Chapter 52: Tuesday
Tuesday, October 7
Tuesdays were never a fun day for Dawn. They started at what she thought was an unreasonable hour with her FYE class (though at least she got more sleep than she had that weekend, with her parents wanting breakfast at the crack of dawn). She did not understand why the class had to be so early, especially since she was sure none of her fellow students stayed any more awake and alert than she did.
After that she had a short break, during which she usually bought a cup of tea—or, more often now that the weather was growing cool, a hot chocolate. Then was her physics class. Then, thankfully, she had a break for lunch and to clear her head. Physics was interesting, but she was sure at this point that it was not interesting enough to be worth all the math one had to do.
This particular Tuesday was worse than usual. Not only was she still worrying about Edie, a fog had come up overnight. This wasn’t one of the awful fogs, which they’d only had once this year, that blocked all vision and movement. But it was enough to make her nervous and peering around every corner for faeries.
She was glad when she made it into the dining hall. It was warmer there—probably just because of the kitchen, since the heat wasn’t on in any other building yet—and while the foggy windows were difficult to see out of, that provided a sense of enclosure and security, rather than making her nervous. And she could see everyone in the room.
As she walked up to the buffet area she brushed past someone she’d seen a few times before. She stopped and turned to look at him surreptitiously. He wasn’t terribly noticeable, except that his hair seemed to be made of leaves. Interestingly, she noticed that they’d turned almost entirely brown, with a few red and orange tinges. He sat down next to a girl with long black hair, and she turned away quickly, heading for the pasta line.
She was greatly relieved to see another familiar face—and the back of a familiar head. She caught Annie’s eyes and put her finger to her lips. Then she snuck up behind Rico and wrapped her arms around him. “Surprise!”
He laughed. “Hi, Dawn. I was wondering where you were.”
She let him go and joined the line. “This fog is freaking me out.”
Annie nodded. “Me too. I thought it would have started to vanish by now…”
“It’s not really natural, is it?” Rico asked quietly.
“I don’t think so,” Dawn replied. “Maybe some of it is, but it doesn’t act like natural weather, that’s for sure.” The line moved forward, and Annie had to order her pasta, so their conversation was interrupted for a moment.
When they sat down at their usual table, Dawn started the conversation again. “So did you have a chance to talk to Professor Rook?”
Annie nodded, looking at her plate. Rico grimaced. Dawn sighed. “It didn’t go well, did it?”
“It wasn’t awful,” Annie temporized.
“He said pretty much what you told me Professor Lal said.” Rico started to swirl some spaghetti around his fork. “That we shouldn’t worry about it, and she probably had her reasons. And he said the professors were always keeping an eye on the other faeries.”
“Professor Lal said she would particularly keep an eye on Leila,” said Dawn. “Which is a little more comforting, since she was obviously keeping an eye on Marlin but still didn’t realize what he was doing.”
Annie shivered. “Isn’t it weird that Edie wouldn’t care about Leila being a faerie after what happened with Marlin?”
“Not if she’s under the influence of magic,” Dawn reminded her.
“Oh. Right.” They were all silent for a moment, eating.
“I don’t think Corrie should talk to her history professor,” Dawn said after thinking about it. “We said she should ask him if things didn’t go well with Professor Rook, but considering he said almost the exact same thing as Professor Lal, I don’t think going to someone else entirely is going to help.”
“Especially someone who has no reason to think we know he’s a faerie,” Rico said, nodding.
“Exactly,” said Dawn. “I mean, I know they’re our professors and we should probably trust them, but after the first few faeries we met, I think we ought to keep a few cards in our pocket.”
“I agree,” said Annie. “I just hope Corrie will too.”
“Leave that to me,” said Dawn. “I can usually talk her out of things. Though it’s even easier if I have Edie’s help.” She poked at her spaghetti with her fork. “I hate having to wait for other people. But I don’t see what else we can possibly do.”