I felt my eyes open slowly. It’s like they were just as bad as me in the morning, completely unwilling to get up. The world around me the familiar hazy mist. After so many years it was always the same thing that cleared it all up, the sound of my dad’s voice. No matter how old he got he never seemed to stop sneaking into my room before I was awake like some little house mouse. At least now-a-day’s, Dad would lean against the door frame. It made him look almost as cool as everyone says he was…
Not that I see it…
“Max, breakfast is on the table.”
Another usual thing. Papa having breakfast ready. No matter how much I asked him to teach me how to use magic to make breakfast he wouldn’t show me. Papa said it was more complicated than other magics.
I don’t know how making breakfast was more complicated than the other things Papa taught me… Dad was always yelling at him for teaching me too many dangerous things.
A small smile surfaced on my face. No matter how imposing the two of them seemed to everyone else the two of them were really sappy fathers.
I guess it isn’t a big deal if I don’t know how to make breakfast with magic…
I felt my feet trudge against the earth.
I don’t know what the rush is this morning… I wanted to finish my book.
Last night Papa had given me one of his old books on the Magic of Sea.
It was as completely cliche as it sounded, but…. It was wonderful.
A deal had been struck between my fathers that I couldn’t learn how to sail from Papa until I learned every magic related to saving myself from drowning.
Dad being as over protective as usual…
I looked up from the ground, past the trees and around the corner to see where Papa was pointing.
Wasn’t he meeting with the other Downworlders today!!?!?!?
Papa smiled gently.
That isn’t surprising. Papa’s face always loosens up when it comes to Dad. Dad makes him calmer.
“A ruse! How else were we going to fool you two?”
A smile sarcastic smile spread on my face.
“Geez. I can see why you want to surprise Rafe, but me too? I’m the older one remember.”
Papa pushed me forward. I could see Dad leaning over my brother. A tiny baby bow was in his hands. Rafe was struggling to pull the bow strong back as far as Dad had showed him.
” Don’t be such a sour ber-puss…Go on. Your Dad has been waiting for ages to show you two how to use a bow.”
… Still with that nickname!?!!… I am 11 years old now. 11! That’s an adult in some cultures. I could even control my magic pretty well now…
I walked over slowly to the two. A gentle smile appearing on Dad’s face. To most people he would just look less somber than usual, but if you knew dad well you could see his eyes sparkling.
Geez. He really is excited.
I turned to watch my brother pick up his bow. His arrow hit the target not to far from the center. On instinct I found myself copying Dad and ruffling his hair.
His brother’s eyes were sparkling.
When he looks like this he looks more like a Warlock than me. Regular eyes shouldn’t sparkle like that.
“You have to go now.”
My hands fell out of my pocket in shock.
Rafe nodded his head excitedly.
I could hear Papa’s laughter from behind me. The two of us turned to see him and Dad standing close together watching us. They always seemed to lean slightly towards each other if you paid enough attention to them. Dad’s eyes were starting to look like Rafe’s.
“That’s an idea… Max why don’t you try?”
I took a few steps away from them hesitant.
“Ah, no thanks. I’m a magic user, remember? Yep, a magic user. That’s me.”
Rafe looked at me disappointed.
Papa walked over to me slowly like a cat his arm wrapping around my shoulder. Nerves shot through my spine.
Oh no… That walk…
I turned around slightly and tried to escape, but I was too firmly in his grasp. Papa’s sparkling pink lips moving to whisper in my ear.
“Max this wouldn’t have anything to do with that time on your 7th birthday when you snuck out Dad’s bow and-”
I tried to escape yet again, but Papa held me firmly in place. Wasn’t he a magic user! Why does he have such a strong grip? I looked at Dad for help, but he was only chuckling. Rafe was… Rafe was no help with those puppy eyes of his. I sighed. Papa’s lips tickling my ears again.
“Max, you are the older one right? The Big Blu-..brother?”
I looked up at my Papa’s golden cat eyes and shuddered.
I wasn’t escaping was I….
“Alright. For Rafe.”
Papa released me with a soft chuckle and a high five from Dad.
These two were really…
I took the bow from Rafe and pulled back the string. One breath later and my arrow completely missed the target. Rafe was completely stunned. Dad was covering his smile and Papa was completely bursting out laughing.
My secret shame… My wonderfully hidden secret.
Rafe walked over to me and stood on his tip toes, so he could reach my shoulder.
No. Don’t do it. Don’t imitate Dad.
“It’s alright, Max. Anything you can’t do right away you can just practice it. One day it won’t be a problem anymore.”
Yep. Just like Dad.
I turned my head and handed the bow back to Rafe.
“That’s alright, Rafe. It’s my job to be the best Warlock ever. You can be an archer like Dad.”
Rafe shook his head no. You could hear Dad’s small breath of shock.
Ah! Rafe, don’t go hurting Dad! He’s more sensitive than he looks you know! He’s actually quite fragile! Why are you posing all of a sudden!
“I’m going to be like Uncle Jace!”
Eh? Wait. Since when did Rafe want to be like Uncle Jace?
Papa started to shake Alec.
“See, I told you! Jace has been corrupting out son!”
Dad tried to calm down Papa, but you could see the shine was gone from his eyes.
Ah. Dad is dead. No good, Rafe!
I started to frantically try and appeal Dad’s value.
“What’s so good about Uncle Jace? Dad is much better.”
Rafe shook his head back and forth.
“But when Uncle Jace swings his sword all the Demons go flying!”
I turned to look at Dad.
Yep. Grim stoneface.
“Any Shadowhunter can send a Demon flying! That is only brute strength. Archery takes skill. It takes talent! Watch. I’ll prove it to you!”
I rushed to retake the bow… My arrow barely hit the target.
Rafe looked at me uncertain.
Ah. Why did Dad use a bow and arrow…
I kept firing until the quiver was out of arrows. I had not made much progress at all.
“Not today! I will show you next week, alright!”
Rafe looked at me confused and nodded his head. I have to get him to understand, or else Dad will look that somber forever. Dad walked away from Papa and knelt down to fix how I was standing.
“That should help.”
I nodded my head and tried again. Papa walked over to Rafe and the two bumped fists.
I was played!
I looked up at Dad and he smiled sympathetically.
“Next week isn’t that far away. You may want to practice. Rafe is pretty good with most of the weapons we’ve give him.”
I narrowed my eyes in frustration.
Yea, but I can make things blow up! Can he?!?!
The arrow hit the center of the target and I found myself jumping in joy. Dad rustled in my hair laughing. Papa and Rafe smiled.
Maybe those two weren’t so bad…
“You did it our little blueberry!”
I take it back. The only thing Papa is good for is making Dad happy.
Rafe sighed as he shook his head in disappointment. Dad put his hand on my shoulder. But I could only hide a smile.
Everything aside… my family is pretty wonderful.
I hid my smile and shouted at Papa.
” I am not a blueberry!”
Papa laughed and nodded his head. He made his way towards Dad and wrapped an arm around his waist.
“Mhm. You aren’t actually a blueberry.”
Rafe smiled wildly.
“You just look like one! But with horns!”
Once again the two fist bumped.
They were just too similar…
I looked up at Dad. He had just finished giving Papa a kiss and had decided to push him away for the comment.
Thank the Angels I am more like Dad…
[ Image via Shadow Hunter Wikia ]