Warnings: Slight AU
Characters: Edgar Frog, Alan Frog, Sam Emerson
Spoilers: If you haven't seen the movie you're unlikely to be reading this. But still very few if any.
Synopsis: Edgar and Alan are less than pleased when a magic store opens up on the Boardwalk, but who are the newcomers to Santa Carla running the place, and what exactly are they hiding?
Part 1 | Part 2
Kids enjoying their lunch break swarmed around Sam and Alan in groups, talking loudly about their plans for the weekend or what they did the night before. Sam scanned the crowd quickly for Edgar before he turned to Alan and continued their conversation. “So what's the book about?” he asked, curious.
Alan thought for a moment, then answered in a low voice, as thought he through someone might be watching them. “It's a history of magic going right back to the middle ages, there's a bit of information of the theory behind the Practice – that's what they call it – and there are a few spells.” He shrugged, “It's like Magic 101, or the book they'd use if that course existed.”
“That's a course I'd like to take.” Sam grinned, “So did you try any of the spells? Are they as evil as your brother thinks?”
Alan shook his head and looked around for Edgar before he spoke. The last thing he needed was for the older Frog to catch part of the conversation and get the wrong idea. “They all need ingredients I don't have. None of them are what you'd call evil, though. The first one in the book is about changing the color of a flower.”
Sam smirked, “Oooh, scary! Don't tell Edgar, he'll be terrified.”
Alan's expression grew serious, “Don't tell Edgar,” he said, looking around quickly again for any sign of his brother. “He would seriously freak out.”
“So why are you doing it?”
“I'm not doing anything. I just read a book. Like the guy said, you should find out as much about your enemies as possible.”
Sam grunted his acceptance of the answer and reclined back on the grass, placed his hands underneath his head, and closed his eyes, “And this guy, do you think he is our enemy?”
“I don't know.” Alan thought carefully about his phrasing, “I think there's a chance we overreacted. And I think we should find out more before we try to drive him out of town.”
One eye opened and looked at Alan for a moment, “When do we get to try some spells?”
“Come on, you said yourself none of them are evil. Lets do that flower one, that's about the least evil thing I can think of.”
Alan sighed. He was curious too, and he was never going to hear the end of it if he didn't. That, or Sam would visit the magic shop himself and try something stupid. “Fine,” he said, “I'm supposed to be on surveillance duty tonight. We'll buy what we need and try it.”
Alan felt like a spy on some secret mission. His heart was pounding in his chest and he tried to ignore the uncomfortable feeling in his stomach. As he walked toward the magic shop, he resisted the urge to keep his head down and instead made sure he was aware of his surroundings. Sam followed him without a care in the world. Edgar might be unhappy if he saw Sam going into the magic shop, but to see his brother disobeying the rules wold be...bad, to say the least.
He didn't relax until they were both through the heavy wooden door and inside. The bell rang as they entered, but the shop was already occupied by several kids he recognized from school. He made a mental note of who they were to report back to Edgar, and wondered what his brother would say if he added Sam's and his own name to the list.
Behind the desk, a girl with short black hair sat on a stool distractedly filing her nails. As they entered, she looked up briefly, took in their appearance and returned her attention to the obviously more pressing matter of her manicure.
Sam tugged at his shirt to remove any creases and shot a smile in her direction. Alan observed her complete lack of interest with amusement before heading over to the jars of herbs at the back of the store. Next to the jars stood an old set of weighing scales and some small plastic bags. He hesitated, wondering whether he was supposed to serve himself. When the girl continued to file her nails and Sam joined him at the back of the store wearing a disappointed expression, he opened a jar, used the scoop inside to place a small amount of herb into a bag, weighed it, and then repeated the procedure with four other jars.
Sam watched with his hands in his pockets. By the door, the other kids giggled as they picked up various things from the shelves and flicked through books. Alan carried his bags over to the desk and placed them in front of the girl. She finished the nail she was working on and examined it critically before she looked up. Alan watched surprise and then amusement flicker across her face.
She smiled. “How about that. All the goth kids and wannabes we've had in here today and the first ones that seem to know what they're doing are Army Guy and Fashion Victim. Appearances do deceive, apparently.” She looked at Alan carefully. “You're not that kid from the comic store, are you?”
“Yeah.” Alan rummaged in his pocket and pulled out his wallet.
“Awesome. My grandfather told me about you. And your brother the one kid hate campaign. Hey, be careful with the sage, won't you, it's pretty potent.”
Alan grunted in the affirmative and thrust a couple of dollars in her direction.
She took his money and opened the cash register for change. “So, I'm pretty new in town,” she said, “You wouldn't happen to know what a girl can do for fun around here?” She handed him his change, allowing her hand to brush his as she did, she smiled and blinked her eyes a couple of times flirtatiously.
“Not really,” said Alan. “I think they all hang around in the mall in town,” He pocketed his change picked up his purchases and left.
Sam hung back, grinned at her apologetically, then shrugged and followed his friend.
Alan hesitated by the door before he went outside. Same came up behind him and waited for a few seconds. “What are you doing?” he asked eventually.
“You need to go out first. Check Edgar isn't around, then tell me if the coast is clear.”
Sam rolled his eyes, “Pathetic,” he muttered, but did as he was asked. Finding the boardwalk completely devoid of sullen, bandanna wearing vampire hunters, he pushed the door open again behind him, “Come on, you're safe.”
Alan slipped outside and looked around to confirm that Edgar really wasn't there. “Lets go,” he said, “we'll have to do it at your house.”
They picked up their bikes that they had leaned against the shop window and peddled away.
“Okay...” He checked over the ingredients lined up in a row in front of him. They had everything they needed. Alan picked up the large bottle of table salt and began pour it out in the shape of a large circle of the floor of Sam's room.
“Is this part really necessary?”
“It says the circle contains and concentrates the magical energy,” Alan told him.
“Well, you're vacuuming it up.”
Alan finished pouring the salt in an almost perfect circle large enough for them both to sit comfortably inside. “Is the door locked?” he asked.
“It doesn't have a lock. Its closed.”
“Great. Well I'd rather have your brother walk in on us than mine.” He bit his lip and took a deep breath. On the ground in front of him lay the book, a small yellow flower cut from Sam's mom's garden, a small candle and a mixture of the herbs he had bought. “I feel ridiculous,” he said.
Sam smirked, “You look kind of ridiculous too.”
Alan lit the candle. He lay the book open on the ground at the right page. As it began to close itself, Sam reached over and held it open. Alan took a deep breath. Between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, he picked up a small amount of powdered, dried sage. He leaned forward and read the words on the page aloud. They looked like Latin, but he had never been great at languages, for all he knew It could be Italian, or even Spanish. He read them phonetically, speaking slowly and hoping that pronunciation didn't matter too much. As he read, his eyes darted back and forth between the book and the candle.
As he spoke the last word, he sprinkled the herbs onto the flame. Thin, gray smoke drifted upwards. He picked up the flower and held it above the flame allowing the smoke to billow around it.
Sam, sat on the floor watching with fascination, waiting for something to happen. As Alan lifted the flower out of the smoke before the heat of the flame damaged it, the color slowly began to change. It started in the center and spread slowly to the outer parts of the petals, changing them from bright yellow to deep red. Sam's mouth dropped open as he watched.
Alan's face was a picture of serenity, eyes closed, completely calm. He remained like that, kneeling on the floor for several seconds before he opened his eyes, blinked twice, the looked at the flower in his hand. “Wow,” he said.
“I think that might be the coolest thing I've ever seen,” Sam told him.
Alan smiled, then frowned. “It felt strange,” he said.
He frowned as he tried to think of a good way to describe it. “The book says this kind of magic is all about making connections between yourself and other things and manipulating the connections, but the connection was really intense. I know it sounds weird, but I could almost feel the petals changing. I willed them to do it and they did.”
Sam reached out and took the flower from Alan to examine it. “That does sound weird,” he said. “What if you were doing magic on a person, do you think the connection goes both ways?”
“I don't know. It might mention it later in the book, but I don't think we should try it.” He got to his feet and stretched his legs, “Your turn?”
“Definitely.” said Sam.
He sat down on the floor and attempted to duplicate Alan's actions. Nothing happened.
Three attempts proved completely fruitless, Sam was unable to recreate the spell. Alan tried again and turned the flower sky blue. Sam almost growled as he dropped his flower into the flame of the candle. “Why isn't it working?”
“Well, you've managed to turn it black now,” Alan said as he picked up the charred flower and dropped it into the wastepaper bin.
“I don't get it. I did exactly the same thing as you. Why can't I do it?”
Alan shrugged, “I don't know. Maybe we should ask someone in the magic store. I'm going back tomorrow to get the things I need for the next spell.”
“You're trying another one?” Sam smiled.
“I don't see the harm.”
“Maybe this guy'll have a book for me too.”
“I don't think it's the book,” Alan told him, “it must be something you're doing.”