Pacifica Pines stood in the basement of her house while her daughter Zoe sat in a chair facing her and her husband Dipper sat to the side in order to observe. It was time for Zoe's magic training to officially begin and today, she was about to receive her first lesson, which she could not be more excited for.
"Zoe Pines, welcome to…" Pacifica began before snapping her fingers and making a white board with the words 'Magic 101' written on it appear next to her, "Magic 101."
Zoe gaped in awe. It was a relatively minor display of magical power, but to someone as young as her who was just starting out, it was still something to behold. "So cool," she said gleefully.
"You think that's cool, just wait," Pacifica responded pridefully before turning serious. "But before we get started, we have to set down some rules first."
"Like what?" Zoe asked.
"Rule number one: No magic outside the house," the mother declared. "If someone catches you using magic, you could end up getting yourself and the rest of us in big trouble. Understand?"
"Yes, Mom," the young witch answered.
"Rule number two: Never tell anyone outside the family that you're a witch. And make sure your brothers don't tell anyone either."
"Got it," Zoe confirmed.
"Rule number three: No using magic for your own personal gain. That includes things like cheating, stealing or counterfeiting. Understand?"
"Of course, Mom. I'm not a criminal."
"Rule number four: No using magic on or against other people, especially not your family. I don't wanna see you magically attaching your brothers to the ceiling or anything just because one of them took the last pudding cup or something."
"I can do that?!" Zoe asked, excited about the idea she would even be capable of such a magical feat.
"No! You can't!" her mother insisted. "Promise me that you'll follow all these rules."
"Okay. I promise." Zoe raised her right and placed her left hand over her heart. "Witch's honor."
"Good," Pacifica said, satisfied. Now that all the rules had been laid down, it was time to get down to the real lesson. "Now, the first thing you need to know is that magic spells come in three different levels." The witch snapped her fingers and three lines of text appeared on the white board, illustrating the three different levels of spells. "Level One spells are the most basic and can be cast with the simplest of body movements. A snap of the fingers, a wink of the eye, a twitch of the nose, that sort of thing. Got it?"
Zoe nodded, showing that she was paying attention able to follow so far. "These are the first spells that every witch-in-training has to learn before moving on to Level Two," Pacifica continued, before holding out her arm and summoning her magic staff to fly straight into it. "Level Two spells are a bit more complicated and require the use of a magic staff like this one in order to be properly cast."
"Cool!" Zoe exclaimed. "When can I get a staff like that?"
"Once you've mastered basic magic, I'll take you out to get a magic staff of your own so you can start practicing stronger spells." Pacifica turned the staff on its side and ran her hand along its smooth wooden handle. "Each staff is hand-carved by the witch themselves and only responds to their own unique magical energy."
"So that means your staff only works for you?" Zoe asked, making sure she understood.
"That's right," her mom confirmed. "Each staff only works for the witch who made it."
"But where do magic staffs come from?"
With another snap of her fingers, Pacifica summoned an image composed of glowing light suspended in midair. It was shaped like a mighty-looking tree with hundreds of branches spread out all over its top, creating an almost dome-like shape. Zoe stared at the image in wonder, while Dipper simply rolled his eyes with a grin as this was a prime example of how his wife just to loved to show off.
"The Tree of Merlin," Pacifica stated. "Legend says that it was planted by Merlin himself so that others would be able to experience the gift of magic for themselves. All magic staffs are carved from the branches of this sacred tree."
"That's so awesome," Zoe exclaimed once again.
"And someday, when you're ready, I'm going to take you there myself so you can make your own personal magic staff."
Hearing that made the young witch-in-training even more excited. She was already thinking of all kinds of creative ways to personalize her staff when she eventually got one.
"Finally, Level Three spells are the most powerful and complicated of all," Pacifica continued. "Which is why they can only be cast by a magic potion."
"A magic potion?!" Zoe asked excitedly.
"Yes. Brewed in a witch's very own…" Pacifica paused for dramatic affect as she walked over to a tarp that was covering a mysterious object. She quickly removed the tarp to reveal what was underneath. "…CAULDRON!"
"Whoa!" Zoe stood up and ran up to the cauldron. Her eyes practically bugged out of her head as she peaked inside of it. "A real live magic cauldron! This is just keeps getting better and better," she said, her voice echoing off the black metal.
"This cauldron has been passed down in my family for many generations," Pacifica said. "And someday, it'll be yours, Zoe."
"So awesome!" Zoe was beside herself with excitement. She'd always been a fan of high fantasy stories, but now it felt like she was actually getting to live one.
"So now," her mom said, getting her attention as she looked at her with a smirk. "Are you ready to learn your first spell?"
Zoe's eyes widened as her enthusiasm erupted like a volcano. "YESSSSS!" she shouted, jumping in place like a little kangaroo. "What is it?!"
"Levitation. One of the easiest spells to learn and the perfect first spell for someone who's just learning to control their magic," Pacifica explained. "You see that book over there?" She pointed to an old book sitting on top of a cardboard box. "You're gonna levitate it from that box and bring it to rest over on that chair." She then pointed to an old wooden chair about eight feet away from the box.
"No problem," Zoe said, full of confidence.
"Remember, once you've got it airborne, you'll need to concentrate and use your finger to guide it."
"Okay, now, look at the book, hold your hand out towards it with your thumb and forefinger together." Zoe followed her mom's instructions exactly as she said them. "Focus all your attention and energy on the book. Now, snap your fingers."
With a snap of her fingers, the book began to float in midair. No physical contact of any kind. Just the pure raw magical power of a young witch. Zoe's face lit up upon seeing what she'd done. "Mom, look, I did it!"
"Great job," Pacifica said with pride. "Now stay focused and use your finger to guide it slowly over to the chair."
Zoe did as she was told, focusing all of her energy on the floating book as she channeled her magic through her finger to carry it slowly across the room. As it hovered through the air, everyone stayed quiet and watched with anticipation. Once the book had floated just above the seat of the chair, Zoe edged her finger downward and brought the book to rest gently on it.
"YES! I did it!" Zoe cheered. "I can't believe it! I just cast my first magic spell!"
"Way to go, sweetie," her mom said, bringing her in for a hug, which her dad happily joined in on.
"You did great, Zo," Dipper congratulated her.
"I just did my first spell perfectly on my first try," Zoe realized. "I, Zoe Pines, am going to be the greatest witch who ever lived! I've gotta go show Tyrone and Stanley!"
"Okay. Just be careful and don't get carried away," Pacifica warned.
"I won't, Mom."
And with that, the excited young witch ran upstairs to show off her newly acquired skill to her younger brothers, leaving her parents smiling with pride. "She's gonna be a great witch someday," Dipper said. "Just like her mom."
"Yes she is," Pacifica agreed. The two of them shared a kiss before heading back upstairs themselves.