Sep. 6th, 2010

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Dear Diary,

You will remember of course (although I can't find the reference just now, it must be in an older volume), that I said I was taking a correspondance course last year, in magic. Well, what do you think, this morning I received a message telling me that there was a package for me at the post office. It seems I passed successfully and now have my full certification. The package contained a certificate and a box of materials for summoning my guide. I shall be certain to tell you what happens when I do so but I feel that it is something that needs to be thought about Quite A Lot before embarkation.

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Dear Diary,

Well. That did not go exactly as I had envisioned. I performed the spell just as instructed with all the proper ingredients (I am glad that they all came with the certification, I would never know where to go about buying the sap from an Ash tree or the blood of an Atlas Moth, I don't imagine that such things can be purchaced in one's local apothecary!) and it seemed to be going quite well.

As I mentioned earlier, I gave Some Thought to the process before begining, trying to envision what a Guide of this kind might look like. Eventually my mind settled on the image of a great wise owl, the sort of bird who might have sat on the shoulder of Athena and shared wisdom with her. Grey feathers and, large, unblinking yellow eyes, talons that would look wicked enough to scare away any mystical threat but would never come close to drawing blood when it settled to perch on my arm (of course it would be light enough to perch on my arm without requiring any sort of exertion on my part - it is a bird afterall and they weigh practically nothing).

Well. When I made the last gesture and spoke the last word I thought something must have gone terribly wrong. There had been a delicate cloud of blue mist forming which I been warned about. I thought I could hear some faint tinkling in the background as well, the instructions did say that I might be opened to the Music of the Spheres, so that was alright. But then there was an almighty crash and a thud and the smoke became terribly thick. It was almost like being in London in the early morning when all the factories are getting going and belching out smoke, except that someone had dyed everything a vivid cobalt blue. It made me cough in a most unlady like fashion.

There seemed to be someone else coughing as well. At first I was in a complete terror in case mother had come up to see what I was doing, then I realised that I was being foolish and it would only be old Meggie if it was anyone. I must have been in quite a fluster because it took me a full half minute to realise that I was standing with my back to the door and that I would know if anyone had come in. Anyway, by that time the mist had cleared enough that I could see a little creature in the midst of it all. It looked almost like a man, or at least, something out of one of Mr Andersen's tales of little people. When it saw me it jumped and said something which I am quite sure cannot have been in English; there was a pop and a whooshing noise and suddenly this little man was replaced by an owl.

Oh Diary, it wasn't the great, noble and diginfied beast I had imagined, it was no taller than the length of my forearm and it was quite, quite blue! Yes, Blue. The same colour as all that dratted mist to be precise (mother says that a young lady should always try to be precise about the important things). I Do Not mind telling you, I thought I was going to have to go and find my thesaurus so that I did not start using words that Young Ladies Should Not Use.

I tried to be stoic about the entire situation (Father says that Stoicism is a trait Sadly Lacking in the Youth of today) but when the silly little creature just sat there blinking at me and being blue, well, it was almost more than I could bear.

I must go now Diary, perhaps if I read the instructions again I can find out what I did wrong. It is my fervent hope that I will have enough ingredients to try again. Oh dear, that pathetic little owl is watching me. I wonder why it stopped being a little man. I shall ask it and see if I can tell you more. Perhaps the ingredients were faulty, if that is so I shall write Very Strongly to the suppliers (I never quite understood how one could write strongly, do you have to press very hard with the pen and does this not damage the nib?).



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