Chapter 39: Questions, Part 1
"Okay, I have a serious question," said Corrie. Not that her question about where Professor Lal went at night wasn't serious, but she had known it wasn't going to be answered. "We were looking at old yearbooks and we saw pictures of you and Ever."
Professor Lal's eyes widened, then she laughed. "You girls sure do your homework, don't you?"
Dawn grinned. "We are model students."
"I can tell you're going to be setting the curve in my class." Professor Lal nodded. "So what exactly is your question?"
"How come you look the same?" Corrie asked. "We know the pictures look like your glamour, so shouldn't you look different every time? Don't people recognize you?"
"They don't, and I'm surprised you don't know why," said Professor Lal.
"Well, we think we have an idea," said Dawn. "There's some kind of spell affecting the whole campus that makes people forget about faeries, isn't there?"
"Exactly so," said the professor.
"But not everyone forgets," put in Lorelei.
"That's right. If you actually know for sure about us, then the spell won't affect you as well--and of course, Dawn has the Sight, so it doesn't affect her at all." She raised her eyebrows. "In fact, Lorelei, I'd be interested in hearing how you did find out about us."
"I thought you knew," said Lorelei, sounding surprised. "It's part of our training as RAs."
Professor Lal's eyebrows shot up. But when she spoke, she sounded as calm as always. "That's new, isn't it?"
Lorelei shrugged. "If it is, I don't know--I only started as an RA this year."
"Who does the training?" Professor Lal asked with a slight frown.
"Mr. Olmeda, of course. The head of student services." Lorelei was obviously puzzled.
"I'll have to speak to him." Professor Lal sighed. "In fact, I didn't know he knew."
"Er... so who did the spell to keep people from remembering?" said Dawn, obviously trying to get the conversation back on track.
"Ah, that's an interesting question." Professor Lal brightened slightly. "I don't know. It was in place before I was here. I suspect Belara--she's one of the faeries you met in the woods--but she claims it was in place before she arrived as well. It's possibly that there's simply a natural phenomenon at this geographical location that made it good for us to congregate."
Now that was strange. Corrie had assumed that Professor Lal and the other faeries who taught maintained the spell. But she'd also assumed that the administration knew about faeries. She couldn't think of any follow-up questions for that, so she just asked her next one instead. "Do you know of any way to keep four-leaf clovers intact? Will they work if we cover them in contact paper or anything?"
"Intact? What do you mean?" asked Professor Lal.
"Four-leaf clovers? What are you talking about?" said Lorelei at the same time.
In answer, Corrie took the clover carefully out of her pocket. One leaf was torn, and another was partly pulled away from the stem. "They let you see through glamour." She hesitated, then held it out to Lorelei. "Be prepared for a shock."
Curiosity in her eyes, Lorelei touched the clover, as though to take it. She didn't get that far. She glanced at Professor Lal, shrieked, and immediately clapped her hand over her mouth. "Sorry..." She continued to stare at Professor Lal. "That was weird..."
"So as you can see," Corrie said, trying not to laugh, "it works fine even though it's torn, but I'm worried that one of the leaves will come off and it will stop working." Behind her, Dawn laid a comforting hand on Lorelei's shoulder, murmuring something about how big of a shock it had been for her.
"Hmm. May I see?" Professor Lal didn't seem bothered by Lorelei's reaction. It probably wasn't the first time. Corrie handed her the clover and she looked at it carefully. "I think as long as you have a piece of it, the magic should continue to work," she said. "And honestly, I don't think you'll have too much trouble. Just pick another one when this one is dead. They grow all over campus."
That was true. Corrie took the clover back. "But there's no way to preserve it?"
"I'm sure you could, but you need to have skin contact with it in order for it to work."
"Okay." She returned the clover to her pocket. "I guess we'll just keep picking more, then." What else had she wanted to ask? Something to do with Edie... oh, right, her sensitivity to magic. "Do you remember when you healed my friend Edie?"
"Of course," said Professor Lal.
"Could that spell have had any side effects?"
"Side effects? What do you mean?"
"We think she's become sensitive to magic."