Chapter 3: Glow
When Dawn opened her eyes, she could see all the magic around her. For a moment she was overwhelmed by her two friends—Corrie just had so much magic, and Edie’s was so strange and sparkling. But her internal eyes quickly adjusted, and she could see the haze of magic all around her. And it really was all around; as Corrie had predicted, all the books seemed to have a little magic in them, more than other inanimate objects. Dawn wondered whether that was something inherent to all books, or whether they had picked it up from being on a magical campus and used by people who did magic.
She could see a glow (and it was accompanied by a high-pitched whine, like a cross between a mosquito, a fluorescent light, and a tiny bell) several aisles up ahead, and knew what it was. That was where the magic books were.
There was nothing, however, unique about the two history books in front of her. She leaned forward, not lifting her legs away from the ground, and pulled one off the shelf just to check. Corrie did the same. They both inspected the covers and flipped through the books, but Dawn found nothing interesting. She closed her eyes, breathed deeply, and removed her trance connection, as Professor Agnew’s tape had taught them—drawing her roots back in and her attention back into her body. Then she opened her eyes again and looked at Corrie. “Do you see anything?”
Corrie shook her head, closing the book. “Nothing special. Not here, anyway.” She tried to put the book back upside-down, and Dawn took it from her hand and replaced it as it should be. She was the one trained to work in the library, after all.
“Did you see that glow up ahead?” Dawn asked, gesturing toward it.
Corrie nodded. “I figured we should check it out next. Do you know what it might be?”
“Yeah, it’s the magic section. Well, let’s go.” Dawn unfolded her legs and grabbed a shelf to help pull herself up. Corrie sprang lightly to her feet, but then let out an exclamation, wobbling on her feet and tipping over.
Almost immediately, both Dawn and Edie were there to help her stand up straight. “Are you okay?” Edie cried, worried.
“I think so,” said Corrie. “Uh, this is weird. Let me sit down again for a minute.”
Dawn and Edie lowered her to the ground, not trusting her feet. Dawn watched her with worry as she closed her eyes and breathed deeply. She hoped she wasn’t getting sick. After a minute, though, Corrie opened her eyes and sprang up again. Dawn reached out to catch her, but she seemed to have her balance back.
“I had to break trance,” Corrie explained. “I thought I might be able to move around while I was still in it, especially since we’re not going very far. But I guess not.”
Dawn frowned. “I wouldn’t think so. You’re rooted to the ground… well, metaphorically, but I’m not surprised you lost your balance.”
Corrie shrugged. “It might be something you can do with practice. This is only my second time, after all.”
“You should ask Professor Lal,” Edie suggested.
“Right, I’ll add that to my mental list for her.” Dawn smiled and shook her head. “It’s a good thing she doesn’t mind questions most of the time. We always have a long list of them.”
They walked over to the magic section and sat down, Edie standing by the aisle to keep watch again. When Dawn was in trance again, she could see the glow and hear the sound more clearly, and realized that the sound was made up of a number of layers—some of the books glowed more brightly and some less, and the sound was louder or quieter in proportion. Some of the sounds were closer to a mosquito’s whine and some closer to a bell.
She picked a book off the shelf at random and looked at it. It was about divination, and the sound was more like the mosquito whine, with a softer glow. She opened the pages and flipped through, but none of the pages seemed any different from the others.
When she left trance, she glanced at Corrie and saw that her eyes were still closed, so she waited for her friend to come out of trance. Then she said, “Well, they all definitely have magic in them, but I don’t think I can tell if any of them are malevolent or not.”
Corrie nodded. “I thought the ones that sound like mosquitoes might be bad, but maybe that’s just judgmental of me.”
Dawn grinned, pleased that Corrie could sense the same things she could. “Yeah, I don’t know either. I guess we should ask Professor Lal. I’m sure she’ll understand.”
Corrie stood up and stretched. “Well, we can’t do that until tomorrow.”
Dawn nodded and stood up. “You’re right. We should stop worrying about it and get some homework done.”