Tuesday, September 12
Corrie frowned, thinking about what Edie had just told her. She’d said yesterday that she wanted to talk to her and Dawn about Annie’s problem, but they hadn’t all been able to get together until dinner tonight, since Dawn worked on Monday evenings. Corrie wished they hadn’t waited. She wanted to go ask Annie more question, but she knew Annie had decided to go to bed early, since healing her burn was apparently exhausting her.
“I know it sounds kind of crazy,” Edie said, twirling her fork in her spaghetti. “But…”
“We’ve seen a lot of things that seem completely crazy, and they’re definitely true.” Corrie crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back, away from her half-eaten lasagna. If the things Annie was experiencing all had the same source… all signs pointed to it being a ghost.
“But Annie doesn’t really think it’s a ghost?” Dawn asked.
Edie shrugged. “She didn’t say that. She didn’t seem to connect the dots, and I wasn’t going to push her about it—especially since I had to get to class.”
Corrie frowned. “But you connected the dots. Strange unexplainable noises, doors opening and closing for no reason, and cold spots. With the ghost story, and we’re pretty sure it isn’t a faerie, it makes a lot of sense. Annie seemed pretty sure that if there was a ghost, the professors would have told us about it. And I wouldn’t like to think they would lie, but I guess I can’t put it past them.”
“Not if they don’t think there’s any danger,” Dawn said, popping her last forkful of salad into her mouth.
“And they sometimes have a skewed idea of what’s danger.” Corrie nodded, then leaned forward to finish her lasagna. She was still hungry.
“Did Annie ever come to look at the yearbooks?” Edie asked Dawn.
Dawn nodded and held up one finger while she finished chewing. “She came by last Monday and I showed her where they were. I couldn’t stick around, though, and I didn’t see her leave.”
“Do you think she was looking for any sign of the ghost?” Corrie asked.
Edie nodded. “I promised to bring her some pizza, so I’ll ask her when I come by.”
“What if there is a ghost?” Dawn asked. “What can we even do about it?”
“I think we need to ask the magic professors,” Corrie said. “If they know it exists, but don’t think it’s dangerous, we can explain what’s going on with Annie. If they don’t know it exists, well, obviously they need to be told.”
“If it does exist, I don’t see how they could have missed it,” Dawn said.
“Professors don’t go into the dorms much,” Corrie said. She couldn’t remember a professor ever coming to Gilkey when they lived there—not even Strega, when they were working with her. “And the magic could have been suppressing the spread of the story. So maybe they really haven’t heard it.”
“Some of the professors are hundreds of years old,” Edie said. “The college is certainly several hundred years old, and presumably humans have been teaching each other magic for longer than that. They must know the truth about any ghost story. I agree, we should ask them.”
“Let’s do it, then,” Corrie said, unable to suppress a smile at the idea of finally having some action. “At our next magic classes, we’ll ask the professors whether there’s a ghost in Mary Thomas. Uh… crap, tomorrow’s Wednesday, so I don’t have any magic classes. Edie, you have Ginny tomorrow, right?”
“She’s the most likely to give us a straightforward answer,” Edie said, nodding. “I’ll ask her.”
“I’m not asking Mardalan,” Dawn said.
Corrie grimaced. “No, I guess not. But I have Lal on Thursday, so I can ask her then. And you have Psionics, right?”
“Yeah, but you know how Rook is about asking questions when it isn’t his subject. I doubt I’ll get much out of him.”
“But things might be different this year,” Corrie said. “If you can frame it as wanting to learn more about how to protect yourself so you can stay on campus… which you do…”
Dawn shrugged. “I mean, it’s worth a shot. I’m just not expecting a straight answer.”
“Between the three of them, hopefully we’ll come up with something.”
“We could also try going to Drehmer or Cantrell,” Edie said. “We know Drehmer has been around for a while. I’m not sure about Cantrell—what does she even teach?”
“I think I’ve seen her coming out of the science building,” Dawn said. “But I don’t know if she’s been around for longer than a year.”
“What about other faeries who have been around for a while?” Corrie asked. “Edie, you haven’t been hanging out with Derwen, but you guys are friends, right? And… well, we could ask Tom. Actually, now that I think about it, Dawn, why don’t you ask your aunt if she ever heard the story?”
“That makes a lot of sense,” Dawn said. “She was actually a student here, unlike Tom. I don’t know if she ever lived in Mary Thomas, but if the story’s been around, she still would have heard it.”
“Maybe I’ll ask Derwen if we can’t get any information from anyone else,” Edie said. “But she doesn’t really like talking about the previous times she’s been a student. And we haven’t been hanging out much this year.”
“Well, we have a good start.” Corrie grinned. “We’ll get to the bottom of this mystery!”