Corrie sat down on her bed, staring at Edie. “What did Leila say she’d done?”
Edie shook her head, looking down at her lap. “She wouldn’t tell me, just that there were ways to get people to understand what you want and that she didn’t alter Chris’ memories. She wouldn’t tell me whether or not she used magic. I…” She looked up, her mouth twisting to the side. “I didn’t push her very hard, because I figured if she wasn’t telling me, she probably thought I wouldn’t approve, so I didn’t want to hear about it and probably have a fight when she was the one who wanted to talk to me.”
Corrie nodded. “I understand that.” She wasn’t sure whether she was disappointed or relieved that Edie hadn’t wanted to push Leila on the question of magic. She wanted to know what Leila might have done… but the fact that Edie was aware Leila had probably done something she wouldn’t like, that she hadn’t just gone along with what Leila wanted to talk about because it was what Leila wanted, was promising. “This was on Monday?”
“Yeah, I didn’t think to tell you about that because the stuff with Elrath was more important.” Edie shifted in her chair, sitting sideways so she was facing Corrie more directly. “I wonder what else Chris might have done, though. If it wasn’t all done before Monday, which was when I noticed that people were being nicer to me again, what else was there to do?”
“Maybe she felt like she had to go talk to people more than once to make sure they had listened to her the first time,” Corrie said. “Or do you think Leila asked her to do something else besides explain to people that you’re not crazy?”
“I wouldn’t think so,” Edie said, but she shrugged.
“I guess you’ll have to ask Leila herself what else there might have been,” Corrie said. “I guess she’d probably want to hear the message, too.”
Edie nodded. “And I’ll ask her why Chris was supposed to pass the message on to me without actually being allowed to talk to me. I mean, I understand the second part.”
“That was probably just the best way for her to make sure that she actually got the message,” Corrie said. “No one else on campus talks to Leila. But it is kind of awkward to have it passed on so many times—I wish she would have written it down or something.”
“Leila could have told her to leave a note under the rock that she and I have been using,” Edie said. “I’ll ask her about it.” She shrugged again.
“And see if she ever talked to Elrath.”
“Right. She seemed to think it would be hard to talk to him, so she might not have gotten around to that yet.” Edie frowned. “She was surprised when I told her he lived in Mary Thomas. Did you notice anything weird about the building?”
“Yeah, it was creepy,” Corrie said right away. “It might just be that it was old, but I’m not sure. That upstairs hallway seemed familiar, but like a place I didn’t want to be. Or maybe it was just that I knew Elrath lived there, and I didn’t want to go talk to him.” She frowned, trying to picture the hallway clearly again—but it had been a few weeks, and she couldn’t exactly remember what she hadn’t liked about it.
“Yeah, I thought so too. The railing and the bed looked like iron to me, though I thought the bed couldn’t possibly be iron, since he was sitting on it. But if the building is made of iron, that might explain why Leila didn’t want to go there.”
“Huh.” Now that Corrie thought about it, the railing to go upstairs in Mary Thomas had looked like iron. She didn’t know of a way to test it, though. “You’re right, but surely all the buildings have iron in them somewhere? This building is made out of cement, I think, so it would have an iron frame. Or steel, anyway. And the doors have to have metal in them.”
“It seems like as long as they’re careful not to touch it, it doesn’t bother them,” Edie said. “And I think some faeries have more or less sensitivity to it—I’ve seen Derwen open all kinds of doors and stuff. Maybe Elrath is just less sensitive.”
Corrie nodded. “He might have picked that dorm on purpose, as protection against faeries.”
“That does sound like him.” Edie turned back to her desk. “I think I’ll write Leila a note right now, to see if I can meet up with her. At least I can pass along Chris’ message.”
“Good plan. Dinner soon?”
“Yeah, that sounds good.” Edie’s voice was muffled as she bent over, riffling through her drawer.
Corrie finally dumped out her backpack and started looking through her papers. She had homework due in the morning.