Stifling a sigh, I rummaged around in my school bag and pulled out the lip gloss my mum had given me for Hanukkah. As applied it onto my lips I could not help but compare my unremarkable reflection with someone as dashing as Melanthe.
I ran my fingers through my long hair, glad that I had at least decided against cutting off my dark locks. The bob style had become fashionable with the girls my age just before I had left. But here, most girls wore their hair long.
"Well, here goes nothing," I muttered to myself, turning away from the mirror and walking towards the door.
I entered the hallway, now mostly empty. The few students that stood talking by their lockers paused in their speech to give me, the new girl, a quick, curious glance. But as soon as I passed them, they turned back to their friends and it was like I had never been there.
Finally, after regarding losing my way a couple of times, I found my way into a cramped cantine overflowing with hungry teenagers and the odd teacher weaving their way through the crowds towards the staffroom. Most of the school's population must have been in there.
Never in my life had I felt so claustrophobic. Everywhere I turned I would bump into someone and provoke a dirty look and a very disgruntled, "Hey, watch where you're going!" I ploughed on through the horde, searching for a glimpse of the only two faces I recognised, but could not find them. In the end I just gave up. I was starving and I needed to eat.
After almost being skewered by a careless student messing around with a pen knife, I discovered the only available table in the room. It was empty apart from a boy with a sweeping black fringe sitting in the far right corner. Relief flooded through me and I headed straight towards it, not caring who I collided with in my beeline. It did not once occur to me, as I forced my way past a group of excitable first years, that there actually be a reason why this boy was there alone.