I love this place. I couldn't help but think it, standing in the hall where I had walked through once upon a starry moon...How many meals had I had in here? How many petty little fights with my friends? How many times had we had secrets fights with each other away from the prying eyes of the teachers to settle our differences the 'wolf way' we'd called it then. It was only three years ago? But god that feels like an age ago, an age where things were simple and the only things I had to worry about were homework and making sure I passed my exams. I had to pass my exams, I couldn't fail and shame my father, the great Tytos Bane...he made it clear I was only his child so I could continue the dynasty, nothing more than that. There were no packs back then but his group of friends, innocent days that I enjoyed as much as my job...if not a bit more so. I try to come here more often...but work...No! Work wasn't here. Never here. Now his only job was to try and settle some of the young ones, teach them about their powers, their lives that can exist beyond their condition.
Walking through the winding streets and freezing cold corridors I'd once called home I couldn't help but notice the looks on the faces of the girls I passed, every age from first years to mothers, grandmothers. I even saw some of the female teachers looking at me like...well I don't want to know what they thought I was. I didn't mind the teachers so much, they were closer to my age and quite attractive but that thought that stuck in the back of my mind as I looked at them was whether or not they had stared at me like this when I was their student. But the deeper question I really didn't want to know the answer too, was if they saw me, or the Spirit Wolf or my family and their money. That's why I love working with the first years, most don't have a clue who I am, they just see a man with white hair, mismatched eyes in black or white who teaches them about their condition and about werewolves thousands of year’s dead.
Anyone older than the first years just want to know about my work. 'Tell us about Byron Brownwolf Mr Bane!' they screamed. 'Tell us about the time you ran across the Syrian Desert on your own in on whole night so you could catch Eli More!' they would scream at me. Boys mostly, girls just stared at me and giggled before running off when I talk to them. I'd be lying to myself if I said I didn't miss the Lightning Pack, three brothers and five sisters that I never had during my childhood. Redtooth and Silver Fur and Ghost and Frost and White Eyes...No! No work! I smiled at a girl stood by the door of one of the huge dining halls. She smiled back with sparkling teeth picking herself off the wall to stand up straight. 'Hello Sir,' she said respectfully.
'Hello Ma'am, are you my fifth year volunteer?' she nodded. 'What's your name.'
'Talutah Fitzgerald.' her lip curled up in disgust.
'You don't look like a Fitzgerald...I'd guess Native American?' she nodded with an impressed expression. 'Full name please Talutah, these first years need to trust us. They won’t if we give them false names.' she said her full name swiftly; it was a name that brought a smile to my face. 'Very good,' The huge eyes of the children all turned to us as we walked into the dining room, the kids sitting on the long wooden benches with their elbows resting against the hard wooden tables scared with centuries of graffiti. 'Good morning boys and girls.' I smiled looking into each face separately, only thirty four bites this year...less than last year. That's good.
'Good morning Mr...' they chanted out of a knee jerk reaction from their previous school lives.
'My name is Mr. Bane I'm here to tell you about what's happened to you, about what you will do here at Nightshade and a few techniques for calming yourself when you feel the rage building. My friend here is Talutah Kagi O Iyokpaza,' I saw her eyebrow tweak upward in surprise, as if she hadn't expected me to pronounce it correctly. Harder words have rolled off my tongue than that. 'She's a fifth year who's volunteered to do this taking time out of her studies to help me, she will answer any question you ask. We're here to help you...' I smiled, most smiled back, even just a little bit.