Magic And Metaphysics Academy #1
Laura Greenwood & L.A. Boruff
The first day at a new academy is never easy, especially not for Lou.
Home-schooled until she was eighteen, she’s now facing academy for the first time with no idea what to expect. With eccentric dorm mates, frenemies coming out of her ears, and the most popular guys in school showing interest in her, Lou starts to feel like she’s in over her head.
Does she have what it takes to survive her time at the academy?
Magical Mischief is book one of the Magic and Metaphysics Academy trilogy. It is filled with frenemies, a really evil book, and a reverse harem romance.
Passing through the magical barrier went without an issue, which was surprising. I thought that there’d be a crackle or a bang or something. I hoped the rest of my time at the academy wouldn’t be as blah. Surely the teachers would have lots to teach me.
Dad pulled the car to a stop right outside the front door. It was so close to the drive that I’d only have to walk a few feet. “Have you got everything you need?”
I rolled my eyes. “You know I do.”
“This is hard for us, your mom and I…” He was pitiful, sitting in the driver’s seat, watching his baby go off to college. Not pitiful enough for me to stay, however.
“Had a hard time letting me come here, I know.” But it was better than going into my adult life having been homeschooled. Mom and Dad just didn’t have time to keep up with my learning anymore, which is how I’d managed to convince them to let me come to Magic and Metaphysics Academy once I’d turned eighteen. I had high hopes for the next three years.
“Your mom says good luck.” He beamed at me in his absent-minded way.
“I know.” She’d told me that before she went to bed this morning. I did find the fact she worked the night shift at the zoo amusing. It meant she ended up being stereotypically vampire and sleeping during the day.
“Lou, please, Dad.” I really didn’t want anyone at the academy to overhear him calling me by my full name. This was my chance to actually make friends, not scare them off with Tallulah.
He shook his head. “Tallulah,” he repeated. “We’re really proud of you. Please don’t forget to keep up with your schoolwork.”
Man alive. Why couldn’t he just let me out of the car? I didn’t want this awkward talk. No one my age did. Dump and run was the preferred way for parents to drop their teenagers off at school, wasn’t it?
“I will, Dad. But I have to go, or else I’ll be late for orientation.” I was already nervous enough about starting a term later than everyone else, but there’d been no avoiding it. My parents had been on an expedition to find a species of magical monkey that everyone thought was extinct. It had been fascinating, even more so because they’d actually found information that would help people track the creature down.
“Alright. Your clothes should already be in your room; we sent them ahead.”
I smiled fondly at him rather than pointing out that I already knew that. They’d involved me in all their planning, they always did. It was something I appreciated about them. They didn’t treat me like I was an incompetent burden, even if they were a bit overprotective sometimes.
“Thanks, Dad.” Leaning over, I kissed his cheek, knowing the gesture would go a good way to making him feel less frustrated with me.
“You’re welcome, Lou. Call us on Friday.”
My smile turned into a full beam when he used my preferred nickname.
“I will,” I promised, finally seeing my escape on the horizon. I grabbed my bag and unclicked the door handle. “Love you.”
“We love you, too.” He waved frantically as I exited his car. “Make us proud.”
I swung my backpack over my shoulder and gave him a half-wave before turning around to face the enormous gothic building in front of me. Some people might find it imposing, but not me. I thought it was beautiful. There was a real elegance in the way the stone had been carved so delicately, and yet…wasn’t something you’d want to get impaled on.
Huh, slightly macabre thought there. I should try and keep those in check when I’m around other people or they’ll think I’m crazy. Of course, my experience had been people thought that anyway when they found out my parents were a vampire and a witch and that I was a hybrid. My kind was rare. Normally children took after one parent or the other, not both like me. Which also made me powerful. It was one of the reasons my parents had kept me home. They’d been scared of losing me, or me being injured, or any number of scary things that ultimately made them homeschool me.
With a sigh, I stepped forward, making my way through the huge front doors and into the academy. A small part of me would have preferred it if one of my parents was still with me, but the other part realized that was the quickest way to ensure that I ended up without any friends here. No one wanted to be that person.
Especially not at eighteen. The humans would have considered me an adult, but paranormal education continued on to twenty-one, at a minimum.
The halls were surprisingly quiet, almost as if the place was deserted. I checked my watch. Ten past nine. I supposed that would probably mean that the students were all in class. Maybe that was why no one was around. At least I was on time for my meeting with the headmaster.
I followed the instructions I’d been sent on the email, traveling through the academy and trying not to let the fired sconces intimidate me as their shadows danced against the stone walls. I’d heard that this place kept things traditional, but I hadn’t realized it was quite this severe. At least they used email and the internet.
Turning into a corridor to the left, I breathed a sigh of relief to see the word headmaster scrawled across the door at the very end. I quickened my pace, hoping he’d see me sooner and not later. My appointment was technically at nine-thirty, and I didn’t look forward to sitting around for twenty minutes waiting for him. That was a quick way to fry my nerves.
I knocked on the door as soon as I reached it. Part of me wanted to run away from the whole situation, but that wouldn’t get me the education I needed.
“Come in,” a woman’s voice called.
I frowned. And here was me thinking that Headmaster Ian Schmidt was a man. Even so, I pushed the door open and found myself in a small reception room.
Ah. That made sense.
“Hi, I’m Ta—uh, Lou Davidson…” I trailed off. I should have practiced this more.
The woman smiled at me. “Take a seat, Miss Davidson, the headmaster will be ready for you in a moment.” She pressed a button on her desk as she said it and my heart beat faster. Hopefully, that would just alert the man that I was there, and not call in a security detail to escort me from the premises. That would be just my luck.
The other door in the room swung open, and a portly man in his forties beckoned me in.
“Sit down, Miss Davidson, let me grab your file.” He took it off the pile on his desk and sat down in his chair, gesturing for me to do the same.
“Thanks,” I muttered, trying not to let the nerves show. I didn’t know if it would do anything bad if he knew I was feeling anxious, but a big part of me just didn’t want him to know.
“I’ve been following your parents’ research papers for years,” he told me. “They’re fascinating people.”
“Yes.” I didn’t engage him further. I’d spent my whole life with people talking to me about how much they loved my parents and what they did. It got kind of boring after a while.
“Are you looking to specialize in Zoomagology too?”
“What are you more interested in?”
“Plants,” I admitted quietly. “I’m good with them.”
“Magical botany then?”
I nodded. It wasn’t something I’d ever told my parents about, scared they’d be unhappy with me spending more time with plants than with animals. But it was also something I was certain of. I’d always had a little bit of a green thumb, and I wanted to make the most of it.
“Ah, good. We have an after school club, the Greenies, you’ll want to join. They have a prize show coming up towards the end of the year, and they’d do well to have someone with your knowledge on the team.”
“My knowledge?” I squeaked. What did he know? Was he some kind of clairvoyant?
“From your entrance exam.” He tapped the file he was holding.
“Oh.” That made sense. I’d almost forgotten about that. It had been a fairly easy exam for me. I might have been taught from home, but my parents had done a good job of making sure my education had been thorough.
He handed me a bunch of papers and tapped the top of it. “There’s information about all the extra-curricular activities in there. None of them are compulsory, but we do encourage our students to take part in at least one.”
“Okay.” I nodded, already feeling a little overwhelmed. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea at all.
“There’s also your class schedule and a map of the academy. Your dorm is clearly marked. You’ll be sharing with two of our best students, Estelle Ford and Tyler Michaels. My secretary should have just gone to get them so they can show you around.”
“Thank you.” Meeting people already? This was officially the worst day ever. I’d hoped to have gotten my bearings before having to make small talk with other students.
“Attendance matters here. As does following the rules. You’ll find those in there too. One of the most important is no drinking on campus. We know that students are going to want to, but we don’t condone it here at all.”
“Alright.” I wasn’t a big drinker anyway and suspected I would end up a lightweight if I even tried.
“Boys aren’t allowed in the girls’ dormitory and vice versa. There are spells in place to stop that kind of sneaking around.”
I gulped and nodded. Was that the kind of thing I’d have to deal with now?
“Excellent. I think that covers everything I have to say. If you go through the doors there, you should find your new dorm mates waiting. They’ll show you where to go. The three of you are expected in class at ten.”
“Thank you.” I rose to my feet and scraped my chair back, eager to get out of there but not so that I could spend time with people I didn’t know. I just wanted to be away from the headmaster.
He didn’t say a word as I exited the room and found myself back in the reception room.
“Ah, Miss Davidson. May I introduce Estelle Ford and Tyler Michaels, they’ll be showing you around the academy.” The secretary gestured to two seated students.
They rose to their feet.
“I’m Estelle, this is Tyler,” the first one said. She looked the furthest thing from an Estelle I could imagine. She was small and dainty, with a punky look completed by pink and black striped hair and a nose ring. Nope, nothing like I’d have expected an Estelle to look like.
“Hey.” Tyler’s voice was deep, husky. Dirty blonde hair fell in front of her face. Well, I assumed she was a she. After all, we were sharing a dorm and that must mean she was female. Probably. If she said she was a she, then she would be. I nearly snickered at the silly rhyme in my head.
“Your stuff is already in the room,” Estelle said. “We piled it on your bed.”
“Thanks, yes. My parents sent it ahead,” I responded needlessly.
“Come on, we’ll show you where it is.” Tyler turned and walked out the door, followed by Estelle. They waited for me in the hall, whispering to each other.
I paused for a moment, though I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for. Maybe for the secretary to actually say something.
When she didn’t, I trudged out of the room behind the two other students, already questioning what I’d done in deciding to come here. This could either be the best or the worst decision of my life. I hoped it was the former, but feared it might be the latter.
Only time would tell.
They took the long route, showing me classrooms and bathrooms, and all the dorm floors. The school was enormous, with four floors just for dorm rooms. “There are eight or nine dorms on each floor with three to four people in each room.”
“So, like a hundred and forty students here?” I asked incredulously. I hadn’t expected there to be that many of us supernatural kids the same age at the same time.
“Well, yeah, but this isn’t just shifters, like us.” Tyler peered at me thoughtfully. “I can’t get a vibe off you, by the way.”
Shrugging, I didn’t answer. “Does it matter?”
Estelle stopped dead on the stairs we were climbing. “Oh, yes. It does.”
She continued on her way without explaining any further.
“Come on,” Tyler said kindly, patting my hand on the banister. “We’ll explain.”