Bursts Of Energy

Wednesday, 12/4/2250 – By Kayla Salmon.

It was already their fourth month of school, so the schedule was down pat and the second years were trudging up to the third floor, fresh from their herbology class as they always were every Monday and Wednesday. Luckily, Hakidonmuya was a strict and unforgiving instructor, so most of the second years were worn down, tired and ready for the school day to come to a close, even those who had one of their elective courses afterwards.

Of course that wasn’t the rule. Given they were twelve and thirteen year olds, there was usually more than enough energy to make his classes interesting, despite the fact that it was supposed to be a theoretical class, and not one with application.

Not that he carried through with that most of the time. It helped to try and teach the students some basic things so they could discover if they had an affinity for magic, and it also tended to keep the students more focused than when he simply lectured.

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Glass Box

Thurs. 11/28/2250 – By Rebecca Green.

Was she going to get frostbite? It certainly was freezing and Aelita regretted her act of heroism. The blizzard was only getting worse, but she pushed on through the wind and snow, it wasn’t as if it was a terribly far walk. She’d stolen Dora’s jacket to tug over her own coat atop a dual layer of shirts, so she’d survive at least.

She simply hadn’t wanted to abandon the Eagle’s House. God knew that they were likely to be getting into trouble and she couldn’t be sure that they had another prefect there. Blackhall, of course, was not to be trusted with her preciously aggravating babies. On her way, Aelita nearly kicked a small, very adorable, tan creature with the biggest ears she’d ever seen.

Nearly, anyway, as she managed to see the thing just in time and she stumbled forward, almost face planting in the snow as she tried to maneuver around it. A fox, as she could see- but one of those weird ones. A fennec fox? That sounded about right, but those were desert creatures. Not blistering cold blizzard creatures.

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Text: Cleo to the Academy

Sun. 11/24/2250

Cleo Sommerfield 2:11 PM: before all you bitches bail out on me again, don’t, we’re discussing thanksgiving plans
Ariel Collins, Anders Gardner, Ayato Caven, Bartimus Harrison, Beatrice Cupid, Beck Snow, Brandon Firewolf, Brent Smith, Bryn Dail, Camilla Aune, Carter Harper, Caspian Gardner, Cilla Snow, Cleo Sommerfield, Clover Harper, Cole Harper, Cullen Gardner, Dawn Gardner, Derek Giles, Desiree Sommerfield, Desmond Ferona, Dora Santos, Eglantine Gardner, Eir Snow, Eolande Vinci, Eric Hamish, Eugene Cupid, Felicia Harper, Gavin Gardner, Gavin Harper, Gina McBride, Grayson Foxe, Guinevere Rede, Ian Santos, Imalri Pierston, Isabella Harper, Jackson Gardner, Jasper Gardner, Jenna Gardner, Josh Aune, Joss Caverly, Julia Harper, Kamryn Karelam, Katniss Gardner, Kieran Nox, Koda Mordvinov, Kyle Cupid, Laleh Dunn, Leliana Gardner, Leslie Marksen, Libby Ayze, Lincoln Harper, Liv Hallebjorn, Lola Harper, Louis Katsaros, Lunette Vander, Lyra Gardner, Malena Rivera, Melanie Stark Beaumont, Melisandre Gardner, Michael Murdoch, Miska Erdos, Monica Denner, Monica Ikuto, Morgelo Flurez, Neil Ikuto, Nessa Marksen, Nicole Murdoch, Nikaia Smith, Noel King, Noklie Berus, Oulissa Harper, Payton Cupid, Prescott Ridge, Primrose Bellamy, Ramadin Hallebjorn, Rayden Sarcia, Reid Firewolf, Reese Marksen, Rue Gardner, Ruth Marksen, Rylee Gardner, Sansa Gardner, Saxon Ridge, Sharon King, Silas Harper, Sif Snow, Sindri Hallebjorn, Sondra Myers, Sparky Keese, Spencer Karelam, Svene Beaumont, Tamarin Hallebjorn, Teagan Dunn, Terrell Gardner, Theon Gardner, Tiana Murdoch, Valentina Harrison, Valentine Cupid, Vincent Cupid, Will Murdoch, Xeremey Flurez, and Zevran Harper have been added to the group.
Ian Santos 2:12 PM: Who the fuck added me to this clusterfuck?????
Josh Aune, Liv Hallebjorn and Teagan Dunn have left the group
Tamarin Hallebjorn 2:13 PM: That would be me
Ian Santos 2:13 PM: Who even added you?
Tamarin Hallebjorn 2:14 PM: That would be Aelita
Ian Santos 2:15 PM: Go fucking figure
Ian Santos 2:16 PM: Dora and I will be on campus for the break, so I’m bailing out now before my phone blows up.
Grayson Foxe and Ian Santos have left the group.
Michael Murdoch 2:18 PM: Can we just discuss how many fucking Gardner-Harper students we have at this school like holy shit.
Annabeth Gardner 2:19 PM: Like the Murdochs are any better, there’s quite a few of you lot. Anyways, just about all of us are going back home for the weekend. Anyone who hangs around, have fun, don’t blow the place up.
Annabeth Gardner has left the group.
Michael Murdoch 2:20 PM: There’s not nearly as many of us as there are of you.
Michael Murdoch 2:20 PM: Oh, she left.
Michael Murdoch 2:21 PM: Most of the Murdochs are going home, but a couple might be sticking around to keep our great grandfather company.
Bartimus Harrison, Carter Harper, Cole Harper, Cullen Gardner, Dora Santos, Eglantine Gardner, Eir Snow, Felicia Harper, Gavin Harper, Gina McBride, Isabella Harper, Jasper Gardner, Katniss Gardner, Kyle Cupid, Lincoln Harper, Lola Harper, Michael Murdoch, Monica Denner, Nicole Murdoch, Noel King, Rylee Gardner, Sansa Gardner, Saxon Ridge, Sharon King, Silas Harper, Theon Gardner, Tiana Murdoch, and Zevran Harper have left the group.
Ayato Caven 2:25 PM: I’m staying, as usual; got nowhere else to go, after all. What about you, Cleo?
Cleo Sommerfield 2:26 PM: Mom’s demanding all of us head on home for family time. Dee and I will probably come back on Saturday with Ari.
Ayato Caven 2:26 PM: Must be nice to have family to spend the holidays with.
Desiree Sommerfield 2:28 PM: Wow, lay it on thick, won’t you
Ayato Caven 2:28 PM: Excuse me? You got a problem?
Nikaia Smith 2:30 PM: Aw c’mon Ayato, you can spend Thanksgiving with me :*
Ayato Caven 2:31 PM: I dunno, Nicky, I don’t wanna impose on anyone
Nikaia Smith 2:34 PM: Nah I’m not going home, Mom’s got some work stuff, but we can still hang!
Caspian Gardner, Cilla Snow, Clover Harper, Dawn Gardner, Lyra Gardner, Melisandre Gardner, Sif Snow, and Sindri Hallebjorn have left the group.
Ayato Caven 2:35 PM: Again, I dunno, I think you’re a little young for me 😉
Nikaia Smith 2:36 PM: Pfft that’s no problem
Eugene Cupid 2:37 PM: Ew get a room.
Eugene Cupid 2:38 PM: Me and my gaggle are all headed home for break
Lunette Vander 2:40 PM: I’ll be here studying. Like I’ve been trying to.
Lunette Vander has left the group.
Morgelo Flurez 2:41 PM: Why on Earth was I added to this group. Stop it.
Imalri Pierston 2:42 PM: Jeez these things get busy quick. Me and Dessie are going for an expedition over the break, but I’m going to poof before it get’s too busy
Morgelo Flurez and Imalri Pierston have left the group
Guinevere Rede 2:50 PM: I’ll be here stop adding me to this shit.
Ayato Caven 2:51 PM: But we all value the pleasure of your company, Gwen
Bryn Dail and Guinevere Rede have left the group
Amores Dail 2:55 PM: Me and Bryn are headed to Cincinnati :). Have a great thanksgiving everyone ❤
Amores Dail and Desmond Ferona have left the group.
Aelita Rede 3:00 PM: Alright fellas, I’ll be staying over break and I vote we have a pool competition the first day of break, who’s in?
Ayato Caven 3:01 PM: Hell yea I’m in.
Eugene Cupid 3:04 PM: Aw man im hella good at pool. you’re lucky i wont be there. Anyway, gotta head off and actually study like a fool.
Eugene Cupid has left the group.
Ruth Marksen 3:07 PM: Me and my family will be here.
Reese Marksen, Ruth Marksen, Leslie Marksen and Nessa Marksen have left the group.
Svene Beaumont 3:10 PM: Gunna be here, and gunna take u up on that challenge rede. side note: how does one play pool. do we just see who cna swim fastest? I got thta covered.
Beatrice Cupid, Gavin Gardner, Jackson Gardner, Jenna Gardner, Julia Harper, Rue Gardner, Terrell Gardner, Valentina Harrison, and Vincent Cupid have left the group.
Ayato Caven 3:11 PM: You must be confused. The game pool. Not an actual pool. Duh.
Svene Beaumont 3:13 PM: Oh cool i’ve never played it. should be a blast, who’s prepared to teach?
Brandon Firewolf 3:14 PM: Reid and I will be around for the break.
Ramadin Hallebjorn 3:15 PM: Lucky for you your looking at a pool champ, i’lll teach u
Brandon Firewolf and Will Murdoch have left the group.
Xeremey Flurez 3:17 PM: Gunna need a stool?
Brent Smith 3:17 PM: Is this going to turn into one of those annoyingly loud competitions?
Teddy Ashes 3:18 PM: pool sounds enjoyable may i play
Eolande Vinci 3:20 PM: what is pool. eolande i like swimming, swimming fun.
Ayato Caven 3:21 PM: How does anyone not know what pool is? God do you all live under rocks?
Svene Beaumont 3:22 PM: Why are there so many midget sin here
Camilla Aune 3:24 PM: Play nice guys, this is suppsoed to be to touch base with all students, including the younger years.
Eolande Vinci 3:25 PM: My rock was very comfty! Ayato Caven should come see rock!
Brent Smith 3:25 PM: I am playing nice. I’m just not looking forward to an all-night thing that this will surely turn in to.
Ramadin Hallebjorn 3:26 PM: Right, all you pool newbies can catch a lesson in the billiards room, i got time.
Ayato Caven 3:26 PM: Nah, midget, I’ll pass. Who else is taking part in the tournament?
Leilana Gardner and Ramadin Hallebjorn have left the group.
Eric Hamish 3:27 PM: I’ll be home, but in town
Spencer Karelam 3:28 PM: I’ll play! I love pool!
Svene Beaumont 3:30 PM: We should get a group down by the actual pool too, i’m in the mood for swimming now
Aelita Rede 3:33 PM: I’m down for that. Ayato, you get pool-planning duties, i’m out to swim.
Aelita Rede, Eric Hamish and Svene Beaumont have left the group.
Ayato Caven 3:34 PM: Wait, what? Why the hell do I have to be the planner? I’m not doing it, no fuckin’ way.
Kamryn Karelam 3:36 PM: Woah we got a pool party going? I’m totally in for this. C’mon Spence.
Spencer Karelam 3:37 PM: On my way.
Kamryn Karelam and Reid Firewolf have left the group.
Spencer Karelam 3:39 PM: When are you going?
Malena Rivera 3:39 PM: If there’s a party involving pool, as in the water type, I’m in. Nikaia, you’re with me, right?
Spencer Karelam 3:40 PM: Oh she left
Spencer Karelam has left the group.
Sondra Myers 3:43 PM: Guys you really need to stikc to the point with these chats. My phoen is exploding. I’ll be on campus.
Oulissa Harper, Payton Cupid and Sondra Myers have left the group.
Nikaia Smith 3:45 PM: Definitely Malena, tho ima stay in the group. Gotta send y’all pics :*
Xeremey Flurez 3:46 PM: Count me out of pool, both of them please, nad seriously stop adding me to these groups it takes forever to get out.
Ayato Caven 3:46 PM: I’m off to the pool. You guys can do your own damn planning.
Ayato Caven has left the group
Libby Ayze 3:47 PM Omg pooool, I’m in. I wont be here for break tho, I’m going home.
Eolande Vinci 3:48 PM: Eolande would liek Pool too. How does Eolande stop the beep?
Malena Rivera 3:49 PM: You can’t.
Malena Rivera 3:49 PM: And there’s no point. People will add you back in just for more pointless conversations.
Camilla Aune 3:51 PM: I can help you Eolande, where are you?
Eolande Vinci 3:53 PM: Eolande is going to pool pary. Eolande loves to swim, how do I stop the beep though?
Xeremey Flurez 3:54 PM: It really is pointless. I’m about to block Aelita entirely.
Camila Aune 3:57 PM: Stop teasing her, I’ll come meet you Eolande.
Camilla Aune and Libby Ayze have left the group.
Eolande Vinci 3:59 PM: Camilla AUne is coming to help stop beep! Camilla Aune is very nice.
Rayden Sarcia 4:00 PM: fuck u guys are annoying why do i even have a phone its not worth it
Xeremey Flurez 4:02 PM: Throw it against the wall, i hear that helps
Rayden Sarcia 4:03 PM: fuck u siren girl
Teddy Ashes 4:05 PM: the dragon girl is very angry at xeremey flurez
Prescott Ridge has left the group.
Xeremey Flurez 4:07 PM: Who would have guessed
Xeremey Flurez 4:08 PM: That wasn’t the goal or anything
Eolande Vinci 4:08 PM: Camila Aune has come to help me! Eolande is swimming in soon!
Brent Smith 4:09 PM: If we’re not going to actually discuss anything, I’m going to head off too; I’m not hanging around to have my phone explode with insults.
Eolande Vinci has left the group.
Xeremey Flurez 4:10 PM: Did you expect us to dicuss anything worth while when Sommerfield added most of the school? My phone still hasn’t loaded the list of participants
Rayden Sarcia 4:11 PM: then maybe you should get another phone ill be happy to give u a reason to have to replace it
Xeremey Flurez 4:13 PM: You can’t even type for yourself, I don’t think you’re smart enough to break a phone if you tried.
Rayden Sarcia 4:14 PM: thats where youre wrong all it takes is a bit of fire
Xeremey Flurez 4:15 PM: What are you gunna do? Spit on it? Gnaw on it?
Rayden Sarcia 4:15 PM: ill fucking gnaw on you
Teddy Ashes 4:17 PM: gnawing on phone left a mark
Xeremey Flurez 4:18 PM: Wwait did he actually do it
Rayden Sarcia 4:19 PM: yes he did the little freak at least it was his own phone now there’s spit and toothmarks on it
Xeremey Flurez 4:20 PM: what the fuck
Louis Katsaros has left the group.
Xeremey Flurez 4:22 PM: I would not let him touch my phone where did he even get one
Rayden Sarcia 4:25 PM: hellif i KNOW fuck i ahte phones
Xeremey Flurez 4:27 PM: Wow he actually typed better than you that’s sad
Rayden Sarcia 4:28 PM: Fuck yuo sirn girl
Teddy Ashes 4:29 PM: Aelita Rede girl gave me phone. said needed it to comoonikate with people
Xeremey Flurez 4:31 PM: This is just sad. I’m going to go now, finally got a computer. me and my brother are leaving for thanksgiving so don’t expect me at any damn pool party
Xeremey Flurez has left the group
Nikaia Smith 4:35 PM: [Image of Eugene pushing Camilla into the pool] Haha josh is gunna be psised. she’s alive tho.
Brent Smith 4:36 PM: Way to go. Maybe I should show him that pic. Might teach Cupid a lesson in future.
Anders Gardner 4:36 PM: Guys I had work, now a million notifications?
Nikaia Smith 4:38 PM: [Selfie of her and Malena doing duck lips] Come hang with us Anders! Pool party!
Anders Gardner 4:39 PM: I…don’t think I can pass this up???
Teddy Ashes 4:40 PM: pools are wet
Nikaia Smith 4:41 PM: Ummmm i guess they are?
Nikaia Smith 4:41 PM: but yes come anders! I think Santos and Rede just left to snag snacks from smith 2.0
Rayden Sarcia 4:42 PM: wow ddi it tak you long ot figuer that uot?`
Teddy Ashes 4:44 PM: dragon girl types bad
Rayden Sarcia 4:45 PM: i wil eat you i swer
Anders Gardner 4:45 PM: Yessss! Snacks! I’ll be there!!!
Teddy Ashes 4:47 PM: please don’t eat me i am not very chewy
Anders Gardner 4:48 PM: ???
Nikaia Smith 4:48 PM: O-kay then. CMON ANDERS GET UR ASS OVER HERE. OR ILL EAT ALL THE  BROWNIES MYSELF
Malena Rivera 4:49 PM: Yes please, get over here and give Nikaia someone her size she can hang with because I can’t deal with her energy.
Anders Gardner 4:50 PM: I’M COMING, I’M COMING! I gotta put clothes on and shit for this.
Nikaia Smith 4:51 PM: Or just come in ur birthday suit 😉
Anders Gardner 4:52 PM: We’re not ready for that just yet, babe. 😉
Brent Smith 4:52 PM: Please don’t.
Brent Smith 4:52 PM: Oh thank god one of you has modesty.
Nikaia Smith 4:55 PM: Hmp. You’ve got a stick up your ass, Smith v.2
Brent Smith 4:55 PM: I do not, and what are you calling me? Good god, there are too many Smiths at this campus.
Anders Gardner 4:56 PM: Come onnnn Brent, birthday suits all around. 😉
Brent Smith 4:57 PM: No.
Teddy Ashes 4:59 PM: how do i wear my birthday suit
Teddy Ashes 4:59 PM: i do not know my birthday
Nikaia Smith 5:01 PM: oh god
Anders Gardner 5:01 PM: Get this kid a drink.
Nikaia Smith 5:02 PM: Child pornograpy is illegal, kids.
Brent Smith 5:02 PM: Do not tell him, Nikaia.
Nikaia Smith 5:03 PM: I’m not stupid
Teddy Ashes 5:04 PM: what is child pornography
Brent Smith 5:04 PM: Never mind, Teddy, it’s not something you need to know at your age.
Neil Ikuto 5:05 PM: stop please.
Nikaia Smith 5:07 PM: right i’m going back to the party, see y’all later. HURRY UP ANDERS, and loosen up brent 😉
Nikaia Smith has left the group.
Anders Gardner 5:08 PM: I’M ALMOST THERE
Anders Gardner has left the group.
Neil Ikuto 5:20 PM: Wow it’s actually kinda quiet now
Monica Ikuto 5:21 PM: Come on Neil, you, me and Noklie are going to the pool
Neil Ikuto 5:22 PM: I don’t really want to go. Anyways it’s been snowing outside for over a month now, it’s too cold to swim
Monica Ikuto 5:24 PM: It’s a heated indoor pool over at the University Building, so it’ll be nice and warm 🙂
Koda Mordvinov 5:24 PM: Who added me to this shitstorm
Koda Mordvinov 5:25 PM: Probably a fucking first year.
Monica Ikuto 5:26 PM: As if we have you on our mySpell
Beck Snow 5:26 PM: We’re going home for thanksgiving, now don’t mind me
Beck Snow has left the group
Derek Giles 5:29 PM: I’m out
Derek Giles and Noklie Berus have left the group
Monica Ikuto 5:31 PM: DAMN IT NOKLIE
Noklie Berus has been added to the group
Noklie Berus 5:32 PM: Stop it, Monica
Monica Ikuto 5:33 PM: NOT UNTIL YOU GET OUT OF YOUR ROOM
Monica Ikuto 5:34 PM: SOCIALIZATION IS GOOD FOR YOU
Noklie Berus 5:35 PM: I beg to differ
Noklie Berus has left the group
Sparky Keese 5:46 PM: I’ll be here like always
Laleh Dunn 5:49 PM: I SWEAR TO GOD SOMMERFIELD, I’M GOING TO BLOCK YOU IF YOU KEEP ADDING ME TO THIS SHIT
Cleo Sommerfield 5:53 PM: huehuehuehuehue even if i don’t add you, someone else willllll
Laleh Dunn 5:55 PM: No fuck you, i’ll just delete all of you fuckers
Sparky Keese 5:57 PM: Deep breaths Dunn, just remove yourself
Laleh Dunn has left the group.
Neil Ikuto I’m going to go now
Neil Ikuto has left the group.
Sparky Kese 6:19 PM: Oye, Hallebjorn, you’re girlfriend is being pissy and slamming shit in the Electives Hall
Tamarin Hallebjorn 6:23 PM: Not my girlfriend, but i’ll be there in a couple
Miska Erdos 6:26 PM: Guys, I love you all, but these insane group texts need to stop, i have over two hundred messages on my phone right now. If anyone needs me, I will be back the fuck to sleep.
Miska Erdos has left the group.

 

Duties of a Prefect

Fri. 11/15/2250 – By Kayla Salmon.

 

Dora was an exemplary prefect. She got good grades and she was kind and helpful to the younger students, while also being strict and firm with those who broke the rules. She was a motherly type and while plenty of the students looked up to Aelita, the seventh year was very busy planning for graduation and sending out applications to universities, and sometimes the other students would turn to her in Aelita’s stead. She pulled her coat tighter around her as she walked carefully up the path to the Eagle’s House. The sidewalks had been salted, but that didn’t mean they weren’t slippery or sometimes still slightly iced over.

It was something of a topic at the academy, and in town, the sharp change in the weather. It had become unseasonably cold very quickly, and Halloween had been a hurried affair in the twilight hours due to the dropping temperatures. In just the first week of November, snow was already coming down on them on a regular basis and the lake was quickly freezing up. It was definitely odd since in all her previous years these sorts of temperatures didn’t normally arrive until the end of November.

Dragging the door open, she was greeted by the familiar sounds and smells of the Eagle House. Even though Reid tried to keep a strict enforcement of holiday decorations, some Christmas lights were already strung through the hand rails of the stairs and on the curtains throughout the common room. It was probably one of the Sommerfield girls, just to annoy the older prefect. Dora hung her scarf on the large crowded rack by the door and kicked off her boots, putting them on a shelf that they kept by the door so snow and the rock salt wouldn’t be dragged through the house.

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Finding Your Way

Sat. 11/16/2250 – By Kayla Salmon.

Winter was already upon them, even though they were only half way into November, and there was always either snow on the ground or ice frosting the sidewalks and trees. Not that Libby had a problem with that. Maybe it was because she was a little chunkier than average, but she was never bothered by the cold and would prefer to pull on a sweater than to sweat. Also, it was much cooler to exercise and run about in her skinwalker form, that of a red wolf.

Slowly sinking her paws into the snow and feeling the cold wetness between the pads, she wagged her tail happily back and forth, looking more like an excited puppy than the the almost fully grown wolf she was. Snow had dusted her coat when she’d rolled in it earlier and it still clung to her now, ruffling up the fur at odd angles.

Most of the shifter population took the form of predators and therefore it was usually safe to hunt in the forest that surrounded the academy, but she wasn’t hungry and instead sniffed around to exercise her senses and practice tracking. She was never great at it, but she liked to try, sometimes following other students by their scents or tracks in the snow.

The sun was slowly going down and the trees were beginning to leave long shadows across the snow and the forest floor. A rush of wind buffeted Libby’s fur and she caught the smell of a creature, a sandy smell and she stood straight, straining her neck muscles as she searched its source.

A small bundle of tan fur was hopping from tree root to tree root and Libby resisted the urge to coo at the small creature. It was absolutely adorable and her tail wagged. It didn’t look or smell like anything that was native to the northern regions, so it was probably another student. Sure enough, as she bounded through the snow towards the smaller animal, she could smell the distinctive scent of the Eagle’s House. She paused a yard or so shy of the creature, her tail wagging as she drew the attention of the student. Large ears perked and turned to attention, and the fox lowered his head slightly in defense. Not that she minded, she must have startled him.

“Hello!” She barked, ignoring how different her voice sounded when it came from the vocal cords of a wolf and not a human.

“Hello,” The fox replied quietly, his response sounding more like a yip than hers. His ears flicked backwards slightly, and he raised his nose, sniffing at the wolf.

She hadn’t realize how much bigger she was until she was close, but she wondered if perhaps she’d unnerved the other student, so she dropped her front legs and chest out, closer to the ground, going into a more playful position all while wagging her tail happily.

“Didn’t mean to startle you. My name’s Libby, I’m one of the Owls,” She explained with her rough wolf voice, tongue lolling out to show she meant no harm. “What are you up to?”

The fox visibly relaxed and nodded its small head. “I’m Eric, I’m in the Eagles,” he replied, his tail twitching slightly and he moved to another tree root. “I’m just trying to get the hang of changing my shape back and forth,” he continued as he plopped into the snow from the root and stepped closer to the wolf. He shivered slightly, not quite so well insulated as the larger canine, but continued on.

Almost all shifters tried to mimic gestures they used in their human form, so Libby gave a short nod of her head, even though it felt odd. “I know what you mean, I’m a skinwalker and I wasn’t really able to get a good hang on transforming until I was twelve.”

The fox made an irritated face. “I am twelve and I still have problems. I’m a skinwalker too,” he explained.

Another burst of wind came through the trees, knocking the small fox into Libby and she touched his shoulder gently with her tail. “It’s getting cold out here, we should probably start heading back to the dorms,” she suggested, standing and turning back to follow her paw prints out. She hadn’t quite yet memorized the paths of the forest and she still had trouble getting back to the places she wanted to be.  

“Hey, wait,” He called, trotting behind her, “We should be heading west, we’re going north right now,” He gestured with his tail to their left.

Libby paused mid-stride and looked where he was pointing, but saw nothing but trees. “Are you sure?” She asked quizzically. “I was going to just follow my prints and scent back.”

The fox sneezed slightly and nodded, curving his path left. “The sun falls in the west, so we need to follow the direction of the sun.” He explained.

“Oh,” Libby said, tucking her tail between her hind legs as she followed the fox, feeling a bit foolish. She wasn’t so good with her internal compass, but she was good at remembering what turns she made and following her path back. She’d thought she was being quite clever about keeping track of where she was.

She must have lost track of time because the sun was dropping faster and if she’d not known his scent, would have lost track of the light colored fox that scurried about ahead of her. She trotted obediently after him, watching as he disappeared occasionally when he’d hit a patch of deeper snow, only to emerge quickly and continue on.

“I swear,” She mused out loud, cheering herself up by stepping over his small paw prints with her larger ones, “I always seem to be getting lost out here,” She looked up, making sure she hadn’t lost sight of the fox. “It’s like a maze of trees and scents. I guess it’s because I’m new.”

“It’s understandable,” He responded from in front of her, “I’m not used to living in the woods, so it took some time for me to adjust,” He paused his steps, waiting for her to catch up and hopping up onto a giant log, happy to follow it instead of getting stuck in another pile of snow.

She wondered if she should offer the fox a ride on her back, but didn’t want to insult the boy, and instead continued the conversation. “It feels so weird to be away for this long, and it hasn’t even been a full semester yet.” She realized she could suddenly smell horses, so they must be close to the edge of the forest, near the stables.

Getting to the edge of the log, he hopped back down, nodding to the wolf’s words. “Be away from where?” He asked curiously.

“Oh, I meant home,” She said sheepishly, flicking her ears back in embarrassment. “My dad and his bookstore and my friends.” She explained.

“I like being away from home,” the fox said quietly, giving a slight shrug of his small shoulders. “The Academy is my home.”

“Do you live here through the summer?” Libby asked curiously as they stepped to the tree line, the street lights twinkling on in the distance.

“Yeah, at least, I did this past summer,” The fox said, but then shook his head and changed the subject. “Well, there’s the dorms.” He gestured in the direction of the main road and the dormitories that surrounded it.

She nodded, “Thanks for showing me the way out. I’ll try to remember the bit about the sun next time.”

“You’re welcome. Just remember it rises in the east and sets in the west, and that the lake is to the east and the school is to the west,” He explained, stepping away from Libby and slowly heading towards the Eagle House.

“It was nice meeting you, Eric,” She continued, beginning to split off and head to her own dorm. “Good luck on midterms and stuff.” She enjoyed that the few students who were outside in the yard and on the dormitory porches didn’t seem to think seeing a wolf was out of the norm and instead nosed the pet door open and stepped into the warm common room, shaking her pelt slightly to clear the last bit of snow off.