No one’s POV
“It’s gone.” Xavier had announced the moment his husband had entered the room.
His eyes were wide and intense, and his jaw clenched in worry. Edmund didn’t need to ask exactly what had gone.
Xavier had gotten a weird feeling back in November during work. It had passed almost as quickly as it had come, and he’d long forgotten about it when he’d come back home. But now he’d gone down to the basement…and the creature had disappeared.
“Isn’t this good news?” Edmund asked.
“No, no it really isn’t.” Xavier said. “If it’s not downstairs…Where is it? And who got past my seal?”
“Do you think…Nikolas went back downstairs?”
“My seal is still intact. I can tell it hasn’t been touched. And even if he had, how would he have moved it? There’s only one way someone could’ve gone down there, and that’s by teleporting.” Xavier said as he began pacing.
“But only your brother can teleport with that amulet right?”
“Right. And he hasn’t used it – and it’s the truth.”
“Maybe…it was never there in the first place?” Edmund tried to suggest.
“What?” Xavier asked confused.
Edmund shifted a little uncomfortably. He knew he didn’t have enough experience or knowledge in the area to give a proper contribution, but he pushed on hoping his idea wasn’t that unhelpful. “You saw that thing? Nothing like it has ever existed before. Maybe it dissolved? Maybe it was just some magical manifestation or whatever?”
“I would’ve sensed if it was only made of magic.” Xavier said, shaking his head. He sighed into his hand, his brows furrowed.
“Is there someone else who can teleport?” Xavier asked to no one in particular.
“How would they know to come to our basement?” Edmund asked. “And why would they have wanted that thing?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know and it’s really frustrating.” Xavier groaned. Then he laughed humorlessly to himself. “Erin’s going to be disappointed. She had a lot of potions she wanted to try out on it…”
“Shouldn’t she be busy working on her wedding? It’s coming up soon.”
“Yeah and we still don’t have an official date. When the snow melts, she said.” Xavier laughed.
“Hear anything interesting?” Alistair said, sneaking up on Nikolas as the couple drifted off to another subject.
“Geez you just gave me a heart attack.” Nikolas hissed.
“What are they talking about?” Alistair asked again with a mischievous smirk.
“Nothing that concerns us.” Nikolas immediately replied, moving away from his parents’ door. Alistair gave him a disbelieving look. Nikolas was saved by Nato softly barking downstairs. “Sounds like someone’s hungry.” He announced before hurrying down the stairs.
Most boring food ever invented. My soggy leftovers weren’t even worth playing around with in a bored manner.
They didn’t even deserve my gaze right now.
I zoned out of the conversation, my gaze sweeping around the cafeteria…lingering on other people’s plates.
Why do the twins get fancy plates of turkey and mashed potatoes??
My parents gave up cooking months ago. It’s all takeout now.
Cooking was the special thing Dexter and ma would do, she’d say. Then dad would crack and order takeout.
How come Jesse is eating a plate of cookies for lunch? Spoiled brat.
You can imagine how things are at home with Dexter still in a coma…anything that remotely reminds us of him suddenly becomes an activity we can’t do until he wakes up.
That super Mario game he beat us all at? No way is playing that allowed. Children’s tv shows are switched automatically, his favorite dessert can’t be eaten, and going to parks is just asking for everyone to stay silent and awkward.
Look at Salandra with her fancy lunchbox.
She’d kind of stopped eating with us before the holidays, but now that school’s started again, she’s come back to join us for some reason. I really don’t mind, Nikolas is a lot more enthusiastic in conversations now.
I’d forgotten she made herself the fancy lunches every morning. I wonder if she’d make one for me from time to time?
“Can you not put your shoes so close to my salad?” I said, cutting into whatever those two were saying.
Nikolas laughed. “You’re talking as if you’re actually going to eat it.”
He knows me well. Or it’s obvious that I haven’t been eating my lunch at all these days. I tentatively poked the soggy pile with my plastic fork.
“Maybe I was going to…” Bah, who was I kidding?
Salandra gave me a slightly worried look, but didn’t say anything – thank god. There was nothing left to say! Sucks that my brother is still in a coma. Sucks that there’s nothing we can do. It sucks, sucks, sucks, and there’s no point in saying it aloud anymore.
“Have you guys talked to the new kids yet?” Salandra asked, glancing at the scattered kids in question.
“Sort of.” Nikolas said. “The ones we know from summer camp.”
We being them and not including me of course. I just felt the need to specify that to myself. Woah, I’m coming off as unhappy with this. I’m just thinking they should be more considerate of me, you know? Or something.
“It’s horrible what they went through.” She said.
“With the bombing and the shootings?” I asked, pushing my plate to the side.
“Can you imagine being in a situation like that?” Ice Queen said, tarnishing her reputation.
“Weren’t you two in a robbery shooting?” I asked. I quite clearly remember Niko going on and on about how freaky cool the experience had been. Something about almost getting shot?
“Yeah, but that was different man. It was random.” Nikolas answered.
Salandra nodded. “These people were targeted because the school accommodates all sorts of supernaturals.”
Yeah it’s not like our school is interesting enough for a shooting with our distinct lack of supernaturals. I mean, I think we have a few? Like I think Niko is a witch? But the only times I remember him talking about that is when he complains about his dad forcing him to learn. I’m really not sure he even has any magic to use.
“You know what? We should invite Tatiana to eat with us next time.” Nikolas suddenly sprung on us, gesturing at the girl in question. I don’t even know who this Tatiana girl is! Why was I not informed about this other girl??
By the look of mild surprise and recognition on Sal’s face, I’m assuming she’s one of the new kids from their summer camp fun together.
I half-laid on the table to get a better look at her. She was talking to one of the other new kids, a fairy with really really tiny wings. She’s pretty, I’ll give him that.
“Oh…” Salandra’s face paused for a few seconds, I could see the gears turning and twisting in her mind, before they came to a conclusion. “She did suffer that too didn’t she?”
And then Niko was the one to pause for a few seconds. What is going on here? Their brains must be mush this morning.
“Right she did, but…yeah.” Niko eventually said.
“If that’s the reason we might as well invite all the new kids to come eat with us.” I said, pushing the plate even further away.
Niko apparently decided it was time to change subjects.
Seeing Salandra’s slight frown, I had the urge to tell her not to worry about competition. Nikolas’ never shown any real interest in dating. The purple gal isn’t a threat.
I stuck to lamenting over my bad salad.
I’d probably lament over a bowl of chicken wings too.
“LINE UP!” The man yelled, shoving a student at the panicking crowd. I gripped onto Kaan’s jacket and he held onto my arms.
A gunshot erupted into the air, quieting half of the screams. Everyone was panicking. One minute we were studying math, and the next we’d been dragged out into the cold autumn air at gunpoint.
“Supernaturals! I want to see you all with your GODDAMN fucking hands up!” One of the more unstable of the shooters yelled in what sounded like a slightly drunk tone. The crowd quieted fully. Half of us were supernaturals.
“LOOK. Those eyes! Shitty werewolf over here!” A shooter yelled, grabbing Marla from science class.
One of the more leader like of the gang made his way over with an alpha stride. “You ASSHOLES think you can do ANYTHING since you have powers. You don’t get to FUCKING kidnap our children. Rob our towns. Hold ANY kind of leadership. WE’VE always been in power! And for a GODDAMN reason. MAGIC doesn’t mean SHIT in this world!” He speeched out, before pulling the trigger on poor Marla.
Poor poor Marla.
I wanted to yell. I wanted to scream. I wanted to say I wasn’t like that. When I hold a gun I’m not like that.
“NEXT!” He shouted. From fear, a few students were pushed forwards by others.
“Let us go!” They pleaded, but the shooters simply murdered them, repeating again and again how horrible the supernaturals were. How their extinction couldn’t come fast enough.
And then they spotted Kaan and his wings.
“Don’t!” I’d yelled, shoving him behind me. It’s a stroke of pure luck that we heard the police sirens then.
“FUCK. Out of time boys! BLOW THE CHARGE.”
Kaan and I watched from the cover of one of the big rocks in the school yard, as our school blew to smithereens.
“AH-” My scream caught in my throat as my heart jump started me awake.
I grasped onto my bedsheets, breathing heavily, my heart pounding wildly in my chest.
AGAIN with this nightmare!?
It won’t leave me alone!
I switched on my light, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep for another hour.
I dug at my temples, willing my brain to get over it, to get over that event. Get over a group of stupid no name people killing people I knew out of fear.
But it won’t and I’m stuck with my heart beating out of terror every time I remember that moment. Every time I remember the fear of knowing Kaan would be next. Seeing the fear on the face of the people I’d eaten lunch with as they realized the gun was pointed at their heads.
I’m not like that.
We lost so many friends that day.
I pulled at my neck, at my hair, willing my pulse to calm down already.
I fumbled for my cellphone.
“Annie?” I said in a weak voice as the other end picked up.
“Tatiana dear? What’s wrong?” That melodic voice replied. I instantly took comfort from it.
“I had another nightmare Annie.” I confided in my favorite Dragon. “I hate this Annie!”
“But it’s okay. You survived it. Kaan survived it.” She reassured me.
“But Marla didn’t. Conor didn’t. Kenya didn’t!” I hissed, trying not to shout. I didn’t want to wake my adoptive parents.
“Little An, are you blaming yourself?”
“I know it’s not my fault.” I murmured. I bit my lip, remembering when I’d held someone at gunpoint. He hadn’t been scared though. Far from it. “We’re not like that right? We’re better than those…those savages.”
“Of course! And don’t you doubt it for a second. Our cause is just. We’re here to find answers, not to kill them.” Annie replied.
“Answers.” I repeated numbly.
“It’s all anyone searches for. Even the ones who attacked your school. Some people just don’t know how to go about finding them. But killing is never an answer.”
I knew this. Annie liked to say it was the Dragons’ slogan. But I just needed to be reminded.
“Thank you Annie…I know it’s late. I didn’t mean to bother you.”
“Don’t fret dear. I was up looking for answers of my own anyways.” Annie said, and I smiled. My heart rate had gone back to normal.
“I think I might be able to fall asleep again now.” With a few sleep-inducing pills to help the process.
“I wish you a lot of sweet dreams then.”