Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Chapter 28

By Libba Bray

Chapter 28

  • They want to know if Gemma knows what she's doing. Um, no, she doesn't—but she figures it can't be that hard. Touch the runes.
  • Done.
  • In the realms, the girls brush off the huntress who stares at them hauntingly, seeing that they are up to something.
  • With everyone touching Gemma, she puts her hands on the large crystals; the magic overpowers her and she's scared because she can't move away.
  • During the connection with the runes, Gemma has a massive hallucination including flying, melting into sand, and kissing Kartik (ooh la la).
  • In the morning, she's back in her room and everything seems fuzzy.
  • She thinks that there's no way it could be breakfast time already and Ann hears Gemma's thoughts in her head—yup, they've brought some magic back to the real world with them. 
  • On cue, Pippa waltzes in and shows them how she can make a grass stain on her dress disappear. Gemma feels pretty smug about being able to use the magic and that nothing bad happened to them.
  • The girls can hear each other's thoughts in their heads, and it becomes a game; Pippa turns a cherub statue into a boy with big boobs.
  • While in a fit of laughter, they don't notice Brigid walk up to them to see what they are fussing about and Pippa quickly turns it into a cancan dancer.
  • At breakfast, all the girls notice Ann's new beauty—Cecily tries to guess what she's changed that makes her look more attractive, but gives up.
  • Felicity calls her rude and says she shouldn't talk the rest of the day, which makes her lose her voice. 
  • In French class, there is a conversation test and Gemma knows she will fail—so she uses magic without trying and speaks in perfect French, which earns her thirty good marks.
  • Ann sings in music class and has the sweetest voice anyone's ever heard; they all clap for her.
  • In the Great Hall that night, Mrs. Nightwing sends Pippa to bed early because she looks tired. They all do. The magic has worn off leaving them drained. 
  • Pippa is reminded that Mr. Bumble is coming to call tomorrow and she is sad, so the girls give her ideas for how to get rid of him, but none sound good, and instead Pippa decides to tell him the truth about her epileptic fits. 
  • On her way to bed, Gemma notices a faint outline on the wall where the class of 1871 photo used to hang and knows Mrs. Nightwing was lying to her about there not having been a photo.
  • Gemma dreams that night about her mother mutating into a monster, and then the little girl appears along with tarot cards that catch fire.
  • She doesn't like this dream so she switches to being with Kartik. Steamy.