TWO

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"Hit!", called Victoria as she rested the sabre right on my chest.

"That's thrice in quick succession", I said as I took a stance on the starting point, "You should go easy on me, I'm still learning, you know".

"I am going easy on you", she replied and removed her mask to give me a wide smirk before donning it again- Very funny, huh?

I groaned in frustration as I prepared for the next round. Who knew magical fencing could be so hard? It looked so easy when watched from afar, just control the sabre with your mind and try to hit your opponent- I should have known it was going to be tricky, easy as pie things always are.

"Stop thinking about the sabre so much as feeling it and you'll get it, it's not rocket science", she instructed and controlled her sabre into the attack position.

"You're starting to sound like those old men in the training hall who only quotes the things they see in books, you and I know those instructions are not practical", I replied and got my sabre ready too. Victoria giggled in response, no doubt picturing the way far from happy face of one of those old men as he replied to my ranting.

We were about to begin when the door suddenly swung open and I reflexively thrust the sabre in that direction, almost getting the head of the intruder- How many times have I warned that it is a bad idea to scare a man with a weapon? People never listen.

"Master Troy", called Maggie, one of the house helps, as she eyed the weapon now buried firmly in the wall just a few inches above her head, "Your father's arrived".

"Thank you", I replied with a smile and she turned to leave but I called her back.

"Best not to tell anyone, especially grandpa Blake, about this", I said as I pointed to the sabre in the wall, "He might not take lightly to me almost taking your head off".

"I understand", she replied and made a zip gesture across her mouth before leaving. Thing is, grandpa Blake warned everyone strictly against performing magic in the house without the necessary precautions which includes a barrier to prevent you know what almost happened back there and, trust me, an eighty year-old master magician going ballistic is not something you want to see.

"Too early to start keeping secrets, don't you think?", said Victoria as she stood next to me.

"It's not a 'secret' per say, just a 'don't get grandpa angry' thing", I replied as I removed the sabre from the wall and covered it expertly with a spell- Good thing I learnt that repair spell for days like this.

"Anything you say", she replied with a really mocking laugh, "Anyway, let's go meet Oliver".

Thank God, I'll do anything to get out of this conversation and, of course, the crazy 'You're a bad grandson' feeling that is starting to take root in the pit of my stomach. "Yeah, let's".



"Where's everybody?", I heard Oliver ask Morris, the butler, as I walked to the front door.

"All here", replied grandpa Blake before I could and I turned to see Stan, Yvette and him enter from another portion of the house.

"Don't I get a hug? ", asked Oliver as he stretched out his hands like Santa Klaus come early.

"How old do you think we are, two?", I asked, giving him a 'Come on' look and opted for a mature handshake instead- He should really stop thinking about things like that because they aren't going to happen.

"You're right but at least I get to do this", he replied with a grin and squeezed my hand to a bone breaking point, "That ought to teach you to watch it".

"Geez Ollie! That hurts", I shouted and yanked my hand out of his before he finally decides to break something.

"Isn't that the point?", he asked with that grin that is starting to get me feeling somehow. He went to greet Stan, Blake, Victoria but stopped when he saw Yvette.

"I don't believe we've met, have we?", he asked as he gave her once over scrutinizing look- Oh-Oh! I don't see this ending anywhere near good.

"Now we haven't, Mr. Sanders", she replied, "I'm Yvette Quentin, a friend of Stan's. I attend Blackhead".

I saw Oliver's eyes widen when she mentioned Blackhead but he quickly hid it and smiled instead. "So nice to meet you, Miss Quentin", he replied- Yeah! I'm very sure we're about to find out just how 'nice' it is.

"Stan, I want to see you in the study", he said and I was about to sneak away when he added, "You too, Troy". Damn, I was so close to escape.

"I have a feeling the meeting will include the words dark and Blackhead", Victoria whispered to me, "Good luck getting out of this one". Yeah, Stan and I will definitely need it with Oliver.

"Alright, let's get this show on the road", said Stan and I nodded affirmative. Yeah, let's.

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