Emory Adelaide and the Battle of Bloor's Academy
Emory Adelaide stared out of the car window at the bleak and miserable city streets. The rain was pouring steadily down, whilst thunder growled like a prowling lion outside. The only thing remotely interesting was the fact that some of the lampposts seemed to be missing light bulbs, and that the glass surrounding them was smashed. Typical, Emory thought. Vandals.
Emory sighed as the car continued to make its way to the famed Bloor's Academy. Suddenly, without warning, the radio came on full blast- Emory blocked her ears, the song being Time Warp from the musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
"Shut it off!" cried Emory, and her mother in the passenger seat leaned forward and turned the dial right down, subsequently turning the radio off. She looked around at her daughter who sat in the back of the car, still cringing from the, "Let's do, the Time Warp, again!" That look soon changed to one of guilt though, as Emory knew whose fault it really was.
"Sorry," she mumbled. "I'm just nervous, I guess." Mrs Adelaide's look softened.
"I know darling. But you know why we had to do this, don't you? That school was on the verge of expelling you- I mean, being the only endowed one there must have been pretty tough, but even they were fed up with the constant flickering of the lights and the TVs turning on and off all the time."
"I know, mum," sighed Emory. "It's just kind of hard to control, sometimes."
"And that's why we're sending you to Bloor's. There are lots of others who are endowed there, and you can learn to control your talent."
"I hope so. Besides, boarding school sounds like fun." Emory sat up a little and her face brightened. She was never one to be a downer for long. "Lots of new friends, plenty of opportunities to do new things, even a bit of exploring- I hear the school grounds has creepy castle ruins," she grinned.
"Good. But keep yourself out of mischief, though. Don't go getting in with the wrong crowd- you're a good girl, Emory, and have a knack for choosing the right people- but all the same, be careful. Your father went there and he knew there to be several unsavoury characters around- Dr Bloor, himself, for instance."
At this, Mr Adelaide permitted himself a quick glance behind at his daughter before turning back to the wheel, and then looking back in the rear-view mirror.
"Your mother's right, Emory," he said. "Dr Bloor was pretty vicious- which is why, even though it's the best thing for you, I'm still a little apprehensive at sending you here and leaving you in the care of said person. Just, keep your nose clean and stay out of his way as much as possible- I hear he has a son- Michael, or something, and if he's a Bloor, he's likely to be just like his father. So, watch out."
Emory nodded. "I will. I'll be fine, honest! And anyway, why would he want to do anything to me? For a start, you're one of the most influential people in the country. He'd have you to answer to if he tried anything."
"That as may be," agreed Mr Adelaide, "but you're one of the endowed. As far as I know, Dr Bloor is very proud of his 'collection', as he calls it, and he's had more than his fair share of trouble at this school."
"Dad, it'll be fine, I swear," Emory reassured her father. "I can take care of myself, trust me. Anyway, I'll be as good as gold, and not tell a soul about my endowment."
Mr Adelaide grimaced. "Yeah, about that- Dr Bloor knows you're endowed."
"Yes, when we phoned to ask about a placement for this term, he asked whether you were endowed- and we couldn't lie, to be honest. But on the bright side, he doesn't know what you can do," he said, turning to look at his daughter, who looked slightly crestfallen. But not for long.
"Ah well, they won't get it out of me in a hurry, that's for sure. And anyway, it's none of their business what I can do."
"Ata girl!" said Mr Adelaide. He glanced at the Sat-Nav. "Goodness, one more corner and we're there. Now, are you sure you've got everything?"
"Clothes, money, books, ipod, phone, pencil case-?"
"Yes, dad." Emory turned to look back out of the window, and gasped. Bloor's was huge! It towered above any normal building- she was surprised she had never noticed it as they drove through the streets. It surpassed all normal buildings in height and grandeur- except, perhaps, the cathedral.
Tall and imposing, it thrilled Emory to the core as she looked at her new home. "I can't wait to explore!" she exclaimed. They drove through the wrought iron gates, across a cobbled courtyard, and then stopped outside the daunting, but grand, oak front doors.
Putting her hood up with grim determination, Emory leapt out of the car and ran to the boot, where she began grabbing at her luggage with a quickness that not many people possess, and then lugged it to the front doors. In the meantime, her parents had clambered out of the Ford Mondeo and stood with her on the steps. Emory pulled the thick rope cord hanging from- actually, she couldn't tell where, as the rain came down so hard she couldn't see much. From deep inside the Academy, a bell boomed. Turning to face her parents one last time, she gave them both hugs and kisses and told her mum not to cry- (despite the rain, Emory could tell).
Her father, being slightly less sentimental, finished with a, "Take care- and if they give you any grief, we're only a phone call away."
"I know. I love you! Bye!" Emory waved until the car was out of sight.
"Ahem." The sudden voice behind her made her jump, and turning around she was face with a rather grumpy looking man holding a lantern. She assumed he was the caretaker, as his next words were, "I take it you are the expected Miss Adelaide?"
"Yes, yes, I am. Pleased to meet you." And she held out a hand. The caretaker simply sneered at it before ushering her inside with a, "This way, if you please, we haven't got all night," and then brought in her luggage before shutting the door with a creaking and groaning that echoed around the whole building.
"Wow," breathed Emory, as, even in the dim light, she could tell that this entrance hall was a sight to behold. She turned around, staring at what she could make out. The grand staircase being the centrepiece, with various doors leading left and right out of the hall- to classrooms, she presumed, as she continued to be lead through the building. Finally, the caretaker took her up a solid wood staircase- and the entire atmosphere changed. Before, there was a sense of enormity and grandeur, but this was transferred in one swift motion to an atmosphere of stuffiness and stifling heat. The corridors were narrower, and a faded but impressive carpet lined the hallway. The smell was heavy; one of candle wax. The gas lamps on the walls were dim and flickered every so often; Emory sighed with relief. At least I can't do anything with fire, she thought.
Eventually, they reached a large door that was different to all the others. It was black, with a brass handle shaped like a claw. Towards the bottom of the door, Emory noted sharp, deep score lines marked into the wood. But before she had time to get any more curious, the caretaker had knocked at the door and a hoarse voice called,
The caretaker took the handle and the door creaked open to reveal a huge room. A bright glow came from the stone fireplace at the end of the room and Emory had to shield her eyes slightly at the sudden brightness; this was evidently where all the heat was coming from. A large table stood in the centre surrounded by four chairs, and the spread laid on top was marvellous; pies, roast meats, vegetables, sauces and gravies, and every type of spice and condiment you could imagine.
But what made Emory stifle her gasp was who was already seated within the room. Sitting around an electric heater were four chairs; one with a very high back in which was sitting a man with an iron-grey moustache. He was sitting upright, next to another chair which was nowhere near as fancy. The person who occupied it was a boy? No, a man. Emory couldn't make up her mind; the flickering shadows coming from the fire were confusing her. From what she could see, he was tall, with long, black hair drawn back in a pony tail. She would have laughed, but knowing she would probably be on the other side of the door if she did, turned her quick eyes to the woman sat next to him. This lady was quite old; maybe in her late sixties. She sat on a chair similar to the latter, but wore an apron. Her gaze was cold as steel, and Emory quickly moved on to the fourth and final person, who was sitting in a wheelchair. And immediately wished she hadn't.
He was old; too old, she thought. His skin was taught over his skull-like face; thin wisps of white, greasy hair straggled over the sides of his head, the top of which was hidden with a woollen cap (for this, Emory was grateful). But what scared her most about this ancient man were his eyes. Rather than being dull and lifeless as you'd expect, they were bright and shiny. But not in a good way. More like a, "All the better to eat you with" kind of way. His mouth was contorted in an odd fashion. He must think he's smiling, thought Emory with a grimace. On the one occasion where words failed her, all she could do was return the stares with a small smile.
The very old man glanced behind her. "You may go, Weedon," he said in a rasping voice. There was no doubt as to who had given permission to enter. The voice made her shudder.
"Very well, Mr Bloor, sir," said the caretaker. This voice made Emory shudder too, but only because it sounded as greasy as the candle wax which gave the place its smell.
The door gave an ominous click! behind her, and Emory was alone with the four most sinister-looking people she had ever encountered.
"Well, well, my dear, you can't stand there forever," said the skeleton. "Come into the light so we can get a closer look at you."
What light? The question crossed Emory's mind as she made her way reluctantly toward the flickering lamp on the wall, and towards the four scariest people that probably existed.
Now she was standing closer, she could get a better look at the male who sat in the wooden chair. She decided to define him as 'young man' until further notice. There was not much else to tell, except his eyes: they had a slight red glint about them, a glint that told of perilous danger if she got too close. But she found she couldn't tear her gaze away. Her mind started going blank, until a crack! brought her sharply to attention.
The moustache-man had leapt up and was bearing down upon the electric heater.
"What happened?" asked Mr Bloor.
"I've no idea, grandfather," replied the first man, who was now checking the heater. "It shouldn't have done that- it was new last week!"
Emory glanced cautiously back at the young man. He was looking at her, but avoiding her eyes. A small smirk was playing around his lips. Suddenly, she was jolted back to the conversation she had had with her father only minutes before. "I hear he has a son- Michael, or something, and if he's a Bloor, he's likely to be just like his father. So, watch out."
This must be who he was talking about, she determined. I'd better be on my guard around him.
In the meantime, the heater predicament had been resolved, and Dr Bloor (at least, that's who Emory assumed he was) had taken his seat once again in the high-backed chair. With a jolt, she realised that the heater incident was probably her fault. It was him. That weird feeling I got when I looked in his eyes- I must have panicked. But I can't slip up again. They'll guess. She silently resolved to be more careful around these people. They may run the school, but they were not to be trusted. Not in a million years.
"So," chuckled Mr Bloor. "Introductions. I am Mr Ezekiel Bloor. This-" he said, pointing at moustache-man "-is Dr Bloor- the headmaster of Bloor's Academy. This-" he continued by pointing at the young man with the strange eyes "-is Manfred Bloor- my great-grandson and Head Boy here at the Academy, and finally-" Emory turned her attentions back to the eagle-eyed woman "- this is Matron Yewbeam. It goes without saying that she is the matron here, to make sure that you behave yourself. And to dish out the repercussions if you don't," he added with a slightly more sinister tone in his voice. Emory got the message loud and clear: don't mess with us. We can make your life hell if you do.
"Well, I think you ought to introduce yourself," said Dr Bloor. He stood up and held out his hand. Emory shook it.
"I'm Emory," she said quietly.
"Emory, eh? Lovely name, that," said Mr Bloor. But he didn't sound like he meant it. "Come now, enough chit-chat. Let's eat. Show Emory to the table, Manfred."
Manfred stood up slowly and deliberately, so Emory could get a good, long look at his intimidating height.
"Of course, great-grandfather," he smirked, and led Emory to the seat next to the head of the table. He took the seat opposite her, allowing Dr Bloor to guide Matron Yewbeam to her seat (next to Emory), before heading back to where his grandfather was. He then wheeled Mr Bloor to the head of the table, in between Emory and Manfred, before taking the only seat left- beside his son.
"Well, tuck in!" announced Ezekiel, and he picked up the nearest dish (a plate of roast chicken) and took a few forkfuls. Gradually, everyone else took the hint and began serving themselves.
Although the spread looked marvellous, Emory could only manage very little. Her stomach was churning; she desperately wanted to be out of the heat, she didn't like the company she was sat with and the guy who sat opposite her was unnerving her. She could feel his eyes boring into her face, but she refused with solid determination to look at him, though it was getting harder and harder to resist.
"So," began Ezekiel, in between loud mouthfuls, "your father and Dr Bloor didn't get to talk much on the phone. Tell us a little about yourself."
"Well," Emory began cautiously, "I spent most of my life in the countryside. My parents owned a large house, what with my father being who he is, and I attended a normal secondary school up until now. My parents are moving to Scotland for business reasons. But we have friends who live near... is it The Heights?"
"Oh, you mean Storm Hill?" asked Dr Bloor. When Emory looked confused, he explained. "Storm Hill is a little joke we have here. One of the endowed- Tancred Torrson- lives there and he can control the weather. Or rather, conjure storms out of thin air. You'll meet him when you start on Monday."
"What's your endowment, if I may be so bold?" enquired Ezekiel. Emory snapped her head back to him and blanched. He had leaned forward and his eyes gleamed brighter than ever.
"Oh, um, err, I'd rather not say, if that's okay," she stuttered.
"That's alright, dear," said Ezekiel in what he probably thought was reassuring tone, "we'll get it out of you eventually."
"What?" Emory stared.
"Ah, ahem, what I mean is, I'm sure you'll tell us eventually," stammered Ezekiel. His pale white skin had gone slightly pink, and the sideways glance he gave to Manfred did not go unnoticed by Emory.
The meal continued to pass in uncomfortable silence. In an effort to direct her thoughts away from the unpleasant company and her back-flipping stomach, Emory decided to study the room she was in a bit more. A few paintings lined the walls; grim, sinister looking men and women (Probably ancestors, she thought); all except for one. The painting in particular was of a woman; standing behind her was clearly a younger Dr Bloor and sitting beside her on the chaise long was unmistakably a six or seven year old Manfred.
So, there was- or is- a Mrs Bloor. Emory frowned as she tried to take it in; the thought of Manfred having a mother was beyond her.
Manfred caught her frown and twisted in his seat to see what she was looking at. When he saw it was the painting, he swivelled back around in his seat and gave her foot a nudge under the table. Emory jumped in shock, and as she jolted to see what had got her, the old record player in the corner of the room began playing.
"What the-" Dr Bloor jumped up and strode across the room to shut it off. "Darned contraption," he muttered. "What's going on?"
Having regained his seat, Emory blushed. Suddenly she was grateful for the dim light in the room- her pale skin made it easy for anyone to see when she was flustered. But, no one seemed to notice and the rest of the meal passed in more or less the same way as it had before.
But this time, Emory was careful not to look at the paintings- and Manfred seemed to increase the intensity of his stare.
Eventually, a clock somewhere chimed nine o' clock, and with a clap of his hands, Ezekiel brought everyone to attention.
"Well, that was pleasant, was it not?" he asked with a false cheeriness. If that's your definition of pleasant, I'd hate to see you do uncomfortable, Emory thought. "I believe Emory would like to see her room, right, Matron?"
"Of course, Mr Bloor. Come along."
Emory rose from her seat and followed the austere woman towards the door.
"Oh, and one last thing, Emory," added Ezekiel. "This was a one-off meal. If I catch you in these corridors again without my permission, it won't be Matron who'll deal with you. It'll be me. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mr Bloor, sir," Emory replied. And with that rather forebodingfarewell, she left the room.
Matron strode swiftly down the plush-carpeted corridors and eventually descended the staircase that took her back to the main school. What had once felt cool before, now felt freezing cold, and Emory wrapped her arms around herself as she descended quickly. The school was quite dark, and it would have been very easy to lose Matron in the half light. And as exciting as it would have been to be lost in the exciting and mysterious building that was now her home, Emory was cold and tired and wanted nothing more than to turn into a nice warm bed.
Unfortunately for her, that wasn't going to happen. After climbing the grand staircase in the main hall, and following Matron Yewbeam through more twisting and turning halls, they reached the girls' dormitory. Matron opened the room and switched on the light. It was a typical boarding school style dormitory. Four beds down one side; four beds down the other. Emory saw her luggage had already been placed down the far end of the room, at a bed next to the window. Matron pointed out the bathroom and gave Emory a briefing on the rules.
"When I say lights out, I mean it. Silence after nine o' clock. If I see a light on or hear any noise during the night, there will be repercussions. Understand? Morning bell is at 7 o' clock. You will be down in the dining room for eight o' clock. And if you are not there on time, you go hungry." Emory just stood there and took it all in. Wow. Things are harsh here.
"Have a pleasant night," finished Matron with a grimace. "I will be back in half an hour to check on you."
And with that, she left the room. Emory made a face at the closed door. "Stupid bossy boots," she muttered, before turning and sitting down on her bed. It was a full moon that night, and it bathed the grounds in its ghostly glow. From her position, Emory could see the "creepy castle ruins" as she had put it. They were huge! She could also see the stretch of the city behind. The lights twinkled and glowed.
"Well, I guess it won't be so bad here," she whispered. "With a view like this every night, I could get used to this." She unpacked a few things; her pyjamas, wash things, one or two books, a torch and finally, a picture of her parents outside their house. Emory sighed and went to get washed.
As she brushed her teeth, she thought back over the dinner she had just had and the people she had met. Doesn't anyone nice run this place? she wondered. But she knew that she would have to be on her guard constantly if she was to hide her endowment from that lot.
She returned to the dormitory and clambered into bed. The sheets were thin, the mattress lumpy and the pillows uncomfortable, but she made the best of it and twisted herself so she was facing out of the window. Staring at the city below her, she wished more than anything that she would survive here. Eventually, despite a combination of an empty stomach and a freezing cold room, her eyelids drooped shut.
The instant she was asleep, there was a small click. The only light that penetrated the room now was from the moon, smiling down on the girl that was going to turn Bloor's Academy upside down.
Hey guys! My second fanfic has begun- but this is the first time I've done something with Charlie Bone. I hope you enjoy it; please R&R, constructive criticism is welcome. This will be very slow to update, as it will be novel length, and college work is really getting to me Ah well, I will do my best! milkshake x
P.S. If anyone would like to beta this for me, I would be most grateful. Just drop me a hint via reviewing or inbox me. Merci beaucoup in advance!