Disclaimer: I do not own anything in here except for my OC's I make no money off of writing this and I hope nobody thinks that I do. I wrote this to amuse myself and hopefully a few other people nothing more.
Chapter One: More trouble than he's worth
"Heed my calling oh fount of power and mystery. I beg of you come to me being of awe inspiring power. Hear my heart's plea as I call to you. Summon forth my familiar!"
What came next was to be expected from an incantation cast by Louise the Zero, a deafening explosion and a large cloud of dust. The gathered students were just recovering their footing and dusting themselves off as the dust cleared to reveal a lone figure standing in the rapidly fading cloud of destruction. The figure was unlike any that had been summoned thus far in the day. The most obvious difference was that it was not some sort of powerful magical creature or even a more mundane animal. The Zero had managed to call into her service a tall man in a strange wide brimmed hat with a long black overcoat that came down to around his ankles and obscured the rest of his figure from view. He looked to be somewhere in his early twenties but wore squared rimmed glassed like an older person would. If anything he looked more like some sort of foreign businessman than a soon to be magical familiar.
The gathered students proceeded to burst out into loud mocking Laughter. "The Zero has summoned a commoner as her familiar," called a rather well endowed redhead.
"How fitting for such a failure, it compliments her success rate thus far quite well," chimed a flamboyant blond boy from the side of an equally smug blonde girl.
"Congratulations Louise you have successfully cast the spell now you must complete the bonding," said a balding man from beside a small strawberry blonde girl.
"…But Professor Colbert must I, surely if you give me one more chance I can summon a proper familiar and not some sort of shabby commoner," She pleaded while eyeballing the new arrival.
"I am sorry Miss Vallière but the springtime summoning ceremony is sacred and once a student successfully calls forth something they must stick with what they get and complete the bonding. Now if you would be so kind as to hurry up there is another group of students scheduled soon and we need to clear the area." 'Besides she has already tried three times to get him, founder knows how long it would take to get anything else.'
At the same time the stranger was taking in the scene and trying to make sense of where he was while lightly coughing from the smoke. 'Where did I wind up this time and why is there so much bloody smoke? I sure hope whoever brought me here has a good excuse. It looks like I've been brought to some sort of medieval castle filled with children, so a school perhaps? They do all seem to be wearing some kind of uniform after all.' It was around this time that he noticed the small girl talking animatedly with a balding man in robes holding a staff. 'Well you don't see that every day. He looks like a priest of some kind, perhaps this is a monastery then? Or maybe I just stumbled into a LARP scene. That would certainly explain a lot, but if that were the case how did I get here and why do I smell some sort of explosion in the air. I'll go along with this for now and see how things shape up but someone better give me some answers pretty damn quick.' At this time the small pink haired girl marched toward him with a look somewhere between disappointment and fury. Either way there was definitely fire behind her odd rose colored eyes.
"You there, commoner, kneel down here to where I can see your face clearly," she directed the seemingly confused man. He returned the order with a look of amusement and decided to speak a few sentences in a language that none of the gathered students nor did Professor Colbert understand. This elicited another burst of ridicule from the crowd after he became quiet again.
"Not only does the Zero summon a commoner, but she summons one who cannot even speak our language," said the busty tart from before. "She really is an utter failure at magic."
'So that is what this is, a magic ritual of some kind, well if this little girl managed to call me then she is surely more than a zero. Surely a free thinking individual has to rank higher than a cat or an owl. I am definitely better than blond boy's giant mole looking thing.' To end the taunting of the poor he complied with her requests and knelt down to her eye level a little more than a foot below his own.
'Ugh why did I have to summon a commoner of all things, even if he is rather attractive I still deserve better than this. If Mother or Father ever found out about this along with my other failures they would probably pull me out of the academy. Guess there is nothing I can do about this now is there.' "Be thankful commoner even if you can't understand me this is a privilege one like you would normally live your whole life without experiencing." She then began to chant, "My name is Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière. Pentagon of the Five Elemental Powers; bless this humble being, and make him my familiar."Louise then proceeded to seal the contract with a kiss, to think that her first kiss would be given to some incomprehensible commoner. Shortly thereafter glowing runes appeared on her new familiar's hand that should have been extremely painful, but just caused him to look at them in moderate annoyance.
He then spoke, "Well it seems to me that you have successfully managed to do what you were attempting with whatever witchcraft you cast on me. Seeing that you have given me your name I will introduce myself as well," he started in a strange dialect of heavily accented Halkeginian. "I am Therum Magnus and I can speak French or whatever your name for this language is quite well. As a matter of fact I am well versed in quite a few languages. I am also well versed in many other fields of study such as history, engineering, and other scientific fields. I did not say anything before the contract was made because I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on. The sentences you heard earlier were just a formal diplomatic greeting from my homeland. I was trying to be polite, something you kids seem to be unfamiliar with. Now would anyone here like to tell me what is going on here and why I have been branded on my left hand?"
"Familiar summoning and contract runes," answered a blue haired girl from behind a large tome of some sort.
The priestly looking man decided to elaborate a bit more. "We have just finished the Springtime Summoning Ritual where second year students call fourth their familiar who will serve and protect them for life unless one of the party dies in an unnatural manner. Since you appeared after her 'call' and have those runes on your hand, you have been contracted as Miss Vallière's familiar. May I take a closer look at your runes? I do not recall a student ever calling forth a human familiar before." Therum shrugs and holds out his hand for inspection while Colbert makes some notes on a scrap of paper from one of his pockets.
"Ok let me see if I understand this. I was 'summoned' by Louise here to be her butler and bodyguard until one of us dies. I don't have a choice in the matter and there isn't anything I can do about it." Professor Colbert and a very confused Louise nod. "So basically I am her slave, because I doubt any of the other familiars are getting paid."
"Not at all Mister Magnus, the master- familiar bond is a symbiotic bond where through your connection you should both be better off than if you were alone," replied Colbert.
"So then we are married in all but name, is that what you are telling me? I have lost my freedom to go where I please, I am now expected to care for the well being of an attractive young lady and I bear a symbol on my left hand that marks me as someone else's man. That sounds an awful lot like marriage to me." Therum was fighting a smirk at this point when he noticed how red Louise had become at his statement. Everyone else in the crowd had also become much quieter at this comment.
"I had never really thought of such a comparison before because like I mentioned earlier, human familiars are not supposed to be summoned. I do suppose that some comparisons can be made between the familiar bond and a marriage but I assure you that you are not legally married to Miss Vallière at this time. I will leave the rest of the explanations to her. I have some research I need to take care of now."
"I do not know what gave you that idea about being married to me but I assure you that a noble with as high of a standing as me would never marry a commoner like you. As long as you remember your place and keep weird thoughts like that to yourself this arrangement should not have to be any worse than it already is. For starters you are to address me as master from here on out and follow my order without question is that clear?" Therum just shrugs at her and becomes very interested in his finger nails. "Let's go, it has been a long day and I grow tired from all of your antics." The rest of the students and the professor had already taken to the air and where flying towards the castle with practiced ease, which left the newly formed duo to walk back to the castle proper in pensive silence.
Back at the castle in Louise's room Therum took stock of what would probably be his shared living quarters for the foreseeable future, or until the stuck up little girl aggravated him enough to ... 'Interesting, it appears that the runes prevented me from actively plotting her downfall this may be more of a pain than I first thought. On the other hand she and several of her classmates are quite cute; maybe this won't be too bad, even if I can't touch.' "Louise where am I to sleep at night I only see one bed in this room and I doubt you would be comfortable sharing it with a grown man such as me."
"First of all commoner as I have already stated, I am a noble and you should address me as master and second your bed is over there," she pointed to a pile of straw in the corner.
"No. There is no way that I am going sleep on a pile of straw like some sort of pet. I will make other arrangements myself if I must but I am not sleeping in a haystack. Another thing, why do you keep calling me commoner I told you my name is Therum Magnus, so please try to use it." Louise twitched but remained silent. "While we are at it would you mind telling me where exactly we are and what is expected of me as your familiar."
"You must be from some really strange backwater region to not know this but as I am a kind and gracious master I will humor you this once," Therum frowned at her statement. "We are currently at the Tristain Academy of Magic one of the most prestigious schools of magic in all of Halkeginia. You were summoned by me to be my familiar for life or until one of us dies. You duties as you put it are to do anything I tell you but most importantly to be a companion and protector should the need arise. As to why I call you commoner, that is what you are. Those who can cast magic are nobles and those that cannot are a commoner that is the way things have always been."
"So the ability to cast magic is all it takes to become a noble here? What about those with immense finances but no magical ability or those with no station but the ability to cast some simple magic spells? If a child were to be born into a noble family and not have magical ability would they just be cast out? This system seems a bit flawed if you ask me" The girl twitched at the last part of his statement.
Louise sighed, "Such a troublesome familiar you are. There are always exceptions to the rule, like if someone commits a grave crime they can be stripped of their noble status and those with enough money can buy a title in some countries such as those barbaric Germanians. Now I grow tired of all of this questioning. Be a good servant and help me prepare for bed. My dressing gown is in the wardrobe there on the far wall." Therum took a seat at the small desk next to the bed.
"I will assist you when you show me at least a moderate amount of respect little master, the least of which would be using my name when requesting something. You know nothing of my past or what I am capable of. While I may not be of noble birth like you are, I will not be talked down to by anybody?"
"Why you disrespectful familiar I will teach you not to talk back to your betters." Out of nowhere she had a whip in her hand and made to use it on her uppity servant. Only instead of a cry of pain she heard the snapping of a piece of wood. Somehow Therum had managed to not only intercept her riding crop before he was struck, but also managed to snap it in two before Louise could react. Louise was terrified by the look of rage burning in Therum's eyes.
"I give you this warning Louise de la Vallière, while these runes will not allow me to harm you directly I can make your life very difficult. On the other hand,I can also be one of the nicest people you will ever meet and go through unbelievable efforts to assist you in a time of need. All I ask is to be treated with a little respect. Where I come from we have something called the 'Golden Rule'. It states that you should treat others how you want to be treated, regardless of station. So if you try to whip me again, I will give you a spanking you will never forget." He then pushed in the chair he had previously used, walked over to the wardrobe gathered her night clothes and handed them to her with a surprisingly warm smile. "I am going to take a stroll around the grounds and get myself acquainted will you need anything else miss Vallière?
"Yes please Therum if you wouldn't mind doing the laundry next to the wardrobe and wake me up at dawn I would appreciate it," she said in a trembling voice. She wasn't about to ask him to help dress her now.
"There now master that wasn't so hard was it? I will do as you wish. Sleep well and I will see you in the morning." With that he left, his long strange coat billowing behind him like some sort of cloak, or a cape.
It was still fairly early by Therum's standards considering that it seemed to be early spring here and the sun had set sometime during his conversation with Louise. 'I guess that I should tackle this laundry first seeing that I don't particularly want to carry this basket around the whole stupid castle. I wonder where the wash room is.' He was jostled from his musing when he tripped over a young woman in what appeared to be a maid uniform who had been sweeping up a pile of dust on the floor. They both went to the floor with Therum showing exactly how many languages he can curse in. The girl blushed furiously at the few words she understood from the man.
"I am so sorry miss are you alright I was lost in thought trying to think of a way to find the laundry room. I should learn to pay more attention to where I am going."
"I am fine milord no need to worry about me," the cute maid bowed once she had regained her footing. She then noticed the basket of clothing that had been scattered across the floor. The man was hunched over collecting the clearly feminine articles. "If you like I could take care of that for you seeing as that is my job and all." She gave him an adorable smile.
"I would rather not trouble you with unnecessary work miss, and please none of this milord business I am no noble. Even if I were I think I could handle a little laundry." At this the bowing maid got her first really good look at the man who had stumbled over her. His accent was completely unfamiliar to her and she had never seen the likes of the clothes that he wore, but he gave off a friendly enough air so she felt he was a nice enough person. Then she remembered one of the new rumors currently going around the rest of the staff.
"You're the human that miss Vallière summoned today aren't you. I'm Siesta what is your name?" At this point she was practically bouncing." I'll gladly show you where the kitchen and laundry room are located."
'I like her already, not only is she pretty, but working around all these snobbish little brats has made her humble too, and that smile of hers can is dangerous in its own right. I think starting tomorrow I am going to teach those punks some humility.' "Why thank you Siesta I would appreciate that very much. My name is Therum Magnus, please just call me Therum."
Siesta led Therum to where the laundry room was and despite his protests helped him wash his mistress's dainty knickers and other assorted vestments. Afterword, while the clothes were drying, she led him on a tour of the parts of the castle that she knew. There was a minor altercation with the loud mouth blonde dandy from earlier, Guiche his name was, and a younger girl that he was flirting with. Other than that things progressed fairly smoothly for the remainder of the tour. After their walk was over Therum walked Siesta back to the maid's quarters before collecting Louise's laundry and returning to her room.
He made a conscious effort to not wake the girl. He thought she was downright cute when she wasn't yammering about her foolish noble Superiority. With the clean laundry safely put away in the wardrobe Therum took his leave and headed out to the garden that Siesta had shown him earlier. He was serious about not sleeping on a pile of hay in the corner. Sleeping out under the stars was a much better option, especially on nights like this when the weather is crisp but enjoyable. Having a new night sky to try and map doesn't hurt either. The presence of two moons had confirmed the he was definitely not in Kansas anymore. With this Therum pondered his unexpected new lot in life as sleep slowly claimed him.
Therum roused shortly before dawn felling better rested than he had in years. There really must be something about magical gardens that provide an unparallel sleep quality. He was able to get going remarkably quickly despite not being a morning person. Shaking off the last remnants of sleep he decided that he should head to Louise's room and wake her up like she requested. That job is apparently easier said than done. The little mageling proved to be an astonishingly heavy sleeper with a poor memory. Once Therum had managed to get the girl awake she had promptly hit him with one of her exploding spells. No real damage was done to either person but his beloved coat now had a thick covering of soot on it to go with the grass stains from sleeping in the garden. Once she had recognized him as "that commoner I summoned" she actually had the decency to apologize for the damage to what currently counted as his only outfit. He then proceeded to help her gather an outfit for the day and left the room so that she could get dressed.
A few minutes later Louise entered the hallway where Therum was waiting and the pair walked towards the main dining hall. "Therum would you like to join me for breakfast this morning with the rest of the students? I am sure nobody would complain if my familiar joined me."
"No thank you little master I do not particularly like loud places I figure I will just grab something from the kitchens and meet up with you a bit later to accompany you to your classes."
"They give all of the second years the day off after the summoning ceremony to bond with our familiars so if you will just meet me in the courtyard in a couple of hours that should be fine."
He gave a nod and marched off in the direction of the kitchens that Siesta had shown him the previous night. 'I hope they don't mind me dropping in like this, but I really don't want to have to deal with dozens of spoiled brats calling me commoner all morning. At least Louise is making an effort to be civil today, even if it is partly just a show. Maybe I can even get a bit if cooking in myself.'
As it turns out the cooks in the kitchen had all heard of how polite the newcomer was to one of their own the night before and had welcomed Therum into the kitchen with open arms and offerings of eggs and bacon. This was definitely a better choice than the noisy alternative. "Thank you so much for your hospitality everyone if there is any way that I can repay your kindness please let me know. How about I cook breakfast for all of you sometime so that you might enjoy a morning off, I will even provide my own ingredients." The head chef didn't really seem to like the idea of some stranger taking over his kitchen but conceded to Therum's enthusiasm to help.
"Well if you really want to do something, you are welcome to help me serve tea and cakes to the students in the courtyard today," Siesta offered. "It is really not a whole lot of work but I would enjoy having someone nice to talk to." 'Hopefully it will also keep those stupid nobles from trying to touch my butt. I can understand it from the boys but that red haired woman is far too forward for my liking.'
"I would be glad to help such a polite and lovely lady serve a bunch of pampered noble brats. Let us be off to an honest day's work. Something that those twerps will never know a thing about," he exited with an over exaggerated flourish. Siesta chuckled to herself as she gathered up things on her snack cart and followed the strange familiar who was now wearing one of the cook's spare aprons instead of his heavy coat. How he managed to change so quickly was beyond her.
About an hour later Therum and Siesta found Louise sitting at a small table with two empty seats. "Salutations master how was your breakfast?" Louise looked at him like he had grown an extra head. Then again it might have something to do with the fact that sometime between their parting and now he had lost his coat and was pushing a tea cart while wearing a chef's apron over his black shirt and pants.
"Familiar, I mean Therum what in the name of the founder are you wearing, and why are you helping this maid push her cart?"
"I would think that that much should be obvious master. I am serving tea and cake to the students with this wonderful maid here. Her name is Siesta. We met last night while I was wandering around the castle and helped me find the laundry room so that I could provide you with fresh knickers." Louise twitched as he bluntly talked about her under garments in public. "We will join you when we are done we just have those two blonde fops left to serve and we can take a bit of a break." With that he and the maid wandered over to the table Guiche and Montmorency were sitting at. "Good morning milord," the duo greeted. "Would you care for some tea and special chocolate cake?"
"Yes commoner that will do nicely. Good to see that the Zero's familiar has given up his charade and returned to an occupation suiting his station," huffed the golden dandy. "Did you ask for more money to keep up your act and she refused, or did she simply prove too much of a hassle for you?"
"Nothing of the sort milord, Siesta here was kind enough to give me a tour of the grounds last night as you saw and I am merely returning the favor. On the other hand if you touch my friend's rear again without her permission while your lady friend here is looking away, I will have to break it." Therum was now grinning at Guiche's reaction to getting caught. To make things even better the younger girl form last night was now approaching the group, and his companion was already looking cross with him.
"Guiche what does he mean? Were you really feeling up that common maid with me sitting right here next to you! And who is that girl over there waiving at you with a basket?" Montmorency pointed as Katie walked up to offer Guiche a soufflé she had prepared.
"Guiche who is she?" asked Katie this time. "You said you had eyes for only me always," the two fuming girls echoed. Guiche tried to make up some lame excuse that neither of the ladies bought. Apparently they both came to the same conclusion as two slaps echoed through the courtyard.
"I remember you form last night, Guiche was very rude to you. As an apology pleas enjoy this homemade soufflé. I think you probably deserve it more than that dirty two-timer." Therum accepted the basked from Katie before she turned around and stormed off back in the direction she came from. Montmorency went off in the other direction.
When he had suitably recovered from the shock of the vicious double slap he had just received Guiche turned his anger upon Therum. "How dare you make two noble ladies cry like that? You have not only soiled their honor but mine as well. Now you have the audacity to steal something that was rightfully mine? I challenge you to a duel!"
Therum seemed to be in deep thought for a few seconds before responding. "You are the one who hurt those ladies sir. Very few women will react kindly to being lied to. As to stealing from you I assume you are talking about this soufflé, and if that is the case you are sadly mistaken. While it may have been originally destined for you it was given to me by its maker. This makes it mine not yours. "He made a show of carefully smelling the basket. "As to this duel nonsense what are your terms?"
"You and I in single combat at Vestri Square in 15 minutes," he said as he marched away. Had he looked back at that moment he would have seen two very disturbing images, one familiar with an absolutely predatory grin and a very, very angry pink haired mageling approaching.
"Therum do you have any idea what you have done!" yelled Louise at her familiar. "You have challenged a noble to single combat. There is no way a commoner, no matter how skilled, can beat a noble. You do not even have a sword with you what are you thinking? We must go to Guiche immediately and apologize."
"Wait a minute ee challenged me, not the other way around. Please have faith in your familiar. There is more to me than meets the eye. I am sure everything will work itself out in the end. Siesta would you mind running to the kitchens and retrieving my coat for me? I have a feeling that I am going to need something in one of the pockets." She was off before he had even finished speaking. The predatory smirk had returned with a vengeance. 'This should be an interesting event.'
"I am surprised that you decided to show up commoner. I respect your valor and if you beg at my feet I might let you off with a mild beating this once. Dueling is against the rules for nobles but since you are just a commoner there will be no repercussions for me."
"I will not back down from this show that you have instigated but I must clarify something. You intend to fight this battle with magic correct?"
"Of course you foolish commoner how else would a noble fight a duel?" He waived his 'rose' and the petal that fell formed into a bronze golem. "I am Guiche the Bronze and this Valkyrie will be your opponent." Just as the statue appeared out of the ground Siesta arrived at the court with several of the kitchen staff and Therum's coat. The owner of said coat retrieved it form the girl and put it on with a flourish.
"As you wish milord, and I shall be your opponent." As he spoke Therum reached into one of the interior pockets of his coat and pulled out a gleaming sword and scabbard that seemed to shimmer like bottles starlight from one of his pockets. To say that the gathered body of observers was confused would be an understatement. "This is my favorite sword, her name is Aurora. This match can begin whenever you like." The confident tone of his voice betrayed no hint of fear or worry.
"Do you really expect to fight me with a blade that cannot be more than six inches long? That is more of a letter opener than as sword. Are you purposefully trying to insult me or are you just a fool?"
"I assure you the blade is very sharp, but if you would rather me use a full sized sword that is your choice." He grabbed the hilt and the scabbard as if to draw his miniscule weapon but instead of unsheathing the blade the sword expanded as he pulled his hands apart until it was just around four feet in length. "Does this work for you milord? The sword is now at its original dimensions and combat ability."
"You're a noble," both Louise and Guiche exclaimed.
"I am absolutely no such thing! I am just a man with a fancy sword. Now can we please get this ordeal over with? My tea is getting cold and I would like a piece of that cake before it is all gone." Taking the initiative he unsheathed his blade that he had finished fastening to his belt and lashed out at the bronze golem a few feet in front of him. With a few powerful strokes the golem was reduced to nothing more than scrap metal. "I told you it was very sharp."
The crowd erupted into quiet whispering and what sounded like one industrious student taking bets. Guiche's Valkyries were known to be fairly tough opponents and this commoner summoned by the Zero had just turned one into scrap metal. Not satisfied with his feat the familiar began to advance on Guiche while lazily twirling his blade in his hands.
Guiche was panicking at this point and tried summoning a dozen more of his Valkyrie warriors armed with various weapons to pursue Therum. It was the maximum number that he could currently summon at his skill level. Guiche decided to use his numerical advantage and had his Valkyries surround Therum in a circle thinking that the man could not defend all his sides at once. Therum knew what was happening and decided to see exactly what Guiche could do. Instead of advancing on the constructs he grabbed his scabbard and muttered a brief sentence under his breath. The audience once again gasped as his scabbard morphed in his hand into a large kite shield. It is around this time that he noticed that the runes on the back of his hand were glowing.
'Now this is an interesting development, looks like these familiar runes might actually be worth something. Either way these kids are expecting a good show so I had best not disappoint. This Guiche kid had a pretty good idea but these things are too slow and soft to be that much of a danger. Too bad the kid isn't a Titanium mage.' The first of the attack wave finally got into range with its spear but was blocked by Therum's newly formed shield, followed by a quick beheading of the perpetrator. The other eleven did not fare a whole lot better. A couple managed to get in a few blows in here and there but none left any lasting damage on the increasingly mysterious familiar. By the time the last of the Valkyrie constructs had fallen the familiar was barely even breathing heavily.
Guiche was astounded that his small army of Valkyries had been so easily dispatched by the Zero's commoner familiar the last one standing had been literally beaten into a heap with his shield instead of using his strange sword. Guiche was so astonished by his resounding defeat that he didn't realize Therum's approach until that cursed blade was pointed at his crotch. "Oh Founder please don't kill me. I yield to you and will no longer insist on an apology from you."
"Oh you have me gravely mistaken young sir, I am not going to kill you I was more considering the idea of neutering you so that you could never harm a lady's honor again, or I could just break both of your arms and then turn you over to them for whatever they wish to do to you. I might be willing to forget this whole mess if you would offer both of the ladies you slighted this morning an apology. Then you are going to apologize to my little master for all of the terrible things you have said to her during your time here at this academy. Once you have done all of this our issue here will be resolved, if you don't do this I will use this blade to hang you by your pelvis from the tallest tower I can find do you understand." Guiche nodded yes. "Good now get out of my sight before I change my mind."
Guiche took off towards the castle tripping over his own feet looking for Montmorency and Katy before that insane familiar of the Zero could catch up with him.
Turning to address Louise he spoke in an entirely different tone, "Would you like to have that tea now? I am rather thirsty after all that talking." The gathered crowd stared at him dumbly after that comment. Did he really just go from talking about hanging someone from a tower by their bits to asking for tea? "Is he mentally unbalanced or something" was the most common thought among the congregation.
Back at their table Louise and Therum had been joined by Siesta at Therum's request and were enjoying a nice cup of tea and some cake. 'Ugh, my tea got cold while dealing with that pompous prick.' "Siesta do you think it would be too much trouble to get a fresh cup of tea? Mine has gotten rather cold while dealing with that Guiche guy."
"No need for that my darling Kirche von Zerbst the Ardent will warm both you and your tea the way you have set me alight inside," said a voice from behind the group. The owner of the voice waived her wand at Therum's cup and steam began to rise from it. Therum cautiously took a sip from his no steaming tea and released a small sigh of contentment. Luke warm tea ought to be a crime.
"Zerbst what are you doing here and why are you harassing my familiar in such a shameless manner, have you nothing better to do than bother me?"
"Oh hush Vallière I am not here to talk to you I am here to profess my love to this shining example of manliness next to you. In all my life I have never seen such an amazing display of swordsmanship. As a reward, I aim to take care of him in way that you seem to be unable to. If he needs his tea warmed who better to do so than a fire mage, and if I need my bed warmed who better than the one who sets my passion aflame like no other. "
Louise and Siesta were both going red at this point, Siesta from the thoughts in her head fueled by Kirche's words and her romance novels and Louise from equal parts rage and embarrassment. Therum decided to step in before his tea got caught in one of his little master's explosions. "I thank you young lady for your compliments of my ability and the warm tea but I have no interest of warming your bed in the foreseeable future. Not only am I significantly older than you but I would rather not do anything that would cause my little master here any further distress than I am already likely to do on my own. I would assume bedding one of her rivals would do just that. I am sure you can find another outlet for your 'passion.' Now if you will excuse yourself we were in the middle of a private discussion." Kirche huffed indignantly.
"I'll leave for now but remember this darling a raging inferno is not easily put out by a cold wind and my love is like a raging fire. I will have you yet." With a dramatic sweep of her cape Kirche left to rejoin her quiet blue haired friend Tabitha. Therum recognized the other girl from the day before, if memory serves she was the one who summoned the dragon. She might be one worth keeping an eye on.
Louise was the first to speak after Kirche was out of ear shot, "You told me that you were not a noble. Why did you lie to me?"
"Simple I did not lie when I told you that I was not any sort of nobility. You never asked if I was a decent swordsman in possession of a heavily enchanted blade. Where I come from I am not a noble I am simply a hapless wanderer and student of the world who you summoned to be your familiar. If you had asked me 'do you have an impressive collection of magical artifacts fit for nobility,' I would have probably said yes. I've picked up quite a fair number of odd items over the last few years. Here, however, I am merely Therum the humble familiar of Louise le Blanc de la Vallière a mageling with great magical potential. "
"You are just saying that to make me happy. I know that I am a failure at magic you don't have to lie to me." Therum reached across the table and ruffled the girl's hair slightly.
"I never jest when it comes to the potential of someone's ability. I have no idea what kind of mage you will grow to be but I can assure you that you have great potential in at least one field. The amount of powered needed to summon someone like me should attest to that. If it will put your mind at further ease I will let you in on one of my other little secrets but the both of you must swear to not tell another soul unless I give you permission first. Also you are not to speak until I am done talking. Can you agree to this?" Both girls eagerly nodded looking forward to learning anything they could about the strange man seated across from them.
"As far as I can tell this is not the world I am from. I am not from some different country but from another planet entirely. This Academy is not my first encounter with magic though; I was once very good friends with an Arch Mage that let me live after discovering his secret because I was dating his favorite granddaughter at the time. You see where I am from magic is nothing like it is here. Those who practice the arcane arts live separate from the world and the average person has no idea that magic is real. The magi of my world guard their secrets very closely and only pass along their legacy to a small handful of apprentices. The worth of a magister in my world has little to do with birth status, but their ability with magic. That is the reason I find this noble, commoner segregation so ridiculous. The only advantage a good lineage would have gotten you back home is access to more research material, and if you are lucky a larger internal well of magic to draw from. That is how I know you have great potential Louise; these glasses that I am wearing are enchanted to show magical auras. The color and vibrancy of the aura determine how much raw power a person has to work with. With dull red being the weakest while still being able to perform real magic and bright silver being the most powerful. Does this make any sense at all to you two?"
Louise sat for a full five minutes thinking before finally saying anything. "If what you are saying is true can I ask you three questions Therum," Louise asked. Therum nodded. "First off can you prove to that that whole story is true and not just something you came up with to make me feel better about myself?"
"I am not entirely sure what kind of proof you want because my sword is pretty obviously magical in nature but maybe this picture will help convince you a little more," he handed Louise a somewhat tattered picture of an older man in what looked like a nicer version of Therum's outfit and a young man and woman, the latter of which was obviously a younger Therum. Therum and the girl had a heart made of what looked like a rainbow over their heads coming from the hands of the girl. "The man in the picture is Alexander Venenatus the mage I mentioned earlier and the girl is Alexandria Venenatus his granddaughter, that photo was taken about a year after I discovered their family secret." Louise and now Siesta were studying the picture intently. It was much clearer than any painting they had ever seen before and some of the things in the background had never been seen by either of them. Either it was a very good fake or it helped validate his story pretty well.
Louise handed Therum back his picture. "I believe you now. My second question is if you can really see magical power what color is mine and what does it mean?"
"That is an easy one master, your aura is a vibrant pale blue and it means that you have one of the strongest magical wells I have seen at this academy with only a couple of the professors passing you in terms of raw power. If we ever figure out your element you will definitely become a high grade mage. Siesta your aura is a soft pink."
That comment got Therum sprayed by the tea that both girls had just taken a sip of. "What did you just say!" they yelled. "I thought you said that only magical things had an aura," again in unison.
"I did say that, so Siesta must obviously have some magical potential. Pink is one of the weaker aura colors but if she had ever been given the chance she would have proven to have some ability. Louise hand her your wand and let's see if anything happens." Louise reluctantly handed Siesta her wand while the latter took it very cautiously. Normally commoners were not allowed to touch a noble's magic wand for any reason. "Good now give it a little wave and say "scintilla" you should produce some small sparks. The spell isn't really good for anything but it does take magic to make it work." The shy maid did as she was told and dropped it when the air in front of her erupted in a burst of small sparks. "Very good Siesta you are indeed magical. Now what was your final question Louise?"
After the sparks from the maid poor Louise was almost too shocked to think straight but she had to know," Are you a mage too Therum?" He just smiled and handed the pinkette his glasses. When she put them on the first thing she noticed was that there was a bright emerald green haze around her familiar's body. Looking at the maid next to her, who was still apparently in shock, there was indeed a light pink haze around the girl. Finally she got the nerve to look at her own hands, true to his word they were surrounded by a bright blue light. Proving to be too much for the overwhelmed girl to handle Louise's brain decided that now was a good time to shut down for a while and she fainted.
A/N There have been some minor changes to this chapter, I think it makes the flow of the story a little better. If you are new to the story or just re-reading, feel free to tell me if you want something retroactively tweaked.