“Get the fuck out of my fucking house.”
She shrunk away from him, turning away so he wouldn’t see the tears filling up her eyes. She needn’t have bothered, as a moment later, the door had slammed loud behind him, and his angry footsteps faded away from where she knelt. Her stifled cries turned to sobs, but only for a minute. Had she not cried enough for this? Had these stone floors not drunk enough of her tears?
She limped to the door, and bolted it from the inside. She was safe now, at least until he decided to return. She had to be gone before that, she thought dully. Gone somewhere far. Where he couldn’t find her.
The mob stormed the village, screaming obscenities and firing indiscriminately as they came. The villagers ran about in panic, many getting slaughtered in their futile attempts to protect their families and children. Shops and houses were set on fire, and the people seeking shelter inside were hunted down and killed as they ran from the burning buildings. An infant wailed endlessly somewhere in the distance. A dark haired boy darted across the burning streets, two younger children in tow, making his way towards the college at the center of their once-quiet settlement. The college of Magic. Abruptly the wailing infant fell silent, and the three children shuddered to think of what that meant.
A loud crash brought forth a strangled sob from her throat. Until she realized it was only their cat. It made its way over and licked her bruised knuckles. “Hey, kitty cat”, she whispered, stroking its soft fur. The cat purred and rubbed against her, and she thought of how they had first found the kitten. Alone and lost in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm, it had taken shelter under his car, meowing piteously until they had found her. At first, he had insisted that they leave it outside in a box, and she had managed to convince him to let it spend the remainder of the stormy night in a corner of his house. The next day she had come home from work to find him fast asleep on the sofa, with the kitten curled up on his chest, also asleep. They had been nearly inseparable since.
She shook her head, as if trying to clear it, and rose up to put out some food for the cat. That’s when she saw the flowers he must have brought home that morning, and her heart ached. Everything was so confusing. How did things get to this? When did they stop laughing at shadows and chasing falling stars?
The boy managed to reach the college grounds undetected, and pulled his young charges inside the gate. Here he stopped to catch his breath, and the two children looked about themselves in awe. Civilians were generally not allowed inside the campus of the infamous college of magic. Though the Council maintained that it was for their own safety, rumor had it that some of the students and teachers at the college dabbled in.. more than just the white arts.
“Alistair, take Nova to Professor Edward. He should be at the top of the North Tower. If anyone stops you, show them this.” Saying so, the older boy pushed a small rock into the younger boy’s hands, even as the young girl looked on, startled. “Nova,” he started, and she backed away from him. “That’s not my name”, she whispered, her eyes locked on to the parchment he held in his hand. “Listen to me, Nova”, he said, louder than he had intended. And now it was Alistair’s turn to watch as she backed further away from the older boy. “We’re not going in without you”, she said, looking past him and into the fires scattered just outside the gates. The older boy looked upset, and bowed his head. But when he looked up again, he was smiling. That made Nova begin to cry, and that made Alistair want to cry as well. But he held on to the rock in his hand tighter instead, and grit his teeth to help fight back the unwelcome tears. “I’ll be alright, Princess”, the dark haired boy assured her, and taking two steps forward, he suddenly knelt in front of her. “Please take the scroll”, he said, head bowed and hand outstretched. Nova hesitated, then reached out and plucked the parchment from his fingers. He looked up and smiled, and asked her to dry her eyes.