Author's Note: Set in the early 1700's, around 1728 and so on during the reign of Frederick William I of Prussia; who passed a law saying that all Roma found in Prussia were to be killed on sight. Those who surrendered were given ten minutes to pray for their sins and THEN they were killed too. Nice guy huh?

The location at first is Aachen, a city in west-central Germany near Belgium.

***
He looked skyward, his hands bound behind his back as he asked God to take care of his family and tribe and to keep them safe from the hunters. He spoke in his native tongue, annoying the hunters greatly.

Kurt and his tribe had been resting by the river when they heard the barking of the hunter's dogs. He and his brother immediately drew their swords and told their mother Margali to get the tribe away as fast as possible. They then held the hunters back by fighting them off.

At one point, they split up, Stefan going one way and Kurt the other. Stefan was able to escape from the hunters, and he soon found their tribe. Kurt however, was penned in from all sides and he soon was forced to drop his sword and fall to his knees in surrender, allowing the Gadje to bind his hands and tie a rope around his neck to act as a leash.

One of the men interrupted his prayer, grabbing him by the shoulders and forcing him onto his feet. They put him on top of a horse and put a noose around his neck, waiting for the signal.

When the leader nodded, the horse was spooked and it ran, leaving Kurt behind.

***
The fall didn't break Kurt's neck however, and whoever had made the noose did not make it properly. For a long time he swung on the branch of the tree, unable to breathe as he gagged and swung back and forth slowly. His vision soon started to darken, starting from the outside of his vision and growing blacker and blacker until he finally lost consciousness.

Kurt felt someone touching him, lifting his head up slowly and tilting it so that his mouth could get opened more easily. He was lying on the ground in someone's arms, and his throat was burning like Hell. Liquid entered his mouth, and it burned his throat and caused him to start to cough and sputter; telling him that he was still alive.

"Easy now." The man said. "You're lucky to still be alive, and I would like to keep it that way." Opening his eyes, Kurt saw everything spinning in lazy circles. When the circles finally came into focus and stopped moving, he found himself looking at a man who was in his wiser years, his head bald and catching some of the sun. His eyes were a gentle blue color, sparkling as he smiled at him.

"Don't try to move too quickly." The man warned. "You might do some more damage to yourself."

"Who..." Kurt immediately regretted trying to speak. His throat burned and he started to have a coughing fit, which made his sore throat as it raged and fumed in protest. The man smiled and shook his head slightly at him.

"My name is Charles Xavier." He said. "Now don't try to speak again. Your throat has obtained quite a bit of damage. However, it shouldn't prove to be permanent or anything." Kurt nodded faintly, his tail flopping lazily at his side. Charles let him take a few more sips of the water, and then he put the water skin away, starting to help him to his feet.

"I'm going to have to take you aboard a ship, Kurt." He said. Kurt looked at him in surprise, raising his eyebrows slightly at the fact that he knew his name. Charles laughed softly, nodding a bit at the questions in his mind.

"Yes, I am aware that you did not tell me your name, Kurt Wagner of the Szardos Tribe." He said. "At least, that's your Gadje name anyway." He added slightly. "I will explain everything on our way to the ship, and don't worry about getting in. I have a camp not too far away with a change of clothing and make-up that will hide your looks and heritage from the people on board."

Kurt looked at him in confusion, wondering where the Hell he was planning on taking him.

"I'm taking you to England." Charles said, helping Kurt to lean on him as they headed off to his camp.

Kurt stopped and looked at him as if he was mad. Charles laughed, understanding what he was thinking.

"I have a school there that is far from any other towns or cities." He said. "No one will be coming to look for Rom there, and if they [i]do[/i] send someone to come looking, we'll be ready to hide you and a few of the other students there."

Kurt tilted his head to one side slightly, cocking an eyebrow. What did he mean by other students?

"My school is a special one, Kurt." Charles explained. "For people with special gifts that set them apart from others. At my school, there is no distinction between people's races, and everyone is equal there due to their added gifts. Take me for example; I can read and control people's minds if I wished to, which is why I was able to find you and answer your questions right now. Your gift is both physical and power oriented. Your appearance sets you apart from others, as well as an ability you have that you don't know you do yet."

Kurt's tail curled up slightly as he blinked at him, wondering what he was talking about with his second gift.

"I'll help you discover it when we get to my school." Charles said. "But there are a few rules you must agree to first." He said, looking at Kurt seriously.

Kurt nodded faintly, waiting to him them.

"You must come into my school with an open mind and an open heart, Kurt. There is no place for any animosity between people there. Everyone is to be respectful of other's beliefs, rituals, and holidays. Any breaking of these two should be reported to me, and they will be dealt with accordingly.

"On the issue of leaving the grounds and going to town. Everyone must go in at least a group of two to make sure nothing goes wrong. We really can't afford to have people burn our school down looking for witches now can we?" Charles asked with a laugh. "If you are willing to obey these rules, you are welcome in my school for as long as you wish to stay."

Kurt smiled and nodded, offering his tail instead of his hand to shake with. Charles took hold of the spade and they shook lightly, smiling as they reached Charles' camp.