Edie looked around at the others. None of them seemed to know what to say. She felt strange. Was it really over? It felt like it had been too easy, and at the same time… four people had died, and they’d collected lots of help and put other people at risk to make sure Gerlina was captured.
She must have been on edge, because a hissing noise made her look around wildly, her heart hammering in her chest. But it only took seconds for the source of the noise to become apparent: pouring rain was sweeping over the campus, crossing the magic building to hit all of them as they stood in the center green.
Corrie and Charlie both started to laugh at the same time. After a moment, Tom and the other werewolves joined in, then Troy and Link, and finally Edie and Dawn joined them.
Edie looked back at Professor Rook, confused. Was he implying that they had messed up the trap somehow? She couldn’t have done so—neither could Corrie. They’d both been far away when the professors had trapped Gerlina.
She realized that she might have distracted them. Maybe they’d hesitated when she’d run out into the center green because she was getting in their way. Her magic was like a faerie’s—she might not have been able to move through the lines of their net the way Troy and Link had, so they could have been worried about trapping her by accident.
“Sorry if I got in your way,” she said, hoping she sounded genuinely remorseful. “I saw that girl and freaked out. I didn’t want her to get caught in the middle.”
“You did the right thing, Edie,” Ginny said.
Edie heard Corrie and Dawn shouting her name behind her, but she couldn’t slow down. None of the people in the center green seemed to have seen her yet. She had to get to the human girl before Gerlina noticed her.
As she ran out onto the lawn, Troy and Link both turned toward her. Then Troy shouted and pointed past Edie, to her right, in the direction that Corrie thought she’d seen Gerlina. So he had seen the teeth, too. Why weren’t the professors doing anything?
The human girl had stopped in her tracks, looking around in confusion. Could she see the teeth? She could certainly see Troy and Link, stopped in the middle of the green, and Edie, pelting across the grass toward her.
Edie, Corrie, and Dawn tried to make conversation as the light faded, but there wasn’t all that much to talk about. They were too anxious about what would happen tonight. They eventually resorted to quizzing each other on the order of stones and the locations of the professors so they could all be sure of them. Dawn checked periodically to see if she could locate the cold spot, and Corrie checked with her distance sight to make sure they knew where the professors were. Corrie also checked on Tom and the werewolves to make sure she knew their locations.
Edie was jealous. She wished she had a special power that could be useful tonight. But her own magic seemed to be pretty straightforward—she was really good at water magic, but that wasn’t very interesting, and lacking the ability to do trance meant she couldn’t even look at other people’s magic. She had an interesting magical heritage, but it always seemed to be a liability, not anything useful. The only things she could recall that being part faerie had done for her were to get her more attention from other faeries and to make it easier for Brandon to teleport with her.
Edie grinned back as she wrote down which stone corresponded to which professor, and then started to sketch the area, but realized something was still missing. “Where will each of you be? Corrie might be able to see you with her distance sight, but since it’s going to be dark, we shouldn’t take any chances.”
“Ah, we hadn’t worked that out.” Ginny looked at the other three professors. “I’ll take the southwest, between the magic and administration buildings.”
“I’ll take the northeast,” Professor Rook said.
Edie leaned forward, curious what Link’s better plan might be. Did he want Tom out front as the main plan, despite what Professor Rook said? Maybe he had something else in mind, now that the backup was here. She was just glad that he was no longer protesting against the whole concept—he just wanted to make improvements.
Troy made a protesting noise without opening his mouth, and Charlie’s mom shook her head. “You don’t need to worry. We’ll be there to protect you. Don’t you agree, Francis, Marie?”
“I’m sure we can hold our own against this faerie,” Corrie’s dad said. “If nothing else, Link, I’m sure we can hold her back long enough for you and Troy to get away, if necessary.”
Edie was very curious as to how Professor Strega and Tom knew each other. She didn’t seem happy to see him there at all. Maybe he’d messed with her before—that did seem to be what he liked to do. But presumably he hadn’t done her any lasting harm, because she seemed mostly satisfied with the answer she’s gotten.
The rest of the room seemed to be more interested in what Tom had just said to Troy.
“Um, prince?” Charlie said, looking at Troy.
“I get the idea there are a few more introductions to be made,” Corrie’s dad said.
Edie couldn’t help being anxious as they waited at the gate. Tom did show up, though, several minutes later, looking around dubiously at the gate as though it were going to swing shut on him unexpectedly. “Hello there, ladies,” he said as he stepped onto campus. “Where to?”
“We’ll wait here for a few more minutes,” Dawn said. “We’re expecting Corrie’s father and maybe a few others to help us out.”
Tom raised his eyebrows. “You expect a human’s father to be useful in this situation?”
“Well, he’s not entirely human,” Corrie said. “We did tell you we were asking werewolves for help.”
They all agreed to meet at seven with whatever backup they could find. Troy and Link seemed to be arguing in quiet voices as the students left the magic building, so Corrie, Edie, and Dawn separated from them easily, even though they were both going north and staying carefully to the paths.
It was another humid day. “Do you think it’s going to storm?” Corrie asked Dawn.
“There’s a storm near here. I’m not sure if it’s coming in this direction.” Dawn glanced back. “Do you think Tom will agree to help us?”