My daily schedule is split in half, with my normal high school classes in the morning and spellcasting in the afternoon. Mercedes and I entered our Spellcasting Application III class right before the bell, Ms. Corvus standing up to start class as we rushed to our seats.
“Glad you’re all here lovelies,” She said and clapped her hands. “Today, I’m going to need two volunteers, preferably one conjurer and one healer, if we have one of each.”
Mercedes raised my hand for me and Ms. Corvus called me up to the front. She also called for Mercedes, laughing as she joined me before the class.
“Our plan today is to distinguish between what society refers to as ‘dark’ and ‘light’ magic types. Every spell falls into its own type, such as enchantment and necromancy, but they also fall into societal categories, being the aforementioned dark and light,” Ms. Corvus jogged over to the door and locked it, a normal occurrence when we began actual casting. Couldn’t have a visitor or non practicing student come in and be put into danger. “We’re going to explore why various spells are put into these categories. To put it simply, light and dark refer to how the spell affects the mortal form.”
She went over and stood beside Mercedes. “Mercedes here would be considered a powerful ‘light’ spellcaster, as her magic primarily heals the mortal form,” Ms. Corvus rolled up her sleeve and held it out to Mercedes. A red mark on her forearm reached from the inside of her elbow nearly to her wrist. “I accidentally burned myself making a potion last night, nothing serious. But, for the purpose of demonstration, Mercedes would you heal me please?”
Mercedes took a deep breath and held her hand over Ms. Corvus’ arm, a faint golden light shining from her fingertips. The burn gradually disappeared from her arm and the light faded. Our classmates clapped halfheartedly, almost all of them having been healed by Mercedes at one time or another.
“Thank you Mercedes. As you all saw, her magic heals, and thus society would deem it as light, as it doesn’t have the potential to directly cause harm. Other light magic types include some forms of enchantment, abjuration, divination, and illusion,” Ms. Corvus thanked Mercedes again and turned to me. “Dark magic, on the other hand, is a far more complex beast. Not only does dark magic have the capability to cause harm, but often it’s used by spellcasters with bad intentions. Our school rules forbid the use of many forms of dark magic, and as to avoid being fired, we’re not going to be demonstrating anything like necromancy or evocation. Especially necromancy, as I know some of you practice that.”
A couple students in the back giggled to themselves, subtly putting their contraband spellbooks out of sight. “Luckily,” Ms. Corvus said. “We have a conjurer in our midst, and conjuration is only somewhat not allowed, so I’ll let it slide for today.”
I could feel the abyss of my magic building inside me, the skin on my fingers tingling as I figured out what to conjure. Various animals and elemental beings flashed in my mind, and the thought of conjuring something large and spectacular crossed my brain. Ms. Corvus spoke softly to me, guiding my magic to an acceptable conjuration. “Honestly, anything you can fit in a moderately sized bag would do just fine. Just make sure you can dissipate it without straining yourself.”
I took a deep breath, my magic intermingling with the air as it entered my lungs. I exhaled, blowing the air out my mouth and into the room, dark blue mist culminating into a shape on the tile floor. A sparrow sang as it formed from the mist, flying around the classroom, my fellow students watching in awe. It flew about, gliding around corners and diving between students in their desks. It came to rest on my palm, its tiny talons poking my skin as it hopped around curiously. I closed my hand around the little bird, blue mist dissipating from the gaps between my fingers. The class applauded, friends whispering questions about it to each other in their amazement. My cheeks blushed as I stood before them.
“Wonderful job Diantha!” Ms. Corvus beamed at me. “You and Mercedes can return to your seats now, thank you for your help in demonstrating!” We sat back down, my magic simmering within my lungs, untapped energy stinging my nostrils.
Mercedes put her hand around my shoulders, pulling me into a gentle squeeze as Ms. Corvus restarted her lesson. “So, now that we’ve seen some tangible examples, we can get into the parts of light and dark that I can’t demonstrate and keep my job,” She looked around the room, making sure that most of us were paying attention before she began. “In our world, we have extremes in every group. Magic is no different. There exists extreme light and dark magic, with lesser types falling into their categories due to similarities to the two extremes. Magic users of old who discovered these extreme types of magic felt these categories to be necessary when developing laws and guidelines. Both extremes have the power to alter life itself, with extreme light magic being able to bring people back to life, while extreme dark magic being able to end life.”
A hush fell over the room, everyone silently recollecting various news stories and historical accounts of magical murders. They all are the same: someone is provoked, not known to possess magic at either extreme, and ends up casting a forbidden spell that ends the life of whoever provoked them. They’re charged with murder by way of spellcasting and are lost to the legal system. We hear their names on the news and move on, knowing deep in our minds that our world is far more dangerous than it seems; that magic is far more dangerous as it seems.
The bell rings, interrupting Ms. Corvus with the sounds of all of us gathering our things to move to our next classes. Mercedes grabbed my hand as we left the room, feeling my pulse through my fingers. We headed out and away from spellcasting, my head spinning with the great potential in our world, and how much I’ll never even know about it.
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