Friday, August 25
Dawn squeezed her eyes shut against the sun streaming in, wondering if she had really made the right choice of bed location in her new dorm room. She couldn’t be sorry about sharing a room with Corrie and Edie—not unless one of them found a reason to make her sorry—but maybe she should have asked for the other corner of the room.
She wanted to groan out loud, which wouldn’t have bothered Naomi, her old roommate—but it would probably disturb Edie or Corrie, so she managed to hold it in. Instead, she blinked hard, sitting up and pushing the hair out of her face.
Corrie was already gone, so Dawn knew it was not as early in the morning as it felt. It was probably at least seven. Edie, on the other side of the room, was still asleep, as far as Dawn could tell. She was lucky; it was still dark in her corner.
She dragged herself out of bed, showered quickly, and headed for the dining hall, where she devoured a breakfast of eggs and cereal. Then it was time to head to her first class of the day, Ritual Magic. She was pretty excited; it hadn’t been offered in the spring and no one she knew had taken it yet, so she didn’t know anything about it besides what was in the syllabus. It also sounded like a very different kind of magic than the other magic class she was taking this semester or the ones she’d taken last year.
Dawn was one of the first to arrive at the classroom, which was one of the smaller ones on the first floor of the magic building. She supposed it wasn’t a terribly popular class—though, of course, all of the classes were smaller now. They might just not be bothering with the larger classrooms.
She saw someone she recognized from a previous magic class, but didn’t know well, so she just gave the other girl a nod and took a seat at the front. After all, she didn’t want to miss anything.
A few more people came in once Dawn had sat down. She glanced over at them and then sat up, waving. Annie waved back, grinned, and came to sit at the desk next to Dawn’s.
“How are you?” Dawn asked her. “Classes going well so far? Enjoying your single room?”
Annie laughed. “The single room isn’t as nice as I thought it would be so far, actually. Maybe it’s just different. I’m not sleeping that well.”
“Oh, that sucks. But it’s only been two nights. Hopefully you’ll get used to it.”
Annie nodded. “My classes are great. I had Divination yesterday, and even the homework for that is really interesting. What about you?”
“My classes are awesome. Have you taken Psionics yet?”
“No, not yet. I’m a little afraid I won’t have any psionic ability.”
Dawn grinned. “Well, I’m looking forward to finding out what I can do. We didn’t really test anything during the first class.” She was going to continue, but at that point the rest of the class hushed, and she looked up to find that the professor had entered and was closing the door with her back to them.
Was it Ginny? She had been listed in the course catalog, but this woman seemed to be much taller than Dawn remembered, and her hair was a more vivid red-orange.
Then she turned around to face the class and Dawn found herself jumping out of her seat.
She wasn’t as tall as Dawn remembered seeing her that first time in the woods, and she was dressed in ordinary clothes, not the moth-eaten Victorian gown she’d worn at court. Separated from her context, lacking even her sister Leila’s pointed green ears, she looked disarmingly human.
But Dawn could never forget that face. The woman who’d just shut the door to the magic classroom was the queen of the court faeries in the woods, the woman who’d had Annie stolen and kidnapped Edie, the enemy of Belara and Feloc, who had tried so hard last semester to find a way to leave campus—Mardalan.