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The Brakebills students get tested to determine their areas of concentration. Alice is placed into phosphoromancy, the bending of light. Quentin is undetermined. Penny is labeled a psychic. Quentin and Alice are accepted into the cottage house.

Alice wants to keep trying to contact Charlie. Quentin suggests a locator spell, which leads them to the Woof Fountain, where many people have died in the past. The fountain is later placed off limits due to an incursion, or a haunting. Alice discovers her room is full of glass horses, which Charlie taught her how to do. 

Julia is having trouble lying to James about what she's been up to. Marina advises her that keeping James around is like having a safety net in case she fails magic, and will prevent her from doing real magic. Julia eventually lies to James and says she's been addicted to Adderall lately.

Alice asks Margo for information about Charlie. Margo remembers a girl from Charlie's year named Emiliy Greenstreet. They track her down, and Emily reveals that she used to be in love with a married professor at Brakebills. She tried to do a spell to make herself prettier, but it ended up disfiguring her face. Charlie tried to help by performing a spell, but the magic consumed him and he burned up, becoming a niffin.

Alice and Quentin return to the fountain to try and bring Charlie back. He appears, but starts to harm them both. Quentin uses magic to bind Charlie to a niffin box. Alice decides to quit school.

Eliot discovers that a book is missing from their library. He and Quentin go searching for it, and find the book with the Hedge Witches. Quentin and Julia confront each other.

Penny attempts to meditate, but ends up transporting to a city in China. Dean Fogg and Pearl tell Penny that he is actually a Traveler, and can move between worlds. 

The Magicians
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The Magicians Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Being a magician has always been about, in part, accruing power. Power over yourself, the elements, the future. But power, as you all know, does not come cheaply.

Dean Fogg

Phosphoromancy, bitches!