I arrived early in the morning, having travelled all night in a cab to get to this place. So now I have slight black bags due to the bumpy road, or the rubbish suspension of the cab, or else just my inability to sleep sitting up, but I'm still looking about with curiosity, or I'm sure I would be if I could see myself.
'This place' is a large mansion of grey stone, at least, large is rather an understatement, the mansion is humongous. It has pretty latticed windows, and dormer windows on the roof, in fact the door itself has its own roof. So this, I think to myself triumphantly, is the Supernatural Academy!
I must've said it aloud, because someone coming up behind me shouted, "Indeed!" in a curiously high voice.
I turned to see a large woman in a saggy pink dress bumbling up from what looked like a vegetable garden.
"Who are you?" she yelled at me, although by now she was quite close.
The taxi man set my trunk on the ground and prepared to drive off. I waved to him. Although I hadn't met him before yesterday, and we had scarcely exchanged ten words between us, spending a whole long sleepless night in a cab with him was bound to bring us closer.
"Amory Piper," I told the woman in a soft voice. No, I'm not shy. I think my mischievous side was getting the better of me.
"What are your powers? And speak up this time, girl. Don't mumble!" she was still bellowing. I wondered how everyone in the dorms could sleep through it.
"I can move objects with my mind, like Matilda, and I can control people with my flute, like the Pied Piper," I yelled back.
The woman covered her ears.
"There's no need to shout!" she said, shouting. "Room 321, girl, on the left side of the staircase when you go up. Here's a map, and your schedule for every day. Don't lose it!"
I glanced at my schedule, flipped it over to glance at my map, and finally glanced down at my trunk in a meaningful way. There was no way I could carry that upstairs myself. In a few years, I told myself, I'll be able to move it with my mind. But I can't yet. Not something so big and heavy, and such a long way. It would be too dangerous. That is what I am at school for. To train my powers.
"The footman will bring it, if you drag it to the door and write your room number on it!" said the woman, swaying back to the vegetable gaarden.
I raised one eyebrow at her back, a trick I learnt many years ago by way of spending hours in front of the bathroom mirror perfecting it. Then I turned and dropped my bag and jacket on top of my trunk, bent down and began to push it along the gravel. It collected the stones like a snow plough. I would have to try and smooth the track out in a minute.
I glanced up at the lattice windows once or twice, but I confess I really don't care what people see me doing. Of course it isn't exactly normal for a sixteen-year-old to be pushing a trunk across a drive like a boy of about twelve, but so what? Why exactly do I want to be thought a typical sixteen-year-old girl?
I pushed the trunk to the door, and then surveyed the long track it had made. So armed with my feet, I ventured back onto the drive and used my feet to push the gravel back into place and so cover and scars I had made.
I did look at the windows once, and I must say I was a little put out to see a long line of about fifty faces looking out of every window on the third floor. They must've knocked on the walls to wake each other up, and so the message passed all down the corridor.
At a normal moment I would've felt exceedingly embarrassed. But this was a new start, I told myself. No embarrassment here. I would be bold. I would be brazen. And probably everyone would hate me afterward.
I allowed myself to strike a pose and demonstrate a saucy royal wave. And then my feet began to tap, and as I finished the job I had set out to do, I finished it with a little dance that made the dust of the gravel fly up so much that my jeans were brown with it. I was also aware of the large sweat patches I was sure had appeared. But exercise and making a fool of myself makes me happy, and so I was happy.
That was my entrance to the Supernatural Academy.