Marinia laughed haughtily, and her pale cheeks brushed red under her eyes, as if she was filled with an aberrant joy. ‘I’d like to see you try. Really, Wilthric, try it. Ignore the fact that my essence is twice as strong as yours. You’d be flying off your feet and roasting in the fireplace before I blinked.’
Will watched Andrel and Tayna, wondering a myriad of things, when they would spellcast, what spell they would use, and what the result would be. But he hadn’t expected what actually happened, for Tayna’s arm to lower and for Andrel to step to the side, almost in the crowd like another motionless spectator. They both caught his look of confusion and matched it with a shrug that said there was nothing they could do.
Marinia laughed again. ‘How predictable,’
‘How boring,’ chorused Valda.
‘Come and find us, Avaric,’ she said, causing Will to perk up and respond compliantly. ‘We have…matters to discuss.’ Saying no more, they turned around, their hair whirling out across their shoulders, and left the room with a walk of complete confidence, and absolute control.
Will did not hesitate to approach Tayna and Andrel once the twins were gone, their words of mockery long having echoed down the stairwell and faded from earshot. The room seemed to move much slower, as if their presence had left everybody debilitated, and Will couldn’t help but notice that without the strange sense of power he’d felt gone, the air was less encroaching, and at that it felt safer.
‘Did we lose?’ Will asked, his gaze flickering between them. Andrel had picked his discarded sock up off the ground and was clenching it like it could hold all of his frustration, and Tayna did her best sitting down at the sofas not to make eye contact with the rest of the students in the room.
‘We didn’t lose anything,’ said Andrel, ‘but we didn’t make much either,’
‘So why didn’t you do something? Like…hex them or something,’
‘As much as that’d thrill me,’ sighed Tayna, tipping her head back to meet Will’s eyes, who stood behind the sofa with Andrel, who perched on the back. ‘It’s not allowed. Magick has to be for a purpose, a good one. Turning those two into squalling cacknies isn’t good enough,’
‘That’s up for debate,’ grumbled Andrel, his eyes glazing over with such a mental image. Will tried to conjure the same, and ended with the visualisation of two black-feathered birds spitefully breaking bones with their wings.