A/N: I'm really tired today and I'm having trouble putting together sentences that make sense. Probably not a good idea to be writing, but oh well. Someday I'll go back and rewrite all this, but for now… just don't mind any sentences that sound a little strange, ok? ;)

Reviews:

Danica Blake – Awesome, you think the plot is interesting! Yeah the chapter are short, I do that mostly on purpose because lots of people get bored when the chapters are long and stop reading. Yes, Rochelle needs much more description, I agree. I haven't done very well on the descripitve parts in this story. I'll try to add more of what she's thinking. Thanks so much for reviewing!!

Kalista Turner – Crows? Oh, I had crows in the chapter! Forgot that. Oops… repetitive now. Dang it!! I should've done seagulls or something last time. Not saying more now ;). Hey I've posted so now you must give me a longer review! Haha! Just kidding. Thanks for reviewing!


Chapter Five: Crows

The rest of the day passed quickly for Rochelle, and soon it was time to go home. She was still curious who those people were who had come to the school. As she walked home, she was still wondering over it when she realized a group of people at the corner she was approaching was the same group who had been in the office earlier.

Rochelle stepped off the sidewalk and continued on her way, hidden behind a row of tall bushes. When she was right on the other side of the bushes from the people on the corner, she stopped and listened, peering through a tiny gap in the branches.

The group looked completely normal at first glance, just a bunch of teenagers hanging out after school.

"Does anyone have the knife?" asked a girl with bright red hair. She shifted slightly, and Rochelle caught a glimpse of her eyes. They were dark red.

The boy next to her laughed. "I got it. Wasn't too hard when they were that shocked." He had cheerful green eyes that stood out against almost-black hair.

"How are you planning on finding her again, though?" a curly brown-haired girl pointed out.

There was a short silence, in which Rochelle was tempted to jump out and say something that would make them all look like idiots, but she decided it wouldn't be a good idea. (And she couldn't think of anything to say, either.)

Finally the redhead spoke up again, "We'll find her some other way. It wouldn't do any good to show up at her front door, 'cause we'd only scare her…"

Scare me? Thanks a lot for thinking I can get scared that easily, Rochelle thought, irritated. Amazingly, she still kept her silence and stayed hidden.

The girl with brown hair suggested, "Maybe we could put a letter somewhere she'd find, like on the doorstep just before she got home. Then we wouldn't surprise her, and we could give her warning that we'd be showing up soon."

Or maybe next time you could tell me what the heck is going on before showing up with a knife. Rochelle laughed silently. These people were so clueless about how to get someone a message.

"I wish Andy had given us some ideas. He's the one who knows what would convince her and what wouldn't," the red-haired one complained.

Startled, Rochelle wondered if that meant she could trust them. But they might know about Andy, even if he didn't send them. They could've heard somehow about him being thought dead… Her first impression was that their wasn't much chance of them knowing about Andy by accident, but she still wasn't going to completely throw away caution.

"Well he didn't have a whole lot of time," the boy said fairly. "He had to hurry after he realized she'd found out she had Magic."

Are they still talking about me? What's this about magic? Maybe he means that weird thing where I heard things people weren't saying… Is that magic?

At least now she was a little more certain they were sent by Andy. She guessed the "magic" mentioned here meant her hearing those odd things. If they were sent by Andy, she should go with them, which meant leaving her hiding place. She was still a little unsure, though….

Finally she decided she couldn't pass up this chance.

"What were you doing at the school earlier?" Rochelle asked, stepping out from behind the bushes. Since there were tons of people around, mostly kids walking home from school, she figured she was safe enough.

Everyone jumped or twitched. The redhead asked in amazement, "How long have you been there?!"

"For a while. Since you asked about the knife. Speaking of the knife, can I see it for a moment?" she asked. The boy nodded and handed it to her.

It was exactly the same as the one in her dream. Even the runes looked identical, as far as Rochelle could tell. Just to be sure, she asked them, "How exactly did you get this?"

"Andy said you'd been reading people's minds, and wanted us to come get you. He said you'd recognize the dagger, that he'd somehow shown it to you," the brown-haired girl explained.

"He did." Rochelle continued examining the knife until she was completely sure there were no differences. It was unbelievable that her dreams had been real. "So what are you doing now that I'm here?"

"We're going to Kallashen," the boy answered.

"Intro's first. I'm Shana," the red-head told Rochelle. "This is Anna," she nodded at the brown-haired girl, "and Arden," the dark-haired boy. "Obviously you're Rochelle."

"What's Kallashen?" Rochelle asked, curious.

"We should wait till we get there to explain," Anna spoke up. "Someone might hear us here. It'd be easier for you to believe it when you can see it, anyway."

Hating to ask so many questions and sounding like a curious little child, Rochelle had to wonder, "How are we getting there?"

Shana looked around and, seeing so many people on the sidewalks within earshot, said, "For the first part, walking. We're not walking the whole way, but we need to get someplace easier to leave…"

Rochelle didn't know what that meant, but she followed them anyways as they headed off down the sidewalk. They chatted as they walked, mostly asking Rochelle questions about her life.

"Do you have any idea why those people freaked out about the knife earlier?" Shana looked honestly clueless.

"Yeah, they thought you were planning on killing someone with it or something. Almost no one carries weapons around, and especially not in school, so you did look pretty suspicious. I was worried too, at first," Rochelle admitted. These people seemed fairly nice, at least nicer than a lot of kids she'd met at school.

"Told ya," Anna muttered.

" 'Scuse me?" said Shana, offended.

"You don't remember me telling you not to show anyone the knife but Rochelle?"

"Er… no, not really…"

Anna rolled her eyes and told Rochelle, "If you ever need her to remember something, make sure she writes it on her forehead… then she might remember."

"Hey, I'm not that bad!" exclaimed Shana. When Anna was suspiciously silent, she attempted to whack her over the head. Anna ducked out of the way and laughed.

The rest of the walk passed similarly. Soon they came to a forest and slipped in between the trees. Once out of sight, Anna stopped and turned to Rochelle with a serious expression.

"Are you good at believing unbelievable things?" she asked.

Rochelle frowned, puzzled. "No idea. Why?"

"We're… different than most people. Have you ever heard of shapeshifters or changelings in stories?"

"Of course. They're awesome."

"Thank you."

"What?" asked Rochelle blankly. "Why are you saying thanks?"

Anna took a deep breath. "Because we're shapeshifters."

"Uh-huh." She was sure Anna was kidding her.

"I'm serious. Look." She held out her hand, which was beginning to change. After a moment her arm ended in something like a raccoon's paw. Rochelle's jaw dropped.

Turning her hand back to normal, Anna explained, "We can do it a lot faster, but I thought it'd be easier to see it slower first." She grinned. "Do you believe me now?"

Shocked, Rochelle didn't say anything.

"Well, it's how we're traveling, anyway," Shana cut in, sounding impatient to get moving.

"What do you mean?" Rochelle asked.

For answer, Shana suddenly grew huge reddish-brown wings. "We're flying."

"But I can't shapeshift!"

"I know. We can do more than change ourselves, you know," Shana said, like it was really obvious. "We're able to make other people or things change form, too."

More than a little nervous, Rochelle clarified, "So you're doing that on me?"

"Yep. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe," Anna assured her, reading her expression correctly.

Sighing, Rochelle nodded. "Fine, then. What'll I turn into?"

"Whatever kind of bird you want. It has to blend in, though, so no bald eagles or anything," laughed Shana.

"How about a crow?"

Anna nodded. "Sure. You ready?"

"Yeah."

Anna got a concentrating look on her face. A moment later, Rochelle cringed as she felt herself shrinking and changing. The part that felt the weirdest was when feathery wings sprouted out of her shoulders and her arms disappeared. Within two seconds, she was fully a crow.

With a crow's hearing, Shana's voice sounded very strange as she said, "The crow's instincts'll tell you how to fly. Just don't stress about it and you'll do fine."

Soon the three shapeshifters were also birds. Shana was a blue jay, Anna was a blackbird, and Arden was a small hawk. They took off, circling above the trees as they waited for Rochelle to catch up.

At first, Rochelle panicked, having no clue how to fly. She spread her wings and wondered what to do next—jump, or just take off? Either way, once she was in the air she'd probably crash back down.

Suddenly she felt an idea in her mind that wasn't her own. The idea was telling her to calm down, that she could fly if she let the crow fly. How the heck it got in her mind, she couldn't say. But it was there, and she couldn't ignore it. She tried, of course, to disbelieve it and push it out of her mind, but it wouldn't let her.

Finally she gave in. It was simple, really, once she stopped thinking about it and just took off. She was astonished when she didn't collide with any branches on the way up, but she joined the shapeshifters with no problems. They rose higher and began flying towards wherever/whatever Kallashen was.


A/N: Hmm, lame ending, but it's almost midnight and I've very exhausted and braindeadfrom having so much homework lately... which is also the reason that as usual it's taken me ages to update.

Wow, five chapters! That's probably the longest an original story has gone! And that's a good sign for those of you who want me to finish this story someday. (Good luck to you… hehe just kidding.)

Thanks for reading another chapter! Review please and I'll jump off the ceiling all day long!