A/N: Don't ask me where this belongs, because I don't know.
He turned from her, moving towards the window, the mass of his body cutting the constellations in half. She took a step forward, her persistent nature showing in her eyes.
"Please, sir, would you reconsider my request?" The feminine lilt to her voice was gone, replaced with the harsh vowels of a child. Suddenly reminded that she was fifteen years his junior, he could very clearly see her sitting in his classroom waving her hand around violently, trying to gain his approval. He remained silent and she continued. "I know I am not the best student, nor am I the most magically inclined of my peers. I am well aware of my limits, but I also know that I can do this! Sir--" Another step forward and she was standing behind him, her pleading expression aimed at his reflection.
He turned abruptly. "And just how much are you willing to pay for my tutelage, Miss Augustine?"
"Whatever you desire, sir." She paused for a second and then added, a degree of measure in her voice, an insinuation of their so-called equality, "As long as it is in my power to provide whatever it is you desire. Sir."
His face remained expressionless as he extended his arm and snatched the parchment from her. He sat down behind his desk with a sigh and read over the apprentice contract she had so helpfully drawn up for him.
"Very well then," he said, reaching for his pen and signing his name. The parchment rolled itself up, as a black wax seal secured the document's contents. "When my desire reaches to fruition, I shall make you aware of it. Until such time, Miss Augustine you are irrevocably under my guardianship." He paused to eye his new pupil and a long pale finger rose to stroke his bottom lip. "I wonder if you are aware of the magical bond between apprentice and master . . . You have just become of age last week, have you not?"
"Yes, sir. Last Wednesday. And I understand perfectly well what being an apprentice means. You have full control over my assets and the final say in all of my affairs. You are essentially my guardian."
He quirked an eyebrow at her indignant expression—and her fool-hardy trust in him. "I could wipe your bank account clean and terminate your apprenticeship early, leaving you poor and homeless, with no hope of ever establishing a career in your chosen field, Miss Augustine. You are not naive enough to not have thought of such a consequence and yet you stand there with relative comfort. What secret do you have on me that could possibly put your mind at such ease?"
The right corner of her mouth tucked itself into her cheek and she said, "I do not have any particularly revealing secrets about you Professor Thorn, but I have it on good authority that you are not quite as mean as you make yourself out to be, sir."
"Indeed?" he said with a sneer.