The Headmaster watched from his office window as Βeth was walking fast by the school building towards the cemetery. He could feel that something had happened. From the furious and frightened expression on her face he could tell that it wasn't something good. But it didn't felt to him like it was something bad either.
The light footsteps behind him woke him up of his deep thoughts. "Professor Mira! How are you? Come. Sit, please. Don't get yourself tired", he moved and went closer to her so that he would lead her to a chair nest to his office.
"Sir, don't act like that please. You called me here so it would be good to explain to me what happened", tough as always he thought. Mira didn't like to call he for nothing. She already had a lot of work to do and with the arriving of this new student she had even more. She didn't complain about that though. She liked her. Beth. What a nice girl! But she needs some help or better, support. The poor girl can't stand for herself and even though she was a though person she couldn't allow herself only to stand and watch the students destroy her.
She had felt something earlier. Something strange and alien. She had seen Beth walking fast, rushing towards the dormitories while she was going to the Headmaster's office.
She loved this room so much. Not only for it's history and architecture but for it's memories too. She loved it when the previous Headmaster was here and she loved it and would love it with the current one.
"We'll have to wait for the other teachers too. I wanted to discuss about Beth", the Headmaster said while sitting on his chair. They waited only for a couple of minutes till all the teachers entered the room. The Headmaster watched them as they came in in silence. No one spoke. No one said anything. Most of them nodded in a way of greeting and some didn't hesitate to greet aloud saying their 'Hello!' and 'How things went today; mine was fine'. He waited till everyone found a seat to sit or a good spot to stand. After a little when everyone were ready to listen he decided to drop the bomb.
"Good evening everyone. I hope you had an easy day", he decided to get them ready for the big news. Most of them laugh a little for the reason that everyone knew how hard was to keep in peace a classroom full of demons.
"I know that you may be tired but please, be patient. We need to discuss for something that has been bothering us all a lot the last few days. As many of you have already guessed we need to talk about Beth Willow. Our new 'human student'. Or maybe not so human...", with that last sentence he had triggered most teachers' curiosity. Some of them already knew what he meant. Professor Mira, Professor Spark, Miss Annabell and the Coach Smith. Some of the students too.
Those who knew nod in agreement while the others shook their heads in question. A long laugh full of sarcasm though broke the silence and made everyone to turn their heads to meet the one who had just entered. They saw a tall shadow coming to them through the giant bookcases.
"You were right Headmaster. She is not what she seems, maybe."
"Seb? What are you doing here again? Ah...who am I kidding? You are one of our most powerful students", the queen bee of this school, "of course you'll want to get part in that discussion".
Most of the teachers eyed Seb like they weren't happy he was here. They did knew how powerful demon he was, and how much more powerful he'll be in the future. He had his father's blood after all. He had helped however, the school when it was being attacked. They respected him. They wanted respect him. His behavior was what made them to dislike him. The Headmaster sighed.
"Ok. You can stay. I'm sure all the teachers would like to listen what the students think too". Seb nodded in respect. "Good", Headmaster nodded in respond. "Well, first I would like to ask what her teachers think". Four teachers stepped in front. Three men and one woman.
"We would like to inform that she hadn't attend our classes today. We've been really disappointed with that", a tall man with black hair announced. Professor Marcus was a very powerful and proud man. He was really disappointed and angry with her for not attending his History Class.
Seb left a bark of laugh. He was fine she didn't attend with him History Class but he didn't like the teacher and he like it so much seeing him annoyed like that.
"I am sure that the Headmaster must know a good reason for her for not coming in our classes", the woman said smiling trying to create a more positive and peaceful atmosphere. The small fat redhead was the type of woman that were happy all the time. Right now though, Marcus' dark aura made her warm blood in her arteries to freeze.
"You are right Nova", professor Mira spoke aloud. "There was a very important reason for her not o come in your Latin Class since the poor girl was lying unconscious in the nursery room", she turned and glare to Seb. She wished her look could burn him. Too bad that wouldn't happen. Seb just shook his shoulders like he didn't knew and care what she meant and gave her an evil smile. She turned the other way angry. She would love so much to kill that boy.
"Not now Mira, we need to discuss the things from the beginning", Headmaster stopped and took a deep breath. "We found her unconscious in her room this morning. That is why she didn't attend Isaac's and Joseph's classes. Seb, do you know anything about that?", he asked him without even looking at him. His head stayed straight with his eyes closed. Seb huffed in annoyance.
"Many students said that they heard her screaming early this morning".
"Why was she screaming?", Isaak asked curious.
"We don't know. She is staying in the forbidden room. No can get inside", Seb answered with a duh tone.
"Why should we believe you? I saw what the students did to her today!", Spark attacked him while some of the professors were wondering aloud what happened. He really didn't believed him. Not only him but the students too. Seb was ready to answer him and start a fight but Headmaster moved his hand to stop him.
"Seb is telling the truth Spark. No one can get inside except from someone with key or keys".
"And what about the window huh?", Spark asked again angry. He didn't trust Seb, no matter what.
"And why the hell would we want to scare to death your little stupid human! Like we care for her!", Seb defended his self. It wasn't his fault that the stupid human was crazy!
"Yeah! Right! Like you don't want to kill her! You don't want her here! You hate her!", Spark snapped at him. He was completely out of control.
"Yeah! Because she do not belong here! She-"
"ENOUGH!", the Headmaster shouted and both of them shut it up. All the teachers eyes were wide open in surprise. They weren't used on hearing him shout or being angry. The last few years of his position as headmaster they hardly remembered him shouting like this again only once. He was never shouting. He was smiling all the time, he was serious sometimes, but never angry.
"That's enough....please, both of you...We haven't been arranged here to fight. We have a new student, a girl who needs our help. As her teachers it is our job to protect and help her. We need to support her. Not to fight about her like we don't want her", he stopped to take a few deep breaths. They needed to find a way to help the girl or else who knows what might happen next...
"The previous Headmaster, for some reason, wanted her to study here. We have to respect his decision and accept he here no matter what we think or like", he looked at Seb dead in the eye. He might didn't like it but he didn't need the teachers' help only, but his too. He needed the students' too and bringing Seb by his side was like bringing the whole student body by his side. He knew though that Seb was hiding something. He had said the truth previously, but not all of it.
"So what are we going to do with the human girl now?", professor Isaac asked deciding to break the silence and change the dark atmosphere in the room a little bit. However, Marcus' presence wasn't helping him much. He didn't like the guy's guts. Neither Seb's.
A small laugh responded to his question. "She is not as human as we thought", Coach Smith announced laughing a little.
"Wait. We have to learn first what Mira meant before and why she didn't attend Marcus' and Nova's classes and-What? She is not human?", professor Joseph asked shocked. His eyes were popping out of his head and a drop of cold sweat run down his temple. She is not human, he thought again wondering what she might be. He was so sure of her humanity, of her mortality that he couldn't believe it. The poor girl didn't looked like a demon or a witch.
Well, it was about time to get it idiot! We have already state that since the beginning of this stupid conversation, Seb thought annoyed while he send the same message to him. Professor Joseph turned to look at him scared having more drops of sweat appear on his forehead, proof that he had heard Seb's comment and was now frightened of him. God what that boy was able to do!
"Well, yeah-", Coach Smith started talking again but was cut off.
"Gentlemen please!", the Headmaster whined in pure indignation. "Joseph is right, we need to take things step to step. Well, according professor Spark the girl got attacked today after his class ended. She hit her head on a wall and fall unconscious. She was being treated in the nursery room two hours. So, that is why she didn't go to Marcus' and Nova's either.
"Who attacked the girl?", another female professor asked with a serious and threatening tone. She was wearing a witch's black hat on her head and a long black mantle. It was a little bit of surprise for everyone to she her in that kind of position, angry and protective. She was usually running up and down in the whole school always full of energy. She was usually the one of the happy but serious and busy people. For her, to use a threat was something unusual.
Seb huffed tired. This was not going to end soon and it seemed to get worse and worse all the time. He knew that he was going to face and more accuses from the stupid teachers, one coming right now...
"Not who but who", professor Mira corrected the witch's thought.
"It wasn't only one?", the witch asked shocked and furious.
"No Martha. It wasn't only one, neither a few. It was everyone", she looked angry at Seb when she said the last one sentence. He just huffed tired in annoyance. He knew that she was going to accuse him for anything that happened to the human-no-human.
Dead silence filled the whole room. All the teachers were thinking, working on what was just spoken. That was bad. Very bad.
"And what about...what Coach Smith said before?", Isaac volunteered to break the silence again, pushing the conversation to keep going. That seemed to wake up most of the teachers. Most of them had felt a strange wave of energy. I was something very tiny that was hard to apprehend and only for a little bit of time, only for a tiny moment, but they had felt it.
"Smith?", the Headmaster called him giving him his approve and permission to speak.
"Well...I don't know a lot. Unfortunately I wasn't present when it happened, or better on what happened. All I know is that I found Eric, whom I had paired with Beth in order to teach the basics for fighting, unconscious on the floor, meters away form her. I found one of my best, one of my top students in fighting, unconscious. Maybe Seb knows something more about that or might have seen what happened..."
For once again all the teachers' heads were turned to him. "Seb...", Headmaster said meaning for him to start talking. Seb sighted and shifted his weight from the back where he was supporting his body on the wall to the front and started walking slow in the room. He moved closer to the Headmaster's office and after a little time he stopped just a couple of meters away.
"It is true that many students attacked her during the break...".
" And you didn't do anything to help her!", professor Mira commented angry.
"Should I? I don't remember being hers or anyone else's bodyguard!".
"Right but you had to-".
"Mira, please stop. Let him talk...", the Headmaster interrupted for one more time a new break of fight. It wasn't time for fights and arguments right now. "Go on, my child...", he watched him sigh in annoyance. He didn't like it being called a child.
"I do not own anyone's protection. It is not my job to protect all the weak and useless ones", his last words were full with hate. He really didn't like the students that were weak. They were demons for god's sake. They should be strong enough to take care of themselves, to defend themselves.
He didn't like that the human was here. He didn't like that she was here. He couldn't understand why everyone thought she belonged here. Now he knew that something was wrong. From the moment he meet her he knew that there was something weird about her. After of what happened early this morning and in the training some moments ago he had change his mind. He still didn't like her for some reason but he knew that did needed to stay here. He, even, felt a little bit of pity for her.
"I have followed your instructions Headmaster, and I didn't hurt her. I haven't touch her, and I haven't talked to her at all the whole day. I was trying to stay away from her so that nothing bad would happen".
"But you haven't helped her or tell all the others to stay away from her?", a professor asked.
"Yeah. I have not do anything for the reason that my actions might trigger some students jealously. Some of them already got annoyed that I took her to her room..."
"He is right. If he tried to do something many students might got angry and try to harm her more", another female professor said.
"He could have inform his girlfriends though that he was just doing something the Headmaster told him to. Maybe then they wouldn't feel jealous of her", Marcus commented making fun of Seb. Marcus was no different of him. They both had the looks, the powers and they both played with girls all the time, but he was more powerful than him. He made a note in the back of his mind that one day he would make him pay for what he said just now, in the past and what he might say in the future. He would make him suffer. He would have to wait only a few years. He could do that.
"What happened during the training?", professor Mira interrupted his murderous thoughts. He turned his head and looked at her straight in the eyes.
"No one touched her, except for Eric with whom she was training. At the end of each training we fight in order to exercise what we've learn. After a while most of the students stopped an surrounded Beth and Eric. They all wanted to have some fun. No one was touching her except from Eric. It seemed though that he was pushing her more than he should, pissing our little human off. The more they were fighting the more her mood was changing till the moment she blow out", he stopped and checked the teachers' faces.
Most of them were curious on what exactly happened while many of them seemed to be annoyed or even angry. Especially Professor Mira and Spark. It seems the little human became already the teachers' child, that made him to hate her even more.
He didn't like both of the two professors. He found Spark annoying but he never hated him. He just didn't care, till today. He was really mad of what he said during their fight. It was the first time that he would gladly hit him. Mira, on the other hand, was something different. He hated that witch bitch with all his demon heart. That dark shrew. He hated her from the moment he meet her years ago.
He heard someone clearing his throat and turned his gaze to the Headmaster. He didn't like him either but he did respected him. After all, he had helped him many times.
"What exactly do you mean when you say blow out?", the Headmaster asked him calmly. No smile. No spark in his eyes. Seb knew he was dead serious now even though he didn't show it.
"She hit him and the moment she touched him we show sparks, or lights and then Eric was flying back. He hit on the wall and fell to the floor. After that nothing. The coach came in, asked what happened and stuff like that...", he didn't need to tell them any details. He was telling the truth after all. He may had hide some parts, like what really happened in the morning or his feelings towards the girl, how much he would like to kill her, not only to kick her out of the school, but what he said was the truth.
"Thank you Seb", the Headmaster turned to the teachers. "Now, what you think of her? Demon or witch?"
"Why there is not the human option? She seems to be human, if she was a witch or a demon we would have feel her", someone said.
"True but we cannot read her thoughts. If she was a human we would be able to hear them", Annabell said. Some of the professors huffed in agreement.
"But we could read her thoughts yesterday. Isn't that true Headmaster?", Professor Martha turned he head to him. There was a long pause. the Headmaster moved his gaze to Seb, who nodded hi in agreement to talk. However, he couldn't tell them about the necklace. As the Headmaster it was his job to protect the students' secrets, with some exceptions of course like in cases of bad actions the threaten of the school's safety.That little crystal though was her only secret protection, a weapon that no one knew about it. He could't let them know. The professors may do nothing to harm her but Seb was here too. He wasn't sure that he wouldn't try to hurt her and if he didn't, he may tell it to someone else.
"It's true. At first we could read her thoughts. Seb can make sure of that too. But then, i don't know, something happened and we couldn't anymore".
"Then it's official. She is not human", Nova exclaimed.
"We can't be sure of that", Marcus complained.
"Mira, what do you think of that?", Headmaster huffed tired. Mira, who was listening with her eyes closed all this time without any move, opened her eyes slowly and face the other teachers.
"I believe she is a witch...And I am not saying that because I am a witch too!", she rushed to add when she noticed Marcus ready to complain again and shut him up. Most of the teachers moved their heads in agreement.
"If she is a witch, then what kind of?", Joseph asked facing everyone.
"She doesn't seem to be a simple type witch", someone said.
"She is too innocent to be a dark one either", someone else commented.
"She is not a nature witch", said Miss Annabell.
"Or an element witch", added professor Nova. "If she was one of them we would have already noticed it. The nature or one of the elements would try to come closer to her, protect her or something else even if she didn't knew she was a witch".
"True, but what if she is connected not only to one element but all of them?". Everyone turned and looked shocked at Mira. Everyone except the Headmaster who just turned his head slowly and looked at her in the eyes.
"Mira, would you mind please to explain what you mean?". H have guessed what she meant but the others had no idea of that. They didn't even knew that they might still exist.
"I believe she is a Strega, an Italian witch".
Dead silence filled the room, which was soon cut by the teachers' attack responses. Some of them wanted to learn what an Italian witch is, while some others couldn't believe it for the reason that they no longer existed. After a while the Headmaster demanded silence and then turned to Mira and asked her to continue.
"Well, Annabell and Nova were right. If the girl was and elemental or nature witch then the element that she belong to would try to communicate with some way with her, even if she had no idea that she was connected to that. But what if she belonged to all the elements and nature both?
Italian witches come from the Ancient Greek, who come from the Egyptians. The last found the first form of magic, the Greek expound it and bring it to it's highest. Unfortunately, due to the Iconoclasm and the Religion Wars during Medieval and Byzantine times, at the beginning of the Witch Hunt in the Mediterranean and European region, when many Greek god temples and ancient libraries were destroyed, when all the Greek priestesses were hunt and killed, many of them moved to Italy where they could live a little more peaceful. They survived not only one one but almost all of the history's Witch Hunts.
Italy and mostly Sicily were back then the only places that was safe for them.They were after all, the only places with the smallest number of witch executions. They created a new life, they befriended the natives and with their powers they helped them all the time. That is why the locals never give them to the church, the have learnt that they all were good and wanted nothing but a peaceful life. Those who belonged to the elements or the nature were the ones who survived the most and those who helped the natives every time they needed them."
"Yeah, but after a some centuries they started dying because some humans decided that they wanted to use their powers for their own good like money or war", Isaac added.
"It's true but, that doesn't mean that they vanished. I was always hoping that some of them did manage to survive. If our speculations are right then this girl might be the last of all Italian witches and we ought to protect her. This would be a second chance for us to help her kind to survive".
"We all agree with your statement professor Mira, but, how did you conclude in the theory of Italian witches?", professor Marcus asked with dark question sparking in his eyes.
"Marcus, you don't have to be like that. Mira, could you please explain it to us?", professor Martha asked with pure curiosity in her tired eyes. It was a tough day, like usual in this school.
"Yes Martha, well, unlike other witches, Streghe, Italian witches, could control both nature and all elements. They used to belong only in one element but they manage to learn how to control all of them in just a few decades, surpassing all the other witches.
According to they tradition they believe that they were part of the Nature that is why they should be able to control all of the elements. We were wondering why she didn't show us any of the signs like all the other witches, that is because she is not like all the other students. Italian witches are known for their amazing powers' development. It would be no weird for them to appear human among the humans!".
Seb bark a laugh with sarcasm. Perfect. Not only the stupid human was not a human but she could pretend to be one. Not only she seemed to be a witch but she was a very rare kind of witch. The teachers would never let her off their eyes and he would have to threaten all the students to back off of her. The Headmaster would force him to do that.
He would also force him to protect her. He didn't like that. He already hated that. He hated her and all he would have to do for her, because of her, so that the little fragile-not-so-human witch wouldn't die. However, it was his responsibility to do all that. He knew it that when he became Head of the whole student body.
The teachers were looking at him with annoyance for one more time. He was used to that. His blood, his Father and his behavior made the others feel like that. He could do nothing about that and he liked it. He like it that they hated him and fear him at the same time.
His gave traveled from head to head studying the teachers' expressions. They were all thinking what was just spoken. Some of them were trying to figure the questions they wanted to do next. He watched as Isaac stepped to the front, ready to ask hi and to correct his newly found theories. That short little man never learned not to try to figure out things.
"From what we've learn the girl had no idea of her powers, right?", all the teachers nodded. "Then, how did she pretend to be human when she had no idea of how to use them? Of what she could do?"
"Streghe were used to be very powerful creatures full of mystery. There are so many that don't know. i was hoping that we might learn something from her family but, it seems we can't anymore", professor's Mira last words seemed to grab everyone's attention even more. Everyone moved a little bit in their seats or turned their heads the other way. Everyone knew well the pain of losing someone that was close to you. The pain of being alone and scared. No word why the girl was behaving like that. They could understand it.
Even Seb got affected. He didn't like that he was discovering more and more for this not-so-human human, neither that he was founding more and more commons between them.
"However, I have some few theories on why she appeared to be human", Mira continued. Everyone's heads moved up looking at her again while Seb only shifted it a little towards her. "Whether she had no idea what was happening to her and her body was protecting her on its own making us to think she was a human...Or she was under 'Ignoranza' ”, she paused for a while observing on the other teachers' faces.
"What do you mean when you say 'Ignoranza'?", Headmaster had never heard of that. He was curious on that matter. Italian witches were used to be a pure mystery for all researchers, wizards and humans. It seemed though that professor Mira had investigated that subject better.
Mira felt disappointed of the other teachers' ignorance, especially the Headmaster's.
"Ignoranza means ignorance, nescience. It is a spell, a cast. It is supposed that, when someone is under its affect they do not know nothing about their past or they forget of it. It has been erased, or better blocked. They do not know how to use their powers or that they have powers. Their powers are locked in them completely, sealed.
That spell affects also a person's presence and aura, making it to seem human, or better mortal. I don't know many things about it. I just happens to have read in a wizard's research notes about the Streghe. They said that Italian witches used to do that kind of spell on their children or the youngest members of their society in times of war or Witch Hunting in order to protect them. It can be spelled only on someone else and you cannot cast it on your own self".
"Hmf, perfect!", Seb commented in sarcasm. The little not-so-human had no idea that she was not a human because of a stupid witch cast. Just how so fucking perfect! Things couldn't get any worse. Not only she was a rare, and it seemed powerful witch, but she was also completely useless and dangerous at the same time, for the reason that she had no idea how to use her 'amazing powers', because of a fucking stupid spell.
He looked at the teachers. They all had their eyes wide open, their faces showing disbelief, wonder, curiosity and confuse. Yup, they are totally screwed! The stupid teachers had no idea of what to do. They had lost their own minds completely.
He saw little fatty Nova to step in front with trembled legs and hands but steady, her face's expression full of brave ready to speak. To break the crazy dark silence. "So what do we do-", she stopped her sentence in the middle. Something was wrong and Seb knew it. He could feel it.
All the teachers turned their heads immediately to the giant windows. Their expressions seemed like they were looking for something out there. They were eavesdropping the atmosphere around them. They sensed the wind, they felt the air.
Only Headmaster didn't moved his head but his gaze was vouching everything. Pure fear and shock. Something dark was coming, growing up in the Academy's campus, moving and craving for something.
Immediately all of them turned into shadows, they vanished turning into dark smoke like figures. They moved quickly. They got out of the room through many secret door and passages. They all meet outside and run towards the cemetery.
I was shocked when I found the place that I was now. I was so deep in my thoughts and completely distracted because of my emotional disarray that I hadn't notice that I had got away of the main road in the cemetery that was leading to the dormitories. I was not in the scary small road with the little lights and candles now. Indeed, I was far far away of it, deep in the cemetery, surrounded by a dark scary forest.
I looked up in the sky to check the sun to fount that there wasn’t any. Not only the trees were too high letting no sun light to get inside the forest’s heart but also the sun had fall letting the night to come little by little.
How many hours have passed?
Oh shit! I was screwed, like totally screwed. I was in a dark forest whose some parts were also a cemetery full with dead people that could get out anytime and eat me!
I shook my head many times to get out that scary image of zombies coming to eat me and continue walking. I was such an idiot that it took me a while to figure that I was getting more and more deep in the forest. As soon as I noticed I turn the other way and started walking only to be stopped again. The temperature had fallen too much for an October evening.
I got ready for a massive wave of pain, but nothing. I was waiting to hear the voices calling me, but nothing. No voices. Neither mysterious white mist. I was going crazy from my fear but nothing like the other times happened. A freezing breeze of air jumble my hair ans I felt my neck to freeze and hurt. My hands and legs were numb and I was freezing to death. In just a few seconds I was surrounded by a weird black smoke. It seemed thick and fluffy like a cloud but at the same time it was liquid like and so but so black. And it was moving fast, like the sandstorms in the deserts, but moved convulsively, so not like a sandstorm but like a lining being. Like a predator.
I panicked and started running. this time I was moving towards the way I had come. I was running as fast as I could but that thing was following me, jumping next to me now and then from the trees. I was terrified and even more when I noticed that I had stepped on many graves.
I'm so sorry....
No matter what I did it didn't stop chasing me. I moved my head up to see a little bit more of sky. There were grey clouds showing that it was going to rain soon.
Soon I stepped out of the dark part of the forest and got closer to the road I was looking forward to so much. When I stepped on it I turned and run towards the school. I needed the Headmaster. I needed help.
The thing though had other intentions.
It didn't stop even here were the place was clearer and not dark. With a quick move it circled me and attacked me. It shoved me back making me fall hard with my back on the ground between two grave stones. I sat up quickly and started moving back and after a few steps I turned on my four, got up and ran.
I jump some graves only to found that smoke in front of me. It had surrounded me. With another quick move it rushed over me. I close my eyes and got ready to hit the ground again but indeed I felt myself floating on the air.
That smoke had circled my body and had moved me up in the air. It moved to my neck and I felt it cold and dead, like when you have cold water running on your skin during the winter. I felt numb and pain as it was freezing my blood. I was sure my neck was now grey and blue. Then it started drowning me, not like when you are in the water but when someone is trying to struggle you. I couldn't breath. I could feel the pressure in my neck tighten more but there were no hands around it, just black smoke.
"Let her go!"
"Leave her alone"
I heard the voices crying desperately in pain. I saw the white mist move around me and attack the black smoke with no effect.
I started feeling dizzy. My head and body were feeling too heavy and my eyes started closing, leading me to darkness.
The Headmaster, Professor Mira and Spark and all the other teachers that I knew and didn't know, Seb and some students running towards where I was my last memory before the darkness took me ...