Making Magic

by Siobhan Knight
15 Jun 2012 17:23 (updated 15 Jun 2012 17:23) | 0 comment(s)

"Mom, can you help me with something?" I walk in the family room and immediately think that I shouldn't have. My parents are cuddled up together on the couch, watching television. Mom is curled into Dad, practically in his lap, his large hand resting on her hip and he's dipping his head to nuzzle her hair. It's a very sweet scene, and unlike when I was younger, it makes me smile to see it.

It's amazing to me that after all these years, they're still so much in love. The witch and the sorcerer.

Mom lifts her head, and gives me a faint smile. "With what, Flutterbee?" Then she spots the wood storage crate in my hands. Her eyes widen a bit and she sits up, dropping her feet to the floor. "Shivvie, what's all that for?"

"A spell," I say it with a smile. Mom recognizes the crate. She should, it's one of hers. I've been going through my materials, and I'm not certain of the quality. If I'm going to do this for Quintin, I want it done right. The materials need to be top notch and I want guidance to make sure I'm not going to flub anything up. Practicing spells and making charms for myself is one thing, but I don't want to inflict a mistake on anyone else.

"Must be some kind of spell," Dad teases, his blue eyes twinkling. He may be teasing, but the look he exchanges with Mom says all. They both know that these days, I only come for help when I'm seriously stumped or when it's really important.

"I don't want to mess it up." I shift the crate. It has jars of herbs in it and while herbs aren't heavy, glass jars, no matter how small, add up to weight. "It's a charm actually. Or something like that."

"Let's go in the kitchen," Mom stands up, and slides her feet into her slippers. I notice that her toes are newly polished and remember that today was her pedicure day. She may not be a stage performer, but our feet take a beating in those pointe shoes. Mom has a pedicure, completely with a deep tissue massage, every week.

I lead, Mom follows and Dad brings up the rear. Before marrying Mom and leaving the Dynasty, Dad wasn't very well versed in healing and soothing magics. That's the domain of witches, and some witches are more attuned to it than others. Mom explained once that magic isn't just some wild force that we grab and beat into submission, but it flows all around us and has four different aspects corresponding with the elements. Witches are better at healing because it's earth based and water based, calling from the earth and giving back, and we are more attuned to those vibes.

Except, you know, when your father is a sorcerer and you tap into fire. A lot more than an ordinary witch does.

Anyway, Dad has always been more attuned to fire and air, although he's learned a bit of healing and consolation under Mom's instruction. He always says that he's already a pariah in the sorcerer community, so he might as well go all the way. (It's only half true. He's not part of that world, but he's always the one requested if a sorcerer ends up at St. Luke's.)

"Some one got a head start." Mom's looking at the supplies that I brought down from my bedroom and assembled on the kitchen island and counters before going into her 'stash.'

Dad sniffs a jar of lemon balm. "What exactly are we doing here, Shivvie?"

We. Like it's a family thing. Sometimes it is. Dad likes to watch and learn, though sometimes I think he's just watching my progress to see how strongly I'm tuning into my sorcerer abilities. Christian hardly ever joins in unless he's forced. His interests are sports, video games, and food. I think it's a little irresponsible when we have the gifts that we do, but Dad insists Chris will start to get it as he gets older. "He knows the basics, Shivvie. He won't hurt himself or anyone else."

"I have a friend who has some … anger management issues." I pull out a notebook, my pen and my grimoire. In the notebook, I flip to the page where I've started to record my ideas and thoughts about the charm. I'll transcribe it to the grimoire when I'm sure of it, but the only thing I write directly into the grimoire right away are my thoughts and observations. I want this to be a good source for future generations.

I look over my list and nod my head. "I thought I'd make him a sachet with a focusing crystal inside. Maybe with some lemon balm, chamomile and avena."

"What's the source of his anger?" Mom is in teaching mode. "Those are all good choices, but knowing what causes him to get angry will ultimately determine what herbs and in what quantities."

I trace small circles in the notebook. That is something else that I've been considering as well, I'm just not certain I should bring it up to my parents. If I'm right and they know, they might just freak; however, if I'm right and I don't bring it up, the sachet might not do what it's supposed to do.

"I'm not sure, exactly. I think part of it is just who he is. Childhood trauma." I grin cheekily, because I always accuse my parents of causing my childhood trauma, though I have hardly any real, scarring trauma.

Mom is sniffing the oat seeds, and sprinkles some out on piece of parchment paper. She dabs a dot to her tongue. "What else?"

I bite my lip, and notice that I've started to write the letters W - E - R - E in the corner of my notepad and quickly scribble them out. I spent some time trying to figure out Quintin's cryptic remarks about weirdness, and normal, and the anger being part of who he is, and it confused the hell out of me to be honest. He's not a sorcerer, not by any stretch of the imagination. It's doubtful that he's a male witch, because those are rare and if he's got that much anger inside of him, he'd be worse than I am sometimes and all over the place with outbursts.

Google is your friend. I spent over an hour just researching on Quintin. Old articles online, old newspaper archives at the local library, footage and news reports brought over to You Tube. I was young and didn't pay much attention when it happened, but there are things there that can be ignored if you don't know what you're looking for.

Like the fact that he was attacked by a 'rabid wolf' and doesn't have a mark on him. Well that I've seen. Admittedly, he's covered up, except for those arms, when I've seen him. I looked up animal attacks and animal maulings too, though. No part of the body is left unscathed. He should have scars on his arms, or his face, or his neck. There should be reports of skin grafts but there's nothing once his uncle claimed him, and there weren't families clamoring to adopt the poor boy.

I don't want to read too much into it, and there's no good way to ask, "Hey, Quintin, are you a werewolf?"

It does change things in so far as the charm.

"Ithinkhemightbeawerewolf." I loose the words in one quick, long breath.

I can hear a pin drop.

My parents exchange one of those patented, 'Well, that changes this discussion,' looks and I sigh. Hooking a breakfast bar stool with my ankle, I drag it over and sit atop of it. Waiting for the lecture to start. I'm almost twenty-one, but it's their house, their rules and I figured out a long time ago that I'll probably still get the lectures when I'm fifty.

"That's going to require a different approach," Mom says.

Right at the same time Dad asks, "Exactly who is this friend and how well do you know him?"

"That's why I mentioned it. Is there anything that can calm a werewolf?" I'm answering my mother's question while reserving a cool, annoyed look for my father.

Mom laughs, and starts going through the crate of ingredients. "Of course there are things to calm werewolves. There are things to calm vampires, Sweet Pea, they just don't work very long and have to be really potent."

I don't know a lot about the supernatural world, mostly what I've asked questions about. Mom and Dad told us that the things that go bump in the night are real, and be wary of it. I really didn't start getting a basic education until I officially joined The Coven, and most of that comes from Tethys. And while I like her, she's an odd bird, the only thing we have in common is being witches and I take everything she says with a huge grain of salt. More like a bottle.

That means that when Mom throws things like that out so casually, I end up blinking and gaping at her for a moment. Before I can process a response or a question, she's already moved on. "We'll want to introduce some wolfsbane to the sachet. Silver shavings."

"What?" I trust my Mom, I do, really. She's been doing this longer than I have and she's good at it. I don't know a lot (read: much) about werewolves, but I do know that wolfsbane and silver are Very Bad Things.

"It's fine, Siobhan. You're not making this for a normal human boy, which would be difficult enough with all the hormones at your age." Mom pulls out a jar and opens it. She sniffs it and adds it to the work space. It's labelled 'aconite' in Mom's swirling handwriting. "He's not going to ingest it. You need to find something to reach the wolf too, though. Just to calm it, not to suppress it."

Mom roots around in the crate and then looks up at me suddenly, surprise writ on her face. She holds up a jar of silver shavings. "Your subconscious must have already been ahead of you, on this one." The silver shavings go to the workspace as I blink at them. I honestly don't remember grabbing them from Mom's supplies, but there they are.

"The lemon balm is a good one still, though I think we'll skip the chamomile and focus on the oat seeds and dandelion leaf," Mom continues. She looks up at me again, and motions for me to start writing, which I do immediately. "Why dandelion leaf?"

"To clear toxins and remove unwanted emotions," I answer easily enough. I do pay attention, and for the things I can't remember, I have an ever growing list of herbs and their uses in my grimoire.

"What if he wants the emotions?" Dad leans against the counter, watching us. "Some people are empowered by hanging onto negative emotions."

"Don't be difficult, Robert," Mom chides. It's always amusing when she chides Dad because it's not something she does very often in front of us. "The spell is going to be a bit more complicated as it is. For now, we'll pretend that he doesn't."

"If I'm wrong and he's not a werewolf, will it still work?"

"It will, yes," Mom answers slowly, and I can see her thinking deeply. "We'll keep the chamomile too. It'll balance out the blend and carry the weight if the wolfsbane is too much. What do you think we should use for a crystal?"

"Peridot, or maybe citrine." I've been puzzling over this piece. "Maybe two stones? Obsidian for grounding and then maybe citrine or peridot?"

"Citrine and obsidian would work very well, but I don't have citrine. A properly spelled obsidian should be able to do the job of two, however."

"Or it can have runic magic applied," Dad suggests. He holds up a hand before I can object. "You can do runic magic. You have sorcerer blood, Siobhan. I'll help you. If you want to try it."

It goes like that for a while, Mom and Dad asking me questions about Quintin, but never really asking me for a name of my friend. They genuinely want to help, although it doesn't take me long to figure out that I'm doing all the heavy lifting, and we haven't even really tackled the actual spell work. We do walk throughs and Mom and Dad check and double check what I've added to the grimoire.

It's after 1AM when I finally set up my casting circle and Mom and Dad leave me to my own devices. I know that they can't help me with the real casting, because it'll affect the spell. The power will come from my feelings, my desire to help Quintin and see him have even a little peace. I can't stop him from being a werewolf, and I can't take away his anger, that's not the point. Giving him breathing space so that he doesn't feel like a slave to that anger? That I can do.

There's no doubt, no confusion, no hesitancy as I center myself and find that place of peace and calm. I'm connected to the magic, to the earth and everything else, and I channel that into the power of the spell.

My intentions are pure, my energy is positive and I can feel the spell taking hold.

It's not like television, though. There are no bright lights, no crescendos of strings and woodwinds. The earth doesn't shake. When it's done, I know it's done.

I wrap the sachet, herbs and runic crystal sealed inside, in a silk cloth and carry it to my room. It'll keep in a small wood box, lined with silk and a bit of thistle until I deliver it to Quin.

Then I crash, exhausted from both the magic and the late hour.

I'm exhausted, but I'm proud and elated.

I'm a witch.


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