Quentin asks Dean Fogg what will happen to Julia, but the Dean doesn't seem concerned about the hedge witches.
At Brakebills, it's alumni week, where alumni return and choose students to mentor. Dean Fogg asks Alice to come back to school. She returns and brings her aunt Genji, who runs a magicians retreat. Eliot and Margo unsuccessfully try to suck up to Alice so she can get Genji to be their mentor. Genji convinces Alice to remain at Brakebills, and Quentin and Alice reconcile.
Penny's mentor, Stanley, tells him that being a traveler is a terrible curse. He tells Penny about astral projection, which binds his body to the earth while his mind can go traveling.
Quentin discovers that his father is dying with brain cancer. His dad worries about Quentin's happiness. Quentin can't understand why his father refuses treatment. Quentin asks his mentor for help, and she tells him that many have tried to cure cancer, but it requires a lot of energy. During a game of Welters, where students try to capture squares from the opposing team using magic, Quentin is distracted with his dad's illness. Quentin conjures a powerful spell when it's his turn and wipes out the whole board. He decides that he has enough energy to do the spell.
Quentin tries to cure Cancer Puppy, the school's unofficial mascot, but ends up killing him. Dean Fogg explains that not everything can be fixed with magic. Quentin returns home and reveals to his father that he is a magician.
Julia keeps trying to do magic, but nearly burns her apartment down. She goes to Pete for help, and sleeps with him in exchange for information about other hedge witches. Julia seeks out the hedge, but the witches know even less magic than she does. Julia goes back to Pete, asking for more information. Pete tells her there is a group in the Mali desert that does powerful magic. Julia says she can't go with him because she loves James, and is planning to tell him about her magic against Pete's wishes. When Julia finds James at a cafe, James has no memory of her. Pete says he told Marina about Julia's plans because he thought Julia was out of control.
Penny hears a woman's voice crying out for help. He astral projects and finds the woman, Victoria, chained in a dungeon, being tortured by the Moth Man. Penny discovers that she was part of the missing third year class, and was a fellow traveler. Kady convinces Penny to tell Quentin and Alice about the woman. Quentin recognizes the seal on the dungeon walls as Ember's seal, and thinks Penny was in Fillory.