Luna Academy

Lark Wickendon was never normal- not since her first shift. Ever, since, she's felt as if there is something missing from her life, something important.
When Lark is invited to join the exclusive Luna Academy, a remote boarding school hidden in the depths of the American Rockies in Colorado, she know she can't refuse. She loves her parents dearly, after all they have raised her since she was 4, but she knows she can't risk this opportunity, not since the deputy head emailed her.
Because there is something different about Luna Academy- its a school for werewolves.


4. The Academy

After two hours of chatting in the car with Cameron, we finally arrive at Luna Academy. In front of us, the ornate cast-iron gates, with howling wolves twisted into their intricate patterns, open slowly, and we drive through, pausing only to say hello to the guard. Through the window, I can see the grounds rolling by, endless grassy lawns that end only at towering pine forests that seem to go on forever.
All too soon, we pull up outside the Academy, and I finally get to see what my home for the next 2 years looks like. Although I have seen photos on the school website, they do not do justice to the graceful, gothic grandeur of Luna Academy. It is made of an exquisite, bluey grey stone, not unlike the sky on a stormy day. Hand-carved stone steps led up to the front entrance, which is framed by two rounded pillars. From here, two identical wings stretch out to the East and West, each ending in a tower, although I spot two more identical ones behind them. The roof has crow-foot gables that rise inward to crest above the oak wood door. The door itself is huge, with a massive brass knocker in the shape of a wolf. There is definitely a theme here. 
But it is not here that we are stopping. Instead, we continue round to the right of the main building, following a gravel path until we arrive at the door of one of the many much smaller outer buildings. A plaque next to the door reads 'Nightshade Boarding House.'
We enter the boarding house and walk down a deserted corridor, past several open archways leading to what look like common rooms. Finally we stop at a door emblazoned with the words 'Mrs Carlyle.' We knock on the door and a soft voice from inside beckons us to enter. Inside, the room is warm and welcoming, with an open fire opposite a massive dark-wood desk with chairs arranged on either side. Behind the desk is a plump woman who looks to be around 50, dressed in a black wrap dress and simple black pumps.
"Ah, you must be the new girl!" she exclaims brightly, flashing a surprisingly beautiful smile.
"This is Lark Wickendon," Cameron tells her, "she just arrived here from Scotland."
"What a beautiful name," remarks the woman, "I'm Mrs Carlyle, the House Mistress for Nightshade. I will act a bit like a mother to you while you're at the academy, so feel free to come to me with any problems you may have. I may be human, but I certainly know a lot about shifters to!"
This information surprises me. Although I knew from Mrs Carlyle's scent she was human, I had not expected the academy to put a human in charge of a werewolf dorm. It just didn't seem right.
"Um, ok," I reply, sounding a bit unsure.
However, Mrs Carlyle either didn’t hear this or chooses to ignore it, because she continues on in the same cheery tone. "Well, now you're here and we've all been introduced, I suppose it's time for me to show you your room!"
And with that she exits the room, briskly walking down the corridor to the stairs. As the three of us climb the stairs, she chats to me over her shoulder.
"Now Lark, you are in room 8B, which is on the second floor. At the Academy, each shifter shares a room, and these pairings are decided by the housemistress when you first come to the Academy. These pairings remain the same for the duration of your time at the Academy, unless you make a request to change roommates at the end of the year."
Here Mrs Carlyle pauses as we find ourselves on the second floor. We begin to walk along a short corridor lined with identical doors, each with a number on them. We soon reach room 8.
"So, this is your room Lark," says Mrs Carlyle as she opens the door to reveal, a light, airy room, simplistic yet pretty. "You are sharing with Dharma Banerjee, who is the mate of the Beta in your pack. So not a bad person to be friends with!"
Wow. And I thought my name was unusual. Still, Mrs Carlyle had a point. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make a friend, especially one who is high up in the pack hierarchy.
Cameron sets my bag down on the unoccupied bed next to the window, before making his excuses and leaving. Mrs Carlyle stays for a little longer to explain where meals are eaten, and a few other Dorm rules, before she to leaves me alone to unpack. Once the door shuts, I sit down on the bed, trying to wrap my head around everything that has happened.
It seems like only moments ago I was at home in Scotland with my parents, and now I am here, halfway across the globe in a completely unknown environment. Although it is exciting to finally be living with other werewolves, I am also incredibly nervous. What if no one likes me? What if I end up at the bottom of the pack order? I am filled with a sudden longing to return home, to go back to the familiar.
I quickly push these thoughts away, knowing they could bring on tears. Instead, I focus on unpacking my clothes into the chest of drawers at the end of my bed. The room is built for purpose, with identical beds, desks, dressers, mirrors and bedside tables. The only things different are the personal touches my roommate has added to her side of the room; a few framed photos, some posters of musicians and a deep green blanket spread on the bed. Although her things are tidy, I get the sense that this is not how it usually is, as I see a few items of clothing poking out from beneath her bed.
Just then, the door opens and a girl enters, calling a goodbye to someone over her shoulder. I take the moment she is distracted to study her. She is incredibly pretty, with milky-coffee skin, dark, nearly black hair and a figure to die for. Her legs, encased in black tights, stretch out endlessly from a blue skirt that ends midway up her thigh, and her slim waste is accentuated by a tight white t-shirt with a picture of a beach and a palm tree on it.
When the girl turns around, she jumps a bit at the sight of me standing there looking at her.
"Jesus!" she exclaims, "You scared me there!"
I can see now that her face is also pretty, with traditional features, and wide, expressive brown eyes. Her brown hair hangs in a short pixie cut that frames her face, although her fringe is clipped back from her eyes.
"Sorry," I say, my lips twitching at her reaction. "You were told I was coming right?"
"Yeah, of course," Dharma replies, reaching out a hand to me. "I'm Dharma."
"And I'm Lark," I reply, taking her hand and smiling.
She smiles back at me "Your accents amazing Lark, where are you from?"
"Um cheers, I just came from Scotland."
"Wow. How come you came so far? I thought there was an Academy in England?" Her expression is puzzled now, as she tries to think of a reason for me to have come so far.
"All the Academies in Europe and England were full; this one was the only one with a place for me."
"That sucks,” She tells me, smiling sympathetically, "but at least you got in right?"
"Yeah I guess," I reply as she moves past me to her bed, promptly flopping down onto it.
"Hey." Dharma sits up quickly. "Do you need any help unpacking?"
"Oh, no thanks, I'm nearly done," I call over my shoulder as I turn back to my suitcase to unload the last few things.
"Ok, well after you've done that, we should head to dinner. It's Macaroni cheese tonight, so we should get there a bit early."
"Cool," I say, placing a framed photo of me and my parents in front of the Eiffel Tower on my bedside table.
Half an hour later and I have unfinished unpacking. The clock at the end of the room above the mini-fridge and the microwave reads 6:30.
"I'm all done," I tell Dharma as I shove my suitcase underneath the bed.
"Awesome, let's go eat," she replies, leaping off the bed where she has been doing homework for the past 30 minutes. We then exit the room and join the throng of girls who are also heading to the dining room.






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