Prologue

Magic is fluid. Magic is not something that someone has or does not have. Instead, magic is totally a part of the person who curses it. It is as much a part of them as anything else. However, magic is also very much like a muscle. If you don't exercise it, and practice with it, it gets weaker. It doesn't go away, but it falls to the wayside, making the user more…well, more normal.

Eben Savage has always had magic, though it didn't manifest itself in a noticeable way until he was ten years old. His frisbee had gotten caught in a tree, and he stood staring up at it for the longest time, willing himself to be tall enough to climb, when his feet had lifted off the ground. With a squeal of surprise, Eben had flailed until he managed to grab the branch holding his frisbee hostage. Unfortunately, once he was up there, Eben had no idea how to get back down. He'd had to wait an hour for his police chief father to get off work. It had taken one very tall ladder and one very patient, very perplexed father to finally free Eben from his predicament.

When Ethan Savage asked his son how he had managed to climb the tree, he was equal parts exasperated and amused when Eben adamantly said he had flown into the tree to retrieve his frisbee. His son had always had an active imagination; it was one of the many things he'd gotten from his mother. Ethan had simply sighed and shooed Eben back into the house and warned him to stay out of the tree from now on.

After that, Eben experimented, as any good child would do in such a situation. He rode his bike to the library and looked up every book on magic he could find, though half of them were much too difficult to understand. One of the books listed a series of hard-to-pronounce Latin words, claiming that using words made the magic easier to direct. Eben had discovered there was some truth to this claim, when he returned home from the library with the books in his bag and discovered he had locked himself out of the house. He would normally have climbed up to his room, but the bag full of books would've made that difficult. So, he cracked open the book and pointed his finger at the lock. Finding the correct incantation in the book, he said, "Aperire."

The lock made a clicking sound, and when Eben tried the handle, the door swung open. Fists pumping victoriously into the air, he went inside to continue reading.

It was in the same book which listed the Latin incantations that he found a series of in-depth definitions of different types of magic casters. After reading through these, he decided that he was a sorcerer. A warlock was someone who had broken the rules of a coven, which he wasn't even sure existed. A wizard was someone who delved into arcane magic, which he hadn't the slightest clue about. Mages were shamans or medicinal magic users—and he thought he should probably look into being able to heal himself and others. That sounded handy. He also wasn't a witch, because he wasn't female. A sorcerer was someone who had a natural ability for magic—and wasn't gender specific—so he would consider himself that one.

Eben Savage was a ten year old sorcerer.

But it wasn't all fun and games. The books had adamantly insisted that bad things would happen if normal people found out about magic casters. People always fear what they don't understand, the book had said. The magic caster who doesn't keep their abilities secret puts himself in danger. But it didn't seem to matter what Eben did; he could never manage to keep it a secret from anyone.

His dad was easy enough. He worked long hours at the police station—always had, since the death of his wife. It wasn't his fault. He was doing what was necessary to provide for what was left of his family. Eben understood that, even at age ten. Besides, it made hiding his new secret that much easier.

School, however, was a different story entirely.

Cory McCallum was a bully, and everyone knew it. All the parents thought he was adorable, and all the teachers thought he was so smart. But Eben, and his best friend Caleb, knew better. One day Cory sat down behind Eben during their arithmetic lesson. Eben was staring hard at his book, trying to ignore the finger flicking his ear and the pencil jabbing him in the back. The teacher got onto him for squirming, and then asked him to give the answer to the problem on the white board. When Eben stuttered, the teacher directed the same question to Cory. Cory, naturally, answered the question correctly, and jabbed Eben especially hard in the back for daring to breathe, and the next thing Eben knew everyone was screaming and there was heat at his back.

The teacher dragged both him and Cory from their chairs with lightning speed, and Eben turned to see that Cory's book had caught fire. The kid's chin was blistered, since he had been leaning over the book to better aggravate Eben, but otherwise he was okay. The teacher thought for sure Cory must have lit his book on fire on purpose, and he was given detention for the rest of the week.

Which was vindicating, but Eben couldn't help the anxiety twisting in his stomach. He hated Cory, sure, but he didn't want him to get hurt. Eben obviously couldn't control himself very well. He would have to be more careful, or someone could get seriously hurt. Not to mention, if he wasn't careful, someone could find out his secret.

He managed this double life easy enough as time moved on, until he was seventeen years old, when everything changed.