Chapter One

I looked at the clock and sighed. Twenty more minutes. Drumming my pencil against my leg, I leant my cheek against the palm of my hand and tried, unsuccessfully, to re-concentrate on the maths equation infront of me. It was nothing but a blur of unreadable numbers. For the first time in the 2 weeks I'd spent at this school, I thought of my previous one back in London and actually wished I was still there. I hadn't wanted to leave in the first place but it had never been my decision. When I'd arrived here however, that had all changed. I felt like I belonged. I loved it. It was like I'd formed an immidiate connection to the place- inexplainable, yet unshakable. Apart from when it came to math. I wish I could say it was purely the effect of the beating sun instead of the constant rain I was used to back in London, but the fact that my twin, Hope, was still almost completely pissed off about the move told me otherwise.

This was now my fifth day at Sealands High School and I was already classed as old news, which suited me really. Who wants to be forever known as The New Girl? Clearly, here in New Jersey, news doesn't stay new for long. There's always so much more going on. My hand slipped down my cheek and I realised just how tired I was. I became grateful I don't have much of a social life here yet. I yearned for the school day to end and wanted nothing more than to just go home and relax. Maybe even sunbathe. Looking out the window, I wasn't dissapionted. Sunlight was still streaming lustily through the glass. 

And that was when it happened. Just like that. Just a flash. No more than a second. Maybe even a billionth of a second. It was so unreal, I thought I'd imagined it, yet at the same time, it was so real I could still see the symbol etched into my vision. For that one second, my mind had gone blank. Vanished. Nothing but a soft, swirvey symbol clouding my vision. Shaken up by the happenings, I picked up my pencil and looked back to the front of the class when the bell sounded, flooding my ears with a piercing ring. I looked around and noticed everyone had already packed up rising from their seats. Gathering my things, I hurried to leave just after everyone else. The corridors were already full of students on the move, hurrying to get their lunch and I was relieved when a familiar figure came into focus just ahead of me. 

Me and Hope sat down at the same seats and same table we'd claimed our first day coming. It had been the only table free at the time but it wasnt a bad choice of seating either way. Unable to shake the symbol still clouding my vision, I realised I hadn't listened to a word Hope had said. She'd noticed too. Putting her drink down, she reached over, slapping my hand away from twiddling with my hair. I put my hands slowly onto the table and blinked up at her as she sat back in her seat.

"What's with you? You're odd." I could feel her gaze scrutinizing me, trying to pick me apart.

"Just trying to get my head around those math equations. I've got a quiz coming up." I mumbled absently, hoping, not without doubt, she wouldn't call my bluff. 

"Nerd." She laughed and pushed my sandwich towards me "Can't be thinking too hard on an empty stomach."

Relieved she hadn't noticed my lying, I picked up my food and ate. 

The rest of the day dragged even more than the morning had and I was happy beyond belief to hear the final bell of the day. The symbol was fading from my vision but it was still nagging. Tugging on my brain. And everytime I closed my eyes, even in a brief blink- There it was. Like it was etched to the undersides of my eyelids. Not only that, but I recognised it. I knew I'd seen it before. I just didn't know where, which was even more frustrating. Knowing it would keep me up all night for the next 6 months or so if I didn't figure out where I'd seen it before, I told Hope I needed to complete my History project and made my way hurriedly to the school library. 

After about an hour of piling up books and leafing through pages, I was getting ready to give up. I sighed and leant back in my chair. A minute went by of pure frustrate but instead of giving up another hour of what I had the feeling would be yet another hour of false-hope, I pushed back from the table and started closing books, gathering as many as I could in my arms. Then I saw it. Not the same one as before- A different one. I didn't recognose it this time. But still, it stood out from the rest of the page, almost like it was in 3D. Almost like it was glowing. I knew I was meant to see it. I just didn't know why. Placing the books already in my arms back onto the table, I re-took my seat, pulling the book closer. This symbol wasn't at all like the first. Whilst the first had been soft, vibrant, almost peaceful, this one was hard, and jagged and echoed what was unmistakably darker vibes. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before; It eminated so much power. My eyes skimmed over the text captioning it:

'The 'Seal of Bindment' Is an old Symbol in the history of witchcraft, only ever associated with the realms of pure evil. It is said that the use of it must be at the hands of one willing enough to tap into the dark forces themselfes, giving enough power...'

I was cut off by a somewhat loud crash behind me and I whirled in my chair, gasping. 

"Sorry, sorry. Didn't mean to startle you." A guy with blonde floppy hair held out his hands in my direction in an apology before bending down to retrieve the pile of books that had taken residence on the floor. When he re-stood and pushed them back onto the shelf, he turned his attention back to me and slowly walked over. 

"Hi. I'm Niall." He held out his hand, this time for me to shake. Still trying to recover from my shock, I breathed in deeply before standing up from my chair and gave him my hand. 

"I'm Tiffany." Was all I could manage. I'd only seen the guy no more than 10 seconds and I was already getting lost in his bright blue eyes. Shaking my head, I let go of his hand and focused on the floor. He laughed. 

"Well, it was nice to meet you Tiffany. Maybe I'll see you around." 

I looked back up just in time to see his retreating back leave through the double doors at the exit of the library. Sinking back into my chair, I stared after him for a minute or so before turning my attention back towards the book. The symbol was gone. I scanned my eyes over the rest of the open paged books thinking maybe I'd mistaken the book. Nothing. Brushing my hair back and closing my eyes for a brief second, I pondered my sanity. What was wrong with me? Knowing this trail of thought wasn't going to gain me anything but more unanswered questions, I stood up from my chair and once again packed up before following Niall's footsteps through the exit. 

The second I stepped through the double doors, my head exploded, and the first symbol from math became, once again, imprinted into my vision. Only this time, I knew what it meant. Trust. The symbol meant trust. I didn't know how I knew this, or even where the sudden realisation came from, but I knew. Panicked, I slung my bag over my shoulder and made to hurry down the stairs. But then paused. Down the end of the corridor stood a shadowed figure, evidently watching me, hands in pockets. A guy. Maybe a foot or so taller than myself. Noticing my gaze, he turned and walked away. Frozen to the spot, my legs refused to move. How could so much inexplainable stuff happen in just one day? I wasn't sure I wanted the answer. Forcing my legs down the rest of the steps, I made my way hurriedly for home.