Edie looked around at the others. None of them seemed to know what to say. She felt strange. Was it really over? It felt like it had been too easy, and at the same time… four people had died, and they’d collected lots of help and put other people at risk to make sure Gerlina was captured.
She must have been on edge, because a hissing noise made her look around wildly, her heart hammering in her chest. But it only took seconds for the source of the noise to become apparent: pouring rain was sweeping over the campus, crossing the magic building to hit all of them as they stood in the center green.
Corrie and Charlie both started to laugh at the same time. After a moment, Tom and the other werewolves joined in, then Troy and Link, and finally Edie and Dawn joined them.
“Sorry,” Dawn said through her laughter. “I noticed that there was a storm nearby, but I forgot to pay attention to which way it was going.”
“It’s fine with me,” Link said, grinning as his laughter faded. “I feel like I’ve been waiting for a storm like this for weeks.”
“It does feel like the tension has gone out of the air,” Corrie’s dad said. “But maybe that’s just because they caught your killer.”
“I don’t know,” Corrie said. “It doesn’t feel finished, somehow. We don’t know what they’re doing with her.”
“I’m sure it’s something permanent and final,” Tom said. “You won’t need to worry about her again. But I wasn’t much use, was I?”
“You were reassuring,” Dawn said. “We knew we had backup if we needed it. Same with the werewolves. Thank you for helping.”
“Yes, well, I’m going home now.” With a flippant wave over his shoulder at them, Tom walked through the group and north between the buildings. He was out of sight in moments.
“I think I’ll do the same,” Corrie said, glancing at Edie and Dawn. Edie nodded. “Dad, do you want to come hang out in the dorm until the storm passes?”
“I’m not sure there’s any point now. We’re already soaked.” Corrie’s dad looked at his friend. “Marie, it’s up to you.”
“I’d prefer to go home, if you don’t mind the wet in your car,” she said.
“It’s had worse.” He gave Corrie a quick hug, then he and Marie headed south. Charlie’s mom had been talking quietly to him, and she followed the other werewolves after a moment.
“I guess it’s safe for me to be on my own now,” Troy said.
“You’re welcome to come hang out with us for the rest of the evening,” Edie said. “None of us has any homework, right? So we have nothing else to do.”
“No, I think I’m going to go back to my room and enjoy the time without Link hovering over me. You’re not going to hover over me, right?” he added, turning to Link.
Link grinned. He seemed to be the most relieved by what they had accomplished—probably because he’d been the most worried. “No, I’m going to walk back to Gilkey with these lovely ladies. I need to talk to Roe.”
“Okay, let’s go before we get any more wet,” Corrie said.
Charlie put his arm around her shoulders. “I can help you with that.” She smacked his shoulder, but didn’t say anything, and they all started walking toward the path that led from the humanities building to Gilkey.
Once they were no longer in the shelter of the buildings, the rain was even louder, and it was hard to talk. They stayed quiet until they’d gotten inside, and even then they just stood silently in the front hall for a few moments, dripping. Edie tried to squeeze the water out of her hair. She decided this was as good a time as any for a shower, once she got back to the fifth floor.
Leaving Corrie and Charlie behind, Edie, Dawn, and Link headed up the stairs. They were met halfway up by Roe, who was running breathlessly down the stairs. “Link!” Heedless of his wet clothing, she threw her arms around him. Edie supposed she wouldn’t be dating a Djanaea if she minded being a little wet—though she did have an umbrella in one hand.
“Hey, I don’t want to soak you,” Link said, holding his arms away from his body.
“I don’t care,” she said. “I’m sorry I yelled at you.”
“I forgive you.” He put his arms gently around her shoulders. “Is everything okay?”
She nodded. “I was just really worried about you all of a sudden. I was going to come look for you.”
“Well, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. We caught the faerie that was after Troy.”
“Really?” She tilted her head up at him.
“Ask them,” he said, jerking his head back toward Edie and Dawn.
“Really,” Edie confirmed. “We saw it. The magic professors caught her.”
“Oh!” Roe let go of Link and took a step back. “Hi Edie, hi Dawn.”
Edie grinned at Roe. She suspected that Roe hadn’t even registered their presence until just then.
“Let’s go back up,” Link said. “We can talk.”
“Yeah,” Roe said. “Good plan.” She turned and all four of them walked up the stairs.