Edie looked back at Professor Rook, confused. Was he implying that they had messed up the trap somehow? She couldn’t have done so—neither could Corrie. They’d both been far away when the professors had trapped Gerlina.
She realized that she might have distracted them. Maybe they’d hesitated when she’d run out into the center green because she was getting in their way. Her magic was like a faerie’s—she might not have been able to move through the lines of their net the way Troy and Link had, so they could have been worried about trapping her by accident.
“Sorry if I got in your way,” she said, hoping she sounded genuinely remorseful. “I saw that girl and freaked out. I didn’t want her to get caught in the middle.”
“You did the right thing, Edie,” Ginny said.
Professor Rook’s frown only deepened. “We had it handled.”
“And if Toni had walked right into the middle of our fight?” Ginny asked him. “Would we have had it handled then?” Toni must have been the girl’s name; of course the professors would know who she was.
Professor Rook shook his head. “We would have worked it out. She didn’t need to see anything.”
“It does not matter, Rook,” Professor Lal said. “What’s done is done. The important thing is, no one else is being hurt. Dawn, would you attempt to touch Gerlina with each of your hands and tell us if you can feel a difference?”
Dawn blinked a few times, then shook her head as if to clear it. “Yeah, sure. If you’re sure it’s safe.”
“We will be ready if she makes any move to escape,” Ginny said reassuringly.
Dawn nodded and moved forward. Edie bit her lip as Dawn reached out with one hand, then the other, and patted gingerly at the shadowy shape in the air. Last winter, Dawn had been injured by a magical knife given to Corrie’s ex-boyfriend by a faerie. She’d lost the Sight in her right arm, so that when she touched a faerie with that arm or hand, she could only feel what their glamour would allow—whereas if she touched the same faerie with her left arm or hand, or any part of her body for that matter, she would feel their true appearance, the same thing she saw.
Dawn really wanted her arm to be healed, so that she had the Sight continuously throughout her body as in the past, but the magic professors had been unable to find a way. Now, seeing them make use of the different abilities in her two arms, Edie wondered if they had been deliberately avoiding healing her.
Dawn finally stepped back, shaking her head. “I don’t feel any difference. She seems to be trapped.”
“The fact that she hasn’t escaped yet is a good sign, too,” Link observed.
“Has anyone tried asking her?” Tom said. When everyone just stared at him, he stepped between the magic professors, right up to the teeth, and grinned back at her. “Hello, Gerlina. We haven’t met. I’m called Tom. How are you today?”
Edie found herself holding her breath as she waited for Gerlina to respond. But she made no sound. She didn’t even move her teeth. Edie remembered that Meg had seen red eyes, but the eyes must have been only visible in trance—she certainly didn’t see any eyes now.
“Are you good and trapped?” Tom asked. “Have they beaten you? Aren’t you angry that you didn’t get what you wanted?”
The teeth moved a little, and Edie flinched. But that seemed to be all they could do. They didn’t move apart to bite, and they didn’t come together in a proper smile or grimace. No sound emerged.
“Enough,” Professor Lal said. “She clearly has no physical way of speaking, and if she has a magical way of speaking, she chooses not to. Our trap was successful. We can move on.”
“We are not finished,” Professor Rook said.
“Of course not,” Ginny said. “But we’re finished for now. The rest of it we can discuss later.”
“What will you do with her?” Charlie’s mom asked.
“That is our decision,” Professor Lal said.
Edie wondered whether that meant they hadn’t yet made a decision, or whether they had but didn’t want to share it with the rest of them. She didn’t want to ask. Gerlina seemed like a person, now that they’d found out why she was attacking, so Edie didn’t want her to die—but she’d killed four people, and they hadn’t deserved to die, either. And short of killing her, how could they stop her from escaping to attack again?
Maybe they would take her somewhere else. Both Professor Lal and Professor Strega seemed to have some kind of transportation, or at least fast-travel, magic. They could do something.
“Thank you all for your help,” Professor Lal said, giving them each a nod in turn. “We will take Gerlina into the magic building. You may return to your evenings.”
The four magic professors walked toward the building, towing Gerlina between them like an odd, heavy balloon. The humans, werewolves, Djanaea, and faerie stood there in silence.