“I still don’t know,” Nilien admitted. “I agree, there’s worse things than making a fuss, but I still don’t think that walking up to someone who may or may not be trying to kill me and confronting them with that fact is a good idea.”

“Well, talk to someone. Maybe another teacher? Before they end up trying again. Especially if you’re going to be sending off Ember places – it can’t watch your back if you’re not there and you can’t be looking for tracking symbols when your familiar’s on the other side of the school.”

Nilien sighed. “They don’t believe me, the teachers, but all right. Professor Vaudelle at least knows about the tracking spell. Maybe she can help somehow.”

“See? At least this way you’re not ignoring the problem because Chason is nice.”

“It’s not like… all right.” She wasn’t going to win that argument, she could already tell. “All right, all right. I’ll talk to Professor Vaudelle.”

She might as well take care of that now; she was fairly sure Lorque wasn’t going to give her any peace until she did something. She got to her feet, still happy that her ankle didn’t feel horrible anymore, and opened the door.

Ember was on the other side, looking disgruntled and a little disheveled. The familiar matches the owner, it complained, and limped into the room, favoring its front left paw. The thing chased me off and tried to bite me. A nasty, awful piece of work. It hopped onto the bed and walked back and forth – favoring, Nilien couldn’t help but notice, its front right paw. I learned nothing of interest – because it is a nasty horrible thing and has nothing interesting to say – except that it is a cranky and unfriendly badger who should be ignored at all costs. I imagine its person is much the same. Ember plopped down and began checking itself over for injuries.

“Ember went looking for Heldira’s familiar,” Nilien relayed. She checked herself over for tracking spells again, since Ember was there, but found none. “It says that the badger is unpleasant and ought to be ignored as much as possible but, being unpleasant and definitely ignore-able, it was able to tell Ember nothing at all interesting.” She hid her smile from her familiar. who was now studying its left rear paw.

I think it bit me. That thing bit me. People ought not to be allowed to keep familiars that bite. Well, it allowed, looking away, that bite other familiars.

“So, I suppose talking to Heldira might end in me getting bitten,” Nilien offered, mostly managing not to laugh. “So once Ember is feeling up to it, we’ll go talk to Professor Vaudelle.”

4 thoughts on “7.3

  1. Minor notes – your italics missed being turned off after “someone” in the second paragraph, so the rest is all italicized. Also, Ember favours its front left paw on the way into the room, then its front right paw after jumping on the bed. Is it switching through all of them, or should those be consistent?

      1. Definitely intentional. Ember is pretending it’s limping, but not doing a great job of remembering which paw is “hurt.”

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