"Ugh!" The air was forced out of Dave's lungs as magic caught him a few inches above the floor. "Balthazar look! I did it!" Dave looked up at his master who raised an eyebrow and brought back his outstretched arm, letting Dave hit the floor. "Or not." Dave groaned.
"You need to concentrate, Dave." Dave glared at the older man as he stood and dusted himself off. He huffed and made his way back up the metal stairs to the overhang. "Maybe we should take a break." Balthazar suggested earning another glare as Dave climbed over the railing.
"No, I can do this." He took a deep breath and launched himself into the air.
1 hour earlier
"Today we are going to learn some more advanced levitation." Balthazar announced as he and save strode into the old subway turnaround which was now their magical practice room.
"Ok, like, moving the chairs around without them wobbling?" Dave asked sarcastically. Balthazar gave him a reproachful glance and Dave shrugged.
"No, like catching things that are falling." He led Dave to the overhang and looked out over the Merlin Circle engraved in the concrete below.
"What am I going to catch?" Dave asked, joining his master at the railing.
"Yourself." Dave yelled as he felt himself being lifted off the metal platform and dropped over the edge. He thrashed in the air until he came to a sudden stop just before hitting the concrete.
"What was that?!" He asked looking up at Balthazar with wide eyes. Balthazar let him drop onto the floor and he groaned before standing up. "Are you trying to kill me?! What was that?!" He repeated himself as he looked up at the overhang and then at Balthazar who was making his way down the stairs.
"That was a practical demonstration. And no, I was not trying to kill you." Balthazar said calmly. "The best way to learn to do something is through self preservation. Haven't you noticed that you always seem to master things when there is some immanent danger to yourself or someone around you?" Dave just stared at Balthazar from a moment.
"So that equates to, 'let's throw Dave off a balcony and hope he catches himself before he hits the concrete and dies'?"
"Well, yes." Dave stared at Balthazar again.
"No! I'm not going to jump off a balcony just for your enjoyment." Balthazar sighed.
"It's not for my enjoyment, it's for your lesson."
"That does not make it better." Balthazar sat and picked up his book.
"Either you walk yourself up there and jump off of your own free will or I will make you." He glanced over the top of the book. "And I can guarantee that if I have to do it, it will not be a pleasant experience." Dave glared some more before trudging up the stairs.
"You are going to catch me if I don't get it, right?" Dave asked after climbing over the railing. Balthazar shrugged.
"We'll see?!" Dave looked at Balthazar like the man was crazy. "I'm not jumping off of here if I might actually die from it!"
"You wont die, you might break a bone or something, at worst you might end up in a coma, but I thought you might like that since then you would get a break from your lessons." Dave just opened and closed his mouth a few times like a fish out of water and then started muttering about crazy old men as he tried to climb back over the rail to safety. Unfortunately, being an extremely clumsy guy, he slipped and was soon plummeting toward the ground screaming.
"Now, that wasn't so bad was it?" Balthazar asked Dave as he was suspended just above the floor again.
"Dave you need to concentrate." An hour into the lesson, Dave still could not catch himself before Balthazar had to step in and save him. "Are you even trying to clear your mind?" Dave rolled his eyes as he trudged up the staircase yet again.
"No, I'm cluttering up my mind with my grocery list and physics equations." He said sarcastically. "Of course, I'm clearing my mind. What, you think I like throwing myself off of this ledge?" He climbed over the railing and Balthazar watched him carefully. "And the bruises I'm getting from being dropped on the ground are just awesome."
"No need to get snippy." Balthazar said calmly getting a roll of Dave's eyes in return as the young man jumped and Balthazar caught him. "Try again." Balthazar sighed listening to Dave groan as he hit the ground.