I have a story set in a world similar to x-men where some people develop powers like x-men. However, it's not a superhero story, it takes place on a college campus and mainly focused on everyday life, discussion of powered vs no powered relations, and the mentoring relationship of protagonist and another young child.
The protagonist is going to be the type that likes to find useful ways to exploit normal powers, and both of the main characters powers are not things that you would want to use in the obvious overt ways in every-day life. Thus I'm trying to figure out what other tricks the protagonist may come up with to use these abilities.
The protagonists ability is to block the powers of others around him from working, or more accurately to absorb the energy that fuels active powers before they can manifest. However, intentionally blocking the abilities of someone else is rude, at the very least, if not arguably criminal. Besides which some people go through such severe transformations that they can only survive due to passive powers helping them to, for instance, breath despite having developed gills, so blocking everyone's powers around him could potentially kill someone; he very quickly learns to not project his blocking field for this reason.
Some of the interesting effect he manages is to sense the power he is blocking and where it came from, making him able to sense active powers used around him, and thus who has powers (he always absorbs a little of the power, even when not actively blocking), and eventually he develops enough of a 'feel' for powers to get a rough idea of the kind of power someone has by what he is absorbing; nothing specific.
He also has a young child he is playing mentor for who has the ability to read and effect minds, but uit only works on a subconscious level (both his and the targets subconscious). The kid can't read your social security number or what your think about Firefly, but he can get a general 'feel' for someone's subconscious thoughts; which acts as part ability to emotion by sensing the 'feeling' of the subconscious, and part an ability to judge character by sensing rather their subconscious thoughts are positive ones, sneaky etc. The kid does not fully consciously understand or control what he is sensing, getting his own subconscious impression of the other person, and it's left ambiguous what all he can gleam.
The kid can also slightly effect someone's subconscious thoughts, inclining them to be more accepting of an idea, to feel a certain way, or to start thinking about a certain topic; though it is not an overt control and he can't force anyone into something they are truly oppose to; and it's not clear how much he is aware of or controls this ability either, thankfully he doesn't do this too often at first.
The protagonist is afraid that a child that can subtle manipulate others to get what he wants will grow up horrible spoiled and bad if he gets in the habit of exploiting his power. When the kid acts curious about his newly developed powers the protagonist would thus want to distract the kid away from realizing the true power by teaching him other nifty, but harmless, tricks. This is the part I really need help with, what other tricks could he come up with to entertain the kid and help the kid learn about his powers while distracting him away from the obvious uses.
As of now the only trick I have is to be able to learn to sense who is behind him by learning the 'feel' of someone else's subconscious mind. In fact he creates a whole game off of that idea that he gets other kids involved in (making the kid 'guess' which kid is sneaking up on him effectively).
What other tricks could either of these two use, particularly the kid, to do interesting things with their powers. They don't even have to be useful, just a novel game for the child to distract would be good.