Edie frowned. She wasn’t sure she trusted Professor Strega at all. On the other hand, she didn’t want to try telling Lal about their theory, and Ginny probably wouldn’t be able to tell them anything, since she wasn’t a faerie.
“Why do you think she would be helpful?” she asked.
“She really wants to know what’s going on,” said Dawn, looking at Corrie, who nodded. “When we told her about you and Brandon looking for the treaty, she already seemed to know that people were looking for the treaty, but not why.”
The others thanked Troy, too, and he told them to say hi to Roe for them, but Dawn seemed to be rushing them out of there, which seemed odd to Edie. Maybe she’d figured something out. Edie tried not to hope that it was a way to get her to Faerie.
“Okay,” said Dawn quickly once they were outside—there was no one outside to overhear them, since it was still cold, but there hadn’t been enough snow to have fun with. “So I just realized something.”
“Don’t be dramatic about it,” said Corrie, though she was grinning. “Just tell us.”
Edie looked at her friends, her eyes wide. They stared back at her, Corrie shaking her head—obviously, they didn’t understand Troy’s reaction any better than she did.
She turned back to him, trying to figure out what to say so she wouldn’t freak him out anymore. His reaction confused her, though. He wasn’t telling her that Faerie was dangerous—he was afraid he would get in trouble for going there. Or that people would think he had gone there when he hadn’t. She wasn’t really sure yet whether he had or not.
Edie stared at her hands, feeling hopeless and helpless. She couldn’t just wait around for spring. What if Leila never came back? What if she lost her chance to help her girlfriend because all she was doing was waiting around?
But on the other hand, she hadn’t had any success finding a way to get to Faerie. Brandon had finally given her more specifics than anyone else, but he’d been just as discouraging. Even if he hadn’t said explicitly that she shouldn’t go, he seemed to think that she didn’t have any chance of surviving if she did go.
“You’re not saying that you can shapeshift,” said Brandon flatly.
“Not exactly,” said Edie. She explained what had happened when she tried, how focusing on her face had given her that incredible pain. But she certainly hadn’t succeeded at any shapeshifting.
Brandon finally shook his head. “I have to admit, that’s more than I would have expected from someone with your amount of faerie blood. But… maybe there’s something different going on with you.”
Edie’s heart leapt into her throat. “What do you mean, it should be?”
He continued to stare at her, frowning and tapping the fingers of his right hand against his left arm. “Tell me more first. Why do you want to go to Faerie?”
She took a deep breath, willing herself not to get upset. If she yelled at him, he would probably decide not to trade information after all. And she had a feeling that he wasn’t the type to be sympathetic if she cried—not that she would have an easy time stopping herself if tears decided to come.
“I don’t know how much you know about us,” she started.
Edie felt really awkward and nervous walking across the cafeteria to find Brandon, even though she was pretty sure that no one except for Corrie and Dawn noticed that she was doing so. No one really cared about one girl walking across the room. But she felt really exposed, somehow. Maybe because she wished she didn’t have to do it.
Finally, she reached the group of guys, all of whom seemed perfectly human and normal. They were laughing at something one of them had said. She cleared her throat. “Brandon?” When he looked up, she said, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Saturday, February 12
Corrie wondered why Professor Lal had come to class, but more interesting to her was that Professor Lal had pegged her for being overconfident. She knew that was why she hadn’t been able to get back into trance after changing her position back to the first one. In fact, it was probably her biggest problem in magic—a pretty good problem to have, but still one she would want to overcome.
“Do you think Professor Lal is right, about you being overconfident?” Roe asked her, as though following Corrie’s thoughts. They were all walking back to Gilkey together.
Corrie looked around at the rest of the class, but of course none of them were faeries, and she had no idea if any of them had come up with the thought she just had. She would have to discuss it with Dawn after class. Maybe Derwen would know; Corrie certainly didn’t want to ask any of the magic professors why Professor Strega was teaching the trance class.