Ella stooped next to Maddie and Simone, behind the counter inside of Kane's Potion Shop. Each girl had taken an armful of glass files and potion flasks and splayed them out in front of them. Ella had separated her arm load of bottles into two groups; potions of interest, and potions of unimportance. Unfortunately, she still possessed a third pile of potions that she hadn't even gotten a chance to examine.
"God, this is stupid," Simone muttered as she tossed another flask into a haphazard pile, nearly breaking it.
"It is a bit tedious," Maddie admitted, "But if the Queen has requested us to do this, there must be something more to it."
"We don't even know what we're looking for, though," Ella sighed. She felt a wave of anxiety roll over her. She'd been sneaking out a lot lately; which put her perfect representation on the line, increased her probability of getting in extreme trouble, and threatened her throne as Queen Number One. Now, another worry had stacked itself upon her plate. Ella had felt, just as Maddie had, that this potions shop wasn't safe. What if something were to happen? What if Mr. Kane, who happened to be evil, discovered them in his shop, rifling through his belongings?
"We can't give up," Maddie told them optimistically. "Remember the promise we made that day in the library?"
"Yeah, unfortunately," Simone mumbled. She impatiently kicked the rest of her potion vials into a heap on the floor.
"Did you find anything?" Maddie asked Simone, staring hopefully at the giant heap of flasks Simone had just kicked.
"No. All I found is junk," Simone rolled her eyes.
"Well, I haven't found anything that would apply to the situation either," Maddie said forlornly. She gathered all of her bottles and began to rearrange them back under the counter.
"I found a few potions, but we can't be sure," Ella told them. Perhaps if her friends hadn't had any luck, she would've. She added her potions of unimportance to the pile of Maddie's, and now Simone's, discarded vials and watched as Maddie began to rearrange those too. Then, she gathered the three measly potions that she'd found of interest and clinked them together in her palm.
"So, what exactly did you find?" Simone questioned.
"This one," Ella said, setting down a tall vial of sparkling white liquid, "Is labeled Brain Enhancement."
"That would make some sense," Maddie differed. "If either Mr. Kane or Mr. Erebus took this potion, they would find a way to access The Book; a way that no one else would think of." That was what Ella had been thinking. She cleared her throat and moved onto the next potion.
"This is labeled Liquid Luck," Ella continued, pointing to a small, squat bottle full of a glowing golden substance. It's glow seemed to penetrate the eerie darkness that engulfed the shop, but only for a moment.
"Right. Even I get that one," Simone said. "Those two losers could find a way in anyhow if they took that potion." Ella smiled. Simone seemed to have a way with words.
"So what's the last one?" Maddie asked. Ella set down the last potion onto the counter top. It appeared to be contained in the same style of vial as the Brain Enhancement potion had, but this potion was a swirling light blue.
"It's labeled Duplication," Ella told Maddie and Simone. "If Mr. Kane and Mr. Erebus somehow got ahold of the Queen's locket, they could have created a duplication that would just as easily allow them access to The Book."
Just then, Tristan and Audrey strode from the back room. Ella frowned as she realized they were empty handed, but then she looked down at the Duplication potion. Maybe they weren't in need of anything that could be found in that equally-as-crowded back room; maybe Ella already held the answer in her palm.