“There is magic?” Nilien asked. She might be able to pull up her magic-sight, athough she’d gotten very good at just looking for tracking spells on her own back – rather, she supposed, like being very good only at, say, division while ignoring addition and subtraction. “Can you track it to its source?”
I can track anything. Ember’s haughtiness was clearly intended to ignore those times when Ember hadn’t been able to find the source.
Nilien smiled at her familiar. “Try, then? And I’ll try to look for the magic.”
Of course. Do not levitate the magic and drop it on me.
“I don’t even know if that’s possible!”
Nilien’s complaint fell on deaf ears, as Ember already had its nose to the ground and was sniffing along in circles.
She leaned against a wall, as she didn’t want Ember to scold her again about sitting on floors and being unseemly, and closed her eyes for a minute. Don’t levitate the magic. Don’t levitate the –
No, she was being ridiculous. She looked for magic as if she was looking for a tracking spell on her back, focusing first on her back and then moving the sight out and around, until she was looking all over the hallway.
There was not, she noted, a tracking spell on her. That, at least, was a relief. And as she moved her vision out, there was no magic on the floor, but over the wall, there was a sort of curtain of magic hanging over it.
She wrinkled her nose and squinted, trying to get more information. It’s magic was not all that useful in a school dedicated to magic, after all. It wasn’t a tracking spell, she was pretty sure – but even here, who would need to track a wall?
“Besides,” she muttered, “a tracking spell normally wouldn’t make a pencil vanish. I need to learn more types of magic so I can discern them.”
Yes, you do, Ember complained. Because there is nothing to track. There is magic, yes. It is here. It does not come from here or leave here or come to here or move around here. There is simply magic here.
“It’s some sort of curtain,” she informed her familiar. “It’s here, more or less.” She gestured at the wall in front of them. “But as I said, I don’t know what it does.”
Well. Then we need to determine who can find out what it does. Since I do not believe you have moved on to spells which can move or unravel magic as of yet.
“I’m working as fast as I can, all right?” Nilien found herself snapping at Ember. “I’m trying hard. I’m studying and catching up on everything and you keep reminding me that I have a long way to go! I am quite aware that I am not doing as well here as I was at my old school. But it’s not like I asked for this!”
Yes. You asked to live. You wanted to live. And I, Ember bowed to her, I wish you to live. You are doing quite well, even if your well-doing sometimes injures my delicate skull. Let us go find something tasty at dinner, and ask your friend Lorque if she can identify a type of magic.
Nilien gave Ember a little smile. “Thank you.”
end chapter 9