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… 😏
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 😄. 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
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
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
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.
got a lot on my mind,” Andy told his friend.
his head. “Is it Lisa? She still giving you a hard time?”
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.
then?” asked Hugo. “You haven’t been single for this long since primary school.
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,
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
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.
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.
Andy. “I mean, there’s no filter. That’s actually what she looks like.”
his eyebrows. “Wow. I never thought I’d say this about you, but I think you’re
something I don’t know,” said Andy, shaking his head.
and branched-chain isomers,” replied Hugo, glancing at the chemistry book.
should be a comedian not a doctor.”
seriously, where did you even meet her? She looks like a model.”
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
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 wasn’t due back at the Seminary for another two days. He sighed.
gonna work, is it?” said Hugo.
said Andy, startled out of his daydream.
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.”
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?”
“Sure,” he said. “I guess it’s reassuring to know you’re as susceptible to a
pretty face as the rest of us.”
not the reason I don’t feel like studying,” protested Andy.
at the risk of sounding like your teacher after all—a pretty face is no
substitute for your MD.”
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
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.”
“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.
called as he walked through the side gate.
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.
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.
himself. “I have a problem,” he said.
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.
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?”
frowned. “I assume you’re talking about my magic?”
kept it hidden from everyone, didn’t you? And you never failed your Terran
classes, either. How did you do it?”
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.”
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
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.”
Androva you did,” murmured Jax.
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.”
Shannon. “Probably for the best,” she added, huffing a small laugh.
Jax. “I have an idea how to motivate you.”
“What is it?”
“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.”
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.”
“Go on,” said
Jax. “Show him what I mean.”
“Is this OK
with you, Andy?” said Shannon. Her hands glowed brighter.
“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 he’d finished, his face was white, and he had to take a few sips of water.
again,” he said.
“Again,” he insisted.
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.
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.”
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.
glad we did this,” said Jax, checking. “You don’t regret it?”
Andy. “I’m grateful. Honestly. What was the second part, by the way?”
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.
funny?” said Shannon.
telling me I was trying to do something even you wouldn’t have succeeded at?”
have told me the second part first. I needn’t have suffered the indignity of those
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 can’t believe you did that,” she said, scowling.
Andy smiled. “I don’t know. If I were in his position, after the whole thing with the… kiss… I’d probably have done the same. But I think we’re even now. Right, Jax?”
Jax nodded. Fair was fair. Although he wasn’t 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, Andy’s help (in the form of a replacement phone) would prove to be something of a lifeline for Jax—quite literally. The seeds of friendship sown that afternoon were more important than any of them knew.