Fire Starter

Grape Valley Academy is not a regular school.
It's a school for students with powers.

Vera is one of these people. She's an aura reader, and is happily dating Cast Winters.

And then a new student shows up. Flame's an elemental. Unpredictable.
And he also has a secret.
A secret that has the power to destroy the school.

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1. Chapter ONE :)

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1

 

The Principal’s office.

Actually, outside of it. In one of those uncomfortable plastic chairs with a “pleather” cushion on it, placed just so in an attempt to look welcoming.

Not for anything bad, of course. Placed decoratively above my head was a plaque with my name on it. Above my name was a title: “Head Girl”. Next to it was a plaque for Cast Winters, who was “Head Boy” and probably “Head Student” as well, but our school didn’t like getting that deep into accomplishments.

Why didn’t they have Cast here instead of me?

Research has deduced that girls are more welcoming, at least to people they didn’t view as a threat.

And considering that I wasn’t that type of person, and the new kid was a boy, I was chosen.

There was also that added aspect of me being a Reader. An aura-reader, to be specific.

My power was that I could tell a person’s emotions just by looking at them, or I could see if they were lying or telling the truth, but only if they strongly felt they were telling the truth.

Cast was a Projector. He projected images that were so lifelike, some of the teachers even fell for it. He could read people, too, but only their worst fears or greatest desires.

And hey—being a Projector is good and all, but not very useful when trying to determine a new kid’s feelings.

Like, how they were adjusting and everything.

So, technically, that meant I was the one-man Welcoming Committee.

Not that we got new students that often. Oh, no.  (The ones we had had been stuck with us for a long time.)

Besides, there weren’t that many people like us in the world, and actually a lot of schools, considering.

By “us” I mean magical beings. You know; the ones that can read minds or control water or something.

But then there were the lesser-known ones, the obscure ones, like me. There were popular cousins of mine, like empaths and seers, but not exactly a walking-talking lie detector.

Also, there were the kinds that didn’t have magical powers, but were magical themselves. The species.

Pixies, or fairies, or shifters, or mermaids, among others. They typically had schools dedicated to one species.

Rarely there was a mixed school, like ours.

And so yes, it could probably be said that we didn’t have new students that often.

 

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I was a patient person, but this was slightly ridiculous.

I had been waiting in the uncomfortable chairs for almost forty minutes.

It usually didn’t take that long to introduce a new student to the curriculum and the classes.

I snorted to myself. Maybe this was test. Maybe I was being monitored.

Just in case there were any cameras around, I made a big show of drawing in a giant gulp of air, and prepared to exhale it in a largely overdramatic sigh, when the door slid open.

I froze mid-expulsion, my face stuck in an expression that can only be described as horrified and horrifying.

I closed my mouth after a few seconds in awkward silence, cursing myself silently. And turning to the boy and sticking my hand out.

“Hello, my name is Vera. Pleasure. You’re the new kid, I presume?” A businesslike demeanor overtakes me whenever I’m embarrassed.

The boy took my hand and slowly shook it, not replying.

I surveyed him discreetly.

Orange-ish red hair, spiked up, with dark highlights.

I didn’t doubt that it was natural. People like us have weird hair.

Green eyes, pale skin. He was wearing a red shirt that was partially covering a tattoo of some kind. It was a weird symbol, but I couldn’t see all it said.

Dark jeans, along with black shoes.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out what he was.

Could be a phoenix, but their features are more delicate and birdlike. We have a few of those. Phoebe and Fabian were twin phoenixes, and friends of mine.

We don’t get many Elementals here, though.

We have one, and Earthen senior, but Earths are all the same—quiet, studious, dedicated.

Fires though—wild, unpredictable. You never knew if you were getting a fun one or a freaky one.

I’d done a lot of reading up about the different creatures that went to our school. I had to. I was the Welcomer, after all.

 

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Done with his feet, my eyes strayed back up to the strange tattoo. I’d never seen one like it. I squinted at it, trying to read what it said.

The boy followed my eyes, snapping his jacket up onto his arms, covering his tattoo, a look of annoyance on his face,

He handed me the paper with his room number on it.

“Can we go now?”

Impatience and tiredness painted his aura, along with something a little like embarrassment.

“Oh. Oh, sure!” I replied, momentarily disconcerted as I leaped out of the seat. “Yes, yes, I can show you where your room is.”

The boy offered me half a smile. “Sorry, I’m just tired. Jet lag.”

“Where did you fly from?” I asked curiously, starting to lead him down the twisting passages that made up our school”.

“Well, I live in Maine,”—he shuddered—“it was awful, but I had to fly to Chicago first.”

Our school’s located in California, so I guess that’s pretty far.

“Yeah,” he said, starting to answer my unasked question. “My mom tried to homeschool me, but it was a little much for her. She’s an Air.”

Airs were carefree, loose people, so trying to teach a Fire probably would be a challenge for them.

A loud screeching interrupted my thoughts, and I cringed, grabbing his arm and yanking him off to the side. He started to protest, but I silenced him with a hand motion.

“Believe me, you do not want to be caught in the horde when those classrooms empty.”

He nodded, relenting, and allowed me to pull him over to the side, along with his single suitcase.

“This might be a bad time to ask,” I called over the rising din in the corridor, “but is this all you brought?”

“It’s all I have,” he admitted, embarrassment and a little bit of dishonestly coloring his aura.

Hmm. Sore topic? I think yes.

 

The noise in the hallway faded somewhat, and I glanced up to see if it was emptying. Not a much, but a little.

The main reason the halls were getting quieter was the figure that was walking towards us.

Brianna Gastric.

Alone.

Normally, she was accompanied by her posse, of Alaina Woodson—invisibility—Gabby Davids—Shifter—and Ellen Greene, a Manipulator of objects.

I glanced around frantically, trying to see if they were going to sneak attack us, but I couldn’t see them anywhere behind me. Finally I spotted them, skulking in a corner, probably hissing about not being included in this Brianna action. I sighed. This was going to be great.

Brianna was also a Manipulator, and her forte was herself. Each day, there was something different about her, but it was always—always—beautiful. Not many people knew what she actually looked like.

Today, she was dressed all in white, with golden blonde hair and sapphire blue eyes to complete the innocent angelic look.

She finally reached us, and with a flick of her wrist, everyone let go of the breath they had been holding and resumed talking.

Brianna acknowledged me with a nod of her head. I rolled my eyes—though I was probably lucky to get any form of acknowledgement at all.

She then turned to the boy and stuck out her hand.

“Brianna Gastric,” she purred. He took her hand and shook it, looking like he wished he were somewhere else.

I agreed with him.

Don’t get me wrong, Brianna wasn’t evil. She wasn’t a bad person, and her aura was pure.

But there was something about popular girls that just made you want to hate them.

I wasn’t exactly a “loser,” or unpopular, per se, but I wasn’t winning any popularity contests, that’s for sure.

I guess dating Cast sort of brought me up a little, He was pretty much the perfect guy, and everyone loved him.

Brianna and the new boy’s handshake lasted a little too long, and awkwardness flooded both of their auras.

Brianna recovered quickly.

“So, New Boy,”-she didn’t ask for his name. Guess mystery was more appealing. (Well, I guess, neither did I)-“I’m not busy. If you need a guide, I could show you around.”

“Um.” The boy replied, shifting slightly and glancing at me. “Vera was supposed to be my guide.”

Brianna’s gaze turned towards me, and her lips parted, as if she was noticing me for the first time.

I could almost see the gears turning in her head.

Vera=Cast=Friend.

“Oh.” Brianna blinked a few times—guess she’s never been turned down before—and then brightened, sending me what looked like a genuine smile. “Cool. I guess I’ll see you …around,” she finally said, shooting one last batting-eyelashes glance at the new boy, before walking (more like waltzing) off.

The crowd of people spread apart again, people sending revering glances at her, and confused glances at us. Like-why would Brianna Gastric deign to talk to us?

New meat.

I was just the addition, the one Brianna had to put up with. New Boy was the one she was interested in.

And I wasn’t sure he liked it.

The bell rang, scattering the remaining stragglers like ducks after a shotgun blast.

Thirty more seconds, and the muted hubbub coming from behind closed classroom doors faded.

The boy turned to me, eyebrows raised. “Wow.”

I shrugged.

“No, really,” he said, smiling somewhat. His face lit up, and it animated his features. “I was under the impression that this was a tiny school. Not a castle. With a million students.”

I smirked at him, finding his awe kinda funny. “And you haven’t even seen the whole student body!”

“There’s more?”

“Yeah, the classes of freshmen and juniors.”

We started to walk again towards the dorms.

“So what grade are you in?” I asked, making conversation. “I’m a sophomore.”

“I’m a freshman.”

Hmm. I discreetly looked him over again. He looked about the same height and build as Cast.

“I would be a sophomore,” he continued, “but I got held back.”

He caught my gaze. “Public school until I was eight, but then my mom had to homeschool me because of…you know.”

Yeah. If a kid like us wasn’t put in a special school early on, they had to be taken out of public school, otherwise they’d be considered a “danger” to the students.

“So my mom tried teaching me, but I guess it wasn’t good enough.” He finished.

By the time he finished talking, we were at the entrance to the Boy’s dorms.

“Room 506,” I read from the sheet of paper he’d given me. “No roommate. Lucky you,” I told him wistfully.

My roommate was a water sprite who was extremely sensitive. Which is why I have to always keep a mop and a sponge on hand.

“Yeah, don’t think anyone would want to be roomies with me,” he muttered under his breath.

His aura got considerably darker, and he scowled.

I chose not to comment.

“Yeah, so,” I started, awkwardly hopping from foot to foot. “Girls aren’t allowed in these dorms…”

“Not even you?”

“Not even me.”

“Uh,” I scrambled after a bit, pointing. “506 is right down that hall, take a left—yeah, you can see it: the blank door.

“I can find it,” the boy replied, a teasing glint in his aura.

“Thank you for showing me around,” he said.

“It’s my job,” I amended.

“You did it well.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled, embarrassed, toeing my foot on the ground. “So. Um, I should go, I have class…”

That’s me. Star of the “awkward goodbye.”

With a simple “bye,” the boy turned and started walking down the hall. I started walking away when I remembered something.

“Wait!”                                        

Halfway around the corner, he turned.

“Sorry. I just—I never got your name.”

Smiling a little, he dipped his head, the orangey-red spikes covering his face.

“It’s Flame,” he replied. “Flame Heuron.”

His aura tinged pink—the color of dishonesty—but before I could ask him about it, he turned the corner and was gone.

 

A/N:

My first chappie!!! Yay!! How'd y'all like it? It gets better, I promise! (I think.)

Drop me a comment with advice, please!

Thanks,

Autumn Avery :)

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