2012-03-05: Fellowship Is Magic


Jill_icon.jpg Kalindi_icon.jpg

Summary: Real magic versus stage magic. Jill and Kalindi find more common ground and understanding than expected.

Date: March 5, 2012

Log Title: Fellowship is Magic

Rating: G

Romania - Tower - Top Floor

Grandeur is one word that can be used to describe the rectangular room. A large crystal and gold chandelier hangs from the middle of the high ceiling with long white tapered candles that always stay lit without ever needing to be replaced. Four smaller chandeliers hang from each corner to provide more light and accent the larger one. The high ceiling is nothing shy of magnificent, with gilded molding to accent to the white designs and intricate patterns that almost give it layers.

The walls are all white with golden trip and design which accents the ceiling. A large mirror with a grandiose gilded frame sits above a magnificent marble fireplace that is always lit with a comforting fire, which provides the perfect amount of warmth. Two large couches sit around a marble toped tabled and a few chairs sit on the sides of the couches to be pulled up around the table. On the mantle of the fireplace is a clock that doesn't seem to work, a few small statues and candelabras.

Across from the large fireplace are two large glass doors that lead out to a balcony which hangs over a large water fall. Looking down it's easy to tell the tower is high up in the air and there is at least five hundred feet between the balcony and bottom of the waterfall. The red moon can be seen in the night sky shining down on the tower as it seems to be perpetually night.

Along one side wall two mirrors hang with gilded frames and in front of each is table a with lit candelabra in the center to help provide the brightness in the room. In between the mirrors is large painting of an old fashioned, pale looking male with dark hair and a pale face that hangs over an elegant lit fireplace. On the opposite wall it is covered will books from floor to ceiling along with a small rolling ladder attached to the shelves to reach the harder to find books. It seems like almost any book you wish to read is there.

Two large doors sit on each side of the large fireplace with mirrors set into their doors. One door leads to the hallway where the bed chambers are and the other to the bathroom. The bathroom has a large circular tub built into the floor with many taps around it that provide bubbles, scents and water in the perfect temperature. Golden lamps hang from the walls and there are fluffy towels off to the sides.


Kalindi sits on one of the chairs, wearing one of the elegant gowns in purple and gold (the latter colour one that she seems to favour), reading a book, the title of which appears to be written in Hindi. Her posture seems quite regal, as if she was really meant to be wearing all these things and surrounded by this kind of luxury, but the expression on her face seems to be of intent concentration.

One fact that remains as true here as it did back in the real world, interruptions always come at moments of greatest concentration. So it is when one of the other captives, the blonde one with short hair, enters the sitting room. Her dress, more like the flowing floor-length tunics of ancient Greek statuary, is two layers, deep burgundy velvet over snow white linen and fixed with gold fasteners at each shoulder. A small wicker basket is cradled carefully in both arms. The girl stops only a few paces from Kalindi, smiling expectantly and waiting in silence to be noticed.

Kalindi continues to keep her attention on the book for a few moments longer. And then her eyes flick up to Jill. Then down to the book. Then up to Jill again. "Hello," she says, in her thick and strange accent, "You look very lovely in this outfit you are wearing. What is it that you are doing?"

"Hi," the girl responds cheerfully. She lowers a hand to brush delicately against the velvet, admiring it with her fingertips. "And thank you. I was, uh, sorta looking for a test audience," admits Jill, a little sheepishly. The basket is lowered and tilted sufficiently to give a glimpse of its contents: antique pasteboard boxes of playing cards, silk handkerchiefs, antique coins, and the like. "I wanted to do something to entertain the others, but… the violin I asked for hasn't come yet. So I'm trying to improvise."

"A test audience?" repeats Kalindi, seeming rather curious. "What is it that I am going to be the audience for?" The young woman closes the book and places it aside before leaning in towards Jill, or more specifically, the basket to peer at its contents. "Is this a game that you play with cards? I do not know many of these, I have learned the game 'Go fish' though."

"Well, no," Jill hedges. "I did set a few decks aside just for regular card games, but this-" She hooks another chair's leg with her foot to drag it a little closer before being seated. "Is magic," she finishes with an inordinately proud grin, one that fades a notch when she continues. "I mean, I know… or I heard… you do the real thing. Like the real real thing, right? So this might not be *as* impressive, but…" Jill trails off with a 'what can you do?' shrug.

"Well, yes, I do real magic. I am not a very good sorceress in many ways, I will admit," says Kalindi, considering that for a moment before she says, "What is this magic that you do if you do not do real magic? I would very much like to see what it is that you mean."

"Well," Jill begins like a lecturer warming up. She draws one of the decks of cards from the basket and slips it from its box. Nimble fingers start to shuffle the cards smoothly in one hand while the other sets the basket aside. "It's actually a pretty ancient art in itself. As far back as records go, people have been doing it. Sleight of hand, chicanery, charlatanry, prestidigitation," the girl expounds, finally shifting to manipulate the deck with both hands. "Call it what you will." With a flourish she fans the cards before Kalindi, the offer obvious. Pick one.

"Ah, I am sorry, my English is not so good," apologizes Kalindi as Jill explains her craft. She eyes the cards for a moment, as if not having the appropriate social context to know what to do, before she reaches out and plucks one from Jill's hand and looking at the card, "What am I to do with this?"

"Remember which one it is, but don't tell me," the blonde girl instructs. Turning her head so she can't watch, she holds out the deck, lifting the top half of the deck back at an angle to make a place for Kalindi to put the card. "Then put it back. I'll shuffle the cards." Jill is positively beaming, like she hasn't had as receptive an audience in a long time. "And then I'll find it."

Kalindi looks down at the card, then back up towards Jill in the same way she peered up from the book, before Kalindi places the card on the top of the deck. "I will be watching you shuffle. It is very easy for you to be finding the card now!" She watches curiously and carefully.

"If it was easy," says the blonde girl, dividing the deck and shuffling the cards rapidly on her knee. Then she does it again, and again, and again, straightening the deck with a small tap on her leg after every shuffle. "It wouldn't be much of a trick." She continues shuffling, cards zzzip-zzzipping against one another over and over. "So… I guess I've got to ask. What's real magic like?" Jill never stops moving the cards, even as she asks. "I mean, like, on a scale of one to ten, one being Harry Potter and ten being… H.P. Lovecraft or something."

"Well, I do not know much about these things. You must understand, I am also like a princess from another dimension, these things, ehhh, I am not so good at knowing cultural things," explains Kalindi, tilting her head slightly. "But from what I understand, the things that I do are more like… the Lovecraft thing. Maybe an eight? I will have to watch the Harry Potter when I am back."

Jill stops shuffling, fingers picking more carefully through the deck now. "Really? You're from another dimension?" She draws out a single card and holds it up so that she can only see the back but Kalindi can see the face. It's not the correct card. "Let's see. Harry Potter is kind of cute. Waving wands around, saying silly words. Lovecraft is more…" The girl chews on her bottom lip, choosing her words. "The universe is vast, cold, and more frightening than we can imagine. And we're better off not calling attention to ourselves." After a moment of considering the card, she places it back in the deck with a perfunctory, "Nope." She goes back to shuffling.

Kalindi keeps her eyes on the deck, trying to make sure the shuffling is proper. "Well. I was born on the Earthworld, yes, over in India. But then my father sold me for magical powers, thinking that I would die when I was a little girl. But instead, the being he sold me to adopted me. I am his daughter. So…" Kalindi tilts her head slightly and then decides, "It is definitely Lovecraft then, it is more like that very very much so."

The blonde girl's confident smile turns into a grimace and her hands go momentarily still. "Wow. I'm sorry. That's… kind of a bummer," she severely understates. Exhaling a disappointed breath through her nose, she taps the deck on her knee to straighten it. "I was hoping it'd be a little more friendly than that. I didn't even really *believe* it existed. No offense," Jill is quick to add. The cards resume their motion, slower and more careful. "But to hear that it's… like that?" She draws another incorrect card, pursing her lips. "Not this one either." Back into the deck it goes.

"What is a bummer? That magic is this way? Hmm, I do not know, maybe it is only in my experience? I am used to a world of strange and wonderful creatures, but they are all scary. There are some that make me shiver. And there is one woman, who wants me to die, and she scares me very very much! Ahh, and she has a link to one of the most powerful and terrifying creatures that there is! But, maybe there are some who are more, ehhh, fun with their craft?" says Kalindi, considering that for a moment, "I enjoy learning the magics, and I know very much about it, but… I am not a strong sorceress. My family line, it is like a curse, we are not very good at these things."

"Well, yeah, that and the whole getting sold by your father thing," Jill says in a near mumble. She grimaces again at Kalindi's story. Real magic is not sounding as fun or wonderful as she thought it might. "And I'm sorry that… whoever it is and their monster want you dead." She stops shuffling, fingers hovering delicately over the deck. "So magic sorta runs in families then? A bit like mutants do, I guess. Though I don't think any of my family were mutants. But if you're not from the right family, you can't do magic very well, or at all? That seems unfair." Plucking a card, she holds it up again, staring at its back. Surprisingly, it is the correct card but after some hemming and hawing and lip-chewing, she shakes her head and *puts it back*. So much for her clever trickery.

"Oh, no, it is not like that. It is just, eh, I think that my family is cursed, that is all. But I am breaking it, through hard work and very much time, I have learned some spells! Not just the goldcraft I am so familiar with, but spells not like that," says Kalindi, smiling proudly at that, "I do not think it always runs in families. But it is very hard to use." She watches as Jill pulls up another card, tilting her head slightly, "But it is very interesting, and there are many many things to learn about! I like to just know about it. I know so very many many things about magic. It is something I like to do: know things. I will say it is very exciting, very interesting."

"It sounds a little scary," admits the blonde girl. "Interesting, sure, but a little scary. Curses and monsters and stuff." She lifts her head to share Kalindi's smile at her achievements and enthusiasm. Smiles like that are infectious. "But I think it'd be fascinating to learn. Or just learn about. I'm not so sure about actually trying anything. I don't even know if mutants and magic would be… compatible. Well, not that I'm a mutant anymore." Exhaling a frustrated sigh, Jill simply turns the deck over and begins skimming the cards, face up, one by one. "You know, I don't think your card is in here. I should have found it by now."

"I know that there are some mutants who can know magic, but usually when people are mutants, they do not try to do such things. They are already different and powerful," says Kalindi, shrugging a shoulder. She considers and adds, "I think that you are still a mutant, but it is be suppressed right now. The same as it is with my magic?" She peers at the cards and says, "I think I have put it in the deck. I do not know why it would not be there!"

Jill shakes her head, handing the deck over to Kalindi and motioning for her to search for the card. "But I don't think my mutation *can* be… suppressed. It was who I was. What I was." The girl's mouth opens but no words come out. She is clearly trying to think of the proper way to say it, holding up her hands with fingertips nearly touching. "My whole body was like… water. Blue and you could see through me. It wasn't something I could just turn on or off. I would have been like that for the rest of my life. There wasn't, like, a cure or anything. It's just… what I was. You can't just turn that off."

"It was not the way that you always were, I do not think? Mutants become mutants when they are teenagers usually, yes?" She takes the cards and starts searching through them, one by one with a concentrated look. Upon arrival at the end of the deck, she starts again, "Sometimes this is a whole change of shape. But if you can change shape in one way, you can change shape in the other. This is what I think has happened. A reversal, but you are still a mutant. Just it has been reversed and you are blocked from going back."

"Usually, yes," confirms Jill with a nod, but then shakes her head. "But not always. One of the teachers at-" A sudden pause, then a slight change in rhythm. She was about to say something else, but continues, "At my school was born that way. I wasn't, but… Do you know anything about biology? Like the cells in our bodies and how there are all different kinds of them? Skin cells, bone cells, blood cells. I didn't have those anymore. Mine were… different after I changed. I tried, believe me I tried, to change back after that. But it never worked. I don't think it ever would have." She sighs, brushing strands of hair from her forehead. "I didn't expect to ever be like this again. And… I don't know if I want to lose it again."

"I understand that there are different cells, yes, all different kinds…" says Kalindi, shaking her head and noting, "And so you have different cells after you changed? It would be very hard to change you back, but… it is not impossible as you see." The young woman frowns slightly and then says, "What is it that you like better about this body?" She looks down at the cards and notes, "You must have dropped it… I did put it back in."

Jill holds out her hand to take the deck back but her eyes aren't on it. The girl is looking toward the fireplace, teeth pressing on her bottom lip. "Well, it's-… you know. It's normal, isn't it? I wouldn't have to wear a disguise every time I went out. People wouldn't stare at me in the street. I could go to any school I wanted, a normal school." Looking away from the fire, her bright blue eyes fix briefly on Kalindi's. "And a lot of people hate mutants just for being mutants. I wouldn't have to deal with that."

Kalindi hands the deck back to Jill and then nods, "Yes, I know that many people hate mutants. My girlfriend, she is a mutant, and she is very much looking like a mutant. She is sometimes nervous about going to some places, I think… does not like the way that people look at her." She considers this for a few moments and then says, "But the question I want to ask is not if, eh, other people are making you not like how you are. But… do you? What about it do you like, about being how you are now instead of then?"

The blonde doesn't bat an eyelash at the fact that Kalindi has a girlfriend. Either Jill doesn't care or isn't listening that closely, but the question makes her stop cold. For several seconds, the only sound is the quiet crackling of burning logs. "I don't know," she admits with a long look down at the cards in her hand.

"Then you will think about it, and maybe you will think, it is good to be how you are, a mutant. And it is other people, they are just /idiots/, yes?" says Kalindi, offering an encouraging smile, before she looks to the cards as well. "But I do not know such things well. I am not a mutant."

Despite herself, Jill finds a smile as well. "Yeah, maybe they are." She draws a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Sorry for bein' all…" Her free hand rolls at the wrist, the proper word eluding her. "Whatever. I *do* know I don't want to stay here, though. So at least I know something." One eyebrow suddenly quirks upwards and the girl makes an amused 'huh' sound. "*And* I think I just figured out where your card is." Standing quickly, she motions for Kalindi to follow, heading over in the direction of… the two large glass doors to the balcony.

Kalindi blinks a few times and gets up from her seat, putting her hand on the book to steady its position. She follows after Jill and says, "Where do you think it went? Was it brought by winds?" She says as she walks, "And yes, it will be very good to leave this place and get back to home. There are many things that I have to do!"

"I think it ran away," Jill explains, sounding as if personally wounded and affronted by such behavior. "They do that sometimes when they don't want to be found." Reaching the double doors, she taps the glass with a fingernail then traces a small spiral. "The trick is…" Raising the deck of cards, Jill squeezes them until they bow outward in the middle. Releasing the cards in a steady flow, they spring forth to flip and twist and smack noisily into the glass one after another. When the last card is gone, one remains stuck to the glass, face outward. The eight of spades. Kalindi's card. "There," Jill announces, reaching up to pluck it down. But when she tries, her fingernails tap noisily on the glass. She can't seem to get a grip on it. The card is on the other side of the glass.

Kalindi follows after Jill and she seems rather surprised by the card being on the other side of the glass. "Ah! How is it that you do that? You pretend at being a sorceress very very well! How did you do that? If you have not used magic…" She seems rather perplexed, approaching to try and tap at the card.

Pressing her hands together to beg forgiveness, Jill dips her head in a sheepish apology. "I'm afraid I can't tell you. I'm sure even real sorceresses have secrets that they don't share with everyone." She stoops, bundling the red velvet and white linen skirts, to gather up the fallen cards. "There's only two ways to enjoy a good trick. The first way is to see it done and forever wonder *how* it was done. The second is to learn it before you see it and then *appreciate* how it was done. Since I've shown you this one," Jill says, gesturing at the card stuck to the glass. "It would spoil it if I told you. But if I were to teach you a different trick, you could appreciate it. Or show it to someone else and make *them* wonder."

Kalindi pouts when she's told that she's not allowed to know the trick and she says, "But how would I know what is a good trick to learn without seeing it before I have done it? This seems a very good trick to be doing." She taps the glass a couple of times. "How did it get out there?"

Jill turns the handle to open the balcony door, reaching outside to pry the card from the glass with her fingernail. "I'll teach you one, I promise," she soothes with hands raised, palms out. "A good one. All you need are two coins. Identical coins. I have some in the basket over there. It's easy to do but you'll have to practice it a few times to get it right. I'll help you." Gently, the blonde girl puts a hand to Kalindi's shoulder to steer her back to the chairs. "But that?" says she with a lopsided grin and a tilt of her head at the glass doors. "That was just magic."

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