Hitomi the Witch: Part Three
PART THREE: THIS IS INCREDIBLE
"Hey, Erika," Hitomi said softly, her cheeks burning. "I know that Kirara had invited you to come along…but why…why did you bring Mickey, too?" Her face grew warmer as she glanced up at the blue Ixi. He had tagged along with them when they made their way to the park, and was between her and Erika as they walked down a cobblestone pathway that crested next to a sparkling pond. Feeling slightly uncomfortable, Hitomi scurried over to Erika’s side and bowed her head, ashamed that her face was increasing in heat.
"When I told him everything that happened on Friday, he thought it’d be interesting if he could join our chat," Erika explained. She swung her grocery bag back and forth. "And she better be grateful for these donuts we bought—even though I’ll be eating half of them, of course."
Hitomi scanned the surrounding area. "Do you guys see Kirara around?"
"I don’t," said Erika. She shook her head. "I can’t believe that somebody so ‘magical’ can still be late! What an idiot."
"Who’s a what?" Kirara emerged from behind a nearby tree and strode calmly towards the trio, smiling slyly. "Dear Erika, you mustn’t say such things when your subject is close enough to hear every word."
Erika shrugged. "I still stand by my statement."
Kirara cocked her head at Mickey. "And who is this handsome gentleman? Is he a friend of yours, Hitomi?"
Hitomi blushed. "No..I mean, uh yes…I mean, uh…"
Mickey, who spent the entire time engrossed in his novel, closed his book and bowed. "It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Kirara," he said solemnly.
"My, aren’t you a charmer," Kirara giggled. "And you’re name is…?"
"Mickey Aino. I’m Erika’s cousin," Mickey explained. He bowed again.
"Splendid!" Kirara beamed. "Now then, where shall we have our picnic?"
"How about right here?" Hitomi suggested. "It’s a flat area, the grass is very green, and we won’t be in the way of anybody."
Kirara nodded and poofed up a red and white checked blanket. She laid it on the ground and sat down. "This park sure is a beautiful place," she remarked, admiring the bushes and trees that were surrounding them. "I’m not one who usually likes nature and all that earth-stuff, but this place is stunning!"
"It sure is lovely," Hitomi agreed, taking a seat besides Mickey.
"I know you’re all admiring nature and stuff," Erika groaned, "but where is the food??" She glowered at Kirara. "I thought were going to bring the grub!?!?"
Kirara faked a gasp. "Oh, how ditzy of me!" With a snap of her fingers, a wicker picnic basket and a stack of paper plates appeared in the middle of the pets. Smiling with satisfaction, Kirara opened the basket and pulled out four sandwiches, two bags of potato chips, four apples, and three bottles of water, four bottles of juice and a bag of cookies. "Time to chow down!"
Erika reached over and grabbed a sandwich. "Whoa, it’s still warm!" she exclaimed.
"This is incredible," Hitomi gasped. "Kirara, you are a miracle food worker!"
"Thanks a lot," Kirara said, beaming proudly. She turned to Erika and asked, "Any more requests?"
Erika nodded. "Can you poof me up a big bag of Neopoints?" she asked. "And how about some more donuts? Oh, and you just HAVE to poof me a gold Wingoball trophy, too! And there’s this really cute dress at the NC Mall I saw last weekend—"
Kirara laughed. "I’m not a wishing well, silly," she insisted.
"But you poof those things up, right?" asked Hitomi.
"Theoretically-speaking, I can," said Kirara, "though it wouldn’t be an ethical thing to do." She eyed Hitomi with a firm expression. "With great magic comes great responsibility. You can’t expect to have total freedom over your powers—even though you can do anything, performing terrible deeds would weigh heavily upon you and, eventually, your powers could end up corrupting you...and your soul."
"You mean like Xandra?" asked Mickey.
Kirara shook her head. "She wasn’t a witch: never was, never will be. Though I believe she may have had potential."
"Well all that potential’s long-gone now," Erika smirked.
"So…um, what would I have to do to become a witch?" asked Hitomi, her heart beating fiercely. "Do I have to attend classes? Or meet with other witches?"
"Honestly, the only thing you’re required to do is develop your powers and hone them so they can be concentrated to focus on your spells," Kirara explained. "Then your powers are mastered, Hitomi, you’ll be having your official coronation ceremony. And it’s during the coronation that you’ll become a real witch and get your own Spell Charm!"
"Ooh, like yours?" asked Hitomi.
"Yep," said Kirara. "And if you want, I’ll be more than happy to help you in mastering your abilities!"
"I have a question regarding those Spell Charm things," said Mickey. He wiped his face with a napkin Kirara poofed up for him and asked, "None of the other Neopians are known for carrying such trinkets around with them. So why should Hitomi need one?"
"Magical energy is very powerful and in younger witches—like Hitomi—its physically impossible for one’s energy to contain its stability once it has fully developed," Kirara explained. "So for the time being, she’ll need to keep a Spell Charm with her if she wants to access her magic powers. And then, when she gets older, all of her magical energy will be absorbed into her body and the Spell Charm will become nothing but a decorative hunk of junk."
Mickey nodded. "Very fascinating," he murmured.
"Now I get it," Hitomi said. "That makes a lot more sense!"
"Any more questions?" Kirara wondered.
Erika took a bite of her third donut. "And what will happen after Hitomi’s coronation?" she muffled. She swallowed and added, "Will she have to follow a long list of super-strict rules? Would any of the other Neopian witches send monsters to destroy her?"
"Not really," Kirara insisted. "All the other witches—Sophie and Edna, for example—are too busy to interfere with Hitomi’s personal life. Plus, a majority of them are the more ‘traditional witches’—they spend more time brewing up ancient potions in their covens than roam the streets of Neopia, mingling with the non-magical citizens." She flipped her pigtails. "We modern witches, however, are much more interesting. We actually lives and we like enjoying every moment—though there are two rules that every Neopian witch must obey, at any cost."
Hitomi gulped. "What are they?" she asked.
"Yeah, what are they?" Erika echoed, raising an eyebrow.
"Well," said Kirara, "rule number one is that, as a witch, you have to use at least one spell a day. It can be used for anything: cleaning, cooking, picking up something off the ground etc." Her eyes narrowed. "But you have to use your magic on a daily basis. Otherwise, your magical balance will be...well, un-balanced, and that could have terrible consequences for you."
Hitomi nodded. "What’s the second rule?"
"The second thing," Kirara began, "is that, as a witch, you would need to stand by an agreement: That, as a witch, you would forbid yourself from using magic to assist you with one skill. The skill can range from a variety of things—cooking, cleaning, fixing things, laundry—but it has to be something you’ll be willing to do with your own hands. And it be something you’re inexperienced with."
"What a rip-off," Erika scoffed.
"I see." Hitomi nodded. "That doesn’t sound too bad, actually," she said thoughtfully. "I’m sure I can follow those rules with no problems at all. And for every other task—like cooking—I can use my magic, right?"
Kirara nodded. "Exactly."
"So what thing are you forbidden to do with your magic?" asked Erika.
"Oh, it’s nothing important," Kirara insisted. After poofing all the picnic supplies away, she poofed up a red ball and threw it towards Erika. "Let’s play Mynci in the Middle!"
The girls played their game—Hitomi always landing back in the middle—while Mickey sat under a tree and finished his book. They spent the rest of the afternoon running around the park and playing until Hitomi decided it was time to go home. After Mickey and Erika left, Hitomi walked with Kirara and asked, "About my ‘coronation’…when will it take place?"
Kirara shrugged. "Don’t know for sure. The Witches Council decreed that new witches shall be born on the new moon of the following month—so for you, I reckon yours may happen sometime during the Month of Collecting."
Hitomi gulped. "So you think I’ll be well prepared by then?" she wondered. "I’ve only heard of my magical aura since last Monday."
"Oh, I’m sure you’ll be a-okay," Kirara insisted, waving a hand in the air. Her eyes glimmered. "Just think of all the awesome, amazing things that you can do when you become a full-fledged witch!" She clapped and pointed at a royal Elephante up ahead. "You notice that coffee stain she’s trying to wipe off her shirt?"
Hitomi watched the Elephante mutter to herself as she examined the stain on her lilac blouse. After she blinked, however, she saw the Elephante gasping at her now stain-free shirt. "That’s amazing!" Hitomi breathed. "Did you do that, Kirara?"
"Pretty cool, huh?" asked Kirara.
When the girls turned a corner, they saw a baby Chomby crying beside a broken red tricycle. "I want my Mommy!" the little tyke wailed.
"Poor little thing," sighed Hitomi.
"Pfft, toy-repair magic is too easy." Kirara used a spell that magically transformed the pile of plastic rubble into a brand new tricycle. The baby Chomby squealed excitedly. "You see?" Kirara said with a smirk. "Repair magic is one of the easiest forms of magic juniors can master."
"Will you teach me how to fix stuff, too?" asked Hitomi.
"Of course," said Kirara, nodding. "But only if you agree to train with me." She stopped and held out her hand. "Do we have a deal?"
"You bet!" Hitomi shook her friend’s hand eagerly and smiled.
To be continued…