|The Mortal Guardians
Author: NectarAndGold PM
The Greek Gods lose their immortality and must find twelve mortals to help them get it back. First stop: the prestigious high school Fallon Academy. (Olympians and mortals must unite)Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 5 - Words: 16,368 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 04-06-13 - Published: 01-30-13 - id: 3096883
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter One of The Mortal Guardians! Sorry, this is a bit rough, but hopefully I'll get better as I keep writing. Constructive criticism is welcomed because I want to make this the best it can possibly be. Thanks for reading :)
First days of school suck.
First days of new schools suck even more. Or so Jonah thought. He walked past the teeming school grounds filled with anxious freshman, exhausted upperclassmen and teachers flipping through graded papers. Everyone was enjoying the free time they had before the bell rang.
They weren't that much different from the students from his old school Jonah thought. Except maybe the fact that most of these kids were walking banks.
He felt a bit out of place.
Entering the school building, Jonah's shoes squeaked against the marble floors. He walked into the main office, trying to push aside the nervous knot in his stomach.
"Ummmm, excuse me?"
The front desk lady had her ear against the phone and was jotting down notes.
"What?" the receptionist said irritably, not taking her eyes off of her pad of paper. Wow, someone didn't get her coffee today.
"I'm new here." No answer. "Uh, my name is Jonah Harper."
"Can't you see I'm working here?" snapped the receptionist. "Go wait outside until I finish."
He wondered if she usually drank decaf.
Jonah's shoulders slumped. He expected there to be a waiting room but there wasn't. Instead he had to sit out in the hallway.
Then something caught his eye. Well, it was more like some people caught his eye.
A group of girls were walking down the hallway. They seemed like your standard clique group except Jonah had a feeling that they were a lot more exclusive. Whenever one of them moved, the rest of them moved as if they were synchronized. All of them wore Fallon's uniform: dark gray skirts with black stockings, the V-neck sweater, and navy blue ties; but on each of their wrists they wore a silver charm bracelet. Shiny charms of the moon and bow and arrows dangled from the bracelet. Jonah thought they might be a sorority or something (Could they even have those in high school?). Each girl was pretty, Jonah thought, such as the one with the braid and striking green eyes, or the blond princess-like girl who stood tall and proud.
But one stood out above all others.
She was shorter than the rest, and more delicate with silky skin and an elegant face. Her dark hair was in a ponytail and her eyes were a weird color—like the color of the midnight moon. The girl's expression was full of authority and the rest of the girls followed behind her as if she was a queen or something.
Jonah held his breath as he watched her walk by. He had a sudden desire to run up to her.
The girl caught his eye and flashed a look of loathing. Jonah knew that was code for: Let's hangout after school today. He threw her a smile.
Shaking her head disgustedly, the girl averted her attention elsewhere. Jonah's smile grew wider. A hard fish to catch? He was up for the challenge!
"You can come in now," the receptionist said as she poked her head into the hallway.
Jonah snapped back into reality. "Huh?"
"You can talk to the principal now."
"Oh . . . cool." Jonah got up and went into the office, his mind still on the girl though.
"So Mr. Harper," the principal began as soon as Jonah entered her office. Jonah thought she sounded like she had a nasal congestion. "I am pleased to welcome you to Fallon Academy. My name is Principal Reinhard. Here we not only strive to reach our academic best, but also become the best person we can be. This school is college preparatory so all of the classes are very challenging." As she glanced at a sheet of paper her glasses slid down her nose. "I warn you that we take things very seriously here; if you have had any ah . . . issues, in the past, please talk to me or one of the teachers. We have a reputation to protect and if any student threatens it . . ."
Jonah frowned. He hoped that she gave this lecture to all the new students.
"Anyway, here is your schedule," she handed him a sheet of paper, "And you'll get your ID in a few days."
Suddenly the door opened and an elfish looking guy came in. "Hey," he said. "You called?"
"Yes. Mr. Harper, this is Mr. . . ."
"Yes, Mr. Mayer. Mr. Mayer this is Jonah Harper." Jonah inspected the guy. He had pointed ears, messy brown hair, a wide smile, and a slim build which reminded Jonah of a track athlete. "He has gladly stepped in while our current Student Council President, David, is out sick. He will show you around the school and help you find your first class."
"Nice to meet you," the student grinned and held out a hand. "Herman Mayer at your service." Jonah shook his hand, not sure what to think.
"Very well, off you go you two." And Principal Reinhard led them out of her office.
Minutes later Jonah was following Herman to East Wing. Herman was chatty, but Jonah liked that. It made him feel comfortable. He was having a great time talking about sports (though he played none) to films (yes, he was sort of film geek) to girls (secretly wanting to learn more about the girls he saw earlier).
Suddenly Herman's phone rang. Checking the screen a dark shadow fell across his face. He turned to Jonah and said, "Sorry. I really need to take this." He pressed the cell phone against his pointed ear, dropping his voice into a whisper.
Jonah had a tendency to eavesdrop; he subtly leaned in, hoping to catch a few words. Nothing that important. He only picked out 'Chinese cuisine.'
"Well, I apologize for that," Herman said seconds later. As he put his phone away Jonah saw a weird symbol on the back. It was a stick with two snakes winding around it. What was it called? Something that started with a 'c' . . .
"Watcha' looking at buddy?" Though Herman said it with good humor, Jonah thought he saw something flash in the elf guy's eyes.
Herman studied the new kid with narrow eyes. Jonah found it a bit creepy and wondered if Herman was going to yell at him. In the end all Herman said was a good-natured, "Okay."
They continued in silence, Herman showing Jonah around the school, though no more laughter rang the hallways as it had minutes before. Jonah glanced at Herman. He figured the guy was a senior, the nice kind; Herman was comfortable with newcomers and didn't seem to mind hanging out with the lower grades. He also knew the school really well. But Jonah had had terrible luck with upper classmen. At his old school all the seniors would mess around; trash canning kids, spray painting the walls, forcing students to eat the gum from underneath the table. Jonah had been victim to many of the senior jokes. He hoped that Fallon would be different.
Recently Jonah had moved from Minnesota to New York. It was pretty big transition considering the fact that Jonah came from a town of about two hundred and forty nine people.
About two and a half weeks ago he was getting ready to move in with his aunt and uncle. Both of his parents were in a hit and run (suspect not found yet) and died almost immediately. He spent some time with his neighbors but eventually his relatives claimed custody. Jonah hardly knew his aunt and uncle; he could barely remember their names.
Settling into his relatives' apartment was the easy part. He didn't bring much: clothes, toiletries, a couple of books and movies, and a photograph of his parents. What was difficult was talking to his relatives, at least trying part was. They completely ignored him. The uncle—Jonah was pretty sure his name was Tim—was a lawyer and the aunt—her name Jonah didn't know—was a fashion designer. They had no time for him.
And Jonah wasn't used to that. Coming from such a small place, where everybody knew everyone, Jonah wasn't used to having so much privacy and so much alone time.
The school too, Fallon was a completely different environment. Obviously this was the kind of school for the kids who had money, or brains, or both. The building was an enormous size: it could hold up to four thousand kids! It had three gymnasiums, four Olympic sized pools, two auditoriums, a luxurious cafeteria, and a stable. Jonah had never seen all of those things in one school before.
"Well, that is the East Wing of Fallon," Herman announced as he finished the tour. Jonah gagged, only the East Wing? "Here's your first hour class. What is it? Chemistry?"
Jonah stared at his schedule. "Ummm . . . I think."
Herman leaned in, squinting to see the fine print. "Yeah, you have Mr. Beauregard. Huh, heard he's pretty good. Anyway, I'll see you after the bell. You'll need help finding your next class—that's in the West section." Herman grinned. "It was nice meeting you Harper."
"Uh, yeah . . . Thanks for everything Herman," Jonah said.
"No problemo dude." Jonah was about to turn and go into the classroom when Herman put a hand on his shoulder, his voice dropping into a grave tone and the dark shadow overcoming his face again. "Oh, and Jonah, I'd be careful if I were you. You never know what lurks in these hallways."
During class Herman's strange advice still nagged Jonah's mind. What a weird thing to say. Jonah wasn't sure what Herman meant, but if he was referring to fights Jonah already knew to steer clear of those. A boy with his frame which kindly resembled a twig, he knew he didn't stand a chance.
"Mr. Harper I presume?" a low voice asked. Jonah blinked. He realized that a man who eerily resembled Uncle Sam's cousin was staring directly at him.
"Uh, yeah, that's me."
"Hmm," Mr. Beauregard said, inspecting the new student with careful eyes. Jonah tried to avoid direct eye contact and felt like one of the teacher's specimen. "Class," Mr. Beauregard announced loudly. "We have a new student joining us all the way from . . . Where are you from?"
"Minnesota," Jonah said quietly.
"Minnesota!" The teacher said this like he was trying to get the class enthused but no one shared any of his excitement. "His name is Jonah Harper." Everyone stared at Jonah in mild surprise. Jonah figured it was rare for a fresh face to start during the middle of the school year—with Fallon's status it probably wasn't even allowed.
Mr. Beauregard clapped his hands together once all of the other students went back to their usual business. "Well, we're doing a lab today. You'll be paired with . . ." Jonah followed Mr. Beauregard's gaze across the classroom. "You'll be paired with Bach."
Jonah stifled a laugh. Bach? What kind of poor kid was stuck with that name?
Mr. Beauregard called over Jonah's lab partner; the guy had black, almost a shadowy violet, curly hair and wore a T-shirt with a panther on it and sweatpants. He was slow, taking him time to reach the new student and the teacher. Jonah reckoned Bach was extremely lazy.
"What's going on Teach?" Bach slurred his words together as if he wasn't entirely awake.
"Bach, this is Jonah Harper. He will be your lab partner today."
Bach didn't say anything.
"I see. Welcome to Fallon Academy," Bach said. Jonah noticed that his voice was slightly alert as if he were expecting danger.
"Time for the lab," Mr. Beauregard said excitedly. He gave Jonah a handout with the procedure and other stuff for the lab. "Today we're dealing with magnesium; we're going to heat it. Have you done this lab before? No? Here put on these safety goggles . . . got them on? Good. Anyway, we are . . ."
Jonah squirmed. He found it hard to pay attention to the teacher. Jonah was pretty sure his ADHD kicked in but he guessed that a new school was also just overwhelming for his head. His thoughts bounced around. He thought about Herman, he thought about the super-hot girl with the moon eyes, he thought about how Bach looked like he might fall asleep at any moment. Mr. Beauregard's voice seemed so distant now.
Jonah jerked back into reality. "What? Yeah." Mr. Beauregard nodded and went to the other lab groups to see how they were doing.
Jonah turned to Bach and asked, "What are we supposed to do?"
Great way to start off the first day, Jonah thought. He glanced around to the other groups. Most of the students ran things somewhat smoothly. A guy yelped when he touched the extremely hot crucible. A few other kids accidentally burned themselves too. Many of the groups also had a hard time getting a good grip with the tongs on the crucible.
Only one guy had no trouble. He was massive like a giant with broad shoulders and a ripped body. Greasy strands of black hair were out of place and dangled over his misshapen face, he had a mop-like beard that Jonah found a bit intimidating (Jonah hadn't even started shaving), and dark piercing eyes. Jonah wondered if he was held back for a few years, he certainly looked like it. The guy worked silently with grace—well as much grace as a guy that big could. The fire didn't seem to faze him, in fact, a couple of times the giant touched the scorching crucible and didn't even flinch.
"Dang, look at that dude go," Jonah said to himself. Bach glanced at the new student but didn't say anything.
"I suppose we should start too," Bach said, his slothful tone coming back in his voice.
"I suppose . . ." Jonah continued to watch the giant, awe and fear crawling beneath his skin. The giant noticed Jonah staring but didn't give it a second thought. He shrugged and continued to work on the lab.
Jonah and Bach walked over to a lab station, neither of them looking excited to do the lab. Lighting the Bunsen burner Jonah felt uneasy being around the flame. In truth, he was terrified of fire. He was told that when his parents died the car went ablaze, casting the night sky into a glow. With the impact of the crash and the fire, there was no way his parents could've survived. When the police found the bodies they were burnt to a crisp.
"Hey, watch it!" Bach chided Jonah.
"Don't be so absent-minded!" Bach scowled. "You almost burned my hand!"
"Oh, s-sorry," Jonah mumbled only to receive an eye-roll from Bach. Definitely not a good first day, he thought to himself. He fumbled around with the tongs, desperately trying to divert his attention elsewhere. A lack of belonging crept up Jonah. He knew he didn't belong here. He knew that others didn't want him here.
"Ahem. Hello, burning magnesium at twelve o'clock," Bach interrupted Jonah's thoughts.
"Mr. Harper, put the lid on the crucible! Now!" Mr. Beauregard yelled. The teacher rushed over to the lab table and shut the Bunsen burner off, then following through he slammed the lid on top of the crucible. Everyone was staring at Jonah.
"Mr. Harper," Mr. Beauregard said breathing heavily. "Please pay attention to the lab and not doze off to daydream land." The teacher heaved a sigh of irritation, no sympathy present. "Due to disobeying the lab rules I'll have to punish you. You are suspended from the next five labs. Please make your way over to the far corner so I can give you a worksheet to work on."
Jonah felt his face heat up as his fellow classmates started snickering. Bach couldn't contain his amusement and burst out laughing; more kids joined in the rambunctious noise. The only student who didn't find any hilarity in Jonah's mistake was the giant. He hardly paid any attention to the new student and Jonah said a silent thanks. At least one person didn't laugh at his embarrassment.
Chemistry had dragged on for what seemed like forever. Finally when the bell rang Jonah ran out of the classroom. His blood was still heated from the humiliation at the lab. As Jonah stepped into the hallway he bumped into several students. Muttering apologies left and right Jonah was about to give up trying to fight through traffic when he heard his name be called.
"Jonah!" Herman said cheerfully as he jogged up to the boy. "I see you survived the first period of the day. Make any friends?"
"Not really," Jonah mumbled.
"Don't sweat it, I'm sure by the end of the day you'll be loaded with friends. I remember my first day of school: track team, lunch, pranks. All that good stuff. What's your next class?"
Reluctantly pulling out his schedule Jonah glanced at the print. "Uh, Algebra 2."
"Yuck, I hate math. Too much thinking. Actually I'm in the same class as you," Herman said, his face slightly flushed. "Didn't do so hot in Algebra or Geometry and barely passed either of them. But who needs math anyway? Am I right?" Jonah nodded. "The math hall is in the West Wing and we'll have to walk up three flights of stairs so we better get moving."
Jonah was a bit relieved that he had Herman by his side again; it was nice to have a familiar face. And he was happy that the senior would be in next class too. If they were going to suffer the horrors of math, might as well suffer together.
As they continued down the hallway, some guy who looked like a movie star walked past Jonah and Herman and shot them a smile. "Hey Herman," the guy called out. "Who's the pet?"
"Paul," Herman acknowledged. "This happens to be my new partner in crime, you're fired."
"No one could ever replace me," Paul teased. "You better watch out," he told Jonah. "I'm going to get my spot back."
Jonah wasn't sure how to respond. "I'm sorry?"
"Don't apologize," Herman said. "Paul, Jonah is going to knock your socks off. Just you wait."
"Fine, I'll be waiting to be impressed." Paul challenged, his eyes focused on Herman. Then he turned right and disappeared into another swarm of students.
"Don't mind Paul," Herman informed Jonah. "Some days we're friends and other days we're rivals."
Making their way to the first staircase of many, a picture caught Jonah's eye. It wasn't hard to miss. The picture was big and glossy with eight students side by side. Jonah discerned Herman grinning broadly, the girl he was crushing, Bach, the Paul-person, and the giant from Chemistry. Only Herman and Paul looked happy. Admitting silently to himself, apart from the giant—and perhaps Bach—all of the other students were very good-looking. Beneath the picture there was a small plaque that read: Special Thanks to (left to right) Herman Mayer, Paul Archer, Diana Archer, Henry Forge, Bach Crowne, Aron Forge, Alyssa Dove and Minerva King for their generous donation of the new West Wing, 2012.
Okay, Jonah thought, so these kids were like, super rich. Rich enough to donate an entire new wing. Before moving to New York the most money Jonah had ever had was a few couple hundred dollars, and now he was walking among kids who were up to their necks in Benjamins.
Jonah stared at the picture some more. Looking closer, Jonah noticed something on the teenagers' collarbone. It was a strange mark; it was light and Jonah had to squint to be able to see clearly. But it was there. The mark was a strange symbol . . . like a Greek letter or something. Odd. More and more questions popped up in Jonah's mind. Who exactly were these kids?
"Earth to Jonah . . . Jonah . . . Harper, wake up!" Herman snapped his long fingers in front of Jonah's face. The kid blinked in surprise.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Is this normal for you? Zoning out?"
"Uh . . ."
"Never mind. We have two minutes to hike up about three more staircases. And trust me: you do not want to be tardy for Algebra 2. Mr. Riggs is merciless. Absolutely brutal." The elf guy glanced at Jonah and the new kid had a strange sensation that Herman was referring more than just being late to class. Taking off in a flash, Jonah did his best to follow Herman. But there was something about Herman that made Jonah want to hold back, to turn and runaway.
Jonah's mind reeled with questions and uncertainty. He knew something was up at Fallon Academy. He could feel it. He could sense there was something . . . powerful in the school. Like an ancient force waiting to be unleashed.
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