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Jun 15, 2019 5:14 PM
wildling tempts the coldwater siblings down a darker path
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The HedgeQuarters are quiet. Sure enough, there are hedges flitting this way and that, hands contorting in practiced tuts, but absolutely nothing that Marina is interested in. She dodges past them all, the more respectful ducking to the side (she was head Witch, after all). As she passed them, she left them comments on how they could improve, and ways they should stop trying. The weaker ones were never meant to thrive, anyway. She took them in to spite Fogg.

Finally, she was upon her goal. In the furthest corner of the main room, her two favourite hedges. And her most powerful. 

"Coldwaters! How would you like to make me very, very happy?"

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"Wildling, every time you ask that, the way to answer is different." Makepeace keeps one hand on his twin as he turns to face her. 

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"Sounds- sounds dangerous," she shifts a little closer to her brother, though her tone is calm if a little stilted.

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"Nia, my darling, I am nothing if not dangerous," Marina says with a sly look. She perches on the nearest flat surface. "My aim, as always, is to strengthen the hedges, especially since Brakebills seems to be stealing our most talented from us."

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"She's still bitter about Merrill," Makepeace whispers conspiratorially into Nia's ear.

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"Didn't she send you a letter, yester- yester," she pauses and takes a breath. "Yesterday?"

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"Yes. A letter telling me how well she was, how much she was learning. Absolutely nothing about revenge, or power, or gaining back what we lost. Absolutely typical."

Marina shakes herself. "That traitor aside, how would you both like to retrieve ancient, powerful magic?" She directs her question mostly to Nia.

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She stands up straight, paying close attention now and all her words get stuck in her throat.

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Makepeace glares fiercely at Wildling, knowing that she knows how easy it is to get Nia onside when it comes to ancient magic.

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Marina shoots Makepeace a knowing look, before turning her attention back to Nia. "There's a very old, very powerful grimoire that's surfaced. Apparently the collector is something of a...squib, shall we say. He knows about magic, but can do fuck all with it.

"Unfortunately, he has connections. Which means the grimoire is magically protected."

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"What kind?"

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"Nia, she does this every time she wants something."

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"But -- she's ne- never wrong. And-and she's taught us so much."

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"She also asks a lot of us," Makepeace says, looking at Marina with dangerous eyes.

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"Makepeace. Please, think clearly. Your magic, yours and Nia's, is the strongest I've ever encountered. If someone else, say someone trying to recruit, got a hold of it-"

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"So you are just using us for our connection," Makepeace challenged.

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"We can always say no. Can't hurt to - hurt to listen. Listen."

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"Nia," he says, fondly and worriedly. 

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"Listen to your sister. She's the smart one." 

Marina crosses her legs, and peers closer at the twins. "You'll use your magic, enough for a standard cloak spell. Twenty minutes in, twenty minutes out. And then, once you have the book-"

Marina grins at Nia. "The secrets of the Egyptians. Summoning the dead. Binding souls. The power of each organ. Don't you want to know just how much power you have?"

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She blinks at the mention of such magics, but...

"I know my power. You- you mentioned connections."

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"Brakebills. Who else?"

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"You want us -- " To go there?

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"God, no. I'm not losing my best two players to that hell-hole. Let's just say that Fogg has a vested interest in making sure this stays out of my hands. Much to his disappointment."

Marina performs a simple tut, and a map sprawls between her and the twins, a bright red dot over one place. "That's where it is. I can guarantee no battle magic coming at you, but some very strong wards."

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Makepeace, who had always found maths as easy as breathing, shrugged. "Whatever they calculate, I can do better. And Nia," he says, flashing her a proud grin. "Can out spell the best of them."

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"Wards are easy," she says as she takes his hand in her own.

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“Everything’s easy for you, nerd.” Makepeace hugs her one armed.

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