Winds of Change

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Ander couldn’t help this time but surreptitiously observe Bozworth’s incantation. The last three attempts of his roommates to charm a lantern into light had resulted in one minor explosion and one deafening clang, and finally one shower of sparks that left Norbert’s face green for a halfmark.

Bozworth’s fourth attempt resulted in a small hailstorm that pelted him for ten seconds.

Fortunately, Ander mused, their results had not produced especially dangerous side effects, but studying was becoming increasingly arduous.

As Norbert laughed, Bozworth’s normally stable nature showed evidence of cracking as he flared, “You’re so brilliant, you try it!”

Norbert shook his head. “Not until you get it right, mate! Stars above, I’ll just bring in a cyclone on us, you know that.”

Ander, who had until now refrained from assisting them, finally made a decision based on those words. Until now, he’d found himself quite a bit advanced in his subjects, downplaying his good grades so as not to stand out, his success he attributed fully to Gabriella’s excellent tutelage.

Quietly from his bed on the other side of the room, he opined, “I think maybe you’re saying it wrong.”

Norbert rolled his eyes at him and said, “No, you don’t suppose so, do you.” Snorting, he continued to Bozworth, “Even a First Cycle would’ve figured that.”

This was a reference to the mysterious jump in Cycles that Ander had taken upon arrival without apparent prior experience, tutelage, or attendance of some private school. Mutterings about the campus had been made in his earshot to this effect though never directly to his face.

So Ander decided a little one-upmanship was finally called for.

He ignored Norbert’s comment and continued, “You’re saying it wrong, emphasizing the last syllable. Emphasize the second syllable, like this: Ga-LI-ha-desh!”

And light of every color in the spectrum bathed him. With a smug look at their astonished faces, Ander could not resist showing off a little. With one finger, he used a minor Motion Charm to direct the light across the dorm to shine down upon his open-mouthed roommates. Then he called lazily, “Salik,” to end the incantation. He knew they hadn’t yet been taught either of the last two Charms yet, but felt their appreciation mingled with the impressed “O’s” on their faces.

Then he saw Norbert studying him curiously. Ander raised an eyebrow dryly. “Fifth Cycle book,” he said in a suggestive tone.

Norbert recognized the slam and nodded his head in acceptance.

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