The Let's Play Archive

Magical Diary: Main Route

by CommissarMega

Part 1: Yer not in New Hampshire anymore, Mary!

CHAPTER 1: Yer not in Academagia New Hampshire anymore, Mary!

I was playing tag with my friends in the back garden, but when I tried to jump out of the way of the girl who was chasing me, I jumped so high I flew all the way over the hedge! At first, I couldn't believe it was real, and neither could my friends, either. Within a few minutes, they'd convinced themselves that nothing unusual happened.

And then the next day, a strange old woman showed up on my doorstep and offered me a Choice for my future- and now, here I am, sixteen and on my way to Iris Academy, an actual school for magic!

My parents drove me out here, but we've already said our goodbyes. I asked them to drop me off on the outskirts of the school grounds so I could walk there on my own.

A wise choice in and of itself, the reasons of which will become clear as we play further.

I knew Dad would cry and make a fuss over me before letting me go, and I didn't want my new classmates to see me for the first time looking like that. To be honest, I'm surprised Dad agreed. He's always been a little overprotective; maybe he's finally recognising that I'm not a little kid anymore.


Anyway, it means I have to carry my own suitcases, which contain all that I have to my name for the next nine months: Not many clothes, since we'll be wearing school uniforms all the time, but I have some books, pictures of my friends and family, and decorations for my new room.

The campus looks more like a very posh boarding school than a home for wizards and witches- pretty buildings, lots of trees and wide open spaces. Summer still lingers here; the leaves haven't yet started to turn. I walk a little faster, feeling slightly too warm in this long robe and cape.

Flowerbeds and arches stretch out before me. So many doors and windows, and they all look the same. There are three residential halls for girls, and another three for boys. I've been accepted to Horse Hall, which is for 'adventurous girls', whatever that means. The other two girl halls here are the Butterflies, who are probably girly-girls, and the Snakes. I'm not sure who would want to be a snake- I'd much rather be a horse. Unfortunately, I'm not exactly sure where Horse Hall is.

Mary's got it right- Butterflies are for the typical girly-girl students, while Snakes are loners and misfits. Not necessarily Slytherin-type schemers, mind you- just the ladies who wouldn't quite fit in anywhere else.

I have a letter about freshman orientation... where is-

"Oops, sorry!"

He is an older man in school robes with no Hall symbol on them... which means he's probably a professor. This is not a good first impression.

"I mean, sorry, sir."

He has a lovely voice, dark and rich with a refined British accent, and he doesn't seem to be too angry with me. I relaxed a little.

"I'm Mary Sue, sir," I explain. "I've just got here, and I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be..." I trailed off, as I realize he's no longer looking at me- instead, he's paging through the large book he was carrying.

"Miss... Sue, correct?" he asks. "Wildseed... tch, how unsurprising."

He scribbles something into his book, then slams it shut, before turning to me with a grin. "Ten demerits. Not a promising start." And as suddenly as it appeared, his smile was replaced by-

And with a snap of his wrist, he wraps his cape around him and stalks away. Great- I haven't even started school yet, and already one of my teachers hates me!

It's with that thought in mind that I started looking around. I found the way into the girls' domitories, and located my Hall. There are nine doors in this Hall, only one of which is labeled 'bathroom'. If each bedroom has at least two girls in it...

I hope that's a big bathroom.

My own letter informed me that I'd have two roommates, but didn't tell me anything about them, not even their names. I haven't seen anyone wearing a Horse insignia- I guess all I can do is find my room and wait for them to show up. I pick up my suitcase and head to Room 3. Opening the door, I find a fairly ordinary-looking bedroom. No skulls, no drippy candles, no blacklight posters on the walls, no incense or crystals anywhere- unless my roomies haven't had time to unpack yet.

A girl who had been sitting on one of the beds stands up. "Um... Hello?" she asks.

Amazing! I seem to be making all kinds of good first impressions today! "...I didn't mean that the way it sounded," I add, trying to bail out the Titanic with a colander. "Let's try this again- I'm Mary. Are you my roomate?"

"One of them," she says; thankfully, she doesn't seem as touchy as the teacher I bumped into. "I'm Ellen. That's Virginia's bed," she says, pointing to a bed that was about as 'lived in' as one can get without melding with it, "but she went out to talk to somebody."

"Well, it's nice to meet you!" I said. "Where are you from?"

"Virginia- the state, I mean. I'm not sure where Virginia-the-girl is from."

I tilt my head. "You don't have much of a Southern accent."

And there I go again. Great move, Mary Sue- I can just hear Waylon Jennings going "Hoo-whee! Ain't no way li'l ol' Mary's getting out of this bucket o' moonshine!"

Or, well, Patton Oswalt doing his Waylon Jennings impression. Same diff.

But get out I do- Ellen doesn't seem to notice my gaffe. "It's not that far south, and my- family wasn't from there. What about you?"

"New Hampshire," I reply. "Not too far from here. Are all these books yours?" I ask, looking at the filled bookshelf and the Tower of Bibliography next to it.

"Yeah. There aren't any computers here, so I brought my old encylopaedias. And those are the textbooks for the classes I would be taking this year at my other school if I hadn't left."

I was impressed, to say the least. "Wow, you must be a really good student!"

"Not really," she replied. "I probably won't even open them. But I didn't know what I'd need, and I didn't want to need something and not have it. These books," she said, turning to the Great Library of Ellen-xandria behind her, "are everything I could find out about magic, actual magic, now that I know it's real."

I feel like I should be jealous of how prepared she was, of how practical she was being, but Ellen was so nice. It was hard to dislike or be jealous of her about anything. It'd be like being jealous of a kitten.

"Yeah, it's great, isn't it?" I say. "We're going to be witches, just like in the movies!"

"Oh, good! You're wildseed too!"

"There's that term again- what's it mean?"

Whoa, she came outta nowhere!

"Me, my family's all magical, so I always knew I'd be a witch! I'm Virginia, by the way!" she says, holding out her hand.

"I'm Mary, Mary Sue. Is it a problem, being 'wild'?" I ask as I shake her hand in return. "I met a professor and he was sort of rude about it."

Her brow furrowed. "A professor... wait, shaggy black hair, big nose, English accent?"

"Yeah, I sort of bumped into him."

Virginia bursts into laughter. "Oh no! Now you'll be on Grabby's blacklist!"

"No, no!" Virginia replied. "That's his name- Professor Grabiner."

"He hates me," I grumble.

"Pfft, he hates everybody, so it doesn't make much difference!" She waves a dismissive hand. "Don't worry about it; nobody cares if you're a born witch or not, not really. And everybody's scared of Grabby, he's a monster. William warned me about him."


"My big brother," Virginia said. "Well, bigger brother. He's a senior. My other brother, Donald, he's a freshman like us. They're in Wolf Hall."

Like the girls, the guys are separated into their own halls, with Wolf, Eagle and Toad Halls being the counterparts to Horse, Butterfly and Snake Halls respectively.

"But enough about boys- what sports do you play? What do you like?"

"I like softball," Ellen said, "but I'm better at volleyball."

"Good strong arms," Virginia said, nodding approvingly. "Me, I prefer soccer. What about you, Mary?"

"Um... I guess I'm mostly best at track," I shrug. "I like to run."

Virginia laughs again. "Ha! Your legs, her arms, and my fighting spirit! We're the total package! Go Horses! Woo!"

Wow. If we were a package, then she'd definitely be the ticking bomb inside. I suppose Ellen would be the note to Con Ed, and me the... wrapping paper? I guess? I'm not too good with metaphors.

"Are there sports teams for wizards here?" Ellen asks.

"Not really, no," Virginia says. "I mean, there is bounders, but that's not a real sport. However, there is a gym, and we can START our own sports teams if we have to! Right, Mary?"

Yes, coach! "I... guess?"

Vurginia laughs again, and I can't help but smile- her cheery brashness is infectious. "Sorry, sorry, I'm just rolling you over, aren't I? I'll let you unpack, C'mon, Ellen! I'll introduce you to my brothers!"

Insofar as I can tell, choosing to just unpack does nothing- doesn't raise your stats, set any flags etc, and you miss out on meeting more of the cast! So...

Meh, unpacking can wait, and I was curious about whether Virginia's brothers were anything like her. "I want to meet them too! The only wizard I've met so far was that horrible professor. I can unpack later!"

"Yeah, I hate unpacking too!" Virginia said. "I made mom do it!"

"Uhm, do you still want me to come?" Ellen asked.

"Why wouldn't I? Come on!" Hurricane Virginia says, pulling us into an inescapable grasp and leading us through the maze of school hallways to one of the boys' sections.

"Need a hand, ladies?" someone says from behind us.

Suddenly, a water balloon flies out of an open door, right smack into the side of Virginia's head.


Donald then exchanged high-fives with the guy who stopped us, and I find myself having to suppress a giggle; he can't have had much time to plan this prank, after- ack, Virginia's turning to look at me! Poker face! Poker face! Ahoogah! Ahoogah! Dive! Dive! Dive!

"This..." she said, pausing to spit out a little water, "is my brother Donald, the complete dork." She then turns back to Donald, saying "You are going to be in so much trouble. All the trouble."

"What are you gonna do, Urchin?" Oooh, I need to remember that. "Tell Mom on me? Too bad, she's not here!"

"I don't have to do anything." Virginia tells him smugly. "You'll end up in detention by the end of the week just by being you. I mean, look at me! I'm all wet!"

"More like all washed up, right? Anyway, you're a witch! Magic yourself dry! C'mon, Luke!" he says.

"V? Is that you?" Another voice asks from behind us. "Hey, V! All moved in? Are... are you wet? Let me guess- Donald again, right? No, don't answer that," he sighs, "just let me dry you up."

"There, see? All better!" he says.

It's not much of a segue, I'll admit, but I think it's about time to get the cheerwagon rolling again.

"Right!" Virginia says, as bouncy as before. "Guys, this is William, my good brother," she adds, grabbing Ellen's hand and bringing her forward. "These are my roommates, Ellen and Mary!"

"You too," Ellen says, smiling.

"You two keep an eye on V, now. She's a little scamp- if you don't watch out, she'll get you into trouble!"

" 'V'? That's your nickname? You're not going to blow up Parliament, are you?"

"Not yet, haw! Nah, it's just what William calls me- and it much better than what Donald calls me! Me, I use my whole name; it's not that long."

"You kids should probably run along now; freshman orientation is tomorrow, and you'll have a busy week ahead of you- not to mention initiation."

"Initiation?" I ask.

Oooh, I don't like the looks of that smile. "You'll find out," William says. How comforting. "Now, I think we've all got our own business to attend to?" He's right- I still have to unpack, after all. Not that I could stand to do so, because tomorrow, we're all learning magic!

And here we see some of the other Halls' uniforms, varied by capes- orange is for the Wolf Hall lads, blue capes for both Eagle and Butterfly Halls, and pink capes for Snakes.

Ellen seems normal enough though, and so do the rest of the student body, no pun intended but fully taken credit for. Even so, it's a reminder that I'm not in a normal school anymore, and I'm not a normal person. To tell the truth, that reality is a lot more exciting and a whole lot less scary than I thought.

Wow, someone woke up on the right side of a bed of roses this morning.

Or some other plant.

I start to applaud, but I freeze when I realize that nobody else is. Thankfully, beside me is Virginia, who saves my butt by clapping loudly, and soon the whole auditorium is clapping and cheering. The rosy-faced professor at the podium lets us have our fun for a few moments, then motions us back into silence.

"For some of you," she says, "this is the beginning of an adventure the likes of which you have never imagined. For others, this is the next step in a journey you have been travelling all your lives. Regardless, we at Iris Academy look upon you all as equals, fellow travellers on the paths to knowledge. Whether you come from a mighty family tree, or are a seed, lost in the wild, together you are a mighty forest, vibrant and majestic!"

She clears her throat before continuing, "Here at Iris Academy, we teach magic using the pentachromatic system- basically, there are five 'colours' of magic: Red is forceful," she says, her voice dropping a little, "but not necessarily violent. Blue is the colour of transformation and change. Green is the colour of life and the natural world. White magic affects the mind and spirit, and Black Magic is contained within physical objects."

"After all, you all have different strengths and talents, and here at Iris Academy, we embrace that diversity, and allow you to tailor your timetables to your needs. Choose your schedule according to your talents and desires!" she added passionately. "Don't try to become a reflection of your classmates, or of some idol! Strive to be who you are! Follow your own star, wherever it may lead you! That is the only way you are all alike- you each have your own future, and I know you'll make everyone here, and yourself most of all, proud."

Wow... she must be British too, no way she isn't somehow related to Churchill or something. Her starry-eyed way of speaking kinda reminds me of my old school's guidance counselor, and she's definitely nicer than Grabiner, that's for sure. Mind you, 'nicer than Grabiner' is probably a description of 90% of the world's population and 80% of all power tools. In any case, I wonder what classes she teaches, and how soon can I join them?

"For adventurous boys and girls are the Horse and Wolf Halls respectively. The elegant and charming grace Butterfly and Eagle Halls, while the eldritch and mysterious hold Snake and Toad Halls."

As each set of halls is called out, their respective students clap thunderously, though loudest of all are Horse Hall's students, though my perception could be coloured by the fact that I'm standing in the middle of them. I'm not sure what 'eldritch' means (mental note: hit Ellen up later), but it doesn't sound good!

"In any case," Professor Potsdam continues, "I hope you make many friends, not just in your own hall, but outside of them as well! As great magicians come from those with a wide variety in their palette, so do great people come from those with a wide variety of friends and experiences!"

She considers for a moment, as if she forgot something. "Ah yes," she adds, grinning widely again, "most importantly, you should learn to know and trust your roommates, so that by the end of the year, you'll be able to work together as a team to pass your final exams! A trial of which I'm sure you're all looking forward to!"

Okay, maybe she isn't as nice as Grabby. Anyone who could say such a thing with that same winning smile can't be. And if the groans in the audience were any indication, the whole school felt the same way too.

Wait- dungeons?! And I thought getting a learner's permit was bad!

"Each task has many possible solutions, and you'll need to make creative use of your spells in order to pass! So think ahead about what might be useful, and how! So, is everybody ready for magic? Open up your daily planners, and pencil in your classes- you won't want to be late~!"

This would take some getting used to- back in school, most of my classes were set out for me, and it wasn't until last year that I started being able to make my own choices. Even then, those were just a few elective classes, like Biology, Cantonese, French, Physics and the like. Here at Iris, it seemed magic classes were day-long affairs, and if I wanted to, I could even schedule similar deals at the gym or at the library for study. I wonder if I could sleep a whole week away... naaah. It's my first week, I'm going to make an impression!

And here we see our weekly planner! From here, we can set our study priorities for the week. From top to bottom, are our options as such:
Red Magic
Blue Magic
Those are our classes- but what do those funny numbers to the left mean?

In red are our character stats. Smarts determine the amount of Mana/spell points we have in dungeons, and can affect a few dialogue choices throughout the game. Strong determines the amount of hit points we have during said tests- while it's not possible to die, having your HP reduced to zero is an auto-fail. Insofar as I can tell, Strong doesn't influence any dialogue checks.

Cute reflects not just how adorable we are, but also how... not to say 'passive', but Cute characters rarely rock the boat, while Weird can also represent Mary's brazen independence. Indeed, one character's romance requires a high Weird in order to start.

In green are our magic stats. I'll be holding a vote as to what magics we should specialize in later; for now, we're going to follow Professor Potsdam's advice and get the basics of each magic in!

Our tertiary stats are in blue. All activities except rest generate Stress, while a day of Rest decreases Stress by 25. On average, you should Rest once every 3 or so weeks, every 2 if you're powergaming, or simply wish to have your actions succeed more often- high Stress can often lead to your character failing to learn anything in class (and failure generates Stress on its own), and even if they do, gains will be limited. So Rest often!

Our Merits can range from -50 to 50; thanks to Grabby, we're at -10 right now. Certain volunteer actions, character choices, and passing tests will give us more Merit. There aren't any benefits to a high Merit, insofar as I can tell, but it's nice to know you're a good student.

Finally, is our Money, which we can use to buy stuff for ourselves.

You may notice that instead of White Magic, I pencilled in Gym. Why Gym? Well, Magical Diary has certain special events that occur if you take certain actions or classes in a certain week, or even on a certain day. If we take a Gym class this week, we will witness a special event, and taking Blue Magic on the first day has a similar effect. I'll admit, I will metagame to get as many of these events as possible for your goony pleasure. [spoiler]Also note, this isn't the actual schedule I'm going with, only the one that makes narrative sense. If you must know, my actual schedule is here.

There, that should do it! A little Blue Magic to start out with- after all, if it's the magic of change, it should help me make my other magics better, followed by Red, because Booms for the Boom God are always applicable. I pencil in Green and Black next because they look interesting- I'm especially looking forward to Black Magic, and kind of apprehensive too; it's Black Magic, after all. I wonder if I should take White next, but I suppose that can wait for next week- for now, I want to see what their gym has to offer. Maybe it has a pool!

Man, I can't wait for classes!

One transition to Mary's first class later...

Man, I can't wait for class to be over.

"Blue magic can also change the properties of a spell, create or dispel illusions, and even teleport one's self through space instantaneously. For a skilled Blue magician, reality itself is fluid, clay to be molded in the hands of the adept. Yet few minds are capable of grasping Blue Magic's possibilities."

His eyes narrowed as he looked down at us. "We'll see what you're worth," he said ominously.

For all his doom-and-gloom, however, Blue Magic was surprisingly easy- though no thanks to myself. I admit, I rushed a few cantrips, pushed myself on a few basic spells. After our meeting on the school grounds, I wanted to prove myself. It helped that we were allowed to practice on our own, with guidance from the Professor (though his 'guidance' was more like 'barked orders' or 'condescending scorn'). By the end of it, I had powered through the first section of the textbook's first chapter, while the rest of the class was still trying to master cantrips. It was hard, but I think I saw a faint glimmer of respect in Grabby's eyes-

"I do hope you keep this level of excellence up, Miss Sue, or I'll award you with another ten demerits."


Here we see the results of class. How much you learn can vary, depending on your Stress level. For every point of magic Mary learns, she gains 1 Stress. I'll be powergaming for best magic results despite the Stress it brings; there isn't a lot of story that low magic can bring us that character actions cannot. We learn outright spells at certain levels- as yet though, we're neophytes incapable of even the simplest 1 Mana spells. At higher levels, magic spells can become very potent, and having high levels in two forms of magic can even unlock combination spells, so it pays to generalize a bit.

Dear God,


Love, Mary Sue.

"I say it's seductive, not because of the power itself, but because simple minds prefer simple solutions."

Whoa, Grabby, if you were any more subtle you'd be... really, really subtle. What magic works for metaphors?

He continues in a sudden, thundering tone. "Blast your enemies with lightning! Tear buildings apart with earthquakes! Let the world burn!"

Make life rue the day it gave you lemons?

"Fall victim to such vulgar fantasies, and you will become the prey of those capable of creative thought. There are many approaches that direct force cannot defend against."

He snaps his fingers in the air. "One inattentive moment, and your final memorial will be a simple smear on the wall."

"Now for your lessons."

Again, I savescum to get myself 3 Fire Magic at the cost of 3 Stress. Assume I do this for each class from now on.

The next day, I go to Green Magic class, where I await Grabby's tender mercies. By that, I mean the man-eating plant he'll no doubt force us to stare down and/or outsing. But instead...


"Hello, little seedlings~! Please take your seats! Today, we're going to learn about Green Magic, the magic of life! This is a very important skill for you to learn, especially once you reach a certain age!"

Wait, is this about sex education?

"Your body is a garden to be tended to- with proper care, it could last you centuries!"

Guess not.

"Slowly, carefully," she adds, "you must encourage your subjects to grow in the direction you prefer! Be patient, and the rosevines will lose their thorns and twine around you!"

"If it can heal, it can kill! What happens if you force something to grow the wrong way quickly?"

Whoa, hold on there Blondie- if you were any edgier, you'd cut yourself!

"Why would you want to do that?" Professor Potsdam asks.

The boy sneers at her. "Because you don't like the life in front of you."

Ooookay, getting creepy here. Professor Potsdam's a nice lady, she shouldn't have to-

"Life has its own flow. You can change it, but the harder you push, the more energy you'll need."

should you really elaborating on this
no seriously you're explaining
why are you explaining

"To cause a great change in an instant requires immense power!"


"So you had better get started!"


I didn't get much sleep that night, and so it was with a heavy heart and heavier eyelids that I go to class again.

I think it's a reasonable question, since it's the suddenly less friendly and a lot scarier Professor Potsdam teaching it.

Oh god, we're going to have to dissect our own corpses now? And by 'our own corpses', I hope I meant 'the corpses of other people which are now the legal property of the student'.

Oh no, she's smiling! "For those of you new to our magical traditions," she begins, "I assure you that Black magic has nothing to do with death or evil."

Then why are you teaching it? In fact, why aren't there more teachers lecturing us first years? 'Cos having to choose between Hans Gruber and Belle Guinness is kind of screwy.

"There is no such thing as evil magic- only magic," she says. "The bad and good come from how you use it."

And I'll bet you're speaking from experience.

"Black is the colour of solidity and permanence; enchanted items like potions and wands are created by enchanting them with spells, and making those spells permanent with Black Magic. This does mean that cursed items are made with Black Magic, which is how I suppose the rumour got started."

I believe her on this one, if only because I'm sure she can't have been around for thousands of years. Then again, there are those things she said about Green Magic...

"Yes, Raven?"

"Since you're enchanting matter," Raven says, " and bones are matter, you could use Black Magic to create a skeleton, right?"

"That's an interesting question!" the Professor replies. I can't believe I thought she was safe.

"You could enchant a skeleton to hold an enchantment, or react in some way. You could, for example, have its skull chatter its jaw when someone comes along, like an alarm. But to make it walk around and act on its own, you'll need to bind a spirit to it, and that requires a different kind of magic. Don't worry, we'll get to combined techniques later in the year. Just remember to study hard!"

Her treatise on necromancy done, Professor Potsdam then magically lifts a large cauldron in front of her, as well as smaller cauldrons in front of each of us. "Now, make sure you have your smocks and aprons on- potion stains can be very hard to get out, even with magic!" she says. A few explosions later, and I'm outta there.

It has been a hard, hard week to say the least, and like the Taco Bell I am beginning to miss, I am POOPED. I'm so tired, in fact, that it takes me a few moments to notice the other occupant of the room.

"Oh, hey there, Ellen," I mumble from the bed.

"Hi, Mary!" she grins. "How's your week been? Hasn't it all been exciting?"

"That's one way to put it," I say, flipping onto my back. "It's not really what I expected- I thought there'd be more scrolls and wands and stuff."

Ellen considers this for a moment, before shaking her head. "No, I think I actually prefer it this way. Starting off with the theory behind the magic- it makes it into something real, something than I can use, instead of something from a dream."

"Huh, I never looked at it that way," I said, more to keep the conversation going than any statement of fact. To be honest, I was more taken in by how much more confident Ellen seemed to be when speaking about magic, and I wondered if she was like this more often- maybe when she was talking about something she knows about? Something she's learning? This Ellen seemed a far cry from the shy girl I met barely a week ago, and to tell the truth, I like her this way.

Oh yeah, the conversation. "I guess I never really thought about it," I add. "I saw it in the movies, read about it in books, but it never really mattered to me. It was a fun fantasy, that's all."


I raise an eyebrow. "Okay, that wasn't a very good 'oh'. What's wrong, Ellen?"

"I couldn't think of any other reason this would happen to me," she says. "But then- why? Why us?"

I shrug. "Well, it's random, right? 'Wildseeds' and all that. I guess we got lucky, that's all."

I shrug again. "I'm just saying it couldn't happen only to people who really want it- if that was the case, why bother with the Choice?"

"Hmm, that's true," Ellen replies, "but I can't imagine anyone would say no."

"It is a pretty big step in your life," I tell her. "Maybe some people get cold feet, like when you're getting married."

Ellen giggles . "Mary, I... don't think this is quite as drastic. Or romantic, even."

"Heh, you never know," I reply, looking up at the ceiling.

Usually, after school, I'd be playing games or reading my books, hanging out with friends, doing homework, or watching TV. I didn't go to sleep until I was staggering. It suddenly hit me just how far we were from modern civilization. Oh sure, we had flush toilets and such, but we didn't have any computers, no Internet, no TV, none of the daily conveniences I took for granted. I didn't mind losing those, but the boredom- now that was the mindkiller. Fear can go jump off a cliff.

Ellen leans back a bit when she hears my question. "The... ceiling?"

"Yeah," I reply. "It's so boring and empty! We could paint a daytime sky with clouds, or a nighttime one with the stars and moon, maybe with spaceships! We could even use magic to make it glow and such! Heck, a poster or two would be nice!" Did we even have posters? Who cares?

"Honestly," she adds, "I think you ought to ask Virginia about what to put up there- it's her room too. Me, I don't want anything that would fall or make a mess. If you tried to paint the ceiling, it might drip over everything. Though... if you learned enough Blue Magic, you could use that to decorate the ceiling- maybe some Black Magic to make it permanent."

"That's a great idea!" I tell her. Even with my limited knowledge, I could cook up something pretty special, and I told her as much.

"So... what would you make it look like?" she asked, and I considered my options. In the end, I'd narrowed it down to two broad choices:

"Even so," I tell Ellen, after narrowing down my choices, "it's still kinda unfair to Virginia, making this decision without her. Besides, no matter what I pick, it'll be a weekend job- for now, I want to get plenty of rest, what with gym tomorrow!"

And so it was that the next day, I head off to the gym.

"Well, hello there," someone says from behind me. I turn around-

He's dressed as a student, but would have certainly noticed him at orientation! My mind blanks out, and I find myself at an impasse (imp ass? Do they say it differently here?):

And there you have it, goons! Our first two major choices! Well, not really- but the first will see an increase in our stats, and the other, set off a few flags. Also, to tell the truth, they come at very different places in the story (as you may note from our stat changes, which don't quite seem to line up...), but I smushed them up together here because it makes for better fanfiction narrative flow. With that said, it's VOTING TIME!

I'll need choice votes for:
Our ceiling: Something weird/Something cute
Mystery winged dude: Ask him about his wings/Say nothing

I'll also need votes for our magic! I'll need:
One class from Grabiner: Blue/Red
One class from Potsdam: Green/Black/White*
And one more class of magic (so 3 in total), so that we may be prepared for future chapters of this Magical Diary! Voting for this first post closes at 0700 GMT Saturday, 'cos I have THINGS to do, but not all the updates will take that long, fear not!

*White magic is the colour of mind control, and of interacting with spirits and the invisible; we'll learn more next week!