Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.
The excerpts in this chapter are taken from The Golden Bough. Most specificaly Chapter 3: Sympathetic Magic.
The steam rose slowly in the cold air. Translucent columns of blessed heat drifted ever upward from the cup. A slight smirk curled at the corner of her mouth, only to be replaced by the rim of the glass a moment later. It was bitter on her tongue, and warm in her throat. She smiled again, and set the cup down.
Raven breathed a quiet sigh, and glanced back up from the table. Her eyes clouded with memories of some other place, fixed on the horizon that lied out the window. It was white with fog, and if the fog lifted, she knew it would be grey. The booming television on the other side of the room was prophesying rain, and she had to concur.
Her smile faded.
Pale grey fingers reached for a ragged tome resting on the table. The slight extremities curled lightly around the pied binding, disturbing its peaceful slumber. The book found itself being lifted rather gracefully into the air, and purposely pried open, made to bare its secrets.
' If we analyse the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. '
The girl's face slowly transformed into a veritable picture of concentration. Her lips screwed into a tight pucker. Her eyes honed into the fading typeface.
' From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it.'
It spun wildly. Whirling and fizzing like a demoniac, the ball twirled in the middle of the air. It was held aloft by nothing. Defying gravity and logic, the object floated in the ether almost of its own accord.
A monk smiled coyly at the little girl's expression. With a wink, the hand that had been twirling so rapidly stopped. The child's mouth opened when the ball halted as well. The old man's grin grew broader, as he began to move his palm up and down. The ball hanging so resiliently, moved along with it. Simultaneously, the little girl's head bobbed in the same fashion, watching the ball.
The monk dropped his hand to his side, and the ball came crashing to the floor. The girl immediately looked back at him.
The monk took a step back, a little surprised that her look of wonder could be replaced with such fierce indignance.
In response the man smiled, and said quietly, "Now it is your turn child."
His amusement returned as a rainbow of emotions displayed themselves in quick succession on her face. First came shock, being swallowed up by incredulity a moment later. Finally there was nervousness.
"But How? I-I can't." She said in a small voice.
Another flick of the hand, and the ball flew from its landing spot, to the monks open palm. "Yes you can. Everyone can. You just don't know how yet. Meziel will show you how."
Her wary expression did not change. However, she nodded all the same. The monk nodded back, and presented the ball.
"Now child, watch Meziel. See how he moves his hand up and down. See how the ball too moves up and down with Meziel's hand."
"But you're still holding the ball." The girl interjected.
"As it is now, it is so always."
"I do not understand."
"Meziel cannot make a thing to float in the air. That is impossible. Meziel must lift the thing himself. A ball will not spin of itself because Meziel so desires. If Meziel wishes the ball to spin, he himself must spin it. This is the way."
The monk continued to move his arm, ball in hand, up and down. The little girl stared on, but didn't look quite convinced.
"Here now child, move as Meziel does. Hold your palm out open. Now move with Meziel, up and down. Up and down."
She obeyed without hesitation. The two of them together, moving their arms in perfect unison.
"Good child, good." The old man smiled holding the ball out to her. "Now you must move the ball yourself."
The little girl looked nervous again. She took a step back.
"It is all right. You can do this. Hold out your arm just as we were. Good child." When she raised her arm out, the monk continued. "Now to lift the ball you must see it in your mind. You must see the ball. You must concentrate hard. You must will the ball to lift. You must know without any doubt, if you lift, the ball will be lifted.
"It is not hard. It is like meditating. First you must find your center. Close your eyes child. Breathe slowly. Find your center, find your self. Do you feel you?"
The little girl nodded vehemently.
"Now stretch you. Feel your center, pull it. Move it out and down through your arms. Stretch your self outward, and grab the ball. This is the way."
She breathed deep. She scrunched her face up tight, as she tried to stretch her center. It was hard. She could feel it move a little, but not far. She breathed deeper and tried again. She was getting a headache as she strained. She could feel it get all the way to her shoulder this time.
It was too much.
She opened her eyes and bent over, grabbing her legs and panting.
The monk looked stern. "You can do it child. Try once more. Once more for Meziel."
She looked up at the man desperately, and knew she would get no reprieve. She would have to try again. Bracing herself, she closed her eyes, and pushed with everything in her.
Suddenly there was an explosion of black. The shadow of a claw shot out from the little girl. It barely missed the monk as it blasted through the room, blowing a hole in the opposite wall.
Both of them, student and teacher, lay strewn on the floor, knocked down by the sheer force of the energy. Meziel was thrown to the side as the great black claw flew by. The girl had been knocked backward, and slid across the floor.
He rose as fast his aging form could, rushing to help the child. She was bawling as he helped her up.
Her white leotard and cape were thorn quite badly. Her elbows were scraped. She had knots on her head. It looked like she would be covered in bruises.
"Hush now child. It is all right. These things happen." The old monk said as he patted her on the back. "These things happen"