"Have you seen Henry?" I asked.
Bianca looked up from the mural she was painting in the Astronomy Hub.
"Why would I have seen Henry? He's never down in this section. The doors are locked," she said, turning back to the wall and dabbing on some paint with her brush.
"Well, he wasn't in our quarters. I was making lunch for the kids, and I turned around and he was gone."
Bianca tilted her head back towards me abruptly. "Wait, you mean he's missing?" Her eyes were wide.
I nodded and she put down her paints and rushed towards me. My hands were a bit shaky.
Edie’s eyes went big. “What?”
“That was the point of this, right?” said Corrie, pushing herself to her feet. “I mean, not shapeshifting specifically. But to see what it is that makes faeries and werewolves different. If it’s the same thing that allows faeries to go to Faerie.”
“If you can do it, then you should be able to go to Faerie,” said Dawn. “If not, I guess we’ll have to keep looking. But wouldn’t it be easier if you could shapeshift?”
“I guess so,” said Edie, standing up slowly. Corrie took her place on the bed. “What did Charlie say to do?”
I folded up the paper and put it down on the end-table beside me. I looked at my best friend, Bianca, and took a deep breath.
"We both know that's impossible. Diggory died almost two years ago. Henry is coming up on his first birthday, and even accounting for gestation his conception would have been months after Diggory's death. Perhaps you're imagining some sort of similarity, all babies seem alike to me."
The television was playing.
“Billionaire Calla Wiley-Franklin has returned stateside after more than a year abroad. Viewers might remember Dempsey Franklin of Franklin Investments, who was killed in the 2008 Franklin Building explosion. His son Diggory Franklin took over the company until 2009, where he was put on trial for murder and then exonerated before his death that September. Calla, Diggory’s wife, inherited the company and the family fortune. What might this mean to the markets, Bob?”
Corrie laughed and shook her head. She didn’t believe that—she couldn’t. True, her father was a werewolf, but he’d asked her, the day they first met, about all the werewolf characteristics he could think of. She had none of them, except maybe an affinity for the phases of the moon, which she’d learned from her pagan mother and grandmother anyway.
“It can’t just be the strength of magic,” she said. “I mean… that’s too easy. And you said you weren’t very good at magic.”
Charlie reemerged, wearing a ratty bathrobe that was tied loosely around his waist. Corrie had to wonder whether he was wearing anything underneath that. Hopefully there was at least a pair of boxer shorts, in case he was in a strange position when he changed back.
But the clothes didn’t matter for their purposes, of course. They didn’t get in the way of seeing magic during trance.
“Okay,” he said, fiddling with the end of the bathrobe’s terry belt. “Are you guys ready?”
Corrie walked back to Gilkey after dinner with Dawn and Edie. They were still giggling a little. Corrie thought she should probably be worried about Chris spreading the word about the three of them believing in werewolves, shape-changers, and faeries, but who would she tell? Anyway, Corrie didn’t mind if people thought she was crazy. It was only if people started to take the stories seriously that she had to worry.
And there was another good thing, too. “I guess she won’t be trying to date you anytime soon,” she said to Edie, pushing open the door to their building.
Dawn went back to her dorm room and spent some time doing homework; as the semester moved toward midterms, the homework load had gotten heavier. She had a lot of reading to do for her sociology class.
A few minutes before five, she finished what she was doing and knocked on Corrie and Edie’s door. The three of them had agreed to meet for dinner at the dining hall at five so they could talk about anything they’d learned that day. They didn’t answer, however. Maybe they were already at the dining hall, or on their way. They both had later classes on Tuesdays than she did.
Tuesday, February 8
It was a relief to know that Professor Strega wasn’t going to get Edie into trouble. But Dawn still felt like it was unfinished, like something was hanging over their heads. Of course, nothing had really been resolved yet; they didn’t know why anyone was looking for the treaty, or whether it was just Mardalan telling Brandon what to do or someone else was involved as well. And they hadn’t found Edie’s great-grandmother. Or Leila.
Monday, February 7
Trance class went, actually, a lot better than Dawn would have thought. She had expected to be anxious during the whole class, worrying about what she would say to the professor, what the professor would say to her, and everything else that she had to think about. Not to mention the fact that she hadn’t been doing so well at trance and hadn’t been practicing over the weekend.