Chapter 27: Is This the New Recruit?

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His eyebrows shot up. "What? I would never do that. How could you even think I would do that?"

I didn't know the answer to that. The question had just popped into my head and I'd blurted it out without thinking. Yes, the curtain was drawn and both doors were locked, but he could walk through them.

"Well, I don't really know you, do I? You just showed up out of nowhere. I don't know what to think. You can walk through walls and go wherever you like. You could watch people shower..."

My mind went to all sorts of bad places after that. What if he'd been watching me shower this whole time? I suppressed a shudder.

Johnny's face turned red. Was he actually guilty?

"I can't believe you'd think I would do that to you." He started to pace and ran a hand through his hair. "Okay, I know you don't really know me, but I thought you'd know me well enough to know I would not abuse this situation like that."

Oops. Me and my big mouth. "Okay, I'm sorry, but you kind of freaked me out standing outside my room like that."

"Fine. I'll go stand somewhere else."

And with that, he stomped off — right through the wall.

─── ⋆⋅☆⋅⋆ ───

I hesitated out the front of the Angel Falls Community Centre the next day and Kellie gave me a reassuring smile. "Hey, don't worry. You'll be fine."

I tried to return her smile, but my nerves were jangling. If they were expecting me to do whatever I did the other night, they would be disappointed. Because that wasn't going to happen. I had no clue how I did it and no desire to repeat the experience. Everyone had been insisting that I had to learn control and that was the only reason I agreed to come here.

The image of Tracy lying in a crumpled heap with blood spreading out across the floor beneath her head flashed into my mind and I squared my shoulders and started up the steps.

They'd told me that to the Normals — the non-magical people — this was just a class on the different properties of crystals and gemstones, and because they were widely used in magic, we had to learn about them for real. Angel Falls wasn't too far from a gemstone mine, so no one questioned having a course like this in the local community centre. What they didn't know was that we also learned how to wield magic.

When we entered, Tracy steered us toward the large reception desk where a woman dressed in a beige business suit with her blonde hair neatly pulled back into a bun waited expectantly.

Tracy gave her a warm smile. "Good afternoon, Yvonne. How are you?"

Yvonne returned the smile. "I'm well, thank you." She turned to me. "Is this the new recruit?"

"Yes. This is Maddelyn Johnson. She's from Katoomba."

I fidgeted with the handle of my bag.

We exchanged pleasantries, then Tracy led us to a room that looked like a school science lab with large desks and stools, a whiteboard at the front, and shelves that were covered in crystals and candles and other paraphernalia lining three walls. It reminded me of Ruby's shop.

There were about fifteen people in the room already and I assumed they were other students.

I turned to Tracy. "Does Yvonne know what's really going on in here?"

She smiled. "Yes. She's a Normal, but she's cool with it all. It would be hard to hide it from her when she runs the admin section."

Yep. It would be near impossible without having to erase her memories every other week. I suppressed a shudder at the thought that they could mess with people's memories.

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