Lisa set her bag down on the dining room table inside, wincing as she heard the light bulbs clink slightly.
“This it the kitchen and the dining room, and the living room is through there.” Camden gestured seemingly randomly. The kitchen was small and open on two sides, with oddly colored tan appliances. The walls were painted the same green as cabbage and dark wood trimmed everything. The dining room table had some papers spread out on it, and Lisa could see what looked like homework on a few pages. Jasper was in the living room, watching television from an ancient looking easy chair. He looked up and gave her a polite smile.
The living room was coated in shelves full of knickknacks and photos. Lisa had time to spot a family picture with what must have been Camden’s mother on top of the television.
“Dad’s room is at the end and the laundry room is on the right and the bathroom is on the left. Come see my room!” Camden started pulling her towards a staircase she hadn’t even noticed before.
“Okay, okay.” Lisa struggled to keep up climbing the steep stairs. There was no handrail, and the stairs creaked a warning but they made it safely up to the second floor. Camden’s room was practically a loft by itself, with a bed, dresser and floor lamp on one side, and a little desk and bookshelf on the other side next to a closet. Lisa glanced over the dozens of drawings that were taped to every flat surface. Most were just doodles, some were more elaborate drawings and a few looked like comic strips she had worked on.
“See I did this one after we had dinner at the restaurant!” She grabbed one drawing off the wall by the door and showed it to Lisa. It was a sketch of the building next to her apartment, but with stained glass windows instead of the broken empty frames it had now on the first floor.
“Wow, that’s really good… it’s the building next to mine, right?”
“Yeah, I bet it’d look really nice with all the windows fixed up.”
“It used to be really nice. Not stained glass nice, but nice.”
“I drew the restaurant too but I spilled some water on it and the colors got messed up.” She gestured to blurry looking picture sitting on top of a pile of paper towels.
“You must draw all the time, there’s so many pictures here.”
“It’s my favorite hobby, all my friends ask me to draw stuff for them too and since I got my magic it’s even more fun. Do you have any hobbies?”
Lisa hesitated, trying to think of something she did besides work, watching television, and hanging out at her favorite bar, “I guess not really. I was never big on hobbies.”
“But what do you do with your friends then?”
Lisa frowned to herself, pretending to look at a drawing by the window, “I don’t really have many friends to hang out with. I keep to myself most of the time.”
“Oh.” Camden gave her a serious look for a moment, then her bright smile returned. “Wanna see something cool?”
“Sure.” Lisa said, relieved at the sudden change in topic. Camden pulled out her pen and started drawing on the shade of her floor lamp. She turned it on and turned off the main light in the room. The shadow of a couple stick figures projected on the far wall and after a moment they started to dance along the wall. Lisa looked back at Camden, but the girl was focusing hard on making the figures dance, “That’s a neat trick. It’s like a cartoon.”
“I still have trouble keeping them moving, but I’m getting better at it.”
“That must a be a third tier skill for you then.”
“Oh.. um.. That’s something I’ll go over with you when we start your training proper. There’s five known tiers of powers. First level is the easy stuff, things you can do with out thinking, second tier takes a little focus and third tier you really have to focus. Fourth tier is the stuff you can only do sometimes and usually takes a lot of practice to get the hang of. Fifth tier is the dangerous stuff that’s risky even with years of practice, most magical girls don’t even have a fifth tier because it’s so dangerous.”
“Wow… I have a lot to learn huh?” Camden sat down on her bed.
“Don’t worry about it too much just yet. We’ll space things out so it doesn’t interfere with your schoolwork too.”
“I wish school wasn’t so soon, I want to start training now.”
“Don’t be in too much of a rush, there’s gonna be a lot happening. You won’t even move in with me until after the holidays so for now I’ll be training you a couple hours after school and on weekends.”
“Can I still come home and cook dinner for my dad first?”
“You cook for him?” Lisa was a little surprised at this.
“Just dinner. He’s always so tired getting home from work so I make sure he has something to eat.”
“You should be able to cook for him still, yeah.”
“Oh, what’d you bring for tonight? I should get that started!” Camden hopped up again and was halfway down the stairs before Lisa had started to descend. She had a pot filling with water by the time Lisa reached the kitchen and gestured for her to sit at the table.
“I can help…”
“No, you’re the guest. Spaghetti is easy anyways.” She got a pan for the garlic bread and turned the oven on as well.
“Best stay out of her way when she’s in the kitchen, she’ll just run you over.” Jasper appeared and sat down at the table as well.
“Sorry to intrude on your evening, Mr. Crook. I won’t stay too late.”
“Nonsense, it’s always nice to have company.” This was the most Lisa had heard him talk since they’d met and she gave him a surprised look. He grinned a little, “Sorry, before I was just exhausted and not at my best. This has all been a bit of a whirlwind.”
“You’re telling me. I wasn’t expecting to take an apprentice on.”
“Dad, did you move the spoon?” Camden was hunting through some drawers.
“Which one?” Jasper stared up at the ceiling thoughtfully.
“The big one with the holes.”
“I think it’s still in the sink.” He looked a bit sheepish as Camden washed the spoon quickly and waggled it at him accusingly. She turned back to her cooking and left them to sit in a pleasant silence for the moment.