6.10

Nilien kept ambling towards her dorm room, and Benoir kept walking along with her. The company was nice, and she did feel a little strange about being out alone after having Ember at her side almost constantly.

But she couldn’t help fishing for more information, too. There was too much she didn’t know, and in this case, what she didn’t know might actually kill her. “Do you know anything about people — students — using tracking spells for pranks?” She glanced over at him, wondering if she’d be able to read anything in his expression.

All she got was confusion. “Tracking spells? Like ‘this is where Professor Chevlin is’ sort of spells? I haven’t heard of anyone using them for pranks — although that’s not a bad idea. Maybe the next time Heline is being far too full of herself, I can do something with that. Thanks!”

“You’re — well, you’re welcome, I suppose. So that’s not something people do normally?” Maybe they’d done so when Professor Vaudelle was a student here?

Benoir shook his head. “No, or, at least, I’ve never heard of it. The aviary people don’t tend to be so big on that sort of thing — pranks and everything — that’s more your people. No offense.”

“None taken. I haven’t pulled any pranks yet, at least not here.” Not for lack of trying, though.

“Yes.” He smirked at her. “I’ll keep that in mind, if I get a tracking spell on me mysteriously.”

“Oh, I can’t do anything like that yet.” She sighed. “I’m still at the learning-my-letters stage of study when it comes to magic. It’s going so slowly, too.”

“It goes slowly for everyone at first. Don’t worry, it’ll click eventually. And then there you are, seeing through walls accidentally and putting tracking spells on everyone.”

She did not want to know about seeing through walls accidentally — wait. Did she? Yes. “Oh! I should ask you — do you know any more,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, “secret passages? There have to be other ways to get around this place, don’t there? Some of the public hallways are entirely counter-intuitive.”

“Do I?” He grinned at her. “Of course I do. Is that a map?” He looked at Chason’s map clutched in her hand. “I bet — here, yes. I can show you three passages just on this map, and there’s a lot missing here. Do you want to see them now?”

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