"Try to use the goddess of gluttony as a patron god to bolster your magic? Mistress, are you sure that's a good idea? She's not one of the greater gods, and she's practically obscure too!" Matilda said to her mistress, nervously clutching the hem of her skirt, the two of them standing inside a candle-lit tower near a bustling town.
"Matilda, my theory is absolutely sound." Her red-headed mistress declared as she held a tome aloft, proudly continuing. "By using such an obscure goddess as a patron, I don't have to worry about too many other people eating up the divine influence, and I'll have all of the extra magical energy to myself! By being so obscure it's practically a service, even if she's technically weaker than some others!"
This didn't do much to reassure Matilda. "Yes, but Miss Johanna, what about side-effects? Are you sure there isn't some catch? My books say that when you take a god as a patron, there's often-"
"Nonsense! There's nothing to be feared with this goddess, the only thing to be worried about is nobody being able to keep up with how fast my abilities will grow!" Johanna declared, dramatically sweeping her long red hair over her shoulder. Matilda couldn't exactly do the same with her short black hair that failed to reach her shoulders in the first place. Her mistress was always acting like this, and throwing her hair was a motion Matilda had grown used to seeing. Despite finding her teacher reckless she looked up to her and her complete confidence, and it helped that she had the looks for it. Full lips, a straight, high-bridged nose, thin eye-lashes and a somewhat pointy chin, her striking eyes made her a natural beauty on top of being quite tall. Matilda herself was somewhat mousy. She was fairly pretty, but not exactly striking in the same way as her teacher. Wispy hair, thin lips, a button nose combined with her short stature and having the curves of a stick insect failed to give Matilda confidence with her traditional idea of beauty despite her teacher's encouragement that she looked perfectly attractive.
Then there was the difference in outfits. Johanna dressed very traditionally, with a tight black dress to show off her figure with stylish high-heeled black boots partially hidden below the ankle-reaching skirt as the main departure, while Matilda prefered a looser black dress a that only reached her stocking-covered knees that were similar, but lacked any excitement to it like her mistress's, and she also wore some more sensible buckled flat-heeled shoes.
"Mistress, plenty of witches get along just fine without taking up patron gods." Matilda continued, trying to talk her mistress out of another snap decision. "Your magic just seems weaker than usual in some places because you haven't specialised in any one area like most people! I met Miss Alyssa at the last coven gathering and she can barely make a fireball, but when it comes to transfiguration and transmogrification she's the best around, and she told me that taking up a patron just to get more power just leads to-"
"I don't give a hoot about what that change-happy woman has to say, Matilda! Particularly after she turned my crow into a tailor just because I told her to stop whining about how her dress was slightly too loose the day before the ball! Honestly, what's got you so worried?" Johanna asked, closing her book. Matilda shifted her feet nervously before speaking.
"I just don't want you to do something that might not end well just because the others said you needed to take one thing and focus on it instead of trying to be good at everything, Mistress."
"Matilda, you came to me because you wanted a general education, didn't you? If you wanted somebody to only teach you one good trick there are plenty you could have gone to." Johanna said, and Matilda shrank a little and nodded. Matilda didn't know where she wanted to go with her magical talents, and Johanna was one of the only jack of all trades willing to take on an apprentice.
"Now quit worrying and bring me my inscribing tools, I need to carve this pledge into a slab before dinner." Johanna said, sending Matilda scurrying.
It had been a month since Johanna had taken up the goddess of gluttony as her patron, and so far life had continued as usual. Other than their conjured meals tasting much nicer, Matilda hadn't really noticed any obvious side effects. There had indeed been an increase in Johanna's immediate magical strength, but nothing that would blow anything out of the water. Nevertheless Johanna declared it a success and gloated about it occasionally for a while, before eventually sort of forgetting about it. Matilda knew that her mistress was the type of try to make a huge deal out of something initially and then forget it to focus on the next big thing.
'Matilda, please focus on the next one now!" Johanna sharply said, bringing Matilda out of her slightly off-topic thoughts and back to the table she was staring at. Today she was working on levitation, and was causing some assorted kitchenware to hover in the air, picking up extra pieces one by one. She carefully brought a fork up, moving it over to where she had sorted the various types, placing it next to the knife and fork.
"Good. Now bring it over to me and set the table." Her mistress instructed from her seat. So far Matilda was successfully causing a plate, a bowl, a smaller plate, and the three basic eating implements, and now it was her job to set them all down. Keeping them all floating was easy, it was manipulating them separately that was the hard part. She focused on her mistress who was sitting down as if to have dinner, and was distracted by something she had noticed but hadn't been entirely sure of. Her mistress's face seemed a little less narrow recently, her pointy chin a little wider. There was a slight bulge at her tight dress and her bust seemed a little larger. She hadn't been eating any more than normal though, and the two of them ate quite healthily to begin with, something Johanna insisted on. So why did she seem a little chubbier than usual?
"You're losing focus!" Johanna warned as Matilda's objects started to shift around and waver, Matilda nearly dropping them as she panicked and tried to correct herself. She quickly set them down, the bowl spinning as it was roughly dropped the last couple of centimetres while she tried to correctly place the knife and fork, although the plate had a solid landing.
"Decent, but too slow and you faltered towards the end. We're going to try it again after you've had a moment to clear your head again." Johanna said, moving to the opposite end of the table. Matilda decided it was probably nothing to worry about.
A month and a half after her levitation class, Matilda was finding it difficult to avoid the elephant in the room that was her teacher's weight. Johanna was considerably more heavy-set than before, and her slim body wasn't so much on the way out as having already left. Currently using a blackboard to instruct Matilda on how to collect moisture in the air into water rather than generate it as a fluid from scratch, thus saving effort and energy without losing any of the advantages of conjuring it or converting matter into water, Matilda couldn't help but notice her teacher's rump pressing against the fabric or the paunch of her belly whenever she turned. Her thighs were clearly much chunkier and her arms weren't quite as slender, and her formerly pointy and narrow face was round and increasingly wide. Matilda was slightly jealous of how her mistress's chest had grown a cup size or so and how her hips had taken the extra few inches on each side gracefully, even if her waist was starting to lose the slope that gave her a generous hourglass, already having love handles pushed into shape by the tight fabric.
"And that's the basic process of it." Johanna said, closing the book she was teaching from, although Matilda had noticed it was more for show than direct reference. "You seem to have something on your mind, young lady. Care to share with the class?"
"Um, well..." Matilda uneasily said. She really wanted to say that it was nothing, but she knew that her mistress would keep pressing until she got it out of her. "Mistress, do you think you've... gained a little weight recently?"
Johanna seemed surprised, then scoffed. "I have a perfectly healthy body, young lady. Besides, a little extra padding is quite normal, and I'm also quite sure that I've barely gained a pound since we met."
Matilda was skeptical of her teacher's claims of ignorance of her body when she was also insisting that extra weight was fine, but there wasn't really much she could do to protest it.
"Well, then perhaps you tailored your dress a little too small?" Matilda suggested helpfully.
"Perhaps. Magical cleaning can result in some shrinkage if you aren't careful." Johanna declared.
"Transformation is one of the hardest types of magic, so we're going to start small." Johanna said.
"With the frogs?" Matilda asked as Johanna placed a cage on the table with two amphibians in it.
"First of all, there's only one frog, the other is a toad and you're going to be turning it into a frog, because it's ugly and I'm tired of looking at it and it was a pain to get ahold of at this time of the year." Her teacher corrected her. "Second, this might be a short lesson. Transformation is one of those things where either you have a talent for it or you don't. Apparently it's to do with your mind than your magical ability. Some witches can move mountains but couldn't make a beetle turn grey, and some might be able to completely change something but not be able to put out a candle from the other side of the room. I'm exaggerating in any case, I can't think of many witches who aren't at least passing grade in the areas that aren't their speciality. Like Cynthia Lars and mental alteration, she's great with general matter manipulation, couldn't make a mouse go the right way through a maze if her life depended on it. Oh, that was the best test to watch, everybody else got it first go and she was there for twenty minutes while the mouse was just doing whatever it wanted, she definitely deserved that, the stuck up bi-"
"Um, should I start, mistress?" Matilda asked as Johanna went over her treasured memories from her old school. Matilda had hoped to go to there, but she had come from a no-name family with no witches in it without the influence to get noticed or really acknowledged by the old families who ran it, and it was on the other side of the country to begin with. Johanna had been her best option for a general magical education, and she was happy enough with that. Even if she was a bit too happy to get off-topic.
"What? Oh, certainly. Your textbooks are there if you need to refresh yourself on how to go about it." Her teacher said as Matilda began to stare intently at the toad and frog, trying to visualise the toad changing. Unfortunately, if her attempts were having any effect, she couldn't see it. After a while it started to get hard to keep focusing, and her mind wandered as her eyes flickered to her supervising teacher, namely how she had changed in the last month.
Johanna's weight had only increased, and it was now just a question of how big she'd get. It was the middle of winter and while Johanna had changed into thicker winter clothes, it did little to hide how her belly was pushed out as far as her cantaloupe-sized breasts, or how her hips were spread far wider than her shoulders, making her obviously bottom-heavy. Nor could it hide her jiggling second chin and heavyset arms. There was a considerable heft to her step, and although Matilda had initially tried to bring up the topic of her weight, whenever she did so her teacher would change the subject or find an excuse to be elsewhere, and eventually Matilda had given up. She had clearly caused it herself, and Matilda had decided that her teacher could deal with it if she decided that it was a problem. She didn't seem any less energetic than usual, at the very least.
Johanna's gut pressed against the table as she leaned in to see if Matilda had made any obvious effect on the toad yet.
"I think it's actually larger now. Try not to lose focus." She instructed as Matilda redoubled her efforts. It remained boring work and her mind quickly drifted back to what she was thinking about before.
Of course, she thought to herself, Johanna hadn't been the only one to change. Matilda had noticed that she had grown a bit chubby herself, a slight bulge pressing against her padded shirt to be found for anybody who cared to closely examine, and her stockings were starting to be pulled thin. She didn't mind too much and didn't mention it to her mistress, particularly since her chest had gone from flat to more than modestly sized with the extra fat entering her body, and she had some curve to her hips now. Matilda assumed that this was due to the effects of the gluttony goddess's influence on her teacher's magic, and with how neither of them ate enough to gain weight in the first place, Matilda wondered if she'd maintain her size when her apprenticeship ended and she struck out on her own. But that was months away, and Matilda hadn't even thought about it.
"Well, I think its skin is a little lighter, but that's about it. I think we'll leave it here for today." Johanna said after fifteen minutes had elapsed with practically nothing to show for it. Matilda was unhappy at her underperforming, but her teacher placed a hand on her shoulder and spoke.
"Don't worry about it too much, it's not like I'm particularly good at it in the first place, particularly humans. Animals are easier to do and I'm fine with those but you'd need to find somebody else if you wanted to learn how to do humans. Plus you don't exactly have anybody to experiment on but yourself, and that's not very good for practice since altering yourself is much easier than doing it to somebody else. The hard part is staying changed, a lot of people end up reverting themselves by accident when their mental image of themselves doesn't line up right. I'd give you an example but I never got the hang on changing myself and my clothes at the same time."
Matilda wondered if Johanna was able to make herself skinnier if she really wanted to. If she could, why hadn't she? Sure, there was a general consensus among the witch community that altering yourself for cosmetic purposes would earn you ire from your colleagues, but still...
"Um, what are you doing? Matilda asked, her train of thought being interrupted by Johanna carrying the tank over to a window, then opening it up. Suddenly the toad and frog transformed into black birds, quickly flying out of the window.
"I can't stand them, and there's no way I'm taking care of them. You can take that as your practical observation of transformation for today. Next I'm going to teach you how to generate heat more efficiently without creating an open flame, opening that window was a terrible idea."
Matilda searched through the drawers in her teacher's room for a certain book, Johanna's messy personal organisation making it an arduous task. She sifted through several pages, her hands hitting what seemed to be solid rock underneath. She removed the papers, finding the source to be a stone tablet turned face down. She pulled it out and turned it over, quickly realising that it was the contract Johanna had made with the goddess of gluttony months ago. She moved it over to the nearby desk, sitting herself down as she stared at it. She wondered if she should do anything about it. If she were to throw it out the window or smash it with a hammer, the contract would be undone, and her teacher's figure would probably slowly return to normal. The effects on Johanna's magic were negligible at best, and it was likely Johanna had simply lost it, had she ever intended to annul the contract if it didn't prove advantageous. Other than slowly making the occupants of the building fatter, it wasn't achieving much.
And yet Matilda hesitated. if it was bothering Johanna, she hadn't shown it, and it wasn't like it would be impossible to find. Perhaps she was fine with it, or didn't care either way? Her teacher had seemed to be particularly comfortable recently, after all. Matilda's breasts squished against the desk as she leaned forward and just the slightest hint of self-motivation entered the picture, Matilda becoming aware of how wide her hips now were. Sure, she had a bit of a gut and her face was a little wider than it used to be, but surely this was a positive gain. She took another minute to think it through, and decided to put the tablet back. If Johanna thought it was worth getting rid of, she'd do it herself. She put the papers back over the tablet, leaving everything how she found it.
"Did you find it yet?" Johanna called from downstairs.
"Not yet!" Matilda said, closing the drawer and moving on.
"Be sure to stir carefully in this part. Now that we've added the seed we wait for it to finish boiling and bottle it, so keep the stirring consistent." Johanna said, guiding Matilda's hands from behind to give her an idea of the proper speed she should be stirring the cauldron, Matilda finding that her teacher's bulk was leaning just a little too hard against her back while she did so. It had been another two months and her apprenticeship had gone with barely a dull day, today's lesson being in her favourite class, alchemy, which tended to combine a lot of the magic she had learned in her other lessons. However, as Matilda's knowledge had expanded, so had her mistress. Johanna was well and truly overweight now, packing on dozens of kilos over the months. Her heavyset arms carefully moved Matilda's before letting go and backing away, Matilda turning to see her mistress's smile of approval.
Johanna hadn't lost her taste in tight dresses, although this one was much larger than her original. Her breasts, almost the size of her head, pressed against the fabric while her large belly's rolls were taut and on display, growing most prominent of all and pushing out past her chest. Her figure lacked any hourglass as her hips that made her more than twice as wide as she originally was were swaying appealingly as Johanna moved to the other side of the cauldron, the rest of her body jiggling with her as her enormous behind took a second to close the distance. The one thing that Matilda had noticed was that her teacher, despite all the weight she had gained, seemed no less beautiful than when she had first met her. She seemed to wear her fat well, with her double-chin and circular face smiling warmly, red locks hanging past her shoulders. There was no way that she hadn't noticed her changes, but seemed to have embraced it rather than try to do anything about it. The biggest change to her attire seemed to be her now flat-heeled boots, unable to support the previous thin heel, nor were her old boots able to fit her thunderous thighs.
Matilda wasn't even close to catching up to her teacher, but was still slowly and steadily growing, enjoying the fruits of her growth. Her bountiful chest was testing the limits of her magically-enlargened dress as they rested in her bra pilfered from her mistress's room, previously used when her chest had merely been the size of small melons. She enjoyed her hips spilling slightly over the sides of the old chairs unadjusted for her teacher's new size, and was able to ignore her ever-expanding gut and chubby arms. Thanks to the distribution of fat in her body her face had remained mostly unscathed for the longest time, but over the course of the last month since she had decided against destroying the stone tablet it had spread wider and wider, a round curve from her cheeks to her jaw with the hints of a second chin threatening to grow larger. She as stretching the definition of plump outside of her engorged breasts and ass pressing outwards, but was quite comfortable with her weight at the moment. A pressing concern was how her belly was threatening to catch up with her breasts, currently bulging but within acceptable bounds, but if it continued to grow it would likely throw her preferred proportions out of balance.
"Matilda, what do you think you'll focus on once you leave?" Johanna suddenly asked, as if detecting Matilda's brief notation of her indecision. Matilda thought about it for a minute, before speaking in an apologetic tone.
"I'm sorry Mistress, but I still haven't decided."
"Well, there's nothing to worry about!" Johanna declared, grabbing Matilda's hand with her chubby palm to speed her stirring up a little. "Whatever you pick, you'll make a fine witch, thanks to your mentor!"
Matilda smiled, and continued stirring for a minute until her mistress instructed her to stop.
"Here's a special little trick." Johanna said as she pulled out a few locks of her fiery red hair, plenty to spare with it reaching the arch of her back. She tossed it into the mix, and stayed silent when Matilda asked her what it was supposed to do. They let the cauldron bubble and boil for a few minutes before cutting out the fire and letting it cool, Johanna taking a small pot filled with soil and setting it down on a nearby desk as she dipped a vial into the potion. She shook it a few times before pouring it into the dirt, Matilda watching intently as a sapling began to sprout, growing rapidly into a tiny tree, bright red leaves starting to grow from it, the same colour as Johanna's hair.
"Any amount of colouring in minute amounts will affect the tree in this particular mixture. Only a little though. A drop of paint, some crumbs of pottery, that sort of thing." Johanna proudly said. "One of my favourite inventions, even if it's not a big one."
"I think it's wonderful, mistress." Matilda said, watching the leaves grow.
"Don't get sappy on me, Matilda, I just figured out how to make colourful trees, after all" Johanna said. "Now, let's get this into storage. We can liven up the place with this much."
"So, only one week left? I certainly hope you've been paying attention in class, because even an amazing witch like myself can't correct your mistakes in the real world, you know." Johanna said.
"I think with an extraordinary teacher like you I won't have to worry much about that." Matilda cheerfully said from the other side of the table as she floated the plates and cutlery from the kitchen to the table, elegantly setting them down with the food on them completely unshaken. It was a very simple thing compared to the rest of her training, but it was a trick that Matilda liked. Besides, it was much faster than it would have taken when Johanna had volunteered to get it herself, Matilda thought to herself, her own plump behind failing to completely fill up her mistress's wide chairs.
It had been three months since she had mixed her first tree-growing potion, and since then her mistress had finally seemed to reach her upper limit of growth. Now more than a metre wide and finding her doorways a bit tight, Johanna's tree-trunk like thighs were pressed against the reinforced chair she was sitting on as her hips pressed against the arms of it. It made Matilda smile to think of her teacher's once sharp chin, now practically merged with her neck, adding a pleasant jiggle to her smile. Her breasts each dwarfed her head and were the size of an overgrown watermelon each, weighing heavily against her belly, her rolls of fat almost reaching her wrists whenever she reached fully forward. Despite being a mountain of a woman Johanna carried herself easily but ponderously, although rushing around no less energetically, expertly managing to not back her enormous ass into things behind her. She in fact hadn't grown in the last few weeks, leading Matilda to believe that she had finally gotten as big as she was going to get, although Matilda herself was still growing slowly but steadily.
As for Matilda, her body had finally given in and gone from pleasantly curvy, if on the large side, to decidedly overweight. While her chest had reached a massive head-size that she had once dreamed of, the fact that her skinniness was a distant memory meant that she couldn't quite ignore her belly matching its girth, having finally caught up with her boobs, which were now comfortably resting on their new flabby perch like her teacher's had been for quite some time. While she could still reach her navel, something her teacher had ceased being able to do long ago, and she had to admit that there was a pleasant feeling to her heft with her ass pushing out her skirt almost an extra foot, her hips doing their best to exceed any chair she sat in, she had passed her maximum ideal weight eliciting a sigh from her broad and jiggling face. Not that she was uncomfortable with her body, although if she had seen herself at this weight at her original size, she probably would have been speechless. She wondered if it was the influence of her teacher that caused her to come to her current opinion. She noticed Johanna started to stand up, a slow motion as her chair creaked from the sudden relief.
She walked around the table and up to Matilda, pulling her up and into a deep hug, Matilda falling deep into her teacher's chest with her modest height.
"I'm going to miss you a lot, you know. You had better not disappoint me." Johanna said, sniffling and trying to cover it up. Matilda patted her on the back and hugged back.
"There's no way that's even possible after all this time with you, mistress." She assured her, and could feel Johanna poorly trying to hide her wiping her tears as she pulled Matilda even closer. She eventually let go, and began to levitate their plates off the table.
"Well, there's still a week left!" Johanna declared. "Get ready for two months worth of lessons in a tenth of the time, and don't you dare fail to live up to those bold claims of yours!"
Johanna entered the main halls of the coven meeting for the third time that night, witches of all shapes and sizes around her, although none as large as her. She was wondering when Matilda would show up, since she had been waiting for quite some time to see her apprentice. She was never particularly punctual and Johanna wasn't one to sit still for too long, so she had been wandering the halls and getting reacquainted with friends and colleagues, most surprised at her increase in mass since she had seen them last.
"I had heard that you had grown a bit, but I wasn't expecting quite this much." Alyssa admitted as she sized Johanna up.
"What, remind you of some poor sap you did a number on? People do change naturally you know." Johanna said.
"Technically you do, but that's not the point. You were never the type I thought would end up like this and you seem as spry as ever so I can't help but wonder how naturally somebody like you changes. Did you feel like you needed a change of image? I could have helped you with that." Alyssa said, putting on her most innocent smile. She wasn't expecting a straight answer but she was genuinely curious at how Johanna had gained so much weight since she last saw her. She couldn't detect the aura that came with changing one's body, which was usually extremely easy to identify and considered embarrassing in the witch community, the leading reason why most witches didn't immediately alter themselves to fit whatever their ideal of beauty was. What had her most curious was how well Johanna was wearing her weight, most people who didn't have any attraction to overweight women would probably still admit that her looks hadn't suffered. It screamed magic to her, but other than a few small tinges of the blessing of some god or another, which was fairly common among witches and didn't pique her attention, it did seem to be natural. Alyssa decided that Johanna must have had her reasons and didn't judge, being no stranger to significant body modification herself.
"I'll be sure to come up with you if I ever feel the need to change my image to be completely unrecognizable. I feel sorry for anybody who tries to invade your home." Johanna said, smoothly ducking the question and changing the subject. Home invasions were something nearly every witch experienced at some point whenever the local townspeople decided that the woman living on her own having done absolutely nothing to them was apparently a threat and gathered up the torches and pitchforks, or placed some sort of bounty on them. These attempts were typically easily foiled, and most witches lived outside of towns to avoid frequent visitors. It had practically become a sport to creatively but non-lethally deter home invasions, and it was joked that anybody who didn't like people breaking into their homes at unexpected hours should just give up and go study another school of magic. Johanna preferred to stop intruders from entering altogether, but she knew that Alyssa delighted in messing with intruders and had light security on her doorstep and in the surrounding area as a result.
"I just try to have a little fun with uninvited guests. It's better than some witches who just set anybody who walks through their doors without express permission on fire. But enough about that, where's this apprentice of yours?" Alyssa asked.
"Not here yet. She never was any good at being on time but you'd have thought she'd at least try to get to this before half the night is through." Johanna said, breathing an exaggeratedly heavy sigh that wasn't entirely without truth. It had been more than six months since she had last seen her apprentice, after all.
"I haven't seen your apprentice since the last time I saw you, and you were a bit skinnier back then. You wouldn't have happened to have any impact on her, would you?" Alyssa asked. A girl of Matilda's age could change more than you'd think in less than a year, particularly once they became fully independent, naturally or otherwise. Depending on whether or not the young girl had followed her teacher's example, she might be very easy to spot when she entered the building.
"Well, she was a bit heavy by the time she left." Johanna admitted. "Who knows by now, though. Angelica Santina had certainly changed a lot by the time of her first coven meet."
"That's because there wasn't anybody stopping her from figuring out how to turn herself half-cat without learning the reversal spell first after she graduated, Johanna." Alyssa said. "Don't blame me if your apprentice won't stop purring."
Their exchange was cut short by Alyssa noticing Johanna looking towards the entrance and immediately perking up, waving excitedly to what was obviously Matilda entering, just out of Alyssa's view. Alyssa's mental image of Matilda was of the stick-thin and shy girl she had met at the time, and was quite curious to see if a naturally confident person like Johanna had rubbed off on her. Alyssa as a result was barely able to hide her surprise at the woman who greeted them and hurried over to them, with a distinct bounce to her step as she made her way over.
The person that greeted Johanna and Alyssa was neither the skinny stick-thin girl that had come to Johanna asking for her to take her on as an apprentice, nor the plump girl who had awkwardly comforted her teacher after she burst out into tears when she was about to leave. Instead they saw a confident young woman here to meet her old teacher, somehow feeling far longer than the less than a year that had passed. Wearing a high-necked tight black dress with a wide skirt made wider by her curvy hips, Matilda had shed most of the weight that she had gained in the final year of her apprenticeship, the bulk leaving her at an unusually swift rate than the slow burn that her modest diet would suggest. Her face was still somewhat wide, but it was a minor note compared to the fact that the two parts of her body that hadn't lost much fat were her chest and her hips, giving her a bust unrivaled by most of her peers. Matilda's enormous bust was barely restrained by her clothes, bouncing as her hips rocked with each step. She still had a bit of a paunch she hadn't quite lost just yet, but it was barely noticeable with what hung over it.
Alyssa couldn't help but feel inadequate as the two met and hugged, making a note to spend a few weeks at Johanna's place if she was ever having trouble getting dates. She decided to leave the two to it, greeting Matilda quickly then exiting the scene for the next few minutes.
"So, what area did you decide on? I hope it's not too specialised, it's good to find an area you like but focusing on just one thing breeds bad habits." Johanna said after the two had gotten up to date with each other.
"Alchemy! It covers a lot of fields and requires a lot of other types of magic to work properly, and I wanted to work with as many types as possible. You can make a lot with potions too. It was always my favourite class with you." Matilda said, Johanna nodding appreciatively. Many witches immediately picked the one thing they were good at to focus on when they became independent and struggled when they eventually branched out, and it was good to see that Matilda wasn't falling into the same hole. Even the transformation-obsessed Alyssa worked in alchemy on the side for that reason. The two continued to chat for a few minutes.
"In the middle of a town? That's just asking for trouble, you know. You should pick a nice forest or swamp for some stability." Johanna said, criticising Matilda's decision to take up residence in a town under the guise of a ordinary non-magical woman.
"I got tired of walking all the way into the village when I was living with you. Besides, this way I won't need to use a disguise, and nobody will know if I'm careful." Matilda protested.
"Oh, they always figure out somehow, and then it's all torches and pitchforks and bounty hunters. At least if you live outside they don't bother to make the effort to come out half the time and your disguises work better since they seem to think that witches never go outside." Johanna said.
"Oh, by the way," Matilda said, remembering something she wanted to ask. "I was thinking of picking a patron god to get a little boost in my magic, and I didn't know whether to pick a popular or obscure god. How did your pact turn out? Did it make your spells any more effective with such a little-used goddess?"
"What contract?" Johanna asked, completely confused. Matilda stopped.
"Uh, you know, the one you made? With the goddess of gluttony? The one responsible for you getting so, you know?" Matilda said, gesturing around her mid-section.
Johanna looked clueless for a minute, then lit up. "Oh, I remember that! I had completely forgotten! So that's why this happened!" Johanna said, rubbing the side of her overgrown gut.
"You mean you didn't know?" Matilda said hopelessly.
"Well, I was wondering if it was magic, but I figured you would have said something if it was that! I figured it was just my metabolism slowing down or something." Johanna said breezily.
"And what did you think was happening to me?"
"I figured you were just snacking too much after I taught you how to conjure food. One of the girls I knew at your age blew up like a blimp after she had to learn how to conjure cheesecake for an assignment, you know. Oh, don't look at me like that." Johanna said as several of her student's assumptions and illusions were shattered. Johanna was in fact messing with her student, having identified the cause of her changes some time before Matilda had found the tablet and chosen against breaking it.
After catching Matilda admiring her own body in the mirror one night, aware of how Matilda had been carrying herself more confidently after she had a body she was more comfortable with after having bemoaned her twig-thin body in the past, she had decided that she would indulge her student at the expense of the chance to salvage her own body. The fact that she found herself more comfortable in a heavyset body was a contributing factor, of course, and the fact that she had noticed her raw magical power had increased at the same rate her weight had. She had realised too late that she didn't actually have much use for extra magical strength, but it was nice to know that the original purpose of the pact had been successful.
Johanna didn't let her former apprentice recoil for too long, and spoke up. "Oh, calm down, I'm too used to this to slim down just because you mentioned that old hunk of rock. I'll get back to you on that goddess business, though. I think I have a few questions for that goddess, the god of fire doesn't make people burst into flame, after all." Johanna intended to let Matilda in on the truth after she finished enjoying how flustered she looked.
Matilda decided to drop the subject after Alyssa came back, confused as to why Matilda looked both confused and slightly distressed. The three happily chatted for the rest of the night, until they had to part, Matilda promising to see her teacher again as soon as possible. The two parted, and Johanna felt that Matilda would do just fine without her. Seeing her again had reminded her of the hole Matilda's apprenticeship ending had left in her life, though. She wondered if Matilda would have any problems if she looked into taking up a new apprentice...