Chapter Three, Classmates and Night Names

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Bennie rushed into the courtyard a little late the next night. She had had to re-convince her mom to let her go, saying her overall safety was better served by learning to control whatever powers she was going to manifest, promising to send texts whenever she took a break, and even taking the portable first-aid kit from the car in her backpack in case there was an accident, which she also had to promise wouldn't happen. After talking Sandra into letting Bennie go, Bennie had to talk her out of coming along, suggesting she take a sleeping pill in response to her mom's claim she'd not be able to get any rest anyway.

But Bennie finally arrived, only to find the school yard empty.

"Hello? Perce?" She called out, immediately wishing she hadn't. What if something bad had happened? From what she had gathered during Sandra and Perce's arguments the night before, this whole Guardian business could be a bit chancy, and with her callout she'd just announced to anyone who might be lurking around that she had arrived.

Suddenly something huge came swooping down into the courtyard. It had huge, bat-like wings, and its scaly feet and knobbly fingers had long, sharp talons. Small, sharp horns hooked out from its elbows and its head and its body had bear-like brown fur. Huge, serrated teeth were bared as the creature roared at Bennie and landed right in front of her.

It was a fortunate thing Bennie wasn't easily frightened--not to mention she had an idea of what the thing confronting her was--or rather who, thanks to what Perce had told her.

Suddenly the wizard appeared from around the corner, confirming her suspicion.

"Sea-an!" Perce rolled his eyes, "I go with Gem to put up glamours around the school for two minutes and you decide that's the way to greet your new classmate?"

The monster suddenly shrank down into a young man, if shrinking was the correct term for someone standing at least six feet and four inches. He doubled over with laughter.

"I couldn't help it! You should have seen her face! She wasn't even scared, just like 'What the heck?'" Sean took a deep breath and calmed himself down, looking at Bennie. "At least we won't have trouble with you scaring at the slightest thing!"

Bennie just raised an eyebrow at Perce, who was trying not to smile and losing the battle. Finally he cracked too and Bennie just grinned at the two nutcases she had found herself partnered with.

Bennie studied Sean closer, now that he was identifiably human. He had to be at least nineteen, certainly college-aged. He wore his light brown hair in a small ponytail in the back, though it still fell in his face in the front.

"Oh goodness me, are they bothering you?" A female voice said, and a tall, mystical figure arrived in a bright glow. The girl who was obviously Gemini sat gracefully on a bench in the courtyard.

"Aww Gem! You missed all the fun!" Sean said, gaining a disapproving glare from the girl.

Bennie was slightly in awe of Gemini, even though Perce had mentioned she was an enchantress. Bennie just hadn't realized that meant "drop-dead gorgeous" all but literally, and maybe even that. Gemini wore a glittering, silvery gown that slid naughtily off her shoulders. Her long hair was completely white, silky and flowing like a unicorn's mane, and her eyes, though the same grey as everyone else's, were large, almost almond shaped, and seemed to glow with a cold fire in her radiant face.

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