Foto bij CHAPTER 1.1

”WATCH OUT, YOU IDIOT!” The blonde-haired girl was only just able not to crash into Thorne. She gave him the finger and glared at him angrily as she passed by on her longboard. Ferocious as her reaction just now was, he figured she was probably in a hurry. Thorne himself, however, was taking his way to school rather slowly.
      School. That nyaff. Thorne had to admit, even though he felt insulted by the he was treated, he was quite curious what it'd be like. He had never attended school before, or at least not in the last fifty years. His curiosity was also the main reason why he had decided to roll with it in the first place, even if it was just for a day. Helias had sent him off to school, with the loud and clear explanation he didn't want Thorne interfering with the Western Colony - or anything the guy was busy with at the moment. Thorne suspected there was more to it, though. But the actual reason was probably just to annoy him. He wasn't sure yet, whether Helias had succeeded at doing so or not.
      Thorne knew he was going to be late but could not care less. He had a knack for turning situations around. He would make Helias regret this decision, one way or another.
      He wondered if he could get detention on his first day. He also wondered if it would be an interesting experience. Would Hillside High have the same kind of popularity hierarchy thing going on the media loved to show? Where would he fit in? Thorne wasn't tall at all, wasn't that broad either, even though he possessed the strength to snap someone's body in half in only a fraction of a second. But he wasn't ugly either, and his social skills were quite all right. He had had this charming thing going on, even back when he was still very human. Plus, he had some time to practise. Yes, he was rather curious about everything.
      A smile graced his lips when he rolled through the gates. These were the thoughts of an actual seventeen-year-old – or sixteen-year-old, as Helias had made him a year younger. He loved it, since he had grown tired of the worries he had back in Europe. His reasons of coming here hadn't been to go on vacation, but he was welcoming it cordially. This was exactly the break he needed, although he only realised it right now. He didn't really think this was the actual reaction Helias had planned on scoring.
      Thorne's smile didn't vanish when a young woman stepped in front of him and ordered him to get off his board. She didn't look very happy and started ranting about the time, but she didn't send him to detention. Not even when he simply shrugged and got distracted by the building behind her. Despite the wintery chill, it was a nice day and the sun was already shining bright, which made the bare skin of his neck itch. It had been a long time since the sun had burned his skin, but he still didn't really like the feeling. Unfortunately, his disinterest had set off another rant.
      "Young man!" she nearly yelled in exasperation. "Have you even heard a single word I said just now? This is not the behaviour of a good student! Look at me when I'm talking to you!" Thorne sighed and turned his attention towards the agitated teacher. She would’ve been really pretty, if her scowl didn’t seem to be permanently melted into her face. He wondered what happened to make her this unhappy. She didn’t seem to like his staring, as her frown deepened even more.
      "Do you know where I can find the reception, Miss...?" He could hear how her teeth grinded down on one another. She sighed, however, and seemed to surrender.
      "Montgomery. You must be new here," she said sourly, pursing her lips. I wonder how you figured that one out. She jabbed her thumb in the direction of the building behind her. "Enter that building and take the first turn on the left. There you can get your paperwork in order and receive your schedule. Don't have me catch you being late again, or you can get your ass over to detention for the next three weeks – including Christmas! – with this attitude of yours." Thorne raised an eyebrow at her language but thanked her nonetheless and went on his way.
      Enrolling lasted almost an hour due to the enormous pile of paperwork. Thorne didn't bother to read a single letter of it, and simply nodded when it seemed to be the right thing to do. He had no clue what else he was supposed to do; he would figure it out soon enough. How hard could high school really be?
      "All right. If you could sign here and here," the woman behind the desk pointed at two rectangles on the form, "then we're finally done." Thorne took the pen and was about to write down his name – something he had learned to do by scribbling it everywhere on Helias’ stuff, back in the days – but stopped right before the ink would reach the paper.
      "Doesn't my... er... guardian have to do stuff like this?" he asked, hoping Helias would have to drop everything to help his poor, adopted child. The woman behind the desk raised her eyebrows and sighed. Too bad.
      "If that were the case, it wouldn't be you standing here, would it?" Thorne wasn't impressed by the sarcasm but decided not to waste any more of her precious time.
      "All right," the woman said, right after snatching the paper away. "Off to class now. You start with history today. It's on the second floor, third class on the right; class 2C." Thorne blinked. "Go on, you're already late!" He mumbled a thank you, not wanting to push her nerves, and left the room, his skateboard in his hand. He had gotten a locker, but he would find it later. Still, Thorne took his time to get to the second floor. The school didn't seem to be any different from the ones he had seen on television; rows of lockers in a big hallway, spring musical flyers on top of advertisements for the local sport's teams that were plastered on top more flyers for the spring musical.
      When he finally reached the classroom door, he could hear the teacher babble about the seventeenth century. Thorne hesitated for a split second and then knocked on the door twice, opening it without waiting for an answer. Everyone stared. It caught him a little bit off guard, since he wasn't used to get all the attention in a room. He wasn’t used to rooms full of teenagers either.
      He put his free hand in the pocket of his worn-out jeans and waited. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a dark-skinned girl widening her eyes and elbowing a blonde girl that was sat next to her. The latter firmly punched her friend against the shoulder, which caused a shriek from the first. Everyone lost interest in Thorne and stared at the black girl, who had clasped a hand in front of her mouth. The teacher sighed.
      "James," she muttered, then turned her attention to Thorne, who now saw it was the same woman from earlier. He'd already forgotten her name. She narrowed her eyes, which was a sign she hadn't forgotten him so easily.
      "Ah, mister rude. Since it's your first day at this school and you have a lot of catching up to do already, I will take pity on you and give you a chance to avoid detention."
      "He's cute."
      "Shut up, Lauren."
      Thorne was distracted for a split second by the whispering in the back of the class, where the girl who had shrieked wasn't able to hide her epiphany. Thorne couldn't help but smile and contemplated about giving her a cheeky glance.
      "Well?" the teacher said before he could do so. Thorne expectantly raised his eyebrows. The woman sighed. "I repeat; please elaborate on the Battle of Cecora."
      “What?” Thorne retorted. He knew a thing or two about history, especially the parts he’d been in, but he wasn’t great at naming facts.
      “The battle of Cecora, mister Madison.” She glanced at the paper she had had in her hands, which must’ve been one with his name on.
      “I have honestly no idea what you’re talking about. But if you want, I could tell you about the time an English farmer got stuck in a well for thirthy days, surviving solely on the chickenheads people threw in. It was quite the -” She cut him off.
      “Just… stop talking and take a seat.” The class snickered, and a few girls smiled very sweetly at him. He figured it must’ve been his accent. Last time he had been to America, they didn’t like his accent as much.

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