“I don’t, I don’t, shhh,” Nilien hushed Riva. “Shhhh. No. I don’t have another spell on me, I’ve looked.” Just in case, she looked again, taking a moment while everyone waited, staring at her. “No. I don’t have another spell on me.”

“What are you talking about?” complained Istore. “What spells? Is this some We-”

“Hush.” Riva glared at him. “Be nice, or you can go eat dinner with Thesri or off in the stables.”

“Well!” He huffed at her. “What brought that on?”

“Nilien is our friend There’s no point in being mean to her. Come on, be nice. Or she won’t tell us what she’s talking about!”

She has such good motivations for being nice, doesn’t she? Ember hopped up on the table and looked around at Nilien’s gathered friends – and Istore. Don’t tell them anything, they’re ridiculous.

Nilien removed Ember from the table and sat the fox back down on the floor. “Don’t, hrmmm?” She was feeling a little bit contrary. “I suppose that’s a good idea. Since Istore was being a little bit… ah.” She glanced over at Istore. “Himself?”

“Hey!” Istore frowned at her. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That you were acting in character?” she answered quickly. “I mean, ah, you did almost call me a Weed again, didn’t you?”

He cleared his throat and looked away. “It’s just a term for a Wild Rune,” he muttered. “I didn’t mean anything bad by it.”

“He’s just being – well, like you said,” Riva complained. “Don’t let that stop you from telling us, come on. If it’s not on you, what did you find?”

“Does she really often have spells on her?” Istore butted in. “What else aren’t you telling me?”

“Oh, plenty of things.” Augustin smiled cheerfully at the other boy. “But,” his smile faded, “Nilien, what aren’t you telling us?”

“You still haven’t told me if you can identify different sorts of magic,” she complained. “You haven’t even told me if you know the answer!”

“I think some of the older students can do it,” Riva answered uncertainly. “I read about it in an old book once, one of the textbooks for the very advanced students?”

“It’s not the sort of thing they’ve taught anyone at our level,” Istore offered. “But if you’re finding magic, you should check to be sure that it’s not supposed to be there, and if it isn’t, you should ask a teacher about it. You were learning magic sight? From Vaudelle? Perhaps ask her about it.”

“But first show us,” Riva put in. “If you show us, we can tell you if it’s supposed to be there or not. Right?”

“Right,” Lorque agreed, smiling. “What is it you found, anyway?”

poll pending

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