She couldn't believe she had to go to school. For the first time in over 5 years, Valkyrie Cain just plainly and simply. Didn't want to get out of bed. But after her mother called up to her for the fourth time she dismally threw the warm covers of her almost instantly freezing self and trudged downstairs in her pyjama's. Only to get sent back up to get dressed. How very depressing.
Finally- after much encouragement and slight yelling- Valkyrie was on her way to school. She sauntered through the small streets, not paying any attention to her surroundings, daydreaming instead about what her friends would be up to. She figured Tanith would either be training or watching Star Wars. Fletcher would be teleporting to Paris or somewhere stupid like that. Ghastly would be making cloths, as usual. And Skulduggery? He was the only one Valkyrie couldn't quite work out what he would be doing. He could be doing anything from jumping off a building to reading in China's library. She sincerely hoped he was doing the second.
As Valkyrie walked into the school gates she realised how nervous she was. She hadn't been to school for at least 5 years. Well, not technically anyway. And though she was up to date with all her work, and had quite a few friends. Valkyrie was extremely worried about being in school herself again. But she pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind and held her head up high as she walked past her classmates and teachers.
"Steph!" Valkyrie turned around to see one of her 'friends,' Sarah, running towards her. Her blonde hair that was bouncing as she walked and her bright pink and purple cloths made Sarah look like she barely out of primary school, not someone that was nearly 16.
"Hey Sarah," Valkyrie replied with fake excitement. Sarah grinned and grabbed Valkyries arms. Valkyrie was surprised someone like her had that amount of strength. Sarah's grasp on her arms was actually pretty painful.
"Guess what!" The tone of her voice made it clear that Valkyrie was not meant to guess.
"Lilly and Trevor have broke up!" Sarah's eyes were wide. It was clear she expected some huge reaction. Valkyrie merely rolled her eyes.
"How sad," she said sullenly. Sarah frowned.
"S'matter?" she asked. Valkyrie looked at her concerned expression and sighed.
"What makes you think anything's wrong?"
"Your face," Sarah replied and continued to pull a face that was meant to resemble Valkyries expression. Though Sarah's face pulling was truly tragic, Valkyrie gathered she didn't look happy.
"Oh." But she still didn't want to go into any details. She walked off towards the school building.
"OI!" Sarah raced after her. "Where are you going?"
"Because it's form time?"
Sarah rolled her eyes. "Not for a few minutes!" she insisted and linked Valkyries arm into her own. Valkyrie literally had to restrain herself before an angry hiss could escape her mouth as Sarah dragged her over to a bunch of kids in her year.
Valkyrie had been tortured before in her life. She'd survived it. But, school was just agonising. She didn't understand how she'd survived so many years of it. The first lesson she'd been able to deal with. P.E. They'd been playing rounders. And though Valkyrie had never really played it before, her many an afternoon of baseball with Skulduggery and Ghastly sure came in handy. But the day just got worse. Second lesson had been Math's. She'd had to suffer a whole hour listening to some guy drone on and on and on about the angles of building roof's. It wasn't like it mattered. The only thing Valkyrie was concerned with building roofs for was if she could survive the fall off it. She didn't give a toss about what angle the roof's point was.
After 10 brain destroying minutes of staring at the clock and wishing she had the adept power of speeding up time, the bell went and Valkyrie was free was the Math's lesson. She staggered out of the classroom as fast as was possible with the pins and needles the uncomfortable chair had issued upon her legs. She honestly didn't think she was going to be able to bare another 3 hours of that torture.
"You okay?" asked Liam. A short dark haired boy with gleaming blue eyes. It was pretty clear she wasn't but Valkyrie nodded anyway. She slumped on the floor next Hannah Foley. Yes. She hated the girl, but she was the only person with any space next to them. Valkyries mind again wandered to her friends. She wondered what they would be doing. She checked her watch. Eleven o'clock. They'd be sat on the sofa watching the telly while China fixed them dinner. It was Friday after all. China always made them lunch on Fridays. Valkyrie could really have done with some of China's home cooking right now. Her jacket potato's smothered completely with butter, or her spongy, fluffy Yorkshire puddings. Valkyrie didn't realise that she was glared into space until Hannah nudged her shoulder and asked.
"What you so annoyed at?"
"Nothing." Valkyrie sounded annoyed.
"Well, that's a lie."
"Really? I thought I was getting better at lying." The bluntness in Valkyries voice made Hannah smirk and giggle slightly.
"Don't delude yourself Hun," Hannah replied. A little smile played in the corners of Valkyries lips.
"Wouldn't dream of it."
Third lesson. Halfway through the day. Valkyrie had to admit that the thought of being halfway through the day was the only thing that dragged her from the position she had placed herself in at the start of break. She walked to her Science lesson slowly. Not bothering to hurry. If she was late, she was late. The teacher would just have to deal with it. But as it turned out. There wasn't a teacher there. Valkyrie wandered into the room and took her seat at the back of the lab, next to one of the more popular boys. Named Darren. He was tall and had longish brown hair. He'd never given Valkyrie a second glance before, unless to ask her to borrow a pen. But he that lesson, he took a moment to actually look at her. Before finally deciding.
"Huh?" Valkyrie hadn't been listening and the statement had taken her by surprise.
"You're different. I don't know what it is. But something's different about you than there was before," he told her. Valkyrie was taken aback.
"Not in a bad way!" he insisted. "It's in a good way! It's just. You've changed," Valkyrie couldn't help but smile.
"More than you will ever know," she muttered under her breath
"Nothing. Just, thanks."
They sat in silence after that. After what felt like hours of awkward silence the teacher walked in. Valkyrie didn't recognise him. But then again she could only see the back of his head. She didn't think anything of the fact that the teacher had a ugly scar on the back of his neck that was slightly covered by his blonde hair. Well, she didn't until he turned around. And then her whole world spun around, all her worries of not being able to make it through the day were replaced by fears of not making it through the lesson. It was unlikely with Crux as her teacher.
Valkyrie tried to keep calm as Crux's eyes bore into her own. She steadied her breath and calmed down her racing heart. Crux could kill her if he really wanted. But there was no way on this earth that Crux was ever, going to see Valkyrie scared of him.
"Hello class," Crux called turning his gaze away from Valkyrie for a moment. His voice sounded calm, collected and actually pretty pleasant but as soon as his eyes again found hers it turned dark and angry. "And hello Valkyrie. Nice to see you." Instantly the class started mumbled about who this Valkyrie was. So she decided to end their puzzlement.
"Hey there Crux," she replied. The class turned and stared at her. There were more mumbles and mutters.
'What? Stephanie's called Valkyrie?' and 'What they going on about?' Crux chuckled.
"So, how are you, my child?" he asked. Valkyrie kept my eyes fixed on his. It was like a staring contest. But it didn't matter if you blinked. You just had to look away to lose.
"I'm fine thank you, Crux. How about you?"
"Good to hear."
"So are you wondering why I'm here?" he asked. He clearly wanted her to be pretty puzzled by the whole situation.
"I have a pretty good idea." He looked disappointed.
"You do?" he asked. He wanted Valkyrie to say something about it.
"Yes. But you can't do anything. These are innocent civilians. You can't do anything in front of them." Valkyrie didn't sound as determined and fiery as she had hoped but it would have to do.
"Those are the rules of the Sanctuary are they not?" Crux asked. Valkyrie nodded.
"And since when did I follow the rules of the Sanctuary?" Valkyrie raised an eyebrow. She couldn't work out whether he actually wanted her answer that question.
"Uh…well, up until about a year ago you followed the sanctuary," Valkyrie reminded him. She clearly wasn't meant to remind him of that. He growled slightly.
"That was before I found my amazing gods…"
"Save it!" Valkyrie cried before he could go off it a massive preach about the faceless ones. She'd seem them already. She didn't need Crux to remind her of their ways. "Are you going to kill me or not?" The class all gasped at the sound of the word kill. There was yet more mutterings. Crux merely laughed.
"Of course I am, my dear Valkyrie." The mutters were growing in volume now.
"Thought as much."
Valkyrie barely dodged the first fireball. But she still managed to, and drag Darren out of the way as the fireball blew the desk into oblivion. The classroom was filled with screams and crashing chairs as her classmates hid under their desks. Her eyes found Crux again.
"That was not nice," she decided.
"Am I nice?" he asked, smirking.
"If you can call a murdering, psychotic detective, nice. Then you're just lovely."
"Thank you." He hurled another fireball and Valkyrie threw herself out of the way and skidded along the floor. "This should be easy. You won't even fight back!"
"Not in front of these kids." Valkyrie didn't want her parents knowing about her magic. Never mind her classmates.
"Fine." Crux lunged at her over the desks. He grabbed her by the throat and pushed her up against the wall. Valkyrie struggled for breath as he squeezed the last bit of air out of her lungs. Her reflexes woke up and she kneed Crux where it hurt and sent him doubling over. She gasped for breath and armed herself with a metre stick that was leaning on the wall. She knew it wouldn't do much but it was better than nothing. Crux displaced the air and sent the metre stick sailing out of her hands. So much for better than nothing. Crux brought a knife out of his pocket and charged. Or he would have done. If Tanith and Fletcher hadn't appeared in front of him and smacked him one in the face. The classroom door crashed open and Skulduggery charged into the room.
"Use your god damn magic!" Valkyrie didn't need any more convincing. She conjured up a fireball as fast as her shaking hands would let it and hurled it at Crux. He dodged it easily.
"Finally, some fight in you. And some back-up. Lucky I have mine then." As if on cue, two people Valkyrie had never seen before walked calmly into the door. There was a man and a woman. Both armed with swords. The woman had long ginger hair and black eyes. The man had black hair and pale blue/green eyes. They walked slowly in and stood with their back against the wall waiting for their next order.
"Attack." Crux's voice rang around the room like an echo and the two people responded instantly. The woman charged at Tanith and Fletcher, while the man lunged straight towards Skulduggery. Tanith deflected the swipe from the woman's sword.
"Get out of the door!" she yelled to Valkyries classmates. A few of the kids got out from their refuge under the desks and made their way quickly towards the door. Only one got out before Crux manipulated the air and slammed the door shut.
"Unfortunately. No one leaves until Valkyrie is dead." Oh perfect. Valkyrie barely had time to look around to see how everyone was doing before Crux launched himself at her. His knife was stationed above his head and was aimed straight for Valkyries heart. She fought against every nerve in her brain and forced herself to stand her ground until Crux was close enough. She then took a single step to her left and caught the back of Crux's leg with her own. Crux went flying backwards onto the floor. Valkyrie conjured a fireball planning to send it burning into Crux's face, but he rolled over on the floor and stood up. All Valkyrie achieved was a very large burn mark on the carpet.