Percival thought for a moment before he reached for the tea-cups, passing one to Anala, balancing one on his knee, and holding out the other to Willow. He hesitated, but as he reached for the saucer and their fingertips touched, he became paralysed. Percival’s eyes were open but pale and glazed over, and he tried unsuccessfully to pull away. His head began to throb like somebody was striking him, and he looked up fearfully at Anala.
“What’s happening?” he asked, his voice barely escaping his throat. She came forward quickly and crouched down to her uncle’s level, waving her hand across his line of sight. She curled her fingers around his wrist and breathed in, breathing out with an answer.
“He’s Psyching you,” she said, puzzled. “But you shouldn’t know he’s doing it, you should –,” suddenly the connection broke and Will let go, letting the teacup fall and shatter on the floor. The pain subsided as Percival fell back into his chair, still and dead-like for a moment before his chest rose and his eyes darkened. His gaze fell straight on Willow.
“The bind is stronger than I could have ever imagined,” he announced. Anala pampered him, trying to press her fingers to the pulse on his neck, but he waved her off and gathered himself.
“Bind? What bind? What did you do to me?” he asked angrily.
“I sent my consciousness into your mind,” he said matter-of-factly. “I needed an idea of how little you remembered, not what Psyching is meant for, but I’ve modified the technique over the years. A normal person with an unaltered mind would never sense that I was there, but as I have said, you are different.”
Willow launched from his seat. “I’m not somebody you can play your magick tricks on! I didn’t come here to look defenceless compared to you!”
“Then why did you come?” Anala asked monotonously,
“Because you’re magi and I’ve always wanted to be!” he exclaimed. “Humanity might want you on a stick, but at least you’re free! At least you know you mean something to whatever being gave you magick, but me, I’m –,” his throat closed off and he felt tears rising to his eyes. “But I’m – nothing. And you, you telling me I’m special and different…it doesn’t make me happy, ‘cause I know you’re lying…and it’s not fair.”