The picture had changed to that of an ordinary, smiling young man, and then it changed again, to an older woman with silver hair. In the picture her calm expression turned to a smile, and two of her front teeth lengthened into fangs.
Corrie’s eyes widened and she glanced at Roe, who was frowning and watching the screen. She could have guessed… faeries and werewolves both existed, so why not vampires? But it seemed strange that, with all the supernatural experience she and her friends had had, they should have completely avoided learning about vampires until now.
“There are no vampires in the area of Chatoyant College,” Lal said. “But you should know that they exist. Religious symbols provide some measure of protection—any type of religious symbol will do, even if it is one that you make with gestures yourself, rather than a physical object carried with you. Failing that, sunlight will destroy vampires. It is highly unlikely that you will ever encounter a vampire, but you will recognize one before it is too late by to the fangs.”
The picture changed one last time, to an extremely pale, faded-looking man looking away from the camera. “I include ghosts merely for the sake of completeness. There are no ghosts in the area of Chatoyant College, and they cannot harm humans. It does happen, at times, that the spirit of a human lingers in this world after death, but it is only an echo of a life.”
The ghost seemed to vanish into the white screen as the lights brightened again. “Those are the types of supernatural creatures you may encounter. Faeries are, obviously, the most likely, but the vast majority of us support humans. That is even more true of werewolves. Vampires are predators, but cautious ones; they will not attack out of nowhere. Ghosts cannot attack. Now I will take questions.”
Several hands went up around the room. Professor Lal chose one.
“What about silver bullets?”
“Ah, for werewolves and vampires, correct?” Lal shook her head. “Silver does nothing to vampires. Werewolves are just as susceptible to normal bullets as any other human or wolf. And, of course, it would be cruel to attempt to kill a werewolf without attempting to speak with them first. Other questions? Yes, Jules.” Professor Lal pointed to a girl with an asymmetrical bob.
“Uh, what about jahn-ay-uh?” Jules asked.
Roe jumped. Corrie turned to look at Jules. She didn’t look familiar, but Troy must have a class with her, or maybe he’d known her from last year. Or, since she wasn’t pronouncing Djanaea correctly, maybe she hadn’t heard the term firsthand? She looked nervous, which made it seem to Corrie as though she had not, in fact, met Troy, since he was so nice. Roe was very deliberately not looking up.
Professor Lal blinked a little more rapidly than usual. “Where did you hear that term?”
“Just tell us,” Jules said.
“I am not sure that you…” Lal trailed off, obviously confused.
Corrie had to take pity on her. She didn’t want Jules and Professor Lal to go back and forth trying to suss out what the other knew, and she didn’t want Roe to slowly die of awkwardness next to her. She lifted her arm, but didn’t wait for the professor to call on her before she spoke. “Troy has decided to tell everyone he meets that he is a Djanaea.”
Professor Lal stared at her for a moment, touched her forehead, and then bravely plowed on. “Well, then, as some of you evidently already know, a—member of a water race also uses magic to attend Chatoyant College. His name is Troy. Neither he, nor any other member of his race, is any threat to humans. Even if they were not good and decent people, their magic is limited to forms of illusion and some healing. Corrie, since you have volunteered this information, can you support me in this?”
Corrie nodded and gave Jules an encouraging smile. “Troy is a really nice guy and it seems to be very helpful for him to be able to tell people about what he really is. He’s definitely more confident and happy than he was last year.”
“But he’s magic,” Jules said.
“A lot of people here are magic in one way or another,” Corrie said. She hesitated for a moment, then decided that if Belinda wasn’t allowed to reveal that she was a werewolf, Corrie shouldn’t be going around telling people that she was half werewolf.
“I have prophetic visions,” Roe piped up. “And I can also vouch that Troy is a really nice guy.” Corrie smiled at her, relieved that she wasn’t too embarrassed by the Djanaea conversation to take part.
“Isn’t this class to teach us how to protect ourselves from magic people?” Jules asked.
“Yes,” said Professor Lal in a clipped voice. “And you can protect yourself from Djanaea by treating them as any other person. Moving on. Are there any other questions?”