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“I can stop things, Mr Marsden,” said Ayls when they were half way through their first cup of tea.
“How do you mean stop things?” asked a curious Mr Marsden.
“Well I did it in the mall one day when I so hungry, and mum wouldn’t buy me any lunch as I’d been at her to go for lunch and she wanted to finish her shopping. I thought what if I stopped everyone, you know froze them, I could then get anything I wanted. And I did. Plus, mum was pleased to not hear me whinge any longer.”
“When you say you did, you mean you stopped the entire shopping mall?”
“It was fun you know Mr Marsden. I could walk anywhere and take what I liked. But I only took a cake and a drink. But I could have helped myself but then I knew mum would want to know how I suddenly had stuff and I didn’t want that to happen.”
“How often have you done that Ayls?”
“Oh, not very often, only when I’m fed up with waiting in a line, I’ve done it then, I remember, it was the funniest thing when Wendy Evans who is bigger than me and a real bully pushed in ahead of me and when I suddenly appeared in front of her with a burger the look on her face was priceless.”
“We have to be careful Ayls of doing things like that, as sooner or later you’ll be noticed, and you won’t be able to explain it away. You understand what I’m saying?”
“Yes Mr Marsden, I am aware I could get into trouble, so I don’t do it too often, but sometimes people really irritate me and before I know it I’ve acted and there they are frozen to the spot.”
“So, its driven by your moods then?”
“Yes, a lot of the time. My mother says I’m highly strung.”
Mr Marsden sat and reflected on what Ayls had said and how easily she could induce a freezing spell.
Because she was so young, he knew he had to be careful with her as she was performing magic in all innocence, even if it was to get something to eat. Freezing spells could become addictive, and she could get herself into trouble so easily.
“I want you to do something when you are at my place,” said Mr Marsden, “I want you to refrain from performing any magic. Do you think you can do that?”
“Why?” asked a perplexed Ayls.
“I’m hoping to teach you some self-discipline,” answered Mr Marsden hoping Ayls would understand why he was making such a request. “I want you to stop and think before you do anything. Here you can practice that, you can ask me, tell me when you are tempted to wave those arms of yours around. Fundamentally magic is about discipline, knowing when to use it and when not to.”
“What if I forget?”
“If I remind you often enough, you won’t forget, and I can limit the amount of damage. Plus, around here only I will witness it.”
“I guess I’ll have to try,” said a dejected Ayls who secretly hoped she could impress Mr Marsden with the skills she had.
Having said that Mr Marsden then did a little magic of his own as he had researched how best to handle precocious young witches. He placed a magic block spell on her which would prevent her performing any sort of magic in his house.
The aim, of course, was to get her to a stage where she was in control of her own impulses, and he knew that would take time.
“Do they actually work?” asked Ayls looking at Mr Marsden across the table with her big brown eyes focused on him.
“Do what work?” he asked.
“Magic blocking spells,” replied Ayls, “I’m just asking that’s all.”