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Chatoyant College

The Ballad of Troy & Roe, Part 3

Roe began to worry, when she heard Troy rattling off the French words, only a few of which she could catch, that she was going to end up with something bizarre and disgusting, despite the fact that she was generally an omnivore and interested in new foods. She didn’t want to embarrass herself on a date, though. At least she didn’t hear “escargot” in the jumble of French.

Chapter 56: Sharing

Corrie shoved her hands in her coat pockets as they left the magic building, heading back toward Gilkey. It was getting really cold. “Dammit, I don’t want to do my homework.”

“Well, I don’t think you have to quite yet,” said Dawn. “We should really tell everyone else about this.”

Corrie glanced at her and nodded. “You’re right. Our friends need to know.”

“I should probably let Leila know,” said Edie with a frown. “I mean, it’s her sister trying to mess with us still. They really don’t seem to get along at all.”

The Ballad of Troy & Roe, Part 2

Roe was happy to see Troy when she got to the car, even if his cousin was weird. Troy was dressed up to about the same extent she was—a dress shirt and pants but no tie, and a blazer rather than a serious dress coat—so she was glad to have chosen the right clothes. He was holding the car door open and smiling at her, and she felt her uncomfortable smile relax into a real one. He was awfully cute.

“My lady,” he said, bowing slightly to her as she reached the car.

She giggled. “I’m not a lady.”

Chapter 55: Miranda Swick

Sunday, November 23

Corrie, Dawn, and Edie had agreed that they would all go see Professor Lal. They’d all used the book, and Edie, after hearing about how the book had failed to give Dawn the instructions that would have helped her, and the fact that Professor Lal was worried about it, feared there might have been some malevolent magic on it that affected them. Corrie thought she was being over-cautious, but was certainly willing to indulge her; it was certainly safer to be too cautious than not cautious enough.

Chapter 54: The Spell

Corrie’s mom lit one candle and placed it above her head. Corrie could just see the glow of the flame, though it was faint in the light from the windows. Another candle was lit and placed below her feet. She hoped neither of them fell—they were in precarious positions if they did—but she couldn’t help smiling at the thought that if they did, she could quickly extinguish the flames by creating water.

Chapter 53: Separated

Saturday, November 22

Corrie had called her mom as soon as she had a chance the day before. She was surprised to hear about Corrie’s difficulty with magic, but when Corrie had explained how she’d talked to her father and discovered that her magical abilities were nearly the opposite of a werewolf’s, she sounded nervous. “Are you sure it’s safe to do this trance stuff?”

“If you’re doing it right. And I’m not going to do it without Professor Lal around.” Corrie hadn’t told her about the problems Dawn had had with trance. “But stop changing the subject?”

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.”

Chapter 51: Experimentation

Corrie had hoped that the combination of calming music and the dulcet tones of Professor Angew’s coaching would help her actually achieve trance. Trying the same thing over and over might not be helpful, but trying it in different contexts couldn’t hurt. So she really had tried. Alas, it was all for naught. She didn’t have any more success than she ever had.

Near the end of class, Professor Lal switched off the recording and asked the class, “Has anyone not succeeded in achieving the trance state yet?”

Chapter 50: Sensing the Magic

Of course, it took Dawn no time at all to slip into trance, though she was trying to pace herself along with the directions and not look like she was too much ahead of the rest of the class. Evidently practice did make things easier.

She waited a few moments, though she was aware with her mental senses of the magic around her, before opening her eyes.

Chapter 49: Trance

Friday, November 21

Dawn had no idea how to feel about today’s magic class. So she didn’t think about it. She kept talking to Corrie and Roe about their plans for the Thanksgiving holiday until Professor Lal walked into class.

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