For this chapter, Seren takes a backseat so Symphony’s past can be explored. Normal service will resume next chapter, but sometimes a flashback can be a great tool for developing characters. That is, as long as they aren’t overdone…
Ah, weekends have become the best days for anime for me. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic and Show By Rock!! are my top three picks of this season (despite the fact we’re only in its second week), so that’s hardly a surprise.
In other news, I have bought a ticket for May’s London MCM Comic Con. That’s an event I always love attending, and I’ll post more about that closer to the time.
Huh, didn’t really have that much to say this time… anyway, time for chapter ten of this magical girl tale. Enjoy.
Chapter Ten: Fifteen Years Ago…
During Symphony’s childhood, she lived a relatively peaceful life together with her sister Sonata. Sonata was particularly gifted at magic, and Symphony wanted to grow up to be just like her. This led to Symphony dedicating much of her life to reading up about magic, almost never leaving the local library.
Eventually, the knowledge contained within the library wasn’t enough for Symphony, and she began to thirst for more. When she heard that Sonata was meeting with the famous Dr. Tenebra to prepare for her time as a familiar for a magical girl, Symphony immediately decided to seize the opportunity to learn more about magic.
Even back then, Dr. Tenebra still had the same appearance. His thin frame towered over almost everyone else, and his eyes were never visible through the shiny lenses of his glasses.
‘Doctor! Doctor, can you teach me magic, please?’ Symphony asked.
‘Hmm? Ah, you must be Symphony, right?’ Dr. Tenebra asked.
‘Yeah! When I grow up, I want to be able to use magic just as well as Sonata!’
‘Why do you want to use magic?’
‘That’s because- ah… er…’
‘Listen to me, Symphony. If you truly wish to use magic, it must be for a very good reason. I can’t go around teaching everyone magic just because they want to learn it.’
‘No “buts”! Symphony, if you can come up with a valid reason for learning magic, I will teach it to you.’
‘I want to learn it now! I want to be just like Sonata!’
‘Why don’t you ask Sonata her reason for learning magic? Maybe she’ll help you to realise something important.’
Symphony hesitated for a moment. ‘…fine, then. I’ll ask her, and then you’ll teach me magic!’ With those words, Symphony rushed off.
‘Hmm… interesting…’ Dr. Tenebra muttered.
Symphony searched high and low for her sister, not able to find her for a long while. Eventually, she grew weary of searching and was on the verge of tears when she heard a familiar voice.
‘Little sis, what are you doing running around everywhere?’ the voice asked.
‘Sonata? Big sis, is that you?!’ Symphony called out.
‘Don’t you recognise your own sister?’
‘What? I don’t see you anywhere!’
‘I’m right here, silly! Look down.’
‘Huh?’ Symphony did as she was told, and saw that a black and white cat was sitting at her feet looking up at her.
‘Dr. Tenebra taught me how to transform. Apparently this is the best form to take when partnering up with a magical girl on Earth.’
‘That’s so cool! I want to do that as well!’
Sonata returned to her human form. She was taller than Symphony, though they both possessed the same jet-black hair and pale complexion. Sonata’s hair was more wavy and longer, but it was clear that the pair were sisters. She was wearing a t-shirt and skirt, both black. ‘The first few times I done that, my clothes didn’t transform… I worked hard to make sure that doesn’t happen, though…’
‘Big sis, you’re amazing! I definitely want to be like you!’
‘Aw, come on… Symphony, it’s okay to have your own ambitions, you know?’
‘Hey, Sonata. Why did you learn to use magic?’
‘My reason why? Well, that’s easy… can you guess?’
‘Because it’s awesome?!’
‘Well, there’s that, but it’s something else. You see, I have this really cute little sister. She’s my only family, so I want the power to protect her. She really looks up to me, and I would never want to let her down. You see, I really love my little sister.’
‘So you use magic… to protect the ones you love! Hey, I’m your little sister!’
‘I love you too, big sis!’ Symphony hugged Sonata, though she didn’t embrace her for too long. ‘I’ve got to go and tell him my reason now!’ Symphony ran off once again, leaving Sonata alone and slightly confused.
‘To protect your loved ones, eh? That’s really admirable,’ Dr. Tenebra said, after Symphony had informed him of her reason. ‘You’re just copying Sonata, though, aren’t you?’
‘My sister wants to protect me, so I want to protect my sister in return! It’s the truth!’
‘…all right, then. Your seem to have your conviction, so I will teach you magic.’
‘Yay! I want to transform into a cat, meow!’
‘Slow down, Symphony. These things take time to learn. You can’t just go using spells like that straight away, you need to gradually build up to them.’
‘I want to transform now!’
‘Symphony, if you truly want to learn magic, you’ll have to do it properly. Keep behaving like this, and I just won’t teach you magic at all.’
‘I’m sorry! Please, teach me magic!’
‘I will, just as long as you are patient with it.’
What followed after that was several weeks were Symphony would be tutored by Dr. Tenebra in his spare time. Despite her best efforts, she made very little progress in the study of magic. This frustrated Symphony to no end, resulting in her looking for other ways to master the art.
During a casual conversation with Dr. Tenebra, Symphony learned that he had gathered a vast collection of tomes that contained all kinds of spells. She directly asked him if she could see them, but the doctor refused. He told her that there were many dangerous books within that collection that not even he dare to open.
However, Symphony’s curiosity naturally became too great for her. She managed to locate Dr. Tenebra’s collection of tomes. There were several bookcases, filled with books of all sizes and colours. It was quite overwhelming for the young Symphony at first. However, she quickly realised that she wouldn’t have time to dilly-dally, so she just grabbed the books that seemed most interesting and made a break for it.
From that point forward, Symphony began to show a remarkable improvement in her magic power. When Dr. Tenebra questioned her about her sudden improvement, Symphony merely said that her teacher’s efforts were finally paying off.
A couple of days before Sonata was due to leave for Earth, she was playing together with Symphony. Sonata was playfully chasing Symphony around, when she tripped. Sonata made quite an impact against the ground, but she just got up and brushed herself down.
‘Sonata! Your knee! You’re hurt!’ Symphony cried.
‘Huh? Oh, yeah… don’t worry, little sis, I’ll be fine,’ Sonata assured her.
‘Hey, I’ve got an idea.’
‘Oh? Do you want to play another game?’
‘No, not that! Can we go somewhere private?’
‘What’s wrong with here?’
‘Please, big sis! I want to make you feel better.’
‘But I feel fine…’
‘You’ve hurt yourself! I want to show you that I can help you.’
‘I don’t know what you’re getting at… but, I can hardly refuse my cute little sister, can I?’
‘Yay! Thanks, big sis!’
In the privacy of their own home, Symphony instructed Sonata to sit back and place her injured leg up. It was only a mere graze on her knee, but Sonata indulged her younger sibling all the same.
‘Wait there, I need to get something first,’ Symphony said. She disappeared for a few seconds.
‘I won’t move,’ Sonata complied.
‘Here!’ When Symphony came back, she was carrying a rather large, leather-bound tome.
‘I, er… “borrowed” it from the doctor. He said it would help me to get better at magic.’
‘Why did you hesitate?’
‘I didn’t hesitate! Now, be quiet!’
‘Sorry! Now, be quiet, please. Just stay still, you’ll feel better in a few moments.’ Symphony opened the book she was carrying, and placed it down at her side. After glancing at it a couple of times, she held her hands over Sonata’s knee.
‘The doctor hasn’t even taught me healing magic yet. It’s too advanced-‘
‘Shh!’ Symphony took a breath. ‘I’m doing it now.’
A warm light emanated from Symphony’s hands. The graze on Sonata’s knee began to heal. As it did so, the warmth that Sonata could feel steadily increased.
‘Not now! I need to concentrate!
‘No, it’s hot! Symphony, stop- argh!’ The burning sensation that Sonata could feel started to overwhelm her. She cried in agony, causing Symphony to panic.
‘I… can do… this!’ Symphony insisted, failing to reassure herself.
The graze on Sonata’s knee suddenly extended down the entire length of her leg, spurting blood everywhere. The light that was emanating from Symphony’s hands became brighter, whilst Symphony herself fell unconscious.
Symphony awoke some time later. It took her a few moments to recover from her disorientation. When she did, she saw that the room she was in was covered in a red substance. There was no sign of Sonata anywhere. As her senses slowly returned, Symphony realised just what the red substance was – blood.
Symphony went into shock, with her body starting to move of its own accord. It took her all the way to the spaceship camouflaged as meteorite. She effortlessly used transformation magic to take on her cat form and boarded the ship. It was Sonata’s ship, but it recognised Symphony due to her genetic makeup.
Dr. Tenebra had realised that Symphony had stolen tomes from him, but he acted upon it far too late. By the time he got over to the Carbo household, he discovered the blood-covered scene. For Symphony’s safety rather than out of malice, the doctor informed the authorities.
During her voyage through space, Symphony fell into a coma. The spaceship’s life support systems kept her alive, all the way until she finally arrived on Earth. That was when she met Seren.