Dawn nodded unhappily. She didn’t like the conclusions they were coming to, but it made far too much sense. Of course the faerie who had tried to attack a Djanaea prince when he followed her sister into the woods would have a grudge against the Djanaea, especially after her sister had died.
“Do you really think she would attack Troy just because he was Djanaea?” Edie asked, clasping her hands tightly in her lap. “She couldn’t really have thought he was the same one her sister pined over, could she? Unless she thought Djanaea live as long as faeries…”
“Her body is gone,” Professor Rook said. “It is likely that her mind has deteriorated as well.”
“I would say that it is very unlikely that her mind is intact,” Professor Lal said. “Not if she has allowed her body to waste away.”
“I agree,” Ginny said from the doorway. Dawn looked over at her, surprised. She hadn’t realized that the human professor had arrived. “If this is who I think it, then I think she cannot be mentally well, even discounting the evidence we have of her mental state, which is to say, the people she has killed. If she were mentally well, she would have come to us or to Mardalan for help, rather than lashing out.”
Professor Lal nodded to Ginny. “We believe it is Gerlina. You know the story.”
“Yes, I do.” Ginny took a few steps into the room, but didn’t sit down. “The Circle of the Goddess girls will be all right, though it will take time. I have let them know that should they wish to transfer to another school, we will do everything we can to expedite the transfer.”
“I’m not worried about their mental state, or Gerlina’s,” Corrie said. “What I want to know is, what do we do now? How do we catch a breeze that no one can see unless they’re in trance or being attacked? Obviously no one has seen any disembodied teeth around campus unless they were being attacked, or we would have heard about it.”
“You are correct, but her motives are relevant,” Professor Lal said. “We know two reasons she has come out of hiding enough to be seen. One is when something in the campus magic is causing her pain, and the other is when she sees Djanaea.”
Dawn stared at her. For a moment the room was silent, then Professor Strega hissed. “You cannot.”
“You’re going to ask Troy and Link to act as bait?” Dawn said, her voice coming out choked.
“It seems by far the safer route,” Professor Lal said calmly. “She seems to be able to control herself a bit more when it comes to the Djanaea than when it comes to pain—quite understandable, to my mind. And, of course, now that we know what to do, we can control the circumstances. We will not send them wandering about on their own, I can assure you.”
“They are students,” Professor Strega said.
“And they are capable of making their own decisions,” Professor Lal said, turning to her. “I am not proposing that we force them to do anything. We will ask them for help. They will be full participants in whatever plan we make, should they choose to be part of it. And if they choose not to, we have other options, though I admit I do not relish the prospect of causing Gerlina pain and drawing her out that way.”
Corrie took a deep breath. “They’ll probably agree to it. Link will, anyway, since it will protect Troy for the rest of his time on campus. But make sure they have all the information before they say yes or no.”
“Of course,” Professor Rook said. “We may also wish for your assistance, Corrie.”
“What can I do?” Corrie asked quickly.
“Watch using your distance sight, if we are able to set up a trap for her. That way you can tell us where to look for her.”
Corrie shook her head. “Are you planning to do this during the day? She only seems to come out at night, and my distance sight doesn’t work very well in the darkness.”
“It’s better than nothing at all,” Ginny said. “And you can watch safely.”
“I would also like one of you to come with us to speak to Troy and Link,” Professor Lal said. “You will be able to help them understand.”
“Of course,” Dawn said. “We should all go—or have them come here. But not alone at night.”
“No, certainly not.” Professor Lal shook her head.
“Not tonight at all,” Ginny said firmly. “There are preparations we need to make, other things we need to do—no one has spoken to Payton and Elena’s families yet. The soonest we can speak to Troy and Link would be tomorrow morning, and perhaps not even then.”
“We have nowhere to go this weekend,” Corrie said, looking at her friends for confirmation. Dawn nodded. “We’re available whenever you want us.”
“I will call you on the phone when we know,” Professor Lal said. “We will set up the meeting.”