After lunch, Kellan left for his study hall break. I went down to see Mr. Balthazar Bane, to help him with his fresh batch of first years. Mr. Bane tried to explain what had happened to them. They stared, wide-eyed, as he desperately tried to make them comfortable, but I could see he was struggling. I was here to help things progress smoothly. First years weren’t going to listen to a teacher no matter how nice he was. I know that I didn’t when I arrived here.
“Look,” I began slowly, capturing the youngsters’ attention. I shot Mr. Bane a fleeting look before he sighed in defeat and let me continue. “What you’re going through is difficult. We’ve all been there.” Their eyes bored into mine, scared, helpless. Vulnerable. “I had no one there for me when I transformed. I had no help. But here at Nightshade Academy, we’re all here to help you with this dramatic shift in your life. The classes here are fantastic. The professors are understanding and extremely sympathetic. We are not your enemies here. Whether or not you realize this today, you’ll come to see it in the future.”
I thought it had gone well.
The day passed very quickly after that. Some of the things the first years had said,divulgedwould be a more precise word were stuck on repeat in my head. Some of the things were unpleasant. Some were nice. I mulled it over on the way to my mother’s house with Kellan, wrapping my jacket tight around my body. The air was frigid, as was expected in fall. It was good to see my mother—I left the dorm every weekend to see her and my father. Without them, (and without Kellan), I don’t know how I would live.
Her bright brown eyes bored into my dark hazel eyes, her flawless russet skin the same color as my own. I had my father’s eyes, but that was it. I looked so much like my mother that sometimes it was like looking into a mirror.
It was so great to be with my family and Kellan. It felt right.
It felt like home.