|I'm not anybody's favorite student. So if you're looking for the story where the young wizard is the favorite of the professor, a protege of every powerful instructor, that's not this story. If you're looking for the story where a lone wizard faces off against powerful forces of darkness, you're going to be disappointed. This is just my story.
My story starts in Soliari. Just another world of the Spiral, but the City-State of Soliari is ruled by a council of wizards, and the families that wizardry runs in have long been jealous of their seats. For the last four generations, the Burning Chair has been held by my family, the Sunslingers.
My father, Magnus Sunslinger, is the Grand Wizard of the Council. He looks the part. He's tall, and strong, with hair that was once that peculiar shade of orange that gets called "red," but is now starting to fade to blond with age. He tends to wear togas of cloth-of-gold, to show off his physique... and his wealth.
The days leading up to my birth, they tell me, were a time of great excitement. I was Magnus' seventh child, and Magnus himself was Grandfather Primus' seventh child, and Grandfather Primus was... well, you get the idea. I understand that, when I was born, there was a sudden silence in the room.
"Oh," said the midwife, looking around in confusion. "Oh, this can't be right!"
"What's wrong?" asked my mother.
"It's... well, see for yourself," the midwife exclaimed, handing me over, as if she wished to rid herself of all responsibility for such a thing.
My mother took me in her arms, and stared at me in horror. "There must be some mistake," she said. "That hair!"
The midwife nodded, rather fearfully.
"We'd better wrap it up," my mother decided.
So they did. And my father didn't find out about my hair until my fifth birthday. Mother and Nanny kept me out of Father's way. He had, after all, six children before me. All of whom were built on the heroic mold, with flame orange hair, and a penchant for lighting things on fire accidentally. It was easy to hide little, blue-haired me in the background.
But on my fifth birthday, we were sitting at the table, watching as Magnus called up a fire elemental, and he smiled in pride at me, and pointed. “Behold, my seventh child,” he said. “Be known unto her, creature of fire!”
“Shan’t,” said the elemental.
There was silence. Father looked at me, and then at the elemental. He cleared his throat. “Behold!” he said, again, with a bit of an edge in his voice, “my seventh child! Be known unto her, creature of fire!”
“Nuh-uh,” the elemental responded, crossing the whisps of flame it used as arms. “Nuttin’ doin’. You can’t make me!”
Father looked at my older siblings, and then at me. He looked at the elemental. He was starting to go a bit red in the face. “Behold!” he said a third time, sounding truly thunderous.
Jason, the oldest, cleared his throat. “Er,” he said, and then, “Father....”
“Behold!” Magnus said again, gesturing at me. I think he was a bit stuck, actually.
Without a word, Jason reached over and pulled off my watch cap. The blue hair came cascading out.
“Told’ja so!” the elemental jeered.
Magnus never spoke to me again.
It’s not like it was a crushing thing. I don’t want you to think my childhood was some sort of misery of living in the closet below the stairs or something. For one thing, our house was a palace, and blue-haired and completely inept at fire magic or not, I was still a princess... An ugly, blue-haired, scrawny princess who spent most of her time in the library.
My siblings went away to school, and things quieted down. The years went by, and each year took away a sibling, until Jason graduated, and came home. That lasted about a week, before he and Magnus had a shouting match you would not believe, and Jason stalked off with his wand clenched in his fist, and his hat on crooked.
Then it was my turn. I woke, and Nanny gave me a letter from Magnus to give to Headmaster Ambrose. I dressed in my satin robes, shook hands with the Guardsman on watch at the Gate, and went down to the transit point. I was on my way to Ravenwood.