Over the next few days I realized just how little I knew about Jackson.
Between scrambling to finish homework assignments-impossible,
since I wasn't going to class and it didn't look like I would anytime soon-and avoiding the whispers and stares of all of the other students of the school,
I had no time to hunt him down and preferably kill him, but mostly just to steal that potion back.
I still remembered the glow of it, how the forest green shone like a beaker, emphasizing coils of pure power that twisted through the vial, winking in and out of existence.
It was all that occupied my mind, whether I was doing homework assignments or sleeping. It made regular appearances in my dreams, a target that I could never quite reach.
But I never would, until I found Jackson.
I didn't know where his dorm was. We met outside the Science Wing, next to my room, as it was on the outskirts of the area.
It was made clear that I wasn't allowed to go further than the classroom, which was, as I discovered, only a short way away.
Screw Maven for leading me through such a complicated series of passageways. I'd say he deserved what I did to him, but I still feel sick every time I pass him in the hallway.
He doesn't look at me anymore, sneer forming on his face. No, he just stares straight ahead, as though I wasn't there. The same unfortunately goes for Tara.
We've never fought like this before. Sure, we bickered, and we argued, but not like this. She had never turned frigid, had never ignored me like this before.
And you know what, it made me angry. It made me turn fiery and hotheaded, and I hated that it was like that, but it was.
She shouldn't turn a cold shoulder because she was mad, that was irrational and unfair. And I realize, truly I do, that it was rather hypocritical for me to be saying these things.
But I had never done this before, not even when I had returned from break in the second year.
I don't know. Grief takes a long time. But I would have thought-I would have thought she'd want me with her.
You're nothing but a waste of time.
All you ever do is whine.
Haven't you done enough?
Her voice slips in my head, sharp and real. I remember how she looked, I remember how her voice dipped. I remember how she glared at me, hard an cold, spitting words like poison.
Like if she tried hard enough, they actually would be.
I squeeze my eyes tight, clenching my fists, trying to force the voice out of my head. Of course, the more I tried, the louder the voices became. I deflated, opening my eyes.
The people around me had scuttled even further out for reach, the scared cowards. What, because I looked slightly like I was constipated I was going to explode. I don't think so.
I scowled at them, familiar pressure rising in my chest. I panicked, and let it go. A small ring of darkness jumped into existence around me, accentuated by the occasional pop of flame.
It quickly shuddered and died, with little to fuel it. It left it's mark though-several spots on the the floor were newly scorched. To be honest, it fit right in.
One girl, who hadn't turned to flee with the masses, stepped forward from the small gathering crowd, and, after shooting me one of the dirtiest glares I had ever seen,
casually flicked her hand at the carpet, and it returned to it's original state, perhaps even a bit less scuffed. Handy, even though my mess fit in more than a splotch of new carpet.
I scowled at them, and they backed away down the corridor. I felt a vicious stab of pleasure at that. Some superheroes they were going to be.
I stalked past them, because the person I really needed to find clearly wasn't going to be skulking around the hallways.
I could spend all the time I wanted on the fifth floor, but it wasn't going to get me any closer to Jackson, unless I wanted to burst into every room to find which one was his.
I sighed, and shoved my hands together, rubbing furiously. A spark sprang into life, hovering above me. I glared at it, wallowing in self pity.
Had I know any spells, had I applied for AP classes, then I could find Jackson in a jiffy. I would be able to cast a locator spell and have the spark lead me to him.
And I had tried. I had tried every word that related to FIND ME THIS BOY OR DIE, but nothing had worked.
Oh and, I thought, burying my face in my hands, shadow are extremely pliable when it comes to spells.
They can be used for so many things, including but certainly not limited to, locator enchantments.
There was only one person in the entire year who could cast a locator spell. One person, and they weren't going to be doing anything for me anytime soon.
I glared at the ground, cursing my terrible life, luck and decisions. And myself. I was terrible too.
I stomped all the way to the AP alchemist classroom. Just my luck. Why is it always me. I left wisps of shadows wherever I went, and try as I might, I could not get rid of them. Whatever.
Losing control of my talents, that's cool. Scared quite a few students running around the hallways, but you know. Typical Monday. I realized I didn't know what day it was.
Regardless, my schedule remained unchanged.
I waited, pushing myself against the exterior wall of the classroom, out of sight from the viewpoint of the door.
I snapped my fingers, and a small ball of fire appeared in my palm. Better than nothing. I waited for five minutes, using the precious time to shape my ball of fire into something else.
I sent a quick prayer to any deity watching, then cloaked the fire in my hand with a few stray shadows.
I let my hair down, and straightened my posture, plastering a smile on my face. The bell rang, its shrill sound barraging my ears.
I heard the familiar noisiness of students rushing to leave the classroom, and stepped aside as the door swung open. They poured out like a flood.
I suppose it must have been a double class, because about thirty people left. Better for my camouflage, far worse for finding people.
I searched the cloud, wishing I had the gift of flight. Jackson was not there, of course, the little coward, probably hiding in his room. But I did spot who I was looking for.
I'm sure by now we all know who it is. Or maybe not. I suppose a lot of people hate me.
Anyhow, it was Maven.
The little rat bastard had taken the spell courses, since it was one; good for his application for uni, and two, water, like all elements, is extremely pliable under spells.
For most people it was just a load of extra work they didn't want or need.
I tensed, waiting for most people to drizzle into their respective corridors, as I casted a shadow-albeit a sloppy one-over myself.
It was enough that if you casually looked over, you might not see me, but if your gaze hovered there it was quite clearly me.
It was enough. I managed to shadow Maven all the way to his old dorm, before he too, had been moved to the Science Wing. But apparently had not been stopped from going to classes.
Irritation flicked through me, which was apparently all the courage I needed to launch myself at him, my shadow disguise peeling off me as I went.
He turned around right before I hit him, as if he knew something was wrong.
A shield started to spring up around him, but there was no use, I had already pushed him into the wall, a blade of my own fire pressed against his neck. He sputtered slightly, then saw the fire.
He slowly closed his eyes, his skin turning ever so slightly pale. I could see the blackened veins on his wrists. My work. And I was about to hurt him more. I wavered for a second, unsure.
But the taste of the potion on my lips, the soft glow of the murky green snapped me back to reality, the desperate need stronger than ever.