Shadows in a burning heart

It was almost lunch time and the rain had finally let up. Sadly, that was not the same case for the fog. The whole town was covered in gray and if it weren't for the streetlights, then you wouldn't be able to see anything further then four feet from you. It was odd how the streetlights were lit so early in the day, but that wasn't the only thing out of place. All around she could see people dressed in nothing but black. Women wore fancy black dresses and old fashion hats. Men wore velvet suits and carried bouquet of black roses.

The further down the road she got, she noticed a lot parked cars at the sides. Her cab had suddenly slowed down which gave her more time to examine all the expensive brands. There was a limousine, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and... a hearse. Only then did she noticed that this was funeral procession. It hadn't even occurred to her that they were in front of an Gothic church.

People lined up on the wet grass in front of the building as a few men carried out big, dark red and gold casket. After them came two women, one in a long black sleeveless dress and the other in a short gray one with knee high boots. The woman in black consoled the one in gray, who from the looks of it was the widow. Such a young woman.

After them came the rest of the family; a little girl in a sweet wine red dress with a white underskirt, white stockings and black Mary Jane`s. Behind her stood a tall woman on the arm muscular man. His dark hair hanged loosely around his shoulders and his red suit and black shirt stood out from the rest of the crowd.

She was just able to catch him whisper something to the woman next to him before the cab turned the corner.

With a exhausted sigh, she turned back around to face the driver. "How much longer?"

"Only a few minuets." They would have arrived much sooner but the unexpected weather stopped them from doing so.

She took this time to get a better view of the town she would now live in. The streets were rather small and she guessed that the sides of the car brushed against the tall buildings that surrounded them. There were apartments, shops, banks etc. it all looked a bit too medieval.

The driver had to make a few turns not to hit the townspeople, who ogled the yellow cab like it was made of cold.

Soon they escaped the stared and ghostly buildings and her shoulders relaxed for a minuet before she realized that they drove on a dirt path that led into the woods.

"Where are we going? Are you sure that this is the right way?"

"Positive." The driver seemed as relaxed as ever. Like he could make this trip in his sleep.

She didn't know why, but she had this feeling that she was being watched. Although, the only thing that surrounded the car was tall trees and dark bushes, and a fog that refused to go away.

She nearly let out a scream when she felt a hand on her knee.

"We're here." The driver said and turned back around.

She was about to ask what he meant until she made out a shape in the fog in front of them. A very large shape.

The cab stopped in front of the front gates. She wondered what they were waiting for, but her question was answered when the gates slowly opened and let them inside. Once they past the gates, the fog seemed to mysteriously disappear.

The school grounds were enormous. Some people who played football on the field, stopped to stare at the cab with the new students inside.

The cab stopped by the front entrance of the school where a short woman with pixie, black hair waited for them. She wore a pink plaid pants and a white shirt.

Even though her childlike features, the woman walked with such elegant and grace that she made everything around her look like second class. She opened the car door. "Stella Nox Fleuret?"

"Yes." The woman closed the door behind Stella as the driver carried her luggage inside.

"My name is Alexandria Sante. I'm the head mistress of this school." The woman gave away a warm smile that maid her look like a child. "Welcome to Lumina Academy."

Stella tried her best to ignore the curious glances from passing students. "I'm glad to be here."

"We've been waiting for you and to be honest, we expected you earlier but I guess the weather held you back." Alexandria said and took Stella by the elbow and led her inside. "You had us worried there for a moment."

Her comment about the weather reminded Stella about something. "The fog. Why doesn't it reach past the gates?"

"A protection spell." Alexandria answered. "You've seen how big the school grounds are. If that fog reached us then it would make us an easy target for the enemy."

"A wise choice." Stella said as they walked down the enormous hallway. The walls were decorated with different Circes over time. Circe is the name of our kind. Magic runs in our blood and when we are young we are sent to these schools to learn how to control that power, and become stronger. Circe means daughter of the sun it doesn't matter what sex you are, male or female, we are all her daughters.

"Yes. We have to keep the Endymions away from here." Alexandria stopped in front of a small wooden door before she disappeared through it.

Stella yelped and took two steps back. "Mrs. Sante?"

A chuckle was heard. "Don't be afraid. Step through."

Stella reached out to touch the wooden door only to find out that it wasn't wood. It was liquid, like water. She held her breath and slowly walked through. On the other side there was a small staircase with uneven stone steps. "How?"

"Protection." Alexandria answered again gestured to the door, which was see-through from this side. "Endymions can't pass this door. Should there ever be an attach then they couldn't get past the first floor."

"Oh." Was all Stella could say. This school took their security very seriously. Endymions are sons of the moon and Circes enemies. "Where are we going?"

"Your roommate is waiting for you. She will show you around. I would do it myself but taking care of this school takes up all my time." Alexandria led the way to the dorms. "Watch where you step."

Stella managed to make it all the way to the third floor without falling down and break something, but she did slip a few times on the way. She made a mental note to herself not to wear skirt or high heels again.

The third floor was nothing like the first floor. The first floor looked like a giant library with bookshelves on every wall, while the third floor looked like it was pulled straight from a fairytale. The colors were cream white and peach. A long table was in the center of the room with a white lace table cloth over it. There was a candlebra at the center with unlit candles and in front of every chair was a white laptop. This is probably where they did their studying. The walls were covered with paintings of landscapes and portraits of famous female Circes.

"Where is the prince?" Stella asked sarcastically as she walked across the shiny peach colored floor and smelled the white roses on a nearby table.

Either Alexandria didn't hear her or she ignored her comment. "Let me show you to your room."

Stella bit her bottom lip and followed Alexandria. There were three different hallways leading from the room. They took the one that lead to the east. Six doors down to their left, Alexandria stopped and knocked on the door.

A few light steps were heard on the other side before the door swung open and a girl with long red ,curly hair stepped out. "Yes?"

"Amandine, this is your new roommate." Alexandria gestured towards Stella. "And Stella this is Amandine Olethea."

"Nice to meet you." Stella made a great show of not showing how nervous she was.

"Amandine bit her lip as she eyed Stella from head to toe. She seemed satisfied with what she saw because her lips broke into the sweetest smile. "You too."

"I'll let you two her acquainted. Stella don't forget that school starts tomorrow at 08.30." Alexandria left the two to get to know each other better.

"Please come inside." Amandine walked over to the empty bed as Stella closed the door behind her. "You will sleep here and your luggage are over there in the corner."

"Thank you." Stella muttered and sat down on her bed. The room was rather small but still bigger then she had expected. Her side of the room was pretty much empty except for the bed and a desk. Amandine`s side of the room was decorated with all sorts of cute stuff. She had a ton of make-up and at least ten bottles of perfume. Her bed was full of fluffy pillows ans stuffed animals. "Nice rooms."

"Thanks. Your welcome to decorate your side however you want." Amandine grabbed her purse and a couple of books. "I still have my other classes so I will have to show you around later. Will you be

fine alone for a couple of hours?"

Stella nodded. "I'll be fine."

Amandine said good bye on last time before she left for her classes. Stella decided that his would be a good time to unpack her stuff. It wasn't until after she had unpacked most of her stuff that she realized how many clothes she had brought. Most of her shoes were high heels and she regretted for not bringing anymore flats.

"What now?" Stella whispered to herself. It finally looked like someone lived there. She still didn't have as many stuff or perfume bottles as Amandine but give her some time and she will get there.

There was a slight knock on the door.

"Who is it?" Stella called but a few seconds past without an answer.

She got of her bed and opened the door only to find that no one was there. She stuck her head out and looked down the hall. It was completely empty.

She let out a frustrated sigh and closed the door.

"Ahh!"

Right there on her bed was a girl with shoulder length brown hair. She wore gray sweatpants and a green T-shirt with `Bite me!` printed on it.

"I love doing this to people." The girl giggled.

"Who? How..." Stella didn't know how to finish the sentence.

The girl waved it off. "Never mind that. I heard the new student moved into this room so I came to say hello. Hello!"

"Don't you have classes?" Stella wondered, although that should be the last thing on her mind.

The girl shrugged. "They will still be there tomorrow."

Stella moved to sit beside her on the bed. "Who are you?"

The girl jumped of the bed and Stella noticed that she was barefoot."Ujana Jacoba, at your service."

Stella couldn't hold back a chuckle when Ujana bowed like a servant. "I'm Stella Nox Fleuret."

"Nice to meet you." Ujana plopped down on the bed again. "You want a tour around the school?"

Ujana was so much different then Amandine. She seemed a lot more cheerful and free going. "That would be nice."

"Great! Let's go." Ujana skipped to the door and held it open for Stella. "Come on."

"Um... don't you want to put on shoes first?" Stella asked as they walked down the hall. Only one other girl was there but she was to occupied with checking her messages on her cell so she didn't even notice them.

"Why?" Ujana looked at Stella`s feet. "You on the other hand might want to consider something else. Those heels are a deathtrap around here."

Stella noticed that Ujana was about three inches shorter then Stella and that was when she was barefoot. "I'll remember that."

Ujana held the door open for Stella again as they walked down the uneven stone stairs. There were only a few steps left and Stella lost her balance and fell forward. She went through the liquid door and cracked right into someone.

Stella jumped back up on her feet. "Sorry."

Someone groaned. A guy with dark brown hair lied faced down on the floor. He slowly got back up to his feet and glared at the two girls. "Who was it?"

Stella nervously raised her hand. Her cheeks burned up with embarrassment. "I-It was me. I'm sorry."

He looked down at what she was wearing. One of her heels were broken. "Get some new shoes."

"Be nice." Ujana wined. "She's new."

The guy raised his head and glared at her with melted honey colored eyes. "Your name."

"Stella Nox Fleuret." She crossed her arms over he chest to show him that she was not afraid.

"America Kaelem." He waved at her. "Watch were you are going next time."

Stella and Ujana stared at his back as he walked away. He was tall and skinny, but not in a sick way. His pants hanged loosely and probably would have showed the top of his underwear if it weren't for the large black shirt, the sleeves were pulled up to his elbows. On his wrist he had an expensive gold watch but his shoes looked old and worn out.

"Jerk." Ujana muttered as she led Stella to the library. She was pulled yo a stop so that Stella could remove her broken shoes. "I told you not to wear those."

"Yes, you did." Stella sighed and ran to catch up with Ujana. "Where is the library?"

"On the other side of school. Lucky for the guys because it's so close to their dorm but unlucky for us girls." Ujana said. "But we need to get you some school books. Hell start for you tomorrow and you need to be prepared."

Ujana continued to tell her all about the other students. This way she would know who to trust, who ti avoid or keep an eye on. None of these people interested her as much as that new guy she meet earlier, America Kaelem. He acted so hostile towards her when he didn't even know her, but there was something else about him that caught her eye. She just didn't know what or why.

"What about Kaelem?" Stella interrupted Ujana`s ramble of some rich guy who was a real jackass.

"Kaelem?" Ujana stared accusingly at her. "You haven't been listening."

"Sorry." Stella whispered and bit her lip.

"Be careful around him. His grandfather was a Endymion." Ujana warned. It's not unheard of a Circe and a Endymion breaking the rules and creating a child. Although the punishment is being burned to death. That way their powers will still remain on earth so that you can use it for protection spells. Their children get to live, but they become outcasts in their society, like America.

The library was all the way on the other side of school and Ujana helped her carry back all of her books back to her room.

"Why do I need so many books?" Stella wined as she placed them on her bed. "Is it really necessary?"

"We have a lot of classes." Ujana explained. She helped Stella place all of the books in her bookshelf before she said a quick good bye and left.

Stella wondered why she was in a hurry all of a sudden, but she was grateful for some time alone. Instead of getting some rest, which would be the greatest of ideas, she decided to explore the school some more. She had already seen most of the first floor and the second one was only classroom and the dinning halls, so she wanted to explore the `higher` part of school.

This time she put on comfortable shoes before she climbed the stairs again. Instead of stopping at the first door she saw, she kept going until she reached the top. It took a while, but at the top was one single door that reached up to her waist. She felt like Alice in wonderland.

The door had something written on it. Unfortunately Stella had no idea what it said, but that didn't stop her from trying to open the door. It was locked.

"What are you doing?"

Stella spun around and saw America. "Why are you here?"

"You first." He pressed.

"I-I was just curious." Stella said and touched the door. "What is behind here?"

"I don't know." Stella was more then surprised when he took her hand in hers. "We can't be here."

"Then why did you come? This is the girls dorm. You aren't even supposed to be in this part of the school." She walked past him. She could hear the other girls further down the stairs and she guessed that school had ended for today.

He just shrugged and stopped walking. There was still something weird about him, and not just his behavior.

"Aren't you coming?" Stella asked.

He shock his head. "I can't be seen by them."

Instead of asking him why it would be better if stayed up here, she just continued down the stairs and hurried past all the other girls back to her room.

Stella woke up the next morning with heavy rain hitting the window. She let out a frustrated groan as she rolled out of bed. Amandine was already up and dressed in training clothes.

"Good morning."

"Good morning." Stella was about to get dressed herself when she noticed a breakfast sandwich on her nightstand. "Did you get this for me?"

"Yeah, and you should hurry. Our first class today is P.E." Amandine put hair up in a long ponytail. "And you might want to dress warm."

Stella ate the sandwich in three large bites and washed it down with some milk from their mini fridge. She put on a gray sweatshirt and white workout pants. "Where is the classroom for P.E.?"

Amandine hesitated. "There is none. It's outside, always."

The rain still came down hard on the window and Stella wondered if it would break. The fog was still held back by the protection bubble. "Outside? Even in this weather?"

Bad weather has never stopped their coach, and he believed that nature was the right way to get in touch with your spirit. It sounds nicer then it really is.

The two girls made their way downstairs and stepped outside to where the teacher and the other students were already waiting. Everyone were soaked wet from the rain but that didn't seem to bother the coach at all.

Once everyone had gathered, coach Waldemar decided that it would be nice to take a few runs around school. Luckily, Stella was very athletic which made her faster then the other girls. She was already on second round and the other girls were way behind her. The guys had to do push-ups and sit-ups while the girls ran.

Stellla started to slow down when she no longer saw anyone behind her and eventually stopped all together. She wondered if she had taken the wrong turn somewhere or id the other girls were just really slow. After a few seconds of waiting and still seeing no one in sight, Stella decided to take a break.

She had never really seen the outside of the school and now seemed like the perfect time. The rain had let up a little and Stella could see her surroundings better. She was near the east wall. She could see the fog from the other press against an invisible shield.

This giant wall surrounded the entire school and on the other side was nothing but trees. The town was about a 30 minuet walk from here. She remembered this from her roommate who told her that she and her friends used to sneak out from time to time to get some new clothes.

With one final look around her, to make sure that no one was nearby. Stella jumped up in the air and landed on the other side. Flying was a basic magic skill.

There was a mint scent in the air.

"Running away?"

Stella spun around and saw a guy in his late teens staring at her. He had dark hair that covered most of his face and stood out in the back. His eyes were a deep ice blue and was a foor taller then her. "Who are you?"

A low chuckle escaped him as his eyes turned blood red. "Noctis Lucis Caelum."

To be continued....

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