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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?”
“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.
Corrie, not giving herself a chance to talk herself out of it, called her father that very afternoon. He was delighted to hear from her and proposed that they go out for pizza to talk. She weighed her options, tried to make excuses about her friends expecting her for dinner and the Rainbow Alliance meeting that night, and then decided that they really were just excuses and accepted his invitation.
Kira and Corrie spent the rest of the class—almost an hour—trading air magic and trying to test it. At first Corrie couldn’t tell the difference between Kira’s creation of regular air, oxygen, and ozone, but after testing each three times, she could discern subtle differences. She didn’t think she’d be able to tell without guidance which was which, but it was a start.
Corrie watched Professor Lal for a moment as she walked towards the windows and began opening the one at the front of the classroom. At least it was a nice day out—fairly warm for November, with no rain. Now she was glad the snow Edie had told her about Monday night hadn’t stuck around.