Will kneaded his hands together in his lap, his mouth feeling dry and his cheeks on fire.
'She's out of your league, Woody,' said a voice behind him. He looked and saw that whilst everybody else had left the classroom, Mrs Hogston into her office, Marinia and Valda remained behind. They were sitting on the metal desk, their ankles crossed, watching him with a mix of scorn and intrigue. 'If I were you, I wouldn't even bother,' one smiled, but Will was too far away to deduce who.
'I'll be going now,' Will sighed, tossing his satchel strap over his front.
'Not so fast.' Her voice was sharp, and suddenly, Will felt his body seize up, an invisible force pressing him up against the ridge of the desk. One of the Twins jumped down from the desk and approached him, he eventually saw it was Marinia. 'There's an important question I have to ask, it's been bothering me for a while.'
'Oh really?' Will said coolly, all the while trying to break from whatever enchantment he supposed they were using on him. 'What's that?'
'Ever heard of auras, Will?' Valda asked, also jumping down and standing beside her sister.
'It - it rings a bell -,'
'It's the resonance of a spirit,' Marinia said with natural condescension. 'The stronger the aura, the stronger the spirit or power of the person. We control Spirit, so it might interest you to know that we see auras. It's handy to know how people are feeling, especially if they're annoyed, so we can annoy them more, but it's also good for knowing who's dead and who isn't. Catch my drift?'
Stiffly, Will shook his head.
'Well, I noticed something rather odd that day at the Lake, the day Laguna disappeared, and the day you rescued Sayara. What I noticed was this,' Marinia's eyes narrowed darkly, 'until you touched her, Sayara's aura was gone.'
They know, Will thought, trying to contain his terror. They know that - somehow - I revived her...Do they know how? Could they tell me?'
'So tell us this, Will,' said Valda, 'since when have you been able to ressurect the dead?'
'Don't tell them,' said the voice in his head. 'You can't tell them what you think. They'll only use it against you.
Wha - wait, how do you know?
'I just do. Trust me.'
'I - I don't know what you mean -,'
'Liar,' Marinia spat. 'You're not a Spirit sprite, you have no control over that, it's ourpower. You're just a weak, insignificant Wood sprite who gets in my way, so how did you do it? It wouldn't be the first time you've been able to do things you shouldn't. You know necromancy is illegal, don't you? They won't excuse you for a little boy crush.' Her eyes lit up with resentment. 'What are you?'
Will felt a weight in the pit of his stomach, the knowledge that he didn't know the answer to her question.
Suddenly, before his eyes, Marinia and Valda were thrown back over the desk behind, sliding across it and down onto the floor, clattering against the stools as they fell. They looked up, surprised, shaking their raven-black hair from the faces. They hissed one word. 'You!' and glared not at Will, but towards the door in front.
It was Tayna. 'Here's a bit of friendly advice,' she said smoothly, smiling at Will and the Twins as he fathomed when she'd come in, 'go away.'
Marinia sucked her teeth slyly. ‘You’re really trying your luck. I’d be more careful.’
‘The threat is mutual.’ Tayna stepped aside from the door and gestured. Doing as she’d said, the Twins gathered their bags and strode out, knocking shoulders with Tayna and leaving Will dazzled by sudden events. He looked at Tayna, she was calm and seemed full of thought, looking at him inquisitively. Out of nowhere, she grinned at him, as if she remembered she should, and motioned for him to follow her.
‘Come on, hopeless,’ she smiled. Will followed her out of the room, not sure how he felt that no matter what happened to him, Tayna was always there to help.