Okay, she'd seen a lot of things in her life, but this was new to her. To say that she was dumbfounded, was the understatement of the year.
"Uhm… Terra?" Aqua started carefully, biting her lower lip, as though she seemed to be struggling with something. She gave him a doubtful look, not sure what to think of this. "I don't want to spoil all the fun for you, but aren't you a little too old for this?"
One shouldn't get her wrong, though; she really liked spending her time with Terra, especially now that he was attending high school and she was still stuck in primary school, with the mean girls that she had once called her friends. They were now avoiding her altogether (at least one thing that she didn't mind about this situation). But, to get back to the point she was trying to make, sometimes she wondered what it was with her brunet friend, because even Ven acted more mature than him at times… And that really said something, since the blonde was four years younger than him.
The teenage boy raised a thin brow. "What? Nobody's too old for magic. Seriously, what is it with you and wanting to grow up so badly? Grown-ups have it much worse than us, I tell you. Mark my words, there's gonna be a day when you'll regret growing up…"
Terra took the black hat that was far too big for him (it fell over his ears) off his head and ran a hand through his spiky mane to get it back in model again. Next, he put it on the wooden table in front of him. By now, the table was cram-full with all kinds of "magic" stuff, from a simple game of cards that looked harmless, to the black magic stick. However, since the black hat was the biggest object among them, it stood out the most from all the other things. Aqua wondered where the brunet had gotten that thing from. It still looked pretty new, but the bluenette was sure that that wasn't the case. Maybe it belonged to Terra's father? Or great-great-grandfather…
Had they been just as weird as Terra was now? Perhaps it was a family thing. It was something that Aqua found herself thinkin a lot lately.
"I know, Terra. You've only told me that at least a thousand times before."
"And you still don't want to get it, do you?" he argued with a small shake of his head.
Deciding that this was a good time to change the subject, she asked her brunet friend, "So, are you gonna show me your magic tricks now, or what?"
This seemed to have the effect she was hoping for, seeing that he looked up from the table and his trademark grin was back on its place again.
"Alright, then. Let's start with the easy thing." Terra grabbed what seemed to be a black stick from the table and waved around with it like a real wizard would. At once, a bouquet of red dry flowers appeared on its end with a soft popping sound. He smirked triumphantly at his first victory. Next, the boy stepped forward and handed the flowers over to his only audience that sat across from him, at a safe distance. "Some flowers for the lady," he said with a wink.
Aqua laughed and thanked him with a sincere smile.
Next, he gave the black stick to Aqua to hold it. "You see this? It's a solid stick and it's not exactly soft and flexible, right?"
The twelve-year old bluenette shook her head, wondering what he was up to now. With Terra, one could never be too sure and the guy never ceased to amaze (or surprise) her.
"Not at all."
Terra took the stick from her again and continued, "But I can make it all elastic. Watch this."
The older male held the middle of the stick horizontally between his thumb and index finger and started moving it up and down, still holding only the middle of it. To Aqua's great surprise, the stick turned completely elastic in his hands, as its ends flapped up and down with each movement, much like the wings of a bird.
Aqua's mouth dropped open. She couldn't believe what she was seeing! How did he even do this? It couldn't possibly be for real… right?
"Is that magic, or what?" He gave the bluenette girl a victorious look, but didn't give her a chance to reply. "But that's not all. I can make things disappear, like coins. Or…"
He tapped with the stick, which had mysteriously turned solid again, on the hat.
At the very same moment, Aqua spotted the white rabbit that tried to climb out of its black prison, but in vain. The animal was soft, adorably cute and furry and it made Aqua go "Aww."
"Oh, there he is. I was wondering what had happened to Ven's rabbit," Terra said, nonchalantly, although both of them knew how much fun he was having at the moment.
Who knows how much he'd been practicing these tricks in his free time, just to make it appear flawless to his audience. It was incredible, really. The perplexed girl started applauding, clearly impressed at her friend's spectacular performance. She'd never had the pleasure before to meet a real illusionist, but Terra really was good at what he was doing, up to the point that she started to believe that he'd been doing this for years now, just to surprise her. Honestly, if she liked it this much, then she could only imagine how much everyone else would love it... including Ven. It was obvious how much the younger boy admired Terra, so needless to say, this act might only make him see Terra as some sort of God.
Speaking of which, where was the blonde boy? Terra had said that he'd invited him, too. And Ven was never late for anything… However, before Aqua could worry more about this peculiar phenomenon, Terra had grabbed the cards from the table, ready to show her something else.
"Pick a card," he started, trying to sound mysterious. "Any card..."
The bluenette girl was happy to obey now and she did as she was told.
And so, the enthusiastic teen showed his female friend all kinds of magic tricks in order to entertain her with his black hat and it seemed to work, too. Cards, white rabbits that randomly appeared out of his black hat and made a dash to the corner of the room where it would be safe, a colored piece of cloth that seemed to be meters long (how had it even fit in Terra's pocket?), he showed her every trick that he knew and had practiced. She applauded for him time after time, which was accompanied with a good laugh. This was what made Terra think that this girl was the best audience he could possibly wish for. She gasped and laughed at exactly the right moments and complimented him on everything he did.
And little did he know that from that day on, the awestruck girl had started to love anything that had to do with magic, all thanks to him.
"And that's all of it. Hope you enjoyed the show," Terra eventually said, as he took off the tall black hat and bowed deeply.
This time, Aqua gave him a standing ovation and she admitted truthfully, "I loved it! It was amazing!"
Terra wanted to say something back, but at that moment, the door swung open and Ven came rushing into the room in a way that made his friends think that the blonde had been chased by the devil himself.
"Sorry I'm la-hate, guys," he panted, letting himself fall unceremoniously on the hard floor, while trying to catch his breath.
Terra and Aqua exchanged a meaningful look, but they didn't say anything yet. The spiky-haired boy would spill out everything soon enough, after all.
When the blonde had calmed down a little more, he explained to his perplexed friends, "Naminé… she needed help with cleaning her atelier. I couldn't say no to her this time."
Terra rolled his eyes, muttering to Aqua, "As if that's something new."
Naminé was a neighbor of Ven. She had long, glossy blonde hair and big, electric blue eyes that could make anyone do anything for her if she wanted. Her silent stare could be even more intense than Ven's, making anyone feel uncomfortable if she'd want to. And that was when they would spill out the truth to her…
Her white summer dress that barely reached her knees, made her look like a little angel and her sweetness only empathized that thought. The nine-year old girl loved drawing and painting and anything else that had to do with art, so her parents had made an atelier of the spare room in their house. Their house was big enough for it. It had been an early birthday present for their only child. She and Ventus were classmates as well and the spiky-haired boy seemed to have gotten a certain interest into the silent, angelic girl; whenever he wasn't around Aqua and Terra, they knew that he was either taking a powernap, or spending his time with Naminé. Of course, Terra loved to tease the younger boy with this, so it was only a matter of time when the brunet would start about it now.
"So, what did I miss?" their energetic friend now asked, looking from Terra, to Aqua and then back to Terra again.
He was oblivious to what the older male had just said, making Ven look the more innocent.
Terra deadpanned, "Everything. The show was over two minutes ago."
Ven widened his cerulean eyes in shock and disbelief. "What? It ended that quick?"
"A show of at least ten minutes isn't quick at all. You're just too slow."
…Even though everyone knew that Ven was the fastest boy from his class. He was even able to beat Terra with racing sometimes. Whether the older boy let him win, like he always claimed, or he really was that good, nobody knew.
"But… but I didn't get to see anything. Do it again."
Terra crossed his arms over his chest and tilted his chin, eying the blonde stubbornly. "No way."
The tone in his voice made clear that he didn't want to discuss this, and Ven certainly wouldn't be able to change his mind, no matter how much he pouted.
"Nu-huh. You'll have to wait for the big show if you really wanna see it." Ven sighed, hanging his head in defeat. As an afterthought, Terra added, "And you can take your girlfriend with you, so she won't keep you away."
Ven, whose face at this point was quickly starting to match a tomato, immediately knew who Terra was talking about and he stuttered, "Sh-she's not my girlfriend!"
"I recognize a couple when I see it."
The blonde nine-year old started rubbing over his reddening cheeks, as if he was trying to hide the fact that he was embarrassed. Not that it helped a thing. In fact, this only made Terra laugh harder and he ruffled the blonde's hair, like an older brother would tease his younger sibling.
"Cut it out!" Ven exclaimed in return, ducking under the elder boy's arm. However, he still couldn't avoid the attention that Terra gave him.
Aqua shook her head with a small smile. "You two would make the weirdest brothers."
This caused them to halt for a moment. "Hey… what's that supposed to mean?" Terra demanded, narrowing his eyes at her suspiciously, but Aqua merely giggled. If this didn't answer her question already, then she didn't know what did.
This time, it was Ven and Terra who exchanged a look. Ven shrugged, as if to say, "Well, I have no idea why she's acting weird this time, but it's probably normal."
"You're such a girl, Aqua," was all Terra said, an amused smirk tugging at his lips.
Ven nodded enthusiastically. "But you're our girl, so I guess it's okay," he added.
"Uh… thanks, guys?"
"You're welcome," Ventus replied cheerfully, as he sent her one of his trademark grins. Then, he sobered up and started, "Terra… about that show with magic tricks…"
"I already said no, Ven!"
"D'aw, man! Not fair!"