Frederica rolled her eyes.
“Good to know,” she said.
“Not that I’ve done that lately, of course,” Leigh said.
“Of course,” Frederica replied.
The radio turned on spontaneously and scrolled through various news channels. There were a few scattered references to arrests at Malus but the full story hadn’t quite circulated yet. The radio switched to some bass-heavy techno and Leigh tapped her fingers in time with the music. Eventually she pulled up in front of the VCU dorm.
“Thanks for the ride,” Frederica said.
“As if you needed it,” Leigh said with a wink. “Probably would’ve been quicker for you to carry the truck.”
“You might be right,” Frederica said. “I mean, I haven’t tried it yet, but I did wrestle a dragon once.”
“I would’ve liked to see that,” she said.
“Maybe next time,” Frederica replied, and hopped out of the truck.
“I’ll hold you to that,” Leigh said. “Take care, kid. And thanks for tonight.”
“No problem,” Frederica said.
She climbed the stairs to her floor and collapsed onto her bed.
“Morning!” Frederica said as she locked her door behind her.
“Hey,” she said. “How’s your friend?”
“Oh, she’s fine,” Frederica said. “Turns out it was just a virus.”
“I hope it’s not contagious,” Nila said.
“Not anymore,” Frederica replied with a bit of a smirk. “You heading to class? Wanna walk together?”
“Sure,” Nila said, and they headed downstairs.
A swirling black vortex appeared in the courtyard and Magh staggered out. She waved her wand—which Angela had been nice enough to let her keep—and the portal vanished.