Kuro had been considering how to start the tour when the new student seemed to hum a few notes.
Her feet froze where they were and Kuro tried to look down, but her neck didn’t want to budge.
She tried to move her arms but found they were stuck too, panic rising in her throat.
Kuro couldn’t make a sound. She struggled to move her eyes to Tachibana, as if to plead for help, but found the girl was unnaturally calm.
She hummed a few more notes as her arms jerked upwards in an arc over her head, her feet pointing as her body span in a pirouette. Dai stood on his hind paws, his movements waxy and stiff.
It was her. The girl.
Kuro felt anger overcoming her panic as Tachibana moved into another graceful spin.
Kuro had just managed to ball one of her hands into a fist, eliciting surprise on the girl’s face, before a blinding light flashed by the window and there was the deafening boom of thunder.
Tachibana fell to her knees, clutching her ears. Kuro felt her arms relax as the magic wore off, and her frozen expression was replaced by one of fury.
“What the hell was that?” Kuro hissed, her hair whipping around her face as a fierce wind rushed in through the window.
“I just…” the girl started, her red eyes fearful, “I didn’t think you would…”
“Didn’t think what?” Kuro shot back, stepping towards her, “That I wouldn’t appreciate you using magic to try to control me? Do you have any idea how many rules you’ve just broken?”
“I’m sorry! Please…don’t tell anyone.”
Kuro felt her anger deflate as the girl cowered in front of her, and the wind started to die down.
“You’ve put me in a difficult position.” She said coldly, folding her arms.
“I’m sorry.” Tachibana whimpered, looking away as her hands closed around a sunflower that had fallen to the floor.
Dai rubbed against Kuro’s leg as if to tell her to leave things be and she turned, walking away with a steely expression.
“Stay away from me.” She ordered without turning around, reaching again for the comfort of her wand.
Kuro had sown a few small straps to the inside of the blazer’s sleeve early in her time at the Academy, keeping her wand close instead of in one of the horrid school cases. It was useful, especially in …unexpected situations.
She heard steps behind her and whipped around, wand brandished.
“I’ll have you know I could teleport you to the Headmistress right now with a truth spell on you.” Kuro threatened, the engravings on her wand swirling with the energy from her palm.
Tachibana stepped back, raising her hands in defeat.
“I’m not going to use my magic on you again, okay?”
"Why should I trust you?" Kuro asked, her eyes narrowed.
"I swear on the pentagram." she breathed, putting a hand to her heart.
Kuro lowered her wand, tentatively returning it to her sleeve. Swearing on the pentagram was essentially swearing on your life. Except more serious.
"Fine. What do you want?" Kuro asked, sighing.
Tachibana let her hands fall, looking relieved.
"I'm sorry you didn't like what I did-"
"-To put things lightly." Kuro interjected, exasperated.
"-and I don't use my magic often, only to make sure I'm safe."
"What?" Kuro asked incredulously, "Did you enchant Ms. Moto to make sure you were safe?"
"Exactly! What part of your convoluted mind thought you would achieve anything by scaring me half out my wits?"
Tachibana was quiet and Kuro sighed.
"What you did was an insult. To me. And unless you have anything else to say-"
"-I don't have any friends, okay?" Tachibana said suddenly, looking downcast, "I don't...I don't know how to talk to people, or how to present myself, or what to say..."
She looked up and her eyes shined with sadness.
"And how is that my problem?" Kuro asked, almost ashamed of the acidity in her voice.
"It's not..." she started, "And I know you probably hate me now...but...can we be friends?"
Kuro looked at her and tried not to notice the hopefulness in her expression.
"I...I don't know."
She sighed before continuing.
"I guess...I can try."