He drug the tip of the knife across my palm, making a small cut through the center.
I winced, but didn’t pull away.
He lifted the knife, wiping the blood off on his pants, and slid it back into his pocket. Artemis and I both stared at my palm.
“So what now?” I asked nervously. “Nothing is happening.”
“I think you have to will it to happen.”
“Oh, like I’m not,” I said scathingly.
He rolled his eyes at my tone. “Trying commanding it.”
He rolled his eyes again. “The magic, Power. Your magic.”
I stared at my palm again, uncertain. Then I had a thought. “Um, heal?”
It was more a question than a command, but it still worked.
Everyone watched as blue sparks flew out of the cut, surrounding the cut in blue light. I stared at it in utter disbelief, while Artemis smiled triumphantly. Butler’s face remained hard set, but his hard swallow didn’t escape my notice.
Artemis’s gaze flickered up to my face. “You really didn’t know, did you?”
I shook my head. I couldn’t speak. I was still in shock.
“Well, it’s too bad you had to find out this way. Maybe I’ll see what I can do about finding some answers why.” He paused, standing up, and looked at Butler. “Drain her, then meet me upstairs.”
I jumped. “W-what?” I stuttered. “Drain me? What’s that supposed to mean?”
Artemis, who was already heading towards the door, ignored me. I looked at Butler. He too was watching the boy.
Then he felt my gaze on him and turned to me. “Give me your hand.”
“Why?” I asked, but nevertheless put my hand out.
He took it, this time making a fist of all my fingers except for one. “I’m going to drain you of your magic. Don’t worry, it will be relatively easy. I’m just going to stick your finger a few times until your magic stops healing it. Then will be able to tell that you’re completely drained.”
I swallowed hard. “Okay,” I murmured. “But don’t I have to tell it to work?”
He shook his head. “No. I think that since you used it once, your magic should no longer be dormant and should automatically heal you now.” He took up the knife again, this time touching the tip of it to my finger. “Ready?”
I nodded, and the tip pressed down, cutting into my finger. A sliver of blood escaped before the blue sparks appeared again, healing it.
We repeated this process several times before, finally, the sparks didn’t come back. The man sighed. “I think that’s it. Your completely drained.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay. So we’re done?”
He nodded, the reached in his back pocket and pulled something out. He handed it to me. I studied it for a moment before realizing what it was. A band aid.
I handed it back to him.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll live without it.”
He shrugged and stood up. “Then I’d better go. Artemis is waiting for me.”
I nodded and watched him walk to the door, but stopped him with his hand on the handle. “Wait! Can… can I ask you something?”
He nodded. “But be quick about it.”
“Do you exactly why I’m here? What…” I hesitated, but kept going, “What Artemis wants with me?”
He hesitated. “I’m not sure now would be the best time to tell you that,” he said, his tone gentle. “But I can assure you, whether you choose to believe me or not, Artemis really isn’t a bad kid. I know this really has nothing to do with the question you asked,” he said, holding up a hand at me when I opened my mouth, “But I thought it might help you relax a little. If I know Artemis… Well, he won’t harm you directly, and probably not on purpose either, but it could happen. As for your question, I do know what he’s aiming at from this, but as I said, I don’t think now is the best time to answer that question. Okay?”
“Okay… But what are you saying about Artemis?”
He shook his head, eyes sparkling mischievously. “Just think about it, okay?” Then he slipped out the door as quickly as he had entered it.
I sighed and shook my head. What was with these people? And what was he trying to tell me? Not to be afraid of Artemis? Or to be afraid of someone else? I didn’t know, and I decided not to think about it. I laid down and curled up in a ball, deciding a nap was in order. Hopefully, that would help clear up the muddled mess that was my mind. Squeezing my eyes closed tight, I tried to fall asleep.
Eventually, I did, but one last thought passed through my head before I drifted off.
Genius it is.