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Chatoyant College

Chapter 48: Following the Path

Dawn’s friends took her hands and lined themselves up behind her. She turned to the path, shaking her head—was the glamour on it so strong deliberately, or was it a different kind than they were used to, so that their usual methods didn’t work? Maybe they would find out when they reached wherever it led.

“Jeez,” said Roe from the back of the line after they’d walked a few feet. “You can really see where you’re going, Dawn?”

“I really can,” she said. “And it’s totally straight, at least from here. Just keep following me. You know, this probably isn’t a good idea.”

Chapter 47: The Path

Dawn and Rico went left, Roe right behind them. Edie, Corrie, and Annie went right. It was a pretty big tree, after all, and Leila was a skinny woman. But when they met on the other side, none of them had any news.

Edie looked up into the branches, frowning. “Corrie, would you give me a boost up?”

“Of course,” Corrie said, moving quickly to the trunk and pressing her shoulder against it. “But I thought you were afraid of heights.”

“I still am,” said Edie, grinning. “Unless it’s a tree. Especially this tree—you know, in a sense, it is Leila, and I know she wouldn’t let me fall.”

Chapter 46: Searching

“Well,” said Edie, “she doesn’t have a cell phone—she usually finds me, actually. And you guys probably know that she doesn’t really live on campus, she just kind of pretends to be a student…” She looked down and dug into her pocket for her cell phone. Dawn thought she looked sad and uncomfortable, and wondered why. Had she had a fight with Leila? But then why would Edie suggest they go find her?

Chapter 45: Vanished

“What do you mean, he’s gone?” Dawn asked, baffled. “There’s nowhere for him to go! Is he hiding in the bathroom or something?” She leaned forward through the window, looking around at the messy room, but there was nothing to see except rumpled bedsheets and things strewn around the room—clothing, beer cans, and what looked like leashes and accessories for a dog, though there was no other evidence of an illegal pet. Rico came up behind her and peeked through the window as well; he must have followed her when she had chased after Corrie, but at a more reasonable pace.

Chapter 44: Brandon

“You’re right, we should,” Dawn said with a sigh, leaning a little more closely against Rico’s side. “I just don’t know what.”

“We could always try asking the faerie from the craft fair,” Annie suggested. “He would know.”

“Do you think he would tell us anything?” Corrie asked.

“It’s worth a try,” Dawn said, nodding. “That is, if we can track him down. Did anybody catch his name?”

“Brandon,” supplied Edie.

Chapter 43: Needling

“So does this mean everything from the craft fair is magically affected in some way?” Corrie asked, frowning.

“As far as we know,” Dawn said, shooting Corrie what she hoped was a quelling look. She hadn’t tested the origami dragon—she hadn’t thought of a way to test it, other than to keep it somewhere she could see it in case it started flying or something—but she didn’t want to bring it up, so it could be a surprise for Rico.

Corrie nodded. “Did anybody else get anything? Annie?”

Chapter 42: Thread

Dawn was very happy not to leave Rico’s room until it was time for dinner. Afterward, they all headed up to Corrie and Edie’s room to see what would happen when Edie took out the things she’d put into her bag from the craft fair. Dawn had already told Rico about everything else that had happened at the craft fair and that day (leaving out her birthday present for him, of course), and he was as interested as any of them to see what would happen.

Chapter 41: A Talk

Once Rico and Dawn were alone in his room, she grinned nervously at him. “I’m glad you’re not freaked out by me wanting to talk.”

He laughed, sitting down on his bed, and patted the spot next to him. “Well, you don’t sound like you want to break up with me.”

Her grin widened with relief at his casualness and she sat next to him, snuggling against his side. “No, definitely not.”

He put his arm around her and squeezed gently. “So, what’s up?”

Chapter 40: Science and Magic

Dawn slowed down once they’d left the building, looking behind them, but Roe didn’t seem to be following. She grinned at Corrie and Edie. “You think they’re talking?”

“They better be,” said Corrie, who was also grinning. “Who would have guessed, weird faerie magic bringing people together?”

“Everything at this school is because of weird faerie magic,” Dawn said, shaking her head.

Edie smiled. “I don’t know, I’d like to imagine that my French class has nothing to do with weird faerie magic. Though, that is where I met Marlin…”

Chapter 39: Dolls

They all went back to the dorm so Corrie could change clothes (there was some mud on her jeans) and brush her hair. Dawn checked next door to see if Naomi had come back from wherever she’d run off to, but she was nowhere to be found, so she went back to Corrie and Edie’s room, to find them both looking at something on the floor.

“What is it?” she asked, walking quickly over to them.

“It’s my doll,” Corrie said. She picked it up and stood. “The one I bought at the craft fair this morning.”

Dawn nodded. “I recognize it. So?”

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