It seems my instincts about magic are on the right track. I found a passage quoted in one book to the effect that magic is the art of causing change through the application of will. I was quite pleased with this as it was more or less what I had told Wren only the other day.
As it happened, shortly after I read that passage, Wren turned up. She had been practising her archery, but Vuk had sent her away, as she had been practising too much. I said that it was true that you could practice too hard. Sometimes, you needed to stop and do other things, forget it for a while and then come back to it.
As she often does, she asked what I was reading, so I told her what I had just read about magic being the application of will. She wanted to know if I was reading this stuff so I could help Hadley. I said that was true, but also to help her, and to help me because I have often found that teaching is a good way for me to learn.
I told her that I was setting up an area for magical practice, where Hadley could move a few rocks around. Wren thought that throwing rocks was something people did when the got mad and wondered how that would help. I told her that the idea was to practice a form of magic – moving things – in an area where it wouldn’t matter if it got moved too fast. The idea was to learn to exercise control. I added that the amount of energy required to move a large rock might be enough that she could use it as an exercise to shed any excess energy if it built up again. I picked moving things because it was one of the first things I learned from Paasheeluu.
I demonstrated by putting one of my books down and magically shoving it to the other side of the room. That was possibly foolish, as I hadn’t tried that sort of magic in a while, but, to my immense relief, it worked. Wren wondered if the book had told me how to do that. I said no, it was Paasheeluu the unicorn, who she might better remember as Mitternacht, who had taught me that. She did remember Mitternacht and her using her horn to move things around. I told her the book was more on the philosophy and theory of magic. She thought that sounded boring, so we talked about some of the other things Mitternacht had taught me, which whiled away the time pleasantly until it was time for dinner.