“Thanks for coming, Lucius,” Robert smiled.
“I needed to get away from all the paperwork I was meant to deal with last week,” Lucius shrugged with a crooked grin.
Robert laughed. “You are so much like your mother with regards to that.”
“So everyone tells me,” he agreed.
“I need to go now.”
Robert turned to Beth and kissed her quickly before disappearing.
“Hi,” Beth said to Lucius.
“Hi,” he said, smiling slightly.
“So how exactly did you get landed with babysitting duty?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Her eyebrows drew together. “Why?”
Lucius shrugged. “I thought you might like to know more about your heritage.”
“Witch,” he said simply, letting his amusement show.
“Oh, right, yeah. That,” she said, crossing her arms across her chest. “And why do you think you’d be the one to enlighten me?”
He smiled. “I teach magic, both black and white.”
“I didn’t know it was possible to do both,” Beth frowned.
“Until you’re twenty-five it is, then you have to pick one.”
“Come and sit down,” she said, turning and going back up the stairs. “I was told I was a white witch.”
“That doesn’t mean anything other than the rest of your line were white witches and that you’d have an easier time performing white magic.”
Beth thought about this new information as they sat down. She pulled her legs under her, sitting on her knees.
“So... I could do black magic?” she asked curiously.
Lucius raised an eyebrow. “You want to?”
“I don’t know really. What exactly is the difference?”
“Well,” he started, “white magic is pure; it uses the spirit itself, but is therefore more difficult and more draining. Black magic, on the other hand, is the use of other life forces. It’s blood magic.”
“So black magic involves murder?”
“Hm, well...” Lucius thought for a moment. “Not necessarily; it can be done with the essence of animals but not nearly so well. Black witches tend to kill the weak that are of no use to the world, whenever they come across them. The power builds up over time but needs to be replenished after it’s used.”
“Do they both do the same things?”
“Essentially, there are some slightly differences as to the means but the result is usually the same.”
“What do you think I should do?”
“It’s up to you,” Lucius shrugged. “You don’t have to do anything but once you reach your twenty-fifth birthday, the opportunity will have passed.”
“Could you teach me?” she asked.
“Of course. The only other one who could teach you is Daniel, but he only knows white magic. Much better at it than I am though. I think my mother, Isabella, knows a bit of black magic. I don’t think she bothered with it much.”
She glanced up at him and looked back down quickly, his lack of pupils unsettling her.
“Could you show me some of each?” she asked.
Lucius thought for a moment, before smiling. “Give me a minute.”
He stood up and went down the stairs. When he came back, he was holding a bowl of water in one hand and had three black candles under his arm.