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Mar 06, 2021 3:12 AM
thistle and dermot brave the trials
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"Are you seriously going to let us fail just to make a point?"

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"Thinkin' 'bout it."

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Lori laughs, sarcastically and meanly. "I'm a telepath, dumbass. I am offering my side, I didn't have to ask for yours!"

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"...right. Sure, let's share."

Stupid Brakebills and its stupid telepathic student body and their- sharing is caring, it's not like he wants to fail more than he wants her to fail. Probably. Maybe? Definitely. Sort of. Dermot passes his sheet over for her perusal.

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Lori is thoroughly pissed at how thorough and reasonable his notes are. She wants to set the page on fire, hazing ritual be damned. 

Instead she sighs, and passes it over to Quentin once she's copied down the parts of Dermot's notes she needs.

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Quentin will do his best to help. He's not particularly talented at the practical aspect of magic, but manipulating equations is child's play. It doesn't take long for Quentin to synthesize Lori's and Dermot's notes to present her the answer.

"Sorry, did you want to- I figure it doesn't matter who gets there first."

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"No, that seems fair."

If Lori had beaten him, he couldn't have taken it, so he's glad it's this weirdo loser.

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“You seriously are the most insufferable fucking person! Really? Really?” Lori seethes at Dermot.

She has half a mind to throw a chair at him. Not with magic, just stand up at batter him with it.

 “Quentin, if you’ve got the answer, let’s hear it.”

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"Well, you were on the right track with the decryption- nothing Dermot had on that made any sense, honestly, but the problem was you weren't thinking about the circumstances enough- circumstances are tricky, but if you think of them in terms of different systems that interact the way the organ systems do, or weather patterns- it's like the sodium-potassium channel, or how cold fronts- maybe tectonic subduction, actually- they wouldn't have had as much glass in their buildings as we do, and you have to take into account climate change, whatever Dermot wrote here about- the arctic was right on the money. Anyway, what you had here about the Brethren's ciphers-"

He's pretty glad he actually solved something Lori couldn't. It's been a while since Quentin could feel like the smartest in the room. He got there first. First!

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As much as Dermot's smugness bothered her, she lets out a happy giggle for Quentin. She knew he'd been struggling somewhat, not because he wasn't smart though. 

"Yeah, yeah, we get it, you're smart," she teases, rolling her eyes and mussing her hair. "I really thought I had the circumstance right, how did you-" Lori points to a couple of Quentin's notes, trying to see how he got to the solution. 

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He shows her.

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Lori overall seems to have a good conscious grip on circumstances as they are typically taught, but as she's following Quentin's explanation, it becomes clear that her intuitions don't come from that education. They're quite strong, though...

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Well. Mum needs to cut that out then, as much as Lori loves her, clearly her help wasn't enough. She softens the thoughts as much as she can. 

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"Okay, Quentin. How do you want us?"

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"Okay, so I think for this we want you to start with a Popper's 22, and Dermot should stand across from you- no furniture in between, so not too close-"

Quentin stands up, realizing only them that several other people in the room are now paying attention to him. He swallows-

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"Step right up, little lady, and stand...here. Now you, Mr. Quinn, we'll need you just three feet away. Don't feel too awkward, it's only a cooperative spell."

And so it continues. Dipping into the old patter well keeps him from worrying about just what everyone is thinking of him.

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Margo approves, though. That was faster than she expected. Maybe she'll have to eat crow when Zev is eating her out later.

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Zev appears behind her and kisses her cheek. "If I call you 'Q' later on, please forgive me. I'm going through something right now."

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"You know I don't mind, El. As long as I can still call you Cate Blanchett."

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Lori forcefully focuses on Quentin's instructions, trying to drown out the Very Loud And Horny second years across the room, and gets her hands in a readied tut position.

She pays no mind to their audience.

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Dermot's motions seem just as practiced, but it's immediately obvious something is missing.

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"Um, okay, we can- let me just go over it again."

This is not how his big moment that got everyone's attention on their group was supposed to go- he goes over it again.

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...Dermot tries again. Still, the magic doesn't feel right. It's not coming, not flowing through him the way he does when he's healing himself.

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"Dermot, I thought you weren't going to fail us just to be petty," Lori seethes. Again. 

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"Look, you just need to focus-"

Why isn't he just doing it? Quentin laid out all of the logic, it should be simple for someone who's clearly better at magic than he is, he's seen Dermot's tuts-

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