As Basil and the twins grew, I started to notice that Oberon was easily frustrated. If he didn't take the exact amount of steps he needed or didn't quite get a word he would start over from the beginning. Ashe on the other hand owned his mistakes and if he fell he dusted himself and got right back up from where he hit the ground. I was relieved he had such confidence and hoped that some of it would rub off on his twin.
Because of Oberon’s apparent perfectionism their toddler days were bitter sweet and I also didn’t take as many pictures as I should have, but I did have a few, including one where Ashe mastered the art of walking.Although my hours weren’t bad, in those days I still worked a good chunk of the day away and Oberon worked best on his own, so I wasn’t able to be around enough to capture his milestones and while I love Jasper, he wasn’t much of a shutterbug . I did capture several great perplexed Rasputin expressions as he observed the three small occults running around the house at all times. If it got too much for the cat he'd go play with what Jasper and I nicknamed his “therapy wall dancer”. Despite the fact that our boys annoyed him sometimes, Rasputin never hurt them.
In what felt like the blink of an eye the toddler days ended first with Basil’s sixth and just a few short years later the twins’ birthday of the same age. Even though they were older, they were still the cutest boys I’d ever seen. One of my favorite pictures of Basil was on his sixth birthday and he started tapping on his leg and humming, as if his legs were a drum. He never did anything with instruments, but it was still cute at the time .
Ashe did something completely different when he turned six, instead of pretending his leg was drum he immediately started experimenting with the magic he inherited from Jasper. One of my favorite pictures of him is one where he’s full of curiosity about his abilities and would go on to use it for both good and mischief, although he never seriously harmed anyone with it.
Oberon aged up as quietly as he was born with no fuss or noise. He wasn’t as eager as Ashe to use his magic either ,but that didn’t stop him from getting into mischief with it later.
Any worries I had about his perfectionism or quiet nature were quickly overshadowed by worries about Basil. At around eight-years-old his childhood doll, Mystery vanished, but he constantly talked about her coming alive and becoming his imaginary friend.
The roughest incident for Basil happened on the Snowflake Day after Oberon and Ashe’s seventh birthday. Basil was almost nine and after much debating (we still hadn’t forgotten the Bachelor-Bachlorette incident) Jasper and I decided to throw a gift-giving party since we thought it would be fun for the boys. It was intended to just be a family party with us and the boys, but I let the plans slip during my shift and Baylee and Larry (who were together) guilted we into inviting them as well.
“We have nowhere to go on Snowflake Day, surely two more wouldn’t be too much of a hindrance on you,” Baylee had said and I caved. Jasper, being the friendly type, didn’t try to talk me out of it when I got home on Snowflake Day Eve.
Right before the party the next night I got a call on my emergency beeper that the heating system in the Fae Ray Gardens was out and needed to be fixed or else the plants would die. As a fireman I couldn’t say no, so I rushed to Fae Ray Park to get the problem solve as quickly as possible.
It took a little longer than I thought and by the time I finally got the heating mechanism started, I was late to my own party. When I got there Basil had transformed into his wolf form and the other three boys in the house were casting spells like Chattering teeth and Hot Head on Larry and Baylee. The two of them immediately stomped out of the house.
Baylee paused just enough to turn back at me and shout, “The fire chief will hear about this and we are never coming to your parties ever again!” She was out the door before I could respond.
“What exactly happened?” I asked my family while my thoughts were running a million miles an hour, worrying about whether I would have a job in the morning.
Basil, Ashe and even Jasper stood around looking guilty, Basil even whimpered like a kicked puppy. Oberon, on the other hand, calmly explained the whole incident to me. “Basil was building a snowman with Mystery and talking to her. Mrs. Baylee saw that and started whispering mean things about him to Daddy with Basil right there, so Ashe cast chattering teeth on her and then things esc..es…What’s the word?”
“Escalated is the word you’re looking for.” I crossed my arms and turned to the boys. “Please go to bed, your father and I have to talk. “Immediately the boys vanished into their bedrooms.
Jasper and I didn’t fight often, but when we did the boys knew from an early age what we looked like when we were about to have a serious conversations. “Did you have to cast spells as well?” I asked Jasper.
“I know, but Basil has enough people picking on him already, he didn’t need a grown woman doing it as well, so I shooed her out of the house and Larry followed her,” he said.
“Your childishness could have just cost me my job.” I said.
“I doubt it, you outrank those idiots by a lot and isn’t Mr. Blainstreet about to retire anyways? I think he’s more interested in finding a successor than petty squabbles between his employees.”
“I suppose your right, but what are we going to do about Basil? He has no friends and…”
Jasper cut me off. “You’re worried , I know, but he has his family and Mystery for as long as he needs her.”
“Maybe we should put him in scouts or something like that. He can’t keep his imaginary friend forever.”
Jasper grabbed my hands. “We’ll figure something out, for now I say we go to bed and get a fresh start on that tomorrow.”
“You’re right.” Jasper pulled me into an embrace and we stayed like that for five or ten minutes before we let go and headed to bed.
Despite all his optimistic words I slept little that night. If only I knew that things would get easier for Basil, much better than I could possibly imagine.