Not to be all “Shiro is a Druid who can do magic and is doing magic right in front of us we just don’t realise it” but…
This is what the Black Lion looks like when she phases through solid matter when she’s piloted by Zarkon (which Shiro sees in the BL’s flashbacks in 2x07):
There’s a distinct blur of pinkish light that looks a lot like the Galra/Druid magic that Zarkon gets from Haggar.
Now here’s what the Black Lion looks like phasing through solid matter when Shiro’s in the pilot seat, in the S2 finale:
Little different, right? This time the light is white and sparkly, much more like the Altean magic we see Allura do in the show.
In both these scenes we see Black with her wings out before and after the phasing-through-solid-matter thing happens, so it’s definitely the same process going on. The pinkish light you see when Zarkon does it is similar to the way Black’s cockpit lights up pink when Zarkon tries to take control in the S1 finale:
Compare this to how the cockpit looks when Shiro retrieves and ‘fixes’ the Black Bayard and then docks it with the control panel in the S2 finale:
The light is much whiter and edged with purple (it also looks more of a natural fit to Black’s colour scheme, but I digress)
Now… we don’t know a lot about how quintessence/magic works on the show, but it all seems to be different versions of the same thing. That’s why Sendak can just plug a Galra crystal into the Castle of Lions, turn all the lights pink, and power up the Castle. And it’s why Allura - a sacred, magical Altean who we’ve seen manipulate quintessence/do magic multiple times on the show - can absorb Haggar’s magic. Zarkon even refers to Haggar’s magic as ‘quintessence’ in one of the scenes where she transfers the quintessence to him. So it seems like Altean magic and Dark Druid magic are just two different versions of quintessence (like the Light Side and the Dark Side of the force).
The fact that Zarkon uses Haggar’s pink quintessence to force himself on the Black Lion makes me think he was also using pink quintessence back in the day when he piloted the Black Lion. I don’t know whether Zarkon has a natural affinity for magic or not, but when Haggar transfers quintessence to him he can definitely do something with it.
Which leads me to this: what if the Black Lion’s phasing-power requires magic to work? When we see Zarkon do it in the flashback, the light is pink, because Zarkon is usually infused with pink quintessence and his magic looks pink as a result. But Shiro can manipulate Altean quintessence, and his ‘natural’ magic is the white Altean version, so when he uses his magic to activate Black’s phasing power, the light is white.
And someone’s gonna say “oh but you talked about his arm and how he’s doing magic with it” yeah because Haggar gave him a Galra arm to convert his natural, white quintessence into the corrupted pink Galra version - the same way the Druid in Collection and Extraction turned raw quintessence into the Galra version. That’s what the arm is for - it doesn’t just forcibly activate his magic powers, it also turns his quintessence pink. The result is a sort of hybrid white-pink, Altean-Galra quintessence very similar to what Allura uses against Haggar in the S2 finale.
So yeah. When Shiro activated the Black Lion’s wings and phased through Zarkon - he was doing magic.
↳companion romances | sole survivor x piper wright
“it sounds to me like you’re interested in becoming more than just friends.” “oh! I… I mean, I’d be lying if I said that I never thought about you that way… not that I’m always thinking that way… it’s just, blue, I’m loud and pushy, and constantly getting in over my head. why would someone like you want someone like me?” "you don’t need to be flawless, piper. you’re perfect for me.”
[stuart semple, covered in vivid pink, yellow, and green powder staggers up a seemingly infinite number of steps toward the top of a marble pyramid upon which rests his coveted prize]
[he reaches the top, gasping for air. in the middle of the pedestal at the top of the pyramid there is a gaping black hole, endlessly deep.]
stuart semple, quietly:
what is this
[sir anish kapoor, from the bottom of the pyramid lifts his head and gazes upward at semple's back. his face is also covered in pink, green, and yellow. it is unclear how he heard semple's voice from so far away]
it is what you seek
sir anish kapoor:
semple, turning his head just enough to look at anish over one shoulder:
your reign of tyranny is over, kapoor. youve underestimated me for the last time. i will take the vantablack you so selfishly stole from us and return it to its place in the hands of the people.
sir anish kapoor:
youre a fool, semple. stop this madness now before it's too late. you know not the dangerous powers with which you toy
semple, turning back to face the void:
you cannot deceive me, your ploys won't work
[semple extends his hands, long pale fingers hovering inches from the inky darkness, hesitating]
sir anish kapoor:
[semple's hand shoots forward and collides with the vantablack. instantly the void envelops his arm, then his whole body. semple's screams of agony are swallowed in the crushing silence of vantablack and soon the pyramid and sir anish kapoor are also devoured.]
...where are we?
sir anish kapoor:
we are unstuck from time and space, trapped in a nanotechnological purgatory
[stuart semple's lips have been replaced with photorealistic magazine cutouts of other people's mouths, stop-motion flickering through each syllable, none truly belonging to him]
how,, how could this have happened?
anish, whose entire being has been replaced by a series of clockwork cogs and a single, unblinking eye:
you toyed with dangers beyond your imaging stuart. reality itself has been pulled into the vantablack. soon, the whole world will know the void as we do
semple, sobbing into his hands which have become splotches of warmth on a heat-vision screen, his body dissolving into salt and sand:
i-i didnt know...... how do i stop it?
sir anish kapoor, his gears turning and clicking ever faster:
the same way you stop a galaxy from expanding, a star from collapsing. the same way you stop human avarice and pride, from one man coveting what belongs to another.
please,,, please tell me
[sir anish kapoor's cogs begin to break apart, dividing like so many cells into the vast abyssal plane]
[semple, wrought with grief and desperation reaches out to grasp at the eye, which has begun to shrink and disintegrate at the edges. the eye pulses with one last surge of warmth. is it sympathy? is it love? the eye disappears and reality along with it.]