A/N: Due to formatting issues, if a word is underlined, it is supposed to be strikethroughed.
After that cryptic remark Lucifer immediately closed up and sent me back to the dorm without another word. I tried calling him, but the line was dead. I tried teleporting back but the necklace didn't even emit a faint fiery glow.
"Dammit!" I kicked my door and turned away to sit and brood on the bed.
It was late in the night and I might have woken up my neighbors, but I didn't care. Lucifer was hiding something from me. He knew who Bartus Draheim was.
He should be dead.
The thought looped in my mind, giving me questions upon questions with no answers. The only person who could give me the answers was currently blocking any form of communication and pretty much trapped me in the stupid school.
"You're really out of it today," Tigerlily observed when I fubbed another minor healing potion. Mr. Bertham was getting increasingly irritated at my apparent lack of skill and numerous mistakes while the others in the class snickered at my misfortune.
"I didn't get much sleep last night," I muttered back.
Actually I didn't get any sleep the night before. I spent the whole time trying to teleport or call Lucifer, but to no avail. When I finally decided to give up, my brain was too overactive to shut down, running a few million miles a second. I even swallowed two sleeping pills but it didn't work. I was tempted to try a third, but decided against it since the repercussions would not be favorable. I couldn't afford unfavorable side effect or to pass out for an undetermined amount of time. I do not need people thinking I tried to overdose on sleeping pills. That would only add to the rumors and I have always firmly believed that suicide was never the answer; it was never even an option that should be considered.
"You must have been in a really bad mood last night, kicking your door and everything," Tigerlily's warlock friend said, his potion already done and ready. He was lounging in his chair, feet crossed and an insufferable smirk scarring his face.
"You stalking my room, warlock?" I grumbled. I messed up again and was just a sliver away from throwing the flask out of the window.
"I'm your neighbor. And stop calling me warlock," he answered back, slightly peeved.
"Then what do I call you. You are a warlock, warlock," I replied easily. I slumped back in my chair and closed my eyes feeling a migraine coming on. Ha. I'm getting a migraine making a healing potion. Talk about irony.
'Giving up so easily, Nyx?'
My eyes flew open, "What?"
Tigerlily and the warlock gave me a puzzled look and the warlock said, "I said, you could call me my name. Daniel."
"Oh, uh, sure," I replied distractedly.
What was that voice? It sounded like—
I looked around, but only saw my classmates making the potion and Mr. Bertham scowling at his computer screen.
'You will not find me by looking around. I am in your mind, you are the only one who can hear me, child.'
Who are you?
'A...friend. I cannot meet you yet, but I have waited long to be able to talk to you.' The voice was that of a woman, mature in mind with a tone like silk. Her voice become affectionate, taking an almost pride filled tone as she continued, 'You have grown so much, little Night.'
"Ehem," an impatient throat cleared itself bringing me out of my mental conversation. Mr. Bertham stood in front of me, his cheeks red and arms crossed over his chest.
"Uh, yes?" I smiled awkwardly.
"Are you quite done daydreaming? You haven't even been able to make a single successful potion," he stated, beady eyes glaring at me.
I wasn't sure how to respond so I just looked down, mumbled an apology and blocked out the giggles from my classmates.
He 'harrumphed' and walked away, muttering under his breath, "Angel hybrids...so easily distracted and can never do anything right..."
'Do not trust him.'
Oh yay, you're back. Looks like I am finally going crazy.
The voice reprimanded me, 'Do not take that tone with me, little Night. And it is best you heed my warning.'
How do I know I can trust you? I don't even know who or what you are or if my mind is just making you up from lack of sleep.
'I cannot tell you and you will just have to trust your instinct. You feel an unnatural incline to trust me, do you not?'
She was right. Even though I was slightly afraid and suspicious, I did feel the unnatural, instinctive desire to trust her. It was like when I first met Lucifer. I had no idea who he was, but I intuitively trusted him immediately.
Can you at least tell me your name? And you know mine so use it instead of 'little Night', I am not little.
The voice answered sounding sincerely apologetic, 'I am afraid I cannot tell you anything of me other than I am trustworthy. If you wish, my dear Nyx, though you are very little compared to me.' She laughed, 'It is the same reason you call the Seer 'boy'.'
The Seer? You mean Matt? Matt's a Seer? What's a Seer?
'Oh no, I've said too much. I shall leave you now but if you are ever in need of my assistance, just call and I shall come. I hope to see you soon, dear Nyx. I have waited so long.'
"Wait! You can't just say that and disappear!"
I heard silence and then realized all eyes were on me. I had slammed my hands against the table, my stinging palms and tipped over herbs serving as proof, and I was out of my seat. Ah crap.
"I think you should stay behind, Miss Nyx. The rest of you may leave. Put your potions on your desk, I shall grade them for next class. They will not be counted but will serve as a check to see how much you have or have not learned," Mr. Bertham calmly stated.
Immediately, the rest of the students packed their bags and vacated the room, most sending me haughty sneers or the typical kindergarten "oooh you're in trouuuble" looks. I got one sympathetic smile from Tigerlily as she fluttered out of the room with the warlock Daniel (I knew it was either that or Damien) right in front of her.
Mr. Bertham gestured for me to come up to his desk and I complied, leaving my stuff at my own desk.
I stood in front of him, silently watching as he sorted through his personal files, not giving me the time of day.
I shifted my weight on the balls of my feet repeatedly, slightly swaying from side to side. Having nothing else to do and being as it seemed like he was going to make me wait, I let my eyes skim over Mr. Bertham's desk, the voice's warning still in my mind.
No harm in just checking...
At first glance, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Test papers from other classes inked red, some more than others, pens and pencils in a store bought holder, half finished cup of black coffee, files marked with various names and a laptop opened to his email. Normal teacher stuff.
I let my eyes roam his flayed papers when one particular half hidden sheet caught my attention. I glanced at Mr. Bertham to see if he was still absorbed with the paper in his hands before focusing on the wrinkled sheet of lined paper with sloppy handwritten words etched in ink.
Amalia Giddings 24, Jason Schmidt 29, Ronald Fenry 19, Gracelyn...
Names and numbers? Ages? Why are some crossed out?
I heard shuffling and quickly removed my gaze from the sheet to stare at my shoes before looking up to make it seem like I had been gazing at my laces the past 5 minutes.
Mr. Bertham finally looked up from his papers, tucking his current stack away in one of the empty folders marked with 'confidential' written in bright red capitals. His eyes caught the paper I had read and he discretely slid a file to cover it entirely. Acting as if tremendously bored, he laced his fingers together, the warlock rings leaving small gaps between.
"I do not appreciate slackers in my class, Miss Nyx," Mr. Bertham droned, straight to the point. "You waste time, which makes me waste time and it would be better for all of us if you do your work and let me do mine without me having to call you up to lecture you on your poor behaviour. I do not care if you are new, you've had plenty of time to get used to the curriculum. If you have difficulties due to your," he gave me a badly hidden belittling look, "heritage, then it would be best for you to transfer out of my class and into one more...suited to your abilities."
I kept my face impassive and simply responded through tight lips, "Sorry, sir. It won't happen again."
His eyes had gone back to his papers as he nodded to dismiss me. I strolled to my bag and packed up silently. I was late for my next class, but I didn't bother quickening my pace.
As I headed out the door, I sent a quick stony glance back at Mr. Bertham to see him skimming over the wrinkled sheet filled with what looked like a list. A list of names followed by a number if my guess was correct. Some crossed out, some left alone and I could make out some sort of identifying marking on others.
Why would a teacher like him have a list like that? It was crumpled, repeatedly folded and covered in ink splatters, old too by the murky yellow tinges only achieved by years passing by, or tea. Mr. Bertham is almost as OCD as Lucifer. He scolds students whose personal notes are the smidgest bit messy and makes them rewrite everything.
Well, Voice, you've planted the seed so are you going to help nurture it?
Receiving no response and not sensing the other presence in my mind, I let out a short sigh and lifted a corner of my lips in a mirthless half smile. Thought not.