August had finally rolled around meaning it was time for the Beasley siblings to leave Russia and boarded a plane to Greenland. Saying goodbye to her home was the hard but saying goodbye to Lev was even harder. They held each other in a long embrace much to her father’s disapproval.
It was no secret he disliked the Volkovs or Lev for that matter. Rena didn’t care, Lev was her best friend and it hurt to leave him behind. She smiled to herself thinking of the last thing he said to her.
“You’re gonna kick ass Beasley. Make me proud.”
After a long plane and train ride they had finally reached Dry Ridge. It really was in the middle of nowhere, the nearest town was two hours away. The school must have wanted all the Simps to stay away.
Their sleek black car pulled up in front of the entryway of the school. The scowl on Rena’s face hasn’t gone away since she and Luka boarded their flight. Her brother sighed and offered her a reassuring smile as he parked the rental. “Don’t worry Re, Ethelwine is a great place. You’ll love it! Just give it a chance.”
Rena continued to ignore him glancing out of the car window viewing the large school before her, still angry and resentful towards him. This was his fault after all. She should be back in Russia with her family, back in the forest, back with Lev.
Now, because of her big shot brother, she’s here stuck in this place. She did have to admit though, it was quite beautiful. Rolling her eyes she grabbed her backpack exiting the car, throwing it over her shoulders.
Luka closed the door to the vehicle checking his watch. “You should have some time before orientation. Come on, I’ll show you around. Maybe we can get you to pick your class early as well.” Her brother had recently graduated from the school as the Top Mage, much to her parent’s joy. He was even made Stronghold player of the year, three years in a row. It was safe to say Luka made the Beasley name proud. Not that her family name needed it, they were quite popular in the magical world.
“I don’t need your help.” Rena snapped narrowing her eyes going for her suitcases that rested in the back seats. “You’ve done enough as it is.”
Turning her back to her brother she walked towards the large courtyard suitcases in hand. Luka ran a hand through his dark hair in frustration before following his sister. No matter how stubborn or angry she was, he couldn’t let her get lost on her first day.
Bart and Ted had continued to walk through the large courtyard allowing Bart take everything in. “Your brother was an excellent Hunter. I so wish he were one of my students. Sadly, and don’t think me rude...he was a bloody awful Mage. Scores were right dreadful.” O’Malley chuckled as he recalled a story in his mind. “Augustus once cause SUCH trouble for his classmates when...”
His train of thought wandered. He noticed, not too far in the distance, two young people walking towards them. His eyes lit up in recognition. “Please excuse me Bartholomew......Luka Beasley!”
“Stop calling me that.” Bart muttered as Mr. O’Malley ran towards a boy and a girl. The girl was shorter the boy but still fairly tall for a female, with long dark curly hair with bright blue eyes and tan skin. She wore all dark jeans, a black leather jacket completed with combat boots that were lazily tied and a scowl on her face. While the boy share the same features, he stood much taller and wore a similar get up, consisting of all black. He seemed like he was holding on to the girl’s backpack with a wide grin as the professor approached him . Bart went after Ted and caught up to him. “Luka I would like for you to meet Bartho-”
“Bart!” He blurted out cutting Mr. O’Malley off. “My name is Bart, nice to meet you.”
Mr. O’Malley gave a small smile, “Yes, this is Bart. And who might this be hm?” He said gesturing towards the girl with Luka.
Luka grinned at Mr. O’Malley as he held his sister’s backpack strap to keep her from running off, like she tried to do a few moments ago. “This is my sister Irena, she’ll be attending Ethelwine this year.” Her brother smiled proudly down at her. “Irena, this is Mr. O’Malley, headmaster of the Mages.”
Rena offered a fake smile towards the odd looking man, feigning excitement.
“Oh fantastic, another Beasley! I presume she’ll carry on the Beasley tradition and become a Mage hmm?” Mr. O’Malley asked with a raised eyebrow.
Before Rena could open her mouth Luka spoke up. “Actually Mr. O’Malley, Rena here is going to break tradition and become a Hunter.” Her head turned so fast to face her brother, she almost got whiplash.
“Are you serious?” Her eyes were wide with excitement.
Luka winked and offered a smirk “Told you Ethelwine will be good for you. This will be our little secret.” For the first time in weeks, Rena genuinely smiled at her brother and launched herself in his arms, hugging him tightly. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Haha! This is an excellent path to take, hm. We can only hope you are better Hunter than this one was a Mage.” He poked at Luka in a way that made the deep level of respect evident. He brought the elder sibling in for a hug, cupping one hand around the back of Luka’s neck like a proud grandfather might do. “It’s good to see you, boy.”
Luka grinned and stepped back “It’s good to see you too Sir. How is everything? I assume Ali is well?” O’Malley’s lit up. As much love and time he gave to his students, all the more so given to his son. “Alister is great! Going into his second year, pretty exciting hmm. He may just take after me after all!”
Bart and Rena stood there awkwardly as Luka and Mr. O’Malley chatted. Ted glances over at Bart mid sentence seeing that he had no idea what he should be doing. “How rude of me. Bart, Rena, why don’t you two go register, get your supplies list, and head to orientation while Luka and I catch up. You can come find me after Orientation Bart and we will take care of your supplies and anything else you may need.”
Bart wasn’t sure if he wanted to walk around with some person he didn’t know but he had started to trust Mr. O’Malley in their short time together.
“Rena, come find me after orientation so I can tell you goodbye. I have to fly out to London tonight.” Her brother says with a smile. It was no surprise at the young age of 22 her brother received a job offer from OMA to as an Enforcer. It also wasn’t a surprise that her brother said yes. After all, their headquarters is in London, who wouldn’t want a job there?
She should be used to her brother being gone seeing that he had attended Ethelwine for the past five years. Yet it was still hard to tell him goodbye.
She nodded and the two walked towards the registration area. They along the path side by side, it was a little awkward to say the least. She wasn’t one to make conversation with strangers. Making new friends wasn’t something she was good at, given she’s only had one real friend her whole life. What was she supposed to say anyways? Playing with the ends of her hair in an attempt to ignore the awkward silence, they continued to walk.
“So..” Bart started, wanting to break the silence. “You’re not going to be a Mage like your brother?”
" Definitely not, waving a wand around and casting spells isn’t my thing, I prefer to Hunt.” She replies.
“Wait so you’ve actually hunted before?” Bart asks with wide eyes, she seemed pretty young to be hunting really anything. How did she know what to do?”
Rena rose an eye bow “Uh yeah. I’ve been hunting since I was thirteen years old. An old friend and his family trained me. I’ve killed plenty of creatures, mostly trolls and ogres.”
“That’s pretty cool.” Bart replies in amazement.
She grinned “It is. So what about you? What class are you taking?” Her eyes wandered down his thin frame and torn clothes. Why was he so thin? She would assume he would become a Mage or even an architect. Someone that thin would most likely break with Hunter or Brute training. She wondered what his story exactly was.
“Umm.” Bart thought “I don’t really know. I mean my brother was a hunter but..” his voice trailed off.
“Who was your brother?” Rena asks tucking her hands in her leather jacket looking over at him curiously..
’Augustus Winchester.” He replied looking uncomfortable talking about the eldest Winchester.
Her eyes widened in surprise before she nodded her head. “Ah, I knew of him, I used to watch him play stronghold when I was younger. Luka played as well around the same time as him, my family and I would watch on our television every Sunday. Your brother is really famous around here.”
Rena looked at him incredulously “Uh yeah? Do you not know about Stronghold? It’s the biggest sport played in our world. Everyone and I mean everyone loves it. I myself am a huge fan.”
Bart opened his mouth to reply but noticed they had arrived to the registration table. He decided he would ask about the sport later. It sounded intriguing.
Rena went first. The woman sitting at the table asked her a few questions and Rena filled out some paperwork and received some as well. Then it was Bart’s turn. “Hi there.” the woman greets with a friendly smile “What class?”
Bart stood there, not knowing what he should do “Err.” He thought back to those people with the weapons. He remembered all the stories his brother had told him of his adventures as a Hunter, what a thrill it was. He wanted to experience that for himself. “Hunters.” He finally decided. He started filling out paperwork. After he finished, he was handed a packet and joined Rena to head to orientation.
While walking they were surprised when a burly boy, who wasn’t watching where he was going ran into them. Rena and Bart both looked at the boy in annoyance. “Sorry about that!” He apologizes with a thick Irish accent “Wasn’t paying attention.” He then smiled a smile that Bart recognized but couldn’t tell from where. “My name is Alister, Alister O’Malley.”
“Ah O’Malley, your dad is Ted right?” Bart asks now recognizing the similar appearance of the two. While Ted was tall and slender, Alister was bulky and average height. They shared the same reddish brown hair and brown eyes.
Allister grinned proudly at the mention of his father “Aye that’s my Pap! And you are?”
“I’m Bart Winchester and this is Irena.” Bart replies gesturing to the girl next to him, clearly not remembering her last name.
Ali scrunched his nose and folded his arms, looking right through his peers with peek curiosity. “Winchester? Say, you wouldn’t happen to know of a Augustus Winchester, would’ya?”
“Yeah I do...He was my brother.” Bart said. He had never liked talking about his brother since he died, but today he couldn’t seem to get away from it.
Ali shook Bart’s hand with great emphasis and strength. “My God man! Your brother was right mental! One of the absolute best Stronghold players to ever come from Ethelwine, that one! And he was THE jester around school, causing trouble and-”
Two instructors walked by, each with disapproving glances. “-which should NEVER be permissible in such a fine institution of academia ...okay they’re gone. August is a legend!”
The term long winded had been around for centuries, but it seemed to finally be applicable to one specific person.
“And you, lady?” Ali said, turning to Irena. “You got any famous siblings I oughta know about?”
“Well I wouldn’t call myself famous by any means.” Luka’s booming voice echoed through the hall as he and Professor O’Malley rolled up to the group of students.
Rena gestured towards her brother as he approached the trio, rolling her eyes. Something she noticed she’s done a lot today. “This is my brother, Luka Beasley. I’m sure you’ve heard of him.” She’d be surprised if he hadn’t, everyone knew of the Beasley family and their talents when it came to be a Mage.
“Aye you miserable stook!” Ali gave Luka a hearty high five “I didn’t know this was that Rena!”
“First of all, I am graduated now and as such I demand your respect,” The Russian boy poked Ali in the chest like an older brother might do. “And secondly, how did you possibly make it to year two? Your professor of a father had nothing to do with it, right?” All three men laughed.
“It’s good to see you, Pap.”
“Son.” He offered his son a wide smile. “I’m actually glad you’ve met Bart already Ali, he’ll be staying with us tonight before he moves into his dorm. We have some things that he and I have to talk about and I was hoping you should show him around town tomorrow to get his supplies.” Bart became nervous and awkward, doing his best not to show it.
“How does he expect a homeless boy that he literally pulled off the streets to pay for any kind of supplies?” Bart thought to himself. He felt a bit embarrassed, not wanting anyone to know that he couldn’t even afford a bag of chips, much less school books.