Corrie gave a farewell wave to Edie and Troy as she headed for her second class of the day, Divination, which was right after Literary Analysis. She was excited to learn divination; she was sure Professor Lal had barely scratched the surface in their Intro to Magic class last year. This class was supposed to focus on tarot, pendulum, and astrology, which seemed like they could take a lot more than a single semester.
She was also curious to see who would be teaching the class. When she’d signed up, Professor Strega had been listed, but she’d left the school—or she could have changed her mind at the last minute, of course. So Corrie was expecting either Professor Strega or a brand-new teacher. There had been a teacher she didn’t recognize, Professor Cantrell, at the assembly at the end of last semester; maybe she was the new magic teacher.
So she was a bit disappointed to walk into the classroom—the same one where she’d had Grounding, Centering, and Trance last semester—to see Ginny Agnew, the only human magic professor, at the front of the classroom. She tried to control her expression, because she really did like Ginny, she’d just been hoping to meet a new professor. Ginny smiled at her and gave her what might have been a wink as she made her way to a seat on the bench at the side of the classroom where she’d sat with Dawn, Roe, and Rico last semester.
Corrie looked around the room as she swung her backpack to between her feet. She recognized most of the few faces from previous semesters, but there was no one she really knew well. She smiled and waved at Dale and Michelle, who’d been in her Intro to Magic class last year.
Then Roe walked in the door, followed by Annie, and Corrie felt better immediately. She waved to them, and they headed straight over to sit next to her, smiling.
“I didn’t know Ginny was teaching this class,” Annie said very softly after sitting down.
Roe shook her head. “Professor Strega was supposed to teach it, but I guess they didn’t find a replacement in time to change the catalog.”
“I was hoping we’d have a new teacher,” Corrie said. “Though Ginny is great, too.” She couldn’t manage to speak as quietly as Annie and Roe, and she didn’t want to hurt Ginny’s feelings before class had even begun. She’d never actually had a class with Ginny, and while Edie had liked her a lot during last semester’s Intro to Magic class, Corrie knew that didn’t mean she was an easygoing teacher.
When Ginny finally spoke, her voice was mild, but cut over the soft chatter of the class. “Good morning, everyone. I think we’re—“ She was walking to the door to shut it as she spoke, but before she could, someone else rushed in.
Derwen was still wearing her fake horns and her glamoured eyes. She looked a bit wild and rushed, but maybe that was just how she meant to look. Ginny didn’t say anything, just stepped back and gestured to a seat. Derwen slid onto the bench, looking around and then grinning—still too many teeth—when she saw Corrie, Roe, and Annie.
“We’re all here,” Ginny continued as she closed the door with a click, “and I think I know who all of you are, but I’d like to just be sure. Let me know if you have a nickname you’d prefer.” She went quickly through the roll, nodding as each person identified themselves. At last she said, “And I’m Professor Virginia Agnew, but please, call me Ginny. We’ll be beginning today with the tarot. Does everyone have their own deck?”
Corrie leaned forward and unzipped her bag to retrieve the deck her grandmother had given her. All around her, there were rustling, zipping, and clicking sounds as everyone else found their decks. A couple of people raised their hands.
“Dale?” Ginny said, nodding to him.
“I, uh, heard it’s bad luck to buy your own deck,” he said, looking around uncertainly.
Ginny nodded. “That’s certainly a common belief. Kami?”
The girl she pointed to looked startled, her eyes widening and points of pink appearing on her cheeks. “I ordered one from a Kickstarter, but it hasn’t arrived yet.”
“A hazard of the Kickstarter system. Derwen?”
“I didn’t get one,” Derwen said with a shrug, her eyes pointed to the ceiling.
“Does anyone have an extra deck to share with Dale, Kami, or Derwen?” Ginny asked, looking around.
Corrie clutched her worn deck between her hands. She certainly wasn’t sharing hers.
“I bought three, since I couldn’t decide,” said a girl called Sylvia. “I really like the art but I don’t mind lending two out for today.” She held up the boxes.
“I have an extra, but it’s back in my dorm room,” Roe said. “Dale, you live in Mary Thomas, right? I think I remember seeing you when we moved in.” When Dale nodded, she continued, “I can give it to you after class.”
“Good,” Ginny said. She pulled open a drawer in her desk and retrieved several boxes. “I have a few to lend out as well, but I’m pleased that the class could have managed without me. Kami, Dale, and Derwen, you may have first pick of mine or Sylvia’s, and if anyone else would like to peruse those for lending, you may come up when they are finished.”
Corrie stayed where she was. It didn’t matter what the art looked like; she knew there wouldn’t be a better deck than the hand-me-down her grandmother had had since she was a teenager. Roe stayed in her seat, too, but once Kami, Dale, and Derwen had picked theirs out, Annie got up to look at the options.