If you let me, I could,

I'd show you how to build your fences,

Set restrictions,

Separate from the world,

The constant battle that you hate to fight just blame the limelight.

Don't look up, just let them think there's nowhere else you'd rather be!

And now you can't turn back,

Because this road is all you'll ever have.

-Fences © Paramore. It's an awesome song :D

"So where did you get off to?"

A flurry of hands.

"Really? Cool. Find anything?"

More quick signals. Gideon nodded as he fixed his eyes on them, brain working in overdrive as he struggled to remember what they meant.

One eyebrow raised, he raised his gaze to his brother. "You found a duck paddling in a pool? In the library?"

Luke glared at him and the twin held up his hands in defeat. "Okay, okay, sorr-ee. I just don't know what-" (More flurry of hands, this time on Gideon's part) "-that means."

It was good to see that the boy was a bit more upbeat after visiting Dax. He had reported back; 'Huge scar, honestly, it was massive, and he's gonna have to wear crutches for a few weeks, and he's gonna get outta P.E., lucky fella, and basically he's fine."

Maddy hid a grin as she remembered how, soon after, Gideon had been caught raiding the food cupboards in the kitchen. It was true, chocolate made everything better.

"So, what's he say?" Lisa asked casually now, painting a glimmering nail varnish onto her already perfect nails and examining them critically.

"Well." Placing a hand to his temples, Gideon frowned in deep concentration. "He says that he was at the library…searching for…I dunno, paranormal activity in the 1930's?"

Luke nodded in encouragement.

"Right. And then he found this whopper of a book and spent all afternoon reading it? Was it any good?" he added. "Any really really gory stuff?"

Luke shook his head quickly.

"Aw."

It was weird. Gideon was so jolly and carefree and cool, and there was his twin brother, nerdy and bookish. And yet they got along together like chalk to a board.

"Uh. Huh. Interesting," Lisa murmured, not really finding it interesting at all. However, she appeared to be in a good mood, so obviously she was making an effort. "Hey, Mia, what colour do you think I should do this hand?"

As Mia crawled over to help Lisa with her makeover, Maddy took the time to focus on the rest of the Colas' in the room. Alex and Jacob were reading books, occasionally bursting into sniggers; Clive was lecturing Barry on how he didn't complete his run around the field, and Jennifer was doing some late homework. It all seemed peaceful and calm.

"Hey, Mads."

The greeting had come from Jacob (-or was it Alex?-), who was now beckoning her over with a hand. Confused, Maddy wandered over to them as they glanced suspiciously around the room.

They turned back to her as one. "Wanna play truth or dare?"

Maddy stopped in her tracks. "Er…" Weren't they a little bit too old for truth and dare? "Um…I-"

"Great!" Alex exclaimed, dropping the book and giving a quick clap of his hands, breaking the silence hanging in the room. Everyone turned round to glare at him. "Oops. Sorry," he whispered, picking up the book and hastily propping it by the side of the cushioned sofa he was stationed on.

"So, let's get started," Jacob declared, more quietly this time so that Maddy had to lean forward to hear him.

"I never-"

"Oh, c'mon Mads, we're bored," Alex persisted in a low whisper. "Books? Seriously? Everything's so quiet and boring! It's always like this when it gets to evening." Then he held out his hands in beckoning. "So, you in?"

"Um…"

"Brilliant!" both boys chorused as one happily.

"Okay, I go first," Jacob decided, fixing Maddy with an evil glare. Maddy visibly deflated.

"Okay. Truth or dare?"

"Erm…truth?" Maddy squeaked, wondering how she got tied into this.

Both brothers raised their eyebrows. "You're supposed to say 'dare'," Alex pouted. "It's funner that way."
"Dare…then?"

"I dare you to go and step on Spook's cloak," came the immediate reply.

Blinking, Maddy wondered if she had heard wrong. "What do you mean?"
"Step on it. Like, rip. Torn. Ruined," Jacob finished, a menacing grin creeping over his face.

"But why would you want me to do that?"

Tutting, Alex raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Spook's been annoying us for waaay too long. It's time for revenge!"

"Then why can't you do it?"

The brothers paused to think about this for a moment. "Well, he'll know it was us immediatley," Jacob finally explained slowly and carefully. "But if you, the shy, nervous new girl does it, he'll never suspect a thing!"

Unsure, Maddy glanced over to where Spook was chatting happily with Darren. As always, the red headed boy was taking the lead of the conversation, occasionally wafting his hand in emphasis. Darren just nodded and tried to look interested. The cloak was wrapped protectively around Spook's waist. It shone slightly as the sinking sun flooded in through the windows.

"Um…I can't," Maddy decided, turning back to the dismayed brothers.

"Awwwwwww."

"I mean, can't you get someone else to do it?" she added quickly.

"Nah. Everyone else is too wimpy to do it," Alex muttered, resting his chin on his hand in a sulky fashion. Both brothers looked longingly over at where Spook's cloak was strewn across the floor lazily, glimmering with the sequins carefully sewn to it. Spook was still wrapped up in the heated conversation, and Darren was staring longingly at his book on the other end of the common room, probably wishing he had the power of telekinesis right then.

As she gazed at them, Spook glanced over his shoulder and caught her gaze. Startled, Maddy dropped her gaze to the floor, but not before she caught sight of Spook beginning to move towards her. Great.

Maddy, Jacob and Alex looked up as one as the boy towered above them.

"Hey, Spence-"

Without warning, the Teller brothers gasped and stared in horror down at their feet. Maddy followed their gaze in confusion, seeing nothing but trainers and carpet. The boys, however, instantly began to whack their knees violently-"Hey! Cut that out!" Alex snapped up at Spook, who was watching them with a smirk.

"Next time, I'll illusion the pain too," Spook hissed, before stalking out of the room with a wave of his cloak.

They relaxed, flopping back against the cushions with a sigh. Looking around, Maddy noticed that many of the Colas were looking distinctively freaked out too, but trying to hide it by instantly looking away whenever her head turned to them. Weird.

Maddy instantly whipped her head to the boys feet again. There was nothing there. What was it that she was missing.

"Speaking of that. What can you do?"

Maddy jumped. "What do you mean?"

"Well," Jacob said, swinging one arm over the back of the armchair, "What's your power? You know, uh, 'gift'?"

"Oh. That," Maddy murmured. She wasn't really anything special. Well, maybe she was, but the whole place was bound to be swarming with shapeshifters.

Alex began to tick the powers off one by one on his fingers. "Telepath? Dowser? Healer? Oh good grief, don't tell me you're a glamourist. We can't have ANOTHER Spook!"

"Um-"

"Shapeshifter? Telekinesis? Any other weird, random abilities that we don't know about yet?"

"Yeah-I mean, yeah, shapeshifter…?" Maddy stuttered, quietly ending in a question as the boys stared at her in shock.

Her response was met with mixed reactions; a whoop from Alex and an 'aw, man!' from Jacob. Alex gave his brother a sly look, and then, as if on cue, the air around Maddy wavered and shook. A moment later, a girl was stepping out from apparently nowhere and holding a hand out.

She was tall and slim, with dark brown hair tumbling over her shoulders. Rimmed glasses lined her eyes, and her expression now was that of smugness.

Maddy's jaw dropped.

Grumbling, Jacob fumbled about in his pockets, taking his time. The girl's lips tightened and eventually a few coins tumbled from Jacob's to her hand. She quickly counted out the money, before smiling at the boys and making to walk away, accidentally bumping into Maddy on the way. Almost immediatley she half-dissapeared, so that Maddy could see Gideon and Luke annoying Lisa through her shimmering outline.

"Oh!" the girl exclaimed, reappearing again. Her glasses were skewed. "Oh, I'm so sorry! Are you okay?"

Maddy blinked at her, unable to believe what she was seeing. "Are-are…did…you-"

The girls face softened into sympathy and guilt. "Oh God, I'm sorry. It must be a shock for you, seeing me like this."

That's just it! I didn't see you AT. ALL.

The girl extended a hand, shoving the money into her pocket. "Hi. I'm Jennifer."

"M-Maddy…"

Jennifer grinned. "Really? That's a nice name. I love that name. And a shapeshifter!" she added in joy, eyes sparkling. "There's only one other shapeshifter!"

"O-one…?" Maddy echoed dimly, rapidly losing self confidence.

"Yeah. And that's Dax." Was it just her imagination, or did Jennifer seem to blush a little there? Maybe fade out a bit?

"O-okay."

Reappearing again, Jennifer extended a hand. "Come on. I'll show you to your room. You are in our dorm aren't you?"

"Yes," Maddy said, vaguely remembering Jennifer's name being on the list of girls she would be sharing a room with.

Smiling broadly, Jennifer turned to Lisa and Mia, who were sitting by the fire. They turned together, and Mia beamed; Lisa did not.

Before she could say hello to them, Jennifer had grasped her hand and was now dragging her from the common room. Mia and Lisa were close behind.

"And then you came and there was only one shapeshifter left, right, because the other one had somehow-"

"Let's not get into that," Mia interrupted, casting a worried glance at Maddy and cutting off Jennifer's stream of chatting.

There was silence for a while as they walked the halls of the college. Maddy dimly thought about what Mia had meant, but then passed it off as another strange secret. It wasn't her place to know, anyway.

"This is our dorm!" Mia suddenly announced, much too brightly. Jennifer swung open the door, extending an arm to show the room in all its glory.

It was quite big, with three beds placed on either side of two Victorian windows; now that Maddy peered in closer, she could see another placed by the wall. Wardrobes and desks lined the room, and it looked sweet and cosy.

She turned to smile at the anxious girls. "It looks great," she told them truthfully.

Lisa barged past her as marched into the room. Her good mood hadn't lasted for long, and now she was giving Maddy a look as if she were a piece of dirt. "Well?" she snapped. "Don't just stand there, you're blocking up the door."

"Oh-sorry!" Maddy stuttered, jumping into the room and then stepping back with a squeak.

"Don't step on that!" Lisa hissed, picking up the iPod that Maddy had accidentally trodden on. "This is the only thing that keeps me sane in this loony bin!"

Mia followed her in and placed a comforting hand on her friends shoulder. Lisa shook it off, glaring. "I've been nagged all day. All. Day. Do you know what that feels like?" she added, apparently to Maddy.

Maddy remembered the thousands of times when her family had nagged her to do something, she couldn't remember now, until she had finally given up and obeyed. "Ye-"

"NO! No, you don't, and good luck on you," was the instant, seething reply.

"Uhm-"

There was a knock at the door, and as the girls turned to it, Gideon's flop of messy blonde hair peeked in. It instantly retreated as a trainer was professionally flung at him, and they could hear his voice from the other side of the door: "Jeez, what was that for? You were decent!"

"GIDEON!" Lisa screamed, hurling another shoe at the door. It fell to the floor without harming the boy in any way, and Lisa flung herself from her bed and marched over to the door, ready to cause harm to him herself. As soon as she opened the door and saw Luke standing behind him, looking vaguely amused, Gideon launched into excuses.

"'sfinewe'lljustleaveyou," he babbled.

Lisa glared at him for a moment, obviously working out whether what he was saying was valid or not. Gideon visibly began to relax, catching on to the fact that he wasn't going to be brutally murdered. And then Lisa's elbow smashed into his stomach, sending him sprawling to the corridor floor.

Luke immediatley leaped out of the way (it was almost as if he had been expecting it) and stared down at his brother. His expression could be summed up as: You should have seen that one coming.

Lisa's face was not much different. One eyebrow raised, she turned her back on them, and stared at the girls. "Well. Are you coming?" she asked, half snippily.

Maddy obediently followed, not really wanting to annoy Lisa more than she already had. Mia got up more slowly, in a more laidback style, and Lisa's lips tightened. Jennifer stayed where she was, absently saying that she would see him later. Probably with Barry, or, er…someone. Maddy tried not to notice that the glamourist's ears were turning red.

Obediently, Maddy followed Lisa and Mia from the dorm, trying to ignore the dirty looks coming from the telepath's way. Gideon and Luke were following, Gideon uncharacteristically quiet, but that was probably because he was in fear for his life. Oh yeah, and his head hurt like crazy.

The nurse was pretty and slim, with kind, sparkling eyes. "You can visit him as long as you want," she told them gently. "Just don't get him too tired."

Dax was propped up against the bed, a sheet of paper and pencil on the desk next to him. He looked pretty contented, under the circumstances. Mia shot over to him. "Oh, Dax-" she whispered, putting a hand on his shoulder. Dax shuffled away, grinning at her but with a serious edge in his eyes.

"Jeez, Gid, anyone would have thought I was dying or something, the way you keep coming," Dax grumbled teasingly, readjusting his pillow and whacking it into place. Gideon huffed.

"Oh, well, that's fine. I'll just go, if that's how you're gonna be," he told them, making to get up.
"Er-no, that's okay."

Gideon settled back down again, grinning. "It's so boring. You do know that you cause many of the excitement around here?"

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"It wasn't one."

"Whatever."

As they bickered, Maddy went to sit at the chair closest to the desk. As she did so, her elbow brushed against the paper, and the pencil rolled off, disappearing on the floor.

"Well done," Lisa sneered.

"Oh-sorry," she murmured, feeling her cheeks rise up in that familiar blush. It was so irritating. She knelt down to retrieve it, feeling under the bed blindly until at last her fingers clasped around the pencil.

"Hey-where'd Maddy go?" Gideon's bemused voice brought her head rising back up into view, blushing furiously.

"It, er…went under the bed," she said in means of explanation, placing the pen back on the desk next to the sick bed. Dax grinned and thanked her.

Maddy scrambled back onto her chair, where she sat staring at the floor, listening to the vague conversation between the others. Lisa was boasting about something or other, and Dax was laughing, and Mia and Gideon were trying to keep up with the conversation. Luke said nothing, and yet again, Maddy wondered why. Eager to find out, she lifted her head to glance at him curiously; only to find that he was already staring at her.

His expression couldn't have been colder.

It was lights out. Maddy lay in the dark, getting used to the feel of the unfamiliar bed. It was comfy enough, just not as nice as her bed back home; she would get used to it. A wave of homesickness washed over her and she buried her face in her pillow. She wanted her dad.

Not that she wanted to leave the school. It was great, and the kids were all friendly enough (except for Spook. But she would just avoid him). She would learn to 'control' and 'reach out' to her powers, and pretty soon she would fit in-or as well as a shapeshifter could fit in.

Ugh. She didn't know what she wanted.

Was that normal?

Inwardly groaning, Maddy flipped onto her back and stared up at the ceiling, listening in to the muffled conversation echoing across the room, but not really taking it in. Her mind kept wandering to Luke's stony expression. Had she somehow done something to upset him? If so, could she make it up to him? She would have to ask him tomorrow. She couldn't be making enemies out of her friends on her first day.

Suddenly exhausted, Maddy turned onto her side and pulled the duvet up to her chin. Its warmth flooded through her. This place was pretty homey.

Sighing, her eyes fluttered closed. Tomorrow, she would sort it out with Luke, try to get on Lisa's good side, learn her powers, phone her father.

Everything would be fine in the morning.

Uh…yeah. Right. Fine….in the, er, morning.

The next update will be sooner, coz I'm in a bit of a writing mood ^.^