Nilien sighed. “It’s not working.”
“No?” Professor Hestinger leaned forward. “You said ‘oh.’ What was that?”
“Oh, that?” She wrinkled her nose. “I was trying to see the black stone, but I ended up seeing Ember and your familiar glowing, instead. And our runic marks.” She gestured with her marked hand. “They all glow.”
“Oh, very good. That’s magic sight.” Professor Hestinger smiled broadly at her. “That’s an excellent skill to learn; it can be very useful. So you saw the familiars and the marks, of course. They must have glowed rather brightly?”
“Yes, sir.” He was far too excited about her not managing to get the lesson down right! “But I didn’t manage to find the black stone.” She frowned down at Ember in her lap, who was oblivious to this all, apparently napping.
“That will come with time.” Professor Hestinger brushed her concern away with a cheerful wave of his hand. “If you’re discovering magic sight now, well, then we’ll worry about magic sight for the moment. Did you see anything else? Not the stone, of course; that wouldn’t have a magic signature the way our familiars do.”
Nilien wanted to get back to the lesson. She wasn’t ever going to catch up if they kept getting distracted. She swallowed a sigh. “There was something,” she admitted. “When I was looking at Ember…” She hesitated. “I don’t know how I did it, but I saw a mark on my back.”
“Well, magic sight doesn’t care about obstructions to normal sight. After all, you saw my runic mark, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.” And that had been, she supposed, through his shirt-sleeve and jacket sleeve.
“But a mark on your back? That’s quite interesting.” Professor Hestinger frowned in thought. “When we’re done here, I do believe you should go talk to Professor Vaudelle. She’s quite good with magic sight, and she may be able to tell you more about this mark.”
“Yes, sir. Ah…”
“I’ll take you to her office, have no fear. It can be quite easy to get lost in these halls, can’t it? But first, let’s work a little more on the lesson at hand. I know you’re eager to catch up to your friends. Let’s try to discern the black pebble in the bowl one more time. This time, I want you to focus on the differences between a white pebble and a black pebble.”