Clare K. R. Miller

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 37: The Past and the Present

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Edie kept trying to get into the trance state that Ginny had described, but it was getting frustrating, and she was pretty sure that being frustrated was just going to make it harder for her to get into trance. It didn’t even feel familiar at all, even though she knew she’d done trance magic before, last semester. But that book had given bad advice—maybe she’d just learned it wrong. Right now, she wasn’t going to have any success. She decided to just sit there, watching the class and breathing evenly.

When she looked sideways at Derwen, she got a surprise. Derwen was looking sideways at her, too. When Edie caught her eye, she grinned and winked. So she wasn’t in trance, either.

Suddenly she remembered asking Ginny whether her magic would be any different at the beginning of the semester. Ginny hadn’t been able to tell her much, but she had said that faeries couldn’t go into trance. Derwen was only going through the motions along with the rest of the class. She must have known she wouldn’t be able to do it.

So maybe Edie couldn’t, either. In fact, if all her magic came from her faerie great-grandmother, that made sense. Her inherent magic, which she’d used for elemental magic, felt different than what other people had described; she felt it all throughout her body, and she didn’t grab hold of it, the way Corrie had described. It was more like finding it and settling herself in it, being where the magic was. When she’d given advice along those lines to Derwen, it had helped.

And, of course, she was good at water magic, from her water-faerie great-grandmother. As far as she knew, no one else in her family could do magic, though she didn’t know if they’d ever tried. She would have to ask one of her friends to go into trance the next time they saw her family and see if they had inherent magic.

Her Bubbe had said at times that Edie reminded her of her own mother. Maybe she’d gotten the magic along with her personality traits.

But if she was incapable of doing trance because of her faerie heritage… what had happened last semester in the orchard when she’d done magic with Corrie and Edie? Had she been able to reach the trees’ magic because Leila had given her a connection to them, and use that to power her creations? She wished she’d thought to ask Leila about it during the short time she had returned. But she supposed she’d been focused on Leila herself at that time, and hadn’t thought about her own magic.

Edie settled back into her magic as she thought about it. It felt so comfortable now, like sliding her hand into a well-worn glove that had melded itself to her hand over the years.

But it had always felt this way, she remembered. Ever since she’d figured out how to do it a few weeks ago when they’d started with fire magic. Why did trying to enter trance feel so wrong and unfamiliar?

She created a small pool of water in her hand, then made it vanish—vanishing was much harder to do, but she had the hang of it now. She closed her eyes, remembering.

It felt familiar because she had done it before. Last semester. She hadn’t done trance magic at all, then; she had tried to follow the instructions in the book, but she’d never learned how to do elemental magic until this semester, so when she’d been seeking magic, she’d simply found her own and thought it was trance. That made so much sense she was surprised she hadn’t figured it out earlier.

When the class time was drawing to an end, Ginny instructed them on how to come out of trance and dismissed them, telling them that Monday’s class would cover both trance and divination. Derwen leaned over and whispered to Edie, “You couldn’t do it either, huh?”

Edie shook her head. “I guess I take after my great-grandmother.”

“That’s so cool!”

Edie shrugged. She wasn’t sure if she liked having faerie magic. It was strange how much she could be like a faerie when she was three generations removed from that heritage. “I’m going to ask Ginny about it.”

Derwen stayed with her as the rest of the class cleared out. Ginny smiled at Edie as they approached. “I take it you weren’t able to get into trance.”

Edie shook her head. “I guess my magic is more like a faerie’s. I think you were right when I asked you about it at the beginning of the semester—in the fall, when I thought I was doing trance magic, I was using my own inherent magic. It’s felt familiar all along, and I guess that’s why.”

“Can everyone else in the class do trance magic?” Derwen asked.

“Yes, they’re all human. It’s actually easier for humans—that is, we’re unlikely to be blocked from doing it, whereas our inherent magic may be tiny to nonexistent. Don’t worry, you’ll still pass this class without being able to do trance magic. Edie, can I speak with you privately for a moment?”

“Sure,” Edie said, raising her eyebrows at Derwen, who frowned but left the room.

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