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Telling Ayls to go home was an easy task for Mr Marsden. He needed time to think about the skills Ayls had demonstrated. It was rare for a girl so young to possess such ability and control.
He thought back over his life for any reference he could make to anyone he’d seen or heard of who possessed the skills Ayls did.
He remembered as a young man he came across a witch, a young girl at the time who could make the seemingly impossible happen. She had been taught by her mother and could lay claim to extraordinary skills. She lived on the far side of the country, and his meeting with her had left him with the feeling, he had a lot to learn. When he returned from his journey, he set to work to be the best wizard he could. But he did often wonder what happened to Amelia Marble.
The girl Ayls Main had opened his eyes to what could be achieved. He would have to nurture her abilities and, maybe he thought, the first lessons should be about understanding the craft of being a witch.
He recalled his father’s words regarding the benefits of White Magic as opposed to Black Magic. White Magic required a lot of skill and patience whereas Black Magic was very much more spectacular magic often impressing the observer but in the long run to his detriment.
He would need to impress upon Ayls that White Magic was more profitable. This would have to be a priority as he knew how easy it was to be lured towards Black Magic. The instant gratification he knew from experience was addictive but as he had learned not something to be sought after.
There had been a time when as a young man he could easily have gone that way. The lure of instant gratification, the trill of the magic was as addictive as he’d ever imagined. It took his father’s guiding hand, in the end, to lead him away from what might have been a disastrous time for him.
Now he had to find it in himself to act towards her as his father had to him. Her knew she’d been back soon as she was eager to learn and he feared, show off what she could do. Her skills at levitation had been impressive and her control beyond what he expected for a child so young.
The next afternoon Ayls again appeared at his door. Mr Marsden realised his ‘keep out’ potion, and the spell was easy pickings for Ayls, and he wasn’t going to worry too much about her getting past it. Instead, he questioned how she did it, how she had learned such control and what she thought it all meant.
When he did ask her the questions, he had decided to ask he was surprised by her answers.
For as long as she could remember Ayls had been able to conjure things. It was she explained a part of her DNA as her mother also possessed magic but was reluctant to encourage her as she explained to Ayls magic could lead you into great temptation from which you may never return. Being a naturally curious child, Ayls found waving her arms and focusing on an object allowed her to move and manipulate it.
It became fun, and as she saw no one was being hurt, she would often send objects circling her room and around the house flying from one place to another. The first few times she crashed and smashed what she moved, so she resolved to learn to control what she moved so as not to invite her mother’s anger. That in itself took her some time, but she found plastic cups worked satisfactorily and caused less stress to the household when they bounced off things, usually the floor.
It wasn’t until she became aware of Mr Marsden and his garden that she took a deeper interest in what she could do. She had gone home after seeing his roses and tried it out herself on her mother’s roses but had not any luck apart from the petals falling out the stem withering.
A few times she had performed things at school which had led to her parents being called in to explain Ayls’ conjuring tricks were best left out of the classroom as a pair of frogs appearing on the teacher’s desk one afternoon had led to chaos not before seen in a classroom.
At home, her mother could not stress strongly enough the need for Ayls to be discrete as unwanted attention could lead to visits from people her mum would rather not ever visit.
Mr Marsden nodded as he listened to her and decided on the strategy he would use to educate Ayls.