Clay nodded. It wasn’t a surprise to learn that the King had his own personal magic users. There had been rumours about them for centuries, but it wasn’t something they would ever admit existed, because if some magic users were safe then why weren’t all of them? Finding answers to questions like that was impossible, so it was better to keep them as much of a secret as possible. He couldn’t be certain how Jennica knew, although there were several possibilities and none of them were ones he was happy to ask questions about. She’d helped him when no one else would.
“I’ve lost family in the mountains and my brother works for the King,” Jennica said, smiling at him. “Ask any questions you want, Clay, because I don’t have a problem with answering them. Becoming the guardian of the underground made the choices that my brother made easier to bear, although there are still days when it hurts to think of what might happen to him if he makes a mistake.” She sipped her tea. “We haven’t spoken to each other since his eighteenth birthday. Knowing that he was close to blooming changed him and he went searching for options that might work for him, which, in the end, was working for the King.
“That was never something I was willing to do. Fortunately I didn’t bloom, but then Grandfather told me that made me the next guardian. He was getting tired, so I took on the job much sooner than he did, because I was born late and his first hope had bloomed. Since then I’ve been here. My brother has no idea where I live, as far as I know. If he does he’s never bothered to visit, which is something I will always be grateful for, because it means the underground will be safe from the King for another generation.” She sipped her tea once more. “Of course I do realise the reason he might never have visited in because he’s dead.”
“We never learnt much about the King’s advisers at school, probably because they didn’t want us to ask too many questions, especially as it isn’t unusual for magic to pass down from one generation to another. If one family member had magic then there is a chance that they might do too and asking those sorts of questions would make things difficult for anyone who was trying to hide what they were.” Clay shrugged. “Of course it might also be because no one really thinks about them, as they are just the King’s advisers, nothing more.”
Jennica nodded. “Either is possible. Neither is really more possible than the other, to me, but I don’t know how other people think. All I know is how I think and if I was teaching children at my school about magic the last thing I would want to do is get them asking the wrong questions. That’s something that can, unfortunately, put everyone involved in danger, even though there might not be any reason for the King’s anti-magic squad to get involved.”
Mirrored from K. A. Webb Writing.