She nodded slowly. “I'll find some other way.” She hated to give up, even temporarily, when the books were almost within her grasp, but she could just imagine what David would say. And Ms. Grimm's words rang in her ears: “Alexandra Quick bears no consequences for her actions. She lets her friends do that.”
Oh hey, look, Alexandra learns something!
Otherwise, this is not a terribly memorable chapter, being short and to the point. Alex reads the books Bran and Poe obtained for her, in which for the first time Abraham Thorn's name is mentioned, alongside the only other canon character reference in the book:
Of the three books that had come from the New Amsterdam Public Wizards' Library and the Blacksburg Magery Institute, two were written in a very dense, journalistic style that made Alexandra's eyes blurry. Dark or Demented? The Case Against Abraham Thorn was a biography of the eponymous ringleader of the Thorn Circle, detailing his early career as a martial wizard in the Regimental Officer Corps, then his rise as one of the most influential members of the Wizards' Congress and a likely future Governor-General, and finally as an opposition figure rumored to have allied himself and his followers with the Dark Convention.
The Thorn Circle: Warlocks in Hiding concentrated mostly on the latter events in Thorn's career, particularly the followers who sided with him against the Confederation. As far as Alexandra could tell, there was never an actual war or even a secession, as there had been in Britain. Thorn began publicly denouncing the Confederation, and Governor-General Hucksteen in particular, and lent aid to accused members of the Dark Convention, but what convinced most American wizards of his Dark affiliation was when he traveled to Britain, allegedly to meet with Lord Voldemort. Warrants were issued for Abraham Thorn and all of his followers, and all of their property was seized, but they eluded arrest. A few months later, they attempted to assassinate the Governor-General, and failed, and went into hiding for good after that.
The events described were dramatic enough to make a fine movie, but Alexandra could barely stay awake through reading them. It was all names and dates and quoted speeches and details about the inner workings of the Wizards' Congress, and historical background and tangential arguments.
The third book was practically hyperbolic in its prose: The Darkness That Threatens Us All! by Jerwig Findlewell. Findlewell seemed to believe that everything from the Automagicka and ASPEW to the Muggle Marriage Act to the New World Druidic Order to a witch from Alaska having been considered for the Governor-General's office in 1980 was all part of a vast Dark conspiracy aimed at tearing apart the traditional values of wizarding society. Much of it made no sense to Alexandra, since she was still quite unfamiliar with the politics and history of the wizarding world, and Findlewell was writing for adult wizards who cared about such things. However, he gave a concise history of the Thorn Circle that was more informative (to the degree that it was true, and Alexandra was perceptive enough to realize that Findlewell seemed to be the sort of man who might present things that reflected his personal opinions more closely than they reflected the truth) than entire chapters she trudged through in the other two books.
Okay, yes, I realize the satire got a bit anvilicious here.
It was curiously anticlimactic, because once she did, she realized it wasn't a surprise at all. As if she'd known it all along, she nodded when she found herself staring at the familiar face. Without a doubt, Abraham Everard Thorn was the man in her locket.
Like, was anyone surprised?