Anathema at the Academy

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A Day in the Life

Beatrice’s nose scrunched as if she’d smelled something foul. “You want me to fetch her? Why?”

Edward narrowed his eyes at Saul’s wife. “Aren’t you the one who harasses our family when an estranged heir pops up? Why is your little cursed nightmare any different?”

“You know very well that a female-born Crow is unheard of because of the nature of our Blessing. Something that contradicts the Blessing must be wrong.”

Saul chuckled and shook his head. “Dear, the Blessing is unchanged. She was born of a Crow father and a human mother, and so fulfills the requirements of the blessing.”

"Every male heir of your lineage shall bear my Blessing. Borne of my mark, they shall possess the abilities to subdue umbrae and return them through the Boundary,” Beatrice recited. “Mina Crow is definitely not male.”

Saul sighed. He loved his wife, but she was an unnecessary stickler for tradition. The mild-mannered older man patted his wife’s shoulder. “The Crow line is made up of excellent hunters, and it is tradition that guides me to ask this of you. We would be doing our own name and the name of our Patron a disservice by ignoring her.”

She desperately wanted to argue more, but Morgan clicked her tongue and groaned. “Just shut up and do as you’re told. You know we can watch her in case she starts to come out as something other than exemplary.”

Beatrice shrugged her shoulders in defeat. “Okay, but I doubt he’ll let me.”

“Make him,” Edward said. “Sebastian’s weakness is that girl. I’m sure you can think of something to persuade him to bring her here.”

Beatrice thought, and then she had a brilliant idea. Edward watched as her thoughtful frown turned into a devious smirk. “I think I know just what to do.”

“Mina, wake up. You’re wasting daylight.”

She groaned at her grandfather’s persistence. She opened one bleary eye and her lips curved upward at his permanent grumpy face. His arms were crossed, and his foot tapped impatiently on the floor, but she knew he loved her.

She sat up and stretched, yawning. “Thanks, Gramps. I’m sure it’s only three in the morning.” Her alarm went off and she laughed. “Time for my run,” she said, flipping the covers back and standing in front of him.

He rolled his eyes and leaned forward so she could give him a kiss on the cheek before she grabbed her clothes and headed toward the bathroom to change. Gramps watched as her tail gently swayed as she walked; it was an easy way for him to monitor her moods. Something he’d always done the moment he’d visited that accursed place.

“Remember your necklace,” he said, almost without thinking.

She chuckled, door in hand to close it. “Yes, Gramps, I got it.”

An hour and a half later, she’d had her run and her shower. She twisted her waist-length dark red hair into a fishtail braid as she descended the stairs for the second time this morning. Gramps already had a plate full of eggs and bacon waiting for her, steaming hot. He set a mug of coffee by her as she sat down.

“Thanks, you’re the best,” she said as she sipped the coffee. It was extremely dark coffee, and while Gramps stuck with water and whiskey, he tolerated the strong smell for her. She was finished with her breakfast by the time she heard the doorbell ring.

“Gotta go, see you soon,” she said, kissing him on the cheek again. He grabbed her wrist and his eyes snapped to her neck before he squeezed and let go.

“Have fun.”

“Thanks,” she said with a smile. He never failed to check, especially when she went out with her friends, if the necklace that hid her tail and ears was around her neck. She didn’t quite understand it beyond the fact that a tail wasn’t normal, but she accepted it and indulged his overprotectiveness. Besides, it was a little silver honey bee over a hexagon, and she thought it was adorable.

She opened the door and found Harry and Jules waiting for her. Jules flashed her his signature smile and wrapped his arms around her. “About time, girl. I was getting a strong craving for a hot latte.”

Mina laughed, returning the hug. “You’re getting a craving for seeing that barista again.”

Harry snickered. “Aren’t we all? He is hot.”

“Let’s go, kids,” she said, closing the door. “We’ll stare at him awkwardly while we furiously sip our white girl drinks.”

They laughed as they walked off toward Jules’s little jalopy.

The Pearl Cafe was a local coffee place and popular hangout for the three friends. Especially when a new barista, Eric, started working there. Jules managed find out that he definitely worked on the weekends.

After Eric took their orders, they sat at their favorite window seat and Jules leaned forward toward Mina. “So, did you see the way he looked at you?”

She laughed. “No, I didn’t. I never really notice because I’m busy salivating over the menu. That, and I have Luke.”

Harry and Jules groaned. “You two never hang out, though. It’s like you’re not even friends,” Harry said.

“Don’t forget he ditched us to go off on some little adventure,” Jules bitterly added.

Mina shook her head. “He went off to find something for his final grade. Some sort of research on a supposedly haunted house.” She shrugged. “I just hope he doesn’t fail.”

Jules leaned forward. “At least tell me you guys did it.”

She laughed and shook her head. “You’re too much, Jules.” She cleared her throat and added, “I gave him a rather nice send-off the night before he had to leave.”

The other two went wild before a customer told them to hush. The three of them giggled, and after getting their drinks and pastries, they started talking about school.

Jules gasped, realizing he’d almost forgot something. “Did you hear who Marlene’s dating?”

“Who’s the new victim?” Harry asked.

“Danny Hams,” Jules squealed, sitting back. He cleared his throat when he realized the cafe was staring at him and lowered his head.

"Hammes,” Mina corrected, chuckling. “So, what are the bets on how long this is lasting?”

“A week,” Jules said, sipping his drink. “There’s also a rumor that her dad’s coming back from overseas.”

Mina sighed. “That means she’ll be talking to me soon about having tea or whatever that’ll evolve into tea with her dad. He creeps me out sometimes.”

Her phone dinged, and she checked it. Sighing, she typed back and Harry chuckled, looking over her shoulder. “Speak of the devil.”

“Tomorrow morning,” Mina added, sending her message. “Not gonna lie, he hands out good money for visiting.”

Jules gasped. “You greedy whore.”

Mina shrugged with a smirk. “It’s innocent enough. Maybe he just longs for a daughter figure to listen to him. Far be it from me to break the man’s heart by rejecting his Benjamins.”

The three laughed and continued far into the afternoon. For Mina, everything was going as well as she liked it. At the moment.

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