Author's Note:

My first attempt at writing a previously structured story as in a good part of this was planned out in my head beforehand; you see, usually I just write and see what comes out. Anyway, it may seem to be a slow start, but it'll get good. After all, it's about vampires, werewolves, pixies, wraiths, and high school kids. Should be fun. This is the first chapter. The prologue is still in the works and may be posted shortly if I don't scrap it all together.


Author's Summary:

Grove High School is a test case, a site for an experiment in the intermingling of humans and demons in public life. For, though demons have always been present in the world, now the majority human population is aware of their existence. Most of the community, though wary and scared of the outcome, are still willing to give it a chance. But then there are some people like Seth Hawkes, who are determined to make it fail. And just as there are people like Seth, there are people like Halo Spencer, who are determined to help it succeed.

So what's the best way to make something work your way?

Take out the opposing force's leader: either Halo, or Seth.

The only thing is, Halo has the demons on her side.


Chapter 1

Introduction

Grove High School had always been a particularly normal school as far as the word went. It won the average amount of football games, had the average type of school dances, and produced the average amount of average and above-average students. The only thing that made them different was the unavoidable presence of demons.

In most schools, demons existed solely in the figurative sense within the students—dishonesty, illegal activities, damaging secrets. In Grove High School, the demons existed physically as humans existed. They walked, they talked, they laughed, had friends, did homework, and were monitored meticulously by the National Department of Interspecies Relations, otherwise known as the DIR.

Of course, it had not always been this way; this year was the first. Encouraged by the somewhat success of the mingling of humans and demons in other schools across the nation, the government had introduced the 'experiment' into a handful of other schools the next school year, Grove High School being one of them. And, as expected and witnessed in the previous test cases, it was an idea that needed some time to get used to.

An anxious tension hovered over the campus grounds like a thick mist, affecting every corner and every person within distance. Moriah Canning could feel it swirling about her as she waited patiently on the front steps of the large brick building. Of all her years as Headmistress, she had never experienced a school-wide feeling of this intensity. She had noticed that even the faculty acted unusually edgy at the prospect of introducing seventeen students and one staff member, all non-human, into their school. Truth be told, she was a bit nervous herself. It was not every day that history was made.

She saw the row of identical black government vehicles approaching purposefully and she straightened her glasses, attempting to remember each face and name she had memorized over the summer vacation. Beside her stood the Deputy Headmaster Isaac Walter, the president of the school senior officers and several of his handpicked classmates consisting of officers, jocks, and the average student. All of them looked the physical mirror of the invisible mist; uneasy, anxious, worried.

"This should prove to be an interesting year," commented Walter under his breath so only she could hear him. Their student companions were all talking in low voices themselves, trying to keep their minds in check. "You've met this Bran Kelly already, haven't you?"

Canning watched as the cars came closer and turned up the tree-lined drive. "Yes, several times, actually. He is quite an agreeable gentleman."

Her friend made a derisive sound that she knew was not directed at her. "Agreeable or not, he's still a demon, and a vampire at that. I don't know, Moriah, parents just don't want their kids being taught by a man who drinks blood every night, you know that. You've read all those letters from the parents complaining about it. I mean, you have to understand where they're coming from. What's to prevent him from turning on us and attacking the students? It's in his nature to do so. The vampire kids—if you can call them kids—might be able to learn to control it in time, but…"

"I trust him completely, Isaac," said Canning slightly sharper than she intended. "I believe Bran Kelly will make an outstanding teacher. Just give him a chance. You will see."

Walter sighed but said nothing in response as the cars pulled up in front of the school. The talking around them stopped as the students around them stopped and watched the cars. Suited men and women proceeded from the vehicles first, followed by the rest of the cars' occupants. A large man with a shaven dome appeared to be the leader. He stood apart from the rest of the group, his sharp eyes scanning the perimeter, eventually focusing on the small group waiting for them at the doors to the school.

Canning watched with a vague sense of foreboding as the man signaled to his subordinates as their charges and led the way across the sidewalk, up the concrete steps, in front of her…

"Jed Whitney, representative for the President of the DIR," he said in a deep, emotionless voice, holding out his hand solemnly.

She took it gently and was unsurprised to feel the strength in his brief handshake. "Headmistress Moriah Canning, we spoke on the phone."

"Then you are aware of the precautions being taken to ensure the safety of all the students and staff who will be attending your institution this year and my position in relation to your school during this time?"

"Yes, I am quite aware."

"Very well, then. These are the seventeen students and your new staff member you see behind me. I believe you have already made an acquaintance with some of them over the summer holidays, and have been given files concerning each individual."

"Quite correct."

"Then I will allow you integrate them into your school today as you see fit. My people will be monitoring the hallways and classrooms. If you need to find me, ask any of them, they will know how and where to reach me."

"Thank you, Mr. Whitney."

He nodded and stood back, allowing her to step forward and address her new students. Immediately she spotted Bran Kelly, standing somewhat off to the side with his eyes closed and his face and form perfectly expressionless. Her watchful gaze picked out other faces in the group, some she had already met and some she only recognized from the files.

"Welcome to Grove High School," she said, her voice strong and warm. "I am the Headmistress Moriah Canning. You should all know the protocol expected from you at this school, and so I will not bore you with any of those particular details. After school I must ask you all to meet with me in the conference room—Mr. Whitney and his agents will show you where that is located. Now, these are the students who will be showing you to your classes. If you have any problems or concerns, feel free to come directly to me. Are there any questions?"

None of the seventeen answered. Bran Kelly had opened his eyes, but was staring at the ground, as if contemplating its importance. One of the boys, a senior vampire she knew to be named Danton Maddock, was conversing softly with a girl hidden from Canning's view behind one of the suited men. She watched them for several moments out of the corner of her eye as she scanned the rest of the faces.

"Then you are dismissed."

Canning went to stand by Walter as the human students, hesitantly at first, stepped forward to assist the new students with their schedules.

"Well Walter, that wasn't so bad."

He smiled grimly and looked up into the cloud-covered sky. "The day hasn't even started yet, Moriah. You wait. Just you wait."