Emery rolled his eyes, despite having been specifically told not to by Morrissey before they’d left the house. If there was one thing he couldn’t stand, it was politicians taking credit for things they didn’t have anything to do with. Here, he and Miles had to nod and smile as the governor talked about how they were stunning examples of how his reforms had made the education system better.

They both knew that the government had nothing to do with how well they had done in school. They had worked hard and taken their admittance tests at the ages of ten and eleven, instead of the usual twelve. They had entered school as fourth year students due their scores. They had worked harder than any of their cohorts in order to be accepted into a class that was full of people who were half again their ages.

If anything had caused their stunning success, it had been their parents and teachers at the Academy. Their own hard work, most of all, had resulted in them being the youngest-ever forensic mages. What right had these fat cat big wigs to claim credit for someone else’s hard work. Emery bit his tongue to keep from voicing his agitation.

“Can we get a statement from one of the young men?” one of the reporters said.

“Of course,” the governor replied. He turned to the brothers and said, “I’m sure that each of them would like to tell you how my educational reforms have shaped our world; their world especially.”

Emery stepped forward and smirked slightly. In a bright voice, he said, “A wie man once said, that offensive circumstances ordinarily infect innocent things which they are joined with.”

The reporters in the gallery blinked in confusion. Several dutifully wrote the quote down. Miles stepped forward and added, “I think what my brother means is… We were very glad for the opportunity to attend the Academy and enter as fourth years, in spite of our young ages.”

“Thank you for your time,” the governor said, dismissing the assembly. Once the microphones were off he looked down at Emery and asked, “What was that about?”

“I don’t like being part of your political agenda,” Emery said firmly. “At this point the only thing your educational reforms have put in place is that everyone has to go to the academy. There’s no provision for tuition, or room and board for those students who don’t live anywhere near the academy. There’s only the provision that makes an Academy education compulsory without providing any aid to people who can’t afford to attend. We were lucky enough to have enough money from our father’s research that we could go to the school your forced us to without paupering ourselves. Not everyone’s so lucky, Mr. Governor, sir.”

“You are a very bold young man,” the governor said, eyes narrowed in frustration.

“That is why I could handle attending the Academy as a fourth year at the age of eleven,” Emery said. He spun on his heel and stalked off. Behind him, he could hear his brother making apologies for his behavior. He would have to apologize to Miles later but at least he felt marginally better now.

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