“So, Annie,” Corrie said as they made their way across the frosted campus together. “We should talk.”
“Okay,” said Annie in her soft voice. “About what?”
“Oh, I think you know what,” Corrie said with a grin.
Annie frowned. “I thought you guys understood why I don’t want to get involved with the faerie stuff. I mean, I’m glad you’re figuring out what they’re doing and all, but I think I would just freak out if I went near them again.”
“I’m starving,” Corrie announced as they left the magic building, and the others agreed enthusiastically, so they headed to the dining hall. “Though I don’t know why,” she said, tucking her hands deeply into her pockets—it was really cold again, and she’d forgotten her gloves. “We don’t usually have dinner until a couple of hours later than this. And I had lunch.”
“It’s because we got up so early,” said Edie. “Even if it wasn’t that much earlier than you usually get up, it still messed up your metabolism.”
“Wait a minute,” said Corrie. She was looking back and forth between Dawn and Professor Lal, confused by how concerned they both seemed to be. “Lots of people know Dawn works at the library. I mean, anyone who’s been there more than once must have run into her, and it’s not like it’s a secret—we’ve talked about it all over the place.”
When Corrie and the others found Professor Lal, she was happy to speak to them, and listened with quiet attention to their story of what had happened the night before and then that morning, seeming particularly interested in the differences between what had happened in Roe’s vision and what had happened in the actual situation. “I think this is a situation in which telling people about the vision changed it,” she said to Roe, who agreed.
They went their separate ways after class, but managed to gather everyone else up to meet after they were done with their classes. When Corrie had returned to her room, Edie was awake, so she filled her in. When they met up in the hallway on the first floor of Gilkey, the group comprised not only Corrie, Edie, Dawn, and Roe, but Rico and also Dawn’s roommate Naomi.
“I told her everything and she wanted to come,” said Dawn. “I figured it would only be a good thing to have more people.”
Corrie swallowed. She wasn’t sure she liked where this was going at all. But they would be able to change it, right? Or at least be prepared for it. Roe had told them about visions before that had turned out to work differently when the actual event took place. So she bit her tongue and did not interrupt Roe with questions.
“We stopped before we got very close to the lights, though,” said Roe, and they all sighed with relief. “There was someone there I couldn’t see very well. Corrie, you spoke to her.”
Professor Lal’s eyes widened, then she nodded quickly. “I’ll be back in a moment. I believe I have the book that goes with that deck in my office.” Before Corrie or Roe could say anything, she had turned away and was walking smartly out of the room. It was a measure of how much the class respected her that the noise level in the room did not rise when the door shut behind her.
The classroom was already almost full when they arrived, which made sense when Corrie thought about it, because Professor Lal always seemed to show up to class when everyone had already arrived. They walked around passing out Tarot decks randomly. Corrie held onto one she found particularly appealing, a small box with colored pencil drawings in soft shades.
“Crap,” said Corrie without thinking. She sat down quickly and started shoveling food toward her mouth. “Will you tell us about it? Or I guess we should wait until we find Professor Lal, so you don’t have to tell it more than once.” She spoke around her breakfast, wanting to get finished as quickly as possible. Based on Roe’s expression, whatever the vision was, it was not a happy one.
Roe nodded. “I’m pretty exhausted, but I couldn’t skip class after that, even though I’m sure Professor Lal would understand.”
When Corrie and Edie reached their room, Edie pulled off her coat threw herself down on the bed in her clothes. Corrie did the same, but a little more slowly. Edie was trying to fall asleep—Corrie didn’t think she would be able to. She lay down in the fetal position, knees curled to her chest, and stared across the dark room. Thoughts buzzed in her brain, and they weren’t going anywhere useful. Why had Paul attacked Dawn? Which faeries were behind it, if any? How could they protect themselves in the future? How could Ever help?