A/N: Dunno. Doesn't make too much sense. This was initially raw draft, but I ran up of time and posted it anyway. I'll finish the actual story by next month, but God knows whether I'll post it or not. For now, this is my best bet. May, in big possibility, contains typos and numerous grammar errors. This is still a draft, in any sense…
Sunshine reeked through my windowsill; elegantly put my bench into spotlight. Comfortably warm, without being too annoying. A plate of golden crisp French fries by my side, laying atop piles of books, each with title stranger than your usual textbooks. Summer break. My second one in this school.
I leaned to my bed, munching my snacks while going through pages of newly published catalogue from the town's marketplace. This was just beginning of summer, so I've actually little to none money to spend yet. Still, it was better than having your mind wandered by its own.
I stepped down my bed a few minutes later. The colorful illustrations on miscellaneous item could no longer provide me with distraction of mind. My eyes were longingly set on random spot somewhere in the blue sky. Soft sigh escaped my lips. This was exactly why I hated summer.
That was not the best term to describe it. Summer, ever since I enrolled to this school, had become somewhat a mockery. It brought the feeling of nostalgia within its very presence, and memory was not something she wanted to talk about right now.
She thought herself as a mixed bag. She clearly enjoyed her campus and her school life, and by ignoring a few (well, more than a few, actually) things every now and then, she could feel herself perfectly normal. Your usual 17 years old highschooler.
She glanced at her pile of books, the top one read 'Conjurer's Handbook: Beginner's Manual' followed with several others along the line of 'Potent Potion: Book One', 'Substantial Magic', and 'The Dawn of Spellcaster'.
Then at the fliers on her bench: 'Summer Fair: 20% off on all wands and talismans!'
And at last, the catalogue she had been reading: 'Magical Items of your need: Wands to Charms, Weapon to accessory'
And a quick flash on her wardrobe didn't help either. A jumbled collection of robes, a pair of exotic bangles, talismans, and a pair of modest wands.
She was far from normal.
She was a magician.
A mage in training to be exact.
And there was no turn back.
She was a rare example on family of wildseed. While most wildseed hadn't seen real mage in their life before they were declared to be one, Astaria had been waiting her entire life to receive the destined letter of acceptance. She lived with magic in her heart, though not her blood, as she waited with anticipation from year to year. A growing anxiousness to her thirteenth birthday-where most magical talent showed itself. Like her brother and sister.
The Ashford family had three children, with Astaria as the last. She had seen her brother and sister, one by one, left home to attend a magic academy from her little eyes. Each time they came home, little Astaria was told many egregious stories, each time weirder than before-but always a delight to hear. She knew all teachers and their respective traits, she was able to distinguish which spell belong to which class, she knew names of the dorms by heart, and she was able to tell the structure of the campus building. It was as if she knew that one day she would walk on those corridors by herself, a natural emotional attraction to the academy.
And so, it turned out that her siblings' stories did not include most of the dark side of their magical lives. That it meant you would lose all connection to normality. They wore tight façade so that their little sister wouldn't be worried about them.
On her thirteenth birthday, she changed her life.
It was one sweet summer day, like today. The sun wasn't blazing heartlessly, and cheerful voice filled the air of the neighborhood. A smiling would-be thirteen greeted everything on her way home. Little birdies, busy postman, green grocers, shopkeepers, and else. Tomorrow would be her birthday. She hadn't show any magical potent till that day, but she was so sure that she would see her ability by tomorrow.
If only she acted more carefully and realized there was black mist stalking her that whole day…
She woke up earlier the next morning. That day was her day, her big day. She was ready to get tons of 'Happy Birthday!' as she trailed down the staircase. Her hopes, however, was met only by notes on fridge.
'We go to your Grandma's. Will be back soon. Be a good girl. Mum'
Her heart sank in disappointment, but after a second she was joyful again. Some loaves of bread for breakfast and she was ready for school.
'Eileen and Selene must be waiting for me! We had concocted such great plans for today, 'she mentally smiled at the remembrance of her friends. And the whole class would also celebrate her day. What could be more perfect?
She greeted them spiritedly once they showed themselves. "Eileen! Selene! Good morning!"
They didn't seem to hear as crowds of students passed amidst them one after another, so she called louder. Still no avail. Again, louder. She was deadpanned. It was as if she had been transformed into transparent glass pane in a night. They chatted happily with each other, and Astaria could make out some parts of their conversation. She was left out.
The disturbing events continued as hours passed that day. No one seemed to pay attention on her, even her homeroom teacher and other lecturers after her. Somehow, it made her felt bad.
When she came home that afternoon, her parents had yet to be there. She tried to phone her friends to accompany her. Tried, with no success. No one answered.
And she began to sulk. The black mist now encircled her head, establishing itself as some sort of eerie tiara.
'No one see me. No one remember me.'
It was chanted within her head numerous times. Each echoed more painfully than its predecessor.
'I am forgotten. I am lost.'
Now the spell was joined by stream of tears.
'It is better if they all disappear too…'
At that time, logic was swept from her, and she was nothing but mindless doll.
A doll whose master controlled the strings from afar…
Chaos shrouded the small town. Little by little, despite countless yell of despair and fright, in front of the panicked townspeople, buildings vanished into nothingness. Black hole appeared right in front of the mayor's house, sucking existences around. Bigger, bigger, and bigger.
The little girl that was cooped in her room, however, did not feel the change of air. She cried even more, and at the same time, the black hole ran amok.
When little Astaria finally heard all the commotion and looked out, she trembled in both fear and shock. There was not much to see. Aside of her house, the world was painted pitch black by an unseen hand. Her shriek pierced the empty world.
When she found thread of light woven slowly through the seemingly eternal darkness, she was unable to move. Her consciousness told her that the chaos must be related to her. Her eyes widened in instant, as two gentle hands came out of nowhere and hugged her.
"Here, here. Don't afraid. We're here. We'll fix this soon, "said the motherly voice.
The last thing she remembered before falling into deep slumber was another voice, a male one. Grumpy, sharp, and bitter. Slightly reminded her of her grandpa…
"I am impressed by her ability, but I've enough of this job. I won't be coming for another teensy rage."
"Now, now, quit being so unfriendly, Garbiner. It is our job to raise these buds into full bloom flowers."
"Definitely yes, young lady. You're quite handful, even before you set your foot in the academy."
"Oh, calm down. No, this is not entirely your fault. Your magical power burst at the same time as your heart stirred in trouble, so it took over rage and rampaged uncontrollably. Don't feel so bad. Many older magician does that from time to time. It was, after all, accident."
She looked down, fixing her sight to the shiny marble floor. The wizard pair did their work perfectly, as the town became normal again, and no memory trace about the incident left. But the bitter taste didn't end. She caused such danger to everyone…just because a trivial problem, and now it turned worst as she was sad for something nonexistent. Her family and friends were preparing her birthday surprise…
"We do worry about your surprisingly great talent. As yesterday's incident prove, you have too much power to your age. A prodigy, perhaps, but we should seal it until our next meeting-your acceptance to the academy. I look forward to meet you in three years, "she smiled. The gleam on her eyes reflected both obvious worry and twist of grieve. She didn't need another people to affirm she was dangerous.
She didn't know what to say. The prospect to enroll to her dream academy didn't make her happy anymore. Instead, to her, it had become a nightmare. Like an infected led to the quarantine..
She recovered within three years, and by the time she got into the academy, she had changed. Her trauma was lessened, but she had taken the note about herself and frequently distanced herself from her normal friends. The incident was known only by her and the two professors.
She was accepted into Snake, a place suitable for those with secret in their heart. Not unlike her expectations though…
She closed the window, and let her body fell to the cushion. She hated summer as it brought with it nostalgia, a remembrance of her normal life. What was left from her life. More than once, the option to reject her power flashed in her mind. But half of her family was, though wildseeds, magicians. Rejecting magic meant she would be forced to forget them, forget her life, forget herself. It was one thing she held on every time she faltered on her choice.
It was normality she longed for. It was normality she had given up hope for.
Because she was not normal, and would never be.