by Jane Doe
It was when we reached the third chapter of Rowena’s book that Cordelia’s knowledge came into play. The chapter on sigils and their unique brand of magic was one of the longest in the book.
“Sigil’s tie into the other forms of magic since there’s a symbol for just about everything. There are ones to scare off enemies, capture memories and fool the human eye. There are a few witches, who after decades of practice, manage to create their own but it’s dangerous and tricky work.” Cordelia said as she entered the room, a small and unassuming book in her hand.
“So, a sigil that’s meant to shield someone from an enemy has protection magic mixed in with it?” Breyona questioned. She’d deny it vehemently, but it was clear she got her love of magic and myths from her scholarly parents.
“For the most part, yes. Let’s say you’re exceptional with sigils. You should be able to use ones that vary in their effects. Protection, elemental manipulation, illusions, it’s all at your fingertips if you have enough power. On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned witch who specializes in protective magic, the only sigil you’d be able to successfully pull off is one in your field.” Cordelia explained, and both Breyona and I nodded along as the pieces clicked together in our heads.
“Not that I don’t love being a werewolf, but I wouldn’t have minded some kick a*s magical powers.” Breyona sighed dramatically and sunk into the couch.
While I giggled alongside Cordelia, I knew there was some part of her that wasn’t joking. Without her wolf, she was essentially a ridiculously strong human with enhanced senses.
“I’ve used a healing sigil or two in the past and they worked like a charm, never tried any other kind though.” Rowena’s head of glossy auburn hair appeared from around the corner. Her ruby nails were tearing one of grandma’s garlic knots in half as she spoke. “My mother would tell me all about what happened to little witches that tried to cast big spells out of their skillset…never ends well.”
“On that note, I’d like you to have this.” Cordelia shook her head at Rowena for trying to scare me off, but little did they know there wasn’t anything anyone could do to knock me off this path. If magic meant protecting my friends, family, and pack—then sign me up, risks included. “Take this book home with you, study the sigils and their meaning’s. It’s a beginners guide so you shouldn’t be able to drain yourself into a coma if you try one out.”
The cover was bound in plum colored velvet, which was soft as it brushed against my fingertips. This time I did pale, and much to my surprise, so did Breyona.
Grandma cleared her throat from in the kitchen. She came around the corner and stood in the doorway, her hands firmly planted on her hips.
“I feel like I should’ve been made aware of this before you had me start using magic.” She said to Rowena, whose immediate look of understanding took some of the ire out of her words.
“This isn’t a risk for more experienced witches, or ones that have been unknowingly using their magic for well over forty years.” Rowena replied with a reassuring smile. “I doubt it’ll be a problem for Lola either, it’s more of a precaution for young children with little impulse control.”
“Better safe than sorry considering we have no clue how powerful she is or where her skillset lies.” Cordelia swiveled her eyes away from Rowena, and her expression quickly shifted from scrutiny to amusement. “Don’t think I don’t remember how it was to be a young witch. You can’t imagine how much trouble magic can get you in.”
“I might be able to imagine more than you think.” My laughter was light as my thoughts strayed to when I came near. They hadn’t yet come out since the sun was still bright in the sky, but soon they would.
The five of us talked as we ate, though the conversation was mostly carried by Rowena and Cordelia’s steady influx of knowledge on magic. Even grandma threw in a question or two, mostly pertaining to her own magic, which she and Rowena had yet to discover.
“The specifics of your magic and its uniqueness is completely up to you to discover. You’ve already made incredible progress by learning to call it forward instead of only being able to use it subconsciously.” Cordelia snagged the d***y plates before grandma got the chance and winked when she noticed my creeping grin. She paused on her walk to the kitchen and said not unkindly, “Only an incredibly powerful witch could hold onto her magic for as long as you have. Not only that, but you’ve been using it all this time without knowing. I can’t say I’ve read anything about this happening before.”
“I haven’t either, but that makes it even more exciting. As a fellow natural, it’s my duty to help you come into your own. Plus, I’ve never met one that’s put their magic into food.” Rowena’s eagerness turned her cheeks the color of gala apples.
Her dedication to helping my grandma discover herself in this new world brought a feeling of relief I couldn’t explain. Grandma, who shifts once a week only to traipse through the forest to give her wolf a breath of fresh air, now had a way to defend herself.
“Well, I’ve got to head out.”‘ Grandma murmured to the four of us as she wandered around the living room in search for her purse and car keys. “I want to beat your dad back home or else he-“
Her mouth clamped shut the same moment my head popped up from the book. Rarely ever was grandma distracted but discovering a secret witch heritage is bound to throw anyone off their game. From the guilty look on her face she knew there was no shrugging her comment off.
“Where’s dad?” I asked smoothly, not at all trying to hide my interest as I slowly set the book down.
“Your father is out for coffee, and that’s all I’m saying on the matter. I will see you all tomorrow, I assume.” She nodded once and made a beeline for the front door.
Every time I looked back on this moment, I remembered feeling an intense desire to know the truth. Grandmas never had a reason to keep anything from me-other than my vampire heritage, but I’ve long forgiven her and dad for that. When she made a move towards the front door without so much as an explanation, something inside of me lashed out.
That thing didn’t want her to leave–I didn’t want her to leave.
My eyes were still on grandma’s face when the lock on the front door clicked of the deadbolt. The tips of my fingers tingled like I’d touched an exposed wire.
Grandma froze and the hand that hovered a few inches away from the doorknob fell to her side.
Everyone was looking my way, but I wouldn’t give in to the curious stares that painted their faces, even though Breyona’s star struck expression paired with her open mouth made me want to cackle.
“Lola…” Grandma scolded me, but I could tell she didn’t know what to do in this situation. Her voice lacked the fiery wrath that would fill it when she was thoroughly pissed off.
“Dad’s getting coffee at six in the afternoon?” I asked, holding back every ounce of my skepticism because grandma could tell how implausible it sounded without. “He doesn’t even drink coffee.”
“No, but Flora does…and if you breathe a word of this in his direction you’ll live to regret it, hear me?” Her jaw was set in the same stubborn way as dads often did.
Where I should’ve felt cautious, a jolt of giddiness washed through me. The flash of heat that flickered in her eyes was surrounded by a gentle lavender glow.
Grandma blinked a few times and the fire vanished as though it had never been there. I wondered what her magic felt like, if it tingled her nerves like jolts of electricity, or exploded like fireworks beneath her skin.
“He’s with Flora getting coffee?” Surprise washed through me, carrying away the small bursts of magic I swore I’d been feeling.
“Yes, and he doesn’t want anyone to know about it.” Her eyebrows softened, “…you know how your dad is. He’s not going to admit how much he wants this by asking for help, but he’s also terrified he’s going to mess it all up. They’re meeting in person, which is a start.”
“We won’t say a word.” I promised her, letting a smile hold back the questions that hid behind my lips.
There were two that were almost painful to silence.
Something changed between them since the bake sale, where they orbited closer and closer to one another only to back away. I longed to ask what happened if only to fill the blanks in my head. My second question was much more important, and it was one I knew I’d get the answer to soon enough. Who asked first?
Alpha Asher by Jane Doe
Author: Jane Doe
Native Language: English