This is a completely original story. All credit for the characters, locations, etc. go to Icewish, and are copyrighted by her. You are not allowed to use any of this story and/or claim it as your own! (Or I swear to God I will sue the crap out of you).
A young child sat on the rocky shore bordering the icy blue ocean. The air surrounding the island which he, and many others, lived was frigid and bitterly cold, but the boy was used to it. He looked at the dark blue waters of the sea, his eyes red with tears.
"Lysander," said a voice. It was the voice of a fully grown man, much older than the seven-year-old boy. "Come on, you have to go home, now." "No," said the boy, stubbornly. He put his knees up to his chest and buried his head in his arms, not even wanting to look at the man. The man sighed and sat down next to Lysander.
"You know, you are just like me when I was I kid," he said. "I didn't want to listen to my parents either, they'd always yell at me it seems," said the man to Lysander, looking at the ocean. "Then The Pestilence struck, and I truly missed being yell at all the time." "Yeah?" said Lysander, his head still in his arms. "It's not the same as some stupid sickness, they stabbed her to death, they stabbed Mom to death. And where were you when they murdered her, your own wife?" Lysander's father looked down at the ground for a little while. "Look," he said, sounding very angry yet depressed. "If I had known that your mother was in trouble, I would have been there in a heartbeat. Don't you dare accuse me of her death, you understand?"
Lysander looked up at his father for a split second, his face wet with tears, then looked down again, seeming a little frightened and ashamed. "Look, I'm sorry," said the father to his son. "This is all really hard for me too, I love your mother more than you know, and it's been really hard for me to see her gone..." The man stood up, but the boy still stayed in place along the rocky beach. "If you want to come home, you're very much welcome too," said the man as he began to walk away.
Lysander looked down at the ground. His mother was murdered just yesterday, as hinted in the conversation with his father, and he felt such sadness and loneliness that he felt real pain in his chest and heart. He wanted her murderers to die with such a passion, that if he wasn't so young he would have killed them himself. He sighed and looked up at the water once more, then turned around as he stood up and headed back home.
Two years passed since Lysander was left without a mother. His father was now working long hours to support himself, but more importantly to him, his son. Lysander tried to help his father as much as he could, but he was very clumsy and just seemed to get in the way and make things worse. Life was rather hard for the two, but at least they had each other, and at the time that was all that mattered.
A loud knock was heard on Lysander's bedroom door. The boy, who was now about nine or ten, covered his face with his pillow as his father walk into the room. "Get up," he said as he lit a lamp that was placed close to Lysander's face. "You have to go to school, it's Monday and you have to take a test." "It's just math," said Lysander, his voice muffled by the pillow, as he turned around to face away from the lamp. "Hey, math is very important," replied the father. "Yeah? How? For what?" questioned Lysander. "Well, if you're a carpenter like me, you have to measure the wood to make sure the furniture you are making isn't crooked," he replied, opening the windows to let the cold air in. "But being a carpenter is lame," complained Lysander. "So math is still lame." "Hey, Jesus was a carpenter, and you can't argue with that," said his father. Lysander took the pillow off of his face and looked at his father. "Yeah, I guess you are right, dad..." he then said as he stood up. The man smiled at his son and said "Good," as he left the room.
Lysander got ready for the day. He put some books in a tattered, old backpack and headed to the kitchen. The hourse was quite small. It only had four rooms: two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a small kitchen and living room formed the last room. Lysander sat down at the table, were his father had left him a small bowl of oatmeal and a note.
The note read:
Lysander, I had to go to work today early, so I won't be able to drop you off at school. Just go to school using the route we always take. Don't talk to anyone! It's just across the street, so I don't think you'll have any problems.
Sorry I didn't tell you earlier, I almost forgot myself,
Lysander read the note as he ate his little bowl of cereal. It was bland and tasted like it had gone bad, though he knew his father was trying his hardest, an it was the only thing he could eat, so he quickly gulped it down.
He threw his backpack over his shoulder and headed out the door. He quickly scanned the area. No one was outside yet, and the sky was dark and cold. It was late April, and it looked like it was going to snow, typical weather for the country.
It wasn't long before Lysander reached the one-room school house in which he attended. He opened up the door slowly and cautiously, as if trying not to be seen. He didn't like going to school very much, but then again very few people do, not even teachers. "Oh, hello, Lysander!" said a woman with a smile on her face. "Good morning, Ms. Toursi..." said Lysander, biting his tongue. He could never say his teacher's name without laughing, and normally just called her "Ma'am" or "Miss."
He sat down at his desk and went through his multiplication table a few times before class started. The room quickly filled up with about 10 to 15 students, but only three of him were in his grade. The teacher separated the students by grade to different areas of the room to take their tests. Lysander looked at his paper labeled "5th Grade Math Test - Unit 1 Section 2.3:Decimals, Fractions, Percents, and How to Multiply and Divide Them." His pale blue eyes had a stupid and confused look on him as he gazed at the paper with a completely blank mind.
The other students looked like they were doing fine on the test, and soon Lysander realized that he only had two minutes left. He quickly put down random answers and handed in his test just before the bell rang. The children ran outside for recess, and the ground was blanketed in snow. Lysander started to walk towards the door as well, when his teacher called his name. "Lysander," she said, sternly, looking at his test. "Sit down."
Lysander, looking very worried, sat down in a chair near Ms. Toursi's desk, facing her. "Is there a problem, Miss?" he asked. "Yes," she replied, her voice harsh. "You're grades, they're frightening." Lysander didn't reply. "You're not going to be promoted this year if you keep this up, you need to work harder," said the teacher. "Miss, I work as hard as I can, though I don't see any purpose in school..." replied the boy, his words trailing off at the end as he realized that was the worst possible thing to say. Ms. Toursi's brown hair became curly and frizzy as she grew in anger. "What would your parents say about this, especially your mother?" she said, trying to hold back her rage. "My mother is dead, ma'am," replied Lysander, sounding very depressed. "I know, I know," said the teacher, realizing that she shouldn't have brought that up, even to prove her point. "But, I went to school with your mother, in this very classroom. Education was her top priority right under family, if she were here right now she would be very disappointed in you." Lysander looked down at the ground and said "Alright, Miss, I'll study harder." The teacher nodded, then said "I didn't hurt your feeling too badly or anything, right?" Lysander shook his head. "Good, replied the teacher. "Now be gone!" She moved her hands as if to shoo him away. Lysander smiled at little and ran out of the classroom.
Snow crunched underfoot as Lysander walked out into the open field just outside of the school. In about 30 minutes he and the other students would have to go back inside and listen to a boring lecture, so he might as well enjoy the time he had off during the day. But he found this to be increasingly hard, since he didn't really have any friends at this school. Other children didn't like him. And the reason why he doesn't understand either.
"Hey!" said a voice from behind Lysander. Lysander turned around quickly, spotting a boy standing a few feet behind him. The other boy had short, brown hair with round glasses sitting high on his face. Lysander had never really spoken to him before, they had only exchanged "hello" occasionally, but he was fairly sure that the boy's name was Cato. "Um, yeah?" Lysander replied. "The headmaster of the Academy is in this side of town today, he's looking for future Academy students, why don't you show him that little trick of yours?" asked Cato. "What little trick?" Lysander replied. "You know, the one where you make that blue fire," said Cato. "I don't think there's anything special about it," replied Lysander. "There isn't, but it's worth a shot to get into the Academy since none of us got enough money," answered Cato, bluntly. Lysander nodded. "I'll try," he replied.
Soon, the children had to return to class, and the day seemed to drag on forever. By the time class was dismissed, Lysander thought if he saw another fraction he would explode. He picked up his back pack, crammed his books into it, and started to walk out the door. "Do you understand the material in the review this time, Lysander?" asked Ms. Toursi. Lysander realized that he was the last one in the room, and he nodded his head. "Good, then what's three-fourths plus 5 and one-eighths?" Lysander had no idea what it was, so he panicked and dashed out of the room. Ms. Toursi hit her head on the desk and said "Oh Lord, I give up on that boy!"
Lysander quickly ran back to his house. He looked behind him to make sure no one was following him, then sat down on a tree stump. He thought about what Cato said earlier, though he doubted that this "Academy" person would be visiting this part of town, since this was the poorer part of the country. He didn't even know what this person looked like, an he didn't know why he should even be worrying about this.
Lysander sighed and snapped his fingers together. This created a bright, blue flame that flew from his fingers and ignited in his hand, but it didn't burn him like one would think. He threw the flame to the ground, melting a circle in the think, winter snow.
A man walked through the streets, passing a small schoolhouse. He was very tall and thin. His long, white hair, clear eyes, and pointed ears gave him an otherworldly appearance. He was dressed much more warmly than the other people in town, who only wore light clothes despite the freezing temperatures, but he still shivered greatly at the touch of the icy wind.
"My God, it's cold here..." said the man as he was walking. "An what makes it worse is this stupid wind-" He started screaming as a spark caught his jacket on fire. Lysander quickly stood up, alarmed, and threw a snowball at the man. It put the fire out, but covered the man in slush, drenching his clothes. "Um, sorry, sir..." said Lysander, worried. "It's quite alright," said the man as he tried to brush the snow off of his jacket. "Just why of all people would you want to light me on fire?" "I didn't, sir, it was an accident," replied Lysander. "Didn't anyone tell you not to play with matches, or lighters, or whatever you used?" said the man, angry because the water had reached his skin, making him even colder. "But I didn't use those things," said Lysander. "Then how'd you manage to nearly burn me to death? Though I guess it is better than freezing," questioned the man. "Like this," replied Lysander as he snapped his fingers together, creating blue sparks. One again, the sparks caught the man's jacket on fire, and he ran around screaming like a maniac.
Lysander's father was walking towards the house when he saw his son and the man. He gasped and threw a snowball at him, extinguishing the flames. The man looked like he was about to faint when Lysander's father asked "Are you alright?" "No, quite honestly I'm not. I've been lit on fire twice and now I'm freezing to death because of this snow!" replied the man, his voice seemed very light and high, or at least more so than usual. "I'm very sorry, Prof. Loukianos, um, let's get you inside...." he replied.
After a couple hours of drying clothes and several exchanges of apologies between the three, they sat down next to the fireplace. "Even though you almost killed me twice today, I must admit that was most impressive, Lysander," said Loukianos. "Especaily for a boy your age..." The professor paused for a little while, thinking. "You attend the school right around this corner, correct?" he asked the boy. Lysander nodded. "Have they taught you about the Kryo Academy of Education in your history class?" he asked. Lysander shook his head. "No, but people keep mentioning the "Academy" and the headmaster. They say he's weird." Lysander's father slapped his forehead with his hand, and Loukianos then replied "Well, I am the headmaster of the Academy." "Oh, sorry..." the boy replied, quietly.
"Yes, er, anyways," said the man, quickly. "The Academy has been around since Kryo, our beloved country, was first established. It's about an hours walk from here, and is located close to where the island meets the sea to the north." Lysander nodded "And how does this affect me?" he asked. "Well, would you like to attend the Academy next school year-?" Lysander's father then interrupted, saying "Oh, no, no, no, I'm sorry, sir, but we could never afford the tuition...." "I'm not finished yet," said Loukianos. "How would you like to attend the Academy next year...on a full scholarship?" "Just because I lit you on fire?" asked Lysander. "No! Er! God, never mind! Just do you want to go to school for free in one of the best schools recognized world-wide for it's outstanding students?" "Say yes," whispered Lysander's father to his son. "Um, yes please, sir?" replied Lysander to Loukianos. "Good choice," said the man as he stood up. "Well, I'll be going now. Thank you for helping me earlier."
He started walking towards the door when all the lights in the house were put out mysteriously. "What was that?" asked Lysander, trying to hide the worry in his voice. "I'm not sure..." replied his father. Loukianos turned around sharply, a concerned look on his face. Though the visibility was low in the pale, dim moonlight, he spotted a dark figure moving across the floor of the house. A malevolent, growling noise was heard as the figure sprang at Lysander. The boy started to shout and scream as he tried to push the monster away. Loukianos quickly took out what appeared to be a staff. It was white and appeared to have some sort of blue gemstone rested at the top of the staff. He chanted a few words and the room flooded with a bright, white light. The monster was revealed to be a black, cat-like creature, It's eyes were soulless and empty, and dark flames radiated from it's flailing tail. "It's a wraith," said Lysander's father, appearing to be looking for a weapon to help fight. Lysander had heard of wraith's before. They were evil follower's of "The Thanatos", a monster that haunted mainland Kryo, feeding off of people's fears and pain. Though, he didn't know much about these "wraiths" and just knew that they attacked and killed everything that was a non-wraith, or at least terribly wound it.
The cat-like wraith cowered then fled through the window. "It must be a new wraith," said Loukianos, putting his staff away, and also the light from the room. "It was weak, but never the less this problem is spreading too quickly." After a while of talking between the adults, Loukianos left the house and Lysander tried to fall asleep, but unsurprisingly could not.
The days seemed to pass more slowly than ever to Lysander. He tried to study as much as he could to prepare for his new, future school. Eventually, the school year ended, and the short summer began. He tried to help his dad oit as much as he could, though life was still very hard. They discussed multiple times how Lysander would attend the Academy. His father wanted him to stay at the dorms there, since it would provide a better quality of life for him, but Lysander insisted upon walking the long distance to get to and from home and school every day.
Soon, the summer was over, and the new school year began. It was early August, and a thin sheet of ice and snow covered the icy earth. After listening to his father repeat rules and advise over and over again, Lysander finally was able to get out of the house. He waved goodbye to his father and started to walk towards the school. About thirty seconds after he started walking, he heard his father's voice shout "Wait!" Lysander turned around quickly and his father ran up to him, holding a dull, old, green scarf. He wrapped the scarf around the boy's neck. Lysander opened his mouth, embarrassed of his father, and said "Um, really, Dad? I don't think I need a-" "Yes you do, you have to walk far and the cold will start getting to you after a while. I'm your father, even though you're going to start middle school at some fancy school, and you still have to listen to what I say. And most importantly, don't start giving me all that teenage bull-crap, you understand?" Lysander nodded his head, a little confused and worried. "Good, now hurry up," his father then said. Lysander waved goodbye again and started down the road.
After walking about an hour down the icy road, Lysander seemed to have gone on auto-pilot as he continued to walk without giving any thought to it. Not paying attention, he ran into another boy by mistake. The other boy's glasses fell off and he fell to the floor, looking for them frantically. "Oh no, I'm really sorry," said Lysander as he picked up the glasses for the other boy. He looked at Lysander angrily, trying to snatch his glasses out of his hands, but missing several times. Once he was able to get hold of the glasses and put them on his face, Lysander realized that the other boy was Cato, from his old school.
Cato just glared at him angrily, then started to walk away. Lysander noticed he was carrying a large suitcase with him. "So, you were right after all," Lysander said to Cato, catching up to him. "I'm always right," replied Cato, still walking. "Um, why do you have a suitcase with you?" asked Lysander. "I'm moving into the dorms at the Academy," the other boy replied. "Prof. Loukianos says it's not safe for me to stay at home..." "Why? What do you mean?" asked Lysander. "You ask a lot of questions," stated Cato, very annoyed. "Sorry, I was just trying to start a conversation, you never seem to talk to anyone," replied Lysander. "Well neither do you, and I'd rather not talk about it," snapped Cato. "Fine, fine..." replied Lysander. After a very long walk filled with awkward silence, the two reached the doors of the academy.
The Kryo Academy of Education building was very tall and old. It resembled a castle from a fairytale, though possibly even more grand. It was built out of gray bricks of all shades, and it stood out against the sea of green trees around it. Windows of all shapes and sizes were scattered all over in the gray stone walls. It was the most impressive Lysander had ever seen, especially compared to the shack of a schoolhouse he attended only a few months before.
It was about an hour before class started. "Well, I should go and find my new home for the next seven years, I don't know what you're going to do for the next hour," said Cato to Lysander. Lysander opened his mouth to reply, when suddenly he felt an intense, blunt pain in the back of his head. He cringed, placing his hand where the pain was the strongest. He removed his hand from the spot and realized that it was covered in blood. A group of older boys were laughing at them from a distance. One was holding a good-sized rock.
Lysander felt very dizzy and confused when the group of boys walked closer to them, and Cato narrowed his eyes at them. They started to mock Cato and Lysander, but Lysander was too dizzy and confused to do anything about it. One of the boys aimed a rock at Cato. "Throw it," said Cato, standing close to the boy. Despite his skinny frame, Cato towered over the older boy, seeming quite intimidating. "I dare you to." The group just looked at each other, not used to someone talking back to them, then they broke into a run. The boys fleeing was the last thing Lysander saw before his vision went black.
"Will he be alright, Nurse Althaia?" asked a voice. Lysander was unable to see, and was only half awake, but the high-pitched voice sounded familiar. "Yes, quite, Professor, but really, you should do something about those boys. Causing trouble like this, the poor child could have died if it weren't for his friend..." replied another voice. Lysander tried to wake himself fully, and saw Loukianos talking to a middle-aged woman standing next to several medical supplies. "I'm doing everything I can, Ma'am, but there is only so much I can do," replied Loukianos. "You are the headmaster! I'm sorry, sir, but you need to get some balls and discipline them! I-" The woman stopped talking when she realized that Lysander was awake.
"Oh, Lysander!" she exclaimed. "How are you feeling?" "Fine, Miss, thank you," said Lysander, sitting up. "What happened?" "You were hit in the back of the head with a sharp rock, so you're friend, Cato I believe, brought you here. I was able to treat you right away, so you're injuries are incredibly minor now," replied the school nurse. "Where's Cato?" asked Lysander. "He should be in his dorm room" answered Loukianos. "It's rather late out after all." "Wait, what time is it?" asked Lysander, worried. "About 4 o'clock in the evening," the professor replied. "Yeah...you missed your first day of school." "I should be going home then!" said Lysander, leaping out of the hospital bed and running outside of the school....