Now, the story of my NaNoWriMo. I wrote about 40,000 words, which was quite an acomplishment for me. And then on new years day my laptop got wiped, and I lost the last 20,000 words, which hadn't been backed up. So, I'm going to upload it, and try to re-write what I lost, and, of course, then finish it. However, still being just a little bit heart-broken, it's been hard for me to find the motivation to get back to it. I want to get back writing it as soon as possible, so that I don't forget too much of what I lost, and am uploading it so that I don't have to worry about loosing it again.

The 'house' was a huge thing, with big cast iron gates, massive gardens and a marble fountain - and that was only what I could see from the front gate. This was apparently the Zephyrris family home, and I was going to be living here. I had never even heard of the Zephyrris family before, and I'd not expected my father, no matter how sick and tired of my 'God damned antics' he got, to send me off to live with my mother. She'd left when I was barely six months old, and I'd heard nothing of her, so this was more than a little unexpected. The fact that my father had had some contact with her after she left, without telling me, wasn't the stragest thing I'd learnt, and the house wasn't the strangest thing I'd seen, though it was providing a nice distraction.

In the front of the car, in the driver's seat, was what looked like a cross between a man and some sort of canine, and if I hadn't know better I may have thought he was some sort of genetic experiment. Of course, the problem there was that I wasn't sure whether I knew better or not. I had spent the entire car journey, which had been pretty long, staring at him, and so far he hadn't batted an eyelid. I could only assume it was normal for him to be stared at. Let me tell you, it wasn't normal for me to be staring at such a thing.

I had recently discovered that there was a whole world I didn't know about, and it wasn't people joking about the real world and my lack of contact with it, this time. Apparently, there is such thing as magick, and vampires and werewolves and pixies and magickal tap-dancing unicorns that shit out rainbows. Okay, I can't varify that last one, but this was a little wierd, even for me. From what I'd heard, my mother's family were mostly alchemists or 'scientists', though I use that latter term lightly, so at least it wasn't like I was a werewolf or something else where I wouldn't have a choice. Genetically, I'm human, and though I'm prone to some tinkering in the school science labs - something that, admittedly, got me expelled and sent away here - I'd hardly call myself a mad scientist.

When the gates opened, though I wasn't sure how, and mechanically seemed a little too normal for the situation, the car was driven into to grounds and stopped about halfway up the drive. I got out when the driver did, and went to get my stuff out of the boot, but was stopped. "I'll send somebody out for your stuff in a minute. Go inside." I was told. Not really much room for argument with that, so I walked up to the house. It was impressive, the sort of thing I would love to have been able to tell people at school belonged to my family, but looked as though it had been built a bit at a time, room by room, so in places it didn't match. Still, I was hardly going to complain about the decour when I was going to be living here, it would be impolite. I was dreading having to try to fit in with the upper classes.

I was led through the halls, every single one of which had at least one mirror on the wall, to what I was told was the living room. I wouldn't have been surprised had there been one person in the room to greet me and show me around, but I was not expecting as many as there were. People were lounging all over the sofas and chairs, and there were three people squeezed onto a chase lounge, lying over one another. A youngish looking man was lounging in an armchair, a pair of odd, animal-like people, similar to the one who'd driven me here, at his feet. All in all, I counted fourteen people, plus me and the driver, in the room. I wasn't sure whether they meant to welcome me or intimidate me.

The man who'd been sat on the armchair got up and made his way over to me, those two whatever-they-were following him. He held his hand out for me to shake and said, "Kalinnikov. Vladimir Kalinnikov. It's a pleasure to make your aquaitance." I shook his hand, what I can only expect was a really dumb expression on my face, and said the stupidest thing I could have: "You have a Yorkshire accent." There were sniggers and snorts from almost everyone in the room, and I felt like a right idiot when he said, "A Russian name does not a Russian make. Three generations my family have lived in England, and I don't speak a word of Russian, though my liver understands just fine. Now, I suppose you'll want showing around?"

I felt awkward, uncomfortable, and out of place, but at least he was friendly. However, before I had chance to accept his offer and get out of there, one of the women from the chase lounge walked over to me, the other two following. The first looked to be in her thirties, early or maybe mid, but no later, a blonde with a nice, hourglass figure. The other two were identical to each other and looked like younger versions of the first woman, a bit older than me. And this was probably my first real contact with anything female, though I was relatively sure they were relatives so it doesn't really count, and they still looked like they planned on killing me.

The elder of the three grabbed my chin when she reached me, turning my face from one side to another, inspecting me as though she were buying a showdog or something. "He looks like his father." she said, scornfully. I never thought that was that bad a thing; I mean, sure, he's not the best looking chap, and neither am I, but it could have been a whole lot worse. The two younger girls, who I could only assume were twins, just looked at each other and said, in perfect synch, "It must be christmas."

I hadn't a clue what that was supposed to mean, but bloody hell I had a bad feeling about that. And it made one of the... things growl. "Now, now, Zena. There's no need for that." Kalinnikov told her, patting her head. "Odd, she normally doesn't warm up to people so quickly. Perhaps you smell more like your mother..." he mused. Well, at least the mutants like me, if they are mutants. I wanted to ask what the hell they were but, since there were three of them in the room, that would be impolite. Perhaps when I got a moment alone with Kalinnikov without those things around I would ask him.

Those two twins were starting to scare me, as they were muttering between themselves, too quietly for me to hear. I've often learnt to be worried when people do that. I was grateful when someone else came over and banged both their heads together. Unfortunately, that meant I had more people to meet, and more names to remember. "Just ignore those two, they're barking. I'm jake, you're little sister. It's wonderful to finally meet you - but if you beat up my boyfriend, I'll do so much worse to you." I have a little sister? I think she could tell I was more than a little weirded out, because she laughed and told me, "Don't worry, you'll get used to this place, eventually."

Jake was kind enough to start giving me names, at least, and pointed everyone out for me. "Winston's the one who picked you up, he's usually in charge of keeping us kids out of trouble. Zena and Elis follow Vlad everywhere. He's a genetic scientist, Zena was his first mutant; his dad made Winston for us." she explained. Well, at least now I knew what they were. "The twins are Charlie and Claire, they're both crazy. And they're our cousins. And that was Aunty Pam who said you look like your dad. She's mum's sister.

"Kay and Julius are at the back. They're also cousins, but they're half elf. Kay's the blond, Julius the brunette. Those other twins are their cousins, pure elves. They're orphans so mum took them in. Whatever you do, don't let them loose with anything they can blow up. But other than that, they're cool." Jake paused for a moment, which allowed Julius time to say, "Just call me Fluffy," and for the twins to introduce themselves. "I'm Mátaenion." said the one on the left.

"And I'm Arsidhuil." said the other. For a moment, I tried to get my tongue around the names, though I would have had more of a chance of single-handedly training a team of chimpanzees to win the world cup, before, to my relief, Arsidhuil said, "Just call us Bob and Dave."

"If you can mannage to pronounce them right." added Mátaenion.

Well, that was most of the room introduced, at least. I was getting even more nervous as time passed, even though the elves seemed friendly enough, and Jake was nice, and Kalinnikov was alright, and although they were scaring the crap out of me the mutants hadn't ripped me to pieces yet, which was surely a good sign. Jake waved a hand somewhat dismissively at the other three, saying, "That's the butler, the chief maid and the head cook, you won't see much of the maid and cook, and the butler's usually getting run ragged by either the twins or the other twins. They're in here because they all know how to keep a secret. The other servents all now to butt their noses out."

Well, that was the last of it, and I was becoming more and more uncomfortable. The twins, Charlie and Claire as I recalled they were called, were muttering between themselves again, and my Aunty Pam didn't look much like she liked having me around. The female mutant had started sniffing at my leg, and it was freaking me out, and Winston, the one who'd driven me here, had vanished into thin air, though it was just as likely through the door. None of the servants said anything, or even looked up, and Jake looked like she was about to explode. "So, you want me to show you around?" she asked, grinning.

I was rescued by one of my apparent cousins, Kay, who cut in and said, "I think we should show him to his room, he probably needs a lie down." I could have kissed his feet when he said that. I think everybody could see my relief. Jake smiled, nodded, grinned at me and grabbed my wrist. "Come on, I'll show you. It's just up the stairs, on the second floor. This house is like a maze - but Betty'll make sure you don't get lost. I asked her myself." I didn't have a clue who Betty was, but I really hoped she had some semblance to normality. I was used to feeling out of place, but that was normally as the wierd one, not the only one with all my cogs screwed in just right.

"Who's Betty?" I asked nervously.

"Oh, she's the-" started Jake, but she was cut off by Kay as he led me out of the room and through the hall. "Don't worry about that just now, I'll explain about her in the morning."

"Oh, and mum's ill, she she'll be staying in her room until she's all better. Which may be a while, mind. And Jarrett's, well, he's just Jarrett. He's an anti-social bastard at best. And he's bossy. And he thinks he knows everything. And, this one time-" Once again, Jake was cut off by Kay. "That's quite enough, Jaqueline. Let him meet Jarrett for himself and then decide what he thinks." Jake pulled a face at him, and stuck her tongue out. "That's going to be an aweful while; you'll have to drag him out of his room, for one thing."

We finally did stop outside a room on the second floor, which I could only assume would be mine for my time here. The house really was built like a maze, and I was sure I was going to get lost more than once. Mostly, I was afraid of what I might stumble across. I opened the door to the room, and was more than happy to find it a rather simple, decent sized but not too big, room, with light blue walls and slightly darker blue carpet and curtains. I had a big double bed, which would be nice, and a pretty big wardrobe and dresser. There wasn't a TV in the room, but I wasn't about to complain. On the wall above the dresser, which I would be facing lying in my bed, was a very, very big mirror.

Thankfully, my stuff had already been put in my room, each bag on my bed, so unpacking would provide a welcomed distraction. Kay pushed something into my hand, which, on inspection, appeared to be a red button in a small, clear plastic box. "Press it if you need anything, and Winston will come to sort it out." he told me.

"Vlad has tonnes of those things. He has a little orange one that he calls his 'oh shit' button, 'cause that's what he says before he presses it, and what everybody else says afterwards." Jake rambled. I was beginning to wonder if she was always like this, or maybe it was just a reaction to having somebody new in the house. "What does that button do?" I asked, stupidly, considering I was probably better off not knowing.

"I haven't a clue. I've never seen him use it. But I bet it does something cool."

At that, Kay pulled her away, shutting the door behind him and leaving me alone in my room. I set about unpacking, putting everything in the wardrobe or dresser, folding it much neater than I normally would. My head was all jumbled, and so far the best I could do was not screaming like a little girl. Though it was still early when I was finished, barely even into the evening, I was exausted, more mentally than physically, and no degree of wierdness could ever keep me from sleep. I curled up under my blanket but kept the lights on, just in case. Even with them on, I mannaged to fall asleep in good time.