I found Adrian and Mr. Laurel talking to each other in the room. Adrian seemed to be asking Mr. Laurel something, and he was responding back with some hand motions. I stood at the doorway awkwardly until Adrian noticed me. He smirked. I kept my face expressionless.

"Ah, Amy, good, you're here. Please, come join us," Mr. Laurel said calmly, and motioned me over to where they were standing. I felt myself start to relax.

"I was just teaching Mr. Kellan here how to Mindmove," he told me.

"Mind...move?" I asked.

"Yes. It is a skill that we spirit users have. Let me demonstrate," he replied, and then turned towards the couch beside us. He raised his hand and pointed it towards a cushion.

At first, nothing happened. But then, the cushion started floating, and when Mr. Laurel moved his hand, the cushion moved in the same direction. It was as if his hand and the cushion were connected by an invisible rod or something.

I stared with wide eyes as Mr. Laurel set the cushion back down on the couch. He turned towards me and Adrian with a calm smile.

"What—how—floating—" I choked out. I heard Adrian muffle a laugh beside me.

"This skill requires many years of practice. Since you came into this school later than most, it will take you longer to learn, unfortunately," Mr. Laurel told me with an apologetic twinkle in his eye. I sighed.

"One of the first skill that spirit users must have, however, is to read auras," he continued. "I will leave Mr. Kellan to teach you that."

"What?" Adrian and I said at the same time.

"Mr. Kellan, you are a very skilled spirit user for you age, are you not? It will do you good to teach another user this skill," Mr. Laurel told him with a smile on his face.

I tried not to scream, even though I wanted to so badly. I wanted to freak out and tell Mr. Laurel that having Adrian teach me something when I'm clueless about everything is about the worst idea anyone could ever have. Adrian didn't seem so pleased either, but then suddenly his face brightened up and he smiled as he agreed.

"Okay, Ham, I guess that makes sense. Nothing like teaching new users how to use their element," he replied enthusiastically, and I died a little inside.

I gave Mr. Laurel all the warning signs that this is a bad idea. I shook my head and made a face, but he didn't seem to understand. Or maybe he did, but he didn't care. Ugh! Why!?

Even worse, he left us both in the room. Together. Alone.

Adrian waited until he was sure Mr. Laurel wasn't within earshot distance, then he turned towards me and smiled. There was nothing nice about it.

"You're not going to teach me how to read auras, are you?" I asked quietly. I hated how I sounded so scared.

"What do you mean? Of course I'm going to teach you to read auras. What are you scared about?" he replied, clearly confused. I raised an eyebrow.

"It's just that this skill needs to be activated first," he added with a smirk.

"Activated?" I asked flatly.

"Yeah. This is your first skill, right? So then this is your 'gateway skill'—it's the skill that opens up your ability to use other skills, like Mindmoving, Mindreading and so on. All gateway skills require an activation to make you be able to use it," he explained. His eyes never left me when he was speaking.

"W-what's the activation for reading auras?" I stammered.

Adrian's face broke out into a huge smile, and he grabbed my shoulders. I shrieked.

"Well, sweetheart, I need to make you feel extreme emotion," he whispered, then leaned into my face.

My body reacted without my mind telling it to. I slapped his face and kicked him hard in the stomach. My face felt hot and I'm sure, to a certain degree, that I looked like a tomato.

He got up slowly, and wiped his mouth. He was laughing.

"THAT WASN'T FUNNY!" I screamed.

"Oh my dear sweet Jesus, it was the funniest thing I have ever seen," he forced between bouts of laughter. I glared at him and tried not to cry.

I was about to storm out of the room, but then Adrian cried out, "Wait!"

"What!?" I yelled back angrily.

"I need to tell you the real activation for reading auras."

"You...you mean you were lying before!?" I screeched.

"Yeah, it was all total bullshit. I wanted to see how you would react," he replied, then started laughing again.

I was so angry, I couldn't move. And when I was able to, I stormed over to where he was standing and raised my hand to hit his face again.

But before I my hand struck him, he grabbed it. His smile faded and then he stared into my eyes.

I felt it again. That prodding, invasive sensation. Okay, so first he tried to assault me, and now he's invading my privacy? That's cute.

I stared back at him and tried to go into his mind. But instead of images, I saw colours. There was a lot of gold, so much in fact, that I had to squint mentally. There were also flashes of red, purple, blue, green and black. The black frightened me the most. There was an eerie sense to it, like little tendrils crawling up my skin. I shuddered.

But the most predominant feeling I felt was coming from the blue. I felt a warm, fuzzy feeling, like I was lying on a grassy field on a sunny afternoon, or when it as Christmas time and my entire family gathered at my Uncle Randy's house for dinner. It was a nice feeling, and I wanted to feel it more. Somehow, the blue spread, and it partly covered the black. I urged it to cover more, to get rid of that strange black colour forever.

Then I was yanked out. I gasped, and staggered backwards. I tripped on my own feet, and fell flat on my butt.

But I couldn't care less. I had no clue what just happened. I looked up and saw Adrian looking down at me. I couldn't tell whether he was upset or not. His face held a neutral expression.

"That was the real activation," he told me quietly. His voice surprised me. It sounded weak and shaky, unlike his usual cocky tone.

"What was that?" I whispered.

"It was Mindsharing. It's a skill that all spirit users are born with. In order to read auras, you need to Mindshare with another person deeply enough to see their soul. And once you do, you can read anyone's aura."

"Mindshare..." I mouthed quietly. So the colours I saw...was that...Adrian's soul?

"And I've heard that some people could even manipulate a person's soul to change who they are. I've never met someone who could do that...not even the Ham could..." he faltered, then stared at me intently.

This time, there wasn't anything cruel or cold in his eyes. Instead, all I saw was fear.


The next day, Adrian didn't talk to me at all. Even when he saw me in the hallways, he would ignore me and look away.

It was a cold, and thankfully, dry October day, and the wind bit my face as I hurried to my classes. We started reading The Veldt in English, which is basically a dystopian short story about two demon children who were spoiled rotten by their parents and eventually kill them by having "virtual" lions eat the parents in their little "Happylife Nursery".

I thought it was one of the creepiest things I have ever read.

When lunchtime rolled around, Adrian didn't come in and cut into the lunch line. My friends noticed this, and they asked me what happened last night.

"So, did you, like, beat him up again or something?" Tori asked as she popped a fry in her mouth. The cafeteria was crowded as usual, and today they were selling burgers and fries. The entire room smelled like grease.

"Well...not exactly," I mumbled. They leaned in closer.

What should I say? That I could peer into their souls and change them? That would scare them off, and I would be an outcast. A strange one.

I could see all of their auras. None of them had that strange black colour that I saw in Adrian, but their colours ranged from cool blues and purples to bright reds and oranges. Right now though, all of their auras had a bright pulsing yellow colour, which I assumed was for curiosity.

"Um, let's just say that my first lesson went a little...weirder than usual."

"Weirder how?" James asked. He looked worried, and his aura pulsed with a shade of green that was fringed with concern.

"I...I can't tell you," I replied.

"Why not?"

"I just can't, all right? It's sort of private," I ended, and then bit into my burger.

"Private...right..." Lily murmured and sipped her water.

The rest of the day passed by uneventfully. We started learning about the French Revolution in Socials a few weeks ago, and today we had a test on that. I'm pretty sure I aced it, since I studied and I remember my grandmother talking about how her grandmother escaped the Reign of Terror and the horrible conditions back then. I'm actually thankful she told me these stories even if they bored the hell out of me, or I would have failed that test.

French class passed by in a breeze, and finally, school was over. I decided to take it easy today since I didn't have much homework, and relax a little. I walked around the school for a while, then went to the games room and watched James and the others play Zombies on COD. James taught me how to play, and even though I sucked the first few times, I got the hang of it fairly fast. He beamed at me like I was his greatest achievement, and I blushed a little.

After dinner, we headed off towards our night classes again. And just like before, they all told me to be careful around Adrian.

"But now, be especially careful," Vickie warned. "You must have done something pretty bad to shake him up that much."

I nodded. Then I entered the room.

Adrian was standing in front of me, like he had been waiting for a while. Then he smiled his cold smile again.

"Hello again," he said sweetly, and I froze. Then his expression changed, and his eyes flashed purple with rage.

"Amelia Mackenzie Laurel," he spat out angrily, and the door slammed shut behind me.


Author's note: Hi everyone! I know my updates are really slow and it's because I have quite a bit of homework now (the IB program is a real, legit thing-and I happen to be in it :P) but I will update when I have the time :D

Thank you everyone for reading my story. Less than 3 you all ;)