The Wizard Heart
Eli knew Mr. Hunt had seen what he did. There was just no way the science teacher could have missed it, not with the look and smile he gave Eli as class was ending. This he did not need.
Elijah Everett Kerry was easily the smallest 6th grader at Elm Grove Middle School. This fact also made him by far the smallest student at Elm Grove Middle School. Standing at just 4'5" and weighing in at a total of 63 Lbs, most people mistook Eli for being a 3rd or 4th grader. His life at school was hard enough without the new problems popping up. Now he was stressing over being found out by one of his teachers, and his favorite teacher at that.
For most middle school kids, lunch was a favorite time, but not for Eli. This was always a time of great stress and tension. Too many days the bullies have found him, or he is just reminded of how lonely he really is with no friends to call his own. Today he had added stress as he had tried to hide out, Mr. Hunt had handed him a note requesting his presence after school for a chat. Eli couldn't even eat his packed lunch without feeling like he was going to throw up. Maybe it is good that he was found out this soon, for there was no way he was going to make it all the way through middle school and high school without being found out.
The problems started about two months ago. That is when Eli started to notice things happening around him. Most boys around 11 are more worried about when puberty is going to hit them, but not Eli. He was more worried about breaking something, or causing damage to something with the weird things happening. Like today in science class, he dropped that beaker of acid, and it would have caused a major problem, but then out of the blue he was somehow able to stop it in mid air and move it back up to the table without a single drop being spilt. How he was able to do this is beyond him. This was not the first time something like this has happened. The other day he was running through the house and knocked over one of the end tables, and the lamp fell to the floor, but before it hit the floor and shatter, everything just righted itself as if nothing had happened.
Eli had tried to practice to see if he could gain control over whatever was happening, but so far with very limited results. He didn't feel like he could talk to his Mom, and he didn't have a Dad. He had thought about calling his Grandpa, but then thought he would just think he was a freak. Then again maybe he was.
The afternoon went by a lot faster than normal for Eli. He was thinking hard about skipping out on Mr. Hunt, but figured that his teacher would call his mom if he did that. As soon as the final bell rang, Eli made his way back to Mr. Hunt's room. He figured he might as well get this over with and see just how bad things are going to be for him. He couldn't for the life of him figure out why these things happened to him. Why couldn't he be normal, normal size, and not have things like what seemed like magic happening around him? His plan was to keep his head down and talk as little as possible. Maybe Mr. Hunt would feel sorry for him and let things drop. He didn't really think that was going to happen, but there was always a chance.
As the 11 year old reached the dreaded classroom, he took several big breaths and let them out slowly. He figured this was it, the end of his freedom. As he opened the door to the class, he heard two different men talking, one was his teacher. What really confused the boy was that the man standing there looked just like his teacher, but he could tell he wasn't the Mr. Hunt he knew.
"Aw Eli, please come in and have a seat. Now I don't want you worrying a bit, you are not in any trouble."
Eli moved to a desk in the middle of the classroom. He was hoping to put a little distance between him and these two men. He was feeling a little uneasy with the way the look alike Mr. Hunt was looking at him.
"Eli, I would like for you to meet my twin brother, David Hunt. I have asked David to be here for this because I believe he can help you much more than I can. However, before we get to that, there are some questions we need for you to answer. Now most of these questions will be simple, however I will tell you up front that there are several things that we will need to know about that could be quite embarrassing. Now, we normally like to do this with just the child we are dealing with, but there are times when we must get the parents involved. We will not know if we have to involve your parents until the end of this little meeting."
"Steven, you didn't tell him about his rights! You are always to start off with the subjects rights. Elijah, you have rights at this meeting. You have the right to postpone this meeting until such time your parents can be present. You have the right to have any other adult with you while you answer the questions put forth to you. You have the right to request replacement questioners at anytime. You have the right to request a change in location at anytime. You have the right to stop the questions at any point. Elijah, do you understand the rights as I have laid them out for you?"
"Yes Sir." The boy replied in a small voice.
"Elijah, do you wish to excises any of the rights at this time?" David asked.
"If I don't want to do this, what happens?"
"Well, unfortunately this meeting will happen one way or another. The thing is you get to choose how it happens. If you try to avoid it then the Council will get involved. That my young friend is something we do not want at this point. That is a choice you get to make though."
"I guess it would be better if you did it. At least I know Mr. Hunt and he has always treated me fairly."
"Okay, then I will start asking you the questions, please try to answer them as completely as you possibly can. Oh, and it is very important that you answer them 100% honestly as well, alright?"
"Sir, please call me Eli."
"Very well, and please call me David. Now Eli, tell me when you first started to notice things happening around you?"
"It was about two months ago. The first time was when I was making Mac and Cheese and knocked the sauce pot off the stove, somehow I stopped it from hitting the floor and then it all went right back to the way it was. It has happened a few more times since then."
"Have you been able to do it on command yet?"
"No, I have tried to practice, but I can't get it to do it when I want too." The boy said with his head down.
"No need to feel bad Eli, from what I understand from Steven, is you have excellent control over your gift when it is needed. That is a very important step. Now Eli, these next few questions might be a bit embarrassing for you, but trust me, they are important so that we might determine how strong you are and what areas you need help with. The first thing we must know is how far advanced you are?"
"I don't understand Sir?"
"To be blunt Eli, how far are you into puberty?" His Teacher asked him.
The boy was shocked! Here was his teacher and his brother asking him questions like that. Why on earth did they need to know that for?
"I don't understand why you would need to know that, and I really do not feel it is right for me to answer that type of question."
"Normally I would agree with you. However, in a case like this it is very important that we be able to determine how advanced a young Wizard is, and seeing how Wizards get their gifts while going through puberty, it is the easiest way for us to judge."
"Whoa! You are telling me that I am a Wizard? You're saying that Wizards are real? How can that be, there is no way I am a wizard!" The boy franticly looked between the two men hoping this was some kind of joke.
The brothers looked at each other with a look of confusion. Surly in this day and age no parent would neglect to let a young wizard know of the changes they were going to go through.
"Eli, yes Wizards are for real, and with what I can gather, yes you are a strong young Wizard. I am concerned you didn't already know this information before today though. Can you tell me about your parents?" David asked the boy.
"It is just my Mom and me. She told me that my Dad ran off after she got pregnant with me and was never heard from again."
"Have you ever seen your Mom do anything like you have been able to do?"
"Eli, I am afraid we are going to have to get your Mother involved in this. There has to be an explanation as to why she hasn't told you about the Wizard world." Steven could see the very scared look on the boys face, "Eli, do not worry about your Mother's reaction to finding out her son is a Wizard. You will be taken care of no matter what. What time would your Mother be home from work?"
"In about an hour."
"Okay, then why don't we head over to your house, and while we are waiting we can get through some of these other questions. David, do you want to follow me or ride with me?"
"I think it would be best if I went on my own. Why don't you and Eli head over there and I will be by in a few moments. I wish to swing by my place and pick up something that I think will come in handy later. Eli, could you give me your address so I might find your house on my own?"
Eli gave David his address and told him what to look for to help make it easier to find. Neither David nor Steven pointed out that all he had to do was look for Steven's car which would be parked out front. All the way to the boys home, the teacher tried to keep the conversation light. He told the Eli a little of the history of Wizards. Mr. Hunt also explained to Eli that he and his brother worked for members of the Wizard Council and it was their job to test and rate young Wizards and also to assign them trainers. Eli wanted to know if either Mr. Hunt or his brother would be his trainer if he was found to be a Wizard.
"Eli, there is no doubt that you are a Wizard. The only thing we don't know is what class of a Wizard you are. There are six different levels, or classes of Wizards. However the last class hasn't been reached for well over a hundred years. Both my brother and I are class III, that means we can both be trainers or hold other offices within the Council. A class VI is the lowest grade Wizard there is, and basically there isn't much that a VI can do. A class V has more active gifts, many of our trainers are class Vs. Class IVs are strong wizards; most of them work for the council in some compactly. Class III, like my brother and I are not as common as the others and all class IIIs work for the council. Class II's are the Council Members. There are only about 12 Class II's in the world at any given time. We don't know why, but nature seems to regulate the Wizard world like this."
"So what about the Class I?"
"Well we normally don't tell new Wizards about Class I, because simply there hasn't been one in over a hundred years. The last known Class I was known as the Wizard King. He had the ability to absorb gifts of others, so he truly had unlimited powers. If there was a new Class I, he or she would be called the Dexas. There is a necklace that is held by the Keeper. The necklace is very special and is called the Wizard Heart. Through out the years many have tried to claim the Wizard Heart, but none have ever been able to wear it. It is said that it has the ability to see into the heart to truly see if the Wizard is worthy."
"Oh wow. So there is like no chance that I am a Class I, more than likely I will be a Class VI. That is my luck as normal. My Mom and I have never had good luck. My Grandpa once said that if it wasn't for bad luck she and I wouldn't have any luck at all."
"Well Eli, I can't tell you what class you are, but I will tell you there is no way that you are a Class VI. I have never known anyone under a class IV that could levitate anything, let alone stop something from falling and then putting it back where it should have been. Come to think of it, I don't even know of a Class III that could do that at your age. So I really think you are going to be rated a bit different from your luck."
The two had arrived at the little house Eli shared with his Mother. Once he opened the door and let his teacher into the living room, he told Mr. Hunt that he had to go feed his fish who were kept in the basement. Eli's fish was more than his hobby, the extra money he made from selling his fish helped him and his Mom live. Mr. Hunt reminded Eli that he was a science teacher and would love to see Eli's fish and the set up he used. Eli really didn't like anyone, not even his Mom, down around his fish, but he told Mr. Hunt he could come down. Eli did ask Mr. Hunt not to mess with any of the tanks. It didn't take Eli all that long to care for his fish. Mr. Hunt kept telling him how impressed he was with what Eli was able to accomplish with his breeding business. Eli and Mr. Hunt were sitting in the living room waiting on the other Mr. Hunt when Eli's Mom got home from work.
To say that Sherry Kerry was surprised to see her son sitting talking with his science teacher in their home would have been an understatement. After her surprise started to wear off, the anger started. Why wasn't she called if there was a problem with her son? Why was a teacher in her home while she was at work? These were the first questions going through her head.
"Hi Mom, Mr. Hunt…"
"Eli I can see Mr. Hunt, what I want to know is why there is a Teacher from your school in our home while I was gone?"
"Ms Kerry, if I may, I believe I can explain that better than Eli can. Today in class I saw something unique done by Eli. I called my brother, David, to come help me with what I saw. You see Ms Kerry, Eli is showing signs of being a strong Wizard."
Sherry gasped as she covered her mouth with her hand.
"While we started the interview we quickly found out that Eli had no clue of the Wizard world and couldn't answer any of the required questions of his Wizard heritage. My Brother and I decided to postpone the rest of the interview until you could be present to answer questions. David said he was going to run by his place to grab something that might be needed later in the interview. He should be here very shortly. I have a couple of questions I would really like for you to answer if you wouldn't mind while we wait for David to get here."
"Sure, but I really would rather we do this without Eli. There are some of the answers he doesn't need to know."
"Mom, this has to do with me! I have a right to know what is going on!"
"Maybe so, I don't know. I do know that I am going to have to make a phone call before we go any farther."
Sherry got up and walked out of the living room and into her bedroom. She closed her door then set down on her bed hard. She put her head in her hands and tried to calm herself. She knew this day was coming, but she had hoped for a few more years at least. After a few deep breaths, she made her phone call.
"Dad, its Sherry. The time has come."
"Yes Sir. Do you think you could head down here? I could really use your help. I do not know how he is going to take the news, and I am really scared I will lose him. You know how he feels about you."
"Yes Sherry and I will be down first thing in the morning. I will leave tonight. If you can hold off telling him until I get there, that might be best."
"I will try Dad; however, there is one of his teachers involved. He and his brother have started the interview process. I do not know if they have contacted the council as of yet, or how far they have gotten with the process. I will do what I can, but I have a sickening feeling that I am going to be forced to come clean. I can only Hope that Eli will understand the truth of what has happened."
"How much faith do you have in this teacher?"
"None! I know that he is one of Eli's favorite teachers. He has always supported Eli and stood up for him when there have been problems, but other than that I truly do not know anything about him. Knowing that he is a Wizard and he works for the council makes me feel a bit better in one way and way worse in others."
"Yes I would agree with that statement. Okay, let me get some clothes packed and hit the road. Plan on me being there before say 11 AM tomorrow."
"Okay, and thanks Dad! Please be careful, even if that means you are going to have to take more time to get here." As she was finishing her phone call she heard the door bell ring. "Dad, the other guy is here now so I have to go."
After getting off the phone, Sherry headed back into the living room. She was really shocked to see two Mr. Hunts sitting there talking with Eli. She had been told that they were brothers, but she was not told they were twins.
"Ms Kerry, I would like for you to meet my brother, David Hunt. David, this is Eli's Mom, Ms Sherry Kerry."
After both Sherry and David did the normal pleasantries, Sherry did her best to get things postponed until her father could be there.
"Eli before we get started answering their questions, I want you to know that I have called your Grandpa and asked him to come down. What I would really like to do is hold off answering any questions until your Grandpa can get here and the three of us sit down and talk. There are some things you have the right to know, however I really would like him to be here while we do it and it should be just us. No offense to you gentlemen, but this is a family issue that needs to be dealt with."
"Ms Kerry, I have no problem waiting for your Father to arrive. When we started this interview with Eli he was told his rights. One of those rights is the right to postpone the interview until the parents or other adults are available to be there. In Eli's case, he does not have a father in his life; therefore by default his Grandfather would fill that role. Eli it is your choice to wait or go on with the interview. It is your right to chose what you want to do." David told Eli and his mother.
"As much as I want to know what is going on, I can see the amount of stress it is causing my Mom, so I am going to ask that we wait for Grandpa to get here." Eli told the two men.
"Very well then there are several steps we must take to follow this request. First, Eli will not be allowed to go to school tomorrow. He must remain with a Wizard at all times until the interview process is complete. Now in saying that, we don't have to be with him in the same room, like his bedroom or the bathroom, but we do have to be in the house. So, one of us will need to stay here with you. Also, it would be best for the protection of us as well as Eli if you were to call in sick tomorrow Ms Kerry. Then once Mr. Kerry arrives and you have a chance to talk with him we can restart the interview process. The second is please refrain from letting anyone else know what is going on."
"I have no problems with either or both of you staying here with us. I also agree that keeping things quiet would be for the best for now. The only thing I ask is you respect Eli's wishes if he asks you to do or don't do something. I will get dinner started." Sherry said getting up to head to the kitchen.
"Ms Kerry, if you don't mind, please allow me to take you and Eli along with Steven out to dinner tonight. I know that you are a bit stressed due to the news you were given by us today. It is the least we can do to make up for putting you out the way we are."
"Thank you that would be very nice. I am sure you would get a better meal by going to a restaurant tonight then if I were to try cooking. Truth be told, I am really not that good of a cook, Eli is a better cook then I am."
"Mom, you're not that bad of a cook, you just rush things sometimes." Eli said with a smile.
After a few moments of talking about what everyone was hungry for, David suggested they go to a nearby Red Lobster, at first Sherry was adamant that it was too pricy for them, but David assured her that it was fine so that's where they headed out to.
They had a great dinner, a real treat for Sherry and Eli, and then headed back to Sherry and Eli's home. Steven said that he would make arrangements to be out of school the next day and be back to the house around 11 am. David said he had already called his school and let them know that he was going to be out for at least a day if not more. This was the first time that Eli had heard that David was a teacher like his brother. Eli asked many questions about where and what David taught, but was disappointed when he found out that David was a PE coach at the high school in town. PE was never one of Eli's strong subjects in school. David did his best to try and assure Eli he wasn't a typical Jock, but he really didn't think he made that much progress along those lines.
Around 9:30 pm, Eli was sent to bed without much complaining. The stress of the day had really taken its toll on him so he was ready to call it a day. David and Sherry stayed up talking well into the night. She had found out during Dinner that Stephen was married and had a little girl who was 3 years old. Neither she nor David was seeing anyone at the moment and they found out they both enjoyed the same type of things. Sherry found out that David and Stephen were only a year older than she, putting them around 34 years old. If things were different she could easily find herself falling for David. She knew that once the story came out tomorrow that she could lose a lot including her son.
After showing David to the guest room and heading to her own bedroom things really started to hit her. She ended up crying herself to sleep, however she had a surprise when she woke up in the morning as she wasn't alone. At some point in the night Eli had woken and then came into her room and crawled into bed. It had been a long time since he had done that but it always meant he was really worried about what was going on. She knew this was going to be a very hard day for all of them.
She had just sat down for her first cup of coffee when David walked in. He still had his P.J.'s on and had that just woken up look about him. Sherry couldn't help but take notice just how handsome he really was. She had never regretted having Eli in her life, but she had missed out on having someone special as part of her life and it was times like this that really brought it back to her. If things had been different she was sure she would have enjoyed being married.
"Good morning David. Coffee mugs are above the coffee maker, help yourself."
"Thanks. Can't say I function very well until I have had a few cups of coffee."
"Um do you mind if I ask you some questions while we are alone?" Sherry asked in a small voice hoping not to offend David.
"Sure ask away. Anything you want to know feel free to ask. If there is something I do not wish to answer, I will let you know."
"Well, I do know a little about the Wizard world, not a whole lot, but a little. What I was wondering was what your gifts were?"
"I have a few different gifts which have come up through the years. Most of my gifts aren't what are called active gifts, like Eli being able to stop accidents and levitating items back where they should be. I have the gift of truth, in other words I can tell if someone is telling the truth or lying. I have the gift of empathy, or the ability to know what others are feeling. I have the gift of communication with different animals. There are several types of small mammals whom I am able to commutate with. I also have the gift of energy, or the ability to form energy balls and use them as weapons."
"I understand that you get your gifts when you reach puberty, what I don't understand is why Eli is showing signs of having gifts. He hasn't even started puberty yet?"
"What do you mean he hasn't started yet? In order for him to have any of his gifts, he would have had to start and be well into it by now."
"Well, he hasn't! I took him to the doctor just a few weeks ago. He had gotten scratched by one of his fresh water stingrays and it had become really badly infected. The Doctor decided while I had him there to go ahead and do a full physical on Eli. One of the things he checked was his groin area. He told us not to worry about when he would start puberty, that he had plenty of time. The Doctor also ordered some blood work to see if there were any reasons why he was so small and if Eli might suffer from delayed puberty. We got the results back earlier this week. They said that even though Eli had yet to enter puberty there was no reason to indicate any problems in that area."
"There has to be a reason why the doctor missed Eli being in puberty. Would you have a problem if I had a look at Eli to see for myself?"
"Honestly, no I would have no problem with you having a look at Eli, but it would have to be his choice."
"What would have to be my choice?" A sleepy boy asked as he made his way into the room.
"David and I were just talking about your doctor's appointment you had a few weeks ago. David is worried about the doctor saying you hadn't started puberty yet, which isn't a big deal in and of itself, but with you being a Wizard and showing signs of strong gifts it raises concerns."
"Yeah, they asked me how far into it I was yesterday. I didn't feel like I should be answering questions like that without you there so I didn't answer them."
"Well Eli, what I told your mother right before you walked in was that you had to have at least started puberty to receive your first gift. I told her the doctor must have been mistaken and asked if she had a problem with me taking a look at you to see if I can determine what stage you are at. And that is when you came in and heard her say it would have to be your choice."
"You mean you want to look at me without clothes on, down there?"
"Well, if you can figure a different way to determine what we need that would be great, otherwise, yeah I would need to see you without clothes on."
"I guess it's alright, but only you!"
The two males walked down to the boy's bedroom and closed the door. Shyly the boy dropped his P.J's and briefs while standing in front of this man he had known for less than a day. David got down on his knees and asked Eli to hold his shirt up for him. Once that was done David took a good look at the boy. What he was seeing disturbed him. After a moment or two, David told Eli to get dressed again and they would head back to the kitchen. As Eli did what he was told he asked what David had decided about him being in puberty.
"Eli I am not going to lie to you. I think the doctor was right, you haven't started yet, and this is not possible. I just really do not understand this" Then David's eyes got very large right before he rushed out of the room.
I would like to thank a couple of people for their help getting this story told. First I would like to thank Tracy, my wife, for giving me the encouragement to write. I would also like to thank The Story Lover, for his help Editing this story and giving me some great advice!