In this story, I will describe to you what happens when a group of young mages in training are pushed back through time and they must stop an event in the past in order to save the future.
Here we go.
After rescuing a group of teenage runaways and bringing them to Darthgate Academy, Jacquelyn Claire Ritterwolff and her friends Elizabeth Faulkner, James Zeilberger, Connor Osborne, Dakota Sam, and Calvin Page accidentally end up in the year 2002 when a prank by the class bully Heather Connolly goes awry. Heather also ends up going with the group, along with Jacquelyn’s cousin Justin Rowes and Alexis Romanov. The group discovers to their shock that they are in the year 2002, which just happens to be the day before the infamous Lochland High School Shooting, which took the lives of over 60 students and left a deep scar on the community of Lochland, South Carolina.
Assuming that they needed to stop the school shooting before it happened, the eight mages disguise themselves as high school freshmen and go undercover, discovering to their shock the ugly truth about high school. The popular kids and the jocks get all the praise while the nerds and outcasts are beaten down and abused. Jacquelyn is sure that Cadwallader Gruven (another one of their classmates) is in Lochland, as he had disappeared during the initial rescue mission.
While Jacquelyn infuriates one of the school’s hall monitors and is forced to change her outfit, Justin tracks down Jed Hamilton, who (many people believed) was a bully victim responsible for the shooting. But he ends up meeting Milton Holt, a boy who was shamefully abused by several students as well as a teacher’s aide. Milton tells Justin about wanting to run away from home, even if it killed him. Alexis and Heather uncover a plot to kill Sean (Justin’s father and Jacquelyn’s uncle) at a fictitious gay rights assembly taking place at the school later that afternoon.
As the school’s authorities are alerted to the situation, Calvin, Sam, Jim, and Connor are in the school library, where they discover a plot to keep the school’s outcasts away from their families by locking them up in Lochland Hall. Jacquelyn and Eliza rescue a student named Matthew Griffin from a vicious bully; he tells them that things had gone downhill since the arrival of a girl named Eileen Roberts a month ago; she wants to destroy Milton for an imagined slight.
As the day passes, things get worse at the school, with Jacquelyn, Jim, Calvin, Alexis, and Connor participating in a fight in the school cafeteria. At the same time, Justin, Heather, and Eliza find Jed and discover that far from being the bully victim everyone thought he was, he was actually trying to save Milton from his family, who hasn’t forgiven them for exposing his abuse two years earlier.
During the fight, Sam sees Cadwallader sneaking through the school; he, Calvin, and Jacquelyn chase after him, forcing him to make a confession. Cadwallader claims to be a changeling, a creature that impersonates a dead person and feeds off the people related to said dead person. He says that Jacquelyn is weak, since he and another changeling posing as her dead twin brother Michael had fed off of her for several weeks. Meanwhile, the principal finds out about the gay pride rally and shuts it down; many students who organized the rally are suspended.
Now that the mystery was solved, Eliza successfully convinces the vampires Toby and Joanna Norwood to stop Sean from coming to the school, which results in his would-be murdered being revealed to the world. The mages celebrate their victories; yet realize that they couldn’t return to 2007 until the job is done.
The next day, the shooting occurs when the two changelings sneak into the school disguised at students. The mages (realizing what was happening) raise the alarm, thus saving the lives of many students. Yet most of the students were the school’s rejects, as many of those who were popular were killed by the changelings. Jacquelyn confronts Cadwallader and Michael, and Michael shames her for surviving while he died in childbirth. Justin spots a severely injured Milton (who used his body as a shield to protect two girls who had bullied him), and Milton reveals a shocking family secret to him as he dies. Jed and his team corner the changelings and fight them off, but not before Cadwallader and Michael reveal a damning secret about Jed. Jacquelyn eventually kills the changelings, yet grabs the crystal belonging to Michael and puts it in her pocket. With that, the mages are sent back to 2007, as their mission is completed.
Several days later, after the headmaster questions them about their mission, Jacquelyn comes clean about why she was cruel to the able-bodied students at Darthgate and promises to make it up to them. Yet the headmaster reveals that because Cadwallader and Michael had died in 2002, she never had the chance to meet them, thus rewriting part of her story. Heather, however, is punished with detention for the prank that sent the group to 2002.
Meanwhile in 2002, 9-year-old Alexandra Holt (Milton’s younger sister) confesses to setting up the school shooting to kill Milton and is sentenced to the Barlean Psychiatric Hospital. While she’s being evaluated, she meets a mysterious figure that offers to help her get rid of Jed Hamilton, who not only survived the shooting but also revealed the truth about the shooting.