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The Legacy of Androva Series

New Book, New Series, Seventeenth Chapter 👩‍🏫

Welcome to another chapter of Spell Tracker! Monday morning brings a whole lot of trouble for Luca after the events of the weekend. He winds up feeling less like a Light Mage and more like an earthbound teenager as a result. Luca also discovers that Mina's meddling has caused an unexpected rift between him and Devin.

You can catch up on chapters one through sixteen via the New series label at the top of this post, and thank you very much for reading 💕.

(Update: October 2019. Spell Tracker is now available in full via the New series label. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page to start 📙)

17 A Rumor

I arrived at homeroom as late as I dared. After my conversation with Devin the day before, I didn’t trust myself not to lose my temper when I first saw Mina. I hadn’t looked at social media since the afternoon before the party, just in case it provoked me even more.
Mina hadn’t just slept with Nate. She’d made sure Gabe was the one to discover them together in her bedroom. She’d gone on and on about how cool it was to be with such an “alpha guy,” giving Gabe pointed looks all the while. Devin told me he’d half expected her to out Gabe in front of the entire party.
He also said Nate had the look of someone who’d clicked on an interesting link and landed on a website that scared the hell out of him, but the page had frozen and he couldn’t close it.
Once the party ended, Mina caused a massive fight between Nate and Gabe, who were still shouting at each other when they left her house. At which point Mina burst into tears and sobbed on Devin’s shoulder until she eventually fell asleep.
You don’t know her life path. You don’t know her life path. I repeated it over and over, like the words could somehow turn me back into the nonjudgmental guardian I used to be.
I stopped in the almost empty hallway. Am. The guardian I am. Shit.
Someone overtook me, their footsteps brisk. It was Mrs. Stanton. “Step on it, Mr. Sequani, unless you want me to mark you down as late.”
Though I was tempted to use a spell and get out of the day completely, I knew it wasn’t an option. It wasn’t like I had time to spare, even if I did appear to be having an existential crisis.
Mrs. Stanton looked over her shoulder when I didn’t immediately follow. “If you’re interested in detention this evening, I have plenty of freshman papers that need grading.”
Gods. No way. “Thanks, Mrs. Stanton, but I just realized I really want to get to homeroom.”
“Excellent. I do like to motivate my students.”
She carried on walking and I ran ahead to get the door for her. The usual silence descended as soon as everyone noticed her arrival. I had to walk past Devin, Mina, Gabe, and Cass to get to my seat at the back. It felt like the longest walk of my life.
Too late, I remembered I should close myself off to Devin’s and Cass’s emotions. My breath caught in my throat at the onslaught and I nearly stumbled. All I could do was put my head down and keep going. By the time I reached my chair I was ready to throw up. Just as well my internal organs are only an illusion, then.
Devin was a mess. Torn between Gabe and Mina, unable to make things better for either of them, he was angry and scared. The connection between us magnified his feelings like a cellphone mast. There was something linked to me, too, but I couldn’t figure out what.
As for Cass… What I sensed around her was terrifying. The darkness was now threaded with hope. Fragile and new, sparkling like shards of glass in sunlight, and just as dangerous.
Hope was usually a good thing. Under most circumstances, I encouraged it. But Cass was not most circumstances. She wasn’t ready for hope. Not yet. Her balance between light and dark was right on the edge of tipping. And shattered hopes can turn to darkness as fast as the lights go off in a blackout. Game over.
I’d been wrong-footed again. I had expected him to give Cass something to fear. Not something to wish for. If I couldn’t help her find it…
Mrs. Stanton was staring at me.
“Can I take that as a yes?”
I had no idea what she’d asked. “Itero,” I said under my breath, staring back. I hoped it would sound like “I don’t know” to the boy next to me.
She hesitated. I was about to say the spell again when she opened her mouth. “It seems I have no option but to repeat myself.” She fixed me with a glare that made me want to shrink backward. She can’t know about the spell. Can she?
“I’d like you and Miss Vryson to write a short report about the challenges of joining a new high school in senior year. Most of the class will be going to college, and there are parallels between the two scenarios.”
“Yeah, ” muttered someone on the other side of the classroom. “I hear sleeping with your mentor really gives you a head start.” A ripple of laughter was interrupted by Mrs. Stanton, whose expression was furious.
That’s enough. The next person to make such an ill-advised observation will be in detention with me for the entire week. Do I make myself clear?”
Silence. I was horrified. Is that what they all think we’re doing? Cass, sitting at the table in front of me, didn’t react.
“As for you, Mr. Redston, you can go straight to the principal’s office, where I will join you shortly.”
She turned back to me. “I trust I don’t need to ask you a third time?”
“No. I’ll—we’ll—do it.” Cass turned around and gave me a smile. Not yet knowing what he’d done to make her so happy, I found myself in the ridiculous position of wishing her scowl back.
Mina stood up. She looked exhausted, but she made a fair attempt to tilt her head in imitation of her usual arrogance. “I have an ill-advised comment to make,” she said. “In exchange for the week’s detention.”
Mrs. Stanton raised her eyebrows. “Indeed? Unless you have something extraordinary to say, I encourage you to reconsider.”
Devin was pulling at the back pocket of Mina’s jeans, trying to get her to sit down. She ignored him. I tuned into her emotions to see if I could find out what was going on.
Jealousy. Who is she jealous of?
The thought barely had time to register before Mina started speaking. To Cass.
“I knew your holier-than-thou attitude was just a front, but even I didn’t think you’d give it up this fast. How long did it take him to get your panties down?”
There were a few gasps of horror, and most of the class turned to look at me. I half rose out of my seat, a silencing spell on my lips. Were it not for the size of my audience, I’d have used it already.
“Get out of my classroom, young lady,” said Mrs. Stanton. She went to the door and held it open, adding, “Now!” when Mina didn’t move.
Cass stood up and put her hands on her hips. Although her eyes blazed with anger, her voice was calm. “Bad weekend, Mina?” She deliberately shifted her gaze lower. “Maybe you should pull your own back up before you start asking about mine.”
Exclamations accompanied the gasps this time. I expected Mina to throw a punch or something in retaliation but, within seconds, her face crumpled. She ran past Mrs. Stanton into the hallway.
No one spoke. The bell rang for first period.
“All right. Show’s over,” said Mrs. Stanton. “I’m sure you all have somewhere you need to be.”
Conversation broke out, getting louder as people left the room. It seemed like everyone else knew more about what had just happened than I did. Cass looked up from putting something into her backpack and gave me a shrug.
“She deserved it.”
“I’m sure she did. Um… what the hell is going on?”
Devin marched up to me before she could answer. “I need to talk to you,” he said. “Is it true?”
“Is what true?” He looked mad. Was there a script for today I hadn’t been given?
“Miss Vryson,” said Mrs. Stanton. “I appreciate you were not the instigator of that little exchange, but your comments were inappropriate, nonetheless. Detention. This evening.”
“One detention is me being reasonable, I assure you.” She glanced at me. “You seem to be mixed up in all of this, Mr. Sequani. You can join us.”
“What?” I protested. “That’s not fair. I didn’t even say anything!”
OK, my transformation into an earthbound teenager is officially complete.
Mrs. Stanton ignored my outburst. “You can both use the time to write the report I asked you for,” she said. “At least while you’re in my classroom I can be sure you’re not doing anything inappropriate.”
“We haven’t done anything inappropriate,” said Cass, rolling her eyes. “What do you take me for, Mrs. Stanton?”
“You haven’t?” said Devin. His angry expression wavered. “Cass, tell me the truth. For once. Please.”
She didn’t answer. Gabe came up behind Devin and gave me an accusing look.
“What?” I said, glaring back. “What’s your problem?”
“Gabe, it’s OK,” said Devin, taking hold of Gabe’s upper arm. Gabe looked down at Devin’s hand with a pained expression. Devin winced.
“Sorry,” he said hastily, lifting his hand.
“Don’t do me any favors.” Gabe practically spat the words.
“Plenty more seats in detention, gentlemen,” said Mrs. Stanton. “Or perhaps you could go to first period and postpone your discussion until you’ve calmed down?”
“See you at our audition later,” said Cass, giving me a grin. “There’s something I want to ask you. I had this idea yesterday.”
I did my best to return her smile.
“Cass. I asked you a question!” Devin raised his voice as she walked away.
“Sorry, Dev,” she replied, without turning back. “I’m late.”
Mrs. Stanton looked pointedly at the clock on the wall.
“Leave. All of you. And if you run into Miss Daylin, please direct her to the principal’s office, which is where I’m going to be.”
Mina. I realized I should probably try to help her. There was no way I could sit through double Math without knowing what the hell was going on, anyway.
When we reached the doorway, Gabe turned left and Devin and I turned right. Gabe wasn’t in Mr. Fennick’s class.
“Gabe…” Devin’s voice was apologetic. “I’ll meet you at lunch, OK? Let me know if you see Mina anywhere.”
“Whatever. Just remember—that door was locked. You only have his word about what happened behind it.”
Gabe put his head down and walked off.
“We’re going to be late,” said Devin.
“I’m not going.”
“Well, I have to. I need a good grade in this class.”
“OK,” I said, relieved. “I guess I’ll see you later, then.”
“Oh, no,” he said, grabbing my hand. “No way. I’ve just had the night from hell, thanks to you. You’re not going anywhere until I get an explanation.”
“What?” I tried to resist, but he dragged me after him. He was a lot stronger than he looked. Actually, it was kind of hot. I could have used a spell to escape, but I didn’t want to.
Fortunately we weren’t so late that we had to sit at the front. I took my phone out of my pocket and murmured, “Non video,” before putting it on the table. I was determined to catch up on what I’d missed.
Devin’s emotions subsided when he switched his concentration to the lesson. Keeping an eye on Mr. Fennick to avoid having to use itero like I had on Mrs. Stanton, I checked my social media accounts.
The backlash against Mina had been considerable. To begin with, on the night of the party, she’d been a hero. It was all about how cool she was for owning her choices and bagging herself a college boyfriend. The day after—not so much.
Everyone seemed to think Gabe had feelings for her, and that she’d deliberately broken his heart by choosing his brother. There were suggestions it had been going on for a while. Some people thought Mina was pregnant. Others said she must be frigid, because she’d turned so nasty over the summer. It was horrible.
I scrolled past the comments after a while, finding them too difficult to read. How much worse must it have been for Mina? Then I noticed something new. Mina had joined in the conversation late last night, saying she had a “scoop for all the haters.”
Cavi. After tryouts. Behind a locked classroom door. Anyone want to know which classroom? Which teacher’s desk they used? Play nice and I might tell you.
Most of my sympathy evaporated. You bitch.

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