Edie, Corrie, and Dawn tried to make conversation as the light faded, but there wasn’t all that much to talk about. They were too anxious about what would happen tonight. They eventually resorted to quizzing each other on the order of stones and the locations of the professors so they could all be sure of them. Dawn checked periodically to see if she could locate the cold spot, and Corrie checked with her distance sight to make sure they knew where the professors were. Corrie also checked on Tom and the werewolves to make sure she knew their locations.
Edie was jealous. She wished she had a special power that could be useful tonight. But her own magic seemed to be pretty straightforward—she was really good at water magic, but that wasn’t very interesting, and lacking the ability to do trance meant she couldn’t even look at other people’s magic. She had an interesting magical heritage, but it always seemed to be a liability, not anything useful. The only things she could recall that being part faerie had done for her were to get her more attention from other faeries and to make it easier for Brandon to teleport with her.
The orange light of the setting sun slowly vanished, to be replaced by paler, dimmer lights. Thankfully, it was a little less pitch-black than Edie had feared. The center green didn’t have any emergency lights and she couldn’t see the moon, but all the lights were on in the administration building, as well as several in the humanities and science buildings. There must be students or professors working late in the academic buildings. That was convenient for those watching.
Of course, it was still quite dark in the magic building, and while they had a pretty good view of the grass, they couldn’t see the stones or Edie’s notebook very well. She was glad they’d worked on memorizing where everything was. She just hoped they would be able to remember under stress.
When it was fully dark, Corrie consulted her distance sight again. “Okay, I can kind of see Ginny and Professor Strega,” she said. “Only because I know where to look, though. They’re close to the buildings and holding very still. I hope Professor Strega cast her spell to make Gerlina unable to smell them.”
“You can’t see Professor Lal or Professor Rook?” Dawn asked.
Corrie shook her head. “It’s darker up there. But if Gerlina does come flying through, maybe I’d be able to see movement. I’ll keep watching.”
“Dawn, do you sense any air movement?” Edie asked.
“Nothing that could be Gerlina. But I’ll keep trying.”
Edie sat back in her chair, trying to consciously make herself relax. She felt like she was straining her eyes trying to see into the dimness, and there was nothing to see there, at least not yet. Where were Troy and Link, anyway? Shouldn’t they have reached the center green by now? It didn’t take that long to walk from Darnel—or any of the dorms—to the middle of campus. She felt a pang of anxiety—what if Gerlina had found them before they reached the place they were supposed to be?
And then, just before she could start to panic, they moved into her line of sight. She sighed quietly with relief. Of course, it was so dark that she couldn’t be certain it was them, but two figures about the same height walking slowly across the grass—it wasn’t likely to be anyone else. They were walking as though nothing was worrying them, just taking a leisurely stroll, but that was probably to give Gerlina more time to notice them.
Corrie suddenly sat up very straight. “I just saw movement—in the—it’s Ginny, which one is she?”
Edie jumped, moving forward in her chair. “This one.” She reached out and hit the third stone in line, her hand shaking slightly. That was the right thing to do, wasn’t it? Just tap the stone, and she would be alerted? Edie squinted out into the dimness, but she couldn’t see anything other than Troy and Link making their way across the green.
And then she did see something, but it wasn’t Gerlina, unless she’d suddenly adopted a glamour. Someone opened one of the doors in the science building, light washing out over the grass. Edie tensed, thinking the werewolves were jumping the gun and would mess everything up—but it wasn’t one of the werewolves.
A student, a human girl, stepped out onto the grass, momentarily distracted as she adjusted the straps of her backpack. The door swung shut behind her, plunging the area back into dimness. She didn’t seem to notice Troy and Link or any other movement.
Edie swung her arm out and smacked Professor Rook’s stone, since he was the closest, though doubtless he had already seen the girl. But he wasn’t doing anything—Edie saw no movement except for the two Djanaea and one human.
And then she saw a strange, disorienting glimpse of something white and sharp in midair.
The professors weren’t doing anything. Edie leapt out of her seat and ran for the door.