Corrie sighed and shook her head. “I guess we should just focus on what we do think will help. Edie, how’s your translation coming?”
Edie grimaced. “It’s coming okay, I guess. I’m actually starting to get some words translated, but it’s pretty clear that the fragments we have don’t make up the whole treaty. I just hope that there’s something in there that will help Professor Strega.”
“I think you might be on to something, though, Corrie,” said Dawn. “Tom was talking about people who have been bound to campus. What does that mean?”
Corrie was actually able to concentrate on her homework while waiting for time to pass and Dawn and Edie to come back. That was a good thing, since she was in danger of falling behind in her math class. Actually, she still wasn’t sure she was going to pass, but at least she would get most of the homework done.
It didn’t take long for them to reach the border of campus. At least that was easy to see, even without going into trance to see the spell set at the border; trees were not allowed to grow inside the border, so all the woods were on the outside. Corrie wondered if there was some magical reason for that, or if it was just that it was more practical to be able to see the border clearly.
Corrie felt as angry as Tom looked on hearing the name Elrath. She remembered too clearly how he had messed with Dawn on Halloween, doing whatever he’d done to the candy, making her act drugged and then barely remember it.
She also remembered that Tom had gotten angry when told about it and run off somewhere to deal with Elrath. Professor Lal had said that there was no need to punish Elrath if Tom was already doing so. What had he done, and would they even be able to talk to Elrath after that?
“Is he even still on campus?” Dawn asked. “I haven’t seen him.”
The important thing was, Corrie thought, that now they had a much better idea of where campus was and where there was faerie territory. She could trace out a path that should keep them safe and get them to where they needed to go. She couldn’t see the stone bench from here, but she knew where it must be.
She took herself out of trance and stood. Dawn was standing, too. “Did you see it?” Dawn asked her.
Corrie and Edie waited quietly for Dawn to come out of trance. Corrie wondered what Dawn was seeing. She must have had something to see if she was staying in trance for so long.
She looked around at intervals for the thing that had fluttered in front of her face, but she didn’t see it again. She couldn’t be sure it was really something; it had just been a sensation of movement, no color or substance. Still, she was glad to have her four-leaf clover, her iron bracelets, and her friends.
“What is it?” Corrie asked. She was looking around, holding her clover and letting go of it, but whatever Edie could see, Corrie couldn’t.
“Is there something following us?” Dawn asked, revolving in a slow circle. Obviously, she couldn’t see it either.
“No—I’m sorry, guys, I didn’t mean to scare you.” Edie was pointing up. Corrie went right up to her and tried to follow the line of her arm, but she still couldn’t see whatever it was.
“It’s the tree,” Edie said, when neither of them said anything for a few minutes. “It’s starting to green. Spring is on its way.”
They weren’t entirely certain which way was north—Corrie was all for keeping the sun on their right, since it was still morning, until Edie pointed out that the sun was not exactly on their right even now, knowing which way was north. But it turned out that Dawn had a compass on their phone, so they could correct their path if they strayed.
Corrie looked at her two friends. They both looked doubtful. She wanted to follow Charlie, but if they didn’t want to, then she wouldn’t make them. After all, this was Dawn’s expedition to find Tom, not hers.
In fact, this wasn’t even her job at all. Professor Strega had asked Edie and Dawn for help, not her.
She took a deep breath, clamped down on her hurt, and waited for a response.
“I guess we should,” said Dawn reluctantly. “I don’t like it, but I don’t know how we’ll find the right place to go otherwise.”
Corrie wondered, as she turned, whether Charlie had followed them or just happened to be out walking and seen them. Neither idea bothered her, but her heart was beating faster anyway. What would they tell him?
“Hi, Charlie,” she said to stall for time. “What are you up to? Heading out for the full moon already?” There was no one else around; it was a safe question.