Secret Children 12: Enchanted Emerald

By Desert Mouse

It had already been several days since Crystal's last accident. And Emeralds room was feeling a little bit empty with Crystal currently well enough to rest in her own room.

"It's kind of lonely in here when no one's resting in my spare bed." Emerald thought a bit guilty. She didn't want anyone to get hurt, so she would rather be lonely in that regard.

"It would be a good time to practice then, since no one needs my help." Emerald decided sitting on the spare bed. She faced the fireplace used to warm up her room in the cold season. This wasn't her only way to practice, but it was one of her more common ways, simply because it was accessible and when it was cold she wasn't wasting her energy.

Emerald held her hands out like she was going to warm them in the fireplace, this was a pointless gesture that she only did because it felt strange not to do anything with her hands when she preformed her magic. However closing her eyes, wasn't pointless. She closed them to help focus on the image that would guide her manipulation.

"Start with what is." Emerald thought picturing the dead fireplace exactly as it had been before she closed her eyes. This was one of the things that the old man had told her when the girls had first been locked up. Then she started to modify the image in her mind, envisioning a small glowing red spot on one of the logs. She envisioned that spot growing, getting warmer until it consumed the log bursting into flames. She did this slowly, and by the time she was finished she could feel real heat coming from near her hands.

Emerald opened her eyes and smiled at the fire that was now in her fireplace. This was the easy part but it didn't keep her from being amazed each time that she did it. When she first started practicing this particular trick, she would sit on her bed for hours without anything happening.

"Picture what you want changed, and how it does." Emerald thought closing her eyes again. This time she pictured the fireplace with a roaring fire inside it. She could feel the heat of the fire inside her. Long ago that old man had told her that magic changes nothing unless you change it yourself, if you can't see the change happening then nothing will. But there was more to it than that, Emerald had to believe in what she was doing and have confidence that it would work.

To put the fire out, Emerald pictured the flames becoming dark. The fire was suffocating, unable to feed on the air around it, or even the logs underneath.  She could almost picture in her mind that the flames were hovering just out of reach of the logs. She shrunk the fire until there was nothing left but the glowing wood.

However when she was done she could still feel the heat near her hands, the spell had failed. It was always harder for her to put a fire out then it was to start one. So she tried again, and when it didn't work that time she tried once more. The third attempt was when the fire finally went out, and she opened her eyes to watch the smoldering wood in her fireplace.

"I need to rest." Emerald thought feeling tired. Nothing came for free, to make that fire and put it out she had to use her own energy to manipulate her surroundings. It was more physically exhausting then if she had just taken the flint and steel, or rubbed a couple sticks together. While she recuperated a little, Emerald got up from the bed to get the strange stone she had been given nine years ago. It was a pretty, deep red rock almost the colour of ground and polished cinnamon.

"This Skystone won't give you powers. But it is a special stone that will make it easier to focus your energy. It will enhance your own abilities and even make the spells you do cast more powerful than they would be without it." The old man's voice echoed inside Emerald's head as she sat back down and stared at the stone. He had told her a few things about magic, and this stone was special. She didn't have any idea where the Skystone's had come from, or how many there was in the world, all she really knew was that it was rare. The old man warned Emerald that if she lost this stone, there would be no more of them. The festival of renewal could never replenish this one item.

Emerald placed her hands gently in her lap and held the Skystone carefully, like before she pictured the fireplace as it was now, the wood smoldering and glowing ever so quietly. This time she kept her eyes open, and stared at the stone in her hands. With it acting as a focus point Emerald started a new fire just like the last time.

"Now let's make it dance." Emerald thought with a quiet smile. She took the image of that fire, and pictured the flames turning green at the edges and reaching inwards. Within moments the effect duplicated on the real fire, and her room filled with a brilliant green glow. She held it this way for several minutes, never breaking her concentration. Not until a little blonde head poked itself into her room, followed by a mirror image of the little girl.

"Flames glowing, twisted by that which heals. Turned green for all to see?" Sakura asked with wide eyes staring at the green fire. Emerald's concentration broke with the rhythmic voice of little Sakura. The green fire returned to its normal colour and shortly afterwards died away because it was being fueled completely by the stone.

"Sakura is sorry that she broke your concentration. It was not intentional." Jade said explaining the pouty look that was on Sakura's face when the fire disappeared.

"That's ok, I was almost finished anyway.' Emerald smiled. She still liked to practice once and awhile with the stone, and try to stretch her limits. But overall it didn't help her grow as much as when she practiced without it.

"I still feel like I need this stone when I try and heal the others. It keeps me from making mistakes so I still have to practice using it." Emerald thought taking one last look at the Skystone before putting it back on her dresser.

"One day I want to teach you how to do that." She smiled at Sakura. If there was anyone in the castle that could learn to do magic besides Emerald herself, it was Sakura.

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