Chapter 5: Connection
Corrie’s eyes widened. “A link to Mardalan? Do you mean that you could use it to find her?”
“Alas, no.” Professor Lal pursed her lips and shook her head. “I have already attempted that, and was unsuccessful, as was a colleague of mine whose job it is to find things. All we can be sure of is that she was not on campus. But if we do find her, or at least have more information, the book could allow us to communicate with her or perhaps to affect her magically—this is not something you will learn unless you take more advanced classes, but I am sure you have heard the term sympathetic magic. If you affect something that someone has put a great deal of energy into, the effect may transfer back to that person. Of course, Mardalan may also have shielded herself from it in some way, but I think that keeping the book available is a wiser choice.”
“So if you destroyed the book, it could hurt Mardalan?” Dawn asked.
“Perhaps, if I did it in the correct way. Most likely, however, it would simply destroy the link.”
Corrie nodded. “So you want to keep it as a connection, and an advantage over her. That makes sense.”
“And no one else is going to read it and get messed up by it as long as you hang onto it,” Roe put in.
Professor Lal nodded. “Exactly.”
“We were wondering about the other books, though,” Dawn said. “We tried to see if they have any magic on them but we realized we don’t know how to sense malevolent magic like you did. Uh, I know you said to only do trance if we were in a safe situation, but we didn’t try to do any magic. We just went into trance and looked at the books.”
“That should be safe enough as long as you did not try to interact with any magical books,” the professor said.
Corrie decided not to mention that they had both taken books down from the shelves and looked through them. It hadn’t hurt them, after all. “Can you teach us how to sense malevolent magic, like you did with the book?”
“Sensing the intent of magic takes a great deal of practice.” She drummed her fingernails on the desk. “Normally, that is not something you would learn to look for until the next level of magic classes, but I can give you and your friends the basics, as I do wish you to have better ways to protect yourselves. I think it will have to wait until after your holiday, however.”
“In the meantime, do you think you could check out the books in the library?” Dawn asked. “See if any of them were affected by magic? I think a lot of the books that went with Mardalan’s book have been checked out, but some of them are still on the shelves.”
“I do make a regular check of the magic books, but these are in different subjects, correct?”
“That’s right,” said Dawn.
“Yes,” said Professor Lal, “I believe I can make a general check of all the books in the library. That should not take long.”
“That leads to my other question,” said Corrie. “I tried to move around while I was still in trance but I guess because I was still grounded, I got dizzy. Is it possible to move around?”
“That is another thing that comes with practice,” said the professor with a smile. “You can learn to keep your anchor moving. Feel free to practice, as long as you do so in places where you will not be injured if you fall. I will always encourage all of you to practice if you have received the basics already. In fact, that is what much of the upper-level magic courses are about.”
“Great!” said Corrie. She was already imagining wandering around campus in trance, looking at all the interesting magic around her. She could figure out if the magic on campus was pooled in certain places. That would be fun. And she certainly didn’t mind practice.
“If that is all, I have other work to attend to,” said Professor Lal, straightening up and looking at all of them with her eyebrows raised.
“I think so,” said Dawn. “Sorry for all the questions.”
“Nonsense. I am a teacher. I am glad to answer your questions if I can. Now have a lovely holiday, all of you.”
Professor Lal left the room, and the three of them followed, only turning a different direction, since she was going to her office and they were leaving the building. “Do you really think Mardalan would have messed with some of the other books?” Roe asked.
“I don’t know,” said Dawn. “But I guess we’ll find out.”