Chapter 20: Careful
Wednesday, September 3
Naomi's alarm did not annoy Dawn nearly so much that morning. Of course, that was because she'd gotten herself up at 8 and was in the bathroom getting in the shower by the time it went off. She could still hear it through the walls, if faintly, and she hoped it wasn't bothering Corrie and Edie or anyone else on the hall. Then again, Corrie was most likely out of the building at the moment, so that was one person she didn't have to worry about it. She tested the water with her hand, found that the hot water had finally made its way up the pipes to the fifth floor, and stepped in.
She felt refreshed and energetic when she got out, despite worries about Roe's prophecy. She could probably deal with whatever came, she felt. With that cheerful thought, she booted up her computer to check webcomics and other funny internet things until Corrie knocked on her door.
"You might want to wear something lighter than that," was the first thing her friend said. "It is stinking hot out there."
"Ugh, really? Isn't it supposed to get cooler in September?" Dawn went over to her closet and looked through it before selecting a knee-length flower-printed skirt that would go with the green blouse she was wearing; she didn't really want to change all her clothes, but changing from jeans to a skirt would probably make enough of a difference. "Will this do?"
"I think so," said Corrie, perching on the edge of Dawn's bed. She was wearing a blue halter top and a white skirt shorter than Dawn's--then again, her legs were longer, so any skirt would be shorter on her.
"Trying to catch that guy from yesterday?" Dawn teased from inside her closet as she changed.
Corrie laughed. "Well, you never know if I might see him! I want to look my best."
"You didn't wear that to run in, did you?" She locked the door behind them, then headed toward the stairwell.
"Of course not," said Corrie. "I wore my usual sweatpants and tank top. The sweatpants were a mistake, apparently. I need to cool off now. Besides--" she carefully held onto the railing as they walked down the steps--"I'd break my neck trying to run in these shoes."
Dawn hadn't noticed her shoes; she looked down and saw that Corrie was wearing strappy espadrilles that tied up her calves and looked at least four inches high. "Jeez, Corrie, as though you aren't tall enough already!" She was only a couple of inches shorter than Corrie in regular shoes, but she stared up at her friend and feigned horror at her monstrous height. "I was just teasing you earlier but now I think you really are out to catch that guy!"
"Well, yes, that's part of it," admitted Corrie with a mischievous grin. "But also, I love these shoes and don't get much opportunity to wear them. Which probably explains why I'm so wobbly in them."
"I'll catch you if you fall." Dawn hadn't had trouble walking in heels in a long time, but she'd never worn ones quite like what Corrie had; today Dawn was wearing slip-on white flats with glittery flowers over the toes.
When Dawn had her breakfast, she found a quiet corner of the dining hall and motioned for Corrie to join her. "I was thinking about Roe's vision from last night," she said in a low voice.
Corrie nodded quickly. "I couldn't help thinking about it either. What do you think it means?"
"I think we should be really careful of Professor Lal." Her mouth felt dry. She took a sip of her water. "I wonder if her visions are even tied specifically to faeries. She had a vision the same night Annie disappeared, and it probably had something to do with that."
"Could be," said Corrie. She chewed contemplatively for a moment, then spoke again. "You think Professor Lal is going to put us in danger somehow?"
"It makes sense."
"But you said she talked about an agreement that none of the faeries are allowed to harm students."
"I also said she had a really messed up idea of what constitutes harm," Dawn pointed out. "Kidnapping doesn't count. There might be lots of other things that don't. Besides..." She remembered Professor Lal's dark, pointed nails and depthless black eyes with a shudder. "I liked her and felt comfortable when I talked to her, but that might have been magic, too."
Corrie was starting to look worried, which Dawn suspected meant she was seriously concerned. "I thought their magic didn't affect you, though. You remember everything."
Dawn sighed, frustrated. "I don't know. I have no idea what exactly I can and can't do. That's why I think we should be careful."
"Roe said there was someone else in the vision she didn't know," Corrie said. "Maybe that's where the danger is coming from."
Dawn nodded. "I know. So really, I think we should be careful of anyone we don't know already. And that includes Byron."
"I know," Corrie protested, her smile back. "I'm not obsessed or anything."
"Oh, yeah right!" Dawn laughed.
"Seriously, though, I totally agree. I've got my keys and I'll hang onto them."
"Right then." Dawn stood up, picking up her empty dishes. "I think we can handle going to class, then."