Chapter 3 – Illuminating Experiments
When Tiffany woke the sun was already up. Oh no, I'll be late for work! she thought, before remembering that it was Saturday and she didn't work again until Monday. With that worry aside, she got up and got ready for the day. Once she was dressed she picked up the journal and started reading as she walked down to the kitchen for breakfast.
After breakfast she reluctantly put the journal down and went to see if her grandmother needed any help in the store. The store was very busy, so the rest of the morning went by quickly. Since she ate breakfast late, Tina covered for Charlotte so she could get lunch, and then had her own lunch when she got back. A flood of customers came in after that, keeping them both busy until closing.
"It's not always like that, is it?" Tina asked as she flipped the 'Open' sign over in the window.
"Thankfully, no. The business is welcome, but it's too much to deal with on a regular basis!" Charlotte replied tiredly.
"So what are we doing today?" Tina said.
"First I'm going to relax with a nice hot cup of coffee. Then we'll try one of the spells in that journal you're reading. I think it's beneficial to try several different ways of doing magic, so that you can find the way that works best for you." Charlotte said.
They went back to the kitchen and Tina continued her reading while Charlotte sipped her coffee. Afterward they went up to Charlotte's workroom to try a light spell. "This seems needlessly complicated." Tina noted as she read over the spell.
Charlotte nodded, "Many of the spells in that book are. But for some people, the more complex spells work better. I suspect that less disciplined minds need the structure to help them to focus their mind and magic in the right form."
"Are you implying that I'm undisciplined?" Tina asked with a smile.
Charlotte smiled back as she replied, "No more so than most teenagers. Actually, I doubt this method will work well for you, but the experience could be useful anyway."
"Okay, so what are we going to use as the focus?" Tina said.
"A crystal is best. I have some in a box over there." Charlotte said, pointing out a shelf on the far side of the circle.
"Why not just use a rock or something?" Tina asked while she walked to the shelf and opened the box.
"The light emanates from every molecule of the object. An object like a rock would block most of the light except for a thin outer layer. With a crystal or other transparent object you get much more light." Charlotte explained. "Don't forget a stand for the crystal while you're over there. There should be a few on the top shelf."
Tina retrieved a round crystal and a stand and brought them back to the circle. After reviewing the spell Charlotte directed her to retrieve several other objects and place them about the circle. With the crystal in the stand in the center of the inner circle and the other objects arrayed around it they set up candles around the outer circle and Tina lit them. "So we don't need an inner ward for this spell, right?" she asked, as they hadn't set up any candles around the inner circle as they had for the previous spell.
"No, that's not necessary for this spell." Charlotte replied. "Now sit down next to the circle and read the spell."
Tina did as directed. It was a long spell, written in Old English. It took her a few tries to get the pronunciation right. When she did, light built up inside the circle and funneled into the crystal. At the last syllable there was a flash and when their vision had cleared the crystal sat there glowing brightly. "How long will it glow like that?" Tina asked.
"This kind of spell usually only lasts for a few hours. With how strangely my spells have been acting lately, though, and how easily magic comes to you, I suspect it may last longer. Let's leave it here and get something to eat. It should still be glowing when we're done." Charlotte replied. Tina nodded and followed her grandmother to the kitchen and helped her make dinner. Afterward they returned to the workroom to find the crystal shining as brightly as before.
"So now what?" Tina asked.
Tina had to repeat herself before Charlotte replied. "Sorry, I was just wondering what this means. The light grows dimmer as the spell fades, but it hasn't dimmed at all yet. Clearly it's going to last longer than usual, but how long? I wish I knew why magic is behaving so differently now." Charlotte said thoughtfully.
To Be Continued…
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