A few days ago I was worried about passing my algebra final. Now I was listening to a lecture on magic for a whole new set of lessons, and I figured if I didn't pass this course, things were going to be bad.
"Cause and effect," Maggie said, drawing my attention back. "In the case of magic, at least here in Elsewhere, emotions fuel a lot of magic. Outside of Elsewhere, it takes far more than that to create a magical action. That's why there's not much of a spill over, even with the gate so close to human lands."
"Why does it work differently? I mean we're the same on both sides, right?"
"Mostly the same. You touch magic and you change, though. You know that already. You can't go back and be what you were."
"Yeah, I know." I tried not to sound panicked, but so far being something different here didn't seem to be working out very well for me. "I just don't feel any different."
"That is odd," she said, looking at me with her head tilted slightly. "I remember how I started to feel magic almost immediately. I think that's how it normally works for people who cross over. But maybe it's just that you've had to focus on so much else so far."
"Maybe," I agreed.
"Or maybe he's always had the feel of magic and didn't know it," Edmond said, walking up and rubbing against my leg. Why do cats always try to trip you? "Since he's half fae, it may be that he already had the feel and never knew it."
"Like I was always different from the others," I said, voicing a problem I had faced all my life. "I just thought it was because I was half Japanese."
"I don't know how to approach this," Maggie admitted. "I know how I've helped others who first came over, but you -- I think you're going to take special training, Mark. The best I can say right now is that you need to keep tight rein on your anger."
"And your fear," Lord Snow added. He came closer and did not rub against my legs. I would have gone down. "Fear is a very powerful emotion. If yours got out of hand right now, with no controls on your magic -- it could be very dangerous for everyone."
"You could be wrong, you know. Maybe I don't have any power."
Maggie stopped me with a hand on my arm. "What is your favorite color?" she asked.
"Yellow," I said. I had always loved the bright yellows of flowers, the color of the rising sun and warmth, and that made me think of the cherry tree in the yard, with bright pink flowers in spring. Thinking about it made me smile a little --
And a bubble appeared in front of me. I saw flowers inside and a bright sunrise --
"Oh yes, you're half fae," Maggie said and sounded shocked. "I thought you might win a sparkle of color, but this -- yeah, you have powers, Mark. And that's good. If you are a Protector, you are going to need those powers to help others."
The yellow bubble drifted away. I watched it for a moment and then looked back at my cousin again. "Where do I find help?"
"We'll ask at the Council," Maggie said and Davis nodded. "Once we get you sanctioned, it's going to be a lot easier."
"And they will sanction me without question?"
She sighed and started walking on again. We were heading towards the northeast, I thought. I hoped we weren't going to go back into the winter area again. I was still having trouble thinking about the dragon.
"I've been pretending it won't be a problem," she admitted. Davis gave a reluctant nod of his head. "But they've moved off into the forest, and that's prime fae area. It makes me think they're worried about something, too. I don't know if it's you. If Lord Ice is right, then there is something else out there."
"Sheriff Creston," I said and even glanced over my shoulder, afraid he would be there.
I needed to control that fear, I suddenly realized. I could worry about him tracking me, but the gut-wrenching fear had to stop. And I didn't know how. Could I think it away? Could I wish it away?
No Creston behind us, though. So I said nothing this time, but I had the feeling Maggie knew. She patted my arm but she also urged me on. We did have trouble, after all. Creston was only part of it.
What should I worry about when we get to Forest Street?" I asked, thinking it might be good to have some idea before the trouble struck this time.
"The biggest problem might be the trees themselves," she said.
Which reminded me that I'd already had a run in with one set of trees. How could I have forgotten that they could move and talk?
"There will probably be wolves, too," Edmond added and didn't sound happy. "Oh and dryads. If they're against us, we won't get very far."
"And the forest fae," Davis added.
"So pretty much everything," I said and tried not to slow down.
"Yes," Edmond said. He rubbed against my legs again. "Just like everywhere else we've been lately."
I couldn't disagree. I couldn't argue. There was nothing in my life that I controlled right now. So we walked along and I worried about what might strike next.
I hadn't expected the buildings to start moving. I don't know why, but I just hadn't.
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