June, otter

drownedinlight7


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The Next Great Magician
June, otter
drownedinlight7
Chapter Thirteen: Conversations in the Morning

Tabitha worked through most of the night, but come some time around four in the morning, she put her typewriter away and lay down to catch a few more hours of sleep. She woke, not an hour later, with Weisz standing over her. Tabitha gasped and jumped up in bed, not calming until she recognized him.
"I would be quite surprised to see me too, seeings as I have not heard from you in two days, but you appear to be everywhere lately," Weisz said. "You know, the immortality seekers know where and who you are, but it still was not at all wise to plaster yourself on the internet."
"You can work the internet?" she asked, drawing the sleep away from her eyes. "At one hundred and thirty-seven?"
"I can do a lot of things at one hundred and thirty-seven," Weisz replied. "First and foremost, however, is worrying about my pupil who seems to undertake advanced rituals when she is out of my sight." He held up one of her stones.
"Put that back! I had it there for a reason!" Tabitha retorted.
"Yes, I can see that: protection, privacy, saftey and concealment," Weisz replied. "It is good work. But you must have exhausted yourself. How long did you sleep?"
"Something like fifteen hours," she replied. "Then I got up, ate and went right back to bed. I would have come to see you too, but Brian was the one who brought me food and he knew I wasn't feeling very well, so it would have been strange for me to go out when I wasn't."
"All right then, speak to me now." Tabitha nodded, but then looked around her and noticed they were still in her bedroom, and she was still in her pajamas.
"Weisz, you have to leave," she whispered.
"Why are you whispering?" he asked.
"Because you, a man who looks to be middle aged, are in my bedroom at five in the morning, and you might wake up my parents!" she hissed. "Not to mention I'm underdressed!"
"Your parents won't wake up," he said. "At least not to anything you do in here. Your privacy ward took care of that very well. Though, there is not much unfortunately I can say about your state of dress. If I step out into the hall your family might discover me for sure." Then there came a knock at Tabitha's door.
"Tabby?" Mikey called. "Tabby are you awake?" Weisz did not need to be told; he slipped into Tabitha's closet just as Mikey slipped in the room.
"I'm awake, Mikey, did you have a bad dream?" she asked.
"Uh huh, and I wet the bed," he said. "I took my sheets off and changed jammies, but could I stay here with you until it's time to get up?"
"Sure." Tabitha held up her covers and let him in, though she saw Weisz glare at her from the closet. She mouthed to him, "Later."
"When?" he asked.
"Eight o' clock," she replied, laying down with Mikey in her arms. Weisz scowled, but disappeared. "Try and fall back asleep so you're not tired at school," she told her little brother, rubbing his back.
"M'kay..." he muttered. "Tabby?"
"Yes, buddy?"
"If you were in trouble, would you ask for help?" he asked.
"If I could find someone who I thought would help me, yes I would," she said. "Why do you ask?"
"Because in my dream, you were fighting bad men, but not like karate fighting, you were doing something with your hands that made them fly back, and there was a lot of fire too, and I thought you looked scared. And I kept wondering why you were there alone, and there was no one there to help you." He looked right up at her with doleful brown eyes. "Will you ask for help before you go and fight the men, Tabby?"
"I will if I can," she said.
"No, you need to promise," he insisted. "I think you will need all the help you can get, so you need to ask."
"All right," she replied. "I promise I will go ask for help before I go and fight the men from your dream. Now lay down and try to go back asleep, all right?"
"Okay," Mikey agreed.
"Well," Tabitha thought. "First, I find out I have magical powers and now Mikey's having visions of the future. I suppose anything is possible after all."

True to her word, after seeing Mikey and Missy off to school, Carol dropped Tabitha off at the library where Weisz appeared to be waiting for her. Tabitha went to the second floor where the computer lab sat off to one corner to research alternative education schools, especially the one Brian had told her about, and Weisz followed her from a distance, sitting down at the computer next to her.
"So, riddle me this, Great Magician," he said, in a quiet tone. "What were you thinking Monday morning?"
"I was...angry," she replied. "The school accused me of cheating, and I am not a cheat. Niether is Brian, so I just got angry and started making threats. We posted everything on the internet to follow through with some of the things that got said in the office."
"Mmm, and what exactly panicked you so much that you felt the need to cast privacy and protection wards on your room?" Weisz inquired.
"That would be what I planned on telling you about, yesterday," Tabitha said. "There was a man who met me in the park. I'm almost certain he was a magician, and an immortality seeker." Weisz did not speak, but leaned in, prompting her on. Tabitha explained about the cigar, the suite, what the man looked like and what he wore.
"I know him," Weisz replied nodded. "Kale Temple. He's a bit older than me, was more on par with Elba. He was actually one of the biggest supporters of The Great War Treaty and it's renewal, which surprised both sides."
"What Treaty?" she asked. Weisz smiled and leaned back.
"Perhaps we should right more things down, if only our history. After the sinking of the Titanic, most of us realized war was on the horizon. In those years it almost didn't matter about immortality or stopping those who wanted it because so many would be blown to smithereens otherwise. And many of us had to participate in the war in some way, else give up our annominity and reveal ourselves as aged Magicians."
"Do people do that?" she asked.
"Some," Weisz replied. "There are other types of magic users out there as well, and many governments can guess that we exist. The older you get, the harder it is to hide. Mostly from taxes. In any case with the Great War just around the bend the two sides met to call something of an armstice between us. But Elba suggested an actual paper treaty that both sides would decide upon. Kale supported her decision, and his voice carried on their side of things. So, the treaty was drawn up. It almost expired just after Hitler came to power, but we all agreed to extend it because we could all smell war on the horizon yet again. Elba...Elba was the first one to die in nearly a hundred years over an immortality hunt. I guess they feel they've waited long enough, and that war is no longer an excuse for peace between us. Tell me, what did he say to you?"
"He said something like he understood what I was going through, that he knew what it was like to run away from somethinger, that he had done it a lot," she said. "He kept trying to empathize with me. Then, he made a comment about my coat..." Tabitha bit her lip for a minute before she said. "I think he knew I was keeping the book in here."
"You aren't keeping it there now, are you?" Weisz asked.
"Weisz, I might be a new Magician, but I'm not stupid," Tabitha said. "I left it somewhere else, all right? Don't worry, I've got a plan for it."
"Don't tell me until you need to," he advised.
"Wasn't planning on it. Anyway, after I left him there, I started feeling like I was being watched again, so I went home and did the ritual and collapsed from exhaustian."
"That's fairly normal. What you did was a very powerful ritual and it should through them off for a while, but keep at changing plans for the book. If they get a hold of it, there's no telling what the lot of them could do," Weisz said. "I don't know what exactly is in that book, but I imagine that it could be very dangerous for all of us if they were suddenly unable to be hurt or gained the secret to live for a long time."
"Barring the former, which I am fairly sure I have no ritual for," Tabitha said, "why can't we just hunt anyone down who does try and suceed at a ritual?"
"Well, we can, and that is part of your job as the Great Magician," Weisz told her. "But Magicians, especially those who seek immortality do live for quite some time and are very good at hiding. And while they are in hiding they can amass power like you would not believe. It has happened once before in history; check the book, it might tell you. And are you sure there's no ritual to make one's self invunerable? Many things from myths carry over, so I always thought there might be something like the River Styx in the book."
"Well, considering that--" Tabitha almost told him when the book started and that it only got newere from there, but bit her tongue. "I don't think I should tell you."
"That's a no, then," Weisz replied. "We must work on your poker face, my dear. In the mean time, we must also work on magic lessons. You mentioned you might have a lot of free time on your hands?"
"I did mention that I do believe," she replied.
"Good, then perhaps we ought to begin increasing your magical training," Weisz said. "Don't you think?"
"Well, yes, that was one of the things I was thinking of, though, Weisz?"
"Yes, Tabitha?"
"You mentioned that you probably wouldn't be my only teacher."
"Are you certain you've never done magic before? Because I am quite certain you are reading my mind," Weisz told her, making Tabitha laugh.
"That sounded like the worst pick up line in history."
"We can't all be good at everything. I'll leave you to your research. What time can I expect you tomorrow?"
"Expect every time," she told him. "I can't garuntee you one, but it will probably be after Carol takes Mikey and Missy to school and leaves for work. Then I pretty much have free reign of my day."
"Then I shall expect you then." He turned to leave the computer lab, but turned back and said, "And Tabitha?"
"Yes?" she asked.
"Expect the unexpected, just for future reference," he told her before he strode out of the computer lab. Tabitha smiled, but shook her head. At least, it seemed things were looking up. Then Brian strode into the computer lab just as Weisz was leaving and walked over to her, a bemused look on his face.
"Do you know that guy?" he asked.
"Oh, he was a guest speaker I met once. We, you know, recognized each other, and he saw me from the video and we started talking. you know. What are you doing here."
"Well, I went to your house, but you weren't there. So I thought to myself, if I were Tabitha and not at school or at home, where would I be? And then it came to me: the library." He grinned at her. "So, here I am."
"And just in time. I'm researching schools if you would like to join me."
"I'd love to," he said, taking a seat next to her. He smiled at her, and Tabitha smiled back. Yeah, things were definately looking up.

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