Where I live, we're approaching Midsummer's Day, the longest day of the year. In culture and literature that's often been associated with magic - Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream for example. When I'm reading fantasy, I prefer any magic system to have a clear set of rules, or an underlying explanation, even if the characters don't know it.
Here's a short extract from one of the books I'm currently writing where Ty and the angel Rafe dispute whether something is magic or not...
Ty huffed at him and turned towards her house which they’d now reached. Because he was watching for it, Rafe spotted the gesture which opened the wards.
“And that’s another thing,” he said. “You didn’t tell me this house was warded. Where did they come from? How do you know how to use them?”
“If you hadn’t come looking for me without warning me, you wouldn’t know,” she snapped back. “Saffy taught me and I keep them quiet because they’re magic and that doesn’t go down well.”
“They’re not magic and you’re not using them properly,” he retorted. “Magic is just a way of saying you don’t understand how something works.”
They were in the kitchen now and she flung her coat off and over a chair before turning on him again. “Well, I don’t understand how they work so they are magic and how come you’re so knowledgeable about them anyway?”
“Because they’re angel…” he pulled up short, unable to find the word he needed, if it even existed, “…stuff,” he finished lamely.
“Angel stuff?” she repeated. “Sure they are. Where would Saffy get ‘Angel Stuff’ from?”
He shrugged. “It might not have been her. Could have been someone before her, her mother or grandmother perhaps?”
Ty snorted at him. “Fine. Whatever. Angel stuff. If you say so. They do what I need.”
“Yeah? And what is that? Just how do you have them set?”
“You mean what do they do?” He nodded and she continued. “They keep bad people out and let good people and the sick and injured in.”
“They didn’t let me in!”
A hint of colour spread over Ty’s cheeks. “I haven’t told the wards about you yet.”
This time, Rafe kept his grin to himself. “So you do know how to operate them, then?"