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"The Mystic of Magic?" asked Nila. "Apparently. I've never seen her like that before. To say the least, it crept the bloody shit out of me."

Tempest nodded.

"That's a hard feat," said Void as he stuffed his face with pancakes and bacon. Tempest saw Nila roll her eyes yet smile.

"My god Void, do you ever stop eating?"

"When the occasion calls for it." He gave her his best charming smile and Tempest swore she saw Nila blush. It quickly faded and her eyes grew furious. Tempest and Void both turned around and saw Davyn with his new girlfriend. Divina came up and snorted, patting Nila on her shoulder.

"Forget him, he's worthless." Her white hair sparkled.

"Oh, I'm over him, I just can't believe he cheated on mer, I mean come on, I'm bloody gorgeous."

"Conceited much," said Chad taking up a seat next to Void. He almost spilled the drink in his hand and Tempest laughed. She had almost forgotten how clumsy he could be.

"Says the one man show stopper," said Nila taking a bite of her breakfast.

"Oh calm down. Look everyone has their true match, maybe you just haven't noticed him yet." Tempest almost chocked on her drink as she tried her hardest to stifle a laugh. Void was actually blushing and his neck was dark red. She was amazed, in all her years of knowing Void, not one had he ever blushed.

"Zephyr, are you okay?" exclaimed Divina.

Tempest nodded and waved her concern away. "Yes—don't worry, I'm fine." She caughed again. "I'm perfectly fine." She pat her chest down and looked at Void through the corner of her eye. He was so lucky he had her for a friend, she took all attention off of him without even meaning too. Someone ruffled her hair and she groaned. Her hair was going to smell like cat . . . again.

"Hey there cousin." She glared at him as she fixed her hair. Thankfully he had let the whole thing with merwick go . . . somewhat.

"Just because you're my cousin don't mean you can mess with my hair."

"Says you. Anyway thought I'd inform you that Stela and Serena can't keep tabs on her. She vanished without the sue of apparatus."

"Ancient magic," remarked Nila. Tempest met her concerned face with her won.

"Maybe, I should have just let her out."

"Oh don't' say that, who knows what she would have done," said Nila fixing her hair. Void of course was watching her intently. The Great Hall fell silent and Tempest looked and saw Entia with a very handsome young man. Even from afar Tempest could see the gold in his eyes.

"He's a Merwick Crusader," whispered Tempest.

"Figures," said Nila sighing. "All the good looking one are either to evil or taken." She sighed again and Void looked away from her upset. Tempest sighed.

"You're an idiot Nila."

"And why is that?"

"Because you don't' see what's right in front of your face and you only pay attention to the outside."

"I do not! If I did I would have kissed Void by now." Void's smile returned slightly.

"You forget you already have," said Edana snatching up a strawberry from Nila's plate. "You two kissed on the train while I was dating him, remember?"

"Oh that doesn't count. It was a kiss of friendship, not love. Right Void," she looked at him and her eyes were hopeful. Tempest remembered how she looked that day too. Void simply smiled at her mischievously.

"Of course."

"See. Now if you don't mind, the air is sickening." She grabbed her books and left. Tempest hugged Void and Chad pat him on the back.

"Oh don't worry about it, she'll notice . . . eventually."

"Yeah, we'll oh forget it. When I get the nerve, I'm just going to kiss her, or I don't know."

"Oh Void, shut up already," said Edana giggling. Tempest laughed with her sister and watched Void turn bright red. Their laughter grew.

***

Tempest grabbed her wand and left for class. She was taking an advanced class of magic this year. It was only allowed to sixth years and older. She didn't take the course last year. It hadn't realty interested her. This year though, it had sparked her interest.

"Hey Zeph," said Void.

"Hey Void." She took a seat and opened up her book. Someone nudged her shoulder and she looked up. Louis Morte was tasking a sat next to her.

"Hey there Zephyr. How fare thee?"

"Louis? What are you doing here?"

"Ancient runes is a good class that looks great to the Ministry."

"Uh huh," said Tempest warily.

"Second semester, I needed a class to preoccupy me. At least until Christmas break."

She laughed. "So you needed a class to keep you entertained for a week."

"Sounds about right."

"You are insane. We have enough classes."

"You d," said Void.

"Zombie boy's right. You've got Vampire class among all the other classes. We've only got the extra one taught by Majika. Frankly though I'm glad."

"Why? Astrea being a handful, well too mush of a handful."

"Sadly yes. I know you didn't mean harm but she's kind of bloody lost it."

"That seems to be going around lately." Void laughed and Tempest glared at him.

"Sorry, I know, insensitive."

"How about you shut it Zombie Boy," said Louis hotly. Tempest put a comforting hand on his arm.

"Calm down. I'll hit him back if you want."

Louis smiled.

"Yeah, that would be great." He smiled his brilliant smile and Tempest his his shoulder. There was the Louis who annoyed her.

Mistress Carwin came into the room. Her feet stomping onto the ground and her mismatched eyes drawing in a cold atmosphere, intimidating all the students, Tempest included. Her face was scared, but even that didn't mar her beauty. One of her eyes was greenn while the other was blue. Her hair hung loosely on her shoulders bu a black ribbon.

"Welcome students. This is Runes I only for sixth years and high. If you have the wrong class I insist you get out now." Everyone looked at each other and she smiled. "Good, no idiots this class period I hope. So let us begin. Just so you know, you won't be learning any runes today, or any day soon. Today we are going to begin with the beginning of runes. Now will everyone please turn to page ten of your books and let us begin the lesson."

The class was tedious and boring. Tempest paid attention tentatively as did Louis and Void, but still that didn't stop of from almost falling asleep and hitting her head on the desk. Still, thought Tempest as she clutched her necklace, she knew this class was important somehow.

***

Void banged his head against the table. Tempest laughed. He really didn't' want to go to Ancient Runes.

"Oh come on Void, stop being a baby. This is the last class before winter break. You ca handle just one more class can't you." He nodded and Nila let out a childlike giggle.

"Wow Void, I never thought I would see the day that you actually disliked a class."

He smiled up at her. "There's a first for everything. Besides all we do is discuss the runes, we've never actually tried anything."

"Hmm, well I guess there is a first time for everything." She sat next to him and kissed him lightly on the cheek, bringing back some colour to his cheeks. "Try not to die of boredom."

"I'll try Nila." She smiled and walked off carrying her books.

"You should have just kissed her you idiot."

"That would require me to work up the bloody nerve to."

Tempest burst into laughter, her hair spilling over her shoulders. Her laughter stopped abruptly as she sensed the presence. Tempest flexed her fingers and looked around. "Void, go to class."

"Why?"

She pulled out her sword. "Just go." Void quickly walked from the room, unwillingly, and Tempest looked around. "You're the one who was with Entia aren't you."

A young man jumped ont the table. He had brown hair and blue eyes that were circled by gold. She always wondered how Merwick did that.

"Yes."

"Pleasure to me you. What's your name?" The young man stood as still as a statue, unmoving like a stature although far harder to break. His nose twitched and Tempest simply tilted her head, he was a curious and wary as a new born pup.

"Charles," answered the young man after a few moments. He walked off the table and stared at her coldly. Tempest resisted the urge to laugh at him.

"Fairly normal. You're American aren't you?"

"Yes."

"Thought so. Now tell me, why the hell are you watching me. That what Merwick usually does." She felt a pang of bitterness.

"He's taking a slight vacation with Entia. I'm here to watch you."

"Hmm," she said thinking it over. "Very well, I'm sure you're aware that you are to cause no harm to me or my friends." He nodded. "Good. You're not so silent by the way. Merwick hasn't trained you well enough." She smiled and walked off into the direction of class.

Tempest sat there bored waiting for the teacher to come. Mistress Carwin finally arrived, twenty minutes into the class.

"Afternoon class. Today I want to talk about a particular rune set. There are a certain kind of runes that aren't talked about in your book. Those runes could counter that of life itself. These runes could heal any type malady, whether it be physical, emotional, or mental." That caught Tempest attention. She thought of her little sister, she thought of what the mirror had said to her all those years ago.

The class pass quickly for Tempest and the assignment for winter break was to use and test runes, something both she and Void were looking forward to.

***

Tempest said she would meet Draco and the others at Hogsmeade, First she wanted to test a little protection rune on a vase. She drew the rune into the air and traced it onto the vase. Tempest pulled out her wand and watched the run engrave itself loosely onto the vase, She hoped that she had done this correctly.

"Bombarda!" Tempest heard the spell dance thought the air and closed her eyes were for the impending shatter, the shatter that never came. Tempest jumped for joy when she saw that it was indeed untouched.

"Congratulations Young Tempest." Tempest spun around and saw Merwick standing by the window sill in all his deceitful glory. As much as it pained her to admit it, she had missed him and his darling protege Charles was nothing compared to Merwick or Entia.

"Merwick, where the bloody hell have you been?"

"Away, visiting Tempest."

A pang of jealousy struck her. "I see. Well I have to go. I have to go meet Draco and the others."

"Oh, I see. Well to say the least, I missed you." She turned and he was by her side. It was their stupid bond that drew her to him and sadly she liked it.

"Oh, well, I missed you too." Tempest turned to leave but he wrapped his arm around her waist. She turned to him and smiled. "Merwick, you can't keep doing this."

"Why not?" He tilted his head down.

"Because you know why. I love Draco, and you know that."

"True, but somewhere inside you, you really want me to kiss you, ad I know it." Tempest was taken aback by the forcefulness of this kiss but let herself be drawn in nonetheless. He took off her jacket and carried her to the bed and Tempest feared what would happen next, but nothing did. He continued to kiss her and hold her tight. Tempest felt a slight stink in her shoulder and pulled her. Merwick had that same insane smile on his face whenever he did something unpleasant to her.

"It's an ancient rune Young Tempest, one of love. Love can be a dangerous think don't you think? The fall of Troy was because of love, or lust, whichever you choose. Love is both a gift and a curse."

"So what, you cursed me?"

"In a way, yes. The rune of love is a strong thing. It goes deep into your heart, pulls at it, makes you feel even what you don't want to feel, what you reject."

"So that's what this is all about. Because you want me and think that I'll love you! You son of a bitch, I will never love you, no matter what you mark me with."

"Never say never darling," he said stroking her face. Tempest slapped his hand away.

"I don't care what you've seen in my head, I will never love you." She tried to pull away but once agin he kissed her and as much as she struggled and tried to resist, she couldn't. Damn, the rune, she thought. Finally, he pulled away leaving her breathless.

"Say hello to Draco for me Zephyr dear," he said hatefully. Tempest walked him walk off as she wiped at her lips. Damn him, she thought. She would need a counter rune, which would be hard to do. Runes couldn't be taken off or removed, they had to be countered. Right now though, that wasn't her concern. Her concern was her little sister who she knew would need runes for protection against the darkness. The very darkness she saw wrapping around her sister and turning her soul.

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