flash did not fire

Ficlet: Magic Lessons in the Modern Age

“So, how go the magic lessons?”

Stephen Strange gave him a look that could’ve flash frozen fire. Steve did his best to keep a straight face. “Not well, I take it?”

Strange rubbed his forehead with tense fingers. “It is not going,” he said, with a faint sigh. “At all.”

“You knew that was a possibility,” Steve said. He glanced down the stairs to the library floor, where DJ was sitting cross-legged, a massive book spread open in front of him. One of his hands traced strange, arcane patterns in the air, and as Steve watched, the pages of the book flared with light.

Strange glanced over. “It’s rather worse than my worst case scenario,” he said, as the book suddenly belched out a puff of black smoke. DJ’s head snapped back, his nose wrinkling, and Steve bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from grinning.

“He seems to be trying-”

“Oh, he’s trying. Trying my patience,” Strange said. “Let me be clear here. He is quite literally a being formed of magic, his base form is magical, he is intelligent, he is clever, he is a trained artist and a semi-trained dancer. All of the usual barriers to a practitioner are non-existent, Steve.”

He paused. “Despite that, he is incapable of magicking his way out of a wet paper bag. I’m actually shocked by the level of his ineptitude.”

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