Cóir sat staring at nothing, listening to the sounds that filled his world and contemplating the conundrum that perched on the other side of his door. This particular conundrum sat on a hard wooden bench that was designed in such a way as to keep the most determined of visitors from overstaying their welcome. Not even the ghastly deputy head who plagued the building fifty years back had managed longer than twenty minutes on the contraption. So far this kid had lasted nearly an hour.
Cóir was impressed. In Cóir’s endless campaign to be left alone to do his work he had found that his personal brand of defensive furniture was a formidable force for good. His creations had never failed him. Indeed, in the nearly 300 years that he had been a visiting professor at the school, no one had managed to withstand the mixture of masterwork carpentry and deeply ingrained magics, that he had personally combined in order to produce the most disconcerting bench he could imagine.
This particular bench had a tilt that was ever so slightly off so that you would never, no matter how much you tried, find a comfortable spot to sit on. On top of that the magics that Cóir had woven throughout the Oak meant that whoever wished to use or even stand near the bench had to constantly fight the urge that they should be somewhere else. If all that failed there was also the fact that it was terrifyingly, horrifically, ugly. Cóir was rather proud of it to tell the truth. He had spent years lovingly carving the most hideous of monsters and unsettling of designs into the plains of the wood, safe in the knowledge that very few adult humans would want to sit on it, never mind children. Cóir wondered yet again how this kid was managing to stay put?
Placing aside the fact that he was one of the most accomplished natural crafters he knew of, this was a school for pity’s sake. You couldn’t just sit down for an hour without anyone asking why you weren’t in class. For the love of Magda you could hardly sit in most classrooms without being challenged over your right to be there and yet everyone that had passed by his door had simply ignored the child sitting determinedly on his bench. As far as Cóir could tell no one had even come looking for him. The kid was a puzzle that Cóir was determined to crack.
He lay back in his old leather chair and listened as the clock thunked loudly, once, to mark the hour and sighed. He stretched as if he were the most put upon being on the planet and got up to confront the invisible child waiting with a patience that he should not possess, on a bench that he should not be able to withstand, in a corridor that he should never have been allowed to even set foot in.
Ventur was only five years old when he first saw Master Cóir. The moment had been forever burned into his memory. Smiling to himself he thought back to that first meeting and the events that followed.
He was bored. This was not a new feeling for Ventur but it was one that he was nevertheless determined to solve. His solution was to get up and watch the older kids practicing archery in the fields surrounding his classroom. His teacher didn’t notice him looking out of the window, they never did. He had first realised that people didn’t tend to see him when he was bored, tired or simply didn’t want them to pay attention to him, a year ago. It had been the largest discovery of his short life and one that he had since put to good use. He could wander around where other kids couldn’t and he could listen in to any conversation he fancied.
He was just considering going for a walk so that he could watch the older children up close (and possibly see if he could get away with joining them in firing arrows) when his eye was caught by something so amazing that he could hardly breath. A blindfolded man was striding across the school lawn as if he owned it, muttering angrily to himself.
Ventur’s jaw dropped. The fact that no one was running out to stop or question the stranger was something he could not understand. The lawn was hallowed ground and the groundskeeper’s defended it from any form of attack by any means necessary. There was even a sign saying that you shouldn’t walk on the grass. His jaw dropped further as the fearless man crossed the lawn and began banging on the ancient front door of the main hall with a huge white stick. An amazingly ugly wooden bench was held under his left arm as if it weighed nothing at all. He watched as the man was shown inside like he was the Emperor herself, grumbling the entire time.
Ventur puzzled over what he had just witnessed. It was clear why the man needed his stick; to stop himself from falling over because of the blindfold. But why would he wear the blindfold in the first place? It was an old grey strip of cloth and there was no way that he would be able to see with it on. Ventur couldn’t understand why someone would blindfold themselves but maybe this was why the man was grumbling? Perhaps, Ventur thought, he was coming to see Professor Sage so that she could help him? Perhaps the grey cloth had been magically stuck to his eyes? That was the only reason Ventur could think of for why the man was not taking the blindfold off. It was a pretty bad joke as far as he was concerned but he was impressed that the man didn’t even stumble as he walked; although the bench was still a mystery and one that Ventur was going to get to the bottom of. It was far more interesting than learning how to add up numbers anyway. This was an adventure.
Ventur set off to find out who the mad grumbling man was, why he had a blindfold on, what the stick was for and why on earth he had the ugly bench with him?
Headmistress Catherine Schoolhouse was not sweating. She was adamant that she was not going to kowtow to this outdated Hunter who’s idea of a good lesson, (as far as she had managed to establish through as much rumor and gossip as she could gather) was to take the first years into the forest, shoot the largest animal he could find right in front of their innocent little eyes and inform them that he had caught their lunch. To the children that started to cry he would ask where they thought their food had come from and to the children that showed a bit too much glee at seeing the animal fall at their feet, he would ask why they were taking pleasure in the death of an innocent? After traumatizing the youngest of the school he would then proceed to stalk the corridors and capture any ‘wrongdoers’ that he felt were breaking the rules of the school and then shout at the teachers who asked him what evidence he had to backup his claims of theft, bullying or general mischief. No, the Headmistress said to herself, she was in charge of this establishment and no millennium year old Hunter was going to tell her what to do…even if he was, allegedly, friends with Emperor Aelsong.
The Headmistress gathered her considerable air of self importance around her six foot two frame like a battle cloak and stepped out to meet the most famous Hunter that had ever walked the earth. She was somewhat alarmed to see a raggedy little man, whose head barely reached her chest, pointing towards her with an Ashen Staff and holding, as if it were his most prized of all possessions, a truly hideous bench. A shockingly shabby grey blindfold was covering his eyes and he smelled as if he hadn’t washed in over a week. The man had bright orange dreadlocks and tattoos could be seen poking out from under his collar. After the doorkeepers had carried out the obligatory introductions, womanfully suppressing a cringe, the Headmistress began to lead the blind Hunter across the Great Hall. They walked in stilted silence as the doorkeepers drifted away to their other duties.
“Be yea the Headmistress Catherine Schoolhouse?” Said the man suddenly as if he were accusing her of something dreadful.
“Yes?” She said, sounding like she wasn’t sure of the answer. The doorkeepers had introduced them to each other hadn’t they? The Headmistress shook her head, ridding herself of the unheard of case of self doubt and looked down to meet what would be the eyes of her accuser. In the most ironic tones she could bring to bear she asked, “I take it that you are Master Cóir Hunter?”
“Aye” the man said simply, staring back at her as if he could actually see the imposing woman before him, a little grin forming in the top right of his mouth.
“I’ll show you to your office. Are you able to find your own way around? I mean, you don’t have a guide dog, will you be ok with…” She trailed off, waving her hands vaguely around her. She watched as the stinking Hunter pointedly followed the motion, moving his head with each sweep of her arm.
“Aye Mistress, I’m good.”
“But, the blindfold…Can you see?” Her voice was incredulous. What sort of man had the Emperor let into her school?
“Not in the same way you can Mistress, no. I do’ne have eyes, lost ‘em, but I do well enough without ‘em.”
“You don’t have eyes?”
“Not for the last nine hundred years Mistress, no. Still, life goes on an’ there are far more precious things t’loose than yer eyes.”
“I suppose so…So you won’t be needing any specialist assistance?” Her tone was sceptical and she waited whilst the Hunter quite pointedly said nothing. “I was merely offering Master Hunter. I mean, everyone is treated equally at this school and that includes those with disabilities such as yours.”
“I’m glad t’hear it Mistress but perhaps the next time ye ask a question ye should first use just a drop of logic?”
“I beg your pardon!”
The Hunter sighed and the impish grin left his face. “I couldn’t well function as a Hunter if I weren’t able to navigate independently now could I? An’ I most certainly couldn’t be The Emperor’s personal Hunter. So whilst I do appreciate havin’ my disability singled out for non-preferential treatment I’d rather ye didn’t question my ability to do my job the moment I enter the building. It’s been a long day an’ I’m lookin’ forward to me bath an’ me bed. At least wait ‘till tomorrow t’do tha’?”
“I was not questioning your ability to carry out your duties Master Hunter, merely offering you assistance. However, if that is how you feel…” The Headmistress started to stride purposefully across the hall deliberately doubling her pace. “You will find that things have changed since you were last here Master Hunter. Myself and my staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about these changes in your introductory meeting with the school board. My secretary can also arrange for your luggage to be brought in…and find somewhere for your, ur, bench to be stored whilst you are with us I’m sure. ”
The small man, though clearly tired, fully smiled this time and chuckled softly to himself. “Yea know, every Headteacher tha’ has ever worked here has said tha’ to me the firs’ time we meet. It’s as if yea lot think I’m some sorta inspector. I’m no here to spoil your little schooling scheme Mistress, I’m here to teach the littl’ans all about the skills of Huntin’ an’ no more’n that. Blind or no, I’m no here t’challenge your rule.
“The clothes are bein’ brought up here now and me bench is stayin’ with me thanking you kindly Mistress. It does ne leave me until I have found it’s place.”
Later, the Headmistress thought, it was that self indulgent grin coupled with the ridiculous accent and the baseless accusations that caused her to lose all pretext of self control and scold the world famous Hunter as if he were a misbehaving child. She knew, just knew, that he didn’t speak like that when he was talking with the Emperor. Her Highness would never tolerate such blatant rudeness and flagrant lack of respect, so neither would she. Still it came as an immense shock when she found herself back in her office, looking through her appointment book and trying to figure out what meeting she had missed. When she looked at her clock she realised that she had lost half an hour of her day as well. Master Cóir was going to pay for that little trick she thought as she absently reached out to call her secretary.
Ventur watched, enthralled, as the blindfolded man – Master Cóir Hunter – met with the Headmistress and, within less than a minute, had reduced her to a screaming rage. He had never seen her shout before and it was amazing. Her face went bright red like a balloon and she balled her hands into fists as if she wanted to hit him. Her voice went so high that Ventur was sure she would be upsetting the bats that lived in the eves of the Hall. All in all it was a sight to warm his heart. Up until this point the other kids in his dormitory had been sure that the Headmistress was a robot and now he had concrete proof to take back to them that she wasn’t. He was going to win so much chocolate that he would be sick for a week. It was going to be fantastic.
His attention was brought back to the room when the shouting abruptly stopped. He noticed that the man had put his bench down and the Headmistress had started to tap her pockets in a frustrated sort of way. The man had never stopped smiling throughout the whole tirade and now he was beginning to chuckle softly again.
“Anything I can help you with Mistress?” He said in a decidedly softer voice. His accent had almost entirely disappeared and Ventur noticed that he was standing differently now as well.
“No thank you,” the Headmistress said in a monotone “I, I think I have somewhere I should be. Nice to meet you Master Hunter…” She turned as she spoke and headed for her office. Once she had rounded the corner the man started to laugh in true abandon. It was such a warm and yet wicked laugh that it brought Ventur out of his hiding place and into the open. He wasn’t worried about the man seeing him because, well, he was blindfolded for a start and secondly he didn’t want the Hunter to see him so he knew he wouldn’t. It was quite understandable, Ventur thought afterwards, that he jump and whimper like a rabbit caught in a headlight when the blindfolded eyes fixed right onto his own and stayed there.
“Not in your classroom kid?” Master Cóir asked.
Ventur was frozen in shock. He had to say something and so stammering he blurted out “N,no Master Hunter. I, I was just…” What could he have been doing? “I was just going to the nurse’s office. I’m not feeling well, Master.” There, that was believable.
“The nurse’s office is in the South Wing isn’t it? We’re in the Great Hall right now.”
Ventur blinked. He hadn’t even expected to be seen. It had simply never happened to him before. He wasn’t prepared to lie because he had never needed to. He had been rather proud of his improvisational skills and now this man was ruining his plan by knowing where the nurses office was. How on Earth could he know where the nurses office was?
Ventur scowled “I suppose so yes.”
“Rude as well as a liar are we now boy? What’s your name? An’ why were ye spying on me instead of learnin’ in yer classroom?”
That was a lot of questions. Ventur decided to answer them one at a time. “My name is Ventur and I’m not rude Master, I was just shocked that you saw me…and I wasn’t spying on you Master, I promise, I was just watching the arrow practice when I saw you walking over the lawns and, well, no one ever walks on the lawns so I wanted to know how you got away with it…and why someone has stuck a blindfold on your face? But, well I guess I know now…You lost your eyes. Mistress Sage is very good with spells I’m sure she can unstick the blindfold and find your eyes for you again.” He added trying to be as helpful as he could in the hopes that this would save him from trouble.
The Hunter laughed yet again and this time it was with genuine amusement. “You think tha’ someone has stuck my blindfold to my face an’ your Mistress Sage can, oh Magda, can find me eyes for me?” The Grasslander lilt blended so beautifully with his amused tone that it made Ventur smile along with the Hunter.
“Well, Master,” he was not going to be accused of rudeness again, “why would you not take the blindfold off if it hadn’t been stuck to you and if your eyes are lost you should try to find them, shouldn’t you?”
Master Cóir managed to control his laughter after a few moments and beamed down at Ventur. Delightedly he asked “You think tha’ someone could stick a blindfold onto a Hunter do you? An’, well kiddo, after nine hundred years I don’t think ye’ Mistress Sage could find me eyes, but thanks for the offer.”
“Oh, right, yeah. They’d probably be all icky now anyway.”
“Eye kid, I reckon ye’d be right abou’ that. But ye did’ne answer me first question; Y’think someone could stick a blindfold onto a Hunter?” Ventur paused. “Ah, good, thinkin’. Never speak without thinkin’ first kid, most annoying habit people have that and it gets ‘em into all sorts’a trouble. ‘Tis the first rule’a bein’ a Hunter: Think before ye speak. An’ do you know what the second rule’a being a Hunter is?” Ventur’s eyes were wide and his mouth had opened slightly again. He shook his head. It was all he could manage at that point. “Don’t. Get. Caught” Master Cóir punctuated each word with a gentle tap of his staff to Ventur’s head as if this could help the words sink in. Ventur had never met someone so brilliant in all his life. When he grew up he was going to be just like Master Cóir Hunter.
Ventur was given detention for the weekend for being out of the classroom during lessons – after it was established that, yes, he was supposed to be in the classroom in the first place. Master Cóir had told the young boy that all actions had consequences and that when you choose to do wrong you should accept your punishment. It was a rule to live by and from then on Ventur did. He was also very careful never to get caught.
Two days later Ventur was listening to Mistress Professor Flockson talking with Mistress Professor Tiller about Master Cóir. That wasn’t what he was meant to be doing but as what he was meant to be doing was really boring he decided that his time was better spent finding out about Master Cóir.
He was sat at their feet in the middle of a field stroking the fur of a contented sheep dog, whilst his classmates were wandering around planting seeds in the dirt that had been recently dug for them by Mistress Tiller. Farming, Ventur had decided, was not his thing. It was slow and you couldn’t outsmart seeds. Mud was fun to play with though, so it wasn’t a total waste of time. Mistress Tiller had said that in the Spring the seeds would start to grow and in the Summer they would learn how to pick them but that was forever away and picking up plants didn’t sound very interesting to him.
He looked down at the dog who had its head in his lap and was snoring quietly. He petted it’s nose. The dog sneezed in it’s sleep. Looking back up at his teacher’s again Ventur tried to concentrate on what he was hearing and remember as much as he could so that he could tell his friends later.
“Oh yes,” said Mistress Tiller, “I’ve known him for the past 30 years, fine fellow, a bit abrupt sometimes, but you know what his sort are like when they get caged up inside an institution. They like to be out in the world, making a difference and all that. I really don’t think that he thinks his talents are being used to their full potential when he’s here.”
“He’s rather, disconcerting.” Was Mistress Flockson’s reply. “I mean, when he arrived he was in such a state and then when I saw him this morning…” She trailed off, eyebrows raising in a significant glare.
“I know” sighed Mistress Tiller, voice changing to a dreamy kind of sigh. Ventur was rather puzzled by this but kept listening on the basis that adults usually made sense if you gave them enough time. “You should have seen him last time he was here.” Mistress Tiller smiled to herself at the memory. “He was dressed in this suit, we all swore it was pure Dragon skin, although he never said if it was mind you, oh, and knee high riding boots as well. The bloke was a walking fantasy. He didn’t have that blindfold then either; he wore designer wrap-around glasses and had a sword stick instead of that staff. Honestly Flockson, he looked like he had just walked straight off of a catwalk. I don’t think we got a wink of work done the entire time he was here. Good times my friend, good times.
“He must have come straight from a mission, the state that he was in when he arrived this time. He looked like he had walked right out of the Midlands.”
“You mean he really is The Emperor’s Hunter?” Asked Mistress Flockson eagerly.
“Oh yes, why else do you think the Heads would allow him in for just six months every ten years? He’s under orders to come here and teach the kids what he know’s. I heard him mumble once that it was supposed to be a lesson in humility or something. Can’t understand it myself, but there you go. Our’s is not to question why and all that. I’m certainly not going to complain when I get to ogle some fine Vampiric Grasslander ass. Especially since I’m not going to get to do it for much longer.” “Oh now hang on Tilly, you’ve got years left in you yet. Your ogling days are far from over.” Ventur watched Mistress Tiller pat Mistress Flockson on the shoulder gently. He didn’t know why they were talking about Ogers or why they cared what Master Cóir was wearing; and did cat’s not walk in the Midlands? Did they have to go to a special place to teach them? He listened on, growing ever more confused. “And I hardly think Martin would object to him joining you for lunch either,” she winked and added “so to speak”.
Adults were crazy people.
Mistress Tiller sighed exasperatedly. “Martin wouldn’t object to me bringing home anyone for lunch and this is because he’s a raving lunatic of a chef. Honestly, I don’t know why I bought him, he’s more trouble than he’s worth.”
“You love him really. You know he keeps you amused and Harold thinks that he’s hilarious.” “Harold’s an electrician.” She said as if this explained everything. “Electricians think anything’s amusing. He actually put a whoopee cushion under my seat the other day. His opinion no longer counts.” Mistress Flockson snorted. “It wasn’t funny! The fellow has the sense of humour of a five year old!”
“Is that why you’ve been happily married for twenty years now?”
“That, my dear, is not the point. The point is that Martin and Harold do not have a say over who does and does not come for breakfast, lunch or tea in my house. And besides, ogling from afar is fine but Master Cóir is a scary man up close. I couldn’t even imagine.” Mistress Tiller shuddered. “Could you?”
Mistress Flockson’s expression turned decidedly wicked, “Oh yes.”
Ventur gave up on finding out more from his teachers and wandered off to pretend to plant seeds with Rheandra. She was also a Vampire so she might be able to explain what the Professor’s had been talking about. The dog followed him dutifully and Ventur smiled the smile of a boy who had found a new friend.
“Rhea?” Ventur asked as he allowed himself to become visible once more. He was standing right next to his best friend but she didn’t even flinch as he appeared, apparently from nowhere, beside her.
“Yes?” She replied.
“Is Master Cóir a Vampire?”
“I don’t know. I’ve not seen him yet and why do you care?”
“Mistress Flockson and Mistress Tiller were talking about him just now and they said that he was,” he scrunched his face up with the effort of remembering as accurately as possible, “a fine Vampiric Grasslander ass and that they liked to ogle him from afar. What does his ass have to do with Ogers and Vampires?”
Rheandra stopped putting seeds into the ground to glare up at him. He liked his best friend very much but sometimes she could be rather rude when she thought you were being dumb. Ventur’s problem was that compared to her everyone was dumb so he usually just let her vent and kept asking questions until he could understand what she was saying.
“Really? You really are stupid Ventur, you know that right? Anyone would think you were a little kid. Ogle means that they like looking at him. It has nothing to do with Ogers or Vampires.”
“Really? Ok, but what about the bit about Grasslandists or something?”
Rheandra sighed, “Grasslanders,” she corrected automatically “and it means that he is a Grasslander. You know, like from The Grasslands. The place with all the farmers?” She added when Ventur looked blank. “Honestly Ventur, do you actually go to any of your lessons?”
“Yes!” He said defensively. “I go. But they’re boring. Why do I need to know where The Grasslanders are anyway?”
“The Grasslands” Rheandra grumbled “and because lots of people live there that’s why.”
“Because Master Cóir lives there.”
“Anyway,” Ventur said, switching tactics. “What does that have to do with anything? What does it mean, Rhea?”
Rheandra sighed, “It means that he’s a Grasslander, from The Grasslands and he’s a Vampire with a nice bum that the pervs over there like to look at. Why anyone would want to look at someone else’s bum I don’t know but that’s what it means anyway. Now help me plant these seeds.”
The next few days passed slowly, with Ventur trying to find out everything he could about Master Cóir, whilst also trying his best not to be caught by him. Master Cóir had a way of being able to find him and hiding from him was almost impossible. He couldn’t vanish from him like he could everyone else and sneaking up on him was hopelessly hard. He’d tried twice and all he’d got for his troubles was a chuckle and advice to work harder at being quiet. He was quiet. Sometimes he was so quiet whilst out in the fields that the animals that lived at the edge of the schools forest forgot he was there. Once they had startled so much when he accidentally sneezed that they had jumped and run for cover. How could Master Cóir see him?
At the end of the day, after school meals had finished, he headed back to his dormitory lost in his thoughts. He opened the door to his room, lay his bag on his bunk and climbed into bed all without noticing Theo and Rheandra, who were talking in the corner whilst finishing their homework.
“No no no,” Rheandra said, shaking her head in annoyance. “You have to take the small number away from the big number.”
“Why?” Asked Theo, puzzled.
“Because you can’t have less than one, that’s why.” Rheandra was clearly getting annoyed because she was using her well isn’t it obvious voice. She was getting annoyed a lot more recently and it was starting to make everyone else edgy. Occasionally her eyes would flash with red, which usually caused the other children she was talking to to shut up very quickly. Thomas had even run away crying.
“Yes you can,” Theo answered. “You can have nothing.”
“Ok, but you can’t have less than nothing! Like apples; you can’t have less than no apples can you?”
“What about invisible apples?” Theo countered.
“You can’t have invisible apples!” Rheandra said indignantly. It made Ventur want to laugh; she was so funny when Theo annoyed her and she hated to lose so much. Once, when Ventur had beaten her in a class test she had refused to speak to him for a week.
“You can have invisible people so why can’t you have invisible apples?”
“Because that’s just silly!” Rheandra was losing patience with Theo rapidly and was starting to shout. “Apples aren’t magic, people are! Now are you going to do the sums right or not? If we come bottom of the class because you think apples can be invisible then I will kill you!”
Ventur did laugh then and they both looked up. Theo was startled to see him but Rheandra just glared at him.
“What are you laughing at?” She said viciously. “Have you just come back from following that crazy Hunter around again? Honestly, I don’t know why you bother? You know he’s only here because the Emperor makes him. He doesn’t even like you, why else would he keep telling you to go away all the time? Haven’t you figured it out yet? You’re just an annoying little brat to him, like all the rest of us.”
“He does like me and I’m not a brat!” Ventur jumped to his feet, balling his fists by his side. He had thought that Rheandra was funny before but that was before she was shouting at him. What she was saying now was just mean and Ventur was fed up of her. “Just because you’re too stuck up to like anyone doesn’t mean that everyone is!”
“I am not stuck up!” She yelled.
Theo was looking scared but Ventur was too angry to care. Rheandra might have been his best friend but what she had said had hurt. He knew Master Cóir liked him because he didn’t shout at him like he did at everyone else and he had laughed when they first met. Rhea was just jealous because Master Cóir liked him best and he didn’t like her.
“Just because he shouted at you for being mean to Jessy when he couldn’t understand how to hold a sword properly. He likes me and not you and you’re jealous because I beat you for once!”
Rheandra’s eyes glowed red for a moment, the only warning Ventur got before she leapt at him. Theo screamed and ran out into the corridor. Ventur didn’t have time to think, one minute his friend was screaming at him and the next she was hitting him and scratching his arms with nails that suddenly seemed very sharp. He tried to grab her hands but she was too strong. In panic he squeezed his eyes shut and wished that there was a teacher there to get her off him. He began to kick her with his legs but she just hit harder and he cried out as the skin across his right cheek was sliced open.
“STOP!” A voice boomed out. Ventur couldn’t tell where it was coming from and from the sudden tension in Rheandra’s body, neither could she. It had sounded like it was coming from all around them. They froze. Ventur opened his eyes, tears blurring his vision, to see the Headmistress standing over them. Her hands were on her hips and she was glaring at them both. “GET OFF HIM.” Her voice echoed around the room. Rheandra yelped as if stung and clambered up, moving away from him, all her rage was now dissolving into an ever increasing fear of the woman dominating the room. Ventur shakily stood up and edged his way to the door, eyes fixed on the Headmistress. She wasn’t paying him any attention but was focused completely on the young Vampire who was now crying in the corner.
There was a sound of running feet in the corridor and before he knew it Master Cóir was pulling him out of the dormitory and placing his body between Ventur and the cowering Vampire. Ventur was so scared. He had no idea what was happening or why his best friend had attacked him. He’d known her since he got to the school. He knew that she was a bit mean sometimes but she had never done anything like this. He began to cry in earnest after he accidentally touched his cheek and realised that she had cut him. He heard panting coming from behind him and despite his upset turned to see what was causing the sound. The Headmistress was running up the corridor and just behind her was a wheezing Theo. The shock caused him to stop crying and stare. She couldn’t?
“Well now, isn’t this interestin’?” Master Cóir said and stood back as the Headmistress paled at the site of herself standing over a cowering Vampire child.