A fearful hope was all the world contained

Perry frowned at the test page before him. He’d heard that the Agency exam was difficult, but he had no idea what that meant until he’d seen the questions.

His brows furrowed. The only rules, they’d been told at the outset, was that they couldn’t “let Master Bertram catch them cheating” and that Trenton and Rory would “answer whatever questions they could”.

His eyes widened. That had to be the answer! Moments before, Bertram had told them to pay special attention to the wording of “everything”. Perry bit his lip and looked over at Bertram.

He was talking to Trenton. Perry looked away, towards Rory. He checked Bertram again and waved the third proctor over to his desk.

“Yes?” Rory asked, leaning down so that Perry could talk softly enough not to disturb anyone.

Perry knew though, that Bertram had amazing hearing. He couldn’t simply ask for the answer. Then, he’d be caught cheating. A faint smile touched his lips and he pointed at the question.

Rory bit his lip and glanced up at Bertram. Then he took Perry’s pencil and hastily wrote the answer in the blank. “I hope that clarifies things,” he said, handing the pencil back.

“Oh, yes,” Perry said, a sly smile touching his lips. He could do this. It was hard, but not impossible.

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