The warmth hit the green hills as the sun for the last week of the summer had been excruciating. The workers had come and gone, as they rushed to convert the old dormitories to suitable accommodations for something other than cockroaches.
Today though was filled with the usual weather of Britain. Damp and rainy. Thunder rolled over the sky and the wind blew, making the windows shake. A white-haired boy, holding a white and brown rabbit, looked out the window at the people rushing in to start the new year. Many of them were nervous, not ready to step inside what before had been forbidden ground.
Looking at the girls, lost and anxious, Blake hit Jaxon over the head as his boyfriend yawned. “Look alert! This is an important day.”
“Why? It’s just the students returning from their families.”
Blake pouted and pointed at the placard he had made on the previous night. Jaxon looked far from eager when he grabbed onto it. The words welcome to Vale academy were written with large capitals.
“The girls need to be properly welcomed. They must feel so out of place and I do not trust you and your team to make them feel welcomed.”
Jaxon narrowed his beautiful blue eyes, making Blake’s heart skip a beat, as he perused him. Blake just ignored the obvious suspicion in his eyes.
“Why are you so eager to welcome the girls?”
Blake started to blush, fidgeting with his shirt while avoiding Jaxon’s face. An act, Blake could see, that only made him sourer. “I just feel sorry. It cannot be easy with the tension being what they are. The shifters in the all-girl school were thrown out from the witches’ territory and those witches who argued against it were banished. Now they all have to come here to an all-boys school and it must be hard.”
The tall Alex came up beside Jaxon. Looking like a stick compared to Jaxon’s muscly built while Alex was more in line with his Chinese heritage and had a lean body though he had his British father’s tall length. His colored white hair, something he did to make Blake feel better about his own, stood on end in what he called a fashionable style. To Blake, it just looked spiky like he had just got out of bed. Considering how much Alex slept, that was not an impossibility. Alex clicked his tongue, as he read the placard and cocked an eyebrow at Jaxon. “Are you that eager to greet the girls?”
“It belongs to Blake! I’m just forced to carry it,” Jaxon muttered. As Alex's eyes turned to Blake, his cheek became even warmer.
“I just want them to feel welcomed.”
“Sure, you do. And this has nothing to do with that you are a lone hedgewitch trying to gather all hedgewitches into a group,” Alex looked out the window at the girls running inside to avoid the rain. “And now an entire heap of hedgewitches is coming to Vale Academy, just waiting to join your activist group.”
“Yep, that did it,” Blake thought as he felt his face heat out of guilt enough that you could fry an egg on it. Jaxon frowned as he processed what Alex just said before his face brightened.
“Oh! You just want to lure some witches into your new club.”
“It’s not a club,” Blake pouted.
“You are gathering each Friday night to drink tea and discuss magic. That is a club, mate,” Alex reminded Blake as they all went down to welcome the new students.
“It’s a very important activity. We discuss the future of the hedgewitches!”
“Really, what did you discuss last Friday?”
“…Pyramus told me that the lunch lady is having an affair with the janitor.”
“Well, that is old news but now we know that you don’t just drink tea, you gossip as well,” Alex said, holding back a laugh when Jaxon looked thunderstruck by the news.
“Fine,” Blake huffed,” But I have big plans. We are going to do something amazing, but we lack the manpower to do it. With the help of the new witches, we will be able to achieve it.”
“What are you planning?” asked Alex, giving Blake a suspicious look.
“That is a surprise.”
“Surprise like the time you decided to paint a nude of Jaxon, or is this a pleasant one?”
“Don’t remind me,” muttered Jaxon, shuddering at the time his entire family was staring at the embarrassing thing.
“That was punishment for Jaxon, this will benefit all of us,” Blake said proudly, feeling eager to start his project but he needs to collect witches first. Dragging the reluctant Jaxon, he waltzes over to the entrance hall where many of the girls were waiting to speak to Pyramus Marshall, the teacher of the Dark Arts and the teacher of Art and drama, and Ciaran MacGreine, who teaches most magical subjects in the school along with being a math teacher.
“And here is the welcome wagon,” said Pyramus who had spotted them. He eyed the placard before raising an eyebrow at Jaxon who glared back at him, seemingly ready to hit him with the placard.
The girls glanced over at them, some were a bit shy while others stared with open appreciation at the three boys. Alex gave them one of his award-winning smiles and they giggled, making Jaxn roll his eyes muttering that he was glad he had no sisters.
His dark eyes turning to Blake, Pyramus gave him an encouraging smile. “This is Blake Oakley, our hedgewitch representative among the students.”
Blake could feel his cheek heating, most likely making him look like a stop sign, at the mention of him being the hedgewitch representative. He had gained that title last term merely because there were only two hedgewitches among them, him and Pyramus, and Pyramus had refused to represent anything so the task fell onto Blake.
“I want to welcome you to school,” Blake stammered, the girls' eyes becoming amused as they waited patiently for him to finish with encouraging smiles. All fears were gone from their faces. Blake just pretended it was the presence of his rabbit Coney who did it and not because he was so unthreatening. “As a hedgewitch representative, I would also like to invite you to our gatherings-“
“Club,” Alex coughed from the background and got a few chuckles and a glare from Blake as a reply.
“-that we have every Friday. This Friday will be spent in the conservatory, where there will be plenty of tea and scones underneath the new World Tree.”
“That’s cute, you are having a picnic,” Alex cooed.
“It’s not a picnic, it’s a very important meeting to welcome any among the hedgewitches,” Blake pouted.
“You are having tea and scones underneath a giant tree, that is a picnic.”
Ignoring Alex, Blake cleared his throat. “We are still dividing the teacher’s job among the adults but we also intend to start up a mentor program where older students can earn some pounds helping some of the younger witches. If you are interested, you will need to go through some tests for the subjects you want to teach. Talk with one of the teachers if you want to take a shot at it, otherwise, we have some older students such as Leon Graycrest who can help you settle in.”
Whispered erupted, many seemed eager to the prospect of earning some pounds. Leon had suggested mentorship in order to get the girls integrated more into the schools. Teaching younger students was commonplace in Elan Academy but not common practice in Vale Academy. Leon teaching Blake was the exception to the rule, but only because Blake was introduced to the supernatural so late.
“Any questions?” asked Ciaran politely, when the girls settle down.
“Where is my brother?” asked a dull voice, a raven-haired goth girl stepped forward and Blake knew her as Elaine Harwen, sister of Cainen Harwen, and the heir to the Harwen family.
“Probably sleeping,” Pyramus answered. “Your brother has been hogging my bed for the last couple of weeks and I’m ready to put a malison on the bastard if he doesn’t let me sleep.”
“Well, that sounds like him,” Elaine said with an eye roll. “Our family is losing everything and he sleeps through it all.”
“Your brother has been very friendly,” Blake assured her.
“I’m sure, his friendliness has never been in question, “ Elaine sighed. “Only his competence.”
“Well, he has never missed one of our meetings,” Blake said, though he did not say that was most likely because of the food. The man seemed to come to eat, and gossip.
Almost like she had read his mind,” Did you offer him food?”
Blake held back a grimace and Pyramus, apparently sensing the conversation going south, turns to the other girls. “Any other questions?”
“Is there any information to us shifters or is this just a welcome party for witches?” asked a familiar voice, it took a while before Blake could identify the large girl, with tattoos and made up of pure muscles. The only female Alpha, Clover Paddon, stood with the silent and peculiar girl who is always with her. The girl, who Blake remembered as Millie Acker, was staring unblinkingly down at the floor, hardly moving a muscle but seemed alert.
Without thinking about it, Blake pulled Alex forward who looked utterly amused. “Oh, now you want my help.”
Pinching him as hard as he can, Blake smiled at the group.
“This is abuse, fine. There isn’t much to say to the shifters, Coach Kai will lead the rugby team alongside Coach Freya. We have some pack runs for the wolves and are open to other pack runs for the herds. Otherwise, there isn’t much to say,” Alex shrugged.
“We welcome shifters as well to our meetings,” Blake said, which made many looked shocked like he just had said that the world would end. “I mean, the magic ban for shifters has kind of been lifted so they can come and take a look, besides we have scones. Shifters can eat scones.”
Feeling his voice failing him, Blake pulled at Jaxon who looked surprised. “Jaxon will be there.”
“Apparently I will be there.”
“You are so damn whipped,” Alex smirked and dodge a fist coming his way.
Ignoring the two, the group continued as there were no more questions. Overall, he thought that had gone excellent, he didn’t throw up even once which was definitively a step up from when he was younger.
“You did well, Blake,” said the little rabbit in his arms.
“Thank you, Coney,” said Blake.” Especially for not talking. Every time you do the students become scared so I thought it would be better if you eased them into it.”
“Well, I cannot blame them. I am frightening,” Coney huffed, his cheek puffing out proudly. Jaxon frowned at the rabbit and was about to argue, but not wanting to hear more banter this day, Blake rushed off to the principal office, since he had been called.