Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French
She’d stolen what she’d broken into Namose College to steal and yet it felt like everything was on the verge of going wrong.
Nothing good had ever happened to her in this vile magician’s den, that was true. But she was halfway out of the building. Victory, of a sort, was hers.
And yet… There was something wrong with the air. It didn’t smell right.
She carried on towards the way out. Now and then she stopped, sure she’d heard a noise, that someone would discover her trespassing at any moment.
Eventually, she came to a set of doors that were not her exit but instead an entrance to the stairwell, leading both up to the higher floors of the college, and down into the basement. Tendrils of smoke crept out from underneath the doors.
She pushed one open out of curiosity, only to find another person on the other side of it, slowly coming up the stairs.
They both paused.
The man opposite looked like a student, who ought to know in an instant that she was a fraud and sound the alarm for intruders…