When the Twins regained consciousness they were no longer in the chateau. Instead they were in a room in some other place. It was a big, elaborate room much like the room they had stayed in with their parents at the chateau. There were two beds side by side, one for each twin and the afternoon sun warmly came in through the window. In the middle of the room was a pile of their belongings, such as clothes, books and toys.
The Twins moved to a sitting position and eyed each other. Each one could see the fear in the other one's face. In the midst of the silence that filled the room, they could hear voices coming from somewhere outside the door. They got up from the beds they were each laying on and ran to the door. It was cracked enough where they could peek out into the hallway and see what was going on. Much to their surprise, they saw other kids running and playing and laughing. They were strange looking kids. One of them was very tall and lanky and was dressed in black, had medium long jet black hair and very pale skin, though not as pale as the Twins' skin. He wore a silver chain necklace that had a bat pendant dangling and sparkling at the end of it. The boy looked older than the Twins and also evil.
The other kids that followed him weren't far from looking like him. One of them even had a pair of bat-like wings on his shoulders. They were flattened against the boy's back, but the Twins could clearly see that they were wings.
However, there was one boy that stood out from the rest. He was about the same age or a year or two younger than the tall, lanky one. His dark hair was cut short and he had an Asian look to his face and skin. He wore a white t-shirt and white jeans, along with matching white tennis shoes. But he didn't look happy, nor was he laughing along with the others. It was at this moment that the Twins realized they weren't playing with each other. The boys in black were picking on the boy in white, teasing him and making fun of him. They could hear the painful names that the boys hissed through their teeth.
"Hey, Angel Boy, where are your wings?" one of them said before he broke out laughing.
"Here are my wings." The boy with the bat wings said before he stretched them out to their full extent and then flapped them a couple of times.
"Wingless!" yet another called out before they all broke out in laughter.
No matter what, the boy in white continued on walking down the length of the hall, never once paying them a bit of attention. He walked along as if it didn't even bother him, as if the teasing boys weren't even there but were invisible. Suddenly the tall, lanky boy ran up to the boy in white, grabbed him by the shirt and flung him against the hall wall.
"You look at us when we're talking to you!" he hissed in a dark and menacing voice. The voice alone sent chills down the Twins' spines. But despite their fears, they had to do something. They couldn't just stand there and watch as this pack of bullies tormented that poor boy.
"Hey!" the Twins said together, coming out of their room and into the hallway. "You leave him alone."
The lanky boy pleasingly turned his gaze towards the Twins and let the boy in white go.
"Well, well what have we here? A couple of carbon copies?" he snickered. "Hey look, guys. Someone made a copy of their kid! And the Merovingian just happened to take them away and dump them here."
All of the boys broke out laughing. The lanky boy stepped closer to the Twins and smiled a huge smile that revealed fangs instead of teeth.
"Look at how small they are." He said. "Nothing but babies."
"And look at the color of their eyes and hair." The bat winged boy said.
"Are you two part metal?" the lanky boy snickered.
The Twins only stood and stared into the boy's deadly looking face. They were beginning to think that coming out into the open wasn't such a good idea after all.
"Their eyes look like silver bullets." Said the bat winged boy.
"Oh help me! Help me! They're going to kill me just by looking at me!" the lanky boy screamed in a mock girly voice. All of the others broke out in laughter again, except for the boy in white.
"I'll bet that they miss their mommy." The boy got down into the Twins' faces. "Don't you?"
The Twins didn't say anything, but shuffled their feet instead.
"Let me tell you something, silver bullet eyes, you'll never see your parents again. The Merovingian took you away and dumped you in this forsaken heap of a school with only one thing in mind, hoping that you'll grow up to be his slaves. Your parents have probably forgotten all about you by now. They're probably somewhere right now enjoying the freedom the Merovingian gave them while you're both stuck here in purgatory."
"That's not true!" Two said in defense, getting ready to cry. "Our parents love us. They said so! They said they'll always love us no matter what!"
The lanky boy burst out laughing and then slapped Two in the face. "Listen, silver bullets, I'm the leader around here. Understand? So what I say, goes."
Two's lip quivered while he rubbed his sore face.
The lanky boy turned around to face the boy in white.
"That's enough. They're new around here and they're just little kids. Leave them alone and pick on someone your own size."
"Like you?" Vlad grabbed the boy in white again. Vlad sighed and let the boy go. "I'm bored with this. C'mon, let's go shoot some baskets."
The pack of boys that followed Vlad turned and filed down the hallway until they disappeared. Vlad stopped and turned back toward the Twins.
"I forgot to say, welcome to the Tower." He grinned a fang grin and then turned and disappeared the way the other boys went.
The Twins turned and ran, crying, to their room. The door slamming shut behind them was enough to echo through the school's halls and arouse the housemasters. Both Twins sat on the floor next to one of the beds, their knees drawn up to their chests, and cried their eyes out. Unknown to them, the door to their room slowly and carefully opened with one slight creak, revealing the boy in white. He stood still and silently eyed the two bawling twins. After three minutes of hesitation, the boy walked in and up to the Twins. He carefully placed his hand on one of their shoulders and knelt down beside them.
"It's ok. Everything is going to be alright."
The Twins startlingly looked up, their eyes puffy and wet.
"Oh, it's you." Two shakily said. "Aren't you going to make fun of us too?"
The boy shook his head and smiled. "I'm sorry, but I don't agree with doing stuff like that."
"Who are you?" One sniffed.
"Someone who understands how you must be feeling right now."
"No one could possibly understand how we're feeling." One sniffed again.
"Yes, I do." The boy positioned himself on the floor in a cross-legged fashion. "Although you're both fortunate that you only got teased and slapped in the face. I've had it much worse."
The Twins now had their full attention on the strange boy.
"I've had the teasing more times than I can count, true, but I've also had beatings. I've been locked in the closet, I've been locked in the lockers, I've had food thrown at me, I've been tripped and other things that I won't even bother to mention."
"Why?" Two asked.
The boy shrugged his small lanky shoulders. "Because I'm different than them and because they're just bullies."
"How are you different?"
"I'm nice and I like helping people, unlike them."
The Twins stood silently for a few minutes and eyed the child.
"You aren't a vampire or a Doberman, are you?" Two wrinkled his nose.
The boy smiled and shook his head. "No, I'm not."
"Mummy told us that there are many creatures in the Matrix and most of the Exiles are either vampire or Doberman. There are a few that are alien and some that are ghosts and even leprechauns. Are you a leprechaun?" Two tilted his head.
The boy laughed. "No, I'm not a leprechaun."
"Then what are you?" One asked eagerly.
The boy quickly looked toward the door and then leaned forward toward the Twins.
"I'm a guardian." He whispered.
"A what?" both Twins said together, not understanding.
"A guardian." The boy repeated. "You know, an angel."
"What's an angel?" Two asked curiously.
"Someone who'll look out for you." the boy smiled.
"What's your name then?" One asked.
"Seraph." The boy simply said. "What are your names?"
"I'm Two and this is One." Two pointed toward his brother.
"Did your parents give you over to the evil man too?"
Seraph sadly nodded.
"Where are they?"
"I don't know." Seraph answered, looking down at the floor.
"We're sorry." Two innocently said, seeing the sadden face of Seraph. "Don't cry."
"You wanna be our friend?" One asked. "Maybe we can gang up on those bullies and lock them in the closet."
Seraph looked up at the Twins and almost laughed. He quickly nodded his head that he wanted to be friends.
"I'd like that very much." his dark eyes sparkled with happiness. "You're the only two that have ever been nice to me. And are the first to ever want to be my friends."
"You're our first friend too!" the Twins said together.
A few minutes of silence passed until Two spoke again.
"Seraph, will we ever see our parents again?"
Seraph remained silent, not really sure how to answer his new friend. He looked up into the Twins' waiting faces, his smile fading from his lips.
"I can honestly say no."
The Twins' heads dropped to their chests.
"Unless some miracle happens."
Two was almost getting ready to cry again.
"Vlad may be a jerk and a heartless bully, but he was right about that one detail, sad to say." Seraph kept his eyes on his friends. "But don't listen to everything he says. I know that your parents have not forgotten you and that they still love you very much. Don't lose hope. Maybe someday you'll get the chance to see them again."
"What is this place?" One changed the subject.
"It's a boarding school for Exile children." Seraph looked around the room as he spoke. The Twins did the same. "All Exile children coming back into the Matrix with their parents must come here because they're too young to work for the Merovingian to pay for their freedom. We're schooled here, fed here, live here and one day we'll graduate and then become workers for the Merovingian."
"We'll never work for him." The Twins smugly said. "Not after what he did to our family."
"Don't be so sure of that. You have to work for him. There's no other way. You either work for him the amount of time he wants or you get sent to the Source."
The Twins silently and blankly stared at the floor in front of them.
"How old are you?" Seraph asked.
Both Twins, without saying a word, held up five fingers each.
"You're fortunate. They don't start your schooling here until you're at least six years old."
"What does that mean?" One asked.
"That means until you turn six you're free to wander the school as you please without having to do anything but be kids. And believe me, you'd better enjoy every minute of it."
The Twins exchanged worried glances.
"How old are you?" Two timidly asked Seraph.
"I'm ten." He answered, proudly.
"How old is the bully?"
"You mean Vlad? Oh, he's thirteen. And thinks he owns the place." Seraph brought his voice to a whisper. "Take my warning. Don't have anything to do with him. He's evil, he's cruel, he's snobbish, and he's a bully. Just ignore him as much as you can and don't listen to the things he says to you. He only says them to hurt and to make you mad and want to fight."
The Twins nodded that they understood. "We'll try."
"You don't know half of what Vlad does. Couple years ago he was banned from the school for awhile because he had taken two Exile children and tortured them to death."
The Twins' eyes widened. "Why did they let him back in?"
"They had to. He's to complete his schooling and training at all costs." Seraph sighed. "But if you ask me, the sooner he leaves the better."
The Twins nodded in agreement.
"C'mon and I'll show you around the place." Seraph grinned while getting up from the floor. "You'll need to know, plus it'll help get your mind off things."
The Twins both got up and followed their new friend.