“Son, what happend to you?” asked father when he finally spoke.
“Well, I learned that I was capable of doing magic shortly before I graduated. Regina and I were practicing together.” I admitted.
“What!? Regina knew about this?” asked mother, shock evident in her voice.
“I found out she was capable of using magic when we attended Prom, though I suspected as much a little sooner.” I explained.
“But son… how did you find out that you were a… magic user?” inquired father.
I glanced at Alma, and she merely nodded at me. I hoped this meant she agreed that Emma wouldn’t mind. I then said, “Emma tested Jarod and me after demonstrating her own abilities.”
“Emma is on this as well?” asked mother.
“Everyone who works for me knows about magic, though not all of them can use it.” I replied.
“I refuse to believe there can be that many people throwing spells around. Everyone would know about it.” stated father.
“There has always been a fear in such people that they would be persecuted if they should show their power. I assure you the fear is quite valid.” stated Alma.
I wondered how valid the fear would be if her family stopped being the persecutors, but I told my parents “Even if they would be accepted by most of the world, there’s a group that actively seeks out the more dangerous types of people you’d deem to be supernatural. Draw too much attention, and they will intervene.”
“Back up a minute. You said Jarod could do magic, right?” asked father.
“No. Emma tested him, but he can’t do a thing with residual energy, much to his chagrin.” I replied.
“Residual energy?” he inquired.
“There are different types of magic. The type I use takes leftover energy from different types of magic and forms it into spells.” I informed him.
“So you can only do magic when someone else is casting spells around you?” he asked.
“Well, no. There’s a great deal of energy in the world. A great deal more is available throughout this house now that I’m not living here. I was born a bit unusual in that my body will actually absorb the energy and create a potent spell around me.” I informed them, glancing at mother as well.
Father looked dubious as he asked “What sort of spell?”
“James emits a type of enchantment that causes those in his vicinity to be endeared to him.” stated Alma. “I took notice of him primarily because of it.”
My parents were looking at one another wordlessly, and mother gripped father’s hand.
“Trust me, the news came as a bit of a shock to me as well. I inadvertently affect everyone and don’t have a reasonable way to stop it.” I told them.
“There is a way though?” asked mother.
“Well, yes, to an extent. If I want to walk around completely defenseless, I could.” I replied.
“James would be in grave danger if that were to happen, so he doesn’t really have a choice.” affirmed Alma.
“James, dear, how did Regina… how did she… die?” asked mother.
“She was killed by a werelion. Regina died saving my life.” I told her.
“A werelion!?” demanded father.
“Yes. You’ve surely heard myths about werewolves. Think of a similar creature related to lions instead of wolves.” replied Alma. “There are many types of therianthropes.”
“Son, you can’t possibly expect me to believe this.” asserted father.
“You’ve seen some of what I can do. Is there really no room for werewolves and werelions? What about vampires? I know a couple. I can introduce you if you like, assuming they don’t mind. Would you like to meet a fairy? My little friend spends a great deal of time around me.” I informed him.
“James… what were you doing near such a creature?” inquired mother.
“Luke, my trackmate, was one of many werelions. He killed Nathan at school in a fit of rage, and I came across them. We hadn’t known there were so many… We wouldn’t have stumbled into their trap if we had.” I insisted.
“I’m sorry, son, but why would you pursue such a creature? What were you planning on doing? Kill him?” asked father.
“If necessary. We couldn’t exactly tell the police.” I replied.
“Son, did you…” he started to ask.
“No. I’ve never killed anyone.” I assured him.
“Then they’re still out there?” asked mother, looking worried.
“No. They’re dead. The entire group is dead.” I stated.
“What?” asked father.
I felt Aaliyah would stop me if she felt this was too much, so I went ahead and said, “This will probably be the hardest thing for you to accept, but Death is real, scythe and all. I had nightmares for that entire month after seeing her. When Regina fell, Death appeared. She lifted her scythe, and they were gone. There weren’t even bodies left.”
Nodding, mother said, “I remember you being out of touch… I just thought you were taking Regina’s death hard.”
“I really was, but the nightmares were beyond the death of a friend. You don’t ever want to know how terrifying Death is.” I insisted.
“Son, people often have terrible dreams after the death of a loved one. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you probably imagined it.” he claimed.
“He didn’t imagine anything. Even I…” started Alma, stopping herself partway as if she didn’t want to continue. She was shaking as she forced herself to speak again. “Even I am terrified of her. Meeting her was the single worst moment of my life. There are accounts of people literally dying of fright just from seeing her. Do not take this so lightly.”
I could see the wheels turning behind my father’s eyes as he looked at Alma. I was shocked she said that much. Father, on the other hand, didn’t have a clue of what Alma was capable. Yet, he seemed to sense something. I knew he had always found her imposing, maybe that was enough to make her admission hit home.
“I’m sorry, son, but this is hard to accept.” stated father.
I was glad he was trying, but he would have even more difficulty if I admitted to walking on alien worlds and meeting other intelligent life in the universe. Even Alma would probably balk at that statement. There were so many secrets.
“With you being so fast, how could the werelions best you? Are they equally fast?” asked father.
“Oh. I wasn’t actually this fast when I faced them. I doubt they could even scratch me now.” I confided.
“They couldn’t. You took fifty caliber rounds with ease.” stated Alma.
“What!? You were shot?” demanded father.
“Yes, actually. I can’t say that was a pleasant experience, but the injury didn’t last.” I assured him.
Rolling her eyes, Alma said, “The bullets didn’t even pierce his skin. I’d hardly say you were injured, James.”
“Well, I did feel a little bruised at first.” I argued.
“James, dear, why would someone shoot you?” asked mother.
“Oh… umm…” I hesitated, dozens of explanations racing through my mind.
“There are people who don’t want to see James and me be wed, so they’re protesting. The abduction attempt against you was also a result of this.” explained Alma.
Father and mother both looked shocked by the statement.
“As you are aware, I am Lady Alma Lucy Pendreigh V of the United Kingdom, but my estates and influence stretch well beyond my country’s borders. In marrying me, your son will gain lands, titles, and influence, making him the envy of any other potential suitors. They don’t take such things lightly.” she insisted.
“You’re… engaged?” asked mother, somehow picking that as the most relevant point.
“Well, no. Her family has some unique customs, but there is a strong possibility of that happening in the near future.” I admitted.
“Be sure to tell us when you are, but isn’t this rushing things a bit?” asked father.
I felt a bit shocked. Even father was moving onto that when confronted with his son being superhuman?
“The laws of her family are a bit rigid, father, and you and mother should know that I will most definitely tell you when the time comes. I feel that we’re avoiding the point here. If, by some twist of fate, you happen to come across something you feel to be supernatural, don’t investigate. Your lives depend on it.” I insisted.
“Investigate? Why would we do such a thing?” inquired mother, brushing the thought aside with her hand.
“Mother, you attempted to touch the first magic you saw.” I replied.
“James, dear, it was just a light.” she told me.
Feeling slightly annoyed, I told her “I feel I’ve demonstrated that things aren’t always what they seem. Since finding out about magic, I’ve seen minotaurs and zombies right here in the city. Though the minotaurs stood out, the zombies were disguised in illusions that made them pass as living people. I’d be incredibly impressed if you’d recognize a vampire. You can’t trust things to be safe based simply on what you see.”
“What would you have us do, son? Are we supposed to be scared of everything? I’ve lived here for my entire life without encountering anything like what you’ve described.” he told me.
“Before even being trained in magic, Regina could alter luck to her favor. Did you ever find it strange that she won at so many board games?” I asked.
“You won just as many, dear.” insisted mother.
“Regina did a great deal for me without me knowing.” I told her.
Portentia stepped closer to my parents, smiled, and said, “You don’t have to be scared. Just be careful. Though there aren’t any other superheroes to my knowledge, many of the creatures out there aren’t so bad. Your son’s always just a call away, and I try to look out for everyone. Feel free to call me as well if you need help.”
I put my hand on her shoulder to get her attention, and told her “Thank you.”
Things weren’t going as smoothly as I hoped, but I had plenty of support. Maybe the others would want to help get the message across as well.