By Janine Mimi
Part One. The Introduction
Aubrette woke up to the distant, yet pleasant sound of birds. Her eyes fluttered open as she examined the room she was in. She was no longer dressed in her soggy clothes but instead in a flowing night gown, silky and cold against her skin. She had tried to remember the last time she wore something so delicate and exquisite. She didn't quite recognizing the room she was in, Aubrette sat up to observe her surroundings. It was a vague memory of the academy she once attended. Everything was neat and clean. Not a speck of dust touched any of the furniture. Her clothes sat on a table beside the bed, clean and dry, while on a dresser by the window sat what looked like a freshly washed uniform.
A letter was placed atop the uniform. Reading it, Aubrette groaned. She fell back on the bed, twisting a curl in her finger. The Headmaster requested to speak with her once she was ready. They were certain to ask her about her whereabouts the past five years. Aubrette rehearsed how she would answer unwanted questions about here recent whereabouts for some time now, knowing this day would come sooner or later. What she would give to escape her past. Aubrette wanted a new start, a new life and returning to Elementare Academy was not what she had in mind.
Aubrette regretfully got out of her bed, grabbing the uniform. She put on the blazer and skirt while examining herself in the mirror. She couldn't help but notice her hallowed cheeks and her eyes, those dreaded eyes, set in dark circles. A sigh escaped her lips. She knew her appearance was the result of going days without eating. Grabbing whatever make-up they provided for her, she tried her best to cover up signs of any fatigue on her face while making sure to keep it subtle enough to not bring any unwanted attention to her eyes. Aubrette hurried to the bathroom in the dorm, washing her curls until they bounced and sprang with life. She let her hair fall in its abundance down her back, examining herself over and over in the mirror to be sure she looked decent enough to meet with the Headmaster. If only she could change her eyes. She hated the trouble they brought her.
Walking out of the dorm, the hallways appeared deserted. Not a soul was in sight, but it didn't surprise her. Most students were in class, and no teacher would have her stay in a room close to the other students, not under the circumstances.
She was familiar enough with the hallways to know her way around. It surprised her how quickly the familiarity came, it seemed like an entire lifetime had passed since she was last at Elementare. Her eyes passed by classrooms were she had a quick glimpse of the students. Some caught sight of her, immediately averting their glances when their eyes met hers. “They still fear me” she whispered under her breath. The thoughts sent chills down her spine as she made her way to the Headmaster's office.
The secretary, another familiar face, welcomed her into the waiting room, beckoning her to sit and relax on a chair. Sitting on the seat, Aubrette traced the patterns on the fabric to distract her mind. She tried to ignore the secretary's stares. Everyone stared at her. It was never clear to Aubrette if they were in awe of her abilities or afraid. The secretary peered back and forth from her papers to Aubrette. Her eyes darted around, as if unsure of what to think. Was the timid girl sitting in front of her really as powerful as they all said she was? Aubrette could hear the curiosities running around in her mind. What has she been up to? What is she doing here? Why is she back? All they wanted from Aubrette were answers.
"The Headmaster will see you now." The words startled her as she woke up from her thoughts and nodding to the secretary, got up from her seat and headed towards the large doors that lead into an even larger office.
Walking into the office, Aubrette found herself meeting walls full of pictures. White smiles and perfect faces posed next to the same plump man that sat in the desk at the center. She couldn't name most of the people she saw on the walls, but she knew they were all famous in some way.
The large man in the chair stood up, a welcoming smile complimenting his bright hazel eyes. His arms were opened in an embrace, cheeks burning red like the fire he possessed. Beside him sat a giant lizard that watched Aubrette with a cautious eye and a slithering tongue.