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Mind Tricks

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The door to the lodge opened, and Dani looked up from her book to see Aubrey walk inside, stamping snow off her boots. "Hey there. Welcome back."

"Heeeeeey." Aubrey pulled off her stocking cap and shook out her hair, then ran a single hand through it, up and back. Like always, it fell perfectly into its usual swoop above her head. Magic, or the power of product? Dani would've happily believed either. No hat hair for Aubrey, ever. She loped across the room and perched on the edge of Dani's armchair.

Dani closed her book and sat up. A quick look around confirmed that no mundanes were in the room, although she still lowered her voice. You never knew who might wander through during ski season, and sometimes it felt like Agent Stern lurked around every corner. "How was Sylvain?"

Aubrey shrugged off her heavy coat and let it fall to the floor behind the chair. "Fine. Got myself a sweet new knife." She pulled a knife out of her pocket and held it in her open palm for Dani to examine. It looked well-balanced for throwing, and some sort of enchantment shimmered along the handle.

"Nice." Dani carefully ran a finger along the edge before looking back at Aubrey, who flipped the knife up, where it spun a couple of times before she caught it by the handle. "And magic lessons?"

"Oh, you know." Aubrey waved her other hand casually in the air. "The usual. All-- magical. And stuff."

Dani raised an eyebrow. Aubrey was usually eager to talk about her magical exploits when it was safe to do so. Sometimes even when it wasn't. Clearly, something was up. Even beyond the fact that it'd been weeks since Dani had seen her not wearing sunglasses. Outside or in. They weren't fully opaque or anything, just heavily tinted, but they still made her expression even harder to read. "That's specific."

"What can I say?" Aubrey glanced away with a little shrug. "Janelle isn't always the most forthcoming."

Yeah, and neither are you. If only Dani could read minds. It would sure make life a lot easier.

Aubrey sighed, then looked back at Dani, a slight smile creeping onto her face. "Sorry. I know you aren't a mind reader."

Dani leaned against the seat back and crossed her arms. "What, and you are? I was literally just thinking about how helpful a little telepathy would be."

Aubrey chuckled. "It doesn't take any special powers to know that you're annoyed that I'm being all vague." She rested a hand on the back of the chair, almost touching Dani's shoulder. "Sorry. I wish I could tell you more. But it's.... complicated. Teacher/student stuff. You understand."

"Yeah, I get it." Dani sat up straighter. "Promise you'll tell me when you can?"

"Sure." Aubrey grinned. "I did learn a cool new mind trick, anyway. Want to see what I can do with this knife?" She glanced over at the door, then back to Dani with a meaningful look. "Not here, though."

"Right, of course."

Aubrey stuck the knife under her vest -- in a hidden sheath, Dani hoped -- hopped off the arm of the chair and held out her hand; Dani took it and let Aubrey pull her to her feet, then didn't let go right away. Aubrey squeezed just a little before dropping her hand and stepping back to pick up her coat. "C'mon, there's more room in the basement."

She led the way and Dani followed, ready to learn what few secrets Aubrey might be ready to share today. There would always be time for the rest.