“A letter?” Nilien bounced up, only to be reminded suddenly that her ankle was not healed yet, just improved. She moved more carefully over to the door. “I wonder who might have sent me a letter? I asked my brothers to write, but they never do…” She took the letter. “Thank you, Administrator Sirin.”
“Of course, dear.” The administrator nodded politely; on her shoulder, Bother mirrored the gestured. She turned, and they both left.
“I wonder who it’s from?” The handwriting on the front was not that of either of her brothers; it was too tidy, the letters too wide and cheerful. “Oh! I think this is from – yes, it is.” She slid her finger under the seal – lavender in color and in design – and opened the letter. “It’s Larisse; I went to school with her before I came here.” She sat back down on the bed.
“Didn’t you say Ember could track things?” Riva asked. “Not the letter,” she clarified. “But you said that it tracked the tracking spell. And I read in a book about tracking and magical items – they ought to have some sort of magical residue, shouldn’t they?”
Dear Nilien, the letter read, Things have been very exciting here! You would not believe the adventures we have been having, and all because of you!
Nilien looked up. “Ember did track the tracking spell,” she agreed. She wasn’t really sure how she felt about Riva’s books, all things considered. “That was looking for the person who made the spell, though.”
There have been detectives on the campus, looking everywhere for clues! They are investigating the attack on you, like a real crime! They say that they will find the person who poisoned you and “they will pay to fullest.” It is all very serious, and they do not like to answer questions, but Danette says that they spent two hours searching your room for anything that the attacker might have left behind. They looked disappointed when they left, she says….
“Well, do you think it could look for a pendant, then? Someone has to have made the magic on the pendant. And if someone’s still trying to hurt you, they have to be around here somewhere.”
Nilien looked up from the letter again. “I don’t know. Ember? Do you think you could?”
Ember looked at her, ears raking back against its head. That’s not the sort of thing a familiar normally does, you know, it informed her haughtily. I am better served keeping an eye on you and keeping you from being lost, or from having trees fall on you, or from being alone with strange boys who want to take you into forbidden places.
Nilien’s cheeks heated up. “That’s not what…! So,” she cleared her throat, “can you do it?”
Ember looked away. I don’t know. Its mental tone and expression were still very haughty. And furthermore, I don’t care to find out.
Oh come on, Ember…
— MARKED (@MarkedSerial) March 30, 2017