Chapter 29: Strange Feeling
Before anyone else came in to see Dawn, she heard running feet in the hallway—two sets of feet and one that sounded like strange scratching on the floor. She was just considering getting up and looking out when they stopped outside her door and Roe burst in. She grinned widely. “Oh good, they gave us the right room. I thought they were giving us the runaround since they didn’t want to tell us where you were at first.”
Right behind her was Professor Lal. Dawn’s heart gave a great, relieved leap in her chest. They’d gotten here before the doctor, and she was going to be okay. Behind Professor Lal was a faerie she didn’t recognize at first—he just looked like a huge black bird, as tall as a human. After a moment she realized he must be Professor Rook. They entered the room quickly. Roe grabbed Dawn’s left hand and squeezed, but quickly let go.
Right behind Professor Rook was a face Dawn hadn’t expected to see, but was incredibly happy to see. She jumped down from the table and held her arm out to him. “Rico!”
“Hey,” he said, grinning back. He gave her a quick hug (she returned it one-armed) and then pushed her lightly toward the table. “Sit down and let us take care of you.”
“What are you even doing here?” she asked as she struggled to obey. With only one hand, it was a bit more difficult than she’d expected.
“Well, I found Professor Lal pretty fast,” said Roe. “Actually, we met right outside the magic building.”
“I’d noted a great deal of magic being used at that spot,” said the professor. “I thought it best to investigate, but you had already gone by the time I arrived.”
“And she went for Professor Rook,” Roe continued. “But we didn’t want to walk, because it would take too long, and none of us drive, but I remembered Rico had a car, so I went back to Gilkey and found him.”
“Good thinking,” said Dawn. Rico took her right hand and squeezed it gently. “Thank you.”
“May I take a look at the wound now?” Professor Rook asked. His human voice sounded very strange coming from that huge beak.
Dawn nodded. “Please do. Actually, the wound doesn’t seem to be that much of a problem, it’s the arm. The whole thing is numb.”
“That’s not a good sign at all.” Professor Rook bent and gently took her upper arm in his beak. At least, that was what it looked like. But what she felt were warm, human hands on her arm—which was strange enough on its own, because she hadn’t been able to feel the nurse’s hands earlier.
“It’s not as numb as before,” she said. “I think. Um… you know that I have the Sight?”
He didn’t let go of her arm to speak—obviously, his voice was magically produced. “Yes. I apologize, this must feel very strange.”
“Actually, even though you look like a bird, and your feet sound like claws instead of feet, your beak feels like a hand.”
That brought everyone looking sharply at her. Professor Rook’s beady bird eye fixed on her wound. “What exactly caused this injury?”
She explained the story as quickly as she could. “The wound doesn’t hurt at all, but the whole arm is numb. And the knife disappeared.”
“After Corrie tried to do something to it,” said Professor Lal, nodding. “That explains the explosion.”
“Do you know what’s going on?” Dawn asked.
“Not entirely,” said Professor Lal. “But it appears that the knife has damaged your Sight. It’s only affected your arm so far, but it could spread. Paul probably intended to go for your eyes or some other important part.”
Dawn shook her head in confusion. “But why would he do that?”
“One thing at a time,” said Professor Lal. “Rook, can you heal it?”
“I don’t think so,” he said. “If I had the knife that created the wound, I think I could reverse the effects, but the wound needs a human healer to close it.”
Dawn felt sick. “But the knife disappeared… Do you think the doctor will be able to stitch up the wound?”
“Yes, but it may not heal naturally. I think we need Professor Agnew.”
“I will search the area for the knife,” said Professor Lal.
“Maybe we should wait until Corrie wakes up,” said Dawn. “I don’t know if she’s still unconscious. She might have an idea of what happened to the knife.”
“What about Paul?” Roe asked. “Won’t he know something?”
“We should speak to him as well,” said Professor Lal.
Dawn groaned. “And the police are here. They probably want to talk to all of us. I don’t know if they’re going to understand any of this.”
“I’ll deal with them,” said Professor Rook. “If you’ll take Lal back to the campus, Rico…”
Before he could answer, a doctor carrying a clipboard walked in and stopped short, staring around at them. “What are all of you doing with my patient?”