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Chatoyant College

Chapter 41: Earth Magic

“Okay,” said Corrie. “I can do that.” She had suspected that Professor Lal meant her when she’d talked about people wanting an extra challenge. Anyway, class wasn’t even halfway through yet, and she’d already created a pile of sand. She could create something more.

Chapter 40: Sand

Monday, November 17

Corrie was actually relieved when it was Monday. Not that she hadn't enjoyed the weekend, and all the snow, but she'd felt off-kilter since Friday. Maybe it had been the way she'd absorbed all the air magic for Professor Lal, but she didn't think so. Actually, when she thought about it (walking to class with Dawn), she decided that she'd really felt off-kilter since Wednesday, since she'd talked to her dad.

Chapter 39: Cold River

Dawn took a deep breath. She was still grounded. She could still sense all the magic around her. All she had to do was draw on it…

Water started to seep from her palm. First a trickle, then a stream, like the water from a bathroom tap. She focused and she controlled it. It didn’t turn into a gush. She started to smile.

Chapter 38: Grass Fire

Dawn took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She would have to open them again later, but she seemed to connect to the earth magic better when she wasn’t reacting to any other stimuli—and the sun glittering off the snow was certainly stimulating. Breathing slowly and steadily, she imagined roots growing down from her legs and into the ground. Quickly but gradually, she felt supported, stronger, more relaxed. It was working.

Chapter 37: Snowy Morning

Saturday, November 15

Dawn woke feeling, thankfully, refreshed and well. She was hungry, but that was just because it was morning. After her shower, she felt almost perfect; the snow had stopped, and outside everything was crisp and sparkling. Even the forest looked friendly in its white blanket. The only problems were that she was hungry and Naomi was nowhere to be seen.

Chapter 36: Human Magic

“Well…” Edie shifted against the tree, trying to stand somewhere that snow wouldn’t drip down onto her nose, and taking the time to formulate her thoughts. “My friends who are taking magic classes say that there are two ways to get magic. One is the magic inside you, and the other is the magic that’s in everything else, and you have to do a sort of meditation to use that magic.”

Leila was gazing out at the falling snow, not looking at Edie. “Yes, I understand that to be the case for humans.”

Chapter 35: Winter Trees

The snow was heavy and wet, and the wind was still blowing hard. Edie tried to lean into the wind and pull her hood over her face to protect herself from the flying snow, but it kept changing direction, and soon her face was damp and freezing. She could barely see where she was going, but at least all the buildings she was near had lights blazing in every window. She threw her arms in front of her face and careened through the thick snow to the environmental co-op.

Chapter 34: Energy

When Dawn had eaten three slices of pizza (and she’d never devoured so much so quickly in her life) and half a bottle of cola and was feeling a little better, she took a fourth slice and her bottle to the couch, where Corrie and Annie already were. “Wow, it’s a good thing we ordered a lot of pizza, Dawn,” said Corrie with a grin. “Hungry much?”

Dawn swallowed her bite and nodded with a rueful smile. “I’m guessing this is also a side effect of the magic. I’ve never been so hungry or so tired in one afternoon before.”

Chapter 33: Naptime

Something intruded on Dawn’s sleep—there was a noise, a crash? She realized it was the door. Then she realized she was sleeping and opened her eyes and sat up.

She felt flushed, over-warm, and still drowsy. She had to blink several times before she noticed Naomi standing in the middle of the room and grinning at her. “What’s up with you, miss never-takes-naps?”

“Naps?” Dawn echoed, confused, then glanced at the window. The snow was still falling, but it was definitely daytime. “Oh, no… I missed class!”

Chapter 32: Afternoon Snow

The rest of the class period passed with agonizing slowness. Corrie seemed happy with her role as wind-absorber, and no one criticized Dawn directly, but other than almost everyone asking her if she was okay, they didn’t speak to her (except, thankfully, Roe). And she kept turning her head and catching people staring at her, or turning away quickly and whispering to the people next to them. At least they seemed amused by the way the snow was piling up on top of the shield Professor Lal had made.

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