Kason and Harper stood in front of the entrance to classroom 1b. There was no door blocking the entryway which was cut into the smooth white walls on either side, so Kason and Harper just stepped over the threshold into the classroom.
The classroom was a pleasant looking place, its walls were painted a pale blue colour, almost white, and there were thirty or so desks placed neatly in ordered rows of six going back from the front of the classroom, where a wooden podium was placed, presumably for the teacher’s use. The desks themselves caught Kason’s eye, for they had many intricate golden designs covering the wooden legs and up onto the corners of the flat surface on top. The wood used looked to be a kind of mahogany or dark oak and unlike the rest of the desk, the majority of the flat surface on top was unmarked by the coiling patterns.
Across the classroom on the wall opposite where they stood in the doorway, one big window took up most of the space, with about half a meter of wall underneath separating it from the floor. It seemed impossible that there could be a window on this side of the classroom that showed an outside view, given that there were windows in the corridor behind them that also did the same, but Kason had long stopped questioning the college’s choice in window placement. There was also a board which seemed to be made of the same wood as the desks, covering most of the wall behind the podium, it also had the golden intricate patterns on it, snaking around the edges of the board and its frame.
There were already a quite a few children inside when Kason and Harper entered, most of them were huddled in small groups around several desks, chatting excitedly about what the lessons would be like. Several children turned when they noticed them enter and called out polite greetings to them, which they returned, before turning back to their groups.
Kason and Harper stood in the entryway for a few moments before making their way over to a desk near the back of the room to settle down and wait for the teacher to arrive. One thing Kason hadn’t noticed when he had first entered the classroom was the chairs behind the desks. They were like the chair he had in his room. They were shaped like a teardrop which had had most of the inside and one of its sides carved out to give a smooth hollowed out area where one could sit. They floated above the floor at just the right height to sit on and were made of a light grey coloured material that Kason could not identify.
These chairs couldn’t be moved from their places though, unlike the one in his room. When Kason gave one a nudge, it bobbed in the direction he had propelled for a moment before returning back to its original position. Kason sat on the chair he had just nudged and began playing with it, moving it a short way with his feet before lifting them off the floor and enjoying the whoosh of air as the chair moved back to its original position.
Harper sat on a desk opposite him and watched him as he continued to mess around with the chair. They waited for around ten minutes until a sudden influx of people signified the appearance of a teacher. The woman who entered after the rush of people looked to be in her late twenties or early thirties, with brown eyes and long hair of the same colour tied back in a ponytail. She wore a cream coloured top and black trousers secured with a sturdy brown leather belt off which hung a wooden stick, ‘No, wand’ Kason mentally corrected himself when he saw it, and a pair of leather gloves covered in silver patterns.
She walked smoothly up to the podium in at the front of the class and surveyed the children who had all hastily scrambled to their feet when she entered, unsure of what they should do. She had a slight, warm smile on her face as she looked around which somehow made all the children feel less anxious.
“Hello, my name is Mirella Luxford and I will be your teacher for this year. I do not particularly mind if you call me by my first name, but some teachers prefer to be referred to in the proper way, so you should all get used to calling me ‘Ms. Luxford’.” She paused for a moment and smiled around at them all, before carrying on, “Well, we should probably just get on with it. You can all find your own seats, it doesn’t matter where as long as you have a desk.”
The classroom then became a flurry of motion as everyone began to move around to get seats with their friends. Kason and Harper ended up in the second row from the front, Kason making sure to quickly claim the seat by the window, leaving Harper to reluctantly take the seat next to him. In front of him, Kason noticed it was the girl from before, Kayla and her friend Lexia in the next seat, in front of Harper. Kason also noticed that in the third seat along, was the boy who had arrived with the two girls, who didn’t know the name of yet.
Ms Luxford, seeing that everyone had finished finding seats, began to speak again, “First I’ll tell you about how your four years in the junior division will work. You’ll spend your first year learning about our nation’s history and geography as well as the science behind the natural world. You will also be given lessons on the basics of Ether so that you can begin learning to control it as soon as you are ready.”
“Having said that, you won’t be able to use magic for the majority of your first year,” There were several loud groans from around the classroom, and Kason felt his heart sink a little. Ms Luxford sighed as if she had seen this reaction multiple times from students already, “I know it’s disappointing,” She said, “But if you tried to use magic now, you would only hurt yourselves. You see, using magic and casting spells means controlling Ether. This is something that the human body isn’t built for so you have to work your way up to it gradually.”
“How do we do that Ms Luxford,” someone called out from near the back of the classroom as soon as Ms Luxford had stopped speaking.
“That is what we will be covering in today’s lesson,” Ms Luxford said matter of factly, “But before we get to that, there’s something I need to hand over to you all.” Ms Luxford then reached down to her belt and detached the wand from it, she then held it casually in her hand and made a flicking gesture at the podium in front of her.
Like Kason had seen many times now, the surface of the podium distorted and a small tube-like instrument floated up out of it to be grasped by Ms Luxford’s other hand. She then held the object up, showing it to the class. “This is an Ether Marker or just Marker it doesn’t really matter. This is what you will use to take notes when I teach you so that you can review what you have learned and don’t forget.”
“To write with it, simply touch the pointed tip of the instrument to the desk in front of you and it will begin to write. To save your work so that you can review it later, slot your pendants into the groove in the bottom left-hand corner of your desks, you can then view the stuff you’ve written by inserting your pendants into this same groove on any other desk you see that has one. All the desks in your rooms should such grooves.” Ms Luxford then threw the Ether Marker lightly into the air and pointed her wand at it, causing it to float in place at the top of its arc.
She then made a small gesture with her wand and it floated forward and dropped onto Kayla’s desk. Ms Luxford then summoned another one from her desk and sent it to land on Lexia’s desk, while speaking to the class again. “I’ll carry on with my explanation of the junior division then, as I said, in the first year, you will learn History, Geography, Language, Mathematics and Science as well as the basic concepts to do with Ether that you will need for your second year. In the second year, Language will no longer be compulsory but you may still take it if you want, Beastology and Magical Combat will also be added as optional subjects as well as a few others.”
“In the third year you will carry on with the subjects you studied in the second year and then in the fourth year, you will spend time at each of the four major departments of the senior division as part of your studies so that at the end of the year, you will have a clear idea which department you wish to move on to.” She looked around at the students, who were all looking at her with slightly dazed expressions. “Well that’s all far in the future for now, and you’ll be reminded of it nearer the time so no need to worry about forgetting. So, shall we begin today’s lesson properly now?” She gave the class another radiant smile.
Kason had been furiously making notes as Ms Luxford spoke, he had received his Ether Marker relatively early and had begun scribbling down what the teacher had been saying immediately, in case he forgot. The device had worked exactly as Ms Luxford had said, as soon as he touched the pointed end to the desk, silverly ink-like lines had appeared at the tip, and he had been able to write with it as easily as if he were using ink.
He felt a slight sense of betrayal when he heard that his note making was pointless, but nevertheless, he brought out his pendant and touched it to the groove to save his notes just in case. The messy lines of silvery writing on the desk dissolved into silver specks of dust and moved across the desk’s surface, as if blown by a gentle breeze, down into the pendant slotted into the groove. It was a rather beautiful scene.
Ms Luxford then began speaking again, so Kason stuffed his pendant back under his uniform and lifted his head to listen attentively to her. “Today we will go over the method our school uses to prepare our students to control Ether, but first I shall explain how one controls Ether and why it is necessary for you all to prepare before doing so.” She looked around at the class who were now looking at her intently and began her explanation.
“As you all should know, using magic is basically just controlling Ether to perform different tasks, for example, if you want to make a fire, you need to give the Ether the instructions on how to do it, like so.” Ms Luxford held her wand out in front of her, muttered something under her breath, and a small flame popped out of her wand. It stayed there swaying for a few seconds before vanishing. “The way we tell the Ether around us what we want it to do is by using a special part of the brain which is called the ‘Etheric Node’, I will not go in depth into how this works or why because you will cover this in the second year, but the node is located in the very centre of your brain.”
“Now, in case you don’t know, in places where there is a lot of Ether concentrated in one place, humans can suffer from numerous different problems. Again, I won’t go into them now; you’ll learn about them later, but when you use magic, large amounts of Ether gathers around the Etheric Node. And therefore, because the node is located in the centre of the brain, you can cause serious damage to the brain by trying to use magic without being fully prepared.” She paused and looked around at the class again, giving them a few moments to take in what she had said.
She waited until the people who were taking notes had finished their frantic scribbling and then smiled, “So that is why all of you cannot learn to control Ether just yet and why you need to prepare for it. Do any of you have any questions so far?”
Another chapter up! If you enjoyed, feel free to leave a comment and follow the site as you wish.