Brooms

“I wished for you too.”
-Practical Magic

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2. Chapter Two

For the first time in her life, the book was frustrating her. Though she had many books, this specific unnamed book had been the source of all her information. It was almost like an encyclopedia of witchcraft and magic. Whatever she needed to know she searched in the book. The book would give her a brief explanation of the subject and then send her off to find a better source.

But the book had very little to say about vampires and all her other books were at home.

Despite how heavy it was, she brought the book to school with her that day. The large, leather bound thing barely managed to fit inside of her messenger bag. It weighed a ton as she dragged it to school. No matter where she went or what she did with the bag, she could still feel the effects of its weight in the red marks on her shoulder.

At lunch, she dragged the heavy bag to a far corner of the schoolyard and sat beside some bushes. She pulled the large thick book out of her back and plopped it down onto her lap. Then she went back on her search about leaches.

The book knew surprisingly little about them, and that’s why she was frustrated. The book knew everything. Everything she had ever needed to know about witchcraft during her journey had been found in this book. Of course, more often than not the book would guide her to another book, but it could at least give her a bit of an explanation first.

It did have an entry on vampires, but it didn’t have much to say. There were only two words written in scrolling ink beneath the word “Vampire.” All it said was, “Blood magic.”

Blood magic was one of, if not the, most powerful form of magic. It was why witchcraft was generally passed down from generation to generation. Sure, any human could become a witch if they were gifted magic from another witch or happened upon powers accidentally. Most humans could do the everyday sort of magic, even if they didn’t know they were doing it. But blood is what made a witch powerful.

Sophie had magic because she had the blood of her ancestors flowing through her veins. Because magic had been passed down for centuries, and for whatever reason, her bloodline had never been broken. She was what they called a “legacy.” And there didn’t seem to be as many of them anymore as a lot of witches decided against passing on their magic to their offspring.

But blood magic didn’t just end with DNA and genetics. A witch could use her own blood to amplify the powers of a spell. She could use someone else’s blood for a powerful curse. Blood left stains that lasted for… well maybe forever. If blood was spilled in an area its magic remained for a very long time. It was why murder scenes were so violently powerful. It was why hauntings existed. Where a lot of blood had been spilled, magic was left behind.

Sophie quickly turned to the entry on blood magic. But it was far too advanced for her guidebook. There was just a list of different types of blood magic and other books that pertained to those subjects. Nothing that mentioned vampires at all.

She felt him before he appeared. She hadn’t noticed it the day before because she was so used to the energies that teenagers let off while at school. That’s why she sought solitude outside in the grass, even though it was a bit too chilly to be outside. It was clear of humanity. Of course she could always sense energy. Plants held energy. The sun held energy. The earth itself held energy. But these energies were such a natural part of her that she barely realized they were there most of the time. She could feel them when she reached out for them. But for the most part they existed like little vibrations of a song that was just a bit too faint to hear.

His energy was different than the usual high school kid. She could feel magic on him. His song hummed a little louder than the other students. She could feel him as he moved around school, but she’d never reached out for that energy. She couldn’t tap into it the same way she could others. She could drain a human. She could drain a bush. But she couldn’t drain another magical creature. And this boy, was so very stuffed full of magic.

“It’s bright out here,” she heard him say as his song hummed louder than usual. She looked up at where he was standing, more like towering, above her. He was wearing a black jacket with the collar turned up. He must have been wearing a hoodie under the coat since he had a hood over his face. He was squinting his pale eyes and looking around the school yard as if it was inconveniencing him to be out in the sunlight.

“It’s called the sun,” she said. “It’s usually pretty bright.” He squinted at her.

“Why are you out here in the sun?” He said the last two words in a voice that sounded as though it was meant to mock her tone.

“It’s quiet. You know… muggles.” He smiled just a tad. She put her hand over her eyes to block out the light that was just behind him. “What are you doing out here? Aren’t you afraid of bursting into flames?” He rocked back on his heels.

“That’s a myth,” he said. She nodded.

“I wouldn’t know. My book doesn’t have a lot to say about you.” He sat down on the grass and crossed his long spidery legs together. Then he squinted at her.

“What do you want to know about me?”

“I know nothing about vampires. At all. Just that you use some form of blood magic.” He nodded.

“More or less.”

“So you don’t burst into flames.”

“I think we established that. Since I’m sitting here.”

“Covered.”

“The sun irritates my skin. I sunburn faster than most people. It can be fatal in large doses.”

“I see. How old are you?”

“Seventeen.”

“How long have you been seventeen?” She regretted it the moment she said it. The corners of his lips turned up into a snarky smile.

“Did you really just quote Twilight?” he asked her. She groaned and turned back to her book, somehow hoping more information would appear.

“It was an accident,” she admitted. “I was genuinely curious.”

“You think if I was a hundred years old I’d still be in fucking high school?”

“I was just wondering!” she repeated.

“I’ve been alive for a total of seventeen years. Plus a couple months. Mom won’t let me take over the family fortune if I don’t graduate. But I only intend to do that once.” She nodded and balanced the book on her lap.

“That’s good to know.”

“So what about you? How old are you?” he asked.

“I’m seventeen. Or I will be in a few weeks,” she told him.

“How long have you been seventeen in a few weeks?” She rolled her eyes and laughed.

“I’m not immortal.”

“You could be… you know… if you were the supreme.”

“Supremes aren’t immortal. They just live longer than most people.” He shrugged.

“How the fuck would I know?”

“Do you not know a lot of witches?”

“Last one I met had a lot of shrunken heads in her room.” He stuck a leg out and leaned his arms against his knee. “Can I ask you a question now?”

“Sure, what do you want to know?”

“Your name, for starters. I thought it was common courtesy to ask someone that before you start drilling them with questions.” She dropped her knees and her eyes went wide.

“Oh my gosh. I am so sorry. I forgot to ask,” she said.

“I noticed.”

“My name is Sophie.”

“I prefer Brooms. I think I’m going to call you that. I like the way it sounds. It’s very… witchy.” She rolled her eyes again and lifted her knees, returning her gaze to her book.

“Half of this school already thinks I’m a witch. It doesn’t matter.”

“Well, I don’t think lugging around mysterious hand written leather bound books in your bag really helps your case. Also, you’ve got that… hippy goth vibe going on.” She looked back up at him.

“You never told me your name,” she reminded him.

“You never asked,” he countered.

“So what’s your name? Or should I just call you… Fangs?” He laughed.

“Please don’t call me Fangs.”

“Then tell me what your name is and I won’t be forced to give you a crappy nickname.”

“It’s Rory.” She scrunched her nose.

“Rory? What a boring name for a vampire.”

“Oh, forgive me. Nosferatu wasn’t on the list of baby names my mom was considering.”

“Well… I didn’t think it would be Nosferatu. But maybe something more… elegant.”

“It was my grandfather’s name.”

“Oh, never mind then. I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright. He was a prick.” He smiled as the bell rang, and then he stood to his feet. “Well, Broom-Hilda, it was great speaking with you again. But I’ve got shit to do. See you later.” He gave her a lazy salute before sticking one leg out in the direction of the building. She hurried to put her book back inside of her bag.

“Wait, Nosferatu. I have one more question,” she said. He spun back around and squinted down at her. “Can you fly?” she asked. He smiled again, although a bit more dangerously than before.

“If you let me come back to your house tonight I’ll show you,” he said.

“Fine… if you want.”

“Good. See you later.” Then he turned and headed back inside.

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