Gethin walked into the common room and fell down on a couch, sore all over from hiding in the Proie for two hours. His eyes had just drifted shut when an outburst of shouting erupted just behind him.
“What? WHO DID IT?!”
“That son of a bitch, Rafe.”
“I’ll KILL him!”
“Raul’s not dead, Darcy. JP’s working on him right now.”
“I don’t care! Who does that fucking asshole think he is, attacking Raul?!”
“Raul was kissing Cala.”
“But Cala doesn’t like Rafe!”
“Apparently they’d just gotten together when Raul went after her.”
The first, hissing, angry voice was that of Darcy. The second one, speaking in a calm, low voice in contrast to Darcy’s, was Tynan.
Gethin jumped up off the couch. Raul, attacked? It wasn’t possible! “What happened?” he asked as Darcy and Tynan, with Zevi close behind, entered the room.
“Raul kissed Cala and Rafe went after him, in the Dining Hall,” explained Tynan, since Darcy was fuming too much to form coherent words. Her entire body trembled and her black hair nearly crackled with anger.
“Shit, is Raul all right?” asked Gethin.
“JP is with him,” said Tynan soberly. If the Master and his wand, which had powers of healing, were needed, the situation had to be desperate. Knights rarely used painkillers, and preferred to nurse their wounds in silence as opposed to getting help.
“Should we go see him?” said Gethin.
“We already tried,” said Tynan, “JP told us to beat it.”
Gethin nodded. “Where’s Rafe?”
“Hiding, the coward,” spat Tynan.
Zevi nudged Tynan as Dwayne slouched into the room and sat down on a chair. He looked to be in a foul mood.
“Oh, yeah,” said Tynan suddenly, “Look at Dwayne guys. Does he remind you of anyone?”
Darcy and Gethin glanced dubiously at the fair haired little kid. “Nope,” said Gethin. He just looked like an ordinary… killer boy.
“JP!” said Tynan, wringing his hands, “Look, they’re like twins! Except Dwayne’s a lot younger…”
“I see it…” said Darcy, but not very convincingly. “Their eyes are both the same shape and size, and their chins are sort of the same…”
“They’re a perfect match!” said Tynan keenly. “Guys, I think there’s a good chance they’re related.”
“That’s way too farfetched,” pointed out Gethin, “JP is what? Sixty? Older? Dwayne is eight or nine. The age thing doesn’t match up.”
“They could be granddad and grandchild,” said Darcy slowly, “If JP had his kids really early…”
“Or if his kids had Dwayne really early!” said Tynan quickly, “Or if Dwayne is his kid he had him super late! I really think this is a legitimate possibility!”
“So what?” Darcy asked irritably. “So what if they’re related? What does it mean?”
“It means we might not be abandoned orphans,” replied Tynan darkly.
That shut them up.
“Let’s go see him,” said Darcy decisively, turning in the direction of the main staircase.
“Darcy, you know he’s with Raul,” reminded Gethin hesitantly. He could see from the way Darcy’s nostrils flared, the way her eyes were narrowed, that she was heading in one direction and nothing would divert her from it.
“We’ll take a quick look in the infirmary,” snapped Darcy, without looking back, as the three were following her fast pace up the stairs, “Then we’ll go wait for him in his study. God Gethin, do you really think we have to wait for his permission to ask him a question?”
Gethin wanted to punch Darcy, so hard she forgot what the color of the sky was, but he refrained, and kept silent. The four swept up the stairs to the doorway of the small room that had been turned into an infirmary. It was really just a room with a fireplace and four cots, but it was called the infirmary anyway.
JP was in there, leaning over a still body. His back was shielding people who happened to look in from the damage. Darcy tried to get a closer look, but JP began to turn, and she darted out. “Let’s go up,” she announced.
Gethin dutifully followed her up and up, until they reached JP’s study. He’d never been in the study without JP, and quiver of excitement shot through him. Maybe he’d be able to look around. See what mysteries JP was keeping from them.
Darcy pulled the study door violently open and stormed into the study. She glanced out the large window, where students were still wandering about. She then ran around to his desk and pulled open several drawers. “We don’t have much time,” she said.
Gethin then knew that this was what Darcy had really wanted all along; to get a chance to be in JP’s study without him knowing. She had been thinking along the exact same lines. “Help me!” Darcy said loudly.
“Are we looking for stuff on Dwayne?” I asked.
“Anything unusual,” snapped Darcy, “Anything that doesn’t fit in with our life. Anything that has to do with magic.”
The others spread out and began ruffling through JP’s trinkets and papers, looking for clues as to what this whole deal was about. Gethin was remembering how mad JP had been at the news kids knew about wands, how secretive it was to have a name like “The Master”, how odd it was that sixty enhanced werewolves were locked up in a castle for no real reason—
A loud crack filled the room and the strangest thing Gethin had ever seen happened: JP appeared out of nowhere. He took in, with widened eyes, the scene that was laid out before him.
Darcy was kneeling on the ground behind his desk, pulling out drawers and dumping their contents on the ground. She was in the process of scanning a stack of papers. Tynan was ripping all the books out of JP’s large bookcase that was an entire wall of the study, while Zevi rifled through the pages. Gethin had been about to open a large cabinet he’d always wondered the meaning of.
“What are you doing here?” JP asked calmly, storing his drawn wand in a pocket, and sitting down in his chair, forcing Darcy to stand up and move away from the desk.
“What is this?” Darcy replied quietly. She held up a handful of what appeared to be newspapers. Amazingly, the pictures on it were moving.
“The Daily Prophet.” said JP, “A newspaper I read.”
“Everyone in the pictures have wands, like yours,” continued Darcy, “And they all look like you. And they don’t fight. And there are millions of them.”
Gethin had always known that someday it would come down to this: Darcy and JP, facing off, with information spewing out of their mouths. And someone would win, would have the power.
“You’ll never keep this quiet,” Darcy said shakily. Gethin had never once heard her voice quaver.
“I find that hard to believe,” countered JP. With a wave of his wand the papers ripped themselves out of Darcy’s hands and stuffed themselves back into the desk drawer. “You see, death is bloody. To kill, you must rip out throats, hearts, vital organs and passages. With a wand, it is quick, painless, and unstoppable.” Something flickered in his eyes.
“Nothing is unstoppable,” spat Tynan, “I bet you’re just making this all up.”
“Oh, I can silence you easily,” said JP, “So I suggest you all stand up, without touching anything, and go over there.” He pointed with a claw of a finger to the corner of the room farthest from the door, between the window and a bare wall.
Gethin moved first. He scampered quickly to the corner. Silently, the other four followed him, Darcy practically burning a hole in JP’s face with her glare.
JP raised his wand, and all five flinched visibly. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he said unconvincingly, “I just don’t want you to go and starting more panic than there already is. We’ll start with Darcy.”
The was a flash of green light, revealing the same scene as a second before: JP standing, wand raised, and the five young adults standing beside the window. But Darcy stepped forward.
“C’mon guys, why are you all standing there? Let’s go.” She urged, with a glare at JP.
“Darcy, step outside, please.” JP’s voice hid a thousand secrets. “They’ll be out in a minute.” Shrugging, Darcy left with her usual swagger.
“What’d you do to her?!” Raul shouted, lunging for JP. With a flick of the wand, he was thrown back to the wall. JP had never used so much magic in front of them.
“It’s called a Memory Charm,” said JP calmly, “Darcy has no recollection of the past half hour. It’s harmless, as I said.”
And before any of them could do a thing, the room was filled with more green light, flash after flash, until it faded away leaving four clueless adults and one informed one.
“What was all that light?” asked Raul cautiously.
“Nothing, nothing,” said JP, “All of you are dismissed.”
And they left, slouching one after the other out the door, as if nothing had happened at all.