So here we are, back where we should be. Or lease where I should be. And at long last, you’ve caught up to the same scene I’m working on. Though, if I’m able to get in an hour or two of writing tonight, that won’t last too long because I nearly finished the scene last night. I only stopped because it was getting tired and I needed to do a few things before going to bed.
Today’s excerpt brings us to Advanced Spells, Wednesday’s class on Wednesday nights. Believe it or not, I’m still a little proud of the whole “Wednesdays with Wednesday” saying I put together back in the first novel, and this is the first time we visited her class since then. We don’t get into classes all that much, simply because the story isn’t about just learning magic and slinging spells: it’s about a couple of interesting kids who happened to be witches. But every once in a while you get to find out what they’re doing in class, and this group of excerpts that have been running for a few weeks show just that.
Since we’ve had the opportunity to see what’s going on in some of the other classes, it’s only fair that we get to see a special night in Advanced Spells.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Time: what is it?” Wednesday Douglas looked around the semi circle of students who made up her Advanced Spells class. “There are some who would say it’s a river; there are some that say it’s a stream from which we can never escape. There are some who say it is a logical progression of cause to effect, though there are few of us here who know that’s not true.” She winked at Kerry as a way of keeping him from saying what she knew he was going to say and replied to her comment.
Wednesday love the expressions on the faces of her students. It seemed to be divided halfway between those who understood the concept completely and were comfortable in their understanding of time, and those who seemed utterly confused by what they were about to discuss and do next, particularly when it came to her two new students.
Though her Advanced Spells class had remained static the previous year, this year saw a couple of changes. For one Hasumati Choughury, one of two Blodeuwedd students, graduated and moved on to her year of Real Life Experience. Though she was usually quiet, Hasumati had been one of her most attentive and had usually been among the first of her students to work out and master a spell.
But she offset this loss with the addition of two new students. The first was Naomi Rohner, an Åsgårdsreia coven girl from Switzerland who was short, blonde, spoke French and German fluently, and asked a lot of questions during Beginning Spells. The second was Subhan Najafi, a quiet yet intense boy from Pakistan who was a member of Mórrígan coven. Though he’d experienced some initial difficulty finding himself surrounded by so many people from all parts of the world, by the end of his first month he become completely at ease with who he was and where he was receiving instruction.
Her two new students where the ones who seemed the most confused by her opening remarks, though Serafina, her remaining Blodeuwedd student, also seemed a little confused, which wasn’t surprising since Serafina seem to have a bit of an issue with time in general. Which was likely why their past work in the upcoming spell casting had always given her something of a problem…
Yah gotta keep Kerry from answering the question “What is Time?” because, by now, everyone in the damn school probably knows what he’s going to say. Wednesday sure did and cut him off before a single word slipped from his mouth.
The classes are changing, too. We’ve seen a student graduate and leave Formulistic Magic and now we have someone who’s done the same here. But two new students have entered the fold and just as Annie and Kerry did when they were nearly brand new A Levels, they are feeling a bit intimidated by the older kids. Give it another month and they’ll not have a problem. Or they’ll have burned the joint down. Either one is possible.
What is it about time that bothers witches? Let’s find out–
Finished with her dramatic pause, Wednesday continued. “All of us here know that time is far more complicated and far more simpler than that. All of us have worked with time spells in this class—with varying degrees of success, I might say.” She smiled at Serafina, who rolled her eyes in response. “There are even some witches who are in possession of the Jump Gift, and are actually able to make small movements up and down the timeline.” She half smiled as she shrugged. “I’ve read about what happens to these people if they make a mistake with their gift, and the results are not pretty.
“That’s because time is a rather unforgiving element of reality. Everyone here has experienced a mild version of Backlash whenever they weren’t precise enough in their crafting. For those witches were adept at manipulating time, even the smallest miscalculation in their crafting can result in some rather horrendous Backlash. There was an old ad on American television that said ‘It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature’. That’s so true, ’cause when it comes to a screw-up in time, Mother Nature can be a rather foul bitch.
“Now, the sort of Backlash were talking about here occurs were trying to do major disruptions in the time stream. However, you’ve all dealt with what we would consider minor disruptions of the time stream—like when we set up enchantments to produce time variations inside closed rooms. All the lower-level coven kitchens have them and some of the study rooms and labs have them as well, so we know, if done right, there are no dangers and playing with time.
“What we are dealing with tonight are individual time spells, the kind that we can use to assist us in everyday tasks, or to help us out where we need something extra when crafting our spells.” Wednesday ignored the pained looks from Serafina and Chunghee Pang, her Ceridwen coven student from South Korea. Though she knew they could handle the crafting, nether student was particularly fond of time spells. “I know we went over this a few times in the last couple of years and it hasn’t exactly been something that the majority of you have enjoyed. I myself am not a huge fan of time spells, but I recognize their usefulness. And I want everyone in this room, before they graduate, to recognize the same.”
If what happened to Helena on a certain day in September isn’t an indication of what sort of beating nature can give you if you fuck around with time without considering what you’re about to do, then you won’t mind if the world goes all Donny Darko on your ass and pound you into the ground. When messing with time you better bring your A Game–
I wonder if there’s anyone in this class who’s gotten really good with time spells?