She glared at her hand. her middle finger pressed against her thumb, her index finger was hovering above. You can do this her mind told her. She slid her middle finger down her thumb, hearing the click sound and her other finger landed on her thumb. But no spark. She sighed and readied herself for another try when her mother's voice floated up the stairs.

"Abigail grace! You get down here now! If you miss the bus I'll make you walk!" "coming mum!" she called back. She grabbed her shoulder bag from the corner of her room, filled it with the homework stacked on her desk and headed downstairs. She much preferred just Abbi. And yes she also preferred to spell it with an I. Her mum handed her a piece of buttered toast when she entered the kitchen.

"thanks mum" she said quickly before she stuffed her mouth with it. Her mum looked at her with a raised eyebrow, a look she rarely wore.

"what?" Abbi asked. "are you allowed to wear make up at school?" she asked. "mum" she groaned, placing a readied lunch in her bag.

"sorry" she said instantly. "I know I told you I wouldn't criticise your dress choices in grade seven, but did you check with the school?" Abbi sighed. All she was wearing was a smidge of eye liner, a little mascara and some natural blush.

"yes, mum. I checked." she put the rest of the toast in her mouth and closed her bag. "besides" she said once she finished chewing. "you promised I could wear whatever I want at the start of year seven. The year is at least halfway finished by now"

"I know" her mum repeated. "I'll stop" she shoved some things around her bag, making sure she got everything. Math homework, check. Locker key, check. Lunch,check. She had the rest of her books, pencils and her hat already in her locker at school. As an afterthought, she darted upstairs and grabbed a black and white beaded necklace. Instead of freaking her mum out more she shoved it in her bag for later, along with her phone she had got for her birthday last year. She hugged her mum and headed for the door.

"bye mum" she said.

"make good choices" she called back, Abbi smiled. She slipped out the back door and ran down the driveway where her best friend, Alice was standing already. She frowned at Alice.

"how long have you been standing there?" she shrugged.

"just got here" they began walking to the nearest bus stop, about one block from Abbi's house. "why do you think we got so much homework?" Abbi asked.

"dunno" Alice shrugged. "maybe they're trying to prove a point. Like, 'here, we will give you tonnes of homework to drown under and laugh at you when you fail your tests and there's nothing you can do about it because we are superior.'" Abbi made a face.

"that was awfully dramatic." Alice just laughed. By then they had gotten into what was like a crossroad path to the bus and they were already joined by about seven kids from their school walking in different groups. Suddenly out of things to say, Abbi began clicking her fingers. It took Alice only a moment to see what she was doing.

"Abbi" she scowled. "magic doesn't exist" Abbi had been spending all her free time either reading a fiction book about sorcerers, magic teenagers and walking,talking skeletons, or trying to practice the magic from the book.

"don't care" she said curtly. They reached the bus stop and Abbi and Alice sat on the grass next to the sign and waited for the bus. Abbi continued to click her fingers and Alice stared at her.

"you know" she said after a moment. "if magic does exist, you'll light the grass on fire." At this, Abbi smiled and stopped clicking. She looked at Alice.

"if magic was real, would you want me to tell you?" a smile flickered across her face for the smallest of moments.

"yes" there was the sound of an engine and then a brake with the light screech of tyres. The bus had arrived.

The ten minute ride to school was completely uneventful. When they hopped on they grabbed the two seats just behind the driver and each plugged their earphones into their phones and listened to their music until they got to school. When the bus stopped they pulled the earphones off, buried them in their bags and pocketed their phones. They walked to their side by side lockers and pulled out the keys. Abbi was thankful to have keys instead of combinations, she would never remember a combination. She unlocked her locker and placed her lunch inside. She collected her books for her first class and a few pencils and rested them inside her bag. When she closed her locker Alice was looking at her.

"so" she said. "what are you going to do for your birthday?" Abbi shrugged.

"mum said she planned something already but it's a surprise." Alice faked a pout.

"but I want to know now" the bell rang and Abbi and Alice exchanged a glace before braking into a run to their first class.

Abbi woke up on a Saturday morning unsure why today felt so special. She crawled out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom. When she came out she walked out to the kitchen. she jumped back when everyone in her family jumped out from hiding places all around the room.

"happy birthday!" they all called. Her mum, dad and older brother was there. But... Her little brother- jack - climbed out from under the table and shouted,

"boo!" Abbi laughed and held out her arms for a hug.

"birthday hug?" "birthday hug!" he squealed before jumping on Abbi. She laughed as she fell. Jack climbed off her and ran off to play with something. She laughed again as she stood up. "happy birthday Abbi" her mum said with a smile before going off to find jack. Abbi grinned at the thought of being a teenager and went to find her cereal.

Abbi's phone rang at around ten thirty and Abbi smiled, picking it up.

"happy birthday" she heard Alice say.

"thanks" she said. "want to come over?"

"no" Abbi's smile faded.

"why?"

"I have a better idea" she frowned.

"what?"

"I don't want to but..."

"what!" Abbi prodded. She could be very impatient sometimes.

"we could go to Roarhaven" Abbi's jaw dropped.

"what?" "it's not that far from here, really. Don't you want to go?"

"of course I do!" Abbi had always wanted to go to Roarhaven. The sanctuary was in Roarhaven and, although it cold have moved, she wanted to go looking for it.

"I'll ask mum" she told Alice. She ran downstairs and found her mum in jacks room. "mum?" she turned.

"yes?"

"can I go to Roarhaven with Alice? I promise I'll be super safe and take my phone and stay right next to Alice the whole time. Please?" her mum frowned. "it's just a couple towns over mum" she told her. "I can walk there"

"okay" her mum said. "make sure your phone has charge and call me if you need a ride home. If you are going to be more then an hour call in every once and a while okay?" she nodded "thanks mum." her mum held up a finger.

"this one time okay? Only because it's your birthday"

"thanks mum" she headed back upstairs and pressed the phone against her ear. "I can come" "okay" said Alice. "I'll meet at your house" she hung up and found her favorite boots by the bed. They were old and almost knee high and she couldn't wear them to school so she wore them as much as she could. She pulled them on with her three quarter leggings and a new top she got today. She pushed her phone down into the side of her right boot – her favorite place to keep it- and headed down stairs. She put her purse with her pocket money in the pocket of her grey hoodie and pulled it on. The door bell rang. She went and opened it. "hi" Alice beamed. "ready?"

"almost" she told her. She went to the fridge in the kitchen and Alice shut the door and followed. She grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and turned to Alice. "want one?" Alice shrugged so she grabbed another one and tossed it to her. Alice caught it perfectly and they headed to the front door. "mum, we're going" she called.

"want a ride?" she asked, appearing from the lounge.

"no, we're fine" her mum handed her some money. "birthday money" Abbi smiled.

"Thanks mum" her mum waved and they left for Roarhaven.

Abbi smiled at a sign that read 'Roarhaven'. She stopped and looked around. It was exactly how she had imagined it. The town was small and dirty and unwelcome sitting next to an old dirty lake. Alice screwed up her nose.

"it was your dream to come here?" she asked. Abbi smiled.

"there" she said. A door opened at what appeared to be a main building and about five unwelcome looking people with scowls left. "that must be it" Alice made a face.

"the almighty sanctuary of a cradle of magic is is there?"

"har har har" Abbi said, rolling her eyes. "come on. Lets go" she grabbed hold of her arm and dragged her to the building. Abbi let go just as they reached the door.

"stay hidden" she whispered to Alice. Abbi opened the door and slipped inside before Alice could protest so she followed. They stayed encased in shadows for a few minutes and nothing happened. Abbi sighed and sat, staying in the shadows and began to click her fingers. Alice crossed her arms and looked away.

"can't believe I let you drag me here" she muttered.

"Alice" Abbi said, sounding afraid. She turned to Abbi.

"what?" Abbi's eyes were wide. "what?" she repeated getting afraid herself. She moved her hand in front of Alice's face and clicked her fingers. A spark flew into the air. Alice gasped and stumbled back. A section of the wall opened up and a man and a woman came out with a woman standing behind them. She looked like a secretary. They all frowned now that Alice was visible. Abbi was still hidden in the shadows. Alice's eyes widened in fear.

"what are you doing here?" she secretary asked.