The magical market
The magical tianguis.
*Santa Maria de Fatima orphanage*Quintana Roo*Mexico*June 27*
Harry Potter walked towards the matron's room on the westernmost part of the upper floor, where the nursery was also located.
The ten-year-old boy walked into the office to find it unusually crowded: apart from him there were eight children, two of them his age.
There was one face he had hoped wouldn't have been there: Jaime Gonzales Gutierrez, "HEH, the tragalibros decided to look up from his book"
Harry arched an eyebrow at him, "So you left the bathroom already, seso de pito"
Jaime growled, making Harry grin and some of the older younger residents snicker.
"HIJO DE TU..." the sound of a throat being cleared brought even more amusement to Harry as Jaime paled and turned to look at the matron.
Matron Camila Aguilar de Ayala, or Ms. Cami, as she preferred to be called, was a woman in her late thirties that had taken control of the orphanage a pair of years ago after the previous matron, an old, slightly overweight woman on her sixties, had retired after declaring that she couldn't care for more kids.
Ms. Cami was a nice lady, most of the time, but she didn't hesitate to hand out punishments that lasted weeks if the need arose, like that one time Rivera, one of the kids that arrived from Cuba, started a fight over a chocolate cake.
She was 1.55m, with dark brown hair and eyes of the same color, and tanned skin, though he suspected that it was because of some Indian blood somewhere along her family line rather than sun-tan.
Right now she was looking at the two of them with a glare that promised no deserts for the rest of the week, not that harry minded, as long as there weren't mangos.
How he LOVED them mangos.
Ms. Cami shook her head, "I believe all of you have received your school letters already" the older children nodded surely, but the three ten-year-olds did it hesitantly, "Good, now, I assume you three are confused" she looked at the three of them. Only Harry shook his head, making the matron raise an eyebrow, "You knew already?" she asked bewildered.
Harry nodded, "Since about a year before I arrived, though it was only a guess"
"Still, it is impressive that you suspected it that early, most don't know until they start the secundaria" she said, looking at him in the eyes. She turned back to the other two kids of his age, "You two received a letter today, which letter explains only some things, such as where you will be going for secundaria and prepa, but it didn't explain WHAT you are.
"Simply put, you three are mages, wizards in case of Harry and Jaime, witch in your case Lucia.
"For the next six years you will be attending a school a few miles away from Chichen-Itza, where an unplotable pyramid that dates to the classic era and was hidden as soon as the Spanish entered the land.
"It's called, as the letter says, Hun Ab Kun School of magical disciplines, there they'll teach you to control your magic"
Jaime and Lucia still looked a bit confused, so an older boy of about sixteen, explained, "Some way, somehow, you won the loto on the gene pool and got to have magic."
Ms. Cami shook her head and sighed, "I'll be taking you to the magical market tomorrow, I want you to be ready by 10AM"
Everyone nodded before walking out of the room, the older kids chatting about the coming year while Lucia walked away to talk to her friends as did Jaime.
Harry just walked to his room to pick up his book of the week; The Alchemist by Michel Scott.
*June 28*Quintana Roo* Chetumal*
Harry lagged behind his group as they walked towards a closed-off section of the local market, a place with many stands and carts selling toys, clothes, games and souvenirs.
The part of the park they were approaching was where an old aqueduct threatened to fall any second, though it only looked like that if you were mundane.
To any mage looking at it, a vibe of something old, ancient even, could be felt.
Harry assumed it was hiding the market.
Ms. Cami told the older kids to pass and to wait for them on the other side of the duct, making Harry cock his head in a confused sense of understanding.
One of the teens leaned against the pillar of the duct, punching it three times in different rocks and moving under the arch.
Harry gasped as the teen disappeared, leaving only a slight rippling of air behind him.
The other five older kids followed soon after, each vanishing with only the rippling air as a clue of where they had been.
Ms. Cami turned to the three of them, chuckling at their shocked expressions, "That was them entering the magical tianguis, come with me" the followed her to the pillar the teens had punched, "This pillar is the key to entering the magical community, and to open the doorway you must punch these three" she pointed them out, making them count the line and column of each (Sixth up, eight rock. Seventh up, tenth across. Tenth up, fifth across), "The order doesn't matter; as long as you punch the three bricks it should be ok."
When the matron asked them who wanted to be first, Harry walked up to the pillar and tapped the three bricks and walked through the portal, raising both eyebrows in amassment at the sheer size of the magical district.
He lowered one when he saw the absurdity of some clothes.
Men were walking around wearing jaguar loincloths and leather shoulder pads of the same animal while women followed walking in white blouses and matching skirts. Some were also wearing plumes with feathers of all colors.
The raven-haired kid walked over to where the older teens were standing, looking around the stands, trying to look at everything that was being put on display: coatl scales and feathers, aole fangs, ahuizotl blood, salamander scales, jade bracelets, silver pendants, quetzal feathers, ahuizotl needles, xicoatl venom and more things he recognized from the time he had picked up a book of ancient Mesoamerican mythology.
It was amazing that apparently most of what he had read was real.
He looked down to the floor, frowning as he saw cobblestone rather than concrete. Surely they would prefer cement when walking on sandals.
Then again, they looked as if the Spanish had never conquered them, so maybe it was because of that.
He hoped that technology wasn't lost on the culture.
*Two hours later*
Harry changed his cauldron (pewter and iron) to his left hand after his right started to go numb again, mentally ticking off the things that were on the back of the school letter.
Cauldron and stirring rod-check
Basic potion ingredients-check
Telescope and binoculars (he was glad that they had been introduced to the magic community) - check.
Traditional Mayan attire-as ridiculous as it would be wearing it, check.
Only his books and his 'focus' were missing. He absently wondered what passed as fiction.
There were only three buildings, shacks more than anything, in the market: the animal shop, where some cats, birds and lizards could be seen, the library, and the foci shop, where and old man was sitting behind the counter.
Harry walked a little ways behind the rest of the group, trying to figure what the types of foci were: he had read that the ancient Mayan priests used staffs and daggers for ceremonies, so it could be either; then there was the obvious wand and the possibility of the macuahuitl, the Mesoamerican version of a sword and the huitzauhqui, the obsidian battle-axe, though the last two were not likely.
Harry took out his list as they entered the book store, scanning its contents:
Battle magic for beginners by Tepochtli Rivera Rodriguez
Astronomy for the apprentice by Chitlalin Gonzales Aguilar
Transfiguration: the beginners guide by Fernando Julio de Alarcon Rodrigez
Charms for the rookies by High Priest Hiuhtonal
All you need to know about plants by Chief Healer Malinalli.
American and European potions and droughts by Cozcaapa Lopez Frenandez
History of the American continent by Armando Sanchez Sanchondo.
An introduction to rituals by High Priest Hiuhtonal
Finding your Nagual by Cuauhtli De Isla Jimenez
Harry picked the books one by one, stopping at the battle magic aisle for several minutes, looking at magical defense books.
He did the same when he found the Nagual book, pausing when his eyes passed by a book titled Theory of transformation, helping with your animal. He grabbed it.
He wandered the store while the others found their books, thoroughly searching the fiction section, grabbing three books for his collection: Battles of a Jaguar, Warrior of the sun and The first battle mage
What could he say; he liked action novels.
The fact that they didn't sound so far-fetched was a bonus.
Harry paid for his books, letting the matron use the funds for the school ones and using his own money for the four he wanted for himself.
Now he only needed something to channel his magic through and he would be a full wizard.
*Zyanya foci seller*
The Zyanya family was one of the oldest foci crafters in Mexico, some of the members having served for the Jaguar Soldiers of old when their weapons broke or dulled.
When the Spanish arrived they had been one of the first to start moving to a safe house, distrusting the people other, less intelligent, Mayan citizens, believed gods.
One of the sons of the family had tried warning the emperor of the upcoming danger.
He had been used as a sacrifice.
Since then the Zyanya had crafted weapons for both sides of a conflict, staying neutral because of the betrayal they had suffered at the hand of their leader.
Cuicacani Zyanya was the current weapon crafter of the family, having served that role for almost thirty years now, ever since the grand earthquake of the '65 had killed his father when the man was on the annual Mexican crafters convention.
He was, as expected of a man of his descent, a light-brown skinned man with dark green eyes and dark brown hair, and even though he was on his fifties, Cuicacani still looked on his thirties, both because of his magic and because of the diet he had.
When the three youngest recognized mages of the Santa Maria de Fatima orphanage entered his store he looked at the in the eye and judged what he saw.
'A young man that longed for freedom, finding it in the world of fiction, yet, beneath the cold persona, is a caring soul' Cuicacani moved his eyes from Harry to Jaime, 'A boy disappointed by the hand life gave him, looking to make his life what he wants of it' the man's head cocked towards the only girl in the group, 'Taken from parents that prefer drugs above a daughter, molded by friends that mean her live to her' Caucacani nodded to himself, already making predictions about their type of focus, 'two warriors and a healer no doubt'
As soon as Harry entered the store he felt the power stored in the building, waiting for someone to release it, to use it for what they wanted.
It was as if he had been submerged in the sea.
Harry locked eyes with the vendor, who seemed to nod with…approval?
"Camila Agular, ceremonial dagger, palm tree handle and obsidian blade with graphite runes, transformable for easier cloaking with a core of crushed Ek Chuah" Caucacani's eyes looked vacant as he looked at , "You rarely use it and prefer a Spanish wand for everyday use"
Ms. Cami nodded, knowing that the man was telling the truth, even though they saw only twice a year, "It is not practical, even when transformed, I'm afraid"
The Zyanya crafter just nodded and guided them to the back of the store, where they found a hallway with three doors, "I've no doubt that you feel something coming from one of those doors," the Mayan crafter stood in the middle of the hallway, "Enter the one you feel the call from"
Harry closed his eyes and tried to find his magic, something he had done for the first time when he was five.
The raven-haired child relaxed as he felt the constant pulses emerging from his center, flowing through his body just as his blood did, singing in harmony with nature.
His eyes closed and in trance, the young Potter walked forward, letting his feet carry him into one of the rooms.
Harry didn't leave the trance even as he entered the room, too lost in the feel of his magic to notice the rows of weapons that sat on the room, only noticing the way his powers led him to.
The green-eyed boy grasped what he had in front of him, gasping as a flood of liquid fire traveled through him.
An uncomfortable sensation and it didn't feel exactly right, but somehow, he knew that it was to be.
His trance snapped and he jumped a foot in the air as a voice behind him spoke, "A one and a half meters macuahuitl made of mesquite, with silver and copper blades, the tail feather of a coatl powdered with the crushed fang of a magical jaguar" the Indian weapon crafter said, "the weapon of an elite, I expect you to do an honor to it," the man walked to where Jaime had found his own weapon, "Tap the center to reduce it, that way it won't be detected"
And so enters the Mayan magical culture, and already Harry found things to criticize about it.
I have to admit, writting him was fun, and hopefully it won't stop being until WAY later.
Not much to say, so I'll leave you now.
Wait for next week-