Professor Rook was watching the class, his expression bored, but he caught Corrie’s eye and nodded slightly to her. She grinned back at him. She’d finally found something she could do, and do easily.
She glanced around the room to see that no one else was looking up in excitement, though a few people looked frustrated and others looked interested, staring down into their bowls with great concentration. Then she turned back to her bowl. She couldn’t just sit here and bask in her newfound ability. Like with elemental magic, she had to see how far she could go.
Maybe she should look for things that she didn’t know as well—places she could picture, but not clearly. Then she would have an idea of how well she needed to know a place before she could look at it with distance sight.
The main room of the library was easy, as was the study room with the beanbag chairs. The stacks where the magic books were kept was a little harder, but when she focused on the ripples of the water and let her mind relax, the vision came eventually.
She looked at Charlie’s room, which was empty, and then at Dawn and Naomi’s, where Naomi was lying on her back and holding a book above her head. She checked the guard post by the gates, and while it took a while for the gate to come into view, she saw the guard sitting with his elbow in the window, his head bobbing in a beat—he must be listening to music that she couldn’t hear.
So this ability was limited—she could only see at a distance, not hear or smell or touch. That was probably for the best. It would be too easy to spy on someone this way—at least, if they were somewhere that she could picture clearly.
She tried Professor Rook’s office. It took longest of all, but the vision did come, though it was quite dark. He seemed to have the window covered, and of course no lights were on; she’d chosen it of all the magic professors’ offices because she knew for sure that he wasn’t there.
Could she look for something she didn’t know at all, just that she knew existed? That could be risky. She didn’t want to pick anyone’s dorm room, and there weren’t too many other places on campus that met that definition. She would hold off on it, at least for now.
Professor Rook spoke again. “Take a break, please. Now, raise your hand if you believe you have succeeded.”
Corrie raised her hand immediately. Lin also raised her hand, as did a few other students scattered around the room. Roe didn’t, but she grinned at Corrie.
“Excellent,” the professor said. “Those of you who have not succeeded, you may return to trying. Those of you who have, I will give you a small test. Please get out a pen and paper.”
Corrie bent to get a pen and notebook out of her bag. She flipped the notebook to a blank paper and waited for Professor Rook to reach her; he was speaking with each student who’d raised their hands one by one.
When he came to her desk, he looked at her for a few moments without speaking. Finally he said, “How well do you need to know a place to see it?”
“Not very well,” Corrie said proudly. “I haven’t fully tested my abilities yet, but I’ve successfully looked at places that I’ve only been to once.”
He nodded. “Do you know the orchard behind the environmental co-op?”
“Yes, I’ve been there a couple of times, but not since fall.”
“Excellent. Please view it and write down what you see there.”
Corrie nodded and took a deep breath, returning her focus to the bowl. She didn’t know if she could picture the orchard clearly. The last time she’d been there, the trees had been brown and dropping their leaves, and surely they wouldn’t look like that anymore.
It took longer for the vision to appear, but at last, it did. Some of the trees were still brown, or at least brown in parts, and she dutifully wrote that down. They must not have recovered from the poison they’d been given last fall. But most of the trees looked healthy, with bright, shiny leaves. She could see green, fuzzy fruits on some of them, and the remains of flowers on others. She did her best to take a mental tour through the whole orchard, writing everything down.
“Class will end in a few moments,” Professor Rook said, breaking her concentration. “If you are working on an assignment, please finish if you can. All others, has anyone else succeeded?” Corrie was writing down a few more details and didn’t see them raising their hands, but Professor Rook said, “Good. You may all clear up the water and return the bowls to my desk. Those of you with the assignment, please hand that in as well. On Tuesday, we will practice other techniques.”
Corrie had forgotten about her question for the professor, but as everyone else packed up, it came back to her mind. She deliberately dawdled over her assignment, writing down any more details that she could come up with. Finally, when the last other students were leaving the classroom, she wrote her name on the paper and tore it out of the notebook, magically removed the water from her bowl, gathered her things, and approached Professor Rook’s desk.