Edie wanted to ask for the three of them to be updated on what the magic professors decided about keeping the students safe, but decided that might be asking too much. They hurried out of the room, leaving the two faeries behind them. The professors probably had to discuss things that they didn’t want the students to overhear.
“Wow,” said Corrie, once they were heading down the stairs. “I thought we were going to be in more trouble than that.”
“I think Professor Lal knows you can’t stop us from doing stuff,” Dawn said. “Either that, or she’s saving our punishment for later.”
Professor Lal nodded, not appearing to be upset or surprised—though Edie wondered what she would see if she touched a four-leaf clover right now. “I thought not,” Professor Lal said. “Perhaps later, when we are not within earshot of students, I will ask you to explain your reasons.”
“I have explained my reasons,” Professor Strega said. “All you would tell me is that it was not possible. Evidently, you were wrong.”
“Evidently,” said Professor Lal. “You realize, I am certain, that you are putting us in a difficult position.”
Professor Lal didn’t seem to know the answer to Professor Strega’s question. She shook her head and did not speak.
Edie took a deep breath. “I think Elrath is the only one who might know. We originally talked to him because we were looking for information about the treaty, and Tom said that Elrath was the only faerie he knew of who might have been around back then.” She suspected that Professor Lal already knew, or had guessed, that they had been looking for information about the treaty for Professor Strega.
Professor Strega jumped to her feet. “You knew of this all the time, did you not? And yet made attempts to interfere with my life?”
“No, I did not know,” Professor Lal said, frowning. “I did not know of Elrath’s part of the story. And I believe I am still missing a piece. Why don’t we all go upstairs, where we can sit and converse more comfortably?”
Edie wasn’t sure she wanted to do that. In fact, she was pretty sure she would prefer to leave Professor Lal and Professor Strega alone to work this out. But it didn’t look like the professors were going to give them a choice.
Edie saw that the sun was noticeably lower, but hadn’t set, when they left Elrath’s dorm building. Professor Strega would still be in the magic building, presumably. Without discussing it, all three lengthened their strides.
“Should I stay out here?” Corrie asked as they approached the magic building.
Elrath scowled at her. “Watch what you say, little half-breed.”
He clearly meant to insult Edie, but she ignored it. “Part of the treaty is that faeries are not supposed to harm humans. Isn’t that right?”
He shrugged. “I suppose.”
The puzzle pieces started clicking together in Edie’s mind. She felt as though she knew she’d been missing a piece of information all along, and this was it. Of course, she’d known that she didn’t have all the facts, but this one seemed to be the center of it all—everything had been arranged correctly, but only now could they be connected.
“You’re his heir, aren’t you?” she said. “That’s why you wanted to know about Mourith. She was older—or you thought she was older—so she would be his heir if she was alive.”
Elrath looked around the room, then sat down abruptly on his bed. Edie noticed that he didn’t touch the headboard or any part of the bed frame, even with his legs. Maybe it was made of iron after all.
“I would invite you to sit down, but I have nowhere for you to sit,” he said. “So you’re just going to have to go ahead and tell me your news.”
Corrie was true to her word, arriving where Dawn and Edie awaited her after only a few minutes. Edie thought she must have rushed out of their dorm room right away, not even pausing to get changed. “Did you really take a nap?” she asked as Corrie joined them.
“I did,” Corrie said. “I was asleep when you called, but when I realized who was calling I woke up right away. I thought something bad was going on. You never call.” She gave Edie a playful punch in the arm.