The Magic of a TouchbyFantasyboy69©
"I am the worst caster to ever stain these halls," say Jeremy Dream-Mender. And he was right in his assumption too. Not many people in the entire history of the Academy had ever been such a bumbler when it came to spell casting. At the age of nineteen Jeremy should have been doing something more impressive than lighting candles or dusting shelves with a wave of his hand. He should be doing something more useful than conjuring balls of colored lights or roses to give to the ladies who found his face pretty. "I mean were I a Wizard, Archie, I would be the prime student."
Archie, short for Archibald, sat there and stared at him like he was a moron, for that is the nature of cats.
"Don't look at me like that. You know it's true. How many Wizards can boast of casting a dozen spells before their thirtieth year, huh? Tell me that!" He thrust his finger into the air as if making a point, a small globe of soft blue light appearing. "Oops," he said and dismissed the cantrip. "But I'm not a Wizard, I'm a Sorcerer. And as such I'm a huge failure. I was born casting spells so I should be able to pick up the newer ones with ease." Jeremy flopped onto his bed with a sigh and looked again at the picture of his mum.
Now there was a Sorceress! No one could ever hope to break one of her enchantments, not even a dragon. She had been both revered and feared by most she met for with a look she could ensnare the senses and turn a man's worst fear against him or bring him his wildest dream. Many squabbles she had ended just by being in the room and she never had to cast a single spell. All she would do was look at the party she thought was in the wrong and say, "No, you are wrong, I am sorry," and it would be settled.
Yet he had none of his mum's famed power. Sure he had the potential, enough of that to be one of the strongest casters the Academy had ever seen, but potential was not enough for a sorcerer. He needed to break down the walls that kept him from accessing his energies. He could not cast anything useful. He could do all of the most basic cantrips, those primer spells, yet he could not even charm a fly into leaving him alone. Jeremy should have had SOMETHING to show he had her blood in his veins. Not a spell above cantrip could he cast save one and it was the most useless spell he had. The rest were useful if for no other reason than to say he could cast spells. But no, his only strong spell was useless to him for one reason. He was not attractive at all.
His spell was touch induced and could not be stopped if he touched skin. It was a lust spell so potent he could bring a man to full arousal or a woman to near orgasm. They would instantly want to have sex with the person they were most attracted to in sight, which for poor Jeremy was never him. He would never be on the Wizard Ball teams. Too skinny and short, not a good caster of spells. He was 5'5" and would never get taller. Jeremy also weighed about as much as a sack of grain. "A large sack," he would say in defense of himself for he knew he was slight. He weighed a mere 5 weight, or one hundred pounds. He was skinny and short with a naturally hairless scalp and body making him look like a Clerical student who were required to remove their hair. With eyes the color of mustard greens no one really wanted to look him in the eye. Nope, to poor Jeremy the spell was useless.
"Might as well get packing," he said to Archie. Today was to be his last chance to exhibit any sort of use of the potential, yet he knew he would fail yet again as he had the previous two times. When he failed today he would be sent home a failure for the entire family to shun for the rest of his long life. Jeremy sat up and waved his hand, his suitcase floating from the closet to his bed where it landed perfectly open for use. The he gestured again and all of his clothing, books, supplies and even riding broom went in. All except his bedding since Archie lounged on it. The spells could not lift more than ten pounds and Archie was a big cat. "Are you going to makes this hard on me?"
The cat just looked at him like he was dumb to even ask such an obvious question.
"Fine then," Jeremy said with a gesture and a spray of water shot from his pinkie finger to douse the cat. It leaped from the blankets and glared at him for such an affront. "Serves you right." He bundled up hid bedding and put it in the suitcase that could hold a thousand times the volume of its size. A gift from his uncle Corny. Surveying his room for anything he missed, he sighed and zipped up the case, knowing that his entire life fit into one minor case of holding. He should have mounds of books like his eleven brothers and ten sisters, all of which were far better spell casters than he was. He was the youngest, smallest, and weakest of all of them and was probably the reason why his mother, known to love kids and for also being a slut, had stopped with him as the last kid. Jeremy should have been able to fill four of these by his eighteenth birthday, but nope. Once again, in familiar fashion, he fell short.
"I'm going to go fail now, Archie. No teleporting around the school while I am gone, please. Not today." Having a blink cat for a familiar was hard for even the best Sorcerer, but for him it was a constant drain on his patience and pocket book as he had to repair anything the teleporting cat had broken. Only Druids seemed to be able to control the beasts, but Archie had come to him and that was that.
Archie stared at him with those intelligent green eyes and nodded once, curling up in the sun of the window.
"Thanks." Jeremy shut the door and locked it with a spell. Not like anyone in the entire school couldn't break his simple lock spell, but it was the only thing he could do to safeguard his belongings. Adjusting his shoulders, he left his dorm wing.
Jeremy was an oddity there at the Academy. He was not the smallest or the youngest, not the oldest either. Not the ugliest and definitely not the best looking. He was not the mage with the smallest repertoire of spells. Nope, his oddness came from his clothing. He was the only one who still wore his jeans and T-shirts when it was fashionable to wear your robes everywhere. Looking around he was the only one in the campus quad that was not wearing a robe that said he was a spellcaster. White for the Clerics, green for the Druids, gray for the Wizards, and black for the Sorcerers. There were even some purple robes of the visiting Psion students from the Grimholst Academy of the Mind in Yorkshire. Jeremy wore jeans and a Wizard101 shirt with hiking boots knowing he would have to search for something out in the woods or mountains as part of his testing.
Walking past the girls' dorms, he heard laughter as he always did, knowing it was for him from the comments that came to his ears. "Shortest guy ever," on girl would say while another would say, "He should learn to cast a polymorph so we don't have to look at those drab eyes." And Jeremy would just walk on by like he was oblivious.
This time though there was a new voice in the crowd. "Be nice guys. Poor guy is about to get expelled. Would you want to be him today?" It stopped him in his tracks and he looked back. There, in the midst of the gaggle of giggling girls, was a person he had never seen. She was fair and lovely and so far out of his league he wondered why she knew he was spending his last day here. "Do your best, Jeremy."
"Thanks." He smiled at her and she returned it. Then he turned back to go face his committee for the last time. But he ran right into the Captain of the Wizard ball team.
"Gonna finally leave this place for good?" Erich Fire-Maker was a class A dick.
"Yup, that way I don't have to look at you anymore." Jeremy was not scared of him even though Erich could really hurt him. Before Erich could retaliate Jeremy touched his bare hand and unleashed his spell. The reaction was fierce and sudden and very obvious. Erich groaned and showed a huge erection under his robes in seconds, his gaze casting around for a lovely young lady. When he found the best looking one to him he crooked a finger and she went with him willingly for what would probably be the best sex of her life since Erich was known to be a great lay. Jeremy put it out of his mind and continued on.
The Admin building was actually deserted about then because it was testing day and no one was allowed in unless you were to be tested. He passed by the receptionist who gave him a number and a sad smile. "There are a few who will be missing you, Jeremy." She was one since he was the best filing assistant she ever had. Good mind and great organizational skills, he often volunteered here to help the ladies with their work. "And maybe you can come work here."
"I may do that, Gladys. Then maybe the magic will eventually sink in by osmosis." Her smile said she really would miss him. Jeremy went to sit in the waiting room. There were three other students there. One Cleric and two Druids. Both were considered Divine casters, their magic coming from outside of them. Clerics got their magics from the Gods that normal people did not believe in. Which ever deity had claimed them would teach them slowly through prayer and meditation. Their faith in their deity was their source of power. Clerics were healers and dealt with combat of a spiritual and otherwordly nature. They battled undead zombies and vampires that normal people did not really believe in anymore.
The Druids were akin to them as their powers stemmed from the nature around them. Having fewer deities did not lessen their powers as at all as only a few deities dealt with nature. They could heal almost as well as a Cleric but were more known for their weather magic, helping bring rains in droughts, or quelling forest fires. Their destructive side could summon walking trees and monstrous insects that could kill a man quite easily. They also protected the normal people from these entities so they could live their blissfully ignorant lives in their cities.
No one spoke, they were too intent on passing their tests today. Yet when the committee member came in the room they all stood to receive their assigned materials to gather. The other students left without a word while Jeremy got his list. "I know you know this test by heart, Jeremy, but the committee would like for you to come work here. We need someone with your...limits to be able to counsel the others if they find themselves in a similar situation." They all knew he would never find a job in their world with his lacking and were trying to give him something to bolster his spirits.
"I might take you up on that offer when I fail." He held up the page and jogged out of the building and to the front gates. Once he stepped outside the gates he felt a weight off his shoulders and he grinned. He loved wandering the woods and mountains in the nestled valley where the Academy was kept hidden in the northern part of California. It existed within and apart from the normal world by a very thin veil anyone or thing with magical blood could cross. Out here there were dragons and ogres and trolls and pixies and all sorts of things normal people no longer knew about. Yet out here, among the dangers, Jeremy felt freer than within the confines of the walls.
He walked slowly to where he knew he would find the first item. He had to collect a mandrake root. Not hard if you knew where they grew and Jeremy loved herbology. He had memorized all ten books of the curriculum and knew as much as the teacher about the subject. Even some Druids thought highly of his knowledge. Jeremy found the mandrake root with ease and found it was being watched over by a male drake. "Hello," he said to the drake and it looked at him with baleful golden eyes. "How are you today?"
The drake, taken aback by the lac of fear and the conversational tone, answered, "I am fine today. And you?" Drakes were related to dragons but were only the size of a dog, yet they were far more fierce than the other draconic species...and more sociable. Creature lore was one class Jeremy never failed.
"Splendid. I will not insult your intelligence, drake, by lying to you." They also hated dishonesty. "I need some root for my exam and was wondering if you could spare a bit. I know you guard it jealously but it would be a big help to a fellow under sizer." That is what drakes were called by their dragon relatives. Not an insult really, just stating a fact that they were smaller.
"You are smaller than others I have seen. I will share some if you do me one small favor." Jeremy nodded. It was easier to do the favor than risk the drake's wrath. "There is a female drake not too far from here who is getting closer to her season." Ah. That was the only time the males would leave the roots they protected since the root was a potent aphrodisiac to dragonesses. "Could you let her know I am here?"
"Of course. I am sure I could even persuade her to come meet you a bit sooner too." Jeremy followed the directions given and he went post haste to the river where the female was building her nesting grounds in the bank. She hissed a warning at him, a small gout of fire shooting from each nare. "Good day, lovely one. I have a message for you from a suitable suitor who wishes to meet with you for you season."
Her eyes narrowed. "Hmm. I am busy, human."
"I can see that, but I am doing him a favor in exchange for some of his rather large and potent root. If you would like I would get rid of some of your burdens," said the young man to the debris around the newly forming nest. Rocks and chunks of things were strewn around and would be hazardous to the soon to hatch drakelings. "That way you can meet him and decide whether he is good as a sire for your large brood."
She thought it over. "I like your honesty, human. Very well. Clear some of that for me and I will see if I have time." They went to work. In fact his help saved her an entire day's work so she followed him back willingly. When the drakes got to talking he Jeremy collected his root with a thanks and left for the next item. He hoped they had many offspring.
This one would be very hard to get as he had to enter the fens. They were rife with trolls and those were the least of the nasties he had to face. He had to collect swamp leech venom which was not hard since they were large enough to drain a horse dry in seconds but did not prey on humans; they were too small to worry about. Jeremy knew the fens very well actually, having made friends with a hag that lived out here a few weeks ago. She had taught him many things about potion brewing they school had not, mainly because she was evil and the school did not like to teach dark magics and things. He would stop by and see her since she kept some leeches. Trudging through the muck of the fens was best done without robes, but better done with magic. Once again he was out of his element. "Well, aren't you off the track," said a voice.
"I am Hagath. I was coming to see you for some venom. I have some fresh drake root to trade." He looked at the repulsive woman without flinching and she helped him into the boat she had floating above the muck and mire.
"Nice of you to stop by, Jeremy, and bring gifts for an old woman. This your final exam day?" He nodded and went with her to her cabin. "I have my son here with me. He's the black sheep of the family."
"Good looking and sweet?" She shivered and nodded. "Must be hard. I know it is for my family to have me." That was one reason why they became friends. Jeremy reminded her of her son. The outcast, the pariah, the one no one acknowledged as family because they were not acceptable.
"I know you will like him, he's a charmer." Again she cringed. Hags and their offspring were not known for their manners, although Hagath was nicer than most.
"Poor Hagath. Well, if he is such a disappointment to the family I will most likely like him." They shared a good laugh, hers sounding like a dying cat caught in a blender. They talked potions and for once Jeremy was able to give her a tips on where to find echo weed, a rare plant that grew in moist caverns.
The cabin was small and gnarled, much like the woman who lived there. She pulled the boat up to the docks and tied it off. Jeremy insulted her by offering to help her out and she insulted him by denying the help, but insults to a hag were commonplace and Jeremy was nothing if not savvy about social interaction with other species. Once inside Jeremy got a look at the son and found that he was a stunning man. Average height, he was not gnarled or bent over with a hump. His posture was perfect. He did not have warts or crooked teeth, his face was handsome and smile clean and pure. Yup, he was a good looking hagson and Hagath would be so disappointed in him. "Hagfred, this is Jeremy, that human I always tell you about."
"Nice to meet you," said Hagfred, "I mean, what the hell do you want?" Jeremy saw Hagath grin at the slip but she went to the other room to get some venom. "I try to be a better son for her."
"I know, and she appreciates it. I won't take offense." Jeremy offered his hand and Hagfred shook it.
"And call me Fred. All my college friends do."
"You go to college?" A magical race going to a normal school?
"Yeah. UCLA actually. Going into politics."
"That's evil of you." Jeremy was trying not to laugh.
"I know. I try." They grinned at each other and Jeremy found someone he could like that seemed...normal. They talked a bit and Jeremy was amazed at how strange the normal world sounded. He knew what a car was, but not a plane or a bus. He could not fathom that many people living together in such a small area. Fred was only marginally surprised that he was being expelled from school for something so stupid as not being able to learn magic. "But I can feel it in you. I mean the powers are there."
"You can feel it?" He knew hags had some aptitude for magic but mostly enchanting objects and casting potent curses.
"I know, I know. Not very haglike. But I can feel it. You have a powerful gift lurking in you." Jeremy wished it would stop lurking and start working. "It sucks being us, huh?"
"Yeah." Hagath came back in with a jar of venom, more than he needed really.
"Now for the root." She saw the portion he gave her was more than she would need for anything. "You trying to cheat me of being generous?"
"Yup," he said with a smile. She cackled and ruffled his hair with a gnarled hand.
"You two should compare notes. Maybe you might learn something about about being mean from Jeremy." She waddled out of the room to the kitchens.
"You know how to get along with mom, huh."
"I just try, like you, only you're a nice guy. I know you don't want to be to make your mom proud, but just think of it like a political maneuver. You know it would make her happy to see you off someone just because. Well, meet her halfway and curse them."
Fred looked thoughtful. "You're right. It's not who you are but what you do. I can tell you're a great person but you meet mom half way and treat her as a hag should be." Fred smiled. "Thanks for nothing, Jeremy."
"You're welcome for nothing, Fred." Again they laughed. They could play the game, knowing none of it was real. "I should get going. I need to gather some sprite dust and prism water for my test."
"I'll take you north. Mom, I'm going to go drop Jeremy in the bog." He called to her loudly and being obnoxious. He cringed though.
"Liar." she called back with fondness. "Bring the boat back in one piece."
"I won't," he said with a grin. "That's mom's everywhere. Normal moms do it too." Jeremy could only laugh.
The way Fred took him was actually more scenic than a straight line. It showed off some of the more wild beauty of the fens and not a single creature braved near the floating craft. No one was stupid enough to incur the wrath of a hag and they all knew her boat. Jeremy got to a sprite colony, a fen sprite colony. They were notoriously mean and vicious to anyone yet when Fred pulled up they cam flocking over to pet him. When they weren't swarming you and stabbing you with their tiny daggers they were rather attractive in a dark way. Black hair and skin, they had blood red wings like a dragonfly. Yet they didn't hurt Fred. "I have a way with fae. They like me, all of them."