I didn’t answer.
“Alexandra Lightwood!” I heard footsteps. She was coming up the stairs and was almost at the loft.
“If you haven’t already realized it, you are in big trouble!” Her Canadian accent somehow made the warning sound even worse. She pulled the curtains away from all the windows; one after one and the sunlight hid my face and burned my eyes.
Fleur walked to my bed and put her hands on her hips. “You went to the party last night, even though I told you NOT to go”, she said, with her green eyes glaring at me and she continued: “You could have exposed all of us! And gotten us killed. You are aware that demon attacks in public have become more and more regular lately!”
I thought back at last night. I had been at the library most of the afternoon, but around five I had gotten a call from my so called friend Rebecca who had talked me into a party at the beach, even though I knew I was supposed to go home. From every other person at my age, this would seem extremely unfair. But as Fleur usually said: “You’re not just anyone! Special gifts have been given to you and you have to respect the things that come with it”. In spite of that I had still gone to the party, but my beloved Canadian nanny had been right as always; bad things happens at beach parties. “Look, Fleur. Yes, I went to the party and yes I got into some paranormal problems, but I dealt with it and no one was hurt!” I defended myself.
She started walking around in the room in endless circles. Her ridiculously high heels were making marks on the wooden floor and her blond curls were bouncing up and down on her shoulders. “What were you thinking?” she yelled. She sounded mad, but I knew her too well. She was terrified that The Clan had found out that I had used magic in public. Actually I had been quite terrified myself last night. The demon had come right at me with its red vicious eyes and sticky scales, while I was in the toilet queue and I had been forced to use magic. The Clan of Witchcraft had clearly stated that use of magic in the sight of humans with no awareness of the magical world was completely forbidden and would cause punishment depending on the damage done.
“I wasn’t thinking, okay? It came right at me and put the lives of people around me in danger. I had to…” Fleur looked more softly at me. She was probably adding, “feels like she haves to safe everyone”, to her list of things to psychoanalysis me as the girl with abandoning issues. I knew that she had started a psychologist course a few years back, before she had been dragged to England to take care of me after my parents had left me when I was 13. Fleur had been my guardian since then and she had done everything in her power to behave like a proper parent, which apparently included frequent psychoanalyses of me.
“Alexa, you have to stop trying to safe everyone. You can’t vanquish demons in the middle of a beach party. You know what we talked about. If you see anyone from the Underworld, let The Clan know and they will take care of it” Fleur said.
The demon had come out of nowhere and nearly attacked a group of drunken girls. I had quickly sent them away, making them believe the demon was an idiot, who thought it was Halloween.
“Look, I know it’s Sunday, but you have to get up and go to your magicians class today. You’ve skipped two lessons this week!” she said.
I hated the classes, but they were mandatory for every wizard between the age of 10 and 18.
“Hey, how do you know that I have been skipping classes?” I said and looked at Fleur. She blushed and two red spots were occurring on the cheeks of pale face. “I…I was… ahmm…I…” she stuttered and was suddenly busy studying her purple painted fingernails. I knew she had followed me yesterday out of concern. “I have connections okay...? Let it go. And take a shower, your hair smells like beer. And demon blood” she said and wrinkled her nose. I took a lock of my hair and smelled it. Fleur was right as always, my hair smelled like beer and had that horrible scent of decay that always came with demons.
I thought about what Fleur had said about The Clan while I walked down the street with my bag filled with books with titles like “Witchcraft History” and “Elementary Magic”. Fleur had insisted on walking me to class, probably to check that I actually went. I wasn’t sure if she had gotten over our fight this morning, since neither of us were talking. The silence didn’t bother me, but gave me time to think. Maybe The Clan were trying to do something good, but I knew that they were hiding something and I had used the past time trying to figure out what it was. I rarely agreed with them on anything and I couldn’t understand that Fleur did. They had dragged her from her home country, when she was only 22 to take care of me. She was a very strong wizard and she had healing powers, which was very rare, so of course they were interested in collaboration, but I couldn’t comprehend how she would let them control her like that. She always told me that without The Clan everything magic would be chaos.
There were 14 members of The Clan, carefully picked out among the most powerful wizards around the world. They made the laws and made sure no one broke them. But I still believed that the generation in The Clan for the past years had become more and more aggressive in the politics and they seemed absolutely terrified of exposing magic. Lately a lot of wizards had disappeared and they hadn’t done anything about.
I was even convinced that they had been involved in my parents disappearing four years back. Before The Clan had changed policy, my parents had been members. When they disappeared I wasn’t old enough to truly figure out what was going on, but I knew that there were trouble. I had overheard a conversation between my mother and some of the other members. Apparently there were revolt in the wizard society and people disagreed with the leader Theodor Vandran, who wanted stricter rules. My parents and most of the other members were agreeing with the rebels and worked undercover in The Clan, trying to figure out what they were planning. Unfortunately I never found out what the revolt was about or what Vandran were working on since my parents and 7 other members disappeared shortly after. After this new members had been found still leaded by Theodor Vandran.
In the first years after my parents disappeared I tried to forget what I knew and move on, but a few weeks before my sixteenth birthday I had overseen an episode at the academy where I took my magic classes on weekends and evenings. On my way from an elixir class at the greenhouse I had seen two men in an intense fight and I had quickly hidden behind a tree. One of the men had been dressed in a long cobalt blue robe with a hood that covered most of his face and I identified him as a member of The Clan. The other man had been my teacher in defenders class, Mr. Alaric. I hadn’t quite been able to hear what they were fighting about, but I had heard the Clan-member say: “You have been opposing orders from The Clan and if you don’t stop and let us do our jobs, you will be in trouble”. To this Mr. Alaric had answered: “What you are doing is not your jobs. It’s wrong and it’s repulsive! You’re creating an army, and you say it’s for a good purpose? I refuse to help you in any way…” Then they had been interrupted by a group of kids walking by and they had both disappeared. The next day Mr. Alaric hadn’t shown up at class and we had been told he had resigned with no further explanation.
After ten minutes of walking, Fleur and I finally came to the academy, which from the outside looked like any other building in London. Fleur stopped walking and so did I. She was the first to say something: “Alexa, I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you have to start taking responsibility for your actions”. I looked at my watch and said: “I know and I’m sorry too, but I really have to go know if I don’t want to be late”.
I stood in the entrance for a minute or two watching Fleur go. When she finally was long enough away so she couldn’t see me anymore, I walked away from the academy, heading towards the library.