This isn't supposed to happen.
This isn't supposed to be how she dies.
The snake woman is coming towards them, fangs out. The girl, the girl who came out of nowhere and had been fighting the snake woman with blasts of energy, now passed out on the street.
It's just them now. Her, her sister, and the snake woman.
Her sister is alive, thank god, and she lets out a scream as she tries to touch the back of her head.
"Angie-" she tries to say, but the word barely makes it past her lips, sounds more like a croak of air than anything.
Her sister hears her though, because of course she does.
Maybe it's a twin thing.
They look at each other, her vision slightly blurry, her glasses somewhere shattered from the accident. The snake woman is still approaching them, almost teasingly. She knows they can't run, knows that they're stuck.
They're an easy meal.
She holds out her hand, and her sister takes it, squeezing it. They came into this world together, and now they'll leave it together.
It would be poetic if it wasn't so damn sad.
She turns to look at the snake woman, who's lunging at them.
The world goes white.
Her body is vibrating.
It's throbbing, she feels like one giant bruise.
Her ears are ringing, but there's something trying to break through the noise. It's a voice, female, and she pushes past the pain and forces her eyes open, because it could be Angie, and she has to make sure she's okay.
It's not Angie.
It's the girl, the one from earlier, who passed out when she and her sister needed her most. She's smiling at her, relief evident on her face.
"I'm so happy you're not dead!"
Yeah, she wants this girl far away from her presence.
She shifts, and the girl holds her hands up. "Don't move too much. I didn't heal you too much. It's not my specialty and I didn't wanna overdue it, just in case it ended up hurting you more than helping. And I still have to heal the other girl."
The other girl.
She sits up fully, looking beside her where she remembers her sister was. Her sister is breathing, her chest rising up and down shallowly, and that's the only indication that she's alive.
"I need-we need to call an-an ambulance."
She's shaking. Why is she shaking? She needs to stop shaking.
"I'm gonna heal her," the girl says, and she finally focuses on what she's saying.
"What the hell do you mean!? She needs a doctor!"
The girl holds up one hand. "Listen... what's your name?"
"Listen Lillian, I healed you, and you're alright. Let me do the same for her."
She doesn't trust this girl. This girl, with her bruised fair skin and blonde hair that's smattered with specks of blood. She doesn't know where she came from. She doesn't know what the hell is happening and she hates it.
What she does know is her sister needs help. And if this girl helped her, healed her, then she would let her do the same for her sister.
And after that, they were getting the hell out of here.
She watches this girl - she didn't catch her name but she honestly doesn't care what it is - hovering her hands over Angelica, mumbling incoherently. Lillian doesn't know what she's doing, but it doesn't really matter because her sister's eyes are fluttering open, thank god, she's alive.
Lillian launches herself at her, and Angelica grunts.
"For once in my life, you being quiet was the worst thing ever." Lillian murmurs.
Angelica scoffs, but she's hugging her sister just as tightly. "You're such a bitch."
This was how they communicated their love for each other, with snarky comments and cutting remarks.
"You're feeling okay?"
The question doesn't come from either of them, but from the fair skinned girl. Lillian nods, and Angelica spares her a smile.
"Yeah. I mean I'm alive, so really, I can't complain." Angelica comments with a shrug.
The other girl chuckles. "Right," she eyes them both. "What are you guys anyways? I thought Yolnyce trained people better than that. I mean, no offense, but you guys weren't giving that lamia much of a fight."
Lillian trades a glance with her sister, and they're both silently asking each other the same question - what the fuck is she talking about?
"What do you mean by 'what are we?'" Angelica asks slowly.
The girl furrows her brow. "You know, are you elementalists, or cambions, or nephilim, fae, sirens? Wait, no way you're sirens, you don't have the teeth."
Lillian blinks several times before she asks, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
The blonde looks between the twins anxiously. "Please don't tell me you're humans."
"Are you not human?" Lillian shrieks. No, not shrieks, because she doesn't shriek. But her voice does get very, very high.
Angelica rubs her temples. "Clearly we did die. And we're in like, some gateway to hell."
That makes sense, that's much more logical, Lillian decides. She'd totally end up in hell. What doesn't make sense why the blonde looks so offended.
"What are you guys doing out here?" she asks, running a hand through her hair. She gets up from her crouched position and starts pacing, muttering to herself about secrecy laws, whatever that means.
Lillian doesn't want to deal with the craziness another moment longer. She stands, holding out her hand for her sister to take. "We should get home."
"You can't." the blonde says quickly, sapphire eyes wide.
"You don't tell us what to do." Lillian replies at the same time as Angelica asks,
"Why the hell not?"
"Because I have to take you guys to the hospital, and then call the authorities." she says with a roll of her eyes. "I can't believe I broke the secrecy laws. But the lamia kinda did that for me so it's not really my fault."
Lillian has decided that she doesn't like this girl. She never shuts up.
"She's over there," the girl continues, motioning to the stiff humanoid on the ground. "We should make sure you guys aren't like, bleeding internally. They'll also be able to heal you better than I did. And then they're gonna mess with your memories a little bit."
Both Angelica and Lillian's heads snap towards her at that.
"What the hell do you mean!?" they ask simultaneously.
She shifts on her feet. "They're gonna compel you to forget this." she admits, and she actually looks uncomfortable. "I'm sorry, I really am. And I promise it's nothing personal. Humans just aren't supposed to know about this stuff."
This is not happening. She's not going to let it happen. No one is fucking with her mind.
Angelica holds her hand up. "What my sister means is... can't we just pretend this never happened? We," she motions between herself and Lillian, "aren't gonna tell anyone, if that's what you're worried about."
"No one would believe us." Lillian adds lowly. She doesn't even believe it.
"No can do," she says with a small smile. "There's rules. But don't worry, it's gonna be over before you know it."
Lillian shakes her head. She's not letting this happen. None of this should be happening. "You can't make us do anything." she tells the blonde firmly.
She might be going crazy - no she is, she is going crazy - but she thinks that she sees the blonde roll her eyes.
"You humans really believe that, don't you?"
She's clasping Lillian's arm, and then Angelica's. And then they're up in the air and Lillian's world goes black.
When she wakes up again, the first thing Lillian registers is the beeping of machines. She shifts slightly, and feels the slight resistance in the movement of her arm. She opens her eyes slowly, not by choice, but because of how heavy they are.
The first thing she does is squint, because the lights are ridiculously bright. It takes her several blinks for her eyes to adjust, before she's able to take in her surroundings.
There's IVs in her arm, and sterile white walls. Her eyes land on the blonde, who's folded in a chair, sleeping. And when her head turns a bit more, she finds her sister, asleep, a big midnight black hair a tangled halo on her pillow.
They're in a hospital. Maybe everything that's happened has been a weird dream induced by too many pain meds.
With that, Lillian finds herself almost sinking back into slumber, but there's voices on the other side of the baby blue paper curtain that make that impossible.
"Are they awake?" a feminine voice asks.
"Not yet." another asks, a masculine one this time.
"Neither of them?"
"The dark haired one, Angelica, is what your student said her name is, woke up for a good ten seconds, asked about her sister and then fell back asleep before I could give her an answer. She took the extent of the damage it seems."
"Have you been in contact with Agent Benson?"
Lillian can imagine the owner of the male voice nodding his head. "She's on her way."
"Good. She'll compel the two young ladies and we can move on with our lives."
So they were planning on messing with her and Angelica's memories, just like Blondie had said. So it wasn't a dream. Everything, every ridiculous detail, had happened. There was a snake lady who tried to eat her and her sister.
Blondie had tried to save them.
The snake lady ended up dead somehow.
And now they were here - and where was here!? - and they're memories were going to be messed with.
She needs to get the hell out of here. She needs to go home.
Lillian jumps at the sound of her sister's voice. Angelica is shifting, slowly sitting up in the bed.
"Is your body hurting?" she questions.
"Yeah, it feels like I got hit by a truck." Lillian murmurs.
"Or a giant snake." Angelica mutters as she rubs her temples.
"You guys are awake!"
Lillian grimaces as she watches Blondie jump out of the chair she had been sleeping in, seemingly awakened by the sound of their voices.
Blondie has the good sense to stay away from Lillian, instead moving towards Angelica's bed.
"How are you feeling?"
"That's a question I'd like answered as well."
A woman walks into the room, a kind smile on her lips as she looks between Angelica and Lillian.
"I heard you two have had a rough night."
Lillian scoffs in reply. She doesn't even know half of it.
"My name is Agent Benson. What's your name?"
The olive skinned woman is looking at Lillian as she asks, but Angelica is the one who answers. Probably because she could tell from the look on Lillian's face that this woman wasn't going to get a truthful answer.
"Her name is Lillian, and I'm Angelica, and this is..." Angelica trails off as she looks at Blondie, realizing that she doesn't know her name either. But Blondie is quick to quip,
"Alyscia. Alyscia Aez."
"Nice to meet you." Agent Benson says with a kind smile. It actually makes Lillian a little uncomfortable. Why is she being so nice?
The woman pulls out a notepad as she says, "I heard you guys got into an altercation with a lamia. Can you tell me what happened?"
Lillian remembered exactly what happened.
It had just stopped raining, so the road was wet. Angelica had been driving. Out of the two twins, she was the one who had their license. Lillian simply refused to get one because she didn't feel like driving.
Lillian had been in the passenger seat, texting her on-again-off-again girlfriend Noelle and complaining to Angelica about her. Angelica had barely been listening, her eyes focused on the road as she tapped along to the radio.
The snake woman had come out of nowhere, and Angelica had swerved to to avoid it.
They flipped a couple of times, and Lillian's head must've hit something because she passed out.
When she came to, there was Blondie, fighting the snake woman with energy blasts and yelling that they needed to get out of there. Lillian had managed to climb out of the now destroyed car, but her sister was stuck. Her vision was fuzzy, her head was pounding, but she wasn't going to leave her sister, not ever.
Together they managed to get Angelica untangled from her seat belt and pulled out of the window of the car. Lillian was swaying, falling to the floor. Blondie was passed out, and the snake woman was coming towards them.
Lillian doesn't tell Agent Benson any of this though. Instead, Angelica recounts the story, Alyscia adding whenever she can.
"When I woke up, the lamia was dead." Alyscia tells her.
"Must've succumbed to its injuries." Agent Benson muses before she jots something else down. She looks at the two sisters. "I know this has been a... trying night. But it's all about to be over."
Her voice is calm, soothing, and makes Lillian want to believe her.
Agent turns towards Lillian, looking into her eyes, and Lillian watches as Alyscia looks away.
"Lillian, you and your sister were in a car accident." the agent says. Her voice is still soothingly calm, but there's something different about it now, and the air in the room has changed to something different. More charged somehow.
"You're going to forget about everything that happened after you swerved off the road."
"Is this supposed to be doing something?" Lillian asks.
Agent Benson blinks, trading a glance with the doctor, who must've been standing there for a while and Lillian hadn't noticed. She holds a hand up and moves over to Angelica, who's wringing her hands together, her one nervous tick.
"Angelica, you and your sister were in a car accident. You're going to forget about everything that happened after you swerved off the road." Agent Benson pauses before she asks, "Now Angelica, do you remember what happened after you swerved off the road?"
Angelica nods slowly. "The snake woman attacked us."
Agent Benson looks at the doctor. "You might want to get President Price in here."
When President Price walks into the room, you know.
She commands all eyes on her and doesn't have to compel anyone to do it. It's slightly intimidating.
She's dressed in a black pantsuit, grey hair pulled back in a severe bun. Her steely black eyes land on Angelica first, and then on Lillian, before they move to Agent Benson, who stands and moves a little closer to the woman.
"You tried everything?"
Agent Benson nods. "There's no reason that a human would be able to be able to resist compulsion."
Lillian watches the older woman purse her lips. "Perhaps you're tired. Have you called someone else in to try?"
"All due respect President Price, you could have ten agents come down here, and you'd have the same result. They're supernatural. That's the only explanation."
No. No. She's not some fucking supernatural. She's a human. And that's what she wants to go back to her normal, human life.
"Are you sure you're not just bad at mind control?" Angelica quips from her bed.
Agent Benson only looks slightly offended. "I'm pretty sure. I've had twenty one years of experience." she says before she turns towards President Price. "They're going to need specialized training."
"They can go to Arcane!" Alyscia exclaims, a smile on her face.
Lillian glares at the girl. If she does have any powers, they'd be working right now, and Blondie would disappear.
"A proper education in magic would obviously be necessary." Agent Benson says as she looks at that president.
The woman looks at Lillian and Angelica. "That's true. If you two did anything at all to survive tonight, it was clearly by accident. Next time, and believe me, there's always a next time, you could kill yourself or your whole family."
"Isn't that my choice to make?" Lillian bites out. Obviously she doesn't want to kill her family, but she doesn't think she would, because she's a human.
The agent and president ignore her anyways.
"Can't Agent Benson try compelling us again?" Angelica asks.
"I could, but that would be wasting everyone's time." Agent Benson says helpfully. And then she turns towards Price. "So, about the girls' education..."
"I'm sure they'd be fine at the local elementary." she says dismissively.
Benson rolls her eyes. "Come on Sylvia. That wouldn't do anything to integrate them into society."
Integrate them into society? She doesn't want to be integrated into this society. She just wants to go home.
"If their abilities have manifested so strongly already, education at a local public school wouldn't do any good. If you don't want her at Arcane, I could call someone from Yolnyce-"
"That won't be necessary. They'll be tested for any magical abilities at Arcane, and then we'll go from there. So if you're done with them, I'll take them to campus and have them settle in."
Alyscia perks up. "Can I tag along? I moved in a couple days ago so I have to get back to campus anyways and I'm a little tired-"
Price holds her hand up. "I don't care for your explanation."
"...Is that a yes?"
Price doesn't respond, so Alyscia takes it as one.
Lillian and Angelica are allowed to dress, and then the twins, along with Alyscia, are loaded into a van with tinted windows. Lillian leans against the window and Angelica leans against her, her head heavy on her shoulder.
Lillian feels like complete shit. She's not dying, whatever healing they've done at the hospital has made sure of that, but her injuries still need to heal for a while longer, and whatever painkillers they've given her are starting to wear off.
She lays her head on top of her sisters.
"Why does the president care about us?" Angelica asks, her voice deeper than usual. She sounds exhausted.
"Well, I mean she probably came because I'm a student at Arcane, but if you guys are really powerful, of course she's going to want you to come to our school."
Even though she shouldn't care - and she doesn't really, she's just curious - Lillian finds herself asking, "You mean she's the president of your school, not like, the president of the magical world."
Now it's Alyscia's turn to be confused. "What do you mean? We don't have a president."
"Well how does your government work?" Angelica asks. Lillian tunes out. Her sister had always been interested in government. Angelica had her whole life planned out. She was supposed to go to Spelman University in Georgia for undergrad, and then she was going to go to law school at Columbia. She would intern for some politician and then she'd become some big shot.
Lillian didn't have her life quite so planned out. Actually, she didn't have it planned out at all. She knew that she wanted to be happy, but she wasn't sure how to go about that.
But she was quite sure that getting forced to go to some magical school wasn't going to make her happy.
Alyscia and Angelica have seemed to move on from their conversation of governments or lack thereof, and Alyscia is rambling on and on about classes and how different their lives are going to be now.
"What makes you think we're staying?" Lillian asks.
Alyscia seems annoyed at being interrupted in the middle of her tangent. "Well, you heard President Price. If you go home, you could kill someone. Is that what you want?"
Lillian doesn't answer.
The sun is starting to rise when they arrive at Arcane University's campus. Alyscia is sent off to her dorm, and Lillian and Angelica are taken to Price's office. It's a spacious, white office that makes Lillian feel like she's too dirty to step foot inside.
"You two will be enrolled here."
"Well, we figured," Lillian mutters. "Didn't think you'd bring us all the way here just to send us back to the hospital."
Price looks at her flatly before continuing on her spiel. "As you've probably deduced, magic is real. And so are angels, demons, witches, wizards, fairies, vampires, werewolves, and so much more. The things you know about them are mostly wrong, I'm sure. The things humans know about us are formed from myths. But the supernatural exists. I'm one, and so are the two of you, if Agent Benson and Miss Aez's accounts are anything to go by."
She pauses for a moment, sitting down in her chair and putting on a pair of glasses.
Even magical beings need glasses, Lillian muses. That’s one thing Harry Potter got right.
"It's extremely dangerous to have untrained supernatural roaming around the world, so there won't be much legal work in regards to keeping the two of you here. And we have financial aid, so that will help the two of you with tuition. Of course, you will be getting tested to see the extent of your apparent powers, as well as possibly some insight on your species. And once that's completed, you can register for classes, which start on the first of the month," the woman finally looks at the twins, because she had been looking at her computer the entire time. "So?"
Lillian looks at her sister. There's clearly no room for argument, they will be going to this school no matter what they say, but she wants to make one anyway.
"What are we supposed to tell our dad?" Angelica asks.
"There's laws regarding contact between supernaturals and their human relatives that I can't just break, not even given the... unusual circumstances. But, the paperwork isn't tedious. You should be able to speak to your father in about a week or so."
"A whole week!?" Lillian exclaims, and Angelica immediately grabs her hand and squeezes tightly. Lillian can almost hear Angelica saying calm down, even though her sister never opens her mouth.
The ever present frown on Price's lips deepens slightly. "There's also some paperwork the two of you will have to fill out. Make sure to do it in a timely manner," she looks over the twins again. "I'd recommend visiting the city and getting some new clothes."
Lillian looks down at herself. The crop top she had on is barely a scrap covering her, and there's dried blood caked in different areas. Her ripped jeans are pretty much the same way, and her sister's pink sundress is covered in dirt and blood.
"You won't be able to retrieve your belongings for some time, and I wouldn't recommend wearing that for the next month," she looks at the clock, "I'll schedule a test for you two to understand your abilities later today. Now, you may go."
Lillian starts to ask the woman where the hell they're supposed to go, but Angelica squeezes her hand again and is smiling at the woman.
"Thank you Miss Price."
Thank you!? Lillian snatched her hand away, glaring at her sister, but Angelica is just glaring back.
"You're welcome," Price says, not noticing the silent argument in front of her, or just not caring. "And welcome to Arcane University."
President Price dismissed them from her office, but not before giving them their rooming assignment. Lillian thought it was a little forward of her. She didn’t even know for sure if they had magic - and they didn’t, Lillian was sure of that - and yet they were enrolling them in this school and giving them a rooming assignment. What happens when it turns out that they don’t have magic?
She didn’t get much time to think about it; as soon as the twins stepped out of the office, Alyscia was there, her blonde hair a wet mess on top of her hair. She’s clearly just gotten out of the show and it’s another reason Lillian can’t stand her. Mostly because Lillian would reallylike a shower.
”How’d it go!?” Alyscia asks. “Was it just paperwork or did she try to threaten you? Oh I bet she did, but don’t worry, they haven’t turned people to stone in like ages. I think it’s outlawed or something now-“
”Alyscia-“ Angelica tries to interject but the blonde keeps talking.
“You guys are still going here right!? I mean you have to, they don’t even know what you are, I don’t think Yolnyce would except you without at least knowing something-“
Lillian feels her anger bubbling. She thinks that she might hate this girl. She forced them into this world, brought them here when she could have just let them move on with their night. Now they can’t leave. They can’t even talk to their dad for a whole week. And on top of all of that, she never shuts up.
“LEAVE US THE FUCK ALONE.”
The words are out of her mouth before she can stop them. Alyscia’s blue eyes are wide, and she doesn’t even have to look at Angelica to imagine the apologetic look she’s giving the blonde on both of their behalf. But Lillian isn’t sorry. And she keeps going.
“We have to stay here and it’s your fault. We don’t want to be around you more than is absolutely necessary. So leave us alone.”
The words spill out of her, and when she’s done, there’s several long moments of silence before Alyscia turns her attention to Angelica. “Is that how you feel?” Alyscia asks.
Lillian chances a glance at her sister, who’s looking at the blonde and wringing her hands together. She knows her sister; when she wrings her hands together, she’s agitated. She also knows that her sister doesn’t feel the same way, and maybe she shouldn’t have used the word webut they both should feel this way.
“I just... need a little time to process everything.”
Lillian feels a lick of satisfaction as she watches Alyscia nibble on her bottom lip, clearly hurt.
”Alright, I’ll see you guys around I guess.” she mumbles dejectedly before walking off.
The set of sisters aren’t even standing alone for a full minute before Angelica turns her attention towards her. “Did you have to do that?”
“Yes.” Lillian answers.
Angelica rolls her eyes, holding out the piece of paper that President Price had given them. “She could have taken us to our dorm. We have no clue how to get around-“
”We’ll ask someone.” Lillian replies easily.
“We had someone.” Angelica hisses.
”I didn’t want her taking us anywhere! She’s the damn reason we’re stuck in this place!” Lillian snaps.
”I’m aware,” Angelica says slowly, like she’s talking to a child. Lillian hates when she gets all patronizing. “But we’re stuck here until we talk to an advisor. So let’s go to this damn dorm and rest.”
”How are you okay with all of this!? They fucking kidnapped us and brought us to a magical land and they won’t let us leave!”
”I’m not okay with any of this!” Angelica snaps. And then she inhales deeply, calming herself before she continues. “Do you think I wanna be here? I’m supposed to be getting ready to go to Georgia...” she trails off for a moment, her eyes shining. “But throwing tantrums aren’t going to help. I’m tired, I’m stressed, and all I wanna do is lay in a bed and sleep.”
“Do you two know you’re in the way?”
The Batts sisters turn to find themselves face to face with a guy so pale he resembles snow, or porcelain. It doesn’t help that his close cropped hair is platinum blond, giving him an statuesque appearance.
He narrows his grey eyes at the two of them. “You’re the twins Alyscia found.”
Lillian bristles at that. They haven’t even been on this campus an hour and people know about them being here. She doesn’t like that.
“I’m Angelica and this is my sister Lillian.” Angelica says. Lillian furrows her brows at the difference in tone of her sister’s voice. Before, Angelica was clearly agitated, and her tense voice reflected that. Now her voice is higher, more preppy, and it makes Lillian’s curl inward because she knows that voice and knows what it means.
“Nice to meet you.” the pale guy says, no feeling attached to the pleasantry.
Angelica isn’t deterred by his cold exterior though, oh no. Lillian knows that this is exactly her type. “We actually looking for our dorm. Do you mind-“
”I thought Alyscia was going to be helping you two. She wouldn’t shut up about it.”
Lillian pointedly ignores her sister’s eyes on her on her and asks, “Are you gonna help or not?”
He looks at her for a moment before shaking his head. “Even if I wanted to, and I don’t, I have an appointment with President Price.”
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