Nothing stays the same in life, but it’s ok to want to hold onto the past. That’s what memories are for. Whether we like it or not though, new days will keep coming at us. They’ll take away some things and add others and either of those can be pretty scary sometimes.
“Do you want to know the secret of being a grown up and fully fledged witch?” Grandma Apples asked as she poured tea for me.
We were nestled in her cottage, surrounded by the soft cushions of her fluffy chairs and the warmth from her hearth on a late October day when the witches blew cold and crisp and clear.
“Definitely!” my Seeming said. She was sitting in reflection of my chair in a full length mirror that Grandma Apples had arranged so that the girl from the mirror world could be part of the conversation.
“So would I,” Grandma Apples said.
“That’s not much of an answer,” my Shadow said. She was perched in on one of the bookshelves the lay against the sunlit wall of the room and looked quite comfortable.
“I think she means that there is no secret, you just do it, right?” Rosie said.
I was at Grandma Apples’ home for my first training session in magic. Rosie was there for the same reason. Where I was learning how to be a witch though, Rosie was something else, something Grandma Apples called an Enchantrix. Apparently, being able to fix Sweepy like she had wasn’t a skill just anyone possessed.
“Oh there’s plenty of secrets,” Grandma Apples said. “I’m just not done discovering them yet.”
“I thought you’d know everything by now though?” my Shadow said.
“I’ve learned a lot over the years, but nowhere close to everything,” Grandma Apples said. “Not even about myself. That’s the first and most important thing to remember. The longest battle you’ll ever fight is the struggle to discover who you are and who you can be. You’ve taken some big steps down that path in the last few days, but it’s a journey that you’ll be traveling on your whole life.”
“So you can’t tell me what I’m going to find then?” I asked, sipping on the lightly sweet tea.
“I can tell you what I’ve found,” Grandma Apples said. “And I can tell you what other people have found.”
“Will that keep us from making their mistakes?” September asked. He was curled up in my lap but was still listening attentively to the conversation.
“Maybe some of the mistakes, and hopefully all of the really bad ones,” Grandma Apples said. “But you’ll still make plenty of your own. They’re important too. You need to cherish them.”
“Cherish our mistakes?” I asked. “I’d rather just be less stupid I think.”
“You’re not the person you were after you make a mistake,” Grandma Apples said. “Even if you make them over and over, you’ll learn from each one.”
“So was it a mistake to make an enemy of the Miser King?” my Seeming asked.
“You’ll need to decide that for yourself in the long term but, in my view, he’s exactly the sort of person you want to side against,” Grandma Apples said.
“He has powerful friends though doesn’t he?” my Shadow asked. “I’m guessing they’ll probably come after us at some point.”
“At some point, perhaps,” Grandma Apples said. “But a lot can happen before then, and you have some powerful friends of your own.”
“Like you?” September asked.
“Oh, I’m just a little old lady,” Grandma Apples said, and with the kindly smile she gave me I could almost believe that for a moment. “I’ll be there when you need me, but you made plenty of magical friends when you rescued your classmates. I spoke with Deidre and she was delighted to have her Seeming back unharmed.”
“She and Akemi seem to have patched up whatever problem they had too,” I said.
“That’s delightful,” Grandma Apples said. “I knew them both when they were very young and the best of friends. Together they’re quite a lot to handle and likely to be powerful allies as they grow up.”
“Betty’s been good about introducing us properly to the other magical kids at school too,” Rosie said. “Everyone seems surprised that we get along though. I don’t understand it?”
“You’re a builder,” Grandma Apples said. “Goblins tend to add chaos to the projects they work on, which most enchanters are not particularly fond of.”
“Huh, chaos? I think Betty is more an inspiration really,” Rosie said. “I tried to enchant my wheelchair and she was able to point out about a dozen ways it was going to breakdown if I did that.”
“But together you came up with a thirteenth way that worked, right?” I asked.
“It was more like a twenty third way, but yeah, what she helped me figure out makes a lot more sense and isn’t going to have people flipping out,” Rosie said.
“That reminds me,” I said. “I guess we need to hide that we’re special right? I mean if people knew about magic they’d probably burn us at the stake wouldn’t they?”
“No,” Grandma Apples said. “I don’t think you should ever need to hide who you are. You’re certainly free to choose to, and sometimes it can save a lot of headaches, but if there’s someone you want to be open with, you’re absolutely free to tell them who you are and what you can do.”
“But then won’t everyone know about magic?” I asked.
“No,” Grandma Apples said. “Just the people you trust and care about. For all the rest? They won’t believe or they won’t care. The magic of the world is perfectly capable of keeping itself hidden from the people who don’t want it to be a part of their lives.”
“So then I guess the big question is; what can I do with magic?” I asked.
“Anything you can imagine,” Grandma Apples said. “But some things aren’t terribly easy and for a lot of things you’ll need people to do it with you. That’s a witch’s true power. You don’t just make potions and cast spells, you bring out the magic in the people you encounter.”
“How am I supposed to do that?” I asked.
“The way you’ve always done it,” September said.
“Just by being you,” Rosie said.
I looked at the two of them, and my other selves, and thought of the new friends I’d made and the people I’d met. Grandma Apples was right. I’d made a bunch of mistakes. I’d been scared and confused and overwhelmed but we’d gotten through it all, together.
I didn’t know what to expect would come next in my life, I only knew that whatever it was, I was happy I got to face it with the people that I loved!
– – The End – –