It seems like a regular college that students attend to learn the tips and tricks to succeed in life. It looks normal to other people who don’t know the secrets behind the walls. To some of us, however, it is packed with unexplainable events and people. We, the students, are different because each of us owns a unique aura inside of us. We also possess certain strengths within our group, depending on what attunement we are.
I know the word magic is used so often in normal life. We watch films of Harry Potter, and we picture ourselves to be accepted by Hogwarts. Reality does shoot you in the knee when everything you have wished for is truly a lie.
At least, that was what I thought.
The day I stepped a foot into the college, I was extremely surprised to find out I was an attuned student. I couldn’t believe that casting spell actually existed, and when I had my first spell lesson, I barely knew how to control the flames. I was pretty lucky I didn’t burn down the school during my first year.
Then, many other events had occurred since.
I reunited with my mom and Atlas. My boyfriend, Beckett, and I had gone official. My friends and I defeated Kane. Eventually, the whirlwind of adventures came to an end, peace finally giving me a chance to start a rather normal journey this summer.
Atlas and I have a month left before we return to Penderghast again. Our family has settled down at Hartfield since it is the place which led me to start my whole attuned experience. We decide to not live in the busy cities because my mom feels uncomfortable with the crowds and lifestyle. Atlas and I agree. We need to separate ourselves from the large population and the rush of major cities.
“Is this what teenagers do nowadays?” My mom questions and raises her brow. Both of her hands are tucked underneath the paper bag filled with groceries. “They stare at the screen everywhere at every second?”
Atlas and I follow behind her with the rest of the groceries. My mom unlocks the door, and we scramble in. My Lumian, Rose, and our Arylu, Navi, come to greet us as soon as we enter through the door. Navi runs in circles like it wants a treat out of the bag instantly. Its tail wags while Navi is panting.
“This is the 21st century for you, mom,” I smile, placing the bag on the table.
“I don’t want both of you doing that,” she shakes her head in disappointment. Her knuckles rest on her waist, her palm flat on the table. “It makes you look like a zombie.”
“Zombies are not real, mother,” Atlas rolls her eyes.
“It will exist once you are the one who begins to look at the device like your life depends on it,” my mom lectures her.
I can’t help but laugh a bit. Atlas shoots me a light glare, and I quickly turn away to avoid her eye contact. I start to gather the items together to place them inside the refrigerator. Atlas channels her inner magic and then, the groceries float in the air, each one slowly moving into the cabinets and fridge.
I turn around and cross my arms over my chest. She shrugs casually and watches the vegetables move on their own.
“What are you doing?” I question.
“Using the round up spell, obviously,” she sneers.
“We can’t use our spells here,” I remind her. “People don’t know about magick.”
“No one saw!” She argues.
“That’s what you think,” I quickly undo the spell, cans and boxes landing with thuds on the ground. “Remember last time when you thought no one saw, but you literally use the enlarging spell in front of our neighbour’s kid. You’re lucky that the kid was three, and her parents thought she was imagining things.”
Atlas’ lips curve into a smirk as she recalls her the memory. I retrieve the fallen groceries in my arms then push them to my sister. She groans and drags her feet over the floor. She organizes the rest of the food as I fill Navi’s bowls with water and some dog food.
“Hanna is right, Atlas,” my mom seconds. “We’re in Hartfield, and to everyone, we are exactly like them. We aren’t supposed to know spells, and we aren’t supposed to be attuned.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Atlas nods dully. “We’re supposed to be the most mundane like as possible.” She mocks my mom’s tone.
My mom and I both laugh while finishing the duty around the house. After we stock our food, Atlas and I decide to take our bikes and ride around the neighbourhood. Rose stays in my bicycle basket while Navi sits in the one of Atlas.
Hartfield might not be extremely large or dense with loads of people. Our family actually prefer the quiet life here. After the crazy fight with Kane, I find that peace does not come within our grasp easily. I want to enjoy every moment I can before some sudden event pops into my life again.
“Hanna!” Atlas calls loudly when she catches up to my pace, her hands gripping on the handles. “Let’s make a quick stop to the forest.”
“Please don’t tell me you want to practice spells again,” One of my hands drop from the handle and rests on my knee. “Mom is going to get angry at us.”
“Come on, Hanna,” she complains. “Our summer is coming to an end soon.”
“We have a month until we return to Penderghast,” I state. “You can zip zap all you want when we return there.”
“Why do you make the rules?”
“Because I’m the older twin,” I tell her. “Mom makes me in charge of us when we are alone.”
“Can we just head there for an hour?”
“No, Atlas,” I decline and pedal my bicycle faster.
“Hanna Solaris, don’t you dare bike away from me!”
I move faster and giggle at the same time, knowing Atlas is trailing right behind me. The tires cross over the rocky path. I hear Navi bark loudly behind me. Rose seem to enjoy the ride very much with the view of the large bay to our right. People walk along the beach, toes curling underneath the sand. I inhale a large breath with the fresh air filling my lungs.
Atlas manages to convince me after she spend her time to match my speed. She pleas over and over until I’m tired of hearing how much she wants to bond with me after missing many years together. I have to say she uses that excuse way too often. She only wants to practice her spells because classes will begin soon, and she wants to do extremely well.
We halt to a stop when we arrive at the scarred forest that we discover over the break. We figure that not many people will show up there, although we try to scan around to make sure we won’t get caught with what we’re doing. It’s like secret spies attempting to grab a jewel out of a museum.
“Rethina!” Atlas says.
I watch as the healing resin is collected in a small jar. The sap pours slowly with thickness, and Atlas places the container in her basket.
“Are you ready?” She challenges.
“Do we have to do this?” I question unwillingly and stand far across from her.
“Yes, Hanna,” she replies. “Summon a shadow creature for me!”
I do as she says and use my summoning spell. A round shadow figure appears afterwards, and I smile as soon as I see it. I remember when I first saw the creature.
It is still so adorable.
The shadow creature starts to shoot its attack towards Atlas as she quickly uses the slicing spell. The sharpen blade is tossed to counter the shadow ball, and the ball instantly dismisses into thin air. I clap with proudness while my twin sister continues practicing. I decide to make a sudden attack at her by casting a solar flare spell.
She stops my magick with the defence spell, my attack dissolving away. We spend the following hour to practice. I lean my back against one of the trees and carry Navi in my arms as I sit down. Rose flies around to dodge Atlas’ attacks. I see blasts back and forth, almost causing my mind to spin.
My vision switches between Rose and Atlas until something catches my eyes.
A wave of bright light shoots directly from behind, and I don’t have any time to warn her. I immediately block it away to prevent my sister from getting hurt. Atlas snaps her head back to see the magic vanish, and our whole training stops. I stand from my feet and follow Atlas to find the unknown strike.
“What the hell was that?” Atlas spits.
“Someone else is here that knows magick,” I whisper.
We step onto the steep hills to investigate closer. When we reach the top of the road, not a single person or animal is around us. Trees only fill our sides, and I hug Navi closer to myself. Rose doesn’t sense any strange beings either which I believe the intruder has escaped.
“Seriously?” Atlas speaks angrily. “Running away after you want to murder someone.”
I place a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s get home before someone set us on fire or something.”
“Yeah, I’m going to blast them with my moon spells if anyone dares to touch my family.”
I smile lightly and travel back down to the forest with Atlas. We return to our bikes and take the road to travel home. My mind drifts back to the thought of the weird outbreak. Who else could have been there with us? I’ve always thought we are the only attuned family that is living at Hartfield.
Yet now, we might be living with other people who know magick.
But are they friends or foes?