Okay, so I watched The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I was thinking about teenaged fae in Fae Apoc – non-Addergoole ones – and how they might deal with having magic and here, have a story.
“Can I use magic now?”
“Are you freaking kidding me?”
Geoff had always been cool with Arty’s ‘weirdness’. He’d covered for her when things had gotten weird around her, lied for her when teachers asked uncomfortable questions, and when her Change had come on her in the locker room, he’d held her hand and called her Aunt Gemma and fed her chocolate until the pain passed.
When Arty and Aunt Gemma had come to see him a week later (a week when she’d been ‘out with the flu’), he’d sighed, winced, and dived into a speech like his life depended on it.
“Look, Art, before your Aunt flashy-things me and takes my memories — come on, I’ve seen the movies — I want you to know that I’d have kept your secret either way. I mean, I’ve kept every secret you’ve ever told me—”
“Artemis, do you keep secrets from your family?”
“From teachers, Aunt Gemma,” Arty hurried to assure her.
Geoff did not correct her. Of course. “-and this one is just another secret, right? So … if you want to tell me other things, you know I’ll keep them. But I understand if there’s some secret Elf Code that means you have to wipe my memory.”
He’d kept his memories. He’d been the one friend in their normal, human high school that Arty could always talk to. He’d been the one she could trust to cover for her when things went weird.
Until she’d dealt with some bullied bothering him with a new Working she’d used, spelling them away and giving them an unreasonable but very helpful fear of Geoff and anyone else that they had once hurt.
“You can’t do that, Arty.”
“I’m not going to get in trouble for it. Not like you would for punching them – or I would for punching them.” They’d tried that the year before.
“But punching them was something I did, at least. When you do this, well. I’m not doing it, I’m not doing anything. You’re just using magic to solve my problems. To fix my life.”
“But I want to fix your life! I don’t like it when you’re hurting.”
“The problem is, Artemis.” She knew he was serious. They only ever used each other’s full names if they were really deathly serious, and never where anyone could hear them. “If you do that, then I’m never going to know how to fix my problems on my own. I’m sorry. But you can’t use magic on me.”
“I’m not kidding! Seriously, Geoff…. Geoffry-”
“Don’t, don’t. I’m not sure if that thing can hear you. Or understand you. But don’t!”
They were on top of the clock tower on top of the school on the top of a hill, which had probably seemed like a very clever idea to a planner some hundred and fifty years ago but right now just seemed way, way too windy. There was a thing – a monster? Maybe a god – climbing up the side of the school, and another thing circling around the base of it.
Why they were up there was a matter of some debate, at least later, when they had time.
“Don’t use magic? I didn’t bring even a fencing foil up here.”’
It probably had something to do with bullies, truth be told, and it definitely had something to do with Arty not really liking ANYONE (except possibly some bullies) to hurt.
“Don’t use my NAME. Look, problems that there is no way I can solve myself – such as, for instance, giant monsters and gods returned from the heavens – those are okay to fix with magic. I promise I won’t yell at you. Just don’t – don’t tell them my name. They might tell someone in the school.”
“It’s a deal.” And with that, Arty dove into the beast’s mind and made it decide that it would really like somewhere warmer. Like, say. Aruba. That was that way. South.
“Which way’s Aruba?” she asked, when the wind had died down and the beasts had flown or clambered or slunk off.
“What?” He was holding on to the bell tower and was not going to let go until Christmas. Maybe Easter. “Uh, that way.” He pointed his chin.
“We should call them and tell them I sent them some monsters. Oh, and. If you get cancer, I’m totally curing it. You said it was okay.”
Arty was grinning.
Geoff gave up. “Okay. If I get anything I cannot cure by myself, you can cure it. Interference allowed.”
She looked so happy. They had, after all, trusted each other this far.