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Persuasion of the Head

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Charles awoke to someone shaking him. He really did try to ignore it but then a weight settled on top of him and he was forced to open his eyes to the being laying over him.

“Charles,” whispered the lump weighing him down. “Wake up, wake up, wake up!”

“Raven, go back to sleep,” he whined, not that it would do anything. Predictably he was rewarded with another sharp shove. “Ugh, what time is it?” he groaned, already regretting humoring her with any dialogue at all.

“Time to play, that’s what!” And with that, Raven tugged him completely out of bed.


Against his wishes, Charles found himself down the stairs in the library where he and Raven would play. The house was quite large, however it was not meant for the enjoyment of children. The only means of entertainment were books or a dusty old chess set. As those were less likely to hold a child’s attention, Charles and Raven more often turned towards each other for amusement instead. As it happened, Charles was gifted with a rather extraordinary imagination.

It turned out, Raven had no idea what time it was, but judging by the still dark windows, it had to be some ungodly hour in the morning. “Do your magic! Do your magic!” Raven cried in the dark great room.

“Why don’t you do your own? And anyways, I don’t think it’s actually magic,” Charles added that last part as an afterthought. Their abilities always seemed more substantial than the things of fantasy. His protest was half-hearted at best, however, because he couldn’t ever deny Raven anything. She could ask for all the stars and he reckoned he’d find a way to bring them to her. He didn't know how to do that yet though so he would settle for the next best thing.

Charles ,” she sang again indignantly. And that was all he needed to push him.

He drew up all of his concentration and put his finger to his temple and all of the sudden tiny lights burst around the room. Or rather, he imagined stars around the room and then shared it with Raven. It had been two years since he discovered he could hear other people’s thoughts, and later discovered he could send his own thoughts. Soon he could send images, even interactive ones. Now they stood surrounded by little burning orbs and stardust, just as Charles had seen as a drawing as one of the many massive books his father owned. Any misgivings about being awake at this hour were erased as he took in Raven’s expression of wonder as she waved her hand through a cluster and Charles allowed it to disperse around her fingers. Charles flopped down onto the rug and tugged Raven down beside him until they were laying hand in hand gazing at the illusion.

“That’s Cassiopeia,” Charles pointed with his free hand at constellation illuminated against the ornate ceiling. “And there’s Ursa Major,” he continued making it so the stars grew brighter as he traced it out with his finger. “And that there is Ursa Minor.”

“Why is that one minor?” Raven wondered with a slight frown.

“Well I suppose it’s smaller,” reasoned Charles.

“That shouldn't make it Minor! Look at you,” she poked him, “you're small and you definitely aren’t minor.”

“Hey!” He protested despite the affection the first part of her sentence sparked in him. “I happen to be taller than you!”

“Yeah but I’m only 6. You're 10 years old and still the smallest boy I know.”

“Oh yeah? And how many boys do you know, anyways?”

“Well there’s…” she trailed off falling short, before coming back with, “There’s Erik! Erik is much taller than you!”

“Yes, well Erik is older,” Charles protested.

“Ha! Yeah, by a year! That’s not very much,” Raven laughed.

Charles, having enough with this banter about his unfortunate lack in height, pulled himself to his feet and offered his hand to Raven instead of gracing her with a response. “Up, up,” he said as he pulled her up with a hop. He allowed the stars to fall around them like a shower as he twirled Raven around, eliciting an astonished burst of laughter as she spun around the star speckled room. Everything was beautiful and bright in the world so long as they had each other.