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Chatoyant College

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.

Chapter 31: Windstorm

Dawn’s magic, enhanced by what she drew from the earth and the trees around them, was so much more powerful than the magic she could do on her own. A delighted grin spread across her face as she watched the leaves on the tree in front of her flutter, then whip about in the wind she was creating.

“Very good, Dawn,” said Professor Lal, sounding surprised. “You may stop now.”

Chapter 30: The Wind in the Trees

Friday, November 14

Dawn woke that morning feeling empowered. She could do trance. She'd tried it on Wednesday, and been able to sense the power; she'd tried it again on Thursday, and been able to use it, drawing on the power in the grass around her to fill her palms with water again. It was harder to get started than it was with her own magic, but there was more power available once she was connected to it. And it had tasted sweet.

Chapter 29: Power

Dawn was still a little dubious about this trance concept—but she did want to get better at magic, and it seemed that her skill with elemental magic was not that great. She’d managed a slight breeze from her hand in class that day, but her pinwheel had never moved very quickly. She was certainly nowhere near Corrie’s level, trying different gases in the back of the classroom. So she did want to try something else, something she might have more success with.

Chapter 28: Standing Guard

Corrie returned to her dorm room slowly, and stared around at the empty room for a moment before realizing it was after ten and she’d missed the beginning of the Rainbow Alliance meeting. She stood there for another minute, unsure if she should bother, then decided she could use the distraction and hurried off.

Chapter 27: Different

Corrie slumped back in her chair, staring at her half-eaten slices of pizza. She’d lost her appetite. “So what you’re saying is that not only do you not have an answer for me, I have even more questions now.”

“I’m sorry, Corrie. I wish I could help you, I truly do. Have you asked your professor about this? Or your mother?”

Chapter 26: Werewolves and Magic

“So he knows,” Corrie said, sitting down at a small table, as her father sat across from her and handed her a soda. She picked up one of her slices of pizza—thick and dripping with grease—and glanced around the room. There was a small group of teenage girls gossiping at one table, and an elderly couple eating quietly at another—neither empty enough for Corrie’s comfort nor noisy enough for her to think they could speak unobserved. But if the owners knew about werewolves, maybe it was okay.

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