Percival leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees, his fingers twining together thoughtfully. “Willow, I’m going to make a series of assumptions, and if you disagree with any of them, please stop me. The main reason you decided to come here was a split one, one half your deduction of the letter I sent to you under the name of Arkus. However, if the letter did not exist and you had no prior connection to us, you would have still come, owing to the second half of the reason: that we are magi and nothing interests you more.” Willow pressed his lips together. “So I thought. I assumed several things in that letter and only now have you proved to me that they were correct. We know a lot more about you than you probably believe is possible, but that is because you consider yourself meaningless and common. You are not,”
“I – I don’t understand,” he said, shaking his head,
Percival drew in breath, as if he was about to leap somewhere dark and inescapable. “Your fascination with magick stems from the belief that you do not have magick yourself. That you are aosí, born from the same earth as magi but not given the granted gifts to do the extraordinary. I came here to tell you that your own assumption is wrong.”
Willow wanted to say many things, but all that came out was a laugh. “You’re trying to tell me I’m a magus? If anybody’d known that, it’d be me.” He flexed his fingers like Percival had, to no effect. “See?”
“Does a man open a book not knowing how to read?”
“But I –,”
“You’ve lived afraid of magick, Willow. The wrong word to the wrong person would have you gutted or working at the Brinks.” Willow stiffened, he’d known magi to be in Vincula, but never for long. Once they were discovered, they were taken away, their possessions destroyed and a new convict living in their home the next morning. Many times he’d thought that he’d die keeping Wilmina’s secret.