Edie sat still for a moment, thinking. If she went back to Annie’s dorm room now, Annie would probably be there. But what if she wasn’t? Maybe Roe had stayed there and they were hanging out. She wouldn’t want to interrupt that.
Anyway, the idea of leaving Annie’s room, talking to her roommates for twenty minutes, and then just turning around and going back to Annie’s room made her stomach churn. It would be completely obvious to Annie exactly what had happened. That would be humiliating. Better to wait until she saw Annie naturally.
She stood up abruptly. “I have an assignment to do. I’ll go see if Derwen is in her room.”
Corrie and Dawn looked at each other. “Well, you’re putting us to shame,” Corrie said. “I was going to just talk to Lal after class on Tuesday. You could try to catch Derwen then, too.”
“I was going to go to the library early for my shift tomorrow to try to look up the Mary Thomas scholarship,” Dawn said with a grin.
Edie shook her head. “We’re in the same building right now. And if Lin is ready again tomorrow, I want to go back to the conversation with new information, if that’s at all possible.”
Corrie frowned, but reluctantly said, “Yeah, that makes sense. I may as well see if Lal is in her office today.”
Dawn wrinkled her nose. “Fine, I’ll go to the library on my day off. Again.”
“Oh yeah, because you hate the library so much,” Corrie said, and they all laughed.
Edie still felt a lurking guilt, but now that she was doing something she had more energy. She led the way out of the room and toward the stairs. Derwen lived up on the third floor, where the rooms were all singles, except for the corner rooms like theirs.
She realized once she got up there that she hadn’t actually been there before. She’d hung out with Derwen a few times during the semester, but Derwen had always either come to her room or they’d hung out after class. Lately, the faerie seemed to have made some other friends; she and Edie weren’t talking after class.
A guy wearing a towel around his waist stopped when he saw Edie. “Hey, are you looking for somebody?”
“Uh, yeah, my friend Derwen?” At least Edie knew that she was going by Derwen now, not a human name, since they were in a class together.
“Oh, yeah, I know her. 306, I think.” He pointed to a door.
Edie smiled at him. “Thanks.” She walked to the door and immediately felt relieved. The door had a large, hand-drawn poster of an oak tree (at least she thought it was meant to be an oak—the artistry was not the most brilliant) on it, and, above the number, a sign that read “Beware!” in a spooky font. If that wasn’t Derwen’s room, Edie didn’t know what was.
She knocked, wondering if Derwen was even in. But she didn’t have much time to wonder, because Derwen called “come in!” cheerfully.
Edie opened the door cautiously and poked her head in, smiling. “Hey, Derwen. I thought I was supposed to beware. You don’t sound very threatening.”
“Edie!” Derwen laughed and put down the magazine she was reading. She was sitting on her bed in a satin bathrobe, her legs crossed. They were tan and slightly furry. “You never have to beware. Come in, I meant it.”
Edie entered and shut the door behind her. “How are you?” The room wasn’t any smaller than Annie’s, but it didn’t seem to have anywhere to sit. The desk chair held a pile of books and papers, and the corner of the room was taken up with stacks of cushions.
“Good, good. Come in, sit down.” Derwen moved to the right and patted the bed next to her. “What brings you to my humble abode?”
Derwen seemed to be talking differently than the way she used to. Edie wondered if she’d been learning new things from her other friends. Or maybe she was just trying on a different persona, as she seemed to do.
She sat, but she felt like it would be rude to just tell Derwen straight out that she was only visiting her because she wanted to know if she knew anything about a ghost. Instead, she said, “We never hang out anymore. I mean, I know we have our own friends, but it just occurred to me that I hadn’t talked to you in a while except for in class.”