Chapter 40: Thinking Too Much
Thursday, September 18
Despite having had a surprisingly good time at the Rainbow Alliance meeting the night before--the crowd, as promised, had shrunk somewhat, but all her friends had still been there--Edie didn't sleep well that night. Something was nagging at her. She thought it had to do with Troy. She was sure there was something they were missing about him. But what? She was confident he wasn't a faerie. The fact that Dawn couldn't see anything strange about him confirmed that, as well as the fact that... well... he didn't act like the faeries they had known. Ever had been much more casual. As far as Edie could tell, she hadn't been nervous about being caught out as a faerie at all.
She sat up just as her alarm began to go off and silenced it with a sigh. No point in trying to get back to sleep now. She headed for the shower, still trying to work it out. Professor Strega had been much more nervous about being caught, hadn't she? She'd run off when Corrie had found a clover. But Troy wasn't running from clovers. He had looked for a clover on his own, or at least that was what it looked like he had been doing. If he was a faerie, he wasn't a very well-informed one, but if he knew secrets about how to get on Jasmine's good side, then surely he would know about Professor Lal and Professor Strega being faeries if it had been relevant to him.
It was odd how the water of the shower felt so good, when being rained on didn't feel good at all. Maybe it was a temperature thing. Edie closed her eyes and stuck her face under the running water. Or maybe it was the fact that her clothes weren't getting soaked and she didn't have to go anywhere until after she had dried off.
She was still thinking about Troy as she, Corrie, and Annie walked to the dining hall. The rain had finally stopped, but the ground was muddy and churned up, especially at the edges of the path. "Are you okay?" Corrie asked her as they wiped their feet off on the mat in the lobby of the dining hall.
"I'm fine. Why?" Edie responded.
"You're even quieter than usual."
"Just thinking... about Troy." She sighed. "I really feel like there's some missing piece to this mystery and we should be able to figure it out."
"This isn't a novel," Corrie said, raising her eyebrows. "We can't expect that all the clues are somewhere around us."
"I know, but it bothers me anyway. Is there anything else we can try?" Edie put her purse down on a chair at an unoccupied table and leaned on the back of the chair while Annie and Corrie joined her.
"You mean to look at him?" Corrie frowned. "I guess so... we could have Dawn look at him with a four-leaf clover. I'm pretty sure the connectors on the desks are made of iron, or some sort of iron, so I've already done both clover and iron. We could use Dawn and clover and iron."
"I'm sure Dawn appreciates being talked about as a method," said Annie with a little smile.
"Well, it's not like we know anyone else with the Sight!" Corrie laughed. "I see your point, though."
"These are all ways just to see through glamour, though, right?" said Edie, still thinking. "And Dawn is pretty sure it isn't a glamour."
"Professor Lal said that the clover should work on most illusions," said Corrie.
Annie nodded. "Professor Rook said the same thing."
"Neither of them had any other suggestions for how to see through illusions?"
"Professor Rook said we'll learn about it eventually," said Annie. "I know, that doesn't really help, but he didn't seem to like that I was asking so many questions."
"So if something that should work on illusions doesn't..." Edie squeezed the back of the chair. "Well, maybe it's not an illusion at all."
Corrie frowned and wrinkled her eyebrows. "But the clover does work. It just doesn't break through the illusions."
Edie looked down and shrugged. "Maybe I just don't get it. I mean, I'm not taking a magic class, so I don't really know how it works."
"I think you're on to something, actually," said Annie. "Maybe it's sort of partly an illusion, but partly something else."
"Like what?" Corrie asked.
"I have no idea," Annie admitted. "Something to change him physically, maybe? It would be an illusion for the appearance, and more magic to change how it actually works for him. Like, maybe he's crippled or something and the magic is to make his legs look normal and also work normally."
Corrie stood up straight, her eyes widening. "That would actually make a lot of sense with what I saw him do the other night. If he picked up a four-leaf clover and it affected the magic on him, that would explain why he seemed so scared and was breathing hard. Maybe he almost fell over."
"How do we confirm that?" Edie asked.
"I don't know," said Corrie. "Not without asking him. And I really doubt he'd tell us."