Dawn got her chocolate milk and walked back to her friends, feeling disappointed and defeated. When she sat down, she told them what had just happened. Annie nodded, obviously unsurprised, but Corrie straightened her shoulders.
“They were strangers,” Corrie said. “But we can tell other people we know. Anyone who might trust us. Charlie already told Lorelei.”
“We can’t just wander around campus looking for people we know,” Dawn said. “If we go around pounding on doors, they’ll just think we’re crazy. Anyway, I don’t know where most of the people that I know live.”
“I could tell Zip,” Edie said, though she sounded doubtful. “She seemed like she and a few of her friends were taking the threat seriously, even before any humans were killed. She might tell the others in Hillel, at least if she believes me.”
“I think we should tell more people,” Corrie insisted. “Even if only a few of them believe us, that’s more than knew the truth this morning. I don’t want everyone on campus to be scared.”
“I’ll tell people I know when I see them,” Roe said. “I should tell Talia, at least.”
“I’ll tell Salome,” Annie said, nodding. “She won’t believe me, but I might as well.”
“There we go,” Corrie said. “It’s a start.”
Later, when they were leaving the dining hall, Dawn saw the blonde girl who’d asked her about Elrath. She was standing with some friends and talking, but she looked sad. “Just a minute,” she said to Rico, squeezing his hand and letting go before walking over to the girl.
“Hey,” Dawn said. The girl looked over at her and frowned, her eyebrows drawing together. She didn’t seem to recognize Dawn, but that was okay. Dawn forged ahead. “You sort of… you were sort of friends with Christy, right? Or you wanted to be?”
The girl’s eyes widened and she bit her lip. “Yeah. I guess so.”
“Well, I just wanted you to know that the magic professors caught the, uh…” Crap, she should have decided what her story was before saying anything. “They caught the killer. So the campus is safe again.”
The girl’s face relaxed, though her eyes were still wide. “Really?”
Dawn nodded. “I’m sure of it.” She hoped this girl wasn’t going to interrogate her about how she knew.
Instead, she smiled. “Thank you. That’s a big relief.”
Her friends behind her looked at each other, obviously not taking it seriously. “Why haven’t they told us anything?” one of them asked.
“I don’t know,” Dawn said, shrugging. “They should make an announcement, but they haven’t yet. I’m just telling you what I know.”
“Ignore him,” the blonde girl said. “Thanks for letting me know.”
“Sure.” Dawn walked back to where Rico was waiting for her, feeling a little bit lighter. At least one person had believed her—the blonde girl’s relief spoke volumes, even if her friends were still skeptical.
“Who’s she?” Rico asked as he reclaimed her hand. Their other friends had gone on ahead.
“I don’t know her, really,” Dawn said. “But she was asking about Elrath—Christy, I mean—a while back, so I figured she’d be upset about him being killed. Her. Whatever.”
Rico grinned. “The person she thought he was, anyway.”
“Right, so I thought I’d tell her that they caught the killer, and she believed me. I don’t know how likely she is to tell anyone else, but that’s one more person.”
He kissed her cheek. “That’s very thoughtful of you.”
“Well, it was a little bit selfish, too. Now I know that not everyone just disbelieves me as a matter of principle.”
“Why would they? You’re a very trustworthy person.”
Dawn laughed. “It’s sweet of you to say so, but most people on campus don’t actually know me that well, as you may have noticed.”
“Their loss.” He squeezed her hand. “Do you want to look for more people to tell the truth to, or go inside?” They’d almost reached the door to Gilkey.
“I…” Dawn looked around. “If I knew more people to tell the truth to, I’d go looking for them.” She thought of the faerie boy with the leaf hair that changed with the seasons. But she didn’t know him at all, and though he probably knew who she was, that would just make him even less likely to want to talk to her on no notice. “But I don’t. Can you think of anyone?”
He shook his head. “There are people in my magic classes who might believe it, but I don’t know where any of them live, and you’re right, we can’t just go around pounding on doors.”
“Good.” She tugged him toward the front door of their dorm so she could swipe her ID and unlock it. “Then let’s just see which of our roommates might not be home and enjoy our last couple days on campus together as best we can.”