Just a year, the Magus had said. One year in which to learn rudimentary control of her powers–no catches, and thankfully no marriage proposals.

At least the grounds of his house were pleasant, if she had to spend so much time in them—graceful trellises arched along every pathway with curling vines winding through that flowered in purples and blues, in whites and fiery oranges, creating a blooming ceiling above any who walked beneath. He had more flowers than the city walks along his wanderways, which only bloomed sporadically throughout the spring and summer, but she had a feeling the Magus’s flowers would bloom as big or plentiful as he wanted, whenever he wanted; she could almost taste the magic in the air hanging over his gardens.

She wondered what it would be like inside the house proper if the entrance to his wanderways felt like she could reach out and wind tendrils of magic through her fingers. The thought of tying it into little floating knots brought a momentary smile to her face; beneath the dappled sunlight, warm breeze light over her skin, she found she was looking forward to this agreement. Of course there was the decision she had to make at the end—whether she wanted to marry him or not—but he wasn’t demanding it like all the others, he hadn’t tried to force the decision from her before offering her the chance to study with him.

She knew her magic was sporadic, if powerful. It didn’t always come when she called for it, and it didn’t bend to her will, surprising her more often than not. Had her family’s fortunes not dwindled years before her birth, she would have been taught from a young age how to mold and listen and call her magic to her when she wanted, in whatever form she wanted, but that fate had not been hers to have.

Perhaps, she mused amid the shifting shadows and sunlight that accompanied her passage, fate was in her favor with this opportunity.