Wednesday, April 26
Edie actually woke up early that morning, something she hardly ever did—she usually stayed up later than she intended to at night, so that it was hard to drag herself out of bed when her alarm went off. But today, even though she hadn’t gone to bed any earlier than usual, it was hard to stay asleep; she got up before her alarm.
She was actually ready to go at the same time as Corrie, and they walked to breakfast together. “What are you so bouncy about today?” Corrie asked her.
Edie grinned. “Midterms are over. We start practical magic in Ginny’s class today.”
“Oh!” Corrie’s eyes lit up and she grinned back. “That’s going to be a lot of fun. Do you know if you’re starting with fire magic, like Professor Lal did?”
Edie shook her head. “She hasn’t told us. I’d be surprised if we did it differently, though.”
She tried to linger over her breakfast, but she was so excited to get to class that she ended up being fifteen minutes early. When she arrived, she saw she wasn’t the only one; Darcy was already in her usual seat, and a few other people were scattered about the classroom.
Edie made her way to her seat near Darcy, sat down, and grinned at her. “Excited?”
Darcy nodded quickly, though she didn’t look excited. “This is what I’ve been waiting for all semester. I hope it lives up to its promise.”
“It will,” Edie assured her. “My friends took intro to magic last semester. They showed me some of the stuff they learned to do. I can’t wait to be like them.”
Of course, she didn’t mention that she had actually tried doing some magic, learned from them and from the book they’d found in the library, last semester. She knew she hadn’t caused any problems by using the bad advice on trance magic, but it still hadn’t been the greatest idea to try it.
Besides, if Ginny’s class followed Professor Lal’s pattern, they would be doing elemental magic first, so she would be learning something totally new anyway.
“I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it,” Darcy confessed.
“I’m sure you will be,” Edie said, though she honestly had no idea. She knew that it was possible, using trance magic, to tell how much internal magic someone had available to them, but she hadn’t learned how to do that part. And she wouldn’t go into trance now even if she had. She pulled the book she was reading out of her backpack so she could wait quietly for class to start, though she assumed Derwen would show up soon and interrupt her.
In fact, though, Derwen didn’t arrive until just before Ginny did, after most of the rest of the class was already there. “I’m glad to see you all so enthusiastic,” Ginny said as Derwen made her way to her seat. “We’ll give the rest of the class a few minutes to arrive, but in the meantime, let’s start passing out these candles.”
Ginny handed a bundle of inch-thick taper candles to two students near the front. Edie turned to Derwen and grinned. Derwen, however, looked grumpy, slouching in her seat and frowning at them. “Why are you two in such a hurry?”
“We get to learn actual magic today,” Darcy said.
Derwen sat up suddenly, her eyes going wide. “What? Today?”
“Of course,” Edie said. “Don’t you read the syllabus? That’s how the class works. Once we’ve had the midterm on the theory, we get to start with the practical.”
Derwen looked around as though lost. “But—I’m not ready! We don’t even know if we did well on the test.”
“Ginny told us we’d get our midterms back on Friday,” Edie reminded her. “And she must think we’ve studied enough.” The bundle of candles came their way. She took one and passed on the bundle.
Derwen didn’t have a response, but she still didn’t look happy as she took a candle and gave the dwindling bundle to Darcy. Edie wondered why she was so unhappy. Did she think she wouldn’t be able to do the magic? Or was there something else that was upsetting her that had nothing to do with magic class?
She wondered if she should have asked Derwen about what Elrath had claimed he could do. Actually, maybe she still should. They hadn’t seen each other since their midterm last Thursday—now that they didn’t have any reading for magic class, they hadn’t bothered to meet at the library, though she wondered if they should start having practice sessions once they’d learned the basics.
“All right, I’m sure you’re all wondering what to do with the candles, though if you have friends who’ve taken this class, you may already know,” Ginny announced.
Edie turned eagerly to face forward, clutching her candle. She didn’t need to worry about Derwen right now. What she needed to do was learn magic.