Rating: PG/PG-13 (Pretty much the same as the show)
Pairings: All canon, focusing on Klaine inasmuch as the story is about Kurt.
Warnings: None for this chapter, though things will get a bit darker in the next.
Summary: Inspired from the prompt/discussion: "Kurt Hummel is magic. His magic just doesn't work for other people." But that's not quite true. Kurt Hummel just needs to learn how to make the magic work for himself.
Notes: This is the first fic I've posted publicly in about 6 years, and my first in this fandom, so constructive criticism would be awesome. The whole story is outlined and lots of the next chapter is written, if I focus and work isn't to stressful should be up in the next couple of weeks. 

Read more... )

 

"Ooh, look at this one!" Kurt held up a skull-patterned scarf he had just pulled out of the dollar bin at the West Lima Goodwill. He carefully inspected the fabric. "It's one of the best McQueen knock-offs I've seen!" He threw it into the cart.
They had been poking thorugh dollar bins and sale racks for the last two hours, the "retail therapy" part of Kurt's plan to get over his NYADA rejection. Retail therapy had been preceded by a lot of "ice-cream, cheesecake, and sappy movie" therapy, with a little "get the rest of the Hummel-Hudsons out of the house to make as much noise as possible" therapy.
"On Monday, I buckle down and figure out what to do," Kurt had said when Blaine tried to nudge some internship applications his way. "Give me a full 72 hours to get my fighting spirit back." He had started to nibble on Blaine's ear at that point, and Blaine couldn't argue anymore.
Today, though, they were shopping. And oh, was shopping with Kurt an adventure, one that sometimes required a healthy willing suspension of disbelief. Blaine picked up the scarf that Kurt had just dropped on top of the pile. "Kurt, this looks like it might be real Alexander McQueen."
"Don't be ridiculous, Blaine, it only costs a dollar. It's just very well-done knock-off."
This didn't satisfy Blaine, never really did. And after his last conversation with Brittany ... He decided to press the issue. "Yeah, but isn't it a little strange that you found all these clothes for, what, like $45?"
Kurt wrinkled his forehead, not sure where Blaine was going with this. "Well, not all of us have a cousin who gets us 50% off at Brooks Brothers, do we? I've been thrifiting since I was 12, I have a good eye."
"Yeah, but Kurt, some of these are real designer clothes. You once got a perfectly fitted Vivian Westwood suit for like $10. One that had to have been over a thousand if you got it any where else but Value Village."
Kurt stopped riffling through scarves and considered Blaine for a minute. "I don't get where this is going? Somebody in Lima has a rich grandmother with good taste and doesn't know what the clothes are worth, or something. I don't know. I'm just lucky, I guess?"
"Yeah, but this doesn't feel like luck to me. It looks like ..." Blaine paused, then plunged. "It looks like magic."
Kurt tilted his head to the side, trying to figure out if this was an elaborate prank, or if the summer heat had made his boyfriend lose it. "Magic? Where would you get a crazy idea like that?"
"Well, I was talking to Brittany the other day -"
"Wait, you think I'm somehow magically summoning designer clothes to Lima thrift stores because of something Brittany said? This is a girl who thought Rory was a leprachaun for at least a week."
Blaine sighed; he had a feeling this was how Kurt would react. But now that he'd let this out into the open, he had to keep going. "That's kind of the point, though, right? Brittany believes in things other people don't, and maybe sometimes that's naive of her, but sometimes she's asking the right question. I think this time she asked the right question." Kurt was still staring at him in disbelief. "Listen, last week when you and Finn were moping together, I started helping Brittany out with some of her summer school classes. At some point, she got kind of quiet, and very seriously asked me, 'Why did Kurt give all his magic to Rachel?'"
"Did she give you any idea what she was talking about? Or was that all she had to say to get you to believe magic was real?"
"No, I wouldn't just let her leave it at that. She told me that at prom, when you crowned Rachel prom queen, you gave your magic to her along with the crown. She couldn't explain it any further than that, just told me to find out why." Blaine took one look at the total disbelief on Kurt's face, and figured that maybe now was the time to drop this, but he added, "And the more I thought about it, and the more I thought about you, the more what she said stuck with me. So I figured I'd ask. If you think I'm nuts I won't mention it again. But Brittany also said that if you didn't believe me, or her, you should talk to Mercedes. Ask her about her choirs."
Kurt sighed and found Blaine's hand in the pile of scarves. "I don't think you're nuts. I think next year is going to be really interesting if you believe everything Brittany says. Am I going to come home for Christmas and find that you two are, I don't know, working on a time machine?" Blaine smiled. The idea had crossed his head once or twice, but he wasn't going to say anything to Kurt right now. "C'mon, I'm gonna pay for this stuff and then we'll go share a piece of cheesecake?"
And that should have been the end of that, Kurt thought. Magic? That was ridiculous. Magic was Harry Potter and fantasy movies, or it was card tricks and slight of hand and badly fitting tuxedoes. Magic wasn't real.
Was it?
***
Kurt sat in the livingroom with Finn and his dad. Carole was working a late shift, so they were having one of their last "guy's nights" before Finn left for basic training. Kurt appreciated being included, but mostly he sat behind his laptop screen on the couch while there were sports of some kind on tv. He kept trying to forget about it, but his conversation with Blaine stuck in his head.
He skimmed down the chat list in his email when the little circle next to Mercedes' name turned green. "If you don't believe us, you should talk to Mercedes," Blaine had said. "Ask about her choirs," Blaine had said, as if that made any sense to Kurt. Except . . .
me: hey, 'Cedes? you around?
Mercedes: hi kurt!
yup
staring at my room, tyring to start packing
*trying
me: I can't believe you're headed to LA in a couple of weeks
I'm so excited for you!
Mercedes: thnx!
you know, you should think about coming to LA with me
Kurt paused. He should probably respond to that; it was a conversation they'd had before, only very briefly. He'd considered it, but what would he do in California? He didn't have any really good reasons (too sprawling, too smoggy, too much sun), but the thing nagging at him was not New York. But that was not what this conversation was about. Kurt shook his head and carefully typed his next line.
me: Can I ask you a weird question?
Mercedes: sure ...
me: This is going to sound completely nuts, and we can pretend it never happened if you think I'm being ridiculous
Mercedes: ?
me: Blaine said that he was talking to Brittany, and they were talking about some weird stuff, and Brittany told him to tell me that if I didn't believe them, to ask you about your choir
Mercedes: oh
ok
You don't mean the regular choir I sing with every sunday, do you
me: no ... like, when we sang "Like a Prayer" for Madonna week sophomore year
or this Valentine's Day
Mercedes: well ... there are times when we need a choir, right? They're cool, they just kind of come when we need them
when we do, I ask, and whoever isn't tied down comes to sing
me: well, that makes sense. So you ask them all when you're rehearsing or something?
Mercedes: not exactly ...
sometimes we don't plan in advance, right? when the moment feels like we need a choir, I ask, and they show up
me: oh
so you send, like, an email blast or something?
Mercedes: no ... not quite like that. Look, this is going to sound really weird, and I know you don't believe in this kind of stuff
But I swear to God it's true, at least as much as I understand it
I, like, wish or pray or just think really hard that we need a choir right now
and they come
I don't know how or why
I can sometimes do it with back-up dancers too - get the Cheerios to show up when we need them, just by asking, like, God or the universe or something
kind of like ...
like magic
omg you think I'm nuts
A moan from Finn and his dad, clearly upset about something happening in the game, startled Kurt from his preoccupation. He realized he'd left Mercedes' last few words hanging on the chat screen, and quickly replied.
me: no, I don't think you're nuts
I've been having a weird day though, I've got to go
We'll talk later, ok?
Mercedes: yeah
We gotta hang out more before I leave!!
but ttyl for now
<3
me: bye
And he closed his computer. "I- I'm going up to my room," he said to his dad and Finn, who weren't really paying attention to him. "I'll make us all breakfast tomorrow, ok?" Finn nodded, they both said goodnight, and Kurt ran up the stairs.
He curled up on his bed, pulled out his phone, but stopped himself before he called Blaine. No, he needed to figure this out for himself first. Because all of this was absurd. There was no such thing as magic. Blaine had just read Harry Potter too many times, and he's adorable for it but gets into this kind of thing way too easily. Mercedes thought this was prayer or something God-related, which, fine, she has every right to believe. Brittany believed in Santa Claus and leprechauns and thought her cat was on ecstasy. Of course she believed in magic. But why would they all think Kurt had some kind of powers?
Ok, the clothes were a little hard to explain sometimes. When he was younger he had to show his father all the receipts to prove he hadn't stolen some of the more obviously expensive things from department stores. And Mercedes choirs, and her explaination for them, were definitely not something he could rationalize. So ok, maybe there were things he couldn't rationalize. But if Kurt were magic, wouldn't he be able to do other things? Wouldn't things work out better for him? Wouldn't he have spent his first few years of high school not being Slushied or slammed into lockers? Wouldn't he have won senior class president? Been Tony? Wouldn't he be going to NYADA instead of Rachel Berry?
Why did Kurt give all his magic to Rachel? That was what Brittany had asked, wasn't it? Could he have possibly done something to get Rachel into that stupid school instead of himself?
Kurt was pacing back and forth now. No, this was impossible. He sat down on his bed and opened his computer. It was time to start researching, planning, doing things. He logged in, fully intending to look up drama programs with rolling admissions, and instead, almost absent-mindedly, he typed the word "magic" into the search engine.
He had no idea what he expected to find. Most of the results were about fantasy books, or magicians, or New Age-y crystals. But near the bottom of the page, there was a discussion board posting - "Do these sound like weird coincidences or could this be real magic?" and he couldn't help himself, he clicked. Someone asking a forum, with their inquiries surrounded by "I know this sounds crazy but" and "Please don't think I'm delusional but..." Kurt started twisting the ends of his scarf around his fingers as he skimmed down the page. People, mostly teenagers it sounded like, listing all sorts of weird stuff that happeend to them or around them, things that had to be coincidences, really, until they happened two or three or ten times, and Kurt started remembering things that happened to him that he could never really explain.
There was a theme in a lot of the responses - "It happens the strongest when I'm really upset" - "I can't control it, it only happens when I'm really mad or hurt or something" - "it happened for the first time when my sister died" - and then Kurt remembered something. Remembered, and picked up the phone to call Blaine.
"Hey Kurt, how are you doing?" Blaine asked.
"You never saw the garden in my old house, before we moved in with Carole and Finn."
"N-no, I think the first time you had me over was after you started at Dalton, after you moved. Why? What does that have to do with anything?"
"It has to do with what you asked me earlier today." There was a pause, and Kurt could tell Blaine was trying to find the right words of encouragement. Kurt sighed and cut him off. "No, listen, let me tell you this whole thing, because if I stop top think about I'm going to chicken out because this makes no sense, but I think you and Brittany might be right, and why I think so has a lot do do with that garden." He paused and took a deep breath. "My mom kept a really amazing garden in our backyard. A really spectacular rosebush, surrounded by dozens other flowers so it would be in bloom from early spring until the frost. She was just starting to teach me her tricks for getting everything to grow so well when she got sick and she couldn't take care of it anymore. My dad tried really hard to keep it growing well, but he really didn't have the green thumb she did, and things started to get choked out by weeds. The rose didn't bloom at all. It almost felt like when she died, the garden was going to die with her.
"I probably wasn't old enough to make that connection then, but I do remember I noticed how, after the funeral, my dad would stare out at the garden, just stare and look lost.
"One night, about three weeks after she died, I needed to get out of the house. I was too young to actually go anywhere, but I slipped out into the backyard and curled up in front of the half-dead rosebush. All I could think about was how she needed to come back to make the flowers grow again, because maybe if the flowers grew again my dad would be happy again." Kurt paused, and Blaine wished that he was there in person to hold his hand. "I woke up the next morning to my dad calling out for me, worried that I wasn't in my bed. He found me in the garden, and just when he was about to yell at me for scaring him by hiding, we noticed the rosebush.
"It wasn't wilted-lookint anymore - the leaves looked healthier, brown ones fallen away, and there were tight little flower buds on every branch. The other plants were starting to look healthier too, and within a week, where there had been weeds and brambles was the garden exactly as my mother had left it. It continued to bloom perfectly until we moved, even though neither of us did anything to take care of it.
"I never thought too hard about how that happened, the garden coming back to life. I was young and lonely and grieving, and I guess a part of me was afraid if I questioned it too hard it would stop." He took a deep breath, let the silence hang on the line for a second. "I think, though, it is time to question it. I think it's time to figure out what this is, what it means, and if maybe it's something I can learn to use."
"Then I think I know what we need to do. Brittany gave me exactly the person to get in touch with."
Kurt still couldn't help being skeptical. "Oh, yeah? Witch, leprechaun, or fairy?"
"Neither," said Blaine. "The fortune teller at the mall. Meet you there tomorrow?"
"Fine," said Kurt, "but only if we can go shopping afterwards."

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