Leif: I have questions about how Southern Magic works for everyday, non-magical-girl people.
Thorn: Good news! I’m a non-magical-girl person. Ask away.
Leif: Well . . . can you predict when spirits are going to affect the weather? How much advance warning do the weather reporters have?
Thorn: Spirits are smart, and make their own choices. We can’t know when a flock of them will decide to join up with a storm (or whatever else) until after they do it.
But they don’t create weather. We’ll know the storm itself is on the way. If a weather event is big enough to be dangerous, authorities will get ready to add “hey, it’s magic now” ASAP to the warnings they’re already sending.
Leif: If spirits are so wild and unpredictable . . . how do you use them to run your utilities?
Thorn: We don’t put just any spirits in our plumbing and lighting — we filter for the friendly ones! For the most part, that’s enough to make the systems run smoothly.
If there’s a problem, call a technician to sort the spirits out. That’s not even a full-on magical girl — just a person with an affinity and some training. You might not even need the training, if the problem’s small enough . . . and if you’re enough of a charmer.
Grassie Amande reportedly had a fire affinity, and used to dazzle the spirits in her studio’s heating system. That must’ve been adorable.
Leif: Do you need a water affinity to make the spirits turn the faucet on?
Thorn: That would be a really tough system for anyone who didn’t! No, we have fixtures that anyone can use to adjust a thermostat, run water, or turn on the lights.
Me, I have a water affinity . . . which mostly just means the spirits will interact with me a little, and respond if I play with them.