My first day had been completely nuts. I had made a total fool of myself in beginners spells by asking if I was meant to have a wand and spent the rest of the lesson with my head down taking notes, trying not to be noticed. Mercifully lunch came earlier than I thought it would but things were only about to get worse.
'You're in my combat class this afternoon.' Finn said as he looked over my shoulder at my timetable.
'You teach combat classes?' I wasn't sure if I was more shocked by the fact they expected me to fight or that Finn was a teacher. 'You know at any normal school we wouldn't be able to have this sort of relationship.'
'What relationship would that be?' I could tell Finn knew what I was talking about because he was wondering how easy I was to wind up.
'This kind of relationship.' I put my hand behind his head and kissed him, but this time there were no wolf whistles or jeers.
'Oh that kind of relationship.' Finn raised his eyebrows in a knowing way.
'Come on you two, even Sean and I don't act like that.' Louise and Lily took great delight in laughing at my flushed cheeks.
'Anyway, I have to go set up for the lesson.' Finn gave me a quick peck and dashed off. I heard a sigh.
'Young love.' Sean looked so world weary as he said that.
'Says the vampire who's forever stuck at 18.' Lily joked.
'It's not as great as you think it is Lily. You try and live for fifty years never aging and then tell me you think it's great.' I wasn't sure if he was joking or not but when Louise and Lily both laughed I assumed he was.
When the bell rang I was walking with Louise to combat. It was one of the few lessons we had together.
'I wouldn't worry about it Steph, I'm bad at it too, and you can't be any worse than me so you shouldn't be worried about it.' I still continued to take my hair down and retie it over and over again.
'Afternoon class.' Finn was looking official, his teacher face firmly in place. 'Now today we are doing a freestyle combat session, this means you can use any moves you know to get your partner to the floor, and only that. We don't want any broken bones this time Mr Trapp.' Finn looked pointedly at Mitchell standing next to me, who had a smug grin on his face. 'Miss Colshaw, you're with me.'
There was a series of 'ooh's' as he said this. 'OK everyone pair off and begin practising. You'll have ten minutes before we begin the tournament.' There was excited whispering as everyone moved off into pairs around the hall. 'You ever done any fighting before?'
'No.' I was suddenly really nervous. What of he thought I was a whimp because I couldn't fight.
'OK that's fine. Let's just start with a basic reactions test. If I do this...' He threw a punch at my face. I screwed up my face ready for the impact but I managed to block it with my right hand. 'Very good, and when I do this.' He aimed a kick at my side which I neatly dodged. 'Excellent.'
We did this for a few more minutes, the next move coming quicker than the last. 'OK then, you seem to be a natural.' I almost choked on that. I had never been a natural at anything that involved strenuous exercise in my life. 'Now let's try a small round, attack and defence.' He brought his hands up into a fighting stance. 'Ready?'
I didn't have time to answer before he jabbed at my head. I dodged and threw a punch at his side. It was pathetic but I managed to hit him. 'Don't worry about hitting me, you have to lose your inhibitions.' I tried and it sort of worked. I landed some more punches on his upper body then swung my right leg up for a kick to the side of his chest.
He caught my leg with his hand and sent me flying to the ground. He pinned me to the mat, his breath heavy on my face. 'Not bad Steph.'
'You weren't exactly rubbish at it either. And besides, you were going easy on me.'
'I couldn't give you everything in the first match, I would have killed you.' He took my hands and pulled me to my feet. 'Think you can handle a little competition?' I didn't have much choice as the rest of the class had been watching our little practise session, so I couldn't chicken out.
'I'll give it a go.'
'OK everyone gather round.' We were seperated into two teams, reds and blues. One team member would go up and fight a member of the opposite team. The first person to get their opponent on the ground was the winner.
I was picked first for the blue team. The guy I was facing looked fairly butch, I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.
'Ready and begin.' He threw himself directly at me. I dodged out of the way of his body and stuck my foot out as he ran past. He fell face first onto the mat but got up again before I could pin him down.
He threw a punch at the left hand side of my face. I caught his fist with my hand and twisted his arm around behind his back. He winced in pain.
'Sorry,' I muttered as I forced him to his knees and then onto his face. I hoped he wouldn't throw me off as I sat on his back to pin him to the floor.
'Five, four, three, two, one. The blue team win.'