Magic on the streets of London
"She might only run the phones, keep the office working properly and make sure none of the detectives had a breakdown, but she knew how to get everyone’s attention."
I feel like there should be sarcastic quotes around the "only." It's always fun when we get to jump into Robin.
Also, good to see Zoltan and Nisha finally getting their act into a somewhat healthy zone.
"... she had thought only of Bruglia, of the portal to Palinor and the feeling that she was on the wrong side of it."
Doubling down on the assertion Lola is descended from a Pallinor family. Unless you're using "wrong world" as a transgender metaphor. I'm sticking with Lola is descended from a Palinor family. Considering my own paternal Grandfather changed his name from Samski to Miller and didn't discuss his past - and we didn't find out until 2019 he was from Warsaw - it's easy to lose family history. Especially in Mid-Earth of an 18th-20th century... All it needs is for Great-Grandparent to keep their mouth shut.
I didn't catch the "Merlin" references, but only watched it once, back in 2020, so... "Myrodin." Huh.
Let's talk magic. It's probable the box contains a tear. You've already established that one can stick a hand into a tear, access magic and initiate a spell. So having a tear in a box is a near-certainty. But, so far, you've established that this only allows active spells to continue functioning, not initiate new ones.
So, how are all the "street preachers" initiating spells?
Two possibilities I see: First, it's a "cheat." The levitation spell was active, but at a short height - say 5mm - which wouldn't be noticed by a casual viewer. Especially if the speaker started elevated so people couldn't get a close look at their feet and contact/cast shadows (quick flashback to your ancient car Composite tutorial in HF2U with the masked plane for contact shadow). Raising higher isn't a "new" spell, just modulating the active one.
Second: Well, a Max-Earth power cell functions on Mid-Earth, but discharges at an accelerated rate. Who says someone hasn't figured out how to create a "Magic Battery?" In my own Pangaea magic system metals channel power and crystal structures (gems) store it (although using magic artifacts also require organic elements of wood and flesh where the flesh can be that of the wielder - if you're interested, I can expand more on my eight elements). Using that as my guide, Myrodin has his ring with the crystal. He sticks his hand through the tear and lets the ring charge up. Now he's got power to use in Mid-Earth until hid battery discharges. Since your magic is "transformative" - light transformed to magic - building off the maxim that energy isn't created or destroyed, but merely changes form (like how a flywheel or microphone converts kinetic/friction energy into electricity), I see no reason why a magic battery can't exist...
...So the real questions are, "Who figured out how to make magic batteries?" and, "Who is smuggling magic batteries to Mid-Earth?" All potentially part of the larger arc, since it must be assumed your big-bad and their plans cross all three dimensions.
Hope it's not Daryla. Lola would be so heartbroken. Seems unlikely. Could be her Dad. That would fit your recurrent themes of generational struggle and atonement for the sins of one's forebears.
Huh. You get a bumper-sized comment this week!