Charlotte frowned, "In what way?"
"Well, I'm also telepathic and telekinetic." she said.
"Whoa! You guys got all the good stuff!" Willow said in awe. Tina, Rose and Charlotte could only nod in agreement.
"How is it that you five have all suddenly shown such powerful magical abilities?" Charlotte asked.
We really should have worked this out before having this conversation. Mike thought ruefully.
Tell them Sarah was the catalyst, just not how. Or tell them about the portals, but I'm certain Willow at the least would be extremely eager to make use of them if she knew. Vash suggested.
I still think we should keep the portals to ourselves for now. Jill replied, before saying aloud, "Sarah kind of started it all off. We all developed our abilities slowly after she started using hers."
Charlotte frowned, then nodded, "I suppose that makes sense. Being aware that magic exists, and being in close proximity to active magic, could have both a psychological as well as a metaphysical effect."
"Huh?" Willow said.
"Most people don't believe in magic until confronted with irrefutable evidence." Charlotte explained. "Once faced with that evidence, any dormant magical ability they might have would slowly awaken now that their disbelief was no longer suppressing it. Also, being in the presence of active magic, especially if it's used on you, could have a synergistic effect." At Willow's baffled look she said, "Basically you'd get a jump start to your magical abilities."
"Oh, okay. So why am I so bad at it, though?" she asked.
"You're not bad at it!" Tina protested.
"Yeah I am! I've learned a lot from Rose and her aunt, as well as from you. But I still have to work really hard to get even the simplest spell to work." Willow said.
Everyone interacts with the magic within them in different ways, particularly in this universe. She may be going about it incorrectly. Vash suggested.
"Maybe you're just trying too hard to use magic the same way everyone else you know does?" Jill said.
"What other way is there?" Willow asked in confusion.
Charlotte looked thoughtful as Willow turned to her, "There is sense in what she says. After all, look at Tina. She's very good at ritual magic, but she has also picked up glyphs remarkably well. I doubt anyone else I know could have cast that spell that she did without killing themselves. If at all. Perhaps Willow has yet another approach to magic that we are either not recognizing or just aren't familiar with. There is a lot of information that has been lost over time. Perhaps you should talk to Trent. His library might have something in it that could help."
"Really?!" Willow said hopefully.
"I can't promise anything, but it's possible. You'll need to be at the meeting tomorrow anyway, since you were involved in all of this, so you can ask him about it then." she replied.
"Okay, thanks!" Willow said happily.
"Who else is going to be at this meeting?" Tiffany asked.
"There will be Trent, whom I just mentioned. He's a sort of magical historian. He doesn't practice magic, but he knows as much about it as anybody. Possibly more. Beatrice, who is the seer who had the vision about Nathaniel, Willow and Sarah. Clarice, who is a healer and priest. You should probably be careful around her, Sarah. She has some very strong, and often very old fashioned, opinions." Charlotte said.
"Great." Sarah grumbled.
"She's not a bad person, but she can be difficult. Also at the meeting will be Rose's aunt, Kerry. She's the leader of the local coven, and a skilled practitioner in her own right. Esme will also be there. She's the eldest of us, and self taught. She's quite remarkable that way. Then there's Trent's daughter, Stephanie. She usually comes with her father. She has an extraordinarily high opinion of him, and herself. But she's a teenager, so don't hold that against her. She is also an unusual person like the five of you, in that she can augment her physical abilities with magic." Charlotte said.
"So she's super strong?" Mike asked.
Charlotte shrugged, "I don't know the extent of her abilities. But she can definitely make herself stronger, faster and tougher when she wants to. The only other person who might be there is Rose. She sometimes comes to the meetings with her aunt, since she's being groomed to take her place when Kerry retires, though that's a long way off yet."
"I would like to be there, but I need to get my stuff packed for school." Rose said.
"Oh yeah, that's right. You're leaving." Willow said sadly.
"I'm going out of state for school." Rose explained to Sarah and the others. "Classes start in a couple of weeks so I need to get packed and moved out there."
"You won't be alone when she leaves, you know." Tina said, placing her hand on Willow's shoulder.
Willow smiled sadly, "Thanks Tina."
I've been thinking, and perhaps you should tell them that I heal rapidly? That way when they have their meeting they can tell them that instead of the immunity thing. Erica thought to Sarah.
Okay. "I suppose these others are going to want to know about us and our abilities?" she said aloud.
Charlotte nodded, "I'm quite sure. You will be the main focus, because of Beatrice's vision, but they will want to know about all of you. I could try to leave you out, but it could be difficult. Beatrice is a seer, after all. She tends to have insights into things you might not want known."
"Then when we tell them about Erica we can just tell them she heals rapidly, since you thought the immunity was something we should keep to ourselves." Sarah said.
Charlotte looked confused, "You mean to tell me that Erica is immune to magic, but she also heals rapidly?! How is that possible?"
Mike shrugged, "I don't know exactly how it works, but it saved her life when that agent shot her."
Charlotte blinked in surprise while Rose, Tina and Willow all gasped, "Shot her?!"
"One of the agents working for Marvin Garner was a little out of control and accidentally shot Erica. Marvin said he is dealing with him, though." Jill said.
"And you trust him?!" Rose exclaimed.
"Telepath." Jill reminded her, tapping the side of her head.
"Oh, yeah. I guess you would know." she said, though she still looked doubtful. At that reminder of her abilities Willow looked worried, Sarah noticed, though she couldn't imagine why.
"You haven't been, you know, reading our minds, have you?" Tina asked weakly.
Jill shook her head, "No, I try to stay out of people's heads when I can. At first I was picking up everything, but I've gotten a lot better control since then."
"That's good, but perhaps we should stick with the empathy at the meeting. I doubt anybody but Clarice would have a problem with your abilities, but she probably would." Charlotte said thoughtfully.
"She's starting to sound like a real pain." Mike said.
"She can be, yes." Charlotte agreed. "Ironically, it's Stephanie who usually keeps her in line these days. Another reason why Trent brings her, I suspect."
"How would a teenage girl be able to keep her in line?" Mike asked.
Charlotte smiled, "You haven't met her yet. Trust me, she's good at it. Besides, Clarice has odd ideas about magic. To her, the only good way to use magic is through prayer, or through natural ability. She tends to consider practitioners like myself to be unnatural. But those with natural magical abilities that appear spontaneously are, to her, chosen by God. So she tends to listen more closely to someone like Stephanie than most adults would."
"Why do you all even put up with her? She must consider most of you to be unnatural?" Jill said.
"True enough. Trent and Beatrice are the only other ones she has any respect for, since Beatrice's ability is also natural, and Trent doesn't use magic himself. She has a little more tolerance for Kerry and Rose because magic is part of their religion, even though she considers that religion to be false. But Clarice represents all the magical members of the local religious organizations. So we're stuck with her." Charlotte said.
"Are there a lot of magical people in the local churches?" Tiffany asked.
Charlotte nodded, "There are. Or, at least, more than among the general population. Some religious organizations, particularly the Catholic church, have retained some magical knowledge. Only a small number of them know about magic, though. Most of the religious community wouldn't want anything to do with magic and would be very upset to know there was a subset of their own organizations that practice it."
Sarah looked worriedly at Jill, who said, "It sounds like we don't want any of them knowing about magic if we can help it."
"Definitely. Witchcraft, as most of them would call it, is still considered evil by most religions. Christian ones, anyway. Some of the eastern religions are more open minded." Charlotte said.
"So, what all can you guys do, anyway?" Mike asked.
To Be Continued…
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