Dawn looked over at Corrie, who answered her phone, frowning. “Hello?” After a moment, her eyes widened. “Yes, of course we’ll come meet you. We’ll be right there. No, they’re both with me, I’ll explain on the way.”
Dawn was already getting to her feet as Corrie hung up her phone, staring at her. “Did something happen?”
“Yeah,” Corrie said grimly, grabbing her keys from her desk. “Come on, let’s go.”
Dawn and Edie were both close behind her. “Where are we going?” Edie asked as they left the room.
Corrie locked the door. “To the magic building. And, uh, we’ve been advised to take the long way, around the administrative building.”
Dawn swallowed. “There’s been another attack. How did we miss it?”
“It must have just happened,” Corrie said, shaking her head. “I might have even seen them walking out into the middle of campus, but I couldn’t tell that’s what was going on.”
Dawn tried to think of what must have happened as the three of them hurried down the stairs. “I guess either we were wrong about the cold spot or it didn’t do anything until after I stopped looking. I definitely couldn’t find it anywhere.”
“Professor Lal didn’t give me a lot of details,” Corrie said. “I guess we’ll find out more when we talk to them.”
“Them?” Edie said. “Were there survivors?”
“Yes.” Corrie paused with her hand on the front door and turned to Edie with a wry half-smile. “Meg, Erika, Chandra, and Ash.”
Edie stared at her for a moment. “That means Payton or Elena were the victims?”
“Both of them.” Corrie pulled the door open and hurried along the path.
Dawn did her best to keep up with Corrie while trying to figure out why those names were familiar as well as staying alert to their surroundings, knowing she had the best chance of anticipating any attack with her Sight. “I don’t think I know those people. The names Payton and Elena sound familiar…”
“We probably never bothered to mention any of the others because Payton and Elena were the leaders, and the worst,” Corrie said.
“They’re the Circle of the Goddess,” Edie explained.
Dawn’s mouth opened for a moment without making any sound. “They’re the ones who were so mean to Darcy and Theresa? And who bound Paul even though you told them not to?”
“That’s them,” Corrie said. “They’re really arrogant, especially when it comes to doing magic on this campus other than what the professors teach. Which makes me think they were doing something really stupid.”
“But if there were survivors, maybe they saw something,” Edie said. She didn’t sound hopeful.
“That’s why we’re going to talk to them,” Corrie said. “Professor Lal and Ginny are both there, and the other magic professors are on their way.”
They rounded the administration building and saw that lights were on in the magic building. Actually, Dawn could already see some people in the lobby, through the large glass windows. Professor Lal and Ginny were standing and easily recognizable; at least one other person was sitting in a chair.
Corrie led them into the building. When they entered the lobby, all six of the people there turned to them—Dawn could now see four girls sitting in the chairs.
All four of them were, to a greater or lesser degree, spattered with blood.
She couldn’t help gasping and taking a step back. Edie made a choking noise. “Are you all okay?” Corrie said.
“We’re not hurt,” one of the girls said, rubbing at her face. Her eyes were red and she’d obviously been crying. She had a short, messy haircut and was wearing a black dress and heavy silver jewelry.
“It’s Payton’s blood,” another girl said. “And maybe Elena’s.” She was sitting very straight in the chair, her hands clasped tightly in her lap, her face extremely pale. She had blonde braided hair and a purple T-shirt with a pentacle on it.
“We’d like you to start the story over again for Corrie, Edie, and Dawn’s benefit,” Professor Lal said.
“They may have questions we haven’t thought of,” Ginny explained.
“Um,” Edie said. “Before we start, where are Payton and Elena?”
“Campus security is taking care of the scene,” Ginny said. “They are ensuring that no one does anything to the bodies. Dawn, I hate to have to ask you this, but we may need you to go look at them.”
Dawn closed her eyes and swallowed. She wasn’t surprised by the request, but she did hate it. “I think I can handle that. I guess you didn’t catch the killer.”
“Not yet,” Professor Lal said. She gestured to the blonde girl with an open hand. “Meg here has, however, given us a better description than we have previously had, and Erika concurs with her.”
Dawn frowned, confused. There were four of them there. “Didn’t Chandra and Ash see anything?” Corrie asked.
“I’ll explain,” Meg said. She still looked pale, but Dawn wasn’t sure whether that was from fear, anger, or both. “Let me start at the beginning.”