Author's Note: Sorry I haven't updated but I intend to continue this if I can. Hopefully it won't be too discontinued in style and plot from chapter one. I'll admit my knowledge of the show isn't as good as what it used to be so I can't remember everything. For example I can't for the life of me remember what subject Jez teaches in class. So if I make any mistakes just point them out to me and I'll change them asap! And there'll be some Cazazeal on the way soon :D
Cassie waited until Thelma had finished her second helping of breakfast and exuded a great, manly burp of appreciation, before she gathered up her courage to go and visit the new student. Bringing Thelma along for company, the two wandered up the stairs languidly as they sought to find room 17 and she hoped for once in her life that Felix would be hanging about on the stairs to rescue her from her unsavoury duty.
"I wonder what his story is" Thelma wondered aloud, much to the annoyance of Cassie. "Ridiculously rich father sending his kid of the first chance he got? Expelled bad boy? Deranged lunatic released back into society?" she pondered each situation carefully before dismissing it for an even wilder option.
"Or maybe his family move about a lot?" Cassie rationalised.
"Well yeah, that too" she replied a little under impressed. She always did have a wild imagination and sometimes the world was too dull to deal with it. Not that she could complain of having led dull life in recent months however. Finally they came to room 17.
Cassie stared at the door for a minute before she finally knocked upon it and took a step back. It took a moment for anyone to answer and she almost took this as a sign that she was free to runaway and never bother with him again when suddenly a young man with a striking face surrounded by a mane of wavy brown hair opened the door and studied her suspiciously. She turned shy slightly as he waited for her to say something but she soon pulled her self together and spoke. After all, she hadn't come all this way to gawp at the poor boy when she could have done that safely behind her books in class.
"Hey" she greeted him with an entirely forced but genuine looking smile.
The boy looked bemused for a moment before he repeated the greeting at her and leant lazily against his door frame waiting for her to say whatever she had to say.
"I'm Cassie, David told me you were new..." but she didn't have the chance to finish her sentence off as the boy's eyes lit up at the familiar name.
"Cassie?" he exclaimed eagerly.
It took a moment for it to sink into Malachi's mind. Yes, it was her. It was his mother!
He remembered the photos of her that his father showed him when he was little. Photos of a pale blonde with big blue eyes and a friendly smile. And in every photo she was accompanied by a girl with a round face and unsymmetrical, dark hair. Just like the girl who was hovering behind Cassie now. That must be Thelma! Yes, he knew all about Thelma too. His father explained the whole situation to him. About why his mother had abandoned him before he was ever born. But Azazeal never painted Cassie out as being the devil, no it was always Thelma that was the villain of the piece that broke up their potentially happy little family. He did his best not to stare at the ghost and arouse her suspicions, but he couldn't help but regard her with some spite and jealousy. After all, it was that stupid little dyke's fault that he nearly ceased to exist in the first place.
"Yeah. I was just wondering if you needed any help getting to know the place? It's a bitch trying to find your way around here when you're new" she explained but she couldn't have felt more awkward if she tried. Even the way she stood was awkward, she never knew what to do with her hands. Why did she have to agree to this? She really was going to have to learn how to say no. No. NO. NO! Hmm, perhaps she could test out her new sense of assertiveness on Thelma later on.
"Thanks, that'd be a great help" he almost gushed, arousing Cassie's suspicions a little already. He decided to play it cool. "I'm Malachi by the way" he extended his hand and she took it and gave it a friendly shake.
"So do you need any help with your timetable or anything?" she inquired.
"Yeah, why don't you come in?" he asked, standing to one side and hoping beyond all hope that she would come in so he could get to know her a little better. It had been his greatest wish to meet his mother and he had an eternity of questions to ask her, albeit he knew he would have to be discreet when he did eventually come to question her. His face brightened as she slowly walked into the room, observing her surroundings. Thelma attempted to follow in behind her but he had slammed the door shut behind them, leaving Thelma nursing a sore nose.
"Charming!" he heard echo down the corridor and he couldn't help but suppress a quiet laugh.
"Wow, you have a cool room" Cassie complimented, inspecting the array of wonderful yet equally puzzling objects that were scattered around the place. Bronze pots, magnificent mirrors, shimmering stones and crystals. It looked like something out of a New Age shop.
"Thanks. Half of this stuff is my dad's" he said without thinking and as soon as the words passed his mouth he scrunched shut his eyes at his own stupidity. He knew he wasn't meant to mention his father, especially to her. He wasn't meant to do anything to arouse her suspicions. But it seemed Cassie was oblivious to his words, or she had long forgotten about the deeds and lives of fallen angels, and she merely kept admiring the beautiful but peculiar objects.
"He's got great taste"
"Yeah, he's not bad. He's a bit of an antique collector. I'm surprised he let me take half of this stuff with me to be honest"
"I bet you're under strict obligations to have no parties, huh?" she laughed, finally turning her attention back to the new boy. She could imagine Jo or David throwing a hissy fit if a student broke something of theirs but imagine what a dad would do if you broke his prized antique collection! Not that she ever knew what it was like to have a real dad. It seemed hers only ever contact her when it was a birthday or Christmas, and that was only to send her a card and a pricey but empty gestured present that Thelma seemed to like more than she did herself.
"Well, what he doesn't know won't hurt him" he smiled cheekily and Cassie couldn't help but join in.
"Is that a hint you might be having a room warming party?" she couldn't help but ask.
"It's an invitation. Tell your friends!"
"I haven't got many of them at the moment" she awkwardly replied looking down at the floor bashfully and this aroused Malachi's interest. "It's a long story" she tried to brush it off and Malachi nodded his head understandingly. He knew that it must have had something to do with his dad and he felt sympathy for all his mother had been put through.
"So how about that timetable?" she changed the subject, putting on a more formal voice. Malachi went to retrieve a piece of crumpled paper from off his bed side table and unfolded it for the girl to study. "Oh you've got English with me. You'll like Jo, she's a sweetie if a bit of a scatter brain" she explained. Ever since Christmas she had noted that Jo had become little better than a mess. Her appearance had become unkempt, she had grown clumsier and had even become a little ratty, though she always apologised sincerely for her over the place behaviour. Cassie couldn't help but think that Azazeal had something to do with this sudden change in behaviour, but now he was safely out of the picture, she knew that Jo would be back to her normal hypochondriac self again soon. She just needed a bit more time to get over whatever it was that had happened.
"I know" he laughed, a private joke that he and his father had always shared between them. He knew Jo was a good woman, she had tried to be the replacement mother that he needed even though she lacked the appropriate qualities, but the older he got, the more her mind began to frazzle. He secretly thought that his father had more to do with it then he ever let on but he never questioned him on the matter.
But now Cassie's mind was on alert. How would he know that? He'd been at the school less than a day and that certainly wouldn't have been enough for him to gain such an impression of her. He thought quickly on his feet as he saw Cassie's furrowing her brow at him.
"I met her a couple of times before" he quickly explained, and he didn't know whether Cassie believed him or not but she quickly set her attentions back upon the timetable.
"You've got film studies with me too" she revealed.
"Well, it looks like you're going to be my new best friend" he joked, though he was quite sincere with the thought. He had always imagined what his mother was like growing up. He had always wanted to meet her, to know what she was like. Now he had met her he was charmed by her. She was everything her father had told him and more. He wanted to befriend her, know everything he could about her. He wanted her to love him, love him as the son she never knew. He wanted to tell her the truth there and then but he knew it was impossible. She couldn't find out. Not like this anyway.
"Psychology. Oh that's what that weird priest teaches" she informed him, picturing the red haired priest with that never ceasing smile and cheerfully optimistic attitude he always seemed to have. She swore he was on prozac or something, no one can always be that happy.
"Weird priest, well, that's a new one" a voice magnified across the room. Both Cassie and Malachi jumped a little as they turned around to find the owner of the voice. As if by magic, Jez Herriot had appeared, standing in the doorway with his arms pressing against the door frame as though it was going to close in on him at any moment. "I see your making friends already, Malachi" he observed as he walked into the room uninvited.
"Yeah, this is Cassie. She's helping me find my way around" he explained as Jez came up to him and shot him a warning look. He had told him time and time again to be careful at school. He wasn't meant to arouse anybody's suspicions, especially not Cassie's. Befriend her if you want, he knew that was half the reason why Azazeal wanted him to come to this school in the first place, but don't ever let her know who you are. She might be a whore but she was no fool. Malachi observed the warning but chose to ignore it, after all, he he was already more powerful than Jez ever could be and he knew it.
"Nice to hear, Cassie. You know you should join my class, I've heard you're quite the little intellect from Jo Watkins. She says you're her star pupil. If only I could someone of your calibre in my class, it might restore my faith for future generations" he jested and Cassie began to feel uncomfortable.
"I'd better get going anyway. See you in media" she bade Malachi goodbye but as she made her way towards the door she was stopped by Jez.
"Actually Cassie, I've not really had the chance to talk to you much. I'm aware that you've had quite the year. I was wondering if you'd like to benefit from a counselling session? Completely confidential, I assure you" he told her in a quiet tone so that Malachi had to strain his ears to hear what they were saying, and even then all he could make out was an almost inaudible mumble and a few words like "chance" and "benefit".
"I'm not really into that sort of thing" she tried to explain to him. After all, how qualified do you need to be to deal with a girl who had a mother driven insane by a fallen angel, aborted the foetus of said fallen angel and had her best friend sacrificed? It mustn't pop up in conversation much.
"Don't worry, it's not an interregation. People are worried about you, it'd just give the school some piece of mind if we know you're alright. Shall we say eight o'clock in the library?" he gave her little option. Well Cassie, now would be the perfect time to exercise the power of the word no, she thought to herself. Come on it's easy, it's just one word with two letters. No. No. NO!
"Fine" she gave in, weak as always.
"Good, I'll you there, then" he smiled at her and let her get on her way. As soon as she left he turned his attention back on to Malachi but before he had the opportunity to chastise him for his stupidity, Malachi spoke first.
"What was that all about?" he jealousy inquired. He didn't like being kept in the dark and if it regarded his mother, it made him all the more testy.
"Nothing just protocol"
"Protocol?" he questioned suspiciously.
"The school's worried about her. So's your dad. I just need to have a little chat with her, make sure she's not going to throw herself off the roof or anything"
"Well she's done fine so far hasn't she?" he defended her. After all, what sort of girl goes through all that and yet can still keep her head held high, do her school work and carry on as though everything was normal. She was quite an admirable figure in his eyes. Perie the Faerie didn't give her anywhere near enough due credit.
"For now she is. But how do you think finding out that her aborted foetus is now a seventeen year old student who has befriended her is going to help? Just be careful. You could make a bad situation even worse. You don't want her end up like your grandmother, now, do you?" Jez reminded him, and Malachi jumped on to his bed to sulk until Jez left him.
Cassie was sat in English and had noted the absence of Malachi from the class. Perhaps she should have stayed with him, after all the school was massive. She remembered her first day and how lost she and Thelma had gotten. Some great guide she turned out to be. She probably would have stayed with him if it wasn't for the creepy priest. Sometimes she caught him staring at her when she was out walking in the grounds or eating lunch in the canteen. And now he wanted to have a counselling session with her? Well, whatever he had to say or accuse her off, she'd just deny everything. That usually worked fine for her.
Finally after five minuteds, Jo entered the class with her usual lack of preparedness,
"Sorry I'm late guys" she apologised as she slung her bag on to her desk and got her board marker ready as she sifted through her notes. It was then she turned to the door and beckoned forth a stranger, only it was no stranger to Cassie. She was glad to see the sight of the wavy haired new boy and was rather relieved to see that he had eventually found his way to the lesson.
"Right class, this is Malachi" Jo introduced the boy she privately recognised as her own son, even if he wasn't her own flesh and bones.
Malachi gave a brief wave of his hand as the students stared at him as though he was the star of a freak show. He observed the rituals and hierarchy of the student social system from his superior position standing at the front. The swots and A grade students sat at the front, deeply immersed in their books already with their pens out neatly organised in front of them as though they were in a stationary shop. Then there were the 'so-so' kids, not necessarily bright or cool, they just got on in life. The majority of these weren't in cliques but rather remained in pairs or trios and interacted only within their own social circle. At the back sat the self proclaimed cool kids, colourfully dressed and taking the whole world in their stride as they looked upon the new kid, judging him to see where he would fit in the class. And last but not least were the loners, sat separately from the rest of the groups at a desk on their own. Cassie appeared to be the only loner in this class, sitting a little in front of cool kids, but she had Thelma spread out on the desk next to her, wearing sun glasses as though she were lounging out on a hot summer's day.
"Malachi? What sort of shit name is Malachi?" Leon Taylor sniggered at the back of the class quietly to his friend Tom, who laughed with him out of loyalty. The girls sat with him weren't too impressed and kept their eyes firmly upon the delectable new student.
"Why don't you go and sit with Cassie, she can help you out until you catch up" Jo encouraged him and pointed Cassie out to Malachi. Cassie smiled to him as he walked over and pulled the chair out next to her, but Thelma eyed him suspiciously. She didn't like this new boy, she usually had a good sixth sense about things like this.
The two of them quietly chatted about their work as Jo got on with her lesson but most of the class had tuned out by half way through.
"Oh my God this is boring. I thought you said we'd get to do Lady Chatterley's Lover this term" Leon complained to Roxanne who was sat at the desk next to them with her ever loyal lapdog, Alex, by her side.
"If you're that bothered why don't you just skim the book and read the dirty pages. It'd be like vintage porn for you" Roxanne declared with a self superior smirk.
"Hey guys" Malachi turned around to address the clique, "what are you doing this Friday?" he inquired, incurring the dirty looks of the gang as they were quietly outraged that the new boy dare to speak to them in such a casual, familiar manner.
"What's it got to do with you?" Leon asked a little too hostile for his own good. Malachi could see he was going to be trouble, but he'd soon have him wrapped around his little finger.
"I'm having a little room warming party if you care to come?" was his reply and this mere little sentence softened the majority of their reactions.
"Sounds good, count me in" Roxanne casually observed without a hint of emotion in her face, as though it was all of no importance to her. Well, now that Roxanne had folded, the others followed like sheep they were and bleated the same response. All that was left was a sulky Leon who had taken an instant dislike to the new kid.
"Anything illegal?" Leon queried and Malachi couldn't help but snicker a little at the mortal. He could see that he liked to act the big shot but in reality he was nothing more than a lying little virgin.
"You'll have to come and find out for yourself" was his teasing reply.
"Fine, I might do" was Leon's vague response, but Malachi knew that was a yes.
"Well he's already proving he's got shit judgement in choosing friends" Thelma mocked, but Cassie had little choice but to ignore her or risk frightening off the only person who had treated as though she was normal in almost a year. Yet privately, she couldn't help but agree with what Thelma had voice, and she knew it was just a matter of time before he realised what a freak she was. After all, when people made friends with the likes of Roxanne and Leon, they usually prefered to stay away from her. She realised that it must be her destiny to hang around with the freaks of the world like Thelma and Felix!
"Hey, are you coming too?" Malachi turned his attention back to her and had to nudge her to get a response.
"What? Oh yeah, sure" she replied, though in truth she didn't want to be there if Roxanne and Co. would be there too. She'd just have to sit it out in the corner and play mind games with Thelma to pass the time. Surely the party wouldn't be allowed to go on all night or David would be in uproar.