Hazel and Holly — Pyrus and his Particular Price, Part Two

Previous: Pyrus and his Particular Price, Part One


Hemlock and Hawthorn left the parlor. Holly, however, planted herself firmly on the sofa and folded her arms.

“Why in private?” she said. “I don’t like all these secrets. I deserve to know too.”

“I’m sure you do,” Pyrus said. “But you are a Wild witch are you not? With a secondary in Hearth?”

“Yeah,” Holly said, scowling. “So?”

“So, this is a matter of discipline, young lady. A discipline to which you do not belong.”

“But Hazel does?”

Pyrus smiled. “That is what we must discuss.”

Holly remained still, frowning as she looked Pyrus up and down. “Well, I guess that’s all right, then.” To Hazel, she said, “I’ll wait outside,” and then got up and walked out the door.

Pyrus rose from his seat and poured himself a cup of tea. He walked to a window and looked out as he sipped from the cup. “I understand you’ve not yet chosen a primary discipline. That you still only practice the discipline chosen in your childhood years. Weaving magic, if I recall correctly.”

Hazel narrowed her eyes. “How would you know that? I wouldn’t think a warlock would be privy to such information.”

“I like to be well informed, and I have friends in the witches’ Circle. I also hold the unpopular notion of wanting to do away with all this witch and warlock segregation. We are all practioners of magic, are we not? It’s unhelpful and unhealthy to work separately from one another.”

“Hawthorn said you no longer attend the warlock Conclaves. I think I’m starting to understand why.”

Pyrus smiled. “Exactly. Too many bold ideas. Too much stirring of the proverbial pot. Is it true, though? You haven’t chosen your primary discipline?”

Hazel closed her eyes and sighed. This was a conversation she was tired of having, and she never thought she’d be having it with a warlock. “Yes, it’s true.”

“May I ask why?”

Hazel shook her head and looked away. “They say you’re supposed to know in your heart which discipline you belong to. But my heart is… torn.”

“How so?”

Hazel bit the inside of her cheek. This was none of his business, but she needed his help. “I always thought I’d dedicate myself to Weaving magic. But now, with my father dealing in necromancy and… what he’s done, Weaving no longer seems appropriate. None of the disciplines do.”

Pyrus nodded. “And so, like your father, you are also searching for elusive answers.”

Hazel glared at him. “I am nothing like him.”

“Willfully ignoring the truth will not help you. Are you a necromancer? No. Yet you would do well to acknowledge the similarities between you. It may help you find him.”

“I know nothing about my father. How am I supposed to acknowledge any similarities?”

“By accepting the possibility that the two of you might be more alike than you’d like to admit. The truth of the matter is that no one knows where Ash has gone. If you can put yourself in his position, make decisions as he would have made them, then, well, that very well may be your best hope in finding him. In the meantime, however, you need to choose your primary discipline, and you’d be well served to choose Wyr.”

“I’ve considered it, but I find the notion… distasteful. All the illusionry and nonsense.” She fixed him in a level gaze. “It’s a warlock’s discipline.”

Pyrus smiled. “It’s true that many warlocks choose Wyr, and many witches often choose either Hearth or Weaving, with Wild being… well… the wild card of all four magics.” He chuckled. “I need to tell that one to Cheswick later.” He cleared his throat. “Wyr is, however, considered the most powerful of all the disciplines, boasting the widest range of spells. It is the most difficult to master, but it would undoubtedly be of the greatest use in helping you find your necromancer father. And, as a Weaving witch, you are already well suited to the discipline.”

“Weaving and Wyr are nothing alike.”

Pyrus laughed. “Aren’t they? Weaving magic almost exclusively deals with the manipulation of existing matter. Wyr, among other things, deals with the manipulation of conjured matter. Don’t tell me you don’t see a similarity. As a Wyr witch with a secondary in Weaving, you would be a force to be reckoned with. Together with your Wild and Hearth sister, the two of you would have a command over all four disciplines–over all four elements. That’s quite a feat, don’t you think? And this isn’t even mentioning the fact that you’ve already begun using Wyr spells at a rudimentary level–without any training, I might add. And that, dear Hazel, almost never happens. It seems to me that your heart has already chosen Wyr, whatever you might tell yourself.”

Hazel frowned at him. “What are you talking about?”

“I’ve heard about Hawthorn’s party, the way you so expertly dispelled his glamor. No Weaving witch should be able to do that, Hazel. That is a Wyr spell.”

Hazel’s mouth hung open as she shook her head. “It was just a dispelling incantation. Nothing special.”

“Oh, I quite agree. As far as Wyr spells go, it is quite base. I believe I learned it myself when I was around eight. What’s remarkable is that you didn’t realize you were doing it, and that you did it without guidance. I suggest you find a way move past your prejudices and preconceived notions about the discipline. You were meant for Wyr, Hazel, the sooner you accept that, the better off you will be.”

Hazel knotted her hands together as she studied him. “Why do you care? What difference does it make to you if I become a Wyr witch or not?”

Pyrus shrugged. “You come to me searching for information, yet you don’t really know what you are asking. You don’t know where your search will take you, what dangers you may face. I would hate if you came to harm because you weren’t prepared for the information I gave you. Consider it my price.”

“You haven’t given me anything yet, and I don’t know why you’d care what happens to me, anyway.”

“We are all in this together. What happens to one of us affects us all. When one of us starts tampering in necromancy, it affects us all. I’m an old man. The last thing I want to see in my final days is a horde of undead marching upon our Grove, or whatever it is Ash might have planned. Nor do I have an interest in joining the search for your father. I want you to succeed in this, so I can remain here with my dogs in quiet solitude.” He smiled. “Plus, I think you’d enjoy being a Wyr witch. You have a strong mind, Hazel. None of the other disciplines would properly challenge you as Wyr would. And something tells me you’re a woman that likes to be challenged.”

Hazel worked her clenched hands. Then, raising her chin, said, “Very well, I’ll do it. There are far too many Wyr warlocks, anyway. Perhaps it’s time we witches balanced them out.”

Pyrus’ smile deepened. “I couldn’t agree more.”


Next: Tea with Tum

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Michelle Morrison - 7 years ago

Interesting about the disciplines. I wonder what, if anything, Pyrus is really up to? Good stuff.

    Sara C. Snider - 7 years ago

    Thanks, Michelle. You never can tell with warlocks. 😉

Sue Archer - 7 years ago

I like your different magical disciplines here! And I’m wondering about ulterior motives. What path will Hazel take, and will it be the right one? Good stuff! 🙂

    Sara C. Snider - 7 years ago

    Thanks, Sue! It’s fun coming up with magical systems. 🙂

Lori Wing - 7 years ago

You are really good at these plot twists! I can’t wait to turn the page!

    Sara C. Snider - 7 years ago

    Woo! Thanks, Lori! 😀

Susan Scott - 7 years ago

Elusive questions, never mind elusive answers! This makes me think of alchemy in a way! Thanks Sara, I wonder which way the dice will roll …

    Sara C. Snider - 7 years ago

    Cool that it makes you think of alchemy, as that does rise up in my mind from time to time while writing these installments. Thanks, Susan! As for the dice, I’m also wondering. 🙂

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