When the lesson concluded, Andrel seemed very eager to leave, but as they filtered out, Will couldn't forget the Evil Eye printed on the picture of Sapphire. Were they connected, and if so, would Mrs Calibrase know?
'I'll catch up with you later,' he said, absently turning away from Tayna and Andrel waiting in the doorway. 'I have to check something.' Tayna's brow furrowed sceptically, but Andrel shrugged, shoving his hands into his pockets and walking with her to the commonroom.
Oil lamps had been extinguished in the room apart from two at the ends of Mrs Calibrase's desk. She sat scratching grades on parchment, the half-light accentuating the lines and the resting frown on her face. Will made his way from the eerie darkness of the aisles and stood before her.
'Yes, Mr Avaric?' she asked without looking up, her round glasses perched at the end of her nose. Will was surprised that she had known who it was.
'Oh, well - I -,'
'I'm quite busy, please speak up,'
'Right - er - I wanted to talk to you about folklore,'
She finally looked at him, though derisively. 'That would be appropriate,' she said, 'seeing as I am a Folklore teacher.' She put her quill down and turned her attention to him completely. 'What sort of folklore would you like to discuss?'
Will pooled together all of his confidence. Twisting the strap of his bag, he answered, 'symbols, motifs, logos.'
'Did you have one in mind?'
He nodded. 'The Evil Eye.'
Mrs Calibrase reacted as if she'd been stung on the back of her neck, she stiffened and her eyes widened. 'The - the what?' she asked disbelievingly. 'Why would you wish to know about this symbol? How did you hear of this symbol in the first place?'
'I didn't hear of it,' Will explained, 'I saw it.'
Colour drained from her face like whitewash. Mrs Calibrase stood from her chair with a painful squeak and leaned over the desk, looking down at him demandingly, 'where? That is impossible.'
'It was in -,' Will broke off, feeling her demanding gaze on him, '- a - a book.' She quickly stepped down from the dais which her desk was raised upon and approached Will, nonpermissively taking his hand, observing it strangely.
'It has affected you,' she surmised, looking up at him with intrigue, 'you have a tremor.' Will pulled his hand away and looked, sure enough his fingers were shaking. 'And you look afraid. You have seen it.'
'So you do know about the Evil Eye,' Will answered. 'Please, tell me what you know.'
'I do not know much,' she said, shaking her head, 'I have heard various stories, but the Evil Eye - it is not just a symbol, it is cursed. And you are one of its victims.'