Chapter I-3: Butterfly Effect

Tired and sweaty, he reached his Applied Mathemagics class. His seat was second from the right in the very front. Since he was early, he thought it would be best to ask a classmate for an update on what all had been done since he had last been there. The person who sat next to him in class had arrived even earlier than he did, and Simon took a moment to consider asking him. He had a reputation for being friendly, helpful, and brilliant, but usually refrained from getting involved in conversations or activities beyond the classroom. He held a respectable standing in the class, however, so he would probably be willing to help Simon out. Struggling to remember his name, he braced himself before bothering the guy, who appeared to be engrossed in some sort of library book.

“E-excuse me, err...Dante?” Simon asked. His classmate abruptly shut his book and turned his attention to Simon, reflexively adjusting the large dark-rimmed glasses on his nose. Simon couldn’t help but notice the cover of the book that read “Logistics Behind Auxiliary Magic” and wonder why any sane person would want to read such a book. Auxiliary magic was essentially useless. To learn about how it works, why it works, how to do it--it was a total waste of time. Must be a class project then.

“Simon, right? You’ve been out quite a bit. Did you need something?” Dante adjusted his position in his seat to be able to talk to Simon more easily, his sharp grey eyes alight with interest.

“Right, I kinda wanted to get caught up on what we’ve been doing lately...What unit are we in now?” Simon could feel how tense he was and willed himself to relax and work past the stiflingly uncomfortable nature of the exchange.  He couldn’t remember the last time he spoke to Dante aside from an equally uncomfortable exchange on the first day of classes for an “icebreaker.”

With merely a glance at the blank board in the front of the classroom, Dante recalled effortlessly what the class had been working on for the past week. “Right now we’re in logarithmic functions in the context of magical half lives.” He paused, “and we have a test on Monday. You have the weekend to study, if you want to try to take it on time, but considering it’s Friday...”

“I can do it,” Simon affirmed, internally grumbling. Of course. He suddenly recalled just how challenging it was to get back into the fast pace of the curriculum. “Is that what the test is on?”

“Yeah, but you’ll probably want the notes we took the past two days,” Dante reached down into the book bag at his feet, his well-trimmed, feathery blonde hair falling into his face. He sat straight again, brushing the hair from his blocky glasses and holding out a small, metal ring-bound notebook. “The rules for solving these derivative functions are on the last page, but all the notes are dated.”

“Thanks,” Simon grasped the notebook hesitantly. “But won't you need this? I can't copy all these notes by the end of class, and I'm too far behind to not pay attention today.”

“It’s fine,” Dante waved him off. “I've already studied.”

The End

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