“Well, that could have been worse,” commented Clara Fowler as she poured hot chocolate from her thermos into mugs for her niece, Maig Trudhove, and her niece’s Magis Obscura teacher, Miss Crowmeyer. “My third sister, Agnetha, burnt down her high school. That was why St Serpentia’s wouldn’t take me when they reopened, and I had to come here.”
“Instead we just have to get the high school decursed,” said Miss Crowmeyer drily. “I know parent-teacher nights can be bad, but this was…special.”
“And not my fault,” pointed out Maig. “I’m not the one who tried to raise the dead.”
“Yes, you only laid them. Well, no-one expects ancestral possession to turn up in parents when they come to these things,” admitted Miss Crowmeyer. “Mr Batterby, the Agronomics teacher, said he should have realised something was up when he had an intelligent subject-matter conversation with Mr Tattler.”
The three of them considered that for a moment over hot chocolate before Maig’s father, the Magister Trudhove, joined them.
He looked at them for a moment, and Maig wasn’t sure whether he disapproved of the hot chocolate or wanted some, then he said, “Maig, dear, we all appreciate you getting rid of the would-be body snatching dead men, but I thought that we’d agreed that you weren’t going to perform Dark Magic or Necromancy?” He’d just named two of her three affinities, and defined most of Maig’s personal problems.
“It was only technically Necromancy,” said Maig defensively. “It’s not like I summoned demons to take them away.”
“Oh?” Her father looked sceptical. “What did you do then? They were definitely carried off.”
Maig shrugged. “I didn’t want those bozos coming back and bothering my friends like Covetnot Moore and Childofsorrow Tattler, so I petitioned Heaven. Those things that took away Praisethelord Tattler and Saltoftheearth Moore were angels – much more dangerous than demons.”
“Technically Necromancy.” Her father covered his eyes with a hand. “We’re going to have to talk, young lady.”