There it was, in all of its splendor. A flimsy scroll laid right in the middle of the welcoming mat in front of the entrance to Sean's parents' house. Sean, eighteen years old, stood frozen outside his doorstep. Sean felt flush, but he wasn't sure if this was because he was excited, or because it was so hot outside in his home street of Firecat Alley.
Nonetheless, Sean grabbed the scroll and ran up to his room.
Sitting down at his desk, Sean held the scroll pensively. On the outside of the scroll was a wax seal, etched with the official emblem of Wizard City.
"Should I open it?" Sean thought to himself. Sean knew what the scroll was about, of course. Just a mere six months ago, he had applied to the most prestigious system of magic schools in all of Wizard City, Ravenwood Academy. It was the most prestigious because it was the only system in Wizard City, but still, applying (and getting into it, subsequently) meant that at least, you were accomplishing something within your life.
Sean was an only child, and his parents never applied to Ravenwood Academy. Instead, his father worked as a cobbler in the Shopping District of Wizard City, while his mother gardened and sold Bell Peppers to the Bazaar daily. Although Sean could barely wait to open the letter, he knew that his mom and dad would want to know his application results alongside him.
And so, Sean waited, shoving the letter under his bed so he would no longer have to look at it. His mother would come back from her Bazaar run shortly, but he would have to wait longer for his father.
"I'm hoooooooome, Sean! I got you some AmbrOs from the store!" Sean got up from his seat and ran down. AmbrOs was his favorite cereal. "Thanks, mom." Sean sat at the table with the new box of AmbrOs, a bowl, and some milk.
Sean always had a problem with lying. Sean hated lying, not because it was morally wrong, but because he was so bad at it.
"Hi Seanny, anything interesting happen while I was out?"
"Un no, not at all, mom."
"Uh Sean, why are you pouring the milk on the table?"
Sean looked at his hands. She was right. He not only poured the milk before his cereal (which he would never do), but he also completely missed the bowl.
"Oh shit what in the hell am I doing?"
"Sean." Sean's mom looked at him sternly.
"Sorry, mom. What in the heck hound am I doing?"
Sean's mom gave him rags to clean the mess and, while doing so, looked straight into his blue eyes. "So, what happened today?"
Lying wouldn't help him anymore. "I got a letter from Ravenwood Academy, I'm waiting until Dad gets home to look at it."
Sean's mom smiled. Together they waited.
Two servings of AmbrOs later, Sean's dad came back from his cobbling job.
"Mary, those kids keep wanting to change the color of their shoes. One kid had me change the color of his shoes from purple to black, and then two hours later, he wants it purple again. I tell him to come back tomorrow, but he said no, and as it turns out, he didn't even have enough gold to pay me for the first color change."
"I'm sorry, hon. Sean has good news to tell you though."
"What do you have for me?" Sean's dad draws out in his deep accent.
"I don't know if it's good news or not, but I got a letter from Wizard City. I think it's the result of my application. I haven't opened it yet."
"Well, what are you waiting for?"
Sean ran upstairs and retrieved his letter from underneath his bed. Running back downstairs, into their garish purple and red living room, he took off the wax seal, unveiling the contents of the scroll.
On the scroll read, "Congratulations, you have been accepted as a new member of the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts," followed by Headmaster Merle Ambrose's signature and an official-looking stamp. Also unveiled while Sean unraveled the scroll was a flimsy leaflet promoting Ravenwood, showing a cutesy doodle of the Headmaster's pet owl, Gamma, with a graduation cap on.
Sean's dad looked at the doodle of Gamma.
"Well, congrats Son!"