Sunday is here and it’s PH (Pussy Hat) minus 6 days and counting until I’m on a bus to D.C. and heading towards a march. I’m feeling a little better this morning, but I’d feel a lot better if I could get rid of this scratchy throat. Also, I’ve got to run out and get groceries and I really don’t feel like venturing out, but if Cassie wants to eat she better.
Today we get into the scene leading into the first day of class for Introduction to Divination. However, there’s a bit of an issue: today’s excerpt, while taking place in that scene, doesn’t have anything to do with the class. Why is that? Because as I’m want to do, there’s a bit of misdirection in the lead-up to the class. Throughout the histories of these novels this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve taken a slight detour on the way to the main focus of a scene, mostly because I like to get into what my characters are thinking and feeling as they make their way through life.
And that means before we see the future, we’re gonna have to spend some time in the past…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
It was the second day of school and already Annie was feeling the difference in this levels schedule than last levels schedule. It wasn’t what they had already done—yesterday, Monday, Kerry and she had Introduction to Art and Advanced Formulistic Magic—but it was the meeting they had after dinner and left them wondering if and when they have any free time this school year.
Before leaving Advanced Formulistic Magic Erywin told them to come to the instructor’s residence at nineteen hours for a meeting. Neither of them asked what the meeting was about: they were both aware by now that any meeting at the Instructors Residence had to do either with Kerry’s burgeoning Bigender Gift or special training in classes.
As they soon discovered, it had to do with the later.
They met in the same library where they learned about Kerry’s Gift and their astral binding. Erywin and Helena were there, as was Jessica, Deanna, and Wednesday, with Headmistress Laventure overseeing the meeting. Just as before Kerry led Annie the love seat across from the instructors and headmistress and waited for her to sit before joining her and settling in for this discussion.
“Hey, kids! Why don’t you come out to the Residence? We’ll sit, we’ll chat–it’ll be fun! And we’ll have hot chocolate!” Yeah, the kids are starting to learn that trips to the Instructor’s Residence are fraught with problems that are usually reserved for the witchy kind. Sometimes it has to do with classes, sometimes it’s something personal–
This time it’s a little of both…
There was no obfuscation during the meeting: the group got to the point immediately with Helena leading most of the discussion. Besides being available for sorcery minion work all day Thursday, Helena and Jessica expected Annie and Kerry to use Monday evening, from nineteen to twenty-two hours, to work on teaching each other what they had learned in Advanced Transformation and Advanced Sorcery. And as far as those two advanced classes were concerned, while Kerry was attending Advanced Transformation, Annie would work with Helena on Advanced Sorcery. Helena did indicate, however, that if Annie were required to, or needed to, attend Advanced Transformation, she needed only to ask.
Deanna informed them that they had locked down the time for their Special Astral Training: from thirteen to sixteen hours on Friday at Memory’s End. Deanna and Mathilde stressed that under no circumstances were they to tell any of the other students in their level that they were undertaking this study, and when Annie asked why, all the headmistress would say is that it wouldn’t be prudent.
Of the corner of her eye she saw Kerry raises eyebrows in disbelief and Annie knew why: the last time they were told not to mention their special activities to anyone was during last year’s marionette training. Since they were now being told the same thing, Annie concluded that their upcoming class had less to do with Deanna not wanting them to be bored and more to do with a training directive issued by the Guardian’s San Francisco office.
Wednesday was there to let them know that whenever possible she wanted to use them as lab minions during the Tuesday morning Beginning Spells class for the A Levels. She also let them know that from time to time she might want them to come in to the Thursday afternoon C Level Spell Casting class, as some of the spells the other C Levels would learn were already understood by them both. She didn’t want to say anything, but Kerry and she we’re looking forward to using that free time on Tuesday morning to relax, and it seemed as if that wasn’t going to happen, at least not every week—
Which was when Jessica spoke and said that since she had her C Level Transformative Magic class at the same time on Tuesday morning, she might want to use either of them as lab minions as she had done last year when they were all B Levels. Kerry gave a weak smile and assured the Mistress of Transformation that if they were needed, they would be there.
Mathilde stressed that this extra minion work on Tuesday mornings and through the Thursday classes would not be a constant thing, and that they would be allowed the opportunity to relax due to their grueling schedule, but Annie knew otherwise. During their last school level they they’d used some of their free Thursday time for Ostara work and had used whatever free Friday, Saturday, and Sunday time they could for that event as well. There was no reason to think they wouldn’t do the same thing this school year.
As they made their way to Memory’s End Annie imagined that the time they spend together in their underground Private Universe—as Kerry had taken to calling the room she had found last year for them to spent quiet moments togeher—it might be a while before they had another relaxing Tuesday morning.
She hoped when they did have another, it wasn’t as humid as when they were experiencing right now.
You know that down time you were gonna get, kids? You ain’t getting it. Sounds like the school is gonna push these two as hard as they can and see what shakes out. It’s not that there aren’t any other minions, but when you’re the best of the best, you’re gonna be in high demand.
And high demand means you won’t have a lot of time for yourself.
Now that we know what the previous night was like, we can get into the next new class. I promise! Really!