Nilien cleared her throat. “I’m Nilien, by the way.” She looked pointedly at the intruder. “And I hear I have magic classes this afternoon, so I’d like to finish my lunch. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name…?”

“Oh, I’m Thesri.” The peach-clad person shrugged, as if that didn’t matter one bit. “You ought to find out more about what happened to you.”

“Why?” Augustin turned to glare at Thesri. “Because you’re nosy?”

“Aren’t you?” Thesri smiled as if that made the point.

“Well, I admit I’m a little curious, but not enough to badger poor Nilien.”

“Badger? No, that’s Marlot, over there, with the vivid lime-green familiar. You know, the one with the stripe down its head.” Thesri pointed vaguely. “Me, on the other hand, I’m just curious. And I think she ought to be curious, too. I mean, if someone’s trying to kill you, checking for poison is great and all but it would help to know who she ought to be looking out for.”

Nilien took the out Thesri had offered, even if it hadn’t been meant as an escape route. “I’ll write my parents. Maybe they’ll have something more to tell me than they already have. But first, I’m going to eat lunch.”

She picked up her fork and began eating again. Her lunch had already started to go cold, but she was determined to eat some of it anyway, if only to make a point.

“Oh, come on, tell me something else, anything else. You don’t remember your first experience with your familiar at all? Or anything else? Your familiar doesn’t know anything else?”

The nerve of some people. Ember glared at Thesri, who seemed not to notice.

“There’s got to be something you can tell me. How does someone kill you and you end up forgetting the whole thing?”

It was, Nilien had to admit, a very good question. Why had she forgotten the whole thing?

If she answered, however, she’d never get anywhere with her food. She looked faux-apologetically at Thesri and covered her mouth with her hand, indicating to all good people and, she hoped, to Thesri, that she had her mouth full and couldn’t answer.

“Well, fine, if you’re going to be that way. But when you hear from your parents, let me know. I want all the details.” Thesri turned back around in a huff, leaving Nilien to eat in peace.

“Some people just don’t know when to stop,” Lorque muttered, but Nilien really had her mouth full this time and didn’t answer. Conveniently, she couldn’t answer when Augustin asked her a question, either, or when Riva told her something else she’d read in a book — this time about fox familiars.

In that manner, Nilien managed to get through the rest of lunch without having to answer any more awkward questions, although she did have to pantomime a few variations on “I don’t know.” The whole thing was somehow more distracting than just answering the questions, however, and she found she had no idea what she had eaten when she was done — except that she was fairly certain that it wasn’t poisoned.

2 thoughts on “3.7

  1. …Okay, all the characters in this so far are kind of grating on me, except Nilien and Lorque. Somebody needs to smack Thesri upside the head and explain to them that IT’S NONE OF THEIR DAMN BUSINESS.

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