“I’m a new student,” Nilien agreed cautiously. The last thing she wanted right now was another lecture on being a “Weed”. “Am I needed for something?”
“Well, yes.” The teacher looked down her long nose at Nilien. “I am Administrator Sirin. I handle several crucial but often overlooked matters in Reinmonte, which as far as you are concerned at the moment involves uniforms. That is, you are in need of one. This way.”
Well, it couldn’t be that bad. At least in a uniform, she might blend in. “I’ll catch up with you?” she asked Lorque.
“I’ll meet you back in our room. I still haven’t shown you the library! Or the gardens, or the towers, or—”
“Later, Lorque.” M. Sirin took Nilien lightly by the upper arm. “This way. And do hold on to your familiar, or at least admonish it not to wander off.” Her shoes clicked against the stone floor as she led Nilien further into the castle.
I am not going to “wander off”, Ember huffed. Besides, if anyone decided to bother me, I would just—
“Shhh,” Nilien admonished. “Ember won’t run off,” she informed M. Sirin. “It’s just being lazy.”
M. Sirin smiled as she looked off into the distance — a distance in her mind, as the halls were short here, with many turns. “It’s good to be able to argue with your familiar. And it seems like yours will give you plenty of practice. Bother here likes to argue, too.” The snake around her neck lifted its head and stuck its tongue out at Nilien.
Nilien looked away. “Your familiar likes to be carried, too?”
“Oh, Bother is faster than me if it really puts its mind to it, but yes, of course. It likes to take its time or stay near me.” She patted the snake’s side affectionately.
Foxes make much better companions. Ember wriggled in Nilien’s arms, getting comfortable. Silently, she agreed with the fox.
“And here we are.” M. Sirin stopped in a room laden with racks of sludge-brown clothing. She picked up a cloth tape measure and took down Nilien’s numbers with brisk efficiency. “Mmm, mm-hrrm, all right. Bother, did you get that?”
The snake hissed, looking amused. Nilien managed not to back up, mostly by holding Ember tighter.
“I’m afraid you need to put your familiar down for this part, dear. There we go. And… yes. All right.” M. Sirin pulled white blouses and sludge-brown skirts and jackets from the racks and passed them to Nilien. “Try that on, then. Right in that little room. The tape measure never lies, but sometimes it fibs, or the shirts are misfiled.”
It was going to clash horribly with Ember, Nilien thought, but that didn’t seem like sufficient reason to complain. She took the uniform into the little room and tried it on. finding that, while the color was hideous, the uniform fit quite nicely indeed.
“Very good,” M. Sirin approved. “Now. Let’s see about getting those red.”
What subject is Nilien most interested in?
— MARKED (@MarkedSerial) January 20, 2017