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Chatoyant College

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.

Chapter 48: Outside Sources

They kept working on their magic. By the time they were thoroughly chilled and ready to go home, Edie had made a pool of a rather respectable size, Dawn had managed a twig that kept its shape, and Corrie had started her own metalwork practice. She was making all different shapes out of iron, including knives and something like a morningstar, with a long handle to grip. They weren’t pretty, but they would be extremely useful against faeries if they had to fight. And Corrie was pretty sure she could create iron at will now. Dawn was going to have to experiment with that herself.

Chapter 47: Magic in the Trees

Thursday, November 20

It was unusually warm for November—over fifty degrees out, and all the snow had already melted. Edie wasn’t doing anything that evening and had suggested the three of them go out and try trance magic again, which was why they were bundled up (but not too bundled up) and walking away from Gilkey, towards the environmental co-op’s orchard.

Chapter 46: Growth

Dawn kind of wanted to show off her sprout, which quit growing once she’d stopped focusing so hard on it, but was a respectable several inches long. But Roe was still staring stubbornly at her sunflower seed, and the guy on the other side of her had a beanstalk growing and growing, so there wasn’t much to show off to him. Dawn leaned over and tried to see what Corrie was doing, and was concerned for a moment that she didn’t seem to have a sprout—but Corrie had both created and sprouted a bean on Monday, so she was probably okay.

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