The wizard summoned his magic, every ounce he could muster, and bestowed it upon the sisters.
He smiled. "Take this gift, and know now that you are able to do so much more."
-(Excerpt from: The Four Maidens. Original source unknown)-
It was a dark void. He was spinning uncontrollably with no power over his body. He could not see anything beyond the nothingness that was the void. There were no specific details and there were no demons that peered at him from beyond the void, but the complete darkness scared him nevertheless. He knew he was sleeping and he knew that he was only living through a strange dream but, as is the case for most dreams, knowledge was not enough to erase the discomfort that Aurelius Arc felt.
Eventually, he saw something. He saw his son and the sight struck a deep fear into his heart. The sight of a gangly, blond boy would have never frightened Aurelius Arc on a normal day. Aurelius Arc was not a regular man. He was a brave warrior who laughed in the face of Grimm. Despite this, he could not bring himself to laugh in the face of his son. Instead, he only cowered at the sight.
Eventually, the nightmarish vision of Jaune Arc moved. He balled his right hand into a fist, leaving his thumb up in a cruel mockery of the sign of approval that was accepted throughout the world. His left hand moved towards his thumb and though Aurelius tried to scream in protest, Jaune's left palm slowly closed around his thumb.
He swung his arms with the hope of catching the seams of the dream world and pulling it apart. He realized that his screams had been silent during this entire ordeal, but Aurelius continued to strain his throat, hoping that some spectral being would have mercy on him and end his nightmare. He cried with the hope that his wonderful wife would hear him and rouse him from his restless sleep. None of these thing happened, and the nightmare continued.
Still flailing and screaming in silence, Aurelius watched as Jaune's hand gripped his thumb. He knew what was coming next.
Jaune ripped his thumb off of his hand without even flinching. He wiggled his eyebrows as if he knew some sort of dangerous secret that Aurelius didn't, and put his thumb back into its original position.
When he let go, his thumb was reattached, free of any scars or blood.
Aurelius screamed. No sound escaped. Jaune's cruel eyebrows wiggled back at him. Aurelius had seen the same nightmare enough times to know what was coming next.
Jaune's voice was barely a whisper, but Aurelius heard it as if the boy was standing directly behind him.
"Hey dad, look," He said, flashing him an innocent and happy grin.
He felt a pair of hands take hold of his shoulders and he was shaken awake. A single dazzling green eye stared into his own and the sight of it calmed him down. The owner of the green eye seemed to recognize this and he assumed that her concerned expression had relaxed, though he couldn't confirm this as she had let herself collapse onto his body.
"Did you have that nightmare again?" Genevieve Arc asked.
Aurelius nodded, not confident that his voice would be anything but shaky and fearful.
"Shh, Shh. It's okay, honey," she cooed, running her hands through his hair. "Jaune's a good boy. He hasn't shown anyone his powers. He's safe."
The sound of his wife's voice calmed him down like it always did, but he was too ashamed to admit that Genevieve's assumptions about his nightmare were wrong. He hadn't been afraid for Jaune. He hadn't dreamt of some evil demon that was taking Jaune's soul away in exchange for granting him those spectral powers. He was ashamed to admit that he had simply been afraid of his own son.
As soon as he had learnt of his son's "gifts", he had forbidden their use in order to keep his son safe from the evils that would seek to abuse him, but he often wondered with a guilty mind whether he truly believed that he was protecting his son or whether he was trying to protect the rest of the world from the immense power that Jaune held.
"Honey, Jaune will be fine. Just go back to sleep," Genevieve said, her lethargic voice barely understandable as she mumbled into his chest.
Aurelius felt his nerves calm down at the comforting sound and he felt his muscles relax. Apparently Genevieve had felt it too, indicated by her small contented sigh and the slowing of her breathing. Eventually, when he felt her breath slow down to the soft rhythm that indicated she was sleeping, he made a silent apology and slipped out from underneath her, making sure that she was sufficiently covered by their blanket before he walked out of their bedroom in nothing but his bathrobe.
He walked down the hall towards the stairs of the Arc Manor. He walked down the stairs and passed by a small grandfather clock that told him that five o' clock had just passed. He made his way to the kitchen and after a short moment of consideration, he grabbed a banana from the counter and started to peel it.
As he chewed his makeshift breakfast, he thought about his dream and reassured himself that Genevieve was right. It didn't matter that Jaune had the powers of magic at his beck and call. He had forbidden the use of magic, so Jaune had no chance to expose his terrifying talents to the outside world. This meant that nobody would be targeting his boy's life and that he wouldn't be used as a human weapon.
He moved out of the kitchen and made his way to the den, wondering if it would be appropriate to pick up a few logs from the shed and put the fireplace to use. Summer had barely passed and the house was warm enough for him to be comfortably walking around in nothing more than a bathrobe, so he debated on whether the hypnotic sight of the flames would be worth the extra heat.
Then he remembered exactly why he was so unnerved. He shook and all thoughts of starting a fire out of his mind. It reminded him too much of one time where he had discovered Jaune practicing his sorcery in secret. Small tufts of flame and smoke had erupted from his hands and from the ground around him as he spun around, smiling innocently.
He had heard the legend that all fairy tales were true and that magic was real, but he had a policy of not believing in anything until he saw it with his own eyes. It was hard to deny his own policy when he had witnessed all of Jaune's acts of magic. When his oldest daughter had woken him with her screams on the night of the first act, it was easy to convince himself that what he had seen was some sort of mistake. When he saw Jaune casually plucking his thumb off of his own hand, Aurelius had fainted. At the time, he and Oriana, whose screams had woken him up, had agreed that they were both tired and had seen the same hallucination. Jaune had tried to say something when they woke up from their fainting episodes, but he had briskly walked away, refusing to meet his eye. He had recognized the immense power that Jaune held on more a primal level and on that same primal level, the deep fear and respect that he held unknowingly for Jaune forced him to avoid the boy until Jaune had given up on the subject and stopped trying to mention it.
A few months later, when he had forgotten the odd hallucinations, Jaune had come up after Aurelius had come back from a long mission, eager to present something to him in secret. Aurelius had patted his son's hair with no idea of the horrors he would soon witness. Jaune had slyly pulled him into his own room and showed him a set of playing cards. The boy had flared the cards out in his hands and asked Aurelius to pick one. After revealing that he had chosen the King of Spades, Jaune had taken the card and placed it back into the deck. After shuffling the deck a few times, snapping his fingers, and whispering a terrifying word of power under his breath, Jaune had asked Aurelius to check his own pockets.
When Aurelius had woken up from the brief fainting episode that followed, he had forced Jaune to promise not to show this "trick" of his to anybody else, including his sisters or his mother. While Jaune's agreement was reluctant, he was normally so obedient that Aurelius didn't think of the possibility that Jaune would go against his promise. It didn't stop Aurelius from burning the deck of cards, in hopes of exorcising whatever demons laid within.
From then on, the power balance within the Arc household had shifted. When Aurelius had restricted Jaune's card sorcery by forcing him into a promise and burning every single card that entered the house, he hadn't realized that Jaune's young and curious mind would only drive him towards equally terrifying alternatives.
For years, Jaune had terrorized the family by pulling coins out from behind everybody's ears, making small pieces of paper levitate, and conjuring flowers out of thin air, among other things. While Genevieve and most of Jaune's sisters didn't seem to fear these abilities, seeing as Jaune was promoting washing behind the ears, picking up litter, and because the flowers were rather nice, he and Oriana were terrorized by these casual displays of power.
As the only ones in the household who had been exposed to hunter training, with Oriana having graduated as a hunter recently, they knew how terrifying it was for a young boy to have such a control over this power, even when he didn't have his Aura unlocked. It was also the reason why they didn't want him to enrol him into a combat school despite his wishes. He shivered at the thought. At the moment, Jaune was an untapped well of unmentionable power, but what if Jaune learned to control it?
The kingdoms measured their power in the amount of hunters they had. Those hunters measured their power in how much Aura they had and in how well they could use that Aura. If Jaune were to be introduced into this world with a power that didn't seem to draw its power from any limited source, what would happen if he unlocked his Aura and became a hunter? He would throw the entire world off balance. He would make Vale the strongest kingdom by far, and while the kingdoms claimed to interact in peace, he knew that this power shift would not be welcome to some. He knew that his son's life would be constantly riddled with the threat of assassination in attempts to restore the power balance of Remnant and Jaune would eventually be forced into a life of constant war and alienation from his peers. No matter how much he was afraid of him, Aurelius loved his son and would never push him to such a horrible fate.
Aurelius shook his head and sighed, lifting his glass to his lips. He almost coughed at the realization that he had arrived at the den and had been sitting in his chair for a while. Apparently he had also poured himself a glass of wine while he was thinking about Jaune.
He sighed again and forced himself to relax, feeling his body sink a bit further into his soft chair. He held the glass of wine up to his eyes and swirled it around, letting the hypnotic spiral of blood-red liquid act as a replacement for the lack of a stoked fireplace. There wasn't much left in the glass and he hoped that he hadn't drunk much more subconsciously or Genevieve would be having a few words with him about drinking so early in the morning. Well, as long as the wine was already poured, not drinking it would just be a waste. He brought the glass to his lips and tipped it back. It was only a second later that he realized that without the wine, he would have nothing to keep his mind busy.
He pushed away the idea of pouring himself some more and put the glass aside, making a mental note to bring it back to the kitchen and wash it before anybody woke up.
He turned to the fireplace instead, staring at the sword mount that hung above it. Crocea Mors. Some would consider it strange to place such a battle-worn weapon in such a place, but Aurelius didn't care for the naysayers who suggested that a more ornamental piece of decoration would liven up the den. He held the weapon with great respect and when it wasn't in his hands, slicing through packs of Grimm like they were butter, what better place to allow the sword to relax than his second favourite room in the Arc Manor?
Genevieve hadn't allowed him to hang his companion over their bed in his favourite room, but he supposed he should be grateful for that. He was comforted by the fact that it was constantly watching over the room that his children would laze around in. While only Jaune seemed to take interest in the sword itself, taking it down to admire it and fiddling around with the sheath, he knew that his trustworthy partner would never let anything bad happen to the children under its watch.
He chuckled to himself and gazed at the sword mount, raising an imaginary glass as a toast, seeing as his empty glass was too far away to reach without actually standing up.
"To you, Crocea Mors. May you protect the Arc family for generations more."
He didn't know whether it was the wine that was causing these strange hallucinations, and he hoped that wasn't the case or Genevieve would have his head, but just in case he looked back up at where Crocea Mors should have been.
Crocea Mors was gone.
Aurelius Arc fainted.
Despite the taste of vomit in his mouth and the fact that he was currently hunched over a garbage bin right outside the Beacon landing strips, the childish and excited part of him could only marvel at the memory of how Beacon had looked from up in the bullhead, thousands of feet up in the air, all aboard a shaky aircraft that felt like it would explode spontaneously at any given moment.
At that memory, he could no longer hold back the waves of nausea and he unloaded the remnants of his lunch into the garbage bin.
Despite the overwhelming taste of vomit in his mouth, he looked up to Beacon with a great joy in his heart and a lack of anything in his stomach.
This would be the beginning. This would be the grand start to the legacy of Jaune the Magnificent, the first celebrity magician in Remnant's history.
Hey, so here's my little prologue/pitch to any potential readers of this story. Just in case it wasn't clear, it's a comedy story based around the idea that Jaune has picked up a bit of street magic in his spare time and is eager to make his name in the world. Unfortunately, not only do people not understand his tricks or how they work, they completely misunderstand him and his nonexistent power. If you've watched the entirety of RWBY, you might have guessed what this implies.
As a little side note, I gave a few names out that may or may not be important later on in this story.
Just a little trivia on the subject, Aurelius and Oriana are both Latin and Roman based names, both meaning Gold. Genevieve is a French name that is based on Juniper. Thought it would be neat if Jaune's French name came from his mother's side, especially since we know that at least one side of his family is based on a more Ancient Roman background since Crocea Mors shares a name with Julius Caesar's sword.
Though it might be wrong, I would make a bet that if Jaune's family is ever shown in the series, one of his parents will have a Latin name while the other will have a French name.