Kimberly sat on the school bus on the way to a new school that had just opened for people like her. All around her, children of all ages, from seven to seventeen, were talking madly about what they had that made them so special. Many spoke of wolves, bears, rhinoceroses and whales, but Kimberly did not speak; they did not need to know what she could become.

All of the children on that bus had a special ability to become animals; they did not do so at will until much later, but Kimberly was seventeen and had mastered the ability twelve years ago. She did not want to go to this new school because they claim to help the children cope with the ability and learn how to use it at will. However, due to her parents' insisting, she went out of spite. Now she was surrounded by children like her, showing off their amazing talent.

Right beside her sat an eight-year-old girl with tears trickling down her face. As much as she wanted to see what was wrong, Kimberly kept her nose out of joint; it was the kid's business, not hers. She did notice that she was a very pretty young girl, with short, curly black hair and small brown eyes. She wore a cute pink dress, and had a white hair band.

But then, a kid in front of them turned around to face the girl, seeing that she was crying. "Hey, kid, why're you crying?"

The little girl jumped, and she suddenly became a pink pig. The tears stopped coming, but Kimberly heard, "I-I d-don't want t-to b-be here…"

"Geez…what a crybaby…"

Kimberly glared at the ten-year-old. "Hey, knock it off," she said curtly. The kid turned away, sinking back into his seat. She looked at the pig. "Are you all right?"

The pig became the girl, and she shook her head, tears trickling down her face again. "I-I c-can't s-stop becoming a-animals…M-mommy and D-daddy made me c-come…"

"Don't worry…It's going to be okay, I promise." When she did not look up, Kimberly smiled and began to shrink, becoming a little white weasel. The girl looked at her, and Kimberly climbed up onto her shoulders, tickling her. "You won't be alone here, all right?" the seventeen-year-old said as the eight-year-old laughed.

"Okay," the little girl said once she could speak. When Kimberly became herself sitting beside her, the girl said, "T-thank you."

Kimberly smiled. "You're welcome. What's your name? I'm Kimberly."

"My name's Rylee." Rylee looked at Kimberly, and said, "Can I call you Kimmi?"

"Of course." Kimberly smiled some more. "Listen, if others try to mess with you, come find me; I'll make sure that they stop."

"Okay, Kimmi…thank you."

The bus stopped at the ramp of the new school. Everyone ran out of the bus, becoming animals to get into the school. Kimberly had Rylee wait for the others to leave before they got off themselves. As soon as they got off, Rylee suddenly shrank, becoming a bluebird. She sighed sadly, and said, "Not again."

She could not fly, not knowing how. Deciding to help, Kimberly said, "Hold on…" She, too, shrank, but not as much, and became a Przewalski's horse. "Here, climb on."

Rylee hopped onto her nose, slowly making her way to her back. "Does that hurt you, Kimmi?"

"No, it doesn't; you're fine." Seeing that the doors of the school were all different to help the students, Kimberly approached, seeing that they opened automatically, as well.

All around them were students and animals talking amongst each other. Kimberly could feel Rylee tremble as she suddenly became human. "Kimmi, I don't like it here…"

"It'll be okay; I'll be here for you," the seventeen-year-old replied. "Let's go find out what to do."

As she continued in between a few tables, she heard people snickering at them both. Kimberly ignored them. They haven't met a scared eight-year-old, she thought. If they bother Rylee, they'll have me to answer to.

"Well now…" said a seventeen-year-old boy surrounded by others around his age. A sixteen-year-old girl was leaning against him, sniggering along with everyone else. "It looks like someone's helping out a fraidy cat." Rylee looked away, tears forming in her eyes. "Oh, it looks like she's a crybaby, too."

Kimberly glared at him. "Hey, butt out," she said. To Rylee, she said, "Don't listen to him; he's a nobody."

"What did you call me?" the boy asked.

He and his group made his way toward her, scaring Rylee even more. She leaned against Kimberly's neck, trembling some more. "K-Kimmi…"

"Back off," Kimberly said curtly to the boy.

"Why should I?"

Rylee slid off of Kimberly as she became human. "Because if you don't, you'll have me to worry about, and I've been known around my area to blow up on people who mess with me or my friends." She glared right at the boy's eyes, and he finally backed off with the other boys following. She looked at Rylee and said, "C'mon, Rylee."

The little girl stayed close to her as she made her way to a group of adults blocking students from leaving the cafeteria. "Excuse me, we were wondering what we'll be doing at this point in time."

"For now, you'll be staying here," replied a woman. "In a little bit, you all will be moving to a classroom. All of the age groups have been separated, so none of the older ones can bother the younger ones."

"All right, thanks."

They were about to leave, when Rylee asked, "Can Kimmi take me to my classroom so that no one does bother me?"

"Yes, of course," the woman replied kindly.

Kimberly moved away from the adults, and Rylee followed. She heard more students sniggering at them, and it took the majority of her strength to not go after them. If these guys keep on laughing at poor Rylee, I'll attack them, she thought.

Seeing how almost all of the student body made fun of them, Rylee looked at Kimberly and said, "Kimmi, if…if you don't want to be with me, I'll understand."

"No; I want to stay with you," the seventeen-year-old replied. "Just because they laugh at us doesn't mean that we should give into them. We've gotta show these guys that we're friends and nothing—not even laughing at us—will change our minds."

Rylee smiled, before she suddenly shrank again, becoming a small red cocker spaniel dog. "Oh…" she said in annoyance. "Come on…"

Kimberly gently picked the girl up. "Don't worry; this will stop soon."

At that moment one of the adults announced on the intercom, "Attention students, you all are released to go to class. Students twelve years old and younger go to the front of the school; all others go to the back."

Kimberly looked up as everyone filed out of the cafeteria. "I'll take you to class, Rylee."

Finding where the eight-year-olds were going to be, she took the eight-year-old to the classroom, finding the teacher standing right outside. "My dear, I think you're at the wrong end of the building," she said kindly.

"Oh, I was bringing a friend of mind here," Kimberly replied, placing Rylee on the floor before she became herself. "I'll find you when I can, all right, Rylee?"

The girl nodded. "Thanks, Kimmi."

Kimberly made her way to her class, finding that, unfortunately, the bullies were also in the same room. Joy, she thought sarcastically. I've got the idiots…

As she sat down in the front of the room, the boy that spoke before approached her. "I just want to say that…"

"Don't talk to me," she cut him off curtly. "Unless you're telling me that you're going to apologize to Rylee…"

"Apologize? I was gonna tell you that I forgive you."

"Forgive me for what?"

"You went off on me, but I forgive you. I was only messing with the kid, it wasn't like…"

Kimberly had had enough of the boy. She stood and turned on him. "That kid is scared out of her wits! She can't control her transformations and doesn't know why others can; she was thrown into this school without any explanation from her parents. She doesn't need people like you to scare her even more."

"I was only…"

"No; no more excuses! You continue to mess with her, and I'll mess with you, and you don't want me to mess with you."

The boy was about to respond when the teacher entered the class and the bell rang. "All right everyone; in your seats now." Both of them obeyed along with the rest of the class. "I'm sure you all are wondering why you're all sent here. You have this ability unlike anyone else; you need to know how to use it properly. Now for the roll call…" He looked at a clipboard on his podium. "All right now…Jason Alexander?"

"Here," said a boy next to Kimberly.

"Kaitlyn Campbell?"

"Here," said a girl near Jason.

"Logan Carter?"

"Here, sir," said the boy in the back. Kimberly looked to see that it was the very boy she had already despised.

"Daniella Gonzales?"

"Here," said a girl behind Kimberly.

"Kimberly Howard?"

"Here," Kimberly said.

After roll had been called, the teacher put the clipboard away and began to hand out papers to the class. "I'm Mr. Brooks; every morning, you're to come here for your daily assignment. You'll find that this school is quite different from your old ones. One thing, you've seen I'm sure, is that children of all ages are here attending here." The class began to talk; Kimberly stayed silent. "Quiet, everyone! Now, the rules are as follows—when moving from class to class, you're free to use your ability, but only smaller animals. You can't use your larger animals, like bears or rhinos. Don't use your abilities against other students. We don't need a whole infirmary filled with injured students because of horns or teeth. Do not bother the younger children; they're scared enough and don't need to be even more so.

"Now, when the principal comes onto the intercom, you'll be moving to one classroom; in that classroom, you'll be learning all of your core classes—math, English, social studies, and science. After lunch, you'll be going to the gyms for your ability practices and P.E. towards the end. Understand?"

"Yes, sir," some of the class members said.

"Good; now…"

The intercom went off, and the principal said, "Good morning, students; welcome to your first day of school. I'm your principal, Dr. Wilson, and I'm pleased to have you all here with us. Hopefully, you all are getting the information you need from your teachers, because soon we're going to be heading to your first half of the day. Please enjoy yourselves here."

Everyone was given their room number—across the main hallway, but still in the back of the building. I may not even see Rylee until lunchtime, Kimberly thought. I hope that she's doing all right.