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The Recruit by Pen2Paper
Chapter 4 : The Crew
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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Author's Note: BIG chapter guys, sorry I couldn't break it in half, hope you don't mind. Finally grounding this to HP world.

As always leave reviews guys you know I need them! :P 







For the third time that night I woke from a horrid nightmare with a sharp gasp. Although the moment I awoke the dream seemed drastic and unreal I couldn’t as easily shake the fear that came with it.

The weekend gave me none of the peace I’d hoped for. I couldn’t sleep. Instead I spent the night next to my study table crouched ridiculously against the wall by the window with a torch and baseball bat.
My mind was exceptionally alert throughout Friday night and for the better part of Saturday. I suspected it was the copious amounts of anxiety induced adrenaline running in my veins. I practically camped out in my room waiting for my creepy stalker to arrive again, both dreading and anticipating him. Every sound, every movement caught my senses. I was on edge. By Sunday morning my hands were visibly trembling and my eyelids weighed a ton each.

The sad fact was that my family hardly noticed during dinner on Sunday. I sat at the dinner table sans my dad who was working late, again, and wondered if they’d even realise it if I became part of the wall paper.

After finishing my dinner and after nearly three days without proper sleep, save for the nodding off here and there, I was very tired. I quickly washed my plate and headed up the stairs.

I’d been leaving the light on in my room after Six o’clock since Friday night when I saw him watching me again. The memory of it sent chills up my spine.

Why can’t at least part of my life be normal?

Yeah sure we all have issues but why did I get the crappiest deal of the century? Mom dying when I was a baby, growing up invisible to my family, having weird questionable and potentially hazardous powers, powers that surfaced out of the blue and I had no control of landing me in completely terrible situations, failing nearly every subject in school and getting detention regularly, and as if all that didn’t seal my early peril let’s add a creepy stalker and possible serial killer to the list why don’t we!?

It was now 12.32 am. My body was too tired to keep up with my fear, I was drifting asleep.

It was a recurring dream of a tall man in a clock, faceless and terrifying, following me down a dark alley. I’d quicken my steps and so would he, I’d begin to run and so would he, faster and faster until I realised there was a dead end straight ahead and I was treading on his shadow. He’d laugh and I’d whip around my heart beating furiously… and I’d wake up gasping for air.

Breathing deeply to calm myself I rubbed my head against the cold bat held between my knees. I needed sleep. I hadn’t done any of my homework, not to mention the extra sums I had to do for Mr Webber’s catch-up classes. And unlike I’d promised Callum, I hadn’t tried to use my powers on small objects and float them against gravity.

The stalker’s appearance had consumed my life in an instant and everything else went out the window. But even as I feared each moment and watched fretfully every hour or so out the window, he never came. The road opposite stayed calm and as harmless as could be.
No shadow was out of place, no sound was suspicious.

At 2.30 AM I gave up and crawled into bed out of pure exhaustion. But not before double-checking the locks on the windows, dead-bolting the door and taking my flashlight and bat to bed with me.

Paranoia you may call it…To me, just another day of my life.

****
“Knock knock? Daphne…? You’re late, is everything alright?”

I was dream-awake.

“Daphne? You alright?”

I opened my eyes and saw Aunt Karen’s face looming over me.

“Mmmgh…Whatime isit?”

“It’s nearly eight… What’s wrong?”

My body felt like lead when I made to turn to my side so I quickly gave up on that. I’m done with the staying up and waiting out my potential attacker. Creepy Stalker can kill me in my blissful sleep I just don’t give a damn anymore. Exhaustion has officially won over.

“I’m feeling sick, I ache all over…” Well that was only half a lie.

Aunt Karen immediately put the back of her hand on my forehead.
“You don’t have a fever…”

“Yeah… but I’m still sick.” I said in the most irritated voice my tired body could muster pulling the covers over my head.

Silence.

“Alright then… well, I’ve got to get to work. Daphne, do you want me to call Mrs Watson over while you rest to look after you?”

“No!” I said loudly from under the sheets.

“Ok then, you get some rest. There’s left over pizza in the fridge” I felt her weight leave the bed and heard the door shut quietly behind her. With that I fell asleep again.

I don’t know if it was because my body was so worn from staying up three days straight because I slept undisturbed for what felt like days. When I woke up finally I was still tired but I pulled myself out of bed.

I trudged down to the kitchen, opened the fridge, drank some juice straight from the carton and shoved a plain slice of bread into my mouth. Just as I put my foot on the stairs to head back to my room, the phone rang.

“Hello?” I picked up.

I usually don’t pick up the phone in my house because:
A. One phone is in the living room, and Aunt Karen gets there first and the other one is in dad’s study and no one’s allowed in there.

And B. No one ever calls asking for me.

So imagine my surprise when,

“Hello, may I speak to Daphne please?”

“Err… yeah this is she?”

There was a short silence.

“You sound doubtful about that,” came the response.

I could hear the amusement on the other side of the line.
“Hi Callum,” I smiled to myself, “how did you get my number?”

He ignored my question, “You weren’t in school today, is everything alright?”
“Umm yeah, everything’s fine… I just… felt very tried and weary, that’s all.” I lied but I thought it was a pretty good lie.

Maybe because his blue eyes couldn’t stare into mine and force the truth out of me right then, he didn’t suspect too much.

“Ok… You didn’t happen to… pass out or anything, did you?”

“No no… nothing like that!” I assured him.

“Are we still meeting in the afternoon?”

We’d agreed to take a break over the weekend where I would try to practice my powers alone and then I’d resume ‘training’ to harness my powers with Callum’s guidance after school today.

“Sure, yeah. Definitely”

“I’ll understand if you need to need to rest.”

“No,” I said firmly. What I needed was distraction. And maybe a little self-assurance that I could defend myself.

“Ok, I’ll see you later then,” he said without argument, “Good bye, Daphne.”

And before I could say anything else the line was cut.
I dropped the receiver back into its handle and trudged up the stairs. After a warm shower I felt refreshed and generally better. I wrapped my towel around myself and pushed my wet hair out of the way. My reflection on the mirror was still showing signs of sleep deprivation. I brushed my teeth quickly and ran the tap washing out the brush and putting it back in the glass. I ran my hands under the stream of water and rinsed out my mouth.

Something unpredictable happened next. My hand reached out to close the tap but just before I touched it the tap creaked pulling my attention to it. With my hand frozen an inch away I saw the tap turn itself close. I couldn’t believe it. I was doing it without meaning it, without even thinking it.

The stream of water stemmed and the last drops dripped down the sink hole. I withdrew my hand quickly backing away from the sink. My heart was beating violently against my chest again.

What if, even though I had control over my powers, I could still do things without meaning to. Only now, I didn’t get any headaches. There was no warning…

My heart plummeted and panic surged through my veins like fire. I rushed into my room and changed as quickly as possible into a pair of jeans and a random t-shirt. I pulled my leather jacket off the hanger and grabbed my bag off the bed. The keytag on my bag snagged onto the covers and pulled them along with it.

From under the covers my baseball bat rolled off the bed onto the floor. I froze watching it roll over on the carpet and the previous night flooded back to me. My head snapped toward the door so fast my neck cricked. I’d locked the door last night, double checked it.
Then how did Aunt Karen get in this morning?

Blood pounded behind my ears. I walked slowly to the door of my room and held the doorknob, my fingers ran over the side over the latch bolt. I turned the doorknob slowly and the latch pulled back immediately. It had been unlocked, for God knows how long…

Holy shit.


****

Roughly half an hour later I was hammering down on Callum’s door. My eyes scanned the empty neighbourhood shiftily. There was no answer. I pounded on the door again.

The lock clicked and the door opened but it wasn’t Callum at the door. It was a girl, about the same age as me with thick brown hair and wide olive-green eyes. She smiled as she saw me standing fretfully at the doorstep.

“You must be Daphne,”

I didn’t know if her knowledge of my existence scared me or confused me. All I knew is that last thing I needed was another stranger who knew me.

I nodded vigorously in my nervous state.

“I’m Coraline”

“Hi,” I said shortly getting to the point, “Is Callum here?”

“Yes, please come in,” she opened the door and allowed me to pass by her into the empty hall. I became aware that I was breathing too fast and attempted to control it.

“I’ll get him for you” she said walking along the hallway and vanishing behind the archway. A few short seconds later Callum walked through the archway.

His smile vanished when he saw the expression on my face. His steps quickened towards me and stopped just in front of my holding the elbows of my folded arms.

“What’s wrong?” he asked immediately.

“I… I did something,” I said uncertainly.

His lips parted dreading what I wanted to say but his blue eyes were curious.
“What did you do?” he asked slowly.

I explained everything to him my throat drying out as the fear I had for myself overpowered me.

“Daphne, calm down” Callum said quietly rubbing his hand over my shoulder, “this is good, you’re getting control”

“Are you insane? Haven’t you been listening to a work I just said” I hissed at him. “I opened the door in my sleep!

“Control comes slowly ok, don’t worry about this,” he consoled me, “it won’t all happen at once. But now you won’t get headaches, you won’t lose control when you’re angry or scared. When you’re asleep, well, your brain works sort of overtime… it could have caused this…”

I appreciated that he didn’t immediately assume I was lying and told me I probably forgot to lock it or unlocked it in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Still, even as Callum assured me that he will train me enough to not let it happen again I began to doubt myself.
What if I did it again? and maybe next time I did more than just unlock a door?
What if I hurt someone without even knowing it…?


What if I’m too dangerous to be around normal people?

How can this be real? How can this be happening?
***

Every afternoon that week I took a ride with Callum to his house and we began to progress with my powers. My headaches were diminishing and I could readily tap into my ability to control the movement of objects. Apart from the first day that completely freaked me out of my skin, the following days had not resulted in any incidences while I slept. The doors stayed locked till I opened it the next morning. Feeling a twinge of confidence returning to my mind I trusted Callum and continued to train my powers with him.

By the end of the week I could float a large beautifully painted vase above my head. As it turned in mid-air and threatened to drop Callum’s grip on my waist tightened and he softly reminded me to remember who was in control and just like that the vase stayed afloat despite my trembling hands.

I was both surprised and scared of how fast my body accepted my powers and how fast I became accustomed to them. Now, I felt nothing to the noises that used to trigger a ringing in my ears, no burning in my hands when I felt angry or irritated.
Unbeknown to me I began to like the control I had over my power, not only to restrict it but to use it.

Sunday rolled around all too soon. Where I had doubted about surviving the week it had given me incentive to have faith. The stalker did not return, I slept well and did not do anything weird in my sleep, I went from a ‘C’ to a ‘C+’ in Mr. Webber’s class. All in all it was more than I could have hoped for.

“It’s your final lesson today… Excited?” Callum asked me as he faced me in his empty bright hallway.

I nodded. He smiled at me.

“What happens next?” I asked him.

“You already know that” his smile stretched.

“You really think I’m ready?”

He chuckled, “Let’s get through this shall we?”

I nodded stiffly.

He stepped forward and held up the coin in his hand. The most difficult part wasn’t apparently pushing them up when I was holding them on my palm, it was commanding them to stop when they were falling with gravity.

“Ready?” he asked flipping the coin over his knuckles.

Why does he look cool doing that? He looks like those guys from the movies that play mafia, except in a hoodie instead of a suit. They do something impressive like that and you instantly respect them. Anyway…

“Yeah, let’s do this”

I pushed my feet apart. I don’t know why I do that, it’s just a way to brace myself I guess. Callum watched my eyes, I watched his hand, and as I did he released the coin and it began to fall.

Before I could think, before I could will it to stop, with a resounding clink the coin hit the polished marble floor.

“Again,”

Again.

“Again!”

“Try harder”

“I am!”

“Again.”

Again!

“Again!”

AGAIN!

***
“Ok,” Callum said with a loud sigh pushing himself off the floor and getting up, “I have an idea to give you more time to practice speed.”

“You do?” I asked sceptically sitting on the floor not moving from my resting position. Yes I don’t pass out anymore.

“Yes. Get up, come on”

I pushed myself up too and walked in a semi-circle to resume my position in front of him.

“Watch carefully and grasp…”

I merely nodded.

He twisted the coin in his hand. I watched it apprehensively my anticipation building up. What was he going to do?
And then before I could think, he tossed the coin high up…

I watched as it twisted in turns travelling up to its peak before it began to fall… my hand was frozen in front of me, all my concentration held in the movement of the coin falling quickly. My fingers flexed and I clenched my fist till my nails bit into my palms and my whole arm began to shake.

The coin twirled slowly twice and stopped at my eye level halfway between me and Callum. I released a long breath, fist still clenched watching the slightly vibrating but still coin. My eyes wondered past it and searched Callum’s eyes.
He smiled and nodded slowly.

As I smiled back he raised his hand and clicked his fingers once, immediately the coin caught on fire. I gasped, momentarily releasing my hold on the coin and it dropped a foot or so before I quickly grasped my control again. My fist clenched tighter and the coin stopped once more, burning and revolving in front of me, its silver now coloured a blazing gold by the flames licking at its sides.

I looked up at Callum with narrowed eyes. That wasn’t funny.

He however was smiling, not an amused smile he always seemed to have when teaching me how to control my power… this was different. It was the same smile he had the day he found me. He was impressed…

“You’re ready.”

****

“Meet me back here at eight, sharp.” he had said when I left his house and headed home.

When I got ready around seven-thirty, I was excited. Finally I was looking forward to something in my life instead of running away from it. It was finally happening.

However I realised as I walked the stone pathway to Callum’s door that I was also nervous. I knock twiceed on the door and waited my finger nervously stripping the nail-polish off my thumb.

The door opened after a short minute. Callum was dressed in the same grey t-shirt and dark jeans as when I left him. He smiled and welcomed me in.

At night the familiar hallway seemed completely transformed. The bright light of the morning was replaced by the warm glow of the ceiling lamps throwing a golden glow on the polished floor.

The silence too seemed foreboding. My eyes fell upon the potted plants that lined the large windowsills. I could have sworn there was not a single bud in sight earlier today but here they were, all the plants in full bloom. My eyes travelled all over looking for a sign that I should bolt because I had the instinct that I didn’t belong here.

“Wait here…” said Callum over his shoulder.

I paused.
Wait… sure.

Callum walked forward toward the archway and turned to face me as we often did during our training. His face held an unreadable expression. My breathing quickened.

“She’s here,” he said loudly to the hall making me flinch slightly and turn around looking for those he’d spoken to but there was no one. I turned my gaze back to him.

Slowly from the archway they began to emerge taking a stand on either side of Callum and more significantly, opposite me. They seemed to be all roughly the same age, my age. I waited swallowing down my nervousness as they appeared. I counted eight of them including Callum. Also among them was the brunette I’d met earlier, Coraline. I should have known she was one of them.

“State your name, please.” Callum said loudly again looking at me once the group has assembled.

Seriously? My eyebrows gathered looking at him and he raised his own back at me in reply.

“Umm…” it felt silly, “Daphne Marks,”

“What is your purpose here, Miss Marks?” he asked next.

I narrowed my eyes at him, the whole Robert De Niro act was freaking me out.

“I don’t know, you tell me!”

Some of the group laughed, I could tell Callum was fighting to keep a straight face. I became more relaxed and I crossed my arms over my chest leaning on one foot.

There was a short silence where they all stared at me like I was an exhibit in a museum and they were all on a field trip. It unnerved me. None of them looked particularly interested, but I caught a few curious glances.

A girl detached from the group and started to walk forward. My eyes immediately snapped to her. She had dark skin and jet black hair that flowed down her shoulders. She was roughly the same height as me and had a warm welcoming expression on her face. It made me relax a bit more.

She paused right in front of me. I dropped my hands to my sides. Her deep brown eyes crinkled as she smiled.

“Tess Windrum” she held out her hand.

“Daphne Marks” I replied taking her hand. There was a sudden shock, like a slow wave of energy and warmth that spread along my hand over my body as soon as I grasped her hand. My eyes widened as I looked from our hands to her, surely she must have felt it too.

She smiled wider reading my expression. It was as if she was expecting it.

I released her hand and dropped mine to my side.
“It’s great to meet you, Daphne”

“Yeah… umm, you too!”

“She seems nervous,” said a voice from the group making me turn to them again. It was difficult to tell who had spoken so my eyes searched the group. Then a boy raised his hand halfway and waved at me so I could see him. I nodded at him and gave him a rather awkward wave as he stepped up from the group.

“Freddie. Hi!” he too had a bright energetic smile along with pale skin and dark hair.

“Hi…”

“You don’t have to fear us, Daphne. In fact we’re some of the few people you can trust.” Tess Windrum said.

I didn’t know what to say to that so I just nodded.

“Looks like she needs a display of trust rather than words…” Callum said with that same superior smile he always had.

I didn’t know what he was talking about so I just waited looking at him. It seemed though that I was relatively safe with these unknown people so I calmed myself. Just a bit.

Callum walked forward and the rest of the group followed him toward me. A fact that I’d been oblivious to for the greater part of today suddenly became profoundly obvious.
He was their leader. They followed him. They trusted him.

That’s why I was safe with them, because it was Callum that brought me to them.

“Well then,” Tess smiled even more, “a display she shall have!”
I looked nervously around at the rest of the group my eyes flitting quickly from one face to another, now too close for my own good.

“Do you like flowers, Daphne?” Tess asked me abruptly grabbing my attention as she rummaged inside her jacket pockets.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Flowers,” she said looking up. “Do you like them?”

“Errr… yeah… I guess”

She held out a small clipping of a plant in front of me, it had a small closed bud and several plain leaves. I looked at it cautiously for a few seconds and then looked up at her.

“What kind of flowers?” she asked.

“Umm… White?”

“Very specific,” she gave another smile despite her sarcasm.

She held the twig between her thumb and index finger and it began to grow before me. My eyes widened as the stem grew longer sprouting several more leaves and the bud began to open, blooming unnaturally fast into a large white rose. Once the flower was fully open she handed me the rose and I took it wordlessly unable any of what I’d just seen.

“It was you…” I finally said, realisation coming to me slowly. “The garden… the plants…” I gestured toward the window where the potted plants seemed to have bloomed overnight.
“That was all you…”

She gave me a small nod and smiled at my disbelief, “Indeed.”

It was real, the flower I held. Its leaves were soft, its petals delicate.

“Next… Callum?” she called over her shoulder.

“She’s already seen mine…” Callum said waving a hand towards me.

“Then do something more impressive,” Tess said cheekily and grinned at him.

Callum smirked and walked forward to some patronizing encouragement from the rest of the group. I couldn’t help but laugh as he made a short courteous bow before me.

Callum placed his palms together all his fingers pressed against each other, pointing at me.
“If you do indeed like flowers,” he smirked at me again and I raised my eyebrow in response, “maybe you’d like this…”

He opened his hands like a book and in his hands he held a rose as beautiful as the one Tess had made, except this one was a brilliant orange, glowing and smouldering as I watched. It was made of fire…

Swirling flames created the petals that burned brightly. I had never seen anything so mesmerizingly beautiful before.

“Or maybe something different?” Callum suggested and watched my eyes as he threw the Fireflower high above his head. I followed it almost losing it in the air as the flower burst into sparks and suddenly emerged as a red swallow that dove swiftly circling the group before diminishing into smoke.

I was impressed. And all I could to was move something from here to there.

A boy named Tim Piers stepped forward next. He was a tall boy with dark blonde hair and baby blue eyes. He could create water and control it. It was sort of identically opposite to the power Callum had. He told me of his power insisting it was a rather boring one and not worth the mess. He seemed quite humble and generally pleasant. I smiled and shook his hand.

Next it was Freddie’s turn.
“It’s a very raw power and I still have no idea the extent of it really-”

“Just do it, Freddie!” a blonde-haired said nudging him forward.

He blushed and beckoned Callum forward providing a commentary as he did.
“The downside is, I can’t generate anything of my own, I have to always borrow power,”

“Oh but you do it with style, Fred” said a boy beside Callum, only other dark-skinned one of the group apart from Tess.

“I suppose I do,” Fred smirked. He held out his hand towards the fire burning on Callum’s palms and slowly I saw small brilliantly glowing particles flow toward him in waves.

He then pulled his hand away from Callum holding the swirling mass of glittering specks in the space between his hands.

“Heat…”

It was like watching an intriguing show of magic, he looked up and smiled at my curiosity and then pressed his hands together.
I watched closely as he opened his hands and from between his fingers strong brilliant beams of light emerged as if he was holding a bulb concealed in his hands.

“to light,” he looked at me and I could almost see my jaw drop open.

“Wow…” I said slowly, “that is… brilliant!”

“Thank you!”

****

It was too much to absorb, too much to comprehend, to trust, to believe. But I did. Because I wanted so completely to belong with them.
They were different in every way possible not only from the general population but also from each other. They’d strayed so far from normal that they’d created a new definition for themselves, and yet they were completely accepting of each other. It was what I’d only dared to dream…

They were everything I wanted in my life, all I ever needed.

Callum drove me home that night after getting introduced to all eight of them and seeing all their different but equally awe-inspiring powers. During the whole ride home I thought about them, staring out of the window into the night. They were bonded to each other in a way I’d never seen before… like a family. A family of eight.

He walked me up to my door and paused.

“I hope today wasn’t too stressful on you…” he said quietly.

I laughed quietly, “I can’t imagine anything being more complex to understand,” he looked at me cautiously, “but it was amazing!”

He smiled his signature smile at me.

“Thank you” I said finally. After all if it wasn’t for him, I’d still be as alone and lost as I was the first time we spoke.

Callum shook his head, “Thank you.”

I raised my eyebrow, “Why would you thank me?”

“Because it was you who made the choice. You had everything to lose and you still trusted me… so thank you, Daphne.”

I smiled at him. He did after all safeguard the secret I trusted him with.

“Goodnight, Callum.”

“Goodnight, Miss Marks.”

****

I was walking along a dimly lit tunnel lined with glazed emerald brick. Looking around I realised I was following someone in front of me. The corners of my vision were hazy and I had that realisation you get when you almost know you’re dreaming but you’re not quite sure of it.

I followed tall man ahead of me. He walked quickly in hurried steps and I had to almost jog to keep up with him. I felt like I knew him although I couldn’t see his face. His long coat swishing behind him made the only other sound except for the quick successive sound of his boots.

He emerged at the end of the tunnel and I followed him out entering into an oval well lit room.

“He’s expecting you,” said a voice to our left.

I turned to find a young girl behind a desk dressed in what looked like a dark purple graduation robe save for the cap!

Just as I tried to register the bizarreness of the situation, the cloaked man turned gave a curt nod to the girl and proceeded wordlessly through the wooden doors into the chamber beyond. The girl smiled and watched him leave but paid no attention to me.

I looked around not having any other emotion in me but curiosity and the feeling of strangeness. With nothing left to do I followed the curious man and slipped through door just as it closed shut.

The room beyond was smaller and darker. The only light came from the fireplace in the distance. Books were stacked in high piles along the dark panelled walls. They towered over both of us.
Every inch of musty red carpet was crammed with brass and silver weird thingamabobs that revolved slowly making odd clicking noises or emitted puffs of smoke. They looked like booby traps ready to be set off by unwelcome intruders. Everything was too odd to be real, I knew that my brain was catching up to that and I was dangerously close to waking up. Just as the thought occurred…


“What’s happened now?” a man growled in an irritated sort of voice from behind the desk by the fire. My head snapped toward the voice.

The desk was littered with so many things including piles of papers, a kettle and a jar full of large spiders. It was hard to make out what he looked like amid the mess concealing him.

The Curious Cloaked Man was making his way slowly towards him stepping between the moving tinker-toys on the floor. I followed him quickly mirroring his steps and stood directly behind him by the fire facing the man who had spoken.

He had thin long dark hair that was streaked liberally with greys. His face looked younger than his hair suggested, I assumed his job was a stressful one. The glasses he wore had left permanent marks at the root of his nose. There were several scars on his face and neck, some healing, some fresh.

The cloaked man in front of me took off his hat. He too had long dark hair but it was sleeker and well-kempt falling just below his collar.

“They found the last one, sir” he said in quiet voice.

I deduced he was very young by the tone of his voice and the reverence he held toward the other member in the room.

The grey-haired man dropped his… quill… and suddenly looked up. I nearly gasped in shock and instantly clapped a hand to my mouth, ducking behind the cloaked figure before me. However the older man seemed not to notice my presence.
I couldn’t believe it... Just to be sure that my eyes weren’t deceiving me I peeked around the cloaked man’s arm again.


It couldn’t be.
The man behind the desk stared at the cloaked man. One of his eyes were a dark brown, the other was an intense unnatural electric-blue! I swallowed. While the brown eye stayed transfixed on the man before him, the blue eye swivelled of its own accord running this way and that. I felt a sickness in my stomach.


“You’re sure?” he asked in a quiet voice as if afraid someone would overhear.

“Yes, sir” the young man answered instantly.

“The last of the nine?”

“Yes”

“Girl or boy?”

“Girl, sir”

“Has she shown signs?”

“Yes, her protection is cracking. She’s been growing stronger for the past few weeks, it’s… uncanny.”

“Why do you say that?”

“She began to grow stronger after they found her, sir.”

“Has she met the rest of them?”

“Yes, tonight. They have all united.”

The grey haired man let out a long sigh.

“The Circle is complete, sir” said the younger one again. His words held a significance that made me look up at him.


What was the Circle? Who were they talking about? What is ‘the Nine’?

“They could be in danger, sir. What should we do to protect them?” the younger one prompted impatiently.

“The Muggles are the best protection they can have so far. In that world they are as lost as a tear in a rainstorm. The moment we pull them into our world they’ll be slaughtered like Doxies.”
The grey-haired man got up from his desk and walked over to his audience standing in front of the cloaked young man.


“What is her power?”

Power?... Could they be talking about…?

“She has the ability to move objects at will…”

Oh. My. God…

“We’ve been waiting for this day for so long…” said the older man.

I was panicking now. This was all about me. I was the girl they had found and it was Callum and Tess and the rest of them they were looking for. They knew about our powers…

“Professor…” the younger one said quietly but the wizened man waved his interruption aside impatiently.

“You must go to Sturgis Podmore, tell him about the recent activity. Tell him to find the others. I will owl him myself later tonight. Meet me at midnight in front of the residence. Once you get there do not let her out of your sight! Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir” the young man nodded and turned to leave but the man grabbed him by the shoulder.

As only happens in dreams, I remained stationary while the room revolved around me. The next thing I knew I was standing behind the grey haired man looking directly at the young man in the black cloak.

He was a just a boy. A very tall and well-built one but still he was a boy, probably only a few years older than me. His thick black hair fell straight into his bright eyes that reflected the glow of the fire. His jaw was clenched his gaze serious.

My eyes glided over the hood on his cloak I’d missed earlier. And everything pieced together with a horrifying snap. My heart began pumping loudly in my chest and my hands began to shake violently.

It was him. He was the man outside my window. The stalker I’d feared, making me stay up night after night… I finally looked into the eyes of my nightmare. So it was true… he was after me. And not just me…

“One more thing,” said the grey-haired man holding onto the boy’s shoulder, “Don’t let your confidence blind you. If they feel threatened they will attack, make no mistake. And their magic is very powerful, especially since they themselves have very little control over it.”
He looked into the boy’s eyes as if trying to communicate something very important.


“Be careful, Sirius.”

With a sudden gasp I surfaced from the dream breathing hard and fast as if coming out of the depths of icy water.


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