Rod was eight when he first met Owen Palmer. Up until the beginning of third grade, he had only been the slightly richer, slightly smarter boy next door. Then, by a miraculous twist of fate, Rod landed in the advanced class at their exclusive prep school. His parents had been proud; Rod had always been the scrawny, average little boy who could scarcely figure out how to use his magic.

"Can I sit here?" Rod asked shyly, disconcerted by the way the students already appeared to know one another.

"Sure," Owen replied, pulling out the chair beside him. "Is this your first day here?"

Rod blushed. "In this class, yeah. I've always lived here though."

Owen nodded. "I think I've seen you around." He smiled, " You live down the block from me. Well, are you excited for school?" Rod shrugged, he'd always been rather indifferent to academics. "I heard we're going to learn more magic this year," Owen replied excitedly.

"Really?" Rod asked, intrigued. "That should be cool."

Owen nodded, his serious face brightening with enthusiasm, "Definitely."

A little girl in a plaid skirt interrupted them. "Hi Owen," she said brightly, giving him a friendly wave. "How was your summer?"

Owen's face turned from pale to crimson, and he gave a hesitant shrug. "It was alright, how was yours?"

She gave a huge grin. "Oh, fine."

Rod opened his mouth, suddenly more confident. "Hi," he interrupted, "I'm Rod. It's nice to meet you." He stuck out his hand the way his parents had taught him too.

The girl took it with the tips of her fingers. "Um, hi. Well, bye Owen. See you at lunch."

Rod's face fell slightly. He thought she was cute. Owen grinned anxiously and hastily jumpstarted a conversation about magic practicality.

Despite this thorn in Rod's confidence, in addition to a dozen other trials of the first day, it was this moment that cemented their friendship. They balanced each other too well for it not to; Rod was all confidence and bravado, while Owen had everything Rod always wanted. It was practically fate that they be best friends or worst enemies.