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The Legacy of Androva Series

Bonus Content - How Andy and Jax Became Friends

Today’s blog post is an additional scene about Penny’s brother. A couple of readers have asked me what happened to Andy in between Controlling Magic and Connecting Magic. Did he find it easy to reconcile becoming a magician with his earthbound life? Well… not exactly. I doubt Andy will be too happy about me revealing the details, but I also know that Jax will be delighted… ๐Ÿ˜

The scene opens about six weeks after the end of Controlling Magic. Andy is revising for his Chemistry ‘A’ Level with his best friend Hugo. ‘A’ Levels (A=Advanced) are exams taken by eighteen-year-olds in the UK prior to attending university. Andy and Hugo both intend to study medicine.

I hope you enjoy the scene, and I’m always open to ideas for more bonus content so just let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to read about! Although the Legacy of Androva series is finished, I still miss the characters, and any chance to revisit them is fine with me ๐Ÿ˜„. Thank you very much for reading!

“What is your problem?” asked Hugo.
Andy sighed. My problem is I hate suppressing my force field so no-one realizes I’m a magician, he thought. It’s like trying to read the textbooks through a dirty pane of glass. How am I supposed to live half of my life without magic now I know the difference?
Because you chose to, said the voice in his head. Better half of your life without magic than all of it.
He glanced at Hugo who was staring back at him exasperatedly. They were meant to be testing each other on chemistry theory, usually one of Andy’s favorite subjects. Final exams were less than a month away, and his place at medical school depended on excellent grades.
“Maybe we should take a break,” said Andy.
“A break from what exactly?” Hugo replied. He threw down his pen. “Dude, we haven’t even finished one question yet.”
For a second, Andy wished he could tell him. He wished he could explain about Androva, a world where magic was real. The only reason Hugo himself hadn’t been born with any magical ability was the ancient treaty with Androva whose terms prevented it. Angelus, the evil magician contained by the treaty, had been defeated over a year ago, but the treaty’s legacy on Andy’s world was unlikely to be reversed now.
Androva didn’t know everything about Terra and its inhabitants, but it knew enough to be wary. The prospect of creating magicians on such a world had already been rejected by a majority vote of the Androvan Council. Andy had seen the Council’s analysis, and the list of potential negative outcomes had been pretty depressing.
& Magic as a weapon, or as a way to influence and control
& Magic as a commodity—for sale or for hire
& Magic as a way to achieve youth or beauty
& Magic as a spectacle or freak show
Andy had agreed all were possible. Not to mention that the safety of Androva was almost certain to be lost as a consequence.
“Sorry. I’ve got a lot on my mind,” Andy told his friend.
Hugo tilted his head. “Is it Lisa? She still giving you a hard time?”
“No,” said Andy. He hunched his shoulders slightly. Lisa had been his girlfriend for most of the previous year. She’d been devastated when he broke up with her.
“Someone else then?” asked Hugo. “You haven’t been single for this long since primary school. What gives?”
“I’m not… necessarily single,” said Andy carefully.
“Who? Who is she?” asked Hugo, leaning forward. “Tell me. Show me,” he added, looking around for Andy’s phone. “I knew there was a reason you weren’t studying properly, Hargreaves.”
Andy hesitated. He hadn’t told anyone about Valentina yet, but he knew this had to change if he were going to successfully attend both university and the Seminary of Magic on Androva. He didn’t want to hide the fact that he had a girlfriend. Valentina needed to be able to cross from one world to the other the same as he did.
It was going to be difficult, though. When Andy went to Androva, everyone knew he was a Terran. He didn’t have to pretend to know all the spells Androvans his age took for granted. But Valentina would have to pretend. Even setting aside the fact that she was a magician, Terra was so much more sophisticated in terms of culture and technology than the world she’d grown up in. Andy had a lot of friends, but he’d known Hugo for the longest. He made a decision and held out his phone.
Valentina was seventeen. She had dark red hair, blue eyes and a smile that lit up her face. Overlaid by the subtle magnetism of her magical force field, it still knocked Andy sideways whenever he saw her, a new sensation he found quite unsettling. He wasn’t accustomed to feeling at a disadvantage with girls.
“Um… have you got one without a filter?” said Hugo after a few seconds.
“No,” replied Andy. “I mean, there’s no filter. That’s actually what she looks like.”
Hugo raised his eyebrows. “Wow. I never thought I’d say this about you, but I think you’re punching, mate.”
“Tell me something I don’t know,” said Andy, shaking his head.
“Straight-chain and branched-chain isomers,” replied Hugo, glancing at the chemistry book.
“Funny. You should be a comedian not a doctor.”
“But seriously, where did you even meet her? She looks like a model.”
“She’s not. She’s… er… studying to be a doctor too.” This was true. Valentina wanted to be a Remedax when she came of age. “I met her in Darius’s house,” Andy added. Also true. Except that Darius, his sister Penny’s boyfriend, was a magician from Androva like Valentina. Lying by omission. Andy supposed he had better get used to it.
The sun came out from behind the clouds and shone into the open-plan kitchen where the two boys were studying. The edges of Andy’s phone glowed brighter with the blue of the Protection Spell surrounding it. He hastily returned it to his pocket. The tingle of magical energy against his fingers amplified his restlessness. There was no escaping the fact that he’d rather be at the Seminary learning the three time-honored Combat Spells, or creating a portal to the other side of the world out of thin air. Even an Androvan History lesson about Sygnus symbols would be preferable to his ‘A’ level Chemistry book. However, he wasnt due back at the Seminary for another two days. He sighed.
“This isn’t gonna work, is it?” said Hugo.
“What isn’t?” said Andy, startled out of his daydream.
“This.” Hugo gestured at the textbooks. “I’m not your teacher, dude. We should probably forget it. I’ll go to the library and catch you later or something.”
Andy’s gaze sharpened. I don’t want to forget my Terran education, he thought. But Hugo’s right. I can’t carry on like this. “Tomorrow,” he promised. “I’ll be back in the zone tomorrow.”
“If you say so.” Hugo kept his head down, closing his laptop and putting it in his backpack.
“Are we cool?” said Andy.
Hugo paused. “Sure,” he said. “I guess it’s reassuring to know you’re as susceptible to a pretty face as the rest of us.”
“Valentina’s not the reason I don’t feel like studying,” protested Andy.
“Whatever. But at the risk of sounding like your teacher after all—a pretty face is no substitute for your MD.”
Andy closed the door behind Hugo and packed away his own laptop and books. He stared out of the window into the garden, wondering what to do for the best. Feeling so undecided was an unfamiliar sensation for him. Good looks, brains, and a black belt in karate made him stand out from the crowd. But there was an edge to Andy that kept people his own age guessing. He didn’t care if studying wasn’t cool. And he broke the rules as often as he followed them. He wasn’t arrogant, but he was confident. At least, he usually was.
The trees by the fence rustled loudly as the wind picked up. The living magic they contained was no longer harvested by Androvan magic-takers, though Andy and his younger sister Penny sometimes used them to practice on. Magic-taking was a useful skill. Andy reached into his pocket for his phone and typed a message.
Are you around this afternoon? At home I mean?
His phone buzzed with a notification only a minute later.
I am. Penny’s on Androva though.
I know,” Andy replied. “You’re the one I want to see.
There was a short delay before Shannon’s reply appeared. “Jax is here too.
Andy grinned. “Thanks for the warning but that’s cool. He might be able to help. See you in 10.
OK. See you soon. We’re out back.
Jax and Andy weren’t out-and-out enemies, but they weren’t close friends either. Shannon was Penny’s best friend and Jax was her boyfriend. She lived a few streets away. Andy grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge before setting off to walk the short distance between the two houses. The sun was hot and he wished he felt confident enough in his use of magic to use an Ice Spell on the back of his neck. Knowing my luck I’d create a collar made from icicles, he thought. The strength of his force field had increased from zero to maximum very fast because he’d already been almost eighteen when his spark was ignited.
“Hey,” he called as he walked through the side gate.
“Hey,” replied Shannon. She and Jax were sitting beneath the chestnut tree at the foot of the garden. Jax had his hand flat on the grass next to Shannon’s, not quite touching, but close enough that Andy knew their force fields would be able to sense the proximity.
“What’s up?” said Shannon.
Andy sat down, placing the bottle of water onto the ground. He would never admit it to the younger boy, but there were times he found the directness of Jax’s green-eyed stare slightly intimidating. Especially right now, when Andy felt at a disadvantage before he’d even opened his mouth. He couldn’t help admiring Jax for his confident and innovative use of magic. Jax, on the other hand, saw in Andy all the maturity and experience he knew he didn’t yet possess.
Andy braced himself. “I have a problem,” he said.
Jax lowered his gaze, but not before Andy saw the flicker of curiosity in his eyes.
“Glad I could brighten your day, Jax.” Andy was unable to hide his irritation.
Shannon nudged Jax in an attempt to prevent his grin from widening. “I’m sorry to hear that,” she said to Andy. “How can we help?”
“I can’t… I mean… How do you compartmentalize it so well?”
Shannon frowned. “I assume you’re talking about my magic?”
“Yeah. You kept it hidden from everyone, didn’t you? And you never failed your Terran classes, either. How did you do it?”
Shannon looked down, allowing her force field to expand far enough that her hands glowed softly in the shade created by the tree. “It was the first thing I learned,” she said quietly.
“How did you manage to get so good at it?” asked Andy. “I could really use some tips. I’ll never pass my exams the way I’m going right now.”
“I suppose my motivation was pretty solid,” she replied with a faint smile. “That might have had something to do with it.”
“Your motivation?”
Shannon lifted her gaze, pushing her hair off her forehead from where it had fallen forward. Her brown eyes glinted silver. “Protecting Jax. Remaining a magician. Staying alive,” she said. Jax put his hand on her knee, his former smile nowhere to be seen.
“I don’t understand,” said Andy. “I thought you beat Angelus because your magic was so powerful. Is so powerful, I mean.”
“It was before that,” said Shannon. “Jax and I were only in a position to confront him because the Androvan Council had no idea what I was capable of. I hid my force field so well I even fooled their senior interrogator.”
“And thank Androva you did,” murmured Jax.
Shannon explained the parts of their story that Andy hadn’t been fully aware of. “Impressive,” he acknowledged. “And it makes sense. I guess it’s not much help to me, though. I can’t exactly replicate what you went through.”
“No,” agreed Shannon. “Probably for the best,” she added, huffing a small laugh.
“Wait,” said Jax. “I have an idea how to motivate you.”
“What is it?” asked Andy.
“Jax,” said Shannon warningly.
“It’s a proper idea,” he told her. “I promise. It might hurt a little, but hey”—he looked at Andy—“you’re desperate, right? You would never have come here otherwise.”
“I guess that’s true,” Andy agreed.
“So. There are two parts to this. Firstly, I think you should try to escape one of Shannon’s Containment Spells. They’re killer because she’s so strong. If she doesn’t hold back, you might find the pain inspires you to suppress your force field more effectively. Like a crash course.”
Andy looked unconvinced.
“Go on,” said Jax. “Show him what I mean.”
“Is this OK with you, Andy?” said Shannon. Her hands glowed brighter.
Andy nodded. “Yes, of course. But I doubt—” He broke off with a gasp and a series of swear words, clutching his head and bending double. Once he’d gotten over the initial shock, he gritted his teeth and worked on escaping the band of magic inside his head. When hed finished, his face was white, and he had to take a few sips of water.
“Let’s go again,” he said.
“No,” said Shannon.
Again,” he insisted.
After four rounds of Containment Spells, Andy was satisfied. He lay back on the grass, staring up at the leaves shifting in the early summer breeze. “Well,” he said, closing his eyes, “I really didn’t know I was capable of suppressing my force field so far. Thanks, guys.”
“Are you all right?” asked Shannon.
“Yeah. Nothing a head transplant won’t cure. I’m kidding,” he added immediately, opening his eyes again. “Really, I’m fine. But if you have any Headache Remedy lying around, I wouldn’t say no.”
“I’ll make some,” said Shannon, picking up his bottle of water and unscrewing the cap. She concentrated for a few seconds before adding some sparkling drops of magical energy to it.
“So you’re glad we did this,” said Jax, checking. “You don’t regret it?”
“No,” said Andy. “I’m grateful. Honestly. What was the second part, by the way?”
“Oh,” said Jax. “The second part. Magic mixed with ordinary Terran school is impossible. I should know. I barely survived it without giving myself away—let alone studying properly like you’re attempting to. I think you should do your A’ levels first, then go to the Seminary. You’re annoyingly good. If you took a sabbatical from Terra after your exams, you could probably learn all six disciplines in a year.”
There was a pause, then Andy chuckled.
“What’s funny?” said Shannon.
“Are you telling me I was trying to do something even you wouldn’t have succeeded at?”
“Well… yes,” said Jax.
“You should have told me the second part first. I needn’t have suffered the indignity of those Containment Spells.”
Jax failed to hide his trademark mischievous grin. “If only I’d thought of that.”
A few seconds later, Shannon pushed Jax over with a Movement Spell so strong he landed on his back with a bump, the breath knocked out of him. I cant believe you did that,” she said, scowling.
Andy smiled. “I dont know. If I were in his position, after the whole thing with the kiss Id probably have done the same. But I think we’re even now. Right, Jax?
Jax nodded. Fair was fair. Although he wasnt sure if he and Andy would ever be close, he didn’t want the older boy as his enemy either. He gave Andy a tentative smile. 
Friends? said Andy.
Friends, agreed Jax.
Shannon offered to fetch some sodas from the kitchen. We should say a toast to New Friends, she said.
Andy ended up staying until his sister returned from Androva, and Penny was most surprised to see her brother and Jax getting on so well. In the not-too-distant future, Andys help (in the form of a replacement phone) would prove to be something of a lifeline for Jaxquite literally. The seeds of friendship sown that afternoon were more important than any of them knew.

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