The bar was...unusually reticent, in the lower layers of her mind (and she hadn't pried further; she wasn't sure if she'd be noticed; she wasn't sure if offending would get her kicked out, and regardless of whether it was actually safe it was safer than anywhere else she'd been for the past...three years?) so she couldn't be sure this place wasn't really a trap of some kind, but the higher layers gave a plausible explanation that didn't involve being a trap, and whatever else it was warm and dry and had food. Her guard was probably a full 25% down. Positively trusting, these days.
"I would have taken my parents up on it if they'd suggested homeschooling, probably. At any point. I might have been able to push Renée into it but it never seemed urgent given she wasn't into the idea."
"I don't really regret it; I won't deny that in general homeschooling is probably better, but at least I had a little leverage to make the world a better place, and none of my classes stomped on my desire to learn anything I had been attached to."
"Yeah. I mourn the lost efficiency at school's ostensible purpose, sometimes, but yeah."
"It helped that my parents had zero qualms taking me out of school for a day or two when there was something they thought would be better. I've been to so many museums."
"Museums are great. What's your favorite?"
"Oh, um...good question. Off the top of my head, I think I'd have to say either the Ithaca Sciencenter or the Corning Museum of Glass, since those are nearby and we visit them more frequently than any of the others."
"I'll have to see if we've got copies in my world."
"Yeah, I don't know that they were particularly influenced by the existence of magic, and you guys do apparently have Sailor Moon, but who knows."
"I think we have Sailor Moon, I could be mixing it up with something else."
"Hey, Bar, does her world have Sailor Moon?"
"Well, that makes sense."
"Different year, different background magic system. I'm a little surprised we have any matching media, you'd think the magic would butterfly-effect the heck out of everything."
"You'd think. ...The, uh, other one, I got a couple of impressions of her world before everything went to hell, and she didn't have any magic at all until mine got imported, and it still looked pretty recognizable."
"I wonder why worlds run in parallel like that at all."
"I have no idea. Bar, do you have any idea?"
"...I mean, in an infinite multiverse I guess it would make sense that some worlds would happen to turn out basically the same way despite fantastic odds against, and given the premise of Milliways in the first place being attracted to superficially similar worlds makes sense."
"Yeah, I guess. But this suggests a really - really staggering array of worlds, beyond just 'way, way many'. If it has to get this way at random instead of by some sort of pull."
"I mean, is there any reason for the multiverse not to be literally infinite? Lots of things are infinite."
"Are lots of things really? Like... numbers. What else."
"Time? Space within any given universe?"
"You could represent that in numbers. You could assign universes numbers but maybe not represent them that way."
"Okay, maybe I just don't get the difference."
"Like - with time, you have a system where it's now and now it's some amount later, with space you have a system where there's here and there's a ways off to the left, etcetera, but you couldn't be like 'Bella's world is yea earlier and this much off to the left of Edie's world' in any numerical sense where you could define all the intermediate points along that line."