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Potions and Problems

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The fairly tiny kingdom of Draelia was once known for its magical advances and thriving trade, but that era has been long over and few magically gifted are left. Many are now skeptic of any who have been blessed with this inhuman ability that once ran the kingdom.

Lukas Bondevik is one of the last in the kingdom born with full magical ability. The only problem is that if you are caught using this forbidden ability, execution will be the result. Such being the case, he and his younger brother Emil live on the rural outskirts of the kingdom; Lukas uses his magic to make and sell small and large tapestries while Emil determines what the design will be. It is often that these two venture to the center of the main city, Draelius and trade their tapestries as well as other items such as Emil’s baby clothes and stray wood carvings. While Lukas sells their items, Emil busies himself with greeting the other children. He gets in trouble quite a bit, but Lukas is okay with it since Emil can not play with others because they live so far away from people.

In their own very tiny corner of the kingdom, everything is old and wearing down. The two old mules who live in a vine-covered shed (which also features a wall with everything needed for summer gardening) pull their cart to the centre of the kingdom every friday. A large and ancient oak that still holds the secrets of the magic era in its’ roots hangs over both the shed and the small, shabby house; it has been repaired many times, but Lukas understands that a complete magical makeover could cause suspicions to rise when castle guards came around every once in awhile to collect taxes. Though, the house keeps Lukas, Emil, and the stray cat named Flacks warm enough in the harsh winter months, it was truthfully not enough. Lukas and Emil shared a small hay-stuffed  bed that sat on an attempt bedframe in a small room opposite from the hearth that Lukas used mostly for spells rather than food. Their attic had piles of neatly stacked tapestries on one side, along with materials and a small table and the other side contained crates of barley, wheat, and other storable grains that would last them the winter.

Today was the day before the old wooden cart would be pulled into town by the old mules. Lukas was preparing breakfast over the hearth with a cast-iron pan while Emil chased the hens in the yard, Flacks darting to catch a moth next to Emil’s hectic chicken chase. Not long after Emil had ceased to chase the chickens, Lukas was calling him in for breakfast. Emil obliged, running in faster than Lukas could finish his sentence. The blond little boy really loved his older brother’s cooking, especially breakfast. As they ate, Emil started conversation;

 

“ Lukas! Are we going to town tomorrow, or the next day? I’d really like to see what the book tent has!”

Lukas smiled with mild amusement. Ever since he had taught Emil to read, he was completely invested in venturing into the worlds of those books. “Of course you can. You have been saving your coins, yes?”

Emil nodded, excusing himself from the table and running down a small strip of hallway. He fumbled around for a few minutes before running back; Lukas watched the eight year old dump his bag of coins onto the table and begin to count them.

“Books are usually...ten Hvids?” Emil asked, hoping he had saved enough.

A nod came from the older of the two.

“Yes, you have more than enough.” Emil cheered, scooping all his money into the pouch.

It may seem odd that a mere child carries a coin pouch with enough to buy the food for a few weeks. The only reason that this is so is due to the generosity of his older brother. Though Lukas could easily say no to sparing change to Emil and say he needed it to pay for food and taxes, he didn’t. Truthfully, Lukas would set aside a good part of their earnings when the tapestries sold and he would give them to Emil. Of course, this was a counter productive practice considering their situation, but it was not as if having enough to move to the city would do any good. It would only bring trouble and less magic using, no fun and no childhood for Emil.

Later in the afternoon, Emil and Lukas were lying beneath the grand oak tree. Lukas was retelling the myth ‘ The War of The Aesir and Vanir’. He used minor magic to make fallen oak leaves into pictures of what happened in the story. Emil was infatuated, making sound effects and moving his eyes with the leaf figures. Lukas never took any part of a story out. Even if it included bloodshed or gore. These myths taught lessons, they told stories, and showed the flaws of humans; it would be senseless to deprive his younger brother of such valuable knowledge.

In the evening, Lukas and Emil spent their time preparing soup and baking bread.

“Big brother!” Emil shouted from the doorway, coming inside after bringing vegetable scraps out to the mules.

“When do we get to eat?” He asked, but Lukas answered the question by placing two hearty bowls of steaming hot soup upon the worn wooden table, along with two pieces of buttered bread. Emil sat down and began blowing on his soup, trying to cool it off.

“I love the day before we go to the market!” the small boy chimed, taking a spoonful of soup. Lukas raised an eyebrow, “Why is that?’”

“I really, really love your cooking and all the fun things we do instead of making tapestries! I like making the wood pretty too...can we sell more of those?”

Lukas chuckled as Emil babbled on,

“We will see about that, but I am glad to be hearing of such joy you feel.” he smiled, clipping the his brother’s hair back, as it was in need of a trim.

Once dinner had been finished, and all dishes were rinsed and left to dry, Lukas clothed Emil and himself into their nightclothes. Emil wiped his face with a wet rag, standing on a stool to wipe Lukas’s mug.

“Why thank you, Emil.” he smiled, lowering the little boy from the chair and onto his side of the bed.

“Now Emil, we must sleep, as we have a big day tomorrow.” Emil grinned, hugging Lukas once he too was under the covers.

“I sure will! Good night big brother!” he whisper yelled, snuggling into his brother’s side.

“Sweet dreams, Emil.” Lukas said sleepily, hugging his younger brother.

“goodnight.”