Chosen One, 120

Criminals Rarely Care about the Emotional and Difficult Day You Just Had

Ao3 Link

“I appreciate you both attending with me, lads. No doubt the events were dreadfully dull for both of you.”

“Not at all,” Isaac said to Yancy, as they walked back to the academy in the dark. It hadn’t been the most exciting thing Isaac had ever done to go with Yancy to the king’s funeral and the new queen’s coronation, but it had meant a lot to him and so of course Isaac had gone with him.

The funeral had been depressing, but the coronation had been kind of cool. Isaac hadn’t really been able to help but feel bad for the queen, though. Her dad’s funeral had just happened and then she’d had to get saddled with the most important job in the world. There’d also been a wake for the king, but they hadn’t gone to that. Peter was there with Kieran, though.

“It was really interesting,” Oliver agreed. “They were both really nice ceremonies.”

“I concur,” Yancy intoned. He sighed deeply. “This is the third coronation I have attended, and I fear they only make me more emotional as I age.”

“Of course they do,” said Isaac. “They remind you of Giles.”

Yancy nodded sadly, but he was smiling. “Yes, Isaac, they do. It saddens me to see his family suffer. But I am also heartened to see them continuing on in strength and tradition.”

“Me too,” Isaac said, though he didn’t have the attachment to the royal family that Yancy did. “I think it’s important that we have stuff like rituals and traditions, because then when something bad happens we know what to do. I was thinking that during the funeral—I wouldn’t know what to do if someone I loved died. But there are people who do know, and that’s nice. Because I’ll be sad and I might not do all the right stuff to make sure they go to heaven, so it’s good that someone will. And it’s nice to know we don’t have to get stuck in the bad feelings forever, because stuff keeps going.”

It was kind of what he wanted Hope to figure out, actually. Maybe Isaac should have invited him. He probably wouldn’t have been up for a whole day in a crowded place where half of what happened was a funeral, though.

“Wise words,” Yancy decided, stroking his beard as they walked. It was the first time Isaac had seen him do that since the king had died. “You are quite right, Isaac. Rituals such as funerals help ease our fears about death, both practical and spiritual. And rituals such as the coronation this afternoon help assure us that life moves on, even if we ourselves perhaps are afraid to.”

“Yeah,” said Isaac, who was pretty sure Yancy had just said the same thing as him but smarter. “I guess that’s kind of obvious. But it’s what I was thinking, anyway.”

“I don’t know if it’s that obvious,” said Oliver, resting a hand on Isaac’s back for just a second. “But it’s true.”

Isaac smiled at him, then at Yancy. “I hope it helped you feel better.”

“I believe it did,” Yancy told them.

“Then it was a good day.”

“I can’t help but agree. Again, I must thank you both for accompanying me.”

“You literally don’t need to thank us,” Oliver told Yancy. “Of course we did.”

Isaac was pretty sure he heard the shuffling of feet before Oliver or Yancy did, but it didn’t really matter because it was only a second after that when a bunch of guys burst out of the space between two nearby buildings, holding knives. “Don’t move.”

“Ah,” Yancy observed, looking around. “Don’t be afraid, lads, I shall handle these ruffians.”

“You sure?” asked Oliver, reaching for Light. Isaac felt funny.

“Yes, I cannot in good conscience allow my students to be involved in a violent altercation. Young men, you are making a rather wretched mistake. If you feel you must rob others to survive, you are mistaken. If you should like, I am happy to guide you towards various tradespeople in the city who are looking to take on apprentices for gainful labour.”

“Yeah, shut the fuck up, old man,” said the same guy who’d spoken before. They were armoured, lightly. Isaac had never seen thieves aside from Jacob before, but he thought that was weird.

“Hey,” Oliver said, glaring. “Don’t talk to him like that.”

“You’re not calling the shots here, dumbass,” said the thief. He nodded and one of the others moved towards Oliver.

“Woah,” said Isaac, stepping in between them, Dark just near his finger. “Listen, there’s no reason for us to get physical in the middle of a street in the middle of the night.” It wasn’t that late, but there was nobody around.

“The boy is right,” Yancy declared, holding out an arm. “If you desire money I shall give you what I have. Otherwise I shall have to ask you to step back before someone is hurt.”

“We’ll take the money,” said the leader with a mean smile. “But that’s not what we’re here for. You three are coming with us.”

“What?” Oliver asked. “Why would…”

Armour, they were wearing armour like the people Leo and Daniel had fought at the wedding. Rock Boys, a gang, who were working for the guys who’d tried to suck the city into hell. Isaac grabbed Dark now.

He couldn’t reach it. “What the fuck?”

“It’s about time you noticed,” said a younger voice. Behind the Rock Boys was a guy about Isaac’s age, also armoured, wearing red gloves. He moved between his friends, smiling. “I expected mages to start hurling fireballs at the first sign of a knife. You guys like talking, huh?”

Isaac couldn’t reach the Elements or the Forces or anything. Whatever he’d done had blocked the entire Web. Which meant, Isaac thought, thinking as fast as he was able, that it was a spell mostly concentrated on them, not on the magic itself. That was typical when blocking magic potential in someone who used a different source.

“I see you’ve put considerable thought into your entrance, lad,” Yancy drawled, peering at the boy. “Though clearly less about the consequences of your actions. Causing harm to members of the academy will mean…”

“Nobody’s going to hurt you if you just come with us quietly,” the boy promised with a little bow. “Very clear instructions to take you alive and unhurt.”

Blocking the user instead of the source was easier to set up and maintain than the opposite, Isaac thought, but it was finicky magic and therefore possible to brute force out of. It would be easier if he could get a sense of what kind of practitioner the boys was, so he could think about what the spell matrix had to be shaped like to…

The boy clicked his fingers, and a flash of fire surrounded all of them. Isaac leapt back, but it was only for half a second, and then it was gone, along with all their clothes. The boy grinned. “Undressed wasn’t part of the instructions, but now we know you don’t have any weapons. Follow me or we’ll knock you out.”

He turned around and started walking towards the alley.

“Boys,” Yancy whispered. “We must follow him.”


“He’s right, Oliver.” Isaac didn’t know the shape of this spell. He’d been expecting a sorcerer or maybe a wizard. That boy was a witch.

Yancy nodded. Even given the situation, Isaac tried to only look at his face, but kind of couldn’t help noticing the tattoos on his chest, shoulder and hip. Also kind of couldn’t help noticing that Yancy had a pretty big dick. “We’ve no choice. I do believe they will hurt us if we don’t.”

“They’ll hurt us if we do,” Oliver protested.

“I don’t think so,” Isaac muttered. He shook his head.

“Isaac is right. These boys aren’t targeting us randomly. Trust me, Oliver.”

Oliver watched Yancy for a minute, and then nodded. “If you’re both sure.”

Isaac wasn’t sure, but he nodded and took Oliver’s hand. “It’ll be okay,” he promised. They started walking before the Rock Boys could prod at them with their knives, towards the alley and the hidden door leading down that they were being taken to.

He believed what he was saying. It would be okay. People would come looking for them. Isaac didn’t know whether they’d come in time, but they’d come. One of the charms on Isaac’s anklet was warm. As he walked, Isaac did his best to remember his witchcraft lessons and think about how that spell would have worked, flexing his magic so he could push against it.

Just in case they didn’t come fast enough.

Previous (Story)

Previous (Series)

Next (Story)

Next (Series)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s