Ragnar stepped forward and the Professor told him to try out the same spell as Runa.
"Lux!" said Ragnar, not as loudly as Runa had.
The exact same thing happened – the room filled with light and it hurt Runa's eyes. Ragnar closed his eyes because it was too bright. He stepped back again and Runa felt his arm brush against hers. The Professor looked astonished.
"I have never seen such power before! Well, at least in a very long time," he said.
Runa and Ragnar exchanged a look and then looked at the Professor.
"What does that mean?" asked Runa.
"That means there is a lot of power in your bloodline. Would you like to start studying magic here in the College?"
"Yes!" said Ragnar without looking at his sister.
Well, isn't he really eager to start, thought Runa. But Runa had to agree with him. Studying magic did sound really exciting and she would have given anything to find out more about their father.
The Professor gave both an application to fill out and motioned for them to sit at the desk.
"This is just for formality, you're both going to get in anyway," he said as he handed them the copies.
Ragnar and Runa filled out the applications – leaving out their father's name – and gave them back to the Professor.
"Thank you! You are free to go for now, but please come back tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock," said the Professor.
Ragnar and Runa got up and started toward the door.
"Oh, and don't be late!" the Professor said as Ragnar touched the doorknob.
The twins made their way toward the front door of the College. They were both so deep in their own thoughts that they didn't even see the faces that were looking at them. Everyone looked – professors with long beards, students carrying stacks of books and paper scrolls, even the lady who was cleaning the floor near the steep staircase.
I'm going to study magic!
I know, isn't this cool? – thought Ragnar back to his sister.
Do you think our father studied magic here in this school?
I'm sure he did. It is one of the oldest magic schools in Stella Jord after all and from what mum told us, he was a very powerful magician so he must have learned from the best.
Anyway, I'm really excited to learn everything he learnt all this time ago!
I can see that, sis.
They walked out of the College and through all the snow, to home. Neither of them said a word to the other all the way to home. When they finally reached the safe warmth of home, Ragnar went straight to the fireplace and picked up his book which he had left there. Runa was called by their mother to help her with something.
"Would you please help me with these boxes, sweetie?" she asked Runa.
"Mum, what are you doing at home?" Runa asked, because their mother was never at home by midday.
"After you went in Professor Alvis's office for testing, I came home and started to go through all the things in the attic. We have lots of really old stuff here and I just want to get rid of some."
Runa helped her mother to move some of the boxes from the attic to the kitchen and then let mum sort through them until she looked around in the attic for a bit. The place was full of old boxes, books, scrolls that were tied together with string and, of course, a lot of dust. She even found a dead mouse between two boxes, which made her almost squeal, but she held it back.
In the far side of the attic there was a small and strange-looking chest. Runa felt like being drawn to it so she climbed over some of the things and finally reached the other side of the attic. The chest was covered in beautiful carvings and it looked very old. She pulled the handle, but it was locked.
"Damn!" she said quietly to herself.
"What?" asked her mother who had just climbed through the trapdoor.
"Nothing. I Just found something that looked interesting, but I couldn't open it."
"It's your dad's. I could never open it either and I've been wondering what's inside for years."
"This was dad's?"
"Yes. Now, would you please climb back down so I can close the trapdoor?"
Runa went back downstairs and watched her mother close the door. She didn't lock it; they never did.
What could be in that chest? wondered Runa. She decided not to tell Ragnar about it unless she can find a way to open it. She was allowed to have some secrets of her own and besides, Ragnar didn't look that interested in finding something out about their father. This is going to be only her secret.
Ragnar spent the whole day reading the book he had got from Runa for his birthday. Runa helped their mother to examine the boxes on the kitchen table and to decide which things they should keep and which they should throw away. There were old clothes that could not be used for anything anymore, an old hat that neither of them liked and an old pen with golden decorations.
"I know you love to write, Runa. Would you like to have this pen?"
"Thank you, mum!"
It looked very old, but very beautiful to Runa's eyes.
"And would you give this to your brother?" asked her mum and handed Runa a copy of "Dragon Tales of the Old", "I think he would love it."
Runa smiled at her and took the book to the living room where Ragnar was messing around with the pillows, because he was getting tired of lying on the floor all these hours.
"Got something for you, little brother!"
"What's that?" Ragnar asked and straightened out his arm for the book Runa was holding.
""Dragon Tales of the Old"? Wow, I have never even heard of this book and that says a lot! Thanks, LITTLE sis!"
He started to skim through the pages and completely forgot himself in the world of books, dragons and magic. Runa watched him with deep affection – her brother had always loved the old stories and he could never have enough of them.