She opened the door to our form room. A group of the boys were sat on the desks, laughing. A few of them turned their heads to look at us. Nat smiled at me and looked me up and down.
“Where’s Lewin?” Zoe asked.
“How should I know?” Nat replied, not taking his eyes off me.
“Nathan Hold, will you look at me?”
He looked at her sharply.“I don’t know where Lewin is.”
“That’s all I wanted.”
Nat looked back at me and his enchanting smile came back. I left the room with Zoe but looked over my shoulder. He was still watching me. Zoe and I rounded a corner and he was out of sight.
“Just because I’m not bothered if you date my brother, doesn’t mean I want to see you visually flirting in front of me,” said Zoe.
“Sorry. I’ve never done any of this before.”
“What did you do with your time except for eat and sleep?” she asked.
“Not even them. I don’t know to be honest. Reading, learning new spells, flying, that’s about it. I’ve done virtually nothing in thirteen solid years,” I admitted, only realising just then.
“So you don’t eat or sleep?”
“I don’t need to but I can.”
“Well that’s fairly awesome,” she said.
“It would be if I had something to do. Sometimes I hang out at the graveyard but the dead aren’t any fun to talk to,” I told her. Not that she would ever need to know, hopefully.
“This conversation is starting to get creepy.”
“Yeah, I can imagine.”
“So... Talbot the Dragon?” she said.
I rolled my eyes at her. “It means ‘messenger of destruction’.”
“Well that’s... enlightening,” she said.
“Isn’t it just.”
Zoe pushed open a pair of doors. Inside were rows and rows of plastic boxes with glass in the front. Zoe sat down in one of the chairs. I sat next to her but wouldn’t touch the thing. She tapped at letters on a plastic block in front of her. She looked at me.
“What’s up?” she asked.
“What are these things?”
“You’re kidding me,” she said. “They’re computers.”
“Computers? I always thought they’d look more future-y. I’ve never seen one before,” I said truthfully
“Father is unwilling to get one. He says they’re the Devil’s work – which doesn’t quite make sense.”
“Uncle Jonathon would never bother with machines.”
“It’s a long story that goes back thousands of years. I’ve never cared for history.”
“Me neither. But anyway, so you’ve never seen a computer before?”
She paused. “You said future-y earlier. Did you mean ‘futuristic’?”
“Sorry,” I said, smiling, “that happens sometimes. English is my second language and I’m not great at it.”
“What’s your first language?”
“One older than mankind. It doesn’t have a name, it’s just there really. I was taught English by my mother when I was three. Father objected a lot but Mother can’t speak our language so he let her. I’ve got five years to learn every single language spoken in this world and maybe a few spoken in the Otherworld.”
“How many is that?”