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“Being ordinary is a blessing in itself,” is probably something Ren Demetrius Hartmond has said one time to one of his friends.

 

But, the literal meaning of it he holds dear in the consistency of his life; keeping it close in exchange for the ambition he never tasted his whole life. It's not because he craves to be ordinary himself, but the prospect of falling more into extraordinary than he already is would invite more trouble than benefit and Ren hates dealing with troublesome things which speaks volume to his personality.

 

It all started when he was just a child.

 

Ren didn't talk much for a little boy his age. Well, to be fair even until present time, the percentage of him choosing to be silent around people is bigger than talking because dealing with someone requires more energy than playing mobile game. He remembers watching the kids in primary school playing soccer and do other mundane things. He did wonder back then, how satisfied the other kids were with the normality of their lives whilst his weirdo of a sister couldn't be contented until she found the anomaly that paints colors to stories—the object of her obsession.

 

Ren himself hasn't exactly been normal; his life gravitates toward the odds life could offer. And thanks to his mother’s—Clarity Olivia Hartmond’s lineage, which has all of the family members as masters of mystic arts, Ren’s line of fate rejects normalcy as if it's as gross as moldy cheese. His power manifested first as a vision of his future in the shape of a dream; the adult version of himself standing in the mist with a raven perched on his shoulder. It ended with him jolting up into sitting position with a lost look on his face, and the first thing he thought and said was, “I'm hungry.”

 

And it was followed soon with a whining growl from his belly; the dream was shoved aside by the image of meats raiding his brain.

 

The second manifestation of his power was when he read his mother’s books about norse mythology and magic. He was particularly interested in learning about seidr , which is a form of magic practiced in the Viking Age. So he tried it in his spare time and managed to reach his own seidr , motioning the black smoke that slithered down his arm to go up mid-air as soon as it reached his palm and reshaping it into a raven just because he thought it was cool.

 

… Long story short, Ren is now a seidrmadr , which is how a seidr male practitioner is called. And to make it shorter because he thought narrating his own life is troublesome, Ren chooses to balance the odds in his life with doing mundane things in the hope of not inviting more troublesome things. Unlike his sister, Lisa, who is taking up two jobs at once—being necromancer and informant—and preferring to drown herself in the madness she called ideas, such as ordering wandering spirits to gather information.

 

He managed to avoid major troubles up until his early years as a college student; a talent he is proud of, to be honest. Currently he's a sophomore in his university, and was almost late for his morning class after binge-watching Devilman: Crybaby; laughing at how the protagonist is so easy at being manipulated by his satan of a friend.

 

There are glaring eye bags on his face—a result from the night before—that resembles Lisa. Almond-shaped eyes with the color of scarlet framed by long lashes, turned-up nose, and thin lips adorn his oval face, along with black hair that curves on each end of the strands so it looks fluffy and soft to the touch; except his feature is infinitesimally more masculine and has more soft edges to it. After class ended, he goes to cafeteria and takes a seat at the table in the corner. His other friends—the ones he made just for the sake of having semblance of normalcy are still in their classes, and thus he just sits there whilst playing mobile game called Hogwarts Mystery.

 

Somehow, fate chooses that exact time to send someone to bother him. It's either because his intuition is dulled with his lack of sleep or it's the effect upon seeing the sour on Snape’s face as soon as his avatar takes potion class, he's not sure but it's all too late when he hears the chair in front of him being pulled out so that someone can sit on it. Oh, Norns. Ren feels the stare of someone’s eyes directed at him, but completing potion class he deems more important.

 

There is a cut of a cough, intended for announcing their arrival and directing Ren’s attention toward them. “Your name is Ren?” Husky voice greets him in a not-so-polite manner, giving away that person is actually a man.

 

Ren hums to answer, not really paying attention and instead is busy clicking on the objects that are brightened by blue light on their edges to gain the stars in order to pass the class. His avatar is a girl in that game, named Clarity—the same as his mother’s. He gave her blonde hair and yellow eyes since there is no red in the eye option.

 

“Uhh, listen. We need to talk somewhere else.” The man continues his speech; awkward tone cancels out his effort to be all intimidating.

 

Ren successfully has his first star; the instruction pops up immediately and tells him to trace the pattern in the screen to stir the cauldron properly. He does as asked. Then, he proceeds to click on more objects to gain the second star; the bar of energy at the top right of the screen decreases every time he did that.

 

“... So, you know this girl.” The man knocks his fingers on the table impatiently. Meanwhile, Ren’s focus is still on the set of jars, weird vase, and his—Clarity’s Slytherin arch nemesis named Merula Snyde whose face is asking to be punched.

 

He gets the second star eventually though, and Snape’s scowl flashes on screen. The forever sour professor asks his avatar a question in order to test if Clarity has been paying attention.

 

“What is the best method to get the extract of sopophorous bean?”

 

First option, tickle it

 

Second, crush it

 

Third, cut it

 

Ren, however, has memorized the answer. It's as easy as doing basic math. His finger hovers over the second option when, in the range of 1 to 10 of all the bad jokes the Norns had offered him this worths a 9, the man slams his hand on the table as his patience ran out.

 

Odin’s beard…

 

Ren ends up clicking the first which is to tickle it. His avatar, Clarity, earns a disapproving look from Snape which equals to getting hexed metaphorically.

 

I'm sorry, Mom.

 

He decides to acknowledge his uninvited guest; tries to drill his soul with a glare. It's failed, though, since his expression always appears flat to most people. Only his family can differentiate the variety of his facial expressions so far. “What. Is. It?”

 

The man, Kane Fenrison apparently, is a student with a wide range of rumors that don't interest him at all. Kane is, automatically, the type of person he avoids the most for the tendency to bring troubles.

 

On a closer look, Kane has a deep set of eyes and flat, square forehead. His cheekbones are also wider than his jawline. Kane reminds Ren of a playful wolf, but his sapphire blue eyes display kindness it contradicts his image.

 

Then, comes the “It's Alice*.”

 

Ren decides Kane really is the blue to the balls.





*: Lisa’s alias as an informant

A/N: Lisa will have separate work dedicated to her so she won't be elaborated in detail here.