Luke’s first day of school. (He was nervous.)

“So remember, how you levitate an object depends on its weight and texture. Alright, go ahead and break into pairs to practice,” said Cashal, finally putting his chalk down. “The porcupine will be the hardest, so I’d suggest starting with either the sea shell or the orange.”

Thirty minutes on How to Levitate Different Objects and Luke was already in over his head. His hand hurt from writing so quickly, and he was sure Gravis was mocking him from across the room with large hand gestures.

“Yes, Tiffany?”

From the back, Luke saw the same girl with pigtails raising her hand.

“Will we need to know this for the test?”

Several snickers slipped from nearby students.

Cashal nodded. Then, “Now, come on everyone. I have no problem assigning partners.” And with that, students scrambled out of their seats to pair up. Everyone that was, except for Tiffany.

“We can work together,” she said, now holding the three objects Cashal had handed out for the students to practice on.

“I, I’m not sure—”

“Oh, you’re fine. I’ll do it first so you can see how it’s done.” She placed the items on her desk, waved her key at the sea shell, and lifted it with ease. “See?” She motioned it back down before pointing at Luke, who was reminded more and more of Stanley Hall, to try it. “It’s easy.”

He tried thinking about what Cashal had said about concentrating. Focus on the object’s size and weight and then lift your hand with your key as if you were lifting the item. With all those things crammed into his mind, he waved his key in the swishing movement Tiffany had done. A small silver light appeared at the tip of his key but quickly blew out.

Tiffany clicked her tongue. “You must have just gotten your key, huh. I can tell. But don’t worry. It’s not uncommon for new keeper’s to be slow with magic. Though,” she paused for a mere second, “I was doing magic before I had mine.”

“Fine, whatever. I just wasn’t concentrating.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Gravis waving his key at the porcupine and lifting it deftly. He was good, thought Luke with a stab of jealously. And before he could turn away, Gravis had zoomed the porcupine straight over Luke’s head, barely missing his ear on the way back to his desk.

“Oh, give him a break. I’m sure he was just distracted or something.” It was Wood. He flashed Luke a wide smile.

Tiffany crossed her arms. “You’re late.”

“So?”

“You’ll get detention for it, which might ruin our chances at competition and—”

“Here, let me try it again,” said Luke loudly before she could finish.

Suddenly, all eyes faced him. He locked his jaw, and concentrating hard, waved his key at the orange. The silver light returned. For a brief second, it looked ready to fizzle out. But Luke stared hard at the piece of fruit, imagining how it felt to lift it. Slowly, the light brightened, wrapped around the orange, and as he lifted his hand, the fruit rose off the desk and hovered in the air. He’d done it!

“See?”

She puckered her lips. “Well, I’d like to see you try that during a test.”

But he didn’t care. He felt elated, and the tiny invisible keys that had been buzzing nervously around inside his stomach, instantly disappeared.

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