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.
Dawn sat back on her heels. “So that must be why Professor Strega was giving me that look. She knows we’re friends—she must have thought I knew something about it.”
Her mind was whirling. It was hard to take in everything that Edie had just told them. She’d been hiding her search for Faerie from them for months. No wonder she seemed different when they had all come back to Chatoyant College for the spring semester—and no wonder she had been avoiding any mention of Leila. She’d had her own plan brewing in her head.
Edie was silent as she and Derwen headed down the stairs and out of Gilkey. She’d wanted to go pick up the pizza on her own—she needed a few minutes alone with her thoughts, to compose them and figure out what she was going to say. Not that she had to say anything, of course. It didn’t seem like any of her friends were suspicious about her reaction to Professor Strega’s actions. They were all just as surprised as she was.
Dawn half expected Professor Strega to be outside the library waiting for her when she finished her shift. But there was no one there, thankfully. The evening had cooled down quite a bit, so maybe the professor had just given up on waiting in the cold. Whatever the reason, Dawn wouldn’t have to see her until tomorrow.
She zipped up her coat and started walking quickly toward Gilkey, calling Corrie on her cell phone at the same time. “Are you guys busy?” she asked when Corrie picked up.
Dawn hadn’t meant to sound so bitter. Usually she thought it was a good thing that her aunt had given her the ability to see through glamours—after all, without the Sight, they wouldn’t have been able to save Annie. But right now she did feel as though her life was being disrupted because of it. It was frustrating, and she had certainly never been given a choice.
“But what—“ started Mrs. Reed. She didn’t finish her question, though, instead looking at Dawn with a frown.
Professor Strega didn’t find anything at the last door, either, and Dawn thought the whole thing was finally over and she could go back to work, but then the professor asked to see the room where the books were kept. Mrs. Reed had to get the key from Dr. Dunford, but seemed perfectly happy to bring them downstairs.
“Wait,” said Professor Strega as Mrs. Reed reached toward the door with her key. “I would like to test this door, as well.”
Dawn was grateful that the weather had been warming up, because they stopped outside the library without going in at all first. Professor Strega seemed to be moving a bit slowly, though. Was she really as cold-blooded as her appearance seemed to indicate? Belara was a snake-woman, and she had never seemed to be affected by the cold.
Dawn kept thinking through the conversation as the two adults continued drinking their coffee. Mrs. Reed was obviously impatient, but had no recourse other than to try to drink her coffee quickly. She looked around the room, sipping the coffee, then asked, “I hope this isn’t a rude question, Professor Strega, but what brings you to campus on a Sunday? Very few other professors are here, and I see that none of the other magic professors are.”