‘Ah,’ says Rolf. ‘Yes. I thought that might be coming up… Well, let’s see. Your mother will have explained to you that you hold witching license class A in exaltation, which incorporates all other classes. If I know her at all she won’t have mentioned that there is a price to pay for Magic on this world where you live, but we’ll get to that later. Class A straight, which your father holds, enables you, in addition to standard witching skills, to read minds. In order for him to accomplish this he needs to be in the presence of the person whose mind he is aiming to read and do the usual focussing, intending etcetera.’ Rolf makes a vague stirring movement in the air with his staff-free hand. ‘Now, in your case, where there is an exaltation, this does not apply. You can read minds irrespective of space and time. It is a rare skill, and a useful one, you might think. Unfortunately the price attached to this particular talent on this world where you live is what you have just experienced. Visions. People or events intruding into your head, irrespective of space and time. And I must inform you that the more you make use of your exalted class A abilities, the more the latter will occur.’

‘But… it happened just now and I haven’t done any mind-reading yet!’ I exclaim.

‘Really?’ replies Rolf. ‘Why were you not worried about being late for school?’

‘Umm…’ I mumble.

‘I shall tell you,’ continues Rolf. ‘It was because you already knew that Miss Pickering would be playing Chopin for your class today. Which, as you are well aware, fairly sends her into raptures. You were planning to sneak in while she was at the piano.’

It’s true. I know I wasn’t totally aware of doing any mind-reading when I wondered how to get ’round being late. The knowledge just kinda… arrived in my head. Much like the vision.

‘But… why are you saying that visions are the price I gotta pay? This one saved my sister!’ I’m not mentioning that in order for my sister to be saved I also had to kill someone. I’m not ready to go there yet.

‘Ah, but you see, your sister being in danger was payment already! Although not for your actions,’ says Rolf.