Professor Embers’ classes were like a joke that wasn’t actually amusing, but on hearing it a person felt obliged to laugh because social etiquette dictated a positive response to attempts at humor from a person senior in status or age. There was content that was relevant to the Dark Arts, but never had Claudia felt adequately prepared for defending herself against such magic by relying solely on the pitiful knowledge and experience gained within the classroom. Extensive study, regular practise, attendance at the dueling club and occasional (thought more frequent than was average, she was certain) real life experiences had moulded Claudia into a young witch perfectly adept at defending herself against the dark arts. The ditzy teacher’s poor attempts at instruction had negligible impact.
However, there was some merit in the lesson today. Dark detectors were practically useless to Claudia when she was attending events in society; the proportion of people who meant her harm or harboured ill will toward her was so high that the detector would never cease alerting her to the fact. Even in school, there were those students whose thoughts and intentions might be enough to excite the detection of someone not entirely trustworthy. Sneakoscopes, for example, were notoriously ill-suited for alerting a witch or wizard to a particular danger. Such an implement placed in the Aquila commons would never cease spinning!
Nevertheless, Claudia could perhaps make use of a secrecy sensor. An item that was small enough to be kept up the sleeve of her robe, or in a shoulder bag or purse, that vibrates when it detects concealment or lies, seemed like a sensible accessory for someone who had been assaulted as often as Claudia. So the seventh year made her way to the desk, the stiletto heels of her opaleye dragonskin ankle boots clicking rhythmically with each step, to secure such an item. Another hand reached for the same secrecy sensor at the same moment, but then the other person suddenly snatched the hand back away. Perhaps it could have been a coincidence - a sudden change of mind that had absolutely nothing to do with the hand, with its perfectly manicured nails and a sparkling engagement ring perched upon it, belonging to the notorious Claudia Dubois - but her turbulent experiences at the school stacked against her in a way that apparently caused other students some distress when encountering her.
The seventh year counted to three before looking up to see who’d changed their mind so very rapidly upon noticing they’d been reaching for the same object. Pasting on a thin lipped smile, coated with a lilac glossy sheen, Claudia slowly raised her gold-lined eyes from the desk. “I don’t hex people unless they provoke me,” she said lightly.