Edie’s eyes widened. That was a strange thought. But if Elrath thought it was possible for his brother to be revived, then wouldn’t he be trying to do that, instead of “fixing” the magic himself?
Though she wasn’t sure he liked his brother very much. Alaineth sounded like he had been a terrible ruler, and from what Tom had said, Elrath never even told anyone that he had a brother. He must have liked his sister somewhat, though, or at least wanted her back so he didn’t have to rule, so why wasn’t he trying to bring her back? Maybe because she’d been pretending to be human when she died, and done it on purpose, she couldn’t be retrieved.
But Derwen was shaking her head. “No, it’s not like that. You can’t bring back someone who’s been dead for a long time. We can be restored if we’re not completely dead, but it takes longer and is more difficult the longer and more badly someone has been injured.”
“So we don’t have to worry about any faeries popping up that we thought were dead?” Corrie said with a smile.
“Well, I guess they could have been hiding or something,” Derwen said. “But I don’t think that’s too likely to happen around here.”
“I’m sure Alaineth couldn’t have been hiding and pretending to be dead,” Dawn said, sitting back in her seat. “If he was alive, the power wouldn’t have passed on to Elrath.”
“This is a depressing breakfast conversation,” Rico said, putting his hand over Dawn’s on the table. “Let’s just all be happy that we’re alive.”
“I’m happy that I’m alive,” Derwen said cheerily, and they all laughed, including a couple of girls who were walking past at that moment and giving Derwen curious looks.
Edie ducked her head toward her breakfast to keep herself from bursting out with further laughter. She wondered if Derwen had any idea that people were looking at her strangely.
When they finished eating and went outside, it was still pouring rain. Derwen laughed and pointed into the empty space between buildings. “Look! I’m not the only one!”
Edie turned. Sure enough, there were four people in the grass, their umbrellas and jackets tossed aside, letting themselves get soaked by rain. One girl—Edie recognized the pink sweater—was one of the two who had given Derwen looks. She was spinning slowly, her arms held out to her sides, her face turned up to the rain.
The other three were a girl and two boys, and they were chasing each other around, splashing each other with the rain. It was possible they were even using water magic, since they seemed to have a lot of control over the rain. As Edie’s group stood there and watched, another couple of boys cheered and ran onto the grass to join them.
“Dawn?” said Corrie softly.
Dawn shook her head. “They all look like humans. They’re just having fun.”
Edie clutched her umbrella. She still had no desire to go get soaked by the rain. But she couldn’t help grinning, because they looked like they were having such a great time.
“Come on,” Derwen said, turning back to the group. “Does anyone want to join in?”
Corrie shook her head. “Go on, Sarah.”
No one else expressed a desire to go, and Derwen just looked at them and shook her head. “You’re missing out.” Then she ran to join the quickly-growing mass of people playing in the rain.
Edie laughed, then turned toward Gilkey. “Come on, let’s leave her to her fun.” She led her friends back to the dorm building.
As they approached it, she remembered that she needed to check for a note from Leila. She told Corrie quietly what she was doing, then ran around the side of the building.
She waited for a few moments by the corner of the building to make sure no one was following her. She didn’t really need to keep the location where she and Leila traded notes a secret from her friends, but she still didn’t want anyone to see her doing it.
When no one followed her, she went around to the rock and crouched down beside it to lift it. She wrinkled her nose at the clammy feeling of the soaked rock, then sighed with disappointment when she saw nothing but mud and a wriggling earthworm underneath it. There wasn’t even any sign of a piece of paper. Corrie might have been right about the rain ruining any note, but Edie was pretty sure that if Leila had left a note, there would be something there.
She checked her pockets, but found that she didn’t have any paper with her right now, either. It was probably for the best, since the rain didn’t show any signs of letting up anytime soon.
She stood up and wiped her fingers on the outside of her jacket, grimacing. At least she would be able to go inside now.
She hurried around the corner and in through the door, shaking the rain off the umbrella before shutting the door behind her and following her friends’ wet, slightly muddy footprints up the stairs.