“Weird noises in the middle of the night,” Celeste said. “People’s doors don’t stay shut and sometimes their stuff moves around. Weird, right? I mean, I know there are faeries and stuff on campus, but if faeries are teachers and students, they’re probably not sneaking around in dorms playing little tricks on people.”
“No, faeries don’t do that kind of thing,” Corrie said. “Though I guess it’s probably safest to keep a four-leaf clover and some iron on you at all times anyway.” She stuck her hand in her jeans pocket, where she always had a four-leaf clover. Nothing changed this time when she touched it, but she would have been very surprised if it had.
“Oh, yeah, I got one of those.” Celeste reached into her back pocket and pulled out a four-leaf clover, holding it up. “No faerie is going to sneak up on me.”
“You’re probably good, then,” Edie said.
“Is this happening to other people?” Annie asked. “Or are you just talking about Nakia?”
“She said she’s not the only one,” Celeste said. “I wondered if it has anything to do with the ghost story I heard.”
Corrie took a step down, closer to Celeste. “You’ve heard about the ghost, too?”
Celeste nodded eagerly, probably happy to have an audience. “But if they named the dorm after her and that didn’t appease her, what else can be done?”
Annie took three steps down. “I haven’t heard this story. They named the dorm after her? So the ghost is Mary Thomas?”
“That’s the story I heard,” Celeste said. “She was one of the founders of the school, a little after the time of Lady Chatoyant, and she died when the dorm was still being built and started to haunt it. They named it after her to try to make her happy, but she’s been haunting it ever since.”
Corrie looked at Annie, then at her other friends. “I didn’t hear that part of the story. How is she supposed to have died?”
“No one knows,” Celeste said. “Maybe she was killed during the construction. Her bones could still be in the walls somewhere.” She gave a dramatic shiver. “But I know my roommate Lin won’t set foot in this place. She’s scared of ghosts.”
“I know Lin,” Roe said. “She was in our Intro class, Corrie.”
“Yeah, I remember her,” Corrie said. “She’s in Elementalism with me and Edie. I think I have seen her in Sayer.”
“Yeah, that’s her,” Celeste said. “I only met her this year. I invited her to come with me, and I’ll protect her if she’s so scared of ghosts, but she won’t even discuss it.”
“She’s pretty private, but I’m sure she has her reasons,” Roe said. She sounded thoughtful.
“Okay, sorry to interrupt you,” Corrie said to Celeste. “Have a good night.”
“Yeah, sure,” Celeste said. “Say hi to Dawn for me.” She waved at them and jogged the rest of the way up the steps.
Corrie glanced back at her friends and headed down the steps. She could hear them following her. Once they were all outside, she felt it was time to break the silence. “That’s a different story than the one we heard earlier,” she said.
“Could they both be true?” Annie asked. “Maybe that’s more information that would be helpful.”
“Some of the specifics definitely contradict each other,” Edie said. “Sam said she was a scholarship student. She couldn’t be a scholarship student and also one of the founders of the college. But the dorm could be named after a scholarship student, especially after she died here.”
“We could try talking to her using her name, if that’s really her name,” Corrie said. “Maybe that would make her happier.”
“But people have said her name hundreds of times on campus, if her name is Mary Thomas,” Annie pointed out. “Maybe she’s sick of it. Roe, what’s the secret you’re keeping?”
Corrie looked at Roe in surprise. Roe gave them a sheepish smile, tugging a little at her long hair. “It’s actually not my secret to tell, so I’m not going to, but I’m wondering if it could be helpful.”
“It’s Lin’s secret?” Edie asked.
“Exactly. I’ll try to see if I can talk to her. I understand why she doesn’t want anyone to know about it, but if she’s willing, she could be able to help us a lot. I can’t believe I didn’t think of her before.”
“How come you know what her secret is?” Corrie asked, holding open the door to Sayer for the rest of them. She hadn’t thought Roe and Lin were such good friends—the way Roe had described her to Celeste, it didn’t even sound as though they were close at all.
“We’re in the same boat, in a way,” Roe said. “She and I both started at Chatoyant College because we have powers that we needed to learn more about. She has lessons with Ginny, like I used to have lessons with Professor Strega.” The four of them headed up the stairs.
“Oh, I think I remember that now,” Corrie said. It had been over a year since they had all introduced themselves in Professor Lal’s Intro to Magic class, but she did remember that there had been a girl who, unlike Roe, had refused to tell the rest of them what her power was. That must have been Lin. “So it’s her power that could be useful, but she doesn’t like to share what it is.”
“Exactly,” Roe said. “I’ll talk to her when I get a chance, but I’m not going to force her to do anything.”
“Of course not,” Edie said.
“But if nothing else, maybe she’ll know… well…” Roe shook her head. “You guys are too smart,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t want to give you any more hints!”
“Besides, it’s time for our movie night,” Annie said with what Corrie thought was forced cheer. “You guys have popcorn, right?”
“We absolutely have popcorn.” Edie took out her key, beating Corrie to it, and unlocked the door. She headed inside as the others followed her, grabbing a bag of microwave popcorn from her drawer. “I’ll be right back with it popped.”
Corrie sat down on the floor by Edie’s bed, stretching her legs out in front of her. She didn’t have to force her cheer when she said, “This is going to be a fun night, you guys. Let’s just relax and enjoy it.”