The woman and Vali walked through the pavilion, eventually ending up on a stage with many other twelve-year olds, people Vali’s own age. The woman walked off, scribbling on her clipboard.
“Hi, Vali!” a voice said behind her.
Vali turned around to see one of her schoolmates, Tira. “Hi!”
Tira was dressed in a nice blue tank top matched with a lacy white skirt. “Are you excited for the Awakening?” she squealed.
“Of course!” Vali exclaimed.
“A flame, huh? I could see you as one,” Tira commented.
“And I could see you as an aquatic,” said Vali.
They chatted about their lives and what had been going on since Friday afternoon.
Finally they were shushed by the tapping of a microphone. A tall and beautiful woman, one of the magic ministers, Ylena, was standing in front of all of them. “Greetings, people of Diamond City and Lorian. Today is a very special occasion.”
There was enthusiastic applause from the audience.
Vali beamed, pain shooting through her hands.
“Each one of these children will have their powers Awakened this morning.”
There was more applause.
“Now,” Ylena said, her eyes glinting with pride. “Each of you line up.”
Vali and Tira lined up next to each other, and Vali was pleased to know they were each near the front.
The first person to go was a small boy with large brown eyes. Ylena grabbed his hands and immediately after his hair turned blue. “Samson Hale, aquatic!” Ylena announced.
Next was a red haired, freckled girl. Ylena took her hands and then her hair turned a deeper, darker, cherry color.
“Blair Lize, flame!” Ylena said.
Three other people went after them, and then it was suddenly Tira’s turn. Ylena took Tira’s hands, and then her hair turned blue.
“Tira Preslyn, aquatic!”
Vali politely clapped along with everyone. Her hands burned.
It was now her turn. The moment she’d been waiting for. She stepped up to Ylena.
Ylena took her hands. Her heart pounded.
A second passed, and then gasping erupted from the audience. Vali’s heart pounded. What was wrong?
Ylena stepped back, confusion, terror, and surprise flickering across her face.
“What’s wrong?” Vali asked. “What’s happening?”
“Vali!” Tira shouted from the very end of the line of children. “Your hair is purple.”