Kaz’s fingers clamped down on the back of the boys’ necks. His grasp was icy, and black shot through Cyprus’s vision. That iciness spread from the point of contact, sinking dark magic deep into his muscles. Cyprus didn't know if he'd collapsed or frozen in place standing.
Just then the windchimes banged together and Lonan appeared with a gull feather tucked behind his ear. He broke in between the three of them, hoisting Meredy and Merle up like cats by the scruff.
As Xan ducked away to unstick the candle, Lonan heard a creak from the old table. He bit his cheek. He was sure the Acolytes saw past the space Xan had occupied to the child in the house. With their hoods raised against the cold, Lonan couldn’t tell where they were looking.
The Porfirio family record was massive and unevenly bound together, several different papers and diaries all fit into one tome. It gave the impression a hard shake might send everything flying out onto the floor. The cover was decorated with the Porfirio name and golden scrawl, much newer than most of the pages.
Before Cyprus was born, there had been a proper schoolteacher in Serafina. A woman straight from the capital, or somewhere close enough to count.
“Ain't that the truth. So you’re training the patriarch’s boy, now?” Hanif wrestled playfully with his son's grip. “That’s a damned honor. Damned waste, too, if you ask me. Like five cats in one dog, that young man is. Think you’d be willing to give this little beast of wrath some lessons?”
“Regnor has a history with magic like this. We’ll send him there.”