Chapter 1- Moving In
"We're home!" exclaimed the giddy and overly-excited father, opening the white door. Apollo scrunches his eyebrows, his breath becoming uneven. He hasn't been this nervous, in, well, forever. He sees his mother, who seemed to not be in a good mood, get surprised by Apollo's presence. It made sense, since they never told Apollo that he had to meet his new "family members" right away. Actually, they suggested he should go to the park or a friend's house, but Apollo refused. Now, however, Apollo partially regrets that decision.
Behind his happy father and suspicious mother were two teenagers about his age. One was a boy, shorter than the average male teenager, with messy, short hair and a gray ring in his left hand. He had big glasses with a nice white framing, a crumpled polo and slightly damaged shoes. Despite his appearance, he wore a warm smile, and looked at Apollo with joy. Apollo smiles back to be respectable, but it goes away, and turns into a brooding, forced smile. The boy's smile reminded him about his brother, Lucas, and the grin he would have when walking into the house. Not wanting to make a bad impression, he tries to forget about Lucas, and looks over to the other addition to his family.
The other person was a young girl, probably the boy's younger sister, as Apollo was told. She had darker skin, and was a bit shorter, but still taller than an average teenage girl. Her hair was up in a ponytail with a cute pink headband, and wore a fancy casual white shirt with black leggings and unique-looking sneakers. She had a silver anklet with a charm, but Apollo couldn't figure out what it was. The girl wasn't as content as her brother, arms crossed around her waist, looking down at the floor. She didn't even bat an eye to anyone, and just looked at the tiles. Apollo wondered what her deal was, and why she seemed to hate the place, although only being here for a few minutes. His train of thought gets interrupted by his father, placing a few luggages on the floor.
"Welcome to your new home, guys. This is Apollo, my son. He's in the same grade as you, Everlin," his father says. As Apollo suspected, the girl, who's name was apparently Everlin, was about the same age as he was. Everlin eyes widen, and finally looks up from the floor and at him, with a face Apollo couldn't figure out.
"Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Apollo."
"Nice to meet you, my name's Peter, and this is my sister, Everlin." The older boy, Peter, walks up and shakes Apollo's hand unhesitantly. "I hope it doesn't seem like we're invading your home. We promise we won't be a bother."
"Oh don't worry," Apollo's mother replies. "You're not bothering us. You would not be here if we thought you would be invading." Apollo knew his mother well enough to know that she isn't too glad about two strangers moving into their house, but she still put up a kind front for them. Glancing at the siblings, it appears that Peter's pleasant smile was shrinking and Everlin is gripping her bag as if her life depends on it. Maybe it was his mom's accent, or the uneasiness in her voice, but the two of them definitely looked on edge. I mean, it made sense, it's not every day that you get taken into a completely new and foreign feeling family, leaving your entire world behind. Two different cultures, dynamics, and ways of life all in one house. Apollo didn't need to know Peter and Everlin's personally to figure that out.
Thankfully breaking the tension, his dad comes to the rescue."Uh, well, now introductions are out of the way, Apollo, why don't you show them around the house and bring them to their rooms, I'll take their bags there. Oh, and Peter, I don't think I told you this, but you'll be sharing a room with him. Is that all right?"
"Yeah, I don't mind," Peter responds, returning to his warm tone.
After showing the siblings around most of the house, they finally arrive at Everlin's room. It didn't really feel like a girl's room, but it didn't really matter to her. It was small, but enough for her to deal with. There was a charming bell lamp on the nightstand, semi-large windows with blue curtains, and her bags on the floor. The walls had posters of rock musicians and tv shows she's never seen. Someone clearly has lived here in the past, but Everlin knew her place, and didn't say anything about it.
"Well, here's the last stop," Apollo awkwardly says. "Uh, sorry it's a bit dirty, we tried to clean up as much as we could before you came. There's not really a bedtime or whatever, and we don't really have meals together. That's really it. If you need anything, just let me know. Oh yeah, here's the keys to the house, and a bit of money just in case." Everlin lays her eyes on Apollo's feet and hands, crossed but stiff, which just looked like he wanted to scream out, "I want to leave." She felt sorry, and hoped to tell him he could leave, but she didn't even know what to say in the first place.
"Thanks, Apollo. I'm just going to help my sister unpack, do mind if you leave us be for a bit?" Once again, the tender, loving Peter saved his shy little sister from messing something up. Still, sounding like a nice person didn't mean he always said the right thing. She looks towards the blonde haired boy, standing by the door, biting his lips. Apollo's reaction seemed worried, probably because he had just been kicked out. Everlin knew Peter didn't mean it in this way, but there wasn't really another way to interpret it to someone who didn't know her brother well.
Luckily, Apollo nodded and left, not looking too hurt. She couldn't work out if that was a bad first impression, but she couldn't pry on it for too long, as Peter closes and locks the door, and gives a great sigh. He twists his wrist so the palm faces the door, and does a poking motion with a few of his fingers, one at a time. A rocky structure forms in between the door and the lock, which seemed to function like a real lock. After the structure stops shaping, Peter steps closer to Everlin to pat her head with a fist lightly.
"Wow, wouldn't hurt to say a thing or two," he stressed, starting to forcefully unpack Everlin's bags. Purposely ignoring his words, she faces the closed door, concerned if Apollo could hear them talking. She undoubtedly knew she's going to get an earful from Peter, whether it was about talking to this new family, or talking to someone else. "Don't worry, you can soundproof the walls. I'm pretty sure they won't just burst in, and if they do, the lock I made will give us a bit of time to get rid of it in a flash."
This reassurance from Peter relieved her from her troubles, and inclines her to reach her arm out, touching the door. Everlin closes her eyes, looking down, with her breathing calmer than before. Slowly, a thick, white, cloudy wall forms, surrounding the whole room. The conversation between Apollo's parents, which was extremely loud, seemed to suddenly stop once the cloudy walls connected. She opens her eyes again, examining the newly white, fluffy room, and gives a calm smile to her brother, who took out all her clothes.
"I'm sorry," Everlin sorrowfully mumbles, organizing her clothes in the little closet in the corner, the only place where there wasn't a cloud wall. Peter pats her head with a fist lightly, and sits down on the bed.
"Well at least you're aware of that fact" he says, looking at Everlin, who's trying to avoid making eye contact with him. "You know what you did wrong. You are to never visit her again. You hear me?" Everlin freezes from her organizing, her brain trying to find a refusal, which isn't working well, and drops her arms to her sides. Turning around, she stares at her brother, who is seriously waiting for an answer.
"No. She knows something about us, I can just feel it. Rayna isn't telling me everything." Still standing, Everlin goes to hold Peter's hands, which seemed to have a few scratches. She is confused where she got them from, because there was nothing that they did that would make scratches. She closes her eyes again and a smaller white cloud surrounds his hands. After only a few seconds, it disappears, and the scratches on Peter's hands are gone.
"I'm okay, don't worry, it's probably from carrying some of the bags or something. But that doesn't matter to me, what matters is that you are never going to Rayna again. I don't care if your intuition is telling you she knows some secret, but if you don't go to her, nothing will happen. And if she does try to do something to us, I'll make sure she's stopped."
"Fine." She sits down in her bed, face to face with Peter, who looks more like an awful protective parent rather than her brother. Rummaging through her backpack, he funnily takes out a small stuffed toy of a frog. Everlin frowns, coldly stealing the frog from him, making him chuckle.
"Look, I understand it feels weird, and you're not gonna talk much to them, but please, for me, at least try to act friendly. They don't have to know about it, so act like there's nothing wrong, okay?. You have to warm up to them eventually. Make friends with them, even though they just-"
"Yeah, sure, okay, you don't have to keep telling me," Everlin interrupts, reaching her arm out again, towards the door. She starts to clench her fingers, but stops when a certain question comes to her head.
"Do you think this was Lucas' room?"
"Probably. There's posters all over the walls and stuff, and I don't think the Artusos wanted to take them down. I mean, the way he died, I don't think they could ever get through that. It must've hurt them enough to bring us in." Without reacting or saying a word, Everlin fists her hand, creating a punching position, and makes the cloudy-looking walls dwindle to nothing, disappearing from existence. Peter motions with his arms, making the rocks shrink as well. Once he's done, Everlin sweetly places the stuffed frog on the bed and walks to open the door. Before she opens it, however, she turns around back to her brother.
"Don't forget," Everlin starts, "Alex said the mercuries live in this town. They know about us, so I guess we have to keep these stupid trinkets on and deal with it." When she receives a knowing nod from Peter, she leaves her room.
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