Chapter 52: Blocked
“Now,” continued Professor Lal, putting her hands on Corrie’s desk, “I really must investigate why it is you have been unable to achieve trance. Are you still grounded?”
“Yes,” said Corrie.
“Good. This should only take a moment.” Professor Lal closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Corrie waited nervously until she opened them again. She was frowning. “That is very strange.”
“What is it?”
“I was able to find your connection to the earth’s magic—I thought perhaps you would be missing a connection, as some people or other beings are, but it is there. It is simply blocked.”
“That is weird.” Corrie bit her lip, then added, “I have… uh, some nonhuman heritage. Could that have something to do with it?”
“Certainly. What is your nonhuman heritage?”
“My father is a werewolf.”
Professor Lal shook her head slowly. “That doesn’t make very much sense. I have worked with werewolves in the past, and they generally have a much stronger connection to the earth’s magic.”
“That’s what my dad said when I asked him about it. It’s like I’m the opposite of a werewolf when it comes to magic. He says they don’t have inherent magic.”
“He would know better than I, though I do not believe a werewolf’s bite would remove or block a werewolf’s inherent magic. I take it your mother is human?”
“Then perhaps this is some fluke of mixed heritage. I know that the children of faerie-human pairings can have odd things happen with their magical abilities. I would think the connection would be missing in that case, though, rather than blocked. It’s as though someone put a block there on purpose. I am not familiar with how werewolves generally use their magic other than for transformation—could your father have put a spell on you as a child?”
“I don’t think so. He, um, I never met him until this year.” Corrie frowned. “But my mom does some magic. Maybe I should ask her about it.”
“Yes, I think that is a good course of action. Otherwise, it may be possible to remove the block, but it would take several magicians working together.” The professor smiled. “Luckily, you have not only myself for assistance, but several friends who do magic.”
“True.” Corrie smiled, relieved. “I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it. It’s nice to know we might be able to fix me.”
Professor Lal nodded. “And if not, you are not exactly crippled as a magician. There are very few things one uses trance for that cannot be also done with inherent magic.” She tapped her fingers on the desk, then said, “If you learn anything by Sunday afternoon, come to my office, and bring the book. I will be there from about three to five.”
“Thanks. I’ll come by. Probably with Dawn.”
“Of course.” The professor stood. “Now the class time is over. I hope you learn something helpful, Corrie.” She walked to the door and opened it, gesturing to the rest of the class, still standing around and talking, that they could leave. The noise level only increased, but people started to leave. Corrie stood up and waited for Dawn to finish a conversation. Roe was talking to someone else and left without them.
“That was fun,” Dawn said when she returned to her desk to pick up her coat. “People sense the magic in really different ways. A bunch of people said they could only see things, but Brian said everything’s a sound, and Kira said everything’s a smell. Which is especially interesting since I sensed Brian’s magic as a sound and Kira’s as a smell.”
“That is interesting,” Corrie said. “I’m jealous.” She grinned to show she was joking, though she wasn’t entirely.
Bundled up, they headed outside. “I told Professor Lal that we tried trance magic before,” Corrie said tentatively.
Dawn turned to her, frowning. “I wish you’d asked me first…”
“I didn’t know what else to do.” Corrie shoved her hands into her pockets and shrugged. “Anyway, she didn’t seem to be mad about it. She just wants to see the book.”
“Well, I guess that makes sense. It’s not like I trust the book anymore, anyway. I hope Edie hasn’t tried anything without us.”
Corrie grimaced at the thought. She was always trying to protect Edie—she never expected to have to protect her from a book. “Me too.”
“Did Professor Lal know why you can’t do trance?”
“Not really. Professor Lal says even if we can’t figure out why, then a few people working together might be able to break up the block, so I guess that means you, her, Roe, and maybe Rico and Annie. I’d really like to find out the reason if there is one, though. I have to ask my mom. She’s the last lead I have.”