Professor William Harris
Economics

His students wonder why he's strange.

He knows they do. It's a prominent shade in their eyes, the twin hue of confusion and laughter. It doesn't bother him. He's worked hard to ensure it's that way. In fact, it's exactly what he needs.

What stirs a shadow of concern in the back of his mind is the momentary flash of anger, just behind the pupil. Most students don't show this. He leaves them alone. But, once in a while, he'll make a joke at the expense of some frat boy in an oversize baseball cap snoozing in the front row. The young man's eyes connect with his and, just for a moment, turn a poisonous shade of green. Or he'll sing and, out of the corner of his eye, see a quiet, pretty girl tapping her foot along and making vaguely arcane motions with her fingers.

He especially watches out for the ones in the middle rows. The ones who take special care to avoid his attentions, who keep their head down at the appropriate times and who smile like snakes when he tells someone to change their major.

They always smile. They never laugh. That's the tip-off.

He's told the students before that the doors are shut at ten-ten every day so that they won't be disturbed by an unannounced entrance. That part's true. He just doesn't feel the need to tell them "Sorry kids, the intruders aren't students. They're beings from beyond the world that are after that quiet girl making strange sigils with her hands. This happens a lot in my line of work, don't worry."

No, he doesn't need to say it.

The ones who are smiling knew it anyway.