wrong.”
“Miss Emmerton, you almost burned down the entire city.”
Emma was silent for a moment. She shifted in her chair and pulled a pensive face.
“Well, even if I had burned down the whole city, it would’ve been an accident. How evil do you guys think I am?”
Her eyes scanned the courtroom. She knew every single person on the jury. They were all just as guilty of doing stupid stuff as she was. They’d just never been caught. Miles tried to write a spell to kill his own parents, for god’s sake. On purpose! Now he sat with the rest of them, staring disdainfully at her, his pudgy little arms crossed over his puffed-out chest.
“No one here is calling you evil,” Judge Demmers answered. “We just can’t seem to understand how you keep getting yourself into these predicaments.”
“Okay, so it’s like this,” Emma began. “I was trying to find my phone, right? It was like the fourth time I’d lost it that day and I was over trying to look for it. So, yes, I tried to write up a little spell to help me find it. It was on vibrate, so calling it wasn’t going to do-”
“We don’t have all day, Miss Emmerton. Please get to the point.”
“I mixed up two words.”
“Which two words?”
“‘Videor’ and ‘Adoleo’.”
Quiet snickering peppered the courtroom.
Demmers took his glasses off and looked intently at Emma.
“You confused ‘appear’ with ‘destroy by fire’?” He asked.
Emma shrugged. “ Yeah but-”
Demmers let out a long breath. He clicked his fingers and a glass of water appeared on his desk. Such a show-off.
“Okay, I get it,” Emma said, watching Demmers chug the entire glass. “I messed up. I should’ve paid more attention in Latin class. I could’ve burned the whole city down. But you guys are acting like we wouldn’t be able to say a few words here and there, and repair everything just like that.”
“I believe you’re missing the point.” Demmers started. “Magic is a gift that has been bestowed upon us. With its power comes insurmountable-”
“Oh shut up, Ollie.” Emma clapped a hand over her mouth, hoping to force the words back in.
Judge Demmers went red. He looked down at his desk for a long time before getting himself another glass of water. This time, it took two clicks.
“I beg your pardon?” He asked, after regaining his composure.
“I’m sorry Oll-, I mean… Judge Demmers.”
“This is youth court as you well know, Miss Emmerton,” He spoke slowly to keep his voice from shaking. “There’s only so much we can do as punishment. But if the jury sees it fit, I’d like to see you stripped of your powers until your sixteenth birthday… at the very least.”
Emma gasped. That was an entire seven months away. She watched the jury of her peers file out of the room, none of them making eye contact with her. For the first time in her life, Emma said a silent prayer for the mercy of the court. Just before arriving, she’d misplaced her phone again.Recommended1 Simily SnapPublished in