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Chatoyant College

Chapter 41: Scotch Tape

Friday, October 10

Corrie had a hard time concentrating during her classes that day. The only reason she got through magic class was because Dawn poked her a few times, bringing her attention back to what Professor Lal was saying. That and the fact that they’d read the material the night before, of course.

Chapter 40: Scout's Honor

Corrie, Dawn, and Roe finished their reading for magic class without complaining too much more about Professor Lal, and then Corrie headed back to her room to read the assignment for history class. The room seemed quiet and dark. Of course, it was getting dark earlier and earlier, now that it was getting into October, but she was pretty sure that it seemed so quiet just because Edie wasn’t there. She kept glancing up at every little sound, which was pretty frequent, considering people were always walking up and down the hallway, going to the bathroom or back and forth to each other’s rooms.

Chapter 39: Magic Again

Corrie stared after Leila and Edie as they walked away, clenching her fists in frustration. How could Leila just push her away like that? And Edie had listened!

Chapter 38: Home

Edie felt Leila’s hand on her shoulder, shaking her lightly. She opened her eyes. “Did I fall asleep?”

“Yes, dear. Are you feeling better?” Leila, kneeling beside her, smiled down at her. The angry red marks that had been on her cheek were gone, and her head nearly brushed the lowest branches of the tree.

“I am!” Apparently she had needed a nap. She hadn’t slept all that well the night before, had she? That would explain why she felt so woozy when she and Leila had left the orchard. “How about you? You look better.”

Chapter 37: Of Course It Is Safe

“Oh good, you’re here.” Leila sighed and shook her head, then pushed her hands over the top of her head as though smoothing her hair down. “It has been quite a day, I tell you. Shall we get started?”

“Sure,” said Edie. “What are we doing?” She was pretty sure they were doing the same thing they’d done last night, but she didn’t actually remember what that was. Then, as Leila turned toward her, she forgot her question. She gasped and ran towards her girlfriend, reaching out toward her face. “What happened to your cheek?”

Chapter 36: An Excellent Idea

Corrie nodded. “You’re right, of course. But what if she didn’t know?”

Dawn frowned. “What… you think Edie could be nonhuman and not know it?”

“Exactly. Like if she was a changeling or something.”

Dawn nodded slowly. It certainly wasn’t a possibility she could discount. “I thought changelings were all made of sticks, or looked really old, or something, though.”

Chapter 35: He Wouldn't Believe Me

Dawn knocked on Corrie and Edie’s door, and after a moment, Corrie answered it. Dawn started back. She looked haggard. There were bags under her eyes (they were small, but noticeable to someone who usually saw Corrie smiling and well-rested), her hair was coming out of its ponytail, and she was definitely not smiling. “Corrie, what’s wrong?” Dawn asked. Looking over her shoulder at the empty room, she added, “Where’s Edie?”

“Well, that’s part of what’s wrong,” said Corrie, with a half-smile. “Let’s talk about it over dinner. I don’t think she’s showing up, she’s usually back by now.”

Chapter 34: He'd Love to See You

“In fact…” Dawn said, thinking of how genuinely sad Tom had seemed to be when he heard that Pru had never had children (in fact, it was the only genuine emotion she had seen from him, other than maybe amusement), “Why don’t you come back here? I’m sure he’d love to see you.”

Pru made a noncommittal noise. “He didn’t come to see me when I was on campus visiting you.”

“I don’t think he knew you were there. He doesn’t seem to be very connected with campus events. He didn’t know about what Marlin was doing with his human lovers. And to be fair, you didn’t go looking for him, either.”

Chapter 33: A Reason

“I’m sorry,” Dawn said softly. She wished there was something she could do for Aunt Pru.

“It’s all right,” Pru said, and she really didn’t sound sad. “I made my choice. It’s better than settling for someone who wasn’t really good enough for me, isn’t it? I hope you’ll never do that.”

Chapter 32: Never Lasted

Dawn walked into her room and threw herself face-down on her bed. Thursdays were just too long. There had been so many interesting classes she’d wanted to take, so many possible careers she could pursue, that she’d decided to try them all. Clearly that had been the wrong choice—she had just ended up with too many different classes and too much in her brain. She should have at least spread them out over more semesters. And she still didn’t know which course she wanted to pursue.

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