A/N: I know it has been very long since I updated last. I kind of got stuck and school can be annoying sometimes. I have not finished my project and the research reports takes more time to make than I expected, not to mention the homework I got from other subjects, but since half of this chapter had already written long ago, I thought why not finish it now when I get the mood and time to do it? Well, here's chapter 4 for you. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I would really love to own Wizard101, but alas, I don't. KingsIsle owns it.


TRUE DARKNESS

Chapter 4

My nap turned out to be a lot longer as it is now dinner time, or so I was told by the gentle yet somewhat urgent voice of Penny's. I stirred and rolled to my side, letting out a small grunt at the disturbance. I opened my eye just a crack, my gaze facing the large wardrobe across from the bed and then at the dim lamp hanging on the ceiling. It looks like it is a couple of hours before midnight, but really, being in this room could fool you as to what the real time is at night. And I am right as the clock on the wall confirmed that it is still five past seven.

I yawned wide, not bothering to cover it and looked around the room for my friend. Even with the help of the lamp above, aside from my still-blurred eyes, it is still fairly dark due to the dark colored wall and flooring. It is the result of Penny's boldness at showing her pride as a Death student that she abandoned the consideration of practical use before applying the dark items and furniture in the room. My eyes then catch some movement near the foot of the bed and I see Penny standing in front of the mirror on the right wall, applying light make up to her face. I blink once and I feel sleep began to possess me once again. When I show no sign of leaving the bed after two minutes, Penny looks at me warily and says, "Come on Sophia, you don't want to miss dinner!"

The lower bunk where I am lying is so comfortable I just want to lie there forever and sleep, but then the imaginary creature in my stomach reminds me of how I have not fed it since breakfast by letting out a low, demanding growl. I groaned; as much as I want to just stay there, I can't simply ignore it. I sit up, stretch, and swing my legs off the bed, swearing under my breath as they make impact with the chair just beside the bed. I wish the dorm room could be roomier. The room is only about three meters square wide. Most of the space has already been occupied by some furniture, large ones at that. The bed is standing against the far wall across from the door, a long desk beside it. The desk is half filled with piles of thick books and a candle holder; we use that to do homework and such. There is a large window just slightly above the desk that makes studying a little less boring as it gives us the beautiful scenery of the Ravenwood area below; it is closed now though, as rain has been pouring down from between Bartleby's branches. Two chairs are shoved beneath the desk, one of which I had just knocked earlier. On the left wall stood a large, old wardrobe and a shoe rack just nearby the door. If I had had a choice, I would throw away the wardrobe and replace it with a smaller one; we don't have many things to keep in there anyway.

I take some time massaging my legs; adding to the sore from the impact with the chair, the sore from the previous exertion in the afternoon has not completely gone yet. Oh well, at least I got a pleasant nap. I rise from the bed and take out my favorite clothes from the wardrobe; a long-sleeved white shirt, a black with red-trimmed vest, and a matching knee-length skirt. My body is all sticky with sweat so I want to shower first before going down the dining hall, but Penny insists that I do it after dinner.

"We are already fifteen minutes late. Just change and wash your face."

I roll my eyes behind her back as she turns to give me some privacy to change. Penny is always strict about getting in time. She can suddenly be pushy at times, a habit of hers of which I hate and also gratitude at at the same time because without it, I wouldn't have gotten to class in time every time.

Once I finished dressing, Penny opened the door. That's when I realize just how hungry I am. The various smell of delicious food down the dining hall has creeped inside the room like a ghost and invaded my nose, causing my mouth to water slightly. I hurriedly wash my face as we pass the bathroom on our way down. The hallways are practically empty; the other girls must have already been down there eating dinner. Penny drags me by the arm through the hallways and we are practically half-running and half-flying down the stairs, an act I think is not necessary because I would do just that without her forcing me to.

Large, brown double oak doors with beautiful ornate stood sturdily before us, the handles are designed to resemble vines entangled together. The appetite-raising smells grow stronger in here indicating the Dining Hall is just beyond these doors. I push it open to reveal a wide and high-ceilinged room full of girls in various robe colors. Unlike our room, the dining hall is bright from the big chandeliers hanging above. The girls are sitting cramped together in six long tables filled with food and drink, making clattering noises with their spoons, forks, and knives while chattering as noisily. There are actually seven tables in there but the one table near the door is completely free of occupants. You see, the tables are arranged for each of the school of magic so you have a pretty good idea which school that table belongs to.

Ignoring the usual murmurs of disgust from the girls when they see us, I prop myself into a seat nearest to the door on that dark-covered table and begin to scan the content. Penny positioned herself across from me and mimicked me. The dining hall is the only place in Ravenwood that does us real justice. Despite of its only few occupants, the table is always full of food and drink covering the surface just like the others. Tonight's menu is as wonderful as always. Various cooking of chicken dish scattered across the table in several plates along with a basketful of bread, mashed potatoes, and salad. A jug of hot chocolate and several mugs are placed in interval of every five chairs. For desserts, we have fruits, caramel pudding and chocolate tart cake. I take a glance towards the Fire table where the girls are having a little fight over a cake. A smirk formed in my face. I pulled a whole cake to myself, purposely lifted it to my nose and inhaled its sweet aroma slowly when one of the Novices stared at our table with her mouth open longingly. Penny, having noticed what I do, smacked my arm. I laughed. Poor Novices will always get the leftover, which isn't much. We could share of course; we still have plenty after all, but knowing them, they would just turn our offer down and yell at us, making it seems like we ask for their food and not otherwise. Taking our attention back at our table, we then proceeded to fill our plates with a bit of every dish and started to eat.

The food tastes wonderful I literally wolf down all of my plate's content in ten minutes. Penny cringed disapprovingly as I belched out loud and commented, "You eat like a gobbler that hasn't eaten in months."

I just laughed and started digging in the dessert. Penny shook her head in disbelief while putting her spoon and fork down. "How could you not gain weight with that kind of gobbler's appetite after three years?" Penny wondered out loud.

"Eh, just my luck?" I shrugged. Unlike other girls, I don't really care about that matter. Food is food, there is plenty here and it's free, so we just have to enjoy it, no? We continued eating in silence for the next five minutes. Most of the girls are already returned to their rooms by then, leaving only about twenty people or so chatting and laughing with each other. I watched them once in a while from behind my half-eaten cake laughing after taking a glance towards us. Needless to say that they are talking about us; bad things I'm sure.

"Anyway Sophia," Penny said and I was glad for the distraction because I was ready to yell at them to mind their own businesses. "Are you done with your detention? You returned sooner than you should be today."

I snorted. "I wish. You know how crazy Drake is. He's just playing with us!"

"I think you meant Professor Drake, Sophia." Penny corrected me.

"I don't care, Penny. I hate him." I said simply and I mean it. I wonder how he could become a professor with that kind of attitude.

Penny shrugged, I know she's not even sure whether to respect or hate the professor herself. Penny also hates him for his self-importance, arrogance kind of attitude, yet at the same time he's a professor that's bound to be respected. Yeah, that's a pretty hard decision for Penny, a model of devoted student, to choose. For me, you know the answer already!

"Well," Penny readjusted her seat, "I just want to remind you that our third year is almost over and you'd better continue working on filling up your Experience Point for this year to pass to Journeyman rank."

My forkful-cake halted halfway in the air between my open mouth and the table when Penny completed her sentence, my eyes widened in realization. Dang it, I've completely forgotten about that! What is this about the Experience Point, you ask? In Ravenwood Academy, we have to take seven years of study. There are a total of seven ranks; Novice, Apprentice, Initiate, Journeyman, Adept, Magus, and lastly Master. In our first year, we start as Novice wizards, and the next year, we move up a rank and become Apprentice wizards, and so on. To pass the year and move up a rank, we must fulfill two things. Firstly, we must pass all the subjects given through the final exams, and secondly, we must fill up our Experience Point; the amount of points for every rank is different, the higher the rank, the more points needed to collect. Experience Point is gotten from the 'quests' we receive from the people outside of Ravenwood, mostly non-wizards. The non-wizards need our help with all the 'magic-ky' stuff, so simply speaking, we, wizards, help them with whatever magical problem they have and they will give us Experience Points, and sometimes other useful stuff too, in return.

I abandoned my cake as I tried to recall how many points I have collected. We Initiate wizards need to collect 2500 points. If I remember correctly, I am not even done half of it and the school year will be over in like, four weeks? I stared at Penny in horror. "Oh my God, Penny. What do we do?"

"Well, I'm not really worried about myself," said Penny as she poured herself a mug of hot chocolate.

"How?"

Penny shrugged. "I have already collected more than 2000 points. I can get the rest easily in four weeks."

I stared at her, not believing what I just heard. "What? But the last time I checked, we have the same amount of points!" I complained, feeling betrayed.

"Well, I do quests when I have free time, you know, when Professor Wethersfield brought us to Krokotopia for field study. I took the opportunity to do quests there when the session is over. The people there give much more Experience Point than here in Wizard City."

"Oh," I said in understanding. Penny has also taken Balance class too by the way so she gets the chance of visiting Krokotopia quite often. Well, lucky her.

"By the way you reacted, you don't have it as well as I do, do you? You need to finish your detention soon so you can start working on it."

Easy said than done, I sighed frustratingly, remembering Professor Drake's mention about the amount of books we have yet to return. My detention will not end soon, I am pretty sure of it. By the way, speaking of detention, something more important came up to my mind. Putting my Experience Point problem aside, I turned to Penny, a mixture of excitement and seriousness showed in my face. "Hey Penny, guess what?"

"Hmm?" Penny looked over at me from behind a mug of hot chocolate she is now drinking.

"I had heard a big news." Then I told her about the brief conversation between Cyrus Drake and Moolinda Wu this afternoon and my suspicion of who they were talking about. I had expected her to be surprised, but aside from her slightly raised eyebrows, her expression doesn't change a bit, which makes me kind of disappointed. "Oh, come on Penny, aren't you surprised?" I complained with a sigh. I mean, what I just told her was a BIG news!

Penny simply shrugged. "I don't know, Sophia. They could be talking about someone else."

"They couldn't be," I insisted. "If only you saw Drake's expression when hearing that, you'd know it was Malistairethey were talking about. How many people in the Spiral does he care about anyway?"

"Like I say earlier, I don't know. If it really was Malistaire they were talking about, what are you gonna do about it? Hmm?"

"Well, it's just that it's the first time I heard the news about him after so long, so I kind of become excited to know how he's doing." Don't get me wrong there, it's not that I am his fan or whatever. What he did was awful. I can still feel the cold air of that day lashed on my skin as I watched the Death School building being ripped apart from Bartleby's root right in front of my eyes. The wails and screams of agony from the students inside the building are still clear in my ears, piercing through my heart and sending shivers down my spine as they, along with the building plummeted down out of sight. That's no way I would forget that day. Many had died in that incident and I shuddered every time I thought of how close I was to losing my life too. I survived because I came late that day. I survived, all thanks to my laziness. "I hope, if the news is really about Malistaire, it's good news this time, that they finally succeeded in capturing him or something."

There is a moment of pause between us as though my last sentence was a prayer. I look up at Penny and I know she's having a mental conflict within her head. She's still finding it hard to believe the fact that the one she once looked up to had turned evil and caused so much misery to many people. The last time I read the news about him, about a year ago, he was in Krokotopia and was causing a stir up between the land's inhabitants. The Ravenwood Bulletin, the one and only believable source of information regarding Malistaire, had also mentioned about a 'Krokonomicon' once. I wasn't sure what that is, but then after that, The Ravenwood Bulletin had stopped writing the detailed information of what Malistaire was doing, and only writing the most general information on the situation and not Malistaire himself; either they had lost a brilliant informer or they had received an order to keep all that was happening low profile. I was more leaned to the latter considering the article consisted the mention of Krokonomicon had caused a little panic between the higher-up wizards. Anyway, after the stir up, Krokotopia is not a really safe place anymore to go around unarmed, and guards are constantly placed at the entrances of every area. Nobody knows what Malistaire's plan is; he seems to just causing havoc wherever he goes. I wonder if I would be like that too if I were to lose someone I loved.

"We'd better going back now. Dinner time is almost over." Penny's voice snapped me back from my thought. I looked at the big Grandfather Clock at the wall behind me. It was a little before eight, that's when all of the food will disappear from the table. You won't find even a scrap behind after that so it's important to be going to dinner on time as you are not allowed to go out of Ravenwood's ground after eight o'clock to buy food; again I thanked Penny for that in my mind. Picking up an apple, I was halfway rising from my chair when I heard the big doors snapped open followed by a girl hurried inside. She collided into my back as she ran past me and the next moment I was thrust forward into the table. My hand knocked the hot chocolate jug, spilling the content all over the table and to my clothes. Good thing Penny was able to catch me before my face could be buried into my half-eaten cake.

Anger quickly boiled inside me as I whipped my head about in the direction where the girl went. She seemed not to realize what she just did as she kept her pace towards the green-covered table without stopping to mock me. Then I noticed something strange. The girl's clothes are surprisingly soaked wet it clings to her small body like a second layer of brown and green skin. Her short, brown wavy hair is soaked as well; it looks as though she had just come out of the rain outside.

"Calamity!" I heard one of the two Theurgists remained on the Life table calling out to the rain-soaked girl. Calamity? What an odd name, I mused. "Where have you been? You were gone like all day!"

The addressed girl, who must have been a Theurgist as well, took her time to steady her breaths, her face flushed red as though she had just run a marathon. "I—I got lost…" her soft, almost sing-song voice quivered a little, probably from the cold.

The other Theurgist with black hair shook her head in disbelief before asking, "Calamity, you have been living here for all your life, how come you still managed to get lost?"

"I—I don't know…" I noticed a hint of panic in her voice, even clearly as she says her next sentence. "There is… something important I need to tell you…"

"Whoa, calm down, Call! You sound like you were just chased by a ghost," the first Theurgist exclaimed, her face showing true concern.

"More importantly, here, have dinner first. We have spared you some…"

Just then, the Great clock chimed in eight times, leaving the three Theurgists to freeze momentarily at the sight of the suddenly empty table. What timing. The ninth, growl-like sound that followed a moment after the clock, loud enough that I could hear, was clearly come from Calamity. I see her face redden even more in embarrassment as she looked miserably at her growling stomach. She looks really close to burst into tears…

And then, there is a flying apple zoomed towards her.

"OW!" she cried out as the apple made impact with the back of her head, and it took three seconds for me to realize that I was the one throwing it.

"Hey! What is your problem, Deathy!?" the black-haired Theurgist yelled at me, standing up from her chair fast. The other glared at me while Calamity looked down to see what was hitting her.

"At least," I growled, "have the decency to apologize after knocking someone up and make their clothes dirty."

I turned to leave then, only to find Penny smiling broadly at me.

xxxxxxxxxx

The amount of our homework had us awake until a little past midnight. Having exhausted her eyes and brain after reading some thick and heavy books, Penny collapsed almost immediately after her foot had left the last ladder to the upper bunk. I was just as exhausted as her, minus the sleepiness, thanks to my long nap. From experience, I knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep the rest of the night, so, after grabbing a sweater, I sneaked my way out to the Commons. That was against the rules, but I couldn't bear staying in the room any longer without doing anything. I needed to take a walk.

The rain had subsided just a little after we had finished dinner, though tiny droplets of water are still falling from the tree where I am currently hiding in at the moment. I had climbed up the big tree near the small lake just outside of the Headmaster Tower after I decided that I had enough of walking. I am currently staring up at the sky. It is amazing. Millions of stars claimed the sky, blinking continuously in a beauty that can't be expressed by words. The light from the full moon above makes the street lamps kind of useless as it outshines them. The second wonderful thing is the lake. So clear the water that when the moonlight hit the surface, it sparkles beautifully as if having a contest with the stars above.

The night would be a perfect silence had it not been for the night breeze rustling the leaves of the tree. The cold air of the night had tried to penetrate through my sweater without much success, however that wasn't the case with my uncovered arms and face as they are now starting to turn red from the long exposure in the cold. Some owl hooted once in a while, sending off some creepiness into the air. For some people, that may be kind of scary, but I like that. I enjoy night time and its calmness, maybe that's why I got chosen to be in the Death school.

I leaned my back against a tree branch, my gaze still glued to the sky, and stayed like that until something caught my attention. The previously dark tower behind me suddenly went bright. Someone has turned on the lamp inside. The next moment, the front door opened wide and the thin figure of Merle Ambrose appeared between the frames, his staff held at the ready in front of him. His usual blue starry robes and long white beard are swaying in the wind, his monocle glinting in the moonlight as he stared forward intently.

Shoot, I've been found out! Or at least that was what I thought.

I didn't have time to panic however, as at that time, I heard footsteps coming from the tunnel from Ravenwood. A moment later, five figures emerged from the tunnel and walked in the direction of the Headmaster's tower single-filed. I hold my breaths, trying to melt myself with the shadows as they walk pass the tree.

"We are here," one of the five people said. I observed them through the thick branches and leaves and gasped silently once I recognized one of them. Oh my God, it's them! I feel my heart beating faster as I see the five enter the yard of the Headmaster's tower. Ambrose walked down to greet them and then steered them into the tower, the big double doors closed shut then. For a full minute, I just sit there feeling awed. It has been a full year since I last saw them. With them being here now can only mean one thing, and that has proven my suspicion being true; it was really Malistaire the one Cyrus Drake and Moolinda Wu had talked about this afternoon, otherwise these five people, the Order of the Spiral, wouldn't be here right now this late of night.

~to be continued~


A/N: So, what do you think? I meant to make the ending cliffier but I think I have failed. Please let me know if there is any grammar mistake or confusion in there. This story wasn't beta read and I stink at grammar, so it would be much appreciated if you could point that out so I can improve. Also, I have decided to accept max 5 OCs for this story. Just PM me your character using the format below if you're interested enough to be in here XD:

Name:

Gender:

Age: (preferably 17 and up for a *rather* obvious reason)

School(s) of magic: (If you send in a Death, your character will most likely go to the opposing team)

Appearance:

Personality:

Likes:

Dislikes:

Bio:

Family:

Other: (anything that I forgot to mention)

That's it for now. Until next time! :)