It had been weird watching her now-former yearmates progress while she remained behind, but Maggie was finally starting to get the hang of her school situation. Being held back was lame, but at least she knew what she needed now. All this time she had just thought maybe she wasn’t very smart - which didn’t bother her, honestly, because she knew she had other good features, like being really nice - but it was just that her brain did funny things. Maggie thought she was just really bad at reading, but she was just dyslexic. It was inconvenient, but it had a name.
And she was doing better this year with her classes, knowing her own weaknesses. Her friend Darlene was a great help - the older girl was doing a lot to help her with her homework. Darlene even usually read the textbook out loud for her. It was nice. Maggie never had a big sister, but sitting in the floor in a corner of the library, her head in Darlene’s lap, she thought that maybe this was what it was like.
She was on her way to meet Darlene now until she realized she had left her notebook in the practical lab. It wasn’t a notebook she needed for homework, just a sketch pad. But she wanted to show Darlene the drawing she did from memory of Polyhymnia, Darlene’s beautiful and multi-colored old cat. Maggie just loved animals, but she really loved Polly.
When she opened the door, she saw an older girl bent over weird. Preparing for a duel, as the girl explained. Maggie didn’t know what bending had to do with magical dueling, but hey, what did she know? She was twelve. So she shrugged it off. “I just wanted my notebook,” she offered in return. “I left it in here during class today. Excuse me.” She stepped passed the older girl and over to the spot where she sat in class. Not surprisingly, her notebook was not far from there. “Okay, that’s all,” she smiled, clutching it to her chest. “Ooh!” she said abruptly as something caught her eye. “I like your makeup!”