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Chatoyant College

Chapter 3: New to It

Dawn stared down at the piece of wood in her bucket. It had evidently been a branch from a birch tree, judging by the white, papery bark with black spots throughout. She wondered if Professor Lal had just wandered around the woods and picked up fallen branches. She looked for a spot that would be good for starting the fire. She knew she was procrastinating.

Chapter 2: Flame

Corrie opened the bag, took one tea light out, and placed it in the middle of her desk. Then she put the bag on her chair—she had no plans to sit down—so it wouldn’t be in her line of sight to distract her, and because she thought there was a small possibility that if she could see all the candles, she would end up lighting them all at once, and that would be bad for several reasons.

Chapter 1: Practice

Wednesday, November 5

Corrie got up that morning feeling both excited and nervous. She was excited because she knew she could do the magic they’d be practicing in class. She’d already done it on Monday. On the other hand, she was nervous because she had no idea if she’d be able to control it. She didn’t really know what she’d done on Monday that had made the candle flame up like that, so she didn’t know how she’d do it differently.

Book 8

The Ballad of Troy & Roe, Part 1

It was a beautiful day—cold, but it was November, after all. At least it gave Roe an excuse to wear her nice velvet jacket. Her mother hadn’t wanted her to bring it, but Roe had hoped she would have an excuse to dress up a little, and now she did. She had a black dress on underneath the jacket, with a silver necklace and stockings that didn’t do much to cut the chilly breeze, but at least looked nice. She didn’t know where they were going, but he was a prince, right? And at least whatever happened, she wouldn’t be underdressed. Talia had proclaimed that she looked gorgeous.

Chapter 60: Power

Monday, November 3

“Here they are,” said Corrie. “My poster, Annie’s poster, and Edie’s bag. We decided not to worry about the voodoo dolls, but you can have them, too, if you want.” She, Dawn, and Roe were all standing in front of Professor Lal’s desk after class had ended. Energy was still racing through her from the magic practice they had done, and her veins felt like they were tingling.

Chapter 59: Friends

Edie ran down the stairs as fast as she could without fear of tripping down them. When she threw open the front door to the dorm, Leila was standing right there with the umbrella. The rain only dripped on Edie’s head a tiny bit between the door and the umbrella. She wrapped her arm tightly around Leila’s waist and leaned into her, smiling. “There you are, dearest,” Leila said before Edie could even greet her, wrapping the arm that wasn’t holding the umbrella around Edie’s shoulders. “Where have you been all day?”

Chapter 58: Gone or Invisible

“So,” Brandon said, “if you don’t have any more questions, I think it’s time for me to be on my way. It’s late.”

“Wait,” said Corrie. “Do you know where Professor Lal goes when she’s not on campus?”

Brandon guffawed, startling Edie and making her cringe back. He laughed for a while longer, then shook his head. “Oh, no way am I telling you that. Lal is a scary bitch and if she didn’t tell you, she didn’t want you to know. No, I like my skin in one piece, thanks.”

“Fair enough,” said Dawn. “Do you know Tom, just out of curiosity?”

Chapter 57: Conference

There wasn’t much time to react. They all bolted toward Gilkey. Edie was always glad it was the closest dorm building to the western woods, but she was even more glad today. And she was glad to feel Corrie’s hand grab her and help her along—she was already a little tired and out of breath from her quick walk through the woods, and she wasn’t used to running.

Chapter 56: Stormy Weather

Edie held her breath until they had passed the last of the tables and were in the small clearing before the forest started up thickly again. The same hollow-faced woman who had greeted them was walking slowly around the trees, perhaps pacing the perimeter. She smiled at them, a creepy, death-like smile, but didn’t say anything. Brandon strode confidently directly into what, to Edie’s eyes, were trees too thick to let anyone pass.

“Wait, just a second,” Dawn called after him. “Uh, you guys still can’t see the path, can you?”

Edie shook her head. “Just the trees.”

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