ZuriMature

"Erm, guys I have to go now," Crystal said suddenly and walked away; leaving Middy and me staring after her. Then Middy sighed.

"Thirsty," she explained and I nodded. She still looked a little weird so I hunted for a vial to give her strength and erase any lingering effects of Corvina's spell. I handed the vial to Middy, wordlessly. She took it and downed it in one, grimacing. I grinned at her and then took the empty vial back.

We decided to simply walk around. We didn't know where Al'Leako was and we might find him if we just wandered.

"Of course, he might be in his own little world - literally, I mean," I muttered. Middy's lips twitched.

"How did you get me away from Corvina, by the way?" Middy asked and I grinned broadly.

"Crystal pulled you away and knocked some sense into you once away from the room while I knocked Corvina out," I smothered a laugh. I had felt much too satisfied in hitting her but she deserved it after everything she'd done.

Just then we saw a flash of purple.

"Hey!" Middy and I shouted in unison and giggled. Al'Leako froze and turned around slowly. He sighed.

"We need to talk to you," Middy told him as we approached him, "Urgent matter."

"Yeah, Floppy Ears," I said as solemnly as possible. He shot me a quick glare.

"I was on my way to see a student who had just arrived," Al'Leako said, "Walk with me."

"How's it going in the B.T.W.?" I asked.

"The what?" Al'Leako looked at me like I was crazy and I gave him an exasperated look in return. He was one to look at others like they were crazy.

"The Black Twi-"

"Sh!" Al'Leako hissed. I met Middy's eyes and rolled my own.

"Rosebush!" I sensed her at the same time as Al'Leako called her name. My eyes widened. She was a phoenix but she controlled all the Elements - not just one. She turned to face us, her eyes widening as she sensed our elemental magic.

"Welcome to Night World Academy, cousin," Al'Leako greeted her, "My name's Lapin." I knew that the phoenixes I'd met called one another 'Brother' or 'Sister' but never cousin. Rosebush must be a part of a different phoenix branch but still distantly related. Her name didn't follow the 'Al' pattern which was a bit of a giveaway also.

"And we," I said, "Are Zuri Brook and Midnight. Little Moon is a Prefect here."

"Ah, I've already met a Prefect," Rosebush replied hesitantly, shaking my hand.

"Damien?" Middy's mouth quirked into a smile. Rosebush nodded meekly and I laughed.

"Sorry," I apologised, "He's not that bad but, to strangers, he can be a bit..."

"Perhaps a fellow Phoenix should show you around?" Al'Leako offered.

"Oh, no you don't, Floppy Ears!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, there's time for that later and in any case if anyone is going to show her around it'll be me," Middy insisted firmly. She gave me a sidelong look and I nodded. I grabbed Al'Leako's arm and began dragging him away.

"You can always talk to her later," I told him. Then I looked at him properly. "Hey, are you OK? You're looking a little peaky."

"Those are the most concerned and unselfish words you have said to an Elemental Phoenix," Al'Leako commented. I gave him a quick glare; letting him know I didn't appreciate his joke and that I was waiting.

He explained very quickly that he had never left the Black Twilight World for so long. I let out a long breath. We made an arrangement. He led us back to Middy and Rosebush. He took over the tour while I directed Middy to the dorms.

"What's going on? What are we doing?" Middy demanded when we reached her room.

"Packing," I answered, "We're going to the Black Twilight World to get the most confusing education ever. Trust me: I've been there, done this and gotten the T-Shirt."

The End

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