Her questions were answered a little more than halfway through the scroll, when the style of handwriting changed for the fourth time, indicating yet another chronicler added to the record. Meghianna paused to think, to try to digest the information.
Magic had been wrapped around Nainan, to use her against the people who had become her family. She had broken the hold of that magic when she resisted long enough to become unusable, worthless to the enemies of the Stronghold and Wynystrys. Now, Meghianna thought she understood a little better why her caretakers, and those in charge of Megassa, were so cautious. The same magic that had enfolded Triska and Endor could have been wrapped around Trevissa, and passed on to Megassa when she was conceived, like the seed of a poisonous plant, waiting quietly, undetected, until the opportune moment to sprout.
"But what if it's in me, and no one ever found it? What if it went to sleep and didn't die when Grandmother Nainan thought she broke free?" she muttered, and sat back to cross her arms and draw her legs up in the chair and think hard.
"What you choose to be is often far stronger than what people try to make you," Mrillis said.
Meghianna gasped and nearly leaped out of the chair when the enchanter faded into view in the middle of the room a heartbeat later. He smiled, but he didn't laugh, to her great relief.
"No," he said, crossing the room to perch on the edge of the table, "you didn't sense the magic woven into the lock. What use is an alarm that lets the intruder know he--or she--has been detected? Your use of the Threads to shield yourself created a disturbance loud enough to wake me. If I had been asleep. Which I wasn't."
"I'm in trouble ... but I don't think I'm sorry," she finally said.
"Hmm, no, I didn't think you would be. Though we share no blood, it is amazing how much alike we are. When Ceera and I were children, we ran full tilt into trouble, blind to the dangers because we were so intent on learning, on doing, on being, on what we thought was right and absolutely had to be done. You learned that invisibility spell quite well, but you aren't deft enough with weaving the Threads so they mesh together in harmony."
"The Valors on patrol didn't sense me."
"Yes, they did. You were making enough noise they could hear you out in the courtyard. I asked them to let you go, so we could see what you were up to."
Meghianna didn't know if she wanted to cry or scream vexation. She didn't like feeling foolish. It startled her a little, how angry she felt at being caught--but not startled enough to stifle her anger.
"Do you think we were playing tricks on you, little one?" He shook his head and glanced across the room. A flicker among the Threads brought a chair to him, scraping on the uneven spots in the flagstones of the floor. He turned Meghianna's chair so it faced him, and he sat down, resting his hands on the arms of her chair--effectively blocking her from getting up and running away.
"It wasn't very nice, hiding yourself and laughing at me when I made mistakes." She felt her lower lip stick out, and didn't care that she sounded like she would burst into tears in another minute.
"Oh, and what do you think you were doing?"
She opened her mouth to retort, to argue, and found she could only gasp a few times. Tears burned hot in her eyes. Meghianna refused to let them fall. She couldn't look him in the eyes, and that was the worst part of this whole embarrassing, frustrating incident.