"Cut that out!" Puck snapped, turning towards Juliette and almost toppling over in the process. The pond's bottom was soft and sludgy, making the teens sink up to their ankles and wetting the edges of Puck's rolled-up trousers. He wished he had just shucked them off, girls or none.
His flashlight skipped over Hermia; she hitched up her skirt and tied it aroung her hips, too shy to get it up any higher, and the expensive white fabric was soaked with pond grime. He hoped it would wash off. He modestly directed the light onto her face, and saw that it was streaked with tears.
"What if we don't find him?" she choked out. "What will we tell grandfather? What if something eats him, or, or a car runs him over?"
"What if he found a missus and started a family, and we make his tadpoles into orphans?", Juliette added, grabbing her heart. Hermia twirled around and grabbed a fistful of duckweed and tobacco butts and threw it at her. Juliette shrieked and jumped back, but before she could retaliate, the lights of a car passing up the bank made them freeze and shush up. Once it passed, they relaxed; it wasn't Puck's parents, coming back from some fancy party they were at this night.
"Hermia, if we don't find him in an hour, I'm owning up to it", Puck said quietly. "I shouldn't have messed with transmutation spells. My father will know how to fix it", he assumed confidently. Hermia sniffed and wiped her tears, getting duckweed on her face.
"Maybe that will teach him not to start shit with Romeo", Juliette grumbled behind him.
"If anything, it should teach him not to start anything with me. Girls, could you get out of the water for a moment? I want to try something. Hermia, take my flashlight."
"Oh no, Puck, no more of your spells..."
"How else are we going to find a frog in a pond at night? It's perfectly safe. I think. There might be a lot of two-headed frogs two months from now, maybe."
He bent over slightly, moving his hands right above the water's surface, mumbling quietly. Behind him, Hermia and Juliette shivered and waited. Just as Juliette opened her mouth to say something rude, the tips of Puck's fingers started glowing slightly; the glow slowly crept up to his knuckles, and, one by one, lights started appearing under the pond's surface, lighting up the young warlock from below. For a moment, Juliette and Hermia forgot why they were there, and watched with delight.
Puck's hands dropped, fingertips skimming over the water. "Look for the brighter lights", he instructed them, awkwardly waddling out of the water. "Theoretically, Tybalt's life energy didn't change with his form, so he should... I should... I'm sorry, I need to sit down." He made the last ten feet to the pond's edge on all fours, and dropped on the ground like a sack of potatoes.
Juliette and Hermia, if asked, would admit that they had a lot of fun lunging after the ligths flickering underwater. They soon abandoned any hope of keeping their clothes and hair intact, and would throw themselves face-first under the surface, grabbing fistfuls of sludge and catching frogs who would fight tooth and nail (so to speak) to get out of their hold. Puck watched them giggle and traipse around with an impending headache, worriedly counting minutes.
"I got him! I got him!" Juliette finally shouted after what felt like an eternity, emerging form the water with a splash.
"How do you know?"
"It looks like an asshole!"
The teens gathered around, hunched over Juliette's lit-up hands. She carefully opened them up, just a bit, and a small, slimey face immediately tried to push through the opening, glowing like a small candle. She was right: Puck had never seen another frog that looked like it just sucked on a lemon. Otherwise, it looked fine, much to everyone's relief. Puck didn't want to think about what would happen if Juliette accidentally broke or tore out its leg when cathing it.
The kids looked at one another in silence. Finally Juliette raised her eyebrows at Puck.
Another moment of silence passed, before Hermia asked: "We don't have to kiss him or anything, right?"
"Oh, gross, Puck, you do it."
"Don't be a baby! We can't kiss him, we're his sisters!"
"So make it a sisterly kiss! I'm not getting my first kiss with a frog!"
"Puck, honey. I spent three hours waddling in a pond, it's a school night, this dress was made of silk, and you will kiss him right now or I will ram him down your throat." Juliette took a step towards Puck, shoving her hands into his face. She meant it, too; he could see it in her eyes. He hesitantly leaned in and looked at the tiny, slimey face peeking out between her fingers. The frog and him stared each other down for a second, and then Puck closed the last inch of distance between them and quickly pecked it on the nose, trying to touch as little of it as possible. He firmly refused to count this as a life milestone, ever.
Nothing happened. Hermia let out a short sob.
"Maybe you should try using more tongue", Julliette quipped. Puck covered her hands with his, and she carefully let go, leaving the frog with him. She looked furious, with lips pressed into a thin line, and Puck wondered if she was really as uncaring as she appeared to be, or if she was covering up her fear with jokes and impatience. True, her and Tybalt never get along, but it was hard to imagine she wouldn't care at all if her brother stayed a frog forever.
Then again, Juliette always kind of scared him.
The poor frog trashed in his hands, flickering like a scared lightbulb, and he felt a sudden wave of guilt. Nobody deserved a night like that, even Tybalt. He could have died, and it would have been Puck's fault. Hell, the whole ordeal would have ended in ten minutes flat, if Puck had just called his father, instead of trying to save his own ass at another kid's expense.
"Let's get inside the house", he said resignedly. "I'll find you some clean clothes, and... I don't know, we should have an old terrarium somewhere in the garage. He'll be safe until my dad comes home." He moved his hands closer to his chest, as if it would somehow calm the critter down. Hermia wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek, and he could hear Juliette exhale what sounded like three hours' worth of held-back air.
"Having a wand was nice while it lasted." He added. "But I think I'd rather work on my theory some more before asking for it again."