Hello people! Hope you are all well! No excuses as usual but if anyone desperately wants to know I've managed to change courses at Uni and am now very happy to be here working hard! :) That was why I was so busy. Apologies of course and bowed thanks for your continued loyalty!
Anyway I'm finally really enjoying this story so hopefully there is a bit more feeling and fun in these chapters. They also seem to be a lot longer than before! We'll be meeting a member of Arian's family soon so there's some excitement for you.
Thank all the reviewers/favouriters/alerters Great comments and I'm thankful for them all!
Most especially my motivator who PM pokes me ! This chapter is dedicated to you : BlackRose-Cherry!
On with the story!
"Get up Arian, it seems our mystery has already left for breakfast, we shall have to teach him soon that he cannot go anywhere without letting us know," Azriel's soft voice said. Arian sat up quickly and growled as his eyes settled upon the empty bed that belonged to his Akemi.
Having been eating breakfast with Elsander chattering away in his ear Akemi felt much braver. As the ditzy daemon finished his empty plate disappeared with a 'pop'. Akemi grinned at Elsander's confused face as he desperately searched for his pencil only to wail in despair when realising he had left it on his empty plate!
"Don't worry Elsander! I'm sure we can get another pencil," he giggled shaking his head at the absent minded boy. Elsander turned and glared at him, although there was no heat in it.
"That's easy for you to say! However that pencil was exactly the right shade of gray so as to be stimulating to the electrical nodes of the frontal lobe when I write!" Elsander replied in a slightly strained and high pitched voice. Akemi stared at him not really certain what to reply to that.
"Here try this one," said another voice. Akemi and Elsander looked up to see Arian holding out a pencil and Azriel stood close behind him. Elsander's face lit up and he snatched the pencil from Arian's grasp before scribbling on the margin of his book. "Wonderful! It's exactly right!" he exclaimed twirling it between his fingers.
"Keep it," Arian said gruffly. Elsander rose from the table and patted Akemi on the head softly.
"Let me know if you need help," he said smiling then nodding to both Arian and Azriel he wandered away his nose in the book.
"You're up early little one, you should have woken us before you left," Azriel said sitting gracefully down on Akemi's right side, a steaming goblet in one hand.
"Oh…Sorry," Akemi replied "I only came to get breakfast, you weren't awake, I didn't want to disturb you," he said
"Please always wake us from now Akemi," Azriel said "You are ours and we wish to keep you safe," he said.
Akemi nodded with a slight frown on his face but shuffled over as Arian sat down on his left holding a plate of bacon and steak. As the smell wafted over Akemi wrinkled his nose and sneezed. Arian laughed,
"Not hungry?" he asked nodding at the small portion of fruit on Akemi's plate. The ebony haired boy frowned.
"Um, I'm pretty full already thanks, I had a pomegranate and an orange while talking to Elsander. Anyway, I don't really eat meat," he said softly. Azriel's eyes widened a little and Arian snorted in disbelief,
"No meat? Not burgers or steak?" he said huffily eyeing the fruit in distaste. Akemi blushed rapidly,
"Um, I have never….never really tried either, but I just don't like the idea of eating something….something dead." He finished shivering. There was a pause and Arian laughed loudly before bringing one arm around his back and squeezing until he squeaked.
"Don't worry little Akemi, I'll eat the meat for both of us and you can eat your girly food," he said his eyes twinkling. Azriel rolled his eyes and flicked Arian hard on the nose,
"Ill-mannered wolf," he said matter of factly and Akemi glanced between them both before smiling widely. Azriel looked back down at Akemi and a small wrinkle in his forehead was all that betrayed his worry. "You may not eat meat Akemi but you must eat more than two pieces of fruit in the morning," he said.
Akemi glanced up at him and then away. "Professor Lalia gave me nutrition potions remember? They mean I get what I should, but my stomach…it isn't ready to eat so much yet," he mumbled without looking at either of them. There was a strange cracking sound and Akemi looked up in shock to see Arian had broken his plate in two.
"A...Arian!" he stuttered reaching out to check if the werewolf had hurt himself. "Are you okay?" he gasped. Azriel placed a calming hand on Akemi's shoulder.
"Don't worry, Arian doesn't know his on strength sometimes," he said airily. Arian grimaced but nodded in agreement shooting a grateful glance at the silver haired vampire. "Why don't I walk you to your first class this morning since mine is nearby and we'll let Arian finish his breakfast so perhaps he may get to classes on time?" the vampire continued primly before curling an arm around Akemi's waist and hoisting him gently up. The smaller boy nodded before smiling unsurely at Arian.
"Hurry! You shouldn't be late for the first class of the year!" he said and Arian grinned feeling better at the ebony haired boy's enthusiasm.
"Don't worry titch, I'm never late!" he replied smirking at Azriel's subtle eye roll. Akemi scowled and huffed angrily.
Having dropped Akemi off at the door of his class Azriel wandered a few doors further down to his own Ancient runes class trying to ignore the need to go back and constantly check on Akemi. The little mystery had seemed truly excited about his class and Azriel could admit he felt better that both the twins and the daemon Elsander were in Akemi's class. He pushed open the door to his own room and glancing around quickly found that Arian had in fact beat him here. Gliding gracefully through the single seat-desk combinations Azriel seated himself on the seat-desk next to Arian.
"Did you check Akemi was okay?" was the first question out of the blonde's mouth. Azriel managed to refrain from rolling his eyes again, a motion he seemed to constantly use when in the presence of the werewolf.
"Of course I did," he replied pulling out his pens and paper before ordering them neatly on the desk. Arian was sat slouched in the chair absently scratching a deep gash in the desk with one of his longer nails his eyes glazed over as if he was almost asleep. Azriel gave in to the urge to roll his eyes and moved his attention to the classroom. The walls were scattered with huge posters of different runes and casting methods. At the front were three large blackboards two clean and one covered in complicated scribbling that even with his enhanced vision Azriel could not make out.
The room was lit with large fat wax candles dripping down their black iron stands and various shelves filled with books lined down the right-hand side right up to the ceiling. Azriel could make out a few titles. The ancient art of casting by Usea Stick, The history of the Fox rune by Kitsu Ne, Runes for dummies by Havep Atience. Azriel recognised a few of the titles having studied the basics of runes with his mother as a child. Runes were an important part of her song Magery process and although he had no aptitude for music his rune work was good.
A single door by the side of the bookcase creaked open and a small dusty man came out wearing dark red robes and a bow tie. Azriel blinked trying to work out the impressive feat of wearing collared robes as well as a bow tie but since his mind couldn't seem to manage he gave up and ignored it. The man had wispy gray hair that seemed to be trying to escape his head and large horn rimmed glasses perched on the end of his nose. He shuffled up to the three blackboards before clambering onto a pile of books and coughing loudly.
"Welcome, welcome class! Always wonderful to see so many fresh and happy faces staring back at me," he exclaimed loudly in between bouts of coughing. "I'm Professor Rackheart and I'll be your Ancient Runes master for this year."
"Now to start with I'm going to split you between who already has some experience with Runes and those who are complete novices! Not to worry if you are a novice you'll soon catch on!" he babbled enthusiastically windmilling his arms about.
Glancing sideways Azriel could see Arian was grinning at the professor's strange demeanour. The rest of his class was murmuring quietly and shifting not entirely certain what was being asked of them. After some organisation those who had some basic proficiency were seated on one side of the class and those without on the other.
Professor Rackheart was lecturing the novices very fervently about the Runic alphabet which consisted of only 20 base Runes which combined to form any other Runes that existed. He had given those with experience the task of writing out as many of the 20 as they knew along with their main uses and most popular combinations. Arian seemed to have taken this as permission to draw a single large scale Lupis rune and label it with an arrow and a sentence that basically declared it as the most useful rune ever.
Leaning over Azriel's shoulder and snorting at the 19 beautifully drawn runes Arian huffed in annoyance.
"Look Az, seriously this class is going to be a doss, stop trying so hard!" he said poking the vampire in the cheek. Azriel didn't reply instead he sank a fang into the werewolf's prone finger and glared. Arian hissed and withdrew his finger pouting. "Did you get a reply from your father yet about the mating?" he asked in a more serious tone. The vampire turned to look at him,
"Yes I saw a letter in my cubby during breakfast but haven't had the time yet to open it." He replied. Arian yawned and leant back,
"I'm thinking of writing to my mother, I want to ask if Akemi can visit during the next open weekend," he said thoughtfully. Azriel nodded.
"It's as good an idea as any, we can take a portkey on the Saturday and come back on the Sunday, I'm sure your mother is a good choice to be the first to meet him and I think Akemi would enjoy seeing the pack. Also as a healer maybe she'll be able to take a look at his split magic and help us work out how his third mate has such a connection with him already." Arian nodded in reply.
"Anyway it certainly won't be a good idea to introduce him to my family before we instil some basic vampire politics into him." Azriel murmured and Arian frowned.
"We're going to have to keep him away from that as much as we can Az, he isn't ready for anything like that and certainly won't be able to deal with meeting any of your cousins," he growled frowning. Azriel sighed absently
"I know, I just hope that father's information about the mating bond tells us something useful about multiple partners," he said under his breath. Their thoughts simultaneously drifted to their unknown mate, unsure as of yet what to think about him.
Azriel's worry was amplified by his concern about his own family and the political situation which could be a potential danger to Akemi and Arian should he not handle it very carefully. He wasn't too worried about Arian, with his strength and own political backing, but little Akemi…. The hierarchy system in the school meant that it was going to be hard to control the fallout if he wasn't quick.
Azriel sighed again and let his mind wander imagining whether Akemi's Runes teacher was any less infuriating and whether he was settling in okay. As his heart tightened in worry his lips pursed very slightly and Arian's eyes on him softened allowing their fingers to brush against each others. This was going to be a long class…..
Meanwhile back at the ranch….no wait….Akemi's Runes classroom….
Akemi smiled at Elsander as he took his seat, glancing round the classroom he admired some of the art; The Runic art was done in many fluorescent colours on a pristine white background making Akemi think of some of the muggle art he'd seen at his school, the few times he'd managed to attend.
The desks were bright green and curved from one of the chairs arm rests and the chairs themselves were pale blue and rounded, making him feel somewhat like he was sitting on a bubble. The back wall of the classroom was one massive window and gave an amazing view of the forest, plenty of light streamed in making everything in the classroom seem brighter than it already did. At the front was a large white screen behind a strange glass desk with silver feet that were shaped like spirals.
There were shelves full of books and strange moving silvery contraptions that swayed back and forth and made quiet whirring and chiming noises.
"Looking forward to learning?" said a voice next to his ear and Akemi started turning to see bright purple eyes filling his vision.
"Oh Elsander! Yes very much! This classroom is amazing, though I'd expected it to be like my old school, kind of dark and stone with candles," Akemi smiled "I much prefer this!" Elsander gave him a lopsided grin and brought his fist down on one of the twins' hands whom had been trying to steal his pencil.
"Its teachers preference here I think, there are probably some classrooms backwards enough to use candles, natural lighting is so much better," he agreed nodding his head so hard he had to blow his bangs away again. Akemi giggled both at Elsander and Jared who was cradling his smarting hand.
The classroom door opened and in breezed a lady whom Akemi assumed to be the professor; she glided to the front of the classroom and placed the pile of books she was clutching on the glass desk before perching herself on it and crossing her legs.
She seemed very young and was tall and thin with very straight blonde hair to her shoulders which framed her face in a straight edged bob. Her eyes were icy blue and were covered by a pair of glittery pink glasses which curved up to points at each outward end. She was wearing a pale peach blouse with a light blue necktie, very tight rose patterned stockings with a white with silver edged skirt that was tight around her middle and stuck out at the bottom just above her knees.
"Well, good morning students," she began in a clear voice, "My name is Professor Steel, and I shall be your ancient Runes professor this term. "Is there anyone here who has a basic proficiency in this art? I understand some of you may have had some basic home schooling before attending this class."
About three people in the class raised their hands Elsander included. Professor Steel nodded and stood up abruptly before moving to stand in front of the white screen at the front of the classroom. She waved her hand and the screen lit up, then waving her wand she wrote 'Runic Alphabet' across the top of the screen. "Since there are so few of you for the benefit of everyone else then you three will simply have to be bored, for today anyway."
"Now, the Runic spells and rituals are all based on the combination, in different ways, of the 20 basic Runes in the Runic alphabet. The harder the combinations the stronger and more practiced the Rune Master must be," she said. Waving her wand again 20 different Runes appeared on the screen. "Today I will go through the names and core affinities of each Rune and explain how one would go about combining them, however, and this is a big however," she said her eyes narrowing "If I hear of anyone attempting to combine and practice Runes outside of class times the punishment will be most severe. Runic skills are extremely dangerous as they are classed under 'rites' and the very definition of a rite is a highly controlled and delicate ceremony which requires great precision and focus, skills which must be taught and practiced." She finished off with a flourish before turning back to the screen.
The first Rune written up was in the shape of a zero with a single line through the middle horizontally. Professor Steel flicked her wand and a name appeared underneath in neat, bold cursive script. "The name of this Rune is 'Theta'" she began pointing at it and surveying the class, "It is the strongest of the alphabet and is used to anchor most rites. Its main affinity is Earth and its use logic." She moved back to perch on the glass table.
"Right, please take notes, next week there will be a test. Do you best and practice drawing the Runes, a wonkily drawn rune could turn out to cause your own face to become wonky during a ritual." She said matter-of-factly drawing a scattered, and slightly nervous, chuckle from around the class. Then as she turned back to explain the other 19 Runes there was a scuffle as people drew out paper and pens and began to diligently scribble.
Akemi was working hard writing down everything Professor Steel was saying. He'd never had a class this interesting at Hogwarts, but then he'd never taken ancient Runes there, perhaps she should have listened more to Hermione after all he thought sadly. Then he shook his head, he didn't want to think about things like that, and looked down at his paper again, only to frown at his poor attempts at drawing the Runes. There was a chuckle from his left and he turned to see Elsander's smiling face.
"Don't worry about it little one, practice makes perfect," he said "We'll practice together, you'll soon get it!" he said cheerfully, and Akemi smiled back the daemon's optimism rather contagious.
In no time at all it was already time for lunch; Akemi's first double period was over. He stood up and stretched wincing as his back clicked. Making sure all his stuff was packed he followed Elsander and the twins into the steady rush of people that filled the corridor down to lunch. There was so many people the noise was like a constant buzz and Akemi found himself rather enjoying being 'one of the crowd' he took a tight hold of Elsander's jacket and let the atmosphere wash over him. The managed to get into the great hall finally and the twins dived for the fruit sorbet. Elsander laughed and made room for Akemi to stand next to him.
"Pick something Akemi, we'll go sit outside, it's lovely weather and the hall is very crowded today," he said motioning to the full tables. Akemi nodded and grabbing a tray picked up a pomegranate, a bowl of fruit salad and cream, a glass of milk and a small wholemeal cheese sandwich. Elsander's tray held a bowl of steaming pasta with sauce and a tall glass of elderberry cordial. The twins had what was expected of them; a large mango sorbet and a chocolate milkshake. Akemi shook his head but laughed at them. Together they made their way back through the crowd and out a door that had been especially propped open for this occasion.
Laughing and chattering, it took Akemi quite a while to remember that he'd said he would meet Arian and Azriel in the hall at lunch. Standing up with a gasp he dropped his mostly untouched lunch to the floor.
"Emi?" asked Alexei "What's wrong?" he looked up at Akemi with concern.
Akemi turned to him "I have to go find them!" was his only explanation as he took off back to the Great Hall. Elsander frowned before standing.
"It's okay," said the daemon "I'll just check he finds them before returning, we should have remembered," he said distractedly before following Akemi's rushing figure back to the Great Hall.
Well there you have it. Next chapter will start building on the mating issues, letters from Azriel's parents and a discussion about meeting Arian's as well as more classes and a first meeting with a professor whom may become rather important!
Reviews will spawn a suitcase containing a million sweets of your choice in your bedroom, so I would really recommend it!