Chapter One- Saying Bye, Saying Hey, Saying Yay, Saying Nay

"Are you sure you want to do this, Ellie?"

"Yes, Mom." I rolled my eyes. "Me and Will are going to be fine. Just make sure you don't end up killing Tig, okay?"

"Of course, honey. And you come home any time you want to. Just be careful." Mom said, getting tearful. What was with women? Like, old women, who'd had kids? Did they naturally become emotionally attached and all teary or something, or was it something of an art?

"Okay, well I trust you'll look after her, William?" My Dad said, all regal. He made me want to fall about, laughing.

"Yes sir. Elle's fine with me." Will said, all seriously. I was trying not to crack up!! Even though Will didn't want to join the army, it seemed he'd be a very good soldier if he changed his mind. Which, you know, wasn't going to be soon or anything. Especially now Admiral Wagner was in the picture.

"And you love her? Look after her? Protect her?" Dad interrogated. God! He sounded like he was giving a knighthood or something. Medievalists. So dramatic. And unforgivably prehistoric.

Though, the whole love thing, wasn't exactly an issue. My dad asking, I mean. I was pretty curious about this too, but didn't really know how to tell Will that. It was strange enough I was going to be sharing an apartment with him, and Geoff had transferred to Washington College so he could keep an eye on us, let alone Mom, Dad and Tig moving back to Minnesota. After all, the sabbatical had ended.

"And…be safe, okay, Lake Lady?" Mom thought that ever since Morton had told me my "role", it was hilariously funny to call me the Lake Lady, especially when I was visiting the lake so much. To be honest, I felt like I was being pushed towards it. It wasn't my choice- it was obligation of the Lady of the Lake.

Yes. Even though I am still totally cynical about it, Morton has somehow brainwashed me into admitting it; that I, Elle Harrison, newly-made sophomore, is in actual fact the reincarnation of one of the most influential characters in Arthurian legend, the Lady of the Lake.

No wonder Lance and Jennifer think Morton's a nutcase. Try telling them two that their reincarnations of Lancelot, famous Arthurian knight, and Guinevere, queen and possible cause of the downfall of Camelot, just because she was a woman.

I'm so sure.

My Dad was staring at Will, who I realized still hadn't answered. What was with that?

"Yes, sir. I do love her. I will look after her, and I will protect her."

Oh wow.

Oh wow.

Oh WOW.

"Good." My Dad said briskly. He gave me a hug. "Be careful, okay?"

"Yes, Dad!" I smiled, though I felt a little bad. Who was going to be scared of snakes in the pool? Who was going to ask me to pull staples out of their hands? Who was going to proudly present me with Red Hot & Blue potato salad to eat in my locker, forgetting as medievalists, about refrigeration?

"You okay?" Will asked, putting his arm around me.

"Yeah." I mumbled. "We're going to be late, and Lance and Jen are going to be waiting. Let's go."

When we got to school, - even though I had passed my driver's test (YAY!), Will drove- a horde of screaming "EXCALIBUR!!" fans welcomed us.

"God, its weird hearing the name Excalibur after…well, everything." I murmured into Will's ear. He nodded.

"Well, I suppose we are destined for greatness…" He made a silly bowing movement, making Liz and Stacey swoon. Ever since me and Will had announced we were together, they had totally fallen for Will.

"After all," Liz explained to me. "if he decided to go out with you after splitting with Jennifer, there's hope for us if you guys finish, isn't there?"

I didn't bother saying that was hopeless optimism.

"Guys!!" Jennifer bounced over in her cheerleading uniform, and gave me and Will hugs. Lance high-fived Will, and awkwardly gave me a kiss on the cheek. Even after we'd become friends, I guess it was weird for Lance, you know, kissing his best friend's girlfriend. Like he did with Jennifer- though Will doesn't seem to mind too much.

He knows we're crazy about one another.

"Hey!" I smiled, staring at Jennifer's new gold highlights.

"Like the hair? Come on, be honest- yay or nay?"

"Yay. Most definitely." I nodded. Will did too, and Lance just kissed her on the cheek. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Shirelle, the new French student, giving us evil looks. She stalked up to us, full of attitude.

"Here's the deal." She said, coldly. "You back off, stop being the oh-so-populars, and just take a step, or this means war, okay? Yay or nay?" She sneered. Whoa. Random.

"Nay. Most definitely." Lance scowled. Shirelle flinched. "Now back up, French stick, or somebody might have to move you."

"Fine." Shirelle said. "This means war. What about you, Elle?" I flinched. I thought she was asking us as a group.

"Look, Shirelle." I said, trying to stay calm. "We don't ask to be popular. If people like us, then fine, great, thank you. If not, okay, fine, whatever, life moves on. So if you're saying become a bad person just to make you feel less insecure, I say nay- I think I'm speaking for all of us here."

"Fine." Shirelle said, staring at me coldly, barely glancing over her black-clad shoulder. "You asked for it, Harrison. You all really asked for it."

And then she walked away.