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Chatoyant College

Chapter 2: Problem Books

By the time Dawn’s shift ended, not only was she starving, but she had hardly found any of the books. She managed to check on the titles of the ones she did remember in the library computer system, and found that four of them had been checked out (including The Practical Use of Magic, which was under her name, of course) and three were on the shelves. When she located the ones on the shelves, she realized she had no idea how to check them. Two were history books and one was an upper-level philosophy text.

Chapter 1: The Library

Sunday, November 23

As it turned out, Dawn had to save most of her homework for later that evening—she’d almost forgotten her shift at the library. She spent a few minutes talking to Rico, then wrote a note for Naomi saying that they needed to talk, though it wasn’t urgent. Then she bundled up, because the cold weather was really arriving in earnest, and hurried off to the library.

Emi greeted her with a wide-eyed expression of shock. “Dawn! You’re a minute and a half late! I’m shocked and appalled, really I am.”

Prologue: Rest

She was asleep until she felt something cool against her lips. Instinct and vague memories made her open them. Water trickled into her mouth, cool and refreshing. She drank, and drank again, until she had the strength to open her eyes and look up at the bare branches of the trees.

Her servant was above her, black eyes as wide as they ever got, holding the cup to her mouth. She smiled at it and reached out her left hand. Immediately, the creature scurried to her hand and supported her as she pushed herself up to lean against the trunk of a great oak tree.

Book 9

The Ballad of Troy & Roe, Part 4

When the main course arrived, Roe finally had to admit to herself that this date was not going well. It wasn’t the food—she’d enjoyed her salad-with-beets more than she’d expected, and what she had now was a pasta dish with seafood and a white sauce, which was the kind of thing she often enjoyed. But they kept lapsing into awkward silences, and when they actually talked, it was almost as awkward.

The Ballad of Troy & Roe

Landing page for the ongoing bonus story "The Ballad of Troy & Roe."

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.

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