"So this is the philosophy department. What do you think? I should introduce you to Dr. Wells. You'll get a kick out of him." Idan grabbed Cori's hand as he pulled her along the corridors of Himbleton's wizardology school's philosophy department. People meandered about in black capes, whispering quiet thoughts, books laid around half open, their pages turning themselves occasionally as if by an invisible force. "Wait..." Cori stopped cold. Idan's eyes slimmed as Cori looked at one of the books warily. "Why do wizards study philosophy? That doesn't have anything to do with wizardry." Idan cracked a grin. "It has everything to do with wizardry and more. Understanding the purpose in life and being able to defend others from the dangers of becoming lost in a desolate, dark, unexplored existence is what our job is all about. If we don't understand that at a fundamental level, all is lost." Idan recited the lines as if they were a school mission statement. Cori still looked concerned. "But what if you like philosophy and you're not a wizard?" Idan shrugged. "What do you mean? What's the problem?"
Cori laid it out for him clearly. "Suppose I came to the philosophy department and started learning about philosophy in depth. Really learning and understanding it, spending lots of time on it. Would all the time in this building and around these wizards somehow turn me into one of them? The wand waving type, you know?" Cori waved her hands mystically in the air in a mocking way.
Idan didn't know the answer. He'd always been raised a wizard, he'd had the skills to conjure the 5th dimension since before he could remember. He didn't know how one acquired the skills, if that was even possible, or if they were something inherent to people. He didn't know if it could be trained into someone. He was struck with irritation that he couldn't answer what seemed like such a simple and common question. He decided to find out. "I've never heard of someone becoming a wizard through philosophy. But I can't rule it out as a possibility."
Cori's eyes dropped. "That makes me nervous. I'm not ready to deal with that responsibility. It seems like a lot of work to manage." That was true. Magic had its drawbacks. It was exhausting to use, it was hard to control, it occasionally caused migraines or escaped out of the user unintentionally, causing more bad than good. No wonder Idan was always in a bad mood; managing his magical tendencies was like handling a perpetually cranky baby with the strength of a dragon.
But Idan reassured Cori. "I bet if you spoke with a professor here he would know more than I do about this. Dr. Wells is around here somewhere." Idan patted Cori on the back and motioned down the hallway as he checked his watch. "Great gargoyles, I've got to go! I'm supposed to be lecturing on basic conjuring techniques in ten minutes at Himbleton Hall!" He kissed his girlfriend on the cheek. "Good luck here. I'm sure you'll be the best in no time."
Cori's eyes narrowed as she said nothing. She looked like she was judging him, like she was somehow dissatisfied. Idan moved his eyebrows together pleadingly as if to say, do I have to? Fine. He went in for the big one. The kiss on the lips. He was always nervous when he was intimate with Cori. It was a rumbling sensation inside him. Maybe it was just the magic in him rejecting a completely human form. Maybe it was the fact that he felt he wasn't good enough for Cori. He felt horrible all over. He was still holding onto her as these thoughts raced through his mind. Cori pulled away and shook her head. "You poor thing. You mother taught you nothing about love." Sure she did- she told him to stay away from it. He had ignored that warning. "You just don't kiss a lady like that. And you don't think horrible things when you do it." What? Cori reads minds? Usually that's reserved to mage types...
"I uh, I'm sorry - I mean I was trying to be nice. I don't know what you want from me in these situations!" Idan wrung his hands. "I really have to go!"
Cori half smiled as she shooed him away. "Go. Go do your lecture. We'll keep working on this," she motioned between them, "But your business is higher priority."
Idan wasn't sure what it was about Cori that made him so uncomfortable. There was something in her attitude that would normally be interpreted as meanness, but to him it felt like flirting. She was flirting with him right? Is that what girlfriends do? There was nothing he could do with magic to understand her. It was as if she were shrouded in a thick mist, and the only information he had to work with were the pieces he collected from his human faculties. It was like living in a futuristic city for one's entire life then being left in complete wilderness with nothing but a frying pan and a knife to survive. He had to trust that she would help him understand. And if worse came to worse, they could part ways. But he didn'tlike that idea. Something told him deep down that he'd run into Cori for a good reason- he'd sensed from her personality that she was unlike anything he'd ever encountered before- and if he was going to understand the purpose in life, he would have to understand Cori first. If he didn't understand her and everything else at that fundamental level, all would be lost for him.