HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 154

“Okay, um… let’s try this,” Nila said, handing Lizbeth a notepad. “I want you to write all the letters of your alphabet here, and we’ll compare.”

Somewhere below them, a deep rumble shook the house and Magh yelped. Frederica leaned over the stairs.

“Everything okay down there?” she called out.

“Just an earth elemental!” Orna replied. “No need to be alarmed.”

Frederica sighed and stepped away. Lizbeth leaned toward Nila.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“Hogwarts,” Nila replied.

“What is—”


While Nila and Lizbeth set about creating their own personal Rosetta Stone, the storm outside began to die down. Frederica, feeling more and more like a fifth wheel, decided to go out for some air. She was tempted to fly up into the mountains, or over the rolling hills, but instead she returned to the city.

She floated around the castle for awhile, admiring the architecture. It was an imposing structure, unlike anything she’d seen. A sign on the gate—written in a runic script she absorbed from various passersby—identified the building as the House of Parliament, formerly the Grand Palace of West Verden.

She drifted toward a marketplace but she had no money—or whatever these people used for currency—and the smell of food drifting up from the stalls made her stomach rumble. So she kept moving, back into the more underprivileged section of the city. And she landed in front of a little shop owned by a pair of young elves.

Teth came out of the back as she stepped into the shop. He greeted her with a bemused smile and a tilt of his head.

“Is everything alright?” he asked.

“Oh, yes, it’s all good,” Frederica replied. “Orna’s giving my friend Magh some magic lessons, and my friend Nila is giving a random stranger some science lessons, so I thought I’d stop by and see if you needed a hand with anything.”