Outhos, Master Sorcerer
Outhos's mother had enrolled him into the magical schools of nature and water at the age of nine. It was apparent after the first week that Outhos couldn't even cast the simplest spells of nature magic, but he could already cast spells beyond his level in water magic.
After a few months, the school of nature magic deemed him a total failure, and the school of water magic realized he was a prodigy. He was elevated to the third level of water magic, and he was cast out of the school of nature magic.
Three years of intense study later, he had learned much, and planned on learning more. Outhos was hopeful.
And then his mother died. Some said that her big heart had finally given up, others said that she was exhausted, but only Outhos knew the truth; that it was his fault. He needed to atone for his , so he enrolled himself into the school of nature magic again, this time vowing to himself to work harder, and to learn everything his mother had wanted him to. He took water classes in the morning, rushed to the school of nature, then ran back to the school of water. All of this was exhausting, but he knew there were reasons -- good ones -- for why he should work this hard.
Outhos became a master water sorcerer in the year 1218. He was only thirteen, and he had achieved the highest rank of water mage in only four years.
The veil of sleep covered Outhos like a familiar friend. The day before, he had finally achieved what he had been chasing for four years: the title of Master. The veil would not lift early today, because he was truly exhausted.
The dreams, however, ended rather rapidly. Outhos had seen castles and mages of distant kingdoms, but then he saw nothing, and simply rested for a few hours in the darkness of unconsciousness.
Then the sun burst through the distant mountains, and Outhos's eyes fluttered open, followed by a momentary panic, followed by a tripping off of the wrong side of the bed, fully unaware that he had just graduated the day before.
Eventually, though, Outhos pulled himself together and got ready for whatever the day would throw at him.
Then, of course, he wondered what the day was going to throw at him. He knew that for every snowball he picked up and threw at the day, the day would be sure to pick up a snowman and throw it back at him. Outhos just wasn't sure which snowball he should pick up. So he went to the door to look for a job he could do until midday nature classes began.
As soon as he opened his front door, his ears were assaulted by a chorus of at least thirteen voices, each saying the words "Happy birthday, master sorcerer!"
He jumped back, hands blazing with magic, until he realized what they had said and who they were.
Alyssa, fourteen, to the very left. She had been his friend for all of four years. She finished her studies in water magic yesterday, after eight years of study, and she too was learning nature magic in the same grade as Outhos. Her father and mother, also good friends of Outhos, were standing next to her.
Elmie, ten, next to Alyssa's family. He was new in the nature school, and Outhos had helped him a bit, and he'd even taught him the basics of water magic. His father stood beside him. Outhos didn't know him well, but he felt he knew him to be a good person.
Leon, Noah, Leah, and Becca. Twelve, all born the same day. Their mother had died while giving birth, and their aunt, who could not have children, took care of them along with their father and uncle.
They were all here. And they were all smiling.
Outhos was speechless for a few seconds, then smiled and said, "Thank you."
He held the door open for each of them to go inside, never wondering who the thirteenth was.
The thirteenth person was used to this, though, and she silently passed through the open door. She too was smiling, although nobody could see it.
Outhos, the person she had known since she was formed, was turning thirteen, and so was she.