“Can I learn how to remove it myself, Professor?” Nilien concentrated on her sight and managed to see the mark again. “I mean, if I find more, I don’t want to have to come back here and bother you every time…”

“We can certainly try to teach you, at least. All right. If you don’t already have magic sight up, pull it up.” The professor waited until Nilien nodded. “Very good. Now, like everything in runic magic, it’s a matter of focusing your power, but what I find helps here is if you think about erasing the lines. So you’re going to take the trace apart one line at a time. You see how the lines work here? So we’ll start with this curve, and imagine it gone, and so on down the whole thing. Understand?”

“Yes, professor.” Nilien buried her hands in Ember’s fur and concentrated. Nothing happened. She tried again, and again, but the tracking spell remained stubbornly on her back. “It won’t go away,” she sighed. Was everything in magic going to be this hard? She’d never catch up at this rate.

“It’s all right, it’s all right. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself here; removing the tracking spells is a bit more tricky that placing them, and, after all, it’s your first day. Here.” The professor was quiet for a moment, and the tracking mark vanished. “There. Now, if you get another tracking spell, you know how to look for it — don’t forget your feet and your head! — and you can come back and we’ll practice removing it again, all right?”

She really didn’t want to get another tracking spell. Even if it was another student, there were people who clearly didn’t want her here. “I’ll do that. You don’t mind me stopping in?”

“Not at all, dear. If I’m not here, there are a couple other professors who could help you. Professor Chevlin, for one. And I understand this must be very distressing for you, but have no fear. Reinmonte is a very safe place, and we will take very good care of you here.”

“Isn’t —” the tracking spell was already gone; she should have thought of this before. “Isn’t there any way to track the spell back to the person who placed it? Maybe if there’s another one, we could look for something? It’s just…”

“Of course, yes. We don’t want someone like that wandering around the school, and we certainly don’t want you to be in any danger.” Professor Vaudelle frowned. “Now, let me see…”

Ember looked up at her. I can find them.

“What?” Nilien stared at Ember. “Did you just say…?”

I can find the person that marked you. Ember yawned. All you had to do was ask.

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