"Aren't you worried about tryouts tomorrow?" Albel asked, turning wide eyes to his sister.
"Why should I be? I'm awesome at magic. And so are you, so I don't know what you're worried about," Lux said, looking at her brother curiously.
"I'm only good at it when we do it together. In front of others, I get nervous," Albel said, twisting his fingers as he looked at the ground.
"Aw come on Al, you'll be fine. Just pretend I'm the only one there! Or picture everyone in their underwear," Lux said simply, patting Albel on the shoulder.
"Eww, why would I do that?" Albel said, grimacing.
"I dunno, that's what Dad said," Lux explained. They both laughed as they reached the end of the street, about to turn the corner.
In front of them was the familiar sight of a giant oak tree, that rested in front of a shabby house. Lux said that house gave her the creeps, but Albel rather liked the antique look of it.
Just as he was appreciating the fully bloomed rose bushes on either side of the stairs, something large fell out of the tree and landed with a yelp.
Albel gasped and Lux shrieked, stopping in her tracks.
"What was that?!" she demanded, starting to glow as she prepared to cast magic.
"I think - I think it's the boy who lives there!" Albel said, as he noted the gray shirt and jeans the boy was wearing. He raced across the street to him, dropping his school bag.
He kneelled next to the boy, who still hadn't moved. "Hey! Are you okay? I can heal you if you're hurt."
Albel activated his own magic, ready, but the boy rose up slowly on his knees then, laughing lightly. His tan face was completely unharmed, even though he had landed right on it.
Albel was also immediately drawn to his eyes, which were a deep shade of brown.
"Thanks, but I'm fine. Wasn't watching where I put my foot. I was trying to get down," he said cheerfully.
"You're a Nihil!" Lux exclaimed as she joined them, pointing at him.
"Yeah, so? You're not very polite," the boy retorted, glaring at her. Albel snickered despite himself and the color rose in Lux's face.
"I didn't mean it in a bad way, I just, I've never met one before," Lux said quickly.
"I've never seen twins before, but I'm not sitting here pointing at you two, am I?" the boy said. Despite his tone, he was smiling.
"Sorry," Lux said sheepishly, lowering her arm.
"It's okay. I'm Damon," he said, standing up and brushing off his knees. "What's your names?"
"I'm Albel and she's Lux," Albel replied, standing up too. "You sure you're okay?"
"Positive. Nice to meet you, Albel," Damon said, smiling at him, his eyes sparkling. Albel smiled back, feeling a sudden warmth in his chest that had nothing to do with magic.