Margaret Peregrine is a high school sophomore. Most of the time, she's either at school, at the school robotics club, at the school chess club, or doing schoolwork. Today, she's cleaning out her late great-grandmother's attic.
Sure, where do you live and can I just pop in or might you have houseguests?
You've got my garage in your teleport list unless you overwrote it; if you did it's at [coordinates]. No houseguests are planned except on Tuesday, so feel free to pop in.
Didn't overwrite it, just double-checking. Your garage is usually empty enough to land in?
Yeah, I've basically permanently exiled my parents' cars and I know exactly where the landing spot is. I'll make sure it's clear.
I'll come by Monday.
And she does.
"Hi!" Bella's landing area is clear, but much of the floor is taken up by the diagram Margaret needs to use while Bella is healing. "Next step is all set to go, used-up ones are over there," she says, pointing to one corner. "Also there's an experiment I'd like to try but only if you don't mind risking a coughing fit--I want to see if I can suppress side effects for other people."
"I'm not certain the side effects of flubbing the same spell in the same way to within experimental tolerance of 'same way' always has the same result."
"I'd rather know before I put a medallion on someone else whether I can protect them at all or not, but if you don't want to flub even a tiny spell on purpose that's super reasonable. Though if you're just worried the results will be unclear, I have a bracelet that detects if I'm doing dragon magic."
"No, I'm worried it'd hit me harder. My healing magic would probably kick in but I'm not sure of that. Even apart from my will to live I'm also the only sphinx you've got."
"Yeah, that's true. I'll try to talk my mom into it again, maybe. Anyway, can you stand on the diagram somewhere and try to heal this?" She holds out the now multiply enchanted but still very ordinary looking disc.
"I'd recommend making it someone who's actually fluent in a second language and can make sure they only make a very small mistake." She takes the disk and stands on the diagram. "How sensitive is your timing? I want to cast my wake-me-up spell first."
"Let me run through the incantation in my head . . . " she silently watches her wristwatch's second hand for a bit. "Okay, it takes about fifteen seconds to say, and I'm pretty sure you need to be doing the healing when I say the final word. I can give you a hand gesture when I'm a few words from the end, if you want."
"I'm not totally sure how to go about trying to do healing magic to a medallion. Can we do this while you're grabbing my arm or something for good measure?"
"Sure." Margaret steps over and holds out an arm for mutual grabbing. "By the way, if this bracelet lights up red, that means I did dragon magic. Want to try healing a different inanimate object on its own first before we add in the incantation, or would you rather only fall unconscious once? Also do you want, like, a cushion or something, it's a concrete floor in here."
"I think it's reasonably likely that your spell will like - catch - the magic in some way that will make it effectual to try while you're casting the spell but not effectual during dry runs. I'd take a chair if you've got a chair."
"That seems like a reasonable guess. I'll grab one of the kitchen chairs." She goes and gets it and sets it down carefully on the diagram.
Bella sits, feet on diagram, hand on Margaret, disk in other hand. She incants briefly in Spanish, then says, "Go."
Margaret launches into French, steady and memorized. She says something very long and complicated and looks at her bracelet the whole time.
Bella's eyes glow when she does the thing; Margaret's bracelet doesn't. Bella slumps over in the chair for a minute.
Bella's eyes glowing takes Margaret by surprise when she sees it out the corner of her eye, but not enough to mess up her recitation. She knows these incantations like some people know the Lord's Prayer.
Margaret breathes a sigh of relief at her unlit bracelet and waits for Bella to wake up.
Bella's up a minute later. "I usually cut it closer than that but I'm usually not coordinating with someone else and better to be unconscious for sixty seconds than miss my window and be out for hours. We good?"
"Yup, that seems to have gone fine. I just need to do two more spells on this thing and then it'll be ready to try. And I still need to look up whether anything about this is illegal."
"The hardest part, probably."
"Heh. At least the legal code probably won't be in ancient Arabic. Speaking of which, can you recharge those diagrams, please? Unless you already did and I missed it because it didn't come with nifty glowing eyes."
"Yeah, I can. I have to touch them." She goes over and leafs through.