Chapter one: Necromancy
“Get out of the car Azure” I heard my mom seethe. I shook my head adamantly, bracing myself against the car door, ready to lash out with my booted feet if she indeed tried what I thought.
Dad sat in the driver’s seat in front of me, staring straight ahead, purposely ignoring me, trying to white wash me out of his head, like a blood stain on their perfect cobbled porch steps.
That’s what I was.
A blood stain on the magnificent tapestry that is the Blaustein family. A family revered for their incredible magic prowess and mastery, a family that didn’t want me any longer.
My mom angrily threw open the opposite passenger door, her amber eyes similar to mine flashing with rage.
She grabbed my ankles before I could kick her, trying to tug me out of the car. I held onto the car door with all my might, struggling against her grip on my ankles, trying to kick her off.
“No!” I screamed “I’m not going!”
“Kalel help me” She gritted out to Dad, who watched through the rearview mirror, a barely interested look on his face.
With a huge sigh, he unbuckled his seatbelt and pushed open his door, stalking around the car to join mom. I renewed my grip on the door handle as they both grabbed my ankles and started pulling.
“No!” I screamed at the top of my voice, “You’re not leaving me here!”
“Azure!” My dad yelled, anger finally bleeding into his features, his swirling gray eyes darkened to the hue of storm clouds and I found myself swallowing at the meaning crack of thunder overhead.
My dad, Kalel Blaustein was a Weathermancer, a terrifyingly powerful one too. One that made scary electrical storms when he was pissed, like he was right now.
Weathermancers have the ability to control the weather, usually it hinges on their moods, which is absolutely fucked up, but they are rare, not as rare as necromancers but still rare. The Blaustein family having produced them for centuries, put us higher on the magical social ladder.
Dad could make the sun shine for days on end, make the sky cry for weeks, make hail and snow fall with just a mere thought or hike in his emotions. That’s insane power if you ask me, Power I didn’t possess much to his chagrin.
Another failure to add to my already mile long list.
“Do not make me more angry than I already am!” he seethed, his words calm but with a razor sharp edge.
Thunder cracked overhead, the sky darkening to emphasize his statement. This was a lost battle already. Grimly, I let go of the car door and straightened, yanking my ankles from their grasps. I so don’t want to be electrocuted by dad’s thunderclouds. Sliding out of the car, I stood before my frowning parents, my own impressive frown on my face. Folding my arms, I stared up at my dad’s face. We stayed like that for a bit, exchanging death glares until mom spoke up
“Can we go? The Dean is probably waiting”
I glanced at her, scowling before I turned on my heel and started crunching across the gravel of the parking lot, towards the enormous white bricked building that rose in front of me, almost like a castle.
More like a prison as far as I was concerned .
Mom stepped beside me, her fast enraged walk matching mine. Dimly I spared her a sideways look and smirked at her huge frown and set jaw. Great she was as pissed as me.
Clare Blaustein had chin length, dark red hair and amber eyes, both of which I inherited, almost polar opposite to my Dad’s ash blond hair and gray eyes.
My mom was what you would call a fanatic an enchantment fanatic that is. Her magic centered on enchanting small objects and weak minded people to do her bidding. Manipulating people’s free will was her specialty and it freaked the hell out of me.
She does use her powers for good, her work in the City Asylum was greatly appreciated but it still weirded me out. Luckily I didn’t get her powers.
Another addition to my list of failures.
Instead I inherited her small, lithe frame and crappy temper, also the dark little mole by my left eye.
We climbed the narrow white washed steps leading to a pair of heavy looking wooden doors, filled with familiar carvings. I blinked, the doors were carved from top to bottom with Anti space shifting runes.
I gulped, this was definitely a prison.
Slowly, the door creaked open, exposing the dark interior from which a tall man emerged from.
I studied him, my eyes gliding over his features as he stepped into the light. The man wore a dark three piece suit that fitted tightly against his muscled frame, the gold buttons on his vest shining almost as brightly as his polished, obviously expensive looking Italian dress shoes.
DThe neck of his shirt was open exposing a thick neck that gave way to a chiseled jaw covered in a thick dark beard, trimmed closely to his face. A pair of thin bloodless lips, the bottom pierced through with a gleaming sliver ring, a straight aquiline nose topped with the coldest eyes I have seen. Two ice chips in his eye sockets.
Ironically, they gave me the chills.
The man had pitch black hair shaven extremely short, making his gaunt face stand out more.
He looked like a well dressed pimp
The smile he broke into didn’t reach his ice chip eyes but exposed his almost perfect white teeth.
“Good day” he paused, letting his eyes roam over my parents before finally settling on me
I knew what he saw, A short, dark red haired girl with blazing amber eyes and a pissed off scowl on her face that scared most sensible people but apparently not him.
He merely smirked in my direction before turning back to my parents, his wide smile back
“Mr and Mrs Blaustein” he inclined his head at them “A pleasure”. He spoke in a crisp, drawling accent I guessed was from New Zealand, his deep voice sweeping down the steps where we stood. He turned back to me, his obviously fake smile intact “ You must be Azure”
I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Pleasure to meet you all” he stepped back and motioned through the open doors behind him.
His name was Angus Thorne, and he was the dean. Dean of what you might ask?
Dean of Star Valley University of Magic.
Star valley had a very unique reputation amongst other magical institutions, it was sometimes referred to as a reform institute for magical criminally inclined youth. Young adults that have been expelled from various other magical universities can find a place here, for the remainder of their magical education.
It was like Juvie for the magic world.
A Juvie I was now a student of.
“Please take a seat and we can get started on the orientation process” Dean Thorne said cheerfully as he motioned to a wide, black leather couch adjacent from his huge oak desk. His office was like any other regular Dean’s office, huge wooden desk, solid cream colored walls covered by frames photos of previous Deans, all gaunt faced and unsmiling, a wide open window that overlooked the gravelled grounds below, a book case ran across the wall in front of which we sat, filled with old looking books and ancient knickknacks, a dying fern sat beside the door, its leaves brown and withered, a thread bare Egyptian rug covered the labelled floor beneath his desk.
We sat in the soft couch, watching the Dean as he walked to a dark wood cabinet beside his desk, extracting a cut glass decanter filled with amber liquid I knew was whiskey.
“May I interest you in a drink, Mr Blaustein? Mrs Blaustein?” he held up the decanter.
Dad and mom shook their heads, declining politely “No thank you, Mr Thorne” Dad spoke
I watched him shrug and pour himself a glass, sipping it delicately before settling in the throne like office chair behind his desk.
His eyes pierced through us “So, I heard Azure got expelled from Grand heights, the details are still unclear to me”
My mom cleared her throat loudly “The details are in the letter we sent, Mr Thorne”
Dean Thorne merely sipped his drink before muttering “I don’t read letters”
The look on my mom’s face made me giggle under my breath.
“We rather not speak about it” my dad spoke up, flashing me a withering look “It’s a very disgraceful smudge on our family’s name, we would like to keep it under wraps”
I blew out a sigh and hung my head, my thumb absently rubbing at the still healing burn mark on my left wrist
“Nevertheless, The reason of Azure’s dismissal doesn’t mean anything significant to me, my only concern is her future here in Star Valley”
My gaze shot up and connected with his halfway across the room, I thought I glimpsed something like pity but it was gone before I registered it
Both my parents nodded.
“A future” he continued, twirling his glass in his hand “that starts right now”
He paused, draining his glass “Here, at Star Valley, like any other magical institute, we group our students into factions, according to their magical expertise” he stared at us weirdly “we take that very serious”
“Well, we already know Azure’s faction, she’s a nec….” My dad started but the Dean cut his off.
“I’m sure you do Mr Blaustein, but we have a simple test here to determine that” he paused and pinned my parents with a serious look “For documentation purposes of course”
I watched as Dean Thorne leaned forward, discarding his empty glass elsewhere, he crossed his forearms in an ‘X’ position, balling his fists before jerking his arms apart. A simple summoning charm.
A loud pop echoed through the office as five vials of different colored substances appeared on his desk.
Looking at him as he leaned back in his chair, I wondered what faction he is. Obviously not a Greener, one glance at his dying fern told me that, an Enchanter like mom? A Time Spacer?
“Step up to my desk child, and hold your palm over the vials” Dean Thorne instructed and I obeyed.
I stepped in front of the desk, my eyes trained on the vials in front of me. Slowly I held my hand over the first one filled with a luminous green liquid, obviously a Greener test.
Nothing, nothing happened. No flash, no bang.
I moved to the second one, aware of the eyes on me. My hand hovered over a vial filled with a sky blue liquid. A Weathermancer test.
Nope, still not a Weathermancer
Next a vial filled with a clear liquid like water but seemed much thicker
An Enchanter test.
Nothing happened. Not an Enchanter.
Next was a vial filled with a very liquid that had things that looked like clock gears floating in it.
A Time Spacer test.
I held my hand over it and nothing happened.
Not a clock whore.
The last vial was the most ominous. It held a pitch black liquid that seemed to slosh around on it’s own within its glass chamber. I smirked.
Hello old familiar.
I held my hand over the vial and immediately the glass shattered, spilling the goopy liquid all over the desk. I jumped slightly, that hadn’t happened before.
Dean Thorne snapped his fingers and the vials along with the shattered glass and spill vanished.
Guess that does it.
“Fascinating!, another Shadow magic user!” he exclaimed before pinning his eyes on my embarrassed looking parents “You must be proud”
They didn’t respond. I frowned.
The Dean turned to me, a smirk on his face “Dear girl, are you a necromancer as well?”
I nodded once
His smirk grew “Splendid, a rare skill”
My parents still weren’t speaking, looking anywhere to avoid eye contact with me. I scowled, they will never accept me and my magic, they are the reason this is happening.
Turning back to Dean Thorne, I pulled on a half hearted grin. He stood and offered a large hand to me, a handshake.
I slipped my hand into his.
“Welcome to Star Valley University of Magic” he said and I smirked.
Star Valley was situated on the northern most border of Alaska, a few miles from the Canadian border. During the winter, it was one of the places to freeze over first and during spring one of the last places to thaw out, so I was grateful it was summer right now.
Star Valley was also a fully functional boarding school with numerous dormitories and houses for students’ comfort. The dormitories and houses are divided between the five factions. I also learned that Shadowmancers are by far the smallest faction, followed by the Weathermancers.
Star Valley also had a uniform, a navy blue and black plaid skirt with silver trimmings with a matching blazer for the girls, the boys had the same patterned trousers and blazer.
They also had a few weird rules, typical of a reform school. The first and most ominous is: No dark magic. Dean Thorne emphasized quite a bit on that one, he didn’t specify the exact penalty of breaking that rule but he did say it was very severe.
Second rule was: No spell casting after midnight.
Which was more weird than the first, at Grand heights we could cast anytime we wanted.
Third rule was the weirdest: No killing your classmates.
Something must have happened to warrant that rule to be in existence, Did someone die here?
By the time my first week here was over, I’d have broken all three of those rules, some twice.
After explaining the rules and regulations to me, Dean Thorns handed me a school map, my class schedule and my room key. He said someone would arrive shortly to take me around the grounds and show me to the Shadow users cottage. He then proceeded to usher me out of his office, depositing me in the empty hallway outside his office, leaving him and my parents to have a discussion.
I stood in the empty hallway, leaning against the paneled wall, waiting for my tour guide to arrive. I was just about to give up and go wandering on my own when I heard heavy footsteps coming my way. I glanced up, a tall boy was walking towards me. From my vantage point, I could see he was wearing the school uniform, although his blazer was slung over his shoulders, exposing the dark turtleneck he wore, a few heavy looking shiny chains hung from his neck. Great, another pimp.
As he neared, I started picking up on his features, he had shoulder length dark glossy hair that looked a little wind blown and a stubbly jaw. It wasn’t until he was a few feet away that I could properly see his face.
He had an angular jaw, dusted with dark colored stubble that surrounded soft looking baby pink lips, a nose that had been straight once but had been broken a few times and was now slightly crooked, well defined cheekbones for days all crowned by a pair of enthralling violet eyes that held a twinkle of mischief and also something dark and scary.
The tall boy stopped in front of me and beamed down at me. He probably wasn’t a day over 22.
“You must be Azure Blaustein” he said, his deep tenor voice rolling over me
I stared up at him “Yes, I am and you are?*
He offered a heavily ringed hand to me “Jakobe”
“No last name?” I asked, my hand slipping into his.
His hand closed over mine as his violet eyes twinkled “No” he replied simply, leaving me puzzled.
We separated and he motioned to himself “I’m the third year class president and also Dean Thorne’s favorite student”
I giggled at that, I can’t imagine the Dean having a favourite anything.
He grinned “That maybe a lie but I am class president and closest to the Dean”
I smiled, he seemed nice.
His eyes flicked to the door behind me “Parents still in there?”
“Yeah, I guess they are having a swell time”
Jakobe laughed, low and soft “With Dean Thorne? I highly doubt that”
I shook my head at him “so mean to the poor Dean”
The door behind me flew open and I turned, my parents emerged, faces sour, eyes blazing
I saw my Dad’s gaze flick from me to Jakobe beside me and I stilled. Mom was the one to speak, her voice hard, her gaze even harder “We’re leaving now Azure” she paused, her gaze narrowing “Behave”
I mentally rolled my eyes.
She stalked off towards the exit, leaving Dad, me and my tour guide. Dad stepped closer to me, the hardness draining out of his gaze, leaving only worry and parental concern. His hand came down on my head and he stroked my head slowly, his words soft “Stay safe dear”
After a nod at Jakobe, he was gone, hurrying after Mom.
I sniffed discreetly and bit my lip. No I wasn’t going to cry.
Beside me, Jakobe cleared his throat loudly, drawing my attention back to him. He offered the crook of his arm to me “Shall we begin the grand tour madam?”
I grinned, slipping my arm into his “Ofcourse kind sir”