Home > Moonlight (Grim Gate #3)

Moonlight (Grim Gate #3)
Author: Emily Goodwin

 


Chapter

One

 

 

I got your letter.

Blinking, I look at the woman before me. She introduced herself as Ruby, and she looks as real as can be standing here on my front porch. Still, I can’t be too sure after a demon made me hallucinate and go crazy only a few weeks ago.

“That…that’s impossible,” I say, breath leaving in a huff. Slowly, I shake my head back and forth, looking from Ruby’s brown eyes to the crumpled paper in her hand. She smoothed it out the best she could and folded it in half. I can see my messy handwriting sprawling across the page.

It is my letter—the one I burned.

Ruby gets an amused look on her face and tips her head slightly to the side. “Were you expecting someone else?”

“I, um, I…” Inching back, my mind races with what to do. If this woman is a demon, she’d have charged in after me by now, right? There’s still too much light out for her to be a vampire, and she has my letter. “I didn’t expect anyone,” I finally say. “I burned it because I thought it was stupid.”

Ruby holds my gaze for a moment as if she’s trying to get a read on me, too. Then she looks at the letter in her hand. “When you said you were new, you really meant it.” She looks back at me with kind eyes. “This is Estelle Fowler’s house, and judging by your red hair, you’re her…not daughter…niece?”

My heart jumps to my throat. She knows Aunt Estelle. “Great niece, technically.”

“Interesting.”

“What’s interesting?”

“Estelle said the magic in her family line ended with her, but that’s not the case, is it?”

“It’s a funny story.” I’m still holding onto the doorknob and the door is only open halfway. I’m fully aware of how I give people the benefit of the doubt and how I want to see the good in everything. I know my desperation to find out info about my past can cloud my judgment, but I’m not getting any bad vibes from Ruby. “I’m sorry, I…I don’t understand how you got that letter. I watched it burn.”

“You put it in a fireplace, right?”

“Yeah.”

“It’s still spelled, then,” she says, and my blank stare is enough to let her know I have no fucking idea what’s going on. “It’s how we send messages back and forth from our houses to the…how much do you know?”

I laugh. “I thought I was figuring things out, but, um, now I’m questioning everything. I know my great-aunt taught at Grim Gate Academy, right?” I add, suddenly unsure.

“Right. And her old office is mine now, which explains why your fireplace is spelled to automatically send stuff to her office.”

“Oh.” I blink again, still staring at Ruby. “I’m sorry, I’m just…I’m really shocked right now. I had no idea spelled fireplaces were a thing. Do you…do you want to come inside?”

“Sure.”

I step back and let Ruby in and suddenly can’t remember what to do when a guest comes over. After a few awkward seconds, I shake myself. “Would you like a drink or anything?”

“I’m good, but it looks like you might need one.” Her lips curve into a smile and I laugh, feeling a bit of relief wash over me.

“Yeah. I’ve been needing one a lot recently, it seems.” Raking my fingers through my wet hair, I lead her into the kitchen and get a pitcher of iced tea from the fridge. I’m not thirsty, but I need something to do with my hands.

“In your letter…,” Ruby starts, sitting at the kitchen table. I hardly remember what I wrote and I’m certain I’m going to cringe. “You say you’ve never met another witch from the coven. What about your aunt?”

“You knew her?” I ask again, needing to be sure.

“I did. She was one of my professors when I was a student at the academy. I believe she retired maybe ten years ago, right?”

“You would know better than I would.” I pull two glasses down from the cabinet. “She took all my memories that have anything to do with her or magic.”

Ruby gapes at me for a second. “That sounds like something she’d do.”

“I’m starting to think she gave off that vibe.” I nervously turn my glass around on the table.

“I didn’t know her well,” Ruby said thoughtfully, “She was a member of the coven, my professor, and then for maybe two or three years, a colleague.”

“You’re a professor at the Academy?” I rush out, knowing her outfit looked familiar. The style hasn’t changed much over the years. The knee-length black skirt and white, collared shirt are classic. Her coat, though, looks more old-fashioned, hanging loose around her arms, buttoned at the neck with a red gemstone brooch. She takes it off and sits at the table across from me.

“I am.”

“What do you teach?” I’m getting off track, I know, but I don’t care.

“For the rest of the academic year, Foundations of Essential Magic. I’ll teach Defensive Magic next year. We’ve, uh, really needed it lately,” she adds under her breath. “Your aunt taught a range of classes on divination. Remote viewing was her specialty. She was quite good at it.”

“I heard, and I, uh, I think that’s why she did what she did.” With trembling hands, I fill both glasses with iced tea and impress myself by not spilling a drop. I’m not nervous, yet I’m all jittery inside.

Because this is it: the moment I’ve been waiting for.

Someone with actual ties to the coven who can give me real answers.

“How do you know she took your memories?” Ruby asks, sliding her glass in front of her.

“I found the spell she used in her Book of Shadows. And I’m starting to remember things, little by little. Just being here in this house again is bringing things back. I’m assuming once she died, the spell she cast started to weaken.”

“That can happen when you’re using yourself as the source of the magic, which is how most spells are cast. If anything was meant to be permanent, like some of those ancient curses nons keep on messing with—” She rolls her eyes. “—then the spell would be anchored with something else. It’s a rather complicated subject, one we don’t even get into until the sixth year at the Academy, so I’m guessing it’s a little over your head.”

She’s direct but doesn't mean to be insulting. Sitting in on Foundations of Essential Magic wouldn’t be a bad idea really. “Right. Is there a way to undo the memory spell? I know she taught me magic, and I remember going into the Academy.”

“How much do you remember?”

“Not much.” I let my eyes fall shut for a few seconds, trying to think back and jog another memory. “I get random flashes. I remember my aunt taking me there. We went through the woods and a door appeared between two trees.”

“That’s the door to our Covenstead, which is the place where the Academy is, as well as our Gathering Hall. It’s a hidden dimension,” she quickly explains.

“I have a really vivid memory of my aunt talking to a pretty woman with brown hair. She’s another professor or the Headmistress, and there’s a white fox in her office.”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Sweet Temptation
» Den of Vipers
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» Angry God (All Saints High #3)
» Serpent & Dove(Serpent & Dove #1)
» ENEMIES
» Credence
» Archangel's War