The characters belong to Tamora Pierce.

In response to Tammy Drabbles prompt 46 – Truth and Lies

Are you basically an honest person? The question on the test seemed to shout at Tris. What kind of a question was that for an academic test anyway? She might have expected questions on the basics of meditation, the rules of magic, or spells. She'd come to Lightbridge incognito which meant that the answer was probably no. Everything about her was a lie right now, even her hair color had been magically altered – though that was more for the fun of it and to fit in with dorm mates than a disguise.

Tris raised her hand timidly and the professor called her name. "What's the point of the first question?" she asked quietly.

"Do you have a problem with answering it?" he returned, with a raised eyebrow. He looked like Niko when he did that, and she found it unsettling.

Tris painted on her best haughty sneer. "If I'm a liar, I'm going to answer yes, even though it isn't true. If I'm honest, I might answer yes or be humble and answer no. Seems to me it really doesn't tell you anything."

He walked up to her, his robe whispering in the silent room as thirty pairs of eyes watched the exchange. Whether the other students found her challenge amusing or interesting, she wasn't quite sure, and the closer the instructor got, the more apprehension she felt. He leaned on her table, bending his head closer and closer until he was staring directly in her eyes, inches from her, and she could do nothing but try to meet his gaze. "That just told me a great deal about you," he said sotto voce. "Maybe that's the point."

She narrowed her eyes at him, then looked down at her paper and neatly printed. "Maybe."

The professor returned to the front of the room without saying anything, though Tris could swear he was smothering a chuckle.