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.
And now there's a door between them and any humans. "Okay, so the invisibility is the simple part. You say "cacher" to turn yourself and anything you're holding invisible, and "cesser" to stop. They're French so you won't accidentally say them in conversation."
"It won't catch homonyms if I stumble over some similar word?"
"I've been selling that same design over the internet and never had anyone complain about it, but I don't actually know if it's going by sound or intention. Let me check. . ." Hers has the same design; she says "cacher" while firmly believing herself to be horrendously mispronouncing "kosher".
She doesn't turn invisible. "Cool," says Bella. "Uh, how'd you find me, are they sending bugbears after me and you came along or -"
"No; I don't know if they're still looking or if they've given up. I really doubt anybody else is going to find you the way I did. It was, um, a really hard runecasting job, if there were any ambitious runecasters working for the Council there'd have been some sign of it."
"A really hard runecasting job."
Oh no, what if she's already said too much, quick, change the subject. "I had to do a bunch of research, both to find you and for the teleport. I ended up going with latitude and longitude, but you can also save locations so you can get to them in a hurry without having to memorize coordinates."
"That's really cool. Do you have anybody else checking diagrams for you or did you just fly blind?"
"I don't have anybody else, no. I put diagrams in a drawer for 24 hours and then check them over again with fresh eyes before using them. I switched to your method of tracing photocopies, by the way; I'm pretty sure I'd have carpal tunnel if not for the healing rock but I don't have to throw out nearly as many for having stray inkblots as I did with the stamp."
"I'm glad it was useful. So why did you hunt me down to give me a present?"
"I owed you one, and you can heal more people this way. And. I wanted you to know I'm on your side."
"Well, I appreciate it. Must have taken a ton of work."
"Thanks. Speaking of work, how big did you have to make the diagram to manage to cure cancer? The Council doesn't want me to do any more research and I'm still too scared to go the superhero route with it, but if either of those changes it would be good to know."
"It'd be real hard for you to carry around, honestly."
"Yeah, I was figuring you'd give me a diameter and I'd redo the scaling up work back home. I just don't want to do ten feet and then discover it needs to be redone at twenty, you know? Probably a lower priority than the medallion project anyway."
"You getting anywhere on that? I was doing my vigilante white mage gig because you seemed like you'd be on top of it."
"I've made a lot of progress, but it's, hm, it's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. I get stuck for a while, then I notice that if this prefix means that then it makes sense in three different places. If I skip the one that's apparently just durability and use my own durability spell instead, I should have a full French version by the end of next month, plus an English version if you're willing to look for ambiguities."
"I'd be happy to, I like fussing with incantations."
"Awesome. What's a good way to contact you, I have no reason to believe anybody is reading my or your email but I also have no strong reason to believe they aren't."
"I've got a cellphone. I'm not sure I think the Council has actual intelligence resources of any kind besides being able to ask bugbears for favors, they're just like, magic small town admins."
"Cellphone works. And yeah, I doubt they have anything either, especially if you haven't seen it." They can swap numbers using the little pad of paper and pen that hotels always have for, presumably, this sort of thing.
Yup. Here is Bella's number. "Texting's better than calling, I have the ringer off, you never want the phone to ring mid-incantation."
"Yeah, definitely not. This is actually my landline, though, hmm. Maybe I should just get a cell phone. My parents have been having me put most of my invisibility-rings money in my college savings, but I can in fact afford one."
"I'd say they're not that expensive but I went and won the Randi prize."
Blink blink. "Hah! Of course you did, that is brilliant. Oh man, poor James Randi, I can't imagine he took knowing about magic and not being able to tell anybody very well."