Chapter 1:

Part 1- Chapter 1

Snowflake and Butterknife

63 FE

Harper sat inside the waiting room. She could not stop her foot from tapping to a nervous rhythm. The wait seemed to extend for hours, yet only seconds were passing for her.

The room was too narrow, chairs on both sides of the thin waiting room made it feel even more claustrophobic. There currently wasn’t anyone else in the room but if someone sat across from Harper their knees would be inches apart.

The silent sound of Harper's foot tapping on the carpeted floor was surely annoying the secretary behind the plexiglass window, or atleast Harper was sure of it. Yet she couldn't stop, it bothered her too much waiting for her test.

The sound of a door opening shocked Harper back to the world. It wasn't the door to the back, it was from the entrance. A man walked in, he had a cold look to his eyes. He approached the secretary's desk and introduced himself. Harper had returned to her worry and missed everything he said. He eventually took a seat near Harper and began filling out the paperwork that Harper had already finished.

She stared at the wooden door. When would this be over?

“Hey, what's yours?” A voice said, drawing Harper back to the room.

Harper turned sharply, facing the man in front of her. He had long unkempt hair, pale blue eyes with deep bags, and olive skin.

“My what?” Harper said, eyes wide in shock.

The boy lifted his left hand to reveal his bracelet. It was metallic and had a small screen on it. It looked similar to a fitness bracelet but was far from it, it was a monitor. Harper had a matching one on her wrist, one clear to the boy. He had to be around her age if he had a bracelet, though he wouldn't have one after today. He had to be eighteen then for sure.

“Oh, I can create knives. Though they are always blunt and tiny.” Harper replied. She focused for a moment, the screen on her bracelet lighting up. A tiny yellow knife appeared in her hand, the size of a butter knife and just as blunt. “This is the best I can do.”

“Really?” The boy said, looking over it. “Conjuration, you probably will rank as a D class.” His voice held a cold tone, yet she felt a tiny bit of heat in it, like he cared slightly. Was he trying to calm her cause he noticed her panicking?

“D? Isn't that like super low.” Harper questioned. “They look at potential. I could eventually get it to make sharp knives if I tried.”

“There are people that destroy buildings in seconds if they want to.” The boy said. “People are allowed to carry knives already, your ability is just like that. It will be viewed as a way lower risk than other abilities.”

Suddenly, the door to the doctor's office opened, revealing two men in lab coats. Harper and the boy walked to them and separated.

The office was a sterile room with a large table in the center. She could see the way it was designed to be moved easily, and the different straps that would hold someone down.

The tests went smoothly. Blood, ability check, other necessities. With that finished, the Doctor reviewed its results.

“Seems like you made D class.” The doctor said, “Meaning you will just have to get a check up monthly, and your marking may be concealed. With that being said, where would you like to place it?”

Harper had thought about it, she had assumed to make a higher class and would be forced to have her marking on a revealed place. Yet she had lucked out and gotten a lower class, meaning she would be able to hide it. She could like normally after all.

“Here.” Harper said. She pointed at her inner thigh, near the top of the right leg.

“Are you sure?” The doctor asked.

Harper nodded. It was a place no one would see but her, just as she wanted.

“Very well, then I shall have the nurse prep you for the operation.” The doctor said getting to his feet and letting a female nurse in. He stepped out as Harper changed into a gown.

Once dressed, Harper watched as the nurse aligned the table to let her sit up with her legs spread for the doctor. She took the seat and felt her wrists, ankles, neck, head, and knees lock into place. It felt odd being completely imobile but it made sense.

The doctor returned with a stunned look on his face, a tray of equipment in his hand.

“Is something wrong?” Harper asked as he entered.

“Huh? Oh sorry, no nothing to worry about.” The doctor said, taking a stool and approaching her. “This will be your marking.” He held up the symbol, a purple knife. It reflected her ability and her ability type. She had been shown that conjuration abilities were represented by a deep purple color from a mentor when her powers first emerged.

“You understand we can't sedate you. Your Mageye genes will reduce their effectiveness.”

“I understand.” Harper said. She was afraid. She knew this would hurt like hell.

“You also understand I must do this quickly, as your body will try to heal itself quickly.” The doctor said.

Harper nodded, closing her eyes. She didn't want to see it.

“Alright, give her something to bite down on.” The doctor said.

The nurse put something in her mouth to bite down and she waited for an eternity. Finally, the sound of the laser igniting hit Harper’s ears. It buzzed methodically, it would be tiny like a scalpel, a red flame. It would cauterize to slow her regeneration.

It was slow, the sound of the buzzing heading towards her thigh. Even with her eyes sealed she could see it clearly. He hesitated right before touching her skin, the heat causing her body to panic. Then, it cut.

Harper squirmed violently, but could make no true movement due to the binds. Her screams were muffled by the gag but they were loud to her. She felt the laser drag across her thigh, carving out the shape of the marking. Finally, she felt the piece of her flesh fall free and land in a tray. The doctor pressed her mark into the empty thigh and quickly bandaged it.

“That should be good, we will give you some pills to heighten your regeneration so it will heal fine.” The doctor said.

Harper panted. Tears were still rolling down her eyes, the pain was the worst feeling in the world. The gag was removed and a large pill was force fed into her, a drink of water to help wash it down.

The pill immediately took effect, draining her body. She felt the skin around her mark reforming to seal it into place.

Harper sat back in the waiting room. She felt light headed from the pill as was common, so she had to wait for her mother to retrieve her. The bandage was still under her pants, a formality really just in case the body didn't fully recover.

The door to the back opened, revealing the boy from before. He turned to the secretary and handed her his release. He walked so straight, something Harper couldn't have done after taking her pill. They both had left their bracelets with their doctors, so their wrists were bare, revealing pale skin below it.

Harper was caught off guard as the man turned to leave. His mark was clear as day. It was a blue snowflake that covered the majority of his left cheek. The design was intricate, the cut had to have been hell.

He just walked past Harper, not sparing a glance, keeping his cold expression. There was something more in his eyes now, something Harper couldn't recognize. He strolled out of the room and into the hallway.

Harper couldn't explain what it was, but she found herself getting up and stumbling towards the door. She could hear the secretary behind her calling out for her to sit down but she ignored it.

She chased after the boy as he marched on, finally reaching him and grabbing his hand to halt him. He turned to face her, a look of surprise covering his face.

“M-My name is Harper.” Harper said, panting from the dizzy steps.

“Um.” The boy said surprised. “I- I’m um, Edwin.”

“Edwin. Would you like to get some coffee sometime?” Harper forced out.

65 FE

Harper sat in her college lecture. The teacher lectured on even though she had fallen behind a while ago. She attempted to take note on what was on the board, but it was already being erased. She bit her lip in frustration.

Class had wrapped up, the teacher was gathering his stuff to leave. She decided she had to ask him again for a repeat of the lecture. He should just send them pdfs or something.

“Hey Harper you good?” A voice said. Harper turned to see two other students in the architecture program. The one who spoke was Henry, a taller and lanky student. Next to him was the shorter Chris.

“I fell behind a little.” Harper admitted.

“Figured.” Henry said with a sigh. He glanced at Henry. “Hey wanna copy mine? Me and Henry were about to go to lunch if you want to join us.”

“For real that would be a life saver.” Harper said, getting to her feet. “Oh but is it okay if I invite my boyfriend? We always get lunch together.”

Chris seemed visibly upset. Henry shot him another glance. “Yeah that is fine, my girlfriend will be there too.”

The cafeteria was large and spacious, but considering the amount of students it felt cramped. Tvs were placed along the support pillars of the room, broadcasting news channels with subtitles instead of sound.

Henry’s girlfriend was a beauty, wavy black hair and dark skinned. Apparently they had gotten together in high school and had stayed together all this time.

Harper was rapidly copying Henry’s notes trying to fill the gaps in the lesson. She felt content after several minutes.

“Wish he would just slow down.” Chris said in annoyance. He seemed oddly irritable today.

“Right? How do you keep up Henry?” Harper asked.

“He is a crammer.” Henry’s girlfriend, Imani, said. “Dude isn't human sometimes I swear.”

“I'm plenty human.” Henry said with a laugh.

Harper shot a glance at the Tv broadcast, Chris following the look. It showed a bank robbery being pulled by Mageye’s. That bank wasnt far was it?

“Jeez, you guys see that?” Chris said. “Mageye’s holding people hostage.”

“Hm?” Henry said, looking at the Tv. “Oh, says they are a part of the ACO.”

“Scum I tell ya that. Why don't the Peacekeepers just shut down their powers are something?” Chris said.

Harper laughed a little as she sipped at her drink. “Shut down their powers? How would they do that?”

“Well isnt that what those marks are for?” Chris said.

Harper was used to this. Non Mageyes were often ignorant of the purpose of the markings. Some think they suppress their powers, they were just monitoring devices as well as ways to identify a person’s ability by sight. Most people though didn't even bother to learn what the different colored marks ment.

“They are apart of the ACO, they probably don't even have marks.” Henry said as he watched the broadcast. “Besides, the marks dont shut down magic.”

“Weren't they trying to get people to stop calling it magic?” Imani said. “Something about how magic is something that can't be explained, but their abilities are logical or something.”

“No clue.” Henry said.

“Wait hold on, you're saying they have no markings? Isn't that illegal?” Chris said.

“Yeah, hence why the police and Peacekeepers are after them.” Henry stated.

“Oh, right.” Chris said. “Oh, did you guys see, we got an A class going here?”

Harper perked up at this. An A class Mageye? That was rare, but how would they be going to school here?

“What you mean?” Henry said to Chris. “There is no way, arent A classes recruited right away?”

“Well we are in peace times so maybe it's possible.” Imani said.

“Not from what I hear, Australia is starting to come back.” Henry said. “Its only a matter of time before something happens. Radicals overseas have been pushing for a fight against North America for a while.”

“Look that doesn't matter, you guys had to have seen him right?” Chris said, drawing the conversation back to where he wanted it. “Dude’s got a mark right on his face. Only A class have their marks that exposed.”

Harper choked on a laugh, and her drink. She didn't hold back and laughed openly. This was beyond perfect.

“You okay?” Chris asked.

“Fine, fine.” Harper said with a chuckle.

Chris continued on. “It's terrifying, who lets a Mageye like that in here? Isn't that like a threat to everyone here? He is one mental break away from blowing this place up!”

Harper stopped her laugh. She could see Edwin entering the cafeteria with his food. Harper stood and waved him over.

The look of surprise on their faces as Edwin stepped over was amazing. He still had that unkempt hair, though it was shorter now.

“Sorry, struggled to get over here.” Edwin said. He sat across from Chris, right next to Harper. He looked at the stunned faces of everyone at the table. “Oh if you were shit talking Mageye please continue, I don't mind.” He said it without a hint of anger, just a very casual statement.

“No no we weren't.” Chris said to cover his ass.

“They were saying how you were one bad day from blowing this place up.” Harper joked.

Edwin looked at the three. “I can't blow things up, so don't worry about that.” He let out that coldness again that was in everything he said. When he talked to strangers he often would become distant in his voice.

“Oh really.” Chris said. “Oh that's good.”

Edwin nodded and began to eat his sandwich that he bought from a convenient store.

“Okay, I gotta ask.” Chris said. “How does an A class get out of recruitment?”

Edwin looked at him. This was quite rude, as Chris hadn't even introduced himself yet. “I'm not an A class that's how.”

“You're not?” Chris said, and Henry chimed in with him.

“Nope.” Edwin stated simply.

“Tell em about it.” Harper said, enjoying this a bit too much. “Tell em how your stupid.”

“It wasn't stupid.” Edwin said to Harper.

“Sir, look at those lines. That had to be hell to get carved into your face.” Harper said. “You could have put it wherever, just tell em.”

Edwin sighed. “I am a B class. That explain it?”

“Not even close!” Harper exclaimed.

“But it explains how I got to go to school.” Edwin said with a sigh. “Well, besides passing grades and all that trivial stuff.”

“Lame.” Harper said, poking his snowflake mark. She gave him a smile, she liked the mark.

Edwin looked up at the Tv. “Bank Heist?”

Henry returned his look to the Tv. “Yeah, looks like they have been in a stalemate though.”

“Says Peacekeepers are heading in.” Harper said. “Should be over soon.”

Edwin eyed the tv. The screen showed the bank from above, probably a drone. Suddenly, the back of the bank wall exploded in debris. Three figures began to run out the back of the building.

“Shit, they can blow up buildings.” Chris stated.

“Mageye all have unique abilities, just so happened one of them causes explosives.” Henry said.

“Harper.” Edwin said coldly.

“Yeah, I noticed it too.” Harper said.

“Huh? Noticed what.” Chris stated.

“Well, that's the bank I use.” Edwin said. “I use it because it's close to campus.”

The table was silent for a moment. Suddenly it dawned on them all. No sooner did they realize as an alarm was rung.

“All student please go to shelter, All Mageye of B class or Higher please report to your stations.” The intercom yelled out, repeating orders.

“Guess the Tv broadcast was a little behind the others.” Edwin said, getting to his feet.

“Are you going to be okay?” Harper said, worry covering her face.

Edwin gave her a warm smile. “Yeah, just stay safe will ya?”

“Damn they're cute.” Imani said. “Henry, would you say stuff like that before heading off to battle?”

“What battle am I fighting?” Henry asked.

Harper and the rest gathered in a large gymnasium used for basketball practice. They didn't use the large stadium for practice as it was a bit too unruly. Harper sat with many others, waiting for the danger to pass.

“Why we gotta hide? Won't the Peacekeepers be here soon?” Chris asked.

“Maybe.” Harper explained. “If they dont got marks then it won't be easy to track them. The probably are heading to the scene of the crime and will follow from there. We just gotta outlast them.”

“Yeah but what if they get in?” Chris asked, suddenly fearful. “They could kill people.”

“That's why they called the B class Mageyes.” Henry said. “They have to meet weekly to train in case something like this happens.”

Harper nodded in agreement. Edwin had gone to his weekly meetings, and his monthly check ups for the last two years without missing a single one.

It felt like an eternity as they sat on the hardwood floor. They were not lucky enough to grab a spot on a wall so they just leaned in the center of the room.

The sound of an explosion sounded out nearby. The fighting had gotten over here? Another, closer. Students quickly moved away from the doors, hoping to avoid whatever was nearby.

Another. So much louder. Then another, followed by the gym doors being smashed down. A body came tumbling through the debris of the gym. It rolled until it hit the opposite wall, hitting with a thud.

“Shit.” Henry said in disbelief.

Harper was at a lose as the figure stood. It was Edwin. Blood was dripping from a cut above his eye, small cuts were all over his body, but his left arm was the main concern. It looked like it had taken the brunt of the explosion, debris had sliced through it like he was made of butter, leaving a mangled mess of blood. Harper could see the arm was still usable, it would heal. However from the perspective of normal people it would look worse than it was. Plus the blood did not help.

Someone walked into the gym. He was older, early thirties. He had greasy black hair, shifty eyes, and his body was covered in scars.

“Alright, we will go over this one more time.” He said, taking notice of everyone around. He smiled. “You stay down, and I leave. Do that, and I won't hurt these people.”

Edwin was breathing deeply. He was in a half crough, still not full upright. It probably looked like Edwin was struggling to stand, but that wasn't it. Harper knew that Edwin needed to make contact with something to activate his powers, so he was staying close to the ground.

The man looked Edwin over. “Seriously, I don't want to hurt anyone I don't need to.”

“You were just blowing up parts of the school when I found you.” Edwin panted. “You think that line will work?”

The man smiled. “I was just a distraction, so the others could escape.” He raised a hand towards the crowd of people nearby. “Now, sit down with your hands up high and no one gets hurt.”

Edwin stood, but his body was wobbling. He gave a look to the crowd, spotted Harper, and turned back to the man. It was in an instant, Edwin dropped lower to the ground. He lunged forward, letting his finger tips touch the ground. Ice shot up from his point of contact, it created more ice from the starting ice in an instant. He launched his wall of ice at the man, who instinctively pulled his hand back as the rough, sharp edges filed the space.

The man swore, but Edwin was already on him. He lifted his right hand to grab at him. The man took notice of Edwin’s move and made to dodge the icy grasp. The man backed up as Edwin pressed on, his back now to a wall by the door.

Blood spurted out as Edwin raised his damaged left hand, grabbing the man’s right wrist and planting it to the wall. As the man took notice of what was happening, Edwin grabbed the other wrist, doing the same.

“Your like me.” Edwin stated, his breath visible in the air. “Only, you need your palm to make contact in order to cause your explosion, so if I lock it in place, your useless.”

With that, Edwin stepped back, and collapsed. The man was frozen to the wall, violently thrashing to break free. Edwin just laid on the floor, holding his arm. It was clear the shock was wearing off. Harper ran to his side.

An hour later Edwin’s arm was fully bandaged. Harper sat next to him at the ambulance, she had refused to leave his side. The other two attackers had been held off till the Peacekeepers arrived.

Edwin spotted him in the crowd, the man who was leading the Peacekeepers. He had a purple chain mark that went around the entirety of his neck, almost like a necklace. He was older, with a veteran look. Black hair, deep glare, and a strong physic. He was the one who had apparently captured the other two.

The man gave Edwin a look, they stared at each other for a moment, until the man gave Edwin a smile, then left.

“Weird.” Harper said, looking over the man.

Edwin nodded.

“Yo, hero boy.” A gruffled voice said. They turned to see a buff man approaching. This was Mr Demond, he is the supervisor for the B class students. “What the hell was that?”

“What was what?” Edwin said, his voice colder than usual. He didn't like Demond.

He slapped Edwin’s injured arm. Edwin cried in pain. “What was that! I told you all what to do, why did you change plans?”

“I sent the others to handle the other two, they needed it.” Edwin said, holding his arm. Harper was glaring daggers at Demond. “Justin can handle one if need be, but Percy is useless in combat, so I sent him with Lucas.”

“That didn't matter!” Demond yelled.

“I got it done.” Edwin said angrily. “No casualties.”

Demond sighed. “Fine, looks like your going to need two pills you know that right?”

Edwin nodded.

“Hope you got the mana for it.” Demond said, leaving.

“What a jerk.” Harper said, continuing to glare even as he left.

“No kidding.” Edwin said.

“Seriously, he isn't a Mageye, he probably just sat back and hid while you all did the work. Couldn't even give you a good job?” Harper complained.

“I undermined him.” Edwin stated. “If I had failed it would be one thing, but I succeeded, his inferiority complex is kicking in.”

“Is that why he drives that massive truck?” Harper said.

“Oh yeah.” Edwin said. “It's basically a way of letting the world know that he is a small man, kinda funny that he would want to tell the world about it.”

“Gross.” Harper laughed. “Seems classes will be canceled for a bit while they fix up the school.”

“Should only be a week.” Edwin stated.

“Welp, means I get to spend the night at your place.” Harper said happily.

“Is your parents fine with that?” Edwin asked. “You were just in a Mageye attack”

“Eh, they will be fine. Plus I gotta take care of my hero.” Harper laughed. “Come on, let's get some pizza. Buffalo chicken for ya.”

“All for it.” Edwin said, following along.

Edwin lived in the dorms, but in a special part of the dorms. Basically, he lived in a basement. The space wasn't originally a room, but was converted to one. Most people didn't want to live in the same room as a Mageye, so Edwin got forced into this place. It was nice though, his own private place. The place was more of an apartment then a dorm. Since he didnt have access to the upstairs stuff easily they installed everything he would need, Kitchen, Bathroom, the whole nine yards.

Harper set her school bag on his kitchen table. They had worked to make the place feel as alive as possible, yet the gray walls and floors stood out. In the winter the place got freezing so they had to have a heater on hand.

“Ima take the pills.” Edwin said.

“Okay, Ill order the food.” Harper said pulling out her phone.

As Edwin entered his bathroom, Harper put in the order, then let her body slide against the wall till it hit the floor. She didn't like what she was about to hear, but she had to.

Edwin pulled open his mirror that doubled as a cabinet. Inside was a pill bottle that only Mageye could take. Mageye did not get sick often, and if they did it was minor at best. They only had one type of medicine that they all kept on hand.

Edwin let the two pills fall into his hand, used the cup he used to brush his teeth, and swallowed the pills. It was instantaneous in effect. He felt his flesh begin to reform. It hurt like hell. He used a clean rag to keep himself from biting his tongue. He found himself rolling on the floor in pain, muscle tissue was fixing itself, bone was reforming. He hurried to unwrap the bandages, they were used to keep the body in place but would get in the way. He screamed in his rag, pain filling him.

Harper sat outside, face red with tears. She hated that he had to feel this way, she hated that he had to fight, she hated that she couldn't help him. Two years, and still she couldn't make anything with her power. Just a stupid butterknife.

“Here is your pizza.” the delivery guy said. He was from the regular place they ordered so he wasn't shocked to have to go to a basement.

“Thank you very much.” Harper said. She had cleared her face before he showed, giving him a good tip for good timing.

She set the pizza on the table as Edwin emerged from the bathroom. He wobbled as he walked.

“You used alot of mana earlier didnt you?” Harper asked, pulling out the plates from Edwin’s cabinets.

Edwin nodded and plopped down in a chair. The pills used a Mageye’s mana to heal their body, if they run out of mana it starts to drain at their stamina. This left Edwin exhausted.

Harper presented Edwin a plate and they began to dig in. Their pizza was half and half. Half buffalo chicken, half margarita. Harper didn't enjoy spicy things, yet Edwin loved them. As he ate he seemed to get some energy back.

“You're going to brush your teeth before you kiss me by the way.” Harper stated.

“You're the one who has garlic on her pizza.” Edwin said. “You can brush your teeth too.”

“Are you saying you wouldn't kiss me just because I got garlic breath?” Harper said, putting on an innocent look.

“Yes absolutely.” Edwin said, not falling for the bait.

“Rude.” Harper said.

Once the two had brushed their teeth, they laid in bed. They let a movie play but barely focused on it.

“You know, things have been weird lately.” Harper said. “Those guys were from the ACO right?”

“That’s what I heard.” Edwin said. “They have been active here recently.”

“Probably means things will be changing.” Harper said, pulling Edwin closer as the cuddled.

“Probably.” Edwin said. He knew better. This attack meant there would be more Peacekeeper presence in the area. What that meant for him he wasn't sure of. He just hoped nothing tore apart his time with Harper.

“By the way I gotta work tomorrow in the evening.” Harper said. “But after I will be right over.”

“Okay, that works for me.” Edwin said, drifting to sleep, Harper in his arms.

“Wait hold on you can't sleep yet I havent rewarded you for being all heroic and stuff.” Harper said, moving to keep him awake. 

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