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TS47: Fox Listens

Meditation class was quickly becoming Jove’s favorite. Especially because Edward had decided not to attend. The inquisitor hadn’t bothered Jove during Intro to Personal Defense. Edward had volunteered to help Elsa get used to her new form. Jove couldn’t help but wonder if those meant something. No use in speculating without at least talking to Edward.

Jove sat on a woven mat inside his own mind in a room that looked like the meditation classroom. He looked at the fox that represented his magic. He knew this was a spell he borrowed from Arcanist Erickson. Technically he was cheating, but the insight he had gained last class seemed real.

“If you feel guilty about it, you can always catch up outside of class.” Jove’s magic mirrored his own thoughts. Which made sense if his magic was a part of him.

“Can you make a note of that with Aether?”

The fox rolled his eyes. “You know, setting these doesn’t help if you don’t check the list. I’ll set an alarm as well.”

“Thank you.” Jove watched the fox walk down one of the hallways. It was only a few moments before it came walking back in. Jove asked, “Are you ever confused by what I want?”

“Sometimes. Like with Edward.” The fox settled on its haunches in front of Jove. “You wanted to know more about him, but his magic was so sick. Almost necrotic, powered by energy counter to the rest of Edward.”


The fox snorted. “Sort of. More like a superpowered radioactive mutant with brain damage. It’s in so much pain that it can’t communicate.”

Jove blinked. His magic certainly knew all the sci-fi references he’d use. “How can Edward keep control if they can’t communicate?”

“They are one. Like we are one. Edward must be able to handle a similar amount of pain. Controlling his magic would be about that painful.”

Jove grumbled. “He didn’t seem in control when he attacked me yesterday.”

“That was him.” His magic looked at the ground. “He was listening to his magic, but he was in control.”

“South’s magic panicked when it sensed Merlin. Maybe Edward was checking for the same reaction?”

“It was more than that.” Jove’s magic looked up. “If his magic wanted to lash out, it would have tried to kill you.”

Jove said, “But, it already lashes out randomly.”

The fox’s ears perked up. “Unless, Merlin’s torture prevents Edwards magic from attacking Merlin. That way, if his magic didn’t want to hurt you, he would know you were Merlin.”

“Edward was listening to his gut reaction so he could do the opposite?” Jove wondered. “Doesn’t that get confusing?”

“Not if he told it to go purely by instinct.” The fox nodded. “Yes. That makes sense. Edward keeps his magic on a short leash. He forced it to outburst and ignore what he wanted so he could get a pure reading.”

“He can do that?” Jove realized he already knew the answer. As an Animus, Edward was Master to his magic. He corrected, “Can we do that?”

“No.” The fox shook his head. “I can’t read you that well and you still give confusing orders. We don’t have the years of practice at communicating.”

Jove thought about how he would get weaker as he lost the ability to outburst. At least until his skill at controlling magic caught up. “Can we do something?”

“You have an idea. Just say it.”

“What if I told you to go all out?” Jove paused a moment and let the idea form. “Could you outburst if I said ‘Unleash’?”

“I think so, but I’d stop listening to you. It would be dangerous.” The fox smiled and laid down. His nose bumped Jove’s leg. “I could stop if you said ‘Leash’ while outbursting. You’d need to force yourself to say it out loud, but I could outburst and pay attention to that.”

Jove took his hand and slowly pet the fox. “This is a really useful spell. But, why is it that Erickson hasn’t used it to become an Animus?”

Jove’s magic laughed. He rolled over to let Jove rub his belly. “Erickson is a scarey lion. At least on the outside. Listening to your magic is cool, but he lets his magic walk all over him. He does not seek to master his magic. He seeks to befriend it.”

“That reminds me of something Azarias said. That he and his magic had an agreement.” Jove continued the belly rub. “We’ve begun that process. I suppose I can force you, like Merlin does with his magic, but I’d rather not be like that. What do you want?”

“I want what you want. We are the same person.” He yipped lightly. “I think we’ll work better if we bring down the barriers between us. So we can act as one. I’d like you to be strong enough that I can stop holding back.”

Jove swallowed. He was reminded of the last time they had spoken. “I’m sorry I made you feel inadequate.” He took a breath and realized that asking his magic for help in apologizing would not work.

“You were afraid.” His magic stood up. “That’s in the past. You’ve begun to learn. Keep that up and we’ll be okay.”

“I will. I promise.” He sighed. He had no idea how to keep learning. Classes seemed so slow. “Where do we go from here?”

“Now we practice. You practice stating what you want. You were able to do that for Elsa this weekend. Now you need to do it for yourself.” The fox brushed against Jove. “I’ll become more reliant on your direction. That will allow me to focus on stronger spells or maintaining more spells or anything else we find I can do.”

Jove shook his head. “You really have no idea what we can do, do you?”

His magic smiled. “No more than you.”

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