“Íl’iàn. That’s such a pretty name.”

Eli keeps expecting someone to haul his ass up over the Bathroom Incident, but no one does. People avoid him in the hallways, though. Where before he was invisible, now he’s feared. It’s not a feeling he’s unused to, exactly, and it’s definitely not a feeling he enjoys. Like hanging out with a whole school filled with the old women in fur coats who won’t sit next to him on the subway.

The rest of the day passes in a sort of flat daze. Eli keeps jumping between buzzing numbness and cold, sharp rage. He isn’t sure who he’s more angry with: Morgan, for ruining everything, or Zoe for sending Eli away. After he’d saved her. After she’d, what? Tried to bewitch him?

He wants to tell himself the magic would never have worked, but Zoe’s own words keep coming back to him: the only way to activate a mundane item is to use something that’s in itself magical. Like the hair of a dragon, for example. Eli keeps running his hand through his curls, trying to find the chunk that’s missing. He thinks maybe there’s a piece low near the back but he can’t be sure; if it was cut, it’s mostly grown back by now. Which means Zoe must haven taken it ages ago, maybe right when Eli first came to the school.

Goddamnit, Zoe.

Addi is out again when Eli gets home which, honestly, he’s fine with. He has a mountain of homework built up that he’d been too busy playing draconic Scooby Doo to work on, so he attacks the pile now with vicious enthusiasm. He puts on dubstep loud enough to shake the walls, and tears through algebra problems like the rotting flesh of a peryton.

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