Jun 03, 2020 11:36 PM
Graysons in Quintessence
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Meghan likes the idea of flying too.

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It's a popular one! 

Other kids suggest things like using telepathy to talk to their friends without anyone overhearing, or aerokinesis to make their paper airplanes go further or their kite fly better. 

One boy enthusiastically describes the haunted house he'd set up with a combination of all three magic types, full of jump-scares and moving parts and artificial spookiness. The teacher cuts him off after a minute or two. Another kid is coaxed into painting a verbal picture of the way they'd use illusions to help tell stories to their younger siblings. This girl wants to become a detective and use mind magic to tell when people are lying; that boy wants to be a therapist. 

The teacher pivots from there to ask about ways adults might use Air magic in their work. 

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They use telepathy for long-distance communication and illusion is used on theaters and to hide things.

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They also use it for therapy or to put out fires (often combining it with Fire magic.)

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Yes, those are all correct!

One boy contributes that his dad is a farmer, and pays Air mages to make sure it rains on his fields. He's still not sure why that's Air magic and not Water magic, though. 

The teacher reminds him that aerokinesis can control the weather. Water magic can manipulate water when it's in liquid form, but isn't so good at moving clouds about in the sky. Some weather mages do use Water as well as Air, but hardly ever just Water on its own. 

He tells the class that they'll find out in the next few days whether they'll be any good at Air magic, and which types of magic they will be good at. Whether they can do it or not, though, it's important that they learn about every type of magic, because they live in a world where all of them exist. With that, the lesson finishes.

Temperance has Meditation next, and Meghan has Magical Theory. 

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How exciting! Well, maybe Meditation is not itself exciting, but magic as a whole is!

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Katherine is in her Meditation class. 

The teacher, a kind-looking woman, directs them to sit in a semicircle on the floor. Katherine sits next to Temperance, folding her legs to sit tailor-fashion as if it's second nature. Some of the other kids do the same, while others kneel or curl their legs up beside them. 

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Temperance smiles at Kat and sits the correct way one must sit to meditate.

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The teacher explains to the class that, while there isn't technically a wrong way to sit, that they need to choose a position in which they can be stable and comfortable for long periods of time. Sitting tailor-fashion is the traditional choice, because it distributes one's weight evenly and encourages good posture. 

Those who were not already sitting that way change position. Temperance and Katherine are among those who don't need to move, earning them praise from the teacher.

She moves on to explaining the purpose of meditation. For those who have not already unlocked their magic, this session will let them practice the technique in preparation for doing so tomorrow. Once they have, meditation will let them improve their conscious control of their powers, and help them avoid accidental magic. 

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Temperance pays attention and absorbs all this.

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The teacher wants to know which of them have already awakened their magic, so she can be ready to help them if it flares up while they're meditating.

Katherine raises her hand, as do a scattering of the others. 

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Temperance raises her hand.

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The teacher makes a note of this. 

She then starts explaining how to meditate: clearing the mind, and focusing inward in a particular way. The object is to search for one's magic, or magical potential, and, to begin with, observe it. Notice how it fluctuates, or doesn't. Learn its patterns. 

Any questions?

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Several! They are even topical.

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In that case they will receive answers.

And now they should start trying to meditate for themselves. It might take some people the whole hour to find the trick of it, but that's okay. The important thing is to keep trying, and try different approaches to visualization if one approach doesn't seem to be working.

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Temperance is rather diligent about it. Not spectacular in the concentration department, but she tries and adapts.

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One of the more challenging things about teaching meditation is that it's difficult to tell which students are actually trying, and which are only pretending to try. Katherine, for example, is sitting perfectly still next to Temperance, with her back straight and her arms relaxed, staring blankly into space. Is she meditating? Who knows.

Every five minutes or so, one student or another will excitedly exclaim that they've got it, and describe their experience to the teacher when prompted. Some of them are even right, which gets more common as the class proceeds. 

By the end of the hour, around a third of the students have managed to focus on their magic for at least a second or so, and a couple have managed longer stretches. 

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Temperance managed it, but only briefly and then lost concentration.

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That's to be expected, and the teacher reassures her—and everyone who didn't succeed—that no-one is expecting them to be perfect at this right away, and they've got plenty of time to work at it. 

That was the last class of the day, so now they have some time before dinner. Normally this would be spent doing homework or independent study, but since the first-years don't have any homework yet they're free to play outside, go back to their rooms, or explore. They could go to the library and pick out something to read for fun, but a lot of the more advanced texts on magical subjects are restricted and need permission to access for anyone below journeyman level. 

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Outside she goes!

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Outside there's a yard where a few kids are already playing with skipping-ropes, wooden hoops, and the like. A group of boys are kicking around a ball.

Katherine heads for a grassy area on the opposite side to the ball game. She sits on the grass and picks flowers which she methodically tears to pieces, separating out each petal and leaf. 

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Yes, she will do those.

That's everything everyone is doing.

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Then she will be quite tired by dinnertime! 

Millicent Bulmer is holding court in the dining room again, and Meghan is invited to sit with her. Very few other first-years are, but several of them hang around hopefully anyway. 

The boy who wanted to design a haunted house with Air magic is waving at Temperance from his seat on the opposite side of the dining hall. 

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Temperance runs over to the boy, remember she should act a bit more dignified and then walks more composedly.

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Meghan will sit with Milicent again (and pretend that her half-sister doesn't exist.)

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