Edie focused again, making sure she was aware of her magic and that it was active in her. Then she summoned up the vision of the flame again.
Even though she knew what to do now, or thought she did, it wasn’t quick or easy. It seemed as though she had to keep trying repeatedly in order to get herself into the deep, focused, trancelike state necessary to make the candle light. Having done it once didn’t mean she could do it again whenever she wished. She suddenly remembered the trance magic she’d done with Corrie and Dawn, learned from the book by “Miranda Swick.” That had been months ago, so she couldn’t remember clearly, but maybe she’d accidentally done trance magic now. That would explain why it seemed so comfortable, if she actually had done it before.
She wasn’t sure that made sense. She remembered Corrie and Dawn talking about being able to see people’s magic, and the magic in all living things, and that certainly wasn’t happening for her right now.
Edie shook her head at herself and took her focus back to her candle. Even if she wasn’t doing magic the right way, she was definitely doing magic, she had to keep trying. Ginny would be able to tell her what, if anything, she’d been doing wrong.
Finally, she got the candle to light again. She watched it carefully for a few moments as it flickered and sparked slightly. It looked like a normal candle, slowly melting the wax, not like it was being sustained by her magic in any way.
She deliberately looked around the classroom to see what other people were doing. Ginny was standing by Chris’s desk, talking to her. Edie looked away from them quickly and saw that her candle was still burning.
Maybe she had let go of her magic before, and that was why the candle had gone out. She hadn’t felt herself let go of it, and she hadn’t felt herself go back into it, but it was possible that—now that she knew, consciously, what to do—it was just second nature to her. After all, she was part faerie, and faeries were magic, weren’t they?
She glanced over at Derwen, who still seemed very proud that she’d been the first to light her candle. Being a faerie hadn’t made it completely easy for her… but it seemed to have been easier for her than for everyone else, especially once she’d gotten over her frustration.
Edie knew she shouldn’t be comparing herself to other people. That was a bad way to progress in any class, but especially one where her abilities might be completely different from everyone else’s abilities, just because of who and what she was.
As far as she knew, no one else in the class was part faerie.
She turned her attention back to her candle. She blew it out, then focused and lit it again. This time it still took several minutes, but it seemed easier.
Next, she deliberately let go of her magic. That was harder than she’d expected; she felt like it wanted to hold her in, and she had to fight her way to get up and out of it. Once she was out of it, she felt disappointed, and almost lonely, like the magic was an old friend.
She was sure now that she hadn’t just dropped it by accident and grabbed it again. She would have felt that.
Anyway, it wouldn’t have been the cause of her candle going out, because the candle was still lit now. It wasn’t staying lit due to her magic. She reached out to touch the flame again, and this time it bent and flickered at the movement of her finger, but didn’t go out.
Frowning, she blew it out, sank back into her magic—it was even easier now than the first time—and tried again. The candle lit. She reached out to touch it… and it went out.
She was on the verge of freaking out when Ginny called to the class from the front of the room. “I’d like you all to blow out your candles now, if you’ve lit them, and release your magic, if you’ve found it,” she said. “I know not all of you have succeeded, but there will be plenty more time for practice, and I want to take questions. Does anyone have any?”
Edie immediately raised her hand, blowing out her candle at the same time. She was still forcing her way out of her magic when Ginny called on her.
“I’ve been able to light my candle, but if I touch the flame, it goes out,” she said. “That is, if I touch it while still in my magic, it goes out, but if I’m not in my magic, it’s fine.” She hoped that description made sense to Ginny. She was a magic teacher, so she’d probably seen it all, right?
Ginny was frowning when Edie finished her question, but her voice was calm and clear. “That’s unusual, but I don’t think it’s a problem. You can come to my office hours if you’d like, and we can work on exploring that, but if you don’t mind, I’d like you to keep going through the elemental magic curriculum and see how the other elements respond to you.”
Edie nodded, reassured. “That sounds good. Thank you.”