Corrie only had a little while between her classes, but she and Edie went over what she’d heard about Jo. Edie was surprised to hear that anyone would want to leave campus, but realized it made sense after they discussed it. To them, campus had always been a dangerous place—it had been on their second night there that the entire hall had been awakened by Roe’s scream and everyone had discovered that Annie was missing (though the two things turned out to be unrelated). It had only gotten worse when most of them had forgotten about Annie, and Dawn had needed to rely on her newly-discovered Sight to remind everyone about her. Come to think of it, it had also been on their second day on campus that Corrie had discovered that her stalker ex-boyfriend, Paul, had followed her to college.
“Well, he shouldn’t have gotten mad at you for that,” Corrie said, incensed on her friend’s behalf. She felt her hands balling into fists. Unfortunately, not only was Link not there, but hitting him wouldn’t do anything anyway. “Just because he’s—“
Roe held up her hand, nodding. “He apologized for that the next morning. He said he just overreacted because his ego was hurt.” She smiled faintly. “He says I can have all the time I need to decide my answer, but he really wants me to say yes. Of course, we might not be able to see each other again at all after he graduates, because the king could decide to keep him at home and that’s that.”
They dawdled over their food a little longer—after all, everyone had to finish their dessert and no one had a ton of work due the next day—but finally headed back outside and toward Gilkey. Corrie checked her phone and was surprised to find that it was almost ten; time had passed quickly while she hung out with her friends.
She was even more surprised, as they approached Gilkey, to see Roe pacing back and forth in front of the door. She was easily recognizable even from a distance in the dark, because the light over the front door and coming out from the window in the common room shone off her long, pale hair.
Corrie and Edie knocked on Dawn’s door, but no one answered, so they figured she was with Rico and went to Roe’s room. Edie also expressed concern about Roe’s appearance, which made Annie give her another glare, but Roe dismissed them again. Corrie knew better than to keep bugging her about it—it would just make her defensive and even less likely to do what they wanted. Anyway, Roe did have an appointment with Professor Strega the next day.
When they stepped out into the late afternoon, Corrie noticed that the air was getting humid. “I wish Dawn were here,” she said. “She could tell us whether there’s a storm coming.”
“I’m in that class too,” Annie said. “I can sense the air currents enough to see if there’s a storm that’s close by. Want me to check?”
Thursday, May 18
Now that over a week had passed since Elrath’s death, the campus seemed to have relaxed somewhat. Corrie hadn’t heard any rumors or questions in a couple of days. Maybe they really had managed to forget about Elrath.
After all, it had never been only the magic on campus that kept people from understanding that faeries were real and lived there. The magic had just been enhancing the natural capability of the human mind to ignore things that didn’t fit in the world that they knew. If students had seen faeries day after day, eventually they would have had to admit that something strange was going on, but the vast majority of students didn’t have that much contact with faeries. So by the time they saw something else strange, they’d forgotten about the first thing.
Edie headed up the stairs to the fifth floor. She marveled sometimes at how easy it was for her to climb the stairs now. Sure, she still got a little bit out of breath at the top, but she caught her breath again before she reached her own room. And her legs didn’t burn from all the climbing.
She hoped she didn’t get out of shape over the summer, or in their new dorm next year. They hadn’t learned yet whether they’d gotten the room assignment they wanted, but it probably wouldn’t be on the fifth floor of any building. Maybe if she did get out of shape, Corrie would finally convince her to go for a run some morning.
It would still involve getting up early, though, so probably not.
Edie piled spinach, olives, and red peppers on her pasta to accompany the sauce and Parmesan cheese, then decided that was enough. If she was still hungry when she’d finished this, she would make herself get a small salad.
She sat at the table and ate alone for a few moments—it was really good—before her friends returned. When Dawn sat down, Edie remembered something else she’d said about her elemental magic class, when she’d learned how good she was at sensing air currents. “What about that cold air current you said you felt on campus?” she asked. “Did Professor Lal know anything about that?”
Dawn frowned. “She didn’t say anything about it in her email. I’d kind of forgotten about it, to be honest. Maybe I should try to sense it again. It was right by the wall, at the south end of campus, so if it has moved that will be interesting.”