Corrie frowned and raised her hand. That sounded like the campus protections had changed since last year.
Lal nodded to her. “Corrie?”
“Did you get rid of the walls that were up for a while? They were supposed to keep faeries out and humans in.”
Lal gave her a quick frown—had she hoped no one would ask that?—before answering. “Yes. If Gerlina was able to enter campus despite the magical barriers, they were obviously insufficient, and Professor Agnew believed that they were making us complacent. Instead, we’ve chosen to set up the alarm points I mentioned and take a stronger hand in monitoring the magic on campus. We’ve actually had some help connecting them to a computer system, so the alarms can be electronically monitored as a supplement.”
Corrie raised her eyebrows, impressed and curious. How could magic be hooked up to a computer system? She remembered last semester that Dawn had mentioned there was some magic in the library that connected to the computer system there. Maybe they had extended that system.
“But,” Lal said, seeming to straighten her shoulders, “none of these are a complete substitute for personal vigilance. That is why we are educating you, so that you can arm yourselves should something slip through the cracks. And, of course, you can also ask for help from the professors and staff of the college. Everyone who works here has now been educated, and the other magic professors and I are skilled and knowledgeable magic users. One of us will always be on campus in case we are needed. Are there any other questions?”
“What if we changed our minds?” someone asked.
“About coming back.”
Lal frowned. “You can speak to the administrators. I believe they are still prepared to assist in the transfer process if you wish to attend another school. However, if those schools have already started their classes, I am not sure if they will be able to accept new students, so I recommend haste.”
At last, there were no more questions, and Lal let them know where her office was in case anyone else wanted to ask private questions. As she left, the room filled with a low buzz of chatter. Corrie glanced around, gathering her things. Meg was clutching her notebook to her chest and leaving without looking at anyone.
“Do you think it will really help?” Roe asked.
Corrie blinked. “Of course it will. How many times did iron and four-leaf clovers save our lives last year?”
“But… it doesn’t really seem like any of this could have helped Sean.”
“I know. I was thinking the same thing.” Corrie sighed. “I guess the alarm points Lal was talking about would have let the professors know about Gerlina earlier, so they could have protected him. I’m not really sure, but if she got in because they were complacent like Ginny said, maybe that would do the trick. Hopefully it just never gets tested.”
Roe shook her head, grimacing. “It seems like they should find something they can do that can withstand tests like Gerlina.”
“Yeah, but this sort of thing is really rare…” Corrie trailed off. She couldn’t finish her sentence. It wasn’t rare, was it? In just one year, Annie had been kidnapped, then a faerie had tried to kill Edie, and then another faerie had kidnapped Edie; Dawn had been drugged and the faerie probably would have raped her if her friends hadn’t gotten her away; some faeries had done magic on Corrie’s ex-boyfriend to make him attack her—and all of that had been before Gerlina showed up on campus and started killing people. There had been all those human musicians in the faerie court, and several eerie statues that had also once been human. Corrie knew that she and her friends had unusual things about them that attracted the attention of the more unsavory supernatural types, but even if somehow Dawn was the only person with the Sight in the history of Chatoyant College, Edie the only part-faerie, and Corrie the only half-werewolf, obviously being an ordinary human didn’t protect you from faerie malice.
“I don’t know, maybe it’s not enough,” she finally said, as she and Roe walked out of the magic building into the warm afternoon. “But I definitely believe that the professors are doing all they can. Do you think they should have closed the school?”
“That would have been safer. But maybe there isn’t any way to make a magic school really safe. And we have to have a magic school.” Roe turned as the path branched in two directions. “I’m going to the administrative building to meet Link. See you later.”
Corrie grinned. “Have a good time.” She continued on straight toward her dorm, trying not to think too hard about how well people really were protected now.