My name is Magencia.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to call me that. In fact, please don’t. My friends all call me Maggie. I don’t quite like Magencia. It’s an appropriate name for a sorceress, I suppose, but I never liked all the pressure — and trust me, there’s a lot of pressure to live up to when you live in a family like I do.
Everybody in my family does magic. Everybody. We have charts of our family tree from seven generations ago with written notes about what sorts of spells they did and what their magical specialties were. That we use as wallpaper. For our house. My mother doesn’t know when I took my first steps or when I said my first word, but she can talk at length about what my first spell was and the first rune that I drew. Trust me, I asked. Did I mention that my family’s a little bit obsessed with this whole magic bit?
As you can probably guess in such a magical family, I go to an institutionalized factory in which sorcerers are churned out in mass quantities, otherwise known as school.
For all of those thinking that sorcerer school is some sort of fantastical playground in which magic happens and everybody is happy about learning, then I am sorry, but I must disappoint you. If this is hard to grasp, then think about your attitude about mathematics. Yes, it’s a glorious subject and algebra can solve all of life’s problems, both major and minor, as your teachers are apt to point out. Yes, you can see the usefulness in the subject of mathematics when you are given those blasted word problems that teachers are a bit too fond of giving out. Yes, you may even slightly like the subject. But, let’s be honest about this… in your spare time, do you spend hours a day everyday trying to solve math problems for fun?
Well, that’s the attitude that we have toward magic.
It’s not that magic isn’t useful. The problem is, it’s much too useful. As soon as I could use my hands in a somewhat coordinated fashion, my mother had me draw runes that would keep my room clean. Which, by the way, is utterly useless because as soon as you start playing with more toys, you end up scuffing the chalk rune on the floor anyway. So then you have to rechalk the rune and that means that you have to clear the floor which means that the rune is never used in either case. It’s a nuisance.
This isn’t to say that we don’t do magic for fun — we do. It’s amusing and we can use it to screw around with our friends sometimes — as you will shortly see. But, if you gave me the choice of using magic for something fun and taking a nap, I would probably pick a nap.
Besides, there’s another nasty side effect about magic that I probably should mention: it can hurt. To put it in simple terms, magic is harnessing energy in pretty neat ways. But, because you’re essentially dealing with pure energy and channeling it through you, it can pretty much destroy you if you are not careful or do not have the know-how to direct it elsewhere.
Thus, the unfortunate necessity of school.
See, at home, there are some pretty basic runes that we use to direct magic away from us, but they do have their limitations. One time, before I entered into school, my brother broke his arm because he was trying to torment me using a spell that he learned from some of his friends, who were pretty much evil incarnate. (Not that I am biased or anything.) Anyway, he waved his hands around impressively, said a bunch of garbled words and directed the spell near me — but he missed. Two feet away, the chair next to me shattered, and he gave out a terrible scream. His arm had fractured in three places and he needed to go to the emergency room. And, since it was a magical wound, the doctors couldn’t use magic.
No, that’s wrong. I suppose the doctors could have used magic to heal my brother’s arm, but then the magic might have backfired on them worse, especially since my brother refused to tell them the spell he used, so they decided not to. I don’t blame them. They didn’t know how to do traditional surgery either, so they had to tell my mother to either find a place that does traditional surgery (which is difficult, seeing as non-sorcerers pretty much hate us) or fix it herself. As you can probably expect, my mother was about to throttle all of the doctors (and my brother simultaneously). And as you probably guessed already, I might have been less sympathetic about this whole matter, besides being annoyed about being dragged to the emergency room. But that’s another story…
The point is, at home, the magic backfired on my brother. Badly. Bad enough that he had to wait three months for everything to heal. At school, he could get away with this kind of terror though, because there are runes — and strong runes at that — designed to protect both of the students and teachers. The teachers, of course, use this responsibly to teach us lessons and make sure we don’t kill ourselves. Us students on the other hand? Well. Let’s just say that we like to push boundaries when we do magic more than we like to learn our lessons…
Which is where this story, unfortunately, starts.