Edie let out a quiet sigh. She was disappointed, but not really surprised. If she’d been able to light the candle on her very first try, she would have been shocked—and she would expect to be like Corrie, having more trouble with controlling her magic than actually doing anything.
She tried three more times with the same complete lack of success. After that, she found she was having a hard time concentrating on her candle. The movements and quiet sounds of people around the classroom were distracting her—especially Derwen, who was still hunched over and glaring at her candle. She kept making loud huffing sounds.
Edie turned to her. “You know, if you keep making big sighs like that, you’re going to blow out your candle.”
Derwen turned to her with a frown. “I can’t blow it out if I never get it to light in the first place.”
“Are you in a big hurry?”
“I don’t know how to do this!”
Edie blinked. “Didn’t you listen to Ginny?”
“Of course, but… I can’t find it.” Derwen looked down.
Edie glanced around to make sure no one was listening. Darcy seemed to be paying a lot more attention to her candle than to the conversation, but Edie lowered her voice to the quietest possible whisper anyway. “It might not be in a specific place in your body. It might be all throughout.”
“All throughout my body?” Derwen repeated.
Edie nodded. “That’s what Dawn said about Professor Lal’s magic, and mine is similar. So if that’s how faeries’ magic works…”
“But it doesn’t,” Derwen whispered as though Edie were missing something really obvious. “Glamour comes from… well, it’s not a place, it’s sort of behind everything.”
“So try that,” Edie said, but they were interrupted by Ginny, walking along the row behind them.
“Girls,” she said, “I hope you’re working, not just gossiping. This is probably the most important class session this semester.”
Edie straightened up with an embarrassed cough. “Sorry, Professor—Ginny. I was just trying to give Sarah some advice.”
Ginny raised her eyebrows and looked between the two of them. “Yes, I suppose the two of you may be able to give each other some help. Sarah, come see me during my office hours if you continue to have trouble, all right?”
“Uh, okay,” Derwen said, grimacing.
Ginny moved on to talk to Darcy, and Derwen leaned toward Edie again. “Is she serious? I have to come to her office hours if I can’t get this?”
“You’re not in trouble,” Edie said in a low voice, no longer whispering. “She just might have some advice for you that the rest of the class doesn’t need to hear. Now let’s get back to trying. We’re not going to get anywhere if we don’t work at it.”
Derwen sighed and straightened up in her seat. Edie ignored her own advice for a moment, looking around the room. The three of them had chosen seats near the top of the large auditorium, so she could see most of the rest of the class. For a moment she thought she saw a flame, but it was just the overhead lights reflecting off someone’s glasses.
No one else in the class had found any success lighting their candle, either. The thought made her feel a little better.
She turned away from Derwen slightly, making sure her friend didn’t distract her, and picked up her candle again. Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm her mind and narrow her focus to just the wick at the top. She pictured it burning merrily with a yellow-orange flame. She reached for her magic.
Still nothing happened. She took a deep breath and tried again, and again. After six tries the exact same way, she decided to look for a different tactic.
Instead of reaching for her magic, she thought she would settle into it, as though she were lying down in bed. After all, it was all throughout her body, wasn’t it? Maybe there wasn’t a good way to reach for it.
Before she could give it a serious attempt, though, she was distracted by a shriek beside her. Edie turned in alarm, thinking Derwen had hurt herself, but instead she was grinning manically, her hands wrapped tightly around a candle—a candle that had a flame dancing at the wick.
“Look!” Derwen cried as both Edie and Darcy turned to stare. “I did it! I knew I could!”
Edie grinned. Derwen was being a little melodramatic, considering how much she’d been sighing about it five minutes ago, but she was still happy for her. “Good job! I think you’re actually the first one.” She looked around the class. She still didn’t see any other flames.
“Yeah! I knew it!” Derwen turned to Edie. “Remember Roe’s vision? She told me I could do it!”
“That’s right,” Edie said, nodding as she remembered the vision Roe had told them about, of Derwen lighting her candle in class. “Maybe you should have thought of it in the first place, instead of complaining.”
“Ah, you’re just jealous,” Derwen said, turning again to stare happily at her flame.