Kelly has protection of a kind no one has ever thought of before, will they delay Manin.
|With every spell Manin taught, he found Kelly was the first one to succeed but when it came to battles, she failed every time. He’d noticed it from the very first battle he held in the class on the second day.
He rose from his seat and moved around his desk. ‘I think you’re all ready for a little bit of fun with magic.’ He stood between the final row of desks and the next. ‘Students in this row,’ He pointed to the second to last row. ‘I want you to turn your chairs around and sit the other side of the desks in the last row. The front two rows do the same.’ He waited; he could almost feel the students’ excitement. ‘Now produce your light ball on the table.’ He waited. ‘This will be called a battle piece. For the first few times you will choose one of your pairing who will need to keep away from the other. When you’ve done this, I want the other person to try and do the same. If you both succeed in doing this, raise your hands.’ Manin couldn’t wait until he saw Kelly in action; he’d be surprised if it took her more than a minute to win the battle.
He stood a few desks away and frowned. In no time at all, Kelly lost the battle. How was that possible, she had more control over her piece than any other student? She should have won. He looked around and within ten minutes each pair had raised their hands. ‘Now I want you to try and touch your opponents, but at the same time . . . don’t let them get you.’
‘Um . . . sir, how do we do that?’
‘Think of playing double chase as a kid; put that idea into your game.’ He watched Kelly lose her battle again; he frowned deeply and realised she must still have her headache. He would talk to her after class and tell her to go back to the healers.
But at the end of class that day he’d forgotten the talk he was going to have with his student. There was no reason for it, he just didn’t think about it again. Until the next battle happened the next week. But every time he made up his mind to talk with her, he always forgot. He watched her closely in class and started to worry about her. No student as strong as she was, should loose every round, and every battle. Something had to be very wrong.
They were deep in their confinement but felt Manin’s mind turn over the problem he had with the red haired student. Every time this happened, it slowly moved to him and shaded over his concern. They weren’t ready for anyone to see the truth yet; they needed a little more time. They still didn’t feel the situation over the boarder was moving fast enough. If they timed this wrong, they would never be free. Always before they left the classroom, they would drift around Kelly, every time they did this, her head would give a twitch. They left her with a faint sense of piece.
Almost a year and a half later, the students sat in their classes, teachers taught; healers healed the few that needed it. Cooks prepared food. Cleaners cleaned. The school moved through its daily ritual. The head, Wizard Donald, walked from class to class. He placed his hand on each door and felt what happened within the rooms. He looked up the hall. He’d long since lost count of how many times he’d done this over the last forty odd years.
He stopped at one door, Wizard Manin Johnson’s. He still didn’t understand why he’d hired him; Manin was not only young, four years older than his students, and good looking, he was also single. This wasn’t the kind of teacher he normally hired. All the others were much older and many were happily married, well, even if they weren’t married, none of the young students would even look at them that way. He stood with his hand on the door and let his mind return to the day he hired this Manin.
He’d been at his desk and added items to a list of thing he needed replaced by the beginning of the next year. He quickly read down the list.
‘Pillows. You silly old duffer, you forgot the pillows.’ A knock got his attention. Donald looked up as Manin entered, he looked a little nervous.
‘Sit down a moment son; I just want to finish this.’
‘Yes sir.’ Manin sat in the chair and let his fingers fiddle with the paper in his hand.
‘There.’ He smiled at the newly graduated student. ‘If I don’t write these things down I will forget it, and we will end up with half the new students with no pillows. Now, you were going to apply for a teacher’s assistant position at which school?’
‘As close to home as I can get, but anything I can get would be good sir.’ Manin grinned.
‘You have proven yourself this year and any school will be thrilled to have you.’
‘Thank you sir.’
‘Did you find anything that might help with Denny’s little . . . um . . . problem?’ He tried not to grin at the nervous young man that hid his own smile.
‘Yes sir, I found a source of recording crystals that will always have plenty in store. Healer Denilia will never loose anything again . . . if she uses them.’
‘Where is this store?’
‘It’s not a store; there’s a little village about fifty miles to the south of here that has a mine of their own. One of the families was passing through the city trying to find a buyer. I sent them to Denny.’
‘They have their own mine?’
‘Yes, apparently some over adventuress boy went crawling into a cave and just stumbled across them.’
‘That is one village that will never go without money if they can keep the crystals coming.’
‘They refused to open the mouth of the cave any further, that way it’s their secret.’ Manin like the idea. So many villages had found a small source of crystals and opened the cave up wide, this brought about some that would steal into the cave during the night and take as many as they could carry. ‘They know how to take care of crystals so when they harvest some, it doesn’t kill off the rest. I asked if they’d tell me about it, but they said they needed to find out if they could trust us first.’
‘You really will be an asset to any school that’s lucky enough to get you Manin.’ He picked up a white folder and opened it. Here or the other side of the country, we never hire wizards this young. We should always send students out into the world. Wizards are a rare thing that needs to be shared throughout the country. ‘I know of only two positions available at the moment. One is here, and the other is at . . . Willard School of magic.’
‘So it’s the other side of the country for me.’ He tried to hide his disappointment.
‘Do you still want to be a teacher son?’
‘More than anything. And if that was not an option, I’d have stayed with Denny.’ He gave Donald a sad smile. ‘She was rather upset when I chose to be a teacher.’
‘Tell me about it; I had her in here asking if there was anything I could do to change your mind.’ He held up his hands. ‘Don’t blame her; it’s been a long time since she’s found anyone with such a natural feel for healing.’
‘I’m not happy about having to disappoint someone I admire . . .’
‘Manin, it’s alright, she understands you need to follow wherever your magic is aiming you. Now, as you know, it’s not normal for a teacher to be taken from its graduating students that have only just left.’ Something felt terribly wrong about not having him here. Any teacher, who could talk to students in a way they not only understood, but respected, would be an asset to any school.
‘So . . .’ He stopped and understood what he’d already done in his mind. ‘Give me the form.’ He filled it out then handed it back as he tried to figure out why he did it. He waited as Manin read the form.
‘Um sir, you filled it out wrong. I’m meant to be heading to Willard School of Magic.’
‘No, I think I’m keeping you here. The work you’ve done with the first years in the last year proves you are up to it. Tania left you in charge of the class so often on purpose; she wanted to prove to you that you were capable of doing it. I’ve been keeping a very close eye on you, okay, you like the occasional prank, but who doesn’t. What year were you thinking of teaching?’
‘Teaching, I thought I’d be an assistant?’
‘I need a new teacher next year, and none of the Wizards I’ve interviewed seem the right fit for this school, you are my choice.’ He hoped he didn’t show his shock because when he filled out the paper just moments ago, he knew he was going to be making him an assistant.
‘First years if possible sir.’
‘Good, Nivalis is retiring and that’s the one you’ll be taking over.’ He stood up. ‘Welcome to the school Wizard Manin.’ He shook the shocked man’s hand with a warm smile. ‘Come with me and we can get you set up.’
‘All the teachers call me Donald.’
From that day, Donald had never doubted he’d done the right thing. He got along perfectly with his students and the other teachers. And one bonus, Denny was thrilled that if needed, Manin was close by to help when none of her healers would do. Donald kept his hand on the door to Manin’s room a moment longer before moving on with a smile